Tag Archives: autobiography

Turkish Tuesday, walking as self-health care, and Glad I shared a Smile that day

Two people now have told me that this shared smile (during the 14 months I worked in Turkey) was indeed a contribution to society, even though no monetary exchange and no formal recognition was involved. Time to readjust my thinking on what makes a contribution to society, and my ability to contribute (more compassion for self and others allows greater contribution).

I walked alot, but the bus system is also pretty good in Izmir…

Critical thinking for Human Community

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So…

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Thoughtful Thursdays, writing, and community vs. self-Health Care

This post dates from almost exactly five years ago, during NaNoWriMo, while writing a mere 50k word novel (more like a novella) which I am very appreciative to see being read and even enjoyed by a fellow blogger of much loved virtual acquaintance. The process of writing this short novel took me through some introspection that I hope will be helpful to others. It also makes me wonder about the role of community versus individual work on trauma recovery, and … I am a plotter, by the way! 🙂 Planning out the timeline and locations was enjoyable, and a bit cathartic, as I brushed the dust of the setting off of my feet, emotionally.

The tension between writing for myself and writing for others hangs over my head as I plan my current WiP (now, in 2020), rather far removed from this, my second NaNo novel, in 2015, in both time and mindset, given that I’ve escaped the situation that gave rise to this particular novel(la).  Yet that tension between over-sharing of emotional elements vs. writing for an audience remains, as trauma leaves its indelible mark, in the themes that return over and over again, even when settings, genre, and characters are all different.

Now I know why I avoid writing. And Frida’s story.
People came up to me after every production of that play to tell me how amazed they were, how I looked like the splitting image of Frida, and was I Mexican or Mestisa. Well, yes, as an African American of light skin with Cherokee blood, yes, I am technically a mestisa. And the splitting was happening in my own head (maybe more afa my roommates were concerned).
It’s not just to be more practical, find paying work, mend the shirts and weave a few more belts to give as birthday and holiday gifts. Those are all ‘legitimate’ reasons to avoid my writing, but I know deep down why I avoid it. Just as much as why I am compelled to write, anyway. On chapter 9 of my 50k word story, I feel the same pain, but emotionally mostly, that I felt when I played Fridah Kahlo in a community theatre for a few months. And I didn’t even have a speaking part. I just danced with furniture and la-la-lahed a bit. Nevertheless, by the end of the 6 week run, I was having back aches and depressions that made my roommates ask if acting was not a bad idea, and whether I had multiple personality disorder (sorry, now they call it Dissociative Disorder, which actually is more accurate…). And I had to ask if they were right.
Writing this damnable novella makes me feel like I am right back there, stomach cramps and all, and it is liberating yet terrifying at the same time. Can I now face what I was not strong enough to face then, and do it in a way that is not too terrible for others to read, even others who have not lived through such things? Can I write a book that other folks will actually want to read, yet that will move them so that they can understand the perspective of someone who grew up in various types of pain, and more importantly, so that they will be moved to want to learn more about how to help all of our society, by learning how to help all of us work through our individual and collective pain and help each human being reach his or her full creative potential? Can I overcome my own fear to even get to a place to really really want to do that, and then, can I do it?
Thanks for reading this, and even more thanks my friends, if you can add your pebble to building the new edifice that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr spoke of, when he said that the structure that produces poverty needs to be rebuilt.
Here’s to rebuilding, pebble by pebble,
let our mourning not be in vain,
Peace,
Shira
16.11.12015 HE

I think that this post dates from the day after the Bataclan attacks, in Paris.

So, it turns out that I did finish writing the 2015 book, rewriting twice, then throwing out part of the third rewrite.  More on my continuing striving with my thought next time, if you don’t mind?

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of community inclusion that you can take right now:

1.) Consider the dichotomy between individual trauma recovery (with the attendant need to share that trauma in order to feel heard) and community tranquility.

2.) Share your thoughts on the role of the community in helping trauma survivors to feel fully included in community with us in the comments, here, please.

(Did I mention that Universal Health Care with extensive early childhood severe trauma therapy would really help many individuals, and thus, society as well??)

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Tuesdays, Health Care, and Neville Longbottom and Harry as kids with PTSD?

It is interesting to see how different cultures hide the mistreatment of kids.  The Brits seem to be a bit more up front about it, but also more harsh than say, Turks, who adore children.

I am being lazy and re-reading HP2 to work on my Turkish reading, instead of continuing to slog through something by Orhan Pamuk, because I am just too tired (and I am starting to hit words like bequeath while watching my favorite family TV show of all time: My Magical Mother! (Sihirli Annem!) so it really is time to get back to some reading to keep up my Turkish.

