Respect, So much Respect

Respect, So much Respect

Description: fat white woman with pink hair wearing a NaNoWriMoShirt smiles at camera. She is sitting at a conference table in front of her laptop

Getting my write on

Every year my local NaNoWriMo region does a “Day of Writing Dangerously”, it’s kind of like the Night of Writing Dangerously that happened on the west coast, but it is during the day time and is not a fundraiser (which means it’s free as the hotel is kind enough to lend us one of their conference rooms). Some of us bring snacks. This year it was small, seven of us, I think. And I got some good writing done, because we got a few word sprints in (where someone sets a timer and we write as fast as we can for 15 minutes). I love it. It makes me miss NaNoMaine and the write-ins there. We had a great thing going on while it lasted.

I am still struggling with my book, it is still fun, but I really think it sucks. And I have so much respect for speculative fiction writers. It is one of my favorite genres, and it delights me so, but it is hard to write. Ugh. Maybe it will be easier once I figure out what the plot will be? Maybe?

Anyway, the word update: I am now at 8,219 words! I wrote 3,816 words today! AMAZING! I only have 41,781 words to go! If I write 3,214 words every day, I will make it to 50,000 by the end of November.

Not really holding my breath there, but it’s still within the realm of possibility.

Plugging Along

Plugging Along

Collage for Marilee and Badb Crush the Patriarcy

Collage for Marilee and Badb Crush the Patriarcy

Got another 896 words today. I know, I know, if I only wrote 4 more words, ONLY FOUR, I’d have an even 900. I realize that now, but it’s too late.

Here is a collage I did for last year when I had the same idea to do a novel. I started over again this year, but the premise is basically the same.

Look, I am not sure people would recommend my keeping the same premise. Those people might recommend that I should start with something new, something fresh. But. I really LOVE this idea. It delights me. And, while it may be a bit stale since it isn’t as fresh in my mind, I am just working my way around and working with it. I am discovering it.

Already unexpected things are happening. Characters are showing up. There is a sliver of a plot. And I am falling asleep, so I really should go to bed.

Word Count: 4,342 total, and 896 for the day

Word Count for 11/11

NaNoWriMo Day 10, I mean Day 2

NaNoWriMo Day 10, I mean Day 2

Pictured: White fat woman with pink hair wearing a dark blue 2019 NaNoWriMo shirt

Let’s do this! – Day – Taken on November 2, or Day 1

Ok. So I didn’t write all week, but I wrote today. And it was good.

For NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days/1 month – and the month chosen is November, because it has 30 days, I suspect.. I wrote on Day 2 – which I forgot to post about, 952 words then. Today on Day 10, my total word count is 3,446 – meaning I wrote 2,494 words today. Which is AMAZING. The NaNoWriMo website is helpful in telling me that at this rate, I will be finished in March. Thanks helpful word-count-bot!

Hey, did you notice my spiffy NaNoWriMo shirt in the picture above? Awesome isn’t it. I bought it as an incentive to complete the challenge this year. And, if I keep writing this many words per day I can definitely finish by November 30th. I mean, I bought the shirt, I HAVE to keep going.

Pictured: screen shot of a NaNoWriMoWord Count. There are 2 days with new totals, November 2 and November 10. Current Count is 3,446

Good work today, but a long way to go!

The difference with my writing today is that I just started to do stream of consciousness stuff until I figured out what I wanted to talk about. I had this idea of using an unreliable omniscient narrator, one that would take a conversational tone with the readers. You know, dear reader, and whatnot. Not sure where this is going, but it is helpful – I feel like I am fishing for the story. Start writing, and I find out what the narrative is. I mean, I’m a pantser, for sure (will explain below). I just have to remember to keep the eye on the prize. The goal is not good, it is finished. Write a draft. That’s it. Get ‘er done.

Ok. I am a pantser. That means I don’t use an outline and I write “by the seat of my pants”. In the writing binary, there are also plotters. They plot their entire novel. Now, like many things, it seem like there is a pantser/plotter spectrum. Some plotters pants it and some pantsers plot. I tried being a plotter this year, or at least a hybrid. But Pantsing is winning again. I’m good with it.

Screenshot snippet:
Screenshot with words: "Who is Marilee, I think she is a case of missed opportunities and unrealized potential"

Helllllooo There! Back from the not posting in a while

Helllllooo There! Back from the not posting in a while

I was going to say back from the dead, but I’m too superstitious to do so.

