Born Fearless

FearlessKids

Image source: hercampus.com

I remember being so fearless, I convinced the meanest, most stubborn mare in the world to let me ride her… bareback. (I think I just out-stubborned her).  I spent all my time barefoot, running at top speeds down gravel driveways, through pastures of wild daisies, eating Huckleberries and Blackberries right off the bush and conning stray, feral cats to come home with me no matter how many scratches I earned for my efforts.  I’d spend hours exploring the woods with no sense of direction, whatsoever.  See that plant right there with the pink and red streaks near the bottom growing next to the fence?  That’s going in my mouth right now, because nothing beats fresh Rhubarb, except for maybe Rhubarb pie.

If someone was mad at me, I confronted them right away.  If I thought someone I cared about was doing something wrong or harmful to themselves, I spoke up.  Unless it was in the middle of a Tornado, then they couldn’t hear me.  Mother.

I never backed down from a dare or obstacle, I found a way.  Wonder who I go that from… 😐

There was nothing better than riding in the back of my daddy’s pickup truck on a hot summer day or fishing tadpoles out of the drain ditches on the side of the road.  Laying across the yellow lines to watch the clouds dissipate and form.

With the help of my family, I climbed to the very top of the capital building, even though I’m so afraid of heights I get nervous watching someone else on a step ladder. Yes, it is different than flying or climbing trees and mountains, I just don’t know why.

There will always be a wistful longing inside of me for that fearlessness I had as a child. Too bad it’s a product of ignorance; the price you pay for wisdom and experience.  I’ll only ever know it in my memories now, because I’m a parent and nothing can turn a brave soul into a worry-wart faster than becoming a mom or dad.  On the bright side, I’ve had years of watching my own kids enjoying their time in the midst of that liberating fearlessness.  Now, they’re in the “I am a teenager, therefore I am Invincible” stage… but that’s for a whole other post. 🙂

Happy TGIF!

Help Unspoken

TheCall

The woman has had a hard day.  One of those days where Murphy’s Law is in full affect.  Now, after a work day she thought would never end, she just wants to get dinner done so she can sit down and unwind.  Unfortunately, her luck isn’t any better at home.  The pasta’s boiling over, and she can’t get the jar of sauce open to save her life. Getting dinner done by the time her husband walks in the door is something she prefers, so they can relax together and talk about their day.

He comes home and has no idea how her day went.  He only knows how his own has gone and it wasn’t the greatest.  Stopping on the threshold of the kitchen, he sees pots boiling over, timers going off and his wife standing with her back to him, crying and cursing the jar in her hands.

Three different men have stood in this very spot.

The first man doesn’t care how her day went, because there’s no way in hell it was any worse than his! He views this scene as an extension of his own bad luck, not hers and storms into the kitchen, going off at the mouth about how much he needed to come home to his sanctuary, and instead finds it in chaos! Why can’t she just give him one simple good thing in his day of horrible?  He puts himself right in the middle of everything, completely taking over. Opens the jar, dumps it in the pot, turns off the boiling pasta, jabs the timer button and looks at her to say, “Now, was that so damn hard?!” Before storming back out of the room.

The second man is worried, but not about her.  He’s worried about his own safety.  All he sees is a volatile situation that could possibly explode in his face, if he says or does the wrong thing.  He slowly enters the lion’s den and asks, “Hey, honey. You need any help?” To which, she either snaps “No!” or explodes, beginning with the jar she can’t open and escalates to the rest of her crappy day, while slamming around the kitchen.  He doesn’t really hear a word she says, he just wants to escape in one piece, so he quickly opens the jar and rambles off some apology, before running out of the room, throwing a “It smells great, hon, I just gotta do [insert lame excuse here] real quick…” over his shoulder.

The third man takes quick stock of the situation, recognizes that his wife is also having a bad day and waltzes into the kitchen.  Setting his stuff down on the counter, he comes up behind her. Placing his hands over hers, he helps her open the jar, moves the boiling pot to another burner before turning it and the timer off, then squeezes his wife into the kiss he places on her cheek.  “Love you.” Turning away, he grabs his things off the counter and leaves the room to go deal with his own mess before dinner.

The moral of the story:

  • You shouldn’t have to ask permission to help the person you love.
  • Never make their bad situation about you.
  • Helping someone shouldn’t make them feel worse about themselves. A little help can go a lot further than just taking over and doing it yourself.

