Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Struggle We Shouldn’t Ignore

My hiatus from writing is still in effect (know that we have made it safely to our new home, and are still in the process of getting settled). But today I feel the need to write this…


I imagine you heard the collective gasp the world let out last night, when news of Robin Williams’ passing reached the masses. I think it is safe to say that it was an event that left many thousands of hearts aching, regardless of whether or not they personally new him, including my own.

It was a moment that stunned us all, I think. Such an outwardly loving and happy person, always bringing absolute gold to the lives he touched. A genius in his own right.

I never new he struggled with depression. I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised, many of those in the theatre industry have great struggles in their lives. I believe this is part of what makes them great. They have reached the depths of emotion that it takes to truly create another, believable, struggling human being. They truly understand what it’s like. It brings their characters to life in the most tangible way possible, yet it is a true - and sometimes deadly - struggle for those that portray them.

I have often wondered if the reason I am in love with acting, with theatre, is because I too have had my own struggles in life. Unpleasant events (markedly weighted more heavily than the good ones) throughout my life have shaped who I’ve become today. I am glad for that. I think it gives me a unique perspective on things, and it allows me to look at many things in ways others somehow miss.

At the same time, I know that my past also has a negative affect on my present life.

You see, I struggle with depression, too. It has taken me to some really dark places. I saw a counselor for a while (even was on medication for a short stint). I’m doing pretty well now. But while I tend to have more better days than bad ones, it is always there. Kind of haunting me in the back of my head. I have learned that it triggers suddenly, often without much warning. It manifests in many different ways, but most often withdrawn sadness and tears, and even anger. It can last a few hours, or it can last months and years.

I am more than thankful that I’ve never really harbored the thought of ending my own life. But the idea that it could just sneak up on you is terrifying.

That seems to be how it happens, though. So many people, who seem to be moving right along, doing so well. And suddenly, they’re gone.

It could be me. It might be you.

I’ve repeatedly been conflicted about seeking help. When I hit a dark moment, I know I should be talking to someone. But the clouds clear (however temporarily), and somehow it’s gone, and my head tells me I’m past that. And I don’t find the help I should get for the next time (because my rational mind knows there will be a next time).

I don’t want the label. I don’t want to be questioned and investigated, to risk losing my children, my family.

But I really need to do it. Because there always is a next time.

If you’ve got loved ones that struggle, help them get help. Be there for them.

But if it is you, be there for yourself. Get help.
  

If you’re struggling right now, please know that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is there to help. If you’re in that dark place, please give them a call. 1-800-273-8255


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Moving Day Is Coming… Soon?

Well now, it’s been quite a while since my last post here.

We seem to be at once moving at the speed of light, and slower than molasses going uphill in winter.

Our move date is impending… and it’s not.

Welcome to the military life.

SO, let me fill you in a bit on what's been going on the last month or so.

We had a wonderful trip to the UK with my best friend and her family, touring from Portsmouth England, to London, all the way up to Scotland. We saw many breathtaking sites, and enjoyed learning some of the history of the land. We also had a blast at a pub or two along the way (a must if you’re in the UK)!


When we got home, my oldest son turned five. We had a good weekend of celebrating with his grandma here to visit.



A couple of weeks later, we decided that now was the time to take a trip up to the theme park near my home town that I grew up going to, and eventually worked at (not the first in my family to do so). A few things will be leaving the park in the coming year, and I wanted my husband to see the park as I remember it, before too much changes. It was also the boys’ first trip to the park (and we are happy to report that they are both thrill ride lovers)!



Since then we’ve been trying to figure out our move. My husband is set to arrive in Connecticut at his new job this summer, but the house we’re going to live in when we get there is eluding us. We’re really hoping something works out soon, but until then we’ll be in a sort of limbo, preparing for a move that could happen at any moment between now and... well, who knows?

So, while we’re doing our packing and prepping for the move, life has been and probably will continue to be a little hectic around here. Hopefully something will happen soon and we’ll be able to settle into our new home before the end of the summer, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

That said, in the mean time please forgive me for not posting much, if at all. I’ll try to let you know when we’re heading out, but I can’t promise anything (especially if things happen quickly). But I do promise this: I will resume writing with some regularity once we’re in our new house and settled.