Thought I would blag to say hey! And, since I am doing NaNoWriMo again this year, I thought I would try to blag my progress.

So far 0 words!

Pictured: Screen shot of NaNoWriMo wordcount tally with 0 words so far

Just starting NaNoWriMo so 0 words so far!


Kinda Blah

Kinda Blah

Lenny Helps Us Play Splendor

Feeling kinda blah. Like, not totally blah. Just kinda. Dealing with a cold and it’s funtimes of coughing and whatnot.

I slept in today, and lazed about. I aimlessly looked at the internet. I wasted a lot of time. I feel kinda bad about it only because yesterday was a wash too.

I guess I keep feeling better. If I don’t cough up a lung when I go to sleep, that will be nice.

Note: my cold is annoying but not alarming. Slight stuffiness. Coughing (which has abated). You don’t need to do an internet intervention.

I had big plans of getting a head start on my day-job work today, but shiny things kept getting in the way. (Like watching interviews from the cast/producers/writers of American Gods, and inspiration porn on the interwebs.)

Maybe I just needed another restful day. And now I am endeavoring to get to sleep before midnight so I can get a full 8 hours of sleep (I have 15 minutes to go!)

Things I did do today: call my Mom – but to no avail, she did not pick up the phone; watch new episode of American Gods, only one left!; bathed – not necessarily in that order.

[Spoiler: (not about American Gods) you might have noticed this is the third day in a row I’ve made posts, because yes, I decided to try posting every day on my blag again. Don’t tell anyone tho, I am not sure I am committed yet.]

CPAP Nation – or something like that

CPAP Nation – or something like that

CPAP mask cushions awaiting use

At the end of last May I started using a CPAP Machine. I blogged about that in depth here. Far be it for me to repeat myself.

So. 1 year later. What are my thoughts? I am not giddy about the CPAP thing. When I wake up I have puffy face with lines all over it. When I have a cold (like now) it sucks to be coughing into the cushion and have air being forced down my throat when my nose is plugged and to be coughing at the same time. (Or should I say it BLOWS?!)

However, I have noticed a major difference in my sleepiness. I no longer feel sleepy when I need to do a longer car trip. Before CPAP, every time I needed to do a two-hour one way trip by myself on the way back I would always need to stop and sleep. That’s no longer happening. I guess I get a normal amount of sleepy now.

My pulmonologist says I am a model patient. I use the mask every night, and my average number of apnea-type incidences per hour are around zero.

A few months ago I had a cold, with the runny and stuffed up nose and subsequent grossness and decided that I would take a break from using the CPAP machine for the night. I’ve been told it’s okay to take a break, and I figured that would be the night.

I woke up choking. I couldn’t breathe. I decided that I would muddle through with the cold and deal with cleaning my mask extra good the next morning, and strapped my mask back on. It really hit home to me that this was what was happening ALL THE TIME before my CPAP machine came along. It was DANGEROUS.

The only times I don’t use the mask now are when I take surreptitious naps in my barcalounger (or I am in a car or on a plane or bus or train) – times where I am sitting up. Otherwise I use the CPAP.

My husband was also tested around the same time, he’s not as bad off as I am, but we have matching machines, and matching sexy (totally non-cockblocky) masks.

So if your partner suggests you get tested or if you get tested and they say you are a candidate for the CPAP machine I recommend it highly. I mean, sometimes it BLOWS, but at least you know you aren’t suffocating while you sleep anymore. And it gets rid of the snoring noise too. So you become easier to sleep with.

And see how sexy the mask is… RAWR! I’m a beast in it!

A Loss for Kansas & the USA – #besparkly RIP @PatsyTerrell

A Loss for Kansas & the USA – #besparkly RIP @PatsyTerrell

Patsy Lounges with LannaLee and gets a couch!Here is the thing. I found out about Patsy Terrell’s death via Social Media. That’s also where I met her. Through Social Media.

A few years ago (in 2012) a few months after my father died, I went to Hutchinson Kansas to speak at the Small Town 140 conf. There I met many lovely people, and one of those was Patsy Terrell. She was a writer, activist, and she taught people how to use Social media. I had her on my podcast (Lounging with Lanna Lee), and we had a great, heartfelt conversation. We went to some events together and she and her BFF Greg Holmes met me for lunch at Roy’s BBQ. We kept up on Facebook.

Last year, seeing the need for change in her state, Patsy ran Representative in the Kansas State senate. She won, and I’ve enjoyed following along with her successes.

