Can I get a Ph.D in Procrastination?

Hiya friends, welcome back. I find myself again having to apologize for my absence on Monday, my mother was in the hospital (she’s fine now, and will probably be pissed at me for saying anything) but it is what it is. My mind was a big jumbled mess, I was struggling to get through homework, so I knew writing a blog post was pretty much a lost cause. Well, now that that’s out of the way, shall we jump right in?

So, for school I’ve been doing a shitload of research on an artifact, gearing up to complete a project, and I absolutely hate it. Even through the noise of me banging my head on the desk, my brain did think of all the times I’ve researched things for a story and it never bothered me then.

Researching

Seriously, I’ve researched everything from how to shoe a horse to brain surgery (Grey’s Anatomy taught me many things mostly how much sex could be had inside a hospital, but the proper etiquette for brain surgery was not something Dr. Shepard covered). Through all the research I’ve done for a scene that might take someone 10 minutes to read, I’ve never complained.

BUT…

Ask me to research the Colosseum for a project and watch me whine and procrastinate for hours, if not days.

It’s silly really when I think about it because I’m not too bad at research, it doesn’t take me forever, in fact, I’m certain if I just did it and got it over with it wouldn’t take me much time at all. Also, my interest in the topic has no bearing on my completion of the research either, I mean in all honesty I’m afraid of horses, and would never be close enough to have to shoe one.

Ugh, in short researching for school annoys me.

How do you writers out there feel about the noble pursuit of knowledge for a scene? Share some of your craziest topics of research…I’d love to know I’m not alone. Well, back to the Colosseum I go, until next time….

Oh, the Agony…(yes, I’m being dramatic)

Slump1

Hiya friends, welcome back. Do you ever get in a slump with your reading? I am dealing with this right now, and it’s annoying as hell. I swear it feels like school is taking over my life, and by the time I have a spare moment to read I can’t decide what to read, or can’t get into anything. Ugh.

Seriously, during a good reading stint I can devour A LOT of books, but recently I’m struggling to just pick up and finish one. If you’ve been watching my Goodreads page you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t finished a book since Magic Bites. Which well….BITES dude.

Slump2

Usually I can drag myself out of the slump by reading a book I love (not gonna lie, it’s usually Harry Potter) but this time it’s not working. I guess what I’m asking is if you guys have any suggestions, whether it be what to read, or how to break this streak. I’m game, my friends, I’ll do anything at this point.

Please. Help me!

Sorry for the short post, but honestly I can’t write about a book until I finish one dammit! Hopefully, this dry spell is broken by next Friday, otherwise, I am screwed here. Until next time….

A Creative Writers Response

Hiya friends, welcome back. During my procrastination today I found this and thought I’d share it with you. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard these statements, so I figured I’d tell you my responses.

 

Creative Writing

  1. My “little” book? If you’re talking about the thing I spend most of my time trying to perfect and get just right, yeah I’m still working on that.
  2. You try creating an entire world in your head, and then tell me it’s not a real fucking job.
  3. Ugh, seriously?!?! Refer to number two!
  4. I don’t write because I have time to kill, I write because if I didn’t I might die. No wait, I write to prevent myself from killing people in real life.
  5. Yes, Mom. Creative writing degrees are a real thing.
  6. I didn’t realize that being published was part of the criteria for being a writer. I thought I had to be a writer to get published, silly me and my creative thinking.
  7. If you keep pissing me off with all these nonsense questions you might be, but I can guarantee you won’t like how it ends. (I have creative ways to kill people off inside the pages of a novel.)
  8. You have a great idea, great! Write your own damn book in your free time, and use all your wonderful ideas. That shit is intellectual property, you don’t give that shit away.
  9. No, the world of professional liars is saved for con men and politicians. I simply see myself as a teller of stories.
  10. What the what?!?! Why would I tell you everything? You can wait and read it when it’s finished, or even better I’ll sign a copy when it’s published. (Do I sound big-headed to say that? Maybe, but hey, sometimes I’m the only one who believes in my “little” book.)

