Up In the Intervention

If you know me, you know I’ve had some… issues of late.  Issues like no job, an impending divorce, and difficulty certifying with my derby league.  The job thing I’m working on, the divorce will end one day soon, but the derby thing–oi, it’s hanging around my neck like a smelly albatross.

And it’s be slowly driving me nuttier as time goes on.

Over this last Sunday and Monday I was holed up in my apartment unwilling to go anywhere ’cause I’d seen the roster for my team’s first bout of the season–and guess who isn’t on the roster?  Yeah, me.  And the reason why was an inability to do my 27/5.  And I don’t just mean hit a certain time: I mean being unable to skate more than a few laps before giving up on it ’cause I can’t handle it mentally, which translates over into being unable to do it physically.

In the last two and a half months I know I’ve done it all the way through twice, and both those times were last week.  I may have done it one other time, but I can’t remember.  I know there’s a whole lot of times when I didn’t do it: I’d get in like five or six laps then just quit because I simply didn’t have to will or urge to continue.

Last night was no different.  I was in a bad mood when I got to practice.  I had shit tons of anxiety happening and I felt like I was going to meltdown at any moment.  We did our cardio to start and after the first few laps I felt the energy ebbing away.  I mean, I finished cardio, but I wasn’t setting any records.

And then it was time to do my laps and I didn’t want to go.  I wouldn’t even acknowledge that I needed to so then.  It was only after the coach and another skater went to the track did I slink out and line up.  I was getting tips on what to do from one of my former teammates who’s now reffing, but… half the time I was crying whenever I spoke with her.  I was just a mess.  After after about a half-dozen laps I just coasted to a stop and went off to do a little private sobbing.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there.  Nope.

Before we got ready to scrimmage some people wanted to know why I didn’t do my 27/5.  And I was actually telling people I was in a horrible state of mind and that I didn’t have to energy to skate that because I’d considered killing myself over the last two days and the feeling was still with me.  Yes, I was saying this.  Aloud.  Around my teammates, most of whom could hear me.

Yeah, it was a little too much.

So after scrimmage practice–which I got through fine ’cause there’s nothing like skating hard and getting hit to get your mind of suicidal ideation–I degeared and got ready to go home.  One of my coaches came over to discuss Jessica Jones, ’cause I’d posted a couple of great lines from Season 2, and we chatted about that.  But before I could leave…

Let’s back up here for a moment.

One of the positions on the board of directors of the league is league rep.  Their job is to make sure things go smoothly with the players and if there’s an issue brewing with them–like maybe one wants to rip the head of another for some reason–the rep steps in and speaks to the parties.  The current rep is a friend I introduced to derby, so I had some history with her before she was elected.

As I was getting ready to leave she came up and told me we needed to talk.  As in we needed to really talk.  So I suggested we go somewhere close and I could have a drink and something to eat while we talked.

What she told me was this: the league was getting really worried about me.  They were concerned about how crazy I was getting over doing a 27/5, but that was due to their concern about some of the shit I’ve been posting and saying over the last few weeks.  Also, when you’re coming into practice and talking about how hard it was to not die over the weekend–well, you know, your teammates have to step in and stage some kind of intervention.

And that’s what I was getting.

I found out that not only was I wrong about thinking that my league didn’t give a shit about me–something I’d said over the last month or so–but they were worried about my well-being.  People wanted to see me certify and it bothered them that I was unable to cross that last hurdle.  And they were getting worried by all the talk about suicide.  I’d mentioned that I almost didn’t come to practice and I was told that if that had happened, there would have been people checking up on me.

I eventually broke down and cried for about five minutes straight ’cause I was dying inside last night.  I’ve been hurting for a while and closing myself off from people, and it isn’t doing my mind any good. The fact that I was seeing my league and teammates and coaches in all the wrong light was a sign that I was slipping into delusional paranoia brought on by depression, and once you head down that road it’s tough to see straight without having someone point out that you’re losing you shit in a big way.

I felt better when I got home and I feel better today.  I went out for a while and took in the sunlight and ignored the fact that the wind made it colder than it was.  I drove around just to do something besides sit at home and feel bad.  And I had sushi:

Sometimes you need sushi to brighten your day.

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I’ll likely make another attempt at the 27/5 tomorrow night. If I make it I may play Sunday, I may not.  More than likely I won’t play, but that’s okay because there’s other bouts coming in April and May and I’ll have time to get ready for them.  The important thing to take away here is that I do have people watching my back and they do worry about me.

I mean, I’ve likely always known they were there.

But trying to see them through your own problem?  That’s the problem.


The Rune Vision: Sleeytime Kids

What is this?  An Excerpt?  Why yes, it is.

