Monday, January 28, 2019

Inspire Me Monday #212: Seeker Beware

Do you want to know what makes me feel really stabby?
Scams that claim you can make BIG MONEY RIGHT AWAY!!111!!11 by doing activities like blogging or taking surveys or writing or pretty much anything else.
The likelihood of anyone making lots of money right away from any of these activities is extremely slim, and the people making these claims are, I'm sorry to tell you, scammers.
It's not fun to hear that you aren't going to be immediately successful in your new ventures, particularly if you need money really badly.
The ugly truth is, these scams are preying on people's desperation.
I hate to tell you how many literal thousands of dollars I fed into scams back in the 1980s, 1990s, and on through the 2000s believing that THIS ONE was going to be THE ONE that would finally get me out of debt, able to quit my lousy job du jour, able to finally support my family without struggling.
Yes, people do make money blogging. Some people even make their entire living that way. The ability to do this doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and hard work. Some people find an audience sooner than others. Making money from blogging is a legitimate possibility, but buying into a scam program WORTH 666 KAJILLION BUCKAROOS, BUT I'LL SELL IT TO YOU TODAY FOR JUST 666,666 QUATLOOS!!1!!!1!  is not the way to make it happen. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I've said it before and I'll say it a billion times more, and I'll keep on saying it till the day I die, and after I'm demised I'll come back on people's Ouija boards and say it:
Did I ever do this?
Yes, I did.
Do you know what I discovered?
That these "top seekrit" paid survey lists give you the same links that a legitimate WAH blog like this one will give you free.
I make a small commission from sites like Cash Crate, Earnably, Fusion Cash, Inbox Dollars, Swagbucks, or Treasure Trooper if someone signs up through my link. You can visit my Paid Surveys page on this site for more and bookmark it to check for occasional updates. You will never be charged to join a legitimate paid survey site. Say "no thank you" (or something ruder) to those who would charge you for "insider information."
From an author standpoint, I have paid to have my poetry included in poetry anthologies. I paid thousands of dollars to Outskirts Press in the early 2000s to have a failed book and its failed revised version published. Outskirts Press said a lot of flattering things to me, and I swallowed the bait. I paid to have my books reviewed. I paid for them to write a press release. I paid for them to create an ebook version of my books on Amazon, something which I now do myself. I certainly wish I got $90 every time I uploaded a new ebook to Kindle.
I recommend that every independent author follow the Writer Beware blog. Forewarned is forearmed, or, as my old pal G.I. Joe always says, now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Besides, Ladies and Gents, we want the Real Prince, not the Frog-Breathed Fake. Again, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You may be wondering how in the ding-dong-diddly-doo I consider this sobering information to be inspiring. 
I want to inspire you to save your time and money. I want to inspire you not to fall into flattering traps. I want to inspire you to real success, which generally comes on way more slowly than a montage in a feel-good movie. I want to inspire you to believe in yourself and trust your instincts, not to buy bag after bag of overpriced manure because some huckster is telling you that it will turn to gold if you just believe that you deserve it.
I want to inspire you to believe that you deserve not to be taken advantage of.
You really do deserve better than that.

Best Fishes,

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Inspire Me Monday (on Tuesday) #211: My Wait Problem

