Monthly Archives: August 2012

Honored to be Honored

wallpaperfo.com

Oh, Wandering Voiceless, how very kind of you. I discovered, this morning, that this very charismatic blogger, nominated the Insanity Blog for the Reader Appreciation Award. I accept this nomination with a grin, and a warm heart. Thank you, thank you – thank you very much (Yes, I said that like Elvis).

Now, down to business: there are rules to be followed upon being nominated. Rules, some of which, I failed to follow once after a previous nomination. The rules are:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their site.

2.  Nominate other people (you choose how many–whatever makes you happy).

3.  Write some bad ass things about yourself. 

In accordance with the rules:

1.  Please see initial, heartfelt, first paragraph – located above. Please scroll.

2. My nominations are:

May I nominate the blogger who nominated me? Well, I don’t see any small print that indicates otherwise, so my first nomination goes to: Wandering Voiceless. A thinker after my own thoughts. A joy.

 The Boy With A Hat. Yummy thinking, at least yummy to this writer.

Notes From a She-Hermit or ‘Being Mental and Loving It’. By Dotty Headbanger. Just pure enjoyment. Plain and simple. If you don’t believe me, head to Dotty’s Collected Profanities and Insults page.

 Jason’s Jukebox. A nice, nice place to mull around.

 Cristian Mihai. A writer’s refuge.

3.  I don’t know if the world is ready for me to reveal what I’m about to reveal. My bad-assness, my secrets finally spoken, my weird flag allowed to flap free in the wind. But I’m going to do it anyway:

Every morning, without fail, I burn my steel-cut oats. I set them to slow simmer, then completely forget about them until I smell something odd.

I’m terrible with names, and often fail to listen to what’s being said after an introduction as I’m quietly repeating the person’s name in my head; Felicia, Felicia…Feleeeshhaa.

I’m a creature of habit. If ever my brain were dropped on the floor during a routine lobotomy, my body (due to years of habitual use), would carry on quite nicely without anyone being the wiser.

I’m an inventor. Don’t ask of what. I have no intentions of telling.

I write not only because I want to, but because I have to.

I pull my Band-Aids off  – fast, real fast.

If I could survive on dark chocolate, caramel, oats, red wine and coffee – I would.

I see myself in a completely different light than everyone else sees me.

If I could possess one superhuman, superhero capability it would be the Cloak of Invisibility. Oh, the places I would go…

I’m a third generation Harley rider.

I was born on the Virgo/Libra cusp – astrologically speaking, I’m a force to reckon with.

I could never blatantly kill someone. Not for fear of moral issues or spiritual repercussions. But for fear that one small particulate found under special lightning will lead the fuzz right to my door. Damn that CSI.

In my senior year of high school, I was once accused of being a Satanist.

I find the smell of nature to be nearly intoxicating.

I gasp if my pants accidentally brush up against a public toilet.

According to the FDA, I consume more than the recommended allowance of tuna per week, per my body weight. It seems if the drugs, sex and rock n’ roll don’t do me in – tuna will.

I believe in miracles, but I don’t believe in Santa.

Well there ya’ go, folks. Tidbits and factoids. A few things you may or may not have already known about me. One thing, I can not go without saying however. As its imperative that you understand – I value my readers more than you know. A review by a critic is one thing, a review by a reader, one much like me, is what makes my heart sing. To know that someone let their eyes scan upon my words, the working’s of my mind, for a few minutes or a few days – well, that’s what this writer’s journey is all about. Thank you for that – truly. My novels and books are all stories spun around others. Yes, there is always me entwined. However, this little blog, is the story of me. Thank you for stopping by. Every nomination, like, share, reblog and scan is appreciated.

Sane

The Full Spectrum Mind

dipity.com

There’s a bit of a misconception regarding those who believe differently and see through optimistic eyes. And that misguided assumption, is that they have a foolish mind.

If someone wants to believe in the power of something other than what’s been derived from critical thinking, they are often seen as one who’s easily swayed by whim and folly. If one sees the divinity in a tree and wants only to preserve it, they are seen as passive. If someone values the power of the soul, the earth, the mind and the energy that dwells in all things, they are written off as quacks.

The true indicator of intelligence is one who’s unafraid to see the world through a broadened view; never ruling out the many possibilities that live beyond what has been proven and analyzed thus far. Even a scientist knows that conclusive findings are limited to the invention of tools used to discover the findings. When a new tool is created, one that surpasses its predecessor, then new conclusive findings are gathered – this cycle will never end, as there will always be more waiting to be discovered. What is true with science, and the far-reaching galaxies, is also true with life. All knowledge is limited to what we allow as possible. The greatest researchers in history knew: anything is possible.

