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When you meet the Asshole Author . . . .

imagesOn an episode of Super Fun Night, (and Rebel Wilson is adorable in this–funny and endearing) the Marika character stands in line for hours just to see the woman who played a “superhero” character on television. Marika wants to tell the woman how much her work means to her, how she admires her—she’s even dressed like the “superhero” character. However, when Marika steps up to have her memento signed, the woman is rude to her. Later, Marika sees her alone and tries again to tell her what her work meant—this time, the “superhero” woman is even ruder, and Marika, disillusioned, goes home and packs away all those mementos. The woman Marika thought she would meet was not the kickass superhero, but instead a bitter shitass of an asshole.

And I, too, was that bitter shitass of an asshole. Yeah. Me. Sweet lil ole kickass Kat.

zoo-signOnly a few months after I’d spent weeks by my father’s side, and then still had to bear his (unexpected) death, I traveled to a conference. I was exhausted, still grieving, but thought the time away would be therapeutic—especially since I’d see my good friends there. Most of the eight hour drive was easy enough, until the last hour when, with growing horror, I realized I had a UTI heading my way—folks who have never had one, well you won’t understand how the very thought of this happening at home is bad enough, but on the road? Oh fuck.

By time I arrive where we are to stay, I’m frantic, calling my doctor, calling the pharmacy at home.  I finally find the “emergency” kit with a few days worth of antibiotics inside and gobble two down, hoping that’ll get me started, knowing, too, those antibiotics are going to make me ill–didn’t care–I know the chills and pain will soon start and am hoping to head them off. When I pull into where we are to stay—a group of little “bungalows—“ my phone rings. My friend: the “bungalows” are horrible. Nasty. In the midst of renovations so weird that nothing makes a lick of sense. We’d have to find someplace else to stay. During a peak tourist season. Eight hours drive. UTI. Grief. Exhaustion. No rooms. Oh, fuck, redux.

Ended up five of us had to share a small hotel room. Of the four women I’d be sharing with, one I had never met, and that’s where the asshole author comes in. Eight hour drive. UTI. Grief. Exhaustion. Five women in one little room. Fuck, fuck, and fuck.

He was an ass . . . but . . .  wasn't I, too?

He was an ass . . . but . . . wasn’t I, too?

I was barely holding onto my Assholeyness, when during the panel I was on the next day, the panel moderator introduced me thusly: “And now, former Playboy Playmate model Kat Magendie!” When I tell you the top of my head blew off, it did, for it was bad enough he’d earlier said to me something to this effect, but now on a panel?, in front of other writers and writer-hopefuls? Ka-BOOM! It seems in slow motion now, the way my head turned to him ooooh-soooo-slooowwwly, and it seems the words spewing from my mouth fling and slap him upside his head: “You fucking call me that again and I’m gonna Kick.Your.Fucking.Ass.” Yeah. I said that. On the panel. With wide eyes staring at me from the audience—although I’d like to think most of them thought, “Hey, he deserved it. You go girl.” Lawd.

The logistics of the crowded hotel room I won’t even relay. I will say that the next few days are a blur of me feeling ill, angry, pissy, crowded, annoyed, exhausted, sleepless, and generally hating everyone on the planet and then some.

And in this state is how the woman I’d never met—a woman who’d read my books and was looking forward to meeting the author behind the words—came to know The Asshole Author. (She was also in the audience of that panel that day, too. Yeah. Oops. Huhn. Lawd.)

bat shit crazy

bat shit crazy

While we can tell ourselves we must always be on our best behavior. While we tell ourselves that our face out to the world should be one of cheerful appreciation for our readers and always to be professional and courteous and kind, honestly, there are times when we just feel like shit, or bat-shit cray-cray. When we are assholes. When we want to bury our heads under the covers and shout: GO AWAY!

We’re human. We’re fallible.

After the conference was over, and once I was home and rested, I contacted the woman, and without giving up excuses (I hate excuses), I apologized to her for being an asshole. Would it have been better for me to keep a happy face and never let that Ass side of me to show? Yup. But was there any possible way that was going to happen during that time? Nope. Probably not.

Next time you meet an author, actor, singer, artist, why, anyone at all, really—whatever/whomever—and they are the Asshole from Hell, maybe, just maybe, give them a little bit of a break. Maybe, just maybe, they are having a hard time, are exhausted, are feeling stretched too thin, are feeling vulnerable and scared. Have nothing Photos, Video, few Words . . . "Granny Kat" in Oregonnothing not a danged ole thing left to give.

