A day of extremes …

Today has been a bizarre day.

It began with all the usual morning struggles to get the offspring out of bed and to school on time – never an easy task, with some mornings more hostile than others. This morning’s effort was relatively uneventful – only incurring three grumpy retorts and one shitty look as he left the car – so not a bad start, all things considered.

Then I let the dog have a run in the park before gluing myself to the seat in front of the laptop. I had feared yesterday’s post about a little voice  would have met with little positivity, but I was overwhelmed by the responses I received. Not just brief, in-passing responses either, but ones that must have taken time to think about and write. Thank you. So much.

My mood has continued to be very low today – a bit weepy, a bit confused, a bit flustered, a bit irritated, and then of course, there’s the overriding dullness that appears to be linked with the medicine I’m taking.

Around lunchtime (British time) I read a post from a blog I follow by Lance Schaubert.

Lance is an incredibly talented writer (who hates adverbs, but I’ll keep that one in!), critic, editor, proofreader, and basically jack-of-all-things-literary.  Today, for May Day, he had offered to work for free for anyone who could benefit from his skills. I had been toying with the idea of writing down some of the stories I sometimes tell to my son at bedtime, and I recently wrote the opening scenario of my “Bert the Penguin” tale.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure if Lance’s offer was real, or some ironic joke that I had misunderstood. But I took a gamble and sent him my story, asking him to just “have a look at it and see if it’s worth pursuing.”

Lance not only looked at it – he sent me back a “Diagnostic” in which he offered three positive aspects of the story and three areas that needed development. AND – because he said he believed that the story is indeed worth pursuing, he offered to edit the pages too if he could find time before the day (CST) was over.

Walked the dog again.

Mood dropped again.

Poodled about the house a bit.

Son came home with friend in tow.

Cooked them something to eat. Friend went home. Son went to room to play video game.

Looked through photos and found insect to post for today’s Bug-a-Day. Looked said insect up to find out what it is.

Went up to son’s room to ask if he wanted storytime this evening, or to have half an hour longer to play on his video game, and he yelled at me for interrupting a recording he was making.

I went downstairs stunned … and bawled my eyes out. Crumpled in a heap in the middle of the living room, sobbing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. If I’d have still had the pills, I’d have taken them again – but I took all the medicine to the chemist to destroy after the last little prank.  I eventually ran out of tears, cooked some fish for dinner, and returned to the laptop.

Another e-mail from Lance Schaubert had arrived. It was a copy of my Bert story, fully edited! The whole thing was plastered in red typing, strikethroughs, rewrites, and editing marks, but that was OK. In fact, it felt glorious that someone had gone to so much trouble. And there were comments in boxes in the margin for consideration. He said it had taken him an hour and a half to edit. How generous was that! Professional copy editors (of which he is one) generally charge about $70 an hour for their work …. and he did it for free …. for me.

I am humbled for the kindness that fellow bloggers have demonstrated towards me these past few weeks …. and particularly today. Life, lately, is so full of extremes that I have become disoriented and defeatist; but I am thankful to be part of a blogging community that can say the right thing, or reach out a helping hand when it matters most.

Thank you – and be sure to take a look at Lance’s blog when you need a moment of literary inspiration.

Categories: Alice's world, Just me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “A day of extremes …

  1. Alice, I am so sorry you are going through this low time. You are doing all the right things: keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep on going. I am very glad you got rid of the pills; I did the same thing not long ago. Try to remind yourself that it will, eventually, get better. You have a great heart and you are so very talented. You have welcomed me into this blogging world and made me feel worthwhile. I just want you to know that I think highly of you, my British friend, and I thank you for being in my life.

  2. A lovely thing that Lance did.. people can be so great!! A big cheer for humanity!!
    Don’t forget that you deserve people to be nice to you, Alice 🙂

    • I’ll take your word for deserving part of that … still working on that side of me 🙂
      But you’re right – it does restore some faith in humanity.

      • Keep working on that side… It’s important that you recognise your value ( from someone who had a rough day today myself but feeling better…now must go sleep!)

  3. DeeDee

    That’s great that you go the editing feedback on your story! There really are kind human beings out there.

    Also sorry to hear that things continue to be rough. If I remember right, you’re off meds right now to get a baseline, right? I hope you’re keeping a mood diary to show the docs that things are going poorly.

  4. Perhaps son should post a “recording” sign on his door in the future, so you will know not to interrupt the process. Then, if he fails to post the notice, he’s responsible, not you.

    • I spoke to him about it. He said he will come down and let me know if he’s going to be recording in future. The fact that he thinks it’s OK to chew out his own mother is an entirely different matter that we really need to deal with …

  5. What a lovely read full of hope en human kindness…

  6. I love Bert’s story! I will be one of the first to buy it when it’s published, that should keep you occupied alice!

  7. Alice, you rock. Keep writing, shipping and never stop. When you need me again, let me know.

    Also, thanks for the shameless plug.

  8. Hopefully, the positive from today can help you through the other stuff. Best of luck with your story!!! I know the publishing world can be brutal, but I know I already like your style of prose. I hope I get to read them someday 🙂

  9. Thanks. The publishing thing is still a bit of a pipe dream though. The other chapters are still only in my head!
    BUT …
    I guess that means I have to stay sane / alive long enough to finish it 🙂

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