About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Is Coming!

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I decorate for Christmas and begin to prepare for the season. This year, I haven't done any shopping yet. Some years I've gotten a head start, but I'll have to do all my shopping in the few weeks before Christmas this year.

Some people with mental illnesses have a really hard time during the holidays and I always try to keep them in mind. As for me, I have a pretty good time of it. I love Christmas and New Year's and get excited for them every year, and I tend to do very well as a person with bipolar disorder. I think because I go to my uncle's for Christmas Eve and either my mom's or my aunt's for Christmas Day, the pressure is taken off of me as far as entertaining goes. And for New Year's, I stay home with my family and we have our own little celebration, so that's stress-free, too.

I would recommend that anyone with a mental illness try to minimize the demands placed on him or her at the holidays. It's okay to say no to things, and it's okay to let someone else do the entertaining if that's how it works out. Just relax and take good care of yourself (exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, talk to your therapist and people you trust). Happy start of the holiday season, everyone!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November

I love the month of November. First of all, it's my birthday month. I was born right in the middle of the month on November 15th. Then it's Thanksgiving month, and I love Thanksgiving. And then, once Thanksgiving has happened, it is, for me, the opening of the Christmas season. I always put up my Christmas decorations on the day after Thanksgiving, and I feel I can start listening to Christmas music at that time.

A lot of people where I live in upstate New York dislike November's weather, but I love it. It's chilly out and most of the leaves are off the trees. We might have cold rain or even snow. But for me, it just makes it all the cozier inside. Plus, I love winter, so I don't mind getting a little taste of it in November.

I'm very bothered by the way Black Friday has migrated into Thanksgiving day. There are stores opening for business on Thanksgiving morning! Last year, I believe stores opened for business on Thanksgiving evening, but now, there are stores that will be open for the whole holiday. It's one holiday that we all share. It's secular, so people of any or no faith can celebrate it. It's not commercial. Sure, we buy a lot of food for it and maybe some decorations, but it's not a gift-giving holiday. I believe that everyone should have the day off so that they can celebrate with family and friends. Instead, it's starting to be treated like just another day, except that people have off from work so that they can go shopping. This disturbs me.

Well, I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, and I don't even go shopping on the actual Black Friday. I'm busy decorating for Christmas. I'm grateful this Thanksgiving month for typically being well during the fall and winter. A lot of bipolar people have trouble with the longer periods of darkness and, if you live in a climate like that of upstate New York, the inability to be outside as much of the time. But because I love winter and don't mind "hibernation mode", I don't tend to have serious problems with my mental state. I have more of a tendency to have trouble when spring and summer come. But that's material for a different blog post. For this one, I'll end by saying that I'm thankful for November and the way I live it.

My November River Ram Press Blog Article

My latest River Ram Press Blog article is online. This article is about my writers group, the Central New York Creative Writers Cafe, and the importance and camaraderie of a writers group. I write about the dear friends I've made through the group and all the support, help, and encouragement they've given me since 2008 when I joined the group.