Tag Archives: inspiration

Emilia Clarke Loves Beyonce…But Can We Talk a Moment about The Mother of Dragons Surviving Two Brain Anyerisms?

Emilia Clarke loves Beyonce (I don’t get it but hey, I am still bitter about Destiny’s Child so to each their own). But instead of everyone freaking out how Clarke was star struck herself about Bey, let’s talk about how this hard-working star suffered two brain aneurysms and underwent surgery while filming and was able to complete a 10-year series.

Yet again, a hard-working female is ignored because a couple of people don’t agree with her adoration of another hard working woman. No matter who you agree with the ending * no end spoilers here*

you cannot disagree with the power and affection her character Daenerys Targaryen held for so many. The surviving member of two… ERM, three Targaryens, had a horrific first wedding night. She was repeatedly raped by a man whom she would eventually grow to love dearly. Her dick brother sold her off for his own gain without a care of what it would take to get his silver haired ass to the Iron Throne and that he threw his little sister to known savages. And while her brother got his just desserts thanks to Khal Drogo (yay Aquaman!) Dany will still always hold dear in my heart as a strong, powerful, and very willful role model.

The Stark Phoenix Rises From the Ashes

I began sneering every time Sansa Stark (Sophia Turner, Xmen’s new Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix) came into view until her horrific story unfolded. We watched a spoiled little girl who witnesses her father’s death evolve into another strong character ( thanks to MORE rape and an abusive relationship with Joffrey and asshat Ramsey. You are killing me, George [Martin]). She now tops my personal list of beloved female characters on a show that, against all odds, took an awful situation and transformed it into a BIG personal plus for Sansa. Although as a woman I do love a good strong female lead, we should not forget the story arcs of are tortured men such as Jon Snow and one of my favorites Theon Greyjoy. Our triumphs, tribulations and our failures all create who we are as people and although these are fictional characters, we can see ourselves within them which is why we relate to them so much.

Between Arya aka Maisie Williams (GoT, Doctor Who) suffering from depression and Dany aka Queen T Emilia Clarke almost dying from blood vessels EXPLODING IN HER HEAD, my Fire and Ice ladies still fight their own demons in real life. This is what we should be discussing; how these women are working tirelessly for our benefit and coming out victorious in the end career-wise and battling very real health issues. We “normal” women struggle with baby dragons of our own (PPD) plus health issues and full time work. While I have never suffered from brain anyerisms, I have been down for the count with major and severe migraines. I can’t even fathom the pain she (Clarke) went through all for the sake of a television show. As someone who understands a deep personal journey which has many twists and turns with great psychological and physical obstacles, let us leave this show knowing that our favorite heroines live on in our hearts even after the end credits role.

So hate on Ms. Clarke if you will because she had stars in her eyes. She will always be the Mother of Dragons and Breaker of Chains in this home.

My Prism Child: Finding Out Your Child Has Autism

My son was born a day shy of 38 weeks. I was at work and felt my stomach tighten but no pain. My co worker suggested I go check it out since I was so close to my due date. I called my gyno and she said it was probaly not an issue but I should take a trip to labor and delivery just in case because you never know. To be honest I was glad to; being pregant with a chronic illness is a nightmare though you get a prize of a cute kid at the end. But no amount of snips of snails and puppy dog tails (which is gross by the way) could help me ignore the 9 months of dibilitating migraines and bleeding lesions inside while cooking my baby. Was it worth it? Of course it was. I would serve the Devil himself to have my kids, especially when infertility with endo means many women can’t have children. Having a chronic illness is tough as it is. Then throw growing a human in the mix and it can get rough at times.

