Writing and Migraine

Headache by Erika


I wasn’t sure if I should be blogging about this, then I decided to go ahead and do it.

I haven’t blogged for ages because I just haven’t found the energy. It’s been hard to find the energy to write my novel or anything else.

Writing was easier years ago when I was on caffeine. Lots of caffeine to keep headaches at bay. Then I had more and more headaches and drank more and more caffeine and took Excedrin, eventually ending in rebound. Had to stop the caffeine altogether. Had to stop all sorts of pain medication because of rebound.

Now I am on the drug topiramate or topamax. It sort of works, the only thing that sort of works. Except for what it does to my memory and what is called “foggy brain syndrome.” Imagine trying to write with that problem.

There are more of us out there than ever—what are now called “migraineurs.” We even have our own site, Migraine.com, where we can commiserate with one another and learn about the latest advances in headache medicine. Some of you who are reading this may be one of us.

I will keep writing. I get depressed if I don’t. It just takes three times longer to get a chapter written than it used to: “I know that word, what is it? Why can’t I recall the name of that place? Describing such a scene used to come to me so easily.”

Blogging? Yeah, I ought to be blogging at least once a week. Ha.

See you, well, whenever.



Push, courtesy of Michael at Flicker, Creative Commons

Push, courtesy of Michael at Flicker, Creative Commons

It’s hard some days, isn’t it? To make yourself do what you don’t feel like doing. You know you must, you should, deep down you really want to, but the push isn’t there. Maybe you haven’t had your caffeine yet, or the brew isn’t doing the job.

Writing is like that some days, even writing this post. I don’t have the benefit of caffeine, ever, and I am basically a Type B person, a dreamer more than a doer. But to make those dreams happen, I got to push. We all have to push sometimes, to get what we want.

There is always something in the way.

The cat puked on the carpet, usually-sweet little Tommy dumped his Cream of Wheat all over the kitchen floor and your car battery went dead. Nevertheless, that presentation you haven’t prepared yet is due at 2:00 p.m.

Sound like one of those silly movies? They make those movies because nearly everyone can identify with them.

You don’t have to be perfect, either. Who told you you did? Your mom? Your pop? Yourself? Do you even know a perfect person? A perfect mom? A perfect dad? Do you like them?

Life is constant challenges, ups and downs. As Kristen Lamb says, “This is life. Focus on your love and passion, but also be fearless with yourself. We all procrastinate, make excuses, hide, or deflect. We are human. A pro takes problems seriously, the amateur takes them personally.

Check out Kristen Lamb’s blog. She focuses on writers, but what she has to say applies to everyone, and she says it much better than I do.



An Award to Connect

Sunshine Award

Sunshine Award

Thank you, bunnyslippers, for nominating me for the Sunshine Award. I think. I discovered that a nomination is as good as receiving. Receiving this award is similar to those chain letters you get by email that state you had better send them on to a certain number of people or you will break the chain. You’re not sure if you’re happy or sad you’ve gotten it. Know what I mean?

I don’t know if WordPress or some zealous blogger started this award, but I expect they had the best of intentions. Isn’t the Sunshine Award about connection? I’m supposed to nominate ten more bloggers for the award, which means ten additional connections from my blog to theirs, and they continue on with ten more connections after linking back to me. Math has never been my thing, but picture that across the blogosphere. Yikes!

This linking started me thinking (OMG, a rhyme) about the several meanings and levels of connection:

. “Hey, man, let’s connect.”

. You connect the doohicky to the thingamajig

. I met her, and right off, we connected on some level. I mean, we really connected.

I was on the phone with one of my closest friends a couple weeks ago, and we were discussing connection with a capital “C.” She and I had felt a Connection when we first met some years ago.

Many would say that, for people, this feeling can explained by shared commonalities and similar histories. Biologists might even say pheromones. Some would say past lives.

It also happens when you feel something on a deep level that can’t be explained.

Sometimes connections hold over miles or over years. Sometimes we feel the connection for only a moment.

When we meet the eyes of our dog. Or cat.

When we stop in the middle of a hike to listen to the wind in the trees.

When we watch our child sleeping.

When we’re away from home and a stranger smiles at us.

When we sit silently in a boat at dawn and don’t care if the fish bite.

What connections have you made recently?

Courtesy of Jinterwas, Creative Commons

Courtesy of Jinterwas, Creative Commons



Oh dear. I nearly forgot the questions I’m supposed to answer with this award, so here goes:

Favorite food: Depends on my mood

Favorite actor: What’s her name. I’m getting older, and my memory has turned to shit.

Favorite TV Show: Right now I’d have to say Game of Thrones, but I’m getting a kick out of that new one that follows it, Silicon Valley, or is it Silicone?

Favorite Tear Jerker: Movie – American Beauty; Book – The Reading Lessons

Favorite Sport: To play – badmitton; To watch: zilch

Lucky number: None are lucky for me.

Tea or coffee: Not fair. I can’t have caffeine, though I’d love to, so I’m stuck with herbal tea.

Holidays:  Does this mean favorite or ones I hate? Halloween’s my favorite; I ignore Christmas. You can’t imagine how calming it’s been.

Favorite Christmas Movie:  Oh, please.

