25 January 2011


Because of Voc Rehab, I saw a, um, Clinical Social Worker the other day. (Someday I'm going to have to learn what the difference is between all these titles. Apparently the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that the latter can prescribe drugs.)
So, we talked (among other things) about depression and anxiety and how that makes work life (and normal interaction with people life), um, very difficult. She mentioned aerobic exercise as a method of anti-depressant.

So, I was scheduled to work on Sunday at 7am. The bus I normally take down the hill doesn't run on the weekends, so when that bus isn't available, I usually bike down the hill and then to get home, I bike to the train, take the train up the hill, and bike home from the train. But biking downhill really doesn't afford much exercise.
So I decided to walk. I figured I would also walk back uphill, because it's really not that far, it's just a steep hill. I left a little later than I'd intended, though, so I was walking as quickly as I could downhill, so as not to be late for work.
I ended up not walking home from work, partially because my legs had started to hurt (but they often do after six to eight hours of standing on a tile-covered concrete floor), and mostly because I had purchased a $20 toaster oven. (It was on sale from $25, and that was cheaper than the $45/50 toaster/convection ovens we'd seen at Costco on Saturday.) So I was carrying this huge box, and I didn't want to walk all the way home carrying it. Plus, I knew that if the bus gods were kind, it would only take two buses: the #209 to 400 S and 900 E, and then the #220 to a block from my home.
They were kind, and I only waited for about twenty minutes.

By Monday, my legs really started to hurt. I worked yesterday, too, so I was standing on tiled-over-concrete for five hours with shin splints, yay!
When I got home, I spent the evening with my legs elevated. By the time DP got home, I could barely walk. I hobbled around, steadying myself on the walls and furniture.
It's better now. in that I can basically walk. Still, today's a day off, and I'm so glad ...

15 January 2011

Hello, Saturday. I have a day off today. DP does too, of course.
Probably we'll do housely things that haven't otherwise been getting done, like cleaning out the fridge, and making soup. We might also watch a movie, though.

I'm trying to write, but my brain is mostly not cooperating. There's the fairy tale magazine, a Crimson Pact anthology, and I'd just love to submit something to Realms of Fantasy ... (Strange Horizons has already seen most of my basically done stories.)
I have a couple stories that I've written and have gone through the critique process a couple times, and maybe I could continue to look at them, but they're basically ready, so I guess I can try to send them out as often as possible.
But the fairy tale and the Crimson Pact story have to be new, because I've never written a story involving the Crimson Pact before, and I can't anticipate what the next fairy tale theme will be ... and I can't really smoosh them together (though I did come up with an idea for a story that would do that ... ) because their reading periods are similar, and at least one of them doesn't want to be reading the same thing as someone else at the same time. I guess that's polite.

But still, if I can write a bunch of new short stories, even if they don't get published right away, that's more stories to polish, then send out to non-themed magazines. Because, as it turns out, I think I do better with longer stuff than shorter. Not necessarily novel-length: my Changeling stories are all about 12,500 words (give or take a thousand), which is at least 2,500 more words than the maximum accepted submission I've seen so far ... so I'm not sure what I'll do with those ... And the story I'm trying to write for the writing group's Quarterly Challenge is quickly turning into ... probably novel-length.

Anyway, maybe I'll have breakfast now.

07 January 2011

On the intersection of sprite comics and fairy tales

So, I was talking with some friends the other day about fairy tales. The writing group found a new writing magazine called "Enchanted Conversation: a fairy tale magazine", which asks for submissions on the topic of the fairy tale they have chosen for that particular issue.

The magazine also listed some guidelines which caused us to discuss fairy tales in general, and I was relating to my friends what I took away from a book I read while doing research for the changeling stories. The book is [enter book here], and it was highly interesting. If you have any interest in fairy tales, I recommend reading it.

What's relevant to this post, however, is what the author said about symbolism in fairy tales, and how, I realized today, that relates to the sprite comic format.

You see, in fairy tales, it's nearly all symbols. A fairy tale is a story told in symbols: the "true love's kiss" is a symbol for falling in love, the period of near-death (enchanted sleep, a period of working and waiting) the female protagonist goes through is a symbol for the transformation or period of personal growth she's going through during that period.

There are no thought processes in fairy tales, very few descriptions of anyone or anything, there are only the characters' words and their actions.

And that brings us to the sprite comic format. When I first started planning a webcomic (to the point of starting a script for Script Frenzy), I was aware of the differences in approach that existed between a script and a piece of prose, like a story. But I'd encountered that the year before when writing a screenplay, and so it seemed very easy to write out the character's dialog, and then just sort of imagine I had an artist who would read my notes on what everything was supposed to look like, and so I could describe it that way.

But when I started thinking that a sprite comic would be the way to get this thing actually done, that's when I had to think a little bit harder. Because, you see, the thing about the sprite comic is that it's not about the art. It's about symbols. In this case, it's about visual symbols, rather than words describing symbols, but still: it's much like a fairy tale.

Regardless of how many poses and facial expressions I have for my characters, they are still symbols. And that's a much different way of approaching a story than I have been so far.

So, now I'm even more excited ... also, my sister is going to be drawing my characters' paper dolls for me (and maybe even backgrounds ... ), so I officially have art that won't suck. (Well, it's not official yet. I have to get her the character descriptions, which I am working on feverishly. And should now get back to.)

02 January 2011

New Year

It's been two weeks of not-posting. I apologize. Granted, Christmas/New Year can be some of the busiest time of the year for--well, for most people, but still.
Anyway, here I am. What shall I talk about?
I finished the Changeling game. I created an adventure, ran it for some friends, and finished it, and people had fun. It has the feeling of something accomplished. I might do it again. However, I seem to need a year for my ideas to percolate and truly form, so I don't know if I'll get to do the next story at the coming Vernal Equinox, like I'd like to.

I survived Christmas. I got some lovely things, and was even surprised by some of the things I got, and presents I gave to other people were mostly well-received. There's still a tree in my living room, and I'm not sure when it's coming down.

DP and I saw Tangled, which was mostly lovely, aside from the continued idea that, in order to be truly happy, a man cannot be less powerful than his woman. (And specifically, that if he is, she must correct the balance ... ) Seems similar to Virgin Power, in that regard.

And, I went to a doctor! Talked about all the various things wrong with me, checked my height and height, got my blood drawn. I have a large bruise where the needle went in the second time, and I get to get more blood drawn tomorrow very early, fasting. Because the doctor likes to get a baseline cholesterol reading, apparently ...
And then later this month, I have an appointment to get the results of all the blood tests ...
One thing that surprised me a little: I was telling the doctor about all of my vitamins and supplements, which include Holy Basil for depression, Omega 3-6-9 which helps with depression, and I'm currently "trying out" St. John's Wort to see if that will help at all. So, he asked about that, and I had opportunity to mention the diagnoses of Major Depression and Anxiety NOS. The part that surprised me was when he mentioned antidepressants. It's a free clinic, after all, and while I was pretty sure they'd be able to help with my purely physical things, I had forgotten that doctors prescribe drugs, and could prescribe antidepressants. So I told him I'd think about it, and then we talked about blood tests.
My thoughts so far are: I believe in making the diet work first, doing as much as you can with your nutrition, and if that doesn't help, then move on to supplements and homeopathics, etc., and then if that doesn't help, then look into antidepressants. Plus, I'm about to start seeing a counselor thanks to Voc Rehab, and I'd like to see what she says about it, before agreeing to medications.
Still, this year seems to be made entirely of new, because I'm seeing doctors and counselors. It seems amazing.