Coming Soon …

Go to Earth, they said! It’ll be fun, they said. Yeah, because having our ship blown up and being tossed into the middle of an intergalactic war is really my idea of a good time. I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of the human principle of sarcasm, don’t you?

The moment I heard the sirens going off, I knew something was wrong. Ever been in the middle of an intergalactic “he-said-she-said?” Well, I have. Wait, I AM, and allow me to spare you the wondering: it’s not fun. Both sides are saying we’re traitors. How exactly we’re betraying ANYONE, when we’re doing EXACTLY what we were TOLD to do, is beyond us.

All we know is this: if we’re seen-we’re dead.

So yeah, I think it’s pretty safe to say that my first mission as a Commander just went to Fuocielo in a fiery handbasket. Our only chance at survival is to figure out what happened and why. Now, someone else in my position might be naïve enough to think their own government wouldn’t sabotage a mission as important as this, but I know better. I just have to somehow figure out who the real traitor is, and somehow prove it before my crew and I are killed.

Ankle v. Biblio: A Battle of Wits and Will

Hiya friends! Holy shit I’ve been away for a little while, but I can explain, I swear. The short of the long of it is, my ankle hates me and is currently attempting to exile itself. The rest of the body is in a conference and it seems the exile will be denied. That being said, the ankle has nothing to lose at this point and has refused to work properly until all its demands are met. The entire body has taken meetings with doctors and have scheduled an MRI to determine if further negotiations are possible. We are confident that through time and patience, as well as certain concessions on either side, our differences can be resolved.

Considering these unforeseen circumstances, the body has decided to restrict the ankles access to Twitter, as she tends to not think before tweeting, and that seems irresponsible. In response, the ankle has revoked access to the swimming pool and the community gym, as well as anything it has deemed to be fun in any way. As you can clearly see, we are at quite the stalemate.

But, on a serious note…

THIS SHIT SUCKS!!!!!

Here are the facts as they stand right now. I hurt my ankle a while ago, and it was never properly fixed (good one, Nikki). I woke up two weeks ago in some pain, with a swollen ankle and foot, and deduced that I must be a VERY active sleeper. It wasn’t until a few days later that I finally was convinced, and yes, it took convincing to get me to agree to go to the local ER and see what the deal was.

At this point the usual happened, I was asked tons of questions, my ankle was poked, prodded, and my foot was wiggled (more on the wiggling foot in a second). I knew they were going to want an X-Ray even though I had told them nothing was broken. They didn’t listen and to radiology I went, well wheeled, no walking from here on out.  *Important Info Alert: I miss walking.*

It’s at this point that I’d like to point out, no one was harmed during the hospital visit we’re discussing. Once inside the lovely X-Ray room, I noticed there were two people, the radiologist who had come and gotten me and a noob, immediately the section of my brain that registers pain sighed and let out an exasperated “Here we go.” He must have seen my eyes as wide as saucers and tried to ease my worries, “calm down, an X-Ray doesn’t hurt one bit.”

It was at this point that my mouth decided to join the party and say, “Yeah, I’ve had a few, not the X-Ray I’m worried about.” (Internal monologue: Good job Nikki, piss off the person who is gonna move your foot an ankle into position….back pedal now dumbass, quick use humor…and go). “Sorry that’s not what I mean, it’s just running a mission with a noob can sometimes get you hurt.” (IM: Yeah, that was much better, why the hell are you so awkward every time you open that hole on your face?) His face was stony for a minute before he said, “I’ll try to be careful.”

So, in the course of about an hour, I’d argued with a doctor and pissed off the new guy in radiology, batting a thousand here people. He did end up causing a little pain, but I bit my tongue and didn’t say anything. After the bones were properly pictured I was being wheeled out and said, “Nice job, Noob! Mission accomplished with no casualties, level up.” He laughed as I rolled out of sight. See, I tried to smooth things over, I’m not a complete ass. As suspected there were no broken bones, so I was sent on my merry way with an ace wrap, air cast, and specific instructions to contact the ortho.

Cut to now, he’s been contacted and seen, hence the MRI appointment. Bones weren’t good enough for him, he needs muscles and stuff. I get to lay in a tube on Wednesday afternoon, with my head exposed, thank whoever is looking out for me. I definitely get claustrophobic and that’s no fun for anyone.

As it stands right now I’ve been on crutches for just about two weeks, and won’t know until the 19th, a nice even month until I figure out what the deal is. Have I mentioned how much I loathe crutches? In my house, we call them “sticks,” but dress it up any way you wish they’re still torture devices.

So, that’s it the whole annoying tale…I should definitely tell you guys about the conversation in the cast room. It was highly entertaining, I think you’d all enjoy it. Either way, I’ll keep you updated. Until next time my friends.

Pomp and Circumstance

Hiya friends, welcome back. As I promised last week this is my full report on the happenings of my first excursion with CBD oil. This past Friday, my youngest nephew graduated from high school (cue the sappy moment intermingled with the horror that I’m that old). The easiest way to do this is to basically run through the entire day, don’t worry I’ll edit the boring stuff out.

The day before I was pretty anxious and I kept having to find inventive ways to keep my brain occupied so as to not get too bad. I played video games, The Division is an amazing game, I highly recommend it. I used the CBD oil throughout the day, and tried to gauge how much and when to use it to avoid the worst of the panic attacks. It seemed to take the edge off them, which made me feel a little more comfortable with using it the next day.

Then we came to the day of and when I woke I was fully expecting that familiar feeling of dread crushing in on me, but….it wasn’t there. Instead I felt a full range of emotions. Excitement for seeing my nephew walk across the stage and receive the diploma that he’d worked so hard to get. Happiness that it mattered to him that I was there. Sadness at how grown up he is now, and that the little boy he once was is just a memory now. But, pride was probably the biggest one, he did work his ass off and he succeeded in it, and because I remember teaching him how to read when he was 5 and well without reading…you get the picture. I also had a moment of shock that anxiety seemed to be the farthest thing from my brain, it was amazing.

As the day progressed, I used the CBD oil a few times to keep myself from dropping into anxiety and panic. I really didn’t want to let anyone down, not my family, not my nephew, and especially not myself. Then it was time to leave, I was dressed and ready to go thinking to myself, “Oh boy, this is about to go wonky.”

During the drive, everything stayed comfortable for me, which was a completely new feeling. I used the CBD a few more times just to make sure I wouldn’t get inside and go all upside down. Then it was time to put it to the ultimate test, it was time to go inside, find a seat and sit through the ceremony. After finding my parents, we all went to find seats and get ready for the pomp and circumstance (see what I did there?).

I was taking pictures and talking to my family, and it was only after my nephew and his graduating class had walked in and sat down that I realized I wasn’t panicking, there wasn’t even a hint of it.

THE CBD WAS WORKING!!!

So, there I sat waiting to hear my nephews name and being proud, for more reasons than I could count. I sat there from 6pm to about 8:30pm (tons of speeches), and never once did I feel the need to flee. I wasn’t in fight or flight mode, I was calm and enjoying myself. I can’t begin to explain how that feels, when you’ve spent so much time locked in, literally and figuratively, to finally find something that works and makes you feel just a little bit like your old self. My nephew wasn’t the only one graduating that night.

I even managed to go out to dinner, that is something that hasn’t happened in five years. All in all, the day was a massive success. I couldn’t be happier. I swear by this now, and I can’t wait to make more plans and get out of the house this summer.

Well that was my entire day, it was great, and I had fun. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I liked living it. Oh, I’ve been told to put this in here as well…Congratulations to the class of 2017. Until next time…

My Favorite Prompts..

Hiya friends, welcome back. This past week, I barely wrote anything that wasn’t for school. Have you ever had that moment where you realize you’re missing something? That’s what it was like for me this week, writing is an outlet for me, a way to express the stuff I’ve experienced and keep it from overpowering my mind.

I remember writing little short stories when I was younger, they were always full of light and happiness. It wasn’t until I was 19 that things changed, where there had been light was only darkness. Fear, sadness, and anger overtook freedom, happiness, and calm. Even with all the changes one thing stayed solid, I was still writing.

It’s clear by now that I’m a bibliophile, I spend a good chunk of my time reading (even when it cuts into other things…like sleeping). But, for me writing can give me the same escape, and when I don’t escape things bottle up and I become difficult to be around. Imagine being in the middle of a raging storm, complete with thunder and lightning, and then you have an idea of what I’m like without words to read, or a moment to write. I really feel bad for people around me during that time. (This is a perfect time to apologize if you’ve ever been near me in storm mode, I’m sorry.)

Well, that was a whole lot of rabbiting on just to get to this point, oops, but alas here we are. When I just need to write and don’t feel like working on my usual pieces, I find writing prompts. I love a good prompt and I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you guys, and maybe you could do the same. In hindsight, the writing at the beginning of this post seems a bit…well, dramatic. Whatever you guys get it, right?

Here are five of my favorites. Enjoy.

 

Prompt 1
Instagram: @awriterslifeforme

 

 

Prompt 2
thefakeredhead.com

 

 

Prompt 3
promptutorium.wordpress.com

 

 

Prompt 4
promptutorium.wordpress.com

 

 

Prompt 5
promptutorium.woordpress.com

 

 

I have very electic taste when it comes to writing, if you hadn’t guessed. If you use one of these, please feel free to share with me. I love reading how different writers interpret prompts. Until next time….

Book Review: The Butterfly Garden

Hiya friends, welcome back. As promised here is my review of the book that broke my reading slump. (Oh, happy day!)

The butterfly garden

B&N2amazon 2

The Butterfly Garden

Dot Hutchison

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…(Amazon)

 

Now my thoughts, which begin quite simply with how interesting I found the plot of this story. I’m a sucker for mystery crime novel, and this one did not disappoint me. When I began reading it took some time to get used to how the author jumped between the present interrogation and the past memories. I immediately felt for the main character Maya, you could just tell she had a rough start at life, and being captured by the Gardener was just the latest terrible thing to happen to her. I will say, there are parts that are not for the faint of heart, it’s extremely creepy at points, and I can definitely see how that would be off putting to certain readers, but I’m a weirdo and I just thought it added another layer to the story. Then, as in typical crime/mystery novel fashion, there was a twist. But WHAT a twist! I didn’t see this one coming at ALL, which just made me like it even more. In honor of the tough women, I give this novel four and a half butterflies.

 

Well, there you have it, my review of this incredible novel. I really hope you take some time and maybe give this book a chance, I don’t think you’ll regret it…and if you do you can blame me.  Until next time…

The Anxiety Cheat Sheet

Hiya friends, welcome back. I was talking to a friend the other day and she told me that a person she loves has been dealing with some anxiety lately and she wasn’t sure how to help. This obviously gave me the perfect idea of what to write about for Mental Monday.

As I sit here writing this I’m having anxiety issues, complete with a few lovely panic attacks. What better time to write this out? (Side Note: if you’re curious, writing calms my mind and keeps my hands busy, it’s a twofer.) What I’ve decided is people need a cheat sheet of sorts, to help them figure out how to help when someone they love has anxiety.

(Warning – This is a long one, my friends. You might want a snack or at least a drink. What follows is what helps me, and while it might not help every anxious person in your life, I’m sure mixing and matching them can work for some. Strong language may follow, I can’t seem to not cuss/swear/curse when talking about this.)

Ten Things to Know That Will Help You Love Someone with Anxiety

  1. Try to steer clear of phrases like “calm down,” any forms of telling them to relax, or sentences starting with “You just need to…”

As an anxious/panicky person, I can tell you right now, telling me to calm down does the exact fucking opposite. In fact, it brings the anxiety straight to the front of my brain where it beats on the glass and gets really fucking annoying. Telling me to relax pretty much has the same effect, trust me I’d relax if I knew how. Lastly by starting a sentence with “You just need to *insert really helpful idea here*” just makes me realize even more that you are fully witnessing my spiral into chaos. Even in the worst, deepest moments of my anxiety, there is still a little voice screaming from the back telling me to “BREATHE DAMMIT,” we know what we need to do.

  1. When/if they decide to tell you what the hell is going on in their brain, please for the love of all that is good in this world do not make them feel dumb, or weak.

Do you have any idea how much courage it takes to battle your brain every day? How many times it would be easier to let your brain win the war? Instead, you choose to push yourself out of bed every morning, or try to push yourself out of your comfort zone and fight back, that is not weakness. As for the dumb factor, we have called ourselves crazy enough for a lifetime, we don’t want to worry about those we love doing the same. It’s bad enough to know your brain is trying to sabotage everything without having to worry about judgment from someone you love enough to share your issues with.