And never pass up an opportunity to let someone know you love them.  It’s amazing what kind of positive difference that one little word can make!

p.s. Only one of these men has a chance of getting sex tonight. That’s food for thought, too. 😉

The Nerve to Succeed

SocialMediaIntrovert

Image source: linkedin.com

I confess, I’m floundering.  I’m very happy to announce that I finished the book I was working on (Yay!) It turned out to be a collection of 3 short novellas, instead.  But, as soon as I handed it over to my beta readers, my Muse made a beeline for the door and is now MIA. Hussy.

It’s bad enough I have a habit of shutting myself up in my writing cave, but now I’ve emerged without a creative spark to show for my efforts.  Today’s one word Daily Prompt got me inspired, though – thank you DP gurus! – It also hit on a Nerve.  Or, should I say, lack there of.

It takes a lot of nerve to be successful in the writing world today.  Now that all of the previous obstacles and walls have been knocked down to make way for a new generation of Best Selling Indie Authors, a fast-paced, chaotic culture devised solely around Social Media has emerged to fill the void. The problem is that it’s damn intimidating!  Where do you even start?  I mean, aside from reading a thousand articles on where to start…

My goal is to try to go Indie with my new series.  Yes, I have a publisher, but I would like the experience and I’m very curious to discover the difference, myself.  To see which form of publishing I prefer.  I’m mostly hoping Self-Publishing will allow me to get books out onto market at a faster, steadier pace so my readers aren’t waiting 2 whole years for the next book to come out!

Going solo takes a lot more nerve, though – and moola.  Shopping for professional editors, cover artists, proofreaders and marketing experts is mind numbing!  Sure, I could just load what I’ve got into an online platform like Amazon, Kobo or Smashwords, but I would know that it wasn’t the best version of my story and would be immensely disappointed in myself.  My characters deserve to be shown in their best light, and my readers deserve to get their money’s worth.

All of the authors I’m hosting and supporting, reading and reviewing every day make it look so easy, when I know it’s anything but.  Mostly, I think it’s all based on one’s nerve to be successful.  Determination, smart business choices and finding the right people to give your book the best chance of surviving the whirlwind.

Knowing it takes nerve and actually having nerve, though, are sadly two different things for an introverted creative-type.  Broke… a broke, introverted creative type ha!  I’ll do it, though, because I’m also very stubborn when it comes to getting what I want.  Maybe that’s really the root behind success.  Sheer stubbornness! (Lots of moola doesn’t hurt, either.) 😀

Happy Hump Day!

Eighth Deadly Sin: Entitlement

Entitlement (noun): 1. The fact of having a right to something. 2. The amount to which a person has a right. 3. The belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. – Google

entitlement-defined

This is a tricky Sin.  Entitlement can often be misconstrued by people suffering from the Ninth Deadly Sin: Prejudice (aka Bigotry or Narrow Mindedness).  People who have been fortunate enough, I guess, to never have to walk in other people’s shoes.  Who believe their views and opinions are above reproach, because if they can do, then so can everyone else.  Yeah, those people.  Now, back to the 8th Sin:

Entitlement is not the wounded Veteran who has no job, no help, limited medical after putting their life on the line for your freedom. It’s not the single mom or dad or even family getting help from the State Welfare programs to keep their children fed and in decent clothes, because their life has hit a rough patch, the housing fell out from under them or whatever the case may be.  It is not the people who genuinely need a helping hand.

EntitlementDiff

Entitlement has no preferred social status, religion, political party, race or gender – it is, like all Sins, completely unbiased and unprejudiced.

A person inflicted with the Eighth Deadly Sin sincerely believes that they are entitled to everything everyone else has, simply because they suck in air, because they exist, because they have granted this world the privilege of their presence.  They should never have to work for what they want, it should just be given to them.  They are always allowed to borrow from others, but they don’t return favors.  They can’t pay you back and will never have whatever it is you need to borrow.  Entitled people will also take what they feel they deserve.  They’ll steal it, justified in their actions, because they will always need it more than you.  Their situation will always be more important or dire than yours.

entitlement

Entitlement also grants their chosen victims with the brilliance of a con-artist.  This ensures that the Sin can remain intact and never have to leave the person.  They will never learn another way, they are impervious to Tough Love, Rock Bottom and Rehab, because by some Supernatural force, they always manage to get what they want.  Even in their lowest or lowest, neediest or needs, where all hope seems lost – they will find a way.  Entitled people are resourceful, opportunistic and conniving.  Their brains are always scheming, because Entitlement is the love child between Avarice & Gluttony, and therefore they are never satisfied.

