Writing Prompt #3

Today’s priority is errands, so without enough time to truly ponder anymore specific details of the stories I’m working on, it’ll be an impromptu “Writing Prompt” exercise again.

I think some of you have been enjoying my writing prompts. 🙂

Today’s topic will be: Million Dollar Question – Why do you blog?

My blog is like my bookshelves. It is a collection of things I have finished between the hours spent performing my various duties – wife, mother, daughter, and sister. Writer, unfortunately, comes last, but that is because I write for myself.

I usually come last on my list of priorities. Please do not automatically think that makes me a “selfless person.” It is, in fact, quite the opposite.

Getting back on topic… since I’m rather infamous on detours. XD

If one was to look at the schedules of every person that live on this planet, one can safely say, in general, that schedules are pretty standard to each person. We may not all do the same things at the same time, but we all do things that are similar – sleep, eat (hopefully as many parts of the world are shrouded in famine and starvation), learn (again, in hopes because we know parts of the world are also torn asunder from violence and oppression), and tend to our daily responsibilities as a person – employee, grandparent, parent, aunt/uncle, child, sibling, cousins, etc.

It isn’t any different for me, and as days turn into weeks, weeks into months… I came to realize that even with all the thoughts that are randomly concocted, scribbled down, and stuck in a notebook somewhere, there was nothing to show for them.

While I am both a sun and moon Pisces, even dreams must have results.

By keeping a blog, or journal since I was about thirteen, it served as a reminder all the things I have thought about, the opinions of certain topics and debates I held at the time, and just how much my thoughts and personal opinions may have changed… if there were, indeed, changes.

It also taught and showed me what I felt passionate about. Unless something was vitally important for me to dwell on it for an extended amount of time, the words don’t make it onto paper… and that is such an important exercise to do on the road to self-discovery regardless of what age I was at!

Children these days have mediums like Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, etc to occupy their minds. It’s not that difficult to re-blog or re-link something “interesting,” but the understanding behind “why one found it interesting” is lost.

Why does one follow a certain person? Why is that post meaningful? What critical thinking does it spur? Will you feel the same way about the topic or subject a year from now? Five years? Ten years? If you become a parent?

There isn’t really an effort in clicking a button with a mouse, but to pick up a pen or pencil, open up a book to a fresh page, and follow the process of putting thought down on paper?

Now, that’s important. Just the act alone speaks volumes, and once added to the words that do make it on paper… it is an epiphany.

Moreover, seeing the end product of a project – whether it’s a story, memoir, or just odd pieces I put together based on personal experiences – I also understand the amount of time that went into the formation and work of each. In a sense, there’s the feeling of accomplishment – seeing the tiny spark of an idea grew into shape and form, molded, torn apart, re-molded, and the debuting of the finished product.

Just that thought alone is enough to send shivers of pleasure down my spine. 😀

That meant my days aren’t just filled with chores from one day to the next, and that reminder serves to help keep my depression at bay. It means I have accomplished something outside of obligations and responsibilities. So when it’s thunder-storming outside, or the allergens are too much for my system to handle even with the help of drugs… this blog, and any other I may keep, is a physical display of the things I’ve done.

It’s not anything special. They’re not trophies, or the classics that I am (incapable of) writing. I am not some talented fiction writer with a fan base, but there is nothing more demeaning than realizing that I have wiled and wasted precious time I will never get back.

Trust me, that realization comes even more of a shock as a parent. Seeing how much a child can grow from the first year to the second, to the third, fourth, fifth, and until they hit the teenaged years… it’s easy to feel under accomplished as an adult.

So I write, and I blog, and when my children are old enough to understand… I have something to show them and teach them with – let them know just who one of their parents is/was.

There is one other reason that I keep this blog.

❤ My life partner. ❤

For whatever reason, there are numerous people out there who feel that their “other half” should miraculously obtain ESP when he/she gets into a relationship. My husband and I often joke about this because I can read his mind 80% of the time, and he can read mine on odd days and even hours… but that comes from knowing your significant other. That comes from both parties making communication one of the top priorities. It comes from one party writing a mountain worth of stuff and sorting it in a blog while the other writes extensive emails…

… He has sent me emails that exceed 10k words a few times, and I have replied in kind.

On the days we don’t click quite so closely, we have a favorite phase to use to remind the other that “mind reading” isn’t real.

