The New Year Is New

Hello everybody!!

I’ve been doing tons of things and not reporting in here. So business as usual. LOL.

I had a great holiday. It was relatively quiet and because I got on top of some things earlier than usual (aka didn’t wait until last minute) I wasn’t running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. We had a few guests along with the fam, and we ate good food and laughed a lot. No drama, as is my favorite kind of holiday.

I’ve been horse painting, too, and am showing you a few pictures. I’m learning a lot about it and getting better at it. If you want to see what I’ve got currently selling, it’s on ebay.  I really like a few of these. Actually I like them all, but I especially love a few, like the snowflake guy. The two in this post are newly finished and I’ll be posting for sale. The problem is is that the big guy is a stallion, so while it looks like a mare and foal pair, it’s not.

As I mentioned a few months (or awhile, I can’t remember) ago, that I’m working on my mental health. I’ve gone off my welbutrin, and my memory has been coming back. As in, I don’t forget things in the middle of talking about them. I started seeing a therapist, who I like very much, and it seems to be helping me. I haven’t felt sad for a few weeks. That’s huge. And by sad, I mean melancholy, randomly weepy, and so forth. I am having some insomnia, though. That’s a drag. But since I think I’ve begun hitting menopause, there’s a good chance that’s involved. Because of health issues, I can’t and won’t take hormones.

As for some of the things I’m learning about myself, it’s that I have a deep-seated need for recognition. Awards maybe. I know it’s huge for me when my daughter tells me she loves my books. It’s random and not frequent that she mentions that, but it’s huge. I’m not sure where that need comes from. It’s been with me a long time, like since I was a kid.

Another thing I’ve learned is I have this idea that work isn’t worthwhile or valuable if it isn’t difficult and/or painful. Like if I don’t suffer for it, it’s not good (whether it’s writing or something else). Working on figuring that one and figuring out why. The sad thing is that I may never know the why as it very well might not be available to me. What’s fun is that some of my background in literary theory helps me understand a bunch of this.

Im also taking a class from Becca Syme called Write Better, Faster. A lot of it focuses on personality traits, mental strengths, and etc., to figure out how I work best and how I can embrace my strengths and manage my weakness to improve my writing habits. And life habits. It’s been fascinating to learn some of that and to think about how I do things and see why. It’s enlightening. For instance, for my Clifton Strengths, my top five are: 1. Learner 2. Intellection 3. Input 4. Context 5. Positivity. Those together mean I like to explore information, learn it, assess it, think on it, and then take action. At the same time I’m doing all the other, I’m plotting a new  novel in a new world and paying attention to how I’m doing it and I’m noticing that I do have to pause and think for a bit and gather information.

Now here is where you’re going to laugh at me. I was writing out the scenes and I reached a point where I’d not thought about what came next and I wrote something down. Then I told myself: “Well now you’re just making shit up.” *headslap* “Uh, Di, what do you think writing fiction actually is?” But the fact was it wasn’t that I was making shit up, it was that I hadn’t yet ruminated (no cud involved). So I have since been ruminating and am progressing.

Our dog’s been seriously sick a couple times this month, so I’ve been freaking out about that. He seems on the mend. I’m also giving thought to giving up teaching. I think it might be time to retire there. I’ve been thinking about how much ‘good’ time I have left in my life before my body or mind goes. I’ve been thinking what I have left to do in my life that I haven’t done and how I’m going to make time for that to happen, and so I’m thinking that I’ve done enough teaching. That said, I will continue to coach and do critiques and participate in workshops at conventions. I enjoy those a lot.

I’m also giving thought to adding a weekly or monthly phone call or Zoom type call to my Patreon. Whether as an individual or ina  group.

Well that’s the current update. I’ve been also doing some knitting and reading.

How have all of you been doing?


  • Paula

    Hi Di! A couple of health hints have worked for me. I had wicked insomnia when I had my two knees replaced this year, as well as some other nasty reactions from the surgery and the variety of meds required. I had acupuncture done and withing two treatments, no more insomnia! It also cleared up some inflammation as well. I have become a huge fan of eastern medicine. When I was in the early stages of menopause, I had a great eastern/western med doc who prescribed various herbs such as black cohosh and soybean. She designed it just for me. It kept my symptoms exremely low. My horse gets acupuncture on a regular basis and he loves it, so I figured it would work for me and it does.

    So sorry about the pup. I know how much our dogs make our lives so much better. Thinking of you and your family!


  • Cindy W

    Diana, figuring out meds and other strategies to deal with those pesky downer brain chemicals is an ongoing challenge. What works for me is a minimum dose of antidepressant coupled with multiple holistic approaches like mindfulness, meditation, interactions with friends, moving outside in sunlight and creative hobbies.

    I can relate to your “life script” discoveries. About thirty years ago in therapy I discovered that mine was “Life is dangerous, a brutal struggle.”, probably generated by early childhood stories of my premature birth when the doctor told my father I was dead and my Mom would die ( both my Mom and I had other ideas) and reinforced by multiple life and death experiences as a mountaineer and a firefighter. I kept the helpful aspects of that script ( resilience, perseverance, courage) and released the negative ( drama, living on the edge) and transitioned into demanding but less life-threatening careers. Today I relish a peaceful, harmonious retirement with opportunities to give and receive in positive ways and to mindfully enjoy life.

    Thanks for modeling transparency, resilience, and personal evolvement.

    Cindy in Indiana

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