2015 Goals And Changes

2015 GOALS and CHANGES

I am still thinking about 2015. In my last blog regarding the subject, I wrote about no longer letting people take things from me: my time, my successes, my joys, etc.

But there are other things I have in mind too. Things that did not really seem to matter to me until I gave them some thought.

I have been thinking about the Border’s bookstores that went out of business. My local Border’s – despite it was what could be considered a “big-box retailer” – was my oasis; my get-away-from-it-all place. The atmosphere, the people who worked there, the whole place was special to me despite it was a Border’s. It had a small-business feel. It was located in a town where public transportation is virtually non-existent, so when I went there, I knew I would not be followed by my family of stalkers.

When it closed, I mourned for weeks. I was lost. I even cried. That’s how important that place was for me. There was just no place like the café there where they knew my name and what I liked to order most. I miss them all. Those jerks closed all Border’s stores and as far as I am concerned, they made a HUGE mistake. Like huge. Bigger than big.

So over the last couple of years, with no other place that could adapt to my needs or me to its atmosphere, I’ve been wandering lost. I cannot find a place with the ambiance that that particular store and café afforded me. I go out to a certain Barnes & Noble once in a while. The one that is closest to my home; however, it is farther than the old Border’s used to be. I don’t get there often enough to become a regular, and I certainly do not get the treatment and service I got at the Border’s that was in LaGrange, IL. That is the place so many story ideas came alive for me. It was a place of Ah-ha! moments. There was so much inspiration there. I loved being in the café at the winter holidays because the store was on a corner and the café overlooked the town square. The scene was so graceful and nostalgic with those large windows framing a view of holiday lights, snow, scurrying people, and the original train depot. It was like something out of a story book; like a Hallmark original Christmas movie.

Now here I am, always looking for that next nook to hide in. Then I thought, “Well, how about my small-town library?” I mean, sure, there’s no window views, or a café, but it’s nice and quiet and it needs business to keep going. I’ve made it a goal to check out more library books this year, and to actually use the quiet atmosphere as a place to hide away and write. I can bring my laptop and dive in. Even if I use it only a couple of weekend days per month, it’ll be more than I have in the past.

As far as checking out books to read or for research, I rarely do that either. I take it in spurts. Instead, I found myself wishing I had a Chicago Public Library card. Well, in truth, my local library can get whatever I might need in most cases. I guess the massive size of many Chicago branches is what really holds my interest. But my village library needs business too. The town I live in has a population of less than 12,500. I like it that way…I just wish it was further away from Chicago. So why in Hades do I want to go to Chicago? I hate it anyway. Blah! All they do there is rob people and murder one another.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I, or anyone other citizen of my town, cannot be murdered within the village limits, but we like our rose-colored glasses. I mean, between 2000 and 2012 there were only 3 murders: one in 2000, one in 2009, and again in 2011. I do not know the stats for 2013 -14. There has been a good deal of thefts, robberies, and car thefts. However, if we could look at the reports we’ll probably find that many of these were either committed by dumbass teens or people NOT from the village. They were committed by Chicagoans and creeps from suburbs that share garbage with Chicago, suburbs like Burbank and Oak Lawn. Maybe Bridgeview.

Anyway, I can still walk my dog here after the sun goes down without calling for a police escort and sending out homing pigeons to check for creepy people.

Oh, I really got off topic, right? I guess I just wanted to paint a picture of a small-town library that needs its business. I try to use our local businesses, but we don’t have many. I try often to utilize small businesses instead of big-box retailers when I can, and I’ll even drive to other ‘burbs to go to these places. Sometimes you will even find me in Chicago once in a blue moon. I find, though, that these are specialty shops where I find essentials that big retailers do not dare to sell. And that’s okay with me.

Since my town’s library is small and runs on a strict operating budget, I have decided to be a better patron. I usually donate to them books I’ve read, especially the nice hardcover books. Evens so, a few times this past summer I found myself selling them at the used bookstore. I will not do that this year. While I enjoy shopping at the used bookstore, I think I’ll stick to buying instead of selling in 2015.

In addition to my goals to be a better library user, and to better frequent small businesses, and of course, to not let people steal my thunder, most of my goals for 2015 revolve around writing.

The only resolution I made for 2015 is to be a writer. Yes, I said a WRITER. Even this resolution must be completed in small steps and goals to be accomplished. I am very tired of the term “writer’s block.” I use that term sometimes. Others use it. I’m not sure that every time I can’t finished something, or come up with a new idea, or a twist, spin, climax, or a new character I should call it writer’s block. Therefore, I am nixing that term from my vocabulary for 2015. Let’s see if it helps me any where progress is concerned.

Truly, I think writer’s block is the easy way out. A way for us to avoid questions like: Are you writing a new book? How’s that new book coming along? Did you finish writing that book? How’s that new character working out? Did you do that research on Three Stooges you talked about a few months back? Have you worked out your new writing schedule? Is Mary Poppins still singing to you during your showers? Is IT and Stephen King still invading your nightmares? Does Scooby-Doo still dance in a tutu behind your eyelids while you meditate? What color is this character’s eyes; is he a cowboy who rides a camel? You said a camel, right?

You get the picture. So, no more writer’s block. If anyone on WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter, etc., sees me write the term writer’s block in regards to myself, or hears me speak it…please remind me that there’s no such term (according to me).

On top of all that, I have other goals – actually, there is a resolution, but a big one that must be met through baby steps and one goal at a time. This is why so many resolutions fail. We attempt to meet the resolution in the first couple of months, if not the first couple of weeks. For example, we cannot come off of the winter holidays – Thanksgiving, Yule, Christmas and New Year’s – and expect to lose 50 pounds by February 14. It won’t happen. And so it goes with many resolutions. You must make small goals to reach that 50. Try 5 or 10 pounds first. Even if you lose only 15 pounds by the end of December 2015, you did not fail at the entire resolution, so do not give up. You will still be healthier than you were on December 31, 2014.

For me, my most important goal resolves around my spirituality. I intend on finding it again. It’s going to take most of the year. I’m on a journey. I assure you, I have to do this.

