I have such rage within me at this moment that I cannot speak. I have trembling in my extremities and my vision is blurred. My intestinal fortitude is being sorely challenged.
Why? What has cause this distress in one who normally maintains at least an outward semblance of calm?
As with most things, this rage-inducing event is the culmination of the rock-strewn pathway I've been navigating today.
Today started with some alarming physical issues. The leg of the infamous jellyfish sting refused to bend at the knee this morning - and absolutely resisted bearing weight of any kind. I graciously spent the morning abed, with hopes of improvement.
No such luck. At least not for several hours. At this point, nearly 24 hours later, I can finally bend the knee and have learned a somewhat awkward shuffle that allows me to walk from point A to point B with only moderate discomfort.
But that was only the first boulder in the path.
Suwannee County turned out to vote today on a single issue. Should the county remain dry or permit the sale of alcoholic beverages? And if yes to wet, should these beverages be available only in packages or should they be available in drinkable form from eateries and bars and such? Overwhelmingly Suwannee County voters turned out to declare they wanted to be able to give their tax dollars to their home county rather than having to drive to adjacent locales in order to purchase their poison of choice. I voted wet, all inclusive. As did my spouse. As did his mother. As did over 7,000 voters. Wet won.
While at the voting place, I was mistaken for a man. Maybe it was my hat? Or the dragon-print t-shirt? Or the grey jersey mid-calf length yoga pants? Or the yoga shoes? Whatever it was, boulder number two quite clearly addressed me as "Sir." Not once, but twice. The first time I shrugged it off. The second time I stopped, looked at her with what must have been an odd expression and watched as realization dawned that I am not, in fact, a Sir. She stumbled through an apology. I smiled and nodded and agreed that no harm was done.
We had a lovely dinner and made our way home. Granted we encountered several other drivers intent on killing us, but we made it through. I'll call them rock number three.
Once home, and once the election results were posted, boulder number four came rolling in my direction. I, my spouse and my mum-in-law, along with the other 7000+ voters who said "Yes" today were called "FOOLS" (emphasis is most definitely not mine) by a friend of mine. Although I think we've managed to finally agree to disagree on this issue (as we have on so many others), it has put a rather nasty ding in our relationship. And the buildup of stress is taking its toll on my body. Intestinal distress. An upswing in joint pain. That hazy glaze to my vision that means my heart is not behaving itself.
All of that means I need to calm down. Slow down. Maybe meditate a little. At the very least I need to do something I enjoy to take my mind off the pain.
I enjoy writing. I've been working on The Sequel, an apt working title for the sequel to my first novel. Things have been going well lately and I've been churning out some rather good quality work. I'm a half-dozen chapters in, have the outline set for the rest, all the character descriptions are done and tonight, the muse was working overtime. My fingers were itching to type.
And then I opened the file.
For reasons unknown to me, the current version of Word insists on making its own decisions as to font, font size, paragraph spacing, blocking and will not - not even when I muck about with the actual internal files - will not accept any alteration to this strangely set default. I don't think it's too much to ask to have 12 point Times New Roman set at single space with no blocking when I open a new document. Apparently Word believes otherwise. I've solved this dilemma somewhat by making a template file which I open when I am going to start a new document.
Tonight, Word had a new trick up its sleeve. I opened my work-in-progress file to find that the entire thing had been reformatted to the strange Word default. What the heck? Ok, staying calm. Select all. Reset the settings. Save. There, all better.
Except it wasn't.
It wasn't all better because it was gone.
The file. The folder. Gone.
Not in the recycle bin. Not saved somewhere strange. Just gone.
Virus scan... negative.
Virus scan from an online source... negative.
Virus scan from a different online source, just in case... negative.
I tentatively opened a different file. A letter I'm in process of writing to my aunts. The formatting was fine. I saved. I looked for and found it again. It opened just fine.
Ok, am I paranoid? Where the heck is my book?
Looking again. Well, the "writing" folder is back. Whew! But wait. It only contains the original novel and some publishing notes.
Continuing to look.
And... wait, let me look in the original novel folder ...
Jackpot. Well, sort of. The who's who is there. The outline is there. But the entire file for The Sequel is gone.
That's not entirely true. There IS a file. But when I open the file, it is a blank page. With the default Word settings.
Microsoft, you mock me, and I have RAGE.
Unfortunately, that rage is making me harf uncontrollably, shake violently and whimper with pain. Don't get mad, your body will get even.