Happy Birthday Cassandra Clare!

It’s the Birthday of the Author who brought us Jace, Clary, Emma, Julian, Tessa, Will, & James! Plus so many more! And to locations like New York, Los Angeles, London, & Shadowhunter home land, Alicante!

Happy Birthday, Cassandra Clare! I hope your new year is a great one with new ideas, new books, and new adventures!

Interview with Kendare Blake!

I got the special privileged to have a small interview with Kendare Blake!

If that name rings a bell it’s because of books she wrote: Anna Dressed in Blood, which is currently being opted for film, and Three Dark Crowns due out Sept 20th, 2016!

I’m so humbled at the fact that Mrs Blake was so willing to open up about mental health and her own personal struggles with Anxiety. So with out further ado:

Evening! I’ve been mulling over questions and how to do this interview for the last few weeks. Then I was conked on the head and ended up with a concussion. Ouch! I’m okay! It was minor, just put a slow down in reading and getting things like this done! I did a little research on you before I started this and I have to commend you on your pets names. Absolutely PERFECT! LOL! (Their two cat sons (Tybalt and Tyrion Cattister) and their red Doberman dog son, Obi Dog Kenobi!)
First for the basic fun stuff!
When did you know that writing was a passion of yours? So early on that I can’t remember. It seems that it stemmed rather naturally from an intense love of reading. Stories, stories and more stories, and at some point I began wanting to tell some of my own.
Did you have any small writings published in your local high school or neighborhood paper? Or contests? Not in high school. I never had anything published until grad school actually. I did try, but the work just wasn’t ready.
Did you read or write Fan Fiction? Both.
If yes, what Fandoms were your favorite go to’s? For fan fiction the only real fandom I got into was Harry Potter. And Sailor Moon. 
Now the more difficult.. 
When did you realize that Anxiety was possibly presenting itself in your life? Shortly before I got married, right in the midst of writing Anna Dressed in Blood. I didn’t know what it was then. I didn’t recognize panic attacks as panic attacks. I just thought I was ill.
Did you battle Depression thus exacerbating one problem with the other? No. Thankfully depression has not factored into it.
Was there a particular Anxiety attack that changed your perspective on your mental health? Or getting yourself help? (no need for details on what happen, of course) Yes, actually. I was at ALA, the big librarian conference, promoting…oh, it must have been Girl of Nightmares at that point. I’d just met my editor for the first time there, and she was with me before I had to do this thing called an “Author Tea Party” or an “Author Speed Date”, basically a gigantic room full of tables with people at them, and they start you at one table and you have three minutes or so to chat with them about your book or whatever and then someone blows a horn and you dash to the next table. It lasts about an hour usually. I’ve done quite a few since then, and often they’re quite fun. But the noise and the heat of the room got to me that time, and I had to excuse myself to regroup in the hall before starting. My editor was very understanding, but I was humiliated. Mortified. I’d been self-managing for a few years by then, but that was when I said fuck this, and started thinking about treatment.
Did you discover that writing helped your Anxiety? Actually I don’t think writing does help my anxiety. The two don’t seem to be linked that much. Though when I’m writing, like the physical act of writing, I’m never anxious. 
Do you think a book centered around a character with a mental health struggle could be in the future? (I’d be excited about this! Lol!) I don’t think so. At least, not centered around a mental health struggle. There will certainly be characters in my novels who struggle with different levels of anxiety, different levels of depression, narcissism, etc., but that will only be part of the story. 
Any tips for those of us who still struggle daily with Depression and Anxiety? What works best for you on your bad days? On my bad days, I medicate. When I go into a situation where I know I might have an issue, I medicate. And when medicating doesn’t work, I just wait it out. But I have no good tips, I’m afraid. Anxiety is a beast of variety and it seems that everyone has different ways to cope.
Anything else you’d like to add about yourself, your books, or anything coming up? Not really. Though I will say that I’ve never done an interview on anxiety before! As far as I can recall, I’ve never mentioned having it. But the more writers I meet, the more common it seems. Actually the older I get, the more common it seems. Both of my best friends deal with it, and so does my mother. Is anxiety some kind of epidemic? Because if it is it needs to stop. It’s annoying as fuck to have.
Thanks for having me by the blog, Bella!
THANK YOU for taking the time to answer some questions about Anxiety! 
It’s easy to forget that Anxiety and other Mental Illness can effect someone you love. It happens with in a blink of an eye. The brain is something not fully understood as of yet. Maybe some day we might be able to reroute mental illness or, at least, be able to cure certain kinds with things more effective then ‘here, take a pill’. Some day in the future! 
Thank you so much to Mrs Kendare Blake for the interview. I hope to do another one with her, perhaps, later down the line.
Look for other interviews with authors in the future!

Concussion

Like the title says for nearly over a week I’ve been dealing with a concussion. So thus the lack of updates and reviews on the blog.

I won’t go into the details of how it happened, it was really stupid and completely accidental. No, it wasn’t from doing anything of a ‘Here’s Your Sign’ type, wipe your stupid off the face of humanity stunt. It was just an accident at home that basically is laying me up for some unnumbered amount of days.

I’m alright and health checking out is the biggest relief. TRYING to get any reading done is a bit of a hassle as staring at books or any amount of phone or computer screen is very straining on the eyes. The dizzy spells and hair triggering headaches are very quick to come and go.

But give me a few more days and I should be back to 100%. Other than that I’m still active on my Instagram ( https://www.instagram.com/anxiousbookaholic/ ) since it doesn’t take much to post there if I’m feeling particularly under the weather.

