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Yes, I'm still alive
Dee Blue waves
brit_columbia
To those out there who have been wondering where I am and why I haven't been posting anything, let alone Fake chapters/stories, rest assured that I am NOT...

--lying in a coma while hovering family members agonize over whether or not to pull the plug,
--being taken to task for several decades of sins and omissions by a tribunal in some anteroom of the afterlife,
--wandering a foreign continent with a large bump on my head and no memory of who I am, or
--waiting in a state of fading hope and dwindling strength for a search and rescue team to pluck me from the wreckage of a small plane crash in the Canadian wilderness.

I'm in fact alive and well, and in quite good health, all things considered. But I haven't been in good spirits, and when I'm down I don't want to talk about it because it just brings other people down. I'm going through some kind of crisis of confidence where I am doubting myself and all the things I thought I could do well at, or if not well, then at least reasonably okay. My ability to write is one of those things, so that's why I haven't been writing. I've been burying myself in the escapism of reading, instead. I feel kind of disconnected from humanity, and I'm probably spending too much time alone.

I wanted to wait until I was feeling like myself again before I posted anything, but at this point I just don't know when I'm likely to be feeling better, and I guess it's about time I told you what's happening with me. I'm reasonably confident that this won't go on forever because it there's one thing you can be sure of in this life, apart from death, taxes and spam email, it's that nothing is static and everything changes. My crisis of confidence will eventually pass. And even if it doesn't, I promise I will finish Justice anyway.

Thanks for caring, those who care. I'll be back when I'm feeling more positive.

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*hugs* I'm e-mailing you.

*hugs back* Thank you for the email. I'll write back this evening.

As my muse has refused to help me write anything in a dog's age (quite literally--it's probably been as long as my dog has been alive), I don't know if he'll be of any help to you. But if gazing upon his physical perfection puts you in mind of any NYC police detectives and what they just might do with each other's physical perfection...

Feel better, darling!

Thanks! I really want to feel better. That's a really lovely icon. I will gaze at it until I feel better.

Hang in there, and take the time you need.

*sends virtual equivalent of snacks and hammock-fanning minions to accompany the reading*

Thank you. I honestly don't know when I'm going to be back to normal. Week after week I've been waiting for it to lift, and it just hasn't.

Can my minions have bodies like mysid's muse and be wearing loincloths?

Ah, sorry to hear that, sweetie! *huggles* I can't do much in writing, I'm afraid, but I hope you'll at least be happy with the knowledge that we're still here, and that we'll be (im)patiently waiting until you feel more like yourself again. I'd suggest chocolate, but that's just my own personal preference.

As for the reading, I've been doing a lot of that, too. I've got too many things going on right now that I don't have the time or inspiration I need to write, so I've been reading some old favorites (and digging up a couple of new ones).

Thanks for the update. I hope you feel better and more confident soon. *sends thoughts of confidence and self-assurance your way* Take care, brit!

*catches thoughts of confidence and self-assurance* Thanks for the well wishes. The trouble with chocolate is that it very soon becomes my master because I'm just so darn susceptible to its sweet and sinister charms. I'm trying not to have it in the house. Unfortunately I found a box of chocolate mousse mix the other day, used it to make 5 servings of mousse and ate them all. :( But not all at once. Over the course of about eighteen hours. Still! Shouldn't have done it.

Oh dear! I knew something must have happened, because it's not like you to be silent for so long...
I'm also reading a lot lately. Well, originally I just had a need to reread all my favorite scenes of A New Day and Justice, but eventually I ended up reading it all again because there's one catchy passage after the other. What I'm trying to say is that I'm addicted to your stories, Brit. And I'm sure that I'm not the only one!
So that's why I'm really relieved that you won't give up writing. A crisis of confidence sounds nasty but I'm sure that you will finally defeat it. At any rate, I'm wishing you to get well soon.
And I know I said it a thousand times before, but I won't ever stop saying it again and again: you write the best fanfictions that I've ever read. So don't you dare to question your talent! ;)
I'm looking forward to the new chapter of Justice, but for the time being, it is much more important that at first you find your confidence again. Well, I fear we readers cannot help very much in that aspect, apart from encouraging you of course.
But in the end, the confidence has to come from you. Only you can motivate yourself to write again - but I'm sure you know that already. It's just that people tend to be much, much more critical with themselves than with others. Please don't be too harsh with yourself, okay? Your writing is amazing as it is, trust me!
I hope that soon, you'll feel confident about your writing skills again. I'm missing Justice, you know? :) But please don't continue only because of annoying readers like me! Continue when you feel like it, when you feel strong and confident again.
Best wishes, and thanks for letting us know about your crisis!

