Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Turning on the Nightlight

Writing is a hard enough job without having to manage a chronic illness around it.

For nearly ten years now I have suffered from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Migraines. The day to day pain and exhaustion from the fibro is torture, but the frequent migraines… I honestly have no words for the agony I’ve suffered. 

It’s like having your head in a vice while someone spoons your eyeballs out of your head repeatedly. It’s not being able to sit up because movement of any kind will make you vomit. It’s medicines that are supposed to help but only make you sicker. It’s hiding in the dark with a pillow over your ears and a cold cloth over your eyes for hours until you can finally manage at some semblance of a human being.

It’s awful.

Many times the migraine is tolerable though. Yes, I’m miserable and in pain, but I’m capable of sitting up and even walking about getting chores done, albeit in the dark or as near dark as possible. When you have a migrain you avoid the light as best you can. I’ve learned over the years that it is mainly the harsh blue light from electronics and bright fluorescents that stab at my eyes the worse.

Most phones these days have a blue light filter that you can activate by swiping down and opening the drop-down tray (with flashlight, bluetooth, ect) and clicking the blue light filter button. It's mainly for use before bed to help your brain settle before going to sleep. Blue light keeps the brain active and hyper and many will find it more difficult to sleep soundly if they use their phone before bed.

I’ve found when having a headache, activating the blue light filter lessens the stabby pain if I need to use my phone. So I got to thinking how wonderful it would be to have this feature on the PC so even if I was having a mild migraine I could still work on my writing projects from the comfort of my darkened room.

Simply turning down the brightness isn’t enough.

So I went to my system settings in windows 10 to see if I could recreate a blue light filter on my PC and found Nightlight.


To activate go to your settings>display> and right under brightness and color, you will see the option to toggle on Nightlight. Below the toggle on you have more settings that when clicked will take you to a new settings page where you can set up a time for a nightlight, set the strength, or just switch it on and off. This feature is extremely useful to all those who suffer headaches and migraines.

Filtering out the blue light makes it possible to sit at the PC even if you have a mild migraine. Granted a full-blown monster migraine won’t allow you such amenities but if you are in the throws of one of those meanies, I doubt you’ll be worried about your writing, or anything aside from just breathing and surviving.


This nightlight is also handy if you spend a lot of time at the PC to prevent headaches and eyestrain as well, so even if you don’t presently have a migraine, you may want to try it out.

I hope you find this useful! Let me know in the comments how this handy feature works for you.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Following My Daughter's Example

The house is quiet except for the occasional giggle of my son. Almost too quiet. His big sister isn’t tormenting him or pestering him. I tiptoe to the mess of a bedroom she calls her evil lair, peek around the corner, and see her. She’s sitting on her bed writing in a notebook.
Loudly I exclaim “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!”
The surprise attack has the desired effect.
She jumps nearly off the bed then glares at me. “Moooooom!”
Snickering I again ask what she is up to.
She explains she is writing a book.

That’s right folks. My daughter has become a writer! *Insert proud mom face here*

She and her friends had started writing a story together about a zombie apocalypse or something of that sort, and she had fallen in love with the act of storytelling. I now can find her curled up in her favorite corners about the house writing in her notebook and proudly telling me each night how many chapters she was able to get done. She has always had a love for reading, ever since I taught her when she was three because she simply could not wait for pre-k to learn to read. She was already piecing words together from billboards or road signs. Now she is using her creativity to use those words and make her own stories come to life!

I’m impressed. I’m Proud. I’m... jealous?

I admittedly am quite jealous. She has that joy of writing that I lost years ago when I moved from Abilene. I’m not sure how I lost it really, but writing became a chore. I put it off. Made excuses. Eventually, I quit trying at all.

After watching her work on her story the past few weeks I started feeling that urge to work on my own stories. I’ve always got some ideas brewing, and have quite a few notes and scribbles in my notebook, but have never had the drive to follow them down the rabbit hole again, until now.

The last two weeks all I can think of is stories. Reading stories, editing stories, fleshing out new stories. I want my stories to live! I want to share them and say I did something.

So I’m back at it again. Working through the mood that I am nothing special, and breathing life back into my stories, and I have my amazing, beautiful, creative daughter to thank for lighting that spark once more!