Inspire Me Monday is a new blog hop that I've just discovered. So, even though this is post #211 for them, it's my first one. 
I'm going to play nice and keep this post family-friendly, with the caveat that my blog is not entirely family-friendly. There are no naughty bits here, but there is cussing. That is how I roll.
With the realization that I am not a petite delicate flower and that buttah does indeed melt in my mouth and I am on the opposite end of the spectrum from nice and normal, you may be wondering what in the blazes kind of role model I am and how in the Universe I could possibly inspire you.
I do not claim that I can inspire everybody or even anybody at all if you want the truth. However, if you are like me and get absolutely nothing from reading cheery platitudes by shiny happy people because you know you are the furthest thing from being what they are, then I may just be the bundle of snark that you need to light a fire under your butt and get you on the road to success, your way.
You see, I was sidelined for many years by being unpretty and unskinny and having a brain that was trying to kill me. I had a very serious Wait problem. Like most girls of my generation and the generations before and possibly the generations since, I was fed a line which involved living Happily Ever After. But since I was unpretty and unskinny and Not Normal, I had to Wait. 
First of all, I had to Wait for the Handsome Prince (TM) that was going to come and rescue me, because, you see, Girls are Petite Delicate Flowers who cannot handle making their own way in the world. They will need a Handsome Prince (TM) to fight the Beasties that live in the Wild Wood. 
However, before setting out to catch a Handsome Prince (TM) I needed to Wait until I became Slim and Pretty. Because a Handsome Prince (TM) will never see fit to rescue a maid who is unskinny and unpretty. 
The years went by while I attempted to become Slim and Pretty. There was a prince or knight or something who liked me well enough and I liked him well enough. It wasn't love, but we did have a son, who isn't normal--he's better. The prince or knight or whatever and I ended up divorcing, but we got along better afterward (as friends, not romantically) and became a Forever Family together with our son.
I did not, however, live Happily Ever After. I was still unskinny and unpretty and my brain was still a mess, and I was still Waiting to catch a Handsome Prince (TM) to save me from myself. I never did catch a Handsome Prince (TM), but I did let quite a few Knaves into my life before realizing that my son didn't deserve to be exposed to these abusive not-gentlemen, and, in fact, neither did I. So I stopped waiting for the Handsome Prince (TM). 
It would take a while longer for me to stop Waiting to be Slim and Pretty before living my life. Then one day when I was 45 years old, I was hit upside the head with a couple of bricks. One was called Health at Every Size. The other was called Size Acceptance. A bright golden light shone down on me as I realized that it was not necessary to be Slim and Pretty to pursue my goals. It wasn't even necessary to be young, which was a good thing, because I'd left that attribute lying in a ditch years ago.
Unfortunately, I still believed that I needed to be Adored in order to be Successful. I gauged the worth of my writing on whether I got a lot of comments. I gauged my own worth on whether I got compliments. I was often left disappointed and sullen. Despite shedding so much Wait, I was clearly still suffering from a tremendous Wait problem.
I needed to make a critical decision: either accept the fact that my work will never appeal to the mainstream, or stop writing altogether. Since I become a tremendously sullen sod when I don't write, I decided to stop caring about the opinions of others, whether it be their opinions of my writing or their opinions of me personally. 
At that moment, a great, rotting albatross and a millstone lifted from my neck, and I felt as free as I did as a young child writing and drawing and giving no rips what anyone else thought of my creations, simply enjoying the act of creating them.
At this point, I engage in a few different types of writing. One is non-fiction writing, such as what I have done here. This type of writing divides into subtypes. One is promotional writing, the other is anecdotal and possibly encouraging in nature, such as this post. The more sanitized posts appear on the Deliver Me blog and sometimes the Horror Harridans Writing Sisterhood blog. The more raw and dark examples of this writing can be found on the Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp blog.
I also write and edit fiction, which, again, divides into two categories. There is work slated for publication. You can view examples of this kind of writing on the Horror Harridans Writing Sisterhood blog.
I write poetry as well, but this tends to be confined to two times a year: April and October. The NaPoWriMo blog hop takes place in April and the OctPoWriMo takes place in--you guessed it--October.
On the Deliver Me blog, I also share ways to make a bit of extra income. I do not claim that I am any sort of expert, only that I have learned a few things over the years, and I would like to share them with you in case they might help you too.
I am not an expert of any kind. I don't offer up soothing platitudes, either religious or otherwise. I am an agnostic and prefer to keep my spiritual beliefs and theories separate from my business writing. I have had a difficult life and, while I'm less overtly angry than I was when I was younger, I can't say I've completely accepted the things that have transpired in my life, even if I do understand them better. I have not been "cured" of my psychological dysfunctions, I have simply learned to cope with them. I am not here to tell you "feel good" stories or to tell you that it's all going to be okay because I don't know if it is or not.
So, how in Hades can someone like me possibly inspire you?
As I said before, it's quite possible that I can't. However, while I can't make everything right for you, what I can offer you is this: 
Not just honesty about the products or earning opportunities I may recommend. 
Honesty about myself and the world as I see it. 
No rose-colored glasses.
Just bare-bones, bare-knuckled honesty.
It's unpretty, but it's real.
Personally, I've never gotten anything out of saccharine platitudes. If you don't either, you may find me a--dare I say--inspiring change of pace.
This is how I may be able to inspire you.


Cross-Posted to:

Friday, January 18, 2019

One Step Forward...

This post contains profanity. If that's something you'd rather avoid, you have been forewarned.

My first instinct is always that mental health issues have no business on a work from home blog, and I try to keep the gloomiest bits away from the Deliver Me blog. If anyone is interested in reading my less filtered thoughts on the subject, those reside on the Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp blog. This post will duplicate on Deliver Me, Crazy Creatives, and Horror Harridans Writing Sisterhood.
However, the truth is many people who are interested in working from home wish to do so because they live with mental health challenges. Also, I have seen a lot of positive changes regarding the discussion of psychiatric issues not only since the long-ago days of my youth when I was warned by my father that if it came out that I had ever seen a mental health professional no-one would want to hire me, but even since I finally received a proper diagnosis of type 2 bipolar disorder rather than the vague "depression with anxiety" or the incorrect "adult ADD" sixteen years ago.
I think it is important that the discussion of mental health issues not be hidden away in a musty attic and those stupid mantras like "stop that stinkin' thinkin'" go extinct sooner rather than later. The idea that people who are always happy and upbeat (or can at least pretend to be) are somehow superior needs to be put out to pasture and to fall in a sinkhole. Behaving as if people who are depressed can just "snap out of it" and are a burden or "seeking attention" for being unable to do so causes self-loathing, which helps nothing. It also sometimes gets people killed. This is an attitude that needs to be gone.

