Sunday, May 22, 2016

Late Update

I see that it’s been two months since I last blogged. So, time for an update.

I’ve been doing plenty of walking in the mountains and I’ve been taking my kayak out for runs up and down the coast. It’s not yet been warm enough for swimming and frankly I haven’t had the energy. The weather here has been odd: clouds and sunshine interspersed with periods when we have been swamped by Sahara dust. A few times outdoors it has looked like a sepia photograph. The stuff gets everywhere and with it continuing there seems hardly any point in cleaning my car, though occasionally I wash down my terrace to stop tracking the stuff into the house. Today is windy and cloudy and everything is covered with that dust. Even my Greek neighbours are now saying, ‘Come on, it’s the end of May, where’s the sun?’

Though I have been walking and kayaking my energy has been low. This is due to the panic/anxiety attacks. They now mainly hit me in the morning as I try to catch an extra forty winks. It is almost as if my mind is fleeing from something that occurs while I am asleep. I have noticed I’ve been having more nightmares. Some do involve Caroline but generally they just involve fear. I had a couple that I used to have decades ago – involving a flood I am trying to escape and then seeing a mountainous wave approaching and thinking, ‘Fuck it, I‘m dead.’ Apparently nightmares like these are quite common. Anyway, since I am of a scientific turn of mind, I started to recording my ‘bad moments’ and plotting them on a graph. Thankfully the trend is downwards.

About seven weeks ago I got book III of the Transformation trilogy back from the editor and have, intermittently, been going through that. I would normally bang through this stuff in a week or so but, for perhaps the first time ever for me, I saw a deadline looming. However, I’ve finished with the edits and now there is a just a little wrangling to go through about the title. Hopefully, after I dispatch this back to Macmillan, I’ll be able to get back to some writing.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to update this more regularly.


Bill the Butcher said...

I usually try to turn my own nightmares into stories. Sometimes it works.

Who's Caroline?

Bill the Butcher said...
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SFcrowsnest said...

Try and stick with the walking, Neal; it's as good as any way to walk off the black dog. All the best from the UK.

asdf said...
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Unknown said...

Good on you Neal keep it up.
Exercise, fresh air - your energy will return.

Are you eating ok?

What about reading some good books (SciFi of course) or are you watching any good shows to take your mind of things?

Might be time to re-watch Babylon 5 (I just watch season 1 again and it's great) or some other good stuff..

Game of thrones, Vikings, Serenity, Homeland, "Helix" - looks good, "Girls" will make you laugh, Extras, Derek (it's great), Breaking Bad, The British Office, Homeland, The Americans - just to name a few of the good ones.

Books - have a listen to The Science Fiction Book Review Podcast ( where Luke Burrage reviews SciFi books - in fact he has reviewed "The Skinner" which got a high rating (Of course - one of my Favourite books of all time).

What about "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell or "The book of Strange new things" by Michel Faber - both with amaze you..

Seeing friends and socialising always helps - even if you have to drag yourself along - you always feel better afterwards...

These are the things that make me feel better - just a thought.

Which of course IS the point - people care about you and want to help in the limited way we can.

But of course there is a difference between feeling empathy for someone and really feeling how they do - we have no idea except our own limited experiences to go on.

Keep trying - that's what humans do.


Unknown said...

hi neal just brought war factory. really enjoying it, hope i am doing what you planned, by which i mean ' reading it aloud and ''doing all the voices'' hahaha just joking. though i'm doing lot of speculation and thought about the whole nature/nurture thing that the story plays with. didn't expect the power of the 'feels' i have for all the poor war-traumatised people, bio and metal too.
poor little riss. great work, thanks (my keyboard is a bit bent, sorry for the lack of capitalisation )

Sgway said...

Life was expected to get easier as we aged wasn't it? I've had the ever increasing feeling of "waiting for the other shoe to drop" to some degree now for 25 years (turning 43 this year). Objectively, I'm in the best shape of my life I'm sure. Financially secure for a change, people that love me and whom I love, well fed etc. Soul crushing anxiety occasionally descends for no explicable reason. Fun times with The Human Condition. While, in one sense, we all are "unique snowflakes" made from our day to day minutiae, in another feel comforted buddy, you are not alone. Peace