Hello, it’s been very quiet lately on this blog and I could swear I’ve said that several posts ago, too. So I guess several updates are in order.
First of all, I’ve joined this year’s Clarion Write-a-Thon. Its aim is to raise funds for scholarships for next year’s class (one year already? Yeesh). I wouldn’t have been able to attend if not for the Foundation’s generous scholarship, so please consider either joining the Write-a-Thon or sponsoring/pledging me.
This ‘thon allows you to set your own writing goals, and so mine is to spend 126 hours (or three hours per day) editing my existing stories (namely, one novella and three short stories). I’ve only succeeded with one short story now out on submission and I’m line-editing the novella. My profile contains a snippet from the latter, but you can also view scraps and excerpts from my previous works up on Where Ghost Words Dwell:
- Blood in Abundance, an excerpt from my novelette “How the Jungle Got Its Spirit Guardian”
- Golden Days Under the Old Acacia Tree, a deleted scrap from “To Megan, with Half My Heart”
- Apologies Eaten, an excerpt from the novella, which I am for now calling “The Witch and the Mango Tree”
And on a personal level, if you will forgive the sudden change in tone, the last couple of months have been a roller coaster ride for me.
I learned in April that I had depression coupled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which steadily grew worse through May. This entailed crying in both the middle of the night and the middle of the day, plus very little sleep. In June, somehow, I ended up in either a good place or a lull in the storm. I am not sure which it is, but it’s a welcome relief and continues to be.
I’ve begun seeking change or letting it happen naturally to me since the lull. For one, my braces came off and, if my other social media accounts are to be followed, I’ve had a drastic haircut. I’ve also begun painting my toenails and wearing more jewelry and mixing up my clothes. It may seem shallow, but to me, these are baby steps: if I can change what’s on the outside, perhaps something will give within. The changes may extend to things other than my outward appearance–for instance, I think I’ll pick up a historical romance novel for my reading pleasure, and I’m going out to see more and more old friends from different periods of my life. Small steps are small.
I’ve also learned that there are many people who are experiencing the same thing, and have met and talked with some of them. They are a great comfort to me and I am thankful to them for all the loving advice and gentle prodding.
It’s not easy for me to admit my state of mind in public where I can be picked apart without context. In fact, I stared at the “publish” button for a long time before releasing this post into the wild. The thing is, I have a habit of bottling up things that upset me long ago to the point that they haunt my adult life, dreaming or waking. Some days I am either happy or mellow, and then I remember what I am saddled with and I get sad all over again. I want to someday get to the point that saying the facts aloud will not make me sad anymore. With this blog post, whether I continue to post about the depression or here or move to my private notebooks, I hope to begin exorcising my demons.