Archive for January 2009

I'm no dummy. (shut up.)

The kids are back in school, hubby is back at work, and I'm where I always was. The temp will climb to the mid-fifties today, so my guess is that most of the ice/snow will be melted by this evening. The rest will melt tomorrow when it gets in the mid-sixties.

Good thing we took advantage of the sunshiney weather yesterday to play in the snow. Neighbor Lady saw us playing outside and brought her grandkids over to play with us. Since we ere outside the fragrance wasn't too much of an issue. Whenever I caught a whiff I just moved further up-wind. I'm a be-near person, not a stay-away person, so it was weird trying to keep my distance from them.

This is the same neighbor whose daughter has been fighting cancer, don't know if you remember, and I was watching the granddaughter from time to time before I realized the smell her shampoo was a trigger for my migraines. I wish I could do more for Neighbor Lady, because she's the only one who can take up the slack with her grandchildren while their mother is ill. I appreciate Neighbor Lady's understanding. If you have a moment to spare, could you say a short prayer for the family's healing?

In other "news", I had planned to call my agent today. I'm at a crossroads, as one book is losing momentum and the new one is just starting its submission life. I emailed my list of questions to Sara almost two weeks ago, and as it became clear my email got lost somewhere, I figured she'd probably rather have a phone conversation.

Only here's what happened: I sat down to make that call at 9 a.m. my time, which would mean it was 10 a.m. her time. Got ready to dial, and the phone rang in my hand. It was my brother, checking to see if I had done a bit of business we'd talked about, which I hadn't. Time was of the essence, so I called the business, hung up, called my brother again, hung up, business was done in a half hour. Prepared to dial Sara, again the phone rang. This time it was a wrong number. Hung up. Checked email while I waited to see how it played out, if the phone would ring again. After 5-10 minutes it hadn't, so I thought about calling again, and just then my mother called. By the end of  that conversation an hour had elapsed.

Mind you, I'd not had one call before I tried to call Sara, nor one since I decided not to. I've had enough experience with signs to know it's best to heed them. The call can wait till another day.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Hitting the reset button...continued

A few months ago I cleared my Google Reader of all blogs. All of them, even blogs of friends. I was going underground for a while to recharge, and while I knew there was a risk of the collapse of the Internet in my absence, I also knew that if I had that constant connection I would get sucked back in again. I did stay in contact some, but having to remember the web address and then type it in cut waaaaay back on time spent with the blogiverse.

Not only did I cut out the blogs I read, but I also cut out my own blog. I never checked stats, very seldom answered comments, let Akismet delete the spam unchecked. Shocking, I know.

How did I get so many blogs on my reader in the first place? Lots of reasons, I guess. This person commented: Subscribe! This person made me laugh: Subscribe! These people are in the publishing business: Subscribe, subscribe, oh yes, subscribe! I needed to build a platform for my burgeoning (now wilting) writing career. I needed to make connections for my fan base. I like having a discussion about a post, and using the comment system as a way to keep in touch with my blog friends, to show I care even if I haven't emailed in a while, to make new friends.

I ended up with over a hundred active blogs in my reader, and that might not seem like a lot, except that I was reading all of them, and trying to comment where I could. What started out as a perfectly reasonable plan became a huge obligation. It's easy to start taking in too much information without even noticing. Too much noise. I started to feel busy even though I wasn't getting anything done! So I deleted everything and started my personal Reset Button campaign, which I blogged about at Christmas. It's all about balance, people.

I've noticed lately that my subscriptions are climbing again. Having gone from one extreme to the other, I now know where I want the pendulum to come to rest. I like being connected, but on my own terms. So I'll keep my subscriptions, but here's the plan:

  • Organize the blogs into friends, industry, humor, news etc. That way I don't have to go through all of them to see the ones I want. I had a rudimentary organization in place before the reset, but I hadn't made it a priority.

  • Don't force any comment. Only comment if I have something I absolutely can't keep to myself, then keep it short and sweet. If it's bland, that's ok.

  • Answer comments on my own blog in a new post. Lots of times I'd like to continue the discussion, but it seems each post is exclusive. This would be a good way to draw out longer and more interesting discussion, as well as more frequent posting.

  • Clear the posts frequently. If I didn't read it two days ago, I ain't never gonna read it.

I'd like to issue a challenge to all my readers:  Hit your own reset button. Think of an area in your life which is way out of balance. Brainstorm about ways to start over, cut back, or eliminate entirely. Take notes. Then blog about your progress, and pass it on. It's all about balance, people.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

A short reflective post

Talked with a high school friend last night for the first time in years. It got me to thinking, as such conversations might, about all the things I'd planned to do, how much I've changed and how very, very similar I still am to that young woman. All these years I've been doing a self-therapy, trying to fix my personality, trying to be a different person. I never even questioned it; if I were able to heal all the wounds I'd acquired over the first third of my life, I would gain qualities which could not be contained inside the person I was, and so a new person would emerge. Not only was the new person better, stronger, faster than the old person; no, the picture I held unquestioned in my mind was a perfect person. A person who never made mistakes. A person who always knew the right thing to say and do, and always said and did them.

In the reflection of my old friend, I see I may not have changed much at all, at least not in the ways I'd hoped. Maybe those qualities I railed against are just ... me. That never occurred to me before. I thought I could fix them.

I'm not sad, just processing this. I love when fate requires me to challenge previously accepted fact. I may have more to say on this tomorrow.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

My Wordle

I did one of these a while back, but forgot to post it. So since Darcknyt did one over on his blog I thought I'd post one, too. See anything interesting? Aw, me neither. :(

Friday, January 23, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

I've been nominated for an Okie Blogger Award!

Not for this blog, but for Poison Scents. Read about it here.

If you would like to know more about the award, go here. If you're an Okie blogger, you can go to that link to vote, as well. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

A doctor who listens: priceless

Despite a relatively quiet Internet on my end, the blog traffic doubled for some reason. Does WordPress count the spam comments? Because at 30 per day, that would explain it, disappointing though it would be. I used to be able to sift through them all before they were deleted, but now the volume is too high. If you have a comment which doesn't show up, that's why. Just send it again.

I ended up crying at the doctor's office yesterday. I feel pretty dumb about the blubbering, but it just serves to show how frustrated I am by the whole thing, how much I really need to figure this sinus thing out. The X-rays showed nothing abnormal (it so cool to see inside my own skull) so he gave me a course of antibiotics and steroids.

I told Doc I'd been dealing with this problem for 6-7 years, but as I look back I think it's been closer to eight or nine. I'm not sure if Doc believes me when I tell him how my old doctor dealt with these chronic problems. With the backward lens of time and experience, it seems like the old doc hated me. I wish I could see what he wrote about me in my chart.

It won't surprise me at all if antibiotics clear it right up. The old doc refused to consider it. I love having a doctor who listens to me, even when I'm crying.

And oh yeah, I told him about the fragrance thing and he didn't laugh at me. He didn't get defensive. He didn't dismiss it. He said some people have sensitive airways, and that was it. I'm hoping that the fragrance sensitivity will shake out when my sinuses are healed. I'd probably never go back to the old level of stinkiness, but at least I'd be able to be around people again, which means writer's cons and a job and TCoB in general. To be normal would be the height of awesomeness.

Random bullets

I am SO not into cohesion or editing today, so let's just do a bullet list of the things I'm thinking about at the moment, shall we?

  • The inauguration. Even if you voted for the other team, it's hard not to get swept up in the history of this moment. Go-0-0-0-bama!

  • My appointment with the doctor. I WILL get something done about my !@#$% sinuses TODAY. Also, my thyroid hormone needs to be adjusted before I lose all my hair. I'm going to tell him about the fragrance thing today. I'm dreading that, but it must be done, since it has a direct effect upon my migraines.

  • The treadmill. Haven't done it in about ten days. It's hard to exercise when you feel like a lump of apathetic lard. When my thyroid hormone is at the correct level, I know without a doubt I'll start again because I really do enjoy it.

  • My 10-year-old daughter's wild weekend at her friend's house. Turns out there was a domestic incident in which family friends came over and tried to kill each other with axes and guns. Did the parents tell me this happened? No, the mom came the next morning to pick up more clothes so DD could stay another night, and said nothing about it. Will my daughter ever set foot in that house again? Not likely. I mean, stuff happens, but you gotta let the parents know. Right? My daughter was left as the only comfort to the young children of the bloody woman with an ax screaming in the yard and a scuffle with the ex-husband for the gun, which accidentally fired. All the kids were in tears before it was over. Gosh, when I write it down it seems even worse than I thought. Yeah, she's never going there again.

