Wednesday, December 6, 2017

If Only... / IWSG + Flaming Crimes Blogfest


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


Flaming Crimes Blogfest: My publisher likes to give me release dates where I have to plan during a month when no one is ever around. lol So now I am trying to get blogfest participants for January 3rd, Flaming Crimes' worldwide release date, which happens to also be the first IWSG Day of the year. :)



When: January 3rd, 2018

Where: Your Blog

Prompt: What is something ridiculous you would save if there was a fire?

Ridiculous is the keyword there. After your family, pets, and important items are safe and sound, what is the one odd thing you'd want to grab from your home?

Info: All posts will have the cover art, blurb, and buy links for Flaming Crimes, and possibly an excerpt, which I will email to participants during the last week of December.





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IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

I have openly shared my struggle with depression this year, which started September 2016. I struggled to write because of this depression. Actually, struggle implies I tried. I didn’t try. I thought about it but did not feel the motivation. I was weak, physically and mentally.

Now that the end of the year is fast approaching I am realizing that I am a year behind with the last book in the Disaster Crimes seriesLooking back, I am angry that months in the beginning of the year, when I did not have edits to do, went unproductive, with not even a page written, because of my damn depression. I am kicking myself, and my depression, for the fact that I could’ve written during that time but didn’t. Couldn’t.

(UPDATE: I'm not really beating myself up over this. I understand why I couldn't write. As a writer, though, I mourn the lost time. I've suffered from depression since I was a teen, but I am A LOT better than I was earlier this year.)

If I could do it differently, I’d want to write feverishly during that time…but I’m not sure if I would’ve been able to. I was experiencing the worst depression of my life then. If I could go back as I am today, I would manage it, I would do it, but if I went back to who I was then, I’d fail. Again.

Looking forward, I will pretend December is NaNo. And. Write. This. Book!


IWSG BOOK CLUB:

For December/January, the IWSG Book Club on Goodreads is reading:


The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray

Writing too slow was the second biggest insecurity voted on by our members. And worrying they won't ever finish their WIP was voted #4, so we hope this book will provide some insight to our members who struggle with these. The discussion will be on January 24th, 2018.


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Holiday Shopping: Looking for hand-crafted gifts for your loved ones? Do you love to support small businesses? Check out my mom's brand new website where she is selling her bookmarks (and soon some knitted baby blankets). Read the ordering details and surprise the book lovers in your life with these gifts from the heart.








P.S. This is my last blog post of 2017! I will be back in 2018, but I'll be posting less...three posts a month; I need more time to write. :)


And my blog made Booksie's Top 100 Writing Sites list!





QUESTIONS: Are you signing up for my blogfest? Do you like handmade bookmarks? Have you ever been a year behind on a WIP? Will you read The Weekend Novelist?


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!


181 comments:

  1. Would my Minion collection be ridiculous? It would if I tried to save all of it. LOL

    I get frustrated with days when I don't feel I was 100% productive. There is such a long list of things I need to do business wise. Of course, that frustrates my husband who says that I am the worst boss ever. LOL

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    1. I think you Minion collection would certainly count. Even if you just tried to save one item...a really big one. lol

      Delete
  2. You can only do what you can do and despite depression trying to derail you, ultimately it hasn't. You've accomplished tons, you've encouraged others, and maybe you're behind your schedule, but you're one tough cookie and you're still focused on writing and you're going to get this book written.

    In terms of the blog hop, I can't do anything on that specific day, but I'm happy to help out with a post on Saturday, January 6th or 13th if that would help.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for the pep talk, Ellen! I did accomplish things but those months were tough.

      I’m not doing a traditional Blog Tour this time. I only have 10 blogs I’ll be visiting with specific posts, and I already have those scheduled. But thanks for the offer!

      Delete
  3. Don't beat yourself up, Chrys. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, when you know better, you do better.

    Have a wonderful rest of the year!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, congratulations on the top sites designation! That's well deserved. I'm sorry your depression impacted your writing goals but it sounds like you have a handle on it now and are ready to go. I can relate to how debilitating that can be so I think you should be proud of yourself for getting through it.
    I have to think of something ridiculous LOL but will plan to sign up for the hop! Merry Christmas to you and your family, including those adorable kitties!! <3

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you!

      I do have a handle on my depression now. Thank goodness.

