Plotting Along…

Hi y’all. As you know, I’ve attempted to be mostly off of social media for a bit. I’m still at that point but I may post to the blog a little more often than I have. I’ve had a few friends ask me about my blog and tell me they were missing it so I’ll schedule in time to post at least once every other week if not once a week. I must admit, I have missed speaking to you guys on a regular basis. I miss our engagement, our connection. Alas, the life of a writer is much a solitary one, and I admit to appreciating that also. Working from home is right up my alley, as I no longer have to deal with fake gossipy drama-mamas in the corporate setting. Thank You, Lord! Plus, it doesn’t hurt to love your job, working from home and the people you do work for.

Lately, I’ve been going through so many mood changes, and I’m presently experiencing a shift – hard to explain but I’ll try. The mood changes are mostly just a roller coaster of emotion, due to my daughter being a senior in high school, her being accepted to her college of choice, choosing her dorm roommate, planning her grad party and trip, her just turning 18. It’s exciting. It’s an adventure. It’s emotionally draining and bittersweet. As most of you know, Hallie and I have always been extremely close. Our nicknames for each other are Lorelai and Rory (you’ll understand if you’ve ever watched Gilmore Girls). And it sickens me to think of her moving to college next year and not living in this house – only to visit on weekends, holidays and summer break. I don’t even want to imagine what it’ll be like because I want to cry, and then, honestly, to throw up. I know I have to let go. I’m just not ready. It hurts my heart too much. I’m used to her going on trips for a week or two. I miss her, of course, but I take comfort in knowing she’ll be home, as I count down the days. Don’t misunderstand. I do have things on my ‘To Do’ list that I take pride in accomplishing while she’s gone and I do appreciate my alone time. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss my little love monkey. Maybe I can’t use the word “little” anymore, but she will always be my little one, my wee one, my baby, even after she’s 40. Thankfully, she doesn’t mind my nicknames for her. She has nicknames for me, too.  😉

The shift I’m undergoing is multi-faceted. I’ve been on a journey of exploration – not just for the self but being more mindful of others and taking in all of the possibilities for connection with others – looking out for like-minded people to associate myself with but also “trying” to be mindful of others in the sense that no matter their mood, I have to take into account they may be going through something I know nothing about. Such as the clerk at the grocery store or the clothing store we normally frequent. Many times, we think these people are there to serve us and be kind and high spirited while they do it. However, we must put ourselves in their shoes, if only for a moment. If we do this, we may consider that perhaps their grandpa that they were raised by just died, or they lost their best friend in a car accident, or it’s that horrid time of the month and they are in great pain. 

You never know what someone is going through. These people are not there to only serve us. We are here to serve them, as well. We can offer a smile, a kind word, something funny to say to maybe lift their spirits. If nothing else, we can offer our gentle understanding. They are just like us. They have to work to pay the bills. They have to work when they are sick because they have a child to feed and have to make the rent. I admit to sometimes being a harsh judge of people when they are hateful or rude and I have been rude as a retaliation. What sense does that make?! That’s easy. Why is it so easy to fight back with hardness and more difficult to reply with love and compassion? This is something I’ve been mindful of lately and I feel it’s changing me. Mind you, I do still have much work to do in this department, as I am still trying to rid myself of anger I strongly hold on to. I have no idea why I hang onto it.

Not only with others but within myself. I’ve always been my toughest critic, being more hard on myself and sabotaging myself rather than romancing myself, appreciating myself and my accomplishments. I tend to beat myself down over everything – every little thing. But lately, I’ve been watchful of my words, noticing how negative I tend to be on myself, trying to change the language I use. If it’s negative, I’m trying not to say it or change the wording I’d normally use. I’m trying to believe in myself, have faith in me and my abilities. I’m writing down all I’ve ever been good at, then and now, and everything I’ve accomplished. Turns out, I truly have been more of a success than a failure. Many of the things I’ve wanted to do and truly made an effort with have come to pass and I’m practicing daily gratitude for each of these things and in everything I have in my life that makes me thankful and happy.

Normally, I have resting-bitch-face – not because I’m feeling bitchy or depressed or irritable, but because I don’t think about how my face is resting. LOL! Often, I’m contemplating something and that’s how my face is – in contemplation mode, or I’m extremely tired because I walked the dog like 10 times during the night, got up at 4am to go to the gym, worked all day, worked on my book after that, had to go to a meeting or event after that and I’m feeling very DONE with the day.

Lately, I’m practicing mindfulness on the muscles in my face. I actually think I may have inherited my grandmother’s facial expressions. She even frowned in her sleep! I don’t want her facial expressions. So I’m focusing on a slight constant smile, just barely there, enough to lighten my forehead muscles. I’m focusing on every blessing I’ve been granted each day and I’m being actively thankful – meaning thanking the Lord daily, telling these special people how much I love them and how amazing they are, hugging and smooching and laughing at my silly dog, appreciating our home and land more, loving working from home and the jobs I do and the income to pay our bills and save for important things, appreciating going to a great gym and getting healthier, and just every special thing and person, even what may sound small to some – sometimes it’s the smallest blessings that make the biggest impact/difference, and I’m thankful for each one.

