So I’m Behind on This Blog–Hey, How Are You?–And I May Be Hypomanic–Except My Therapist Says It’s ADHD, Who Knew?–But Also, Any Requests? Oh, SQUIRREL!

I just went through pages of comments to make sure everything was going well, and of course it was because it’s all of you. I don’t even need to post, you can just do this blog on your own, which I love. So go, Argh People, you are excellent.

I disappeared because I shut down in the winter, just curl into the fetal position and fall asleep because of SAD. Except I have a book to write, my part of which is not going well because I can’t get the heroine. (Her name is Rose, and she has an eighteen-year-old daughter named Poppy. That much I know.) Meanwhile Bob is ripping right along with Max’s story, doing a great job, so I have to get my ass in gear. I went to my doc and said, “SAD,” and he said, “Wellbutrin,” and I got a bottle of the stuff and I’ve been on it for a month. Here’s a fun fact about me: anti-depressants and other mood-altering drugs make me insane. The worst when I was on a book tour taking a new prescription and became convinced that room service was coming to kill me. Fortunately, I recognized that was nuts and flushed the rest of the pills before I attacked a waiter with my nail file.

This time I’m all over the place. Ridiculously happy and babbling one minute, sound asleep in the fetal position the next, then trying to talk to somebody and staring off into space, then working for eight hours straight, then . . . you get the idea. What haven’t I been doing? Maintaining this blog, for which I apologize. I’ve apologized to Bob, too, because I’ve been manic–hypomanic, actually–so he’s had to put up with me pinballing from Day of the Dead and steampunk and magic (the non-supernatural rabbit-in-a-hat kind) and lasagna while Bob does great work killing people (he’s so relieved; Vince didn’t kill anybody in the trilogy and I think it hurt him deeply) so I think he’s ready to strangle me, but he leaves it at “Are you okay?” (Yes, I’m FINE, isn’t it a WONDERFUL DAY??????? Did I tell you this thing I learned about magic? Ooooh, a bunch of doll parts just arrived from eBay for Rose’s outsider art, I need to find a good lasagna recipe since Rose is bragging about hers, excuse me I have to sleep now.” Clunk.)

All of which is to say, it’s probably going to be another couple of weeks before these meds level off, but it is working and I can still write, so I’m staying on it until spring at least. Once the sun comes back up again in April, I should be fine again. Well as fine as I ever was.

But I need direction and opinion, and if there’s one thing this blog’s commenters aren’t short on, it’s opinions. So what do you want on here besides Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, which really aren’t posts, they’re just pages for you to romp in the comments. I figure you’re tired of State of the Collaboration, and nobody’s had a Questionable, and I don’t have enough focus for Twelve Days of anything, haven’t watched TV or seen a movie in months so no media criticism . . . any requests?

And now back to my research. My heroine works in a secondhand shop and just found a very old bottle of paregoric. Do you know what was in paregoric until the FDA got a grip and outlawed it somewhere around 1970? Opium, honey, and alcohol, plus just a hint of morphine. There’s a reason that stuff was popular.

I have to go, my sealing wax just arrived from Amazon. What is Rose going to do with sealing wax? I don’t know, but I got a great bee stamp, too, so I’m pretty sure bees are going to be a motif. Along with all these doll body parts. Never search eBay for “doll body parts,” it’s like surveying many massacres. I need food.

Where was I?

89 thoughts on “So I’m Behind on This Blog–Hey, How Are You?–And I May Be Hypomanic–Except My Therapist Says It’s ADHD, Who Knew?–But Also, Any Requests? Oh, SQUIRREL!

  1. Oh wow…. a Blank Slate post!! I’m wondering if Jenny’s getting enough sleep to feel thoroughly herself, which leads to my question: Does anybody have experience with this new “Weighted Blanket” thing? I read that it leads to refreshing deep sleep, but that it needs to weigh no more than 10 percent of a person’s body weight, but is that all there is? I hope someone knows more about them.

    1. I don’t have any experience with weighted blankets, though I’ve looked at them and wondered if they might help me sleep better. I have always been a bad sleeper – until now. What made the difference? Weight training. I’m 71 and have reader’s muscles (aka lying on the sofa muscles), so it’s currently fairly mild weight training. Well, mild for anyone else, really hard work for me, because they reckon you have to work your muscles to fatigue – that trembly state. Anyway, I’m getting stronger and my posture is improving (I’m doing it to try to sort out chronic neck issues), but the unexpected side effect is that I’m sleeping better than I’ve ever done. Not every night, but often enough to be astonishing. Like, deep sleep. Like, sleep right through to 5 am sleep! So, apparently our bodies like to work hard. Who knew????

      1. I got a Total Gym and use it every few days, and I sleep better on those nights, too. I don’t know why, but it really does make me feel better, in so many ways, and I walk nearly every day, so I’m getting exercise.

      2. I use a matelasse spread. They’re pretty heavy but maybe not as much as a weighted blanket. It really made a difference and I can move under it.

    2. Weighted blankets are miracles. We got one for oldest (ASD/ADHD) and then ended up buying them for everybody since we all have sleep issues. If you have sleep problems at night it helps, if you have sensory issues, anxiety, etc., during the day it helps. They are miraculously relaxing.

      1. I’ve posted on here that I went through two of those before I ended up with a child-sized three pound one. It works for me. The 15 and 10 pound ones were too heavy, and really hard to move if I wanted to get out of bed or change positions. I’m not sure how this is going to go in the summer, though.

    3. I love mine! It definitely helps, and I do think starting out with a little bit lighter one is better. You can also get washable covers for some of them, which is good.

    4. Hi Jinx,
      I only have experiece with how we do it in Germany: our bed covers are of a duvet kind, i.e. no sinlgy blsnket but thise filled with down feathers or wool or synthetic fibers. We have 4-seasons-blankers i.e. two blankets, one for summer, one for autumn and when it gets colder, they get snapped together.
      In summer, they have cool cotton covers, in winter cosy flannel ones. Yet, when it gets really cold (we only have meagre heating in the bedroom), I put wool blankets on top which do weigh down the covers and in my experience this really helps with the quality of my sleep.

  2. I think it’s fine as it is, three entries a week. That’s a lot, it’s quite generous.
    Then there’s the occasional extra when the spirit moves you, which is always fun.

    1. Yeah, I’m pretty much “things are good, do whatever you wanna” about this.

      Sorry to hear the SAD and the meds are scrambling you so.

      1. I agree with Maine Betty and Jennifer that the 3 weekly posts work well.

        I’m trying to remember if you sounded like a particle in a cyclatron last winter or before. I worried about you most the year your heart was on the brink of giving out. Do take care; may the meds work soon.

        Personally, I’m looking forward to the solstice and the increasing light afterwards.

        Also, I want the neighbor’s sheep to stay out of my yard. Both of the past 2 mornings I’ve had to chase the two sheep down the hill — I waved my broom and sang at the top of my voice (no one likes my singing). Good aerobic workout for me. They actually hit a fast walk at one point, but I haven’t made a dent in their very wooly minds.

        1. My friend in New Zealand,where the sheep’s favorite place to be is the middle of a road, maintains that individual sheep don’t have a brain, just a herd mentality.

  3. Are you trying ADHD meds? It can take a while to get the right meds/dosage, hang in there. It’s worth it, they are life changing.

    If you want to do a 12 Days Of thing, get on Viki and watch some fun romance Kdramas, there’s one about a firefighter called The Flaming Heart that cries out for blogging.

  4. Basically, what I want is for you to be happy, and if at all possible, to write a book that will be published the old-fashioned way, on paper. If that doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. Just live, an try to be happy, and maybe become a great-grandmother, if that is what your grandchildren want.

  5. When I started Wellbutrin back in 2004 I had a dream where my mother was screaming at me not to rock the boat. We were on a huge boat in dry dock and it was up on cranes and if it rocked it would fall and we would die.

    Helllloooo, Captain Obvious.

    Have you had your vitamin D levels checked?

  6. This post was… timely? The ex-son-in-law is OFF his bipolar medications. He has been walking around, talking to himself or shouting at nobody and anything the dotter recorded makes no sense at all.

