Posted in book, books, Writing

Closer to the finish line 

Ever since I was in elementary school, I’ve dreamed of being a writer. I wrote a story about secret doors, a story about an American girl raised in France who has to return to the US during high school, and more. I’ve journaled when I felt bad and when I felt great. Always in the back of my mind, I dreamed of being a writer.

I think seeing my account nearly empty of funds and not making enough to support myself, spurred me on with a either now or never attitude. 

I’ve learned through my daughter Books for the living and her book blog a new vocabulary. And this includes the term beta reader. These are people who volunteerily read your first draft. They critique the story, point out holes in the plot, timeline issues etc. My daughter sent my book off to a beta reader and I was completely blown away by her comments. It was a very good review with only a few plot line and timeline issues. Once I’m finished making the changes, I’ll hire an editor to take it to the next step.

And hopefully in the not too distant future, you’ll be able to find Unpacking Dreams at Amazon as an ebook.

Posted in Blogging101, blogging201, books, characters, favorite, strong, women

A list of my favorite female book characters

anneofgreengables

Listed in no particular order as all of them have touched me in someway equally.

  1. Anne Shirley created by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  2. Demelza Carne Poldark created by Winston Graham
  3. Melanie Hamilton and Scarlett O’Hara created by Margaret Mitchell
  4. Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser created by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Elizabeth Bennet Darcy and Emma Woodhouse Knightley created by Jane Austen
  6. Jo March created by Louisa May Alcott
  7. Madeline created by Ludwig Bemelmans
  8. Any of the strong southern women created by Mary Kay Andrews
  9. Heidi created by Johanna Spyri
  10. Margaret Simon by Judy Blume

Posted in Uncategorized

Living with Crazy makes you Crazy

narcissist-fake

     I lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for 30 years. My life was built there. It is where we bought our first home, had our second child, made friends and enjoyed the fruits of our labor. I stayed home and took care of our daughters, our life and my husband when he was home. I was so proud and grateful for all his hard work. But time and time again, a terrible secret would be revealed about my now ex-husband. I convinced myself over and over that all men used porn. He told me all the pilots went to strip clubs and I needed to understand. I learned he had cheated on me with flight attendants but he convinced me that it was my fault. Then the phone call came from the police detective. Turns out all those trips to the hardware store, were actually trips to spy on girls at an apartment swimming pool and masturbate at the same time. He was a peeping tom! Of course you say, she definitely left now. Sad to say, I didn’t. He convinced me he would get help and he also said it was my fault. If I hadn’t married him when he was so young, (24) he wouldn’t feel like he had missed out on all the available sex.

   Time and time again, I’d find porn and it escalated. I found rape porn. I threatened to leave but here is a piece of advice, do not make a threat if you don’t intend to follow through with it. Again he agreed to go to counseling but it didn’t last long. His drinking increased, more strip clubs and our relationship slowly deteriorated. After one full year of counseling with a pastor/counselor, he confessed to using prostitutes at erotic massage parlors. Now hold onto your hat for this one ladies and gentlemen; it wasn’t real sex because he only paid for hand jobs. Did I leave? No. By now I was fully buried and not able to make a sound decision. He had eroded away any sense of value I had. We spent $7,000 going to The Meadows Clinic in Wickenburg, AZ. He never did any of the things they told him to do to get better.We ended up living separate lives but in the same house for two years. I know I should have left him countless times, but I loved him and hoped to work it out.

   Now for those of you who have never lived with a narcissist, you will never be able to understand. But imagine standing on a sandy beach and slowly over time the sand begins to sink. It happens so slowly, you don’t even realize it is happening. You are busy enjoying the sunset. You are busy watching the waves. You are busy thinking about the life you have. And then one day you realize that you’ve been buried alive underneath the sand that has slowly been eroding away. That is life with a narcissist. If you go to Living with a Narcissist or Life with a Narcissistic Psychopath you can find more information. It will help explain why I didn’t leave. Why I waited for him to leave me.

