Where I Disappeared To, Medium Articles, and Fiction

So, I got booked off work for two weeks… Turns out that, without realising it, I’d spiralled down into a depressive episode during the past few months.

As Murphy’s Law would have it, I only really realised that it was depression and not just being tired when I almost hit rock bottom. Oops.

The good news is that I’m feeling better now after some rest and a change to my meds. More good news is that my brain seems to be working again and I feel more creative than I was feeling in some time. Yay!

In other news, I’ve added to my Medium articles one entitled “When You Need a Break Because Of Depression and Burnout” (wonder where I got that idea from…). Here’s an excerpt as well.

When You Need a Break Because Of Depression and Burn-out

A Perfect Storm

I see my psychologist, walking to the office with limbs so heavy I feel like I’m barely moving. It’s tears from the moment she asks me how I’ve been.

I see a GP. Spend the night at my sister’s place. I see my psychiatrist, who manages to squeeze me in between two other patients’ appointments.

My body and mind are drained. I’m burnt-out. Deep in a depressive episode. Anaemic to top it off.

I am booked off from work. My meds are changed slightly.

Other Medium Articles

What you can read at the moment, though, is my articles and pieces on Medium!

The pieces at the moment are two creative non-fiction essays and a writing productivity article. The first of the essays can also be read here on the blog: A Green House and Sweet Peas.

“Offering Tea to a Stranger”, which is the second essay, was actually written on 24 August in one go after an event that happened on that Friday. I really just couldn’t shake it off.

Here is the first part of “Offering Tea to a Stranger”:

“I hate shopping. Not so much the act of buying food, but the number of people at the local shops (which is what you get when you live in an enormous city, I guess). See, I get panic attacks — and, boy, do they like showing up when there are too many people and too much noise.

Last Friday, however, when going to the local supermarket, I saw a woman who must be in her seventies, walk down one of the isles. Tinted sunglasses hid half her face. Her crutch was balanced in the shopping trolley, her hands shaking slightly as she slowly walked towards me.

I got out of the way to let her pass, hearing a soft ‘thanks, dear’ as she moved past me. She went to pay at the till next to the one I’d chosen. As usual, I chose the queue that took way longer than it should have and ended up looking at her again. Memories of my grandfather flooded back into my mind.

I remembered well his shaking and trembling as Parkinson’s slowly took hold of his body and the Alzheimer’s emptied his mind of all memories of his family and the world around him.”

Photo by Jijie Forsythe on Reshot

The Ruon Chronicles & Patreon

I am busy with the outline of the whole of the Ruon Chronicles series, and the first (new) Patreon article will go live tomorrow. Worldbuilding!

I’m still figuring out the exact timeline for The Knowledge Stones and should be able to finish that this weekend. It’s turning out to be not as much a rewrite as “adding stuff to make it better”.

I’m also adding another POV in order for the reader to be exactly in the know as to what is going on where in the world.

Grove of Graves will then flow out of The Knowledge Stones before book 2 of The Ruon Chronicles starts. I was planning on creating the first full and revised draft of Knowledge Stones by the end of September but, alas, after my two weeks’ rest there is no way I’m going to push myself that hard.

More info will follow on my Patreon page, where you are also able to read the first draft of Knowledge Stones almost in full.

Other Fiction News

In other fiction news, I did write a story for Paragraph Planet and am now waiting to hear if it will be published. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed!

Now that I’m feeling better, I should be back to a normal blogging schedule (not to mention writing schedule), including writing some worldbuilding posts, Friday stuff, and other cool bits and pieces.

Thoughts on Books: Writing with Chronic Illness by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

It’s time again at Storybundle for the writing bundle and the 2019 collection is, again, a great choice of books (and a lecture). There was especially one book which caught my eye (and that was the first one that I ended up reading); Writing with Chronic Illness by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Writing with Chronic Illness by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

As most of you know by now, I struggle with some chronic stuff, most importantly Bipolar (and everything that comes with it), so this seemed like the perfect book for me. The only other (writing) book that I’ve really read so far that really addresses health and that you should do what you are capable of doing and not run yourself into the ground is Crank It Out! By C.S. Lakin. (Okay, I know there are probably many such books, I just haven’t found them or read them yet.) Anyway, Writing with Chronic Illness has really helped me a lot already.

Rusch has divided the book into two parts; the first a bit of history about her own chronic illness and struggles and the second how she has been so prolific while her health has been anything but good.

What I really liked about Writing with Chronic Illness is that it’s not only written earnestly, but also in a way that says “You can find something that works for you as well”. Rusch knows that chronic illness is not an easy subject to tackle because she lives it. She knows as well as anyone that it’s not a one-size-fits-all.

One of the first things I did learn from her book, was that I really need to keep to my routine a lot more than I do. It seems once I get lost in my own mind I tend to throw bedtimes out of the window and that soon catches up with me. It then takes a whole weekend to get back into gear; which sucks, honestly. Unfortunately, a routine is a must for me — and not only to make it easier to remember to take my meds at the same time every day.

It’s five stars for me

In the end I have to give this small volume five stars for the earnestness with which it is written, and also for the no-nonsense way in which Rusch gives her advice.

Writing with Chronic Illness contains many good takeaways and pointers that you can use in your own life without being preachy about them. It’s really the honesty of the book that really struck me.

If you have a loved one struggling with chronic illness, this can also be an eye opener for you as you see how people with these illnesses need to make a life by working around the worst of the symptoms, etc. in order to keep going. (Sometimes this may seem to be the same as “keeping up” with the rest of the world, and, sometimes it may look as if the whole body and mind just checks out. And you don’t always get a warning of when that is going to happen.)

Some more ramblings

I must say, I also realise that I am in a very privileged position in that I am able to work full-time and still work on my writing. But, a lot of the time, it does seem that the world is moving at a breakneck speed and I am unable to keep up with such a pace. However, Writing with Chronic Illness gives me hope that I will not only be able to (in the future) spend much more time writing fiction, but will also be able to better handle my own Chronic Stuff while doing this. 

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