  • Scrambled eggs. Time for breakfast. Have a great day. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

I'm creative. Er-make that kreativ

Kreative Blogger award

Isn't that a beautiful, kreativ* logo? So my old friend DarcKnyt (old in Internet years) has passed this award on to me, and I must say I am honored. It always surprises me when someone likes this place. The question that came with this was hard to answer, since I've only recently started feeling creative after a long dry spell.

List six things that inspire your creativity.

  1. Nature. When I commune with a tree or talk to a squirrel it fires me right up.

  2. Spirituality. I love to ponder the human/spirit connection. It's a theme that often shows up in my work. It's probably why I write fantasy.

  3. Conversation. This might spark my creativity more than anything. Even when I'm only conversing with myself, speaking ideas out loud seems to stimulate my brain.

  4. Writing with pen and paper. I don't know why I didn't use this device before. If I'm stuck on the computer, writing on paper unsticks me.

  5. Books. Reading other people's work gets me to thinking about my own. If it's a good book, I aspire to be as good. If it's bad, I get a boost because mine is better.

  6. My office. [updated link] That place, all mine, into which no negative energy may pass, calms me and makes me receptive to creative impulses.

Pass the award on to 7 more kreativ bloggers. Gosh, looking at my sidebar is looking at a blog graveyard. I really need to update that thing. I don't have 7 people to pass the award to (some on my sidebar have already received it), but I do have a few who astound me with their creativity on a regular basis.

  1. Marta, Writing in the Water

  2. Raquita, WOBL in Training

  3. D. Lynn Frazier, Writtenwyrdd

  4. Ian T. Healy, Perpetual Writer's Blog

If you're not reading these folks you're missing out. They embody creativity. (I just noticed all the ladies' blogs start with the letter "W". Heh.)

Link back to the person who gave you the award. Done did that up yonder.
Link to the people you are passing it on to and leave them a comment to let them know. I'm gonna go do that right now.

Thanks again, my buddy DarcKnyt.
*I thought it was misspelled for fun, but then I looked it up.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

*Insert catchy title here*

My youngest daughter turned five yesterday. Gone are the days when I slave to clean house and decorate the perfect cake with frosting made from scratch and fret that my child isn't getting a blow-out bash like it seems every other child in her class gets every single year. Nope, I don't do that stuff anymore. Yesterday I spent a lot of time talking with Maggie about when she was in my belly and what it was like to hold her for the first time and how happy I am she's here. I didn't clean the house at all, let her direct me in where to place the store-bought decorations upon her cake, and took only one picture. The actual party lasted about 7.5 minutes, but she also got to tell us what to do all day, so I think she got her money's worth.

That was a lot of compound sentences. I'm too lazy to edit this morning. Sorry.

I was awakened this morning by a dream in which I was walking through a town at night, and someone was shining a light on me. I'd manage to get out of the light, but it found me again, and I got the feeling the guy was following me. I was scared, but not scared enough yet to go to the house whose yard I was trying to hide in. I peered back in the direction of the light to see what I could see. After a few moments of trying to see past a small bush, the light faded and I slowly realized the small bush was my ceiling light fixture. In real life. I wish I could have seen what I looked like, staring panicked and wide-eyed at the ceiling in my sleep. I bet I looked than usual.

I won't recount the rest of the dream, but I will say it contained a lengthy portion where people thought I loved porn.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Gay dogs and Sean Astin

Shaking my head at the spam I get. What's the deal with the new trend with the same spam comment on the same post 20 times? And how come I sometimes get obvious spam with no links whatsoever? How does that generate revenue? And are people really enticed into clicking the fake link labeled "gay dog sex"? After the first time crashes their computer, that is. I mean, who wouldn't want to see gay dogs having sex at least once?

Another tidbit from my morning: I finally found out what Sean Astin is peddling. See, for a couple of months now the local ABC station has been cutting away from ads featuring Sean Astin after a fraction of a second. I assumed it was a new tv show that wouldn't be shown in our market. It really irritates me when they do that. If they don't want me to watch a show, they need not intice me with split-second glimpses of what I'm missing. I don't even particularly care about Sean Astin, but I sure did want to watch the  show I wasn't allowed to see.

But finally somebody made a mistake and the whole ad aired. It's not for a show at all but a commercial for Boy's Town National Hotline. So what is wrong with my local television market that they hate Boy's Town? What the-? Do we really need one more ad for Eyewitness News 5 instead?

Those are the thoughts occupying Sherri Blossoms this morning.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

One-word answer meme

This meme came by email.

1. Where is your cell phone? nonexistent
2. Your significant other? working
3. Your hair? thinning
4. Your mother? OKC
5. Your father? *shrug*
6. Your favorite thing? morning
7. Your dream last night? naked
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream/goal? Nirvana
10. The room you're in? bedroom

11. Your fear? dying
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? comfortable
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? free
15. Muffins? dry
16. One of your wish list items? published
17. Where did you grow up? Oklahoma
18. The last thing you did? comment
19. What are you wearing? bra

20. Your TV? dusty
21. Your pet? lost
22. Your computer? annoying
23. Your life? good
24. Your mood? bored
25. Missing someone? several
26. Your car? poisonous
27. Something you're not wearing? shirt
28. Favorite store? blech
29. Your summer? sweltering
30. Your favorite color? all

31. When is the last time you laughed? recently
32. Last time you cried? migraine
33. Who will/would re-post this? loser

34. Four places I go over and over:
a) twitter
b) blog
c) Kitchen
d) Walmart

35. Four people who email me:
b) fatherless
c) Mom
d) Ian

36. Four of my favorite foods:
a) carrots
b) corn
c) cake
d) steak

37. Four places I would rather be right now?
a) publisher's
b) driving
c) party
d) shower

38. Four people I think will respond:
a) I
b) have
c) no

Play along if you want :)__idea._,_._
Monday, January 12, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

2,000 comments -or- Dang, you people talk a lot

Somehow my comment stat sneaked past 2,000 while I wasn't looking. I had vaguely thought of doing something wild -n- crazy to mark the number, back in the 1,950 range, but obviously there ain't too much wild -n- crazy goin' on here.

It's funny how the things that you eagerly anticipate in November become ho-hum by January. How people drift in and out of your life and you don't even notice. How we try to define every minute of our days, but the true nature of time defies definition. It is flexible and subjective and I embrace that aspect more and more as I age.

Wow. Where did that come from?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Migraine Zen

My health seems to be returning, slowly. What? Y'all didn't even know I was gone? Hmph. Well I guess I have been an erratic blogger of late. Maybe that's why my blog traffic has been cut in half. Not even my mom reads anymore.

This migraine didn't last nearly as long as last month's, but it lasted long enough. I hadn't really recovered from that last one when I got a cold, and when that one wore off, this migraine hit. I'm not sure I've ever had a migraine bout this long, but it appears that impacted sinus stuff was the reason. Things are loosening up now, and my eyesight is returning to normal. I regained enough energy to vacuum the filthy, crumby carpets, neglected while I did the absolute necessities of laundry and dishes. Started doing the critiques I'd promised. Nasal spray helped, so I will squirt that junk up my nose for as many days as it takes to reach optimal performance. Oh, hello, Addiction!

A strange thing happens to me during a migraine state. As I said the last time I posted about it, it's actually quite boring, since any mental stimulation at all increases the pain and is therefore to be avoided at all cost. The result is a deliberately unfocused mind, where thoughts flow in and out, disconnected, disjointed, and usually temporary, since I'm unable to hold them and turn them over and commit them to memory. In, then out. That's it.

And I actually love that state of mind. I liken it to a what a zen master must be able to achieve, only without the pain. I'm holding very still, shutting out any external stimuli, emptying my mind, and I get very close to the core of my spirit, that quiet, thoughtless place that guides me. Too bad I can't remember what I learned after I surface. I remember what it felt like, though, and I see that as a gift. (For those of you reading my book on the fiction blog, I think it's like the Desmayo only made of light instead of darkness. Maybe I did tap the core without the migraine to spur me along, I just didn't know it.)

To be honest, I might never pursue that inner part of myself with any conviction if I weren't forced to go there by the pain of a migraine headache. Thank you, Universe for showing me what I look like on the inside. I'm done looking now. No more migraine headaches necessary.

Sunday, January 4, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

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