Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Exposed

So.

I got sick this summer. And progressively sicker and sicker as fall came and wore on. Enough that I struggled to keep up my home and volunteer obligations. Enough that I couldn't always get out of bed. And a lot of days, I couldn't get much work done. Writing about something other than books was even tougher (hence, the glaring absence of such posts). I couldn't always think straight or even find the words for basic things ("Put the...thing in the...thing," I would say.) It took a lot of effort to read, let alone write a review. A post that used to take me an hour or two to write was taking me days--most of the time, I gave up. And then responding to comments became tougher because it took so much concentration, more than my fatigued body and mind could handle.

You can imagine what it felt like to stare at my own book, my own words, unable to make much sense of it all. Along came depression, yeah? That's what happens to a writer that can't write. I can tell you it sucks feeling broken.

But, I'm doing better now. Awesome, huh? While I still struggle to pull the late nights I was accustomed to, I'm a much happier person, feeling good. I was even able to go to the World Fantasy Convention last week (picture post to come soon). It didn't take much, really. Now that we know what was wrong.

Still, I feel sad that I've let so much time pass between you and me. I feel like I've neglected our friendship...like with those of you waiting for giveaway results or for books or correspondence from me; I'm especially sorry about that [on that note, I've finally posted the winner of the signed AUDITION and the winners of the signed JAY ASHER books]. I can't promise that I'll be able to post regularly, but I can promise that I'll give it my best shot. I hope you still want to be friends.

Anyway, I wasn't going to say anything. I'm not all that comfortable sharing this kind of stuff. Any kind of personal stuff, actually. I've always felt very protective of my private life (It's not because I have photos on my phone à la Scarlett Johansson. Probably.) You might have noticed, too, I rarely talk about my writing, which ranks right up there with my family and home life as PRIVATE-PERSONAL-CONFIDENTIAL-DO-NOT-TOUCH. Having any sort of online presence makes me feel...hm. Vulnerable? No, that's not the right word. Naked? Protective? I can't explain it, maybe.

Since I started this blog, I've taken regular, long breaks from it, usually when I'm feeling a little overexposed. Is it a writer thing, you think? Or...probably just a weird personality quirk, huh? I see some writer/bloggers who don't seem to have a problem talking about their Real Life lives, especially their writing. It's admirable, really. But my writing is like, I don't know--like my soul? Is that too melodramatic? I'm not sure if my resistance to sharing it or anything about it is born out of insecurity or self confidence or supremely anal perfectionism or clever marketing. Maybe all the above. But I do know this isn't likely to change, at least not until there's a book to promote, in which case you might be like, WTF, Carol? Or maybe even, You write? Or, I thought you weren't a real person.

P.S. I'll try not to get sucky sick again. But chances are, if it happens again, you'll probably not know about it unless I feel guilty for neglecting you. Sorry...

69 comments:

  1. Don't apologise, Carolina - I'm so glad you are feeling better. Keep it up. They say writing is a lonely business, with only your own characters for company, so going out into the 'real' world again must feel like you are exposing yourself to a gregarious type of agoraphobia which is bound to cause a few problems! Keep getting better.

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  2. Carolina, thanks for sharing why you haven't been around much. But don't worry about taking breaks, especially for health issues. I'm so sorry you've been so sick. I hope you do get your energy back. My husband has chronic serious problems so I know how debilitating it can be.

    I know what you mean about not being super comfortable sharing such personal stuff. I'm going through a big challenge (not happy) with work and haven't talked about it on my blog.

    Take the time you need and just let us know when you have to be gone. Posting a short note about those breaks might be good. Most importantly, take care of yourself and your family.

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  3. I'm so glad you're feeling better! I can't imagine being that tired. We missed you but glad you are back! I understand. I don't always share personal things or my writing on my blog. :)

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  4. Carolina!!! Don't you worry about the blogging! You're ill, you're ill and the priority is for you to get better and well and happy! Yay!! Please do take care and get better and all the best with your writing!! Hugs! x

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  5. Your health (physical & mental) should always comes first! Most of us understand that long absences are born out of unexpected issues beyond the control of the blogger, not because of any sort of neglect. That doesn't stop us from worrying though. I'm glad you're feeling better! :)

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  6. I'm sorry you were sick and am thrilled you are feeling better. To be honest, though, this post hit home in a much deeper way than I'd like to admit. I'm actually tearing up. I'm not sure exactly what made you sick, but I do know that I've been feeling similarly since the beginning of September. Not comfortable exposing myself too much, I'll leave it at that. I just wonder how you were able to pull through. Everything seems like such a chore, right now, and I've never had that attitude. I'm always full of spunk.

