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Raw

Depression is a Slow Waltz

No depression story is the same.

Here’s mine.

It struck like a tidal wave against my rickety boat. After years of weathering an internal storm, patching my sails together daily, fortifying the hull with spit and blind determination, this one event capsized the little boat.

I was 19. I remember the next four years drowning in tears, always exhausted, in terrible, horrible physical pain I couldn’t explain or fix with vitamins.

I was dirt poor. Didn’t have insurance. I didn’t dream of contacting a therapist.

I didn’t even know I was depressed.

I just sort of chalked it up to sorrow, grief – mourning a frail, broken sailboat of a dream.

Coming home late at night, I would plan out high speed car crashes into trees as a way to end the pain without hurting my family with the truth – I just couldn’t bear to live in my body anymore. It felt heavy. I felt like I was drowning every minute. My chest was tight. I couldn’t inhale deeply or run or do much of any cardio.

Even as I write this, my kitty is worming under my arm trying to get close. She’s so precious. She’s been through it all with me. The day I ran from my dad and hid at a friend’s house for a week, then moved in with some other friends for a few months. Then back. Finally to my apartment where I could breathe. God, I had forgotten how to breathe.

Some friends pulled me out of the storm – unlikely friends. Not the God-friends you expect to see you and help you, but spiritual nonetheless. The kind of people who are just good for goodness’s sake.

In the aftermath, I pulled myself back together. I began to see brighter days. I got on track with promotions and dating and giving myself permission to be happy.

One day I realized all the physical pain was gone. Just gone. I didn’t hurt constantly.

And I can afford therapy – you know, when I actually make time for my appointments.

But this kind of deep, wrecking scar tissue doesn’t heal completely. You’re never really out of the storm just because you find patches of sunlight. I tell myself I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m not in danger.

Today changed that – when I started working on a way to end it without hurting the ones I love. That’s when you know you’re never really out of the water.

I’ll make a therapy appointment.

Thanks for listening.

Fanny

Books and Affiliated

Wanna Trade?

In the writing circle, you may have heard these words in the context of manuscripts and storylines. I’ve come to realize it’s inevitable. Even I during my energized and excitable years have uttered the suggestion.

I don’t offer it anymore. Part of me is worried someone may steal my ideas if it’s not a trusted beta reader or friend. But let’s be raw here for a moment, because who doesn’t want to share their work for a potential sneak peak at someone else’s?

I don’t offer to swap manuscripts because in the past I have always put in more than I receive. There wasn’t a single trade in which the other party failed to complete their end of the bargain. (My current beta readers excluded.)

Because you see, it’s more than just reading someone’s work. Manuscript swap or beta reading comes with a level of responsibility and expectation: feedback, constructive comments, and overall review.

I take it back, ONE instance left me brutally scarred from the ordeal because they criticised TOO much. That’s also a potential result. I get it, the story isn’t your pace, not your style, but at least be gentle. Writers have fragile egos in the early years.

I probably won’t manuscript swap with you. I’ve shelved my beta reading hat for the time being. But if you want to talk about your work and troubleshoot a scene, I’m here.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

From Writing to Publishing

When Querying

Do yourself a favor and take off your political hat when querying an agent.

It’s important to realize their political views and your political views don’t need to line up for the initial query. Unless you’ve written a political themed publication, it’s an unnecessary fact which will only cause a stumbling block in your path. This is also true of religion unless you’re writing a religious themed publication.

All right, did that clear the air for you? For my part, I even went so far as to delete political posts from my social media platform (no one liked them anyway.) The goal for my social media is to create a platform for my books and connecting with readers, agents, and writing material. That’s it. Any personal posts I try to limit to soft, fluffy, and feel-good.

Now, I realize some people will have a very difficult time of this. I understand. Social media has become their crutch and soap box, and they honestly believe they have every right to post whatever they deem important. Thankfully, you’re not like that.

Have you noticed how much social media has changed? I remember in the beginning seeing APOLOGIES for rash comments or angry outbursts. You don’t see those anymore. In fact, quite the opposite as people defend their right to voice.

Let’s develop a better character for ourselves. Leave those high-strung vocalists to their own social doom. We can be peaceful and agreeable to all for the sake of a great sale.

Oh? You didn’t think this was a sales pitch post? Let me open your eyes – it very much is. You as a writer are going out into the wide world to sell your book AND yourself (don’t misconstrue that second part.) Get down from your soap box and put on your best suit. You’re going door to door to sell your product because your life and your family depends on it. Also, the world needs your story.

Go get them, tiger.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Ponderings

The Glorified Footstool

The convenience of meeting up in January is the “how long have we been together?” math is super easy.

Most married folk can relate to the lackadaisical lounging attributes of the recently married but not yet geriatric couple. We’re quite comfortable together. Physical contact is built into our love language, so this sort of draping, lounging, languid touch means something. You don’t have to talk constantly.

I thought I wanted more conversation. That was important in the beginning. I make sure to ask how his day went and listen to the venting. But most of the time, what is there to talk about? Newspapers and books have been replaced by phones in this digital age. We discuss the big news, reflect on experiences, but all stories have been told at this point.

So our connection is this glorified footstool position. It’s human nature (for physical types, that is.) Just be a warm body in a room. Let me know you’re there. Reassure me I’m not alone.

Oh, and pick up your dirty socks. This isn’t a farm.

This has been,

Lackadaisically,

FanTC