“Sorry, darling, the ESP is in my other pair of pants, and those needed to be washed.”

I don’t expect my life partner to know what I’m thinking. It shouldn’t be a guessing game. It shouldn’t be a one way street where the other party makes 100% of the effort when I don’t communicate. How many relationships do you know have failed because of this?

I know of quite a few. 😦

He shouldn’t have the expectation to know what’s in my head. So I share my thoughts here in answer to his question “What’s with the thousand-yard stare?” and the ever popular phrase “a penny for your thoughts…” Want to see someone come to truly understand you and love you for who you are?

Well, be honest, keep a blog, work on it, and it just might surprise you.

While I may have some unexplainable, awesome sense of intuition working for me, it doesn’t mean the rest of the world does. I use my powers carefully and for good… whenever applicable. For the parts that aren’t…

Well, you’re reading my blog, aren’t you? 😉

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Please have a fantabulous day, everyone. It is raining here in New Jersey, but I enjoy the rain. It’s Mother Nature’s version of a shower, and the air could use it.

❤ ❤ ❤

Lavender Wynter

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Time to be a True Ambidextrous, Perhaps?

I was born a natural left-handed person, but due to the pressure of conformity and that few things were made for left-hand dominant people, my parents trained me to be right-handed since I knew how to hold a pencil in my left hand. There are plenty of websites online that will express in detail why that is now perceived to be a horribly bad idea:

  1. Reference 1
  2. Reference 2

Don’t worry. First-born children tend to be made up of a long list of “bad ideas” simply because we are the ones to teach parents how to be parents, and we are also the ones where theory of “discipline” gets tested out on. 🙂

And…I do believe that’s not going to change any time soon. XD

Just remember that regardless of if you are right or left-handed, it doesn’t make one either prone to be tardy or give OCD people a challenge when it comes to organizational skills. Remember that habits are taught and learned through time, and people are still debating on “Nature vs. Nurture.”

Anyway.

I’m still naturally left-prone, so I perform tasks with whichever hand I’m comfortable with. I can do some precision work with my left, but it is by far more accurate with my right. I can only write with my right hand if I don’t want the letters to look like chicken-scratch.

Despite what studies show about left-to-right handed people’s penmanship, mine are actually rather decent whenever the hand is cooperative. In fact, most of my teachers thought I was typing up all my assignments and printing it on lined paper until they realize the “computer font” on my assignments match the handwriting on exams. Since I have no access to a computer or printer in the classroom… XD

My handwriting changes though, from day to day, depending on what muscles work and which ones don’t. I used to duplicate my father’s signature freehand when I was young.

Wait just a minute. Yes, I saw that eyebrow twitch, dear reader… 😉

I wasn’t cashing a check or using his credit card or anything. When we visit my citizen country, we stay at hotels in my early years before my parents bought a place. My father was usually long gone by the time we, the kids, wake up, and so it would be my mother taking us to the breakfast served downstairs or upstairs, depending on what hotel we were at. The waiter/waitress would bring by a form that needed to be signed, I suppose so the breakfast could be charged to the room or whatnot…

… so I’ll pen in my father’s signature since he’s always the one who checks into the hotel, uses his credit card, etc. My mother was right there. This is all done with permission, and my father had no problems with it when I told him what I did.

Just so we’re clear on this. XD

I don’t ever remember a time where my left hand didn’t itch to hold a pencil. It felt a little betrayed, to be honest, and wants to be used like how it was intended to be. I’ve thought about practicing with my left hand for years to be ambidextrous, but I never got around to it. There are just so many hours in the day, and I had so many more things that were interesting to pursue.

And I also lacked the energy for the patience to train and teach a hand as if I was in elementary school.

But two days ago, my right wrist suffered tendonitis. It is not the first time I’ve suffered the injury, but it is the first time it’s affected my right wrist. Tendonitis takes a long time to heal. When my left thumb had it, it took me about four months to recover from it, all the while tending to my newborn son. This one is worse as it affects the whole hand, not just a digit. The spot that gets excruciatingly painful sits dead center of my palm, so while I can move my fingers in a certain way, I cannot make a fist, and I cannot exude strength from this hand or put pressure against anything. It makes needing to do things like writing a check to pay bills rather difficult.

