K is for Keeping

k purpleHello all. I noticed the other day that there were some letters that I had not yet used, K among them. I spent a bunch of time trying to think of something to write about and came up short which means that this post will be a bit random.

So what do I mean by “keeping”? I mean that I tend to hoard/keep a bunch of pictures, both digital and analog. Today, after a follow up from last week, I’m gonna share some of the pictures I’ve saved.

Before I get into that, I want to let you know that I’m gonna participate in WordPressNext Blogging U. Challenge starting June 1st. Basically I’ll be blogging daily (except for the weekends) for however long the challenge lasts. In other words I’m trying to get myself to post more.

A follow up from last week:

As I mentioned in my last post, I often have a hard time leaving my apartment when the people across the street are hanging out on their porch. It rained a lot this week, so it wasn’t much of a problem until yesterday. So how’d I get out of the apartment? I sang this song in my head:

Yep I like the Broadway version better than the movie version. As a former Theatre major and long time musical fan, I’ve got lots of opinions on why, none of which are relevant to why I was singing this song. (If you want me to write a post in the future about musicals, especially on the differences between the live and movie versions, please feel let me know by leaving a comment below or sending me an email above.)

So why did that work to get me out of the house? Cause I’m weird. The song is fun, especially the way Ann Reinking sings it. And then there’s the lyrics:

[ROXIE]

I’m gonna be a celebrity. That means somebody everyone knows. They’re gonna recognize my eyes, my hair, my teeth, my boobs, my nose.

From just some dumb mechanic’s wife, I’m gonna be Roxie. Who says that murders not an art?

And who in case she doesn’t hang can say she started with a bang? Foxy Roxie Hart!…

ROXIE (spoken)]

And I love the audience. And the audience loves me for loving them. And I love them for loving me. And we just love each other. That’s because none of us got any love in our childhood.

I mean how can you not want to defy your fears with that silliness? Score one for me!

Here’s some of the pics I’ve kept:

abby

Image from cbs.com

That’s Abby Scuito from NCIS. I really want to be her; she’s fearless, loving, and totally open (despite the goth look).

becoming self quote

I love this quote on two levels: first because it speaks to the fact that we can change. Second because it comes from Cary Grant, a man who may have been bisexual (more on him here).

cat dont care

Hey, it’s a cat. As you all know I’m a sucker for a cat. And it’s a caption that you just know is true.

belief quote

I struggle with this a lot.

1489055_10200977762908728_709521796_n

Something I wish both a cat and a human would do for me.

letters

Whenever I’m having trouble with my writing, I try to remember this (and it goes with my blog title :).)

This is what would happen in real life to Cinderella. Cinderella was my favorite fairy tale as a child. Obviously real life is NOT a fairy tale.

nami persistence

When I went back to school, I was told by one of the clerical people in my advising office that I “had a reputation for persistence.” Something that I keep reminding myself of whenever I’m down.

tornado

A tornado. Or my life. Depending on your perspective.

strong help quote

Yet more stuff I have to remind myself of when I’m blue.

wedding

What can I say, I’m a romantic. Despite the fact that I may never get married.

writing quote

Because it just makes me smile. It’s so true! I’ve spent the last 40 years trying to not write a book.

That’s just some of what I keep pic-wise. I also collect craft ideas, decorating tips and inspirations, and lists of books to read. What can I say, I’m a hoarder at heart.


 

Blessings to all of you.

Be well.

E is for Excuses

e reflectionI know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m not sure why. I’ve got lots of excuses for not doing things. Here’s a few of my favorites (in no particular order):

I’m too tired. I use this one a lot. My meds make me sleepy and being circus-lady-fat makes any kind of activity exhausting. So this excuse is true, if nothing else.

It’s too cold/hot/snowing/raining/sun-shiny/cloudy. The weather is always something good to blame things on. Especially if it impacts transportation.

It costs money. This one is especially impactful right now. Being unemployed and having my unemployment cut off (I was getting the federal extension until Congress stopped funding it) makes every dime important. Not that I’m all that good at keeping an eye on my dimes. I often spend money I don’t have or shouldn’t spend for no particular reason. If this excuse really was a reason, I wouldn’t spend recklessly. Right?

It’s too hard. This is probably the real reason I do/don’t do things. I’m pretty lazy and dislike challenging myself if I don’t think I can succeed. If it’s something I think I can do, I’ll do it. Assuming it doesn’t take too much effort.

Writing this blog is sometimes hard and sometimes easy. It’s easy when I’m being confessional. The anonymity of it all makes the confession pour out. Especially when I’m feeling depressed or down on myself. But then I look at my stats and see that those are the posts that get the most views. That makes writing this blog hard. Because I feel like I should write more of those types of posts. More self-hatred, more depression, more anxiety, more negativity. The exact opposite of what I’m trying to do with my life.abyss

Perhaps that’s the real reason I haven’t posted in awhile. I don’t want my blog to just be a big negative blob. Sure if I feel the need to vomit up some ickiness, I suppose that’s okay. I just don’t want it to be the primary focus of this blog, or my life.

