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I barely slept last night. I went to bed on time so that I could get enough sleep to take the various medical tests and exams I needed too today. But my sleep was troubled by a particularly nasty night terror that involved a family I know being haunted by a shadowy figure. Turns out that sometimes you really shouldn't write about things that terrify you. This creature is going to be released next month on my Patreon, where I've wrote about it in ghoulish and exacting detail. But damn if it didn't crawl under my skin, carve it free, and wear it like a cloak. I musth ave woke up three or four times screaming as every time I woke up the dream "paused" and then "played" when I slept again. I just couldn't go to the doctor's office. I was too exahusted. I've rescheduled for next week sometime along with my follow-up at the hematologist's office.

I went back to sleep after doing the rescheduling and stayed passed out to nearly 4pm after my sister texted me worried. My new printer arrived (see pictures below!) and I put it all together and everything was great until my docking station DIED. If had known that it was going to die so horribly I wouldn't have bought the damn printer. Sigh. If it's not one thing, it's another. Now I need to figure out how to scrape up money for that. It wouldn't be so bad, but it's severely impacting my workflow and that's simply not acceptable.

I'm about 60% of the way through my revision of my player "handbook" for my GURPS Dungeon Fantasy campaign "Sicatra," all I have left to do is add how the magical system works. Should be more or less easy. And speaking of Dungeon Fantasy, the book that Antoni Ten Monrós and I are writing together has gone through its first round of revisions, I expect to be turning that in soon. I've got a good solid idea for another book, but I'll first need to get this one put to bed.

Ah well, off to the word mines I go, heigh-ho-heigh-ho-heigh-ho.



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So if you follow my twitter stream you know that I suffer from night terrors. Last night I dreamed that my grandmother was alive again and I was talking to her while I sat on her bed. Then she started to decay before my very eyes and I “woke up” screaming. Rushing down the hallway I went to check on her and she was fine. Sitting on her bed we began to talk again. When I realized I was dreaming I woke up screaming so loud they heard me two streets away (my windows were open).


I’ve heard lots of different reasons from doctors why I have them. No one can decide if it’s PTSD (which I have in its mildest form) or if it is a physiological issue. I’ve had night terrors since I was four and NO ONE can tell me why. My family and friends (especially my mom and @sigynlocke) have dealt with my screaming in the middle of the night with stoicism calmly rousing me from slumber with a gentle shake or proffered words. Sometimes they are so bad my already bad insomnia kicks into overdrive. When my Dad died in April 2007 I didn’t really sleep again till sometime in the summer of ’08. I ran on snippets of sleep, coffee, energy drinks, and NoDoz. When I DID sleep more than an hour or two at a time I’d be screaming for “them to let him come back.” I missed my Dad so much it nearly killed me.  It wasn’t until I found a letter he had sent me the year before that the nightmares lessened in intensity. Despite its incredibly personal nature I’d decided to transcribe a part of it here:




Christopher,


                Are you doing well? Both Sharyn and I are worried. We haven’t heard from you in a few weeks and fear you might have tried to hurt yourself again. Have the nightmares started again? Are you sleeping? You know you can come back here if you really need to. Our door is always open to you – you are our son, my son. If only in spirit and not blood. Remember how we talked about you writing professionally? I still think it is a wonderful idea and you’ve the right temperament for it. You’re imaginative, inquisitive, and entirely too bright for your own good. You’re also impudent, impatient, and argumentative. But those will lessen with time. About that other thing... you can’t be sad all the time, son. The sky will open up and the sun will shine through. So if you are having the nightmares again because of that, cry, wipe your tears away, and write. Write because it’s what you want to do. Write because you’re good at it. Write because I think one day your name is going to be known far and wide. Because in the end your dreams aren’t just a curse. They are also a blessing. Let the tears you shed now be the ink of your words later.


                Now, about the pool…


Gawd, I read that letter and it makes me tear up. The truth is I’ve done many things to try to escape the pain my nightmares have brought me. I started drinking when I was 12. The alcohol-induced slumber would drown out the worst of my dreams. By 14 I was a few steps away from a full-blown alcoholic, sneaking liqueur from my stepfather’s stash. @siygnlocke eventually noticed and told me to stop or she’d not talk to me anymore. I stopped. I tried other things after that but nothing really helped. The nightmares always came back. Eventually, @signylocke helped me to learn to meditate and gain some measure of control over my dreams. She helped me build the “walls” in my mind that I still use. It might sound hokey but the meditation really helped. Sometimes though, those walls are overwhelmed. Last night the onslaught of guilt I feel over my grandmother’s death laid siege to my psyche. Some of those fears got past the walls. I don’t know if I can stand another year without sleep like what happened when my Dad died. Hopefully, it won’t be that bad. I’m a lot less insecure now then I was then. My support network is also much bigger and includes people I can reach at any time via the internet. For someone with my peculiar set of problems a support network is vital. Some people don’t even know they’re helping me. And strangely enough, that helps too.


Till then, I got dreams, dreams to remember...




 



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C. R. Rice

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