Tag Archives: Writing

711

Nope, not THAT 7 Eleven. 😀 I’m up to 711 followers. Not bad for a blog that’s often completely random and written by the world’s most frustrated aspiring author. 🙂

With that said, I wanted to add a “Welcome!” to the newer followers, and say that I appreciate you all.

I want to add a special Thank you to the rare few who truly read the posts, and even occasionally comment. 🙂 I know you may not always agree with me, but I hope I’ve kept you entertained and given you food for thought at least. 🙂

General Update

I’ve been idle again for a couple of days. My goal anymore is to do 2 or 3 posts a day (more often 2) and make only one of them “heavy” in any sort of way. I think keeping it at 2 or 3 keeps the work load manageable, and I don’t overload readers.

Lately I’ve been battling to catch up on sleep though. Around 5 years back, we bought a Sleep Number bed. Given the condition of my back at the time, it was a worthwhile investment despite the cost.

I should actually do a review post on them for my readers. Maybe the next day or so. 🙂

The sleep problem that came up is that the center of the bed is an air chamber. Taking air in or out is how you adjust the firmness. And, the air chamber sprung a small leak apparently. Ever tried sleeping on an air mattress and waking up with it half deflated and your back hurting? THAT is what I was dealing with for the past few weeks.

We got a new air chamber, and the bed is working fine again. It’s really been a matter of trying to catch up on my sleep now and let my creative batteries recharge.

The Back and Neck:

image from nata.org

As you can imagine, the whole incident with the bed set me back a little here. I was moving along fairly well on the rehab path after my spinal decompression treatments. The new traction devices helped, as did the rower and exercise.

At this point, I’m coming to the conclusion that healing the back to a meaningful degree and losing weight is going to take time. More then I’d like for sure. I’m making progress though. I can lift more than I could before without hurting, I’ve got more energy and more flexibility. It’s a mix of positivity that I’m making progress and frustration that it’s so slow.

The Shadow Hunt:

Overall, things have been going well here also. As long as I remember the prayer, meditation, ho’oponopono, etc… I’m having great days. When I forget, or the sleep issue was interfering, not quite as much. Again, progress even if this one will be a long slow uphill battle. Personal demons don’t disappear in a night anymore than they’re created that quickly though.

The Blog:

I’m still here, and there are no plans to change that. 🙂 As mentioned at the start, I’ve decided to limit my posting to 2 or 3 posts a day with an occasional day off. I’m trying to reorganize the whole daily topic thing that I had going before, but I’m not there yet.

I will be adding regular martial arts and self-dense related posts to the blog, once a week I suspect.

Politics specifically I still plan to avoid. It’s just too toxic anymore. I want to try to discuss some social issues in a non-political way though. Suggest middle of the road solutions, etc… That’s another thing I’m still trying to work out though. To be honest, a part of me doesn’t want to bring them back. Tuning out the news and politics has been like removing a dark weight from my soul. There’s just too much hate surrounding it all anymore. REALLY hard to deal with when you’re an empath too.

I want to get back to more writing related posts too. That’s what this whole thing was started for originally. The cooking posts will definitely stay also. I think you all have noticed there have been more of those thanks to the weather lately. 🙂 It’s something I’m moderately talented at and truly enjoy (usually, lol).

That’s about all I’ve got for now. 🙂

It’s In The Cards?

Picture borrowed from Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosaumbra/3567680676

This one is a repost from my adult blog, originally done yesterday. It’s going to get a bit new-agey, but just hang in there. I promise it’ll be interesting regardless. First, let’s start with a little honesty, both with myself and you all:

Yes, life has been a seemingly never ending series of small train wrecks the last few years (and before that, lol), BUT, even as frustrating as multiple moves, dogs barking and stampeding, etc… have been… The real reason I’ve done so little (creative) writing is self-doubt.

In terms of the adult blog and writing erotica / romance, well… Anything sexual is both complicated and draining for an Empath also.

Only Arrowverse fans will get it, but… LOLOL

Even just creative writing about it tends to pull on or out a great deal of emotional energy. That MAY be something for another post however. It would take time to discuss properly.

LONG story short, I’ve spent a great deal of time the last few weeks reflecting on whether or not writing, erotica in particular, was something that I was truly ready to pursue… or if maybe I should focus on more mundane pursuits. Not coming to any real conclusions on my own, I turned to the tarot card reading software I have to see if I could get a little insight.

