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Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 07:18 am
I have a toothache today, so this might be more grouchy than usual... But hopefully I can plow through the rest and be done!

Week 10, exercise one:
Making to-done (ta-dah) lists of your accomplishments that day, to give you a sense of, well, accomplishment.
This kinda goes hand in hand with writing things you've already done on your to-do list so you can immediately cross them off.

Week 10, exercise two:
List 5 personal situations that are still sore spots, lingering resentments, sources of self-pity. Then address each one and see what you can do about it.

Week 10, exercise three:
Write a want ad for your perfect creative partner.

Week 10, exercise four:
Answering questions leading you to who has been your sidekick/inspiration in your creative endeavors. And writing a letter. To them. And to you (from then, I assume?)

(So close to done, my face hurts...)

Week 11, exercise one:
List 50 things your heart loves (oxygen, red blood cells...)

Week 11, exercise one point five:
List 10 times you got creative encouragement, and note if you ignored, discounted, or acted upon it.

Week 11, exercise three:
List 25 things you are proud of yourself for doing (not defacing this library book...). No, but really, I'm all for having positive lists, as long as it doesn't morph into narcissism (Which, for most, it won't). Most of us need to be reminded of how awesome we are, and sometimes you just can't wait around for someone else to do it.

Week 11, exercise four:
List 10 creative injuries or disappointments you're not let yourself grieve.

(Sooooo close, keep going!)

Week 12, exercise one:
Again, answering questions about how to make sure you have time/space/privacy for your artistic endeavors. Not at ask an issue for me.

Week 12, exercise two:
List 10 activities that make you feel grounded. I don't know about "grounded", but I think it's good to remember certain activities that can help you when you're feeling stressed out, or frustrated, or down. I know that despite living listening to audiobooks, sometimes I really need to crank up some music in my car, and that folding cranes is very soothing (as is knitting, more so than crochet).

Week 12, exercise three:
I hear dead people. No, really, ask for help from your ancestors and write down what you hear. Yeah... No. This is, of course, a personal thing, and your mileage may vary, but it's not my cup of tea.

Week 12, exercise four:
Allow yourself to marvel... go to a bookstore and buy a children's book on a subject you like.

Aaaaaaand done! I know I didn't read it thoroughly, and brushed off some (most) of the exercises, but I really don't think they'd help me as I pretty obviously didn't need that kind of help. All the things she said were issues... just weren't for me. I don't struggle with finding time, or with people discouraging me, or paat resentments. I'm... pretty prolific in my "art" (not saying good, just... prolific). Do I think some of the exercises in this book could help some people? Maybe? I'm not really sure, on the balance, self-help books really, truly help that many people, because the people who buy self-help books tend to buy lots of them, indicating they still feel like they need help... I don't know. Upshot: my most hated genre. Ever.
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Sunday, April 10th, 2016 10:11 am
If you remember (or care) when I did the "Woman Unleashed" course I signed up for aaaaaaall the free content the people offered (Except Willowing, I think, because I was already doing Lifebook and had all of that, and already somehow get her email on both my addresses). I did use an anonymous, web-based email (that was harder to get than I thought these days!) so I wouldn't have to deal with the fallout in the months, years, decades that followed. And while it's bad, to be honest, it's not as bad as I thought. Since the end of the program, that email box had only racked up about 250 emails. Between 1-3 a day, it seems. Still, glad it's in an email I don't have to deal with daily, though I do need to go back and look through those at some point, especially since one of the things was 27 days of writing prompts. They came in a day at a time and are buried in there somewhere!

Speaking of content you don't want to see, a person left a note on one of my beaunicorn post expressly telling me to stop. And that no one wants to see it, if you said you enjoyed it, you lied. Because of who this person is, my actual response was toned down (no swearing involved!) but don't worry (or, I suppose, be sad) because I'm not going to stop. I like it, I find it fun, and if you don't, well, don't follow me (that was rather the upshot of my response). Who is anyone to dictate what someone puts on their page? Do I see things I would rather not? Sure. That's what the "hide post" button is for (or, more effectively, FB Purity
s key word blockers). Or you can just unfollow someone. They probably won't notice. And you can always go to their page now and then, when you feel up to it, and leave a comment. They'll never know.

Really, that didn't make me mad, but it did give me a moment of "what's up with THAT?!" which, as cynical as I think I am, was rather an odd experience. I tend to expect the worst from people, but it still caught me a little off-guard, as in "REALLY?!" Refreshing, in a way, that people can still surprise me, sad in that it's in the negative way.

I'm really just randomly typing this right now because my task for today was to tackle some clean-up. Someone saw my craft room (it is really bad, I cleaned another room out and it bore the brunt of the shoving) and was horrified. And, honestly, I'm a little horrified by it right now. I wanted to spend today just cleaning it up, and finding a place for the stuff I have in bags in my office (the yarn for the Merphghan, and the stuff I have for "sale" in the Shop the Swap swap on Craftster - I have to keep that in one place, or when someone "buys" something I will spend forever looking for it!).

Wish me luck, and if you don't hear from me in a few days, please send in a search&rescue team, I may be trapped under a farbricalanche. ;p
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Thursday, April 7th, 2016 02:40 pm
And so it continues... (sorry)

Week 8, exercise one
List five people you feel connected with, and something creative you could do for each one.
I already owe just about everyone craft projects, thank you very much...

Week 8, exercise two
List 5 areas of your life in which you feel haste and pressure,and analyze those areas to see if you can slow down.
This woman obviously doesn't have a job. :/

Week 8, exercise three
Make, then destroy, an embodiment of your biggest detractor/tormentor.
Make a creativity totem that embodies support and put it someplace visible.
Okay, I used to think I cared too much about what people think, but these exercises make me realize that, while I do care what some people think about some things (as you should!) in general, and especially with regards to creative things, I... don't. Nor do I need a creativity totem to spur me on. I create shit all the time. Motivation isn't my problem. Time is my problem! But again, I'm very very obviously not the target audience for this book.

Also, ehhh, "Creativity is a spiritual issue and that means we can invoke forces to cast out our demons."

I'm the least spiritual person I know, but I have to say I think I'm pretty damn creative!

Week 9, exercise one
Write about your ideal day after all your dreams come true. Document it in great detail from morning to night.
Really? I get the whole "focus on the positive" thing (sort of), but much like the false impressions of Facebook and Pinterest, that could well serve to make people feel worse. The example she gives is living the life of a huge hit Broadway producer, which, let's be honest, isn't going to be many people. And, seeing something so much better than what you have... why not go for something a little more down-to-earth? Admittedly, I don't fully understand the point of this.

Week 9, exercise two
Affirmative prayers

Week 9, exercise three
Find rest in moments of restlessness
Yes to this. Sometimes, you just have to sit back, relax, and take a deeeeep breath. As they said on Top Gear, sometimes you have to go slower to go faster!

Week 9, exercise four
List 50 things you like about yourself exactly the way they are.
This one, I don't know how to feel about. Because even while, say, I think I am excellent at crochet, I'd still like to try new things. So I love my ability, but of course I want to keep challenging it. I'm a very good writer, but that doesn't mean I don't want to improve. Not because I think I *need* to, or because I'm not "good enough" the way I am, but because what's the point otherwise? Who wants to never change? Feeling good about yourself is important - it really is - but you should never take it to the "perfect" extreme where you don't think you could ever improve/learn something from someone else.

Week 9, exercise four
Fill in the blanks, self-appreciation
Lists of things that, while other people might not have given you a pay on the back for, you deserved one. So congratulate yourself.

Week 9, exercise five
List 10 ways you could be more selfish (that might make it easier for you to later be selfless)
I'm about the most selfish person I know, so... I have me time. I buy things I want. I always take care of me (because, if you don't take care of you, don't expect anyone else to). I don't think I could be more "selfish" without turning into a horrible selfish bitch (what most of these books label as "selfish" is, in fact, not being completely self-centered and a jerk, it's taking care of yourself, which, no, is not selfish).

Three more chapters to go!!!
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Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 10:23 am
"Dispatch, we have a car sitting outside the home, license plate NVH-294. It pulled up a minute ago, no one has gotten out, it appears a person inside is using a cell phone to look something up, judging by the light."

"Roger, hold on a moment while we run the plate."

A moment ticked by in the darkness, then the voice crackled back over the radio. "Blue 2012 Honda Civic, registered to a Lucy Darcy, lives in Jamestown."

"Probably a college student, might be lost. I'll check it out and get back to you."

He cautiously approached the car, which was still idling. The window was rolled down, and he could hear a girl's voice.

"Yes, I turned right... But the construction... No, no detour was marked... It was actually closed. Closed, as in can't get through at all. They said 'closed to through traffic' and they meant it, the road wasn't there... I don't know, I got back on the highway and tried the next exit..."

He rapped on the back window, and the girl jumped. "Hold on," she said into the phone.

"Yes?" She asked him hesitantly.

"You lost?" he asked, flashing her his badge. She peered at it suspiciously.

"Sort of, I'm trying to get to the corner of 93rd and Olive, but there seems to be a lot of construction here, and..." she sighed, and checked her watch. "The hotel has probably given away my room by now."

"Oh, you're trying to get to the Watts Mill Inn?" He asked.

"That's the one. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb the residents, I was just trying to get some directions from my friend, and..." She bit her lip. "I didn't think they'd, well, overreact to me sitting here for a minute."

"It's not that, miss, you've rather stumbled into the middle of an investigation," he said.

"Oh my goodness, isn't that just my luck?" She shook her head and laughed. "So now you think I'm some sort of hit man or something, come to bump off the witness."

"Why would you assume that?" he asked warily. "Why not assume it's just a stakeout?"

"You wouldn't have approached me if it were a stakeout," she said. "I've watched enough cop dramas! You would have had someone follow me as I drove away."

He relaxed a bit, and let his hand fall back to his side. "Are you sure you're not a detective?"

"No, no, trust me, my interest in Mr. Hamilton isn't on that side of the law at all."

The flash in his eyes as his hand flew to his gun was all the confirmation she needed. This was most definitely the right place. He was fast, but she was faster, and she was getting out of the car as he crumpled to the ground. A minute later, she was in the house. A minute after that, Mr. Hamilton wouldn't be a problem for her clients any longer.
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Friday, April 1st, 2016 02:44 pm
So, I did happen to catch, while flipping through the book, that your "believing mirror" is simply a very supportive friend. One who believes in you. Do you don't have to have a magic mirror on the wall that you talk into like a crazy person. Unless you want to, because, hey, who am I to judge?

So, onwards!

Week 6, exercise one:
Practice containment, or, don't show your half-finished projects or share your ideas with just anyone because their mean comments may make you give up.

Rescue and recall, or, find a project that you gave up because someone crushed your ideas and, with the help of a supportive friend, revitalize it.

Week 6, exercise two:
List 10 ways and places you can have privacy for your art.
Um, going to my room, any time but dinner time or walkies time. Not really an issue for me.

Week 6, exercise three:
Commune with your community
Fill in the blank sentences about how you could better take part in your community.

Week 7, exercise one:
List 5 places that you could neaten up.
Uh... my house?
Pick one area and straighten it up, does this experiment put you in touch with a greater sense of benevolence?
Wait, what? "using stuck energy in a productive way" - I'm not stuck, the fact of the matter is that my house is in that state partially because I'd rather be knitting/sewing/arting/writing.

Week 7, exercise two:
Geography. Answering questions about what other cultures and time periods speak to you. Aaaaaand then you are supposed to make a collage. I hate collages.

Week 7, exercise three:
"Finish something" - "No wonder we drag our feet at the thought of starting something else. We've had to many false starts, too many half-finished, half-hearted projects"
HAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, starting new things is a problem for me. *gigglesnort*

Week 7, exercise four:
List 10 things you learned to do despite your doubt they could be mastered.
I... don't doubt anything could be mastered with enough time and practice?

Only five more sets of exercises, and at least with just skimming the book it's going quickly! Sorry to done on about this, but, well...
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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 01:51 pm
I'm even losing the umph to do the exercises...

Week 4, exercise one:
Carry a sketchbook and sketch. Not a bad idea, but also not an original one. Most artists encourage people to do just that.

Week 4, exercise two:
Complete this phrase 10 times...

...okay, I messed up here, because I read it as "seriously, I would love to..." and wrote down things I really did want to do. Then I read the next part "spend 15 minutes inhabiting your secret dream and write about it." Oh. Well. See, nothing I wrote was a secret. It actually read "*secretly* I would love to..." And, well, I don't have secret dreams, I... pretty much blab to everyone about them.

Week 4, exercise three:
Write a dialog between my rational, realistic self (R) and my wild and crazy dream side (W). This is supposed to find a way to balance your dreams (for instance, taking a single night class instead of quitting your job and going back to school full-time).

W - I want to quit my job and just sit at home and do crafts all day.
R - So you have a business plan to sell them?
W - I don't want to *sell* then, then it's just another job.
R - So you've won the lottery?
W - No....
R - Then you plan to eat how?
W - ...dammit.

(In truth, I think I already have an excellent work/craft balance, so...)

Week 5, exercise one:
Fill in the blanks, this time about your friends. Which ones make you happy and want to create, and who are stifling, etc. And then... you're supposed to write yourself a love letter. Being as affectionate as possible.

Dear Me:
I think you're quite spiffy.

Week 5, exercise two:
Write down five responses to the following...
If it weren't so selfish, I'd love to try ... Running away? I mean, that's about the only thing I can think of that would be too "selfish" for me to do, because I'm pretty damn selfish as a rule of thumb. But it'd only be a short run-away, because I like my life and my house. Maybe just an afternoon out. Wait, I do that all the time. Dammit.
If it weren't so expensive, I'd love to try ... not working, buying a mansion, driving a Bugatti, and having an Olympic sized swimming pool full of craft supplies. Oh, these were supposed to be reasonable? Pffff.
If it weren't so frivolous, I'd love to own ... uh, I just spent the equivalent of a house payment on Lego. I don't think I've ever let "frivolous" stop me from buying anything.
If it weren't so scary, I'd love to tell ... I... whaaaa? There are stories for other times of the things I've told people, I'm not usually "scared" to say something.
If I had five other lives, I'd love to be ... a decent question, but I have to ask, would I be me in these lives? With my fears, phobias, and physical limitations? (For example, I think NBA star is probably right out, because I don't love professional basketball, I'm female, and I'm 5'2" tall). Am I limited to this time period? I have a feeling this question is about finding more "hidden dreams" you could work towards, so wanting to be a moonshine-running flapper is probably not the kind of thing they're looking for (cool as it would be).

Week 5, exercise three:
Write a letter to yourself from your inner artist's best friend, who has been observing you, telling you what changes you should make (people you should spend less time with, things you need to do, etc).
No. Enough with the letter-writing!

...And then you put the letter in your God Jar. And talk to yourself in your "believing mirror". I've obviously missed bits by skimming. Aaaaand, honestly, I'm okay with that now.
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Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 03:03 pm
So, though I've given up on the morning pages, I'm going to work through the exercises (because that well at least make me feel like I've "finished" the book).

Week 2, exercise one:
A bunch of fill in the blanks about what your childhood dream was, who inspired you, and how you can take steps to go after that dream now. What? No, I don't want the same things I wanted when I was 12. I've changed, and it wasn't because I want encouraged enough as a child.

Week 2, exercise two:
More fill I the blanks, mostly involving "secret gifts" and "things you're afraid to try" and "purple you don't tell your dreams to because they crush them". Um, I don't have secrets, the only things I'm afraid to do (skydiving, bee keeping) is because I'm afraid of the acts themselves, not afraid of what other people will think, and screw anyone who thinks it's dumb for me to try, say, stained glass work.

Week 2, exercise three:
Finish the phrase "I wish..." twenty times. My favorite from my list? "I wish the Browns were a decent football team". Hey, she said to write what came to mind...

Week 2, exercise four:
More fill in the blanks, things like "if it weren't so foolish, I'd love to try ..." (juggling balls of jello while riding a unicycle?) and "the dream I have never told anyone is..." (it involved a small hatchback and an unfortunately shaped set of measuring spoons, let's just leave it at that... oh, you didn't mean that kind of dream... well, um...)

Week 2, exercise five:
Write a letter from your adult self to your inner artist.
..mine reads more like a text message: "don't forget the milk". No, seriously, I just couldn't.

In week three she intimates that mental illness isn't really a thing ("I'm not interested in debating with people over the reality of mental illness" and "we carry within us the exact medicine to heal it ourselves. That medicine is creativity") at which point I would have set the book on fire but it's a library book. And burning books is bad. But so is saying shit like that, so it's probably be a wash. My journal note puts it succinctly: "Fuck. You."

Week 3, exercise one
Make a collage board while thinking about something you'd like to understand more fully, then write about what you put together.
No. Just no. One, I don't have magazines, and two, the only thing I'm still contemplating is what am asshole you are, and I don't think pretty pictures will help me "understand" that.

Week 3, exercise two:
List 50 things that anger you and what you can do about them
1. Self-help books / don't read them
2. Stupid assholes like you / sadly, nothing
3. ...I got nothing. I think you're overstating "anger". I don't carry around unresolved and that a store closed, or something inconvenienced me. Momentary frustration, mild irritation, and sadness are more my style. I don't even stay angry when I have a legitimate right to be. It's not worth it. I probably can't even get to fifty mildly irritating things without being cheeky (brown sugar pop tarts, for example, things that don't really make me mad but are fun to whinge about).

Week 3, exercise three:
Five things that interest me.
Five?! FIVE?! This is where I need the list of 50!

Five people that interest me.
Uh, my friends? I don't do celebrities or historical figures much.

Five art forms that interest me.
Again, just five?!

Five projects I could try.
Seriously, FIVE?!

...So, yeah, I'm not sure how much I got out of that, other than realizing I like a *ton* of shit and am not shy about inflicting it on my friends and family and people on Craftster and random strangers...
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Monday, March 28th, 2016 08:03 am
I couldn't even make it two weeks. Yesterday, I made every excuse as to why I'd do my morning pages "later", until suddenly it was ten at night and I just said "screw it". This morning I tried again and got a few lines in before I just couldn't go on. What is the point of doing something you hate so much? I was truly beginning to dread it. And I've done journaling before, that I don't mind, but *having* to do it, especially at an inconvenient time, as opposed to doing it when you feel like it? Yeah, no good. There is absolutely no reason to keep putting myself through that. There is no way it will do me any good, and yes, very much in part because of my attitude towards it.

If you love it and it makes you happy, it works for you and good for you! You should do it. If the idea makes you feel you'd rather poke yourself repeatedly in the face with a fork, maybe you should give it a miss. There's no reason to torture yourself for thirty minutes a day because someone else says it's something you should do and swears it will help you. Because it might not.

Nothing is one size fits all. And that's my biggest problem with so many of these self-help books and programs. They guarantee it will work for everyone, if it didn't work for you it's your fault, you didn't do it right/try hard enough. And don't you dare alter their method to make it work for you (I'm looking at you and your sink, FlyLady) because that's simply not allowed.

Whatever. You do you, and I'll do me, and if we're both happier the world will be a better place. If you want to clean using a mashup of FlyLady, Konmari, and Martha Stewart, more power to you. If you want to do morning pages at night, have at it. If you want to live in a tip and never hand-write a damn thing, none of my business (unless you live next door and there are rats, that's my limit, because then it does effect me, but up until that point, go for it).

I'm still going to work through the questions and exercises in the book, but faster since I'm not waiting to do my journaling. And I need to move on to Kondo's book (if I can stomach it) and I really want to get back to Woman Unleashed, because there's doodling in that!

And my #beaunicorn project. Need a picture for today... :/
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Thursday, March 24th, 2016 03:11 pm
"Have a good night," James says as I step off the elevator at the fifth floor. Good night, my ass. Probably another long, boring night of starting at the walls. Boredom really will get to you after awhile, make you see and hear things. And, yes, I realize that a ghost seeing and hearing things is a completely odd twist of fate, unless, perhaps, there's another world beyond this one? Can ghosts be haunted by... super-ghosts?

After I first died (very boring, pathetic story, don't even ask, I've started making up tales of shark attacks and serial killers because I can't handle the pity in everyone's eyes when I tell the truth) I thought that, well, that's it, at least something will change. But here's the kicker. It didn't. I still live in a crummy studio apartment in a bad part of town and work a crappy shift in a crappy job. Sure, there are chances for advancement, but that's going to take forever, and for now I'm stuck standing on this fifth floor hallway, night after night, waiting for kids to try out some stupid elevator game ritual.

For awhile, traffic was good, and I was getting someone every few nights. But interest has slowed down, as internet memes are, by nature, transitory. I hear they are already re-asigning some of others, but as it happens I "lucked out" and ended up in one of the more popular buildings, so my traffic hasn't completely disappeared. I think it has more to do with accessibility and low traffic, not so much any particularly creepy vibe to the place. The carpet is downright colorful and cheerful. I don't envy James's job in spookifying the 10th floor between their first and second visit. You'd think, being "supernatural" beings and all, we'd have super powers, but no. It's all pretty much garden variety illusion, smoke and mirrors. And it's a lot of work, thank you very much.

My best chance of a good new assignment is to make up a ritual of my own that takes off, but so far, no dice. It's an odd balance of complexity, weirdness, and payoff/risk that I just can't seem to nail down. And I don't mean to whinge, it's not all bad, and there are definitely worse afterlife jobs, but, man, this hallway is getting to me.

Oh, look, the elevator is moving. Looks like we have a customer tonight! The elevator readout goes through the familiar cycle of numbers, and as it reaches the fifth floor, I ready myself. Not too close to the door, but not too far away. The doors slide open, and I start to glide forward, but the voice inside the elevator stops me cold. They're not supposed to talk to me, my brain screams, trying to cover up the horror of what I heard.

"Hello, Candice, I've been looking for you," the man in the elevator says, and grins an evil grin.
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Thursday, March 24th, 2016 12:36 pm
I spent far too much time last night reading about "the elevator ritual", which I heard about through YouTube apparently thinking I wanted to watch a video about a mysterious disappearance. Sometimes I wonder about the suggestions, but then, with my weird taste and the auto-play feature, who knows? I've ended up on some bizarre videos (I often leave it running while I draw or clean or play solitaire - yeah, guess which of those happens most often?).

Anyway, like most of the made-up "rituals" you find places like creepypasta, it's entirely too long and convoluted. And, being that it involves an elevator of more that ten stores (which would have to be a cable elevator, not hydraulic) *and* you have to be alone the whole time (I am too old to stay up until 2am to try to find a deserted elevator), there's really no way I'll ever try it. I don't believe elevators are portals to another dimension, but they are evil death-boxes.

I could go on about how at least one of the instructions cannot work (you push another floor button to "cancel" the previously pushed on in the return instructions, but... elevators don't work that way) except, well, portal to another dimension so all bets are off.

I *really* wish I lived in an area where a lot of people did this, I'd love to get a group of people together to wait for people to try (sadly, since I don't ride elevators, I couldn't dress up as the creepy girl, but I *could* be the one on the tenth floor that turned out the lights and whatnot). Eh, maybe that would be too cruel, I dunno.

It's not the longest one, though... In reading about it, and with my dislike of elevators, one titled "the staircase ritual" caught my eye. But seriously? Not only multiple days, but twelve hours standing on your staircase?! I think the people who make these up need to scale it back a bit. Sometimes less is more.

Though, admittedly, things are more detailed than the good old "Bloody Mary" days (people always dared me to do that one as a kid, and I did, sooooo many times. Not do much brave as logical and cynical, even back then).
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Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 02:31 pm
Okay, so I've been doing the morning pages, as close to morning as I can get, and so far close to 70% of them are whinging about having to write them. Hey, it's what pops into my head. The rest are a confusing jumble of words, because I can't write as fast as my brain makes leaps in subject, so it's like "puppies today crap remember to post swap what's for dinner puppies can't wait don't forget milk dinner grocery store oooh puppies coffee ATC..." and so on.

There's no dwelling on deep feelings or getting to roots of issues because the inside of my head is like an ADD toddler hyped up on twelve pots of coffee and ten pounds of sugar. Especially in the morning. She claims that's the time you have the most time for yourself, but I've found, with my hatred of getting up and, you know, having a job, it's when I have the least time. So it's sloppy and rushed and interrupted (let the dog it, microwave some water, do I have my phone?) and, indeed, pointless. I'll give it another week, because I already wrote the days in the notebook, but after that I think I'll just work through the rest of the exercises and call the book read.

Speaking of exercises... Did I talk about the week one exercises? They were simple.

List 20 small, creative actions you could take
List 10 positive adjectives that describe you
Do nothing for 15 minutes

Easy peasy! And aside from the very Secret/Laws of Attraction message, week one was okay. Week two is shaping up to be a different story.

My week one recap:
Did I miss any MP days? No
Did I do my Artist's Date? Yeah, sort of, I went and bought the notebook? I was going to get more but I already have tons of pens and art supplies.
Did I do my weekly walk? She obviously does not have a dog. I go on daily walks.
Did I have any moments of self-discovery? No.

I'm having way more fun on instagram with #beaunicorn. Why sit and write about wanting to do something creative instead of, you know, actually doing it? (Yeah, probably just one more week...)
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 09:55 am
So, I haven't gotten around to finishing the Woman Unleashed program, though I have it downloaded and saved and there are some interesting things about it. I need to find/get into my photo hosting, though, so I can scan in the art exercises. So that's paused while we briefly move onto something else (I may end up doing them simultaneously, since one is a weekly thing and the other is "as you go".

Brief, uninteresting history of how I got to this...

I'm part of a group on Habitica, a role-playing, to-do slaying website. It encourages good habits and accomplishments by giving your pixel-person things when you do good and killing your pixel-person if you do badly. It's great fun, and it does make me do things. Anyway, there are also challenges, and The Legendary Book Club of Habitica hosts the Popsugar (if they're the originators, I don't know) reading challenge.

All this is a roundabout way of saying I went looking for a satirical book, and found an available audiobook from the library called The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, which sounded weird and wacky and maybe interesting. It is none of those things. It's insulting and crude and full of unlikable characters and I pretty much hate it and am only continuing to listen because, well, the same drive that makes us gawk at car wrecks, I suppose.

A few of the characters in the book mentioned "morning pages", a journaling exercise a lot of people swear by. This led me to look it up, and to find the original book, The Artist's Way. But, as I was looking into the "really, first thing in the morning?!" whine, I found a blog that had worked through her second book, Walking in This World, and it was available in the library, so I checked it out.

I fully realize that jumping into the second book might not be the best thing, but... the more I read of it, the more I'm convinced it won't matter anyway, because I also really dislike this book. Yes, I'd seen some mention of spirituality and connecting and whatnot, but I obviously didn't look closely enough because... it's very religious. "God" and "The Great Creator" are mentioned about every other sentence, it seems.

For a lack-of-religion person such as myself, this is... offputting at best. But it doesn't end there. Sine choice sentences from the first chapter:

"Commit to make something you love and you will find that the needed supplies come to hand"

"When we make art for the sake of making art, we tend to eventually make money."

"Our committed intention attracts supply."

This smacks of "The Laws of Attraction", which brighter minds than mine have railed against, so I'll just say that I think it's bunk. I would have stopped right there, but some of the other things I could agree with, so, we soldier on for now. I can do this, though it's a 12 week program and my library book is due back in 3, so we might have to cheat and at least write down the tasks ahead of time.

I was going to try to do the the pillars of the program for the 12 weeks, though. Those are:
1. Morning pages (though, realistically, these will be lunch/night pages because, seriously, fuck getting up earlier, it's not going to happen - she doesn't have a day job so she can shove that sanctimonious "set your alarm 20 minutes earlier" bullshit)
2. Weekly walks (technically, we do this daily with New Dog, but I will try to do a lunchtime solo walk/weekend solo dog walk once a week)
3. Weekly Artist's Date (go someplace by yourself that sparks creativity... hello, weekly excuse for craft shopping!)

This first week my first Artist's Date is to Target, to get a notebook to do my daily pages, and maybe some stickers and pens. Then tonight I'll do the first chapter exercises, and tomorrow will start my 3 page a day routine.
smeddley: (Default)
Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 07:52 pm
The first thing I noticed was waaaaay too much lip smacking. So. Much. It was distracting and annoying through the entire video. I have, I know, gotten entirely too spoiled by watching people like ashens on YouTube (Seriously, if you haven't watched his Poundland Tat reviews, do so! His movie is also awesome and better than a lot produced by large corporations lately, but it does have some in-jokes that are better after you've watched some of his videos). Now I can barely watch people who make videos that are all choppy and horrible.

Okay, so that aside, this session was just about what you'll need for your journal and journalling supplies. I, of course, ignored all of it and am using a ring binder to store my notes and drawings. Because that's how I roll.

Every session starts with three deep breaths, releasing the past, releasing the future, and focusing on the present. That is probably the least problematic thing I've found so far, because, hey, we all need to breath and we all probably should take deeper breaths. So, yeah, breath. Got it.

Then she asked about our intention - what made us sign up. I don't think the honest answer is one she wants me to share with the group - to take the piss out of the course and mercilessly mock it and rail against the utter bullshit you're filling women's minds with.

The next part (after more woo about "feminine powers" and creativity) was just about journalling style, and using different size lettering and styles, using symbols and colors and whatnot. This is probably not bad information, but certainly in any class or seminar of import I've been at I don't have time to do pretty notes. I suppose you could go back and re-do it, but I've never had the energy. Even with these notes, I barely had time to scribble my thoughts haphazardly about the page. Nothing like the very organized and detailed journalling she showed as an example.

That was it for this session, I need to upload some picture for my review of the next one. We get into the meditation and arty things! Yay!


My side note for an "All the Feels, A Healing Journalling Journey*" project - pick a word you hate (in my case, the new-age use of the word "juicy") and draw it, make it release its power over you. Confront your word hatred and conquer it!

* Totally never going to happen, but it'd be as good as this, I think!
smeddley: (Default)
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 08:29 am
So, I signed up for a free online seminar. It was suggested by a teacher of an online art course I've been taking, and she said they'd be art, and while I knew there'd be a fair amount of woo bullshit, I thought I could deal with it and just take away the good parts. And, worse case, I'd have something to snarkily blog about. But we're only four days in, and it's not funny. I really feel like they are doing women a serious disservice, for a few specific reasons:

More than once, it's been suggested that women need to work on becoming more magnetic (literally, by laying on the floor, which makes you more... um... magnetized?) and not having to *work* so hard for things. One, this is "laws of attraction" and "the secret" bullshit, and two, you should have to fucking work for the things you want. You'll appreciate them more, and, yeah, work is good for you.

Then! Then! They say that *thinking* is masculine and we, as women, need to "get out of our heads and back into our bodies". Because, obviously, we shouldn't worry our pretty little heads about things, just... feel things? What the fuck? No, thank you, I'll stay in the "hyper-masculine" world of using my fucking brain.

I'll probably post session-by-session recaps later (I do have pictures to post, I'm at least making it somewhat about art) but I just had to vent.

I'm embarrassed to be a woman if this is the fucking shit they peddle and push on each other. We're not all fucking motions, I promise.
smeddley: (Default)
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 02:04 pm
I can post absolutely nothing to Facebook, not from my phone, not from my computer.

I can't comment.

I can't even "like" anything.

I suppose now is as good a time as any to take a break from it, but not being able to do anything just makes me want to be able to all the more! Argh.
smeddley: (Default)
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 10:42 am
Why did I stop blogging? I used to like it. But I think I got more concerned with trying to say interesting things and not to bore people, and that's not what I liked about it. I prefer venting my spleen and bitching and moaning. You were warned.

Also, I always seem to want to rant while I'm at work, and while Swyping on my phone keyboard is good for short comments and texts, it kinda sucks for longer entries. Plus my phone logged me out, and I had to figure out my password.

And I've been spending more time on Craftster, and trying to avoid Facebook. I find my threshold for the level of bullshit I see has dropped significantly. And what do you do? Arguing with people on the internet accomplishes exactly nothing.

Today I did read an excellent comment thread (never read the comments! Except when they're awesome) on an article about the bullshit claims about some alternative medicine (can some ancient medical practices work? Yes. Are any of them a panacea? Hell no) and felt a little better about humanity, then had a conversation with a co-worker that stripped away all my warm fuzzies.

She was basically talking about all the horrible health effects of fat (omg death fat!) and how even gaining 5 pound effects her breathing and she can't stand gaining weight because it's awful and makes her feel awful. Well, two things. One, I'm sorry that obviously being like me is the worst thing you can imagine. Two, if your breathing is a concern, maybe you should fucking give up smoking. Health trolling: you're doing it wrong.

See, I'm not against skinny people, or people who want to make themselves healthier. But "losing weight" is actually never the answer. It may well indeed be a side effect! But the things people do to themselves to lose weight are often the very opposite of healthy. If you want to be healthier, by all means eat better food, exercise more, meditate, whatever it takes for you. Focus on that.

In the mean time, I'm going to stuff a cookie in my fat face and go on being okay (most of the time) with me just the way I am.
smeddley: (Default)
Friday, March 27th, 2015 12:41 pm
I haven't died yet, but I did have to buy a health portion once. I'm just now really starting to add things as I get a feel for it. The one thing I wish they had was weekly chores. For now, I'm just setting them as dailies with a Sunday requirement, and what I'll do is check them off on Sunday regardless of what day of the week I did them. I know I could set them as to-dos with due dates on Sunday, but then I'd have to re-enter them every week. Bah!

I did join 2 challenges, the 2015 book challenge and the 2015 reading challenge. I'm going to assume since they say "2015" I can check off the ones I've already done this year, even though I just joined. I'm not so sure about audiobooks, though. They kinda count as books, but... I'm not sure.

Blog posting would be a weekly challenge... I have ones I want to post, but it requires pictures and picture hosting is just... a pain.
smeddley: (Default)
Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 08:52 am
I have things to post, honest I do, but they all require more than just my phone, and that's all I have right now. So I'll post about the things I want to post about, I suppose...

