In Which I Make An Announcement

I’m moving to North Carolina.

I hate Jersey. I’ve always hated New Jersey. There hasn’t been a single second of my entire life where I thought to myself “Boy I love New Jersey!”. I tried to get away years ago, and when that failed I swore that I would leave the second I was better. Well, I’m better now. It took over ten years and a hell of a lot of therapy/medication but I finally feel like my old self again. So I’m cashing in on my old promise and leaving.

The good news is that I’m not doing this alone. I have friends, dear friends in North Carolina who are helping me job/apartment hunt right now! I will have a full support system to back me up when things go bad, and to help me adjust to life in the south. It’s scary, but with friends at my side I’ll be able to do it.

The question is of course, when will I be moving. The answer is I’m…not too sure. I’m job hunting in both NJ and NC at the moment. Worse comes to worse I can get a job here and spend some time saving up money. But honestly I’m trying to move as soon as I can because, as stated before, I hate NJ.

I won’t be gone forever of course. I’ll be back for holidays and such. Will I stay in NC forever? I honestly don’t know. But it’s time for me to spread my roots and grow.

Side note: When I told my little cousin this news, he wistfully stared out a window and sighed “Life in the city sure is hard”. Nicky gets me.

 

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In Which Winter is Just Terrible

Hello everyone! I’m still alive!

Sorry for the radio silence, it’s been one heck of a winter. Still unemployed, drifting from illness to illness, getting my brain meds adjusted, and just this morning at a job interview the interviewer stared me dead in the eye and said “We’re not going to hire you.” at the very end. Who does that? Whatever happened to the old don’t call us we’ll call you?

But enough of that, let’s go over the recent Author Amber Updates

Larkspur Update

Oh boy, big one here! I actually heard back from an agent who is interested…if some changes are made to the structure of the novel. I won’t lie, I cried when I read their email. And screamed. Cried in the shower. Screamed into my pillow. Passed out. Woke up. Cried while taking another shower. Ate way too many hot wings. And then re-read over the email and realized the agent was right. They were right about EVERYTHING.

So pardon my dust as Larkspur goes under massive re-writes. The core of the book is the same, but some events need to get shuffled about and spackled while some other characters need to be adjusted. Think of this like a movie going under rewrites and reshoots after being seen by a test audience.

On that note: Beta Readers! PREPARE YOURSELVES! I shall call upon you once more!

Midwife Update

Nothing like getting almost done with a story and then realizing WHOOPS there needs to be like 20% more added including a boss fight. So¬† that’s where The Worth of Hair is at the moment.

The good news is that while digging around in my old files I found an almost finished Midwife story from 2015 that I totally forgot about! So my plan is to finish that up, put it up as a free short story (available first to my patreon members) as a way to get people hyped for the Midwife.

Fanfic Update

That’s right folks, I am still deep in Overwatch fanfic writing! I’ve been accepted into two zines coming out this spring (more details on those later) and I’m getting ready to start on my sequel to Points on a Circle. If my notes are anything to go by it is going to be a doozy, and focus more on the Talon members and the Hana/Sombra ship. Oh, you don’t ship Hana and Sombra? YOU WILL! Hopefully. Give it a shot!

I am also going to be doing a Ko-fi donation fic about Zenyatta in Blackwatch to help raise money for a new computer. I’ll be posting more about this later!

And the Rest!

As you may have notice I’ve been making changes around the old patreon. Goals have been adjusted, Rewards have been made more realistic, and I’m working on handmade merchandise to sell too!

I will also now be posting public updates on the 1st of each month, patreon-only updates on the 15th (unless there is a major announcement) and then a special What I Did This Month newsletter sent out at the end of the month!

That should be it for now. If you would excuse me, I just notice that a box of pushpins fell onto my carpet and spread out everywhere. I better take care of that and see if I can figure out if there’s a ghost trying to kill me.

Until next time, my Little Owlets!

hugga

 

 

In Which I am so Sick

NOTE I am also too damn sick to figure out wtf is happening here with the spaces will come back when I can breathe without wheezing
Well I’m bedridden with a super gross chest infection so what better time to update everyone on what’s going on?
First off: That whole Patreon mess. I want to thank everyone who kept their donation. Every dollar means so much to me so OH BOY was I pissed when Patreon announced the changes. Thankfully they have stopped their plans, but the lesson has been learned. I will be expanding the different ways you can donate if you don’t feel comfortable doing it through this site anymore. And honestly, I don’t blame you.
For those who left: No hard feelings! If you ever want to help me out feel free to kick a dollar or two on my Ko-fi instead: Ko-fi.com/aughtpunk
Second, if you missed it the first time: I’m having a couple of short fics published in the fanzine To Ashes! Although the physical books aren’t currently on sale you can pick up a pdf for $5 and support a whole bunch of cool artists and writers, myself included! http://toashes.storenvy.com/
And I think I had a third thing but I can’t remember because I almost coughed up a lung just now. Back to bed for me!

In Which I am Properly Medicated

Hello everyone! Welcome back to TMI theater! When we last left off I had a t-shaped piece of plastic shoved deep into me. This time, however, is thankfully less graphic but still personal. Yesterday I finally went to a psychiatrist to have my medication adjusted. And since I’ve had a few people contact me to ask what it’s like I thought I would write up what happened. Keep in mind that not every psychiatrist is like this, but this should give people an idea about what it’s like.

