NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT GRAPEFRUIT D:
Apparently it has very bad interactions with a lot of medications. I dug around a bit and it seems like it's the same enzyme that makes it good for when you're taking mushrooms (yes, the magic kind) is the enzyme that can effing kill you with prescription drugs. It causes your body to absorb more of the active properties of whatever you're eating. With prescription drugs, they know you're not going to absorb most of the pill that goes into your body, so they prescribe based on that ratio. But when you have grapefruit, suddenly your body absorbs WAY more of the drug than you're supposed to.
For the first time in AGES I was craving grapefruit today (I've had a bit of a cold this week), and I ate half of one. A few hours later I was so dizzy and stoned-feeling, and so thirsty, with this awful, awful taste in my mouth, I actually had to just curl up on the couch and wait it out. Thankfully bupropion isn't one of the drugs listed as having an extremely dangerous interaction, but I did not plan on being "on drugs" today, so it was a little alarming.
I still feel pretty stoned/thirsty/weird, and still have that awful taste in my mouth. But I'm pretty sure I'll be okay.
BUT WHY DID NO ONE WARN ME ABOUT THIS? D:
Some of the genres to pick from:
Star Wars expanded universe books (old school)
Let me know if you're interested!
Just a bit o' rambling about the myth that people have tried and true writing "processes," and the more destructive myth that writing is supposed to be painful.
Hope everyone is having a lovely June so far!
6 AM - wake up
5/5:30 PM - nap, anywhere from 35 minutes to 2 hours
12:30 - 1:30 AM - go to bed
However, the other night I stayed up until about 2:30 AM, woke at 6 AM yesterday, was exhausted after work and slept 2 hours, stayed up till 1 this morning, and woke at 5:30 today feeling more awesome than I have in years, and I've had pretty stable energy all day.
So I think I'm finding a balance. It's difficult right now to gague what's sleep deprivation and what's exhaustion from it being the last stretch of a very long, very cold, very snowy winter (but hey, I'm still doing better than I was this time last year, or the year before, or before, or before! :p). So I'm letting myself nap longer when I need to, but I'm going to definitely keep waking up at 5:30, maybe even 5. I've started doing some calisthenic/bodyweight training in the mornings since I haven't been able to do kickboxing (due to stupid breathing issues), and having the extra time just makes mornings feel much easier, much more peaceful. Plus it helps to have the extra time to scrape my car off and drive slowly through storms or heavy traffic to get to the cafe and write.
Overall, though? I think the best thing I've discovered about biphasic sleep is that I'm in a better mood, like, all the time (except maybe right before I nap). I'm much more easy-going about things, and I've decreased the amount of pressure I usually put on myself to produce more and heal faster and make more progress on my goals.
I'm still tweaking things, and I would like to use my evening time to write instead of watch period dramas on Netflix (I mean the occasional period drama is fine), but that might need to wait until the weather warms up a bit around here. They say this weekend is going to set records with how cold it's going to be :(
Side note: to celebrate V-Day this weekend I booked myself a 2-HOUR MASSAGE for tomorrow night (only $100, and I know she's good because my parents go to her all the time!). Tonight (for tomorrow/the weekend), I'm making myself a primal-friendly cheesecake with a chocolate crust :9 Who says Valentine's Day has to be a bummer when you're single! I love myself more than enough. ;D
I've never been a hater or a lover of Valentine's Day. When I'm in a relationship, it's a nice reason to do something extra special. It's also a...reason, I guess, to be bummed out if we *don't* do something extra special. And when I'm single...well, it's just a day when you know better than to ask your non-single friends if they want to plan to do anything.
The actual origins of the day are kind of murky. I've heard a lot of different stories (apparently there are MULTIPLE St. Valentines), so I've decided to scrap them all and just go with what it's about now: love. And since there's a lot of Valentine's Day cards being given out by and to kids in elementary school classes who hardly know each other, I'm going to say it's about all kinds of love, not just romantic. And there are definitely people (and critters) in my life that I love.
So I've been trying to figure out what to do on Valentine's Day this year so that I don't accidentally end up moping around the house feeling sorry for myself, or eating all of my feelings (I make really good double dark chocolate brownies, I'm just sayin'), or watching endless streaming Netflix while eating so that I don't actually feel anything at all.
