Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy New Year, IWSG And Where The Hell Have I Been

Hello Imaginarians and Happy 2014!! Greetings from Chiberia. That's our new name around here. Yesterday we were officially colder than some parts of Antarctica. I haven't gone outside since Sunday afternoon when I trekked through thigh high drifts to clear a path from house to garage. I had to shovel in layers because the snow was so heavy and deep. Five, that's right five, scoops per square foot of snow. Made it all the way to the garage and around the side to the big door, only to discover a downhill ski run where my driveway should have been. My neighbor across the street came over and stood atop one of the drifts to avoid a passing snowmobiler (yes, they could ride snowmobiles on my sidewalk), then asked me if I needed help shoveling. Just then, her father stopped his snow blower and said "She ain't gettin that with a shovel." Bless them, they cleared our driveway so we can now get out. Chicagoans rock!

I hope these last months have seen you blessed and well. I've been gone so long I feel like it's been a hundred years. I have missed you all terribly. My absence was only going to be for a few weeks to finish some writing, but I got laid off, fell into a depression and got a respiratory infection. I got no writing done either. I've been miserable and I'm only now starting to come out of it. What a way to start a new year.

How fortuitous that my return has coincided with the Insecure Writers Support Group. My deepest apologies to Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and the rest of you for being a very bad group member and not participating these last couple of months. I really needed to be part of this, be inspired by you all and yet, I shut myself out. In fact, I had disengaged from all creativity. I've been so depressed I could not put sentences together for a simple paragraph, not even stir myself to color or make a bracelet. Nothing. I became really isolated, doing only basic chores at home, looked for work and screwed around on Facebook and Twitter. And sleeping, God I slept twelve hours a day sometimes. I was and still am, a mess, but thanks to one of the sweetest friends ever, Michael Di Gesu, I am starting to get it together. He forced me out when I would have remained at home in my shell. I am more grateful to him than I can say. Thank you, Michael, you are the best.

It's amazing how deep you can fall into the dark and so fast, you don't even realize it. Creative spirits are especially vulnerable, I think to this creeping awfulness. I was to the point where I no longer cared about writing another word. I still haven't written, but I'm at least thinking about my writing again. I'm also going to be blogging again. One foot in front of the other starts the journey. It's a new year with new possibilities.


  1. One step at a time.

    btw, living in Sydney Australia, I can't even imagine that much snow!!

  2. And we are glad you are back! I know you've been on Twitter and we've emailed, but something about blogging is different.
    The devil wants us separated from everyone, where he can take us into an even deeper pit. Don't let him. (And God bless Michael.)
    No apologies needed. And you are still on the list!

  3. Melissa, sorry you lost your job. Just keep taking those small steps forward into the light again.

  4. There is a light at the end of any dark place. Just keep moving forward.

  5. I've suffered with depression (still do), so I am very sorry that you were having a hard time. I hope that things are looking up and getting better for you!

    Wishing you a prosperous and happy 2014!

  6. How is it that I didn't know you live in Chicago? (Originally from there myself. It's a good place to be from.) Your weather is really something. We're not experiencing any of that cold or snow here where I now live and we wish we were. (I live at Lake Tahoe and the /sierra ski areas are closing due to warm temps and a lack of snow - a sad situation for us.)

    Unfortunately, I can relate to the kind of 'funk' you've been in. Hang in there. Take those 'baby steps' and get yourself back into the grove. I've been trying to write something every day - sometimes it's only a note to myself about an idea I have for my story, but hey, I'm writing.

    .Glad to see you back this month. May it be the start of something big.