  1. You don’t need to have all the answers to our problems, whether they are real or imagined.

We don’t even know all the little moving pieces of the shadow that follows us everywhere, we certainly don’t expect you to. I know in my vulnerable moments when I actually express the thoughts swirling in my brain, I’m not looking for someone to make sense of it or analyze it with/for me, I just want to share it with someone because when the thoughts are out in the open the shadow isn’t so scary. Think of it this way, it’s kind of like walking in the woods, if you’re with someone the darkness doesn’t seem so massive.

  1. It’s scary as fuck, for BOTH of us.

The feelings that happen in the height of an anxiety or panic attack scare us, even when we’re used to them. The first time you watch the person you love hyperventilate, or break down in tears, or shake so violently you worry there is something else wrong, is scary. That’s okay. It’s okay to tell us it scared you because then we can tell you it scared us as well. Like I said, being used to them doesn’t make them any less frightening.

  1. Pushing through isn’t always an option.

Sometimes the only thing you can do is curl up on the couch and watch the world move without you. In these moments, we might need your help, not in a physical way but emotionally, sit with us, hold us if we’ll let you. You don’t have to talk because sometimes words aren’t needed, just lend us some strength. It’ll help us find our way through, it gives us an anchor to hold onto until it’s over.

  1. Just because you love us, doesn’t mean you always have to like this part of us.

It’s completely okay to not like our anxiety. It’s a bitch when you plan something for weeks only to have the person you love bail on it because their busy fighting an internal war. Just because we can be overly emotional doesn’t mean we expect you to keep all yours concealed for fear of “triggering” us. If you’re mad, say it. If you’re hurt, say it. I know some won’t agree with me here, but I find it comforting to know I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by my anxiety/panic attacks. They get in the way, they’ve changed us, we know this, and when you admit you know it too we won’t hold it against you.

  1. Anxiety and panic attacks are not one size fits all.

When I’m about to spiral the same collection of things happen, but what happens to me might not be what happens to your person. Anxiety is about as diverse as people are, and it’s wise to remember that. Like I said at the beginning, some of these things might not work for them, but they will work for some. It just takes time, as shitty as that sounds, it takes time and patience to figure out what we need from you…which leads me nicely to the next bit.

  1. Have some patience.

I know this sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how often I have to remind people in my circle of what I’m about to share with you. I fight a battle every single day, I wage war on my brain and sometimes I even come out victorious. I’m used to battling alone, and I’m willing to bet yours is too. Walls go up when you worry about everything, reinforced by those before you who gave up on us because we’re too much. If you want those walls to come down and you want to be let into the inner workings of our anxiety, BE PATIENT! When we finally trust you, and it will happen, we will trust you with everything we have and then some. Don’t make them regret it.

  1. Feel free to do some research.

When I first was diagnosed I researched everything about anxiety and panic attacks. It’s completely normal to want to know more, and it might give you more insight into what’s going on when we can’t fully explain in the moment. Plus, it shows your anxious friend/SO/family member that you care enough to get yourself educated on the topic. Oh, as a side note it also opens a line of communication, which is huge. Once we see you’re taking us seriously, we’ll be more comfortable talking about it with you.

  1. Your support means EVERYTHING!

Support us when we tell you what we need. If they say they need to see a doctor to figure everything out, support them. If you’re at a party or out somewhere and they suddenly need to leave, support them. If they beg you to distract them from the weirdness happening in their brain…well, support doesn’t seem right here but just do it anyway. Trust me, every single anxious person will agree with this one, support is key. When they break through on the other side they’ll know you helped them through and words can’t express what that means. We know how to battle alone because anxiety is extremely isolating, but to have someone on your side makes it easier to keep fighting.

BONUS

Just a little hint as well… Anxiety causes nervous energy, and when that’s focused on bad shit you’ve seen the destruction it can cause. Now imagine if that nervous energy was focused on their feelings for you. See what I’m getting at? We’re fiercely loyal, incredibly protective, and our emotions run deep. While having anxiety or loving someone with it can be a pain most times, it can also be rewarding.

 

There you have it, my cheat sheet. I hope this was helpful to you guys, because honestly writing it was a pain in the ass, but the silver lining is my anxiety seems to have passed. Until next time…

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….