While I mentioned I was going to start working on this next, in the future, chapter, I wondered if I was going to start on it last night.  I didn’t, mostly because I started beating myself up over something and wouldn’t let it go for hours.

However, when I awoke today, I decided I needed to get to it and that’s exactly what happened.  I started working on the first scene in the chapter and didn’t stop until I was done.  Why’s that?  Because I knew it wouldn’t be a long scene–and it wasn’t: almost eight hundred and seventy words.  And it leads into the vision that’s coming in the next scene.

But first, let’s get through this:


(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017, 2018 by Cassidy Frazee)


Relaxation Room #2 was known as The Sleep Chamber, because it was not only the quietest room at Memory’s End, but the quietest above-ground room throughout the School of Salem. Several enchantments prevented any outside sounds from penetrating the walls and door, while another set of enchantments thickened the shadows to create a darkness only found deep within caves.

The Sleep Chamber was only used for a couple of things. The first was when Coraline needed to conduct a study with a student having a difficult time sleeping, and the second was when Deanna wanted to conduct a Divination lab that involved dreams.

Today was Deanna’s time in The Sleep Chamber and she was nervous.

After a few weeks of study since returning from Yule Holiday, today’s second Divination lab involved rune dreams—and this had Deanna slightly on edge, in much the same way as the first lab. While this was going to be the first experience with runes for the C Levels, some C Level students had already experienced rune dreams.

Given that she knew the contents of Annie’s and Kerry’s first and, so far, last rune dreams, Deanna’s concern was that this next rune dream would likely be on par with the first vision they experienced during a lab—which was to say extremely vivid and perhaps a touch embarrassing.

The runes Annie and Kerry chose randomly from the bag at the beginning of class did little to alleviate her concern. Annie took Raidho, which indicated travel in both physical and personal form, and was often seen as opening up an individual to changes in their lives as well as allowing them to view things from a greater point of view.

Kerry’s was Kenaz and Deanna kept her face as blank as possible when she recorded the result of his pick. Kenaz represented, among other things, visions and revelations, and was often views as a harbinger of transformation and regeneration of self, giving one the power to create their own reality. It also represented both passion and sexual love, which conjured the worst possible visions in Deanna’s imagination when she considered what could happen if Kerry were to share a dream vision with Annie.

The only thing that gave the seer comfort was that everyone in the class would be asleep, so there wasn’t any possibility that something embarrassing could occur with those two that the rest of the class could observe.

Class prep was quick because they’d spent the last half hour of the previous class going over the process. First the students would randomly choose a rune and hold it, giving it power from their aura. Then they would place it under the pillow they’d use during their sleep time to allow it access to their minds. After that they’d consume a light soporific—courtesy of Erywin—that would allow them to drift off to sleep with little difficulty. The last step, of course, was to get comfortable, lay down, and crawl under a comforter before falling asleep for an hour or so.

At that point Deanna would position all the spy eyes into place over each student, plunge the room into total darkness, and wait to see what transpired. After the students awoke she’d have all of them write down their dream visions if one actually occurred. She recognized—and passed this along to her students—that not everyone would have a vision—

Though she didn’t mention that some students might decide to speak in their sleep, eliminating the need to write anything down. She’d handle those instances on a case-by-case basis.

Almost as one the students charged their runes and placed them under their pillows, then lined up to receive their soporifics before returning to their pillows. The majority of students decided to sleep under a comforter and quickly crawled under them as they readied themselves for the quick nap. Only a few students decides to sleep together as a couple—though it wasn’t difficult to know which two students were going to do just that without being asked…

The moment everyone was down and appeared ready to sleep Deanna killed the lights, allowing darkness to fill the room. She sat quietly in the darkness for what felt like a long time, but after producing her own magical light source—a deep red that wouldn’t damage her night visions—she noticed the time on her table and saw that only five minutes had transpired. She got to her feet and began checking on a few students, seeing that they were all out and sleeping peacefully.

She gingerly stepped over bodies until she stood next to Annie and Kerry, who had, of course, decided to sleep as a couple. Their comforter was pulled up almost to their chins, but it was easy to see Annie nestled softly and snugly against Kerry’s chest, with his left arm under the covers but draped over her body. Deanna knelt near their heads and bent to get a closer look at their faces—

After only a few seconds of observation she saw their eyes moving under their lids.

The seer drew in a quiet breath and dimmed her red light. It’s started


So tomorrow I hope to start on the vision and get that posted here.  It might only be five hundred words or so–

But they’ll be my words.

Forward Into the Wibbly Wobbly

Twenty-four hours can see a big change…

Yesterday about this time I was really up and feeling good.  It was sunny, life seemed good.  Last night, however, I started falling into another of my depressions while out enjoying a bout with teammates and by the time I was home I was ready to chuck it all over the balcony–myself included.