Have a lovely summer!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Island of Lost Forevers

Hello friends!! Today I have a special post for you. 

I have the privilege of having been fast and best friends with a talented writer for approximately the past sixteen years. I have been watching her write, and reading her works throughout her journey as a writer, and I am excited to see her release her first self-published book! 

Today, she has asked me to share her cover reveal with you, and I am honored to do so. 

If you are a fan of fantasy fiction, please support an artist at the beginning of her journey! I know I will be among the first to purchase a copy of this book when it is released in May!

So, without further ado, I give you my close friend and very talented writer, Megan Cutler:


Ten years ago, I began an incredible journey. No longer satisfied with scribbles and abandoned projects, I sat down with a very good friend to write a full-fledged novel. A decade later, the project has seen many ups and downs, halts and restarts, but at last I get to share it with you.

Introducing:

iolf-cover-big


When a mysterious island appears off the coast of San Francisco, two intrepid academics risk everything to discover its secrets. Literature professor Catilen Taylor has struggled all her life with the ability to sense others' emotions. The only person comfortable with her eccentricities is Damian Cooke. Not just a professor of philosophy, Damian studies an ancient art he calls 'magic.' Beyond the military barricade they discover paradise unspoiled by modern advances. A sanctuary the travelers believe uninhabited, until they meet the island's enigmatic ruler, who invites them to share the wonders of his bathhouse. Just as Catilen believes she's put her difficulties behind her, trouble stirs on the island forcing her to reveal and test her empathic abilities. Is the island the paradise it promises? Or does a nightmare lurk beneath the surface? I'm beyond thrilled to share this, my first novel, with you. It was co-written by James Abendroth of Blackguard Press. And the cover was created by the lovely Beth Alvarez! It will be available for Kindle and Nook on Tuesday May 13th! If you're interested in being notified when the book goes live, please sign up for my Newsletter!


iolf-cover-small

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Our Crazy Life

Wow!

There is SO MUCH going on around here these days!!

First off, let me start with a big congratulations to my husband! This past week he took (his very first – despite having gone through high school and undergrad) graduation walk to receive his Masters in Business Administration from Naval Postgraduate School!


We were also lucky to be able to see some very good friends while in California for the ceremony, rounding out a very nice trip! (Many thanks once again to my aunt for watching the little hooligans for us!)

March was a very busy month for us; let me take you on a photo tour!


As is the case most years (you know, because my birthday happens at the same time every year), we kicked off the month with my 30th (well, just this year for that) birthday! We took a phenomenal trip to New York City where we saw one of my best friends in a trippy play, ate at our all-time favorite restaurant, rang in my birthday with friends in a ridiculous night out, and had the privileged experience of seeing the theatre gods (and I mean that whole-heartedly) Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Waiting for Godot!


Our boys have accomplished so much this past year! In addition to being creative geniuses, Branden has “graduated” from his Speech Language Pathology meetings, and Alexander has earned yet another belt in his Tae Kwon Do class, and moved up to the next level!


It has snowed here more this year than in the last two years we’ve been here! This photo was taken on St. Patty’s Day!


Ostara came up pretty quickly this month (the whole month really just flew right by), and one of my good friends came to visit for the weekend! We dyed eggs, ate yummy food, watched movies, and had a great time!


The very next week was the week of my husband’s graduation ceremony! We flew in to San Francisco and had enough time to stop for dinner on our way to Monterey. We managed to find one of our favorite California restaurants right next to the Apple HQ in Cupertino!! Being the Apple fans we are, we geeked out a bit while dining outdoors in sight of the Apple address/entryway sign and mooning over the possibility (in our dreams) that Tim Cook would come and sit down with us. I also made a new friend - our waiter, who was awesome!


Then it was off to Monterey for two days of graduation craziness. Our first day there, we had lunch at a great sushi place called Crystal Fish! Big fans of sushi, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal, and loved sitting at the bar watching the sushi chefs practice their art (and create our food)!


And then, perhaps disturbingly; once we got finished eating our sushi we headed over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! They have an amazing aquarium there, where we watched the penguins get sassy and eat, scoped out some cool jellyfish, and watched the most active octopi we’ve ever seen!


After which I laughed way too hard at this guy.


