I’m in the writing chair

8a5d8-chickadee-2 After a little Facebooking, I am now squarely in my writing chair. I have a cup of coffee setting in front of me. The dog is asleep in her bed next to my feet.

Thank you Doris for reminding me that I need to write. Since the surgery, I now know that I need a thyroid hormone to keep stable. I’ve learned that I am anemic. So the last week I have been eating mushrooms, liverwurst, and Vit. C. I’ve noticed an increase in my energy. It’s not as much as I would like, but I am not falling asleep as soon as I sit down.

As an early birthday and Christmas present rolled into one, I bought myself a Kindle Oasis on Prime Day. At first I wasn’t sure if this little square thing would be comfortable in my hands. It was lightweight, but sometimes lightweight means badly engineered. I am happy to say that it is more comfortable to use than any of the prior Amazon Kindles, including the fire tablets. I can read inside, outside, and upside down. I can read sitting up or lying down.

Since I got it I have been bingeing. So that is my other excuse– I needed to fill the well. With all of the sickness and the thyroid business, my creative energy has been on the low side.

I hoped that music would help. Let’s just say I jumped into another person’s monkeys and circus. It ended badly for me. I am now staying away from circuses that I don’t initiate. I have to keep learning that lesson.

One thing that I noticed is that when I go towards anything other than writing, I head for another disaster. Since music was what led me to the last one, I now know that I need to keep that side of me satisfied. I have decided to start back with the community choir at the end of August. It will keep me pretty busy and I will have that performing need itched as well. This choir does performances twice a year.

Plus I will write. I am back to business again today. Time for me to make goals again… and to structure my day. I work better when I have some structure.

I noticed this with poetry when I was working in that medium. When I worked in structure, the poems would shine. It took a lot more work to shine outside a structure. So if I structure my time, it will allows my mind the freedom to soar.

Also, I will have to cut my social some. I am really enjoying being around certain people here. But, the more I socialize, the less I write. I wish I knew how to balance better.

Anyway– since I am finished with my “true confessions,” I am going to work on “She Called It, Wolf,” and very soon I will send it off to my reader.

Is it a choice?

I have a depressive turn of mind. I am willing to admit this finally because of another writer, Sarah A. Hoyt,  who admits the same. Yesterday I was looking out at the courtyard, and wondering why the sun was shining and the birds were singing.

I know why I am turning downward. It has a lot to do with the stress in my life. I used to think if two out of three areas of my life were going good than I was doing well. I broke these parts of my life into money, social, and health. I’ve had times in my life that only one of these areas was working properly, usually health. I would chalk it up to life isn’t perfect and be optimistic that nothing stays the same.

To be honest life was glorious because I left home to become something entirely new. I won’t get into the circumstances of my childhood. A lot of it rolls into one long memory of pain and sadness. I used reading as an escape. One of my favorite writers during that time was Andre Norton and particularly her Witch World series. Her heroes, who escaped terrible circumstances, gave me hope that I could escape too. I did.

I’ve wondered if I inherited the glass half-empty attitude. When I look back, I really think my dad was depressed most of the time. I even remember when he went through a “nervous” breakdown and stayed in bed for several weeks.

So lately, I am dealing with problems in those three areas. The stress has been building and it has zapped much of my energy. I’ve been pushing on my writing again and yesterday, life went gray.

I sat on the recliner in my small living room, looked out the door and watched the clouds float across the sky. I was still watching the sky when the winds whipped around the trees.   My little dog warmed my lap and we watched together.

One question kept floating up? Why am I here again?

Normally I have enough energy to rage and to change. I didn’t even have enough energy for that reaction.

I know continued stress is the trigger for me. I haven’t had a break from it since September of last year. When I think one thing is over, I am wrong and another problem which is as bad as the first shows up. So then I am dealing with two problems that need to be resolved … now.

While I was sitting there and not-thinking, feeling empty, I remembered something my late-husband used to say. “Find that one memory that makes you happy. Look at it. Be grateful for it.”

So my good memories are all about him. We used to walk on Pensacola beach, barefoot, hand in hand. We would walk into the water. He was my safety net as we got into deep water. You see– I can’t swim, but with him I went to places that I couldn’t go alone.

I am so grateful for this one memory. If I hadn’t had him in my life, I wouldn’t have known that feeling of safety even in the depths of the ocean.

