Regarding Mental Health Mondays

The Nameless WIP, Writing Techniques, & Future Blog Plans

Velkomin! Добро пожаловать! Bienvenue! Willkommen! ¡Bienvenido! Καλώς ήρθατε! Welcome everyone to another post! (That’s right, two in one week!)

My last post wasn’t very upbeat and I was going to wait until Monday but things have happened and Monday’s post isn’t going to be about these things. I will go ahead and let everyone know about my new weekly Monday posts before the first one, next week. You guys remember my previous tries at weekly updates or book reviews, this is a lot closer to home and something I get a great deal of flak in my personal life for being so open about. I am calling it “Mental Mondays” and it’s going to be a weekly post where I talk about my struggles over the previous week with my invisible illnesses. How they manifest, how they feel to me, how I cope or try to, and also the first post will include a great deal of my personal psychiatric background experiences, which I warn you are not good.

I was doing videos on YouTube but that’s extremely difficult for me. To sit and talk to a webcam without someone on the other side causes my BPD and anxiety to double down and it’s just not pretty. So it’s becoming a post here and it’s not writing related, but life related. I know there are more and more conversations and posts about mental illness but there are never enough. So many people suffer in silence and hide, and that’s not what needs to continue. We need to speak out about these problems if only so neurotypical people can possibly begin to comprehend how different the world is for those of us suffering day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Ahem, but that’s Monday!

Today I wanted to talk about a couple of writing things. First of all, my nameless WIP which is nameless. I honestly cannot come up with a title for it but hopefully will over time. I have a lot of information written down for the WIP including an outline using The One Page Novel technique by E.A. Deverell. The scraps on the writing floor are posted to my Patreon and for patrons only if you are interested in seeing any of that.

I have enjoyed using The One Page Novel technique. I was able to flesh out a lot more than I have previously been capable of with outlining. Alas, I still suffer from the worst case of First Page Blues. What are First Page Blues? You know how you spend days brainstorming, researching, plotting, and planning before you start a new draft (some of us anyway) and everything has just poured into all the right places the whole time. First Page Blues are what happen when you open up that empty document and despite all your planning and outlining you sit there. You sit trapped watching that cursor blink on that empty page and no matter how many times you type a sentence or 1000 words, you delete it. You backtrack and are stuck at the top of that first empty page staring at that cursor wondering where all the words have gone and why they abandoned you now. That’s the First Page Blues and I am a serious sufferer.

I have written the first 1000-2000 words of this WIP about 50 times only to delete all but a couple half sentences I really like. I was distraught and angry most of yesterday because of it. So instead of giving myself a stress migraine, I took a break and perused Twitter for a bit. I was surprised to find one of my favorite writers was blowing up my main Twitter and Writers feed. (I use the Tweetdeck app for Google Chrome, by the way.) Seeing they were talking about a new writing technique to help strugglers like me, I was all about seeing what was going on.

I will be honest, I have been following this person’s Twitter and Tumblr since 2012 with little to no communication directly between us until recently and I just adore seeing Tweets and posts. I feel a lot like I’m bothering people when I interact with them on anything, so if you ever want to actually just tweet at me, I will answer, it’s really hard for me to hit that reply button first.

I’m off-track…

This writing technique is called “Condensed Narration” and you can find the compiled tweets by clicking here. I haven’t tried it yet, but I do plan on trying it out today when I stop being a busy blogger and get some “serious” writing done. I will let you know how it’s going in my next post here, or you can catch me on Twitter during coffee and snack breaks. That’s about all for today.

Many Blessings and a Wonderful Morning/Day/Evening to you all!

“You cannot sit and wallow in the misery anymore.”

Velkomin! Добро пожаловать! Bienvenue! Willkommen! ¡Bienvenido! Καλώς ήρθατε! Welcome!

I started this year with anxious hopefulness and the mindset to kick depression in its metaphoric nuts. I was going to do a blog post every week even if it was just a ramble about this writing thing or that. As I explained in my last post all the things that I have allowed to stop me over the years, I was going to overcome them all if I had to drag myself kicking and screaming. Then something terrible happened early last week.

My aunt passed away suddenly last week. She had fallen and hit her head when she went down. The day following her being found, she was gone. This has ripped open some very old scars for me personally. Without going into gross detail, I will explain why and this is why I was unable to pull myself up by the bootstraps last week to get this post out to all of you.

My father died when I was seven years old. He was older and very sick and he just couldn’t keep fighting all his illnesses anymore. I love my father as much now as I did then, despite all that I have discovered as an adult, I have not fully recovered from his death and it has taken a lot of searching for me to come to terms with that. I honestly may never recover from losing him and that’s okay. I was a small child in a bad situation and he did all that he could before his body just couldn’t anymore. My aunt who has now passed away was his younger sister. Five years ago, on Christmas Day, their youngest brother passed away. I was raised with the impression that my father had no family whatsoever in America and that we were Italian. I was told that all I had was my one half-sister who is twenty years older than me on his side of the family.

That was all lies.

My aunt spent years and years looking for my father after he vanished when he was a young adult and abandoned his family in Ohio. She searched and searched only for the youngest brother to be told by the U.S. Navy that his older brother, who was retired from the U.S. Army, that he had passed away in 1997. They did not know he had more children until 2006 when something had been posted on the old, free, ancestry.com forums about me, my life, and the family I was searching for because I never believed there was no one. My aunt found that post and knew from the dates and locations I was her niece. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that we actually contacted each other and the full truth was revealed.

I have been making plans since then to afford to travel out to where she lived so I could physically meet her and she could meet her great-niece and great-nephew. Unfortunately, that will no longer be something I am able to do at all and though we knew each other for such a short period of time, I feel the wounds of losing my father tearing themselves open once again for her. She showed me parts of my father I was never allowed to see before. She taught me about my grandparents who I never met, she showed me photographs of my father as a small child, which I thought didn’t even exist. She had stories from their childhoods I never heard and not all of them were good, but several were. She loved her older brother, my father, as much as I did. We could sit and just talk about him without any animosity like with my mother or the pure hatred like with my half-sister. She introduced me to her children and my uncle’s daughter who is a few months younger than me and has become one of my best and closest friends. I can never repay all the greatness she has given to my life but the one thing I can do is never forget her kindness, her persistence, and her beautiful soul.

It is very difficult for me to continue my own path and journey, but I know it’s something she would want me to do. She supported all my endeavors, she believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. She never tried to change me and always understood my severe anxiety and depression rather than hating and judging me for it. We will all miss her terribly, yet a part of me is glad. She’s no longer in pain, she’s no longer missing her brothers and father because she has been reunited with them and reunited our family before she was gone. She has rejoined our ancestors and though none of us were ready to let her go, I know she is happier and watching over us in spirit.

I do still intend to achieve my goals for 2017.

Everyone, please try to understand if I am inconsistent for a while, it is because I am grieving a very serious loss. Being pregnant and grieving is not pretty or fun, it’s much more difficult emotionally than it should be. But I am not giving up. She wouldn’t want me to. I will not be as active on social media in posting anything original. I will answer private, direct messages or tagged tweets or posts and comments, but original posts or tweets will be few and far between as I deal with the emotional rollercoaster. I am doing my best to push through the sorrow but do not expect a miracle. I will continue as planned, and I do not intend to take another week off of blog posting unless necessary, meaning I have been hospitalized or something tragic has happened.

I would like to know what you all would like to see more of from me. Life updates? WIP updates? I did want to start some “Invisible Illness” stuff here as well. I know I’m not the only blogger going on about it but there’s never enough and all sufferers are different.

I haven’t written much since last week and I need to use the depression to fuel some words other than blog posts. You can comment what you might like to see more of from me. I would offer book reviews again but I haven’t been reading anything new lately. I made the absurd decision to watch a movie (If I Stay) at the end of the week when I was feeling ill and regretted picking something I had never seen before as I spent an hour and forty-five minutes sobbing over the story and characters. I feel safer reading what I’ve already read before because it isn’t going to rip my beating heart out and put me into another tailspin emotionally. My life has become largely coping for the time being rather than pushing my boundaries like I wanted but just coping and continuing to achieve the goals I set for myself will still be doing better than I was at this time last year.

I do apologize for this being a less upbeat post if that’s what you were hoping for, maybe next week it will be on a higher note. May this serve as a reminder to love your family, you never know when you might lose them.

Many Blessings to You All!

New Year, New Me, & Other News

Velkomin! Добро пожаловать! Bienvenue! Willkommen! ¡Bienvenido! Καλώς ήρθατε!

Welcome everyone to 2017!

2016 was rough, wasn’t it? Good thing that’s over and we all have a fresh new start! To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to post today, especially given that my last post was a year ago. I am sorry for being such a flake and just abandoning this last year. As I said numerous times, my personal life got in the way. I will explain that more in-depth in just a moment.