As a Side Note, I know what a few of you MAY be thinking; “Get a reading from a piece of software?!?” Well, I actually DO have a real deck, but I’m still learning to read it. More importantly, whether you’re using physical cards or software, it’s just your subconscious mind / higher self trying to communicate with you. With the software, you pick the cards, the software places them, and tell you their base meaning, and how being inverted and or it’s position with other cards effects it’s meaning. Once the cards are all read, the software leaves you to interpret how it all comes together to answer your question. Again, because it’s all really about getting an answer from your subconscious, it’s been surprisingly accurate for me every time I’ve used it.

With that clarification, I’m going to post the “reading” I did on becoming an author. Coincidentally, what you see below is exactly what the program spit out in terms of describing each card.

Cards from the Celtic Dragon Tarot deck; the style of deck I own.

Summary (Career Reading)

QUESTION: How Successful Will I Be as a Writer?

First card: The first card describes the past. It can also signify past factors such as study or work experience.

(1) YOU GOT: The World.
This card is about joy of the senses, the cosmic origin of life, love and happiness. This card is well-dignified (100%), this means that its neighbor cards strengthen it. Meanings: Well-dignified it signifies success, a favorable issue to the circumstances. Sometimes change of place.

Second card: The second card describes the present situation. It’s the current state of the subject’s career.

(2) YOU GOT: Five of Staves.
This card is about persuasion, hot speech, demonstration of love or desire and egotism. Meanings: Power, and pleasure in exercising it; adventure, speculation, and uncertainty; strong attachments. This card is well-dignified (100%), this means: Boldness, command, generosity.

Third card: The third card describes the positives, the ‘pros’.

(3) YOU GOT: Knight of Swords.
This card is about a military man, painful memories, distress in the family and war. Meanings: A youngish man, with some talent for governing, rather materialistic, though with some artistic appreciation, active, clever, fond of travel, dexterous, and skillful in management. This card is well-dignified (100%), this means: Favorable to the enterprises of the Querent.

Fourth card: The fourth card describes the negatives, the ‘cons’.

(4) YOU GOT: Seven of Cups.
This card is about thoughts, ideas, intelligence, plans and imagination. This card is well-dignified (100%), this means that its neighbor cards strengthen it. Meanings: Possible victory, but the person to whom the card applies may be too indolent to take advantage of his opportunities for commanding circumstance; success may be gained, but not followed up; necessity for choosing the highest possible objectives.

Fifth card: The fifth card describes the influence of colleagues, management and others with whom the subject has professional dealings.

(5) YOU GOT: The Lovers.
This card is about sensuality and human love. This card is well-dignified (100%), this means that its neighbor cards strengthen it. Meanings: Attraction, beauty, love, sympathy. Balance of forces, and reciprocal activity. Particularly, agreement in things of the mind, symbolized by the six-pointed star, or hexagram. It is a card of harmony between the inner and outer life.

Sixth card: The sixth card describes the best path to take in order to further the subject’s best interest in the matter.

(6) YOU GOT: Nine of Swords.
This card is about dogmatism, ritual, ecclesiastic spirit and hard judgment. This card is well-dignified (100%), this means that its neighbor cards strengthen it. Meanings: Faithfulness, obedience, unselfishness, patience; fortunate news about legal affairs or partnerships, especially if the outcome has been delayed or in doubt; aid or gain through relatives, short journeys, or writings, but not until the Querent has passed through a period of more or less uncertainty and worry; ultimate good fortune resulting from a series of events which present unfavorable appearances at first.

Seventh card: The seventh card describes the outcome. It indicates the final result if the path shown is followed.

(7) YOU GOT: Two of Swords.
This card is about magnetic attraction, intimacy, affection and sensuality.
This card is well-dignified (100%), this means that its neighbor cards strengthen it. Meanings: Contradictory characters in the same nature: strength through suffering; pleasure after pain. Delay in the realization of objectives. It intimates a period of uncertainty, in which the Querent, through he has a sense of adequate power, does not know just what to do with it. Justice, unselfishness, and the restoration of peace.

