Posted in Word Therapy

The Book isn’t Going to Write itself

The fastest way to get me to not do something is to tell me I HAVE to do it. For the past two months, since Curls started school, I have been struggling with finding the time to write. Homeschooling has taken over my life this school year and it has been a shock to my system. Combined with preparing Red for kindergarten and just doing fun activities with them after dinner most nights, the day gets away from me. When their bedtime arrives all I want to do is sit on the couch and catch up on my shows. But when I do that, the guilt sets in. The voices in my head tell me, “You should be writing. The book isn’t going to write itself. Or you should be reading that book that it is due back at the library next week.” The things I love to do are starting to feel like tasks and that makes me sad. Not only do I love to read and write, they are therapy for me. I am a much more agreeable person when I do them. So unless the day gets magically extended by at least eight more hours, I need to rearrange my priorities.

I love my sleep. My kids and I still take naps when time allows and if I have to wake up before 8 am I don’t want anybody to talk to me. This is my first priority that needs to be rearranged. The thought of getting up an hour earlier on the days that Curls is home is hard for me. Not just because it robs me of sleep, but because I have to wrangle my kids for that much longer. That sounds harsh but as a stay at home mom for over six years, I can tell you that time to myself is a precious commodity. And even up an extra hour doesn’t equal an hour of writing.

Trimming the fat is next. This is stuff that I can say no to so I can say yes to more writing and reading. Shows I watch, internet surfing (I’m looking at you Facebook), etc., etc. are things I am trying to limit without taking away all of my interests. As a pop culture junkie this is really difficult. Being up to date on all the popular shows, movies, and blogs is a passion. But again, less fluff equals more writing.

The book I have been writing since March of this year has hit a road block. The way I have envisioned the story going is now something I dread completing. But veering away from that means I have to come up with a new direction for the plot. Either option fills me with fear. I don’t want to finish this story because I am starting to hate it. I want to jump to the slutty story that has been calling my name for a while now. New and original ideas for this SS have overtaken my brain and I run to my notebook to jot them down throughout the day. But not completing a novel I started seven months ago is an option I am not willing to consider. So pushing down that concrete wall known as writer’s block with an Andy Dufresne size rock hammer is the task at large. I just hope it doesn’t take me twenty years to break through.

Priorities, obstacles, and writer’s block are all things I deal with on a daily basis as an aspiring writer. Excuses and procrastination like to round out the bunch. I am still trying to remind myself that I love to write and the benefits that I reap from doing it.

Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Director Wes Anderson is one of the most original directors of this generation. His films The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom (by far my favorite) all have a unique sense of humor. His films attract Hollywood’s finest with actors Bill Murray, Edward Norton, and Jason Schwartzman all making repeat appearances in his movies.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is his new feature and with it brings new famous faces and the same quirky comedy. The story is about the relationship between Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes), a hotel concierge and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), his lobby boy. The hotel is a famous one set in Europe and the time is between wars.

The trailer is filled with silly moments and too many names to count. I hope you enjoy it.

Blu-ray or Theater: It comes out in March so that gives me and hubby enough time to plan a movie date night. This is one we won’t want to miss.

Have a great week and safe Halloween!

Posted in Good Things

Hey Ladieeeeeeeessssss

As I make the last of the trek that is my thirties, I have become more and more aware of my health and the impact that I am leaving. Physical problems that I have had in the past few months have pointed me towards eating better and reading more ingredients on the food I am consuming. I have been introduced to a group of items that have improved my well being and put me on a new path that is cleaner. My new friends are coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, Aztec clay, and Henna.

