Mania Was My Friend Tonight
I fall into the same category as many writers and artists. I have rapid cycling Bipolar I disorder along with a healthy dose of borderline personality disorder. I’m not medicated except to treat the insomnia. This was a huge choice for us back when I was diagnosed. I’d tried various medications: zoloft, paxil, prozac, depakote, lamictal, wellbutrin, and lexapro. Right now, I take trazodone and klonopin for the insomnia and they have a mild effect on my overall manic-depressive cycles. Now, I’m supposed to take my trazodone-melatonin cocktail every evening so I can sleep. It’s what I’ve done non-stop for three years now.
If those don’t work, I take some klonopin alongside the next dose, but usually, the bipolar means I run on a very strange internal clock. 36-48 hours awake, 18-24 hours asleep. This is disruptive, to say the least, but in those manic moments, I wind up with some of my most vivid ideas for writing. I think that’s one of the driving reasons I refuse medication. Every time I’d gone on something, the ideas dried up and I was left with the sense of going crazy in a sane, emotionally devoid mind. In the end, it boiled down to did I want the bland normality or did I want my creativity and worlds and words?
You can see what I chose.
Well, last night was one of the night where sleep eluded me. I’d bought a new CD (yep, people still buy those as not everything is available in digital) due to hearing one song on a make up tutorial I’d watched on YouTube. I fell in love with the song, but I didn’t know what it was about as the audio was crap. I popped the CD is, barely paid attention to it throughout my day, but in the dead of night with no one to keep me company, I listened to the song more closely.
It’s I Miss My Sky (Amelia Earhart’s Last Days) by Heather Nova. It’s about Amelia Earhart, of course, and it recounts those last days after Amelia crashed. It sparked my imagination. Bright and vibrant, I had the end of a novel in my head after just a few moments. I was excited, and I grabbed the plot bunny with both hands. My first non-erotic, non-romance piece of fiction.
I’m writing a speculative fiction piece about Amelia Earhart, and Kris will be co-authoring it. It won’t be released under S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet, though. We’d like the erotic works to be separate from the non-erotic works, and this seems to be popular convention. I’ll probably simply publish it under Cassandra Armstrong. As much as I wouldn’t mind using a whole other name, 100% make up, I don’t want to. I need that connection to my work. Erotic works are written under the name I took when I became an adult (Saundra Lee), and my non-erotic works will harken back to who I was in my youth, Cassandra. I want that connection. I need it.
It’s important for me to be able to hold the book in my hand and see my name there. I’ve nothing to be ashamed of, and so I’ll proudly let all my books bear my name in some form.
Kris and I hope to begin working on the new, non-erotic book next week (I’m spending the next seven days doing some heavy-duty researching). I already have a title chosen, which is immensely helpful when writing.
312 Days by Cassandra Armstrong & Kris Piet
I’m very excited about this, and Roger has been super helpful in figuring a lot of logistics out. I’m almost 100% sure there will be writing that will happen next week for this. 😀 It’s told in first person, as it feels very natural, and will be book-ended by a third person prologue and epilogue, but that’s what the story calls for and I’m not going to argue.
Now. I need to actually get some sleep before I lose my mind. *laughs*