Blog-Destroying Owls, Snarling At Goodreads, And Too Much Sick

So, first things first: If you tried to get to my blog yesterday and were redirected to a YouTube video about the Top 25 Hollywood Sex Scandals, well . . .

I hope you enjoyed it!


Stupid hackers.

Luckily, back in September when my site was hacked the first time, I signed up with an online security company called Sucuri. They monitor my website 24/7, scanning it every 30 seconds for signs of foul play.

Or fowl play, which is twice as troublesome. And much more . . . feathery.

So anyway, they emailed me about some weird stuff going down on the blog, and I logged in and confirmed that there were sketchy happenings afoot, and then I said, “Hey, could y’all take care of that for me?”

And lo, they did. Within two hours, they removed every trace of the malware.

This service costs something like $90 per year, which might sound expensive, but if you think about it, $7.50 a month is a small price to pay for that kind of technical support at your beck and call.

And now, let us pretend there is some sort of logical segue between the previous section on web security / malicious Pokemon owls and the next section on my Goodreads Pity Party.

So, you know how I unpublished The Clearing? Well, I wanted to take it off of all websites, including Goodreads, because if I’m going to unpublish it, I’d like for it to be completely unpublished.

But, even though I created my Goodreads author account and I personally uploaded all the information about The Clearing, guess what?

They will not let me take it down. Here is the message I got from them today:

It appears that Goodreads not only has the power to tell me what to do, they can also time travel. I received their message on Feb. 29, but apparently, they sent it on the afternoon of March 1. WHAT VOODOO IS THIS, GOODREADS.


That little nugget of information would have been good to know before I committed to having my book on Goodreads FOREVER.

And also they sound REALLY, REALLY SORRY.

I mean, I get it. I do. I guess I’m just already so irritated with Goodreads for such a multitude of things that this was like ONE MORE SLAP to the face.

(Did you know people can rate books on Goodreads before they are even in ARC form, when not even the author’s editor has seen the manuscript–which has resulted in several authors receiving one and two star reviews for books that are still incomplete Word documents? Even after lots of people wrote in to complain, Goodreads refused to change this policy.)

Anyway, I’d better change the subject before I get myself in trouble with the Goodreads police. They might beat me with copies of my own STILL LISTED book.

Let’s see . . . oh, thanks for all your comments on my counseling post yesterday. I really appreciated it! Y’all have made all this so much easier. Seriously. You ROCK.

People keep telling me how much they appreciate me talking about the depression stuff on the blog. Several people have said they’re glad I’m not too proud to talk about it. And I get what they mean, but honestly, I’ve never had the inclination to keep things like this private. I always tell people about the messes in my life, because if I can’t talk about it–if I try to deal with it by myself–I will actually, legitimately, drive myself insane.

Also? I’m pretty sure everybody else is just as screwed up as I am. OKAY, okay, everybody but YOU. And you, and you. 

But the REST of you are right there with me. And it’s all so much harder when you don’t have community, don’t you think? I’d rather live in community where we all embrace each other’s wackiness than live in solitude and have people think I live a perfect life.

And lastly, I did some calculations today. I have been sick for roughly 25 of February’s 29 days.

THAT, people, should be illegal.

Okay: babbling over. Love you all. Smooches. Good night.

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And Then Someone Tells You To Call Your Doctor

So, y’all remember how I said I was starting counseling? Well, it happened–but not until yesterday.

Turns out it’s hard to coordinate schedules between one working mom and another working mom who also volunteers as a church counselor two days per week.

Anyway, the lovely Counselor J. and I met for lunch yesterday. She asked me why I wanted to meet with her. I said, “Because I am always tired, I am not interested in anything, I cannot attempt the simplest of tasks, I am overwhelmed by tiny things, and I don’t remember the last time I felt happy. There is no reason for any of it. My life is amazing. I have no problems.”

Guess what her next question was?

“Are you creative at all?”

And I said something like “Haaaaaahahahahahahaha.” Then I realized that was a pretty weird response, so I elaborated. “I’m a writer.”

She nodded, as if she sees a million writers a week in her office, which she probably does.

I won’t go into all the details, but the long and the short of it is that she believes I am at the threshold of depression. She told me I could take a couple weeks to see how things went, but if I still felt this way after two weeks, I needed to call my doctor.

For medication.

Now, I know a lot of y’all have dealt with this on some level before. But I never have. I’m not saying I’ve never been depressed before–I know of one very specific time in which I probably should have gotten help, but I didn’t.

