Something Personal.

This week has had its ups and downs. Anxiety has a way of skewing one's view of the world. Sometimes I just need reminding of the wonderful friends and family I have. Thank you all.

Something Personal.

Sometimes the black dog howls. Its lies overwhelm me,
doubt and anxiety take hold.
Self confidence leaks away.
Does anyone know I exist?
I am alone.

I sit in chaos, claustrophobic clutter.
The world constricts me,
consumes me.
Does anyone care?

A blank page stares back, mocking me,
accusing me of failure,
pathetic, useless, unwanted.
Am I fooling myself?

A tinkle of the door bell, a knock rouses me.
An unexpected, smiling face,
Words of friendship, a gift.
A stranger asks how I'm faring,
Am I still writing?
They want to know more.

A house full of well-wishers, of friends and family
Of smiles and hugs, unconditional.
Conversation, music
and most of all,
Love.

  • Art/Photography:  I've designed the final poster for the Viola Stewart series... It arrived this week. Look for this at events.
  • Costume:  I've been helping our daughter make patterns for her current costume project.
  • Writing/Reading: Another scene rewritten, another edited. Then a hiccup - pinched nerve in my arm(but kept going. Taking a break today, to celebrate the anniversary of my arrival into this world. PS. I suck at poetry. Apologies.

Other little Green Men:  I have such cool friends. I'm working my way through a mountain of goat's cheese, dark chocolate and board games. I have  a new tea to taste and the most gorgeous purple orchid brightening up the kitchen. Huzzah Words and photography ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

I should have learned the first time.

Finally, I'm done. I've been sharing photos on Friday for some time now. Many are taken on my phone. Not long ago I had a phone scare. It just decided not to restart. I lost contact details, videos and photos. Many are not replaceable. I was devastated. I was determined to backup my phone more regularly. This week the phone started playing silly buggas again (following a recent phone update). This time I was a good girl and tried to back up my data. But the back up program kept crashing. I decided to manually transfer my photos to my computer (and am now backing up these up). Three hours later... I've finally started backing up the transferred files to the external hard drive- that's 5, 385 items! Yep, I take a lot of photos and video. Sigh. Here's some bonus pics I had forgotten I'd taken:

 

I'm off to find a heat bag for my shoulder; it's frozen up from all the mouse clicking, after looking at so many irreplaceable memories (many too embarrassing to share. Trust me.) Finally I think I've learned my lesson. Next thing: I'm backing up all my writing. Again. On the external hard drive and three USBs. Is that overkill?

Photos (c)2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

On Spoons, Steampunk and Socialising

The alarm went off twice this morning. Well, I think it was twice. Maybe it was three? I cracked open an eye and cringed back into the sheets away from the sunlight streaming through the curtains. The alarm blared once more. My hand slapped the off button. I groaned and dragged myself out of bed.

I'm really not a morning person, especially after draining several days worth of spoons with an all day event. (The spoon theory is an effective way of describing how chronic illness or disability affects life. If you're not familiar with the theory, you can find out all about it here.) Friday's 13-hour celebrations for steampunk's 30th (naming) anniversary left me depleted. It was a long (but fun) day.

Socialising takes a lot of effort for me. It's exhausting. It's not you. It's me. In public, I spend most of the time trying to fight the urge to run away and hide. Anxiety does that. I usually organise my social events carefully, with a few days after to recover those precious spoons.

Fortunately it was an online event and it was celebrating something I love: steampunk. (Otherwise I would've been a gibbering mess if I'd spent all thirteen hours face-to-face with so many people without a break.) Large crowds, particularly in shopping centres with their cacophony of noises, crush me.

This got me thinking. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I do conventions? Why do I do talks...? Why do I walk out the door at all?

There's a stereotype: the starving writer (that's a whole other blog post just there) scribbling away in a lonely garret - alone, with only the artistic muse for company - locked in the struggle to create the perfect prose.  But, despite this romantic (Victorian) vision, writers need company too. I need company too. I need to experience life, not just write about it.

So why do I keep pushing myself to attend events - social or professional?

Because, deep down, I like people. I love conversations where I suddenly realise the sun is rising and we've been chatting all night. I love talking writing, science, art, Doctor Who, steampunk. I'm fine one-on-one or in a small group. Where I feel safe.

On a bad day, I push myself to do online socialising. I can cringe in the corner while I type supposedly confident words - and no one can see my fear. But I'm still engaging with the world.

A couple of years ago I found an online steampunk forum, The Steampunk Empire. Tucked away in a corner was a writers group, The Scribblers Den - a band of steampunk writers spanning the globe. We chatted about writing, steampunk (lots of steampunk), events, shared pictures and stories. I felt comfortable there.

Unfortunately, as online entities often do, it disappeared. Some of us had seen the cracks. Some of us lived in denial. On a, soon-to-be bleak, day in March I logged onto the forum and - horror of horrors - my beloved Scribblers Den had dissolved into the aether!

But, never fear, my dear Reader, we had a plan (albeit a very vague one). Soon the Refugees of Steampunk Empire assembled on Facebook. We lamented, explored a few new enclaves and finally found a new home; the Steampunk Dominion was formed. My dear Scribblers' Den had returned from exile! (Thank you to the intrepid pilgrims - especially Lee and William - who founded our new realm.) I could once again frolic in steampunky goodness and forget about my anxieties.

You can now find fellow steampunks on The Steampunk Dominion's webpage and forum, or on Facebook group - The Steampunk Dominion (our bolt hole in case of future host demises).