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My year on the couch – Mental health and how not to ignore it.

My year on the couch – Mental health and how not to ignore it.

Hi everyone!

Yes, I do actually still exist. It’s been a while, right? Well, as the title of this blog post indicates, I’ve basically had bad year of mental health and am finally feeling well enough to start blogging and interacting with people again.

What happened? Did I just one day in 2019 sit down on the couch, and then all of a sudden it was 2020? Well, as much as it does feel that way to me at times, there is a lot more to it than that. As is often the case with mental health.

Basically it actually started in 2017 with bad news about a much loved family member’s health. That led to a massive change of routine that had me solo parenting for many months. Then the struggle of trying to get back into the new routine, once hubby was home (and unemployed). Fun times… :-/ I was helping my family rehome and declutter an elderly family member and, quite often, really did feel like a headless chook. All the time ignoring my own body’s warning signs that it wasn’t coping. 😦

The following year (2018) continued in a similar vein, said beloved family member passed away, shortly followed by another. Come the middle of the year I then lost my grandfather too and was then really running on fumes when it came to keeping it all together. You see, I’m neuro diverse, and recently it’s been suggested I am HFASD (High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder), though this is unconfirmed so not something I will say I am… yet. But, as throughout my life, when the personal things, the emotional things get too much for me, I just take on more and more responsibilities, more jobs, more tasks, and more projects to bury those feelings and feel useful.

Face it; I come from a long line of (probably) neuro diverse (definite) hoarders. And so, to FEEL something when this depressed, I hoarded things to do. I took on looking after a huge (and amazing) cooking group on Facebook, piled more and more reviewing invites on my plate, ran half a dozen blogs, did social media spruiking for local businesses I was friends with (all for free), as well as my routine of looking after my kids, my home, etc. With my kids I was dealing with three neuro diverse souls with problems of their own… depression, anxiety, self-harm, meltdowns, anger outbursts, the whole kit and caboodle. Totally. Forgetting. To. Think. Of. Myself. I say that all full stops to try and emphasise all the warnings I had.

I was wearing many hats and carrying many, many other people’s burdens. Dealing with my husband’s depression caused by bereavement, dealing with my kid’s mental health problems to ensure they got the best of life… telling myself I was just fine as long as I kept busy…

I started falling behind on EVERYTHING. Budgeting, bill paying, my uni work (yeah, I was still trying to do my degree online too), housework… all the usual House Frau stuff I did. I was living, thinking, decision making, and organising for the 5 people in my house but was the only one cleaning, thinking of paying bills, buying food, cooking things… and life was just growing darker and darker clouds around me. And I ignored it.

I struggled through 2018… hit 2019 and thought “time to make things better”. But by better I felt that meant even MORE of a work load. New book to release in paperback, more and more invites to review, bigger plans on keeping that Facebook group active and fun.

I had a friend from the UK come visit me in April and, by then, my physical health and total LACK of fitness (I’d put on 50kg since 2017 without knowing why – duh, stress) made showing her the sites an absolute nightmare. I had become agoraphobic, hated being around people, hated talking face to face or via the phone… hated existing. Yes, I got to the point where I would just sit on my couch and cry over the fact I existed and prayed… BEGGED not to.

Enter the burn out/ break down. I don’t know which label suits it better… maybe it was both? But I basically stopped getting off the couch. Stopped… everything.

I quit Facebook in the hopes that moving away from what I felt was a toxic environment would help… did it. But not enough. And it hurt that barely a soul from there noticed me missing. Now, I didn’t have hundreds of friends on FB, I stuck to mostly those I knew in person, who I studied with, etc. So about 75 people as friends… My family on there noticed me go, but knew why. Some of my close, local friends noticed too and reached out. A couple of interstate/ overseas friends did too. The person I ran the group for – who I had thought was a friend and who I had spent a lot of my own time and money trying to support – from them I got NOTHING. I wrote to say I had to step back for my own mental and physical health and that they would need to get someone else to help… they posted a “position available” on their group showing they OBVIOUSLY got my message. But a reply? A question of concern? A simple “Are you okay?”… zip. People I thought cared about me for me… not just for the free work I did just disappeared. This hurt and, naturally, added to my depression. I lost a lot of friends by quitting Facebook, but were they REALLY friends if this is how they treated me? I did, however, gain new friends who I had only seen as acquaintances. People who noticed me missing, noticed I’d gone, and reached out to ask if I was okay. What I gained from this is – Facebook is toxic and not a place to make/ keep friends. Find them elsewhere, avoid Facebook.

