The harder I try, the faster I go

Where is my baseline? When I’m depressed, I think ‘yep, this is where I normally live’, but when I’m manic I think ‘yep, this is where I’m meant to live’ and honestly, I just don’t know. I don’t know I know what it’s like to be happy or excited without being manic. I don’t know I know what it’s like to be sad or blue without being depressed. I don’t know that I’ve spent one minute of my life in a “normal” human mode without an extreme taking over.

My fears and frustrations did what they always end up doing to me: they pushed me into action. In the last 48 hours I’ve designed and prepped a flyer for my play; designed and prepped a teaser video for said play; brainstormed on marketing and advertising strategies (three pages worth); searched in English and Dutch for venues, bloggers, and anything remotely connected with theatre and the arts; and brainstormed, researched, and decided upon a tag line for the entire production. That’s in addition to reading several chapters in my book, writing three pages of narrative in Dutch, finishing my homework, getting to the gym, and keeping up on the housework.

Just a little manic (and yes, that’s sarcastic, I’m out in the fucking stratosphere, people).

In some ways, this is just my life. My pattern is to think for a long time. It looks like I’m doing jack shit, but in truth I’m working my ass off contemplating whatever it is I’ve got in my sights. When I finally do make a move, I’ve thought it out so completely that it goes at lightening speed. The flyer I designed was a perfect example: thought about it for days but the physical process of putting it together took me less than 30 minutes, and that includes searching for and manipulating a copyright free picture to use in the background. Same with the teaser video. Boom, boom, boom – one, two, three – and it’s done. Now both projects must sit on my desktop because neither can be released before I have performance dates and venues. … But, yeah. I’m always in feast or famine mode. It’s the natural of the way I work. Catch me in famine mode and you’ll think I spend my days sitting around on my ass playing games and watching tv. Catch me in feast mode and you’ll think I never sit down nor stop working.


The internet cut me off. Yeah. Even the Universe is flipping telling me to STOP.

Trying to divvy up my time. An hour here, an hour there. Move around and don’t stay with anything too long. It isn’t really working. I’m fighting it, wanting to keep going once I get going. Or I get up and try something else to little effect and return to my obsession. Try this, write that idea down, search that. If I don’t slow down I’ll have all the ‘jobs’ finished before I even talk to the director about the production.

And no matter what I cajole my body into doing, my head stays on topic, never leaving it for long, never ceasing to think of new ideas, new approaches, new considerations. Mentally, I like being here. It is full of hope and energy. I also know it’s a danger point.

Food is never far from my thoughts these days. Don’t skip meals. Eat something. Mornings I feel like I have to shove food down my throat. Evenings I feel like I can’t eat enough. Been trying to just go with the flow as best as possible, but working out at the gym or any other afternoon activity throws a wrench into it: go too hard in the afternoon and I drop. Ergo, I need food before I do my afternoon activities. But I then I’m shoving food again, feeling like I’m eating unnecessarily when I’m not hungry. Tried riding out the morning and eating after the gym, which works to an extent. It screws up my dinner time, tho, and I don’t like that. The experience just serves to bring me back to the beginning: gods, I wish I didn’t have to eat at all.

Fucking three dimensional carbon based life forms! What a wet sack of shit we’re all caught in. My body just slows me down. The pain, the need to sleep, to rest, to eat. It disrupts my work, and that irritates me. I do my best to remind myself that this is reality as I know it; the animal is part of me, treat it like a well loved pet rather than an often kicked dog. Gah! It ain’t easy.

Thinking about tackling those big cleaning jobs around the house, the ones I do once every six months or so. It’s time; the place needs it. It would also be something else to keep me occupied and at least physically away from obsessing (and it would allow me ample time to just think about things). That’s hardly ‘rustig’, tho. My best bet is to try reading again, tho lately I’m so squirrelly I have a difficult time sitting even for that.

I can feel my routine break down. See it, even. I was so stable for so long. Get up, eat oatmeal, exercise, Dutch, afternoon writing, evening tv, sleep. Now, it’s all out the window. Can’t eat in the mornings, exercise is a vague maybe, Dutch homework is still a drag tho reading has become a joy, my only writing is my obsessive marketing information collection, evening tv is on but largely unwatched because I’m fucking obsessed and only thinking of my work, and sleep is a toss and turn and check the clock to see if I can get up and start again.

I’ve been here before. I know what this is.

And the harder I try to slow down, the faster I go…



Out of jail. That’s how my head feels: I’m out of jail. Finally.

This delightful feeling of lightness comes from another notch in my understanding of Dutch. They said reading would help. I didn’t believe them as I slogged through text after text, never enjoying it, always feeling like it was homework because there were just too many words I didn’t know. Yesterday I reaped the benefits of my hard work. Every word from my instructors was crystal clear. I heard the ‘-ie-‘ used for ‘hij’ after a verb that ended in T. I heard ‘raad’ (guess) and knew what the meaning was. I heard ‘ingewikkeld’ (complicated) and caught on right away. I heard ‘om’ and ‘toe’ and ‘maar’ and ‘al’ – those pesky words that flash by in a blink with native speakers. I was so excited I just sat there vibrating with joy and excitement. I didn’t just follow the gist of the conversation, I got every word.

