Inside and Out

Over the course of the last month, I have had the honor to do a freelance project called Inside and Out with a local writer named Terry Fisher. In the book, the author writes a variety of odes and musings from her own life. The author took a chance on me and gave me everything she had with the hopes that I could write every ode and musings from start to finish. I had to set up the entire book including inside cover pages, breaking down the table of contents for the odes, rewriting each ode in her desired front, formatting to the specifications of her publisher, and to design certain pages with pictures.

It has been an amazing experience to learn about another writer through 70 or so odes that Terry Fisher has written over the course of her life. The book will be published with the next month or two and I will link on this page where to buy the book when the time comes. For now when the author chooses I will be posting different odes from Inside and Out.

I will, of course, create different blog posts for each ode the author would like me to post on here. I have listed the first ode here:

 Book Review: Inside and Out

Ode to Depression

Ode to Sammie

Ode to John Belnap CRNA

Odes from Inside & Out by Terry Fisher

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Prayer for Mary by Terry Fisher

This is another ode in the ongoing series from Inside and Out by Terry Fisher— a local writer I have been working with since January. This is connected to the last ode that I posted which you can find here. Odes from Inside & Out by Terry Fisher

Prayer for Mary by Terry Fisher

Mary’s going through something hard—
Looks like she drew a crummy card.
Why did God do this to her?
She didn’t deserve it, that’s for sure.

If He’s good, why does He do bad?
This from our spiritual Dad.
Now Mary has to hurt and suffer,
But it will make her much tougher.

Maybe that’s what God had in mind—
Maybe He’s really not unkind.
Through it all she will be stronger;
She won’t be sad any longer.

Things will be in perspective—
Life not blurred with invective.
She will rise above this all—
She will stand up straight and tall.

But, for now, it will be yucky,
‘Cause now she’s not very lucky.
But ‘bout the pain she doesn’t care—
She only fears losing her hair.

Mary, come on, you are so silly—
Now’s the time to go willy nilly.
God will be there for the ride—
And us too— we’re on your side.

Show Mary how much you care;
Please share this— Mary’s Prayer.

 

 

 

Odes from Inside & Out by Terry Fisher

This is another ode from Terry Fisher’s upcoming book Inside and Out. This of course is part of the major freelance project I worked on in January and February. You find my thoughts on this project here. Reflecting on my Big Freelance Project

This ode is of a special friend of Terry’s who passed away. I hope you enjoy.

Ode to Mary Soto

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Mary, Mary, Mary—
Don’t be quite so contrary.
Here, you see we love you so—
Please don’t give up on us and go.

I’ll decide to believe in God—
To Him I will pray and applaud.
For great things for you to happen—
There’s much more for you than heaven.

You have been so very strong—
We’ve been in awe of you all along.
Miracles do happen—
Just don’t make me keep on rappin’.

My rhymin’ here has gone to hell.
I guess that’s just as well.
‘Cause there’s just one thing to tell—
Mary Soto we love you.

 

Ode to John Belnap CRNA

This as another ode from Inside and Out, written by Terry Fisher a local writer I have been working with since January. I was my honor to transcribe, edit, and format to the specifications of the author’s publisher. The book is nearing its publication, but I wanted to give the author more time on my blog. So I offered to show some of the odes here on The Bipolar Writer blog. Here are some of the links dedicated to this author and the work I did including the complete works published on this blog.

Reflecting on my Big Freelance Project

Inside and Out

Ode to John Belnap CRNA
12-9-1969 – 7-4-2016

Let me tell you this, John Belnap’s life was not all done.
Taken cruelly when he was trying to have some well-deserved fun.
He worked so hard at his job in Oregon—
Then moonlighted to us when he was done.

He drove hours and hours all the way here—
Learning Spanish on the way, what a dear!
Who does that? Listening to boring tapes for hours on end—
It helped us so much— never had to find a translator with time to lend.

I talked a lot to this man, you see—
And he never ceased to amaze me.
Generous to a fault— never judged a struggling man—
We called it the Belnap Foundation that he ran.

Always familiar in his red, white, and blue OR cap—
He was never caught taking a nap.
I wondered if he had hair beneath that hat.
Good to the core, but not just that—

An honor to work with— that’s for sure.
And calm and capable in a crisis blur.
Cared about his patients beyond belief—
He was the God of patient relief.

For sure you could rely on him to say “of course,”
“Comfort is why I am here to help you” he’d endorse.
Once a month he was there only—
Not enough time to know this man more-ly.

And now no chance to get the opportunity—
To keep and love him in our community.
We love you, John, that’s for sure—
A burden we must carry and endure.

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Reflecting on my Big Freelance Project

I am nearing the end of my first big freelance project of 2018. It was a transcribing and formatting job for a local writer, Terry Fisher, for her upcoming book of odes titled “Inside and Out.”

It’s been a great learning experience in how the self-publishing route works. I seem to be moving towards the inevitable direction for self-publishing my own memoir.

It was great to work with the local author on a long-term project versus my shorter freelance projects because I really got to know the author. See into the mind of another writer who is a lot like me.

You see, if you read the Ode to Depression that I posted last week, you see the long-term effects of how depression can have on someone. I know I worry a lot about what the future holds for someone like me and it was great to see another artist achieving her goals in a big way.

I also learned that you can really reflect your own life within your writing. The process can be an arduous one, but I never one say Terry give up even as things went wrong. I saw real power and determination even when there are no guarantees in this life.

My local fellow author Terry Fisher is really writing her book for herself. I can respect that in every way possible. It takes great strength to put your work out there not knowing what will become of it. Even if she is writing for herself, from what I have seen doing the transcription work for her book, the book has real potential.

So I wanted to say here on my blog Thank you, Terry. It has been an amazing journey. I know we have a few minor things to do but we are at the finish line.

I am, as always looking for freelance work. If you have a job let me know. I have been doing content writing a lot yesterday and I could write blog posts for your blog.

J.E. Skye

Ode to Keeper

This is another ode from Inside and Out by Terry Fisher. You can find all of them here.

Inside and Out

Ode to Keeper

Keeper. Now there’s a name for you.
16.5 years ago Matt knew just what he’d found—
And named him that, too.
All those years Keeper had been around.

Lasting longer than most marriages—
Little pip-squeak of a dog— could fit in most carriages.
In fact, Matt got him as a puppy in a basket—
Matt wasn’t ready— he’d just put Penny in a casket.

But Liz just left the puppy at his door—
Knowing just who he should be for.
When he popped up with a smile that stole his heart—
Matt knew he was a Keeper right from the start.

He was the one thing Matt could count on to greet him home—
So he never ever felt that he was alone.
But now holding his dead dog with tears in his eyes—
He said, “Now I’m all alone— I’ve had to say my good-byes.”

But we said, “You aren’t alone— you have great friends—
“Unconditional friends, not needing amends.”
But we are just simple two-leggers—
Nothing can beat the love of four-leggers.

You made a puppy very very happy for a long long time—
You’ll make another one so lucky and again the sun will shine.
Now Keeper is happy at Rainbow Bridge—
He’s there yonder, just beyond the ridge.

Ode to Sammie

This is another ode from Terry Fisher’s upcoming book Inside and Out. I will be posting several of these odes before publication and then a link. You can find the entire project here.

Inside and Out

Ode to Sammie by Terry Fisher

What can I say about Sammie?
He was always part of my family.
Even though there’s years between us,
He came back without a fuss.

Just like he was before—
The man I used to adore.
What do I remember about him?
Always late but never dim.

With a soft voice he talked,
And lumbered when he walked.
Slow and steady, that’s my Sammie,
But for sure no namby pamby.

Doing dishes, that of course—
But so much more I endorse.
Made Chinese salad, yes you see.
Always doing stuff for me.

Got the chicken from ole Ross.
Now he’s gone— what a loss.
Chewing on his toothpick—
I guess he got very sick.

Sammie made sure I did know
When he passed away though.
Sammie knew about a flying knife—
Not to catch it or risk his life.

Songs he wrote that were so cool.
Sammie ain’t nobody’s fool.
Making up phrases for me—
Like the one “body company.”

Crass, not him, he never was.
No reason why, just because.
Playing the guitar.
He could’ve gone far.

Till a bottle found his eye,
And no one but God knows why.
Then God made it worse with a stroke.
Now, God that’s not fair; a shitty joke.

Oh for sure I do remember how Sammie walks and talks.
But mostly I remember a big black guy with dreadlocks.

 

Weekly Wrap-up 2/18 – 2/24

I love these weekly wrap-up’s because they are a good way to end my week. I will keep short this week because I am in the midst of finals. I have a quick turnaround between semesters so I am trying to finish by mid-week and then take the rest of the week off. I am close to finishing my freelance project which has been a great experience.

So this week I will list the blog posts with limited descriptions.

Publishing my Memoir

This post is just an update on my memoir. I am almost done putting the chapters together and I am narrowing down my self-publishing postings. I talk about a donation button I am adding to my blog. I am always working towards the money to self-publish.

Looking Towards the Future

In this blog post, I talk about the future. The future of my social anxiety, The Bipolar Writer blog, and my memoir. I figured this update would be good.

Life is Like a Cigarette

This blog post is by contributor writer Alan Wolfgang who talks about life and his addiction to cigarettes. In this blog post, he talks about connections to cigarettes and mental illness.

My Favorite (Bad) Coping Mechanism

This blog article was written by contributor blogger Chelsea Owens who explores her favorite (bad) coping mechanism in her life.

What Makes The Bipolar Writer Happy?

I have been dealing with some things lately related to my social anxiety that has made me feel that I could never be happy. I explore this topic in this blog post.

