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Archive for the ‘anxiety’ Category

Hurtling forward . . . .

018This is a repeat of a post from March of 2007  – How damned appropriate that I stumbled on it now, when just about everything in my life is rushing forward so fast that many things will be left behind. It’s so apt, I had to re-post it . . . .
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Ever have that feeling that perhaps things are moving faster than you are, but then, at the same time, you realize it is you who is moving faster than those around you, some those, not all those.
 
And particles whiz by your head as you hurtle, and you become afraid . . . and there are those who will chide your fear, but do not worry, for maybe they are ahead of you, but at least you are moving . . . moving . . . moving.
 
Left behind are ones who will miss you, and for once, you can’t worry about that, for there are shiny things ahead, shiny new things . . . and maybe they will be sharp and give you pain, but how do you know, until you hurtle there?
 
185Ever have that feeling that things will never be the same again, that some action or thought or being will forever alter everything you tried to hold tight to yourself, until you give in and let go. And you feel excitement mixed with a scattered horror?
 
Ever have those feelings?
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DSC_0089I’ll be back soon with another post from my “list,” below, from my “never say never” post.
  • What not to do when you are alone and vulnerable
  • When you are the one you says, “I want a separation”
  • When you have said you “never” have writer’s block and suddenly you cannot write
  • When you have to leave a place/an ideal/a way of life that you thought was “forever” because you said “never will I leave this place/ideal/way of life
  • When disappointment in people attacks—when you realize the people you thought would call never do, and the ones you never thought would reach out to you do.
  • When the word “lonely” expands beyond and above what you ever thought it could be
  • When you think you cannot, absolutely cannot, face something—but then you do
  • What happens next?
  • At my age! . . . the prospects of dating and all that jazz (and being called a cougar—? Um, what?)
  • Etc.

Stop! Five “don’ts” when you are feeling vulnerable (and five “do’s”):

All righty then. From the list in the “never say never” post below:

  1. writer's blodkaDon’t drink too much. Okay, allow yourself that one night where you slug down some vodka and dance around the living room to techno trance (for the first 30 minutes) before feeling  sorry for yourself and throwing a mug against a tree and railing against your fates and . . .  and then just don’t . . . don’t allow yourself to drink yourself into a stupor where you curl into a ball in a chair and sob and fall asleep and wake up with your mouth dry and your pea-headed brain full of cotton and then unsteadily climb into your bed where you wake the next day feeling like crap on a stick that’s been beaten against a tree. Don’t. Find another way to cope. For that alcohol habit is not one you want to find yourself embedded in. No scenario has you drinking too much and then going, “Sure am glad I did that! I feel great now! All my problems are SOLVED!” Yeah  . . . no. And especially do not drink and text . . . .
  2. Don’t text whiny self-indulgent messages to anyone but your most trusted BFF (or post Facebook updates). No one wants to read that shit. No one wants to see your dark depressed underbelly. Believe me dangity do, that if you DO text/message/FB update with your whiny ramblings, you will forever regret it. Yes you will. YES YOU WILL! Do whatever is necessary not to bare your darkened squishy brain ramblings to anyone other than that trusted bestie. Later, when you are back to your strong kickass self, you will rather that you had not let people see a side of you that you’d have rather not—you will forever wonder if they now see you differently and not in a completely positive self-respecting I know my worth way. Remember, once again: NO ONE wants to read that shit—not even your BFF, but the contract of BFF’dom says they have to, so they have to suck it up. Only them, and you’d do the same for your BFF.
  3. well, sheee'it

    well, sheee’it

    Don’t further isolate yourself by further isolating yourself. Give yourself a little time–a week? two? three? four? oh oh-five? six? oops . . . seven? erk . . .  to push all the nasties out of your system, and then it’s time to stop wallowing. Get out with friends. Go for a drive. Invite someone(s) over. Workout. Smile at people. Talk to people. Be aware of your surroundings and remember where you once found joy. Remember that things are not all BAD, just different, and if there is some BAD, then remember it will not last forever unless you give the bad POWER—don’t give away your power. Find excitement in that different—isn’t this what you wanted? *Did you think this would be easy?*

  4. However, pertaining to Number 3, don’t spend time with people you don’t give a rat’s big ole ass about or who don’t give a rat’s big old heiny about you, just so you won’t feel alone. Self-Worth! Say it to yourself, in your head and then aloud: I know my worth! I am worthy! Look about your psyche-house until you find your self-worth and self-respect – are they under the bed, all dusty and rusty? Pull them out, dust them off, and let them back onto your life. Say it with me: I am worthy; I know my worth. You do not NEED people or company or that “friend” or that man or that woman or that crowd—be with the ones who give you joy, or are fun to be with/around, or you complement each other’s psyches or whatever. “I am worthy; I know my worth.”
  5. *I Kiss You*

    *I Kiss You*

    Beating yourself up? Don’t. Stop it. Yes, even if you’ve done the above. Give yourself a big fat break for being human. Beating yourself up will only make things worse. Even if you are the one who made the decision to dive into dark terrifying unknowns, who cut ties, who said, “I do not want this anymore,” why are you punishing yourself?  Why are you saying, “Oh well, this is what I get. This is what I deserve for shaking things up.” Nope. Not reality. Be your own BFF for a while. Use this quiet solitude time to discover just what kinds of guts you have. Recognize how you are doing exactly what you wanted and needed and considered for quite some time—and did you really think it was going to be easy? Hell no! Not much worth doing and having and obtaining ever comes “Easy.” Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Give yourself some credit for Going For It, whatever that is, despite the initial feelings of grief and terror and stark-raving-madness.

DO!

  1. Do find gratitude—every day. Every morning take a deep breath and consider just what you are grateful for. And throughout the day, remind yourself what you are grateful for! Don’t forget to let out that breath. Ha.
  2. flexibility - yeah, it helps . . . uh huh

    exercise outdoors when you can

    Do get out and breathe in some fresh air; and definitely get some exercise. Your body and your brain will love you for it, and you will feel GREAT. I promise you this. If you have never exercised, then take a simple walk, and then another, and then another, and one after that, and another after that, and feel your body grow strong and your brain feel centered.

  3. Do live in the NOW, not some future. Remind yourself throughout the day to calm the voices in your head, stop for a moment, and BE IN THE NOW. What scents are surrounding you? How does your skin feel when you touch it? How do your lungs feel as you fill them with air? Your feet as they connect to the ground? Find the NOW, the present, this very moment in time, and savor it. The future will come soon enough and it’s rarely exactly how you envisioned it.
  4. Do reach out to your BFF(s) and your family. You can allow yourself a few whiny self-indulgent messages to the BFF (and maybe, MAYBE a trusted close family member), but after that, work with your besties and/or family on solutions to how you can transition from Old Life to New Life. There will have to be some grieving of the old life, even if you were ready to move on.  So . . . .
  5. photoDo allow yourself to grieve. If you don’t, then you are only denying what was once an important part of your life, no matter whether it wasn’t all healthy or perfect or wonderful or enlightened, it was still YOUR LIFE. Grieve the old as you step into the new.

 

A Whole Sackful of Crazy-let it out a bit of a time, Kat, and they'be be none the wiser -hahahahahahahaahahahhaNow. Go kickass.

The phrase “I will never . . . .” is a coiled snake ready to bite us on our asses

Snake_strike_coiled_HIHow many times have you used that phrase only to have it come back later and bite the shit out of your ass? Now, that doesn’t mean the biting isn’t going to be a good thing—maybe you needed to be bit on your ass to propel you in to some kind of motion. Maybe you’ve been stagnant, bored but not recognizing that, or meandering around aimlessly, or unhappy with a situation but in denial.

007Maybe you said “never” with the fever and fervor of THIS WILL NEVER EVER CHANGE and have just been bitten on the ass and aren’t sure if that bite will propel you towards something better, or just as good, or towards—THE SCARYASS UNKNOWN! *cue dramatic thunderous slightly dark music*

Or perhaps, my friends, you told someone, “I will never,” and you didn’t really mean it. It isn’t that you lied, it’s just that you could not face up to the truth inside of you—buried there deep, where only the snake biting you on the ass could cause a draining away and revealing of your truths. You said the words because to admit the other words would cause pain and turmoil and disruption and feelings of failure and that SCARYASS UNKNOWN looming. You said them so the other would believe and not be hurt, yes, but also to force yourself to believe so you wouldn’t do the hurting.

We do have our “Nevers” that are iron-clad. For example, “I will never kill another human being,” but then, is that true? If someone were going to fatally harm me or mine, wouldn’t I kill the shit out of them? “I will never jump off the Empire State Building!” Okay, that seems pretty safe. But what if I’m up there and there’s a fire behind me and no escape—I  either have to jump or burn up. I’m jumping! Okay. Well. Huhn. “I will never stop loving my son and granddaughter!” There. That’s a never that holds forever true! But those iron-clad “nevers” are few, even when we think they are not.

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Then . . . .

15111_10152228089399176_116688420_n

Now . . . .

“I will never grow out my hair.” “I will never write erotica.” “I will never sit around crying like a big baby because I’m a tough-ass bitch.” “I will never leave *insert something or someone here*” “I will never give up/give in/give to/give back . . . .”

Oh, my friends. The phrase “I will never . . . .” is the universe’s big laugh at you; it’s the coiled snake ready to bite you on your ass; it’s the swallow those words you spoke because, guess what? Never became “oh shit, it’s happening/happened/going to happen.”

Maybe that snake did surprise you. Or, maybe you sat on that badass snake so it WOULD bite you! Maybe you pretended you didn’t see the snake and just stuck your bared ass right in its face and taunted it while pretending you were going about your business all la tee dah.

