Charlotte K Stewart

Writer, Reader, Knitter, Artist


Daily Life

Nanowrimo 2018

I wasn’t sure about committing to this November’s National Novel Writing Month (nano). I have so much going on. I’ll get into that another day.

Last year I signed up and didn’t actively try to “win;” I had too much going on and didn’t feel like spending energy on one more thing. No matter how much I liked the idea of the story I’d wanted to write. December hit and I felt like a failure.

This year, I’m caving to peer pressure, at least somewhat. The writing group I’ve been most active in this year has members fired up about nano. And, I do feel connected to both the nano process and my writing group.

I logged in, created my novel project, and even designed a book cover. To my surprise, my bestie (who hadn’t done nano before, that I know of, but who is a member of my writing group)- joined and set up her novel project, too! We even worked together on a cover design for it.

Whether or not I win (of course, this year I’ll try!), it’s going to be more fun to do than it will be “work.” At least, that’s the plan.

I’m Sick

I have bronchitis. It’s never any fun, but it’s especially not pleasant this time of year. I have so many things I need to get done and want to do that being sick on top of my chronic conditions really drags me down. I am not on antibiotics, which I’m glad about for many reasons. We’re hoping a few types of inhalers, combined with the little round “perles” and over the counter cough syrup will help me enough until I can get the rest of the buggies out of my system. If I’m not much better in about two weeks, I’ll get checked again. And, my stomach had to start acting up on top of it all. I have so many problems, on any given day. I’d love a day or a week when it’s “only” my usual with nothing extra tacked on.

Writing has been hit-or-miss. I was on a roll with a new story for a few days. I had no energy to add to it for the past few. I’ve been working on it today, as I felt up to it. I would like to get anything near completed this year… so far, that’s not happening. I have had zero energy to knit at all. Tomorrow is knitting group at the library, which I missed last month due to illness and too much pain in my knee (because of where I need to get to inside the building, after how far I need to get from the car to the front door is pure hell on my bad knee)… I want to go so badly. There is a conflict of transportation, on top of the illness and injury matters. I’m bummed and I need to talk to the girl who runs it about another way to try to get this to happen, or about changing the location inside the building, maybe.




That one word sums up my day, my week, my life…

The guy is history. He moved on. I lowered the boom and brought up concerns I had. He insisted, again, we could discuss and be rational (I think trying to convince himself, as I remained calm throughout)… then, he alerts me through social media notifications he has committed to some other female. Blink, blink. Yep. I’m still shaking my head. However, I don’t need to waste another moment wondering what his deal is. He moved on, he showed his true colors for sure, and I’m all right. Does it hurt? YES. It sucks when someone proclaims to be interested and says they want to be with you and spend time together and plan some kind of future with you, only to find out it was all a game and non-stop lies. I will guard my heart in its locked little box, let the gashes heal a bit, then I will keep going on with my life. I didn’t need him before, I certainly don’t need him anymore… no big loss at this point.

I did manage some writing the past few days. I doubled what had been a super-short story from five pages into about 10.5 pages. I changed it around slightly. I will find out tomorrow what others think of it in my workshop group. Feedback is helpful. I always learn something about myself, my writing, and how others view fiction. I’m too exhausted to write more on this post right now. I am trying to make more entries, but I also have a massive to-do list tomorrow. Meaning, I need to find a way to relax for a bit and unwind. I haven’t been knitting much. I will read, maybe listen to some music, then I’ll crash.

Till next time.

