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August 19th, 2014

The shit going down in Ferguson is fucked up enough that I have nothing to say about it that would not be better left to someone -- anyone -- not white and far, far away from that shit.  So let's just take it as read that I'm upset and fearful and deeply, deeply saddened.

And since Tumblr has been more or less a steady horror show, I'm going to avoid it here, for my own sanity.

The rest of this post will be total randomness.

We made goal on the Forbidden Island campaign thanks to an incredibly generous donor, and I am pretty much floored by it.  Thank you.  Thank you to everyone, even if all you did was sit through it and grit your teeth.  It is appreciated.

My rosacea, which had become hellish, is almost completely gone, knock on wood, and I am so happy about that I could cry.  No, wait, I have cried.  I feel pretty again.  Not, like, as pretty as I DID, there's still redness and spots occasionally, but it is mostly GONE and I am not in PAIN in my stupid FACE.  It may come back, which fills me with dread, but I want to try to get some pictures of me taken soon before that maybe happens, because I DO like having cute pictures of myself to look at.  I just need to experiment with the new mineral makeup samples I got a while back.  Which will require a friend and some natural lighting.

I have been helping a friend move and get set up in their new place and so I've been tired, and the depression is what it is, and I've been cranky about that bit.  The moving/organizing bit is not bad at all, just physically tiring.  But I love this person, and spending time with them is peaceful.  Also, I get to be buddies with their cats, too, which is nice.

I took a clonazepam about an hour ago and then threw away a whole trash bag full of stuff from my bathroom that I don't need.  Just . . . junk.  Out it goes.  It was surprisingly easy, for a task that was impossible before the anti-anxiety meds.  I think I have found a workable strategy for getting the initial highly stressful "throwing shit the fuck away" phase underway!   I cannot do this too often or bad things happen, but if I'm going to be taking one for a panic attack anyway, I might as well use the happy period afterward to get some shit done without angst and misery!

I am working on getting my studio back in working order, so I can paint more ponies, work on some Monster High dolls, and just in general get to work on shit I have been meaning to do for way too long.  I don't know if I will succeed, but I'm going to try.  And I would really like a thump on the shoulder for that one, and a "good boy," because goddamn, just trying is really hard when I feel so overwhelmed.

You know the really frustrating part?  That I have so many people willing to help me out, and I honestly cannot figure out HOW they might be able to do so.  Like, I have a friend who is ace at organizing and bossing around, both of which are useful traits.  I have another who is patient and kind and will bear me along and keep me company and gladly do things if directed to.  I have a third who will do probably anything I need her to do, including keep hold of things for me if I temporarily need help with that.  I have a husband who is good at reducing problems to their sticking point and addressing that.  And I cannot organize and deploy these people effectively because the whole thing is just such a sprawling mess.

I will try.  I will talk to lovely bossy friend this week to see what she might be able to help with.  And after that, gentle friend and all-purpose friend can help with specific things.

And between now and then, I will take as much trash and stuff I will never use out of my studio as I can.  At least two bags or boxes a day.  I can do that.  I can.

That is as much of a plan as I have.

There's a thing I believe really firmly and it applies to all sorts of things.  Emergencies, combat, roleplaying game dice-fail fiascos, real-life injustice and horror, fiction writing, art in general.  That is "What you do does not matter as much as that you do something."  Like, that is one of the truest things ever.  So I am trying to do that.  I give good advice sometimes.  Why not follow it?

There is lightning in my brain lately, so much going on, so many feelings until it's just like white noise, and there's no resolving any of it.  So I guess it's time to start trying to function through it.  I can be confused while sitting still, or I can be confused while making small improvements and maybe having a little fun.  Perhaps soon I will feel really playful and happy again in more than two-hour bursts.

I'm an amazing person.  I'd like to prove that to myself again someday, you know?

I told you this was random.  I'm very tired and also a little loopy.

Tell me about things you were able to get done, and what made it easier for you to do so, psychologically.  Or materially.  Problems you had to solve, and how you solved them.  Talk to me.  I'm lonely.

I love you, everyone.  I get very lovey on clonazepam.  I like to think that's how I really am, and the pain and anxiety and depression just gets in the way of that.  I like to think I am that good a person.

X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

August 13th, 2014

The Forbidden Island: 103%

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WE MADE GOAL!

Thank you for spreading the word!

We are about 36 hours from the end of the campaign for The Forbidden Island, and we could still use whatever you have to spare, so if you haven't donated yet, please consider doing so!  We need all the help we can get, honestly.  Five bucks.  Ten bucks.  It feeds us.

This does put us in a better position.  We're very grateful for everything you all have done so far to help out.

<3  Thank you.

You're the best.

I'm gonna go collapse now.  Very tired.  Long few days, here.
X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

August 10th, 2014

From a friend!

There is a pair of kitties in Lexington that needs your help. Their current caretaker is very allergic to them - she is literally risking her life, and she's finally hit the point where she cannot do it any more. They were dumped on her, and she has done her best by them. The kitties are a 2.5 year old brother and sister pair. They have never been separated, so if it's at all possible, they should be adopted together.

She can only keep them through Wed or Thurs, and after that, they go to the shelter. Anyone interested can reach me at kalitheblaze@gmail.com, and I will relay to her. She really doesn't want to take them to the shelter if she can find a good home for them. And of course, she wants to meet whoever is interested in the kitties if possible.

