Woke up at a so called ‘reasonable hour’ (for me, the night shift worker, aka ten-ish) but it didn’t take. Spent most of the day napping and reading, wrote maybe a hundred words. Felt kind of drowsy and headachey all afternoon, which could still be allergies. I feel fine now…just in time to go to bed…lol, right back atcha, Universe.
Posts by J.M.Cowan:
So! It’s Day One of Being Medicated. I feel…fine, I guess? Despite feeling sleepy while I was sitting here blogging last night, I did not drop right off to sleep. When I opened up my shower to fetch my facewash so I could wash my face before bed, there was a giant scorpion in my shower, which seemed…inauspicious. I flushed him and finished getting ready for bed at around two, but it was closer to four before I actually got to sleep. Slept fairly well, it seemed like, then woke to a possibly poorly strategized nine-thirty alarm.
Stayed in bed until just after eleven anyway, finishing Glitterland by Alexis Hall (for the fourth time) because why wouldn’t I reread a book with a clinically anxious depressive protagonist right now? It’s a good book, though, same author as the Kate Kane series. Beautiful writing, one of those polar opposites attract sorts of romances that don’t seem quite plausible but you end up rooting for the couple anyway, and it has some extremely on point observations about depression.
I felt remarkably chill all day, but my head was in a bit of a fog for much of the afternoon, and I had a slight headache, both of which could also have been put down to allergies, since I did wake up slightly stuffy. I had plenty of time to write before work, but wasn’t very productive. I had some trouble focusing.
This carried over into work, because I had a hard time remembering the customers’ orders in the drive thru and spent much of the day spacing out at my register. Managed to write a little, like, a page worth in my steno pad, but even though I have a pretty clear idea of how this part of the scene should go, I had trouble making myself write it down. This, sadly, is not atypical, so it might not have anything to do with the Zoloft.
I sincerely hope this stuff isn’t going to make me even spacier than I already am. I don’t know if the world can handle that.
My head felt clearer and the headache went away as the evening wore on, but I remained spacey all day, and a bit detached. I didn’t feel anxious at all, but since it was atypically quiet for a Saturday, with none of the upsetting variety of customers, I don’t know if that means anything.
Anyway, I hope tomorrow will be more productive. I have wasted my drawing time tonight blogging now. *flings self into sun*
I was prescribed Zoloft for my depression, and I have just taken my first dose. I finally achieved the unlikely combination of being tired of not having the motivation to actually do any of the things I want to do, and a day in which I actually felt well enough to make the phone call to my doctor’s office to ask for it. I was offered meds back in March (I think?) but I said I wasn’t sure then.
I don’t know if I’m sure now. I am very anxious about this, but the paperwork assures me Zoloft also works for anxiety. Convenient. I will try to document my journey into (hopefully) better mental health, or alternately, into the Land of Horrible Side Effects, whichever it ends up being. Supposedly if I take it at night it should help me with my sleep issues. We shall see. I have been medicated for about ten minutes so far, and I am starting to feel rather sleepy already. Probably I should go get ready for bed now, but I feel like I should at least talk about something more cheerful first.
I am still (yes, still) dragging along on ch46. This middle scene was supposed to be short, but it’s proving informative, as worldbuilding goes. I had to come up with names for side characters, but I was at work when I got to that part, and somehow the constant running around is frustratingly inspiring. (Frustrating because I have the attention span of a gnat and the memory capacity of an antique floppy drive. I have no idea how many conversations my characters have had while I’m too busy to write anything down, but it is one of those scary-large numbers with lots of commas, probably.) Anyway, I am pleased with how it’s going, my tendency to go on and on and on, etc, notwithstanding.
I bought these strawberries three days ago, and they have been sitting on the top shelf of my fridge since then, unattended by my usual wash-and-put-in-an-airtight-container-treatment, and they are still as perfect looking as strawberries can be unless you actually grew and harvested them yourself and now I’m horribly afraid I’ve come across a carton of enchanted goblin fruit that will put me in the debt of the Fair Folk or something equally fraught after eating them. So if no one hears from me in the near future, that might be it.
(Or it might just be the antidepressants I’ll be taking starting tonight. I am hella nervous about this.)
But seriously, these strawberries are like, unnaturally delicious.
to some small bitey thing biting my ear. It itched for nearly an hour, so that wasn’t exactly pleasant. Still not a bad day. Slept in a little because Wednesdays are generally busy, but managed to plugged away at ch46 a bit anyway; this scene is more emotional than I expected but I’m liking it.
