Alright, well, the writing an hour a day thing seems to be working out pretty well. Today I wrote some lyrics that I had been making up in my head at work. I also wrote some of a story that has been in my head for a while. The only problem is, I don't know how to make it into an actual story. I have characters, I have an intro, and I have something of a society. But aside from social commentary, I have nothing for these people to do. I suppose I could keep on figuring out how their society works, and then see if something comes up.
Oh, and I've finally read more of [dmeredith]'s novel. It's a great book. He really didn't deserve the lull in my reading. I've even reviewed what I read today.
All in all, this feels pretty good. I ought to be doing things that I am in love with, if I want to be mentally healthy.
Blah. This is a sucky day. Today makes me feel like giving up on being a writer.
Giving up feels good. No, really. Giving up means that you don't have to be scared of failure any more, because you've already failed. Succeeding isn't really all that rewarding. What do you succeed for? To get other people to say you've succeeded.
Don't believe me. It's just mental programming. I'll get over it eventually.
But I want to be a good Wife and a good Mommy and in order to do that I have to stop giving up. I know that I won't be those things just so my family can say I'm a good Wife and Mommy. I have to be those things so my family will have the strength to be grown-ups, before they have a chance to sap other peoples' strength.
Since I don't want to give up at being a Wife and Mommy, I should learn not to give up at other things that are easier, and then work my way up to harder things. Since I'm guessing that giving up on writing will be a regret of mine, what with my having built much of my childhood dreams around it, I think I should keep writing.
I'm going to write up to one hour, in creative work and journal entries, every day. An hour is a long time to be writing, but at least it isn't a huge chunk of the day. I wonder if it would work better if I split the hour into staggered portions throughout the day, or if I just did the whole thing at once. Well, it would be easier to count a whole hour if I did it all at once, near an easily accessible clock.
I should read an hour a day, too. Hey, it's not like I'm working a lot of hours. This whole plan might need to be altered if my next job is full time, but some jobs I'm looking at are part time. At least this way I'll get some things read. Poor [dmeredith]. Poor CS Lewis. Poor me.
Maybe if I keep really reading and writing, I won't have to be scared that I'll never get anywhere with it any more.
The jobs I'm looking at are a full time Assistant Baker with the possibility of entering into an apprenticeship
Since I suck at time management, I think I should work at Curves. But the bakery job is creative, and somewhat active, and if I don't get to go to Curves, I think I would enjoy baking. If I like it enough, I could make a career out of it. But then I might want to give up at being a writer.
Well, I just want to pay my bills, so I don't have to return to my parents' house, ever again. I want to know I will be able to pay my bills, because I don't want to be scared any more.
All of my coworkers at my current job quit, because they think it's okay to be rude at a minimum wage job. The bosses are nice, and understanding. It's not like it's a bad job, just a socially disdained one. No, not whoring. Cleaning. And we don't even get trashy people in that motel!
Well, I want to be able to list my bosses as references, thanks. Furthermore, I don't want to leave them out to dry while they wait for business to finish slowing down. After all, I've had to pick up the slack of all my coworkers who quit, and if I leave before things have slowed down enough, my bosses will be screwed. They have a friend that they can ask to help, but she can't do smoking rooms.
Some days, I've had to take unusually long shifts in order to pick up my coworkers' slack. I'm worried that if I say I can start a new job immediately, I won't be able to predict which hours to start with. So I've been saying "September 26". I don't want to work a seasonal job like this again. I don't want to be scared any more.
I want to surprise Karin with a query letter. I want to submit some poems to Wyn Lit. However, I'm guessing that I first have to decide which poems to submit this time. I like a lot of my poems, but there isn't room for all the ones I'm willing to submit in one mag. Maybe if I submit them all, she'll stagger them between a few issues. That might be dumb, though, if she wants first printing rights on anything she accepts, and then takes a while (though as I understand, Wyn Lit's wait times are relatively short) to print them. I hope she likes them, even the rude ones.
I'm 21, and I'm not done growing physically. I know this because my menstrual cycle has become milder, and my figure more curvy - and not due to weight gain - only since the beginning of the year. In fact, the visible changes only began around April or May. Even my singing voice seems to be changing.
Even though I was low this morning, I'm feeling better now. By the way, I cleaned all my rooms on time today!
The kitty is napping in my messy room because it is nice and dark.
I think I'm in a low. I can't be PMSing yet (I might just be entering my fertile week). I want to cry but I'm not sure if I can. I am sad and comfort-eating and I'm not sure why. I have few people to confide in. Those I do have are so few that they don't have all the time I need to sort it out (I answer my own questions better after having asked someone). Either that or they're not versatile enough.
I want to talk to Clayton, and he's gone for a couple of days. We left on a low note. I told him two of the three things I wanted to tell him, and then his parents picked him up. And I do hope that the third thing I want to tell him isn't bull. I want to wait until he comes back and tell him in person.
I did not know that Karin would want to turn the ad I designed into a logo. This does mean that a lot of my picture will have to be removed, as it is too busy for shrinking or split-second impressions. That's alright. She also wants to make the slogan I wrote for it into Wynterblue's slogan. I'll tell you once it's been published.
Come to think of it, it does bug me a little that we don't get to use the whole thing. But I don't think Karin currently has time to run more than one ad, so she'll need one that can fill multiple purposes.
No volunteering this week. Karin's on vacation.
My landlady's back. Time to get used to her again. At least she's really smart and kind.
Last week was not for folding and stapling. Last week was for fundraising foundations. We were brainstorming possible sponsors for a while. Soon, I told Karin that she might be more convincing if she sold people on principles, such as giving a voice to Northern Ontario, rather than just asking bluntly. I got the idea from ad studies in school. For example, Coca Cola doesn't just sell cola. It sells people on youthfulness, stylishness, and currently, the ghetto image. Thus, people actually think that buying Coke will make them cool. So, she told me to design an ad. Well, okay. So I did. And it's not nearly as shallow as a pop ad.
I had no idea that I could be good for something so practical. And to be allowed to do this thing without graduating college? Anyways, she loves the whole thing, including the slogan (which will come out with the ad). She's going to ask one of her artist friends to create the actual art. I can draw well enough to give a pretty good idea of what I'm seeing, but not good enough to sell alright. This is so cool. Tomorrow, when I get to the office, I may print out the pictureless ad and draw a better version of my picture so the artist can see what we want. The current version is all crumpled from being in my bag. My bad.
We're also going around asking for sponsors tomorrow. I'd better get a chance to take a dip before I go, or I'll look and smell too bad from work.
Speaking of work, it's time for me to start looking for a new job. Motels don't generate a lot of dirt in the winter.
My First Day at Wynterblue
Yesterday, I folded a zillion 20 page paper booklets so that Karin could staple them. You see, Grand & Toy has already been generous in providing paper and printing. She thought it would be courteous not to ask for stapling as well. I also met two other volunteers.
After she had filled a box of stapled litmags, Karin made me a schedule. Since Grand & Toy's printing came in late this week, I may have to fold some more next week. The newsletter comes out every second week, and this one coming up is late.
Glamourous job, I know.
Oh well. It won't be all there is to it, once we're caught up. I'm just glad I can help in the production of litmags.
What Else I Do
Wynterblue Publishing Mission Statement:
Wynterblue Publishing Canada Inc. is dedicated to assist, encourage and promote Northern Ontario and Canadian Authors so that their written words will ultimately instill awareness and delight to Canadian and International readership.
Alright, so here's what they do.
They are non-profit. They publish a free litmag, called Wyn-Lit. They publish a paid litmag, called Wt - Blue Sky Region. They are not a scam. However, they turn -nobody- down. If your piece is not publishing-wor
Karin Lacroix has so many visions and dreams, it will be interesting to watch the organisation grow. So far, she is doing a lot on her own, with a bit of voluteer help every now and then. I've just joined the team. This will allow her to have more consistent volunteer help, at least until the end of the summer. If she can get subsidized, she may be able to employ me.
This means I get to work for a publisher!!! *hoppies up and down* Whether volunteer or employment, this is a great oppurtunity for me to learn about the industry, and get closer to my dreams! I have one heckuvalotta work to do now.
"Dear Wynterblue Staff;
Hello. My name is Vicki Nemeth. I read the ad in Wyn Lit #2/17 that you're looking for volunteers. I would like to help out.
Currently, I'm not a member of Wynterblue. I have only found out that memberships are available at the Books By The Bay opening, Friday night. I plan to become a member once I can scrounge up the funds.
My first draft of this email was a barrage of facts about what I'm capable of, so that you could see what to get me to help with. But I think I'd rather summarize:
I love literature and writing. I am an Honours English major on break for at least a year. I think I should job shadow publishing editors and others in the literary field. I rely on the bus to travel around town, and am physically fit (though not athletic). For the summer, I have lots of free time but little money, and after labour day, I plan to have less time but more money.
Now I can ask you what you would like help with. Thanks for giving me an oppurtunity to help!
I'll be awaiting your reply.
Books By The Bay
This past weekend was the Books By The Bay Festival: A Northern Festival To Celebrate Canadian Authors. Whee! I went to the launch party. It was a book fair with readings and interviews. I talked to a lady who is just about to have her book published, and she gave me info about Wynterblue Thunder, and a few tips on learning about Canadian contests.
I had dragged Clayton along, and we were among very few young people who went to the party, and the even fewer who went without adult assistance. After having learned what I did from the woman next to me, I began to realize that I, my writing, or my success wouldn't benefit much more from attending. I decided to sit out the rest of the weekend. Luckily, I hadn't bought a weekend pass. The nature of my work means I can't rely on myself to attend enough to make it pay for itself.
Today, I learned that Wynterblue Thunder works to help Northern writers get published. The editor may publish something in her litmag(s). Or, she may workshop your piece to get it into good enough shape to submit somewhere. She'll even help you search for an appropriate, legitimate publisher or agent. Awesome.
She is looking for members. It doesn't have to mean you're a writer and want to be workshopped. It could just be your way of giving support to Northern artists. She's also looking for... volunteers. Oo. I could be a volunteer. I wonder what those volunteer folk do.
You know what? PMS sucks. I thought I was in a low, but it was just PMS. If I had realized it was just PMS, I would have had an easier time dealing with it. I'm going to start keeping track of them on my calendar from now on.
I'll talk about the night I found out I was kicked out of school.
Mom had been over the weekend before, and when she got back to her house, she discovered even more mail for me. However, I hesitated to phone her and ask her to open it, because I had already heard enough from her when she was around.
The first letter was just saying that I'd get my $100 deposit back for keeping my dorm in good condition. The second was that I am required to withdraw, that I will also see it on my web account, and that I can petition if I think I have a good reason for having such a bad average.
So I said nasty thing to Mommy, like, "I only went to University to get out of your house anyways."
So when we hung up, I called Clayton. I didn't want him to come over, because I was having a clingy day, and thought him returning would just make it worse. However, we both knew I needed him, now.
So he made it over to my place, but not before I'd had time to phone more friends down south. I calmed down while talking to them. I knew I did not belong in Nipissing anyways. I might later, but not as a prisoner of society.
But when Clayton and I went to bed, I could not sleep. I had stomach pains for no apparent reason but anxiety. I wanted to hit the bed or scream or something, but I was afraid of hurting Clayton's ears or disturbing the neighbours. I kept shaking, and I think I was chanting "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry." Or maybe I'm mixing up the chanting part with another night. For a while I tried rubbing Clayton's back gently, instead of spending my energy on killing something. I don't know how many hours we spent trying to sleep.
After trying for hours to give me advice on getting to sleep, Clayton gave up on trying to fix things and just said, "Vicki, you don't deserve this."
So I started panting, and crying, and screaming. I didn't care if I woke the neighbours. All Clayton could do was hold me and keep saying, "I love you."
I was able to sleep after that.
I wrote my English essay. I finally wrote my English essay! I even did it through a low.