I don’t think that a depressive turn of mind is a choice. I do know I have a choice of gratitude. So I am grateful for my friends, for my readers, and for my family. I am grateful for Foxy. I choose to be grateful and hope it is enough.

Raise a glass of cheer

winepixabay

CC0 Public Domain  Pixabay LunaSeaArt

Even with two to three appointments weekly, I have been able to finish a book that has been in the works for a year. Last year I had made a goal to write four books. I wanted to publish all four in the same year, but I got sidetracked.

But, this is no time for excuses. It is a time to be happy that once again, I have been able to finish a novel and despite my illness, I have been able to write coherently. So today I am celebrating the finish.

There will be other goal posts and other finishes. I started on the third book in the Hilda’s Inn series. I have one book in edit for EJ Hunter, plus I am re-editing She Called It, Wolf. Also there is third in that series that came to me in a dream. So I keep writing.

I counted the novels I have finished since 2010–seven novels and approximately eight novellas and short stories. It’s been an interesting run. I can see the difference in my writing from the first one “Shira, Hero of Corsindor” to the present one “Dragon Boy.” I am sure that I could stretch more in my writing skills as I continue.

So where do I get my ideas? I don’t know. I just look in a direction and try to understand the character. Then I try to write the motivations and actions to the best of my ability. I have taken writing classes. Dean W. Rusch actually gave me the most practical instructions in how to make my writing more real.

I sincerely hope that reading will stay. That imagination will never go out of style.

* * *

Here is my spiel for Dragon Boy:

dragonboy2016So who or what is Davi Dracson?

If you’re down on your luck, come to Hilda’s Inn for a game of dice and cheap ale. The hundred-year-stew has been stewing for a hundred years and the fire never burns out.

Except Hilda’s Inn is under new management, and Hilda is on the run with Davi, a dragonling. There will be dwarfs, ogres, dragons, and magical trinkets between Delhaven and Koenigstadt, the king’s city.

Don’t forget that the woods are not a safe place–the Draugr is lurking and
hungry. And, he has a taste for magic.

 

So I had an interruption

I won’t get into the details, but this last week was incredibly stressful. The only hint I am going to give is that it was about money. So yea, incredibly stressful– but I don’t want to talk about what caused the stress. It will only make my mind roll and loop until all I can think of is how to fix an unfixable problem.

What I want to discuss is what I do to snap myself out of such loops and stresses. It isn’t easy because when I see a problem or an injustice, I want to fix it. If I can’t fix it, then I want to discipline. When I see a problem, that is the point where I try the cooperation thing. You know–talk to the company or representative. When I find that the person or thing is not interested in cooperation or even in a little give and take, I go immediately into the Viking mode.

There are folks here who know what I mean. I come from a family who are mostly Nordic and can claim berserker blood in their genes. The scientific world is seeing this as the MAO gene. At one point they thought that predominantly criminals would have this gene, which turned out to be false. Folks who have this gene spend a lot of their time learning ways to keep these impulses under control. To others who don’t have to deal with this emotional turmoil, it looks like the person who is controlling themselves are control freaks.

So what do I do when I reach the boiling point?

I used to have a stuffed bear that would fall to pieces when I threw it against a wall. It would make a satisfying thunk and then I would come to my senses. I would put the bear back together for another time when I the stress levels got too high. However, I learned this last few years in therapy that using violence to relieve those feels i.e. throw the bear or thump the pillow reinforces the violence. So I am trying a few new ways, which take daily practice.

Meditation:

When I practice meditation daily, it takes a lot more stress to reach the mind loops. When I am in a mind loop, I found that if I light a candle and just watch the flame for fifteen minutes that my mind will go quiet. It is a very useful tool when my mind has become unruly.

QiGong (or Tai chi):

This is also a daily practice that will quiet my mind. Once again it needs to be practiced daily. It gives the mind other grooves besides the one– of hurt and betrayal. When I focus on how my body moves, the mind doesn’t have time to ruminate.

Walk:

I go outside with the dog and walk around the property. When I begin to see the birds and rabbits, then I know that my mind is quieting. The dog is so joyful when we walk that I can’t stay stressed. Her tail wags back and forth and she walks purposefully. We travel at speed.

Recently, I was told that many of these techniques are called “grounding” in the mental health fields. I think of it as keeping my mind busy with something else so it stops making ruts in my mind. I have worked had to overcome many childhood problems–and I don’t want to fall back into the patterns of victim and betrayal.