I spent months just being asleep. I’d sleep all night, get my kids ready for school, sleep on the couch until I had to go get them from school, sleep until dinner time, eat takeaway, sleep and repeat. For. Months. I still didn’t really notice a problem as I really wasn’t noticing anything anymore. I was just numb, tired, and wanted to not exist. I didn’t want to actually kill myself (thankfully) I just didn’t want to exist. I was useless, worthless, good for nothing, and unwanted, uncreative, untalented, etc. I will add that at the same time I was still getting 5 star reviews for my books… and that just gave me anxiety attacks as I really wasn’t as good as these kind souls thought I was.

Around August/ September last year I decided I had had enough of this numbness and so went to my GP. I’ve been avoiding my GP’s clinic as the person I usually saw left… then the person who replaced them left… and all in all it just added to my blankness. But I made an appointment with my original GP from the same clinic, waited a month – as it takes AGES to get to see her as she’s just that amazing – and got help.

Firstly, as a band aid, my Zoloft was upped to 100mg a day (from 50mg). The improvement was nearly instant. My numbness was losing its power over me. I got into a weight loss regime with my GP, got into seeing my Physio about my back and neck pain, tension headaches and the whole lot. I found myself again.

Now it’s not been an instant fix… I mean, it’s now February 2020 and I’m only just now feeling strong enough to get back into blogging, reviewing, etc. But I am getting better and getting my life back. And I am thankful I sought the help I needed. Though admit now that I took a break from my GP and Physio over the Christmas holidays so better pull my finger out and contact them again. 😀

Oh, and being someone who has always strived to seek the positive, even throughout last year, I have to say I found an amazing thing within myself. Now, as some might know, I’m a crafty person. And, yeah, I tend to obsess and hoard crafty hobbies. See the several suitcases full of old clothes I’ve collected to repurpose into rag yarn, bags, etc to keep them from landfill. 😀

Well, along those same lines, I found wire weaving and beading. Oh, and I have been avoiding the craft area of beading for DECADES as I felt it would be something I would seriously get addicted too and already had a lot of clutter. Well, yeah, I was right. I got into beading, I now own MILLIONS of beads and am obsessed with the damn things! BUT! I found a new love that helped me get out of the darkness. I buy old, often broken, necklaces from Charity Op Shops and I use them with wire to make Trees of Life.

pearl and red beads

One of my trees, it recently sold at auction for $75, all of which went to #authorsforfireys.

I just started doing it as a way to make Christmas presents for friends and family… and it grew from there. I’ve had commissions, I’ve got my art now hanging on walls and around necks in both Australia and America… and it’s gotten to the point I’ll be looking into creating an art studio in my shed and looking at the feasibility of opening a small business. I share my pieces on Instagram (the evil little sister of Facebook, I know) and recently gave my new love its own account called CraftilyRecycled. There is an Etsy shop of the same name where I hope to sell my pieces too. Plus I’ve been asked if I’d want to attend a sustainability fair in March… but that’s just too soon for me. I need to find my feet and my place in beading before I go THAT crazy.

I still do rag yarn, I still collect textile waste and hope to use it to make reusable gift bags to send my trees to their new owners in. Heck, I’ve even started repairing and remodelling old necklaces for friends to make into something new.

Kylie necklace

My friend had a broken necklace containing much loved beads… I restrung and remodelled it from a single string to this.

Sadly, old habits die hard and, yup, the majority of stuff I make and share I do for free. I’m trying to teach myself to ask for money (and the proper amount based on materials and time) but I’d much rather share than sell. One of my biggest downfalls as an author too. :-/

And so here I am. I’ve not yet recovered… but I am at least on the right path to recovery. I have my tree making (or as I like to call it: this crazy lady’s basket weaving) and I am finding myself again. I want to exist, and I want to take part in life again.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end… it’s been a while since I’ve written anything and so am pretty sure I waffled A LOT. But I wanted to be open and honest and share my personal hell with people in the hopes it might help someone going through their own hell. You are not alone, there are those who will help you… but you have to let them try.

Later this year there will be news on Bonnie’s Story coming out in paperback with a new cover… and possibly even news on book 3 of the Other World series – We Represent the Demon Guild.

Wee Tree in a Tin

Wee tree in a tin… a work in progress.