As promised, here is the inked version of page two of ‘cold’.
Still not inking to the standard I’d like but only practice will make that better. Not starting the third page tonight because I have a doctor’s appointment early tomorrow, so I need to go to bed early, bleh. I wish I had a job with normal hours. -_-
I had a reasonably good day today! (I mean Tuesday, not Wednesday. Working evenings messes up my sense of days, lol.) Slept later than I wanted, but there was housework, and phone calls*, including scheduling an eye appointment for the first time in *mumblemumble* years, a doctor’s appointment to discuss medication for my mental health issues**. I also worked on AFWT. I’m in the beginning of the middle scene, which should be short, but I think I’m gonna be looking at a longer than average chapter again…
Anyway, I have a comic page to ink! Preview pic tomorrow, hopefully!
*I really, really hate talking on the phone, sometimes the very idea of making phone calls makes my stomach curdle. Apparently this is not an uncommon anxious reaction, which makes me feel, if not better, then less like a freak.
**It makes me feel positively paradoxical, however, that I have to have a superlative mental health day to get myself to do something about my mental health issues…
I talked in my last post about going out in search of research material. I ended up at BookPeople. They had several books on Austin history, but none with the kind of information I needed. Boo. Though I did find this:
I didn’t realize we had enough famous trees to fill a whole book. And now there are gonna be a lot of magical trees integral to the plot of this book.
I am not sorry.
But I still have to find some research material on my setting.
In other news: my work schedule has gone back to normal this week, and I even Did Stuff when I got home from work this afternoon instead of lolling about like a lump! Behold, the rough pencils for the second page of ‘cold’.
I made a mistake–wasn’t paying attention when I drafted, so the image isn’t properly centered, but that can be fixed when I transfer it to the watercolor paper.
I also worked on my book and cleaned part of my kitchen. Cross your fingers for me that this keeps up…
I sort of fell off the internet for a while, except for Tumblr, which, as social media outlets go, is the most benign, being 99% pictures of cats and webcomic updates. My depression and anxiety have calmed down a bit, so I recently dove back into the wilds of Twitter.
This proved a boon for that one weird novel idea that came to me last year, featuring the supernatural oddball combination of a unicorn and an incubus. (This was inspired partly by a side character from the Kate Kane series I talked about here and an offhand comment from some social media post ages ago about unicorns in urban fantasy.) The two main characters came pretty easily, and a conflict soon followed, but the bane of my writing existence is actually plotting so I struggled to find some way to get the book moving beyond introducing the characters. Worldbuilding was also a bit of an issue with this one–how do you handle the ubiquitous urban fantasy tropes? Especially when you’ve already got another urban fantasy-ish story that you’ve determined will have none of them in the works at the same time?
It was given some steam, quite by accident, when I saw this tweet
I wandered through the goblin market in a garden of silk roses, and the lion and the unicorn danced in the streets
— In A World… (@inaworldbot) September 21, 2017
It struck my attention because the working title for this book is Lion and Unicorn, because the antagonist is a lion avatar of a goddess. Still working out the main plot, but now there is some forward motion on it, and I was inspired to work on the details, which led to searching such things as sacred plants in folklore, ancient deities who have lions as sacred beasts, genius loci, Celtic fairy lore, and all the other usual suspects in urban fantasy, ie, werecreatures, vampires, and the like.
I learned, among other things, that hawthorns feature in a number of folklore traditions, including vampire slaying, but all the things I found are European in origin. I started looking up American analogues, and let me tell you, it was hard trying to get information on the species native to the Central Texas area, but I did it. The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center has a very nice database, so I was not only able to find some species of hawthorn to use, I was also able to look up wild roses and verbena, which also have prominent places in the folklore. I still need to look up local folklore. I have some books to read on that subject; they just need to be unearthed from my massive TBR pile.
I have parts of two chapters for this book already, but I probably won’t get to work on it seriously for a while. My priority, aside from ATWT, is going to be the ace wolf shifter story (working title:Golden Wolf) and the other urban fantasy, (working title:A Spirit of Place), which share a world and have crossing plotlines, which both need research as well, mostly on the setting. Going in search of a good history book about Austin this weekend to that end. The magic system for that series is going to be based on genius loci, so that’ll be fun.
