Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Note to Self

The depression I was in a week or so ago seems to have lifted, for the most part. I keep telling myself that my writing will come back, when it wasn’t really with me throughout most of last year and the only time it really flowed well was in November—until I got sick of it and gave up. Yeah, I’m owning that. I gave up. Even though I could have pushed on through and made it to 50k—I had plenty of time to hit it—I just threw in the towel because I was sick of my story. Don’t even know what about it I was sick of any more. Maybe just the act of writing daily. No idea.

Anyway, I’m giving it another try. I started off this month with a bang—five scenes on one new project. Five scenes that go absolutely nowhere. I wrote a sixth scene, and that’s it so far. Torn between reverse outlining and trying to get more plot cards on it and just giving up on that one for now since I don’t even know what the fricking story is. I know it’s a mystery. What’s the mystery? No bloody idea. But I like, for the most part, what I have. As always when I pants things, conflicts and stuff I don’t even know about beforehand have been popping up in the scenes I’ve been writing. Go me?

So, on the 4th, I wrote 610 words on UL. Can’t say just how much I dreaded doing so, but I did it. Also can’t say as I precisely enjoyed the process of writing. I did, however, like what I’d written immediately after finishing it. That’s something that hasn’t happened in so long, I’ve forgotten the last time it did. It’s my goal to write at least 500 words a day on this sucker until it’s done.

To be honest, I miss the inspiration-driven writing days. I think, though, I’ve been sliding away from those days for at least a couple years. Having the epiphany that my writing was inspiration-driven was just the final knife in the back so to speak. It was also, I think, an absolutely necessary realization for me to make, because without it, I’d never have seen the way to fix my writing habit. So what I’ve got now is the knowledge of what the problem is and the way to fix that problem. All I need is to inject the discipline into the whole thing, and that is what I’ve had difficulty with, even without a creativity-killing depressive phase. I mean, I wrote the first four days of January, just at the beginning of that depressive swing, didn’t I? A little discipline, and I’d have written every day of January, and finished Unwritten Letters in the process!

I’m really writing this blog post in an effort to be blunt with myself. The fact is, I like to lie to myself about my writing habit, and I’ve gotten away with it because my writing friends I hang out with most have been very accommodating about my excuses. And that’s all I’ve been doing. Making up excuses not to write. This blog post is my command to myself to get to work. I have way too many stories to write for me to dally any longer. Too many incomplete stories to be finished.

So, Ashe, stop making excuses, and get to work.

Depression and Writer’s Block

In a way, I don’t know where the past few weeks have gone, though I can tell you what I was doing for most of them since my last post here. The essential thing is that I’ve been in a depressive funk and struggling to do pretty much everything from rising every day to writing on anything to indulging in hobby activities like crocheting. I’m not out of the pit yet either.

What I’ve been doing is getting out of the house a lot. Between Christmas and the beginning of last week (the 7th). Most of the time, I’ve either been going to the offices where the Utah Pride Center moved their therapy services, or, even more often, to Oasis Games, which bought the pride center’s old building and fixed up the first floor. I’ve been going there mainly to read Dungeons and Dragons books; I finished reading the Player’s Handbook and have been making slow progress on reading the Dungeon Masters Guide since about the first week of January.

I’ve also been continuing crocheting. My primary project is now complete, and I’ll be giving it to my friend who I decided to give it to soon if I get an opportunity. To be honest, I’ve done most of the work on it at the pride center’s therapy offices.

But even with those things, I’ve been in a depressive funk. The main reason is because I received a decision from the VA on my Compensation claim. I’m not sure if I mentioned it last year, but I started the claim in order to try and connect my bipolar disorder to my Naval service. Well, they didn’t even bother opening a case; they simply denied it without investigating. I’m fairly certain that is what threw me into this depressive funk.