 

That is how I would respond, what about you guys? Have you ever had anyone say any of these to you? How would you respond? I’d love to hear some snark. Until next time…

The Anxious Minds Parley

Hiya friends, welcome back. First off I want to apologize for not posting on Friday, I had a ton of stuff going on and honestly just didn’t have time to write a post. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s get mental. (Terrible pun)

Anxiety is a bitch, if you have anxiety or a panic issue you know how bad it sucks. I am super lucky in the fact that my support system understands my wonky brain now, but it wasn’t always that way. Looking back on the years since my diagnosis there were some rough times when it came to explaining what was happening to me. I searched everywhere for articles and tools to help me convey what I was feeling, and sometimes it still wasn’t enough. My family had trouble with the fact that I wouldn’t go to family parties or be around on holidays, my friends got annoyed with me for bailing on plans or showing up and leaving quickly. In the early days, I would get mad that they felt slighted when I was clearly the one dealing with this shit, but what I’ve come to realize is as hard as it is to have anxiety, it’s even harder to watch someone you care about suffer with it.

For my family, they only saw their loved one go from an outgoing and happy person to someone who couldn’t handle being outside my house. My friends watched me change from the girl who loved to hang out and have fun, to someone who couldn’t bear to be in a crowd. It wasn’t me they were mad at, it was the situation I was in and they couldn’t help. If it was hard for me to come to grips with this, I can only imagine it was equally as hard for them to see.

I was reminded of this fact this weekend when my mom made this comment, “I didn’t invite you because I didn’t know if you’d feel up to it.” My immediate response was anger and frustration toward her for saying something so flippant, but then I remembered, she’s trying to be helpful in the only way she knows how. She has never felt like there was an elephant sitting on her chest as she struggled to breathe. She’s never had to feel like the entire world is spinning so fast and yet you’re not moving. She has never had her brain actively working to sabotage EVERY. SINGLE. THING in her life and she’s powerless to stop it. She doesn’t know how it feels to sit in a room with a doctor and dissect every detail to find the root of the problem. Yet, I am expecting her, and the rest of my family and friends, to understand what’s happening to me as though they have.

I guess what I’m saying is, I ask them to cut me some slack more often than I care to admit, so shouldn’t I give them the same courtesy. In all honesty, I don’t think I wrote this post for anyone other than myself, I need the reminder sometimes.

Well, that’s that my friends. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and if you’re a mother, Happy (late) Mother’s Day to you. Until next time….

Do Penguins Have Knees?

Hiya friends, welcome back. Like I said on Monday, I’m going to be expanding the scope of this space just a bit. Not only do we wear pink on Wednesdays, but we also talk writing now. (Wow, that was a terrible reference) I’m not sure how this is going to work out, but hey ho we’ll give it a go.

You know when you’re little and people ask what you want to be when you grow up? I had quite a few answers, at five I wanted to be a hitman (yup, told the teacher that), at seven I wanted to be a Brontosaurus (I blame The Land before Time), at ten it was clear for a week my calling was to be a lawyer (I could have arrested my five-year-old self), then alas I landed on writer and stayed there. Of course, like any good adult role models, my parents told me I could definitely be anything, I’m assuming they meant to put an exception in there for the hitman career. What they failed to tell me was that by deciding to be a writer, I had unbeknownst to myself, also signed up for a shitty little thing that came with it. If you’re a writer you know where this is going by now, the dreaded WRITER’S BLOCK!

Seriously, it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever encountered. There you are completely ready to sit down to work on your beloved cast of characters and their amazing lives, and in that moment your brain goes, “Nope not today Rockstar. Today I want to ponder one the great mysteries of life. Let us ponder if penguins have knees?” If you’re wondering, let me save you the trouble of googling that and then inevitably watching penguin videos on YouTube, yes, they do have knees.

I have spent many a day/night tilting at this windmill while trying to put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, it’s never fun. That being said, I’ve come up with a few things that have helped me in the past and maybe can help you in the future.

  • Walk away writer, walk away. Honestly, sometimes you just need some fucking space. It doesn’t make you any less of a writer if you don’t write on that day.
  • Pick a prompt. There are times I just can’t write on that piece on that day, doesn’t mean I’ll be blocked from writing anything at all.
  • Jump around. I don’t mean this in a literal way, unless you’re feeling quite froggy then have at it, Everlast. I mean write a different scene, a different conversation that you have planned for the story. In my experience, it can be just that one area that I’m having trouble with.
  • Get your read on. I’ve found that just reading can Hulk smash that damn block. It’s like my brain focuses on the thing I’m reading while some little piece of it continues to unravel my damn issue.
  • Go outside, and interact with other humans. I’m guilty of sitting myself in front of my computer for hours, even days on end. Fresh air clears my head, and talking to humans gives me ideas. It’s a win-win really.