Thank you for being such a fan! I'm sorry for the long silence. i kept thinking I was going to snap out of it any day, but it just hasn't happened. It's not that I can't write-- I just don't like what I write and therefore can't be happy about it. I don't know why my confidence has taken such a beating lately. I always said there were areas of my life where I sucked and areas where I was good, or at least, good enough. But nowadays I feel like I suck at everything and what's more, have always sucked, but just didn't know it. That's really not like me at all.

I probably need to move more and sit less and get more endorphins moving through my bloodstream.

Thanks for all your kind words. I appreciate your support a lot.

Hey Brit-

(Anonymous)
-Damn it's good to hear from you. Sounds like you are depressed, and suffering from writer's block. Maybe you are fed up with writing. Maybe you are sick of FAKE, and Justice, and don't want to do it anymore. It's okay to take a mental break. None of us will fault you for that. If the story just isn't doing it for you anymore, step away from it for awhile. Come back to it when, and if, it feels fresh again. You won't lose us as fans.

YOU don't suck. Your feelings do; that's the joys of depression. I've been dealing with it for probably 15 years. Wellbutrin is the third medication I've tried, works great on depression but nada for anxiety. Plus you want to have sex, constantly...hm, JJ must be on it, eh?

Hang in there. I've been in your shoes. I'm not going to tell you you're a great writer, you already know I think you are. YOU have to remember it, too.

-Moontatoo :)




Thanks for caring, Moon. I think I am depressed. There's a lot of difficult, stressful things going on in my life, but, really, that's nothing new. What's new is how my sense of self and my sense of my value has been tipped off balance. But I'm still sure that I'll find a way to shake it off eventually. I don't know if I have writer's block because I can still write and I still have lots of ideas. It's just that I used to like my own writing and now I'm finding so much fault with it that I keep deleting whatever I write. That's not like me, either! Most of the time in the past there has not been a huge difference between my original drafts and my published drafts. I usually sat down knowing exactly what I wanted to say and how I waned to say it, and I wasn't troubled by doubt. The doubt is new. But eventually it will go.

That's very interesting about Welbutrin! I thought anti-depressants were also sex drive suppressants. You have taught me something today! JJ must be on it.

Anyway, thanks again for your kind words. I'll hang it there.

It's good to know that all of the above is not wrong with you. But I can so understand being in a funk to the point of not wanting to do anything. I've been there as well. My artwork has suffered a great deal due to this. But I want you to know that I'm here for you if you ever need an ear (or comptuer screen) to listen (read?) to you. I love your story and I'll wait patiently for more to come out. I belive in you and your writing and all that you do in life *kiss on cheek* Chin up and belive in yourself as well.

Thank you, Stalliana. That was my first-ever online kiss on the cheek! I'm doing my best to keep my chin up.

While I'm glad that you aren't dead/amnesiac/fending off wolves, I'm sorry to hear about your persistent funk! I'm afraid I don't have any particularly enlightening words of wisdom for you, except that I've been there, too, and I hope you feel better soon, since that particular feeling sucks in a variety of different ways.

Thanks for checking in with us! And take your time; we'll all be here when you get back.

You know, I'm glad you saw the wolves because they were in my mental picture, but I couldn't see a way to fit them gracefully into an already quite long enough sentence. Thank you for coming to encourage me. I'm glad you check my journal.

I hope things turn around for you soon. I know how you feel *hugs*

I know you do. Right back atcha. And *hugs you* too!

xxWill be waitingxx

(Anonymous)
Dear Lovely,

Sorry to read you are not in a great place right now and a very negative aspect of reality has mustered its way into your life.

