Off To A Writers’ Group

I am about to embark on a terrifying journey, to a place most introverts would tremble at doing:  meet new people.  In early August I will be attending my first writers’ group at a local Barnes & Noble and I am petrified!  As an Aspie and an introvert, I figured I’ve got two strikes against me already.  A third would be if they all disliked me; one of my biggest fears.  I’m always worrying whether this person or that person likes me.  My younger son thinks I’m silly to be so concerned whether I’m liked or not.  Unfortunately after years of horrible school experiences I’ve developed this irrational fear of being disliked.

Okay, I got to admit I’ve been out of school since 1981 but the embarrassment due to my peer’s rejection still haunt me and keep me from achieving more in life.  And, yes, I know that I should just brush it off and get on with my life.  All well and true.  But this silly fear nags at me and is the reason I don’t get involved in outside activities, even with the other ladies at my church.  I recently had attended a women’s function at church and, as usual, took a seat at an empty table and proceeded to fret if anyone would care to join me.  And alas, no one dared to sit with me at my table.  Maybe I didn’t have a smile on my face, or perhaps my nervousness showed but thankfully a lady at one of the tables next to me invited me to sit at their table and I gladly did.  I wouldn’t want to appear even more standoff-ish by rejecting her generous offer.  It was a church function, you know.

Now that I revealed my bizarre side to you all, I want to convey how important it is for me to join this local group.  I’ve been told to join a writers’ group and have earnestly wanted to find one in the area.  Step One was completed.  I also have a fear of bringing my laptop to the store since I’ve never had to sign in to anyone’s WiFi but my own before.  And I’m not even sure if it’s called that!  I am so not with the program here, people.  I am highly technology-illiterate.  Again not sure if that’s even the proper term.  Silly me.

So do I go days before and figure out how to set up at said store or have one of my darling sons show me how to do it?  I don’t want to look like a fool in front of total strangers.  As a woman, this is one of my greatest fears:  To look like an idiot.  This fear, unfortunately, goes way back to childhood.  But I won’t get into that now.

I truly love to write but it’s done in the safety of my home, in a little room which used to be my younger son’s bedroom.  All my books are neatly(okay, not so neatly) arranged on bookshelves, my desk is in front of the window, and I have a handy two-drawer file cabinet, and a rocking chair that my husband & I found along someone’s curb.  Sometimes I enjoy listening to music while I tap away at the keys; mostly Country but other times I like Classical music.  It doesn’t seem to distract me as much as Country does.

But if I want to make a living, or at least pay off our yearly property taxes, I need to find other like-minded individuals who will help be reach my goals.  Along the way I’m hoping that I will be of some use to them as well.  I write on Wattpad and Scripophile and have this blog but as a writer one needs to, no, must write.  Like air, words on a page are a necessity to a writer.  I am not happy unless I’m writing something.  I feel lost and not fully alive when I’m not tapping away.  Sometimes as an Aspie I struggle with the right words to show how much I love this writing process.  I sink into a depressive state whenever I’m not writing, or even reading about the writing process.  I will push myself to attend the group, probably developing a headache or a stomach ache before heading out the door like a woman off to her death.  Okay, maybe not that dramatic.

I will keep all of you lovely people informed on how it all went in upcoming weeks.  Thanks for allowing me to vent and reveal my fears, as silly as they sound.  Until next time, keep on writing.

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Addiction and the Creative Types(In My Opinion)

Addiction:  the condition of being addicted (to a habit), spec. the habitual use of narcotic drugs.

Creative:  (3) having or showing imagination and artistic or intellectual inventiveness(creative writing).  —- Webster’s New World Dictionary

I’m a writer:  Creative.  Word lover.  Avid reader.  Imaginative.  Deep down there’s a pull to make believe; the desire to convince others that my imaginary friends are living, breathing human beings.  My mind is alive with various characters, dialogue, settings, and plot lines.  A chaotic place indeed.

But what is the correlation between addiction and creative people?  Is it because we have so much inner turmoil constantly brewing that we struggle to numb; to quell our demons?  Reaching for just a few minutes of quiet respite?

Some forms of addictions I am acutely aware of:  Sex, drugs, alcohol, money, food, and even work; just to name a few of the better known ones.  A beloved author of mine was besieged by his own inner demons:  Edgar Allan Poe.

I still drink at times though older now I have learned to control it.  But it my younger days I’d go all out.  A mind crowded with thoughts and ideas to the point that either I wanted to either scream or numb it so that it could be controlled.  Addictions find us in a frightening place.  Sometimes I believe we rather not get the help so as to keep the juices of creativity flowing.  Maybe we see our addictions as helping us be part of the bigger picture.  To let us taste of the real world.  To help us understand humanity on a deeper level.  To make our character more real to those we are fortunate enough to have read our words.

Creative types are continually striving to create.  We cannot put down that pen, brush, or instrument.  We have learned not to fit the sway creativity hold over us.  It is near impossible to still the hand, the heart, or the mind.  Like air and water, creating is what keeps us alive; nourishes our souls.  Without it, we are at a loss.

