Remember a time when you were a seal? Something slippery and mythical always signifies a dangerous woman. Or perhaps we are simply lost, looking for Iceland or Atlantis or those places on maps that are plagued with sea monsters. Tell me a story about when I was born. Tell me I am secret royalty, the lost princess with a power for telepathy and a scepter that holds multiple futures in its glass finial, the prophesies of rubies and magic and a storm of frogs and stones. Where is the happily-ever-after hidden? Will we find it buried under long dead oaks or boulders embedded with swords and snakes? I am the heroine of this story but I am also the villainess.
How does time pass so quickly? Summer is just rolling by...
Prednisone taper was a complete fail. Within two weeks I could not stand to put weight on my leg and had broken out in a wicked rash. So, I am stuck on steroids, for now. Drag. More medication changes ahead! Still working out some details, but I am hopeful that we will find a treatment that works without destroying my bones in the process.
I just finished reading All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, which I really enjoyed, because there are witches and talking animals and an Artificial Intelligence, so hell yeah.
I also re-read The Alienist because I have been in the mood to revisit things an I am now kind of obsessed with the time period because I just re-watched all three seasons of Penny Dreadful, which is so unbelievably good.
Also: my house is overrun with centipedes. I'm certain this is a troubling omen.
I don't know if anyone else has had such a long hiatus from writing regularly as I have, but it is so much harder to be creative once you are out of the habit. I have enough time to make this a part of the daily ritual, but sometimes the energy is just lacking. I am trying to read more for inspiration, and watch less television (which is, admittedly, my downfall).
I did write a small piece today, although I am not crazy about it. Now to let it rest for a day or two and go back to revise.
The house is quiet today. Everyone is out doing their thing and I was feeling the usual trifecta of pain, nausea and fatigue this morning so I took a pass on being out and about. Ninety degree weather doesn't help much, and a day in the sun is really just asking for a flare up. My leg is already stiffening up because we are tapering off prednisone again. It's like flipping a damn switch. I've already lost significant range of motion. It's a bummer.
Reading: City of Dark Magic and The Sisters Brothers
Yes, I often read more than one book at the same time.
I can't believe it's been a month since I've posted here, but it has been a pretty good month, at that.
The best thing is there has been significant improvement in my GI symptoms and I am keeping down small meals of solid food, which is amazing! I am by no means totally normal in terms of my digestive tract function but it's nice to be eating more normally. I still have gastroparesis but it seems to have quieted in intensity and as long as I am careful, I can have days free of nausea and vomiting and still eat solid food. I've even added a few foods back into my diet (albeit in moderation). Hopefully this will continue. I even gained two pounds! I think we can stop talking about the possibility of needing a J-tube, which I really, really did not want to do. If I can continue to manage with a modified diet, I'm in good shape.
Y'all know how I love to eat.
I am also tapering off Prednisone, so we'll see how that goes. My leg with probably swell up like a mofo again.
I've read a whole bunch of books in the last month. I just finished the third book in the Passage Trilogy, City of Mirrors. In some ways, the series reminds me a bit of Stephen King's The Stand.
It's more about the apocalypse than vampires, really. I buzzed through it in a couple of days.
I am feeling kind of blue about all the things I used to do, but I'll power through it. Sometimes I feel shitty about working part-time. I know I feel *physically* better now that I have prioritized balancing work and rest, but we live in a work-till-you-drop-even-if-it-fucking-kills-you culture and there's some guilt I'm dealing with, honestly. My house isn't really up to my standards, either. I start cleaning and then I get exhausted and shaky and I have to stop and rest, which is totally lame. It took me three tries to wash a load of dishes the other day. Getting better is such a long, hard road.
I think it's been hard to write due to this lingering depression. The drive to work on creative projects just isn't there anymore. Mostly, I want to mentally check out by reading or watching movies instead of making art. Not quite sure how to turn it around. I think getting involved with a writing group might help. It would sort of force me to have things done by a deadline and also I really need to reconnect with the writing community.
1. Feeling relatively good today, which is hard to trust as I am always waiting for the inevitable onset of feeling like hot crap. Still, it's nice to feel functional and make it through a work day without wanting to fall over.
2. I binge-watched Penny Dreadful in three days (sorry not sorry) and have decided there are not enough cowboy-werewolves in horror narratives.
