500 Followers

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Wow! Thank you for your interest, it’s amazing that this many people find my writing interesting. Blogging at WordPress has connected me to a lot of new people and interesting ideas, and it’s been good to meet you all. It’s been nearly year since I’ve started and it’s been an interesting ride.

As this blog gets close to its one year anniversary and becomes a little more established, I’ve decided to work more on the quality of my writing and raise my ambition level a bit, but I’m also getting a bit intimidated as well. I’m considering pursuing poetry and fiction more here, I feel like I’ve bled out as much as my history as I need to, at the moment.

Because of this,  I’ve been reading up on blogging techniques, everything from grammar to branding to monetizing. One of the consistent things I read about is the importance of picking a general theme, which is difficult for me. This blog is definitely more of a magpie’s nest of things that attracted my attention than something specific.

I enjoyed reading Jon Milligan’s “The 15 Success Traits of Pro Bloggers: A Proven Roadmap to Becoming a Full-Time Blogger“, but that’s meant for someone who’s blogging on a specific topic and wants to make money from blogging. There are definitely a lot of good tips on mindset, technique, and the importance of guest-blogging and building community ties. The latter is something I’m interested in improving, so if anyone is interested in guest-blogging here, or having me guest-blog for them, either comment or send me an e-mail at tundraghosts@gmail.com.

It also gave me the idea of maybe putting together an ebook of some of the poetry from this site, after I polish what I have and write some more. I realize there’s not much of a market for poetry, but getting together a little ebook of it together and charging a couple dollars for it can’t hurt and might lead to some good things, yeah?

Another book I’ve just started is “A Writer’s Badass Guide to Branding, Blogging, and Social Media. I’m not too far into it, but it has a lot of helpful tips on figuring out what you want to write about, what tone you want to use, and what you ultimately want to accomplish with blogging.

If anyone is looking for help with grammar, the classic book on writing by Strunk and White “The Elements of Style” is either free or $2.99 on Amazon, depending on which edition you buy.

 

In the Palm of Your Hand: A Poet’s Portable Workshop by Steve Kowit

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To write honestly means that you are willing to tell the truth about your feelings and perceptions, but that doesn’t mean you have to say anything about your own life that you wish not to. In the service of that honesty one may employ any devices, reach back into any memory, discuss any subject, call upon any emotion, and invent any fiction. You are not obliged to write raw autobiographical poems that reveal things you are not ready to have revealed. Honesty means, in part, to be able to feel one’s anger and grief and envy and frustration, to have the courage to look at one’s own life and thoughts so that one can tell the truth about how human beings think, feel and behave. It does not mean exposing yourself in ways that you do not find appropriate.

Who Sent You?

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Okay, so I wrote this prose poem called “Free Kittens” at the beginning of the month.

It’s popular, which is really cool, but it’s so popular that I’m wondering why. “Popular”, as in its been viewed more times than my homepage, and it’s more than 10x more popular than the next most viewed thing I’ve written.

Any experienced bloggers or people with insights on what’s going on with this one?

Is it linked somewhere? I can’t find any obvious referrals in my stats.

 

Here are what my stats look like now:

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Things to Accomplish in 2017

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Here’s a list of my goals for 2017, broken down into smaller goals; I repeat some goals from “Three Goals for Age 29“, and”bucket list“, but there are also some new ones. This is stickied so I see it regularly, but feel free to read it.

Continue reading

180 degrees

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(day two sober: w00t. Since I wrote this I relapsed, and had to go into “remorseless bitch exorcising people from my life” mode; a hallmark of “what did I do with my life” and “I am clearly not allowed to make my own decisions at the moment.”. Either way, that was another 180 degree turn…)

My life is a series of 180 degree turns – I’m a weird combination of a nice, shy girl and a remorseless party animal, so you can’t always tell which way a decision will go with me.

My quickest turn around would be going to rehab in 2014. I was homeless, and my drug and alcohol excesses led to a traumatic rape. I ended up with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder afterward – high pulse, jumpiness, paranoia – an absolute wreck.

I became suicidal and lost my ability to sleep at night… The staff at the shelter caught on to the sudden change in behavior. The director talked with me and I spoke honestly. He drove me to the emergency room and stayed with me while the nurses took my history and got me ready for admission to the psych ward.

I was so destroyed that the weekend doctor put me on topcoat and Haldol. Depakote is for severe bipolar disorder, and Haldol is a medication for schizophrenia. For comparison, under normal circumstances, I’m just on antidepressants.

So, I spent the rest of the weekend as a zombie, until my regular doctor came in, and fixed my medication, and asked me the one hundred thousand dollar question – he asked if going to rehab was an option because he could get me a bed. A woman from Casa Clare interviewed me a few days later, and I spent four months there.

I stayed clean for six months afterward until I made the mistake of dating in my first year of sobriety, though, I wouldn’t have been able to get or stay clean without this experience, so I’m grateful.

Ghostwriter

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If I could choose any author to write my life story, I would choose William S. Burroughs. He knew the twisted psyche of an addict better than most. He understood the dark world I existed in, and would write from a place of understanding.

Second, his talent was painting with words – he used the cut-up technique, so sometimes his words didn’t make literal sense, but created an expressive world of sensations, thoughts, and feelings.

Third, his bitter, biting humor. A lot in my life is funny, but you need a dark and somewhat twisted sense of humor to understand. I went into most of my romances hoping we would build each other up, or wanting to save the other person… it goes in the opposite direction.

The Space to Write

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I don’t have a dedicated space, and I don’t need one. If there’s a flat surface, and hopefully a lack of interruption, I can write. An office would be nice. Maybe I’ll set one up once I get my new digs.

As it is, I lay on my bed and write with music going nearly all of the time, and this works for me. Wow. This has pretty much been my routine since my teen years, although I had a desktop computer back then. Writing really has been a life-long love for me, and I hope that one day I’ll be good enough to gain something of a reputation for it. Being a professional writer would be a dream come true for me, but it would be a dream come true for millions of others as well.

I spend a lot of time considering writing a memoir of my homeless days, but I’d have to say it was fictionalized – my parents would be horribly scandalized. My mother’s go-to saying with me is “At least you’re not addicted to meth” – meth was my drug of choice and the woman has no idea. That’s a blessing. I don’t have the same level of relationship problems some of my fellow addicts have with their parents. They do know I had an alcohol problem, but the drug portion of it is mostly unknown to them.

Everyday Inspiration – Day Six : The Space to Write