Another thing I’m trying to learn is to Let Go and Let God. Being a control freak, this is a hard one, but I’m learning little by little. I am letting go of things and people that no longer serve my life in a positive way. I actually just joined a group that I thought would strengthen my character and spirituality as well as offer friendship and connection but learned that group was not the answer so, after 2 meetings, I let that go. I no longer have space or time in my life for what does not assist me or help me grow in some way on my journey. Joining and leaving that group only helped to further teach me that lesson.

Another mood swing is the novel I’ve been working on since 2013. I cannot count the varied emotions I’ve been going through. I birthed this story with great enthusiasm and excitement, only to set it on a shelf because I had too many clients at different times, too many things going on and I did not have any further time to devote to it. I did have to pay the bills and that was more important. As time went on, I got better clients, bigger contracts, but didn’t want to face the book, because I let fear distract me – fear and lack of faith in myself.

So now, I’m happy to say that I am 95% finished with the book. I thought I was actually finished but am reworking chapter 6. I’m thinking I may even interweave it with chapter 5 or 7 or just leave it the smallest chapter in the book. I kept giving myself a deadline, which in many ways is helpful, while at the time was putting an obstacle in my path. The deadline was more stifling my writability and creativity than bolstering my motivation and ambition to get in touch with my muse. My muse heard DEADLINE and ran for cover! So I will work on my book daily, finish when I finish, revise, revise, revise, then query agents and publish. And then become a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

I am learning to have faith in myself. I am learning to trust myself, love myself, believe in my pursuits – my dreams – my goals. I’m learning to lift myself up to new heights and tell myself only good things and reaching, stretching for a higher plane of existence. There is nothing wrong in bettering myself. I have everything I have ever prayed for, except the one. And the one? It’s only a matter of divine timing, inspired action, and persistence.

What have you been up to lately? Share all your joys, your pursuits, your progress, your fears, your expectations, your news. I have missed you greatly and I only wish for you good things, always.

Love you!

Carol

(P.S. Oh, and that picture? I’m just dreaming of cool Fall weather, wishing for long-sock-wearing, gushy-sweater-wearing weather. Please, chilly Fall breezes – come to Mississippi?). And sorry for the very wordy post…

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Mistaken Identity

death

Mistaken Identity

Blasts from the chamber clanging in my ears
Smells of soot, sulfur, and paralyzing fear
Images playing in my head of all I’d held dear
As the contract had been signed
The paper had been signed and paid for
And sealed with a beer

Rifling through my purse, his eyes filled with dismay
A two-second apology and he fled into the alleyway
My purse and license tossed and at my feet they lay
Had he not meant to rob me?
Was this all just a mistake?
As my life lay in a dark parking lot to waste

-Carol Blake

Holla! Please let me know what you think of my #HuffingtonPost Piece

huffpo

Hey guys! I’m interested in learning what you think of my HuffPo article. Please check it out and like and/or comment and/or share. I’d truly appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/letting-go-of-pains-from-the-past-by-learning-the-lessons_us_57c5a181e4b024fca58cfb40

Love ya!

Carol (a/k/a C.S. Blake)

Truth in her eyes

ghostgirl

In the breath just before dawn

The hushed air as the world sleeps

Upon her cheek a golden tear fell

The smallest glimmer in a dark cold place

 

Knowing she has to face the sun

And she’ll walk and dance and play

She’ll wear a mask to cover her madness

But she cannot hide her eyes

 

It’s all right there

 

Finding that Monday Mojo

coffee yes

Who needs some motivation for the week?  Monday is a good day for that, no? We can call it Monday Motivation or Motivation Monday or Finding your Monday Mojo. Kind o’ like our Thankful Thursday when I actually do it.

So, what are y’all working on right now? I know most of us here are creatives – artists/writers/poets/knitters/chefs/photographers, etc. What’s your big action plan for the week?

list

(In all fairness, this is not quite MY to do list. I write YA mostly, so mine is more like “3. almost kiss; 4. send someone to prison in an alternate dimension” and the rest is pretty close to right.)

I was actually going to work on my YA fantasy series and have a bit, but crazy inspiration grabbed a hold of me yesterday and I started a work of nonfiction (AGAIN!) – sort of a book of inspiration for creative types.

