Thursday, June 18, 2015

Finding Yggdrasil


So, yesterday I was in the front room and happened to glance over to my right for some reason. Then I noticed this round object sitting in the middle of a large candle. It was an Yggdrasil (tree of life) pendant. I have no idea whose it is. But I've never seen it before.

Although I'm new to Norse mythology, I recognized it. I began studying Norse mythology after learning about my Norwegian/Viking ancestry.

Interesting thing to turn up out of the blue, eh?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A 'good' psychopath? Not sure that's possible.

My score--a low 15%. So it appears I could be psychopath bait, something I already knew. :-( Fortunately, I've come across some psychopaths already in my life, so I've had some experience with them.

"You are warm and empathic with a heightened awareness of social responsibility and a strong sense of conscience. You like to carefully weigh up the pros and cons of a situation before you act and are generally averse to taking risks. You are very much a 'people person' and dislike conflict. 'Do unto others...' are your watchwords. But, although you avoid hurting others, those residing at the higher end of the psychopathic spectrum might not be as considerate, so stay vigilant to avoid being hurt unnecessarily."

To take the test, visit this link:
http://www.thegoodpsychopath.com





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Writing for the right reasons, or the wrong ones

I'm going to be honest here: I'd rather work on my OWN crappy writing than someone else's crappy writing. Mainly because they never appreciate it. I have no illusions -- I know my writing isn't perfect and never will be.

However, some people who haven't written anything since high school and who don't give a whit about books or literature think they're going to pick up a pen and turn out the next bestseller. They can't be bothered to read, but they somehow believe that they are Next Big Thing.

The worst part? They'll tell you how great they are and how their work overshadows that of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Yeah...highly unlikely. And even if you *think* that, it's gauche to tell other people.

Unlike many others who believe they're above everyone else, I'm well aware that there's always room for improvement, no matter who you are. Although I've been a professional writer for 18 years and had hundreds of short pieces and articles published and several books published (through traditional publishers, mind you), I will NEVER get to the point where I think my crap doesn't stink. I will also never proclaim to know every single thing about writing. I don't. Nobody does! Not even famous authors. Writing is about the journey, NOT the destination. It's about learning and discovery.

A writer writes. However, there's a difference between a person who would write even if they were a millionaire (because they are DRIVEN to) and a person who doesn't give a shit about the craft and beauty of writing. Such a person only wants to try and earn a bunch of money from throwing their book up on Kindle or Smashwords for the sole purpose of cash. They couldn't care less about readers or anything else. These people know nothing about the publishing industry and are only writing in hopes of making a quick buck. It's obscene and distasteful, at least to me.

So yeah, I prefer to work on my own writing -- even when it's crappy and isn't the best thing in the world. The time is much better spent than dealing with thankless jerks who don't care anything about writing or literature. Hey, they know everything anyway, so let them have at it while the rest of us spend time working on our stuff. The rest of us have lots to learn, and we aren't afraid to admit it. Oh, and shove them a piece of humble pie before you shut the door in their faces. Goodness knows they need it.

Friday, June 05, 2015

How some women ruin things for the rest of us


Thoughts after reading comments on a FB page geared toward women (and why I'll unlike that page):

I'm a woman, and I gotta say that way too many women are catty, two-faced bitches that will stab you in the back at a moment's notice. They're too cowardly to stab you in the front -- it's always the back when you least expect it.

Not talking about you guys, of course. If you were like that, you'd be off this page as soon as I recognized that behavior. Who needs that kind of shit in life? Not me. I have enough to contend with.

The behavior exhibited by some women is the reason I prefer to hang around males and other women who are more like me. For many women, it's not about supporting other women or encouraging them. It's about superficiality, competition, and jealousy/envy.

Quite the shame. It doesn't cost a damn thing to be HAPPY for someone else's success or good fortune. There's no shortage of those things, and I believe the more you're happy for other people, the better things you attract in your own life. It doesn't take away from you to congratulate others or be inspired by them.

You are YOU and there's nobody else like you. The only person you should compete with to improve is YOURSELF. Who gives a shit what the other person's hair looks like, where they got their nails done, how many shoes they have, what their cologne smells like? I sure as hell don't! I'm me and I'll dress as I like, fix my hair like I want, wear my nails as I see fit, and choose the cologne I want to wear. You do your thing, I'll do mine. I'm an individual and NOT any of you, and I'm happy about that.

I got a whole bunch of flack in high school because I had plenty of guy friends. Inevitably, other females thought I was screwing all of them, not realizing that I wasn't and that it is possible to be platonic friends/buddies with males. I've done it my entire life. I preferred to hike in the woods or Garden of the Gods with my male buddies than sit by a pool tanning any old day. Besides, I have fair skin, so it's a cycle of burn and peel with me, not tan ;-).

When I see such petty behavior on pages geared toward women, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. It makes me not want to participate in that page. I don't expect those types of women to change, and that's sad and frustrating for the rest of us who are female.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Getting the word out for a friend!

If you have any graphic design work you need done, my friend Lynne Rainey Glindemann has a son who is launching his business. Authors, if you need a book cover, you may want to contact him as well. Here's his website:

http://cargocollective.com/DrewDesigns/Graphic-Design

Sunday, May 24, 2015

There is NO excuse or defense for Josh Duggar's criminal acts

If you think there is a so-called Christian defense or good excuse for Josh Duggar molesting his sisters -- or anyone else -- then you should re-examine a lot of things about yourself.

As a survivor of childhood abuse by my ex-stepfather, Donnie L., and having some in my family and some of our family friends refuse to believe me or just ignore it and go on about things without addressing it, I can tell you that it damages a person for the rest of his or her life, in subtle ways and not-so-subtle ways.

There is NO excuse for sexual abuse or mistreatment of a child -- and certainly NOT because the perpetrator is a Christian. Because, hey, I can tell you if the perp was a pagan or an Atheist (or anything other than a Christian), people would be calling for his or her head on a stick.

Listen, there are overwhelming numbers of Christian criminals in prison. Atheists account for a tiny percentage -- look it up! So, just because you are Christian, it doesn't mean there's any special defense or excuse for that type of heinous behavior. Again, I can think of NO EXCUSE or reasonable defense.

I also do not buy that he simply 'made a mistake.' Making a mistake is giving in to peer pressure from your friends and cheating on an English pop quiz worth 10 points. Sexually molesting not one, but more than one person -- and your sisters, at that -- is in no way a mistake. If you think that, you need to examine your morals and/or ethics.

Or maybe it would be okay if Josh Duggar molested YOUR own kids? Yeah...how would you like that, and would you see it as a mistake? If you're a mother, I hope like HELL you don't answer that question with anything other than a NO. Because if anybody ever hurt my kids (and mine are grown now), they'd have to get a cell ready for me, because I would be one hellacious Mama Bitch on hot wheels going after the person or persons responsible.

Random fact #15-0524

Another random life fact: I used to be a bank teller for Sovran Bank in Virginia in the late 80s. Sovran Bank eventually became Bank of America.

Most of my traditional jobs (before I quit in 1997 to freelance FT) were in the banking, government, mortgage, and consumer credit industries.

Until I built up my freelance business, I also worked part-time jobs, including one as administrative support for Meadowlake Behavioral Health Services, an extension of Bass Baptist Hospital. I helped schedule the nurses, among other duties.

Meadowlake was a psychiatric inpatient facility. I was required to have keys with me at all times, and every single door had to be locked and unlocked each and every time you went into another wing or area.

Before I became a professional writer, I'd already lived an interesting life. I'd seen a lot of things. Some weird, some mundane, but always interesting. That type of stuff comes in handy when you're building plots or developing characters.

When news isn't so much Breaking News of note

Couldn't help myself, so I tweeted Rob at The Gazette and asked him about the Breaking News updates that really aren't Breaking News-worthy:

@Gazette_RobJ, "is someone there at The Gazette going nuts with the Breaking News updates? Over the past two weeks or so, I've noticed some news items that weren't on the level of true Breaking News in the sense of, "The community MUST know about this NOW because it's unexpected and it'll impact them in a salient way." Example: I sympathize with a dog dying in a house fire (because we own four dogs), but honestly, I don't think that's an event that could qualify as Breaking News that would concern and/or affect the majority of this city's residents or those in the areas surrounding it. However, my condolences DO go to the pet owner. I've lost beloved pets and it's sad. What's your take? If there's a deluge of Breaking News that may not always qualify as such, I think readers will become numb to the announcements."

Standing up for what's right, even in the face of obstacles

To be honest, I would've done EXACTLY what Edward Snowden did. In fact, it wasn't the government, but I did do the same thing -- or similar -- back in the mid-80s when I realized an employer of mine was breaking a bunch of laws, including labor laws. I gathered information and went to the media. I did a television interview with my face blurred out and it was broadcast by major media outlets in a large area.

The employer was John Lane (and family) and the company I worked for was Federated Capital Corporation in Grafton, VA. I was a nighttime supervisor there and I couldn't, in good conscience, keep working there and watch customers lose their homes over illegal practices. I have a conscience, and although it meant I would have to quit my job (I wasn't fired) and even put myself at risk (see below), I decided to take that risk for the greater good. Nobody else would stand up and do it, so I did. Now, years later, I'm glad I did.

The result? That sleazy employer was brought to court and his sleazy empire was shut down. People told me NOT to do it, because he allegedly had Mafia ties. I did it anyway. Someone had to.

So, if given the chance, I would've done the SAME thing Snowden did. Someone has to have the balls, because for most people, they damn sure have shriveled up over the years!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Looking back on nearly a year with Lipedema and Lymphedema

Almost a year ago, I was diagnosed with Lipedema and Lymphedema. There are no medicines to take, no cures to be had. You do not have to be overweight to have this, and they aren't sure what causes it (sometimes even children have it, sadly). That's why it's labeled 'unclear etiology' by the medical journal article linked below, which was published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (JABFM).

"Approach to Leg Edema of Unclear Etiology"
http://www.jabfm.org/content/19/2/148.full.pdf+html

The U.S. is far behind Europe in diagnosing and treating these conditions, but raising awareness can help those who may have it and not know it. I'm doing my part. Lipedema often runs in families and is thought to have a possible genetic connection. Hormones are also involved, since only a handful of males have EVER been diagnosed with it.

In severe cases, you lose mobility or, sometimes, have your leg(s) amputated. Thankfully, I was diagnosed and began MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage) therapy and started wearing compression stockings. My legs, below the knees, are affected. But sometimes it spreads. I'm at Stage Two, and DO NOT want to end up at Stages 3 or 4.

So far I'm doing okay with managing it. If you saw me out in public, you'd never know I have this condition, but I do. There has been marked improvement, but I can never NOT keep up the maintenance. It will not go away. It can only be managed. Some day I hope researchers and doctors pinpoint the cause(s) and find a cure. Most people haven't heard of Lipedema OR Lymphedema. I sure hadn't prior to 2014.

Ladies, it doesn't matter how young or old you are, and it doesn't matter if you're a size 2 or a size 20+ -- you should become familiar with these diseases. The quality of your life depends on it.