The symbol for Entitlement is a demon with three faces and six arms. Three hands are feeding the three faces, while one hand steals, another borrows and the last is open and waiting to be filled, fingers partially curled in the “gimme” gesture.

Mind-Fracking

TAGFrackT-Shirt

Is it morphing or word-inventification?

Perhaps a year has passed since I responded to a Daily Prompt, but this one got me thinking.  The WP Guru’s want us to morph a common word into something new (in other words, add another slang word to the Urban Dictionary).  I get the process and as a writer, creating new slang can be so much fun, it’s downright distracting.  I’ve also seen it while reading the SciFi/Futuristic genres.  J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) has characters that use “Frosty” or “Frosted” or “Iced” instead of plain ol’ “cool.”

While I was working at this place (yeah, that place) during a rare snowy winter for this area, I entered the building with red-tipped everything, my teeth chattering so hard that when my coworker asked the ridiculous question if it was cold outside, I couldn’t get the word “freezing” out of my mouth, so opted for “frigid.” It’s shorter.  In here lies the problem with creating new slang… my coworker just happened to be English and apparently, while not exclusively British slang, there is only one use for the word “frigid” in the UK.  She gasped at me like I’d shouted something not as politically correct as PENIS, then with red cheeks informed me that Frigid is a girl who’s like a cold fish in bed (yes, that kind of “in bed”).  That’s it, end of story, no exceptions.  I refrained from pointing out that we weren’t in the UK when I chattered the word through very frigid teeth and gums.

On top of potentially morphing a word that has already been reassigned various meanings in countless foreign lands, I personally enjoy the creative process of just making shit up – or at least using combos never heard before within my personal realm.  So, in answer (at long last) to today’s prompt: I nominate Mind-Fracking.  More likely word-inventification than morphing, unless you take into consideration that it morphs two words into one fabulous replacement for Gobsmacked, Mind-F*cked or Flabbergasted.

But which kind of Fracking, you ask?   Frack (Frak) as in the profanity replacement for F*ck made most famous in shows like Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5 & Eureka (Fargo’s fave) – don’t judge me, I’m totally that geeky girl – OR – Fracking, as in “hydraulic fracturing” used during oil drilling?

D) All of the above.  Either way works, because when you’re that über “MIND-FRACKED” it feels like your hamster wheel’s been pulverized by something that drills a hole first before releasing potentially dangerous, pressurized liquid into it.

Happy TGIF!

Soundtrack of My Life

Since I missed yesterday, I decided to answer both prompts today.  The Daily Post is asking: If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album?

Of course, everyone wishes they had the big scores reminiscent of their favorite epic movies like Lord of The Rings or X-Men… no?  Okay, just me then.  Without spending all day researching the best known film scores in the universe, here are the ones that immediately came to mind:

When I’m writing, I hear Lalo Schifrin, as in:mission-impossibleWhen I’m waiting on my oldest or my publisher, I hear Merv Griffin, as in:

final_jeopardy_-4When I’m driving, I’d like to think I’m listening to Whiz Khalifa ft. 2 Chainz, as in:

fastfuriousBut it’s really more like Hanz Zimmer, as in:

DrivingMissDaisyWhen I roll out of bed in the morning and my feet hit the floor, I’d like to think my day will be backed by the epic scores of Klaus Badelt, as in:

PiratesoftheCaribbeanThen my kids come screaming down the hall, the kitchen gets destroyed, my favorite coffee cup gets broken and I realize that only Alan Silvestri could possibly write the soundtrack for my life.  As in:

Who-Framed-Roger-RabbitNot:

avengersGo ahead.  Sing it.  You know you want to.

♪♫ “A shave and a haircut…” ♫♪

😀

Literate May Be A Stretch

Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?

Android

ANDROID SMARTPHONE: You are an oxymoron!

Cedar Sunday Phone (Dear Smart Phone):

Awe, did i swipe too fast for you? Well, too bad! Yes, i am that birch that thinks that devices should work the way they were designed to.  I have no fear of machines taking over, because your all too stupid to accomplish that feat!  So, duck you.  Duck you all to help.  You have got to be the worst, rudest piece of shut technology i have ever come across.  You never type what i want to say, in fact you “auto-fill” the last word i could ever possibly mean and make me scroll all of the way to the very end of your suggestions for the one i want, which if you really were so Smart, logic would have demanded you suggest first.  And that’s on a good day, when you suggest the right word at all!

Then, you have the audacity to yell at me.  Telling me that i don’t need to press the space bar between selected words, but when i don’t use it, you don’t putaspacebetweenthewords!  And why does it take 20 minutes to send a text when both my signal and WiFi are at full strength??? Hmm?  Because, you just like passing me the duck off, that’s why!

There have been so many times when you have utterly stopped feeling altogether.  When no matter how softly or forcibly i touch your screen, you completely refuse to respond.  Why the cold shoulder?  It is at these times when you truly are an Android, phone!  Worse, is your timing.  You only seem to do this when my text or call is time sensitive.  But, oh no.  I have to then pry your back off and remove your battery, count to 10, put everything back and wait for the excruciating amount of time it takes you to wake up again.  By then, it’s too late and my contact is upset with me.

Earlier today, i was in the midst of texting a friend and you just shut down.  Rebooted!  Why would you do that to me?  Now my friend thinks that I’m ignoring her – and why, for all that is good and holy, do you NEVER capitalize my i’s!!!??? It drives me absolutely bankers!

Today, is possibly one of your worst days.  I don’t know what issues you’re dealing with, especially when you refuse to allow me to download even the smallest App from the Playstore and don’t have nearly enough photos in the gallery to complain about storage space- yet, every 10 minutes you are shutting yourself down and rebooting.  Is it national PMS (Phone Must Shutdown) day? The problem is that when you do this, you come back 100% Android again.  No response to my touch!

One of these days, phone, I’m going to replace you.  Is that what you want?  I’m going to upgrade to a bigger, better, more sympathetic and intelligent Smart Phone!  And when i do, I’m going to take your cold, lifeless body and my Louisville slugger and beat the holy ducking shut out of you.

Sincerely,

The woman you hate so much all you can do is be a total as jerk to her.

A True Irish Jig

irish_jig

I know I committed to NaBloPoMo and should be writing some awe-inspiring post answering one of the Daily Prompts, but my sister and I have possibly come across a sledgehammer that will knock one of our family history’s walls down in Eastern County Galway, Ireland.  Do you know how hard it is to do genealogy research in Ireland??? Well, if you do, I’m sorry.  If you don’t, there’s little I can say to explain the frustrations.  It’s what we’ve lovingly deemed the “True Irish Jig.”

We’ve been searching for a town/village according to what was documented on our great-great-grandfather’s death certificate and it doesn’t exist!  Well, of course not! Do you know why?  Probably, because when the coroner’s office was filling it out, our great-great-grandmother couldn’t read or write, and thus it was spelled phonetically, rather than properly.  Ugh!  This is the same issue we’ve run across in the census reports.  Where whomever was taking the report spelled our family’s surname how it sounded – with an Irish accent! – rather than how it was actually spelled.  Nothing sounds the same with an Irish accent!

Now, after a few years of searching, we may have found the very town we’ve been looking for all this time!  I’m so excited, but trying not to get my hopes up too much.  Genealogy is mostly a frustrating endeavor, making those little itty-bitty steps forward (or backward?) feel like giant feats!  Hey, there it is, Daily Post!  The spice of success.  I wasn’t even trying, but let me tell you, there is NO success more doused in the spice of failure than Family History Research!

Keep your fingers crossed for me, peeps… still waiting to hear back from the Tynagh (not Tinough) Parish Administrator!

Honest Bulls**t

What’s the best story someone else has recently told you (in person, preferably)? Share it with us, and feel free to embellish — that’s how good stories become great, after all.

BullWould that be considered gossiping?  No?… Alrighty, then! 😀

Not so long ago, on a chilly, wet October afternoon, my best friend’s husband hopped in his truck and headed down their longer than necessary gravel road to get his youngest daughter off the bus.  In the passenger seat, their Red Healer, Ginger, was enjoying the ride.  It was comfortably routine.  Nothing out of the ordinary, save for the fact that Mr. Hubby had just had major surgery on his right wrist, thus forcing him to be an unnatural Lefty.  He was getting the hang of it, though.

After successfully collecting his bouncing Peanut from the bus, Mr. Hubby started back up the road toward home, when he found himself face-to-face with a bull.  Or grill-to-face, as it were.  Fifty acres! he thinks to himself.  Fifty friggin’ acres and this one bull has to find the one place in the fence to get out!!

“Stay in the truck,” Mr. Hubby warns Peanut and Ginger, respectively.

Hopping out, Mr. Hubby tries to coax the bull back through the fence the way he’d come out, but this beast was not having it.  In fact, the bull decided he was going to show Mr. Hubby who was really boss and square off with him.  Mr. Hubby says “I don’t think so, Jack,” and he, too, squares off with the bull.

