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Amazing the changes a month can bring

So much has fallen into place since the darkness of mid-November, as well as me aggressively taking steps to ensure my long-term emotional and psychological health. One of the best things that happened recently is discovering that contrary to how I understood it, I'm not limited to 6 visits with my current psychiatrist— I can continue seeing her until my medications are all sorted out. It does mean that at some point I will need to find someone else, but it doesn't have to be at the front of the list right now. And she does what I want this person to do: work with me in support of the Sinclair Method as well as finding an effective anti-anxiety medication. She's starting me out on Effexor which has a lot going for it: it's an SNRI (which I haven't tried before- the SSRIs I've tried in the past did nothing) and it supposedly has a side benefit of counter-acting some menopausal symptoms. SCORE!! I'm in this for the long haul, so I'm going to start a kind of mood journal as I've done in the past to be able to see patterns and any new effects over weeks and months. It's all very positive.

This past Friday Evan and I went to the Airbnb holiday party and I had a successful, fun time. That's also a huge win for me. Appropriate amounts of alcohol were had, we stayed only as long as we wanted (and took our leave as the general volume in each room was becoming more than I could tolerate), and I was fully present for getting to see many friends and colleagues who'd come in from their 'remote' locations to join the festivities. This trend going to events and having a good time without being sloppy is one I'm very happy about.

I have a lot of reading and then beta'ing upcoming, plus finishing DotW. My totally manageable goal is to have the first rough draft done by the end of my week off around New Year's. At that point I'll reach out to a couple of people to read it and give just general feedback. Then I can decide whether or not to do more of an overhaul or to send it to a particular literary agent. Once that happens, I can think about writing the third and final novella with Reggie and Kelp, I suppose!

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/529228.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Happy news!

I've known that Evan was my duprass since early spring of 2012; as of today, our partnership is public and official. We're now betrothed and will get married at some point in the future yet to be determined. While in many ways this doesn't change a thing, it's joyful to be able to call him my partner and fiancé.

Photo op from Mt. Tabor at early dusk after the proposal below!

11_28_15_engaged


This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/529128.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

[peri]menopausal journey

Okay! The missing piece of the puzzle in what's been going on this year particularly now appears to have slotted into place: even though I can't tell by the conventional method of periods going wonky/away, in doing a lot of reading and watching a Mayo Clinic DVD about menopause in general, perimenopause what I've been experiencing for at least this past year- maybe even longer, but definitely since the spring. Not having any mood stabilizers that are effective is also a factor, but this one explains so much. Not just some of the crazy thoughts I've had, but also me being hot (which never happens) and at unexpected times, weight gain for no reason and in places I've never carried it before… I'm convinced I've found the remaining piece to work on.

So! For my sisters who've preceded me on this journey, I want to plumb your experiences and knowledge of this time. I recognize it's different for everyone, but I welcome your anecdotes, what helped and didn't, and your wisdom about how this period of time changed you— or didn't. If you'd rather email me off-list, I think you all have my email address. If not, let me know and I'll share it.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/528728.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

An update- on the upswing

Thanks to those who read and/or commented on my recent post. I'm in a much better place emotionally and physically, focusing rather than on going somewhere else, to much more effectively and aggressively use the local resources I have. This includes finding a private practice psychiatrist whom I don't have to wait 8 weeks to see and doesn't have a limit of number of visits per year, and moving all medication management in that direction. I'm now much more willing to try some mood stabilizers outside of the SSRI spectrum that I don't feel have worked much or at all, and to find someone willing to work with me in terms of the Sinclair method. Support me in it, not just tolerate it or look down on it. Taking action steps like that feel incredibly empowering. And if there are other mood and hormonal issues due to my age, I'll just find out what I can and assume that it's a factor as well in all of this. I know my patterns very well, and while I can't remove all of the stressors and expected emotional ups and downs that come with being my age (and my parents being their ages), I can use all of the resources I have and commit to finding a way not to let the emotional and psychological fluctuations become so polarized and, at times, dangerous.

Adulting is certainly hard sometimes, but I'm incredibly fortunate in having such a tremendously supportive and understanding life partner, friends, family and even colleagues.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/528538.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Rehab again?

There's a whole lot of emotional upfront in this. Consider yourself warned.

This year has been really difficult. Or, to be more accurate, I've let the different events of this year really take me down. I went on FMLA to try and get my shit together, and sort of did, but then needed to do so again because I didn't have my shit together. So then I went to Hawaii to prove that if something happened to Evan that I could survive for more than a year (yes, that's really what that trip was for me) and all it proved to me was that I'm incredibly dependent on other people. Because without them, I'd be toast.

