Captain’s Log, Stardate 5.9.19

This year has been nothing like I had planned so far. the past few months have been particularly stressful. I’m not making excuses, not going to give you the whole sad song and dance. I will be perfectly honest here, I’ve been struggling. Struggling to keep my head above water, struggling to get any words down, struggling to keep it together.

My planner vaguely resembles the Captain’s Log on Star Trek.


Date: (Stardate) March 19, 2019 (31919.1) Larry called, had to drive to Perryville to get him, his mom had a stroke. They took her up to St. John’s because Jefferson wasn’t equipped to handle a stroke. 

(31919.2) Same ICU unit that my mother was in –  kind of jarring.

(31919.3) Monitoring her for brain activity. 

(31919.4) We sat in on the doctor’s round table discussion. Looks grim. 

I  had found a layout for my bujo that worked well for me to track the things I needed, and make my daily to-do lists. All of that went out the window.

Captain’s Log, Stardate 3.28.19 – apparently chaos rules the universe. My family has gone off the deep end. My heart goes out to them and I will be praying. Sad situation!  They are transferring MIL to rehab center,  but it’s up near St. John’s. 

In planning my releases – yes plural releases – which is a huge step for me,  I had set April 23rd as my release date for Fury. The date came and went, I had other things on my mind, and occupying my time. to be honest, I’ve struggled to find words to put down on paper or virtual paper.  It’s difficult to make plans when things are up in the air so to speak, and your world is in turmoil.

To add to things, the stress that we’ve been under has manifested in aggression towards each other in arguments. Emotions are at a heightened state!

Captain’s Log Stardate 4.15.19 – I get the stressed out part from work and with family, but taking it out on me is not going to make things better. In fact, it made things much more difficult. We are about to come to blows. Shields up, set phasers to stun, prepare to be boarded!

I completely missed posting anything for A to Z in April, and I had some cool writing terms to share. Who knows, maybe I’ll still put it together down the road.

To add to all of this, I had a biopsy – benign, discovered a lump – also benign, had surgery and an allergic reaction to medications that felt like I was having a heart attack – I am not exaggerating either. All of this stirred together for a deadly concoction that left me feeling like an utter failure and worthless in life. Talk about dysfunction!

Captain’s Log Stardate 5.7.19 – What is wrong with me? I have so many books to write, and can’t muster myself to put pen to paper or get out my laptop for longer than a few minutes. It’s not for lack of want to, because I want to get all of my books out there! It’s not a lack of ideas –  I have thousands of ideas.  It’s not a lack of imagination,  I have imagination to spare! So what is the problem? 

I messaged my soul sister Misty and ironically, she’s experiencing a similar slump. You’d think we were twins separated at birth or something, it’s uncanny. We should be Gemini’s or have the same birthday or something! With Misty’s help, I’m taking some baby steps to get back in the game. My confidence has been shaken,  but she’s holding my hand.

Captain’s Log Stardate – made contact with Admiral Harvey. This quadrant of the galaxy has proven  troublesome crossings for her as well. Our discussion included guidance for traversing the upcoming storms, and keeping crew on standby for imminent dangers. For now, we will take it slow and steady, with all systems on alert. Our course?  Second star to the right, straight on till morning. These are the voyages of Starship Mack, signing off.

That’s the point of friendship isn’t it?  We pick each other out of the muck and help dust each other off.  Sometimes we share a laugh,  sometimes we share a cry. A true friend is one that you know has your back, will go to the ends of the galaxy with you in spirit if they can’t in person,  will stand by your side and support you and encourage you. I can only hope that I am as much of a friend to her as she is to me.  That goes for my other friends as well –  I hope you consider me a good friend, one that is there for you!

It’s been a difficult few months. I’m not making excuses, just telling it like it is. I’ve been down in the mullygrubs not knowing how to dig out. When I finally cried out for help, Misty was there for me. Being an author can be a lonely career that is often not supported by family or loved ones.  It takes a friend with the “Write Stuff” to get it, and she does.

I hope that each of you have a Misty in your life,  that will be there for you when you need it.  I hope  that you don’t find yourself in the pits as I have been,  but if you do, your friend(s) are there!

Write on my friends, write on!

22 Days Since my Last Confession

It’s been . . . wow has it really been that long? It’s been 22 days since my last post. Not good, not good at all.

I have no excuses. There were days when I planned on posting,  I even have half of a dozen posts in the archives because after writing them, they just didn’t feel quite right. Maybe a future day or maybe I’ll just delete them – who knows.

“Only the shadow knows.”

Stepping into the ‘Way-back’ machine for a moment, in my last post  on January 18th I shared this bit:  

I’ve been working on my current WIP, Roxy Sings the Blues. Revising, editing, rewriting, . . . and  I just wasn’t happy with it. It wasn’t flowing.  It wasn’t drawing me forward even and I am the author! I had to take a serious look at this and step back to evaluate what I had as opposed to where I wanted this to go.

