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  • stephencurro

Bouncing Back

It's been some time since I last sent out a newsflash. In fact, it's been some time since I really, really got my creative cylinders running. To be honest, I just haven't felt quite myself...

Over the last six months, I've noticed a decline in my creative output. It was taking me longer than normal to get through a typical writing session. It became harder to pull words and images into colorful descriptions. The time it usually took me to crank out thousands of words was only yielding a few hundred per sitting. It was frustrating. This was not the typical writer's block all writers encounter; I was still getting plenty of ideas, but articulating them was suddenly difficult...

The problem extended into other areas of my life. I was fatigued. I would think about something and then forget what I was thinking about. It became a little harder to follow conversations with others. I was forgetting little things around the house (beyond my usual goofiness). To say the least, I was growing quite anxious. This is not normal for a man of thirty-two years. I wondered if I was a victim of COVID. I've never tested positive for COVID, but many people have contracted the disease and not shown symptoms, only to go on to develop complications. "Brain fog", they call it. I went to my doctor for advice. She told me that there is a chance I had the brain fog, but the only way to easily verify would be to test if I had COVID antibodies, and that would be useless because I've been vaccinated (a test can't tell if my antibodies were made by the vaccine, or my body). So, they ran a full battery of blood tests and I waited for the results like a dog pacing the door when their master is almost home. What if the blood tests were inconclusive, I wondered? What if I had brain damage from all the hours I've logged on a computer? What if I had a tumor? What if I could never write again? What if, what if, what if? Finally, I was informed that I was deficient in vitamin B12. B12 is an essential nutrient that aids in brain function and immune response. A lack of B12 can result in, among other things, physical and mental fatigue. Extreme deficiency can result in paranoia and hallucinations (fortunately, I was not that far gone). This is slightly inconvenient for me, as I am trying to become vegetarian, and yet most people get their B12 from meat. But, the body needs what the body needs... So, I have been on daily B12 supplements, and now I'm feeling mostly better. My writing, not to mention my general sanity, has improved. Hopefully this is just a temporary blip and not a recurring medical problem. I guess I got lucky when all was said and done... Why, may you ask, am I telling you about my B12 woes? Partly to explain why I've been MIA, but mostly because I want to convey that health is important. I got lucky with a vitamin deficiency, but it could have been worse. Please, if you're not feeling well, don't let the what ifs terrorize you. It's okay to get the help you need. That goes for physical pain, mental health, anything that concerns you. Take the time to take care of your body, your mind, and your soul. Indeed, they are your most valuable possessions.

In other news, I have some exciting announcements:

  • My short story "The Faceless Enemy" will appear with The Future's So Bright... Anthology, published by Water Dragon Publishing! That should be released in September 2022.

  • I have another short story, "After the Adventure", which will appear in the July 2022 issue of Swords & Sorcery Magazine!

  • Keep an eye out for yet another story that will run with NewMyths! "Beads of Death and Love" should debut in December 2022.

  • Another string of my scifaiku is available in Illumen Spring 2022! Something happened and I am not listed in the table of contents, but I promise I'm in there! You can find a copy HERE.

  • More poetry can be found in the print version of Scifaikuest May 2022, including my haiku sequence "Vision Quest: A Haiku Sequence of the Stone Age". That can be found HERE.

  • Scifaikuest Online has its new (and separate) issue, and you can find a few of my poems lurking within HERE.

  • Star*Line Spring 2022 has one of my cheekier poems, and you can find that HERE.

  • Lastly, one of my scifaiku has been reprinted in Dwarf Stars 2022! I am honored to have been selected for this issue (and just look at that adorable front cover!). You can find that HERE.

In a related story, I may be rearranging the website to make it easier on the reader's eyes. So, if you long on and find the Published Works page in a tizzy, that would be why. I apologize in advance! Thank you for your support. I hope my work inspires you, or at least lets you escape this crazy world for a little while Until next time.❤️

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