Migraine Monday: Everything is (not) fine

I’m teetering on the edge of hope and absolute nihilism. I guess that makes me a Millennial, amiright?

Life in the two years of blogging silence has been a glorious shitstorm. Phrased otherwise, some things have been glorious, and others have been shit. I couldn’t write, though. Every time I tried I was too angry, too traumatized, too defeated. My world was on fire, and I was impotent.

this is fine

Image description: “On Fire” from Gunshow by K.C. Green. Full comic available at http://gunshowcomic.com/648 Frame 1: Question Dog sits in a burning building, with a cup of coffee on a table. Frame 2: Question Dog says, “This is fine,” with flames behind him and smoke above him, ignoring his peril.

I have enough distance from some of it to know I was in a constant state of emotional abuse and gaslighting at the professional level, and varying stages of grief in other areas of my life. My feet weren’t on a strong enough foundation of reality to form a coherent narrative of, well, anything. 

I tried to act like everything was fine, while I felt like I was going mad.

Maybe going mad is the only way to stay sane in a mad world.

I know some may see this language as ableist, but I do not mean it colloquially or glibly. My college religion professor Dr. Haar ended each class meeting with the words “Stay sane out there,” and he meant it quite seriously. How do we maintain our grounding in a world that organizes genocide, kills black men and women indiscriminately, pushes queer children and teens out of their homes, and attempts to cut health coverage for the disabled?

It’s Migraine Monday, and the only thing I have a grip on is my migraines. At least that’s something. It’s a start. I can wake up to face the day, the battle, the world. I can see out of both eyes.

My fistful of meds and I are ready to write again. I hope you’ll join the conversation, add your voice, and and your feet, and your hands.



Writing Workshop Application Redux

I submitted my application for the Women Writing workshop at the Collegeville Institute. Eek. I guess if I ever want to be noticed or published, I need to get used to submitting my work for acceptance/rejection. Knowing me, it will never get easier and I will likely be a bit anxious every time.

I called my grammy a few times over the last few weeks to get some more details for her part of the story I submitted. I selected a chapter from my in-progress book April Showers called “The Dead Chicken Chapter.” It’s about a chicken. That died. And some other stuff, too. Because symbolism.

Now it’s time to wait… I am not good at waiting.

So many words

Today’s writing and reading task list:

  • complete the fine-toothed-comb search of the databases to make sure I actually have all relevant sources for my literature review
  • begin eliminating sources (and in some cases reeliminating sources) that turn out to be, in fact, irrelevant
  • call my grammy so I can ascertain details of the story I’m using for my workshop application
  • finish writing the prose for the workshop application
  • select my short (700-800 word) writing sample for the workshop application
  • finish reading book for next weekend’s class meeting
  • Spanish homework

Also on the agenda:

  • eat
  • shower
  • coffee

The thing about doing what I love is that I actually have to do it. So many words. So little time.

Writing Workshop Application

This month will mark the first time I’m voluntarily submitting my writing for acceptance/rejection. I’ve decided to apply for an intensive writing workshop for women at the Collegeville Institute in Minnesota. It’s specifically for women writing non-fiction prose, which is the genre of my current book project. It falls during the time I’ve traditionally gone home to visit my family back in North Dakota, and I have my timeline set up to be done with my first draft by my thirtieth birthday in April. This just seems like it fits.

I will be submitting a chapter from my book, titled “The Dead Chicken Chapter,” as my writing sample. I’ll post an excerpt here soon; it tells the story of my chickens and my divorce, and the story of my grandmother inadvertently killing a number of her family’s fowl during the Depression as a parallel tale. I’m quite proud of it.

Applications are due February 2nd; I will post a selected excerpt after that date. Mark your calendars!

Until then, please enjoy this chapter, which I shared on my personal Facebook page on what would have been my grandparents’ 72nd anniversary (three months after grandpa died).