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Thanksgiving time. The day of thanks and stuffing oneself until discomfort is reached. To be honest it is one of my favorite holidays and this year it was just as good or better than it has been for recent history. I got to share this day with my beautiful wife, I think of her as such even if technicalities do not have it as so, and my step son Gabe. We started some of our own traditions. A lazy start to the day with donuts and a movie that we all watched together. While everyone else was off getting ready to head to my family’s for dinner I found the time to get some writing done while having football on in the background. I am proud to say I met the goal for NaNoWriMo this year. Surpassed the goal of 50k in the month more than a week early. My story is no where complete though and I have to maintain my focus to get my novel finished. I have set the goal to myself to finish the story by the end of the year. Then the much tougher work will follow, reading it and rewriting it as I am sure it will need a great deal of polish.

With my goal met for the day I set my writing aside as we traveled to my home town to be with my family at my Grandparents house. My Grandmother always makes the biggest of meals. Turkey and all of the fixings. My dad, aunt and uncle, brother and his wife and my dad’s new family were all there. We had some good laughs, ate some great food, watched some football and overall had a great holiday.

Now we have retired home. Boxes of Christmas supplies pulled from the garage in preparation for the apartment to be decked out. I will miss this though as I get to enjoy the other side of the Black Friday blitz. I work in sales and this will be a huge weekend for us but it also means that I will make a good bit of money. A good motivator to get through the madness. Now though we relax with another movie and wind down from the lovely day.

I have a great deal to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family, a beautiful wife by my side, a great step son and a good job where I work with people I consider to be friends. I know that money is not good and there are stresses in life but they are not things that need to hold us back  We need to focus on the good things we have because that is all that is important.

I hope everyone else had a great thanksgiving or made the most of what they had.

Take Care

Dan 🙂

 

P.S.

The only down point to the day was thinking of my mother who I lost a few years ago. My wife also has a blog and I read her post that was very heartfelt and touching. She puts her heart and thoughts out there in such a way that definitely brings emotions to the surface. She mentioned my mom, who was lost to us far to early due to an accidental overdose. The holidays are times when I tend to think of her the most. I miss her but I was glad that I was able to make the most of things with the family I do have.

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I will not be posting much of my story here. especially since people tend to take things and claim them as their own. However I did want to share some of the early work of my fantasy creation. A small excerpt of the main character, Sai, encountering an odd occurrence in a nightmare world. all the works below are my own and the rights held by me 🙂 the author. I have not done any editing and there are surely mistakes. This is an absolutely rough first draft. Enjoy

 

 

 

Sai finished another row of the palpa field and unhitched the oxen from their hard task. He began to lead them back towards the homestead and the shelter that housed the work animals. The sun already seemed to be making its decent towards the west and the Sun’s rest mountains. It hung at it’s apex for just a bit before heading back towards the darkness of the horizon that was to come. The chill was out of the air and the work in the fields had brought a sweat to his brow. Sai wiped at it as he finished leading the cattle into their pens in the shelter. He leaned against the doorway that lead into the yard and looked towards the road that lead into town. His pap would be back soon and surely his mam would be making a hearty lunch to steady them against the work to finish the day. As he looked the song of the wind began to dull him again. The sound was so sweet and so barely there that to focus on it was to hear less. Not actively listening he thought he could hear a voice to the melody. The spots of light began to play at the sides of his vision again .

Furiously shaking his head he dug the palms of his hands into his eyes until spots and stars appeared. He blinked into the light of the day and wondered if he was losing his mind. He put his gloves in his back pocket and left the shelter behind walking towards the main house of the homestead. Off towards the right there was a small bunk house that was occupied by the hands that stayed on year round at the farm. There were a handful that had such positions. Someone to help with the animals and some to work in the press house. They were all rather good men and they liked to give Sai a hard time as well, but mostly for some good natured fun. Some of them were coming back from their duties, grabbing a quick bit of food to tide them over before the dinner his mam and the house marm would have prepared for each night. They had one large common room in the house that had a huge oak table. Come dinner it would always be laden with enough to fill the stomachs of the hands and the Serik family. In all aspects the whole group was a family and Enoch made sure they all knew that. It was a good reason why some of the hands had been around all of Sai’s life. Some of them had surely been around in the time of Sai’s grandfather, back when the ranch was his and Enoch was Sai’s age.

