“Even the darkest night will end…

…and the sun will rise.”
– Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

I read a lot, you guys. Like, pretty well constantly having some sort of written word in front of my face. Books, games, blogs, backs of cereal boxes.

A lot.

One of the people that  I read about has the loveliest, most lyrical voice I have heard in a long while. She writes eloquently about her life, her depression, and her work to feel her way along in the world. It’s beyond moving.
Maybe it is especially so for me, as I see echoes of my younger self in her words. It could also be just that the work is stunning.

She wrote something this morning that grabbed my heart and shook it. Shook it like a terrier with a rat, to be frank. She spoke how her anxiety and depression were tearing her up, shredding her, exhausting her, making her feel worthless and unwanted; made her feel without hope.

I wish I could capture what she said, and I don’t want to link her without her permission (I’ve been recently told that that is not kosher). But, I wanted to put here the response I wrote.
It may be terrible poetry – but it is, one hopes, empathetic verse.

It’s not always like this.
There isn’t always a pile of unopened mail
there isn’t always laundry organized and still waiting.
Mundane tasks left behind while we sit and wonder
About all the work we have left undone.
You do good things.
But, better…
You are good.
You are worth every bit
of work and hope and love.
It isn’t about earning someone’s trust
and love and acceptance.
Fuck that. It’s
Remembering that you are loved and accepted and trusted.
Sometimes we forget
Sometimes we crumble
Sometimes we hover too long in one spot
Forgetting that we can strafe right, left, criss-cross
Zoom, soar, and dart.

——-

I am not, as you can see, much of a poetess. But I, like most writers, feel things especially hard. You’re having an emotion? Here, have it in spades. Have it in hundreds! (Quoth the brain).

Anywho, reading your words today gave me (as the kids say) all the feels. I sincerely hope that as you read people’s words back to your own, you can see the care and acceptance.

I hope these words find you better, find you safe, find you happy.

Having cast your own words out into the internet; a bottled message in a digital sea, if you will forgive the conceit, please accept this response as the outstretched hand that it is meant to be. 

Ow, Y’all

This is not how my ankle normally looks.
This is not how my ankle normally looks.

I love dancing. I love going to the club and hanging out with friends and chatting and swirling across the dance floor. I, if I may so say, am a damn good dancer.

But.
If one is standing next to the water cooler, and one is feeling the beginnings of a cramp in one’s shins….one should probably not roll out both of your ankles, one to each side to stretch out your legs.

There was an audible – and by audible, I mean my chat companions all heard it and winced aloud – crunch noise from my left ankle.

At first there was no pain. But, I was aware that that was probably not a good thing. I gathered my things and headed home.
Thank goodness I was wearing combat boots, y’all. They kept my ankle braced and in place for the hour long drive home.

I got home (3:47AM, good gravy!), peeled out of clothes and dropped into bed. Along about 7AM, the sun streaming through the blinds and a hungry BunnyCat woke me up. I muttered imprecations against both and flip-flounced over in bed.
Or, at least, I meant to flip-flounce. Instead, as soon as I put any pressure on my left foot, screaming minions of Hell jabbed me with fiery tines and sent horrific giggles up my leg.

Ow.

I had Mister Man (resident nurse and husbeast) go over the injury. We’re pretty sure I just strained the hell out of oh, everything in my left ankle. The swelling was sorta phenomenal, as were the new and interesting colors that were starting to come up. I spent all of yesterday on the couch, foot propped up. I put no weight on it, iced it periodically, was actually compliant with Advil dosing. I adulted like an adult with an injury. I went to bed feeling pretty flippin’ smug about what a trooper I was.

This morning I got up and things felt much, much better. I could bear a little weight and the swelling had gone down dramatically.
Ahh, I thought. Almost better. I AM Wolverine, in spite of being 45. Healing factor AW YISS. 

