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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 . . . .

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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 . . . .

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:

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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

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: Music to get you off your ass – excuses just piss me off – time for some WHUPOW, y’all.

askyourdoctorWelp, did y’all think I wasn’t going to come back to this here blog? Nah. I’d never desert it. However, this here’s what I believe: you can be a good writer but that doesn’t mean you can keep up a good blog with tantalizing posts and goldenfire words that draw people by the hundreds–hell, I’m lucky if I draw people by the tens *haw haw!* Same goes for books – you can kick the ass of writing to whoopeetown and back, but if’n you ain’t got a story, then all you have is a bunch of well-written words strunged together–what? strunged ain’t a word? It is now — haw!

So, while I have a good ole time on my Facebook page (and it’s a regular ole Facebook page and not one of those “like” thangs so come join in), I’m not as blabbity here. There are so many other blogs out there that are kick ass and where the blog writer knows just what to do to make it shine. I learned how to tell a story in my novels and am doing pretty well in that regard with my readers (y’all are big ass buckets of awesome!), but I still haven’t learned how to take a blog and make it kick ass. Dang! I’ll leave that to the Blog People on High.

cartoonDSC08450-001So have you been working out? If you are shaking your head no, then come here. Come.Here. Closer. Cloooosssseerr. CLOOOOOSSSEERR. *FWAP!* that’s me smacking you upside your head! Get your ass out there and get moving! I ain’t play’n! And same goes for writing. I don’t want to hear no excuses. Shut up. Excuses piss me off. Yeah. Now, come here. Come.Here. Cloooseerr. Naw, I ain’t going to smack you again! I just was going to plant a kiss where I smacked you, cause I’m sweet like that *MUWAH* I know you like it.

If you are looking for some good heart-pumping music, I am suggesting the 50 Techno Trance Anthems collections. I have three of the volumes and am quite pleased with them. Most have that beginning that starts you off, then builds you to a frenzy, then pulls back a bit, and then WHUPOWS! you again–great for interval training, for which I strongly suggest you try.

I don’t listen to music while writing, so it’s up to you if you use this music for that. But it’s good for traveling, too, or cleaning the house.  These are the three I have – you can purchase them from iTunes for your iPod or shuffle, or from Amazon as MP3 or whatever.

Get moving. Get Writing. Stop whining. Stop complaining. Okay, you can whine and complain sometimes–I know I do!–but if’n you are doing that and not accomplishing shit for shinola, then it’s time to take stock.

Now go kick the ass of the day!

50-Techno-Trance-Anthems-Vol-4 51o2-ZK30CL._SL500_AA280_ 51ZLWzdy4bL._SL500_AA280_

Work-out Writer: Are you giving up and giving in?

Keep your eye on the prize, y'all

Keep your eye on the prize, y’all

There are times I’m doing my treadmill aerobic dance (flailing about in a jittery wild ass KAPOWIE not caring if I look like an idiot) and my heart rate climbs, I’m sweating, my legs beg me to stop, my breath is one big pant pant pant–but I don’t stop, not yet. I keep going until  the song is over–even the seven minute long techno music (previous post) that tries to kick my ass to Kingdom Come. I allow a little bit of a “cool down” to let my heart rate slow a bit, and then I HIT THAT THANG again–*sound of whip cracking across my ass. Oh it hurts soooo goooood.*

Is it easy? Hells-no. And that’s what makes it worthwhile. That’s what makes it heart-pumping YEEHAW! That’s what makes me feel on top of the world!

007

Goal accomplished, fit in the jeans, and found me some f**k me pumps WHUPOW!