And it sucks that she is gone. She was doing so much, always growing, and always trying to make the world a better place, even before she ran for office. She made me want to be a better person.

She was only in office for a few months, but Patsy made strides, helping overhaul the Kansas tax system. To honor her memory, some of her colleagues wore bright colors and sparkly brooches, because Patsy LOVED to #besparkly!

Patsy and I were acquaintances. I would call her a friend, and I’d like to think she’d call me a friend. But we weren’t close friends. But if we were closer geographically, I am sure we’d have hung out more. We were Facebook Tight. I am grateful to have known Patsy.

The world is a dimmer place without you, Patsy.

What Would’ve Been: 50 years

Dad and Mom at their weddingToday is a bittersweet day. It’s my parent’s wedding anniversary, and this year it would’ve been 50 years. But my Dad went up and died in 2012.

It doesn’t hurt as much now. not as much as it did a couple of years ago. I still feel a twinge sometimes when I see an old, happy couple.

Because if he were still living, they’d be an old happy couple.

Dad and Mom, Westbrook Together Days 2011So this golden wedding anniversary is hard for me.

Here are some pictures of my parents. And some of lilacs. Every June, my father would pick some lilacs for Mom. It was a thing. I love lilacs.




20160610_231811My dreams are coming back. One of the symptoms of the Sleep Apnea was that I wasn’t remembering my dreams, it was like I wasn’t dreaming at all. (A quick google search brings up articles about the correlation between apnea and not dreaming.)

So, it’s been 11 days (nights) since I started using the CPAP machine, and more and more I am remembering my dreams.

Last night my dream was about impostor syndrome. I was dancing my away around a night club showing people my dance moves and I could tell they were digging what I was laying down, you know. And Dream-Lanna was incredulous that the cool people like her. I was just amazed the cool people thought I was cool. When I woke up I was like: that’s classic impostor syndrome. I can’t get away from it!

The other night was a convoluted dream about me being arrested in a small town and having a ankle bracelet and I was made to stay at the combination jail/post office and people kept sitting on my bed. I had to keep telling them not to sit on my bed, using logic like “How would you feel if strangers were sitting on your bed.” It would work for a while, and then another person would sit down. Then I went out drinking and a lot of my long-time friends joined me, (yes, I still had the ankle bracelet on), people that I don’t really talk to a lot, but amazingly, are all facebook friends. Another weird dream.

I love weird dreams. I’m glad they’re coming back. Even if they are highlighting my insecurities.

CPAPtastic: A Poem

My hose gurgles, water spits out
Humidity’s too high
Frustrating sleep, mask slipping
Unit breathes with me, an exasperating sigh

I wake with luggage under my eyes,
Puffy pale pouches
Lines on my face from strapping on the mask
Dry mouth because I turned the humidity down

I check my progress online.
I get a “badge” and share it on social media
Sleep Apnea participation medal


CPAP, Baby

CPAP, Baby


Tuesday I got my brand New and Shiny CPAP Machine, an AirCurve 10 VAuto. It’s like, magical. It uses a data network (NOT OURS!) to communicate with Susan at the supply company. And it autothingies all the things.

I loves it. Well, the idea of it. The application, well, that is taking a bit to get used to.

The first night was fine. Except I couldn’t get the hang of keeping my mask on, so air was leaking all around it. Also, in spite of the built-in humidifier, my mouth was super dry, which made it difficult to keep the mask on my face. I was glad that at least the Small Humidor on the corner table was working. I got a frowny face for my mask seal when I checked my progress on the unit. 🙁 Sad Lanna Was Sad.


How did I feel? Well, yesterday morning was a bit easier. I did not feel like crap when I first woke up, at least not to the same extent as previously. So, #winning! One thing we did was take Susan’s advice and purchase some Biotene spray to combat dry mouth.

Last night went a little better with the mask, and the biotene: it is much easier to keep the mask in place when your mouth is not painfully dry. As you can see from the picture, I got a smiley face for my mask! 🙂 But my face hurt and I had actual bags under my eyes. So that sucked.

Susan from the medical supply company called earlier today to see how I was faring. Since my stats uploaded automagically, she was able to give me a report of how things looked on her end; my stats improved so much!!!!!!