My teachers took my suggestions to heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We spent the day going over prepositions. Not just over or under, which are the baby prepositions you learn with A,B,C, but those larger prepositions that can get split in a sentence. I was not the only one excited by the lesson; everyone seemed to respond that way. We were more jovial, more verbal, there were more questions, more examples, and when we broke for coffee midway we ended up sitting around a table together and continuing to discuss prepositions, our lives, and the language. We were all so into it, as a matter of fact, that everyone – students and teachers alike – stayed an extra 15 minutes to finish up some reading.

I didn’t want the lesson to end. I didn’t want to take a break. I just wanted to keep hearing the language so clearly. Keep reading, keep learning. I don’t ever remember feeling so fired up, tho I imagine I once felt this way about English.

*sigh* Real satisfied joy. Boy, that’s a great feeling!

Today’s my appointment with Dr D, my GP, about the pain killers. Almost forgot about it with everything else. It’s small potatoes now, and I wonder why I ever thought it was a big deal. Go in, have my say, head out. No big whoop.

Yesterday was the first day I truly felt back to full health. No hunger pains or problems from almost starving myself. No headaches or jaw aches, no toilet problems or sleep problems. I had energy, I was alert, and I felt good physically and mentally. Happy I’ll be able to say all that to my doc. Worry was becoming a constant companion to me. Who’d a thunk my biggest problem was food? Not me, certainly. I have an almost non-stop litany of ‘you’re so fat’ going in my head. So I skip meals, cut back on what I eat, and never feel like I’m really doing enough. But I’m not 15, or 25. My body can’t do this any more, as evidenced by the migraines and other accompanying pain I experienced. And I shouldn’t feel like I need to ask it to do this.

It’s time to tackle my body issues. Among other things.

…Well, at least I’ll be doing it on a full stomach, for Pete’s sake…

Sent out some emails expecting them to be answered quickly. Naturally, they aren’t. One was to the director asking about meeting this week to go over the script. Hope my messages didn’t fall into a black hole. Again. There are black holes in cyber-space, and there are servers and areas where emails typically go missing. I’ve had it happen to me before. Best to give it a few days. Every time I follow up fast, thinking my message has gone missing, all I end up doing is annoying the other person because yes, they actually did get my first message and they’re just not as fast on response as I want them to be.


Thinking I might head to the gym after my doc’s visit. I feel good enough to go and get a walk in. Yippee! That’s real progress. Trying to not dwell on how long I’ve been off my routine, or how long it will take me to get back to where I was physically. The goal is simply to get some movement. I still want to break 5km in 30 minutes, but I’m not ready to even get back on the cross trainer quite yet. I’ve been real good on taking care of myself, being gentle with myself. Getting on the cross trainer at this venture…oh, that’s asking me to push too hard and hurt myself. Nope. Won’t even give myself the opportunity.

I’ve very aware how close I am to tipping into full blown mania again. I’m too excited and excitable, too easily wound up, too easily thrown off from my normal sleeping and eating patterns. Nine days before my first psychiatrist appointment, and I hardly expect to be given a prescription after my first visit, so the number one rule is (as it’s been for quite some time now): take care of myself. Don’t judge what that looks like, just do what it takes. I cannot afford another three months down because of TMJ. I do not want more pain. I do not want to take more pain pills. And I have firm commitments coming up, goals to achieve. I need to be in good health to do all these things.

Prisons come in all shapes and sizes. My prison… I was going to say it was ‘all in my head’, which technically it is, but I don’t want to feel discounted by my own words. My prison was is was (which is the correct verb?) very real. A prison of anxiety and fear, self doubt and self hate. I walled myself off years ago to protect myself, never fully realizing how much I would cut myself off in the process.

Those walls are coming down. The language barrier is coming down.

And I’m free.

Why can’t you?

Spilled my guts to my bro yesterday, including my discomfort over his dislike of B and her husband. What our conversations must look like! Two manic people doing their best to slow down, hear each other, and communicate. He has a slight advantage over me, with his pills. We got through it. Cleared the air. Got a ‘yes, it’s okay to be friends with B and her husband’ along with a lot of other explanation that I didn’t really need but I realized my brother needed to tell me. I feel better for having talked it through.

Last night was tough. I was left on my own because my bro had band practice. Happy for him; he enjoys playing music with other people. But for myself, I faced a long, silent night with no one to talk to, no one with whom to enjoy films, and no one to help slow me down. I kind of forgot about the rehearsal, too, so I wasn’t even mentally prepped for it. Usually I’ll spend an hour or so going thru our DVDs, pulling out the ones I think I might enjoy watching all by my lonesome. I’ll think about dinner, an after dinner treat, snuggling in my jammies, etc. Yesterday, nothing. Six in the evening came around, my brother said goodbye and walked out the door, and I was left with a whole lot of nothing to deal with. Took an hour to talk to myself, calm myself down. Paced and rubbed at my pants (a terrible habit I’d like to break myself of because I end up ruining all my pants in short order). Chose a film, sat, forced myself to watch and keep watching. Every time my attention wavered I pulled it back to the screen. Watched a tv program we’d recorded, too. Managed to keep myself occupied ’til 10:30 – a record for me. Usually I give up and just go read for three hours.

Still unable to really relax. Just keeping it off panic-mode.