My next goal is health related. Not necessarily weight-loss related, but it might turn out to be a plus. Some of you may recall (especially my Facebook friends) that I’ve talked about some health problems I acquired during the last couple of years. So my health goals revolve around that. I’ve never been one to challenge a healthcare professional’s best advice. I know they are correct and that I have to do what it takes to keep my colon in shape. Colons cannot be replaced yet. Not like livers, kidneys, hearts and the like. It’s one of those if-you-abuse-it-you’ll-lose-it organs.

So my goals regarding health are to walk more, eat more veggies and avoid things I know damned well make me sick. No more ground beef! The infections are going to plague me regardless, and the hospital is unavoidable, but I can do things to lower the impact, soften the blow and slow things down.

I heard on the news a couple of days back that they…whoever THEY are…may have found a cure for colon infections. I pray for it. If you’ve never had an episode of Diverticulitis, where you vomit so hard that you are sure your colon has moved into your stomach, and your vision goes black except for those stars – one in each eye – right before you lose your senses and fall over between the toilet and the sink and get stuck – most cannot imagine. Yep. That’s me.

So I must, for my own good, make some healthcare goals.

I read Scorpio’s horoscope for 2015. It looks good. I find that it relates to some of my goals, some I’ve mentioned here and a few I’ll keep to myself.

I hope that you are having a great 2015 so far. Remember, junk those resolutions, or set GOALS to accomplish them. You might find it more helpful in accomplishing ideas and hopes.

Thanks for reading!

Don’t Get Tired of Living

TIRED OF LIVING….Or maybe not.

Things have been on my mind. So I thought I’d post a New Year’s blog a bit early.

Have you ever gotten tired of living? I mean it literally. Have you really been tired for whatever your personal reasons?

I think that most people experience it at least once in their lifetime, others many times. I think it is part of human nature to get this way. I often equate this feeling with the feeling of defeat; like I’ve been beat.

Have you felt as if the goings on in the world, or your personal life, have overwhelmed you to the point that you could just throw up your hands and walk off of a cliff with your eyes closed and just sail?

I have felt this way a few times in my life. But it’s been mostly recently that I’ve had these sad feelings. Some people feel them early in life, some when they are elderly, and unfortunately, if they cannot overcome them tragedy can strike. It becomes a matter of desperation – suicide, homicide; people just disappear from the face of the earth sometimes. Sometimes people go “postal.” The list of what could happen if people do not accept this defeat and face it can be catastrophic.

Woe! Wait a minute. Did I just say ACCEPT defeat? Yes. If we linger on the defeat, then terrible things can happen. We can do terrible things, and people and events can have a negative impact on us if we don’t accept the loss. Recognition and acceptance of defeat is not a bad thing! It should also be human nature to take the lesson and move on, but in these last few years, this part of human nature…the part that makes us forget…is failing for some.

When we refuse to acknowledge defeat, we are only punishing ourselves. I have learned this in my life recently mostly. Of course, I was once defeated as a young teen and I tried to commit suicide. That was dumb. And later, after living through that, I was glad I did not succeed. Life was great for a very long time for me. Then I hit 40 and took a look at where I was. I hated it. I marked myself as a failure.

When I was in my early 20s, it was hard for me to find a decent job. “You have no college education,” was their excuse. But, I worked two jobs, and I was never ahead of my bills, but I was content. Not happy per se, but okay with life. In 1996 at the ripe old age of 26, I pursued that college education. After September 11, 2001, it became null and void as employers used 9/11 to do all sorts of horrible things to their employees. As the years went on, I then heard, “You’re overqualified.” What?

I ended up working at Wal-mart. Right back to where I was before college, except I was not content. Now I have $130K in student loans I cannot pay due to that I spent so many years on minimum wage. So at age 39, I found myself ringing up the purchases of ungrateful, bitchy customers and being talked to like a dog, working for a corporation that cares nothing for its employees, nor does it support its employees. I was doing the backstroke, and it was tearing me down.

However, eventually things turned out okay and this last 14 months haven’t been so bad financially. However, I know to never look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say. Whoever THEY are. And I know that the universe takes as well as it gives.

I am not totally NOT to blame. Does that makes sense? I’d like to blame everyone else for my misfortune, and I won’t lie and say I do not feel I wasn’t dealt a raw deal sometimes. But I made mistakes. Mistakes I made consciously. And I let other people push me into things and moods I didn’t like.

I think sometimes, it hurts us worse when we screw over ourselves. People and events often hurt us. Even the doings of strangers can cause us depression. The people we care for say terrible things to us. Maybe a friend or family member died suddenly and left you reeling in sad feelings. Maybe you studied day and night for that exam, eating fruits and vegetables that you were sure to boost your brain power, but yet, you got a low grade on the test. What went wrong? Did you make a terrible mistake by driving drunk, and ran into Mrs. Smith’s award winning maple tree? – be thankful you didn’t kill anyone. Maybe you were just walking down the street and someone ran by and stole your purse. That all sucks. But does it hurt worse than when you really, truly, and totally fuck up your own life? Sure, driving drunk is a good way to start, and there’s a chance that some outcomes can be worse than others. But, say, you are like me. You do not drink and drive.

When someone wrongs us, we are not always to blame. Very rarely, in fact. But let us wrong ourselves and the world comes crashing down. Sure, sure, sometimes we let people wrong us, or we put ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe we should not have been there at all. But when we make one decision that seems logical, or profitable, and that shitty decision wrings our asses dry, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Sometimes one wrong move can cause an avalanche of incorrect decisions. Or cause a chain of events that make every other right thing that we’ve ever done or decided upon null and void. These are the things that create the moments in life when we are tired of living. Truly tired.

What are the symptoms of being tired of living? Well, depression, of course. You may find yourself not enjoying the things you should, like playing with the dog, going to birthday celebrations, watching your kid’s dance recital, or writing the great American…or some other…novel. Your sense of pride, both in the things that you do and in the things others accomplish…like that dance recital…is diminished. Foods don’t taste as good, comedies are not as funny, and no one loves us anymore. Why don’t they love us? Well, they still do really. They just don’t always understand what’s going on and they don’t know how to approach us. And if they’ve never had one of those tired-of-living moments, their understanding is even less. We feel abandoned.

