So I Was Asking Myself “What If?”…

A funny thing happens when you ask “What if,,,?” And just let your mind wonder.

I was sitting at my computer thinking about my NaNoWriMo project. I am going to be writing a steampunk story about a laborer that rises up against the system. So I was researching steam power generation and what happened next was interesting to say the least.

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What if I were to write a technologically heavy steampunk novel, sort of a Jules Verne meets Tom Clancy. Would this even be possible?

So I spent the next two hours looking up and downloading/ printing steam age technology articles and the more I read and found, the more I was interested in the possibility of this flight of fancy taking off!

Anyway, I know that a novel like this is going to get very complicated very quickly. And I am welcoming it.

I am beginning to see the possibilities of this and its many branches. Best of all none of them are any more or less correct than any others.

I know that I need to develop plot and story arcs, but I am thinking that the steam technology might be an interesting backdrop, if I can write it out well. It could also have the added bonus of a sort of credibility.

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Bestest of best luck to my fellow NaNo writers!

T-minus 3 days and counting.

 

 

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Just Don’t Fucking Say It: My Problem With “Just snap out of it.”

People who don’t suffer depression see the world through much different and much clearer lenses then those of us who do. It seems to me that these people have the idea that depressions is just feeling sad, like they do when they wake up in the morning and feel “off” or not themselves. They will start their day and by lunchtime they are being back to their normal happy selves.

Somehow many people expect that those of us with depression and just “turn off” depression.

Recently a friend asked what was up, so I explained that I had, just a short time before, been diagnosed with depression.

His response? Pretty much this: “What the hell is the big deal? Everyone that feels a little sad says they have depression.”

Although somewhat miffed, I tried to explain that depression is a lot more and much different than feeling a little blue or sad. And that in my case I often don’t feel anything at all, emotionally numb, if you will. That I have lost enjoyment in thing I used to really enjoy such as; my photography, running (although for me it’s more honestly power walking) and yes, even sex.

“It sounds more like you’re just being lazy. Just snap out of it.”

It was at this point that I really started to lose my temper and thought it was in the best interest of both of us that I leave his place.

Clinical Depression is not something a person shrugs off during the day, it’s not just feeling a little down,  for me it’s more like this:

Imagine waking up, going downstairs for your morning coffee before work, sitting down with your mug, a cat snuggles into your lap, and you watch the morning sky turn from dark to bright red. you know that this is what should be a really pleasant time but you feel: Nothing

 

Now imagine being a photographer. You’ve won a couple of small awards for photographs and you have had some of your work in exhibitions in college. You also know that even though you SHOULD be really enjoying taking photographs, your camera bag is right there and ready to go, it doesn’t hold any interest for you anymore.

That is part of what depression feels like for me. Besides the inability to sleep through a whole night many times and the feeling of general listlessness.

It feels like I have been somehow set apart from people, things and activities that I enjoyed and that enjoyment of them is at this time, out of reach.

“Just snap out of it.” Like in some way I want to feel like this or it is a simple matter of deciding to be happy.

If this sounds like I am being overly sensitive, remember that the person that said it was a guy that I had grown up with, by best friend, and for some reason thought may be supportive.

Ignorance and support, I now know, are mutually exclusive.

So please, if someone tries to explain what depression is and how they feel; don’t ever fucking say:

“Just snap out of it.”

 

Self Fulfilling…

A week ago I was diagnosed with depression. Over the weekend and into the week I felt down, sluggish, of-of-sorts and wanting to be alone.

Yesterday, I woke up before my alarm went off. As I lay in bed just thinking (and it is one of my favorite pastimes), I came upon an important insight and it is this:

Yes I have depression; yes, I will have bad days, but n the morning when I wake up, I make the decision how I approach the day. I decide that I will do my best to make it a great day, or not.

So a crappy day at work, I decide how I react. Pulled off my machine… twice, told to relieve other operators for lunch and a planning meeting for the continuous improvement team that I am on.