It’s still with me. And, unfortunately, it’s not a state of mind I’ve been able to simply write through. I’ve tried. The first 4 days of this month, I wrote at least 500 words a day. Managed to complete, I think, 2 scenes on Unwritten Letters. But I didn’t feel like writing. Even with plot cards, I had trouble grasping the ideas. I felt no joy in getting the words down. Even though the quality was up to my standards, I hated what I’d written because I’d written the words when I felt bad. Gah, talking about it is dragging me down again. Enough.

Anyway, I haven’t touched my writing to do more than read stuff since then. Most days, I haven’t even been able to read my writing. I will not go into detail about how that makes me feel—it’s even more depressing than my description of writing, and I really don’t want to get as bad as I was last weekend over it all.

So, I foolishly thought writer’s block was a myth. That people who had it were undisciplined and lacked initiative in their writing. Well, since September or October, I’ve seen what it’s like to be undisciplined and lack initiative. And now I’ve been treated to my own grand case of writer’s block thanks to this depression.

Let me go over this again, to make it clear. Reading my writing depresses me, primarily because I see all its potential and am not actively capitalizing on it. Writing on anything depresses me any more because it’s not THERE—the ideas are vague, no matter how well-prepared I am for writing, and I hate the act of writing, and having done so makes me feel horrible because I didn’t enjoy doing so and I think I should. So it’s easier to just not write. I’ve gotten to the point where I dread writing, and I figure when it’s that bad, there’s no point in torturing myself.

Oh, I won’t be this way forever. I have faith in that. Maybe I’ll tuck myself into the inpatient mental ward at the VA, maybe I won’t. Either way, I’ll get by and this depression will pass. It’s already started to lift—a little—the past few days. I have a good long-distance friend I can chat about this with, and if that doesn’t help, I can always call the Veterans Crisis Line, and I’ve already notified my mental health care team about where I stand emotionally. All I need to do is stick it out long enough for the clouds to pass, and I’ve done that before and know I can do it again. In the meantime, I’m getting out, cuddling with my cat, and doing what I can to distract myself from my depression so I don’t do something stupid.

A Few Odds and Ends

I’m still struggling with depression and the lack of desire to write, but my overall mood is better. Instead of being depressed periodically throughout the day, the past few days the depression has faded for good once I’ve gotten out of bed. Really, getting out of bed is the hardest part of the day for me, and it’s even more difficult in the winter. I think getting plenty of sleep is important, and I tend to need a lot of sleep, especially in the winter, when my sleep tends to be more akin to hibernation than simply sleeping. In point of fact, I went to bed at six last night, was asleep by seven, and after two or three brief periods of wakefulness that ended by ten, slept through until just after four this morning. I managed to doze for about another 45 mins or so, then laid awake (with my eyes closed) until about 05:40, when I finally got up. It’s only when I get this much sleep that I find it easy to rise.

The past few days since my last post have been pretty good for the most part. Of course, it’s difficult for me to say a day has been bad, because I can usually find something good in every day, and that tends to leaven any ill feelings I could have had about it. I think Sunday was the best of the past few days, though. I got to spend a lot of money on “frivolous” items.

What were those items? They were books and stuff related to Dungeons and Dragons gaming. For me, spending anything over $100.00 is “a lot” and I spent around $117.00 on this stuff. Only about $48.00 came out of pocket, thanks to gift cards from Mom and my sister, Erin. I’m still having mixed feelings about DMing, but am also still more excited over the idea. It’s going to be a fun challenge to come up with stuff for my players to do. According to the Goodreads site, I’m 68% through the Player’s Handbook, which I’ve continued taking to Oasis Games to read.

I’ve also been working on setting up a Bullet Journal for next year. The link will show you the basics if you’re interested. For myself, I’ve got some different things I like adding, such as monthly budgets and weekly goals lists, but the system is flexible enough to permit such things. I’m hoping that with my new schedule, this will help me have a more structured, and thus more productive, lifestyle. Of course, none of this is written in stone—if I get an opportunity to hang out with a friend or something, I’ll go do that, but I’ll also try to be productive when I do so. The main challenge to making progress on the setup of my bullet journal has been Hendrix’s periodic visits to my desk. If I have writing utensils laying about, he’ll try to play with them, and if the journal’s open on my desk, he’ll try playing with its wire binding or eating the pages. LOL

One of the things I’m planning on changing this year is somehow acknowledging holidays and birthdays for my family. I don’t really keep mementos such as cards people send to me, so I don’t really “get” keeping such things. However, I do understand that people do keep such things as mementos, so I’m going to try to conform a little bit and send holiday and birthday cards to at least my sister and her family and my mother. To my surprise, I’m actually looking forward to doing this.

It’s going on 06:30, and I’m hungry, so signing off for now. I may write another post before New Year’s, but am making no promises.


I have been horribly remiss in keeping up with posts, and I apologize. There will be no promises that I will do so from now on; I’m not going to promise something that may not happen. Suffice it to say that the rough period that I’m dealing with right now isn’t over.

This rough period began back in October. I’ll be honest here and admit I struggled through November. Even though I did participate in Nano, and I did find the writing somewhat easier than I expected, it was a chore to write each day, and I experienced several days throughout the month when I didn’t write at all. About a week or so toward the end of the month, I threw in the towel. In part because I’m near the end of the wip I was working on for November, which always is a struggle to write, because I don’t want the story to end, even if there’s a sequel. The rest was just emotional exhaustion. To be vulgar, I simply had no fucks to give by that point. Since it had been such a struggle to write on fiction, it was even more difficult to keep up with blog posts, which takes more out of me, even if my post is relatively short.

December has been no different. I’ve written a little, but nowhere near as much as I wanted. I was hoping my creative mind would “switch on” sometime around the 15th, but that didn’t happen. And, to be honest, I don’t really care. I still don’t have any fucks to give about writing. To be honest, this blog post is the most I’ve cared about any writing all month.

Instead of writing, I’ve been doing other things. I spent most of the month making my mom’s Christmas gift—a bunch of wash cloths—in crochet sessions with a new friend whom I helped teach how to crochet. The Pride Center is officially closed, aside from a therapy office in another building they’re renting the space from while their new building is being renovated, and the games store that bought the old building has opened up in the ground floor. Katie went in to check things out and as a result, I joined her and her husband for a D&D demo game DMed by one of the store’s employees. Oasis Games sells board games and a variety of role games and things like miniatures that go to the role games. They’ve installed a cafe and also sell other items related to games and gaming, including Funko Pop figures, dice, and Magic: The Gathering cards.

That visit to Oasis Games with Katie has inspired a new interest in D&D. I purchased a Player’s Handbook with part of the money from a gift card my sister sent me for my birthday. That demo game kicked ideas into my head—ideas I need to be a Dungeon Master in order to execute, so I’ve brought up a suggestion to my Vampires gaming friends that I DM D&D for them, and they’re tentatively enthusiastic about the offer. I just need to get the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Monster Manual. In the meantime, I’ve been reading the Player’s Handbook from cover to cover, usually in reading sessions with the bottomless cup of tea Oasis Games offers. I’ve got some notes, a number of prize items, and I need to draw up a map for the first quest my gaming friends are going to take their characters through. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about DMing, but most of them are positive, and I’m feeling excited to do it. Even just a year ago, this is something I wouldn’t have considered doing.

Another thing I’m trying to do is schedule my days. Thinking it would be quite easy to switch my sleeping habits around, I originally scheduled myself a rising time of six in the morning. Mornings like this are flukes for the most part—though I did put myself to bed last night, I didn’t actually sleep all that much; overactive mind. So, in paying attention to my natural sleep habits, I decided to rework my schedule for a ten AM rise. Much as I like being up early in the morning, it just doesn’t happen with any regularity, and the fact is, I tend to get to sleep more quickly if I go to bed later, so even on nights when I got to bed around ten PM, I was still getting up at around ten the next morning because I simply didn’t fall asleep until one or two AM. I don’t understand it either; this is just the way my mind works with regards to sleep, and I’ve decided I’ve got to learn to live with it because trying to twist it around into something it wasn’t and couldn’t be was only stressing me out.

