POV- What’s Your Pleasure?


Welcome to Week 6 of the MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge. This week’s topic is Point of View: Choices and Preferences.

Wow, is it really week 6 already?

My preference for writing is third person omniscient, from the narrator, or another character’s perspective.  This for me is easier as an observer of the story that plays out in my head like a movie. Most of the time.

Roxy Sings the Blues was written primarily from a first-person perspective, because it came to me as if I were sitting in a bar, interviewing Roxanne Winters.

One thing I absolutely do NOT like is head hopping. For my personal taste in reading and writing,  I understand the need to shift perspectives at times to get an idea of the other character(s) and their perspectives, their inner thoughts, and turmoil. The best way to handle this is at the beginning of chapters, or at least designated by headings.

I remember doing an edit for an author who had written their story from four different character’s perspectives.  It was confusing and I said as much.  The reader would have to be two pages into the chapter before they realized, oh,  this is from Joe’s perspective.

The author did not like my calls and chose to ignore it,  but then when they started getting bad reviews, they went back in and revised the story by adding headers at the beginning with just the character’s names.  It was enough to at least understand that it was someone else speaking.

I am not complaining about the author not taking my advice,  as the author it’s your choice to take edit calls OR NOT. I’ve disagreed with my editor at times on choice of word, a phrase, or expression, and even the POV.

The trick in fiction writing is to convince a reader this is real life. In real life, we only have one viewpoint—our own. We can’t step outside of ourselves and look at things from someone else’s perspective.

Well, I suppose you could,  if you were constantly trying to guess what they are thinking as you talk with them but I don’t think you would establish many relations, and I think you would drive yourself insane by doing such!

For that reason, to step out of viewpoint in fiction can shatter the illusion that the author is weaving. A reader instinctively realizes something is odd. He or she may not immediately pinpoint what it is, but a good editor will. As a reader, it just feels jarring or confusing.

Most successful short fiction is written in a single viewpoint. It can be first person, which automatically eliminates head-hopping but can be confining, or it may be third person, the form most often seen. In longer fiction,  like novel-length fiction, multiple or shifting POV is frequently used. But even then, a good writer only shifts POV when they also shift scenes or chapters.

One benefit to writing in first person,  it can help the reader to be in the scene,  to experience the world you have created and vicariously experience the emotional rollercoaster you are taking them on safely in their comfy chair. Third person can make the reader feel like an outsider or observer, at a distance.

To get the most emotional punch, I would suggest first person. If you are interested in that emotional roller coaster, I suggest you read Roxy Sings the Blues! Have tissues handy!

If you prefer third person narrative, try Red Wine & Roses for a steamy rendezvous!

A this is part of a blog hop, go check out what the other authors are saying HERE.

What POV do you prefer to read? What POV do you prefer to write?

FYI, I’m getting ready to drop my first newsletter with the latest scoop, dirt, recipes, and freebies.  If you are interested in getting my newsletter, go to:

newsletter sign-up

Life is good,  the results from the pathology stated that the pots they found were benign!  I am so relieved and happy. I may just do a happy dance!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Advertisements

Reading, Writing, or Living? #MFRW


This past week,  I think my answer would have to be – *drum roll*

LIVING.

I  admire my friend Vicki’s work ethic.  She is diligent to get her writing time in every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don’t. My goal is to write for an hour five days a week and spend my weekends with family and taking care of those domestic things.  It is treating writing like a business, a business that I work five days a week.

However, I know many authors who say you should write daily to stay in the habit.  There is definitely something to be said for maintaining a good habit.  So what about those parts related to an author’s life that aren’t exactly the drafting or writing stage? What about proofreading? What about editing? What about the brainstorm sessions for a new idea, or trying o figure out your plot?

There is a lot more to writing than the first draft. Here, in a nutshell, is the summation of my week.

Authors are just like everyone else.  Our lives consist of numerous aspects. Somebody has to do the dishes, the dish fairies never show up! Someone has to do the laundry, the laundry fairies don’t show up either.  Of course,  this is the part of life we often omit in books because who wants to see the character folding laundry? Nobody!

What have you been up to, reading, writing, or living? Let me know in the comments.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Time Traveling Author


Hello everyone! Today is the first of a long series. I am going to try my best to participate in the MFRW 52 Week Challenge. Each week they have a prompt on the subject that is predefined, so there is an automatic topic. Not every one of them is something I would have chosen to divulge or share,  but I didn’t make the list. When we get to those, I’ll have to see how I feel about the prompt that week.

