Day 164: Not Knowing

Yesterday I wrote about knowing so today I’m writing about not knowing.  Not knowing can be frightening or exciting…it all depends upon your point of view and how you look at life.  I am one of those people that doesn’t like being in the dark…literally or figuratively.  I have too vivid of an imagination to be alone in a completely dark room.  I imagine the worst things in the darkness and am filled with an overwhelming sense of dread.  It’s not that different for me when there are things that I don’t know but want to know.  Need to know.  I don’t even like surprises.  I am a need to know person.  I am also very empathetic so I can usually sense when someone is holding something back from me or is being less than truthful.  When I sense that, it makes me a bit anxious and sometimes angry.  I have a very bad habit of checking to see what’s been purchased from my Amazon wishlist when my birthday or Christmas is near…like now.  I love learning which is also a way of knowing.  I want to know everything about everything.  That, however, is not possible but I will continue to try.  Sometimes it’s better not to know.  Knowing certain things can hurt us, destroy us, screw with us, break us.  But, sometimes knowing is best.  It can uplift us, amaze us, inspire us, intrigue us, prepare us.  Not knowing makes us curious.  Sometimes that’s good and other times not so much.  The difficult thing is that we have to make the choice between knowing and not knowing without being aware of the repercussions of our choice.  We won’t find those out until after our choice is made.  Like most things in life, it’s a crapshoot…one big gamble.  But we have to take a leap of faith and live with our choices because that’s life which is just one big unknown.   

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Day 163: Knowing

We all know so many things…intellectually, emotionally, and even physically…but there are more things that we don’t know and most of them, we never will.  My genre, currently, is urban fantasy and there are vampires, witches, and various other fantastical creatures.  Aside from the fact that I enjoy the genre, I like the fact that I can make the majority of the book up.  We all know the lore surrounding vampires but over the years the characteristics and abilities of vampires have changed drastically.  They sparkle, they can go out into the sunlight, they are more human-like, they can reproduce, they can love, etc…  So, for a writer, it’s like a blank canvas that has an almost invisible silhouette drawn on it and I have a full palette of paint to use on it.  I can create entire worlds or take our current world and shape it any way that I want.  I can take everyday ordinary objects and make them magical.  I can do the same with animals or I can create my own.  In my book, Rapture, I took present-day Dallas and gave it a magical underground.  It’s fun.  It’s cathartic.  It gives me freedom when I write.  I wander around that world as I write it and I feel like an explorer because I’m actually seeing it for the first time as I go along.  Somewhere in Rapture, I took a wrong turn and I am not in the place I’d like to be.  That’s why I’m editing and rewriting it…retracing my steps and going off in new directions.  This trip is a bit more difficult than the original one but it’s still an adventure.  So, I am going to eat lunch and then jump back into my adventure.  I’ll see you later when I get back.           

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Day 162: So Happy It’s Friday!

This has been an extraordinarily long week.  I’m still dealing with the aftermath of the cold and because we’ve had flashes of spring here and there, a lot of things are blooming and budding and releasing the devil’s dust…aka pollen…so I’m also fighting allergies.  I’m either coughing, sneezing, blowing my nose, or struggling to breathe.  Sometimes they happen in succession or at the same time.  But the main thing is that I am just sooooo tired.  I am looking forward to some extra sleep this weekend and some creative time between naps.  I am also going to start working on the plans for a virtual birthday party for my dear friend Lauren.  In Succulent Wild World, we occasionally have virtual birthday parties in our Facebook group and even though it might sound a little lame, they are actually a lot of fun.  I want to make this a very special party for her because she deserves it.  She is kind and caring and we have so much in common.  I just want it to be special.  It’s going to be so much fun!  I love to plan for things…parties, trips, creative things…just anything that you can plan.  And I love making lists.  So, I’m going to be having fun from beginning to end.  So, I am closing for now and I will catch with you tomorrow.