   After the divorce I spiraled out of control. I had written my life story and the chapters I saw in my future included my ex-husband, our daughters and their future families, travel, our friends and a secure life. When he left, he didn’t look back. It was as though our daughters and I never existed. At the age of 54, he walked away from 30 years of marriage and a life we had built. And I am not exaggerating. He lied to me and took $3000 of the $9000 cash I got in the divorce settlement. Our daughter had to try to explain to him that he had lied about needing the money. He never got it. Our daughters and son-in-law met with him and told him they would be there and stand by his side as he got help. But he never, even to this day has admitted he has any problems. Classic narcissistic behavior, he has no empathy for others, nor can he ever see or accept that he might have a problem. Sadly our daughters have fully cut him out of their lives.

   I did lose it for a while. I spiraled downward as he went right into a new relationship with a much younger woman. I stalked him. I harassed him. It is not something I am proud of but after you have lived with someone whose goal is to slowly drive you crazy, it can’t be surprising to end up crazy. I got myself together and left the country for 3 months. When I came back, I was still sad but no longer a crazy lady.

   Why am I telling you all of this? Because if you are unhappy and feel bad about yourself, if you feel like you walk on eggshells in your relationship then start reading the articles on those links. Don’t let a someone steal years of your life from you and then discard you like a piece of trash without batting an eye. You don’t want to end up where I am. I am almost 56, unemployed, living in a new city with no friends and worry things won’t change. That is why I am blogging. I am hoping it helps me begin to rewrite this new chapter of my life in a positive and good way.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Need to Vent

needjob

    Excuse me but I need to vent. I have been seeking a job for the past 3 years. It is necessary that I support myself since my ex-husband left me after 30 years of marriage for a younger woman. There is no spousal support or alimony in Texas. I am almost out of money. And if you think I am trying for jobs out of my reach, I am not. I can’t even get Target to interview me.

    There is definitely age discrimination. I realize I haven’t been in the active workforce for years but I have lots of skills. I went back to school to update my computer skills. I have a college degree. I am personable and friendly. I don’t know what to do. I just read a really bad eBook, so maybe I should give that a go. No one can discriminate against my age or experience then. Sorry for venting. I am just afraid.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tweet Response

     I have no idea if I added the twitter link correctly, so I copied and pasted the actual tweet into my blog. I went to a meetup group tonight. If you don’t know what a meetup group is you can find out by going to http://www.meetup.com  It is a place where you can find people in your area with similar interests. There is a wide variety of choices, so there is something for everyone. I went to a writing prompt group. There were just 3 of us which made it much less intimidating for a first time visitor.

    The group leader gave us our first prompt. He used story dice. I got an eyeball and a man thinking. The tweet above was definitely true for me tonight. How do you begin a story based on an eyeball and a man thinking? Each of us got different things. I definitely had the worst roll. From where would the words come? Should I even be there? Could I really write something someone would want to read?

   As I watched the other people write when we began our second prompt, lines from a song, I was amazed at how quickly they could put their words to paper. And then when they read them, they were so good, so creative. My story sounded like something an 8th grader would turn in for a creative writing project. Would my writing every mature?

   Our last prompt was a collage of photos. We could write something in general about all of the photos in our collage or we could select just one photo. I wrote about one photo and when the young woman next to me read her story, I was blown away. She had chosen to focus on the fact almost all of her photos had blue in them. Where do people get such creative ideas?

   So I agree with the tweet. It seems that writing comes so easily for other authors. Their stories, their blogs, their books all seem effortless. My stuff reads heavy, like a bag of trash someone has to drag behind them. When will the words mature and the story come?

http://wordpress.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4471f40dba4ec0e34130a91a5&id=c0fb3b8c83&e=ad7a55d8b8

Posted in Uncategorized

Only One Way?

map

  Maps. Directions. Roads. Lost. GPS, yes, GPS. Living in a new city my GPS has become my new best friend. I have never had a good sense of direction. When I was 14 years old, my family was driving from our home in Las Vegas to Disneyland. With my map reading skills, we ended up outside of San Diego. That is NOT close to Disneyland.

  One of the first things I did when I moved to Austin was to buy a map. It is large and I stand and look at it, trying to get an idea of where I am located in reference to where I am going. Studying the map, I determine there are endless ways to reach my destination. When I plug-in the address to my GPS, it even gives me options. It is up to me to decide which route to take.

  Of course our route can be interrupted by road work, an accident, one way streets etc. So we are forced to find another way to our final destination. GPS of course makes it simple. But when there were only maps ,no GPS,  and I would get lost, I had to pull over to the side of the road and study the map to find a new route.

   That is my life right now. I am pulled over to the side of the road studying it and trying to find a new path, a new direction to reach my destination. What is my destination? A life with purpose and lived with passion. Prior to my divorce, I was on a one way road and believed the life I was living was the only way to experience happiness. Since my divorce, I have slowly discovered that there are endless paths to living a new purposeful life. Just like when the GPS gives me a choice of routes, it is up to me to select which road I will take now because joy, purpose and passion lie just around the bend.

Posted in Uncategorized

Exploring Life 101

   Blogging 101 assignment: Identify my audience. Hmm, even though I’ve had blogs before, I have never considered the possibility I would actually have an audience. So this is an intriguing assignment. We were told to add media, try new styles etc to keep the reader interested. So I thought maybe learning a little more about me and where I am going with my life might help me connect with similar bloggers and people. 

me2015IMG_1180 Me now and me a million years ago.

       There are several things I typically tell people about myself when asked for the most unique or unusual thing about my life. I was on a national pageant representing Nevada. I was on a national TV game show. I was interviewed for the CBS evening news with Dan Rather. Those facts typically create quite a few questions. If you are interested in any of it, leave a question in the comment section of my blog.

   At the age of 40, I spent a week trying to improve my French in Roanne, France. It was beautiful and fun, but my language skills were still poor. Then at age 54, nine months after my divorce, I went to Tours, France. I spent 3 months doing my best to improve my French. Again it was a lovely time, but I have come to the conclusion my French speaking skills aren’t going to progress past advance beginner. Below are photos from my time in Tours. Yes that is a photo of a snake. I found it in my bathroom. Again if you want more information, leave a question in the comments.

snake IMG_1206tours1tourschristmas

   I have lived in several states, but have spent the past 30.5 years living in Texas with 30 of those being in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I moved to Austin in June to try to find a new life path. Austin is completely 180 degrees different than Dallas. It is down to earth, eco-friendly, creative and hilly with lots of trees. Dallas is flat, superficial, (who has the biggest house, diamond, boobs etc), not eco-friendly and has just recently become friendlier to the creative arts.

   I have no idea what the future holds. I have been unemployed for over 2 years now and just learned I didn’t get the job I wanted. So I am still seeking a new purpose. I am no longer someone’s wife. And while I am still the mother of 2 incredible young women, they have successfully gone on to live their own lives. Purpose. I think that is what most of us want. We just want to have a purpose and be loved. It doesn’t matter whether it’s here or halfway around the world in some remote village, we all seek those things.

   I have no idea who my audience might be. I am hoping people who are want to explore life either on a new path or an old path will be my blog followers.

Posted in Uncategorized

Writing 101

Prompt 1: I write because

I write because I feel compelled to do so. I don’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t write. I’ve always loved to read and as a young girl I would lose myself in books. Then I would try my hand at writing my own stories. I remember pretending to be a radio DJ reporting the news. I wrote my own newspaper as a girl. This was all done at a time when it was all done freehand. I didn’t have a typewriter and I had no idea computers even existed.

I write because I believe there is a story waiting to be told, but I haven’t figured out quite yet what that story is. The ideas always seem to come when I am drowsy and too tired to write. I am positive I allow the distractions of the day to act as interference. I love to write but I am afraid to write. I am afraid to let the words flow, for the story to come. I hope writing 101 helps me breakthrough that fence, those fears and actually pursue writing.