      It doesn’t have to be anything outrageous. Just silly or odd. :)

      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Delete
  5. I hope you don't spent any more time beating yourself up about not writing. Depression or not, you are amazing at what you still manage to accomplish and are an inspiration! I've signed up for the hop, I know just what I would save from a fire. I need to read The Weekend Novelist!!! I haven't written a thing in a least a year and editing/revising flew out the window... literally and figuratively. :D

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    1. Thank you, Bish. It takes serious reflection on my part and everyone’s lovely comments to remind me of what I accomplished this year...with and without my depression. Thanks!

      Delete
  6. Congrats on your blog!!

    I signed up for your blog hop. I do hope there's a reminder because I have a terrible memory. LOL

    Depression is hard so try not to beat yourself up too much over it. And one year is much better than the three year gap I had, so you're still ahead of the game! The year's not over yet, write like the wind!!! Good luck :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you!

      I will email everyone at the end of the month.

      Delete
  7. Some days we just can't get in as much writing as we want. But we have to keep on keeping on, even if those days turn into months sometimes.

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  8. My answer to the blogfest question would probably depend on what actually qualifies as an important item. I personally believe my Baby Groot and Wonder Woman figurines are super important...

    And yeah, those unproductive times are frustrating. I am well acquainted with those. It's hard to be behind. But I think you have a good plan. Keep calm, and write on. Best of luck with your December NaNoWriMo!

    And congrats on making Booksie's list!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Then Baby Groot and Wonder Woman figurines count. :)

      Thanks!

      Delete
  9. I also dealt with depression and other mental health issues for at least the last year. It was hard to find motivation to write or do anything else, and I frequently spent the entire day in bed, with my computer on the foot of the bed as I slept. My sleep cycles had totally flipped, so I routinely went to bed when most people wake up, and woke up between 1-5 PM, depending on when I went to sleep. My daily wordcounts have continued lagging far behind their usual since I was shanghaied by my parents in June. Hopefully, things will be back to my normal writing pace when I'm living on my own again.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I struggled with sleeping too. It would take me hours to fall asleep, and then I'd wake up a lot. In the morning, I'd sleep and sleep and wouldn't want to get out of bed.

      I hope things get better for you, Carrie-Anne!

      Delete
  10. I'm looking back at November thankful that I cranked out some major words during NaNo. If you have a blank page, it is very difficult to edit. Sometimes just getting the rough draft/basic plot down is all you need to kick start your love for writing again. Praying you have a much better year ahead!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's awesome! I'm glad NaNo was a success for you.

      Delete
  11. I'm excited to be on board for the blog hop.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  12. Ironic depression takes away something that would make us feel better, which is writing.
    What would I save beyond my wife and guitars...?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That’s what depression does. Unfortunately. We lose interest in the things that usually bring us joy.

      Delete
  13. I have experience the worst depression this year and have not done what needed to be done so when life got to where I am I had choices and options that would make transition smoother when it happens. Now because of external chaos and personal angst fueling the depression I don't know what to do or how I am going or if maybe my depressed mindset is making it all seem worse than it actually is because that happens too.

    I am working at positivity and on spiritual things to help me deal. Yes it works some but it does require work and me shoving depression aside and doing it no matter what I am feeling and sometimes that don't work. It's a project. My logic forces me to argue with the why bother me because I am afraid where that one could go...

    So much other stuff going on like my closest loving friend being in the ICU with some bad health issues that are life threatening. I cannot image life without her in it and I don't want to, God Willing she will heal and get better. Since my move to Florida our contact is all done by phone but we still talk several times a week if not daily all these years. If you pray say a little prayer for her and if not, positive energy of the heart.

    Sorry got off track there.

    Happy IWSG Day.
    Hugs

    Signed up for blog hop. There is a small uncertainty that I might end up offline a short time BUT that may be me just leaning to the worst, but I will do post early and schedule it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When I was going through my depression, spiritual things really helped. I attempted to meditate. I read books about spirituality and even Wicca, which really helped me.

      I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I pray things get better for her.

      Thank you for signing up for my blog hop! You don't have to worry about anything for a while with the blog hop or the book club. I hope things calm down for you. HUGS!!!

      Delete
    2. I'm in awe of your honest transparency. You'll help a lot of people that way. It's good to hear you're finding ways of dealing with this, Chrys. I wish you all the best!

