IMG_5042It happened again.

I was having a productive morning. I wore makeup. I did my hair. I dressed in something other than leggings and a sweater. I ran errands. I was ON TOP OF THINGS. I was GETTING THINGS DONE. The radio was on. I was singing along loudly, not giving a damn what people in neighboring cars thought.

And then I pulled into a parking space for a store I needed to go into, and it hit. Hard. Out of the blue, sudden, crippling anxiety. Thank God I was parked. I couldn’t go inside the store–couldn’t bear, even, to open my car door. Somebody would greet me just inside those doors and I’d have to talk and my mouth would be filled with invisible cotton, and the smells would overwhelm like a cloud of suffocating gas, and the lights inside would be bizarre and make my brain hurt…

…and even though I KNOW that a simple smile and nod would be enough to send the helpful sales staff on their way…

…and even though I KNOW there is no cotton in my mouth…

…and even though I KNOW there wouldn’t be anything remarkable about how the store smelled…

…and even though I KNOW the lights really aren’t brazen and harsh…

brain knowledge isn’t always enough to rein in a sneak attack of anxiety.

I let myself cry for a bit. Then I took a deep shaky breath and drove home.

Only I didn’t end up at home. I ended up at our local music store. I forced myself to turn off my car, walk inside, grab the ukelele I’ve been daydreaming about all summer, and buy it.

THEN I went home. I sat on our back deck and learned the four easiest chords possible. After about an hour of clumsy strumming, I began to feel better. Breathing became easier. I’m still on the verge of tears, but the space in my chest has opened up again.

Breathing is good.


p.s. Still no progress on the book, but just posting this little piece feels like a small victory against writer’s block. I’ll take it. ❤



The Block

So much of life is about change and learning to adapt and go with the flow.

You guys, writer’s block is a real thing. To be honest, I always kinda scoffed at people who complained about the dreaded block because I really believed that if you sat your ass down in the chair and forced yourself to put words on paper, it would happen.

And then I got The Block.

At this point, Shrilugh is dead in the water. It’s sitting in the middle of a yuuuuuuuge ocean and no breeze or current seems to be available to drag it out. I fought it for several months, then decided to take a hiatus from writing altogether to chill with the Took for a year, and I have been chewing and gnawing and shaping and molding the story in my brain all this time and…

I’m getting nowhere.

Ever since publishing in 2012 I’ve been pushing so hard–to learn the business AND get better at marketing AND write better than when I started AND write faster than a snail (which is my natural pace, and the enemy of any indie-pub author. Well, that and book pirating. Fuck you, book pirating). But I think that all the pushing has led to a nasty little thing called burn-out. And burn-out has produced the fruit of writer’s block.

Nom-nom-nom. Eat it up, writer-girl.

I am not hanging up my hat–I’m a story-teller at heart–but I think it will be good for me to shift gears for awhile. Shrilugh’s conclusion is going to have to wait. I think letting go of the story for a while will be good for me–and ultimately, it. Hopefully, as I open up my hand and let go of the dream that was Shrilugh, the words will begin to come back to me. Words that will open doors to new worlds and fresh stories.

And then maybe, one day, those words will take me back to the place where the leaves glow at night and a girl discovers she is more than she was led to believe.

Thanks for sticking with me through so many cliffhangers and so much silence.

Loads of love,