Today I plan to get back to the gym. Nothing else really going on, and I don’t want to sit around here all day long. Get out, do something else, breathe air somewhere else. The gym fits all that, plus it gets me moving (and it’s already paid for). Then it’s back here to begin my audio book read along in Dutch. I have these tools for three weeks. No problem getting through them. The only real question is, will I have time to get through them twice? *sigh* I really want to return to my language class with another bump in my learning. Come back forming better sentences, speaking clearer, knowing more. I should just buy a set of gold star stickers and use them on myself. Put one on my forehead for communicating clearly, or on my homework when I do well. Gods! If only that worked as well for me as having someone ELSE give me that gold star!

If only I could believe myself worthy of a gold star. That’s the real problem. I can’t keep asking other people to give it to me, I have to learn to give it to myself. Maybe I need to go back to my reward system. I found it difficult to get through, difficult to actually give myself rewards. I promised them to myself. Oh, yes. But giving them to myself was a whole other thing. Being able to enjoy them once I allowed myself to have those treats was even harder. And what, exactly, to DO to treat myself? Tried taking baths; felt guilty about using so much water, sitting around doing nothing, and tying up the bathroom. Tried going out for a pastry; felt guilty about eating a sugary treat, and paying for it when there’s so little disposable cash in the house. Tried going out for a walk; that was okay, but it was too much exercise and push and not enough pure enjoyment. The only thing I really feel is a “treat” is when I allow myself to sit and read for hours at a time. But making that activity into an action dependent reward system makes my skin crawl. I don’t want to put limits on it. I don’t want to make it into a guilty activity when I’ve finally remembered the joy in it. Doing my best to use it as an after thing; head to the gym and then you can read or clean up the house and then you can enjoy your book. But I don’t want that set in stone. I don’t want to be left intellectually hungry – no, starving – again.

What to do, what to do…

…How about trusting yourself?  – Okay, who asked that? Hm. Some part of me, obviously. Well, listen, missy: a reward system doesn’t mean I don’t trust you. Or us. I just want one in place to help us. And, c’mon…we deserve a treat now and then. We work hard. This is me trying to be nice to us. Why are you making it into something combatant? That’s not what it’s meant to be. If you/I look at it as something negative, it won’t work. Can’t we say we did a good job? Can’t we have a treat of some sort, pet ourselves in some manner, pat ourselves on the back? Why do you feel like we don’t deserve that? Other people do things like take vacations, for fuck’s sake! They take down time. Why can’t you? …You’re worth more than that, you know. You’re worth knowing, worth having around. Other people can see that.

Why can’t you?

Allow yourself to dream

Woke up this morning with all enthusiasm for my script gone. I was/am feeling certain the group won’t do it. It’s all the way through me, not just an imagining in my head. Total acceptance. Some might say I had a bad dream. Others might say my subconscious put together some puzzle pieces my conscious mind couldn’t or wouldn’t. And what has sparked this? A message – a slightly niggling message – out on my Google email regarding a reprisal of last season’s play. A theatre in Amsterdam has an opening in April, and we’ve been asked to fill it. Seems I was the only one left to weigh in on the topic, since ‘everyone else is on WhatsApp’. Hm. While I’m not opposed to doing the play again, I am very conscious of the time commitment needed to do it and do it well – a time commitment that will take the group away from deciding on this season’s play, time away from auditions and work on something new. Namely, my script. It may push the timeline back far enough that we won’t have enough days to produce my work.

…Right. Had to apologize to my bro. Woke up late and ‘loaded for bear’, as the saying goes. Slammed around in the kitchen, doing dishes. Snapped at my bro. Sheesh. Well, I overslept, obviously got triggered, and didn’t have a moment to myself to write. Hardly any wonder I’d slam around, angry. *sigh* Nonetheless, an apology was warranted. Got a hug in return, and a bit of conversation. That’s good medicine.

Managed to get to the gym yesterday. Knocked myself out and fell asleep around 6 in the evening for a half hour nap. Ah, nothing like running the animal hard to make it docile. And she was happy at the gym, smiling away as our heart rate pumped up to 150+. Out of practice, though. Extra creaky and sore afterwards. Tried to take a look at my homework, but the Dutch just swam in front of my eyes. Little wonder; it’s an article about gas extraction and the accompanying earthquakes. Important, but BORING and strewn with words 30 letters long. Oh, Gods! No wonder I feel so sluggish reading that shit. It inspires nothing in me. And it reveals no new information, other than current public reaction. Puh-leeze! I make no bones about my distaste for most public reactions. They are, by and large, mob mentality reactions, ignorant of the facts yet bullheadedly stubborn in their feelings of righteousness. …Ach! And yet I know I need these words, the 30 letter ones that make that voice in my head say things like ‘fair-kur-bick-elick-em-(mumble, mumble)’, which isn’t even CLOSE to the correct pronunciation, it’s just gibberish because there’s too many flipping letters to drag myself through! Argh! Answered a couple of questions, left the rest for later. It makes my brain hurt.

No phone calls – yet. Today is my follow up physio and I decided I’d be gentle with myself: I left the task of picking up the referral letter to this afternoon, when I’m there for my appointment. Tomorrow is a home day, while I wait for my injections to be delivered. That’s cleaning and phone call territory.

Today I just want to calm down.