Well, I wasn't very confident in my citing, or the file I'd turned in to the online plagiarism checker, so I hung around the Prof's office until I had the chance to hand it in to her in person.
With time to kill, I eventually let my eyes wander along the "Free Books" shelf next to the English offices. There I found NEXUS Vol. 7 #1 (summer, 1994), and NU-NOW Anthology #2 (Nipissing University - Northern Ontario Writers' Contest, 1996). By the way, I rather like John Kooistra's poetry so far. A bit of that in NU-NOW is all I've read of the two mags.
So, here I was, reading away at all the yummy yummy poetry, and wondering if these publications are still alive and well, and if they take the kind of material I might create, and if maybe I do have a chance at being a writer, now that I have the oppurtunity to learn about places I might submit to. Oh, it's so nice to find some litmags for free. They're far too spread out, and rare, and expensive for a student or aspiring writer to get hold of, which is quite ironic if you need to know what a mag will accept in order to send it anything appropriate.
So, my Prof finally turned up in her office, and I handed in the essay. At the end of our lenghty discussion about my reservations, I choked, "Do you have a moment?"
"Do you have any litmags."
"What do you mean?"
"What kind?" she asked.
I stared. "I don't know."
She frowned. "I have scholarly literary journals, with reviews and essays and such."
"Oh." My head refused to decide whether to sink or cock sideways. "Well, do you have anything with just stories?"
"I don't think so... Oh wait, I do have a pile of these that I never look at." She pulled a BRICK out of her shelf.
"Oh, BRICK," I squeak. "That's a big one."
Summer of 2003's BRICK 71. One of about seven Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Issues she has piled up on her bookshelf, gathering dust.
"Here. You can have it."
"Okay. Thanks. Umm... you don't have any genre litmags, do you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you know, like fantasy or sci-fi."
Yes, we then went on a little clicheed discourse, focusing on my pet peeve about scholars and awards people not respecting genre-specific work without even evaluating it, first. But, never mind that.
I rested the BRICK over the other two mags in my school bag. As I left, she called after me, "Maybe that's the sort of thing you're going to be editing."
I've already told her I say editor because I'm afraid people won't accept housewife. "Well, I could just be writing for them," I called back down the hall.
Guess what. I have a BRICK. I've just been drooling over it in preparation for this entry. Oh, God! Oh, God! I have a BRICK.
Not that I expect to get my work into one in the near future. It's still nice, though, to have one of Canada's biggest litmags kicking around the house, with submission guidelines right there on the publication info page. There's that, and then there's the most coveted and elusive guideline: the material inside. Now I finally get to see if I should even care about the technical submission guidelines in the first place. It's quite encouraging.
Soon, I get to spend the summer tasting and smelling and caressing and holding and feeling and reading and absorbing and staring at the firstfruits of hopefully many litmags to enter my collection.
I usually don't have my principles defined word for word. For the most part, I have some summaries, but nothing really detailed and meaty. There is one thing, though, that I've finally realized I live by and know I live by, even on the outside:
If you can do something that most people can't, you should, because if hardly anybody can do it, then there is going to be a need for it that you can fill.
One reason why I moved to a tiny Northern school, is that I can handle the cold and the forest better than many other people from my hometown. I'll leave room down south for the people who can't handle the North. I took English, in part, because nobody else I know loves it as much as me.
So now I feel like I should be doing something about the water crisis. The thing is, ~real~ things aren't my strength. I find world issues, political debates, and particularly things that require a good fight, very stressful (in my opinion, debates about linguistics are not required for human survival, in the way that debates about the poor treatment of Canadian aboriginals is).
However, nobody else ~knows~ about the water crisis. It appears that only activists and scholars do. So I am suddenly put in a position of relatively unique power that I don't have all the skills to handle. My standard of what I can do to fill a demand is suddenly brought down a few notches, against my will.