As an artist, do you feel you are constantly fighting resistance?  I know I am. I mean, even as I was working on the new book yesterday, I felt it was a form of resistance. As writers, we always get a new brilliant idea for a story or we have a dream and get up at 2am to jot it down and then we work on it feverishly, but those are all forms of resistance, right? It pulls us away from what we’re supposed to be focused on – our main wip (work-in-progress or work-in-potential or work-in-pain). Does that happen to you, too? I don’t want to let a wild hair of inspiration escape me, so I have to write it down but then I continue this writing frenzy on that same thing and push my main one off to the side. Again. It seems I always let something come in between me and my main work.

self

What is this fear I have? I do not understand why I cannot reach some middle ground of self-acceptance and believe that I’m good enough, that I’m enough, period. I do actually realize we each hold our own amount of brilliance – genius, even. We each are allotted a deep well of invention and talent. We need to own it. We each have our own voice, our own stories to share that no one else has or that no one can tell it the way we can. We have our own special sauce. I know this. I know how important it is for us to share our words and ideas and stories with the world. But it always happens. I get close to the end and I start overthinking. I get overwhelmed and scared and stop working on my love. Actually, I tend to overthink everything. It’s my strongest weakness. ESPECIALLY when it comes to my writing.

Well, yeah, if I’m gonna be honest, pretty much everything. I overthink it all.

How can we overcome this? How can we fight the resistance? How can be believe that we are enough? That we are good enough?

I don’t know about you, but I ask myself stuff all the time. They say if you talk to yourself, you’re crazy. Well, then ya might as well commit me, because I talk to myself, I converse with my imaginary friends (characters in my stories), I question myself, I answer myself. I laugh at myself. I must be pretty weird, huh? Actually, I can come up with some pretty amazing answers to my own questions at times.

Self-talk, I think, is a great tool, if we use it as a tool and quit worrying if we’re crazy or not. We can come up with great solutions to our problems, other people’s problems, the crisis we are in the midst of with our characters. I mean, who needs therapy when you have yourself?! And your imaginary friends?! Ok, maybe it does sound a little wacky, but who cares.

I know you do it, too. I know you read your stuff out loud as if someone is sitting there listening to you. But it’s just you. You and your wine and your words and your box of Kleenex, because what you wrote is so freakin’ amazing, it made you cry. I hear ya, man. I feel ya. I do it, too.

crying

But I have a challenge for you. If we read our own stuff and see that it’s so dang good, gosh-darn-it, then we need to actually finish the story, or at least that first book in the series of the story. And be able to reach that finish line for Book 1 or __________ (whatever you’re working on) and be able to scream from the rooftops, “I finished it!!!!”  “Yea, me!!  I did it!!!”  Can you imagine how good that feels?!

Okay, so (1) we can be accountable to each other and check in once in a while and see how we’re each doing, making sure we are actually making progress, (2) we can try to focus, like yeah, go ahead and spend an hour or two jotting enough info down about that wild hair of an idea or dream for a book or story and then get back to our main work, and (3) believe in ourselves that we are great, we got this, we are good enough and we deserve, NO, we OWE it to ourselves and the world to share our stories with those out there who will be better for having read our words!

I mean, honestly, how did your life change with certain books you’ve read?! Honestly?! Wonderful, amazing stories, right?! Your life would be so empty without some of these stories that have fueled your inspiration and imagination! We will be among those greats. All we have to do is finish and get it out there. I’m game if you are. What say you?

What’s your plan?

Update on my Crazy and a New Experiment

humanity

Okay, so, I may have told you that I put the whole video thing on hold to focus more on my book.  God has seen fit to get me a message that I need to do the book thing daily while also continuing the video project (just not every week) whenever I have a sweet interested soul that wishes to be interviewed.  So, I am guessing He will help me work all this out with managing my time on everything.  I’m cool with that.  It will be quite the job but I reckon I can handle it.  So, the video project is back on and you’ll be hearing an update when the next video is loaded.  For now, I’ll just post the latest and let you know that the upcoming video will have a MUCH shorter intro.

 

A new experiment:

I started this on my Instagram page but also placed it on my Facebook Writer page, Twitter and Tumblr.  Thought I share it with you, too, if ya wanna play.

So I am wanting to do a little experiment and wanted to know if you might be interested. Not sure if I should host this on my writer page or MeaningOfLifeInitiative page since that is solely based on humanity, so you can give me your input on that, if you like.

Experiment: Sort of a daily life class – a different assignment every day.

Today’s: Show yourself love. When you love others, you must love yourself first. Embrace your inner child. Go at least one day without scolding yourself as well as everyone else.

If you’d like to share how you did with this, I know we’d love to hear from you!! #project365 #365 #write #writer #writing #amwriting #wip #passion2016 #bookstagram #love #passion #peace #peaceful #happy #happiness #humanity #experiment #nevergiveup #tool #wakeup Good Thursday

 

So, that’s it for the day. Just checking in, sharing, connecting.  Let me know if ya wanna play. I suppose I’ll be needing to get on here every day now, if only to do our daily life class – if I get any involvement/engagement.  So shout out if you’re interested and I’ll start making time daily to connect.

 

Oh, and it’s Thankful Thursday!  Today, I’m thankful for YOU!!  And for LOVE!!  And for FAMILY!!!  The list is endless, really, but I know ya ain’t got all day…  😉

Love you!!!  Big bear hug!!!  xoxo

-Carol