Confirmation: Amines Are Like Drugs :P

Had to go out for dinner on Sat night to a wood-fired pizza restaurant. Dinner was delicious, as expected – and the food reactions were awful, as expected. *sigh*. It didn’t help that I made the mistake of eating a GIANT BOWL of rocket salad before realising that oops, yeah, rocket =/= lettuce and while lettuce is pretty fine for me in moderate amounts, rocket is on the DEATH DIE DO NOT EAT list >.< Urgh.

So, two extremely sleepless nights (less than 4 hours each, I think) on Sat and Sun, and then Monday evening I was just hyper as anything, feeling like I’d been drugged 😛

Interestingly, amines seem to amplify the function of my critical brain while diminishing my creative brain; I definitely can’t write while reacting to them. Sat down to try and it was all like, This sucks, This is stupid, That word is horrible, I hate this book, etc. I really just *couldn’t* get into the character’s voice, and this is a character who’s usually dead easy for me to voice. Super mega frustration.

And also interesting, part of the anxiety was amplified. Not the fear-of-the-dark, that’s separate to regular anxiety and seems to be triggered partly by a huge amount of salicylates, and partly by sustained low mood (i.e. feeling flat, tired, or otherwise negative for several days in a row – something that can be triggered by lack of sleep, which is triggered by amines, so the amines can be partly responsible for the fear-of-dark, but not directly, and certainly not after only one meal, even though it was a GIANT amine-heavy dose), but the regular, plain-old variety that’s the precursor to depression: feeling like I suck, second-guessing everything I do and especially say, and running old conversations/highly-negative moments on repeat obsessively.

It wasn’t *bad* this week, only just enough to notice it was happening, so I’m totes fine, but it IS definitely interesting. Because a lot of that kind of thinking is fear-of-judgement based, which is uber-critical brain, right?

ALSO interesting was that I powered through my marking at hitherto-unheard of speeds: I marked an entire class set in a couple of hours on Sat night + Sunday, and then another entire class set just on Monday alone – AND I didn’t even stay up late to do so, I finished it all by 8 o’clock.

You guys. That was weird. 

I am NOT a fast marker. It’s usually laborious and slow and tedious, and getting through two sets in essentially two days? I have NEVER done that before.

And guess what marking involves? Yep. Uber critical-brain oriented.

So it seems like amines basically affect me like a stimulant for my critical brain. For marking, that can be a great thing. For shutting up the critical brain and letting me sleep, write, or not be anxious? Not so great.

And now I want to go to a bunch of research about possible links between depression/anxiety and critical-brain activity.

Related but random other observations:

  • Writers are more neurotic as a group than other creatives. Why? What specifically is it about writing that makes our mental health vulnerable?
  • My critical brain seems to throw tantrums when it thinks I’m ignoring it. If I’ve done a lot of creative work and regular work but no hard-thinking work lately, I’m a LOT more susceptible to anxiety/self-doubt.
  • Could this type of anxiety be critical-brain overload, such as I seem to be getting when eating amines? Could writers combat critical-brain tantrums (anxiety, self-doubt) by letting the critical brain out to play, exercising it by doing, say, some soduko or something hard and thinky??

Where’s a good researcher? I need to pay someone to investigate this for me.

So anyway, to give this some semblance of a conclusion… Amines: Not For Amy! Unless I want to stay up really, really late and get some marking done 😛

General Updateriness, New Releases, That Sort of Thing

It’s been a while since I did a generic ‘HEY HERE’S AN UPDATE ON ME AND LIFE’ kind of post (it’s been a while since I did any sort of content-heavy post, shh) so HA, that is what we are having today. And I’m probably going to ramble, because the brain, she is rambley today.

So. If you are following my books with rabid fervour (ha) note that it will be harder than usual to track a print copy of Where Shadows Rise in the next six weeks, because the files were updated with a bunch of typos corrected. (I just typed ‘typos correctly’. Clearly this was a Necessary Thing. >.< Oy, and also vey.) Amazon should have the update by the end of the week, and you can always grab a copy through Inkprint Press immediately (in the US) or from my site here (for Aus).

In more exciting news, Book 2 in the Sanctuary series (Through Roads Between) is up for pre-order!! You’ll get to know more about both the magics of Sanctuary/the Valley, AND about Scott in this book – which I know a lot of people will be excited about :o) You can pre-order the ebook anywhere pre-orders are had, and you can pre-order the print copy here in the US and here in Australia – and buying through me or Inkprint entitles you to the ebooks in BOTH mobi AND epub for FREE! Woohoo.

Yay book! It is pretty!

ALSO in related news (and speaking of related LOOK THERE ARE TWO MATCHING BOOKS SITTING TOGETHER LOOK THEY ARE SO PRETTY), I’ll promo this more in the coming weeks BUT there will be a giveaway for anyone who has left a review of Where Shadows Rise to win one of multiple ebook copies of book 2, or one copy of the print book. Reviews on GoodReads, Amazon, or any other book retail site all count, you can probably have multiple entries for posting your review in multiple places, it’s open international, and your review doesn’t have to be 5 star, just fair 😉

And also coming soonish is a novella about tigers, religious prohibitions, eating people, and inter-species war – but mostly it’s about redemption, and how no matter how much you think you’ve screwed up, you’re worth redeeming. More details on this in a month or two – it should be releasing around late October/early November, all things going well*, so keep an eye out.

* All things not going well it’ll be out Q1 next year 😉

I think that’s about all the updating my brain can handle right now. I’m doing this super-stringent elimination diet because Health Reasons, and I’m in the middle of withdrawal funk, and although the fog is clearing slowly, I’m really, really sick of the approximately twelve foods I’m allowed to eat 😛

Yay books! Woohoo!