Day 114: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Yesterday, in spite of oversleeping, I managed to get all of my tarot, oracle, and angel cards arranged more or less the way I want them to be…but that arrangement will evolve over time as most things in my life usually do.  I did a little rearranging in my Magical Writing Haven as well.  Sounds great, right?  Well, I noticed a stack of notebooks a lower shelf of one of my bookshelves and, unfortunately, decided to check them out.  Well, they were a wealth of writing information that I have been collecting over the last ten years or so…online classes that I’ve taken, downloaded information and worksheets, etc….  HUGE notebooks.  I brought them into my Haven and they are sitting here on one of my tables and there is absolutely no place to put them where they will be out of the way.  This is is the story of my life.  I get things exactly the way that I want them then someone, somewhere yells, “PLOT TWIST”.  Sometimes it’s a good thing and other times it’s definitely not.  Even though I don’t particularly enjoy change, especially change that I did not instigate, I have become fairly adaptive.  It’s happened in relationships (friendships, family, love, and sexual), a first marriage that turned extremely abusive, jobs, college majors, passions, etc….  Basically, every possible area that you can think of in my life has been subject to these changes.  Even my mind…it changes directions more than anything else does.  I know that it’s partially because of my ADHD but I can’t blame it for everything.  One of the things I love and hate about myself is that I love to learn and to get into new things but, as benign as that sounds, it is a slightly crazy side of me.  When I decide that I want to learn or do something new, I dive into the deep end and completely immerse myself in it.  I buy every book, read everything that I can find online, I enroll in classes, etc…, then I eventually move on to something else.  Odds are though, that I will at some point return to the original interest at a later date.  It makes me a little crazy though.  It’s also one of the reasons that I don’t have my degree.  I have gotten within a couple of semesters of finishing my accounting, religion, and legal studies degrees and a double major in social rehab and psychology.  I have even studied sign language for a couple of years in college when I was thinking about becoming an interpreter.  Why did I never graduate…because every single degree required a public speaking class and I absolutely cannot do that.  A couple of years ago, my then therapist, offered to give me a written diagnosis of severe anxiety and would speak with any school at which I chose to continue my degree.  At that time I really didn’t have the time for school and now with all of the reputable online colleges and universities that I’m sure don’t have that public speaking requirement, there are other options to pursue.  Right now I am concentrating on my writing and studying my oracle, tarot, and angel cards so I think I’ll probably not be too concerned about finishing any of my degrees right now.  I’m trying to just stay on track with those two things for now.  I have to keep my wandering mind contained for a while.  But right now, I have to go take care of my outdoor critters before it gets too dark and the raccoons come out and scavenge their food.      

      

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Day 113: Beautiful Day

It is a beautiful day with lots of sunshine and a bit warmer temperatures.  I went out to feed my stray and feral critters and I just wanted to stay out there even though it was still a bit chilly.  I have so much to do today and I actually overslept…by quite a bit but I don’t feel too badly about it except for the fact that I’ve gotten a really late start on everything I want to accomplish today.    I needed that extra sleep, I guess, so I won’t beat myself up for it.  And I’m still going to make sure that I get everything done that I planned to do.  Sometimes you just have to listen to your body and let it get what it needs and I haven’t really been doing that as much as I should and that’s really not good for me.  As creative types, we have to take care of ourselves because our brains are our tools and if we don’t take care of our body’s needs, we lose our sharpness and ability to really think as deeply as we need to be able to in order to be able to do our magical creative thing.  I need to do more of that.  I work too much, stay up too late, eat poorly, etc…, and I know that zaps me in general as well as my potential as a writer.  I also distract myself with things that in no way helpful.  I just turn my brain off and zone out.  I am trying to stop it…at least the majority of it.  We all need that zone out time occasionally but it’s become a habit and that’s not good for me.  I have too many things that I want to do and I’m allowing myself to hide behind other things that prevent me from accomplishing them.  It’s strange how our minds work.  I want these things so badly yet I seem to be putting a wall up between them and myself.  I’m sure that a psychiatrist would say that I have a fear of acquiring what I want and/or of being successful but I really don’t have years to spend in psychotherapy figuring out why.  So I have to fix this myself…now.  And, after a good, long night’s sleep, I’m ready to start tackling it today!        

