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💋 Hey, I’m alive! plus MM goodies! 💋

Hey babes,

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!

Scene 39

“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?
***

MM Goodies!

Discounted and/or KU reads

April 11

Apathy

Dealing with an unexpected problem health wise. And it might be temporary–it might be nothing. Or it might be a sign of something permanent I’m going to have to deal with all the time. No clue. It’s a very frustrating issue though, one that, when it hits like it did the last couple days, feels overwhelming and inescapable. It’s apathy.

I thought at first it was depression, but it was too different, too distinct from the symptoms I was once consumed with in my younger years. No, this just sucked the joy from my actions and thoughts, the motivation, the enjoyment. I didn’t feel impaired in any physical or mental way, but I also didn’t feel much of anything. I could see I wasn’t myself, but I couldn’t spark the normal chemical reactions that would make me enjoy things either. It made everything very empty and dull.

I guess this is something pretty common with Parkinson’s, and it doesn’t have much correlation with how far the disease has progressed. Even though I have been able to protect myself from the mold induced Parkinson’s and regrow dopamine receptors and even remove the neurotoxins from my body and environment that were triggering the Parkinson’s, I may not have a lot of tools to fix this problem. Although increasing/restoring dopamine helps, it hasn’t actually cured the apathy, and scientists have theories but nothing really solid when it comes to answers. This may be a level of permanent brain damage, and I have little guarantee of what the hell to expect.

The last few days were an extreme hit of this lack of enjoyment, but it has been happening for a while on a less intense level. I thought it was psychological as my health returned and I found myself doing the same thing day in and day out. With my brain repairing, everything just felt so obvious, and in a way, so dull with no challenge to reveal. But challenges are all around me; I just couldn’t get my emotions to respond like they normally would. I wasn’t feeling my writing, feeling joy from creativity, feeling satisfaction the way I used to, but it wasn’t until the feelings shut off completely that I could see that they were wonky to begin with.

So, yeah, an interesting couple of days as I try to figure all this out. What I’m doing now is really trying to work around the apathy when it hits to ensure I function like a normal person even if my drive/motivation/basic impulses are lacking. I’m forcing myself to exercise since it seems to have some positive effect–although the mood alteration was limited, only a few days, so I can’t say 100% what worked and what’s mere coincidence. I’m still not fully myself even if I’m at least back to the medium level of feeling I was before. I’ll have to track my symptoms as they hit until I get enough cause and effect to get a better picture. I might be looking into stims like caffeine, look at nootropics, reward, dopamine creating behavior, that sort of thing. There are plenty of paths to run down and explore to find the answers.

And I guess I’m looking to cope with facing how things may progress, and what it may be like to live a life I don’t fully feel emotionally. I suspect it will not be an easy thing if I go by the last few days. >_> I have faced a lot of shit, let’s be real. I’m not sure how to deal with something that strips my joy away on a fundamental level I can’t escape. It is a very cruel way to live, robotic, without not just drive but no goals, no intellectual curiosity or response to stimuli. No love of life or art or creation. It’s like going through the motions instead of living a life.

I am, at my core, a hopeful person. An optimist. To think that can be stripped away with a chemical switch I have no control over is, well, fucking shitty. Will the drive that has gotten me to find the answers to my health problems be stripped away too? It is a difficult reality I may find myself in if the apathy gets worse… Or I may be worrying over nothing as I get healthier. I am a terrible fortune teller but very good at worrying. >_<

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april 2-2

Huh, way faster

One of the plugins decided to break–because computers are freaking fickle. But on removing it, the website is super fast in comparison. It was the disable right click thing. I gotta say, I will take the annoying constant theft if the website doesn’t lag like a motherfuck the way it did. What an annoying thing to compromise on.

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april 2

I hate not having money :/

This may seem rather obvious, but being broke sucks. I feel like a kid who has to wait to be able to do all the things I want to do, except I’m an adult and I’m stuck waiting because not having money sucks. Civilization needs to wake the fuck up and start implementing things like a universal income, but I suspect it will be a long wait seeing as humanity still can’t get over simple shit like equality and not murdering each other. *sigh* Fucking tribalism just won’t die.

