From @MykeCole’s Blog: What PTSD Is

If you’ve been playing along at home, you know that much of my protagonist Shaundar’s character arc is centered around his war experience and PTSD. If you’ve been reading between the lines, you know that I’m examining my own PTSD (though I’m not a war veteran, I’m the daughter of a bipolar mother who was untreated during most of my childhood) through the writing of this story.

Myke Cole is a military fantasy writer and an Iraq War veteran. He’s written a couple of particularly good pieces on the subject that I’ll be sharing over the next couple of days. The thing that struck me the most about this one was his observations about Condition Yellow.

Living under Condition Yellow for extensive periods of time is the big factor that drives PTSD. I spent my whole childhood under Condition Yellow, and school just made it worse because I was bullied extensively. So Condition Yellow was my LIFE. I didn’t know there was any other way to live, and only now am I beginning to unpack that this is not normal, and has affected every relationship I’ve ever had.

Anyway, check it out.

I’ve talked before about genre writers who have been very open about personal trials, particularly the kind of depression/anxiety conditions that I feel are a natural part of the uneven terrain all authors have to walk. I’ve always appreciated their willingness to go public with these issues, as the first (and false) thing that most people suffering from these sorts of things think is a.) that they’re alone and b.) the problem is unique to them. When your literary heroes step into the spotlight and say, “hey, this is more normal than you think and you can figure out how to live with it,” well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more than a few folks still pushing air past their teeth because of a blog post they read.

The thought of talking about what goes on in my head in anything but the most general terms in the public square takes me way out of my comfort zone. But I reread the first paragraph of this post, especially that last line. Sometimes, you need to go outside your comfort zone, talk about a thing not because you need to get it off your chest, but because it might help others to hear it.

I was diagnosed with PTSD in August of ’09, just after my third tour in Iraq. Of course my first concern (like everyone in my line of work) was losing my security clearance, and that kept me from going for help for a long time. But DoD did right by me, and I kept working for another 2 years before the book deal got me out of the business.

Read the full article at Myke Cole’s website.

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Gallery

Gallery: Scro of Dukagsh

This gallery contains 40 photos.

These pictures have all served as sources of inspiration for my image of the characters.  Source: Google, DeviantArt, Elfwood, Tumblr, Wizards Forums.  If you know who the artist is who created any of these images, please let me know so … Continue reading

Gallery

Gallery: Elves of the Elven Imperial Navy

This gallery contains 24 photos.

These pictures have all served as sources of inspiration for my image of the characters.  Source: Google, DeviantArt, Elfwood, Tumblr, Wizards Forums.  If you know who the artist is who created any of these images, please let me know so … Continue reading

A Common Orc

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

Gor’tar (Officer) Thorgir of the Clan Bloodfist took his zabbak’tarr (Rite of Passage: literal translation “rite of the warrior”) as a common orc of the Doomspear Clan, but soon after became a thrall to the Bloodfists in a failed raid for commoner women.  Dorin Bloodfist saw great potential in the young orcish Doomspear and spared him if he agreed to become a thrall for 10 years.  The Clan Chieftain felt that 10 years would give them enough time to ensure the young man’s integrity, and he was right.

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The Needs of the Many (Book Excerpt)

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

It was over.  The Champion of Clan Bloodfist looked over the flotsam and jetsam that had once been the greatest fleet in the history of the Scro Empire, shattered and broken like so many forgotten toys.  At least, they would be if the blood and body parts weren’t floating serenely between them.  His blood brother Corin, the clan leader, was no longer pouring blood from the wound in his throat where a stray shard of broken metal from their shattered rail had pierced it, but he was still unconscious and whether or not he would live or die remained very much anybody’s guess, especially since the healer was only Sarga’s acolyte.  Sarga was dead, killed when their primary helm was crushed by rough-hewn accelerator shot.  They were adrift in the Void, and all around them the noose tightened as the butterfly-shaped vessels of the Imperial Elven Navy Fleet, easily three…

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A Lady of the Clan (Book Excerpt)

Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine

The Bloodfist summer home was really quite lovely, Ynga decided as she peered excitedly over the edge of the sail barge’s railing. It was nothing like the fortress in the mountains that served as the Bloodfist clan’s residence in Dukagsh’s rainy season, carved into the rock diligently over the course of generations; solid, stone cave walls and warrens that were imminently defensible, but gloomy. Those halls, where Ynga had dwelt among the clan’s unmarried girls her whole life, were ill-suited to her unseemly adventurous nature, and she and her twin sister Y’Anid had spent many hours, even days, clambering over the rocky steppes on whatever pretense they could invent; from overseeing the pepper and quinoa farms to inspecting the lofty rope bridges that connected one outcropping to another. Their excursions were never approved of, naturally, but their mother was the reigning Den Mother, and she defended her daughters’ right to…

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