Pants Should Be On Fire

I mentioned a guy a while back. We started talking in February. We began talking online, as that is how most of my socialization occurs nowadays, not just due to technology, but because of my life situation. He wanted to be considered a couple in March. I was hesitant. He talked about coming to meet me in person. And, I would never, have never… expected to even get into a relationship again. Let alone be a real couple who is dating or together. Certainly not married. Yes, he did go there. He brought it up, saying I was his future Mrs. W. Insert gasps and eye rolls here.  There is a lot to the past few months, from his life and mine, but I’ll keep it brief. He lied, lied, and lied some more. He is single. His photos and his voice are legit, from everything I could figure out. I’m rather good at investigation. And, he was not a liar about his situation or his appearance. But, he is a serial dater and serial liar, about silly nonsensical things. Things that most people wouldn’t feel a need to lie about, such as what color shirt he chose today. He might be wearing red but say blue. Why? NO REASON! I will end this now by saying, I brought this up to him and we tried having a calm, adult conversation about it. It’s the third time we have tried… that I have tried. He claims to love me. I thought we had a connection, but I can’t be close to someone, or allow someone into my life, when they are not trustworthy. He destroyed the shred of trust we were forming. He broke that. I am letting him go because, though it sucks to end something that may have had a chance to grow into something… chances are, the way it was going, it was never going to be real or healthy. I have been alone so long, I’m used to it. I would like more, in some ways, but I don’t need someone like him in my life. Adios, Pinocchio.


Life is Pain

I am thankful for many things, and for people without whom I would not be here, as in not alive. However, some days are too painful to explain. Mental pain, emotional pain, and most of all more than ever is the physical pain. One of my knees needs to be replaced. One of my hands barely works anymore. And, just the past few days, one of my hips feels like someone is piercing it with a sword. I, like so many others, live with migraines and a bad back. Those are the “usual” days. You’d think I’m in my 70s or 80s, but… no. I am not supposed to have surgery of any kind, ever again. It’s too complicated, and just the mention of it makes me fearful based on knowing the risks I face.

And, there’s the constant worry about what’s going on with the parents and at least one of my siblings (the one who had an emergency last week). Things are on rocky ground, with all of them, in different ways. I wish it didn’t all directly impact me, so I could breathe and not worry about basic things like, where would I go if something happens to any of them.. or when something does… it’s all a mess. I try to numb myself from what’s going on, or the possibilities, but then it is in my face and I can’t hide from it. It affects me and I don’t sleep, I barely function, I can’t get my mind to escape the pain I’m experiencing non-stop, let alone turn off the part of my brain that needs to feel secure about life. I wish I could make the family members better. I wish I could make me better.

I can’t focus to be creative. When I sit down to knit, all I do is make mistakes. I haven’t touched paint in months. I got them out and a cat traipsed through my setup one day in February. I haven’t bothered since, because there is no designated space that can be closed off from other people or the cats, the room I sleep has no work surface to set up even a small project. And, writing… UGH. I have been staring at some of my WIPS. I pull one out and stare. I try to get a few things down, then I second and third-guess it all and end up deleting it or stuffing it back into a folder, hating how it doesn’t make sense or go anywhere. It’s all part of a vicious cycle. I feel guilty trying to relax, I worry about others, I hate how I feel and the pain I am in, the treatments I’ve done and medication I take doesn’t help… and on and on and on it goes…

Sharing this Blog?

I like to write and share my thoughts, but I’m cautious. I have reason to be, which I wish with all my might I could open up about and not be afraid. Life is ironic in that way. We crave support but are afraid to make ourselves vulnerable. That comes with being betrayed and being hurt.

I don’t want things I write creatively to be swiped, not that they would be. I don’t like to think of someone judging what I choose to share (or not share) about my life, my opinions, my feelings… but, I want  to feel my writing is not in vain and not just for my eyes. It’s a fine line we all walk, anyone daring to put words out into the world.


I’m not sure if I’ll put my creative writing here, or find another way… I’m working on it. Patience, please.

Writing and Knitting

I’ve been writing again. Not the quantity or overall quality I’ve achieved in the past, but anything is progress, at this point. Thanks to some prompts in a new writing group I’ve joined, my creative energy is flowing again. It may be trickling compared to gushing. Again, I’m not complaining at having any form of words emit from my brain. Things have been so stressful and exhausting, I’d started to worry I may never get back to the stories I continue to stare at and peck at on my WIP pile. I’ve made snail-paced progress on one of those. No rush. A step forward is better than standing still, and much better than slipping backwards.

