Category Archives: Miscellanea

Whatever doesn’t fit exactly in the other categories.

Depression is depressing (saying goodbye to Robin Williams)

220px-Robin_Williams_2011a_(2)

It’s been a week now since the shocking news of Robin Williams’ apparent suicide.  My first reaction when hearing of it was denial .. It can’t be true! Not Robin Williams.  When realizing it was not a mistake, contrary to conflicting reports being posted online, I went from denial to shock to sorrow to a level of depression.

 

Depression.  Anger and disappointment combined. That’s what it was for me.  In light of that along with some other things going on in my life it’s been a tough week during which I struggled to appear okay. Yes, I withdrew a little more; I tried to keep the emotion under control; I spent some time reading, tearily looking at YouTube clips about Robin Williams, but also listening to the music I enjoy to keep myself from going under.

What again was emphasized to me was the agony of soul a person experiences when in such depths of despair there is no way out to be found. It’s a lie, of course, but not to the blinded mind in the throes of it. What grieved me so much about Robin’s choice of remedy is many-faceted.

1. It was Robin Williams – the man whose crazy, spontaneous humour brought laughter and cheer; the brilliant quick mind that could respond to anything in half a moment while everyone else was still thinking up a reply.

You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. – Robin Williams

2. Robin’s pain was so deep that no one seemingly even suspected how severe it was. At least, not to the point they feared for his own actions nor did what they could to prevent it. How did they not know? Or maybe they did but couldn’t yet reach that deep.

3. If Robin could suffer so greatly without raising suspicion, how many others are in that same place of torment, also going unnoticed? Robin Williams’ act gave more proof that depression can happen to anyone. Anyone. Most successful suicides are unrecognized issues until it’s too late.

4. I worried if Robin Williams resorted to that decision for his end of life, how great an influence would that be to others in the despair of depression?

5. Personally, I know that kind of pain. I know those thoughts. Thankfully, I recognized the lie. I was so saddened that Robin didn’t pay attention to what he knew and even warned others against. His words linger on …

“Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.”

6. In that same week following Robin’s suicide, there were two others I heard about – one not far from the home of one of my daughters, the other my husband saw – while driving from one work location to another – shortly after the fact of its happening, emergency vehicles just arriving.

7.  No matter how bad it seems there is always a better choice. There is help in some form, help that will make each dark day easier to bear until the light is reached. No matter the anguish of soul suicide is not the answer.

8. There is hope, there is life after depression, there is reason to live, there are people who care. The affect a person’s death has on another is beyond description. And when that death is self-inflicted by choice there is no way to explain the guilt, the pain, the anger, the lasting impact the survivors suffer because of it.

I have been guilty of saying suicide is the cowardly way out. Not that the person was a coward, but that they lacked the strength to carry on the fight for life. Perhaps it is simply harsh desperation – unheeded, unheard, unrecognized. I believe it takes a lot of courage to stand against the warring voices in one’s head – the voice to give up versus the voice to hang in there – and choosing to live.

Suicide is not because someone wants to die. Suicide is an escape from the pain of living. And I firmly believe that suicide is not the end.

If you are toying with the idea of suicide — DON’T DO IT. PLEASE. Don’t give up. There is a saying, Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle. If I had given up I would have missed out on SO MUCH that God has for me. The impact would have been horrendous on my family. I know that now although it was extremely hard to see the truth of it then.

Depression. Is. Not. The. Answer.

Choose to live. Seek help. Talk to someone.

If you suspect someone in your life is struggling with harmful thoughts, if they’re despondent, sad, withdrawing, maybe using anger to keep people away … do your best to draw him/her out. Love them unconditionally. Do little things to show you care. Encourage them to get help. Pray for them.

But do not .. DO NOT .. feel guilty if you miss the signs.

I will miss Robin Williams, his manic crazy humour, his brilliance. There are four more movies (one is a voice-over) coming out that Robin starred in – two later this year, one in 2015, and one with no set date as yet. I’ll be watching for them.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

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Hillsong music, and Helping one another

A rambling post …

Here it is Sunday again. Weather-wise it has been like a late summer day – but it is supposed to warm again this coming week. I appreciate the summer so much; it’s far too short for me.

My spirit longs for particular music sometimes, right now being one of those times. Here is a link to Hillsong so you can enjoy the music I’m listening to as I’m writing this post.

Life continues on with its caregiving challenges (almost 3 1/2 years now!) – some days make me appreciate the good ones so much more. If it weren’t for the help we are getting my sister and I could not have managed all this as long as we have.

