Meh and un-meh. Thoughts, ramblings and a progress report.

It’s confession time. I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently because we’ve reached a new stage in Dad’s illness and I’m still adjusting to the grimness. If someone you love has dementia then there will be stuff they say when you know it’s the illness speaking, rather than them. Over the last three of four months, Dad’s condition has deteriorated rapidly to the point where his illness is doing far more of the talking than he is. It’s been pretty stark.

On the upside, there have been a lot of big events in the family and among friends to keep me busy, although some of them are going through tough times too. But there’s been less down time and no more than a few hours in any of the last five weeks to plan, gather thoughts and generally sort myself out. If I’m a bit maudlin, this is usually good. The more I socialise and the more stuff I do, the less time I spend in the Slough of Despond. Also we all know the writer who wants to get stuff out of their head has to put stuff in. I even have a book cued up to read for the holidays. I think it’s called put your pants on, or possibly pull your pants off but it’s about finding ways to plan your writing more effectively. I’ll review it when I’m done!

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, hectic life. When things get too busy the time for everything else but the household chores disappears and trust me in this house, even they are a bit, er hem, rushed. Or neglected. Phnark. And my house is hardly a smoothly oiled machine at the best of times. I mean, it has McMini and me in it. But if there’s not even time for chores or the myriad stuff I have to remember for McMini’s school (sad stuff there too) I do tend to get a bit flustered. And guilty. And sad. And on top of already sad, that’s not good.

And what with the state of the world right now, and the shit we’re all in, I slightly feel that if I can’t say anything positive it’s best not to say anything at all. Hence the significant lack of posts on here and the shockingly low quality of my email newsletters. Sorry anyone reading who also receives my emails. The interesting stories will return. Soon.

Because I’ve realised something.

It’s time to have a word with myself!

So, first of all, I apologise if my posts and emails seem faux jolly, as if I’m going through the motions (when they appear at all). In a sense, they are and I am. But it’s important that I continue writing them. A huge part of the trick of managing life-grimness, for me, is to keep on keeping on. The small every day things become harder and harder to do, but doing them anchors you in reality, in normality, and stops you from floating away into some kind of mad disjointed netherworld of despair. That’s why I write, of course. Because – don’t laugh – writing all this stuff that is madder than a box of frogs keeps the rest of me sane and grounded.

Keep calm and carry on. That’s my life and I’m this bloke.

Right, that’s that off my chest, let us move swiftly on to other things.

News

Mmm. The 10k short is with the editor, although she has RSI and due to the vagaries of the power companies where she lives she is currently in the process of going off grid – ie switching to solar – so I’m not sure when it will come back. Which reminds me, I must look and see if there was anything I was meant to be doing to it.

Meanwhile, McMini’s birthday party is finally in the bag so I must do an invite. It’d be much easier to draw one but the lamp in my scanner has gone so I suspect I will be doing something with clip art. Oh dear. He and 9 other little darlings are going to do den building and fire building in a local park. Luckily I have help in the form of my friend Jill so if it all goes tits up at least we can laugh about it later.

With this and the rest of the holidays fast approaching my writing may well slow but I’m going to try and do the 20 minutes a day thing because that worked really well.  Whatever happens, I will be doing some reading. Both the aforementioned keep your pants on book and one of my own for editing/developmental purposes. I’m 40k into a 60k novel. It’s not my greatest work because I’m experimenting with keeping both my plots and my books simpler and shorter so I can sell them cheaper. However, it’s not bad and I think it could well be better by the time I’m done with it.

If the pants book helps I hope to be doing a bit of outlining over the holidays. There have also been more developments with the one about the ex gigolo space dustman who lives on P deck. I’ve been working out how he gets there – I think that will be a long short that I can give away to folks who join my mailing list (or who are already on the other one). Also working on how he gets his ship – I think he builds it from scrap but I’m not sure. It may be a lease ship. And how Admiral Ash, the female lead, ends up being de-thawed from her stasis pod. Thinking she might be in his ship with him now, rather than in space. Depends if he builds it from spare parts. I also need to draw a cover for Jump because I can’t afford a proper one. I should be able to use the scanner in my parents’ printer for that one but the invite is more time critical. It has to go into school tomorrow because it’s the last week.

On the eyebombing book front. I am slowly getting there with working out kickstarter layers. It’s really hard to do because I have no cash so it has to be benefits in kind, like taking them for an eyebombing walk, so I’m scratching my head about international sponsors at the moment. All I can give them is books and their name in the front. I have to get about £15 for each book to be able to afford to have it printed and send it to them. Thinking this might have to be more of a local endeavour. We shall see. Might have to look at a different size too. I was going to do stocking filler 6″x6″.

Also, if anyone’s thinking of forking out for Escape From B-Movie Hell hold off, I’ll have some good news for you on that front next week!

That’s all for now, pipple toot!

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13 Comments

Filed under General Wittering

13 responses to “Meh and un-meh. Thoughts, ramblings and a progress report.

  1. Hey! Sorry to hear it’s all a bit harsh at the moment; that does sound really hard. I can’t remember what book it was where the first bad guy suggested that they should deprive the good guy of everything he loved, and the second (more evil) guy said “no, give them back to him broken as that is a far worse thing to bear.” I was thinking of you and that it applied very much to dementia type illnesses.