I spent a couple of recent years going through this. Whatever THIS is. And I thought of all sorts of horrible things to do to myself or others. For instance, I contemplated suicide on more occasions than I have fingers and toes to count them on, and then I thought about murder. I also thought about just getting on the road and driving until that road ended so that I could start a new life.

The end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 were horrible. I’ve talked about that before. The terrible weather in the Midwest, my mother’s sudden illness and surgery. My beloved feline familiar and soul mate of 14+ years then went to the Rainbow Bridge. And one of her biggest illness episodes took place in the middle of the night, during a blizzard, while my elderly mother was still in the hospital recovering from her emergency surgery. I had to go out in the middle of the night in my pajammas, with a shovel, and dig my way to the shed to get my cat’s carrier to take her to an emergency hospital. I loved my Ganymede and still do. Do not make fun of me. I only hope one day you’ll feel love and devotion like that for someone, or an animal…who I do believe are someones.

It was awful. The last couple of years coming to a head. And even after Ganymede’s and my mother’s issues were resolving, more catastrophe continued – money issues, job issues, serious personal illness. Finally, around mid-2014, things settled down and began to look up a bit. Yet, even now, I get that feeling. In fact, I’ve felt it over the winter holidays.

Statistically, more people commit suicide during Christmas. Why? That’s when they feel the loss, emptiness, and loneliness the most and the worst. I miss many things during the winter holidays. And, it’s when I feel the most regret. I miss my loved ones who have died. I grieve the children I never had. And I miss the lover I never found. I always think he’s out there somewhere. Maybe he’s all alone like me. But I always prayed he went on with his life when I didn’t show up. I hope he’s not full of regret like I am. It is times like the season at hand, that I feel these voids the most.

I also reminisce about those old days at this time as well. The New Year’s Eves I spent with my friends on the dance floor. The Christmas cards I used to get. I remember when it took two books of stamps to mail out my holiday cards, now I’m lucky if it takes a half of a book.

As some of you may recall, I am a polytheistic pagan, and I miss having Yule circles with my friends. I miss these things the most around Halloween and Yule. Witches and pagans have it rough at these times. I like being a solitary practitioner, but I also enjoy celebrating Samhain and Yule, or Beltaine with a group of friends and acquaintances. I get depressed. Of course, there are familiar places and people I can join in with during the winter celebrations here and now, but my depression keeps me from it, which causes me more sadness.

I remember having costume parties when I was a kid, since Halloween is my birthday too. I mean, I was always a nostalgic fool. So I was always one to reminisce. I’m a romantic like that. But these days, the memories are painful, not joyful. I feel sadness when I remember the good times. Not joy and love. I used to be happy and laughing when I remembered those old crazy days when a friend and I got stuck out on the sands of Lake Waco as high tide was coming in and we had to push the car to get it to budge. Or when a childhood friend and I drove around until all hours back in the 80s, listening to Poison and stopping in at 7-Eleven to get those Big Gulps, which we lovingly referred to as “Soaks.” I miss the days of holding the hand of guy who cared for me. Now, that’s been a long time ago! Too long.

Yes, I have been missing the days when I had a life. Missing it for years. Missing it for so long I forgot to live in the present. It was so much easier to dream of the past. Life is sometimes hard to bear.

These thoughts and longings were ruining me. You know, I have always been one for not knowing when to let go. Sometimes I was not sure if I was supposed to let go of something or someone. Or a memory. I have developed the inability to also let go of pains and wrongs done to me.

For the last four or five years I have been just existing. Then I woke up. I spent many years pleased with myself and who I was. Something changed. I went from a flowery goddess-worshiping, meditating, tree-hugging lover of nature to an angry Midwestern bitch. I left my Texas home and came to a place I dislike greatly because I was bamboozled into it, and I let the feeling take over. Take ME. Drown ME. I failed. This warrior woman, who had never been defeated before was now…is now…weeping, down on her knees with her head on the floor.

But while I’ve been lounging on the floor, I had time to think. Yes, I did my good old reminiscing. But this time, it was not about the good old days. I was trying to decipher what led me to this point.

I let some people in my life demean me, use me, and talk to me like I’m an idiot. I am, by far, no idiot and I’m sure in the hell of a higher intelligence level than they are. It’s funny how someone can cause another person’s despair; steal their self worth. There was a time in my life when I would die before I ever allowed anyone to do that to me.

I was told by someone in the know, that I am a victim of jealousy. That someone with very low self esteem, who is a failure in their own life, was hell bent on making me one too. By crushing me. This person caused me to not be proud of my individual accomplishments. They said, “Look at ALL you’ve done. ALL the time you’ve wasted on college, writing fiction and poetry, and you have accomplished NOTHING. It got you nowhere. What a waste of time.” One thing some people are good at is manipulation.

This person made me believe because I did not accomplish the career I set out to start by going to university, I was a failure. They brainwashed me to believe that people should not celebrate tiny achievements. That it was all or nothing.

In other words, this person’s belief is that your big picture (whole life) is a failure, if that one big life goal is not met. If you do not end up a millionaire, working for Donald Trump or winning an Oscar, you’re a complete an utter failure, loser, etc. I was nothing because all that I have achieved did not lead to the big picture. I was slowly broken down into believing one should not celebrate life’s small successes if they don’t lead to the ultimate satisfaction. Even though, I was satisfied – ultimately. I was accomplished. It’s funny how another can turn off the lights on you, and whisper negatives in the dark, causing fear and desolation. Like the boogeyman.

Yes, I was torn down. Someone set out to destroy me, even though I did nothing wrong to them, just because I finished something. I am not even sure, however, if they did it consciously, or not. But the result was the same. For instance, because my novel, that I spent so many years on, Someday Always Comes, did not hit the best seller list of the New York Times, I failed. All the years I spent trying to make it great; the reading over and over and editing and fussing was all for naught. I failed. It doesn’t matter that I wrote 640 pages in MS Word. 640 pages that no one else wrote or could write. Definitely not this person tearing me down.

