Miss Migraine: A gratitude post

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The Adventures of Miss Migraine is an ongoing column about my life with chronic migraine. A version of this post appeared first on my blog of the same name on September 5, 2012.

First, I am grateful for words, for language. I am grateful for the skill and intuition to shape them into meaning, into beauty, into stars, into beginnings, endings, middles. I am grateful for narrative, for storytelling and all the forms it takes, for the comfort it brings me, for the comfort I hope to bring to others through it. I am grateful for language in all its unspoken forms: the way the body speaks through movement, through touch; the way birds sing to each other as the sun spills above the horizon; the ways bees dance to guide each other to pollen.

purple morning glories

Morning Glories. Photo taken 09/12 by Kelly Lynn Thomas.

Second, I am grateful that my favorite flower, the purple morning glory, returned to the empty lot across the street from my house this year. Their vines twist upward around the links in the broken fence, flowers spreading themselves wide for the dawn, curling up to rest in the afternoon heat. There’s is the truest purple, the most beautiful color, I have ever seen. And I am grateful to look at them day after day, to touch their silken petals and whisper praise, to feel them singing to the sun — not with voice, but with color. That song touches me on its way to the sky, and I feel renewed.

Whole wheat waffles with whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries

Homemade whole wheat waffles, made by my husband.

Third, I am grateful for my home, which is not a place, per se, but a state of being. Home is my husband, my dogs, my family living 300 miles away. Home is waking up to my husband making my favorite whole wheat waffles before I leave for a long trip. Home is returning to our house, the place we physically inhabit, to one wagging tail and one wagging nubbin, and one all-encompassing hug. Home is feeling safe, free from pressures and responsibilities; home is the ability to restore my spirit among the people who love me. Homemade waffles help, too.

This post was inspired by the book Freeing Yourself From Anxiety by Tamar Chansky, which I reviewed here previously. What are you grateful for?

New flash fiction in Uproot!

I have a short short story—”Lonely Weather”—in Issue 5 of Uproot, a journal focused on “place, migration, and dislocation.”

Mia walks west. She walks without stopping for rest, for sleep, for food, for water, because she is a ghost and feels no physical pain. The word echoes in her mind: ghost, ghost, ghost.

She hopes that the miles will wear her down to air, that time will erase her memory.

Keep reading at Uproot! (Content warning, though, for suicide.)

This story comes from my collection, She’s Tired of Going Nowhere. It’s part of a mini-cycle within the collection about a group of women who’ve died because of patriarchal/capitalist violence and what they make of the afterlife. This particular one is not super uplifting, but it’s not meant to be, because not all victims of violence—whether straight up physical violence or the kind of environmental violence I tackle in “Lonely Weather”—get happy endings.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2018: Week 1 recap

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Although I’ve given myself permission to fail (better) at Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m actually doing pretty well! Here are my stats for the first 10 days of this 30-day writing challenge (not including today):

  • Total words written: 7,024
  • Words left to write: 17,976
  • Average words per day: 702
  • Days without writing: 2
  • Mental breakdowns: 0
  • Emotional outbursts: 0
  • Moments of utter despair: 1

Monday through Thursday I wrote at least 800 words each day. Friday I went to a coffee shop after work to write, but foolishly left the rough draft of my novel at home. My partner had homework to do, so I busied myself with submissions instead of writing. I’m trying to stick to a regular sleep schedule, so I went to bed when we got home instead of staying up too late.

Saturday the endometriosis pain returned, so I didn’t do anything except watch documentaries on Netflix. (To be fair one of those documentaries was a literal autopsy of a dead person, so it was definitely useful for my writing.) Sunday I was still in pain and had a serious case of brain fog, so I only wrote about 200 words. Yesterday I wrote about 1,500 words, so ultimately I’m not too far behind where I should be to hit my 25,000 word goal.

I’m finding that holding myself to 800 words a day does feel somewhat like a stretch, but it’s a doable stretch that leaves me feeling accomplished for the rest of the day. (And that’s not including other writing projects, like this blog and the Tuesday Night Monologue Project!) If things keep going well, I may try to up my daily word count to 1,000 words a day.

I’ve mostly been writing early in the morning from home, but I’ve also written from my coworking space, especially on days I need coffee (like yesterday).

So for now I carry on, and we’ll see how this next week goes!