To Ask Or Not To Ask

Posted by James Eyler on December 8, 2018

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Category: Blog
Perusing through Twitter, I saw a post that something to the effect of, “What is the best way to write a novel?” At first, I thought to myself, Self…that’s an impossible question to answer. It asks for a normative response to a subjective question. I’d wanted to say as much, that each writer has their own “best way” to write a novel. Often times writers share traits and routines, but their method of writing isn’t any better than the method another group uses. Some people are outliners, who plot the entire book from scene to scene, beginning to end before a single word in the official story is written. Some people are discovery writers, surfing the waves of their story on an elevator pitch. Some people wake up before sunrise and have a couple thousand words written before other people awaken, but those people are also generally asleep before the

Writing With Mental Illness Part 3

Posted by James Eyler on November 12, 2018

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Category: Blog
So, what do we do? That’s the big question, I guess. How do we overcome things like Traumatic Brain Injury, remembering that you used to be able to do things easier, and better, but now…you just can’t? That’s different than depression. Do we just learn to deal with what we have, kind of settle for what we got? I don’t think there is any single answer to either of those questions. Of course, we have to deal with what we got. To do otherwise is just ignoring the issue. But dealing with what we got doesn’t mean we are settling. Suffering from a mental illness is a fact of reality. Dealing with it simply means we understand that and learn to make it better. We all tackle the obstacles of life differently, and we are prone to tackle them with our passions. Those things we truly love to do. People

Writing With Mental Illness Part 2

Posted by James Eyler on October 26, 2018

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Category: Blog
I was fortunate and had an amazing childhood, raised by hippies. My growing happened when I thought I was ready to adult and took the plunge headfirst. My demons were birthed on the front lines of war. My childhood was the stuff of legend. Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Billy Coleman (Where the Red Fern Grows) all wrapped into one. I grew up in Napa, California, on the other side of the mountain that cups the valley. We didn’t have cable TV, only a couple radio stations reached us, and the closest store was a small convenience store called Lakeside Market which was about a 10 minute drive, almost as long as it took to get to Napa. My elementary school, Capell Valley, boasted an attendance of 32 students, grades 1–6, with one teacher (Mrs. Grey) and an aid (Mrs. Sammuel). My weekends were spent adventuring through the vast wilderness,

Writing With Mental Illness Part 1

Posted by James Eyler on October 18, 2018

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Category: Blog
What can I say? I suffer from depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from combat, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and probably a slew of other illnesses that haven’t been diagnosed. The illness I want to touch on is depression, and what it’s like to write on depression. Most people are fortunate enough to not have to suffer from that insidious illness. They often relate depression to being sad, and I get that. Depression makes people sad, and when you don’t have any empirical knowledge about it, you relate it to what you know—being sad. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Sadness is a superficial emotion that can last from a minute to a few days. Most of the time it can be cured with a simple joke or change in perspective. When we lose a loved one, the sadness can take a bit longer than a few days, but it

Row Your Boat

Posted by James Eyler on September 21, 2018

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Category: Blog
My favorite piece of philosophy is Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. It’s deep. Please forgive the pun. Anywho, I feel the allegory encapsulates the learning process, coming into a greater and truer understanding of the universe, and how painful that process can be. However, I feel that it falls short on encapsulating Life itself. Life, I feel, is more like a river. It continuously flows downstream, through meandering bends, long lulls, and turbulent rapids. We travel down the river on rowboats, unable to travel upstream no matter how hard we row, even in the calmest lull. There are always choices along the river. Once shore might look better than another. We can go to one shore or another, but never both, and once we get to one shore it may not be as great as it had seemed from the middle of the river, while the other shore may now seem