The Writer’s Journal – a Vital Tool

Peter Giblett has the information to keep us writers on our toes.

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By Peter B. Giblett

A writer has to always be on the lookout for new material, but at the same time they come across snippets of information that may or may not be of any use in the future, that is what is the purpose of a writer’s journal. One thing the journal is NOT is a diary or account of how good or bad their day was, but a place to record ideas, snippets, life moments, things you have heard, etc. Personally, I use an electronic journal, but I know of many writers that use a paper notebook to jot down their experiences, either way, what is important is getting into the habit of note taking and taking your notebook everywhere with you.

A writers notebook is a sanctuary for a deliberate cultivated awareness of our surroundings, imagination and inner world. ~ Jessica P. Morrell 2007.

Gathering Place…

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Writing… What Will It Do for You?

“It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.”
Robert Hass

My literary muse arises most when I’m passionate about a subject or an event. The ability to provide information, to entertain, or share some great epiphany I may have had. All of which motivates me to get out of bed in the morning, enjoy each day whether good or bad. Life and all of its occurrences gives me something to write about later.

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A day ago I was on “Two Drops of Ink” blog, reading and commenting on articles. I read a post by writer and editor Peter B. Giblett, entitled “Do You Ever Promote Your Older Articles”.  In his piece he writes about the benefits of promoting your older articles. I was thoroughly educated by it and I encourage you to read it for yourself.

Persuaded to revisit past work online, in notebooks, stored on thumb drives and disks. As I reviewed these pieces, I found myself on a trip down memory lane. I noticed how my writing changed over the years and during different stages of my life. Being the hoarder that I am of notebooks, journals and various storage devices, I was surprised that I was only able to go back ten years. Although, those ten years seemed like an eternity.

As I embarked on the journey down memory lane, I felt as if I was intruding on the private thoughts and life of a stranger. Observing the knowledge, wisdom, love, sentiment as well as the trials of this seemingly unknown woman. With every written reflection, article or blog post, I noticed her evolution and growth. I do admit, I have a long road ahead to get to who I truly want to be. It’s amazing how writing can foster change, not only in the style of writing, but in life as well. After turning 39 a few weeks ago, I’m anxious to see where my writing will take me this year.

Writing itself is a process and like other skills and routines the longer we do it the better we become. We get better at the art, but we also work out the things that haunt us as well. A tool to inspire thought, writing brings about ideas, emotions to life and educate our peers. Allowing us to come to a resolution as if it was some sort of complex equation.

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My ability to write developed from my love of books. I longed to be as eloquent and creative as the authors I read. There are many reasons to write and ways to develop your writing. To build or advertise a business, reflecting on life, spiritual growth and nurture relationships.

As I looked through all of my past work, it became clear that subconsciously a part of me was writing for life. Life Writing is the recording of selves, memories and experiences, whether one’s own or another’s. Applying to many genres and practices under which can be found autobiography, biography, memoir, diary, letters, testimonies, personal essays and more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email. My past worked contained most of these!

Most people don’t write as much as a grocery list. They aimlessly wander down grocers’ aisles hoping to remember what they needed. Jotting a thank you letter is not a life changing experience nor will it win you a Pulitzer Prize. Adding writing to your lifestyle can be helpful in many ways. I challenge you to read the article by Peter Giblett and with an open mind look over your past works to take inventory to see how writing has helped you. If you are not a writer…. Write something today, even if it’s just a simple thought. Most great things began as a simple thought!

 

Do You Ever Promote Your Older Articles by Peter Giblett

https://goo.gl/Fizaay

Wikipedia: Life Writing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_writing

Word Cloud Image

http://worditout.com/

 

I said… NO MORE!!!

This post will depict a true and disturbing story about how I survived domestic violence. Hopefully my story will help other victims and build awareness.

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We met while in the Navy in Norfolk, Virginia. I was stationed aboard the USS Ross (DDG- 71), he worked in the medical facility as a hospital corpsman that also worked with the Marines. Our meeting was short lived due to my newly commissioned ship always out at sea.

