After 10 days off from my day job, I returned to work this week refreshed and rearing to go. Not 5 days later and I'm already dragging my feet, thankful I have next week off because I don't think I could last much longer. I have no idea what the deal is, but I seem to be turning into a vampire (or vampyre, whichever spelling you prefer).
Don't you ever wish you could, for one perfect day, step outside of your life and become someone else? Leave everything behind, just to see how the grass is greener on the other side? I've been having a lot of those 'types' of days lately. Days where I trudge through life and wish, just for a moment, that I could be someone else. To experience something different. Something new and exciting. To leave all my responsibilities and worries, and pressures behind. The only question being, who would I be? The honest answer for me would be . . .
So, this week has been another rough week personally. It's OK though, I'll get over it. I'm an adult and will continue to act like one, no matter how many people try to bring me down. I won't go into details, but will say it has absolutely nothing to do with my writing and/or my books; with the exception that it has helped fuel the fire in creating today's little ditty.
After a really rough week, I have decided to let the creativity flow from my brain uninhibited. Why was it such a rough week, you ask? Well ... I received an e-mail from Amazon on Monday stating customers had notified them with complaints that my book The Kindness of Strangers was filled with typos. After some e-mails back and forth between Amazon and I, I discovered it was on a version from June 2010 (one of the original uploads) that the complaints were made on. I was very disappointed.
I never hid the fact that the story was unedited. In the very beginning I had had over 20 beta readers read my story and I thought it was a viable product. I was so proud of it! After several reviewers notified me to say the book was so horrible they couldn't read it, I went through it myself and with a program called Grammarly (thanks to an AWESOME reviewer who allowed me to borrow her id and password). I fixed everything Grammarly had mentioned, and posted another version.
As a reader I'm always looking out for the next best read. A book that will captivate me and hold my attention. A book that I will want to read again and again because it allows me to escape from reality. I've found a couple of books like that, but then I've read a couple of books that I toss gently to the side, vowing to never even look at the cover let alone read again.
As a reader I do allow reviews to sway my decision-making process. If I see a book with a hundred great reviews, and maybe only one bad review, I'll sample the book to see if it'd be something I'd be interested in. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. It's more often than not that a bad review will push me over the edge to hit that One-Click option, more than a good review will.
Yesterday just wasn't my day. It always happens around the same time of the month. Maybe it's my brain's way of subconsciously saying I need to shut down for a week, and recoup. I honestly don't know. I want to work. I have the desire to work. But my brain is saying ... 'No, you suck! You'll never amount to anything. Just give up. Just give in.'
So I was asked to work today (Saturday) because I work for a company that deals with taxation and immigration, and a big tax day is fast approaching (if you haven’t filed already, your tax return is due Monday, April 18th or April 19th if you’re in MA).
Right now my back is aching. I worked all day - from 930 am until 6 pm. This doesn't include the fact I left my house at 8 am and didn't get home until nearly 8 pm. The joys of being a working citizen.
Upon coming home, I was too tired to really do anything, but tomorrow is trash day so I had to help collect the trash around the house and put it outside. Not a chore/task I enjoy doing - but who does?
I began a short story a few days ago that I'd like to submit to a twist collection. I had really great momentum in the beginning, knew exactly what I wanted towrite and got over 3000 words down that day. But then the next day I was too tired again and only wrote about another 3000 words. Now I'm sitting at over 6000 words and while I want to finish it, I just don't have the energy tonight.
Again - my back is killing me. Sitting in this kitchen chair isn't making things any better.
Random thought - in the past two months I've had two dreams actually come true. How freaky. I mean - there were little parts that didn't true, but still the majority of it did.
First Dream in January: I dreamt I was on Amazon's DTP (that's what it was called at the time - this was early Jan) and every time I refreshed the sales numbers for my book would increase. It was amazing to watch. Refresh - 10 more sales. Refresh - 10 more sales. Now, in my dream I was racking in Amanda Hocking type sales, and alas that didn't come true. But what DID come true is, The Kindness of Strangers actually sold the most it's ever sold - and I mean EVER. I was estatic. While the dream wasn't all true, it was sort of half true (I would log onto the DTP and my sales would increase),
Second Dream in February: I know a girl. We went to high school together. She's a LOVELY person and I really enjoy being friends with her (even if it's limited to FB as she's out of state, and in high school we were more acquaintances than friends - but she's always been very nice to me). Well, she was pregnant. Due mid-February. On Friday morning I had a dream I was writing congratulations on her FB wall, it was Valentine's day, she had a little boy and named him Romeo. Going with my gut, I told her thru FB. Despite how weird I felt and how stupid I actually felt, I told her. I'm actually glad I did because ... she had a baby yesterday (Valentine's day), a little boy and I wrote congratulations on her FB wall. Once again the dream wasn't all true, it was sort of half true (she didn't name him Romeo, lol).
So what does this tell me? I have no freaking clue. Stuff like this happens to me occasionally. I've been telling a guy I work with, for over five years now, that he was going to date/marry a girl with red hair. His mom and sister have reddish hair also, and he would laugh at me for telling him this vision I had of him. Well ... he's just starting to have a relationship with a girl and ... she's got reddish hair. Oh, I forgot to say in my vision the girl would have 3 kids. This girl doesn't have 3 kids, lol. So once again it wasn't all true, it was sort of half true.
I experience de ja vu a LOT. I have no idea if it's because I've done the things I'm doing or if it's because I've dreamt it. No clue.
What I find weird now ... as a child I was deathly afraid of one thing thing ... a witch. I told the child psychologists all about this witch and how she would scare me, tear me up and hurt me. How I was terrified and wouldn't sleep because of her. I don't remember what she looks like, but I just remember having dreams and 'visions' of her constantly (as a child).
Well ... now my youngest son is having dreams and 'visions' of a witch. He's absolutely terrified. Won't sleep. Won't go into a room without a light on. Wakes up with night terrors and sweats. It's like I'm watching myself as a child - only this time it's my own child.
Can history of that nature repeat itself? Do you believe in ghosts?
I was told I should make a journal of my dreams and see how many of them come true. I have contemplated that before, but always find one reason or another not to. I think it's because I'm lazy.
Oh - oh, I forgot to mention the Powerball dream. Back when my husband and I lived in Pawtucket, there was a Powerball drawing. We had bought tickets because it was one of the largest Powerballs, and my husband was feeling lucky. I tried to stay up and watch the balls being dropped, but I couldn't remember what time the Powerball drawing was and I was so tired. That night, I dreamt the Powerball numbers. I went to work that morning (I worked at a bank), and one of my co-workers who also lived in Pawtucket made a comment about the Powerball being won in Pawtucket. I read the newspaper and saw the numbers and nearly cried. I dreamt those darn numbers too late. Every number in my dream was the numbers displayed in the newspaper. Sigh ...
So back to the writing journal. I think I'm going to try and get over my laziness and start writing at least some short hand notes. I have come up with some great stories (well ... I think they're great, lol) based on some of the dreams I've had. Manje Ko Moun Island is a short horror ditty I created for Amanda Hocking's Zombiepalooza. I was so excited to have been included in that! Then I wrote this new short story tentatively titled 'The Date', which I think will hopefully turn some heads for the twist contest (trying to be honest that I think it's a cute story), and I came up with From Heaven from one of my dreams as well. I have another story that I haven't even started that's ALSO based on a dream. Hopefully I'll be able to write it once things simmer down at work, the weather gets warmer and I'm not so stressed out about money.
Yeah ... decisions ... oil for heat or mortgage for house ... oil for heat or mortgage for house - which one do I want to pay? Please spring - hurry up and get here quickly!!
Positive thought - we'll soon have a tenant in our front apartment. Yay! I'm hoping that'll go over well for everyone involved.
Thoughts about The Kindness of Strangers. A lot of people know that I was adopted. What they may not quite know is ... I was adopted at 13. I won't go into my life after I was adopted - too early to talk about - but I will briefly mention what my earlier life was about.
I was born to a borderline mentally retarded woman who ran away from home at the age of 16 due to being severly abused by her alcoholic biological father. Despite being age 24 physically when she had me, she maintained that 16 year old mentality and lacked the common sense, and nurturing skills, that were necessary for raising a newborn baby (me). I was immediately placed into foster care until she could find a suitable home for me to live in. I would remain in foster care until I was about three months old.
Because of her promiscuity, she had no idea who my biological father was, and told several men they were responsible. Unfortunately this would lead to disaster for me, and loss of my innocence at age 5.
I was a very independent child who had big ambitions. At the age of 3 I wanted to be a dancer, 5 I wanted to be an actress, 7 I wanted to be a lawyer, 10 I wanted to be a writer or an actress. Though unruly at times, as most children are in an unstable, unnurturing home, I was placed in and out of foster homes the majority of my life. Abuse in each placement nearly a given, with the exception of one home. I lived there for maybe two years - my memory is a tid-bit fuzzy since I've tried all of my life to forget my past.
I won't go into detail because now is not the time nor the place. The reasoning for bringing this up is well ... because I feel I need to explain why I wrote The Kindness.
I had a rough life ... but I also lived, survived and now have a family of my own. It wasn't always the strangers that abused me, as a matter of fact - it was the opposite. It was the strangers I met in my life that would nurture me, support me and tell me I was going to go places. The strangers that kept me thinking positively that, YES, I was going to survive and make it. And, YES, I wasn't going to be some statistic living off of welfare, with twenty kids with fifteen different fathers. No ... I did very well in school. Went to college (though I didn't complete my degree due to starting a family and needed to get a job to help support it). Got a job at 14 and kept one, always working and striving to prove to myself that I am better than where I came from.
Imagine if I hadn't met those strangers. Imagine I had stayed with my biological mother and didn't have an education or didn't care about the world around me. I would either be dead right now, or some junkie on a corner selling myself for tricks.
I wanted to give props to the strangers of the world that aren't out to hurt people, but rather are there to give other people the boost they need to continue on. A lot of the book is based on true events ... but some of it is not. The outcome of the real story wasn't a positive one - this was something I had to change. Something I felt I needed to made different because I didn't want young girls reading it to think life sucks and is going to keep sucking. I wanted them to think positively. To say to themselves, well if Sydney can make it the way she did - maybe, just maybe, I can too. Maybe it would inspire them to go to school. Get a job, or a house, or whatever - the possibilities are endless if they only tried.
Well it's really late right now. I should be going to bed, but because of my blasted back I don't think I'll be able to sleep much. Here's hoping I can remember what my dream was. :)
Good night all - and thanks for putting up with my total randomness this evening, lol.
<3<3 Julie <3<3
J. A. Titus
Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend and Wife. Full-time worker, part-time worker, and writer. Lover of anything Eeyore, reality cooking, and horror. Eclectic music taste, reading taste, and movie taste. No need to further question my mentality, it's been wrapped up in this little summary. :)