One of the nice things about where I currently live is that I can see the river from balcony. I’m eleven stories up, though the way they count the floors in this building, I’m actually twelve, but lets not quibble. It’s one more, it’s eleven, and I’m good with that.
I stepped outside for a moment, just to take in the cool morning air while my computer finished booting. Things are lit up, and there’s a bit of traffic on the street below. But, off maybe two blocks, the river is dark, as is the opposite bank. And rising off the river, up and down the length, is a light, cool mist, topping out at nearly the same height as my apartment. It’s something I haven’t seen in . . . well, pretty much forever, since I’ve never lived by a river, and never lived in a high rise apartment.
But it’s something that I loved seeing.
Where I’m at now with life gives me a little different perspective on writing as well. The Summer of ’13 was the pits: looking for work, getting depressed about my last novel, struggling to get through a novella before cranking out a story that ended up turning into a novel–it wasn’t the best time of my life. It all felt a bit disjointed and meandering. And before heading out to The Burg I was seriously considering giving up writing, because I felt as if I were going nowhere fast, and getting there even quicker.
This is what depression does to you: it screws up your perception of the world, and what’s going on around you. It makes you want to kill your dreams, even when you know you shouldn’t. I’ve gotten through it before–my time in The Undisclosed Location was nothing but depression, and I managed some great writing. But this last summer was something else entirely: it was like The Bad Old Days, and you don’t want to go through those.
One of the things that set my teeth to gnashing is reading all the comments from people who like to say that all writers are crazy. ”Oh, I was looking up how to murder someone with a pen, I be so nutty!” Uh, huh. I think I was doing that when I was nine, after someone in school pissed me off and I considering ramming a pencil through their neck. No, there are crazy writers, but they’re nutty not cause the think things that no one else thinks, it’s ’cause they got demons chewing at their butt The and they want them the hell out of their lives.
Crazy is thinking you suck when you don’t, and putting yourself down because you can. It’s being like me, an emotionally repressed person suffering with bi-polar disorder and gender identity issues most of her life, and has come extremely close on a few occasions to grabbing a bottle of sleeping tables, a liter of Gray Goose, and taking a midnight ride to the middle of nowhere to lay herself down to sleep one last time.
Now, though . . . I see the mist rising on the river and I’m ready to keep going. The crazy can kiss my ass, I want to go on. I did a short story, I’m working on my next novel, and I’m thinking about what I want to publish next.
I’m moving forward, and it’s a good feeling.
Or as Liz Parker once said in her journal:
“We try to live responsible, logical lives. But we can’t tell our hearts how to feel. Sometimes our hearts lead us to places we never thought we wanted to go. And sometimes our hearts can be the sweetest, gentlest things we have.
“Sometimes our hearts can make us feel miserable, angry, excited and confused. All at once. But at least my heart is open. And I’m writing again.