This Post May Have Gotten Away From Me

I had to wake up at 4 AM to drive some people to the airport.  This is going on top of a few long times to minimize the damage caused by lots of delays and errands.  Probably should have stuck to sleep.  Anyway, I did come home with enough time to crawl back into bed and make up the difference.  Just kidding.  I only crawled back into bed and did my usual 40-60 minutes of tossing and turning before passing out.  Not much help since there’s a reason I can’t sleep in:

The face of mischief

The face of mischief

He didn’t have the lightsaber, but I was woken up by him crawling into the bed.  It wasn’t the movement that really got me to stir.  It was my wife talking at full volume about how they have to be quiet because daddy was up early and needed to get more sleep.  Heart was in the right place, I guess.  Still, you don’t have a lengthy, loud discussion about letting someone sleep while the person in question is a foot away and currently being used as a seat by one of the debaters.  Needless to say, I’m off what little game I have.

Not that this week was a good one.  I’m actually cautious about posting about it.  As some people know, I’ve been trying to shrug off ‘the blues’ since last October.  Maybe even earlier.  I hate to call it a depression since I’ve never been diagnosed.  It does run in the family, so it wouldn’t be surprising.  Stress hits and I fall into this pit where I can’t drag myself out.  When I do, I get struck down again by another setback that’s beyond my control.  I try to use what little good cheer I have for my characters, but Legends of Windemere has hit the dark patch.  I’ll get more into that later.  This might be why I’m so resistant to give up on Crossing Bedlam even though it isn’t selling.  The books are fun to write with characters that tend to be upbeat and make me smile.  Tossing it aside feels like it would be the equivalent of murdering one of the few rainbows I have in a dark life.

Here is where people may rush to the comments to give a pep talk or tell me why I should be happy.  I’m actually going to ask that you not do that.  Please comment, but the pep talks have a funny reaction.  I’m going to see if I can explain this well.  The advice actually frustrates me because I’ve heard stuff like it before.  Many times, people will tell me why I should be happy in a way that makes me think they weren’t really listening.  That’s part of it though.  Somebody simply listening and then talking about another aspect of the post or showing interest in something I do works better.  Sounds strange, but I think I’ve gotten so used to people mistaking my funks for immaturity or a cry for pity that I can’t see certain reactions as anything more than condensation.  That’s probably not the intent, but ‘the blues’ that I find myself in don’t really work off rational thinking.  Half the time, I can’t even pinpoint the exact cause of it.  For example, a common thing with me is that I’ll feel blue when grocery shopping alone.  Just hits me without warning and doesn’t go away until I get home.

Honestly, people who suffer from depression are very misunderstood.  One reason is because the term is used with such casualness that it’s lost its weight.  This is why I’m always resistant to use it.  People will say they’re depressed when they’re simply sad, so a person who truly suffers from depression will be seen in the same light.  It also garners the same reactions that can make them feel worse.  Never tell a person who is depressed about those who are in worse positions because it minimizes their suffering and makes them feel worse.  Again, it could be as easy as listening to them talk about it or showing interest in something they love.  I’m not a psychologist, so don’t take what I’m saying as fact.  I only know what works for me.

So . . . That took up more words than I expected.  I have the house to myself during the day for most of the week, but I’m also the only cook here.  Supposed to snow tomorrow too, which means shoveling.  I don’t think I’ll finish Book 13 before my son starts his Easter Break on Thursday.  I might be given a day to write or have to use night to get the final chapter or two done.  This book is rough because it has a really high body count and list of returning characters.  Basically, the Baron’s remaining agents have declared full war on the champions and have put targets on all of their friends and family.  It’s all about pain, suffering, and holding onto that spark of hope to see you through to the end.  So all of that probably isn’t helping me.  Because of a big loss at the end of Book 12, the characters are rather jumpy too.  They hit highs and lows pretty easily because their foundation has been broken.

So, what are my goals?

  1. At least come close to finishing Ritual of the Lost Lamb.
  2. Examine character list for Chasing Bedlam.  Plan on outlining all of April since the kid has the last week off.  Not enough time to write a full book.
  3. Activities for his break.  Zoos, Easter eggs, movies, etc.
  4. Cook dinners.
  5. Vacuum house.
  6. Pick up people at airport when they get in.
  7. Start thinking of the May release of Tribe of the Snow Tiger.  Jason and I have been discussing the cover idea.  He has something really cool planned.
  8. Biking if I feel up to it.  The blues have made that more difficult.

Now the music video that nobody will listen to because TRADITION!  (Really, Pandora?)

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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38 Responses to This Post May Have Gotten Away From Me

  1. C.E.Robinson says:

    Charles, love your recap of book characters! Your whole other family! Well, okay, if I could, I’d set up afternoon tea for you, even under a table, if you’re in a dark mood! Cream or lemon? Happy Weekend! 💛 Elizabeth

    Like

  2. twixie13 says:

    Best of luck with the goal list!

    Like

  3. I had to laugh at your line “now the music video that no one will listen to.” I get the same feeling on my blog. I happen to like this song and did listen. Best on the goals.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sknicholls says:

    I’ve been reading some wonderful reviews about Bedlam and am excited for you. It may not be selling…yet…but you are just at the beginning of that project. Having both projects going on may be a lot more work, but I can see how the differences in the subject matter can alter mood. My first book was dark, poignant, philosophical. When I tried to follow it with a sequel, I just had to put it aside. Too much dark emotion for me, whereas my next project was a world of fun to write.

    I don’t have half of your wit or cleverness, but do enjoy the entertainment aspect of lighter writing. The writing style of my two finished manuscripts is vastly different and people who enjoyed the literary flair of the first are not going to find that in the second. I’ve already had my feelings hurt about that, but got over that quickly as so many other readers, many who had not read the first, thoroughly enjoyed the second. You, too, are playing to a different audience with Bedlam, and it’s going to take time to build that up. Meanwhile, enjoy yourself. If you enjoy writing it, somebody is going to enjoy reading it. 🙂

    Like

    • Bedlam is confusing me every week. I see the great reviews, but it won’t sell even with promotion. I think it goes for a different audience than I normally target. So the trick is to figure out how to reach them. It isn’t too hard to balance the two though. I switch off or saving Bedlam set up for when I’m having a busy day. The locations, story, and supporting character list are ready to be flushed out for the sequel. Might use April for that since so much is going on then. One idea is that I need to put more out to give it some traction.

      Good point on differing styles being an issue. The core of how I write is always Present Tense Third Person. Yet the heroes of Windemere are noble while those of Bedlam are insanely dark at times. Everything is different beyond the core style.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sknicholls says:

        Exposure is always a tough thing and it seems to be getting tougher by the day. My ENT promos used to get me exposure, but the way FB works now, it just doesn’t happen. I won a publicist’s package in the auction at Sleuthfest. We’ve been introduced, but are nowhere near ready to work with each other. It will be interesting to see how she does things differently. She works with the self-published also.

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      • A lot of promo sites seem to have disappeared during last summer. I had a bunch that I worked with and they no longer exist. Guess 2015 was rough for everyone. FB is definitely not what it used to be too. I quit a while back when all I’d receive are spam messages and people promoting their books in the comment sections of my promos. I really hope that publicist package works out for you. Such an awesome experience, so I’m sure you’ll learn a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jean Lamb says:

    Go. See. A doctor. If it runs in the family, it’s likely a brain chemistry/genetic thing, and it won’t go away with positive thinking, the same way that a hairline fracture in your ankle won’t go away with wishful thinking. You may end up having to play Pharmacology Roulette, but it will be worth the trouble. Please.

    Like

    • And that’s exactly why I don’t want to. I’ve seen a lot of damage get caused by Pharmacology Roulette. I can’t afford that both financially and emotionally, so I have to make due with what I have. That’s a therapist and being self-aware of the situation. Positive thinking doesn’t work, but I also don’t think jamming pills into me will fix it without side-effects.

      Like

  6. Oloriel says:

    My like up there is not for the blues… of any kind… metal all the way! It is to show you I cheer for you, your characters and your books. Sorry I have nothing smart to say, I think I am way to used to trying to help people by just baking them a pizza….