Here's her message about them:

Basic information: i'm in Lexington Kentucky and willing to drive up to 100 miles (this is an average road trip distance for me). The cats are around 2.5 years old, up to date on shots until April, are microchipped, and are brother/sister and really should stay together if humanly possible, they've never been separated. They would come with any food/litter i have left, cat bed, cat toys, cat brush, carriers, and a small cat perch (they have 6 foot cat trees but i can't fit those in my car, even dismantled). They do not bite or scratch people, and i've trained them not to claw my furniture (though the bottom of the couch is another matter, i'm not sure why they feel the need to rip the bottom out).

The brown one is brother cat, his name (and he occasionally responds to it) is Wunjo. He's a bit rambunctious and while he likes attention sometimes he gets the "too cool for you" attitude when it comes to being petted. He also thinks he's too cool to be brushed even though he gets mats without it. His favorite toy is those yellow rubber LiveStrong bands (or similar ones).





sister cat is the grey one, she refuses to respond to a name but she's known as Radha. Very shy and skittish with new people but can't get enough attention from people she knows. She purrs so loudly and will rub up against people so hard she falls over. Also needs regular brushing, most of the cat hair tumbleweeds in the house come from her. She isn't big on many cat toys, she mostly just wants to be petted.

 

There you have it!

Please reblog/repost!

Sounds like a really lovely Beta/Gamma pair.  They will make someone fine housemates.  Please help get the word out!


X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

August 9th, 2014

The Forbidden Island: 71%

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Please come help us out on the Forbidden Island campaign!  We have five days left, and $1,200 to raise!

Here is a post on Tumblr you can boost!

Please take the time to share it.  It only takes a second to reblog, and it really helps.  We have a long way to go, and things don't look so great, so I'm really hoping that we can get the word out and get this done so we don't havew to forfeit part of the money if we don't make it.

Thanks, everyone.

Again, even ten bucks helps.  Please consider it.
X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

August 6th, 2014

So we were way far from goal, and we got an extension from Indiegogo, which means we have 10 days left to hit our target.  The book is proceeding apace, and I think this crazy mashup of King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Tarzan is going to be a whole lot of fun.

So please, if you can head on over to our campaign page and throw something our way.

Annnnd here's a little excerpt to give you a sample.  Our characters have been marooned on a savage island in the Indian Ocean, they don't really trust each other, and now they find the place is not as deserted as they thought...

The scream woke her up in the pit of night.  The fire was burned low and she could scarcely see anything.  For a moment Cecily was not sure where she was, sat panting in the near darkness.  She opened her mouth to call out when a hand clamped over it and silenced her.  "Shhhhhhh," a voice whispered in her ear.  "Keep quiet."  She recognized Buck's low voice and massive hands.

He let go of her and she turned to look at him, saw Simon and Ragland already awake, crouched by the fire.  She jumped as she heard something thud against the roof, sending bits of it rattling down.  She swallowed, turned to speak right in Buck's ear in the lowest whisper she could manage.  "What is it?"

"Don't know," he said in the same almost breathless voice.  "But it's big."

It screamed again, something primordial and terrible, an ascending shriek that cut through the night and seemed to go on longer than any sound made by an animal had a right to.  Cecily twitched as she heard something move across the roof, the spars and beams creaking.  She heard something paw at the sailcloth and she scooted back closer to Buck, just then realizing she was naked as the day she was born.  Her sweaty skin moved against his own, and she knew she reeked of sex.

"Stay down," he said softly and moved away from her, reached into a shadow and came up with a hatchet, gleaming darkly in the glow of the embers.  He paused for a moment, all of them listening to the low sounds of something moving around on the roof of the treehouse.  Then Buck passed her the hatchet and motioned toward Ragland, and she nodded and reached to hand it over while Buck dug around and came up with a keen-edged cutlass.

The frame of the roof creaked, and then they all heard the distinct thump of a weight landing on the ledge just outside the makeshift curtain.  Cecily crawled backward away from it, while Buck and Ragland turned to face it.  It was pitch dark outside, and little better in here, so there was nothing to show what was out there.  They all held still, listening for a moment, breathless.  A soft pattering fell on the roof, and after a terrified moment Cecily realized it was rain.  She heard the trees around them come alive with the sound of raindrops, and then something just outside snorted and growled, a deep and resonant sound that seemed to vibrate in her chest.

ADVENTURE!
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August 2nd, 2014

Forbidden Island: 63%

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Hey, guys! 

We really need your help on the Forbidden Island campaign.

Please give it a go, if you haven't already.  We aren't bringing in enough to cover what we need to live, and anything you can give would be very much appreciated.  We got an extension to give us a better chance of making it, but with only 10 days left, we're kind of dragging, and I'm really worried we won't make it this time.

Thanks for helping.  Spread the word if you can.

I'll update again soon with a link to a tumblr post, but if you could go ahead and spread the word now, that'd be really great.
X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

July 26th, 2014

Hey!  We could use a hand.  We only have ten days left on the Indiegogo for The Forbidden Island, and aren't even at 50% yet, so we could really use your help.