There ya have it, my friends, five solid tips to beat the block. In all truthfulness just because it works for me doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to work for you, but hey it’s worth a shot, right? Please feel free to tell me any other tips and tricks you might have, I’m always looking for ways to get around it. Until next time…

From Meltdown to Let Down

Disclaimer: Mental Health is as diverse as people are, please keep that in mind while reading. Your mileage may vary. Oh, one more thing, mind the harsh language…

 

panic

Hiya friends, welcome back. I know this is going to be shocking but there is more to me than being a bibliophile, and because of that I’ve decided that Monday’s here shall forever more be known as Mental Monday. Well, now that we’ve established that…let’s get mental.

Maybe the best way to start this is to explain what I mean, I have GAD (three letters that simply mean everything scares me, also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and a panic disorder, causing just enough panic to make me agoraphobic. (I know, right?!?! Could I really be any cooler?)

Basically, my brain likes to overanalyze everything and then deduce that the obvious response is fight or flight. I have spent the last 5 years trying to get control of this with no medications. I mean, I like the TWD as much as the next person, but I don’t like being a zombie. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried to use other things to cope, mostly booze, which didn’t help me at all.

When I was first diagnosed my family and friends had no idea what was happening to me, neither did I honestly. I can still remember the first panic attack I ever had, it was outside a restaurant and I was convinced I was dying. My parents kept telling me to “Just breathe,” but I couldn’t, I couldn’t stop the overwhelming feeling that I was suffocating in my own skin. I figured it was just a one-time thing and went about my business as usual.

Until it happened again, this time in a store.

I knew something was up, and I knew I needed to figure it out. I made an appointment with a doctor and was told, “It sounds like you had a panic attack. It was probably just residual stress from everything that’s been happening in your life. It’ll pass.” It didn’t fucking pass, in fact, they got worse. Another doctor visit and they decided to try medication, saying it would help. It did not help, it just made it worse. Another doctor, another pill, another moment of false hope. I gave up on meds after that. (Side Note: Just because they didn’t work for me doesn’t mean that I believe they don’t work for anyone. If they do help you, I’m so jealous and yet so happy for you that you found relief.)

Cut to now.

I have plans tonight!!! I’m supposed to go see a show, one that I’ve wanted to see for a VERY long time, and there is the anxiety. I am so worried that I’m going to panic in a room full of strangers, who probably could care less what the hell is happening to me, but my brain says, “everyone will see, you’ll be embarrassed, people will KNOW!” Did I mention that I really want to go?

UPDATE: The show got fucking canceled. Can you believe that? I was so determined to go and enjoy myself and then wham, cancelation. Did you know there is an emotion that makes you feel really bummed out when something like that happens? I didn’t know that, I actually had to ask if it was “normal” to feel let down when you were, in fact, crazy anxious and panicky all week.

I don’t really know how to end this honestly, welcome to my brain. Until next time…

Book Review: Magic Bites

Hiya friends, welcome back. Prepare yourself for my first ever book review…dun dun dun. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Magic Bites

amazon 2B&N2

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

Ilona Andrews

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…(Amazon)

My Final Thoughts:

It’s no great secret, judging by my last post, that I am a massive fan of bad ass female characters, the tougher and mouthier the better. Kate Daniels is the embodiment of that very description, a tough as nails merc determined to find who killed her guardian. Throughout this story, you meet a wide variety of interesting characters, from the Beast Lord to a teenaged werewolf to a creepy vampire. Now I know what you’re thinking if you’re anything like me, “werewolf and vampire, oh hell no I read Twilight, that was enough for me,” but trust me when I tell you to give this book a chance. I adored the witty banter between the characters, and loved even more how Ilona wrote about magic in a way that didn’t leave me wishing for Harry Potter (quite difficult to do with a Potterhead like me). If I had to find one negative in this book it was that it left me with a few unanswered questions, but all in all, that’s not bad because it makes me want to read the rest of this series. On my scale, I’d rate this book 5 feels, it gave me all of them my friends.

There is only one thing left to say, until next time…