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Yep, I have finally started studying Dutch to prepare for the plans to hopefully move to the Netherlands. The brain damage from CFS/ME makes it very difficult to learn new things, but I can still learn stuff if it's based on something I already know (which has enabled me to study medicine, as well). The fact that I studied German for two years a very long time ago helps tremendously - even before my studies I could read Dutch and understand most of it, even without a dictionary. The Dutch grammar is very similar to German, but much less insane, because they deliberately simplified it. Thanks, Dutch. :-> Now, if I could learn to understand spoken Dutch and speak it myself...

I turn 25 today. I'm trying to make it into a bigger deal than it really is. I'm happy that I don't have to spend my birthday alone and sick in bed, as I've spent most of my last ten birthdays, but it could be better. I was supposed to go to a psy party today, but unfortunately my adrenal insufficiency flared up badly last weekend. The smallest stress (including exertion and heat) could kill me. Adrenal insufficiency really sucks. It makes me hungry all the time and when my cortisol goes too low, I feel depressed, anxious and like crying about the smallest things. Those of you who have PMS know how it feels (in fact PMS symptoms are most likely also caused by low cortisol).

It's like I can never get on top of my illness(es). At the beginning of the year I got a new companion called myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). I went out not wearing enough clothes and froze my back (it wasn't frostbite or anything, I was only slightly underclothed). This resulted in extreme back and stomach pain for several weeks. At times the pain was so bad I couldn't do anything but cry. No, painkillers don't help. I tried acupuncture, which is pretty much the only effective treatment for MPS, and it didn't help much. The muscle relaxant I use, baclofen, helps a bit, but it still takes up to a week for the pain to clear up if I get cold. No matter how many clothes I wear, I can no longer go out if it's below -0C (even that requires five layers of warm clothing), except for extremely short periods, a few minutes at most. We have a bus stop in the front of the house so I've been able to gamble a bit, but mostly I've been "grounded" for the past three months. I can tell you that it sucks.

So, staying in Finland would mean, besides all the other nightmareish aspects of which there are loads, that I may be "grounded" for up to five months of the year. It's already bad enough to live here, now it's a real hell. I really hope we can move to the Netherlands before next winter. If not, I'll have to come up with other plans, like staying abroad on my own. As I only make about 200-400 euros a month, there's no way I can pay rent anywhere in Europe. So, any takers for a temporary housemate next winter? I am a very good cook. ;-P My boyfriend (who works for Nokia Siemens) was actually asked to move to China. My first thought was "Why not?" but unfortunately it wouldn't solve the climate problem and it would be extremely polluted there. I'd also be worried about getting all my meds and supplements. So sadly, no moving to China.

So, there's been a lot of suckiness, as living with a disability (and living in Finland) and of course life in general often entails, but at least on the work front I'm still going upwards. I posted my resume on my website in February and didn't think much would come out of it, but I've in fact got several great job offers thanks to it. For a while I've been moving towards more and more copywriting. The media is doing poorly, but copywriting is still thriving. Medical copywriting might just be my own "niche" - I won't be dropping scientific writing any time soon, but have to think about money as well. The music magazine I work for is also presenting some cool opportunities. Last year I got to interview Front 242 and this year I'll probably get to talk to Ismo Alanko and CMX. If you're not a Finn you probably don't know those names, but they're very well-known in Finland and CMX is also my favorite band.

As for my other writing, I've pretty much finished my fifth novel manuscript Meioosi (Meiosis) which I originally wrote for NaNoWriMo last year. It will be sent to publishers next week (we don't use agents in Finlands and we actually send full manuscripts straight to publishers). It's a story about life extension, living to your full potential and living many different lives during one lifetime. I've grown very fond of it and its characters and obviously I'm hoping it will find a publisher. If not, well, that sucks, but then I'll just have to devote my energy to my next novel, which I'm already planning. If it goes according to my plans, it will have a heavy focus on disability.