Some of them nodded at Sai as he made his way towards the house. Lunch in the great house was reserved for the family only. It was really the only time that they could eat together and alone. . Breakfast was always a quick affair, some hard bread and butter and off to the fields to get as much work in as possible in the fleeting daylight. As he reached the steps onto the large porch that circled the house the melody began to grow in his ears. The dull sweetness took his mind and he saw one of the spots of light come right in front of his face. a soft voice called out against the melody. “Be Still” the two words said and at that Sai collapsed into darkness.

*******
A buzz flowed through his thoughts as he opened his eyes. He was standing but he did not remember getting to his feet. The world around him was devoid of colors. That was not entirely true. Faint lines and whisps seemed to flow from object to object. Light strands of gold gossamer thread flowed and hung in the air. They wound and past through the trees, the grass and all that was. Sai looked around in detached wonder. He held his hands up in front of his eyes and gazed at the golden threads that emanated from his fingers and connected the landscape around him. The flow of the threads passed through him and as it did he could feel the warmth and vibration, a tingle that traced his body. The hands in front of him though were somehow different, not his own. He looked at them again and with detached effort let them fall to his side. Moving now he was walking in a clearing, the muted colors around him eerie. The once vibrant autumnal colors gone into varying shades of gray. Sai gazed into the woods that circled the clearing. His vision could not see past the first few trees. Deep infinite blackness saturated beyond. The seemed to move around him instead of him through it. The clearing center was now behind and the line of trees closer and closer. The golden threads seemed to spark and shimmer more and more clearly as the darkness approached. He willed his hand to come up and feel their warmth again but it would not listen. A drumming began to fill the silence, a lub dub, lub dub, lub dub. His heart beat pounding forcefully in his chest and head. The pain of it so intense thoughts of death came to him. Let go. He wanted to just collapse right there in the clearing the the black forest came closer greeting him with its cold outstretched limbs.

The flowing threads disappeared, the woods claimed him, claimed his vision and the clearing ceased to be. The beat of his heart was unbearable now, the pain so great he would cry out if he could. Blackness filled his eyes but his mind sense the world moving around him. creatures filled his mind. Black beasts that melted into the night. The world began to close in. The phantoms circling about closer and closer. Claustrophobia, panic.

A light broke through the darkness, It was of pure white. The light that twinkle from the stars of the night sky. The light came closer and barely larger. Its glow an inviting break in the abyss that was his world. The light came closer and Sai could make out a tiny creature. It looked like something that the old men of the village would tell of in their stories, myths. A sprite. Sai desperately wanted to say hello. However his mouth would not work. He tried to feel his tongue but it was not there. The creature came right up to his eye, so close that any closer it would have been a blurry spot. It looked at him and smiled. If he had to say anything it was a she. Her image a pure white body with a furry glow where arms would have been. She had the palest skin that he had ever seen, white with specks of gold that seemed to be jewels adorning her cheeks and legs. Her smile was reassuring and mischievious at the same time.

“Be Still” her only words to him and in a blink she was gone, the world was rushing up around him, still blackness. With greater and greater speed. The blackness, the phantoms and the beasts of nothing flew up around him. Sai began to scream silently in his head. Nothings lurched for him, touching, clawing. His body began to twist and tumble. Mumbling grew into a roar filling his ears. Jolting, shaking. “ Sai…..” A faint calling through the noise “Sai” He called for vision, he pleaded for light. He begged to be released from the nightmare that wanted to devour him “SAI!”   

 

by Dan Bahr

 

 

 

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Another year and another nano under way. So far I am off to a good start. Four days in and I am just shy of 11k words. Not too bad of a start. I am treating it a little differently this year. Usually I go a little crazy and over do it in the beginning, days of 5000-8000 words and sometimes more. This is great till I get near the end and can’t quite find the energy or will to complete my story and see it through. Now this is not to say that I have not succeeded at the challenge. One year I had a late start and had my own nano in a 30 day period, just not in November. Two years ago I was able to complete Nano in its normal time. I actually wrote a story that was well over 100,000 words but could not bring it to an end. This year I am trying to take a much different approach. My goal is to consistently write around 2500 words a day and even if at the end of the month I am not at the end of my story I have to keep working till the story is at its end.

This may be a fun challenge but my bigger goal is to craft a novel that I would be proud to share with my fiends and family. If I am very lucky I would love to be published or self publish.

