Relaxation Wednesday

22-dark-ink-relax-handwritingEvery now and then, we writers run into a slump. I am experiencing that right now. It started last week, when I fell behind on the story I’m writing for this blog. Now still behind, I have become discoraged enough to want to get caught up, yet maybe too discouraged, because with each passing day I lack the motivation, drive, whathaveyou to do so. I think at this point there are a couple factors at play for why I lack the energy and motivation to write: Working eight hours a day, on the cumputer, no less, has a way of draining the brain. Relaxing after work is all too tempting —  especially while sipping on egg nog and enjoying Janis Joplin tunes — and during this time of year, three hours can really fly by! That’s what happened last night, hence why my next chapter of ”Til The Death of Me’ still isn’t complete. Also, I’m constantly thinking about this blog, even when I’m not on it, which I suspect is causing unneccessary stress. Ever since I fell behind on the story, I’ve been worrying myself all day at work, trying to plan out my evenings mentally and give myself a silent pep talk: “You will post 2 chapters today! You promised your followers!” As a result, my brain has gone kaput every time as soon as I sit down with my laptop.

 

Reduce Stress Writing Words Marker Relax 3d Illustration

When we stress out over something, over a long period of time — say hours or days — it can effect us negatively in several ways but one thing it also does is stunt productivity. How will I combat that? Simple. I am going to take my mind off of the single thing that is stressing me out at the moment: writing. For one night, I am going to let go of the worrysome feeling that if I don’t start posting new content every single day, I will somehow fall short of the potential to be a great blogger. That is why I will not be posting any new writing content, or working on anything writing related. However, I still have the burning desire to be productive, so I will be filling my inspiration tank (which has to be pretty much empty) by reading: blogs, books, etc. I might share something if I find it useful. Other than that, this is the last post you’ll see from me tonight. 

Anything you recommend I read? Let me know in the comments below!

Otherwise, I’ll just be scrolling through the reader. Chao!

Follower Appreciation Post: Thanks to my First 10

It was just yesterday that my followers grew from 10 to 16 — the most gained followers in one day this blog has ever seen. I’m almost tied with the amount of followers on my original blog. And it’s all because of you guys!!! I appreciate all of you more than I can express!! However, since I still need time to get to know the latest 6 bloggers , this one is for my first 10 followers. As promised, here is y’all’s post: 

!BIG shoutout to the following 10 bloggers! 

GO FOLLOW THEM if you have not done so already.

Why? Well, I’m glad you asked…

 

Scherezade Ozwulo  

BY THE LEFT HAND

Not-so-modern girl

Salted Caramel

The Haunted Wordsmith

Lance Sheridan

Natalie Swift

Mws R Writings

Nova

Sadje

 

Scherezade Ozwulo: “The Introverted Christian,” this blogger was one of the very first people I met on this site. She is very kind and easy to chat with on any given day. More than that, her blog is very relatable: Almost every post is riddled with anecdotes of her own life experiences, with some fun emojis sprinkled on top. Her work has been catching readers’ attention while leaving behind something to ponder. Check out Learning Scherezade: Patience is My Virtue or My Hinderance?

BY THE LEFT HAND: A left-handed, Christian poet, this blogger is interesting. I loved reading Jesus Saved Me . He doesn’t post every single day, but when he does, the ending product is brilliantly passionate. If you are of faith and you enjoy good poetry, keep your eye out for Brett!

Not-so-modern girl: If the “Feminist Friday” posts are any indication, I coud make a guess as to the central theme of this blog. I can also see how many in the feminist crowd could be drawn to this site. One does not, however, have to be a part of this movement in order to thoroughly enjoy this site. That’s what makes it special, in my humble opinion. Whatever her name, this non-modern girl’s blog has hit some serious milestones — 500 followers, if I’m not mistaken — and therefore has definitely earned a reputation as a truly respectable site (and I’m not just kissing up!) I personally like her reviews of certain movies and books. They are entertaining pieces that show her charm as well as her wit as a writer. I’ve also seen her make tag-related posts inviting readers to share their thoughts and experiences — one of which I participated in. (Check out Does Location Have An Effect On Your Reading Experience?) She’s definitely fun to read up on — and very friendly!

Salted Caramel: I love a blog with a clever title — Who doesn’t?! Not only that, though, I love one that really sums up what the blog as a whole is truly about. “Salted Caramel” is definitely an example of such a blog. A mixture of salty and sweet moods, as the author once explained,  it contains content on everything from food, to ponderous questions about life, to open-ended excerpts. One of the open-ended excerpts is of the continue-the-story variety, and I enjoyed creating my version of how the story would end up. Check It Out Here!

The Haunted Wordsmith: This blog owner’s name is Teresa and she is very supportive of fellow bloggers. Well known to many in the WordPress world, she is on this site almost every single day. While here, she frequetly makes posts that engage fellow writers. Either she is challenging us all to expand our minds, or she is giving us the ecouragement we might need to keep going. One useful thing to remember about people: You never know if all they need is a little push to get them unstuck! Rather than recommending just one piece for this blog, since there are just so many on so many different subjects, I implore you to do a bit of binge-reading on the site as a whole. I have a feeling you won’t regret it!

Lance Sheridan: Another beautiful poet, Lance takes me to another place every time I  read one of his wonderful poems. Check out two of his more recent ones: Chances  and And the river emptied and silver stream awoke  . The latter poem creates a world in which “water knelt to pray…” How does one come up with such creative imagery?? Amazing!

Natalie Swift: Aside from cool cover art, “The Midnight Ember” offers short and grabbing titles —  hooks, rather, that grab readers and pull them in. When reading further, Swift seems an up-and-coming master of ceativity. Through her creations, she seems to be sending messages to her readers. The Heart of A Crowd  was a complex read, for example, one that at first left me confused, wondering if it was about longing for solitude or imntimacy. Having just read it again tonight, I have come to the conclusion that it must be ambiguous — It is both longing for intimacy and isolation at the same time. Which, if that’s the case, is very fascinating… At any rate, it was wonderfully written. Fall To Power and  I Was Here are highly recommended reads, with several hundred likes earned on each.

Mws R Writings: This person and I actually connected recently over a 30_Day Song challege post. She found a post about it on my blog and continued the chain. (Credit: The Haunted Wordsmith) When paying it a visit, the first thing I noticed about the blog itself is it’s moving artwok — the twinkling Christmas lights and the black cats with big, blinking eyes. It’s very cute! Although, I’m proably about to upset a lot of people by admitting that I do not like cats very much. Sorry but not sorry! I have my reasons… Anyway, sharing with the intent of helping others seems to be the driving purpose for this “mother, grandmother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, etc” and why she maintains a blog on this website. For more information on that and to see more of her holiday-themed images, Click here.

Nova: Nova is another person who continued the 30-Day Song Challenge chain… I unfortunately haven’t had a lot of time to check out her blog and find out more about her. But I will do so soon!

Sadje: My tenth follower, Sadje a.k.a. “Keep It Alive” is a friendly-stranger who I believe also joined the 30-Day song challenge. Like the other two, I have yet to read her content — However, I did notice TWO BABY PIGGIES on one of her recent posts!!!! Baby pigs are my weakness so for that I already luv her lol On a more serious note, she does seem like a good person to look to for encouragement. To quote her in a recent conversation we had: “I hope that your blog goes as you envisioned it. It is important to write what you believe in. You will get satisfaction from that.” Thank you for the kind and wise words, Sadje!

Other than that, for me, it’s time to check out. With it being late on the West Coast, and the fact that I unfortunately have a day job to attend in the morning, I need as much beauty rest as I can get at this point…

Chapter 3 of ‘Til The Death of Me is just going to have to wait until tomorrow. I did my best to get it in, but as you can tell, time just keeps running out on me. I haven’t even had time to look in at my notifications yet! Oh well, I guess.

Good night from Az,

 Denae

 

‘Til The Death of Me Chapter 2: Anger Begins

Middle school contained some of the best years of Meagan’s life – That is, before she ran into Damien. She supposed she owed that to the fact that most of those years were spent in one town in Japan.

She had spent most of the sixth grade in Germany before having to move just before the end of the school year. While in Japan, she expected to struggle. Instead, she took a liking to the Japanese teenagers almost immediately. Like in just about every other school, there were cliques in this school. From Meagan’s first day there, she had a reputation as a fearsome fighter. During morning recess, before classes were to begin, a misunderstanding developed with a fellow student involving the student’s boyfriend. The student ended up on the ground and holding a bloodied nose, with Meagan standing over her. There wasn’t a teacher or staff member around to see it, but there were plenty of students. By lunchtime, everyone knew the name Meagan Chaney. While she sat and ate her lunch, plenty of students came up to her table to pay their respects. Meagan was baffled. One student, an older boy, asked her to join his underground fight cub. She told him she’d think about it. At the bottom of the lunch hour, a small group of girls who called themselves “Mitsugumi,” meaning triplets, and who Meagan had met that morning, came to her with a proposition: They had the same six classes with Meagan every day. They also supposedly needed protection from bullies. So in return for protection, the three girls would provide her with loyalty, friendship, and brains: If Meagan found herself struggling with homework assignments or tests, or just didn’t feel like doing them, she now had a hook-up. It was a deal.  Meagan now had a tight circle of friends and belonged in a clique for the first time in her life, which the “triplet” girls renamed “Osore,” or fear. Word of the group spread through the school like a wild fire, and if anybody had ever messed with those girls before, no one ever did again.