I set it aside for a couple of days as I researched master plots. This was prompted when I was trying to convey my story idea to a wonderful lady who is kind of mentoring me in my writing. OK, I was a persistent nag until she took me under her wing. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I was working through her class, had fully developed character worksheets,  even made myself character cards to stick on my bulletin board. I spent 4 days working on shaping my plot into a reasonable timeline and developing the major nine points of my plot. I thought I had it all worked out.  It seemed logical. There were twists, turns,  lovable characters, one that you love to hate. . . I thought I was ready to go.

Of course when it was time to meet,  either my computer or hers was acting glitchy and we couldn’t connect for video chat. So we went to the phones.  I have to be honest, the fan-girling had to be tampered down under control before I could get any semblance of intelligible speech out of my mouth.

Alright, enough of the flashback. So what have I been doing with myself these past 22 days that I couldn’t be bothered to post on my blog?

I’m so glad you asked!

Yeah, that part above . . . in the midst of my sulk-fest, when  I got me out-of-the-way,  the ideas came like a grand finale of a fireworks display. One day to the sulk-fest, two days to get my ideas sorted into some semblance of intelligible speech/writing. ( My poor husband, Y’all should have pity on him. He’s the one that actually had to face the many phases of creativity.) A day and a half with two friends and eventually the hubby to take the pieces of the puzzle I had and make an entirely new picture. A half of a day lost to other things –  you know someone has to cook the meals. Two more days were given to brainstorming and ordering things.

Just a note here –  one of the things I like to do, and this may not work for everyone, is to write out my ideas on pieces of paper. Ideally, sticky notes would work for this but I was out of sticky notes.  OK fine – I wasn’t out of them I just couldn’t find any right then.  There are times when you need it NOW and you don’t have time to search the office, the desk, or the box of stuff you cleared off of the table.  Now the slips of paper are interchangeable on a large board  AKA my wall,  which I moved a few around to make more sense then numbered them from 1 to 25 and added a couple of transitions in between reaching my 30 points of light, er story.

Three days to let it sit while I worked on an editing job, hoping that things would mesh. Another day to go over and move a couple more things around slightly.  A couple of days for family/ married life – don’t judge!
Then the fun began. Six days of feeling like death warmed over until my daughter drove me to urgent care where they prescribed three medications for my illness.

Oh Joy! Fun fact –  the one medicine turned my pee bright neon orange. Let me tell you if that wasn’t a shocker!  That could really be used to freak someone out if played right, but sadly I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to exploit it.

OH, don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t do it. Alas, I missed my window of opportunity.

So that leaves us two days where I had to redo some of the edit calls I made while feverish. I have my notes transferred to index cards in a neat little numbered stack that are right here beside my laptop. Now I can move from one card to the next, not wondering where do I go from here, not bored because I already know what’s coming,  but focused on that one card before I  go to the next.

This is the best method I have come up with for me. It doesn’t inhibit my creative flow or stifle the voice of the muse,  yet it reconciles my sense of order and OCD-ness.

Most of you know I’m not a neat freak, but I do like order.

So, February is shaping up to be a better month for me. I have a plan to move forward in my writing. I have 2 editing jobs on my desk and I am excited to get busy with these three projects. ( My writing plus the two jobs I have the privilege of editing.)

Glad that you’ve stuck with me so far,  things are going to get better.  I still haven’t  gotten my pizza fix, but maybe that’s for the best as I am serious about losing the weight I have gained. One bad thing about being a writer is the backside spread which has been complicated by the back injury.

Objects at rest tend to want to stay at rest and resist exercise. Regardless, I’ve laced up the New Balance and hit the track despite the cool weather. SIGH – ain’t nobody going to do it for me.

Nobody is going to write this book for me and nobody is going to whip this dough girl back into shape but me.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead. I hope you’ll join me in the upcoming weeks as I share tidbits of this new improved tale along with my usual sagacious wit.

You know you love me,  that’s why you keep coming back, right?

Write on my friends, write on!






Secret Doors

This post was one of the first that I shared on Quotidiandose.  It is difficult for anyone to bare their soul and expose their weak spots. I’ve been involved in teaching a course dealing with emotional healing and recovery from abuse for the past ten years. It is still difficult.  I can, however, get through sharing my story without inconsolable sobs.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

I hold my head a little higher than I did a few years ago, carry myself with more confidence that I did a few months ago, and I look for the bright side of life on purpose.  Each of us has a touch of destiny in our lives, it’s up to us to find it. It takes work.

All rights reserved to original artist. I do not own copyrights to this image.

All rights reserved to the original artist. I do not own copyrights to this image.


Those parts of us that we hide away from everyone else, whether it’s for acceptance or for some other reason, they still remain.   Some have skeletons inside and others have treasures that were never opened.

