Learning to be Grateful (I hope)

Learning to be Grateful (I hope)

There are days where I am an ungrateful wretch for all the Universe, God/dess, Creator, Deity, etc. has given me and mine. I am ungrateful, not because I feel in any way that I deserve more, but simply because I am tired, stressed, aching, and so very sick in so very many ways. I forget to be to thankful for the abundance of goodness and wonder in my life. I get so caught up in all the drama of all the negativity and sheer stress that I never stop to embrace the good things. Even if those good things are small miracles or big ones like having all my basic needs met, I still forget to stop and thank Deity for all of it.

I have been so busy with the setting up and rearranging of our new home. Yes, it’s a fucking disaster. Yes, it needs more work than I can even begin to list. Yes, it has character and characters. Yes, half the wiring need to be done as well as over half the plumbing. BUT! I have a safe and secure roof over not only my head, but the heads of two of the most important things to me, my youngest daughter and my younger brother. We have clean running water, functional indoor plumbing, a functional stove and oven, we have clean clothes to wear, and food to eat… Yes, I have been sick for the last couple weeks and as usual my body and I are at war. BUT! My brother has a job and he is helping with the house a he can, the Squish has made new friends already and they actually enjoy coming over and helping me with the house in exchange for access to my music and some change for the ice cream truck. So, it is slowly coming together.

What all this comes down to is that each day we are forced to face our mortality every day. Whether it’s watching our step as we walk out the door to go about our day or it’s losing a friend, family member, random stranger, or an icon we’ve looked up to all our lives. Yesterday I lay in a hospital bed listening to the rattling cough of a woman that was so close to her death bed, that her family stood around and simply waited. On the other side of me was another woman who was so sick and the doctors were asking her not to sign a DNR while her daughter held her and cried. And while I sat on my gurney, curtained between these two women, and awaited yet more blood work to go through all I could think of in that moment was how agitated I was that I didn’t even get the dignity of my own room and a little quiet space where my daughter could cuddle with me and my brother could call his job and check in. I was agitated at the wait. I had been so sick I was throwing up none stop, I had been spiking fevers and cold sweats on and off for days, I was so sick I couldn’t stand on my own volition. And I wanted to get the needed care I was promised and fucking go home. In that moment, it didn’t matter to me that there were people literally dying in the cubbies near me, I just wanted to go home and pass out in the comfort of my home. GODS ABOVE AND BELOW!!!! I was such a horrible and ungrateful wretch in that moment, and it didn’t hit me until about 4 AM this morning that I had been a horrible, snarly, downright bitch at some points in my night.

I had damn near ripped the RN’s head off on multiple occasions as she damn near killed me about three times along with almost using latex and latex based materials on me. The Dr.’s kept ordering medication that I am extremely allergic to, the nurses kept trying to kick my brother and daughter out of the tiny cubby they had stashed me in (even though the only reason I was staying calm was Isa holding my hand and talking me down every time I had to fight not to be given the drugs that might kill me instead of heal me), and they kept offering to let me have some water, a warm blanket, something to help with my blood sugar…. Only to return an hour later and not have any of it. It was terribly long ass night.

But when I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep at four this morning. It all kind of hit me. I only saw two nurses on rotation on our floor, one tech, two PCAs, a registration tech, and two actual docs for an entire ER floor. Talk about shorthanded! And even though they were all run ragged and had their hands beyond overflowing they managed to be kind, civil, caring, and most of the time even smiling and with good cheer. I know beyond a doubt that I could not have pulled off half the hell they did with even an iota of their sheer strength of will and dedication….

I have so much in my life to be grateful for today. alphonsekarr1So here I sit at my computer and I say thank you to the men and women who work in the worst possible professions of medical fields and hold the hands of the sick and dying, the grieving, and the ungrateful. And they do it by choice and by will and by sheer strength of character.