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Day 112: Fri-yea!

This hasn’t been a completely crazy week but I’m still so very glad it’s Friday.  I have some things that I really want to get done this weekend.  I’m going to organize all of my oracle, tarot, and angel card decks.  That will take a while because I have a lot of decks!  And then I’m going to start working on the new storyline that I’m going to integrate into Rapture.  I’ll mostly be making notes.  I found some dry erase flashcards that I think will be helpful when I start working on that tomorrow.   I want to get things straightened up first though.  I’ve been letting Smurf use my Magical Writing Haven as his safe haven while he gets acclimated to the house and all of the other animals and he gets a little crazy since he was an outside feral cat and knocks things off and scatters them around the room.  But he’s so sweet and adorable and he’s just learning to be a house cat.  Anyway, I have plans and I can’t wait to get started.       

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Day 111: Rethinking Some Things

My book Rapture has had me stumped for a very long time because I’ve known that I needed to do some big edits and rewrites as well as moving some chunks of the story around but I haven’t been able to come up with the “perfect” way to do it so I’ve just been spinning my wheels and it’s been making me a little crazy…okay, crazier.  I was listening to a class on reading oracle and tarot cards and I had this major epiphany when 1 of the speakers was talking about trusting your intuition and when you’re looking for an answer you need to go fast…don’t overthink it because if you do, your left brain and ego get involved and choose the answer for you whether it’s what you truly desire or not.  I used one of her spontaneous intuition methods.  Think of your yes or no question, close your eyes, and see a traffic light…what color is it, red, yellow, or green?  Red is no, green is yes and yellow means later or ask again.  The answer to my question (should I stay on the same path with Rapture) was no.  And within a few minutes, I had an amazing new idea for the book that allows me to keep the part that I’m 100% sure of, add a completely new storyline, and then weave some of the other parts into it.  For the first time in a very long time, when I think about approaching this edit/rewrite I am excited rather than being filled with apprehension and dread.  I am so glad that I decided to listen to that class because I had been so completely determined to keep the same storyline even though I wasn’t exactly thrilled about where it was going that I never even thought of going off in another direction.  Such a load off of my mind!  Yea, me!!  After we’ve invested so much time and effort into something, it’s really hard to admit to ourselves that it’s just not working.  We need something to shake us up a little so that we can see things in a new way and explore other options.  I still have to do some of the dirty work but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

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Day 110: A Gorgeous but Brutally Cold, Windy Day

Looking out from my office window, the day seems completely perfect…sunshine and blue skies all the way.  It’s gorgeous out there.  Then I made the mistake of going outside.  I can honestly say that when the wind hit me full force, every curse word that I’ve ever uttered in my entire 58 years came flying out of my mouth.  Unfortunately, I had worn my big ass parka this morning and that will not fit under my safety vest so I had to go out there without it so more curse words came out.  I think I was muttering like a crazy person the entire time that I was out there but I really didn’t care.  I am not good with cold weather.  If it gets below 70 I start getting a chill.  And I have RA so my joints don’t take too kindly to it at all.  I move a lot slower in the cold, just like molasses.  I think that age causes the sensitivity to cold because until I reached my late fifties, I was so hot natured.  I couldn’t handle the heat at all.  Now, I still don’t like heat all that much but I seem to be able to tolerate it better than the cold.  And we have a woman in the office that dresses like she’s going on an arctic expedition and then complains when the thermostat is set higher than 65.  We fight over it every day, all day.  I tell her to dress in layers so when the thermostat is set on 70 in here, she can just start stripping down.  I dress like I’m going on an arctic expedition as well since that’s what it feels like.  I even wear gloves with the fingertips cut off.  Oh, and she has the warmest office while I have the coldest office and she doesn’t want to switch because hers is larger.  It also has more traffic since it was actually a conference room and you also have to go through it to get to the office supplies and filing cabinets.  Mine is an actual office with a door and some privacy.  But it’s smaller and that doesn’t suit the queen.  Sorry, I went off on a bit of a tangent there, didn’t I?  I guess that I’m also stalling because I don’t want to go back out in the cold again…but at least I will have on my parka and scarf!  Stay warm everybody.               