I missed the first prompt last week as I was just recovering from the flu or cold crud or whatever the heck it was that had me down. Instead, I’m jumping in on Week 2: Childhood Memories: A Walk Back in Time.

Silhouette, group of happy children playing on meadow, sunset, summertime

Step into the time machine with me as Sherman operates the controls. *wavy lines as we travel back through time*.

Memories of my childhood . . . wow, that’s a big can of worms to unleash.

Let’s start with my earliest memory. Now I know a lot of people say that you can’t remember things until you are 3 or 4,  but I distinctly remember playing on a blanket as my mother hung our clothes on the clothesline and the neighbor girls were sitting with me, playing patty cake.  I had a bottle and was wearing a diaper and couldn’t quite walk. I could stand up, wobble then plop down, to which they would applaud me wildly, prompting me to do it again.  What does that have to do with anything? It was a happy memory and the earliest memory.

I grew up in a rural area south of St. Louis, Missouri. Life was simpler back then. Middle-class America, small town where everyone knew everyone else and neighbor’s watched out for each other. We didn’t have cell phones, we didn’t have handheld games unless you consider slingshots and BB guns.  I could hit a crabapple from twenty yards away with one rock. We had our imaginations, the outdoors, and real-life friends to hang out with.

The movie the Sand Lot is a good idea of the neighborhood ballgame we used to play. We gathered on a vacant lot next door to one of my friend’s house.  I brought a bat, others brought gloves and balls. We rode our bike to and from the lot. I was usually early and would sit on the ground with my friend Eddie until others arrived. I don’t ever remember getting into any kind of fight with Eddie, not even through high school. Since then we’ve lost touch but I often wonder what he’s up to.

We spent every minute we could outdoors. Because if you were indoors, then Mom could tell you to do additional chores.  Who wanted that? We caught lightning bugs and made glow in the dark jewelry by pinching off their butts. I know,  it sounds gross now and cruel but we didn’t think about that as kids. We rode our bikes throughout the day without the aid of Fitbits. Who knew how many miles we racked up and who cared! We would go as fast as we could, taking the corners at an angle, just to see who could do it the lowest.

We had three spots where we gathered: the empty lot for softball, the corner at the upper street next to Mr. Aubuchon’s farm, and the entry to the quarry at the top of the hill, both of which were stopping points for riding our bikes.

None of us had water bottles. Occasionally, we’d stop at someone’s house and often take drinks from the hose.

We didn’t have to worry about stranger danger, everyone knew who was from around there and who wasn’t.

There were no known incidents of child abductions. There were a few kids who ran away from home into the woods behind our small community but were later returned home. I ran away a couple of times myself.  The first time I ran away up to my Aunt and Uncle’s house that lived on the street above ours.  When it was time for dinner and I didn’t come home, my mother called my aunt and she said yes I was in the backyard with my cousins playing ghosts in the graveyard. They were never worried.

Another time I had read a book from the Scholastic book fair,  about a boy who lived on the other side of the mountain and lived on acorns.  I packed a backpack, stuffed some ritz crackers and a jar of peanut butter in my pack, a couple of shirts, a couple of apples, and a paper lunch sack full of my mom’s oatmeal cookies. I made it as far as the remains of a log cabin that had burned down many years before. There was a stone fireplace, a few rotted logs, and some wrought iron sticking out of the ground. It was getting near dusk and I heard coyotes. My little legs moved as fast as they could back home. Washing in the sink in the typical bird bath style when told to wash up before dinner.

When asked where I’d been all day, I said exploring. I told them about the rocks I found in the creek. I shared about the bunnies and the snake I came across. I told my dad all about the “ancient” cabin ruins, asking him to take me back there because we might find some archaeological discovery that we would need to send to the museum.

My mother was a girl scout leader and had taken her troop to the St. Louis art museum a few weeks before and I was fascinated.

My mother asked after regaling my father with my explorations if I had taken some of her cookies. I jumped down, got the bag or what was left of the bag from my backpack and brought them to her simply saying “explorers need snacks.”

Nowadays, an 8-year-old girl wandering the woods alone would be cause for alarm. Where are her parents? Why is she in the woods alone? She’s in danger! The only time I felt in danger back then was when I heard the coyotes and realized I didn’t have any place to be safe overnight.