I think of all the stuff I’d be doing full force if I didn’t have to worry about money, and it’s just frustrating. I could have gone into a ton of character creation and art for this VN already if I could just afford the full version of the cg program I’m using for reference. I could have started this whole thing sooner if I wasn’t caught up in publishing for cash instead of creating for enjoyment. And legit, I still have to go that route. I want the website to be enough, but it’s not yet. I seriously need to start focusing on publishing again before my KU income flat lines.

The pursuit of money has totally ruined a ton of my creative endeavors. My art is so caught up in the ‘will this keep me in a house’ bullshit that I just start to hate it all. Money is a shitty motivator for creative work. I have never looked at money and felt inspired to create or be a better person or do amazing things in the world. I look at money and I feel scarcity, or security, and it’s usually scarcity.

Blah. I’m just ruminating about the flaws of the world that could easily be fixed if society would just be better already. My car has over $700 worth of work I need to do to be able to use it again, my meds that sustain me are hundreds a month (and apparently I cannot beat the mold induced Parkinson’s without them yet–really painful lesson to face today,) and I just want to make cool stuff. Like, if I didn’t have to worry about money, I could have moved out of this moldy house already! Why is this shit so limiting?

Maybe I should try to convince myself to be more money oriented with the stuff I do. If I made a point to increase my income, these problems would be solved and more fun could be had. But I can’t even make myself want money, even though I can see how shitty it is when I don’t have it. It’s like I lack the basic instinct. I like to make things. I like to think about things, and I like to make things, and that’s about all I’m good at. It’s shit to realize the things I do can’t really matter unless I figure out how to monetize them well enough too. What a dumb thing to demand, society.

Blah. Guess I’ll have to make a million bucks writing. It can’t be that hard, right? *snort*

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April 1

New Awesomeness!!!

Okay, so I’m getting super excited now that I’m finally–FINALLY!–starting the Demon Virus visual novel project. I’m in the first scene, fleshing out the character of the thralls and I’m feeling so inspired! Mikey is back. Will is a total asshole who can’t help but taunt the fuck out of all the extremely horny thralls who have been forcefully changed by the same incubus who targeted Mikey. And I’m making a horny meter that, once it gets full, will decide if the thralls lose their shit or not. XD I love the idea of it. Like, how would I use something like that as a game element, and what would happen when it was triggered? It would have to change depending on which thrall, where we are in the story, who is around at the time. It’s a really fun concept all around and it’s just the first scene.

I decided I’ve been putting everything off for too long, and it’s time to figure out how to divide my time properly. This means working on PATB for an hour or so a day, and then spending the rest of my time on other projects. The projects lined up for now are the Demon Virus visual novel and Blowjob King. Blowjob King is a short story and won’t require huge amounts of detail and character arcs, etc–you know, something easy for a change. @[email protected] While Demon Virus is an interactive novel, although totally complicated as fuck, it’s something that needs to be tackled in small bites anyways. It’s either make a picture, or outline the plot, or create a character bio, or figure out the code, etc. It’s very step by step, portion to portion.

The main reason I’m tackling multiple projects is the hope to 1) stave off boredom, which will therefore drive me to be more productive, and 2) recover my brain function. It’s like a veil has lifted since I got the allergies under control, babes. I am loving life again, loving the world I’m in, but I’m not really living as fully as I think I can. the cobwebs are clinging. I need to ensure that I’m taking care of my brain, repairing the damage, and pushing to grow whatever might have atrophied. As complex as the visual novel appears, it has challenges that are going to help me without being terribly redundant. In a lot of ways it’s much easier than what I have to do with PATB. The writing is mostly dialogue mixed in with a bit of choreography/depictions of action. It’s far more minimalist, and requires less perfectionism as a result. It’s in the plot, the crafting of story, and figuring out the most entertaining way to deliver that story while creating a feeling of reader interaction where most of the creative requirements are going to be. And then just basic technical stuff I’ll need to learn when it comes to coding the game. Oh, and drawing, which is a breeze.

I like the idea of making an interactive comic book in a lot of ways, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the hell I can do with this project. I’m also looking forward to figuring out how to share the WIP aspect seeing as most of the stuff I’m doing is in the planning stages and isn’t in a game form. Maybe I can make a section on the website dedicated to the ‘how to’ process as I go through and figure it all out…

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