O Captain! My Captain! Excerpt


Did you enjoy the interview with Vicki?

Here`s an excerpt from O Captain! My Captain!, book 3 of the To Love a Wildcat erotic hockey romance series. Secret Cravings Publishing is the publisher for this series, and the release date is July 9th, 2014.

 
I`ll give you the PG excerpt. 
 
        “Yeah, can you two please find a room and use it. That is just so wrong.” My son went back upstairs. My lips left Derrick’s against their wishes.
“We are just so wrong,” I whispered over Derrick’s tempting mouth. I looked deeply into his green eyes, fascinated as always by the flecks of gold that highlighted the jade.
“But it feels so right,” he said, and then kissed me again. A low, long rumble that came from his stomach finally broke up our totally wrong hello make-out session. “Sorry about that,” the man said as he stepped back from me to rub his belly. “I didn’t eat since breakfast. Whatever you’re cooking, it smells real good, Maggie.”
“It’s nothing fancy, just spaghetti with my secret sauce, a tossed salad, and an apple crisp for dessert,” I said as his fingers slid into mine. I led him to the kitchen. “Have a seat while I get the water on to boil. Beer?” I asked while opening the fridge. “I bought some Grain Belt at the beer distributor.”
“I think I love you,” the big man said while lowering himself into a chair. The chair legs complained a bit. “How’d you know?”
“I’m full of surprises,” I said as I handed him a cold bottle of Grain Belt Nordeast, a golden American lager, as well as a bottle opener. Derrick took a long pull once the top was off. His eyes drifted shut in ecstasy. “Actually, I saw a picture of you on the internet wearing a Grain Belt t-shirt during a fishing trip with the guys.”
“No one makes beer the way they make it in Minnesota,” he sighed, dreamily. I smiled at him and opened a bottle for myself before returning to work. I turned on the hot water, and then filled my favorite non-stick stew pot. “So what did you think of that second game?”
 
I glanced over my shoulder. “I think it was a good thing you won or Veikko would be out of goalie sticks.”
Derrick grinned widely. My fingers were itchy to get to that beard of his, or his chest, or his hairy legs. Is there anything finer than that wondrous abrasion of a man’s body hair on your smoothly shaven body? Phew. I needed to simmer down. It would be a long time before Trevor went to sleep. I concentrated on putting the water on the gas flame instead of that brisk cologne that was tempting me.
“Those Finns, they got some wicked tempers,” he commented between sips of his favorite beer.
“And you don’t?” I laughed out loud before I stole a sip of beer. I turned to look at him. Big mistake. He looked so perfect in my kitchen, sitting back completely relaxed, sharing a beer with me as we made small talk. I spun around. My mind needed an occupation besides daydreaming. I gave it the job of making the salad. The conversation went from one thing to another. Light stuff, nothing serious or heavy. He chatted about his days in the minors. I told him about my years being a stay-at-home mother. I didn’t tell him why I stayed home. The man didn’t need to know I wasn’t allowed to work outside the home. I might have cheated on Travis if I had a job, you see. I also might have had some money to leave his abusive ass, which I’m sure the man knew. Keeping me home without cash was just another means of keeping me under his thumb, the miserable—
“Hey, you still here with me?”
I bobbled the knife I was chopping those fresh peppers with. “Yes, of course,” I lied to the man now standing directly behind me. He was terribly sneaky for such a big man. Or perhaps I had been terribly distracted. His fingers were cold when he brushed a strand of hair from my cheek.
“Where do you go, Maggie?” Derrick asked, and then placed a kiss under my ear.
“Sorry. Sometimes I sink into a dark place in the past,” I replied as I got back to chopping. “Someday, I’ll tell you about it.”
        “Fair enough.” He stood behind me, arms tight around my waist. It was the most enjoyable salad prep I had ever been involved in.
*                    *                    *
Wow. I can’t wait for  this one to come out. Whew!   That’s all for today folks, gotta regroup here.
Write on my friends, write on!
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Interview with Author V.L. Locey


Well folks, today I have another guest in ” studio”.  Hmmm, that’s being rather liberal but it sounded better than ‘ hanging out in the kitchen’.  While I  offer up a pot of my best Black Silk, I got the chance to talk with my good friend Vicki Locey. 

I first met her  through Storytime Trysts.  She wrote several steamy stories for our readers on that blog.  Over time, we’ve developed a morning sprint group where we challenge and encourage each other. Some days we do better than others, but one thing that has held true for me – she is an encouragement.  Her example of diligence is motivating.  

With several books under her belt now, this fine lady shared some insight with me.

Do you consider yourself a creative?

I do now. There was a time that I didn`t consider myself creative or artistic. I assumed being artistic meant you painted, or that being creative meant you made something: knitting, needlepoint, pottery, sculpting, that sort of thing. It took me some time to come to terms with myself as an artist. Now I understand that I paint with words.

 Eloquently stated.  I agree, sometimes we tend to pigeonhole.  I thought for many years that since I can’t sing,  have no aptitude for painting or sculpting that I wasn’t an artist.  However, I’ve had many people tell me they loved this piece or that one, that I began changing my view which led me to research this topic of creatives. 

What  media do you use to express this?

Books.

 What  inspires you?  Discuss a specific time that inspiration struck.

My inspiration can come from anywhere or anything. A song on the radio. A severe thunderstorm. A comment made when having coffee with friends.

Oh cool!  Maybe something we talk about today will spark something.  At least you didn’t bring the zombie goo this time. *Vicki. levels  a look at me unsure that I’m joking*

Okay. So you want specifics, eh? I was having coffee with some fellow women authors. One, who is also a hockey fanatic, mentioned something about a rowdy game that she feared would roll out into the parking lot after the game. That tiny comment went home with me, nipping at the corners of my mind. By the next day, I had the idea and characters all worked out for my first M/M hockey novella. Boom. Just like that.

Wow!  That’s Impressive.  I usually don’t get the entire story that quickly, just a basic idea.  Do you ever struggle for inspiration?

Not generally. I seem to struggle to contain all the ideas. Sifting through the chaff to find the good ideas is always hard. They all seem brilliant when they flare to life.

“Oh. My. God. A book about zombie cats who ride Harleys! Yes! YES!”

Uhm. No, Vicki. Let`s not and say we did.

Sounds like some of my ideas when I am sleep deprived.  LOL!

 OOH!  I know, I’ll write a story about a zombie dog that infects the other dogs at the pound!  Right,  a french poodle, a mutt, and a chihuahua!  Yeah, It will be funny!  * shakes head sadly*

 Ok, moving on – Which is more daunting, beginning or the perseverance to finish,  or cutting the “umbilical cord”?