When determining Sleep Apnea they look for two things, AHI (Apnea-Hyponea Index) and oxygen levels. The AHI is the average number of apnea-type incidences per hour. Mine was tested at 39.7, which counts as severe sleep apnea (should be 0-5 per hour). Going hand in hand with that are oxygen levels, mine got as low as 49%, should be over 95%. With the machine, my AHIs decreased to less than 1, which would be considered in the normal level. This is even with a leaky mask. They aren’t testing my oxygen levels with this, but I suspect they are within an acceptable range.


I am still a bit sleepy during the day. But Susan said that since I’ve likely been sleep deprived for a few years, it will take a little while before I stop getting sleepy.

I joined the myAir online thing so I can track my progress online, and because I am a super data geek. Here is an example of my dashboard for it. 99 points! Woo!

When Susan came by with the machine she said I should try to use it at least 4.5 hours a night (some insurances won’t cover the CPAP if you don’t use it over 4 hours per night). I don’t get that, if I have a CPAP machine, I am going to use that sucker. Now that I am no longer swimming in the sea of sleep apnea denial, I am totally on board with getting a full-night’s sleep.


One thing that might need to change is my face mask. I have 30 days to trade it in, and I suspect it is too small for my face. My cheeks are still sore from wearing it! We are going to wait and see how things go and trade in for a new one if this one continues not to work out.

TLDR: Things are going well with the new CPAP machine. Even with mask seal issues, my AHI levels are normal after using it two nights. Friends have said it took them a couple of weeks to assimilate, so I am on track as far as that goes.

And now it’s almost time for bed!

Things I Learned From My Mom

Things I Learned From My Mom

… not that I always follow her advice or example!wpid-20141225_111056.jpg

  • Be inclusive – people don’t like being left out
  • Take time for yourself – when we were kids Mom would go on her own solo “camping trips” to a hotel in Bangor Maine. That had to have a pool. There she could indulge in one of her favorite pastimes, bargain hunting!
  • Respect your own needs – When my brother and I were old enough to make our own breakfasts and get ourselves to school, my Mom would sleep in. If she needed alone time, she would tell us.
  • You can do it yourself – definitely not a helicopter parent, my Mom trusted us to behave, taught us to be self-sufficient, and expected us to work hard
  • When you need her, she’ll be there – when we were sick, Mom gave it her all, she waited on us hand and foot, it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s I stopped wishing for my Mom when I got sick (In case you think we might have taken advantage of this, she had a great bullshit meter, she could always tell when we were lying). When I was married the first time, and things started not going well, my parents drove from New York State to Maine to help me out. (I could go on, but I won’t)
  • Be kind – which sometimes means keeping your own counsel!
  • Tell the truth – which means if they ask for your counsel, give it.
  • Do the right thing – which sometimes means doing something very hard or something you don’t want to do. [People call this adulting.]
  • Laugh – laugh at yourself, laugh with your family, everything gets a little better with some levity.
  • When you fight, don’t get personal – don’t call people names, ever (this is something I have failed at, but most of the time, I do well).
  • Don’t make empty threats – if my parents said stop what you are doing, or we will go home, and I didn’t stop, they’d go home.

I am blessed with a wonderful Mother, and I wish her the best of Mother’s Days this year. Since I am so far away, I send my love through the internet.
Mom, cleaning our closet



Sleep Study

Sleep Study

ready for Sleep Testing

ready for Sleep Testing


It will come to no surprise to the people who have slept with me (or in the same room as me) for the past few years: I snore. I snore very well. It has been (gently) suggested to me more than once that I should talk to my doctor about said snoring (loud, cacophonous snoring).

I had my physical in February, and I mentioned it to my doctor. We discussed options like advanced hypnosis, doing the test at home or going into the sleep center. I chose the sleep center, and thankfully my insurance agreed.

The sleep center because I was pretty sure they’d find something, and if you do the test at home, you’d still have to go in to get an official test. I didn’t want to mess around.


Swank Digs for sleepin’

My doctor put in the order. The sleep center called me a few weeks ago, and we arranged a date. And Last night was the night. I posted the picture above on Instagram, which caused some conversation. Including freaking my mother out, even though I TOLD her about the sleep test weeks ago, and reminded her earlier in the day.

I am pretty good at sleeping. When I actually get to bed (sometimes I stay up late reading, or catching up on television or planning world domination.) But even with 7+ hours of sleep I feel sluggish when I wake up. So it was time. Time to TCB (that’s Take Care of Business).

I’ve said it before, one of my failings is hubris. It usually manifests itself with directions and driving. I will say to myself “I know where I’m going!” and then get totally lost.