As the story goes I am pretty happy with how things are progressing. I am discovering some of the key characters and beginning to craft the magical system that glows through the world. I have already introduced some interesting creatures into the story and have some great ideas for more to show up in later pages. I have set the scene and the action is about to take off.

🙂

Outside of the writing which was a success, it was a good weekend. My step son was up and on Saturday the three of us went to a concert. It was a Christian rock festival. Not my normal thing but some of the music was pretty good. The message might not have been the same for me but live music is live music. I do feel like a little bit of an outsider at those sort of things. Like at some point one of them is going to point at me and shout nonbeliever! I am paranoid and over anxious about it bit it is a weird thought that I have. I tried to just concentrate on the good tunes. I did love that we were able to go as a family.

For this coming week I am looking forward to seeing my doctor again. Things are getting a little better. I am definitely more level. Have not have the moments of breaking down for no good reason. I do feel that even though I am more even it I a level that is still on the downer side. That is okay though as they are going to add an antidepressant into the mix this week. The anxiety is still pretty bad though. That is one thing I am going to make sure to let her know.

Well that is a quick summary. I hope to have an update again later this week. Maybe I will post an excerpt.

Dan

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It is October 31st, also known as Nano Eve. I had a slight moment of panic and crisis. I had some ideas down for the direction that I wanted to head for my story. Then a few days ago I lost my path a bit and started thinking about something else. It seems though that this morning in the quiet and peace of the early morning hours I was able to go back to the short notes I had and solidify my focus into the story I was already mentally developing. So I have my basis. I had my Fiance check over some of my notes and she thought it was a good start that I just had to go into more details. That works for me because what I had was just the lay out and back story that my mind needs to get going and discover from there. The working title is going to be “The Shadow’s Thread”. It is going to be a fantasy novel based in a land where magic has been practically extinguished. Children born with what is dubbed the shadow upon them are executed. A tyrannical government controls the common lands. The story starts in a small town with an odd stranger coming into the village at the time of harvest. The stranger has a message for the young man that the story revolves around. Events take off quickly from there.

I will be posting some excerpts as I go and giving updates on the progress. I am excited and a bit anxious. Wish me luck on that front 🙂

———

As my personal life and mental health go things are slightly improved, if only for the fact that I have some hope in the direction that things are going. After all of the frustrations and being told to go here and then there and then back again I was finally able to see my family doctor. She knew my history and knew the struggles that I have gone through my whole life. I filled her in with some of what has worked in the past and she agreed that it was a good mix of meds. She started me on some small doses of anxiety and mood stabilizer meds and once those have some time to work she is going to start me on an anti depressant as well. I have definitely been going through an adjustment time. The anxiety is still pretty bad but it is better than it was. I am however a little foggy from the seroquel which helps me sleep. I know I will adjust though. I am glad I have something to start with until I can see an actual specialist. I see my family doctor again in a week. It was definitely a relief to get someone who would actually listen.

Well, off to work I go. I will surely give an update tomorrow how my first day of writing for Nano goes.

Dan

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After a little bit of struggling with my creative faculties I think I have a good start to a story that I would like to write. I was trying to see if I could creatively come up with a decent sci fi story but I just could not do it. SciFi is my favorite genre to read but apparently my mind does not want to cooperate with writing in such a field. I tend to always want to go back to Fantasy and Adventure stories. Coming of age and young heroes put to task, taken from their once simple lives. In this my mind finally came up with something I think I can use. I was able to think up a decent back story and an opening seen. With the way that I write this is usually all I need. I am a discovery writer. Usually I come up with an idea and some characters and a little back story in my head and then I let the story take me where it will. This is an exciting way to write but can also be a challenge. For me the biggest challenge is bringing everything together at the end.

The dilemma that I am having is whether I want to do NaNo in the traditional sense where one has to complete 50,000 words in a month or if I just want to write at my own pace. My dream has always been to be a published author and to be able to make a living off of what I can create. Maybe I should take this as an attempt to reach this goal and work more ardently at crafting a well rounded novel. I have a few days to decide as NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st. One thing is for certain, I am definitely excited to write again since I have not in a good while.