MY (Short) Take On It:

The first card; The World meant that my past work, while needing improvement, is better than I’ve given myself credit for, and is an indication that I have ability. The second card; 5 of Staves, is along the same lines. It means I’ve got the ability and need to put it to use. The third card; Knight of Swords, means I have the organizational skills to handle the choice. The fourth card; Seven of Cups, means I’ll have to be dedicated to the work and improving my craft if I want to succeed. The fifth card; The Lovers, I’m *guessing* means I’ll have some support in the effort. As for the sixth card; The 9 of Swords, it means the best path is hard work, serious effort at growth, and releasing the self doubt. The seventh card; the 2 of Swords (interesting that so many of the minor arcana cards were Swords… means it’ll be a struggle at first, but if I keep at it, I’ll be successful.

All in all, I’d say it was a very positive reading.

Erotica and Witchfire Specifically (Link is NSFW):

A few hints in the above reading indicated that erotica was indeed in the cards for me, (pun always intended, lol). None the less, I did separate readings on both of those with similar results. The main difference being that the readings indicated that they would both be tools to help me find increased peace with that part of my nature. They’d both be growth tools in their own unique ways. How long they’d remain a part of my life however, was hard to say.

Wrapping it Up:

I’ve overcome a great deal the last few months. I even got my neck and back returned to a (somewhat) functional state and am continuing to work hard there. I can and will make this work too. It’s long past time I let go of the self doubts.

I have alot of half finished stories and posted story ideas to work on too. 😀

The Other Blog is Back Up

A brief post here to let folks know that the other blog where I post my erotica is back up and running. My domain name and subscription here had expired on it, and WP was holding the site hostage with no apparent way to just set it back to a name.wordpress.com name for it.

First, fair and stern warning: That blog is completely adult in nature.

It’s NSFW, period.

I haven’t done any writing there in a while but I’m working on changing that and getting my creative energy flowing again. There’s another Witchfire chapter partially done now, and I’d like to get back to some more normal stories also.

Link to the other NSFW Blog: SilkCords.blog

Getting it back to premium status may happen if I can get writing again and start earning a little income from it.

One for You Self-Help Gurus Out There

I’ve followed quite a few self-help and motivational blogs in the little over 3 years I’ve been here. Some are great, some turned out to be train wrecks that I’ve since unfollowed. This is a polite rant about the ones that aren’t helpful at all.

What do I mean?

I’m picking on the on the ones whose posts consist of almost nothing but “Get out there and do it!” posts. Especially when they imply or outright state that the only difference between being a winner and a loser is the willingness to get off one’s ass.

Reality is, there ARE people who are just lazy and just want fame and fortune handed to them. Most people at the bottom are just stuck though. We could argue percentages, but at my core I’m an optimist that believes the large majority of all people are decent (except politicians, lol).

It’s not that they don’t want to “just do it”, it’s more a case of wanting to know how to do “it” without it blowing up in their face. Maybe they’ve failed so many times and suffered financial hardships from those failures to the point that simply hearing “Edison (supposedly) failed 1000 times before getting the light bulb correct” is NOT going to move them. They don’t want to end up even poorer and with even less self-respect from yet another failure.

You want to help folks? Come up with concrete steps beyond “just do it” and “practice makes perfect” to help them overcome their self-doubts. If you’re a paid coach or consultant, I respect that you’ve gotta eat also. Put enough out there to show potential customers that you can do more than blow hot air however. Pro or no, show folks how to do the research, give them tips about pitfalls to avoid, etc…

Because, I’ll be honest: Those out there who only scream “Get off your lazy ass and do it” sound even worse than this:

You make people want to straight out throat punch you. Shia LaBeouf meant well there also, and was largely correct underneath the insane presentation, BUT did he actually help anybody with HOW they can just do it?

For anybody reading who thinks I’m advocating for the elimination of risk or others to do the work, let me use a specific example:

Another writer and I were commiserating in his blog regarding this subject relating to writing and writer’s block. There are a ton of gurus out there that hammer “just force your way through it”. The knee-jerk reaction to said advice is a desire for the previously mentioned throat punch. That despite knowing they mean well.

Maybe they’ve never had writer’s block so bad that they’ve sat in front of a PC and re-written the same paragraph over and over for three hours. I have. I agree creativity is a muscle too; the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Still, these same experts would do better by giving examples of how to start working past writer’s block. Things like music, eliminating distractions, recalling similar scenes in books or movies, etc… Probably a million other tools that I’ve never thought of.

THAT kind of thing is where a real writing “guru” provides value to followers.

