I don’t even know what to say?

As advertised, I’m not even sure what to say. It’s been well over a year, nearly two, since I last posted on this blog and I wish I had ground breaking news or something earth shattering to report, but I don’t.

As I’ve posted about before, I struggle with depression and anxiety and it’s been a long slog. If I look back, I can sort of pinpoint the end of 2015 where things started to take a slide down the well and since then it’s just been about riding that slide. If you suffer from (or have suffered from) depression or anxiety in the past, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, then I really hope you never do.

I get anxious talking about it in a public forum, like the interwebs, or even in any public space as I’m well aware I may not ‘look depressed.’ And also, there’s still a lot of stigma associated with mental illnesses. I try to speak up when I’m able because I think it’s important to be the change you want to see in the world.

There was a tweet I saw on tumblr that accurately summed up 2015-till about now.

the truth about depression

And wow. That was me (and apparently a lot of people based on the likes and retweets).

I don’t know how to explain if you haven’t been there what it’s like to have that be your life – going to work and doing well and then coming home and just… existing until it’s tomorrow and do it all over again. I dreaded people asking me what I did the night before or on the weekend. You can’t answser it honestly. Not to the general public. like Hyperbole and a half once alluded to in a post, it would then put you in the awkward position of having to comfort someone else about your feelings.

comforting others is hard when you have no spoons

So, that was me for a long, long 5 years. In April of 2018, I started seeing a new doctor and we cycled through some medication and if you’ve ever done that, you know it’s a gross slog of trying stuff out and waiting to see if it helps all while you ask yourself “Okay I’m still miserable, but am I less miserable than I was before? Or is this the same amount of miserableness?”

And then last January, I found myself a therapist again to talk through some of my ~issues. I ended up BACK on the same meds I was on before, but this time they seemed to be working and things started looking up. But I was still struggling with writing and I said to my therapist, I just don’t know why that is. She mentioned something like that getting better isn’t just a switch you flip. I was doing not-great and now I’m doing better and so all the stuff that I can do when I am better should suddenly just come back.

And I get that. I do. But it’s still kind of shitty because I had just foolishly assumed that PRESTO CHANGE-O HERE WOULD BE MY WRITING MOJO AND ALL WOULD BE WELL. it would be two thousand words a day and they would all be glorious and not need editing.

Um. No.

I’ve spent so long not writing that I’ve romanticized how it is for me. It is work and not usually easy, but it’s something I enjoy.

So I’ve started back up. I’m going to do a separate post on where exactly book 6 is sitting but I am back at it, and I plan to finish it. If you are looking for more details on that, I’ll have a post up soon.

I thank anyone and everyone that messaged me or left a comment, even if I didn’t (couldn’t) answer. Your interest in my writing means a lot to me. Sometimes my anxiety gets bad and I struggle with even answering a comment, so for all the times a Thank You has gone unsaid, Thank you.

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Book 6 – update

*cough cough* Is this thing on *taps mic*

Soooooo, long time no post? Honestly, I don’t know where time goes. It’s like it all gets sucked into some weird vortex called OH YEAH REAL LIFE.

So I’m still here! and still writing! But as you may have noticed, I’m woefully behind on book 6! If I followed my normal timeline, book six should have been out in June 2018. Well. that didn’t happen. I had renovations and a job change and just…. it didn’t happen.

I’m aiming for June 2019, but may fall a little behind that schedule too. I’m about 45000 into book 6 and I think I’m about a third done. I think. lol. So it’s going to be longer than I originally projected (90000).

But I wanted to drop a quick line and say I’m still here! and still working on it!


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HalCon and traveling as an introvert with social anxiety!

YOU GUYS!

I’m in Halifax for HalCon!

I’m super excited to be here! I’ll be speaking at three panels and have some book signings (gulp).

My schedule is:

Friday, September 22
Saturday, September 23
1:00pm – Women in Media
Sunday, September 24
12:00pm – Margarita Gakis Signing
1:45pm – Author Writing Tips

 

As I said, I’m really excited but also nervous. I’m an introvert with social anxiety – how can I not be nervous? Strangely, I have no fear of public speaking, but the one-on-one nature of signings and me sitting at a table is what has me freaked out! Most people who meet me are surprised I have anxiety because I socialize well. as I’ve said. I’m not an ogre. Like, I know how to do it. It just makes me nervous. And takes a lot of self pep talks to get me going places.

Because I get anxious, when I travel, I try to make it about little victories. Did I get out of the hotel room? Was I able to find coffee? Did I actually interact with people? Last night, I made it to the hotel pub for dinner – GRILLED CHEESE WITH BACON COMPOTE – like, you had me at bacon and cheese, y’all.

