Just Reminiscing, Poem: Summer

I love this time of year, and I couldn’t resist sharing this poem I wrote a few years ago. I love this poem. 

Summer is like magic. Summer is the part of yourself that is happy when the sky is blue and the days are longer. Summer is about childhood memories, fireworks and sticky marshmallow fingers sitting around a campfire. Summer is about reminiscing. It’s about dreaming.

Source: fstoppers.com

Source: fstoppers.com

Summer

 

People say there is something

about the way light shines across crystal

across diamonds, too

 

But there is really something to be said

about thousands of lightning bugs

on a warm June night

that makes the world glitter and take a deep breath

 

These are the diamonds of the mid-night summer

these gems of remembrance

these flashes of yesterday.

Poem: Writing Mind

Managed to spend a good four to five hours writing today! This is good news! I worked on a few projects at once, but one project I really got in to today. I realized I could probably submit it to the writer’s digest contest by June 1st, but to do that it needs some serious rewrites.

I got in the writers mindset a lot today and trying to emerge…is like waking up from a deep sleep. (At least it is for me.) I get this spacey expression on my face, and conversation is difficult, because part of me is still thinking about character’s dialogue in my head or planning which way a character is gong to go next.  It is an interesting feeling to say the least, but hey, at least I was productive today!

Pictured I snapped this weekend at the lake.

a writing sort of mood

everything sounds like poetry

blank stare

“Whaa…”

emerge from the world

like a band-aid ripped from a wound

jarred back to the present

words are like poetry

the trees are like poetry in motion

and everything is heavy, heavy, heavy

like a dark blanket

trapping the sun

in its shadows

Writing is Like a Marriage

 

I started going to therapy about two months ago now. It was a hard thing for me at first…I’m not used to baring my soul to a stranger, but I can see the benefits of getting some things out there in the open.

Being a writer has become a big topic of my therapy sessions. My therapist seems to notice how often I talk about writing, how important it is to me, and how frustrated I’ve become with it sometimes.

It is funny, we talk about how writing is sometimes like a marriage; you have your ups and downs and you have to work hard sometimes to keep re-establishing that relationship.

Writing used to be such a big comfort in my life, especially in college. I would take my pen to the blank page and it was like all the cares and worries of the day would fall away as long as I could keep creating, as long as I could keep writing.

Now that magic seems to happen less and less. I don’t always write with the freedom that I used to. It is a rare moment when the words come like a free-flow of consciousness.

It is a work in progress. I blog. I write poetry. I try to work on my novels-in-progress. I try to write at least once a day, but sometimes it is more like a few times a week…

I find myself breaking up with writing and then coming back like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, can we start over?”

I sometimes find myself wondering: Am I still a writer? And seriously, if I still was, then how come I struggle so much? A person who calls herself a writer doesn’t struggle so much, does she?

Coming back to that same thought process over and over is exhausting and not at all productive. I don’t need to keep trying to convince myself that I am still a writer.

I need to remind myself that writing is a process and no one does it the right way, and no one does it the wrong way. You can read all the self-help books in the world…but remember, what works for someone, might not work for you.

I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was to realize that…that there was no wrong way to approach writing. And a lot of published authors now express some of the same sentiments.

How do they go about writing? Where does the magic come from? Most answers: Who the heck knows?!

What do you guys think?

Happy writing!

I Want to Live Life, Without Feeling Trapped

Having a case of the Sunday night blues tonight. Happens every night lately before the start of a new week. I love my freedom during the days on weekends. To enjoy the sunshine when I want, to read a book, to bake, to enjoy being human and alive and with others and the people who I love.

This current job I’m at now, while there are some decent people, I feel like everyone is so bored with life there. They are so bored and tired of the next day, of a job that keeps going with no end, of a retirement that is still eight years down the road.

It’s had me thinking a lot about what I want out of life, lately. I don’t want to work in a job where my life is taken from me. I want freedom…I want to travel…I want to live.

People judge millennials because we don’t want to work. But people forget many of us are not working in the job we went to school for. We don’t get money because we are doing what we love. We get money because we work at jobs, (very often) that no one else wants to work at.

I’m no slacker. I’ve worked a myriad of jobs to make money to pay the bills and I’ve been miserable at many of them, but I worked them anyway. Where does it say that we have to be miserable to make money?

People say that you should work hard, stay at a job, get retirement, but the sacrifice of life, freedom, and lack of money just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Forgive me, but, I am no one else’s money-maker.

I want to live my life, without feeling like I’m trapped in my job. Is that really so much to ask?

My Thoughts During a Work-day-Wednesday

cat-1101867_1280We writers think really bizarre thoughts sometimes. Thoughts that jump from one random subject to the next; pondering how life works, what our characters might be thinking, wondering if the hum of the fluorescent lights is actually harmful to your health. (I think it is!)

Maybe it was in Jennifer Lawson’s Furiously Happy that inspired this internal monologue. It might have been. Anyway, here are some of my crazy thoughts from being bored at work today:

A weird article I read: Man Rescued at Sea Was Suspect In Grandfather’s Slaying. Turns out this young man owns a boat named, “The Chicken Pox,” and his mother who was going to inherit millions of dollars from said Grandpa, was mysteriously lost at sea. ***Feel free to use this one for a story idea.

Asked a women on the phone how she was and I get back: “I’m okay, I have a family.”  Is this an expression somewhere I don’t know about? Except, she seemed so sad when she said it to me.

I. Hate. Small. Talk.

Dead silences make me nervous…and sleepy.

Note to Self: Look up weather, it’s going to rain five days straight.

On that thought, seasonal depression might set in early. Remember to research insurances and psychiatrists in the area.

Space cowboys are kind of an awesome thing.

OR, maybe it’s the hum of electronics that you hear in the silence that makes me nervous…no one around but THE MACHINES.

I think I would have added more, but then I got distracted by story-planning and actual work helping customers.

How was your day? Happy Writing!

Helping Others When You Can’t Help Yourself

girl-1064659_1920There’s something that’s been on my mind lately.

As you guys know, Mike and I have moved to a new area, and that means…new job for me. AGAIN.

My last job was great for me: sit in a room and type and don’t have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to. Boring, yes, but not taxing or stressful because I wasn’t forced to be interactive on days where I really didn’t want to.

People might shake their head and be like: what are you talking about? What’s so hard about talking to people?

But when you have social anxiety, there is everything wrong with talking to people. It is very difficult to help people when you can’t help yourself.

I don’t know how much I’ve stressed over and over to people who are close to me, and to others and I hope they will eventually get it.

Working in Customer Service where your job is to help people is sooo difficult when you can’t help yourself.

Inside, you feel like you can’t breathe, you are drowning. Your mind is telling you to do something, but you are also fighting with yourself. I can’t, I’ll do it wrong, I’m hopeless, I’m worthless, look at them staring…they know…they know…

On top of the anxiety, there’s the depression that comes a long with it. You feel like a loser. A simple job and you can’t do it. Everyone else is fine, no one is having troubles. There must be something wrong with me. I’m a nobody, I have no purpose, I feel so worthless…so worthless.

These are only a few of the thoughts that were running through my mind today when I was at my new job where I have to assist customers and I have to put on a smile, and I have to interact with people and pretend that I am okay when I’m not.

I even mentioned to my co-worker: “I’m a little anxious today, it makes me feel like extra slow and stuff.”

Didn’t really get much of a response. But where’s the time really to go into the full length explanation, and who knows really what to say to all that anyway?

I think I’ll be looking into seeing a specialist soon as therapists know the right responses to these feelings…or at least you hope they do, but something else has been bothering me:

Why aren’t more people aware of how debilitating anxiety and depression are in the work place?

I know it has effected me and my career…or lack thereof one.

Why aren’t we talking about it? Why aren’t more people aware how difficult it is to put on a brave face, when inside you feel like you are drowning?

