Oct 26

Contact form broken

I just noticed that my contact form is broken. I really don’t have the time or inclination to fix it right now. You are welcome to drop me a note at carter at carternipper. com.

My doctor and I are battling to bring me back out of a long depression. Depression sucks. Bi-polar depression sucks a lot worse. We are making progress, but I am still not back to the point of being able to write. I will post some more of my backlog here soon.

 

Feb 07

Changing My Life

On my doctor’s orders, I have begun making some changes in my life. I have gone on a low/no starch diet and started an exercise program. The results after 2 weeks — better control over my blood sugar than I have had in years. I am also looking forward to losing some weight along the way. It’s too early for that to show up yet in any significant way.

The diet is the tough part. Starches are such a large part of the American diet that it can be hard to break the habit, much less find alternatives. Flour is such a staple that it is very hard to avoid. So are potatoes, rice, corn, and other starchy vegetables. So is sugar.

This diet is requiring me to pay a lot more attention to my food choices, to be aware of the content of what I am eating. .I am having to shop more carefully and take more time in food preparation. I have been scouting out low or no starch recipes and finding some that look very good.

My diet is not really Paleo. That variation encourages a lot more fat consumption. I have to be a little more careful about that and limit fats, as weight control is a big concern and harder to maintain for diabetics. Good fats, olive oil and nuts, for instance, are OK in small quantities. I will get enough other fat from meat and other sources to make up for that.

What I really miss right now are baked goods. With flour on the banned list, baking is going to be a little bit of a problem. I have found some recipes that use almond and flaxseed meal that look good. I will experiment with that a little bit an report back.

Just like with gardening, changing your diet is a lot of work. I think it will be worth it in the end.

Dec 29

Glad to be Back

It’s nice to be feeling so much better. I am working with my current doctor to try to make sure it lasts a while.

My previous doctor, whom I finally fired, was content to maintain the status quo even when I continually complained of slipping further into depression. After I got fed up and took action to get better help, I hooked up with a doctor who understands and cares.

The big problem is that anti-depressants don’t work well with Bipolar Disorder. They work for 4-6 months and then fade out. I finally think I have a doctor that understands that. My current med has kicked me into a very mild hypomania, which I am really enjoying. It’s so wonderful to feel good again.

Progress is being made on a new short story (YAY! it’s been way too long!). It is called “Love, Honor, and Cherish”, and I am really enjoying writing it. It’s a mainstream story about, you guessed it, love and marital problems. I often miss being able to write the dark, twisted tales, but it’s just really hard to force my mind into that mode right now. The down side of hypomania, as far as my writing is concerned.

I also got most of the links on my Pubs and Subs page updated. Apparently, my stories have been poison to any market that has published them to date. The roster of the dead includes AlienSkin, The Harrow, A Fly in Amber, The Writer’s Hood, and Nocturnal Ooze. Editors beware!

Dec 18

Welcome back!

It’s been a long, dark, lonely time. Bipolar depression really sucks. But I’m back, even if it is temporary. We’re adjusting my meds on an ongoing basis to try to stay ahead of the curve on this. So far, so good.

You will have noticed some changes on the blog. For a variety of reasons, I had to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress and, in the process, lost all my categories and users. If you would like to comment, please sign up (again). Such is the life of a Webmaster, even a part-timer like me. Nothing like a computer to really foul things up.

Anyway, more to come. I am debating posting more stories. I have begun submitting again (see the Pubs and Subs page for details), so I have to weed out those that I still think have a chance.

That’s all for today. See you again soon. If there’s anybody left out there, anyway.

May 29

Yup

Let’s see…

    • Not sleeping
    • Thoughts racing
    • Smartass sense of humor in high gear

Yeah, I am definitely swinging into hypomanic territory. I hope this lasts as long as the depression usually does. I can get a lot done.