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If you haven’t been living under a rock, you have seen all the lists of uses for coconut oil on Pinterest. I tend to be weary of these lists because I feel that the minute I click on one I am going to be spammed. But I am here to sing the praises of coconut oil. I started using it back in May. I took the plunge and started what is called oil pulling. In a nutshell you are to take one tablespoon of coconut oil, swish it around for 15-20 minutes (seriously) in your mouth, and then spit it out. The oil is to “pull” all the bacteria out of your mouth and rid your system of it. For convenience I would do it in the shower. But since I didn’t want to slip and fall on my ass the next time I took a shower (or hubby for that matter), I would spit it into a napkin and throw it into the trash. This saves me a broken tush and doesn’t clog my drain (it is oil after all). After five months of this, I have not been sick and my teeth have never been whiter. For somebody who gets sick at least once a year like clockwork, I am now a believer in the coconut oil. Other ways I use it include: deodorant (mixed with a Q tip of tea tree oil), eye makeup remover, cooking, and even just to soften my elbows and knees.

Apple cider vinegar is one of nature’s medicines that I did not want to be a part of. If you have tasted it before, you know what I am talking about. It is awful with a capital A. But after I self diagnosed with gallstones and did my research, apple cider vinegar is a necessity.  It supposedly relieves gall bladder attacks and softens gallstones. I would first do a shot of it every day at lunch time. After enduring listening to my children laugh every time I would make a face as it went down, I switched to apple juice with the ACV mixed in. This makes it tolerable. The other way that I use it is with Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and use the combination as a weekly mask. My pores have gotten smaller, my face is brighter, and I swear my skin is so smooth ‘them Dukes could slide across it.

My last new friend is in the earlier stages of a relationship but I hope it will be a long and prosperous one. Living in California where I do, we don’t get much rain which leads my scalp to be very, very dry. For the longest time I thought I had dandruff and was using shampoo that can only be best described as smelling like a freshly paved road. As sexy as that is, using something so strong on my head and chemically treated hair turned me off. I also realized after research that I am not doing myself any good treating something I do not have. I made the decision to stop using the shampoo and to not use your typical over the counter boxed hair dye. I have switched to rubbing grape seed oil on my scalp the night before I shampoo and now dye (well, hubby applies it) my hair with henna. To make a long story even longer, henna is an all natural hair dye. It is to be used to enhance your hair color, not to cover gray. And once you use it, you can not use regular dye for at least a year (unless you want to do serious damage). I have been through the process once and it truly is a pain in the ass. It is the texture of mud, it has to be on for at least two hours, and it has Eau de farm animal as it’s scent. I had hubby apply it outside as I read horror stories about it staining bathroom counters and floors. I have also switched to sulfate free shampoo and conditioners. As I said, it is just the beginning but I hope to see improvement over the next few months. Good things come to those who wait. Right??

I regret that this is long winded but this journey is an important one for me and I hope that it will help others in the long run who may suffer from similar ailments as mine. Coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, Aztec clay, and Henna are becoming staples to me and will stick around as long as they prove they are worth the hype.

Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: Dear Mr. Watterson

I grew up reading the comic Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. I loved the relationship between the young and precocious Calvin with his tiger doll Hobbes (who was real to him). Calvin pushes everybody’s buttons, most of all his mom and dad. He is arrogant, philosophical, and sometimes even genius. Hobbes is there to provide the voice of reason. Nobody provided as many laughs for me as Calvin and Hobbes during my teenage reading years.

This week’s trailer is for the film Dear Mr. Watterson. It is a love letter to author Bill Watterson, with the documentary filmmakers interviewing those who have been impacted by the comic strip. It notably features Seth Green, who has had a long career in Hollywood. He has done everything from film, to TV, to his animated series Robot Chicken.

Blu-ray or Theater: As this is a documentary, I expect I will have to wait until it is released on Blu-ray. But I will have my complete Calvin and Hobbes collection to keep me company until that date.

Have a good week!

Posted in Mama Adventures, Word Therapy

KISS

I home school Curls. Hubby and I made the decision before she started school that we wanted her to attend a charter school (Thank you Waiting for Superman). The charter school in our city has a uniform dress code, has a heavy focus on science and math when the kids get in the higher grades, and they place importance on good behavior (case in point: a faculty member stands at the gate every morning to shake hands with the incoming students). Because they can only have a limited amount of students, there is a wait list for full time. So we opted for their part time program where Curls goes to school two days a week and I home school the other 3 days. She is on the wait list for full time but until then my life during the week consists of preparing Red for kindergarten and doing school work with Curls every day for hours at a time. It’s hard but I truly love the time I have with her. She loves math and snatches the worksheets out of my hand as soon as I rip them out of her work book. She will read way past her allotted time that she is required every day. But she will also make excuses to not stay in her chair when journal time comes.

Journal entries have been a struggle since kindergarten. She puts too much pressure on herself and tells me she can’t think of what to write. She wants her letters to be perfect. But when she comes up with an idea, she grins from ear to ear. She comes up with the most original character names that I almost want to steal them for my future stories.

I encourage her to write about what she likes. I tell her to keep it simple and not to try so hard. Which, of course, I should take my own advice and run with it. A teacher I adored in high school taught me the KISS method. It means Keep It Simple Stupid. It was perfect coming from this brash man who taught me so much. And 20+ years later, this method still applies to my writing and my relationships.

Trying to keep moving and not letting pressure, expectations, and any other orange cones stop me is a constant battle I face. Doing school work with Curls is a daily reminder that I need to breathe and just keep things simple. The writing will come and it will be as good as I make it.

Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: The Book Thief

Today’s trailer is for a movie that is based on a book that I have just started reading. It is about little girl Liesel who is living in Germany during WWII. The book is narrated by Death. I have not watched this trailer because I don’t want any spoilers to ruin my reading. But I can say that there has been a lot of talk about this story and how good it is. I have read enough about it in the press and heard a lot of word of mouth to motivate me to read the book and hopefully see the film.

Blu-ray or Theater: This will most likely be a Blu-ray viewing not by choice but because it will be a limited release.

Here’s to a happy and productive week!

Posted in Word Therapy

Enough

Liking something. Deleting somebody. Blocking, posting, commenting, and tagging are all terms that a lot of us have first hand knowledge of in this social media world. Facebook is a giant that allows us to find friends, companies we like, news, and anything else you can think of. But it also makes people like me feel socially awkward and insecure. That was until I decided I didn’t need what Facebook could give or take away at a moment’s notice: Validation.

Facebook will help you find friends that you currently have in your life or even ones you haven’t seen in 20+ years. You can send “friend” requests to these people. On the flip side you can “delete” somebody. This person may have slighted you out in the real world or even wrote a biting comment about you on their page. I can like a friend’s post and they can like mine. Commenting on somebody’s status lets them know that you celebrate with them or feel their pain. Posting on a friend’s page lets them know that you are thinking about them. We can post cryptic statuses to provoke your friends into asking, “Are you okay?” “I’m here if you need me.”

I have friends, family, and acquaintances as part of my Facebook account. A lot of them I see outside of Facebook. But I also have a number of them that I haven’t seen in a few years even though they live less than an hour away. I think Facebook is making me lazy with my relationships. Rather than calling a friend or even making plans with them, I send them a Facebook message.

I don’t think Facebook is entirely the devil. I have found friends that I have thought about over the years and missed. I have renewed these relationships and feel that my life is the better for it. I have also made online friends that live in other states that I would have never met otherwise. But I have also “blocked” people to make a symbolic statement about their place in my life. Out of sight, out of mind.

I had an epiphany, “AHA!”, light bulb moment last week when I went to post a status. I asked myself, “Why am I really posting this?” Am I doing the humble brag (an oxymoron if I ever heard one)? So my friends and family can comment and tell me how awesome what it is I posted about? Why do I need this validation? And should I be upset at those who don’t give it to me? And I knew I didn’t. Because I am enough. Friends and family aren’t in my life to be my 24/7 cheerleaders. They are so much more than that. I don’t need Facebook to prove that to me. Facebook discourages me from reaching out to friends and family as opposed to me actually making an effort to see them in person.

I am not going to close my Facebook account. I like to see what’s going on in others’ lives and find out promotions from companies that I shop at. But I know now that my self worth doesn’t depend on how many likes I get for the day.