Sunday, January 31, 2016

Overcoming My Discouragement

Prozac Nation
The last few days I was discouraged about the idea of writing about my depression and Prozac experiences, whether fictional or as a memoir.  After reading Prozac Nation  I felt I was living in my own "Prozac Nation" and was inspired to write about my experience.  Then I felt this idea was wrong-- that the definitive book on the subject already existed, and there could never be another. I felt as though I were trying to rewrite the Bible. But many people I know tried to convince me otherwise, saying in one way or another that no two stories are alike. And that it doesn't matter if someone has already written on the subject, your own story is unique as are your voice and perspective.  For a while, I had trouble convincing myself of all this. But now I know it's all true--we all have our own stories to tell.

There were some things about the author that I felt I identified with, but even so, I still have a different story to tell.  I found the book to be thought-provoking as the author came to terms with her depression, something I had trouble doing until now.  I don't feel ashamed to tell anyone about being Prozac, as you can see from recent posts here on my site and have mentioned it on Facebook as well.  Several people on Facebook liked my review of Prozac Nation (my Goodreads account is connected to my Facebook one), more than I would have expected.

I now feel if I want to do it, I can and I should.  I began writing notes for a possible introduction to the story in my notebook.  I see it being written in first person, but still not sure how to fictionalize it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Maybe It's Not a Good Idea After All?

I've felt less prone to crying since being on Prozac as of last summer, but yesterday I actually felt tears coming after hearing something I found discouraging.  I'd posted this question to Yahoo Answers the other day:

How to write fiction based on my experience with depression and Prozac?
And got this response (the only one so far):

Start small, no need to devote over a year to a novel when you can focus on short stories.

I then said you can't publish it like that.  Or can you?   If you publish it online, will anyone see it? I'm thinking not, no one reads that stuff.  No one I know, at least,  will see it that way, I'm afraid.   On this blog, the author mentions Wattpad, which I never heard of until seeing it on her blog.  I don't feel compelled to sign up because I can bet very few people know about this.   Even the blog author admitted she didn't know about it until recently;

A few months ago I learned of this magical place where people can share their stories, books, and writing. It's been called the "Youtube for writing." This place is called Wattpad. 

Another thing I felt that is that the subject of depression has been written about so many times that there is no need for another.  After all as I said in this post, I felt compelled to write about this after reading Prozac Nation. But I felt that story has already been told, so maybe it's not a good idea after all? Although some people might try to tell me that everyone's story is different.  

Believe me though, I am trying to get over this discouragement.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How Do You Write Your Life as Fiction?

I'm still writing notes in my notebook but I seem uncertain about what the plot should be. So far the notes I've written have been based on exercises I've seen in this book I bought over 20 years ago. (NOTE: Upon Googling this info I came across another edition of this book from 1999; the one I have is from 1995, and the cover above is from that edition). Even so, the various writing prompts still work today. And If I Google "writing prompts" I may find others that I can try. I've tried to make my based on these prompts notes fit the theme of depression or possible craziness, something I'd often thought I might be having. 


Another thing--is it really a good idea to write about your mental issues as a fiction story? According to a comment on my last blog post, doing it fictionally gives you more creative dramatic liberties. This is from Stephanie Faris, a children's writer whose blog I regularly read. I think it's good to have gotten advice like from someone who has written books. But what does anyone else think? What sort of plot could come from all this?

And it may be too soon to be asking this, but how in the end do you come up with a title for the book, something different and interesting?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Started a Writing Notebook...

... in hopes of getting ideas for my Prozac experience book.  Still trying to decide if I want to write  a fictional novel loosely based on what I've been through.  I keep seeing it as a novel.  As I said in my previous post on my idea for a book, I tend to read more fiction than non-fiction and as such, I see myself attempting a novel.

What would you do if you had this idea?  

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2016 Middle East Reading Challenge

Going to do this one now, too.  Will try for the first level.  Sign up here.

Join me in the 2016 Middle East Reading Challenge! The goal is to read books by Middle Eastern authors or the setting occurring in the Middle East.
You can read any genre and any age range. Crossovers with other challenges are fine. Any format that you choose is also acceptable. The challenge will run from January 1 through December 31, 2016.
I am not limiting the challenge to bloggers, you can link to a review you wrote on another site.
Mediterranean Sea: Read 1 to 5 books
The Red Sea: Read 5 to 10 books
The Arabian Sea: Read 10 to 15 books
Caspian Sea: Read 15 books or more
Here is what I'm reading:
  1. The Alchemist--Paulo Coelho
  2. Persepolis--Marjane Satrapi
  3. Persepolis 2--Marjane Satrapi
  4. I Am Malala--Malala Yousafzai
  5. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot--Kim Barker
  6. Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia--Jean Sasson
  7. Princess Sultana's Daughters--Jean Sasson
  8. Princess Sultana's Circle--Jean Sasson
  9. Cinderella and the Sheikh--Natasha Oakley
  10. The Kite Runner--Khaled Hosseni
Challenge completed on September 15

Friday, January 15, 2016

I'm a Free Book Winner!

As a participant in last year's Book to Movie Reading Challenge,  I was chosen to receive a free book from the  Book Depository site for up $20USD.  My book arrived today.

Total Rush (New York Blades, #3)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gothic Fiction Reading Challenge 2016

Found this one just now.  I'd love to try this one. Go  here to sign up and see more details.
{Background image is from the New York Public Library.}

I’ve searched high and low for a Gothic reading challenge going on this year, but to no avail. So, I decided to throw one together for myself. As far as reading challenges go, I’m not sure how much interest there would be in a year-long Gothic one, but anyone is welcome to join me. Maybe next year I’ll make it official and post the challenge earlier. :-)
Basically, this is a way for me to track the books I read in this genre. I’m aiming to read at least twelve throughout the year. What is a Gothic novel? I found good explanations HERE and HERE. I usually consider a book Gothic based on the overall feeling it gives me. If it’s iffy, I’ll probably add it to the list anyway. ;-)
Here is what I'll be reading:
  1. White Cat--Holly Black
  2. Red Glove--Holly Black
  3. Black Heart--Holly Black
  4. The Pillars of the Earth--Ken Follett
  5. Thirst No. 1--Christopher Pike
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird--Harper Lee
  7. Corsets and Clockwork
  8. Six of Crows--Leigh Bardugo
  9. Etiquette & Espionage--Gail Carriger
  10. Curtsies & Conspiracies--Gail Carriger
  11. Waistcoats & Weaponry--Gail Carriger
  12. Manners & Mutiny--Gail Carriger
  13. Northanger Abbey--Jane Austen
  14. The Red House Mystery--A.A. Milne
  15. The Lake House-Kate Morton
  16. Villette--Charlotte Bronte
  17. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children--Ransom Riggs
  18. The Bell Jar--Sylvia Plath
  19. All the Lovely Bad Ones--Mary Downing Hahn
  20. Old Black Witch!--Wende and Harry Devlin
  21. The Gates--John Connolly
  22. Vampires in the Lemon Grove--Karen Russell
  23. The Ghost Bride--Yangsze Choo
  24. The Third Witch--Rebecca Reisert
  25. Eighth Grade Bites--Heather Brewer
  26. Ninth Grade Slays--Heather Brewer
  27. Tenth Grade Bleeds--Heather Brewer
  28. Eleventh Grade Burns--Heather Brewer
  29. Twelfth Grade Kills--Heather Brewer
  30. Anya's Ghost--Vera Brogsol
  31. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer--Michelle Hodkin
  32. It Takes a Witch--Heather Blake
  33. Thirst No. 2--Christopher Pike
  34. Lenobia's Vow--P.C. Cast
  35. An Uninvited Ghost--E.J. Copperman
  36. Blood and Chocolate--Annette Curtis Klause
  37. The Graveyard Book--Neil Gaiman
  38. The Chemist--Stephenie Meyer
  39. The Kill Order--James Dashner
  40. The Fever Code--James Dashner

Challenge completed on December 9

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Want to Write My Own Version of My Prozac Experience

Prozac Nation

After reading Prozac Nation and seeing the movie, I feel as if I am living in my own version of a Prozac nation.  I know I'm not alone and an as you can see from recent posts on my blog, I'm not afraid to admit to all this.  And now I feel a desire to write my own version of the book.

