Posting this here, as a reminder to me…

Posting this here. The writing friend’s anonymous.

Me:- Every so often I get this feeling, like, “Why are you doing this (writing thing)?” I feel like a fool!
Writing Friend:- Yeah, that means you’re doing it right.
Writing Friend:- everybody feels that
Writing Friend:- if you didn’t feel like that you’d think you were fantastic at writing and that would not be good for anybody.
Me:- Pleas remind me of this!
Writing Friend:- only if you promise to remind me.

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Matt Moore’s thoughts on Robin William’s death

Quoth he:-

I can’t help but wonder if we are promoting a terrible side-effect: the idea among those in the grips of depression’s falsehoods and deceit that the world will celebrate you in death more than they appreciated you in life. That is, people will only love you after you are gone.

THIS IS BULLSHIT.

Read more.

And here’s Cracked.com’s thoughts on what I tend to say myself:- “Those who laugh the loudest, cry the hardest.”

Robin Williams’ death stumped me, writing-wise, for the day. I watched the 11 o’ clock news report and almost teared up.

That’s when I realised it had affected me more than I thought.

And it’s because of what Matt Moore says.

On Fangs for the Fantasy’s post:- “Mental Illness and the Non-Neuro-Typical in Urban Fantasy”

Fangs for the Fantasy has a post over at their blog titled “Mental Illness and the Non-Neuro-Typical in Urban Fantasy“. I highly recommend it.
This applies to my short story The Ace of knives that I just sold, where I feature mental illness in a dark fantasy context. I have a novel I need to finish where the mental illness is in a fantasy context; but here are the quotes that came at me from the computer screen.
The mentally ill are often freakish horrors that add to the protagonist’s misery and torment until they can escape the unjust abuse. And that “unjust” abuse is important – because we’re expected to care much less about the torment of the mentally ill inmates; the “justly” abused.
Yes. THIS.
The cryptic information resource is one way the non-neurotypical are used to stretch out the plot, another is the random, unpredictable or even whimsical mentally ill person. They can be relied upon to stretch the plot in any direction because they do not make sense. The idea is that a mentally ill person will do ANYTHING and doesn’t need a motive (or a coherent one) because MENTAL ILLESS.

This not only advances the trope of mentally ill people being completely random but also adds to the very common and highly damaging trope that mentally ill people are dangerous.

And this is serious. Mentally ill are still being unnecessarily hurt and killed in encounters with law enforcement.

And this bit on lazy writing:-

The use of mental illness in this way is obviously dehumanising. The mentally ill person isn’t there to be a character – they’re a roadblock. Their mental illness isn’t a developed part of their character, it’s a convenient tool with which to extend the plot line for another week or so. They could be replaced by a faulty search engine or random severe weather or some other random, impersonal event. The use of mental illness in these plot lines is laziness – “mental illness” becomes an answer to any questions, a way to stretch the plot when there isn’t enough storyline, a way to add random events when they can’t be logically incorporated and a quick dash of motive for a bad guy who the writers can’t be bothered to characterise.

More on lazy writing:-

These are not characters, they’re roughly used tools, narrative tricks and lazy writing – and the result continues to perpetuate toxic tropes that continue to stain how we treat the mentally ill in society

Down in the comments, @fionnabhair says something which I agree with:- “It’s not so much relief at not being “crazy”- though with the stigma surrounding mental illness, that might still be a factor- but relief at knowing one’s senses can be trusted.”

You can follow Fangs For the Fantasy on Twitter at  @Fangs4Fantasy.

As of now, I am (going to be) a published author!

My very first short story acceptance on a story I both worked my ass off on, and loved.

The Ace of Knives” has been accepted for Postscript To Darkness 6.

A pyro in Team Fortress 2 named “The Ace of Knaves”, Amal El-Mohtar’s “Wing” and “Hoarding” planted the seed, well-timed words watered it, nourished it, made it grow.

And it left the nest, found a home.

I’ve squealed thanks on Twitter already, run amuck, hit things while running amuck, and ran amuck some more. So.

It will be published early next year.

More details then.

Keris Myrick – Game Changer

CBC’s radio show The Current featured Keris Myrick in their Game Changer series in November 2011.

Keris Myrick is in Toronto Friday 13th June – one of six world renowned speakers at the conference: Psychosis 2.0.

For years, she was told to lower her expectations and focus on her condition. Keris Myrick has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. She is also the CEO of Project Return Peer Support Network. She supervises more than a hundred people. She says the intense, high-profile nature of the work actually helps her manage the symptoms of her illness.

Reading around…

Reading Justine Larbalestier’s post, “How I finished my first novel” and a couple of sentences hit home.

Because back then I had no idea whether I could finish a novel. And not knowing if that was possible made finishing really really difficult.

This is me, basically right now, approaching 40,000 words.

I’m… scared. I’m reaching SFWA’s technical edge of crossover to true novel length work. And it’s not like I’ve not hit 40k words on something before.

So why the fear?

Is it because, this time, I’m facing down the prospect of actually going from beginning, to middle, and end? Of finishing something, having something complete, rather than have something written of that length?

Or maybe it’s just hitting home now, feeling real?

Not sure. But I clocked in about 4k words on a new short before I realized that if I was plugging away on the Work in Progress (can’t call it a novel, or I’ll freak) I’d be 1/2 way to navigating the 10k needed to reach 40k.

So I sat myself down and did 652 words or so last night.

If I keep this up, I’ll like get 10k by the 31st Dec.  But.

I’m not a words-every-day kind of person. Never have been.

We’ll see. We’ll see if finishing a novel’s a possibility for me.

There’s days when my illness makes this feel like an impossible task with no end in sight.

But others have done it. I’ve been to their book launches this year.

Here we go.

Onward… baby steps…

The weather today’s drippy; rain wants to come but does so very lightly, reluctantly even. Grey clouds hang in the air; the atmosphere grey as well, damp. Through it I walk, heading downtown.

The ends of my brown jersey pants are too long, and need sewing; they kiss the pavement way too often, becoming sopped with moisture. I must take them to be seamed someday, when I remember, when I can push myself, when I can afford to spare the cash. Maybe I should just put them with the other pairs in the store and force myself to pay for them instead of waiting when I have the cash and always failing to do so; I fail reliably at forgetting, instead of failing at not doing what I should.

My steps, however sodden at the edges they are, are lighter than usual today; I have come from an appointment, and I feel heard, understood, even if I didn’t talk about everything on my mind. Part of my psychology is adjusting (quickly?!) to the fact that I’m not standing on complete quicksand anymore; I am doing something concrete, and it is in a field I enjoy. I’m even looking forward to seeing myself doing the same thing–consistently–further down the road, past the end of the year. It kills overwhelming, negative thoughts. I am not worthless, no matter what is going on, no matter if nothing is going on.

If only it would obliterate them completely. But that is what an illness is, however invisible, isn’t it?