7/27/15

Letters to Loki No. 30: WTF did I think I was doing?

Dear Loki,

I am sitting here looking at this project I am working on and quietly panicking. It is really frustrating. I know that part of my problem is I am getting the jitters because I'm about to take another big step towards getting this writing career off the ground. I still feel like I am doomed to screw this up. I know that is my anxiety talking. I really hate my anxiety. I feel like I should duct tape its mouth shut and throw it in a basement or something, but I can't because it doesn't work like that.

I have also been feeling overwhelmed by the volume of stuff I had to take care of today. I know that tomorrow will be a bit easier because I won't have the bills to worry about. And I got the whole kitchen clean, so there is one less thing to worry about there. Still, I just feel like this whole being a responsible adult business is more than what I signed up for. Then I remember, there was no way to avoid it and do my best to get over it.

I really want to get my writing stuff going well. I just wish I didn't get so scared of dealing with other people. That anxiety that leaves me speechless is horrible. And the mental fog that goes along with it is equally rotten. I keep telling myself today will be the day I go out and do something more, be more interactive with society, etc. Then I get to the end of the day, feeling exhausted and discouraged because I used up my proverbial spoons managing the house and just keeping things on an even keel.

I try not to get upset about it all. It is hard, though. I keep asking myself if neurotypical people are all doing a better job of handling this stuff and my problem is not that I have too many balls in the air but not enough capacity to juggle them. It's a really bad habit and I'm working on breaking it. My therapist says that it isn't fair of me to do that to myself because I'm basing my self worth on comparing myself to somebody else's good days. I know she has a big point. I just tend to forget it when I get stressed out.

I had something more I wanted to add but I forgot what it was when the computer crashed a few minutes ago. I suppose if it is important, I'll mention it when I talk to you later. If not, I probably won't remember it.

7/26/15

Signal Clarity & Ramblings

Waxing Blue Moon (Age: 10 Days)
Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Humid, partly cloudy,
& seasonably warm
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
A little while back, Freyr, Loki, and Odin told me that I needed to complete three books this summer. With my difficulty finding writing time, I began to panic a little. In my effort to feel as though I had actually accomplished something, I took out the boys' scrapbooks and started updating them. As I worked, I had this powerful sense of peace fill me. I no longer felt the frantic anxiety that I wasn't going to finish the deeds I was called to do in the time frame allotted. As I sat with that feeling, Freyr made his presence known. I asked him if this was what I was supposed to be working on. He nodded and smiled as he gave me a hug and kissed my temple.

As I am getting ready for the publication of book two of the fantasy series I am writing, Loki made himself quite impossible to ignore. (Not that I ignore him when he annoys me.) He was just about beside himself with excitement today as I posted the first of the several posts I will be making leading up to the release. That was when I realized this was one of the three books I was supposed to complete this summer. Between the two scrapbooks and this novel, I have three books I'm wrapping up this summer. I feel a bit silly for making myself panic over finishing others that I have partially written.

Some days, I get a message from the gods or the spirits and I understand it fairly well. Those are days where I have good signal clarity on my 'godphone'. Then there are the days where I misunderstand, misinterpret, or generally mess up the message. Those are the bad signal clarity days. Other psychics don't talk about it much, but they do happen on a fairly regular basis. I have noticed that my bad signal clarity days happen when I am really anxious or stressed out over something. I tend to overthink everything and make assumptions when I'm like that.

I suppose there is still something of a learning curve when you're doing psychic stuff, even if you've been at it for most of your life. In some cases, that learning curve is tied to the work you are doing. In other cases, like most recently for myself, it is tied to things regarding how you handle the work you are doing. Loki is right when he says I have a bad habit of taking on the biggest possible task I can at a given moment. He has been making strongly worded suggestions that I either deal with it in my therapy journal writing or some pointed discussions with my therapist.

When he hasn't been busy with his laser guided commentary on my issues, Loki has been trolling me. It seems like every time I'm out driving and he shows up, Up Town Funk starts playing. And I am beginning to get sick of Up Town Funk. It was funny at first, especially with him lipsynching and dressed in a gaudy holloween styled pimp suit. We've no progressed past funny into 'dear gods, give me a break.' Loki has been getting some laughs at my exasperation. Good friends: they poke you with sticks sometimes just to make you jump. I keep telling him that I'm going to get even. That makes him laugh harder. But, that kinda makes sense. It's sort of impossible to troll a deity. It's like trying to tell him a joke and he blurts out the punchline before I've even gotten started. But, that's Loki for you. I love him how he is, even when he drives me nuts.

Freyr... Where do I begin with him? So much I want to say but I feel uncomfortable doing so. People tending to hate on the people who are romantically involved with deities makes me really uncomfortable to begin with. The thought of that including insulting attitudes towards Freyr really makes me wary. Still, he is of the opinion that I blog a bit about how things are between him and I, so I am going to make the effort. He assures me it will all turn out well. So, there is that.

I've been struggling pretty hard with body image issues and eating for a while now. Freyr has been helping me keep track of how often and what I eat. Because of his firm direction, I have transitioned almost completely away from drinking soda. Instead, I've been having iced tea and iced coffee. As a result of just cutting down on the soda, I have lost several pounds. I'm getting ahead of myself. A few months ago, I got so stressed out that I was starting to starve myself again. (I was borderline anorexic in high school.) The feeling like everything in my life was out of control thus the only real control I had was over what I ate really did a number on me. Over the course of about three weeks, I dropped around 30 lbs.

Freyr was not pleased. I felt guilty and scared that I was getting really bad again. Beloved was just as upset as Freyr. It was a pretty shitty time. Beloved and Freyr helped me get back to eating three meals a day. It took a few weeks but I got back to it. My weight went up by about seventeen pounds but I was actually eating properly so I didn't get upset about that. Ever since I had the boys, I have been looking at the number on the scale and feeling like it was disgustingly too high. My doctor hasn't said anything about my weight being unhealthy. I didn't have anyone actively telling me I looked awful. Beloved was horrified by the idea that I felt like I was disgustingly fat. I blame all of the damn advertisements out there that tells women to lose weight to be beautiful. That passive version of mind manipulation is damaging, especially for women who have some what fragile grasps on a positive body image, like myself.

Freyr has taken some offense to the idea that I have this distorted image. He is not offended with me but on my behalf. It is a strange position to be in, to be honest. It just never occurred to me that he's be angry with something like that. He is, however. (You just don't want to see how angry Freyja is over this concept. Spitting mad is an understatement. In other news, Freyja is scary when she is furious, even if it is not directed at you and on your behalf. D/N/T Vanadis. EVER!) Because he is concerned about how this stuff is affecting me and is more than a little angry about how it is damaging to so many people, he became more active in helping me manage my health stuff.

Some days, I feel depressed and I start to really savagely rip on myself. Freyr has literally shaken me out of that mindset when it got really bad. Nothing is quite so odd as having muscle spasms that don't hurt and makes your whole arm tremble. The weirdness of it broke that mental loop as I tried to figure out what was going on and if this was because of my medication. But it only happened once, so I don't think I'm developing tardive dyskinesia or anything else like that. That was a strange and disturbing experience but it got the job done. And I have discovered that Freyr is like Loki with respect to being completely mercenary about getting something handled. He will use whatever method is at hand and most effective.

Thus, when I found myself going in the opposite direction and starting to 'eat my feelings' Freyr stepped in and made 99.9% of everything sweet taste awful. When the gummy bear addict is repulsed by the gummy bears, you know something is up. As I have been getting better at handling things in moderation, I'm finding that sweets are not quite so wretched. I still get fed up with them (LOL pun) pretty quickly but I can progress beyond being ready to spit out the stuff as soon as it hit my tongue.

I also think that Freyr is part of the reason why I have a hard time sitting still when the weather is nice. Last summer, I wasn't really keen on the idea of being outside but now I've been going out every day that it isn't raining. We've been taking walks and looking at the public gardens at the park by the lake that is a short ways from my home. Sometimes on those walks, we'll talk. Other times, he's just by my side. There have been a few times where there was a very faint second shadow beside mine on the side where Freyr is walking. It was pretty cool and I was thrilled.

When he isn't helping me manage my health issues and we're not out admiring the seasonal flowers, Freyr will sometimes just be with me while I'm working on stuff. Just the other day, I was paying bills as he was nearby working on something. Nonoriel Lokisson has described his spouse as sitting around doing paperwork while he is making stuff or doing whatever he does to run his business. It kinda baffled me. And then it happened with Freyr. I was sitting on the couch, knitting one of the presents I've been making people for Yule, when I looked over to see Freyr with a lap desk and a stack of papers almost an inch thick and reading glasses. It was, honestly, the reading glasses that threw me for a loop. I asked him why he was wearing them and he said, "They're comfortable and makes things easier." You can't argue with that type of response, even if it is coming out from behind some type of paperwork in a script you have no way of reading.

(Anyone else who is involved with Freyr, can you confirm if he is a polyglot? I keep getting the impression that he knows ALL THE LANGUAGES. A lot like Loki, to be honest.)

Most of the time, things with Freyr are fairly low key and relaxed. There are times where he will sternly tell me to stop doing something (ie a habit I am trying to break) or will become super serious about something we're discussing. But those are the exception to the rule. For some reason, I had this idea that being involved with a deity was some type of storybook romance and like the spiritual equivalent of champagne and roses half the time. I don't know why I got that impression from the godspouse blogs that I have read. But, between Freyr and I things are downright domestic. (If he ever gives you recommendations on how to improve a recipe, LISTEN. Amazing things came from that and I regret that I didn't write down what we used to make that salad dressing. It was seriously one of the best things I have had this year.)

Though there has been no sort of ceremony, Freyr has taken to calling me his wife. I usually counter with 'but we're not married' and his rejoinder is 'close enough.' Loki has found this to be hilarious. Especially when Freyr manages to make me flustered and all I can do is splutter out that retort. I've been deemed adorable because of this. I have a feeling that things are going to be getting interesting over the next few months.

7/15/15

Letters to Loki # 29 Contents under pressure.

Dear Lopt,

I have been feeling some strain over trying to juggle writing ambitions, housework, and the kids. Looking at all of this, I honestly find myself wondering how other people manage to have this life that looks perfect. I have been avoiding places like Pinterest and the mommy blogs so that I don't get all upset over how I am not doing that. It has been a really challenging week.

The biggest challenge I have had, to be honest, hasn't come from the kids. It has been treating myself better. Stopping myself from doing those old habits of self-denial and self-criticism is exhausting. I keep catching myself about to say something truly horrible to myself when things don't work out quite right. It is both sobering and saddening to realize how often I do that. They say that it takes a month to establish a new habit. If I stick with this, perhaps it will become a habit to catch myself when I am about to do something detrimental to my mental state.

I think the realization that I had been self-perpetuating the verbal abuse I grew up with was partly due to a shove nudge from you to think more deeply on what my therapist said last session. I wasn't happy when I sat down and followed the mental NOPE-train back to where a lot of my present difficulties have been stemming from. Still, I now know (It is so weird that the addition of one letter changes the pronunciation so much.) I suppose I have a start on resolving the problem. I've been feeling ashamed of how awful I had been towards myself. Then I remember that 95% of the problem is conditioning and I feel a little less horrible.

This week, I have been (in addition to the mental health improvement efforts) doing my best to maintain better posture. Freyr is of the opinion that when I break the habit of stooping to make myself seem shorter than I really am, it will help me feel better about my over all appearance. I am a bit baffled by how that is supposed to work. Still, I have been making the effort. As a result, however, my back has been uncomfortable because I'm using muscles differently and my stomach has been as well. From what I have been reading, strengthening my 'core' will help me maintain better posture and fit into my pre-preganancy jeans. I haven't been organized enough to start doing sit-ups everyday but I have been trying to remember to keep my abdominal muscles tensed/flexed/used (What is the right word for that? I honestly can't think of it.). It has been making for my stomach to feel tired some too.

I guess the minor physical discomfort is secondary to the goal of greater health. I am feeling a little frustrated, however, that I keep forgetting to do stuff like this. I suppose it will come with more practice. That whole "It take 3 weeks to start a new habit." thing in action, I guess. The other habit that I am working on getting back into is writing everyday. The last few depressive episodes really messed with my writing output. I think the daily blogging is helping some. The blog entries are a bit rough and I'm a little behind schedule, but I am getting something done everyday.

Now, if I could manage not to be sitting staring at the screen trying to brain up something to write on my manuscripts, that would be awesome. I picked one to work on and I just keep going nowhere with it. I have tried going to source material and drawing out more inspiration but nothing's really been happening. I am tempted to drop the current manuscript and pick up a different one to resume work on. I am glad that I'm not doing the Camp Nanowrimo thing this month. My word count would be atrocious right now, and that is before you take into consideration the difficulties I have been having writing. Just on the basis of the amount of disruptions and distractions is cutting my work time to a quarter of what it is during the school year.

I keep starting to get upset that I am not banging out 50k in two weeks or 3-5k words in a day. Then I pause and remember that there are a lot of very valid reasons why I am not having the words flying off my fingertips. I have been working on getting my second fantasy novel ready for self publication. That blog I have been using for world-building material has been languishing for almost a month (and not being updated very often for the last half year or so) because I have been busy with edits on this book. I am now at the point where I need to figure out what I am doing for a cover.

The different 'cover creator' things I have been finding are not satisfactory right now. I know that I don't have the funds to pay an artist to make something. I am not going to have the hubris to ask someone to do it for free (aka 'You'll get a lot of exposure!') because that is insulting bullshit. Those artists work damn hard and deserve to be compensated for it. I know at some point, I will get this stuff figured out and I will eventually be able to pay an artist to make stuff happen. I just have to hang in there and keep at it.

I have been reading about Amazon's sketchy games with e-books and it makes me a little nervous. I have also been reading about this stuff regarding marketing and, honestly, I am coming away from it feeling like an idiot. Trying to write a decent sounding blurb for the back of the book jacket feels awkward and awful. It is like this is the revenge of Comm101. I hated attempting to write articles. They never came out right. I tried really hard and all I did got bad grades. That's part of the reason I get apprehensive about this stuff. The other part is the fact that I recognize that I really am not good at writing for mass market stuff. I don't know if it is an extension of my social phobia or what.

Still, I need to figure that out because that is going to probably be what I need in order to publicize what I've got done. Publicity.. there's a word that scares the piss out of me. I've been doing the 'if I don't look at it, it will leave me alone' thing on that front but I can't do it anymore. So, if you have suggestions for where I should start on approaching this mess, Silver Tongue, it would be deeply appreciated. The fact that it is like public speaking messes me up. The fact that it is in written format only makes it marginally easier to approach.

But, that's where things stand right now. I am going to go and drink my beer. Then I am going to attempt to use part of this hour I've got free to get some work done, somehow, on this manuscript staring me in the face.

7/8/15

Curse No. 2 - Driven on the Wind

Last Quarter Buck Moon (Age: 22 Days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: Cool, cloudy, moderate breeze
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Items needed:

Paper, writing implement, source of flame, flame proof container or location to burn items (all optional)

Conditions required:

Stormy or very windy weather makes for highest success

Write the target of the spell on the piece of paper. Place it in the vessel for burning. Light it and allow paper to burn to ashes. Cast ashes in the air to be blow away by the wind whilst stating incantation. Spell can also be cast with out ashes. Ashes can make for more effective visualization for spell but otherwise do not impact the spell greatly.

Incantation:

May you be driven on the wind.
May you find no rest or safety but ever in flight of terror.
May your voice be lost in the roar of the storm, devoid of power before that which opposes you.
May your strength be swept away as dust before the storm, powerless to resist it.
May your plans be broken as the trees before the hurricane's might.
May they be left in ruins and scattered with no hope of repair or continuance.
May your place of sanctuary be shattered as the house before the tornado's wrath.
May every board, block, and beam be broken.
May the nails be turned against you by the storm and driven into your flesh.
May you be cast away as the clouds before the wind, dissolving into nothingness on the gust.
By the restless air, I curse you, Daesh, to be destroyed and rendered powerless.


Disclaimer:

This spell can be adapted for other purposes. The caster, in doing so, assumes all karmic responsibility for their actions.

7/6/15

Letters to Loki # 28 (untitled)

Dear Sly One,

I was a busy day today. Mainly, I was just doing a lot of minor tasks and then running around with the kids. A good amount of the shock with respect to my grandmother's death has worn off. I'm not wandering around incapacitated with grief. This surprises me, because I was extremely close to her. Instead, I keep thinking that it was good that her suffering from dementia and the pains of old age has ended. And the thought that she is now with my grandfather keeps running through my mind.

I have placed the prayer card for her from the funeral home on my ancestor shrine. It is right next to my grandfather's. It feels like the right thing to do. I want to do something more for them but nothing pops up in my mind. It just keeps going back to what my grandfather said to me when he was dying from cancer: just take care of your family and work on your book. I am doing my best to keep those things as my focus. A part of me says that it isn't as important as some nebulous other thing I 'should' be doing. I'm pretty sure that is my perfectionism and inner critic talking, though.

I've been doing some thinking, when I had some quiet time today, and I realized that my inner critic is a vicious bitch who just wants to destroy me. It isn't the same thing as my inner editor, if that makes any sense. In my last therapy session, last month, I told my therapist that my inner critic wasn't this monster. But, after some serious consideration, I came to realize I was doing two things to hinder myself. The first was denying that I had that problem, to some extent. The second thing I realized I was doing was that I was attempting to defend my inner critic a lot like how I defended my abusers in the past whilst in the relationship. The first realization annoyed me. The second rather horrified me.

I'm not entirely sure how to proceed forward with this knowledge. All of my feeling of disturbance and discomfort is no longer focused on my grandmother's death but rather the fact that I have been perpetuating the abuse cycle in my self talk. Don't really know what to do about that. I'm sure I'll think of something.

7/3/15

Curse No. 1 - Withering roots.

Waning Gibbous Buck Moon (Age: 16 days)
Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Seasonable, partly cloudy skies
~*~*~*~*~*~
For this spell, you will need a black candle that will burn quickly. I used a black birthday candle. Present the candle to the deities and beings whom you are seeking assistance from. As you place it in the burner, envision the target of the spell as a tree with roots running into the earth. Light the candle with an active flame (a lighter flame, another candle, or a fire).

When you light it recite the following:

Let Daesh diminish as this candle does. 
Let the elements of the world consume them as the flame consumes the candle.
Let the speed of this candle's destruction mirror the rapid destruction of Daesh.

Turn to ashes as the fires of justice consume you.
Let the tree wither from the roots up. 
Let no blossom or fruit be upon its boughs.
Let the leaves turn to dust and the tree starve for want of supplies.

Burn away. You turn to ashes and dust. Powerless before the wind and ground beneath the heel of those who stand against you. You turn to naught. Just as the candle is consumed and vanishes, so shall you be consumed by justice's flame and vanish into nothingness, where none will remember your name.

As you recite the curse, envision the tree withering from the roots up. Envision the leaves becoming brittle and crumbling to dust. See all bud of future growth or fruit turning hard and then crumbling to dust. See the tree consumed from a flame that rises up from the earth, turning it to a pile of dust and ash. And then watch as the wind scatters the remains to the four corners of the world.

When the candle is fully consumed, the curse becomes 'active'. If there are any trace amounts of the candle left, melt them and then pour them into a container that is to be destroyed (ie: a paper milk jug that can be burned or recycled). Destroy the container, ensuring that the full potency of the spell is released. (Disposing of the container in recycling that is going to be processed at a plant counts as destroying the components.)

Then cleanse your ritual location and focus upon returning everything to the neutral energy it had before your action. Also, make a point to cleanse yourself of the energies associated with the curse. It is miasmic and will cause all sorts of its own special issues.

DISCLAIMER: If you are going to be cursing someone, expect there to be some sort of metaphysical push back. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Be prepared for some type of magical manifestation in your own life. This may or may not be harmful. Results will vary upon that front. The format of this spell is such that it can be adapted to other purposes. The use of this spell can have negative consequences if the target is 'close' to you. I recommend a different approach to interpersonal problems. All karmic repercussions of this spell is upon the user.