I'm supposed to be doing a good job of selling this to y'all and I'm falling down on that because I'm just . . . bottom of the barrel.  I live there nowadays.  I'm okay, mostly, but I can't muster enthusiasm for much of anything.  I'm sorry.  Work on fulfillment for other campaigns proceeds.  We're trying.  I'm trying.  I'm catching up.  Slowly, but surely.

So throw some help our way if you can, any amount.  Five bucks, ten bucks.  This feeds us.  This keeps a roof over our heads.  I know I repeat myself, I'm sorry, and I know I should be chipper, but . . . goddamn, this wears on you after a while.  If you can help, help.  Please.  I really appreciate it.

Finished the course of meds that were meant to treat the painful digestive issues I'd been having.  Now I get to wait to see if it comes back, which is possible, in which case at least we have an effective drug that cannot be used continuously, but could be used to give me a month-long-ish "holiday" from the pain a couple times a year, provided Medicaid will keep covering the $1,400 price tag of repeated treatments.  If not, at least I had a little over a month of getting to enjoy normal foods.

That . . . is . . . the most upsetting couple of sentences I have ever typed.

This medication also helped my rosacea, and has reduced it so much there's only redness and one vaguely pimple-y spot left.  That probably won't last, but it's nice to not have my face hurt all the time.  My skin texture is still ruined from both the rosacea and the topical treatments, far beyond the ability of beauty products to remedy.  And that hurts.  I should get some new pictures of myself while I can still remove make-up without pain and bleeding.

I'm trying not to be too upset or afraid that it will come back, all of it.  But it probably will, and I'm trying to . . . tank up, I guess, and deal with that possibility as best I can.  Which, I'll be honest, isn't very.  I'm scared as hell.

I know a lot of y'all deal with way worse, which is why I haven't been talking about/complaining about this much, but it eats at me.

Think good thoughts for me, please.  Please.  I'm sorting through so much complicated life crap right now, and I'm so confused, and so lost, and I really need all the good wishes I can get.

Love you all.

I'll try to be more cheerful soon.

X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

July 24th, 2014

Originally posted by nonnycat at [unfiltered] Home needed for elderly dog in Western Washington; urgent
My girlfriend Omi is in need of a new home for her 16 year old (as far as we can guess; she is at least that old, perhaps older) Aussie Shepard, Sadie. She does not wish to rehome Sadie, but we are faced with very few options. At this point, she has had to make the very difficult decision that she can no longer adequately care for Sadie due to disability. We live in the Olympia, WA, area.

Sadie is a lovely dog. She is friendly, easy to get along with, she's awesome with children, no issues with cats, or other animals. She will growl if cats or other animals try to steal her food, but she has never bitten or snapped at the animals, or people.

Here is the problem. She's getting older, and at this point she has a three hour bladder, almost like clockwork. She has always been an indoor dog, and is utterly terrified of the outdoors. We have set up a dog run and despite our best efforts, she has managed to tangle herself in the line regularly. She will do this until someone comes out to untangle her, but upon someone going inside, she will immediately re-tangle herself. She is also Houdini dog and will wiggle out of her harness regularly and try to bury under fences. She must be an indoor dog..

She is also going on a hunger strike. She is scattering her food and refusing to eat. The apartment that Omi and her family have been able to find does not allow dogs, and my rental home does not allow indoor dogs. Even if we could have Sadie indoors, most of our household is disabled and on vacillating sleep schedules. It is simply not possible to arrange to walk her every three hours (or less; it has crept up to every hour at points), especially now that she is not signaling when she needs to be walked.

More minor issues are that she is arthritic, although she does not seem to be in pain. She is deaf in some ranges, but not completely. Prior to Omi and family adopting her, she was raised by a household that did not care for her. This has resulted in a few things, such as she is triggered by men in plaid shirts and baseball caps. She was never properly trained, and by the time Omi adopted her at age five, no amount of training was successful.

Unfortunately, nearly everyone in the household is disabled with chronic pain at this point, with the exception of those who are working and thus do not have time to walk a dog on a three hour schedule. It is simply not possible to give her the care that she needs, as much as we want to. This is not a decision that has been made lightly. She is very loved, and this is breaking my girlfriend's heart, but it is the best for Sadie.

She is very sweet, lovable, and kind. She likes to tuck people in at night, and she protects those she loves. With her age and arthritis, she is not very active, but she is very loving. She is an amazing dog who just needs people who are physically able to meet her needs. There is a video of her here, if you would like to see what she's like.

Again, we are in Olympia, WA. We are willing to drive her to Seattle or Portland (or another city of similar distance, but 2hrs is about the max based on health issues). If anyone is interested, please contact Omi at omimouse@hotmail.com, and please CC her husband Louis at louis.adkins@hotmail.com.

Please re-post and boost the signal if you can. Thank you so much!

This entry was originally posted at http://nonny.dreamwidth.org/519989.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

July 20th, 2014

Felt identifiably sick the past few days, but not with any specific symptoms.  No cold-like symptoms, no congestion, coughing, no nausea either, nothing.  I just feel exhausted and achy and . . . just shitty.

Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.  Good wishes appreciated.  I don't have the mental/emotional energy to deal with this shit right now.