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a place where I could be completely truthful, with no filtering of who or what I am. I wanted a place where I could be both open and closed. Open with who I am but closed with who I am. So someone could see me, but not know it was me. Contradictory, yes. But it’s what I want.

Now, looking at my stats, I feel a bit of pressure to only expose the icky side of me. The depressed, mentally ill, part of me.

But what about the rest of me. The spiritual, the cat-loving, flower-loving, craft-project, parts of me. The parts where the sun shines and giggles are heard? Doesn’t that part of me deserve exposure too?

I think it does. So from now on I am pledging to do my best not to think about what is expected of me before writing posts or publishing them. If a post about kitties and flowers doesn’t get read, it doesn’t get read.

Because this blog is supposed to be for me. As much as I often put myself last, I think I deserve a place where my desires come first. I’m gonna start with this blog. This blog is mine. And I will write what I want.

I hope you’ll continue to read.

pink rose textured white background

Blessings to you all.

Be well.

W is for Writing

letters-alphabet-cursive-wAs promised, a post on writing…

I don’t remember when I started wanting to become a writer (of fiction). I do remember when I learned to read. I was in first grade and my teacher was having each person read a bit from our textbooks. I remember finishing my section, looking up, and realizing that I had read it. With no help. All by myself. A rush of joy went through me and I thought, “I can read!” It was one of the few times of pure realization and happiness I can remember.

Somewhere between then and third grade I decided that becoming a writer was the coolest thing ever. In third grade my teacher set up these stations for independent work. My favorite station was story writing. All of my stories began with “once upon a time” and were about a “young girl” who overcame various challenges with courage and aplomb. Obviously all of my stories were fantasies about what I wanted my life to become, but I loved it nonetheless.??????????????

In fourth grade I entered our school system’s “Young Author” contest. I made it to the top three authors in my school and my story was submitted to the state contest. Another student in my school won, but I held the realization that I came close (I was in the top ten statewide) close to my heart.

Between fourth grade and high school, I played around with fiction, never really doing much but keeping my dream close. I never told anyone other than my best friend of my dream. Of course, at that time we alternating between being actresses, dancers, singers, and various other professions so I don’t think she ever took my ambition seriously. I was afraid to tell anyone else for fear that I would be mocked the same way I was when I said I wanted to be President of the United States (“you can’t do that! Only boys can be President”).

Then in high school, I did something quite stupid. I wrote a scene depicting me in the middle of a food binge then gave it to a friend for criticism. She tore it apart, pointing out everything from spelling mistakes to logic errors. Ultimately she said “it doesn’t seem real.” But it had been real, it had been me. My dream shriveled up and hid deep inside me, light deprived for years.

In my twenties and early thirties, I would occasionally drag out this dream of writing fiction, shake it out, and let it

It was just the pen, the paper, and me. Terrifying.

It was just the pen, the paper, and me. Terrifying.

soak up the sun for a bit. I’d take a workshop here, a class there. I read writing magazines and books. Open a word processing program or pull out a notebook and stare at the black screen/page. But I was always paralyzed by the fear that I’d not be able to do it right. That whatever I wrote wouldn’t “seem real.” So I’d back away, tuck my dream away, and try to content myself with my life.

Then, in my early thirties, I took a fiction writing class that gave me hope. It was taught by a man who had actually been published (not a best-seller or anything, but a book that a real publisher had bought). I had to take an upper level writing class to get my Associates degree, and this was the only class that appealed to me. So I tried, fighting my fear every step of the way. I forced myself to write at a higher level then I’d ever written before. And I succeeded. In one of my final evaluations my teacher said that I wrote better than he did. Better than a published author! I held that evaluation in my heart for years before I wrote another word.

Flash forward to 2010, many things had changed in my life. I’d survived years of suicidal depression, buried my mother and beloved grandmother, and finally decided that I could no longer put off my lifelong goal of getting my bachelor’s degree. My first semester back at a four-year university I decided to take a fiction writing class and be open to whatever came my way. The class was a revelation. I adored it. I loved the writing exercises, the students, even the deadlines. And, most importantly, I felt joy. Despite the hardships of my life at the time (financial difficulties, physical illnesses, etc), I was filled with hope. I was working toward one goal (bachelor’s degree) and doing something I loved (writing). I even got a short story published in my college literary magazine.

Since then I’ve taken another fiction class, where I also did well. I even considered attempting to get a Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing, but then I got sick (hospitalized for suicidal ideation). My dream still lives within me, nurtured by the realization that my university teachers believed I could be published and/or get into a Masters program. My dream has lost most of its wrinkles and gets regular doses of sunlight.

But I don’t do as much to nurture it as I could. The fear of success and the fear of failure sometimes paralyze me. I try to remember that I’m allowed to write a “shitty first draft” (to quote Anne Lamott). I try to remember that I don’t have to be perfect, but I’m not always successful.