So if you have a child who decides, at a tender age, to pick up a pen, or a brush, or an instrument, or whatever they desire to do, do not discourage them.  Even if you yourself feel bound to do one of these, do it!  For it is the creative types who eventually change the world.

Death – The Great Unknown

Okay, here’s a topic which most of us are uncomfortable discussing. And for good reason; who wants to talk about their own death? But the conclusion that I’ve come to is: I don’t want a wake or funeral. As an Aspie and an Introvert, I do not want people looking at me and saying inane things like, “Doesn’t she look like she’s just sleeping?” or “What a nice job they did on her makeup.” I don’t have anything against anyone who wants these things, but it’s not for me. Are you listening, my dear family?

There’s something highly uncomfortable about friends and family standing around me, commenting on my appearance and reminiscing about my life. Can you just throw one big celebration party and leave it at that? Please? No open coffin. No crying. No expensive coffins. None. Zilch. Zip. Nada. I don’t want people crying over me. As a believer, I don’t think that death is the end. That my spirit will live on. When I was a child, the thought of death terrified me to the point that I had trouble falling asleep. I thought about the blackness of the grave. About no thoughts and dreams. No more existence. But I don’t dwell on those thoughts because I feel that death is not the end. Okay, enough of that.

Anyway, I had this as an on-going conversation with a Facebook group. And there were plenty of responses. We need to think about our death sometimes. Because in so doing we learn to appreciate the little things in life; sunrises and sunsets, puppies and kittens, and the contagious laughter of little children. There are other things important in life, of course, but my point is we only have a certain amount of days on this earth and that we need to treasure each one. And make time for family and friends. We don’t know how much time they have either. The sad reality is that there are too many people out there who live with regret because they couldn’t or didn’t find time to spend with the ones they loved.

So there you have it. Do not waste any money on me, family. Remember the good times, have one hell of a party, and please don’t cry. Where I believe I’m going is a far, far better place. What do you all believe about death?

I’m Just A Plethora of Personalities

I have a lot going on in my head, and body, currently. Let’s see: I’m an Aspie, Menopausal, arthritic, introverted, right-brained(left-handed), and deal with bouts of depression. And I have learned to be happy and grateful throughout it all.

I have learned that being introverted does not mean that one is shy, but rather means that you enjoy your own company and wish not to be the center of attention or the life of a party. Unless it is a party of one, or two, if my dear husband is involved. And as for being an Aspie, it just means that my brain is wired differently. Does not mean I have a disease. When I was younger and in school, it hurt deeply that I was being rejected on a constant basis, and not understanding the why of it.

Here I am, a writer, though an unpaid writer(as of this writing), who relishes in sharing words that come pouring out of my brain and straight into my tiny little fingers. What joy I find in it. And, if I haven’t already mentioned it previously, I am going through the NaNoWriMo 30-day challenge to write 50k words. I’m more than half way through, for those who may be interested.

I also see the world differently. And I like that fact. Everyone is an individual who needs to see things around them as they see it. No one is a puppet. No one needs to feel that they don’t fit in if they don’t see things as others do. That is what makes us unique. I love being unique.

And as for being menopausal and arthritic, I guess that means I getting old. But I’ve had a good life up to this point, and I’m praying that whatever years I have remaining will be good also. Just need to keep working out, which unfortunately I seem to be like a damn teeter-totter, up one day and down the next. Consistency is what I lack and that needs to end. Especially with winter’s cold breath breathing down upon us here in the Midwest, I need to bundle up to work out in our garage, where we have our weights.

So, there you have it. Me in a nutshell. A woman who loves to laugh, a lot, and I must admit that I even have a peculiar type of laugh. I am deeply interested in what others think and believe, especially as a writer. I am a people-watcher. What they wear, how they move, how they talk. Again, the writer thing. I want to be more dedicated to taking better care of myself, especially as I’m getting older. I’m 51 now, so I’m not getting any younger, folks.

But I love life. I love my family and close friends. I hope that everyone reading this is content with what they have and are in this life. We only have this one life and so many years t live it. If you’re not happy, please find out why and seek out your true joy in this world. Don’t let it pass you by before it’s too late. Embrace it, learn to not only love yourself but like yourself as well. You, dear friend, are an original!

Not Your Typical Woman

I am a strange woman. Not your typical woman, oh no, not by a long shot! A typical Aspie, I am. I struggle with making eye contact, or I try very hard to maintain eye contact but normally wind up shutting my eyes when talking to people. Drives my family crazy. Nutty as it may sound, that looking into people’s eyes is actually painful to me. Why? Haven’t figured that one out. And this may sound creepy, but I feel by looking into someone’s eyes tells a lot about their perception of you. A judgment of sorts. I hate being judged.

And I also fit the Aspie trait of clumsiness. Oh how I do fit. I suck at team sports to the point that in gym classes throughout my school years my classmates would consider themselves cursed when I was put on their team. And I did not disappoint! Oh no. The only sport I’ve ever excelled in was running, and not because I was constantly being chased by school bullies.

