Archive for the ‘depression’ Category

(writing) Depression, demons, and morning pages

I’ve started my morning pages again, because I’m feeling the need to write in the morning, but my brain isn’t really speaking to me except in nasty tones, so I figure if it has the chance to spew itself out in my journal before I have to see people, I can actually function. This is the aim. We’ll see how it works in practice. We’re coming up on the second anniversary of my mother’s death, and I loathe the time change (seriously, who thought this was a good idea????), and it’s still winter and I hate snow and cold and grey. So yes, my depression is solidly entrenched and I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, because then I have to adult, and adulting sucks.

 

Also, I usually have a Bear purring in bed with me in the morning, and the cat gravity of a 26-lb cat is immense. We’re talking Jupiter-scale. But sadly, my bills won’t be paid if I don’t get up.

 

So I was working on my morning pages this morning, and found a new character that I am also documenting here, because I want to write something about her. She’s a middle-aged woman (yep, me, totally me), and she lives with a bunch of cats who happen to be demons. Like, real demons, and they’re supposed to be tormenting her, but since demons have to conform to your perception of what they look like, she perceives them as cats, and they kind of like it. So she’s a crazy cat lady who isn’t actually crazy, and her demons have to go out and do demon things occasionally and then they come back, and she bandages their wounds and feeds them and snuggles them, and demons like to purr. I don’t know much more, but she totally knows they’re demons, and they know she knows, and they’re all pretty okay with it.

 

Now that I’ve gotten that down in several places so I don’t lose it, I’m going to look at resubmitting Requiem and then keep working on the prewriting for Seeds.

(writing/personal) The cycle of grief isn’t linear

There are a lot of books about how grief works, and they all talk about there are different stages and you progress through them. And maybe some people do actually progress through them. I don’t.

 

In two weeks, it will be one year since we found Brian in the bathroom. I’ve gone through all sorts of feelings, and to be honest, right now, I’m approaching the anniversary kind of dispassionately. I suspect it’s numbness, rather than acceptance, and according to many of the “experts,” I should be past this stage. It may be overload. The last two years have been so jarring, so out of what I expected from my life, that I don’t know if the wound is actually healing or if it’s just settled into a quiet phase, husbanding its pain for just the right time to burst forth with another explosion of acid and tears. I suspect the latter, because I can still feel a heaviness within me.

 

I suspect I always will.

 

But I can’t live within the past, yearning after what might have been. I can’t. I watch others I love do that, and it hurts just as much as the loss of Brian and Mom does. Time is a river, and no moment lasts forever, and if you try to make it stop, it resists. And it breaks. And your world breaks, in horrible ways. Photographs are an illusion that you can stop time, freeze it forever, but you really can’t, and all the photographs do is drag you back into memories. And that can be good, but it’s not healthy to live there forever. Time was meant to move, a sinuous, winding path that we walk down until our steps falter, and then….

 

I don’t know. Maybe we drop to another path, and start again. Perhaps we get a time of rest first, or perhaps it just all ends. I really don’t know, and I don’t think anyone else does either. I guess we’ll all find out in the end.

 

So what am I doing? I’m still on Whole30 (day 11 today, despite everything), and I’m sewing – my first cross-stitch project in over a year, if I remember correctly. I’m working on crocheting for Birka largesse as well. I’m writing. I’m starting my proofreading again.

 

I’m trying to live.

 

And that, in the end, is all any of us can do. Grief isn’t a straight-forward process: it’s a path of its own, and it doubles back, veers to side to side, heads off in directions that only seem possible once you start moving. It brings you to places you thought you’d lost, places you wish you had lost, and sometimes, it seems to be standing still, even though you know you have to keep moving. It’s a fog that surrounds you, lifting sometimes just enough to remind you that somewhere, there’s a sun that could warm you, but you have pull your cloak tightly around you, re-light the lantern that the wind blew out, and push forward through the clammy dankness. There’s nothing else to do.

(personal/writing) Long days and not giving up

It’s the beginning of the year, and in my day job, I answer questions about 401ks, pensions, health savings accounts, and health and insurance benefits. So needless to say, I’m working long hours, because Annual Enrollment just ended, and tax season just started. Yay, OT! Boo, long hours!