First, I would like to thank everyone who has stuck around and apologize to anyone who waited day after day for a post that never came. I am sorry. I will do my best not to let it happen again.

Now then, the question some have likely asked themselves: “How does your personal life always get so in the way?”

It’s a very simple yet complex answer. I have Rapid-Cycling Bipolar II, anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, and PTSD. I have struggled with all of them since I was a preteen, and I do not take any psychiatric medications for them. Why? Because I have the rarest and most extreme side effects from psychiatric medications. Anti-depressants make me suicidal, anti-psychotics exacerbate my insomnia or put me into a chemical sleep, mood stabilizers never stabilize and I end up sick for weeks on end. My primary care doctor did not like the decision but it was made that despite all my illnesses, taking medications for them were doing more physical harm to my body than any mental good. This was a decision reached by myself and my doctor, I do not suggest everyone do it. Please keep in mind that some of these medications do more harm than good, especially when you’re “finding the right one.”

What stood in my way all last year? Bipolar, anxiety, and BPD pulled a Snorlax and blocked the only way through the canyon of my thoughts. Now, it is partially my fault for allowing myself to wallow and not fighting it as hard as I should have. I do not intend for it to happen again this year. However, now that it is fully in the open, perhaps it’s easier to understand how everything just slipped through the cracks and got lost. I do not doubt it will happen in some form over the next 12 months, but I intend to fight it to the best of my ability. So there may be some lackluster posts where I had to push through, if that is the case, I will add somewhere in the post, likely the bottom, that I’m struggling so you all will not be disappointed if I vanish for a short period from Twitter/Facebook.

Now then, onto the fun stuff!

As you may notice, I’ve changed the blog. I felt it was time to change to something more me and neutral colored. It’s a new year and the last scheme was set up for working solely on Firemists, which might be going out to my first CP soon. Now the focus is more myself with updates about what I’m working on, etc. Besides, after 3 years, it was time for a change. Chronicles of Fate is still in progress but much slower and nowhere near completion (which is why the tab is gone from the top). My collaborator and I have come to terms with the fact that this may literally be something we work on for most of our lives and release somewhere near the end. I may talk about it occasionally, but I don’t plan on it much since it’s a joint effort and my collaborator is not public.

I am currently working on an all new WIP which started as an adopted story seed. I am struggling at the moment with some anxiety about the alterations I made to the original seed. I have this overwhelming worry that what I’ve done is a “dead idea” yet, at the same time, I know it’s not. See, the original story seed was vampire related. Everything now is vampires, zombies, and dystopian governments, which is fine but I shy away from the more mainstream elements. I do this in every aspect of my life and have for as long as I can remember. So rather than vampires, I did research on supernatural races that haven’t really been heavily featured in fiction. Simply put, I chose gargoyles and the very limited folklore about them. They seem so underappreciated in fiction, the few authors who have used them, according to the reviews, didn’t do so well. I love them as architecture and after reading the folklore I’m just drawn to them. I also feel that with so little in folklore about them, there’s a lot more wiggle room while writing than vampires or werewolves or shapeshifters. I mean no offense to those of you writing those types of stories, just that I personally, can’t do it after there’s already been so many. It could also be due to watching The Strain and re-watching my Underworld collection, I don’t feel I could do a vampire anything justice.

In other news: Riku gave us quite a scare last year. We had to rush him to the animal hospital after he got sick and stopped eating or drinking regularly. He’s perfectly fine now. He had roundworms. The vet gave us combination flea, tick, and worm protection treatments and told us when they ran out to come back and we can easily buy more so it doesn’t happen again. He also got a rabies shot which he took like a champ. In the months since he’s been more active, happier, and “talks” a lot more. According to the vet and vet techs, they were very surprised by how he “talks” to people because he opens his mouth all the way which is apparently odd for a house cat. They checked him for everything else while we were there. He’s perfectly healthy now, a little chunkier now that he’s eating correctly.

About… 3 months after the scare with Riku, we got other news. I had planned this elaborate dinner and movie night with the kids for Hubby’s birthday in October. (I was dealing with a whole bunch of family drama nonsense the first half of 2016.) It was sort of a dual gift, I was going to make him dinner and let the children watch a horror movie which I don’t normally allow because they’re still on the younger side. Instead of any of that happening, I end up ill the entire weekend of his birthday. I could barely get out of the bed without getting sick and I couldn’t keep anything down. Naturally, we thought I had a bad cold or the flu because I was having some sinus problems beforehand. It was not a cold or the flu.

