Whew

I had a really interesting time with bipolar symptoms last week and early this week. I wonder sometimes if I could keep a symptom diary along with a food diary and an exercise diary (et cetera).

That being said, my dreams have inspired me to combine a pair of story ideas, one of which I had in 2003, and the other from 2020- and I am really excited about the resulting saga. I think my messages about my thoughts might have frightened a few family members but that is to be expected once in a while with a bipolar person. I’m not about to harm anyone or myself, they weren’t like that. Just weird.

That being said, I need to focus a bit on finishing some things I have already started, so I have typed up many notes for October 6th– I plan on focusing on this work before I spend too much time going down other rabbit holes.

My sister, Evelyn

This is a “Hamlet’s Play” post. I took down the others but there is a lot more, so much more. I can republish them at a whim, and still might.

Ghislaine Maxwell is in the news.

I think in 1997 or so, I was “introduced” to Ms. Maxwell, Mr. Epstein (her friend and employer) and of course, the people who owned the penthouse this all happened in (that would be Mr. Donald Trump, senior). I had no idea what was going on, I was probably drugged, I was told to put on a cocktail dress and that my passport would be withheld from me and I’d have to work on a boat to earn it back, and if I performed up to standards I would get it back sooner.

This was in Vancouver. I was in graduate school then, so it was 1997 or so.

There was one witness, one person on my side, who helped me escape.

Years, years later, I got a reedy voice on the phone telling me he remembered me, I was a “passionate young lady”. I told him I was born in 1982. It didn’t seem to matter to him. “You performed very well, better than expected. My son was pleased.”

My actual date of birth might be in 1972, but I am really not sure now.

The person that introduced me is someone known as Evelyn, and I’d say her last name, but would that matter? She can prove she knows me. I can’t prove I have ever met her. It’s always been a game to her, how much can she take from me without my being able to do anything in response, how much can she abuse and humiliate me and get away completely because I have no idea what is being said about me, I’m often drugged or brainwashed to forget what happened (and yes, I remember- it started, for me, a long, long time ago and I remember what she did to me in Vancouver), and I suppose she thought her control over me was total, complete, and no one would ever realize she kept throwing me into the path of my rapists, the people who would gladly see me sex trafficked off onto some boat to Riga, the people who saw me as a thing to be used and not as a human being. They treat eveyone that way, why should I be surprised that I was included.

She thew me into their path in the 2000s, and again in before the election in 2016. I know he told me he intended to use help from “foreigners from St. Petersburg” to win an election he framed as being for “President, like high school president”. And he told me his friends would help him win. “If you tell anyone, I’ll make sure you join the fishes.” Only everyone knows, now, what he did, that he cheated and lied, and no one cares, he was impeached but no one seems to think he does not deserve the office he holds, despite the fact that he does the things he does, for the profane reasons he does them.

He was told, he would be asked to do something for the benefit of “Vlad” which would not be “so great for America” and he paused, said he would have to consider it, then called back and asked what it was. So much for his oath of office.

Evelyn has hid herself well, and I wonder what stories she tells of her half-sister, maybe she says my name is Mary, maybe she says my last name is Deeds. I wonder what else she has done to me. What lies has she spun? How much money intended for me has been embezzled? She tried to sell me into sexual slavery once, how many other times has this happened? What has she stolen from me, from people attempting to help me or give me payment for work I have done, honest work? She hid everything from me, including my birth family and my actual name, my birth name, and I’ve lived… how many lives? How many names have there been, how many people have been manipulated as she has manipulated me, how many lies has she told?

It started with her, probably before I was born, and it ends with me, here, holding a match.

Matchstrike.

Tick.

Tock.

Focus, focus, focus

One bane of my life is my wide-ranging interest in many things, and my perceived inability to choose one and focus. I admit this is a hallmark of my creative endeavors, and it is in no small part influenced by my bipolar symptoms. I hit a snag or get depressed and stop working on a project, and don’t pick it up right away again- and lo, much time passes without progress, especially if, while depressed, I get many other story or scientific ideas and put those all down, get excited about one, and start to work on it. Shiny! I know this about myself.