Our paths crossed again seven years later in Orlando, Florida and we picked up where we left off. Good looking, great sense of humor and intelligent were the qualities that drew me in. I loved his company so much that a couple of months later I moved in with him. Despite the constant warnings from my roommate to wait and take things a bit slower. There were no signs that this guy had deep routed issues.

It started with what I thought was just a little jealousy.

I was a personal fitness trainer so of course he inherited a free membership and would come to the gym to workout. His workouts would consist of him watching me interact with my male clients and co- workers. Daily, I would be interrogated regarding my many conversations with these men. If asked how my day went, that meant specifics about everything from who I worked out with to what I ate for lunch.

One day he came in and noticed the general manager and I in an office talking. When we exited he grabbed my arm with such force that I thought it would break. I was ushered out of the fitness facility across the parking lot over to my car. He began to yell about my flirting and demanding to know how long I had been cheating with my boss. My denial of his ridiculous accusations went unheard, later that evening I was locked out of the bedroom and forced to sleep on the couch. The next day he was very apologetic, he was inconsolably crying stating that his ultimate fear was losing me to someone else.

Domestic-Violence-hearing

As time passed his fear and jealousy evolved into a need to control me. It began with the breaking of my spirit!

Each day at some point he would find time to tell me I was useless due to the fact that I was no longer employed. He strategically sabotaged my ability to gain employment. He was unable to find unemployment due to his inability to keep a job and bad references. Insults were frequent, ranging from how I resembled a man because of my toned body and that I was not as pretty as I thought. He made sure to inform me that the mothers of his children were very beautiful women.

The aggressive pulling and shoving turned into slaps and punches.

There was an incident when we went out dancing with his best friend and his girlfriend. The night was the best night we had in a long time. We all enjoyed our night, we danced the night away. Who would have thought it would have ended with him repeatedly slamming me against a wall and blood streaming down my face? A mounted picture hit me on the head resulting in a gash not deep enough for stitches. He refused to take me to the hospital, he was medically able to attend to my wound. This was punishment for innocently dancing with another man.

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Finally, Dr. Jekyll exposes his Mr. Hyde.

What type of man chases a woman out of the house in the middle of the night? Running after me like a raging lunatic because I was too busy at work to return his call. Once he caught me, I was thrown to the ground and kicked repeatedly. Supposedly I was up to know good and attempting to leave him. As if this is normal behavior he picked me up carried me back into the apartment, tucked me in with a kiss and cuddled me as if nothing happened. Whispering in my ear that he loved me and would do anything to keep me in his life. He loved me more than life itself!!!

This tough, expert shooting, adventure seeking Navy girl was indeed broken. I often would ask myself… How did I get here? This question came mostly while nursing bruises. It’s not always the women who are timid or that have low self-esteem that are victimized. That is definitely a misconception that allows the signs of domestic violence to go unnoticed. Domestic violence often starts with brain washing and the breaking of the victims’ spirit. My abuser started with verbal abuse that progressed into brain washing and physical abuse.

Many people say…

Why stay?

Get help!

“I would never be in that situation”.

What’s wrong with her?

The same statements were made by me until I became a victim. I learned the offender finds the weakness of his victim and prey on them. My fiancée was very manipulative. He used the fact I was the primary bread winner. Repeatedly reminding me that he was unable to find a job, he would lose the condo and become homeless. He would say… “I will die without you.” He would cry and tell me he was not mentally well and needed help. Often thinking back to who to the person he used to be; hopeful that person still existed. So I stayed!!!

The opportunity to leave was always there.

Packing up the car and moving to another city and state lived in the back of my mind. Family and friends would have welcomed me with open arms no questions asked. They would have been my support system, not to mention my brothers and male friends would have beat him senseless. Most families like mine are unaware of what is going on behind closed doors. The abuse is a secret kept out of both fear and embarrassment. Not all victims have a support system to confide in or run to.

Warning signs are there!

There are ways to tell if someone you know is in an abusive relationship. Observe any changes outside of the victims’ ordinary behavior. Here are a few characteristics…

  • Antisocial behavior, especially if the victim is ordinarily very outgoing.
  • Nervous or fearful around partner.
  • Signs of depression.
  • Constantly checking in with significant other
  • Frequent injuries.
  • Partner shows signs of extreme jealousy.

I said “No More” after a night out with him and a female friend of mine. We originally planned for a girls’ night out but of course that was not allowed. After having a few drinks, we decided to spend the night at her condo to avoid the thirty-minute drive home. Sleepy and inebriated from the drinks I crawled into bed and ignored his sexual advances. Irate by my refusal he began to his usual yelling and insulting behavior. Fed up, I decided to go sleep on the couch. As I started for the bedroom door he grabbed me by the arm, spun me around and punched me in the jaw. Immediately, I saw stars and something inside me snapped simultaneously. I remember the first swing of the lamp from the bedside table then looking into the eyes of my friend. She was screaming at me…” Stop!”  “Snap out of it!” Apparently, I had blacked out.  Glancing over my shoulder, I could see him on the floor with blood streaming from his head, nose, mouth and eyes. I had no sympathy for him, just a heart full of disgust. To make a long story short. I drove myself to the police department to make a report. I remember standing in a room in a pink bath robe as a female officer took pictures of my face and all the bruises on my body. I drove to our apartment packed what I could in a hurry and left for good. All stories don’t end this way!

Stories of this nature would not have to be shared if we as a community get involved. We all can say “No More” to all types of abuse. 12.7 million people are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners in one year. Domestic violence should not be tolerated. Report what you say and hear, refuse to turn a blind eye to all types of abuse. Please… say “No More” to domestic violence, let’s save lives.

NO MORE

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The Small Symptoms that Changed My Life

Do you live a fairly active or very active lifestyle? Is it safe to say that it is a part of your regimen to work out 3 times per week at the least? I’m not talking about going and sitting on the bicycle, casually walking on the treadmill or sitting in the sauna to get a good sweat. A workout regimen that consists of raising your heart- rate during your workout, be it strength training, cardio, or an aerobics class.

Weight is not an issue for you and never has been. You have maintained a healthy weight most of your life. Eating habits are not the best but they are balanced, nutritional and mostly healthy. Of course we all have those occasional cheats or maybe even a binge but nothing to feel depressed about. If this is a good depiction of your habits towards exercise and nutrition then I can definitely relate.

I was a certified personal trainer for 8 years, I served 4 years in the U.S. Navy. No stranger to discipline and fitness. Yes, Navy personnel are known for being heavy drinkers who party quite frequently. Some of us shipmates are not very disciplined in our eating and exercise habits. Although, there are those who may have partied or who currently party but continue to maintain fitness as a priority. Fitness was and is the core of who I truly am.

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Five years ago I occasionally found myself experiencing weird symptoms. I never paid attention to these weird occurrences. As a personal trainer and even a healthcare worker, we hold ourselves to a certain standard that we think illness will not affect us. Sometimes, I would get this frequent urge to urinate this is no matter how much I had to drink. It was most times accompanied by a sweet jolly rancher aroma. This baffled me because I could not blame it on fresh fruit smoothies. Have you ever drank so much water or juice that you could not quench your thirst? You could not eat because you’re full of liquid? Ever since high school I can remember going to sleep with something to drink. Waking in the middle of the night almost dying of thirst. I constantly have something near to drink throughout the day. Back then I thought of it as being a side effect of consistently working out.

Unfortunately, the last straw for me was fainting in the gym while training a client. This is even after eating meal 4 of a 6 meal a day diet. No, I don’t mean just a protein bar as a meal. None the less, I woke up in the hospital and informed that I had diabetes. WOW!!! Are you kidding me? That was my first reaction. I worked out 6 days a week with a 30 minute strength training and a 20 minute cardio regimen. I consumed chicken and fish, lots of greens and low carbs. No fast food, 2 or more liters of water daily. 5 feet -2 inches tall, my weight ranged from 110 to 130 pounds, body- fat as low as 10% and never over 22%. I….with a body most women envied… Diabetic?!?!?!

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How did I get this? What did I do wrong? What is going to happen to me? For me it’s in the genes. My father, his mother and her father were all diabetic. My great uncle and a child of his has been diagnosed then myself, no one after me. I must admit I was disappointed when I first found out. As I look back I realize the disappointment was due to lack of knowledge. Let’s also add a bit of vanity. There is no true hindrance just what we put upon ourselves.

Yes, it has caused my lifestyle to somewhat change. Nothing too drastic. I eat differently than I used too. I’m never deprived or hungry or bored with my meals. My indulgence in Red Velvet cake which is my absolute favorite  desert is rare. Workout routines and frequency is different. I’m no longer a beast in the gym. Hour long strength training, yoga, Zumba and an occasional spin cycle class has reduced. I maintain an active lifestyle by working out 5 days a week doing yoga, calisthenics, jogging and walking. I still maintain a weight of 125 pounds, I’m not as lean and cut as before but I feel and look good. There are days when the illness makes me drag through my day but they are very few. I’m not on insulin or any other medications. My diet and exercise keep me in great health and shape even with diabetes. Diabetes does not end your life nor does it cripple you. Pay attention to your health and the symptoms that may seem weird. For even the weirdest feeling may be the one that saves your life.

 

American Diabetes Association

Images Courtesy of Pixabay.com

Word Cloud by Maialisa

 

“Poets against Bullying”

For those of you who read my blog posts. You may have noticed last week I have been promoting “Poets against Bullying” Usually mu my posts are educational, informative, and business related. This post is dear to me due to my passion and love for ALL people and their well- being. Especially, when it means the welfare of children, when Ashley (facebook.com/writerashleyl, www.chargedvisions.com) informed me of her movement to spread awareness, I was fired up to jump on board. I immediately started doing research on bullying in hopes to find signs of bullying and how to prevent bullying. Are adults bullied and what are the signs? I also wanted to locate the statistics of both situations.

Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker or who they think is weaker. Sometimes it involves direct attacks such as hitting, name calling, teasing or taunting. Sometimes it is indirect, such as spreading rumors or trying to make others reject someone.

Often people dismiss bullying among kids as a normal part of growing up. But bullying is harmful. It can lead children and teenagers to feel tense and afraid. It may lead them to avoid school. In severe cases, teens who are bullied may feel they need to take drastic measures or react violently. Others even consider suicide. For some, the effects of bullying last a lifetime.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NIH

I found myself thanking God that I’m not a parent. The forums, groups, and blogs that the youth turn to sharing the darkest of feelings and thoughts. It was very emotional to view and to know these parents don’t have a clue of the pain their children are experiencing.

Another surprise was the fact that adults are also bullied.  Bullying among adults is more prevalent in the workplace, as I studied deeper into the subject I found this to be quite astonishing.

The Workplace Bullying Institute defined it as follows:  Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is:

  • Threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or
  • Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done, or
  • Verbal abuse

This definition was used in the 2014 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey. Its national prevalence was assessed.

I refuse to feed my readers all the specifics of my research but to give enough information to build awareness. I have provided the links, the information and tools are out there for us to begin to bring an end to a cause that should not occur. No two people are the same it does not matter if we are born as individual, twin or as a triplets. There will always be something in our personality as people that makes us unique, different and intriguing as people. No human being should be bullied, judged or mistreated in any way because of our difference. There are those like myself who enjoy “marching to our own drum”, so to speak. I feel as long it does not offend, harm are disturb those around us then… “Carry on”.

We as a community should become more aware of what’s going on around us. Get involved!!! Speak up and speak out!!!

 

References:

The Workplace Bullying Institute

http://www.workplacebullying.org/wbiresearch/2010-wbi-national-surve

http://www.workplacebullying.org/2011/09/27/prevalence-error/

PBS This Emotional Life

http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/bullying/adult-bullying

Support “Poets against Bullying” by clicking the link below for our limited edition t- shirts.

 

KEN WHEATON

Novelist. Editor. Journalist. Business Writer.

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