Personally, you have made such a great contribution to FAKE fiction (always keeping it fresh and up-to-date) that I hope from time to time, during this period of introspection, you can look back on some of your own stories, and see just how wonderful and imaginative, they truly are. And as you mentioned many times before, the fun you had writing them.

I sincerely hope you find your way back to where you need to be, for yourself and your life as a whole. To look on your accomplishments, no matter how large or small, without taking inventory on once proud moments, questioning the very legitimacy of the achievements.

Best wishes to you from a distant shore, who understands all too well, the tenuousness of respective perceptual awareness; how quickly it can render you susceptible to self-doubt.

From a continous fan...will be waiting.

FM
x

Re: xxWill be waitingxx

Thanks, FM, for your wise and kind words! I took your advice and started to re-read some old chapters of A New Day. It was helpful because it made me remember the place I was in when I started writing FAKE-- namely, the biggest crisis of my life. Way worse than now. At that time, writing was my escape, my joy, the thing I looked forward to doing whenever I could snatch a few minutes away from crushing responsibility. I wish I could get that feeling of joy back again.

I'm happy to see you back!^-^

(Anonymous)
Hello!

angedevoute here...damn site won't let me log in, so I have to enter under anonymous for now:(

I've been checking in and it was kind of lonely hearing nothing but echos answering back to me. Well, I'm happy to know you're alive and that your sense of humor is still intact^-^

I discovered your FAKE series awhile back and I believe your writing is absolutely brilliant! I'm sorry I didn't tell you that sooner in reviews. I wish I had your talents. I love Dee, he's my favorite character, and I believe the way you potray him does him justice...and the other characters too.

Don't worry, we all hit our slumps, but as the saying goes:

"This to shall pass..."

I'll be here when you get back^-^

Sincerely,

Ange De Voute

Re: I'm happy to see you back!^-^

Hello Ange De Voute and welcome to my LJ. Thanks for letting me know you enjoy my Fake stories. Dee is my favorite character, too!

Long time no see, eh? I was worried!

I know how it feels to be in a total slump. Usually in those times I force myself to write, but that doesn't work for everyone. So just... take care of yourself and we'll be waiting for when you get back, aight?

If you ever need an IV of chocolate or nice wine...

Chocolate or nice wine, yum! But no IV because I want to taste them, so they really have to go into my mouth instead of directly to my bloodstream. I wish there was some way I could get all the taste plus the sugar/alcohol buzz but without the calories and the bad health part.

Thanks for the well wishes.

I'm sorry to read that. I know how you feel sort of. When my mother passed away suddenly, I didn't have any will or reason to write anything at all and I didn't for almost six months. But then I realized one day that writing is my passion and it's not something I can give up on ever. So, now I'm back to trying to write while working before going back to college. Things will get better, just remember the reason that you write. As long as you know the reason you write for, then you're good to go.

I'm sorry to hear your mom passed away. I hope it wasn't recently.

I never wrote anything at all UNTIL my mom passed away suddenly. That was when I started writing my FAKE fics. I guess it was a combination of things. I felt mortal for the first time. I understood suddenly that our time here is finite and will one day end. I wanted to leave something behind me that might possibly live on after I die, too. I wanted to create another kind of life, a world that I and other people could 'live' in without actually having to be alive. I also thought that I had a brain full of stories and that they were worth telling and that I should therefore make a push to share them with others. The Internet made that possible. I don't think I ever would have written a word had it not been for that.

*hug hug* Not you too,eh?

Sorry I haven't been keeping up as much as I should. Hopefully after next week's crazy, I'll have a bit more time to catch up.

Yes, me too! It seems as though a lot of people are in the doldrums at the moment. *huuug* Sorry to hear you've got a crazy week looming.

Aw, darling, I'm so sorry to hear that you're feeling blue. I understand what it's like to suffer through these bouts of self-doubt (especially when it comes to things I thought I was really good at).

I just wanted to let you know that, no matter how you may feel or think, you're a wonderful person and an excellent writer. Your stories keep me entertained while leaving me at the edge of my seat with each chapter.

I know I'm not on often enough to praise your work the way a good reader should (and I always feel just awful for not letting you know what an absolute pleasure it is to read your writing)but whenever I read your work, I wait in baited anticipation for the next installment; knowing that any wait is worth reading more.