Been saying that a lot. Been hearing it a lot, too: calm down (or, in Dutch, ‘rustig!’). And I work at that, reaching a delicate balance that suffices until the next calamity strikes. But it’s taking its toll. Still having tooth and jaw pain. Still snapping at people. Still feel like I want to crawl out of my skin. Nothing is fast enough. It’s only 10 am.? Only Monday[I know it’s Wednesday; this has been going on a while]? What, has time suddenly decided to crawl through the rest of eternity? Good Goddess! The only thing my mind really seems to slow down for is simple Dutch reading. The fairy tales and kids’ stories. Give me that article on gas extraction and I zone the fuck out; give me Roald Dahl and I slow down to savor it. I can’t understand the gas extraction article fast enough, and I’m impatient. I want it, now. Now, now, now, now, now!

…Had to take a moment to get that id under control. Quite a terror.

My emails continue to have nothing in them. No peep, no follow up, no telling me what the status of anything is. Don’t know if I’ll be performing in Amsterdam in April. Don’t know if anything’s been forwarded or talked about with the Board. Don’t know if the artistic director in the states has even looked at my stuff (tho, of all my gripes, she’s the least on the list). Telling myself it’s only been two days – not even a full 48 hours – since the read through. That I only replied to the Amsterdam performance a scant 12 hours ago. But I feel like it’s been months since all of that, and that little girl id in me can’t understand what’s taking everyone so bleeding long.

Rustig. If the only thing you can slow down for is fairy tales in Dutch, use it. Read. Sit in your big chair and indulge. You know you want to; that starving part of you has been screaming for more, more, more since you woke her up. Screw the gym. Take care of the part of you that’s in the worst shape – and that isn’t your ass! It’s that wonder-filled little girl who always takes the time to smell the roses, and stare up at the twinkling stars. She never is in such a hurry she can’t enjoy flowers poking up from the earth, or the smell of autumn leaves decaying under her feet, or the eggshell blue of the sky. You have been pushing for months: the play, the film, the language. Stop! No; allow yourself to stop. You keep doing it, staring off in the distance, but then you shake it off and get back to work. Allow yourself to stare.

Allow yourself to dream.


The Dutch call it ‘zin’. Zeal. Zest for life. Interest in things other than how much toe jam has built up under your big toenail.

I felt it flood back in me yesterday. Got on the cross trainer. Took it slow; it’s been a month and I’ve been smoking like a chimney. Got my heart rate up to the 140s, did my 30 minutes, and ended up picking up speed throughout so I did a decent distance.

Wish I could say it’s been pain free, but it hasn’t been. My back is still a problem, and if I chew regular food on the right side, that tooth hurts. Gods. Like I want to tell the fucking dentist THAT. I’m afraid it will result in more tinkering, which will mean more pain, and more money because Goddess knows the damned dentist won’t do anything for fucking free even if he’s screwed up your teeth and it’s probably all his fault anyway. I don’t want to pay either price.

Today I see my very cute physiotherapist. I always look forward to that. Half physio, half head shrink session – I come out of his office feeling better physically and mentally. Good. Feels like I need to bounce a few things off someone other than me or my bro. Get an outsider’s take on things. …Okay, there’s really only one thing I need to bounce off him. Therapy. I’ve got a push me/pull me thing going with the idea. Part of me stubbornly says NO with absolute authority, the other recognizes that I really might need someone to talk to. Every time I think I’ve made up my mind, the other part of me starts acting up, talking loudly in my brain, giving me every reason to change my decision. I can’t seem to stick to my choice. More: I don’t know how to commit to that course of action.

Was pleased to find my least favorite pair of jeans (the stretchy kind that always feels a size or two too small for my hips) not only slid on easily, but buttoned up without pulling the fabric together. Geez. Lose a few pounds and those hated pants become not so bad to wear. Not so pleased to know the weight loss comes from just not eating. Had at least a week there when I wasn’t eating much of anything, and another two weeks with food intake very low due to mouth/head pain. I’d like to lose the weight without feeling like I need to go extreme with my measures. That doesn’t seem to work so well for me. Keep things steady with diet and exercise and my body stubbornly refuses to let go of one ounce. Go extreme, and the weight drops off me. Bugger.

No word on anything I’ve written. Really would have expected to hear something from the local director by now. He’s had the full trilogy for 10 days. Have paranoia creeping up on me. Everybody hates it. Hates me for something I said or did. I’m on the out, and no one will tell me. The local group won’t do it, the US group thinks I was too pushy in even offering it, and S hates me for the comments I made on her writing. Reminding myself of all those things you have to remind yourself of when paranoia grips you: I’m not seeing the whole picture, all sorts of things could have happened in other people’s lives to slow the process, take a deep breath, dude – you’re being paranoid.

The factory that is my brain is always going. Three shifts, round the clock. Ideas are beginning to take shape. I’m beginning to feel that excitement that takes hold me when I’m working on a story. Before I allow myself to dive into it, tho, I must take care of some outside things. Get back to J on his story. Do that work my bro asked me to take care of. Think about and do Dutch. And get back into exercise full swing. I really want to say fuck it to all of that and just sit here, smoke J after J as I spin out my tales. Allow myself to fall back into it. Trying to be more than that, tho. Trying to be a good person, a good sister, and a good student. My writing is in direct conflict with those goals. I am selfish when I write. I don’t think about other people; don’t even listen to other people. Only my inner voice, the writer: she gets all my attention, and she’s an attention hog. But she only works with imaginary people, whom she can control totally. I want the full monty, with real people. That takes work. So my brain is on notice: half speed only. If you work, you work in private. On the back burner, quietly simmering. Someone else is taking the forefront for a while, and if you can’t outright support her the least you can do is shut the fuck up.