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Day 109: Reflections

Back in late 2007, when I began writing Rapture, I was in full writer’s mode.  I was so driven to write and nothing got in my way.  It also helped that I was going through a severe period of insomnia where I was averaging one to two hours of sleep most nights while working full-time and keeping up with everything else in my life.  Some days I was just barely able to function and would drag through my workday with the intention of going home and sleeping but around 8:00pm, I would be wide awake and ready to write all night long.  I was so driven and lost in my writing that everything just fell away.  Finally, I’d look up and it was 4:00am or later.  So I’d force myself to lie down and eventually fall asleep.  But I’d be up at 6:00am getting ready for work and the cycle repeated every night for over a month.  And even though I could barely function during the day, I was writing seriously quality stuff at the time.  My husband finally intervened because my mental health was deteriorating rapidly, I’d sometimes cry because I was so very tired, he was afraid I’d end up in an accident on my daily commutes, and I was just plain pitiful…except when I was writing.  He forced me to go to the doctor who is still my beyond wonderful PCP.  He tried everything to fix me but couldn’t so he referred me to my current amazing neurologist/sleep specialist.  He tried the obvious medications while waiting for approval from my insurance company to do a sleep study.  I went in and did the sleep study and I was found to have delayed sleep phase syndrome so he prescribed one medication after another…at one point I was even on antipsychotics which I loved because I’d tell people at work to go ahead and piss me off but to remember that I did take antipsychotics and wasn’t sure that they were working.  We went through a wide range of medications and cocktails before finding something that worked.  I wasn’t diagnosed with narcolepsy until a couple of years later and let me tell you the Multiple Sleep Latency Test they use to diagnose it is pure torture if you do have narcolepsy.  You go in around 7:00am and they get you all wired up.  Then you take a series of 20-minute naps every 2 hours from 8:00am to 4:00pm.  Before you nap, they ask you a series of questions and when you wake up they ask you another series of questions to determine how you feel and your mental state.  Doesn’t sound too bad, right?  It’s not for people that don’t have narcolepsy but for those of us that do, it’s a nightmare.  After the 2nd nap, you are so disoriented and you aren’t even sure if you’re going to sleep or waking up and the questions no longer make any sense because of that fact.  Sorry, I went off the rails there for a bit.  Anyway, after we got my nighttime sleep regulated, my writing became a bit of a struggle but I continued writing, however, I wasn’t nearly as pleased with my output or the quality of what I produced.  Shortly thereafter my life kind of went to hell and I legitimately did not have the time to write because of my mother’s fast descent into Alzheimer’s and her multiple hospitalizations because of other health issues, injuries, and complications.  I was working during the day and would be at the hospital all night long and because she had sundowners really bad and the hospital wouldn’t restrain her even after she broke her shoulder socket and elbow when she decided to make a run for it one night so I was once again getting no sleep but I had to spend all of my time watching her like a hawk and, at times, pulling my chair up beside her bed, putting my arm between the rails, grabbing the rail on the other side and holding her down so that I could get a few minutes rest.  When it came time to start writing again, I couldn’t.  I tried but it was all so forced and contrived that I wasn’t happy with any of it and I couldn’t fix it.  I completely gave up.  Fast forward almost 10 years to a few months ago when SARK came back into my life and my desire to write came back full force.  I am still having some trouble finding the time and sometimes even making the effort but the important thing is that I want to write.  Before last year, I don’t think that I’d even been able to write this blog but here I am 109 days in and still going.  I’ll get the logistics figured out eventually and finally finish Rapture.  I’ve even been kicking around a few other ideas lately so I am back.  I’m just working on timing.  So, if you’re going through a difficult time and are struggling with your writing, don’t give up on it like I did.  Keep forcing it.  I wish that I had.         

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Day 108: Not My Usual Monday

This is going to be short because today wasn’t my typical, insane Monday.   And that’s totally awesome.  It’s sunny and warmer outside after a very cold weekend.  I had a doctor’s appointment so I was out of the office for a couple of hours and that was a plus.  I even got great blood work results for a change…absolutely perfect actually.  So that was pretty awesome too.  It also looks like I’ll get out of here early which means I should be able to do some writing as well as a few other things.  That never happens on a Monday.  I plan on getting out of here in a few minutes to get it all underway.  I have to spend some time with my newest little rescue kitty first, then eat dinner, and then write!  I’m very excited about how things have worked out today.  And I am off to get my evening started!