WHY DON’T WE TALK MORE ABOUT THIS?

Anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there. Those of us that struggle with this are heroes when you have to bear this burden in silence, and we really shouldn’t have to be.

It is a real thing, and more people should be understanding out there…work place included.

Ah, I feel better now. Anyway, what are you guys doing tonight? Anything thoughts on this?

Buying Alcohol at 9 in the Morning

imageThis post isn’t about writing at all, really. It’s not even about alcohol, either.
This summer I turned twenty-eight, (woo me!) but I was having a thought last night, and I have no idea what it means to be a twenty-eight.

Should I feel like an adult? An old lady? Should I just give up all together and realize that being an adult is waay overrated? Hmm. There’s a thought.

Here I am on the brink of thirty, (clearly,) and all I want to do is travel the world, try awesome new food, and adopt a new pet…maybe a rat. It would be cool to have a rodent I could train to do tricks.

Last night, I went to bed at 10pm, and woke up at 8am with Mike this morning. I picked up some things to make enchiladas at Wegmans for dinner tonight, (we here in upstate New York loove our Wegmans), and grabbed some bottles of wine at the nearby liquor store…all before 9am.

Am I getting old?

image

My purse I bought.

I tried shopping last night and I realized I don’t even know whats in any more. I picked out a purse and thought, Oh my God, what if its an old lady purse?!

One of my girlfriend’s assured me that it was definitely not…but I guess my point is, I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m way too old to shop in the juniors section, but I’m too young to graduate to cardigans and carpet bags.

I’m ready for that time where I’m not a jittery twenty-year old trying to figure life out, but I don’t have visions of buying a house, or having kids…yet. I still feel like I haven’t done anything.

I guess it makes sense that I am feeling this way, because I’ll always be a kid a heart. The unconventional sort who likes to wear Jon Snow t-shirts, and Star Wars leggings, (I totally don’t have Star Wars leggings, but now I want some!), and who likes to write notes for stories in the shower on my trusty water-proof notebook.

I want to travel the world in a camper that rocks back and forth on the highway, and I want to drink wine at 10am and eat s’mores for breakfast. I want to listen to music with the windows down, and I want to experience new things, and learn a new language.

I’m too old to sleep till noon anymore, because, let’s face it, when you get older, time is a currency all on its own. But I’m not ready for the white picket fence and suburban neighbors. Who of any of my generation can afford that anyway?

I want to live a life of plenty, and I want to be that crazy neighbor that has painted every side of her house a different color.

I want to celebrate the life of an unconventional and I think we should all cheer to that.
I want to live the creative life that I was meant to…

Because there’s no age-limit for creativity, and I’m completely fine with that!

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday!

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson: My Thoughts and Impressions

I just finished listening to Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy on audio today and I absolutely loved it.Furiously Happy is a memoir about Lawson’s life; specifically her struggles with mental illness which she explores with amusing essays featuring her blog, her family, and her life.

It is exactly as she described it: a funny book about horrible things, and for anyone who suffers from mental illness,  like depression or social anxiety, it is an easily relatable book and comforting when you learn how the author counters her illness.51Z3ZotTWfL__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

Some of my impressions:

You can’t take yourself too seriously.

That much is obvious. You have a bad day, you embarrass yourself, you cry about it, but you move on. There are many things that happen in her life that I would be mortified about but she seems to have master the knack for laughing about it sometime down the road.

She relies on family and the comfort of friends.

Relying on the comfort of loved ones on those really down days is a good option. You feel so alone inside, but you don’t have to be physically alone. Loved ones are there to provide support when you need it.

She has mastered the art of pretending.

She is good friends with Neil Gaiman who gave her some great advice when she was having doubts about being able to read her own book on audio. She told him she wasn’t any good at it, and he told her (something along the lines of), “pretend that you are good at it.”

Take a deep breath and step forward.

It’s not always easy to move forward when your mind is telling you that you can’t possibly leave the house right now, because then you’ll have to talk to people and sometimes there are days when that is just exhausting. In that case…

Learn how to push yourself.

