Horror Writers Association

MHI: MOURNING THE MANUSCRIPT. by Lara Frater

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Trigger Warning: This piece addresses mental health

The HWA is pleased to launch its Mental Health Initiative, a coordinated roll-out of events, resources, and activities intended to promote positive mental health, foster the concept of hope, and challenge the stigma of mental illness in the horror genre. The initiative, run by the organization’s Wellness Committee, launches in June, and includes the following blog posts from Of Horror and Hope, a downloadable anthology of poems, flash fiction, and personal reflections on mental health by HWA members.

 

MOURNING THE MANUSCRIPT.
Lara Frater

November 1, 2016
I start Stand Clear of the Closing Door for NaNoWriMo. I finish in February.

All my life I struggled with anxiety, ADHD, and depression. It makes me tired, gives me brain fog, makes it harder to write, harder to find mistakes, and easier to make them. It takes longer to finish things. I have many unfinished manuscripts and finished ones I hate.

But I like Stand Clear.

October 17, 2018
I’m comfortable enough to post chapter 1 to my writer’s group.

Stand Clear is about zombies and a flu epidemic that wipes out 80% of the population.

I always thought people overreacted and could be stupid. I remember one year this strong flu came from China and people here wouldn’t go to Chinese restaurants. (Stand Clear, chapter 1)

March 1–December 31, 2019
I regularly post chapters and revise. I like this novel and plan to maybe self-publish next year. It’s been 6 years since my last self-published novel.

March 11, 2020
I go to Chinatown because people avoid it.

March 13, 2020
I don’t realize this is the last time I open the Stand Clear file.

March 27, 2020
I get the virus. I live three miles from the epicenter as the virus hits New York. People die in the streets and in their beds like my novel.

March 2020–?
I think about Stand Clear. Some say hold it, others say release it.

I try to be strong, but I can’t. I know I write; numbers appear on my spreadsheet. I should submit because my last thing published is 2019.

But life is a blur.

August 2020
I take a chance and start sharing Paranormal Pest Control.

Today:
Paranormal Pest Control is with betas.
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors will have its day, one day.
And I am okay.

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