Friday, April 28, 2017

TUVWXYZ- Ending the A to Z challenge

I did my best to try to participate in the April A to Z blogging challenge. I've missed several days now, and looking forward I can't say I will be able to finish.

But I hate not finishing things! Can't stand it. So today is my goodbye to the challenge for this year. Bringing it to a close, but accepting my limits. A personal story... the last 14 months have been hard for me, and my household really.

Back up a couple of years. I had lost 55 pounds, cured my irritible bowel type issues, and pretty much erradicated the depression and anxiety that had plagued me for nearly 30 years. I had also changed my thinking patterns and had a new hope and joy about my writing goals.

Early last year, my daughter, who already has one chronic health condition, was not doing well. Turns out she had develped type I diabetes. She was 7 years old at the time and her world became filled with hospital stays, needles, and a complete shift in how she lives her life. It was rough on all of us, but we were managing to get back on our feet. Then I started feeling unwell. I was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy--a miscarriage. Basically my birth control had failed, I got pregnant, but the egg was implanted in the wrong my ovary. It was treated conservatively with medications to stop the growth. A week later my ovary ruptured and I had to have emergency surgery.

A flash of pure happiness the moment they told me I was pregnant, something I had wanted but was not in the plans for us. Followed almost immediately by the news that the baby growing inside me needed to be terminated before it grew too large and killed us both. To the medical world, it was a bunch of cells at that point. To me, it was a goodbye to the child I had always wanted but will never have. It was also a betrayal, on a deep level. My body nearly succeeded in killing us.

Throughout this, I kept working on my writing. I was learning about audio books. I recorded several short stories for audible, worked on some print projects... I wonder how I would manage these things without writing to turn to. I embarked upon the A to Z challenge with a grim determination to "get over it." The medical world told me I'd be back on my feet in 1-2 weeks. They didn't tell me about the hormonal changes, the soul-sucking fatigue, and the return of my depression, which has made it VERY hard to get over anything. Let alone get on with life.

BUT, though I may not have had the energy and commitment to see the challenge through to the end and post every day, the challenge--and my theme--have helped to bring me back to myself and, slowly, back to the things I know to be true inside.

I started to build the self I always wanted to be before all this crapola. And it was working. That means I can do it again. And I'm oversharing all this because I hope that when life kicks you, you find your way back to yourself too. So.... to end the A to Z:

The beautiful being that you are, deep inside can overcome anything. Let it suffuse your creative endeavors and dreams.
Unless you get back up, you'll never know what you could have accomplished.
Very often we fall down. Victims stay down forever. Victors stand back up.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And sometimes it's a near thing!
X-rated romance scenes can be healing.
YOU have a gift to give to the world, and you owe it to yourself to nurture every lovely piece of yourself so that gift can grow and be shared with the world.
Zorro wore a mask. One of the worst parts of my recent struggle is knowing that most people who interact with me will have no idea what is going on. My incisions are small and hidden beneath my clothing. I have to smile and chatter and do my job even when I just want a retreat. But that's okay. I'm going to make my art anyway, because that's what superheros do. Mask on if you have to, greatness in your heart. But never stop being you. And never stop creating.

Wishing you the absolute euphoria of discovering your true self, and putting it into your art!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Self-discovery will help you master anything you do!

April A to Z Blogging Challenge, hosted here.

My theme this year is exploring the link between mental health and creativity. See my stance on this here.

Oh Gods I've fallen behind this work with a heavy work schedule and some flagging motivation. Catch-up post!

S is for Self-discovery

All personal development is an exercise in self-discovery. In order to grow, and in order to really contribute anything meaningful to the world you first have to know yourself and what your unique gifts and motivators are.

This is also true of writing and other creative endeavors. You only create things that are real, things that are True, when you know yourself and work from a deep place of pupose and knowing.

Never be afraid to Reset!

R is for Reset.

We've all been there. You make that big goal, that big promise to yourself. You do good for a while, but eventually at some point you wake up and realize you have compeltely fallen off track.

