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Posts Tagged ‘Tricia Sutton’

Today I launch my Three Damn Things list for the Type-A personality. TDT is designed for the Type-A person trapped in a Type-B body. Or, put another way, the right-brained person trapped in a left-brained head.

You want to create, but you can’t with so much internal noise, the frustration of letting things go unchecked. If only the voices would stop yelling at you to fix this, call on that, sew this, trim that. The voice is shrill and always will be to the creative Type-A type.

This isn’t about basic life things that need accomplished. I’m talking about the things we can put off for later. And later never comes. If your car is due for an oil change, what’s another thousand miles going to hurt? If you haven’t balanced your checkbook in seventeen months, what’s another month going to hurt? You’ve been meaning to fight that erroneous medical charge, but fighting anything is unpleasant. Put it off. Besides, it’s extra. Extra as in I don’t have to do it and nobody will ever know.

We pretend we don’t care about the clutter that is growing like mold on a shower curtain. We pretend we don’t see the actual mold on the shower curtain. “The new me,” you say (the one who is pretending to be someone they’re not) “is blind to all that. I don’t care. I’m going to finish this novel if it kills me.”

And killing you, it is. BECAUSE YOU CAN’T LIVE LIKE THAT.  It isn’t you. That lifestyle doesn’t fit your personality type. Trust me; I know. You will remain preoccupied with whatever it is you are neglecting. The bigger the neglect (only Type-A would consider something like not color-coding her closet as neglect), the more apt you are to writer’s block. And neglecting your writing to take care of the internal nag doesn’t work either because now it’s your writing that’s nagging at you. It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle, and you need to do something about it, damnit.

When I hear about writers landing an agent eight months after they started the novel, I die a little inside. They are clearly Type B and right-brained all the way. They can write like there’s nothing else to do (I bet their CDs and DVDs aren’t even in alphabetical order). And the Type-A, right-brained can only write when there is nothing else to do.

Don’t take it anymore! Damn it.

Why “damn”? Because I’m fed up, damnit. Writing a to-do list is all fine and great and everything but most of what I put on mine are really just reminders of stuff I have to do and therefore unlikely to put off: scoop litter box, empty dishwasher, pay bills, etc. It’s the extra stuff that put me at my breaking point—damnit—and it’s messing with my creative flow. When I have too much stuff piling on, I can’t think around all the clutter. I can’t write. I can’t blog. I can’t move forward. I’m stuck in the quicksand of life, damnit.

Today. And every day from this one, I will do three things on my backlog. I have to be strategic. Photo albums will take all day so I will list it with two very small things like pull the six-foot-tall weed and find my glasses that I misplaced months ago. I use dime-store reading glasses as a replacement, but these are prescription, and I paid good money for them, damnit (I am fully aware that by searching for my glasses I will find many other neglected piles in my house. I don’t care. I’m ready, with my pen and pad to add those to my list too, damnit).

I can’t wait to wear all my clothes that needed ironed or needed a button. I can’t wait to see my hallway lined with my kids’ school pics from pre-k to current. I can’t wait to make that recipe that’s been glaring at me from a fridge magnet for, I kid you not, fifteen months. But just knowing I’m back in control will silence the internal nagging so I can focus more on my writing. Damnit.

What personality type do you think you are? Do you have any damn things nagging at you?

 

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I figure you’ve thought I’ve fallen off the face of the earth by now, that I’ve given up blogging and didn’t tell anyone, that maybe something bad has happened to me considering my November post about my October. But none of the above is the reason for my absence. Silly you for letting your imagination run away with you. No. The real reason is I was abducted by aliens and I have been rejected returned.

Well, how else do you explain an unexplained absence? I wake up every day and say, “Where have I been and what have I been doing?”

There is evidence I’ve been gone. Just today I opened the fridge and noticed stuff. Bad stuff. I popped open lids to hairy, unidentifiable things. The only thing remotely familiar was the sweet potato dish leftover from Christmas. Or was it Thanksgiving? (At least my Christmas stuff is put away. Yes, I’m talking to you my next door neighbors who still have their Halloween décor in their yard. [maybe they were abducted by aliens, too]}.

My paper stacks are piled higher. My house is in disarray, as with my hair, my yard is unkempt, as with my hair, and my bills are unpaid.  See?

What?  I. Am. Not. Always. This. Way.  Not even a little bit. Well, maybe a little bit. Maybe a lot. Ok, damnit, I’ve been slipping. Ok?