And because I’m one of the people in this world blessed/cursed with double-joints practically from my shoulders to my toes, it’s not difficult to accidentally wear out certain parts faster than others. I think the only joints in my body that aren’t double-jointed are my ankles… and even then, they click.

It used to be a pass time of mine to creep the hell out of most people by doing things that just aren’t naturally to them, but are oh-so-natural to me.

Case in point, I can bend both my thumbs backwards towards my wrists and have the two touch. Ever watch someone skip-rope with their own linked arms? I did that, too. Other usual things I did was hold a pole in front of me with two hands spread the equal width of my shoulders, quickly lift the pole over my head, and my shoulder joints will adjust themselves so my arms land behind me with the pole across my butt.

It’s okay, take a moment and shake the gross feeling out… sorry about that. 😀

My knees bend backwards, although that is more annoying than it makes people squeamish. Learning and teaching muscles to stand up straight all the time takes more endurance for me than most people, not to mention the horrendous posture one gets from double-jointed knees. It took me nearly all the way to adulthood to get all the muscles trained right so I can stand straight and not look like a sloth… or slob, as my mother was apt to say. I actually have to worry a lot more about my spine being twisted and misaligned more than most people.

Or so my mother’s friend told her, but I don’t think he’s an orthopedic… just a pediatrician.

Although, since I can’t be “at rest” when standing straight, I can’t lock my knees, and therefore, have no chances of fainting. That’s something, for sure… 😛

The plus side to being double-jointed to that extent… I can fit my 5’4″ (164cm) frame on a single seat of just about any size an adult would use, curl up like a cat, and sleep without any of my body parts falling asleep for as long as five hours. In other words, I can sleep just about anywhere.

Handy, that. 😛

I don’t deliberately bend my joints out anymore since I was 20, and some have been neglected enough from that form of abuse to be more “normal” now where they don’t feel loose. While it’s fun doing this and that for shits-and-giggles, being double jointed meant the risks of getting osteoporosis is a lot higher for me, along with a slew of other things that will become painful as I age. That’s what I have to look forward to. 😀

So, where was I?

Oh yes, writing… after the jaunt through explaining hyper-mobility syndrome. My right wrist has suffered enough abuse the last ten or so years that even when I recover from the tendonitis, I doubt I will be able to write with it for much longer.

For someone whose favorite past time is writing, that scares the bejeezus out of me.

So it looks like it’s time to go back to my roots of being a left-handed person. If that does happen, I will be a true ambidextrous, capable of using both hands equally.

And that is just so many different shades of cool. 😀

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Hope you are all enjoying Spring! I’m locked up in the house due to the high levels of pollen this season brings, so I’m a bit more depression-prone than usual.

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Much, much ❤

The Representation Project – Gender Roles

I came by this video across my Tumblr dashboard, and if you will just take a moment and watch it, this post will probably make sense in its entirety. If you want to wait until after you’ve read it, that’s all right, too.

Just, please, be sure to watch it, and spread it.

⭐   ⭐   ⭐

To the public eye, I am considered “normal” in regards to gender roles. I’m a woman, married to a man, not the breadwinner to the home, and have two children. According to millions of people, I fit almost seamlessly into the category of “normal” because that’s how things should be.

But my parents, if you knew who they are and could ask, would probably tell you that they struggled with my upbringing. I was the daughter who had trouble with society defining roles for me just because I was born with reproductive parts inside my body instead of outside. I am expected to be more agreeable, to bend easier, and to submit to the more authoritative roles men played. I was expected not to have a vocal opinion – maybe not even have one at all, and to be quiet unless asked or spoken to. Women don’t share opinions in the presence of men, just amongst ourselves.

I don’t blame my parents. It was how they were raised. It was the only thing they knew. They taught me what they know, which is more than I can say of some parents in comparison these days. I do not blame my parents for society’s short falls. They were as much of a victim as I was.

However, it did spur the resentment I held for gender roles and the deep hatred I had for myself because I was born to grow into a woman.

“Don’t spend so much money and attention on the girls. They’re being raised for someone else.” – Some fathers in Asia.

If you heard that quote above from your own father (not from mine. Mine would never say those things), how would that make you feel? Would you have respected your mother? What self-respecting woman would marry a man who looked so lowly on her, right? I’ve seen the daughters of these men. They had nothing to look forward to, living their days being envious of their brothers. If we were stubborn, or if we stood to fight against the system, we were hammered down or stifled.

