Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pay It Forward

Erm... but let me whine a bit first. *shifty* You may or may not have noticed, but I've been in a bit of a funk and nobody needs a Funk-Tart. It is multi-tiered and every level throws in its own noise.

First, I just returned from traveling, which throws my routine off. I dived RIGHT into edits that had to be turned around quickly for the cozy audition, so there was no real mental REGROUP. Then we get to the big stuff.

Last Thursday I was in a fair amount of pain (throat), was achy, possibly even fevered, and I had the kind of sinus thing going on that gives you a headache and slow drip (as opposed to plugging me up). I stayed home from work Friday, proceeding to sleep 12 hours, which knocked out the sore throat and aches, but the head stuff stayed (and the work pile mounted).

Then Saturday my husband's midlife crisis flared (he's been having this since he was around 27, mind you-but it comes and goes). When it's bad though, it's bad. He is smoking again, and I think experiencing a self-loathing that comes with FAILURE (never mind that they TELL YOU quitting takes practice, and in 22 years this is only the second time I've seen him try)--He was successful for 3 months and was feeling a lot of improvements. All shot. *sigh * I've asked exactly twice when he plans to try again, but acts like every time I see him I have nagged.

Oh, nobody does self-loathing quite like my husband can. It's a lovely 'give it back' kind of thing... not good after my illness, too busy, been gone thing.

THEN, I just realized part of the problem is I'm in EDITING mode, rather than WRITING. If I am writing, then every day I have an escape for a good 90 minutes into whatever story I am writing. When I am editing, I am stuck in the present. Have I expressed how I hate reality? Even my BLOGGING is in reality... partly because of being behind, so I missed a bunch (especially the prep time needed for several blogfests)... it's been sort of a dry week, with yesterday veering dangerously near the precipice of nasty...

But a few really great things have passed me this week, and I thought I'd share them with you.

First: Y'all know there is NOTHING better than Monty Python, right? And nothing CAMPIER than Star Trek, and this little number uses Monty Python to make Star Trek even sillier, and it makes me HAPPY!

Star Trek Meets Monty Python

Second: This fit my mood pretty darned perfectly because it is one of those CUTE, then so terrible that it's hysterical things (compliments of B. Miller that I found it)

How a fish almost destroyed my childhood

And finally, and this is probably my favorite: PAY IT FORWARD (also compliments of my buddy B.)

This Pay it Forward was a beautiful post by B. Miller about doing the right thing, and a CHALLENGE to all of us to Pay it Forward... do something nice NOT because you expect something back, but because if we all do, the world ends up nicer and ALL of us have more nice things happen... or so I look at this cosmic karma thing. I tweeted, I shared... but I also took it to my favorite people on the planet (yes, even before my children some days)--the Burrow.

We have a project in the works now, our July feature for our website: You see, about every other month we do a 'feature' where we all work together and create a project. Most reveal themselves slowly, inviting people to come back as the month progresses. In June, we are doing Alphabet Drabbles, largely in thanks to arleebird April Blogging A to Z idea.

Drabbles, for the uninitiated, are 'stories' in exactly 100 words. Mine are typically more slice of life or philosophy than story, because you know how hard it is for me to get to the point—STILL, it is a challenge of word economy and grammatical creativity sometimes. So in July, we are going to Pay it Forward. B. has even agreed to guest Drabble with us! (we're so excited!)

Adding to this, Kierah Reilly—a new twin of sorts (she and I are sharing geography if not timing) tagged me with her Pay it Forward Post in which she asked her followers to follow three people (me included!)--Her blog is GREAT, and I would LOVE it if you would return the favor, but I ALSO wanted to Pay it Forward.

I am doing two sets of three, because I have a couple long time friends who are relatively newer (or getting back to) blogging who I REALLY think you should follow. All of them are people I know because of Harry Potter... there are SO MANY of those...

Artistically Amy: Amy just finished her Master's Degree (MEd, I think), and is a TALENTED photographer. She is no slouch as a writer, so her blog is a fun mix of pictures and prose (typically prose about the pictures she's taken.
Awkward Book Girl: Bridge is a TALENTED young writer—she writes an emotional punch like nobody's business, and is brand new to blogging—her reflections thus far have been very sweet and entertaining.
And Bronx Tales and Inner Musings: Chary is one of my Burrow sisters, and her essays about her life and family often move me to tears. It's funny, of my fellow Burrowers, Chary is geographically closest, but she grew up in the Bronx, and so her life experiences are as opposite as this Idaho girl can find, yet they speak to me on every level. She's also got a special skill at writing really spicy stuff, if you'd help me talk her into it.

And THEN, I also wanted to recommend three blogs from people I've known far less long—blogs I love, people who've been incredibly supportive with comments.

Alex Cavanaugh 
Ella's Edge:
Alliterative Allomorph:

So, fine friends... go check these guys out... follow them if you will... and Pay if Forward!


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Hey tart, so sorry to hear you've been in a bad way. Of course your going to be down with all that pain! Let it ride. Who cares what others think.

My fiance has been in a similar way to your husband lately too. I've been naggin him to quit smoking because I'm positive they trigger more panic attacks. Every time he 'quits', the panics decrease considerably!

Anyhoo, you are so sweet to mention me :) I've been slacking a bit on the commenting front lately. Been so bogged down with work. I'm always checking in and reading bits and pieces though while I'm working. I'm trying!

I hope your spirits are lifted this week!

Lots of love, tart, and I'm thinking of you ... xx

Bridge Marie said...

Sorry to hear things have been down for you, Tami, that's too bad, wish we could do more to help than posting on your blog, but... *posts on blog* We're always here!

People underestimate the value of escaping into writing. It's really good to disentangle yourself from the real world once in a while, but the real world does, of course, sometimes have more tangible rewards than the writing one does.

I admire how you turn a down post into one about paying it forward. And I'm so flattered that you picked me out! *beams* Thanks so much! I responded with a bit of writing I hope you'll like and I will return to pay it forward later, got to run at the moment.

Jan Morrison said...

oh tartlett - hate that funky not in a good way not in a down and dirty way soul dive. especially when it's going around the house as in NO it's definitely my turn to be sick and moany and you need to be the upbeat irritatingly cheerful one right now. So, my prescription. Spend one half of free time editing and one half writing on one of your other gazillion pieces - yep - I know you're just like me in the scattered approach to living - so? I'm going to go check out one of those blogs - I think the Bronx Tales and Inner Musings has me curious.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Thanks for the blog links for my Google Reader!

Sorry about all the ick going on. I hope you're feeling better. The Crud has been going around down here and my son has had it for the better part of a week now. Rest up if you can.

Hope the hubby moves out of his crisis mode soon. That's never fun.

Watery Tart said...

Thank you so much guys! You all are wonderfully supportive!

Jessica, those phases happen, so I get it... real life calls and the commenting slows... I haven't really commented on blogfest stuff either, as fiction requires more attention than regular blog stuff, and I haven't had it to spare. Sorry the partner has been crabby--maybe the moon is in a bad spot and it is a collective thing?

Bridge-I'm glad this blog stuff is taking! And ABSOLUTELY on escaping!

Jan- I DEFINITELY do scattered, but somehow the editing saps my creativity... maybe it is time to pull out that fan fiction--my old friend that requires just a little less of ME, but is still escape. You're SO RIGHT though, on the MY TURN DAMMIT thing. I am ALWAYS the stable one. When is it MY turn to be the nut job?

Elizabeth, thank you for checking out my friends! And yeah--I hear friends EVERYWHERE with this crud. Yucko! And it would DEFINITELY help if the hubby would move it along! Errrrr!

gae polisner said...

ah self-loathing. as a non-self loather married to a sometimes-self... well you get the point: nothing I loathe more. er.

and, yes, writing: the escape. I suggest you start something new -- even just to get some creative juices flowing. And do something to keep the endorphins kicking. And remember, when worse comes to worse, there's always a secret dalliance.

Oh crap. Delete that last part. Or don't. What do I care? We both know I, like you, am a very watery tart. ;)

Hope it gets better soon.

Jan O'Hara (aka hope101) said...

(((Tart))) The best way I know to help other people change in positive ways is to model self-care and leave them to their own business, unless they ask for help with their change, of course.

Anyway, feeling grateful is an awesome way to look after one's own mood. Now perhaps to writing some fiction...?

Watery Tart said...

Gae *snort* perhaps a little fictional dalliance left for the self loather to find will knock him into line *snicker* Oh the evil plans I occasionally have. I DO have some ideas pestering me, and OFTEN writing a few scenes even when I know I can't get to the rest helps start the percolation process, so maybe I will. I am waiting to hear about the Cozy, so I didn't want to get too side tracked, as when THAT goes (if it goes *fingers crossed*) it will go fast.

Jan, I DO try to just model contentment, but in this frame of mind he is always pissy about something I am NOT doing... *rolls eyes*... yes, writing something new is definitely in order...

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Sorry to hear that you haven't felt well on top of everything else, funks suck plain and simple. But I love that you are trying rebuke that with the pay it forward attitude.
It really is the best form of therapy. I was recently in a funk, when am I not lately...actually it seems like May has thrown a lot of people off. Several people have been at wits end, or in a funky spot.
Whoops back to the point, I've been in one and I joined Spirit Jumper which is an amazing group. There's really nothing like making someones day to put the smile right back on :)

Kierah Jane Reilly said...