Who the hell said things were supposed to be easy? Doing what’s difficult and kick-ass is what brings about results. Do you want results? What are they? Be specific:

I want to fit into a pair of skinny jeans and f**k me pumps and to be able to wear them with a fitted shirt without “muffin top” or belly bulge–and why couldn’t I do that in my fifties? What was stopping me from my goal? Not a goddamn thing but my own self thinking “But I’m 55!” So what? (of course, as I always tell you–you must see your doctor in case there are physical limitations); I want to feel better and what does “feel better” mean?– to be able to hike the mountains, be stronger well into my 60s 70s 80s and beyond, to have good blood pressure and pulse, for the doctor to say “You are in great shape, don’t come back until next year;” I want sexual power; I want to look good in my clothes, yes, but also for them to feel good on my body; I need help with stress (lawdy yes); etc etc etc.

ass kickDon’t just say, “I want to be in shape/be healthy.” What does that mean? I dunno. What does  “in shape/be healthy” mean for you? The more specific you are with your goals, the more you will keep your eye on that “prize.” And the fewer times you can use excuses like, “I don’t wanna.” Yeah well, Get your ass to work anyway! Why? Cause I said so that’s why! What in hell are you waiting for? Miracles? Someone to take you by the hand and pull you there kicking and screaming? Ain’t you worth it? I know I am. So, in a month, six months, a year from now, will you be making the same goddamn excuses then as you are now? Uh huh. Check back in a month, six months, a year, and let’s see what you did with your time. Huhn.

I believe in you; so why don’t you believe in yourself?

Who cares if anyone is watching? Have fun.

Who cares if anyone is watching? Have fun.

I recognize that not everyone is going to love working out like I do–I am one of those people who actually looks forward to it and if I miss, I am not worth a crap.  But how do you know you won’t be like me? How do you know you won’t begin to enjoy. Show up. Do the work. Find your joy.

I feel this way about the writing, too. Until I don’t. Lawd. Then I look for the magic again until I find it.

Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?

Do you love what you do? Do you love yourself? Why not? Ask the hard questions and then find the answers.

Writers: this goes out to you, too. Sometimes this job is hard. Sometimes it kicks our ass but good. Are you gonna give up? Are you gonna stop when things are a little hard? Get your kickass on and stop whining and crying and carrying on about how difficult this business is. Shit, I know that–I’ve done my own crying and whining, until I decided I was sick of myself crying and whining. Instead, I went back to work. That’s what we do–we show up; we work hard; we don’t give up.

We aren’t always going to have exactly what we want from this business–but we can kick ass trying, y’all! We can do the best goddamn job we can and let the rest work itself out how it will. We can be proud of what we’ve accomplished–it isn’t all about what you may think it’s about. Maybe, just maybe, it really is all about the work, the thing that makes you show up every day, the thing that gives you joy, and all the rest is just icing on an already iced cake.

loitering through life ain't allowed, all y'allses

loitering through life ain’t allowed, all y’allses

When things are difficult, push on. You’ll learn when you truly have reached your “end,” where you know you can’t do or give any more than you are–and then maybe, just maybe, you can push it a little farther/further.

Work-out Music of the day: Benny Benassi – Satisfaction

Work-Out Writer “tip” of the day . . . Form, y’all

Sampling of Today’s Work-out Soundtrack (and I can see my friends’ raised eyebrows at the choices, since they know I crush on some Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Broken Bells, MGMT, etc, but there ain’t nuttin’ like Pop and Techno to get me jumping round on that treadmill!): Sandstorm, 50 Techno Trance Anthems; Satisfaction, Benny Benassi & the Biz; Sparks (Turn Off Your Mind) Fedde Le Grand/Nicky Romero;  I’m Sexy & I Know It,  LMBFAO (makes me laugh).

abs tight, glutes tight, hold your balance, feel strong

abs tight, glutes tight, hold your balance, feel strong

Fitness Tip: Good posture – your form – is as important in your work-out as the work-out itself. Without proper form, you may set yourself up for injury, and as well, you are not doing the exercise correctly and in the best possible way for optimal benefit. Don’t think of “good posture” as some kind of ATTENTION! military-like snap-to, but instead, stand with feet slightly apart, eyes forward, chin lifted, arms at your sides. Gently lift your chest, as if a light string is attached to your upper chest to the ceiling holding your chest gently up, and let your shoulders gently and naturally fall back –that string attached to the ceiling is gently pulling up your upper chest and your shoulders naturally fall back: do you see? Breathe in and fill your chest and when you exhale pull your abs in — try to keep your abs tight but do not hold your breath. As you grow stronger, you will be able to hold in your abs naturally. When you exercise, you keep that basic posture of chest up, shoulders back, abs strong, eyes forward, chin lifted. Breathe in on the easy part of your exercise move, and exhale (pulling in abs) on the difficult part. It helps to count aloud as it forces you to think about breathing. The stronger you are, the more you practice good form, the more instinctively it comes to you.

Oh how I love thee Strunk & White

Oh how I love thee Strunk & White

Writing tip: The more you learn the basic “forms” of your manuscript, the easier your edits will be. As in: one period after punctuation, each character’s dialogue as its own paragraph, be aware of relying on too many adjectives/adverbs, etc etc etc. The more you write, the stronger your writing will be, and the more you will instinctively write even your “shitty rough drafts” in proper form. I love breaking rules where appropriate, but I had to learn the rules first–do your research, there are plenty of books out there to help you–and learn all you can about punctuation, voice, POV, etc. You’ll be so glad you did when edit time comes–and your editor will love you for it, too!

Later y’all.

Find your bliss

There’s more to life than first apparent

The Work-Out Writer . . .

DSC_0015Work-out: In my personal trainer days, I used to tell clients to “listen to their bodies” to let them know how much they could do. I now recognize how this isn’t always the case. Sometimes our bodies/minds want to fool us, because it is Hard and we don’t always like Hard. If we give up because something is difficult, then nothing great is ever accomplished. Something pushing through the hard stuff rejuvenates, takes us places we never thought we’d go. We become stronger with every hurtle we sail over–even if we smash into a few hurtles along the way and break a leg–haw! Okay, maybe we don’t wanna do that, but I certainly have sported quite a danged few bruises–my badges of Badness, yeah!

On the flipside of that: if you are over-working hoping for an over-night miracle, stop the hell doing that. Along with our hard work comes a dose of reality: it takes time to develop a strong and healthy body, especially if we’ve been sitting on our asses waiting for it to magically happen for us. Lawd y’all, and please stop listening to those infomercials–they lie. I know! Hard to believe our faithful televisions sometimes spout lies! Whadya know . . . huhn.

Writers: Working hard and not expecting an “over-night success” applies to our writing lives, as well. Sure does, uh huh! You can talk about it, or whine about it, or hope about it, or you can sit your ass down and do it. Ain’t no magic.

dsc09606Work-out: Sometimes we want some chocolate(or pick your “poison”), dammit. Sometimes we wanna sit on our asses and do nothing but eat crap and feel depressed and not do a danged ole thing. Some days everything feels sucky. “I can’t run a maratttthooonnnn.” “I’m tired of not eating what I waaaant toooooo any time I want tooo.”  Well, y’allses, when we sit on our asses and gobble down an entire box of chocolates or ten ton plate of pasta or Big Mac and fries and shake and fried apple pie, feeling sorry for ourselves and the state of Everything, welp, what happens is we feel even worse than before—inside and out. Our bodies will be bloated and sick from Crap Overload.

Better to treat ourselves to just a few pieces of that chocolate(or whatever), savoring every bite and feeling happy. Better to eat 80-90 percent Well/Healthy, and 10-20 percent Crap. Yeah, that’s easier to swallow, right? If you know you can eat, say, 10% to 20% or so of crap, the rest of the 80% to 90% is not so hard to swallow, right? riiiggghht. Cause it’s going to take you to a better body and mind and heart and guts and veins and lungs and heretoforwith so let it be written so let it be done.

Writers: Received another rejection? Feeling like shit? Well, you gonna lie back and let that suck you into the dark abyss of depression/over-eating/over-drinking, or you gonna get back up and try again? Try 10-20% whining and crying and then get back to the 80-90% work.

Work-out: It’s fruitless and stupid to compare ourselves to Any One Out There: say that loud and say it again and again and again and ever more again: Don’t compare yourself to others. Carve your own path. And, geez, you don’t know who is comparing themselves to You and wishing they had what you had: just say’n’!

Writer: Above, redux. Yeah.

156Work-out: Getting in shape/staying in shape and eating healthfully isn’t always easy, but once there, the feeling is like no other. A strong healthy body will take you into the minutes, days, months, years of your lives, and not in some half-assed way, but in Kick Ass way! Don’t you want to be in this life for the long-haul, and not just “in” this life, but fully immersed?  Then do it. Excuses are just that, and they’re boring and fruitless, and get you No Where. You ain’t foolin’ no one but yourself—nuh uh. Find your truths and learn to ignore your sneaky excuses/justifications–and they can be sneaky.

Writer: This business isn’t always easy, but ask yourself: Is this what I really want to do? Am I ready to be in this for the long-haul? Do I love writing more than my right arm? Am I ready to sacrifice? Can I handle the rejection without breaking up and breaking down? Sometimes this is the easiest best job in the entire danged ole world, and other times it sucks like a big fat suckity sucky britches—but I for one know I love it more than my right arm and have, and will, sacrifice for it.

Work-out: At the end of a grueling work-out session, find time to stretch those muscles, and then just as important as the work-out and the stretch comes the quiet moment of reflection. Time and distance from wants and needs will lift us away as we respect our bodies, minds, hearts.

kat on pierWriter: When the writing day is done, find a moment to reflect on this writing life. Calm the voices, the rejections, the expectations, the harried hurry and the long-ass frustrating waits, and remember just why you love this life so much. The raw beginnings of it, when it was just you and a white space of whatever in the world you wanted to say to anyone who would listen, even if it was only your own ears. Find that joy in quiet reflection.

dsc09608Work-out: Night comes. Time to rest the body. Rest is as important as movement. A good night’s sleep prepares you for the next day’s challenge. Let go and sleep sleep. Be grateful for the body that carries you from day to day. Keep it healthy and strong and then give it rest.

Writer: Ditto!

Finally, give yourself a big ole break, okay? Really, there isn’t a one of us who can tell you how to do this work-out life or this writing life and why and how much and for how long—only you have that power within you. Relax. It’ll all be okay. Your journey will not be mine and mine will not be hers his yours. Calm. Calm.

Namaste.

(Portions of this post were posted in another post when I posted about a post about a post similar to this post when I posted while not feeling kickass because GMR gave me his germs and for once I didn’t fight then off, so this post is sorta like another post, which posted the post of posty posted post, most post-like. And do you know how hard it is for me to admit I caught some flu-like illness from GMR? Me? Mrs. McToughass Britches? Yeah, I’m pissed, and humbled, and all ARGHY, and achy! Even the kickass are knocked back sometimes. Post ya later!)

Change for my blog schedule . . .

Hmmm. Been thanking deep thoughts, y’allses

Hello Dear Ones!

Summer is here. Vacations. Traveling. Outdoor Activities. Novel-writing/Arts-Creative Endeavors (The Lightning Charmer for me and whatever you may be writing, creating, etc! And if you are creating something, then tell me about it!).

Following our paths here, there, yonder . . .

As well as “events” — I have speaking engagements more often in the warm months, and as well, though I haven’t done a booksigning in maybe two years, I finally gave in to a “group author signing” at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville on July 14–lawd–where I’ll be signing for The Graces Trilogy and Sweetie along with fellow Bellebooks/Bell Bridge Books author Kimberly Babb Brock (The River Witch) and another author whom I haven’t met yet. We’re going to have music and food, too, so it should be fun, which is what enticed me to do it :-D. If you are in the area, come join us!

Don’t wanna hear you ain’t writing or moving or eating right – huhn -don’t make me come put a ass whoopin on you!

So, what I’ve decided for my blog schedule–and whether it is temporary or permanent I haven’t yet decided–is to post less frequently.

Ha! *personal trainer evil eye!*

just cause I post about it fewer times, don’t mean y’allses out there shouldn’t be moving, strengthening, stretching. For motivation, see archived tags/categories here on personal training!

I’ll continue to post a “Friday Photo No Words” on Fridays since my photography is something I am experimenting with, and you don’t have to read me going blab blabbity blab!  However, I’ll be posting only twice a month on Wednesdays–alternating between Monday Classroom and I am your Personal Trainer (or I am your Guinea Pig). The first Wednesday of the month and the third Wednesday of the month.

This’ll help you all so you aren’t bald in the eyes from reading so much yappity do dah day  - haw!

Try out some new products and let me know if you liked them, or not –ewwwww on the vodka here–and maybe I’ll try them for my next I am your Guinea Pig” post . . .

And you can see Monday Classroom archives as well if ye’s wants a boost to rememorate sumpin. Write write write! write with abandon; edit with a keen critical eye!

If I have a special announcement, I will post that off-schedule, of course. I love letting you all know when I have some news or my books are on promo, or etc etc etc.

take some time to relax and have fun this summer, even if it’s just to study the inside of your walk-about hat

There are so many social networking sites now, I know many of you, like me, are scrambling to keep up. So’s I’m lessening that load. You can visit me/friend me on Facebook–where I am fairly active, and go there at least once a day if not more on other days. I ain’t as active on twitter, but I am there. I’m also on Pinterest and fiddle-dee-dee around in that.

Jump in the car and see things!

Appreciate you, my regulars and new-visitors/followers! Thank you!

Stop and smellses the flowerses – especially with a friend

Now, y’all go Do the Day and I’ll see you all on Friday!

Note: For my vacation this summer, lucky me: I’ll be visiting my Lil Boop  in Oregon from June 26 through July 11 – leaving my dawgs, the ghost dawg, GMR, and our critters here in the little log house to fend for they-selves. I’m hoping to post ahead of schedule, but if not – I know all y’allses folkses understand!

Monday Classroom: The angst we can heap on our pea-heads, or the joy – you are in control, right?

Sometimes I follow Good Man Roger into Ingles Supermarket as he shops for groceries (yeah, he does the grocery shopping and most the cooking because I just ain’t innerested, y’allses! Left to my own self’ses, I eat the weirdest stuff that does not require cooking, or very little of it). I wander the aisles touching things and going “Hmmmm . . . food good, like food . . .” or I’ll study the ad copy on some miracle face cream and wonder if it’ll make me look like the Tender Graces author photo my publishers airbrushed–I look like my younger cousin once removed *lawd!*

And while doing these la-tee-dah thangs, I suddenly think, “Oh, hey, hold up y’all! I just remembered! I’m a published author.” I lift up my head from bright-colored packaging and muse-i-vate, “Right this very danged ole moment, someone may be reading one of my books . . .” Oh wonderment!–and

I gots books and friends and family – lucky me!

no one even knows who I am. But what if someone does? What if that person who just walked by and looked at me and smiled as if they know me does “know” me. Lawd! Teeheehee! I’m an author and I done wrote some books and those books are out there somewhere on someone’s bedside or bookshelf, or in their Kindle or Nook or whatever, whodathunkit?