I don`t have any real issues with starting, or finishing.

Cutting the cord? Sometimes, but not usually. If I know that it`s done, then it`s done. I`ve polished it the best I can. Time to submit it and see if the publisher agrees. Sometimes they don`t. Sometimes they do.

I love that about you!  The fact that you don’t get riled up, or stressed out over  it. I’m trying to  learn from your example on that one,  I get all wound up over just the idea that they might reject my work.  Yeah,  I know I have issues. 

Describe your process from inception of an idea to conclusion of your work.

I start with the idea. Then I begin to masticate it, like a new stick of gum. Chewing it over and over, tasting the flavor on my tongue. If it tastes like a winner, then I open a file. In that file are two Word documents. One for the manuscript itself, the other one that I title Odds & Ends. The Odds & Ends document will have my character bios, supporting characters, any information that is relevant to the book, and images of the cast if I can find pictures that I think fit.

OMG – I do that too!  I look online for  people that “fit” the look I am going for  on my characters,  then  put them on the character index cards for easy reference.  I know I need to  move to the modern age and go digital, but I like my cards. 

Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt.  Please continue. 
 
I do not do long involved plot skeletons. I do a beginning, middle, and end. That`s it. I have learned that for me, meticulous plotting silences my muse. She has already written that story and will not rewrite it. So, yeah, Madame Pantser here pretty much leaps on her bike and freewheels through her books. So far it seems to be working out okay.

 Hmm,  I will have to think about what you just said as I’ve fought with my muse numerous times to  get the story written, and she points to my outline and shrugs. 
Of the characteristics of a creative, which category most describes you?  Which one least fits you?
Probably Passions best describes me. The one that least fits I would say is Head Games. I see my traits scattered throughout the categories so it`s really hard to choose just one.

Do you struggle with discouragement, distractions,  or lack of motivation?
Online distractions, yes, at times. I’ve learned to simply turn off Facebook or Pinterest when it`s time to work.

Lack of motivation isn’t a problem of mine.

Discouragement? Sure. There are times I wonder if anyone cares, if anyone is reading my work, if I should just give it up. Then, something seems to come along, a pleasant review or a teenager that hugs me because she has never seen LGBT novels in our county before. Yeah, that lifts me back up. It makes me want to write more.

How do you fund your  lifestyle, and  how would you describe your lifestyle?
Well, my lifestyle isn’t really anything that needs a lot of funding. I`m an author, so I stay at home. I`m still trying to break even on the self-published books I had printed. If you`re looking to get rich, be a doctor or a hockey player. Trust me on that one. The majority of us are maybe making enough to pay for editing on our next books if they’re indie.

Yeah,  I know a lot of people that think if they write A book,  one book that they will be the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling.  Right,  like it’s sooo easy.  They never think of  people like Mark Twain that lived close to poverty even though he was a world recognized author.  Agatha Christie wrote fantastic tales yet she didn’t live in the lap of luxury. For every  rich author, there are hundreds that earn a decent income and still another hundred that  make just enough to keep the lights on.  Sorry, pet peeve there.  * Sips coffee and offers a refill to Vicki*

Tell me about two of your works that you are most proud of.
Of Gods & Goats. It was my first book, and although I`ve learned so much since it went into print, it still symbolizes how brave I was to enter a new career at 50. I`m quite proud of all my works, but perhaps my To Love a Wildcat series is, at the moment, the one I`m feeling the most pride about. Of course, that will probably change when the next series begins, but this one is special. The non-conformity to the size two, perky blonde, white, twenty-year-old cookie cutter romantic leading lady is the reason I`m so proud of my Wildcats stories.

Ha!  I hear you there!  I am all about the nonconformity of my characters, even though I was recently chastised for writing  the overused themes, the damsel in distress thing –  I honestly don’t think I have any damsel in distress in any of my writings.  OK maybe in VAlkyrie’s Curse, I’ll have to look at that one again.  It’s on  the back burner anyway. 

 

What life titles do you hold?  ( mother, brother, sister, dad, uncle, editor, artist, graphic designer, nurse, husband, etc.)

 

Mother, sister, wife, author, chicken herder, hater of commas, reader, hockey fan.

Would you be willing to share a picture of your workspace?

It`s my kitchen table. Someday, maybe, I might have a desk, but until that day all the smutty magic happens here:

 

Vicki's workspace

Have you ever jotted down your idea on a napkin, torn bag, wrapper, or sketched a quick drawing of an item on any of the above?

For sure. Many times! I`ve also leaped out of the shower, repeating an idea or a line of dialog over and over until I can find a towel and a pen and paper.

 

What  piece of advice would you offer other creative?

 

Never let others determine your destiny. Don`t let family and friends tell you that you`re too old, too young, too fat, too skinny, too white, too black, too rich or too poor to pursue your dreams.

 

 That is great advice!  I wish I’d heard it many years ago.  Thank you for coming by and sharing  coffee with me, and for allowing me to pick your brain for my readers.

Vicki Locey
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, anything romantic, Greek mythology, New York Rangers hockey,  comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous N.H.L. goalie,  a pig named after an American President, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl. When not writing romantic tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand, writing, or cheering on her beloved New York Rangers. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452

Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey

My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=V.L.%20Locey&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank 

Write on my friends, and go read a good book!

 

 

Head Games


connect the dots

I felt these characteristics were different in nature than the ones I put in ‘Mentalist’.

The ones I categorized there were taking in your surroundings and processing them.  External cues that are observed, processed and translated into a unique output.  However, these characteristics are more about internal processes.

The ones I am calling Head Games are the kitchen. This is where the  raw materials are processed or cooked into a savory masterpiece.  When a Creative processes, it’s the difference between the homemade muffins we bake weekly for our family, and the gourmet muffins that we would serve for a holiday gathering.

The logical rational minded person buys the box mix of lemon poppy seed muffins off the shelf for convenience as much as hunger.  I’ve bought the box mix before and they aren’t  terrible.  However,  to really create something,  it’s made from scratch.  The homemade muffins using  fresh lemons and lemon zest,  poppy seeds from the spice section and a dash of that special liqueur that really makes them “pop”.  Presentation matters but it doesn’t matter as much as the taste. If your guests were to bite into that  box mix muffin they would probably be cordial and  choke it down, depending on how hungry they are.  But, if you take the time to really put some effort into what you are serving and making sure the presentation is appealing as well, your guest will be wowed and  the compliments and groans of satisfaction will be evident.

I know,  you’re thinking what does ‘Creative’ have to do with baking? Either that or you’re thinking ‘Stop it! You’re making me hungry.’    Being a creative is not confined to being an artist, writer, singer, or song writer.  Watch an episode of Master Chef, those people create masterpieces with food.  Edible art! I’m a pretty darn good cook, but I would never consider myself a chef.  I watch what those people  dream up with a few ingredients and I am mesmerized.  In that same vein,  those fashion designer competitions  highlight the quick-thinking minds and creative minds of  the competitors. Sometimes  the ‘creation’  is a flop.  Sometimes it is a success, but someone else’s creation was preferable.  Sometimes the creation is far and above anything  that the others came up with.

How to take the same ingredients and come up with a completely different dish is the challenge.  For  those that agreed to contribute to my little series here I gave a couple of options.  There are the interviews because we want to know the process.  How did they get from A to Z,  or was it from Arundel to Zandros? The next option was to include an excerpt or sample of their work.  The last was to contribute a piece from the same  prompt.  This mainly works with writers and song writers.

For most of the population if you have eggs, milk and bread you come up with French toast.  But for the creative chef, you may end up with a souffle, Southern-style bread pudding, or Savory herb strata.

Stop with the food!  I’m hungry! 

I know, I am too and I  need to buy groceries because all I have is peanut butter and crackers.

Alright, moving on before my tummy rumbling  makes the neighbor think there are wild beasts on the loose,  let’s get to these characteristics and you can process for yourself how they translate into art, music, dance or whatever form of creation the Creative mind can dream up.

Characteristics of the Creative’s Head games:

a)      They take time for solitude:  Creatives value alone time.  They understand that being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely.

“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone,” was stated by existential psychologist Rollo May.

Artists are often stereotyped as being loners. Solitude can be the key to producing their best work. For Kaufman, this links back to daydreaming – “we need to give ourselves the time alone to simply allow our minds to wander.”

“You need to get in touch with that inner monolog to be able to express it,” he says. “It’s hard to find that inner creative voice if you’re … not getting in touch with yourself and reflecting on yourself.”

They understand the difference between solitude and isolation.  Even though the two may overlap at times,  there is a distinct difference.  A creative may isolate themselves completely.  My father would go fishing. Just him and the fish out on the lake. It gave him time to think, time to collect his thoughts, time to sort his feelings and emotions. It wasn’t that he had to do it alone, I was often his fishing buddy.  If it wasn’t me,  there was always someone else willing to go even on those early, early mornings when any self-respecting person would be tucked away in dreamland. My father expressed his creativity in woodworking.  He was a master carpenter, cabinet maker.  He made some interesting and unique pieces over the years.  He would  think about the need, then create something that would be astounding in its simplicity yet profound in  it’s ingenious. To him, those times of self-isolation were seeking solitude.

A creative soul understands this need to step back from the rat race,  for solitude – to examine things and sort the thoughts and jumble of demands on our lives, and assess their options.  Many sort things at this  time like  that book I read about men being like waffles.  The creative  mind operates more like the spaghetti strung across the plate, but whether they physically touch the spaghetti, or mentally touch the spaghetti, they are able to see how  each strand fits together to make the whole.  After all, it wouldn’t be a plate of spaghetti  if they were all laid across the plate in the same linear fashion as they are in the box.  That would just be weird!

b)      They are solo travelers, lone wolves    AWOO!  As I mentioned above, the artistic soul is often called lone wolves. I think for the mere fact that we do tend to seek solitude.  Another factor is creative tend to be self-sufficient, and not codependent.  A creative marches to their own drum and are less likely to be lemmings. When the crowd is following the marching band down the middle of the street, and the creative has a different tune playing, it’s easy to not follow the crowd.  Besides, parades can be bad.  Remember what happened in Animal House? Yeah, stick to the side roads and stay away from the main street parade.

Creatives tend to not care as much about peer pressure as the general populace.  Ever notice that the art students, the geek squad, the band geeks, bookworms, eggheads, goth/emo, the nerd society –really don’t care what other people think?  Please don’t take offense by my terms – I’ve been called  all of them at one time or other except emo – it’s hard to be called emo when you are  the hyper one accused of being ADHD, and chronically happy. (And we all know that isn’t truthful cause when I get down I really get down.)

We can function alone.  We don’t pine for the crowd’s approval. Parents may notice early on that their child can sit and entertain themselves.  They are content to play with their toys whether it’s a Barbie fashion show, or a matchbox race of the century featuring Racer X, Mario Spaghetti, and his longtime rival Lex Lugnut.  Sorry, I digress. But you get the idea.  These are the children for whom the parents didn’t have to arrange play dates.  Heck, back in my day there wasn’t any such thing and when you grow up in the country if you didn’t have an imagination,   you were destined to be put to work.  Seriously, if I ever expressed “ I’m bored”,  my dad had a list of chores longer than his arm that needed to be attended to.

c)       They ask the big questions – Creative people are insatiably curious.  They generally opt to live the examined life and somehow maintain a sense of curiosity about the world around them.  They are always learning new things, always curious about how things are done, how they are made, why they are made, why did someone do it that way, what prompted the idea.  These are not ones that tend to take life for granted, or be content with the daily grind.  Creatives want to LIVE life every day.  Whether it’s through deep conversation or letting their minds wander during their times of solitude, creatives want to know why and how it is the way it is.

d)      They get outside of their own head – Kaufman states that daydreaming serves another purpose, to help us to get outside of our own limited perspective and examine other ways of thinking.

“Daydreaming has evolved to allow us to let go of the present,” says Kaufman. “The same brain network associated with daydreaming is the brain network associated with a theory of mind — I like calling it the ‘imagination brain network’ — it allows you to imagine your future self, but it also allows you to imagine what someone else is thinking.”

Getting outside your own head is a key element for writers.  Some seem to instinctively know how to elicit the desired response from their readers.  Others need to work on this as they practice their craft.

e)      They make time for mindfulness – I know, this seems ironic given the above states of getting outside of their own mind. However, getting focused is essential to tapping those creative juices inside us.

Creatives understand the power of a clear and focused mind.  Ever see a movie where the hero goes off and trains, getting ready to kick some serious butt, and part of his training is meditative.  Then he looks up into the camera with “the look” and you know he’s ready.  Yeah, it’s kind of like that.  Whether you call it channeling your energies, collecting your chai, soothing your karma, praying or getting your head on straight – you know when you’ve reached the point of clarity.

Many artists, entrepreneurs, and other creatives turn to meditation as a tool for harnessing their most creative state of mind.