Been having major emotional upheaval lately, and it shows no sign of resolving, and I'm just . . . tired.  And that particular kind of hopeless that doesn't mean I'm going to lie down and die, but means I don't have any real hope.  Like, things are changing, and they will keep changing, and I have no real hope that any of it will be to my advantage in any way, and I'm so tired of shit going wrong, or just being hateful and frustrating in general, that I honestly don't give a fuck what happens to anyone else, I just want what's best for me.  And I'm so close to being willing to hurt people* to get it, and that frightens me.

Congratulations, Life.  You've finally made me totally selfish.

Ugh.

This is how I feel all the time.

No, really, that's worth a watch.  It is the perfect expression of just being so tired of literally everything.  I have watched it dozens of times over the last few months, and it always makes me laugh, even as I feel it gives voice to some deep inner frustration within my soul.

* I mean be awful, manipulative, deceitful, and cruel.  Not murderous.  I want to stress hurt, not harm.  I don't see how physically harming anyone would solve anything, here.
X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

July 18th, 2014

The Forbidden Island: 42%!

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Emelia, Cuteness, Kittens
The Forbidden Island is at 42%! 

That's actually really good, but we still need your help to make goal!

Between us we've got under two hundred bucks in the bank right now, which is really scraping the bottom of the barrel, and that has to last until the end of the month.

I'm going to the doctor at the end of the month to get my IUD switched out, and I'm not sure how much of that I'm going to have to pay for.  I'll be calling them tomorrow to find out, but if it's not 100% covered, donations will help me defray that.

The meds I need refilled this month are covered, but Medicaid will not cover the $100 probiotics I'm going to have to reorder next week.*  So please, lend a hand if you can?  If you don't want a perk, you don't have to take one.  You can just donate.  But consider it.  And spread the word if you can.

This is beating me down.  I'm trying very hard to make this work, we're trying.  I hate begging, I hate having to do it for several weeks every few months, but . . . this shitty country and the shitty way it treats poor and disabled people isn't giving me many options, here.

Please help out.

And if you can't, please think good thoughts for us.

* Yes.  This is the only brand I'm comfortable using, and I have to use it.  It's working and given the awful pain I was in before I'm too scared to switch right now before the treatment I'm on is over.  And I'm just really, really scared to go without them.
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July 6th, 2014

The Forbidden Island: 27%

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We're at 27% on The Forbidden Island!  Thank you for all your help so far!

We still have 30 days left, so if you want to save up for a perk, there should hopefully be time.

Again, if you don't want a perk, you can just flat-out throw money at us through the giant pink CONTRIBUTE NOW button, and enter your own amount.  Even five bucks is helpful.

So drop on by!
  Help us make goal!  Every bit helps us stay afloat a little longer.  We really appreciate it, and couldn't do it without you.  The asshole cats appreciate it, too.  I promise I'll try to post pics of them next time, but they are both doing well and are as annoying and adorable as ever.
X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

July 5th, 2014

I only recently ran across this article at Womanist Musings from back in September of 2012.

It's called "Annoying are the peacemakers, for they will call for our silence", and it's all so immensely quotable that you should just go ahead and read it.  I do like this bit:

Y’see, Peacemakers, every time you speak, what I tend to hear is “sit down and shut up.” Because I, we, aren’t talking just to cause trouble, or because we love a good fight – and no, we don’t. It’s the biggest straw man in the world that marginalised people ENJOY these battles to be treated like full human beings. We’re speaking up – angrily – because we have to. We’re speaking up to protect ourselves. But you’re trying to stop us doing so.

Silence supports the status quo. Our peace, our refusing to make waves, ensures that the world will continue as it is – and as it is is oppressive, prejudiced, bigoted and deeply unjust. It is hurting us and we need to speak to stop that. You stop us fighting and you help those attacking us and holding us down.

Right now, in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling about Hobby Lobby and birth control, I'm especially feeling this.  How am I supposed to meet someone halfway when they are are legislating away my right to make my own medical decisions?  How am I supposed to meet someone halfway when they don't think I deserve the same rights as everyone else, so they're trying to take mine away?  Where the fuck is the "halfway" on wanting me to have fewer rights than a dead body?

Meeting people halfway on legislation only leads to people wanting to be met halfway again.  You lose another half of your ground.  Why should I want to give up my safety by halves to keep things "civilized" and "peaceful"?  Because it doesn't feel either civilized or peaceful to me.  It feels like being threatened and attacked, and told to be nice about the entirely justifiable noise I make when someone really, really hurts me.  On fucking purpose.

I'm not interested in giving bigots and regressives a free pass to walk away from the shit they do and say without being challenged.  If I choose not to challenge or engage, that's my choice.  But I am not going to let someone else tell me I shouldn't because it's not nice.

That's not peace.  That's silence.  There's a difference.

(This entry originally appeared on Silver Into Steel.  Comment here or there, either is good!)

X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

July 1st, 2014

I believe I have achieved a first.

I got a doctor-ordered "go fuck yourself" today.

No, really.  She wants me to take a little while to let a pesky issue clear up, then wants me to go at it with the biggest toys I have to check to see if it's resolved.

I . . . well.  Wow.  I mean.  Umm.  Like I said.  A first for me.  I think that might have been awesome?

Anyway, we're at 18% on The Forbidden Island.  We still need donations to keep solvent, so keep linking and, if you can, donate.  Even five bucks adds up.  And we really need it.

This one is shaping up to be fun, and I really like our lead.  She's just . . . not having any of your shit today, thank you.

