Problems Thinking

Maybe I’m just overwhelmed by our upcoming move, but I have almost no concentration.  I am managing to read a few blogs, but not as many as usual.  I’m discombobulated.  I’m not catching up with my fellow bloggers well.  And when I do read a blog, I have found that I have nothing to say.  No comment.  Even on some of the most controversial blogs I read, like Myatheistlife, Shaunynews, and The Pink Agendist.  Maybe I don’t feel the need to put in my two cents worth any more.   I still care about things, but it seems I no longer have an opinionated comment.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

ImageI think it’s part of my inability to read a book.  I don’t think I’ve finished reading a book in more than a year.  It’s part of why I am having so much trouble writing.  If you don’t read, writing is very hard, I’ve found.  Back when I could read two books at a time, and finish a 7-book series in 4 weeks, I was writing like a demon.  Publishing short stories, searching for new markets, researching novels which sit unfinished in a box in the closet.  What happened?

And I haven’t smoked in months, so you’d think my mind would be pretty clear.  It seems like I just have more and more blank space in my head.  Maybe I shouldn’t fight it.  Just sit back and make my jewelry (which is a pretty empty-headed task) til I run out of material.  Trust that my concentration may return, and be content if it does not.

Decisions

I wrote 1500 words of my novel today!  Yay me.  I’m so excited to be working on it again.  I had done NaNo back in November and reached 25,000 or so words, but hadn’t really worked on it since.  I had made some notes in December, but still hadn’t typed much of anything until today.happy

I realized I have been doing too many things.  I talked about this at length with my therapist.  I have so many things I want to do, and I want to do them all at once.  But I don’t have to do them all at once.  I can work on just a couple of them at a time.  Like my novel.  I set a goal to finish it, but was distracted by all the other things I’d been doing.  The genealogy, jigsaw puzzles, spending hours pushing my political views on other people via Facebook.  Well today, or rather yesterday, I decided it was time to concentrate on the two items that are most important to me right now.  My novel and writing in general (so that includes this blog–lucky for you, my dear readers. LOL) and my online jewelry store.  When I finish my novel I will work on publication, but that’s a whole other task, so I won’t worry about that now either.

Some things I will drop all together.  Mainly my pursuit of stand up comedy.  I just can’t do all the traveling and selling myself, competing with younger kids.  I need that energy to push my jewelry and my book.  I figure I did some comedy.  Had a great time doing it, and maybe sometime down the road I will get on stage again.  But for now I will put that aside.  I am at peace with that.

Blue crystal cube on gold wire.
Blue crystal cube on gold wire.

Tomorrow I will work on creating business cards for my shop.  I will wear my own creations proudly and prominently and hopefully people will notice.  I will always have cards handy should anyone notice my rings.  I can leave my cards in strategic locations (where ever those might be).  Then my grandson came to me and asked if I still wanted to “get rid of” some of my pieces.  I told him yes, and he told me about the school auction.  I dismissed the idea quickly, telling him that it was a good idea, but the money made on my jewelry would go to the school, and not to me.  Later I reconsidered.  It could be a great place to sort of advertise my stuff.  Many people at his school are quite well off and well connected to all sorts of endeavors.  I could donate some pieces and make sure to display my web address prominently.   I’ll have to find out what they are looking for and what price range, but it sounds like a plausible idea.  What do you think?

Turquoise and garnet ring
Turquoise and garnet ring

So those are my two main points of focus.  No more politics (for now).  No more wasting time on Facebook, or researching various subjects (except for research for my novel).  I have a schedule where I will write every morning until at least noon.  Except for class days, then I will write when I get home.

I hope to start selling my pieces so I can go back to making them.  I do so enjoy the creative process.  I’m well pleased with how my novel is going and think I can keep it up.  I just need to keep to my schedule, and not allow myself to be distracted by too many other interests.  It’s like suddenly my whole world has opened up, and I want to do everything all at once.  I need to relax slow down and really enjoy doing the things I am doing.  I’ll finish my jigsaw puzzle this weekend and not do another one until my novel is finished.

