A Bloody, Sweet & Bookish Friday the 13th

Tsunami w:Girls

The sign says: “SEAWALL CLOSED – SEAWALL TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO TSUNAMI DAMAGE – REPAIRS TO FOLLOW SOON”

If I can face my tsunami phobia, I can face this summer!!!

 

It has been summer break for less than forty-eight hours, and nothing too terrible has happened yet, thank God. We got through Friday the 13th/the full moon in one piece.  Although Lucy the puppy, in her playful way, bit Rilla on the lip with her razor-sharp teeth.  Although it was a tiny wound, Rilla bled profusely and the poor girl screamed like a banshee; the decibel range she hit was extreme.  I was folding laundry in another room. When I heard screams and tracked down Rilla, all I saw was bright red blood – it was on her clothes, hands, floor and of course her face.   I was amazed at the amount of blood I saw given the minute size of her scratch. That’s how my Friday the 13th began: with plenty ‘o blood, which was fitting, I suppose!

After the excitement of Rilla’s scratch, it was just one of those “blah” days where nothing much happened.  We went to buy ballet tights, got stuck in construction traffic, and the trip to the store took twice as long as usual. When finally arrived at the store, the staff measured Avonlea’s height so we could select the appropriate tights. At the register I was informed the store, which I had shopped at for over twenty years, no longer accepted checks.  I considered their policy to be rather ridiculous, but instead of throwing a hissy fit as I was tempted to do, I sighed and put the item back. ( In case you’re wondering, I didn’t have enough money in my other bank account to use my debit card for the tights.)

I felt nervous during our excursion because we left twelve-week-old Lucy “Vampire” Puppy alone at home.  I made sure she had plenty of water, food, and Pandora classical music playing softly in the background. I checked that the room was totally secure.  When we came back home, she was fine, but I wish she could have joined us during our errand.

We hung out around the house the rest of the day.  I forbade the girls to turn on the TV because we’ve all been watching it way too much.  We played “School”, in which Avonlea was our teacher and instructed us in my least-favorite subject: math.  Then I took a Facebook surfing break while they played “Chutes & Ladders” and chess.  

Afterwards we walked Lucy on what I refer to as our “death street”.  What could be a relaxing, enjoyable stroll with little Lucy is a scary risk when it comes to walking her on our road.   We live in one of the absolute worst neighborhoods for dog walking.  I was a desperate dumbshit during our search to buy this home.  (A ripe topic for another post, I promise you.)  Perhaps if I ‘d walk Lucy when I’m partially naked, that might get our unneighborly speeding drivers to slow the hell down for ten seconds when they pass us.  On second thought, that idea could backfire – they might speed up instead, because seeing me without clothes would frighten them! 😉

As the evening came to a close, I completed a book that I’ve wanted to finish for some time:  L.E. Henderson’s A Trail of Crumbs to Creative Freedom: One Author’s Journey Through Writer’s Block and Beyond.  I discovered Trail of Crumbs while searching my Kindle for bipolar-themed books.  I hit a goldmine when I found this book because I had also been searching for books about writing.  In the sample I downloaded, Henderson reveals that she has bipolar disorder and in the book she explains its influence upon her writing career.  In Trail of Crumbs, her third book, she vividly describes her experience with bipolar disorder interwoven with tried and true writing advice.  Apart from buying her book, I located Henderson’s blog and Twitter account, signed up to follow both, and we’ve been in touch ever since.  Henderson has been a wonderful source of encouragement and has inspired my writing process.

Henderson is a fantastic, imaginative fantasy novelist as well.  She is creative and original when sharing a variety of techniques to spark one’s writing.  Out of curiosity I read two Amazon reviews for Trail of Crumbs. One review made me feel wistful, for it was the review I wish I wrote for this book!  Here it is, in part, by “Carrie” of Ohio:

 5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for any writer March 27, 2014 by Carrie
 Although at first glance this book is a discussion of how the author rediscovered her writing after suffering crippling bouts of mania and depression, its pages go far beyond that. The advice is sound for any writer who has at some point struggled to maintain momentum. From presenting techniques such as ‘clustering’ to recommending the use of You Tube videos as visual research for unfamiliar experiences (such as hot-air balloon rides), fiction writers will find a wealth of information in this book. The author is obviously a gifted writer, and her strong analogies helped clarify more abstract concepts. If her non-fiction is this good, I can only imagine how good her fiction is! I easily read this book in one sitting and certainly recommend it to other writers, no matter where they are in their creative journey.
Unlike Carrie, who read the book in one sitting, I’ve been meaning to complete Henderson’s book for several months.  There are reasons for this that have nothing to do with the excellence of Trail of Crumbs.
Over the past year, I’ve been having difficulties with focusing while reading my beloved books.  For me, it takes way more energy and focus to read a book compared to reading the assorted blog posts in my WordPress Reader.  During my reading time, which is mainly in the evening just after the girls have gone to bed, I’m totally exhausted from the day and from my three meds, all of which have potentially sedating properties.  I think I can change this pattern by taking better care of myself, mainly by not eating so much sugar and caffeine, which I know has been blowing out my adrenals.  I exercise almost daily, and that helps me, but unfortunately it can’t compensate for a lousy diet.
Also, this may sound strange, but I think that I’ve been self-sabotaging in terms of finishing this specific book. The reason?  Well, I knew that Henderson’s book contains lots of juicy writing advice that could very well help me complete my own book which I’ve put on the back burner for weeks now.  I’ve begun examining this issue with my therapist as of last week. During our sessions we’ve discussed many experiences that I want to include in my book.  Because she has worked with me for years, my therapist can fill in certain significant blanks in my recollections; plus she provides invaluable perspective.  She suggested that from now on I tape record our sessions and see if that helps me with my writing.  I’m curious to see how that goes and I feel it’s definitely worth a try.
I’d love to read about your experiences with writer’s block/writer’s anxiety & (if it applies to you) how bipolar disorder has  affected  your writing- I think almost all writers face these challenges at one point or another.
.   

 

 

I Could Get Used to This Kind of Thing! (At First I Said No…)

Liebster

I am happy to share with you, my beloved readers, that I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award by Bipolarmama.

Thank you Bipolarmama!

Dankeschön!  

The enlightening Bipolarmama blogs at http://thebipolarmama.wordpress.com.  

Before I get into the nitty gritty about this distinction, forgive me for a slight digression, as I’m prone to do – at least it’s related to the concept of awards and what they mean to us.  

Most of you are too young to remember the actress Sally Field.  I knew who she was in part because her son Peter was in my L.A. high school chemistry class; her films were definitely out of my teenager scope of interest.  

Ms. Field gave a famous Academy Award acceptance speech for her second Best Actress award that she received for the film “Places In The Heart”.  During this speech she said twice that she didn’t “feel it” the first time she received an Academy Award for the role she played in “Norma Rae.  However, after winning her second award, she triumphantly declared to the audience,

“I haven’t had an orthodox career.  And I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect…YOU LIKE ME, RIGHT NOW, YOU LIKE ME!”

To watch go to http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Sally-Field-finds-out-the-Academy-likes-her—Oscar-History-Video/8517653

Field has been parodied for this speech ever since she gave it, but I love how she’s so transparent with her insecurity, especially since she’s addressing such a ruthless, cynical, judgmental crowd.  Now, I’m no actress (although I’ve been told I’ma drama queen) but I relate to Field’s  insecurity in regard to my writing.  

I LOVE winning any award for writing because it makes me feel like you like me (well, you like my writing!), right now, you like it! 😉

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, guess what?  At first I declined the Liebster.  I said “thanks, but no thanks!” for several reasons.  The main reason was that it was one of those days where I felt completely overwhelmed with life. I wasn’t depressed, but I felt depleted from being woken up each day at 4:30 a.m. by a certain adorable fluff of a puppy.

I didn’t think I could handle doing one more task; you see, being nominated for a Liebster Award is easy, but earning it requires a bit of work – you can’t just rest on your laurels and spoon in the Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food like I was hoping I could do.

What is a Liebster Award?

In a nutshell, it’s a peer-appointed award that was “created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers, welcome them to the blogosphere, and build the blogging community.”  Of course the award also recognizes high-quality writing. 