As you know, one of my goals is to write children’s books, or even any writing for myself would be good right now! Last month a friend and I were discussing our mutual desire to write, and I suggested a challenge. From that conversation we are now both writing – actually, we are writing together although long distance – one writes, the other adds to it and sends it back … and so on and so on. This effort is challenging us and helping to release our creative (writing) energy. Have you tried anything like that?

Now for the burning question:
How are you enjoying my blog; is it helpful to you?

I’ve been looking into ways I can help you more. Since I’m interested in helping promote your books (the ones I agree to read and review) and others I think you might like or should know about, you know I have a new page for that purpose: BUY THE BOOK!  On that page I’m in the process of adding a few more things – both for writers and for readers.

As you can imagine, I spend a lot of my available time reading books, updating my blog and writing posts. (and I enjoy it all!) When I upgraded my blog to better suit my needs it meant I’d have to pay for its hosting. (WordPress is very reasonable or I wouldn’t have done it.) After much consideration, I recently decided to look into affiliation which will bring in a very small percentage for any sales made through your clicks from the links I have here on my site. It will help me pay for my blog as it is, so is a way you can help me, too, if you want to.

The affiliations I chose are ones I think are of the most benefit to you as writers and readers. Once all the techie stuff is worked out you will be able to click to great things not only at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and WritersDigestShop, but also at Christianbook, Chapters.indigo, CafePress, and Vista Print. When I get them all set up you will find them through BUY THE BOOK! and on my Writers’ Helps page. Exciting!

Now I must grab some time to read more of the book I am going to review soon. So many books — so little time!  :)

Please tell me what you think of what I’m doing here on my blog. I appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

Book Review: How to draw Forest Fairies (Step By Step Practical Guide For Beginners) – by Amit Offir

How to Draw the Forest FairiesBook: How to draw Forest Fairies (Step By Step Practical Guide For Beginners)
Author: Amit Offir
Publisher: troubadour
Date: February 22, 2013
Genre: art (beginners), for any age
Pages: 16
Price: Kindle, under $1
My rating: so easy and rewarding!
 
 

I picked up a Kindle copy of How to draw Forest Fairies when it was offered for free, just to see if I could actually draw such complicated-looking images. I was both amazed and delighted with how simple Amit Offir made it. He uses a technique he developed, which he calls “Drawing Easily.”

Amit Offir starts us off with simple lines, adding to it through very easy-to-follow directions. He doesn’t use words to instruct, just pictures. Each page shows how to add to what you have already drawn. The end result is both fun and rewarding.

Not only does Amit Offir teach how to draw fairies in his book by that name, he includes a frog, a spider and its web, a fancy toadstool, and more. It was surprisingly easy to follow his instructions and have an end result that almost exactly matches his!

Renowned artist and illustrator, Amit Offir, offers How to draw Forest Fairies and many other “practical guides” to drawing. Check out this book, especially if you’ve always wanted to draw but thought you never could. He has a whole series of books as simple and fun as this one.

You can learn to draw; you’ll be amazed!

You can find How to draw Forest Fairies listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

How old is your pet? Conversion charts for dogs & cats

IMG_0716I’m sure you have heard and used the method of figuring out the age of your dog. Veterinarians figured out it’s inaccurate to say 1 year in a dog’s life equals 7 years in a human’s life, and they came up with a new chart. (This info I obtained from this very good site: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com)  I also found out there is a chart for cats, too. (Look on this site: http://cats.about.com/cs/healthissues/a/agechart.htm)

<– my dog, Meyya
 
Dog                 Human           Cat         Human
5 months   = 10 years        
8 months   = 13 years         
10 months = 14 years        
1 year         = 15 years           1 year   = 15 years
2 years      = 24 years          2 years  = 24 years
3 years      = 28 years          3 years  = 28 years
4 years      = 32 years          4 years  = 32 years 
5 years      = 36 years          5 years  = 36 years
6 years      = 40 years         6 years  = 40 years
7 years      = 44 years          7 years  = 44 years
8  years     = 48 years         8 years = 48 years
9 years      = 52 years         9 years = 52 years
10 years    = 56 years        10 years = 56 years
11 years     = 60 years       11 years = 60 years
12 years    = 64 years        12 years = 64 years
13 years    = 68 years        13 years = 68 years
14 years    = 72 years        14 years = 72 years
15 years    = 76 years        15 years = 76 years
16 years    = 80 years       16 years = 80 years
17 years    = 84 years        17 years = 84 years
18 years   = 88  years       18 years = 88 years
19 years   = 91 years         19 years = 92 years
20 years   = 94 years       20 years = 96 years
21 years   = 97 years
22 years   = 100 years
23 years   = 103 years
24 years   = 106 years
 
cool-cat.jpgmy cat, Scamper
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What fun pet facts do you have to share?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

My trip on the wild side!

I thought today I would give you something to laugh at, or smile if you want to be polite.  I’ll never know. :)

I have never been a biker. Long ago I told my husband if we had a bicycle built for two – that might be fun. I guess I was the only one who thought so. Then the adult trikes came out. He teased me that maybe I should have one and he could put a motor on the back. Um. No, thanks! The motor would change the whole thing in many ways.

Recently one of my daughters brought to my attention a sale that was just what I needed. My husband and I went shopping and we came home with this:

my trike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep! I’m taking a trip on the wild side!

It was my husband’s bright idea to put the flag on the back for my safety. And of course here we have to wear helmets. I’m obviously no glamour queen ;) but I do enjoy my trike, which I prefer to call a bike.

Can you see my little Meyya in the basket on the back? Here, let me give you a closer view:

Meyya on trike

 

 

 

 

 

 

She seems to enjoy it. I have a very short lead leash I sometimes used for my now deceased beautiful “wolf dog”, and that is what I use to be sure Meyya doesn’t tumble out. Not that that is likely as she settles right down for the ride.

Meyya was a lot fluffier in that picture, but that was before I got her groomed yesterday afternoon. With her coat very short it shows even more how little she is, not even 6.5 pounds at 10 months of age. I doubt my little Schnoodle will even be 7 pounds at a year old. She may be small but she has a big personality and is adorable, funny, and very much my dog.

Meyya.10 months

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there’s your chuckle for today. I hope I gave you a smile.

What do you do for outdoor fun?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

How Not to Get Happily Published

Originally posted on Liz Burton's Portable Soup:

Education Concept. Read Books Sign.Now that what used to be sneered at as vanity publishing has been embraced by the mainstream, one thing that has been lost in all of the discussions that have gone before is that there are other options besides the two that have been the center of attention for all this time. By that, I refer to a fair number of digital presses that operate using the best elements of traditional publishing while adjusting their processes and their relationships with authors so that the end result is to everyone’s benefit.

However, all too often, writers who are interested in doing all the work of publishing themselves but who, for whatever reason, aren’t all that interested in seeking the attention of the Big Five have some misconceptions about how the digital publishing industry does business. Some of this is in the form of myths I will attempt to clear up.

If…

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Arthur, the unwelcome visitor

Have you ever had the experience of a visitor who came uninvited and left not a moment too soon?

Have you tolerated the overbearing presence of that visitor knowing it was a limited stay?

Have you had major clean-up after the visitor finally left?

Arthur … Hurricane for some, but tropical storm for us here in Nova Scotia, was just such a visitor. Some areas were a week without power after that visit, some still have serious damage to clean up.

At my house we had no storm damage, but here is what it looked like at my dad’s after Arthur left.

downed hummingbird vine.This is the hummingbird vine that grows up against the two-storey house all the way to the roof. The trellis was pushed over by the ferocious wind and the vine was damaged so had to be cut to half its height once it was hoisted back up into place. 

downed hummingbird vine2It had fallen into the lower driveway, blocking it.

This vine will be covered in gorgeous red trumpet blooms the hummingbirds love to feed from in the summer.

 

wrecked mapleThis is the side of the house on the upper driveway. The huge maple trees, one in particular, took quite a beating.

The driveway was totally blocked until my husband, and my cousin who happened along, sawed the heavy limbs and got the wood out of there.

wrecked maple2You can see the limbs from one tree hung up on  the tree next to it.

Dad and I heard the crashing of the limbs when they were being torn off the tree.

 

top of tree downI apologize for the poor quality of this photo which I took through the screened window overlooking the driveway at the back of the house. What you see there is the top of the tree in the above image. The wind had snapped it off and driven it over the roof and onto the driveway at the far corner of the house. The thing about that is I’d had Meyya (my Schnoodle pup) out awhile before and I am very thankful we were not out when that happened because it probably would have hit us.

Arthur was a blustery, noisy, destructive visitor. Fortunately, his stay was a short one because, unfortunately, the impact of that stay was longer.

Every season has its wonder, its beauty, and its hazards. Even so, I love it here in Nova Scotia.

What do you contend with where you live? What about where you live keeps you there?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)