Tag Archives: homelife

Depression, Writing and Week 1 of NaNoWriMo

An update from Day 7…I’m somewhere around 17,000 words, of which about 10,000 were the first day.

Depression is absolutely crippling me at the moment.

This is why I don’t usually try to force writing; every word is like pulling teeth. My head’s full of grey fog, and the story. Just. Will. Not. Come. It won’t flow. The characters are flat, the scenery isn’t there so I can’t describe it, and everything’s just one damn event after another. I don’t care about this story.

And frankly, that sucks. I know I can, and I want to. I loved the story when I was planning, but currently, I’m just not doing it justice. It’s frickin’ difficult to push through the fog long enough to write a couple of sentences, just so I can put something in my wordcount.

I’m taking it day by day – as some days are better, some worse – but I seem to have had a run of bad ones recently. I’m hoping that for one day, the fog might lift and I might be able to write again…

Just struggling at the moment. One step at a time, one day at a time, one sentence at a time. That’s all I can do.

General Update & The Start of NaNo2017!

Somehow, I got to November, and I have to write wurds…

Photo of (most of) the Grimmie Crew by the amazing Tom Parker.

BristolCon 2017 was fab. I was manning the Grimbold stall for most of the day, assisted by a lot of glamorous assistants – the Grimbold crew are amazing! – and chatted to what felt like everyone. I was on the 10am panel about You Are The Product, which was also fab (and not long enough! We could have talked for the entire day…) and then unfortunately didn’t get to any others, but I heard a lot of people say they were really interesting.

I picked up some books, too – The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith-Spark, The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby, The Rise of Io by Wesley Chu and a random copy of The Road to Thule by David R Lee, which from a cursory glance I admit may go in my charity pile (I didn’t buy it, it was randomly in our stock! I suspect from a previous convention freebie table). But hey, I’ll try it, and I’m definitely looking forward to the others.

I’m wondering if I should spend some of December catching up on my reading, and sorting out my Goodreads…I have an entire shelf of books that I haven’t yet got to, along with quite a few on my Kindle! We’ll see how this month goes.

Speaking of…

NANO2017! I am writing words! I am aiming for 70k so my aim is 2300(ish) per day. Whether I’ll manage that or not remains to be seen. At any rate, I’m enjoying the story so far.

You can find me on the NaNoWriMo site, and there’s still time to join in if the idea of writing a novel in 30 days intrigues you!

In more general news, I have good days and bad days, and I’m not entirely coping with people (as in panic-attack-not-coping-with-people) so if I’m a little quiet, that’s why! I am trying to keep in contact though so I am still online and messaging. Book Polishers is still awesome so I’m just trundling along with work there, trying to get out for some lovely autumn walks, and trying to keep busy. Not that keeping busy is going to be an issue this month!

Now, I need to go write some words….wish me luck!

New Job: Book Polishers

Book Polishers: editing proofreading copyediting typesettingWell, so far, I’m loving the new job! I’ve taken over Book Polishers from the lovely Zoë, who’s (sensibly) gone back to full-time work. I, on the other hand, have opted for part admin (so I have one steady paycheck!), part writing, and part formatting. I’m bringing Scritto Editing in under the Book Polishers roof too – no point having two names for the same thing – and a lot of my private work is also coming under the same name, so I’m sorry for the next few months of confusion to anyone that I’m doing work for! It is all still me, honest.

I’m loving formatting – it definitely satisfies my need for order and just the right place for all the things, in addition to getting to play with fonts. I’m enjoying learning InDesign too! The rest is business as usual, at least where editing and proofreading is concerned – same ol’ same ol’ there!

I’m just finding my feet and my balance, and still getting things set up, but I’m taking work –  so if you have a book or any writing that you need edited, proofread, or anything that you want formatted, check out BookPolishers.com.

I am the one in four

Advanced warning: personal post, and TW for pregnancy/miscarriage

I was prompted to write a post on this by my friend Ellen’s blog. October is pregnancy and infant loss month, and this week (9th-15th) seems to have been designated Infant Loss Awareness Week. You may have seen posts on social media saying this, adding ‘I am the one in four’ (1 in 4 women will experience miscarriage/stillbirth in their lives).

This has taken a fuck-load of courage to write, and even more to post.

I am the one in four.

I have had three miscarriages, one just before Christmas 2015 (that made for a fun Christmas…) and two in Spring/Summer 2016.

I think for many people, the strongest pain of a miscarriage is the potential: this could have been a child, this could have changed everything. But for me, to be honest, it wasn’t as devastating as the loss some people experience. My mother had two miscarriages, and so I was in some ways expecting it; I knew there was a family history, and knew it could happen. I took what precautions I could, and didn’t dare treat the pregnancies as real until 12 weeks – it wasn’t a child, it was just a tiny potential bundle of cells. And none of my pregnancies reached 12 weeks (two miscarried at 7 weeks and one at 5), and so… it was just a thing that didn’t happen.

For me, the worst pain was the uncertainty. Had I done something? Not done something? Somehow caused it? Could I have prevented it? I have been told, repeatedly, that there is nothing I could have done to prevent it. I accept that for the ones I have lost – it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t. Lifting things doesn’t cause it. Eating the wrong thing doesn’t cause it. Doing exercise doesn’t cause it. It wasn’t my fault.

But I can’t help take that burden of fear and guilt, and push it forward: if I try to get pregnant again at whatever future point, will I have another miscarriage? Another two? What’s wrong with me that means I can’t get past 7 weeks? Standard tests haven’t shown anything: there’s nothing immediately physically wrong, and blood levels etc were all standard. My body’s fine….it just couldn’t maintain any of the pregnancies. And I’m now past 30: what will that do to my chances?

The whole thing was compounded by a specialist at the local hospital, who quite bluntly (while trying not to offend me, she repeatedly insisted that she wasn’t trying to offend me) told me that essentially, I was lying. I had no medical proof that I had been pregnant, and therefore they weren’t miscarriages: I hadn’t got blood tests, scans, checks – this all prior to 12 weeks, on an already overburdened NHS, and when there’s nothing anyone can do to change a miscarriage at that stage if it did happen! I’m still deeply angry about her attitude and her accusations: I understand where she was coming from in that the best medical course was to assume that I wasn’t able to get pregnant and check that as well as the actual pregnancies, which is sensible, but she most certainly could have worded it a lot better, and been a lot less cruel and dismissive in her attitude to someone who was simply trying to get help and work out if there was anything wrong.

I did feel – and still do feel – incredibly alone and uncertain about it. It wasn’t something I could share at the time; I wasn’t going to tell anyone until at least 12 weeks anyway, and even the people I did tell couldn’t say anything that eased what is, at heart, a very personal pain. My partner at the time did his best to be supportive, but considering he wasn’t outwardly enthusiastic about children, it was hard for me to lean on him or share any of what I was feeling. And I didn’t want to try any of the resources or groups available – I struggle with interaction anyway, and I felt I had no place amongst people mourning for their child. I just carried on going with whatever the next step needed to be, be it doctor’s appointments or waiting or another try, and tried again and again until everything else broke around me.

Even putting this out now is hard. It isn’t the full story: I can’t process that yet, it’s too linked in with the divorce and emotions and all that. I don’t feel I have any right to support, and I don’t want sympathy. It’s something that happens: I don’t know why it happened, I did what I could, and I don’t have a medical explanation. It passed, it’s fine, and I want to try again someday. It’s all still a jumble, and I’m dealing with it all as it comes up.

But miscarriage happens, and it isn’t talked about. So – I’m talking about it.

I’m the one in four.