I finally took a look at Canadian publishers of novels, and found out that my longest novel draft, Infinity, is not long enough to be considered by the three SF publishers still in business and currently accepting work. Also, I took a look at publishers of short fiction and realized that short fiction is often extremely short! So much so that a few pieces I have in reserve (never published) might make for decent and publishable stories as is.

So while I work on bulking up my novel and making sure it still is a decent piece of writing (and I think I have to add in a bit more conflict with one sub-plot, which will require some thought), I have now a goal of writing short stories and, once I have a green card, submitting them to publishers (I am unclear on whether I can do this right now so just in case I can’t, I am going to wait). I do have a few little stories on Smashwords, mostly fun things I wrote for friends, and a few stories here on this site as well, again, just for fun. My favourite Smashwords story, “The Icicle Maiden and the Spider King”, I took down from that site just now since I think it deserves a home elsewhere. I don’t believe there are many downloads of either version that I had posted. Most of the rest of my Smashwords stories revolve around my characters Agent Diamond and Charming Guy, and while I like the silly situations I put them in, I’m not sure these stories would easily find a home elsewhere. Fantasy spy comedy is not a genre, as far as I can tell.

I still have a large sheaf of notes for October 6th, which I still am excited about, but I envision this as a visual story (so television), and that is a medium I know even less about. So that is going to have to wait, even though I think the story has merit.

In terms of my self-published book (novella, really- it is a short novel), Perigee, I am trying to get it pulled from the publisher I used as I’d like to combine it with Anagama and a short story or two and publish that as an anthology, if I can find a publisher to take such a thing from an unknown writer. But that is going to have to wait until I really make sure I’m happy with both novellas and the short stories I plan on adding. I also wanted, for some time now, to see if Perigee could use some revision. I revised it in a hurry in 2013, though now I am puzzled about why I was in such a rush. It has a nice couple of reviews on Amazon, which is gratifying.

I am trained as a scientist, and so it might be laughable to professional writers that I noodled around with fiction for so long without considering the details for the professional sale of my work, or knowing really the terminologies used by writers. I admit I was of the mindset, “if you write it and it’s good enough someone will buy it”. All I can say is that I may be late to this particular party but I am enthusiastic about joining, and improving my work as much as possible.

Update on October 6th

I’m having a lot of fun thinking up ideas for a weird and hopefully compelling tale based on some real and very vivid memories I’ve had, one of which I mentioned earlier in this blog (A New Year and Some Old Thoughts). I’ve been calling this story “October 6th”, for no reason in particular, only that this story came to me right around then last year. I’ve plotted out a series of about 14 episodes, and since I don’t know what I’m doing I rather think that this will be a learning exercise. I talk a little bit about this story idea here, although I have elaborated greatly on my original idea (which was going to simply be a short story, then a novella).

I’ve been working on the pilot, and it is going slowly but I hope to have more of it written today. I admit I have been working on this more or less as I have energy and this is not the only project I have on my mind, so it is going very slowly. I’ve been working on science-related projects and ideas as well, and started a podcast in April that I have been neglecting. I meant so many times to write a second episode about how clinical trials work and use as an example the existing vaccines under development (which is really exciting news, that some are progressing very rapidly through the development process).

Mostly I have lots of story ideas, which just come to me each day- either ideas for new stories, or additional ideas relating to ones I have already plotted, partially written, or have concepts for. I now have a list of project ideas for which I have at least a concept for, many of which I have plots, outlines, notes, or details for, and the list is above 80 projects now (some non-fiction). There is simply no way I can make all of these projects into some sort of reality unless I get a fair bit of help, and so I am simply at this point accumulating them, because I get more ideas every day and I can’t write fast enough to finish them all before something new occurs to me.

Now, I have some free time to myself this evening so I had better make use of it and try to nail down a few more scenes (or at least, make more notes to do this later) for my pilot. I really have to come up with a new name for this show. I actually don’t have any idea how to write a treatment so I’ve been just describing scenes more or less how I write, which is apparently easy to translate into a screenplay.