This morning, I went out in search of caffeine .I love how the FIRST and BIGGEST thing on this sign is the Timmy’s. I found it and used my HAL-CON COFFEE SLEEVE!
 YES THAT’S THE SLEEVE I GOT IN MY SWAG BAG (okay, yeah, I’m just caps locking everything now.)
My swag bag also had candy from Freak Lunchbox, and of course I had to go to a place with that name. It’s a candy shoppe!
 And I walked down by the waterfront.
I’m getting ready for my first panel this afternoon at 4.45. i was going to go to the convention center right now, but I got scared and it’s still early, so I’m blogging instead. #hidingout, #Ididgetoutalreadythough, #Idon’tfeeltoobad
Wish me luck!
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Show me your teeth

You guys.

YOU GUYS.

Ugh. I have had a number of root canals over the years. I try to take care of my teeth, but this is just the way they are. I don’t remember how many i’ve actually had, but I just had another and it was the THIRD ONE where the freezing wouldn’t take all the way.  Jesus take the wheel.

I’m no tough girl when it comes to pain. If something hurts, I want it to stop. And tooth pain? *shudder* THE WORST. Any kind of nerve pain brings me to my knees.

All that to say, I’ve had a lot of therapy in my life due to my mental issues, and that shit comes in handy. I’m able to breathe, self-talk and work my way through stuff. And also, I don’t blame the dental personnel for the problem. They are tryign to help me, and don’t want to hurt me, but may have to in order to make me feel better. My options were:

1: Wait another half hour for the freezing. At that point, it had been two hours and I’m like, BRO (YOUNG BRO – so YOUNG!! omg, I’m older than all my dentists now), half an hour ain’t gonna help.

2: Send me home with more antibiotics and hope they help whatever is happening and I can come back and it will work. Oh, young dentist. Bless your heart. You don’t realize this is my third go-round with freezing that won’t work.

Option 3 – just go in, do the work and hope for the best.

At that point it had been two hours of trying to freeze me and about 8-12 needles to the mouth. I lost count. I saw no other option than 3 – let’s GET ‘ER DONE. I said, I don’t think this will get better. I think option 3 sucks, but we gotta do it. and then it will get better. (me internally crying.).

This dude was trying so hard to be positive, but he knew it woudl suck too. He tried to give me a pep talk before he started. He was like, “Okay, so we’re going to go in and hopefully this will be…..”

He trailed off and I could tell he was coming up blank, not sure how to reassure me for something he knew would hurt and be unpleasant.

“QUICK,” I blurted. “THE WORD YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS QUICK.”

He  gave me a nervous smile and said, “Yes. I hope this will be quick.”

He was – they were all super nice to me and efficient and though it was hella unpleasant, they did good work.

I *think* I’m on the mend now. My lower jaw is pretty fucking unhappy with me and sore, but BETTER. I CAN THINK NOW. I CAN PROCESS INFORMATION.

For those of you that struggle with chronic pain – you are far stronger and tougher people than I am. I pray for and salute you.

 

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The Problem with Past Tense

My dad died in 2006. Death is a strange thing. It’s not like you stop missing someone, but you get used to it. I don’t think you get over it. I think you just learn to accept it. Dad is no longer here. It sucks. it will continue to suck, but it’s the way it is.

Today my mum and I had to re-add me to the safety deposit box because the bank ‘lost’ part of my access. DON’T GET ME STARTED – THIS BANK, MY GOD. IT’S NOT LIKE MY MUM HAS BEEN A CLIENT FOR FORTY YEARS OR SOMETHING. Anyway, we have to review the list of people for the safety deposit box. Guess what? My dad is still on the list. We said, you know, we removed him when he died. He shouldn’t be on the list. You should take him off the list. He’s dead.

The bank dude was like, “UMMMM, I can’t take people off the list without my manager *anxious shifty eyes*.”

We went back and forth for a few minutes, and I finally said, “well leave him on the list, I guess it’s not like he’ll be dropping by to access the box!” My mum laughed and agreed, “Yeah, it’s not like he’ll stop by!” We chuckled, but the young bank teller was visibly uncomfortable.

But, I have a problem with the past tense sometimes. It doesn’t always come up. I’m okay saying “My dad used to own a restaurant” – he sold it before he died. I can also say, ” My dad read Louis l’Amour books.” He did. Or, “My dad tried to garden but never had the time.”

Strangely, I struggle with, “My dad was Greek.”

I know this may seem odd, but it’s like when I say he WAS Greek that he’s no longer Greek or he lost his ‘greekness’ when he died. But he is Greek. He’ll always be Greek. Canadian too! But how else do I say it? He’s “Dead but Still Greek”?

I feel like I need a tense in between past and present.

Death, man. It’s weird even after millions of years of evolution.

 

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Uncontrollable Burn (Covencraft #5) – Blurb and cover!!!

LOOK WHAT I HAVE HERE!!!

I’m still on target for an early June release. I’m aiming for June 6 or 13th!

