Today Begins Spooky Season!

Today begins one of my favorite times of the year! Mainly because I love all-things spooky and scary!

I’m planning to write a few short stuff for here so be on the look out!

Will you be writing scary short stories or creating spine-chilling videos/short films? Please let me know via in the comment section below so I can check them out!

To start off the season, I’m posting a spooky video I created two years ago (one-liner story so it’s very, very short!). Enjoy!!!

 

#IWSG #Writing #Writerslife Where I’d Love To Write My Next Story

This month’s question for IWSG (for more  info on the Insecure Writer’s Support Group click here): If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

 

There are so many places around the world I’d love to visit and use as inspiration for a story; but, I kept going back to one general area.

Adirondack Mountains. 

And a place where I would write that story?

Mirror Lake Inn. 

These mountains are where I grew up. A place I will always call home no matter where I live. It’s a place where my heart and soul are constantly longing to return to. And it’s a place I haven’t been back to for twenty years.

*Sigh*

Mirror Lake Inn is a resort located in Lake Placid.

Lake Placid, New York
Site of 1932 & 1980 Winter Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Placid is a quaint but magical village just a short seventeen miles from my childhood home.

Downtown Lake Placid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And why Mirror Lake Inn?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I grew up in the area, I’ve always heard how great this place was.  And being a resort, I’d love to come here where all my needs are met so I can focus on the writing while basking in the beauty of my surroundings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judging from the pics, this place is gorgeous!

Spending a week here would do wonders for my muse and for my mental health. I’d be outdoors every moment of the day for sure!  Best time to visit?  These mountains are simply breathtaking in the fall so that would be my first choice.

Can I afford this?

Mmm, at this point, not really. But who says I can’t dream about visiting one day?

*Sigh*

 

 

(I apologize if you see huge gaps in between images and paragraphs.  WordPress won’t allow me to format them any closer).

 

Learning To Cope

It’s been nearly two weeks since I arrived at the School for the Blind for my week of training and support.  I’d meant to write up a post earlier than this, but I’ve been a busy body all this past week.

A good thing really!

I have people asking me what kinds of things visually impaired adults do at the School for the Blind. This post, I hope, will answer some of their questions.

The School for the Blind in Grand Forks (North Dakota) is mostly geared for school-aged kids but the ND Vision Services offers quarterly week-long training sessions for adults at the school each year.

Awesome’s my humble opinion.

What types of training do they offer for adults?

Well, when you first express interest in attending, you have the option of selecting any of (or all) the following six types of training/support:

Adjustment (coping skills, therapy, etc.)

Daily Living Skills (cooking, housekeeping, organization, etc.)

Technology (learn about all types of accessibility options with computers, phones/cells, etc.)

Orientation/Mobility (cane training, learning skills of getting around at home or in the community, etc.)

Braille

Vocation/Career (what’s out there for a visually impaired person, job training, career preparation, etc.)

 

The week began at 8:30am Monday; but first, I arrived there Sunday evening where I was greeted by the House Parent, Amy.  My “room” for the week was actually an “apartment.”

My “room” at the School

The School has two “apartments” reserved for teens where they can learn Independent Living Skills. They are equipped with a full kitchen, one bedroom, full bath, living/dining room which has an extra bed and TV w/ cable. I lucked out and was assigned to one of these rooms.

Awesome.

During the week, there’s a House Parent on duty between 3 and 11pm, and then another one for the overnight hours until the instructors arrive usually around 7am.

Each week day began with breakfast at 8am held in the large kitchen/dining area where in order to get there from your room is by maneuvering through a series of thinly carpeted hallways (in my mind have always been a sort of maze with strange series of tiled, checkered-style blocks at certain sections throughout each hallway).  But this time I learned their purpose! For an individual who’s completely/mostly blind, as he/she walks with the White Cane, each block signifies there is an office or room located at that area. And in order to know which room was which is by counting the blocks. Block #3 is the Technology room, or Block #4 is where the kitchen’s at.  When you cross an extremely large block, that means you’re at an intersection where two hallways meet.