Things on My Mind

Things continue to go well and I find I have little to blog about.  There are still issues with motivation and time.  I find I never have time to work on my novel.  Or am I just avoiding it? I still have notes to go through and I’m 3/4 the way finished.  So close, and yet so far.  I planned to work on it every day last week, and every day since November, but always run out of time.  There’s really nothing to be done except write.

I also have a lot of work to do on my genealogy that I keep putting off and I don’t know genealogywhy.  I really want to get this done.  It’s a lot of work too.  Maybe that’s why I’m avoiding it.  I have both sides of my husband’s family to write out.  When I go generation by generation I find errors and missing information and love to work on getting that corrected and completed.  Maybe I’m a little bored and disappointed with being unable to find real personal information.  I did find an interesting tidbit about one of husband’s great grandfather where he attempted suicide.  Husband does not believe that it is the right man, but the limited details of the tiny article match up with the information I have.  Those are the stories I want to know.  I want to find the details of when one of husband’s great grandads and grand uncles when they went to Colorado during a silver mining boom.  Where did they live?  Did they work for one of the big mining companies, or for themselves?  Those are the stories that give our ancestors life.  Without that all you have are names and dates and places.  That’s where the real work comes in.  Work I cannot do, because I don’t have the funds to travel to Colorado and study their historical records since most of those kinds of records are not available on line.

 Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

It seems I need more discipline and stick to a schedule so I’m working on that.  I now have signed up for two Zumba classes, plus my Tai Chi, and volunteer at the shelter.  I also am trying to go to the Buddhist Center to their noon meditation classes.  I want to go at least twice a week.  I’m not buying into the entire Buddhist take at this particular center, but I find going to the meditation helps to center me.  When I walked away from Buddhism completely for its “religious” nature, I found myself floundering.  My idea of Buddhism does not match that of this particular center, but that’s ok.  I don’t have to buy into their version.  For me Buddhism is about being a good person, treating other people kindly, and being grateful and humble.  That is the basic roots of it, from what I have read, and I have read quite a lot, but mostly the Dalai Lama.  So I guess I’m more into the Tibetan Buddhism (but without the belief of being born again and again) and less the Tushita Kadampa version practiced here in town.

Of course, then there is my online jewelry site.  I have to take more pictures of my jewelry

Turquoise shard wire ring
Turquoise shard wire ring

and get those posted.  That’s a lot of work and I know I’m avoiding that because it is a lot of work.  I also have clay figures I used to make.  I find them cute and funny and think other people would enjoy them as well.  I can have another ‘department’ on my page, so I wouldn’t have to mix up the jewelry with the clay stuff and the name of my shop (LSJayHandmade) would still be appropriate.  (http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/LSJayHandmade).  I realize that I need to keep advertising, perhaps every two months or so for a year or more.  I bought some advertisement space, but never did see it on the site, which was really frustrating and disappointing.  I never had the time to look(ed) into it and didn’t contact the site manager about it.  I kick myself over that, but am trying not to fret about things in the past.  But I’m afraid I wasted my money on the first ad.  I will be more careful on my second ad and find out how I can view it.  I should also invest in some ad time on my Facebook jewelry page (https://www.facebook.com/LsJayHandmade).

Then I need to have the time to promote civil/lgbt/human rights, the legalization of marijuana, and reducing mandatory minimums for non-violent offenses.  It’s too easy for cops to bust the stoner for paraphernalia, or arrest the crack addict for having $20 rock of crack.  Hey, here’s an idea, how about cops bust the meth manufacturers and give ‘fix-it’ tickets for minor drug infractions instead of 10 years in jail, they don’t need to go to jail, but need to go to rehab for 6 months or they get some sort of fine?  Why not treat people kelly thomas(esp. drug addicts, mentally unstable) like people  instead of criminals?  I know, radical thinking here.  We would need to retrain US cops (perhaps they won’t kill you for being a homeless schizophrenic drug addicts (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2538966/California-police-officers-NOT-GUILTY-murdering-homeless-man-piling-screamed-air.html).  Of course, this would mean we need more therapists and drug counselors, and many more (affordable) rehab facilities.  Well, would you look at that Congress, I just created thousands of new jobs!

