It’s raining in Arizona.

It happens from time to time. Mostly in the late summer and early fall, during monsoon season, but it happens.

I could be sleepy because of the dismal weather. It could be because I didn’t really sleep much last night. Or maybe that second cup of coffee I skipped. Regardless, I’ll be needing another dose of my Adderall if I’m going to survive work today.

This kind of weather actually excites some Arizonans, especially the lifers. Me? I hate it. The sky is dreary and dark, even though the sun should be up by now. The pitter patter of rain on the windshield as I wait in the parking lot drones, making me feel drowsy and sluggish. It’s altogether depressing.

It’s cold, too. Not bone-chilling by any means, and my cousins up north would laugh if they read this, but it’s still cold to me.

I am not looking forward to today. If the rain keeps up, I’ll probably dread tomorrow too.

I want to go home. Back to bed. Snuggle up under the covers and forget the world. I can’t, though. I need to make the money to pay the bills. Gotta keep a roof over our heads and food in the fridge. Heating and cooling and all that. Takes money–which requires work. Fucking vicious cycle.

The sun’ll come out… sometime. Meanwhile I will drag one foot in front of the other, plaster a smile on my face, and pretend that I want to be at work.

Fucking responsibility. Worst type of day for it.


The time has almost come! After work today, my husband and I will leave for Tucson, and in the morning we’ll get up bright and early to go over to Tucson Comic Con and set up our table.

The Con Jitters hit me just last night.

I was fine. Honestly, I was. I was excited but prepared. Business licenses procured, books procured, bookmarks made, PayPal reader set up, etc….but as I was printing flyers and what have you last night I started to get that THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP in my chest that indicated the start of anxiety. I’m not entirely sure why I’m so anxious. I have almost everything I will need. The only thing I’m really missing is cash and change, and that I can have the hubby grab from a bank before the exhibitor hall opens to the public.

Booth setup shouldn’t be too long. I just have books, bookmarks, and some signs. Small, 8.5″ x 11″ signs, that I can either tape or pin to the tablecloth. I’m a little worried that the tape I’m bringing won’t be strong enough, but it’s what I have, and to be honest I could probably just set the signs down on the table and be fine. Still, I’d like to affix them to the tablecloth somehow to get them to stay put. But safety pins are packed. Tape is packed.

I’ve got an apron for keeping my phone, PayPal reader, and markers close at hand. I’ve got receipt books (for whoever might actually want a receipt, though the days of the written receipt are going by the wayside). I’ve got a notebook to jot down any notes that I haven’t already thought of, with my Tucson business license info and the TCC exhibitor packet and some sundry other items in it.

I’ll have my laptop Friday and Sunday, and while my husband has it at an SCA event Saturday I’ll have his tablet. Why the laptop and tablet, you may ask? Well, someone gave me the brilliant idea to have my book trailer playing at the table. To conserve battery I might not have it on a continuous loop, but I can at least pop it on for those who might be interested in the book but are iffy on buying it. 

Books. I have books. I have bookmarks. I have a tablecloth. I’ll have a portable battery for making sure my devices stay charged. I have embroidery to do that I can use to keep myself occupied if things get slow, so I don’t waste battery power on playing with my phone. I have sell sheets and author info flyers. I have my clothes for the weekend packed and ready to go in the car.

I’ve got all this stuff…so why am I not feeling ready? Why am I so anxious over the whole thing?

Anxiety’s a bitch. She gets you all worked up but doesn’t tell you why she’s got you all worked up, and she doesn’t follow the rules of logic. If I’m pretty much ready for the con, why am I anxious? Who knows. Maybe once I clean out the car and pack it I’ll be better off.

Who am I kidding? I’ll be nervous until the con’s well and truly started. Lol

Finding my balance

Work. Home. SCA. Books. I have many different facets to my life, and I’m having a bit of trouble finding the right balance between them all.

I forgot something at work last week–something major, in relation to my new position. That was embarrassing. At home, my sleep schedule is still very off despite the new dosage of meds. I’m pulling back from the SCA to try to manage the other parts, and I’m slacking on the book promotion.

I will have to force extra time between patients for the new position. I don’t know what I’m going to do about the sleep, aside from making offerings to Morpheus or something. I’m slowly finding the balance of SCA–I need to take at least one weekend a month off from it, it seems, to be able to keep sane. And as far as book promotion goes, I’m back at it this morning–between embroidery and catnaps, that is.

*Sigh.* How do busy people do it? I’ve been mostly a couch potato my whole life, and now I have work life, social life, home life, and author life. It’s a little overwhelming.

