Saturday, 6 May 2017

I know, it's been a while. I am doing some writing but there's something else I wanted to say...

   Hi all, and Happy May.

   And not surprising, the writing is taking some time, but I think I know what the problem is. Oh and then there's the fact I'm finding writing the middle section challenging on personal grounds I unfortunately can't tell you without giving away the plot. But I have put the first chapter up as a sample, so kindly enjoy!

   Life has at least settled, I'm in a new place where the rent is cheaper which is a nice bonus, and work and the weather both continue well. I have been sidetracked with a bit too much gaming (I heart Skyrim all these years later, and still heart running around with vampire hottie Serana, and shouting people off cliffs, and getting my stealth archery skills down pat - not bad for a Redguard in heavy armour lol). And a few other things.

   Point in practice having depression and anxiety, even thinking about watching shows like 13 Reasons Why and satisfying curiosity by reading the plot on Wikipedia can be a pretty tough affair. Being a writer I also have my creative issues but those aside, and initial dismissal put to rest, yeah, nah, I won't be putting myself through it and leave me in a tearful, pained mass on the floor. But gotta hand it to the author and to Netflix, I've ended up thinking a fair bit about the issue of suicide.

   It is something that's touched my life. Personally, I have held a knife at my wrist, and if not for that voice telling me not to waste myself, I could be a statistic. Someone I know committed suicide, that last ditched act of desperation robbing this world of someone with a most mischievous smile. Another person I knew through going through mental health services also died in circumstances that could also have been suicide, it wasn't 100% clear at the time.

  There is a point to all of what I'm saying, and its not just something 13 Reasons brings up. See, the girl I knew who committed suicide, it was mentioned briefly that she, like I, had gone through sexual assault. At the funeral, the pastor said that this wasn't something that needed to be discussed. Likely this was meant to consider what positive memory we had of Skye, but I always felt that this was sweeping a very important issue under the rug.

   There are a lot of agencies dedicated to discussion of the issue of suicide. Dedicated to reducing "stigma" (I hate the very mention of the unhelpful word, and the unhelpful process of "reducing stigma"). Indeed, they want to reduce the suicide statistics, and some of them have taken issue to 13 Reasons Why - they have their reasons, so be it. But I feel that we're just talking about the end result of suicide, not the things that lead up to it.

   What's the point in a title? That there's more than one reason a person might seek to end their life. But what can it imply? That we can not only make changes in our world that, someone falling towards the edges can seek help and be directed towards it (looking at you, poorly plotted character - I'll leave you all to guess which one), but we can make changes in our world that lead us to, as Jerry Springer said best, "be good to yourselves, and each other."

   Because, let's face it, while there are actions we may wish we'd never taken ourselves that can lead us into dreadful thinking of dire outcomes, there are actions we may take unto others that can lead them into that very same place. If we're going to talk about suicide, then we'd better talk about being nice to each other, acting in ways for each other's betterment and not cut-throated, juvenile, puerile cold-heartedness that leads to calls of bleeding hearts when someone says we should be nice to each other.

   We need to go further than if you're thinking of harming yourself, it's okay, you can reach out. We need to get solid on if you've been harmed, badmouthed, bullied, sexually assaulted, neglected, not listened to by an adult, witnessed trauma, anything... yes, you can reach out, and yes, there are people who will listen to you and gladly help you get help. In fact I implore you to, because there are plenty of avenues away from that dreadful edge, and even if you have to travel those avenues for the rest of your life, believe me, the world and the people in it are much better for you being here.

   Because yes, we will miss you if you weren't here. And those who say they won't or urge you to cross over the edge (a frightful online occurrence that has been reported on) are evil scumbuckets who deserve to be ignored.

   Sorry to get all deep and meaningful, but it's been floating around in my head for a couple of weeks now, and having my conditions makes it something I'm passionate about. And with that, I'm going to try and get back to my writing.


   Take it easy, all, and lets celebrate being nice to one another. Humans achieve a lot when they group together in the face of adversity.

   T.M.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

"Well, well, well... Look who's come crawling back."