I inhale that moment with the mountain air. I swallow it down and it enters my blood and rushes through my veins and fills my marrow and I’m full full full of how wunnerful it all is. As if I can think, “My time has come at last.” Without hubris, for humility covers my head like a gentle hand staying the jittery jumping up and down in glee–yeah, that humility ain’t always humble in us, is it? But it sure will kick us upside our asses if we become too comfy in our authory skinses and think we’re all that and then some on a southern-fried stick *haw haw.* Dang. I wanna be all that and then some on a southern-fried stick, at least a little. Right? Riiighhht. For without goals, what are we? Goal-less I guess – teehee. But I need me some goals. Something to work for, and that something is You and You and You reading me me me. Right? Isn’t that what you all writers out there want? Besides some Pride in our accomplishments? Maybe a best-seller list. And an award–ohh, yeah, a big fat ole award telling us how brilliant we are! Oh, yeah, and our ever-present humility, too – haw!

Yup, there are those moments of such clarity, those that stop me short in the peanut butter and jelly aisle. Those moments where I feel gratitude, and a surreal fascination with the entire process of writing and books and language and publishing. And how I am a part of all that even if in a small way in the Big Fat Ass Scheme of Thangs.

Aw lawd, what if what if what if what if – I’m trapped in What If Land!

Then, lawd he’p me, there are the moments of terror. The expectations I heap upon my ole pea-head until it’s heavy and I have to go lie down and pull some covers over my weighted-with-angsty-lawdyness head. I lie in my bed and the anxiety curls itself around my innards. “What if this very

lawdy! gots my pea-head all tied up in knots!

moment someone is reading my book and thinks, ‘This isn’t very good. I think I’ll put it down and read something else . . .’” Oh horrors! “What if I don’t sell many books and my publishers and family and friends think I’m a failure?” Ungh  ungh! “What if the next book isn’t as good as the last? And was the last good enough?” Shivers on me timbers! “What if I let everyone down?” Oh Chicken Little, be quiet! The sky is not falling to bang you upside your head, lessen you pull it down your head. Right? Riiiighhhht.

There is such contradiction in this process of having your dream come true. For me, the original dream was to see my Virginia Kate novel published and to know she is being read and enjoyed by someone somewhere. I accomplished that. Everything else should be lagniappe (that’s a South Loooseeeaner term for “just a little something more.”) But when those little voices creep up and tell us how we need to do more, and more, and even more, and ever ever ever MORE MORE MORE MORE, this is when the joy of the language, the characters, the readers, the accomplishment of writing and publishing a novel is not enough and we think we have to have/do/be it all– and most of us can’t have/do/be it all. There’s always going to be Something More unless we find a way to put all this in some perspective, stop and take a breath, and then decide what our ultimate Goal is and how we will get there and if we do not get there will we be happy with what we DO have.

Welp, guess what? We really are in control of what we want to heap on our wittle pea-headed selves–much more than we give our selfses credit for. We can heap and heap, or we can not heap and heap.

Relax, relax, relax and enjoy life sometime . . .

I know I like me better when I’m walking through the grocery store and suddenly stop and that beautiful realization pops me upside my head that I actually did it. I wrote a novel and that novel is published and then I wrote three more of them and they were published, and any one of them could be, right at this moment, read and enjoyed by someone out there somewhere. Sometimes that is enough. Those Dang! Whoop! I did it! moments of tasting our accomplishments–rolling those accomplishments on our tongue. Sometimes, it is enough. Sometimes. Sommmmeeetimmmmmessssss it is enough *sigh*

My challenge to all of you is to stop where you are at this moment in your life, savor who and where you are—hold close to you the Right Now moment, before you move on to MORE MORE MORE. Then, when you move on to More, maybe it’ll have a Name and  Goal instead of “I have to have/be/do it ALL!”

squirrels ain’t stressing

Right now. Right here at this moment, a mountain breeze flies down from the ridge and brushes against my face, a bird’s bright eye watches me, a chipmunk fills its cheeks with seed, the red squirrels are fussing, the creek sings its journey song to the bold creek to the river to the ocean, the sun tips greened trees, and I feel a connection to every creature, every living being—through words and thought and life. I will soon begin my day’s work and it is good. It is good. Right now, it is good.

Thank all y’allses for reading: Now . . . what is your right now, right here moment?

And what is your Ultimate Goal?

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