Actually, this entire town is haunting me. Haunting? Get it? Halloween?
I’m not sure if it’s the town or the ocean or the house, but something is calling me. I want to collect razor clams on the beach and cook them for dinner. I want to visit the little grocery store and buy lasagna. I want to walk on the beach in the morning in a sweatshirt.
I think for some reason I need some time around an ocean. It probably doesn’t matter which ocean or even what town and especially what house, but I am in dire need of some salt air.
It’s time.She Shoots, She Travels | 2 Comments »
I pour a cup of coffee and run up the stairs to my office, brain humming with words, fingers itching for the keyboard.
I sit down, stare at the screen and sip my coffee. It needs more cream. I run back downstairs, get the cream out of the fridge, pour a little in the cup and climb back up to the office.
Maybe I should check my email in case there’s something I need to attend to before I start to write. It would be awful to just get into it and have something come up to interrupt me.
I read emails for a while, nothing that can’t wait. Good, now to get down to work.
I write a few minutes about my heroine, the Silver Queen of Park City. She’s making dinner for her husband and some friends. What should she cook? She’s French, maybe I should do some research about French cooking in the west in the 1800’s. I fire up my friend Google and search for a while. Amazon has a book about French Cooking in the pioneer days of the West! It’s not an e book and out of print, but there are a few used copies for sale for a couple bucks. I order a copy.
My coffee’s cold so I head downstairs for a warm up. I notice a few deer hanging out in the front of the house and they have twin fawns with them. I grab my camera, put on my long lens and sneak out the back door so I can come around the front without startling them. They spook and move away a bit. I sit on the front porch sipping coffee, hoping they’ll come back in for a drink from my stock tank. They do. I get a few shots. A really nice one of one of the babies.
A neighbor drives by and honks and I realize I’m still in my pj’s . Better get dressed. I go in and find some jeans and a t shirt, throw them on, refill my cup and head back upstairs.
I upload the photos to see how they came out. Great, except the light isn’t quite right. I open Photoshop and tweak them a bit. Better.
OK , back to the book. I write a few more words then realize I’m REALLY hungry. I head back to the kitchen to fix a quick breakfast. An omelette sounds good. Maybe poblano peppers and salsa? I make it and it’s good, so I go back upstairs for my camera to take a picture of it so I remember to blog about it later.
I load the picture to look at it and it’s a little bit out of focus. Photoshop to the rescue again.
I file it away in my “blog post” ideas document and reopen the chapter I was working on, decide to skip the dinner scene for now until my new book gets here.
Maybe I should write some character sketches to get warmed up. I start writing about the villain in my story. He’s a piece of work, nasty, dishonest. He’s starting to bug me, no one is that bad. I give him a nice smile and make him well-dressed. He can be a good looking villain.
I open the manuscript and start writing. I write for a solid half hour before I run out of steam. Maybe I need more caffeine. An espresso. What do I want for lunch? There’s a ripe avocado in the kitchen. A salad with avocado? I have to be careful not to make anything that I might want to blog about, or I’ll end up taking more pictures.
The espresso helps me focus. I knock out two chapters and feel pretty good. I decide to celebrate with a turkey/avocado sandwich. Then I remember I don’t have any turkey. I’ll just run to the store to get some turkey and pick up a bottle of wine for dinner. It only takes an hour to get the turkey and wine and I make the sandwich, pour a diet coke and head back upstairs.
The sandwich is good, but it needs a little more mayo. When I get the mayo, I notice the sink is full of dishes. I load the dishwasher and sit at the counter with the newspaper to eat lunch. I read the whole paper, front to back (I live in a small town so the paper is only five or six pages).
The wine is sitting on the counter calling to me so I open it and pour a glass. Nice, very nice. I take a picture so I remember to blog about it later. I load the picture on my computer and don’t like it. Go back downstairs and set up a background, take another few shots. Better. I tweak them in Photoshop a bit, move them to my blog ideas document and open the manuscript back up.
The wine helps me stay on task and I finish another chapter. By now I’m hungry again and a little lonely. I call a friend and ask if he’d like to come to dinner. Yes, he would, what am I making?
I don’t know what I want for dinner. I open Epicurious to look for ideas. Pasta w vegetables? I have pasta and some peas, maybe a little piece of Parmesan in the refrigerator. I go downstairs and make a quick pantry check, yep pasta it is. I pour another glass of wine and go upstairs to work on the manuscript, but the pasta is calling and maybe a salad to go with it? I call my friend and ask him to pick up some mixed greens. If I make a vinaigrette right now, the flavors will have time to meld a bit before dinner…
This post is in honor of the letter “X” and part of Jenny Matlock’s Alphabet Thursday. For more excellent “X” posts, please click here http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com/Posted in She Shoots, She Writes | 11 Comments »
It’s always there with people like us, just a touch below the surface. Take a fingernail and scratch my arm, and it’s there ready to pop up and make trouble. I didn’t used to be like this. I was always an upbeat person. Give me a challenge and I’ll overcome it. The happiest I remember being is when my children were young and I was flat broke most of the time. Nothing could ever get me down for long. Nothing.
Then came the losses, one after another. My husband was first and then they came in regular succession, my beloved mother-in-law, my oldest son (the hardest by far), my mother and finally, my Dad. In there were also the loss of a well-loved mare and a dog who had been my friend and companion for 17 years.
Despite all of this, I held on. People would ask how I was doing, “Fine!” I’d say in an upbeat slightly brittle voice. I didn’t dare cry because I knew if I started to cry I would probably never stop. I was, however, unbeknownst to me, beginning to melt. My bones, my heart, everything inside of importance was starting to shrink a bit. You couldn’t see it from the outside, and it happened so slowly that I really didn’t feel it, but it was happening. My natural state of optimism was slowly but surely being overwhelmed, obliterated, crushed and there was no stopping it. It was like a slow moving mud slide, determined to cover everything in it’s path no matter how many sandbags I put in it’s way.
“It lays in wait for the time when you think, it’s fine now, I’m OK. Then the next thing you know, it’s not Ok. Then you realize. Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.”
Then, one night right before Christmas, a few years ago I was getting ready to leave work and I couldn’t get out of my chair. I had, I’ll admit, put on a few pounds over the course of this sad adventure I was on, but that wasn’t the reason I couldn’t get out of my chair – I just couldn’t. I sat there a while and tried again but my legs just wouldn’t work. I called to a friend/co-worker who came in, took one look at me and sat down on the other side of the desk and took my hands in hers. The only way I can describe it is that the mud slide had finally achieved its goal of completely covering me in darkness. My friend sat with me for a little while until I could function again. Slowly I revived enough to leave work and drive home, but the next day I made an appointment with my doctor. My regular doctor had already left for Christmas break, so her physician’s assistant agreed to see me at the end of the day. I started off explaining how I couldn’t get out of my chair and she looked at me with so much kindness that I felt like crying. She asked if I had been under any stress and that started it. I cried and cried and cried and cried. I couldn’t stop, couldn’t control myself. I was embarrassed and worried because I knew she had other patients to see, but just as I’d feared, once I started, I simply couldn’t stop. She left a few times to see other patients, and I’d just sit there and cry. Finally, after what seemed like hours, I was able to compose myself enough to talk. She had the good sense to not try and get me to explain anything further, she simply handed me a prescription for an antidepressant and a sleep aid, gave me instructions on how to use them and told me to come back in two weeks so we could evaluate what to do next.
It was more like a month before I went back, but by then the antidepressant had kicked in and I was much better. I hadn’t realized how little I was sleeping until I started using the sleeping pills. Just the fact that I started to sleep again helped a lot. I had the last week of the year off for Christmas break, so I slept, ate, visited with family and tried to get my feet back under me. By the time I went back to the doctor, there was a big improvement. And, except for a few little blips along the way, I have continued to improve. I’m so much better today. I’ve learned to cope with and understand certain triggers push me toward the darkness and either try to avoid them or compromise with them. No matter how good I feel though, the mud slide is always there, waiting. It waits for my son’s favorite song to come on the radio, for my grandson to smile and look so much like his Dad I can’t breathe, for a friend to lose someone they care about and through their pain, I feel my own all over again.
Don’t feel bad for me though because I am truly ok for the most part and even though I wish those people were still with me, I have them in my heart and I’m a better person today because of having known them, loved them and lost them. I’m certainly more tolerant of other people’s problems, other people’s losses. I don’t know the specific circumstances around the loss of our well loved funny man, Robin, but I do know how that mud slide of grief can feel. I guess what I’m trying to say in my own awkward way to anyone who might stumble by my little spot here on the internet struggling with depression is to simply go get help. Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate, don’t wait for it just to get better on its own, don’t try to muscle through it, just get help.
If you broke your leg, you’d get help. Why wouldn’t you get help for a broken heart?
“You’re only given a little spark of madness, don’t lose it.”