Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Catching Up: Living Statues, Music, Meds, and More

Hi everyone,

Sorry I've been absent, but for once I can say that I haven't been sleeping my days away due to depression... I was actually doing some things.

Of course I wore myself out the first week of NaNoWriMo and have been in rest and recovery mode ever since (to prevent me from going into mania.) The undeniable difference that the aforementioned green pills make was obvious as my word count started from zero on day one and rocketed upward.

My totals on my story about street performers who work as living statues went as follows... (if you don't care you can scroll down for other news.)

Day 1: 12,362 words
Day 2: 13,088 words 
Day 3: 7876  words
Day 4: 17,042 words (new personal best, and took me over 50k)
Day 5: 10,152 (total, 60,520, novel technically finished:  typed THE END)
Day 6: 1690 words (filling in here and there)
Day 10: 930 words, (filling in a hole in a scene)

Grand total for this NaNoWriMo novel, called Still As Stone: 63,140 words.

So I hit my goal of finishing the book within the first week (the rest was just tinkering) hitting 50K on day 4. I was driven, I was living the story in my head, it was heaven after being blocked for so long. Heaven.

This is a 'trunk novel' (meaning I don't mean to make it public, it's just for me) but writing it was worth every single moment. I loved the characters, I love the story, I felt like me again for the first time in so long.

Then, I got out my paint brushes and I painted my book's female lead character, Rosalie, who performs under the name The Wallflower. Here she is, as a living statue:

I actually painted something I don't completely hate: another sign the green pills were working.

My husband bought me a very thoughtful gift that week, something I've wanted a long time; a pink typewriter.

It's not vintage but it has a retro design and it's so pretty. I've designated it as my poetry typewriter because, being its manual, it's difficult for me to use with my weak left hand (I can't make the " mark to save my life.)

I've started writing a poem a day on it, and posting them on Twitter under "Typewriter Poems". There have been eight so far and people seem to like them. I'd like to keep it up even if I can't post them to Twitter every day, and I am thinking maybe I'll post them to Wattpad under my experimental collection of bits and pieces called Wishful.

So, I used up my supply of green pills in two weeks right on schedule, and as soon as I went back to the generic blue pills, I felt my mood and energy dropping. I was exhausted again; even after a normal night's sleep. Couldn't think to write much... it was all going back to the way it was before.

Then the miracle happened.

My husband did some research and found out that you COULD request what is called a formulary exception from the insurance company; meaning you could request they cover the green pills even though they don't usually because the blue pills failed to work in their place.

When I asked about this before, I was flat out lied to, and told it was not an option for this med. That was wrong.

So my wonderful doctor spent half an hour filling out paperwork on Monday and filing it online and by that evening, I had confirmation from the insurer: they would cover the brand name med.

Thing is it's really expensive, but my husband insisted that we had to fill it. I think he was more relieved than I was when the approval came through, and I guess that makes sense since he has to live with me every day and it is so much easier when I am up, awake, out of bed, and reading, writing, or painting if my body feels up to it instead of a depressed, totally non-functional mess.

(Speaking of my body cooperating, I locked up my arm, neck and hand after that 17k word day... but we won't talk about that... ouch. Not to mention what it did to my eyes...)

So I now have a two month supply of the brand name med, and then in January we have to go through the whole process of asking for an exception again, because I will be with a new prescription plan. I am cautiously hopeful... I have to be. We have tons of documentation on how I've failed on three different generics for this med and how it is the only one that really helps that my body can tolerate (in combination with the rest of my 'cocktail') and hopefully my doctor can work her magic again and get them to approve the exception. If not... well I don't want to think about 'if not'.

I don't want to talk about the election, but I will just say this, I am on FB hiatus right now and am not sure when I will be back. I miss friends there, but things just got too ugly to watch for awhile there and I don't know if they've calmed yet to the point I dare wade back into those waters. So look for me on Twitter if you were looking for me on FB, at least for the time being.

In music news, my husband also did another truly thoughtful thing for me; he knew I was dying for the new Tom Chaplin solo album (lead singer of Keane) but it wasn't going to be available here until January and I so desperately wanted to write to it for NaNo, so he ordered a copy from the UK and it arrived the first day of NaNo.

The album, called The Wave, is immersive and thought-provoking and heart-string pulling and I love it. Thank goodness for Amazon UK and thoughtful husbands; I know it helped me shape and finish my NaNo novel. So the album, I highly recommend it.

I have also been listening often to Michael Buble's new cover of The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" which is just lovely. It worked its way into my story too. If you haven't heard it, I recommend a listen.

I read a couple of books over the weekend: catching up on Jennifer Gracen's The Harrisons series. If you like sweet romances steamy enough to fog up your glasses, I recommend these books. The first one is called More Than You Know, the second is Someone Like You, and the third (and my favorite) is Tis The Season. The fourth book is due out in late 2017, and I look forward to it.

So what's next for me?

This morning, after taking green pill number 1 after a few days of blue pills, after about two hours, I had a character name and face pop into my head. I grabbed a pen and notebook and wrote down, "Who is Rory?" Slowly I started filling in a sketchy bio.

I'm not sure who Rory is or what his story is yet, but he's in my head now, I know he's going to have to get written out of it somehow. I am wary of starting another project during NaNo (guarding against flipping into mania...) but my mind is so curious about him. I may end up writing some, we'll see how I'm feeling, one day at a time.

To close: My heart goes out to everyone who is feeling lost right now. As a disabled person, I am afraid, too, believe me. All I am going to add is that I am an ally; a safe person for LGBTQ+, POC, people of different faiths... all those who are afraid right now. My heart goes out to all of you, and I hope that things won't go as dark as they can possibly get. We have to look out for each other, as best we can.