Review: “Furyborn” by Claire Legrand (Empirium, #1)

Disclaimers: I was given a free ARC of Furyborn through Netgalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Possible spoilers ahead.


Title: Furyborn (Empirium, #1)Furyborn (Empirium, #1) by Claire Legrand
Author:
Claire Legrand
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release date: May 22, 2018
Average rating: 3.87/5 stars
My rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Description:
When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.”

My Thoughts:
The thing I loved the most about Furyborn was definitely the in-depth look we get at the world they live in. The story is told through the points of view of the Sun and Blood Queens, one queen in the past and the other in the future. Finding out how the pieces fit together and why Rielle and Eliana were connected was the driving force that kept me reading on.

That being said, up until about halfway through the book, I was far less interested in Rielle’s story than Eliana’s. Rielle was a bore up until the trials kicked into high gear. I understood why I was supposed to care about her, but as hard as I tried to like her personality, I just couldn’t get behind it. I didn’t feel for her heartbreaks or revel in her wins.

Eliana’s icy, badass attitude, on the other hand, was much more my speed and why I still very much enjoyed Furyborn enough to grant it four stars! Harken’s fate brought me to tears. Simon’s big reveal had me covering my mouth with the palm of my hand to keep from audibly gasping and scaring my sleeping dog awake.

All things considered, I don’t regret sticking it out until the end. Rielle’s storyline did catch my attention eventually and Eliana’s knife skills are just too good to miss. I could definitely be persuaded to read the sequel. Four out of five stars for Furyborn.

 

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5 Tips to Beat Brain Fog

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Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash. [Image Description: A silhouette of a person kicking the air on a beach at sunset.]

If you’re reading this, then I’m sure you know just how frustrating brain fog is. There isn’t a day that goes by where it doesn’t affect me. I forget words, lose my train of thought, put the milk in the pantry and the cereal box in the fridge, “lose” something only to find I was holding it the entire time, and don’t even get me started on throwing away perfectly good silverware…

With over ten years of experience under my belt, I’ve come up with five ways to kick brain fog to the curb. Or at least hold it off until your next shower, when you can’t seem to remember if you washed your legs, so you wash them again, just to be safe.

1. Autopilot.

Routines are essential. For me, brain fog is worst when I first wake up, so I tend to run on autopilot until I take my medication. The goal here is for your body to be so used to your routine that you don’t even have to think about it.

2. Write! It! Down!

NEVER make the mistake of believing you’re going to remember to do something later. You know full and well that never works in your favor. If you’re unable to complete the task immediately, make a note for yourself. And not just on a random scrap of paper that you’ll lose as soon as you put down!

3. When in doubt, plan it out.

Use a bullet journal, planner, apps, or diary to keep track of things. Whether that means appointments, to-do lists, medication reminders, questions for your medical team, or random ideas that you say you’re going to remember later but never do. I use a variation of the habit tracker in my bullet journal to log my symptoms when my medication regimen changes, and then I review it before my next doctor appointment. I swear, I’d be lost without that notebook!

4. Memory tricks.

Lost your train of thought? Can’t remember what a round dish is called? (It’s a bowl, Danielle. A bowl.) Spaced out and didn’t hear what your friend just said to you? Rewind your thought process and retrace your steps. Find synonyms for the word you were aiming to use. Context clues. Mnemonic devices. Utilize all of those little tricks your teachers taught you in school.

5. If all else fails, take a nap.

dog sleep

[GIF Description: Yellow lab puppy laying with its head raised. It turns onto its side, curls into a ball and falls asleep. One of its floppy ears covers its eye.]

The Update to End All Updates

 

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Photo by Elijah M. Henderson on Unsplash. [Image Description: A curving road in the middle of a forest with autumnal leaves.]

For the past two years, the goal of ChronicallyDannie has been to tell my story in order to spread awareness about the realities of living with chronic illness. While spreading awareness about my under diagnosed illnesses is still very much important to me, I’ve recently come to the realization that my blog is not meeting that goal. Most of my readers are chronically ill themselves, or family/friends that are already being kept up to date in person. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I did feel I needed to step back from my blog to figure out my next steps!