Still when I get this stressed it takes days to get back into my peace. This time though I went for help. Considering that I have been a very independent woman and solved most of my problems myself or tried, this is a real break-through. It didn’t take months or years before I asked for help. I asked within days.

So now I am ready to write Unlicensed Sorceress. I now have some experiences that will enrich Hilda’s frustration with agencies. I wonder if she will solve her problems with her mind, magic, or sword?

Here comes the sun

DSC00632 It has been a wild ride this last month. This weekend my brother and nephews (a few honorary nephews) helped move the last of my stuff into my new apartment. This includes my tables, chairs and recliner. I have boxes above my eyeballs in the living room and gradually I will be opening them and putting them away.

I thought I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff, but obviously I have more than I expected. So I will continue to wean until I get down to one-person land again. I still miss Otto and always will.

Foxy is settling in. She is having to share her doggy land with other chihuahuas. I was told that there is a doggy park just down the road. When I am more settled, I’ll take her there. It was great to see an almost 80 year old man, walking with a walker, and a dog walking by his side. Almost everyone here has a support dog.

I want to mention the help and encouragement I received to get through all of this trauma that seemed to be following me around this month. I had some friends who would take me away from the stress and either feed me or take me to the movies. These breaks really helped me to refocus on what I needed to do next.

Also I want to thank my brother who supported me all the way especially when I needed to get the heavy stuff moved. Almost everything is too heavy for me to lift anymore.

To Jolie who contacted me and offered to help with the cleaning. I couldn’t have finished all of that yesterday without her help. She also showed me that the cleaning I had been doing as I packed actually made the last of the cleaning easier to do. In my mind it was a monster and she reduced it to a mouse.

So I still have a lot to do with unpacking. I am stiff and sore today so I think I will take a break from it. I am setting up my writing room again. I feel like I’m home.

A time for headaches

img_0111 “For everything there is a season” and since my last post, it has been the a time for headaches–literally and figuratively.

If you have been reading my facebook page, on September 20, 2016 I was involved in a rear-end accident. I came out of it with a lump on my head, a headache, and strained neck muscles. The pressure on my head during the next few days was enough that I couldn’t thing clearly for a long time. I’m pretty sure I am still not thinking clearly, but that is another issue.

At this time, I am seeing a physical therapist. I am hoping that all the other issues will eventually resolve as I do the exercises, and have traction. Many of the issues come and go except for the headache.

So two issues– when I read for a period of time or stare at the monitor screen–for for instance when I am writing a blog post– the headache gets worse. I have problems with in close stuff which includes knitting and crocheting. Each day I feel better, but each day brings new challenges. Even though I don’t want to admit it, I am in pain. Even worse, I do this cold turkey without OTC painkillers.

The foundation of my life is crumbling again. At least it is not as bad as when I lost my late-husband. I am having problems planning for the next steps. So the cryptic note, one project, one day, one exhaustion at a time.

Life has once more landed on top of me and smashed me flat.

The one good thing this month is that my kidneys stabilized again. I am at Stage IV kidney disease and I am forever walking the line between bad and worse. Filtering my water, taking Omega 3s, and turmeric seems to be helping my kidneys. I am also eating more fish. I’m eating less beef, pork, and chicken. I would love to be a carnivore, but life has once again made me conform.

Epictetus, a former slave turned philosopher said “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”

So today I will choose to respond with patience and kindness as I traverse whatever legal, physical, or spiritual challenges in front of me.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

otto-tune It has been two years since I held his hand as he slipped away from me. His christian name was Edward Dave Tune, but I called him Otto.

He wasn’t a Saint. His sense of humor was what took him through life and it is the one thing that I miss the most. So it is fitting that he died on “Talk like a Pirate Day.”

I used to have dreams that we buy an RV and go from State to State– sometimes in my dreams we would fly from planet to planet and find new places and new scenery.

He was the one that had no fear. He would stand on roofs and the edge of mountains. I am the cautious one. I would stand behind him on the cliffs so I wouldn’t fall. I miss that he would protect me. Up until I met him, I had never had anyone protect me. My exterior is tough because I have had to be that way. It was the same for him. He could scare people with just a look.

Inside I considered him my soft teddy bear. With him I was a better person, a kinder person. So I think of him with a tinge of sadness because I miss him so gawd damn much. I was much better with him. Yet,  I am so grateful that we had twenty-two years together.

RIP my sweetie.