   Hey all,

   Yes, its a bit like the mocking of Lisa Simpson's brain, having hauling my way back to some semblance of reality after everything else bailed out of the pool. For the writing, definitely, and also the old private life which ended up going a bit skewiff...off tangent...batcrap crazy (I have pages of these I can go on).

   And yeah, been a while since coming back here. Thems the breaks for having depression and anxiety while working two jobs to fund the writing habit which festered as it happens on the backburner of a backburner that is "I really should write."

   At least the previous days I've been able to make some headway in Three Ways so maybe there'll be a book sometime next year, but as with most of my writing I get restive and sometimes excitable and up and down like its nobody's business - but that's the creative side and it somehow seems to work. And that was something of a relief.

   I can waffle on at times, but this one really is going to be short and sweet. Short story is I'm now flatmate hunting, got a couple of clear days this week to squeeze some more writing in, I've sold out and gotten Telstra mobile broadband, and I really need to sort out the repressed go out on a shindig side again (and that's going to be fun).

   Here's cheers at least for getting going with the writing again, and of course my usual hope that whoever you are reading this, you (as always) have a good one.

  Other than that, expect some more blogging and maybe some writing progress updates (and that sample chapter I promised) soon. The only thing I can't be certain of is exactly HOW soon that'll be.

  Fingers crossed all,
  T. M.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Change for the (writier) Better - At Least, That's The Plan

   Hi guys,

   Well, it's been interesting since the last post, made so by my own hand and even an unexpected external influence.

   Needless to say, I did go pretty personal last post, so be it this is the complex person I am and even with all the darker journeys forced upon me and all the other stuff I wouldn't change anything in the least. As it happened, one person in particular chanced upon my blog and even on Faceplant (the modern equivalent of ye olde phone booke) and got in contact with me to tell me more about my paternal grandfather - a man I'd never met.

   Sure enough, after doing the careful fishing to ensure it wasn't a scam, there was the description of my great grandparents' house, doing the family tree search and coming up with mine and my sister's name, and filling in parts of the story I didn't know and don't recall being told by anyone. A brief email exchange, and I was told about a man who was intelligent and with a wicked sense of humour - exactly how I'd describe my own father, and myself.

   My guess is the influence ran in the family; I'd never known my paternal grandfather was a sheetmetal worker (probably where my dad gets his Labor-voting, blue collar ethic from). And not knowing he was pretty serious on the Catholic front, for some reason or another he became a brother of the Redemptorist Order and apparently did a 13 year Gesthemane journey - which ended in 2013 with his death.

   So, sadly, I won't have the pleasure of meeting him, and all I have is knowledge that he, too, has his own difficulties in life. Whether I'll pursue it further or just be thankful of the knowledge gained so far, I'm not sure. But I know for certain that things like this can come out of the blue, clear of coincidence, and the world truly is a small place since I was tracked down from NZ by the online method.

   There, of course, goes the cereal, here comes the shocking bit to ensure I can do the thing I love the most and write - I quit my office job and am embarking on a search for something in hospitality closer to home. Hate to say it, but the office just does my head in, not withstanding the up to 1.5 hour commute to a job kept because it was closer to my old home before departing; that commute and the executive functioning needed for an impersonal job staring at a computer screen was eating into my creativity, which I'm truly good at.

   So far, I'm up to the looking so the writing is still a bit of a backburning pot, and I'm hopeful to find work before I have to find my way to the welfare office (I'm not going there but lets just say I can't afford rent, phone, internet, power, paying off a car, etc. at the same time on welfare) or take up a street charity sales job or god forbid something graveyard shifty to prevent that stop-gap step of becoming the LNP's public enemy number one - people looking for work.

   Yeah, I'd go cleaner first, I know me and life on the dole too well. On the plus side can't call me a bludger, if welfare is the only step its the only step but only for a short time I hope :). But trust me to make my life interesting, and get back onto the Three Ways bandwagon and see if I can't come out with a book before New Years Eve.

   On that note, I'm going back to my other three applications for present and get ready for my trial tonight at a place just up the road from me (close = yeah!). Will catch up maybe soon, maybe not, depends how I feel, but hopefully back to the writing before long.