First, I made a list of the things that are important to me and what I want my future to include:

  • Writing. Not really a shocker to those that know me. Writing has, and will always be, my strongest passion.
  • Growing my jewelry business. My second strongest passion.
  • Spreading awareness of my chronic illnesses. (Obviously!)
  • Offering any help or guidance I can from my experience of growing up undiagnosed.

The last bullet point is in bold because it’s where I want to dedicate more of my time moving forward. School system being uncooperative, or even toxic? Friends starting to think you’re a flake? Doctors not taking you seriously (or addressing the adult in the room like you’re not even there)? You’ve come to the right place!

I will also be documenting my rocky experience of going from pediatric to adult medical care. It’s a very slow process for me, but I’m working with my mom to help me be more independent (i.e. handling my own medical calls, keeping track of medication refills, and eventually insurance approval issues). I have a good medication refill system going, knock on wood…

Next, I did a little brain dump in my journal about this blog and the content I’ve been posting to see what brought me the most joy (A.K.A. channeling my inner Emily Gilmore).

What really stuck out in my mind during this process were the detailed play-by-plays of my doctor appointments. Not only were they starting to feel like a chore to write, I just don’t think I feel comfortable putting all of that information publicly out into the world anymore. If there’s one thing that two years of blogging has taught me, it’s that I’d rather reserve some things for my private journal. Now, this doesn’t mean my health updates are over! I still plan on posting them, but in a more summarized format rather than a step-by-step narration. I think this change will benefit all of us.

That being said, I don’t regret being as open as I have been on this blog. Everything I’ve posted in the past is exactly what I needed at the time. I’ve learned not to hit publish while angry, but otherwise I have no regrets.

At the beginning of ChronicallyDannie, though I don’t think I was aware of it at the time, I was in a lonely state of mind. Not depressed, just struggling to connect. Cut to two years later… I’m twenty-two years old, I’ve found doctors I trust, I started a business, I’m a published writer, I’m learning to branch out of my painfully shy shell, and I have the best friends I could ever ask for. Things have certainly changed for me and I am incredibly thankful to be where I’m at in my life right now. My physical health is still in the shitter, but I’ll take my wins where I can get ’em!

All of this is to say that my content is changing. Hopefully for the better. My “why?” is clearer, I’m more inspired to write than I have been in a long time, and it feels good. Thanks to all 60+ of you for following me for as long as you have. Oh, and I promise to try to be better at answering your comments and messages in a timely fashion.

(Emphasis on try.)

And That’s What You Missed

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Photo by Wang Xi on Unsplash. [Image Description: Vibrant red and orange autumn leaves attached to thin branches against a blurred background with more trees.]

Hello, my name is Danielle and I accidentally disappeared from my blog! If you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, here’s what you missed:

♥ The usual monthly IV saline appointments to help me battle dehydration.

♥ I turned 22 years old in August! I don’t think I’ve talked about that on my blog yet. Oops?

♥ Went for a nuclear salivary flow scan for Sjogren’s Syndrome testing.
– As per usual, they couldn’t find a vein to inject the tracers, and, when they finally did, the vein blew. Thankfully the rest of the experience went smoothly.

♥ Had a lip biopsy for Sjogren’s Syndrome testing.
– In true hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) fashion, the dissolvable stitches didn’t stay in my mouth long enough to fully dissolve!
– It’s fine, though. At my follow-up appointment last month, my surgeon said it was “healing beautifully”.

♥ Had a skin biopsy to confirm a small fiber neuropathy diagnosis.
– Unfortunately, I don’t think the dermatologist I went to did the biopsy on the correct body part. He was more preoccupied with leaving a visible scar if I were to wear a bathing suit than the actual reason for the biopsy. I’m going to discuss my hypothesis with the doctor that ordered the test during my next appointment.
– The test results of the biopsy showed inflammation, but otherwise nothing of importance. If my suspicions are correct, it makes sense that it came back negative because it was taken from the wrong body part. We’ll see.

