Saturday, May 27, 2006

Setting up tents

Hi folks,

Another quick update: Roger J. Carlson has set up a refugee camp for AWers, and there are a little more than a hundred of us there so far. Today's mission is to make sure we're all still writing. Toward that goal, Tri has revived the "Travel Edition" of the Weekend Progress Report (where AWers normally check in to report on what they've accomplished that week on their works in progress). He has Barb's taser on loan, and he isn't afraid to use it.

I got six pages down this morning, which felt great. I didn't think I'd be able to concentrate that long on anything except... y'know.

If you need an assignment, I've posted one here. Hurry up, because it's due tomorrow.

No further word on the retrieval of our hostages (er... databases).

This is the text of Barbara Bauer's fax to the ex-hosting company, for the curious:

Here is the page on which my e-mail address has been unlawfully published without my consent. I am receiving SPAM because of Absolute Write Water Cooler's illegal activities. Please call me!

The post in question is PaulaO's on this page.

No news

Sorry, folks. I hoped to have some news to report by now, but here's where it stands: What we were able to download of the forums before we were shut down is not usable. It's lacking vital components, and there's no way to fix that. Our storefront is also not functioning.

The main site is set up with our new host, and you should be able to see it by now at; it's been sort of up and down today and yesterday, but that's normal. I guess it takes a few days to fully "take" across the network. The e-mail addresses are functional again, too.

JC-Hosting still has the databases, and I hope we'll be able to come to an agreement so I can restore them.

I'd very much like to respond to the inaccurate story being told, but this is now a legal matter and I'm advised not to say anything. Hope you understand.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thank yous

Just a week or so ago, my neighbor's daughter died, and I asked my Absolute Write friends what I should do-- I didn't know the girl, and have never really spoken with her parents, but felt awful and wanted to do something. They told me to bring over food, and a couple of them said something like, "They probably won't remember you were there, but they'll appreciate it anyway."

The past couple of days have been a little like that for me. No one died, of course, but Absolute Write is very much my "daughter," and I've put my world on hold to try to get it back together after our hosting company suspended us. It's been a blur, complete with stereotypical stages of grief. It's not something I feel comfortable talking about at this point, and I've struggled with what to say, or whether or not to even say anything yet. (I should note: That's why comments are turned off on this post. I'm not ready for Q&A yet.)

For two days, I was just in panic mode. I canceled my first-ever trip to see my sister in Rhode Island at the last minute, which broke me apart to have to do to her (she's been waiting for me to come to her house for a very long time). Along with my "team," I worked around the clock to try to save our stuff and get us onto a new host. I had to keep a sort of tunnel vision for one thing only: getting the site back. But I knew the mods and I weren't the only ones pulling for the site.

The e-mails I received... the offers of help, the phenomenal support on the blogosphere, the simple, "I'm here for whatever you need and it's all going to be OK" notes... I'm not composed enough to even soak it all in yet.

What I want to say is that you brought food, and I know you were here. Does that make sense? This is day 3, and I'm finally able to feel something other than the crap I've felt for the past 2: I feel extremely moved.

To all the chatters valiantly saving cached pages in the middle of the night, to Jason Tudor for setting up a temporary page for us while we were waiting for the new hosting to kick in, to Martin at vBulletin for trying his darnedest to rescue us, to Miss Snark, to John Scalzi, to all the people offering us web space, to all the people spreading the 20 Worst Agents list, to Kira Connally and Lisa Spangenberg for showing me how much support I have, to Lauri Berkenkamp at Nomad for being a stupendously caring editor and friend, to C. E. Petit, to everyone writing to offer technical help and legal help and financial help and emotional support, to THE MOST DEVOTED MODERATORS ON THE PLANET who should all be sainted for their round-the-clock efforts and concern and generally because they're amazing human beings, to Roger Carlson for setting up a temporary fort for us, to Bob Wagner for helping us move, to the people in chat who said all the right things to help release some of the pressure, to Amy Brozio-Andrews and Charlie Stuart for constantly-- in every situation-- standing right at my side and being willing to lose sleep because Absolute Write is that important to them too, to Victoria Strauss and Ann Crispin and Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Jim Macdonald for leading by example, to those who didn't e-mail me because they know I'm overloaded but nevertheless are good vibing the heck out of me, to those who remind me to take care of my health, to Lori Basiewicz and MacAllister Stone and Frank Baron and Dawno for keeping people informed and being my beautiful friends, to Janet Reid for the goats (*cough* don't ask), to those doing research and sticking their necks out and holding my hand and letting me know that my little slice of cyberspace matters like crazy to you:


I hope to give you a progress report tomorrow night.

P.S. To the people asking about donating: I really appreciate it and may need your help soon, but right now, I don't feel comfortable accepting donations until I know if I can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I don't want to let you down.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lexapro withdrawal, day 5

Well, I've made it to day 5 this time. (Last time I gave in at day 3 and took a quarter of a pill.) I think this is progress. I'm back to having that I-can't-turn-my-head thing and some brain zaps and brownie cravings, but the rest of me isn't bad. And, okay, fine, I always have brownie cravings.

I'm going to try to stay off it altogether now. Not sure if it'll work (I heard that antidepressant withdrawal actually gets worse around day 7), but I want to try. Time for me to find out who I am underneath this med that's been keeping me sane for the past several years.

I'm praying that by now, my brain has straightened itself out and that the panic attacks aren't lurking in there, just suppressed all this time. But I really don't know what I'm going to find. I remember when the doctor first told me that I'd probably be on this medication my whole life, and I thought, "That's fine by me. Who cares, as long as it works?" I even volunteered a while back to be a patient spokesperson for Lexapro-- that's how much of a difference it made in my life.

But for a while now, I've had the urge to step away from the shore and see.

If I'm turning into a raving psycho, you'd tell me, right?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The visiting penguins

The Gay Zombie Penguins are on a blog tour, and this is stop #3. (Yippee!) Please welcome our penguin friends...

Their next stop on the tour is MacAllister's place.

Thank you, dear gay zombie penguins! Come back anytime!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The things that make me cry are making me laugh.

I'm not sure how many years I've been taking Lexapro to combat my panic attacks. Four, I think. And now I'm trying to come off it, which has been trippy. Don't ever let a doctor lie to you and say that SSRI withdrawal is no big deal.

I've been tapering down for more than a month now, but I can't seem to take the final step-- down from a quarter of a pill to nothing. I made it three days, then couldn't take it anymore. I was in a bit of a manic state, feeling pretty good emotionally, but odd physically. Every time I turned my head, I felt like I was going to fall down (even from a sitting position). I couldn't move my head, or the dizziness and brain zaps would hit. I walked into Anthony's wall, at which point he said, "You're not doing so hot, huh?" The one time I tried to drive, I ran over a curb.

And then came the nonsensical weeping. I started to cry while listening to Anwar Robinson's version of "What a Wonderful World," which is okay, because it's strikingly beautiful and it's made me tear up on normal days, too. But once it started, I couldn't stop getting teary over really stupid things.

There's a moth in the room. Sniffle.

I should bring these empty mugs into the kitchen. Cry.

My phone is ringing. Weep.

It's kind of chilly in here. Bawl.

So I took a quarter of a pill and that took the edge off until the next night. My current goal is to take a quarter of a pill every other night for another week or two, then try to stop altogether.

But in the meantime, Anthony called to tell me he was going squid fishing tonight, and I told him I was making stuffed shells, and he told me I should probably add a little water to the sauce because it's very thick, and...


This is like PMS gone supersized, with motion sickness and memory loss thrown in for fun.