I need to stop smoking so much. Burning thru stuff. Not only is it bad for my health, it’s bad for my pocketbook. If I want to get my hair cut this year (and I’d desperately like my hair cut soon), I need to cut back. If I want to buy some new clothes, I need to cut back. Ipso facto. Smoking is currently the biggest expense in my life. But I’m also terribly bored, which leads to me wanting to smoke more. It’s a vicious circle. I cannot do some things, like Dutch, non-stop. It’s counter productive to my learning. And I don’t have much to do if I’m not writing. Exercise, sure. But that’s a short time period each day. There are hours to fill before and after. And then there’s my general health to consider: get out more, do more, and I fall ill more easily – which sends me right back into hermit mode.

So…I got the ‘zin’…what now?

Lay bare the new

Sent out one of the longest emails I’ve ever written. To my theatre connection and support in the states. It included notes on the trilogy, and PDFs of the script. It’s not their submission period. I’m probably a bit out of line with even sending it. But…and…I just couldn’t let A put in a submission for Blue Whale yet again with this group without informing her of the entire work. So she’s got it, with full explanation and disclosure.

I’ll admit it… I hope I get an email along the lines of ‘I just couldn’t stop reading it. It’s fabulous!’ Truth is, I’m not sure I’ve got my point across in the three acts. I’m hoping people get it, but you know how that goes – people can be insanely dense sometimes. Guess I need a little outside assurance on the whole thing.

Still no whisper from the local director. He’s had the full monty since New Year’s. Hello? Do you like it? Hate it? Are you on vacation somewhere and haven’t even read it? No idea.

Thinking about writing. How often I’ve seen or heard that old (and arrogant) phrase meant to encourage newbies: writers write. What a load. I heard that at 20 and didn’t understand. I heard that at 30 and thought I was doing what I needed to do. I heard it at 40 and got fed up with everyone, told them to all go fuck themselves and they’d never read my stuff again. I think I’ve finally got it. When you get to the point where you can churn out 1000 words on nothing and make it interesting, you’re there. Then, all you need is a story. But if you sit in front of your computer thinking, not knowing what to write, not knowing how to start…get writing. Everything. Every day. Make your damned shopping list into something interesting for me to read. My advice: tackle the small form first. Hone your skills on short material. The longer stuff will write itself. The story will spin and weave at its own pace, and suddenly you’ll realize you’re onto something.

In other words, stop trying so hard. Stop trying to be interesting or original.

Gods, I wish I could say that to J about his writing! It is what I think he’s trying to do: be very original and create an entire world. Kudos. We all do it. But…it’s too much. *sigh* Still don’t have my notes written out for him. Still haven’t finished reading his story because that’s how little it interests me.

Ach, if I ever teach, fantasy writing will be banned. Nope. Write in black and white before you flesh in those chroma colored characters.

Small victories: no pain in my teeth. Yippee! Still brushing cautiously. Another day at the gym. Not so yippee. Had a back spasm near the end of my hour’s walking. Still having pain in my hip area. And really! I feel like I’m not even using the gym if my heart rate doesn’t go over 140. But I’m doing it. More Dutch films. Hearing more. More understanding is coming back to me, getting the gist of the spoken Dutch before reading the English subtitles. Good. Better. Should invest time in reading my Dutch book, but it IS officially still my holiday time…

Heaving a sigh of relief. Received a letter from the government about my bro’s company. My bro was in a dither, but trying really hard not to show it. I felt immediately it must be some sort of mix-up or crossed wires. We just got everything cleared. So my bro met with his native Dutch speaking friend, and popped downtown to talk to someone. Yes. It’s a mix-up. Some paperwork somewhere along the line didn’t get put through even tho it’s there. Whew! Did not need another 6 months of running around like mad eejits.

Purposefully avoiding a lot these days. The news. Climate change. Equality. Seems these topics are in my face 24/7. I expect a lot of people feel that way. Every day, there’s something new. The biggest storm. The stupidest tweet. More sexual allegations. When I couple the news with the knowledge that nothing is really changing yet, nothing seems to remove certain people from office no matter what they say or do, I lose heart. Totally. Always comes down to fantasies of me with a gun in my hand. Those are ugly thoughts, full of anger and rage. I guess a part of me feels that some people will never change, and the world really would be a better place if they were just dead. Doing my best to find understanding, but that’s damned difficult. It’s difficult because people always have a choice. They can be assholes or not. Simple as that. Everyone gets hurt. Everyone has issues. Some people think that gives them the right to shit on others. Those are the people who need to die off. Accidental shitting on someone, or doing it and then regretting it…I understand making mistakes. But setting off to destroy someone with your words, your lies? No. Kill them. And all their spawn, because they’ve taught that to every single one of their children.

Speaking of parents and children, been thinking about a very harsh punishment system. One that punishes the family of criminals. If you’ve raised a criminal or a psychopath, you should be responsible for what you did. Don’t sit there and looks stupid, or hold your hands up and say you don’t know what happened. You knew – or should have known – about this. You chose to have this person. You took responsibility for feeding it, giving it a place to sleep, teaching it your ethics. If your experiment created a psycho, you should pay. …Harsh, right? I know. That’s a reflection of my anger level.

…Put that aside now. It’s Saturday; time to clean. High time for a good scrub all around – including me. Scrape off the old, and lay bare the new.