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It has been a long time since I have ventured onto wordpress. It took me a few attempts to remember my login and password but I made it on after a few attempts and accidentally sending a reset email to whoever uses dbahr as their login. As I figured out that my login was danbahr. Maybe though this is something I still need. A good way to get some things off of my mind and to share some of my creativity when I feel like it. 

It has been almost a year and a half since I was last on this site. Amazing to me and kind of depressing to see my lack of commitment to something that I enjoyed doing. I gave a quick glance to my site statistics and the funny thing was that my site had its busiest viewing day in august of this year. 400 plus views and that was a year+ removed from my last post. Well I hope that my checking back in here is not a temporary  endeavor. I hope that I an keep it up again and let this be my catharsis again.

Life has seen its ups and downs as is the norm. An up was that in august of this years I passed my three year anniversary staying sober. Something that I never thought I could attain. I feel pretty strong in my resolve to stay off the sauce but it is always a fear or worry that is in the back of my mind. The funny thing is that the fear of letting my family and friends down is probably one of my greatest motivators. Add that to the fact that I would not be able to live with myself if I made that mistake and went back.

One of the downs seems to be looming over my head. I feel a dark cloud is shadowing my path and I need some help that I let go of a few years ago. Over the past few weeks I have had issues every day with not being able to catch my breath or breath deeply. I went the classic “guy” route and let it go for far too long before finally succumbing to the pleas and demands of my friends and family to go into the doctor. I did so and made an appointment with my family doctor, well not actually my family doctor as she is far to busy and over booked to be seen on short notice. Anyways it was one of the nurse practitioners that work at the clinic I go to. I let her know what I was experiencing. I said I was wondering if it was asthma or something else with my longs. She promptly did some tests, checked my breathing, did an ekg, drew some blood. In the end they could not find anything. Everything came back normal. So upon her looking at my medical history and the pharmacopia of medications I was on previously she decided it was most likely anxiety. She asked me why I stopped taking all the meds I was previously and I said because at the time my insurance ended. I realized going into the appointment that anxiety was a possibility. My fiance had said as much as I was calling and making the appointment. 

When my life was at its lowest point I was diagnosed as being manic depressive with social anxiety disorder. Or something along those lines. I cannot remember exactly. Just means that my moods can go up and down and I can have some issues with anxiety, sometimes rather large issues. I was on bipolar meds(2 different types), anti depressants, a pill that helped boost the other pills, anxiety meds and meds to help me sleep. It was an interesting mix and definitely something I do not want to fully go back on. I was a walking zombie. Tremors and all. I was definitely not myself on all of these meds, but it did get me through the worst of what I was going through. In hind sight it was not the best decision to quit all of these cold turkey. I went through a week of hell but have made some strides on my own. Now I realize my own will power is not enough.

So anyways the doctor(you know what I mean) prescribed Lamictal, a mood stabilizer mainly for bipolar disorder. Upon hearing this and that this was the decision and knowing that it was most likely anxiety I was not happy and felt even more depressed. Depressed because I knew that this was not going to be the short term fix that I need at this time. My issue may have been opening up about my past and telling the doc why I checked myself into a psych ward. She did not want to prescribe me any sedative and in her tone I realized that she thought I was either a pill seeker or would do something risky with these meds. The first thought that went through my head was that I am not a damn pill seeker. I have not been to a doctor in over 2 1/2 years. That is not the normal pill seeker type. I have not drank in over 3 years. I have not done drugs(the hardest I have ever done was some hash and marijuana in college) in over 8 years. My second thought was this. If you think I was going to do something stupid and off myself with these pills you have got to be kidding. With the copious amounts of prescribed meds I was on previously I could have ended my life a few times over if I wanted to. 

With these thoughts in my mind I took the referral to a behavioral specialist, psychiatrist, and my prescription for lamictal and left. I left realizing there would be no short term relief and I would continue to suffer. I had the immediate urge to just break down into tears. I had the immediate urge to just toss the phone number away and go on suffering and hope it would go away. I had the anxiety of having to go to another doctor and explain my issues all over again and hope I was not looked down upon. Despite all of this I did call and make an appointment. At the time the earliest was a week and a half away so now I have to tough it out for a little bit longer.

