Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog Tour

1. What are you working on right now?

I have two other children's books currently in the works! Both are centered around learning a skill which enhances emotional health, mainly which oppose codependent behaviors, in a light, humorous, and secret way (you can't tell, you just think it's another great story with a great moral! muaha).  The one I'm most excited about involves learning the importance of taking risks instead of playing it safe all the time according to what our minds assume others want or expect from us.  

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?

I plan to put my books in child-therapy offices.  They will teach emotional health in an enjoyable NON-preachy way (children smell preachiness from a mile away you know).  And they are pretty darn cute. . . 

3. Why do you write what you do?

I have struggled for years of my life deeply afraid of what others think of me.  I could barely speak my own opinion, share my own stories about my day due to guilt of taking someone's time, or have courage enough to get myself out of an uncomfortable situation.  I eventually became miserable, alone inside my head, and finally sought help.  I then found skills that are improving my quality of life by a million percent and I want to help kids and parents learn the same lessons.  Also because I'm an artist and my art is for kids - cute, fun, whimsical, colorful.  I'm good at putting words and pictures together to tell a story at the right balance.  And I enjoy making people giggle.

4. How does your writing process work?

When I'm thinking of something I have learned that helps me be happy, I then think, "I want to write a children's book about it!"  I text myself the idea.  Later I write the problem which must be overcome, make up different scenarios in which the character faces the challenge and fails, and illustrate how their life was made more difficult due to their behavior.  Then I like having a moment of realization in my stories, through an internal or external source (aka: a wise mouse, or a sudden burst of assertion from with within), and then I like having the character repeat the scenario doing things in the new healthy way, and illustrating how things were much better due to the new behavior.  I write down all the different animals my main character could be, drawing and sketching different ones, until I come up with one that feels right.  Then I find other characters with personalities that both challenge, contrast, and compliment my main character both emotionally and visually.  (large purple shy hippo contrasted with skinny pink flamboyant flamingo)


Apparently it's a thing to draw once every day and post during October!  I've participated on 2 occasions this month so far......... haha.

Here they are!

(my phone takes bad pictures.... and my camera got stolen... and I don't have a scanner)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

# 9: GUILT Attacks

Hippo Challenge #9 (read the challenge here)

So does anyone else experience "Guilt Attacks?"  I do!!

First let's talk about Hippo (from my book You Should You Should for those who are new here).  Let's imagine that before he takes ownership of his individuality and identity, before his grand moment of assertiveness,.... let's imagine how he might have felt earlier in the game had he wanted to say "No, I don't want to do that."  Probably.... guilt.  Unnecessary guilt of course.

Might have gone something like this:

Possum:  "Hey you should come climb this tree!  Hang up side down, it's so fun!!"

Hippo:  "Ummm... well actually... the thing is... I mean climbing is great... and no offense, but you see, ... I kind of, uhh . . . maybeee . . .  Don't.  Like.  Climbing?" (Immediate panic sets in)  Oh no.  What is Possum thinking?  What if he doesn't like me now!?  He's going to be sad!  I don't want him to think I don't like him!  What is he going to say next?  What will he tell his friends?!  What will this mean for our friendship!  How rude of me!  It's not that big of a deal what I like or don't like, what was I thinking?  I'm not that important!  I can just suck it up and climb the tree if that's what he wants!  It's fine!  I'm sorry for saying that!

At the same time Hippo performs the unfortunate act of suppressing his own feelings and wants.  Telling himself others are important and he is not, that he doesn't matter, and putting the very worth and value of others above himself.  Therefore growing another small step closer to losing his identity.  Danger zone!

Now that his feelings are suppressed and self-worth appears less than others, he's prone to another feeling.  Lots and lots and lots of guilt.  Then, normal day activities can become increasingly riddled with lots of unnecessary yucky guilt.  Ever caught yourself in a guilt attack?  Mine have been muuuch fewer and farther apart!  :)

Buuuut, I had a sudden one yesterday, completely out of nowhere.  It went like this:

Me:  "I'm going to the store!  Wanna come?"  Wait... unless you don't want to... I'm sorry I asked... you can stay home if you want... okay Ginny calm down.

Roommate:  "Yeah I'll come with you!"

Me:  "Okay."  (still feels guilty but shakes it off for the most part)

On the way to the car - 

Me:  "Sorry we have to walk all the way across the street to my car, I couldn't park closer!"

Roommate:  "It's okay Gin, I had to park all the way down there last week!" (points farther away)

Me:  "Okay."  (still feels guilty but tries to shake it off again)

On the way to Smith's - 

Me:  "Oh my goodness I just passed our turn!  I'm sorry!!  I always do that!"  I'm so dumb, she probably wishes she was with a different roommate who knows how to go to Smith's!  Plus I don't know what to talk about right now... I should apologize that she had to come with me.