Science backs up this idea.  Mindfulness can boost your brain power in numerous ways.  In a study from 2012, their findings suggest that certain meditative techniques promote creative thinking. Mental clarity leads to mental acuity, which leads to witty and ingenious ideas.  It also suggests that mindfulness  improves memory and focus, emotional well-being, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure.

I don’t know about you, but I think that is reason right there to do whatever juju it is that works for you to get your head on straight.  Sounds like a perfect recipe for a happy healthy life!

f)       They connect the dots – this is something that distinguishing the creative from the non-creative.  The ability to make connections where others don’t. Using a different word to describe – vision.  The visionaries of the world are creative.  The entrepreneurial mind makes connections and has vision.  Kevin Bacon’s 6 degrees of separation?   Genius.  However, when he is asked about it, he says it’s simply connecting the dots.

In the words of Steve Jobs:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

f)       Can see different POV’s – they are able to see the other side of the coin.   One of the problems with this leads to difficulty making up their minds about things because they can see different perspectives.  As an artist, they look at something from a different angle, and suddenly the light bulb goes off.  A writer thinks about what his characters will be thinking and what their perspective is.  They are often able to distinguish that one view isn’t right or wrong, just different whereas the logical mind tends to go to the “I’m right you’re wrong” mode.

In the aforementioned 2012 study, researchers found that “psychological distance” – in other words, looking at things from a different perspective, or thinking about it from different circumstances can boost creative thinking.

Most of these traits can be learned but for the creative, they are instinctual.  They come naturally and don’t even have to think about it.  When   they are asked to analyze it, that’s when the cogs start to clunk and grind because it disrupts their natural flow.

Do any of these traits sound familiar about yourself, your friends, or a family member?

Tune in next week and we will cover the next group, the Entrepreneurs.

For previous posts in this series see:

1. The Creative Mind  (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/)

2. A Mentalist (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/)

3. Time Bandits (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/)

4. Expressions http:// quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/6/11/)

Write on my friends, write on!

Work In Progress


progress

Hey guys, remember back in January when I posted my goals for the year?  Remember how I said I needed  my friends to help keep me accountable? Well, there’s a little problem with that.  Unless I go check back over the list I don’t have in my frontal lobe my  goals.  I sort of kind of have  made progress on them.

A few of my friends were quick to point out that I was sounding OCD and over planning my life.  Hey, chill out and relax.  Take life one day at a time.  Take what comes your way and just live.  Ummm,  I am 50 and I did that in my younger years and haven’t accomplished what i think I should accomplish hence the goals.  Then there were the ones that said my goals were too lofty. Shoot for the stars and if I clear the trees it’s still a win, ok?

So here it is June, and I need to do an evaluation of my progress.

  1.  Home/environment:   Remove 5 items from house every week whether through throw away, give away, or sell. (Have I mentioned the hubs is a pack-rat?  And that I  accumulate stacks of paper and wont part with any books?) Umm, yeah.  I started on this and I have 3 bags of stuff to take to Goodwill and I am working on  gathering more stuff for a garage sale then Goodwill. . . as far as what has actually left the house?  Not much sadly. 
  2. Home/environment: Get my desk set up and have a stable work area that is my dedicated  space. HA!  Well this hasn’t happened yet. But I do have six more months to make it happen I suppose. 
  3. Home/environment:  Have kitchen and living room flooring replaced in 2014. Hasn’t happened yet, not looking like it will unless I get a different job that pays double what I make now or  college expenses suddenly decrease by 30%
  4. Relationship:  Spend 50 minutes per week  doing something for  the  man of my affections. Between January and March I  have to admit I did not do this at all.  I was determined to not have affection for said man.  Since then we both have made concerted efforts towards improving our relationship. 
  5. Relationship:  Have 25 dates – no kids, no double dates, or group  parties that count as dates but real life  mono y mono date. 1.Going to dinner after  a speaking engagement – sort of counts, sort of doesn’t given the conversation. 2. Went out for ice cream and talked – yes we actually talked. Between mouthfuls of ice cream but there were words. 3. Hours of walking through the antique mall with  much laughter.  We saw a camel saddle for sale.  How many people have need for a camel saddle? 4. We went to an auction – got rained out but there was much conversation  on the car ride. 
  6. Health/fitness: Lose 50 pounds  by December 31, 2014. Lost some, gained some.  It’s a wild roller coaster ride as I am an emotional eater.  Current verdict – I’m down 14 pounds form the beginning of the year.  Yeah, better get moving more on this one. 
  7. Health/fitness: Eat 5 fruits and vegetables daily, or at least  5 days a week.  I am proud to say that I have averaged 4.3 days a week since the beginning of the year.  It’s not 5 yet   unless you count potatoes.  I’m not counting potatoes but they are a vegetable- technically. Over the past 6 weeks we have averaged 5.
  8. Health/fitness:  I will consume at least 50 ounces of water every day.  I know I should do more like 100 ounces but let’s start with 50.  Yeah, I need to work on this.  Why didn’t I set this as 50 ounces of coffee? 
  9. Growth/Learning:  I will learn 5 new skills this year.
  10. Growth/Learning:  I will read 50 books this year. Sadly I am way behind on this one.  I’ve read a few really good ones,  like  Aedyn Byrnes book Through the Oracle’s Mist.  I’ve not read nearly as many books this year as I normally do. 
  11. Career: Attend 5 professional seminars, workshops, &/or  courses. 3 down 2 to go.  The one I spoke at counts, right? RIGHT? 
  12. Career:  Finish and publish 3 books this year. Not yet, still working on it.
  13. Career:  365 Book.  Write 500 words every day for 365 days. I’ve averaged 500 words for 5 days a week. Sadly they aren’t all on one project. I need to work on that. 
  14. Money/ Finances:  Get all medical bills from 2013 paid off! DONE!
  15. Money/Finances:  Invest 500 dollars this year from wages. Hasn’t happened yet. 
  16. Social/relationships: Go out with my friends 25 times in the year. Hasn’t happened. 
  17. Social/relationships:  Host 5 theme parties over the year.  Man, I am way behind the curve on parties!!  I gotta get moving on this one! 
  18. Community:  Knit/crochet 50 scarves to donate to the homeless shelter.  Got 10 made, 3 in partial completion.  It’s hard to crochet when it’s hot outside. This is a sit and watch tv sort of activity and I haven’t really watched a lot of tv. 
  19. Community:  Do 50 kind deeds for  someone – anyone, over the course of the year.  I started writing down the things I knew of that  I would consider kind deeds – then I  didn’t write them down for a while so my records indicate that I am on 22. 
  20. Fun:  Make a list of 50 things that make me happy and refer to it often when I get down.  Made my list, lost my list.  Made a new list, lost my list. 
  21. Fun:  Try 25 new recipes this year.  So far I’ve tried 11 new recipes. 
  22. Fun: Spend 5 nights in  5 new cities.  HAHAHA! – What was I thinking?  I have spent 0 nights  in other cities. 
  23. Spirituality:  Spend 50 hours over the year  improving my spiritual well-being though healing, counseling, prayer, and meditation.  Hours spent so far probably closer to 9 hours.  yeah, I should get on that.
  24. Spirituality:  Spend 50 minutes of ME time each week.   I think I must have been on hallucinogenics or something when I set these goals.  Did I mention that I am a mom?  That I work part time?  That I am a writer?  50 minutes doesn’t sound like much per week but honestly – I would be lucky if it were 15 per week. 
  25. Spirituality:  Start a gratitude journal – one good thing for each day. I had a great start on this one.  I have  things written down daily through February 5th.  * hangs head in shame* 

Well at least I am honest, ok?  I could have just lied to y’all and say I was doing wonderful only my conscience wouldn’t allow me to. I’d end up telling you that I lied, and how sorry I was. It’s much better this way. You may know that I am an overachiever and scatterbrained but you’ll also know I’m honest.  Honestly trying to do better but often revert to those habits that have  gained me nothing thus far.  It’s good to see our short comings and know where we need to go from here.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my  humility. Or was that humiliation?  Yeah, a little of both I think.

OK, well regrouping for a better half of the year.

Write on my friends, and stick to your plans.

 

Excerpt from Fifth Clan


Yesterday you heard from my friend Ryan T. Nelson as he answered my interview questions. To further pique your curiosity about his new book, here’s an excerpt from Fifth Clan for your reading pleasure:

She finally broke the kiss and pulled back, licking my blood from her lips.
“Are you quite finished?” I drawled, acting as bored as I possibly could manage while struggling to keep my revulsion from my face. “Because, if you are, I’d like to know what prompted this little visit.” I pushed her away slightly and turned to re-sheathe the Wakazashi and placed it back on the wall.
“The Brotherhood has placed a price on your head my pet,” she whispered in my ear, pressing herself against my back. “You won’t give me any trouble now, will you?” I felt her hands slide down my chest towards my belt.
“Define ‘trouble,’” I growled as I reached down and tightly grasped her right wrist. With a sharp twist I snapped her wrist and both of the bones in her forearm. Before she could even gasp in pain I spun out of her grip and smashed my elbow into her face. I felt at least three teeth break under the force of the blow and her head snapped back so hard I could hear the bones in her neck popping.
“Oh you’re going to pay for that, Pet,” she growled, blood dripping down her chin.
“Probably,” I agreed, “but not quite yet.” Leaning back I braced my shoulders against the wall and planted my right boot in between her rather generous breasts. The next second she was flying backwards from the force of my kick right through the tall windows of my apartment.

 

About the Author

Ryan Nelson is a husband, father, student mechanic, and avid motorcyclist. Growing up in Southern California, he still lives within a few miles from his Mother, Father, and Brother. His interest in writing was sparked by an early interest in reading. The work of the many authors he read as a child and into high school inspired him to write his own ideas down. He and his wife and children live in California.

Ryan’s Facebook author page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/authorryantnelson

shadow's birth

The Shadow’s Birth can be purchased at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B007C7UU1S?cache=a98deb9bfad2d665a913410d0dc82e1a&pi=SY200_QL40&qid=1401495649&sr=8-2#ref=mp_s_a_1_2

‘The Fifth Clan’ is being released today!  June 13, 2014 as long as my editing schedule continues as it has.  Friday 13th.

fifth clan

http://www.amazon.com/Fifth-Clan-Ryan-T-Nelson-ebook/dp/B00KYKKS26/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1402662691&sr=8-2&keywords=Ryan+T+Nelson

  Happy Reading! I’ve got two new ideas I need to flesh out before I get back to work on my rewrites. Leave Ryan a comment and let him know what you think!  I’m off to work on  female vamps and dehydrated zombies!

Write on my friends, write on!

CREATIVE guest author: Ryan T. Nelson


fifth clan

Today  I have a guest in the studio.  OK, the studio is being liberal, more like my kitchen table.  I have the honor of having Ryan T. Nelson with me today. *offers coffee* Thanks for stopping by today. Are you ready to get started? *waits for  the sleep deprived nod*

1. Do you consider yourself a creative?

Absolutely. With all the worlds, people, creatures, legends, monsters, and every other imaginary thing swimming around in the twisted depths of my mind if I wasn’t creative I would be insane. So I’m gonna go with creative.

2. Haha, clever man.  Noncreatives don’t understand that and would indeed question our sanity, but we know the truth.  I think it’s one of the reasons we latch onto quotes from movies at times, they express various scenes or images that swirl in that vortex within us.  What  media do you use to express your creativity?

The written word. I couldn’t draw my way out of a paper bag so I write instead.

3. It’s true, I’ve seen his sketches folks.  For drawings and illustrations, I’ll host Macie Snow.  What  inspires you?  Discuss a specific time that inspiration struck.

Anything and everything inspires me if it catches me at the right time. I remember sitting in my economics class in my senior year in high school. The teacher was talking about President Bush considering opening up acres of untouched land in the Alaska wilderness for oil drilling in return for an estimated number of millions of gallons of oil.  The exact numbers escape me at the moment but I remember the difference in the acres of destroyed land for the return was staggeringly disproportionate.

At that moment, sitting in class, I got a mental image of a child, a teen, huddled for warmth in an abandoned office building as torrential rain poured outside when a peregrine Falcon flew in through the shattered window and landed on the desk next to him.

I have an entire story built around that one mental image, all sparked by a discussion in a high school economics class.

4. Do you ever struggle for inspiration?

Yes and no. There are times I’m not feeling creative but I’ll just move on to another project until I can get back into my groove.

5. Another writer that has multiple projects going on at any given time. Which is more daunting, beginning or the perseverance to finish,  or cutting the “umbilical cord”?

The perseverance to finish is my biggest flaw. I get distracted easily by- oh look at the kitty!

Honestly, I can be in the middle of a project and suddenly be hit by an idea for another project and I lose all interest in the first project until the new idea has been addressed.

6.Shiny!  Describe your process from inception of the idea to conclusion of your work.

I have a process? Honestly, as it happens I get an idea. A line from a song, a picture, an overheard sentence from a conversation at the next table and an idea blossoms within the dizzying confines of my mind.