You get the idea (I hope).

At the first/initial breakfast, you’d receive your scheduled classes for the week. For this day (Monday), you’d have an instructor aiding you to each class so you’d know where it’s located.  For the rest of the week, the help to each class gradually decreased until you are independently getting around to each class, meal, and your room.

This is the ultimate goal for all the training at the School…to enable a visually impaired person to become as independent and self-reliant as possible.

There are generally three classes in the morning, and three classes in the afternoon (each session is one hour long where you meet one-on-one with the instructor) running from 8:30am until 4pm with a lunch-break at 11:45.

My schedule was as followed:

8:30 Daily Living Skills

9:30 Technology

10:45 Mobility

11:45 Lunch

1pm Adjustment

2pm Daily Living Skills

3pm Technology

I opted out of the rest while the other attendees participated in all areas.

Dinner (set up by the House Parent) usually began around 5:45pm. The rest of the evening was your own time.

The classes were great, but for me, I absolutely enjoyed the interaction with the people (both the instructors and peers).

The first time I attended here was in June 2016 where there were seven of us total. This time there were just 3 of us.

Harley was the youngest at age 26. She completely lost her vision two years prior due to diabetes. This was her first time here.

Jewel was the oldest at 53, and as local, she’s a frequent visitor. She’s in the process of losing her sight also due to diabetes.

And of course, there was me, right smacked in the middle.

The camaraderie between the three of us was awesome and inspiring.

Just what I sorely needed.

The days were intense but fast. When Friday came, I found I wasn’t really ready to head home.

I felt safe here. I felt like I mattered. And the people I hung with truly get me whereas my family struggled to do just that.

But, I’ve learned new skills, and have been introduced to new possibilities that I’m truly excited about and hope to bring to fruition soon.

 

 

 

 

 

X Marks the Spot

Nearing the end of April, I find myself reading over the poems I’ve written for both NaPoWriMo and A to Z Challenge, and it kind of struck me how dark some of them sounded.

This must be me in some kind of funk (aka depression). The poem, Lonely, kind of nailed it on the head –

I sit at the window
And watch

As the world
Leaves me
Behind

This is exactly how I feel. Long story short, my hubby works long hours and travels out of state much of the time, and a son who’s busy with high school, sports, and hanging with his friends, so I am alone at home most of the time.

When I “retired” in 2015, I was looking forward to being home, and to be able to write without any time restraints. That same year we left the hectic city life that was Raleigh, NC and moved up to a farmstead just outside Grand Forks, it was just what I needed. I’d been battling anxiety which was steadily worsening and meds were not helping. With wide open spaces, I felt I was finally able to breathe.

Nearly four years later, anxiety is almost non-existent but depression is starting to take over my life. I mean, I am only in my 40s, and I feel I still have much to live for.

Everything that has happened to me, all the crap I went through, and the losses I’ve experienced, and they all come down to this—me, sitting at home, alone with just my laptop and nine cats.

I write, a lot. I interact with people via internet. But, I want more. I want to get back out into the world. I no longer want to hide and be left behind.

But, I am hampered with limitations of all kinds.

I don’t drive. There is public transportation but it’s limited to certain days and to certain places (none of where I’d love to go).

In the time I’ve lived here, I haven’t been able to establish any real friendships within the community (they tend to be quite “clicky” when it comes to “outsiders”).

Yet, with my hubby and son who practically can fend for themselves, I have no limit as to what I can do and where to go as far as time and availability. How do I narrow the chasm and break through to the other side?

As I sit here typing, there is a window next to the desk where I can watch birds pecking away on a pile of seeds my guys threw down weeks earlier, I am struck by how free they are to fly wherever they want yet they are limited. Limited by weather conditions and availability of food. These two determine where and when they fly. These limitations though do not seem to affect their attitude as they sing and flitter to and fro. Why? They take what they have in whatever condition things are and fly and sing anyway.

Yes, they have limitations but these do not stop them from being birds who still find ways to fly and sing to their little heart’s desire.