I will return soon with a vengeance! Fear me! LOL!

 

(C) Image to its creator

Anxiety Is A Playground by E. Rachael Hardcastle

E. Rachael Hardcastle wrote another amazing piece regarding Anxiety. I couldn’t help but share her words with you once more.

 

With out further ado,

Anxiety Is A Playground
by E. Rachael Hardcastle

 

Anxiety has plagued me for many years but as I’ve grown so has my tolerance. I’ve learned to view each anxious attack as an individual experience, therefore approached my methods of dealing with them all in different ways too. I’ll use a child’s playground as a metaphor to explain my ideas.

A quick disclaimer – these are my own methods. I am not a medical professional or an expert in any way. This post is purely from experience and these suggestions may not work for everyone.

 

  • The Swing 

Anxiety isn’t always about feeling depressed and low. There are mixed emotions, leading to many levels of severity. Much like a swing moves back and forth, so do we move through these levels, eventually slowing to a calm state once again.

To deal with the swing, I close my eyes and take deep, smooth breaths. During this time, I try to relax each part of my body, starting with my feet and working my way up.

 

  •  The See-Saw

Anxiety often upsets the balance of our bodies. For women this can affect our monthly menstrual cycles or lead to depression and increased mood swings.

To deal with the imbalance of the see-saw, I lower my caffeine and alcohol intake, and exercise where possible to burn off excess energy. When I feel moody or stressed, cleaning, organizing and finding a focus for an hour or two takes my mind off the unexplained feelings, acting as a minor form of self-therapy.

 

  • The Sand Pit

Anxiety attacks cause us to feel suffocated and drowned in our own bottomless pit of emotions. The more we dig to escape, the deeper the hole gets until eventually we’re in over our heads.

To deal with the sand pit, I stop trying to fight my way out and allow the symptoms to take their course, reminding myself that panic attacks are uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they can’t hurt me. Most of the time the symptoms are worse than the worry, so once I have that reassurance, they go away on their own.

 

  • The Slide

Sometimes we just can’t stop ourselves from slipping. We land with an uncomfortable thunk, but we pick ourselves up quickly and dust ourselves down.

To deal with the slide, when I feel myself climbing those stairs, I tell myself to stop and physically slam a fist on the desk (without hurting myself, of course!). I like to call it my mental slap. I get a few seconds of relief to change my mind. Of course, it’s not as easy as deciding not to panic, but if your mind is clear enough to recognize you need to stop worrying, that tells you more than you realize.

I’m sure there are lots of other similar metaphors for the problems we face when dealing with anxiety. I hope those I have listed above help you to put each problem in perspective and tailor your solution.

 

Next time you’re near a children’s playground, smile and hold your head high. As adults we’re too old for the sandpit, too heavy for the see-saw, too big for the slide and too tall for the swing. If challenged, we’d defeat them all.

 

That’s why we pass the playground by. We have no need to go inside.

 

(C) Image courtesy of Lowes.com

ARCs & 4th Weekend Update

I apologize for not being around as of late. Things in life have been a bit.. screwy.

For a bit of good news first, I received an ARC of NeverNight by Jay Kristoff which has me SUPER excited. I can’t wait to get into that one as soon as I finish Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall and The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia!

Yay for Books! On top of that happy, LATE, book release birthday to Victoria Schwab for This Savage Song! I pre-ordered it ages ago to get it ON release day and wasn’t disappointed! Thank you, Amazon.com!

From there I went into Chicago to see friends for the 4th of July. Not a bad thing at all. I brought my Pomeranian named Bear thinking it might be better than leaving him home. BOY, WAS I WRONG. Due to stupid crap and someone turning off the white-noise maker that was going on to try and drown out the fireworks my poor Pom is now even MORE terrified of things that go BOOM.

The trip itself wasn’t the problem. I got to see friends, go to parties where Bear came with me, hang out, received an amazing coloring book as a late birthday present and so on. Where Bear got traumatized was my bff’s boyfriend and family invited us out to his family’s boat on to Lake Michigan from the Naval Base to see the 4th fireworks. I couldn’t turn it down. But knowing Chicago could get noisy we took all the precautions we could. We sound proofed the house with white noise, I put things that smelled like me out so I knew Bear would lay down and sleep on them, the other dog in the house was cocooned in the owners bedroom where she feels safest. We did everything right to make sure the dogs were SAFE.
Midnight comes and we get a text and my dog is under the the couch and won’t come out, the other dog broke down bedroom door. It turns out the fireworks were being done SO CLOSE TO THE HOUSE the dogs FREAKED. They tore the house apart. And the freaking room mate TURNED OFF THE WHITE-NOISE.

WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! The one thing keeping the dogs sane was TURNED OFF. Fireworks were going off before we left and we couldn’t hear it over the white-noise. So Im sure the close ones where what freaked them out but the white-noise HELPED. We know it did.

So thanks for that. Now Bear is worse off, I found out after a storm the other night. That was.. fantastic. He did everything but try to crawl into my clothes and skin that night all while trying NOT to throw up on me.

Things since then have left me exhausted. I haven’t read in days. I sleep A. LOT. Nearly napping every day because the last few days have been storming so Im checking on Bear or comforting him all the time while he calms down. I found a way to counteract it which is play the HAMILTON soundtrack LOUDLY from my phone.

Ugh..

So that’s my life update plus an update on the ARCS of books I’ve received. A real update on books and depression is coming soon.

I have another guest blog coming from someone whose been here before! So keep an eye out!

Love ya!