Thought of the Week: Progress

Something is happening today that I’ve been dreading for months. To be fair, I haven’t been dreading it so much as simply not thinking about it, but it’s one of those things that ultimately can’t be avoided once the plan is set in motion. I really didn’t see how I was going to cope with it, yet here I am in the middle of it, not only not cowering in a corner but actually making time to write about it.

Can’t guess? That’s okay: we’re moving house.

Mrs. Satis got a new job, and we’re moving half an hour further south to accommodate (I’ll still be keeping my existing job (that is to say, the job that isn’t writing)). For someone who finds it difficult to get out of bed on most days, this is kind of a big deal. I knew it was coming, of course, ever since she accepted her new position, but nonetheless I did my utmost to put it out of my mind, because frankly moving house is way too big of a thing for me to contemplate.

It’s a question of being overwhelmed, ultimately. Social interactions are taxing for me at best, so having to deal with four strange men in my house all day long, making pleasantries and offering them coffee and lunch and all that, is enough to make me want to run screaming. (Hence why I’m hiding upstairs writing about it, rather than actually doing anything.) The packers/movers are nice enough, of course, but just the thought of having to go downstairs and say, “This goes, this stays, this we should never have had in the first place,” fills me with dread.

Then there’s the stress of knowing that every single item in the house has to go into a box. What if they pack something we need? What if they forget something? What if they try to pack my computer while I’m typing on it (yes, these things cross my mind)? All I really want to do is crawl into bed and hide under the covers.

What if they pack me?

Yet here I am, sitting up and awake, sweating (because it’s hot), drinking coffee (because I don’t care that it’s hot) and managing, internally at least, to not completely freak out. This is disastrous; it’s upheaval, it’s everything I know torn to pieces and shoved into boxes. My home is no more! I don’t deal well with change, in case you couldn’t tell. Yet somehow I’m coping.

Is this progress? I’m still taking most of my medications, though I need to visit the psychiatrist to get a refill on some of them. I’m still seeing my therapist once/twice a week. But everything leading up to this point suggested I ought to be a blubbering mess on the floor right now. Somehow I’m not.

It isn’t strength – I certainly don’t have any of that. I think perhaps it’s just that this is an unavoidable event; the movers were going to show up today whether I stayed in bed or not. They were going to pack around me, regardless of where I was in the house. It was preordained. And like anything unavoidable (going to work, shots, itches where you can’t scratch), you pretty much just have to deal with it when it happens.

I wonder if there’s a lesson here. For all the things I just can’t do, what if there was a way to just make them happen? What if I could convince myself that the dishes every night were unavoidable? That the laundry just had to get done? That my book simply must be written?

It’s a thought to consider, and consider it I will. For now I’d better go – they’re taking away my internet!

Thought of the Week: Novel Proofs

All right, so I have some big news, everyone – this week I received the proofs for the interior and cover designs of The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation! I was  very excited to see what they looked like, and naturally I wanted to share them with you as soon as possible. I’ve spent some time going over them and thinking about possible improvements, but before I get into too much detail, I’d love to see what you think.

Here is the front cover design for The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation:

The cover for The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation. Fire and Darkness.

The cover for The Redemption of Erâth: Consolation. Fire and Darkness.

And here is the first page:

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 5.15.00 PM

Yet more fire. Hm – was this a theme?

So…what do you think?

In all honesty, I think the cover leaves something to be desired. I’m actually pretty happy with the interior; I wasn’t expecting the little graphic flames here and there (they use them as section breaks as well as chapter headers), and while I’m aware they could come across as a little cheesy, personally I think it lends something to the atmosphere of the book.

As for the cover, though…I think it really boils down to two or three things. The first major thing that struck me was the image – it just seems so generic! I don’t disagree with the use of fire as a visual theme; certainly, it features heavily in the book itself (the first section is called Tales by the Fire). But the picture itself looks like a kind of small bonfire, rather than the kind of comforting hearth or stove that features in the book. I have an image of my own that I’d much rather use instead; tell me what you think:

My own roaring fire.

My own roaring fire.

The second thing that struck my was the awful orange color of the text highlights. I understand the choice – it goes with the predominant color in the fire image – but it just looks ghastly. It needs to be much redder and darker. If they used my fire image, of course, it would be easier to match to a darker red…

The final thing was the font. I just don’t know it it really captures the feel of the story. I know that might sound silly, but the heading font is incredibly important to the overall enticement of the story. I had envisaged something slightly more gothic-feeling, a little more flowing:

Font: Marigold Wild

Font: Marigold Wild

I feel a little bit lost; I don’t have a cover designer myself (although I do have the option to submit my own design work), so I’m somewhat reliant on what the publisher comes up with. I’m pretty sure I’m going to ask them to change the color and use my fire image, but I still just don’t know if the cover could be any better. What do you think?

 

Thought of the Week: Untitled

I’ve tried to write a Thought of the Week post three times now, and been completely unable to think of anything to write. I even took a picture of my glowing spider friend, but I can’t think of anything to say about him, either:

Glowing Spider

Poor little guy.

I started thinking about what ‘Thought of the Week’ actually means, and realized that perhaps the problem is that I’m not having any thoughts. (I might have had one the other day, but I could be mistaken.) Within the space of an entire week, I’m not entirely certain I’ve thought about anything at all.

What did I do this week? Painted furniture, threw a temper tantrum, braided my hair and my wife’s to match, bought a new album on iTunes, copied two seasons of Borgen onto my computer that I’ll probably never watch…but I don’t think I did any thinking. Or if I did, it didn’t stick. The problem with my ongoing depression is that not much bothers or concerns me, and so I tend not to get upset about things. Have you noticed how many blog posts and articles there are about people getting upset? The right gets upset when the left marries gays, the left gets upset when the right shoots bad guys. Creationists get upset by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and everyone gets upset when someone dies in Game of Thrones.

Am I the only person who kind of, well…doesn’t care? I’d much rather spend my time writing about Brandyé, or dissolving my brain playing some ridiculous game on my iPhone.

Looking back through my past Thought of the Week posts, it seems to me that once upon a time I noticed things. I noticed them, thought about them, and wrote about them. What have I noticed this week?

  • A dead deer on the side of the road.
  • One of our groundhog babies is particularly adventurous.
  • I’m not looking forward to moving houses.
  • There are lots of coffee cup stains on my desk.

That is all.

What’s wrong with me? I used to notice all sorts of little things; I even had a blog series dedicated to it. Now, almost nothing is retained long enough to form a coherent thought. It’s as if my brain is just simply shutting down. I’m almost afraid that soon, I won’t be able to write even a few words in a blog post, on any particular topic at all – even the topic of not being able to come up with topics.

Wait a minute…did I just have a thought?

Featured image from http://primarynotes29.blogspot.com/2014/04/im-thinking-about.html.

Satis Logo 2014