I thank the Universe and all that it represents for me, I thank Deity for all that it has taught me and give me. I thank the Lord and Lady God and Goddess for hearing my prayers when I asked for so much and then still complained that it was not enough. I thank my mother for all the sacrifices she has made these past 32 years so that I could survive and become the stronger and better person I am today. I thank my “father” who chose to be in my life, not because of some fluke of genetics, but because he loved me for me and gave us this home we have now (damn near for free). I thank my brother Isa, who in so many ways is my strongest ally, my confidant, my best friend, and until my daughter came along one of my biggest supporters for me not hurting myself in all the wrong ways. I thank my Squishy who even at the age of 9 has more wisdom and grace than multitudes that are decades older than her. She above everyone else can make me smile with a silly look, a random hug, an ice cold glass water as I work without ever being asked, silly questions, nights filled with laughter and joy, and nights spent cuddling close and whispering of our dreams for the future. How can I not be grateful for all that I have and have been given? I am truly blessed and loved and those are great things to be thankful for.

I will try to be more grateful for all that I have in the future. I will strive to live my life to the fullest and prove that I am worthy of the wonders that the Universe has given me. I will push myself to wake with thoughts of gratefulness not matter how sick or tired I am. I am blessed with so much, I don’t have room for the negativity. I just have to remember that fact.start-garteful

I love you. You are beautiful. You have an amazing smile. You are worthwhile. You have meaning and purpose. No matter what part of your journey you are on, you are not alone. I wish you peace and joy and your journeys where ever they may take you.

~J.R.

 

 

Looking Back & (Hopefully) Moving Forward

Looking Back & (Hopefully) Moving Forward

A little over five years ago, I stood on the ocean shores of my childhood home. I held my daughters small hand in mine and said a prayer for guidance. It was almost Christmas and we were far from any home she had ever known. The relationship I was in had become abusive in ways that had started as subtle and grew to the point of me being forced to throw away everything I owned, pack up myself and my four-year-old daughter and drive cross country on a hope and a prayer that the home he wanted us to buy existed. It was very cold winter and I don’t just mean the weather.

I ended up stuck in a blizzard in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We barely made it to the reservation casino and hotel that night before we got snowed in. I had no money of my own and I had to lie to the “other people” in my life about what I was doing there and why. The “house”, if you could call it that, that he had wanted me to simply buy somehow was a total disaster. There were gaping holes in the walls, there was no back wall to half of the building, hell there was more wrong that right. And he didn’t seem to understand that when one bought a house it took more than simply signing on the dotted line and agreeing to pay the given amount eventually. My daughter and I huddled in our hotel room through that entire storm and I prayed to the powers that be to help me get her somewhere safe, just a for a few days so I could figure out what I was doing.

My late aunt’s Husband, who in many ways has been more of a father figure to me than anyone else in my life, came to our rescue the day we checked out. He said if I could make it to the property in Central Coast California he would give a safe space to sleep and clean up and figure out our next steps. I didn’t sleep for the next three days. I drove to my mother’s foster sister in Phoenix so that my daughter could sleep in a safe space and not in the car. And then from there I drove all the way to my Uncle’s place. It was a long drive and it gave me more than enough time to think and let my mind dig through the hell I had buried over the past few years. I still didn’t have a clue where the hell I was going to go from my family in California, nor what to do when I got there.

We pulled over the hill of the long drive some good couple hours after work. We were tired, hungry, dirty, and so very lost at that point. But coming down the drive to those familiar lights was the first time I had truly felt safe and welcome and HOME in longer than I could remember at the point. I barely remember getting in the house. I remember getting a hot shower, clean clothes, warm food, and my baby falling asleep in my arms that night.

A couple days later I took the back roads from home to Morro Bay. My little girl and I walked hand in hand along those western shores, we talked of silly things, and we also simply walked in silence. It wasn’t until we were almost upon the pier that I realized we had walked the four miles of shoreline to Cayucos. We had a wonderful dinner overlooking the ocean and the sun setting on the horizon.cayucos-sunset

I watched her play in the tide as we walked back to our car and I said a prayer to whoever would listen. I asked for guidance and hope, and the strength I needed to make the right choices for me and mine. I begged deity to show me what I needed to do to survive and keep on going. We drove home in the dark and the moon and stars. At the height of the driveway, where no light pollution touched us, I stopped the car and took my daughters hand and pointed out the stars so bright. I had my answer and my resolve in that moment. With so much beauty in the world, how could I give my child anything less.

