malnpudl: (Default)
2016-03-26 07:56 pm

Paralysis of will... and breaking the paralysis... and other stuff

- Major depressive downturn over the winter. As usual, I was well into it before I realized it was happening. So that sucked. In good news, my medical support team (primary care + psych meds shrink) is very good, so I wasn't adrift alone and had the resources to deal with it appropriately.

♥ My deeply beloved goddog Indy Anna Jane came to the end of her long and happy life, and is no longer with us. There's a vast empty place in the world and I'll be grieving for her for a long time, but I have the comfort of knowing that she had a wonderful and ridiculously long (for her breed) life and the best sort of peaceful death. Like my friend D says, you want them to have all the good days and none of the bad ones, and that's the great grace of having animal family members. You can spare them the bad days.

+ Came out (still coming out?) of the depressive downturn largely thanks to a HUGE revelation. I have lived with major depressive disorder pretty much as long as I can remember. First major episode at age 12, and I can recall less severe ones as far back as six or seven. The symptoms -- the problems it causes me, the ways it disables me -- have always existed as multiple aspects of a single disease, always occurring simultaneously, peaking and ebbing in synch, as if they were inseparable. For the first time ever, this has changed.

Perhaps the most damaging aspect of depression for me has always been what I've called 'paralysis of will.' )

So far my focus has mostly been on physical activity. )

One obvious cause of pain is weight. )

+ In support of all the above, I have joined the FitBit brigade, and am now wearing a FitBit Surge pretty much 'round the clock and benefiting from the surprisingly potent motivational boost of hitting daily goals and racking up the stats. And the pretty graphs! I'm a sucker for the pretty graphs. Any of y'all doing it? Want to do the FitBit Friends thing, or whatever they call it? You can connect to me through my gmail which is LCBergstrom (at). Or comment or send me an e-mail or a PM with your info an we'll hook up.

Goals going forward: Re-engage fannishly. Comment more. Converse. And I think I'm ready to re-commence podficcing. I need to finish the Sid Project, which is about half done. And I have some dS/C6D things I really want to do, a couple of which are WIPs. I very much want to do the dS/C6D Big Bang this year -- given the above, I think this could finally be the year that I actually complete it -- but I'm leery of signing up. I've failed so many times and I feel like I've let everyone down once (or twice, or three times) too often. I love the community aspect of participating in the BB, but these are all the people I've repeatedly let down. Maybe I'll just record whatever I record, whenever I get to things, and post as they get completed without trying to tie them to any formal event. *waffling*
malnpudl: (Default)
2016-02-25 05:44 pm

PSA: Xcolibur commenting broken on LJ

If you're having trouble communicating with someone on LJ, it may be due to a new problem with Xcolibur, an old LJ theme (is that the right word?) that's been officially unsupported for some years but until now has remained functional. Some of us, myself very much included, are clinging to it for all we're worth.

The problem:

1) Xcolibur users are unable to see comments. Most seem unable to see comments on any LJ post. I can't see comments on posts made by Xcolibur users, whether my own or someone else's, but I can see comments on non-Xcolibur user posts.

2) The Profile page menu sub-headers are missing and inactive (i.e., if you mouse over the empty line where they should be, nothing happens).

There are several Support requests opened within the last ~12 hour, all by Xcolibur users.

I'm putting this up both as a PSA and as a way for people to converse with me about this problem, if they like, since that is not possible on LJ at present.
malnpudl: (Default)
2016-01-18 03:58 pm

Baker's dozen

1) I am not dead, nor vanished into an alternate reality, frozen in stasis, or wormhole-transported to another destination. On the whole, this pleases me... though admittedly the latter is kind of intriguing.

2) I'm continuing to adjust to last fall's medication changes and on the whole am mostly very pleased with those, too.

3) However, SAD is still a thing, it turns out, and I forgot all about using my light therapy. Major depressive downturn during the dark months (though significantly better than most years thanks to Pristiq et al). Oops. Must restart.

4) Communication still challenging. Improving very slowly. But improving. No, really. Honest. Less worse, anyway.

5) I'm continuing to unfuck my habitat in extremely satisfying ways. This project will last me a long, long time, since I'm dealing with stuff that's been accumulating, ignored, for decades. (I'm not a hoarder; I love getting rid of stuff. I just didn't have the oomph or the spoons* for a very, very long time.)