The words and worlds we authors create, the face we show on social networking, really IS us, but only a part of us. The part we try not to let you see is the fearful, anxiety-ridden, damaged, fallible, child-like innocence that’s been rattled, hopeful, rageful, Asshole, part of us. But oh, it’s there. Yeah. It’s there all right, and if the conditions are just right, you just may have met that Asshole instead of the person you so hoped to meet.

And for that, we give our most sincere apologies. Except for the Real Assholes—they don’t give a flying fuck one way or another.

002I think you know which one I am. Right? Right!

The Lightning Charmer coverThank you for your kind words and messages about The Lightning Charmer! I am forever grateful, and that, my friends, is the truth.

Five lies, out of many, that we tell ourselves . . . .

askyourdoctorLIE: I’ll start on that manuscript as soon as I finish this Facebook update.

REALITY: Haw haw haw! You’ll start on that manuscript as soon as you stop sniveling and whining and carrying on about how haaaaarrrrd this is and about how you aren’t appreciated by so and so and such and them and whositwhat. You’ll start on that manuscript as soon as you kick the ass of Fearsome Monster—and Fearsome Monster is difficult to kick the ass of since every time you kick it, YOU are the one who feels the pain. Right? Right. Riiighhht.

Oh, and for some of you out there *Kat gives the personal trainer evil eye* insert “exercise” where starting on manuscript is written. Yeah.  Uh huh.

LIE: If I fit into these jeans comfortably, I’ll stop losing weight. Or: All I want is to fit into my jeans comfortably. Or: My jeans shrunk! No wonder I can’t fit into them comfortably.

cartoonREALITY: If you have any kind of eating disorder/disordered thinking about food/weight, then I am on to you. Oh, I know you mean it when you say it, but I also know those jeans will fit comfortably and then the mind games start up: Well, if they fit comfortably, then what if they fit a little looser ; well, people are telling me I look good, I better not fail them! I better keep this weight off! And in fact, I better lose a few more pounds for a “Safety Net” so I won’t look as if I am failing by gaining it back. If my jeans fit comfortably, I then forget that they once fit tight and I think the “fit comfortably” is now “oh, my jeans should be looser” so I have to lose weight to make them looser and then I may forget how they fit after—you see the circuitous crazy-ass-psycho thinking here? Please god, make it stop, y’all! For those who think their jeans shrunk—I’ll give that to you once, and then after that, LIE LIE LIE!

I’m sure there’s a writing metaphor in there—I’ll leave that to you.

well, sheee'it

well, sheee’it

LIE: Once my novel is published, I will be forevermore happy! I will never want for another thing! I just want to see my book published even if only I read it and maybe a friend or family member or two!

REALITY: HAW HAHAHAHAHAHA HAW HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasping for breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, okay, right. It ain’t happenin’ – you will have that book published and then you will want something else. And then something else.  And then maybe something else. Will to! Will to! WILL TO!

*See Above Lie about fitting jeans comfortably – hey! I found a way to tie it to writing. WHUPOW!

LIE: I don’t care!

REALITY: Yes you goddamn do.

It's easy to be sucked down - but then again, I wonder what's in that hole?

It’s easy to be sucked down – but then again, I wonder what’s in that hole?

LIE: I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy for so and so’s: weight loss, publishing contract, award, accolades, rise to the Kindle Millionaire list, cash flow, new baby, face, body, legs, breasts, lips, ass, writing, husband, wife, dog, cat, house, car . . . .

REALITY: I’ll give you this one, that you really are happy for them,  but with a caveat: though you may be truly happy for this person, there is a tiny part of you that may feel like shit on a big fat ugly ass stick that you have not accomplished these things or do not have these things and may never have these things or most certainly will never have these things or may always want want want and never have have have. And meanwhile, someone is envying you for what you have, and on and on it goes. What I will tell you if envy hits: Own it.  Own up to it. It just could be the thang that spurs you on. But when envy turns to Jealousy, when you are being eaten alive by it, then it’s time to take stock—it’s time to consider the realities: can you have it? Do you really want it? How much will it cost you (not just in $)? And how do you pull yourself out of your Green-Eyed Monster’s Ass?

Hey! He has more seeds than I do! BASTARD!

Hey! He has more seeds than I do! BASTARD!

I always say: A teaspoon (or even a tablespoon) of Envy is a great motivator. But Jealousy is destructive and negative and big ass ugly.

Also, I will tell you: Sometimes going to that person and congratulating them and really meaning it, feeling their happiness, feeling good for them, will make the envy lose some of its power—you face the demon of your own lacking, your own wanting and can’t (or not yet) having.

What lies do you tell yourself and do you or will you recognize the reality?

(*and folks – The Lightning Charmer is now on sale at Amazon and at Bell Bridge Books site. The “official release date” is November 1, so it should be going up for sale at other places, like Nook and bookstores and wherever else books go to find their ways to wonderful readers’ hands. I thank you all for your support. I *heart* you dearly*)

The Lightning Charmer cover

Today at Writer Unboxed: The Isolated Author (by lil ole me)

I am at Writer Unboxed today. If you are not a member, then get ye over there and check it out. Not just for my ramblings today, but for all the kickass offerings there. A wonderful group! They’re on twitter and Facebook, as well.

I was on a panel yesterday in the beautiful city of Hayesville, NC, and was reminded of how much fun blogging and blogs and bloggers can be – I promise to do better here. I do! I do! I do! *grins at you every so sincerely*

At Writer Unboxed today:

_______________________________________

2f95c122-b7f3-4ea9-8afb-ed71deb90477_zps0f985647Today’s guest is Kathryn Magendie, the author of five novels and a novella published through Bell Bridge Books—most recently The Lightning Charmer coming out this month. She’s also the Publishing Editor of The Rose & Thorn (which just recently closed its doors after fifteen years), and former Personal Trainer. She lives in a little log house tucked within a cove in Maggie Valley, Western North Carolina—where all the wild things are.

Of her post today, Kathryn says…

Thoughts of the “isolation” of this job came to me when I realized most every character I write is lonely. Then I recognized that I, me, myself, lil ole Kat Magendie, was deeply, incredibly, sadly, lonely. Well, danged if I didn’t feel right pitiful. I then read other WU posts, other author’s FB updates and Twitter feeds, and realized that feeling of isolation is shared—we’re all at one big banquet table, but the banquet table has partitions so that even though we’re surrounded by people, we’re still eating alone. I allowed myself to feel pitiful for about a week, and then I decided it was time to do something about the isolation. We’re much more than we appear to be, we band of writers, we.

You can find Kathryn on Twitter and Facebook and on her blog. More about her books here.

The “Isolated Author”

We can see the clichéd “isolated author,” one who writes in her fuzzy socks, a bottle of vodka—make that a healthy smoothie, yeah—by her side, creating micro-worlds where tiny-in-our-peahead-but-oh-so-much-bigger-than-life characters frolic and play and bring joy and epiphanies to all the land of readers. Farther pan out and see the writer hunched over her keyboard, ever more pan out and see the study she sits in with books and pens and pencils and chapstick and good luck charms and crumbs littering her keyboard and lap, and farther still to see her little log house, and outward we go ever outward to the Moon. And there we’ll stop a moment and consider just how tiny this author is. Just how inconsequential, miniscule. All the scurrying and living and loving and being around her is muffled and dark because all she experiences is: “tippity tappity tippity tappity tippity tappity *slurp munch* tippity tappity.”

The truth is, the more an author puts herself out there (But of course I mean you guys, too—we’re genderless in the World of Writing), the more isolated she becomes. The more public her life, the more private she must be. It’s an insidious endeavor, one she doesn’t recognize until it is almost too late—when the crazies visit upon her *picture here the Harpies from Jason and the Argonauts, feasting upon the sanity laid out in bounty upon the table until there’s nothing left but scraps of rational thought.*

FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE

The Lightning Charmer cover . . . . it’s purdy

Welp, here ’tis – the cover art for The Lightning Charmer. It’ll be out this month. Something a little different from my former novels. I’m excited and happy, and I hope my readers will love Laura, Ayron, Betty, the crows, the wolf-dog, the lightning, the sex, the love, the supernatural, the fire — I hope my readers will love it all. *Fingers Tightly Crossed*

The Lightning Charmer cover

 

 

 

A haunted man shadows the Smoky Mountain forest. A lonely woman returns to what she left behind. A legacy unfulfilled calls out to them both. .

The sky darkens, the lightning seeks . . .  

The Lightning Charmer is full of whimsy, enchantment, ancient secrets, and dark earthy seduction.  Magendie taps into those primal secret places we all harbor, with a powerful story of learning where one fits in a world that may not fit us.  Braided with color, humor, and loyalty to family, this is storytelling at its best!  Sharla Lovelace, Bestselling and Award Winning author of THE REASON IS YOU

The spell was cast when they were children. That bond cannot be broken. In the deep hollows and high ridges of the ancient Appalachian mountains, a legacy of stunning magic will change their lives forever.

Laura is caught between the modern and the mystical, struggling to lead a normal life in New York despite a powerful psychic connection to her childhood home in North Carolina—and to the mysterious stranger who calls her name. She’s a synesthete—someone who mentally “sees” and “tastes” splashes of color connected to people, emotions, and things. She’s struggled against the distracting ability all her life; now the effects have grown stronger. She returns home to the mountains, desperate to resolve the obsessive pull of their mysteries.

But life in her mountain community is far from peaceful. An arsonist has the town on edge, and she discovers Ayron, scarred and tormented, an irresistible recluse who rarely leaves the forest. As her childhood memories of him surface, the façade of her ordinary world begins to fade. The knots she’s tied around her heart and her beliefs start unraveling. Ayron has never forgotten her or the meaning of their astonishing bond. If his kind is to survive in modern times, he and Laura must face the consequences of falling in love.

On the radio: NorthwestPrime with Lori Ness

Hey, all y’allses wonderfuls. No no, I’m not flying in oblivion; okay, I am, but I done told y’all I wouldn’t post unless I had news, or something I wanted to say, or just felt like it, or the 8th sign of the Apocalypse happened and I had to gush over it, or . . . . etc etc etc. Cause I’m just that chaotic. yeah.

So, today’s news is that in about 30 minutes from now, at 3:00 PM my time, I’m going to be on the radio at NorthwestPrime.com -

For those of you who asked for  the archived file, it is HERE on NorthwestPrime. 

If’n you want to give it a listen, great.  I’m always appreciative of my readers and any interest *smiling*

Later, y’all!

733918_358280667610103_1586754340_n

Ten answers without questions . . . .

Keep your eye on the prize, y'all

1. Well, since you asked—more than I want to admit.

 
2. Yes, I have, and it hurt like the dickens.

 
3. When hell freezes over, you jackass.

 
4. I might, if I have enough vodka tonics racing through my veins—teeheehee. Oh You!

 
 5. Because if I don’t, the voices in my head take over by shouting and jumping up and down and punching me in the brain and playing football with my synapses and it ain’t pretty, and in fact, is rather disturbingly weirdly fascinating.

 
6. I will if you will.

 
7. There is no evidence. You can’t prove it.

 
116-0018. Yes, they are real; they have always been real; they will forevermore be real; they have been real since 5th or 6th grade and they will be real when I die. Everything from the tippity top to the bittity bottom is Real and Mine. Please stop asking.

 
9. A lot more than you think *coy smile*

10. Three big huge earth-shattering ones, but I was alone. *winks*

Work-out Writer: Start off wild, uninhibited, and then exert that CONTROL . . . .

 

Control . . .

Control . . .

Wild

Wild  & Free . . .

Workout WriterYou have to find the Way that works for you. But if you are at a weight or goal plateau/finding yourself obsessing over the same danged ole paragraph or two or three over and over again. Wondering, “Will I EVER fit into those jeans I love, run that marathon, lower my cholesterol, feel healthier/write this goddamm book?” Then perhaps you can consider  finding your wild and free, flailing and flinging  yourself on the treadmill/your words on the page; and then, when you are sweaty and all fired up/have your crappy ass first draft, you exert that CONTROL.

Work-out:

When someone asks me what I do to keep in shape, I will simply say, “I do treadmill aerobics dance for an hour, and then I do about thirty minutes of mat work.” That’s my process, I say.

But there’s so much more to that “process.”

Children play with abandon, but they often have their own "rules" and process - there's PURPOSE to their play - be like that.

Children play with abandon, but they often have their own “rules” and process – there’s PURPOSE to their play – be like that.