But, for now, more tree… This one is in a tin slightly smaller than a deck of cards and, when finished, will be auctioned off to raise money for the Australian bushfire recovery. So keep an eye on my twitter feed to see when that is. Yes, I still use Twitter. It is far more straight forward and honest as to what it is than Facebook will ever be and, for that, I am thankful. Yeah it still has trolls and idiots, but it also has mute and block.

Until next time,

Janis.

trees

 

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My new book has been published, did you notice?

My new book has been published, did you notice?

Hi everyone,

Yes I have been a completely and utterly useless author of late and I still managed to get a book published. But don’t think “lucky cow, does nothing and still gets published” as that isn’t true at all. I got signed to have this book published back when I was still actively writing and it had to wait its turn to be published and – ta da! Here it is.

Has it made any sales or gotten any reviews? No, I don’t think so… and yet it’s been available for about a month. Why has it not taken off? Well, if you don’t shake those authorly assets folks, your books aren’t going to sell – plain and simple.

And so whose fault is it that I’ve made no sales or gotten any reviews? MINE! Come on everyone, we know we can’t blame social media, my publisher or anything but one thing. It was me. I did nothing and so nothing has truly happened. I was pretty sure this would be the case and look – nailed that theory! 😉

Okay, so why have I not been shaking those authorly assets? Many reasons. Mental and physical health of myself and my family have not been tip top this year. My simply amazing, gorgeous and wonderful mother in law – who I still think of and miss DAILY – passed away mid-January and, truly, we have not recovered from the loss. She meant THAT MUCH to us. 😦

So, with that as a corner stone, and add a new job for hubby, new school for my Eldest Horde and my other two Hordes getting to know new teachers and classrooms…. The start of our year was just… peachy. Then add my fun health issues (mental and physical) and well, being the glue that keeps everything together and the wheels that keep everything moving…. I feel they collided, the glue hit the wheels and they froze solid. And I have been slowly coaxing them apart ever since to get them where they belong so I can go back to looking like an elegant swan above water (with my legs paddling like mad below the surface). Right now I feel I look more like this….

bedraggled eagle
Yup, the good old bedraggled bird pic. How did we ever live our lives without memes? 😉

But please don’t feel down and depressed for me, I am happy as I write this and am sorry if this reads like a published pity party for one. It is just life and what I like to share to let people know they, hey, no one is perfect and see – we all go through tough times. I have taken my recent experiences and have allowed them to help me evolve. I now, more than ever, embrace the perfectly imperfect aspects of life. Things happen; we accept them and move on. Dwelling, rather than dealing, gets you nowhere.

Seek the positives. And I DO have some positives… I have discovered a new love that doesn’t just combine writing, but editing AND free books. How cool is that? I still review over on my other page here. But I was recently asked to become a beta reader for some of my favourite new authors. Meaning I got to see their work in action and make suggestions, pick up those clangers and fix them before publication and so on. I would like to think I have helped… Positive thoughts here… and enjoyed this new job (unpaid… well paid in books) so much that I have changed my degree! Yes, gone are my days of wanting to be a social media influencer – goodbye BA in Internet Communication! Instead I have switched to a BA in Professional Writing and Publishing. Thankfully all the units I completed for my old degree are in my new one so nothing is lost and more fulfilment and sense of belonging has been gained. I am a writer. As I have been saying all my life – I breathe, therefore I write. Becoming a social media spruiker may have seemed like the right thing to do to help sell my books…. But it wasn’t the right thing for my constant need to write. It kept taking away from it and pushing me into situations I wasn’t so keen on.

So, I bid that degree and idea of how to make a living a fond fair well. I write, therefore I am. And so it is now time I truly embrace that love of writing and focus on all things writing. Keep going with my ‘Other World’ series. Keep writing my murder mysteries, my haunted house, keep knocking on those publisher’s doors and rolling with the rejections. It’s time to start keeping an eye on the freelance writing side of things, but I’m not really ready to start pushing myself in that direction… yet. Instead, I am sticking to my three favourite things – reading, writing and reviewing. And reviewing simply now includes beta/ proof reading. Oh, and I have to say I am sure there are friends, readers – and my publisher especially – rolling around with tears of laughter at the thought of ME being able to proof read and CORRECT people’s work.

