Special dedication to all first-time WriMos writing a novel, like it’s never been done before…
Finished? CONGRATS! Almost done? Keep on keepin’ on!! I believe in you! :D
Visiting the NOMAD art bus during the Florida Bookstore Day after party. The non-profit organization visits disenfranchised neighborhoods to provide creative activities otherwise nonexistent for residents. Please visit their Page and support art for all!
What a gift to live in Florida…round the year sunshine, beautiful beaches, and a stretch of shenanigans to get into mid-state!
This past week, me and the BF made our way to Orlando with the plan to ride as many roller coasters, as many times possible, in one day. We arrived an hour after opening, and got kicked out at closing!
My friends Wordier Than Thou have organized the *inaugural* Florida Bookstore Day, starting this November 15th! Support your local, independent bookstores, take advantage of the events and specials in your area, and hug a Florida author! Okay, that last one was just me soliciting PDA. ;)
More info please visit: https://www.facebook.com/FloridaBookstoreDay
Just a snippet of the participating locations:
For those who, like me, write to music…
Six months have passed. Time for my treatment plan review.
The opening visit was with my therapist. I swear, he’s going to write a book with all the one-liners I toss at him, describing my foray into socialization and the ensuing, consistent failures. I rarely get in to see him; he’s got 130 clients besides me, so when I do get to scratch out a 45-minute session, it’s usually me updating him on the latest and greatest, and, by the time all that’s unfurled – DING! – time’s up. We never discuss the whys, just that these things happen. It feels more like going to confession than experiencing healing. Absolve my sins, send me off with 50 Hail Marys. He’s a genuinely good person, and we do maximize our short time, but I don’t think therapy really helps if it can’t be consistent.
Leaving his office, I’m confronted by a cat caller on crutches, of all audacity. He receives my snub, but then gets loud with me. I swing back around, point my finger in his face and growl, “GET AWAY FROM ME.” Normally, this sends the offender on his way, but he decided to give chase, and I, like the seam of Iggy Azalea’s pants, just rip open.
Head over to the ‘med management’ portion of my review, and the technician checks my pulse, blood pressure and weight. The good news is, I’ve lost five pounds since my last visit, and my BMI has simmered down to 26.5. My pulse and blood pressure present her with concern, pulse too low, pressure too high, usually what happens when I’m about to go full rage. Fortunately, the next visit is with the psychiatrist, and I feel her witnessing me in this state will actually help the conversation we need to have: I’m not responding well to her prescriptions.
My therapist and psychiatrist tend to use the word ‘outlier’ a lot when I’m visiting with them, and I concede I am that. Any kind of chemical in my body, even at super low dose, I experience the known side effects. This last round of meds, Latuda, had me hunched over the toilet bowl, feeling clammy and shivery, unable to drive or even walk my dog. She had me on the pre-therapeutic dose! For those of you keeping score, that’s Latuda, Lamictal, Lithium, and hydroxyzine within the last six months. My body can’t deal with either of ‘em.
I actually felt bad sitting across from my psychiatrist. I really wanted to come in and report I was doing fine, the meds were fine, I am safely incorporating myself into society, alles klar. She shared that she felt terrible that my body was responding negatively in low doses. This is where I decided to insert a question: are there options for alternative medicines, maybe things of natural origin? She mentioned St John’s Wort for depression and something else for anxiety, but as far as a natural mood stabilizer, there wasn’t anything of her experience that definitively aided mood swings.
I kept silent.
Seeing that Prop 2 was a close but no hit in last week’s election, the consideration for marijuana as a medical treatment is naught in Florida, at least for the time being. But 56% is damn close to 60%, so I’m not losing hope. There’s way too many people like me out there who do benefit from proper dosage, and I feel I could qualify.
No talking about that in here, I reminded myself.
The psych got excited about Geodon, a fairly new psychotropic which wasn’t part of the family of drugs I was previously on. “It’s new for you. It’s different from the other medications, and, starting you at a pre-therapeutic dosage, it might be a better fit for your chemical makeup.”
“Different is good. Different is encouraging.”
