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Blog#4 – What We Do In The Shadows

Hello Hello Hello to all.

It has been a hot minute since I posted up. Why is this? Well, as my last blog post suggested, I was having a tough time, and I had to make the call to put it all on the back burner for a while. The title of this post is pretty much just that: what have I been doing in the shadows? Since the end of July I have:

  • Quit my entire career in the insurance industry.
  • Got medical help.
  • Had surgery. It was ‘minor-ish’, but kinda funny, which I will tell below.
  • Enquired about a psychologist (this is as far as it has gotten right now…I’m trying).
  • Doubled my weekly exercise.
  • Stopped taking drugs, and stopped drinking (whether this is permanent or not, I don’t know, but I do know that I want to do it to enjoy myself, not to numb myself)
  • Tried keeping ‘Food Logs’ and “Fitness Logs’. The Fitness Log is working, the Food, not so much at this stage, and that is OK!
  • Attempted to cut out psychological triggers and general toxicity from my life.
  • Forgiven myself.

So yeah. The last 8/9 weeks have been spent dealing with myself. I don’t like dealing with myself because it is frustrating and I’m a pain in the ass, but I’m trying to change that. For 5 years, I hated myself because I could do nothing about my father dying. On July 23rd at around 8 at night, I finally realized this, and I gave myself permission to forgive myself. I finally completed the ‘Acceptance’ part. A 5 year wound in which I actively worked to harm myself and punish myself in any way I saw fit. Too much weed and booze was a big part of the physical harm, as I needed to do it to just numb myself, pretty much every night for at least the last 2 years out of the 5. To the people who know me and care about me, all I can say is I’m sorry if this has affected you in any way, and that it is my sincerest hope that in the near future you start to see a version of me that actually means it when he smiles :)…and that’s all I’m going to say about this for now.

—Moving on to the ‘funny’ story—

So, I promised an amusing story. I have had a cyst on my forehead since 2014. It went away for like 4 years, and then came back in 2019 bigger and badder (I know) than before, and I was quite down about it. After the whole job quitting, resolving not to be a spare part deal, one of the first things I did was make a DR’s appointment to deal with it. Got referred to a dermatologist, OK, cool. I go in, and the dude is a dead ringer for Fred Armisen – you know, the SNL comedian? His accent even sounds like one of the characters he plays – Melipnos, from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He comes in, gives me that ‘doctor’ stare while analyzing me, pokes around, and sits down.

“Well, OK, this lump could be a benign cyst. It could be (some other name) of Cyst that is deep inside. Or, it could be a Brain Tumor. I won’t know until I get in there. You want to do it now?”

Excuse me?! A brain tumor? DO WHAT NOW?? Am I dying? What the fuck man?? Рsome of the things running through my head. What comes out?

“Uhhhhhhhhhh…like, do what now, like, right now?”

“Well, we take you next door and we numb you and cut your head open and see what is problem.”

He says it like it is a simple, easy thing. I am so mentally unprepared and, just, overwhelmed that all I can utter is a weak “S-sure, I guess?”

So, I’m led a few rooms away and unceremoniously covered with a sheet with a hole in the forehead. They slap some numbing agent on, and that’s when I start feeling the knife cutting me open, and the splashing of blood everywhere. I am holding my wedding ring so tight it will bruise my finger for a few days afterwards. After they dig around for about ten minutes, I hear a ‘clap’ and the doctor jubilantly declares: “Congratulations, it is just a deep cyst, it isn’t life threatening tumor!” And, I shit you not, I hear him high five his assistant.

This story may have been funnier told in person, seeing my terrified and dumbfounded recreations of my expression, I don’t know, but it has amused several people, so why not several more?! The surgery was a success and I now have a surprisingly small scar on my forehead instead of a bad bump.

—So, DG, you’re supposedly a writer, where’s your damn book?—

I have been tinkering with it for sure, because that’s what I do. I’m a tinkerer. I’ve also been perfecting the Query Letter, or at least, what I hope one should look like. I did enforce a break from hardcore writing and selling attempts during this down time, because it was my opinion that my head wasn’t in the game, and doing anything would do more harm than good. I did do the last major change I had been working on for AFFLICTED, which was the re-working of Chapter One, which I have posted¬†HERE, and I still have a couple tiny bits of feedback I want to consider for it. As I’ve said, I am always open to feedback, even if it is negative, so please do not hesitate to reach out to me privately. In 2 weeks, I am fortunate enough to be seeing my family for the first time in 2 years (obligatory fuck you Covid), and will be staying in Europe for a month. My plan is, as soon as I hit the ground back in the US on November 1st, to really get into submissions properly and have everything ready to go.

—What else am I doing, writing wise?—

I haven’t really discussed what my other projects are yet, but I assure you Afflicted is just 1 of many. I began to free-write a first draft of a YA style fantasy adventure that I’ve had in my head for a long time, and I like it enough to, at some point, continue it. I also did some more storyboarding for ‘Shadows Edge’, (working title) my sci-fi space opera style (currently) standalone novel that is 50% through Draft One.

—Anything Else?—

Getting back into Trials on Destiny. Playing Rust. Playing the Icarus Beta weekends. Hanging out with my wife, because she’s really fucking fun to hang out with. That about covers it.

—Final—

I don’t know when the next post will be. To anyone reading, I thank you. I hope you are doing well, and life isn’t getting you down too badly. Be kind to each other, use your indicators on the road, get vaccinated. Till next time, friends.

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