My previous novel The Atlas Moth will be available in English in May. obenson has helped me edit and polish it. As the back cover puts it, "Infused with black humor, The Atlas Moth is an unsurvival story about death, Chinese checkers and butterfly collections and how they all tie together." The book will have its own website some time very soon, where you will find more information about it. I will also be posting a news article.

P.S. One thing that has kept me out of DA recently is the quality (or the lack of it) of DDs. Sure, there are still some amazing masterpieces featured, but also a lot of mediocre pieces, junk, blatant rips and stuff that's featured for  very wrong reasons. E.g. some months ago there was a mediocre stamp featured simply because of its disgusting anti-human right message. I wouldn't be surprised if the same bigoted admin featured a stamp saying "I don't support gays and lesbians". Recently the joke of a Text Art GD who doesn't know what ASCII art is featured a piece (probably more than just one) from the ASCII gallery which had nothing to do with ASCII art. It's really sad that the DA admins have turned this beautiful form of fine art into a joke. The only requirement for becoming a GD for Text Art seems to be breathing (and approval of the DA core admins' policy of being anti human rights but pro lies, abuse and libel). I'm getting more and more sure there'll soon be a Photography GD who has never taken a photo in his/her life and who'll feature webcam snapshots and drawings of stickmen miscategorized to the photography gallery?

Current works

Works in progress
  • content for CFS/ME awareness day
    • a digital painting
      • the English translation of my novel #4
        • editing novel #5
          • a short story
            • my sociomedical essay series
              • editing some old poems
                • a few poems

                Works finished but not yet submitted
                • a typographic picture
                  • 55-word fiction
                    • four ASCII pictures
                      • some fractals
                        • an acrylic painting
                          • a digital painting
                            • two pixel pictures
                              • a whole bunch of photos

                              Works I wish to start in the near future
  • Listening to: Grendel - Harsh Generation
  • Reading: Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita
  • Watching: Madventures
  • Eating: pasta with walnut sauce
  • Drinking: green tea with ginger syrup
Add a Comment:
Haeeryu Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
I know I don't appear around here at all, but I've always been a fan of your trooping, specially regarding ASCII art. Now I see that in fact you're a real life trooper. Much respect, Happy Birthday and the best of luck with all your plans :)
diamondie Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009  Professional Writer
Thanks for the support. Yes, that's pretty much what I am... If I could choose I'd just rather have a normal boring life, but sadly we can't always choose.
Shurakai-Zero Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
I know what you mean about the quality of DDs lately. I just saw a photograph a few minutes ago that looked for all the world like the admin featured it solely on its thumbnail (which, admittedly, looked rather impressive). But looking at the image close up I could see some terribly amateurish retouching (of which I’ve had occasion to be guilty myself, and thus feel qualified to judge).

Congrats on the impending publication of The Atlas Moth in English, btw. I look forward to reading it.

Good luck with the move (or possible move, I suppose, but I’m trying to be positive). And happy birthday.
diamondie Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009  Professional Writer
Thanks. :-> I take it you haven't received my email (or alternatively, I didn't receive your reply)?
Shurakai-Zero Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009
Nope. Did you send it to my Primus account, my gmail account or my yahoo acount?
diamondie Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2009  Professional Writer
The one. So it's no longer valid? Which one should I use?
Shurakai-Zero Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2009
I’ll send you an email so you have it.
nosf3 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
congrats for the bd.

the admins of this site do seem to suck at their work, lately the only place i've been following things has bene tradart/printing and oh hell what kind of shit goes on there. lots of photos and digital drawings, poster designs and what not. i've been trying to use the 'report deviation' feature, but it seems that no one is paying any attention to those unless there is a explicitly clear copyright infringement case.
diamondie Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009  Professional Writer
I think the problem with many DA galleries is that the volume of miscategorized pieces is simply too large to deal with them effectively (not sure about this gallery, but at least some bigger ones), especially since DA is extremely ineffectively coded and designed, so I suspect dealing with the miscats is also very ineffective to do in practice. But often the issue is just that the GD doesn't really care about anything but the fancy ^ character before his/her nickname.
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Submitted on
April 3, 2009