Audra Edmonson is an INFJ, HSP, multipod, nerd, and writer living in Texas. She writes about living with panic disorder, making magic out of the ordinary (which is always magical), and how Dungeons and Dragons saved her social life. When she’s not slaying monsters with friends, she can be found reading with an endless supply of Earl Grey tea. You can find her at audraedmonson.com.
Sometimes, you just gotta hit the button, my dudes. I HIT THE BUTTON! I’ve been stewing on Tabitha Price since wayyyy before I first mentioned it here or anywhere publicly; probably a year at least. It’s morphed and changed as stories do, but the bones are the same, and man does it feel good to have that button PUSHED.
Of course, it’s only Part 1 of Episode 1 of this new serial, but it’s something. It’s something. And the difference between having that something be sitting in my head and in my drafts and be actually available for people in the general wide world to read is… well, it’s massive.
It’s not a perfect draft. I could tweak a lot of things. But it’s good, and that’s what I care about. And it’s out there, which is the vastly more important thing.
I’m celebrating, friends!
Here’s to keeping up the rhythm! *alarm bells sounds in the distance* We’ll just ignore those for now…
You can check out the first part of the story here! Let me know what you think!
*Note: The fact that I also published whilst in the midst of crippling depression and a lot of personal issues makes this victory even bigger. I hope to share that story with you all soon, but for now, I’m kicking back with some Enola Holmes and just chilling.
One – writing is hard… I mayyyy have started promoting my new work (The Not So Fantastic World of Tabitha Price) a wee bit early. Considering I’m still doing edits for the first two thousand (!!) words. *sigh* I’m hoping I can post a sneak peek soon; I’ve gotten some good momentum the past couple weeks so I have some stuff I consider workable. I consider. *laughs in writer*
Two – maybe I’m doing art to distract myself from writing? Who knows? It was always my plan to work on art to go alongside my writing, and I must say, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with myself as I get back to my arty ways. It helps to follow tutorials, but that’s another post.
The POINT of this post is to share a look at Tabitha Price! My protagonist for the aforementioned story. She’s only outlined right now, but you can see her in her usual state; hunched over with a book in her lap.
As May draws to a close, it’s important, like, really important, to remember that mental health care and awareness isn’t a single-month thing. It’s something everyone, everywhere needs to take notice of all the time, particularly if they or someone in their life is struggling with a mental illness.
There are still way too many stereotypes and way too much misinformation out there. People who declare themselves to have anxiety or panic disorder or OCD or depression are often not taken seriously, ridiculed, dismissed, or even abused. And that is so, so wrong.
Okay, on that terribly depressing note, let me offer some hope to people like me who currently suffer from Panic Disorder, Anxiety (in any form), OCD or phobias. I have generalized anxiety right now, but about two years ago I had such severe anxiety it morphed into Panic Disorder, which brings those fun side-effects of insomnia and agoraphobia with it. I wrote all about that time in my life here, and I’m happy to say I’ve conquered most of my symptoms. I haven’t had a real attack in months, and day to day my anxiety is manageable. Sure, I still have days or even hours when it hits, and my body and mind shut down to deal with the physiological and mental pain.
And truth be told, since it stopped being super bad, I haven’t taken too many drastic steps to eliminate it altogether. (Diet and exercise, I’m lookin’ at you.)
But I have practiced meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and the elimination of negative self-talk and limiting self-beliefs. That’s what got me out of the worst parts of it in the first place.
Now though, with the pandemic going on and anxiety at an all-time high, I wanted to get in ahead of it and start seriously working on some life changes to help me kick it for good. The disorder, not the being anxious sometimes part. Part of recovery is realizing that anxiety is just another emotion that every human feels. The key is to get it back to the realm of just an emotion.
And so we come to the best book I’ve ever read for Panic Disorder/Anxiety/OCD/Phobias. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, PH.D. I’m not even halfway through, but it’s amazing.
It is a workbook, which is why it’s taking me so long, because I’m actually doing the exercises. At first, it outlines what the disorders are and combats myths about them. That’s important, because a lot of the fear about having one of these disorders usually comes from believing something that’s not true about it.
For instance, it took way too long for me to find out that panic attacks are not physically dangerous in any way, especially when the mental side of them make sure to let you know you’re dying.
Yeah, it’s a comforting book. It lays out what each disorder is and plans to overcome them. Next, it takes you through each tool in your toolbox, each weapon in your cache. Things like relaxation techniques (hello progressive muscle relaxation, I didn’t know you were a thing), diet and exercise, and asserting yourself. It even goes into the different kinds of medication and how they work. Although the book does not recommend using medication as a first response, it accepts that it’s a useful and sometimes very necessary combatant for severe cases (as mine was).
Nothing beats a therapist, of course, who can guide you week to week as you fight, but this book does a damn good job of being an at-home therapist when outside is still kind of, like, full of coronavirus.
So in honor of Mental Health Awareness month, buy this book, learn about your own disorder or about the disorder of someone you love and continue to spread the education and awareness.
I’m writing again! I’ve been not working for almost two months, and while the first month was spent mainly acclimating, and then getting addicted to Animal Crossing, this month has been all about writing.
Dudes, it’s been amazing. Somehow my creativity and energy for writing are abounding. Maybe because I’m not working, maybe because I’m actively doing so much to help my mental health and that’s making me just more creative in general… who know? Who cares? I’m riding this high while it lasts, baby.
A while back I had the idea for a Wattpad serial story featuring an intrepid bookseller and involving magic and romance and general adventures. I wrote a few notes but left it at that, in my compost file where all my ideas go.
Long story short, I fleshed it out, had a massive back and forth brainstorm sesh with my brother, and got the first arc all outlined. Like, a whole ARC. With character sketches and everything in a nice new notebook. (Ah, my notebook obsession, you strike again.)
If you follow me on social media, particularly Facebook, you’ll know I’ve been working on cover art probably more than is healthy, but good news on that front; I hired an actual artist so I wouldn’t waste anymore of my time trying to be talented. Instead I got back to writing. Smort, Audra Mae.
With the all-important cover out of the way, I have now focused my attention once again on rapid drafting, editing, revising and re-revising of the first two parts of the story. Altogether around 5000 words. Not bad. Not bad at all. Now the momentum is picking up I’ll be able to have a much faster turnover.
As of right now, the book blurb goes something like this:
Out with the old, in with the new…world, that is. Tabitha Price, an average bookseller in an average town, doesn’t expect life to get much more interesting than the books she reads. But when a friend accidentally sends her to another world, Tabitha will learn that sometimes, living in a fantasy isn’t all that fantastic.
In this new world, wars rage across the country, monsters roam free, and knights are sent to scavenge from the dead. It’s dreary, confusing, and Tabitha is sure she’s going to die at any second. Her only chance is to find a group of adventurers to protect her. That can’t be too hard, right?
Not bad, eh? It needs polishing, and I’m thinking I’ll host a poll to have you guys help determine what blurb sounds best, but for a first time blurb-writer, I’m pretty proud of myself.
And that’s another great thing. I’m having fun writing and not having any self-defeating thoughts! Like, the story isn’t perfect, even after edits, but it’s good. Good enough. No longer is my perfectionism the enemy of my goodness.
I don’t have a timeline for publishing yet. My artist is working amazingly fast, but I want to have at least five parts prepped and ready to go before I start.
But I am so, so excited to share Tabitha with you guys.