The Girl came down, all sleepy-hungry teen. Could I make breakfast? Of COURSE I could. I am, apparently, this generation’s Mom-verine*. I happily grated apples and whisked eggs and cooked bacon. Apple-pancakes and bacon deliciousness? Coming up!
My ankle was a little bitchy about that, so I sat down. After an hour or so, with breakfast and coffee and Advil working their magic, I decided I needed to go to the grocery store to get the things that were missed on the last mini-run.
Mister Man was not a fan of this plan. At all.
I am nothing, if not stubborn. After a few hours,  I was able to mule my way to getting out of the house (I really despise being cooped in one place against my will for any length of time).

So I went to the grocery store just a bit ago, AMA.

I was wrong.
So. So. SOOO wrong. We’re not back to DEFCON ARGHFUCK!, but we are certainly back to DC-Oh, Shit.

*sigh*
Thank goodness that tomorrow’s interview is a phone interview. I am pretty certain that I am going to need a bit more rest of the soft tissues before trying to wear Fancy Shoes.

* – Mom + Wolverine. It just…c’mon work with me here.

And just like that….

I am having trouble writing, today. I have feelings (many of them good, actually), but there exists this block between my head and my fingers.

I can feel around the edges of the block, feel the cool, sweet air just on the other side of it. But I cannot move it.

I think that it might be red streaked with black, but I haven’t a clue. Every time I try to  get a glimpse of it, it skitters away.

Moving writers’ blocks.
What WILL they think of next?

I think that this wall, this thing that is preventing my writing is this probably self-generated. I think it is an accumulation of rust and disuse. Like the gears and coils of a bombed out British clock shop.

Maybe, she thought, maybe if I just apply a little elbow grease and resolve, I can clean up this place. Make it habitable again. A place of rest and excitement and color, again. 
I could do it, she thought. It would just take a little patience. And practice. 

And practice.

DEFCON Dark

Cara was draped over the back of the couch, doodling in the decades-old grime on the windowsill when the light faltered. There was a susurration of noise, more felt than heard, and the closet and bedside light dimmed. She held her breath, waiting to see if it would come back up to normal. This time though, the lights stayed, three levels darker than before. Her heart skipped a couple of beats, fear pulsing in the thin skin of her temples. The shadows under the furniture yawed and reached scabrous-dark fingers a bit closer to where she sat. Any time now.

———

Last December, a writer friend invited folks to write dark Christmas stories. The catch? They had to be 100 words exactly, no more or less. I participated and had a lovely time with it. Here’s my entry.

Today, whilst running amok and doing my tasks, I had a bit of a scene replaying over and over in my head. It wouldn’t stop, it wouldn’t budge. Just this person, drawing in the grubby dust of a neglected windowsill.
But that was *all* there was; no story, no linking, no way to move it past. This is, I am convinced, a bit of a writer’s earworm. And like earworms, it wouldn’t go away until I said/sang/wrote it aloud.
But again, no real story. No real anything except this very vivid image. And then I recalled Loren’s 100 word story challenge.
Ooooh. Yeah. That might work. 

And so here you have it. My mental word-worm. I hope you enjoy it.

Lord, I am SO tired. How long can this go on??

Cracked open the books again.
Cracked open the books again. *

I am doing the job search thing again so writing for the blog fell off the radar a bit. But never fear! I am still writing.
It was pointed out to me that the Talislanta game still needs wrapping up. It is a difficult game to run – I’m crossing two very different game systems and universes, plus there is quite a bit of emotional hand-wringing due to the nature of the game. I’ve taken beloved characters from my players and run through the spiritual meat grinder.
Like you do, as a fiction writer.
Just ask George RR Martin.

That being said, I am planning on starting it back up** sometime mid-September. As before, I will post bits of fiction created from the game notes here so you all can enjoy absolute horror I’ve inflicted upon my players.

_______
* – also, all the notes. Every single one of my NPCs has some sort of backstory. I feel like it gives them weight.
** – with the player’s enthusiastic agreement, that is.