We were meant to be broken to better serve the men.

I sympathized with these girls, but I refused to empathize with them. Most accepted the role of being a victim. A few went on to become some of the strongest role models for some of us strong-willed ones to follow or moved abroad to carve a piece of the world out for themselves without their fathers or brothers to hinder them.

But in a society where there are men such as those raising their sons with the same ideology and beliefs and women were raised to be victims, then there was no place for me, and some part of me resented the men as much as I resented my own sex.

While I loved my father, I continue to live in a perpetual love/hate relationship with my younger brother. He could have had it all. I had to fight for every step and bled for every stumble.

My father loved me in the way that said I was his entire world. Until my younger brother came along nearly six years behind me, I was the only child he believed he could have because of my mother’s health. The doctors weren’t sure if she could survive another pregnancy.

I’ve always wondered how it made my father, and his parents, feel that I was cursed to be born a girl instead of a boy. Truthfully, he never gave my brother as much attention as he did me. How could he? I had six years on my sibling, but more than that, my father seemed to have taken more care in telling me things he either didn’t share with my sibling, or my brother had long since perfected the “in-one-ear-out-the-other” habit.

My father will always tell me that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to, but because I’m a woman, fighting in a world dominated by men, I will never reach the heights I could possibly achieve.

Not that I had ever aspired to great heights, to be honest. All I ever wanted to be is a writer, and in the grand scheme of things out there like finding cures for diseases and creating architectural feats and advancements, wanting to be a published author really isn’t aiming for the moon or the stars.

It is simply quirky… and a dream. “One can’t live on dreams,” he told me a few times.

Nevertheless, it has made me wonder if his determination to push me overseas in my education was in hopes that if I couldn’t stand up in my own society, then perhaps I could do so outside, in a society where women were not quite so oppressed. But in an effort to make me understand just how difficult it is back home for my sex, he kept me home for a year and worked with the Japanese for a couple of months.

These people have a level of discipline and commitment that I am in awe of and respect deeply.

I am blabbering. Apologies. Let’s move on.

It is the twenty-first century, and I have two children – an older boy, a younger girl, born less than two years apart – who my husband and I must raise in societies that fluctuate and are in the process of redefining themselves in a semi-bubble of itself. They have citizenships to three nations in the world, on three continents, by right of birth, and every single one has a different level of acceptance.

I am unsure if you understand the task that my husband and I face going forward and just how mind bogglingly wide and challenging the chasms that separate them are. Do we…

  1. Try to find a bridge someone else has built over the chasms,
  2. Build bridges of my own like the one I tried to build between my own culture and that of the West,
  3. Or do I define the borders on my own and teach them to fight the battles I know will be coming?

Is it possible to do all of the above?

I’m still figuring it out, and I suspect I will question my answers until the day I have to make a decision, and still question my own efforts and successes after all have been said and done.

But here is what I do know. I will not let clothing teach my children their roles in society. My daughter wears clothes from the boys section if I feel the girl’s version is either too showy or too restrictive. Her accessories will the same type as a boy’s – so if my son wears a brown leather belt to school, that’s the same type of belt she will wear. Not one in a “girl” color defined by the market, or stamped with stars and glittery decorations.

Her hair cut isn’t one to make her look cute. It will be functional the same way her older brother’s is. If she wanted to play with cars, trains, and climb like boys do, then she will not ever wear a skirt to school, or to any playground. She will be comfortable and active. She will be who she defines herself to be. She wants to be feminine one moment to tomboy and kick butt the next, that’s fine by me.

Parents of her future, potential boyfriends and girlfriends… be warned…

Her father’s already stocking up on… firearms and accessories and joined “DADD” – Dads Against Daughters Dating. One of their mottos is “Shoot the first one. The word will spread.”

I do believe he doesn’t discriminate between girls or boys.

Coming up on the day we buy her first bra should prove to be interesting. Hopefully this blog would be around long enough for all that.