The four rules are as follows:

1) I must provide 11 facts about myself (I know you just read some facts about me  if you read my Very Inspiring Blogger post – well, here are yet more facts, and then you’ll really know me!)

2) Answer 11 questions created by my nominating party Bipolarmama

3) Nominate 11 blogs

4) Provide them with 11 questions to answer

Okay, so I here I go again.  

Dyane’s Glorious 11 Facts

1) I’m terrified of spiders. (Isn’t everyone?)  But I can kill big, freaky ones if necessary.

2) If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be Kona-Kailua, Hawaii or the North Island of New Zealand.

3) I consider chocolate to be one of the four food groups.

4) I consider coffee to be another one of the four food groups.

5) I believe in psychics, although I’ve never met with one.

6) My favorite band is Crowded House.

7) I love essential oils such as orange, lavender and jasmine.

8) My Sheltie dog Tara was the flower girl at my wedding.

9) I have an IQ of 152. (or so I was told…)

10) I’m into namedropping as well as I.Q.-dropping.  (Ahem, Sally Field?)

11) After being around bipolar for 44 years (first with my Dad, then with me) I’ll never consider bipolar disorder to be a “blessing”, despite my usually wanting to see the good in everything.

Questions submitted to Dyane by Bipolarmama

1) What is your favorite color? Why?

It’s purple, because it makes me happy to look at it & I think it lowers my blood pressure!

2) If you could have one wish, what would it be? (Be Honest)

To finish my book and get a great publisher!  Honest!!!!

3) Pick a song that defines you. Why that song?

Neil Finn of Crowded House wrote “Nobody Wants To” which discusses the stigma he encountered after his best friend Paul Hester hung himself.  I relate to it because it applies to any kind of mental illness stigma, which I’ve faced time and time again, and it just speaks to me.

4) If you could travel to one place, where would you go?

Back to the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii — when I’m not severely depressed like I was last year – I want my do-over!

5) Who is your hero? Why?

My husband, for putting up with me for the past sixteen years both pre-biplolar-diagnosis and post-bipolar-diagnosis, and for supporting my writing.

6) What makes you smile?

My American Collie mix puppy Lucy – she’s the apple of my eye, and my children aren’t even jealous because they adore her too.

7) What made you chose the topic you blog about?

Postpartum (childbirth-triggered/PPBD) bipolar disorder has been the predominant theme in my life for seven years, and I find it therapeutic to write about it.

8) If you could live in any time period, when you would you choose it to be?

After reading and loving Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon I’d live at the turn of the century, despite the fact there was no central heating or television.

9) If you had to give up one of your senses, which would you choose?

Smell – I actually went to high school with a young woman who lost her sense of smell and she had a great attitude.

10) What was your favorite movie as a child?

“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” had an amazingly profound influence upon me.

11) What is your favorite way to unwind?

Well, it used to be booze, but now it’s reading blogs on my WordPress reader.  I’d say that’s a positive change, wouldn’t you?  Thank God for the blogosphere!

THE ELEVEN BLOG NOMINEES ARE…

Note to anyone who declines, which I totally understand if you choose to do so – just let me know, for there are other worthy blogs I could contact in your honor!  Also, you can have more than one Liebster Award!  For more info. about the Liebster visit: http://wordingwell.com/the-liebster-award-the-official-rules-my-first-blog-award-and-a-few-personal-secrets-revealed 

1) Kitt O’Malley – Life with Bipolar Disorder and Thoughts About God

2) Passionate Reason – the blog of L.E. Henderson http://www.passionatereason.com/

3) A Bipolars Reality

4) Shedding Light on Mental Illness

5) WhyteKnucklez

6) The REVELATION of being BIPOLAR

7) Struggles of a Bipolar Woman

8) inthisisbeauty

9) Adrienne’s Chat Lounge

10) This bipolar mom – mama with training wheels

11) Come Unglued

Thank you for reading this, and I’ll “see” you here on Friday.  That’s the first day my two girls are out of school, and summer officially begins in our household.  God knows what I’ll be writing about! 

have a good day!!!

Dyane