Abuse in my childhood put skeletons behind one door.  I was ashamed, scared, and scarred.  I didn’t want everyone else to know my personal hell.  Their view of me would be colored with the stains of my shame.  I wanted desperately to fit in and be accepted.  In more recent years I faced those skeletons and kicked them out.  I’ve spoken publicly about it.  The scars, the shame, and how it colored other areas of my life.  I’ve shared my heart, the hurt, and the pain, and some people look at you like you’re damaged goods.  Others, most often the ones who have experienced the pain themselves listen and hear.  It has been cathartic for me and those I’ve shared with.  I’ve been an open book, shared things that kept me bound in shame, in anger, and rebellion for years.

A certain woman who experienced the same things as I did to a greater degree came up to me after a public speaking session and poured her heart out.  We cried together, comforting each other.  There is healing in revealing, and those skeletons don’t keep me bound in chains any longer.  I didn’t have the perfect suburban upbringing as my peers, I experienced dysfunction.

For years, I allowed it to color who I was and how I saw myself.  It has shaped me — both good and bad — to who I am today.  I am thankful for the opportunities to help others break out of their prisons.

I still have secret doors, though.  Secrets that were stuffed inside, hidden in a shoebox under the bed.  Secrets that were shelved and now covered with cobwebs.  Recently, I dared to open one of my secret doors.  I found hidden treasures and shed some tears at my forgotten dreams.  I’m coming to terms with myself, the parts I locked away and hid from the world.

Unrealized potential and unrealized dreams.

It’s amazing what a couple rays of sunlight can reveal in a previously dark and dreary cobweb-filled scary room.  Tattered mementos that were long forgotten, happy moments that I rarely allowed myself.

I gave up on myself for many years.  I went through the motions: giving to others, fulfilling my roles, but experiencing no personal joys.  It just wasn’t worth the pain of failure.

What failure?

Failing myself.  An ever-present sense of unworthiness that clouded every aspect of life.

I made decisions based on what other people wanted and expected of me.  I’ve taken responsibilities and commitments that are acceptable in the eyes of my family and friends.  I’m not exactly sure when it started, but I have reached the point where I am no longer satisfied with status quo.

I’ve always been a bit of a rebel and nonconformist, but most people would be surprised to realize just how much I have conceded and conformed.  I know precisely  and how much it has been killing me inside.  I haven’t been true to myself, nor pursued my own dreams.

I took those items out of that room and threw away the key.  I’m examining each one and evaluating whether they are valid or just childhood fancies.  I’m never going to take a wooden raft on the Mississippi River like Tom Sawyer.  I have a healthy respect for the Old Muddy and have no desire to do that anymore, plus I have a few more operative brain cells than I did at 11.  It was a nice visit to a childhood fancy.  Other things, I’ve decided I’m going to tackle.

Just as in spring cleaning there are three boxes: keep, file, and throw away. the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn was the first book I read voluntarily, one that sparked a lifetime love of reading.  The folded and yellowed piece of paper with a raft, colored in a childish manner will go into a scrapbook – a fond memory.  There are other things that were just silly and are no longer relevant.  I looked them over but decided to discard.

The ones to file, now that’s what prompted this post. They go along with my SMART goals.  Things I still feel are viable worthwhile goals and are worth attaining.  There’s going to be work but anything worth having is worth working for.  Ironically I found a shell of who I thought I’d be and it doesn’t even resemble the me I am today.  There are some aspects of the me today that are better, but the longing in my heart for those other dreams, well  it’s time for a change.

My personal pursuit for life, liberty and happiness were derailed.  After all, doesn’t the Constitution guarantee us these inalienable rights? It’s not the government’s fault that I’ve failed myself – epically.  That responsibility lies solely on my shoulders.  It’s back on track and I’ve got turbo fuel in the hold and the engine is revved up and ready.  I don’t think many of my friends or family will necessarily approve.  I’ve lived for their approval long enough.  I want my own approval because if you can’t have an inner peace with yourself, what does it really matter?

Some of my secret doors have been locked so long, I think I’ve lost the keys.  Maybe I’ll find them in this new chapter.  If nothing else, it will be an exciting adventure and, at least, I will know that I tried.  I don’t want the regrets of omission to cloud my consciousness.

It’s time for revision.  I’m about to rock the boat, hope you have a life jacket!

Write on my friends, write on!

Now it’s Time to Panic!

 courtesy of MichaelHyatt

courtesy of MichaelHyatt

I spent a good two hours yesterday cleaning out my inbox, cleaning up my files, deleting duplicates, trying to get things back in some semblance of order. I understand the  concept of organization, however it seems to elude me regularly.

There is a certain amount of creativity that comes from chaos however, I have reached the point where the disorganized mess is causing me some real issues.  I’ve mislocated important documents, put my handwritten notes into “the stack”, and am running frazzled in my efforts to reestablish order. To top it off,  I have mislocated my login information for online banking.

NOW it’s time to PANIC!

You know how at the end of the year/ beginning of the next year they always have the plastic tubs and filing essentials out for tax time?  Yeah, I’ll be purchasing those things this afternoon, and spending the brunt of the day filing all the things I’ve put off filing. This has to happen before words go on any page. Aside from the blog. Because, I’m not going to even attempt to try to file or organize without at least my second cup of coffee.

Priorities man, I know my limits.

I was planning to share with you my ideas for  what I will be posting  throughout the next month and into January, but  this organization thing is a real deal.  Instead you can read my post on EclecticBardBooks site.  You’re welcome!

Till next time,


Writer’s Block – Or is it?

Quotidiandose does not own this image.  All right sreserved to artist.

Quotidiandose does not own this image. All right reserved to artist.

Every writer worth their salt has had  some dealing with writer’s block in some form or another.  If you are a writer, who is not writing, you tend to  think of yourself in all manner of things mostly bad. Shirker, lazy, undisciplined, a failure, a wanna be, a pretender.

Why do we do that?

Writer’s block is a temporary thing, and is almost always regarded as an undesirable and unpleasant experience. What if we looked at this from a different angle?   What if, — and I know this is going to sound ‘fly in the face of traditional thinking’ –( there I go with that rebel streak again)  a writer’s block is your unconscious mind  telling you that  you need to rethink your story?   What if it’s not a passive state,  not being lazy or undisciplined at all, but rather  an aggressive reaction  to something being not quite right?

“Our unconscious creates while our ego edits.” Carolyn Kizer states.

The  temporary inability to continue writing is nothing more than your unconscious mind vetoing your current plan. Our inner editor  manufactures dozens of reasons why not,  why it’s wrong and  doesn’t always bother to consult with our conscious mind as to why.  While we self sabotage with degrading self talk  (you no good dirty rotten lazy undisciplined worm!  And you call yourself a writer? ) we are  waiting for  our ego/editor and unconscious/ creator selves to duke it out.   It’s never a conscious choice.  Usually some other barrier within our  psyche, dueling internal opposing kingdoms fighting over borders, trying to squeeze a spy into the other camp, or trying to kill the opposition’s spies from getting through.  The block is when  you are trying to establish diplomatic relations between  the tyrannical ruler of the  ego/editor and the temper tantrum fits of the   childlike  creator.

Can’t we all just get along? 

So how do we  re-establish good terms between the two warring parties?  Both are adamantly demanding their own ways while you stare at a blank screen or tap your pen on the paper.

Don’t shout me down because I hit a nerve!  We all do it,  just admit it! 

The answer I believe lies in a part of our psyche  that we seldom want to evaluate.   Self love.  WAIT, don’t  run out on me, hear me out.  This is not being narcissistic and  in love with yourself. If you have that issue,  good luck with that.  That’s not what I am talking about here.

 Self love, the opposite of what we do.  You know that debasing self talk that we resort to when we hit the writers block wall? We need to learn to accept ourselves.  Embrace our idiosyncracies, our  faults, our uniqueness – rejoice in the fact that we aren’t mindless clones or lemmings.  Permission to be ourselves.  Permission to give in to the nerdgasms,  the dork within us,   the  superstar in our dreams even though on the outside we look like the 50 pound weakling in underoos.  Self love baby, realizing our own worth instead of ridiculing ourselves for being different.

Release that inner child that wants to be a superhero, embrace the princes in the tutu that wields the sword!  Once we allow our creative inner self out to play, and not force  him/her into a daily grind or all work and no play the two kingdoms can coexist.  The tyrant king might actually  crack a smile to see the delightful child playing.

Here’s  how it happens for me.  Life gets hectic, work demands climb, leaving no time to write. My brain goes on mandatory overtime burning the candle at both ends with candles linked together in a continuous chain.  Weariness sets in,  the overachiever, performance oriented perfectionist pushes aside the playful creative child and says grow up!  We have work to do! Get with the program, straighten up and fly right!  This is when the inner child rebels.  Oh, she looks like she’s sitting in the corner over there brows furrowed, glaring with the scowl but it’s an illusion because she left and  generated a  holographic image and she’s out flying high above the rooftops.  (WHAT?  You said fly right!)

This is when communication is lost and the tyrannical ruler demands more work.  The child is silent.  The  king sits on the throne demanding  output to no avail.  We have reached a stalemate or in writer’s terms  – the block.  It’s a simple matter really.  You have to allow the child time to play, time to be creative, and give praise so that  he/she will listen to the  king.  Work gets done, the king is less tyrannical,  the child less of a brat, and everyone gets what they want.

Stop telling yourself to  put off your happiness until you reach x destination.  Enjoy right now!

Are you foregoing vacations because work demands never allow you a  rasonable break when to take off?  Are you waiting till you move to the country to get outside  because the city noise is too much?  Are you waiting till your children are grown and gone to do anything for yourself?  My inner child says I want to enjoy my life RIGHT NOW!  I don’t want to wait, don’t want to put it off.  How do you even know you are going to have a tomorrow?  I can’t  go days and days without having some fun,  it literally kills my creativeness.