My mom came to visit, which was both wonderful and terrible: wonderful in that I recognized just how candid I can be with her now after years of having a non-relationship. Terrible in that I could see and hear just how much pain she is in, physically and emotionally.

There was the Sinclair Method. In March, I'd given up. I'd said to myself and to Evan that I had given up. There was no hope. Then I was given hope. With the Sinclair Method. And that brought with it a lot of feels, and crying, and hope.

Now it's November, and I must admit that I'm really struggling not to give up hope. And that is why I'm looking into non-AA centric rehab. Because there are a lot of new facilities out there now that are non-Minnesota method. But I'm realizing that it's really difficult when I can't tell what's perimenopause/alcohol and am just really struggling. And that even though I have lovely, gorgeous tales to tell… what does it matter? I'm an atheist now, and firmly believe that there is nothing beyond this life. It's reassuring, actually, even though I was just singing along with the Godspell soundtrack. But I don't believe any of that. As Evan has so eloquently written, this is all we get, and it's a bowl of ice cream, but when it's over, it's over.

That said, I would give anything for another 50 years with him, and I have to figure out a way to do that. I want to be able to live in my own skin. My friend Rosie couldn't do so. I've loved her throughout that, and recently donated a chair to the St. Peter's Performing Arts Center in her name— she committed suicide on her 30th birthday — and I got in touch again with her parents and older sister. My former husband was not very understanding of all of that, but that says more about him than me. My work pseudonym is Rosie, for her.

So if any of you have thoughts and/or references for facilities that are non-AA centric, I would welcome them. I just don't want to despair, but am finding it more and more difficult not to. That said, I don't feel that I'm in desperate straits, but sometimes it's hard to know.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/528137.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Creativity and 80s music

So I woke up this morning around 4:00 and was thinking about my Wraeththu story for Storm's next compilation. One of those times in which I saw the dialogue in my head, saw the characters doing their thing— which lets me know it's probably worth writing down. I've been typing in the final scenes of Defender of the Way, my first and only truly original work, and I love it. I love the Abbey where Ilthanon lives, I love his khorite brothers, I love the animals and the pain and their sexuality. I want their world to be as believable and rich as Maculategiraffe's "Slave Breakers." Because I lived that world that she created. I felt so privileged to write in it and have her permission to do so.

Just feeling particularly happy and grateful this morning. November is a good month for me. I get extra time off, and have a lot of writing and knitting projects in my personal queue.

I don't want to denigrate my Kelp/Reggie world, of course; that one is just as real, and frankly, more well-formed than some of DotW. I'm really looking forward to the third story in the series, set over in England, in which Kelp is truly out of his element. I suppose this is just showing that my creativity isn't dead, and that's a very happy thing.

So the 80s music: Joe Jackson's "Stepping Out," which led me to Rod Stewart's "Young Turks." I could be at Sewanee this weekend for the anniversary of us performing Godspell, in which I as a very young freshman played the role of Jesus, but I'm not there. I've already warned Evan that I will be singing through the entire musical today— but I can shut my door. ;)

Also, I'm obsessed with perimenopause, and that I can't easily find out whether or not I'm going through it. I've reached out to my primary caregiver, and am hoping she can shed light, but who knows. :P

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/527993.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Recovering from emotional whiplash

Can't believe I posted nary a word in October. In all of my 12 years of blogging, I'm not sure that's ever happened— aside from a month or two when I was in rehab twice. Still.

the state of kristiCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/527765.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

So much real life

Many ups and downs last week; a highlight being a Mabon, mini-ceremony of just two of us in the park. I've also been able to become further reconciled to the reality that I may only sell a dozen or two total copies of anything I write. It really is absolutely fine. 'The Swan and the Seal' isn't yet available beyond Lulu, but should be at some point fairly soonish. I wrote a bit of new material for Defender of the Way while in Wenatchee, but haven't done much since (though typing in all of the edits took a while). I know it will all work out.

I'd planned to start getting up around 5:30 each day, do my 90 second plank and Pilates 100s and prior to starting work, spending some time at my altar and drawing a card from my Oracle deck to have as a daily focus. That lasted maybe 2 days before things got wonky. Well, I know what it is: I like to sleep in on my days off. But I still want to develop the habit of those pre-coffee mini-workouts and return to regular workouts of 3-4 a week. I know I'll feel better for it. I've also just been overindulging in general in a variety of ways and feel gross a lot of the time. I'll be trying to focus more on proteins and vegetables- something else I know future Kristi will be grateful for. It's just that present Kristi so often wants cheese rice or black beans with lots of sour cream or things similar.