On the treadmill, I  jump, skip, hop, kick out my legs, run full out for nuttin, and in between those high-energy aerobics moves,I tone it down a bit to let my heart rate lower. What I’m doing is uninhibited and free—I don’t over-think it; I do what feels good, what feels happy, whatever comes to mind without a plan. Does this mean I am “out of control” on the treadmill? Not exactly, for I do have to maintain some control or else I could injure myself–I have to Pay Attention. However, for the most part, I’m all over that thang, sweating my ass off. I am at the edge of my endurance, and the endorphins are KAPOW WHUPOW! A little chaos is good; a little wild jittery is wonderful.

This is a good example of what I do on the treadmill, except I do not turn around backwards because I don’t feel that’s safe.

My goal is to stretch that leg even more - but with CONTROL!

My goal is to stretch that leg back even more – but with CONTROL! I had no flexility even a year ago.

DSC_0033When I am ready for my mat work, I’m nice and warmed up. This is when I exert the most CONTROL in my workout. I use dumbbells or my body weight or a ball or some other “device” to challenge my body to the very edge of its endurance, but with CONTROL. The stronger my body becomes, the more control I have over it–repeat that to yourself.

An example would be: Lying on mat, holding ten pound dumbbells in my hands, I do chest presses while also keeping my legs lifted from the mat (as the photo above shows, except with or without ball, and using the dumbbells)—as I do my chest presses with my legs lifted, I’m working many muscles at once, and I am very careful with my CONTROL. Without control comes chaos—injury! And during my mat work, I do not want chaos—injury—or flailing about.

As my body grows stronger, as I challenge it to do more and more, and different, workouts, I can see the progress of my hard work. Things I didn’t think I could ever do before suddenly have become “easier.” My flexibility is better—this coming from a girl who had practically no flexibility.

No one is looking at your workoug and if they are? So what? Stay in your own zone--ignore everything around you but your body and what it is doing. No one sees your manuscript--only you! Stay in your zone and have fun

No one is looking – and if they are? So what? Stay in your own zone–ignore everything around you but your body and what it is doing-have fun! No one sees your manuscript until you want them to, so stay in your zone, and have fun!

That wild abandon paired with the CONTROL of my mat work creates the health and body I want to have—strong, flexible, heart and lungs healthy, higher endurance, etc. I feel confident, and proud of my accomplishments. And I want to do more, more, more, because it feels so danged good.

Writer:

When people ask me, “What is your writing process?” I always say, “I dunno. I just sit my ass down and write.” But of course  there is more to my process than that.

The first draft of my work is written with abandon, wild and free, without over-thinking it; whatever comes out of my pea-headed black holed brain is fine with me; let it come on! It’s fun, my endorphins are high, I’m feeling GREAT! Does it mean I have zero control? Nope, for the more I write, the better I naturally do the kinds of writing that will mean less work later on. Meaning, I have a grasp of grammar and punctuation “rules” even if I break them; my work comes out, even in draft, with paragraphs and dialogue and narrative and in chapters, automatically. My very first novel was almost all narrative-aw lawd! It was  a HOT MESS! Well, so what? Look at what’s happened since then: four published novels, a novella, and one set to be released in September. GO FOR IT, y’all!

Then comes the “mat work” of my manuscript. Where I exert the most control. Tweaking, editing, rewriting. I look for repetition, for too much internal dialogue/monologue, for ‘tic words,” for things that seem out of character or voice or POV. I read my manuscript a gazillion times and in different formats, such as, Kindle Fire, regular Kindle, my computer, printed out, let my Kindle Fire read it to me.  I am concentrating on the work with CONTROL. I know the rules so I can either break them, or tweak something to make it better.

Once I allowed myself to know my process and to OWN IT, I’m betting that each novel I write will become “leaner” and stronger, because I am exerting that control better as I become a stronger more flexible writer, willing to take some chances or try something different.

This wild abandon paired with the CONTROL of my re-writes/edits creates the kind of novel I can be proud of, one with which I am confident. And I want to do more, more, more, because it feels so danged good.

(Consult your doctor and your good sense before you begin this, or any other high energy workout–in fact, consult your doc before you begin any exercise program. I always say this–bears repeating. And don’t compare yourself to others, not to me, or anyone else, you hear?)

Just Do It

Just Do It

Just do it

Just do it

Work-out Writer: Muh-muh-muh-muh-my Persona(s)–The Bionic (writer) Woman

finding strength

finding strength

Three times a week I put on my work-out clothes, take my gym bag of goodies, and head out to Waynesville Recreation Center, whereupon I put on my running shoes, climb upon a treadmill, and work my ass off—running, skipping, jumping, flailing, hopping, and jitterying about. The music is blaring in my ears (which is a joy, for I don’t have a chance to listen to music as much as I’d like). I am facing forward, seemingly in my own world as I do what gives me great pleasure—

dsc09814I thought I was an island of me, until people began to approach me. GMR calls them my “fans” and it makes me laugh, the sorta-kinda-irony of it being I am more well-known in that gym than I am as an author here in my little town, or at least it seems that way. Even outside the gym, I am stopped and told, “Hey! You’re that woman in the gym! The one on the treadmill!” I don’t mind. What makes me happy about it are the things they tell me—that I’m a bionic woman, superwoman, that I have so much energy, that I am—and this one really makes me happy—an inspiration to them to work harder. When I am gone away from the gym when I travel, they seem to miss me, asking about me, asking where I’ve been. I feel missed. I feel thought about. I feel substantial. When I’ve worked extra extra hard, they notice: “You sure tore it up today! That treadmill must be broken!” I grin at them and say, “I sure did, didn’t I?” What they don’t know is how they are inspiring me to work harder–because they notice, because they see me, because I don’t want to let them down. I want to be the person they think I am. I want to be better and better and better.

DSC_0022Far as I know, none of them know I am an author. They all know me as “that bionic woman on the treadmill.” It’s a persona I have come to love.  Those who see me on that treadmill, and then on the matt-work afterwards, see my dedication, my passion, my energy, my love for what I do. They see how hard I work, how I kick-ass and then give a little more, and then more, until I have no more to give, and then I try to push just a tiny bit more. They see me sweat, hair flying, body tensing and releasing over and over, the explosive action of my plyometric movements, the intensity of the workout. They see all of this because it is right there in front of them.

DSC_0174If only my readers could see me as I create—see the outside and the inside of me, the workings of me. For my writing is manifested in the same kind of way—through energy and love and passion and hard work and kicking ass and then giving just a little more and a little more until I am exhausted but happy, happy danged ole happy, and then I push a tiny bit more. They could see me staring ahead at my screen, fingers flying over the keyboard, my brain filled with activity—tensing and releasing as my synaptic firing flings words and characters and setting onto the page. All for you.  But you cannot see that, my dear readers. Unlike my “fans” at the gym, I sit alone, out of your sight, working so very hard for you. What you do not know, just as the “gym-fans” do not, is that you are also inspiring me to work harder–because I don’t want to let you all down. I want to be the person you think I am, and more. I want to be better and better and better. I want to give you joy when you read my offerings. I want to make you think, and laugh, and cry, and wonder, and wander, DSC_0175and I want you to ask for more from me and of me–because I have more to give, so much more.

our bodies are wonderlands . . .

our bodies are wonderlands . . .

Because I love it. I am passionate about the writing, my books, my words, the language, just as I am about being fit and healthy and strong. I want to make you happy. I want to make you proud of me. I want to inspire you. I want to be known as the Bionic Woman of writing. I want you to miss me when I am not around.

When you pick up one of my books and read, imagine me—metaphorical sweat dripping, hair flying, body tensing and releasing over and over, the explosive action of my plyometric movements, the intensity of my workout. The passion. The love.

For you.

Our minds are wonderlands

Our minds are wonderlands

The work-out persona and the writer persona are so very much the same.worker

Oprah says, “Don’t Be Attached to the Outcome . . . .” AHA! What about you and your “Goals?” . . .

$T2eC16ZHJHYE9nzpebcPBQwlkrIDOQ~~60_57When you have done everything that you can do, surrender. Give yourself up to the power and energy that’s greater than yourself  . . . and then don’t be attached to the outcome.”

When I read this last night in the January issue of O (Oprah) Magazine, I had one of her “Aha!” moments. For “attaching myself to the outcome” was exactly the thing I’ve always done. I’ve always been goal-oriented, driven, conscientious, competitive—nothing wrong with those traits, but when “attaching myself to the outcome” of my work, I create a never-ending river of rapids where, despite what I believe, I am not in control, and in fact outside forces and circumstance are completely in control of me as I hurtle from rock to rock, place to place, every so often my head above water, but so often I’m barely able to catch my breath.