Life was simpler. We had to use our imaginations,  something I feel that today’s kids are handicapped by not using.

What are some of your favorite childhood memories? How do you feel about the times when you grew up as opposed to today’s youth?  Be sure to check out the other authors participating in this blog tour!

Write on my friends, write on!

Be sure to check out my books!

Inclement Health Delays – Break Line


Greetings!

You know how the districts will call off school for the day for inclement weather? Well, I’ve postponed my blog, writing, OK,… my life due to inclement health.

If any of you reading this has had a bout of this year’s flu,  you have my sympathies. I had the flu shot by orders of my oncologist. It wasn’t enough.  A couple family gatherings over the holidays and I picked up the prevailing germs.  Lucky me.  I’m still not at 100 %, but compared to how horrible I felt,  this is amazing!

So, enough about me being sick, that’s not why y’all are here. Happy belated New Year’s!

I had scheduled the following to go up on my birthday –  January 2nd – so let’s just start there.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

RELEASE BLITZ for BREAK LINE

Title: Break Line

Author: Ellie Mack

Release Date: 1/2/2019

Cover Designer: Nemo Designs

Genre: Contemporary Romance

BLURB:

Former Marine Nathan Fletcher had to get away. Everything was crumbling under the constant pressures of coping with PTSD, and he had to regain control. When opportunity knocked to relocate to paradise, he couldn’t pass it up. He had it all – paradise, family, and the career of his dreams. Nathan even had the best therapy in the world: the ocean. His life was perfect.

Tragedy strikes, taking more than his leg with it. His confidence is shattered leaving fear in its place. If it weren’t for his cousin and new best friend Kai, he might give in to the demons of his past and present.

Fate seems to be mocking the once cocky marine when a petite Hawaiian beauty becomes his physical therapist. She pushes all his buttons ten ways to Sunday! Nathan is torn between irritation with Kini Okana, and his desire for her.

Can Kai and Kini help him overcome the trauma that has turned his world upside down, or will Nathan let the tragedy rob him of his future dreams?

 

BUY LINK:

Amazon: 

http://a.co/d/3BJBHvc

 **Will be available on Kindle Unlimited. 

 

TEASERS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Contemporary romance author, Ellie Mack, is a former columnist outside of St. Louis, Missouri where she resides with her husband and daughters. Her works have earned her nominations in the Indie community for best debut romance and best ugly cry in 2017. Recently, she has “dipped her quill” into the realm of Norse mythology with her title The Awakening.

As a breast cancer survivor, Ellie encourages others with the diagnosis to keep fighting and to always have hope.

“If there’s life, there is hope.” -Stephen Hawking

Ellie has also won both the Liebster and WordPress blog awards for her blog Quotidiandose. When she’s not working on her next book, Ellie enjoys journaling, crocheting, and practicing her skills in the kitchen.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” -Vivian Greene

AUTHOR LINKS:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/EllieMackwordsmith

Twitter:

Pinterest:

Website:

https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mack_ellie/

HOSTED BY:

Lip Services PR

@Lip Services PR

 

 

 

 

 

TRUST ME  – I wanted to share this on January 2nd. I am so very grateful to Maria at Lip Services PR.

I have several more things I want to share.  One things for certain,  not getting the words out of my system means more blog posts to come! Thank you all for your patience.

Write on my friends, write on!

Connections


IN case you wondered, I”m not dead!

My internet has been. We had a series of storms come through and it knocked out power. When we got our power back,  we realized that we didn’t have any internet. It’s been weeks!

I didn’t realize how dependent on the internet I had become. Yes,  I ‘ve had very real withdrawal symptoms. I’ve had to go to local businesses to use their wifi in order to finish work related business. I’m not trying to be overly dramatic about this. I’ve had to budget my time a little differently is all.

It’s still not working correctly,  but my husband has managed to “redneck fix” it. NO duct tape was involved.

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

My new book just released. I’ve not been able to get on to order print books to have available. I ordered a few for prizes from release parties,  but that’s it. Then I find out that 2 recipients did not receive their prize packages –  but USPS tracking says they were delivered. I get it,  we have our mail delivered to wrong addresses all the time. It’s still frustrating though.