And then it came to me: witchcraft. Duh.
Not to find love. Not to create more love. Not to heal old wounds. Just an evening filled with magic, honoring and celebrating the many forms of love already in my life. I'm not sure on all the details yet, but there will be witchcraft. There will be roses. There might still be double dark chocolate brownies (c'mon!). And I have the perfect little pink votive candle with a picture of Mary on it from Sarah and Jenn to use in ritual.
I am a Taurus. I recently heard an alchemical description of the Earth signs of the Zodiac as a tree: Virgo are the branches, Capricorn are the trunk, and Taurus are the roots. This makes sense to me. I've learned in the past decade that I am all about foundations, be it in forming relationships, making decisions, preparing for new experiences. If I have a solid foundation, I feel perfectly safe and excited to jump in and be spontaneous--if that makes sense. Like, if I'm traveling, as long as I have a foundation, a sense of where I'll be and what's there, and how much money I have to spend, I feel no need to plan things out or worry about a damn thing.
So I think I'll take this Valentine's Day to build a foundation for love in my life, so that I can love others better, experience love more easily, and even allow myself to be loved a little more easily than I have been.
Have a great Monday :)
I can't blame you, 2013. You did not create the situations that disturbed us, that broke us down, that threatened to ruin us. You did not make anyone's choices for them. You did not reveal dark corners of anyone's heart. All you did was give us the space to exist in, to process, to heal. If we chose not to make good use of the 8,760 hours you offered us, you are not to blame.
In the shadow of your calendar year I saw people thriving. I saw people living--truly living--unlike ever before. I saw myself distinctly, maybe for the first time since I became this version of who I am. I saw people buckle under pressure, crumble under the weight of grief. I saw people crush their grief down into a cage of disinterest and entomb it in walls made of humble righteousness. I saw people break apart, only to rebuild themselves as stronger, better, happier.
-I let go of my hipster pride and watched Doctor Who, and loved it (until the 11th doctor came). It changed me as a human being, and subsequently as a storyteller.
-I was fired from a job that I allowed to drive me into the deepest, darkest depression I have ever experienced.
-I wrote a novel that I can only describe as a mindfuck, and I'm shamelessly in love with every character and every scene in that book.
-I came to realize that my own emotions are valid, necessary things. I came to realize, too, that my thoughts are not superior to my emotions, and that is a hard thing to accept--one of those things feels like control, the other feels like an absolute free-fall.
-I came to realize that I don't actually know myself at all.
-My marriage to the man I had once *known* to be my soul mate dissolved into two selfish parties--one selfish because she had already given all that she could give without losing herself completely, and the other selfish because it was his utmost intention to protect himself in all things--emotionally, intellectually, egoically.
-I started to question everything I know, everything I've felt, everything I've trusted since I became an adult.
-My friends and family supported me when I came to them for help.
-I spent Christmas in the English countryside drinking wine and eating way too much good food and watching terrible BBC productions of various ghost stories.
-I came to understand myself and my loved ones a little bit better
-I came to understand that I know absolutely nothing at all
2013, you have been as good a year as any in that you are just a measurement, a swatch of a lifetime, one in a series of manageable time frames encompassing events that we may choose, or choose not, to reflect upon.
Good bye, 2013. I hope you grow brighter in our collective memories, because that's all that one can hope for the future of a year already past.
I see 2014 on the horizon. I can't recognize its face yet, but I think I can feel it learning to breathe.
Ever since then, I've actually been aware of the real sound of my voice. I dunno, it's kind of weirdly dissociative. I don't feel like it's actually me I'm hearing, otherwise wouldn't I have heard that voice before when I'm speaking?
Maybe I'm going through a second puberty and my voice is changing.
I'm sitting here trying to write a query letter for my most recent novel (the novel I wrote since being fired!), and something amazing just occurred to me. When I started writing this book last year, I didn't really know where it was going. It was a weird book, with weird ideas, and a plot that doesn't do what you expect your average plot to do. To be perfectly honest, when I set out to tell this story, I didn't think I had the skills to tell it. Even when I outlined the hell out of it and had my epiphanies and figured out exactly what was going on in the book, I still didn't believe I had the skills to write it.
And yet here I am, crafting the elusive one sentence summary, preparing my novel for her maiden voyage to my literary agent of choice.