After that first day, Meagan couldn’t wait to tell her father how it went. As soon as she got the chance, she jumped on it, leaving no details out. Ronald Chaney seemed proud of her for standing up for herself – “Don’t ever let a bully punk you,” he had always told her — yet he frowned at one point during the conversation. “Have you not opened up to your mother about this?”                                                                                                                             That took Meagan by surprise. She hadn’t even given that notion the time of day. Now she explained to her dad exactly why. “Well, dad, you know how mom gets — She’d freak out. Tell me I’ll get kicked out of school and how that will create problems trying to find another school…” She paused then, feeling she’d made her point.                                           “Well… Yes,” Ron began. “I guess my point, though, is that she still needs to know what’s going on with your life. She tells me that you two aren’t close with one another lately.” Uh-oh. Meagan knew where her dad was going with this and she didn’t like it. “It’s breaking her heart… Start spending time with her. Maybe you could join her book club and go to meetings with her after school. Or you two could sew or bake together.” Holding back a heavy sigh, feeling the sting of her father’s sudden authoritative tone, Meagan went into the next room of their rented-out two-story house to deliver the great news to Karen Chaney.                                                                                                                        It wasn’t that she hated her mother. Meagan just couldn’t connect with the woman. Her opiates-to-alcohol ratio were working together like fire and gasoline, as she liked to take her pain meds with her vodka. Karen had gotten into a car accident with a friend years before Meagan was born. In that accident, she had broken her back and, as a result, the future mother was left out of a job. She was also left with two things to take place of a job: chronic pain, and addiction. Both of which would worsen over the years. While pregnant, Karen hadn’t taken any pills or consumed any liquor – to the best of Meagan’s knowledge. But soon after bringing her newborn home, she’d started up again. The 42-year-old wouldn’t go on benders, or anything, but she would stay at home and basically deteriorate. Moving around constantly, and hardly seeing her husband anymore – or her daughter, for that matter – drove her into depression. It was Ron who had finally encouraged her to join a book club, since she loved to do that. After doing so, Karen went when she wasn’t in unbearable pain… or reeking of alcohol. Karen had also taken up sewing and baking again to pass the time at home, when she wasn’t cleaning or organizing the place. Meagan, in the meantime, stayed out of the house as much as possible, and only enjoyed being there when her father was.                                                   Once Meagan brought up her so-called intentions of extra quality time to Karen, one could imagine the reaction: Meagan’s mother rejoiced, literally brought to tears. That was another thing about Karen Chaney that her teenaged daughter had learned to resent: her bipolar-like emotions. She could become extremely saddened, happy, or furious at the drop of a hat – sometimes for no reason. It had caused a rift between mother and daughter that mother had apparently just noticed..                                               “We will begin baking at once!” Karen exclaimed. “And while we wait for everything to bake, I can teach you how to sew. We’ll start small: with pillowcases!” Following that statement, Karen clapped giddily. Oh, dad, Meagan thought. What monster have you created? As the days passed, Meagan endured the grueling company of her own birth mother for about as long as she could take it, until she decided to start engaging in her own extracurricular activities – ones that would take her straight from school to wherever the-hell-outta-there was. She found out about an after-school junior martial arts program in town, just down the street from her school, and she couldn’t have felt luckier. Fighting. The honorable way. Something that was in her blood and she could do it without getting into trouble. After begging her father to get her in – which he agreed to only when she agreed on spending equal time with her mother, a deal she never upheld her end of – she began going there every Tuesday and Thursday. The rest of the week was spent either with friends and acquaintances, or practicing Jiu jitsu on her own… Mostly, it was the latter.

In the meantime, for the rest of the school year, kids continually came up to Meagan bearing money in exchange for protection from certain bullies. This continued until midway through the eighth grade. She never informed her parents of this, for she knew it was wrong and yet she liked having her own money. It was something real and tangible that she got to earn doing the thing she loved most. On her pay-days, she’d go out to sports stores and buy sparing gear, with which she stored in the garage and used when she brought friends by. The rest of the money she saved. After a while, her bodyguard duties became an annoyance for the teenaged American vigilante. She became someone who was always solving other peoples’ problems. When her operation was finally disrupted by school administrators, and the principal called her into his office to warn her that she’d be kicked out of school if she didn’t cease and desist, it came as a relief for Meagan. At the end of the eighth grade was Meagan’s finale Jiu jitsu tournament. Her father attended, very excited for his daughter and cheering her on all the way. Her mother didn’t attend, as she hadn’t known about Meagan’s involvement in fighting – as was part of the deal between father and daughter. Meagan took first place in her class at the tournament. To celebrate, her dad took her out for dinner and ice cream, showing off her trophy to strangers. It was the most wonderful night of Meagan’s life.

When she was sixteen, the worst day of her life happened. She was in her sophomore biology class, goofing off with her friends since the first midterms of the year had already ended and there was nothing left to do. An aide from the front office came in and saw her laughing with her friends. What she had to inform the young girl couldn’t have been easy for anyone. Calling her over, the aide took a deep breath. The moments it took for Meagan to get across the room were the last anyone would ever see her smile again. It would be known to most as the day the light disappeared from Meagan Chaney’s eyes. For Meagan, it was the day she died inside.                                                                         “Megan,” the lady from the office said. “There’s been an accident… Your father… It’s not good.” Meagan gasped. “We’ve called your mother to come pick you up for the day. Get your things and come with me.”