Category Archives: Depression

Catch Up–Freaky Friday

Pretend Monday:

I’ve been missing Rick a lot lately.

Telling everyone I’m missing him.

Wondering why all that crap had to happen.

Wishing so much things could have been different.

I think, at the end, he was in lots of pain. But he couldn’t speak anymore, or even squeeze our hands.

Grief can inspire us to write. Or can immobilize us. I think the latter has happened to me.

 

 

Pretend Wednesday

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee:

This year Kyra will have lots of interviews with upcoming and established authors.

 

Pretend Three Thing Thursday:

1.Come to the party we’re having this month at the Provo library!

Yahoo!

January 20, potluck, lots of prizes to win!

Go here to learn more and register:

http://www.wifyr.com/events/

2. February ERIN HARRIS from FOLIO!!! YAHOOOOO!!!!

Go here (again) to learn more:

http://www.wifyr.com/events/

3. Writing Question:

What is the worst thing you could do as a writer? Take some time to contemplate this question. If you’d like, share.

 

Freaky Friday:

Writing Quotes

http://positivewriter.com/22-of-the-best-quotes-on-writing-ever/

AND

So far I have completed almost two of my three goals I made with you all.

One and one third to go!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under CLW, Depression, Exercises, three thing thursday, writing process

15-Minute Monday

Yesterday my daughters tried to  poison me.

I refused to have a Mother’s Day. But Elise and Carolina made dinner.  I was up all night.

I’m in this weird place.

I don’t like it.

Here’s what I know about depression.

My reminder.

A refresher course.

Depression doesn’t care if you make goals.

It doesn’t care  if you are behind and are struggling to catch up.

It doesn’t care  who you  hurt or how you hurt.

Depression doesn’t give a damn about the people in your life or in your heart or in your head.

You feel sorry because you got the stupid phone and don’t want to use it.

You feel sorry for everything that’s going on that you don’t know how to fix.

You feel sorry about the choices other people are making. Or that your baby is growing up. Or that all the work you do seems to go unnoticed.

It’s an ugly pity party but you can’t help it.

You know you sound like a whiny bird but you don’t care and when you try to feel anything other than no hope, there’s just a big empty place where your heart should be.

I think one of the worst parts of when I feel like this, is that it feels like even God does not care.

Don’t worry.  I sound dramatic.

I’ll be fine.  Certainly I’ve been here before.

It’s not pleasant.  But don’t writers live in this awful hole?

Getting out is just taking a lot longer than it feels like it usually does.

Maybe my girls were just trying to put me out of my misery.

Ha.

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Filed under CLW, Depression, Life

Three Things Thursday

Me:

How’s the writing?

Are you doing it?

Happily?

Not me so far. BUT TODAY I WILL!

Last night I came home from dinner with three of my girls and realized I was 30 minutes late to a book group I was supposed to attend. I’d already cried off my mascara, but I made it there before everyone left.

Today I am going to write several hours.

And that’s great for right now.

Here’s are my TTT cohorts!

 

Brenda:

There are writers I admire for their works. There are writers I admire for their intellect. There are writers I admire for their work ethic. There are writers I admire for their sly humor. Put all these together, and call him Isaac Asimov!
Asimov, in his own words:
The one absolute requirement for me to write . . . is to be awake.
I don’t know any but the simplest rules of English grammar, and I seldom consciously apply them.  Nevertheless, I instinctively write correctly and, I like to think, in an interesting fashion. I know when something sounds right and when it doesn’t, and I can tell the difference without hesitation, even when writing at breakneck speed. How do I do this? I haven’t the faintest idea.
When I feel difficulty coming on, I switch to another book I’m writing. When I get back to the problem, my unconscious has solved it.
Thinking is the activity I love best, and writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers. I can write up to 18 hours a day.  Typing 90 words a minute, I’ve done better than 50 pages a day. Nothing interferes
with my concentration. You could put on an orgy in my office and I wouldn’t look up — well, maybe once.
If my doctor told me I had only six months to live, I wouldn’t brood.  I’d type a little faster.
Cheryl:
Some of the best stories I’ve read have been ruined by weak climaxes. One of the main reasons for this is a weak antagonist. If your villain is a genius mastermind, it doesn’t make sense for them to suddenly make a moronic mistake. 

Rewrite your climax from the point of view of your antagonist. Start at the beginning point, but then stop looking at your original manuscript. Let the climax grow organically from the antagonist’s perspective. Does it follow the same path? Does he say and do the same things?
If the two versions don’t match, try to find a middle ground. Both characters need to stay true to themselves, and the best story will allow them both to breathe.

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Filed under CLW, Depression, Life, three thing thursday, Writing Marathon

Summer

Summer sort of begins for me a few days after ALA. The older I get, the harder it is to recuperate from WIFYR. And if I’ve made the trip to ALA, well there you go. (I love going to ALA, BTW.)

