I knew mania was upon me not because my brain was slightly throbbing or that I was feeling more invincible than usual, but when having lunch with work husband #3, I was keenly intent on the fish monger and his ice. So much so, I struck up a conversation with him about the habits of keeping the oysters and other delicacies chilled as they laid prettily in the case. I followed up my witty banter with some succinct comment on ice machines and what not.
Really, I am quite the charmer.
Sometimes I don’t know what is worse, curled up in bed in an attempt to keep the world at bay or when it flips and I need to fix all of the world’s problems right this very minute. And if it means staying up until the deepest witching hours to get started, then so be it.
Two weeks ago I was so struck with anxiety and despair, I could barely leave my hotel room while attending a conference. Earlier this week, I was so overwrought with rage that the only way to keep myself from falling apart is reading trashy literature. Then it shifts again and now I am HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY.
And making inane conversation with random fish mongers.
I used to long for normalcy, or even better, a chance of being more even. Now, as soon as this week, I’ve realised those are not the things I need, they are the things I want. What I need is a way to harness, if that is even more possible, and make the fan dance of moods work for me rather than against. Stop censoring myself, for one.
And if the darkness comes, and it has , then I need to surrender to it. As long as I don’t let it swallow me whole, as long as I remind myself it will pass (and it will), to be mindful as much as I can that this is cyclic and I will whirl around the peg board towards something else, then I can survive. To quote Neil Gaiman,
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
And even the very most important thing to remember, (somehow I have to create very visible reminder), to is to apply self-care. Generously. Without regret. For that is how we will slay the dragons.
This day in Lisa-Universe:
Recently one night while it was incredibly late (and almost shockingly so), I found myself in my office writing for the first time in so many months. Earlier in evening, TheHusband had dropped off to sleep earlier then his usual times and I found myself anxious to move out of bed and into my office, so in attempted silence, I walked-thumped to my office to work. What struck with me in particular about that night was the intensity of the desire, which has been burning for weeks, more brightly then it has for years. It was becoming physically painful to ignore the urge. I felt like I was in high school all over again, except without the forbidden pack of cigarettes hidden in my desk and the 2 liter of Diet Coke on the floor by my side.
Lately, I’ve found myself sketching out story ideas, notes, and other ephemera on anything I can get my hands on. That night, I decompressed a Moleskin notebook I’ve been carrying around for a few years and found that it contained travel logs, journal entries, and notes for knitting and gardening amongst a few of the types; kind of a catchall, if you will. A page of WOULDN’T THIS BE AWESOME flipped with “CO 68 ST st” and a drawn out pattern of the design I am remarking on.
In addition to decompressing the Moleskin, I’ve been picking apart some editing and doing some note taking on existing story lines. The vast amount of notes on story sketches is startling to me whenever I chance upon them. I keep finding fairly decent first chapters written, note, and outlines for the projects. I see potential here for amazing creating to occur and that gets me excited. I’ve started to collate everything into either Evernote or Scrivener, depending on the status, and will begin the world building and story plotting.
I’ve got three distinct worlds that are fighting in my head at the moment: Pre-history, medieval, and Edwardian. Sometimes it gets a bit messy. I have A Teach Yourself Guide: Complete Old English (Anglo-Saxon) rubbing shoulders with Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London’s West End. I have Beauty and Cosmetics 1550-1950 snuggling against The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. I’ve almost finished The Prose Edda and I’ve got The Dark Mirror: Book One of the Bridei Chronicles waiting in the wings.
This is just the tip of my (almost too long) reading list.
Right now I’m falling, almost rather neatly, under the weight of the research. The next month I’m working on shorter hours so I’ll have time to get organized before I go full-blown day job mode. My first priority is to organize writing schedule with the research schedule into something that can be scaled back to a doable mode once work goes in full swing.
I’ve got a couple of completed short stories I need to start workshopping and a few more to finish in the next few weeks. I’m going to be looking for alpha readers, so keep your eyes peeled for that announcement.