I also have realized that going to Sewanee in November for a less than 72 hour trip just to sing through Godspell isn't a great idea for me right now, especially if I tried going solo. Too many ways that could go really, really wrong, especially having to rent a car and driving up and down the Mountain. I'm disappointed, but there's going to be a huge choir reunion in the spring with the retirement of Dr. Delcamp, who's been organist/choirmaster there for... 37 years. A long time. ;) Makes way more sense to plan that trip in April and maybe also spend a day or two in Nashville to show Evan another of my former haunts.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/527565.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Self-publishing and other writing projects

I'll admit I was incredibly shocked that Dreamspinner opted not to publish "The Swan and the Seal," my sequel to "Surprised at Nothing." Especially since the storyline was stronger, and the world-building equally so. Due to word length, I submitted it as a novel according to their own word count guidelines, though perhaps that's part of what made it less desirable. This is what I received:
    While we felt your story had potential, it isn’t ready for publication at this time. The story just isn’t long enough, and we felt it read like a few chapters from a full-length novel. It needs the space to grow, both so readers can glean a greater understanding of the unique universe you’ve created, as well as to establish conflicts for the characters to face and then see them through to their logical conclusion. As is, issues are established but never allowed to find resolution. It reads as though a sequel will be coming, but it would be a much more successful story if readers are allowed to see at least some of the plot threads wrapped up. Many of the world building elements are unique and interesting, and they will be even more engaging in a longer work. The characters, while appealing, will also be able to reach their fullest potential within a story arc with a firmer beginning, middle, and end. If you ever expand this into a more developed novel with a stronger plot and greater conflict and resolution, please consider resubmitting it for our consideration.

This reads not only like generic boilerplate, but also as though whoever did read it somehow didn't recognize the fact that this was a second story in a series. I did note that, to be sure. Not only that, much less than the first story, this one has one main plot event that occurs and the resolution is presented at the end, pretty much with a bow tied on it. I'm quite baffled, but after a couple of days of wondering WTF, being angry, not eating or drinking healthfully, I got over it and self-published it anyway. I'm not in this for the money, but I would like the work to be out there for the 40 or so people who did read and enjoy the first one. Who knows- maybe there'll be some Reggie/Kelp fanfic someday! :)

So if any of you are interested, it's on Lulu and will (over time) appear on other e-book platforms like Amazon, B&N, etc.
E-book and print version form (which I went ahead and did since I know several people were interested in the first one being available beyond an e-book) is here: Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

I'm sorry it didn't get professional editor's eyes on it, but that's how it goes. I now feel free to start thinking seriously about the third and final story in this trilogy, which I suppose should have a name! My contract with Dreamspinner for 'Surprised at Nothing' lasts 3 years, after which I can have it back and may decide to put the three works together somewhere.

After all of that, today I finally have begun making edits to 'Defender of the Way' in the digital document from the printed out version in a 3-ring binder, which is what I've been working from since I printed it out in 2012. Well, I didn't start working on it again until about 6 weeks ago— but I'm excited with the new plot line and writing new material after so long.

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/527310.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

More novella marketing

Since I'm can't easily embed a picture anymore, I'm just going to link to the short post I made on my author's blog about the cover art for "Surprised at Nothing" being included (and my name) for the One Little Pill DVD inserts. Also, if any of you would like to follow my fairly sad and practically unfollowed WordPress blog, please do!

https://ramblingruadh.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/more-promotions/

In other authorly news, I decided to register and attend the Gay Romance Northwest conference which at its core is a one-day event on a Saturday in Seattle. That, plus the $17.50 early bird registration cost and the fact that I can get an Airbnb listing at no cost to me, meant that it was worth whatever the bus fare might be to get up and back. Plus Ginn Hale is going to be there! I loved her novel Wicked Gentlemen. In fact, I will buy a copy ASAP so I have it so I can ask her to buy it. I believe I'd requested an inter-library loan the one time I read it.

And you all? I haven't meant to abandon DW and LJ, but I've been playing a lot of Farmville2 on Facebook and that's become my go-to for easy posting. That said, I don't put super-personal stuff there because I have so many work colleagues who may read my posts. I was doing some Tumblr videos when I first started the Sinclair Method, and I'll re-commit to that as I move into months 4-6 of trying it and seeing what changes I notice.

If you've missed me or I've missed something important, please let me know here, or via whatever social media form you prefer, or email! ♥

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/526864.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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