• For Your Reading Pleasure

    I doubt this is much of a revelation for anyone, but I’ve been neglecting this space. Badly. And badly is perhaps the largest understatement I’ve made all year. It’s been over a year. I’m too embarrassed to actually check, and I’m not going to put in some note for me to fix this post later with a more accurate length of time.

    So what happened?

    Well, to be blunt, I got a Job. A real, grownup big person job with health insurance and a pension and all the other things that make a job a Job. And having that Job made me want to die.

    We aren’t supposed to talk about that. I can hear my mother already hissing into my ear about how You can’t say that on the internet! What if you need some other Job in the future? What if they reeeaaad what you said? Which, I suppose that could happen. But does it really matter?

    I had a Job. And having that Job made me want to die. That is not an understatement, nor is it hyperbole. The Job that I had seriously made me consider taking my own life. It made me feel trapped and discouraged and like the person I am didn’t matter.

    I’m doubly not supposed to say that because that Job was teaching. Like, little kids. Like, this is how you multiply numbers together and why you might want to read for pleasure. I’m triply not supposed to say that because, despite everything, I like teaching. I might even want to do it again someday.

    But my teaching Job made me want to die.

    I have struggled with depression for more years than someone who is only 28 should. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t struggle. Suicidal ideation is as novel to me as eating cereal for breakfast.

    What if they reeeaaad what you said?

    Yes, what if they read what I said. What if someone finds out that I struggle with depression. That I have pondered the various ways I could end my life, both in absurdly creative manners and in ones so cliche they’re boring. What if they read what I said and realize I dare want to be around children. Around people. Around life.

    To which I say: that’s exactly the fucking problem.

    We live in the era of social media. We are to curate our lives into this rosy, perfect package. We project our best selves. We are eternally successful and happy and doing exactly what we’re meant to do.

    But what happens when you suddenly find yourself not living your best life? It’s not enough to curl under the blankets because it is just too much to get out of bed. You cannot just hide. You must disappear.

    And so I did.

    I carefully stopped talking about myself anywhere. I neglected this blog. I let my business venture die. I stopped responding to email. I ceased updating Facebook. If anyone asked, I said I was happier living my life than documenting. Never mind that I was barely breathing, let alone living.

    Saying ‘I am depressed’ is the unspeakable secret. I’m not living the best life. I’m not doing okay. It’s not so much that I want to die, I just wish I didn’t exist.

    What if they reeeaaad what you said?

    I think being a grownup with an important Job is the loneliest I have ever felt. It brought me the furthest I have ever been from myself. The depression that settled over me was unlike the depression I have come to call ‘normal life.’ It sucked every ounce of desire from my body. I no longer cared I hated my life. I no longer cared the artist in me was choking. I no longer cared to be seen. I made myself smaller. I stripped away everything, including the thing that has always been my greatest asset: my voice.

    And fuck that.

    What if they reeeaaad what you said?

    Fuck all of this bullshit. I don’t want to be silent anymore. I don’t want to sit here, biting my fingernails, worrying about what if someone reads something I wrote.

    Isn’t that the whole point? Isn’t that the whole goddamn point?

    In case you’re wondering, I feel a lot better now. Now that my Job is not my job. I am slowly finding my way back to a place where I can confidently say my name and say I am a writer.

    Mom, you don’t understand. I am not ashamed of myself anymore. I want them to read what I said.

  • Hallelujah, Summer is HERE!

    By far, the single greatest perk to working in the public school system is the temporary unemployment we call Summer. After a particularly brutal winter, (and I say this as someone who spent three beyond-brutal Februarys in Northern Michigan), it has often felt like this day would never come. But my backyard is full of greenery, and my Summer Non-negotiable is in the mail.

    I made the decision back in April that summer without a hammock would be a total failure. By this time next week, I should be lounging under the trees. Hammocks have always been my favorite. When we were in Key West three years ago, we spent more time in the hammock at our B&B than doing anything anything else. Since my schedule with Second City (oh right, I’m doing some writing workshops with Second City this year, heyo!) precludes any real summer trips for us, I decided investing in a hammock could bring the serenity of travel to us.

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  • 2014 First Quarter Update

    Oh man. Sometimes you blink and suddenly the year is almost a quarter of the way through. How did that happen? No seriously, how?

