Foggy, Foggy Days and Nights

Over the last couple of years, a  writer I love and admire, Alyssa Day, has opened up about her struggle with depression. Her courage  inspired me to open up about the impact depression has had in my life.


photo via WANA commons Flickr

I first recognized depression when I was a pre-teen.  I  didn’t understand what it was really, nor do I know if I was depressed prior to this but didn’t recognize the signs.  For the most part,  I battled depression alone. I tried sometimes to talk to my mom, but the language really wasn’t there to clearly communicate what was happening to me. So, I mostly struggled alone with this big, ugly cloud that surrounded me. I flirted with suicidal thoughts, and I believe the only reason I never made a serious attempt was that I’d fought so hard to live. Trust me, it’s a very odd feeling to fight to keep your body chugging along while wondering if living really is worth hanging on to. I learned to look at the little things, the beauty of my mom’s roses, the breath-taking colors of a sunrise or sunset, the sound of all kinds of music. Hanging onto bits of happiness kept me from succumbing to the seductive pull of despair.

That was the beginning of the basis for the rest of my life. Clear summer days of beauty, dark foggy nights of never-ending dread.  Major happiness : like the joy of holding my daughters, from their laughter, watching them grow into beautiful young women. And happiness that came out of nowhere: a beautiful day, the soft sound of rain, a stranger’s smile. Life would seem to be going well. But it was never long before the fog descended again. It was confusing and terrifying, but the only way to get to the good stuff was to hang on through the bad.

A few years back, things got really bad and I was forced to get help. This wasn’t the first time I’d sought help, but it was the time I discovered the perfect therapist. Her straightforward approach was exactly what a straightforward person like me needed. Eventually the addition of medication helped me get through the last of the fog. For a while all was well.

Then we moved to Florida to be near three of our grandchildren.

Moving is stressful at the best of times. For a person with chronic health issues moving can be the equivalent of leaping mountains. Things went wrong, of course. We were robbed by the couple who “helped” us move. We had to replace pots and pans and silverware. They took an old computer—and the irreplaceable photos still on the hard drive. They stole a Bible. We sent them home (not realizing everything that was missing) with the guy whining that we weren’t paying them enough.

All my friends and my family (except for my daughter, son-in-law, and their three kids) were back in Tennessee. I’d lived within 50 miles of my birthplace my entire life. Moving was traumatic. Being stolen from was traumatic. I slid back under that foggy cloud of agony that I’d struggled so hard to get out from under.

Thankfully things weren’t as bad as they seemed. I fell in love with Florida. I love the sun, the warmth, the new friends I’ve made here. And I discovered new ways to cope. Living with depression is a daily struggle, but it can be done. If you feel you might be depressed, please get help. Depression is an illness. It’s not the same as feeling down when things don’t go right. And if you feel life isn’t worth living—call somebody NOW. Live can be great. Honest.

The Road There


This month I’m doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The point of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. ideally, the writer begins with a fresh story, but I have a book I’ve already started to write that I really need to finish. So, I started where I was, opened a new document, and went for it. What I didn’t take into consideration was that jumping from the dark paranormal manuscript I just polished to a light story would be quite a  jarring experience. My muse balked, and I had to spend time convincing her to help me.

To finish on time, I “should” be around 35,000 words. Actually, I’m closer to 8,000. To catch up, I’d have to write 4,000 words every day between now and the 30th. I don’t see that happening, but I’ll try my best. So what if I don’t win? I’ll still have a bunch more words than I did. I’ll just keep going into December.

There was a time, not that long ago, that I would have been beating myself up, feeling like a looser, working way too hard to try to catch up—and still not getting there. More guilt. More feeling bad about myself. What good would that do. By relaxing and being proud I’ve gotten this far, I’ll actually get more done.

This doesn’t mean I don’t work hard. I do. I write six, many times seven, days a week. I want a career in fiction, and I’m not afraid of working long, hard hours to get there. Many times my body refuses to let me write, even in the recliner. But I do the best I can.

I recently realized that simply pushing and struggling to reach the next goal is no way to live. Reaching a goal is sweeter when you didn’t kill yourself trying to get there.

Do you beat yourself up over not meeting goals? Do you set your goals too high? Do you enjoy the work you do to reach your goals—at least the feeling of accomplishment?

Have a wonderful weekend!



Confused and Twisted

Apparently the people who designed the ankle brace I’m currently wearing thought the wearer would be able to see behind, under, and to the side of the ankle simultaneously. Now I have Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility, which means I can dang near do that, and still I almost couldn’t get it off last night. It’s my own fault too, I bought the thing because of the way it wraps around my ankle.

Okay, maybe a stubborn brace is the least of my worries, but I’d rather think about the light stuff, the funny stuff, the odd and crazy of the world. Maybe it’s because I’m a little odd myself. Hey, I’m a writer, being odd and crazy is in the job description.

Anyway, I’m trying to get my ducks in a row but having a bit of trouble.



Do you have your ducks in a row? How the heck did you do that?! Do you use funny/silly to feel better? What are some of the things you like?

And the Treat Goes To…

It is my pleasure to announce the winner of an ebook copy of The Secrets of Ugly Creek goes to:

Sheryl Hays.

I used a random generator to make sure of fairness. I’ll be in contact with Sheryl. Hope all of you had a spooky Halloween and enjoyed our blog hop. See you next year!



Treats Without Tricks

blog hop image

Last year at this time, my husband and II were in Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains. It’s a gorgeous time of year there. Blankets of yellow, brown, green, and orange cover the mountainsides. Crisp fall air caresses.Pumpkins are everywhere. It’s a great place to be.

autumn colors

Photo via WANA courtesy of L.E. Carmichel

This year we’re living near Jacksonville, Florida. There are no mountains (or hills, even). The trees are pretty much the same as they were months ago. The temperature is cooler for here, which means it’s almost cool enough to want a jacket first thing in the morning.

Do I miss the the colors? Yes. The weather? Some. Knowing it will be very cold soon? No! I love the sun, the warmth, I may write about vampires, but I’m pretty much the opposite.

How’s the weather where you are? Do you like lots of sunlight, or do you hide from it? What’s your favorite season?

Enter  the givaway! (Comment on my blog for an extra entry, as well as a chance to win a free PDF of The Secrets of Ugly Creek!)
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Go visit the other blogs. There’s lots of fun and prizes!

You can find them here: