Sunday, March 26, 2017


Hi Sisters and Misters! I was looking for character inspiration to write a new story, and I thought these girls were great! Look for the intro today!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

What You Need To Know Before You Leave Design School

I ended up dropping out of graphic design school.
I tried to post this video directly from You Tube twice. I don't know where it ended up!

~Lady Eddie~

Monday, March 20, 2017

Let The Wrong One In

I generally don’t participate in writing challenges. Writing challenges are for nice, normal people whose thoughts work in a linear direction and resemble the web of a proper spider, not one of those messed-up spiders who has been given, say, LSD.
My thoughts resemble the web of a spider on LSD.
At first glance, I pass for normal. I’m astoundingly plain. I’m a gray-haired, middle-aged woman with a body far rounder than those bodies which are deemed beautiful. I’m someone that nobody looks at twice. This is fine. I wouldn’t want to be one of those people who is celebrated solely for their physical appearance.
Realizing from a young age that I had a great face for radio, I believed that I might be able to make a living with my writing. I have always been highly imaginative, my head filled with unique and sometimes controversial ideas. I am open-minded and empathic. I thought I could combine these traits of imagination, empathy, and open-mindedness, I could reach those who, like me, were different and misunderstood.
I learned that nobody is interested in the works of a person who can’t tie their ideas up in a neat little package. I have tried, but outside of short stories, I can’t do it. My novels will always have a myriad of subplots. When I try to constrain my thoughts into a tidy parcel, the end result doesn’t feel authentic.
This is the result of my anomalistic mind refusing to conform to the rules of proper writing.
I did not do well with writing in the sixth grade, where I had a teacher who insisted we make an outline first and then follow that outline exactly, but not too exactly, or he’d know we wrote the story first and then made the outline. This teacher quite literally gave me PTSD regarding the use of outlines.

A scan of the weird world inside my skull would reveal that my brain looks something like a bowl full of radioactive cherry Jello with a few amusing blobs of lime Jello thrown in for fun. Another type of scan would reveal that my synapses always think it’s the Fourth of July and they are fireworks.  Even in a balanced state of mind, known as euthymia, and performing mundane, non-stressful tasks, my synapses would be firing off with inappropriate levels of excitement. The way my brain works is similar to having a person begin dancing around in brightly colored clothes at a staid and formal affair.
This world dislikes people like me. I have come to understand that those things which interest me do not interest anybody else. I am strange, I am eccentric. At first glance I pass for normal, but I am not.
When writing a novel, I could try to do it the way everybody else does. I could try to kill all the subplots that dance into my mind. I could try to write a nice, ordinary book which might sell, but it probably wouldn’t because it would be awful. A book written without spirit is a dead world.
I cannot weave my thoughts in the manner of a normal spider weaving its web.
My thoughts will always weave in the manner of a spider on LSD.
It is exhausting to be me.
Yet me is the only thing I know how to be.
I have had people ask me why I don’t ask a doctor to medicate away the overstimulated state inside my head.
I tried this once. The cure was worse than the problem.
Most antidepressants don’t make me less depressed, they make me manic and psychotic. The exception is Prozac, which makes me flat and turns my thoughts to self-harm, not for the usual reasons, but because I start wondering if I can still feel.
I am normally neither manic nor psychotic, and usually I can feel, perhaps too much.
I have type 2 bipolar disorder, which manifests hypomania rather than full mania.
Hypomania can be equally destructive, but its presentation isn’t as extreme as full mania. This is why bipolar 2 tends to be misdiagnosed.
I am not psychotic. I have an esoteric belief system, but I know the difference between the metaphysical and physical world. I am grounded in reality. I am all too aware that there are a myriad of horrific things happening in the world at any given time. I wish that I could stop these things from happening. I know that I can’t.
I take a low dose of Lithium to help manage the hypomania and the paranoia that are part and parcel of my particular and peculiar mind. Lithium doesn’t make me flat the way Prozac did. It’s more akin to turning the dimmer switch on a light to a lower setting than to turning off the light.
LIthium allows me to be less extreme. It allows me to think things through, to not be enticed into unhealthy relationships, to spend my money a bit more wisely. It hasn’t yet stopped me from overworking myself, and it doesn’t stop myriads of subplots from appearing out of left field, right field, center field, or dropping in from the Heavens above and popping up from the Hells below.
I don’t want my stories to be without multiple subplots. I like the LSD spiderweb that my mind weaves. I’m not even especially bothered by the fact that other people generally don’t care for the way my writing jumps this way and that.
What bothers me is the fact that most people believe that stories can only take a linear form, that there is only one right way to tell a tale, and if the author fails to adhere to said conventions, they are to be shamed and pushed away from writing as they enjoy.
Some minds don’t weave their tales in the manner of a normal spider.
Some of us are LSD spiders.
It’s wrong to demand that minds which are not neurologically typical work like minds that are.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