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Day 161: Lovelight

In SARK’s Succulent Wild World, there is a thing called “being in the Lovelight.”  Each week someone is chosen by the current recipient and all of SWW heaps love, encouragement, and praise upon them.  The recipient of the Lovelight shares things with them about themselves, their life, their creative life, and whatever else comes to mind.  So we get to know each other very well.  And this week, I am the lucky Lovelight recipient and it has been truly awesome.  Everyone deserves to have this experience on a regular basis in their life.  Who doesn’t need to to be appreciated, loved, encouraged, and praised?  That’s one of the reasons that I like to give compliments to random strangers.  It literally takes only seconds to tell someone that you love their blouse, earrings, cologne, or how they wear their hair, etc…  I just enjoy doing it and seeing them smile.  It makes me feel good too so it’s a win-win kind of thing.  And it costs you nothing at all.  And, after working in retail when I was younger, I try to be respectful toward all customer service people like store clerks, fast food clerks and waiters/waitresses with whom I come into contact because I know how much crap they have to put up with from people.  In the past, if I was out on a date and they were rude to anyone that waited on us, I was done with them.  There wasn’t a second date because I think that kind of rudeness is very telling about someone and their true personality.  I mean, how hard is it to just be civil to someone?  Life’s hard enough, so just choose to be nice to people.  Or at least don’t go out of your way to be rude.  Just try.  It’s not that difficult.

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Day 160: Mothers and Daughters

Most of the girls that I grew up with did not want to grow up to be like their mom. And I was 1 of them. A lot of the reason for me was the very contentious relationship that we had from the day that I was born until I was 31 years old. She could have been the spokesmodel for the traditional 60’s stay at home housewife/mom. She spent most of my childhood looking for ways to get me in trouble with my dad because I was a daddy’s girl and I think that she was jealous of that. But, the kicker is that she pushed me to fill in for her when my dad went to the farm or to visit his mother or to run errands. So it was basically her fault that he and I were so close. She also felt the need to protect my brother, who was her very obvious favorite child, from my dad. If dad was going to the farm or out on one of his jobs, mom wouldn’t let my brother go because he might get hurt so I was sent in his place. That sent a pretty clear message. And if I did even the tiniest thing wrong, mom could barely wait for dad to come home so she could tattle on me. One time when I was in my early 20s when I was an assistant manager at Hasting’s Records in the mall, I stayed late to help someone put the price stickers on the new arrivals and then put everything out in the bins. When we finally finished, as a thank you, she gave me joint. I actually gave it back to her but when I got home I found it in my bag. I had never smoked pot at that point even though most of the people I hung out with did. I kind of freaked out and started to flush it but then I thought that I might try it at some point so I hid it in the back of my jewelry box and actually forgot about it. Then a few months later on a Sunday after my parents had left for church, my brother wakes me up and tells me that I am dead. Mom decided she wanted to borrow a necklace and got into my jewelry box. I know for a fact that the necklace was right there on top of everything but as per usual she took the opportunity to snoop. And she had to tell dad. As soon as they got home, I was called into the dining room for a talk. My dad told me how disappointed he was and pretty much followed the generic script of multiple after school specials. I told them how I ended up with it and that it had been in there for months. My dad told me that pot was too expensive for someone to just give it to me. I started to tell him that pot wasn’t that expensive but realized that would be a bear trap that I’d be setting for myself so I kept my mouth shut. Mom was loving it. She told me that she only told him because she was worried that I was starting down a wrong path and I needed to be set straight. Well, gee thanks, mom. As luck would have it, about a month later, I was in my 18 year old brother’s truck and lo and behold, there was a quart Baggie full of pot. Oh, mom, look what I found. And guess who’s selling and smoking pot. Do you think she told my dad? Of course she didn’t. She flushed it and it was never mentioned again. I guess she wasn’t too concerned about him going down the wrong path. So there was a very definite and obvious double standard. And I spent 31 years dealing with it. And then when I was 31, I was at my parents’ house and she and I were alone. Completely out of left field she asked me a very personal question that about which I would have normally lied my ass off. For some reason I thought just screw it and answered honestly. I waited for the blow up but it didn’t come she just told me to be careful and that was it. I knew that was her apology for all of the hell that she had put me through and I accepted it as such. From that day forward, we were good. And my brother kind of lost his shine in her eyes because of a few things that he had done. She told me how proud she was of me for being so independent and self sufficient after my divorce from my extremely abusive first husband. We had about 15 good years before her Alzheimer’s diagnosis and her rapid decline. Even though she didn’t know who I was, she was always so happy to see me and was funny and loving. But she was kind of mean to my brother. I felt sorry for him. My favorite photo of her is from when she was in the care facility. She looks happy. I miss mom a lot and I still talk to her. It will be 10 years on October 1st since she passed. It seems like it was much longer ago than that.