In February my son was born. He was perfect in every way. He was checked over by hospital doctors and our pediatrician and given, as my mother says, a clean bill of health. My husband and I were over the moon for our little man. Our daughter wasn’t so thrilled there was a new kid on the block. But now you would never be able to tell. They are the best of buddies. I’m not just saying that either. When she comes home from school (they are four years apart) he screams “Emmie!” and they hug so tightly they fall over. My son loves grabbing us and saying “family hug” and squeezes us with his insanly strong three year old arms. While he avoids his baby sister (for now) he curls up with us for movie nights and because he loves to cuddle. He love animals and dinosaurs and can name what seems to be every animal in the sea. But many of his words sounded garbled and when we call his name many times he ignores us. He loves lining up his cars and separating them into their designated colors.  He throws tantrums that could bring a UFC fighter to their knees and it is hard to soothe him. I’ve spend over 12 years as a preschool teacher, 5 of them with three year olds. I could spot things with my students. That was seven years ago but I still knew milestones and behaviors. Eveyrone knows boys fall behind girls in many areas. He was just frustrated because he may had a delay in speech. My mom thought he had a hearing issue which would explain his frustrations with talking and being understood.

“Your son…is on the spectrum.”

My husband and I heared what my doctor said. My mind began to race to every behavior, every struggle my son had. And it all fell into place. Now it made sense. I felt strange. I can’t describe the feeling other than that. He did a lot of repeatative behaviors and I never noticed they were more than just normal little kid habits. I watched my son play with the trucks in the doctors office. I realized they were all yellow and all angled in the same way.  Kids his age did that anyway but this, my doctor said, this was different. I called the school system earlier in the month to get him evaluated because we knew his speech was delayed.  I guess it was there in my mind, hiding in the back. It doesn’t take anything away from how we feel about him. He is our boy. He’s still and will always be our baby.

Parents of children with disabilities already feel lost sometimes. I can’t always calm his tantrums. My oldest doesn’t always get that her little brother didn’t kick her on purpose while having one of them. But this same child runs to her and yells her name and wraps his arms around her. This is family. This is love. And this is what helps heal the aching of the heart when we are told our child is medically different than the rest. It doesn’t mean it’s bad it just means we have to adapt to him and his world.

People have been supporting us in so many ways for our son’s medical care. Many have contributed to him so this info is for those who asked to help out. For those who have inquired, paypal contributions can go to teamgrayson2016@gmail.com    We thank everyone for all support in all forms.

 

Let Women Be Women

When I was told I had endometriosis the word that was bounced around was infertility. Thirty to fifty percent of us who suffer from #endo will have trouble conceiving or not be able to. I was one of the women who could get pregnant without any fertility help. I have talked to many girls in their 20’s who are getting hysterectomies because their pain is so unbearable. Their doctors recommend to take everything out. Then there are those women who are in so much pain that even if there is a small chance of having a child, their suffering takes precedence over anything BUT are denied because they are told they are still within childbearing years. We also know that just because you do take your organs out, doesn’t mean endo isn’t hiding somewhere else. That does not include those women whose organs have been fused together by endometriosis which render them infertile (if found to have affected reproductive organs). In our society, a woman’s identity is almost always tied to having children. We get asked when we are getting married, then when are we having children. Then once we have a child, when are we having another one. We can’t even give birth yet without people asking when is the next one coming. The next one? Can we get the current one out first? After my third child, I got a tubal ligation and my husband got a vasectomy months prior to me giving birth. I had one nurse after my c section asks this famous question of when I’m having the next one. I told her I was done and she said to me that I say that now but I will surely change my mind. To which I replied back I was cut and burned and my husband had a vasectomy. Therefore no, we would not be having a fourth child. This woman kept telling me I would change my mind. And while I know there is a small percentage of women who can still get pregnant after both were surgically sterilized, my insistence of not having another one kept flying past her. Was she seriously getting into an argument with me about having another child? The one I was holding was barely 12 hours old and already I was being told my mind would be changed by somebody else.

Women are also construed as selfish if we chose not to have kids. What about the women who can’t? I have been made to feel guilty for having kids by a few people. How about women who have no desire to become mothers? They are told they are selfish. Do people say what is wrong with a woman who doesn’t want to have a child? We are made to feel guilty no matter what our choices. We already have the world on our shoulders without having to have extra stress about our bodies which is nobody’s business but our own. Financially it is a nightmare for many of us. We make too little to support a family even when are working. The government says we make plenty. We go and get assistance and we are deemed as lazy or unfit because we need help. So many of us wait until we are older which causes complications for our own bodies and the children we carry. Why are we made to look terrible if we ask for help? If there is an income flowing in and out of my house I should not have to be questioned if there is anything I need assistance with like rent or health insurance.
I do not like when people make assumptions about me or my situations. In fact, you don’t even have to make assumptions you can ask me. If there something I choose not to share it’s quite simple I just won’t. But myself, like many of you, do not like it when people just assume about my situation without knowing all the facts. You need to do what is good for you, not listen to your mother law beg for a grandkid or people who are convinced to pray for a miracle. Your suffering means something. You shouldn’t feel guilty for being confused or angry about all this. You have the right to sob endlessly about the choices you face. The point is not to let anyone convince you they know better. Be strong warrior. You got this.

Distractions

Lately I feel swallowed up by life. It keeps overwhelming me and there isn’t anything I can really do for it. Well I CAN but sometimes I just need to be grumpy. Don’t we all? I can be mopey and reserve my pity party of one. And sometimes I do. People who once supported me in my endeavors have faded away. And while I find myself sad by it, I have to realize I myself am the only who who can persevere through it. How? I honestly have no clue. The hands I held for security are gone. So I must hold my own. When you are stuck in a rut you may find yourself looking around for someone else to toss in that life jacket. I am slowly learning I have to learn how to swim. If you are lucky enough to find your saving grace you grab hold.

There are soooo many ways people tell you to hold your own. Don’t feel sad. Don’t be so upset. Cheer up. But while you flounder during your path to find yourself there are things you can do to cheer yourself up. For one, I read. Escaping in someone else’s world even for a while can help you push some of that negative crap away.

Take a drive. I find a neighborhood with those great old Victorian homes and I gawk. The architecture, the history…it is all.amazing to me. But don’t gawk too much. You don’t need to explain to the cops you’re just staring at people’s home. Akward.

Binge watch something. Sometimes you need to shut your mind off. Recommendation? My new Netflix fav “Nailed It!”

Arts and crafts. So what if you hot glue your fingers together? Go find your inner Martha and make something amazing. Or something awful. Just make something. Go to the dollar store and let go.

Bubble bath. Bath bombs are amazing. They are fizzy. They smell great. What’s not to love?

Cook. I recently baked banana bread. Grab a subscription (I love Blue Apron) and cook something. It occupies your time and you create a gourmet meal that’s insta worthy

Don’t count on other people to make you happy. It’s not cynicism. Ok maybe a bit. But YOU count too. It is OK to be a little self absorbed once in while especially when you find yourself stretched thin with work, the kids, and all those other responsibilities. Distract yourself in a good way. There is nothing wrong making yourself happy.

PROMPT and Circumstance: Story Cubes

Story prompts…do you use them? Sometimes I like to gaze through a prompt book to give me some ideas. I don’t use the prompt itself but sometimes I will use the subject that the prompt is suggesting. There are many books out there on the market that give us ideas on what to write next. Venturing in Barnes & Noble one day I found these:

Just roll these dice and begin to create. It is also a good way to play a sort of “verbal pictionary” alone or with some friends. As you can see there are a variety of the story cubes and you can either use them separately or mix them together. Tomorrow is Friday night and what better way to celebrate then to make a bowl of popcorn and curl up with your favorite journal and pen and create away. This is also a great tool for you teachers out there. We know how much kids love working in groups 😐 Have them toss these down and together make up a fantastic story. Happy rolling!🎲🎲