6) Last fall's neck/shoulder injury took an eternity to get better but it looks like it's definitively cleared up and mostly forgotten altogether. Finally.

7) I have started learning to make jewelry -- not to sell or anything, just for fun. Stringing beads, wire work, and a bit of chainmaille (this thanks to the influence of my Favorite Cousin [ profile] cosmo_dk). WAY FUN, partly because of the huge learning curve (brain work feels really good) and partly because pretty rocks make me giddy with delight. Including lots of really cheap ones. OMG JASPER. Seriously. Yay, affordablity. Glass and metal are cool and pretty, too, but I'm really all about the rocks. (Plastic turns out to be a total turn-off, even when called something else, like resin. Oh, well.)

8) Late last November, my beloved goddog Indy Anna Jane turned THIRTEEN. This is older than God for a Rottweiler. She's stone deaf and gimpy, and was recently diagnosed with a "mass" in her spleen that may or may not be cancer (and we're not going to do anything about it, so no point finding out), but she's still comfortable and cheerful and enjoying life, so we're cherishing her and delighting in her until she's ready to leave us. The loss, when it comes, will be sad, but not crushing. She's had her full measure of life and a whole lot more, so it'll be the best sort of end.

9) This gives me a huge case of the happies: Zinnias blooming in space! Botany! And gardening! And science! And space exploration! The only thing that could make this more perfect for me is if a dog were involved. Now I want to read something where a character is named Zinnia in honor of this event.

10) This year was the first time [community profile] purimgifts opened to podfic, and I really wanted to team up with a writer to make something... but the sign-up period coincided with an endless series of VERY LOUD STORMS and I wasn't at all sure I could commit to recording something in time for the deadline. Oh, well; maybe next year. (I'm not Jewish, but I've always had an interest in and a certain degree of attraction to Judaism, and I also like stories that explore characters' relationship to their own religion/religious upbringing... maybe especially because I don't seem capable of faith or otherwise wired for religion myself.)

11) At the end of this month I will once again accompany Suz, my local bestie, to the Bay Area for one of her periodic medical specialist check-ups followed by two whole days surrounded by 3000 dogs at the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show (spectating, not competing). Actually, that is something of a religious pilgrimage for me, come to think of it. In a sense. And we might get to spend half a day at Annie's Annuals, which is Mecca, so as pilgrimages go, it could be a double-header.

12) Like pretty much everyone in fandom, I was grief-stricken at the loss of Alan Rickman. I'm going to be sad about that for a long time. Does anyone know where/how a person might find a way to see Truly, Madly, Deeply? *wistful*

In conclusion: Ray Kowalski. (Are we still saying that? I miss saying that.)

* Re spoons: I've started seeing the occasional non-disabled or non-chronically-ill person (as they define themselves) using this expression in reference to themselves when they're merely tired or stressed or have a cold or whatever. That pushes my buttons in a big way. This analogy, this term, refers to something huge and devastating, and it's incredibly important. I don't like seeing it diluted. Actually, I deeply resent seeing it diluted until it's meaningless. /rant
malnpudl: image of a microphone with text "storyteller" (storyteller by tebtosca)
2015-12-14 03:36 am

Help! Seeking insta-beta ASAP, please!

I'm in need of a super-fast beta for my due South Seekrit Santa podfic. It's trigger-free mostly gennish with a bit of F/K, about 15 minutes long. It's been thoroughly edited, so hopefully it won't need more than a quick proof-listen.

Any volunteers will be showered with gratitude, adoration, and very possibly bribes. I'm down to the wire here! The deadline is coming up in a matter of hours (midnight Chicago time).

Many thanks in advance.

(If you volunteer and I don't take you up on it... read absolutely nothing into it. No, really. Nothing at all. No seekrits here. Not a one. *innocent face*)

ETA: Doneski!
malnpudl: (Default)
2015-10-30 04:19 pm

Comfy bras need rehoming

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post. I am doing really well with tangible stuff -- including major, happy progress on unfucking my habitat in all kinds of very satisfying ways -- and I'm slowly dipping my toes back into online social interaction, which is also a very happy thing if still a bit rusty. You're all wonderful, and so is your support. It means a lot. ♥you♥

As for the subject line: My various joint problems have made it clear that I can no longer wear bras that pull on over my head; it has to be front closure from here on out. Pain makes the rules; so it goes.

So I have five very-gently-to-barely-used Original Un-Bras from Decent Exposures (who are awesome people who make awesome products including by far the least uncomfortable bras I've ever found) that I can no longer wear and would like to give to anyone who'd like to adopt them. They are size 44B Racer Back style in a 90% cotton/10% Lycra blend (what they call their "medium support" fabric). The colors are Sage (green), Periwinkle, Royal Blue, Burgundy, and Black.

I'd like to send all of them to one person, if possible, and if you're in the US, I'll cover postage (USPS) since it won't come to much. If you're overseas, I'll ask that you reimburse me for shipping.

Comments screened. First "gimme!" gets 'em (by time-stamp since this is cross-posted).

ETA: Taken. :-)
malnpudl: (Default)
2015-07-21 04:52 pm

Gabapentin and anger/mood swings

This is a duplicate of my post on [community profile] fucking_meds. Please feel free to reply wherever you like, or to e-mail or PM me if you'd like greater privacy for this discussion.

Seeking anecdotal reports, with hope of... hope. )
malnpudl: image of a microphone with text "storyteller" (storyteller by tebtosca)
2015-05-07 09:29 pm

Collaboration rocks!

I live and breathe! With marginally less mucus! Yay? Ish! Or something.

Or to put it another way: I got enough of a break from allergy season (making the transition from tree sex to grass orgies) that I was able to record my podfic of the cool story that [profile] gray_cardinal wrote for our shared [community profile] intoabar assignment. It was grand fun, and I am delighted that we teamed up.

Chance Meetings: an MCUxCastle crossover in which Pepper Potts meets Alexis Castle

Further proof of life to follow after a couple of days (of sleep, if all goes as I hope).
malnpudl: (Default)
2015-04-10 10:21 pm

Rising from the depths

Health update )

BFF update )

Fannish update )

TL;DR: Doing a lot better. Still a lot of ground to cover on that front. Life is a lot less worse than it's been in rather a long time. Progress is good, and feels good.
malnpudl: (Default)
2015-03-24 07:45 pm

Greetings from groggy land

I ended up asking for (and getting) a dosage increase on my antidepressant, so I'm in the midst of a few days of slow-brain grogginess and frequent nappage while my system adjusts. Various projects were delayed a bit, but all will resume shortly, as will my active engagement with life, the universe, and everything.

In the mean time, I'm continuing through the Vorkosiverse audiobooks and still finding it extremely rewarding, losing nothing of their appeal and gaining much richness on my second pass. I'm getting a deeper understanding of Miles, but still finding various supporting characters engaging me most deeply.

How you know you're reading a Bujold novel:

1) "Peculation"
2) "Precis"
3) "Decant" (used metaphorically)
4) "Gallop" (used of humans, not horses)

A quote from Komarr that resonated just as powerfully for me this time as when I first read it:

"So at the dawn of puberty she'd learned no one would defend her, she could not defend herself, and the only way to survive was to pretend to be dead."

Holy crap, does that hit home. Thus my lifelong pattern of going completely immobile in response to perceived threat of any kind (physical, emotional, or otherwise). As coping strategies go, this is almost never a good choice.
malnpudl: image of a microphone with text "storyteller" (storyteller by tebtosca)
2015-03-21 08:40 pm

Intoabar: Want to team up?

[community profile] intoabar is about to open signups for the next round, and they're allowing collaborations. Yay!

I would like to team up with a writer. You write; I'll podfic your story.

My details are here on LJ or here on DW.
malnpudl: (Default)
2015-03-15 05:57 pm

I get knocked down, but I get up again

Perhaps that's not the best choice of subject line, since I think that song is about drinking? Ah, well.

A couple of you lovely people who know me really well have noticed that I went missing for a while and checked in to see how I'm doing, with the reflection that with me, silence is nearly always bad. Which... yes. As usual.

Toward the latter part of last month I was about to post a light therapy update. Though it was still early days, I had noticed that since I'd started using the SAD light, I was laughing out loud more often, and generally finding things funnier. Those are both good indicators that it was (and is) working.