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Day 159: Home Sweet Home

Most people, including myself, don’t need expensive, elaborate material things to be happy.  Sure, those things are nice to have but they aren’t necessities…we can be content without them.  I’ve always said that as far as money is concerned, I don’t need millions of dollars…I would just like to have enough money to finish paying off the house and get it into tip-top shape, buy new cars, and not to have to worry that 1 emergency could wipe us out financially.  Now, if I ever win the Powerball, I’ll do those things, plus buy a house on a huge plot of land and rescue dogs, cats, and any other animal that needs to be loved.  That would definitely make me ecstatic.  But back to reality.  I personally don’t care all that much about clothes or shoes.  I don’t need an expensive car or a mansion.  My biggest splurges have been on electronics…iPads, laptops, gaming systems, etc…  I’m an early adopter.  But I don’t NEED those things.  I need my husband, my family, my friends, and our fur-children.  I need a decent car that runs so I can get to work and to my other destinations.  I also need our house because I absolutely adore it and the acre of land it’s on.  It’s just outside the historical area of our city and our house was built in 1956.  A lot of the properties have the main house and what they used to call a mother-in-law house.  There are huge old trees everywhere and because we have channels behind and on 1 side of the property and a ton of foliage between us and our neighbors, it’s like living in the country but it’s in the middle of a thriving Dallas suburb.  There are the usual squirrels, possums, and raccoons but there are also sitings of foxes and coyotes.  Our yard is usually filled with cardinals, blue jays, mockingbirds, doves, crows, and the occasional hawk.  Our former neighbors had chickens, goats, horses, peacocks, and other assorted barnyard critters, oh, and a barn.  The properties are still partially zoned for agricultural use.  We have a magnolia tree, crepe myrtles, Jessamine, honeysuckle, wisteria, and lavender all over our yard.  We also grow a lot of tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, and various other vegetables.  We also have herbs and other savory treats…rosemary, lemongrass, sage, basil, thyme, mint, chives, garlic, and, of course, catnip for the cats.  We have blackberry bushes and a fig tree.  And we have a 40,000-gallon pool…it’s huge and it was a major score for Rick because he loves to swim.  We had a lot of great parties that were centered around it.  We have a glider and firepit beside it.  I like to sit out there or be in the pool at night during the summer when the bats are in our area.  I love to watch them swooping around catching mosquitos and other flying insects.  They get so close to you that you can feel the swoosh of their wings as they fly by.  It’s amazing.  We also have a lot of butterflies, dragonflies, and honeybees that spend time in our yard, so sitting out there is a pretty magical experience.  And my writing room which, as I’ve said before, is tiny and crowded but it has 2 large windows with wonderful views of the side and back yards.  Plus, it’s extremely private.  I can get completely lost in there.  It is my Magical Writing Haven.  And our home…it’s pretty magical as well.  So, that’s my home sweet home.  Stop on by sometime.                    

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Day 158: Feeling Inspired

After having a DST hangover yesterday, aside from a headache caused by the stormy weather that’s just flirting with us while playing hard to get, I feel pretty good….which is a surprise.  As I said in my post from yesterday, the effects of the time change usually hit me hard for a couple of weeks.  I think that part of the reason I’m actually feeling okay is that this cold is finally on its way out of my body.  I actually feel a bit inspired so I’m planning to get out of here early so I can do something creative later.  Mondays aren’t usually my creative days.  Usually, I just want to go home and veg because Monday is a beat down.  Today hasn’t been too bad at all though.  I’ve gotten things done and I don’t feel too badly beaten up by the day.  And Dave, my work-husband that has an annoying tendency of keeping me here much later than I’d like some nights, has already left.  Yea!  The way that it usually happens is that I’ll be getting ready to leave and he suddenly remembers something that just has to be done then.  But, he is so ADD and OCD that he can’t just do what he is supposed to be doing…he starts this and then that and finishes something else and then 30 minutes, or more, later he gives me the thing that he told me he needed me to do for him.  Other times he just talks…and talks and talks and you can’t get him to shut up.  But I love him to death.  We’re allies here in this oftentimes hellish place.  He is either making me crazy or keeping me sane.  Just like my real husband, Rick.  And Dave helps me take care of our colony of feral cats.  Anyway, I’d better get moving so I can go create something!     

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Day 157: Daylight Savings Hangover

Most people have issues when the time changes…especially when we spring forward and lose an hour.  It’s especially hard on people with sleep disorders.  And I have 3 so it is just short of miserable.  I even have issues with gaining an hour in the fall.  I feel like I was run over by a bus right now and it will continue for a couple of weeks at least.  So, twice a year, I feel a sense of dread and a case of anxiety that starts a couple of weeks before it happens.  On Saturday night, I actually begin to worry about how it will affect my sleeping and waking hours, my work, my creativity, and just my life in general.  It’s kind of a nightmare.  Even with pills to sleep, to stay asleep, and to wake up, I will still struggle.  Think of it as a seriously major case of jet lag after flying from Hawaii to New York.  That’s the best way to explain it, I guess.  But there are worse things in life so I suppose I should consider this more of an inconvenience than anything else.  Something that I have to deal with for a short time.  Life is what it is.  I’m here in my Magical Writing Haven with a view, my husband is in the kitchen fixing fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, fresh green beans, and salad.  Plus, he made a spice cake with raisins, pecans and cream cheese frosting with toasted pecans.  Yum!  He is definitely a keeper.  And, he’s calling me for lunch right now so I am going to close for the day.  I hope that you have survived the first day of DST.  See you tomorrow.       

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Day 156: Kind of a Lazy Day

I’ve gotten some things done but not even close to what I had planned.  But that’s ok.  I’m giving myself a break because I’m at the tail end of this cold and I haven’t quite made it back to 100% yet so why not go a little slower?  You have to give yourself some self-care when you need it and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it either.  We take care of others when they need it but if we haven’t taken care of ourselves, we will eventually end up exhausted and that will lead to us becoming ill.  Exhaustion will wear you and your immune system down so that it can’t fight the everyday viruses and bacteria with which we come into contact much less the more serious ones that are floating around out there just waiting for a weakened immune system to attack.  So, we rest when we need to rest.  We eat healthily.  We take our medications and supplements.  We take care of any chronic conditions that we have.  We get all of the recommended vaccinations.  We see our doctors on a regular basis.  We balance our workload with our lives outside of work.  We work on our stress levels by meditating or just relaxing.  We spend time out in nature and with our friends and family.  We play with our pets.  We create.  We do more of what makes us feel good mentally, emotionally, and physically.  We get back to the basics and just take care of ourselves.          

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Day 155: I Can’t Believe…

…that I’ve written a post every day, for 155 days.  My follow through on these kinds of things tends to be a bit lacking.  If nothing else, this blog proves that I can stick to things if I really want to.  I kick myself every day that I don’t work on any of my writing projects but I do write every single day no matter what is going on in my life.  I write in spite of and because of things that are happening.  I write when I’m feeling good and when I’m sick as the proverbial dog.  I might not write long involved posts every day but I do it on a fairly regular basis.  Some days you’re more inspired than others and just have more to say.  Other days your brain doesn’t feel the need to engage so you scramble for something to write about.  Today, I’m leaning a little more toward that 2nd option.  After a week of working while I’ve been sick with this cold, I just want to go home and sleep.  It didn’t help that I ordered lunch from a little hole in the wall Chinese restaurant that has really great food, cheap prices, and huge servings.  I ate about 1/3 of what I got and don’t feel like I’ll ever want Chinese food ever again.  But I will.  Their green pepper beef with fried rice is just too good to never have again.  So, that plus work plus the cold have me feeling nappish!  I need a good night’s sleep since I have a lot that I’d love to get done this weekend but won’t if I still feel like this.  So, I will see you here tomorrow.

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