I must confess, I kind of wanted to be a writer when I was little but over the years I have slacked off. I would try writing then.  I even took creative writing in junior college.  But my desire to write a novel sort of faded a long time ago (if I ever did have one to begin with).  But now I feel compelled to try again, since I feel I have the perfect subject to write on.  One thing I'm not too certain about is to write a memoir (as the author of Prozac Nation did) or to write a fiction novel based on my own experiences.  I read a little bit of everything, even a lot of  the fantasy novels that have become popular and been made into films.  I've read more fiction, than nonfiction, though.  This makes it hard to decide, though I can see it becoming a fictionalized account, with some stuff made up and exaggerated, but some based completely or loosely on my real-life experience.

For someone who hasn't tempted to write in along time, is starting now too late?  The head of the mental health center I attend says I write well (I've showed her some of the stuff on my blog) so I think
perhaps it can be done.  Seeing how a local business owner in my home town recently published a book and that she's older than I am, I don't think it's too late to try.  [My birthday was yesterday, BTW, but let's just leave it at that :-)]
Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place

Do you feel your life experiences are worth writing about?  Would it be a memoir or fiction based on your own life?

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 MGR Reading Challenge

Going to try this one now. I passed on it last year, but want to do it now. I'll be doing the spelling-out option.  Go here to sign up and see more details and options.

I have listed the first book I read that begins with each letter and number.

MGR Reading buttonHappy 2016 ladies! While there are many reading challenges out there for you to choose from, we thought it might be fun to do a Mocha Girls Read inspired challenge. The challenge is simple because the are three to pick from.
  1.  You can pick SPELL IT OUT CHALLENGE.  The idea is to have fun reading books with titles that will spell out “MOCHA GIRLS 16” by the end of the year.  That is a total of 12 books.
  2. You can pick the BOOK OF THE MONTH CHALLENGE.  The easier one is to read all the books selected for the book of the month.  That will be a total of 12 books.
  3. There is one more for you to select the CHAPTER CHALLENGE.  You can read one book set in the cities or state Mocha Girls Read calls home.  Total of 4 books.

How it Works

You can do this challenge in many ways: 
SPELL IT OUT CHALLENGE: Choose books with TITLES that spell out “Mocha Girls” (1 title per letter of the alphabet). The title must begin with the letter you are completing.
Confused? Here’s an example using all of methods above: 
M – My Grandfather Would have Shot Me by Jennifer Teege,
O – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
C – Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
H – The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
A – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
G – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I – Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
R –The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
L – Light by Michael Grant
S – Sugar by Bernice L. McFadden
1 – One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
6 –  Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

O  The Odyssey--Homer
H  History--Elsa Morante
A  Attachments--Rainbow Rowell

G  Glazed Murder--Jessica Beck
I   It's Kind of a Funny Story--Ned Vizzini
R  Red Glove--Holly Black
L  Letter to My Daughter--Maya Angelou
S  The School of Essential Ingredients--Erica Bauermeister
6  Six of Crows--Leigh Bardugo

Challenge completed on April 19

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Prozac Nation: The Movie

Before I'd read the book Prozac Nation, my mom told me she saw that the movie based on the book was on one of the movie channels she gets on cable.  She then recorded it so I could watch it after reading the book (I could not find the DVD on Netflix). Having finished the book last Sunday, I watched the movie today. Here is the review I posted on Netflix and  I rated it five stars on Netflix and 10 stars on IMDB. 