We’re having our first baby together!

We got a positive test the day of his birthday and the current calculation is this summer! (So don’t be surprised if my posts get wobbly halfway through the year, yeah?)

Finally, as I have rattled on for a while here, I launched my Patreon last month. After this post, the posts are going to be identical on either site. I would give you a long winded explanation of my Patreon, but it would be a lot easier to just click the link and all the information is right there. I made a Patreon account because I do not have a day job aside from being a wife and parent. My job is my writing and I would like to earn a living wage by doing so. I understand that money is tight for most people, it’s not a requirement that you give any money but the support would be appreciated. If nothing else, please tell your friends. The money is going toward my craft first, though it will likely buy coffee more than once, I will not lie. Why I am asking is for my craft, not my children or husband, but for my writing and eventual, very likely, self-publication.

Both this WordPress and my Patreon will be active with posts, possibly videos, and photos. I have 2 separate computers now. One is a classic laptop with Windows 7 Professional on it (thanks to my wonderful in-laws over the holidays) and the other is my personal Windows 8.1 Nextbook for the time being (probably going to use the tablet function a lot in the summer). So I have everything separated in the hopes I won’t get distracted by my personal emails and Facebook but focus instead on my professional emails, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. So far I have been a great deal more focused, I hope to continue that trend.

My goals for this year:

  • Maintaining consistency
  • Staying motivated despite my emotions
  • Keeping a schedule and not deviating unless absolutely necessary
  • Building my platform
  • More CPs
  • More beta readers
  • Making new connections
  • Going for it instead of overanalyzing
  • Finish and fully edit a manuscript
  • Do at least one photoshoot with my childhood best friend as her makeup artist

About that last bullet; we have been best friends since we were 10 years old (17 years ago) and she has finally started following her dream to be a model. I’ve been trying to become a makeup artist for the last 6 years (it’s not as easy as it sounds). She has offered to let me come to her shoots with her as her personally chosen makeup artist so I could really make a career at it alongside her if we work hard at it. I will let you all know how that goes. In the meantime, check her out on Facebook & Instagram!

Many blessings to you all and a very happy new year!

It Has Been A While

Hello Everyone!

I know, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written a post here. For that I can only apologize a small amount. I have several mental health issues which tend to get in the way of my calm, collected, serious blogging. So much that I have not written in the better part of two months now thanks to them. Regardless, I felt as though I should attempt to return and get back on track with things. Unfortunately, I’m not sure what to write posts for considering all my works are at a full stop and collecting dust at the moment and I haven’t touched the four books I got last winter. I lost all momentum and all drive somehow and I am not sure how to pick it all back up off the ground. Perhaps you can inspire hope in my own abilities again, because I am fresh out of any positive motivation.

I do miss posting here on WordPress and hearing from everyone, reading all the updates from the other writers I’ve met. I kinda just fell off the face of the world for a while there. Mind you, if you follow my Tumblr that has not suffered at all, but it is not as controlled in posts as my WordPress. I use my Tumblr for everyday nonsense which isn’t vitally important to my work like I try for this to be. I would like to return to my former glory, writing and typing up weekly book reviews, but in order to do so I will have to start re-reading my series so I can do the reviews justice. I also have a YouTube channel I am struggling to keep afloat as well, but it is like my Tumblr, about a completely different topic than this WordPress site.

I did get my computer replaced, I have had very few issues with the new one, but I have also written almost nothing in months outside of working up a nine hundred and some odd words Prologue for Firemists which can be viewed here. I’m not sure how to break back into this and it is my fault for letting it collapse in the first place. I am sorry I was away for so long. I will take any and all suggestions and advice on how to fix what I sat back and let break.

The First 10 Days

Velkomin! Добро пожаловать! Bienvenue! Willkommen! ¡Bienvenido! Καλώς ήρθατε!

Welcome everyone, to the end of the first 10 days of NaNoWriMo! That’s right, we’re a week and a half in already! For everyone who has made your word count goal, congratulations! I, however, sit on the other side of the court with those of us suffering from whatever ails us this NaNoWriMo season with a far behind word count and much disappointment in myself. Why, you ask? Well, it’s a long and complicated explanation that ends in a bittersweet conclusion. Sounds like a book, doesn’t it? Sadly, it’s far from being that fabulous.

