Monday, June 26, 2017

Mild rant: Writing schedule?

Hi everybody!

It's me, your favorite procrastinator writer at large and I have another confession to make. Since school went on summer break last week, my writing schedule has been shot to the outer darkness if not worse. I am trying to juggle kids and activities for them, my typical household stuff, and my own appointments and whatnot. It is really frustrating me. I have been trying to ascertain just what the best solution is to this matter.

It is somewhat sobering to realize that last year when I was doing all the things at the same time, I was clearly in the grip of mania (or is it hypomania, it's hard for me to understand the difference in the terms). At the time, I just thought 'hey, I can finally do stuff like I was before I got sick.' and laughed off my therapist at the time's amazed response that I was doing ALL THE THINGS. Now, however, I am realizing that I need to schedule things. That is proving a lot more challenging than I anticipated.

I still have that bullet journal I started. I also have the planning stuff that I started before. My piles of planning materials, however, are not equating to getting planning done or acting on that planning. I know some of my problem is the fact that there has been a major household shift in how our days go. And I know that some of my problem is the fact that I am still dealing with a depressive episode. (I am contemplating attempting to write 'emo poetry' in an attempt to break this creative block. It is warring with the thoughts of just doing pages in a coloring book. Sloth is presently winning this whole rage and nothing is getting done except for my anxiety knitting - a mitered square washcloth that I'm not sure I am doing correctly but can't tell until I have it off the needles.)

Something's got to give if I am going to make any forward progress here. I just can't figure out what.

Anybody else in the writing world dealing with tricky schedule problems? I'm trying not to sacrifice my time with my husband at the end of the day and not to drop any balls I've got in the air during the day with the kids. I'm stumped. Any suggestions? (I'd consider boarding school but I don't think that would work out well for anyone involved. LOL)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review: The Heart of Buddha's Teaching (Dec. 2002 entry)

Title: The Heart of the Buddah's Teaching
Author: Thich Nhat Hanh
Publisher: Broadway Books Date: 1999

The easy demeanor of the author makes this very plesant to read. The introduction is quite... different from what I expected. Thich Nhat Hanh presents the basic beliefs of Budhisim as a more life affirming view then many other authors. Very interesting... also, this is an easy read with the structure and choices of font.

The first truth of Buddhism is that al life is suffering. Thich Nhat Hanh expresses this bleak concept differently from the general expression I've encountered. he states that suffering is an inheirant part of life and should be welcomed as such. He also speaks strongly of being aware of the absence of suffering. The practice of Right Mindfulness, as the author describes it, could be beneficial to me. Simply, the author asvises the reader to be aware of the present. I beleive that he makes a very good point in stating that wea are all too frequently inattentive to what we are doing due to our thoughts being elsewhere.

I believe if I apply the practice of Right Mindfulness and I practice it with diligance that it can be of some psychological good to me. Many of the meditative practices that are used in the world's religions have multiple benefits. Some are physical and others are psychological. It is true, those who are in clergy must act as healers in all area of the parishioner's lives.

There are other practices that I just think are being over simplified, but the practices of Right action dosen't appear to be one. Looking honestly at what the author has been presenting, I'd have to argue that there are three major themes. Compassion, responciblitie, and benevolance are what comes to mind as the major themes. At the same time, I am beginning to have a sense of the nihilisim crisis in the text.

I'm just going to have to see if more appears in this. If this proves to be turning into the sterotypical "Life is an illusion, we must trancend this illusion to the reality of non-being," I'm not going to read more.

My concern seems to be justified. The author is becoming icnreasingly focused on the concept that reality is as we percieve it and our perceptions are flawed because they are perceptions. I can't accept that. There is a base concept of reality that we all operate in. This is not a perception or something of an illusion. It is fact.

[Note: I realize now that concept, in the last sentance isn't the best word to use. But I suspect that you get the idea I'm trying to present.]

This is the first of a list of posts that are going to be transferred over from my LiveJournal. I am going to be shutting down that blog when I complete transferring stuff. Please forgive massive typos and grammatical errors. I'm debating starting another blog where I can put this. I'm not decided on it yet. While the typos make me twitch, I am going to leave them there, as it is part of the original text. The post here was uploaded to my LiveJournal March of 2006. It was written in my paper reading journal in 2002.)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Brutal honesty, in one shot.

Imagine, if you will, a scene. You are ready to sit down to your work. You have all of your tools at hand. You have all of your plans ready and well documented. You literally have everything you need to engage in the task. When you move towards your work, someone puts a hand on your shoulder and tells you that your work is worthless before you even begin.

Most days, this person is just making snide comments about how you are 'pathetic' and that your past or present success is a case of 'dumb luck' and that you are not really as competent or skilled as you know you are. These comments don't just come at you when you sit down to do your work. They also arise when it comes to things as simple as personal care, doing household chores, or just paying the bills. This person never leaves your side. They never shut up. They are always there telling just how 'bad' you really are.