A New Thought

I feel undeserving. Just opened up my writer’s email and found this:

I wanted to let you know that unfortunately, we selected two shows for our spring event and your show was ranked third. However! I think this show would be the perfect for the Capitol Fringe festival (it’s a summer play festival in Washington DC that showcases tons of original works, sponsored by local theaters and actors.) If you are interested, I would like to put together a proposal for the Board of Little Theater of Alexandria[where I am the governor of seasonal planning] and propose that they sponsor it for the summer of 2019. IF they approve and IF it’s accepted to the festival, it would receive several weeks of performances at a venue in DC. In exchange for using your script, LTA would sponsor everything – we’d get a director, audition actors, provide rehearsal space, and cover all associated costs with promotion, props, staging, etc. Because we would be paying for everything, we would not provide any money to you for rights. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in I can work up a proposal to take to our Board (and show to you as well) to see if they would be interested.

I know eventually I’ll need to get paid. Can’t live on kudos alone. And some people would discount this note entirely because there’s no money involved. But I can’t get past the fact that this artistic director and governor of seasonal planning has now TWICE suggested taking my work to another level. She really believes in my script. I mean…look how much work she’s talking about taking on. Prepping for a festival, putting together a proposal, submitting to the board – that’s all her. I don’t do any of it. When I balance out the money they’ll spend on auditioning, rehearsing, travel to the fest and accommodations while there… I’m more than getting paid in my opinion.

Think I’ll offer her the full trilogy. She’ll either love it or she won’t. She’s already hot to trot on the first part.

Going to the gym on a daily basis right now. Had a huge, deep crack from my back yesterday and an immediate release of tension. Feeling better. Haven’t returned to my regular rotation yet; just doing the treadmill to open up my hips and back. But it’s a start.

Speaking of pain, I can brush my teeth now. All of them. Still a bit painful in one or two spots, but I can brush. Hip hip hooray.

Heard from S. We must have got our messages crossed. Either that, or my original message went missing in some cyber space black hole. She sent me her script. I…put on a teacher’s hat and gave her some notes. In fairness, she asked me to. And I was gentle, telling her ahead of time I’m being tough on her script because I think it’s worth the time and effort. English is her second language, so she’s got some basic errors that simply come from unfamiliarity with the phrases. While not technically wrong, some of her dialogue sounds a bit stilted. Gave her some suggestions. Her script is littered with passive writing – again, not wrong, just not in favor at the moment. Pointed these things out, gave her workable alternatives. The story was something else. She pinned it on a possession tale. Horror. I like horror. Sadly, she wrote from a film maker’s perspective – meaning she concentrated on her cuts and shots rather than the story. Her plot line was full of holes, full of unanswered questions. I brought these to her attention, giving her my take on the story. Sometimes writers are just blind to what they write; the story is so strong in their heads they fail to communicate it well. Left my note with a statement that I hoped it wasn’t too much, I enjoyed what she’s got, and I’m willing to talk more with her about these issues.

…*sigh* Made myself climb out of bed early this morning. Trying to force my way back to ‘normal’ hours. Hate that. It takes me 10 days to reset my clock to time off – staying up later, sleeping in, chilling. I get a day or two of bliss and deep sleep, then I have to force myself back to an earlier schedule to try and get ready for life. Almost not worth it.

Dutch. My brother’s been sneaky. He bought several cheap Dutch films over the break for me. Knows that in my current manic state, I’m more apt to take on an unknown film with subtitles simply for something new to watch. Watched 2 of the films. Thankfully, they’ve got English subtitles, so for the first viewing I was at least able to understand the plot. But I listened as much as I could. Found that as the films went on and I got used to the way each character spoke, I could make out more and more words. That’s encouraging. Not asking my brain to decode everything, just hear it. That’s the first step. Every once in a while, a light went on in my head – I know that phrase! Good. It’s coming back.

2018. I’ve got a Dutch children’s story to write this year. Months in the studio fiddling with sound for (hopefully) the performance of my work in Rotterdam. Research on a couple of levels: film script notation, historical references for future stories, weird and unsolved mysteries to base stuff on.

I’m not doing anything different. Or, I don’t feel like I am. So it’s difficult to reconcile this support. I find myself questioning it. Why? Why is this happening? Maybe it’s just a numbers game. Get out there long enough and eventually you’ll find someone who likes your stuff.

Or…maybe this is just karma. Maybe I’ve actually been doing things right. Giving so much, and now finally receiving.

Maybe I really do deserve this.

…Now, that’s a new thought.


Back to three a day.

Went to the gym, walked. All was good – even thought some of the pain in my back was easing off. Then I walked home, and was hit with a muscle seizure that made me gasp in pain loud enough that passers-by gave me a look. Inched home from there. Said fuck that, took an extra morphine pill in the afternoon. And if it happens again today, so be it.

Got a bill in from the dentist. There goes any plans for January funds.

Wish I would hear something from someone. Get at least one of these anticipated events pinned down to a day and time. Trying to remember at least half the world is still hung over.

Reluctant to move ahead on so many levels. Need to follow up with the jaw physio, but that means more money out, so I’m stalling. Need to call for an adjustment to my shoes, but that means dealing with Dutch, so I’m stalling. Need to get money on my phone, but there’s a hell of a wind storm at the moment, so I’m stalling.

Bloody hell.

The only thing I’m not stalling on is the gym and promised pain relief once I walk this out enough.

