What I Know For Sure

   The first thing I know for sure is that I straight up stole that title from Oprah and her magazine and I’m hoping she will sue me, because I need the publicity. But there are many other things I know to be true and here are just a few:

     If you are a writer, you should concentrate on your “audience” and not concern yourself about what the people close to you think about your writing, because I am here to tell you, I know for sure THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT. Most of your friends and family will not even bother reading your stuff and those that do will either tell you it’s wonderful when you know it isn’t, or just not comment at all. Because THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT. It’s not that they don’t love you. It’s just that they aren’t living the literary life. They don’t live and breathe books and reading and writing. So, THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT. Get over it. Get over yourself. Put some ice on that bruised ego and don’t insist they read your blog or your short story.  Find other readers and writers for that. 

     The movie is NEVER as good as the book. Almost NEVER. The film version may indeed be excellent, but almost without exception, the book is infinitely better. I have to give credit to the BBC’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and also Emma Thompson’s version of Sense and Sensibility. They stayed pretty close to the book. But still, if you liked the movie, I recommend you read the book, because you’re probably missing a lot, and likely seeing a lot that the author never intended to be part of the story. I hold up the Harry Potter series as an example. Delightful, entertaining films, but the books are better. Of course they are. How could a two hour film do those books justice?  The fourth film in particular, The Goblet of Fire, completely butchered the book. And yet it’s still better than most of what’s coming out of Hollywood these days. 

    People who care about you will make time for you. If they don’t answer your call or text or message right away, they may be busy. People have lives. They have jobs and spouses and children and responsibilities. Things come up. Emergencies, big and small. However, If they don’t respond to you for days at a time and you notice that they do seem to have time to post on Facebook, THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT. They can’t be bothered to make room in their busy lives for you, and you should stop wondering and whining about it and focus on people who do make time for you. An exception to this is a friend or family member you suspect might be depressed. Give them some time. I know from a lifetime of experience that depression causes you to withdraw from the people closest to you, even though you know they love you and want to help. Some days you just can’t deal with PEOPLE. But the others? THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT. And you shouldn’t either. Move on. 

It is true what they say, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.” I am not well. I will not bore you with a list of ailments, but suffice it so say, I am not dying, at least not imminently. Technically, we’re all dying, but you know what I mean. Anyway, while other people have jobs and children to focus on, my main focus is just on getting healthy. It’s a good thing I like to read and write, because that’s about all I’m good for, besides watching TV. I do enjoy having the time to read and write, but it comes at a cost. I am often sick, weak, tired, in pain, or all of these things. I suck as a homemaker. My husband deserves better. It’s a lonely existence. But I suck it up. Because NOBODY GIVES A SHIT. 

 There is life outside of Facebook. YES! It’s true! I deactivated my account days ago and I have survived and am actually thriving. I’ve gotten tons of reading done, started writing again, began learning piano, exercising,  and I feel so much calmer. I didn’t realize how agitated I had become. Facebook had become a sordid addiction for me, like gambling and I had to cut it off cold turkey. So I did, and apparently Facebook is rolling merrily along without me! AND I DON’T GIVE A SHIT!

