Talking About Mental Health

I’ve talked about mental health on this blog quite a lot over the years. I haven’t done it as much over the last couple years, but then again, I haven’t talked about *much* on this blog over that time. The reason for that is, ironically, mental health. (Or the lack thereof, honestly.)

Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat it’s #BellLetsTalk day. I’ve mentioned this before because it’s important to me. I chose to move to Canada almost five years ago, and finding there’s a very public day devoted to mental health awareness surprised and pleased me. (Every tweet/RT/post/etc. including “#BellLetsTalk” means another 5 cents donated to mental health initiatives in Canada.)

I will give my usual caveat that EVERY DAY should be a day for talking about mental health. Ending the stigma around mental illness is a job for more than one day, but the more money we can tweet into this effort, the more resources organizations will have to put toward this all year round, so I hope you’ll all get out there and use the hashtag–you don’t even have to be in Canada! (I think there’s a way to participate via text messages and calling too.)

So once again, I’m here to do my little part and tell my own story. I hope hearing me talk about my own struggle will help others know they’re not alone. Because you’re not. I suffer from mental illness, and I am not ashamed. (Or at least I try really hard not to be. It’s still difficult to get past the stigma sometimes, but I think I’ve come a long way.) So on with the show…


A couple years ago I realized I really needed some help. It had been many years since I’d been on medication, but I was struggling mightily—missing work, lacking joy in even the things I love the most (podcasting, of course), so I did what I always tell other people to do—talk to someone. For me, that someone was my doctor. (I am so lucky and pleased to have a doctor I like and trust and who trusts *me* to know my own mind and body and make decisions for myself.) We tried a variety of different medications to help address my depression and anxiety. I think over the course of one year I tried five or six different meds. Some of them didn’t work. Some of them worked but had debilitating side effects. I got discouraged and kinda gave up.

So for a while I stepped away from regular medication, in part to let my body and brain re-set after all that bouncing around from med to med. (Though I still had [and have] some as-needed meds for anxiety.) I managed to get by for about a year this way, but it was really just “getting by”. And then eventually that “getting by” started to slip to not-quite-getting-by.

I went back to my doctor.

Now I’m on some new meds that seem to be working (and without super-awful side effects! yay!). It’s early yet, but I’m hopeful.

[Note: The writing of this blog post was literally just interrupted by my reminder to take my Cipralex. LOL at timing!]

Anyway, my mental health is the number one factor in determining when I have the energy to write outside of my day job. I would love to promise more regular content here, but I don’t know how my mental health will hold up. But as I said, I’m hopeful, and I have a few things I wrote for podcasts that I might be able to re-purpose for blog posts, just to keep things moving while I work up to fulfilling the last of my Patreon reward posts.

So once again, I’ll just say to anyone out there that’s struggling: you are not alone. I hope you’ll reach out and find some help.

And to everyone, whether you’re struggling or not, please take a moment today to use the #BellLetsTalk hashtag. Each time I see it come through my feed, my heart lifts a little bit. I have to imagine it’s doing the same for others. Seems like a pretty easy way to spread joy while raising money for a worthy cause.

Finally, mega-thanks to my spouse Steven and all my friends, family, and internet pals who have stuck with me through all this and provided constant understanding and support. I love you all so very very much.

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2018 Awards Eligibility Post

First of all I just noticed how long it’s been since I’ve posted anything here, and I’m fighting hard not to feel great guilt or at least chagrin. 2018 brought some huge personal challenges that included mental and physical health issues — both of which have gotten worse and not better. (I’m working with several doctors to turn that around, but so far it’s not really happening.)

Anyway, despite all that, I managed to have a pretty productive year in the world of podcasting, and I’ve got a bunch of stuff that is technically eligible for awards. I don’t actually think most of these warrant nominations, and some of the ones I *do* think are worthy are exceedingly unlikely to be recognized, but that is not really the point of this. I encourage you all to go read Melissa F. Olson’s Awards Eligibility Post and take special note of the bit where she talks about why these kinds of posts are important. Those thoughts are as applicable to podcasters as they are to writers.

So without further ado, here’s the list!


Uncanny Magazine is eligible for the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine.


Everything else I do (unsurprisingly) falls into the Hugo Award category for Best Fancast:

Verity! – My first podcast, in which 6 women, in 5 time zones, from 4 countries, on 3 continents, in 2 hemispheres, talk about 1 thing: Doctor Who. (We’ve been nominated twice before, and it was a huge honour.)

Lazy Doctor Who – My spouse, Steven, and I are making our way through “the pilgrimage” — watching every episode of Doctor Who in order. And we’re podcasting about it. It’s “lazy” because we do it from our couch and only do it when we have time and feel like it.

The Audio Guide to Babylon 5 – I am so proud of this podcast, which Chip and Shannon Sudderth and I completed in 2018. We watched the whole five-year arc of Babylon 5 and did a podcast episode about each episode. It makes me feel all fuzzy to look back and see what we accomplished together.

In The Village – This is another “completed” podcast effort. Steven and I watched all 17 episodes of The Prisoner to celebrate its 50th anniversary. We did not agree on many things, but we had a grand time doing it. I have never fallen in love with a tv show harder and faster than I did with The Prisoner so it was sheer delight to do a podcast about it.

Earp Chirp – in 2018, my Albertan pals Annette and Kirsten and I launched this podcast devoted to Wynonna Earp, a show that is both shot and set in our home province. It’s a loose, instant-reaction-style podcast recorded on the same couch used for Lazy Doctor Who. In addition to our general observations, we comment on the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the Albertanisms on the show. It’s important to note that Steven is our Crackerjack Producer.


I also contribute frequently to a couple of podcasts that are also eligible in other(?) Hugo categories:

The Incomparable Jason Snell has brought together a fabulous crew of geeks to talk about many geekalicious topics, from books to tv to movies to comics to video games to music to board games to…Thanksgiving dinner? I’m one of the most frequent panelists on the show, so it would be cool to see it get a nod. I’m pretty sure this would fall under Best Related Work, as I think it’s not eligible for fancast due to financial restrictions.

Total Party Kill – This D&D podcast on The Incomparable Podcast Network sees some of the panelists play a variety of tabletop roleplaying games. I’m on nearly all the episodes, and I edit lots and lots of them, so I spend a lot of time and effort and love on this one. I’m not totally sure if it’s a “fancast” or if it would qualify under Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form. (If anyone has expertise in this area, feel free to clarify in the comments.)

And that, as they say, is that! Unless I’ve forgotten something, which is entirely possible.