♥ Saw my rheumatologist to discuss all of my test results and any lingering concerns about my upcoming Remicade infusions.
– Nothing conclusively shows that I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, so, you know, I don’t have it. But I do experience dry mouth and dry eyes, so he recommended eye drops and prescribed me something for dry mouth that’s been working wonders.
– Overall relieved to have Sjogren’s ruled out. However, I can’t deny that a small part of me is disappointed. A Sjogren’s diagnosis would have meant I’d have more options for treatment. Not to mention I still don’t have a name for the collection of symptoms my mom and I have been trying to get to the bottom of from the very beginning of this chronic illness journey.
– My doctor patiently answered all of our questions about Remicade side effects and I feel more confident than ever going into this! Still worried about how my shitty veins will hold up, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
– I also got a steroid shot in each knee because I’m due for my next round of weekly lubricant injections. Admittedly, it’s not great for my hypermobility, but it helps with my arthritic symptoms in my knees and the weather’s getting colder, so I made a choice.

♥ Other Miscellaneous Things:
– Happy Dysautonomia Awareness Month!
– My mom and I have been “normal people sick”, so we haven’t scheduled my first Remicade infusion just yet. I went from having the flu from the flu shot I got that day, to catching whatever my mom and my brother had, to a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) flare. Still very much in a CFS flare. It’s been a fun few weeks.
Furyborn book review coming soon.
Summer 2018 Playlist coming soon.

And that’s what you missed on Glee ChronicallyDannie dot WordPress dot com.

Review: “Nyxia Unleashed” by Scott Reintgen (The Nyxia Triad #2)

Disclaimers: I was given a free ARC of Nyxia Unleashed through Netgalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Spoilers ahead!


Nyxia unleashed

Title: Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Release date: July 17, 2018
Average rating: 4.33/5 stars
My rating: 5/5 stars
Read my review of book 1 here.

Goodreads Description:
Getting to Eden brought Emmett and his crewmates one step closer to their promised fortune. But surviving Eden may be the biggest reward of all.

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?

My Thoughts:
I rarely prefer a sequel over the first book in a series, but Nyxia Unleashed deserves every one of those five stars. This book exceeded all of my expectations! I found myself craving the next installment in the series before I even reached the end. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the Imago’s culture and history, as well as their motives for agreeing to Babel’s deal in the first place. Neither side is innocent, which gives Genesis 11 and 12 a difficult choice to make. The only question left is…did they make the right one?

Nyxia Uprising, the third and final book in the series, is set to release on April 16th of next year.

Do I recommend this book? Yes.
Will I be reading the rest of this series? Yes!

Tuesday’s Story: A Cardiology Appointment

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Photo by Seth Macey on Unsplash. [Image description: A woman holding an analog clock. The background is blank and her face is covered by her dark hair blowing against her face.]

A couple of Tuesdays ago, my mom and I made the hour-and-fifteen-minute drive down to my cardiologist’s office, who also treats dysautonomia. It was our first in-person discussion since the Northera incident so there was a lot of ground to cover. But we’ll get to that in a moment. If you’ve been a reader of my blog over the past year, you know full and well that these appointments don’t always go as planned. Tuesday’s story starts in the waiting room.

First of all, I picked the chair directly under the air vent. Why? Because I’d been standing in line for far too long behind a guy who was waiting for something. I don’t remember what he was waiting for, but I do remember it wasn’t necessary for him to be smack dab in the middle of the front desk area. All I needed was to fill in my name on the check-in sheet, which he was blocking. Thankfully I had Egbert the Quad Cane with me, but I was feeling the effects of the long drive, so what I really needed was a seat.

After scribbling in my name, I located my mom and sat in the first open seat I found beside her. Directly underneath the vent. At first it was nice because it was in the high 80’s outside, and cool air helped with the dizziness that came from standing for so long. Until it wasn’t so nice anymore and I was painfully reminded of last summer, at the Lady GaGa concert, where I froze and my joints locked up and I was in the worst joint pain I’d ever been in… This waiting room wasn’t nearly as triggering as the concert was to my sensory issues, but hoooh boy was I cold!

Nearly four hours of waiting later, we finally got into an exam room. By that time, my mom and I were exhausted, starving, and in pain. Our brains were foggy, my blood was pooling, our stomachs were empty, and my mom was convinced the Mona Lisa painting on the wall in the exam room was tracking her with her painted-on eyeballs. The appointment hasn’t even officially started, mind you.

Waiting for us in the exam room was a young doctor, I’m assuming fresh out of medical school. Let’s call him Carl. Carl sits down at the desk and starts flipping through my very thick file, trying to familiarize himself with my case. Immediately, alarms are going off in my head… Where is my doctor? Who is this guy? Does he even know anything about POTS? Did we just sit in a waiting room for four hours to be seen by a guy who is not my regular doctor and can’t even help me?! Deep breaths, Danielle!

Carl was very nice, and even knew a bit about dysautonomia already, which was incredibly refreshing. He was interested in my complicated case, trying to come up with solutions and asking questions about what has helped and what hasn’t. The usual increase of salt and fluids came up, to which I brought up gastroparesis, and he seemed to understand why that would make increasing my water intake difficult. Every time I mentioned another medical condition, he would sigh, defeated, and it made me giggle because it made me think of my case as extra credit at the end of a test. I give Carl a lot of credit for trying as hard as he did to help me because my undiagnosed years were full of much more experienced doctors who gave up far too easily.

It restored my hope in the future of medicine.

At one point, Carl left the room because he was locked out of my electronic file. My mom and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. Not at Carl, of course, but at the predicament we were in. Did we really travel over an hour just to wait four additional hours in a waiting room and not see my regular doctor? And poor Carl, who had no idea what he was getting into when he sat down to flip through my file that day!

It turns out my mom and I were wrong. My doctor was indeed in the office! Later on, after Carl gave in and we got to talking about TV shows and books instead of my case, my doctor burst into the room with the nurse practitioner by his side. Let the chaos begin!

We discussed Northera and the events that led to me switching back to Midodrine. He upped my Midodrine to 10mg from 5mg and increased Propranolol to twice a day instead of once. I’m now on a handful of supplements, as well, like L-carnitine, beet root exract, CoQ10, and Foltanx RF. Prior to that appointment, he had me taking alpha lipoic acid.

He also prescribed Zoloft. My mom and I were a little apprehensive about it because the rheumatologist he referred me to misdiagnosed me with depression and tried to give me the same drug. When my mom hinted at her concerns, he assured us he’s giving me a lower dose to help with something else, not as an antidepressant. He went into detail with his explanation of what the lower dose of Zoloft would actually be doing for me, but my brain said, “See ya!” around hour two in the waiting room… I’m just hoping future doctors don’t see Zoloft on my medication list and write off whatever I might be experiencing. Maybe it seems like a ridiculous thing to be worried about, but it happened far too often when I was a kid and back then I wasn’t even on any drugs that could be used as antidepressants. Only time will tell.

I think that about covers it! We had to go back to the waiting room for a few minutes until they were ready to do my Ansar Test, where we discovered they’d ordered pizza. My mom and I were so grateful because very few things were open in their town at 9 o’clock at night, so we had no idea what we would’ve ended up eating otherwise. After my Ansar Test, we made our next appointment for September and then headed home. There were still people in the waiting room when we were leaving!

My friends are always shocked when I tell them I’m still in the waiting room, or just leaving the office at 9:45 P.M. when my appointment was scheduled for 4 o’clock. Half of my life has been spent in waiting rooms. Hell, I’ll be in a waiting room on my birthday for a dermatology consult. This is just life with chronic illness.

One Year of Iron Infusions

One year of iron infusions.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash. [Image description: A lit birthday candle in the shape of a 1 atop of a cake we can’t really see. The background is blurred.]

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the day I had my first iron infusion, it seems fitting to announce that my final iron infusion was last month! Well, I shouldn’t say final. I’m sure I’ll need them again eventually because my body is always finding new and clever ways to screw me. However, until/unless my levels drop again, I’ve got one less thing on my chronic illness plate. I’ll still be visiting that office for my local hematology appointments, and a bag of IV saline as needed.

Today’s (yesterday, for you guys) hematology appointment was to see where my levels were at and discuss my low Factor VIII count. Though this typically indicates some kind of clotting disorder, we think I’m low due to my blood type, which is either O or O+. If that’s the case, then my low count is actually considered normal! I got my blood drawn today to double check my type and explore Von Willebrand Disease a little further, even though my initial test was in the normal range. You can never be too careful with these things!

