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Fragile

Fragile

That’s the word I most often use to describe myself these days. Fragile. The champagne flute balanced on the edge of a table. The paper-thin shell of a macaroon. The egg perched at the edge of the nest, wobbling in the breeze. Like I could break at any moment, shatter into a million pieces, and scatter to the ends of the earth.

Fragile.

For someone who’s prided herself on always being the one in control, the one with all the answers, the one who can handle anything thrown at her, this is an odd feeling, and one I’m not comfortable with. But there’s nothing to be done for it, really. I’ve realized over the past few months that sometimes you have to go with what you’re feeling, accept the weakness, before you can take that step back from the ledge to safety.

So why am I feeling so breakable these days? I’ve spent a lot of time this week alone. Really, I spend a lot of every week alone. I work a technical job and most days I’m in my office with the door closed. I ride the bus with tons of other people, but I’m alone there, too. At home, I get a couple of hours with my husband at night, but then it’s back to being alone again the next morning. Most of my friends aren’t local, and I’m really terrible at reaching out. Sometimes there’s no way I can. It’s a cycle I sometimes find myself in. Start to feel down, don’t reach out, withdraw further, and then finally, after longer than I should, I either force myself to connect with someone, someone forces me to connect with them, or the low naturally reverses itself and I’m me again.

When I don’t know what to do, when I can’t make sense of the world, I go into my own safe cocoon and write. Though lately, even that hasn’t been working all that well. I’m on some new medication that promises to have benefits, but right now is leaving me kind of out of it at night, and unable to really focus. Which then leads to more depression because I can’t do what I used to do.

Yes, I said the word. I know that I’m depressed. Or have been, as I feel like I’m coming out of the darkness now. I’ve had these bouts of depression all of my life, but since they’re not serious (to me), I’ve never really tried to do anything about them before. Maybe I should. But then again, so much of what I see as the cause is…not temporary, but at least situational.

My job (the day job) has been undergoing some less than pleasant changes of late. My health, while in theory on the mend (albeit slowly), still leaves me with more bad days than good. And I’ve been waiting on edits for Moonlight and Macchiatos. This novella has been a problem for a while now. I love the characters, I even love most of the story. But the edits came back today (I’m writing this post on a Friday) and there’s work to be done. A lot of work. Not as much work as A Shift in the Air, thank goodness, but still a lot of work. And while I knew that was likely the case, and I feel better knowing I was at least right about the level of work that needed to be done, having this huge task ahead of me, along with everything else that’s on my plate, doesn’t help me see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I intended this novella to be out by now. Hell, it was a Fourth of July novella in the first place. Then a Halloween story. Then, when I had to rewrite it for the third time (pre-edit), I planned for Thanksgiving. Then, there were more delays and now…it might be a Valentine’s story. Which then screws up my publication schedule. My plans for a holiday boxed set, my sales for Mistletoe and Mochas. And makes it that much harder for me to quit the day job. Fewer books = fewer sales = need that full-time job longer.

And we won’t even talk about how getting an edit back is not the easiest event in the world, even when you trust your editor and you’ve been through this before.

So I need to regroup. I have a holiday short story to write for another project, Revelations in Blood is coming along, albeit slowly, and I need to start thinking about the lore for A Shift in the Earth and A Shift in Flames (or Fire…which do you like better?). But for tonight, I’m going to shut down, try to see my way clear to the changes ahead, and have a rather large glass of wine.

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