Springing Hopefully Forward

The first full day of spring, I awoke feeling cheerful and full of good intentions for the new season. I never did get around to making New Year’s resolutions, but spring seems like an auspicious time to do some serious goal setting. 

I fully intended to jump start the day with my Nia class and weights circuit at the YMCA, but then I glanced out the window. Snow again! The cursed stuff blanketed the ground, and it was still coming down. I uttered a few choice expletives, then crawled back into bed and spent the morning reading the paper, then a mystery novel. So much for my good intentions.

That morning’s “Pickles” caught my eye. It’s the only comic strip I know of that features folks of my generation – in other words, people who are well past the eligibility age for AARP. Earl tells his wife that he’s going “out for a brisk walk. I don’t care if it’s cold or wet or windy outside, so don’t try to stop me. . . The doctor said I need more exercise, so I’m going out, no matter what. I will NOT be talked out of it.”

His wife points out that he’s got a loose thread on his coat. “That’s it!” he replies. “I’m not going.”

I identify with Earl. It doesn’t take much to deter me from venturing out to the Y. The snow wasn’t all that bad, and I could no doubt have driven in it, but the Northeast’s unusually blustery, frigid winter, with its record-breaking snowfalls, has kept me hunkered down in hibernation. I never even made it out to ski at Jiminy Peak or with the Out of Control Ski Club. The brisk north wind when I traipsed out to pick up the morning’s paper convinced me that a day on a mountain in the Berkshires, with its wicked wind chill factor, was the last thing I wanted. I opted for the après-ski libations, like wine and cheese or a hot mudslide made with Kahlua, but without the obligation of freezing on the mountain first.

The weather was just an excuse; probably the snow was magnificent. The real reason I opted out of skiing this winter was my deeply entrenched depression. It began last summer, around the time I finally confronted the fact that in all probability, I would never be a wildly successful mystery writer. I gave up blogging, convinced I no longer had anything to say, and that dwelling endlessly on my lugubrious moods would be a turnoff for my readers, so I lapsed into silence.

Clinical depression like mine runs far deeper than the blue moods most people experience from time to time. In recent months, when I’ve told people I’m in a depression, they’ve usually responded along the lines of “Yes, it’s been a terrible winter. You’ll feel better when it’s finally spring.” When I tell them the depression began around the time of the summer solstice, they don’t know how to respond.

Now spring is here, the snow’s melted away, and the green spikes of daffodils and crocuses are thrusting out of the soil. And amazingly, I actually do feel better. Maybe it’s the longer hours of daylight, or maybe it’s because my shrink has prescribed an additional antidepressant in hopes of adding a “kick” to the Zoloft that no longer seems to be working as magically as it used to. Maybe it’s a combination of both, along with the fact that I’m thoroughly sick of being sick. It’s been over nine months – more than enough for a full-term pregnancy. Enough already! Time to give birth to something new.

I began this blog with high hopes that it would contribute to my success as a mystery writer. That hasn’t exactly happened, although my novels Eldercide and Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders are still available. At this point, I plan to concentrate on nonfiction. I’m keeping the blog title Julie Lomoe’s Musings Mysterioso, because I like the sound of it. (“Mysterioso,” by the way, is a tune by Thelonious Monk.) But the focus won’t be on mystery writing.

Where my journey takes me from here is still something of a mystery, but I hope you’ll come along for the ride. And I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betsy Tuel
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 22:56:19

    Julie,

    I am so glad you are back blogging again. I have missed you and your writings and have thought several times to myself over the past months, “I surely hope she (Julie) hasn’t fallen back into the depths of depression again.” Obviously from what you wrote above you have been a clinical depression. I am glad to hear that your psychiatrist has changed your medication and that you are in fact seeing, as you say, “your shrink.” Hang in there Julie. You know I enjoyed reading both of your books. It is a tough row to hoe to both write a book and to be your own publicist. Evidently that is what it takes now a days. I know some people who use facebook mercilessly to advertise the books they’ve written but you have to do it over and over again and again and again from what I’ve seen. I look forward to reading more from you. You have a good way with words. They say spring really is around the corner. I’m glad you have arrived back on the blog scene along with the calendar arrival of spring. Betsy

    Reply

  2. M. E. Kemp
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 11:07:23

    You always have interesting things to say, Julie, no matter what you write about. Keep writing, whether it’s blog, nonfiction or hopefully, more fiction! It’s tough for most of us to sell our books, and you do have to do it yourself, by and large, but it would be a shame to drop fiction, your characters are so interesting, and I’m convinced they also help alot of people. Marilyn aka: M. E. KEMP (DEATH OF A DANCING MASTER)

    Reply

  3. Louisa
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 20:06:41

    Hi Julie,
    Please don’t give up on the writing — blogwise or otherwise… I am planning to buy your two mystery books; I’ve just been organizing my finances and need the excuse of my mother’s upcoming birthday to buy them. I mentioned before that she works in mental health, and I forwarded her your blog. She read the excerpts of your books and really liked them. (I did, too!)

    I’ve recently decided to work more on my writing, and I’m terrified that it’ll be a failure. But if I don’t try, I’ll never know. I admire your courage to put yourself out there as a writer. I read somewhere that what makes us writers is not how successful we are but that we keep on writing no matter what.
    Best of luck,
    Louisa

    Reply

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