Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Writing Wrap-Up (Catch-up!) October 2012

It's been a while since I summarized the writing that I've been doing, so I'm going to play a little bit of catch-up for anyone who is interested.

On Helium.com I've added some flash fiction pieces, Death Overthrows, The Next Best Thing, and A Deep Awakening. Please note that these titles may be different on the Helium page, since it has to go under a general title, but I still have my own titles.

I've also thrown in a little bit of something new (and yet also old, for those who have known me a few years) by dabbling into the poetry section. Changing Memories, Neverending Ends, You and Me, and We Are One.

Finally on the Helium front, I've done some reviewing of entertainment and media. First was a review of Trespassing, the new album by the wonderful Adam Lambert. Next was a review of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, followed by Paper Towns by John Green. Lastly (for now), a review of the Doctor Who episode "Blink" which was one of my favourites.

Other than that, I've done some work for The Golden Vanguard, the online news site that I've been with since they started. This includes another similar review of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (great book! Gotta spread the love!). I also did a review of The Amazing Spiderman, the newest incarnation of the Marvel hero Spiderman, starring Andrew Garfield.

Some Halloween contributions for The Golden Vanguard include a brief history of the Salem Witch Trials, and something a little more recent which is the topic of whether or not children's costumes should be "sexy" (my opinion is a strong and emphatic NO!).

So that's what I've been up to lately. If you have any comments, questions, etc, feel free to leave them here or drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Meaninglessness of Labels

There is an unspoken perception in the world, a perception that affects each and every person and yet hides unnoticed.

That is the perception of labels and simplicity.

Regardless of your social status, if people see you on the street they will full on judge you based on what you're wearing.

Wearing skinny jeans and nerd glasses? Hipster.
Wearing bright colours that don't quite match and lots of jewelry? Raver.
Dressed all in black draping clothing? Goth.

Do you want to know what's interesting? You could see me on the street on any given day wearing one of these outfits, and yet I don't consider myself any of the above three labels.

The clothes you wear can certainly impact how people see you and interpret your behaviour. But clothing does not make you a label, and labels don't force you into any type of clothing.

There is no rule that says only goths are allowed to wear tacky halloween jewelry and dark clothing all the time, just as there is no rule saying that only hipsters can drink Starbucks and listen to obscure music.

You make your own labels, and you destroy them. Life isn't as simple as slapping a label onto someone and calling it official.

Life is deep, complicated, mixed up, and shaded with every colour imaginable. There is nothing simple, binary, or easy about life or about other people. There is only variances.

Break the rules, and break the labels. They mean nothing.

So what if you want to wear a baggy sweatshirt on top of your nice professional shirt? So what if you love those jeans that may have a couple of holes in them but they still fit like a dream?

So freaking what.

Dress for yourself, be honest with yourself, and accept that each person will dress in whatever they want and that doesn't make them any better or worse of a person.

Peace, love, and butterflies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reading, Writing, and Halloween

Stuff that is going on right now:
-Lots of reading (John Green is my current novelist of choice, and let me tell you... phenomenal)
-Trying to write, despite the daunting and crushing pressure of my inner critic
-Making my own Halloween costume!

Life is what you make it, and right now for me it is busy. Not busy in the pretentious "oh I'm just soooo busy" but busy in the "there's a lot of things I'm working on right now and it's kind of overwhelming but satisfying at the same time" kind of way.

Which might also sound pretentious, but that interpretation is on you.

Searching out ways to tell myself that my writing is good enough is a challenge, and the thought of other people reading my fiction (as much as I WANT SO BADLY to be published) is horrifyingly scary.

Yet, how will I ever acheive it if I don't suck it up and do it?

I won't. My therapist told me the same thing. Yet, who would want to read my drabble aside from the WonderWife (who would say it's good even if she thought it was skunk-sprayed-garbage because she loves me and knows that writing makes me happy)?

Such is the trouble.

However, I am not going to let that stop me. If anyone reading this would be interested in commenting on or reviewing anything I've written (fiction or non-fiction), let me know! I need feedback to grow!

And if you want, I will return the favour by giving my honest thoughts on your creative outpouring of your soul.

As always, peace, love, and nerdtastic.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Quirky Habits

So I decided to make a list of all the weird or quirky things I do for no real logical reason.

1. When I take a newspaper from a newspaper box, I never take the top one, even if the top one is intact. I usually take the fourth one. If there is only one paper, I won't take it.

I don't really have a reason for this, I just don't take the top few. People have touched those ones, and messed them up. I like a nice clean newspaper that hasn't been sullied.
2. My closet needs to be organized in a certain way or I can't find my clothes. I will take pictures of my closet and post them at a later date.
By I can't find my clothes, I literally mean that I cannot get dressed until it's fixed. I know it's weird, and I know there's no reason for it, but it's just one of those things. I don't mind having my closet organized though, and it doesn't take long to put stuff away in order, so it doesn't detriment me much.
3. I have a terrible memory, and so to help myself remember stuff, I have to write it down. Which sounds pretty average, except that it has to be hand written onto a notepad or somewhere flat.
Notebooks and agendas are no good, anything easily portable does not reliably help retain brain stuff. Thanks to my smart phone, I get pop up reminders, which is great. But it doesn't have the same satisfaction of just straight up remembering stuff.
4. If I'm listening to music, I'm either singing along silently or grooving. No matter if I'm on the bus, walking up the street, or chilling at my desk at work. People look at me weird, but I just love music and grooving out.
I've noticed that very few people do this. It's too bad, music is a key to the soul.