Let me get this part right out of the way: I suffer from mental illness. Ever since I was a child I have battled against anxiety, depression, and ADHD. I had my first massive depressive episode on my 11th birthday, got worse my last year of high school, and then just full-on got piledrived through a flaming table by my mental illness in college and almost lost the war entirely in my mid-to-late twenties. When I was twenty-eight years old I was finally put on Lexapro, and for the first time since high school I was me again. I lost over ten years to mental illness, which is a burden I will carry for the rest of my life.

Quick side note to all of my loved ones: I’M DOING MUCH BETTER NOW! PLEASE DON’T WORRY OR FEEL BAD! I PROMISE I EAT VEGETABLES AND BRUSH MY TEETH EVERY DAY! PLEASE DON’T MAKE THIS WEIRD I BEG OF YOU! NO HUGS PLEASE I DO NOT DO TOUCHING!

Lexapro was life changing to say the least. I could think again. I wasn’t having panic attacks over the smallest things. I could do things that were once impossible, like call people on the phone or go outside or be able to fall asleep without drinking first. Better, but not perfect. Once the raging inferno was out in my mind my depression seeped in. I would feel nothing for days on end. I would find myself crying randomly, or being crushed by intrusive thoughts I couldn’t shake. I lost the drive to do anything. My writing faltered. Dust covered my knitting. Pictures went unhung and messages unanswered. Unlike my childhood, teens, and twenties, however, I recognized what was happening. I needed help.

Unfortunately for me I also live in America. New Jersey, to be precise. So here is a quick list of steps I took to find a psychiatrist:

1) Check with my insurance provider to see which psychiatrists near me take my insurance.

2) There are no psychiatrists near me that take it.

3) Or in the state of NJ, period.

4) God I hate New Jersey.

5) Okay fine I make a list of psychiatrists near me and spend the next three days calling their offices to see if they have an opening and if they do sliding scale.

6) Spoiler alert: No psychiatrists within an hour’s drive from my house in any direction have openings or sliding scale. The cheapest price I’m quoted is $300 for the first session, $175 for each one after. It just so happens this is the only office that had an opening…in two months. Fine, I take it, and do some quick math to see if I can do a few ramen-centered lunches for a few weeks to see if I can make up the cash difference.

7) Two weeks later the office calls me to say hey we have an opening tonight, do you want in? I control myself so I don’t scream PLEASE OH GOD I WANT TO FEEL OTHER EMOTIONS AGAIN GIVE ME PILLS into the phone and schedule the appointment.

Which is how I found myself standing outside hasn’t-been-updated since the 70’s medical pavilion last night, praying that I wasn’t going to waste three hundred dollars on ‘have you tried doing yoga’ level advice. The office was small but thankfully lacking any of the normal red flags I’ve come across before (flyers for chiropractic serves, stuff related to Freud, Bibles for reading material, the word Reki on anything, etc).

One thing of note is that I think that might have been the most paperwork I ever filled out in my life and that includes my gallbladder surgery. The doctor asked for my full medical history both physical and mental. I actually only got halfway through the paperwork before the doctor came in to get me. He was a chipper man, but not enough to get on my nerves. Friendly but not overly so. I liked him already. He asked if I was okay with dogs because they had therapy dogs at the office. I smile and say yes when on the inside I was screaming HOLY FUCK A DOG LET ME PET THE DOG SIR I WOULD HAVE GIVEN YOU THE MONEY FOR AN HOUR OF DOG HUGS ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

The therapy room was even smaller than the reception area, but cozy. There were pillows, fidget toys, and most importantly the best golden retriever that has ever exist in the history of mankind. We take a seat, me on the dog couch and him in a comfy chair, and between my scritches the doctor asked me questions. Not too many, just enough to poke my stream of thoughts in the right direction. What brings you here? What do you do for a living? Do you like it? What are your hobbies? Social circles? How are you feeling now? What is your family like? He doesn’t mind that I answer questions staring at the spot on the wall in front of me instead of at him. I explain the family history of autism and mental illness. He hands me a tissue when I tear up and laughs when I tell him stories about my last job. I’ve been to rotten doctors and therapists before. This was a good one.

At the end of the hour he agreed that yes, although my anxiety is in check my depression needed help. He prescribed me¬†wellbutrin and mentioned it might help with my ADHD as well. I honestly can’t thank him enough. I’ve been ignored by so many doctors to have one that actually listened and helped was mindblowing. But just when things couldn’t get better he opened the office door and A SECOND GOLDEN RETRIEVER CAME IN

HOLY

SHIT

TWO

DOGS

And that’s where I am. I have an appointment in two months and I’m to text the doctor every two weeks with updates on how I’m feeling. I took my first pill last night but it’s going to take some time before it really starts working. I know that it won’t be a magic fix. I will still have my bad days. I will always have my bad days. But being medicated means that those bad days will be less and less. And maybe I’ll actually fold and put away my laundry. Anything’s possible, really.

 

 

 

 

 

In Which To Ashes is up for Pre-Order!

toashes

YES! The second Fanzine I’m in, To Ashes, is up for pre-order! I have two stories in this one! One about a rendezvous in a theater’s costume closet, and the other about a dare that’s gotten out of hand. And a wood fish. I can explain the wood fish thing later. A lot of super amazing artists and writers have poured their hard work and love into this zine, and I hope you consider picking up a copy if you’re into McHanzo, or Overwatch, or you just feel funny every time you see a cowboy hat. Not only do they have a paperback and paperback bundle (including stickers, bookmarks, mini-prints, and I swear I’ll explain the wood fish later) but if you’re not into material possessions you can get a PDF copy for only $5! Supplies are limited, so act fast!