“S.O.S”

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            Something has been bothering me the last week I have felt wrong and off. People have been commenting that I don’t seem like myself and asking me what was wrong. I’ve been telling them nothing and looking at them like they are crazy monkeys ready to fling their poo at me.

            Last night I was working on my new novel (sorry kids not ready to reveal what it is yet) and I realized they were right, something is wrong and after some deep thought (or deep for me at any rate) I think I’ve nailed the feeling down.

            I feel like I’ve entered the doldrums.

 

Doldrums

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            “The doldrums is a colloquial expression derived from historical maritime usage, in which it refers to those parts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean affected by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm. The low pressure is caused by the heat at the equator, which makes the air rise and travel north and south high in the atmosphere, until it subsides again in the horse latitudes. Some of that air returns to the doldrums through the trade winds. This process can lead to light or variable winds and more severe weather, in the form of squalls, thunderstorms and hurricanes. The doldrums are also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks. The term appears to have arisen in the 18th century – when cross-Equator sailing voyages became more common.

Colloquially, the "doldrums" are a state of inactivity, mild depression, listlessness or stagnation.[1]

            The word is derived from dold (an archaic term meaning "stupid") and -rum(s), a noun suffix found in such words as "tantrum".[2]

           

            That is not to say I am suffering from a new bout of depression or that I should be consulting my doctor in regards to my medication. I feel pretty good. My life is pretty fucking awesome at the moment.

            My kids are happy and healthy, I mean damn we’ve managed to get the girl the braces she’s need for years.

            My youngest son will be 16 in two weeks and he’s champing at the bit to get a job and earn some money

            My older three are all responsible adults in happy committed relationships.

            And my Bunny Girl is … well she’s is the light of the entire family.

            My marriage is in the best place it’s ever been.

            The day job sucks as always but I can tolerate it.

            The drama at my wife’s job seems to be coming to a conclusion we can accept.

            I am making enough writing every month to cover the rent.

            I am flushed with ideas and working on multiple projects simultaneously.

            To put it all in perspective the only thing I can point to and say “This is awful!” is my lack of a functioning automobile while still paying on the dead one.

            So yeah … not to brag but my life is pretty fucking good.

            So what the hell is wrong with me?

 

 

Get some answers

 

            I blame my right arm for all of this bullshit, let me explain.

            In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean there is a patch of weeds and limited wind called the Sargasso. It is the collection point for refuse and debris from all across the pond.

The Sargasso Sea

From NOAA.Gov

 

            “The Sargasso Sea is a vast patch of ocean named for a genus of free-floating seaweed called Sargassum. While there are many different types of algae found floating in the ocean all around world, the Sargasso Sea is unique in that it harbors species of sargassum that are 'holopelagic' — this means that the algae not only freely floats around the ocean, but itreproduces vegetatively on the high seas. Other seaweeds reproduce and begin life on the floor of the ocean.

            Sargassum provides a home to an amazing variety of marine species. Turtles use sargassum mats as nurseries where hatchlings have food and shelter. Sargassum also provides essential habitat for marine species, such as shrimp, crab, and fish that have adapted specifically to this floating algae. The Sargasso Sea is a spawning site for threatened and endangered eels, as well as white marlin, porbeagle shark, and dolphinfish. Humpback whales annually migrate through the Sargasso Sea. Commercial fish, such as tuna, and birds also migrate through the Sargasso Sea and depend on it for food.

            While all other seas in the world are defined at least in part by land boundaries, the Sargasso Sea is defined only by ocean currents. It lies within the Northern Atlantic Subtropical Gyre. The Gulf Stream establishes the Sargasso Sea's western boundary, while the Sea is further defined to the north by the North Atlantic Current, to the east by the Canary Current, and to the south by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. Since this area is defined by boundary currents, its borders are dynamic, correlating roughly with the Azores High Pressure Center for any particular season.”

 

 

            Boy howdy that is a dense bit of writing!

            Let me boil it down for you. I feel like I am stuck in the weeds. For most of 2013 I seemed to leap every week. Sales jumped every day. Projects were being churned out nearly as fast as I could envision them. I was riding a high that never seemed to have an end.

            When I tell non writers that writing and publishing feels like getting stoned they look at me like I’m crazy. But it really is, I’ve never felt anything in my life which matches the feeling of writing the last line on a piece of work and hitting the save button.

            It’s nearly sexual, something else which hasn’t been right in my life lately.

            Once again I blame my right arm.

            As most of you know I was crippled for most of December and a good chunk of January. For about a month to six weeks my Pimp Arm was crippled and near death.

            What, you have no idea what I’m talking about?

            Stop right now, go back and read the older Essays.

            You call yourself a fan?

            Anyway In the beginning of December I developed a massive staph infection in my right forearm. Long story short, minor arm surgery and massive antibiotics meant nearly a month of no writing and no masturbation. Side effect was that traditional sex, or at least what I define as traditional sex, was painful … and not in the good naughty way either.

            Yes I know TMI … at least I didn’t tell you how hard wiping was.

            About a week ago I was able to write more than a few hundred words in one sitting once more. It felt good, it felt wonderful, it was goddamn near orgasmic.

            It was frustrating.

            Over the last year I’d established a pace and routine to my writing which allowed me to produce at what I consider an amazing rate. When I was starting out as a professional writer (2007) I was lucky to crank 500 words a day. Before the maiming of pimp arm I was knocking on 3000 every day. Now I’m back to 1500 at best.

            I feel crippled.

            I’m in the doldrums.

            I’m stuck in the Sargasso.

            I am sure it will get better, to be honest I already feel like I’m getting my footing back and picking up speed. But today I am feeling a little sorry for myself so I decided to share.

            Know what?

            I feel better now, thanks for listening.

 

 

            -Josh

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Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!