2017: To Blog Or Not To Blog?

WELL. Here I am, finally, some two months or so since my last blog entry. For the handful of you who actually follow me, I sincerely apologize. To say I hit a “rough patch” would be putting it mildly. Sometime in early November, I sort of had a “come apart”. The fact that my hero, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by some 3 million votes but lost the election to TRUMP is not a coincidence. Combine that with the anxiety I felt trying to write a novel in  30 days for the National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo) and I just sort of fell to pieces. No novel was forthcoming. No writing of any kind was forthcoming, not even in my personal journals. I just froze up. I was dead inside. All because of an election, you say? Well, yeah, kinda. It was the most important election of my lifetime, I believe, and it was a disaster. In 10 days, a lying, racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, narcissistic , moronic  blowhard will be sworn in as President, despite proof of Russian hacking in the election, despite, Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote (because even though we complain about the electoral college every election year, we never do anything about it!). 2016 was a rough year. It had it’s bright moments. We should all count our blessings, of course, But it was a long, arduous election cycle, and the celebrity death count was unprecedented. People die all the time, of course, famous and not, but there seemed to be an unusual amount of big names on the In Memoriam lists for 2016. I won’t run through them all, but the most traumatic for me were Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Prince, Harper Lee, and Carrie Fisher, though I admired many of the others.

Alan Rickman: a gentleman in real life and often onscreen, though he will probably be remembered for his starring role as the cold, brooding Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies. That gorgeous bass voice will forever haunt me. I have a recording of Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native narrated by him, and I treasure it and listen to it when I have trouble sleeping.

Glenn Frey, founding member of the Eagles, one of the all-time greatest rock bands. Lead singer of so many classics of my youth, like “Take it Easy”, “Heartbreak Tonight” and so many others. I regret I never saw the band perform live.

PRINCE….What can one even say about this genius? He was just the best. He wrote his own music, his own lyrics. He could play every instrument. People tried to compare him with Michael Jackson. I’m sorry, but NO. Just NO. His was my coming-of-age music. I had put him away for awhile but since he died I’ve been listening to him every day. I just can’t say goodbye.

Harper Lee. Her death wasn’t such a shock. She lived a good long life. She wrote one of my favorite books, one of the greatest books in all of literature, To Kill a Mockingbird. It was adapted into a wonderful film and she rested on those laurels for many years and no one thought she would ever write another book. But about a year before she died, a second book was released, possibly against her wishes. Her state of mind was unknown. I read Go Set a Watchman and wish I hadn’t. It had some of the same characters as her first book but they were too different. I don’t believe she really wanted that book published. I believe someone took advantage of her to make money. A sad situation. But that can never erase the wonderful legacy of To Kill a Mockingbird.

And dear Carrie Fisher. I identified with her so much. She was open about her struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction. It’s easy for me to talk about being bipolar because I’m not trying to maintain a career. But she was in Hollywood, an actor and also a writer. She was very brave. And had such a wicked sense of humor. She and her mother were so close, it reminded me of my relationship with my mother. When her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, died within a few days of Carrie, I thought, “She just couldn’t make it without Carrie, ” and I could imagine my mother doing the same. Or me, if my mother died. So close we don’t know where each of us begins and the other ends.

So this is what all has been on my mind during the time I haven’t been writing. Death and disaster. I want to be optimistic for 2017, but it’s hard. The question I have now is: To blog or not to blog? If so, why? What is my purpose for keeping this blog going? I don’t have a huge readership. I can barely get my friends and family interested, and often not even them. I think I started just to be writing SOMETHING. Well, now I am writing something. I have a memoir project I’m working on and I’m outlining a novel, both potentially paying projects. No one is going to pay me to write this blog. This is sheer vanity work. This is just  getting my name out there (I guess. Is it really?). It’s a place for me to blow off steam. That was especially useful during the election year. It’s my place to share my opinion. Bur really,  who cares about my opinion? Not that many people, really. So I don’t know how much time I will be spending here, honestly. I’m committed to resisting the Trump regime so I may write about that. But I mostly intend to work on other writing projects, so if I’m in here, that means I’m procrastinating. I thought this would be a good forum to talk about bipolar disorder and maybe help others who suffer mental illness but I’m not convinced I’ve done any good. I think I may have just spilled my deep, dark secrets in vain and now everyone knows I’m crazy and thinks I’m a narcissist who can’t stop talking about herself.

Maybe I’m just in a mood. I don’t know. I had a medication increase recently and it should start helping soon, I hope. The fact that I’m even at my desk, on the computer, typing a blog is an improvement. Maybe I’ll come around and think of some brilliant new blog topics to dazzle you all with. Who knows.

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Let’s Go Crazy!

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Electric word, life. It means Forever, and that’s a mighty long time, but I’m here to tell U…there’s something else….The Afterworld. A world of never-ending happiness.U can always see the Sun, day or night. So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills. U know the one. Dr. Everything’ll be alright. Instead of asking how much of your time is left, ask how much of your mind . Because it looks like, things are much harder than in the Afterworld. This life, you’re on your own.”   Prince

Words of wisdom from the musical genius we lost too soon this year. Some of his music is pure sex but a lot of it is very spiritual and it speaks to me on a very deep level. U are missed, your Purple Highness. Even though I hated his use of “U” for You and other shortcuts. I forgave him. Because he was PRINCE!!!💜💜💜💜💜 Anyway, maybe he had the right idea. Sometimes you gotta go a little nuts in this life.Not psycho killer rampage nuts , but just a little crazy. Because this WORLD is crazy. Look around you. Look at this Presidential election we’re about to have. Everyone is on edge. Find a way to let off some steam before you completely blow your top. Embrace your own craziness. Learn to love it. It’s part of you.If you’re freaking out and don’t know what else to do, TURN THE MUSIC UP LOUD AND SING ALONG. And dance if you feel like it. Driving and singing along is especially good therapy. Whatever music does it for you. Your personal favorite artist…mine is John Mayer. Classic rock, 80s, 90s, country, hip-hop,Kenny G. Ok, maybe not Kenny G. Save him for your more intimate moments. Get your jam on!!! Caution: playing your favorite music loudly in your vehicle may cause you to drive faster and more aggressively and will not be accepted as an excuse by local law enforcement if you are pulled over. Trust me. I’ve tried. (“Excuse me, ma’am, you say the MUSIC made you drive faster? Uh-huh. Why don’t you go ahead and step out of the car for me, please, ma’am?”)  So keep your foot off the gas. But sing along! Do a little dance in your seat! Serenade people at stoplights! Live it up! If you’re, home, crank it up and put on a show for the neighbors, especially you apartment-dwellers like me with noisy neighbors. Give as good as you’ve been getting. Just make sure the music isn’t loud enough for the cops to hear outside in case they call and you’re home free. What can they do about it? NOTHING!! I like to put on headphones and sing along so all they get is my voice which you know sounds EVEN BETTER when I can’t hear myself!!! Hahahahaha!!! Crazy? You betcha! Let yourself go a little crazy and see if you don’t start to feel better. Lighten up, loosen up, let go and CHILL. OUT.  Tell yourself, none of this will matter in a hundred years. Because it won’t.Tell yourself, all of this is temporary. Because it is. Good or bad, it will all change. The only thing you have control over is YOU and how you react. There will be serious times that call for serious decisions. Until then, LET’S GO CRAZY!