    Like

    • More of a Rock listener. Though the angry stuff always has its appeal. Going to attempt a homemade pizza tomorrow actually.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oloriel says:

        Metal being all angry is a hard misconception! In some cases, it is so emo it makes me weep 😀 But likewise, I would describe rock as too romantic, which is most definitely not true.
        Good luck with the pizza, I am sure it will taste amazing, go wild with the pepperoni! 😀

        Like

      • I didn’t actually mean Metal was all angry. I was simply meaning angry songs, but don’t know the genre. Disturbed and Godsmack are what I was thinking of. Rock has the ballads, which can be romantic. Some people only think of those with the genre.

        Just doing cheese since it’s my first attempt. We’ll see what happens though. Supposed to snow too, which might throwing everything out of whack.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oloriel says:

        I listen to the genre, but I am clueless about categories in music in general. Did you know there is a category called “shoegazing” and “bedroom pop”? I was like, what the hell?
        Margarita is the best for first time pizza. I make so many of them with different ingredient for eater’s preference, I usually end up making mine a volcano (so many layers!)
        I’ll trade you my toxic spring (sun full throttle, but it’s bone chilling outside) for a gloomy snow days anytime 😀

        Like

      • Sometimes I wonder if you could divide arts to the point where every song, book, movie, etc. is its own genre. I usually try basic cheese whenever I try pizza for the first time. Simple and elegant. 🙂

        We have weather like that. Was 60’s and even 70 earlier in the week. Now we get snow.

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  7. Hey, I dropped my new one today and have been robotically writing posts and updating pages. I wrote one for you too, but want to sleep on it before emailing it out.

    Like

  8. adeleulnais says:

    I like the song, Linkin Park were very under rated, ehrm are they split up? Lost so much music gossip when I stopped buying Kerrang, why? Because it got shit, sorry for swearing but no other word fits it. Do you like the Gogol Bordellos? Its my fav music when I have to cook the dinner. I am whizzing through Crossing Bedlam and loving it. I too have read some really good reviews and hope you are still up for interview and book promo when I get finished reading?

    Like

    • I think they’re still together, but are doing side projects. Not really sure. They were big, did songs for ‘Transformers’, and then kind of went into the shadows. I’ve never been up on music gossip. I tend to listen more to the 80’s and 90’s Rock stuff. Never heard of the Gogol Bordellos, so I’ll have to look them up.

      Glad you’re enjoying the book and I’m definitely still up for the interview when you get finished.

      Like

  9. davidprosser says:

    Sorry to hear you’re being visited by the Black Dog Charles. I have his company a bit too but I took the pharmacology route ten years ago and still there. It comes, it goes, but whatever you write because you’re so involved in your characters will have an effect. Just know I wish you well.
    Not familiar with the group though the song was pretty good, I can see the appeal.

    Like

    • Thanks. Never heard it called the Black Dog before. I know those from folklore, so I can see the connection. They’re supposed to be beings of irrational fear and despair. At least under some lore.

      Glad you liked the song.

      Like

  10. Your plans for Easter remind me I have to organise an Easter egg hunt! I had my first experience of an egg hunt in the garden when I was sixteen and staying with a French family for the first time. I was way out of my depth, didn’t know nearly enough French, and my friend’s family barely spoke a word of English, but it was the best holiday I ever had. I took their traditions and adapted them when I had children. Our hunt starts in the house and ends in the garden!

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    • The plans are getting altered a bit. The twelve pack of plastic eggs my parents bought were dirty and I found a used cigarette butt in one of them. So we’re using another set I was hoping to save for the actual day.

      Easter egg hunts are fairly common around here. Local groups organize them in the parks. My son isn’t really competitive though, so he doesn’t get very far. He thinks it’s just fun to walk around or will grab one and leave.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My eldest isn’t very competitive either. The youngest is a different kettle of fish! She would have a plan in place, and follow that plan like a military operation! Easter egg hunts are not the norm over here, so the idea of a community based gathering in the park sounds amazing. Still, even now they’re teenagers the girls play the game I create for them, and we all have fun 🙂 I hope your plans go well (dodgy eggs aside!)