To use a metaphor with this example, we didn’t want the fence built for us. We did want somebody to supply the hammer and nails though, or at least tell us where to find or buy them.

Just for the record, I’m NOT picking on any specific blogger I follow either. I’ve read good, mediocre and useless advice here at WP and elsewhere. Even a few folks that alternate between “just do it” and “here’s how to start doing it”. That I can respect BTW. You can research something to death as a way to avoid action, so an occasional nudge in the right direction never hurts. 🙂

Oh and the bad ones? I’ve dropped them. Nobody likes hearing they’re lazy because they don’t know how.

Episode 2: A Different Hope (Star Wars Story)

Back in June, I did a quick Star Wars mini-story based on one of the numerous Star Wars memes out there. Now that my health issues are clearing up, I’m choosing to continue the story at long last. 😊

The Original Post: Butterfingered Padawan

Part II: A Different Hope

Obi-Wan first buried Luke and then returned to the interior of the house.  He looked at Artoo and let out a heavy sigh.  “It’s been a long time, my little friend”.  “The years seem to have been kinder to you than they have been to me.”

Artoo chirped excitedly and rocked back and forth, apparently happy that the earlier charade had now been dropped.

“Now, what brings you to this forsaken corner of the galaxy?”  “The message the boy mentioned, I presume?”

Artoo beeped and chirped, and then a small access panel on his body popped open.

Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow, walked over and knelt down.  “I see…  Give me just a moment to undo what the Jawas did…”

He tinkered around inside the small compartment, and suddenly a holorecording of Princess Leia sprung to life.

“General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the clone wars, now he begs you to help him in the struggle against the Empire.”  “I regret that I am unable to present my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed.”  “I have placed information vital to the survival of the rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit.”  “My father will know how to retrieve it”.  “You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan.”  “This is our most desperate hour”.  “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”

“Hmmm, do the impossible with limited information and resources… here I worried life had changed from the good old days.” Kenobi said with the hint of a wry smile.

Qui Gon’s spirit smiled.  He’d grown to appreciate the dry humor of his former padawan during their time communing together on Tattoine.  “Trust in the Force, Obi-Wan”, he replied calmly.  “It’s guided the droid to you, and will open further doors as well when the time is right.”

“I don’t appear to have much choice.”, Kenobi replied bluntly.  “Whatever is happening is something big… it’s connected to the dark premonitions we’ve all been having.”  He glanced back and forth between the images of Qui Gon and Yoda.  “She was desperate to get this droid delivered also.”

“Go to Alderaan, you must”, Yoda said.  “Seek answers there regarding the girl’s location.”

Obi-Wan gathered up some of his belongings, placing them into a knapsack.  “I should return the speeder, and tell the boy’s aunt and uncle what happened…” he said slowly.

“If the Empire has a clue about the droid carrying whatever this information is, they’ll certainly be looking for them.” Qui Gon added.

“Then I have to warn them.” Obi Wan replied.

“Of the essence, time is, Master Kenobi” Yoda rebuked.  “Warn them you should, but be quick you must.”

Obi Wan nodded, then reactivated C3PO, stored both droids on the back of the speeder and then hopped in it.  He gave it full throttle heading towards the Skywalker homestead.

As an added note, I’m going to be doing this story in smaller chunks like the one above. Most people don’t have the time (or attention span) to read longer pieces, and it will leave me less pressured, as well as give me time to think up how the story will progress vs the official version.

ADDED BONUS:

A quick and fun look at Kenobi’s personality during the Clone Wars. 🙂

I Had A Dream Last Night…

“Liu Kang has been given the dream. He is the Chosen One.”

OK, nothing quite that dramatic, but…

I don’t remember the very first part of the dream, but it involved discussing the past; things unfinished and left behind… Then I mentioned something about a car that was left behind after a move brought about by financial hardship. I said something to the effect that it was left behind in storage and I wondered if it was still there…

Next thing I know, I’m standing in the driveway of some house that I’m supposed to know… I could sense that much. There’s the car sitting there, waiting for me. My mom is there also.

I’m looking over the car, and I notice that it’s showing it’s age and exposure to the elements at this point. The black paint was faded, there were large refrigerator magnet type “stickers” all over the back end also. I pulled one off and the part of the paint underneath it came off with it. What was left looked like cracked and peeling base coat.