The anniversary of my first iron infusion is at the end of July. You can read all about that day here!

The Northera Update

The Northera Update - A roller coaster ride of emotions.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash. [Image Description: A grey scale picture of a roller coaster track. The tracks twist and turn, go upside down and sideways. A perfect representation of how Northera made Dannie feel.]

Where do I begin? I drafted a post a few weeks ago, thinking I’d finish it and publish it right away. Well, I never got around to doing that, but I also didn’t want to delete it altogether. Instead, I chose to leave it as is and then give you an update afterward. Without further ado, here is The Northera Update.


Y’all, I am struggling. You may or may not remember that I started Northera (A.K.A. Droxidopa) a little over a month ago. My cardio/POTS specialist switched me from Midodrine after he diagnosed me with severe Orthostatic Hypotension. Well, if you’re wondering how that’s going, we left my doctor’s office a message asking if I could switch back to Midodrine as soon as safely possible. Waiting on a call back, which is annoying because I feel incomprehensibly awful and I just want it to stop.

Due to my sleep pattern and brain fog, I’ve only been able to get Northera up to four pills twice a day. By now, I should be on six pills thrice a day, but, ya know, who can wake up early enough to have three meals a day? Not this Chronic Fatigue (CFS/ME) sufferer. Sometimes I don’t even wake up with enough time for two meals, hence why it’s taken me so long just to make it to four pills per dose.

Anyway, the point is, I feel like crap. I always feel like crap, but it’s like Northera turned up the volume and all of my usual symptoms are amplified. Which is, you know, the exact opposite of what was supposed to happen. I was hoping the side effects I’ve been experiencing would get better as I increased the dosage, but now I think if I go any further I’ll wind up in the hospital. I’m not even exaggerating, it really does make me feel that awful!

Once Northera wears off, as well as the crash that follows it, there’s this moment of peace where I’m not on any medication at all and I feel my base level of crappiness. That’s how you know the medication you’re on needs to go. When you would rather take no medication and feel like shit instead of continuing with the one you’re on.


Okay, back to the present! My doctor’s office returned my call a couple of days later, agreeing to switch me back to Midodrine. It turns out I wasn’t the only one that called to complain about Northera side effects that week, either.

Starting over with Midodrine has been rough, but not nearly as rough as when I was on Northera. My doctor told me to have a break day, where I wasn’t on either of the medications, before I was safely allowed to make the switch. I was dizzy as hell and nearly passed out in the shower, but the key point there is that I was able to take a shower in the first place. I’m not going to lie to you, it had been exactly two weeks since I was up to showering previous to that. I even blow-dried my hair, which I never bother to do, because I was so damn excited to have clean hair again!

I’ve now been on Midodrine for two whole weeks. Having to start from the beginning, increasing my dosage once a week, has been tedious, but very worth it. I knew I felt awful on Northera, but I didn’t realize just how awful until last Saturday, when I increased my Midodrine dosage to two pills a day. My head is clearer, I’m not nearly as dizzy, and I had enough energy to organize the mess that has been my bedroom since I got rid of that one piece of furniture. It’s still a mess, but a little less of a mess, which is good enough for me.

Yes, I feel better than I did on Northera, but I’m not 100% functioning. I’m still bedbound most days. Though Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is mostly to thank for that now, not dizziness. My blood pressure is still low, as well. As you can imagine, that’s really not helping my fatigue level. I’m hoping my low BP will improve this coming Saturday, when I increase my Midodrine dose two three pills a day. My doctor and I worked it out so I’ll be taking two with my first meal and one more with my second meal (A.K.A. dinner). I wasn’t waking up early enough to get in a second or third dose before, so I’m interested to see how this is going to turn out!

Overall, I’m glad I gave Northera a shot. I had heard mixed reviews from friends in the chronic illness community who had taken it/are taking it. Some did really well, and others, like me, felt worse. I’m choosing to view this experience as one step closer to rejoining the outside world. The idea of actually being able to do that one day is both motivating and terrifying, but that’s a blog post for another time…

Spring Playlist 2018

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Photo by Felipe P. Lima Rizo on Unsplash. [Image Description: A Samsung phone with a picture of a mix tape on the screen.]

