Writing Journal

Rewriting the Remembrance, from 23 January.

Where are they taking Sebastian, anyway? Nikki threw out the cold stone room with a bed made of concrete slabs, stacked waist high. Would this Herod and this Jason be taking them someplace comfortable? Yes, they’ve been through this before, but the circumstances were totally different. Didn’t exactly have a choice of locale.

Does a comfortable place even exist in the Keep? Oh, man, that’s an enormous can of worms. Herod hasn’t lost all of his humanity yet, so an argument could be made that he would still want comfort for both himself and anyone staying in the Keep. While Nikki brought up the idea of the Keep shifting as Herod lost more and more of his softness, I think I prefer the idea of Herod remembering the Keep from the future, and using that to dream the building into existence. But there will be citizens living and/or working in the Keep. No matter how many edges Herod will end up with, humans require rest, and prefer comfort. Even if Herod didn’t need or want it, he’d recognize the need to have it around.

So, in what kind of room will Sebastian’s transformation take place? He has to be able to lay on his front, to allow the wings to come out. Should he be restrained, so he doesn’t flop onto his back or off of whatever they’ve got him on? No, Diane wouldn’t react well to that, and she’s already got enough tension built up to make her snap. Piling on more right now would be gratuitous and counter-productive.

It’ll be a round room, walled with red bricks that have obviously been salvaged from collapsed buildings. Concrete or gray brick would be too cold. Set into a wood floor is a circular depression, ringed by a bench lined with thick cushions. The floor of the depression is also padded with cushions, and this is where they will lay Sebastian. Jason will crouch at his head, ready to hold his shoulders, and Diane will crouch at his feet to do the same. Herod will enter just before the fun begins, like in the original.

The room and its depressions will be large enough to seat about fifteen people. The floor between the brick wall and the depression is wide enough for two people to pass each other. There are no wall hangings, but there is a sunroof in the center of the high ceiling. The sunroof is made of stained glass that mimics a spiderweb crack in a single glass pane. There are oxidized copper sconces mounted along the walls as well, but they are torch-less.

Nerd Links

These links have pocket protectors!

  • Never Alone, a game with a side of education. Jesse Cox gave this one all kinds of props, so I am eagerly awaiting its release for Mac through Steam.
  • Better World Books, a place to buy books, donate books, and help world literacy. Sounds awesome to me.
  • Sandstorm, app-ifying servers, for personal, developer, and enterprise use. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but there’s some technical awesomeness going on here. Their pitch is heavy on the security.
  • Arcade Legacy, an amazeballs (thanks Paul!) arcade in an empty mall! These guys have everything I’d set up for my own arcade. If I had a bucket list, this place would be on it.
  • Bios Urn, because why haven’t we always done it this way?
  • Strange Matter Coffee, bringing San Francisco coffee to Lansing! This place was Kickstarted! I want to give it all the exclamation points! I don’t know what this feeling is, but it might be caffeine-flavored love.

Writing Journal

This post is coming to you while I’m going through airport security. Enjoy!

Rewriting the Remembrance, from 17 and 23 January.

What does Diane think of the Keep? How does it make her feel? Of course, the general impression is of being stuck inside Herod’s head, but how would it filter through to Diane? Scientist that has conjured a unicorn from her dreams, which subsequently attacked those she was just starting to care about. While desperately trying to find an anchor with which to understand how the world was changing, her co-worker works a miracle, impossibly repairing an entire town and then deciding to stay there. While her husband begins to get seriously ill, she and those around her are slapped in the face with a reminder of how the world used to operate, but they can’t/won’t reclaim because of something as ephemeral as dreams. She then tries to keep her husband, barely able to breathe properly, from – from what? Dying? Changing? She knows that he’s changing; she’s terrified that the change they’ve dreamt of will take him away from her. She’s not trying to keep him from anything at this point, it’s too late for that.

She’s trying to ease his pain. That’s the filter she’s viewing everything through at this point, from Jason to the Keep to her role in all of this.

There’s nothing around them, as they transport Sebastian, that can help. Things here are pointed, hard, strong. Nothing about the concrete, steel, or glass speaks of comfort or relief. She hasn’t survived all of this to give up hope, though. To her, it will mean that they haven’t reached their destination quite yet. Jason and company are taking them someplace where Sebastian can be comfortable.

They have to be.

State of the Skippy – Mental Health

Speaking about this makes me pretty damn uncomfortable. I hoped that writing about it would be less so. It’s not.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder that is likely caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain. As I have aged and added stressors into my life, it has gotten harder to manage instead of easier. Wisdom and experience have not brought me peace, but instead increasing frustration. At one point, I had such a severe anxiety attack that I thought I might be having a heart attack. I wrote about it:

That is when I should have sought help. That is when I should have recognized that something was actually wrong, and not just a character flaw on my part. That is when I should have begun talk therapy, if not requested medication immediately. Hindsight, 20/20, all of that goodness.

I did eventually start talk therapy, and it did some good. He and I both came to the conclusion that medication wasn’t an enemy in this case, and that I had taken all of the steps available to me that weren’t medication. You’d think, at this point, that I’d go right to my physician and start talking about available medications, their advantages and disadvantages.

Ha, nope.

You see, I got a shiny new job. I poured myself into that job, and it was amazing. It was (and still is!) such a good job, that it may be insulting not to call it a career step. I still live in Michigan, though, so I’m pretty sure our economy would smack me down for getting cocky. Anyway, I dug the new job so much that my baseline mood was lifted, thereby negating my need for the meds. Right? Right!

Wrong. The honeymoon period was incredibly long, but inevitably, I could not (and should not) prop up my entire mood on one aspect of my life. About two months ago, I went in to the doctor, and had the hardest conversation of my life. We talked about which meds did what, which ones had generics, what changed when you went from name brand to generic, etc, etc. In the end, we decided on a specific generic as a one-per-day pill, and the improvement in my life has been obvious and welcome.

I did not zombify. I did not become someone I’m not. I did not lose myself. In fact, it feels like the whole world has taken a step back, and I can breathe again.

When I was 3/4 of the way through my first bottle of pills, I met again with my doctor, and we went over how I’d changed, how the world had changed, and how my body was dealing with any side effects. We determined that I was on the right path, and I got my refill automatically sent to the pharmacy.

I took my last pill from the first bottle without even realizing that I hadn’t called the pharmacy to activate the refill. The night when that pill wore off, I had an anxiety attack that had many of the same symptoms as the one that sent me into the hospital. The next morning, I woke up right back in that old place, with the world pressing in on all sides. Thanks to Nikki’s still-logical brain, we got my refill processed quickly.

My take-away from that, and really, from all of this: I don’t want to be in that place any more, and I am thankful that I have a way not to be.