Maybe I had the skills all along, and maybe I didn't. Maybe I learned the skills along the way. But I gave it everything I had--I trusted in the story, in the process, in my sheer love of storytelling. And now I've told the story that I wasn't sure I had the capacity to tell.
That realization...it just...I don't have words for it. I feel humbled. And proud. And at peace.Also, I kind of feel like I can do anything now. Just to warn you.
I'm so very, very proud of this book. I hope the world enjoys it :)
So, last night I dreamed that I was kind of in the cast of Glee. I say "kind of" because, in the dream, that life was real. I was a real high school student in a glee club, and I was surrounded by immensely talented people, whose abilities I truly respected and looked up to. However, it took place in my old high school--Williamsville South--not the high school they go to on TV (whatever that is, idk).
I was walking through the halls of the school, vaguely aware that I hadn't been there in a long time because I'd been fired (dream logic! I guess it was equating the status of "student" with "employed") but I was there, during passing time, wandering among the students, when someone from the glee club informed me that I would be performing a duet with them later that week. I don't remember the song--I'm not actually sure it was a real song anyway--but I remember it was pretty soulful and powerful, like Janis Joplin style, only without the, um, Janis Joplin-y voice.
Anyway, I imagined myself having to sing in front of the class, and I felt a panicky mix of elation and terror. I felt like I know that if I was in my car by myself, I could totally belt out that song like a fucking champ...but in front of people? I'll mess up. They'll hate it. I can't do it. Then it occurred to me in a dream-logic way that I hadn't seen myself perform on Glee all season, and I realized it was because I was just an extra, a background singer at best. I might have enjoyed singing, and maybe even thought I was pretty good, but I'm nowhere near as talented as those kids.
And yet there was still that strange elation...
I imagined singing the song, putting everything into it that I had, come what may. I was scared of what would come out of me, that it would be too big, too powerful, too alarming. I was afraid that, in my passion for the song, I'd hit some note that would scratch just the wrong way, making people uncomfortable. But even though the idea of trying and letting it all loose frightened me, I knew I wanted to do it. Maybe I wasn't going to sing my song like they would, and maybe I couldn't sing it as well as they could (in the way that they would), but I thought I could sing it well the way that I could sing it, and the way I wanted to sing it. Only, the way I could sing and wanted to sing--I knew a lot of people wouldn't like it.
But I still really, really wanted to try. I wanted to do it. I just didn't know if I could.
I was terrified.
But I wanted to sing.
I was terrified.
But I still wanted to sing.
Could I do it? Would I do it?
Panic. Panic. Panic.
And then I woke up.
You know, I like to think that I would have been brave enough to sing. But I honestly don't know. And yet in some ways, I think I'm preparing for my performance right now, as I get ready to release my second novel. I don't doubt that The Hierophant is a novel that will hit strange, unexpected notes in the reader's mind. But I like those notes, and I like the songs that carry them. I like when a song is not a perfect balance of verse and refrain. I like performances where the singer's voice breaks from her expression of need, of feeling, and leaves a note hanging in the air like the torn edge of a love letter, ripped in half.
And I think there are others out there who like those kinds of songs, too.
And I hope they'll sing their songs the way they want to, too.
So I think a lot about imaginary people (because I'm a writer, and a reader) and I think a lot about story, and what aspects appeal to humans, and how, when things are taken too far, maybe people sometimes expect real life to be like stories, which isn't impossible, but unlikely. And I think sometimes about these characters that go through so much and finally achieve their huge, massive goal--and then what? What drives them forward? Do they get their happily ever after? Or does the story go on? Or rather, do they begin a different story?
Happily ever after is widely accepted as a myth these days, because we know that time and life doesn't stand still. You can't stay at the top forever. Problems arise, solutions must be sought. Stories must be lived.
I think about that a lot: what do are the characters' lives like after the story ends?
And then I hit my own milestone/climax-resolution yesterday. I finished the first draft of GHOST CITY, the first novel I've started and finished since 2010 when I posted the last chapter of The Poppet and the Lune (unless you count my massive rewrite of THE HIEROPHANT). I felt like I should have been more exuberant, more over the moon for my accomplishment. I had to check to make sure I wasn't suppressing joy in favor of doubt (as I do). I wasn't. I was excited, but no more excited than I'd been the days before. I'm excited for the book! But the story goes on, well after the first draft, as any writer knows. And I'm more excited to move forward onto the next stage of crafting this story than I am excited that I finished one stage of it.