It's tempting at that point to just throw up your hands and say that's it! I quit!

But don't be afraid to Reset. Simply assess where you are and pick up where you left off. If we see each failure or step back as the end, then it really will be. If we see it only as a new start, then we can keep moving forward!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Be open, persevere, and ask a ton of questions!

April A to Z Blogging Challenge, hosted here.

My theme this year is exploring the link between mental health and creativity. See my stance on this here.

Oh Gods I've fallen behind this work with a heavy work schedule and some flagging motivation. Catch-up post!

 Openess    Perseverance   Questions

Three very important self-development words that will make you a better writer (or creator in any sense).

In order to succeed in any endeavor, and to really be able to live your potential fully, you need to be open to new ideas, different ways of thinking, and open to the challenge that inevitably arises whenever you are seeking growth or change. You have to persevere, get back up again and again and trust that the end product will be worth it. And you need to question everything--which really brings you back around to being open to whatever information or new ideas you uncover with your persevering, open mind.

It is an interesting and counterintuitive idea, that of being at once open, strong, and inquisitive--words that at a glance seem to engender different emotions or states of being. But that is what life, and art are all about. That magical balance of often contradictory states and ideas.

Happy Writing!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Never Give Up

April A to Z Blogging Challenge, hosted here.

My theme this year is exploring the link between mental health and creativity. See my stance on this here.

 N is for Never

Never is a dangerous word. So is it's friend "always."

It's all to easy to say something never happens, or something always goes a certain way.

This is one of those times we need to check ourselves. Statistically speaking things don't always or never happen. Saying "that never works,"  or "I'll never reach this goal," is pointless.

The only important Never is this: Never Give Up!

Never give up on your goals. Never give up your hope for a better future. Never give up on that writing project you are working on.

What if you were one small step away... what if all that you have been working for was just about to finally happen, only you quit one day too soon?

Tomorrow could be the day you succeed.

Keep going. Never give up. The results--whether they are personal development goals, fitness goals, or creative goals--are worth it. If they weren't, you would NEVER have started in the first place. And you wouldn't ALWAYS keep coming back to your dreams.

Good luck!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Love Yourself More!

April A to Z Blogging Challenge, hosted here.

My theme this year is exploring the link between mental health and creativity. See my stance on this here.

 L M is for Love yourself More

I think the whole concept of loving yourself gets tossed around much too losely these days. To me loving yourself is more than just accepting yourself as you are and calling it good. To my way of thinking, when people have a flaw, they are all too ready to just say "but that's who I am so I'm going to accept that." I'm not saying you should be overly critical of yourself or hate yourself. But what I am saying is that if you REALLY loved yourself, and this life, and the chances you've been given, you would strive for more.

Some practical examples (sorry, someone out there is probably going to be offended, shrugs):
A person who is 100 pounds overweight but says "I'm just curvy. I love myself."
A biter narcicist who can't get along with anyone says "I'm just introverted. That's just who I am."
Someone who is so painfully timid that they can't get ahead in anything says "I'm just not a go-getter. That's okay. I love myself."

I'm sure there are better examples. But you get my point. There is acceptance and love, and then there is just plain avoiding reality and hard work--laziness or dysfunciton under the guise of something else.

When we raise a child, we often make them do things or not do things and it makes them angry and disgruntled. But a parent enforces these limitations and sets these expectations precisely BECAUSE they love.

If you love yourself you will work on the areas that are difficult for you, whatever they may be. NOT because you have to live up to some standard or ideal set by society... but because you want to grow into your full potential!

If you bring this kind of loving attention to your self you will thrive. And if you bring it to your work and your creativity the world will be a better place for your spark being in it.

Love yourself More.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Free E-book AND A Free Short Story

Happy Saturday. I am giving away my e-book Earth and Sky AND my short story Mer for Free for a limited time!

All you have to do is sign up for my mailing list below. No spamming. Only ocassional e-mails letting you know when I have free offers or new books for you. The best part? You can unsubscribe later if you want. I won't judge ;)

Get your free novel AND your free short story HERE.