So. Little things are easy to talk about first. For instance, I remember clearly and distinctly standing at Hart Theater in Waynesville, North Carolina a couple years ago, talking to a theater friend who’d just cut her hair short, and I said (there’s a metaphor here, isn’t there?), “Yeah. I love mine short and will NEVER go back to longer hair. Ever.” Um. Yeah. Guess what? I not only grew it out, but longer than I ever thought I would have. But that night as I stood there smiling and confident, I really truly believed myself. I honestly thought the words “I will never  . . . .” were true and real and were never to be altered. I thought myself completely  happy with my shorty ole hair. I couldn’t see a day when I wouldn’t be satisfied with that look. Oh how we tempt the fates with our ultimatums and declarations!

SEDUCTION COVE CVR6_edited-1 for amazonOr, I remember standing by my mother, my face all sincere and true: “Nah. Not for me. I’m not going to write trashy erotica stuff! I will never do that. I will stick to what I write.” And then, three months later, on a night when I was full of vodka and bad intent and after I’d smashed a writer’s conference mug against the tree outside my little log house and yelled into the night, “I QUIT! I am NOT WRITING ANOTHER WORD! I AM PISSED OFF AT THE WHOLE BUSINESS! FUCK THIS SHIT!” (the snow hid my shame, until it melted – lawd), I preternaturally-calm opened my word document and wrote Seduction Cove and I laughed a vodka-infused laugh, and of course, I ain’t telling my mom. I also said, “I will NEVER tell anyone I wrote it–I’ll keep Tasha a secret.” Oops; didn’t happen that way. Mom, if you happen by here: I’m sorry. Dang. And now my writing world has altered. Where will I take it next?

011

I will never leave this beautiful place

So, my friends. There have been some changes in my life, and more are coming. I’ve spent the last six months or so (actually, the last two years after my father died—something about a parent dying sets a woman on quests and questionings and searchings)—wading through the molasses of change and discovery and heartache and decisions that changed my life and the life of others and etc etc etc – ET CET ER A!

I will begin a series of posts about my “nevers” and my “soon to comes” and my “already happeneds” – and I hope you’ll learn something from them, or be entertained, or nod or shake your head, or ignore it all—but I need to write it. That’s what I do. I am a writer. I write things out. And when I do not, I bother my friends with my whiny angst, or send texts that are full of self-indulgent whines that I later regret (that’s a post in itself). So write I will.

Some topics—and I will never stray from them (hahaha!) are:

  • What not to do when you are alone and vulnerable
  • When you are the one you says, “I want a separation”
  • When you have said you “never” have writer’s block and suddenly you cannot write
  • When you have to leave a place/an ideal/a way of life that you thought was “forever” because you said “never will I leave this place/ideal/way of life
  • When disappointment in people attacks—when you realize the people you thought would call never do, and the ones you never thought would reach out to you do.
  • When the word “lonely” expands beyond and above what you ever thought it could be
  • When you think you cannot, absolutely cannot, face something—but then you do
  • What happens next?
  • At my age! . . . the prospects of dating and all that jazz (and being called a cougar—? Um, what?)
  • Etc.

I’ll be back soon . . . .

Work-out writer: the sneaky hidden world of eating disordered thinking in women over fifty

The photo that started it all . . .

The photo that started it all . . .

Last year I wrote a post entitled: “Does this obsession make me look fat?”

There’s been a lot of talk lately about eating disorders in women over fifty. Well, I would guess that while there are some women who are dealing with this issue for the first time, there are an awful lot more of us who have had eating disordered thinking most of our lives and have just hid it really very well or have had it under control. Then, according to what is going on in our lives, the eating disordered thinking may rear up its ugly head right as we think we are at our most confident and powerful: in our fifties, the time of our lives when we are feeling the most kickass, when we don’t care what people think, when we say what we want and live how we want. Imagine our surprise when eating disordered thinking sneaks up and bites us on the ass. What? Me? Wait a minute now! I’m not that teenaged girl any longer. I’m not that mixed up frightened little thing. I’m strong. I’m sexy. I’m ready to take on the world.

What the hell is going on?

The “experts” will tell you and/or your family and friends to watch out for these signs:

‘. . . there are signs to look out for that may indicate someone has an eating disorder. These include: precipitous weight loss or low weight; withdrawing from family, partner and friends; evidence of binge eating or purging; extremely low self-esteem and body esteem; not eating with the family; avoiding events where there is food.” (Taken from HealthDay by Steven Reinberg)

What goes on behind the eyes of a woman?

What goes on behind the eyes of a woman? Secret secret things.

Sure, those things are true for a certain group of women—but not for us! We aren’t like that. We’re out enjoying life. We’re reaching long-hoped for goals. We’re walking with our head up and eyes forward. We are feeling sexual power. We are power. If you looked at us, you’d see a woman who is in pretty good shape–not too thin at all. We may look pretty danged good “for our age” – hell, maybe for any age.

But there is the sneaky hidden eating disordered behavior that no one may ever know.

We’re told that eating disorder in aging women is because “fifty is the  new thirty; seventy is the new fifty,” and yes there may be some truth to that, for some women. Not us!  We have taken care of ourselves; we feel awesome; we feel sexier than ever; we will be kickass well into very-old-agedom. We are not our grandmothers kind of grandmothers. We strut. We look back over our shoulder and say, “Yeah, you think you can handle this much woman? I dare you to try.”