So I made a comment on Facebook about this.  I got a lot of sympathy–and one comment from someone who I respect a great deal.  Her comment was to stop letting depression define me because I was allowing it to happen and that I should “bone the fuck up” and move forward.

And it did snap my ass back into shape.

A lot of shit that’s happened to me since the end of last year has been me letting depression get the better of me.  I know the signs, I know what this can do to me, and, in the past, I’ve told it to fuck off and been successful.  And I’ve admitted, on more than one occasion, that my pursuit of my 27/5 has been fucking up my life something tremendously.

This morning I work up in a better mood and I’m ignoring the time change last night and just going with the fact it’s almost 11:00 right now.  It’s bright and cloudless outside and I’m going skating in a few hours, because that’s what I do on Sunday.

Oh, and I laid out a new chapter–

Yes, Kids: it’s on.


This is the scene that’s been bugging me for a while and since I’m hearing from people who’d like to see something out of me, I’ve decided to skip out of what I was working on and move ahead–leaving the linear progression of the novel behind and getting a few chapters that I want to write.  And in doing so I hope it kicks loose whatever the hell is holding me back and that allows me to get back to writing.

‘Cause since I have the time I damn well should.

Not only has this scene–Annie’s and Kerry’s second vision–been bugging the hell out of me, but I was running it over in my head before setting it up in the time line and then laying out the chapter here.  I know what happens in every scene because I’ve already thought this out, so there’s no remaining mystery for me.  All that remains is for me to get to writing–something I expect to do tonight after dinner since I have nothing on tap once I return from skating and I’ll have a lot of free time up until The Walking Dead comes on.

And what happens after this?  Well, I’ve had a require to show Kerry heading off with Annie to Pamporovo for Yule and it’s likely I’ll write that.  Some also want to see The Polar Express, but you need the Girl’s Weekend Away before you get to The Polar Express because… you do.  I know this sucker: you don’t.  And that’s how it plays out.

And if I can get all that down then I really want to get to Annie’s introduction to derby, ’cause yeah, I know how that shit plays out as well.

Right now I feel good, I feel bright, I feel… almost happy.  Does this mean I’m back to writing full-time after nearly a month off and two months of just sort of pecking at my work?  We’ll see ’cause right now I can’t say.

But as Liz Smith once said:


“We try to live responsible logical lives, but we can’t tell our hearts what 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 anger, excited and confused all at once. But at least my heart is open, and I’m writing again. I’m feeling. I’m breathing.”


Right now that’s good enough for me.

The Immensity of Small Things

If you’re reading this you’re following my blog, and if you’re following me you by now know that I’ve… well, “Going through a rough patch” doesn’t really cover it all, I guess, because “Living Immersed in Hell” is more like it.  There were a lot of bad nights and on a few mornings the first thought to come to mind was “I’m not going to make it through the day.”  There were even a few thoughts worse than that upon waking, but I’ll leave them be for now.

Now, over the last few days things have gotten better, and I can even smile now and then.  Also, I was out Saturday for most of the day, hanging with teammates, and that did a lot of alleviate the funk I’ve encountered.

This was me Saturday in case you’ve forgotten:

Shannon, Kelli, Sarah, and me out doing their HARD sell. #HARD #DerbyGirl

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I won’t lie, there was a bit of partying going on Saturday as well, which helped with the smile.

Today I had a few things come my way that helped put the feelings of depression behind me.  One, I had lunch with someone I’ve known online for years–and who lived within like 20 minutes of me–but we were never able to get together for one reason or another.  At lunch she gave me a little present–and if you know me (and you should), then you know it’s something I like a lot–

And I have another Little Mermaid!

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If you give me a mermaid, I’m happy.  If you can make me into a mermaid–well, I think that’s something only Annie and Kerry can do.

BUT!  Before leaving for lunch I checked my mail and discovered something waiting for me: a gift that I knew I hadn’t ordered and one, once open, that didn’t leave me with any indication as to who sent it to me.  I had a pretty good idea who’d sent it my way, but it wasn’t until I returned from lunch and made a call that I discovered the true source: it came from members of the crocheting group to which I belong on Facebook.

And what did they send me?  This:


Yes, a little skating charm with a few words of wisdom.  I’m certain it came my way because (1) they know I’m the skating maven of the group these days and (2), I so want to certify so I can play derby.  So why not send me some bad-ass inspiration to keep me motivated?