In my life as a published author, this manifests itself as: I write the best books I know how with sincere love and hope and a whole lot of hard work and sacrifice. Where I attach myself to the outcome is when I angst and worry and make myself half-sick (or wholly sick) that I’m not achieving some “Desired Outcome” such as a literary prize, or a best seller list, or a review in some Big Magazine, or high on some ranking, etc etc etc—those are things for which I really have little control, so I’m tumbling willy nilly 084down those rapids, trying to grab onto slippery rocks (and banging myself up in the process), or grabbing at things just out of my reach. I attach my self worth to some outcome, instead of to what I have already achieved. I do not live in the Right Now where I see each step I make, each tiny,  or large, goal that I achieve in that moment as a success, as a part of my journey–I have not been paying attention, living my life for the moment. Everything has been about attaching myself to the OUTCOME–some faraway thing I’m hurtling towards.

What Oprah said so resonated with me, I felt my innards relax, gave myself permission to let go. It helps that I was ready for this statement, because already I’d been letting some things go, already assessing my life as an author, a woman, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend. How many moments have I lost because I did not pay attention to the Right Now and instead kept looking so very far ahead? Well, actually, that’s still never-ending-circle thinking! Instead, I think, “Right now, I’m feeling happy to share this AHA moment with you.”

valerie-bertinelli-1-290x218What about how goal-oriented we are when it comes to fitness and healthand our weight? I mean, it’s all goal-oriented in the weight-loss field isn’t it? Actor Before; Actor After—everyone sees the outcome of the actor’s work on Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, and let the games begin as you look at the “After” and say, “I want that! That’s what I want!” All the betweens for this person are unknown or forgotten.

But what if you didn’t attach yourself to the outcome? What if you didn’t attach some self-worth to the end-goal? What if you said to yourself, “Right now, this moment, I can’t control some future outcome—I don’t know what the future will bring. However! I can control the Right Now.” What if you lowered the FUTURE stakes by concentrating on the RIGHT NOW stakes.

When you say, for example, “I want to be healthy, in shape, and lose fifty pounds,” you are thinking of OUTCOME—the End Goal, some Thing that is off into the future. What if

Rainbows are right now; pots of gold are some goal where you miss the rainbow in the searching

Rainbows are right now; pots of gold are some goal where you miss the rainbow in the searching

you changed that to say, “Right now, I am going to go to the gym.” You go to the gym. At the gym you say, “Right now, I am going to jump on the treadmill and walk/run/walk-run.” Then you do it. You step off the treadmill and say, “I feel pretty good. Right now, I’m going to do some yoga/pilates/weights/stretching.” And you do it. You go home and you feel great, so Right Now you eat a sensible meal with some protein and carb. You say, “Right now, I’m going to eat an apple for dessert.” Who wants to think, “I can never have dessert again!” Bleah! BORING! UNREALISTIC! But, “Right now, I’m going to eat an apple for dessert,” is manageable, right?

Each thing you do, you do In The Moment, not thinking of outcomes, not basing your worth on some future goal, but on each goal no matter how small it may seem. You celebrate every small thing, or large thing, that you do and live in the RIGHT NOW.

Perhaps when you tell yourself, “Right now I’m going to go for a walk;” “Right now I’m not going to eat that candy bar;” “Right now I’m going to go to the gym and work out;” “Right now I’m happy because I lost a pound;” “Right now I’m happy because I was able to walk up the stairs without gasping for air;” “Right now I feel really great because I played catch with my kids/grandkids;” “Right now I look kick-ass in these jeans that I am able to now button,” you give yourself permission to live your life as it unfolds, in incremental joys, instead of always looking ahead and feeling frustrated because you Aren’t There Yet.

Stay in the moment(s) you are in. Enjoy your life RIGHT NOW. Celebrate every little, and big, moment in this Right Now.

How do you think that would feel? To live in the Right Now? Not to attach your happiness, your self-worth, your life on some outcome, but to let go of that and live your live in the moments? Why not give it a try?

DSC_0109 Right now, I am going to watch the rain fall on the smoky mountains and the birds flocking to the feeders.

My “WTF is wrong with you?” brain and the hotel experience . . . LAWD!

Upon entering hotel, sniff. If the hotel smells funny, a little nitty-ass irritating squeaky little fucker in brain thinks, “Hmmm, what’s that? Are they not cleaning the hotel regularly?” Then do a visual once-over, glancing around lobby and desk area, and if clean and sparkly, sigh with relief and check in. Also, the once-over is to check for Weirdo Men. Weirdo Men are men who will try to catch your name and room number and then follow you to the elevator and then to your room, whereupon they turn into maniacs who push you into room and have their way with you and then . . . then .  . .  *don’t think about it.* It can happen, that little squeaky-voiced feker says.

