Sometimes it’s hard to write wherever you may be. I’m not always one for having a music soundtrack to write to, I usually need something that’s a bit more than silence, but can’t have words that distract me into singing along. Hence:
I’ve travelled a fairly decent amount in my 26 years. My father was an engineer for one of the two main Australian airlines, joining the new second-main-Australian-Airline when the first was bought out and smashed to pieces (ie. Ansett and then Virgin Australia).
In our Ansett days, we could fly return to anywhere in Australia for $40 or $70 or so, depending on where, time of year, and how many other flights we’d had that year. With mum’s side of the family in one remote part and dad’s in one of the major cities, we spent most holidays elsewhere. Thanks to his ongoing training, we also went to places like Bali.
Because of all that, I’ve always been fairly comfortable flying. When I got older I took myself to Fiji, Singapore, Tokyo (three times), London and surrounds (three times) and around Australia countless times, whether for a weekend to catch up with friends or longer.
This was all mainly before my anxiety set in though. And before I burst my eardrum thanks to not liking the cabin pressure and having blocked ears thanks to sickness or not even being able to tell. In freaking out over it all once, flailing out to a friend, he said if I take something yellow, I’ll be fine. So now my chocobo flies everywhere with me.
I try not to be an annoying flyer – one who always needs to get up a dozen times yet takes the window seat. Or is constantly going into their bag, whether it be in the overhead compartment or it’s stuff dug into the backseat pocket, because I know you can feel a lot of that.
I wear a jacket/tunic thing that has a lot of pockets, so before I board I have my tissues, drink bottle and eat tablets, sound-cancelling headphones and book all on my person, so I can literally find my seat, drop my bag and sit down. Everything is already set to flight-mode, and so on.
But when all this is already done and second-nature, what is left to do when the anxieties take over? It’s all so much to think and worry about.
Thankfully, I’ve finally found a doctor who believes the depth of my ear troubles. I’ve had a CT scan and will have a hearing test on Monday, then I see him again after that. He thinks I’ll need to have minor surgery. As long as it means I can fly without damaging my ears, then woohoo.
Don’t think it’ll help with the anxiety, though.
Depression is an unfair and stupid thing, but I’ve never really minded suffering from it. I was never that social with friends or hobbies. I’ve never been into drinking or clubbing and though I sometimes struggle to leave the house to get groceries or ring something official if I need to get something done, I’ve managed it. My parents help out, and I’m usually able to go to work, where I’m more likely to be able to ring people. Work is also flexible enough for me to just go home if things get too much – so far, I haven’t breached my leave.
But then it started to effect my writing, three or four years ago. Maybe longer, I really have no concept of time. And in the last year or so, it’s effected my reading. And this is where it hurts. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m friends with authors (though I am with a few) I have a few others who are aware of me. This is a change brought on by social media, where authors give away books, see you squee (or snap) about them, see you update your status on sites such as Goodreads… And this is amazing until it comes to someone like me, with my little problem. I’ve been meaning to read certain books – the author usually sees this and comments – and then I just kind of drift – and I feel so guilty because I worry that their first thought is that I’m clearly not enjoying it if I can’t even be bothered to finish it.
Perhaps I’m paranoid, but some authors will go out of their way to interact with you. Until reading that book turns into months, and you get others done instead, and their warmth disappears. Maybe I’m seeing something that’s not there. Maybe they are human, and do notice these things, and are thinking ‘…so, my book not good enough for you, eh?’
My writing is my own issue. No one else gives a damn whether I write or not, but I think they do when they know I’ve started their book and failed to finish it. I wish it wasn’t so awkward to talk about. Yeah, you know I started your book, I’m enjoying it, and I’d enjoy it even more if I wasn’t in this headspace. I want to keep reading it, I do.
Just… authors – I know it’s hard when you put your work out there. Authors have to be strong and learn to take criticism – this is a known thing – but it’s still pretty hard, at least some days, to take it when someone doesn’t finish your book. Just please think that there could another reason they/I haven’t finished or read your book yet – and that’s nothing about you, or your book. It’s just that having depression makes it very, very hard to enjoy things.