Two seconds later, Mr. Hubby was jumping back into the truck, because it turned out the bull wasn’t playing and had charged.  While attempting to herd the bull with his truck, he called his wife to explain the situation.  So, she drove down in her truck and after some doing, they were able to herd the bull back up their driveway.  My best friend hopped out of her truck and closed the gate at the end of the drive, to at least keep him pinned on their own property.

This bull was head strong and determined, though.  After getting him pushed up the drive to the pasture gate, he decided he wasn’t going any further.  He turned and squared off with my best friend’s truck and charged!  Thank goodness he thought twice about it, and ran past her beloved Chevy, instead.  Inch by painstaking inch, they gave that bull no other choice but to go through the giant, green metal gate and back out into the fields.

Fifty friggin’ acres and he wants to play in the yard.  Meanwhile, I’m at home minding my own business, until my best friend catches me on Yahoo messenger and says: “So… Hubby went down to get Peanut off the bus..”

Naturally, my first response was: “Uh, oh… what happened?”

And that’s an honest to bull second-hand story.  No s**t.

The 9th Sign

You’re tasked with creating a brand new astrological sign for the people born around your birthday — based solely on yourself. What would your new sign be, and how would you describe those who share it?

Zodiacs

I feel like asking: “If it’s not broke, why fix it?”  But then, I’d be a spoil sport, right?

The problem is that I actually know a thing or two about Astrology and had a dear friend that would do Natal Charts, so know a little about how this system works and that it’s been around for thousands of years.  That the pie-shaped degrees slicing the ‘celestial sphere’ into 12 ‘signs’ and 12’houses’, which are ruled by 9 planets (yes, 9 for all who demoted poor Pluto) and are marked by constellation-inspired Sun Signs, is because of how the sun moves across them at certain times of the year.

Even the Native American Medicine Wheel took these heavenly movements into account when they devised their similar system of Totems and Clans.  (My Totem is the Owl and I belong to the Deer Clan).  The results of these efforts give us a general insight into our own personalities, habits and behavior.  General, being the key word.  The only way to get an exact horoscope, as it were, is to have your Natal Chart done, because this in-depth, personal print out of your entire life is taken from the exact time of birth, in the exact latitude and longitude location you popped into this world and everything that was happening in the heavens at that precise moment.  You’ll never get more insight into yourself other than that, the problem then lies in acceptance versus denial, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

Sagittarius

So, here’s what I know.  I’m a Sagittarius, 9th of 12 Zodiacs, ruled by the planet Jupiter, with a Scorpio rising and no Grand Trine (GT’s are controlled by the 4 Elements.  All Sagittarians are Fire Signs, this is separate from the Grand Trines). Other Sagittarians out there may have 1 or more Grand Trines and let’s say, a Capricorn rising, rather than Scorpio.  These play a part in your overall personality type.  I’m not like other Sagittarians that I know, personally, but we do have a lot of similarities.  Scorpio influences some of my habits, good and bad. Not having any Grand Trines tends to lend me a calmer emotional level, since these can amplify the particular Element’s influence over your emotions/reactions.  Other Sagittarians may have been born on the ‘cusp,’ which means their birth date is toward the very beginning or the very end of their sign’s time, causing them to be born with personality traits from the pre or pro-ceding Zodiac.  I have a niece that was born on the Winter’s Solstice and displays traits from both Capricorn and Sagittarius almost equally.

Now, with all of the sciency stuff out of the way, time for the custom made Zodiac based ‘solely’ on myself.  Well, I’m a very creative type.  Not just in writing, but in drawing, painting, sculpting, designing, etc.  I also thoroughly enjoy learning.  My favorite subjects are ancient civilizations and cultures, myths & legends, world history, things along those lines.  I’m utterly fascinated by the world’s mysteries!  I couldn’t imagine a world without music.  I think that would be my own personal hell.  I can be lazy in a very feline way, even though I have no Leo traits that I’m aware of.  I can procrastinate on responsibilities, because I’d rather be dawdling in creativity and I’m a mild gamer, which I may have mentioned a time or two on here.  Just another way for my imagination to explore different worlds, outside of reading.  I prefer the types of games that combine puzzles with action, so my brain doesn’t go numb while playing.

With all of this in mind, I would have to say that the new Zodiac sign to replace Sagittarius (the Archer/Centaur/Arrow) would have to be Apollon Musegetes, aka The Muses (The Nine Pointed Star of the Muses).  Hope the other Sag’s out there don’t mind that change, but it’s official now, so no takesy-backsies.

TheMuses