My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Four Trips and a Funeral (Personal Update)

 [CN: Pet Death] 

While I wait for questions to roll in from my post on Tuesday, I thought I would share a little of what's been going on in my personal world. I'm not sure I can tie it into writing much without sounding like a broken record cliché from the last years or so. ("Hey life happens, folks. But you have to write. But you have to be kind to yourself. But not TOO kind. But not too mean. But kick your ass. But gently….)

One thing about the anxiety that came up for me after cancer and surgery was that I had a hard time being still with my thoughts. I was restless and had trouble concentrating on anything. For months afterwards, I really wanted to keep busy. I couldn't sit still (I would just lose concentration and start thinking about things I was anxious about if I tried), and I would dread being alone. So I was antsy, and mostly kept trying to keep busy.

Somewhere in there I started planning little trips. 

They weren't big vacations. A road trip here. A couple of days there. One planned a couple of months ago. One in the works since winter. One that wouldn't have been possible because of a train trip but then suddenly was when the trains went on strike. One practically a 17 hour (each way) road trip on a lark.

And because I wasn't paying attention to where I was putting the short trips compared to the trips that had been on the calendar for a lot longer, suddenly I had four trips lined up almost back to back in the span of about three weeks. 

If that weren't enough, somewhere in there, we lost a hamster. Which….like okay it's a hamster. But for the five and eleven year old, this is some of the biggest grief they've had to contend with. The feels were big and the impact wasn't easy. 

Maybe the worst part is that right before these trips started happening, I felt a shift in the anxiety. Like I know I'm not all better or done with my mental health journey or anything pollyanna like that, but I definitely felt like I was a little more comfortable in my own skin and could probably sit with my thoughts a little better and didn't need every moment of every day to be a distraction from the thoughts that would creep into my head if I dared to slow down. 

So there I am in a better headspace, and just a little better able to process and maybe starting to confront that I don't even particularly ENJOY having every moment filled up with socialization, and I have four trips out of town planned. (And though I wouldn't know it until I was half way through them, a very emotional funeral was going to be happening in there too.) 

It's been a weird month—nourishing and rejuvenating in many ways—but also stressful in others and a difficult schedule to carve a writing routine out of. I've had to keep reminding myself that not every day is going to be ten pages on the work in progress and promises to all my patrons, but at the same time, I've tried to keep writing a little something every day so that my skills didn't get too rusty. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Questions Needed (And Meta Update)


While you could put them in the comments where you see this post and I MIGHT even see them. But chances are I won't, so if you really want to get a question answered, it will be better if you click this link and follow the directions.

So, if you've been following us with even half an iota of attention over the last year, you know that I've been recovering from cancer and surgery and have been having a hard time getting back into a writing schedule. Some of this is scheduling logistics, but most of it has been the brain fog and anxiety that comes with these sorts of life altering (and particularly life threatening) experiences. 

One of the best ways I've found over the years to jumpstart a writing slump is to answer mailbox questions. They give me a topic and a jump off point, take a little less research than some of my deep dive posts, and are just a tiny bit more FUN for me. So I'm going to be doing a rash of question answering. At least a couple of weeks worth of blogging. Maybe more if I'm still struggling. Then we'll ease back into our regular update schedule.

I've got a few questions in the archives, and I'll be digging them out, dusting them off, and going through them for the good ones, but I will need MORE. Now is the time to get me your questions.

E-mail me at chris.brecheen@gmail.com and put "WAW Mailbox" in the subject.

Folks, that's not just me being fussy about submission requirements (although if you want to be published, you should learn YESTERDAY that you have to follow any and all submission guidelines to the absolute letter if you don't want your submission thrown out without even being read). I actually use those keywords to search through my fifteen THOUSAND emails. If you don't want to get lost in the immediate wash of Democrat fundraising spam, dating app notifications, Google calendar notifications, and promotions from the last ten years of shit I've signed up for, you'll put "WAW Mailbox" in the subject line, so I can find it. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Tuesday (but actually Wednesday) Report 10/12/22

The last couple of weeks have been frustrating. I took a trip to see a friend, came home for a day and change and then got on a plane to see family for what I thought was a final visit (turns out it wasn't). Trying to see everyone I care about before and after (and sometimes between) those trips, turned my normally pretty open schedule into kind of a nightmare. But I also made a lot of personal progress

Quick Personal/Health Update-  

It became obvious in the last couple of weeks that I was not managing my anxiety well, and it was beginning to affect my personal relationships. 

Some of it may have been all the travel, and some of it was definitely thinking I was visiting my mom for the last time (it's not actually that bad), but even though those things are less of an issue now, I think I could still use some extra help trying to regulate.

I've been doing better month by month since my surgery, and honestly, I've been having some genuinely good days and solid weeks lately, but it still feels like I'm only really okay if absolutely nothing goes wrong. If anything happens, suddenly I'm spinning out of control. 

So I started back up talk therapy, and went to my PCP to talk about pharmaceutical options. (She recommended a low dose med for the next three to six months to help me get a little further clear of the cancer and surgery.) 

Weekly Schedule Adjustments-

Our biggest schedule adjustments this week is working around the bank holiday—which shifts everything over one day. That means tomorrow I'll take the day off, and try to get something low key up on Friday. Next week I'm going to be in Monterey for three days, but I think I'll have as much time to work during downtimes as I ever do, so it might not affect much.

Novel Progress-

Old Draft 38,305

I definitely didn't get to the ol' novel these last couple of weeks. I barely kept my head above water.

Behind the Scenes-

I'm going to get this early access post written if it kills me. 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

I know we haven't exactly been nailing the update schedule around here lately, but just a reminder that bank holidays "shift" everything off a day. 

So I'll be taking today completely off (which isn't exactly true since Treble and Clef are out of school). Look for our Weekly Report on Wednesday, and a truncated update schedule this week.