Roommate:  (chuckles)  "Have you done that before?  Oh that's funny Gin."

Me:  "Yeah."  Good thing I have good friends.  She's just entertained.  But still.  Uuuuugh.

At Smith's - 

Me:  I'm sorry I'm taking so long to buy my things!  I'm sorry I forgot which part of the store the chips are!  I'm sorry I'm taking up the whole top part of the cart while you are taking the bottom!  I'm sorry I still don't have exciting things to say or funny jokes to tell while we're shopping!  I'm sorry I'm not as fun as x or y or even z!

After checking out - 

Me:  (Quieter and gloomier)

Roommate:  " . . . Are you okay?"

Me:  "Yes, I just keep doing dumb things."  And I'm sorry you had to see it all.  (guilt is heavy now)

After we get home - 

Roommate:  "Let's watch Haunted Mansion!"

Me:  "Okay."

Roommate:  (observes my gloominess)  "Or we don't have to, if you'd rather watch it another time that's totally fine."

Me:  "No I do want to watch it."  (Next I practice my skills and take a healthier turn for the better) . . . "Do you ever have moments where you feel guilty about every thing you do?  I'm having one of those moments and it's getting to me and I'm trying to shake it off and calm down."  (I finally came out of my head and put my feelings and thoughts in words!  Points for me on the healthy board!)

Roommate:  (Shared her own experiences she sometimes has which are somewhat similar.  I was able to remember we're all silly humans, and I'm okay.)


At least I recognize what happened and can learn from it.  That's what important!  It's okay to have crazy moments especially if we're using them to learn.

Once again, there I go being incredibly vulnerable telling the whole online world about my anxieties and codependent moments.  However, I've had a lot of people reach out to me privately and thank me for talking about this.  I'd like to encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences here in comments so you can all find out you're not alone (and thanks to those who were brave and have already done so)!  We're all silly humans!  :)  We're all equally important.  We all deserve good things.  We all deserve to get our wants and needs met, and feelings are okay whatever they may be.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

First Mommy Blogger To....

Guess what?!?

I recently discovered to my wonderous surprise that Mommy Blogger "Painter Mom" at "Confessions of a Knuckle Painter" spotlighted an entire post about me and my new book!

(click here to check it out)

This is a deeper Mommy blog, focusing on being real in all aspects.  A mother of both young kids and teens, she's funny, sincere, and includes a unique perspective on not only parenting, but on being human, facing life's challenges with a sense of humor, and on not being perfect but shooting for the best.  I'm not a Mommy and I get a lot out of reading her blog.  Also, she's a best friend of mine.  <3  I thank her for dedicating a surprise spot for my book and I on her blog.

Hmm, I wonder if more Mommy bloggers will think my book is worth some space on theirs too.  I'll let you know!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#8 One word: Dating

First of all, to those who have sent messages to me saying how much they appreciate my stories here, thank you very much for your words and for relating to me.  Admitting to the world your weaknesses isn't super easy... but I know there was a time I definitely would have appreciated something like this.  And so, I share mine.  :)

Hippo Challenge #8 (read the challenge here)

So.  Dating.  :)

I'm twenty eight and single.  It's fine, I'm fine, I'm okay, it's fine.  Okay?  Twenty-eight and single doesn't mean I'm broken or a failure.  Haha, . . . what?  What do you mean you sense some insecurity??  ;)

Well, despite being fine, I also do want someone to share my life with.  I do want a family.  I want a lot of things and I've wanted them for a while.  So I finally decided to take new measures in my dating life in the last couple days.  What they are, I cannot say.  But with these new measures, a few things have come up that I've realized over the past couple years are a problem, and I'm still facing them now.

What do you do when you find someone you really like?  How do you act?  What do you say?  What do you do?  What makes you say and do those things?  Are you different when that special someone is around?  What is it that makes you act different?

Well here's what happens to ME.  First of all, it's pretty rare that I REALLY like someone a LOT.  But it does happen.  And when I reeeally like someone, I find that I reeeeally want them to like me back.  Not too weird yet, right?  Pretty normal.  But because of how badly I want them to like me, some interesting things occur.

First, the careful observations begin.

What does he wear, what does he eat, what music does he listen to, how does he talk, walk, move, what movies does he like, what things does he hate... my mind is constantly studying and picking up every piece of information it can gather.

Second, the mimicking.

