Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It Is Just Me. . .It Always Is

"Women are more likely than men to have rapid cycling and mixed episodes (both depression and hypomania occurring at the same time.)"

My current doctor is very casual about my condition. It is a good way for her to be because sometimes she is in a friendly chatty mood and sometimes she is in a hurry and somewhat brusque and skeptical in dealing with me. And the fact that she has written in rather too large letters at the top of my file BIPOLAR DISORDER absolves her from having to pay too much attention to how I might react because she figures she never knows what she is going to be dealing with from visit to visit. And she is pretty good about the drugs, listens and explains, but that is because she knows I usually come in well-armed for that battle.

But I opened with this quote for another reason. I was first told when I was about thirty and a raving 104 pound lunatic that I was probably a "manic depressive" but he wanted to use lithium and I fail the kidney test. (It is a heavy metal) so I blithely went on with my life, forging tranquilizer scrips and altering dates on the bottles for refills from the elderly pharm that was a good friend of my dads. Yeah, one of my more reprehensible moments, I agree. And buying quaaludes and valium from a girl I worked with who knew a nurse who was a thief. I also spent a year or two in Rum therapy. Oh, and smoked a barrel of dope. But pregnancies and other life crises brought me relatively unscathed (at least visibly)to the present day. Not speaking for those surrounding me who still look a little shell-shocked. And I have resources available and kind, educated people to keep me on an even keel. Pretty fucking boring sometimes.


I had a discussion with someone some years ago whose adult child had committed violence against his mother and had to be hospitalized, etc. ultimately being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which, the story went, he had been self treating with alcohol. (A common manifestation) The person went into some detail about the current treatment of the adult child and discussed the classes they took to familiarize themselves with the disorder. (Never heard of them) and when I mentioned that I was a rapid cycler he showed utter disdain and dismissiveness indicating verbally that that WAS not a component of the illness and the cycles were usually months long. I had always had respect for that person, and what he said did shake me up a bit, but he wasn't a doctor or even working in social services, so I didn't let it change my life patterns. And now I kind of think of that person, who is a pretty nice guy, as one of those people that think they know it all. Which he really kind of isn't, generally. But reading this in someone's blog today validated me, in a kind of over due back in the shadows of my mind way.

It is true that people with this disorder tend to make light of it, and sometimes, oh,no, use it as an excuse for some outrageous behavior, but, to some one who was always the grade skipping high IQ star of the academic scene, to be dismissed so lightly, and for my knowledge to be ignored (pooh-poohed) certainly left a much bigger mark on my ego than I realized. As I did today when reading the quote.

I don't need to grasp at straws. I am doing quite well, and I like me just fine, you may have noticed me saying. But, it is another case of someone thinking knowledge you pay someone for is better knowledge than the stuff you live and learn on your own. Actually, I look back and try to think of other times I was treated so dismissively, and, at this moment cannot call one to mind. (Except for the regular day-to-day junk I get from the spouse which rolls off my back.) I'm not so sure of what the point is I am trying to make here, but I do want you to know that the 'know it all' types, (there is currently one ranting on the Linked-In author's group about grammar. He would stroke if he read my books. Grammer, schmammer) (Cuz I wanna--that's why.) really get my goat. So if you want to question my knowledge, come to the table well-armed. When I make stuff up, I am very careful to tell that to everyone, and it usually becomes truth in a week or two anyway. Yeah. I do have those credentials handy. Here. . .

Monday, February 27, 2012

Love Songs

There was a kind of a joke, maybe one of those semi-viral facebook things, comparing a song of Justin Bieber's with an older love song in two columns where he says "oohoohbabybaby" and the other song says "I'll be there for you to share with you through laughter and through tears."
And that "Til the End of Time" song keeps running through my head. Any of us of a certain age, that would probably include 99% of the people who read THIS blog, know a song like that would never fly today. And why not? And in the TV guide there was a blurb about a Debbie Reynolds movie that was a light-hearted comedy about divorce. And that was probably in the early seventies. Yeah, I could go look, but you don't really care, and I don't want to get up and walk through three rooms, and I would forget it by the time I got back here, so just take my word.

Maybe that is why those bodice rippers are so popular now. I write about contemporary people, and I would love to give them this big huge end of time love to share with each other. But the circumstances they are in, it kind of doesn't fit. And when I do it to them, there is always something that comes along that ends up being, "Yeah, you are the big love of my life, but this and that happened and we must just move on with our lives". I know when I got married three old boyfriends showed up at the door (at different times, of course, although it would have been interesting if they all pulled up together). "Why can't it be the way it was?" Yet, none offered a tantalizing alternative or brought a white stallion with them. And two of them and a third who didn't show up at the door, called my dad over the years to see how I was doing. My dad wept over one of them.

And my thought is, and I have tended to share this idea with my daughter, which is probably not a good thing, is that they were interchangeable. And maybe there would have been rough times, but I am betting, aside from one of them shooting me dead and leaving me for the birds to pick at, nothing could have worked out as badly as some of the shit I have had to deal with in the chosen marriage.So all I could ever say to my daughter was "Yeah, he is nice looking, and you will always have financial stability". So I guess I am not romantic. Or maybe I was and now I am jaded and/or calloused. Nevertheless, why did I choose to write in the genre I have chosen? The truth is, I can only read mine. The only romance I ever read and loved was Katherine by Anya Seton which was fucking awesome, and Historically based. (John of Gaunt, poor guy. Shuttlecock) and I love to read my own work, but most other romances are too unrealistic. Maybe I am trying to rewrite my life as alternative reality. I am currently reading "Reamde" which is as far away from anything in my life as I could get. I favor police and medical procedurals, but I am lazy about the research. What I do write--I did the research. And fuck that happily ever after shit.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Refreshing Viewpoint

“Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river.” — Will Durant, Life,
Oct. 18, 1963

This is copied from Futility Closet, a site that I have to keep in my email and stop to read every now and then to counterattack the usual banality of my life. The site always supplies something grounding and refreshing.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Excerpt from The Maze

Switching Annie to the other breast, Maisie glanced up and saw Bob in the doorway. She actually blushed a little and adjusted the diaper she had thrown over her shoulder. Like he’d never seen her breasts. “You are even more beautiful now. You look so happy and content. Lucky baby. What a cutie she is.”

“Thank you, Bob. How are you doing?”

“I’m dying inside. I keep thinking it’ll get better. But it doesn’t, even seeing you being all modest and motherly, like I never saw your tits? I should laugh, but I want to cry.”


“I know you loved me. I know it didn’t go away. Lie to me and say it did. It’ll make it easier for me.”

“I can’t. It didn’t go away. It won’t. And I don’t understand it. I try not to think of it.” Annie was sound asleep and Maisie laid her in the little crib, tucked her breasts away and as she turned, Bobby was right there. “You shouldn’t. . .” But he placed his hands on her forearms and she felt like she was getting lost.

“See? That’s what I mean. That’s not going away. On that bike in Pennsylvania?”

“I know. We should have just kept going. But, this isn’t wrong. This is where I’m supposed to be. I told you, I don’t understand it.”

“Maybe it’s timing. I think all the time how it would be if we just kept going.”

“You shouldn’t.” She looked up at his face and he stepped a little closer.

“You can back the fuck away from my wife now, and keep your hands off her.” They didn’t hear Barney coming down the hall. He made sure of that.

Barely a year ago, same scene, different players. No, thought Maisie. Same players. Different roles. Except for me. Me. “Barney, it’s okay. He’s just saying hi. We’re just talking about Annie.”

“Get the fuck out of here, Raia.”

“Back off, old man. Everything’s cool.” Thought that sounded okay, even though he knew his mouth had gone dry and his heart nearly stopped--eyelids, scrotal sac and all its contents, disappearing into the depths of his body.

“Go, Bob. Go. Please don’t start anything, Barney.”

Unfortunately, Bobby had to walk passed Barney who was filling the doorway, standing with clenched jaw, clenched fists. Maisie stepped passed Bobby and took Barney by the hand. “It’s okay, Baby,” she said as she kind of tugged him toward the crib and the sleeping baby, trying to adjust the dynamic. “Bob. Go. Please.”

As he stepped passed Barney, through the doorway, into the hall, he turned, and feeling he had to at least get in the last word--since he had no waiting white stallion to escape on, his Maisie and her infant in his arms--Bobby muttered, not quite under his breath, “This is not over. Never think it is. Never.”

Barney started to lunge toward the doorway, but Maisie, not quite a hundred percent physically, tugged at his arm with both her hands, “Let it go, Barn. The baby?”

“It’s over, asshole. You don’t know how over.”

Bobby walked away reluctantly. Totally unwilling to let this rest. Determined it would not rest. But that guy is fucking scary. I wonder if she’s safe around him. But she treats him like a little dolly on a string. What the fuck is wrong with her? What does she see in him? I need another beer.


The truth is this is not working out for me. There is something wrong. I have had so many downloads of my work, I am shocked. Many were free promos, but, still, I have made more money off this in such a short time than I ever expected. It is a complete surprise to me. I get feedback from foreign countries.I have people search me and comment on the most esoteric parts of my life. Well, I shouldn't even mention that because my blog archive is a total mess of Too Much Information, but something is not right. I think people are maybe not saying the things I want to hear. But I have had a variety to choose from and couldn't say which I prefer. And I shouldn't have to HEAR anything. The numbers should be reassurance enough. There are a few blog threads where I participate on a pretty regular basis, and some of the people talk (is it talk?) to me, and others--well, I can tell I am considered an interloper. It actually makes me want to stop participating in something I enjoy and generally appreciate. I have gotten personal feedback from one blog owner and I know I am welcome there, but I also know what they are talking about when they refer to the red-headed step-child. I am 'endured' by some. And there are people that praise my work and I try to be truthful and tell them it is just what it is. It is, literally, stuff that flies off the top of my head, and I don't want anyone to take it for an attempt to make it be something it isn't. I take muy antidepressants, and yet, I feel on the verge of weeping over this. I know I should talk to someone about it, but I am so convinced that no one gets it, I feel like I don't want to bother. I have talked to so many counselors and therapists and doctors over this. I feel I have to work it out by myself. And my words don't seem to be doing that for me. They seem to be opening up doors to thoughts that have always been there but that I didn't/don't want to acknowledge. I honestly feel better commenting on the eye liner wearing, flower bearing native Afghanis. Why am I more comfortable with that? What does that have to do with me?

Maybe it is the season, or the clonopin, or the extra baby-sitting, or the cold that just hangs on and on. I was reading one of my grandsons Wimpy Kid books, and I thought it was so funny and cute. And the baby's smile brings me such joy. But I feel exhausted. In the truest sense.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Funereal Musing


Friday, February 17, 2012


Something has to go "click" in my head.

I stumbled on a blog. The guy's name was Ray I think. I usually remember the name Ray. He was a writer. Some of you will stumble across it if you don't already know who I mean. He can write.

Lately, I think of everything in terms of long drawn out analogies. I think it is a way I explain things to myself. I did that long drawn out blog about the end product I come up with. For which I feel no shame. There is a place for that product and I think I handle it just fine. And it is what I want to do. Writing wouldn't do what it needs to do to the inside of my head if I had to keep a bunch of note cards and characters and plot lines sorted out. As it is, I have to search before I publish to make sure I didn't change someone's name along the way. So story one is the way I write. Story two is the way Ray writes. Process, not story or style.

Story One: I have a really pretty house. It is just a box. It is a pretty color. It has nice trees. It has a great yard. It has good proportions. It is large. It is a nice house. I change the wreathes on the front door for the season. I go to Michael's. I buy a wreath form. Sometimes I use last seasons. I strip it and start anew. I buy some fake flowers that make me think of something nice I remember, some color that makes me feel good. I buy some leaves that are the right proportion and color. I buy fake polystyrene berries. I am crazy about those berries. They have to be on every wreath. The size and the color have to be just right. Sometimes I use last seasons. If the white plastic is showing through, I color it in with a marker. I assemble the ingredients in a pleasing pattern. I put a little glitter on some of the leaves cuz my front door gets muy sun. Some times my daughter is supervising or assisting. "You should put a little more glitter here." "There are too many berries there." I have to make two because the front entry is double doors. They have to match but not identically. They have to harmonize. I make frequent trips to the edge of the yard to look back and see if the scale is pleasing.

One day a neighbor and her friend and their daughters knock to sell girl scout cookies. One of the first things the women says is, "I LOVE your entryway. I want to go home and copy it." My heart soars with the eagles. This is the end of story one.

Story two: A young man is walking along a stony beach on an island in the Outer Hebrides. It is chilly but there is a spring smell in the air. The beach is cross hatched with an occasional scarp. Farther down the scarp meets the water and the young man will not be able to walk further on the waterfront. But before he reaches the end of the beach, right around the place he first intended to turn and head back, he spots a very white baby lamb half way up the scarp. It is bawling piteously and very white but smudged with dirt and a little redness. It is in distress. The man, wearing a perfectly aged pair of Vasques, and happening to have an old thin pair of leather driving gloves in the pocket of his oiled cotton Barbour Mac, climbs somewhat carelessly, but with years of experience to support his efforts and grabs the baby lamb. He continues to the top of the scarp from which the lamb has fallen, carrying it over his shoulder and trying to hold its two back legs when he doesn't need both hands to keep his purchase on the craggy rock.

After he reaches the top and begins to walk over the barely perceptible path leading to his ancient but picturesque cottage, he examines the lamb and sees it is fine except for a few abrasions on its haunch from falling against the stone. He puts the lamb in the yard with the other few sheep he owns, some who have recently lambed. None of the ewes will let the baby nurse so the young man drives his little red car to town and buys special formula for abandoned lambs. He loves the lamb. The lamb loves him. The lamb thrives under his care and is always a bit brighter, a bit bouncier, a bit larger than the other lambs.Sometimes the other lambs, now young sheep, gang up to tease him, but they know he is the leader and usually they let him lead. He is a good leader anyway, they know. The next spring, when it is time to shear the sheep, the young man notices his favored lamb has a more lustrous, healthier looking crop of fleece than the others, so as he shears away, he keeps the wool from the special lamb separate. The wool goes to market as is usual. Walking around money. But the special wool he takes to his aunt's house who lives the other side of the tiny village. "This is wondrous wool," she says. "I will make a special sweater." And she does. Then the young man goes out in the world wearing the special sweater. As he progresses through the world many people say, "Hey, cool sweater." "Oh, what a lovely sweater." "Is that wool bleached? It is so very white."

Then one day the young man is on his way back home. He never stays away for long. He is on a pedway in an airport. Approaching on the opposite pedway is a lovely young girl. The pedway is very crowded but she looks up intently at the oncoming traffic as she notices a certain evocative scent of aftershave that gets her attention, and she spots the young man. "If I didn't have to run for this stupid plane, I would vault over this wall and make a move on that guy," she thinks, and gives him a delicious smile which he hungrily tastes as he moves past, returning a glimpse of self satisfaction over what might have been, as they both well know. As she moves on, the young girl, too busy to feel regret, thinks only, "God, that sweater he had on was gorgeous." The end of the second story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012


LAWMAN is the best. I just keep rereading it, mostly cuz I can't take my eyes off Tim who is a Getty Image for god's sake. And the ending is so great. Life, whether you like it or not. SACRED SIN is a bit of a stretch. When I can afford it, I will do a rewrite, but already I left out about half. And I love the gas station sex. And the Maze, well, I hate what I had to do to Barney cuz I love him so, but that's life, like I say whether you like it or not.

And just when I start thinking the ole well has run dry, I got a great idea for Anymore to introduce a pivotal character that ties this all up. God, I am enjoying the hell out of this.
So ninety days is my deadline, but I will finish sooner. Especially if I stay this manic. Ghosts are in my house actually. They leave me things, tangible things. Some shiny and new. Puzzling.

Friday, February 03, 2012


Well, Louie got the new transmission installed for his heart yesterday and that seems to be going fine. They desperately wanted to show us the one they took out and talk about how it worked and describe its various components. It was large and shiny and, strangely enough, shaped like a tombstone, but I didn't want the explanations because there were still little bits of blood and gore attached to it. He is asleep at home now, as usual. On the way from the hospital this morning, we stopped at the "Orgy of Gorging" pancake house near our home , (not its real name) and Delaney ate pancake and behaved delightfully, so that many smiles will last most of today and tomorrow for me.

PLUS, the KDPSelect program has kicked in, so I am rapt, watching those results come in, much as, I am just supposing here, that gubernatorial candidate with the dark secret would be watching his election returns.

Yes, I harbor dark secrets, many of them hinted at in my fictional works, many of them to be kept hidden beyond the grave. Except, I am not going to have an actual grave. But you get what I am saying.


Free today and tomorrow on KDPSelect. If you don't belong to Amazon Prime you can sign up for 30 day free trial.