So I still haven’t started writing again, not properly. I have a little here and there, but I’m not writing, as in daily or at least often, constantly. My partner is, however. His novel is coming along well, at 24,000 words last I heard (I think), and it’s very engaging. It’s hard not to beg and harass him for more.
In my post ‘2012 Novel to be Read’ I listed 20 books I hear of all the time but haven’t yet read. So far I’ve read one of those now, ‘The Diviners’ by Libba Bray. I’m pretty sure I have them all on my kindle now, so I have no excuses. My reading this year has been lazy so far.
In my ‘Year of Reading’ post, I listed the following novels.
I have three waiting to be read that I haven’t got ’round to yet, and three haven’t been released yet, and I’ve had to lie on one line because SECRETS MUST BE KEPT and eee. So I’m doing pretty well on that side of things, at least.
In my ‘Day Zero Project’ post, I said in 2013 I would:
And so far I haven’t made much action on any of those points. Need a good kick, don’t I? Though 4 can’t happen until October anyhow. In a way I discovered the author Livia Day, but that’s Tansy Rayner Roberts under a different pen name, so kinda doesn’t count as a ‘new’ author. Other authors I’ve really enjoyed are Walter Jon Williams (for ‘This is not a Game’), Courtney Schafer (for ‘Whitefire Crossing’) and Marie Brennan (for ‘A Natural History of Dragons’).
Anyhow. Either way, I need to get more done. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is currently stealing all of my time.
To re-cap, I am giving away two copies of The Lies of Locke Lamora, and two copies of Red Seas Under Red Skies – the first two books in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard Sequence – in preparation of his third book coming out in October.
The winners can choose whether they receive the book in paperback or eVersion, but they’re only receiving the first book straight away! Once they’ve read it, I’ll send along the second book. This is a little push to hope they get them read before the third book is out 🙂
But enough about that – onto the winners! I will be contacting them asap, but if you are the lucky winners and haven’t heard of me, check your spam box and/or email me to my username @ gmail.com in order to sort out which address you’d like them sent to, and whether you prefer paperback or electronic.
I should drag this out a little more, shouldn’t I?
No? Righto – the winners!
Thank you everyone for entering. I’ll probably run another, perhaps for the third book alone, closer to October.
Well, giving away awesome Scott Lynch books may be one thing (see my previous entry for the competition I’m running!), but a giveaway of 15 signed fantasy books comes pretty close as well.
There’s a new site called ‘BookSworn’ of 15 authors, and to kick it off, they’re running a competition. The way to enter is one of the best I’ve ever seen – you really do have to prove you’re a fan of fantast novels!
Best of all, it’s open worldwide (always appreciated). You have until the 25th of March, and almost all the ‘masks’ have been revealed so now is the time to start working at it! Best of luck 🙂
Scott Lynch is easily my favourite author. His series, The Gentleman Bastards, is the one I fling at others the most to read and nearly everyone who’s had the book pitched at their heads has loved it.
Now that the third book has a release date, it’s time for me to do another giveaway!
I will be giving away two copies each of ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’, and ‘Red Seas Under Red Skies’ – the first two books in the series. The winner can choose whether they would like the paperback version, kindle version, or any other electronic version that has the same easy ‘gift this ebook via email’ option.
To make it a bit different though – the winner will only receive ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ to begin with. Whenever they have finished it (hopefully sometime this year!) I’ll then send through ‘Red Seas Under Red Skies’. Basically just to be a little push to edge this series up your reading pile, as we only have six months until the third is out!
Anyone in the world can enter my competition (if the winner chooses paperback, I’ll happily send them anywhere). All you have to do to enter is comment below stating why you’d love to win 🙂
Winners will be picked at random, only then will I contact requesting postage or email details.
Competition ends 29th of March (Australian time!), and the winners will be announced on the 30th March, 2013.
Scott Lynch’s 3rd book, ‘The Republic of Thieves’ will be released on October 10, 2013 in the UK and Commonwealth and October 8, 2013 in the US!