And yet, if that same openness is taken into our conversations, one is easily scorned and treated as the fool for allowing their thoughts to flutter so loosely beyond the accepted norm. It is the smart mind that knows nothing new is discovered, nothing new is learned, unless the mind flutters into new territory. I find it interesting when listening to those that quickly render something impossible. Misguided, they feel they’re flexing their wisdom and personal power by limiting the situation and others. I don’t care if someone hugs trees or is a captain of industry, has a seat in public office or sits high upon a mountain in meditation – within all of these – there are the strong-minded and the weak-minded. The man tilling the soil can, and often does, possess the same intellectual mind as the man turning pages in a University library. The mind is powerful, when allowed. Many just refrain from the – allowing.

Those with a broad mind tend to keep their beliefs and opinions held close to their chest as they’re often scorned. But they aren’t scorned by those with keen intellects. They are scorned by those who’s minds are too weak to grapple with the possibility of new information. Like the child that won’t release their mother’s hand, those with a closed mind hold on too tight to only the knowledge that feels safe; they don’t want to go beyond the safety of primary colors.

Fear of knowledge is by far worse than limited knowledge. Presuming to know the answer, without hearing all the possibilities, is by far worse than never having an answer at all. Those who aren’t afraid to think expansive thoughts, are not feeble, nor passive. Those who hold true to their own intrinsic knowledge are mightier than those who rely upon the knowledge of others.

Sane

Post written to Alabama Shakes – Hold On

Born Sinner

annferrar.com

I remember when I received the news. It was early, one Sunday morning, I was still in my pink flannel nightgown, the one with white lace trim. And if memory serves, I was playing with paper dolls. I was five, and  feeling pretty good about myself until I heard the man on the TV declare that we’re all born sinners.

I couldn’t imagine how such a thing could be true. I was young but I knew the basics: Jesus was a really important fella, and God was even more important than he. I also knew if I made God angry, there’d be hell to pay – literally.

But now this? I’d only just gotten here. How could this have happened? I hadn’t even called one person a bad name, nor pocketed one unpaid for candy bar, and yet somehow I had already sinned. My mind reeled. How did a sin manage to sneak into my life without me even noticing? The thought made me wonder if any other sins had snuck into my life without me noticing. I felt doomed. If I didn’t fix things, I’d land in the place where bad people go: h-e-double hockey sticks. I was a marked woman. We were all marked from the get go. At least that’s what the man on TV said.

The world suddenly felt complicated. I went from feeling good about myself to feeling bad. I was told we were made in God’s image. But if we were born sinners, then wouldn’t that mean God was a sinner as well. Or so this was how I posed the question years later to my mother. She didn’t have any real answers. I remember her saying something about sex and something about Adam and Eve. My mind reeled even more. But God created Adam and Eve and gave them free will. God also created sex: the act, the creation that comes afterward, the whole kit and kaboodle. How could any of it be deemed a sin? And by whom? Who decided this? And why was I to blame for something someone else did? My mother listened to a litany of questions when I was a preteen. But I needed things to make sense. And thus my research of theology began. I needed answers. I didn’t like the concept that I had done something wrong, and should feel bad if I didn’t adhere to someone else’s guidelines to set it right.

After many years, and much research, I found my own religion. My religion is the one that rests within my soul. I decided a long time ago that if I was made in God’s image, then I was just fine the way I was – as was God. There have been quite a few gifted teachers that have walked this earth; their words spoken to help guide and instruct; words, I feel, that have been terribly maligned and twisted to suit the needs of others. Whenever someone has a vested interest in my beliefs or the beliefs of others, I question their words. To that end, I often question myself. Doing so is how I keep myself on the right road. But the road is one I engineer and create. I really don’t believe in sin. If I did I’d say it should be a sin to force one’s beliefs upon another. We aren’t all on the same journey. We aren’t all walking toward the same end. There isn’t one, right way. The way is for us to decide. Finding the way is why we are here.

The threat of hell can’t be used to frighten me anymore, the way it was when I was a child. Because as I’ve grown I realized that hell is not a destination, it’s a state of mind and reality many  of us have lived through during our lifetime. I don’t need to be judged by anyone, but me. And if pointing out the destructive nature inherent to this act of condemning someone as a sinner, someone who emerged due to the  miracle of childbirth – then call me a sinner.

Sane

Blog written to, Itchin on a Photograph by Grouplove

Speaking My Language

wearemoviegeeks.com

There are nearly 7,000 different languages spoken in the world today. According to the Ethnologue, the encyclopedic reference of known languages, this number translates into about one language for every 862,000 people on earth. So many different verbal expressions. Yet, there is one language universal to all, and that is the language of the soul.

Feelings are the way the soul communicates. And it does so with two absolute and sovereign emotions: love and fear. All other emotions fall under one of these two life altering and life dictating emotions.

When operating under the emotion of love, the soul opens, expands and thusly, so does one’s mind; like a flower, nourished and exposed to the sun – the person as a whole blossoms. The opposite is true when operating under fear; all emotional faculties withdraw; the mind shuts down, the heart closes. The person as a whole wants to hide.

I’ve been thinking a great deal about these two emotions as of late. The one thing that strikes hard against my heart upon the thought, is how due to the vulnerability of love, rarely is it fully expressed. Like a weed growing aside the flower, with roots deep and overpowering, fear sits too close to love. Once we feel and give our love, fear follows. Fear of rejection, fear of approval, fear of judgement, fear of abandonment. Fear does all it can to choke the life from love. And it often succeeds.

In an attempt to protect ourselves from a pain that hasn’t yet arrived, many project outward their fears. Things that haven’t yet happened, are made tangible and forced into reality, long before they’ve had a chance to arrive of their own accord. If left alone, if left unencumbered, I have to wonder if those fearful things would’ve come to light. Loving under the guise of fear is much like getting into one’s car, heading toward one’s paradise, yet stopping half way for concern of what things might look like once arriving. It’s like standing on stage, ready to sing one’s song of a lifetime, yet only singing it half way for fear of not hitting the high note.

I don’t want to love half way. I don’t want to live half way. I’ve made a conscious decision over these last few months to either love and live fully, or not at all. If I can’t love without fear creeping in and shading my perception, then the problem rests solely with me. Imagine what life would be like if everyone lived without fear. They would give freely, never fearing their own scarcity. They would give attention to others, never fearing abandonment. Whether we understand it or not, the language of the soul is the language that moves us all. Fear sits on the polar opposite end of love. Their commonality is in their power.

Sane

Written to Trembling Hands by The Temper Trap

Last Bit of Energy

xmarksthescot.com

I have a slew of shortcomings – some – more serious than others. One of those many shortcomings has intensified over the course of the last week. Embarrassingly, I must confess to spending a great deal of my energy draining the last drop of juice (scientific term), from batteries.

At present, the batteries in my toothbrush and television remote are stretching the boundaries of electrical feasibility and common-sense expectation. Powered by what has to be only electrical vapors, my toothbrush now intermittently cuts out while using it. I whack the toothbrush on the bathroom counter hoping to jar loose the last remaining particle of chemical energy stored inside. And while using the TV remote, I’ve now taken to wielding my arm around wildly while pressing brutishly on the buttons. Hand to God – I’ve met with some success using both of these methods.

It’s not just that the batteries are expensive. Its more than that. Although, I will say, I’m not fond of dropping a small fortune on a small, but heavy, bag of batteries. But that’s not it. The problem is I don’t care for the whole process of replacing the batteries.  Best case scenario: one good pop and the little trap-door opens, the old batteries tumble onto the floor or they get pried from their little cocoon with my fingernail. Worst case scenario: discovering that dreaded, almost invisible screw that seals the battery door closed, and subsequently, impenetrable to those that do not have, readily available, an itsy bitsy screwdriver.

I would think I’d be eager to swap out the old batteries. The thrust of life that surges through the toothbrush once its humming on fully loaded batteries is reason enough to prematurely change them. But no. I patiently wait, allowing time for a slow, agonizing death. Finally, once the battery has coughed up its last spittle of energy, I reluctantly wriggle the cap from the bottom of the toothbrush. Taking the appropriate time to clean the dried toothpaste from places near impossible for it to travel, I replace the batteries (placing them upside down before placing them right side up), then beat the tar out of the toothbrush for about ten minutes in an attempt to get the cap back on. After utilizing Hercules-like strength, I finally succeed; pushing the button, the brush springs to life.

I should try, for a while, living life fully charged. Doing so would require breaking some well ingrained bad habits, but I think it would be worth a try. It seems though, I would rather waste my energy, which is better used for other pursuits, than (God forbid), waste the few drops of energy left in a battery about the size of my pinky. Knowing this about myself though – I think I’m going to change my ways.

Sane

Cool, Clean Water

etsy.com

I’m not exactly certain who’s to blame in its entirety – if anyone. But there’s been a shift over time, and it’s not for the better. Truthfulness is no longer valued, and treated as the necessity of life it once was. I can’t say this is a world-wide pandemic, as I haven’t trekked the globe to find out. But like contaminated water, it’s a crisis that’s seeping across this side of the world.

There was a time, a long time ago, when one would rather shorten their life-span than throw a fib, lie or any other half truth, toward another.