And if my son wanted to play with the pink colored toys instead of blue, I am not removing the toy from his hand, although I do make it a point to use primary colors in the house as much as I can for both the children. If he likes pastels instead of the primary colors, there is nothing wrong with him. He climbs, builds forts, loves cars, trucks, and anything with gears. If he wants to care for the baby instead of his sister, that’s even better. If cooking interests him more than woodworking, I cannot fathom how that could be bad in any way, shape, or form. Right now, he has a boyish fascination with breasts and beautiful women (to the eyes of a child).

For now… he’s taking after his sire.

*Makes a mental note to keep Son out of Catholic schools… lest he crosses a Sister wielding a ruler*…

Where either one of them may choose to go is up to them. I do not wish to define their paths for them, and I will try to bar society – men like my father’s former co-workers and business associates – from defining it for them. As long as the children grow up to understand sympathy, empathy, forgiveness, love, charity, honor, sacrifice, and a slew of other virtues I am still striving to master myself…

… then I don’t think I have anything to complain about, I would like to believe. We will all eventually have to hand the keys to the future over to the generations who come after. Let them define it for themselves.

Let’s just work together not to screw it up any further so they don’t end up spending their days fixing our mistakes.

Redefining Gender Roles… Making the world a place for everyone.

– – – – – – – – – –

Disclaimer: The above is my opinion. I understand I have described a lot of Asian cultures in bad light, and it is not my intention to group everyone together. Understand that the point of view I present here is through both my teenage years as well as being an adult with children. It is narrow-scoped in the greater picture, but relevant nonetheless to explain, in part, how I ended up here.

Any comments can be directed to me via email. Thank you.

❤ Always, Lavender Wynter.

Marriage: Rights & Privileges

I read a post on a blog about marriage earlier that I typed a four paged rant, then deleted it, and then wrote this one instead. I am a lot calmer now.

Bear with me, okay? I’m not people bashing.

I am going to be abundantly clear on my stance on marriage, and before I go into that, here are some facts about me:

  1. I am a woman, as defined by the body parts I was born with.
  2. I am a mother of 2 children.
  3. I have a life partner who is, in the eyes of the governments around the world, my husband. Yes, he is the father of my children.
  4. Both my children were born BEFORE I said the words “I do” in front of the mayor who conducted our marriage ceremony and two witnesses.
  5. I do not believe in the institution of “marriage” as far as love is concerned.
  6. I am an LGBTQ equal rights activist.
  7. I also believe that we are all entitled to our opinions and live by our beliefs.

Now, marriage… is not about love. (I have a feeling I’m going to get flamed for that.)

It is not about showing anyone that you and your spouse “love” each other. Marriage, and that piece of paper that establishes the relation you have with the person whose name is on there with you, is a contract between two people defined by government law (and in many countries between two families) that establishes any and all legal actions that are applicable if any fallout was to happen. People get married mostly for financial reasons and gains. It is about the stability of people groups. And if either party was to “violate” the agreements of this “coming together,” then consequences will ensue.

We all know this list of “violations” – infidelity, abuse, neglect, imprisonment, etc. There are certainly many more, depending on the country one lives in and the laws that country has in place.

Marriage is about rights and privileges granted by the government so parties involved can be protected and other institutions understand how to regulate their clientele.

For example, when I was in the hospital for the delivery of my son, I was not married to my son’s father at the time. For him to be in the delivery room with me, I have to request for him to be there – and I didn’t remember this until he was asked to leave during my epidural. After that incident, I informed everyone in the room that the father of my child is to remain with me at all times and have the right to make any decision regarding my wellbeing if I become incapacitated or incoherent. I was brought documents to sign for this to go into effect. If we had been married, he would not have been asked to leave. This right is only given to married couples – not people in domestic partnership or any other status.

If I was ever incapacitated and in ICU, and not married to my husband, it didn’t matter that he fathered my children, he wouldn’t be able to visit me, be notified by medical professionals about my condition, much less be the person to make decisions about my healthcare. Those related to me by blood would be – parents, siblings, children – but he wouldn’t have those rights unless I put through more paperwork before an incident was to happen. I believe some people believe that to be bad luck.

Another important right given to married couples is the protection from incriminating your spouse. That means one party cannot be forced to offer information against his/her spouse no matter what. This is simply one of the very few reasons my partner and I did get married. As a legal resident, I can become a pressure point against my partner by threat of the removal of my status. As far as my understanding goes, within the United States of America, not even a warrant can override this. Don’t quote me on that. I’m not an attorney.

Health insurance, what I believe is to be the most expensive scam of this country, refuses to add “family” members to an employee’s health insurance plan unless they were married. My husband had insurance coverage. His children had coverage under him, but for years, I didn’t have any. Being his life partner wasn’t enough nor was being the biological mother of his children. Proof that we reside in the same house wasn’t enough. Domestic partnership isn’t accepted. Only married people, and we had to provide a copy of our marriage certificate for that to be accepted. So this would be another privilege not given to anyone unmarried.

Am I getting the point across or do I need to keep adding to the list? *sighs*

Procreation, my dear friends, associates, acquaintances, and family members, is a miracle granted to all species that reside on Mother Earth. It is the result of evolution for the sole purpose of survival, not a “God-given right.” Without it, everything will die out. Whether one was married or not has nothing to do with procreation. Species without a “marriage” ceremony still procreate and reproduce. Some mate for life. Others have multiple partners. Every species have their way of doing things, but that doesn’t mean none of them could have been homosexual. In fact, wolves can be homosexual.

Being able to “procreate” shouldn’t be made special. While it does take a lot for procreation to occur, it still requires everything involved to be perfect for that sperm to meet that egg and continue to stay in specific conditions for a baby to result at the end of 10 months.

I’m over simplifying it, but that is the gist of it.

You know what I believe?

I believe the system of so many different types of people exist because we all need one thing to live a quality life – love. It takes an egg and a sperm for a baby to grow from, but it takes more than that for a baby to survive. It takes community, and the people power required to raise children, hopefully in the best environment possible, is a high ratio per child. That’s why family members are often involved.

Do we not have children in the system from all sorts of backgrounds who do not have a loving, caring home? This is where I want to bring up the issue of nature-versus-nurture. So what if a homosexual couple couldn’t procreate (well, gays anyway. Lesbians have the option of IVF these days)? They have what it takes, regardless if the relationship is monogamous or polygamous, to give these children – all borne from hetero relationships, mind you – that love, care, and security that will hopefully allow them to live full and productive lives.

I would have thought that most governments would be well invested in future citizens capable of earning incomes that will help pay down the national debt instead of doing everything in its power to try to move in opposite directions at the same time.

And before I forget…

“Marriage” comes with risk as much as rewards, mind you, to anyone. If I was to die tomorrow (*knocks on wood*), whatever debt I have incurred becomes the responsibility of my spouse. As an unmarried homosexual (or any other, actually) couple, if things did fall through, they can walk away from each other a lot easier than a married couple, and I assure you, even as a married couple, homosexual partnerships will still be taxed heavier than heterosexual ones.

So in the face of all this, understanding that the battle for the equal right of “marriage” has nothing to do with procreation but have a lot to do with privileges and rights…

(For something as simple as standing at the bedside of a life partner in the hospital as an example and having the privilege to be included in updates… THAT is love.)

…who are we to say no? What do we, as heterosexual couples, lose by letting homosexual couples have what should be their rights and privileges as much as it is ours?

And how do you classify the people born with both sets of genitals? Are they man or woman? Who can they marry? What are their rights? (Well, guess I’ll be doing research tonight.)

There is something good to be gained here by sharing the good with everyone. Change is inevitable, so why can’t we try to make it a change for the better instead?

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I’m not trying to be a bigot, or insult anyone’s intelligence (I don’t think I did), but as a realist and an optimist, I hope we can improve and move up the world. Not fail upwards.

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❤ Lavender Wynter

My Birthday Gift

IMG_5588 IMG_5589 IMG_5590 IMG_5592 IMG_5593 IMG_5595 IMG_5596 IMG_5598 IMG_5599 IMG_5602 IMG_5601 IMG_5603

This year, in celebration of Closet Souls Chronicles that I was working on, as well as fulfilling my outdoor geek, my dear husband gifted this in its entirety on my birthday. Everything you see in the pictures were in the Maxpedition THERMITE™ VERSIPACK® pack.

I had wanted to post this a while ago, but I didn’t get a chance to take pictures until this morning.

Thanks, Love. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to use it on a trail soon. I might need a Darth Vader mask though lest the pollen strangles me.

XD

Much Love, Dear.

❤ ❤ ❤

Writing Prompt

The Social Network – “Do you feel like you ‘get’ social media, or do you just use it because that’s where all your friends and family are?”