You’d think with all this time offline,  I’d have volumes written,  but I don’t.  I have made progress on the second book, and I’m in chapter 6.  I may start sharing some snippets from both – don’t even know if anyone would be interested in them.

I’ve taken my connections for granted, I’ll be the first to admit. I like having my wifi connections.  I like being able to scroll through my tablet from the comfort of my sofa.  I like being able to check facebook with my morning coffee.  I like being able to write a blog post when I have something to say – which is often. OF course, you’d never know it from the past few weeks, now would you?

So, I plan to get back into the saddle as soon as things get straightened out,  but in the meantime,  I have to budget my online time between the library and our local YMCA. After spending an hour and a half in my aquacize class, spending another couple of hours sitting in their lobby is not my idea of a good time. Besides,  I’m hungry after the classes!

Until next time,  be thankful you have internet!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

To, Two, Too – Which One?


Welcome to my blog!

For the month of June, I planned to post 30 Days of Definition, well . . . if you’ve stopped by this past week,  you know I haven’t managed to do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still dealing with the malaise from medications, but trying to get on top of it.

Today and for this week I thought I’d talk about frequently misused words. We all do it, be honest.

It’s  – its has been my latest issue.  I thought everything was good to go on my newest release and just a couple of days ago a friend pointed out that I had it’s on my back cover blurb instead of its.  EEEEEEEK! I got so excited about the design and finishing this book that I didn’t read my own blurb, just glanced over it.

That’s just one example which is only noticed in print. HOw many times though,  have we been in conversation with someone and they misuse a word, or habitually misuse the same word.  Do you correct their grammar or just cringe a little inside? NO? Just me?

Here are some that I’ve heard frequently misused.

• Adverse means detrimental and does not mean averse or disinclined.

Correct: “There were adverse effects.” / “I’m not averse to doing that.”

• Appraise means to ascertain the value of and does not mean to apprise or to inform.

Correct: “I appraised the jewels for the insurance coverage.” / “I apprised him of the situation.”

• As far as means the same as but cannot be used the same way as as for.

Correct: “As far as the money is concerned …” / As for the money …

• Bemused means bewildered and does not mean amused.

Correct: The unnecessarily complex plot left me bemused. / The silly comedy amused me.

• Cliché is a noun and is not an adjective.

Correct: “Shakespeare used a lot of clichés.” / The plot was so clichéd.

• Credible means believable and does not mean credulous or gullible.

Correct: His sales pitch was not credible. / The con man took advantage of credulous people.

• Data is a plural count noun not, standardly speaking, a mass noun. [Note: “Data is rarely used as a plural today, just as candelabra and agenda long ago ceased to be plurals,” Pinker writes. “But I still like it.”]

Correct: “This datum supports the theory, but many of the other data refute it.”

• Depreciate means to decrease in value and does not mean to deprecate or to disparage.

Correct: My car has depreciated a lot over the years. / She deprecated his efforts.

• Dichotomy means two mutually exclusive alternatives and does not mean difference or discrepancy.

Correct: There is a dichotomy between even and odd numbers. / There is a discrepancy between what we see and what is really there.

• Enormity means extreme evil and does not mean enormousness. [Note: It is acceptable to use it to mean a deplorable enormousness.]

Correct: The enormity of the terrorist bombing brought bystanders to tears. / The enormousness of the homework assignment required several hours of work.

• Fortuitous means coincidental or unplanned and does not mean fortunate.

Correct: Running into my old friend was fortuitous. / It was fortunate that I had a good amount of savings after losing my job.

• Homogeneous is pronounced as homo-genius and “homogenous” is not a word but a corruption of homogenized.

Correct: The population was not homogeneous; it was a melting pot.

• Hone means to sharpen and does not mean to home in on or to converge upon.

Correct: She honed her writing skills. / We’re homing in on a solution.

• Intern (verb) means to detain or to imprison and does not mean to inter or to bury.

Correct: The rebels were interned in the military jail. / The king was interred with his jewels.

• Ironic means uncannily incongruent and does not mean inconvenient or unfortunate.

Correct: “It was ironic that I forgot my textbook on human memory.” / It was unfortunate that I forgot my textbook the night before the quiz.

• Irregardless is not a word but a portmanteau of regardless and irrespective. [Note: Pinker acknowledges that certain schools of thought regard “irregardless” as simply non-standard, but he insists it should not even be granted that.]