    Anyway, I truly am glad you are feeling better!!

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  7. I'm glad you're feeling better, Carol. That's all that matters!

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  8. Hey Carolina; first time reading/commenting/following. This was a good blog post, it sorta relates to some of the things I think at times and it is good to know others can feel similar.
    I'm glad to hear you are feeling better but I don't think there is a need to apologize or feel guilty (easier said than done) for anything. You are allowed to take time off and to also write, or not write, whatever you want.

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  9. I am glad you are back.

    You were missed.

    Shelley

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  10. Aww, I'm so glad you're starting to feel better, Carol! I can't imagine how frustrating that experience must have been for you. Here's hoping you continue to feel better. We missed you here on your blog, and I'm so glad you'll be posting more regularly again!

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  11. Aw, so sorry you have been sick!! I hope you're feeling better!! You've been missed!

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  12. I'm glad you're feeling better. It's hard to not feel depressed when you can't be you. Let's hope for happy days and sunshine ahead. Take care of yourself.

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  13. Thanks for sharing, Carolina. I'm glad you're feeling better. :)

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  14. So sorry to hear you've been sick. Take care of yourself first and the rest of us will wait. {hugs}

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  15. {{hugs}} to you! YOU come first. The internet is way down the list of priorities.

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  16. :(:(:( so sorry you were sucky sick.
    I shall want to be your friend whether you're well or sick or posting a lot or not. But I do hope you continue to get better and better. And I'm so glad you made it to the fantasy convention.

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  17. Glad you're feeling better, sweetie. I have indeed noticed your hiatus from things and am glad you're doing okay. I want to catch up on writing/your upcoming trip/life when you feel up to it! But don't feel pressured to blog...do what you can when you can...that's how life works. We're all still here, your captive audience :) Love ya! xo Robin

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  18. Dang, that does suck. I'm glad you're feeling better, though. And don't feel guilty or bad or whatever for your feelings towards blogging and other online stuff. You just do what you gotta do, that's really all the matters, isn't it?

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  19. I know exactly what that feels like. I haven't posted in such a long time, but with my parents and my children and husband, I know what that feeling is like when you can't function.

    I am going through a lot of that right now too. Sometimes I am motivated and have some good ideas, and then I am mush that can't do anything but curl up and read a book. Just to escape reality for just a little bit.

    I'm so happy that you are feeling better. I have joined NaNoWriMo in order to motivate myself in my writing. I hope it works. Best wishes! *hugs*

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  20. Nice to hear youre doing okey!
    Take all the rest you need...
    Were just here anyway! **wink!

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  21. Thank you for sharing. A long illness takes it's toll on every aspect of your life. We've all been there in some way - and it makes us more sympathetic when someone else is struggling. Good luck, and hope you continue to feel more balance in your life in the months ahead.

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  22. I'm just so glad that you're feeling better. Struggling with sickness is a horrible thing and I'm sorry you had to go through that. And you my dear, could never be a sucky friend. :)

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  23. Hey, I almost died this summer, so I hear you. The good news is that we're both better, right? So let's go kick some writing butt.

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  24. Sorry you were so sick! You've been missed. I don't talk much about my private life online either.

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  25. I love your rambles, Carol! And more importantly, I love that you're feeling better.

    And as for your bloggy friends? Pretty sure we all understand and would never hold ANY of it against you...now or later. Except maybe if you never came back. That would be sad. :)

    PS-I'm pretty sure on your "off days" you probably still post more regularly than most...I know I'm horrible at withdrawing for long periods of time! :)

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  26. The thing I've only just realized (and I really think WFC helped clarify this for me) is that blogging is not that important. It still has value, but it's not the priority I've been making it, at least not for me.

    Books are what matters. Books and real friends, not followers.

    I'm going to try to start emailing you more, because comments are cool, but conversations are better (and I hate phones).

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  27. It's good to have you back :)

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  28. Aw, shoot! I suck! I didn't know you were still sick. I thought you were slaving away writing. So glad you're feeling better. I should have checked in, and I'm sorry. Glad you still made your con. Can't wait to hear all about it:)

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  29. I'm sending super huge cyber hugs your way and PLEASE don't ever feel like you have to apologize for taking time for YOU. I think we all go through those "sucky sick" moments, those depressive black holes of funk that you wonder if you can ever climb out of, and I think we all have our own way of dealing. Anyway, I'm glad you're starting to feel better. AND I hope you continue to do so. I'll be saying some prayers and sending good thoughts! Glad you got to WFC! And I hope Haiti was a wonderful experience!

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  30. Thanks for everything you've done. I'm glad you're feeling better now, I think it had to be difficult for you...