      Delete
  14. When you're not in the mood, there's no point in writing. The words you wrote would probably all have to have been thrown away anyway, so you didn't really lose any time. Here's hoping that 2018 is better!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Enjoy DecNoWriMo and write some awesome stuff!

    www.stephentremp.com

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  16. I'm sorry to hear it has been hard for you this year, Chrys, Look forward to 2018 and all the opportunities that it may bring. Bouts of anxiety have made writing extremely difficult for me at times this year, I understand how hard it can be at times.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! It is comforting to know that I'm not alone in this, but it's still very hard. I wish depression and anxiety didn't exist.

      Delete
  17. Depression is a beast, so don't beat yourself up over it. Sometimes all you can do is just survive it and get through it so you can go back to being productive and feeling like a person again.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You're right. Getting through it, finding my way to the other side, was my goal. And I did it, so that is an accomplishment. :)

      Delete
  18. Please don't condemn yourself for being ill or not psychic. Love yourself. The time for writing will come again. I'm sure of this. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  19. Hopefully you've battled through (as much as possible) the depression. I totally relate. Especially to the idea of not trying. When you're not well, trying is the hardest thing there is, ever. The sofa is easier, the bed, the darkness. Anything and everything but trying. Even wondering if you'll ever get out of the funk is hard. Ugh...the worst.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You're so right. Trying is the whole battle when you're depressed.

      Delete
  20. One of the things I'm still working on is not beating myself up for the things I haven't accomplished, but rather celebrating those I have. You have accomplished so many things, Chrys! Celebrate being back on track! So happy to hear you're moving forward once again. Congrats on making the Top 100 Writing Site List!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! I did accomplish a lot this year, and I am so happy about that. :)

      Delete
  21. 2017 was tough on me too. I usually never suffer writer's block, but it hit hard. I couldn't even come up with a facebook post much less a story. But I'm back to writing and it feels good. Hopefully, 2018 is a year of prolific words!

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    1. I am so glad you're back to writing! I don't know what it was with this year, but it seems so many of us couldn't write.

      Delete
  22. 2017 seems to have been a tough year for a lot of creative folks--I've had my struggles with depression and anxiety and it's never easy for me to write when I'm feeling anxious and depressed. You can't beat yourself up about depression, since you don't necesarily control it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've been noticing that while reading IWSG posts. I had no idea.

      Delete
  23. Depression can be a big burden to bear. It's very debilitating. You should give yourself a break and do what you can. Sounds like you're recovering. Hugs to you, Chrys.

    Happy Holidays!

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    1. I am recovering. Thank you!

      Happy Holidays!

      Delete
  24. As we don't have a home and few belongings, it is easy to take "it all". If I had to leave the house we are taking care of now (and that contains most of our belongings, since it is a long-term one), I'd immediately grab my laptop, camera, pearl necklace and my dear oma (grandma)'s ashes. Is any of that ridiculous? :-)

    Sorry to read that you had a tough year, Chrys, but it sounds like 2018 is ending on a better note! And, we can choose for ourselves, which month we make NaNo, so good luck with that this month!

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    1. No, I don't think any of those are ridiculous. Those are precious items. :) But after you grabbed those and you could grab something else...maybe something you love that others would think is odd...what would it be? ;)

      Thank you!

      Delete
    2. I am totally clueless. So boring... I am not a hoarder and many things are replaceable. I'm racking my brain and am coming up empty. My tongue scraper? Sorry!

      Delete
    3. LOL! When a fire was close to my childhood home, my mom ran out of our house with a big bag potatoes. In my story, Beth saves her blender. :P

      Delete
    4. Funny! Our hand blender was the last thing we took out of our camper yesterday (most everything else was already temporarily moved into the house we are currently staying a month ago), because we made soup. :-)

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    5. Reminds me of the blog hop I’ll be hosting in February for my mom’s children’s story. It’s about soup. LOL

      Delete
  25. I used to cross-stitch bookmarks for my friends!

    And I've also suffered depression and had time slip through my fingers because of it. It's frustrating, but I try not to beat myself up about it. Just do what you can when you can. Sometimes that = nothing, but . . .

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    1. You're right. During those months, I did do what I could, and looking back, those little things made a difference.

      Delete
  26. I know you've battled with depression this year, and from what I understand, that struggle can be debilitating and soul-sucking, but YOU...! Even with all that, you STILL accomplished more than most people do in a year. So chin up, girl. You are a force to be reckoned with, and now that you've kicked depression's butt, there is NO stopping you.

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    1. Thank you, Susan! I've struggled with depression since I was a teen, but I hope it doesn't come back like it did this year. Yours words have motivated me. Thanks!