But then I got knocked down. )

But I get up again. One of the things I appreciate most about myself is that even though my brain chemistry is wired for depression, my fundamental nature is cheerful, upbeat, and optimistic. And it does keep reasserting itself, helping pull me back up onto my feet when life knocks me off them.

Good things have been happening even through the shitstorm. )

And as a side benefit, during the not!flu episode when I was too sick to read or watch any new-too-me media, I started a comfort re-listen of the Vorkosigan audiobooks. )

Fannish joys: Though I was derailed from podficcing for a while by the health crap, I'm now back into it and regaining my momentum. It's deeply rewarding to be able to participate in fandom and contribute something creatively. That's actually pretty huge. And on the anticipatory side of things, [personal profile] ride_4ever is planning a visit here in September. OMG fangirl face time! *happy dance* \o/

And in non-fannish joys: Yesterday I spent the morning watching a Cattle Sorting competition at the local fairgrounds. )

So... yeah. The downs have been pretty fierce. But life goes on, and I get up again. :-)
malnpudl: image of a microphone with text "storyteller" (storyteller by tebtosca)
2015-02-22 08:51 pm

This would make a brilliant collaborative podfic!

This work in fifteen voices, one for each author... wouldn't that be a blast? The author is pro-podfic, so I'd be tempted to try helming it as a collaborative project, except that I'm already up to my neck in podfic projects for the next few months and can't take on another major one for a while. Though I could read one bit if someone else were to run it...? *smiles winningly*

Regardless, I love this and rec it most enthusiastically. Go! Read! Laugh!

If Shards of Honor had been written by... (4048 words) by avanti_90
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Aral Vorkosigan/Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan
Characters: Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Aral Vorkosigan, Reg Rosemont, Lieutenant Radnov, Ensign Dubauer, Konstantin Bothari, Yeoman Nilesa, Korabik Gottyan, Simon Illyan, Ges Vorrutyer, Dr. Mehta
Additional Tags: As written by other authors

Excerpts from Shards of Honor, as written by fifteen other famous authors.

malnpudl: image of a microphone with text "storyteller" (storyteller by tebtosca)
2015-02-17 05:12 pm

I need someone to record one line of dialog

Any of y'all who podfic, would you like to make a wee contribution to the Sid Project?

I need one line of dialog recorded for the Phone Jack collaborative podfic:

"Sir, Colonel Mitchell is on the line for you."

The speaker is Walter Harriman (aka Walter Davis), the guy in SG-1 who dials the gate and calls out the chevrons and such. It's an ordinary message about an ordinary phone call, as far as he's concerned.

Anyone care to volunteer? And if so, do you want credit on the cover?

ETA: Got it covered. :-)
malnpudl: image of a microphone with text "storyteller" (storyteller by tebtosca)
2015-02-15 09:55 pm

Another art request, SG-1 this time

I've got the Sid Project underway and it looks like I'll be doing at least four, possibly five podfics of her work, depending on my stamina.

I'd like to see her podfics given worthy, wonderful covers. Sadly, all I can manage myself is embarrassingly mediocre Paint images, and while I can live with that on other my other works, it just doesn't feel like enough in this case.

So I'm putting out an early call that I'm looking for one or more fanart creators who would like to make covers for any or all of these Stargate SG-1 podfics.

Please feel free to pass the word along if you know of anyone who isn't reading this but might like to contribute.

Many thanks!

ETA: People are signing up, so I have put a master list on the corresponding LJ post. Please go there to see what still needs art and to claim something to work on. If you aren't able to post on LJ, leave a comment here saying what you'd like.

ETAA: Got 'em all covered. (So to speak.) Many thanks to everyone!
malnpudl: (Default)
2015-02-14 07:15 pm

Canadian pronunciation?

I should know this, but...

Would Bob Fraser pronounce "progress" (noun) as "prah-gress" or "pro-gress" (the latter with a long O)?

Yes, I'm podficcing. Actually, editing podfic. I recorded it both ways and then forgot to check which was correct. HAAALP???

ETA: PRO-gress it is. TYK!
malnpudl: (Default)
2015-02-12 06:12 pm

Queers Destroy Science Fiction!

Last year I saw a lot of people posting on LJ and DW about the Lightspeed magazine Kickstarter project Women Destroy Science Fiction! that resulted in a huge special edition full of SF written by and about women plus bonus Fantasy and Horror editions funded by meeting stretch goals.