It's a little bit like me getting fired. I'm far more excited and enthusiastic about being free and living my life as I've dreamed, than I am excited to be free of my terrible day job.
That's not to say that when I do finish a final, polished, ready-for-submission draft that I won't be exploding with joy, but that's a slightly larger milestone to meet.
Relief is more the feeling I had yesterday. I was relieved that I made it through the whole thing. I was relieved that I had it in me, another story, another novel. I was relieved that my decisions about the novel, whether they were the "right" ones or not, were good decisions. I was relieved that I could do it. I can do it. I can write novels, and more than just the ones I've already written.
I have a feeling I will feel that same relief with the first draft of every novel I will ever write.
I feel much better today. I think a part of me knew this was coming--I had done Tarot readings at the hermitage that, at the time, I refused to believe because they were either a) too good to be true, or b) too frightening to delve into. Back then, I was haunted by images of Death, but I was also deep into a spiral of depression and anxiety. Even though I *never* interpret Death as death, I kept going back there. But I've also had a paranoid vibe at work since forever. And I totally read about me receiving inheritance, and I thought it too good to be true (plus my mother had told me we weren't in my grandfather's will, and I hadn't expected it anyway). But lo, my parents decided to give each of their kids a substantial gift. And lo, Death came and terminated my job at the lamest excuse for a business ever.
Today, I feel shameful joy. I'm working on the shame part. But the world would have me believe that it's not okay to be happy about this, about uncertainty, and unstable income, and lack of being a "contributing member of society." It would tell me I can't be happy when I don't know what the outcome of my unemployment is yet. It would tell me I have to take the first job that comes along, even if it sends me right back into a black hole of depression and anxiety.
But you know what? I'm happy. I don't ever have to go into that toxic, poisonous office ever again. I don't ever have to worry about my shitty boss being in a pissy mood, or doing a shitty, poorly designed project, skirting the edges of ethical. I don't have to worry about getting approval for time off, leaving early, having time to pick up my husband, get to a doctor's appointment, being late because of traffic, being temporarily laid off just because the president is a cheap mother fucker... I could go on about what I'm leaving behind, but let's not. Let's... leave it behind.
Today, I woke up with crazy hair because I went to bed with it damp. Here's another secret admission (theme of the week): I love when my hair is insane. I have "curly" hair, but it usually settles into waves on the second day. Sometimes when I go to bed with damp hair I wake up with this MASSIVE LION FRO and it is AMAZING. I feel fine going out into the world with that, but to the office? It feels "unprofessional." So I have to wet it down and comb it out until I look respectable (metaphor?). Since I got faux bangs at my last haircut (bangs that are pretty much always swept aside) my hair gets even crazier around my face. I think next time I get my hair cut I'm just going to ask them to cut it in whatever way makes my hair the BIGGEST. Because why not?
Also today, I put on my teal corduroy pants and my most comfortable tee shirt, thinking "fuck business casual" the whole time. I woke up feeling giddy, goofy... kind of blossoming. I feel like I'm slowly rising out from my prison. Slowly remembering who and what I am. I can wear hair flowers now, since I don't have to worry about a headset messing them up. And so long as I'm willing to dye over it if need be when a job opportunity comes up, I can totally take advantage of the toner being faded from my recent highlights and dye that shit FIRE ENGINE RED or TEAL or GREEN or FUSCIA. I can do what I mother fucking want.
I'm at Spot Coffee right now, in Williamsville. I decided to go here after I dropped off Jared, and have the coffee I would have been having in the afternoon. I'll be writing in a moment. I'm beginning to live the life I've been dreaming of. It hasn't come as expected, and it's scary, and it's by no means stable. But I have to focus on the positive. I must see this as an opportunity. And I really do--it's just so hard, in the face of so much societal conditioning, to say "I'm happy I got fired."
So, I've given you three secrets this week:
1) I think I'm a fucking awesome writer.
2) I love when my hair is huge and curly and crazy.
3) I'm happy I got fired from my shitty job.
Hell yes! What other secrets can I share with you? I'll think about it...