Yeah, yeah, I know. But you’d be amazed how switched on that area of my brain becomes when it’s not my writing I am looking at! 😉 It is my area of Neuro-diversity… whether I am HFASD or not – I don’t know, as I’m not diagnosed yet. But I also don’t care whether I am or not! Reading, proofing, editing… They use an area of my brain that just FIZZLES with excitement and joy at being used. The whole book unwinds in there and I can mentally see it all, see the gaps between the writing, the knots in their flow… and then gently fix them. That is me embracing what I am and enjoying it! Not actually getting paid in such a way as I could afford food, bills, mortgage… but hey, this isn’t my job. My kids are my job and my writing, reading and reviewing is just the stuff I do when not needed by them. 😀

Oh, and I WILL still be shaking my authorly assets too. As a matter of fact, did you know you could buy eBook copies of ‘There’s no place like Hell’ at these online bookstores here?

Hague Publishing
Amazon America
Amazon Australia
Apple iTunes
Google Play
Kobo
Barnes and Noble
Angus & Robertson

I will be updating my blog pages shortly to include this and the paperback versions of ‘Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My!’ to them all. And I am pretty sure Hague Publishing is still looking for ARC readers for ‘There’s no place like Hell’… so if you enjoyed book one of this ‘Other World’ series… let me know if you want a free eBook of the second one and I will see what I can arrange. There are only limited copies and my publisher has final say.

I also have, I think, about eight paperback copies of ‘Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My!’ available. I sign it, I add a little something homemade and crafty, I post it. Want a copy? Like my author Facebook page and drop me a message. Go on, you know you want to support me as a struggling author and word waffler! 😉

Okay, I feel I have probably written enough of a catch up for you all now and you can stop using my as a coffee break and get back to work. Go on… I hope to be a better blogger and add something else for you to peruse later on. Like how a rejection from Carina Press over my ‘Minton Manor’ haunted house story has just made me want to finish it all the more…

Until next time,

Janis.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2018 in Update on my Writer Life, Writing

 

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Happy paperback release day to me! – Sing along, you know the tune.

Happy paperback release day to me! – Sing along, you know the tune.

Hello everyone!

Yes, if you’ve not noticed it on all my other social media sites, today it the re-release of ‘Isis, Vampires, and Ghosts – Oh My!’ but this time as a paperback book.

A lot of you have enjoyed reading it since 2014 as an eBook, but in preparation for the release of book two in the ‘Other World’ series – ‘There’s no place like Hell’ – my publisher Hague Publishing has decided to release the first book as a paperback.

It looks BEAUTIFUL, no? All 226 pages of it, with that simply gorgeous cover by Jade.

Here are pictures courtesy of Hague Publishing of not only ‘Isis, Vampires, and Ghosts – Oh My!’ but of their other amazing books. They were taken at Swancon this Easter long weekend. If you’re ever in Perth (Western Australia) for the Easter long weekend – you simply MUST go to Swancon. Thank me later.

‘Isis, Vampires, and Ghosts – Oh My!’ will still be available as an eBook at all good online bookstores, and available in paperback from them all now too! But if you want a signed copy, you need to buy it through Hague Publishing and let me know. 😉

Then in May we’re all going to get excited as ‘There’s no place like Hell’ hits the streets… well hits the online bookstores as an eBook. The paperback version will follow later in the year so don’t panic!

google plus_CS.jpg

I’m currently working on book three ‘We represent the Demon Guild’ and hope to have it and book four ‘If I only had some Braaains’ will be finished and submitted to Hague Publishing by the end of the year.

Though, in the meantime, I am also working my Murder Mystery set in a fictional Adelaide Hills town called Mount Loxton and, despite it being declined from a recent book proposal pitch with Carina Press, I hope to finish my supernatural haunted house mystery ‘Minton Manor’ this year too and have it circling the Publishers as I try and try again. Rejection? Pfffft. That’s just character building. If my stuff is meant to be published, it will. If it’s not? Put it to one side and write something else! I do this for the sake of writing, not for fame and fortune, so as long as I have willing readers, I am happy. Writing?? I will always write. I breath, therefore I write! So there is no stopping me! 😉

Other than that, life if progressing as per usual. I’m still reviewing and loving it. I’m Beta Testing games, Beta Reading for some of my favourite authors and studying away at my degree. Oh, and baking. Still doing a lot of baking. This is the cake I’ve just made for my own birthday. Yes, I wanted a dairy free, grain free cake and the best way to get one I could afford was to make it myself. Tasty. 😉

birthday cake 2018

So, go buy my books, enjoy your reading, keep up the ideas for your own work and all in all keep being amazing – it suits you. 😉

Until next time,

Janis.

 
 

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God has become a woman.

God has become a woman.

It is my strong satirical belief that God has become a woman… or, if the transition hasn’t fully taken place, She is well on her way to becoming so.

