Hey guys! Here’s my latest video where I discuss my thoughts on commonly complained about apocalyptic tropes.
Hey guys! Here’s my latest video where I discuss my thoughts on commonly complained about apocalyptic tropes.
Happy 2017! I haven’t posted here in ages, but now that a new year and new wave of energy has arrived, it’s time to get this blog active again.
I’ve been going through the process of rebranding my author name for some time now. I mentioned this on my author Facebook page, Twitter, and Youtube channel (you can check out the video here), but I haven’t yet done a blog post to officially make the change, so here it is: After much thought, I’ve decided to switch genres.
In case you can’t tell, I’ve had a bit of an identity crisis as an author. All you have to do is look at this blog. Do I write fiction? Am I a self-help author? A lifestyle blogger? I have a huge spectrum of interests that I’m passionate about, and it’s taken a few years to start making sense of my vision for my career and life.
When I first started writing, I didn’t have any ideas about what sort of writer I’d be. I wasn’t even aware of genre. I knew that some stories were about murder or monsters and others were about high-school romance, but I knew nothing about author branding. I therefore had no plan for my career. I was just writing my book because I loved the story, and when it was revealed to me that I’d written a contemporary romance, I thought, great! Romance is a top-selling genre.
What I didn’t realize was that I’d be expected to continue writing contemporary romance, and if I wanted to write my other stories, I’d have to start over with a new pen name. I didn’t like that. Trying to build a following on social media is hard. As I went through the process of learning about the industry, I began to realize I might have made a mistake.
My main goal had always been to focus on subjects that were closest to my heart: the spirit world, the afterlife, aliens, alternate dimensions, space travel, time travel, monsters, and so on. I like the big stuff. The crazy stuff. Stories that keep you thinking after they end. So when I lost my book deal, I thought it could be a good time to change direction.
I haven’t faced the daunting task of trying to write a blurb about the series I’m working on now, which follows a group of survivors through the apocalypse and beyond. I’m calling it a fantasy with elements of science fiction and romance. It has some typical apocalyptic juiciness you would expect from such a story. At its core, it’s really about an intense connection between a group of people who experience the unimaginable together. They slowly put together a shocking bigger picture that continues to grow from there.
I talk a little bit more about it here.
I’m starting to accept that I’m a slow writer. I took seven years working on my first book. Did I end up with something I’m proud of? Yes. But at that rate, I’m only going to complete a few more books before death. I’m working on speeding up, but I also need to make this the priority in my life if I want to live the dream.
Then again, I’m already living the dream in some way. I love my characters. I love the adventures they experience and how those experiences make them grow and change as people. I love watching them learn. I enjoy witnessing them go through joy, grief, falling in love, or sometimes, even dying. Not every writer is blessed enough to enjoy the experience at the level I do. So while I haven’t found the full dream in life yet, I still feel grateful.
I hope to get a solid draft of book one within a few months. I’m not quite ready to reveal the title yet, but I’m getting there. I’m going to be giving it my full effort. Then, maybe some beta readers. I’m glad to be getting involved with the writer community again. I’m navigating the jungles of change, and I’m becoming the person I was meant to be.
To my future readers: I love you. Please exist. Please find me. Please let me provide you with stories you’ll enjoy. Thank you.
Happy 2017 everyone!
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or mental-health professional. Just another human who struggles with this stuff. I understand what it’s like to read advice that doesn’t work for you. I never want anyone to feel like I’m underestimating the seriousness of depression or other disorders. If you’re in a crisis and need help now, the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. And just in case it isn’t obvious from the subject matter, TRIGGER WARNING.
Always keeping the faith. Always staying strong. Sometimes failing to “stay strong” and ending up with scars to show for it. I watch as my struggles hurt the people around me. I ache as those I love deal with problems of their own. It all gets tiring.
I could write a million blogs on how to stay positive, but this is about what to do in the aftermath of a time you weren’t able to. It doesn’t matter if one massive thing set you off or if it was a series of small incidents over a period of time. Upping your self-care game is the way to start feeling better and getting back on track ASAP.
It’s good to focus on physical things if you’re feeling overwhelmed and unable to make sense of your situation. Water. Bathing and oral hygiene. Food. Fresh air. Sunlight. Exercise if you can. Work if you’re currently capable. The things you have to do. If you’re high strung like me, you probably get cracked out on adrenal hormones after any sort of meltdown and have the tendency to under eat. Other people devour their feelings. Whatever your tendency, just focus on getting nutritionally dense meals and plenty of fluids.
No matter what kind of panic attack, episode, or negative experience you had, it’s safe to say it worsened your mood, and your current outlook likely doesn’t represent reality. It can help to logically work through how your view might be skewed by your emotions.
For example, when I’m struggling, I often end up feeling deep shame for making emotional posts on social media. I think that everyone is looking at me with disgust. And maybe some people are. I lose followers every time I post that I’m struggling, and yes, it does hurt. But screw it. I don’t want unsupportive people following me anyway. I refuse to feel shame for being human, and you shouldn’t either. Let people hate. Let them unfollow. Delete your upset posts if you feel you should, but don’t let them weigh on your soul.
The reality is that most people don’t care about what other people do or say, and even when they are upset by something, they’re often quick to forget. Look how quickly people forget about terrible occurrences like mass shootings. People will talk about something for days, then something new happens, and the first thing is almost completely forgotten. If people have such a short attention span that they easily move on from horrific, life-altering incidents, how long do you think they’ll remember your silly social-media rant? Life is hard. It’s understandable if you overreact sometimes. It’s okay.
The same goes for any other minor “mistakes” you made during your episode. Maybe it’s something as simple as forgetting plans with a friend because you were crying and lost in panic attacks all day. It happens. Apologize and move on rather than beating yourself up.
I consider prayer one of the basic foundations of life, but not everyone shares my spiritual beliefs, and that’s okay. I’m not here to tell you what to believe. For me, giving it up to God is a powerful act. I wouldn’t be alive today without the love and guidance he offers me. That said, I think you can get a lot of the same benefits from releasing your struggles to the universe in some way.
If prayer isn’t your thing, consider writing in a journal as a way to release your pain. Let it all out. Get as nasty as you want. You don’t have to show it to anyone, but it’s a good idea to keep it around, at least for a little while. Examining it when you’re feeling better could provide you a window into the workings of your mind.
Another way to help yourself accept what happened is by seeing if you can learn something from it. A setback can crack your psyche in two and allowed a deeper view within. Sometimes we don’t even realize what’s really bothering us. I didn’t—not until I began working with EFT and trying to manifest positive things with the law of attraction. When I started paying attention to my thoughts, it awakened something inside of me. This has only continued to unfold over the years, and I’ve found that my self-awareness is heightened even more after a major panic attack or breakdown. It’s a good time to be brave and dig deep. Understanding your triggers is the key to healing as many of them as possible.
Okay, at this point you’ve made sure that your basic needs are taken care of, forgiven yourself for any big mistakes you made during your episode, connected to God/your higher self through journaling or prayer, and taken an honest look at your triggers. Hopefully, you’re feeling a little more empowered, but if not, that’s okay. Brain chemistry is complex, and you might be unable to feel better at this time. Don’t beat yourself up about that, either.
Now is a good time to start coming up with a plan to feel better. I can’t give you an exact plan. I’m a writer, not a doctor or a therapist. People need so many different things. Your plan might be as simple as adding more exercise into your regimen or as complex as visiting your doctor to have a variety of medications adjusted. I’m not here to tell you what to do, but there is one thing I feel safe recommending to literally everyone: EFT.
EFT has helped me more than any other form of therapy. I’ve been working with it since my twenties, and it has increased my self-awareness by about a hundred times. It’s so powerful it’s mind blowing. The other day, I felt myself begin to go into a panic attack, and I was able to sort out my emotions and release all my negative energy after only 10-15 minutes of EFT.
It takes dedication, practice, and experimentation to learn about EFT and figure out how it can work for you, but it’s worth it. Please trust me—this practice is amazing. There is a lot of promising research about it too. One study showed that it can significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as reducing the severity of anxiety and depression. The best part is that it’s free!
Moving Forward: Doing the Best I Can
I decided a while ago that I was no longer going to try to be perfect. I’ve accepted that there are some limiting factors in my life, such as chronic pain, but I don’t want to let them stop me. It’s hard to accept, but there are shitty, awful people in this world, and I refuse to let them stop me either. I’m still working toward my dreams every day, and I hope all of you will continue to as well.
Thanks for reading! Please be sure to follow this blog and subscribe to my new Youtube channel!
