Valentine’s Day

New blog post here: Valentine’s Day

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News: Upcoming Events

I’ve updated a few of the events I’ll be reading and/or teaching at on my events page. Click below for more details. I will also be teaching a workshop in May, details to come later.

Sunday February 21

San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival—Reading at 3:00 pm

Sunday March 6

Poetry Workshop: The Senses—Workshop at 1:00 pm

Being Social

Support me on Patreon—a site for creators to connect with patrons. Your support will help me worry less about how to survive and more on how to create better art (including blogs!). I appreciate any and all levels of support. I post poems, short fiction, observations, and blogs (before they appear here).

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I wrote a blog for this week and decided to scrap it in favor of something different. A blog about my planning things isn’t that exciting. Instead, I’ll tell you about how things are going and some things I’ve done differently. I’ve been really social the last week!

Lasts Friday, I went to Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles to hear John Brantingham read along with a few other people. I always enjoy hearing John read. He’s been an amazing support for me when I was first starting out in my career—and of course, I enjoy his poetry and fiction. The venue is a nice bookstore in the Larchmont area of Los Angeles, a bit of a drive for me, but it was worth it. I always try to support bookstores when I can. That may account for the hordes of books I have yet to read ….

On Monday, I went to Fox Coffee House in Long Beach to hear Lori McGinn and Mariano Zaro read (and to support Cadence Collective!). Always a good reading. Glad I got to see so many faces I hadn’t seen for months since my Holiday Exile (it happens).

I also attended the Ugly Mug reading featuring Daniel McGinn, Robin Hudechek, and Thomas Thomas—I always enjoy hearing these poets read, and the Ugly Mug tends to have an ecclectic open reading. The featured poets read from Ides: A collection of poetry chapbooks put out by Silver Birch Press.

I’ve also been social outside of these readings, which is rare for me. I typically limit myself to, at most, a few things a week so I don’t burn out or get tired. Or overstimulated. This tends to drain me a lot, but I’m nearing the end of the week and I still have energy. So very glad about that!

Recently, I’ve begun taking spirulina to help alkalinize my body, as I tend to be overly acidic. I’ve also begun limiting my dairy intake. Yes, no gluten, no dairy, and I’ve started to feel the best I’ve felt in a long time. I’m a little tired now, but that’s because I didn’t sleep so well last night (took a long nap and had some late-night green tea). But overall, I don’t feel as anxious or as stressed. I’ve been making sure to do my stretches as well to keep the muscle aches at a minimum.

But this doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts. I wrote a poem about this, how when I begin to feel good again, that I wait for the “other shoe to drop,” I wait for the good to end and don’t enjoy the energy while I can. I’m trying to this time. I have a therapy appointment next week and this is something I’ll bring up with my social worker. But I’m still working on being better. It’s a struggle, but right now, I have some hope. I will keep you all updated on how I fare.

How is your new year going?

Mental Health Check-In

Support me on Patreon—a site for creators to connect with patrons. Your support will help me worry less about how to survive and more on how to create better art (including blogs!). I appreciate any and all levels of support. I post poems, short fiction, observations, and blogs (before they appear here). 

IMPORTANT NEWS: Blog subscribers, I will be moving my blog to my main website. I will continue to post here for January and February, but after that time, I will solely blog on my website: I would appreciate it if you resubscribe there, thank you!

First, I would like to thank you all for reading and following me and supporting me in my journey to mental health. It means a lot to see your comments encouraging me. Sometimes, its the only thing that keeps me going in the right direction. I have my bad days where I want to give up and just not bother with anything. But then I get a note of encouragement and shared struggle and that gives me the strength to continue on. I appreciate you all, thank you so much!

I hope that your new year is coming along well. To start this year, I was not hungover (even though I had a few drinks) and even got writing done the very first day. I’m pretty proud of myself for beginning the year in a way I wanted to. At my last therapy appointment, my social worker asked me what my goals for the new year were going to be—I told him that I don’t do resolutions, as I believe we can change slowly over time. But I did say that I wanted to work more on my writing, work on my health (physical health: eating better, working out, stretching, etc.), and continue making progress on my mental health. There isn’t much room for more, is there?

I haven’t outlined a plan yet, but I have a few ideas that should help me. Number one is stickies. I plan on putting them everywhere from “Did you remember to floss/brush your teeth?” to “Did you meditate today?” I think these reminders will help. I always get big rushes of energy and want to do so much at once, but I’m going to try to make small changes.

For my health, I’ve decided to eat veggies with breakfast. Which sounds gross, but I’ve been putting asparagus or leeks in my eggs every morning. It may not lead to totally health overhaul, but that is one extra serving of vegetables I wasn’t eating before, and to me that’s worthy of celebration. It reminds of the creed several of my NaNoWriMo friends say: that’s one more word than you had before. It’s all about the small changes we make in our lives.