Though it doesn’t start out that way, it quickly becomes about Control. Think about it: what else is completely under your control? Since the time you become aware that you could tell your mommy, “No! Don’t want it!” you have been able to control what goes into your mouth. And what goes into your mouth, or not, has the side effect of affecting your body size—a double whammy of Control. While the outside world can twirl about you; while people—your boss, your spouse, your parents, your friends, your editor, your colleagues, a stranger on the street—take their pieces of you; well, by golly gee, they can’t force you to eat! They can’t dictate what your body looks like! As your body changes, your power grows. Look at you! Control! Control! It’s both as simplistic and as complicated as all that. Even if you don’t really believe that’s what it’s all about, this is a truth that must be explored.

What you really tell yourself is, “I like myself like this.” And you do. To a point. But the toll must be paid. Tolls always must be paid.

We lose our daddies

We lose our daddies

Sure, our aging bodies can frighten us a bit, and it isn’t only about what we look like, but thoughts about our mortality. Our grandparents die; our parents are nearer to death or they do die—we are next in line. Every line or wrinkle is another sign that life is heading towards death. And not just physical death, but what about the death of dreams? Or desires? Or what about the death of health? Or good looks? Or time to do the things we want to do? And there’s nothing you can do about growing older, kiddies. It’s a fact of life, growing old, and then death.  And when we arrive at Very Old, will we look like ourselves? A fear is: We don’t want to look like someone we don’t recognize. We don’t mind becoming older, just let us look like US! Don’t let our face and body melt into a stranger’s face/body. We want to be able to look into a mirror and see the person we have always been. To recognize our faces as ours.

I suppose for some, gaining weight would mean we do not look like ourselves.

Oh, it’s heady powerful stuff. As the scales lower, there is that thrill—look what I have done! Look at the control I have! I am powerful! I can plan, plot, quirk my food and my body into whatever I want it to be, just by my own strong free will, by will-power.

Will. Power. WillPower.

For many  of us in the fringes, it never reaches the anorexic stage, or the bulimic stage, the binge and purge stage.  The “under weight” stage. We find that stuff distasteful. Yuck. They aren’t In Control. We are! We find the sweet spot of Control just at that edge, just at that spot where people would never know the struggle we are going through. We still are within our healthy BMI; we still eat—we don’t avoid food situations, and in fact, may embrace them, for we can eat whatever and how much ever we want, for tomorrow is another day where we’ll just eat less to make up for it. Ha! Fooled up, sumbitches! We don’t binge and purge—gross! That’s for the “crazy ones.” We don’t starve ourselves into emaciation—why, that’s for those obsessive whiners. Give us some credit, whydontcha. We walk that fine line of eating enough while still maintaining our control. We exercise and we eat healthfully, but we also know how to manipulate food just enough. Just enough.

We are many times highly intelligent and highly motivated and goal driven women–and for some of us, people don’t see this in us, so we give them what they want: A perfect sexy body they can objectify. Then while we have their attention, we kick their ass with our smarts and our insights. WHUPOW! Gotcha! Suck on that!

Will.Power.

007

we have to remember that the jeans we bought to fit our new bodies are supposed to be tight, we bought them that way. They should stay tight.

The danger comes when the weight drops lower than you meant for it to. Oh oh. You tell yourself you won’t go any further. You tell yourself you’ll gain back a few pounds. You tell yourself this, but by then the Control Demon has its claws in you and you must tread carefully now. You don’t want to be one of THEM. You put on muscle, eat more protein, find ways to walk that fine line of “healthy but thin.”

It isn’t always about what we look like—for really, there isn’t a true concept of “what we look like,” for when we look into the mirror, we do not see what everyone else sees–no one really does, it’s just for us, the body dysmorphia is more acute. And, honestly, one day we may feel quite good about ourselves, fit and thin and wonderful, and the very next day we may feel willy nilly bound; oh my god oh my god am I gaining weight(losing control/losing will.power)?

If someone would hear us say, “Oh my god! I’ve gained two pounds,” they may roll their eyes and say, “Get over yourself! Two pounds! Get real!” But what they may not understand is that it is not the two pounds itself that is the problem—it’s the fear of careening out of control. Two pounds leads to three and then four and then six and then ten and where does it stop? If we are not vigilant, two pounds becomes more and more and more, and what if we can’t stop it? What if we gain and gain and gain and gain and gain . . . No! Must.Gain.Control. We do not like the out of control feeling and it must be Stopped.

Because we are better than that. We are too powerful to let something have control of us!

I'm not listening. I'm not listening. (Yes, I am too listening - please shut up).

I’m not listening. I’m not listening. (Yes, I am too listening – please shut up).

People who do not struggle with eating disordered thinking would see that two pound gain as a shrug in their lives. People with eating disordered thinking sees that two pounds as weakness. Are you weak! No! Get back on the program! NOW! Do not relax! Vigilance! You are stronger than this! You can beat this! And when the two pounds releases out into the air and off your body, it’s almost sexual, an orgasmic thrill. Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, oh god yes.

