“SOUTH WACKO-LAKI”

 

An early morning thunderstorm has jarred me out of a sound sleep.  Sleeping soundly is unusual for me lately.  My sleep seems pain-filled, both from arthritis making its presence know if I lay in one position too long and from the dreams tormenting my mind.  Don’t feel too much concern and it’s not the point of this post.  Compared to many of my friends and family my age, physically I’m doing quite well.

The dreams…the dreams are due to my fragmented mind, torn asunder by depression and anxiety.  Some chemical in my brain has gone wacko, taking the rest of me with it.  I now reside in the state of “South Wacko-Laki” just across the river from “A-Kook-Among-Us.”

Could it have been triggered by diet; the sausage biscuits I should ‘never’ eat, the bee sting or a thousand other triggers that may or may not be the reason?  God how I hate asking, “Why?”  Maybe it’s just getting old.  Maybe there is no reason.  It is what it is…I hate ‘it is what it is’ too.

Anxiety is a new adversary while the depression an old enemy.  I have too much going on, too many things I need to be doing.  Plenty to be anxious about…but I’m retired, I have plenty of time to go forth and be productive…NOT.

My retirement has taught me one life lesson.  I am not a very good steward of my own time.  My lack of self-discipline explains why I’m failing in my early morning attempts at writing while simultaneously NOT really watching a rerun of Bobby Flay, staring at my computer screen wondering where my last thought came from or went to, all the while worrying about the lightning, thunder, and rain washing away my plans for the day.  What plans?

A checklist…that’s what I need.  Little square boxes to check as I complete small tasks.  I wonder how many trees would have to give their lives to create my checklist.  Okay, a few easy things to begin with like “Just get out of bed!”  Sometimes, even that is not easy.  “Walk three miles.”  Why has my walking become so much harder?  Not physically…MENTALLY!

A harder one, “Stay away from social media!”  Scrolling through Twitter or Facebook along with WordPress fits nicely with my fragmented mind…and probably contributes…not probably.  I can’t totally stay away because I use social platforms to advertise my books to people who are NOT buying them.  I must come up with a better plan.  Maybe write something people WANT to buy?  Purchase an advertising service? Quit entirely?

I have four stories I should be working on.  Should be an indication of how fragmented my dried up gourd of a head is.  If I shake my gourd does it rattle with dried seeds?  The seeds are not germinating, I can’t finish the stories.  I’ve reached a point in each…a barrier of some sort.  I can imagine the end but can’t quite find the rain-shrouded path to take me there.

Maybe a hiatus is in order.  Something to recharge my over-used but underutilized brain.  Go hide in a dark cave for a while…no, I’m already in a cave it seems, and the light from the computer screen doesn’t seem to be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Buffett’s lyrics echo in my fragmented head, “but I got to stop wishing, got to go fishing, down to rock bottom again.”  Could it be as simple?  Well, wishin’ sure ain’t gettin’ it done!  Fishing…maybe.  Probably should wait until the storms pass or maybe just embrace being at rock bottom in the state of “South Wacko-Laki.”

For a saner Don Miller, one should probably go to https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B018IT38GM?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

If interested in “Mommy Porn” with a twist, you might also consider Lena Christenson at  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B07B6BDD19?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

The image is from “Rule the Wasteland”  http://rulethewasteland.com/?page_id=28

 

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A Broken Kaleidoscope

One of the reasons I write is due to my depression…it helps give me relief…EXCEPT FOR RIGHT NOW!  Normally writing gives me insights into the broken kaleidoscope that is my mind.  For some reason, it ain’t happnin’.  I find myself in a conundrum?  I write to offset my effects of my depression, yet I’m unable to write or rather finish my writing, because of my depression.  Did I mention I’m tired of winter?  The days are lengthening.  Hey look, there is a spider on the window sill.  Is that Aretha playing…the Godmother of Soul?  I smell peanut butter.  Wow, it’s colder than owl sh!#.

See the problem?  I can’t hold a thought.  Its as if my thoughts are sliding down an iced-over driveway in flat bottom leather soled shoes.  It took twelve minutes to write twenty-seven words…and as I reread, not very good words.  That’s slightly more than two words a minute…correct?  My math skills have all ways been suspect…I did calculate last night’s tip in my head…sh!# I did it again!

I have three “novels” in the can…except I can’t finish them.  I guess that means there really not in the can…STOP IT!  If I were talking to you and I said that I had three novels, I would have probably used air quotes…”Novels.”  Writers go through stages.  I’m in the “Your writing sucks”  stage of being.  I don’t know if it’s because of my depression or is it because my writing “sucks”.  Last week I was thinking, one of these is going to be the breakthrough.  The great American novel.  What happened?