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Day 107: A Few Things about Me

I am an INFP but I’m more of an ambivert than introvert.  My introversion and extroversion are based on my surroundings, the situation, the people around me.  With friends in a casual setting, I am extremely extroverted.  Most people are surprised that I do identify as introverted in most situations.  I hate talking on the phone for some reason.  I much prefer texts and emails.  If there is a disagreement of some sort, I prefer to deal with it face to face.  And I want to get it settled ASAP.  I don’t want it to drag out and flare up from time to time.  I have always had more male friends than female.  Maybe it comes from growing up a tomboy eschewing dolls for dirt bikes and sports.  I have remained friends with every person that I have ever dated except for one.  I am a very loyal friend.  I’m a bit witchy and a lot superstitious.  My laptop is surrounded by crystals and stones and there are a ton more in the bedroom.  I have just about every essential oil that you can find and afford.  As far as being witchy, I believe that a spell is the setting of an intention so whether it truly is magic or it’s just the fact that you put that intention and affirmation out into the universe and then work towards it…if it works for you, go for it.  I don’t know whether crystals and stones have been imbued with magical powers/energy or whether, once again, the belief and intention make them magical but, again, if it works for you…use it.  Do I believe in things like hexes?  If someone hexes you, I think that you have to believe in the hex for it to work…your mind makes the hex real…not the actual hex.  I believe that our minds are very capable of making things happen.  Belief is a powerful thing.  I read Tarot cards and I’m good at it.  In my 20’s and 30’s, I would sometimes read for money and I had friends that would have me read for them before making any big decisions.  I honestly don’t know how many Tarot and Oracle card decks I have…at least 40 yet 99% of the time I read using my Rider-Waite cards which was the very first deck of Tarot cards I bought.  Pretty much everything about me is eclectic…books, movies, music, art, friendships, beliefs, my Magical Writing Haven, etc…  I get bored with the same old thing over and over.  I like lots of bright colors but purple is my absolute favorite and I like to pair it with red.  I make jewelry, cards, candles, bath bombs, and salts as well as write.  I love electronics…computers, gadgets, gaming consoles, phones, tablets, streaming devices, etc…  I always need/want the latest toy.  I love animals of all kinds.  I care for a colony of feral cats at work and I feed ferals and strays at home.  We just adopted our sixth cat who was formerly feral and we have 3 dogs.  All of our animals were either surrendered by previous owners or feral.  I drive around with 50lbs each of cat and dog food.  I am extremely liberal and open-minded.  I don’t care if someone is straight, gay, bi, trans or doesn’t identify with any of those.  I also don’t care what your race or religious beliefs are.  If you are a good person with a conscience, we’re good.  I support gay marriage and gay adoption because you love who you love and if you have enough love for a child or children, then adopt.  Who or how we love is no one’s business but our own.  I grew up around guns, own a gun, and I was an expert marksman in high school on the ROTC rifle team, but I believe very strongly that our current gun laws are woefully inadequate and endanger innocent people’s lives.  I love Obama and despise Trump.  I voted for Hillary.  My husband voted for Trump…we do not discuss politics for the sake of our marriage.  He voted for Trump because he hated Hilary and even worse, he doesn’t regret it.  I am the only liberal in my family aside from my daughter-in-law and granddaughter.  I am also the only liberal at my job.  Both of my parents died from Alzheimer’s as well as a grandmother, 2 aunts and an uncle.  I am terrified that I will develop it as well. I like silver jewelry better than gold and other gemstones better than diamonds.  I’m an Aries but because I was born a week late and would have been a Pisces had I been born on time, I identify with Pisces.  Actually, I am a pretty equal mixture of Aries and Pisces.  I am not overly happy at my job but I am almost 59 and do not want to start over somewhere…if I could even get hired.  There are perks at my current job…I can pretty much come and go as I need to, I have decent insurance that’s more affordable than a lot of people’s, after 15 years there, I have 3 weeks of paid vacation, 40 hours of sick time and a floating holiday.  The job is challenging and that makes the days go by more quickly.  I get to wear my Brooks sneakers and jeans every day.  I’m only about 15 minutes from home on backroads.  So I think that as long as they don’t lay me off at some point, I’ll stay.  I also really like naps and I think that I will call it a blog and go take one right now.  I was up too late last night and up too early this morning so I’m a little tired.  I hope that after getting to know me a little better, you still stick around.  If not, I understand.                         