      Delete
  27. So many of us have struggled this year. I am wishing you the happiest of holiday's and an even better 2018!

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    1. I am noticing that, too. It seems to have been an off year for IWSGers. I hope 2018 is better for us all.

      Delete
  28. Dangit! This is a fun bloghop to be involved in. I'll have family in town so I won't be around to participate and you know what else I noticed, when I made the transition over to my blog, I somehow missed adding you to my reading list. Ugh! Fixing that right now.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    Elsie

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    1. That's okay, Elsie! I hope you enjoy your family during their visit.

      Merry Christmas!!! And Happy New Year!!!

      Delete
  29. Hi--I'm new to IWSG, so it's great to meet you. I am so sorry to hear about your struggle with depression. I am happy to hear that you are now out of that head space, and I pray that 2018 will be a better year for you. Lord bless you.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Cathy! And welcome to IWSG! You'll find that this is a great group of people. :)

      Delete
  30. Chrys, I'm sorry you were dealing with depression. That is never fun and it debilitates. As writers we expect so much of ourselves and so often see what we don't accomplish vs what we do.
    Here's to a wonderful 2018.
    Hugs
    PS I didn't sign up but I'm still looking forward to your visit.

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    1. Thanks, Sandra! And that’s okay. I’m looking forward to being on your blog for my tour. :)

      Delete
  31. I'm sorry to hear you went through a difficult time. But it sounds like you've made it through and that's the part to focus on. You're writing again. Celebrate, girl!

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    1. Trying to write again. ;) Thank you!

      Delete
  32. So many writers are of the weekend variety. This should be a perfect book choice.

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  33. Signed up for your blogfest. You can't help that you were depressed. I've been depressed, sad, and a different person since my husband died and I've had all these constant life changes. I can't help it either. We just do are best and are stronger next for what we do. You too. Good luck with the writing but enjoy the holidays.

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    1. Thank you so much for signing up!

      I appreciate your comment and honesty. I will definitely enjoy the holidays. :) I hope you do, too.

      Delete
  34. Must have been something in the air this past year because I think a lot of us were depressed to some degree.

    The blogfest sounds fun, but I plan to unplug for a few weeks around that time. I'll be traveling again during the Christmas season and don't plan to be on the computer much. I might check in now and then though. Good luck with it and have a great holiday season.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  35. Hi Chrys, first congratulations on your release date for Flaming Crimes! This should be another exciting read from you. Second, I'm so sorry you suffered from depression. Depression lies. It debilitates and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for when it hits. Don't blame yourself for any of it. You're human and maybe you needed that time to rest and recuperate from emotional trauma. Third, you're off to the races and a writing machine. You're an amazing inspiration!

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    1. I do think I needed the time to rest. I burned myself out doing so much since 2015. So after two years of working so hard, I needed a year “off,” but I managed to get two books ready for publication next year, so that’s good. :)

      Delete
  36. Wow! Congratulations on making that Top 100 list! That's awesome!
    I have really struggled this year, too. My health woes have also taken a toll on my confidence and attitude. I feel your pain and frustration.
    I hope that this month and all of 2018 are far, far better.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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    1. My health took a hit last December when I struggled to eat. I’m glad that hasn’t returned. I hope you also have a better 2018. Merry Christmas!! And Happy New Year!!

      Delete
  37. If you had been in an accident and couldn't write because you were too hurt, would you beat yourself up for not writing? Nope. None of us would. I'm glad your fighting your depression. It's insidious, makes us think we're weak. You are one tough lady. So, even if you feel you're a year behind with your next book, do what you can. I'm looking forward to reading it. Best wishes for a better 2018.

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    1. That’s a good point. Thank you, Diane! I did the math and it doesn’t need to be sent to my publisher until fall next year, so I have a lot of time. :)

      Delete
  38. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It has meant a lot to me.
    I usually read three or four books at once, but I'm only reading two books this month; one of yours and one for the book club.
    I love your mom's bookmarks. I need to order some of these now.
    I wish you all the best in the new year.

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    1. That means a lot to me, Toi. Your whole comment meant a lot. You’re a good friend. Thank you!

      Happy Holidays!!!