I remember sighing and saying it was probably just time to let it go, and that it was probably falling apart. My mom was there and said something about not being so sure…

There were a few seconds in between, but the next think I remember was looking down and seeing that the bad paint spot was actually slightly deteriorated cloth. I pulled it back, and beneath it, the car was in pristine, showroom new shape.

I don’t remember what exactly we said but my mom and I both said something positive about it… and then I woke up.

My immediate thought was that it had something to do with the Mustang. It’s spent alot of time in the garage due to rain or excessive heat, sometimes both. Too simple, I quickly realized. Ginger is in pristine shape and I’ve never seen her as something to give up on

For those who don’t know, I don’t subscribe to dream interpretation manuals. Dreams are your subconscious trying to communicate with you, so the imagery’s meaning is going to be specific to you.

It actually didn’t take much introspection to figure it out:

It was about my writing. I’ve left it shelved for ages, making excuses for pain, being busy, needing to improve, etc… to the point where I was beginning to wonder if it was just a pipe dream that needed to be let go of.

This was my subconscious telling me that life is improving, that the pain is being removed (slowly) and that I need to start living life before it slips away and I’m left with nothing but regrets like at the beginning of the dream.

Everything having past and been too late… Just an illusion covering the dreams.

Even my mom had a symbolic meaning; she’s always been my worst critic and she was pushing me forward at the end.

Writers; Words Matter. Chose and Define them Properly

As a note before I get started, I am going to be discussing this topic partially in the context of some miscommunication in my social commentary post yesterday. However, I will be saving those specific issues for another post. This is NOT social commentary, just discussing the importance of clarity in communication.

The one reply I got to my post on the Elites yesterday made some interesting points. I did my best to refute them, but the problem really wasn’t with the replying person so much as it was that I hadn’t defined some of my terms clearly enough. Particularly for newer readers who may mot have seen earlier posts.

This is a common situation nowadays, and a lesson for writers. The extreme elements of both political parties and many special interest groups go out of their way to misuse terms and change definitions to suit their arguments. Even when we’re not talking political and social issues, both writers and readers tend to get lazy in how they interpret a word’s meaning or the intent of a paragraph.

Therefore, it falls upon us as writers to be as clear as possible. If you read the great thinkers of the enlightenment, such as Montesquieu, every word of their writing is carefully chosen and there’s never any doubt as to what they’re saying. These are folks you should read just to study critical thinking and good communication, even if you don’t care about government or humanities.

Around the time Neuro-Linguistic Programming came into being however, people trying to get clever with wording began to become epidemic. Ambiguity is an advocated technique in NLP. Ambiguity creates confusion in the mind of the listener / reader and makes them more open to persuasion as their mind tries to fit the vague wording and innuendo into an understandable framework.

Between lawyers and politicians, we also have the secondary cause of people trying to structure language as a way to give themselves an excuse or deniability… to avoid responsibility for any fallout.

While any writer or speaker should consider the ways their words might be misinterpreted, going out of one’s way to be vague is NOT being artful, it’s being a weasel. People are getting better at sensing it too, and nobody respects a weasel.

Chose your words carefully, but have the courage of your beliefs. Write or speak clearly.

If there’s any doubt about what you mean, find a better way to word it, or define your terms right there instead of waiting for them to be misinterpreted. Words like “elites” are used by numerous groups with wildly varying interpretations.

This problem is why editing and multiple drafts are also important to writers. Seat of your pants writing is fine for first drafts, but editing and rewrites are what makes the difference between a good writer and a great one.

Writing Prompt!

Today is supposed to be Thursday Writing Day here at the blog. I decided to do something a little different and throw out a writing prompt for others. I may try to come up with a short story also if time and creativity allow.

Feel free to ignore the junk around the chair, as we’re still getting organized, sorting things out and gluing them back together after the move East. Include it if you want though. No rules here, just a prompt for fun and practice. Do a VSS, a short story, whatever. Post a link in the replies here also so that people can find your work. 🙂

A Little History:

The chair may not look like much at casual observation. It originally belonged to my great, great grandmother though. My mom recently passed it on to me, and I’m the fifth generation to own it. The wood is oil rubbed, not painted or stained, and the padding is old school straw stuffing. The claw feet are holding balls of glass, quartz or some sort of crystal.

My mom said my great grandmother used to sit in this chair and hold me as an infant when we came to visit.