I didn’t realize how long it’s been since the last newsletter. Time is just slipping by. Let me try to catch up while avoiding shit politics…
One of my cats passed away a little after the last newsletter. She was super sick for about a year, and we’re not really sure how old. Definitely on the older side though. Her quality of life had been good, so it’s one of those little tradeoffs. We took her in some years ago when she was really obese and a seriously grumpy cat. She was a fighter over nothing, ya know? (A girl after my own heart XD) So I’m happy how her mood changed and we were able to get her to a healthy weight and feel part of our little family while we could.
What else… I’m getting to the next part of the Demon Arms rewrite. Started getting back into making covers, too. Wendy is doing a re-release I’m super excited about. I’m in an artsy mood but there is just so much to do! Oh, and I did a little start on the Demon Virus visual novel. It’s going to be pretty sporadic until I get the final edits of Demon Arms and Shiny Thief done and out, but yeah, it’s been fun to look at what it’s going to take to make a visual novel. The script is so much easier than a novel. Minimalistic—fuck, I miss my minimalism.
I had my first serious run in with Parkinson’s sourced apathy aka emotional flatlining. I’m really hoping it won’t repeat—it seriously sucked. Oh, I should probably mention I’m better overall. Like, I don’t think I’ve had an immune response in weeks. I don’t get exhausted anymore. My body and brain are pretty with it. No dark hazes where I’m staring off into space—it’s been a long journey, huh? The neurotransmitter rich probiotics are doing the trick. I haven’t had an allergy shot since, and I only grab the antihistamines maybe 1-2 times a week. Even when I’m hit with mold, my reactions are completely different. The worst was mild pain in my back, little brain fog, and exhaustion while I was out for a day and found myself in a moldy area. I grabbed a kombucha from a store, and I recovered in half an hour and was able to enjoy the rest of the day like a person.
Did you know they have kombucha and other foods with cbd now? That was in that drink I had that helped me recover. I’m in Massachusetts, so I don’t know what the regulations are elsewhere, but cbd oil is supposed to be super effective when it comes to inflammation (and guess what happens when you’re low on dopamine or hit with neurotoxins from mold? Inflammation!) I thought it was super cool. I keep wanting to check out what cbd oil will do for me but my car needs repairs and I’m stuck at home and I’ve got no money at the moment. But for the future, yeah, totally trying that shit.
I gained so much back, and the apathy that hit threw me in a bad way. It’s scary to find yourself sitting in a chair and observing as all your feelings literally shut off. It wasn’t like depression or agitated depression, not disassociation or trauma. I’m familiar with how all those feel and this was different. I couldn’t spark normal chemical responses to stimuli. I wasn’t sad, wasn’t upset, wasn’t anything. It was very bland. I imagine if I were a robot (maybe a cyberman from Dr. Who—cuz I’m a nerd, babes,) a bit like that. >_>
I had no intellectual curiosity, no drive, no desire. You know, those things a creative like me lives off of. What worries me more is once those feelings shut off for @48 hours straight, it was easy to see how it had been happening in much smaller doses for a while now. Possibly since last summer, maybe a bit earlier. I have not been myself and I don’t know what I’m going to be allowed to get back of me.
I’ve gotten through all I’ve gotten through mostly because of my attitude, plain and simple. And suddenly here’s this very overwhelming thing that sucks my optimism away. It’s like having my personality stolen and not knowing if and when it might happen again.
I have a lot of research to do on it. Apathy is a problem with the dopamine system, but it’s not automatically repaired with the return of proper dopamine levels. But it’s tax weekend (why yes, I am the last standing procrastinator!) and what I found so far on the problem of apathy is fucking depressing, so I’ve been avoiding it a bit. But I’ll be looking at it more closely just in case—cuz let’s face it, given my track record of worst case scenarios hitting me, I’m not doing great.
I did find this cool 5 second rule with Mel Robbins that helped me get through when I realized what was happening and couldn’t get a lot of motivation to do simple shit. It’s basically on the lines of a brain hack where you override a part of your brain that wants to doubt and question what you’re doing by just, well, doing it within 5 seconds.
When I found myself all apathetic, I also found I had lost my underlying impulse to just DO shit. Full bladder was not motivation to get up and my body didn’t propel me out of my bed/chair. I literally had to make myself get up (hours later.) If you’ve ever struggled with dopamine issues, this might sound familiar. I have lived my entire life where my body reacts on impulse and then I rationalize after the fact, but when my dopamine system started getting fucked up from the mold, that changed. The video above is about beating your brain before it starts doubting, but the 5 second rule for me was about forcing my brain to start up functions in my body without my normal impulse.
We don’t want to have to give orders to our bodies all the damn time. There are things it should be able to do on its own, otherwise we’d have to pay full attention to when we’re driving, or walking, or hey, breathing. Every moment would be like you’re learning something for the first time. Having to put our mental attention into starting a task just doesn’t come naturally to most people because we are running on impulse (whether we’re aware of it or not.) So it was cool to find something so simple that allowed me to bypass my body’s flawed start up to engage it on my own. It didn’t give me my emotions back, my love of life, etc, but at least it allowed me to move around, exercise, and hopefully create dopamine that pulled me out of the apathy funk.
