(Picture borrowed from Debbie Burns, head unicorn and founder of Debbieburns.me all rights to it are hers)
My writing mentor posted this picture earlier. It brings up a topic that I believe I would like to try and tackle. I have no doubt of how capable I am. I am aware of my strengths, my flaws, and the areas I need to work on. Still I have moments where I question my worth.
Now I could blame my past for that doubt. Claim that I am flawed because no one has ever seen my worth….but I really hate that. It is possible to both know your capability and to doubt your worth. I am a strong and open minded individual, still I struggle. I don’t see what others claim is talent. I see a lifetime of fighting. Of me trying to be half of what those around me said I was.
I struggle because this is the path I see. I stuggle because I refuse to quit. Perhaps the above is true, perhaps some can see the ability within and it will set them free…still not all of those who are struggling fail to see their own capability. I am a strong woman, I have a generous heart. I am creative, with a quick mind. I am a survivor who has learned to be more….still I have days when I don’t understand the love everyone around me has for the broken soul I am. Days when I am the one that sees too much of life and has no way of processing it.
This is just part of being me. Those who love me generally understand those days. They are quick to reach to help me understand why I am loved. And even then I understand my capability…even as I have no understanding of my self worth.
I struggle to see myself as others do. I can list my flaws innumerable. I logically know that I am not what my mental gremlins say. I am not selfish, nor cruel…not intentionally anyway. Still there are those days where I expect more out of people simply because it is something that I can do. I am a poor uneducated woman who is more than a little crazy. I am in constant pain due to physical issues. Still I show up, I do what needs done, and I move on. So on the occasion that I need to remind myself that I am not normal….well I find myself also reminding myself to be kind.
Kindness is not just for the rest of humanity. Sometimes the person who needs your kindness most is yourself. My writing coach, the Amazing Debbie Burns, gave me a couple of methods of dealing with the negative thoughts. One involves listing 100 words about yourself. You then relace negative words with positive ones. This is meant to try to get the brain to replace them when you think about self. We have to try and train ourselves to keep the mental gremlins at bay. Still after a lifetime of self abuse, it is not terribly easy to see the good that everyone else does.
So I will continue to do my word lists to help me see the bright light shining. I will start with the words I did above. “poor uneducated crazy” are all three replaceable. Yes, I have money woes but I have food, I have clothes, I have shelter. So I am content. There see one word replaced. Uneducated is not true. I have my high school diploma. I have taught myself computer programming in c#. I have studied several other things independently. So I can replace that with self educated. Now only one word remains. Crazy. Ugh it is the hardest. After all, I am struggling with mental illness. I am aware of the stigmas. I think perhaps for that I should use the word Unique.
So what words do you say about yourself that perhaps you need to change? I would encourage everyone to examine the labels we use to define ourselves, and in turn the labels we call others.
I have a confession…writing poetry with certain constraints has always made me antsy. I have felt like I was somehow not good enough to write following the rules. So, I have written copious amounts of free verse…avoiding the structure of any fotms.
Then, as I grew as a writer and a poet, I found myself saying I don’t write that way too often. Well why the Hell not? Am I a Poet? Or do I just pretend I am?
So, when presented with a form/structure poem idea, I start by looking up the rules. For me, this is my go to site.
Believe me, I feel like a high school student again. In high school I knew the rules and felt my style was better as free verse. I think that if anyone tried to tell me that I needed to follow rules with my poetry I even would blow it off with poetic license.
The rebel nature of free verse still appeals. I will likely never be the next Haiku or Sonnet genius. Poetry speaks from the heart, and mine is often chaotic and unstructured. The meaning remains though.
So, just out of curiousity, what is your favorite types of poetry? Why?
This is one of the hardest topics. After all, most days I feel like I am a failure at being a parent. Am I? Many say no. But, still I feel the strain. Today, I found myself angry. Not at my daughter, but at my mother. An old hurt came forth from a new wound.
Now, Since becoming a mother I find myself asking how much of my issues with her stem from normal teen angst. But, somethings….
My daughter is beautiful. And I try to protect her from those with the lack of vision to see her as she is. Today that included my own mother, who sees things no differently than she did when I was a teen. Which is really her loss. Through my anger and misery, I reached out to friends. Friends who could listen to me rant and understand the pain behind it.
The pain of a society that feeds the stigma my mother uses. Big equals unhealthy. The whole situation was that my teen was 250 lbs. She, through healthier choices and adding excersize has lost 20lbs. She also gained an inch. So today when we went to a local health fair, a doctor at the hospital used her height and weight to determine her bmi. She was told it was within normal range.
I tried telling my mom, thinking that she would be proud of my baby. I forgot that my mother was always harshest about my weight. So when my mom responded that the doctor lied and that my daughter was not in normal BMI for her height, my heart broke. Instead of another soul to encourage a little girl struggling with her self image I had found another to tear her apart. I will not allow it. This is where I am becoming the parent I want to be.
To those who would have negative views of her….
I will not allow your issues to hurt her! She is healthy, and still working out who she is to be. Maybe I am overweight, but when I look at her I do not see numbers. I see a beautiful, sensitive child who is already struggling. I teach her about healthy choices and I let her decide how she will be. She is still growing. She has already gotten taller than I. She will reach the stars! And I will not allow your issues to stop her. Your judgement is unwanted, and if you cannot see her amazingness then you are not needed in her life!
A mother tired of judgements
I normally use my personal fb page for sharing the rare gofundme, but this is an orphanage in need. Please if you can help it will go along way! If not let’s pass it along to find the ones who are able to help!
mountain star orphanage Kenya
First off, I apologize for being a day late in posting. The headache monster visited yesterday, so I got little of my work accomplished.
Villains are tricky. We as writers often see the villain as a tool, two dimensional concept of evil…as a reader though I am here to tell you that is the end of a story. Even worse than plot holes, a two dimensional villain is enough to ruin an otherwise great story.
I have a sure fire way of testing my villains. I give them flaws, make them as realistic as I can. Then I imagine them in town and let the mental movie unfold… I as I am watching ask myself three questions…
1) Is the character sympathetic? A villain who we can sympathize with will make the story more interesting. Also I am one who thinks that the story should leave the reader wondering if they are happy with the villains defeat.
2) Is there a way to defeat the villain? Though I think that the villains defeat should raise questions about how the reader feels about it, defeat is usually in the life of a villain. And a overpowering villain is often no fun for the hero… Unless the story is not supposed to get the happy ending.
3) what are the traits that are showing up most with your villain? Has s he/ she got flaws or traits that you should pay closer attention to? A good villain often has fears, and accomplishments that they are proud of. This makes a far more rounded character. Villains are still characters, and the story is best when you treat them as such!
Who is my audience? As an author there is not a day that goes by that I am not asking myself this question. I have, I think come to a decision on it. My children’s books: the audience is fairly obvious. Children. I really write them for my daughter (and now my grandson). Which is why I believe that the third bedtime stories will be mid grade. The first two were stories written for her when she was small. The third started for a preteen. (And now she is helping me write it. She was suggesting ideas for the story and is looking forward to hear it when it is done. She refused me reading it until then.) But I write more than just children’s books.
My poetry I have always written for me. So do I really have an audience for it? Yes, and no. It is always going to be how I cope with the world… It is more that then it is written for a particular audience. That being said, the reason why I published it is because my coping mechanisms can possibly help someone else who may be in a bad place. Or not, I am not sure it matters there. My poetry is the clearest view inside of my soul. To tell the truth I publish it because I can. I have lost so much of my poetry over the years… This is the way of preserving it digitally so I will not lose anymore.
Last but not least, there is Serena’s stories. Anything that I write that is adult in nature will be published under Serena Mossgraves. Currently that seems to be horror. I am not sure if it all will be… I just know that I will not be doing erotica… It embarrasses me to write it. So I figure her audience will be adults, preferably who enjoy what I write.
All seems simple enough. I only hope that I am able to create a story that someone likes.