Dear Me,

(I’m on week five of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This is what came from yesterday’s Morning Pages.)

Epiphany – the sudden clarity of thought that exposes the deeper truth. I have epiphanies as I’m sure you do as well. You may have been wrestling with a problem, a decision that had to be made but each solution or choice didn’t FEEL like the truth until one moment, a light bulb came on and suddenly, your path was clearly lit.

Why did I stop publishing my work? Why did I stop working on my existing manuscripts? Why wasn’t I excited to look for opportunities to do readings, to schedule workshops? Why had my annual sojourn to the MileHi stopped inducing that giddy feeling of anticipation or excitement? Why was I feeling blocked, cut off from my passion? Why was I procrastinating on or avoiding altogether the few activities I knew would move me toward some long standing, positive, goals?

Epiphany – because my efforts to that point hadn’t resulted in what I deemed to be other’s show of acceptance, love, or admiration that ultimately was what I was seeking. I wanted my books to garner lots of fans to the point where they’d help me market my work, they’d talk about and share my books to the point where word of mouth would sell my books (allowing me to hide); I would be invited to speak to groups, asked to conduct workshops (allowing me to hide). I’d be featured here and there, gaining some level of notoriety which would then “prove” to my dad that he was wrong for not spending more time with me, for not telling me he loved me, or thought I was beautiful. I would prove to the bullies and ex-boyfriends that they were wrong for calling me ugly names, teasing me, excluding me, using me, molesting or hitting me. I would show them all that I am worthy!

I mean, look at all the people who buy my books, and listen to me when I do readings, or attend my workshops.  If all of that outside attention didn’t prove it then what would?

Well, that’s not how things work out. My workshops where hit and miss with attendance, so I lost my enthusiasm for them. My first book sold relatively well despite its issues, my next two books did okay, but I was losing my motivation to keep marketing the way I had been. I didn’t realize it at the time but hindsight, I wasn’t getting the response I wanted / craved, so I’d begun to retreat. The fourth book didn’t do as well as I’d hoped but by then, I’d stopped actively marketing my work. It felt too much like begging by then. My unrealistic expectation that  other’s reactions to my books / workshops / coaching  would “make” me worthy, wore me down. Each failure to sell, to raise the money, to save the money, to meet the deadline, to have people show up, highlighted (the lie) that I wasn’t worthy after all. I rushed into this or that scheme, plan, idea, in hopes that it would be The ONE.  Each time I fell short, not taking the time to realize the level of fantasy my expectation had reached was never going to be met by reality.

So, what did I do. I blocked. I stopped writing; stopped going out; stopped taking my walking breaks; I stopped doing anything that would allow the voice of my Muse and my Divinity to be heard. They told the truth, They exposed the fantasy.  They put the responsibility for my life back where it belonged (in my hands) and I didn’t want the responsibility. I wanted to blame my dad, the bullies, the folks who didn’t think my writing was the bomb. I filled up my time with activities that didn’t do squat to move me toward my desired feelings (that ultimately are my responsibility to generate). I spent hours watching YouTube videos, hours doing spreads in my BuJo that ultimately I ignored no sooner than they were done. I kept up the schemes and plans – throwing parties I knew wouldn’t be well attended; fitness challenges, the wedding, my Count Down to 50 and its accompanying group-site and list of activities NO ONE kept up with, including myself. I did any and everything to maintain that damn lie. To be unreliable, unworthy.

Epiphany – “Healing is as ugly as Healed is beautiful”, Danielle LaPorte.  I began the healing process four years ago now. I’m feeling just about as ugly as I can. Scattered. Untethered. Unsure of what to do next. Emotionally all over the place but where I “should” be.  But I am healing. So there’s that.

Please, bear with me a little longer. Please forgive me. Please breathe. We’re going to get through this and we will be better for it. Thank you, I love you.

Dana

Speaking of BuJo-ing with ADOSS

I knew there was something special about my attraction to the BuJo system.

For those of you who hadn’t seen my previous posts in this short series…

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m currently parked at Procrastination Station.  Guess who hasn’t written anything for her NaNo ’16 project yet? lol…

Have a good evening, luvs!

Dana

Obligatory Pre-NaNo Post

I’m a pantser so there won’t be any tips or tricks in this post on how to prepare for next month’s writing festival. There also won’t be any rants about how harried I feel with the start time looming on the horizon and how I have no idea what I’m going to write.

You see, come November 1st, I will sit down at my designated writing time and do just that, write. My Muse and my Divinity will step up, I will say a short prayer of sorts which will open our line of communication.  They will speak, I will type.  Will they have me go full on rebel and work on cleaning up my existing drafts (all three of them could benefit from the editing and or addition of 50K words) or will they have me dive into Code Name: Onyx Butterfly – my original NaNo 2016 idea?  Who knows.

I can tell you this, though, I’ve worked through my three life situations. The 3rd comes to an end and a beginning tomorrow and Monday. By November 1st, I will have a strong idea of what the remaining months of 2016 will look like financially; I’ll have established some sort of plan for my new family situation that will carry us through to the end of the year.  With all of that comes room in my head for my heart, if that makes any sense. During all the mayhem, my feelings got set aside. It was out of necessity so I could function, I get that now. But I’m ready for my feelings to be back in the driver’s seat. I miss doing things for myself that generate my desired feelings.

So, I’m ready to tune back into the written word; ready to get back to my real life. Ready to earn my fourth November NaNo badge.

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Thanks for stopping by today.  Hope you are finding your way.

Love you!

Dana

BuJo-ing w/ *ADOSS – Part 6

OMG – I had no intention of it taking this long to get this post posted.  Thanks to the move and complications at work, I had to put blogging on hold.  I should be back on something resembling a schedule as I’ve gone back to having internet at home, as well as…Heaven help me, cable TV.  I’m stuck in a 2-yr contract. Sigh.  I’ve got my room set up though so that I can have the TV on for background noise, thus somehow satisfying my paying for it (fuss & grumble) while I write as opposed to what I’d been doing before – sitting on the couch vegging out to cooking shows.  Anyway, enough rambling, here’s the conclusion to my BuJo post series.

 

The conclusion.

Unlike my other planner systems, the kind with the pre-designed, pretty pages, the BuJo is forgiving of mistakes. Not the kind you can easily white out and write over. I mean the big ones where you paste in or draw a layout that soon after you decide you don’t like; or maybe you notice you misspelled something big. Whatever the faux pas, a little washi tape goes a long way.  I’ve taped over many a, “oh, that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to at all”.

Ryder’s original idea was very clean, crisp, utilitarian in its appearance.

But the planner community has since elevated it considerably while still keeping its functionality.

It is an excellent system for planning for the future while recording the present, leaving you with documentation of your past. I LOVE looking at the mess that I’ve made. It isn’t neat or tidy, and neither is my life as I live it. The way I BuJo is so, well, ME – not all that well put together but beautiful none-the-less.

So, there you have it – my entry into the BuJo Admiration Society.  Now that a large portion of my my ADOSS has been freed up (yay move!), it’s driving me to focus on something else. Namely the novels I’m excited to get back to writing. And the one I still need to release officially. Oh, and getting my book covers redone. Gotta get back to my fitness stuff. Shit, the wedding! Geez still so much to do there. Oh look, Shiny!

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On book serials and writing

What really is the reasoning behind using multiple books to tell a single story?

I have read the first books of I don’t know how many book serials (and I’m using serial here instead of series, I’ll explain in a minute) and quite frankly, I don’t see why the author thought it a good idea to break the story into multiple books.

I like complete, fully told stories between the covers of the books I read. Those stories are fine if they are part of a larger book universe and make up just one piece of the time line but for goodness sakes, let them be stand alone stories in and of themselves, please.  For example, the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris; The Dresden Files books by James Butcher; Anne Rice’s vampire books ( while not considered a “series” takes the same characters, and the world they live in through a series of books and places in time),  the Hollows series by Kim Harrison, etc. – all great series, yet each book is a complete story unto itself. You can read one, enjoy it and either move on, or not.

This leaving me in the middle of a plot sort of pisses me off. I don’t want to have to spend more money on books 2, 3, or Heaven help us, 4, 5, and 6 until I get to, “The End” of the ONE plot you started off with. Give me a fresh idea with the same characters, okay…I’m good. But seriously, do we need a whole book leading up to the fight, another book about the fight, a third about the aftermath, and a fourth just in case you needed the whole shebang told from the loser’s perspective? Argh.

Personal preference has been stated. Now, back to your regularly scheduled day. Hope you’re having a good one.

Love you,

Dana

BuJo-ing w *ADOSS – Part 5

Part One – click

Part Two – click

Part Three – click

Part Four – click

Accessories.

Another spot where my ADOSS has edged me closer to madness. I wrote in my first BuJo with my favorite blue ink pen. Nothing fancy, it’s a Paper Mate. Not sure of the model or tip size.  I like it because using it leaves indentations on the page that feel good to me. Go figure. I still like it, but after my umpteenth Plan With Me video, I wanted COLOR.  I dug through my junk and came up with a set of glittery gel pens I’d had for awhile.

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But then I found myself wandering the aisles at Office Depot and what do you know? I snapped up a set of colorful ink pens.  Staedtler ball point pens to be exact.

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Did you ever notice those inexpensive Sharpies they keep up front by the check-out stands?

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The ADOSS is real people.

 OMG! Metalic ink?  Perfect for writing on the dark notebook covers, eh?

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I’m sorry, did you say you use a “micro tip”.  MUST HAVE!

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Don’t forget the washi tape. Oh, and the protractor. And the ruler / hole punch. And the double sided tape. And the slips of paper I’ve printed headers, calendars, quotes, or titles on and then cut out in preparation for upcoming spreads. Ohhh, and the Post-It flags I use to mark the pages I want to be able to go back to quickly. Uh, and the large baggie in which I carry it all.

I’m still trying to figure out how I went from one set of old gel pens to a pen case full of pens, a highlighter, and a correction pen (easier for me to use than the brush or tape styles) and a full, gallon sized Zip-loc baggie in a little over a week’s time.

 

When will the madness stop?

The exciting conclusion is up next in Part 6

That’s It!

I imagined I’d write horror.  After all, it’s what I read, what I watched (the classics mostly), what I felt most of my childhood (bullying and assorted other traumas); what I dreamt most nights.  I wanted to be the monster under the bed for a change. But when I embraced my writing for real, what poured forth was self-love, self-awareness, healing, and romance. No problem, it’s what I needed so my Divinity and my Muse gave it to me in the form of my writing.

Extreme side note – Divinity has three “i’s”, three syllables…Father, Son, Holy Ghost? Or wait, is it four syllables which would then make my observation null? Hmmm.

 

Perhaps I’ve healed enough now because what’s coming to me more and more often aren’t the usual.

So of course, I’m going to put them all together and publish another collection. Working title? “The Darkness Before the Dawn.”  Yeah. That’ll work.

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