[Update: Today I finished a series of detailed notes outlining what will happen in the segments of the pilot I have not fleshed out yet, and I hope to translate this into writing and dialogue during the remainder of this week. I’ve set aside this time for creative writing, though I do have some science work to do also.]

The Accidental Spy

No doubt in a few years we will be simply inundated with Trump-era films, especially after certain events or transcripts are declassified (and I know that usually one might have to wait 50 years, but I rather think that it will happen a bit quicker than that. Trump’s shenanigans with Russians, Ukranians, North Koreans, Saudi Arabians, and who the hell knows who else, are not really fodder to be kept secret, in the most part, because it only benefits the man himself and not the country. I’m pretty sure 46 will have a different view of whether this garbage should be declassified, and no interest in protecting 45).

I have a story idea of my own. Several, really- I put one into my magical realism novel Cloak, I quite like that one though it does not reflect reality. I’m still plotting that, I keep changing my mind about certain events, and I can’t do the research I would like due to the pandemic. I have another, more autobiographical work, which might or might not reflect actual events- there are some real events in it, and some which remain to be verified. The best part about it is, if I’m right, a lot of crazy things done and said by the current Administration will be explained, and the explanation is really bizarre. I’m calling it The Accidental Spy, and it revolves around phone conversations I was privy to starting before the election in 2016. It’s a really weird, unbelievable story, and one I will be pleased to tell in my way at the right time, provided some key events happen which demonstrate to me that my experiences were not simply fabrications of an overactive imagination.

So anyway, I can’t prove that the events I’m waiting for will happen, but I suspect they shall. Time will tell.

And if I’m correct about what events happen and when, I won’t actually have to prove anything at all- it’s all been recorded. It would be useful if I had the recordings, but of course, I don’t. Meeting the person that does is one of the events I’ve been waiting for. I need to listen to these just as much as anyone else might, I honestly can’t recall most of the details. I’ve written “Hamlet’s play” series entries about a few of them, sprinkled here and there in this blog, as well as some earlier interactions that came to mind in light of evolving news at the time of writing.

So you see, even if this is a complete fabrication on my part, it makes for a compelling story and one I hope to relate- once 45 is off his perch, of course. No doubt there will simply be a flood of 45-related movies and shows- and of course, there already is a plethora of tell-all books to choose from, so I have to hope my efforts will stand out somehow.

I hope you have a lovely day.

My Muse has been busy

Hello, readers!

Just a little note. I have been updating my list of potential story ideas in a document I keep online, and now have upwards of 70. The majority of these are unwritten and unplotted. I plan on working on them as I have time, but honestly, even if I discard some as being a little redundant (there are several themes that pop up in this list) there still are too many for me to write by myself, especially at my current speed, which is extremely slow.

Today I have some responsibilities but once those are taken care of, I hope to spend time on October 6th, a story that’s dear to my heart and which I think is unusual enough that people will find it interesting.

The only solution to slow writing is to prioritize spending time trying to write and getting things written, and as one practices the craft of fiction, it becomes easier and more efficient to write things. I really believe I can get back to my former productivity of decades ago, but I have sustained some psychological damage (and I often wonder if I suffer from complex PTSD and not really bipolar disorder, after all). I have to balance my need to be productive with the requirements of peace and time for self-care so I can heal.

I hope you manage to have a good day and that whatever you are struggling with, you manage to make progress.

Nutbuster and the Helicopter Mom

I wrote this little piece for a friend, for Christmas. They requested a story about squirrels and helicopter moms.

Steve was a man of simple wants. He loved good food, fine wine, and spending time in the park with his squirrel. It was a matter of debate whether or not Steve was in control of the squirrel, or the squirrel was in control of him. Nutbuster wore a small pink sequined cape emblazoned with the letter N, and a tiny pink and white luchador mask when out at the park, fighting crime. Steve usually offered support, as a human a hundred times the size of Nutbuster could, by buying nuts, driving to and from the park, and generally staying out of Nutbuster’s way. At home Nutbuster was content to curl up in her window perch, safe from the dog below, or to sit on Steve’s shoulder reading classics and sampling whatever food he was eating. On occasion Nutbuster took a bath, and Steve was content to hold the blow dryer afterward while Nutbuster chittered show tunes and turned to and fro in front of the hot blowing air. 