You can face your past, but it doesn’t mean you’re free…
Jade thought facing a Gorgon and her past demons (including the one that shows up in her pantry on occasion), meant she’d get over stuff. Auto-magically, so to speak. It turns out, it’s not that simple. Still recovering from her time in the Dearth and her meeting with Medusa, Jade tries to understand her feelings for Paris. Is she ready to deal with her past as an assault survivor and move forward? Or is she perpetually stuck where she is?

Jade also struggles as Lily pushes for them to be independent. Now that they’re no longer sharing a body, they can lead separate lives. It should be everything Jade ever wanted.

Sometimes for the future, something has to burn…
While Jade struggles with her personal life, the Coven is called upon for magical assistance. A forest fire rages out of control, unable to be stopped by mortal forces. Any witch proficient with fire is called to help. If there’s one thing Jade is certain about, especially now when nothing else feels right, it’s fire.

Out of the frying pan…
If Jade can’t get the fire under control then landscape, houses, cities, people are in jeopardy. It’s gotta be easier than dealing with her feelings, right? Or has she just made the biggest, most fatal, mistake of her life?

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Edits – and some notes on book 5 (Covencraft)

I’m editing book 5 (will have blurb up shortly) and sometimes, a particular song sticks with me through a book. For this one, it’s ben The Razor’s Edge by Digital Daggers.

This one really speaks to me for Jade and her struggles.  Here are the lyrics. Bold emphasis is mine.

“The Razor’s Edge”

I think I’m lost
I think I’m broken
It’s not what I wanted
The verdict won’t change
I’ve gone off the razor’s edge
Thought it would be different
Was treading the water
‘Til it took me under

Quick retreating
So stuck in these feelings
I’m taking the beating
It won’t let me go, go, go

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

Seems I forgot
Which way I was going
Echoed mistakes (mistakes)
Repeating again

Quick retreating
So stuck in these feelings
I’m taking the beating
It won’t let me go, go, go

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
Distorting the future
It’s holding me close
It loves me the most
It’s tearing the sutures

It won’t let me heal
It tells us what’s real
There is no truth there
My vision’s gone black
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me back
I’m scared ’cause the past
Keeps pulling me

 

I also have a song that I’m listening to for book 6 [Untitled as of yet] by Digital Daggers, BUT I CAN’T TELL YOU BECAUSE OF SPOILERS.

BUT IT’S THERE. AND I KNOW IT.

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Uncontrollable Burn [Covencraft # 5] – status update!

You guys! I am THISCLOSE to finishing primary writing on book 5. My first draft is usually pretty close to my end draft [which is good or bad – take your pick!]. I’m just about to start chapter 17 [as it is numbered right now] and I think I need about 5000 more words to wrap it up. Then we’ll see what gets added/deleted during edits.

As I posted earlier, I have clinical depression and I just changed meds. Me finishing this book couldn’t have happened without it. Or rather, I could have done it, but a June release? Dude. IDK. I was working all of January and February to be on time and I’m a little behind, but I’ll make it! But if I hadn’t felt better? I would have still been back at 250 words a day, which is how I wrote book 4. Like, it can be done. But it sucks. Writing a book like that feels like chiseling out of marble with a teeny-tiny chisel. You can do it. Your exhausted and defeated most of the time, but it can be done.

But! I’m AM feeling good, and writing faster so that didn’t happen!

I’m happy with where the book has gone, emotionally and action-wise. It’s always a nailbiter to see if other people like it, but at least if they don’t, I know that I like it. [and if you don’t like it, I hope you tell me GENTLY why so I can review and learn! But if you post a review, you should know I make my sisters read them for me, lol. See my page on reviewing for why]

I will be in contact with the cover artist shortly and hope to post that as soon as it’s ready! I’m EXCITED. I don’t have the back blurb written yet, but will post as soon as I do. This book, generally, is a straight continuation of book 4, Dry Spells. Jade is continuing to deal with Lily being her own person, her feelings about her past, and her feelings for Paris. And then while she’s working on that, a Forest Fire happens! DUN DUN DUN.  Stay tuned!

 

 

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We’re up all night to Get Lucky! [Or for mental health, your choice]

AWWWW YISSSSSS.

Okay, so not as much fun as Pharell and Daft Punk, but! Still FUN

I’m stepping up – and staying up – to defeat mental illness!

The CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health(TM) challenge is a Canada-wide challenge to inspire hope for Canadians living with mental illness.

I took the #OneBraveNight challenge because I want to inspire hope for people living with mental illness now – and to defeat mental illness. By making a donation to my One Brave Night, you are helping CAMH improve access to care, conduct research to find better treatments, and build more spaces for healing. 

If ever there was a challenge made for us night owls, this is it!

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS STAY UP! or go to bed and pledge for me to stay up! I PROMISE I CAN DO THIS!!!! YOU GUYS, THIS CHALLENGE WAS MADE FOR ME.

 

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