Bring on the night!

While you’re sleeping soundly at 3 a.m., I’m usually up slinging words, editing documents, absorbing university course lectures, researching, wrestling with websites, scouring freelance listings, or tackling the next creative project.

As your night is ending, mine is just beginning.

It’s quieter.
People don’t interrupt you.
Your focus is sharper.
Your concentration is better.

If you pay attention, you can hear the subtle whispers of creative, inventive, unconventional souls that have gone before you – if you listen deeply enough. There is, in fact, precious illumination that is found in the darkness.

Oh yes, I do love the night and the energy it brings! As a naturally nocturnal soul, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Bring on the night!

Thirteen things about 2016 (or how I spent my year)

holiday-season

So here we are at the end of 2016 and another new year is beckoning. As usual, I’m not sure where the time has gone. Here are 13 thoughts, ideas, and happenings that affected my life in 2016. What are yours?

  1. The nickname for 2016 should be Grim Reaper. Sure, lots of people die every year, but it seemed this past year hit us in the gut with the losses of people who affected us on a deep level.
  2. Paul and I purchased our first-ever RV in January 2016. You can keep track of our adventures at our Ghouls on the Go website or at our Ghouls on the Go Facebook page.
  3. In February 2016, we began living and working in our RV full-time. We did some traveling, but not out of the state of Colorado. That’s the main goal for 2017.
  4. Our elderly cat, Isis, crossed the Rainbow Bridge near the end of 2016.
  5. Received my acceptance letter from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to resume my studies in 2017 and finish up my degree in Applied Communication.
  6. Spoke with another university and made plans to apply for their MS of Forensic Psychology program after I graduate from UCCS.
  7. Began writing several new books in 2016, one titled Write to Dead, another is Camp Horror, and the other is a Super-Secret Writing Project. I’ll reveal the title and subject matter of SSWP at a later time.
  8. Continued taking online college courses throughout the year via Coursera, FutureLearn, edX, and Khan Academy.
  9. Earned several official certificates of completion from my online college courses this past year, including courses on Psychology of Popularity, The Addicted Brain, and Dog Cognition and Psychology.
  10. Shed more weight for a total of 87 pounds – thus far. I am not dieting; instead, I have changed the way I eat so I concentrate on consuming more fruits and veggies. I still eat desserts, snacks, and basically whatever I want (within reason).
  11. Was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and sciatica in fall of 2016. A painful development, but with physical rehab and the proper medication I should be okay and able to live a relatively normal life for years to come.
  12. Learned that I am more at peace when I’m out in the forest and in nature than I am in the city.
  13. Discovered I have a knack for improvising in the kitchen and coming up with simple, tasty recipes that can easily be prepared and cooked in an RV – even without the use of a stove or an oven! A cookbook for RVers is forthcoming.

Here’s wishing you and yours a fantastic 2017!

 

The meaning of life (for me) is…

I wrote this back in December 2005 (except for a few words I added just now), and it still holds true for me. The meaning of life could be something entirely different for you, but for me, I think it is this:

Do the best you can with your circumstances, try to love others, and care for them as best you can (even when they’re being assholes) and choose to live as authentically as you can in the process. Nobody gets an instruction manual and no one gets a guarantee when you’re born into this life. How you play the game is up to the individual and many factors/variables go into the playing of the game. You must straddle doing what’s best for you versus what’s fair and right for others. It’s not easy and you won’t always make the right decision. When you screw up, apologize if it’s warranted. And sometimes—just sometimes—you have to love people even when they don’t deserve your love. And sometimes you might have to forgive them even when you’d rather stick your foot up their ass.

Life can be hard, cruel, and unexpected. It can also be joyful, surprising, and amazing. You can’t control life; you can only control your actions/reactions in the framework of this short period of time we call a lifetime. Our charge is to be present and aware—a tall order indeed. And a mission I’ve yet to master since I tend to live in the future ALL the time and, more often than not, skip over the present. The truth is, we only have NOW. Make the best of it.

On the Cusp of the Big 5-0

It’s now December 16th. My last day of being 49 years old. What a trip!

I used to think 30 was old, and I in NO WAY feel like I’m turning 50 tomorrow, on Wednesday. That’s a half-century old!

Where did the time go, I ask?

Ah, well. I’ve learned a lot of things, made plenty of mistakes, had tons of laughs, cried a whole bunch, and met a lot of interesting people along the way.

I’m ready for my next 50 years, please and thank you benevolent (yet sometimes challenging) Universe.

I heard if you haven’t grown up by the time you’re 50, you don’t have to. A good thing, since I wasn’t planning on it anyway! *cackle*

Pick & choose!

I have three main blogs. Two are primarily writing-related (the oldest blog was established in 2005). In addition, I also have a personal blog.

 For writing, reading, book info, and editing tips, go to https://intrepidwordslinger.wordpress.com or  http://elementalmusing.blogspot.com.

 For personal posts about life, creativity, art, crocheting, knitting, and miscellanea, visit http://theredmistdescends.blogspot.com.

 Read, comment, follow, please 😉 I’d appreciate it!

Trying to process it all…and failing

My brother, Leo, sent me a photo of my mom sleeping. It looked like a 19th century death photo—not kidding. I’m still trying to process it. She isn’t coherent and isn’t able to communicate with me over the phone. She is having massive panic attacks and is combative with staff. She no longer recognizes my brother and I doubt she knows who I am anymore.

I’m sorry to be a downer, but I can’t not mention all this, because it’s what’s happening now and it’s my mother. I cannot not discuss how devastating this is and how it’s affecting my every waking moment. How I know I need to be at peace with letting her go because she needs to transition peacefully, but how I’m not ready to lose my mother.

She adopted me, raised me, made me who I am in so many ways. But in the end, to love her is to want final peace for her. When she is gone, a big part of me will go with her.

I want to thank my loving, sensitive husband for being with me at this time and helping me through this. He is an angel incarnate. Such a gentle, understanding soul. I love you, Paul.

Writing, rejection, growing pains, and finding your True North

A friend of mine — a new writer — told me she was feeling discouraged and was ready to stop writing because she wasn’t getting the feedback she expected. She doesn’t do well with rejection, for one thing. Here are a couple replies I shared with her:

“That’s one of the growing pains as a writer. You will get rejected. There will always be someone who doesn’t like your style, your voice, your writing. ALWAYS! You cannot please every single person, and neither should you try. Writing is a journey, not a destination. There are no PERFECT WRITERS. There are plenty of people who don’t like Stephen King’s work, but that hasn’t stopped him. A writer writes — period. You have to learn how to deal with rejection and develop a thick skin, ’cause you’ll need it. I will NEVER stop writing. Some people will enjoy my work, while others will not. Those are the breaks! I’m going to express myself and nobody will stop me. It is my life, my career, and my purpose. So, don’t give up. However, realize that some people you may have reading your stuff aren’t the right ones to read it in the first place.  Keep writing, keep improving, keep honing your craft. In the end, write for yourself, even if you do write for publication. Always have personal projects you do for creative/personal reasons. Writers write — it’s as simple as that. Do it for yourself! It’s great therapy, too.”

AND:

“I believe one of my missions is to encourage people to be creative and to express themselves, however that may be. I wear different hats when I’m a writer vs. when I’m an editor. They are two different processes. If I waited for my loved ones to approve of what I wrote, I would’ve probably never gotten published. Not that I didn’t have supportive and caring loved ones, but opinions are subjective and you won’t always get honest ones or viable ones from loved ones. Be very careful about who you allow to have power over your creative process. Constructive criticism is good; however, even at that, not all criticism or input will be usable to you. In the end, it has to be YOUR voice, your art, your expression. I could never write about a book about the history of steam engines, for instance, because while it may be interesting to some people, I have no interest in it. I have to be driven by an idea, a thought, a character, a topic that interests me. I could go on, but you’ll find all sorts of advice, info, etc. from a ton of people. Use what makes sense to you and trash the rest. In the end, follow your True North.”

Bev’s vlog for 1.21.2014: Serve your own plate

On the heels of my husby’s, here’s my latest vlog. He does it better, but he’s a natural at it. I’m a writer, after all. He’s a video guy. *sigh* Probably should’ve done this second vlog back on the 16th, but hey, I didn’t. Pfft! I’ll be posting them every week to two weeks throughout the year. And hey, just like on FB, you just never know what tripe will come outta my mouth. But that’s part of the fun, right? RIGHT?!