But then I have July and August (school starts the last day of August this year) sort of to myself. I mean, I can write and rewrite. And paint this new home we’re in and maybe even make my bed if I want to.

There are clothes to organize, weeds to pull, food storage to think about and do something with, boxes to unpack, closets to clean out, Mom to care for, and of course, every days has to have some kid time in it. I do have these beautiful daughters.

Constantly, though, there are the story ideas.

No matter how hard life is (and it’s been a beast for several months now), there are places to escape to, words to worry over, plots to play with.

The stories are always in my head.

 

So here are questions for a writer to think on:

How do you keep track of your stories? Especially if you have lots of crazy ideas spinning around.

How do you decide which is the best idea to spend time on?

How long to you work on a book before you’re done?

Is it bad to write lots of words as fast as you can, even if they are crummy words?

During rewrite, what do you do with discarded words?

How much time do you give yourself for your writing?

How much time do you really write–how much do you check your social sites?

How do you know, before you do it, if it’s going to be worth the time to follow a character for 60,000 words?

Why do you keep going?

 

That’s the biggest question of all. This is a hard, many times, unrewarding venture. We’re lonely, underpaid (if paid at all), and many times our delicious books don’t get into the right editor’s hands, or readers’ hands. When  books are published, most don’t get the awards they deserve, and certainly many don’t sell as well as other novels that seem poorly written. It’s frustrating, sometimes hard to watch, and so very personal.

 

If I didn’t publish, would I still keep doing this?

Truthfully, probably not as hard as I do now. But I would spend time each day working on a novel. And when I had cleaned that book up the best I could, I’d start another. I’d write another and another and another. Why?

Because I’m a writer.

That’s who I am.

All the way down to the bone.

 

 

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Filed under CLW, Depression, Exercises, writing process

Three Things Thursday on Friday

From my dear Cheryl:

Sometimes I think we put a little too much of our real life into our stories. I know my first draft characters always  come out too much like me. It’s good, in a way, to model characters after real people, because it makes them relatable. On the other hand, real people are boring. 

So switch it up a little. Maybe she has an aunt that works as a psychic. Or a dog that’s famous in town for having saved the life of a Boy Scout. Or maybe her dad keeps a pet alligator in the bathtub. Don’t ever limit yourself to reality. The whole point of fiction is to escape reality. We might as well have a little fun doing it.
And my dear Brenda:
Last Saturday I helped at the “Spring Into Books” Event held at the Viridian Event Center.  This was started by the Oquirrh Chapter of the League of Utah Writers.  The year before they had held a “book signing” event, mostly populated by chapter members. This year they began, in the first meeting of the planning “committee” (of which I was a member, and dragged my husband into it as well), to expand their idea.  It just kept getting bigger and Bigger and BIGGER.  One of the committee is on the board for the Viridian — and said he could get the venue for free.  Eventually, we were co-sponsored by SL County Library System, West Jordan Arts Council, Jordan School District, Salt Lake County and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Best guesses to date are that 58 authors were there to sign books for the approximately 1,000 people who showed up (I’ve seen guesses of 200+ more than that).  Authors rented tables or half-tables to show their wares  And admittance was FREE.

Kids were entertained with games, prizes, a clown making fantastic balloon animals, flowers, and tiaras, free popcorn and so much else. One genius came up with a “scavenger hunt” list of items to find: soccer ball, mermaid or merman, a dragonfly, a candle, etc. All of them items pictured on various authors’ covers. If a child could get initials from each of the authors that he’d seen their cover, he could show it at the front desk to receive a free, colorful pencil.  Simple, but tremendously popular.

Just under 20 authors took a 20 minute slot to read to interested parties from their books.  That ran, like the entire event, from 3pm to 7pm.  Another room had hourly round-tables: 5 separate tables, where audience members could listen to authors on a variety of subjects, or come watch an illustrator and hear what his/her job entailed.

The Copper Hills H.S. poetry-slam group performed from 5 to 6 pm.  They are an award-winning group (and there’s already been SOME talk of including a poetry-slam contest next year).
There were also hourly drawings for various prizes, a choice between a free book or a T-shirt with writerly notes printed on them.
Every “sponsoring” entity sent people to  check on the event, to see if they would still  be interested in sponsoring next year.  ALL of them have put in a “We want to help next year” — and there are talks of making it even bigger — which we’ll need, if this kind of response repeats itself.
It will probably be held about the same time of year — You Will Want To Be There — late March of 2016, or so.  Watch for it in the newspapers, on TV, through online announcements, etc., and come join us as we Spring Into Books!
Brenda
And from me:
Today, I’m going to plant flowers with my youngest.
I need to. I’ve been writing a book that has brought some icky parts of my past to the surface, and I’ve been sad. This compounds my already depressed mood.
It’s okay, though, to lift my face to the sun. Dig in the dirt. Paint a room a bright color.
This part of my life is over. And yes, it still touches me, wrapping memory around my heart and lungs. But. But now I can write it down. Loose it a little. Maybe free myself from some of the anguish.
How does writing help you?

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Three Things Thursday

Carol

 

I’ve been complaining of how hard of a life I’m having lately. I keep waking up sobbing and that sets my days off for deep sadness. Keep having the nightmares.  I think those are tied closely to my anxiety because of the way I feel when I’m waking. I’ve tried turning things over to God, have let many things go, have chewed my nails off. Nothing seems to help.

This happens in life. We know this. And when you’re a writer (or anyone for that matter) you need support. People who sorta know what you’re going through, pull their part of the weight, listen to you, request to read your work, say, “I’ll pray for you.”

I may have already said this, but as forgetful as I am, I can’t remember (I feel I may have).

Anyway–

Thank you Cheryl and Brenda.

Every week–early–these two beautiful, busy, kind, good and caring women send a hint for Thursday.

I’m not so sure I’ve told you what a relief it is not having to worry about posting a couple days a week. You all have helped me so much.

You always send your posts. Many times you check in on me.

Your comments are always excellent and I learn from them each week.

Everyone should have the Brendas and the Cheryls in their lives. And we each need to be aware when we should be a Brenda or a Cheryl, too.

 

Brenda

Our trip to “see family” in Alabama will close this coming week. My husband’s family has always had what they call “Sloppy Luck.” To explain: Herb’s brother was coming to their sister’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day with their 88-year-old mother who lives with sister and her husband. His vehicle broke down on one of the major BUSY thoroughfares in Birmingham. A nephew happened to be going in the opposite direction — 8 lanes away — yet managed to turn around and go help him push the car off to the side. Another relative happened to have a tow truck available, and went and picked up the car later. We were already at “Mom’s,” so Herb went to pick his brother up — easy to find because he was only about 2 stop lights away from the motel we’re staying in. “Arnold Sloppy Luck” at work.
While we’ve been here Herb’s sister, a yoga instructor, has had her rotator cuff (which was operated on just before we arrived) checked out: it’s doing well. The power went out at sister’s place a couple of night’s later, and the power company couldn’t find where the fix was needed. Sister knew, directed them, and the power was restored in the middle of the night. Before morning, Mom got out of bed, fell and broke her leg: AFTER the power was restored, so they were able to find and get medical help out there and transport her to a hospital — without the power restored, it would have been SO much more difficult. Plus, we’ve been here to visit Mom, give rides & support to brother, support family, instead of being thousands of miles away. “Arnold Sloppy Luck” again.
You probably can’t use their “Arnold Sloppy Luck,” (maybe they’ve already got the name as a franchise of some kind), but why not “Johnson Sloppy Luck,” “Weinstein Sloppy Luck,” or “Bronsen Sloppy Luck” in your story? What “Happy Coincidences” might spark up a scene, a character, an event? And HOW do you keep it from seeming all TOO coincidental?
This is the way life IS in the Arnold family !
Cheryl
Earlier this week, a friend and I had a “spirited debate” about whether a story was plot-driven or character-driven. 

My opinion (or, you might say, the correct opinion, hee hee) was that it was plot-driven when it should have been character-driven. Events happened to the character that forced him to react in the only way anyone would. Yes, many acts required intelligence, bravery, and an ability to deceive. But the character never grew or changed. Even the romance developed as a natural consequence to the plot, and the main character never showed any real emotion or desire to be in the relationship.
It isn’t enough to focus your entire story on the actions of one character. The story needs to follow the inner growth of the character, the character should not simply change because of external influences. Do not allow your character to be a Mr. Potato Head, with the outside emotions changing but nothing happening at the core.

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Filed under Depression, Plot, three thing thursday, writing process

Today is the Beginning of Summer

For me, I mean. School’s out. I just have to submit grades.

And, as with any beginning, I have my goals.

The biggest goal of all is to enjoy.

Enjoy.

I’ve never allowed myself to just live.

 

And I haven’t had the best of times the last few months. I’ve let this influence me. The sadness. The heartbreak.

Before me now is five months–with WIFYR (www.wifyr.com) stuffed in the middle–of enjoying being with Carolina. Taking a trip with a few of my girls. Polishing and organizing. Visiting Rick. Catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while. And writing.

How I love writing. And hate it, too.

And how I love rewriting.

How I love sexy new projects.

I’ve got all that before me.

Plus, guess what? I even jogged today. Not very far. And real slow. R-E-A-L slow. So slowly that Carolina walked beside me and said “Mom. ” And I was like, “Run. A. Head. Pl. Ease.”

I have second hand smoker’s lungs (thanks southern family o’ mine) and so I can’t breathe easily. Is this why I’ve had the cough now for years? (This better not be serious–but the allergy pills didn’t help. The asthma stuff didn’t help. The cough medicine didn’t help.)

 

What’s before you?

Is it dark?

Can you find light in that darkness?

Is it joy?

Does it include children? Lovers? Books? Friends? Food? Serving? Being served?

 

Perhaps is should include all of that.

And a good dog.

 

 

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