We went back to my Uncle’s that night and I put into motion the next part of my journey. I called my mother in Ohio and with tears choking me, I asked if I could come home. I asked if she would help leave him and help me survive. I had made so many mistakes and left so many open wounds when I left the Midwest I wasn’t sure if I could go back. But she said yes, and we all made plans for us to finally go where we belonged.

I didn’t tell “him” that I was going all the way back to Ohio until I was already on the road and I told him we could talk when I was safe. We made it home on Christmas Eve. That was everybody’s Holiday gift to me and mine. I got to come home and be home and be safe. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I knew I had a lot of work that I had to do. But for the first time in years I was willing to see the truth of the hellish lie I had been living.

He showed up the morning of the 27th. I made sure I wasn’t alone. I told him I was leaving him. I told him I was keeping our daughter. I told him I was done with everything. He cussed me out, he called me names, hell he even tried to force himself on me before all was said and done. I haven’t regretted that choice since I made it. It’s been five years and I still think it was one of the best choices I could have ever made for me and mine.

Now it’s been five years and I and my daughter have changed and grown in many ways. It’s funny that five years ago, I stood on a familiar shore and begged the universe for direction, and now here I am on a foreign shore starting anew yet again. Five years ago, I stood on the Western Shore and now I sit in a home on the shores of the Eastern Shore. How funny life is, that in so many ways we must relive our pasts and make new choices time and time again.

This new life and this new shore scare me for so many reasons. I am without a safety net here. I know no one beyond my brother who came to help me with my health and with the care of my daughter, and my daughter as well. I find this new city frightening and somehow unreal to me. The ocean does not feel like the oceans of my childhood. Even the sand feels different under my naked feet.

This is supposed to be my fresh start, our forever home, or at least the next step to our forever home. Yet I feel lost and I find myself standing on yet another shore looking off into the horizon and asking the Universe in all its wisdom for guidance on this new path. I find myself scared of making new connections with new and real humans, and yet I feel an aching need to interact at the same time. In the almost month that we have been here we have already been through so very much. Yet we continue to survive.

Five years seems like a short time to me. And yet it seems like such a long journey from the person I was then to the person I am now. I look back and I am scared for that other person. I look in the mirror and although physically little has changed, mentally and emotionally I feel a thousand years wiser. So many lessons learned and yet I know that there are way too many more I must go through if I am to be the person I wish to be and the person I need to be for the ones I love.

Five years of healing, five years of crying and screaming and fighting, five years of lessons learned and parts of myself lost, five years of finding myself again and finally letting go…. Five years and here’s to five more.creating-yourself

My Dearest reader,

I hope that this view into my life somehow helps you find the path you wish to be on or helps you on your journey. Just writing this has helped me on mine. Love, Joy, Peace and so much from me to you….

Tonight I Say Good Bye to a Loving Friend and Pet

Tonight I Say Good Bye to a Loving Friend and Pet

Losing a cherished friend is never easy. Losing a cherished pet is never easy either. When they are one in the same, the loss we feel can be overwhelming to say the least. The last 24 hours of my life has been so painful I haven’t even found the tears to cry over my loss.

Today my family and I had to say goodbye to our fur baby Nick. He was getting up there in years, and last month he started having seizures. He just started slowing down. He was no longer eager to answer the door when we came home. He wasn’t up for playing or chasing toys. His vision started to go. It was hard watching him slowly break down. Yet he still seemed to push on and we were there for him every step of the way.

Last night he could hardly walk or hold his head up. His breathing was labored and his heart kept stuttering. I knew the time was coming. I took out in the front yard and we sat under the stars in the cool autumn night. We just sat in silence as I held him. When he was ready we carefully made our way back inside and curled up on the love seat together. When my mother got home she took him for one last careful stroll down the block and back. He seemed to be so tired as he made his way back to the house. Mom slept with him this morning and we all spent the day saying goodbye one last time. He passed about 5:30. He just went across that glowing rainbow bridge and never looked back.

It’s so odd sitting here in my office as I type this. He isn’t laying under my desk and wagging his tail at me as I ramble out loud to him. He isn’t wandering through the house with his nails clicking on the floor as he looks for one of us to snuggle up to. He didn’t go to the door tonight when Chris came home. I keep looking for him at my office doors and hoping he will join me still, even though I know he never will again.

My daughter keeps asking me why he had to leave us. I wish I could explain in terms that her young mind would understand. He was in so much pain, and he was so lost. He had to let go and move on. He had to cross that rainbow bridge and be free of all the suffering. I try to tell her that he is in a better place now and that he was truly loved in this life. That we were truly blessed to have him in our lives.

The pain is still there. This hollow, aching, emptiness inside my heart and soul where a piece of him always stayed… I know in time the pain will fade. I know in time the emptiness will fill up. I know the hollow feelings will fade. But the scars will be there along with so many others.

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To Nick: Loyal and trusting friend and companion. Thank you for all the years of joy and happiness. You will be sorely missed.

~JR

 

Catching up is hard to do….

Catching up is hard to do….

I realize I have been lacking in my writing. I have not been feeding my blog followers any fun tidbits. I am not keeping updates on my Author Page. I’m not even posting about writing.

I know… Bad author, no cookie!

My life kind of blew up in my face. Me and mine are going through a lot of unforeseeable changes and goings on. We have a very long and very hard journey that we are on, but we are good at surviving. It’s just a lot to handle right now.

Before you ask, yes… I am still writing. Every single day in fact. I am still working on the next Krystianna book. I promise you it will get finished when it is ready to be finished. I rewrote the first 16 chapters about 5 times before everything and everyone fell into place and all my characters are finally happy where things are. My muse and I are also very happy with where the story has built up to. We are coming to a very sharp crescendo and I am hoping that my characters and I have the rapport to make this happen as smoothly as possible. Blood, sweat, and tears are all going to happen (and have happened) before this story is finally ready to be read by anyone outside my small group of loyal helpers and writers.

I am also doing a wicked and more than slightly stressful amount of other work on other projects for so many people, it is almost funny at this point. I am desperately trying to make sure my youngest daughter gets the education and educational help that she needs. But this means that I am with her for every private and small group lesson and session. It means that I have to be in the background playing conductor to a zillion and one trains of thought and processing for her to get everything she needs. I love my daughter and I would do anything to make sure she had everything she needed. I am also doing two very different research projects for other family members. And yep, I volunteered to help. Why, you may ask? Because apparently I am a glutton for punishment and I simply can’t bring myself to say no when it comes to helping the people I love and care for.

Oh yeah and let us not forget my latest brilliant idea. *Double Face Palm* I want to gather up all the erotica and whatnot that I write for my own twisted entertainment and publish it too. I am thinking a book of short stories or even just really long scenes. Something that you can grab for a quick thrill and not get overly engrossed in. Just enough to leave you tingling for more. Of course the things I write for my own needs make the scenes in my regular novels look PG13. I fear that if I do in fact publish these tidbits of fun, it will have an ESRB rating NR17 or higher… It won’t quite be an X rating. But it will need a warning label of some kind and possibly a penname. I haven’t decided on the penname yet.

But yes, my dearest reader… I am writing. I write about a thousand words or more every day. Sometimes I keep those words and other nights I toss them off to be looked at later. I love to write. It is one of my greatest passions. I do not think I would do well in a world that did not allow me to write and express myself. I promise to endeavor to actually get more up on this blog, my metaphysics blog, and my Author Page as well.

For tonight, I am going to go to my rest and I bid you a glorious evening and wondiferous tomorrow whenever it shall find you. Good night dear reader…

Until next time

J.R.

On Beta Reading, Editing, and Not Being Appreciated

On Beta Reading, Editing, and Not Being Appreciated

Dear Readers, I am about to go on a bloody rant and get real pissy. You have been warned. This is the evil, psycho, mean side of me coming out. I’m not apologizing. I just want you to have fair warning here and now.

I am, at heart, when it comes down to profession, a writer. I live for the written word. I love the look of ink on the page as it forms new shapes, then those shapes become words, the words become sentences, the sentences become paragraphs, and the paragraphs become a tale needing to be told. Nothing brings me more pleasure than reading wonderful tales told by wonderful minds. I greatly enjoy telling my own tales as well. I want to spend my life writing and telling amazing tales. I want to share my universes with anyone who will spare me a minute of their time.

I have been writing since I was in high school. I have been studying the art and craft of writing since high school as well. At least three out of five books that I read over a seven-day period are books on how to better my writing craft or some other kind of research that goes into my writing as well. I pour my mind, body, and soul into my work. I bust my ass to do the work I do. And I don’t do it for some amazing amount of money. I don’t do it for the glam and fame. I do it because I am driven to do it.

If you come to me and ask me to look at your great new writing project… if you come to me and ask me to do a beta on your new shiny story… if you come to me for my opinion… if you come to me for edits and feedback… Please don’t waste my time by ignoring every freaking, single thing, I say to you. Don’t get pissed off at me when it takes me two weeks to simply read and then beta your 80,000-word document.

When I take on a project like that. I drop everything to do with my own work. I pour hours of my day into your work and your future. I spend time on you that I could and should be spending with my loved ones. I drop my life for the entire time I am focused on your work so that I can help better you. AND I do it out of the fact that I have been there and I know how hard it is to get the help you need when you are starting out. But I put my mental, physical, and emotional health on hold, too.

By the time I have read your story all the way through, done all the corrections that a good beta reader should, made a few editing tweaks (because I’m nice like that), and left a page worth of notes and commentary… I’ve spent myself to the point of exhaustion, all so you could make YOUR deadline. To hell with mine, right?

Well here’s the thing. I am done being nice people. In the last six weeks I have done over fifteen beta reads. THAT’S 1-5. 15. That’s over two a week for six weeks straight. My home life is suffering, my kid is worried sick about me, my work is suffering, and I am mentally exhausted. NO MORE. I have been doing all of this for free and have never asked for anything in return. Not once have I asked for any kind of recompense or tit for tat. But, enough is bloody enough.

I need to take care of me and mine and that means that I have to work on my own work. I have to take care of myself in all aspects. I need to focus on me and mine. If you want me to beta or edit for you, that’s great, but I need to have something in it for me too. I want you to succeed. I really do. But I want me to succeed too.

So as of tonight I am not taking on anymore “work” that does not help me as well. I know that that sounds bitchy and selfish as all hell. But after six weeks of throwing myself into other people’s work and being told that I am in fact a “Selfish Bitch”, simply for not taking on more and putting more time into other people’s work. I’m done.

 

It’s been a wild ride, but I’m getting off now.

PSYCHO RANT OVER!

Love, Peace, Snuggles, Hugs, Unicorns, and Rainbows…

BREATHE DEEP; FUCKING SEEK PEACE

Up and Coming From Me…

Up and Coming From Me…

I know I haven’t written here in a bit and for that I do apologize. I have been working really hard on the new books I’m writing, as well as writing another blog that has absolutely nothing to do with my writing or my characters’s universe. I’ve also been doing a lot of beta reading and editing for friends and family. My daughter just wrapped up her last semester of school for the summer last month, and given that she is home schooled, I suddenly find myself fighting to find extra things for her to do without my supervision or greater interaction. And along with everything else… I am attempting to have a normal life as well as be semi social on a random occasion. But, that is no excuse to abandon you, my dear reader. So, I was hoping you would forgive me if I gave you a slight taste of the up and coming for my writing works.