My husband refuses to take care of himself as well. He doesn't smoke, but he refuses to see the doctor about anything. But when he's in pain, he makes my life miserable. When we're moody and irritable, we can blame it on hormones or whatever. What do guys have? Nothing! Anyway, you can do what my mom did when she tried to get my brother to quit. She's a pharmacist so she decorated his room with all these medical posters (the kind you see in doctor's offices) that compared smoker's lungs to non-smoker's lungs. Anyway, hope you're feeling better soon :) And thanks for the mention!!

Sugar said...

I feel ya! thanks for the J.D shot..mmm
I'm feeling a lil mopey funkness round here lately too. Can't seem to get in the right mood for my work.. gah!
It will pass..soon..I hope.
thanks for the new blog sharing..I'm following some already..but will check the newbies out :)

Watery Tart said...

I wonder if Mars is in retrograde--damn moody planet!

Erica-you're so right that doing something nice for someone makes it HARD to feel lousy! I am not normally moody, so it REALLY throws me off. I mean I had my teen angst--but that was sort of a 'wallow in it, want to be sad' way. I just need to force it onward!

Kierah-twins in hubbys, too, huh? Did you know mine was cloned and then massively distributed until they noticed the irreversable 'cantankerous' clause that went into effect in his mid-20s... everyone thought he'd be an improvement on the old male--nurturing, sexy--bad boy with a heart thing... they never realized the self-destructive, grouchy thing when he reached full adulthood... ah well. There are thousands out there now, and not a darned thing we can do about it.

Sugar--my husband actually LOOKED a lot like James Dean about 20 years ago. Thought it was a good show of how sexy self loathing can APPEAR until you have to... you know, spend time with it.

Caledonia Lass said...

Bah! I thought I was following Alex. I am now! I'm following all of them. Already follow AA, she's the bestest!
I hate getting into those funks and I think I am in one. I'm editing as well. I looked over parts of an unfinished WIP and suddenly got excited to write, opened up my WIP I'm revising and editing and went...fuh! I don't wanna!
Hope you work through your funk. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, thanks!

And sorry about the mid-life thing with your husband. Went through that already. My wife told me to get a convertible, I'd feel better.

And will definitely check out the Monty Python/Star Trek!

Watery Tart said...

Mel, I think it's decided... DEFINITELY bad planetary alignment! I will have to watch for those in the future and make sure they DON'T coincide with editing! Hope you work through your funk, too!

Alex, I wish we could AFFORD to get him a convertible. It would probably solve everything! (though he'd probably prefer a motorcycle, which I have issues with for safety reasons).

Maxwell Cynn said...

Thanks for the laughs. I needed it. I've got the sinus-ears-throat-caugh thing going on myself the past few day; started back smoking after three weeks; and the never-ending midlife... Tell your hubby to hang in there.

**a little secret from a man: unexpected seduction from the lady he adores can work wonders with his mood, and probably up your spirits as well ;-)

B. Miller said...

Oh Tart. I do enjoy a Funky Tart, but only the Party Funk flavor. Sigh.

I hope things get better in the next few weeks. I know how hard it is to quit smoking and how hard it is to LIVE with someone who's quitting. It's rough. Hang in there... If there's anything I can do to help, even if it's just be a sympathetic ear, please let me know.

And I'm really excited about working with the Burrow on the Pay it Forward challenge... I love the fact that it's in July, because it'll remind us about giving back to other people, two months after the giveaway has ended.

Many hugs!

Watery Tart said...

*snicker* Maxwell-I will have to take your advice very seriously! I love it! Hope your midlife is a little milder and that the cold is brief!

B. Thanks so much! Yes, a funkY Tart is a-okay! I too love that you're joining us!

And all of you have cheered me considerably!

Deb and Barbara said...

There's been a LOT of moodiness lately, so I'm guessing retrograde??

In fact, as I was writing this, unexpected madness and mayhem was going on over at my blog with some comments not posting -- and no way to figure out why! Yours being one (and I was so excited to see you over there!), argh. Anyway, back to you...

I want to THANK you for the Star Trek/Monty Python link! How can that not brighten everyone's day?!

And now I'm off to visit your blogging buddies!


Helena Soister said...

Star Trek meets Monty Python -- what can be better? Thanks so much for the link. But what sucks big time is that you're sick and in a funk, and what's amazing is that you're clearly still so busy and productive and doing this swell Pay It Forward work. I don't get it -- how can you do it all? You on some kinda literary drug? I feel like one primo slacker compared to you.

Amy said...

Thanks for tagging me, Tami! I really appreciate it. This is more motivation to keep writing.

That fish cartoon you linked to - Hilarious! I was giggling in my office, trying not to start spazzing. And I'm sorry you were so sick, hope you're all better now!

Watery Tart said...

Barbara--so glad you dropped by HERE! And funny that we should both be thinking retrograde!

Helena--yeah, right? (MP & ST, I mean)--you are NOT a slacker! Possibly just at a different life phase, but you are also doing on your research and PRACTICE on how to be a SPY!

Amy-nothing wrong with giggling at your desk--keeps 'em guessing!