Well, the sleep center sent me a packet a few weeks ago. Stuff to fill out before the test. At 6 pm last night, 3 hours before my appointment, I logged out of work and opened up the packet.

In it was a questionnaire for me, a questionnaire for Edmund, and a sheet for a 7-day sleep journal.


Luckily, Ed filled out his section in record time. And I went back to fudge notes for 7 days of sleep. Oy. (Good thing I didn’t wait until I got to the hospital/sleep center!) I don’t think the technician (Derek) noticed. Or if he did, he was too polite to say anything.


Wires! Wires! Wires!

The Process

I was early to the hospital. I only live five minutes away, and I had to carry my ginormous wedge for my ankles, so I just went when I was ready.

The room was nice, mostly like a hotel room. Except for the tiny bathroom. Nice carpet, little couch, and armchair. The bed was a double, and had lots of pillows on it. Like I said, nice.

The technician was great. Derek, explained everything very well. Good bedside manner (heh). He wired me up, putting electrodes all over my brain (on my head people, not IN my head). He took care with my legs, as the skin on them does not take well to exfoliating.

You know the drill, he is not a doctor, so he can’t diagnose me. My order was not for a CPAP test, it was for a baseline test to see if I had a sleep disorder (namely sleep apnea). But he tells me, if I have symptoms bad enough, he can put a CPAP machine on me during the evening, was I interested in that? Of course, I opted for yes.

The wiring up was fine. He told me where things were going, and why. They felt odd, not not uncomfortable. I quickly got used to them.

Even though I usually go to sleep at around midnight, I turned in early, at 11:15 pm. I kept 1 light on, mainly because that is what I do when I sleep alone. There was a microphone and a camera going into a side room where Derek hung out for the evening. I streamed Men in Black on my Kindle Fire.

I was sleeping within 20 minutes.

Derek woke me up at 1:30 – we were going to need to use the CPAP machine.




Yesterday morning as I got ready for work, I did some research about sleep apnea. I mean, I was going for a sleep test in the evening, so I should probably know a little about the disease, right? I watched a couple of youtube videos, so I am an expert now.

Basically, sleep apnea is the phenomenon where while one is sleeping their throat relaxes on itself, blocking the airway. Because of this, breathing stops. Usually breathing is automagical, but in this case, the brain thinks “Oh, we’re not breathing now, gotcha.” and ones body stops trying to breathe. After a while, your brain kicks in again, and says, “Hey, I need air, I’m gonna wake up the meat sack so they can breathe.” (I’m paraphrasing.) One wakes up, and resumes breathing (one hopes). And the cycle starts all over again.

The kicker is that when one is not breathing the oxygen in the blood gets lower and lower. Oxygen saturation should be between 95-100%. Mine was much lower.

With the CPAP machine, I didn’t need the silly thing sticking out of my nose, because, as you can see in the photo, I had a nice big mask covering my mouth and nose. From the mask ran a hose to a machine hidden in a side table. Derek told the CPAP machine what to do from his command center.

What does a CPAP machine do? It blows air down one’s throat so it doesn’t close. When you are sleeping, you totally relax, all of your muscles relax, especially for when you are dreaming (presumably so you won’t act out the dreams as you are having them). The machine keeps a steady stream of air going. It kept me in REM sleep a bit longer, and I truly felt more refreshed than I have felt in a few months.

Next Steps

To be clear: I have not been officially diagnosed with sleep apnea. But I think we all know, based on what happened last night, that I have it. (I knew it was likely years ago, but I’m my father’s daughter, stubborn and always wait until the last minute.)

I will most likely get my very own CPAP machine for the house. And I am pretty excited about feeling refreshed when I wake up in the morning (that might be a strange feeling, but I am so up for it now.)

Apparently, someone will come to my house and set it up for me.

But first, there may be more tests. Because I started on the machine at 1:30 am, I might have to go back in for another sleep test, if I didn’t have the CPAP machine on long enough to get all the readings they needed for it. I might have to go into the office and talk to one of the sleep doctors. Or I might have to go back to my general practitioner.

I am in the TCB stage, the process has started, and I want to be able to breathe at night again.

Also, If I’m gonna do CPAP, I want Immortan Joe’s Mask.

Immortan Joe's mask is better than the mask I wore last night.


Almost Missed

Almost Missed

I almost missed posting. But I went back in time.

Was a good day. Here are some pix from it.








Sick Lanna is sick. Spent day in hotel being sick. As you might be able to tell, am eating food now, so that’s all good.

Back to being sick.