Shock Me

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with the storm.

I’ve written here about my longtime depression, and my attempts at dealing with it. Last year, I spent a fuckton of money I couldn’t afford trying a treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation, with a local doctor named Brian Teliho. (You can read all about it here and here). I saw it as my last stop before taking the step of ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, the less barbaric modern version of ye olde electroshock. If the TMS didn’t work, I planned in January to sign on for ECT.

Well, the TMS was a complete waste of time and money. But come January, I went back to my regular pattern, which is, frankly, to try to do better. To try to get to the gym regularly. To try to write a bit every day. You can find my little plans and hopes in the posts I wrote here, and as always, the depression won out.

Then, I fell in love, and that did make a difference. Kate improved my life. She inspired me to write. I started to think, y’know, I sure am glad I didn’t do ECT, because all I really needed was Kate.

But the truth of the matter was that, as much as her support and presence helped, it didn’t help nearly enough. When I was with her, I functioned well enough, but most of that functioning was just hanging out with her, enjoying her and sharing things with her. When she was back home, hundreds of miles away, I tried to stay upbeat and buckle down, and I did get some writing done, but the usual fluctuations of energy and motivation were still there. Maintaining that same pace, I’d still get nowhere.

Then, of course, I lost her. I expected that to pretty much destroy me, at least for a while, but as I wrote in my last post, I recovered (mostly) from the trauma of it almost immediately. I was relieved and clear-headed and thoughtful…and I picked up the phone and called the ECT clinic.

The only thing this has to do with Kate is that I wasn’t doing it while I was with her because I was entertaining the false hope that I didn’t need it. This is what I need to do. I should have done it in January. I damn sure should have done it instead of TMS.

It’s a big step. It’s a harrowing process, it costs a lot (though not as much out of pocket as TMS, which insurance won’t cover), and there are dangers. The biggest danger is memory loss and possible losses in cognition; as a father, I’m terrified of losing memories of my son, and as a writer I’m worried I’ll lose the particular synergy between left brain and right which allows me to use language and imagery in the fanciful ways I do.

But you know what? If I can’t actually make myself write often enough to produce anything, it doesn’t matter how great that synergy is. And if I wind up losing all hope and killing myself, I lose my son altogether and worse, he loses me.

So, I have an appointment with the storm, and I’m going to ride the lightning.

Wish me luck.

Looking For Advice: Writing On The Ipad

I’m working on changing my work habits as a writer, and part of that is changing tools. Over the years I’ve progressed from fountain pen and legal pad to manual typewriter to desktop PC to portable pre-laptop to laptop to notebook to netbook…

Now, I’m typing this on my brand spankin’ new iPad 2, composing in Simplenote for cut & paste into WordPress. I’m loving the device as a new toy, but got it primarily to be my new main writing tool.

I knew in advance that I wasn’t going to be satisfied typing on the touchscreen’s virtual keyboard (which I’m doing right now, and it’s about like I expected it to be). So I have an order in for a Bluetooth keyboard to use with it, allowing me to use the combo pretty much as a netbook.

Thing is, I’m trying to decide what app or combination of apps is best to use for writing books. So if any writers out there have been down this road already, please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.

As I said, I’m using Simplenote right now. I also installed Plaintext to try, and have seen quite a few folks recommend IA Writer. Ideally I’d be able to automatically, or at least easily, sync files to Dropbox or something similar so that I could freely switch to other machines as need be. In that vein, I’m curious about DocsToGo as well.

I had also been thinking of starting to use Scrivener for Windows, and still might if there’s a good way to get it to interact with whatever app I wind up using on the iPad.

Again, if you have any experience with this stuff, please share.

“Wild Soul – Nature, Civilization, and the Ecological Spirit” (Now Available, Just 99¢)

 

JUST 99¢!!!

My essay “WILD SOUL – Nature, Civilization, and the Ecological Spiritis now available from Amazon as a Kindle download for 99 cents.

In the near future, it will be going up at other online venues, in other ebook formats. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read Kindle books with free programs downloadable from Amazon, like Kindle for PC. I read Kindle books on my iPhone and desktop computer.)

Traditional tales across the world describe mankind’s joyful rise in a wild paradise like the Garden of Eden. But they also tell of our fall from such lives of bliss and natural grace.

Our technology, our cities, our toys, our wealth, all have done nothing to ground us as individuals or as societies. If they had, we would live in a near Utopia, rather than the reelingly chaotic and violent world-on-the-brink around us, for surely our affluence and level of comfort is greater than it has been for any people in the history of the earth.

Is Eden forever lost, or is there a way back?

Can we access that marvelous, mythic place in our souls, find a path to its joyful, natural wonders? Or have we slumbered so long in civilized ways that our vital selves are banished for the rest of time?

Can we reclaim the power of the primitive without denying ourselves the comforts and wonders of the modern world?

Exploring sources ranging from the Old Testament and Eastern mysticism, from poetry to popular fiction, from ancient fable to contemporary deep psychology, novelist Tim Byrd finds the prescription for our ills.

We need to live and love more fully, and do things that matter.

We need a renewal of a sense of sacredness towards the natural world, and intimacy with that world.

We need wild soul.

“Dead Folks” Now Available

Click To Buy!

My story “Dead Folks” is now available from Amazon as a Kindle download for 99 cents. In the near future, it will be going up at other online venues, in other ebook formats. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read Kindle books with free programs downloadable from Amazon, like Kindle for PC. I read Kindle books on my iPhone and desktop computer.)

Here’s the story’s description:

What do you do when your town is suddenly inundated with pesky corpses from various historical eras?

The problem turns personal for young Johnny when he and his sister find Franklin Delano Roosevelt floating dead in the lake. Then the stakes become more dire when he discovers the plague of dead folks might just be the least of his troubles.

Tim Byrd’s clever short story spins the sort of yarn that Mark Twain and Stephen King might produce if spacetime allowed them to collaborate. Join the creepy fun, but watch where you step.

If you read it, please consider leaving a short review on Amazon. It’s new and fresh and needs all the lovin’ it can get…

Thinking About Writing

Tim Byrd

I’m thinking about writing today.

Not that that’s anything unusual. I think about writing all the time. I think about writing a hell of a lot more than I actually write, which is a big part of the reason there’s not more cool Tim books in the world for you to enjoy, and for me to make grocery money from.

Today, though, I’m engaging in the sort of thinking about writing which is about how best to approach the work, as opposed to what the work should be. Thinking about how to actually organize my self and my space and my time to attain some level of regular productivity, so I can more reliably share the tales I want so much to tell.

I’ve written here a few times about my attempts at getting on a daily schedule, writing so many words a day, every day, and keeping at it. One enormous complication is my depression, which wears huge fucking cleated boots it uses to regularly stomp me into the floor and crush whatever dreams I’m currently dreaming. I’ve written about my struggles with it a few times, so if you’re curious, just click on the appropriate “Depression” category in the sidebar to find those posts.

Today, we’re gonna go with the assumption that I will overcome that hobnailed monster, and focus on what I need to do to best accomplish the work. Continue reading