    I no longer care about the dotter’s Ex. Yes, he is still the father of half of my grandchildren, but that’s only a concern if bipolarity is inherited. I’ve put in a bid on a house and have pre-approval on a mortgage. Now I just have to worry about hiring Two Guys and a Truck to get there from here. It won’t all fit in the car. Depending on timing, I may have to rip out and dump all my hydroponics and start over.

    The dotter thinks we could just rent a truck and a dolly and move ourselves. I laugh in her general direction. Nah-gah-hoppen. There will be a moving company, or I will abandon everything and start over.

    Any you think you’re going crazy?!?

      1. Too bad you too far away to use Stonehenge Movers in Buckland, MA. The owners saw a photo of Stonehenge decades ago, instantly recognized that the main dolmen looks like 2 guys carrying a sofa, and discovered both their calling and its name. Inexpensive and they just do what you ask them to do.

        I got their name from my real estate agent, but it sounds like you aren’t using an agent. I suggest you talk with folks who have moved recently or who work with people who move, like apartment building owners, town officials, and locals you know through their businesses. Maybe your lawyer is local.

        1. Our agent is Jess. I haven’t asked her for moving company recommendations. Step 1 is to convince the dotter that her and the kinder and me and her BF are NOT enough, whatever size moving van I could rent. Also, we need to stop recycling boxen from Amazon, and use them for packing. I said as much when she was popping bubble wrap… too late.

          1. Veteran of many moves; it’s worth going to Home Depot and buying proper moving supplies so you can protect your stuff. They have it all and you can also rent moving blankets from UHaul, or a get a pack of them from Harbor Freight. Having the right stuff to protect mattresses, wardrobe boxes for your nice clothes, etc. saves you in damages, for our giant sized (4 bedroom house) move I think we spent $200 on supplies and then the movers just had to do the heavy lifting. (You can’t count on movers to bring mattress bags, furniture blankets, etc. Some do but some just do the lifting and the rest is up to you.)

        2. Speaking of agents, Jess has sent me no less than three links today to let me electronically sign or initial line items on the contract. Things like “The home heating oil in the tank will convey.” So negotiations are still in progress.

          (The dotter had not realized that the furnace was oil-fired.) I am not looking forward to refilling the tank at current prices.

          1. The things to sign electronically is a special kind of hell. Last time I moved, my internet was arbitrarily ended and I had to go to Target with a small iPad to read and sign that stuff. Horrible experience! Good luck to you. Look behind stores for boxes in the dumpsters. New experiences are good. LOL

          2. Thanks, Jan. I am now under contract. We meet on Monday to sign things in person and fork over a deposit. I used to surf dumpsters and look for moving vans and ask people moving in for their empties. The last time I moved (May, 2009), I bought a bunch of plastic boxes with lids from WalMart, figuring we’d use them forever. And we did. They are all full.

        1. JaneB, I am also stunned at the speed this is moving. I fully expect to be living in the house by December 31. The taxes for 2023 will be the first with itemized deductions since the wife passed away.

          The mortgage should be paid in full by my 102 birthday.

    1. Fortunately,moving has a definite time frame while psychotropic drug reactions are different each time. Hang tough on the movers, the ones I hired last time saved my life. I was very nervous because the ones I had previously used had gone out of business, but the new ones were much better. They came on time, did what they promised, were careful with my belongings and the building and finished 15 minutes before they thought it would. You can’t do better than that.

      1. I will hang tough. I don’t want to move MY stuff, let alone couches and refrigerators and chairs and tables. And beds and mattresses. Dressers. Lawn mower and batteries (it’s electric.) Tool boxen. File boxen. Et cetera.

    2. Absolutely go with the movers. I decided that the hallmark of my being a grown-ass woman was that I could pay men to tote my crap around. And when it was up a flight of stairs, across a lawn and up some more steps to the house, I was glad I did it. On my move to my current house, I had them load up my stuff one day (the day my old house closed), keep it on the truck overnight and deliver it to the new house the next day (after I closed on it.)

      It was summer, and I provided beverages. I also tipped.

    3. Congratulations on the house and the move. And congratulations about not wasting a further minute on caring about your daughter’s ex.

