Well, tonight has been pretty productive. Although I went home after supper and fell asleep right at around 5:30pm I got a fair bit done in the darkness hours. It is a really hard thing to change your schedule to a normal one after doing what I did, working night shifts for 15 years or more. As a note to anyone out there who works night shifts, I have heard from various sources that shift work will take ten years off your life and I don’t doubt it at all. The thing that keeps me up working nights though is that my house is relatively free from distractions after midnight.
So, after getting a few hours of sleep I picked up a book that arrived in the mail yesterday (I LOVE getting brand new books in the mail!) The book was, “Human On The Inside”, published by University of Saskatchewan Press, written by Gary Garrison, a friend that lives just up the street and is a member of the same poetry society I do readings at now and then. The book was absolutely incredible and Gary did an excellent job of it. It talks at great length about how Gary went through a breakdown of sorts and had a hard time even walking outside his house (Gary has a PhD in English and was an editor) and how it was suggested he find a way to interact with people different from him. He decided to get involved in prisoner visitation program at the local maximum security prison. The story was totally engaging, Gary interviewed a lot of people who had served time in prison and made things so real by his descriptive scenes flashing between his own childhood and family life as an adult, his decision to avoid the draft by coming to Canada in 1970. He even spends time with victims of crime and guards in his book. I am not done yet, but the book has me gripped by the collars, I am hoping to read the rest of it today and I am going to buy a second copy to send to my sister who worked in Kingston Penitentiary, one of Canada’s most infamous prisons.
After reading the book for a good while, I decided to take a bit of a break and I wrote a poem and I don’t want to post it here. I really want to start getting my name out as a writer and though I love putting up poems and hearing feedback, when I even put a poem or a number of poems online I am kind of shooting myself in the foot because that counts as being published and what I really need to do is get into literary journals with my poetry and they clearly state you can’t have published your poems anywhere else or it won’t even be considered. To that end, I recently purchased a great resource that aspiring poets out there should try and get ahold of, the 2015 Poet’s Market, which is chock full of places to send poetry. At the moment, I have been experimenting with iambic pentameter poetry and as soon as any of it gets published, I will be able to put it up here. I do have some published stuff that I could put up, but it is older work of mine and it is very hard to look at one’s own work from before a major life change (or so I feel for myself at least) because of two factors: a writer is his own worst critic, and a poem is never really finished, it is only abandoned.
I feel kind of compelled to write a bit about mental health at this point. I saw a pharmacist yesterday and I asked about some new medications that have come on the market. As some of you may know from my book, “Inching Back To Sane” I went through a difficult period in my life first being on Lithium (mood stabilizer) then Tegratol (also mood stabilizer) and had horrible side effects. Not long after, I literally begged my Psychiatrist to put me on something else, and I was given a medication called “Depekane” which has much less side effects, but still causes the runs and weight gain. I have recently found out about some even newer medications which work well and can actually cause weight loss. At the moment, I am nearly the heaviest weight I have ever been despite trying hard to maintain a healthy diet and exercising a lot. So, I will keep my readers updated in detail in case they experience similar situations. I would be very interested to hear any similar stories, so please feel free to message me.
As a last note, I don’t know if I mentioned, but I have written and now edited (2nd draft-I expect to have a third and a fourth) a Young Adult Novel about a young man who joins the army in Canada during World War Two and goes overseas to battle. I should mention that if anyone is interested in having a peek at my work, I have some poetry and short stories posted for free on this website and also at a website called ‘wattpad.com’ (short stories, poetry, flash fiction) and valhalla books on facebook (poetry) I would appreciate any feedback and welcome any questions people have if they want to check them out. Aside from that, Dear Readers, I hope you enjoy my photos today and my words and thank you for your support!