I’m going to have to apologize to my potential future Laurel for my absence from the SCA and for my complaining in this blog about wanting to take a break from the arting. From what my husband tells me (he went to an SCA event this past weekend while I stayed home), she thought I meant I wanted to take a break from working with her on arts. Not so. I just needed a break from period art in general, and I think my “weekend off” might have given me a chance to recharge and regroup.

This week, I’ll do better. I’ll work harder. Sleep more (maybe?). Craft more. Promote more.

There are people out there with fuller schedules than mine. Surely I can juggle these few things and still allot myself enough time for each.

Nervous energy

Maybe it’s because my confidence has always been low. Maybe it’s because the process is still new to me, even though I’ve been through it before. Maybe it’s just those just-submitted-my-manuscript jitters.

Regardless of the cause, I’m abuzz with a ton of energy–too much for the amount of sleep I haven’t gotten yet.

I thought there’d be a rush of relief, a release of pent-up adrenaline, something, but nope. All that excess energy is still swimming around inside my head, and it’s frustrating. I want to sleep. I want to rest. I don’t really want to be up right now, yet here I am. Sure, I could have stayed in bed, but as I’ve discovered lately, unless I’m woken by my bladder and my bladder alone, when I’m awake I’m awake for at least a good hour or two, and the longer I spend in bed lamenting my lack of sleep the harder it is to doze back off. At least out in the living room I can get stuff done.

Yesterday I finished revisions on the draft of Book 2 and started the tedious process of writing an outline, synopsis, and query letter. Yep, those nasty little necessities that make being an author actual work. I bet if I logged the actual hours I spent working on writing, editing, revising, marketing, and promoting, I’d be in OT. Like, every week.

I know my husband isn’t at all happy with my predawn antics. He wants me in bed, resting. But it’s not like I’m getting up early on purpose–I just…wake up. A lot.

Tomorrow morning I see the ol’ psychiatrist. Guess it might be time to change up the sleeping meds…again. The last med he gave me works well enough at full dose, except I can’t wake up properly in the morning. I get extremely groggy, and I’ve had some close calls on the commute to work when I take the full dose. The doctor said that if that happens I can half it, so I half it. But fat lot of good it does at half.

Sometimes I wonder if this insomnia is bipolar-related, but when I think back on it this has been going on a very, very long time, too long for it to be a manic episode. I think I’d be proper crazy if I was in a sustained manic state for this long. As it is, I’m only semi-crazy, so I guess it doesn’t stem from the bipolar. Is that a good thing? I have no clue.

The psychiatrist should be pleased that Abnormal has been published, along with a book signing and a library appearance, but he’ll be disappointed that I haven’t been on Oprah’s show yet. I guess that’s his gauge of success for an author: appearing on Oprah.

I somehow doubt Oprah would be interested in my writing style, but who knows? Maybe I should add her to my list of influencers to contact. Lol


Well, I’m getting closer…the end is in sight! Except this one little problem: someone got a little scissor-happy when she was cutting the neckline for her husband’s tunic and now must figure out a way to add on fabric without making it look weird.
I’m sure I can do it, but not right now–not at 0100. Maybe in a few hours I will have the functional capacity to design, cut, stamp, and sew a new collar/neckline/whatever. As it is, I’m quite irritated with my body for waking me up an hour ago for no good reason. I’ve been sleeping pretty well the past several nights, but tonight it’s back to waking up around midnight wide awake and unable to drift back off.
The sad thing is, between the bipolar disorder (panic attacks or racing thoughts at bedtime if I don’t take my Klonopin) and the rheumatoid arthritis (back/shoulder aches if I don’t take my Flexeril) I take enough crap to knock out a rhino. Ok, maybe not that much…but it’s a lot for the average Joe. I also have temazepam that I can take as needed for sleep, but I’ve found that it doesn’t help me stay asleep so much as helping me fall asleep–which I generally don’t need help with. I can fall asleep just fine most nights. It’s that tricky staying asleep thing that gets me. I’ll sleep four to five hours and then wake up all energized and crap. So not fair.
Once my husband gets up and tries on the tunic (with his gorget, so I can see how much collar I need to drum up), I can get to work on it. Right now? Now I have to find something to do to alleviate the boredom until he wakes up.
Good thing I still have a couple projects pending. On to sewing trim onto a different tunic!

A page in the life

So I manage a cosplay page on Facebook (that has stalled at the wayside as SCA overruns cosplay on the priority scale), a “fan” page for our cat, Rory, a page for my oft-forgotten Etsy shop, and of course the work I do for the Barony. So why did I add another page to keep track of?
Oh yeah, author Facebook pages are a thing. That’s why I did it.
You see, it goes something like this: I was typing up a scheduled post for Friday (keep your eyes peeled, folks!), and I realized that I haven’t had a proper page for my writing in years. I just keep losing track of what I’m doing and forgetting to post and then I ditch the page in favor of just using Twitter and this blog to promote moi.
Can’t keep doing that. People like having “fanpages” they can use to get updates on their favorite authors’ comings and goings. Granted, I don’t come or go much, but I do write, and I can write about writing. So off to Facebook I went to create a page.
Except I can’t get the damn URL to be custom. I guess not enough people like the page yet? Maybe that’s why…anywho, for now this is the URL: https://www.facebook.com/AJ-Mullican-143311953045804/
Yeah, you see why I want a custom one. I think if enough people like the page I can pop in and create that custom URL in a jiffy, but right now it’s the middle of the night and no one’s up to add it.
It should be interesting to see how the viewership of this blog changes with the new Facebook page. You see, I changed my Twitter settings so my tweets go to the author page, not my personal Facebook feed. Say what? Yeah, WordPress is cool like that; it lets you share to different social media platforms when you publish. So why does changing my Twitter settings change my WordPress posting? Okay, so Twitter does a cool thing, too: it lets you share your tweets to different social media platforms as well. So WordPress –> Twitter –> Facebook. Easy peasy. Or something. It’s worked so far; guess we’ll see how well it works now that the settings are tweaked. If worse comes to worse (or is it worst comes to worst? Damnit), I can just share from the page to my personal feed if I want my blog read by more friends and family. A P.I.T.A. to be sure, but eventually people will see that the author page is the original poster of the blog posts and thus go to the author page and like it and then everything will be swell. Or not.
Facebook, you see, is tricksy.
More tricksy than nots. What they have are these silly metrics things, which are apparently arbitrary and only to Facebook’s benefit. To make a long story short, if you don’t pay them monies to get your posts seen, even people who “follow” your page won’t see your posts. Lame.
So, again, why make the author page?
Because it gives my publisher a link to show people, that’s why. Yeah, it’s a new page and doesn’t have much content (yet)….it’s still something. And the more links they can give, the more exposure I can get once it’s time for Book 1 to get released.
Credit to the Oatmeal. Because that guy fucking rocks, and he deserves both exposure and monies for the work he does.
Seriously, though, as an author a little exposure can go a long way. I mean, if people don’t know I’m there or that my work is there, how can they be interested? Yeah, exposure itself doesn’t pay, but if people see the thing and want to read the thing, then (in theory) if they want it enough they’ll pay to read the thing.
Or maybe I’m just nucking futs at 1:30 in the morning, having very little sleep and being unable to either get to sleep naturally or take more sleeping medicine. (I already took my prescriptions hours ago…they worked to get me to sleep initially, but not to keep me there or get me back there.)
We’ll see how the page goes once people wake up and start liking the page and once I can update the URL and all that fun happy stuff.
Until then…to the writing board!

A case of noncompliance

It’s been a strange few weeks. Yule prep and Christmas, work and sewing and events and insomnia and Goddess knows what else I’m forgetting. I haven’t felt “bad,” per se, but I’ve been feeling…off.
Could it be my crazy schedule? Possibly…or possibly it’s the fact that I haven’t been the most compliant patient in the world lately. Yeah, I know, for the meds to work you have to keep taking them. I just haven’t felt like it. Stupid, lame excuse, I know, but there you have it. I just don’t feel like taking my pills half the time.
Granted, sometimes I get home late from an event or outing and am too tired to take my nighttime pills, but I have no real excuse for missing the morning doses (which are when the majority of my bipolar meds are taken). I just don’t feel like it. Did I say that already? Yeah, well, it bears repeating. My routine has been thrown off course, and I need to get it back.
The early mornings? Still there, but they’ve been chock full of cramming for Yule and Christmas deadlines. With those two things out of the way now I should soon have my quiet time to myself again. I do have another deadline (revisions due to the publisher), but it’s not one that has me panicked like the others did. I have sewing that needs to be done, too, but it’s nothing too terribly pressing. Maybe a month, month and a half before the next project is needed.
Maybe once I get back to my routine my “off” feeling will go away. Or once I get back to routinely taking my pills. Either way, hopefully I’ll be back to my blogging, tweeting, sewing, writing self.
I guess I can get back to it. I can start behaving again. It’s not like things are going to be crazy forever. I just have to be good and take my meds like I’m supposed to.
I just don’t feel like it.