I really should have chosen something that has less chances of me devolving into a rant. Be that as it may…

*crosses fingers and toes* Bear with me… 🙂

Senior year of High School saw me turn in a thirteen-paged Q&A for Bible studies about something or other that I don’t quite remember off the top of my head. I know I did double the work in half the time because the assignment – for the sake of saving time – gave us twelve questions. We asked x-number of people the first six, and then ask an identical y-number of people the remaining six.

I just asked everyone I contacted all twelve questions.

How?

IRC and liberal use of multiple Instant Messaging (IM) windows. It was a simple matter of copying/pasting the questions, wait for the other party to respond in full, copy/paste the text into a word document, format it into something neat and tidy, and submit it the next day.

IRC wasn’t the first program I used. That was preceded by a virtual chat program call “Excite!chat.” If you’re reading this and know the programs I just listed or remember the time when search engines like “AltaVista” existed, give yourself a pat on the back. You are one of the few.

So, asking me if  I “get” social networking seems like a rather short-sighted question, in my honest opinion. I do not “just use it” because friends and family do. I was on the wagon of social networking well before the rest of my age group caught on (and that included family as most of my good friends were through online networking).

I’ve been through where social networking began, the ideals it was built for, and watched it crumble into a rather tangled mess of marketers’ harem for personal information gathering all the way to people making it a personal quest for followers as if that truly held a meaningful purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. If what you do involves audiences (most art professions do), then by all means, you should be on a quest for an audience base. Heck, I’m a fan on a few fan bases out there. 🙂

The thing is, social networking became the unfortunate bastard child of middle-to-high school clique of hierarchy all-grown-up in some respects, and that to me is simply not kosher.

Some of us were part of the “popular” crowd in high school. Some of us weren’t. Guess which one I fell into?

The best thing about those years is that they’re behind me – in fact, it is because they could be put behind me that allowed me to move on, but social networking has managed to resurrect something best left dead and proceed to remind me just how intolerable those miserable years were.

Yes, I know, I’m too old to be bullied anymore, and I agree. I am, and I’ve learned to not take crap from anybody since, but I certainly didn’t need to be reminded of those years just because “select” people popped across my screen in association or affiliation with someone else I know, and these networking mediums did just that. If I experience this, just how many more people are or will come to experience this?

Especially the ones who were mercilessly bullied. We used to be able to tell them “it’s school. It’ll be over soon.” Not quite sure that’s the case anymore.

So, my question is, do you understand the implications that surround social media? I think that is more important than just “getting” social media.

Perhaps it’s some food for thought, yes?

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Yours Truly, Lavender Wynter ❤

Writer’s Ramblings

Happy TUESDAY, for those of you into Tuesdays – yours truly included whenever there is NCIS, which the writers, directors, and actors completely rocked the New Orleans chapters in the last two episodes. Kudos to the whole team. I sincerely HOPE there WILL BE a NCIS: New Orleans for me to look forward to in the future.

*is an NCIS addict*

It is more than a week into April, and the rains have started. I do enjoy the rain, and somewhat dreary days where it feels all right to take a step back, sip at a cup of hot chocolate, and just remind myself that while Lady Winter has officially departed for the rest of the year, there will at least be plenty of flowers to look forward to for a couple of weeks…

… If the pollen doesn’t kill me first. I’m already having trouble breathing, again.

G’lord Almighty…

(No, I’m not religious or Christian, but I have lived in the south for about, oh, six-point-five very long years. I swear to the powers-that-be *that* is the most common phrase I hear, and naturally picked it up, right next to “ya’ll” – complete with the twang, my husband claims.)

I am looking into air purifiers for the house, one armed with a UV light for all the bugs my two children bring back ever-so-excitedly from school and decided that SHARING said germs is, in fact, the best policy.

Nothing says “I love you” like breathing it through a Darth Vader mask, me thinks.

XD

HEPA filter or Permanent HEPA-type filter? Pros/Cons? If anyone has experience on this, please, PLEASE, send me an email! Much appreciated!

❤ ❤ ❤

I have taken to working on my fiction through Google Docs so I can bounce between the computers in this house, my laptop, and my iPad whenever the mood strikes or spare time shows itself. Since I’m usually up at 6am, often earlier than that, I find myself about ready to pass out by, say 9 at night, and it seemed awfully ridiculous to take my laptop to bed with me when I might only ever get something like fifty words down before passing out.

