A Look in the Rearview Mirror

Have you ever heard a turn of phrase that says something like, “Never look back, just keep moving forward?” Yeah, I have too. One too many times and I realized something over the last 24 hou…

Source: A Look in the Rearview Mirror

Advertisements

A Look in the Rearview Mirror

rear-view-mirror2

 

Have you ever heard a turn of phrase that says something like, “Never look back, just keep moving forward?”

Yeah, I have too. One too many times and I realized something over the last 24 hours . . . that it’s a crock of shit.

I was catching up on my latest episode of The Flash this morning, entitled “Flash Back,” how apropos, considering what happened to me the night before.

I flashed back to a time in my life that was very hard to look at. Things that I wish I could forget, but likely never will. Things I regret, things I miss, and things I wished had gone a different way if only I had learned what I did last night, a hell-of-a-lot sooner. “If only” never happens, by the way.

Everyone has these things in their life; past, present, and future. There are going to be things that weigh you down and you might feel like drowning in your little glass of water from the disparity of it. When this happens, I want you think of this quote from Barry Allen, A.K.A. The Flash. It was at the end of that episode I mentioned. It was so profound for me that I found myself grabbing pen and paper to write it down. I rewound and paused and rewound again so that I could get the quote verbatim. Here it is:

“Sometimes the only way to move forward, is to revisit the things in your past that were holding you back. You have to deal with them head-on, no matter how scary they may be. Because once you do, you’ll see that you can go further than you ever imagined.”

zO9HLFTU

Then I stared at it for a moment. It’s such a simple string of words. Nothing very complex and yet, if it applies to a facet in your life, it can be mind-blowing. I realized that I had to put it out there in the world. I couldn’t just keep it for myself. Even if this quote means nothing to you, pass it on. It might really help someone in need. I had found this out last night on my own, but this quote just completely reaffirmed what I had done.

I looked at something hard and scary. I faced it. And I realized that I could let it go and that I didn’t have to let it control me anymore. I didn’t have to keep punishing myself. I no longer needed this fear in my life. It didn’t serve me; it never had. So why was I holding onto it?? F E A R. That dirty four letter word. I hate that word, but more than that, I love that I CAN CHOOSE to NOT let it control me anymore. I’m facing my fears head-on now. Last night I climbed Mt. Everest and it was a treacherous climb, but once I reached the top, I felt so liberated. I felt so free. I looked down at the beautiful valley below at all that lay before me; the lushness that life had to offer. I want that splendor. I want to smell those flowers and roll down that grassy hill laughing in the face of fear all the way down.

However, I wasn’t alone when I faced this fear. I was with someone I love more than my own life. He held my hand and wiped my tears and held me as I cried. Which, in a way made it even scarier. Showing someone the darkness within can be terrifying, especially to someone you love. What if they see that darkness and dislike you for it? Or hate you afterwards? So many scenarios can run through your mind in that moment, as it did for me.

But I want to reassure you of something . . . if someone loves you and truly cares about you . . . they will embrace your darkness. They’ll help you hold it up to the light and you will watch in wonder as it dissipates into a cloud of nothingness.

These things are only as big as we make them. And if that statement is true, that you make your fears as big as they are, does it not stand to reason that you have the power to make them small? Or hey, how about this one; make them disappear altogether?

Whichever way you decide to do it, with a loved one, a friend, or a counselor; just do it. You won’t regret it. What you WILL regret is wallowing in your fear for the rest of your days as it eats you alive. Think about it in literal terms; that if you don’t face these fears of yours, it will gnaw on your bones, suck the marrow from them, and devour your flesh from the inside out. Gross, right? When you’re sick, you go to the doctors don’t you? So consider this your prescription for life: FACE YOUR FEARS. It will make it all better. I promise. You can even have a lollipop afterwards.

kitty

Angry Diatribe of a Struggling Writer

If you’re a writer, you are most likely a struggling one. And when I say struggle, I don’t mean that you suck as a writer, but that you struggle for constructive feedback because you are not getting paid as a writer, and therefore do not have an editor at your beck-and-call.