Hate the emptiness in my head. Echo, echo, echo… There’s nothing there. No ideas gripping me, no epiphanies to wrap my brain around – nothing. My senses deal only with what’s directly in front of me: do I have an appetite? My feet hurt; shut up and keep walking. I’m tired. I’m bored. See that mess? Clean it up. Make yourself useful, for God’s sake!


And what is with my brain? Noticed I’ve swapped around the numbers in my phone number on all my scripts, meaning I’ve sent the fuckers out with the wrong number on them. Geez! Well, I’ve been noticing problems with flipping around letters and numbers lately. A bit of dyslexia? Probably. I’ve always had problems with i/e or e/i. Just…got away with it in English, thanks to repetition and spell check. But Dutch? Ouch! It’s very evident.

*sigh* Learning another language has taught me so much about myself.

…Maybe it’s time to pick up film script formatting. Always said I wanted to take the thriller trilogy to film. It’s cerebral work. Half creative, half editing. At least it would be something to focus on for now. Flesh things out. Let my head have something to work on, but not too much. It doesn’t have to think plot lines. Oh, there needs to be some extended scenes and yadda yadda to make full length films, but the majority of what I’d need to do is think edits and camera angles.

Hm. Worth at least beginning the research on it. Remind myself of the format. Familiarize myself with the additional notations. Dream a little…

My bro is sensitive to my mood right now. He bought John Wick 2, which we hadn’t seen, saying ‘it’s something new, and I know you need that right now’. Goddess. I couldn’t ask for a better support. This is why my brother has my undying loyalty ’til the end of time. It’s the small stuff. The ‘buy yourself something fun; you need it’ or ‘take time off; you’re driving yourself too hard’. He’s the one who tells me when I go too far, do too much. I’ve got to have that. ‘Cause I can’t do it for myself.

Been thinking in the back of my brain about my maturity, or lack of it. Been called immature, young for my age, a child at heart… Sometimes I feel like that’s wrong. No. Oftentimes I feel like that’s wrong. Like people look at me and find it amusing, but they can’t puzzle me out. What’s with her? Of course, I look at them and wonder why they feel they need to be like they are: cynical, or devious, or lacking warmth because they think that’s the way adults act. Why shouldn’t someone keep their innocence, their joy over the small things, that fast, locked in love that comes from shared fun and trust? Shouldn’t we all be wondering why people say such nasty things to each other, why everyone seems so bent on tearing each other down rather than working together?

What good comes of being a dragon? Of working only for wealth, an illusionary thing tied only to this physical reality? What good comes of hoarding needed medicines or food?

I mean…I’m the last person to be called a fan of humanity. It’s rotten to the core, and I’m all for letting the species die out. And I’d still rather share what I have with others. Spread a little joy. A little understanding.

Is that what people find so ‘immature’? Is it because I’m unmarried and live with my brother? Is it the way I smile, the way I laugh, the way I play when I’m happy?

…I can’t figure it out. Guess I should ask.

I’m an oddball. Will I ever climb out from under that mantle? Oddball in school. Oddball in life. Oddball at work. Oddball at play. When you hear shit like, ‘you’re not like any other woman I’ve ever known’ over and over, you begin to wonder. And as time goes on, and others get married, buy homes, have kids, and plan for things, you look at that and think ‘ugh! no way; that’s not me’ and somehow that sets you apart, makes you even more different…

I don’t fit in.



Swallow the damned medicine

Began by cleaning up my desktop. Folders for accumulated story ideas, finished scripts, bio attempts, publishers and theatres. Moved onto the big visual stuff: garbage, recycling, hoovering, dishes, laundry.

Amazing, sometimes, how much I can do before noon.

Still not eating breakfast. Don’t want anything that isn’t sugar or coffee for the first six hours of wakefulness. I’m letting it pass. Figure I’ll settle back down into my routine over the next several days. If not…well, it’s a new year. Change is in the air.

Finances are tight. When have I not said that? Bills from my dental emergency, letters from the government wanting more expenditures in the business, computers on the fritz and a broken recliner. Somewhere in there I’ve got to eek out enough funds to cover the grey in my hair this month. Ye Gods. I soothe myself with dreams of less financial restrictions someday.

Given up on the US theatre company. It’s too late. Obvious I won’t be getting good news. Wish I could be celebrating right now, but truthfully…the new version is better. And I cheer myself by making the semi-finals, by the support and enthusiasm of the artistic director. I know my next submission to the group will be taken very seriously.

Used to the freedom from deep thought now. But I find I’ve too much time on my hands with very little to keep me occupied. Nothing satisfies my hunger for entertainment. Running a film while simultaneously playing video games has become a habit. Keeping it at that for a bit. I need to turn my mind back to language. Even as I type that my head screams. What a drudge. But I need that mastery, so the work has to be put in. I’ve just got to have enough boring stuff around me that it drives me to work where I need to work while still giving me enough down time to rest so I don’t drive myself nuts. That’s difficult to achieve.

Meanwhile, I’m fidgety…

Need to get back to body maintenance. A bit of pain in my back today. No more putting it off. Back pain is the last thing I need at the mo.

Ugh. And it’s not like I feel like going to class again, or getting back to chores or exercise. But I feel inside like your stomach does after too much cake. A little sick physically, and definitely zero desire for more cake. I’ve had too much time off. Too much down time, too much mania, too much. I need that oatmeal and 5k running goal life again. It’s kind of a mental cleanse.

