Thursday, February 19, 2015

Beside Myself

Beside Myself 



I experienced some moments of glee in the last couple of days as I sorted through my slacks and jeans to weed out size 20 and up.

Here I am holding up the size 24 elastic-waisted black denim slacks I wore throughout the 2000s and into 2012 while wearing size 18 jeans.

I'm actually into a size 16 now and could possibly get into some styles of 14.

Since my arrival at Mom's in January of 2013 I've dropped from 220 to 160 pounds and from 44  to 37 inch waist.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snarls



I broke out one of the skeins of wool lace weight yarn I bought on my birthday to wind it into a ball so I could start a scarf and hat set with it.  But apparently there is a trick to turning those fancy yarn twists into balls and I don't know it.  Its the second tie I've bought yarn or thread that comes hanks instead of balls or skeins.  The first time was the hand painted silk thread I made Mom's and my MIL's shawls out of.  And that time I accepted their offer to wind it for me before I left the shop.

This time there was no offer and I didn't think about it.

So today, in less than half an hour I had 400 yards of snarls.

I had at least kept track of both ends and now have two golf ball sized balls wound from each end.  Took a couple hours to get that much.  It is going to be a long haul.

It's a good thing I enjoy desnarling thread and yarn.  I find it a quite calming activity.  As well as challenging like a good puzzle

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Drama Overload -- ROW80 Check-In


I wrote a couple poems [poem 1 - poem 2] and many overwrought emails  this month but I haven't looked at my fiction at all for two weeks or more. Too much drama in my personal life.

Except I did fiddle with Candy Kiss for awhile as I was preparing to close Scrivener to prep my computer for the trip Friday.  I noticed I was a bit calmer afterwords and wondered if that was because I'd interrupted the drama playing out in my life and replaced it with 'Let's Pretend' for an  hour or so.  But Candy Kiss is not completely pretend. It's based on real events and Greg and Iris are based on Ed and I and have our personalities and our communication issues.  So basically I was immersing myself back into a two decade old trauma-drama of ours.

So maybe it was close enough to the current crisis I was OCDed on to allow my mind to go there with little resistance but removed enough to bring some distance and a bit of objectivity into it.  Interestingly, I came away with a fairly profound insight that shed light on the current crisis.

Worth contemplating.

That got me wondering what the relationship was to personal drama level and the drama in writer's stories, the quality of the writing and their ability to finish them.  It would be interesting to do a study on that. Can there be too much drama.  Too little?  Or is there no observable relationship at all?  How would any of that be measured meaningfully?

Does anyone else have problems working on their stories when there is significant drama in your life or someone else is barraging you with their personal trauma-drama stories?

I also wondered about the influence of personal drama on the content of a writer's stories over time.  But that's a whole other post.



My Round 1 intentions: seek to regain my joy/Joy in writing and to prepare the soil for its blooming with these time investment goals:
  • Storydreaming 15min Daily (I never lost this one since instating it in my first round in 2012.  A ROW80 win!) 100%
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily 50% (reading blog posts on topic and Jeff Goin's book You Are a Writer So Start Acting Like One.)
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily 20%
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily 0%  [still have not added this.  there's some resistance I'm not conscious of apparently.]
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily 20%
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) 20% 
Current Joy Meter: pushing 50%  Mood very volatile for weeks.  Hard to sort out the cause and effect between the state of my mood and the state of the personal drama.

Read more...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Saying Hello, Saying I Love You, Saying Good-bye

Growly Bear and Bruiser
Early afternoon. Our whirlwind trip to the Rogue Valley is nearly over.

That's Ed sitting on his Mom's couch with their dog. Bruiser is wearing the hat I made Ed.  It's just minutes before I head out the door.

Such a quick trip.  Over too soon.

The hours and days and weeks stretch ahead like a tarred road on a hot day.  A slow difficult slog with every step feeling like it's glued to the ground.

The recent fumble of our relationship weighs me with fear of a repeat.  It was twice in two years.  The same weeks of the year.  And since I still don't really understand what happened there's nothing substantial to hang onto.

Hope is fragile.  Brittle.

The last three weeks will haunt me for the rest of this separation.  It still feels raw like a blistering sunburn.

I almost didn't post this picture because looking at Ed here I want to cry.  It's like looking in a mirror.   He's the picture of depression.  He's always had the winter blues but this year is the worst I've seen in 35 years.

And I can't be there to pull him out or at least keep him from sliding further in.  It scares me.

If only he would stop self-medicating and seek the help he is requiring me to seek.  Maybe then I could spare more attention to my own self-care.

For contrast, remember the picture from two years ago April?

Tickled


That too was taken just before leaving. Only minutes before Carri and I backed out of the driveway of our house with the second load of our stuff in April 2013.  Early in this unwanted separation that began that January...and continues two years later.

Such hope that day.  Where did it go?

I guess to be fair I should reveal my own true face:



That's a selfie taken shortly after we arrived in the Rogue Valley late Friday. Tho it was after midnight by this time.  Carri had just finished unloading the van and had gone after half and half for our morning coffee.  I'd just finished setting up my laptop to prep Friday's post and was taking the picture of the hat I'd just freed from the hook planning to make my post about finishing the hat during the drive.

But I couldn't bear to look at that.  It looks like I've been crying for a week. Which is about right if you count the crying on the inside.  Looking at it made me want to start crying again.  Why would I subject it on anyone else?

That's depression.

Instead I took about a dozen pictures of the hat from different angles laying on the bed or perched on my hand or fist.  By the time I had one I liked I was out of energy and could not face the prospect of transferring the picture from my cell to GDrive to my laptop and then opening it in an image editor and prepping it for the post and then prepping the post and then posting to fb.

That felt like another 300 mile trip with me behind the wheel.

That's depression.

With less than five hours before I was planning to show up on my in-law's porch I went to bed.  But it was hours more before I slept as I obsessively rehearsed what I hoped to say to Ed or helplessly watched the mini-movies made by my mind playing out possible scenarios.  None of which had a happy ending.

That's depression.

It's a bitch to live with.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Serenity

Microwaveable Beanbag with Kitties

My sister bought this for me in the motel office the night we arrived in Phoenix.  It helped us both get through the weekend.

It lay on my chest the first two nights as I nursed my anxiety and the laryngitis I'd had most of the week.

Irony or what?  I went down there to talk to Ed and my voice barely worked.

The third and last night I loaned the beanbag back to Carri who'd had a bad crash while roller blading.

I probably wouldn't have used it anyway as I had my favorite heating pad that night.  The one with strong arms. As Ed paid for Carri to get her own room so he could spend the night with me.

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Make Up

There Is No Feeling More Comforting And Consoling Than Knowing You Are Right Next To The One You Love - Happy Valentine’s Day



Today at 5pm would have been 20 days of silence between us but I showed up on his porch before 7am so we could hash this out in person.

Apologies and tears
walking and talking, and talking and talking...

More tears.  More talk.  Hugs and munchies.

And kisses...

And promises to never hurt each other like this again...
To return to practicing communication skills
and stress coping skills that do no harm to self or other
and to have regular visits like this until it becomes possible to have our home together again.

We kept thinking it would be soon but it's been nearly two years and that's just too long to be physically apart even with phone, text and video chats. Misunderstandings are too easily created and exacerbated by too much guessing and wrong assumptions.

We'll be spending tomorrow together again.  Maybe getting our own room...

But I need to have a good 10 or 12 hour sleep first so I don't sabotage what is left of our time together.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Crocheted Newsboy Cap

Crocheted Newsboy Cap
This was supposed to be my husband's Christmas present but will be his Valentine's gift instead.

I had no pattern.  I watched several videos on YouTube of different styles of
hats being crocheted and picked up the techniques I needed--increasing and decreasing stitches, making bills etc.  Then I Googled Newsboy Cap and feasted my eyes on the images.  Then I started working the round, increasing steadily until it was about eight or so inches across or 23 inches in diameter.  The first tine I reached the 6 inch mark I found it bunching up and ended up taking it all the way out and starting over.

After that I worked it like a sculpture.  I knew the shape I wanted and guestimated where and how many increases and decreases were needed.  There was bit of taking work out that didn't look like what I was aiming at but not nearly as much as I expected.

I tried it on in front of a mirror at the end of every round once the 'sculpting began.  That helped me guesstimate better with fewer fewer 'missunderguestimating.

It grew on me so that I now want to make one for myself.

shhh but I'm hoping to hand this to him in person on V-Day.

Crown him with my love.

I poured my love into every stitch.

And not a few tears.

Hoping he doesn't hand it back...

19 days... :(

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hope & Dread

Hope & Dread
The traveling companions who make the trip feel like forever


Busy preparing for a quest that's full of equal parts hope and dread.

Sometimes you just have to go after answers even if they might be something you don't want to hear.

Wondering can sometimes be wonderful.

But there are times it can be torturous.

Read more...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Sister Snagged a Smile Outta Me



My sister presented me with a 'just because I'm thinking of you' gift of six skeins of Bernat Fleurettes Peacock yarn yesterday.  I actually smiled.

I started winding one into a ball last night but ended up with a great big wad of snarls.  But at least I'm finding this know soothing to untangle.  Unlike the emotional one I've been working on for 18 days now.

To the left of the snarl is the hat I'm making for Ed.  It's supposed to be a newsboy cap.  I hope it turns out to be in the end.  But I'm not working from a pattern.  I couldn't find one I liked for free online so I read a bunch of different hat patterns and watched a bunch of crochet hat videos and took the info and made my own blend of it.

Basically I'm sculpting it as I go, increasing and decreasing or neither in the appropriate sections to create the shape I'm after.  We'll see.

It was supposed to be his Christmas present but I didn't get it done in time.  Then I was aiming for Valentine's Day but the fiasco of the last two weeks has slowed down the project. And now it's too late to get it in the mail in time to reach him by Saturday.   I'm half afraid now that once sent I'll get it back stamped 'Return to Sender' but I know he really wanted it.  It was something he asked for last fall.  So maybe...

I think I should put a warning label on it to keep an inhaler handy since he is apparently so allergic to my tears.

I have a fantasy of being able to hand it to him in person on Valentine's Day.

What can I say?  I'm a dreamer.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Heart is the Lake of Fire

My Heart is the Lake of Fire
by
Joy Renee
Sixteen days since you hung up on me

sixteen days of silence
of bewilderment
of heartache

sixteen days empty of you
of your attention
of your affection

sixteen days with no word of explanation
tho I flooded a torrent of words toward you.

What lesson are you trying to teach me?
How can I make it right if you won't tell me
how I made it wrong?

I can only guess.
I spent sixteen days and nights guessing
until I realized your intentions didn't matter

What matters is what  I am learning.
This is what you are teaching me:

that my words have no power
that my love is worth nothing
that our us is not worth fighting for
that there is no forgiveness
that hope is a joke

that commitment is just a word
without meaning
that vows have a fine print clause
(*optional if difficult)
that cruel is the new kind
that I'm a pathetic, worthless, unloveable
puddle of brine that isn't worth your attention

that Joy is an illusion
that my name is my shame
for I can't live it
that my heart is the lake of fire
that pain is the only reality

that life empty of you is
just
empty

Read more...

Monday, February 09, 2015

No Words

I Am So Sad Today Graphic

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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Sunday Serenity -- Poem by Joy Renee --and a LOLz


She'll Swallow Almost Anything
This afternoon that old song was playing in head relentlessly and I couldn't resist playing with the words.  I suspect it isn't finished as a few more concepts have arisen I might play with but mostly I've been tweaking word choice, punctuation, rhythm and verse order for hours and I'm still not happy.

The Old Woman Who
by Joy Renee

There was an old woman who swallowed a sigh
I don't know why she swallowed a sigh
she just might cry

There was an old woman who swallowed her pain
to stop it infecting her kith and kin--but all in vain
for she's gone insane

There was an old woman who swallowed her pride
it squirmed and burned and pricked her inside
there's nowhere to hide

There was an old woman who swallowed a lot
that gurgled and curdled and clotted her gut
it moves not a jot
just sits there to rot

There was an old woman who swallowed a lie
that took her for a twisty ride
now her mind is fit to be tied

There was an old woman who swallowed her words
they scratched and sliced and stabbed her innards
she wants to holler and howl and curse
perhaps she'll burst

There was an old woman who swallowed her voice
to keep the peace she had no choice
now it's choking to death her joy

There was an old woman who swallowed her story
said it was boring but she feared its glory
now they grapple in purgatory

There was an old woman who swallowed her fate
which ate and ate
until it escaped

There was an old woman who swallowed her name
hoping to hide herself from shame--
for having no name there's no one to blame

There was an old woman who swallowed her face
it can't be replaced
she won't be embraced
who'd have the grace?

Read more...

Saturday, February 07, 2015

What's Important Is --Author Quote -- ROW80 Check-In



Now that the restart is done I've got journaling worked in to some of my days.

My Round 1 intentions: seek to regain my joy/Joy in writing and to prepare the soil for its blooming with these time investment goals:
  • Storydreaming 15min Daily (I never lost this one since instating it in my first round in 2012.  A ROW80 win!) 100%
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily 100% (reading blog posts on topic)
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily 50%
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily20%  [this should be added before next check-in. yep, it was the needed restart making me reluctant to open another ap, file or tab beforehand]
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily 100%
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) 50% 
Current Joy Meter: under 30%  That is down from mid week.  Mood has been volatile.  Tho my mood is low I've still avoided a meltdown going on two weeks now.  Two weeks as of Tuesday.  The last one started on Sunday evening and lasted through the wee hours of Tuesday.

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Friday Forays in Fiction: "The The Impotence of Proofreading," by TAYLOR MALI

"The The Impotence of Proofreading," by Taylor Mali
Poet, Teacher and Stand Up Comic

I frilly kneaded the these belie loafs two dais.

Deicide it wood make a good Fryday Four raze posed to. Knaw I'm free to watch snore Tailor Molly.

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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Crochet Möbius Strip Prep

Crochet Crafter's Tote: Möbius Strip Prep
I finally got all of the yarn markers woven into the mesh of the Möbius Strip.  One marking the middle of the bottom.  One marking the opposite side of the hoop where the twist will be trapped inside a wrap.  And two on each end where the pockets will be formed by the wrap-around the front/sides panel.  The bottom edge of which can be seen under the Möbius strip in the photo.

I did two for the ends so that I could fold it over to double the bottom of the pockets as one of my efforts to reinforce areas to decrease the floppiness of the bag.

The reason for the yarn markers was to ensure there was a straight line across the width so the corners of the bag would be positioned so as not to put any skew into the mesh across the bottom--no puckering, no discrepancies in width and length between the opposite sides and so forth.

At the midpoint between the two yarn markers on the left I crocheted a row of 6 chain loops for joining the bottom of the panel to.  I will be doing the same on the other end.  I just got those two yarn markers in tonight.  My visual impairment makes this a challenging task.  The first one took me nearly three hours while the second one took less than half an hour.  I got that second one in on the first try while the first one had to be removed wholly or in part repeatedly as I kept zigging to the side

The 6 chain joining loops are already crocheted around the outer edge of the panels but for where the Möbius strip needs to be attached to form the front side of the pockets I'll need to crochet a row of the loops on the outer edge of the third column of squares on each end.  The back side of the pockets are covered by the joining loops already on the panel forming the back, top and front flap.

Mom is leaving for my brother's tomorrow and my sister is going to the coast with a friend so I'm going to be free to focus on this as much as my eyes will allow between now and Sunday evening.  My goal for the weekend is to have the front panel joined to the Möbius strip before Mom gets home Sunday evening.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Up Time is Over -- ROW80

Up Time: 78:09:00:17
Per my stated intent in Sunday's check-in I got the overdue update and restart accomplished in time for today's check-in.

The state of my desktop as revealed in the screenshot for last check-in plus the sluggishness of the computer due to having so much open at once on top of being deprived of updates and restarts really cramped my productivity on all fronts.

But in order to get that restart done I skipped sleep last night altogether which is also a poor choice for encouraging productivity.  It wasn't intentional.  Especially since I knew I was to be on duty with Mom from noon to midnight.

I had finally got all the aps and tabs closed about 6:00 am and was imagining a quick update and restart and then off to bed for 4 or 5 hours before time to make Mom's lunch. Instead the updates were still downloading when Mom got up at 7:30 and I helped get her breakfast and when I got back it was still at only 4%.  I was beginning to wonder if something had gone wrong and it was just spinning its wheels.

But I'd fixed my 'breakfast' too and so I called up the browser and watched Malcolm in the Middle while I ate and waited.  Still at 4%.  It was around then I got the idea for this post and started doing what prep I could without the picture that I wouldn't get until just before the restart.  By 9 it was finally in the teens% and by 10 it was heading into the 50s where it got stuck for another hour.  It finished downloading about 11:30 and then started the installs which took nearly an hour.

I grabbed the screenshot and started the restart just before heading in to fix Mom's lunch.  Once I served her tray I came back to check and found it on the desktop but asking for more updates which took another hour to download and install including another restart.  During which time I was having lunch with Mom, reading to her and then cleaning up the kitchen with occasional darts into the office to see if I needed to click a button or type a password.

It was 3 in the afternoon before I was safely back up on the desktop for good.  Then I discovered that my Bluetooth speakers would not connect to anything but the system sounds and it took me at least an hour to figure that one out.  By then I had about an hour before time to go figure out what's for dinner and fix it.

And you wonder why I keep putting off the restarts.

There was a lot of personal-life drama going on in the interstices of that day.  It's nothing new just another refrain of the same old song.  One that I sang here two years ago this coming week.  But its a song that, like bindweed, tends to strangle all competing songs.

I wonder sometimes whether there is some magical ratio of personal drama to storytelling drama for writers such that when the mix is ideal the ability to produce excellent stories is optimal but when the ratio is skewed so there is either too much personal drama and it's choking the life out of the stories or not enough personal drama and there are never any storyseeds to be planted in the first place.

Because I've learned in the last two years that whenever I'm steeped in the personal dramas I'm telling myself that story from five dozen angles 24/7.  How could there be room for anything else?

I'm pretty sure that has played a role in the sparsity of new word-count and completed edits in the last two years.  Maybe several before that.

My Round 1 intentions: seek to regain my joy/Joy in writing and to prepare the soil for its blooming with these time investment goals:
  • Storydreaming 15min Daily (I never lost this one since instating it in my first round in 2012.  A ROW80 win!) 100%
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily 50% (reading blog posts on topic)
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily 50%
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily 0%  [this should be added before next check-in.  it was the needed restart making me reluctant to open another ap, file or tab before the restart.]
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily 100%
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) 50% 
Current Joy Meter: under 50%  That is up from a dip into the teens last weekend.  Mood has been volatile.  I'm starting to practice mindfulness for brief minutes several times a day.  Either its helping or this is just another normal fluctuation of the mood cycle.  But I've not had a meltdown in over a week..

Read more...

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Möbius Mopes

Möbius Strip for Crocheted Tote

I thought it was about time I presented a picture of the  crocheted Möbius strip that has been such a frequent topic of posts in the last two years.  Especially since it is going to be the main subject of this post.

All I can say is 'arrrrrrrgh'

The crocheted crafter's tote is moving like cold molasses.  Nearly three years in the making and now two years late as the intended 2012 Secret Santa gift for my sister-in-law this project has been a frustration from about four months in when it became obvious I was unlikely to finish in time.

There was no pattern because it was born in my head in the shimmering vision that remains the only consolation and hope and the second to top motive for keeping at it.  But the vision did not take account of realities like the limitations of time, materials and skill.  Not to mention physical: pain in tendons and tense muscles, and fatigue with the 12+ hour days, eye strain and sleep deprivation.

I guess I was still too much of a newbie at crochet to pull off something this ambitiously elaborate.  But it has been my education.  I joke that I have had the equivalent of half a dozen college level courses in the process.  The finished tote will serve as a sampler of my skill set.

  • I learned over a dozen new stitches and patterns including a couple I invented.  
  • I learned design in color, texture and shape.  
  • I learned design in engineering, materials, and structure. 
  • I learned to better estimate time and thread needs. 
  • I learned to control stitch gauge to maintain 4x4 inch squares with a variety of stitches/patterns 

The Möbius strip is a bear to work with.  It's starting chain was 8 ft in diameter so folded it is nearly 4 feet long and 11 inches wide.  It's intended to serves as the bottom, sides and shoulder strap for the tote.

Seen from the right front corner.


The front panel wraps around the front and both sides.  The Möbius forms the bottom and comes up the sides inside the side panels to form the back of the side pockets.  The other panel comes up the back and over the top and partway down the front.

The tote won't be as big as seen in the pic above as changes to the original plan became necessary.  It was intended to hold a standard size quilt as my sister-in-law is a quilter.  It will probably still hold a quilt WIP until the batting is added tho.

The struggle now is in identifying the precise 6-chain loops at each corner of the bottom that will be woven into the 6-chain loops on the two panels of blocks.  This involved finding the center of the bottom and top and counting the joining loops on the panels then out from the center of the bottom of the Möbius.  Then weaving a grey length of yarn across the width in the center and both ends.  Then adding the joining loops for the bottom sides across the width of the strip.  I've only got that done for one side.  I still need to repeat for the opposite side, counting out from the center, weaving the yarn, and adding the loops.

Weaving that yarn through the 2-chain mesh that forms the Möbius fabric is difficult.  My vision issues make it doubly so.  I wish there were another way to be sure the corner loops are directly across from each other.  As hard as that is I'm not sure that crocheting dark brown on dark brown across the fabric instead of on its edge doesn't top it for challenging.

Once those tasks are done I'm hoping the loop weaving task will go smooth.  Once those corners are identified and the bottom is joined to the appropriate edges of the panels it should just be a matter of weaving the loops up the four sides.

But that isn't the end of the challenges. There will be more rows of the joining/decorative loops to crochet and the wrapper for the Möbius twist at the top of the strap, and the buttons for the front. There's the hundreds of tails needing tucked and I still need to sew on the lengths of grossgrain ribbon to strengthen and reenforce the fabric.  Especially at the edges.  For when I tried improvising a joining with clips and twist ties I discovered that it was impossible to load the bag without someone holding it open.

For several days after that I felt as tho the entire project had become as complete a flop as the bag acted.  But I brainstormed some ideas for fixing the problem.  I won't know how well they will work until I'm able to implement them.  Which I can't do until the bottom edges are joined.

For months I've only been able to work on this project either by taking it over to the yarn shop to spread out on the big tables or working on the weekends when Mom is gone and I can move stuff off my craft table onto her side of the bed.  But this past weekend I managed to rearrange some things and preserve enough room on the craft table for working on it all week.  It should move along a bit faster now.

Here's hoping the mopes are bygones.

Read more...

Monday, February 02, 2015

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Share what you (are, have been, are about to, hope to be) reading or reviewing this week. Sign Mr Linky at Book Journey and visit other Monday reading roundups.

The sections of this template:


  • Intro (here)
  • Musings
  • My Week (or two) in Review -- list of books begun or finished and links to recent reviews and bookish posts
  • Reading Now -- my current reading list broken up into categories
  • Upcoming -- scheduled reviews and blog tours and list of finished books awaiting reviews)
  • New Arrivals -- lists of recently acquired books: bought, borrowed, ARC [broken up into snail mail, email and Net Gallery]



Quote: Flannery O'Connor
Mystery and Manners:
Occasional Prose
Musings

It's been over eight months since my last IMWAYR?.  A couple of weeks after that our furbaby, Merlin died.  Which began the mood roller coaster I've been riding ever since.  My mood tanked hard when Merlin got sick but I thought I was making a comeback when another event sent me into a tailspin.  Then I lost my counselor.  Then I learned my new counselor was revisiting the bi-polar diagnosis after I thought that had been ruled out a year previously.

My mood had taken too many blows in too short a time and I couldn't seem to recover my equilibrium.  I lost my joy.  Pun totally intended.  I lost joy in reading, in writing, in fiber art, in blogging, in social media, in running, in friends, in family, in me.  I lost myself.  Again.

I think I'm pulling out of it.  I've been working hard at it.  My new counselor has me practicing mindfulness.  I'm returning to personal journaling.

I returned to daily blogging at the first of the year.  I joined One Word 365 an alternative to New Year's resolutions in which you choose a word to make the theme of your year and try to do something to incorporate it into every day.

I'm still having mood meltdowns at least once a week but I began to find enjoyment in favorite activities again mid January, including reading. I requested three NetGalley ARC last week.  The first in over a year.  I finished a book today.

So here's hoping this is the first of a string of regular IMWAYR?

To prep this post I completely revamped the IMWAYR? template I'd been using. I eliminated or consolidated sections and removed from all the lists any book I'd not opened in over 6 months.  I can put them back if/when I start reading them again.  Most I'll likely have to restart.

Then I added all the books begun since mid summer and made sure each list section had a book image to reflect one of its books.  I will occasionally change out those images.

Thomas Covenant Trilogies
Finished this week:
  • Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson [Book 1 of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever] reread  -- OWN -- EBOOK
Started this week:

  • The Glittering World by Robert Levy -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]
  • Victorian Fairy Tales Edited by Michael Newton [short stories]   -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]
  • The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]

Advanced Bookmarks [neither begun or finished this past week]:
  • Complexity and the Arrow of Time by (multiple authors)  --ARC -- EBOOK
  • All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot -- LOAN -- EBOOK
  • The Thunderbird Conspiracy by R. K. Price -- ARC -- EBOOK
  • A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson-- OWN -- TREE
  • A Course in Miracles [the text] -- OWN -- TREE
  • A Course in Miracles [the workbook] -- OWN -- TREE
  • Tao of Chaos: DNA & the I-Ching by Katya Walter --LIBRARY --EBOOK [Open Library]
  • Coming Out Asperger: Diagnosis, Disclosure, and Self-Confidence Edited by Dinah Murray -- LOAN -- EBOOK
  • Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson [Book 1 of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever] reread  -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • Metamorphosis: Transforming Your Body, Mind & Life! by Charles Webb  -- OWN -- TREE [came with the nutrition program my sister and I bought]
  • Why Isn't My Brain Working? by Datis Kharrazian -- LOAN -- TREE [from the library of the nutritionist]

Recent Weeks in Review:

~Reviews:

  • [no recent reviews]

~Recent Bookish Posts:



~Finished reading recently:

  • Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson [Book 1 of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever] reread  -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot -- LOAN -- EBOOK
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot -- LOAN -- EBOOK
  • Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base1 by Annie Jacobsen -- LIBRARY -- AUDIO
  • From Where You Dream by Robert Olen -- LIBRARY -- TREE
  • The Nano Experiment by Richard Brawer -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • 420 Characters by Lou Beach  -- LIBRARY -- TREE
  • Rough Draft by Michael Robertson Jr. and Dan Dawkins -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • Autism Goes to School by Sharon A. Mitchell -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • Silver Lake by Peter Gadol -- OWN -- EBOOK

~Began reading recently:

  • All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot  -- LOAN -- EBOOK
  • A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson-- OWN -- TREE
  • A Course in Miracles [the text] -- OWN -- TREE
  • A Course in Miracles [the workbook] -- OWN -- TREE
  • The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu by Dan Jurafsky -- LIBRARY -- TREE
  • The Tao of Chaos: DNA & the I-Ching by Katya Walter --LIBRARY --EBOOK [Open Library]
  • The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor [short stories]   -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • World Famous Cults and Fanatics by Colin Wilson   -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • Coming Out Asperger: Diagnosis, Disclosure, and Self-Confidence Edited by Dinah Murray -- LOAN -- EBOOK
  • Discovering Your Soul Signature by Panache Desai -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • Water: For Health, For Healing, For Life by F. Batmangheildj -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • Metamorphosis: Transforming Your Body, Mind & Life! by Charles Webb  -- OWN -- TREE [came with the nutrition program my sister and I bought]
  • Why Isn't My Brain Working? by Datis Kharrazian -- LOAN -- TREE [from the library of the nutritionist]
  • You Are a Writer So Start Acting Like One by Jeff Goins -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black [short stories]  -- LOAN -- EBOOK
  • The Fierce and Unforgiving Muse by Gregory L. Norris [short stories]   -- OWN -- EBOOK
  • The Glittering World by Robert Levy -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]
  • Victorian Fairy Tales Edited by Michael Newton [short stories]   -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]
  • The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]
Reading Now (Some Intermittently):

__Non-Fiction:


    • Complexity and the Arrow of Time by (multiple authors)  --ARC -- EBOOK
    • Star Trek As Myth: Essays on Symbol and Archetype at the Final Frontier edited by Matthew Kapell -- OWN -- EBOOK
    • Discovering Your Soul Signature by Panache Desai -- OWN -- EBOOK
    • Water: For Health, For Healing, For Life by F. Batmangheildj -- OWN -- EBOOK
    • Metamorphosis: Transforming Your Body, Mind & Life! by Charles Webb  -- OWN -- TREE [came with the nutrition program my sister and I bought]
    • Why Isn't My Brain Working? by Datis Kharrazian -- LOAN -- TREE [from the library of the nutritionist]
    • The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu by Dan Jurafsky -- LIBRARY -- TREE
    • A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson-- OWN -- TREE
    • A Course in Miracles [the text] -- OWN -- TREE
    • A Course in Miracles [the workbook] -- OWN -- TREE
    • World Famous Cults and Fanatics by Colin Wilso   -- OWN -- EBOOK
    • Tao of Chaos: DNA & the I-Ching by Katya Walter --LIBRARY --EBOOK [Open Library]

      ~ROW80 Writing Craft


      • No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty -- OWN -- EBOOK
      • The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf  --ARC -- EBOOK ROW80 reading list
      • What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack -- OWN -- EBOOK (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
      • 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley -- LIBRARY -- TREE
      • You Are a Writer So Start Acting Like One by Jeff Goins -- OWN -- EBOOK

      __Fiction:
      • The Fierce and Unforgiving Muse by Gregory L. Norris [short stories]   -- OWN -- EBOOK
      • If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black [short stories]  -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor [short stories] -- OWN -- EBOOK
      • The Glittering World by Robert Levy -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]
      • Victorian Fairy Tales Edited by Michael Newton  [short stories]  -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]
      • The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker -- ARC [NetGalley Kindle]

       ~Blog Tour books still unfinished


      Upcoming:

      ___Blog Tours:


      ___Books I've Finished Awaiting Reviews (non blog tours):

      Whenever I'm not pinned to a date like with the blog tours I do very poorly at getting reviews written in a timely way after finishing books and the longer I wait the harder it gets.  This is an issue I'm working on and hope to get a system in place to smooth the track from beginning book to posting review.

      Series:

      Jan Karon's Mitford series. 
      The short lighthearted chapters of these books are almost like stand-alone short stories with beloved characters and make great bedtime reading for adults wanting pleasant dreams.  

      Read them aloud to my Mom  

      Feb 10 2014: We just finished the last one, In the Company of Others but have heard there is a new one and need to check on that.
      • At Home in Mitford 
      • A Light in the Window by Jan Karon  
      • These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon  .
      • Out to Caanan by Jan Karon 
      • A New Song by Jan Karon.  
      • A Common Life: The Wedding Story by Jan Karon
      • Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon 
      • In This Mountain by Jan Karon
      • A Light From Heaven by Jan Karon  --   the final book in the Mitford series.
      • At Home in Holly Springs by Jan Karon  --  Father Tim series first of two.  Features Father Tim from the Mitford series having adventures beyond Mitford after his retirement from Episcopal priest duty. In this one he returns to the town he grew up in. 
      • In the Company of Others by Jan Karon  --  Father Tim series second of two.  In this one he and Cynthia have a several week vacation in Ireland from where his father and grandfather had immigrated
      Grace Chapel Inn series published by Guidepost which I'm now reading to Mom. New volumes will come in the mail monthly. We are loving it.  Maybe even more than the last half of the Mitford and Father Tim volumes.  Three sisters ages 50, 62 and 70 inherit jointly their family home after their father's death.  A Victorian in a very small town situated next door to the church their father pastored.  They decide to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast so they can afford to keep it and live in it.  We finished the tenth one the second week of January.
      • Back Home Again by Melody Carlson 
      • Going to the Chapel by by Rebecca Kelly
      • Recipes and Wooden Spoons
      • Hidden History
      • Winter Wonders
      • Portraits of the Past
      • All in the Timing
      • Promises to Keep
      • Slices of Life
      • Home for the Holidays
      Herriot's All Creatures: another series I'm reading to Mom.  We are reading these while we wait for the next Grace Chapel book to arrive in the mail.

      • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot -- LOAN -- EBOOK

      Wicked Another series for which I'll probably do a single review. I think there is a 5th book out now so I may wait until I can get my hands on it.  These four were loaners from my niece.
      • Witch by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie -- LOAN -- TREE
      • Curse by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie -- LOAN -- TREE
      • Legacy by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie -- LOAN -- TREE
      • Spellbound by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie -- LOAN -- TREE

      Thomas Covenant Trilogies
      Thomas Covenant

      • Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen R. Donaldson [Book 1 of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever] reread  -- OWN -- EBOOK

      Fiction:
      • The Land of Decoration by Grace McClean -- ARC-- OWN -- TREE
      • The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff  -- LIBRARY -- TREE
      • Losses by Robert Wexelblatt an -- ARC-- OWN -- EBOOK
      • After: The Shock by Scott Nicholson -- ARC-- OWN -- EBOOK  This is post apocalyptic horror with zombies.    I anticipated enjoying this even tho zombies are not my favorite horror theme because I really enjoyed his The Red Church and I did but probably not to the same degree.  And its continued.
      • Pie Town by Lynne Hinton -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • Good in Bed by Jennifer Wiener -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • Certain Girls by Jennifer Wiener (sequel to Good in Bed) -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • Joyland by Stephen King -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • Rose Fire by Mercedes Lackey -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • The Nano Experiment by Richard Brawer -- OWN -- EBOOK
      • 420 Characters by Lou Beach  -- LIBRARY -- TREE
      • Rough Draft by Michael Robertson Jr. and Dan Dawkins -- OWN -- EBOOK
      • Autism Goes to School by Sharon A. Mitchell -- OWN -- EBOOK
      • Silver Lake by Peter Gadol -- OWN -- EBOOK
      Non-Fiction:

      • Boys Will Be Joys by Dave Meurer -- OWN -- TREE
      • Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson  -- OWN -- EBOOK -- a collection of essays by inde authors -- ROW80 reading list 
      • Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular by Rust Hills onetime fiction editor at Esquire -- OWN -- TREE
      •  Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhi -- LOAN -- EBOOK
      • Get Your Loved One Sober by Robert Meyers  -- OWN -- EBOOK (Research for a fiction WIP)
      • The Road to Success in NaNoWriMo: Your Guide to a Month of High Speed Writing by Terri Main  -- OWN -- EBOOK
      • 50 ways to get Ideas for Blog Posts by Dylan Varian  -- OWN -- EBOOK
      • Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen -- LIBRARY -- AUDIO
      • From Where You Dream by Robert Olen -- LIBRARY -- TREE

      Memoir/Biography

      • Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living by by Bailey White -- OWN -- TREE -- a memoir.  It's short little vignette chapters and easy to read font made it ideal for taking with me to doctor appointments.  Which is how I managed to finally finish it.
      • Never Give in to Fear by Marti MacGibbon   -- ARC-- OWN -- EBOOK This was a memoir of an addict's decent into the abyss and rise back out again and was quite engrossing.





      New Arrivals:

      __ARC

      ~snail mail



      ~email


      ~NetGalley

      • The Glittering World by Robert Levy
      • Victorian Fairy Tales Edited by Michael Newton
      • The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker

      __Bought


      __Borrowed


      • The Tao of Chaos: DNA & the I-Ching by Katya Walter --LIBRARY --EBOOK [Open Library]
      • Why Isn't My Brain Working? by Datis Kharrazian -- LOAN -- TREE [from the library of the nutritionist]

      • Read more...

        Sunday, February 01, 2015

        Sunday Serenity

        Smile
        My sister knows me so well. :)

        Read more...

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