Um…not a lot else to talk about, really. I’ve been plugging away at AFWT, currently on Ch46 of the fifty-two I have outlined. My anxiety has gotten a lot better, but my depression is still kicking my ass, and this week’s work schedule isn’t helping. I wanted to do Inktober, but after the first day, work was such that I came home Monday dead on my feet and spent the next two days half zombified, so the second page of the work, inspired by the aforementioned A Spirit of Place, the protagonist of which is a webcomic artist who co-owns an art supply shop.) is barely half drafted. There was perspective involved, which makes me twitchy anyway, and the hardest part of making comics is actually trying to decide the best way to compose the panels, so it took me like, three hours to do even that much.
I was planning to get back to it today, but I ended up being depressed and also full of allergies so I slept most of the afternoon, and my brief attempt to write was…not successful. But my sister made me dinner and I had a nice walk, and a book that I pre-ordered will be coming out tonight, so I’m giving myself the rest of the evening off, and I’ll try to get back to the drawing stuff tomorrow night.
In the meantime, have this shot of the cover/first page of ‘cold’ by Elise Davenport, the MC of A Spirit of Place.
Purple is my favorite color, as anyone who has known me for more than five minutes will know. So when I saw these fabulous purple tiger roses, I just had to have them. But, not content to limit myself to a single purple flower, I also bought this one:
And a wisteria as well…
And then I got to thinking that I already have a huge rosemary plant that is covered with purple flowers, and then I saw some seeds for a really cool purple columbine, so I bought those as well. (Though while I was outside planting the purple tiger rosebush they mysteriously vanished from the porch. Stupid wind blew them off somewhere. I hope I can find another packet.)
I bought a purple clematis too, but as I got that from Walmart, I don’t have a convenient picture to snark from their website, so you’ll just have to wait until it blooms. Which might be a while, since I have yet to plant the dang thing.
I’m wondering now if it’s too late to plant irises, because of the purple flowers, those are some of the nicest. I did get a mixed bag of anemone bulbs, not all purple, probably, but the pinks and reds should make a nice contrast, or maybe I’ll pot them and just transplant the purple ones in the garden.
Anyway, that’s a thing I’m attempting. It’ll probably be slow going since I have a bit of a black thumb and am almost incable of getting out of bed at a decent hour anymore–it is just slightly miraculous that I managed to get up early enough to plant the rosebush today. (I also bought and planted a Japanese Loquat just because it was there and sounded cool.) Updates as they happen! (Hopefully!)
I am becoming ever more housebound, between taking my writing seriously* and the burgeoning anxiety/depression issues, but a few weeks ago, my sister did manage to get me out of the house on a shopping trip. We went to a craft store, a book store, and Target.
At Target there was a hat.
I loved it at first sight. The colors are so cute! I made the cardinal mistake of putting the hat on and wearing while I followed my sister around the store. It felt odd at first, but then I forgot about it except when I was walking fast enough to make the beads bounce against the brim in the most satisfying way.
Of course I ended up buying it.
Now, I am not a hat person. Hats make me feel like I should be trying for some sort of fashion, and my fashion is generally ‘whatever is comfortable and doesn’t make me look ten pounds overweight’ and ‘sandals when the weather approves.’ In Texas, it approves most of the time. I wore them today when I took my dog for a walk.
I also wore my sherbet hat for the first time too, because one of the reasons I was able to persuade myself it wasn’t a self-indulgent waste of money was that I sort of needed one for our walks. Texas is a big, open place, and even more so in the winter, when all the trees are hanging out in their birthday suits, and the sun is free to shine right in your eyes when you’re walking in the direction of the sunset on a short January evening. The sunlight shining through the brim was very nice, all golden through the pinkish-red of the hat itself. I am satisfied with my purchase, and am not inclined to castigate myself for spending the money.
*Hey, J.M., how is that going anyway “Oh, fine, I felt really good this week despite being tired as hell, so I’m almost done with Ch34, (one scene left *crosses fingers*) and not terribly discouraged even though the mess my country has gotten itself into since November sent me into a Spiral of Doom™ that put me two and half months back on my schedule and now AFWT probably won’t be released until autumn at earliest” she says while totally not sobbing in a corner.
No, it’s fine, really, I promise. I feel good today, anyway, so I’m going to make the most of that while it lasts.