There are many thrills to the eating disordered life. That’s why it’s so powerful. We may start out only trying to lose a few needed pounds. Perhaps we’ve been going through our lives and step on the scales one day and go, “Oh oh. You have let yourself go. You idiot!” We really mean it when we tell ourselves we will lose those extra pounds and be happy with that.  People notice, and we feel better, yes. Good. Done. But . . . wait. Hold up. The little voice cajoles, “Lose a couple extra, just in case. That way, you’ll have a cushion! You can relax some. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?” Hey, that does sound great! So you lose a couple more pounds. The compliments rise, and you feel even better.

There comes the thrill of seeing the scales bow to your power, to your will. You are kicking the ass of those scales. You are In Control. Yeah! WILL.POWER!

I am light. My body is under my control.

I am light. My body is under my control. What else can my lighter body do? Exciting.

You lose a couple more, maybe even accidentally. You think, why not? Your clothes are fitting looser. You feel lighter. Your body is buoyant! Your body can do things it couldn’t do before–move in ways it couldn’t, bend in ways it couldn’t, exercise in ways it couldn’t, have sex in ways it couldn’t; it is pleasing, pleasurable, giddy, heady.

When you lie down at night, your stomach is flat and you can feel your hip bones—and this becomes one of your litmus tests. If you lie down and can’t feel that slight concave belly and those hip bones, then You Are Out Of Control! Oh oh.  You begin to like the way you can feel some of your bones under your skin, not hidden by layers of fat, no, but right there, so beautiful, the body is so very beautiful. Your body is beautiful. The curves and knobs and sharp planes and muscles that you manipulate with your hand. Your partner slides his hand along your body and you hum and shimmer–he can feel it, too. You still have enough body fat to be curvy and soft, but you’ve lost enough that as you explore your body, as he does, you/he feel all the new nuances of it. Your ribs, your hipbones, your collar bones, the tiny waist, the lean muscle. Your cheekbones ride higher and you think maybe it makes you look more knowing; there, those cheekbones below your big dark eyes full of deep dark secrets.

When you work out, your body is light and airy-air-borne. It flies over the treadmill, as if your bones are hollow, yet they are hard as a boulder, unbreakable. You are unbreakable! You feel strong, competent, powerful. People begin complimenting you more and more. Men stare appreciatively, and even younger men wink at you, tell you that you look hot.

You feel a sexual thrill you have never felt before–they are under your control now, helpless–who’s the little bee-otch now, huh? I am in control; you are in my control.

Your clothes skim your body, rubbing against your skin, nothing spilling over, no binding. You could almost float, so light you are!

And meanwhile, (practically) no one is the wiser. No one knows your obsessive thoughts about food and weight. No one knows the fear and anxiety. No one knows your need for control. No one knows that sometimes you go to bed hungry because you “lost control” and ate too much earlier that day or the day before. No one knows how you don’t know if you ate enough that day and because you do not want to become One Of Them, one of The Crazies, you force yourself to eat more the next day.

No one knows that hunger, your growling belly, is so fucking scary, for it means two things: you need to eat, your need to eat.

Sometimes friends will know what's going on because they know you best, and they'll miss the extra you.

Sometimes friends will know what’s going on because they know you best, and they’ll miss the lost part of you.

No one knows that every time you step on the scales you tell yourself not to be happy if you’ve lost weight and not to be sad if you’ve gained weight. Then, if you’ve gained weight, you try to calm the out of control feelings. If you’ve lost weight, you try to calm the tiny little thrill that shimmers up your spine.

In my post I linked to above, I listed how my weight began to drop, and my feelings about it at the time. And now? . . .  No, I did not gain back to 120; no I did not stay at 116. Yes, I am stable where I am now, and I must be, because I will not be one of Them.

I am Will.Power. Stand back. Get out of my way.

Don’t get too close now . . . . that’s right.

People are at all times prone to their own stupidity. We're sorry about that.

People are at all times prone to their own stupidity. We’re sorry about that.

Control. Power.  Isn’t it ironic? Because, really . . . yes. That’s right. You got it. We are so good at justification. We are so smart. We are so stupidly smart.

They’re coming to take me away, haha heee hee ho ho, to the loony farm, where all the writers go ..ha ha heehe they’re coming to haul me alway ha ha

I couldn’t sleep last night. I tossed. I turned. I turned. I tossed. My synapses fired off -one two three fifty-five-thousand-and-four. I had benign thoughts like, “What should I wear to the book signing reception on Friday?” My pea-headed brain went through the contents of my closet (such as I could remember) and rejected rejected rejected — then my thoughts turned to how I needed to clean out my closet — then my thoughts turned to shoes – then to how I needed to get rid of some shoes — then should I go buy something sparkling new for the signing – then no, I shouldn’t; I have enough stuff and in fact wasn’t I just saying I needed to get RID of some stuff?

Then my brain went over here and over there and over yonder. Boing boing boing boing!

