An Update for the Ages

Dear readers,

I must apologize for my absence. It came to my attention recently that it’s been nearly three months since I last posted here at satiswrites.com, but I would like a chance to apologize, and a moment to explain.

In the past, these absences have been the result of vicious, deep depression, times when I’ve been unable to move from bed for days at a time, never mind write anything online. This time, however, it’s a little different: I’ve been writing, and furiously at that.

It’s just that I haven’t been working on The Redemption of Erâth. After finishing the first draft of Ancients and Death (which took freaking long enough in itself), I realized that my other project—the one that has been languishing since 2005 (yes, I typed that correctly)—desperately needed some attention. It was time to finish A Gothic Symphony.

And I’m extremely proud to say that, after so many years and so much hard work, it’s complete. This has been one of the most difficult projects I’ve ever worked on, both physically, emotionally and mentally.

To celebrate, I’ve launched a brand-new website where you can track my progress on submitting to literary agents, editing the work, and working on getting it published. You can visit it at cmnorthauthor.com.

Going forward, I’ll be primarily keeping my fantasy and non-fantasy work separate, so look to cmnorthauthor.com for anything contemporary, young adult, etc., while satiswrites.com will focus more on the fantasy (and maybe one day sci-fi, who knows?) side of things.

So essentially this is to say that I’m not gone, but merely working hard—and I’ll try even harder from now on to keep you all updated.

Thank you for all the loyalty over the years!

 

Satis

A Gothic Symphony: Chapter Six – Steve

Date: October 12, 4:00 PM.

General topics discussed:

• Relationship with parents

• Self-harm

• Suicide/death

• Past worries/fears

• New job

Amy was more responsive this week than most. In general was willing to discuss matters at length, with accurate descriptions of events/feelings etc. Certain topics are still off-limits, including the circumstances surrounding the onset of her depression. She still struggles at times to verbalize thoughts:

The words never come out right. I can’t ever say what I actually mean.”

She spends a significant amount of time thinking before speaking, although parent-relationship topics appear to frustrate her, and as such is prone to rapid, defensive responses.

Amy brought up the relationship between her and her father spontaneously at the start of the session. She described an incident in which her father got angry when she questioned him about doing the dishes:

“Some shit about money and how he works all day.”

Said her father’s response was to ‘get drunk’. She has referred to her father’s drinking on numerous occasions, but signs do not implicate alcohol dependence. Alcohol may be a coping mechanism.

She also expressed a reference to sex, which is extremely unusual for Amy:

“Then he fucked mom.”

She appears to be extremely sensitive about this topic, although this is not unusual for teenagers her age. Her phrasing and tonality were extremely negative, but it is unclear whether this is in relation to the act of intercourse itself or the general anger she feels toward her father.

She has referenced a ‘distance’ between her and her father on several occasions. The repetition of this topic suggests that there is a desire for closeness that she is not receiving. Her father appears to have been emotionally distant for most of her life. Possibility: Amy was an unplanned pregnancy?

We spoke at length about death and suicide. She initially described a state of being she refers to as ‘numbness’. She finds a lack of emotion/sensation to be comforting. This was brought up reference to self-harm, which she is continuing to do. She claims that she does not self-harm for any sensation of pain, but instead to ‘see the blood’. She appears to find the sight of blood emotionally releasing. There is a strong sense of shedding negativity.

Bring up leech metaphor if appropriate.

Amy likened her numbness to being in a grave. She seems to find a sense of protection, of safety in this state. However, this led to the first roadblock of today’s session: probing about this sensation of safety triggered a shutdown with regard to perceived threats.

It is possible Amy sees death as a place that is safe. However, at the moment the risk of completed suicide is not high:

“I want to be dead, but I don’t want to die.”

For the moment this ideation seems to suffice. She referenced contemplating multiple scenarios of death, though most seem to be taken from the canon of ‘urban myths’, including cyanide poisoning and injecting air into the venous system. She also suggested wrist-cutting, though it does not appear that she has done any significant research into effective methods. This is something to monitor closely over the next few weeks. […]

Read the full chapter here.

A Gothic Symphony: Chapter Five – A Day

6:29 AM.

The faint pattering of rain sounds from beyond the window, but the dismal gray morning light remains outside; the black curtain, drawn, lets so little in.

What light there is comes from the soft red glow of the clock; the flashing display of the stereo; the tiny glint of reflection on Amy’s eyes as she lies in bed. The eyes stare emptily at the black ceiling.

The alarm goes off, buzzing in patterns, first once, then twice, then three times. For a full minute it continues its din. Then a hand flails and hits it to silence.

The light flicks on, and is strange in that it’s capped by a red filter. The room is awash in dim crimson, shadows murky. Amy’s eyes still stare, and look black.

A bird calls through the rain, and Amy pulls back the covers. An overlarge t-shirt is draped across her shoulders, and the blood is dried and cracked on her arms. She sits up. Cuts are on the inside of her thigh as well — not as deep.

She examines the cuts. The dried blood is very black in the dim light; she scrapes it away, lets it fall to the floor. Beneath, the deeper cuts ooze, the lighter ones raised and swollen.

When she stands, she takes a towel from the floor — a big one that hangs to her knees — and drapes it over her shoulders. She wraps it tight, and the cuts are hidden. She unlatches her door, leaves the room in dim red light, steps out into the hallway.

 ~

7:15 AM.

The father is hiding behind a newspaper; black coffee steams beside him. The kitchen lights are bright, because the dawn is missing from the sky. Thick, dark clouds peer through the window instead, pouring their rain down upon the lawn.

The mother is not up.

There are footsteps on the stairs; Amy appears in the kitchen. Dressed in black, wet hair, glasses on. Her nose ring isn’t there. She walks across the kitchen, which isn’t large, for the coffee pot, still hot on the counter. Opens the cupboard, takes down a large mug.

“Don’t drink it all,” the father says. He doesn’t look up from the paper, doesn’t look at her. “Your mother’ll want some, and I want some more.”

Amy looks at the pot. There is enough for about two cups. “Can I make some more?” she asks.

“It’s a waste of coffee.”

“I’ll buy more.”

“You never buy more. You just drink what I buy.” All this while, he doesn’t look at her. He flips a page.

Amy doesn’t respond, except to take the coffee jar from a different cupboard. She tops up the coffee maker, with coffee and then with water. It hisses, gurgles, starts to drip more coffee into the carafe.

Amy pours herself a mug of coffee.

“You shouldn’t drink so much,” the father says. “You’re too young.”

“I’m almost seventeen.”

“You’re too young,” he repeats. […]

Read the full chapter here.