We have great perks, including original drawings of random stuff, so go check it out!

(Really, I think it'd be pretty cool getting a cute little atmospheric piece of fluffy art mailed to you.)

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June 26th, 2014

The Forbidden Island: 16%

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Jandar Sad, Sad
Come check out the campaign for The Forbidden Island!

We're at 16% with 39 days to go!

We still have tons of great perks, including random original drawings, bonus scenes, and guest appearances.

Progress on the other campaigns' perks proceeds apace.  I haven't been feeling very much myself and I do pretty much all the formatting and design work myself, as well as art perks, so things have fallen behind, but I am working hard every day to catch up, and I hope to clear the backlog soon.  

We'd really appreciate anything you can throw our way.  Your support is important to us, and necessary.  It helps us keep a roof over our heads, and pays for the meds and such that Medicaid just refuses to cover.

So please take a minute, hike over to Indiegogo, and poke around a bit.

Thanks!

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June 18th, 2014

The Forbidden Island!

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Hey, everyone, new project launch!



It's that time.  New campaign.  We've raised the goal on this and extended the time, since our expenses aren't exactly going down.

I posted on Tumblr about it, and you can find that here for purposes of reblogging.

Here's the text, if you'd rather repost on LJ instead.  A real-life update is coming soon.  There's just been a lot of crap gong on and I have been in a really low place.  Sorry I haven't been in communication as much as usual.

Anyway, the text:

Hi!

My husband and I are running an Indiegogo campaign to fund our erotica novel, The Forbidden Island, a high adventure porn romance.

Why should you care?

I’m disabled — bipolar II and panic disorder — and cannot work. The government money doesn’t even cover our mortgage. I’m on meds and nutritional supplements to manage rosacea and IBS that Medicaid refuses to pay for, and which run about $200 a month. Basically, this is our only source of income besides EBT and SSDI, and our expenses outweigh our income.

You should also care because it will be awesome:

In 1773 Lord and Lady Blackwood, along with their daughter Hannah, sailed into uncharted seas and vanished, leaving behind only their youngest daughter, Cecily, barely out of infancy.

Now, fifteen years later, Cecily is grown and seeks to solve the mystery of her family’s disappearance. She sails into the same mysterious corner of the Indian Ocean in search of the same island her father sought - the Forbidden Island.

There she will face danger, mystery, pirates, lust, and the secrets of a lost civilization, as she tries to unravel what happened to her parents, and what has become of her sister.


So please, if you’d be kind enough to help out, please go take a look. You can donate any amount, and you don’t have to take a perk. We have some fun perks, though, including guest appearances, and a custom pirate pony. (I customize My Little Ponies. More on that later, or on request.)

If y’all could reblog, that would be fantastic. This is seriously how we get by, and it’s still close to the edge.

Here’s the link again!

May 22nd, 2014

Forseeable futures.

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Jandar Sad, Sad
I've already said it, but I'll be scarce for a while.  I don't know how long.  I am not suicidal, so don't worry about that.  But I'm not doing well, either.  You've probably gathered that.

My life is really broken right now, and I can't even talk about it here like I usually would because it's mostly stuff that involves other people, and discussing it publicly would be unethical.  So if I can't talk about the shit that is going down, I find myself without a whole lot to say. 

Sorry, guys.  I just don't have the will to do more than reblog stuff on Tumblr.  (I'm http://naamahdarling.tumblr.com/ over there, in case you've somehow missed it.)  And I'm stuck in the ugly position of being lonely and bored and too tired to make my own fun.  I'm not being productive at all.  I can't . . . I just can't make things work.  Anything.  So I've been retreating as far into my imaginary people and places as I possibly can while being unable to write a damn thing, and praying that will allow me to save at least some of myself.

You've been supportive and wonderful for so long, and I wish I could be the beast I used to be for you.  I've just lost a lot of fight lately, and I don't feel very beastly.  I feel entirely too human, hardly a monster at all.  I've never wanted to be human, so this is disturbing.

I don't know what happened.  And I don't know what will happen.

Thank you, everyone, for helping us out.  Thank you for donating to the campaigns and spreading the word.  You're all that keeps us afloat.  I live in actual fear of losing that.  I don't know what we would do without you.  Thank you.

I'm sorry if I'm not as responsive as I ought to be.  I know a lot of you are going through your own really hard shit right now, and I'm sorry I can't be there for you in the way I normally would be.  Things are just . . . I can't talk about it, but they aren't very good right now.

Just keep me in your thoughts, okay?  I don't know if it does any good beyond making sure you don't forget me, but . . . it can't hurt.

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May 18th, 2014

One Last Time Around

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Lucian Throwbacks
Originally posted by sargon999 at One Last Time Around
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Okay, we only have 3 days left for the Sky Pirates of the Rio Grande book campaign, but that's okay because we only have $45 left to go.  This was intended to get us a printed book, as well as fill up a bit of financial shortfall before the next full campaign kicks in sometime next month.  There's still time, help us make goal.  We're had a shitty month, and we could use a break.

May 12th, 2014

Unavailable for a bit.

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Lucian Throwbacks
I'm going to be unavailable for a while.  Sorry about outstanding obligations or appointments.  Don't know when I'll get to those.

I won't be answering questions or messages until some things get sorted out.

Back soon, hopefully.