I thought, “Oh! I hope I am here when my books get here (today? tomorrow? the next day?) so I can take a photo of the delivery person hauling my box out of the delivery truck!” Them my brain went off on that — oh! I can take a photo of that, and then the box, and then me opening the box, and then me pulling out the books, and then the book on my bookshelf, and then I can put it all on my blog… on and on I went.

Then I thought about what Marta Stephens did and thought what a good idea it was: she had people take a photo of themselves holding her book(s) and then posted them (with permission) to her site! See Here at Marta’s Site, and the photo I did to the left, teehee. So, I thought how much fun that could be if y’all who get a Tender Graces book could take a photo of yourselves with it and send it to me to post! Huh? Huh? what do you think? huh? boing boing boing boing boing boing!

Then I had a very detailed dream that I was in a nursing home – no, not as a resident, but visiting – or something. And I can clearly see these elderly women–the lives they led and the lives they lead. A few of them fell and I rushed to help them and felt their frustration and anger at how they couldn’t do as they used to. Their hair was perfectly coifed, their make-up done beautifully, their clothing neat and as if to say “I am ready to go – -somewhere, anywhere…” It was an interesting dream, but I’m not sure what it meant.
So, on and on and on and on and on goes my brain – bam bam bam boing boing boing! My face is breaking out and I’m trying to stop that before Friday *laughing* I have bags under my eyes. I am excited and terrified! By time Friday comes, who knows what I will look like *haw!!!*

And all the books are on their way to the places and people who have ordered. God. Oh geez. Oh oh oh oh!!!! Yes, I am using the dreaded Exclamation Point!!!! — laughing….

I have to say this. I know that not everyone who visits my blog or knows me or whatever’s me will buy my book – or can buy it – or wants to buy it — or whatever. No one has to explain or apologize for not purchasing my book – I mean that. Join in on the conversation and excitement and whatever all you wish to, buy a book if it moves you to, but never feel you have to explain to me or apologize because you aren’t purchasing TG….I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I love you for supporting in any way you feel moved: by coming by here and visiting, by sending me best wishes, by cheering me on — it all means so much to me, whatever it is! Okay, that’s said – now……………….
BOING BOING BOING BOING BOING BOING!!!!!!!
image: google image http://www.irishabroad.com

Exit light, enter night…off to where-ever-land

I don’t know why this Mongoose cartoon made me laugh so much, but it did! teeheehee

Friends, your books should soon be on their way. It’s about that time, yes. I will get an exact date, but from what I understand, they will begin to ship next week; I think early next week. If you wanted one with a signed bookplate, be sure that you marked that — if you get one that doesn’t have one, I’ll be happy to send you one if you email me (unless it’s not too late to let BB know you want a signed copy). I tried to make the bookplates as special as I could.

I can’t wait to get mine. I can’t wait to hold one in my hands. I will smell the pages. I will put it on my bookshelf and step back and see how it looks and then take a photo of it. Oh, I hope I am never jaded and blaise about this!

I had the strangest dreams last night. I suppose they are “stress dreams.” Anxiety. Along with all my happiness and excitement, I do have the anxiety — it’s all a big swirley mess in my pea-headed brain. One of my dreams was about this strange place I came upon. It was a community of what I thought were an isolated strange people. But, when I came close to the community, which turned out to be only indoors, never outdoors, I noticed the eyes of the “people” — they were black and spacy. Seems some “mad scientist” type had made these people – grown them – or something – and there were a good many of them. It was creepy. What did he have planned with them, I don’t know because the dream slid into something else (and if I were someone who wrote thrillers or supernatural books, this dream would facilitate a creepy creepy book)…

…the dream morphed into where I was in a house and there was a man who hated us (me and whomever else was with me)….he wanted to harm us….there was an explosion in one of the rooms of the house (and it is said that houses in dreams are representations of our minds?)- we got out in time, but then I walked back into the room where the explosion occurred and there was a HUGE statue that seemed made of dark dark wood and in the arms of this dark dark wood statue was an infant…and then the statue began cracking open some, the arms that held the infant became more human than wood, and the statue opened its arms out to give the child back to us — it had protected the infant from harm and it was the most beautiful thing – so beautiful. I can see the statue so clearly this morning: a broad dark face, with a broad nose, strong features, strong arms, a solid body – female.

Strange strange dreams. I’ve always had vivid dreams, since I was a child – and I even remember some of my childhood dreams (the more terrifying ones). I was plagued with nightmares from childhood until we moved to these mountains….then suddenly, when we moved here, the nightmares pretty much stopped -isn’t that something? Every so often I’ll have a bad dream, but mostly when I’m really stressed or worried or something that facilitates it. The mountain cove has been magical for me – healing. My dreams are still vivid at times, but more gentle to me. So last night must be worry stress dreams!

Thing is, I’m filled with gratitude and happy feelings for my Dream of this novel coming to life in the pages of a book. I know my anxious thoughts are those where I heap expectation on myself to be “successful” – to not let anyone down – to be “perfect” – and no one can be all these things, not really – not in reality. But, I am like that – fall headlong into things with passion and then soon grow bored with them and the passion fades: EXCEPT!…except when it comes to literature, writing, books, and my writing life. That is the one area I have never grown bored with, the one where my passion flares hot and steady and true – my constant.

