Saturday Early-Late Start

Got a late start even though I woke up early. The older kiddos had solo/ensemble this morning and had to be at the school by 7AM. Picture it, I’m up at 4AM cleaning the kitchen and trying to prepare for the day. My son is up an reminding me that we have our coffee date and he even put some thought into the trip, ‘Let’s drop off my sissies first then we can go straight there.’ Well, can’t argue with that. It’s now 6:25AM, I’m not dressed to leave the house but surprise surprise, the girls weren’t even up! Here I am, trying to get dressed, make pancakes, and get the girls up and ready. My husband was tasked with digging the car out with the snow that came in last night but believe it or not we were out of the house and got them there right on time.

An exciting decision on my part I made in the wee morning hours. Now, just some research. I thought about putting writing an anthology of super short micro fictional stories and publishing. I’m not good at the long haul stories (I easily lose my train of thought or can’t even make it to the finish line) but thoroughly enjoying my short stories. I came across a list on Facebook that furthered encouraged my idea. I’ll post stories from this list. I have decided 150 words is my limit. No more, no less. I’m going to figure out a rating system and would like the reader’s honest opinion when choosing a rating. Ratings are for me to decide if this is something I should further pursue publishing and perhaps increasing the word limit by 100.

list

 

May 24th, 2018

Journal confession time. I have been harboring a lot of guilt about a goal that I set and actually went the opposite direction. I wanted to lose at least 20lbs at the same time I quit smoking. I haven’t had a cigarette since January 12th but need to lose a LOT more weight. I’ve tried keto (didn’t satisfy) tried smaller portions (already do because of the gastric bypass) and a lot of other gimmick stuff. I realized that I’m happy with my ability to find time to paint and write but need to focus on my weight.

I took a walk this morning before work and writing and felt really bad about how I looked while doing it. How can I exercise when I feel anxious about people watching me and possibly secretly judging me. That’s the anxiety working in me and shaking hands with the depressive state that I fall in with. I could’ve easily gone home but reminded myself that it was still dark out and people are heading to work and are probably late. I walked fasted just to get home before the sun came all the way up. My daughter turned 16 today and I thought if I keep going the way I’m going I’m not going to be healthy enough to enjoy my kids anymore like I was before. So, part of getting healthy this year was to quit smoking and I think I nailed it. Now, it’s time to control and manage my eating and weight. This entails me going to the store after work, purchasing a weight scale, and possible leggings to walk-in.

I researched many options and due to my family’s strict budget I made the first step and signed up for Weight Watcher’s Freestyle program. Fingers crossed I’m able to figure out meals with what I have and will get what I need (portion size for one because my family eats regular foods without a care in the world) on my next grocery shopping trip. Speaking of grocery shopping with my C-PTSD and anxiety I learned that I can shop through Wal-Marts grocery app which will also help me from going through the aisles and shopping with, ‘Oh that would taste awesome’ mentality.

After joining (still needing to feel out a few profile fields), I saw where I can track what I eat. Banana, coffee with chocolate caramel creamer, a babybel cheese, salad with greek dressing and croutons all added up-QUICKLY. It was clear about my food choices and guilt turned to shame. I synched my Fitbit app to my Weight Watcher’s app, opted for water instead of V8 and only had 1/2 cup of spicy ranch popcorn. I will research tonight more recipes and things that I can change and do differently.

I feel better fessing up to my guilt and shame and I guess I’ll take my readers along with me. I’m still going to write, paint, and doodle just now I’ll do it hungry. Kidding, not hungry but mindful of what I put in my body.

May 18th

I haven’t done a journal entry in a while. Today I woke up and took my walk and instead of telling myself that all the hard work will pay off it came out, ‘what the hell’s the point?’ I was being awful to myself. Getting to work, drinking coffee, and completing my daily tasks then my nemesis came into the art room. Believe me when I say I would much rather eat glass then help her with ANYTHING but that’s not being an adult (which is a BS by the way) so I helped her.

Having to deal with that and already being hard on myself I decided to take the rest of the day off. I SO wanted to come home and lay in bed. I pulled into the driveway and even headed to my room when I remembered that I needed another watercolor journal. I couldn’t do tonight’s challenge without one. Do I go to bed and fall into the depressive state that my mind needed or shop for my journal that my soul needed?

Next thing I know I’m in the art supply store. I felt better with my journal in hand but was stopped by a sale on a travel case of Winsor & Newton cake palette of 14. ‘You can’t afford to travel anywhere why in the hell do you need those?!’ That’s what I heard in my head. Then I told myself I don’t need to travel far just get out and paint. I am now the proud owner of new travel paints and smaller travel book (50% off I wasn’t going to pass).

Got home, cleaned up, cooked dinner, and got an amazing surprise. A fellow blogger honored me with, ‘Nice job, you’ve obtained this week’s GOLD badge!’ Talk about the boost I needed to keep going this afternoon. Matthew over at Normal Happenings is the positive breath of fresh air that I needed. Wander through his proverbial blog stacks and get lost. He’s also a fellow graphic designer which explains my draw to his newspaper style font.

I still feel like I want to crawl into bed and that’s ok too. I’m not pretending that everything is fine but I know that things will get better. Have a great evening ya’ll.

May 3, 2018

Dear Journal (and everyone that reads),

I thought I was doing great the past few weeks with only minor pangs of anxiety and one night of flashbacks. I survived the A to Z blogging challenge and set out a new goal for a novella that I would like to publish. I haven’t written or did anything on that since my goal but I’m ok with that as I have time this weekend to write. I have been enjoying my new doodle and watercolor challenges. It’s my zen place.

Today everything seems off. I haven’t written or read anything. I had plans to go and exchange some things but have canceled. I have been reduced to slipping on yoga pants and starting dinner. I refuse to crawl into bed and just lose composure-I know I’ll lay there for days. I was misled by pretty words today by someone that people are supposed to trust. I have been having issues with a woman that has the biggest head on her shoulders. Her inflated sense of entitlement I have confronted many times. She seems to have everyone wrapped around her fingers but I refuse to conform. I will argue with her when she’s wrong with anything marketing or graphic design-wise. The company hired me to bring in those elements of knowledge. I was hired under the impression that I was a team member but have been treated as an outcast. I’m not the only educated individual they have done this too but she, she makes my career life hell and goes out of her way to do so.

Today, instead she sent one of the owners (CEO) of the company to come and do her evil bidding. He used words like and phrases like, ‘collaboration, your expertise, eye for creativity and detail, and what you bring to the table.’ All pretty and promising words. Ones that made me think he actually did his job, knocked her down a peg and educated her that she needs to be able to work with other. I agreed that I could collaborate and work with her. She brought in a piece of paper, ‘Do this, what’s in this example.’ And left. Finding another graphic design job, in my area, for what little I am getting paid is proving to be difficult. I have never felt so ostracised by the company…the owner of the company. What’s the point in me being there? Am her personal assistant or do I work for the company? The ONLY thing I did was worked a program and made a document specification requested. I didn’t bring anything creative to the table, just regurgitated another version of an ad that SHE saw from last year. It was a bad ad done by a small company and elements of the ad were from the 90’s. How can I keep us going forward when she keeps us in the back.

I feel used, lied to, unappreciated as a graphic designer, and made to feel like I’m beneath everyone as a human. What’s the point? My anxiety was horrible (I would go to the bathroom just to sit and rock) and the feeling of being worthless is overwhelming. So, For now, I’m going to finish cooking dinner and do some painting trying not to give into the sinking feeling. The darkness that feels like a protective friend but isn’t. I may just call in tomorrow.

Words of advice-Try and see through the pretty words, it will prepare you for the lies beneath.

April 26th, 2018 and Polls

My monthly A to Z challenge is starting to come to an end. I have read some great content from other bloggers like Ian and mine covering different letters under one theme and some have been a continuing series like the wonderful Tale Spinning (I recommend you start from the beginning). I will post a recap and some intentional plans and a question asking my fellow bloggers in our community that will hopefully satisfy the void that I will surely feel after my challenge is over. In the meantime, I have a poll. I will be hosting a giveaway. No purchase is required just a little thought.

For the writer in you, I propose a giveaway for a really short piece of flash fiction of 50 words covering a prompt. All posts would be published (it’s your writing so you get credit) but the winner gets the prize. Anyone can write. So input time:

For the artist, I wanted to also do a giveaway. A short prompt that you can doodle, paint, sketch etc…What I’m asking what would you like to draw for. All posts will be published (of course you get credit) but winner takes the prize.

I wanted to wait until I had 500 followers but I feel now would be a good time to start putting this together. I appreciate your poll answers and look forward to the hosting my first giveaway (eek!). I’ll compile my data and have a giveaway reveal. Please feel free to share.

April 18th-Falling from Cloud 9 (Vanity Publishers)

How about a quick catch-up to what I have been achieving with my writing. I took up the A to Z blogging challenge as a way to get me out of a mindset of writing but also to try new genres. Let me tell you that it has been a rollercoaster of emotions and distractions. I have huge plans for some, maybe even all of my shorts super excited to finish the challenge. There is such a great and encouraging community of writers, bloggers, and artists that offer support and I’m thrilled to see that people are actually reading my writing.

So here is how I went from being on cloud 9 to falling back into my world. That isn’t a bad thing don’t get me wrong but this is more of a cautionary tale. I received an email from an individual from a publishing house. I was excited but then became very leary. I did some research and noticed that the person’s email ended in a ‘.com’ and the publisher’s website ended in a ‘.net’. So, I reached out to the company via their Facebook inquiring about the individual that contacted me. I was then informed that indeed the solicitor worked for them and they hoped to get a submission from me. I didn’t quite celebrate but allowed myself to get excited. I should have known better!

I thought maybe the whole company is one of those publishing houses that want you to pay money to submit. So I searched through blogs until I came across a post that talked about VANITY PUBLISHERS (never once did I come across their blog until I went to there website). My heart sank so fast, even my coworker asked if I was ok. ‘Yeah, I’m fine,’ I said on the outside but one the inside I felt like a sucker for getting hopeful. The bummed as hell that it wasn’t a real publishing company. Then my husband came through and said, ‘There is still no reason you can’t self-publish. You have some amazing stories. Don’t stop writing because a company tries taking advantage of new writers. You are not a victim because you followed your instincts.’

I’m not saying, ‘Never get excited,’ what I’m encouraging you to do is research something before committing. Please don’t fall for companies like these. I’m going to sulk for a bit then maybe cook dinner when I get off work.

 

April 12, 2018

I haven’t posted a journal entry in what feels like months. I have been busy trying to keep up with the A to Z blogging challenge, my daily doodles, and my 60word stories. I was right, I bit off more than I can chew with the theme that I chose. The beautifully written bright side to all of this hard work and stress about my theme is that I get the chance to explore. I’m exploring new genres and learning that I can do something if I put my mind to it.

 

Things I’ve missed though are starting to add up. I miss my blogging community. Reading posts, poems, and all the artwork. I also miss participating in 99-word prompts and Discover’s daily prompt and hopefully, I’ll be able to get back on track with those. Then throw in being sick, working 40+ hours a week, taking care of kids and house I’m lucky to get in the shower. In all honesty, I think if it wasn’t for my anxiety I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing now. I have stolen a few minutes from my daily chores here at work to write this and I feel better already.

I appreciate all my readers for their support. Also, I do read your posts and find brilliance in words and images. I have big plans for my short stories and will also be doing a couple of give-a-ways through Amazon. This weekend I’m going to try a Pinterest recipe and see if I fail and burn the house down or end up with a family favorite side dish. I do not regret for one moment that I chose to participate in the writing challenge but I think next year I’ll choose something that isn’t so difficult.

April, 4th 2018

Being to sick to even drink my coffee sucks! After getting my family through the stomach bug it’s only natural I get it. I managed to get to work through the foot of snow only to get sick. It took all day to write that piece for the #AtoZChallenge because I couldn’t sit up. I’m peck typing this. I would like to say thank you to all my awesome readers. I will get to comments and emails soon.

March 24th, 2018

Life Happens…I guess?

I had a wonderful day yesterday with writing and doodling. Lots of ideas were just running in through my head. Both beautiful and dark images, stories outside of my normal writing, and cake baking. By the way, the cake was something that reminded me of the chocolate cakes filled with cream from when I was younger. Ding Dongs were awesome once a week treat that my grandmother snuck to us kids.

Being on cloud nine handled every emergency that the company threw at me until an hour before I had to leave for my creative weekend. This person walked in with 20 art requests for customers that she had been sitting on for a week! While I was sometimes needing work or overwhelmed with it, she was walking around talking and having a great time as her supervisor was gone. Furious wouldn’t be able to describe how I was feeling. I ended up having to work late with my anxiety level at a 10.

My husband had a surprise when I came home which made my evening a little better. He had purchased the watercolors, inks, and markers I had been wanting since I first started playing with paints. I was like a kid that just got her deluxe box of crayons. He managed to pull me away long enough to take me out for a burger. Now, I’ve had a gastric bypass and there certain things that I stopped eating since and burgers are one. Let me tell you the rare burger with bleu cheese and caramelized onions cooked perfectly rare hit the spot. When we got home it was late and that’s when I learned that I would either need a bigger area to write and paint or get better organized. That’s when I announced to the kids if we are going to go out to breakfast it would have to be early in the morning so I can get back in time to play with the paints. It didn’t go as planned.

I was the only one that woke in time to a still sleeping house. I was actually woken by a flashback. I painted my dream took a minute more to myself and wrote my 6-word story. I crawled into bed when my husband decided to get up. I told him it was getting too late and I wouldn’t have time to do anything. I was really pouting because where he wanted to go was an hour drive. Let’s just say we didn’t get home until after lunch and I still had to set up my desk. Now that everything is in place I plan on working on some writing and then paint tomorrow.

So, life happened and I didn’t get to do things how I planned but it all worked out. So far if all goes well my plans are to paint tomorrow and minor writing.

March 1st, 2018

With it being the first day of March it has a renewing quality. I have read a lot of the blogs that I follow do a monthly recap. So much has happened in a month and so much I have forgotten (wish I didn’t) that I can’t do a true recap.But I do have this:

Goals (so far)

  • I haven’t had a cigarette in almost a full 2 months
  • Have been writing daily, submitted a piece of writing for a blog
  • Participated in Discovery’s Daily Post (need to do that more often)
  • Started playing with watercolors more, picked up a daily doodle habit (hoping to keep that going)
  • Keeping up with my reading journal
  • Trying new watercolor techniques/painting more

I have a short story in the works and had to look up what constitutes a short story (referring to word counts) and I can stop but I need probably another 1000 words to bring it to an end. I started reading Macbeth and I have to re-read a scene at least twice. But the first act inspired a watercolor painting. I used non-traditional colors for the toad, highlighted with white ink (thanks for the advice guys) and Indian Ink (with a toothpick and brush..thanks for the tips). I tried catching personality and mysticism of the creature and almost achieved what I had envisioned.

I have learned so much from the blogging community and appreciate the wealth of knowledge that these talented individuals offer. I wanted to tell my readers “thank you.” I wanted time to write, update my reading journal, and paint that my husband offered to cook dinner. Even though it was pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon it was awesome that he stepped up to give me the time that I need.

So here’s to another month of me proving to myself that I got this. If I want to make hair-brained goals it’s ok and it’s ok if I fail just as long as I keep trying.

 

February 22, 2018

Sometimes I feel like I set unrealistic goals or I want to try and tackle so many things but never follow through to the end. Then there are times that I think about starting something and how great I would be at it or how great it would be for me to attempt and NEVER even try. How do I find a happy medium? Do I stop reaching for the stars? Do I try everything and anything I think of? So, I think all my hairbrained ideas are worth attempting and it’s ok to fail. It’s ok to fail as long as I try again and again. With my anxiety shutting so much of my aspirations down, it’s time to try and stick up for what I want to do and achieve.

Progress

My reading log is going great. I met my goal of 2 books for the month of February. I know I caved when I got Jane Eyre in audiobook format. I realized with my attention span and my spastic brain tap outs, it would be best. Jane Eyre was inspiring to say the least. To be able to recognize bad situations and knowing your worth is something to be desired, well for me at least. In the end, she got was she wanted and knew she deserved. Feeling accomplished I created my March month pages in my journal and will try for three books but will be excited with two.

I still haven’t had a cigarette so that’s going great. The smell of smoke on other people is sickening and I freak out thinking that’s how I use to smell to non-smokers. My diet, let’s just say I try and slip, try and fail, but I am still trying.

Being creative is something that I am trying to do every day and unfortunately, I haven’t painted since that last loose watercolor. I have, however, made origami Hawaiian shirts for the Hawaiian day. Today at work it was Hawaiian day and I thought that it would be nice to do something for the people I work with and hopefully bring a smile to their face. It felt good to hear them get giddy over something as simple as folded paper.

I also wanted to do a daily doodle book. I don’t let my inner child out enough and I don’t allow myself to fail. I know that sounds weird but I need to fail to learn to get better. I also need to find my own style and artistic voice.

Then I thought about NaNo (National Novel) Writing Month. Then I thought, “What the hell?! I’m not a writer and I have no business participating.” I talked to my husband and he said is that my insecurities and my head thinking for me or is that something I really believe. I have been writing and even submitting a piece to another blog (it hasn’t been chosen and probably won’t be). I got over that fear so why not this? I took the first steps and signed up for my NaNo account through the NaNo site. I know it may not seem like much but that is a huge step for me.

Yes, my husband is still fighting the flu and the doctor hasn’t cleared him to work yet. Today is our anniversary but I was happy with ordering pizza and working on things I have been putting off such as my reading log and writing a journal entry. This weekend I have project plans. Creating my daily doodle log, try to create something with my Indian Ink, and generate ideas for my NaNo project (which I am scared to death and don’t have the slightest clue to what I am doing). I know I can’t start writing until November but that doesn’t mean that I can’t plan.

Did I bite off more than I can chew, you bet your ass! Am I going to fail? Probably. Will I quit? No. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of goals. Don’t be afraid of accomplishments.

February 19th, 2018

As ya’ll have been reading my significant other has been down with the Flu which leaves me with a whole lot more extra work around the house plus trying to help him. So when it came time for me to go to work I this morning I was more than happy. There I felt peace until everything hit the proverbial fan. We are under a Winter Weather Warning which meant that work was trying to get through at a faster pace in case people couldn’t get to the factory. Luckily, I live 3 blocks from my office and the only thing I have to worry about is getting up a major incline (both ways). I was stressed by the time I left cranking out art for school, colleges, and the retail side and decided that I was going to dive into loose watercolor techniques and doodling.

I wanted to throw in the towel truth be told. I didn’t like how it flowed until I added more water. My only regret is that I didn’t leave enough white space to my liking. But I LOVE this piece and can’t wait to have another go. I would tonight but my husband needs the kleenex (which he can’t reach even though it’s literally right next to him on the bed) and is to sore to get up and push buttons on a microwave to heat up the soup.

I also started working on the ‘Ballpoint Pen Doodle’ book that my daughter got me for Christmas. I did this while at the laundromat. It helped calm me while being around all those strangers. I usually panic and need my prescription intervention but since my husband was to sick to even sit up I had to go. I didn’t have to make eye contact and focused on copying the exercises in the book.

My reading log…I didn’t forget. I didn’t listen to my Jane Eyre today. I needed a break from that book. I didn’t realize all the gaslighting that occurs for poor Jane. I am looking forward to Mr. Rodchester admitting that he has feelings for Jane but I’m thinking that the author is going to make me wait until the last few chapters. I did, however, try catching up on some of my podcasts. I did promise myself I wouldn’t download any new episodes until I was caught up.

I hope I get some sleep tonight even though I’m still confined to my recliner since my hubby is contagious.

 

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