But wait, through this all I have a chance to be seen by the top brass in the company for efforts to improve efficiency where I work… Maybe  it’s not all that bad.

If fact, maybe it’s HOW I approach issues that arise, THROUGH the understanding of depression that I will transcend what happens.

It’s just a thought.

Peace all.

Stymied

I thought I was doing well tonight. I was rewriting some notes that I had taken for my novel during work and revising them. Writing them into my project notebook. Those Ideas even inspired me to have a few new ideas.

And then…

I thought I would print out some of the research articles that I would need, boiler technology at the turn of the 20th century, Mary Harris Jones, 1920’s steam locomotives; all these great pieces of research that I could use. No problem, I’ll print them up then when I get the chance , tomorrow at work or in the very near future, I’ll read through them and highlight what is pertinent. No Prob.

Big prob.

Printer’s out of ink.

No prob,

I’ll just get another cartridge.

Big prob.

Best Buy, Staples, Office Max… Nope.

So that put an end to novel productivity tonight. *grrrrrr*

Tomorrow I will try Cartridge World and if that doesn’t work… *whimpers slightly*

Built in obsolescence is one thing, but hey! Here is a creative type on a role, but for the want of a nail

Not to fear, I will come up with something and my project will be saved!

Sleep well everyone.

Redefining “Me”

Last Friday I was diagnosed with depression.

I’m Not sure what that means. At least for me.

In the most analytical sense I guess I knew it for some time. I’ve been sleeping poorly, I had been drinking more (although I got that reversed), I’ve lost interest in things that I once really enjoyed (although not in writing for some reason, thankfully) and I’ve had a general feeling of lethargy.

But what I’ve been turning over in my own mind is what that means to me emotionally. The diagnosis doesn’t change anything, really.  All diagnosis did was put a label to what has been bothering me, right? It doesn’t change what I love to do or who I love. It just gives me a starting point.

A starting point to find who I am and where I’m going. One thing’s for sure; writing will be a big part of it.

Anyway, I also wanted to take the time to thank all of you that follow this. It’s nice to know someone is listening. Thanks again.

Peace to you all.

This Is Difficult…

For me one of the most personally  difficult aspects of writing a novel about what I am passionate about, regardless of the genre, is what it can dig up that creates an emotional response in me.

So I am researching bits and pieces of labor history of the United States of fit in with my story when I came across this song by Woodie Gutherie. Touching, to say the least.

But I digress.

As you might have been able to guess, I love  this blog and I have come to know a few people followers, And thank you for doing so, Gentle Readers. I am trying my best to post at least a little something here every day along with working on my novel project. If only I didn’t have to deal with that forty to forty-eight hour time sink that is my job. Like who WANT’S to pay bills?

So here is today’s post and I promise I will do my best to post a little something that will usually be about my writing adventures. Usually, but not always.

 

 

 

 

Announcing My New Novel Project!

Tonight I announced my novel project on the NaNoWriMo site. I am very excited about this one. Here is the synopsis that I posted to my NaNo page:

Requiem For a Laborer” is a steampunk/ alt history novel set in the United States during the Industrial Revolution and the subsequent rise of labor movement.

Joel Thompson Woodcock is a displaced worker from the Chicago Boiler Works along Lake Michigan that supplies steam to the city. Mechanical automation has made his job as a fire tender redundant so the works sent him unceremoniously walking. As he bides his time in the Bowery moving from one menial job to another, he looks to find a renewed purpose in life.

This is when he learns of Mother Jones and of her fight for the working man, who is willing to fight for himself and his working brothers and sisters. This could be Joel’s time to transcend his place, or be crushed under the wheel, that is  if he’s wrong.

This story combines many of the things I am passionate about about.; history, steampunk, the cause of labor and of working people.

I’m really excited about making it through not only the first NaNo draft, but seeing this book through to publication.

For my fellow NaNo writers, let’s kick this years projects right in the nether regions!

Best of luck all!

BTW, a HUGE “T!hank you” to Aetherhouse for the support and encouragement she has shown me!