NaNo Week Three and Other Stuff

Well it’s NaNoWriMo week three and I’ve been going gangbusters.  I even wrote an outline for booksthe rest of the book.  I never use outlines. I’ve done some character sketches, which I’ve never done in the past.  I even have the ending worked out.  I usually don’t get that far until I’m nearly through writing (my endings are always a weak point).  I’ve already edited the first 15000 words or so.  Moved some bits here and deleted bits there.  Changed names of characters and decided just how many main characters I want.  I don’t want as many as those in The Hobbit–all those dwarves!  So I’ve got it narrowed down to six major characters and that feels like a suitable amount.  25,000 words and counting! Yay me!  I may actually finish this–no–I will finish it, even if I don’t finish in time to qualify for NaNo.  I’m excited and feeling pretty energized (even though I am dead tired right now).   I even have the threads of a sequel.

Thanks to input from you kind readers and the help of my therapist, I’ve decided not to contact my family.  My therapist has me writing them letters, and I’ve finished three.  I probably won’t send them, since they won’t really mean anything to my siblings.  My son is talking with one sister via Facebook.  I think Husband has sent her a message too.  I’m afraid to ask if he has asked her to call or anything.  Now that I’ve decided I no longer need them in my life.  I suppose if she makes an effort to call, I would talk to her, but I doubt it would go any farther.  That’s what I discussed with my therapist today.  Whether I’d be able to accept the occasional call, dropping of a birthday card, call to wish me Happy Holidays.

But I don’t.  I need more than that.  I want someone who needs me in their life.  To call me just to say hi, not twice a year on my birthday and New Years (which fall within 30 days of each other).  I want them to want to visit me.  I just have to acknowledge that I want/need more of them than they are apparently capable of giving me.  I always have wanted something more from them than I got.  I don’t know what would make them change the way they operate after all these years.   Sure, I know, I’ve changed a lot and I am not giving them the benefit thinking any of them have changed.  It would be hard for them to make room for me in their lives.  I can’t really relate to that, but I think I can accept it.  Can I exclude myself from all the good and the bad news?  I’ve missed knowing those things for more than 20 years–I won’t miss those things any more.  Can I live knowing that I won’t know when my mother dies?  I think now, not particularly sadly, the answer is yes.  I think I have come to accept that my siblings are and never were the family I needed.  I always needed more of them.  More effort to be a part of my life.  An effort they were never willing to make, and I’m sure would be impossible for them at this point.  Perhaps I’m wrong.  I can live with that.  I’ve been wrong before and I’m still in the end finally ok.

I also found out today that I should be getting disability benefits!  My lawyer called and said I’ve been approved at the second highest level of review.  There is only another cursory check, and he’s never seen anyone be denied after being approved at this point.  He also said I’ve received an onset date of December 2011; the date on my first application, which would entitle me to back pay (minus the unemployment).  I still can’t believe it.  I told my therapist today, I can’t really believe it until I see the acceptance letter.  Still I feel a great sense of relief.  Not that this will change my financial position any.  But it eliminates any questions, gives us security in knowing it won’t run out, like unemployment.  At last we can make active decisions as to what to do next.

SeattleWashington state is still under consideration.  H and I really need some alone together time, and distance from son and grandson.  I know the weather up there can be pretty miserable, but if I don’t have to slog to work everyday in the rain, I think I can handle it.  It’s just about impossible to live in my beloved California on a fixed income.  I also understand I will be eligible for medicare next May, which is the same time Husband has hoped to be able to at least go to part-time work.  Anything but driving.