When your mental illness is shared without your permission

This blog post is from contributor blogger blogpostsfromthedge. In it, the author explores her experiences of when your mental illness is shared without your permission. It’s an important topic that needs to be discussed. This is a great article.

Adventures in Therapy

This blog article is from contributor blogger Perpetually Eliza, where she shares her adventures in therapy.

Ode to Depression

This blog post is an ode written by my freelance project author Terry Fisher. It’s a great one and an ode that is relatable to the people that suffer from depression in the mental illness community. It gives insight into depression.

My Sexual Abuse Story and How I Forgave My Abuser

I rebooted this from a blog ran by Joy Daehn called https://happy-thinks.com. I was truly inspired this week by this author and her story of sexual abuse. I asked the author if I could share this story on my blog and she said yes. It is a great piece.

Inside and Out

“Inside and Out” is the title of the freelance project I am working on from the author Terry Fisher. This page will be dedicated to all the odes that I share on my blog.

My Latest Adventure in Social Anxiety

In this blog post, I talk about my week in social anxiety. I am working to see what works and what are the triggers of my social anxiety. I am working on leaving my house when I can for a few hours a day that I can. This article talks about my week.

Why you always lying

This blog post is from contributor writer blogpostsfromthedge where the author discusses lying in a mental health world.

My Insomniac Life

In this blog post, I talk about Insomnia. This is the chapter from the memoir that I share when I discuss how my sleep has always been a problem in my life, and that sleep is so important to mental health.

12:15 am

This poem is a panic attack and anxiety poem I wrote. It is one of my favorite pieces.

Mental Illness Takes No Prisoners

This blog post was written by contributor blogger Alan Wolfgang about mental illness and how it can be controlling in our lives.

Social Anxiety – A Day in a Life

This is an article about anxiety/social anxiety/generalized anxiety. I wrote it to break down what is it like living with anxiety in a day.

James Edgar Skye

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Ode to Depression

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Over the past month, I have been working with a local writer putting together a book of odes and musings called Inside and Out. The author’s name is Terry Fisher, and the book will be self-published by the author. My job was to format the entire project and to re-write each ode. I am close to finishing my project and the author wanted me to share a piece of the project.

This ode is called “Ode to Depression” from Inside and Out

 

Ode to Depression by Terry Fisher

What is depression?
Is it just the inability to have fun?
Most people think they know all about it—
They think you can just will away this shit.

If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me—
“Just smile and pretend you are happy and you will be”….
My mother used to hit and shake me because she thought it was just bad attitudes.
Now she knows mental illness runs rampant in our family of psycho dudes.

I’ll tell you what it feels like— my impression—
Like I’m a great big pillow stuffed with depression.
Light as feathers so you would think there would be room for happiness.
To squish in there to squeeze out some of the sadness.

But the only room is for a hard, small, shriveled soul lost in a corner in there.
I keep wondering when the outside will catch up (down?) to the inside that doesn’t care.
With no exception, nothing gives me joy.
Not nature, not flowers, not walks— not a little girl or little boy.

My dog love is gone. I walk them, but resent the chore.
I give them treats to help make up for being owned by such a pathetic bore.
My hobbies don’t interest me— I resent it when I get orders.
Food has no taste— my body is losing it’s borders.

It used to be the pillow would make room for this cute and funny person to come in and write.
Not any more. She’s nowhere to be found. She’s lost her might.
I do everything I am supposed to do.
Exercise every day even though I’m still so blue.

The doctor said a vegan diet!
What the hell, I’m trying it.
I take a mountain of pills each day—
Morning ones. Night ones. I obey.

I’ve tried volunteering. SPCA. Meals on wheels. Holding babies whose moms are dead.
They bore me. How disgusting is that to abandon such causes? I give money instead.
I’ve done ECT— three times— it’s the best you know.
But it’s got a little glitch. That’s quite a bitch.

Lost 1996 for good. My cousin’s wedding— heard it was nice.
Apparently I was there. I remember mosquito bites.
The Olympics got bombed that year. So I hear.
TMS, ketamine, years of counseling, years of tears.

I’m just like before
But I don’t cry any more.
I get out to see my friends whenever I can—
And this is my one joy. I have one, oh man.

Having coffee with my friends— when it is just two of us, I’m there—
If more, I still find joy, but I’m usually hovering above somewhere.
I have a great life.
A retirement without strife.

Enforced— I no longer had confidence in my competence.
I managed to avoid casualties along the way of impaired senses.
A wonderful family who finally understands me—
A whole bunch of great friends— not all who can see,

I am financially secure— So—
Why don’t I glow?
I have no partner, but truly I think a partner would have value only as a distraction.
A valuable, time-consuming distraction filled with action.

I don’t know if I could drum up the participation a relationship requires.
Although I tell myself, THEN I would seek counseling to feel some desires.
Enthusiasm. Libido. Room in that sack of depression for love.
I would do anything to hold on to a good one, I pray God above.
Have to fake It probably. Oh my.

I sound like a spoiled brat, don’t I?
I’m not.