It's a good thing I found tea yesterday because last night was not conducive to much sleep. One problem was the big thunderstorm that hit about 3 a.m. -- the kind with enough thunder and lightning to make me get up and run around the house unplugging electronics, and then since we tend to get hail with that kind of storm I ran onto the patio and moved my new herb pots up under the balcony.
That was after it took me a long time to get to sleep because I'm wrestling with a couple of career issues that are kind of no-win scenarios. With one situation, I seem to be dealing with something that is literally not working for me, but saying anything about it tends to make matters worse. Doing something decisive about it is a huge risk. It could either be something that would make a big change for the better or it could be a career killer, and I can't know which it would be before I take action. Even in a best-case scenario there would still be lots of complications. But I'm not sure I can deal with things continuing the way they are now.
Yes, that's awfully cryptic, but that's part of the dilemma. I can't even really talk about what's going on or ask advice without taking a big risk. Thus the lack of sleep.
Meanwhile, apparently my plagiarist is still out there, as I'm getting more e-mail from readers letting me know that when they do an Internet search on a writing topic, they're getting someone else's blog, with a nearly word-for-word copy of my posts. Worse, that other person's blog comes higher in the search results, probably because his posts are more recent since, you know, they're copies. I'm not sure what I can do about that, either. I don't like the idea of him getting away with it, but any direct action could also backfire on me, and I don't need an Internet nutjob coming after me right now. I don't think I'm a big enough name that the publishing blogs or big-name writers would get involved and turn it into a public shaming that would raise my profile as a victim. I know I'm not the only one he's copying. It seems that very little on his how-to-write site is his own work.
I even hesitate to post links for people to check out because having links to his site will only raise his profile in the search engines. Then again, having minions to call him on the copying instead of me doing it directly could be a strategy.
When the bigger problem was occupying too much space in my brain, I seem to have moved on to the smaller problem to try to figure out a solution.
And during all this, I've been working out a few problems with The Problem Child. It turns out that the big issue isn't where I thought it was (or that wasn't the only issue). There's something missing from one of the plot lines, and I'm not sure what it is. It's like I just sort of forget one of the plot threads for a very long time, leaving those people in suspended animation. I guess I'm out of practice in writing a book with multiple points of view.
On the up side, butterflies! It's monarch migration time, and they're swarming to the park across the street that's full of plants that draw butterflies. Since I have some brainstorming to do, I may take a notebook over there and see if sitting surrounded by butterflies helps stimulate my creativity.
I've decided that maybe my idea of taking an at-home vacation isn't going to work. That is, I shouldn't just take a whole week off. What I may do is allow myself to call in on vacation on any day when I don't have something pressing. I used to think about that when I had a real job. There would be a cool, rainy day that was perfect for curling up with a pot of tea and a good book, and I had nothing urgent at work, and I'd wish I could just call in on vacation that day. Or there would be a perfect day for a hike or a trip downtown. When you have to schedule vacations in advance, you never know what kind of day you're going to get. But now I work for myself, and since after this week all my deadlines should be met (assuming I can get the necessary cooperation from others), I may declare that from now until the end of the year, I have a certain number of days I can spontaneously declare to be vacation days. If it's a good reading day, I'll take a day to read. If I'm in the mood for a long walk or an excursion, I'll do it. That may be more likely to happen than attempting to schedule time off.
And, yes, thinking of this idea also kept me awake.