Regardless of my fears though, I plan to continue to work my way into being published. After all, I don’t want to write the “Great American Novel.” That novel has already been written, multiple times (see Twain, Melville, Hawthorne, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Salinger, Toni Morrison, etc). I just want to write a novel that a hardworking person can get lost in for a few hours. A novel that lets a reader forget for a time their own troubles. I want to give a reader the same experience I get when I read.

And I will do it. I must. Writing is my passion and I can no longer ignore it.

Is this your pic? If so, please contact me so I can give you credit.

Is this your pic? If so, please contact me so I can give you credit.

Blessings to you all.

Be well.

D is for Dreams

letters-alphabet-cursive-dAfter that last few posts, I thought I’d write something a bit less negative: dreams. I, like everyone, have dreams of what I want my future to hold. Even though I’ve hit my middle years, today I have hope that I will still reach them (a few months ago, I would have said all my dreams were beyond me. What new meds, lots of work and a bit of time can do!)

Here’re my dreams, in no particular order:

  • A cottage by the sea. I’ve always wanted to live in a cottage, near the water and the older I get the more I want that water to be the ocean.
  • To see the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea, the Bering Straits, the Indian Ocean and the Dead Sea. Have I mentioned I love water?
  • I want to see as much of the good ol’ U. S. of A. as I possibly can. I want to see what each and every state has to offer. So far, I’ve seen a lot of Illinois, a bit of Ohio, a little of Iowa, some of Colorado and Oklahoma, a smidge of Wisconsin, Virginia, and Massachusetts, quite a bit of Washington D.C. and drove through Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. I want to see historical sites, museums, parks, anything with water (with the exception of water parks) and whatever makes an area memorable. But I don’t want to do it in an RV.
  • At least one cat and one (service) dog. More cats if possible. And one of them will be named Abby.
  • I want to see every inch of Great Britain. Every island, every foggy inlet, loch, river, pasture and ruin there. I want to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, see the Globe Theatre in London (and everything else in London), anything related to Jane Austen (including where movies were filmed) and Stonehenge. I want to see dead kings’ and queens’ tombs and crumbling castles. I have an overwhelming need to visit the land of my ancestors (I’m an Anglophile mutt with a bit of French Canadian and Native American thrown in.) I want to see all the historical sites and some of the quirky ones. I want to smell sod burning and buy authentic English wool sweaters.
  • I want to write novels. And have them published. I don’t want to write the Great American Novel. Frankly, I think that’s already been written, several times (To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, probably anything by Hemingway, we could go on forever here.) I want to write novels that people start to read before bed and stay up late to finish. I want to write the book that you pick up to make you forget your worries for a few hours. And I want to write/publish more than one.
  • I want to be a “normal” size. I don’t care if I never become skinny, or even thin, I just want to be average. And right now, in America, average is a size 14.
  • I’d like to be off diabetes meds and not have to take my blood sugar several times a day.
  • Healthy. I want to be healthy. To go weeks, or months, without having to check in with a shrink.
  • To own, outright, a home. No mortgage, no bank, no landlord. I want the right to paint walls whatever color I want and decorate however I want. If I want to convert the dining room into a library with rainbow colored bookshelves, I darn well want to be able to do so without having to ask a landlord. And I don’t want to worry that I’ll ever be underwater on my mortgage.
  • Money. I don’t necessarily have to be stinkin’ rich, but I do want to be in a place where I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from or how I’m gonna keep from being evicted or have the lights shut off. And if I want to take a few days off of work, my financial world won’t come to an end.
  • Love. I want to fall in love at least once with a wonderful person. At this point, they don’t even have to be male. I’m willing to consider switch-hitting for the right person. I want hearts and flowers and the need to spend the rest of my live with someone. Yeah, I know that means I’ve got to open up to people and risk getting hurt. But I think it just might be worth it.
  • I want to eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full and not think about it any other time. This is what I image people without an eating disorder do. I think I may crave this more than I crave chocolate (at least right now I do.)
  • Live to 60. My mother died at 53. I have the same disease she died from (although a different version). ‘Nuff said.
  • Go a whole year without a suicidal thought.
  • Dye my hair a crazy color. I’ve always wanted to do it but never had the guts.
  • Get a tattoo. Just where I, and a significant other, could see it.
  • Learn to forgive myself for not being the perfect daughter, perfect student, perfect friend, perfect anything.
  • Have the abuse of my childhood be an unfortunate thing in my past and not an influence on the present.
  • Forgive myself for letting my past influence my present.
  • Give myself permission to stop. Just to stop and sit and enjoy life. No thinking about all the people my vicinity, no thinking about how this or that could go wrong, no projecting what may or may not happen based on what decision I make about this or that. Just to stop. Stop and live.
  • I want a rich spiritual life. With prayer and worship and all that stuff.
  • To carry a parasol in public. Personal, portable shade, just for me. Bliss.
  • Act in plays and musicals (at the local community theatre) on a regular basis. I acted all through high school and was actually a theatre major in college for a bit. I miss the fun.
  • I want to walk down the street and not feel I have to apologize for being alive.
  • Finally, I want to love myself. Not the me I think I should be or the me I want others to think I am. I want to love the me I am.