Well, I guess I'm already doing things about other important problems I'm worried about (mostly consumerism, especially in the area of companies controlling consumers). I avoid wearing certain clothes just because they obey fashion trends. I thrift shop. I avoid TV. I use a free browser that can toggle visual ads on and off. I eat little meat. I try to buy certain things organic, free-range, or less than conventionally polluting in some other way. I use Linux. Oh, and by the way, I already don't buy bottled water.
That is the first action recommended to me to help. I know my next one is shortening my danged showers. And I'm already leaving people little thoughts that, Hey, look, there's a water crisis, and isn't it scary that nobody knows about it?
So, I guess this means that I have to start reading in places like www.blueplanet
Uni culture has been putting so much pressure on me to get involved. It's woven throughout my class material, and practically required if you want a social life with decently engaging people. Well, it looks like I've finally caved. Once I'm on my feet this summer, I'll be figuring out how to do things besides classes and food. I will be starting from scratch.
(cross-posted on other domains)
These are the ways that I deal with depression, which I've had for long enough to learn them.
I separate my logical mind from my emotional mind. That way, when I feel worthless, I can still think I'm not.
I force myself to see people as many days a week as possible.
That includes going to class.
I don't watch sad or dark media. Unless the only way I can see people is to join them in watching it. It's ironic. At least then I still have my limits.
When I'm seeing people, if it's a really bad day, I deliberately avoid wearing black. In fact, sometimes I even do it on a pretty good day.
I don't drink. Alcohol makes me cry, and I barely have a tolerance.
I give hugs. When I lie in bed hating myself, I tell myself that I'm not worthless, because I can give hugs. So fulfilling that statement helps me believe it.
I listen to happy and/or high quality music. Sometimes hymns, from ancient to very new.
I cry like a 3-year-old. Or older.
I clean my room, and organise my school notes.
I get lots of sun.
I get exercise. The bus sucks anyways. I find it more stressful to wait for it than to walk, and even riding it is kind of crappy, because I'm just sitting there. Or, I'm standing in an illegally full-to-bursti
I know that sleeping the way I do is a form of avoidance. My mind likes to do it because it doesn't know how to take care of itself. Unfortunately, I really am pretty darned tired. I got plenty of sleep last night (after having gotten no sleep the night before, of course), and I was still tired through my classes today. I hadn't even had to get up too early for them.
I really hope my separating my logical from my emotional thinking doesn't rig my mental health assessment tests to be nicer than they should be...
My body has antibodies. My mind has...
I don't want to do anything. I just want to sit here, quiet, and alone. It's nice at night. There is nothing demanded of you. The easy strokes against the senses are relaxing, and valuable in their rarity. Why sleep through my rest? I should rather enjoy it. Let me sleep through the time of assaults on my psyche.
Let me do no work that is not of my first love, for I am not composed of prestige in the eyes of others. I am me. I am a whole person. I am here, before I do what you want me to do. I am a being. My identity exists without your brownie points.
God made me before you made me what I am. I need not serve your wishes to be alive.
When I don't believe this, I have no identity. When I attempt to form my identity based on accomplishment
I am sleeping through namelessness to defend my life.
Well, today, I'm going to Disability Services at my school. I didn't want to, because the mental health system has shown itself to be unhelpful throughout the years I've used it. But I am driven to think that I should give this one a chance before turning it down.
On days when I am diminished, I can get up just in time to eat before walking to class, plod up the hill like a persevering camel, arrive slightly late, and hot from exercise, come up with some wonderful critical analysis that makes my teacher squeal at the unique talent behind it, hear a personal praise, and not feel a thing. I leave, thinking, "I was supposed to react more to that, and now she's going to think it never works on me."
Oh, but on days when I'm not diminished I dance all over the school and make a dozen new acquaintances and give my friends all the goodness inside me and hope to God that I will not ruin myself again over my next stretch of too much free time.
I am winning. I have been winning since after seminar this Friday, when I finally wanted not to do that to my teacher again. And I wanted to go see the island in the frozen pond, so I did.
Nic came to Canada this week. I saw him on Friday, the day he left. He shot a stupid movie, a sequel to his stupid Bionicle sketch on YouTube, and gave me two Zamor Spheres. :) So dumb.