But back to Nevile -I identified with him immediately: I was the one walking into walls in Middle School, forgetting everything, and being told to come down out of the clouds.  Now I know (and we see in later books with Neville) that these are symptoms of childhood PTSD, which presents differently than with adults.

So please, for the love of God, Humanity, Children and the Human Race, or at least for the love of the planet and the potential creativity of the human race, please look out for such signs in kids and try to understand and help them rather than yelling at them.  Don’t let them turn into Invisible Children, or worse.

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
5th of December, 12015  HE

  Görüşürüz!    

Action Items in support of health and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to help abused kids in your area.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses that information, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Moody Monday: What I learned from my last NaNoWriMo about Writing

I’m still finding notes from earlier story and novel projects, and think it is a good idea to review lessons learned from drafting and editing my previous two practice novels, before I start drafting my next WiP, which I think (or hope) that I’m nearly finished planning.

My second practice novel, started on Wattpad,  was easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website before I set up my own spreadsheet.  It taught me several things about managing Depression (actually PTSD -> anger->depression…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp, if you live farther from the equator than the 35th parallel…).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This helped me feel like less of a waste of oxygen while I can looked for a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth,  the actual writing lessons:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.  (Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
Writing 7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and I, a planner, felt annoyed trying to write stream-of-consciousness just because I had 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better, I learned, to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and

Writing 8.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

modified from original 2015 post,

some Action Items in support of literacy and writing that you can take right now:

1.) Download some advice on novel writing, maybe from two different websites,

2.) Read about NaNoWriMo,

3.) Share your thoughts on the value of each person writing a book, perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a novel that references a classic book, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Other ideas welcome on how to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail, starting with improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:

1. #libraries,

2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,

3. #UniversalHealthCare, and

4. good #publictransport

Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19

ShiraDest

 September 2020, High Holidays of 5781, 12020 HE

– Groups to join as Coping and Family-building measure

Personally, I have a high need for connection with others.  In order to avoid burning out my nearest and dearest, I’ve decided that finding groups that share my values may help diffuse some of that pressure on my supporters.  So, I personally want to find:

  1. A progressive chavurah, shul, temple or synagogue to join, and a Women’s Mosque as well, if there are any lady Imam or leaders around (there was one in Ankara back in 2005…)
  2.  A Quaker (Friends) Monthly Meeting to join and stand silent Peace Vigil with,
  3.   Greek or Balkan or other international folk dance,
  4.  a walk-run marathon group
  5.  a public library-based book or reading club
  6. A public library based writer’s critique group
  7. an NVC and also maybe Literacy Volunteering group (and give blood).
  8. (added 1.1.12018 HE) make long-term plans part of and flow via short-term goals!!

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 March, 12016 HE

– AbuelaVida: project GrandmothersLives

 

por haber compartido mi idea de poner en cada biblioteca la historia de cada familia, sobre todo de cada BisAbuela y TatarAbuela, del lugar.
Many thanks to BI Cuadrado Alvarez for sharing my idea to put the history of every local family, especially of every Great Grandmother and GrGreat Grandmother, in every public library.

ShiraDest
7 enero, 12016 EH

– Neville Longbottom and Harry as kids with PTSD?

It is interesting to see how different cultures hide the mistreatment of kids.  The Brits seem to be a bit more up front about it, but also more harsh than say, Turks, who adore children.

I am being lazy and re-reading HP2 to work on my Turkish reading, instead of continuing to slog through something by Orhan Pamuk, because I am just too tired (and I am starting to hit words like bequeath while watching my favorite family TV show of all time: My Magical Mother! (Sihirli Annem!) so it really is time to get back to some reading to keep up my Turkish.

But back to Nevile -I identified with him immediately: I was the one walking into walls in Middle School, forgetting everything, and being told to come down out of the clouds.  Now I know (and we see in later books with Neville) that these are symptoms of childhood PTSD, which presents differently than with adults.

So please, for the love of God, Humanity, Children and the Human Race, or at least for the love of the planet and the potential creativity of the human race, please look out for such signs in kids and try to understand and help them rather than yelling at them.  Don’t let them turn into Invisible Children, or worse.

 

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
5th of December, 12015  HE

– What I learned from NaNoWriMo about Writing and Depression

My second practice novel actually started on Wattpad , but much easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website, has taught me several things about managing Depression (or PTSD -> anger->depression, sort of…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This makes me feel like less of a waste of oxygen, provided I can find a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.

(Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and you will feel annoyed if try to write stream-of-consciousness just because you have 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and the real

Writing 7.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

🙂

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
29 November 12015 HE

Shira

– Remember Patty Hearst, anyone?

Sorry, not to defend them in any way shape or form, but terrorists are not all psychopaths.  This is a crucial distinction to make because most of those kids who blew themselves up recently were brainwashed, just like Patricia Hearst, just like the people in Waco, TX, and just like the 600 followers of Jim Jones.    They were all people who felt, maybe felt too much, even had compassion, and got that compassion used against them because they did not know how to ask questions and keep asking where the answers to those questions came from.  Just like when I was in a cult group.

First they love-bomb you, half a dozen bear hugs from people you do not know, and the leader and sub-leaders welcoming you with open arms into the family.  Kind of like the military, only generally fewer push-ups.  But just as much peer-bonding, belonging, and then starts the real pressure.  You help convert others to believing because you care about them, you want to save them from suffering, and in any case, a better life awaits them on the other side.  So almost no matter what you do TO the non-believer, you are actually doing FOR that person’s own good, whether they know/accept it or not.   This is USING a vulnerable believers Compassion against him/her, to obtain compliance and even active support when that person (who is neither a leader, sub-leader, nor even a psychopath) is made to feel guilty for not helpping the non-believers -help being defined as the leader defines it.  Pamphlets, tracts, harrasment, stalking, forced-conversions, exorcisms, even torture or killing are all justified by the leader as better-for-the-non-believers-and-you-as-a-True-Believer are A BAD Believer if you do not Help these unbelievers in The Way that the leader tells you to.  No Questions Asked.

And yes, I speak from experience.  Fortunately, I started having panic attacks when I could no longer swallow what my cult leader said, and left, but it still took my months to get out, and years to understand what had happened.  And that was with help!  These kids indoctrinated by DAESCH are being brainwashed in a similar way, and they also feel isolated, or they would not have been attracted to DAESCH/ISIS, which is essentially a very large, very well-organised and very sophisticated and yet still manipulative cult group.

So please, when The Canard enchaîné (p. 8 yesterday, 25.11.2015) says that Gerhard Roth in Brême is reporting a psyopath gene in an article on terrorism, please remember that the majority of terrorist foot soldiers are only dupes, manipulated to pull the trigger, and in need of help, not just tracking and certainly not torture.  It was the torture in Abu Garib and other American prisons that created this in the first place, remember (cannot find the show that re-aired on France television last week, but it showed all the top guys having met and ‘hardened’ in the big US prison in Iraq…).

Remember that Eisenhower ended segregation for similar reasons -to deprive Japan of potential progaganda against the US, which is what the terrorist leaders are now using to convert western kids into their pawns.

 

Bottom line, we need to walk our talk as a society and take care of the most vulnerable so that there is less to use against us.  We need to feed our hungry, clothe our naked, and comfort our sick.  Educating our folks for free would be even better, so they can ask the right questions, and create the cooperative jobs that will give us true democracy and equality.

Backk to trying to write 2200 words of climtic chapter, ughghhh…

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest

26 November 12015 HE

– Thankful for… and A Little Help wThis IDentity Thing, pls?

The problem with thinking is that you start to ruminate, and that’s not good when a tractor comes by!   Today at least I got to finish my morning run before I started seriously ruminating.  (Kind of like the cows, but less smelly, I hope.)

But then I started, and Lo and Behold, my only good childhood memory came for a visit: Grandma Marie!

I must admit that I am thankful for my (adoptive) Great Grandmother, who taught me to fry chicken, to read, to write, and that “Cookin Lasts, Kissin Don’t.”

But the oddest part is that today I feel guilty for not dealing with my whole family of origin thing.  Not finishing my reading for the Latino Slaves research I started after looking up my 5xGr grandfather Miles Manzilla, for the WikiTree Slavery Project which, btw desperately needs someone to take it over, if anyone has time to volunteer (no, WikiTree is not perfect, but it is more open than others, and claims to want to build a Worldwide Family Tree).

And how do you figure out who you are, anyway?  My half-written climactic chapter  (which I need to finish by writing 3100 words Today -gack!!) is driving me crazy because the nutcase mixed-trying-to-escape-her-origins Protagonist  can’t decide between her origins and her husband’s culture.
Oh, and I haven’t eaten -probably explains that ‘burning from within’ in my stomach, and visions of cows becoming steak!! (sorry, cows, and Mr. Farmer neighbor…).
Ok, enough rumminating, sorry to have bored you guys, but I hope you all at least got a little laugh!

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest

26 November 12015 HE