And why do I think this amazing event is taking place? Well simply because it seems to be the strong belief of most people today that women finally deserve a spot in the big chair of running things. It’s kind of like being the token ethnically diverse person in the work place… but on a grander scale.

Besides, how do we know God hasn’t always been a woman? Yes I know there is all that Lord and Father stuff mentioned in the Bible and similar holy texts but in this day and age things like Lord and Father are merely gender neutral titles, aren’t they? I mean, I’ve seen Lord being used on women before so the precedent is there. And who’s to say the original texts were translated correctly? I mean, is it REALLY Father? Maybe it’s just ‘Parent’. When you look at it, which parent does the majority of the thinking, decision making, wish granting and argument ending? Which parent knows all about the weather and tells you when you need to go our wearing a winter coat or a sun hat? These are some sound theories here people!

Add to that, isn’t it about time we saw a female deity take pride and place in all our homes? I mean, since when have we had such a strong female ethereal presence within religion to inspire and encourage young women of this world?

Oh sure, you may bring up other deities like Isis, Horus and Parvati, but come on! They’ve never truly held the centre stage. And besides, what have they done for us lately? Buddha and Shiva gender swap or go gender neutral all the time and they aren’t even the main attraction like God!

Mother Nature? Now surely that is more a state of mind or a thing scientist fight to disprove than an actual deity we can pray to for guidance and support. No, no, no! There is not meant to be any god before The God – So none of these chappies really count as valid points to this argument.

Let’s face it, God being a male is just so OUTDATED and last century. Surely this mainstream religion needs to get with the times, connect with the youth of today and embrace their diversity by adapting and showing that although the almighty may wear the pants in this universe, She also wears the matching blouse and pant suit jacket, with the milky way galaxy as a power suit accessory of pearls around her neck.

I really don’t know WHO would complain about such a great change. It’s a positive step to affirmation that we are all equal and great. Plus, if God has decided on this gender change – who are we to argue? If we trust in God, we surely need to trust that what She is doing is for the greater good. So let’s not all start complaining about it and just sit down, shut up and get on with the Hail Marys and what not.

How can I make such radical theories when I am not even a Christian? Well, you know, I’ve dabbled in Christianity now and then all my life. That new Pope had me show a bit more interest in what goes on in church too. So I’ve not been following it faithfully all my life, but hey, that doesn’t matter! I am just trying to keep the religion real and up to date with what the fans want. And I am pretty sure there are a LOT of Christians out there cheering on the fact God has slipped out of that beard and toga and slipped into a skirt with sensible flats – though I’m pretty sure a vengeful God would be loving a sharp pair of stilettos – just saying.

So, in summary, God is now a woman – or possibly was all along but kept it under wraps as people were more accepting of men in the main roles back in say the 1960’s. God changed Her gender (or soon will be, maybe around Christmas to keep with the Holy Spirit) simply because it is something that She has always wanted to do. She is moving with the times, helping raise the awareness and give the girls of today a much needed religious role model and – all in all – simply giving the masses what they want. She has thrown aside the old scriptures – which may have been incorrectly read in the first place – and is rebooting Her career to ensure Her holy masses keep the faith and keep her in their prayers.

How can you not all see this?

Until next time,

Janis.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Writing

 

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Why I am saying goodbye to Doctor Who, and how that doesn’t make me sexist.

Why I am saying goodbye to Doctor Who, and how that doesn’t make me sexist.

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted as, quite honestly, child rearing, studying a degree and running a reviewing site have been taking up my time.

But with my next book out soon you may see more activity. But today I am here to set the record straight.

As you would know, if you’ve read my other posts, I am a lifelong Doctor Who fan. Not one of those Johnny come lately who only know the new Who… I am a LIFELONG fan. I grew up with it, the REAL Doctor Who where special effects were not letting the zipper show on the alien and 101 uses of bubble wrap by painting it green.

I own nearly all of the original Doctor Who stories as books in their original publications. I own almost all of the first 300 Doctor Who Magazines. Knowing Old Who (and some new Who) is the savant part of my idiot!

So, being annoyed by all old Who Lore being ignored and suddenly making it okay that Time Lords can change genders… that’s not me being sexist. And anyone who thinks it does, really doesn’t know me nor want to say it to my face and expect to keep all their teeth. Just saying.