Part of me wishes I could vomit at will. I’d just puke everything up right now. Get it all out of me. It would be awful, but then it would be over. And I’m not ever sure what I want to puke up. My feelings? The little amount of food I’ve actually eaten? My brain noise? All of it. Just…clean it all out. Let me start fresh. Everything feels old and worn out.

Sadly, my body’s the type that clamps down and does everything it can to not vomit. I think my mind’s the same – hanging onto shit it should really just let go.

What I need is some full strength mental, physical, and spiritual ipecac. Hm. Better watch it; the Universe is apt to give me what I ask for right now. Um…a gentle ipecac? I’ve already made great strides. I’m just having a little trouble letting go of the last of the sludge in me.


…So I’m clearing obstacles. The chores, first. Start with a clean environment. My body next: to the gym, get it back on a normal sleep/food schedule. The mind will fall in line.

You know what’s next.

Swallow the damned medicine.

Take control

Time is beginning to collapse. Always happens around year end. You wait and wait for the holidays. Maybe you even enjoy the lights and songs and food of the season. Then sometime around the 18th of December, time crumples and suddenly it’s on you and there’s zero time left to do anything.

I’ve got that feeling. Keep telling myself I have ample time to write, ample time to flesh out the stories, ample time to allow myself to feel better before I begin, but I can’t shake it. Driving me nuts. My head is always half writing, half imagining death scenes and dialogue. Been told by my bro to smoke it down more times than I can count – and he only sees the half of it. He doesn’t see my pacing or hear me talking aloud to myself when he leaves the house.

Two things today: exercise and writing. Been slack on both, and it’s time I get back to it. I need to start walking again. Get me back on those treadmills. And I’m just gonna dive in. Today my bro’s headed to the comic book shop, as usual, meaning I have the entire day to myself – and I’m NOT gonna divide it between pacing like a mad eejit and allowing my head to blank out to some film. Back to part one of the thriller for re-writes.

Re-read the first part again. It’s good. It’s tight. But I can make it better. Most of what I’m facing is easy, but I know my editing will shorten the length overall and I don’t want to lose time, so I need an additional scene. That’ll take a bit more work, but I’ve already thought it out.

How do I market this if the theater group in the states does the original version, and then I re-write it to be part of the trilogy? No flipping idea. *sigh* I’ll just be thrilled to have my work performed.

And I’m thinking ahead. What’s the next story? What do I tackle now? Another tidbit to drive me bonkers. Finish this first. Deal with that later. I’ve a list of story ideas and a folder of weird and unsolved mysteries. More than enough material for another script. In a way, that’s okay. I mean…it’s maddening, and distracting, but it also means I’ve thought out the thriller long enough that I feel it’s old hat. I know the story. I don’t have to think it out again and again. All I gots to do is type it out.

Manic, manic, manic. I’m on a spree. A mostly contained spree, but a spree nonetheless. No wonder I was clamping down on my jaw. I can’t stop my head.

Deep breath and slow movements. Small steps. Same prescription as I give myself for depression: keep going, but slowly. Don’t jump in any direction. Always move with caution or you’ll hurt yourself. And always, always, rest. Be kind to myself. Give myself props for what I can do rather than tear myself down for what I can’t do. …Sounds great on the page, but in reality my head’s putting up a lot of resistance. Scribble noise. If I was using paper and a pencil, there’d be a big scribble mark on the page. Just…frustration given form. Not so easy when you type. But trust me, it’s there.

Beginning to feel off. Out of sorts all the time. Thought I was doing better, feeling better, so I tried some pizza for dinner the other night. Talked normally, laughed. Woke up the next day feeling worse. More drugs. Back to soft food. I suspect the morphine is increasing my manic feelings right now, that antsy can’t quite sit still sensation that keeps me up and going even when I’m tired. Fairly obvious I still need it, tho. Monitoring my water intake, my food intake, my sleep, my pills… I need an assistant just for that. And when I’m not squirrelly tired, I’m so out of it I don’t even hear my phone ringing.

Hoping an hour’s walk will help. Or start to help.

I guess it all comes down to trusting myself. Right? I’m afraid of all the hang-ups that could rear their heads. I’m afraid of my upcoming dental appointment, that it will send me back into searing pain and start the entire cycle again. I’m afraid of spending my holiday nursing said pain, and not writing. …Yep. As if in confirmation, I just got hit with pain on the right side of my head.

Fine. Break it down.

Part one: the areas I need to re-write are already highlighted. I know what to do. The only question is the additional scene, and that – rightly – I should leave for last. Max words to that final scene: 1000. Max time: 2 hours. Time on other re-writes: 3 hours. Even with taking thinking breaks, that puts part one done in two days of work.

Part three: done. Stop thinking about it.

Part two: still fluid. However. I have the first version, and can re-write from there. Have to flip around the characters, female to male to accommodate the group. Have to modify the death scenes; I know what I want now. But the basic story, the creep factor…that stands as is. Even if I take a week with it, which I suspect I won’t, I’ve got the time. More than enough time. Everything else – production notes, sound and lighting cues – that can come later, when I’ve got the green light.

So stop. counting days. on your calendar! Rest! Get back into the swing of your life. Walk on the treadmills. Take your pills, baby yourself. You’ve got this. You can open up those files and tinker with the scripts any time you want. Do it today. Prove to yourself how easy it is, how little time it’s gonna take by doing some right here, right now.

Don’t let time push you around like a wimp. Take control.