The Popularity Contest

mirrored

I know some people are really nice, like super-duper, sticky sweet nice.  And I like these people. I used to be one of them.

I used to bend over backwards to accommodate friends and lovers. I would go out of my way for an acquaintance or a stranger.

But you know what happens – People like to take advantage. How people stay so nice, I’m not sure. For me, I needed boundaries.

Therefore, I won’t be winning any popularity contests.

I am a nice person. I do go out of my way for people. But I also have incorporated boundaries. I no longer overdo and run myself ragged, and I don’t contort unless I’m in yoga class.

The thing is though – I didn’t win any contests being sticky sweet. Sometimes people took advantage, sometimes people didn’t trust me, and sometimes people mistook my niceness (although that still occasionally happens).

When a person makes a change to incorporating boundaries, people react. I remember one particular person got angry, another tried to manipulate me. Some people, unable to push beyond those boundaries, left.

I’m good with that. I’m good with not winning any contests. I’m really happy to have found a good balance.

In Mirror People,a short story in my book Psychic Surprise Party, Jewel has found her sister much changed and doesn’t like it, doesn’t know how to react, and almost chooses to walk away.

Because a person changes and grows, the people around them have to change their perception and the way they interact. It makes some friends and family uncomfortable and might cause them to question their own behaviors and attitudes. In this insta-world, it’s easier to walk away.  It’s probably for the best.

 

Fortunate For Few

I realize I am fortunate, but not for reasons some may think.

Some people think I’m wealthy. 😂😂 Did they miss the whole teacher thing? However, I acknowledge many people have it more challenging.

But it’s not wealth, material things, or luck that makes me fortunate. Some people have those things and are unhappy.

I have some family, a few friends, a job I love, and those make life feel easier. However, like everyone I have my issues. Sometimes it feels as if I’ve had more than my share, but maybe we all feel like that at times.

Unexpected bills come up, broken this or that, car repairs. I’ve lost a few friends, been ripped off, scammed, and menaced.

But…

I go to bed every night looking forward to the first hints of sunrise sneaking through my blinds, the whistle of the tea pot (seriously, my coffee/tea pot broke – I’m brewing it old school), that first sip of hot tea in the chill of the morning, then the launch into the day – whatever that may bring.

Outside my window, the birds sing in the trees, the sky is usually blue, I’m healthy.

Gosh – that last one – health: we don’t think about that until we’re not! We don’t think about how easily and naturally our bodies flow until there’s an injury, a stoppage, a pain.

We need to acknowledge the good things in our lives, no matter how small.

The bad things seem to outweigh the good only if we focus on them. Focus on the good things, every tiny, little, great thing that makes our lives beautiful.

Gratitude!

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Little Pieces of Me

photo-1570075842600-4fb332449e00In being more authentic, I want to be more open with readers.  This story is something I’ve been working on – off and on – for years.

At first, the event was difficult to write about. It’s easier now. After all these years. Sometimes you need years to find the balance between tone, authenticity, and creativity. When you’re under pressure and in a bad situation, a lot of things happen in your mind and your body.

Here’s an excerpt:

In the bathroom mirror, my eyes are raccooned; make-up smeared from tears. My once pretty pink slip dress is wrinkled and smudged.

This doesn’t happen to girls like me. I did everything right. I was careful. Just hours ago I was out with friends; how many hours ago? It’s easy to lose track of time in Vegas. It’s built into the plan. Into his plan.

“Don’t try nothing’.” His voice is on the other side of the door; his thick hand, I sense, on the door knob. The house is empty except for us. I don’t know where everyone else went. But, suddenly, we were alone and his long hair hung in my face as he leaned in and whispered, “lots of people pay lots of money for young girls like you in Vegas.”

Reason and tears are wasted on psychopaths. There’s he and I, and only a hollow door between us.

“Ju…”  The word sticks in a sob deep in my throat. I move closer to the door and put my fingers on the lock, turn it as I try again, “just washing my face.” I step back and flip the lever; the water rushes into the shell shaped porcelain filling the silence. I take the dampened towel and rub it around my eyes, lose some of the dark circles as I glance around.

Light pushes through the shower door and I slide it open slowly, quietly. There’s a small square window higher up, but I can reach if I stand on the edge of the tub. I don’t pause to remind myself I’m on the second floor of a two story house; all I can think is escape. My throat tightens, breath narrows.

“You’re stalling,” he growls.

My tears have dried, my adrenaline is pumping, and I can hear my heartbeat bounce off the porcelain. “I have to use the bathroom.” I toss the towel next to the door, push the window open and pull myself up.