That idea is left to germinate and grow while I scribble notes in the dozens of notebooks that I keep for just such a purpose. Eventually, if I decide I have enough for a story, I’ll begin outlining. Designing characters, flaws, backgrounds, and histories.  (OMG – another notebook junkie!  No wonder we get along so well.  We are kindred spirits!  Well that and the leather.)

Then I discuss it with friends and family and bounce my plans off of them until it picks up something, like a ball of duct tape with the sticky side out, and the new piece adds a twist to the story.

When I think I have enough of a story I start writing. I have recently begun using outlines but my earliest work I kind of made up as I went. Now my outline may be a simple, few page synopsis or a detailed, scene by scene and chapter by chapter, storyboard.

By the time I am 1/4 to 1/2 of the way through the story I return to bouncing the project off of friends and family as I hash out details, hammer down nails, and file the rough edges off the plan.

Then I write some more.  I write and continue to write. For weeks or months until eventually I reach a point where I can’t possibly write anything else but ‘The End’

At that point, I contemplate drowning myself in beer while I consider the immortal words of Socrates when he said, ‘I drank what?’

After I rouse myself from the toxin-induced stupor I beg, cajole, bribe, and blackmail those closest to me, or complete strangers, into helping me with the real work.

Editing.

Hahaha, and this is how we met – the editing. Although, ironically I had that whole demonic episode with my laptop not cooperating with Word and was unable to do any editing for several months. 

7. Of the characteristics of a creative, which category most describes you?  Which one least fits you?

Time Bandit absolutely seems to fit me.

I would say Entrepreneurial fits the least.

8. Do you struggle with discouragement, distractions,  or lack of motivation?

Oh, Gods yes. When a scene isn’t going the way I feel it should be I get frustrated and disgusted with the writing and the book itself. And yes I do- Hey check out this funny article I saw on Facebook!

9. How do you fund your  lifestyle, and  how would you describe your lifestyle?

I have a day job as a motorcycle courier/Messenger. Yes, and thank you for showing up for the interview in your motorcycle leathers.  It made my day!  I may be inspired by a hero in a new romance story. I’m also looking for new work in the motorcycle industry somewhere. Sales or mechanics or parts.

I don’t know how I would describe my lifestyle. I get by. My family and I are fed and clothed and healthy. Otherwise, everything else is secondary.

10. I still think you ought to pursue that personal trainer thing – you could rock that as well.Tell me about two of your works that you are most proud of.

‘The Fifth Clan’ is my most recently completed work, in the middle of that horrific editing phase.  It’s funny, bloody, and gritty in various spots and I personally got a great deal of enjoyment from telling these characters stories.

‘The Shadow’s Birth’ the first book of the Shadow Walkers fantasy series and the first book I wrote. I started the book 13 years ago in high school and I was encouraged endlessly to finish it and I did. I think I have grown as a writer since then and it will anyways be a special work to me as the place where I started.

11. Give me a brief bio about yourself, what you want readers to know, and  where they can find you and your work.

I am a meat popsicle.

Is that right? No? OK.

I am 30 years old. I have been told that I am obsessed with motorcycles, I prefer the word ‘enthusiast’. I love to read, I love to ride and I love spending time with my family and my kids.

If I could do nothing else I would, gladly.

My Facebook author page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/authorryantnelson

shadow's birth

The Shadow’s Birth can be purchased at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B007C7UU1S?cache=a98deb9bfad2d665a913410d0dc82e1a&pi=SY200_QL40&qid=1401495649&sr=8-2#ref=mp_s_a_1_2

‘The Fifth Clan’ is being released today!  June 13, 2014 as long as my editing schedule continues as it has.  Friday 13th.

fifth clan

http://www.amazon.com/Fifth-Clan-Ryan-T-Nelson-ebook/dp/B00KYKKS26/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1402662691&sr=8-2&keywords=Ryan+T+Nelson

12. What life titles do you hold?

These are titles? I am a son, step-son, brother, father, step-father, son-in-law, grandson-in-law, and a husband. I am a writer, motorcyclist, student mechanic, and aspiring grown-up one day.

13. What  piece of advice would you offer other creative?

Write. Draw. Paint. Sculpt. Create music. Climb. Reach for the stars. You will stumble. You will fall. You will make mistakes. People will tell you you’re not good enough or you should give up.

Ignore them and do what you love. If you never make a living at it who cares? Most of us aren’t out to get rich. We create because we have to. Because we can’t not create something new. We have a story to share. A song to sing or to play. A picture to craft.

And if you enjoy it then no monetary compensation can compete with the satisfaction you will feel when you can stand back and say, ‘Look at that. I created that.’

That is a great piece of advice right there.  Thank you for stopping by today, it’s been my pleasure!  

Well, folks there you have it.   Go now and get this new release!!  It’s well worth the read. Ryan has a dark gritty storytelling voice with an innate sense of justice.  I think you’ll enjoy this read, I did. Be sure to leave him a review! 

Write on my friends, write on!

Expressions


Quotidiandose does not own the rights to this image. All rights reserved to original artist.

Quotidiandose does not own the rights to this image. All rights reserved to the original artist.

 

I’ve made 3 posts so far in this series.  If you wish to catch up, here they are:

1. The Creative Mind  (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/)

  1. A Mentalist (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/)

3. Time Bandits (https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/)

 

In this category of creatives, we get into the outward signs of the creative mind.  This is the evidence of  the storm that  is raging within.

You can have 20 people walk by a park setting and never notice it.  It’s part of the path they walk, it’s on their way to the office.  It’s  a small little area that they may occasionally sit to eat their lunch when weather permits.  Then there’s the creative – they don’t merely walk past it or think of it as part of the path. As they pass by the serene little  setting their mind is set into motion.  Why is this park here at this location?  Who decided that this spot is the right spot, why not that spot over there?  Who else has sat here?  Is it historically significant?   OOOh, what if someone was killed here, someone important.  What if . . .

While they are in the office  working away at whatever it is they are doing,  their mind hasn’t left that small area.   The gears are working on it  on a back burner, asking a million questions, calculating how they are going to process the data.

The form in which this data is  molded into is their unique expression.  Whether it’s a sculpture, painting, sketch, story, novel, song, or poetry, the creative feels compelled to express themselves. In their art, they show the world their unique perspective.

Following are some common expressions of the creative.

a)      They are constantly seeking new experiences – Creative people make a habit to expose themselves to new experiences, sensations and states of mind — and this openness is a significant predictor of creative output.

“Openness to experience is consistently the strongest predictor of creative achievement,” says Scott Barry Kaufman. “This consists of lots of different facets, but they’re all related to each other: Intellectual curiosity, thrill seeking, openness to your emotions, openness to fantasy. The thing that brings them all together is a drive for cognitive and behavioral exploration of the world, your inner world and your outer world.” ( Quote is taken from an article in the Huffington post. )

Openness to your emotions is a hard one for many people.  It’s difficult to allow yourself to feel the gamut of emotions.  From the highest peak of elation to the lowest gut wrenching heartbreak, it’s easier for most to dull their emotions and not allow themselves to feel.  My personal thoughts on this matter are this is why many creative end up alcoholics, drug addicts, or taking some sort of prescription medications such as Xanax.  It’s difficult to go through the daily grind of a regular job when you are on the emotional rollercoaster, so in order to “get through it”  many resort to taking  some sort of meds.

b)      Self-expression – They view all of life as an opportunity for self-expression.

The creative child is the one that asks questions in class.  They are the one that offers answers in class.  They have an inner need to be heard, to speak up, to express themselves. They will question why they have to do something, not just follow blindly.  They will speak up when they disagree with a professor.

Nietzsche believed that one’s life and the world should be viewed as a work of art. Creative types may be more likely to see the world this way, and to constantly seek opportunities for self-expression in everyday life.

“Creativity is nothing more than an individual expression of your needs, desires, and uniqueness.” Scott Barry Kaufman.

The expression or assertion of one’s own personality, as in conversation, behavior, poetry, or painting.  Creatives find a way, an outlet of some sort to make certain they are heard, seen, and noticed.

“You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.” 

― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.”
― Fyodor DostoyevskyCrime and Punishment

“Never dull your shine for somebody else.”
― Tyra Banks

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”
― Sigmund Freud

“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”
― Ansel Adams

“I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.”
― Mahatma GandhiThe Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas

c)      Easily bored – sometimes called ADHD. They need to stay stimulated in order to stay active. They often have several irons in the fire at one time, working on their “pet” project while that iron is hot.

They won’t focus on something they don’t like. Working a factory job that is repetitious actions all day long is mind numbing and boring for most people and absolutely a brain drain for the creative.

Analytically minded persons will diligently work on Project A through completion, taking a systematic approach. Creative minded persons look at Project A, see what their part is, look at what needs to be done and promptly drop their head on the desk. Ugh!  With a sigh they begin the task, organizing – whether in their mind or on a sticky note (yes, most creative have a thing for sticky notes) – a to-do list in order to complete the project.  They mark their calendar with the most important data – the deadline.  OOH – shiny! Did you know that on the internet you can find a virtual candy store of information?  Did you?  You can find facts, figures, statistics, trivia, images of your favorite stars, videos on YouTube – OH wait, I need to focus the deadline is in 2 days!

When it comes time for the presentation, the creative has finished Project A, and bound it together in a  visually appealing format that is eye-catching, attention-getting and will more than likely piss off the analytically minded coworker that has not spent hours on YouTube, or taken twenty trips to the bathroom because they are addicted to coffee because they are sleep deprived because they work on their art at night when normal people are in bed asleep.

Call them ADHD or whatever you like, this is just part of their genius.

e)     Always looking for new ways to express themselves.  Whether you do it as a job or as a hobby or are just a creative person, you know there isn’t just one way to express creativity. If you are a photographer you’ll probably love to create in other ways. The same applies to painters, art directors, writers and every creative person in general.

A writer will try different genres.  An artist will try different mediums. A musician will try a different style of music.

 f)       Make new experiences  The part of the creative mind that is easily bored is the same part that needs to be stimulated in order to stay creative.  Is there a better way to escape the doldrums than trying something new? Creatives are also the thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies of the world. Some of us, however, draw the limits at jumping out of an airplane or base jumping.

Do you relate to any of these characteristics? Do you have examples that you wish to share?  Feel free to leave a comment sharing your experiences.

Write on my friends, write on!

10:100


Quotidiandose doesn't own  copyrights, all rights reserved to artist.

Quotidiandose doesn’t own copyrights, all rights reserved to artist.

I try to eat healthy most of the time, I’m always  searching for new recipes that are tasty and nutritious. Lately I’ve been trying to find low calorie meals to prepare. I have found a few  simple tricks to  help cut calories that don’t really affect the taste.  In fact a couple of them I like better. So today’s post is short and sweet.

10 tricks to shave 100 calories that are relatively painless!

  1. Use Chicken broth instead of oil.  Using broth for steaming your vegetables instead of sauteeing in oil.
  2. Drink coffee. Not frappuccinos, not  cappuccinos just plain ol’ coffee.  Some of those creamy concoctions are way more than 100 calories.  For example at Panera’s they have an iced mocha frappuccino that is 1200 calories.
  3. Drink water Choose water over all other beverages. Soda is an obvious one that will save you more than 100 calories, but even the 10 calorie drinks add up. My  big weakness is sport’s drinks which contain 130 calories for a 20 ounce bottle.
  4. Cut the cheese! *snigger snigger*  NO, really.  Cut the cheese from your burger, or sub sandwich and you can easily shave 100 calories.
  5. Make substitutions. In some baking you can substitute applesauce for oil.  For example in quick breads it is simple to substitute the applesauce.
  6. Be mindful of portion size.  The calorie counting book states that a sirloin steak is 65 calories per ounce.  So if you have a 6 ounce steak you have 384 calories but if you in fact eat the 12 ounce sirloin you’ve consumed 780 calories. ( Yes, I know how to do math – my point is choose the smaller steak.)
  7. Use condiments sparingly. Most people use more than one packet of catsup, or a couple packets of mayo. Let’s not forget that  cute little tub of  flavored cream cheese at the bagel shop.  Take those bagels home and use neufchatel instead! Catsup is loaded with sugar also!
  8. Reduce your dressing.  I  mean, the kind on your salads. Get one of those handy little spritzer things, or use a vinaigrette, or use the fork method with your dressing on the side.  I saw that trick on Dr. Oz and decided to try it and it really works!
  9. Make Smarter choices.  A lean turkey burger or my new favorite a portobello instead of ground beef.  Choose turkey sausage instead of pork sausage.  Whole grain for white.  You guys know these things ,  we just aren’t doing them.
  10. Drink a fine wine! A 5 ounce serving of merlot has 100 calories.  A 12 ounce beer has  typically 150 calories.  So by swapping 2 beers for 2 glasses of wine you cut 100 calories.  Or just  have the one glass and save more. But make sure of  the type of wine you  are having.  Those cheap sweet wines are loaded with calories, and sugar.  After all what is wine made from? Fermented fruit and sugar.  They don’t call it a beer belly for nothing.