I cannot sit still. I have my movements well under control since my youth, but I like to rub my feet together when sitting and watching t.v. at night or shaking my legs while seated, like I’m doing now. I panic when getting lost, or when I can’t find an object. I cry over stuff that most women wouldn’t normally cry over, like, why doesn’t that person like me? I overcompensate. I try so hard to read people, and I take things literally. Someone can say something and it isn’t meant as an insult, and I see it as a slight.

I have a vivid imagination. I love writing, and getting lost within the pages of a romance book, especially when it’s spicy. I don’t have the best grooming habits. When I was younger, I’d go days without combing my hair. I’m not much for makeup, except when we go out. The older I get, the more I see a need for it. But I think I still look young for my age.

So as my fellow Aspies and I go about our daily lives, struggling, sometimes, to fit in, and to be loved and accepted just like everyone else, remember that we have feelings too. Accept us as we are. Quit giving us strange looks. We are who we are. We just look at things differently, it’s not like we’re from another planet or something. So, yes, I am not typical. But you know something, I am happy to be just that. I’m me. And I have accepted that about myself.

I’m Still Here

There are times when writing when one becomes stuck, and not sure what to write about. A writer wishes to convey their thoughts and feelings into the words that they write, but sometimes it is a struggle just to do that. Sometimes I think my life isn’t exciting enough. Bold enough. Fun enough. I know that I haven’t written anything for a while, but I think that’s because I was so engrossed with my new fitness routine and weight loss that it took over everything within me. I was obsessed with getting into shape and that made me push my writing aside. But that is for the time being only. Writing is in my blood. I cannot be happy if I do not put words down on paper, or type them on my laptop. I must write.

Now that I’ve reached my goal weight, I need to get back into the world of writing. I read the dictionary and jot down words that I want to use in my writing. Now that definitely shows a love of words. But the question remains: Where do I go from here? I’m happy and content with working out, even though the heat lately is horrendous. Not a big heat kind of person. Okay, garden is doing relatively well, except I let the romaine go to seed. Our pear trees, due to the rain, are flourishing nicely, if only our crazy dog would stop eating them. Never had a dog who enjoyed pears as much as this one does.

And my love of reading. Sometimes I think I live to read. Romances and thrillers are my two new favorite genres. R.I.P. to Vince Flynn. Love his books. Sorry about his passing. Seemed like a good man. Sorry, had to add that in. But it is books that fuels the imagination. To have us writers hungering for more. More adventure, more trials, more intrigue, and more romance. I hope that I never get tired of books.

So I hope to find more interesting things to share with you, my readers. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way. I had a couple of ideas of where this blog should go. One, doing interviews with different people. And two, a title of: Stories My Friends Told Me. Just a bunch of interesting short tales from various people I know. Everyone has a story to tell. So I’ll see where these will take me. For now, enjoy life and be kind to yourselves.

A Literary Genius in the Making? More Than Likely Not.

Okay, I’m no literary genius. On one hand, I know that I am not in the same vein as Poe, Steinbeck, or even Hemingway. But on the other hand, I do most certainly believe that I was born with the gene for writing creatively. Nope, can’t draw, paint, sing, or sculpt to save my life, but I do have that special knack for making stuff up. My poor mind is in a constant state of creating: characters, plot lines, beginnings and endings, dialogue, etc. It never ends. I blame this disgruntled brain of mind. But for all it’s worth, I don’t mind all the confusion one iota.

These ideas, they haunt me, but in a Casper-the-friendly-ghost sort of way, not in a Poltergiest sort of way. I have many friends and they all are living in my head! It may be a bit overcrowded in there, but, hey, they haven’t complained as of yet, so who am I to judge? They are never quiet; noisy tenants. But gosh darn it, I love ’em anyway! I get so excited(keep your mind out of the gutter) whenever these thoughts come barreling through and I have no choice but to quick grab a pen and paper and start jotting words down as quickly as they hit me. I have to hurry before these thoughts float away and I’m left with nothing but “damn, that was a good thought; too bad I can’t remember it now!” Hey, give me a break, I’ll be fifty years old this year.

So here I sit, originally, outdoors, my dog at my feet, pen in hand, doing things the old-fashioned way. If I am to get my thoughts down before they melt away like hot breath on cold glass, I have to be quick. Writing it free hand, it comes out so sloppy sometimes. I think it must be my own brand of shorthand. Sometimes I can’t even read what I wrote. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. But write I must. Every writer out there knows the feeling. It is an addiction. A sweet drug that keeps us going day after day. A love of words. A hunger to share what is on our hearts and minds, and of course, in our heads. In our imaginations.

But, alas, the thoughts are slowing down now. My fingers are beginning to get some life and blood flow back in them. Perhaps my friends in my head have decided to retire for the day, perhaps they’re all going off to some party and leaving me behind, tired but sated, for the time being anyway. But I’m not disappointed. At least I know they’ll be back. I am their landlord after all.