   As always, have a good one!
   T.M.

Friday, 19 August 2016

It's been a while...

  ...and after quite some time, hi guys,

   Yes, the blog has been quiet of late. Writing, quiet of late. My head, not so quiet of late; in fact its been cloudly lately, turbulent and stuff. Things have been getting me down, and while tangible and they have a make-sense place, I haven't quite figured out if its Depression avec schizophrenia (or the other way round) matched with some corked Chateau d'Anxietie.

   My guess is, if I'm on an SNRI and now an anti-psychotic (used as mood stabiliser but it might also keep me away from another pop of psychosis - I had enough fun decoding numberplates and conversing with tree branches blowing in front of streetlights when I was eighteen), then my brain is doubling down on (I'm no seeing or hearing things, so I'm hoping mild) schizoaffective.

   Time may tell on that, and as to why I'm being so open about it here. And why here? Well among the other things my brain is doing to itself that makes some simple things strangely difficult if I'm not apathetic about it, namely work, that work is taking a lot out of my time that could be spent, you guessed it, writing.

   I guess I needed to get it off my chest. I tend to process pretty well, though it does end up as a conversation to myself that has very informative answers. Call me crazy it's like there's two of me in my head, but at least the other "side" if you will tends to have my back, lets me get out my emotions. Call it the voice of reason, sort of, and maybe it was that voice long ago telling me not to waste myself.

   My internal jury still out on that, but anyway, here I am, Friday after a long, long week, meant to be doing some report for one of our clients - you know the type, makes you jump through too many hoops to justify their own existence. And why am I bothering? Why am I pleasing someone else (through the employer), and while I'm there, why am I pleasing them?

  Pay? Sure I need to make the rent every week, but its comfortable. Reward? Could open doors elsewhere down the track. Life balance? Not quite, I'm going to try working from home this weekend for a couple of hours but so far signs not looking so good. Frankly I'd rather be writing; that not paying bills, I'd rather be around people than hiding in the same noisy office (trust me, doesn't help my head with constant distractions and sudden volume spikes).

   At Ivy on a busy Friday night? Sure, you expect that from 1000 people. But an office of 12 people? Yikes, it almost hurts.

   And I'm the one feeling like the let down, the dead weight. I'm not that far gone at least to believe that, it just feels, and I can process them. I'm just coming to understand I'm not an office worker, admin saps my clouded brain, and with the new tablets permitting a hint of clarity I'm seeing more and more this week that I'm dancing to someone else's tune, and I'm not talking about the boss.

   Let's just say it goes back some time, in addition to the darkest moments forced onto me by two trusted adults and one I should not have (processed those flashbacks out, and I can cast recurrences back into the past, yay me for that at least), and the shit I copped at school(s) for being different, and the whole sexuality thing (even my birth year, 81, spells Bi, sort of cute when you look at it) which I didn't explore until after high school anyway.

   And there's more things out of the bag than I expected. Call me artistic just not a tortured artist. It's bad enough being a Rob Thomas song (on three, "I'm not crazy, we're just a little unwell...") - and I need to stop bracketing multiple tangents! Say hi to my brain function.

   I'm not suffering for my art. I'm actually suffering from a lack of art. at least my Defqon 1 helmet is coming a long. Yes you heard right, Defqon 1, I'm going raving to hardstyle and other loud music. At 34. With somewhat bad knees. And I'm looking forward to hitting that grassy patch for about 12 hours. YEAH!

  And somewhere in the middle of whatever I have that means I might be on tablets for a good number of years - possibly the rest of my life - just to function. I just doubt it'll be in an office job. Hate to say, it's not me, and it takes a lot out of me just to get up and drive an hour to work (heya, Sydney!), and I feel I'm going nowhere and falling behind in my work when I feel I need to be upright, moving around people, with brain space freed to think up story ideas.

   Because I did that once. The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart was the result. Only this time I'm on some meds that might take down my hoighty-toighty side a notch too, deal with some flawed, maybe delusional thinking. At least when it comes down to my writing I'm happy with what I do, and my frequent 80% on Whitesmoke makes me happy!