And I’m not taking it anymore. Today, I’ve turned a new leaf. No more Missy nice gal. I’m doing something different and it’s called Three Damn Things. But not just any things. These are things things. Things that will change my life and make me a better person. But because I’m still recovering from scary refrigerator *things (*things that are bad and unmentionable and not to be confused with Three Damn Things), I will have to continue this post tomorrow. Let’s just hope aliens don’t abduct me before you learn important life lessons.

Until then …

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My parents find all the good signs. And then they send them to me to exploit on my blog. But I’ll leave this one to my readers. I don’t think I can do it justice.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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I debated why I would blog about this since I’m a humor writer (not because I have a gift for stand up or for arranging funny words on a page, timed just so for comedic effect, but because my life is funny. Most people wouldn’t want to live my life but wouldn’t mind hearing about it once in a while for laughs).

But you must know why I didn’t blog in October, why I may never. And why I haven’t been coming to yours. In October, I am not funny. I have no humor in that month, so why blog?

Here’s the shortened version: my right hand is not in working condition due to a stretched tendon. I’m right handed.

Long version: October is cursed. Every October something bad happens to me. First off, October is was my favorite month of the year. Where I live, it’s too hot to enjoy outdoors from June to September. November to May it’s too cold and/or windy. That leaves October. The weather is perfect, spirits are up, birds are singing, people are dancing, and something on me decides to break.

The curse started so far back I don’t remember the starting point. Two of my three miscarriages happened in October, one on Halloween. October five years ago is when I ruptured my disk, which broke some bones in the process. My surgery was on Halloween.

Last October my eyes went out. I could use reading glasses but nothing worked for the computer. There was something about the glare that caused eyestrain and headaches. It lasted for eight months then mysteriously disappeared and my eyes are near perfect again. Yay.

Last October my heart went crazy. Doctors said it was SVT: Supraventricular Tachycardia, and I needed surgery. I didn’t elect to have the surgery and was proud of myself when it went away on its own a few months later. Well, now it’s back and it’s bad. I have heartbeats in the upwards of 300 beats a minute. It is so violent you can see it through my shirt. Now I’m faced with surgery.

Since we only have major medical, I don’t see a doctor unless something is broken, and even when it is, I usually can’t afford the treatment. Needless to say, I haven’t seen anyone for my back since surgery. I initially went to physical therapy and still take the one med that doesn’t make me sick. But my husband bought me chiropractor services from dealsavers, which was x-rays and four adjustments for fifty bucks.

I went this October.

X-rays showed I no longer have a disk in my s1/l5 region, which explains why I always feel like I have a broken tailbone. It’s bone rubbing on bone. Now I fantasize a giant marshmallow inserted between the disk for cushion.

Then this October I stretched a tendon in my right hand. Doctor said I needed surgery. Tricia said, No way. Doctor said these things are unlikely to heal on their own. It’s like elastic, when it’s stretched out, it doesn’t go back the way it was. Still, I think of my heart, and if I have to choose which to go bankrupt on, the heart wins.

So he put a hand thingy on me so I can’t move the parts that dislocate when moved. I have become a lefty. I’ve also learned I can type without the contraption, so I remove it. I once removed it while sleeping and was awakened by intense pain. My finger snapped out of joint again and I—before I was awake enough to know what I was doing—snapped it back into place. What did I do while sleeping? I likely was making a fist.

And lastly, every Halloween is also the five-year anniversary of the life-changing back surgery. It’s an unpleasant memory, but those haunt us as much as the good ones. But happily, it also marks the end of October, when I can soon be free of the hovering black cloud that plays tricks on me annually. This last Halloween I awoke feeling good. It’s almost done. I’m almost there.

My husband called. Our cat is dead on the street.

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So there I was braless in my front yard minding my own business killing things—black widows—with my deadly saber weapon—broomstick—when all of a sudden a Mexican man in a pick-up truck pulled up and got out and approached me, braless me, and began waving his arms and speaking a mix of English and Spanish—Spanglish.

And this is what I saw/heard. You … pear … (hand mimes what looks like a round shape, not hourglass but round, I tell you) … no good … too big.

Perceptive as he may be regarding my body shape, insulting a woman holding a deadly weapon is not a bright person. I may have poked him with my sword (it’s a sword now) had I not been so busy pondering his reasons for needing to bring it to my attention. Possibly he thought I was blind and was doing me a favor. Ah, thanks. Good to know. I’ll get right on it. Or, he’s from PETS (people for ethical treatment of spiders) and was trying to dissuade me from further massacre. Or, simply a community service message.

Then, as I was about to bring down my iron hot poker upon his head, it occurred to me he was offering to trim my Bradford Pear tree. He cruised the neighborhoods looking for folks outside and would stop to offer his services. He almost died for trying.

You said I'm a what?

If this post has a familiar ring it’s because I kind of do this kind of thing a lot, you know, adding fantastical elements to a very dull happening, and way outside the realm of logic and reason. You’d think I’d learned my lesson since my last publicly-admitted blunder in Believable Characters  (notice I say “publicly admitted. Imagine what I keep private).

If I read the above scene in a book—sans the part where she comes to her senses—I’d say, “Bah.” So why, why, why, did I believe it could happen in real life? (because it’s happening to me, that’s why)

Moral of today’s story: Keep it real, baby. Keep it real. (unless you’re writing fantasy, then you can do that.)

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Christi Craig‘s post on Sunday Discoveries inspired my own post on things I found in my own house. Last week I had a yard sale, and in preparation for it I found some things. Lots of things, really. But I’ll mention three.

1.)    The long lost bleach pen. I have a pair of stained white pants in my closet waiting for the day I find my bleach pen. There are just a few spots and don’t want to bleach to whole thing and ruin the colored part of the pants. Bad news is why bother having wearable white pants after Labor Day? I mean, wasn’t it Kathleen Turner who played the role of a woman so upset by another woman wearing white after Labor Day that she killed her? Best not to chance it.  Worse is by the time Memorial Day rolls around, I will have lost the bleach pen again. Maybe then I’ll just suck it up and buy another one. Just like I do Scotch tape. I think I’m in possession of about 4000 rolls of tape due to my “sucking it up”.

2.)    My Autumn garden flag. Unlike the bleach pen, this find is quite timely. I lost this flag when I moved to my house about eight years ago. I’ve been pouting about it since and not sucking it up and buying a new one and just doing without. Now I’m very happy.

3.)    I found an old calendar. Sometimes I’ll buy a calendar of art or photographs that is too beautiful to throw out. Some I’ve cut my favorite months, framed and hung on the wall. The one I found is photographs of Provence, France. I had big plans for it—no wall space, but big plans, anyway—and shoved it away in a closet for the big plan day—otherwise known as the day of big plans, of which I have many.

Tree in lavender field. Provence, France. photo credit Brian Lawrence

Now if you’ve ever run across an old calendar it’s just as nostalgic as the scent of something from your past, a song from your childhood, or an old letter from your grandma. But this calendar isn’t that old. 2004. Seven years ago. Seven years ago didn’t seem like that long until I started flipping through the months.

February I had “off” written. Wow it seems so long ago that I used to work for a living. I feel like I’ve been writing my whole life. I almost forgot about that other life.

Flowerpot in window photo credit: Bruno Morandi

That same February I went to Hawaii. Ahh, pleasant memories. The following month we went to Disneyland and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, and by April, the memories of income and what I did to spend it came rushing back. The happiness I felt moments before turned to envy—of my own dang self—and I wanted my old financial security back. I wanted trips again, to Provence, in particularly.

Oh, but look, at the end of April was preschool open house. Preschool? Now my envy turned to tears as that little preschooler just started middle school.

I took another vacation in June, and in July, I celebrated my 7th wedding anniversary. Also in July I had laser eye surgery—the first of three. Ahh, the things money can buy—the gift of sight.

In August I had another vacation, this time to Oregon. (I got three weeks a year but accumulated some years.) August my little one went to kindergarten and my oldest to 8th grade.

The excitement continued, but when I finished poring over the entire year, I remembered something else about my past life. The year 2004 was two years before my back surgery. I’ll call that B.S. In B.S. I wasn’t a broken old lady. I didn’t have to make accommodations like I do now after surgery (A.S). I would not plan a trip to Disneyland now as I can’t stand for longer than a half hour. I can’t ride rides. A.S. I can’t do many, many things. And tragically, I can’t medicate due to reactions to almost every kind of medicine there is.

I flipped back through the months and lived those days over again and again, thinking how unpredictable life is, how I never in a million years could have predicted that I would take on a new persona, a new career path, a life of plotting and planning, not just on how to have the least pain-free day, but in my writing, which in 2004 was the furthest thing from my mind.

Naturally I would love to live with no pain or physical limitations, but I can’t complain too much. These days I’m doing something I feel I was born to do. Plus life is slower not working outside the home. The days go by faster but life is slower without competing in the “rat race” and worrying about my performance. I’m there for my kids. I can spot bleach my pants—or not—and I can enjoy the fruits of my labor, even if all I did that day was hang my Autumn flag.

Have you ever found something you thought you lost?

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I know from my last post you might be a little concerned that a 30 “family” pack of Bud is in poor taste.

from my last post Photo: courtesy of my mom

And it is. See not everyone has a large family. Take mine for instance. Since my oldest moved out, it is just my husband, my little one, and me. There must have been many small families, like mine, who called in to voice their complaint. And they listened. Because now they have a 12 “family” pack for just $999.

Small Family Deal (photo: courtesy of my mom)

Yes, folks, you don’t need a second mortgage to afford a 12 pack. You see, $83.25 per beer is a lot more doable than $1999 for 30 beers (though, there is a cost savings with this number at $66.63 per beer). I know we have a growing child, but 30 beers is excessive. We don’t want to be show offs

While I applaud their efforts at customer satisfaction by offering less product for more money, I still think we small families get the shaft. But hey, the price of gas has gone down. Maybe it’s all connected.

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In tough financial times, we all need to shop strategically, scan the sale ads, and keep an eagle eye out for super deals. My mom has such an eagle eye, because here, at this place they got gas in Oklahoma, you can get a “family” pack of Bud for cheap. Now parents don’t have to hog all the booze themselves, not with the family pack deal. Heck, maybe next week they can get a family case of Marlboros.

Photo: courtesy of my mom

P.S. When I showed this pic to my husband, all that really caught his eye was the cheap price of gas. Men.

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I am not a techie IT girl. I have a cell phone made before last month (collective gasp). Actually I bought it about 10 years ago. I does nothing but make and receive calls (more gasping). The lid is broken and can’t be flipped to make a call but gingerly opened, nurturing that last hinge. It’s a pay as you go. And I can’t take a picture with it. The cell phone before that was called a car phone and was the size of a loaf of bread.

I still read books that have a cover and can be used as a lamp stand afterwards. I’ve seen those computer books from a distance, and I wonder what it’s like to finish and not put it up on the book shelf like a trophy.

                           

My laptop is in worse health than my cell phone. To get it to work, you have to jimmy the cord until you get a connection then hold it there without moving or breathing until it feels a shift in the rotational orbit of the earth around the sun and then it dies right there. It must charge that way and then you have to unplug the cord and work on the dimly charged battery that lasts around 15 minutes.

I can’t afford a replacement and wouldn’t know how to buy a new one if I had the means. Technology moves too fast for me and laptops do things now that would require a PhD to master.

I write this from my desktop. A very old desktop.

It does things I know it to do. It also does things I don’t know it to do, which is more than I know, which is very little. So needless to say when I go on vacation these days, I am somewhat cut off from the world. No Blackberry, no lap top, nada, nothing, zilch.

I got back Tuesday evening and am still catching up.

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From the mouth of Ron White: “You can’t fix ugly.” No truer words were ever said.

Every day I wake up to a new invented hairstyle. Never a dull moment surrounding my head—inside as well, but that’s self-evident if you’ve been hanging around my blog for longer than, say, one post.

Sometimes I can get so discouraged with my hair that I take comfort in the sight of uglier people. It’s been a while since I’ve sunk so low as to visit uglypeople.com. I had no idea it turned into a porn sight. What a letdown. So I did what any self-disrespecting ugly-haired seeker of the unsightly would do. I sought consolation in viewing ugly animals.

I’m not as much of an animal lover as I previously thought. Because the winner of world’s ugliest dog contest is so ugly that if I came across it unexpectedly, I would probably kill it in a knee-jerk reaction.

2011 winner

I think it might be uglier than the three-time winner of the world’s ugliest dog—who, had it not died in 2005, would likely be a nine-time winner. I know this is all very mean for me to admit publicly, and I might regret it later, but for right now, I just had to get my feelings off my chest.

(Note: two hours have passed and I still do not regret ugly-dog bashing.)

I’ve got to ask: Could you love something that ugly? And does comparing your looks to that of an ugly dog count as esteem building?

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