Nor am I condemning Doctor Who for “moving with the times” or keeping up with the expectations of the tweeny millennials it now caters to (thanks SO MUCH Moffat you idiot). I am merely stepping away from my lifelong fandom to let this new generation – who only knows of reboots and the like and doesn’t give two hoots for the history or Lore of a show – and letting them have their turn in the sun. May they love and look after this show for the next 50 odd years. But me? I am out.

To give Moffat credit, he has been doing an excellent job in weening me off Doctor Who ever since he took over. And, despite my belief that Peter Capaldi would have been as great a Doctor as Tom Baker himself, Moffat ensured he wasn’t as he caters to the tweeny world where nothing bad happens. Companions don’t die – giving their lives to save the world anymore – they merely go off having adventures without the Doctor. Gosh I bet Katarina, Sara Kingdom, Adric and even Ace are a little annoyed that this option was available. Hey companions – you don’t need to die, just let the Moffinator give you the HEA tweens of today need! Stay strong – don’t die! In the tweeny world people don’t die, they merely have adventures without you… and vampires sparkle and can be good. Oh yay for this new golden era of life!

Note sarcasm. :-/

So yes, offer me potentially the best Doctor Who actor since the series was rebooted – but then write total rubbish stories so his potential is lost and the show dies a slow, sad death within my interest.

Good way to ween me off it all. Which is for the best, as I will not go with the reboot of Who suddenly allowing Time Lords to swap gender. It was bad enough when Missy was “somehow” made. Moffat totally missed a trick there by not making it Romana returned and in a bad mood – read the books of the series if you don’t know what I mean. Yes some of them spun off in a totally weird and insane direction (see Patience the TARDIS) but there are some gems out there and some bloody good ones about how Romana could almost be the Rani…. Think about it. Oh wait, Moffat doesn’t know about them as he wasn’t really that big a fan, merely did it for the money? My mistake.

As said, not wanting the Doctor to become female is NOT me being a sexist old prude. It is me sticking to the original stories and comments made within them. I mean yes, alright, Douglas Adams had his fun with Romana when Mary Tamm wanted to leave the series and was replace by Lalla Ward. He took Terry Nation’s story concept and added that typical Adams whimsical nature to it. Time Lords can’t change on whim, but Time Ladies can? And they can try on new bodies like trying on new outfits? Brought to you by the man who ensures I know where my towel is at all times. But that is different – and jarred with me back when I first saw those episodes (as repeats) as a child. There you go, I’ve been that pedantic and traditionalist since back then!

Time Lords/ Ladies do not swap genders. This is not true Who, this is a reboot. And, as with most reboots – see Star Trek and Ghostbusters – I refuse to acknowledge them as they don’t appeal to me. This does not make them wrong, it just means they are not for me and so I stepped away from them. As I will now with Doctor Who. After the Christmas special my kids are aware it won’t be allowed in my house. Simple. When they are old enough to rebel, get iview on their tablets and watch it – let them. But it is not my Who and not welcome here. Though may those who are embracing this new concept (reboot) of Who enjoy it without me. Seriously. If this is what needs to be done to keep it alive – then make it so… oh Trek got in there somehow. 😉

And speaking of Trek, look to it before you make your dumb arse comments about it being about time a sci-fi show allowed the dominant lead to be a woman. I love this meme and did indeed read it in Janeway’s droll tones.

Captain Janeway

But let’s not forget Captain (then General) Samantha Carter of Stargate. Kira Nerys of Deep Space Nine? And many others… Not the MAIN role? Puh-lease…. Don’t get me started on that as you won’t like where I stick it.

So, yes I am saying goodbye to Doctor Who. No I am not condemning it, wishing it fails and fall flat on its face or anything negative. It is just time it and I break up. I will keep my books and magazines and remember the good old days, but won’t be keeping in touch after Christmas. As I have said, let the new generation have their turn to care for and love what it has become. It is no longer Doctor Who to me, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong (well to me it does but I’m not in charge so meh), it merely means we’re not the BFF we once were.

Peter Capaldi – and I’m not just saying this as we’ve both hugged that wonderful writer Ann – you were a brilliant Doctor. You were what the Doctor needed to be. But you needed a writer who would do your talent and passion for the role justice… and you did not get this. I do hope this hasn’t ruined your lifelong love of Who too.

And so, goodbye Doctor Who. I will remember how you were fondly and prey this is not your death knell. But from here, the Cloister Bell is tolling and it’s time for me to leave. ❤

Until next time,

Janis.

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Writing

 

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New Year, New me? Pffft, who are we kidding?

New Year, New me? Pffft, who are we kidding?