Knitting has been difficult. I cranked out a plethora of baby hats for a few months. I sent them off to their destination and felt good about it. I wish I could have done more, and next time I can, I will add to that pile to donate. I have a list of gift knitting I need to do and want to do… I started a knit-a-long last week. I helped choose the pattern, which has an element I had not done before. Something that requires a skill I should be able to do. It is meant to be FUN and SIMPLE. Well… not so much. I have started and stopped, ripped back and ripped completely back to the beginning… several times. More than ten. I can’t get past row 5. FIVE! I need to get past row 6 to get though the first set of “new” design elements. That’s the problem. I am not giving up, yet. But, it’s not looking good right now. I even went to my local yarn shop (LYS), the one of the two that’s located closer, the one that the owner isn’t always very nice toward me (maybe not toward anyone? I have no idea)… I bought a different type of stitch marker and a little notions bag with butterflies, a ladybug, and a bicycle on it. It looks happy. I needed that in the middle of feeling quite miserable about this project I’m failing at.

Friday afternoon I got a haircut. It was the first time I’d had even a trim in over six years. I never feel like I deserve that kind of thing, but it was a nice treat to have the lady wash it and, though I hate trying to describe what I think will look okay (and almost always it turns out looking awful)- I have to say she did a nice job. She took about 14″ off the back, and it still landed at right around shoulder-length when finished. Since it’s naturally curly, she dried it and didn’t charge extra for it, to make sure we didn’t need more taken off and that I was happy with it. I think it ended up at a good length, and it’s just right for now. Of course, it will need to get done in about 2-3 months at the most, otherwise it will be too much hassle to go through trying to describe it to probably a different stylist the next time. As long as I continue to go in now, splurging not too much but it just seems like any is too much these days… it was needed… and I need to keep telling myself it’s okay… especially when it’s less than $20 every few months. Again, it all feels excessive, the way life has been this past year or more.

I went to knitting at the library on Friday, as well. I worked on the project that’s not going well. I started it fresh, I made it to row 5, I screwed up, and it’s in my bag in a ball again. I’m so frustrated!



Too Much to Handle

I can’t even write what all is going on. My head is reeling, nonstop. Mom should get discharged on Thursday, unless there’s another setback. It’s a good and a bad thing. I still don’t fully believe she’s ready to be home, again. It didn’t go well last time. I’m already stressed about what the first few days of her being back here will be like. Things I can’t control are taking over and spinning… I NEED my weekend to be calm. It won’t be.

Easter sucked. I’m worn out.

Easter was worse than what “just any other day” has been like around here lately. I did get a little box of candy and a card for my dad, and I gave Mom a card. No one gave me anything. I didn’t expect anything, but a card or something, at least from Dad… would’ve been nice. I should’ve gotten myself a little chocolate bunny or a Cadbury egg. I love those things. I received some group texts from siblings. I couldn’t even work up the mental energy to reply. That’s not like me, but Mom called me bright and early to bitch at me about clothes she needed. I’d already washed clothes and bagged them up to take to her, and was getting ready to do so when she called. Between how she acted and how physically ill I felt, I decided screw it and let Dad take the clothes to her later in the day. She called again just after 8 pm – long story, but I’d originally thought I’d go hang with her and we could watch the NBC live Jesus Christ Superstar thing… nothing went to plan. I didn’t go see her, the card was delivered with her clothes via Dad, and I ate cold leftover pizza, alone, and thought about what a weird, twilight zone- type life I have lately.


I’d like to say today was better, but it wasn’t. I needed to make some calls regarding one of my hospital bills, insurance, and other red tape. I had to move a car because the lawn mower is busted and one of Dad’s friends is bringing one for him to borrow… I need to do so many things and I can barely make my butt move.

Mom didn’t come home today. Maybe another day this week, but we will just have to wait and see how things go.