        Like

      • The public ones can be a mess. You have hyper-competitive parents that should probably be knocked out. The one last year was ridiculous. There was nobody ‘guarding’ the egg hunting area, so some parents were sneaking in to take the eggs. By the time the hunt started, there wasn’t much left.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nightmare! I take back what I said…because the image that presents is scary 🙂

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  11. The great thing about finishing a book is that it always exists and can be reinvented and re-launched. John Grisham’s first novel was A Time to Kill. It’s my favorite of his books, but it didn’t sell squat until The Firm (an inferior book IMHO) took off. Then it rocketed to the top of the best seller list because of the author. What I’m saying is that books are not like movies where you have to get them out there within a specific window of time and, if the movie bombs, that’s it. Books can have multiple chances to take off.

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  12. Can I say, Charles, that you’re brave to speak about your depression in a public setting. The condition is so widely misunderstood that it doesn’t surprise me well intentioned people might be telling you to just cheer up or appreciate what you have. Of all my siblings, I’m the only one who hasn’t yet spent time in a mental hospital. In addition, my daughter recently was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. When I comment occasionally that I’m worried about you, it’s because I’ve witnessed all the havok depression can wreak.

    As a close witness to depression, I hope I can offer a couple of insights. First, if your episode has lasted since October, I’d urge you to stop waiting for it to go away and get a diagnosis. Our daughter waited a year, while we asked her what was wrong and finally she told us. We had a diagnosis within a week. Also, while you know what your family’s history is, that doesn’t mean you have the same thing (if “having a thing” is the right term here). Quinn thought that depression was her major “thing,” but it turned out her anxiety was more significant.

    So get a diagnosis. If you have health insurance, it should be covered at no cost or with just a co-payment. If you don’t have insurance, look for community groups that will have low or no fee. Do it for you, for your wife, for that darling boy who wakes you up too early. DO IT!!

    Second, keep up with your writing and lean on the support group of fans and fellow writers. I really believe that my writing has kept me out of the hospital. If you can, try to put less emphasis on money-making and more on what brings you pleasure. Lord knows, you need all the strength you can muster to find your way through this.

    Take care, Charles.

    Like

    • (And I deleted my entire comment. Long one too. Having to do this through the comment section of WP. So a quicker version of what I was saying.)

      My insurance tends to try and weasel out of paying for mental health stuff. I do see a therapist who is willing to work with the headaches, which helps. This probably does have a lot to do with anxiety too. The bouts turn up under times of stress, extreme worrying, and when things simply won’t go my way. I’ve spent the last 6 months missing every writing deadline I’ve set for myself. People have constantly been telling me to quit the writing and get a ‘real job’. Some have even gone through my wife to get these points to me. It’s a lot of stress that builds up to make me feel like emotional crap. This is another reason why I don’t want to go the way of meds. I fear that they’ll only make me more pliable to those who are trying to convince me to do what they want. To be honest, I’d probably be a lifer since I’ve seen a few people go off meds and reveal that they lost the little control they had prior to the meds. I do enjoy the creation side more than the money-making, but the business side is what I need to keep the doubters in my life off my back. Most people who aren’t artists don’t understand that there’s more than monetary gain from these endeavors. Not much of a way to explain either.

      I do try to focus on the intentions behind suggestions and advice. The challenge is that the more ‘blue’ I am, the more I create a negative result. This could be anger at being told what to do, sadness at being treated like a child, or any number of things. As weird as it sounds, my own creativity acts against me here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you! And I know from previous posts that your extended family doesn’t exactly have your back when it comes to your writing. Going through your wife is a pretty low tactic, I have to say.

        But, just know that medication is not the only treatment. My vague sense is that you start feeling down in autumn and start to recover in spring, so SAD should be ruled out–but only a doctor can do that. Once you have a diagnosis, you can discuss options besides medication.

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      • It was a rather frustrating revelation. Hoping it stopped.

        I’ve heard of SAD and wondered about it, but this feels heavier. I really do think it’s just a long progression of setbacks, disasters, and frustrations that have built up to trigger something. A lot of the utter crap I deal with isn’t shown on the blog, so one could see how things are probably worse.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Ellespeth says:

    he’s so danged adorable 🙂 I want that light saber!
    thanks for your encouraging words about my injury, Charles…
    ellespeth

    Like

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