Priorities

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So far today, aside from the bare minimum of crawling out of bed, brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I have: done some yoga; made some phone calls, including to a friend to wish her happy birthday (Happy Birthday, Lady, in case you see this); made breakfast while simultaneously discovering first with horror, then with a not-so-bad shrug that I bought chocolate-flavored coffee rather than coffee-flavored coffee; taken out the trash; paid some bills and other fun and assorted bits required to maintain the status quo. I have not, however, until this instant moment in which we find ourselves, written my blog post. Or anything else, for that matter.

Priorities.

They’re funny, funny things. They’re shape-shifters. They morph and grow and jostle for position, and sometimes they give themselves more weight, more heft, than we do.

That’s another P word. Procrastination.

Which can go away because we’re not talking to it today. That’s right. We can talk about procrastination later.

I’ve come to believe that 90% of writing is placing yourself in front of your mechanism and winning the staring contest with the blinking cursor, which still seems to win an unsettling amount of the time, given that it’s blinking. You’ve got to sit down.

And we’re back at priorities. They can come from inside. They can be external, like the garbage can that has reached its limit and inconveniently does not come equipped with a self-emptying function even if it is the 21st century. Wherever they come from, whatever they may be, you have to leave room for the priorities that really matter to you.

Because those are the ones we tend to let slide.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

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OK

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[CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I really didn’t want to do OK for O. I wanted something lofty, like “open,” or “opportunity” “ornithological.” Get it? Lofty? Because birds? They fly?

OK, you’re right, crash and burn. Not that birds burn when they crash.

Ugh.

OK, back on track. Which is why it’s OK today.

I often (huh, another O word lurking right there in the open) find myself saying “OK” to myself, sometimes aloud, sometimes inside this cavernous head-space of mine. For me it can be a segue, a shortcut for “time to get on with it.” Settle in and settle down.

OK.

Of course (oh the philosophizing I could have done with “of.” And “oh.” Oh O), that’s not all there is to OK. OK can be reassurance; OK can be mediocre. OK can be simply OK.

We so often want more than OK, better than OK, more exciting than OK, more perfect than OK. For some of us, and I’m not naming any names but one can probably be found at the upper left of this blog, learning to live with OK is a process. For that person who shall remain nameless, yoga is so helpful in this endeavor. There’s no perfection in yoga; you shake, you wobble, you try and trying is all you need to do.

First drafts are never more than OK. And that’s OK.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

 

Ergh

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This is an echidna. It’s an egg-laying mammal (called a monotreme). It looks like it’s also feeling ergh. Taken by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au Canon 20D + Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

In all fairness, you may say “ergh” is not a word, though it does, I might point out, start with “e.”

Valid point.

And yet don’t we all feel a little ergh now and then? Or mostly now? Anyone else? No? Just me?

The ergh, as I see it, is that mounting, aimless frustration at many things in many directions. I believe one of the scientific names for it is a Case of the Grumps, but I don’t want to get too technical.

I’m definitely ergh today, and I couldn’t even tell you why. It’s bright and sunny, though still cold, we’re in the midst of my favorite blogging challenge of the year (though one could say it’s pretty much my only blogging challenge of the year. I should fix that. Ergh). I had a great breakfast and my coffee is settling in.

And yet ergh.

I even did yoga this morning, and yet my chakras remain stubbornly misaligned. Well, probably not that, but you get the idea.

Maybe I can channel all of this toward a character and make her life miserable.

Ah.

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Back to basics

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So often we get caught up in the further ends of things, the parts down the road, that we can forget if we don’t consider the basics, we’ll never even find the road. And it’s true for all aspects of life: for dealing with others; for our art, whatever form that might take; for this challenge.

Especially for this challenge.

Here we are, at the tippy top of of the alphabet, and it can feel as though Z is an impossible distance away. And you know what? Right now it is.

But.

Back to basics. Post the post, visit your visitors, visit the the master list or the daily post list, and the days and letters will stack neatly like…you know, stuff that stacks neatly.

Eh, I had half-caff this morning. Apparently my metaphors reside in the other half.

