Positive Self Talk

Today I advised my cousin:

  • Give yourself permission to be who you are.
  • Tell yourself that you’re okay just the way you are.  Yes even the anger, flaws, worries, smoking habit, loves, interests, and all that stuff going on inside your head, and everything you share, and everything you don’t share with everyone else.  Yes, even whatever you just thought of.  All of it, it’s okay and so are you.
  • You are only one person.  You can only do what you can do, regardless of how much you want to do.
  • You are strong enough to hold how you feel.

 

He was quiet a while, processing what I said.  He told me that what currently helps him is to:

  • Ask yourself if this will matter in 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years.

 

I think we both might know more then we give ourselves credit for…

 

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On Being Poor

I just found this article called The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-stupidest-habits-you-develop-growing-up-poor/ and found it quite interesting.  I expected it to be funny… instead I realized that I’m not as far from feeling poor as I pretend to be.

For those readers who have not experienced being poor the article might come across as sarcastic or stupid… for me it was eye opening.  I do every. single. one. of those 5 Stupid Habits!  It is not so much that we grew up poor… it’s that trying to learn how to be a self sufficient adult in the worst economy since the Great Depression is hard.  I frequently feel poor.  I finally found a job that makes enough money that I shouldn’t feel poor, but in the year that I’ve had this job my husband has quit a job, been laid off, and been let go… Now he is having a hard time finding another job that’s not in a call center, and he’s not going back to a call center because that’s what he tried last year and obviously it didn’t work! We have been getting by with a hairpin tight budget and the help of our credit cards, which are there for emergencies after all.

I was quite fortunate when I graduated college not to have any student loans.  I managed that by:

1) Having a scholarship with so many requirements that  it felt like a job but also paid incredibly well and gave me great opportunities.

2) Working one-two jobs the whole time I was in school until my last semester.

3) Going to a State University instead of the far off expensive University that I couldn’t even afford to apply to, let alone attend without a full ride scholarship like I had always dreamed of doing.

What I didn’t manage to do was find a job in CollegeTown after graduation that paid enough for me to stay.  So I tried for five months and accepted the first job that was offered to me… and it was in another city, so I moved into a garage so I could work there.  In one of my earlier posts I mention that the animals I took care of ate better then I did… I wasn’t joking.  They had fresh rotisserie chicken, rice, and gourmet dog food.  I had pot pies, dollar bags of pasta, and ramen.

Like the article explains when you finally begin to crawl your way out of “being poor” you, well I, found that I wasn’t well equipped to live with money.  If I get money for a birthday or a holiday, I use it to buy something “I wouldn’t buy for myself” because I can’t rationalize buying the new clothes/books/games/or fancy dinner when we’re living so close to the edge.  It sucks to buy your groceries on your credit card because you’re afraid you’ll need the cash in your account to make your car payment.

We are trying to get better about budgeting and such but it is quite discouraging how fast credit card debt climbs and how slowly it goes down.  I had a credit card that was over $3000 when I moved to BigCity.  We finally paid it off recently!  We did it with the generous financial contributions of our tax return, holiday money, and a mentality of JUST PAY THE DAMN THING AND EAT RAMEN FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS!  We did it! Woo!  FINALLY! We spent a blissful four days dreaming about how fast we were going to pay off my husband’s car now that we had so much “extra money.”

And then of course life hit and now that same card has crept back up to $1871.46 in less then 6 months.  It’s not that we go out all the time and buy frivolous things… it’s that after years of “not being able to afford to go to the doctor or dentist” we finally went and SURPRISE: I needed 2 root canals and 4 fillings and my husband needed 7 fillings.  I had one root canal and am getting the fillings done next month and my husband is getting his fillings done this month.  Also, his car broke down again.  I hate playing what I call “Car Roulette.”  Car Roulette is when your car breaks and the mechanic spins a giant Repair Wheel before telling you how much it’s going to cost to patch up the car this time.  Bonus points:  routine maintenance that should get done soon.  Add to that the rising cost of electricity now that it’s summer… We’re hoping he gets a job soon!

Bright side:  The dentist I found was EXCELLENT and it was the best root canal I’ve ever had.  (For the record, it was my third root canal.)  It was so not-as-awful-as-I-expected, that I’m not as scared about the next one (which I will have when we can afford it).

Another Bright Side: This too will pass.  We have made it through tougher times together and someday we’ll look back on all this and laugh.

On Finding New Authors

I am a huge fan of @LAGilman and have read many the  books she’s published.  My particular favorites are the Paranormal Scene Investigations and Retrievers series.  In addition to loving the way she tells stories, her characters, the plots of her books, the language she uses, and the feeling I get when I read her books, I’ve also fallen in love with the physical books themselves.  These two wonderful series are published by LUNA Books, an imprint of the Canadian Harlequin publishing company. I love the large sized softcover books and the font/typeface and the cover art. In addition to Ms. Gilman’s wonderful series, I have enjoyed other series published by LUNA as well.  I am also a fan of Mercedes Lackey, CE Murphy, and Anne Kelleher as well.

Sometimes you love a book or are so intrigued by the story that you just have to know how it ends, so you pick up the next book in the series, and the next, and the next, until you have run out of books.  Then you look for something else to fill that space that only good fiction can fill in your imagination.  You look to other books an author has published.  When you have finally run out of books by an author… then where do you turn?  I turn to their website to find out when their next book is coming out!  Most of the time the odds are not in my favor and I have a while to wait. Then I turn to other authors and devour their books as well.  Sometimes when enough authors you enjoy have published books with the same publishing company, it is worth checking out other authors just because they have published books with the same company.  That is how I found a new series this past weekend.

As I was browsing a local bookstore this past Sunday my eye was caught by the LUNA logo on a series I had never heard of before.   I was not in the mood for a romance novel and was not in the romance section.  Sometimes I enjoy breezing through a romance novel for the (forgive me) novelty of it… but most of the time I enjoy more intrigue and conflict to my novels as opposed to heaving bosoms and lustful glances.  The LUNA books I’ve read often have a flair of romance to the stories; many times their books can even be found in Paranormal Romance sections of bookstores.  I don’t always agree with that classification because, for example, I’m more a fan of categorizing Ms. Gilman’s books as “Urban Fantasy” then “Paranormal Romance.”  That romance category just doesn’t lend the depth to the books I feel like they deserve… But back to the story.  I was browsing in the B section looking for a book I haven’t read yet by Steven Brust (which I found! woo!) when I saw a section by LUNA.  I pulled out a blue book called “The Song of Unmaking” by Caitlin Brennan and having read the back cover, it sounded fairly interesting.  I flipped through the over sized paperback’s pages; it was a similar font/typeface to the Retrievers!  I read the first line. I decided to buy the book.  But then I realized it was the second book in a series-a bittersweet revelation… On the one hand, “yay the series has more then one book!” On the other hand, “What if the first book isn’t as interesting as this one sounds?”

I checked out the first book.  It was called “The Mountain’s Call.”  It had horses on the cover…but so did the second book.  And a girl in a white dress looking distressed…the girl was on the second cover as well.  *sigh* I read the back.  *sigh* It did not sound like the book I was wandering around trying to find.  I read the first line.  I was not hooked like I was with the second book.  I decided to just buy the one instead of buying both.  Then I decided I wasn’t ready to commit and I was just going to carry it around the store with me until I made a decision about it.  (1: That’s how I shop.  2:I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure. 3: This method totally works for decision making!)  As I was walking around my fingers slipped between the pages and my eyes slid across the first page.  Then the second page. Then they crept onto the third page and I almost ran into a wall.  I grinned and decided to buy the book.

Last night I decided to start the book before bed.  Sometimes books grab you right away and are hard to put down but I hadn’t invested in this book yet so I was willing to gamble.  Yeeaaahhhhh…. 246 pages later it was almost 1 in the morning and I was going to get less than 5 hours of sleep, IF I went to sleep RIGHT THEN, which of course I COULDN’T because then I wouldn’t know what was going to happen to Kerrec!  The insidiousness of Ms. Brennan’s chapter layouts are what got me.  Her book has a theme of patterns.  I noticed early on that approximately every 10 pages was a chapter break.  It lent the story a feeling of movement, a paced rhythm, a pattern.  (It is not something I would have noticed last year but now that I’m on the other side of having written my first novel, I notice things like paragraph breaks and points of view.)  10 pages does not feel like a lot when you are enjoying a story and want to know what is going to happen to the charming main character and all the odd twists her life has taken since she left home.  I fell into the “just one more chapter” trap and enjoyed every minute of it.  Tonight I sat down after work and finished the book.  And then I felt the need to write about it.  I think the book was charming.  It was not what I expected or thought I wanted but I was charmed while reading it and will be picking up the second one tomorrow. 🙂 I am not a “horse person”  I have ridden horses maybe twice in my life but I was not one of the horse crazy girls I was friends with in school.  I’ve spent countless hours in Valdemar with Companions and read and reread Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series with the magical messenger horses but I don’t read many “horse stories.”  I was not sure I would buy into the whole “Horse Gods” aspect of this new series.  As I was reading I realized it didn’t matter that I don’t know much about horses and don’t find them particularly interesting.  What was interesting was the main character who did care, passionately and successfully shared that passion with me as a reader that I was willing to suspend my disbelief and lose myself in a story about a girl who becomes a Rider of Gods who appear as horses.  Even though this was not a book I would normally have picked up, I’m glad that I did.  I’m glad that I took the chance because LUNA Books once again published an enchanting book.

I am excited about this new method of author finding that I’ve discovered.  I will have to continue to branch out and try new authors because that will help me grow as a reader and as a writer.  For now, I’m off to bed to make up for lost sleep… I will probably dream of white horses.

To Worry or to Play?

I just found a really interesting post from the blog at http://charliehoehn.com/2013/05/19/how-i-cured-my-anxiety/comment-page-2/#comment-6124 called “How I Cured My Anxiety” by @charliehoehn and it was not at all what I was expecting to read.  The part that really clicked with me I copied below in quotes:

 

If you’re struggling with anxiety… Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I allowing myself to have regular guilt-free play with friends?
  2. Am I sitting and staring at a screen for most of the day?
  3. Am I consuming information that’s feeding my anxiety? (e.g. conspiracy websites, fear-mongering news)
  4. Am I moving enough each day to exhaust myself? (i.e. lifting heavy weights, playing sports, sprinting)
  5. Am I outside getting natural sunlight and fresh air each day? (I couldn’t get enough sun at the time, so I did 30-days of Vitamin-D + fish oil, along with Vitamin-B. Both helped me ease up and feel better)
  6. Am I sleeping eight hours per night?
  7. Am I consuming too many stimulants (caffeine, sugar, grain carbs) and depressants (alcohol, drugs) throughout the week?

Those are the areas that will help your anxiety tremendously, once you’ve taken steps to fix them.”

 

My day job is a Proposal Writer and in my free time I play a lot of video games, work on my fiction novel, short stories, and poetry, and read.  I thought I was playing a lot in my daily life because I do things I enjoy and have a job I’ve always worked for.  Then I tried to honestly answer these 7 questions and realized that playing and mentally decompressing are not necessarily the same things.  I am going to incorporate more play into my daily life because I struggle with anxiety and playing sounds much more fun then worrying.

 

El Diario De Una Chica Muerta. *Story in Spanish*

Esto es un cuento verdadero acerca de un chico y una chica que jugaron pelota.

 

“¡Oye! El reloj esta patada,” gritó Robert como él tiró mi pelota favorita alto en el aire. Se bajó rápido y Robert pateó la pelota en el lugar perfecto.

“Todo nuestro practicar saldó,” pensé. “Que es realmente una vergüenza,” pensé un momento después. La pelota voló por el aire, por encima de la cerca y chocó en la yarda de mi vecino. “Robert!” yo grité.

“Lo ciento,’’ él confió.

“Bien, usted lo obtendrá?” yo pregunté. “¡Por favor.”

“No! Está en la otra yarda.” Robert gimoteó.

“¡Usted lo pateó tan usted va lo obtiene! ¡Ahora! Por favor!” pregunté otra vez.

“No, es su pelota, usted lo obtiene!” El contestó.

Subí por encima de la cerca y busqué mi pelota.

“Usted está bien?” Llamó Robert de mi yarda.

“Estoy bien. Usted está bien?” volví a llamar.

“Se apresura,” él contestó impacientemente.

“Yo venida ,” yo grité a Robert. ¡Entonces dejo caer lo pateó por encima de la cerca y en el arroyo!

Hice se da cuenta de hasta Robert gritó, “¡el trabajo bueno! Ahora está en el arroyo!”

Corrí espalda a la cerca y sin mirar donde aterrizaría, salté en mi yarda. Aterrizé en el cortacésped yo corté el brazo y había mucha sangre. Robert desbordó y yo lo dije le tocaba a él ir obtiene la pelota. El se rió y concordó. Como sangré lentamente a la muerte Robert obtuvo la pelota de el arroyo.

El fin

Firmado: La Chica Que Murió

 

 

(Author’s Note:  I wrote this story in 2003, when I was in high school, for a Spanish class.  Turns out I don’t know Spanish as well as I used to because I get the gist of this story but I definitely could not recreate it today! LoL.  I hope you enjoyed this random – only (unless I find those poems…- Spanish entry.)