What about you? What did you dream last night, if you dreamed and remember it. Do you have “stress dreams?”

(PS – Update on TG orders – BB has said the books should start to be shipped out on Monday…so you all should start receiving them soon! Oh! I’m so nervous…..! but excited too!)

Take me home, or curving roads…to the place I belong! Mountain Mama; I am home….

Home. All the snow melted before I arrived and it has warmed up enough to open the door. The breeze blows the chimes and the creek rushes — oh home on my mountain cove at Killian Knob!

Last night, our old fat raccoon came calling to the squirrel feeder. She was early –as very old people who go to cafeterias do. Oh, what am I saying? I am like an old country granny sometimes as I eat my dinner at 4’o’clock–while watching Golden Girls (when they are on).

I have so much to do, but last night I slept the sleep of one who is so exhausted they just drop down, drop far down, drop long way down, drop deep into the far reaches of nothingness of sleep. I know I dreamed at some point, but do not remember them. Far far far down I fell. Deep and heavy. I woke only two or three times. This morning when I woke, I was disoriented….where am I? What? Who? When? How? I rose from my bed, the morning sunshine slipping through the windows – and my legs were actually shaky. I blinked. I put on my robe and shuffled to splash my face with cold water. In the kitchen, I poured cup 1 of Deep Creek Blend. We later took a mountain walk to clear my head. It is still a bit swirly, but better.

I hope to get by to visit you today, but if you do not see me today, you will tomorrow. I thank you thank you for still coming by even though I have not been round your places — please know it is only because of circumstance of the novel and travel and etc…..soon, I will have to work on the second novel draft (oh thank gawd it is partly written already!). What a problem to have though, right? *smiling* — what a problem to have….ah.

Later my friends. Thank you to all you who have pre-ordered Tender Graces – *muwah* — and thank you for all your kind words. and for visiting. and for commenting. For everything you do.
(And later I’ll tell you some good news I have — I’m rushing now. )

And I said to myself: what a wunnerful world, unless it stops spinning or the sky falls or the stars quit burning or the sun hits the moon or….

Osondu’s Booksellers is sponsoring a Book Signing Party for TENDER GRACES at the bookstore on April 17th! How exciting. It’ll be from 7-9pm and there will be champagne and food. The cut-off is fifty people. She has ordered enough books to accommodate that number. If you are in the Waynesville North Carolina area, call Margaret and reserve your spot! I’d love to see you there.

Now. This is where Kat Magendie begins to fray at the edges and starts blinking into the headlights and her stomach tumbles around like an old-timey ferris wheel gone mad. Because Kat starts worrying, “What if hardly anyone shows up? What if I’m standing in the bookstore trying to pretend it doesn’t matter that only a couple of people show and there are all those books sitting there and the food congeals and the champagne un-bubblefies.” Then, Kat will have to grab the champagne and upend it and pour it down her throat and glub it down and drown out her sorrows…oh geez.
This is just some of the terror of realizing your dream. But, even saying that makes me hit myself upside my pea-head: one thing I can’t stand is whiney writers – not wine-y writers, those are okay – WHINE-Y writers! I mean, all the time I dealt with rejection and another writer realized his/her dream and if he/she whined about it? Well, that just made me mad! SHUT UP, I’d think – you are getting your book published…sheesh!
Okay, Picture It: You write the book; long hours alone and neglecting family and friends. You suffer rejection time after time. Finally, that glorious day comes and you find someone who loves your book and even says, “we are proud to publish this book…” Oh! Oh! The heavens clear, the skies blaze with sunlight and moonlight all at the same time, the birds start singing like on a Disney movie, all is right with the world! And, you live happily ever after, right? All worries gone, right?

Well, not for this old girl. Do NOT get me wrong: this is a wonderful problem to have. These are wonderful problems to have and I am grateful and I recognize this is HOT DANG YAY TIME; because these “problems and anxieties” mean I am realizing my dream of having You hold Tender Graces in your hands – I can’t tell you what that means to me (I am trying to tell you, but words won’t for a change – you’d have to see the sincerity in my eyes, feel the warmth radiating – the hope you will love Virginia Kate and all the others: Micah, Andy, Miss Darla, Bobby, Rebekha, Mrs. Mendel, Amy and Mr. Husband Campinelle, and even love Katie Ivene and Frederick, and love to hate mean old Aunt Ruby, and despise Uncle Ar-vile. The thought of all those hands holding the weight of my words overcomes me …truly…the gratitude is realized upon awaking and before sleeping and all in between – know that.)

So, the Dream is arriving, or has arrived, but all those anxieties slip in under the skin and slide around anyway, because that’s what they do, that’s their job!
You may remember this one: What if I only sell four books — well that one was proved wrong! Bellebooks said that pre-orders are coming in DAILY! They are happy and that makes me happy! SO THANK YOU ALL; If I could send individual thanks, I would – believe me. So, I can lay that particular anxiety aside for now — I’ve sold more than four books. I won’t EVEN start thinking: “Hmmmm, NYT bestseller list? …hmmmm, what about…..” nope not going there.