NaNoWriMo Day: 10
Current WC: 303
Words Remaining: 49,697
Days Remaining: 20

The Breakdown

  • Day 1 – 4: I hit at or over my target word count and was certain of what I was doing with all the way to chapter ten roughly outlined. And it really was a great idea, something I haven’t seen anyone else do before that would be interesting for the Paranormal Romance genre. But I didn’t like where it was going or anything that had happened or even the style I was writing it. Everything just turned to a steaming pile, you know?
  • Day 5: The entire day was spent debating the MMC’s next move. In all honesty, I became torn between two separate personalities that couldn’t mesh together. I discussed the matter in-depth with Hubby (because he is amazing and will let me vent when I need to) and he thought the logical answer, yet the character told me the opposite.
  • Day 6 – 8: More plotting and character building which I didn’t count toward my word count considering what I am trying to produce I want to sell afterward.
  • Day 9: The Delete happened. I erased the document I was working on, kept all my notes, and started over again. Lest I smash things with a hammer in frustration. Hubby even applauded the Delete due to the stress it was causing.
  • Day 10: I had to take the day off to recover from The Delete, because the problem now is rewriting and catching up. An easy task that does not make.

It’s not very eventful but I had a serious problem with the characters, then the overall piece when I sat back to look it over out of curiosity. According to the Husband, I’m over-analyzing my work, and I probably am, but I feel I can do infinitely better than what I originally produced.

I have fixed the character issues I had before and worked out the plot holes I found to give me a better guide as I go along. The background information and reference pictures are sorted into neat, concise piles for me to review as I work them into the MS, which I’m hoping will make building everything easier. With the amount of reorganization I’ve done with my laptop files and the various programs I have found that help with my process, I should be able to sit back after having today off and really churn out some words.

I intend to return to my normal posting schedule, if nothing else, I will post every ten days of NaNoWriMo to update on my progress.

Good luck fellow WriMos!

Bless! До свидания! Au revoir! Auf Wiedersehen! ¡Adiós! Αντίο!

Why Hello There! (NaNoWriMo2014 & WIPMarathon Check-In #9)

I know it’s been a while, but how have you all been? Good? That’s fabulous, I’m glad. Bad? I send you virtual vibes of awesome feelings! Now that we have that out of the way… I have been a poor excuse for a WIPMarathon-er and Twitter-er, and I’m not even sure that’s a thing. Harsh? Yes, I know, but it’s also true.

Due to technical malfunctions of epic proportions I have been mostly offline for a while now, my only means of posting, tweeting, anything internet related has been on my husband’s Android with his cellular service, which isn’t too good in the area where we live. The upside being that we were able to straighten a few things about life out without internet things getting in the way. The downside being,.. well my blog died and so did a lot of my WIPs which were destroyed in the electronic malfunction. Yes, including all of my edits for Firemists and every other WIP I’ve worked on in the passed two years.

It was a tragic, depressing, infuriating day when my laptop stopped turning on, even worse when the tech informed me the harddrive was fried in the malfunction. Let’s not get off track here. I came here today, a day late because my timing is phenomenal that way, to talk with you about the beginning of NaNoWriMo2014 and my very tardy WIPMarathon update.

Firstly, NaNoWriMo2014! Let’s be buddies! I took a break in 2013 and tried working on my NaNoWriMo’12 novel, unsuccessfully. This year I decided to go back to NaNo with a blend of new ideas from the remaints of the old ideas that weren’t destroyed with my hard drive. This year is looking promising considering I already have over 3,500 words and it’s only day two. I also have a better plan this year than before and this time I intend to self-publish the result. Why? As a test of sorts. I am under no illusions that I will most likely try my hardest to complete my NaNo, but I want to see if the completed product can hold it’s own in the market. Mind you, I know if any of them sell it’s probably my fellow writers being the mystical creatures they are and supporting the little known author, but I still want to see. There’s always a chance I’m just really hard on myself and should stop being a Negative Nelly about my work, I won’t know until it’s waved in front of my face though. So, curious about my NaNoWIP yet? Keep reading to the WIPMarathon #9 Check In below.

Before we begin on my excessively late WIPMarathon post; I am working off the numbers from my last WIP update about four posts and four months ago. If you don’t remember that post, fret not my child! You can refresh your memory!

Continue reading “Why Hello There! (NaNoWriMo2014 & WIPMarathon Check-In #9)”