The crimes Nutbuster hated most were crimes of poor parenting. Steve was relatively affluent and lived a life free of many wants, and the people Nutbuster and Steve encountered most often were fairly to extremely wealthy. Children were still subjected to poor parenting, though, and Nutbuster found herself attacking examples of overprotective or emotionally neglectful or abusive parents on a regular basis. Steve usually found it useful to carry a copy of the New York Times with him and pretend to read it, following Nutbuster’s antics through a small slit cut in the paper, so he could avoid vituperative parents. Once Nutbuster wreaked vengeance on the unsuspecting humans (and they were unsuspecting, as the only person able to understand Nutbuster was Steve), she would run to Steve and chitter away on his shoulder; he would keep the New York Times up until the other humans left, and that was the basis of many a fine afternoon spent in the park in all seasons. 

Steve did not like being outside much in the winter, but Nutbuster loved it, so Steve dutifully picked up Nutbuster’s travel case and carried her into his large black SUV. They parked at the entrance to a local park that offered skating and snacks in winter. Steve was not much for skating but like many New Yorkers he enjoyed roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate, so he decided he would content himself with these while Nutbuster, in her own way, fought crimes among the parents of the children at the skating rink. 

Nuts in one hand, hot chocolate in the other, Steve nodded toward Nutbuster, a pink and gray blur as she made her way through the crowds of people around the skating rink, listening for evidence of criminal activity. 

Nutbuster found one family, then another. Her superbly sharp senses were activated when she saw two children, much too old to be dressed by their mother, having their coats zipped together. 

“This is so you don’t get separated,” said the bossy, fairly plain-looking woman. She had a greying dark brown bob that was cut too short, so that her ears were visible. Nutbuster chittered irritably to herself. She disapproved of haircuts that reminded her of ones originating from bowls and grandparents with poor vision and do-it-yourself barbering kits. 

The children’s hair looked no better, and Nutbuster watched closely. She pressed a button on the side of her luchador mask and computerized goggles slid down over her face. She chittered instructions to her mask and inside her goggles, green symbols appeared, telling her the names and financial status of the family she was looking at. 

Absent father, Nutbuster read. Lucy McGee, overprotective mother. Germophobic. 

The mother was busy spraying Lysol on the bench she had cleared so that she and her children could use it. Nutbuster coughed. 

She was just about to turn away when Mrs. McGee tugged at the nearest child (Paul, Nutbuster noted) and the other child his coat had been zipped to (Maggie, Nutbuster noted) stumbled and fell. Both children fell face-first into the snow. 

Mrs. McGee grabbed Paul and Maggie, roughly dragged them upright, and started swabbing their faces and hands with Lysol wipes. The running commentary gave Nutbuster new resolve.

“Such clumsy children! You get that from your father. Stop it, Paul. Your hands are not clean, I have to wipe them again. Maggie, stop crying. You wouldn’t have fallen if you weren’t so clumsy. This is your fault. If you can’t stay clean I am going to have to take you home.”

Nutbuster quickly scanned the nearby area. There was a hot dog lying on the ground covered in gooey mustard. Nutbuster grabbed a large globule of mustard, then sprang into action. She grabbed the fabric of Mrs. McGee’s designer pants and clawed her way up, leaving traces of mustard; as Mrs. McGee screamed, Nutbuster sprang at her face and shoved the globule of mustard into Mrs. McGee’s large open mouth. 

Wiping her forepaws and arms in Evelyn’s hair to remove most of the mustard, Nutbuster then sprang toward the children. They cowered, but Nutbuster merely grabbed the zipper that joined them and unzipped the two coats. 

“Be free!” Nutbuster chittered, and made a “come on” motion with her left forepaw. The children followed her. 

Behind them, Mrs. McGee choked and gurgled. She fell backwards into the snow. 

Nutbuster ran slowly so the children could keep sight of her, and made a beeline for Steve. 

Sighing, Steve drained the last of his hot chocolate. 

“Hi, kids,” he said, when Maggie and Paul reached him. 

“Is that your mother?” 

He pointed at Mrs. McGee. There was a crowd gathering around her, and she was quickly obscured from view. 

“Sort of,” said Paul. 

“Can I have some chestnuts?” asked Maggie. 

Steve held out his packet of chestnuts. Maggie took two. 

“Can we play with your squirrel?” asked Paul. 

Steve looked at Nutbuster. 

Nutbuster chittered, and Steve said, “She’d like that. I’ll check on your mother.”

Nutbuster made the “come on” motion again and led Paul and Maggie toward the skate rental area. Steve watched as the kids obtained skates, put them on, and started wobbling around the skating rink. 
Sighing, Steve decided he had waited long enough and decided to go check on the mother. By the time he had reached where she was, he found her in the arms of an EMT, dramatically flourishing and asking for oxygen. 

“You don’t need oxygen, ma’am”, the EMT was saying. He looked pained. 

Mrs. McGee coughed and pretended to faint. The EMT awkwardly tried catch her and she slid to the ground, and screamed. 

“There’s nothing wrong with you, ma’am. I’m here to treat people who actually are in some sort of distress.”

On the ground, Mrs. McGee rolled and groaned. 

Steve wondered if he should mention that her children were safe. He checked over one shoulder- Paul and Maggie were fine, circling the skating rink while Nutbuster jumped from one’s shoulders to the other’s. He decided not to get involved. Let the kids enjoy their afternoon skating, he decided. 

He retreated to his bench with a new cup of hot chocolate and sat and watched the children skating. 

About an hour later, Mrs. McGee remembered her children and rose from her apparent deathbed to look for them. 

Steve whistled a warning, and Nutbuster signaled to the kids that they should get off the ice. She led them to Steve, bowed, and burrowed into Steve’s jacket pocket just in time to avoid being seen by Mrs. McGee, who came barreling down on them.

“What are you doing with my children?” she demanded. 

“Nothing at all, ma’am, these kids were just out skating and came over here, I had nothing to do with it,” said Steve. 

“We thought he was selling nuts,” said Paul, quickly. Maggie nodded.
 
“Come on, we are leaving,” said Mrs. McGee. “Both of you need baths. This park is filthy. The squirrels! I was attacked! I need to see a doctor!” 

She grabbed Maggie and Paul, but each child squirmed away. 

“What are you doing?”

“We can walk on our own.”

After a moment, Mrs. McGee said, “Fine,” and the children turned and waved at Nutbuster, who emerged from Steve’s pocket to gesture flamboyantly at them. 

Steve and Nutbuster watched the McGees leave the park, and Steve looked into his pocket. 

“This is a dry clean only jacket,” he said. “There’s mustard in here.”

Nutbuster chittered at him. 

Steve sighed. 

“As you wish,” he said. “All done for today?”

Nutbuster chittered. 

“All right then, we go home and then a bath for both of us.”

Nutbuster chittered. 

“Fine, you first,” said Steve, and the superhero squirrel and her human sidekick left the park.

A Toast to Difficult Journeys

Dear readers- I’m not even sure how many of you there are as subscribers, but I want you to know I value all of you very much.

I’ve had a difficult month or so, and I’ve been focusing on important paperwork as well as self-care, now that my work for my science lab is done with (as far as I know). I did mean last weekend to work on a podcast for my series, this one about clinical trials. I just became overwhelmed with what felt a lot like traumatic memory and instead of shoving these aside to focus on something else, I decided to sit quietly with this information, and just listen to what sorts of ideas or memories would come surfacing.

I’ve gotten a lot of information. A LOT. And it was very useful. I have a ton of ideas all layered like an onion, and I can’t really give away the basic premise but it’s just brilliant and now I have a season finale for my possible series October 6th. I had one but this one might be better. I am just brimming with ideas for new slants to stories.

I also have come to terms with some personal growth, and I for one feel very much like the exercises I went through (focusing on what my psyche was trying to tell me, sitting quietly with my thoughts many times, and just paying attention to clues from my subconscious- images, impressions, phrases, just instead of imprinting meaning on them, trying on a variety of meanings and then letting them percolate; and also, musing over what seemed to me to be an ever-evolving storyline about my past and my family) were useful. I have realized a few things about my family, and my place in it.