Even when it is very difficult;  because the rewards are worth it in the end.

And that’s it really.  I’ll probably end up listening to it again in a few days. I found it a great comfort and relief to know that I shouldn’t have to make excuses for myself on my bad days. Because those that also experience the same things that I do, completely understand.

What do you guys think? Have you read or listened to Furiosuly Happy? What were your thoughts on it?

 

Discipline and Writing

Been having a hard time sitting down and working on projects lately. Maybe its the warmer weather. Maybe it’s that good ol’ writers fear again; creeping in and telling me I’m not good enough, that I’ll never write anything worthy.

How horrible. How crippling.

I was thinking of something to write for a blog post this afternoon, and of course, I can’t think of it now. Figures.

dorymemeI thought a Dory meme was just perfect, considering that Finding Dory came out this weekend – which I really want to see!

I got to remember to just keep writing…to just keep at it. But how?

Discipline.

The mind kind of rebels at the thought of more rules, and such things as…discipline. We get enough of it at work. We get enough of it from society.

Always rules. Always things that we can’t do…or shouldn’t do. Always holding back, when really we want to shout at the top of our lungs: You are stupid. Enough, already!

(That last bit is mostly aimed at the political crap we’ve had to deal with, lately.)

But why do we have to have rules when it comes to writing, too?

Well, without discipline, I would never get anything done. I mean…I DON’T get anything done. And it takes a good deal of discipline to sit down at your desk even when there a million other things that you think you ought to be doing instead.

And I think at this point, it also comes down to your priorities. How does writing rank in your list of things that need to be done? Are you putting it off for other reasons? Writers fear? Self-doubt?

Sometimes I turn to other activities because I doubt myself, and approaching my desk is close to standing in front of a crowded room and delivering a speech. (Please excuse my wobbly knees.)

But enough already! I know I definitely need to work on setting a time for writing each day. No more Netflix for me. Maybe it means cutting out things in my life that I don’t exactly need. I know I scroll Facebook less and less now.

And especially…no more putting it off because of fear. Discipline, discipline, discipline!

What are your guys take on this? How do you get done what needs to be done?

Vacation in the Outer Banks, NC

I haven’t posted much for a few days, but I’ve been on vacation!

img_20160610_162157167.jpgThought I would post what I remember from the trip here since I have a terrible memory and want some kind of record of it.

***Be warned, this will be a long post!

(But don’t worry, there will be a lot of pictures, too, so you can always scroll down and just look at them. :P)

13453095_10154174176120610_1622201492_oDestination: Frisco, NC on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks. (Cape Hatteras National Seashore!)

Length of Stay: 2 Nights. Leaving a few days for travel, etc. So…4 days.

I did not expect all the cornfields. There’s a lot of farm land driving on down from Virginia to the Outer banks, and its a great combination of rural landscape and the ocean in the background.

We arrived at Frisco Campgrounds in the afternoon on Friday, and the ranger, who’s grey-haired and a bit stooped and brown from the sun, hands us a campground map and says in that laid-back southern way:

“Well, here’s how it works: you go around and pick out two or three sites that look good to you and then you come back to me and tell me which one you want. Some look like they are empty, but they’re not, so you got to pay attention.”

13453479_10154174165540610_1034518977_oThe first site we picked out, I got stung by a hornet as soon as we went to move the picnic table. (Looks like they were building a nest, and we were not allowed to help!)

At the second, while setting up our tent, I stepped on one of the small cactus plants which were scattered amidst the grass and sand like prickly, evil minefields. Oh, and did I forget to mention the fire-ants? (although, they didn’t really bother us.) And the mosquitoes? And the wind that nearly blew our tent away the second night?

But despite mother nature getting the better of us, we were able to get our tent set up and got to see this view:

img_20160610_171711575.jpg

img_20160612_091725798.jpgThe beaches were mostly empty as they were used primarily by the campground and there weren’t that many people staying that weekend.

img_20160610_171635529.jpgThis might also be due to the fact that the board walks used for access to the beach were flooded from the recent tropical storm. See all that water there in between the dunes and the shrub-like trees?