  7. WELCOME BACK! I so totally can relate to what you're saying. I got laid off at the end of 2009 and it took me a long time to dig myself out of that hole. Talk about lost self-esteem, lost everything. LOST. I literally was. Rattled around the house, slept almost all the time. I did maintain grooming, but that was about it. Slowly but surely, I started to come out of the fog. Do you know what did it? BLOGGING. Until I was home all day, I had a year old blog with 7 posts. A great, lifelong friend, Amanda of House Revivals (she's in my sidebar) invited me to join a blog-hop. I got like 35 comments that day and a fire was lit under my ass and I was off and running. Here was a whole supportive community ready to embrace me (praise does wonders for self-esteem, eh?) and I was hooked. I crack up now when I look at those horribly formatted, rambly, no paragraph break posts, but it also shows my learning curve, so I'm glad they're out there.
    May I suggest that perhaps a baby-step might be a couple of blog posts? You know, like this one? You already have a fan base eagerly awaiting your return. You've been missed.
    Thank you Michael. He sure is a dear isn't he? We're becoming friends as we interact more. Classy guy, with a big heart.
    As to your weather, WOW. We had cold, highs in the teens, but only about a foot of snow so we escaped relatively unscathed. Good winter driving practice for The Transporter with the new license! CO rocks.
    As to respiratory infections, shit, we could compare notes, but privately since I vowed on fb not to talk in public about my health anymore...which includes my blog but I never said comments on other's blogs...so I think they won't come after me.
    Also, to cheer you up, you could read about how I sold my first story! Which you probably did on fb...but I'm like a kid at Christmas and can't stop showing people my new toy...
    Love you dear. You know where to find me if you need to chat.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  8. Michael is a great guy, isn't he? Keep those feet going, step after step.

  9. Melissa, you're so right. Creative types are particularly vulnerable to the ups and downs of life. I'm so glad Michael has been there for you. And just know that you can use all those dark times to write one hell of a good book.

  10. I'm glad you're back. I know how it is to fall into a funk. You deserve some good things to happen. Keep plugging away.

  11. Welcome back Melly B! Missed you here in the Blogosphere - MEAN THAT. Now let's give 14 what for!

  12. You've been through a lot Mel, so my hats off to you. It's always good to hear from Chiberia and I hope you're feeling better. Da bears!

  13. Kudos to you for getting up and out--it's the only way, but it takes guts and stamina. Glad you're on the way. I'll be coming back often to check up on you, and I'm very much looking forward to your posts. Big hug!

  14. I've been there, the writing slump and depression. Give yourself some time and eventually you will pick it back up. Maybe you just need a breather for a while.

  15. "It's amazing how deep you can fall into the dark and so fast, you don't even realize it. Creative spirits are especially vulnerable, I think to this creeping awfulness." So true. Unfortunately. But so very true. I've been in a slump, with far less justification for it. I believe we'll come out again. I've got you in my thoughts, girl. ❤❤❤

    Also: "Chiberia" made me LOL. :-D

  16. Really hope things get better this year Mel, think we've all gone through periods like that and we all hit those valleys mentally. Stay strong, things will turn around.

  17. Welcome back. I agree withe veryone above who said take it a step at a time. Although all the snowy weather never helps with positive feelings. I always get in a funk when it drags on. Spring will be here soon though.

  18. Welcome back, Melissa - I'm sending happy thoughts and warm wishes for a gentle easing into this year. Be kind to yourself. I hope you conquer your demons and find the joy and peace that lives within.

    With hugs, Jenny

  19. I hope things in Chiberia are warming up like they are down here in Southwestern Ohio; we're back in the 40s today I think. I know what you mean about the will to write disappearing in a puff of smoke and I'm very glad to hear that you're at least beginning to be able to think about writing again. I wish you the best of luck in getting back on the horse and hope you can keep warm!

  20. Ah, Melissa...

    I was SOOOO HAPPY to HELP!!! You are a dear friend and it saddens me to see such a vibrant and talented person fall deeper into a whole. I will ALWAYS lend a hand to pull you out! Never worry about that!

    Now to get you out of the house this week.LOL...

    HUGS! HUGS! and more HUGS!

  21. I am so glad that you are coming out of your funk.

    It sounds like your friend Michael is another person who came by with a snowblower to help clear the way for you to get out from behind that depression.

    Good luck to you this new year.
    Leanne ( http://read.wordpress.com )


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