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and  wish I’d lived, wished I’d gone for it when I had the chance. I want to cram as much gusto into the days I have on earth.  I want to get to the end and say – WOW What a ride!

So, anyway that’s my theory on writer’s block, essentially not letting  the inner child have some fun.

Either that or I’m completely off my rocker. Well, I’m having fun with it so who cares.

Hey, if you got a better plan I’m all ears and ready to hear it.  Lay it on me jack!

So go write something and let your inner child play!

Write on my friends, write on!



And So It Begins

images (4)

First off – I know  you are waiting for a full report from Penned Con. It’s coming, but I want to give it the full attention it deserves.  I am  assessing my notes, making some new notes,evaluating the event,  and processing a whirlwind couple of days. I promise to give my full report soon. Just not today.

Today, I am asking something of my readers.  Something that I wouldn’t normally ask.  Tonight I begin a journey of exploration into my psyche as part of a counseling course, to deal with root issues in my life that stem from  abuse, rejection, living with an alcoholic parent, living with a self-absorbed parent,  and a variety of other issues that a lifetime of living has brought.

I’ve not made any secrets about my past,  about the skeletons in my closet.  I’ve not candy coated or diluted much of anything. NO, I haven’t divulged nitty-gritty details, this isn’t a horror story. I am not blaming anyone else for my problems.  They may have begun way back there but I have been a responsible adult for some time now and my decisions are my own.  My reactions to things are my own. Some of those reactions have become a real issue in  my relationship with my husband. He’s been an absolute amazing guy  and  if there is anything I can do to fix me, I will. I have caused him  a tremendous amount of pain, and  I feel horrible for the pain that I have caused.

So, I start this class tonight and for the next 12 weeks. It is going to be intense. It is going to be emotional.  It is going to force me to deal with issues that I’ve pushed under the rug for years. I have to face my demons full on. That’s where you, my readers come in. Patience, hang in there with me, and  maybe a word of encouragement now and again by leaving a comment.

Today, before the first counseling session – which lasted an hour and a half – I started an online course that I have to pass in order to renew my mortgage license.  Last several years when I took the course, I’ve passed with a 92 to 100%.  You can imagine my shock when after the first section of the course I failed that module with a 62%.  Yeah, my mojo is definitely off. My ability to focus  has dropped off the bottom of the chart and still plummeting.

I have deadlines looming for work projects, the first of which is passing this course to renew my license by a deadline that has always been December 31, but has been moved up to October 1.  Nothing like a little extra pressure, right?   I have a technical writing gig that the deadline has been extended  for two weeks because of a variety of things on my end and theirs. Thank goodness they gave me an extension.

Family issues, financial burdens, emotional baggage all combined to a cumulative of  off the chart stress.

So, hang with me please.  I haven’t completely given up and I haven’t lost very last brain cell.  It’s just a stressful time, and I have to make some hard choices about self-evaluation.  Cyberhugs accepted! Sometimes you just have to yell: ” Jane! Stop this crazy thing!” and get off for a while.

How do you handle stress?  How do you face your demons, or do you? Have you ever sought counseling for your issues? Do you view people who seek counseling as broken? Damaged?

That’s it in a nutshell.  I shall follow-up soon with a full report on Penned Con.  It was an awesome 2 days that opened my eyes to numerous possibilities and shattered a few ideologies I had built up in my mind. But life presses in and demands my full attention in other areas.

So while I am undergoing psycho-analysis, and battling demons –  write on and remember to tune back in for Penned Con updates soon.


You’re Not The Boss of ME!


Quotidiandose does not own copyrights to this image. All rights are reserved for gettyimages.

I’m generally a fairly low-key person.  Don’t laugh – it’s true.  I know  I have strong opinions about most everything but I am fairly easygoing and most often easy to get along with.  I  usually mind my own business and don’t judge others for their different views or lifestyles.

Why then is it that certain people feel compelled to  inform me that I am WRONG?  Not just wrong about something, but WRONG.  Wrong in who I am,  what I do, what I think, what I believe, and  how I behave or don’t behave.

Several years ago I was  called out in  the newspaper for a letter to the editor pertaining to an issue that was on the ballots.  I usually don’t say anything, but the  specific topic got my dander up.   NOT the issue so much as the people’s ignorance surrounding  it.  Voting was based on misconceptions,  and wrong thinking –  I mean wrong to the point of this is not scientific fact, they were basing their decision off something someone said with no evidence to back their claims while a little bit of research ( and you all know how much I love to dig into research) I found several sites that listed the  facts easily.

In this article I pleaded with the  people to become  informed of the facts,  and stop voting strictly based on party lines.  Well, of course  there was a rebuttal  – in which I was called a narrow-minded religious zealot.  Huh?  That didn’t even make sense as the issue I was trying to argue was that instead of making your decision based on what was being preached from the pulpit, which was not  Biblical by the way, that the people should read it for themselves and get the facts.  FACTS people, scientific evidence to  dispute the  views being spouted.  I didn’t write a rebuttal to the rebuttal, but the newspaper offered me a column in which I went on to inflame many readers about many topics.  Thank you, it’s a gift!

