Kage Baker blessedly lacked a few of the classic problems of the writer. She seldom got writer’s block, and never for very long. She was seldom depressed. She dodged, resisted and/or ignored comments from her audience, and thus was untroubled by them. She never read her reviews unless they were vetted by another person, and so was untroubled by most of them, too. She didn’t smoke or do drugs, and could write coherently at quite inhuman levels of inebriation.
I’m not like that. I’m not like any of that.
It’s been more than 2 months since I wrote a blog entry. I am sincerely and honestly apologetic, Dear Readers,; but really, there was nothing I could think of to do about it. Couldn’t write sober or drunk or done up on painkillers. Couldn’t write sunk in black depression. Couldn’t write in my sleep, or in what passed for wakefulness; which was usually in my sleep, as I have spent inordinate amounts of time asleep lately. Wherein, by the way, I didn’t even dream, except for nightmares where I woke myself up talking and yelling in my sleep.
At least, I guess they were nightmares. The ones I remember best were mostly just weird: dodging zombies while carrying a Siamese cat around in my arms. Hitching rides on driverless fire engines through dark and deserted urban streets, where strange black dust spilled over the curbs in dunes. Searching constantly for bathrooms, and only finding wrecked public restrooms with broken sinks, holes in the floors, and no doors on the stalls. Usually flooded, too: major grossness.
I would guess these were anxiety dreams. Certainly, being unable to locate a single restroom that had not apparently endured a surgical nuclear strike is enough to inspire anxiety: especially when you wake up and realize you really to need to go to the bathroom and frantically leap out of bed. I’m proud to have, so far, always woken up when the toilets have been just too horrible to use. Someday, though, I am sure, I’m going to fall over the damned cat, or fail to wake up before I realize I’m still asleep. Either way, I’m going to wet myself.
The starting point for this intellectual desert was a troll in my comments section. I’ve had them before, and I am sure I will have them again. This one, however, just gutted me. I had a panic attack when someone sent me a kind note from this site – just seeing that it came from WordPress was enough to produce nausea and flop-sweat. That’s when I realized how badly the wretch had hurt me. It was just a lucky blow that landed on a weak place, but it did for me for the longest time … it was complete despair. I felt like Kage was newly dead, I hadn’t mourned her or healed at all, and the entire last 8 years was just one huge sucking morass of wasted time.
So what have I done instead of writing? I’ve read. I’ve slept. I’ve taken up modest exercise, and can now walk short distances without recourse to my cane. I’ve battled diabetic nerve complications – not in my feet, of course, where most people get them; I have less-common symptoms, like gastroparesis. That means that one’s stomach muscles stop moving. It’s due to damage to the vagus nerve, and is a bitch to treat. You are simultaneously hungry and painfully full, constantly nauseated and afraid to eat. Soft foods are recommended, and that really makes one feel like an adult …
However: one of the things the troll emphasized was that I complained about my health far too much, which is probably true. Sometimes, to plead my case, I do like to pass on the weird things that happen to me, just on general principles. Did any of you, Dear Readers, even know that anything short of a stroke or curare could even stop peristalsis? I sure wasn’t …
Anyway, all that is in the past. I am physically better than I was. I am emotionally better than I was. And Kimberly (who has never stopped nagging me to write through all this dark time) pretty much gave me an ultimatum today. I’m afraid she’ll stop feeding me, or – worse! – stop making me morning coffee. And my dear friend Steve Skold also gently reminded me today that I really need to get back to writing. And since Steve also often feeds me and makes me morning coffee, I figured the pair of them warning me simultaneously constituted a serious poke from Fate.
So, if anyone enjoys the ensuing blogs, you may thank Kimberly and Steve. And yourselves, all of you who sent me gentle notes and made me feel safer about sticking my head up again. Any obnoxious crap is, of course, entirely my own fault.
Anyway. Here I am again. Time to pick up the pieces, my shield and sword and my dropped big-girl pants, and get back to work.