I’m done. Done. Totally, completely, 1000% done.
Except I’m not. I have more to do, farther to go, deeper to dig. In other words, I’m shit out of luck.
Ok, let me back up a bit.
I’ve been covering for a co-worker who had surgery a week ago, and even though I learned how to do that position a little over a year ago, my training was quick and dirty. Basically, the only backup person for that position quit and I had to step up and dive in. Speed training.
Incomplete speed training.
Yeah. There are huge chunks of aspects of the position that are missing from my knowledge/experience base. Some of the things never came up during that speed training, and despite me pointing this out multiple times it has never been rectified. I literally am the only other person “trained” in this position, and as the past week has demonstrated I am not truly prepared.
I didn’t realize how much stress I was under this past week until this morning. My worsening insomnia, which I had been attributing to just me being me, has most likely been due to this sudden change in work duties. This afternoon, the buildup of stress and strain and pressure came to a head in the form of a massive anxiety attack. During the work day. Full-blown crying-my-eyes-out find-a-place-to-hide-from-reality anxiety attack.
It has been a long, long time since I’ve had an attack that bad while at work. I have to admit, I’m more than a bit ashamed of it. I thought I was past this kind of thing.
Guess not.
Now, work life isn’t my only stressor right now. I have other things going on that are probably not helping matters. Could I cut back on one or more of the non-work activities? Sure. I could. Will I? Probably not too much. Some of my private life things demand a certain degree of responsibility, and some of them involve dear friends who I do not want to disappoint or let down. So I’m going to plow through my off hours just like I’m plowing through the work stress. Will that mean more breakdowns? Probably… but hopefully I can keep any impending meltdowns to times when I can get away and hide my shame.
I’m not sure what I’ll do to destress aside from the date night that my wonderful husband has planned for tomorrow. Work will calm down eventually. I’ll get my personal life sorted to the point where I can function.
I just wish I could fast forward to this stress leveling off.
Soon, though, right? Please?

Mixed blessings

So, like, is it a good sign or a bad sign when your insomnia leaves you conveniently awake at the right time to clean up the cat puke while it’s still fresh? I mean, on the one hand I was able to wipe it up right away and, since I heard him hacking, I was able to avoid stepping in it (because stepping in cat puke–fresh or not–is gross). On the other hand, I got maybe an hour of sleep before my brain woke the fuck up and refused to go back to sleep. This makes three out of the past four nights where my body wakes up after less than three hours, and nothing I do seems to fix it.
I’d say I’m sick and tired of it, but I’m not tired. At all. (As for the sick part, I might still be a bit queasy after cleaning up the cat puke.)
Today–or I guess I should say “last night” since it was before midnight that I woke back up–I was able to identify at least part of the problem: My damn train of thought. See, I went to bed a little … disappointed, I guess? Or maybe a bit hurt. It’s one of those things that happens to normal people and it’s not even a thing, but because I’m me it became a thing. Enough of a thing that my brain decided to blow it out of proportion and make it a huge thing that probably really isn’t even a microscopic thing. My feelings get hurt so damn easy, and often for no good fucking reason. I’m starting to annoy the snot out of myself with it. This thing-that-isn’t-a-thing shouldn’t have me up late at night crying and stewing and moping and pouting. I should be sleeping like a baby. But no, not me. I apparently decided I was going to get upset and worked up over this not-thing. So yeah. That’s why I’m here, writing this ramble of a blog post. I’m kinda hoping I bore myself back to sleep with it. (So far it’s not working.)
I guess I’ll lie here in the dark and try to not think or something. I don’t even know what else to do at this point. Definitely no thinking though. Thinking leads to things-that-aren’t-things. Things-that-aren’t-things lead to butthurt. Butthurt leads to insomnia.


What to do, what to do? I want to draw; I want to practice calligraphy/illumination; I want to sew; I want to embroider; I want to write … Making up my mind should be a simple enough thing, but this morning it’s just not happening.
I woke up early with a rumbling stomach. Guess I didn’t have enough for dinner. I ate a snack and drank some hot chocolate to try to calm my restless mind, but the longer I was up, the more I wanted to get done…and the less I actually accomplished. I started one sewing project by cutting the pattern pieces, then decided I should put that aside for another sewing project. Then I decided I wanted to try drawing some illumination designs. Then I decided I didn’t want to do either of those. Then I tooled around the Internet for a while. Got hungry again. Made more food. Printed out some designs to try to embroider (those are still on the printer, because I then decided I wanted to write).
Guess my Creative Attention Deficit Disorder has kicked in again. As soon as I set my mind to one task I’m flying off to another, and it’s terribly nonproductive. I’ve gotten my hands dipped into too many creative ventures/projects, and now I’m in creative overload.
Maybe I’ll skip creativity for more practical activities. I have a couple of articles to write–maybe by the time I get those done I’ll be better able to decide what the heck I want to do.