    4. I have moved a lot. When I paid for local moves, I used a system that worked really well for me. I paid movers to haul all of the furniture and appliances. I moved most of the rest of the stuff myself. I placed clothing in heavy duty garbage bags, which can just be tumbled down the stairs if you have them. I used reusable plastic shopping bags to carry kitchenware, linens, artwork, etc. (Anything breakable is wrapped in bubble wrap and/or towels.) At $1 a bag, they are much cheaper than buying boxes, and the handles are great. The bags are really strong and hold a lot. TJ Maxx sells great bags.

      I moved lamps by seat belting them into my car, wrapped as necessary. The lampshades traveled on the seats as well.

      This system worked when I didn’t have to move in a day. I would take a load over to the new place and unpack it and then go back for more. All of this was done using a VW beetle with the backseat pushed down! Good luck with the move.

      1. My last move was in May of 2009. Before that, November 1997. Before that, I moved on average once every three years. On all of the last moves, I used your method. I’ll use it again. But just now, I bought 10 plastic storage boxes from Walmart. They’ll be used for years to come, and they’ll let me start packing when they get here tomorrow. I’m not giving dotter a choice. We will be professionally moved, if for no other reason it will give X less time to interfere or destroy stuff.

    5. My suggestion is look on Facebook marketplace or similar sites for moving boxes at discounted prices. And then sell them again when you are done.

  7. Great. My comment disappeared because I might be a robot. I might be, but I’m too tired to type it all again.

  8. All of my children are ADHD, the eldest the most, so meds are critical to function. And I Don’t Want to Hear that meds represent a failure on my part, I have Had It with amateur psychologists. My youngest suggested, kindly, that maybe they all got it from me, so I’ve started some meds myself, and it does do wonders for concentration.

    Which is an entirely different animal from anti-depressants, which I’ve been on since my second kid was born (just occurs to me that that was when I was writing my dissertation. Hm.). The effect of ADHD meds is immediate; that of anti-depressants is very slow, and doctors are very reluctant to start you on a different medicine until it’s clear that that one doesn’t work, which can represent months of not-working anti-depressants, because how does one know what doesn’t work from what works a little but not as much as it could? And meanwhile life is going on and you’re not really part of it. Which sucks.

    So in winter, my corrective is greenhouses. The NY Botanical Garden has a gorgeous one, and although right now there’s the train show, you can still go to the other areas, and breathe that humid, warm, green smell. In Connecticut there’s Logee’s, which is a commercial green house with a century-old lemon tree writhing along the roof. I guess some people would fly to Costa Rica, and that does sound good, but a day trip to green warmth works pretty well for me.

    1. Light boxes can help a lot with SAD. When Nourene and her sister were too old to fly back and forth in the winter, Nourene’s light box and a daily phone call made a huge difference. It wasn’t the month she used to spend in Phoenix, but it helped.

      1. When I was going through my divorce, my SAD was way worse than normal. I remembered an old episode of Northern Exposure in which Joel became addicted to his light visor. So I googled light visors and ordered one that helped me tremendously. I wore it every morning for a half hour as soon as I got to work, and that was enough.

        1. I use a light visor.
          It’s great. My sleep doc says use it in the first hour after you wake up to keep your sleep cycle constant so I just grab it when I wake up and wear it in bed.

        2. One year we started getting a lot of skunks in the neighborhood. Not good when the dog wants her morning walk before work and it’s dark out. I finally figured out that it would be a good idea to rearrange my morning routine so that it would be light out when I walked her. Didn’t guarantee that there wouldn’t be a skunk but at least I would see and avoid them. Anyway, after a few weeks of getting 25-30 minutes more a day of natural light exposure, my seasonal sleep disturbance disappeared. So glad I smartened up.

        3. The Northern Exposure was filmed in my home town. Practically everyone in town, including my mom and sister got jobs as extras in the crowd scenes.

    2. Great idea! My daughter used to work at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus OH, and I used to go there all the time to meet her for lunch and see whatever exhibit was going on. She owns her own business now, but I’ve been craving to visit FPC. Maybe that’s why!

  9. I’m perfectly happy with the blog as it is. I drop in and out, and it’s entertaining both to hear what you’re doing and what everyone else is doing. And the occasional extras are fun, but don’t sweat over them. Do them when you feel like it. We’re all good. Hope the meds settle down soon!

  10. Some people with SAD have really good results with a full spectrum lamp (or light therapy lamp). When I used one some years ago, I sat and read a book under the lamp for 15 minutes first thing every morning. I had to use a timer because if I sat there more than 15 minutes, I would be zinging all day and couldn’t sleep at night. But 15 minutes was enough to keep me cheerful and moving all day.

    As far as the blog, whatever makes you happy. And I, for one, still really enjoy the State of the Collaboration posts.

  11. I can’t use a light box because of my eyes, but thank you for the suggestion.

    Don’t worry about my heart. For some reason, it recovered back to normal. My cardiologist said, “We never get numbers like this.” I was going to say, “Of course not, I’m exceptional at everything,” but then I remembered that guy who said, “Not even the gods can destroy me” who promptly got hit by a lightning bolt, so I said, “Oh, good.” Humility for a longer life.

  12. Jenny – I have a questionable. Is there a good source for figuring out / learning about genres and what it is required to be a certain genre?

    I wrote a blogpost & read it for critique to gently tell my critique group that they are criticizing the romance genre instead of critiquing ME and they got it.

    But this has been a problem with others writing in genres other than cozy mystery or horror – or any genre that is not common. Now that the silly people put me on the board of the writers group – I would like to have knowledge so I can encourage critique of the writer – not their genre.

    Is there a basic text or article or anything that would aid me in furthering my education?

    1. I love that idea. We’ve run into similar problems in my writing class — one of the best writers in the class writes fantasy short stories, and she’s basically had to teach the class how to critique that type of story.

    2. The problem there is that genres are fluid and not really helpful unless you need to categorize fiction for some reason, like to shelve it in a library or bookstore. Look at women’s fiction, romance, and erotica. The lines between those are blurred because people write stories, not genres.

      So if somebody says, “I don’t like books where it’s all about the relationship,” the answer is “You probably won’t like romance then.” “I don’t like books where people die.” “Might want to avoid murder mysteries.”

      At bottom, a story has to be a good story; genre labels are just for sorting books.

      1. Ok, going off of this, I’m wondering if maybe a writing group could get some of the benefits Judy’s looking for, while keeping the story-first focus, if writers gave a handful of non-negotables for their piece at the start of a critique session, as in “I want to write a story where the murder gets solved. Help me get there” or “I’m writing a story about a woman falling in love and ending up with her beloved, help me make you root for them” so that you don’t spend the whole critique session with people getting derailed by things like “what if no one actually gets murdered?” or “what if it’s not love, it’s obsession?”

        …. except now that I’m writing it out, my brain is going “oh, those could both be fun twists” so maybe a certain amount of wild derailing is inherent in the critiquing process.

        1. To their credit, when I read the blogpost about critiquing me instead of the romance genre – they got it. One of them even said – I wish I had known these things before I wrote a review of a certain book.

          What frustrates me is – we had a 20 something year old coming for a while and he was writing a thing like Red Dwarf – I don’t know what you would call that genre – but they kept saying things like – this or that is random – and you’re writing too fast… Everything they were criticizing was supposed to be that way. In fact, it was really good and funny. But there were 10 people saying the same things and only 3 of us getting it so he stopped coming.

          I do see Jenny’s point about how fluid it all is, though.

          1. Yes, but if only three people get it, if ten couldn’t see it, he was depending on genre conventions to sell his story. “That’s just the way this genre is” is lazy writing.
            Look at Murderbot. A lot of people on here are not science fiction readers, but those people still loved Murderbot because it was a great story. It’s also great science fiction, but that’s not the point. If you’re not a science fiction reader, you don’t CARE if it’s great SF. But you can tell it’s a great story.

            A lot of people who don’t read romance liked Agnes and the Hitman. A lot people who don’t like kid’s lit loved Harry Potter. A lot of people who don’t like cartoons wept over Up.

            If you have to explain your story, it’s not a good story. It’s a draft.

        2. The problem is, you can’t stand in a book store and say the same thing to every reader who buys your book. For critiques, you just hand the story over, no explanations.
          So if you give your group your story, and somebody says, “I don’t like this mushy stuff,” you don’t tell them they have to like it for your story, you just accept they’re not your reader. But if somebody says, “I don’t believe these people are in love,” that’s on you, you didn’t sell it in the story. That happens to me when I read a lot of romance; I think, “She’s going to get really tired of that guy in about a year.” Or “Yeah, the sex is great but a conversation now and then would be good, too.” Or “How nice that they’re both gorgeous and hot for each other. Too bad they’re both emotionally fourteen.” And I like romance. But you have to sell me on it. Some readers are harder to sell than others.

          I’ve had readers complain that Phin was abusive in Welcome to Temptation, that Cal was insensitive in Bet Me, that Gabe was too remote in Fast Women. Something in those characters triggered something in those readers, and those books were never going to work for them. It’s not that the readers are wrong when they say, “This doesn’t work for me,” it’s that that story is not a story that works for them. If it’s a critique before the book is published, you have to decide whether to rewrite to make the character/story more accessible or keep things as they are because those aspects are important to the story you need to write.

          What you don’t say to any reader is “You’re wrong.” Readers know what they need. They may not be the right reader for your story, but they’re not wrong.

  13. I’m glad you’ve got meds and capable doctors in your corner, but sorry you’re dealing with challenging brain and emotion things. I’m always grateful to see a new blog post, but if it’s ever too much, it’s ok to take a break. We like all the versions of you, and want them all rested and healthy.

    Re: possible questionables:

    1. Are romance short stories a thing? As in, have you read ones you loved? Or does romance work better as at least a novella length? If they do work, do you know of anyone publishing them, outside of anthologies?

    2. Can you talk about what makes for good in-scene pacing in romantic comedy? I had a lot of literature people tell me to slow down my romcom, and while they were definitely right the first time they said it, I do feel like there’s a point where you slow down so much it’s hard to get the sparks and comedy part right.

    3. I’ve got too many subplots, and too many POVs. Any tips for figuring out which subplots + POVs to keep, and which to cut, especially in a story that’s partly about how the couple fit into their community?

    4. I am curious about “creative writing teacher” as a profession. You’re such a good one, even just through this blog. Any tips or book recommendations for someone who wants to learn more about how to be a good creative writing teacher, either online or in a classroom setting?

    I’ll try to write more down as I think of them.

    1. The English Woman’s Weekly used to have a romance short story on, I think, the inside back page.

      They usually either had a couple who had broken up and reconnected, or it was just the beginning of a relationship – often a ‘meet cute’.

      They were often really good, but I haven’t bought it in years, so I don’t know if it’s still a thing.

      1. Romance short stories are a bitch to write. You can’t actually arc a romance over 2000 words (or whatever). So you’re writing cute meets or reconciliations or what section of a completely romantic arc you’re focusing on.

        I’ve written a couple, but they were mostly for myself, to fill in background for a story. I think I wrote three for Crazy For You as part of my MFA work, and the only one I really like is one about a woman who goes to three weddings and a funeral from when she’s seventeen to her late thirties, but it’s about her and her family, not a romance per se. You just can’t do a satisfying romance in that short a span. I don’t think you can do a full romance in a novella. I’ve never managed to.

        1. Robert Anson Heinlein, Dean of American Science Fiction. He was my favorite for many years. He could not write a convincing romance to save his life. Romantic elements? Absolutely. But no real romances.

          Except for one short story. The Menace From Earth in a collection of the same name. Is it good Science Fiction? Yes, it’s great Science Fiction. But the fact that it takes place on the moon and that Holly Jones is a wannabe starship designer is just background. It’s about a New Girl and realizing that she wants The Boy in ways she hadn’t previously realized. It Is Fabulous (in multiple senses of the word.)

    2. Liz Fox writes very steamy short romances, and Ash Keller has a series of standalone sweet romances about firefighters. I asked K-Lytics about the market for short story sweet romance, but there is not really one at the moment. However, some self-published writers are hoping to change that. Just FYI in case that gives you some reference points.

    1. Thank you. It’s really the commenters who make this place, I just open the door three days a week.

  14. It’s been a rough few weeks down here too, so I hope things improve for you soon. As far as the blog goes, everyone else is correct. The three community posts are plenty, and I am personally not tired of state of the collaboration.

  15. So many times I’m asked whom do you write like? I’d like a way to figure out how to answer because indie writers can use comparisons in their marketing.