Fast forward to  today – Where does Mr. Behavioural Fascist get off thinking that he is my personal life police?  Really?  Once again the  fountain of garbage has spewed all over my writer’s desk. Where is the rule book that says that certain people are appointed  as judge over  others?   Where is it?  Did I miss that one somehow?  Where’s my copy?  When do I get to be judge and juror over someone else’s life? 

You all may have missed this before, but I’m not a child –  not by any stretch of the imagination. At the beginning of this year I  hit the big 50. I know, age does not define maturity. Mr. Behavioral Fascist has determined that I am the scourge of the earth by this latest  bout of tongue lashing.  I am a legal adult!  I don’t need morality police telling me that every choice I make is wrong.  I don’t need  to be babysat like a delinquent school girl.

When I make mistakes – and I do, big ones – I own up to them and take full responsibility for them.  But NOOOOOOOOOO, that isn’t good enough. I’m taken to task over every slight offense. Guess what?  I”m not perfect and never claimed to be.  I screw up on a grand scale at times because I am actually doing something.  If you’re not making mistakes then you aren’t living.

I’m not making excuses for my  bad behavior, I’m not saying that my choices are always the best but it’s not anyone else’s place to judge me and inform me that I am the  great evil. If it’s anyone’s business it would be my husband’s and children and they aren’t ready to burn me at the stake.

What was that thing that Jesus said?  Oh yes – “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  He didn’t say “Let those who have made the same mistakes crucify you after they  have recovered.”

As far as I know we are all human here and all of us fall short of perfection.  I realize that is a hard concept for some to grasp but it’s true.  Until someone can  provide proof that aliens walk among us, or vampires are real, or some other nonhuman entity exists I shall assume that we are all in fact human.

Why is it that people feel the need to express to me  my failings?  This has happened to me on more than one occasion.  In fact,  it has happened to me a number of times.  Is there something about me that screams to  others to inform me of my short comings?  I’d really like to know so I can remove that sign.

And to Mr. Behavioural Fascist –  you’re not the boss of me! 

Write on my friends, regardless of what your critics say.



Love and Romance: Why We Marry

The first bond of society is marriage.   – Cicero

Happy Valentine's Day

Many still choose the traditional route of marriage, and often for good reasons. Yet the divorce rate climbs each year.

Marriage is not the ‘happily ever after’ that we were sold in the fairy tales.  It takes real effort to make a marriage last.  It takes a strong bond to survive some of the storms that life throws at us.  Some of our idealism comes from the fairy tales, some from our societal views, some from religious upbringing and sometimes from a deep caring of our partner.

In a 2008 survey on marriage and cohabitation, the following statistics are from a poll for why they married:

  • love 91%
  • companionship 88%
  • to signify a lifelong commitment 82%
  • security for children 79%
  • to make a public commitment to each other 77%
  • legal status or financial security 66%
  • religious beliefs 62%
  • response to family pressure 50%
  • desire for a special occasion 45%
  • arranged 27%

In American society it is the norm to marry for love, but this isn’t always enough to make a marriage last. Once past the honeymoon phase the couple has to learn to deal with sharing life with another individual.  The becoming or disillusionment stage is fraught with conflict at every turn.  From clothing left strewn on the floor to the toilet seat being left up, even the tiniest of things can cause conflict.  We learn our conflict resolution from observing our parents and how they handled things.

My mother was a hot head and blew up over the smallest of things out-of-order in her world. I was often out-of-order.  My dad was passive aggressive and I could write you a book on devious acts of the passive aggressive that provoke the hotheaded type A  into a fire-breathing dragon.  Neither approach worked well.  I can imagine psychotherapy attempting to fix their marriage.  The therapist would need a therapist. However, they must have done something right as they managed to last over 50 years together.  Trust me it wasn’t 50 years of wedded bliss.  There was bliss at times, but in between was vast stretches of death valley.

My own marriage has lasted over 25 years.  A milestone to be certain, but again not every moment has been bliss.  We try to work things out, try to be rational but there are times when rationality goes out the window and the gloves are off.  It’s amazing how infuriated the person you love the most can make you over seemingly stupid matters.  After the dust clears we can look back and realize how ridiculous we were, but in that moment of battle it’s on like donkey kong!

Lack of love is never an issue.  Lack of passion hasn’t been an issue either.  Misdirected passions often are.  Not the sort of infidelity passions, but misplaced as far as thrown into being right or getting our way.  It is just as important to BECOME the right person as it is to FIND the right person.  Learning to think outside of yourself is difficult, taking the other person into consideration isn’t our first nature.

Marriage is not about you.  It’s not about your happiness or your self fulfillment.  It’s not even about getting your needs met.  If that’s what your idea of marriage is you’d better hold off.  We are selfish beings.  You are and whoever you want to marry is also.