I’m trying not to worry about it too much and just find proactive things to do about it (just in case.) I don’t want to be a robot. I don’t want to be bored with life. My intellectual curiosity drives me in everything, and I don’t want that taken away. I like how I love life and laugh at pointless shit and connect with people and problem solve. It’s fun. I want my life to be fun, not me going through the motions.
Changing the subject to Demon Arms
Anywho… How about a peek at the Demon Arms rewrite? Much more interesting than my weird health shit. Oh, and some MM reads at the bottom!
“The fuck?” Wylie gasped the moment the garage door shut. He tried to push up from his kneeling position, but his legs were too stiff, and he fell back in a heap on the floor. The cigarette went flying from his lips, and he blinked up in surprise at the ceiling. “Shit.” While his muscles fought the remnants of the spell, Wylie began to piece together what just happened.
Dorian was gone. With one unpredictable spark, the guy had run from their kiss and him without looking back.
“I should have kept my mouth shut,” Wylie muttered as he used his claws to pull himself up into a sitting position. The muscles in his torso protested, but he could feel his dragon twisting inside, breaking through the magic with each pass. Wylie didn’t bother getting up. There was no point chasing after Dorian, not after that parting look.
“You stupid fuck,” Wylie berated down at his chest. “What the fuck is wrong with you? I don’t care how fucking horny dragons are supposed to be; that’s no excuse for freaking him out like that.”
The dragon’s growl rumbled through Wylie, and he glared in frustration as he was bombarded with thoughts and emotions that weren’t his. “Stop it. You can’t just say stupid shit like that to a guy. It’s creepy. You just fucking met him—you barely even met him.”
Wylie ran his tongue over the edge of his teeth and shook his head to clear his mind. The dragon’s emotions persisted in an annoying swirl. How he wanted to love Dorian, touch him, fuck him until he was too sated to ever want to leave. How he wanted to lick every inch of him and heal him so deep, Dorian would never get that pained, heartbroken look when he mentioned not being able to be touched.
“Just stop,” Wylie grunted. “He’s too hurt to just go saying crazy shit like that to him. Besides, sometimes people need their pain to know who they are. Not everyone wants it to be taken away.” Wylie made it to his feet and glared when the scales on his wrist accidentally sliced into the thigh of his jeans. “Come on, dude. Give me my fucking arms back already. He’s not even here.”
Wylie closed his eyes as he tried to will the dragon back. The dragon readily relented with Dorian gone. Wylie sighed in relief when the scales on his arms ruffled and smoothly slid back into his flesh. He opened his eyes and flexed his talon free fingers.
“Thank you,” Wylie said after a long pause. “Not just for listening. Thanks for not going crazy like you did earlier today.”
The dragon crooned inside him, and Wylie’s eyebrows furrowed down. The dragon was still as loud in his head as he’d been with his scales out.
“Stop,” Wylie insisted when the dragon hit him with a fresh wave of worried thoughts. “It doesn’t matter if the guy is interested. You heard him. Fuck, you were there for that spell. He was super clear.” Wylie pursed his lips when the dragon’s retort was to show him Dorian’s eyes again. The sorrow in his hazel depths was so great it felt like he could drown.
“Just stop,” Wylie whispered and ran his palm fiercely over his face. He lingered as his fingertips brushed his lips which were still stinging from the magical spark.
Dorian kissed him. This wasn’t a one sided thing. No matter how crazy his dragon might have acted, Dorian was interested on some level.
The dragon’s thoughts were a buzz that refused to silence. It was starting to understand the problem of having scales that would only ever cut the flesh of the mate he’d chosen, and it had no idea how to fix it. How could it help Dorian soothe the pain inside if he couldn’t ever touch him?
“I don’t know.” Wylie was frustrated with the whole thing, including the conversation he couldn’t escape. “Who cares if our claws never cut us? None of this matters. You never even asked me if I wanted a mate, you selfish ass. Now you think I’m just going to solve this fucking problem you’re the cause of? You’re the reason the scales cut everyone. You’re the reason I have scales in the first place!” Wylie slammed his hand down on the workbench and snarled. “Stop talking to me. Stop acting like you’re anything but the fucking monster who ruined my life.”
“Doe!” The garage door flew open and crashed against the wall.
Wylie whirled to face the other side of the room. “Fucking—Leo?” Wylie sighed internally at the sight of Leo hulking in the doorway. The shifter was filling up the space with his muscular bulk and his chest was heaving with barely restrained rage. For a moment Wylie had thought it was Dorian, and he hated how disappointed he felt to see it wasn’t.
“What? What do you want?” Wylie snapped.
Leo growled aggressively and slammed his hand on the wall.
Wylie rolled his eyes at Leo’s ferocious snarl. Ugh. Was this going to be a thing? Like, did Leo show up just to get his ass kicked?
Discounted and/or KU reads