A new season means a new Spotify playlist! Here are the songs I listened to throughout spring.


My Spotify | Spring 2018

All I Need – Cape Cub
All Things – Hussey
All We Ever Knew – The Head and the Heart
Amadeus – Family and Friends
As We Ran – The National Parks
Big Sur – Jack Johnson
Birthday – Maisie Peters
Blue Roses – Flyleaf
Can You Feel It – Ferraro
Carnivore – Bear Attack!
Cheetah Tongue – The Wombats
Clockwork – Makeout
Come With Me Now – KONGOS
Crave You – Robinson
Critical – State Champs
Dirt – Emma Blackery
Drove Me Wild – Tegan and Sara
Electric Bones – Findlay
Fall Apart – ITCHY
Fall Apart Today – Schuyler Fisk
Feel it Still – Portugal, The Man
Geronimo – Sheppard
Giants – Matt Nathanson
Goodbye, Goodbye – Tegan and Sara
Heavy – Birdtalker
Home – Dotan
Honey Hold Me – Morningsiders
I Wanna Go Out – American Authors
Kiss Me Slowly – Parachute
Knee Socks – Arctic Monkeys
Lemon to a Knife Fight – The Wombats
Lethal Combination – The Wombats
Long Walk Home – Scenic Route to Alaska
Loser – Beck
The Lotto – Ingrid Michaelson, AJR
Make Me Feel – Janelle Monáe
Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha (feat. Florida Georgia Line)
Nica Lilores At Dusk – Ben Howard
The Night We Met – Lord Huron
Nothing to Regret – Robinson
Oh No – Goodbye June
On Your Side – Day Wave
Oom Sha La La – Hayley Hendrickx
Paradise – George Ezra
People Crying Every Night – A R I Z O N A
Pretty Shining People – George Ezra
Pretty Thing – Dizzy
Rhythm and Blues – The Head and the Heart
Shot Reverse Shot – Jack Johnson
Sleep – Joseph & Maia
Sleep on the Floor – The Lumineers
Smash Into You – Beyoncé
Speak Slow – Tegan and Sara
Stella – Cereus Bright
Stuck – The Aces
Sweat – The All-American Rejects
Talk Too Much – COIN
Taxi – The Maine
That Girl – Tegan and Sara
Toy – Netta
Turn – The Wombats
Vegabond – Caamp
Vanille Fraise – L’Impératrice
Want – Kelsey Waters
The Way I Do – Bishop Briggs
We Don’t Believe What’s on TV – Twenty One Pilots
Where’s My Love – SYML
Wicked Ones – Dorothy
You Should’ve Killed Me When You Had the Chance – A Day to Remember

Chronically Stuck

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash. [Image description: Someone putting a blue Post-it note on their laptop reading, “Let it be”.]

For the past few months, I’ve been feeling…off, and I think it shows in my blog posts. I’m not writing as much as I used to, both with my blog and fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I want to write. I’ve had ideas, and even if I didn’t have any ideas, I have lists overflowing with them for exactly that kind of situation.

However, as soon as I grab a pen, or open a fresh Google Doc, my inspiration is gone and I’m forced to set my tools aside once again. Now, I’ve tried the “just start writing and see where it takes you” method, which is actually the only reason I’ve posted anything at all on my blog these past few months. It’s just not doing it for me.

When I launched ChronicallyDannie, I had this…drive to create. I remember finishing five posts in my first week and being so proud of every single one. I’m trying desperately to find my way back to that place by reading and rereading my favourite posts, flipping through journal entries from that time, distracting myself with other projects, and straight up asking my friends to tell me what I should write about. My goal when I was reading my old blog posts and journal entries was to get a better understanding of where and why things changed for me. You know what I’ve come up with? Bubkis. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Not one dang clue.

I am in no way saying I’m going to abandon this blog. Writing is and has always been my creative outlet. I’ve simply misplaced my inspiration, I think, and need to figure out a way to get it back. Until then… Well, I truly don’t know.