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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Camp Nano Washed Out

Well, technically, Camp didn’t wash out.  I did.  It’s not for a lack of trying, mind you.  I’ve had much on my plate with work, with running after Hallie and helping her (post-surgery), running after the animals, mowing and working in the yard, cooking, cleaning, washing, going to and fro physical therapy and the list goes on.

I did manage to scribble roughly 5,000 words, not quite reaching the goal I’d set for myself of 10,000.  BUT!  I am still squeezing in time to write, even if it’s for a measly 15-30 minutes a day.  Hey, something is better than nothing, right?  Right.

I sort of messed myself up a bit to be honest.  I started back on my work of non-fiction that I started in October of last year and it’s like I had to force myself and found it to be more of a chore than fun.  I cannot write like that.  It has to be fun.  Don’t misunderstand.  Sometimes you have to glue your butt to the chair or couch or bed or porch swing or wherever it is you want to write and actually put in the time to write.  Something.  Anything.  Just to get yourself started.

Write the voices that are talking (screaming) in your head

But to sit there in angst with 100 other thoughts running through your head of what you need or want to be doing rather than having the want to sit there and write.  Well…  I cannot write like that.  It has to be fun.  After you sit there and force yourself to write, if the imagination and words are not flowing by the end of the first 30 minutes, it’s not worth it.  So I pulled away and thought to myself, “Self, while I realize finishing this book is important, you have all these voices in your head screaming at you to work on their story.  How can you focus on something completely opposite when you have your fantastical characters screaming at you to write their story?  Writing is writing.  As long as you are writing, you’re getting the job done.  But you need to listen to those voices in your head.  Listen to them.  Write their story.”

Then, I had a dream, woke up at 0:dark:30 after the dream, couldn’t go back to sleep, got up out of bed and wrote.  It was an epiphany.  I have started books 1 and 2 in a series and this dream was the story before book 1.  A new twist!  Sort of like The Hobbit movie coming out after all the Lord of the Rings movies.  It’s the back story before the story.  So, I have to say, I was a bit psyched to get up oh so early to write out everything I could remember from the dream.  And it’s funny.  The more time I spent writing it, the more details sprang up and I started remembering more of the dream, the colors, the sounds in the background, the smells, the rooms and changing environments, the action, the drama, what the characters where saying and how they were saying them.  Writing is such a wonderful trip!!  Hearing, seeing, feeling and smelling the story in your mind and writing it out is like biting into a juicy sweet peach, breathing in that heavenly fresh summery fragrance, and having the nectar drip and run down your chin and arm while savoring every last delicious bite.

If you write at all, then be proud

If you did not reach your goal for Camp Nano, don’t beat yourself up about it.  If it got you started writing and you continue every day to write, then be proud.  The real goal here is to write, to create, to spill your soul or imagination or dreams onto paper or laptop or whatever the tool is of your choosing.  But to write.  That is the goal.  So do that.  And be pleased with yourself.  Someone said once, ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.’  And that is a very true statement.  The journey is the fun part, the adventure and, sometimes, the distraction from real every day life.  It’s my means of escape, though I don’t escape for long, as I love my life and the people in it.  Still, a little mini-mental-vacation is always welcome.  To imagine worlds and stories in your mind — those are some of the best vacation adventures.

So, maybe I didn’t wash out.  I started.  I wrote.  I’m writing daily.  And I will finish it eventually.  And so will you.

And if you did reach your goal for Camp, I applaud you!!  And if you didn’t reach your goal, and, still, you wrote, I applaud you, as well!  Wooooo-hooooo!!!  *clap*clap*clap*clap*wolf whistle*  Whoop!  Whoop!!

The Zombie Apocalypse is Here

zombies

Picture Thursday:

Mama and I took Hallie to get her knee surgery. Bless her. Good drugs in the ole IV, nerve block — she was flying higher than fireworks on the Fourth of July. She was feeling no pain. She and I had a few nice chats before they took her back and we had some good laughs. I’m sure everyone back there was wondering what was so funny. The kid is freakin’ hilarious without drugs. So you can imagine her drug-induced humor. Crazy Eyes!! Then surgery. Then recovery. Ugh. Bad dreams and tripping, tears. You might can imagine. Time to go. She screams Chick-fil-A, same as last time. Yeah, same surgery on the other knee 7 months ago. Onward to buy a late lunch and make the usual stop at Seattle Drip for her strawberry smoothie and Mama’s and my dark chocolate and hazlenut frappe with an extra shot of espresso and whip. Thank ya, Lord, for heaven on earth. Stop and buy drugs (the legal kind). And home.

Fast forward to Friday:

Pain pill and ice every 4 hrs. Advil every 4 hours in between the pain pill and ice, so up every 2 hours around the clock. Drugs forcing her to sleep, which is a good thing, then awake in a drugged zombie-like state. I’m so out of it, I don’t know whether to feed the dishes or wash the pets. Tried to work but as soon as I start, you know the thing your eyes do when you’re a mixture of tired, sleepy and a bit out of your mind from lack of sleep? Yeah, the glazed over drugged-out look? Sort of zombie-like? That’s me. Crazy eyes!! They start out at half-mast, then I try to stretch them open wide as if that’ll help make me alert. I can’t focus on work. Tried to nap with her. Then, I think of all the stuff I need to do, so I can’t sleep either. So, here I am, walking like a zombie through the house (picture tank, shorts, unbrushed hair, unbrushed teeth, unwashed face with yesterday’s left over makeup and… Crazy Eyes!!), tending to her, and then coming back to pull blank stares at my computer screen. So, why is it so easy to just blah-blah-blah on the computer, talking about life in general, yet I can’t work? It’s easy stuff, too, mostly. I guess my head is simply not in the game.

Yes, the Zombie Apocalypse is here and it’s at my house. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

(Photo courtesy of goodreads.com)

The Zombie Apocalypse is Here and is at My House

zombies

Picture yesterday:

Mama and I took Hallie to get her knee surgery.  Bless her.  Good drugs in the ole IV, nerve block — she was flying higher than fireworks on the Fourth of July.  She was feeling no pain.  She and I had a few nice chats before they took her back and we had some good laughs.  I’m sure everyone back there was wondering what was so funny.  The kid is freakin’ hilarious without drugs.  So you can imagine her drug-induced humor.  Crazy Eyes!!  Then surgery.  Then recovery.  Ugh.  Bad dreams and tripping, tears.  You might can imagine.  Time to go.  She screams Chick-fil-A, same as last time.  Yeah, same surgery on the other knee 7 months ago.  Onward to buy a late lunch and make the usual stop at Seattle Drip for her strawberry smoothie and Mama’s and my dark chocolate and hazlenut frappe with an extra shot of espresso and whip.  Thank ya, Lord, for heaven on earth.  Stop and buy drugs (the legal kind).  And home.

Fast forward to today:

Pain pill and ice every 4 hrs.  Advil every 4 hours in between the pain pill and ice, so up every 2 hours around the clock.  Drugs forcing her to sleep, which is a good thing, then awake in a drugged zombie-like state (her, not me).  I’m so out of it, I don’t know whether to feed the dishes or wash the pets.  Tried to work but as soon as I start, you know the thing your eyes do when you’re a mixture of tired, sleepy and a bit out of your mind from lack of sleep?  Yeah, the glazed over drugged look?  Sort of zombie-like?  That’s me.  Crazy eyes!!  They start out at half-mast, then I try to stretch them open wide as if that’ll help make me alert.  I can’t focus on work.  Tried to nap with her.  Then, I think of all the stuff I need to do, so I can’t sleep either.  So, here I am, walking like a zombie through the house (picture tank, shorts, unbrushed hair, unbrushed teeth, unwashed face with yesterday’s left over makeup and…  Crazy Eyes!!), tending to her, and then coming back to pull blank stares at my computer screen.  So, why is it so easy to just blah-blah-blah on the computer, talking about life in general, yet I can’t work?  It’s easy stuff, too, mostly.  I guess my head is simply not in the game.

Yes, the Zombie Apocalypse is here and it’s at my house.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

(Photo courtesy of goodreads.com)

Let’s Play 20 Questions

Okay, I’ve had several thoughts about this blog lately and wanted to get your opinion.  I don’t want to overwhelm my readers, so I wanted your input.

I have many interests and I wouldn’t mind blogging about them.  Which of the following would you be interested in reading?