      Delete
  39. Don't beat yourself up too much. This is a physical issue that is tough to deal with. You will write and get it done. Love your mom's bookmarks and will look at more of them. Of course, you know I make handmade cards and bookmarks too. Aside from pictures and my craft stuff..ok, I would save my Willie the Lion. I got him when i was 8 from my Uncle. he is old and dirty but i love him

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    1. That is the cutest! I have a teddy bear that I got when I had sound surgery. I still love him, too. :)

      Delete
  40. I think every author goes through periods of low productivity. Please don't beat yourself up over it; otherwise, that could start a vicious cycle of depression and low productivity again. Good luck with the blog hop! It sounds interesting!

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    1. True, but not every writer experiences depression or severe depression. I am doing much better, though. Thanks!

      Delete
  41. Hey Chrys,

    I signed up for your blog hop, and I'll check out your books :) I love the crime genre.

    I'm sorry to hear about your depression. I had it too this year due to health reasons. It's okay that you haven't finished your manuscript yet. You'll finish when you're ready. I have to finish my NaNo novel in December too.

    It takes me a very long time to revise my drafts, probably why I only publish one book a year. I've been brainstorming, and I think I've figured out a way to make the process faster for me.

    Good luck to all your writing endeavors in 2018!

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

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    1. Thank you, Yawatta! It usually takes me a year or less to write the first draft and a few months to revise it for submission. I’m glad you found a process that works for you.

      Happy Holidays!!!

      Delete
  42. My productivity goes in spurts. My first draft I'm elated. My first read through and I want to burn the manuscript so no eyes can witness my failure. After a month or so of obsessively cutting bad sentences and senseless chapters I pass it along. I don't submit enough.

    I'm excited for your blog hop!

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    1. I actually don’t mind the first read through, but I guess that’s why I’m an editor. lol

      Delete
  43. Wow! So much in one post. First, do not be angry with yourself about taking care of yourself. Depression is a Demon that lies to us and whatever you do to beat it back comes first. Been there, do that. I have already read The Weekend Novelist (read the Mystery version, as well) and that is a great choice for the book club and for all the reasons you state. Best to you in the new year!

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    1. Yup. I had to pack a lot in this time. :) I just finished my read-through of The Weekend Novelist. I’m looking forward to the discussion.

      Delete
    2. I think I need more ridiculous things in my life! I have a pair of ballroom shoes that probably fits the bill. They're two or three soles old, and very definitely replaceable, but I still like them a whole lot.

      Delete
    3. Ballroom shoes could count. ;)

      Delete
  44. Your mom is very talented, as are you. Congratulations on the new book. I sighed up for the Blog Hop. Relax and enjoy the holidays. (Jan. 3rd is my middle son's birthday.) Just thought I'd throw that in. It has nothing to do with writing.

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    1. Thank you!

      Happy early birthday to your son! :)

      Delete
  45. You can't fight your body, can you? If it refuses to do anything other than sulk, what's your choice?

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  46. The bookmarks are gorgeous!
    Life does what it does, and we have to take it in stride as best as we can. Kudos for getting through it and continuing on.

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  47. Making it through a depression like that is huge. You're a rockstar. Don't put yourself down for not doing more. You did what you could. And now you're on the other side of it. That there's an "other side" is also huge. Don't diminish how much you accomplished by just surviving. Sometimes that's all we can do.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Liz. :)

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  48. People shouldn't underestimate depression. And don't beat yourself up over what you "should have done". That's a bit like saying "I should have carried on jogging every day, despite that broken ankle." Hope 2018 is a better year.

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    1. That made me chuckle. It’s a good way to look at it.

      Delete
  49. I may have different health issues, Chrys, but I feel for you and know what its like to look back at those unmotivated/unproductive months. However, I'm really glad to see that you are persevering and aiming forward. Whether I can join your blog fest depends on thinking of something ridiculous to save. All the best.

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  50. If I had superhuman strength I’d carry out my entire library shelf on my shoulders. Alas, I’m only human so I’ll save the binder I put all of my writing from college as part of my English- Creative Writing track senior portfolio. All of my recent writing is saved on Gdrive. Anything before then is not (mostly because they were saved on floppy disks).

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    1. I have a couple of floppy disk and one backpack full of notebooks and folders with writing stuff. It’s one of the first things I’d grab. :)

      Delete
  51. Hey Chrys, so much to comment on. Congrats on making Booksie's list. Well done you. Your blog is very informative and helpful to all writers, so well deserved. I hope you have a blast on your bloghop. I'm just going to be snowed under with family and holidays so can't take on any more. I'm going to have enough trouble learning how to create vegan, vegetarian, pulse-only meals for some family members..grr.