When this person wants something from me and I am trying to set aside time for writing, this person gets upset that I will not do for them simply because I want to write. They try not to show it, but I can read it in their voice. People do not understand the author or artist. Often non-writers don’t understand how our minds work; what makes us tick. They can’t and won’t understand it.

Some people I know do not appreciate or understand me or my love for writing. They feel, well, Wanda will be no Stephen King. Well, of course not. No one can be Stephen or write like Stephen, but Stephen. And, what’s up with that anyway? I do not even write in the same genre as him. I am trying to write in the horror/thriller genre, and even if I succeed, I shall be no Stephen King, even if I write as many, or more, books.

After a good cry, I became myself again. I will be a victim no more. I’ve had enough of being someone’s victim in this lifetime.

I let others steal my self-worth. And goddamn it. I will take it back! I AM going to take it back.

As I believe I have mentioned in a past New Year’s post, I let go of the idea of New Year’s resolutions years ago. Repeatedly, we do not follow through on many of them. Trying to meet New Year’s resolutions often stresses us out, then we give up on them. We are then stressed out because we gave up. It’s a crazy cycle. The last few years, I’ve set goals, instead of resolutions, for the next year which I try to meet, and even then, do not always get close. But goals seem more manageable than resolutions. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps. You can reach a resolution, if you approach it one goal at a time.

However, this year…for 2015, that is…I will state one resolution. I resolve to not let anyone cut me down and attempt to destroy me out of envy. Even if only during 2015. I have enough problems without that. I will not let anyone make me tired of living; steal my joys of triumph or tell me that what I have achieved – no matter how small- is not worth celebrating. Fuck off.

If I’m going to be tired of living, it’s because I did not succeed due to a mistake I chose to make, not because I let someone talk me into feeling like a failure. I will not be demeaned when I am actually victorious. I will be proud of my successes now matter what. Whether I type 100 or one-million words in 2015, that’s more than I can say of the one who downs me.

Enough. No more letting people discourage me out of jealousy or anger.

I hope that you will not do it either. Do not let someone downplay your achievements, no matter how minute or how huge, to suite themselves and lessen the blow of their own shortcomings.

Thanks for reading.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Really? A Mexican?

I can’t even think of a good title for this blog.

I get so tired of human ignorance.

So my WordPress blog for the day is about ill-mannered, ill-educated people.

In my book-in-progress, Angel Maker, Dorian Storm, the main hero, is a black male. I have my reasons for this. Anyone familiar with Robertson County, Texas, may know why. Maybe not. Regardless, this does not seem to be a problem for people. At least, the subject has not been broached with me.

Now Dorian’s wife’s name is Keesha. I did not name her that, she came up with that name, and it’s spelling, all by herself. Good writers…real writers, know how this works. Low and behold, I was told that I cannot name a black woman Keesha. Why, you ask? Because I’d be stereotyping. Wait… Have you ever spun around or skidded on a patch of ice just before you fell on your butt? That was me. Mental arms flailing like a mad woman. I felt like I was going to slide right off the edge of Mount Some-High-Snowy-Place. Okay, maybe I should name her Maureen, or Alma?

What was that I was looking at when I researched the name Kiesha/Keisha and found that it is European? If you dig deeply, you will find the roots of this now common American name, which is popular among both black and white females, but predominately among black girls, stems from, among other European countries, Germany and France. NOT AFRICA! I just want to get that out of the way. And the origins are so old, that the name was predominant among Caucasians ONLY for eons. End of story. Now who’s stereotyping?

This is what I mean about ignorance. Now if Keesha was a white character, and I had named her this, spelling it Keisha, Kiesha, or Keesha, or any derivative, I would have a horde of imbeciles coming down on me with, “She’s white. You can’ name her Keesha no matter what spelling you use. *Yawn*

Now, from Chicago Down, the heroine is Salbatora “Sal” Guerrera. WHAT?

Oh, she’s a Mexican? No, loser, she’s a Chicagoan. Or, wait…Am I missing something? Is the book not titled, at least at this point, CHICAGO Down?

Besides, what if she was born in Mexico? What? There aren’t any heroic Mexican women? There is not one who can defend her life and that of her family and friends against terrorists, low life politicians, and zombies? Ger the f*ck out of here!

Oh wait. Yes. I’m just stupid. Yep, unworldly, ill educated me. How dare I make the lead in my book a woman, and one that might be a non USA-born person at that. Sal is USA born. But what if I change my damned mind? Maybe she is Mexican born. Hell, maybe she’d not even legally in the USA? So what. That doesn’t mean she can’t kill zombies! What if she were still in Mexico, and there were zombies there? What? She’d have to wait for an American-born Mexican woman to come and kill the zombies?…Or the stupid, evil politician?

How can people be so silly that they can be prejudice against non-Caucasian female fictional characters as a heroine?

Listen! Get out of town with that old-school garbage. And you – I’m talking to the one that actually pissed me off, but I’ll include anyone crazy, Salbatora is staying. So you go.

Thanks for reading!

Fate

FATE

(This rambling is an entry from my personal journal from Thursday, 10/9/14.)

As you can see, I’ve missed some days of journal-ing. I am very disappointed. I wanted to fulfill my blog-a-day for October. I love October. Anyway, I’ve been sick. It’s nothing new. My colon, the son-of-a-bitch, is trying to kill me. It’s like it has a mind of its own.

Regardless, I know it will more than likely be my fate at the end of a long road.

So, mostly my idea is to only write in this journal on weekdays. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I feel like it. I can do whatever I want. Why not? The rest of the world’s doing it.

Yep. People are doing whatever the fuck they feel like. I sure miss that Texas dirt road that I grew up on. I miss those chickens pecking around the yard, cows lowing, and the sound of crickets at night.

I miss singing with Blue Joe. I miss Tex and Lucky. I miss my quiet childhood. Sometimes I long for 1980 in our house on that beige and red sandy road.