I’m glad about a few things, though. The D&D thing, for one. And I’m crocheting more. It’s been nice to wield a hook again, and I’ve even made a bit of progress on my monster bedspread afghan. Currently, my “portable” project is an afghan that’s been languishing to be finished that I’m going to give to a friend in return to all the kindness and patience they’ve bestowed upon me. I’m looking forward to giving it to them and am sure they’ll appreciate it.

So I’m dealing with my lack of interest in writing in constructive ways that are taking me out of the house more frequently, which is another reason why I’m not upset about not caring about writing. And I think all these things are signs of an improvement in my mental health state, which I’m sure everyone will agree is a good thing. The rough period may not be over, but at least I’m dealing with it in healthy ways—another improvement in my mental health state. And, to be honest, I’d rather have that improvement than a regular writing habit, mainly because I can teach myself to have the latter, but the good mental health status comes only with time, the correct medication regimen, and a lot of effort in therapy.

Turning on the Faucet

I’ve decided to apply Louis L’Amour’s philosophy to my writing from now on:

Start Writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.

Why am I doing this? Mainly because I realized earlier this month that I’ve been functioning, with my writing, on a basis where I wait for inspiration. This has not been working well for me. Even with realizing myself beyond being a writer, I’ve been most displeased with my lack of actual writing. So, I’m employing L’Amour’s philosophy. And I think it’s already working.

Remember how I said sometime at the beginning of the year (or last December sometime? I forget precisely when) that I was going to take my writing more seriously? Well, I haven’t exactly done that this year. I’m actually quite fed up with myself, though I don’t think I’d realize where I stand if I hadn’t had the epiphany about dealing with my writing on an inspirational basis. I needed to have the conscious realization what I was doing in order to be able to really be willing to buckle down and move my writing into a more professional habit.

What led me to this realization? A video called How to be Creative: How an Artist Turns Pro. I came across it on a publishing news aggregate website I visit on occasion, and it hit me like a brick. At first, I didn’t want to believe it, because it shocked me so much. Part of me resisted the idea that writing is nothing more than disciplined exercise of my skill. But as I thought about it, I came to accept that I was not a professional writer, as this video explains it; I’m still very much an amateur, or a hobbyist. And I didn’t like that.

This epiphany got me looking for methods of making writing into a daily habit. One thing a friend of mine suggested that I’m working on putting into practice is doing a freewrite session every day. She suggested 100 words, but I decided to do it for 5 minutes instead. Each day I’ve freewritten, I’ve tried to spend some time at least working on my writing for a while—at least an hour. The past few days, I haven’t had any specific goal aside from the time I’ve spent on my writing activities; I’ve decided that anything writing-related, whether it be editing, taking notes, brainstorming—anything is considered “writing” for the purposes of this goal.

And I decided that I’d use National Novel Writing Month to get into the habit of writing daily. Because of this, I’ve selected an incomplete WIP to work on for Nano: Unwritten Letters. My base daily wordcount goal is going to be 500 words a day. If I feel like doing more, I’m going to allow myself to, but I’m not going to force it, no matter how much I may be wanting to make the month’s 50k goal. You can find my Stats here, and my Novel Information here.

Some Thoughts (Oct ’17)

I have a need to meander through my thoughts. Some of this stuff will seem to be the same stuff I’ve discussed recently here before, but it’s actually coming at things from a slightly different direction (I think).

The past few weeks have been stressful for me, but not always negatively so. I’ve been staying away from the news as much as possible, mainly because I could not have handled it well with all the other stuff I was going through. For a moment, I wanted to chuckle at my use of “all” when the primary issue was Einstein and his care and ultimate loss, but that comes wrapped up with a bunch of other stuff. Overall, I’m not as broken up about my first cat’s death as I thought I would be; despite the stress of going to the vet three weeks in a row and the resultant financial outlay for his care and euthanasia, I was doing pretty well. Though definitely not happy about it all, I wasn’t a basket case. I’m not sure just what to attribute my mostly-composed reaction to his death to, but I’m going to say it’s a combination of a number of factors, including my overall mental health and the fact I went the following Saturday to get another cat. The most depressing thing about losing Einstein was not his loss, so much as it was the emptiness of my home without another life form in it. While I cannot replace Einstein—he was a unique cat and there can be no replacement for him—I can say that the new cat definitely fills my heart and my home in such a way that my grief over losing Einstein is greatly leavened.

