If I remain indoors today I should be able to complete "The Peddler's Tale, or Isobel's Revenge." If I do not put on my irresponsible cap and go outside. Yesterday I wrote 1,351 words. Day before yesterday, well, I didn't set down the tally, and much was rewritten, and I'm not sure I could figure it out. Over a thousand words. I'm probably a thousand or so from THE END. At about 5,000 words, this will be the longest story I've written in many months, since I finished "Black Ships Seen South of Heaven" back in August. "The Peddler's Tale, or Isobel's Revenge" is a story wherein someone is telling a story, which, for me, is one of the most difficult sorts of tales to write.
I have been on a reduced Lamictal dose — down by 75 mg. — for five days, and I am beginning to feel it. My emotions are becoming a stormy sea. Or a hair-trigger fault line. I can spin metaphors all day. On Monday I'll drop by another 75 mg. I hope to be off the drug by mid January. I was placed on it four years ago for seizures and bipolar disorder.
There are several reasons I'm getting off Lamictal. One is that I believe it's harming my ability to write and the quality of what I do write. Over the past four years, I have become markedly less prolific. For example, in 2010, the year I began taking the drug, I produced seventeen pieces of short fiction for Sirenia Digest, including several very good, full-length short stories, such as "Hydrarguros," "Houndwife," and the "The Prayer of Ninety Cats." In 2011, that dropped to thirteen, and in 2012 it dropped again, to twelve. The drops between 2011 and 2012 are, obviously, insignificant, and I might as well say that, as regards the digest, both years were equally productive, but still down. However, in 2013 I have written only eight new pieces for the digest. "The Peddler's Tale, or Isobel's Revenge" will make nine, if I can finish it before the end of the year. Which I almost certainly can. What's more, everything I've written for the digest this year has been very short, mostly vignettes under four-thousand words. I have written only two stories this year that were not written for the digest, "Black Ships Seen South of Heaven" and "Ballad of an Echo Whisperer."
I cannot concentrate. My short-term memory is shot to hell, and my long term ain't so hot, either. My hands shake constantly. And there are other unpleasant physical side effects I'm not going to bother listing. Because my short-term memory has gotten so bad, I had one accidental OD on Lamictal this year. Lamictal is a very toxic drug, and a double dose can have fairly horrific consequences. I was lucky.
So, yeah. There's that.
After this entry, there are only twenty-five entries remaining before the journal, as a day-to-day journal, ends. So, it'll conclude near the end of January.