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Day 106: Random Thoughts from My ADHD Mind

Saturdays are difficult for me because there is a part of me that wants to just be lazy and do piddly things…or nap and just completely decompress from the work week.  Then, there’s the other part of me that really wants to get things done.  I have a few things I’d like to accomplish this weekend but the first side is reminding me how good taking a nap or binge-watching a series is.  And even now, while writing this, my eyes keep being drawn outside because of the movement of the tree limbs in the wind and the way the sunlight is coming through the trees.  It’s cold outside and the wind is howling which makes me think about the horror novel I’d love to write but my mind tells me that I have to finish Rapture first before starting a new project.  So there’s a disagreement going on in my brain and I’m trying to not pay any attention to it but it’s a bit difficult to do since I have access it to be able to finish this post.  My brain stays very busy all day, every day.  I’ve tried so many different times to meditate but apparently, my brain doesn’t want to be quieted and centered.  It wants to run free, darting this way and that and the more that I try to wrangle it, the more it struggles to be free of any and all constraints.  I have been diagnosed with ADHD by two different therapists, not that I needed their expert opinions.  I have developed some ways to deal with it but most of the time I just give my brain its head and let it run.  At work,  I sometimes struggled with staying on task so I decided that maybe my right brain needed to be kept busy so that my left brain could work.  From that thought came the idea of listening to audiobooks while working…so I tried it and it worked better than I could have imagined.  I have tried to figure out a similar way to help me when I’m writing but so far there’s nothing.  I need my right brain fully engaged when I write so I can’t distract it.  Sometimes music helps a bit or having a show or movie that I’ve seen before playing in the background but nothing keeps it completely focused on the task at hand.  So I will continue my search for full concentration when I write and, if I have any luck, I’ll let you know because I know that I’m not the only one with this problem.  Well, I need to bundle up and go out to feed my ferals.  I worry about them in this cold weather and wish that I could take them all into my home.  So I feed, water, and love them while praying that they all stay safe.  And, after I take care of them, I think that I will take a little nap.  So, if you’re in a place that’s affected by this freezing weather…stay warm and I’ll see you tomorrow!

          

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Day 105: Did I Choose Writing Or Did It Choose Me?

I honestly cannot remember a time in my life that I didn’t want to be a writer.  I began reading when I was 5 so I think that it all springs from that.  I had a very active imagination as a child and as soon as I could compose sentences more complex than “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” I began to write poems and stories.  It helped that I had no artistic talent other than that, I suppose.  Having an extremely musically talented dad and brother, I just knew that I had to have that gene but sadly I didn’t.  They both could pick up any instrument and within a very short time, they’d be playing it like a professional.  I took piano and guitar lessons and failed miserably at both.  My piano teacher told my parents that they were just wasting their money.  I would try to draw and paint over the years and that didn’t go any better than my musical endeavors.  So I don’t know if I truly wanted to be a writer or if I chose it by default.  Either way, it really doesn’t matter because I am a good writer with a vivid imagination and I love writing.  I can paint with words so my poetry and prose are my canvases.  I also don’t know if we are born with certain creative abilities or not but I think that we definitely are influenced by our experiences and surroundings when we are very young.  It doesn’t matter if being a writer was my destiny from the second that I was conceived or not because I have made it my destiny.  I think that my desire to be a writer is much more important than being destined to be one anyway.  I have worked hard at being a good writer and I’m proud of that.  I also have an overwhelming desire to write and that is what keeps me writing even when the words and ideas aren’t flowing…it’s why I keep sitting down in front of my laptop and scribbling notes and ideas down on scraps of paper.  I have a need to create and writing is my outlet.  So I don’t really have an answer to the who chose whom question but I’m glad that it worked out the way that it did.          

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