    I can look at and find similarities in other writers, but for the life of me, I have no idea how I write like anyone. And it’s not because I think I’m a special unicorn with my writing.

    Do I analyze another writer and look for humor or sensuality or plot or voice that seem similar to my work? Sigh.

    1. I’d’ve thought that’s for other people to clue you in. Don’t think you’d be able to judge for yourself: it’s too much part of you. Unless what they mean is ‘What kind of stories do you write?’, which is much more straightforward.

    2. If anyone asked me, I would point them at 1st at Con Riley. Her settings and characters aren’t much like mine, but her themes are. My 2nd comparison would probably be Ashlyn Kane because of several Actual Adult stories (characters in their mid-30s who’ve been through some shit) dealing with career change, which is my jam. Generally, I think ‘if you like X you might like my stuff’ is more accurate than ‘I write like X.’ 🙂

  16. So many times I’m asked whom do you write like? I’d like a way to figure out how to answer because indie writers can use comparisons in their marketing.

    I can look at and find similarities in other writers, but for the life of me, I have no idea how I write like anyone. And it’s not because I think I’m a special unicorn with my writing.

  17. It’s overcast here, today, and I realized as I walked toward the computer, that just saps my energy, and my “To do” lists get longer and carried over to another day, a lot. Only YOU could make the bouncy castle you are living in sound funny, and not tragic. I really hope things settle down, soon. And I also appreciate all that you do, and this group, so much. Reading what real human beings think and do, in such variety, is refreshing and encouraging. I look forward to reading everything that goes on here!

  18. In the long ago past, women were thought to be hysterical a lot and were prescribed laudanum for it. It was also the go-to medicine for just about anything else. It was also opium. I’m sure many people died of whatever their illness was, but they went drugged, and possibly happy. In Sense and Sensibility, the doctor has to go get more laudanum for Marianne, when he thinks she is dying. What a way to go. Coca Cola also used to have real cocaine in it! Medical “care” was so much worse!

  19. I’m happy with the Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday regular posts and anything in between. My only request is that I would love to have an end of year post where we share our best reads of the year.

    1. Brilliant Idea – except I can’t remember what I read last week. The Best book in a year? Hah! Luckily there are plenty of others here who have brains that function.

  20. If you’re looking for subjects of individual blog posts, I’ve loved it in the past when you’ve shared your visual inspirations, like collages. If you have any for your recent work that you haven’t already shared, that’d definitely be a treat!

    1. Oh, good idea. My heroine is an outsider artist, so I’ll be experimenting with that. Thank you!

      1. What is an outsider artist? An artist on the outside of “mainstream” artists, or an artist who works outside? Or an artist who works with things that may not be considered art materials? Such as doll parts

        1. Wikipedia:
          “Outsider art is art made by self-taught or supposedly naïve artists with typically little or no contact with the conventions of the art worlds. In many cases, their work is discovered only after their deaths. Often, outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.”

          1. Oh, that’s visionary art! At least, it seems to fit what I saw at the Baltimore visionary art museum which my DH and I loved. If anyone is going to Baltimore I recommend visiting it. Jenny, their website is if you want to check it out.

            The Esther exhibit which is described on the website is deeply moving

      2. If you haven’t seen Amsterdam, the art made by Margot Robbie’s character sounds a lot like what you’re describing. Also the plot is batshit but mostly true.

  21. If you want a questionable, I have one. You have talked about how the last scene has to echo the first scene. Could you expand a little on that? In what ways do they need to be similar? Maybe with examples?

    Absolutely no rush on this. Whenever you feel like it and have time.

  22. 1. I love this blog. Sadly, I do not get to comment much or keep up with it because… SQUIRREL.

    2. I would love to see a heroine struggling with hypomania or ADD. The heroine who realizes the pills are not helping and who sees the downside of stabbing a waiter with a nail file is my kind of jam.

    3. I am so glad the Wellbutrin is helping. Good on ya!

    4. I teach the most fantastic kiddo who is a young artist. She wears baby doll earrings, but only has the babydoll head in one ear and the arm in her other ear. Love it!

    5. Speaking of dolls, I just learned about the “Frozen Charlotte” dolls from the 19th Century. Fabulously creepy.

Comments are closed.