TV Show Meme

The TV Shows Questions

1. Name a TV show series in which you have seen every episode at least twice:
Star Trek TOS and the original Twilight Zone
2. Name a show you can't miss:
I watch everything on Netflix, so I really don't pay any attention to TV schedules any more.
3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to watch a show:
There are a few of these, although the number is decreasing as they grow old and their bodies fail them.
4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to watch a show:
Pretty much everybody who is Young and Hot (tm)
5. Name a show you can, and do, quote from:
Star Trek, Supernatural, Futurama. Bite my shiny metal ass!
6. Name a show you like that no one else enjoys:
I've liked a few shows that never quite took off.
7. Name a TV show which you've been known to sing the theme song:
I hum the theme song to M.A.S.H. sometimes. Every now and then the theme for Gilligan's Island will play in my mind.
8. Name a show you would recommend everyone to watch:
Eh, whatever floats your boat.
9. Name a TV series you own:
The first season of True Blood. The entire Real Ghostbusters cartoons.
10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium, but has surprised you with his/her acting chops in television:
I absolutely adored the Chris Isaak show. It's a shame it never went to DVD.
11. What is your favorite episode of your favorite series?
I based a big part of the past life subplot of Team Netherworld's WIP novel, Fetch ( on The Lights of Zetar, a much-panned episode of Star Trek TOS that I really loved overall in spite of the fact that there are parts of it that I could certainly nit-pick about. 
12. Name a show you keep meaning to watch, but you just haven't gotten around to yet:
I have a whole long list of these on Netflix.
13. Ever quit watching a show because it was so bad?
Sadly, quite a few of the shows I enjoyed along the way fell into this category. Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, Three's Company, the list goes on.
14. Name a show that's made you cry multiple times:
Torchwood made me cry when Captain Jack sacrificed his grandson to save the Earth. NYPD Blue when Jimmy Smits' character died. I can think of more movies than TV shows at this point.
15. What do you eat when you watch TV?
Nuts, cheese, dark chocolate.
16. How often do you watch TV?
A little bit every day
17. What's the last TV show you watched?
Currently watching Futurama
18. What's your favorite/preferred genre of TV?
I tend to watch sci-fi, but also nature shows, cop shows, crime drama, I'm pretty eclectic.
19. What was the first TV show you were obsessed with?
Star Trek TOS
20. What TV show do you wish you never watched?
Eh, I don't know. In some ways Bones was pretty good, but they had a habit of size shaming larger people, which I really didn't like.
21. What's the weirdest show you enjoyed?
I don't know. I'm kind of a weird person overall, so maybe all of them.
22. What TV show scared you the most?
I write horror, so most horror stuff doesn't scare me. The Lights of Zetar scared the hell out of me and still does. I will not watch it in the dark.
23. What is the funniest TV show you have ever watched?
Futurama is pretty funny. Monty Python is a longtime favorite. The first couple seasons of Mork and Mindy were hilarious.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Down By the River Skai

A peaceful spot along the River Skai

I've had a lot of personal trouble lately, and it translates into trouble writing. When I was younger, I often wrote more when times were troubled as a form of escape. These days, when times are troubled, I feel like I don't deserve anything positive and that includes feeling like I don't deserve to write.
I know I'm not one of those well-liked bloggers who gets lots of lurrrrve and encouragement from their followers. Comes with the territory of being a depressive, defensive porcupine. I don't even particularly like the idea of being a super popular blogger, because too many people really don't get what I'm writing  or what it's like to live with severe mental illness, and have a tendency to say things that come off as belittling.
Anyway, if you really want to know what's going on with me, complete with a Tarot reading, you can follow this link to my esoteric stuff and bitching about social inequalities blog. If you're one of those super duper uber materialist people who think that we're born, we live, we die, the end and that tarot readings are for unevolved morons with their heads in the clouds, please don't follow that link just to start an argument. I'll just call you an asshole and tell you to fuck off. Now that I've predicted the future, you don't need to bother yourself.
I'm very upset over the situation I describe in the linked post. I'm diabetic, but I haven't been able to make myself eat anything but cheese and nuts since yesterday. This also means I haven't been able to take my medication. With all my health problems, I probably shouldn't be working anyway. However, it is impossible to live on disability payments, so I continue working long hours in spite of the fact that I shouldn't.
Like me, my character Pepper has a lot of problems, including mental health issues. When I saw this picture, I thought that perhaps Pepper was feeling very depressed, so she retreated to the Dreamlands. She went to a peaceful area along the River Skai. Gerry found Pepper there, and he sat beside her, put his arms around her, and just held her, not even having to say anything at all.
I think Pepper is very lucky.
This isn't the end, not that anyone cares. I'll be back with more, even if nobody reads it at all.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Crazy Creatives A to Z 2017

Team Netherworld has multiple blogs, and in the past we have participated in the A to Z challenge both officially and unofficially. We used it to try and share our fiction writing in the past, but this wasn't well received. So instead I thought that this year we would try to spread awareness via the challenge.
Most blog hops feel intimidating to unwelcoming when one lives with a psychiatric illness. People like me tend to fear that we will be shot down or shut out, and this happens with fair frequency. This is why I created Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp. I imagined it as a haven for those who are living with a psychiatric condition and who identify as creative. It hasn't exactly taken off like a wildfire, but I hope that it may one day make a difference somehow.
This year I plan to utilize the month of April to draw attention to various psychiatric conditions that people may be dealing with. In a world where people deem it acceptable to use phrases like "off their meds" to insult and belittle people they don't agree with, it is necessary to remove the stigma from mental illness.
One would not (I would hope) refer to a diabetic who hadn't injected their insulin and was therefore behaving strangely as being "off their meds" in a derogatory way. Why should we think it's okay to refer to a person that we deem as behaving strangely due to not having taken their psych meds in a derogatory way?
I hope to use the month of April to shed a bit of light on psychiatric ailments and, most importantly, to encourage seeing people with psychiatric ailments as people--not as lesser or defective people, just as people.

~The Real Cie~
For Team Netherworld

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Cheese Grates It: How To Shut Out Your Patient

I'm thinking about talking to the doctor about the lovely conversation I had with the nurse. He's better than a lot of doctors I've had as far as not telling me I need to lose weight, but things like this let me know that he still has that old mindset that big person = lazy person.
All of my life I've worked very hard to counter the belief that I'm lazy. Once I got into my teens, I was constantly tired. I was always more alert and awake later in the day. Hence why I work nights. I was always being told by family members that I needed to get outside and do something. Then at night, I couldn't sleep. I'm a bit discouraged that things have changed so little where doctors don't bother to try and tie factors together, they just tell the patient that healthy patients do X, y, and Z, and therefore, all patients need to do X, Y and Z, or they are not compliant and are bad patients (and bad people.)
I realized many years later that during my teens, my thyroid gland was dying, and that was sapping my energy. My bipolar disorder onset when I hit puberty, but I didn't know it until I was close to 40, because I have type 2 bipolar, which isn't as obvious. I also developed fibromyalgia, but that wouldn't be diagnosed until after I had my son.
At this point, hardcore exercise is out of the question for me. My knees, ankles and back are shot from all the years of doing physical work. This is why I liked working out in the therapy pool. There is a rec center near my son's place with a therapy pool, but there are weeks (like this one) when I have so little time that I'd probably never get there. Maybe now that the temperatures are warmer I could try to walk around the damn mobile home park a lap or two. I don't know.
Trouble is, doctors want to turn every patient into the Perfect Patient. Well, the Perfect Patient probably doesn't go to the doctor very often, because everything's perfect. I know I wouldn't go to the doctor very often if I didn't have to take these damn medications and have my damn blood levels monitored for my damn stupid thyroid and worthless ass pancreas.
A good doctor doesn't assume, they ask, and then they listen, and they don't lecture. Lecturing pushes the patient away. The likelihood is, the patient knows they aren't being entirely compliant. Maybe they can't, maybe they won't. You have to treat each person like an individual, not like a number.
When working 50 and 60 hours a week, I'm not going to be counting every single carbohydrate gram that goes in my mouth. I'm going to eat something to stop me from being hungry. I'm compliant about taking the Metformin. I'm not compliant about getting X amount of exercise every day outside of work, and I would wager a guess that Bitch, if you were working four, five, and sometimes six twelve hours a week, plus having to drive 40 miles one way at least one of those days, plus having to help out a key person in your life who really needs the help at this point, and most of the time getting less than 5 hours of sleep (often more like 3), yo ass would not be that great about getting extra exercise either.
I know I could do better about watching the amount of carbohydrates I ingest. I've also been drinking a lot more caffeine during the last couple of years, which also has a tendency to raise blood sugar. Under optimal circumstances, I would be doing "better" with this. Maybe if I were a better, stronger, happier person I would also be doing better.
However, when the so called treatment leaves you feeling bad about yourself, like nothing you do is any good, then the medical personnel are doing something wrong.
Say to me "hey, Cie, do you know of a reason why your A1C levels might be higher than last year?"
I would say to you "Yeah, Doc, there's this," and I would tell you what I just said above. I would also say that I'm trying to be more mindful about it again, because I am.
Then the doctor would say "we'll increase your metformin levels. Let's recheck your blood in six months. By the way, how much do you exercise?" (Rather than assuming that I don't based on my body type.)
I would tell the doctor what I said above. Then maybe the doctor would say "well, try to increase your activity level where you can. I can see that you're extremely busy."
See how much better that conversation would be?
I still haven't 100% decided whether I'm going to say something. I go back and forth about changing doctors, because this doctor is far from the worst I've encountered. Finding a doctor that treats a patient rather than a chart, particularly when you are a horrible, horrible fatty like me, is difficult to impossible.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

The Cheese Grates It: Never Enough

I'm a hard worker, but it's not enough. You also have to be pretty, cheerful, tidy and physically active. If you are a woman, you are to be just sexy enough, never frumpy or slutty. If you are a woman, you are not to look a day over thirty, no matter how old you are. If you have psychological glitches, you are to either hide them, deny them, or medicate them away. You will always be perfectly compliant. You will not weigh more or less than the number determined for your height on the arbitrary chart. You will exercise in the prescribed manner each day, never mind if your ass just worked your fifth twelve hour shift of the week and you've only had two or three hours of sleep every day.
Should you fail to comply with these edicts, it does not matter how hard you work or what good you do in the world, you are a lazy, worthless piece of shit, and you will be shamed until you either comply or commit suicide because you feel so fucking worthless.
This is why larger people avoid going to the damn doctor. Because medical school teaches doctors to treat a chart, not a patient.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~