I'm not sure if this helped lift your spirits any at all, but I wanted to let you know that you are an magnificent writer and marvelous person that I just absolutely adore.

Much love, IS

Yes, it helped lift my spirits. You're always so kind. I do enjoy hearing from you. Thank you!

You're awesome and write awesomely! Let no one tell you anything else.

Thanks Peacewish. It isn't anyone else-- it's just me. Honestly, no one's ever been randomly mean to me about my writing. Even if that happened, it wouldn't throw me, because, hell, anyone who grew up in the kind of family I did would be somewhat inured to random criticism by the time they reached adulthood.

In order to keep on writing, I have to be the person who feels good about it. I want to be better. Something's wrong with the flow. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm trying to figure it out. It's probably got something to do with other key areas of my life going sideways nowadays. I think it might be getting slightly better, but it's too soon to tell.

Anyway, thanks for offering your support. Appreciated as always!


Edited at 2012-08-27 06:39 am (UTC)

Brit! I know it's been fricken' forever since I left you a message... that's my bad! But I know all about self doubt and escapism reading... I just wanted to let you know that I have no doubts in your abilities, writing or otherwise.

From the years that I have read your journal, both the personal posts and the fiction, I have come to know that the person on the other end of the internet is both capable, kind, and very human. (And from me, human is about the highest complement someone can get... just so you know! >_O)

Take your time, find yourself, make delicious foods, read, sleep, and when you are ready, let us know... we'll all be here for you.

Much love,
Neengy Dot

Neengy! Thanks! I think I AM mostly human except for those urges I get to be a cat when I'm heading off to work on a sunny day and I pass my Fluff snoozing on the deck. (That's when I wonder if we humans are actually as smart as we think we are)

Recently I haven't been able to sleep, but I made such a delicious dinner tonight, I have to share it. I made a simple salad and fors ome reason, it cried out for a vinaigrette instead of my usual fave creamy dressing.

Now, I am a person who hates vinaigrette because I don't like vinegar and never did. I go out of my way to avoid using it in my cooking. But on the other hand, food often calls out to me and tells me what it needs. Weird, huh? Oddly enough, writng used to work this way, and hopefully will again.

Tonight, for whatever reason, my food cried out loudly for vinaigrette!

Feeling dubious, I checked my booze cupboard which is where I keep a bottle of Balsamic vinegar I've had for about ten years and rarely use. In my house vinegar and hard liquor are in the same "yuck, don't want" section of the kitchen.

Well, anyway, to cut a long story short, I made a most awesome salad with this reviled Balsamic vinegar, and managed to impress the hell out of myself. Was it me? Was it the vinegar? Was it the precise balance I achieved? Was it the fact that at I wasn't using olive oil? I do not know. All I know was that it worked and I loed it and ate way too much of it.

But hey, there's a big diff between eating way too much salad and way too much ice cream.

Thanks, Neengy, for your kind support. I think I'm starting to come back to normal again. I'll keep everyone posted.

hey?

(Anonymous)
Good evening, Kate from Kansas here. I don't know you or anything, but I've been reading your stuff since the beginning and you are an excellent writer and I wish I could write like you. D:< I don't know what else you are feeling anxious/depressed about but I know how you're feeling because I've not been myself lately either and I have no idea why, but I would love to hear more about Dee and Ryo from you, that might help. Haha I just thought you should know that for years now, you've made them come alive for me and if not for you then Dee and Ryo would not be what they are to me and it is more you than Matoh herself that made me love them. I love the manga, sure, but it is really your interpretation that I love. You seem to have a lot of friends on here who care about you and many more silent stalkers who worship you, so I hope you feel better soon! <3

Hello Kate from Kansas,

Your message was what made me decide to get back on LJ tonight and reconnect with my readers.

I have been feeling bad for just disappearing the way I did, but at the same time I know I'm going through some kind of process and I'll return to my normal self at some point. I hope it's soon.

Thank you for your kindness in letting me know how I've made Dee and Ryo come alive for you for years. I'm really so glad to hear that. That was my goal for myself-- I wanted to make them come alive for my own needs, and I knew it wouldn't happen unless I did it myself.

At the time I started writing, Swordy had more or less stopped, Grumpy Demon was winding down, FAKE 2nd Chances had gone beyond that immediate-post-manga time, and there were no other FAKE writers writing regularly whose vision of Dee and Ryo I could agree with. So I answered my own needs by writing what I felt might have happened next after Volume 7 ended. I'm glad I did it and no matter what, I will finish Justice. I don't know at this point if I will ever start posting Poison, the first in my FAKE First Year Together trilogy. I guess it depends on whether I have any readers left by that time who still care about FAKE. Interest is waning, and it's discouraging.

You are correct when you say I don't know what else you are feeling anxious/depressed about because there are other things that are knocking me right off balance and making me question everything I am and everything I ever achieved. Eventually, I'll come back from this, I'm sure of that.

In the meantime, thanks for taking the time to comment. I feel better now that I know Kate from Kansas has been reading my FAKE stories from the beginning! That's a long time. Thank you.

Hey!

(Anonymous)
I don't have an active LJ account (only have one from when I was clinically depressed in my teens and I don't want to re-ignite that one after so long), but I wanted to say Hi. :-)

I stumbled across your stuff a couple of months back and then sat down and read pretty much everything over the following weeks. Hell, I even went on holiday in the middle of reading A New Day and it was all I could think about for two weeks! I found myself re-reading scenes when I got home, and chewing over situations you've written while spacing out at work (seriously, you're really close to getting me into trouble with my boss for my spacey attitude these days)! The only thing I think I have left to read is Justice.
So I just wanted you to know that even though you are in a funk right now and things don't feel good, your work is still beautiful, and touching and exciting to all of us who are able to sit down and enjoy this extension of a well loved world (I didn't read Fake fiction until I started on yours - just assumed the series covered everything and no-one could do it justice).

I'm especially in love with your Drake/JJ and the dynamic between them, I'm a little bit in love with Drake and it's good to see his and JJ's "relationship" handled so well. I feel we are all in safe hands with you!

Also (pardon the rambling) just wanted to say kudos for keeping this going over YEARS, and having the willpower to keep coming back to it and keep it going. That absolutely amazes me.

And on a personal side of things, medication can help (diagnosed clinically depressed at 15 now, at 26, finally stable and off the meds and coping with life), it does get better, let it run it's course, accept help, and take all the time you need. When the passion for writing returns then embrace it, but don't force it. Your mind and body are more important than anything else. You seem like a lovely person, and so talented, I hope things pick up for you soon.

Loz
(pyreflysky)

Hello Loz,

What a lovely message to receive on my first day back to work after a long weekend. Thank you so much for writing it. If thoughts of A New Day kept intruding on your vacation, then that's a high compliment indeed!

Yes, it has been years, hasn't it? I posted my first FAKE fic in 2006. I still love the FAKE-verse a lot, and feel very connected to the characters. I'll definitely see Justice through to the end whether or not I get my writing-mojo back. I won't start posting Poison or Against the Wall unless I'm sure I'll finish them.

Thank you for saying you feel in safe hands with me. That means a lot to me, because in fact, you are.

I'm putting my health and my state of mind first these days, particularly the pursuit of sleep. Getting enough sleep is a real challenge for me.

I'm very glad to hear that you're stable and coping with life and don't need your meds anymore. If I'm still feeling down like this in three months, I'll consider talking to my doctor about medication. I'm hoping I can shake it off, though.

Thank you again for this kind and supportive message. *Hug*

Re: Hey! (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Hey! (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Hey! (Anonymous) Expand

Hi from Moon

(Anonymous)
I want you back. I come here everyday looking for you, for Justice, and mostly for JJ's "inner top". That alone, in your skilled words, is worth waiting for !

Now, let's talk about sleep. Not sleeping sucks. I can't recall if we are the same age or thereabouts, I think at 51 I am older than you. Probably a lot older. I went through it, my sister went through it for years, most of the women I work with have been through it. Many of my colleagues take a sleeper like lunesta. My son has had good results with melatonin. I don't have any magic answer, just that it won't last forever. Nowadays, I sleep well, but being an afternoon shift worker, my day starts at 9 or 10 and goes til 2 am. If I go to bed before two, I wake up at 5. Ugh.