What tips do you have for making new habits or reminding yourselves?

A New Year

2016 is officially here. First of all, let us hope this year is better than the last. Here in America we have an election coming up. Something that’s been happening for the last few months too.

I don’t usually do New Year’s Resolutions, as I think it’s best to make small changes all throughout the year, one step at a time. But there are always things I want to do: write a little more, publish more (or send it out for publication), get to the gym a little more than I did this lat year—which should be easy since I didn’t go much this year—work through therapy, all that. And I hope this year will be a good one: full of new, fun experiences, full of progress, and of course full of learning. Though learning is not always easy.

There will be struggle, I’m sure, and some moments where life is difficult and I won’t want to work though it. I know those times will come, just not when or where. And I hope I can work through them to be a stronger person. Sometimes though, life gives us too much at once. Perhaps we’ll get some too much good!

Anyway, what are some of the things you want to happen in the next year? Did you make resolutions?

Holiday Spirit?

Support me on Patreon—a site for creators to connect with patrons. Your support will help me worry less about how to survive and more on how to create better art (including blogs!). I appreciate any and all levels of support. I post poems, short fiction, observations, and blogs (before they appear here).

Glendora recently had their Christmas parade—on the street I work on. Don’t get me wrong, parades can be fun; they can be interesting. But they can also be horribly annoying. I feel I can complain about it because I had no attendance choice. Or maybe it’s fun to complain?

Thankfully, parking wasn’t horrible. At least not for my work. The city cordons off the streets and lets the merchants/employees park in their usual lots, which is necessary. The first entry after the Glendora High Marching Band (which was fine), were emergency vehicles. Blaring their sirens. First thing in the morning.

The parade featured about three musical choices. The first one was the marching band that played their regular tune—a modified Scotland the Brave. Then it was Jingle Bells or Jingle Bell Rock (at least seven times, please kill me) played the rest of the hour, save one maybe two other songs. I get it, it’s like the only tune that is super easy. But please. Try again. Update the music people!

I probably would like Christmas music more if I didn’t have to listen to the Bing Crosby version (oh god I hate it so much) 4-6 times every day I work in December. In fact, I pretty hate most “traditional” Christmas music because it’s played all day every day during December on Glendora Ave. I’ve only heard that “people love it” meaning the dear elderly that walk around the streets and get their hair done. That’s about it x_x

I have to bring my external speaker and play something all day or I just get so annoyed and hate life. Not worth it. Besides, I find that my work day is more enjoyable. Now to just get a permanent speaker for the office.

Perhaps I’d be less grinch-y if I didn’t have to be subjected to these things. I have decorations and I like decorations and such, but the music it what is killing the Holiday Spirit. For me at least.


What annoys you during the holidays?

Writing Retreat

IMG_6078A lot happened last month that deserves some blogging time, and this is one of them. Just after I came back from Portland, I had a few days to settle in before my birthday—with no time to plan anything so perhaps I’ll do something next year. My birthday weekend I went to Lake Arrowhead for a writing retreat with fellow NaNoWriMo participants that I’ve known for several years. We rented a cabin in Blue Jay which is in the Lake Arrowhead area and spent two nights in the mountains. Trees included, water extra.

IMG_6083Our first night we went to Stone Creek Bistro to celebrate writing—we talked and had some amazing food. One of their chefs is celiac so I even got a nice choice of gluten-free dishes. That night everyone turned in pretty earlier and I wrote out a list of writing projects that I wanted to take care of. I wrote a little in my novel that I’m working on, but it wasn’t go that well, so I ended up writing some poetry and blogging. After a long vacation getting back into the writing habit has been difficult to say the least.

IMG_6092The following day was scheduled to be our “writing day.” Though I got about 5000 words—in a variety of medium, blogging earned the majority—I was hoping to make a breakthrough in the novel I’d planned on working on. I think I really needed to work on the characters before actually embarking on a writing journey. I have a good character sheet up on my drive that I use. Though I think I’ll need to adjust the questions toward the end because some of them just do not apply. I also worked on a couple poems I’ve been meaning to write. Overall, the writing portion was nice! Perhaps next year we’ll do more word sprints.

IMG_6093That night we played Cards Against Humanity for several hours. We went through the whole deck I brought (which is just the original deck and maybe the first expansion?). Sometimes a good laugh and good company helps breakdown some writing barriers. I had coffee that morning, so I couldn’t sleep that night—should have written, but I didn’t. We left the next morning after a light breakfast and a little more writing. All in all, it was a nice way to easy back into thinking about writing and actually getting words on the page. The process for writing is different than the process of editing and switching back and forth between the two is not always the easiest.

Support me on Patreon—a site for creators to connect with patrons. Your support will help me worry less about how to survive and more on how to create better art (including blogs!). I appreciate any and all levels of support. I post poems, short fiction, observations, and blogs (before they appear here).