Oct 27

In the Dreary Old Land of Oz

Lynn brought up an interesting point in a comment on my last post. Does the longing I feel for my lost childhood home and the urge I feel to move back there play into my current depression? They are certainly not causative factors, but they do aggravate and intensify the condition.

Bipolar disorder is primarily a physical condition, in which the brain’s neurotransmitters get out of whack, unregulated, so they flip-flop between too much and not enough (an incredibly over-simplified analysis). At either end of the spectrum, psychological factors act as magnifiers to intensify the condition.

Therapy helps, and I do get that, but medication ultimately helps more. The talk therapy I get helps me understand the way that bipolar disorder and my many psychological issues reinforce each other and helps helps me deal with that, at least on an intellectual level. Unfortunately, that does not help with the physical manifestations of BPD. The only help for that is patience and medication adjustments.

Thanks for the comments, Lynn and everyone else! The good thoughts remind me that there are people out there who care, and that is a great life-preserver to hang onto. This will turn around. It always has, and it always will. In, the meantime, I just have to keep that hope alive.

Writing? What’s that? 🙂

I am not writing right now in terms of creating new stories. I am, though, reviewing some of my existing work (which I do find is pretty good, mostly), polishing here and there, and submitting select pieces. I hope that my mental processes will have turned the corner by the time the rejections start coming back. Though I am certainly used to rejections by now, they can still have a negative impact when I am like this.

Oct 12

Feels Just Like Starting Over

Thank you all for the well-wishes. It helps to know there are so many caring people out there.

My depression is proving somewhat resistant to treatment this time. The bad news is it’s not getting better. The good news is it’s not getting worse. I am just stuck on struggling through each day. With the dark of the year coming on, I can look forward to more of the same for a while, I suspect.

Maybe Spring will bring a new hope. I have to hope. It’s about all I have right now.

I have today off from work (Columbus Day), which also helps. I took advantage of the three-day weekend to tend to some unfinished writing business. I withdrew three stories which had been in submission for a very long time with no response, which cleared my decks. It was weird not having anything submitted for a couple of days.

Today, I submitted two stories: “What Dreams May Come” to Chzine, and “Worse Than Death” to Shock Totem. I don’t expect to have much luck with these, as these are professional markets, and I probably don’t yet have enough of a reputation to break into them, but then hope is all I have.

I spent a long time in despair over my writing. I had come to the conclusion that everything was shit, and that I was wasting my time and energy to no good purpose. It’s a good thing I know by now that these times are not the best for making unalterable decisions, so I did not delete everything.

My belief in my writing is still not strong, yet, but it is coming back. Some re-reading and a little polishing have gone a long way toward re-affirming my faith in that area. Now, if I could just have another story idea… That may be asking too much. Maybe later.

Here’s hoping everyone else is well. I will be back upon occasion, though probably infrequently for now.

Jan 15

Where Am I?

Thank you everybody for the expressions of concern. I think I am OK. I think.

I find myself in an odd state of mind these days. Though my mood is generally good, my energy and motivation suck. If it is possible for them to be in the negative range, they are. This kind of mental state is new to me, and it is taking me time to adjust.

I can blame part of it on Seasonal Affective Disorder. More blame lies in the various (and very personal) reasons why I so dislike this time of year. Anyway, I hope to see things turn around as we get into winter and spring, and the sun has more face time.

On the writing front, things are pretty stagnant. My current WIP (the re-submission) is at a point of frustration right now. I know what I want the climax to be, but I can’t figure out how to get there from here. Transitions can be such a major pain sometimes. As my mind clears (which it already has, at least a little bit), I will be able to get that finished and out the door.

I am also backlogged on submissions. The rejections keep coming, but I have not been able to gather the energy to do the necessary research and get these stories back out into circulation. I currently have 5 or 6 lying around that really need to find a home. Again, that will be resolved in the coming weeks.

I hope everybody else is doing OK. I haven’t been able to do the blog-rounds lately, but I will get back to that Real Soon Now.