Hello everyone, disorganised me again here giving you an update and wishing you all a happy new calendar new year… Being the Pagan I am, Yule marks my New Year… January 1st is just when I need to change all the wall calendars to the new ones people have sent me. What can I say? I’m a holiday non-conformist, meh!

So, anyway, I have been thinking over this post for a while and was all ready to turn it into a massive bitchy talk about people going so insane over the “Curse that is 2016”. Seriously, it was turned into a farce in the end and, well, what I had to say on the matter would have just been a spew of negativity. Now, I don’t know if it was my Zoloft kicking in, or a change of heart… But I decided there’s enough negativity and meanness on the Interweb already… It didn’t need me adding to it.

Instead…. As much as I loathe them as I feel they are so fake and insincere (when written by some people) I am going to do a sort of new (calendar) year’s resolution.

Though I do warn you now that it’s not so exciting as I pretty much plan to just keep on being me. Some may say that’s just lazy, but I see it continuing with my perfectly imperfect persona. 😉

I will say, this picture seen on Facebook the other day really does sum up the short version of my new (calendar) year’s resolution. And, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in these wishes too! 😀

new-years-resolution

The longer version would be this – I plan to keep being me. Keep writing as an author, reviewer and freelance blogger. Keep up that food porn on Instagram. Get back into making, baking and cooking all my own food. Keep acting up to embarrass my kids – fart jokes and other female bodily functions are doing the trick right now… Just keep being ME.

Like for a lot of people, it was a tough year last year. My step-grandfather passed away, I hurt my back and was left couch bound for months – meaning house, Hordes and hubby suffered. My health has plummeted and I’ve put on 30 kilos in under 12 months and my Doctors are still trying to figure out why. My husband was made redundant, I had to drop out of my studies and all in all we had some downers.

I mean, 450,000 people died in Syria – 50,000 aged 12 and under so I can’t say we had the worst year in the world. But our first world problems still caused our little pocket of reality to tilt on its side and go to shit for a while.

But we had some positives too. Friends got married, others welcomed new life and a new baby into the world. My reviewing site took off a little and I have been receiving a whole stack of free book and kitchen appliances. Big name publishers came to ME to review, rather than the other way around. When I was studying, I was averaging Distinctions to High Distinctions. Heck, my blog post on here outing myself as a depressed housewife on Zoloft got me a lot of (hopefully positive) views and comments. See – look for the positives.

Both my daughters were assessed for Giftedness – both now confirmed. My younger daughter is “twice exceptionally” Gifted, meaning she has a learning disability with it. So, three kids, all on the spectrum to some extent, all needing me to be their centre as they learn to be themselves and accept themselves for what they are as they grow. Middle Horde (Miss 9) has started into the mental aged teens as her older sister did at that age. Eldest Horde is about to turn 12 while holding down the maturity of an 18 year old with a 10 year old’s emotions. Yes, and by the way I hate the label “Gifted” as it makes it sound so positive and wonderful. It’s not… but that is for another blog on another day.

Back to me and my calendar year ahead. Well, as it has been decided for me that I can’t work right now  – as my children need me as their primary carer more – I am focussing myself more on what I feel I do well – write.

I will do my best to get back into weekly blogging for my four blogs (this one included), I have a lot to keep up on with my reviewing – yes I am still small fish, but gaining interest from others so now is the time to work my butt off.

Plus I have three more books in my Other World series to finish as well as several other WIP stories to nail down and get sorted out before see if anyone wants to publish them.

For any publishers reading this (who haven’t fallen asleep yet) they are a cosy crime series set here in the Adelaide Hills, a dystopian YA urban fantasy set in a world where global warming is not only real, but has bitch slapped everyone – it starts in Antarctica, it has penguins and sort of reminds me of Mr Flibble. 😉 And finally, my kids have me writing a series about tweens who go on school excursions and are left behind…. And the adventures they get up to. Firstly I am setting them in places around Adelaide I can go to and research… but if anyone wants me to say, do one for the Smithsonian or something, please feel free to send me tickets and money for accommodation. My kids will need to come too as they are my researchers. 😉

And, on top of all the reviewing, blogging and authoring – I will be continuing in my studies, figuring out what the heck is wrong with my back and my health and doing my best to make my little pocket of reality a lot happier, healthier and prosperous than last year.

I can’t change the world, I can’t help slow the fact 1 person dies of rabies every 9 minutes or that there are over 100,000 homeless here in Australia right now… but I can try and make a difference here in my own home. I can think positive, share that positivity with others, and remind people how awesome they are and how important it is for them to be alive.