Draining Day and a Dishcloth

Today I had an appointment with a new orthopedist in the office to which I’ve been multiple times before. Each one has different specialties. I’d been to the hand/arm guy, and I’d been to one of the sports/hip guys. This one is new to the practice. His specialty is sports and also joint replacement. He was kind and seemed knowledgeable, once he tracked down my radiology pics and reports. We agreed surgery may be needed down the road, but, for multiple reasons, it’s not on the radar right now. Surgery is never ideal for me. It’s too depressing to get into all the whys and better to just leave it there. So, the treatment plan was set as a shot of cortisone into the knee and a physical therapy plan. My referral for that went through so by the time I got home I’d missed a call and it was too late to return the call, to schedule my assessment/intake. I’m hopeful it will help ease some of the excruciating pain. The shot combo of the anti-inflammatory on Monday and the steroids today seems to be working for now. The bad is that I’m running a low-grade fever tonight. I’ll keep an eye on it. I know that can be normal after steroids, as I’ve had them in the problem hip in the past. We’ll see how PT goes, and meet to discuss other options if it gets to that point. I was overall pleased with how the appointment went. At least he didn’t look at me, say “you need surgery, but I won’t do it,” as that has happened to me before. I’m glad it went a different way.

Immediately after the ortho appointment, I went next door to the building where I get my weekly blood work. It was uncharacteristically crowded. I waited about an hour before getting called back for my jab in the arm. The phlebotomist was one of a few regulars I get. There are others who pass through, mainly because there’s a big merger and change going on with the area’s medical providers. Nearly all locations have been affected, even if they are only somewhat affiliated.

I decided to go see Mom afterward. The hospital is across the highway from the medical complex where I’d spent all morning. I paused, took a walk to settle into the nearly pain-free sensation in my knee. I breathed in the dry, warm spring air and thought about how difficult things have been. Today had been going better than many days lately. I needed to reflect on that. I had a snack in the hospital cafeteria, played some turns in my word game on the phone, and gathered my thoughts before heading up to see my mother.

She was awake, alert, and cranky as anything. I had started a dishcloth in the morning. I’d cast the first few rows on before leaving the house. I worked a few rows sitting in the ortho waiting room, and again in the exam room before the doctor appeared. I pulled it out of my little orange polka-dotted project bag, which was tucked nicely into my red purse. Mom admired the yarn, commenting how happy it looked. It’s a cotton ombre of light yellow, pale blue, and white. I explained it was just one of my stash for such projects, and she nodded. Several of my creations are utilized regularly in the kitchen. A few have started to fade and wear out, after more than five years since I’ve added to the home collection. They get heavy use, and machine laundered. I think they’ve held up well over time, but adding a few to the rotation isn’t a bad thing. Next time I go through the drawer, I’ll see about getting rid of a few more worn-out pieces. I knitted quietly and listened to her complain. We caught up on some local news stories such as the reports (and viral photos) of moldy meat in breakfast sandwiches in our county’s high school and a rare, overnight shooting in our small county resulting in a woman being charged with attempted first-degree murder of her husband (they’re supposedly going through a divorce) – with the children in the house at the time of the altercation and shooting. Someone came in from Mom’s church, visited for a short time, and left. I knitted on the whole time. I reached the midway point of the cloth, put it away, and left in the late afternoon.

I stopped on the way home for a cold drink, parked at a little cabin and park close to the house, sat in the car and cried… for a while. I could fib and say I don’t know why my emotions took over and needed to spill out, but the reality is life is completely overwhelming. It has been for a while, over a year… it’s just all hitting non-stop lately, and even with not-so-bad moments, the rest is just too freaking much to bear. After a good, hard cry, I sat there a while longer to chill before returning home. I was sure Dad would be there, and that I’d have to pretend to be flexible and upbeat until he was to leave for a meeting for one of his several civic groups. I was surprised to find only the cats when I got home. He walked in a half hour later, and explained he wouldn’t be going to his meeting. It threw off my whole evening.

It shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s “HIS HOUSE.” I just live here… exist here… it feels horrible sometimes. Most of the time. I am suffocated and barely hanging on in some ways. I try to keep going and make the best of it. I’m just barely getting through each day, each hour… always waiting, hoping for moments or hours of quiet, time to reflect, sleep, write, knit. Or – shocker – DO nothing at all. I don’t even remember what that’s like. I’m always in physical pain, I’m always worried about the next life-sustaining medications I need to take… I’m not eating right, I’m not sleeping restfully. I am losing not just my mind. I’m losing myself. I’m losing my parents. I’m losing track of most things…

I started feeling ill and realized I had a little fever tonight. I sat and knitted some more. I finished the dishcloth. It’s kind of a simple, boring project. I might take a photo of it anyway, because sometimes simple, in the middle of all the draining and complex stuff is needed.




Why So Quiet?

I know. I haven’t been posting. I want to say why and also… it would be too much. There have been big medical things going on in the family. A parent was in the hospital for 29 days, and I was in the hospital a few days during that time, too. Then, we were both home. I had to go back to the ER, but then was sent home. That parent was home for one week, then needed the ER, and has been in the hospital… again… for another ten days and counting. Like I said… a LOT going on.

I knitted a bazillion baby hats and sent them to California to a group who’s sending them to a certain charity. They’re being tagged and packaged and sent along to people in need. It keeps me going to contribute to things like this, even in small ways.

Today, I had a doctor appointment. Some things are so messed up they will never be right. I’ve got new things going on, in addition to things that have always been an issue. I’m starting some new medicine for my migraines, which is a good thing. I’ve started something new to calm my stomach down, which is also good. I’ve been on it, but needed the doctor to agree to keep me on it. Best part is the insurance makes it a no-brainer, as far as affording all of it. Without that, I couldn’t be on any medication, it would be beyond my reach. So… thanks for stars to align for all of that.

I’ve been writing, but not well… my focus is nil, my mind is cluttered and stressed to the max. I’ve been crying and numb and just spinning my wheels, in general. I need something to improve. I need a few things to get better for my own personal health and life situations. I need the parent in the hospital to truly improve. I need other family to chill and/or help out more in the ways they’re able. Easier said than done on all of it. I can’t relax, I can’t sleep, my eating is all out of whack. My bestie is a star. She’s been holding my hand through it all, from afar. And, there’s a guy…

He seems amazing. But, right now he is sick, too. I am trying to hold it all together and support him and do what I can… from where I am. He works hard and ALL the time. I made him promise to take a few days off to get over this sickness. He said he would. I hope he’s resting now, as he is supposed to be.  😉

I’ll try to post more. I forget to let it all out here, I forget to take more time to try and focus my thoughts.

I have still been doing the bullet journal thing. I changed from an LT to a TN, though. I like it so much more for my current needs. I like the chunkiness of it, and the pages are thick and creamy, much nicer for my writing than the flimsy see-through LT ones. I had no idea what I was doing when I started. I’m learning. I don’t get as funky and artsy in the spreads and trackers as other people do. I’m keeping it basic. Some washi or stickers when I need them to break up sections or add a little personality, but that’s about it. Lots of lists, boxes, random notes about what happens on what day. It’s working for me, so far.

I knitted yesterday for the first time in a few weeks. I frogged it all today, but I’ll start over again in a day or two. I need the motion of knitting, but right now I can’t deal with actual patterns. It’s the therapy aspect of it, so when it becomes stressful I drop it until I can just breathe into it again.

More soon.

One good thing

At a time when everything else seems to be wrong, it’s a relief to get word that the routine mammogram results were unremarkable, meaning no sign of any cancer. Big sigh of relief on that one. Even with no tangible reason to worry or stress during the waiting time after the test, it feels huge to get the confirmation that one thing is not bad with my body.

Nano is going okay, my wordcount is on track. I’m dealing with some other severe things, some are ongoing, others are new. I’m too beat to get into it. Bullet journal is working for me, a week into it, and I’m going to sleep so I can deal with tomorrow.

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