“Yes, we should try that. Very low dose, and we’ll slowly get you up there. It comes in generic as well…”
“Great! Generic is good…”
She pulls out a Rx list to confirm my pharmacy participates in the generic distribution, and it does! We’re both happy. But then she goes back to her computer screen, “Oh, that’s right. You don’t have health insurance.”
“Yup. There’s that.”
She shakes her head. “The generic version hasn’t been in the market long enough to qualify for < > program.”
“Yes, it’s too expensive on it’s own.”
“Back to square one.”
I sink back in my chair, just spent with the revolving horseshit. Your condition, if not treated, will get you locked up. We have a treatment plan that will avoid you getting locked up. You don’t have the means to pay for the treatment plan that will avoid you getting locked up. But if you get locked up, you’ll be immediately treated with this plan.
It’s a game of chemical click-clack. Roll the psychotropic dice, see which combinations land. Me? Been hitting snake eyes roll after roll after roll. With the holidays coming up, I really am ambivalent about being able to keep it together in social settings without some sort of assist. Sure, I can go see my weed guy, but then I’m rendered useless in a hazy stupor because DUH! no one’s testing the weed strains before they enter the market.
Finally, I confess to my psychiatrist, with a preface of, ‘please don’t judge me as irresponsible,’ I ingested Valium while I was at a festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I felt okay, as in, level. Balanced. Unfazed by the strangers around me, even receptive to interacting with them positively.
She didn’t judge me, nor did she admonish me for taking a controlled substance she didn’t prescribe. However, it opened our discussion to the chemical dopamine, and how she senses for me, my particular imbalance comes from a disproportionate distribution of dopamine in and out of the cell membrane. And so, she considered oxcarbazepine, the generic form of Trileptal, and started me on a low dose. She sent the script to my pharmacy with a click of her mouse, then excused herself to visit the printer in the other office.
I sighed antipathy, sensing I’m about to enter once more into a psychotropic tail spin on this different-from-the-others drug.
She handed me my follow-up appointment sheet, and a handwritten prescription.
Usually by mid-Week 2 of NaNoWriMo, the WriMos in my immediate vicinity start to peter out for various reasons. Before you join them my dear, lemme share this true-to-life story that will keep you in the saddle.
Don’t worry, it’ll be quick. ;)
I started participating in National Novel Writing Month back in 2012, after a good friend of mine suggested we participate in it together from our respective places on Earth. In 19 days, I managed to hammer out The Black Parade, and I was really proud of the effort. That personal achievement boosted my creative energy and pushed aside the trappings of my ego, providing me the freedom to deliver a manuscript to a local independent publisher.
By the time NaNoWriMo 2013 ramped up, I Blew Up Juarez was in the hands of my editor, getting polished for a February 2014 debut.
For NaNoWriMo 2013, I teamed with my writing partner, Marie, to put together a psycho-terror work. I’ve never written horror before, let alone have an interest in horror films (Human Centipede? Really??) but Marie, a fan and writer of horror, encouraged me to enter that wormhole. When I showed her what I was working on, she shared, “You really can write horror!” Now I know that comes off as Marie stroking my cock, but Marie doesn’t stroke cock unless she really means it, and THAT’S WHAT MAKES HER A GREAT WOMAN. So, happily, I championed Momma’s Boy for my second halo.
This week, Thirteen Press released Night Walkers, a horror anthology featuring authors from around the globe, and Little Miss Stretchy Pants over here is in it!! :D I’m the first short story, which is cool; the opening act now, maybe down the road I’ll be the grand finale! But again, by persevering and completing a NaNoWriMo competition, my work isn’t in the bowels of my notebook backup routine. I’m bonafide!
So hey, buddy, I know you’re feeling like folding the cards and collecting your chips, but please please consider the why of it from the get go: you love to write. You LOVE to write, and you HAVE to write. You’re amongst like-minded and weak-willed artists; lean on us! Who cares about the word count, just get the story out. And then, maybe later down the line, when you’re up to it, you’ll get published, and then NaNoWriMo is no longer a competition…it’s a refresher course. ;)
STICK IT OUT! KEEP ON WRITIN’!!