My ten nominees are (please forgive me, you guys):



http://nhanfiction.com/ – Oops! No, no. I think this is the guy who doesn’t want any awards. Can’t blame him. This is taking me all morning and past lunch to complete. He’s got a great blog, but I won’t ask him to do all this work. OK?








Now I’m supposed to go visit everyone and tell them what is happening. I hope they are all in a good mood this morning. This is where I need a smiley face.

Spring at 7500 Feet


Daffodils, photo by Merry Bond

Daffodils, photo by Merry Bond

Happy Easter, Happy Spring! Happy woodpeckers and bluebirds pecking on our house!

Those are the signs of spring here at 7500 feet in southern Colorado. Seven does and three yearlings were grazing in the back yard off our patio yesterday morning. At dawn this morning my cat, Dickens, sat on the windowsill watching wild turkeys strutting about in our driveway. Just now I had to chase a bluebird away from pecking holes outside the loft bedroom window. Twice. The second time he (or she) flew as far as the nearby pine branch and chirped in frustration at me.

Last summer we paid a couple fellows to climb up on scaffolding to fill in all the holes the little critters had made from previous years. The woodpeckers like to stash acorns and such in there. The bluebirds make nests of them. I guess our house is warmer than trees. Or maybe they like our music?

Oh, and my daffodils are coming up. I think the deer ate all the crocuses.





You meet all kinds in Texas.

This guy was one of the nicest. Calm, friendly, and his ancestors have been rambling around the state for generations. Though I understand he is not exactly a guy in the strictest sense of the word, but a longhorn steer. Isn’t he pretty?

I fell in love with Central Texas last April when we visited the area around Brenham, Washington-on-the-Brazos and, afterward, Austin. April is particularly beautiful for the spectacular wildflowers. I had had no idea this area was turning into a copy of California wine country: vineyards, expensive, yummy little eateries, shops and all! And we hard some of the best music at Luckenbach while eating barbecue and drinking beer at a picnic table.

I had mainly come here for research on my novel, Here We Stand, but why not have a little fun at the same time? On this two-month trip to Texas and Louisiana, between Texas barbecue, Cajun fried and New Orleans seafood, I probably gained about eight pounds. Oh well. It’ll come off this summer. I hope.

She sees food as fun, you say? You betcha.

What’s your favorite fattening fun?

Two Cats Too Many?

Blue and Riley

Blue and Riley

Busy, busy, busy. And I thought retiring was supposed to leave me more time for doing what I enjoy. It does, but I enjoy so much! Do you have so many things you like to do, but can’t find the time to do them all?

I love writing, and writing one novel in particular, is my main project. Then there’s all I have learned about social media recently at the Tucson Festival of Books. I’m sure you know how it is. You learn something new, get all excited, and have to jump right in there and try it all. In this case, it makes sense for me to sit down and set my goals and write my biographies and sign up on social media sites and learn Hootsuite and redo my blog and, and, and . . . .

And last night I was blasted out of a sound sleep by the screeching of our three cats fighting. Yeah, three of them. I never thought we’d have three but, Dickens, my main man, struck out for parts unknown last summer and, when he didn’t come home for food for four days, we were sure he was gone forever. There’s raptors, coyotes and bears around here, and we try to keep the guy in at night, but he had his own idea about that.

So we went right to the shelter and brought back Riley and Blue, two all black males who got along great. Naturally, a week later Dickens showed up at the patio door, all filthy and skinny and howling to come in.

We tried everything to get them friendly, or at least to put up with each other. I bought a book on accommodating cats and followed all the rules and spent a fortune on cat toys. We kept them separated and tried special introductions with playtime and treats. Nothing doing. The two boys stay in the bedroom downstairs and Dickens stays upstairs, usually. But Blue absolutely, positively has to sneak upstairs on Dickens at every opportunity. Anyone who has cats knows how good they are at disappearing and appearing when you are least aware.

What, or what, are we going to do?

Tucson Book Frost



I escaped the Colorado Cold and flew to Arizona for two fantastic days at the Tucson Festival of Books and, besides perusing the numerous tents full of authors and books, attended, let’s see, about eight workshops full of information about social media, publishing, marketing and speech-making. I got to listen to and meet two of my favorite bloggers, Chuck Wendig and Kristen Lamb! Now that I’ve met them, maybe I’ll be able to get them each to do a guest blog here. Are you reading this, you guys?

Besides getting an education and being able to buy wonderful books at half price, this Festival manages to have yummy food vendors. I was there with my best friend from first grade (we are book lovers from way back), and we spied one of our most favorite foods in the whole world—Frost gelato! If you haven’t had Frost gelato, you are missing out on one of the great wonders of the world. This stuff is better than ice cream. Not only does it come in flavors one can hardly imagine, like tiramisu and Bailey’s cream vanilla, but it is lower in calories and fat than ice cream. But I’ll dare you to notice. This stuff is so rich and creamy. My favorite is sea salt caramel.

How sad a person can’t get Frost everywhere. Although I discovered it is now in Albuquerque and Chicago, and there are lots of franchises in the Middle East. Wouldn’t you know. By the way, I do not own a Frost Franchise nor do I know anyone who does. I just love it. I must have inherited the ice cream gene from my mom.