I post things occasionally on my personal Facebook page to hopefully entice friends and family to read my work and let me know if they liked it, or if they hated it and give me reasons as to why they liked/hated it. Even if they happen to be ambiguously ambivalent to my work . . . I’d take that over the dozens of “I’d love to read your work! Send me a copy at: i’llneveractuallyreadit@gmail.com!”

If you happen to be a writer and you’re reading this, I can guarantee that this happens to you on a monthly basis and it really effing annoys you. I know, because I am one such writer.

It’s hard enough getting people to read for enjoyment, let alone to serve a purpose, like helping out someone you know. Let’s not even throw in the enticement of you possibly becoming famous one day and them being able to say they “knew you when.” That gets old very quickly when you’ve been writing long enough and you still haven’t “made it big.”

Then there are the sanctimonious writing sites that claim you’ll get feedback if you give feedback. What an effing CROCK! First off, you have NO idea who these people are, or their caliber of work so why should you take the word of someone whose user name is DragonMoonWarrior or AlieN00b13567?! Most of the writers that I have encountered on these sites have years of catching up to do and I’m sorry for being a snob, but if you haven’t taken the time to do your due diligence and study your craft, then why should I critique your shitty, elementary school-esque writing? Yes, everyone has to start somewhere. I have done more than my fair share of trying to school a multitude of “writers” in my time thus far. I simply have no patience for wannabe writers anymore. You either are a writer, and you’ve done your homework and you consistently work on your craft, or it’s just a hobby for you. Period. End of story. Go home now. Thank you.

I’ve given up on trying to find an online writing forum for serious writers. For about a minute, I thought about finding a local writer’s group in my area, but I didn’t think I could handle the disappointment. There are online groups that you can pay to be a part of, but there again . . . it’s just a gamble. Did I mention I’m an unpaid writer? Why in the world would I pay money I don’t have for something like that?? *sigh* Are you feeling my pain yet? But I digress . . . see how angry I am? I went off on a tangent about stupid, moronic writing forums when what I really came here to bitch about are the people who offer to read your work, and then DON’T.

Do us all a favor, friends and family of struggling writers; do not offer what you do not intend to do simply because you think it’ll be cool to read something before it might be published or because you’re trying to be nice. I have news for you . . . you people SUCK! It’s not nice and it’s not cool! *said in a whiny two-year-olds voice* If I’m giving you my work to read, it means that I am entrusting you with a little part of my heart and soul. I don’t take it lightly when you offer to read it, and neither should you. You’re messing with emotions and feelings and my wee little brain that takes this shit personally when you don’t follow through! Your inaction starts a whole dialogue in my head that I don’t even want to tell you about because it’s pathetic and I’m not into sadomasochism, okay? Just trust me on this. If you don’t have the time, it’s totally cool. Silently pass up the post, or even an “I would love to but I’m soo busy right now!” is an awesome way to show your support without doing damage to a writer’s very fragile ego. (It’s paper-thin, in fact.) (Pun intended.)

Look, I know I might never become the famous writer I am in my head, but that doesn’t mean I want you to pop my proverbial bubble, m’kay? Just THINK before you get all excited is all I’m saying. Trust me, when I tell people I’m a writer, I get one of two reactions: “OH, you’re a writer,” which equates to, “Oh, you’re a dreamer AND a loser.” OR “Oh, you’re a writer, that’s cool,” which really means, “I respect your creativity, but you’ll never make it.” [Insert telling smile here] So the last thing I need, is for you to tell me you’re going to read my work, and then I get all excited about it and even send you a nerd-fest of a breakdown of the piece you’re going to be reading and the feedback I’m wanting . . . only to have you NEVER READ THE EFFING THING. Again, you SUCK.

If you’re a writer, I know you can commiserate. If you’re a writer, this little blog post will hit home. If you’re not a writer, you SUCK! Just kidding! Wanna read my work?!

Feel free to leave comments, tell me your writing pet-peeves or send me your work! I promise not to read it. I mean, I’ll read it. Maybe.

Eiffel Noir

This is a piece of Flash fiction I wrote for my creative writing class last year. I had a limit of 350-400 words. I really like the concept that I came up with and I would like to expand on this piece in the future and see where it goes.

If you think writing a full novel is hard, try writing a short story or flash fiction with a word limit. It’s a great exercise in utilizing your editorial skills. You will learn to minimize, or perish! Let me know what you think of the piece. Constructive criticisms welcome.

ImageEiffel Noir by DL Salazar

 

Stuck in a glass elevator with a mime—again—said no assassin ever. Except me that is. Twice in one day. What are the odds? In my line of work, anything is possible. Especially since it’s Paris and I’m in the Eiffel Tower elevator—going down in more ways than I realize. On my way up this idiot mime keeps trying to tell me something, wants me to figure out his charade. But I’m busy. I don’t have time for this nonsense. I’m here for a purpose, not for pleasure and even if I was here for pleasure, I sure-as-shit wouldn’t want to be spending it with this retard. I shove a couple of Francs in his hand and wave him off.

I get to the top and look for my target: middle-aged man, black curly hair, five-foot-seven. So generic for Paris, it could be any one of these regular Joe’s. Good thing Mac sent that pic to my phone. The sun has faded, but there’s a warm breeze chasing me as I circle the top five times. Nothin’ and nada is all I got. She must’ve gotten the time wrong. Not like Mac, but at least I can get outta here early and spruce up for our date tonight. Hotel du Louvre, a bottle of red wine or two, and Mac in that skimpy little black number she calls a dress.

I call the elevator down again and here is Mr. Retard, waiting, just for me it seems, in all his white-faced glory. He’s the same build as my target but the face and hair are all wrong. Whatever. I just want to get home to Mac. Retard and I get in, and I face the glass, overlooking Paris. It’s so beautiful here at night, I think I could cry. I catch the glint of silver in the glass before I feel the volcano-hot bee sting in the back of my head. “Mac says hello,” is the last thing I hear. Ever.

Image

Lost in Life

This was a blog post I wrote for my Intro to Communications class at SNHU a couple of weeks ago. Damn right I got an A+! 😉

As I was sitting down to write my blog post this week, I was struggling to find something entertaining to write about. Nothing happened to me this week, other than feeling sick from a weird little virus I seem to have contracted. I looked at the news headlines. I could write about the situation in the Ukraine or Syria. I could write about the environment or the fact that there are only 2,000 wild tigers left in the world. These are all things that piss me off. But I don’t want to sound like the son of a preacher. Which is good. Because I’m a woman. And that would be awkward.

So, I watched this movie tonight called Stuck in Love, about a family of writers who all get a little lost in life. And it struck me, how completely dissimilar these people were to me, (even though three out of the four characters were writers) and yet how their story, could be anyone’s story. It a story about marriage, love, loss, confusion within relationships and the general ups and downs most people face along the way. The thing that struck me the most was the story line about the parents. The father is a published writer who is divorced from the mother for three years. She married the guy she left him for and but he’s still in love with her and stalks his ex-wife’s house. [Cue creepy music here] He still wears his wedding ring. Still sets a place for her at Thanksgiving dinner, which is a little maudlin if you ask me. Everyone around him, including his weekly “friend-with-benefits” married neighbor, tells him to move on. His daughter, now in college and just publishing her first book at the age of nineteen, (because apparently, this happens in real life to the children of writers), hates her mother with a passion for leaving her father and marrying a younger man and hasn’t spoken to her in three years. A bit melodramatic, I admit. But I’m not going to bore you with the multi-level complexities of the various relationships that take place within the movie. Nor will I psychoanalyze each characters motivations. I’ll just tell you the part that really struck me.

 Image

“She waited for six months, Dad. You’ve been waiting for three years!”