I want to do the same.

So, I will start with what I have and where I am at, and go from there. It’s time that I fly free regardless of my current limitations, and see where the sky leads me.

How Is It That A Song Can Sound So Poetic?

Since it’s National Poetry Writing Month and that I’m from a family that’s musically inclined, I’ve wondered how interesting it was that songs, in general, can sound so poetic (and why on earth do people believe that poems can’t be sung?).

Both have a beat (rhythm) as you sing (or say) the words. Both have verses which tend to have some sort of a rhyming scheme. Both have the power to evoke emotions and images. On the other hand, the lines of a song tend to be much shorter than most poems; and frankly, a lot catchier (easier to remember).

So, yeah, there are few similarities between a song and a poem, but when you really get down to the nitty-gritty, they are two separate entities that may “sound” and at times “appear” like one another, but they’re not.

With being hearing impaired, it’s more difficult to compare these two side by side just by listening; however, when I go to write a poem, and then a song, that’s when those differences become much more apparent to me.

Here’s a little fun. Read the lines below and decide if this is a song or a poem:

You say you’ll give me
Eyes in a moon of blindness
A river in a time of dryness
A harbor in the tempest

April

 

As I sit here at my desk, looking out of the nearby window, all I see are trees and snow.  No, hold on a minute…I spy a Chickadee  on the huge pile of bird seeds that my guys dumped over a month ago.  Oh wait, here comes another one.  This time it’s a large Blue Jay.

Seeing them means that Spring is finally coming (even though the calendar says it’s already officially spring).  Living this far north, the weather’s bound to do anything it pleases.  Who knows, maybe next week we’ll have a huge snow storm. Or then again maybe a thunderstorm.  Mother nature tends to be somewhat unpredictable this time of year; but, being that it is spring, there is hope.  The snow will eventually go away, and the earth will green up and sprout wild flowers.

I can’t wait to be able to open a window or two and air out my house.  I miss the smell of the fresh, sweet air.

In the meantime, so that I don’t drive myself too crazy with being cooped up for months on end, I plan to keep myself busy throughout the month of April.

With poetry mainly and a healthy dose of flash stories as well as other tidbits (pretty much whatever the muse decides to throw at me).

I’d originally wanted to do Camp NaNoWriMo to work on two current WIPs, but my soul has been urging me to write poems.

That it needs poetry.

Why?

For the pain.

No, not physical pain, but for the emotional anguish that seems to be building within; and poetry has always been the only way to relieve this.

I am going to attempt to do not one, but two separate challenges:

National Poetry Writing Month
and
A to Z Blog Challenge

And I will do these between three of my blogs. In order to limit the confusion, I created a landing page so you can follow what I write on a daily basis if you so choose.  Here is the link for that page.

I have no definite theme but what I plan to write will revolve around poetry for most of the time.

Will you be participating in any challenges in April? If so, I’d love to follow your journey!

 

Back On the Bandwagon! #Writerslife

Finally, have a new computer! Actually, it’s a (HP) laptop. Since I’ve never owned one before it has been a bit of a challenge getting used to the smaller screen and the compact keyboard; but, I can type again (no more finger-tapping on a tablet)!

Another challenge I’m facing is that I don’t have Word installed. On my old desktop, I was still working with the 2003 version which came with the computer, free! Guess they don’t do that anymore which sucks, but oh well. Now, I’m trying to figure out what’s the best way to get one–any suggestions?

Overall, I’m just really grateful to have something other than a tablet to work with especially as a writer who likes to type fast.

#IwSG Computer and Writing Woes

Contemplative

It seems that the hard drive on my computer has crashed. So am writing this post on my tablet which isn’t fun nor easy. I’m unsure if my computer is salvagable. Thank goodness I had most of my stuff backed up. For the time being I might not be posting as often until I have a working computer.  Hello notebook. Oh and hello books I’ve been meaning to read. 😃

 

 

Anyone else been in this predictament before? How did you handle it?