In not at all fun news, I have a sinus infection. Yay! I'm on drugs now, because we are suppose to have a performance on Saturday, though now the weather forecast is looking iffy (this particular event was cancelled last year due to snow). So we'll see. I am furiously trying to get some things done to sell at the workshop, but the intermittent stabbing headache and general feeling of blaaaah are making it difficult.

In better news, I do have more writing to post! I've continued, here and there, working on my music meme writing. It's getting me back in the spirit, and that makes me happy.

In further things-to-post news, I have more cleaning/organizing/hoarding books to review. No armoires this time, but still not helpful to me. I don't have the problems they attribute to "chronically disorganized" people, other than being, well, chronically disorganized. I'm not a perfectionist, I don't have emotional attachment to everything, I don't even really have any lack of energy (if I can start a new craft project, I could clean). I'm just lazy. And no self-help book is helping me. Only company motivates me. So... why don't y'all come over? ;)

I also watched a slew of bad SyFy movies that you will be hearing about...
smeddley: (Default)
Thursday, February 12th, 2015 08:48 am
One of my 101 things (which is subsequently part of my yearly goal book) is to go through 10 more cleaning/clutter/organizational books. This is probably a fruitless task, because I'm pretty honest about my problem. I'm not overly emotionally attached to stuff (classic boarder), I'm not a perfectionist (paralyzed into inaction), and I don't actually think I have much stuff (or a shopping problem)... I'm simply lazy. If I bothered to tidy up and put things away my house would be fine. But there's always something more interesting to be doing, and I generally pick that. Why fold that avalanche of fabric when I could go sit over there and knit? Why clean off my art desk when I can work on my clay at my computer desk? Until it reaches critical mass, I'd rather step over piles of laundry and bags of stuff than devote the time to cleaning it.

And it's not that I'm a perfectionist. Because when it hits that point, I have zero problems cleaning up. It's that up until then, it doesn't bother me enough to overcome my inertia. I. Am. Lazy.

No cleaning or self-help book is written about that.

Still, it's on the list, so... today it's Good Things for Organizing by Martha Stewart.

She starts off by saying that you don't have to have a massive kitchen to get it organized, then proceeds to suggest using an armoire in the kitchen to organize things... I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure my definition of "massive kitchen" is one that a freakin' enormous armoire fits in. And, or course, there's advice on not scratching your china or good silver... neither of which is an issue for me.

Sadly, the rest of the book follows pretty much the course you might expect. Enormous rooms are pictured, almost all of the organization tips require pricy purchases (unless you have a garage full of spare armoires), and the rest are off-puttingly snooty (tired of your guest ruining you pristine white towels with their make-up? In each guest set, have a dark-colored hand towel embroidered with the word "make up". No, really!).

There were a few interesting tips, like using finials bookends (because you can screw them into the shelf and they won't move/fall over), but mostly it's a useless book full of organization-porn pictures that will just make you feel inadequate and crap. Because my house sure as hell will never look like that, no matter what I do. It's simply to small and I don't have that much money to spend on all the kitschy antique furniture.

Not recommended.
smeddley: (Default)
Thursday, February 5th, 2015 06:48 pm
I have more writing, but it's downstairs on a jump drive, and I am feeling really, really lazy (and I don't need a refill on my drink yet).

I made another goal book for this year, and while I'm too lazy to upload a picture somewhere to put in this post, there are tons of pictures over in the Craftster post. And it explains why I went with 20/15 goals this year (besides being a not-so-subtle play on the year). I just can't let go of things I didn't finish before!

Also, I *finally* found my 101 things list I started back in January of 2014... I have not made great progress on it.

Ones I've completed:
#6- Release 20 Bookcrossing books
My account says 19, but I swear I did 20. Maybe it doesn't count the one I found?
#7 - Participate in a Craftster Challenge
I have done several, though never come close to winning
#9 - Blue Gummy Bear Bellydance outfit
Completed in time for Shimmy for the Cure last year
#35 - Watch 10 of IMDB's bottom 100 movies
Thanks to MST3K, easily done.
#65 - 10 Operation Beautiful cards
More than done! I did a lot...
#74 - Visit IKEA
And never again.
#97 - Pi costume
Made for the picnic in the summer of 2014

Ones I've made some progress on:

#1 - Finish Bathroom
It's close, I'm just not motivated to work on it. :(
#2 - A-Z Movies
I'm missing 4: N, U, X, Y (the last three I understand, but how did I miss out on N?!)
#27 - Take pictures of things that spell out the alphabet
I have about a dozen, I think.
#28 - Read my height in books
Ongoing, I don't actually know where I am with that! Sadly, I mostly do audiobooks...
#50 - Watch all seasons from 5 different shows
I keep getting most of the way through shows and losing steam...
#61 - Watch 5 foreign language films
I've done three! But you can't craft and just listen to them... you have to read!
#66 - 10 new teas
I think I may have done this, but wasn't really keeping track?

But now that I've found it, I can add that goal list to my goal book and keep better track! Hopefully...