Finally, it was time for Eric to get his diploma!

After that, we drove south to spend an afternoon with old friends before flying home!

What an awesome month!

Looking to the future: More awesome!

Things are only going faster and faster around here as we plan for the coming weeks and months! Here is a glimpse into our future:

  • This weekend I’ll be flying out to meet my husband in LONDON!!! We're going to meet one of my all-time very bestfriends and her family for a vacation in the UK and Scotland! (AAAAAAHHHHHH!!! SO EXCITED!!!!)
  • While we’re away, dear hubs will be turning 35!
  • As soon as we get back from that trip, our oldest son will turn FIVE YEARS OLD, people!
  • AND THEN WE’LL BEGIN PACKING!! We officially have orders for our move to Connecticut, scheduled for some time this summer!!

(Sorry for all the caps and exclamation points, I just wanted to you get how CRAZY and EXCITING things are getting around here!!!!!!!!!!!!! :P )

So… yeah. I’ll do my best to keep this whole blog thinger updated as we move through the next few insane months!

In the mean time, happy spring and blessed be, my friends!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Magick

I’ve got magick on my mind this morning.

It has occurred to me lately that I have been lacking in posts of a ‘witchy’ nature here; part of the whole reason I began this blog. If you’ve been reading in hopes of these types of posts, I apologize for the lack. Let me try to swing that pendulum back the other way.

Magick.

I have, in the past, tried to set out a mission for myself here to write more about my magickal life.  Unfortunately, I have done little to that effect.

To be completely honest. I’ve done little to that effect on this end of the pen, too.

Now, to my credit, I have been slightly more active in my spiritual life, but that has been limited to a small observation of my spirituality in the morning and whatever moments I might find throughout the day. It’s more than I can claim for the past few years on a regular basis, though, so it’s a start!

It’s just not really been, well, blog worthy.

But, you know, it’s March. I was born this month (hey, I’m 30 now, btw!). And with that connection, I do feel quite a bit of power behind myself in these few weeks. (Is this something I alone feel about the time surrounding my birthday? I wonder.)

So I want to do some magick.

What might that entail?

Who knows, really? I haven’t done the ritual yet, and I’m quite sure it will be more off-the-cuff than planned.

But I do know how it works.

Energy.

That single word is basically the thing that encompasses all the magick that I do.

Every ritual I’ve done that has had results, every time I really felt what I was doing while I was doing it, every time I’ve cast a spell that has far surpassed what I was expecting; it was the energy at work.

You know that feeling when you get when you’ve done something you love really well? When you’ve run a marathon, or you’ve finished a play or dance, or you’ve finished a work of art or project that you’ve really put your heart into? The wonderful boost of positive energy that you get, and you feel you could live on it for days? That feeling of elation, however long it lasts; that’s magick.

There are many ways to build this energy in a ritual. It can be built by a dance, or chanting, or drumming, or even simple meditative concentration (the list can go on for miles).

When you get that feeling, you know what I’m talking about, that is magick.

I bet you’ve been doing it all of your life, and you didn’t even know it.

But what happens when you get it? Most likely, you live on that high for a while, then try to achieve it again. Absorb the magick and recycle it. Try to produce more.

When a witch produces that magick, she (or he!) does so with intention, then she attempts to harness it and focus it, and send it out into the universe with a certain purpose in mind.

Have you ever heard of a cone of power? That is, many times, what I am working toward when practicing magick. Imagine an invisible cone, a large circle at it’s base (that’s the magick circle that you see so often depicted), coming to a point at the top. (Did you know that this is why the witch’s hat is shaped the way it is?)

That cone is built to focus the energy (imagine inside of that cone a sort of wind circling), and at the pinnacle of the ritual, that energy, often focused through the point at the top of the cone, is released. It is sent out into the world in hopes that it will do some sort of work for us.

It could be healing energy, sent to help a friend or community in need, it could be to help achieve a more personal goal. The possibilities are endless.

I am quite a believer in this energy. I’ve felt it at work on more than one occasion. I’ve seen my own personal spells come to fruition.

I do feel that there is one more element that goes into magick to really make it work. But that is a post for another day.

Until then, explore your own magickal energy, and see where it takes you! And please, let me know! I’d love to hear about it!!