When someone experiences mania, their brain scans light up with activity. It is called the Christmas tree brain. The most common drug people with bipolar disorder abuse is Crystal Meth because that mimics the high of mania. A bipolar person eventually comes down off their natural high. When some do, they miss that high, thus resorting to illegal substances. I joke I take drugs to prevent what others take drugs to feel.
It isn't just the euphoria. It's the other effects of all those neurons firing that defined me. There is a reason the percentage of people with mood disorders is higher in the creative fields than the general population. Let's say in a normal person neuron A and B fire. Your brain makes a connection between these things. In a bipolar person having a manic episode, neurons A and B fire, and so do J, M, T, and Y. Your brain needs to make sense of this and can come up with some whacky ideas to do this, thus fostering creativity.
The genesis for The Mark of Abel, my debut release, illustrates this. I came to writing through Buffy/Angel fan fiction. I love vampire stories and decided I wanted to write my own. That is neurons A and B firing. That makes sense to anyone. Then mania hit and all those other neurons starting speaking up. The result, Lucifer became the first vampire and the other vampires are the Grigori, the Watchers/fallen angels from Genesis. When I thought about it, vampires are demon and fallen angels are demons. According to math, if A=B and C=B then A=C. That's what my bipolar brain came up with.
When I started taking medication, I was terrified I'd loose this. All my amazing ideas came from my Christmas tree brain. What I was unable to see was sure I had amazing ideas, but I was unable to communicate them effectively. I wrote a lot when I was manic, but that writing wasn't readable. What I needed was to learn how to use my cycles in my writing.
Just because I'm medicated, it doesn't mean I don't cycle. It just means those cycles are more manageable. I am coming off a several week long depression. When I'm hypomanic (little manic), I am big idea girl. That's when I come up with amazing plots and do things like mind maps. Writing then isn't going to happen. Whatever I write will be garbage. When I'm level, I can write again and flush out these amazing ideas. When I'm depressed, the world slows down and I get hypercritical. I have trouble remembering things, including words. Writing is an exercise if frustration, but I'm one heck of an editor.
Fortunately, I have an editor who understands this. She encourages me to work on the sequel, but never pressures me. So now that I'm no longer depressed, time to get working on the sequel.
Is a frustrated artist Lucifer’s ticket back to heaven or will falling in love with her reawaken the compassion that got him expelled?
Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.
Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.
Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.
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