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Healing

I haven’t updated in a few months because I haven’t known what to say, which is difficult for someone who makes their living as a writer.

I got out of the hospital in late April and spent the next chunk of time just trying to cope with what had happened, and what the illness had done to my body. Weeks in a hospital bed had stolen away muscle tone. Medication that helped save my life also made me brutally ill with nausea and vomiting. Coming to terms with my own mortality left my psyche in tatters. I began to fall back into a pattern of disordered eating as a way to feel like I had some small bit of control over a life that felt wildly out of control.

Sex? What’s sex?

About a month ago I began writing again. Not erotica, but small things here and there. Some of it was very private; self therapy to go along with the counseling I’d sought out. Then I moved on to non-fiction freelancing that didn’t require the kind of emotional investment that fiction does.

Last week I stumbled across an itemized list with all the anthologies I was thinking of contributing to. For obvious reasons I’d missed every deadline between April first and July first, and I felt defeated. Going from 2014 during which I’d done a lot of writing and had some publication successes to 2015 which had started out so promisingly with the Siem Reap novella had ground to a dead end. There was one last anthology on the list, and I decided I had to submit something. Even if it were to get rejected, submitting would mean I’d gotten back on the proverbial horse.

Santas reindeer

I had a rough draft from several years ago–if you read my story “New on the Naughty List,” (published in Coming Together: For the Holidays) you’ll remember that it’s Blitzen who gives Lucy the Elf a ride to Boston. While we know what Lucy was doing (pun intended), I had always intended to write a story that showed what kept Blitzen occupied so late into the evening as well. I pulled out my rough draft and polished/tweaked it until I was as happy as I could be without fresh eyes (my husband and I having both read it countless times by then). A final draft will definitely be ready for the submission date.

I’m not better, exactly. The physical side of things is going to be measured in months. The emotional side of things will ebb and flow–we dealt with serious medical trauma with Ms 6 as a baby so I know that it’s easy to go months without thinking about what happened and then be blindsided by something and have all of the trauma come roaring back. I’m relieved to say that with the support of my husband, some close friends, and my therapists I’m no longer engaging in dangerous behavior surrounding food. The rest is a work in progress.

As I’ve been coping with this, I’ve stayed away from Twitter. On one hand, this was not exactly a rational choice–I’m very lucky to have a community of friends/fellow writers who have reached out to me to check how things have been going. On the other hand, given that my creative side was a blank page, being Delilah Night publicly felt fraudulent. Yesterday, given that I was ready to share the story with beta readers and thanks to the gentle nudge from a few friends I started posting again.

After such a long absence, I’ve the lost the habit of tweeting and blogging, so please do continue to poke me if you think I’ve been too quiet. I’m not up to date of who’s had what published, so please share your triumphs with me in comments (and let me know if I can review something for you).

To celebrate returning to writing, I’m briefly sharing “New on the Naughty List,” which served as the inspiration for my new story “A Reindeer By Any Other Name,” here.

9 Responses

  1. I think I speak for so many people, Delilah, when I say we’re relieved and delighted to have you back. And I wish you so many positive thoughts for your ongoing recovery. xoxoxoxox

  2. I am happy to see you back, too, and I have a little thrill because I believe I know where that story is going…

    -Lynn T

  3. Happy to see you back, and sending much healing and health your way, Delilah! Much luck as you continue to recover. XX

  4. *big hugs* You were very missed. Glad you’re on the mend – and hope you continue to improve 🙂

    xx Dee

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