Monday, April 25, 2016

Where's book 8 ??!

Question: "Yeah yeah, the links are 'cute' and stuff, but, really, where's book 8 (Quantum of Souls) already!!"
Long story short, 3 pairs of prescription reading glasses...
Long story longer...
Almost 20 years ago (late 90's), I was considering trying my hand at programming again. I had lots of success with it as a child, but things in the computer world had changed since the 80's when I last sat behind a keyboard, so I decided to take a few classes and find out just where I stood.
If it was going to take thousands and thousands of dollars to get caught up, I'd probably take a pass. But I'd only know if I sank a toe in the water.
Late 90's that's exactly what I did. The programming wasn't too hard, and I was very enthusiastic... at first. But by the end of the year, I was hating it and I couldn't figure out why.
In retrospect, I found out that I was printing a ton of things out, and that should have been a clue. But at the time, it wasn't.
I was blind to it.
In the early days of classes, it was nothing to spend 8-12 hours a day pounding away at the keyboard. By the end of the year, it made me depressed to even turn the damn computer on.
I figured it was just that my heart wasn't in it. Coding, itself, was really not that hard, I kept telling myself, but I just couldn't get 'into it'.
So I took a chance and decided to try writing again. I had written a 'version' of Houdini scientist in the 11th grade and so I decided to, obviously, skip over 3 books and start my new writing adventures with "The Heredity of Hummingbirds" (book 4) on my brand new Compaq laptop.
About halfway through it, I was dealing with crippling depression and headaches, but I powered through, then started on "Mourning after Dawn" (Book 5).
Time to backtrack just a little.
Color blind people don't know on their own that they are color blind.
Nearsighted people don't know that the world looks different to everyone else.
And I didn't know that I was color blind until a state fair around the age of ten, or that I was dyslexic until my last year of high school, or that I was hypersensitive to back lit screens common to all phones, tvs, and laptops. It took me three years to figure out my hypersensitivity to screens.
On 5-23-2003 NEC decided to dump their 'golf pro' laptops called the Versa Daylite. It was $1,000 more expensive than all other laptops in its class, and came with a dull, tiny 10.1" screen that the market hated... but that I needed because it had a back light that you could turn off.
This is the difference between an iPad and a Kindle with the e-ink 'paper' screen. If you want to read for an hour, an iPad will do, but if you want to read for 12 hours a day, every day of the week, 9 out of 10 eyes will thank you for using the Kindle with the e-ink and no back light.
It didn't dawn on me until a power failure when I used the laptop screen (a regular one, not the NEC) as a flashlight. It lit the room bright enough to read a newspaper at 20 feet. Most phones come with a flashlight app that turns to screen bright white.
I have a box of florescent and LED lights that I never use because the flicker or spectrum of the light from them gives me headaches. Most people don't have this problem, but I do.
Most people are not color blind, but I am.
And most people are not dyslexic, but I am (mildly).
Now, 2014, quantum of souls started out fast, I was on schedule to have it done in a year, then I hit a wall.
My NEC crashed, the screen has a bunch of scratches, and the power supply died.
But those are just annoying excuses.
My real problem, the one my color blind eyes couldn't see, was that my eyes were going on me.
Which, sad as it seems, was far from obvious.
I can see the screen just fine.
I can see the screen on my phone just fine (I just can't stand looking at it for more than an hour a day).
In fact, last month when I got my first eye test in 20 years, my eyesight had actually improved, according to the numbers. So I was entirely befuddled as to why I couldn't seem to concentrate or focus when writing.
But it turned out that my left eye was the only one that could see the screen, when before 2014, both eyes could see the screen. Dollar store reading glasses had helped (in 2014) but just barely.
Right in the middle of the book, my ability to see the screen (what mattered most) had all but vanished.
I needed 3 pairs of reading glasses, with 3 unique prescriptions.
1 for reading the phone or books.
1 for reading a laptop, and a third for reading desktop screens.
(And a fourth for driving, watching movies, or tv, but I'm really nearly 20/20 with that, so I just couldn't believe I had eye problems)
I can see some colors, but not most colors, so I had no clue I was colorblind (technically, colorblind is black and white where color deficient, me, is some colors).
I could easily use a regular tablet, laptop, or desktop screen for up to an hour without feeling ill, so because it wasn't immediate, it took me an incredibly long time to put two and two together.
And my dyslexia is very mild, just bad enough to make editing books more difficult than it ordinarily would be.
Bottom line, with a little luck, hopefully I'll finish it this year.
$6.95 for a pair of prescription reading glasses makes all the difference in the world.
For those really curious.
OD    OS
1      0.75 SP
-.5    -.75 Cyc
62    110  Axis

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