Rising from the sickbed.Posted: October 27, 2012 Filed under: *Writing & Editing, Bipolar II, Blogging, Halloween, Horror Writing, Wicked Fun - try this | Tags: bipolar II, ghost, Ghosts & Hauntings, goat, Halloween, horror movies, Horror Writing, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, Renae Rude, The Paranormalist, writing 2 Comments
In the last week, my life has been very, very simple. I have worked at the hotel, come home and watched some TV (until my brain relaxed enough to allow me to drift off,) slept for many hours, awakened, tended to basic needs (like eating food I couldn’t taste and taking long, hot baths that my husband had to supervise so that I would neither scald myself nor drown,) then headed back to work.
It was nothing serious, just a cold from hell (stacked on top of a down-swing in my mood.) I still don’t feel 100%, but I can breathe again. I am fully dressed. And, for the first time in a few weeks, I am getting started on a full two-day weekend that does not include working.
My plan is to aggressively re-engage with Halloween, the blog and life in these last few days of October.
This weekend, my son and I plan to go to Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming, MN. It’s a petting zoo and pumpkin farm we have been visiting faithfully for more than ten years. They also have a Dead End Hayride in the evenings. Right now we’re thinking we’ll go to that on Monday. As for Halloween night itself, we were pleased to find out that our building allows trick-or-treating. Our intention is to create a haunted treat station – complete with fog machine and spooky music – just inside our door. I’m tempted to buy a cheap set of basic makeup too, so that we can cobble together some spooky characters for handing out treats. Beyond that, I have a couple of pumpkins to carve and some traditional movies to watch.
Here at the blog:
Getting back on the blogging horse always feels awkward, but I have the advantage of (too) many planned topics to choose from. The Courting Creepy movie lists have been popular and I have a couple that I really want to get up before Halloween. Tonight or tomorrow I will pick up where I left off – with zombies. My daughter’s beau agreed to construct the list, because I just had to concede that I am no zombie expert. Jason, on the other hand, is a connoisseur. All I have to do is format his work, which will be an easy task. It makes for a smooth transition into getting my head back in the game. (Thanks, Jason.)
When it comes to ghost stories, I feel fully qualified to make recommendations, so expect that list soon too – and it will be escorted by the long-delayed telling of what I saw in room 217, at the old hotel.
Obviously, I failed NaBloPoMo miserably. (Literally.) Still, I feel good about what I achieved, and I’m eager to continue a consistent – if less demanding – posting schedule.
And for those that worry about my bipolarity:
As the mad month of October winds down, I know I have to turn my attention to surviving the winter. Even though things haven’t settled as much as I’d hoped, and nothing big has been resolved, I have to establish some healthier routines. I need regular sleep, decent food, sunlight, exercise, social time and music. (Right now I’m listening to an old playlist. Yes, I’ve caught myself dancing in the chair as I write. It feels good. How dated – and ridiculously appropriate – is it that the current song is Wheel in the Sky by Journey?)
Perhaps more important than all those things, though, is writing – especially returning to writing fiction. I am contemplating a run at NaNoWriMo. Considering the experiences I’ve had at the hotels, I think that getting 50,000 words down, of an entirely new story, might be possible. Lately, while folding sheets, I’ve been putting together a straight-forward story in my head. Historically I’ve worked best with a detailed outline, but maybe something crazy like this would be an invigorating change. Or maybe it’s just insane. I’ve got a few days to think about it.
Who amoung you are thinking about plunging in? Are any of you veterans with advice to share?
Take your pick.Posted: October 14, 2012 Filed under: *Writing & Editing, Bipolar II, Blogging, Halloween, My Paranormal Life, Photos & Video | Tags: bipolar II, photography, Renae Rude, The Paranormalist 2 Comments
Shiny paranormally pictures here:
Not so shiny bipolary naval-gazing here:
I try not to write too much about my mood swings here at the blog. Still, my tagline does include Finessing bipolarity, so I’ll allow myself a post on the topic.Tonight I find myself unable to work up any enthusiasm for a paranormal- or Halloween-themed post, which is a little weird, because I did have plans in place, and I do have (just enough) time to craft something. I simply don’t want to.
That attitude has been creeping up on me, I think, over the last couple of days. Remember that night I didn’t manage to post until after midnight? That really took the wind out of my sails. Or it was an early warning sign that the wind was dying. I don’t think I’ve been manic in these last weeks. (My energy levels haven’t been that high; the writing hasn’t been coming to me easily, the way it does when I’m up.) I am concerned, however, because today’s crash does feel like the coming-down-from-manic stage.
I think my mood has been even (“normal”) for weeks. I’ve had a few awfully happy days – mostly when I’m out and about and taking pictures, but I’ve settled down as soon as my day off was done. I’ve had a few days where I felt tired and/or under the weather, but I’ve bounced back. (Sometimes a depressive skid pretends to be an illness, so I watch that sort of thing carefully.) Perhaps today will be like that. The problem is that I don’t have any physical complaints. I just feel … mentally tired. Also, my anxiety is eager to rise up, if I give it half a chance. (I’ve had a couple of long drives lately, and that seems to enable surges of anxiety. Drives gives me time to think about the legitimate stressors in my life.) Rising anxiety is a clear indicator of an impending depression for me.
Tonight I am mentally sorting through the factors that have been known to trigger sudden mood shifts. Alcohol is supposed to be a depressant, but I had barely a beer last night when we went out. I’d be surprised if that’s enough to mess me up. The weather has turned cold, and a little gray, but it hasn’t been terrible. Weather must remain a contender though, because I tend to be very sensitive to it. In fact this might be more about sliding toward the dreaded winter season than the actual temperature. There’s no way to deny that fall is past its peak now, here in Minnesota.
Maybe I am just depleted. My husband, who is a classic introvert, seems to think that I’m a natural extrovert, but I know better. Last night, at the zombie pub crawl we attended, I had to approach strangers to ask for permission to take their photographs and for them to sign a publishing release. (I’m paranoid about getting sued someday.) Everyone was friendly and receptive and cooperative, but each encounter took more out of me than anyone knows. As for other energy sappers, we all know I’ve been working a lot, and I’m only just now starting to feel competent at the new hotel. In the last months, there’s been an awful lot of me stepping out of my comfort zone and a lot of being on my best behavior … for readers, for guests at the hotels, for coworkers, for my bosses, even for my friends and family, who don’t need to have me falling apart during this 9+ month time of stress for us.
So, it’s really no mystery what’s going on – I just have to figure out what to do about it. For now, tonight, I’ll give myself this break from being “on”, as well as permission to see what happens tomorrow. I almost didn’t post at all tonight, but I don’t want to lose the pretty-darn-good streak of daily blogging I’m on if this is just a bad day. There’s nothing that keeps me even and grounded like achieving something I set out to do.
How do you know you aren’t dead?Posted: October 2, 2012 Filed under: Beasts, Bipolar II, Chickens, My Paranormal Life, The #ParanormalHotel | Tags: bipolar II, chickens, ghost, Hotel, night shift, Renae Rude, sleep deprivation, The Paranormalist 2 Comments
I think I’ve already expressed how discombobulated I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve acknowledged all the major changes in my life in the last eight months, and I’ve been trying to cut myself some slack about feeling a little … off. Mostly, I’ve been blaming my disorientation on inconsistent sleep and work schedules. In a recent post, I admitted that I feel like I’m sleepwalking or dreaming much of the time.
I had a rough day at the hotel. When I work the first shift, part of my job is doing the audit just before 1:00p. That means, in a short period of time, I have to count out the cash drawer, close my shift, audit the day’s sales (in both the computer’s reservation system and on the credit card machine,) prepare some reports, drop my cash, and start a new shift. It’s not hard. Repeatedly, however, my manager has stressed the importance of finishing the tasks BEFORE the hotel’s day rolls over … at precisely 1:01p.
Today, at 12:38p, the drawer came up $247.23 short.