**

Red dirt road

 

I miss the hot winds
Blowing sand devils around
The breezes now gone

**
Long days come and gone
Hot Texas sun gone down
Cold is here to stay

**
Spider, spin your web
Take me back to that dirt road
Rusty earth baked hard

**

Thanks for reading!

Throwback Thursday

 

WIND OF CHANGE – Scorpions

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the wind of change

The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close like brothers
The future’s in the air
Can feel it everywhere
I’m blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever
I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsty.com/scorpions-wind-of-change-lyrics.html ]
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

Mind Overload

MIND OVERLOAD
I’ve been attempting to write blogs over this last couple of weeks. But dang it! My mind is just too overloaded with topics, opinions, forethoughts, afterthoughts, and images. I am having so many issues at this time with the goings on in the world. I have to rant a little, or vent or something. I want to talk about how I feel. Maybe some people will be upset by this blog, some might agree, and maybe others will just come and read to critique my writing. Either way, I have things to say.

 
Now I am never one to be at a loss for non-fiction words. Meaning, I might be bewildered and bumfuzzled (I don’t think that’s an actual word but it’s an accurate description of how I feel), and even broken hearted over world news, but I am not usually at a loss for words regarding it.

 
When I write fiction, I sometimes write my characters into a corner, or a hole, but they usually do find their way out. I have gotten something that I can describe as “writer’s block” – although I’m not sure I totally believe in it, but I usually get my thoughts back. I get back on track and proceed, even if slowly, with the story. However, I have to admit, every now and then, I allow the weight of the world to infringe upon my focus. Sometimes I become too emotional to write a word on a news topic.

 
However, if I can muster the energy, I usually find myself weaving a poem or some fictitious tale centered on a headline or an emotion that waves over me due to the look on someone’s face captured on one of those world-famous photo shots.
Lately, however, I feel like I’m on meltdown. So much to write about, whether it be to blog about, or create fiction or poetry regarding. I feel helpless while I watch the heavy hand of Russia squeezing Ukraine. And while I write this blog, I may as well give my opinion on that… I hate Putin. So like me, love me or hate me now, it is how I feel. I would like nothing more than to see that idiot gone…Whatever it takes.

 
Next comes the weather. Once again – even after a tortuous and deadly winter, world round we are plagued by terrible weather. Recently, here in the U.S. many have come under attack by those black, swirling monsters that moan and groan, twisting and turning like ferocious cloud devils. They’re frightening beyond words. And when they strike, you need to be prepared. They don’t come with much warning, unlike hurricanes, tsunamis and snow blizzards. No, they just come down from the sky almost as if they have minds of their own and twist up anything in their path. I heard one once. I didn’t see it, but I heard the beast. It caused an immeasurable fear in me. I was a kid then and I think the monster that that child’s imagination drew up is still ingrained in me.

 
I am afraid of the Earth and its atmosphere for the first time in many years. However, being educated, I understand, to some degree, the way the Earth works. The way the weather works. The way the Earth moves beneath our feet. I try to downplay it to people I know who don’t understand Earth in the way I do. I say it so nonchalantly, “Hey, the Earth’s moving. It’s changing. It always has. It always will.”

 
I look at the Earth and the weather as doing their thing. I am a very spiritual person. I believe the Earth is a living, breathing entity. Yet I try to explain things to others I know only from a scientific point of view. Yet, in the same breath I’ll say, “It’s Mother Earth purging. Ridding herself of us.” I look at the Chicago headlines, I look at the bitter self-interest of Putin, I look at garbage dumps and steaming smokestacks spitting black smoke into the blue sky and I think, “The gods are making us pay.”

 
I have so much on my mind in my own personal world as well concerning friends, family, hard times, illness, let downs, and back stabbings. This adds to the weight of the world upon my shoulders. I cannot go through life without worrying about other people. It’s my nature to care about the people I do not know. The people in Ukraine, Philippines, Mississippi, or California. I just saw a blurb on TV about Mount St. Helens and I started fidgeting.

 
When I heard about what Hurricane Katrina had done to New Orleans, I was devastated and I cried tears as if I had lost someone I knew and loved. Jesus! I’ve never even been to New Orleans. But it’s a part of my place. My United States. Hurricane Sandy kept me glued to the phone and the computer as the storm bore down on the East coast and New York and other places. I was awake all night. I was sad as the streets filled with water. I was not angry at the hurricane. It can’t help it. It is a non-feeling entity. I was not angry at any god either. I was just heart-broken.

 
I am an emotional empath of sorts. This is how I’ve been my whole life. When the Twin Towers were destroyed, among other things, by a bunch of garbage, I was numb. I could not fathom any reason for the disaster and only tried to imagine what kind of sick, twisted, filthy beast would do such a thing. Osama Bin Laden and his group of hell-bound mindless mini-me’s were and are nothing but filth to me. I was not afraid of him. I just hated him and still do. There is no forgiveness for a man who preaches to others to die for some cause, then hides himself in caves and wherever else spineless asshats hide themselves when they cannot talk themselves into doing what they have convinced others to do. Oh, there are no virgins or heavenly place for Osama…Oh no. I just wish that they had cut off his head and impaled it on a stick. *shrugs*

 
When I hear about the women of the world being stoned and imprisoned for being raped…Now that’s something I have a lot to say on. Or being sold as a young girl to some old pig to be married. It makes me want to vomit. I want to set every man on fire in those countries. Listen to me you psychotic beasts!: You only torture women because you are weak. A weak person blames another for his faults. It’s not her fault your penis gets hard, it’s your fault because you are weak and cannot look away. And to the women of those countries I say: These men blame you because they are pathetic, they cannot resist temptation. Take up arms and take your stand and your rightful place as the head of the household.

 
I have a whole lot to say about the monsters of the world. I have my own monster list. It may not match those of my readers, but that’s okay. I am not here to compare monsters…some of who are in my own back yard. But mostly, they are somewhere else, far from me, but not totally unable to touch me.

 
People have their own concerns, like the government watching them. I know people who are possessed by this subject. And live and breathe it. I say, I don’t give an F if the government is watching. If they want to watch, let them watch. We have people starving and dying in the streets of the USA. Why should it be up to the government to protect them? Feed them? It should be up to us to do it. Donate food and clothing instead of throwing away things other people need like the stuff is unnecessary shit. But the stuff is necessary for someone.

