Hello friends, it’s been a while…I need to clear some cobwebs from my blog and just soldier through and write something. It’s hard to write in the middle of this dumpster fire that is the current state of the USA (lots of places actually, this one is just the most familiar to me). I’m so tired of the ugly, awful things happening here. I’m saddened by the hateful words passed back and forth like some awful baton, as if we are in a race to see which words can inflict the most damage. The reds, the blues are firmly entrenched on their opposing sides and I’m longing for some purple. God, I miss purple.
I also miss God, calm down this isn’t about to go all evangelical. I miss the God of my understanding (not yours or his or hers or theirs, my understanding). The God of my understanding was introduced to me when I was a teenager struggling with addiction and the effects of a really dysfunctional family. I had a childhood filled with Episcopal churches to introduce me to religion, this was easier to grasp. The God of my understanding is a loving father figure, the good in the world, not quick to anger, forgiving, omnipotent, kind. I’m not seeing a lot of that in the world right now and it adds to the melancholy.
Even if we can’t agree on the cause or the blame, can we relate to each other on an emotional level? Are you all tired, exhausted to the bones over our current state or are you still fueled on anger and blind rage? Do you know another human on the other side that can give you a shred of hope that they aren’t “all” bad? Have you locked yourself in an echo chamber where you can only hear the thoughts, ideas and beliefs that convey your own on replay 24 hours a day? Some days I feel like a mom from 1972 with Anderson Cooper and Glenn Beck arguing in the back seat of the family car, don’t make me pull over boys.
I’d love to write some hysterically funny post right now but it isn’t in me. I’d love to write some well thought out poignant piece that can cause someone to think of things differently, pause to see a previously unseen angle and that seems equally impossible. So here I sit, missing middle ground, an overlap of ideas, a common thread. That thread is purple.
Photo credit: Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_belchonock’>belchonock / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
One more sleep until my friend Little Miss Wordy (insert shameless plug: https://littlemisswordy.com/ ) and I make the trek to Dayton, Ohio. It’s an estimated 9 hour drive which sounds awful but Leah and I haven’t seen each other much the past two weeks so we will chat the time away. I’m the newbie on this road trip and I’m pretty excited about it.
This is only my second time traveling for a writing workshop. My first was Writer’s Digest last summer in NYC. That was great but I already know this one will be better. It’s smaller which is a plus and the genre is more specialized. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Erma when I signed up for this event. I’ve been catching up, reading her long ago columns and getting glimpses into her life. I think we would’ve gotten along just fine.
Here’s what I’m packing:
- Hope. Hope that I have indeed found my tribe. That I will be surrounded by people that “get” me. A home where my quirky sense of humor is appreciated or at least accepted.
- Willingness. Willingness to be open to new ideas and listen attentively to people and concepts that I may not encounter on a daily basis.
- Friendship. The spirit of friendship and good will. I hope to bring this with me when I return home.
- Kindness. To everyone I encounter on this journey.
- The other essentials – clothes, toothpaste, toothbrush, lap top, chargers, 4 pairs of shoes, and a variety of black sweat pants that all look the same to the untrained eye.
- Oreos. To sweeten some introductions and to promote my book which has some mention of Oreos sprinkled throughout. Anyone have connections at Nabisco?
- My book draft!
Here’s what I’m leaving behind:
- Ethel. Ethel is the self-doubting prairie dog that lives in my head. She’s awful and sneaky, she pops up from time to time.
- Expectation. Keeping this to a minimum.
- Impatience. I have gobs of this at home hoping I don’t need it on this trip.
To all the friends I haven’t met yet, I look forward to meeting you in person. I’ll be the one with the Oreos probably wearing a hat and perhaps a cape.
Psst…somehow someone thought I was worthy of this award. I crept in through the back door, six days late. If I picked you I hope that’s OK. If not just comment and I’ll select another blogger. I want this to be fun and not the bloggers equivalent of chain mail. Sneaks back out the door, trips on the way out. Damn it, I think I broke my toe (again).
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given by bloggers to fellow bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community… A peer honor for sure!
Here are the rules…
- Thank the person who nominated you.
- Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you.
- Nominate other bloggers for the award.
- Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated.
- Notify the bloggers you have nominated.
And here are my answers…
1. Big thanks to Emily Gaffney of 50 Shades of Aging, found here: https://www.50shadesofaging.com/index Emily and I connected a few months ago and have been
stalking following each other’s blog ever since.
2. Answers to Emily’s questions:
- How do you describe your blog to others? Interesting question, I don’t usually describe my blog to others. It started as a cathartic hobby and I’m still fleshing it out. My posts swing wildly between humor and poignant reflection
- Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts? I write about life, past and present.
- Do you have a blogging routine? I do not have a blogging routine.
- Why did you begin blogging? I made a new friend, one of those instant connections. She wrote a blog and I became curious and poof started a blog.
- Use one sentence to describe yourself. Former bad ass, carving a niche for myself for when these birds fly from the nest.
- What makes you happy on a daily basis? Family, friends and spending time on meaningful endeavors.
- What would you say to yourself if today was your first day blogging? Proofread.
- Describe something most people don’t know about you… I speak six languages, once volunteered for the Peace Corps and excel at Calculus (lies, all lies).
- What makes you feel satisfied with a new blog post? Profound relief from exercising demons or a smirk because I managed to make myself chuckle.
- Describe your “ideal Saturday”… Start the day with a workout, shower put on clean sweats and cook while listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.
- What is your favorite inspirational quote? “To Thine Own Self Be True” William Shakespeare
3. Nominate other bloggers for the award:
– Mydangblog – https://educationalmentorship.com/about/
– Redneck Latte Ravings – http://www.rednecklatte.com/about/
– Just Typikel – https://www.kellylmckenzie.com/my-story/
4. Questions for nominated bloggers:
- What geographic place do you consider home (past or present location)?
- Favorite person you don’t personally know?
- Why do you blog?
- If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
- Describe yourself with 3 words…
- What negative thought takes up the most space in your head?
- What do you like most about yourself?
- Where you a bully, a target, defender or under the radar in school?
- If you won the lottery what would you buy first?
- Biggest pet peeve?
- What makes you laugh?
I attended my first Writer’s Digest Conference this past weekend in New York City. It was an interesting mix of topics ranging from improving your craft to branding and more. Lots of options for newbies and veterans alike.
I noticed a recurring theme with the variety of sessions that I attended. Writers were consistent in their suggestion to the audience members to “find your own voice”, be authentic, use your personal experiences to filter through your writing. The business end was more cautious – be authentic but not so much that you lose market share. Sigh…mixed messages. Be authentic…..BUT…..everyone knows anything after BUT is bullshit. Guess I’ll just keep offending people and not make money writing for now….double sigh.
One workshop was titled “Shut Your Monkey! How to Control Your Inner Critic and Get More Writing Done.” It was facilitated by Danny Gregory. He wrote a book about it in case you are so inclined….https://www.amazon.com/Shut-Your-Monkey-Control-Critic/dp/1440341133
It was an interesting topic which sadly afflicts a majority of humans. That inner voice that says you suck, you’re stupid, are you really going to eat that? The asshole that lives inside your head and spreads doubt like pixie dust in a Disney movie. Apparently most humans (except psychopaths) have this negative voice that we constantly shush. Danny Gregory calls his a monkey…..I prefer to think of mine as a prairie dog. I never know where that bitch is going to pop up. She’s kind of cute and kind of annoying and damn unpredictable. What’s your monkey?
Lately I’ve been obsessed with numbers – weight, age, finances and the big one, the blog related likes, views and comments. I don’t even math well so I’m not entirely in love with this obsession. I have to constantly give myself pep talks about the various numbers in my life.
The weight number, ugh. I don’t weigh the same as I did when I was 22, primarily because …..I am no longer 22. I know, duh, but I still obsess over the scale. Truth be told I have a one way abusive relationship with this apparatus. I weigh myself a few times a week….here are some of the conversations I had with the scale over the past several days: “Are you fucking kidding?!” “Yes!!!!!” and silent treatment with a defiant middle finger aimed at the scale display. It’s not pretty but it’s honest.
Age yeah I know….it’s just a number right? Wrong. It’s a marker of time which pushes the needle closer to our own demise. I’m a realist folks and I’ve been a hospice volunteer for nearly 10 years….we are all going to die. That ascending number is a reminder, I have less time than I did a year ago. I know, depressing as hell, let’s move on.
Finances, well I leave most of that worry to my husband. Calm down he isn’t in charge because he is a man….he’s in charge because he is the most qualified one in the house. Before kids, I was a career gal, bought my own house, researched my 401K options…now not so much. I do have a small business that I run but honestly the numbers are so small at this point it isn’t a big deal.
The blog numbers….these are the greatest obsession of the moment. How many likes versus how many views. I lose my mind when the orange light is on – a comment, gasp, heart beats faster….I’m embarrassed to admit it. I tell myself that writing is cathartic, I do it for me, to tell my stories. That is true but I still want people to read the stories.
So…..if you have taken a moment to view, share, comment or like this post (or any of them), thank you!