I Am Becoming


Do you love poetry? How about prose/essays? Then check out my new book, I Am BecomingThis is not your standard book of poetry. I have coupled each poem with some short prose on a related topic so that you can easily flow from one offering to another. I’m really proud of this one, and right now, it’s only $0.99 on Amazon Kindle! So get your copy today and don’t forget to leave me some feedback!

Writing Ritual


I will post a more meaningful blog soon, as things are getting rather interesting around the Stilwell Manor.

For now, I’m struggling to maintain my writing ritual. Because of life getting in the way, I’ve been forced to write a lot of non-fiction, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for my fiction writing. Well, that’s not completely true because any writing is helpful in the practice of writing. However, the ritual I usually have has taken a back seat.

I don’t have a specific writing room, which is something that is on my wish list. I do however like certain smells and music to accompany my writing time, so incense and an mp3 player tend to be common tools that I use. To give an example, when writing about vampires I’ll typically listen to something like Italian opera. Nothing seems to get me in a vampier mood than that, except maybe Gregorian Chants or Enigma. I need for any space that I use to provide the right mental connection for my writing. Thankfully incense and an mp3 player are pretty mobile so that I can accommodate just about any room for my craft. I still want a room of my own one day.

When being creative, what are your rituals? Do you create in a specific place? Do you listen to music? Light candles or incense? Do you create indoors our outdoors?

Take it from me, developing a ritual for creating will elevate your skill by providing dedicated, almost sacred, space/time for your craft. It’s definitely a way to get your mind prepared for the task at hand so that anything will be hard pressed to distract you from your intent.

I look forward to getting back to my ritual and giving your more insight to my current state of mind.

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The Source” is $0.99 on Amazon Kindle today through Friday (April 15). Get it while you can and tell me how much you love it. Fang on! v–v

grave

Double the Madness


depression green road sign over storm clouds

A few months ago I wrote about how I had again received the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. As many of us know, one of the major characteristics of bipolar disorder is mood swings. My doctor prescribed medicine that worked quite well in stabilizing my mood–that is until January 27, 2016. On that day, I had a hysterectomy.

Last year I was diagnosed with Stage IV endometriosis. The only permanent treatment is a full hysterectomy. After six months of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, we made the decision for me to have the surgery. After I healed, the physical difference was amazing, particularly in regards to my lower back pain. I can now walk long distances without much discomfort. Yay me! Mentally is a different story.

One of the side effects of a hysterectomy is that you are thrown into menopause, and one of the major things about menopause is that you have mood swings. Bipolar disorder and menopause is no joke. Although I’m on medication, the emotional upheavals were unbearable. I found myself getting irritated at little things (an aspect of hypomania) although I’m regularly taking my medication. On the flip side, I was crying for no reason at all. Because of these things, I made the decision to go on hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Along with my medication, HRT has helped with the irrational irritability and crying spells, however I still struggle with one mental challenge. I can only describe it as the most horrible mix of depression and anxiety that I have experienced since I was a teenager. On a good day, I constantly think about my own death. Not in a suicidal ideation type of way, but always thinking that I will be dying soon, either from a horrible accident or from fatal health issues.

On a bad day, the thoughts and feelings are so bad that I don’t like leaving the house, and I even feel shaky trying to drive–shaky in the sense that I’m panicked and hyper-aware of other cars because I’m waiting for the car accident to happen. You would think that being hyper-aware would make you safer, but I don’t feel safer so I usually find someone else to drive. Even then, I’m still looking out for disaster.

My daughter likes to sleep in the same bed as me to have mommy snuggles before slumber. I’ve gotten so panicked about me dying in my sleep and not wanting my daughter to wake up with her dead mother in bed with her that I’ve started refusing her requests. I don’t tell her the real reason why, but focus on her getting older and needing to sleep on her own.

Trying to sleep is a whole other issue. Not only am I plagued by thoughts of dying of a heart attack in my sleep, but anxiety over a house fire or natural disaster keep me up until the early hours of the morning. I will lie in bed and plot exit routes out of the house, safety precautions in case of or a tornado, or I’ll just cry because I don’t want to die yet.

This is no way to live. I’m hoping my doctor can switch my medication so that the madness can end. Until then, I’m writing more poetry just to get it all out of my head.

This is just a glimpse into mental illness and bio-chemical changes within the body. The next time you encounter someone with these issues, please remember this post and be compassionate–that person has enough hurt and worry to deal with without the need for social sanctioning or ostracizing.