*

It’s a work in progress – still a draft.

My books are on sale this week.  You can read or gift Eddy or Psychic Surprise Party for Valentine’s Day.

 

with love!

Authenticity

I think this is my word for 2020.

I feel I’m always authentic, being me, to the best of my abilities.

I reach for the positive in the majority of my interactions. (I admit sometimes I fall short – no one’s perfect.)

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That being said, some research seems to suggests positive people ignore the negative. So, when I said to someone today, I’m into the whole positive psychology movement, she stated, “I believe in being authentic.”

I thought about the statement, and her misconception that by being positive I’m ignoring some negative or darker emotions (uhm, have you read my work?) . However, I think of it differently. It’s a way to handle the negative, it’s not about ignoring it, (which is what I explained to her).

Last year, this blog was about writing. In looking at statistics, there were a great number of readers. Good. I hope you guys got some good advice. This year, however, I want it to be more about joy and authenticity.

I think my writing is authentic, sometimes raw, sometimes dark, but always with hope.

F.U. I Like Me

I’ve been netflixing this show and somewhere in the middle of Season 2 or the beginning of Season 3, the lead actress did so much stuff to her face, fillers, boxtox, and g** knows what else, that she couldn’t move her face; it was puffy and stiff, and all her beauty was GONE.

She could no longer portray emotion. In an effort to attempt to portray contempt or curiosity or affection (I have no idea what the hell she was trying to portray because her face was thick and frozen) she began moving her head in strange reptilian lifts and jerks.

I almost gave up watching the show.

I’m all for doing what makes YOU feel better. But not for what you think makes others like you more.

I’m assuming she did that to keep up with the status quo, compete with the younger actresses, with other actors, who knows.

On my visit to the dermatologist, the nurse said, “we can probably get some botox through your insurance.”

I said, “I don’t think I really need it.”

“Oh, really?” She spoke somewhere between condescension and disbelief. Maybe she’d never heard that particular line of confidence before.

As my grandma used to say – I worked hard for these damn wrinkles!

And, personally, I like to move my face. I want to raise an eyebrow when someone says something weird. I want to smile when I’m happy. And, mostly, I want to make funny faces with my grandson!

When the mini-photo-shoot for new headshots got too serious  – I got silly. And I liked it.

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For all the guys who tried to make me feel not good enough

and all the girls who gossip(ed) behind my back

and those people who don’t like themselves and try to make everyone else miserable

 

FUCK YOU

 

I LIKE ME!

*

New Year! New You? New Me – as in the website.  I won’t be writing about writing – I might sometimes  – but mostly I just want to write about joy. Expect some purpose, some passion, some joy.

 

Oh yeah – one of my books will be on sale this weekend. Not sure which one, I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, try Grandma’s Last Secret or Harvey Levin Can’t Die

 

 

Don’t Should on Me

I was just reading submission guidelines and it had a lot of “you should be this and you should do that and you should have done this ten years ago…”  Maybe publishing companies have more of a right to have expectations; however, there seems a better way to write it than a listing of shoulds.

I don’t like should. It’s an ugly word, is it not? lucyWith its shrugging shoulder beginning, it’s very vowely middle and then an ld. Say ld aloud. You make that face like Lucy tasting something terrible, or receiving bad news, or stepping in a should.

That’s exactly what it’s like – all this shoulding all over the place.

I opened up twitter this morning and saw a tweet that read, “you should be writing.” I think I’ve been guilty of a similar tweet in the past.

Then to an email from a friend telling me what I should read and should reread.

I consider a conversation from the other day. I hung up telling myself I’d probably not speak with them again. He was full of shoulds: should have done this, should do this, and shouldn’t say should to him.

I should myself enough. I don’ t need other people shoulding me.

More importantly, why do we should people? Why don’t we just accept people for who they are and what they want to do. Who am I (or you) to tell others they should be writing or doing or being or thinking?

REWORD. REWORD.

 

 

Where Chaos Reigns…

chaos

I knew a writer who created drama whenever and wherever he could. His eyes would light up and he’d say, “stories, writers need to create drama for stories.”

However, he rarely ever got any writing done because he had so much drama and backlash from the things he’d do.

For me, I find that creating or being a party to drama and chaos extinguishes my creative flow.

Just the everydayness of life is enough for writers to gain enough insight and experience to write and create drama in their stories. They do not need to create it or go take an active part in it.

For me – I want to stay far, far away from anyone and anything that affects my serenity which will, in turn, dampen my creativity.