Fanning the Flames

 

It’s been a long time since I have felt the fire to write. Oh, I’ve made notes and played with l64-bradbury-wp1the odd scene here and there. But to actually want to sit at the computer and write…it’s been a long time. Two things have helped to reignite that spark.

One is a meme I came across on Facebook. It said, “Don’t cling to your mistakes just because you spent a lot of time making them.” While the nagging doubts and crippling anxiety were nurtured when I was a child, I can’t allow myself to use them as an excuse not to do what makes me happy. Yes, my mother taught me to doubt myself, to hesitate instead of taking the chance. But life has taught me that I can take control of my destiny. I can create the future I want. As long as I don’t get in my own way. That’s where the “clinging to mistakes” comes in. It is my mistake to allow myself to wallow in self-doubt and self-pity. I have to forgive myself for getting into that habit and break out of that cycle.

The second thing is a post a friend of mine shared. The original author was posting about binge writing. He said it was not that he didn’t want to write, but the words didn’t flow for him except in bursts that hit at random times. He would spend every waking hour thinking about writing and stories and characters but he would only binge write when the Muse struck him. I understand this binge writing he talked about. It’s how I have written most of my life. I think my binge writing comes from anxiety. I have to work really hard to break through the doubts and worry to get to that free space that feeds the flame.

These two things together have helped burn off the fog for me. Why do I have to be afraid to write? Why do I have to be afraid to submit a story? Because I was never taught to have self-confidence? Because someone else instilled their anxieties into me? Why can’t I act like the strong independent woman I try to project?

I am strong. I am confident in my abilities to write a compelling story. I have the power to silence the voices that tell me I can’t do it. Those voices lie. Those voices don’t know the real me. They don’t know what I’m capable of. They only know fear and shame. I will not listen to those voices anymore. Do you hear me? I WILL NOT LISTEN TO THOSE VOICES ANYMORE!

I spent the morning going through some writing stuff I’ve been hoarding. I have no less than 12 story ideas in every stage from concept notes to a finished story needing rewrites. I’m getting all my shit in a pile. I’m going to start finishing these stories. I am going to submit them. I am going to write more stories. I will prove to myself that I am the confident woman I know I am deep inside. But I do ask you to do me a favor. If you see me falling back into that negative cesspool of doubt, remind me to hold my head up and get back to writing.

 

You can find John Ringo’s post about his writing process Here.

This is the article on High-functioning Anxiety.

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Be True 2 You

How many masks do you wear? Are you one person at work? Another person at home? Someone else around your friends? Do you know who the real you is?

A friend of mine on Facebook posted a meme today about being true to your authentic self. It struck a chord with me. I’m certainly a different person at work than I am at home. The real me is still inside there but she doesn’t come out much. Why do we do that?

For me personally, I only feel like Me when I’m alone or with someone I trust a whole lot. I was Me when I was in my dorm room alone, dancing with my headphones on. I was Me sitting up until 3:00 am reading because I loved the story so much I couldn’t put it down. I’m Me when I put down the car windows and sing at the top of my lungs.

I’m the most Me when I’m passionate about what I’m doing. If I can’t show you how I feeldancingfairy about something then I either don’t like it a lot or I don’t feel comfortable showing you the real me. The problem starts when other people tell us how to act. Don’t get me wrong. There are times and places for everything and appropriate behaviors accordingly. But when you’re a child and you’re told to put down the book your reading or to stop singing and go clean your room or to go change clothes because those colors don’t match…you lose a part of who You are.

Find the parts of you that you hide from the rest of the world. Find those things you are passionate about. Share them with someone who has no clue who you are. Go play in the rain. Dance and sing. We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing. Remember the things that make you happy and bring them out for the world to see. Be true to you.

Practice is not always perfect

now_hiring_sign

I’m job hunting again. This never gets easier. I’ve been researching ways to improve my resume and my employability. My eyes are starting to cross and I’ve given myself a headache. I think it’s time for some fresh air.

REVIEW: Jacked by Kirk Dougal

I’m not sure I can write this without any spoilers but I’ll try. Okay, how to describe Jacked…awesome, well written, fast paced, edge of your seat, unrelenting… Should I keep going?

