Don’t Write What Doesn’t Matter

Note to self: ^^^^^ THIS

Self to Note: DUH.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m sorry I can’t link to the specific video because it’s apart of Holly Lisle’s How To Think Sideways course. But I can direct you to S. Winchester’s post which, while not talking about the video at all, still gets the gist of what it was about.

Enjoy… I’ll be in the corner, wearing my dunce cap for not catching onto this, like, 12 years ago and saving myself a lot of unnecessary clutter in my stories. *headmeetdesk*

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A-Z Meme

A – Age: 26
B – Book you are reading: Ghosts of Tsavo by Vered Ehsani
C – Chore you hate: Small talk
D – Dessert you love:  Too many to name. I have an enormous sweet tooth. Particularly anything s’mores related.
E – Essential start your day item: Coca-Cola.
F – Favorite author/ book: I have way too many beloved books to pick just one. Favorite Authors: Joely Sue Burkhart, Holly Lisle,
G – Gold or silver: Silver
H – Height: 5’7
I – Instruments you play: None sadly, but I’ve always wanted to learn the violin.
J – Job title:  Writer. K-9 Trainer. Artist.
K – Kid(s): Two. One baby dolphin (my last gig was Dolphin Training) and a Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd Royal Bahamian Potcake named J’ouvert.
L – Living arrangements: Permanent Renter.
M – Most overused word/phrase in your vocabulary: Things that would be censored on television for 500…
N – Nicknames: Shaynone, Sarge, Thannon, Shan, Evanka, Trouble.
O – Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Thankfully not.
P – Pet Peeve: People who can’t think for themselves.
Q- Quotes you like:  “Semper Fidelis”. If I could convince myself to get tattooed, my body would be littered with every quote I’ve ever fallen in love with.
R – Right or left handed: Right
S – Siblings: One sister, who I would not trade for anyone.
T – Time you woke up today: 8:55 am
U – Unique thing about you: As soon as I find out a person’s zodiac sign, I mentally chart how their personality fits with everything I know about the particular sign….
V – Vegetable you love: Potato
W – Worst habit: Procrastinating…usually as a result of over-thinking. I over-think about over-thinking.
X – X-rays you’ve had: Right arm…fractured…twice
Y – Yummy food you make: I make an epic Turkey, a damn good banana bread, a decent Cottage Pie, and a not bad Curry Chicken.
Z – Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Dum Spiro, Spero : Duex

Every year, I return to dust the cobwebs off my humble base on the blogosphere. Every year, I return with a vision of how this year, this year will be different. Every year, I label that vision ‘Operation’, and hope that by naming it so, it will kick the relentless all or nothing switch in my brain into overdrive. I know it’s there, because I use it with just about everything else that I do. Every year, I return with conquest in my blood and first of the year idealism ringing in my ears like a war drum.
And every year, I start with great promise only to stall, fall short, and burn out by no later than March. And every month after, I agonized. How did I allow this to happen? Where did I go wrong? Why can’t I soldier through this as easily as I do everything else? I can do anything I set my mind to. So why do I fail at this, the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do?
If any of this sounds familiar, peace. You’re not alone, but I have some good and bad news.
The good news is there’s a way out. The bad news is the only way out is through.
Sometimes I forget things that I’ve written and other times, things I’ve written have haunted me. Confronting the Void‘s an odd mixture of both.
If you’re anything like me, The Void is your worst enemy. It’s that first word. First sentence. First sense of crippling self-doubt and failure. Maybe your Void is different because your mileage varies and we’re all triggered by different fingers but I think the heart of it is always fear of failure. Worse, the fear of failing the only thing you’ve ever wanted to do, the one thing you’re supposedly good at.
So I’m here once again to remind myself and whoever may need it: if you never dare to try, you can never hope to succeed.

And She Who Dares, Wins.
So tomorrow, when Operation 2016 goes live, I will strive again.
I will breathe and hope.
And if you’re struggling to make your life, and whatever you wish to make of it, a priority, then I hope you will too.

First of the Year

“I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion.” – Rachel Platten, Fight Song.

It’s the first of the year and I’m settling both into my new home and into the new website.  So much has changed over the past year. Past five years really.

Ever since I came back from England, there’s been a quiet unraveling. A silent revolution working it’s way through all my previously conceived notions. My once tried and true beliefs.

I’ve changed, and I continue to do so from one second straight on to the next. Which was undoubtedly always true, but that trip to England in ’09 set things in motion I would have never imagined. 2015’s highlights were particularly interesting…

  • I met a man named Dwight Higgins. He is the owner of Elite K-9 Work Dogs and is the best working dog trainer on the island. After several shop-talks, in which he admitted he would soon be leaving for Australia indefinitely, I decided I would stop at nothing until he agreed to teach me everything he knows.
  • And he did so…
  • I quit my EDJ as a Dolphin Trainer
  • WhenIMetJu
    When I met Ju…

    …and got a dog. Her name is J’ouvert (pronounced ju-vey). She’s a year and 2 month old Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd Mix “Royal Bahamian Potcake”. This picture was taken the first day we met. She was 6 months at the time and a complete handful to her previous owners. She’s without a doubt the best thing that happened to me in 2015…

  • I started a mobile dog training service called K-9 Elites
  • I started working with De-Nature Photography as a model, photo editor, concept artist and content writer.
  • I started branding myself on Instagram
  • Including my writing
  • We moved. Again.

And here we are. It’s the first of the year and I am breathing and hoping for 2016 to be a year of continued progress and prosperity.

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For more Instapoems, follow my writing on Instagram: @raining_ink

Confronting the Void

Yesterday, I woke to chaos.

I’ve never been an organized person, but more and more I’ve come to realize that my old “controlled-chaos” habits no longer serve my needs. So, I took a deep breath and threw myself into the work with the same bull-headed determination I apply to most tasks. The morning consisted of ripping the room apart just to put it back together. I can see my floor now. This is a huge accomplishment. Going through the motions did more for me than just on an aesthetic level, it helped to relieve me of the mental clutter I’ve been dragging around for the past year.

It seemed like such a pain in the ass at first. Yet now, having done it, I feel a lot better. I can tackle my goals without feeling so claustrophobic and boxed-in.

I can pat myself on the back and tell my inner critic, “See? I’m not worthless. I do things!”

Back in 2010, I was heavy into my training in the hopes of enlisting in the British Armed Forces. Running, once the bane of my existence, had become the foundation which made or broke my daily workout regime. If I didn’t get out the door to do a run, the whole day fell apart. And there were days, especially in England, where the weather outside greatly affected my enthusiasm.

Adapt or die. I adopted the runner’s mantra quickly, “The first step out the door is the hardest.” Suddenly, I actually quite enjoyed running in the rain.

Put another way, you can’t edit a blank page. And maybe the first word is the hardest.
In The Artist Way, Julia Cameron called it ‘resisting the jump’. I prefer ‘confronting the void’.

Sometimes, you just need to show up and look (pay attention), and you’ll discover there’s a light down in the abyss after all. Other times, you may need to bite the bullet, to take the leap.

If I’ve learned anything in all of this, it’s that bull-headed determination and a dash of courage can go a long way.

​Don’t fear the void.