Correct: Regardless of how you feel, it’s objectively the wrong decision. / Everyone gets a vote, irrespective of their position.

• Literally means in actual fact and does not mean figuratively.

Correct: I didn’t mean for you to literally run over here. / I’d rather die than listen to another one of his lectures — figuratively speaking, of course!

I can’t tell you how many times I find these in editing, which is easy to mark for correction but when they are used in conversation . . . Irregardless is a major pet peeve with me. It seems to be the standard thing from several people lately.  I don’t know if this is a local colloquialism or just general misinformation but the grammar nazi in me wants to correct them every time.

What words do you commonly misuse? Which ones set your hackles up when others misuse them?

Tomorrow is the big day – come back and check here tomorrow.

Until then, write on my friends, write on!

What Can I Say?


Welcome to my blog!

For the month of June, I planned to post 30 Days of Definition, well . . . if you’ve stopped by this past week,  you know I haven’t managed to do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I managed to get the first week in –  defining moments. Sort of.

You know,  it’s like as soon as I make a plan to do X the universe conspires to make sure it doesn’t happen. Yes, that is an exaggeration,  but it sure seems like it at times.

What’s been happening in my world? Aside from the panic that comes with book publishing after the revisions are dead, I’ve been swamped in the day job. That and a general malaise that I”m trying to overcome with a change in medicines. (Have I said lately that Cancer sucks?)

I feel really bad now because I invited other bloggers to participate in this and I haven’t even managed to post.

Today I’m going to touch on something that defines us as individuals.  Or rather me.

I read a book once, can’t remember the title,  but in the first chapter, it asked –  how do we define ourselves. Without using our usual monackers of mom, wife, sister, our job – what defines US.

I had a tough time with this, and it really made me think. Beware, we’re going to the deep end.

We are not defined by our jobs-  that’s what we do. We are not defined by our titles or monackers – mom, sister, wife.  I was me before I became a mom. It changed me sure,  but I was still me.

It’s not achievements we’ve made, the laurels we have achieved, or battles we’ve won.

So truly, what defines me as different than everyone else? What makes me stand out from the crowd or am I just one in a crowd of lemmings?

I have to be honest,  I didn’t finish the book because it sent me into a tailspin. Since then, I’ve still thought on this many times.

This is the conclusion that I’ve come to: the essence of what defines us as individuals is ultimately our soul. It’s how you treat other people. It’s your humanity, your compassion, your personality, your strengths and weaknesses, and the love that you show towards your fellow human being.

Human being – not those who are the same religion as you, same skin color as you, speak the same language, or have the same lifestyle.

I’ve shared my faith before and I am appalled at the hatred and prejudice that comes from many claiming to be Christians.  All of us are in the same human condition – flawed, broken, and mortal.

Love is the answer!

Seriously, would you expect anything less from a romance author? Wait let me amend that –  a romance author and paranormal fantasy suspense author.

The Awakening: Book 1 of the Valkyrie’s Curse series releases on June 20th! Yes, I had to get that in there-  I’m proud of my accomplishment and  I think this one will blow you away!!!

 

 

The Awakening 

Helena Eskildson is obsessed with Vikings and Norse Mythology. Neither Helena nor her sister know they are Freya’s daughters – Valkyries, the shieldmaidens to Odin.
When her obsession leads her to a remote site at Roskilde and it’s two monolithic rune stones, her destiny is awakened.
While the team wages a battle between a cursed site and a sociopathic killer, time is ticking closer to Ragnarok.
Will her friends be able to save her before the gjallerhorn sounds?

 

Available now on PReorder for $0.99

 

Write on my friends, write on!

Nothing Goes As Planned


Welcome to my blog!

I’ve been doing the MFRW blog hop for a while, kind of hit or miss.  I’ve tried to get back onto the WEWRIWA Sunday Snippets, mostly off. Things have been hectic and overwhelming lately, so of course, I decided to do a new thing! You know how I love new things!

For the month of June, I will be posting Definition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week is defining moments.

de·fin·ing mo·ment

noun
plural noun: defining moments
          an event that typifies or determines all subsequently related occurrences.
~~~~~~~~~
And this is where things have gone terribly off track!
Seriously, I had a plan outlined and scheduled to write on for each day this month.
Then, Tuesday through Thursday,  I was neck deep in it getting my manuscript ready to send to the editor and formatter.
I was determined to get it sent out to the point I have neglected my housework, preparing proper meals (What adult has a PBJ for dinner one night and BLT the next?), and pretty much everything else in order to make certain that I had my t’s crossed and i’s dotted.
So here’s what I’m going to do since I’m a few days behind.  I”m going to give you the abbreviated versions of the other Defining Moments.

Day 5 – Public Speaking

I am an extrovert. I’m the kind of extrovert that most introverts hate.  I will talk to strangers in an elevator.  I will smile and say how you doing to a stranger as I pass them in the hallway.  In fact, I will confront someone who is doing something uncouth.  Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not going to be stupid about it.

When my mother was in the hospital numerous times,  I hate that ‘get on the elevator and stare straight ahead and don’t talk to anyone’ thing.  The guy is holding a plant with a Congratulations on a new baby balloon – heck yeah I’m going to comment “Good news I see”  Or if it’s nothing so obvious I’ll comment about the weather –  whether it’s hot, cold, raining, or gorgeous.

Most people will respond with at least a nod.  Here’s the thing though,  our society has been teaching kids for ages “Don’t talk to strangers”.  But, in a self-defense class, one of the things that they said was rapists and muggers will target the fearful.  I don’t cower.  I don’t walk with my shoulders slumped,  or curved inward.  I walk with my head held high and if a guy is coming towards me with intent to harm me,  I’m going to make the biggest loudest scene I can. 98% of criminals will walk the other way and wait for an easier target.

For that 2% –  I have pepper spray and know some maneuvers to protect myself.  Anyway,  this isn’t about not making myself a victim.  This is about the extrovert thing.

When I was in college and had to give a presentation to the department staff for my senior theses, I was shaking like a leaf.  When I was first asked to speak publicly it was awkward,  filled with OK, and ummms,  but I lived.  The next time it was easier.  If I have the time to add lib a little I can have the audience laughing.

I’ve mentioned before that I try to use the EIEIO method, it seems to work for me. Along with informing and educating,  you have to entertain them at least a little.  If you can do that you can keep their attention.

OK, well it may help that I’ve been told that I should be a stand-up comedian as well.  Not going to happen,  but I use the sense of humor to help with speaking.  My largest crowd so far has only been about 150 people which is small,  but I’m not done yet.

Day 6 -Moment of Clarity

I really don’t have a better way of describing this. So here goes.

Several months ago, the doctor prescribed a medication for me to deal with the increased anxiety after the cancer diagnosis.  Part of that is I can’t “cope” with the same habits I had before.  I am a stress eater.  I have self-medicated myself most of my life to avoid the feels, the hurts, and the emotions. Just being honest. If you have ever watched Biggest Loser,  you’d see that the majority of fatties are in the same boat.  It’s not the simple formula of less food in more calorie output equals weight loss.

Why does someone eat themselves up to 200, 250, 300 or more pounds? It’s insulation.  Insulation from having to deal with life.  Having to deal with our past.  Having to deal with emotional wounds and baggage.

So I can’t do that anymore,  most of the “comfort foods” I would turn to are now off the menu because of the big C. Hence, the increased anxiety.

So I was taking this medicine and my daughter commented that I was considerably more chill.  IF it weren’t for some very bad side effects that I couldn’t live with,  it really did help. During the time I was taking it,  I could see clearly the issues.  I could see that the problem was that I had all these emotional issues that I would have formerly turned to food and that wasn’t an option. I’ve said before,  the best diet in the world doesn’t fix the most important six inches.

During one of those moments of clarity, I was reading some articles that the dietician had directed me to, and one of them was a quiz for a food addict. I got a perfect score! NO, that’s not a good thing.  I had to say yes to every single question. I never put two and two together,  but after answering those questions,  I can see it.

Trigger foods that cause that reaction inside my body or head,  that I have to have more. The biggest triggers across the board are sugar, carbs, chocolate, fast foods, and most junk foods.  A new study shows that the brains of women with food addictions are similar to drug addictions and an alcoholic. Since then, I’ve recognized the cycle and been able to stop before binging.  I”m happy to say I’ve stayed on the wagon.

We all have our issues,  don’t judge.

DAY 7- The Big C