3. Reading A Head Full of Ghosts and I am burning through my book queue way too fast for my own comfort.
4. I ate pizza tonight and I did not die or puke, which is pretty awesome.
Who reads this randomness, anyway? I feel like I am shouting into an electronic void. Talking to myself is like a mad skill though.
I see it as a way to document those things that change day to day, to remember what I was doing, thinking or feeling when I took the photograph. For all the mocking women endure for taking and posting self-portraits, it can be a powerful artistic medium. I use these images to capture my moments of illness, my good days, myself in a moment of time that is elusive and slippery, to hang on to something in a permanent way. I look back at where I've been and reflect on where I'm headed.
Sometimes I use Instagram filters, but I'm not uncomfortable with my flaws.
I'm okay with the changes brought by time, the signs etched in my skin.
I appreciate the portraits posted by friends on social media sites, like Facebook or Instagram. I see it as a kind of empowerment, to choose and curate the images we share, to write our visual identities rather than have them written by some external force. If we want to see images of women that show strength and beauty at all ages and sizes we have to wrest that power from conventional mass media ourselves and selfies are one of many ways we can do that.
If painting a self portrait is an accepted art form, why not this?
Reading: Just finished TheQueen of The Tearling ^^
I like the way Kelsea (the heroine) is written. Not all princesses are conventionally beautiful, and princesses grow up to be badass queens. If you like YA fantasy (and oh, I do!), it's worth a read.
Today I started on The Night Sister: I'm loving this one so far, probably because I'm a sucker for crumbling Gothic decay and suspense and murder.
Watching: I'm all caught up on The Blacklist and I think Penny Dreadful is my next attempt at binge watching, because MONSTERS.
Cooking: I'm thinking a pot of Carrot-Ginger Soup should be up next. The recipe I found uses coconut milk and sounds amazing. I recently had a version of this while visiting my parents in Assisted Living and it was surprisingly good! I'm certain my version will work well and also be dairy free and tummy friendly! Also, I'm going to juice the bejeezus out of some fruits and vegetables this weekend. Cantaloupe-Cucumber and Pineapple-Carrot juices are in the works.
Writing: Still beating my brains out on this one piece that I'm just not happy with...I think I should set it aside and do some freewriting for a while. (Spellcheck just tried to change "freewriting" into "ferreting.") Heh.
I've been up for about 40 hours straight so far and my attempt at an afternoon nap was a failure. DRAG.
I took pain meds and I'm drinking some herbal mint tea and trying my best to wind down...
So, the current Listography:
Reading:The Queen of the Tearling
I am in a fantasy novel kind of mood, probably because Game of Thrones is back and I'm pretty stoked about that shit. I need the magic necklace the Red Woman (Melisandre) wears because, DAMN. That final image from the Season 6 Premiere really stays with you.
Watching:Game of Thrones, obvi
I binge-watched Season 5 of Lost Girl in about three days. It's a guilty pleasure and I'm not sorry. I also just put myself through Still Alice and I realized that's why I don't watch these kind of movies and stick to Sci Fi and Fantasy instead. I can't handle anything REAL. My father has Alzheimer's and it's a horrible, devastating disease and this movie made me sit on my couch and cry like an idiot.
Cooking: trying to maintain my nutritional status has been a struggle with my Gastroparesis. I'm still losing weight. I've lost nearly 50 pounds since the onset of GP. It's weird. I did finally make that tortellini soup with spinach last weekend and tolerated it okay, so long as the portion is small. I don't seem to have a problem with wheat or gluten, surprisingly. I do seem to have a problem with dairy so I am looking at non-dairy alternatives and collecting some Vegan recipes to try. I am looking for a good basic Vegan cookbook for beginners. Not sure where to begin...There's so much out there!
I feel like I should be doing AIP (autoimmune protocol diet), but so much of the protocol isn't suitable for someone with GP. Too much meat, fat, fiber. Very hard to digest.
Writing: Working on a tarot poem for a larger project and I am struggling with it. I need a full day set aside for doing creative work but it's been super hectic.
Walking: reasonably well, actually. I have been able to put my cane away for now, thanks to these damn steroids. While it's not ideal I am grateful for the significant improvement.
Susan Slaviero lives on the cusp of a hellmouth, where she vanquishes evil with poetry and cupcakes. She hopes to someday land a job as either a dog whisperer or a telephone psychic. In the meantime, she writes. She has a fondness for esoterica.