    But glad to hear you are finding coping strategies! If I get 2mins together I will mail you re graphics. 😉

    Take care missus!
    J.

    • Are you sure it’s not my book! Lord Vernon pretty much does that to The Pan. Life is harsh but pretty much everyone I know is in the same shit. If you get the time re graphics it would be very handy.

      Cheers

      MTM

  2. Join the club. I think part of it is being sandwiched between parents and children, and trying to find time for yourself.

    Add anything physically or mentally wrong with the self, and it’s a wonder we keep putting one foot in front of the other – even more of a wonder if we get anything done. So: you’re wonderful. By definition.

    I greatly fear, when and if I develop dementia, that all my filters will go, and everything I’ve suppressed my whole life to make me possible to live with will come tumbling out – and all that suppressing work I did all those years will have been for naught. I work constantly at being human, and the stuff that is never let out is breeding in my head.

    Told the spouse to ignore it – hope he can if it happens.

    My mother has dementia – and can’t talk. That is worse. Really.

    • Bless you, yes, it’s so true and I’m sure half the things that are physically wrong with me are caused by the stress of being continually sad. The speaking, it takes Mum that way too. She has had a fair few mini strokes and her speech is always affected first. She’s so gregarious and chatty that it’s grim. Indeed I must get us some signals set up, yes, no, need a wee, hungry. That kind of thing.

      Cheers

      MTM

  3. MT, I’m so sorry your dad’s illness is worsening. Watching one’s parent slide downhill is agony, I know because I’ve been there, although dementia wasn’t the cause. I my mom’s case it was pancreatic cancer, an incurable beast. She went within a year, but since she lived with us, it seemed like every minute felt like a year. I wouldn’t wish something like tha ton my worst enemy, if I had one. Maybe I do and don’t know it?

    Anyway, all you can do is hang in there. Your life must go on despite the pain. Do whatever necessary to stave of the depression monster.

    Hugs, my friend!

    • Thanks. There’s nothing to be done, just grit my teeth and hope the shouty frustrated stage passes faster than the others have done. Mum has dementia too which doesn’t help, but she’s not as far down the road as he is. I can imagine how hard it was looking after your Mum. I find it incredibly difficult staying with my parents and since it’s our ‘turn’ this year, I am dreading Christmas even more than I usually do. But this too shall pass.

      Cheers

      MTM

  4. I don’t think I knew there were ‘stages’ in my Mum’s dementia. She got worse, she didn’t recognise anyone, she didn’t even look like my Mum any more (my sister-in-law didn’t know who I was talking to); the worse thing was, I couldn’t even remember what she was like – I lost her long before she died.

    I think I spent most of my energy on looking after my dad. We always expected he’d go before her – after thirty years of heart trouble, it wouldn’t have been a surprise.

    I’m sure I’ve already told you the wise words we were given: look after your physical health, look after your mental health, and look after the paperwork. I think you can pass the paperwork to someone else – you have your family to look after.

    Lots of hugs, and you know I’m only an hour away if you need me.

    • PS You know the people at Alzheimer’s Help Line can be someone to talk to, don’t you?

    • Dad has hung onto who he is for a long time but now he’s … kind of grumpy. He asks me how I am and I’ll get the ‘I’m fine’ out and he’ll jump in before the ‘thanks’ to tell me I never stop talking and to shut up. Then he’ll interrupt the conversation but instead of jumping in and saying something like he used to, he’ll interrupt us to tell us he can’t get a word in edgeways. He used to be the loveliest most gentle soul but now he swears, effs and blinds enough for the neighbours up the road to hear him and he even threw a glass of water over Mum the other day. He’s just a big two year old and mostly having a tantrum. He can’t help it and we know it’s just his frustration and his illness talking but it’s still grim. If only because it means he’s frightened and bewildered and for all my efforts to keep his emotions as up beat and OK as I can, cf the Contented Dementia Sufferer, I am not. I am failing him. We are failing him. Because he is frightened.

      Luckily I have a lovely lady who is taking care of the paperwork.

      And no, I have never heard of the Alzeheimer’s helpline. I will definitely be giving them a call.

      Cheers

      MTM

  5. Diana

    My heart hurts on your behalf. May you have great wisdom, and the ability to see past the disease to your Mom and Dad. We were sort of fortunate with Mom — she died before we lost her totally to dementia — but even so it was a hard hard thing. Two parents dealing with it? More than double tough, I suspect. I’m glad you have a support number to call.

    May you find much to laugh about, and to be encouraged by — in all areas of your life. Try not to let McMini and friends burn down the park.
    I think your dustman should build the ship — or find one unattended and accidentally fly off in it when he goes in to look it over. But then, I’m not the one telling the story, and your dustman may have other plans. Congratulations on making all that progress!. It wasn’t that long ago that you were wondering how to keep going. You’ve done well, I’d say.

    Bless you!

    • Bless you, thanks. Yes. I am feeling a bit more in control today. I was worried about how down I felt and then I realised that actually, I’m just broken hearted, and usually when you’re broken hearted you move on, but in this particular case, I can’t. Once I rationalised it like that, it made more sense.

      Cheers

      MTM

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