Tag Archives: Writing

Four Years…

Yep, 4 ‘Glorious’ Years…

This was actually about a week ago. Things have just been a mess here, and I didn’t get around to this sooner.

It’s hard to believe I’ve actually been here this long, and how little I feel I’ve accomplished beyond dealing with a never ending, ever escalating series of disasters that keep me from doing any real writing.

So, M$ Outlook Actually Taught Me Something Yesterday

I was in the middle of an email with my uber small writing circle, and misspelled “Epilogue”. The spellchecker in Outlook automatically throws up suggestions before you can even do a correct yourself, and “Apologue” came up as a suggestion.

I’d never heard of the word, so I had to search it out of morbid curiosity:

So yes, an allegory or parable. The word is obscure enough nowadays that I’m not certain if I’d use it in writing… Perhaps if a character was fairly erudite and known for their vocabulary.

Still nice to learn something new however. 🙂

FINALLY!!! Scrivener 3 for Windows!

As I’m starting to gear up for more writing, I decided to check yet again to see if the oft promised and never released Scrivener 3 was released for Windows.

IT’S HERE!!!

Not only that, they even kept their word and gave me my upgrade from 1.x for free!

I have to be honest, at this point I’ve just downloaded it and am beginning to work through the tutorial. The only thing new that I’ve seen thus far is the ability to easily insert pictures and videos into your project. I’m not even sure if the videos have to be linked via YouTube or something similar.

Some stuff, as noted in the description I… borrowed from the Scrivener home page has been moved around and “cleaned up”. I’ll see if this ends up to be better organized or not. At this VERY early hour, the two things that I can report are:

  1. That gawdawful, clunky Windows 95 era interface is FINALLY gone
  2. The new version is 64 bit, so it’s a good deal more responsive.

I suspect my previous review will hold true that you can do anything with Office that Scrivener can do. It’s just a question of IF Scrivener has finally made it easier and cleaner to do it with them; one tool instead of 3 or 4.

If you own a copy of 1.x you’re eligible for either a free upgrade or half off depending upon when you bought it, so check it out:

Scrivener for Windows home page at Literature and Latte

Beyond that, I’ll report back in a day or two how things have been going for me.

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Before anybody panics, I’m taking the words literally, NOT metaphorically as Hamlet did. 🙂

image from thetalko.com

I’ve been meaning to get back to writing here for over a week, but lack of sleep… or quality sleep rather, was doing a number on me. I didn’t realize how bad the problem was, or how much it was contributing to my brain fog until our Sleep Number bed broke for the second time in a few months.

The air pressure was unstable on my side of the bed, resulting in it going from too firm to too soft and back multiple times a night. I’m going to do a separate post detailing the workings of a Sleep Number bed, and why they’re a bad buy in my opinion. For the moment, suffice it to say we got fed up and went shopping for a new bed over the Fourth of July weekend. Yay for sales that commercialize and monetize a holiday celebrating freedom. Sarcasm duly noted, I hope.

We tried different manufacturers and models, and ALL of them felt better than our old bed, which convinced us we were making the right choice to replace vs repair. We decided on a Purple brand Model 4 mattress, with Tempurpedic coming in a close second. The Purple brand had better lower back support, although the Tempurpedic with the new cooling technology was a bit cooler (I sleep HOT).

Purple 4 mattress deconstructed. Image from Sleepsherpa.com

We got the new bed yesterday afternoon, and last night was probably the best night’s sleep I’ve had in YEARS, if not my life. I’m not ready to outright endorse the mattress YET. It’s expensive, and I want to see how it’s going to do over time. I’ll keep reporting on it occasionally however.

Quality, REM sleep time was off the charts for me though, and I awakened feeling mentally and physically recharged. I expect to be doing a good deal more writing in immediate future if I keep getting this level of rest. 🙂

Those of you who think that you’re managing some sort of life hack by cheating yourself on sleep, especially quality REM sleep… You’d be amazed how much better you feel with REAL sleep. A saw has to be sharpened regularly to work at it’s best (as Stephen Covey liked to point out). Your mind and body are exactly the same in that regard.

Sito Privato

OK, time for a “Things that Make You Go Hmmm” post…

Now for those who don’t speak Italian or can’t guess based on the phrase’s similarity to English, the title means Private Site. I bring it up because there’s a blog I follow that’s in Italy, and the gal who runs it has a bad habit of locking most of her followers out of some of her posts. Since just about all of her posts are romantic poetry, thoughts and songs, I assume she’s younger. I likewise assume that given the rest of her posts are about romance and sensuality that the private posts are also.

Every time I hit that private site screen, I can’t help but wonder what’s being posted that she feels the need to keep it hidden from most people.

With that in mind, I wanted to offer some advice to the young women out there: NOTHING, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on the internet is private. No matter what you do, there are people with ways around it. Anything from outright hackers to sites that index (and clone) other sites, to “social engineering” and a dozen other possibilities.

Keeping it simple, the aspect of social engineering that we’re talking about here is that whole thing your parents or friends hopefully warned you about with not sharing racy pictures of yourself with somebody you have a crush on. They’ll share with one friend, no matter what they promise, and then it gets passed around more and more until suddenly everybody in the neighborhood, at school and / or at work knows what your bare boobs look like.

My point is this; if your piece of erotica or sensual poetry is that sexual, or you don’t feel comfortable sharing that pic (nude or not), putting it behind a “private” page or site is really NO protection at all. You have two realistic choices here:

DON’T DO IT. Use discretion and common sense levels of caution and don’t post that written material or picture. You’re very likely saving yourself a good deal of drama later on down the road. Won’t happen to you? That’s what EVERY girl that ended up with nude pictures passed around school, or the star of a revenge porn video on the internet said. None of them set out to be publicly humiliated.

The other option is to accept it’s VERY likely going to happen to you also at some point. Webpage passwords are minimal protection. They might be better than just “owning it” and putting it out on display for everybody but the end result is probably going to be the same. That pic, video or story could resurface at the worst possible time too.

Hypocritical, given that I write erotica? Superficially, BUT I’m only warning you of the likely fallout. I’m also careful to disclose minimal personal information and NO pictures of myself. I’d do follow those last two steps regardless. The world has too many weird people in it.

Use wisely your power of choice.

Frustrations

Frustrations have once again kept me from doing any posting here.

First, let me get my warning out of the way; RANT ahead!

At first, I thought it was annoyance over cutting ties with the person I used to collaborate with on my Witchfire stories. Well, sort of collaborate. We tried to create a shared world with some crossovers for our stories. That ended over their insistence upon demonizing anyone they disagreed with politically or socially, and me saying one time too often to look at other POVs and not stereotype entire groups just because a media talking head and their sheeple said so.

So many of the problems in society today are caused by people on BOTH sides of various issues having blinders on like that. Sadly most of them are otherwise decent people. They just can’t be bothered to work past their personal biases. Too easy to hate because somebody told them that their personal problems are the fault of that group over there. Old trick though; it’s worked for Hitler, groups like the Proud Boys, and the FAR Left as well. “Hate! Fear! Follow me blindly! I’ll lead you to salvation”.

95% of the time these would-be saviors are only exploiting people for their own selfish ends by playing off one group against another.

Need I say it AGAIN?!? Judge people as INDIVIDUALS instead of using group-think and blindly applying labels that promote conflict and division.

AND THEN THERE WAS THE BLOG…

First, let me say I hate some of the new changes to WordPress. Even using a spacer insert is harder now since there’s no box, just a little circle now that you move up and down. The (picture) cropping and resize tool doesn’t work for me. They’ve even done away with the ability to select specific font size from a drop down. Now it has to be keyed in if you want to change it. Every “improvement” to the block editor seems to make it a bigger mess.

Some sort of background changes have me locked out of replying to or even liking half the blogs I follow AGAIN. This is the third or fourth time it’s happened since I started here. If I haven’t liked or commented in your blog in a while and I usually do, that’s very likely why. This change no doubt so WP can data mine blogs more easily.

Then we get back to PEOPLE as relates to blogging…

First, there’s my ongoing gripe over USERS masquerading as followers. If you’re doing THIS, you’re not reading and you don’t care about anything anyone else has to write about:

Doing that regularly just says you’re only using people to gain followers and pad your fragile ego. It’s happening increasingly from people who I’ve made effort to genuinely interact with on WP too, or at least used to. And I’m talking them doing 20+ likes in 1 or 2 minutes. I have a few pics of THAT also. I figured 8 likes was enough to make the point though.

If you don’t have time to read and have no desire to do so, just don’t reply instead of using people for your vanity. I’d rather have 5 followers like Refarmer, Joanne the Geek, Sheree, BigSkyBuckeye and a few others who will actually read, than have 10,000 fraud followers.

Then there’s another issue that’s been simmering for a long time also; appeasement and self censorship. I left and loudly denounced Twitter for similar experiences, but really WP isn’t all that different in a few regards. I speak out against some of the heavy handed aspects of the SJW movement (even though I support the overall movement / idea), then I’m evil. I have to push anything spiritual over to another blog because I might offend religious people. Can’t believe in chi and God after all *rolleyes*

Same idea with some of my adult writing. I sort of give that one a partial pass as I don’t want people to have to worry about anything vaguely NSFW here, and WP is absolutely one of the worst sites out there for providing any sort of age check tool for that kind of content. Even just an “Are you 18?” button pop-up would be nice!

Maybe NextDoor.com is a better overall comparison. Can’t write anything there other than garage sales and recipes without offending somebody. I’ve felt increasingly the same way here.

Write about self-defense or martial arts, you’re violent.

Talk about RESPONSIBLE gun ownership (and I have a very negative opinion of some gun owners), and you’re going to go out and do a mass shooting.

OK, enough said. The point is I’m sick to freaking death of judgy fucks presuming they know what others are thinking and feeling, AND that said judging fucks have the imagined godlike wisdom to tell others with absolute certainty how to live their lives or even what they should say. Yes, I’m sick of the “this means you’re a that and need to change NOW” crowd.

I’m NOT advocating people be allowed nor encouraged to run around acting like asses with no filter either. Can’t we find a happy medium though?

Truth; I’m frustrated at feeling like I can’t be me. I’m shutting away and compartmentalizing pieces of me to try to appease people who are never going to read my writing or buy any book I write anyway.

I’m not sure how quick I’m going to really get back to posting “full time” here again. I do know that when I start though, I’m going to be more ME. Politics I will still refuse to cover. The waters there are just too muddied, the real truth too hard to find and I think everyone is corrupt. Adult content is staying at SilksErotica.

Anything else is one the table though. I’ll do my best to discuss topics in an intelligent, calm manner. I’ll try to be positive and upbeat too. Trust me, I’m sick of bitchy posts here

Don’t like a particular subject in the future? I’ll make sure the headlines are clear so you can bypass it. That, and a return to days having regular topics, are as good as you’ll get.

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.