Now, here is your plot twist. (Because every story needs a plot twist, right?) That person lives inside your head. Go to bed, they will show up in your nightmares. You can't go away from them. You can't stick a gag in their mouth and lock them in a closet. There is simply no escape. And, as time progresses, they just get more sly and creative in their attacks on you. (And these are clearly attacks upon the person suffering from this sort of nonsense, look up gaslighting. It's a quaint term from a theoretically more civilized age, more like the time where it was acceptable to lock people in the garret and forget about them as much as possible.)

This is what I suffer with on a daily basis. When I'm in a depressive episode, that 'person' is loud and generally decries anything that makes me feel good as bullshit. When my depressive episodes get really bad, things go from that running mental commentary to I start having auditory hallucinations of someone standing at my right shoulder (because irony) saying these awful things. It wears on me. I've been told that I'm a badass because I'm battling my own mind all the time. I don't feel like one. I feel tired and a good heaping amount of despair because this isn't going away.

(Yes, I am working with my doctor. Yes, I have a psychiatrist I am working with that seems pretty competent. And I have just started working with a new therapist who seems to have a good idea about how to approach my case. And, no, I am not contemplating self-harm or anything else of that variety. I just feel awful and it is making everything harder than it really should be.)

So, please accept my apologies for not posting much of late. I am still quite unwell. I am medicated, but it is being adjusted which makes things challenging on a good day. I have plans. I have my notes. But I can't quite seem to manage the confidence or mental cohesion to put them down in something resembling the established pattern of posting. It is going to be a few more weeks before I really know if these changes in treatment are taking effect and having positive results. Please bear with me, for I am trying.

Addendum: If you are suffering from mental illness of any sort, seek help. There is no reason why you should be suffering. And there is no shame in getting help. It is one of the hardest things to do, but it is completely worth it. ♥

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Dear Reader,

I am a little bit stalled on work right now. I managed to put myself into something of a creative corner with the plot on both serials. In the Iron Lily, I have lost the physical notes I had about where I was going next with the story. As a result, I am spinning my proverbial wheels trying to remember what the next plot point was. I honestly think they got tossed out, which means I have to go back and recreate it all.

With Dacia's War, I have no idea how to go to the next plot point. I know where I want to go, but now how to get there. This is partly because I failed to take a few things into consideration. And because I am distracted by trying to get the distribution problem with Book 2 of the Umbrel Chronicles out to y'all. I think I may have gotten that problem licked, but I'm not going to say it is solved until I have no problems with the matter for at least a month.

So, I am working, but I am stuck on a few things. I would ask that a rescue dog be sent with a bottle of Bushmills, but I don't think that would work out too great. I may just hunt down a bottle of Johnny Walker later this week as a reward for this juggling of horse crap. In other news, I am attempting to garden and actually have a few things starting to grow despite the fact that I am using old seeds. This is exciting, because I get to have fresh, homegrown produce soon and I can reacquaint myself with the growth process for several plants, which will be instrumental to the illustrations I am working on.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Flora et Fauna: Sketch No. 3

Behold my amazing artwork! It is a flower. Or as others would say 'flwr'.

I'll have a real sketch for you next week, that actually looks better than this. I confess, however, I had to resist the temptation to draw a sun in the corner of the picture.

Craft of Writing: My BuJo annoyed me today.

As you can see, I am working still on keeping a bullet journal for all of my writing tasks. I thought I was going to sit down and use one of those 'month at a glance' layouts. After drawing up the calendar and starting to fill things in, I have discovered that I don't have enough room to make adequate notes.

I honestly am thinking I'm never using this layout again. Or at least, not like this.

The sheer volume of different monthly layouts that people have shared on the interwebz is mind boggling. I confess, I got overwhelmed and started to give up before I even got started. Now that I have tried one of the easiest layouts, I have a bit of a better idea of what I'm looking for. The small bullet journal that I am trying to consolidate my various writing work is not going to have the notes for every single little blog post I'm planning. (All of that ink on there is an attempt at blog post planning. I'm running out of room and that is just topic ideas.)

Instead, I am going to start using the notebooks I have started for each blog as where I draft out posts and track what topics I have covered. In the bullet journal, I'm going to have notes on things like deadlines, word count goals for the week, how many posts had a picture with them, and details that are something that can be applied to all the blogs I am working on (like the section I started with all of the html I need to customize my blogs). I am going to stick with keeping each blog with its own colored pen for notation.

I have decided that I'm going to be taking those different colored pens and using them for writing my notes in the respective blog's notebooks. Throw in on top of this the fact that each one has different colored paper, I think I can make this work out well. And transferring the nitty gritty details about each blog to their own notebook means I have a place where I have actual space for writing down notes. I am still trying to decide where I want to keep track of things like viewing statistics. It is a question that I am wrestling with, honestly.

But, I'll talk more about that and some of the other questions about monitoring how well my blogs are performing on another day. I hope you have a wonderful day.