Anyways, I"m sure there are more, but that's all I can think of for now.

Do you have any quirky habits or odd routines? Do people look at you oddly when you do something that seems completely normal to you? Please share, we can rejoice in each others oddities.

Peace, love, and nerdy love!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Milestone! 500 views!

Huzzah, people read me! I've hit 500 views (514 as I write this) in total. Which doesn't seem like a lot to some of the bigger websites and blogs out there, but this is a non-niche, non-specific blog, so I think that's pretty fantastic.

I'd really appreciate getting some feedback on what sort of things people like hearing from me, because I can ramble and I'm also super random. But if there's anything that any one of my readers (regular or not) would like to see, I'd definitely be willing to share!

So here's to my first 500 views, and to my next 500! Maybe I'll hit it in less time.

Please share any thoughts you've got.

And I have a writing wrap-up post coming in short order, since I've been doing a lot of writing lately! Yay!

Peace, love, and geronimo!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Weight of Obligation

Obligation. It’s a heavy word that is thrown around fairly frequently to induce guilt.

Picture yourself in this situation:

There is a work event to ‘pat the back’ of some of the better employees. This is a job where you are treated like crap by everyone, from clients to coworkers alike, you often get yelled at for doing things properly, and yelled at to do things that you are already doing. Your boss forces you to agree to drive 2-4 other employees to this event, even though you don’t know some of the people you would be driving. You weren’t going to attend this event, seeing as a pat on the back doesn’t make up for how miserable you feel about your job.

Do you go? Or do you not? If not, how do you break it to your fellow employees that they are not getting a ride?

This is a challenging situation. If you feel obligation towards others for a commitment that you didn’t actually make, it may be time to reconsider your priorities. Especially if it makes you feel like you are disappointing people that you don’t really have any emotional attachment to. In the interest in relatively full disclosure, I will tell you that this situation did not happen to me, but it did happen to someone I know.

Image source: michaelhyatt.com

Saying no and meaning it

This comes down to the ability to say “no” and stick to it. It is really hard sometimes, especially when it is someone who is superior to you asking (or telling) you to do something. Whether it’s your mother, aunt, grandfather, or boss at work, there is an automatic sense of obligation towards these people. And it doesn’t seem to matter if they ever do anything for you or not. It tends to actually be worse if the person asking (or telling) you do to something for them doesn’t reciprocate, though I honestly have a hard time understanding why that is.

Personally, I have come a long way in terms of being able to say “no” and I confess fully that it is a very hard thing to learn. Especially if you were never allowed to say “no” growing up. Learning to politely, but firmly, decline requests or orders when you are in your 20’s is a process in itself. It starts with confidence. Confidence in yourself to know what you want to do in life and what you are willing to do in others, and confidence enough to be able to put your foot down in the name of yourself.

When you feel obligated to do something that you really don’t want to do, it’s important to figure out why. Why is it that you feel you have to accomplish or complete this ‘obligation’ in order to feel satisfied? Does the requester hold some power over you? Have you intentionally given them this power, or is the power just by proxy from you not putting your foot down earlier? If this is something you want to overcome, it becomes more important to consider the relationships that you have with those around you and the impact their requests have on you.

Image source: xintiammo.blogspot.com

The importance of compromise... on both sides

In the above situation, there ended up being a compromise reached. My friend did end up going to the event, but did not carpool the other employees. Instead, one of the other people who were attending drove a few, and others just took the bus. My friend did have fun, and enjoyed her time there, because the obligation of driving the other individuals was no longer her concern and the car wasn’t going to be used for something that she didn’t want it to be. Close to the middle, and both sides were satisfied because they got something they wanted.

This is often the case when you want to start getting unwanted obligations off your back. Compromise can really work to everyone’s benefit when those on both sides work together. To be able to find a compromise, you need to first assess what you are willing to do in this situation, and how far you are willing to bend your own time to suit the requester’s needs. Then you have to go to that person and talk to them. Tell them your issues and your flexibilities; make sure they understand where the line is that you are saying no more. The only thing left is to find a middle ground.

Image source: redbubble.com

Starting small and gaining confidence

Despite the fact that this can seem confrontational and scary, it isn’t really that bad. My personal experience says that if someone is asking something of you, they want something for a reason. They will usually take any small part of that task or request that you offer, because that’s one less thing that they need to do. Start with smaller things, and work your way towards feeling confident in fully denying things that you really don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable doing. Each time you compromise or deny something like this, your level of confidence and faith in yourself will go up. Stick to your guns and feel good about the things that your precious time and energy are put into.
Everything you do should benefit yourself or your relationships somehow. If it isn’t, you will need to decide if it is really that important for you to do. Use your time on things that really matter to you, that move you forward somehow whether it’s emotionally, physically, or interpersonally. Otherwise, it’s just something that will suck up your time and leave you feeling like you haven’t really achieved anything. I’ve been there, and it’s not a happy place. So start making yourself happier by following your heart and sticking to your guns. It is always worth it.

As always,
Peace, love, and wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff