Tag Archives: healing

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)…

Read, Write,Dream, Teach !      –ShiraDest
19th of August, 12016 HE

ShiraDest Community Cooperation Blog

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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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).

 Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 March, 12016 HE

Rain+Tendonitis = Nightmares??

The night before, I dreamt I was a consultant on a ship w/an insane captain somewhere in the North Atlantic, with giant waves that froze around us like a white out.  I ordered and got a shovel, dying digging while the sailors around me gaped as if I were the crazy one.  No, digging did not help, but at least I think I died on my feet.

Last night, it was me being attacked by a crocodile : not sure if it was Sacred or not, but at least I died warm!

Ok, I will admit that trippling the number of km Power Walked (Fr, but accessible) (in compensation for km not run, trying to reach 45km/week by mid-March (English, log in needed) ) may not have been the best idea I’ve had lately, but why the renewed ‘My Life is in Serious Danger’ dreams now that I’ve stopped running/walking for the last 4 days?

While I know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aka la Dépression Hivernal, is linked to light, but also to excercise levels (which is why I always take my walks and runs early in the morning), I wonder if the feeling of a cold or flu coming on, combined with having to rest the ankle tendon due to my own stupidity, makes me feel powerless?  Obviously the answer is Yes!  But it remains irritating, and a bit scary, to see how quickly those fears and despair of just a short while ago can come screaming back, threatening to overwhelm you, just after a few days of darker than usual weather (weekends I generally do not write, so do not sit with my SunLamp), and enforced ‘rest’ (which is making me more restless by the day, but with a tendon still aching for no apparent reason…).

So, dear friends, my reason for writing this post is as follows:  if you feel down, do not give in to despair.  Drink a spicy hot chocolate (soy milk and Fair Trade chocolate with cayenne if possible, but if you feel rotten, just a hot choc. may help), and then turn on the lights for a few minutes, and bask in them.  Then, get out a pad of paper, and write.  Preferably while you wriggle your toes and think of Frodo Baggins!

Then, plan to change your life.  Taking risks is scary, but sometimes the only way to make life better, for you and for someone else.  Don’t let those dreams that tell you your life is in danger go unheeded:  especially if the one putting you life in danger might be You.

Human Love,

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
31 January, 12016 HE

Running, Writing, Relaxing, and Belonging?

I find that anger can often be useful, if I follow it back to the source and then look to see how I can fix the problem.  This week, I was feeling frustrated for a variety of reasons, and wanting to do more running than my current running plan seems to allow, since I lost 9 weeks due to illness.  I had assumed that that blew my GreenMarathon plans out the window.

In a fit of pique, and irritation with myself for being unable to finish the detailed planning for my short story, I searched and found, Lo and Behold, a 41 Week walk-run Marathon Plan shown on PBS (that looks safe enough to jump 41MarathonVert2016 into) after losing my running base!   🙂

So now I can relax, if I could only figure out how to do that.  My usual way of relaxing is to read something interesting (or watch an episode of Sihirli Annem (My Magical Mother) and share it with someone who might enjoy it, but that hasn’t worked lately.   So I go back to the question of how to relax if one feels alone?  Feeling lonely can make it difficult to smile.

Which brings me to the sense of belonging, or the lack thereof.  How does one develop a sense of belonging (without joining a cult or accepting the first marriage offer) when one lacks family and does not have a strong sense of cultural identity?  You can try borrowing other people’s stories, but that doesn’t always work.

Any suggestions, friends?

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,
ShiraDest
12th of December, 12015 HE

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

Psychological Suspense, or Women’s Fiction??

How does one tell the difference between these two genres?

Is a novel with two female main characters, in  which the plot revolves around the relationships in the book, particularly friendship but with a key disaster to avoid,  a (psy) suspense, or Women’s?  Why (or why not)?

Pysch. suspense is a mind against itself with fear of the consequences, which fits, and yet this definition also fits: “The Romance Writers of America defines women’s fiction as, “a commercial novel about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending with regard to her romantic relationship.” (src Wikipedia)”.

A Women’s Psychological Suspense novel?

 

(If it helps to know at all, my Ideal Reader for this story is between 15 and 36 years old, female, and has been depressed or suffered symptoms of PTSD, most likely being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.  She is well-read and introspective, politically independent.  She enjoys history, travel, learning languages and solving problems.
She prefers a thorough debate that settles important questions and improves lives.  She dislikes wasting time.
She probably prefers adoption to birthing, and has a tremendous sense of responsibility, preparing herself to make a difference in the world.  She is motivated, seeks allies, and adds tools to her arsenal for molding a better world.)

Thanks for any help, Fellow Readers and Writers,

ShiraDest
30 November 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

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

Does this belong in the climax of a novel?

“We all have to die at some point, the question is only when. Most of us want to transmit our values and our culture before that happens. Some have children, others teach, and still others lead by example. Die too early, and you get to do none of the above. It’s your choice.”

and
How would you classify (genre) such a possibly General but I want it to be a Psychological Suspense novel?

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

ShiraDest

25 November, 12015 HE

Glad I shared a Smile that day…

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, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept going because I was too tired to say Gunaydin (Good Morning/afternoon in Turkish), and my Turkish was only rudimentary any way.
Then I heard a call behind me. I turned to see that woman walking back toward me, and her eyes were glistening.
She put her hand on my chest, nothing scary, nothing sexual, just an ordinary safe contact, and said, in very simple Turkish that was clear and slow, that in five years in Izmir, no one had every greeted her. She thanked me, and I nodded in return, too moved to get out even one word of Turkish. We both turned and went our own ways. And now, over ten years later, I am glad that I smiled at a random person whom I had never met, and never saw again.
I hope that I can share that joy with …
Everyone.

On the uselessness of being beautiful:
I have always hated being called pretty, beautiful, fine, foxy, etc, and being thanked for existing by some guy who apparently thought I was the equivalent of a painting on the wall for him to admire. well, not so useful. But when YOU (any of you, dear readers!!) smile, you too are beautiful, no matter what you look like. You are beautiful, and USEFUL, when you smile at another human being just to acknowledge that he (or she) too, exists, and is worthy of recognition as a human being.
Smiles, (2000 more words to go, it is 3:30pm -aghh!!)
Shira
24 November, 12015 HE

19.2.12016 edit via old LJ post from 2008-11-28 00:19:00

“kalbin temizmis”

“Feeling very grateful recalling a friend telling me ‘my heart must be pure’ to have found her just when I needed her, to help another friend with a CV.

Feeling grateful for the lady in Izmir who expressed such appreciation for a simple greeting in the street, and the other lady in Izmir who told me that our half hour conversation on life (in Turkish) was worth more than any English lesson.
Grateful for those whom I have helped, and for those who help me, for my dostumlar, my truest and closest friends, who really are family for me.
May I always remember your love, and love you all in return."

(STILL grateful!!  :-)  Peace, ...)

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
19 February, 12016 HE