Occasionally I’m introduced as “the author.”  This is usually by caring family members who say it with misplaced pride or those who are attempting to make me feel worthwhile.  I always counter with, no I’m the writer because I think authors must actually sell their books to be considered an author.  I keep telling myself I’m not writing for the money, a good thing because I’m not making any. I’m not writing for the gratification I receive from the adulation of my adoring fans, also a good thing.  Why the f@#$ am I writing?  Look!  There’s a…STOP IT!

Wow!  “The Rantings of a Fractured Mind?”  That might make a good title…I did it again…For those of you who think depression is being a little blue, it’s not even close.  I could stand being blue, it’s the broken kaleidoscope of my mind.  No matter how much I twist it, the patterns don’t quite fit together and there is nothing I can do except wait until it passes…if it passes.  The fear of it being permanent is always there.

Hey, sorry!  I’m Donnie Downer this morning.  As I hit “Publish” I hope my depression will fly off into cyberspace with it.  Have yourself a great day.

Image from Marion Paul Bruin, the Kaleidoscope King at https://www.pinterest.de/pin/118852877642184769/?lp=true

For some of my “more” lucid thoughts try my writer’s page at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

HIATUS BUT NO VACATION

I MUST go on hiatus. I like that word…hiatus. It means a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process. What it does not mean is A vacation. So, I AM NOT TAKING A VACATION from “Ravings of a Mad Southerner.” I am taking a pause or a gap from it. It is not that I want to pause but this will be my last blog post for a bit. What was that I heard? The gnashing of teeth and hearts breaking? NO! I just moved and my knees made crackling sounds. This is a busy time in my life and I can’t afford my self-imposed schedule of postings. Instead of being able to “Count all the bees in the hive” OR “Chase all the clouds from the sky,” AND my continued telling of stories, I have to take control of my life and actually act like a grown up. No I am not going to grow up but I’m not getting any younger and my “to do” list is not getting any shorter. Fear not, or in spite of your fear, “I’ll be back!” And, I will continue to write…just not post…not on a schedule…JUST WHEN SOMETHING BOTHERS ME SO!

I have no notion that I am a good writer. I think I have gotten better and “No I am not fishing for compliments.” I am a teller of stories who then writes them down, sometimes quite badly. Some memories, I am sure, are only important to me and many times I think “Gee, that sounded a lot better in my head” and I punch delete. I am also AWARE there were times when I should have made the same determination about other stories and didn’t. Sorry!

I find that I am addicted to writing. Like the analgesic I rub on my knees, writing is an anodyne, something to remove distress or pain. To quote Buffett, “He went to Paris looking for answers to questions that bothered him so.” I hate flying so I just went to writing.

I also write because deep down I am a narcissist. In the Afterword of “Winning Was Never the Only Thing…” I wrote, “A former student and friend, who is now an author in her own right, commented to me that she had succumbed to a bit of narcissism by including herself on the cover of one of her books.” I agreed with her because I believe all successful authors…and coaches are a little narcissistic. Being a bit narcissistic is probably not a bad thing… up to a point. We all want to win a championship or write the “great American novel” and we all want to hear and see our names put out there as long as it is positive and not something criminal or stupid. “And here he is Hall of Fame…whatever!” I really just want to sell more books than I give away and see that someone has viewed on my blog. Is that too narcissistic?

The key word in the previous quote is “Successful.” Success may be just being able to write better. I believe PATHWAYS was written better than the previous two books and when I look back on some of the stories I have written I shake my head and ask why did you say it that way? I hope my blog has been written better, again I am not fishing.

I worry I might lose my readership. I have built a bit of a following. Some people will read anything including a cereal box. Not just my former students and friends either but from people I don’t EVEN know. People from all parts of the world…and I hate to say I get nervous when people from SOME countries are reading me. I am such a terrible person. I appreciate when my former students and friends take the time to read my rantings. Actually I probably write for you as much as I write for me. Wow, did I just hear “Thanks for doing me no favors?” Somehow it keeps me connected to people who were and are important to me. I thank you all who are clicking on my WordPress.

So I shall bid you a SHORT and “fond adieu” along with my thanks. I’ll shall return in the fall when the garden is done, the roof has been replaced on the outhouse AND garage, the porch is cleaned, painted and some of the rails replace, the wood for winter has been cut, split and stacked, and when…hell freezes over I’ll be back?

If you just can’t live without me, please click on the following link and buy a book or click on a post that you haven’t read. I need the money and to feed my narcissism. Just remember I am a work in progress.

http://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM