Empath?

Some people say I’m sweet~  Well, I’m not sure if I am or not but I know, like any other, I’m trying.

I had to counsel a co-worker this afternoon and on my way home I found myself running over, in my mind, all of the things I could’ve said to her but didn’t because I didn’t even think of them…  I wondered what happened to me in this circumstance when at times I surprise myself, hearing amazing, thought-provoking words flowing off my tongue that are likely from a higher source other than me.  However, this time I could kick myself because I didn’t do my best.  I faltered badly in front of someone who needed me though I didn’t do this intentionally.

** The problem is I feel more than I know what to say.  **

The words somehow get stuck or don’t come to mind because I’m feeling for the person, wondering how I can assist them to feel better.  It’s later that I run through all of the sentences and paragraphs of wise knowledge I should’ve imparted to them.  Then I feel inadequate, wonder if I should set up another meeting with them so I can impart all these wise tidbits, maybe even write them on a sheet of paper so I can remember them later when I’m sitting face to face with them again and in “duh” mode.  I also ask myself why did I not think of these things when I was face to face with them and… I have no answer.  I have no idea why but I feel like I did them a disservice and if they had this information maybe they’d be empowered to make better choices.

And the word Empath comes to mind.  A word I’ve Googled countless times but am not sure if it really fits me.  A word that doesn’t seem too empowering and I may not want to be labeled as.  A single word that seems people who fit into this category have been dealt the ‘short straw’ so to speak.  They feel too much and that it’s a bad thing because you have to protect yourself and do some type of rituals to’wash off the energies’ of others, all the time to be safe.  A word that makes me feel like a doormat for others’ problems.

I’ve always considered myself strong and capable.  Able to take on anything and survive.  A Superwoman of sorts.  But this single word Empath doesn’t hold those same traits.

I can only hope that part of what I said to my co-worker made sense and that I got through.  I hope that this beautiful, generous, kind and loving woman who doesn’t see herself in that way anymore and struggles with her own personal experiences realizes what a true treasure she is and that maybe, just maybe, despite my “empathic” ways becomes stronger, more confident and courageous.  Sadly, there aren’t many like her in this world and if there’s anything any of us ’empaths’ can do to help these wonderful souls through this challenging world, it is our duty to assist them to their highest good and greatest potential.  All we can do is try.

 

 

Preparing for Matthew- a Hurricane is coming!

Hi Readers,

 

It is raining here this Thursday morning as residents from Central Florida to the East coast of Florida prepare for  the inevitable- Hurricane Matthew!  It has been awhile since I’ve had to prepare for a Hurricane and so much has happened in the past two days.  I really hope that this one is much kinder than Charlie was to us but whatever happens, it’s coming and we have to ride it out.  So here’s what’s happened since I learned that Matthew changed its course to come visit me.

October 5th-

I was at Wal-Mart in the early morning hours, purchasing normal every day items, unaware a hurricane was targeting my area when I asked a cashier if it was general practice for cashiers without their lights on to take customers.  He informed me that due to the ‘Hurricane rush’ they were just taking people but it was not a normal event.  This is when I realized that Matthew was approaching and I needed to take it seriously.  I then called my husband from the car to discuss the serious nature of this approaching storm and to ask if he thought we needed anything.  He said water and maybe some canned foods and chips, so I headed back into the store with my shopping cart, grabbing a box of Halloween cookies to soothe my additional stress and as a reward for being pro-active when I ventured down crowded aisles to find absolutely no canned pasta, only a few cans of canned chicken in various, strange flavors (one of them was damaged) and no water bottles anywhere.  What a surprise!

So, after doing all I could:  purchasing 8 bottles of flavored water, 2 cases of flavored canned water, one can of chicken and tons of bags of chips and crackers, and grabbing 4 bottles of actual plain water (I couldn’t believe I found) in the small refrigerator in the check out lane, I drove home.