    Happy Christmas!
    Have a glorious 2018!
    I hope that depression is behind you. Been there. Know how crippling it can be!

    Denise :-)

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    1. lol I’m a vegetarian but my family members never worry about me. They just say I’ll fill up on sides or figure it out myself. It’s nice that you’re taking the time to really consider meals for them.

      Delete
  52. I cannot imagine writing while depressed. I'm hoping you feel much better now, and don't dwell over much on things in the past you cannot change. At least you have the new year to look forward to :)

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    1. The New Year does have new possibilities. :)

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  53. Depression is a bitch. It keeps me from writing too. Hopefully, next year will be better, and you'll beat your depression soundly. Best wishes for the new year!

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    1. Thank you, Olga. I hope we can both keep depression at Bay.

      Delete
  54. I'm sorry that this has been such a rough year for you. Please take care of yourself, and you'll write when you can. You need to take care of yourself first, and the rest will come, You've still accomplished a lot this year and have much to be proud of. Happy Holidays and all the best in 2018!

    Julie

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  55. Hey Chrys,

    I'm also going to be treating December like nano, because my big interview questions came in today! Woohoo! I'm really sorry to hear about your depression. We're in the same boat. I'm only blogging twice monthly, and I can barely keep up with that. This said, your blog hop looks really interesting, but I'm planning a big trip right now, so I'm going to have to take a rain check, because I won't be back until mid-March. I've prepped all my blog posts through then, and it took me FOREVER!

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    1. That sure does sound like a big trip. Enjoy it!

      Delete
  56. I do love handmade bookmarks. They mean something and books mean something so naturally, I love to mark my favorite pages with trinkets and drawings my children make me. Lovely cover on the book. Don't beat yourself up for taking care of your health. We are where we are in life because we are supposed to be. And we learn. And we improve. I wish you every success with your future dreams and goals.

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    1. Thank you, Erika! Handmade bookmarks just seem to make reading all the more special. :)

      Delete
  57. Depression is a horrible, draining thing. It's a vicious cycle of not feeling like doing anything and then feeling bad because you didn't do anything, repeat, repeat, repeat. Don't beat yourself up--depression is a roadblock that makes you blame yourself, but it's not your fault.

    I hope things improve for you in 2018. Good wishes coming your way!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Megan! Happy Holidays!!!

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  58. I signed up! :) I'll be blogging a little less next year too. I'm going to focus mostly on writing... if the cat moves away from my screen! Depression is an ongoing battle and not at all your fault. You are still pushing on and that's inspiring. Have a wonderful holiday season, and here's to 2018 being a fantastic year for all of us!

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    1. Thanks for signing up! I had planned to Blog three times a month, but now I’m considering just twice a month, but I think that’d be too little. Hmm...

      Happy Holidays!!!

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  59. I absolutely hate how that feedback loop works: how depression leads to less writing, which leads to more depression, which leads to even less writing. I know when it happens that I will come out of it eventually, but the most frustrating aspect of my writing life is that I do not know how to keep it from happening in the first place.

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    1. My depression was a combination of a lot of stuff, but writing disappointments had tipped the scale and was the last straw that made it worse. I hope that doesn’t happen like that again.

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  60. So much in one post! Congrats on the book and best wishes on your struggles. Don't beat yourself up about what you did and didn't do in the past, dwelling on it will just feed into the cycle more.

    And I would save my ratty, ugly university sweater. I've had it for almost 20 years, I'm not giving up on it now.

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    1. Yup. Sometimes, I have to pack it all in. ;)

      I love that! We can't lose our comfort, especially if it's an item of clothing, right?

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  61. First let me say, it never benefits us to say, "if only." Live today, right now. Happy and healthy. That part of your life is over and you've moved on beautifully. That's what you need to focus on. How you are accomplishing your publication dreams now.

    What would I save in a fire? My memories. My scrapbooks of life adventures. These--after my family--are my treasure. Chrys, I've got a lot on my plate right now, but if you contact me after Christmas, I'll see if I can participate in your Flaming launch. I enjoy reading your Crimes stories. I hate to commit now when I might not be able to. Merry Christmas, my dear!

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    1. I know. But when you suffer from depression that stopped you from doing a lot for a period of time, it's easy to say, "If only." I am looking ahead now. I still wish I could've written during that time, but I have today. :)

      No problem, Victoria! Merry Christmas!!!