Establish your sleep hygeine pattern and stick to it. Sleep with a fan on for the white noise. Sleep alone; that works for many married couples and has nothing to do with loving your spouse. Spare bedrooms can really help.

You might also go to your MD and request a sleep study. You could have sleep apnea, and actually be falling asleep and waking up over and over all night. There are cpap machines that help tremendously, they are not all for the obese, nor are they all hideously loud and bulky. I work with nurses who say using them at night changed their lives.

Hang in there Brit. You are loved and missed, as is your writing. I hope rest comes your way soon.

--your pal Moon :)




Hello again, Moon! Thanks for missing me. My mind is now imagining JJ in his rarely seen 'top' mode. He's with Bill. Neither of them are having a really good time because Bill's fantasy is to be screwed by a bear, not a pretty boy like JJ. JJ is trying to be patient with Bill's sexual selfishness, but he is starting to get annoyed.

Re sleep issues: I've tried prescription sleeping pills, over the counter sleep aids, and herbal sleep aids. They all work, although they lose their effectiveness if I take them more than three nights in a row. They all make me groggy the next day, especially the herbal ones. They all require me to be in bed for ten to 12 hours in order not to be groggy the next day, but I just don't have that kind of time.

I talked to my doctor a few months ago about getting a sleep study. Apparently there's a sleep lab in our city. He said I didn't need it and that I should practice better sleep hygiene. He gave me a lot of advice, including dropping all the sleep aids and not having a clock in my bedroom.

I have to say that I think he was right and that my sleep hygiene is my biggest challenge. It's very hard for me to go to bed at the same time every night, but I have been making more of an effort. It's on the weekends that I am most likely to fall down and stay up until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. because that's when my husband gets home from work. I reason that I don't have to get up and go to work the next day, so it's okay. But it's not, because I can't sleep in, so I don't get enough sleep, and then I go through the day in a fog. I really must stop doing those late night weekends because it always leads to short nights of sleep. I can't sleep in for some reason--unless, of course, it's a work day! Then my body wants to stay in bed until 10! But it can't.

I have no trouble falling asleep, but staying asleep is the big problem. I wake up anywhere from 1 to 3 hours after falling asleep, and then I'm wide awake for the next 2 to 4 hours. Sometimes I never get back to sleep. Sometimes I only manage to fall back asleep at about 6:00 a.m., but then have to get up not long after that to go to work.

I don't have sleep apnea because my husband would have told me. Nor do I snore. My cat is a big sleep interrupter. A woman I used to know was in the habit of 'drugging' her cats at night so that they would let her sleep through the night, but I won't do that to Fluff. My work schedule is erratic. Sometimes I'm home at 6:00 or 6:30, other times, I don't get home until 9:30 or 10:00. Then I eat a really late dinner, which more or less ensures that I sleep badly! Last night I pigged out on my husband's Sea Salt Caramel ice cream at midnight because I worked late, didn't eat a balanced meal, got a massive sugar craving, and all there was to eat that was sweet was his ice cream. Sometimes I can do that kind of thing and get away with it, sleep-wise, but not last night. I had no one to blame but myself.

There's a lot that has to be packed into the evenings. Working out, cooking, eating. We always eat late dinners at our house. Usually between 8:00 and 9:00 or 9:30. I don't usually get home from the gym until around 8:00. This part of the routine has proved almost impossible to break.

Anyway, thank you for reminding me about sleep hygiene. It's something I'm aware of, but I have gotten kind of lazy about. I'm making a resolution right now to be in bed by midnight every night of the week, regardless of what time I get home from work and regardless of whether it's a weekend or not.

Thanks again for missing me!

I am in Colorado and have been following your stories for years and years. I hope you get better real soon. Your very important to a lot of us. Take it easy. -Dianne.

Thank you, Dianne. I actually tried to work on Justice yesterday morning, but unfortunately, I didn't get very far before I had to start cooking and baking for a giant dinner party. I hope I can work on it a bit tonight. At least I won't have to cook dinner! Thanks to the party, we've got at lest three dinners' worth of leftovers.

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