Tuesday, March 17, 2015

[Article] What type of perfectionist are you?

I'm a socially-prescribed perfectionist. Yep! I have a HUGE fear of failure and I'm terrified of embarrassment, shame, and guilt. This is why I've never understood writers who have told me, "Oh, my novel will be a bestseller and is so much better than those on the NYT Bestseller list!" Um...that's so overconfident and bold. There's just no way I could ever say that. I mean...wow...I'm way too critical of myself and nothing I ever do is as good as I think it should be. But I also fear success. I mean, if I succeeded, then that would mean pressure to ALWAYS succeed (at least in my mind). Basically, I'm neurotic as hell!

So much for not caring what others think, right? Still got lots to work on, it seems! Oh well...awareness is an important first step.

What Flavor of Perfectionist Are You? - Psychology Today

From the article:
"In contrast, socially prescribed perfectionists may be compared to neurotic perfectionists [a term originally coined by Hamachek] in that they do not derive pleasure from their labors and efforts and tend to view their work as inadequate or inferior. Furthermore, they report experiencing external pressure and or coercion to accomplish tasks. Therefore, the maladaptive symptoms of the socially prescribed perfectionist emerge not from an internally felt desire to be their best, but more from a fear of failure and/or a desire to avoid embarrassment, shame and guilt" (p. 154).

[Dream] Defending friends from hate and gossip

If I ever had a normal dream (whatever that is!), I'd be surprised. Then again, I'd probably be disappointed since I'm so used to strange, twisted, surreal dreams.

Last night I dreamed I was in a large building where church services and other events were held. More than one group or organization would meet there. In this case, I was there to learn how to conduct a special ritual or service for a LGBTQ organization. I was there as an ally, because in this dream (and in real life), I'm heterosexual. They gave me an impressive, white-feathered cape/robe to wear. It was heavy, but gorgeous. The feathers were small, not large, and there were countless ones all over over the cape/robe.

In another area of the building, a right-wing, evangelical church congregation was meeting. I found out through observation and overhearing things that they were saying awful, mean things about my friends in the LGBTQ organization. The churchgoers would smile a fake smile when they saw anybody from the group I was with, but then they'd immediately talk and gossip about them, making fun of who they were and saying snarky things about gays and homosexuality in general. They were haughty in their manner and acting like they were better than everyone else.

The thing that angered me the most was the two-faced behavior of the churchgoers. They would plaster on a fake smile, then drop the act and become vicious and mean when they went back to their area. In real life, as well as in my dreams, I can't stand such duplicity. I cannot stand it even more when nobody will challenge it and call people out on their behavior.

When I got the chance, I went over to the area where the churchgoers were and I stepped out into the big room/area, startling them (because they were busy trashing my friends down the hallway in another room. Four of the church leaders/evangelicals were at the front of the room, and I walked up to them and pointed at all of them. Then I confronted them about their false, duplicitous behavior. They were so taken aback, they didn't know what to say. Someone had heard and seen what they were doing, and they never expected to get caught.

After confronting the mean-spirited and homophobic congregation, I walked out of the room, leaving all of them speechless. Then I returned to my friends at the LGBTQ event, donned my white-feathered robe, and learned how to conduct the honorary ritual. It was a beautiful, uplifting ceremony and everyone was happy. I was nervous, but did okay.

After it was all over, there was much laughter and hugging, with plenty of conversation. I was glad that I had stood up for my friends and defended them against people who pretended to be good people and holier than thou, but who were actually mean-spirited, gossipy homophobes who gained pleasure from hurting others and saying awful things about other people.

A strange, interesting dream, but the end of it was terribly satisfying.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Visit Nocturnal Divination Magick & Miscellanea



Putting up a new item or two in my shop this weekend.
Drop on by!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NocturnalDivination

Nocturnal Divination Magick & Miscellanea is an online shop offering a variety of items including books, tarot readings, astro charts, and more.

My name is Bev and I offer a variety of items through this shop—some digital, some physical (such as books and craft items). I am a career author and manuscript editor, as well as a long-time practitioner, devotee, and avid student of divination and metaphysics. I am the author of Sun Signs for Writers, as well as several other books.

For over 35 years I've given readings to family, friends, and acquaintances. I've also done readings at private parties. I was a preteen when I cast my first natal chart, and from that point I was hooked.

I'm adept at providing readings in astrology, tarot, cartography, color divination, runes, and various oracle/spirit cards. I also practice candle magick. If you have any questions about my products or services, please contact me and I'll be glad to assist you. Thanks for visiting, and I look forward to providing you with interesting and personalized service.

​Bev

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

[Nocturnal Muse's vlog for 3.11.15] Eclectica & quirky stuff I collect

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

[Limited time offer] Sign up for one of my online professional writing/editing courses and receive a 10% discount!

Nearing 100 likes on my FB page for Abraxas Professional Writing Courses. 

If you haven't liked my page, please stop by and do so at https://www.facebook.com/Abraxas.Writing.Courses

I've been teaching online courses since 1997 and many of my students have gone on to become freelance writers and published authors. I love to help people make their dreams come true ;-)

To show my appreciation, for a limited time I'm offering 10% off any of my courses. Just e-mail me at scribequill -at- gmail.com with WRITING COURSES in the subject line of the message. Let me know which featured online professional writing/editing course you're interested in:

* Professional Freelance Writing - 4 weeks-$80 or $20 per week

* Creativity 101: Tapping the Muse Within - 4weeks - $80 or $20 per week

* Marketing/PR for Writers - 4 weeks - $80 or $20 per week

* How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Nonfiction Book - 4 weeks - $100 or $25 per week

* Editing 101 - 4 weeks - $100 or $25 per week

When you e-mail me, I'll give you a special link to sign up and enroll in the course of your choosing at a 10% discount. You can begin right away! If you have questions, you can ask me those as well.


Thanks for your attention ;-)

Monday, March 02, 2015

Film, pipes, Northern European ancestry, and the ignorance of racism

Thursday, February 26, 2015

No Room for Racism; We Are All Connected

Wonder if racists ever realize how ignorant and uneducated they sound? Whenever I read a racist comment on an article (usually one about President Obama!), I automatically think, "Wow, that person has issues...and they're stupid to boot." The race you should be concerned about is the HUMAN race. We are all connected. It's easy to see this if you find out about your ancestral DNA. Once you realize how connected you are through your DNA to other parts of the world, you realize that there is no 'them or us.' It's all WE.

Here's an example:

According to my DNA, the oldest female in my maternal haplogroup can be traced back to the Middle East, particularly in the Fertile Crescent.

The site states, "The haplogroup continues to have a strong presence in the region today, comprising about 10-20% of the populations of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Palestine, and 25% of the population of the Arabian peninsula."

Haplogroup: J1, a subgroup of J
Age: more than 38,000 years
Region: Europe, Near East
Example Populations: British, Scandinavians
The Vikings carried J1 from Britain to Norway and Iceland.
Highlight: J1 spread from the Middle East all the way to Iceland."

* Source: 23andme.com 

As I've said before, we are all connected. Yes, I'm American. But if not for my ancestors in other parts of the world, I wouldn't EXIST today. Think about the human connections. I'm over 98% Northern European (Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Norway/Scandinavia). But J1 made it out of the Middle East THOUSANDS of years ago and then spread to other parts of the world.

So when you speak of 'those people' in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, or anywhere else, you should first think about the origins of the human race and how we all came to be. Again, your concern should be with the HUMAN race. We are all in this together. If we don't start acting like it, there will BE no more human race.

One more thing: TRAVEL. If you've never been overseas or to another country, DO IT. I find people who've never been outside the U.S. are sometimes the most xenophobic and ignorant of all.

Anti-semitism is also ridiculous. I've never understood hatred of the Jews. My literary agent of ten years, Meredith Bernstein of the Meredith Bernstein Agency in NYC, is Jewish. She's also brilliant and has always been kind to me. My son was often mistaken for being Jewish when he lived in NYC because his name is Jonathan, which is apparently a popular male Jewish name. He dated several Jewish girls, too. I don't get the whole anti-semitic thing. Never have, never will. To me, when people make anti-semitic comments online, it always ends up sounding like jealousy. To be honest, there have been times when I wish I were Jewish.

My tolerance for racists or anti-semites is about as low as for pedophiles, rapists, and murderers -- ZERO. If you want to get the cold shoulder from me or be outright ignored, say something racist or anti-semitic. Chances are, I'll unleash verbal napalm on you first, though.

Folks, it's the 21st century. Time to grow up! There's NO place for such attitudes in our society. They only serve to divide us into them vs. us. Then it makes things much easier to do awful things to those 'other' people who look different from us or live in a different country. After all, then you don't see them as people like you or me; instead, they're objects or things and not people with families, lives, history, etc. That's not only sad, it's senseless as well. Time to evolve!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

[Guest Post] Writing an Alter Ego by Mindy Phillips Lawrence

Most of what I write is to forward the thoughts of kindness and light. However, I get those notions at times (human that I am) to jettison kindness. I consult my inner person and ask it, “What would I do in certain situations if I were EVIL?” Things I would never actually do come to mind. I go to the “dark side.” It was during a moment at lunch today when I thought about what I’d like to write if I were the opposite of who I am. I began to think of an alter ego.

I developed a mean, awful character and decided to make up a name. The first set of letters I used showed nothing at all on Google except something in a foreign language with no definition. However, when I changed one letter in that word I got STRIYAM, which means BEAUTIFUL WOMAN in Sanskrit. The definition makes the name a great cover for evil. Here is my introduction to her, the opposite of all I believe:

“My name is Striyam, The Woman. They say I am beautiful but that’s just a cover. I have no country. When I write, I don’t care what anyone thinks. I write ME with all my cruelty and transgressions. My characters represent my foibles and magnify them. Evil is fine. In fact, evil is the catalyst for creativity at times and I am familiar with how to use it. I can leave a sweet little girl behind in a lion’s den and slam the gate shut. I can leave that same sweet little girl in a pit of vipers and laugh as she screams, swells from the bites, and dies. There is no end to my brutality. There is no end to my evil. I hide it well but it’s ingrained. Don’t cross me.”

I read this and was immediately REPELLED by her. At the same time, I was excited that I could think on the other side of what I would normally write. She excited me.

Try to come up with YOUR opposite sometime. Have a conversation with yourself about your ideas, values, and normal way of thinking then turn the tables and write the opposite. ENJOY yourself. You may turn on a creative spigot you didn’t know was there.

LINKS

Alter Ego, Liz Bureman
http://thewritepractice.com/alter-ego/

Alter Ego: Merriam-Webster
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alter%20ego

10 Famous Authors’ Fascinating Alter-Egos, Kim Parker
http://flavorwire.com/294017/10-famous-authors-fascinating-alter-egos

JK Rowling tells story of alter ego Robert Galbraith, Liz Bury
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/24/jk-rowling-robert-galbraith-harry-potter

How to Create an Awesome Alter Ego, Lisa Bernier
http://community.sparknotes.com/2013/01/09/how-to-create-an-awesome-alter-ego