Monday, April 23, 2012

Chronic optimism

Grouches of the world, unite! Before you read on, please watch this very inspirational video:

Why would anyone want to go and ruin a perfectly good bad mood? It's OKAY to be grumpy sometimes. It's part of being a mammal. I mean, even animals get 'tudes sometimes. I'm not a pet person, but I've witnessed a friend's grouchy cat clawing at people and dogs snarling when they usually yelp and wag their tails. I've seen squirrels fight and rabbits ... oh, wait, that wasn't fighting ... Anyway, you get my point. It's a natural thing. I'm a pessimist and couldn't be happier in my shell. To each his own! (As the saying goes.) I get highly annoyed when I try to enjoy my occasional bad mood and the chronic optimists attack me with reminders of how amazing my life is, as if they have a clue what it's like to be me.

Yes, I know, I know. I don't have cancer. I have a surplus of food. All my limbs work. I have 47 pairs of shoes. I drive a sexy Jeep. My kids are healthy and strong. I wrote a book. I found a real Prince Charming who actually married me. I have a great career. I live in a cute house. I wrote a book. I have a walk-in closet, darling parents, two sweet sisters, a rock collection, 3 unopened cases of bottled water, a library card, a social security number and on and on. I know! But, none of that shrinks my mountain range of debt or makes Mondays suck any less. Why should all my blessings be thrown in my face every time I have a case of the grumps? Sheesh! Can a girl just relieve some stress in her own way? I'm naturally very bubbly, but sometimes I punch people in the face (in my mind). And, don't try to act like you never do that! I growl at any living thing that approaches me. I stress eat. I don't smile. I roll my eyes a lot. I imagine throwing things at people or throwing people at things. I frown. I wallow in self-pity. After a while, I hear a favorite song or get a random donut that makes me smile, and guess what, optimists. I'm cured and back to my bubbly self! So, ha! That's what you should be doing instead of preaching to me about my own life, play me a song or give me a donut. (You know I luv you.)

I'm going to share this BBC article I found that talks about the same thing. See? I'm not making this up! The comments are hilarious!

My point is that we shouldn't be overly judgmental all the time. I'm guilty, too, but I try very hard to be open minded to other people (except those who hate on me; they get nothin'). You don't know why someone is being grumpy or unfriendly. If that's their personality, so be it. How 'bout inspire people instead of bash them? I do it all the time. I've turned a frown upside down many, many times. You never know what someone is dealing with in their personal life or deep down inside. And everyone has their own definition of a "bad day." One person's crappy day is another person's fantasy. I'm not solely responsible for the demise of modern society just because of a bad mood. Here are a couple examples.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

LMN abductions

It's 3:15 p.m. on a Sunday, and once again, I've reached that broken-record moment where I dread the work week and start to ask myself, "Where did the weekend go!?" To me, the weekend is 48 hours in solitary confinement, much of which is spent praying that my kid won't throw a violent tantrum and force me to fight another Autism vs. Neesha battle. Those usually turn me into an emotional train wreck. I've been feeling depressed about never being able to make plans ... ever. I rarely even get to go to the movies. I let my sad body and soul collapse on my sad bed to stare at the paint design splotches on the ceiling, grumbling in despair. I listened to a family of birds tweeting outside my window, wishing I knew what they were saying. Probably, "This bitch never leaves the house. What a loser! Tweet." I heard planes passing over, cars zooming by on the main road, motorcycles rumbling through the area, and I wondered where all the people were going on this beautiful day while I remained locked away in solitude.

I decided to torture myself even more by scanning through all the happy, jolly, I-have-a-life-and-you-don't Facebook stats. I made a mental list of all the impossible things I wished I could be doing instead of marinating in self-pity: lounging on a black sand beach in Hawaii; going to Trinidad to visit my husband I haven't seen in nine months; shopping in Beverly Hills; skydiving and landing in a pool of strawberry Jello-O in lieu of the icky ground; going on a book tour (with the assumption enough people gave a shit about my awesome book); relaxing on the deck of a Mediterranean cruise ship; spending a day and night in Times Square ... Sigh. The wish list goes on and on and on.

When a female is experiencing inner turmoil and is haunted by evils of the past and present. When she reaches a breaking point and feels the walls closing in. When social media becomes a pain instead of an escape. When the phone isn't ringing and the last cookie gets eaten. Where does she turn, if she has no therapist or reliable people around to vent to? Lifetime Movie Network. That's where.

Like an epiphany, I was compelled to turn on the TV and scroll to LMN. To my bittersweet fortune, I was in for a triple feature. First, I watched "The Boy She Met Online," which I thought would be stupid because of the lame title. But it was actually VERY good! A 17-year-old star student with an over-protective mom meets an ex-con/drug dealer online who's disguised as a college student about to "graduate." They meet, fall in love, he goes back to his old ways, trouble ensues, and the plot thickens. I was flinching and making weird facial expressions, the way gamers do when they're playing an action-packed video game. When it was over, I decided to go make dinner but was seized again by previews of "The Wife He Met Online," which was starting next! This handsome bachelor/single dad meets a lovely new broad on an online dating service. She seems perfect, they meet up, rock the mattress then get married. She's a jealous killer with a dark past and so on. Good stuff. Made me feel better about my life.
Thank goodness I have a teen driver who can go pick up dinner. I decided to lean back into my soft, squishy body pillow (that my sister bought me as a substitute husband until the real one finally arrives) for yet a third movie, until it was 11 p.m., Saturday was over, and I had nothing accomplished. I was so enthralled, I even forgot to watch my favorite show, Saturday Night Live! Ugh! Damn you, LMN! I never miss SNL, well, except for that time I was in the ER with a fractured metatarsal. After I was released from the LMN trance, I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. trying to do some work to feel like the day was meaningful, but I keeled over and dozed off with lights on, laptop on top of me and cell phone on my neck. (Not sure how that got there.)

I learned a lot from my days as an X-Files fanatic, so I imagine this must be what an alien abduction is like. One minute, you're sitting on your bed in your PJs, and the next, you're taken away to some other place where you see things you'd never see in real life. Suddenly, you're back on your bed in a daze, reliving what you just saw and realizing you just lost six hours of your life that you'll never get back. That, my friends, is the LMN experience.

As the optimists would tell me, "Stop feeling sad! You don't have cancer. All your limbs work. You actually wrote a book, something you've always wanted to do. You have a loving, new husband and two healthy, adorable kids. You have an excess food supply and unlimited minutes and Internet on your BlackBerry. So, snap out of it!"

I hear you, I hear you. The bottom line is one person's bad day is another person's fantasy, so to each his own! And that is a hint about my next blog post. *wink*

Off to do some book editing, because that makes me happy and makes me money.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

How a writer deals with Cabin Fever

I consider myself an eager beaver. So, in any situation, I find a way to make the most of it and be productive. Since my kiddo with autism has been flipping out so bad lately, I am unable to go out and run around town like before when he was my trusty little sidekick, easily calmed by a promise to go to McDonald's or ride the two-story escalator at Dillard's. Aaah. How I miss the days when he wasn't breaking stuff and screaming mercilessly to the point I started getting chronic headaches.

I don't mind staying home all the time. Hermit mode is a writer's haven. But every now and then, Cabin Fever sets in, mostly since I have no way to opt out of hermit mode. I swear I felt truly feverish today. And my broken toe and sprained wrist from last weekend's fiasco still hurt quite a bit. There are a number of things I notice myself doing when Cabin Fever starts kickin' in.

Battling C-Fever ...

I write sad, gloomy scenes even when I don't plan to. My characters suffer the wrath of my dreary moods. They fall down stairs, are doomed by misery or get their asses kicked. They never go on exotic vacations or win the lottery. I'll be damned if my own characters have a better social life than me. Hey, who said creativity had to be joyous all the time?

Today I re-organized my bookmark collection. I studied my grammar book ... again. You can never be too good at grammar, you know.  Do you have any idea how abused the word "your" is? Just go look up vids on Youtube and glance at the comments. This always leaves me disgusted and furious at how mercilessly people murder the English language. Did anyone pay attention in 3rd grade? "Your" and "you're" are two totally different words, I swear. (SIGH) I worked on two different book editing projects I have going. I don't have ice, so I put an expired pack of frozen spinach on my broken toe that still has swelling after a week. Don't worry about the spinach; it was trash bound, anyway. I gave it one last sense of self-worth before it officially goes to spinach heaven.

Let's see ... Oh, I watched The Secret Life of Bees movie. It made me cry. I LOVED that book! I'm a big-time Queen Latifah fan, so her presence in the film made it even better. Here's one of my favorite Queen jams from back in the day -

I ordered a new book for my Kindle ebook reader app. I'm not cool enough to have a real Kindle yet, so I have the software, at least. I'm a traditional, dead trees lover, so I'm easing my way into the e-reader world. If you REALLY want to know which book I downloaded, ask me.

I took a break from words for about 45 minutes to organize my button collection. Yes, I said button. I use them for crafts and have a ginormous collection. So I used Ziplock bags to separate them by color. Then, I looked at my wedding pictures. I ate two Twinkies. I watched belly dancing vids on Youtube. Here's my favorite one by Sadie! After I watched this, I regretted eating Twinkies. =/

I painted my toenails silver. I collapsed on my bed face down for about 15 minutes and tried to imagine I was on a beach blanket in Tobago. I listed to some Indian music. I had this song on repeat since Nabeel likes it, and I hadn't heard it in a while. I hate the chorus, and Bollywood is tacky with the choreography, but the music is nice sometimes. I have to honor it, OK; it's the Motherland.

I read a sad story about a lady who thought she had a cold, ignored it thinking it was just allergies causing swollen glands and ended up with cancer. I said a whole lot of prayers being grateful for everything I have and begged for mercy to have no spawn screaming tonight. It's very random, so you never know when you'll be awakened at 2 a.m. thinking there's an earthquake in Texas, but it's just my baby banging the walls, throwing things and screaming his lungs out.

And lastly but not leastly (I'm an editor, so I get to make up words), I wrote a blog post about my weekend. I guess I shouldn't dread Monday too much, since I'll at least be forced to see the light of day and breath fresh air other than that of my a/c that stays on 70 all day and night.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Featured author of the day

Hello everyone!

Today, I got a special honor to be the featured author on the Juniper Grove blog. It was the highlight of my day! Here's the link:

Please take a minute to go check it out. You can enter the giveaway that's running for a week! The winner gets a free copy of my book (in either PDF, Kindle or Nook format) and a large coffee mug.

I've been enjoying the world of books even more since I became an author. Book bloggers are cool people, and Jaidis at Juniper Grove is simply awesome for helping me promote my book. I'm always grateful to anyone who gives my work a chance to shine. If you haven't given the book a taste yet, I welcome you to do so! Just take a peek at the reviews on Amazon so far, quite an impressive start!

Here's another chance to win a FREE copy of the book ...

I'm giving away a copy of my ebook to any Facebook page member who gets me 10 more page likes! All they have to do is sign the wall saying YOU sent them to the page. That way, you can get the credit. After you get 10 shout-outs, I will send you my book, I of the Storm, FREE in Kindle, Nook or PDF format.

There's an Fb "Like" button and link to my page up top. The more participation I get, the more prizes I will be giving away as my numbers grow! I'm very generous, so this is a good thing, believe me.

Thank you in advance for  helping me spread the word about the new book in town! I'm already working on part 2, along with some other projects. Good times ahead.

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend!