Tag Archives: changes

100 things of joy

This post exists because I am trying very hard to buck myself up, heal myself mentally and find a purpose in life other than just what other people tell me my purpose is.

Since becoming bedbound and housebound sick around eight or nine years ago, I slowly fell into a depression that lead to suicidal thoughts and I forgot how to feel happy; even certain hobbies I used to love, no longer bought me joy and because of lack of space and money, those things diminished more and more to the point that I no longer had a way in feeling even the slightest bit of joy.

A majority of the things that bought me happiness was physical activity, I love sport, I love exercise, but my illness made me slow down to the point of stagnation.

Slowly I am rebuilding my health, I have a new diet which is helping me get there halfway but I am out of practise in moving my body in general and so I am starting the slow process to get my mobility back – it’s going to take months, if not a couple of years to get to the level I would like!

I have been watching a lot of Mel Robbins videos lately, instead of honing my writing skills and learning about graphic novels like I said I was going to; because I felt I couldn’t market myself or do things confidently unless I was actually feeling confident and capable.  Mel Robbin’s videos on YouTube are helping me find my capabilities in baby steps.

One of the things was to learn to find ten things that bring me joy or excitement and try to do three of them about once a week each; instead I decided I like a lot more variety so I spent three hours last night just sitting down thinking about one hundred things that bring me joy, happiness and excitement and wrote them down, with the goal of trying to do three a week.

Although Paul was disappointed I didn’t add any word count to any of my current projects whilst I did this, he did agree that this list needed to exist too and that my mental health is just as important as my writing, if not more so!

So here is my list, unfortunately many of the below cannot be done until either finances improve for me to travel, get a dog or get the fitness level I need to do them, but there are plenty things in my list that work well for a sedentary impoverished life, it was just my task to try and find them!

Now these things below really do make me happy, relaxed, confident, excited and I can spend hours doing any of these activities below – ironically you won’t find much about writing down there, because I lost my joy of writing a few years back and I have been trying very hard to get it back!

Writing is literally a job now, or it will be once I start getting paid for it, but it is not something I would say brings me joy these days and I know why!  Writing bought me joy when I was brainstorming my ideas with friends and family, but there is no one available to me in recent years to do that with other than Paul and Paul lacks the enthusiasm I used to get from people of my past.

An asterisk in the list means there is an obstacle for me at the moment for the thing I wrote down. 

Some of the things with asterisks are things I used to do before there were obstacles and I miss them.

So let’s show you the list…

  1. Writing vampire stories even though the world hates them! One of the major reasons why I don’t get much other writing done in my other genres and projects, spending too much time with my vampires.
  2. Gardening * I have a really obnoxious neighbour who is abusive so I don’t do it anymore
  3. Reading in the garden on a swing hammock or by a pond *same as above
  4. Playing with dogs and training them * don’t have a dog anymore but working on getting one when finances improve
  5. Painting
  6. Carboot sales * can’t travel to them, they are out of a bus route
  7. Watching vampire, demon and mafia movies
  8. Watching aquarium or pond fish * don’t have either of those things yet
  9. Cooking for people * Paul worries too much about me not coping that I find it difficult to cook without interference, we argue about it frequently
  10. Board and card games with 3+ people
  11. Drama classes and amateur theatre * at the moment there are other things I need to work on before taking this hobby back up again!
  12. Practising musical instruments
  13. Shopping * finances need improvement can even be daring with an extra £2.50 these days! 
  14. Visiting libraries
  15. Visiting garden centres * none within a bus ride even if I just window shopped
  16. Going to parks, gardens and woods
  17. Going to museums * none in bus ride I haven’t exhausted
  18. Brainstorming my creative ideas with a group * don’t have a trustworthy group again yet
  19. Swimming  & diving * can’t afford the fee for the local centre
  20. Doing tarot readings for people
  21. Having picnics
  22. Rowing on lakes * no rowing lakes nearby, no one to row with and I can’t be the only rower, because sometimes my carpal tunnel syndrome or my arthritis flares up, my arthritis is worse in my left shoulder than anywhere else! 
  23. Rock pooling * nowhere local to my knowledge to do it
  24. Playing with sand
  25. Painting stones and pebbles
  26. Making prisms
  27. Watching horse racing * no one likes to do this with me yet
  28. Watching cruft’s and other dog sport events
  29. Watching gymnastics
  30. Watching rugby
  31. Watching wrestling * can’t afford subscription tv to see them and it’s on too late here in the UK so often miss it
  32. Halloween preparations and parties
  33. Firework displays and parties
  34. BBQ parties
  35. Going to the Severn Valley steam railway * finances need improvement
  36. Whipsnade zoo & picnics * can’t get there easily and I like large picnics with lots of people
  37. Zip wires – the longer the better!
  38. Trampolining * need more fitness first
  39. Netball * same as above
  40. Arcades * financial improvement needed first
  41. Pub lunches * same as above
  42. Going to musical theatres * same as above, also a willing companion needed! 
  43. Going to circuses * same as above
  44. Going to fetes, country fairs and fairgrounds * same as above
  45. Learning new languages
  46. Giving and receiving massages
  47. Research for my stories
  48. Upcycling things * same as above
  49. Playing darts * don’t have a dart board anymore
  50. Snuggling with people and pets * not even my rabbit likes to snuggle cries*
  51. Building cushion forts * no room, not enough cushions for fort making
  52. Playing Ovipets online
  53. Playing console games * TV broke and the ones we have don’t have the thingys according to Paul
  54. Word games, particularly with other people
  55. Tae Bo workouts * need to get fit again first to do the proper 45 minute work out
  56. Singing * people complain too much in this house
  57. Belly dancing and watching belly dancers * I’d love to try and dance them someday too, if I ever become a published author or famous enough, I’d like to be invited to come dancing, one of my fantasies! 
  58. Watching tango, paso doble and flamenco dances
  59. Reading books on culture, religion and mythology
  60. Charity work and volunteering * can’t get to places lately
  61. Daydreaming on long car journeys * – I don’t talk on long car journeys, sorry! Also we don’t have a car and there is no one to take me for a ride! 
  62. Long over ground train journeys – again I don’t talk much on those, unless it’s about the scenery or if its urban sceneries then I’d have my nose in a book!
  63. Blowing bubbles for myself but it is more fun with dogs and babies! 
  64. Hand making things with children
  65. Organising children’s parties
  66. 1000 piece or bigger jigsaw puzzles – like to have one set up all the time!
  67. Watching the RHS show
  68. Reading gardening and fashion magazines * had to give up four subscriptions recently, can’t afford them anymore
  69. Looking for hag stones and other things in nature
  70. Being inside the darkness of dense mossy woodlands, meditating * the local place is too dangerous now as there are too many avalanches into the lake it’s sealed off!  Need to find another dense mossy woodland elsewhere! 
  71. Playing swing ball * don’t have one anymore and not doing it with that neighbour around – found out recently that they aren’t leaving after all because he spent the deposit money to move behind his wife’s back!  I think the whole neighbourhood heard that screaming match!
  72. Walks on frosty mornings – weather permitting
  73. Walks particularly at the top of hills at dawn or dusk taking pictures!  * Can’t get up the hill in Quarry Park since 2015, working on trying to get fit for it again
  74. Moon bathing… yes it’s a thing!
  75. Watching the local bats flying around
  76. Midnight walks at full moons especially but never alone! *
  77. Photographing wildlife and plants
  78. Baking
  79. Sugar crafting
  80. Making soups and casseroles for people
  81. Making seasonal decorations
  82. Running and jogging with dogs * don’t have a dog currently and not fit enough anymore, but trying to get it all back!
  83. Watching short movies and art movies
  84. Whittling or carving art into wood with knives
  85. Designing clothes, especially ball gowns
  86. Playing marbles
  87. Playing jacks
  88. Flower arranging and making elaborate arrangements especially for formal occasions!
  89. Making puppets or soft toys for kids
  90. Having an Indian head massage
  91. Motivating others
  92. Walking in the summer light rain
  93. Writing in cafes *
  94. Making wands, staffs and homemade natural weapons
  95. Learning new skills, that are fun
  96. Playing the discus
  97. Playing Frisbee with dogs and children
  98. Strategic war games
  99. Collecting specific things – buttons, dragons, seeds, books, trump cards & crystals
  100. Knitting for people * brings on my carpal tunnel syndrome if I knit more than fifteen minutes a time

Happy reading everyone!

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Not a poem, food food thought

The world is a confusing place.

Everyone wants acceptance and yet they all criticise others.

Everyone wants peace of mind and yet they will still hold grudges and set themselves up for failure or arguments.

Some people want a better life, yet instead of trying to find a way to make their lives better they would rather end it instead.

It is easier to hate than to love for many.

It is easier to ignore than to question.

Everybody wants a better world but no one is ready for the effort and strife to make it better.

A single person has a lot of power, yet they choose not to use it, because they have no time, energy, health, they have other commitments – so they sit and watch TV or play online games for three hours without fail every evening; instead of doing something constructive that will either improve their lives, the lives of their family members, a sad friend or their environment, it is strange, but true.  They would rather poison their bodies with junk food, alcohol and drugs, than spend that extra fifteen minutes in the kitchen to make something healthier for them, something that will prolong their life and give them better mobility or health.

A lot of people would rather not see that they are doing this because then that would mean that they have admitted to being a failure in some way; they can’t pass the buck, they can’t blame anyone but themselves if they realise and admit it.  People can’t stand being wrong or thinking that they are more ignorant than they know.

People would rather walk out in difficult situations rather than solve them, they would rather break up or divorce someone than work it out – because of the time and energy and self-satisfaction factor.  If you want a relationship you need to look first at how much you get along with the person in a non-romantic setting, are you good friends?  Then you have to question whether or not you both have the same life goals, morals and ethics, then after these things are established and known, you should have a relationship together and once in that relationship it should be easy to focus each other on remaining with each other, supporting each other as friends, working things out like a team – not abandoning ship.  If you feel you are a person who cannot be strictly monogamous for goodness sake be honest about it before you let someone get too deep with you – the world is more liberal than you think!

People have got to start becoming more open with the people who are involved in their lives.  They have to work together, work things out, they have to get out of the habit of this throw away culture – because people are treating other people like material possessions too much – this will eventually lead to us all losing our humanity, it is bad enough as it is with the millennial generations mobile device addiction, let alone allowing ourselves to continue how we’ve always been.

Humanity needs to concentrate very deeply on their psychology, on the way that they think, how they handle things.  No more should people just simply walk away when the going gets tough, because that will never solve anything and will only poison your spiritual environment more and more, attracting more negativity to you.

We are probably the loneliest generations ever known to human earth.  More and more we are cutting ourselves off from others.  It was said once that the average human was close to 120 people at all times with around 1000 known acquaintances – but recently that figure has dropped to a contemporary socialite having only 26 close contacts and around 300 acquaintances – online people you have never met do not count – if it did, I would be extremely gregarious!

Fifty years ago it would be normal if a friend knew you were sick and lived in the same street, to come and visit you and make sure you didn’t need any help and would make a fuss about helping you even if you didn’t want it – these days, they could care less.  So long as visit and visiting is exactly 50/50 split, like tennis, taking turns one after the other, they couldn’t be bothered to come and see how you are – even family life is becoming like this.  I have never liked the concept of a nuclear family, I always wanted to have a lot of children, but ill-health dictated that to me as well.  I do not like it, I would love nothing better than to have around five children and a little organic smallholding in a suburban place somewhere as I can’t do strict rural again.

I’m really very lucky at growing vegetables in particular, they seem to yield more than average for their type and are always bigger than expected, I have often been told I should attend vegetable shows, but I would feel silly doing that, sometimes people in those contests get a bit daft.  Now if I was to show anything, it would be dogs and guinea pigs, I would love to do that eventually.

The purpose of this post and like many more to come is to broaden your mind and help you see how you can try to have a better and happier life.  I am going to stop writing more to this now as I have noticed I am losing focus and it is 5am when I am writing this on 19th January 2020.  I will schedule this for later in the week, because I have a lot of things going on at the moment.  I am not yet over the pneumonia though I feel better today, but in the next few days I have several medical appointments to get to as well as an ESA medical and another minor operation (not sure they’d entertain that if they know I have a chest infection, it has been cancelled 6 times before because of serious sinus, throat and chest infections, it takes 6 months each time to get a new appointment).

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Apologies there will be some changes here

Once a week I will post up my practise pictures for the week, committing to something daily for just the blog is becoming a bit of a struggle, sorry about this.  I am also going to be reducing my daily prompts to becoming weekly prompts instead; this will help you to be able to produce something to share as you’ll have more time to think about it.  I would really like to see how people are using the prompts I give.

Also I want to try and concentrate on posting more, especially poetry as I have had quite a few private messages telling me how some of my poetry is helping people with depression, broadening their minds and motivating them; so I feel I owe my readers some more poetry than I have been producing of late.

I would also like to start posting a short story at least once a week myself, but I can’t fully commit to the fact that I will actually post a short story a week, just yet.

I am really trying to concentrate hard on producing full length novels and practising art.

I apologise for any disappointments this may have caused.

Thank you for reading and hopefully understanding ❤

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Smoke & Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

I read this book in January 2013; I still remember some of the stories as clear as day.  I felt it would be good to put up previously read works on this site, because I don’t read enough fiction regularly to sustain this part of the blog, I mostly read non-fiction works based on social history, religion, the occult, psychology, true stories and biographies.

For those of you who have never read Neil Gaiman or know about the book “Smoke and Mirrors” it is an anthology of fantasy, horror and dark fantasy short stories and in my opinion, prose. 

Anyway, first up is “the wedding present” I don’t remember much about this story at all, other than I remember disliking it, but I can’t remember why.  I do plan to re-read this book at the end of this year for revising what I think is good and bad about it all, as I am trying to teach myself how to read critically, so re-reading this story will help me remember why I didn’t like it.

The next story I liked, it was humorous, “chivalry” A little old lady goes into a charity shop and buys a chalice and she is soon pestered by a time traveling knight who declares the chalice is rather special and tries to get it off her for several weeks, she eventually relents with a surprising ending.

“Nicholas Was” is next, a very short story, or was it really prose?  I don’t know what it was, but I do remember it, and it was confusing, although I did like the imagery it portrayed.

“The Price” oh my goodness was that a scary tale, I felt like crying for the cat.  I think the cat was based on some kind of protective angel, but that’s well hidden in the story if that’s what the cat was.  A brilliant tale, loved it, and I loved the audio of it too which is free and can be found at this website www.neilgaiman.co.uk/smokeandmirrors/audio

Another of my favorite was “Troll Bridge” I think almost every fantasy writer has written their own variation of this story at some point; I know Terry Pratchett has, although I’ve never read that one yet.  Neil Gaiman’s Troll Bridge was in my opinion, unique; I found it really thoughtful and inspiring.  I sometimes hoped that I could crawl under such bridge and make a deal like that, but would I really want to?  Who knows…?

“Don’t ask Jack” bought back nightmares of my childhood, that’s all I am going to say about this story.  I don’t like remembering it, to be honest.  In fact, I wasn’t comfortable with the story so much, I had to put the book down for two months before I could read the story that came after it, and that was because I forgot the previous tale. 

“The goldfish pool and other stories” Brilliant, I was so happy I picked this book up again after abandoning it, this was a great story, touching, haunting, fantastic.  I was really upset it was a short story; I could have read hundreds of pages of this work easily. 

“Eaten” I don’t remember this story either and I can’t remember if I liked it or not – sorry.

Again, one I loved “The white road” the imagery in my head was so lucid, I adored that.  I tend to think of actors or people I know when I read books and I was seeing actors and actresses from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “The Aristocrats” TV mini-series in 1999 one actor in particular was actually playing a Mr Fox, Alun Armstrong, he was playing Mr Fox in my mind when reading this story and the girl was a blond haired Winona Ryder for some reason.  The other actors and actresses from those movies and series that I was seeing in my head were there purely as spectators of the revelation that was being said between Mr Fox and the girl.

I was a wonderful story; I loved it, such passion and a delight to read, but am I being too bold? Ha-ha.

“Queen of knives” and “The case of the departure of Miss Finch” other delightful reads.  I loved them, they reminded me of one of my favorite Hammer horrors, “The Vampire Circus”, and they also had a similar air to “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.  I too, almost wrote a book similar to all four of these examples when I was fifteen years old.  A story based around a circus of the night, traveling vampire gypsies picking off locals at their stops, turning some, training some, it was a good idea I thought, but at the time I was going through a turmoil.  My brother had friends in publishing, they were at his house having a dinner party and I was also invited, they asked to view my work so arranged another dinner with my brother and I gave them some of my work, unfortunately I never got them back and they plagiarized my work, unfortunately still, I had no proof they did this because when I lost my completed work I lost heart in re-writing it all and burned the notes I had gathered over the two years it took me to complete it. So basically they got off Scot free and I’ve nothing to prove in court, so my loss I suppose.  My brother also worked behind the scenes of major film companies, so needless to say they did make a movie out of what I wrote, but made minor alterations, I won’t mention the movie here or the people, because I don’t like making a fuss, especially when I cannot offer proof.  The story was different to my gypsy vampire idea, but was vampire themed nonetheless, just this was the point of no return for me until I reached twenty one and had confidence in writing again, by this time I had forgot the idea, I only remembered the idea after reading those stories.

“Changes” I don’t remember this story either regrettably.

“The daughter of owls” now that was a beautiful fairy-tale in my opinion. 

“Shoggoth’s old peculiar” made me smile because it made me think he based the story on my family, who live on the edge of the Welsh and English border, they run a pub which resembles an eighteenth century tavern and I’m sorry to say they have toad-like faces and an old fashion air about them.  They are constantly cribbing about hiking tourists in their area, particularly Americans, which made this story feel it was made especially for me.  Obviously it wasn’t, Neil Gaiman doesn’t know me from Adam, but still, it felt special.

“Virus” I didn’t like either.

“Looking for the girl” I disliked too.  Reminded me a little bit of one of my exes, made me feel this story was based on his future life.

“Only the end of the world again” I liked, was it a sequel to one of the above stories I wondered?  Or more than one – I sense an air of “Shoggoth’s old peculiar” but also “the white road”.  I loved the combination if I am right, it worked amazingly well.

I think the “Bay wolf” is also like the above review, though I am confused, because I am trying to remember all the stories from only four months back and it’s difficult, particularly as I am writing this review on a day that my headaches are mild and wondering whether or not they should get worse and become the usual migraines.

“Fifteen painted cards from a vampire tarot” was also good, many stories in one.  Again, this was something I was thinking about writing as an inclusion to my traveling vampire gypsies when I was a teenager, another reason was because an old horror movie with Donald Sutherland inspired me a few years previous called “Dr Terror House of Horrors”. 

“We can get them for you wholesale” was both hilarious and bleak; I never laughed out as loud as I did when reading this story.  I truly recommend it for people who have a sick sense of humor like me!

“One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock” and “Cold Colours” I don’t remember these stories either unfortunately.

“The sweeper of dreams” was also beautifully written and after reading it, knowing I’ve ignored my love for writing for almost two years solid, I began to wonder if the sweeper of dreams came and visited me and stole my muse away or not?  But obviously it hadn’t, because I’ve started to write again, though, this time, my muse focuses mostly on poetry, not stories, like before.

I despised “Foreign Parts” it’s really not my kind of story at all. 

“Vampire Sestina” was brilliant and again, too short.

“Mouse” I couldn’t remember much about mouse either.

“The sea change” was a good read too, for what I remember and that’s not quite much at all, ha-ha.

“How do you think it feels” I liked the story and I hoped for more, but no.  Sometimes I think Neil Gaiman lacks the confidence to make some of his short stories into novels, it’s like he doesn’t believe in them so he makes them short but sweet.

“When we went to see the end of the world” that was a confusing read.

“Desert Wind” was nice.

I don’t remember “tastings” either.

“In the end” now that was very thought provoking and again, made me pause on the book for a fortnight whilst I thought things through and read “Enoch” and a few other non-fiction stories, for absolutely no other reason than to try and confirm my own beliefs in some strange inane kind of way.

“Babycakes” the title attracted me because when I was in college a friend of mine thought it would be good to have a name for each other, a pet name, so she came up with the name “Babycakes” I was baby and she was cakes.  She called me baby because I lacked experience of the world and she felt very motherly towards me.  Regrettably, the story isn’t as sweet as the one I just said above about me and my friend; it’s haunting in a bad way, terrifying because that could become a truth and I felt bad that I had read it, like it’s shameful.

“Murder mysteries” was beautiful, I liked the story outline.

Now, here comes my favorite story of the entire book “Snow, glass, apples” Neil Gaiman’s take on Snow White and it’s wonderful.  Unique, tragic, he saw what I saw in the story, not a victim but a spoiled dangerous little brat, that’s what I’ve always seen snow white as, but oh, it’s wonderful how he mingled this story with vampirism and victimization of the queen.  A pure work of genius!

This book was 50/50 in my opinion, 50% bad and 50% good, but the good bits are excellent, they are unique and imaginative and I love them, they inspire me to write my own stuff.

Thank you Neil Gaiman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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