In my first book, Cold Crypt Cellars, you were introduced to Krystianna Aramis and some of her closer friends. Krystianna visited Ohio and had some grand adventures as well as some terrible heart ache. In the up coming book, Behind the Masque, Krystianna is  back on her home grounds and is preparing for the West Coast Grand Gala. The Gala is a gathering of all the heads of the supernatural community in the west coast region. As well as a way to for everyone to show off and play the game of politics. A lot is going on in Krystianna’s personal life as well as in the community. A serial killer is making the community stand together and at the same time question loyalties, and the entire Vampire Council has representatives in town including Krystianna’s very own father. Tensions are high and things just keep piling up for our favorite vampire heroine.

I’m also working on a separate novel that has nothing to do with Krystianna’s universe. This one is pure horror and violence. Daemons, as they have come to be called, have enslaved the human race and hunt them for sport and amusement. It’s the early 9th century and humans are just coming into their own. These Daemons are another dominate race. While semi human in appearance they are an altogether different species. They are larger and stronger than the average human. Some of them have the ability of flight, and all of the race is telepathic. I don’t want to go into to much detail on this one as I am still fleshing it out and tweaking details.

And last but not least, I am thinking of taking Cold Crypt Cellars off the market for a few months, making some much needed edits, and adding in few of the original cut chapters that will help flesh out the story line a little more. I’m not positive on this one yet, but it may be in the works. Just keep a heads up for any updates.

Well, that’s all the fun I have for now my dear reader. Have a blessed night and wondiferous morrow.

30 Day Writing Challenge Day 22 (Your Morning Routine)

30 Day Writing Challenge Day 22 (Your Morning Routine)

Okay, fair warning, this may be the shortest blog post I’ve done yet. I don’t really have a morning routine, as I don’t really do mornings or routines. *dies* I will try to explain my “the wake-up routine” and hope that that suffices.

Alarm goes off, I hit snooze and crawl back under the covers for 10 minutes of hiding from the burning light of the day star. Alarm goes off again, I hit snooze again. Rinse; Repeat… about 3 or 4 times. Then I call for the squish to see what she is up to and to help me with my 20 minute torture session.

I drag myself out of bed, stumble across the hall to the restroom, deal with mother nature, and stumble back into the bedroom. If I’m feeling really lazy I throw on a short sun dress, if not I pull on underthings, pants, and a tank top (most days anyway).

My daughter then helps me with my ritualistic torture session. We first have to get socks on my very swollen and still healing broken ankle. Then the ankle brace goes on; it has to be laced up, figure 8 strapped in place, and then another strap goes around all that. One brace down, two to go. We’ve learned that it is easier to put on my new shoes before the leg braces go on, so we fight with shoes for a good few minutes and then it’s onto our next favorite part.

If I’m wearing a dress, I sit on my bed with my dress around my waist and my legs straight out in front of me. If I’m wearing pants, my daughter sits at the foot of the bed and holds my pant legs as straight as possible to keep me from getting them scrunched in my braces. Then we take turns doing up Velcro straps in 8 different places along my leg. Four above and four below my knee cap. My braces come up to my very inner thigh and go down to my lower calf. There is about a 4 inch gap between my ankle brace and the bottom of my leg brace. We do this routine for each leg. All in all we have gotten it down to about 15 -20 minutes if we work in sync. But there are days where we are both too tired to function that it takes a bit longer.

Once I’m in my daily bondage set and everything is in place, I take about 2 minutes to run a brush through my long hair (it’s about 2 inches above my waist), pull my hair back into a pony tail or knot of some kind, and ignore it after that. Unless I’m going to be in public, then I take about another minute to make sure I pass for human.

I sit on my office chair (AKA Yoga Ball), do some basic stretches just to get the kinks out, then I get ready to do my other morning torture set. I am diabetic and have to do shots through out the day. I check my fasting blood sugar, do the math for one of my injections so I can eat, then I stab myself in the abdomen three times just so I can get through the day without my blood sugar spiking or crashing like all hell.

Once all the fun is out of the way, my daughter and I head down the 16 stairs of pain and we grab breakfast (read lunch for you daytime people), then it’s sitting down at the laptop or trudging back up the bloody stairs, to go do schoolwork.

It varies some from day to day but that’s about it for me.

How does your morning routine go my dear readers?