I also have realized a few things about some of the cruelty I endured as a child, both real cruelty and other forms that seem unreal and occurred later in my life, but are not out of the realms of possibility. I have realized that there was always an unspoken message in much of it, an assumption of knowledge on my part about certain events that I lacked.

I’m making inquiries about that. I feel very much like the process of sitting with and listening to my thoughts, particularly the more traumatic ones, and following chains of thought and then analyzing logically what they may mean in terms of real world events, has paid off.

In the meantime, for fiction, I’ve been inspired by some of the writing advice of Stephen King, and also writing advice from Chuck Wendig. Both these guys have a lot of great things to say about the process of writing, and in particular, one major idea: get your butt in the chair and write. Just do it, write. Stop procrastinating.

I’ve got a lot of writing ahead of me. My stories will not write themselves. And I now have a new slant on an entry into what I am calling the Diamond Series, a set of quasi-autobiographical stories loosely based on my life, and it’s a doozy. Title TBA. I am tempted to call this one The Child from Omelas, an homage to Ursula LeGuin.

2016?

I’m feeling a little better than I had been, but I’m plagued by a recurring notion that people calling me right around now (or in the past weeks) have been getting me in 2016. I can’t explain this. I just seem to remember phone calls from 2016 that I didn’t understand then that are relevant to things happening now. Around August, so I didn’t even know anything about Trump being elected, let alone the current pandemic.

Time travel features prominently in my work, and so this sort of thing is probably something I’ll write about- I’m feeling better than I had been (I think I went through a slightly manic phase, then a slightly depressed phase, and am only now resuming what I hope is normalcy). I might be able to write it today, if I can get some quiet time. I don’t have anything pressing to do once I scan and email some paperwork.

It’s frustrating to tell yourself “just rest and do nothing for a while,” but apparently that has worked in my case, because this morning (aside from wondering about misdirected phone calls) I feel a lot more like myself.

Dear readers, this pandemic is hard on everyone’s mental health, and you yourself might need some time away from a busy schedule or pressing worries- however you handle your forms of stress, I hope you make time for yourself, for self-care, and remember that you are just as important as everybody else you might be taking care of.

Morning thoughts

There are times I really hate being bipolar. Sometimes it’s like being given 10,000 small weird gifts all at once by someone insisting you open them NOW, and you spend all your time unwrapping and trying to figure them out so you can get on with the rest of your life.

In fictioneering news, the past few weeks have gifted me with several rather bizarre entire novel plots, some of which have some similarities to things I’ve already written, and some of which are very new. Given that I have upwards of 60 story ideas already, I might write down these new ones in case they are useful, but I’m getting tired of having ideas but not enough energy to do actual writing.

I’m trying to follow advice and rest and do self-care for at least a few days so I can shut off the pipeline of weird thoughts that generated these new ideas; I don’t know what triggered this particular episode- I think just contemplating my time in one department on my campus was enough! I had a really bad time then and worked in a very hostile environment that I found intellectually stifling and psychologically almost abusive. I never had a specific thing I could pin down that was outright abuse, though. Anyway, just remembering that building and those people might have triggered some very paranoid thoughts, and I’m trying to let all the dust kicked up by my psyche settle.

In the meantime, sifting through the ideas this particular spate of paranoid thinking has provided, I’ve possibly considered something that might work as part of my series October 6th, though I have to figure out how the creepy new character I thought of would fit, and I’ve dreamed up some major points in a sequel to Infinity. I meant Infinity to be a standalone book, but I guess it won’t be. I thought of a crime drama plot as well. Plus I’m thinking of turning my entire “Hamlet’s play” series of blog posts into something more substantial. There’s a lot to unpack there and much of what I’ve written for them falls into different stories already, but I like the idea of a writer who has no proof of crimes, only hunches, using fiction to trap criminals.

Here’s hoping my next post will be from a more psychologically well frame of mind.