Since they’re really charms, I took them and placed them on a empty loop on my mermaid charm–a loop that held a disk that had “Mermama” pressed into it.  That means that whenever I’m wearing my charm–which is most of the time during the day–I have a little skating reminder as well:

I'm just another skating mermaid. #DerbyGirl

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Sometimes little things help you through the day.  I haven’t had many of them–

But I’m extremely thankful when they come.

Seven Days Out

And here’s where I get to talking.  Enjoy!


Here’s a photo of me at the showing with the artist:



Here’s the video of the pace line I mentioned:

All the Stuff But…

And if you wanna know what the “but” is, watch the video!

(Sorry I didn’t get this out yesterday, but YouTube was being a pain when it came to uploading.)


Pictures while I was out yesterday morning:

Bridges in the morning light.

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Bridges in shadow.

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Down State Street.

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Out early today.

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Taking the Plunge

It’s not often I get way out of my comfort zone and try something I’ve never done before.  I should say, it wasn’t often before I started transitioning.  Before that little event I was pretty content not to do anything that might make me uncomfortable.

Now, being uncomfortable is something of a way of life–

Like it was yesterday.

Yesterday, the first of the year, I headed over to City Island to participate in the annual Penguin Plunge, which involves jumping into the Susquehanna River.  As you may have figured out, living in Pennsylvania means it probably wasn’t going to be warm and you’d be correct:  when I left to meet with my teammates it was 19 F/-9 C.  At least the wind wasn’t blowing–yet.  Anyway, I was ready for that weather–

19 F/-9 C. Let's swim!

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I met up with my teammates, because we, the girls of HARD, were going to do the plunge together.  Ariel Wildfire organized the event and I jumped on it, figuring what the hell, if nothing else I’ll contribute money.  However, I did state on my page when I promoted the event that if I raised more than $75, I would take the plunge–

And you know I raised more than that.  In fact I nearly doubled that amount, raising $146 total so far.  Doesn’t seem like a lot, but I couldn’t kick in any of my own cash due to losing my job and with the exception of one $100 donation, the others were small dollar amounts.

Once all my teammates arrived we got together, registered, and waited.  For a while we hung around outside in a gazebo, which gave me time to head down to the river and see how things were going.

The answer to that was–not well.

Getting the pool ready for us.

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As you can see there’s a lot of ice on the river.  That’s due to the extremely cold temps we’ve have in our area for the past couple of weeks.  For the first time in a long time the river was completely frozen over, so when I took the above photo the River Rescue people were doing their best to chop open an area for us to dive in.  During this time they were using axes to open the ice, but since that wasn’t working, a few minutes after taking that picture they broke out the chainsaws and started cutting.  On a local newscast they said it was only the second time in like 24 years they’ve had to do so.

Since the time to plunge growing near my teammates and I headed to the warming tents and began stripping down into whatever garb we intended on wearing into the water.  That meant leggings or shorts, and one one of us that mean fish net stockings and a green Derbyskinz, which is something I’ll probably wear during one bout when I get to that point.  (Note:  Derbyskinz is not only where my team gets their jerseys, but it was actually started by someone who used to play for HARD.  She wore an outfit to Fresh Meat practice her aunt made for her and it became rather popular.  Now they run their own business in Camp Hill.)

Naturally we had to get a team photo before going out:

Team HARD getting ready to take the Penguin Plunge. #HARD

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(Left to right: Unchained Maryilly, Ariel Wildfire, and the Fresh Meat collection: me, Sarah, and Ashly.)


Matt Barcaro of local station WGAL News 8 was there and streamed the start.  You’ll see us within 10 seconds, on the left of the screen.  I’m easy to see because I’m big, I’m wearing a lime green tank top, and I have a GoPro strapped to my head.  Watch us go into the water and come out right after!


Now, as I stated, I was wearing my GoPro and managed to shoot everything from my point of view.  And here it is in all it’s chilly glory.


And just for the record, here’s a screen capture from the news stream of me coming out of the water.  My face says it all:


After that we headed back to the warming tent and changed.  It was strange watching steam rolling off my body and my feet remained numb for about 30 minutes after this little jaunt.  So I just went home and chilled out, right?


What does a derby girl do after jumping into a freezing river? Go skating!

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Yep, I went skating and Unchained Maryilly, aka Mary, joined me because… well, we’re derby girls, that’s why!  And I got video of us not only skating, but falling!  Yay!  (I spend most of my time skating behind Unchained, who is the woman on the YouTube splash for the video.  She told me yesterday she wants me to certify so that she’s no longer the oldest certified skater–she’s 47 until the end of February.)


2017 was sucky. I’m hoping that 2018 is gonna be a hell of a lot better, and even though I’m out of work right now I still hold that hope.  At least I started out the year right by getting out of the comfort zone and doing shit that even a year ago I might not have done.

I can only go upward from here, right?