The father is trying to convince his daughter that her mother is not a bad person and that she really needs to stop hating her for what she did. “She’s the best out of all of us,” he tells her. Then he blows away all the preconceived notions she had about the father she’s worshiped her whole life. “She wasn’t the first one who cheated,” he tells her. When his daughter was a baby, he got lost for six months. Six months he stayed with another woman that he “fell in love with” and thought he was doing the right thing. Until it wasn’t. His wife waited for him and took him back even though she didn’t have to, or as some might have seen it, shouldn’t have.

It turns out that he wasn’t a saint. He’s a bit of a control freak and he wasn’t the best husband he could have been to her, but he has faith that she’s going to come around. He messed up once, so he’s waiting for her like she did for him. I like this. No, I love this about the movie. In real life, and in real love, this is what you do for the person you love more than anyone else . . . even if you get lost in life along the way and have a brief moment of insanity and go off the rails a little. We’re entitled to do that as humans. Not a lot, mind you. Not every year, like dressing up as someone else for Halloween. You don’t get to take off who you are every year on a whim and don someone else’s life, or what you think the version of your life should look like. No. It’s those hopefully rare moments in life where you check out from everything and everyone. It’s not intentional. It just happens when you’ve been emotionally and mentally overloaded and you can no longer take it anymore. This has happened to me a few times in my life. A life which has not been easy. Not by a long shot. But the one person I could always count on, who would never go away even when I pushed him really close to the edge, is my husband.

It comes down to knowing who you really are and where you want to be . . .

If you don’t know the answers to those two questions up there, then, well, you’re probably lost. Having your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, fiancé, what-have-you, there to stand by you, even if you’ve emotionally and physically left the metaphorical building . . . that ladies and gentlemen is real love. That grass that you always think looks so much greener on the other side? It’s pretty yellowish-green when you look up-close and personal. That’s merely a symptom of your own internal battle. That’s YOU wanting to tuck tail and run from the hard stuff. Fight that battle, but don’t walk away. If your significant other is not willing to help you fight it . . . then it’s their loss, and you’ll know it wasn’t real to begin with.

I had a lot of traumatic things happen to me as a child and adolescent, and I didn’t really know who I was or where I was going in life. It didn’t matter much as long as I had him by my side. Through his love and by never giving up on me, even when any other man would have, I found myself. I was lost for a very long time, even up until two years ago, and sometimes I would find my way briefly, only to get lost again. He has always been there. Never faltering, always unfailingly faithful to me and our love. I used to take that love for granted. Pushed it away more times than I can count on both hands. Twenty-four years and two children later, I can say that I’m no longer lost in life, but found in love. I have been weighed and I have been measured and I can tell you that I will never be found wanting for anything ever again. It’s not perfect love. We still fight over the stupidest things. But it’s real. And it’s mine. It is ours. I may no longer be lost in life, but I am definitely Stuck in Love, and I wish everyone could be.

P.S. I had no idea all that was going to come out in my blog post. But there it is. Someone in the universe wanted me to tell you these things, so I hope you were paying attention . . .

Gender Roles, Media and Social Responsibility

“A male-dominated system, a patriarchal system, values women as childbearers. Period. So it limits their value to the time that they are sexually active, reproductively active, and [they] become much less valuable after that.” ~ Gloria Steinem

Image

So if what Gloria Steinem’s saying is true, then I should be barefoot and pregnant right about now. In the old days of frontiers and farmlands, women bore as many children as their bodies could produce because A: The bible said so, and B: children died often and many hands were needed to run a farm, and everyone knows that your own kids are cheap laborers. As time went on and cities became larger and more expensive to live in, people had fewer children. More mouths to feed were not as convenient as when people were growing their own food. The role of the woman, shifted slightly from childbearer, to homemaker. As soon as the television came on the scene and magazines were readily accessible, the world of marketing and advertising became the monster that hides under your bed at night. Women became the primary target of advertising campaigns to get them to buy, buy, buy. And so, the capitalist revolution began.

Image

Not just keeping up, but outdoing the Jones’s became the norm and the industrial revolution was in full swing. Now we see eight-year-olds with cell phones and not just a phone to call in case of an emergency, a smart phone with internet access that has no filter on it for sensitive eyes. Children are desensitized from blatant images on TV, in their mother’s fashion magazines, and YouTube video access where they can see everything from rap music videos objectifying women, to porn. Not a far stretch from a rap video to porn . . . but still. Both music lyrics and the images their video’s display, have become a kind of instruction manual for young men and women to follow. Men now think that they have to be that P.I.M.P. in the video and women feel that the only way to get and keep a man is to dress provocatively (half-naked) and act like a sex-craved flirty slut. Teenage pregnancy is now a normalcy and it’s almost expected that one of your friends’ kids will come home pregnant and your friend will become a forty-year-old grandparent. I have friends that this has happened to and it’s not a reflection on their parenting skills. It’s a reflection on our society. Changes have to start from the ground up. It has to start with how we get our information and what we allow in our advertising and marketing campaigns, on our televisions and in social media. The only way to affect change is to demand it.

Image

How? Don’t patronize companies that promote sexist campaigns. Don’t download music that objectifies women and only talks about “sexing you up” in their lyrics and promotes sexual promiscuity. Don’t read books or watch movies that perpetuate the “damsel in distress” role models. It’s fairly simple. Take back your control by doing the opposite! The less you buy of those products, the less you watch of those videos and do not download that type of music, but instead use your buying power to demand a certain type of product that exemplifies the type of society you want to see every day. Remember that little section in Economics class called “supply and demand?” It’s not a myth, its real and it’s what moves our currently capitalistic world. Use it to your advantage and don’t be controlled by the media monster.
Image

(Media-Monster…in case you couldn’t figure it out.)

This doesn’t just affect children. It affects us all. The way I see it, men and women have been both prey and pawn to the marketing and advertising systems. Men are taught to be overtly masculine and never show weakness. For a woman it’s a lot more complicated. For a woman who is a mother, the ways they feel accepted by their peers is to own the latest Coach bag, have their children in at least ten different activities during the year, have a master’s degree in anything but only work part-time so they can stay at home with their kids as much as financially possible and be able to post pictures of their exotic getaway on Facebook. This doesn’t include, being a size six, having a nice car, owning your own house, having a Fabu wardrobe or being a social media mogul who’s always on top of everything. Who says a woman can’t have it all?? Unless you want to end up in the mental ward of your local hospital, I suggest you do not attempt this feat.

1355517171-iced-out-dollar-sign-bling-pendant1

I’m not saying that social pressures don’t exist for men, but they are certainly narrower. When we look at this male dominated world a bit closer, we see that if we can fix the issues men face: masculinity on overdrive, fear of emotions for fear of looking weak in front of other men, and a skewed sense of gender roles, etc,; then the issues that women face will be easier to solve.

It-s-A-Man-s-World-feminism-31877031-528-356

I fight everyday for what my youngest daughter sees in her world view and all the media crap out there just makes it that much harder to fight against. It might look cool or sound cool, and you can call it art if you want to, but what is that art really saying about us as a society, as a human being, as a species? As a mother of two girls, one at the age of twenty-one, the other a ten year-old—art, has become a very subjective word for me.

 

Picture3

(Because apparently, there are places people go to look at bad art…)

Lies, and damned lies…

Self-publishing is looking more and more glamorous…

Paranormal Unbound

kool-aid-1 If you haven’t been drunk or under a rock (or, ahem, living in the real world, which doesn’t actually give a damn ) you’ll have heard something this week about author Hugh Howey’s Amazon stats .

Y’know. The ones that PROVE that self-publishing is BETTER GODDAMIT because Amazon data scraping and graphs and charts and shiz… and then there was this post here from Dear Author (summary: statistical wtf?) and this one from Courtney Milan (summary: common sense as well as statistical wtf?) and this one among a dozen others plus comments yes read the comments (overall summary: Hugh HOWEY in a KONRATH SUIT frickin’ Kool-Aid do you think we’re stupid WTF?) and here’s a link to Konrath on the subject… or not. Hah! Fooled you. Google that fine gentleman, if you want. I won’t enable.

Anyway. Some people think Howey’s stats prove what they’ve all been saying all along…

View original post 692 more words