First, the technical stuff. Jacked is the launch of Per Aspera Press, a Ragnarok Publications jacked-cover1500-blurb_1024imprint. If you have read any of my other reviews, you should know I LOVE Ragnarok’s very talented authors. If Dougal’s novel is any indication, we will all love Per Aspera Press and all the SF yumminess they will bring us. Jacked is about a teenage boy with a talent for fixing technology in a world that has lost technical capabilities. He faces a lot of fears and dangers and grows up in a hurry. This is so hard without any spoilers! I want to tell you everything! Let me say that I read it through a second time and noticed some interesting correlations to Rowling’s Potter series. I missed them the first time because I was too engrossed in the story.

Now, the goodies. Dougal delivers with Jacked. I read it in one sitting. I just couldn’t stop. It’s like a roller coaster you want to ride over and over so it doesn’t end. It’s fast paced and keeps you racing through each page.  Even when you think you know what is going to happen next, you have to devour every single word. It has gangs, fights, seriously evil bad guys, chases, escapes, even some angsty teenage romance. There are surprises and they are delightful. And the ending is very exciting. I’m trying not to give too much away. It’s a very good book. You can find it on Amazon at this link. You need to read it.

Do it.

Now.

What are you waiting for?!

 

Evolution

Don’t get your panties in a wad. I’m not talking about diverging arguments on the origin of life. I’m talking about how we change as people. Maturity comes with time and experience. Note I didn’t say age. You can be in your 40’s and still act like a 12-year-old. I said maturity, all the changes you go through (hopefully) as you experience life and learn how to interact with other people.

Think back to the person you were at age 9, 15, 18. Are you the same person now? I know I’m not. I have learned so much in those years since then there is no way I could still be the same person. Experiences in life change us, whether for better or worse. If you become a famous writer, would you want new readers to know the person you are right now? Or do you want them to judge you based on memories of the kid who sat behind you in English class? If you meet someone and they talk about how a person was in high school or college, there’s a really good chance that person is nothing like they are now at 30, 35, 40 years old.

Whether we like it or not, we judge other people. Everybody does it to some degree. We learn to judge because we learn to make comparisons. As little kids we are open to everything and absorb the world like a sponge takes up Kool-aid. Then we start to compare things. Do I like the blue one or the green one? We may not understand our choices but we make those choices just the same. As we get older, we realize we love blueberries but we hate green apples. Green apples become evil. We judge them. We look down on them. But there is nothing inherently evil about green apples.

The same thing happens with people. We may not like certain behaviors so we vilify people who exhibit those behaviors. But people change. You can’t judge a 40-year-old person you have never met based on the opinion of someone who knew that person when he/she was 16. Well, you can judge that person but how is that fair to them or yourself? You limit yourself when you don’t do your own research and form your own opinion without bias.

We all have our own behaviors that others might find strange or disagree with. Does that mean our behavior is wrong? Does it mean the other person is an asshole? Why does it even have to be an issue? In order to grow as human beings, stop judging people. If you don’t want to get butthurt every time somebody disagrees with you, stop worrying about what other people think. Learn. Research. Study people and life and behaviors and the universe and everything else. Then form an intelligent opinion without bias from somebody else. That is maturity. That is evolution.

Review: War God Rising

Tim Marquitz has done it again. His work is always interesting and War God Rising does timagainnot disappoint. War God Rising is funny. We’re talking Mel Brooks funny. Quick asides, tongue-in-cheek, make you spit your soda out your nose funny. Marquitz writes with a quick easy style that makes you want to keep reading long past bedtime. His characters are clear and stand out as individuals that blend together into a symphony of humor. I’ve seen other reviews compare War God Rising to Monty Python. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of Monty Python. However, I’m a HUGE fan of Mel Brooks. Marquitz has the same timing and cheeky attitude you would find in any Brooks film.

You get a bonus with this book. Marquitz has a teaser for his novel ZILF tagging along. Even more hilarity for your enjoyment. He also has a new kickstarter for another novel in his Demon Squad series. The man is a machine. If you haven’t read anything by Tim yet, what the hell are you waiting for? You can find the Marquitz madness on his webpage, Amazon, Kickstarter and he has a publishing gig at Ragnarok Publications.

Talking to myself

Are you guilty of oversharing? Do you post the most intimate details of your life on social media? Are you the person in the grocery store who tells random strangers about your hernia while choosing produce?