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May 5th, 2014

It looks like our car might be dead.  Or it could be something minor.  WHO CAN SAY.

If y'all could donate to the Sky Pirates print edition campaign, or Paypal donations straight to sargon999@hotmail.com, that'd be great, because we can't fix it otherwise.

I just . . . I'm so done with this.  I'm so fucking done.

Please help.  Just . . . we can't keep up with anything, and I'm so fucking done.
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April 27th, 2014

Just a quick cut and paste from Sargon's journal to announce a mini-campaign for Sky Pirates of the Rio Grande, the book that comes before Queen of the Sky Frontier.  If you donated to the QotSF campaign and got a print book, you might check this one out and get a print version of this one as well, because having a printed version of a middle volume is just . . . well, if you're like me, it will drive you batty.

Due to unexpected expenses -- car repairs being high on that list, as well as some home repairs -- our funds are running low prematurely, so we could really use the support.

We're trying to keep this high profit for us, so we're only offering two perks: one book or both books.  You can give amounts other than $30 or $50, just click on the "Contribute Now" button and enter your own amount!

So toss $5 or $10 our way if you want to help out!  We'd be really grateful!
 

SkyPiratesCover400x600


We are running a mini-campaign to produce hard copies of the first Eden Kane adventure, Sky Pirates of the Rio Grande.  So if you'd like a personalized copy, swing on over and sign up.  This campaign only runs 20 days, but we have a low goal, and I think we can hit it.

Let me stress that if you have a hard copy of the sequel from the Queen of the Sky Frontier campaign you don't have to worry about getting it -- we have those books, and they will be shipped out soon.  This is just in case you want a nice edition of the first book so the sequel is not there on your shelf all alone.  And we added an option to get both for those who may have missed that campaign in the first place.

We're using this to add some funds to our bank account, as well as produce the book (because we want one too) and gauge enthusiasm for the third book, which should come sometime this year.  If the response to this campaign is good, then The Graveyard of Empires will have a better chance of being next on the docket.

So GO Check It Out!
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April 21st, 2014

The Neverending Toil

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Teeth, Violet
I'm climbing out from under the rock of another depressive episode. I currently have about a dozen things on my plate, things I have to do, major things, not minor things. Projects. Ponies, book edits, covers, formatting for print. Things that will take days each. And that's on top of stuff like keeping my bathroom from looking like the guest toilet in R'lyeh and not burying myself under disposable dinnerware in my bedroom. It's a neverending cycle, and no matter how I fight, I can't keep up.


"Annnd it's still there. Lovely."
Image:
"Untitled" by Olivier Ortelpa on Flickr.

That's one of the worst things about depression -- or, I suppose, any other debilitating condition -- you're not just dealing with your own cycle of broken or not broken, you're dealing with the everyday outside world, too, and its rhythms, imposed on you with no regard for your level of ability to cope with it. It keeps running. It leaves you to catch up.

And that weight of catching up, the mountain that builds up and you suddenly have to climb, is a thing that can easily drag you back down. I'm doing well right now, I think. But the morass of stuff I have to do keeps piling up, higher and higher, faster than my ability to deal with it, even when I'm functional.
 
I need to take steps to address that, and I'm working as hard as I can at it -- and being humiliated by the fact that sometimes that is not very hard -- but the simple truth is that even though I'm doing better lately, I'm overloaded. Things are good now, but I know that they will get bad again, and I truly don't think I'll have enough time to clear this workload and deal with incoming work before that happens. I will have to do damage control and muddle along as best I can and pray that the people around me, including the people on whom my continued survival depends, are understanding.

Our concept of disability doesn't really take these cycles into account. Just because a sick person can do things sometimes doesn't mean that it's all fine and dandy during those times. Those are often busy, difficult times, when we try to both clear the backlog of shit that needs to get done, and make some progress moving forward. They are times of normal functioning but not normal workload, and very few of us are equipped with support systems that clear all that work away for us so we can move forward, unimpeded.

That's why things like laundry, or vacuuming, or lawn maintenance can pile up for me. And by the time I get to it, it's a much bigger task than it would have been if I'd just been able to take care of it at the outset. The nature of many mental illnesses and other disabilities is that they can not only screw your ability to buckle down and get things done, they can screw up your ability to do just a little here and a little there. One of the signs that I'm doing better is that I'm cleaning up in five-minute spurts a few times a day. That's an improvement. I'm now stuck with all the work of cleaning up after myself, clearing away the mess left over from all the days I couldn't do anything. I stop, when I am depressed or ill, but the world goes on around me. And it's the same for others who have to deal with this shit.

Another frustrating side effect for me is feeling guilty for doing anything fun, anything for myself. Anything that is not productive. Even at my very best, I feel like I don't do enough. Now, I know that's bullshit, that the idea that I have to earn my place is bullshit, but it's an intellectual knowing, not a knowing-in-my-heart knowing. And I know that not being able to work consistently hurts me. It worsens my circumstances. It makes life harder. It makes my odds poorer. And because that scares me, doing things for myself gives me anxiety. Because mostly, all I have the energy to do is low-impact stuff. Stuff that makes me happy when I'm feeling well, but when I'm not, just provides background noise to cancel out the constant depressive roar. So I look like I'm doing bullshit and fucking off, when . . . really . . . that's all I can do. So when I could choose to do something else and I choose to do what makes me feel good instead (because it's finally actually making me feel good instead of just whiling away the time), I feel terrible.