1) Bible study/God/Jesus/Prayer/Miracles (I will be doing this one anyway.  I made a deal with God.);

2) Creative writing & Nanowrimo/Camp Nano (this would include challenges as well); By the way, Camp Nanoers, I’m interested in engaging in some word sprints.  Who’s game?;

3) Quotes;

4) Cooking/recipes/experimenting in the kitchen;

5) Working from home/companies to work for and who not to work for/every day life;

6) Being a divorced/single mom with a teenager;

7) Health/fitness/diet/losing weight/daily working out/super foods and what helps what and what foods hurt you/improving energy, eyesight, and well, health overall;

8) Depression, anxiety, anger issues, frustration, suicidal thoughts, grief (dealing with it & how to take action to improve);

9) Cleaning/organizing (tips, techniques, checklists) re home, schedules, life in general

10) Life in general as I sometimes talk about (with my teen, my mom next door, my crazy furballs, my insane work-from-home schedule, life in the country, Mississippi, road trips, etc.)

Okay, so it’s only 10 questions, which, in my opinion, trumps 20 (unless you just love answering long lists of questions).  So, give me a shout out.  Let me know which items you are interested in.  What are you interested in reading that’s not covered here?  I am great at biting off more than I can chew but I am determined to get back to daily blogging and creative living (writing, cooking, finishing my books) and I’m just curious what your thoughts are.  Comment me below.

And I’ll eventually incorporate photography again, but that will be added back to the blog perhaps in a couple months.

Lata babes!

– Carol

Just a Quickie

A quickie post/update.  What were you thinking?  😉

I just wanted to drop in and say a few words.  Some of you may know what’s been going on.  Some may not, so just a quickie update as to why I haven’t been blogging lately.

Hallie had knee surgery Dec 26 so we have been very very busy.  She has been busy sleeping, eating, watching movies and trying to hobble around on her crutches.  I have been feeding her medicine every 4 hours and changing the ice for her knee, helping her in every way that I can.  She started physical therapy yesterday and we have to do those exercises at home twice a day, also.

Plus, I’ve had tons of work pouring in, so getting up in the wee hours of the morning and staying up late to get as much done as I can.  The dogs have needed to go out about every 15 minutes it seems.  I do not hardly have time to clean my house, no time for working on either book, no reading even though I took out 4 books on inter-library loan for research purposes.  I think I got to page 3 of one book.

I don’t know why I even thought I’d have time to read anything, much less write, much less clean.

Hallie is being a great patient, though, very thankful for all the help she’s receiving and keeping her sense of humor and staying her upbeat, happy self, considering she’s experiencing this pain, a level of pain I can’t possibly understand as I have never had any kind of surgery.

Anywho, just wanted y’all to know I think of y’all often but haven’t gotten a chance to get blogging.  Before Christmas was pretty insane, as well.  When things calm down a bit, I’ll get back to it, but that will probably not be for a few more weeks.  Trying to work from home full time plus be full-time mom is keeping me pretty busy, and it’s all good.  Just trying to stretch my schedule.  When I learn how to do that, I’ll let y’all know.

I hope you guys had an amazing Christmas and celebrated the birthday of Jesus (since without Him, there’d be no such thing as Christmas).  I hope you all were able to spend it with people you hold close to your heart.  For this new year of 2014, my wish and prayer is for all of us to be blessed with good health, loved ones to share our days with, good hearty belly laughter, silliness, happiness, prosperity and faith.

Love ya!  *smooch*

-Carol

I won! I won!

win_earned-63ff43d72b2e16fd7d1e4d3732f504ec

I won Nano!  NaNoWriMo!  You know, National Novel Writing Month?  I did it!  The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days and I reached 51,101 words.  I’m still not finished with my novel and have not had time to work on it much the last few days but once I’m caught up with my workload, I will carve out time to finish the book, revise, reorganize, polish and then attempt to publish.  I’ll keep y’all posted.

So, who else participated in Nano?  How far did you get?  You know, starting is the biggest obstacle.  Forcing yourself to sit down and write every day is the next largest.  As long as you do those two things, you are a winner!  Work on it till ya get finished with it.  As Nike says, “Just Do It!”  Whether you choose to publish, or not, everyone has a story in them and you should write it down.

So, this one is short and sweet.  I’ve gotta get to work.  I have a full day ahead of me before I need to pick Hallie up from school.  Y’all have a great day!!  Love you guys!  *smooch*

-Carol