Over the past month or so, I’ve also developed the habit of leaving my home more than once a week on social excursions if possible. Most of these have taken me up to the pride center, where I’d hang out with the receptionist on duty and whomever else happened to show up to hang out. Sadly, the pride center is closing services in the building they’re currently operating from, I suspect for a number of reasons, at the end of this month. I think this is the last month of their six month lease on it, for one thing. Also, they’ve moved most of their mental health services to offices they’re renting about a block and a half down the street from where the current building is. Right now, the new owners of the old building are in the midst of renovating the downstairs for their use, so it sometimes gets rather noisy, what between all the power tools and the rapid-fire Spanish talk radio the workers usually play while they’re going about their business; I can only imagine what sort of fun the people in the Chinese restaurant the old building is attached to are having with all this construction work going on (LOL). The pride center is expecting to be able to move into its new location in January, though there is some doubt as to whether move-in will actually be able to happen that month. Either way, I’m looking forward to it opening up again.

Settling in with Hendrix, my new cat, has been interesting as well. When the shelter person called to check on things this past Monday (they call at 2 days, at 2 weeks, and, if I’m remembering right, 2 months), I had a concern or two about him. Unlike Einstein, who seemed to have no trouble settling in, Hendrix didn’t seem to have a very good appetite. The woman who I spoke to assured me it would take only a few days for him to settle in well enough for his appetite to return, and it certainly has! He’s eaten almost all his 1/2 cup of dry food and all of his two servings of half a can of moist food the past few days. Also, he isn’t as needy as he was when he first arrived—yes, he still likes to cuddle, but he’s not all over me most of the day. Really, Hendrix is a bit more independent than Einstein was, and generally cuddles with me only once or twice a day for anywhere from 30-45 minutes. I’ve learned that if he won’t stay still, or if he’s a bit bitey (he doesn’t break skin), that means he’d rather play instead. His favorite toy is the laser dot. Also, he’s a bit easier to deal with at mealtimes; where Einstein, before he got so ill, would not leave me alone when I ate, Hendrix will go to his own food after a couple of times of me putting him on the floor and making it clear he’s not going to get any people food.

Unfortunately, my writing isn’t going very well. I’m very glad I realized what I am beyond “writer” a couple months ago, because I’d be going bonkers if I didn’t have writing right now if I hadn’t. But instead of getting anxious or upset over not writing, I simply either go out or I entertain myself with my cat—Hendrix is always up for a good play session. Sometimes I lie down to see if I can galvanize any ideas or nap a bit; other times I’ll call or text a friend. I’m also much more willing to take care of daily chores and attend to things like making appointments these days. Before, I saw them only as bothersome interruptions to my writing flow and hated to attend to them.

I’m also getting back into Spanish on Duolingo, thanks to a friend’s efforts to refresh herself on hers. Though I’m not very competitive, I have just enough of a competitive streak that I hate having done nothing when someone else has. If not for the XP Duolingo assigns to one’s lesson modules (10 XP per completed module or review), I wouldn’t have cared. But it’s been fun getting back into it, and I beat the 150XP challenge that my Duolingo phone app has been offering for the past few months!

Though I completed my reading goal on Goodreads a couple months ago, that hasn’t done anything but given me a sense of accomplishment. I meant to keep reading beyond that and use the number of books beyond my goal for this year to base next year’s goal on. I’ll have to get on that.

On the other hand, I’ve been crocheting more often. I’ve completed about half a dozen or so cloths and a couple of scrubbies. I’ve even worked a little on my main big project, the afghan I’m making for my bed’s summer bedspread. Even with my “aggravated carpal nerves,” it’s been nice getting back into the crocheting.