Yeah. That’s not supposed to be there.

img_20160610_171639339.jpgMost of the campsites had some pools of water tucked into the corner somewhere. In one campsite, the picnic table was surrounded by a nice lake of water, and one of the bathrooms and showers was also surrounded (this also added to the mosquito problems) but despite this, we still had a good time.

Imagine all the colors possible in mother nature…let them fill your mind and breathe them in and hold them close to your heart, like a feeling that you’ve stumbled upon an accidental paradise; and even though, it’s not perfect, it feels like it is because of the way the sights and the sounds and the smells assault your senses.

img_20160610_171655268_hdr.jpg

Walking through it, the water was like the color of cherry juice with a hint of rusty-brown at the edges. But glancing out over the flooded land, the sky made it look the bluest of blues, as the grass and sea oats swayed in the breeze and the water rippled, caught by the wind.

Large, black tadpoles swirled around your ankles as you walked through the water on the boardwalk. There’s the gurgle and splash of the water as you step through and the sun is bright and makes everything sparkle.

At the end of the boardwalk there’s the climb through soft deep, warm sand to the top of the dunes, and then there’s the intake of breath and this view:

img_20160610_171705896.jpgNothing to see but ocean and no one around for miles, but for a few people. Here on the beach if you have ORV, feel free to drive them down by the water, which I thought was kind of neat.

For dinner that night we went to Dirty Dick’s Crab house (no lie, that was its name!) and got this platter for two:

13410720_10154174173440610_660206797_o(1)It was full of crab, shrimp, clams, potatoes and corn. So, so good!

That night it was star-gazing and listening to the chorus of frogs and insects hum and croak and drone through the campground…the noise was really quite impressive.

13467543_10154174166340610_1375642821_oThe next day, we climbed the lighthouse at Cape Point, and got these views:

13446092_10154174166020610_915295096_o 13445900_10154174165830610_11397569_oSee this water here in the above picture? Yeah, that’s not supposed to be there either…it was the campground we were first supposed to stay at, which got flooded from the storm.

13441739_10154174165900610_29198612_oMike, the other half was quite funny when he was taking these pictures…he had a hard time getting close to the railing as he was afraid of heights! Meanwhile, I’m hanging my head over the side like a loon, but I did get dizzy walking back down the swirly stairs.

13441863_10154174165780610_2062672348_oIt’s the tallest lighthouse in North America and pretty impressive.

I got all sorts of sun burnt that day, though, and that night we had problems with the wind blowing at our tent, so the next day it was packing and the drive back home.

We got stuck in traffic for a few hours on 95 coming through Virginia somewhere around Richmond. It was 100 degrees at some point, so thank God for AC!

On our way to find food and a bathroom in Williamsburg, VA, we accidentally drove through historical WIlliamsburg, which was a treat.

Passing through Maryland, we saw a car on fire on the side of the highway and then driving through Pennsylvania on 81, I got car-sick.

But I have to remember these little oddities and that’s what makes a vacation as special as it is sometimes:

13446312_10154174176320610_2080884460_o 13460763_10154174176370610_1774136575_oSeeing some of the annual kite festival as we were driving through Kitty Hawk on Friday.

13442010_10154174165530610_394978242_oThis adorable little deer which hung around our campsite for some time that last night, and only ran away because our tent flapping in the wind scared him.

img_20160610_182449115.jpgSea turtle nesting sites…

img_20160610_155745190.jpgWalking in the surf…

img_20160610_202107193.jpgAnd a good sunset to end a busy day.

I’m ready for our next beach time adventure! (I do have a new beach umbrella and kite to try out!)img_20160613_120439217.jpgI didn’t go too crazy on the souvenirs as we really didn’t have the money, but I did get me a new key-chain to add to my collection. And anyway, a picture is already worth a thousand words.

Now there’s the question:  Where to next?

Happy Writing!  (And Traveling!)