What if no one comes to my first booksigning party?

What if no one comes to any of my booksignings – and how many should I do? and are booksignings really even done anymore? and where should I have them? and should I do “virtual blog tours?” and etcetera etcetera etcetera

What if I get a bad review?:::What if no one else reviews it?

What if there is a HUGE error in the book I didn’t find?

What if the sky should fall? what if the earth should stop turning? what if a big black hole should suck me up and I’m lost forever and my molecules are ripped apart and a gamillion pieces of me rain down on the earth and no one even notices it is a gamillion pieces of me raining down and I soak into the earth and weird flowers come up with my pea-head on them (um, what? okay, Kat, take deeeeep breaths – go do some yoga girl; you’re losing it….teeheeheehee).

What I’m trying to say in my weird way is: Dreams coming true are wonderful, but full of their own stresses — good stresses, “bad” stresses….If you are like me, you begin to attach THINGS to yourself that perhaps you should not. I should instead go back to the original feeling of accomplishment that I’d written a novel, and then that feeling when BelleBooks said, “we want to publish Tender Graces….” and then the wonderful feeling of my friends and family (my blog friends and family included) telling me how happy and proud of me they are: that’s the thing right there — that, and the original feeling of YOU holding my book in your hands and loving the language, the words, the characters….ahhhh, now I feel much much better. Deep Breath: done.
I always want to say “writers are weird” but I realize it’s probably just Me that is weird and the writer part is only the excuse I use for my eccentricities….haw!
*MUWAH* …. (now, on to work on The Rose & Thorn newsletter that I’ve been neglecting and is due to go out soon! It will distract me from my weirdness for a while….haw! Here’s where you can sign up for the newsletter. And, I need to do a review for Kerry Madden’s Maggie Valley Trilogy. And I want to visit you all again. And what else….la la la la tee dah! I really do love my life! *BIG FAT GRIN*)

Mr. Sandman, send me a… scream?..la la la la…

I can’t sleep.

Of course, whenever we say, “I didn’t sleep a wink last night,” it’s not really the entire truth. We sleep, here and there. But here and there isn’t enough. And didn’t I say in a post below that when a 51 year old woman doesn’t sleep, it shows? And when she doesn’t sleep enough for days and days, it really really shows? You should see me in the mornings—no, I take that back, you should not. The boy-short hair standing on end, the wild fatigued eyes, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

Last night I was filled with anxiety and that anxiety got on my last nerve. I fussed at myself, like this, “I simply can not BE-LIEVE you are anxious! This should be one of the best times of your life! Come on! You got what you wanted, right?”

But, the anxiety shimmered over me like some weirdling fog. That hovering mist of apprehension was so thick; my husband felt it when he walked into the bedroom. I lay on my back, legs stuck out straight, my arms folded over my stomach—hands clenched—my eyes open and staring into the dark. I radiated worry.

I had to take deep breaths. I had to remind myself of gratitude. For it’s hard to feel worried and anxious when you are listing the things that make you thankful. But anxiety is a stubborn ole mulish thing.

I know what my problem is. It’s the “I need to please everyone and I need to make sure I do this perfectly and I need to be the best and the most best and the bestest of the best and nothing else will do and I need to make sure I don’t stumble (even though that’s what people do, stumble sometimes) and I need not to mess this up and I need to be over HERE instead of over THERE because over THERE is just a bit better than over HERE even though HERE was perfectly fine a couple of days ago.”

No wonder the fog wets the room, hangs there. Heavy.

I toss and turn. I think of things I should be doing, could be doing, would be doing if I weren’t lying in bed.

When sleep came, I dreamt of giant dinosaurs and we had to run and hide from them in a big building. This is a recurring dream – it must be a childhood anxiety dream, for variations of it haunt me from time to time. Not so bad in the bigger scheme of nightmares I’ve had, for when I awake, I usually laugh at the B-movie-ness of those dinosaur/monster dreams; however, while having them they are quite “real” – the feeling of “I must get away from the monster! I must run in this building and the monster is right behind me and oh oh oh hurry hurry – the doorknob to the building is right there – will I reach it in time—oh oh, the monster is gaining….OH OH OH – I reach the door with my back tingling not knowing if the monster is about to tear into my flesh, throw open the door, run inside, and then I run run run up stairs or in an elevator, and hope the monster can’t get me. Pant Pant Pant Pant.”

When a dream comes to fruition, it is the most glorious thing of all. But, if you are crazy insane as I am, then you begin to attach fears to the dream. You being to Worry. You begin to forget the excitement and start thinking about ways you could mess up the dream.

So, tonight, if this happens again, I will think of the gratitude part. However, I’m open to suggestions – ways I can stop the thoughts tumbling around in my head like some mad crazy out of control clothes dryer- a dryer that has suddenly come alive! It’s eaten my clothes and is tumbling them into a massed mess– and the dryer has teeth! And it’s going to tear up all the clothes- and me, too – oh oh oh! The dryer is coming for me! Oh! Help!

Lawd.

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