This year they're doing Queers Destroy Science Fiction! and I don't think I've seen anyone posting about it, so I thought I'd put up a PSA. It's 3 days away from the closing date and while the initial funding goal was met early on, followed by a series of stretch goals, at the moment they're less than $500 away from the major $40K stretch goal that will bring a bonus "Queers Destroy Fantasy!" special edition.

LIGHTSPEED was founded on the core idea that all science fiction is real science fiction. The whole point of this magazine is that science fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Science fiction is about people, and queer people, no matter how they identify [Gay, lesbian, bisexual, demisexual, asexual, pansexual, intersex, transgender, genderfluid, genderqueer--anyone who fits within the QUILTBAG], are a big part of that. We always have been. We're just sometimes hard to see. So, in the interests of visibility and breaking stuff, here we are to show you just how wide the spectrum of sexuality and gender identity can really be.

Part of our goal with this project--and indeed, our dearest wish--is to get as many queer creators involved as possible. Show the world that we are legion, we are amazing, and we are a part of the great, glorious landscape of the science fiction genre (right before we burn it all to the ground).

Writers may wish to note that they're currently open to submissions for this project.
malnpudl: (Default)
2015-02-09 09:38 pm

Transformative works statements and your fannish legacy

Stargate SG-1 fandom recently and unexpectedly lost a beloved member of the community and fanworks creator. I didn't know Sid, but I know a number of people who did know her and who treasured her friendship, and I liked her writing very much.

I would like to podfic one or more of her stories as a tribute to her, honoring her memory. The problem is that she never posted a transformative works policy anywhere, so there was nothing to indicate whether or not this would be okay with her.

I've been in touch with some people close to her, and the consensus is that she was generally pro-fanworks and had enjoyed podfic of other people's work, so she'd almost certainly have been pleased about this. (Maybe, somewhere, she is.)

All this has brought a couple of things to the forefront of my mind, and I'd like to encourage all of you to think about them, too.

1) Please post a transformative works policy somewhere easy to find. Say how you feel about people making things inspired by your own work. Podfics, remixes, spin-offs, art, fanmixes, craft work, and anything else your creations might inspire others to make. You could grant blanket permission, or it could be blanket refusal, or you could allow some things and disallow others. It's all up to you. But make a decision about it. Post it. Make it easy to find. Put it on your LJ/DW Profile pages. Put it on your AO3 Profile. If you have a Sticky post for your fanworks index, put it there or link to it. Please.

1a) [personal profile] akamine_chan recently posted a thoughtful and helpful meta essay on what to do if you want to encourage and enable podficcers to record your stories.

[meta] So you wanna be podficced? (1010 words) by akamine_chan
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Meta - Fandom
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Additional Tags: Podfic Meta, Meta, Podfic

So you wanna be podficced? Here's a handy-dandy guide that may help you get your wish. I make no promises, though.

2) Read about Fannish Estate Planning and think about naming a Fannish Next-of-Kin, just in case someday you might get hit by a bus or step through a portal into an alternate universe or get beamed onto the Enterprise and whisked into the future or otherwise leave this life and your fanworks behind. What will be the fate of your fanworks when you're gone? Is there someone into whose hands you can put them? Someone who can make decisions about them, or make sure your wishes are carried out? It can help make sure that your creations live on and that your choices about them are honored.

Disclosure: I've only done the first of these things myself, so far. #2 is a big one, but at least I've started my inner wheels turning.
malnpudl: image of a microphone with text "storyteller" (storyteller by tebtosca)
2015-02-04 08:29 pm

Anyone feeling artistic?

Anyone feel like doing a podfic cover or two? Both are due South stories.

Hirsute Angry Thief by [personal profile] bluebrocade is gen humor; it's set at the 2-7 and features Fraser, RayK, and Dief plus the usual supporting characters.

Lies, Neckties, and Ballistics by [personal profile] china_shop is an F/K casefic story with lots of character exploration.

I recorded both of these for dSSS but didn't have time to wrangle cover art for them in time for the exchange. I'd love to make audiobooks of them and cover art would be terrific and much appreciated.

In other news: Today I posted my podfic recording of Ublarpassik by [personal profile] andeincascade, a marvelous post-quest dS story that I love like breathing. [personal profile] akamine_chan made a lovely cover for it. <3