After check-in, and no one pays you any mind except for that one dude who grins at you and says, “Evening,” and you smile fetchingly and say, “Evening,” and the squeaky voiced pecker-head says, “The handsome friendly ones are the maniacs, you fool!,” you enter room, notice scent. If not fresh, then see above. If fresh, sigh with relief and a La Tee Dah air of comfort.

Luggage must go on top of something—in the case there are verminy critters running around, you don’t want them climbing into your luggage and setting up residence, where they will happily make a new home once you arrive back at the little log house. Lawd! Little bastard vermins. Even if the hotel is sparkly clean, a “nice” hotel, vermin are sneaky little shitters. Remember reading how even five-star hotels with 2000 thread-count sheets have been cited for vermin. Yeah. You read that somewhere. Uh hunn, and heard it on the news! Yeah.

*maniac played, unwillingly and unknowingly, by Charles Mills*

Check under the bed—sigh with relief if the bed is one of those kinds where nothing or no one can get under them. Check the closet—maybe a maniac is hiding in there. Try to ignore the thought that if a maniac IS hiding in there, as soon as you open the closet he will jump out and maniac your ass to a bloody pulp.

Go to bathroom, look around. Notice things and nod head in satisfaction. Pee. Hope toilet seat is as clean as it looks. Look in shower—better not be any gunky crap or else feet will tingle when in shower because you will imagine invisible nasties crawling onto feet from the shower floor.

Back in the main room, pull back covers and inspect sheets. Are they a crisp blinding white? Well, they better be! Wait! Are those pillow cases wrinkled? Wrinkled from someone else’s head? There’s about six pillows on that bed. Maybe the cleaning crew was mixed up and only thought they changed all of the pillow cases—sniff test. Ewwwww! Two of them smell like someone’s head. You do not sleep on head-scented pillow cases! Ewww! Throw the two pillows that smell heady on the floor so won’t accidentally grab them in the night and hold them close. Use un-heady scented pillows. Sniff sheets—you never know; smile with relief when they smell fresh. Ahh.

You usually wipe the remote with anti-bacterial wipes or lotion, but! you saw this genius solution on a rerun of the sitcom “Til Death”—it was supposed to be “funny” as in “this dude is really freaking nuts” kind of funny, but your pea-headed brain went, “OHHH! Hooya!” Take a baggie, pick up the remote with the baggie, turn it inside out to where hotel remote is in baggie, and you can push the buttons through the plastic, never once having to touch nasty old remote. Ha! Yeah you are so clever!

Time for beddy-bye! BUT! OH NO! LAWD! LAWD! Sheet inspection isn’t over. You must remember to wake around the magical hour of between 2AM and 3AM—anywhere in that time-span—to quietly grab your cellphone, gently lift the covers and AHA! Shine the cell light on the sheets where your legs are to make sure no bedbugs are there, because somewhere you read, and saw on the news, or someone told you, that the magical hour for bedbugs is around 2AM. Sigh with relief when all is well. Sleep comes easy.

Alien Seed Pod Pouch! LAWD!

Then the dreams come.  About aliens who live in the mattress and scare the bejeebus out of you, then have a dream within a dream where you wake and say, “Whew, glad that mattress alien was only a dream,” and suddenly! The mattress moves and undulates—“AAAUUGGH! It IS real! There IS a hotel mattress alien! AHHHHHHGGGHHH!” Wake up again, for real, sigh with relief that there are no hotel mattress-living aliens that look strangely like weird babies with high intelligence who look at you askance and as if you are “not quite right.”

Push one of the heady pillows over the light coming from the door, and the other heady pillow over the clock light. Finally fall into exhausted sleep.

Morning comes.  You rise. No aliens, vermin, critters, heady pillows, or maniacs have entered the blissful sanctum of your hotel room.

Take shower. Come out of bathroom nekkid. Wait! Can people see into your room through the spy-hole? Omg! Next time remember to bring a piece of tape to put over the spy hole. Grin.

Check out. Hope nothing but your own luggage and personal germs have left with you.

What? Who me?

Think, while flying down the interstate with the music blaring and wind tossing your hair: You are one cray-cray bitch, Miss Kathryn Magendie. One completely cray-cray bitch.

But you don’t care.

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