 
But, no. We’re too concerned if the government is reading our emails to Grandma. Who cares? Take me for instance. I’m a writer. My life is all over the web. Well, so I guess the government and its employees are the only ones not allowed to read my work? If you put up a page on Facebook, anyone can see it. I’m more worried about people stealing my money and my identity and robbing me blind. I do not care if the government just scanned a resume I sent to a potential employer. That is time and energy wasted while fires burn, kids starve, and good people die for no reason.

 
But instead, we worry about our emails to Grandma. If you are not committing crimes, then why do you care? Besides, the government’s always been watching. If you are 16, 36, 66, or 116 years old…guess what, the governments always been watching you since the day you were born. Yes, why is everyone acting like this is new? Why? Because some asshat decided to attempt to be a hero by telling us what we already knew? *Yawn…next topic.*

 
I’m more concerned about child abuse, animal abuse and how well our troops are being treated in the field. I am broken by school shootings and bullies, and 12 year olds sexting and sending porn of themselves. I am awe struck – in a bad way- by priests molesting kids. I am worried about a family in Ukraine I know little about…and now, thanks to the selfish, power-hungry Putin, I may never meet. I do not care if the U.S. government is reading this blog. Good. Maybe they’ll enjoy it. Please feel free, U.S. Government, to leave a comment below! As for that matter…I hope the Russian Government is reading it too. Putin, feel free to explain your ruthless, selfish actions in the comments section below.

 
This is how I feel. Worrying about the government reading your public blog or your private email to your mistress is just hogwash. It’s something to distract you while even worse things go unnoticed by you.

 
So, there you have it. As you can see I am on emotional overload due to topics past and present. So many important matters, so little time, so little patience. I am glad I was able to vent a little on this blog post. But I know I am not the only blog writer who feels this way. Who has so much to write about but the topics are hard to approach, or you feel so sensitive regarding an issue. What do we write about? There’s so much going on. How can we focus on one thing while ignoring another?

 
As a writer and as a U.S. citizen, born right in Chicago, I have the privilege of writing what I want. Oh sure, some people won’t like it and maybe someday I’ll write a piece that might piss of my government, but they’ll all get over it. In the meantime, I will write what I know, and what I know is how I feel about things. I’ll write so that others in the world know that they are not alone. The world is watching. The people of the USA are watching. We care. We just stand frozen against the thought of taking a stand. The world is different now, since the days of Prohibition, or even Rosie the Riveter. It seems we stand to lose so much more if we voice our opinions. Yet again, maybe we’re just selfish even as we truly have nothing to lose.

 
I’ll keep on writing. I’ll write poetry about gods of old and about friends that come and go. I’ll write fiction about vampires and witches, and maybe cops and their criminals that dig holes and throw things in ditches. I’ll write blogs about the actions of governments or about writer’s block. I can post tidbits of my fiction in progress or post book reviews. I’ll write whatever the hell I want, and the governments of the world can continue reading whatever the hell they want…if they feel my blog is more important than what Putin is doing.

 

Thanks for reading!

On The Shore of My Sunset…And I Will Fish

Woman-Fishing-at-Sunset

ON THE SHORE OF MY SUNSET…And I Will Fish

I’ve been through a crazy time lately. So much so that I’ve been questioning myself and what I have become. I developed into something that I am not. Many of us think that it’s natural to change. But often, there are circumstances that force us to become something unnatural unto ourselves. We become something else; something outside of ourselves. We live exterior to ourselves doing and thinking things abnormal to us, and responding in unhealthy ways to stimuli and events. Responding in ways that we never would have before. This bothers us, but we do nothing and these situations and things eat us alive, turning us dark inside, yet we stand peering into ourselves and do nothing – just like some of us did when we witnessed the class bully picking on the smart kid, the fat kid, the pimple-faced kid, or the ethnic kid. It was wrong, and inconceivably so, but still we did not hold out a hand to our hurt, sad classmate who was a really good person. We become bullies unto ourselves. Yes. Our own private bully.

Often this is caused by stressful and traumatic events. Sometimes they are those moments that cause us to recite overused terms such as “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Do you really believe that in all cases? This is a line of crap we feed ourselves to hide how we really feel, or how we’ve changed in a bad way. I believe we change, and may become stronger, but sometimes in the wrong way. I have had such changes take place with me these last few years.

I feel like I am living a life outside of who I am meant to be…who I am. I am not the person I used to be… Or am I? I like that other person. I want her back. Yes, things have occurred over the last few years that have caused me to change forever and there are pieces of myself lost to time. Some changes are good and many are bad. It’s the bad ones I need to turn away from and shuck off like corn husks. We all do. These bad things…our tempers, lack of patience, aching stomach. These are terrible things. I don’t believe they are us. Not me, anyway.

These negative changes in me and the pain that accompanies them can be overcome. I know this. Perhaps the things that caused these changes cannot be modified themselves or undone, but I can change my response to them, and learn to live with them. And I am fighting tooth and nail to do that. Some might consider that conforming, giving up, or giving in. In reality, I am learning to mold them into something I can live with, or that can serve me on a more positive note.

For instance: Those that know me best know I do not like the area where I live now. I’ve been stuck here for several years. I hate it and that feeling causes such violent emotions inside me that I can become a screaming maniac. I have felt like I’m trapped in a burning house; like it’s eating me alive. But is it? No. This place is not doing that. It can’t. It has no mind to think for itself. It has no hands to grasp me intent on holding me back. What is really going on is that my reaction to the fact I cannot escape – at this time – is what’s burning me up. I am trapped and cannot go away due to various factors – too many to mention and some that cannot be changed until their time is ended. Therefore, instead of allowing my loathing of this situation to kill me, I shall conjure a pool of water and jump in. I will drink a glass of thirst-quenching water, and I will make the fire burn for me, not against me. Even though I do this with reservation, I must be patient. From past experiences I have gained the knowledge that patience cures many woes. Patience will help me to integrate what I really want and how I want to live with this place I dislike so much.

I have been carrying this grudge for several years, pounding my fists against what I thought was an unseen force trying to destroy me and who I am. Forcing me to fail at many things. And when I dropped to the floor in what I assumed to be defeat, I realized it’s not possible. I stopped and saw that I cannot fight what does not exist. I have never been truly defeated by anything. I’m not about to be taken down by something that does not exist. Well, it does not exist anywhere but in my own mind and although I have discovered I’ve been allowing my own mind to cause me discomfort, that’s coming swiftly to an end. I shall not be held prisoner by me. I shall charm my dark and dreary prison into becoming my garden paradise.

I have searched for ways it can serve me and how I can enjoy it, instead of looking at all the ways I can allow it to destroy me via my own emotions. How I react to this area and view it causes me harm, not the place itself.

In January, I watched the movie “The Bucket List” for the first time. And I think I saw it from a point of view that many others did. However, I could not shake off the feeling it left me with. I couldn’t. It made me think: what the hell have I been doing all these years? I’ve had mostly a good life. Not great, but good. I’ve never been able to take European trips…or even go to Hawaii…but outside of that it’s been okay. I’ve had some life-shattering moments where I had to pick up the pieces of my life. These things started very early for me. I was abused by my godmother, a sexual assault victim, there was a very short time I liked a little too much booze, I smoked for a few years, my Dad was not very understanding, I was bullied and picked on as a kid sometimes (until I put an end to it myself!), I was laid off from jobs, filed bankruptcy, lost people I loved. I was cheated on, misunderstood, used and not to mention there’s a few people out there who dislike me very much because I can spot a jackass a mile away.

Oh, there are those awesome good times too. Way more than the bad. Well, maybe I just hold them dearer so it seems like there are more good times although that may not be true. There was that one time I had a great lunch with coworkers and a moment happened that I cannot forget. There were spiritual times that I still can’t get over. I had some very good friends pass in and out of my life and although many left me disappointed or scarred, I miss most of them. They taught me a lot. I have laughed and loved and glowed. And there was my Ganymede… My Ganymede who went to the Rainbow Bridge breaking my heart to pieces. But she was my familiar…I loved her most.

I also love my religion and I enjoy being spiritual – another thing I thought this place I live in took from me. But I, myself, am what stole my spirituality. For those of you who do not know, I am not a Christian, I am a polytheistic Pagan. I honor the divine feminine and I am polytheistic. I have never hidden this and if a someone doesn’t know this, they just haven’t spotted it yet. I have also been out of the “broom closet” since 1998 – meaning I am a Witch as well. While many people may stop reading right here…I urge you to continue. I can’t explain any of these things here. That is not what this blog is about, however, I take my beliefs very seriously. My religion, my spirituality is just as important to me as my readers’ is to them. I am a peaceful practitioner and love my deity(ies) with all my heart. The One True God is all gods… The A-sexual All is one. I respect yours as mine. This is how I live.

Yet at some point, I lost it. Yes, this is not the first time that I have lost my religion – there’s that one time in Arkansas (that’s a memoir moment), but this is the only time I returned to it. I allowed the darkness that had colored my emotions, thoughts, and reactions to come and swoop down on all that was good and bright in my life. I believe when a person shuts out their god or their divine or whatever it is they believe in, they have definitely arrived at the darkest place. But I am seeking the light, the spiritual, again. I shall dance the May Pole of my life eternally.

What all this reflecting boiled down to however is that overall at 44, I am going, WTF! Where has all my time gone?  After all I’ve been through this last 3 years with my mental health turning in circles, my bad luck and numerous things that just seemed to go bad for no reason… I just knew something was rotten in Chicagoland and within me. I just had a feeling that I could change things. My latest devastation proved to me that maybe things weren’t all that bad before – you know, like the last year and the year before. At the start of 2014 I entered a new cycle and I had a terribly rough start  with the year of the Horse. I wanted to roll over and die. I thought, hell, my life is half over, isn’t it? I pictured myself starting the ascent to my sunset to ride it away. Is it really almost over? I mean, I’m 44 and my father lived to 73, my maternal grandmother to 73, and my maternal grandfather died in his 60s. My paternal grandparents, I have little knowledge of and I am not sure of the ages of their deaths but I believe my paternal grandmother lived into her 70s. My mother is still alive and strong at 78 and is still going even after her terrible illness this past January – which shook up the family. I know what I was thinking: is this the beginning of the end? And of course, my mother is the last and weakening thread that holds me and my siblings together. Once the Fates cut her Thread, her kids may shed each other off like the skin of a snake. I don’t know, at this point, what I’ll do when my mother dies. And die she will. It happens to all of us.

Well, then I lost Ganymede. Some of my friends know how much I loved…love…my cat. She came to me in October 1999. I adopted her from the Waco Animal Shelter via PetSmart. I was looking for a dog the day I found her. I named her for a moon of Jupiter and later discovered that Ganymede was a Trojan prince in Greek mythology who was swept up to Mt. Olympus by Zeus to be his Cup-bearer. Huh. Anyway, Ganymede was more than my pet. She became my child; my daughter. My life. She was my Familiar. She spent all those years with me. She traveled with me. Put up with my mood swings. And maybe a time or two I was not nice to her. But she was always there for me, listened to me, comforting me when I was at my sickest. Then, her time came to pass from this world. 14+ years with me and poof!…she was gone. Just a dream to me now. I thought I’d have a nervous breakdown. I was so distraught I contemplated killing myself. I mean really killing myself for the first time ever. I was so grieved and lonely I thought the only answer was to go where she went. To go back Home.

Ganymede was my baby. I even avoided dates with one guy because I thought he wouldn’t like my Ganymede. I built my world around my cat. If I was gone 12 hours, I’d rush home to her because I knew she had been alone all day. I know it’s stupid to some of you, but she was my family. My soul friend. I would’ve died trying to save her from something awful.