There you have it! Something useful that you found on my blog which justifies the time that you spent reading it.

Write on my friends,  and eat well!

10 Reasons Why ‘Creativity’ Is Delayed


Quotidiandose does not own the rights to this image.

Quotidiandose does not own the rights to this image.

Meremec River; Eureka, MO

  1. Weather is an interesting beast.  Torrential rainfall, thunder, lightning, power outages –  yeah I thought it best to turn my computer off while hiding out in the dragon cave, er basement.
  2. I haven’t  figured out  how to  make a post while driving, and I’ve been driving a lot for job related reasons.
  3. Unexpected family issues that demand  attention right now!
  4. Scheduling conflicts between job demands, family demands, and life demands have  overtaken the waking hours and by the time I have time to sit and write I fall asleep  almost instantaneously.
  5. Homework has a deadline – blog posts do not.
  6. Too many irons in  the fire!  OK, I’m working on this one.  I’ve laid down a few,  and  as soon as someone notices they try to get me to help them with their goals.  NO,  I laid them down for a reason.  No, I’m not your gopher, your free labor, or your indentured servant.
  7. Rural internet sucks. I had absolutely no connection this morning when I had time to write. Writing can be done offline – posting requires an internet connection.
  8. I got sucked into a black hole called Rollercoaster Tycoon.  It had been ages since I’d even thought about it. My daughter challenged me to beat her score for Dynamic Dunes.  I HAD to accept the challenge.  You understand right?  Right??
  9. Food preparation and menu planning.  DAGNABIT – I get  an idea, and  these people want to  be fed AGAIN.  One of the down sides of  not using those convenience foods is that it requires me to actually prepare a  meal.  You know chop vegetables, stand at the stove and stir so it doesn’t burn.  I am an excellent cook by the way.   I can’t tarnish my record. I’m not switching to those tasteless salt laden  convenience foods now – I’m rather addicted to the   fresh wholesome foods.
  10. My kids are home for the summer.   Yeah, so?  So, this means that  by the time I finish the  paid job there is a  lot of distraction and demands on my time and attention.  I’m only human, and a mom.  I can’t ignore my spawn, er children.

Yeah, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.  I have been doing a lot of handwriting and as time allows I translate into typed.   It may seem like double work, but  I view my handwritten notes as a first draft and the typed material as first edits.

Since I haven’t been able to afford those four clones I mentioned some time last year,  then I have to do the other parts as well.  You know  the cooking cleaning, . . . well at least the cooking.  Life goes on, and sometimes you just have to slow down and enjoy the people in your life.  My kids are  home for the summer – that is the main reason.  I am choosing to spend time with my girls while they are  living at home.  The oldest is back after her first year of college. The youngest will be a senior next year. Working around jobs, and scheduling for all of us I want to  actually have time with them before they are off on their own.

I love  you all,   every one of my readers but  no one  outranks my kids!  We all have our priorities in life.  Mine is my family.  What’s yours?

I haven’t quit writing, and the blog  post on creativity should be up tomorrow – weather permitting and internet connection allowing.  I am taking a more leisurely approach to just about everything over the summer months.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

The Glory Hog


index

 

We all know them, have them in our lives, deal with them on a daily or weekly basis. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a coworker, they just can’t stand for you to have a “ moment”.

YAY – I finished my term paper with 2 hours to spare! OH? I finished mine 2 days ago, set it aside then went back over it. I even had time to read back through it and catch a few grammatical mistakes that might have lowered my grade.

Woo hoo! I got my driver’s license! You’re what, 19? I got mine when I turned 16.

I got a promotion at work and a 6% salary increase! Oh how nice. I got promoted last fall to a higher position that nearly doubled my salary. I’m meeting with the financial planner after work today.

Cool – I got 2 new followers on my blog! So how many does that make now? I’m up to 22,000 what about you, have you ever broken 200?

Well that was nice, Ms. Thang in the office complimented my new dress and actually noticed that I’d lost some weight. Oh yeah, she’s in a good mood today. I walked past her desk wearing this 2-year-old Versace and my Minolos that are really old but I can’t bear to part with them. She complimented me on the fit and asked if I was working out. I really need a smaller size.

You know the type, they always do everything bigger or better regardless of what your moment of glory is. If they have nothing to top it they instantly begin to tear apart the celebration. By the time they’ve picked apart why in fact you shouldn’t even be celebrating that miniscule little victory you feel defeated and foolish. They are the glory hogs. They can’t stand for anyone else to have a moment in the spotlight.

Sometimes these people are called “Know it alls”. Most people around them find them unpleasant to be around. This goes far beyond the Cliff Clayburn syndrome, Cliffy was a good guy that had a lot of information in his noggin. It may not be a conscious effort on the glory hogs part, but they actively tear you down at every opportunity. So how do you deal with them?

  1.  Don’t give them ammunition! Ever hear that saying , Don’t throw your pearls to the swine? Yeah, you know that if they are within earshot of a SQUEE moment or even hear through the grapevine of your “so called” victory they will make a bee line to your desk or house or to you if you are out in public in order to discount the elation that you feel.
  2. Recognize their pattern of behaviour. They can’t help themselves honestly, it’s just what they do. Whatever synapses in their brains are misfiring, they feel the need to build themselves up by pushing you and others down. Somehow this behaviour reinforces their sense of self import at your expense. Prolonged exposure is damaging to your mental health.
  3. Keep your conversation with them on a level 1: small talk or work related topics only. This can be tricky for those of us that are naturally talkative and expressive. When a SQUEE moment hits, my first thoughts are rarely – ooh, check and see if Ms. T, R, or S is around. Oh, and make sure Mr. G or N isn’t within earshot. NO, my SQUEEs just blurt out in my excitement.

When confronted with a Glory Hog, have pity. The police will not understand a mercy killing so you have to deal with them.  The glory hog not the police – unless of course you snapped in which case plea temporary insanity.

Summon your compassion for their plight and rejoice in the fact that you can find the joy in small victories. Revel in the truth that you can delight in everyday happiness, it’s something that is in small supply in their miserable world.

There are too many things in our every day lives that rob us of happiness, don’t allow a glory hog to steal your thunder! We should rejoice in the small victories, the small successes. Trust me, if you are trying to quit smoking – going a full day without lighting up is a victory. Writing 500 words a day every day for ten days in a row – that’s a victory when the previous week was spent wallowing in self-pity and playing games.

A person that can celebrate smaller milestones is more likely to be happy than the person who only celebrates at the final finish line. Happiness is worth far more than the smug expression on the glory hog’s face.

So go ahead – celebrate!

Write on my friends, write on!