I can continue to donate my time, money and no longer needed (but still good) items to charity. I can ensure we continue to eat well, cut down on what goes into landfill and teach my children to love and respect themselves as well as others.

I can’t cure the illnesses of the world; I can’t stop the wars… But I can make a stand as to how we treat the people around us and just pray that kind gesture is as infectious and spreads out to others.

I can’t stop the mass extinctions happening to animals, I can’t fix the Great Barrier Reef nor the over polluting happening in our world. But I can try and buy things second hand – re-use what already exists rather than allow it to go to landfill. I can be water wise and try to avoid plastic packaging. I can continue to buy, shop at and support local… and when that’s not possible, buy from those ethically and environmentally minded.

I can’t sustain the world… But no matter what happens to our income (and the fact we have none right now) we will continue to support those who still have less than we do. I will still think of others and donate what I can. I will still be thankful to have what I have as I am still a rich, blessed and extremely lucky person to have a house, family, food, clean drinking water and free medical aide if needed – all right here when others, even fellow Australian’s, don’t have these things. I will still protest against Australia’s disgusting treatment of refugees.

I may not be able to change to world, but I can seek the positives, make a difference in my little spot and be proud of knowing I have done my best. I can continue with my random acts of kindness, my smiles at strangers (even if they think it means I’m insane) and my desire to turn even the dullest moment into an overly sarcastic giggle for others to read.

THAT is my long new (calendar) year’s resolution.

Just remember, don’t feel small things can’t make a difference. I mean, just look at what one tiny tissue can do to a load of darks in the wash. 😉

Until next time,

Janis.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Update on my Writer Life

 

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Mental Illness – End the Stigma.

Mental Illness – End the Stigma.

Me being me I am a little slow on joining in the whole mental health awareness week on my blog. But I have been active with it on my personal Facebook page and had such success with a post there, I decided to post it here too.

How was it successful? Well, you will see I openly talk about my level of mental illness and invited others to do the same. I got some amazingly heartfelt and truthful responses (both out in public and in private) and feel blessed to have the friends that I have. I am not about to share their responses here… but would be interested to see if anyone else wants to join us in being so out there and open to help end the stigma on mental illness. Please note that this is a post about ENDING the stigma and so all comments that are deemed negative and inflamatory will be deleted. My blog, my rules. 😉

My post started with the following pic. Unfortunately I can’t reference it correctly as it came from another friend’s timeline. So I will just say this is not my picture, I did not create it and all kudos and credit goes to the actual creator – they are awesome!

depression

And, yes, I totally agree with the words at the bottom and it got my usual oppinionated ranty self going and so I came up with the following. I am not ashamed of it, I will freely post it and be open and honest as I am who I am and in my life right now I just happen to need antidepressants.

***

Be truthful to who you are. Mental illness is an illness not just a state of mind you can snap out of.

Diabetics aren’t told “Just don’t eat cake”. Cancer patients aren’t just told “you shouldn’t have smoked” even when they never did…

So it pisses me off when I am told I don’t need antidepressants as a nice walk in nature and a good sleep will fix all that ails me. I have a chemical imbalance inside me. I fought using antidepressants for over a decade as it was deemed the “lazy” way out. I tried diet, exercise, karmic retribution, hobbies, crystals, aromatherapy, belief, sleep, sex, laughing, gut health and all the rest. I ended up making myself obese with comfort eating – and am still fighting this issue today and trying to stop it damaging all of me permanently.

So… hi, my name is Janis and I take antidepressants. I am currently on 25mg of zoloft a day and may soon need to up that as it’s now only just taking the edge off the dark despondancy that consumes me, rather than lifting me out of it, making me want to get out of bed, get dressed, eat, interact, not drive me car into a tree and all the other “fun” stuff I go through. I have “mild” depression and anxiety. This doesn’t mean I’m a little blue, it means I don’t want to curl into a ball and wait for the darkness to consume me every single waking moment of every day… just half the time.

I am a better person on zoloft, I am a nicer parent and I can actually see my life is important and worth putting on those big girl panties for and getting on with it.

Depression is a bitch – big black dog. Anxiety is a rabid, nasty, vicious black dog. These are my dogs. Your dogs will look, feel and act differently so don’t judge me on how you feel. I don’t judge you.

But I will try and help to remind you how awesome you are, how important you are and how you ARE worth it.

#endthestigma

Until next time,

Janis.

These memes help me get through my days as they help me keep it real.  

 

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