I have to believe that the media is partially to blame for this moral decline. Our world is inundated with a lack of factual representation. And from that we’ve become numb to it; it’s become the accepted norm. And thus, it seems, the norm in our personal lives as well. It’s a terrible state of affairs. Ranging from the benign fib told to free one from the telephone or a lie that is toxic by content – all possess a certain amount of ill-will and lack of emotional and moral fortitude. I know. I know. Everyone lies. And some are insignificant. When one fibs and says dinner was sublime when really it soured their mouth upon every bite – then the lie is generated from a place of love and kindness. Feelings have been spared. And if anything, the one casting the lie is the one that suffers. But they do so with loving intent.

I’m not too concerned with that side of the disingenuous coin. I’m concerned with the other side and how it’s becoming common place. Those who dole out untruths become immune to their own words; the moral ping they used to feel within their heart upon being insincere becomes calloused. When I’m told something that is illuminated even lightly with insincerity something inside pricks at my heart. I take notice. Generally, I never alert the one on the other end. Instead, I merely begin logging each occurrence. My hope is that there won’t be any more. But if it becomes routine, I’m eventually forced to pull away. I deserve better. Everyone deserves better.

Love and honesty go hand in hand. One can’t exist without the other. This goes for friendships, romantic relationships and all points in between. In the same way that we, as a nation, have come to realize our government lies to us continually due to thinking very little of us – the same holds true for anyone that lies; the neighbor, our cousin, and most of all the one that holds our heart.

At times dishonesty seems easier; the path of least resistance. But that is short-sighted thinking. In the moment, it may seem alright. However, our moral fortitude is a lot like a pool of water. Instinctually, it searches for the easiest path, and if allowed to stray repeatedly it eventually spreads itself too thin, dries up and nothing is left. And thus is the condition of the human mind when moral strength isn’t employed to keep it held in place. In the end nothing is left from which to draw upon. Our words and gestures become as empty and meaningless as a glass of dust offered to a parched soul. It’s best to keep one’s well-house of integrity contained; the walls held firmly in place; by doing so the person as a whole is made stronger. Our words then, have the power to not only replenish ourselves but also replenish others.

The Smell of Paper

talesofaretromodernhousewife.blogspot.com

I won’t argue it – media is quickly turning paperless.

My hope is that it never goes 100% paperless. I realize all of the many advantages of forgoing the traditional paper forms of publication. I like to save trees just as much as the next guy. I also like to reduce the waste caused by all those old magazines and newspapers that sit in the corner; twice read and dusty. I’m a sensible person, for the most part.

Maybe its the fact that I stare at a computer screen all day that makes the idea of viewing magazines, perusing catalogues and reading books in the same way seem a bit like I’m never stepping away from my work. Instead, the same eye-blurring glow that I view all day while working, shines at my eyes while I’m relaxing. I can’t say I’m very fond of that idea.

I enjoy sitting with a hot cup of something while flipping through a catalogue. I dog-ear the pages with items I’m serious about. I also like the colorful pages of the two small quirky catalogues I buy Christmas gifts from each year. In fact, I save these catalogues. I take them with me, so I will have something enjoyable to look at while I wait for my daughter while she’s in dance class.

I also like being able to escape into the pages of a thick novel while curled in bed. With no glow from a computer screen, my eyes are nourished by the vitamins that feed my soul: ink and paper. There will never be anything that compares to the feeling of holding an entire story in my hands. I like its weight. I enjoy knowing I get to ride along with the characters for quite some time; evidenced by the hundreds of 6×9 sheets of bounded paper I’m blessed to hold in my hands.

I know these books are a chore to lug around. And I admit they’re no fun to carry while traveling. But nothing beats the sight of them on my bed as they patiently await my return. To me they signify something profound. I still have the first book that was given to me: Little Women. And that was the first book wherein the author’s name rested on the tip of my tongue just as prominently as did its title. I looked at the novel, printed in the late 1800’s, with amazement. Within my mind, Louisa May Alcott was equal to, if not greater than, any celebrity or rock star. Holding that novel in my hands, I knew I too wanted to be a great novelist.

From that day, my love affair with old novels and their author’s began. I cherish the fact that these novels, written when books were the main form of entertainment and escape, were written without a great deal of limitation regarding size. Now, a commercial publishing house dismisses a manuscript with more than 80,000 words as they’re too costly to print and, more importantly, they feel the readers of today’s world don’t want to pick up a book of that size. I was told, people want a quick read. That may be true of some. But if the story is good, that same reader will be sad when they turn the last page. If the author did their job well, the reader will be left wishing they had more time with the characters. And thus, a larger book.

I’m only 42 and yet I feel a bit old. I appreciate and welcome all of the advances technology has to offer. In fact, my book is also available as an e-book. If offering my book electronically enables more people to read it, and opens up the door to reaching a larger audience then I’m all for it. But in my soul, I dread the decline of printed media. I like greeting cards that come in the mail, and a stack of books next to my bed. If all I had was a candle, I could still jump into the lives that live in those books and run away for a while. Not to mention, the glorious smell of paper. And I like that.

Sane