Finding Your Muse

The short definition of muse is simple: a source of inspiration. When I personally think of a muse I think of a person who inspires me directly (your muse can come from anything including yourself). When I started to date my (now)husband my writing exploded. It was in a bit of a hiatus at that point. But we had a fast paced and passionate “love at first sight” relationship. It was hot and heavy, filled with desperate kissing, touching, anguish and obsession, nights of lusting after each other and hours of phone calls or texting. But then there were some nights that were painfully long after a terrible argument and consumed us with heartache. Now married with three kids there are nights that we both end up snoring on the couch watching “Suits”. But we are also lucky to still have those heated moments and nights that we had when we first met. There were an incredible amount of triumphs and failures we endured to get to this moment we are in now. We fell more times than we rose, but it was this end result we are most proud of. To be cliche, we walked through the fires of hell with each other. And our marriage and friendship is better for it. Needless to say, I have a plethora of steamy topics to indulge in. But that is where, for me, my poetry and torent love story muse is great for. When I am looking for that spark I need for one of my horror stories or manuscripts I need something different ( unless somebody leaves dirty dishes in the sink while the dishwasher is also dirty. Then my personal muse works both ways 😉)

As a writer we need to dig deep to get the story within. No matter the genre we leave pieces of ourselves in everything we write. Finding the right inspiration is more than just conquering a bad case of writer’s block. This is where is begins. You start toying with an idea, perhaps jot some things down. Then what? How do we find that motivating force to keep going?

Let’s Write A Novel!

Yes, the novel. So many people dream of writing the great infamous the next Hemmingway or Fitzgerald. If you haven’t heard of Nanowrimo or National Novel Writing Month (in November) now is the time to challenge yourself. Try to write a 50,000 word novel by 11:59pm November 30th. If you can’t don’t beat yourself up. I was inspired in 2012 by my love of “The Walking Dead” t.v. show and graphic novel to try a zombie book of my own. What the hell, right? I love genetics so I threw some of that in there with the usual people chomping and bloody mess that comes with an apocalypse. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could write a novel or part of one in a month. I got to about 50,000 words Nov 30th with no end in sight. I would occationally pick it up but nothing substantial came. So it sits unfinished with no title with so many others. In this case my muse was the countless books and googling all different types of zombie books. I know where I could go with this book. I don’t know if I will any time soon. But it was a fun challenge and out came a character I love.

I have another book I was writing where the i inspiration came from a person I knew from years ago. The characters have a base in real situations and the feelings I had when they occured. The novel is fiction but the uncomfortable memories and feelings were real. My main character experienced them in a different setting but she she lived in the very awkward position as I did once. I dig into my past so my protagonist could show the reader in a realistic point of view what was going on.

I don’t think we necessarily need a specific person as our “muse”. It’s romantic to think there is someone out there who influenced our lifes work. We all love a good “based on true events” tagline. When people ask us where do we find our inspiration, a good story is always better than “uh…it just came to me while eating my bowl of soup at the diner”. I love a good bowl of soup 🥘. But listening to the story of an artist like Picasso find his muse or a writer having a tawdry love affair is far more interesting. It can help hear about it and draw inspiration from it. Can their muse be our muse?

The wonderful thing is that creative spark can come from anywhere anytime. But that can also be a downfall when we are staring at a blank page. As writers we have the ability to generate a world people want to escape in. Finding an idea which excites us enough to run with can be hard. But when you have it you will know; grab it and make it explode on the page before you.

Who or what is your muse? I would love to know. Reach out and share what inspires you!

Finding A Way Around the Wall-Conquering Writer’s Block

What is your purpose when you write? Is it just to share your thoughts, to express your dreams and desires or to entertain? We all write for many reasons but a lot of us write so our voice can be heard. We want others to be moved by the characters we lovingly gave life to. We want our readers to get caught up in the story. As writers we aim for our readers to disappear in the imaginary world we create (if fiction is your thing). Or we want our non fiction pieces to resonate with the public and to connect us. There are characters that need to be found and introduced. But what happens when the well runs dry so to speak? When we as writers hit the wall and find ourselves facing the dreaded writer’s block? How can we dig ourselves out?
When I have an idea for a story or anything I wish I write, it seems to sneak into my head. It begins to runs around like a flashing marquee until I find a moment to jot it down. From there it either stays an idea or I use it to begin the writing process. This usually consists of making coffee, a snack, and lastly a prayer that this will fill up a great deal of pages. Sometimes it stops as quickly as it came, other times I can’t stop writing until my fingers no longer straighten. Like you, I have found myself staring at the imaginary roadblock in my head. I can’t figure out how to continue and my character’s are of no help. They seem to sit back in the corners of my mind and wait to be summoned. Sometimes they stay back there for a few hours and other times they remain there for a decade. Our lives take different turns everyday and unfortunately we have to say goodbye temporarily to our literary babies and trudge on with life. I go through bursts at times. I sit down for days and spill my guts (figuratively of course) and other times I stare at the blinking cursor on my computer, it also just waiting for me to begin again. I have had a block on some manuscripts for years. Others get written in a fury and I am done in a few days. The point is, when we reach the end before it is due, how can we try to get out of it?
Not everything works for everyone. However, in my case I find these to work the best for me when I am encountering trouble finding my muse. I hope that if you also find yourself staring at that intimidating wall these can help lift you up and over it.

Walking: Walking clears your mind but can also give you a visual on your surroundings. Now is the time to observe and describe what is around you. Take a notebook or use your phone and snap some pictures. I am always taking pictures of houses that intrigue me for a story scene, street names, nature etc. Once while staying in a small town in England, I chased a bumble bee around a garden just to get the perfect shot. That consumed my time for about 2 hours . Sure I looked like a nutcase, but I got a great picture and a story to tell with it . And it was a damn good shot! It is a good mental exercise to write down things you have seen to help improve your vocabulary by describing everything in great detail.

Reading a book: Whether it is a chapter or an entire novel, sometimes reading someone else’s words can help shape your own (note:this does NOT mean to plagiarize someone’s work. Think more of their style of writing not their story. Plagiarism is one of the most despicable ways to rip someone off. DO NOT DO IT). I always get inspired when reading my favorite authors. We all have influences in our writing. Sometimes it is good to just take the break from our own worlds we create to dive into another.

Write differently than your usual genre: Step away from your comfort zone. Challenge yourself. If you write fantasy try your hand at historical fiction. Are you used to long pieces such as novels? Try micro or flash fiction. See if you can tell a story in 50 words or less. Do you usually write fiction? Try your hand at journalism. Newspapers and magazines have their own rules to follow. Find a political issue or environmental situation you want to discuss. Throw yourself into some research. You may discover something within the truth that helps to create a world of the fantastic.

Make It Mini: Mini books, notebooks, index cards, and pens…what could be greater than that?!

Journal: You can write down your ideas or use it for a collection of your feelings. I love using different colored pens and highlighters to organize my thoughts. I use these books to not just contain my feelings but I have ones I use to organize my novels I am writing. I summarize these manuscripts in them (my own personal Cliffs notes). There is something fun at least for me when picking out the perfect journal. A great home for your imagination and the story that takes you and others far away.

Nothing says “fun” like notebooks that light up and a billion pens all different colors!

Writing prompts: These are a fun way to exercise your brain to write something generated by other writers. You can look around the magical interwebs and choose one online or one you can write directly in such as “642 Tiny Things To Write About” by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto pictured here. Also pictured a great book I have had since my college days, “Micro Fiction” an anthology of super short stories by various authors.


Writing is one of my most beloved passions. Whether you have written a million pieces or just dabble, having the infamous block can be daunting. I hope that you will find a way to bust through your own wall or find inspiration in some of these. Good luck and keep creating.