And I think I’ve exhausted topics. I hope you’ve enjoyed this meandering through my thoughts.

The New Cat

I’ll be honest here. The weeks leading up to Einstein’s euthanasia were stressful for me, but I was still marginally creative. Mainly with crocheting, but a little with my writing. After he died, though, I entered a severely depressive state wherein I didn’t feel like creating. This was from Wednesday the 4th of October. I came home numb, out of sorts, and depressed. The only reason why I created at all though was because I got out of the house and went up to the pride center to hang out to escape my empty home. Frankly, my apartment wasn’t the same without a little bundle of fur around. It was depressing. Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed how much a little cat could fill a home, no matter how small, if not for my experience with Einstein, and losing him was absolutely devastating for me.

Even with all that, though, I wasn’t sure about getting another cat right away. I kept telling my mom that I’d wait on getting another cat. Maybe a month or two. But I spent time on various pet adoption sites browsing the pics of their cats. Mom sometimes joined me, and we’d repeatedly go through the cats posted on the Salt Lake County Animal Services website. By Friday, I’d worked up a list of cats and kittens I was interested in checking out, should they be there still. Oh, and I’d made tentative plans to go with Mom to the shelter if my friends and I didn’t game, and Mom said she’d go with me to pay the fees for the new cat.

One of the things Mom did on Thursday was contact the Salt Lake County Animal Services about Einstein’s death. According to Mom, the head of the office (whose name I can’t spell based on how it sounds and can’t find anywhere on the website) was dismayed to hear of Einstein’s death and the reason for it. She even asked Mom for the name of the illness that took him, and Mom thinks that’s because the other kittens who were in the kennel cage with him also had Feline Infectious Peritonitis. As a result of that call Mom made, the director of Salt Lake County Animal Services agreed to waive the adoption fee, even offering to allow me to adopt two cats free of adoption fees if I wished. But Friday proved to be a wash for the trip. Mom and I both had rough nights of sleep, so even though my friends couldn’t game, we agreed to go Saturday.

So, on Saturday, Mom came over and helped me clean and disinfect my apartment to ensure my new cat wouldn’t come down with the same disease that took Einstein. By two that afternoon, we were on our way to the shelter. This required a trip by commuter train and a brief walk. When we arrived, I checked in and received permission to go look at the cats, and Mom and I went back.

Leery of getting a kitten as young as Einstein was when I adopted him, I didn’t spend much time looking at the younger kittens. Mom and I had agreed that we wanted one old enough to have had its rabies vaccination already, if I did get a kitten. For the most part, though, I looked at the adult cats, one year old and older. This time, there were a number of people in the cattery: An older couple who were in one of the cat colony rooms when Mom and I entered and a family with kids. It was quite busy back there, a lot of activity with the kids opening kennels to play with and cuddle the kittens in them.

I eventually moved into a little offshoot room where cats in individual kennels were. Nearly all these cats were at least one year old. After some observation and careful “testing” by tapping the bars of the kennels, we discovered a pair of neighboring cats who seemed interested in us. One was a black-furred female cat who was about two years old. The other was a white and grey-and-brown patchwork cat we’d seen online. The black cat was vocal and stuck her paw out the cage whenever we took our hands away. The patchwork cat was also female, and she was around nine years old, if I recall correctly; she tucked herself right up against the bars of her cage for attention, wanting to be touched. I honestly didn’t know which one of these two I wanted, but Mom suggested I not be hasty—she wasn’t going to rush me—and to look around some more.

Since I couldn’t decide on either of these two cats, I agreed, and we left the little offshoot room and returned to the main (brief) corridor where the cat colony rooms were off of. The family with the kids had moved on to a different kennel with kittens, and the older couple had moved to a different colony room. Noticing that the cats in the first two colony rooms weren’t really interested in Mom and me (or the older couple, who moved from the middle room to the left-hand room while I watched), I decided to go to room three, on the far right, close to where a staff entrance was.

