The Love Hate Syndrome

Love Hate Syndrome?  What’s that?

You may have or may have not heard of this syndrome.  I don’t know if that is an official name for it but, it starts like this:  

You have an idea and you start writing it.  After hours, days, weeks of slaving away, you are finally finished your story.  Now you go back and read it over to edit it, and YUCK!  

In other words, while you are reading and editing what was your most precious creation, you wonder:  “What was I smoking (even though you don’t smoke funny cigarettes), or what was I drinking (even though you don’t imbibe) while I wrote this (dare I say) crap?”  

You don’t trust yourself, so you give the story to a friend to read just for kicks.  You think: “Perhaps they’ll get a good laugh or two from it before they throw it back at me and laugh in my face for penning such a stinker.”  Instead they call, text or email to tell you that your story was the best thing since sliced bread!  Now you are seriously dispute your poor friends sanity.  Perhaps they took a couple of funny blue or white pills just before they read said story.  Or perhaps they had fallen on their head.

It takes hours, perhaps days on the phone, texting, or emailing to get you to turn around and not trash your story.  Now, you’ve got a changed heart.  You read it and you simply love it!  

Raise your hands if you’ve had this has happened to you!  Both of mine are up in the air because I certainly have!  

I have no idea why creative people (writers included) go through this “Love Hate Their Work Phase”.  I suppose that is why artists of old painted over their paintings and re-wrote their music, or perhaps re-wrote their books.  

When I was much younger I used to sew my own clothing. Little things like sundresses and stuff.  I positively detested everything I made.  Only when I wore them out in public and friends would say, “Hey that’s a nice dress.” was I able to start liking what I made. Positive affirmation was the key.  I would respond, “Oh, this is just a little something I threw together on the sewing machine.”  “Oh, you can sew?”  they would ask.  And so the conversation would go.  

The Cure for “Love Hate Syndrome”

I’ve found the best cure for personal angst over what you have written, is to allow a trusted friend to read your work.  A fresh set of eyes and feedback will change your personal outlook on what you have written, and give it new life.  

I’ve also found that taking a couple of days rest away from said work will also refresh you.  If all else fails, put the work aside and start another project.  Give it perhaps a month or so and come back to it.  

Do not ever throw away or delete anything you have written. Carefully file or safely store your work(s). You can always come back to it at a later time and rework it.  

Most importantly, never give up the race!  The finish line it just around the corner!


Hey, This is Fun! For Now. . . . . .

I’ve been getting my “Knight Riders” edits back from my beta regularly now.  Chapter by chapter.  My poor beta bless their little heart, I don’t want to overwhelm them.  So, I am allowing them to go at their own pace.  

But, amazingly, I’m having a lot of fun reading over the changes they suggested and made.  

My Beta was nice enough to tell me “Nanci, you are going to need others to read and critique this, as I can only correct spelling and grammer, etc.  You will need someone to read Knight Riders and critique it for character placement and chapter flow.”  In other words, what they meant was, I’m going to need more “eyes” on my story.  

Wasn’t that wonderfully honest and straightforward of them?  Yet I cringe. . . .

I have two problems with that suggestion.  Number one, I’m still holding my story close to my breast like a mother protectively clutching an infant.  I really don’t want anyone else to see or read it.  Which is utterly absurd because if others don’t read it and critique it, how will I know if “The Knight Riders” is good enough to publish, and importantly, sell?  

Also, there is the money issue. Rather MY money issue. My beta agreed to help me without cost.  We’ve known each other for a while, in fact we had worked together regularly.  I’ve helped them with computer issues, so this beta was in exchange “one kindness for another”.   

In reality, I am just a poor working stiff living from paycheck to paycheck. As my late Mom would say: “One paycheck away from my walking papers.”  I’m wondering who else, or how. . . . . . 

Thankfully, that bridge will be have to crossed later.  One thing at a time, Nanci.  One thing at a time.  Sigh. . . .

                          NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge 
                              Taken by Me    

By dawnskyy Posted in beta

Buyer & User Beware!

I usually don’t make it my habit to do product reviews, but I find that I must in this case.

The product I’ll be mentioning here is Sketchers Shape Ups. The best way I can describe them is, those funny looking sneakers and shoes that rock – see below photo.  

They are supposed to help shape and tone one’s legs, butt and supposedly the rest of one’s body by just walking.  I’m an avid jogger and race walker, but wanted something that would give me an additional boost while I did everyday walking at work, or on errands.

I started wearing my Sketchers back in August 2010 and back then I had no problems wearing them.  But, all of a sudden last year, about September or October, I started to experience very bad pain in my knees.  It had gotten to the point where it was difficult for me to sit and stand, walk up and down steps and regrettably I had to discontinue running!  I could power walk, but I could not run anymore.

I went to my doctor and her diagnosis was that I had developed arthritis in my knees, and there was nothing I could do about it!  This was devastating news, as I am only 56, what the heck will happen to me when I’m 80?  Will I be a complete invalid?  

It is just by chance that I didn’t wear my Sketchers for a couple of days (remember I had worn them non stop for nearly two years) and I noted the severe pain had lessened.  When I put them back on, the pain came charging back.  So about three weeks ago, I took my Sketchers Shape Ups off for the final time.

And guess what?  I started jogging and running again with NO PAIN! I am able to sit and stand  WITHOUT PAIN!  I walk up and down steps with a tiny bit of discomfort, nothing like what I had before!  Obviously, it was the shoes that were the culprit.

This is why I decided to post this entry, in the hopes that others would be warned away from this product.  Sketchers Shape Ups promote that they are designed to promote weight loss, improve posture and tone muscles. In short, they are a miracle cure for people who don’t want to spend time in a gym, or for people like me who wanted a little extra toning here and there.

Unfortunately, there were no warnings about aggravating pre-existing conditions or causing harm.  But there should be.  I’m not a doctor or anything like that, but I strongly advise, buyer and user BEWARE!

Hello, Hello………

Greetings All!

Sorry I haven’t been here as of late.  I’ve been really out of it.  The sudden nice weather is great but it does a number on my sinuses, allergies and migraines.  So imagine having all three.

Between taking Advil and resting, I’ve been making short sortes on Big Bertha (my laptop) to do little things here and there.  

On the spur of the moment, I decided to move “Free Enterprise”.  I formally had it under another Blogger account and under another name and email address.  But, I found it was annoying to have to bring up that account and switch back and forward.  With Blogger, if you want to use Account A, you must close Account B first, and vise versa.  It was becoming a real pain in the neck because it was a distraction to my creativity.  I don’t need anything to distract me when I’m trying to write.  So the separate accounts had to go.  

As for the blog transfer, it was successful!  I only have to go back and correct some minor details then I will officially bring it on line and introduce it to everyone.

I’m glad I learned how to do this because I have this massive blog on that I have to export too!  This one I’m going to save to my computer though.  I’m thinking of going through it and doing one of those Blog To Book deals.  

The blog’s name is “The Kettle Calleth The Pot Black” and is where I had written extensively about Mom’s last few years.  I’m not going to edit it much except for spelling, grammar and sentence structure.  I’ve decided I want to leave it as raw as possible.  I feel it would not only do honor to my Moms memory, but it will be informative, and help dispel the myths about mental and emotional illness.  

But, this will be after I’ve completed and hopefully published “Knight Riders” which is currently in the beta/editing stage.  


The Fine Tooth Comb

Well, I finished the first draft of my manuscript and sent it out to be beta-ed, last week.  Now, I’m getting it back chapter by chapter.  

As I read over what my beta corrected.  I don’t have much of a problem with sentence structure and tenses.  The bane of my existence is  punctuation. 

Somewhere along the line while I was learning to write, I never really learned the proper placement of colons, semi-colons, etc.  I had no clue such simple things can destroy one’s effort to tell a story.  I guess there is such a thing as being punctuation-ally  ignorant.  Yep, I made up a word.  That’s another bad habit I have. . . .  

I’m looking at the bright side though.  I’m being forced to learn it now.  So, that when and if I do pen future publications, it will be much less work for my poor beta to do. . . . . .  

More Chai please!  

Prepare To Be Boarded!

“Prepare to be boarded!”  This is a Nautical term and order, which is still used by the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy vessels upon approaching a “suspect vessel” which may be carrying weapons, explosives, drugs, illegal aliens, slaves, or suspected of other crimes.
Obviously, this is not a friendly visit for tea because the officers board with weapons at the ready. This also means, the owner/captain of said boarded vessel had better have his house in order. . . . . . .
I digress. . . . . .
I’ve been screaming long and hard about this for months now. Some people have called me a nut, a liar, and still others have scoffed. The facts still remain. This is being done on a regular basis and it is becoming more the norm.
What is it? Please refer to the listed link:
Though this article was written back in 2009 when this practice was limited, it is even MUCH MORE widespread now. It’s officially called:  “Shoulder Surfing”, or “Helicopter Surfing”.
The question now is, what do you say when you apply for a job, apply for collage, try out for a sports team, etc, when they ask if you have a FaceBook, Twitter, or Google Plus account? If you say yes, and they request your user name and password, what would you do? Consider, if you refuse, that could mean NO job, or NO affiliation for you. . . . .
The government, uses the provision of “Homeland Security” to spy upon it’s citizenry for security purposes. However, private concern and industry, do this under the guise of “properly vetting all of it’s applicants”. They not only want to read what you’ve posted in the past, but also use the internet as a method to “monitor your activity” and “track you” if they do hire you. 