Monday is my thirty-fourth birthday, and on paper, I’ve accomplished nothing.
Actually, if we’re being technical, I’m going in reverse. I once had a book deal. I once had a cool apartment in Denver. I once had a plan for my life that looked different from what is currently happening. To quote one of my favorite romantic comedies: I am “Benjamin Buttoning.” And you know what? I’m okay with it. Sometimes you have to back up if you want to get on the right path again.
As some of you might already know, my publisher, Georgia McBride Media Group (GMMG), who owns both Month9Books and Swoon Romance, dropped many of their authors recently. There was a lot of scandalous craziness going on with the situation, but I don’t see much point in bathing myself in that negativity any longer. Other people can investigate if they want to, and if you’re interested in learning more about what happened, here is an article. I’ll just say that it wasn’t working out anyway, and I’m happy to be able to start over with self-publishing.
I should have known that I was always meant to be an indie author. I want the freedom to release books on my own schedule, with my own covers, set my own prices, do sales/giveaways when I want, etc. And most of all, I want access to my sales. I still have no idea how many books I sold. I’d guess it isn’t many, but still, I’d like to know. I don’t do well with being kept in the dark about things, and I’m pleased that I’ll never have to deal with that again.
Still, I’m not bitter. It’s hard to shift your perspective when you had hoped something would be your “big break,” but it can be done. This experience gave me a place in the writing world. I can walk away and wish everyone involved the best.
I have to sign a bunch of paperwork to get the rights to my book returned to me. That paperwork will be taken care of within a week or two. As soon as GMMG stops selling the book and takes it down from Amazon, I’ll be free to self-publish. So while the book is going to be temporarily unavailable, it will return.
The sequel, Edge of the Permanent Always, is coming soon!
I have another new book that I might release first, but I’m keeping quiet about it for now, because it might need a bit more work. It’s with a beta reader at the moment.
I have tons of stuff going for my other pen name, too! Aside from my epic supernatural horror love story, which will probably be in-progress for a while, I’m working on a new comedy-horror that I’m really excited about. I had no idea I would ever write anything like this, but I’m loving it!
So yes … I’m about to turn thirty-four, no longer a published author, and on paper, I’ve accomplished nothing. I also have far more freedom and opportunity than a lot of people my age, and for that I’m very grateful. I’m like a thousand high-quality parts that are just sitting on the ground in a big room waiting to be assembled. I’m not sure what this fully formed me will look like or if I’ll even live long enough to see her in the mirror. But I will keep working on building myself. I refuse to let people bring me down.
I want to thank everyone who has offered me love, support, and friendship during this rough time—especially my fellow authors. Getting closer to a lot of you guys was the best part of this entire experience. I feel blessed to be part of such a supportive community.
Stay tuned for more!
Food represents many things for me. It’s a facet of my spirituality. A reason to always be thankful. After struggling for years with food allergies, health issues, and also an eating disorder, I appreciate food now more than ever. Do you know what it’s like to enjoy a slice of pizza for the first time in over three years? Recovery is a beautiful thing.
My food-related Instagram posts were getting a lot of attention, so I figured I might put up a few recipes from Edge of Something More and see how they perform. These aren’t exact recipes but rather vegetarian meals that would regularly be at the homestead. I’m not vegetarian, but I go days or even weeks without meat sometimes. I will share more of the meals I come up with if you guys like them.
A bowl of soup is good for the soul, especially with a nice grill-cheese sandwich! This soup is rich with three of the foods I base my diet around: tomatoes, carrots, and leafy greens. I’ve found that these offer the most value for your dollar. They are cheap, healthy, gluten free, easy to stock up on, and for me, all of that stuff is important.
I wish I could give you guys an exact recipe, but my brain doesn’t work that way. I don’t measure anything. I use approximately three to ninety-five sprinkles of each spice, depending on the mood and what I’m making. If I’m cooking for more than just me, I throw in more handfuls of ingredients. I think I’ve burned out the spice-receiving centers of my tongue and brain by abusing them so much, but people always tell me my food is flavorful. For this recipe, I recommend you add three to four pinches of everything, taste it, and then explore from there.
I start with equal parts water and vegetable broth. I’d say about two cups each, which makes about three to four servings. You can use pure broth if you want to, but I find it’s unnecessary and adds to the expense.I usually chop about a cup of carrots. You can do more or less. Same with the kale. I’d say to go for about three leafs per person you want to serve. I really like greens, so I add a lot of frozen spinach too.
Put all of the above in your pot along with the fire-roasted tomatoes (I usually do two big spoonfuls) and get it simmering. I add sea salt, garlic/onion black pepper, and some of the other spices at this point too. I keep adding throughout the entire cooking process. Whatever feels natural. Taste as you go. Add sea salt slowly and always err on the side of adding less, but don’t worry, you can always water it down some if it gets too salty. You might want to add more water at some point anyway, because the leftovers will thicken in the fridge.
At this point, I brown my frozen green beans with some onion on the cast iron before adding them in. You don’t have to do this, but it adds flavor.
Once you get everything in the pot, add tomato sauce until the broth is as thick as you would like. I usually add 3-4 spoonfuls, but it just depends.I usually let it simmer for about twenty minutes or so after that. You’ll be able to tell when all the ingredients are soft and tender.
You can do whatever you want with this soup. If you don’t like onions, leave them out or use the powder instead. Likewise, you might want to chop fresh garlic rather than using the powder. You can switch out any of the veggies for other options or even add some chicken, pasta, or rice if you like. There are very few rules in cooking. If not for thinking outside the box, I’d never have come up with some of my favorite meals, like enchilada oatmeal or tomato curry with mashed potatoes. Food provides us with an opportunity to be creative, so relax, have fun, and see what you come up with.
Maybe you look different. Maybe you live different. You’re a creature of a world all your own. This can be a great thing. Some people build their entire identities around it.
Not fitting in can also feel crappy. The outcasts, the loners, the people who put on fake smiles while they’re secretly grimacing at how frustrating it is to be so different from everyone around them—they all know this. Sometimes, the feeling only lasts a moment. Like when you’re the only person in a group discussion who disagrees with something. It can also be a lifelong thing. Or maybe feeling misunderstood by the people around you is a constant. You might even feel like you were born on the wrong planet.
You can be blessed with close friends but still feel at odds with society in some way. That’s me. I’ve known for years I’m an INFJ, but it was only recently that I really started reading about what that meant. It’s the rarest personality type on the planet, apparently. I guess that makes sense.
Personality Page says:
“INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand.”
I like that there’s documentation of my complexity and all, but other personality types feel misunderstood too. There’s enough differences in the world that everyone feels that way sometimes. Whether you were “born on the wrong planet” or not, you’re meant to be here, and that’s important to know. Your presence will change the story of life on Earth. This is always true but especially if you make an effort to be remembered for your unique gifts.
This seems obvious since you’re online right now, but just in case it isn’t: take advantage of the web. No matter what you’re into or how you feel about any aspect of existence, someone out there is feeling the same. I’ve been on forums for long hair, colorful hair, cooking, skincare, health, dancing, unique/free spirituality, general exercise, arts and crafts, and of course, writing. I’ve met so many interesting friends this way.
If you really feel alone with your ideas, consider starting a blog so you can introduce your unique perspectives to the world. There might be others like you out there. Not everyone knows how to express themselves. If you can and feel the desire to, you should!
Some people go out and search for a place that feels right for them. Edge of Something More is about a search like that. After living in three states, I don’t think I “belong” anywhere. Maybe I’ll feel different in the future, but I kind of doubt it. I’ve had happy experiences many places. The world is beautiful all over. Traveling is always worth it, but making a permanent move is a different thing.
If you do relocate:
I was okay until I reached kindergarten and people started demanding I get up at a certain time and do a bunch of stuff I didn’t want to do. I was depressed a lot of my life. Not only did I feel like a weirdo, but I also had a bunch of health problems. Somewhere in my twenties I figured out that living my way is my only chance of survival.
Don’t let society force you into a mold or a life plan that doesn’t work for you. There are all millions of lifestyles, and they all rock as long as you’re in alignment with your real self and not hurting anyone else.
Chances are that you do fit in and don’t realize it. At least in a lot of small ways. I try to notice those ways and point them out to myself. For example, I feel that connection to the world around me when:
Never accept toxic relationships in the name of fitting in. People who put you down for being different don’t deserve your time or energy. Being unique is setting an example. I’ve been influenced by many brave individuals who set examples for me over the years, and I’m thankful.Those who clash with society help change it, so speak your mind and do what you want.