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Politics vs. Prose

I should have seen it coming, in retrospect. My anti-anxiety medication, which I normally take on an “as needed” basis, and hadn’t been needing all that often,  I was taking the maximum dose at bedtime every night for months, and wishing for more during the day. I was tense and having trouble sleeping and watching the news obsessively and living on Facebook, posting meme after meme after meme about Trump, Hillary, and all things political, not caring who I offended or bored. My husband was perplexed, to say the least. He tried to reason with me. “Why do you care so much? Why does it matter to you?” I couldn’t come up with an answer, only a question. “Why don’t you care?” He does care, but “they’re both criminals”. And this nation is going to hell and yada yada yada, I can’t discuss this with you, don’t you have a headache, anyway? Seriously, he told me, “You are only one person. All you can do is put your message out there and sit back and wait and see what happens. We are not driving this train.” And my therapist agreed. She asked me  how much attention I give to politics and I explained to her that it was about as much as I would give a job. She said, “That’s a little obsessive.” And I realized she’s right. I’m on disability because too much stress makes it impossible for me to hold a job with my illness. And here I am heaping stress on myself on purpose. But I love politics. It’s in my blood. Perhaps I could take it down to a part time job? This seemed like a good suggestion to the therapist. More drugs is not the answer. I’m already medicated to the max. A change in lifestyle is required. And besides, I’m supposed to be a WRITER, not a political strategist. Whatever happened to that? OH YEAH, that. Not just a blog now and then, but the real writing. What’s going on with that? Well, not much, frankly. I’m working on a memoir project, but I haven’t touched it in two weeks, so I can hardly say I’m “working” on it. I have an idea for a novel, but I have been procrastinating outlining it, probably because deep down, I know it’s a dead end. In fact, when I pitched the idea to the therapist, she laughed and said it sounded like one of those “what do you call it, that channel with all the movies with women in trouble?” And I said, “Lifetime?”  “Yeah, that one, ” she chuckled. (BURN!!!! OUCH. Truth hurts!) And I have a ton, quite literally a TON of reading to do. Just got in three new books and I haven’t gotten through the last two months yet. Who assigned these? Why, I did, of course. I’m doing a DIY(do it yourself) MFA (Masters in Fine Arts degree) program on my own and it requires a lot of reading. It’s legit. Look it up. DIYMFA.com. It’s for people who can’t or don’t want to spend the money and time going to school and have the self-motivation and discipline to create their own program of reading, writing and building community. So I signed up for that and I have a plan, but I haven’t been working the plan very hard. I’ve been obsessing over Hillary and Trump and I’m afraid the next few months are going to be even worse. But I am going to make a very concerted effort to STOP THE MADNESS. Yesterday, as I explained to my husband when he got home from work, I took a mental health day. I did laundry. I never turned on the news. I got on Facebook and shared a few things but mostly stayed away from politics and edited and managed my profile and photos and chatted with a few friends. It was a peaceful, quiet day, and I remained calm and anxiety-free throughout.

In the interest of full disclosure I have to confess that I have recently added well over a hundred, probably close to two hundred new Facebook friends based on politics alone. Just went down the list and added people with Hillary profile pics, building myself a support army for the coming months. It’s lonely being a blue girl in a red state. Also I deleted a few people based on political differences, and I don’t feel one whit guilty about it. One posted “BS” when I posted a pic of Obama wearing a hat that said “I’ve already made America great”. She was an old friend and coworker, and I felt a little twinge but then….nah. The other was a person I liked quite a lot but who unfortunately fell victim to some Hillary conspiracy theories and she was getting a bit psycho and hysterical. If she had been in the room, I would have slapped her just to get her back to reality. I couldn’t deal. She had to go.

I made two commitments. One, to defeat Trump, and two, to get Hillary elected.  So, although I’m sure I’ll have my moments, and I’ll depend on you all to call me out, expect to see a little less of me and my obsessive rampaging on Facebook. Oh, I’ll be there. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. I’ll be skulking about. Just dialing it down a notch, that’s all. I’ll be around. My work is not yet done. 😉

 

I Am the Queen of the Nation of Procrasti!

I have been sitting at my desk for almost 4 hours, counting lunch, checking email, surfing the internet and mostly playing on Facebook. It hasn’t been entirely unproductive. I made a few new friends, gave a little advice, got a little advice. But not what you would call a productive day. I sat down with the plan of writing a blog, but didn’t have a topic ready in mind. So I put it to my Facebook friends, more of a threat than a request. Give me a topic or I start posting Grumpy Cat memes. No topics were forthcoming, so I began to post Grumpy. First one was funny, but surly, as always..best-funniest-grumpy-cat-2     I meant business. Grumpy Cat is sort of my alter ego. The expression on her face pretty much sums up my general demeanor unless I am given something specific to be cheerful about. I don’t go about smiling for no reason. I am not PERKY, and I despise perkiness in others, especially when I am not quite awake. So I have grown quite fond of this kitty with the unfortunate facial expression, who I am sure is as sweet as a lamb despite her murderous stare. She’s just misunderstood. I can relate. But I digress. My purpose today was to write a new blog post, and it wasn’t getting done. Instead,  I continued to peruse Facebook and post items of interest and comment on others. Time to just log off, right? NO! Of course not.best-funniest-grumpy-cat-13 I promised more Grumpy and that’s what they got.And I continued to procrastinate. Why? I don’t know. I have over 100 books on my Kindle I could be reading. Not to mention the hardcover books I have on my shelves, including 3 from the Book of the Month Club just waiting for me. I have a memoir project that I am working on that has been going well…memories gushing from seemingly nowhere through my fingers into my keyboard, and I will soon begin working with an instructor on that, so I need to get busy on it.It has the potential for a book. I have ideas for a novel, which needs to be outlined. And there are towels in the dryer than need to be folded. And the whole place needs vacuuming. And that’s my JOB. But no, I am sitting here, nursing a mild headache, praying it won’t become a migraine and WASTING PRECIOUS TIME. Here have some more Grumpy.best-funniest-grumpy-cat-16

Meh…that’s kind of how I feel, too. I need something to motivate me. I love to read. Why don’t I want to read? Could it be because I’ve been reading nonstop lately and my brain is so overloaded with words I can barely sleep? I don’t have writer’s block. I have plenty to say, just ask me the right question or give me a topic . I’m tired of Hillary and Trump right now and I think everyone else is weary, too. I think I’ve said my piece on police violence for a while.  I don’t care about the Olympics. USA is #1, yay!! We all knew they would  be. I don’t feel like talking about depression or bipolar.   Maybe I should focus on the manual labor instead. (“YES! ” says my husband.) Mindless drudgery to give my brain a break. Yes, that’s it. I shall become one with the laundry. Very zen. Then something brilliant will come to mind to write about. Maybe not. But the towels will be folded and my husband will be pleased. Maybe he will be pleased enough to vacuum for me. Annnnnnnd maybe not.

Writing for healing

I received a nice surprise today, completely unexpected. I have been taking a writing class called Write For Healing (writeforhealing.com) and have been slowly making progress on my own. I missed a scheduled simulcast that the instructor had scheduled and hadn’t heard anything since then so I wasn’t even sure if the group was still active. I left a message for her in her Facebook Group and she replied today and let me know that I have been chosen to receive a year’s worth of free coaching towards writing my story, maybe leading to a book. This  kind of training is invaluable to me since I can’t afford to go to school right now. I am already doing a DIY MFA program, so this is just another component in my self-help approach to becoming a real writer. I have no excuses now. I have the time, I have the opportunity, and now I have the help. It’s now or never. I told Steve it may be a long time before I am ever published. He said that’s ok, but he believes I will be if I keep up my enthusiasm. I believe I will, but I am prepared for it to take a while. I am prepared for submissions and rejections and more submissions and lots of waiting. I am prepared for failure and starting over. I am ready for all of it, because I finally know what I was put on this earth to do. This is it. Love me or hate me, I’m a writer. I just have to figure out what I was put here to write. That’s a daily question. What have you got for me today, God? Is he going to lead me to write my life story? Someone else’s life story? Fantastic fiction? Blockbuster screenplay? Who knows? Maybe I’ll just write a blog and annoy people with my politics on Facebook. 🙂 Stay tuned!

 

 

Wonky Wednesday

Well, I have definitely come off my high from yesterday. I slept, but it took a substantial dose of sleep meds to help me along. I got up with my husband this morning and saw him off to work and then went back to bed for a little while, but my mind had already begun to spin. So I got up around 7 and took meds and ate breakfast and got online. Then suddenly, in the middle of reading something, I just got up, went to the bed and crashed and laid in the bed for about three hours, semi-awake, just resting my body. It’s hard to relax when you sleep with the CPAP mask on because you have to hold that one position, flat on your back, to keep the mask in place. I flopped there til about lunch time, then got up and ate and took more meds and got online and now I feel somewhat normal and energetic, thought not a laughing lunatic like yesterday. Nothing has yet arisen to amuse me to that degree. I’ll have to check the reports from last night’s Republican National Convention. Perhaps something ridiculous occurred. The odds are good.

Yesterday, I came clean with my husband about my increased spending over the last few days. I knew I was getting out of control. We agreed that I would call and report my credit card stolen so that they would send me a new card. That way, my credit card info that is automatically saved online and in my phone would be useless. He heaved a big sigh when I told him the account balance, but he wasn’t angry. I’m glad he understands and we have the kind of marriage that I can come to him and be honest when I’m struggling and not hide it and get in bigger trouble. I know it can’t be easy to be the partner of someone with a mental illness, but he handles it beautifully. I don’t know if he fully understands it all, but he tries, and he is such a loving support to me. I told my therapist yesterday how he rearranged furniture and set up my writing space for my early birthday present and she was amazed. She said he was very special, and wished others got that kind of support. Me too. Everyone should have a Steve in their life! I am truly blessed. ❤

Still feeling a bit out of sorts. Maybe I need to get offline, and go curl up someplace comfortable with a good book. Always a good choice. What to read? That’s the hard part. I can rattle off suggestions for others, but I have trouble settling on one for myself. I checked our combined Kindle library on Amazon yesterday, and we have 99 books, almost all mine. I should be able to find one. Probably not going to be allowed to buy anymore for a while!