So while typing with a single finger on an iPad on-screen keyboard is seriously putting a kink in my style, it’s actually working out far better in the long run than trying to kill myself to get a couple of good hours in at the laptop.

Especially when we all know that when those words won’t come, they won’t come, no matter how long or hard you stare at that blinking cursor.

And as much as I love working in Microsoft Word, that little word counter at the bottom left hand side of my screen drives me absolutely bonkers when I start on a new document. I’m fine when it’s reading 6k+ words, but getting to that point while it’s keeping count makes me want to tear my hair out.

With curlers. Not that I own any.

It’s really like losing weight. If I keep weighing myself every day in hopes of seeing results, it tends to completely rip all the air from beneath my wings and I fall like a rock into a place-not-very-nice… depression.

Hang on, side note… speaking of losing weight…

A piece of advice on the diet front. Don’t use a scale. I tried that. Failed miserably. Judge by how loose your clothes fit. Seriously. Makes the whole process so much more humane.

So now I just keep writing on Google Doc (which also allows me to add my muse to the document so he can tag along and tell me “I thought we talked about this. You know better. It doesn’t happen this way” in the comments section whenever I’m writing about something technical – like chemistry reactions and picking locks or firing a weapon) and export to .DOCX if I wanted a word count to project how many words a certain story is going to take.

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I just want to take a moment to thank someone I met online last year when I came across her fanfiction works in February 2013. I found her through the Naruto fandom, and loved her stories so much, I actually read Bleach just to read her Bleach fanfics. She’s responsible for turning me onto the series and loving it as much as I do (more so than Naruto, to be honest with you). I back-read her older journal entries, learned that she is a parent, works, and still manages to find time to write as much as she did/does. Unbelievably impressed, I emailed her on LiveJoural with the question of “How?”

How do you find the time to write so much? I have two kids, I don’t have a job, and I can barely find time to think, much less write!

Her reply was something along the lines of, “If you want it enough, you’ll find the time.”

Which led to me looking at my husband one morning as he made our coffees and saying, “I want to get back to writing, and I don’t care what I have to do, but I’m going to get back into it, and I need your help.”

Seven months down the road, after the hurt that happened to me in “Break Me into Pieces,” and nearly seven months of discussions and trial-and-errors with the schedule with my children who were not in school (but were in the process of getting into pre-K programs) and the consistent urging and support from my biggest fan (my husband)… I began this journey again.

With liberal use of band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and gauze… because trial-and-error always leads to some form of accident. XD

But by golly, did it feel good. 🙂

My first piece of finished (fan)fiction in over seven years was “Asking Nicely” which took place right after “A Little Help?” by Stark (Tumblr / LiveJournal) who gave her permission and blessings. In the middle of writing that horrible first attempt spawned the fanfiction one-shot “Love Me.”

Then my husband suggested writing about my experiences with the uglier side of parenting that saw me embarking on the journey to push “Break Me into Pieces” into existence in the literary field. I came away with the feeling that I’ll never write a memoir again… ever.

❤ XD ❤

Closet Souls Chornicles took over from there and is flourishing. There may be an honorary Stark-inspired character in there (just all depends if Stark has an opinion or not) complete with an ability of her own. I’ll just have to figure out what that ability would be first. There are simply so many to choose from!

That’s my way of thanks, Stark, for the small messages of encouragement that got me this far despite life having it in for a few of us. 🙂

And to the husband who gave me the ability to do the near-impossible, to keep telling me that my writing doesn’t suck quite as much as I think it does, to believe in me when I couldn’t believe in myself… and still don’t on most days, and to take our rugrats under his lonesome wings when I would disappear into a bedroom for hours at a time in my efforts to find myself amongst the words again…

Thank you. None of this would have been possible without you. Others might have lent a hand in the inspiration department, but you’re the foundation and the motivation that made it possible. ❤

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You know, I keep telling myself that I’m not a hopeless romantic, so finding proof to the contrary is rather… chewy. If that made any sense.

Anyhow, have I bored all of you enough yet? =)

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There should be a second post coming, however. I think I’ll tackle another one of those “365 days of writing” prompts today.

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❤ from Yours Truly, Lavender Wynter.