I then reviewed my inventory of canned items I already have at home.  We have a good, not stellar, supply already and I hope it’s enough for the three people in my life I have to worry about (hubby, me and my ailing dad who lives in his own apartment).

However, I started worrying about our supply of water but I found a good tip online advising to fill freezer bags with water and freeze them.  So I set about doing just that and realized that next time I will need to buy brand name freezer bags to be safe for the locking mechanism on off-brands is precarious.  ** For a fun experience try filling freezer bags with water while holding the bags with both hands as they grow heavier and heavier and shifting the tap off with your mouth.

~ It’s funny the things you do when you can’t find water in the store.  I started brain-storming and came up with the idea to fill my Keurig and my alternate coffee pot, to capacity, with water in case I needed to siphon some out to boil, etc. for later.  And I happily found three pitchers in my cabinets and filled them all, setting them aside on the counter in front of my make-shift “water storage”.

After my hubby returned home, we took in all the decorations, wind chimes, benches and chairs from outside (it’s amazing what you have outside of your house- you never really know how much until you have to collect them) and set them in the garage and then called it a night.

October 6th-

I woke up considering what to do with all the food in the freezer and refrigerator due to power outages.  Since we live in an older neighborhood, our power lines are above ground and just the slightest wind will cause an outage.  With the pending hurricane there is no question we will have no power and since we no longer live near a water treatment plant or fire station, it could be days to weeks before power is restored.  So, I proceeded to pack everything up in bags and transport them to my dad’s apartment.  He has my spare refrigerator in his garage and since his electricity is tied in with the fire station next door his power very rarely goes out and when it does, it’s less than an hour or two before it comes back up.  Thank goodness for small miracles!  Now almost all my food and condiments are packed into the spare refrigerator.

But then I forgot- I also have my Hurricane Supply box in my dad’s garage as we’ve never had a chance to move it to my house.

hurricane-box-2016

 

And when I lifted the lid, I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!

 

water-supply

4 Jugs of water!  Eureka!!!!  And a bunch of battery powered fans, too.  It’s really the little things that excite you when a monster of a storm is approaching.

So here I am sitting at my computer, after turning down the a/c to cool the house with all the ceiling fans running too (to make the temperature as frosty as possible before the lights go out) with only routine things left to do- check the mail and make lunch while I still have an oven that works.

And so, to all you readers in the impact zone, please be safe!  I will chat with you soon.

 

It’s the little things…

This morning, I decided to treat myself to breakfast.

So, I went into a local cafe’ and ordered a breakfast sandwich.  The guy behind the counter took my order and then grabbed something behind him and asked me if I wanted coffee.  Before I could respond, he added, “Free, on me.”  I looked at him with a mixture of surprise and leeriness.  Free isn’t something that happens all the time but when it’s genuine, it’s amazing and can change your whole outlook.

The day started as usual- me lamenting going to work but even more so because I’m a bit under the weather; regardless, I knew I had a few things to attend to at work and they needed to be done asap, so I trudged in to the job.  That’s when I decided to treat myself and I encountered this very nice man.  The free coffee he gave me uplifted my spirit and made me smile.

Really- it’s the little things in life that can change your entire day.  And to this kind soul, I say “thank you” for making my day.  I’m sure he doesn’t know how much his generous gesture meant to me.

A small kindness can mean so much.  Let’s start a ripple effect.

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

My thoughts regarding the Orlando Pulse Shooting

I was at the gym on June 12th when I heard about the shooting that occurred just two hours earlier.  It’s unnerving to know that there is still hatred, even in the United States- a land where everyone has the possibility to become what they aspire to.  And to know that this man- this terrorist- could’ve been or done anything with his life but he chose to become a serial killer, instead.

There has been a lot of debate since the tragedy occurred.  People have voiced their opinions quite openly about the gay community and lifestyle.  One of my friends posted on Facebook that some were even happy about the shootings, stating that being gay is evil.  Wow.  Really?  Did they miss the point that this is not about whether you are gay or not, this is not about frequenting nightclubs, this is not about your religion- essentially, it boils down to this- people died.

Human beings, like you and me, people who had family, friends, and Lives- perished.  Even if you don’t accept their lifestyle and their beliefs, you can at least value them for who they essentially are- a Human Being, just like you and me.  They did not deserve to be brutally attacked.  They deserved to live their lives accordingly.

I am really surprised by how people think being gay is evil and I know where some of this influence stems from but I’m not going to go into religion here.  Being gay, in my opinion, isn’t evil or sinful, it’s a preference.  It’s a different lifestyle that maybe you and I don’t understand but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to judge anyone for being who they are.  I have no right to nor would I want to impede on someone’s freedom and happiness.  I believe everyone has the right to pursue what they want in life and if it doesn’t harm anyone and is not unethical or immoral, I am not going to keep anyone from being happy.

Be who you are no matter what anyone else thinks.  My heart goes out to the families of the victims and to the survivors of this irrational act.

The Space Between- the daily life of a writer between novels

Day 3-

Hi Readers.  Today is Friday.  Enough said.  Haha.  Seriously, how can one be unhappy on a Friday – unless they work on the weekend, that is.

When I think about it, I actually do work on the weekends, but what I do on Saturdays and Sundays:  writing, marketing/promo, talking to readers and fans, interacting with my awesome Street Team- I don’t consider work.  It’s a normal, natural part of my day and something I look forward to.  It’s funny when I think about it and when I compare and contrast my day job to my writing career.  On a nightly basis throughout the weeks, I do some type of promoting and/or writing and I have never really considered it a job.  It’s just something I do and yes, it’s extra work since I also work a 40+ hour day time job Monday-Friday; however, I would never consider not writing.  That would be really strange and very sad for me.

I am sitting here at my computer typing this blog out, after promoting my 2nd book, Jasper, to more than one-hundred groups on Facebook and my hands are hurting.  Sometimes this happens after I’ve used my hands extensively on the computer at my day job and then at night, writing and promoting my novels.  I wonder if other Authors ever get the dreaded carpal-tunnel syndrome after years of applying their trade.  I’ve felt the effects, having to sleep in braces for several nights at a time and it is really painful and not fun.

Last year, my dad bought for me a “Dragon dictate” program which he used himself and said was a bit cumbersome, at first, but he thought it could help me in my writing.  It was a sweet gesture on his part but, unfortunately, I am not the type of Author that can speak my books, I have to physically type them out, often deleting and editing as I go.

** So, today has been a nicer day for me and I’m thankful.  **

Yesterday, I forgot to mention that I actually wrote ten pages in my WIP- woo-hoo!!  That’s an accomplishment for me as I’ve been dragging my feet, procrastinating, and listless in my energy.  Even the ideas in my brain froze and came to a standstill but yesterday was a breakthrough of sorts.  Of course, now that my hands are hurting from all the Facebook promos, I will take a break tonight from any further writing- to be continued tomorrow with a hopeful ten more pages (crossing fingers).

And this is Day three.

The Space Between- the daily life of a writer between novels

Day 2-

So, here I am on the 2nd day of this brief journey of insight into the life of an author, in between published books.

Today has been a better day for me.  After receiving encouragement and reassurance from my good friend and guru, Michael (wide smile), he asked me what was important to me?  I answered “my books.”  And there was my answer.  Nothing else matters.  Now I say this and, of course, other things matter like my family and my friends but truly all the nonsense at work I’ve been wrestling with, that has caused me countless sleepless nights and worry and angst over how to deal with people who have no insight into their own bad behavior- well- that doesn’t matter at all because that’s not my overall goal.  My goal is to be a successful, respected Author and that’s what I’m striving for every day.  As long as I keep centered and focused on what’s truly important to me and I keep striving every day to achieve it, everything else, namely all the pettiness, can fall to the wayside because it has nothing to do with my goals and what I want to achieve in life.

It also didn’t hurt to see how many books I’ve sold with Amazon so far this year.  When I saw how many I sold for my most popular book, I almost fell over in my chair.  Wow!  There’s a stark difference from what you sell monthly to how much you’ve sold over several months.  My monthly sales may seem minuscule but the overall effect of seeing the greater number is a real eye opener and it was good to note that my promotions are actually helping my sales.  I am always happy when someone new has discovered my books and gives one a try.  If they don’t like it, that’s okay- everyone has different tastes but there have been several that have taken a chance and read one of my books and now want to read all of them and that is amazing!

So, after being re-centered, I made a new friend.  A lovely woman who decided to join my Street Team and- guess what- she wants to promote me, too.  She read my first book, Nightfall and loved it and she decided everyone needs to read my books (how amazing and wonderful is that).  For an Author, hearing that a reader enjoys your book(s) is like celebrating a birthday- it is the best feeling in the world to hear someone loves what you painstakingly took years to write, edit and get published.  It truly only takes one enthusiastic reader/fan to make an Author’s day.  The fact that she loved my book, Nightfall, so much as to want to promote me is such a blessing to me!

So today, I decided to take the day to step away from the drama at my day job and get some work done without interruption.  This really helped to put me in a better frame of mind, too.  The only thing better would’ve been to listen to music while I worked and I may just do that tomorrow.

And this is Day 2.

The Space Between- the daily life of a writer between novels

Day 1-

Today is a tough day for me.  Not only am I dealing with the sadness of not having my mom, my best friend in my life but I also consciously aware of  the upcoming one year anniversary of her death.  I just want to cry, cry and do some more crying until I am fully spent.  To top this off, I am also dealing with my dad’s failing health problems while trying to ignore my own.   My husband and I have a new dog which we found out is more of a puppy.  We have no kids and this dog/puppy is driving us insane with sleepless nights, endless chewing of objects, play time starting at 10 or 10:30 at night every night and chasing and eating anything that moves plus eating wet grass outside, creating her own salad mixes.  She’s also only partially house trained so you never know when you might end up with a nasty, unexpected surprise in your house, like this morning, for example.

To top this all of, I am one of those unfortunate but very common authors that works a full time day job.  Things have become so stressful at work, I want to scream at the top of my lungs, run away and tell them to take their job back but unfortunately, as the bread winner of the family and the one who provides the health benefits, I do not have the luxury of leaving a job that interferes with my real career in order to pursue my writing full-time.  I will be lucky one day if I can work part-time instead of full-time but because I married for love and not money, this is my plight in life and I must deal with my lot.

As any other author, I too want to make it big but I don’t know how.  My days are filled with angst, stressing over book sales and why there aren’t more when I market my books to more than 100+ Facebook groups and pages every other day.  I am trying to reach my population- the readers who love Paranormal Romance or even Paranormal Erotic Romance since my books are fitting more and more in this category.  I crave interaction with my readers and am saddened by the low level I receive.  How does an Author make it and what are the tools?  I wish the Author community was more generous with information, too.  It seems Authors like to withhold information and this saddens me deeply for learning the trade and all that comes with it – the extensive marketing and social media platforms- is hard in itself.  If you can help someone, why wouldn’t you?  Fortunately, I’ve encountered some good people along the way, generous and giving, offering to help promote me for free- I am thankful for such loving, kind souls.

All these thoughts and ideas go through my head as I sit here at Day One, with a WIP I am struggling to get through, a book under contract, expected to publish by August 2016 and three books already out on the market.  But instead of appreciating my accomplishments, I am wanting more, just like most authors.  The life of an Author is hard, it’s a struggle, it’s a dance between what you want and what you have and trying to figure out how to get to where you want to be with the resources you have.

And this is Day One.

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