 

I’ve also started my Whole30 (I’m on Day 5!), which has meant a lot more cooking and a lot less convenience. Do you know they put sugar in steak fries? You know, the kind you buy bagged in the store and bake in the oven? Yeah, look at the list of ingredients. Dextrose. Sugar. Blows my mind. But anyways, I’m having to cook again, and my roommate is being awesome by eating most of it with me. It should be another added stress, but oddly, it’s not.

 

It’s something I’m in control of, and it’s helping me gain control of other things in my life. Like doing 10 minutes of Arts & Sciences for the SCA (I’m working on a dress for me and largesse bags right now, and I’m up to day 21 for that), and writing 100 words every day (today is day 7). I’m not pushing hard, but I don’t want to break any of my streaks. They make me feel like even though things are tough, I can get through it.

 

I got my very first tattoo this past December, and it’s really helping as well, reminding me to continue, even if it seems like the darkness is closing in. If you don’t follow me on Facebook, this is what it looks like:

Every day is a journey. It’s one more step along a path that I’m beginning not to fear again. Maybe I’m starting to finally heal. I’m trying to blog at least twice a week, and we’ll see how that goes. I’m also trying not to wear myself out.

 

It’s a fine line sometimes.

(personal/writing/advent) 2018 – my first full year alone

I swear this year is going to be better. I won’t let it be the same way it was last year. I won’t.

 

But things are going to have to change. I’m realizing how hard it is to do things on my own – not just in terms of emotionally (because it IS hard, even if you are okay with being alone, which I am), but in financial terms. My hat is off to all you folks who have been doing this all along. I thought it was hard with two incomes. It’s so much worse with one. And it doesn’t seem like the bills get any less.

 

There are a few silver linings for the year coming up: I can work from home when I need to, which means no more real days missed due to weather or illness. My Crohns’ disease is under control, and I’m getting healthier every day.

 

I start my Whole30 food program today, so there will be random posts about that. I’m still trying to figure out how to post automatically to Facebook from here, but I’ll just have to do it manually until I can get into the guts of my website. Which I will have to do anyways, because I’m going to redesign the entire site.

 

In writerly news, I did cancel my Patreon. I’m contemplating several things, including maybe putting a tip jar out here on the site for right now. I don’t feel that I give enough right now to make a Patreon practical for me or fair to my readers. I might also get a Ko-Fe page, but I don’t know right now.

 

I’m working on the new Advent story – I will finish it by the end of January for you all. I promise. Then there are the proofs of Winter’s Storms to go through, the cover to finalize, and that will be out by April 20, which is RavenCon! And I’ll be there that weekend, with calendars and copies of both books, and Schrodinger, of course. He might even get a new hat or vest for the occasion.

 

I’m also now accepting new clients for proofreading only. My rates are:

-Up to 10k is $25

-Every additional 5K is $10

I do fiction, non-fiction, whatever. Poetry might be weird, but I’ll give it a shot. Here’s what I do for proof-reading:
I go through and pick out any misspelled words, missing words and/or phrases, and make sure your heroine’s hair hasn’t gone from blonde to brunette without a dye job in the middle of the story. I also tend to correct punctuation, mostly commas and things like that.

 

If you’re interested in that, please drop me a line at vgford@gmail.com and we’ll talk. Turnaround is based on how big your project is.

 

I guess that’s it. Happy New Year folks.

(writing) More Advent, of course

It’s getting to be that time of year again, after all. Yes, there WILL be a Carter’s Cove story this year. But I’m doing other things as well. I’ve just sent out a short story to a magazine for consideration, and I will be doing more short stories in the future. It’s an interesting exercise, and I think I need to hone those skills. First drafts will be posted to my Patreon, and then revised and sent out. And yes. I’ll be sure to announce if any of them get sold. 🙂

 

It’s my way of coping with depression. I’m realizing how unhealthy I’ve been lately, despite all my efforts. I need to concentrate on me. It needs to get better.

 

Christmas will be hard. I’m totally going to hide in Carter’s Cove for a lot of it. Besides, Molly has tea.

(writing/personal) Sunday updates

Today is the first day of October. This year has seemed to fly by, and yet it’s been the longest year of my life. I’m told that grief is like that.

 

Today is also the 10th day in a row that I’ve written on Advent. I’ve got an accountability buddy, and it’s really working. And taking a note from one of my favorite authors, I’ve loaded Word on my phone, and I’ve been writing on that. It’s surprisingly easy, and soothing. I actually wrote my words yesterday while I was seated at a bonfire, listening to bards tell stories, sing songs, and recite poetry. I even gave a poetic recital, of one of my favorite poems that I haven’t read in a long time: Siege Perilous, by EA Robinson.

 

This year’s Advent is off to a rocky start. I’ve already scrapped one outline. But it WILL be written. And this year, there’s going to be an actual calendar with it (as long as I get everything to Kiaya soon). Keep a look out for the information here soon.

 

I’m working my way through a lot of conflicting feelings. I need to write. I need to mope (to be perfectly honest). And I’m tired. I’m bone-tired, because of everything that’s going on. But I’ve survived this long, and I plan on surviving a lot longer. And yes, I’m doing NaNo again this year.

 

(writing/personal) Updates of all kinds

 Today is a writing day, and that’s a good thing. I need to get back to a routine before I go back to work in a month, and I need to get this book done. I’ve also done a few housekeeping things that I wanted to let people know about.

 

I’m deleting my LiveJournal account as soon as I finish importing everything over to DreamWidth. I won’t agree to a TOS that is in a language I don’t read, especially when they specifically say the English translation is NOT binding. Um, no. No thank you. I’m vg_ford on DW if you want to follow me. I’ll be posting some different things there, I think. I really loved LJ because I could do almost a stream-of-consciousness thing, and I think I’m going to use that to kind of mind dump before I write. And all my old stuff will be there, once the import finishes.

 

I’m also getting ready to update my Patreon page again. While I’m writing my next project, I’m also going to be working on the next Sapph book, starting with some journal entries from her diary. I need to make a wiki for that world as well, so I’m updating it as I go and not six books in (cough*Advent*cough). My paying Patrons will be able to see that as it develops.

 

I’m settling into life without my husband. It’s weird, and it’s hard sometimes, and sometimes I can actually forget for a little while, enough to pull my phone out to text him or call him, and then I remember and I hurt all over again. I’m trying to get through it. I hear it gets better.

 

Today is hopefully finishing Winter Storms. I need to get this book out to my editor so I can start the next one. I won’t be posting a lot about it yet, as I can’t, but I will be giving you guys updates as I can. Suffice to say, this book will be amazing.

Writing and news

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about story, and life, and how our choices define us lately. I suppose it’s not surprising, given everything that’s happened lately. We’re coming up on the 1 year anniversary of my mother’s death, and I knew that was going to be hard. But I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I wonder now if it would be as hard if Brian was still here with me.

 

I’ve been accepted as an author guest at ConCarolinas in June, and we will be launching Winter’s Storms there. In addition, I have a new project that I need to start outlining this month (a 2-book project that I’m very excited about). I think  the next two months are going to be finishing Storms and then churning out the outlines for the next 4 books I want to write. The 2 book secret project, the next Advent book for December, and the next Sapph book.

 

I need to keep busy. If I don’t, then I start to stew and drop into a depressive spiral and then nothing gets done. Hopefully I can avoid that as I work through the spring.

(writing) Working on a real schedule

write-all-the-things

I’ve been kind of wallowing lately in my own depression. I’m very open with the fact that I have depression, and August was a terrible month. I lost two very dear friends in August two years ago (Jesse L Cairns and PG Holyfield), my grandmother died last August, and my mother’s cancer was diagnosed last August as well. Add in that I suffer from seasonal depression anyways, and, well, yeah. Talk about a perfect storm.

I’m also suffering a bit lately from imposter syndrome, and it seems like every time I opened the computer, it bit me in the face so hard that I usually closed the computer back down, or starting playing World of Warcraft. And it’s time that came to an end.

So yesterday, I wrote 2388 words on Winter’s Storms, and today I am back in my studio, writing again. I’ve agreed to a schedule this week with my good buddy Beard, and so Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I will be in the studio in the morning before work, getting words in. My goal is 500, but I’m hoping for more.

Wednesday is my Remicade treatment, so I will be writing all day (except when I meet my nephew for dinner). This will help set the stage, I hope, to keep myself going.

Look for another chapter today!