I clearly cursed myself yesterday by writing, "I'm sleeping too much." Last night, I had the first real bout with insomnia that I've had in months. I might have slept three hours, all broken up. I tossed and turned in our hot bedroom, listening to the drone of all the fans. I dreamed, briefly, of spending time in the company of William Burroughs. I suppose if the insomnia was responsible for that dream its as worth not sleeping.
Yesterday, after spending the day working on "The Cats of River Street (1925)," I posted this to Facebook:
Occasionally I'm asked why I don't write more historical fiction, since I'm actually fairly good at it. Today is a good example why. Working on a story set in 1925, I needed four hours (!!) to write a mere 747 words. It's very rare that the economics of writing, the business side of this thing I do, make such undertakings cost effective. And I hate speaking of writing in such terms, but that's reality.
In other words, my productivity is cut, at least, in half. Which would be fine if I were paid twice as much for historical fiction.
Also from Facebook yesterday:
I'll pay the World $100 if everyone will please stop using "butthurt." It just sounds utterly fucking idiotic. It makes me cringe. And here's a thing: I understand slang. Slang fascinates me. I can reel off slang going back into the late 1800s. I am very aware of the evolution and role of slang. And there has never, ever been a time when it sounded as idiotic as does the baby-talk internet slang of Now. And I suspect most people using it are unaware of the homophobic connotations of "butthurt." (First known usage online dates to 1998, though it only became widespread more than a decade later.)
And yes, I am entirely aware that "butthurt: may actually have originated as a reference to someone behaving like a child who's just been spanked. That is, most likely, the correct etymology, and, likely, many people use it that way. But the connotation is still, undeniably, right there, and I also know that I've watched people use it in such a way that the anal rape-gay sex connotation is clearly intentional. On Facebook, Elizabeth Donald wrote, in response to my comment, "I hate it because it is generally is used when someone is being called on a sexist, racist, homophobic or other nasty attitude or comment, and it is used to dismiss all criticism as unimportant and hysterical. It's a word of blind privilege." Yes. Very much so. And, in fact, it's that out-of-hand dismissiveness that most annoys me about "butthurt." That and the fact that it's yet more baby talk. Also, I rather like the phrase, "a word of blind privilege."
In the comments to yesterday's entry, dipsomaniac wrote, "With all the meds you're taking and your mental state I wonder if you've ever considered applying for disability. I know it's a very personal decision but it is an option."
In 1992, I was declared "permanently disabled for psychological reasons" by the State of Alabama*, and for four years I received food stamps, Medicaid, and SSI checks. Stingy little SSI checks, but I got by on it. And I started writing. By 1996, I was making enough off my short fiction that I had to stop receiving benefits (though, technically, I'm still legally disabled). This is neither a secret, nor is it widely known. But I'm not ashamed of it. And I'm also aware that there may come a time when I am, once again, too sick to work. Truthfully, there have been times like that, on and off, over the years, but my will power and various meds and Spooky have always pulled me through back to this place where I can at least write. But could I go into work at a traditional job everyday? Could I get along with other employees? Could I deal with a rigid schedule? No. When I say I'm crazy, and people chide me for calling myself mentally ill, they need to know, I am genuinely mentally ill, to the point I cannot lead the sort of life most do. And yes, I do consider that a medical illness (actually, several in my case). And no, I'd prefer not to share all the diagnoses, though I'm sure a lot of that has leaked out over the last two decades.
And, on that note, I have to try to write a paltry few hundred words today, heat or no heat.
* And this was before I was diagnosed in 2008 with a PNES seizure disorder and before my feet blew out in 2005 (Morton's neuromas, numbness, severe pain, inability to stand for long periods, etc.).