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  62. 2017 was a good year--don't know if I would change much--but after 2016 with a ruptured quad tendon and a hospitalization with sepsis, it was easy to top that. If anything, I wish I would have had a few more days in Scotland so that I could have made it out to the Outer Hebrides. Blessings with you in your struggle with depression-that's a hard burden to bare. I'll now try to remember to get that post up on Jan. 3 (Can you send a reminder)

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    1. A trip to Scotland. I am envious.

      Yes, I’ll send a reminder because I’ll be sending some info to go in the post. :)

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  63. So many questions! I'll sign up for the blog fest, and I'm probably at least a year behind with my WIP, so that's a big "yes."

    I prefer scraps of paper for bookmarks so that I can lose them with impunity :)

    And I'm not sure if I'll read the IWSG group read or not. I'm supposedly full-time(ish) on this writing, but maybe it would inspire me, because I've clearly been in a bit of a trough this year too.

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    1. Haha. Usually I only have one to two questions. ;)

      The Weekend Novelist has some great exercises that could inspire you. :)

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  64. Good luck with pretending that December is nano. From what I've seen on your blog, you should be extremely successful. Wishing you a productive 2018.

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  65. I'm sorry to hear about your depression Chrys. I hope things are better for you now.

    Before my operation earlier this year, I used to suffer from depression quite a bit. Thankfully now not so much (and I've spent years learning how to overcome it). Unfortunately, I think depression is a common thing among creatives. You shouldn't be too hard upon yourself as you've achieved a lot and I'm sure you'll get through this.

    I wish you a happy and productive new year!

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    1. Yeah, I’ve dealt with it off and on since I was a teen, but from September 2016 to this April it was the worse it’s ever been. I am much better now. Thanks!

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  66. My friend, don't get angry with yourself! Feel the anger, but send yourself more love. I hope that makes sense? I don't know why we go through things, but we do. As, I told you, I went through several years of depression. I've been on quite a journey. We all have paths to go through and sometimes, we can really go to the bottom of the barrel, but it's how we come of it, that's the main thing!! Please keep loving yourself, more than ever now. Whenever you feel an emotion like anger, put love towards it! I know it's hard!!!
    2018 is going to be a wondrous year for us all! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with many blessings!
    Big Hugs!

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    1. That does make sense. Thank you for you words. It was a great pep talk. :)

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  67. Cool blogfest, unfortunately I'm thinking I won't be much good around that time because something inevitable and unavoidable is coming up that will take most of my energy and attention.
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, successful New Year.

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    1. That’s okay, Lynda. I understand. Merry Christmas!!!

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  68. Nice to meet you, Chrys. I hear you on being angry about not being as productive this year as you wanted to be. But, you make a good point about how if you had to go back to the you who was unproductive to change things, you wouldn't be able to. Such a realistic view point!

    Have a Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas this season!

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    1. Thank for visiting, Cathy! Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! :)

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  69. Depression saps your health. It's an awful disease. I'm so happy you're on an upward flight. Keep going. Be happy. Wishing you success!!! Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

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    1. Thank you, Catherina! I’ve been on an upward flight for a while and it feels good. :) Merry Christmas!

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  70. Yes, I signed up for the blogfest! Although, after reading about the current wildfires in California, it's hard to take such a subject with levity. I'd like to become a superhero and grab all the animals out of harm's way who can't leave without help.

    Your mom's bookmarks are lovely! I wish I had the know-how to knit.

    Depression is a serious illness. The fact that you are writing now is huge. Don't beat yourself up about not writing when you are sick.

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    1. I know. It always seems that when I publish a new story in my Disaster Crimes series that that disaster or another strikes somewhere in the world. The day Seismic Crimes came out there was that huge quake. Now I’m planning the Blog Tour for Flaming Crimes and there’s this fire. I definitely am not trying to use humor. I got the idea for this because my mom saved a big bag of potatoes when a fire was threatening my childhood home. I used that in my book. Thanks for signing up!

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  71. VERY fun prompt for the blogfest. Looking forward to it. :)

    I'm happy to know you're in a better place now than you were earlier in the year. Getting yourself to this point is an accomplishment - it's the best thing you could've done with your time.

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    1. Thank you, Nicki! It was tough, but I made it through. :)

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  72. I don't think you can beat yourself up for not writing while depressed. It's a serious illness and shouldn't be treated lightly. Just getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult.