This means, The Eyes Of Texas Will Be Upon YOU even if you are not in the confines of the workplace! Why? Because you make it EASY for them to do it! You tend to post about every fart and poo your newborn baby passes on there, that’s why! And this new thing with “Check Ins”, where you check in at restaurants, banks, schools, gyms, supermarkets, theaters, etc. Oh my, did someone just check into the nearest massage parlor, brothel, or the nearest porn palace?  I can’t believe people think it’s cute to do this!

Forgive me. Take a deep breath,  Nanci. . . . .
This means they have an IT person closeted somewhere, who’s job is to regularly check your FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, and Google Plus pages to see if you have been a bad girl or boy.

So, calling in sick, but yet posting to FaceBook photos of yourself and friends on a beach in the Bahamas. . . . .   Bad move!  In the spirit of the day, you’ll get a text from your boss, telling you that YOUR FIRED!

This was the main reason I ditched my old FaceBook Page (with my real name) and started a new one with a Nome De Plume. I’d heard through the office grapevine that my page was being monitored by the higher ups at work. Once I shut the old page, I heard narry a whisper. Now fancy that?
Furthermore, I found this to be a horrendous violation of my personal privacy. Unlike the people in the above article, I DID NOT give my job permission to do what they did. They just rooted around on the web until they found my name, and like that famous chef Emmrel: “BAM!”
I’m not saying that everyone should do what I’ve done. I only write this to caution that if you are on these sites to use them responsibly. Also know this, anything you put on the internet, STAYS on the internet. Yes, even if you delete it! It’s not truly deleted. A true computer geek (IT person) can resurrect it from the trash pile where you thought you threw it. 

The best solution? Don’t put it up there in the first place!  Period, dot.  End of statement!

WRITING Is My Second Job

Alternate Title:  
“My Baloney Has A First Name. . . . . .”

I often harken to that very old Oscar Meyer commercial, where the little boy sings: “My Baloney has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R. My Baloney has a second name it’s M-E-Y-E-R!” 

I call myself a writer by trade, but in reality, I currently don’t earn a dime for doing so. I’m am working towards that goal, however, in the meantime I must hold real job “to help keep skin and bones together” as my “late” Mom used to say. That means to pay the bills and stuff.

In “real life” I’m a “Vampire” because I work the “graveyard shift” or midnights. My “Real Occupation” is: a “Station House Clerk”. I work in a police precinct (which is called a Station House in police jargon) in “The Big Apple”. Most nights it is very quiet, and after I finish my work (at approximately 2am), I have time to plot, scheme and write. Either by hand in a composition notebook, or on “Mini-Me, my netbook.

My precinct or station house is considered a “hot house or active house”. Why? It happens to be smack dab in an area which has over 500 bars (Yes, you read right), thus the weekends can be absolutely nuts and crazy with paperwork.

We have a saying at my job: “Crime begets paperwork.” in a police precinct. The first thing the police must do when they arrive on a crime scene is to file a written report(s), which they then turn into the precinct for processing. My job as a Station House Clerk is to make sure this paperwork is properly sorted, and entered into the computer system in a timely matter in order to generate a reference or complaint number. This or these numbers are essential for the investigation to continue, if needed.

We have a strict system of triage (like hospitals) where all felony crimes (Homicide, Robbery, Burglary, Grand Larceny, Assault) must be entered first, and all misdemeanor crimes (Petit Larceny, Lost Property, Criminal Mischief, Lost property) must wait until later when I, or my fellow co-workers, are not so pressed for time.

Weekends are often extremely busy with bar fights, assaults, robberies, grand larcenies, and unfortunately, domestic violence. And don’t let there be a large event like a parade, concert, a playoff game, and above all, the New Years Eve celebration! Plus, the warmer months, Spring, Summer and Fall seem to bring out the worst of the criminal element. Just like John and Jane Q. Citizen who enjoys the warm weather, criminals love it too. Like on National Geographic, the lions follow the gazelle and wait for an opportune time. . . . . .

So often, I don’t get to do much writing if the paperwork is overwhelming. At home, I have very little time to write, because unlike my fellow compatriots who work during the day. I must retire to my coffin to sleep.

Of course, that last statement was purely tongue and cheek. My bed is far more comfortable. . . . . . . . . LOL!

So, how do I write? I content myself with stealing a little time here and there, in addition to my days off where I can write with abandon. In some ways, I’m glad im in this position because it teaches me discipline. When I have a window opportunity, I write like mad, and I’m content with that until I have another.