Cancer has a way of leveling the playing field.  One day, you’re carefree and even though you know you’re not immortal, you plan to live to a ripe old age and spoil grandbabies and cause a ruckus at the old folk’s home. (I’ve already warned my kids that if they stick me in a home it better be in Florida or I’ll be causing a scene weekly.)

Then one day you get a diagnosis that literally changes your life. Cancer is an equal opportunity bastard of a disease. It doesn’t care what race, religion, persuasion, financial status, or age you are.

At first, I was in shock. I’ve shared before that from the date of diagnosis to the day of surgery was a whirlwind that didn’t give me time to think.  It’s just as well. It was during the radiation treatment while taking the oral medications that I had a true “Come to Jesus” moment.

I was slapped in my face with my own mortality, and I very much view this as a second chance to get it right.  What was important to me?

What did I want to accomplish in my life?

What would my legacy be?

The most important thing to me is my family. I decided that I would make certain to spend time with my family, including my siblings and extended family.

I wanted to publish as many of my books as I could get out.  I looked at the pace I was going and realized that I was a long way from getting even half of them out if I didn’t kick it into gear. When I first tried to sit down and write,  I couldn’t focus.  My mind was blank.  I cried numerous times thinking that I may have lost my opportunity. However,  after radiation was over and I was slowly beginning to recover,  it started coming back to me and I was determined in a way that I was never determined before.

I don’t even care if people don’t like Roxy Sings the Blues,  it will forever be an important milestone to me because I managed to finish that after Cancer. It made me realize that if I wanted to achieve my goals, I was going to have to put out a concerted effort which meant I have to focus.

There are many other moments in our lives that we could say are defining moments and many other moments.  It’s what we do with those moments that matter.

What are your defining moments?

Write on my friends, write on!

Resignation/Retirement


WElcome to my blog!

I’ve been doing the MFRW blog hop for a while, kind of hit or miss.  I’ve tried to get back onto the WEWRIWA Sunday Snippets, mostly off. Things have been hectic and overwhelming lately, so of course, I decided to do a new thing!

For the month of June, I will be posting Definition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week is defining moments.

de·fin·ing mo·ment

noun
plural noun: defining moments
          an event that typifies or determines all subsequently related occurrences.

DAY 4 – Resignation/Retirement

For most of my young adult l had focused on career. Graduation from high school was briefly celebrated as I moved to the next stepping stone – college. College was a means to an end – a well-paying career.

I had already made the decision that the double major of forensic anthropology wasn’t going to work, and focusing on cartography. My father worked for Defense Mapping Agency and urged me to pursue cartography.  It’s currently known as National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Cartographers make good money –  I mean, really good money.

Life was great. I was in a department that I enjoyed and had worked my way up to target expert in the digital productions division. I was a shoe-in for the position after working in points during Desert Storm.  I liked what I was doing and I was good at it!

Then I delivered my second child. I returned to work after maternity leave,  but my daughter caught RSV virus at the daycare that we had our children in and ended up in the hospital.  My husband and I alternated who would take off work to stay with her. The opportunity came up to do a buyout, and essentially retire. We ran the numbers and I was shocked to see that despite my great salary,  I was essentially working for 5 an hour after gas, auto maintenance, and daycare expenses. The decision was easier to make after seeing the numbers, and the nudge that made the decision final was another admission to the hospital for my baby. It’s hard to see your child under an oxygen tent, and that was the last straw.  I had to stay home with my kids.

Before that, I identified myself as what I did in my job. I was identifying myself as a mom also,  but when people say tell me about yourself,  the government employment came first.  I was proud of my job, proud of my work,  and proud of who I was.

IT was quite a shock to only be a “mom” for a while.  Don’t get me wrong please,  I love my kids with everything I am. It’s just that I was a professional for ten years before kids. It took some adjustments.

I loved those years though,  and so glad that we made the decision because I was able to raise my children, not someone at a daycare. Which of course means that anything they are screwed up about is on me!

I enjoyed the majority of those years.  I would trade the vomit in a heartbeat, but everything else – priceless!

OUr kids have turned out to be amazing young adults that I am so very proud of, I guess maybe I did a few things right or I was just blessed with amazing kids.

Anyway, leave a comment and brag about your kids if you want!

WRite on my friends, write on!

Get On With It


It’s been a little over a year since my diagnosis, and a year yesterday for surgery. Wow, what a whirlwind ride this has been.