Most of us have some type of presence on the internet. If you’re reading this then you obviously use at least a few social media platforms. So what do you choose to share with the world? Pictures of your children, your pets, what you had for dinner? Do you use it to promote your business or creative endeavors? What about just keeping in touch with relatives and friends in faraway places?

There are as many reasons for being online as there are people logging on every day. Some of us do share a bit too much for other people to feel comfortable. But have you ever stopped to wonder why we might be sharing so much? Granted there are narcissists who think we should all be privileged to know the size of the hairball their cat hacked up last night. And we’re all familiar with the person who has something to sell that bombards the world with repetitive posts about their product until we’re sick of seeing them.

There is another group of people who share a lot of themselves because it is the way they process emotional data. Many things we experience are small in the grand scheme of life. But other things can be overwhelming. How do you handle the big stuff that makes you tremble inside? How do you cope with a situation you may have limited control over? Sometimes, for some people, sharing that burden, speaking of it aloud to other people, helps to make it a little smaller. It brings the mountain back down to a molehill. It’s not always about telling total strangers that you’re having back spasms. It’s more about letting off the emotional pressure of dealing with chronic pain.

It’s not posting just to whine and complain about how you feel or your situation. It’s meditating out loud. It’s not posting cat pictures so you feel like you’re part of a group. It’s hearing other people say they feel the same thing. It’s okay, you’re not alone.

Oversharing does happen every day. Next time you see someone posting personal stuff, stop and think about what that person is experiencing. You probably don’t know what they’ve been through. And if you do, let them know. It may be the connection that gives them hope of making it through another day.

A whole forest or just some trees?

Sometimes we need a little help to figure stuff out. The big stuff. Deep stuff. Stuff we don’t always like to examine in the light of day. I came across a blog post today that really struck a nerve. Here is the part that brought me to tears:

“When I feel better, I am more creative and more willing to allow myself to take the risk of feeling good about myself. Isn’t that strange? It’s a thing that I do, that I’ve done for my whole life: I don’t want to take the risk of feeling good about myself, because I’m afraid that I’ll get complacent, or arrogant, or someone will discover the Truth that my Depression tells me: I’m not that great and I don’t deserve to feel good about myself.”

I’ve never felt like I was depressed. Sometimes aggravated and upset with myself that I haven’t ended up where I thought I would be by now. But I never considered it depression. When I found this blog post from Wil Wheaton, I realized that what he described is exactly how I feel. I don’t know when it started but I have the feeling it goes way back. Mom had a way of making me feel guilty for doing something well, even my grades. I wasn’t given a choice but to make good grades. Yet she would fuss at me for always having my nose in a book whether it was for school or not.

How do you learn to break free from that when it’s all you were ever taught by the one person who’s supposed to love you and encourage you and nurture you above all others? For a lot of the time I remember, my mother was a miserable person. Nothing I could do to make her happy, nor my dad or my brother. She seemed to revel in it. The more I read about depression, I’m not sure she had a choice. That doesn’t make it any less tragic to instill that thinking into your children.

Now that I recognize what’s going on, I have to stop the cycle. I don’t have kids but I do have friends and family. I don’t want my behavior to be a negative influence on anyone. I recently had a meltdown. I hit my breaking point. And I am now medicated. Hopefully, the medication will help me find my way back to the right path. The path I should have found my way to when I was supposed to be learning who I was.

Here’s the entire blog from Wil Wheaton: http://wilwheaton.net/2015/10/seven-things-i-did-to-reboot-my-life/

Karina’s Back!

Okay, we finally have the Audible link for Karina Fabian’s book, I Left My Brains in San Francisco. This is the second book in the Neeta Lyffe series. If you like your zombies on the funny side, you need to read/listen to these books.

NeetaLyffe_ILeftMyBrainsinSanFrancisco_audio_MED

Party Time

fairy-princeI’ve been celebrating my birthday all week. I’ve slept late, eaten out, had too much ice cream, stayed up late, watched too much television, and made a costume and decorations. My birthday was on Tuesday.

The party is today, Saturday, because nobody parties on a Tuesday. It’s a costume party. I love parties. Friends and food and music and adult beverages. What’s not to love?