I do my best to navigate the web of obligation, guilt, and survival, but it's hard. I'm having more good days than bad lately, but even on the best of days it's a lot of work. I'm not miserable today, but I have a hell of a stone to roll uphill, and it sucks that it's never going away.

I want to be able to wrap this up in a pretty bow. I want to give an answer, or say something supportive.

All I can say is that for everyone like me, you aren't alone, this is a normal part of the cycle. And to everyone else, this is what we have to deal with, so please try to understand where we're coming from. X-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment count: comment count unavailable

April 15th, 2014

So this video came across my Tumblr dash, and it triggered a rant.
Basically, the gist is this: a researcher fed volunteers milkshakes. One group got milkshakes that were labeled as low-calorie. The other group got milkshakes labeled as high-calorie. The group given the “high-calorie” milkshakes felt less hungry afterward.

This is an interesting example of the placebo effect, for sure. However, it is now being bandied about as “You can change your metabolism with your miiind!” And, predictably, people are discussing it almost solely in the context of weight-loss dieting. As if it offers hope.



Because I’d like it preserved for posterity, here’s what I said on Tumblr (with a few minor edits):

The fact that this works for one feeding with a single milkshake means nothing. It’s basically a trick to fool your body into feeling fuller, temporarily, but it says nothing about how your body treats hunger over the long term.

See, there are three kinds of hunger.

There’s mechanical hunger, which is your stomach being empty and growling. It says “PUT FOOD IN YOUR STOMACH.”

There’s mouth hunger or aesthetic hunger, which is your need to eat food that satisfies you psychologically. Comfort food, the native foods of your culture, foods whose tastes and textures satisfy you innately. It says “PUT YUMMY THINGS IN YOUR MOUTH!”

And there’s chemical hunger. Chemical hunger is craving … something. That feeling you get when you don’t eat enough fruit for a while, and suddenly you crave citrus. The feeling you get when you are bleeding from your vagina for the tenth day in a row, and would literally murder old ladies for a steak and/or a bucket of bone marrow. The feeling you get when, for no reason you can name, you crave something like almonds or anchovies or really dark chocolate. At its most immediate, it’s the low-blood-sugar shakes and dizziness. At its most insidious, it’s the thing that leads you to eat and eat until you are satisfied. It says “MEET YOUR NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS BECAUSE YOUR CELLS ARE STARVING, YOU NUMBSKULL.”

Reduced ghrelin may not have much effect on mouth hunger, and it absolutely isn’t going to affect chemical hunger. It will affect mechanical hunger, but only for a short time.

As someone who, out of a hateful illness, starved herself for years like nobody else could do it right, I probably know more about actual hunger than most people ever, ever will. I can tell you all kinds of things about it. Things you probably don’t want to know, honestly.

I can tell you right now that I tried all the tricks.

I tried using smaller plates.

I tried drinking loads of water before each meal.

I tried chewing slowly. (SOOOO SLOWLY.)

I tried filling up on really bulky, low-calorie foods.

I tried really small, frequent meals.

I mean, if there was a trick, I tried it. If I’d known about this, I’d have tried this too.

And none of the tricks worked. I was still hungry pretty much every few hours, and the less I ate, the less time it took for me to get hungry. Eventually, I was hungry all the time. Like, I was so hungry I stopped being able to feel mechanical hunger.

No, stop, think about it. My body had become so used to my stomach being empty that it stopped sending me those signals completely. And yet … I was hungry. All the time. Even when I satisfied my mouth hunger, I was hungry. I needed to eat. I can’t even describe what that felt like, except to say that it was overpowering.

When I finally started recovering, I ate whatever I wanted. And for two years, two years, all I wanted to eat was salt, fat, sugar. For several months, I still never felt hungry, but I couldn’t stop eating. I would eat until I felt physically sick, and I still WANTED to eat more. Because I had been starving myself, and that is what starving yourself does.

Because my body knew, it knew, that 700 calories a day was not 2,000 calories a day. It knew it was starving. It thought it was dying.

You cannot fool that. You cannot permanently change your body’s metabolism with tricks. Just because it works once doesn’t mean it will work the nine hundredth time you try it.

So, unless it can trick your body into literally thinking that 100 calories is 300 calories forever and ever, your weight loss tricks are not going to work forever, you will rebound, you will gain back the weight you lose.

Research like this is useful, because knowing how the human body and mind interact is useful.

Research like this in the hands of people who aren’t qualified to draw conclusions from it is not useful. This will no doubt somehow enter the vocabulary of weight-loss “tricks” intended to help desperate and misguided people fool themselves into thinking they are smarter than the literal cells in their body, when they are not. And that is a sad thing.

So for the people saying “If you think of your kale/wheatgrass/quinoa/goat placenta smoothie as really indulgent, you won’t feel hungry afterward!”, you’re wrong. Do it often enough, and you’ll feel hungry constantly.

There’s not a shortcut. I don’t recommend weight-loss dieting to anyone, but if you’re going to pursue it — again, just don’t do this if you still believe all the crap about being thin being a somehow magical state that will insulate you from all kinds of physical and psychological and social ills — you should know that you are working against literally every cell of your body. There’s not a work-around for that. It is a bone-scraping, desperate hunger you will feel every minute of every day, worse and worse the longer you go.