The cats were more lively in this room, and two were right by the window beside the door. Both of them meowed (I couldn’t hear through the glass, but their mouths opened), and the smaller of the two started climbing this funky looking cat tree that seemed just to be wide rods covered in carpeting that stood beside the window. I looked into the window in the door and saw the other cats were interested as well, so opened the door and stepped in.

Immediately the smaller of the two talkative cats reached out for me. I turned to say something to Mom, and the cat first put both forepaws on my backpack (a type with one strap, meant to be slung crosswise over the body), then hopped up to climb up me. This was the last thing I’d expected, but I was amused and let the cat twine up over my shoulders and around the back of my head—by the way, this was before I even shut the door. Mom looked at me and said, “I think you’ve got your cat!”

Agreeing wholeheartedly, I asked Mom to go get an employee and shut the door so the other cats wouldn’t escape, remaining in the room. While I waited for the minute or so it took an employee to come fetch this cat, it continued to make loops around my head. Mom returned, and she pointed out some pictures hung on the wall perpendicular to the entrance, within view of the window, and opened the door to ask me which cat it was. I honestly could not determine from the pictures on the cards which cat had chosen me. It must be said that everyone who saw how this cat glommed me was amazed at its behavior; nobody had ever seen anything like it.

When the staff member came to fetch the cat, she said she was glad they’d finally been able to move him to the adoption rooms—he’d been in seclusion because he got into an altercation with another cat and ended up wounded and they had to keep him secluded to ensure the wound would heal. She told us the cat’s name was Hendrix and they thought he was seven months old; she’d bring him out to us if we went out to the front desk.

So Mom and I went back out to the main room. There, I signed the paperwork, Mom paid the licensing fee, and I received my new cat!


Hendrix on Home Day 7 Oct 17


Einstein in a Republic of Tea box.

I’ve had a tough few weeks with Einstein. It started about two weeks ago this past Thursday, when I took him in for his leukemia booster shot. He had a fever, so they refused to vaccinate him and told me to bring him in again in a week. I brought him home and over the course of the week noticed his belly grow. When I brought him in again, they said he still had a slight fever and thought he had worms. After administering the dewormer I approved, the tech who’d brought it out showed me how to take his temp under his forelegs and advised me to get a thermometer, and to bring him one week later. I took him home and hit the store for a thermometer that day. Over the course of the next week, his temperature fluctuated, dropping then rising again. And when I got home from my volunteer shift on this past Tuesday I saw how big his belly was. Since I had an appt on Thurs, I’d scheduled his next appt for the Weds before, so I took him in.

The prognosis wasn’t good.

He had Feline Infectious Peritonitis, also called Feline Coronavirus Disease. It had caused fluid to build up in his abdomen, and the vet told me it would move to his chest next. In all but one case of kittens with this illness, she’d seen only one survive, and I thought, One out of how many she’s seen? and made the hard decision. Einstein’s quality of life had already suffered. He spent a lot of time curled up in the Republic of Tea box he’d made into his bed, or tucked up by his food and water dishes. I think it hurt him to hold him because he’d stopped cuddling as much as he used to. I didn’t want to watch him deteriorate or force him to suffer an awful suffocation/drowning death, so I let the vet euthanize him.

Einstein was a happy, active kitten until the disease took him. He loved cuddles. Almost every time I made a cup of coffee or tea, he’d hop up on the table in my kitchen area to watch my process with my Brita pitcher—he tried so hard to understand what happened to all the water. Nearly every morning, he’d serenade me awake at eight o’clock or so, and he’d sometimes join me to lie on my hip or abdomen if I unclipped the hose from my CPAP mask and called his name, and we’d lie there together taking comfort in each other, dozing.

There won’t ever be another cat like him, and I miss him.

I Think I Figured It Out

What have I figured out?

I think I’ve figured out one of the reasons why my creative mind hasn’t swung back to anything in-progress for any length of time this year. This could either be a completely bogus reason, or it could have some real, actual bearing on the vagaries of my creative mind this year. I’m not quite sure which this is, but I’m leaning toward real, actual bearing.