“Oh no, not my luvvy dovey benjy wenjy.  He’s the most thoughtful loving guy that ever lived.”

Honey, sit down we need to talk. If he/she is human then essentially they are selfish.   NO, no need to cry. I’m not making a personal attack on benjy wenjy. At some point the person you love the most will hurt you the deepest.  There is the true challenge in a marriage.  Working through the deep hurt and pain to resolve conflict and solve your problems together without killing each other, without accusing each other, without running back home to mommy or daddy, and without an all out war.  It’s difficult but not impossible.

Remember why you fell in love with them.   Remember the good times.  Never stop enjoying each other and remember that this is the mate you have chosen.  It is possible to work through the difficulties.

BUT, there sometimes comes a point when you’ve hit the wall, given all you can and tried everything you know of to try and just can’t seem to mend the damage that is there.  At the end of the day you have to be accountable for your own actions. We each have to make our own decisions, and live with the consequences of them.

I am not a marriage counselor, I am simply a wife that’s been married for 27 years.  I’ve made sacrifices and so has he.  When things are good they are amazing, and when they are bad, it’s the worst maelstrom imaginable.  I will emphasize one point – the person you love the most can hurt you deeper than you can imagine.  It’s part of making yourself vulnerable to another. That’s the part that is the hardest for me, exposing myself, making myself vulnerable.

You have to see that it’s a difficult scenario for him as well, it’s a minefield fraught with dangers; a damaged childhood, an independent streak, a rebellions streak, a mean streak – sometimes resembles a wild zebra! I guess all those rodeo trophies he has may count for something after all!

Whatever your reasons for marrying in the first place are, remember them.  Don’t be hasty to throw things away that can be repaired but don’t continue to put yourself in a  situation that is irreparable.  Abuse is abuse and any bit of it is reason to leave.

What does this have to do with writing ?   Romance? Love? Erotica?   I knew you were smart readers!

Write on my friends, write on.



We’re All Mental

Let’s face it we are our own worst enemy!  I know there are many of us with this affliction.  We try to hide it, keep it under lock and key but the strange thing is others can often recognize it before we can see it in ourselves.  It robs us of simple pleasures, prevents us from participating in life and hinders us from stepping outside of our box.

We play these mental games with ourselves, then either pander ourselves out of doing things or admonishing ourselves for our failings.  Sickos – all of us!  Shame, shame, shame!

What is it? Anxiety Disorders.  OK, you may not be fully diagnosed with it but we all have various stages of this budding affliction.

I am notoriously one who is daring, willing to try things.  Bungee jumping, parasailing, snorkeling, spelunking – ok won’t be doing that one again any time soon, and even rapellng are not things for the faint of heart.  Instead of giving into peer pressure, I was the kid your parents warned you about.  Yes, I did daring stupid things.  Yes, I jumped off a roof.  Yes, I took a dare more often than I gave them.  but as I’ve gotten older and become responsible for the lives of others (parenting changes you – it really does), I’ve detected a line of thinking that is akin to an anxiety disorder.

My 17 year old daughter is getting ready to begin her senior year in high school – yeah!  Go Sarah!  However today she is nearly in a panic, because of the unknown.

She stated it like this: “When you’re going to do something that you’re nervous about it, it’s best to just do it and not think about it.  Sort of like getting on a roller coaster, you don’t think about the physics of the design of the roller coater, or the g-force, or how dangerous it is.  You just look at it and think – ooh, fun!”

Yeah, if we all could remember that!  However, when we face a new challenge our brains go into high gear and we over anazlye the situation, adding the terifying what ifs.   Choosing a new hairstyle, starting a new phase like starting college, starting a new job, making a career change, gonig to a different gym, taking a different route to work, they can all be intimidating.  Personally, I don’t think it’s a matter of anxiety disorder but fear.  It’s scary to step out sometimes but as you talk yourself out of it, you convince yourself it’s scary and not worth trying, therefore next time it’s easier to stay in your box.  Before you know it, the box has shrunk and your stuff has an inch of dust on it.

Yep, you know it, I’m a box smasher!  I come in like a tornado and rearrange the furniture, move your stuff, shift things “6 inches to the right”; sometimes tearing out an entire wall to expand a wing.  For those who think I never get scared – get real!  I just do it afraid.

Fake it till you make it, or never let them see you sweat. Either one works.  I know a person however, that over the years has let themseves be overwhelmed by the smallest of things, allowing their box to close in so that it’s such a cramped little affair there’s barely room to turn around.  It’s sad, really.

Now there are individuals who really do have anxiety disorders.  I have some of the symptoms that I will list below, but I don’t let it dominate my mind.  I ain’t dead yet, and I’ve got a lot more life to live.  In fact, I intend to live mine out loud!  If you’re not so bold and brazen maybe you could start with baby steps.  Wear a different color; it can be a huge shock to the system.  Smile at someone you don’t know – I know, shocking.  Try a new food – I don’t know, that could be risky.  Read this blog – omg  – we may be moving a little too fast.  One step at a time!

My point is that as we get older we are more prone to settle into routines. Routines then become ruts and before long the rut is a grave with the ends knocked out.  We allow worries and fears to dominate our thinking and before long we accept failure because we are afraid to try.  I don’t want to be that person.  It’s humorous to watchMr. Monk, but  in reality it would be a sad existence.  I know from personal aquaintance, the above mentioned person’s box is beginning to resemble a coffin.

So here’s what WEbMD has to say about it:

What Are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
  • Nightmares
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand washing
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness

I’m sure we can all recognize some of those symptoms but it doens’t mean we need to run out and get a prescription for Xanax.  I rebel against the pharmaceutical companies need to overmedicate the world population when all we need to do is put on our big girl/ big boy pants and live life – to the fullest measure experiencing everything it can throw our way!  Just dodge the tomatoes.

Yeah, and some call me an adrenaline junkie as well!  It doesn’t matter though, I’m having a blast.

Write on my friends, write on!

Give or Take

Writing is a form of original art.  It’s an expression of the artist just as paint on a canvas, or the song by the musician. It is not every work that becomes a masterpiece, but that one special piece that plums the depths of their heart, the depths of their minds, their souls, their pain or joy. A selfish writer expresses the selfishness in his work.  It’s focused on him: perhaps he features himself, not necessarily by name, but he’s in the work because he’s egocentric.  ( You could easily place her in here for pronouns for my reference I am using him.)

They are the takers, it’s always all about them.  They boast about their own work on forums and groups.  They toss out their  “brilliance” in a conversation that the rest of us are expected to recognize as such even though it stops the conversation cold.  They never ask what others are doing, they could care less.  What someone else is doing has little bearing on them because they are takers.

Givers on the other hand make the best artists and writers.  They pour out of themselves, sometimes emptying  themselves in their work.    They share from their hurts in order that someone else might not have to go through the same pain.  They share the lessons they’ve learned, not to sound superior but that the new guy won’t have to start at the very beginning.  They ask questions in the group, not to steal ideas but because they view you as an equal.  When someone has a problem, they offer assistance  or tried to advise where to find the assistance.

We all know takers and the rare giver.  The piece doesn’t have  to solve world hunger, or even offer a cure for stage 4 cancer.  It expresses a compassion and a depth that the taker can never muster.  It speaks to the reader because the writer “knows” from their inner being the struggle, or issue, or topic they are addressing. Sometimes takers try to copy this, but it never lasts long because sooner or later it has to be about them and no pretense in the world can disguise a calloused, egocentric, uncaring heart.

Takers prey on the giver, like a parasite.  Sometimes it’s subtle at first, like an ambient host relationship, but eventually the taker begins to drain the life force of the giver to a degree that even the most naive trusting soul can see clearly what’s going on. I’ve been duped, taken advantage of and I let myself think I was helping.  It’s at that point of feeling drained when it finally comes together  and I realize that I feel like the biggest fool in the world.  The sad thing is I’ve allowed several takers to occupy a great deal of my time. I saw the signs in their writing, I should have recognized it.

I realize with the techno savvy crowd, and the uber  stylish that handmade, home crafted items are out of favor.  However, to some a gift made with love and personalized is often cherished above the commercially produced product that is cranked out in factories by the truckload.  I’ve made hand crafted cards, afghans, quilts, and various craft items that have been both appreciated and ridiculed.  Recently I spent a great deal of time learning jewelry craft, learning a Celtic braid, and making a handcrafted item.  The main part of the jewelry: the findings, clasp and the pendent itself were sterling silver.  It was a one of a kind piece, similar to another but yet unique.

At the point when I realize the person is a taker, and has been milking my sense of compassion they let it slip that they didn’t care for the piece and passed it on to another.  Usually not a big deal, except for the time and effort I put into the handmade item.  The statement was “I don’t know what jeweler you used but they are crap.”   OUCH!

I don’t expect people to like everything I do, or say, or make.  Normally it probably would be no big deal except for the recent revelations of their style.  It hurt to hear that my efforts failed, it hurt to hear that the person didn’t even appreciate the efforts, but what hurt the most was when I listened to their words, I realized I inferred a whole lot more than was ever there.  I guess that’s not really their fault, is it?

I can’t just stop wanting to give to my friends, because I  get a great amount of joy in giving to whatever capacity I am able.  I’m not buying anyone diamonds or rubies here so no great financial loss.  Maybe that was the bottom issue, the handmade is often interpreted as cheap. But, as with some of the handmade items, if I change one little word – handmade to handcrafted – they now have a higher perceived value.  Is it really any different though?  I suppose it depends on what you place your value on.  Friendship?  Relationship?  Money?

Takers will always take, and givers will always give.  It’s the nature of what they are in their inner being.  Once you know , then you can deal with it accordingly without getting hurt.  I won’t stop giving gifts.  But for the takers, perhaps I’ll stick to generic store-bought cards.

Write on My Friends, write on!