Right about then, one of the housekeepers rushed up to the desk to say she was out of towels. I assured her there was a load in the dryer that would be ready for me to fold in about fifteen minutes. Panic flared in her eyes. She didn’t move; she didn’t say anything. A fly landed on the shiny marble desktop between us. She didn’t even glance at it. I said, “Maybe a little less than fifteen minutes?” She sighed, then trudged away from me, shaking her head.
I set to staring at first one report then another. A couple of (precious) minutes later I heard someone come into the lobby and stride toward the desk. I looked up. My (gorgeous) husband smiled down at me, then asked if I would like him to fetch some lunch. Of course I was nice to him, but all I could really do was shoo him away as fast as possible and hope that he wouldn’t come back until I had dealt with my problems.
Just before 1:00p, I realized the guy who had worked the night shift had screwed up. Once I figured that out, I was able to tally a proper cash drop – of more than $700 dollars – for both of us. When my husband returned, he didn’t ask any questions; he only handed a paper bag and a huge soda to me and wished me luck. I finished the audit late. (Which did cause some complications later in the day, but I survived.) I got the towels folded before the housekeeper could melt down entirely, and started another load washing.
By 1:30p I was sitting in my chair, eating a cold hamburger, thinking about how much of my life has become weirdly repetitive. The particular chain of events that had frazzled me, on this particular day, was a slightly fresh twist on individual events that happen again and again.
In the last few months at work, I have washed, dried and folded hundreds (thousands?) of white towels and white sheets. I have counted an obscene amount of money out of cash drawers. (And freaked-out repeatedly about apparent discrepancies, which I eventually solve.) I always wear the same clothes. (A uniform shirt and the one pair of black pants that I own.)
At home, I wash my uniform shirts and pants multiple times each week. When I do that, I always take the dog with me, and I always use the same machine. I eat the same meals over and over, now that I don’t really cook anymore. I almost always fall asleep on the sofa. (I’m still trying to make it all the way through a show I recorded weeks ago.)
As I was chewing on my burger (and my thoughts) the fly made another appearance. Its flight pattern was erratic. It landed often, resting briefly, before struggling back up into the air to bumble along for another foot or two.
I started thinking about how flies do that in the autumn, when cool evenings force them to shelter indoors. The phenomenon has been more obvious to me since we moved to the apartment. Out at the “farm”, flies were more common, and I didn’t pay much attention to their behaviors. (I suppose they were attracted to the chickens … which was unfortunate for the flies, because chickens love nothing better than to snack on flies.) In town, I had only noticed flies within the last month or so. In the apartment, we hardly ever see an insect indoors, probably because we live on the second floor. Because I’ve become spoiled by the absence of creepy-crawlies, I often just leave the patio door part-way open. (The cat and dog like to wander out onto the balcony, then back in.) Lately, a few flies have taken advantage of my carelessness.
After I finished my lunch, I sorted the mail. (Some of our guests use the hotel like a rooming house, even receiving regular mail delivery there.) Once I’d marked the correct room number on each envelope and tossed them into a nearby outbox, the desktop was clear for the first time in the day.
It was at that moment that I realized that I did not KNOW I had dropped the cash into the lockbox at the end of audit-time. I racked my memory. I could clearly picture myself sealing the envelope and writing the total on it. I remembered setting it aside, so that I could run the audit reports. I might have set my lunch bag on top of it after my husband left it with me.
I may have – must have, I told myself – slipped it into the slot as I passed by it, on my way to the laundry room to fold those damn towels.
I propped my elbows on the desk, in the space I’d just cleared, and dropped my face into my palms. I am so fucking tired of not having a functional brain, I thought. I am so fucking tired, period.
For the last three mornings running, I’d been awakened – earlier than I would like – by a single fly that likes to land – over and over – on whatever exposed skin it can find.
Do you know what occurred to me then, while I sat with my head in my hands? Flies like dead things.
Actions repeated over and over and over again. Lost memories. Disorientation.
Kinda sounds like the way a ghost would perceive its existence, doesn’t it?