And let me tell you, it is WEIRD to have someone look you in the eye and say, “You should probably be medicated.”

Anyway, J. the Counselor also suggested that I start regular counseling twice per month at the practice of my choosing. I will probably choose her, because she was awesome (did I mention she is a professional counselor? The church counseling gig is just a volunteer thing that she works into her schedule.)

I left the meeting feeling sad at first, but then, as is my way, I immediately told all my friends and family what she had said. I described how I’d been feeling and admitted I was nervous about medication.

And the replies began to pour in:

DUDE. I feel you on the depression front. I’ve communicated with you all this before, but yeah. I have felt the exact same way . . . anyways, I just want to say I feel you, and feel free to reach out if you want. 

Hey boo! So I talked to my doc today. Similar symptoms for me. Would be interested to know what they prescribe for you. 

Proud of you for being so open about it and proactively attacking the problem. I’ve been there. 

This is such good news! It feels weird/bad to say that, but I think you know what I mean. I know you had been struggling for so long, just floundering and trying to figure out what was going on. So glad you were able to connect with the counselor. 

First of all, I think it’s awesome you are facing this head on and working to knock it out so early . . . 

You have not seemed yourself in a while. I’m glad she was able to pinpoint it so fast!

I shall keep you in my thoughts. You know where to find me whenever you need to unpack a box or two. 

Hey kiddo, I wish you had said something to me earlier. I love you, Anne, and will do anything for you. (That one was from my dad.)

I’ve experienced depression before and it’s so frustrating and debilitating. The complete lack of interest is something I can relate to . . . 

If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I too probably had it at one point in college . . . 

Love you and am praying for you. I admire everything about you. 

Hey, your plan sounds great and very normal. Did you know I have been on three different medications in the last year for anxiety / depression? Call me or let’s get together and we can talk. 

I am proud of you for pursuing this and not just thinking you can muddle through. Glad you filled us in on this–and glad help is so readily available. Love you much. (My mom.)

And after I got all those replies and talked on the phone to a couple people and then rehashed everything with my husband, the strangest thing happened.

I started to feel happy for the first time in months. And I am still feeling happy. Not happy enough, I don’t think. But I’ve had more energy today, and I feel like if I go home and try to put in a load of laundry, it might not kill me.

Progress? I think yes.

So I’m not sure what to do about the medication. I’ve called the doctor but have not actually gotten a prescription for it yet–they just said to come in for a consultation if I ever felt like I needed something “extra.”

But like . . . I seriously feel better after having all those conversations.

I’m leaning towards putting the meds on hold for the time being and just starting with counseling. I have no problem with the pills, but I don’t want to take them if I don’t absolutely have to–some of those side effects are scaryish.

What do y’all think? Have any of you been able to defeat mild depression with counseling only? Or did you have to use medication too?

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Two Things You Should Know About

So, I am feeling sick again. Which means that roughly 98% of the month of February can be categorized as “sick time” for me.

Isn’t that just DELIGHTFUL.

But, as always, I have no shortage of things to say, so here we go.

1. My dear friend and former college roomie Harley May has had a short story published at Cast of Wonders. It’s completely amazing–funny and moving–and I’m not just saying that because I helped her revise it (because really, my input was so minimal I probably shouldn’t even mention it, but look, I did anyway).

Beautiful, hilarious Harley.

The story is called “My Boogie Man” and it’s a totally different twist on the traditional idea of the mysterious creature that allegedly hides in the closets of children. It’s just so genius, and if you want to see how great voice is done, you need to come read this story.

Go here if you’d like to check it out–you can either listen to the podcast, or–if you scroll down a bit–you can just read the text.

2. I recently reconnected with another high school friend of mine. We had her and her husband over for dinner.

Then we found out her husband is kind of a celebrity.

His name is Sanders Bohlke, and he’s a musician. I mean, like, an AMAZING musician.

Is this not the coolest picture ever?

His stuff reminds me of Ray LaMontagne meets Mat Kearney meets Dave Barnes, if any of those names mean anything to you. And if they don’t, for heaven’s sake, people, THEY SHOULD.

Just . . . just listen to this. Seriously. Take one minute, at least, and just listen. This is some of the most hauntingly beautiful music I’ve ever heard.


(Sanders, if you’re reading this, Rob and I are seriously about to buy all your CDs and t-shirts and quit our jobs to become Sanders Bohlke Superfans. Hope that’s okay with you.)

Now, off you go, people. Go read Harley’s story and then go find Sanders on iTunes. I truly believe both of them will make your day brighter.

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