Clever “tricks” like this are sops thrown to you to say “Look, look, it’s easy, look how easy it is! Look how stupid the human body is! Look how much more powerful your brain is! You can totally fool yourself out of being a meat-popsicle that craves fat and starch and salt if you just work at being satisfied with less.”

Lies.

All they do is make it easier to start, and easier to keep limping along pretending nothing is wrong, when you can feel with every fiber of your being that there is.

Whenever new “science” shows something that implies, from research based on a single event, one single meal or item of food, that there is a faster way to lose weight, or an easier way to not feel hungry, give it the stinkiest of all stink-eyes. Because one meal? One meal more or less is not hunger. Not really. The measure of hunger is what happens once you have depleted your body’s reserves enough for it to start eating itself away … and then you keep going. And going. And going. What you feel then is hunger.

You know what else probably kills your appetite? Videos of surgery. Nobody’s suggesting that we take up watching those before our meals so we don’t feel like eating as much. And if we did? We’d get used to it pretty fast, as the large number of surgeons, nurses, veterinarians, and techs who can still eat will attest.

They get over it because our bodies need food. We need to eat, both physically and psychologically, to be healthy. And that is stronger than pretty much any other urge we have except maybe thirst — I don’t know, I never tried to dehydrate myself to death. Hunger takes longer to kill you. (And yeah, you feel every minute of it.) It is stronger than the urge to lick Ben Barnes. Stronger than the urge to pet kittens. I could stop thinking about those things for hours at a time. I never forgot that I was hungry.

Also, as one final note, there’s a huge error in this research. Food is not neutral, okay? We have such a guilt complex around food these days that if I give a random person a 600-calorie treat, it’s 99% certain that they will feel some guilt. And they will feel less guilt over a 100-calorie treat. And guilt? A surprisingly good appetite-killer. Which is why the diet industry is so huge on guilt and shame. So unless you could find someone who had literally no associations with food/calories/guilt — and these days, even finding tiny children who do not have that is going to be a job of work — your study might be measuring something other than what you think it is.

(And guilt doesn’t work long-term, either. I was still hungry enough after four years of 700 calories a day to eat a whole goddamn box of Pop-Tarts. I felt pretty fucking guilty after the first one. I still ate them all, and every piece of fruit in the house.)

(Also, anyone who expects you to endure that sort of hunger just to access a higher tier of respect in the pecking order is a fucking douchebag and you can safely disregard anything they say as toxic bullshit.)

Ugh. Rant over. I’m going to go eat something bad for me, because I fucking can. The best way not to feel hungry — eat when you want to eat.
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April 6th, 2014

Not buyin' it.

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Punisher Ribbon
Last night I had a dream I was in some sort of godforsaken upscale organic food market place, like Whole Foods, and this really cute woman in a nice suit came up to me and tried to sell me her weight loss plan thing.

She was like "We have this revolutionary new system that will allow you to--"

And I was like "Get. The FUCK. Away from me."

And she kind of backed up and sat down in a chair that was by the wall, eyes wide, and I felt a little bad for being so angry so I explained the whole deal to her. I told her I was an eating disorder survivor, that my body was nobody else's business unless I chose to make it so, that I might not be happy with it but that it still deserved love and shouldn't be starved, and that what she was doing -- I was adamant on this point -- was genuinely hurting people.  And she needed to stop encouraging people to do this to themselves.  And if she was doing it to herself, she needed to stop it.

I told her about the books I'd read that set me straight, took her notebook away and wrote down the names and titles, and gave it back. And because it was a dream, I knew that I had planted the seeds of doubt, and that she would change her mind and stop doing what she was doing.

And I think that was a pretty amazing dream to have. I literally wasn't buying what she was selling.  I've had other dreams like it, but that was especially good.  A dress rehearsal for when I have to meet the new doctor I'll be seeing late this month, I guess.  I've already called the office and explained the deal, and I explained it again on my intake forms, but that doesn't always do the trick.

So yeah, I think that's a victory of some kind.  We are at the mercy, in dreams, of what we really think about ourselves.  There's no filter there.  And yet, all this time, it's been in dreams I've seen the first flashes of acceptance.  Meaning it's been there the whole time, quietly growing without me knowing about it.  A dream like this is proof of that.  Proof of how far I've come.

I am pleased.  I am really pleased.

(Originally published at Silver Into Steel.)

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April 4th, 2014

Tip jar!

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Lucian Throwbacks
Yo, I hate to do this again, but we had an unexpected expense this week when the frigging brakes went out on our car. The repairs totaled about $600, so we're trying to offset that.

Yeah, we just ran a campaign. That's money we needed to live on. So if you feel so inclined, toss a little extra our way? Five or ten bucks makes a big difference pretty quick.

Thanks, everyone. Have a good weekend.













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March 24th, 2014

BPAL Help?!

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Lucian Throwbacks
Hey!

Does anyone have about half a dozen clean, unused decant/imp bottles and maybe a few plastic pipettes they would be willing to part with?

Also, does anyone have any recommendations for single-note leather oils that could potentially replace De Sade in a leather blend?  I want the smoky black leather note, not the rawhide leather in Dead Man's Hand, for instance.

Anywhere else I could ask this, since LJ is basically dead?

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