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  31. Sorry you were broken. :( I understand how this feels, and it's no good.

    *hugs*

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  32. I'm so glad to hear you're feeling better!

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  33. I'm very glad to hear that you are feeling better, Carol! You're not alone - I had the same thing happen to me before and it is hell getting out of the hole you find yourself in. When your body is sick for a prolonged time, you can't help but get depressed, and then the simplest thing seems to be too much. I can remember not answering the phone because the thought of talking on the phone made me physically want to take a nap!! As they say in the good book, this too shall pass, and pass it has! Welcome back :)

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  34. I'm so glad you got everything figured out. It's amazing what a difference KNOWING makes, yanno? (Well, obviously you do...) And keeping your writing close to your heart just shows how important it is to you. I used to talk about my writing (hello, Project Jane?) but the more seriously I take my career, the more it means to me and the less I'll ever talk about it. Never online and very, very rarely in real life other than a quick tagline sort of explanation. (Except for to very special people, like you! <3 )

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  35. I'm so sorry you've been sick. I thought your absence had more to do with writing. Please take of yourself. I respect your privacy, but know that I care.

    Still blogging friends!

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  36. Oh, I hope that you continue to improve. You've done a wonderful job keeping up with what you could...without letting us know how hard it has been for you. It is difficult to balance the personal with the online life, but I think you do it well. Be better Carol. I'm wishing you a wealth of free flowing words. And I know we'll be seeing that good book news coming from you soon. I feel it in my heart.

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  37. You aren't sucky.

    You're human.

    And also hotter than Scarlett Johansson.

    Probably.

    Feel better. We'll be here.

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  38. I'm glad you are on the mend. Take time for yourself, mentally and physically.
    HUGS! We are always here for you!!

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  39. I'm so glad you're feeling better! Being sick is the worst.

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  40. Sweetie, what's going on? I'm sorry you've been so sick! Been thinking about you a lot. *Sends healing and happiness sprinkles* HUGS!!!

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  41. Hey babe, I just got a weird spam email from you about going to Spain and getting mugged. Check you email account to make sure you are not hacked!!

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  42. Carolina, I'm glad you're climbing out of the depression!! :-) :-) :-)

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  43. So glad to hear you're feeling better! I hope the stories flow and keep flowing :-)

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  44. Phew! You are okay, Carol. I just got a spam email from you saying you were mugged in Spain. I don't know if it's your real email address (it was from Google), but it is your name.

    Just thought I'd warn you since I won't be the only one of your followers who will no doubt be hit.

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  45. Carolina: I just got an email from you saying that you'd been mugged and needed money.

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  46. Glad you're okay!! Blog breaks are totally excusable for all those reasons.

    *I dropped by off my break to warn you your email got hacked or something, and to make sure you really weren't mugged and penniless in Spain. But looks like you've already been warned!

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. It takes a lot to share what you did - but believe me, you so aren't alone!

    I'm sorry that you weren't feeling well, but glad to hear you're on the up and up. And taking a break from the blog? Pa-lease! You do an amazing job with your posts - much better than many of us (and yes, myself included, for sure!) - but there are so many other things that come first.

    Anyhow - maybe take the rest of the year to get things settled, make sure your health is in check, and get back to the things that matter most: yourself, your family, your writing. We'll always be here. Promise.

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  49. Hey Carolina, I think your cvaldezmiller@googlemail.com account has been hacked, as I just got the below message from it. Sorry to post it here on your blog, but I didn't want to reply to your email if it's been compromised. Just a friendly heads up. The false message is below.


    I made a quick trip to Spain on a short vacation unfortunately i got
    mugged at the park of hotel where i stayed,worse of it was that my
    bags, cash, mobile phone and credit cards were all stolen at GUNPOINT
    leaving me penniless right now.

    I swear it's was a horrible experience for me,i need help flying back
    home and the authorities are not being 100% supportive but the good
    thing is that i still have my passport.I need some cash to settle my
    bills and get on flight back home. please let me know if you can help.

    I would appreciate your reply.


    Carolina

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  50. I wouldn't worry about having to take breaks. We all do what we have to.

    Incidentally, your email may have been hacked. I just received an email from you that's clearly NOT from you. LOL

    "I made a quick trip to Spain on a short vacation unfortunately i got mugged at the park of hotel where i stayed,worse of it was that my
    bags, cash, mobile phone and credit cards were all stolen at GUNPOINT leaving me penniless right now.

    I swear it's was a horrible experience for me,i need help flying back home and the authorities are not being 100% supportive but the good
    thing is that i still have my passport.I need some cash to settle my bills and get on flight back home. please let me know if you can help.

    I would appreciate your reply."

    It's amazing how well this sort of thing must work for people to keep trying it. Thought I'd let you know.

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  51. Sorry to hear you've been feeling so awful, but I'm glad you're now on the mend. {{HUGS}}. And yeah, your gmail account was hacked--I know you'd never make so many grammatical errors as appear in the fraudulent message.

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  52. Glad to hear you're feeling better! You're only human and sometimes real life gets the best of all of us.

    I do share some real life stuff on the blog, but I'm private about other things and I'm pretty private about my writing. I'll do prompts sometimes or post a two line snippet, but I hardly ever talk about what I'm working on. I don't know why. I guess I like keeping my secrets. :)

    Anyway, I also stopped by to tell you I got a spam mail from your email, but it looks like others beat me to the punch.

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  53. I too got the hoax mail, and I have alerted my followers to it.

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  54. I was popping over to tell you your emails been hacked, but I see others have mentioned it.

    The timing really stinks! It's such a pain when that kind of stuff happens. I hope you're feeling better. Being sick and down like that is the pits. Sending you lots of healing/healthy vibes. And virtual cupcakes too! Take care *hugs*

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  55. So glad you are feeling better. How discouraging for a while, there! Everyone gets sick though, to one degree or another, so we understand. Hope you can stay well! and get back to your writing. :)

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  56. I also got the hoax email. It was full of typos, so I thought that can't be our Carolina.

    I'm glad you're feeling better.

    When I'm out of town or having technical difficulties I worry that I'm ignoring my online friends.

    Congrats to the winners.

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  57. I'm glad you're feeling better, and it was wonderful to meet you at WFC!

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  58. goodness, Carol! I'm so sorry to hear you were ill. And might still be a little. That sounds like such a strange affliction--I hope you've been to the doctor. And I'm sure you have. Take care of yourself, focus on your writing. Best! :o) <3

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  59. Aww Carolina! You don't have to apologise. Being sick is your body's way of telling you that you need a break. Take some time to breathe and go easy on yourself. Don't worry about us. We'll still be here when you're back in full form. Until then, just relax and take care of yourself!*HUGS* We miss you! <3

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  60. That had to be so scary! I'm glad you're better. Take care of yourself and don't worry about us. We'll be here. :)

    I'm a private person as well, so I definitely understand why you didn't want to write about this. But hey, look at all your well-wishing friends. Sometimes you just have to share to understand, we're pulling for you.

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  61. I'm mentally sending you bunches of hugs and a cute get-well card with a puppy or kitten or other such cute animal, that plays a cute song when you open it and makes you smile. :] Don't feel guilty. We love you. ~ Gabi

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  62. Sheesh! That's no good that you were so sick. Hope you're getting better every second!

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  63. I wish I could respond to all of you personally and privately with the warmest best wishes and gratitude. You know I would definitely try, but I can't access my email at the moment to which all your comments are forwarded so I can reply. Some turkey's gone and hijacked it. Even this comment, I've had to sign in with another email I don't use much. I'm terribly sorry. But I wanted you to know how much I appreciate all of your kind words and encouragement. I treasure all of you.

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  64. Don't apologise! The list of things more important than your blog is considerable -- your family, your writing, your volunteer commitments, your sanity, the downtime you need to refill the well!

    I'm so sorry to hear you weren't well, and you should know that you have a big pool of people like me who love to read your blog, but would much rather you focused on keeping yourself well! We'll be here whenever you are, but for sure nobody's sitting around indignantly wondering who you think you are to skip a post. I hope the worst of it's behind you now, but make sure you keep taking care of yourself.

    And there's this -- I know you read the comments, and so does everybody else. You don't need to reply to them. Save your energy for where you need it.

    (And, after telling you to relax, I'll also admit that I can't wait to see WFC photos -- but there's no hurry!)

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  65. So glad you are on the up and up. It's difficult when health problems plague us and the fact that it affects our writing and blogging makes it seem doubly worse. I've had my share of health issues so I understand where you are coming from. I hope you have beat the worst of it and best of luck with everything in the future.

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  66. So glad to hear you're feeling better!

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  67. Sorry you've been sick. :( I know what you mean about being private. There are somethings I never talk about in blogland. Some things I don't like to discuss with anyone. Yep, I like to bottle things up.

    I'm glad you are feeling better. Blog when you can...You are loved. :)

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  68. I'm sorry you were feeling so ill...:( Don't ever worry about things like keeping up with comments or time between posts. Everyone in this community is very supportive and understanding. It's like how old friends can pick up where they left off and it's as if they never lost touch. *big hugs*

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