I paid to put her to sleep in a comforting place that I didn’t feel was frightening. I talked to and petted her until her heart stopped beating. Then I took her little body to a crematory close to my house that specializes in pets so that I could have her back the same day. If I had had enough money, I would’ve buried her or interred her ashes. But now she sits in a special place in my bedroom in a canister awaiting the Spring sun that will soften the earth so that I can bury or sprinkle her ashes in a special place that is hallowed ground.

Boy, the first 2 – 3 months of 2014 came and went swiftly and left disaster in its wake. After Mom’s illness and the beginning of Ganymede’s end in January, and just before Ganymede’s death in February, a good neighbor friend of ours died suddenly in his sleep from a major heart attack. I cannot grasp it. It’s been some time since his passing, yet, I still can’t believe it. For a long time I waited for him to come out of the house, waving and telling me it was all a sick joke.

Well, here’s the point, between my dislike of my living situation and the fact I’ve been trying to leave from here for years and can’t, The Bucket List, all the traumatic events that took place, and this monotonous weather we all endured this winter in the Midwest that made things seem way worse than they may have actually been, I have found wisdom.

Sitting on the couch watching a talk show, I was enlightened. The host asked the guest how she felt about her age (mid-40’s). The guest responded with that she liked her age and how growing old(er) is a privilege.  Bam! It hit me. I thought about all the people who died when I young. One friend when we were only 16. I think about people who never lived to celebrate 40. What have I been thinking? Living and growing older really is a privilege! Jesus Christ! Yes, there are so many people out there my age or younger suffering from terrible disease. Or were just killed out of the blue. And many of them did nothing wrong. Lived good lives and took care of themselves. And wham. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, a drunk or texting driver. It’s all over in a flash. Our lives become someone else’s dream.

I should not be dwelling on soaring away with the sunset. I should not be lamenting because I am not 30. I should be admiring my sunset as it comes closer. I will not go away sad. Oh no. I will not spend the next half or even 3rd of my life dwelling on the past, living with regret. (That is if I even live through the full 3rd!make through the entire last half!) will stand on the shore of my sunset and fish god damn it. I will fish for The Bucket List. One I can accomplish. I’ll make a list of dreams. I will make a to-do list that I can get done.

I might have 25 yrs left. Maybe 35. Maybe only 1 or 2. But I will fish. Fish for life experiences that I can smile about when I jump on my setting sun and ride it. And I will ride. Even with my last breath, I am sure my final conscious thought will come out of my mouth in some sarcastic tone and I might die with my middle finger raised to all the assholes I’ve ever encountered, but I will die with a smile remembering all those damned fish, the ones I caught and the ones that got away. After all, it’s the experience of the actually fishing that counts.

Go fish!

*If you have not read “Letter To Ganymede”, a poem (so to speak) I wrote in her memory, please check it out after you finish reading this blog. https://wandasparyla.com/2014/02/27/letter-to-ganymede/

Out Like a Lion…In Like a Lion?…Huh?

Huh?…Yep. 2013 roared out, and 2014 roared in! Great Gatsby!

Greetings my wonderful readers and fellow writers.

I hope this latest blog about not much at all finds you as well as the flowery words that fall from the mouths of fairy-tale princesses, or as soft as those that cascade from the mouths of babes.

Okay, enough of that. Yes, I’m sure you realize that my regularly scheduled posts have fallen off the face of the earth. Oh boy! Last year ended and the New Year started … both with a big roar. Well, I was hoping for a good 2014, but so far…not so good.

Just to keep you up to date, and not thinking that I am slacking in my postings. I got a terrible Flu the week before Christmas and missed a few days of work. Which was worrying to me since I just started the job the last day of September. Then the weather turned sour, then even more sour, then the hustle and bustle of the holidays… Next thing I know on January 2 my brother took my mother to the emergency room where she then moved on to a hospital stay during the worst freeze in the last 20+ years, including miserable snow storms.

Right at that time my new job went in to mandatory overtime, and since I work with them through an employment agency (until they hire me permanently, if they do) and I was afraid to miss too much work. My normally 45-minute drive at rush hour turned into 1 hour 20 minutes on many days and I was tired just from driving. My mother’s routine gallbladder removal turned into a major surgery where they removed over a foot of her colon as well.

Well, in the meantime, my feline daughter, Ganymede, who has been with me in this life since 1999 turned very ill, having seizures and such. Although given about 3-5 days to live, she is still kicking around…though not kicking as high as previously. I know she is in end stage kidney disease despite she once again deceived the veterinarians. I know her time is nearing to cross the Rainbow Bridge back to Bast in the Summerlands. I know it might sound crude to some, but I have been shopping for my cat’s ornate urn where she will rest peacefully until I decide what I shall do with her remains long term, such as scatter them, or inter the urn someplace peaceful.

I know these thoughts seem morbid to some, but Ganymede is an important part of my life and I have always treated her as such. She is not just an animal to me, but she was there when I prayed, there when I cried and laughed, she moved from state-to-state with me several times, and comforted me when I was sick. I owe her more than she owes me as we sit and wonder as the clock ticks.

As for my mother, she is doing much better and recuperating well. She’s one tough cookie, that mom of mine. She is at home now, this past Sunday marked a week, and she must still take it easy and rest. Rest, a word my mother never liked to hear and still doesn’t. But she must. So far everything looks good and without a doubt, when this mean-ass weather blows away and the tulips peek their heads up through the snow and cold, my mother will be back riding the busses and meeting her lady friends at McDonald’s for coffee, and she’ll be back to her exercise classes in no time at all.

So that’s just what’s been going on in my life. Between the long work hours, the bad weather, and the terrible drives home, I haven’t been able to keep up with my usual posts and schedule my Wordless Wednesdays or my Throwback Thursdays, this week including. But I will be back on my regularly scheduled programming for next week.

Until then, did you read the latest review for Someday Always Comes? Check out here on my blog. It’s the post prior to this one where I reblogged the review. You can also see it on Amazon and Goodreads by Emily at Cactus Wren Review.

Here’s the link to it here on my blog – https://wandasparyla.com/2014/01/20/someday-always-comes-by-wanda-s-paryla/

Thank you all for reading. I appreciate that you take the time to visit my blog.