   I miss my writing. And I miss blogging time. And I miss my son, having left my last relationship because it wasn't working at all for me. More or less, I miss some form of me that I'll never see, that me without adversity in his life, without divorcing parents, sexual assaults, bullying, psychosis; but that me might never be a writer.

   Anyway, this is more or less me just getting things out, and I thank you for reading, same as my books. It's just the truer story, though I do love a good sword fight and semi-witty humour and crafting interesting characters.

   I'm not sure when I'm blogging next, I'm not keeping schedules here, or with my writing. Hopefully I'll be onto Three Ways again soon, and hopefully finish and get something out for you guys to read (and me get my name out there a bit - I'm hoping a lot! - more). Until then how about we all play waiters for Godot?

   But yes, I will still say it, no matter how I presently feel about my work, life, or anything else, have a good one,


   TM

Saturday, 19 March 2016

And now back to the wall... err the writing... HEY COOL, VAULT 81!

   Hey guys!

   Yes it has been a while. In fact it's 85 days since my last post.

   So what have I been up to? Sadly I have not been fighting my way out of a parallel universe tempting me with lots of places to discover, go into at will or as directed by certain factions who will go unnamed wearing nothing but something blue with the numbers 111 on the back... okay, I have gotten a little into Fallout 4, but no, I haven't sunk into a writer's abyss.

   In fact, I've joined a social writing group on meetup.com, and pop out there every now and then, as well as do some editing in my spare time, gradually working down the page count of Three Ways' first part - and at last managing to get in all I need to get in for that part by stripping out the portions of the story I no longer require.

   This included deleting an entire chapter of a character and situation I was wanting to explore, but ultimately took up 7 very precious pages and, like Lizard on a Stick (for anybody who's seen Conan the Barbarian - THE ORIGINAL ONE WITH ARNOLD - you'll know what I mean), got the chop.

   In fact, a lot of things have had the chop, including character developments that seemed like a good idea at the time, characters who seemed like a good idea at the time, plot arcs that, well, you should have a good picture by now. Some have been easy, some have been, "how can I work this feeling in" and one or two have been deciding what to pull the plug on.

   But this is this writer's life, what doesn't float my boat gets tipped over the side (or sometimes thrown into the back of the freezer - a pagan city of Caral-Muar, some street known as the Avenue of Heroes, and a famous Boadicea-like character known as the Bloodqueen were thawed out and cooked up with the rest of Hero of Talbadas). As for timing, well, I'm sort of getting there, I'll finish this editing to get the writing leaner, get those page counts down, keeping in mind the lessons of getting TSH edited - then look at Part 2 and the wonders of CONFLICT!

   Yay!

   Of course, this is alongside a great many other things, including getting life back on track. I know I've intimated this before but, well, last year saw me depart my relationship, and I'm now going it alone in my own place, seeing my little one pretty regularly (the benefit of still working near where he lives), and leaving behind what, if I'm completely honest, wasn't the best for me and that I wasn't the best in.

   But positive steps have been made, as well as the contrite understanding that, all the messy trauma I've dealt with in my life, the poor and conflicted parenting, the constant moving, the school bullying, constant negation by one who really should love me, getting sexually assaulted as a child, are the main reasons I had a psychotic episode, and developed depression and anxiety, with a side of PTSD

   The CSA and PTSD has been EDMR'd. Now the anxiety and depression is getting SNRI'd by my old friend Venlafaxine (sure I've been exhibiting a lot of raver gaze lately, but my current mood is awesome - I even love the menial admin job I do!). And while the writing and even the gaming has taken a bit of a back seat, there's a park near mine with outdoor gym equipment - I'm doing reps and hitting the elliptical, WOO!

   So yeah, I'm plodding on in life, working on being the best dad I can be, loving the time I have with my son (still 99% well behaved, and getting taller and hungrier and wordier), and going back on from strength to strength while dealing with day to day things (speaking of which, rego due).

   Well that's me done with updates and changes, I'm going back to life, hope you're doing well with yours, and I'll get back soon with updates.

   Peace out, live long and prosper, the force will be with you always, and as always:

   Have a good one!
   T. M.