I’m thankful to still be here. I’m thankful to have hair, even though it’s white now.

I promise I am not going to dwell on this forever, but since I’ve been riddled with anxiety for the past week over just about everything, this is part of my healing process.  I have to process these thoughts, learn to manage the emotions and the overwhelm.

What has changed?  Everything.

OH, on the surface onlookers may think I’m the same old same old. but I’m not. I am learning to make myself a priority –  still learning, still trying to use that word NO, and still doing the self-talk to tell myself I’m worth it. Because you know what?  I am!

We all are.  Each one of us deserves a fulfilling life and to achieve our own happiness.  Each of us is a unique one of a kind original. It’s hard to keep that in mind at times when the lemming tendencies of our society scream that we need to fit in and do what everyone else is doing.

How are we ever going to stand out from the crowd if we are doing the same thing, looking the same, wearing the same hairstyle?  There is nothing wrong with being ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with being who you are, regardless of that mean bitch from school says.

Screw her! OH wait,  most of the guys already have!

That was a joke, sort of.

We need to stop being influenced by those mean girls and the pretty people. They are a minority and we outnumber them into the millions. Why do we ever care what they think?

For me,  I’ve always had this element of people pleasing. It’s a lifelong habit that I’m working on breaking.  It’s part of exercising that word NO.

What do you think?  What do you want to do? I”m not saying that you do whatever you want even if it’s illegal or immoral. I’m talking about pursuing your dreams, setting goals for yourself and learning to get our thoughts in line with drawing what we truly want out of life.

There are times when the overwhelm is just too much for me. This was never an issue before cancer. I’ve been thinking about why that is.  Part of it, as listed in the side effects of the chemo meds I have to take is increased anxiety. OH, joy! But I take the meds because I want to live cancer free.

Part of it, I’ve deduced is because I’ve spent a lifetime stress eating and putting myself into a food stupor when I was overwhelmed so that I could numb myself from the pain and anxiety.  Do you think overweight people simply eat too much?  It’s so much more than that.

OK, you take someone who has put on twenty pounds because they’ve been hitting the pizza and beer too often and no biggie,  they cut down on their consumption and within a short time have taken the weight off. But a fat person?  I mean someone who has been overweight for a long time, maybe their whole life, it’s a psychological issue as much as it is about overeating.  Hence the yo-yo up and down the scale.

Anyway,  this isn’t about being fat or me being frustrated that the weight isn’t coming off faster. This is ultimately about change and learning to control the thoughts and emotions.

Some things change quickly –  surgery – I had cancer, they removed the tumors.

Some things take time –  it took many treatments for the radiation to be effective.

Some things take even longer – learning to eat differently, learning new habits, learning new limitations.

Ultimately though, aren’t we all learning? Whether we are adjusting to dietary limitations, or physical limitations or emotional,  we have to overcome, adapt, and learn what our best is each and every day.  Maybe today it’s learning that “I’m OK. Tomorrow it may be “I can’t do that but I can tackle this.”

Early in the week, I was a whirlwind of energy and productivity. Yesterday I fell into a pit of overwhelm and could barely function.  I was a mess of tears, snotting and snorting and nearly hyperventilating. My friend Misty talked me down. She walked me through the sensory steps,  reminded me of the four agreements, and then my husband called around lunchtime and told me to throw away my list.

 NO, not my list! The LIST is like, THE PIRATE CODE.

Cue increased panic.

He reminded me that nothing on my list was mandatory. (But,  it’s my list.  I don’t list unnecessary things to do.) Nothing is mandatory and has to be done today.  The only mandatory things on the list were my day job, getting my blog post up (because it was a personal goal) and making sure I did my physical therapy.

As I glanced over my precious list of twenty-seven items, I realized he was right. As much as I wanted to get those other things accomplished and checked off the list –  only list makers will get that – the world was not going to end if I waited for another day to try to tackle them.

One of those items was a social situation with someone that causes me continued stress. At the end of the day, I realized that it was in my own best interest to say NO, and bow out. The second part of that is allowing myself to not fret over the decision and accept that I need to take care of myself.

Why does it have to be so hard to say no? What is it that I was so afraid of? That they would be mad at me? They don’t like me anyway. Hard to imagine, but they don’t.

I refer to Agreement Number 2: Don’t take anything Personal. Nothing others do is because of you. What others do or say is a product of their own reality, their own dreams and actions. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of suffering.

Breathe.

Inhala . . . exhala . . . and now I can get on with it.

Write on my friends, write on!