This part is a little embarrassing and probably a little pathetic.  I suddenly find myself copying them, including words they use, how they talk, and I stick with topics I absolutely know they're interested in.  I copy their humor and jokes.  I sing songs I know they love.  Then it's really bad if I overhear a specific quality they like in a girl, because without thinking about it I suddenly ooze that quality whenever they're around.

At the end of the day, I go home, and I look at the kind of person I've been acting like all day, or on that date, or in that class they're in, or whatever it was.  And I'm like, "Who was I just then?  Who even am I???"

How nice would it be if I could just relax, enjoy the present moment, and simply be myself?  Know what I mean?

Yeah, so there's that.

However, to my credit...  I have had way, way, waaay more moments in dating situations over the past few months where I actually talked about things just because I wanted to, without knowing for sure if they'd care or not.  I told jokes I wasn't sure would be laughed at - and sometimes they weren't at all, and it was still okay!  :)  I am learning to share more and more of me, including fears and imperfections, and I have to say it feels so much better than stuffing who I am in a jar and wearing a mirror mask of what I believe others want me to be.  Life is way more worth living!  And far more enjoyable.  Best of all, healthy.  :)  That's what people want - they want to know US.  What do WE like, what do WE think, what do we have to offer them in return?  How can our talents, likes, dislikes, personalities, senses of humor, and unique qualities and passions enrich THEIR lives?  What weaknesses can they relate to and how can we help each other grow?  Relationships are a give and take.  When people-pleasing, both parties miss out, and both parties become frustrated.  Not just the pleaser.

"Cause very most importantly,
I am choosing to be me."
(10 points to whoever can tell me what book that quote came from)  :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

#7 "But...You SHOULD Love This Movie!!"

Hippo Challenge #7 (read the challenge here)

Conversation in my living room tonight:

Roommate:  .....Am I the only one in this apartment who isn't in love with that movie?

Me:  Uh YES.  .  . Maybe you just need to be converted.  I feel like you would love that movie.  How can you not?  It's so cute and so funny!

Roommate:  I don't know.  I just . . . I'm just not really into the characters that much.  

Me (responding real fast):  OH how can you NOT?  They're so great!  I love them because [x, y, z...] and also [2x... 5y...] and I just feel like it's a movie that you would love!!  You just need to love this movie!"

pause ...  lightbulb moment ...

Me:  Actually, never mind.  You don't have to love it.  We can love different things.  We can be different people. 

Roommate:  (starts laughing)  "You should you should!"


Haha.  Yeah.  Sometimes I catch myself in Flamingo's shoes....  Sorry Roommate!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#6 - "I'm Changing My Mind Okay??!"

So I often have thought that if I commit to something, that's the end.  I must do.  I must do all of it, all the way, as much as committed, exactly as originally committed.  There's no changing my mind, or ideas, or size, or shape, or style, or nature, or type.  Even if I'm the one who extended myself the proposition.  One of the greatest pleasures I've learned, that allows for much less stress and rigidity, and much more freedom and room to breathe, is that I can change my mind!  And so can other people!  If I don't end up liking what I try, I can change my mind.  Of course I have changed my mind plenty of times, but not without a large load of guilt attached.  Strange, I know.  Some of you get me though, I know you do.

Obviously if I tell someone I'll be somewhere/do something, I will keep my commitment if at all possible.  But we don't have to go all black and white in the entire spectrum of life being so rigid that we won't try new things, or reinvent ourselves, and open our mind to new ways of thinking, acting, and blogging.  :)

Sooo... here's the thing.  About this Hippo Challenge... Ima change my mind.  Well.  More like changing pace.

I said every day initially... but holy smokes, I don't have time to blog EVERY day.  What was I thinking??  Nor do I have the energy!  Silly Ginster.  Sometimes I just get all excited in the beginning of things and think I can run a thousand miles at once.

So.  Let's go with every few days.

Well that's great Ginny . . . so what's the story for today?  Well I'll tell you.

Here's what happened today:  So, I have this blog.  And.  I started this Hippo Challenge thing.  And.  I wanted to change my mind about something to do with it.  But.  I was afraid people would be like, disappointed, and call me a liar, and be like, "What a lame blogger," and "She totally back down on her word" and "What a flake."  But then I realized we're allowed to change our minds and everyone does it, and it's a totally normal thing!  Plus, I was putting words in like a thousand people's mouths - how rude of me!  So I wrote a post telling everyone I'm changing my mind.

And guess what?  It's not even a big deal.  

Why do I make everything such a big deal?  Dude.  Sometimes, my head can make life fifty times more stressful than it needs to be.  I'm working on that.

K.  That's all!  Night!

Tomorrow, I share some big news..... :D