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    1. I'm not really beating myself up over this. lol But as a writer, I am kicking myself for the loss of writing time. I can't help it. I've never taken my depression lightly. I've suffered from it since I was a teen.

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  73. Just signed up for the blogfest - in part motivated by watching some racehorses being saved from the California fires. Reverse of ridiculous but that is making me think. (Have you read Blaze by Kristina Stanley? I recommend it - crime and fire in Western Canada.)

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    1. What’s going on in California is awful. My release and planning is coming at an odd time. I know what it’s like to be caught in the middle of that.

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  74. It is so easy for me to read this and say something like "Don't fret, it'll be okay. Everything happens for a reason." That's not what you need to hear. So, if I think on this long enough, I see me with only one response: I hear you.

    I hope the days ahead are kind. I hope you gain back your strength. I hope you allow yourself this time to mend. Depression can't always be cured, but you can learn to live with it without being swept away. Best to you in the new year, Chrys.

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    1. Thanks, Joylene! I appreciate that.

      All the best to you in 2018!

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  75. I think we all have periods when teoretically we could have written, but didn't. If we spend time being annoyed about that, then we're just wasting more writing time.

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  76. Congratulations on your new release and wishing you health in 2018!

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  77. Glad to hear you're not beating yourself up for not writing. We are only human. I know writers think we are super-human, but not true. Happy to know you are in a good place now and moving on. I don't know much about depression, but you aren't seeking help with it. Just stating the facts and learning how to manage it. You can do it! Congrats on being added as one of the blog sites recognized in Booksie. Very cool!!

    JQ @ JQ Rose

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    1. Yes, there have been times when I thought I was a super-human writer. I was doing too much, and it caught up with me.

      Thank you, Janet!

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  78. Your blog hop is a really good idea for marketing your book! I'll help you out and participate. (Maybe I'll try something similar when Bubba & Squirt's Big Dig to China comes out.)

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    1. Thank you! And that would be a great idea. Count me in. :)

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  79. Yes, we can't beat ourselves up for stuff like that. (Well, we can, but what would be the point, other than to make us feel worse?)

    I also struggled with depression this year, after the end of my eight-year relationship and other related heartbreak. Which resulted in my first ever experience with writer's block. I not only couldn't write, I hated my book with a passion. So while it would be awesome if I'd been more productive this summer, I've decided to go easy on myself and be thankful that book got written at all.

    Hugs to you. Hope 2018 is a better year for both of us.

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    1. And didn’t your editor or agent say it was the best work you’ve done? That is definitely something to be thankful for. You had depression but still did it! Yes!!!

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  80. I know it's hard not to beat yourself up but you had to take time to get better. Glad you're in a much better space for writing now.

    The blogfest sounds fun! You have a fair few signups. I'll have a think about what I would save and hopefully be back.

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    1. I am so thankful for the signups for my blog hop. My expectations were far less, to save me from disappointment. lol

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  81. I understand how hard it is to write when you're down. I hope your depression is alleviating and things are looking better and better.

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    1. Things are looking better. Thanks, Loni!

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  82. Hi Chrys - so so late here ... but good to read that you are feeling better and others of us who might suffer from depression (I don't I'm very pleased to say) can learn and understand a little as to how you cope and feel.

    Good luck with the book - I'll be around the 3rd ... but suspect I have rather too much going on here to commit ... but I'll support. I'm just so glad you're feeling easier ... and enjoy your writing ... and thanks for being here and what you do with IWSG - helps us all .. cheers and all the very best - Hilary

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    1. Support is a great thing, Hilary! I will accept all the support that comes my way. Thank you!

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  83. I don't know how I missed this! Signed up for the blogfest! :)

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    1. Yay! Thank you! You may be late, but you're just in time. :)

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  84. Depression is so real and should not be taken lightly. I hope you are well this holiday season.

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    1. The holiday season was a great one for me. Thanks, Lux!

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  85. Happy New Year, Chrys! Wow, exciting news about this new release! Congratulations!

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  86. I didn't know that there was a book of the month for IWSG. I may have to try following along with that. That would achieve two goals – learning to write better and reading more often (to grow vocabulary, improve writing style, etc).

    As to the one weird thing I would grab from my burning house? Umm… I can't think of anything. Maybe a warm blanket. I love warm blankets. :)

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    1. Yup. :) We read one book every other month. Right now, the group is voting on the fictional book for Feb/March. I run the book club. Check it out: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/214387-the-insecure-writer-s-support-group-book-club

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