At nearly 53 I am becoming happy and positive about the future for the first time.

New Online Jewelry Store

Getting my new online jewelry store up and running.  I have 118 photos to upload and some 30 pieces of jewelry to caption and describe.  I want to make some business cards to hand out at my neighbor’s Holiday Boutique on the 30th, where I will be selling some of my jewelry.  I already ordered 200 little organza drawstring bags to wrap them in.  Hope to sell more than one, but doubt I’ll sell all 200 pieces.   (If you’re curious you can check out my store at http://www.artfire.com/browse/?term=lsjayhandmade.)  I spent a lot of last year making all these, but had to stop because nothing was selling at the other websites I tried.  Got my fingers crossed this time will work better, since I already have over 50 views on my stuff.  No sales (of course) but a lot more views in the first few weeks on this site than a year on the other two sites combined.  Hope that’s a good sign.  Not that I expect to become a millionaire this way, I do hope I am able to augment my diminished income.Turquoise and garnet ring

I finally decided to dredge up my old fantasy novel to work on for NaNoWriMo.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it actually seemed pretty good.  I’m kind of jazzed about it again.  I wrote more than 20,000 words last November, maybe I can get 30,000 more this November.  I am pleased to be at least editing it again:  I’m not writing 1000 words a day, but I am editing up to 3000 words a day.   I will still try to get in an hour or so editing tonight.  I haven’t had much chance to edit since I’ve spent most of today on my website.  I like how the story is going and may post my first chapter up here to share.

My work at the shelter may involve some fund raising events.  I have the chance to volunteer at two different holiday boutiques coming up.  Not sure what would be involved in volunteering.  As long as I don’t have to handle cash, I’m comfortable.  Also have the chance to bring in baked goods for them to sell as well.  Any excuse to make cookies is enough for me.  Son said he might make mini pumpkin pies as well.  The didn’t ask for it, but we also make peanut butter cups, which are always a big hit.  It is expensive to bake anymore, so I would have to limit what we brought, but all the money goes to a fund for the veterinarian care of the animals that come to the shelter.  This consists of not the spay or neutering, which is basically charged to the adopting family, but for the various illnesses the animals show up with.  Some need antibiotics, and others need surgery for broken bones.  Pretty awful to think of these poor critters not getting good health care while at the shelter (they don’t like it when I call it “jail”) so I’m happy to donate what I am able, if only my time.  I think I would really miss working at the shelter should I go back to work.

Son has been kicking around the idea of going to some sort of tech school.  He’s considered X-ray tech or similar medical technician, which would be very nice income for someone without a college degree.  He’s also a great cook and enjoys it, so he was looking at culinary school.  It would be a year long process and he couldn’t do online studies, obviously, but for him to be interested at all is huge.  He also finally got new glasses recently.  He’s been complaining about his old glasses for about three years now, so it’s a huge relief not to have to hear him complain about not being able to see, nor afford new glasses.  YAY!!

I can’t believe it…well, yes I can: Christmas decorations are going up all over town, hanging from light posts and draped in the stores.  I have already done much of my shopping (online) and don’t plan to do much more.  Not being Christian, I don’t have a religious reason to observe, and then being sort of anti-consumerism, I don’t spend a lot of money.  This year I want to paint grandson’s room and get a throw rug in there.  That’s about all I want.  Though we are still kicking around the idea of visiting Seattle over the holiday break between Christmas and New Years.  We’ll see.  It would be a pretty good test to see if we could handle living in the city in the grayest state in the Union.  I’d really like to do it, but as my unemployment just ran out and I don’t know that I’ll get the extension I applied for (probably) and even if I do, my benefits will be somewhat reduced.  Of course, we were just getting our heads above water (sans mortgage payment, of course) with all our bills.   Thank you Republicans!