It’s the same with writing, for those of us who do, and I imagine for you magicians who can make landscapes or people out of paint, or take a bit of fabric and suddenly it’s curtains. There’s a first sentence, there’s a first brush-stroke, there’s a first stitch.

And the remembering of all the technique, all the building blocks that must come first. Ah yes. Building blocks. They stack neatly. In theory.

When overwhelmed, always, always go back to basics. The road can wait.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

#AtoZChallenge: Aaaaaand here we go!

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Happy everything today, fellow (sister) intrepid bloggers! Somehow it’s April again. Somehow it’s time to kick off this odyssey called the A to Z Blogging Challenge, and I’ll tell you I’m sitting here with zero percent coffee in my bloodstream and I had the trouble spelling “odyssey” to prove it.

Coffee can wait. My first blog post can’t.

This is my fourth time around the alphabet, and I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. For some reason though, this year I’m nervous about making it all the way to Z.

Typo fingers just typed “A,” so apparently the anxiety runs deep. But on the plus side, it looks like I’ve already nailed that one!

Woo-hoo.

Today is the day that I envy you blog-planners, with your posts all neatly lined up and ready to go. But not for me.

Nope.

I like to ride the randomness of the day, see what each letter inspires as it comes. And here we go.

Oh, one more thing. Please feel free to leave a link to your day’s post or blog in the comments, it makes it easy for everyone to come see you.

And now we’re really off.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

The Curious Call of Cravings

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Ever have one of those days where all you crave is sugar, sugar, sugar? I’m having one of those days right now.

For me, its usually the sign of an oncoming migraine, a huge, looming thunderhead rolling toward me. But unlike storms, sometimes the headaches can be fended off.

With sugar.

So obviously I need to eat as much as I can, right? I mean, it sounds perfectly logical to me, but then again, I’m the one with the tiny voice inside my head alternately whispering — then yelling — SUGAR!

In fact, it’s all I can do to keep myself planted right where I am and finish this post, instead of getting up, going to the cabinet and taking just one more of those coffee caramels I got from Trader Joe’s. Just one more. Caramel.

It’s not as though you could tell if I did, could you?

As far as vices go, perhaps sugar isn’t the worst I could have. Though recent studies indicate it’s pretty terrible for you. All this time we were giving the stink-eye to fat, and it turns out that fat isn’t too terrible a fellow.

Well, unsaturated fat, anyway. His cousins, saturated fat and trans-fat are killers. It’s awkward at Thanksgiving.

Where was I? Ah yes. Sugar craving. Which it seems I’ve managed to distract myself from with images of fat globs sitting around a turkey and sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top.

Mmm. Marshmallows.

We can’t always help where our mind goes, or what’s churning in the back while we slap on a smile and pretend to be present. What we can do, though, is focus harder on being present.

The rest will take care of itself.

Probably.

Or I’ll get another caramel. Whatevs.

Hey, did you see a real-life scientist scienced Aunty Ida?

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Changing Tide of a Blog

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With this blog, I’ve never really tied myself down to a strict subject. Initially, that was the plan; book links and blurbs and reviews mixed in with original posts.

Then I discovered I enjoyed the original posts. I enjoyed sharing a morning thought, a bit of whatever was on my mind that day.

Still a bit to read, right?

It’s the freedom, the randomness. The ability to talk when I have something to say, even if it’s about the way the sky is melding into the horizon in soft bands of blue-gray.

But the other thing I’ve discovered about blogging is the way it comes in cycles, the way it ebbs and flows. There are times when the posts flow steadily and hitting publish is as certain and easy as taking a breath.

And then there are times where a casual chat across the virtual highways aren’t where the mind goes. Periods when even squeezing in a couple of hundred words feels like a betrayal to your to-do list.

That’s OK.

To hold onto a thing — even a thing you enjoy — too tightly is to crush it, to take the joy it brings and grind it to nothing. Writing is work. Remember that. Writing is work. Most writing is not airy; most writing is not breezy, no matter how expertly one can make it sound that way.

But blogging is a simple conversation. And there’s never a need to fill a silence just because it exists.

Hey, did you see a real-life scientist scienced Aunty Ida?

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.