I've been insanely busy lately, and it's probably a good thing. I have been suffering from depression again, but keeping busy is actually helping. Odd, I know, but what works to treat depression is different for everyone.



Scary enough, some people still treat it with trepanning.  Ew.


  

I want to be honest about depression mainly because most writers experience it. Hell, most people do, but for artists it's almost a necessary evil. You see, the dark side of art is that it is born in suffering. At the deepest depths of depression in my life my work output has been zilch, but when I'm at a nice medium depression, some of my best ideas are born.

The concept of a nice, medium depression is something only an artist would say. It's sick, I know. The second I become too enamored of it, I'll hoist myself off the couch, head to a therapist, and get a nice prescription for happy pills for a few months. I'm not insane; I'm just fucked up.



If only these were real...


  
 

Wolf Tales Volume I is still on track, but as it's out to critique readers right now I have some down time. So I've turned to my pet therapy project. It's a story I've been writing since I was 11, not kidding. I started writing it the first time I experienced depression, and when I got better, I put it aside. Then it was written by hand in a notebook. As a teenager I experienced depression again and typed it up on a typewriter and added more. Then when I experienced depression in my mid twenties I put it on a computer and added more. Now in my early thirties, I'm back again.

I think having a therapy project is good for depression, hell, the the psychological profession agrees. Most therapists will ask you to keep a journal, but that doesn't work for me. My journals tend to have entries like: "Woke up, gargled, put in my contacts, showered, had coffee and toast, and the day got worse from there." Writing for myself has always been difficult, in fact this blog is my most successful attempt, and then only because my goal here is to tell real-life stories to help other writers. 

Any artist can have a therapy project in their medium. In my story, not surprisingly, it's about a woman dealing with depression. In reality depression comes from many sources both grand and mundane, in my life it mainly comes from stress and sudden life changes. What can I say, I don't cope well with change, like an old house cat forced to move to a new home.

In my story I have an unnamed protagonist, it's first person, and we learn she is a witch. It's a world in which witches, warlocks, vampires, and lycanthropes live. Our heroine is the last living witch, retired to little Mercer Island on the east coast of America. The witches were dying and so every one but her left, seeking a new place to grow and flourish when they mysteriously all died.



Basically, the shadow twin concept is exploring the creepy work of doplegangers



  
 

She's haunted by their ghosts and spent years wandering after, looking for others, but retired to her island in the late 18th century. It's set in modern times and she lives alone in rags, raising chickens, sharing the island with wild horses descended from the stable her family once kept. She has another ghost with her always- her shadow twin.

Her shadow twin is the source of her magic, half of her soul split at birth. Her shadow twin is always there, just at the corner of her vision, and when an immortal witch chooses to embrace death, she simply joins herself with her shadow twin. The ghosts of her relatives can never tell her why they embraced theirs. At the start of the story a vampire, two lycanthropes, and a warlock come to her island. Where her family's ship went down is now in a site where human explorers are seeking treasure. Only she can find them, and the rest of the supernatural community who wants to remain hidden needs her help.

There are adventures in coming to terms with technology, in overcoming ancient hatreds of other supernaturals, struggling to understand lust, love, and life in general. It's melancholy and dark, of course, and it's not a mystery, not a romance, not an epic. I've written it free-form with no outline, summary, or character sheets. It's just pure, damaged id in fiction form.

I'm surprised that the prose I wrote at 11 sounds just like what I've written at 32. Something about feeling the blues sort of levels my writing, I guess. I don't know if I'll ever finish it, I doubt I'll ever publish it. But every artist should have 1 thing for themselves, 1 thing they never share. It's good for the soul.



Remember this mantra: it's an important one