That’s my story.  

The Buzz

No, the buzz is not the latest gossip on your fave Hollywood star, or music personality. Though that is annoying to me, it is not quite as annoying as the one I’m going to describe.
I live in New York City, and often depend on public transportation (trains and buses) to commute between my home, work, my church, the doctor’s office, etc. Often I have a long commute (up to an hour) and I take advantage of it by writing or reading.
However, with the popularity of I-Phones, I-pods, MP3 Players, etc, my little quiet haven on the buses and trains have been set on it’s ear so to speak. Why? Even though people wear ear buds or headphones, they turn the music up so high, that those surrounding them can plainly hear it! Which begs a question. Is my hearing really that good, or are these devise listeners DEAF?
Either way, “the buzz” is darned annoying. It’s disturbing trying to write to the tune of buzzing like a huge bee! Especially when you have six or seven people with I-pods sitting or standing near you!
My entire muse goes right out of the bus or train window! For pities sake! Doesn’t anyone listen to Jazz or Classical music these days? If it’s a teen or young adult, it’s always Rap, Rock, Latino or Jamaican, Sigh. . . . . .

Doesn’t anyone believe in “Noise Canceling Headphones”? Just what is it with people wanting others to hear the “crap” they listen too? It’s just so UBER RUDE!
So, my solution might be to get my own I-pod, load it with that I love, and listen to it while I write during my commute. Or, perhaps “I” will wear earplugs. . . . . . .

My Writing Companions

I know what you are thinking, and it’s not that. It’s not about collaboration or co-authoring or anything like that.  I’m saving that for another post. . . . . . . .
I just want to mention my two ever present writing companions who are my cats, Biscuit and Spiral.  If I sit at my computer (“Big Bertha” – which is situated in my living room) for any amount of time, they will most certainly pay me a visit to provide either inspiration or torment. Mostly torment.
How can an innocent, fluffy, furry, beastie be a torment? When I’m attempting to concentrate on a particular story, paragraph or phase, Spiral will do what I call the “runway walk”. This is where he will walk between my legs while rubbing his body along my legs. This ends with his tail wrapped around my left or right calf. He does this repeatedly until he gets my attention.
If no attention is given, Spiral resorts to the next area of torment. He will kiss my toes with that cold nose of his. If I happen to be sitting at Big Bertha barefooted, my first reaction is to nearly jettison off my chair! I love him dearly, but I must give him a scolding. “I need to have my upmost concentration whilest I write, don’t you understand, Kitten?”   His reaction is to dash away.
Two minutes later, he is back only this time he’s rubbing his face on my feet and when I don’t pay attention, he lays his whole heavy body down across my feet. That, I actually like. I often play footsie with him until he starts to bite my toes.  Spiral, now you’ve got to go!  Off he dashes again.
Finally I have a moment of peace to write, and you know how you feel someone staring at you? I look down to my right or left and there Spiral sits with the most pitiable expression on his little furry face! Awww! I can’t help but give him a pat or two or scratch. Then its back to the writing.
This time he pulls out the heavy artillery! The next thing I know, I feel CLAWS on my leg! It’s like: HELLO! I’M HERE! NOTICE ME! PET AND STROKE ME NOT TYPE ON THE COMPUTER! More yelling and he scurries off to disappear to take a nap. 

However, he is back with his brother Biscuit as backup to “double team” me! One distracts me while the other moves in for the kill. Someone is gonna get attention today, and it’s not my writing!
With all of this going on, it’s a wonder I’m able to get anything done. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cuz I love my kitties!

Top Photo:  Spiral
Bottom Photo:  Biscuit 

My Leap Day!

Well, according to friends I was supposed to do something special for Leap Day to make it memorable. I’m sorry to say I did not.
I was planning to go on of my photo walk-abouts and take some new photos for “The Digital Eye” (my photo site). However, that plan was foiled by one thing. Snain (which a combination of snow and rain) and cold whether. The combination was hitting the New York City streets like tiny pieces of hail for a bit, then it finally turned into pouring rain.  

In fact, as I type this, it is STILL POURING! 

It’s amazing how the weather people can predict that the snow or rain will arrive in New York City by a certain time, nowadays. “It’s moving up the East Coast and is now in New Jersey, and will be here by noon.”  the weatherman nattered.

So, I rushed right out and did my power walk, and all of my major errands before the inclement weather started in earnest. 
I did however manage to get to a discount store and buy a much needed set of silverware . . . . . . .    ::SMILE::
I was home, snug as a bug in a rug before the real deluge started.
That was my Leap Day

Sometimes it bees like that. . . . . . . . .