I have suffered with something like this my whole life. Depression, anxiety and manic swings. It can be as little as having issues breathing properly, to my heart racing in public situations, like going to the grocery store. It can be the unseen anchor that makes it nearly impossible to break free and get out of the house from time to time. It can be the feeling of being in a tunnel under water with the weight of a thousand oceans sitting on top of me. It can be my mind going into overdrive right as I am laying my head upon a pillow making sleep all but impossible. It can be a small event that brings me nearly to tears and sometimes all the way there. It can be absolutely debilitating.

I definitely need some help and I have the tools around me to get it. I have decent insurance that makes seeing a mental health specialist practical and affordable. I have family around me that mostly support me. Especially my Dad and my Brother. My father knows what anxiety and depression can do and he understands what I am going through. He has also been there for me no matter what, no questions asked. He has saved me on more than one occasion  My brother is my best friend and he has been there to see me through the worst of it and make sure I had a good footing before trying to heal on my own again. I also have a good woman by my side who is supportive. I love her and want to be better able to support her as well. 

I think for now this is more than enough for one post. I hope to use this more often. I do not have the energy to go back and check this for errors so I hope it is readable. I think the writing is another tool that helps me not stagnate inside my own head. I plan on competing in NaNoWriMo again this year. The National Novel Writing Month. I just need to come up with a good story. It is a good way to occupy my mind.

Anyways. Good Night WordPress and Facebook Friends.

Dan

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Time to take an aside from writing some prose and poetry and shed a little light on what has been going on in my life. Also I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read and also those who commented on my creative entries that I posted over the last couple of days. I appreciate your taking the time to read. I do get a lot of joy from creating something from scratch that comes from deep with in my mind. Anything I write has that much more truth when it is grounded in the reality of my life or feelings and that is true of what I have written recently. I also remember every time I return to my creativity just how much it relaxes me and allows me to feel like I accomplished something when I finish whatever project I am working on.

When it comes to my life and what has been going on with me I am still floating a little bit in the haze of my own wonderment. It still amazes me at how much my life has changed in such a short time. On the longer scale of things I have conquered and climbed a few mountains. On the shorter scale of time I have someone back in my life who I have always felt strongly about and now, this time around those feelings seem to be even stronger. To lose a soulmate and then have them return back into your life after so long is something that I am sure few will ever feel. Some of my friends and family are still hesitant but I know that we are both in much better places in our lives and have a firm foundation to create something so much better than we even experienced in the past.

Some times I still don’t believe that she is in my life. Sometimes I know that I am walking a little too softly afraid to step on any eggshells that might crack. I guess that caution is from knowing that there was a time when I essentially screwed up and took for granted the great thing that was in my life. That is beginning to fade now. I feel that I am more able to just be myself with out worry of stepping in the wrong places. I know more and more that she is with me now because the bond we have was strong enough to survive two years and be rekindled with just a little breath of wind. I feel like I can more and more be just myself. Not to say I was not that before, but I was also very cautious.

I am glad to see the support I am getting from my Dad and Brother. My brother is my best friend and my Dad has always been there for me, no matter what. A week or so ago My brother and his wife, Christina and I and some friends went out bowling and then we all ate dinner at my Brother’s house. We all had a good time and many laughs and things seemed to go very well. I know that Christina is very worried about being reintroduced to my family, and our close family friends. things did go a little messy when we split up, and things were said that should not have been. I worry about this too, as I just want most to be as open as they can and just see what we have right now. The present is the most important thing to live in. I know the time will come when all are comfortable with each other and I also know that the schedule for this will be set by her. All things will come in due time.

When it comes to things in other realms in my life all seems to be going well. I am trying to renew my attempts to become a little healthier. I can see that I have lost weight over the past year. I think the biggest thing is not drinking and not eating as much garbage, or bingeing when I do. More than anything I think that my body is just balancing out now. Even with this I realize I have to get out there and stay active. I have taken to walking every day. For at least 45 min to and hour. I think this is a good start and hopefully I will expand my efforts in the future. Maybe even look at a gym membership or the like. It would be nice to get back into lifting weights.

Work is going as well as ever. My numbers always seem to end the month well over what is expected. I can see after looking beyond the past year and what I am doing right now and every month seems to get better over the same month the previous year. I love my job more and more and count myself lucky to be doing something that I enjoy. July 1st will be my 2 year anniversary there and I can only hope for many more.

Think I have gone on for long enough, but it feels good to put down a good post on life again. Maybe tomorrow I will find the ambition to do some more writing.

Dan 🙂

 

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