Aside from just being bipolar, and all that brings to the writing desk all by itself, I distinctly recall either thinking to myself or mentioning to someone the fact that I was amazed at how I think I’ve come up with the Absolute Final Idea for a magical system, and then my creative mind throws something new at me. I may even, back a couple years ago, before I maxed out the alphabet in naming my worlds (a different letter to begin each world’s name), have foolishly thought to myself that, hey, I wonder just how many different magical systems I can come up with?

Have I mentioned to y’all how I sort of give things to my subconscious to work on? Say I’d like to write a story about a character who becomes a mage via bestowal of such gifts by a god. I’ll sit here in my chair, and focus on that idea. I’ve made that particular request since writing the first words of Discordant Harmonies 1: A Pitch of the Scale, just out of curiosity to see what my creative mind could come up with; can’t think off the top of my head of any other worlds/universes where gods or godly beings bestow magical powers, but I’m sure there’s at least one in my 26+ list of worlds. But I’ll do that. I’ll tell my subconscious that I’d really like to work on a story based on this particular idea at some point in the future. I’ll do this with story ideas, concepts I’ve read in other authors’ books, worldbuilding details. You name it, I’ve probably put it to my subconscious that I’d like at some point to write a story employing whatever it is.

And I think I unintentionally did that to myself with creating magical systems. It really wouldn’t have taken much, especially with as much as I was thinking about how I must have maxed out the unique magical system ideas with This Most Recent World last year.

This was a bad thing for me to do, and I would never have done it intentionally. My record of completing stories is already poor. I did not need a year during which my creative mind would do its best to prove to me just how many and varied the different magical systems I can create may be, because this means that I’m not completing anything. While I have touched certain in-progress projects, doing anything I planned at the beginning of the year has gone out the window. I can’t focus on those projects, or anything else I’ve left lingering incomplete because I’m just not getting ideas for them. All my ideas are for new worlds, with new stories set in them.

I’ve tried being disciplined. Unfortunately, trying to focus on projects that aren’t moving only makes me miserable, and I remember too well how I feel when I’m forcing to move projects that I don’t want to do that. It’s awful enough being unable to focus on anything without the added emotional turmoil from trying to force stuff that doesn’t want to move to go.

So, I’m putting it to my creative mind right now. I’m focusing on the thought: I want to complete some stories. No, I don’t care which ones they are and I don’t care if I outline them or not. I just want to finish them. I’d like a period of completion of stories.

More Thoughts About AEP

I’m once again rethinking AEP. This usually happens at some point every year, to be honest. Sometimes more than once.


Mainly because my bipolar is so random that I can’t keep to a set schedule. I try again and again to stick to a schedule, then I lose interest because I just don’t care. This isn’t the only state of mind I suffer over my site. Other times I want to post nearly every day. Sometimes more than one post a day even. There’s just no way to predict what mood will strike, though I can control the urge to post all the time.

But I think I’ve reached the point when I don’t care about the impression I’ll be giving if I post more frequently. My main concern with this has been what I’ll post. Mostly longer commentary on the minutiae of my life, to be honest, then what I can post on Twitter. It’ll be trivia, to be honest. Specifically, the kind of trivia I can’t imagine anybody else being interested in because I’m not interested in that kind of trivia. It’s just what I feel like rambling about at length.

No matter my efforts to make my blog and my site more “professional”—I just can’t seem to keep up with it. Rather like my writing, that. I have so many ideals in my mind about my writing that it’ll never meet. I’m trying to learn to accept the fact I’ll always fall short of my writing ideals. Why not throw my blog in with that? I want a professional sight that’s updated regularly.

It’s apparently not going to happen on a schedule.

And, I think, that’s part of what stresses me out to the point of developing a serious case of indifference to whether or not I post anything on my blog at all. Unfortunately (for me), I have a lot of nonsense crap to say, and I happen to enjoy posting it for public consumption. While I do have limits, they more align with what I will and won’t post, not necessarily when or how much info about them I’ll share.

So, maybe expect an uptick in posts here.

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