    In my attempt to be more organized and more adult-like, I think I’m going to start regularly summarizing all the good things that have been happening to increase gratitude, and take stock of all the challenges I’ve overcome to feel awesome about doing stuff. Because I’m beginning to realize I’m a lot more capable than I give myself credit for. So here we go. Read more

  • Three Days of Night is Now Available!

    I’ve been attempting to play the slow game of book-selling. In what may or may not be viewed as somewhat dickish behavior, I have purposefully been letting the news about my novella release come in dribs and drabs. If I’m completely honest, this may be rooted in a bit of fear. Fear of what, I’m not sure. But sometimes we get afraid of our successes, and this might be that for me.

    Anyways, the happy news is that Three Days of Night is available on Amazon. I’ve already had some success with it, which is incredible. It’s been on two Top 100 lists, and still clings onto one of them. I’ve also already made back a little more than 10% of the money I sunk into its publication, so that’s reassuring. I’m optimistic that I can break even on it before the year ends. What? I never said I was an optimistic optimist.

  • A Cover for Three Days of Night

    No time like the present, I suppose. I’ve been sitting on this for quite awhile now, and I’m not really sure why.

    I think it’s about time I share this with everyone. It’s here! My cover for Three Days of Night is at long last here! And yes, that means the book itself is almost here, too. We’re talking February. And that’s real. The proof is back, the back matter is written, the appropriate paperwork is complete. All I need is to find the courage to kick the book out of the nest and hope it flies.

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  • 2013 in Review

    It seems like this is the obligatory end-of-year review. Everyone’s doing them, so maybe I should do. After all, 2013 was a pretty big year for me, with a lot of ups and a few downs.

    I could do a month-by-month breakdown, but that feels little too organized for me. It also, I think, detracts from some of my accomplishments. So here we are, a good old-fashioned summary.

    Firstly, 2013 was the year I overcame my fears of looking stupid and went on a local-access reality show. It was fun and kind of a revalation for me. Oh, yeah, and I won, too. Which was a nice little bonus. That’s how I kicked off the year. Well, actually, we kicked it off with our first NYE party in the new house, but that was technically 2012. Read more

  • Writing Dot-to-Dot

    Picard Riker Facepalm

    Every once in awhile, we stumble across something and it’s like meeting an old friend. These are things that we used to do or enjoy, but have somehow forgotten completely about them. And, at least if you’re me, you then feel like a complete and total idiot for being such a tool. Eh, it happens.

    This happens to me a couple times a year. I have hereditary forgetfulness passed on to me from my Absent-Minded Professor father. It happened again to me last week. What was interesting was that it involved writing, so it’s pretty embarrassing. You know, the whole being a writer thing makes forgetting something about writing a pretty horrific thing to admit. But I did.

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  • Ripping the Bandaid Off

    Oh dear. I’ve done it again. I’ve become neglectful of ye olde blog. When that happens, I sometimes have trouble getting back into it because the guilt and fear are just overwhelming. Well, suck it up, Buttercup. Time to get over yourself and rip that bandaid off.

    So here we are. I’ve been doing lots of things to avoid writing here, and sometimes to avoid writing. But, not all the time. Did I mention I have +16,000 new words since I fell off the wagon? I didn’t? Oh, well I do. I’ve instituted a few changes in how I keep track of writing, but I’ll write about that some other time. But they’re working. And I’m happy.

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  • The Boogeyman

    The first rule of depression, is, well…

    I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’ve had a marvelous past few months. That would be lying. The past few months have been really rough. I’ve battled a life-threatening bacterial infection, had to come to terms with a body that doesn’t always want to cooperate, continue to get sick due to a suppressed immune system from the previously mentioned bacterial infection, and I’ve had to return to my high-stress, low-pay job.

    Looking at that list, I’m ashamed. I feel like I should be coping better than I have been. That shouldn’t be all that it takes to knock me off my even keel. But it was. It did. It has.

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  • Notes from the Sofa

    I managed to rouse up enough decent-feelings to get the novella finished and back to my editor. I finally settled on the point in which to break for novella #2. Which means Three Days of Night is still chugging along, if not slightly behind the schedule I was hoping for. I’m still struggling to come to terms with this whole not-temporary illness aspect and the idea that some days I just really might not be capable to productive writing. Or any writing.

    One thing I have learned is that if I feel up for writing, it doesn’t matter what time it is. That’s what I need to do. Definitely saw 3am this morning, which I haven’t seen in a long time. But I have a solid 700 words to show for it. Not bad since I literally spent the entire day on the couch trying not to pass out with a migraine and general fatigue.

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