Prozac Nation (2001) Poster

I was glad to see that this was recently on one of the movie channels, since the DVD isn't available from Netflix. I'd just read the book. As someone currently prescribed to Prozac, this was a must for me, to see how--if at all-- I could identify with the character from the book/movie. Some incidents were identifiable to me. The events depicted occurred over 20 years ago, but there are still many people on Prozac today. Coming to accept that you have depression may be hard for some people, but I came to accept it and learned not to be ashamed to admit I have been on this med. This film seems to convey that message. Don't be afraid to admit you feel depressed. You can be helped.
As I said in this post, I've been on Prozac since last summer and was on recently on 30 mg, and will starting 40 mg as soon as my 30 mg runs out (have two more caplets left of this dosage).  I had my psychiatrist appointment last Thursday and had something distressing I needed to tell him. Two nights earlier, I wanted to harm myself by either cutting or making myself fall down.  I didn't do it and am going to watch myself to see if I do it again (if I do, I will tell the doctor next time I see him).  My doctor reacted rather calmly (as he always does), asking how many times I'd done this (only once prior to telling him).  I also let him know I'd read the book and would be watching the movie (he did not know about the movie, however).  Today, while I was watching the movie, my mom asked if the book is what made me want to do this when the girl in the movie cut herself with a blade.  Mom kept telling me not to do this. 

It took me a while to come terms with my depression symptoms, something that was true of the girl in the book/movie.  And I'm not ashamed to admit I've been on Prozac.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Poetry Challenge

The Poetry Challenge at Savvy Verse and Wit is on again. This year, there are levels, requiring reading of different poets. I'll be doing the highest one, as I have been planning to read some Emily Dickinson.


  • Haiku Level: read 1 book of poetry or 20 poems
  • Cinquain Level: Read 2 books of poetry, including Wet Silence by Sweta Vikram or a collection of poems by Emily Dickinson
  • Sonnet Level: Read 3 books of poetry, including Sweta Vikram, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, or Ted Kooser
  • Rondeau Level: Read 4 books of poetry, including Sweta Vikram, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Ted Kooser, or haiku poems
  • Villanelle Level: Read 5-10 books of poetry, including 2 of the following: Sweta Vikram, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Ted Kooser, haiku poems, Yusef Komunyakaa, Walt Whitman, John Amen, Arlene Ang, or another poet you’ve always wanted to read.

  • Here is what I am reading:
    1. Brown Girl Dreaming--Jacqueline Woodson
    2. Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
    3. The Iliad--Homer
    4. In a Pumpkin Shell--Joan Walsh Anglund
    5. Letter to My Daughter--Maya Angelou
    6. It's Raining Pigs and Noodles--Jack Prelutsky
    7. Falling Up--Shel Silverstein
    8. Everything On It--Shel Silverstein
    9. Leaves of Grass--Walt Whitman
    10. Diving Into the Wreck--Adrienne Rich
    11. The Odyssey--Homer
    12. The Divine Comedy--Dante Alighieri

    Challenge completed on April 28

    Sunday, January 3, 2016

    Prozac Nation: My Review and My Prozac Story So Far

    I don't regularly post book reviews on my blog. In fact, I've mostly just rated books on Goodreads, only occasionally writing a review.  I often don't find the time to write many.  But I have taken a few times to say what I really thought about a book and today was one such day.


    My review for Prozac Nation, by Elizabeth Wurtzel.

    As someone currently on Prozac for depression, I knew I had to read this book to see how, if at all, I could identify with what the author described herself going through. Even though I know that it was written over 20 years ago. Still it was a thought-provoking read. And I did see some incidents in the book that were nearly the same as (if not identical to) what I had gone through before beginning my Prozac last year. Although it took me this long to realize I suffered from depression and needed to seek help. I felt I was brave to have read this.
    Yes, it's true.  I have been on Prozac since last August.  My current dosage is 30 mg. I started at 10 mg for one month, then 20 mg for the next three months.   My next appointment with my psychiatrist is this week and I will see what happens then.  I've had my ups and downs since starting.  Some drowsiness and nervousness, common side effects.  Still feel some bouts of depression, but everyone knows that antidepressants won't magically cure your condition, :-)  Just decrease it somewhat. And I still tend to have  anxiety, one of the reasons I started it begin with.  I'd been going to the county behavioral health department for more than a year but only last summer decided to seek medication services.  My doctor is really nice and is always very calm. And I think that's a good thing.

    Have you been on  Prozac or any other antidepressant?  What is your story so far?