As I mentioned previously, I have type 2 bipolar disorder rather than unipolar depression, but I don't tend to need a lot of encouragement when I'm euthymic or hypomanic, so I tend to address the depression component.
I rapid-cycle. The pattern changed a bit after I went through menopause. Each state used to last for about ten days at a time. They last a bit longer now that I don't have such extreme fluctuations in hormones. 
I prefer being in a euthymic state even though I can be super-productive when hypomanic. I can also be all over the place and therefore not terribly productive when hypomanic. I had been euthymic for a while, and then things slipped into hypomania. I knew I probably had trouble coming on when I started feeling irritable. That's often a sign that things are about to go south, and I don't mean that I'm about to head down to the Southern states and visit the places where my favorite Southern rock bands got their start while eating plenty of good barbecue. (That's a bucket list thing.) I mean that any positivity I have is about to be hammered by a landslide straight down the highway to hell, and I don't mean I'm about to take a journey on the astral plane and have tea with my favorite musicians who have traveled to the other side.
Sure enough, I woke up the morning after looking in the mirror and realizing that I was starting to hate the face looking back at me instead of being able to look at myself and simply say "well, there I am." I am well aware that no-one thinks I'm any kind of raging beauty, and I am very glad to give no fucks about that. In fact, my take on having someone compliment my appearance is the same as Ozzy Osbourne's was back in the early '80s when he was voted "sexiest male rocker" on a poll in one of the music magazines. Ozzy said: "I find the idea that people think I'm sexy fucking hilarious." That's how I feel about it too. I'm the anti-fashion chick and not even in the same Universe as sexy, let alone the same zip code, and I stopped giving a damn a long time ago and couldn't be happier. 
In any case, when I start hating the face I see in the mirror rather than being neutral about it, I know I'm on a downhill slide. And, indeed, I woke up wishing an asteroid would hit me and end my misery once and for all. I thought:  "here I go, about to lose every advancement I made while I was doing well." My imagination was in the toilet, my desire to work with any survey or GPT sites was lying out on the lawn with a bottle of Night Train beside its unconscious body, and I reflected on the fact that I'm in my 50s and living in poverty, which is not something that anyone wants to say about themselves. My "fuck 'em all" attitude was whimpering in the corner and I was filled with self-loathing and hopelessness.
There has been a trend of discussing "self-care" recently. I will admit that I loathe this term, but I can't think of a better one, so we'll roll with it. The "self-care" movement seems to be divided into two camps: those who think that "self-care" involves foo-foo coffee drinks and bubble bath and getting your nails done, and those who think that "self-care" means putting your goddamn nose to the goddamn grindstone and doing all the shit that you don't want to do but need to do anyway, you goddamn weenie. 
I honestly can't say that I find either of these approaches particularly effective. One is impractical and the other leads to self-loathing. I rather appreciate my son's hyperbolic take on self-care, and I will share that here.
My son said there is a certain faction of individuals, many of them who are on Tumblr, whose definition of self-care is: "if you want to shit on the floor, you should go ahead and shit on the floor. You do you!" 
This approach is self-serving and does nothing to actually make your life better. It simply relives a momentary urge by a bratty inner child. 
The second approach is to say: "If you ever shit on the floor, you are nothing but a goddamn loser who can't control your bowels, and you might as well jump off a cliff, you fucking asshole, because you'll never be any damn good!"
That approach isn't very effective either. It only leads to ignoring your own needs and hating yourself.
The third approach is to say: "Hey, Man, if you shit on the floor, don't beat yourself up about it. Shit happens. But the sooner you clean up the shit, the better you'll feel. You don't want to leave shit just lying around attracting flies."
In other words, acknowledge your issues and work with yourself to try and create a positive atmosphere. Praise yourself for small triumphs. Maybe getting the allegorical shit off the floor is all you're able to accomplish on some days. Acknowledge that you got the shit off the floor and now things are a little bit better because you took action. Go you!
I had a night where everything was going wrong and the icing on the cake was looking and seeing that my gas gauge was below a quarter tank. I decided against going to work because I was in a truly odious mood. With my job, I'm not on a given schedule. If I show up and log into the app, I work. If I don't show up, I'm not penalized. 
I was beating myself up for being a loser and not going to work. I really didn't feel like going to work last night either. But I went in for a short shift. People were happy to see me, and I felt better because I managed to go to work.
I'll never be a "real go-getter." I do very poorly with 9-5 jobs because I always end up depressed to the point of non-functional. I can no longer do extreme physical work, which I did for many years, because I start feeling weak, dizzy, and confused fairly quickly. But I can still work, and I can continue working to create other sources of income outside of the traditional paths. It won't happen overnight, but it won't happen at all if I don't keep trying.
I think I'm back on track. Hopefully, there won't be a big mountain of bullshit in my path to bust my groove anytime soon.

Always Keep Fighting,

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Haibun: Mood Like A Lost Motel

Copyright enddetour

My mood is a rundown motel room. It’s dull, it’s dingy, and the view from the window is equally hopeless. Maybe there are some things in the room that used to be beautiful, but they are long faded. Hope left town a long time ago.

When there is no more
To hope for I wonder why
Does life continue


I am NOT looking to be told to "seek counseling" or "try meds" or any of those other things I've heard a million times before. I'm looking to express myself. Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft told me that I could express myself through dark poetry. I don't want to make liars out of my longtime heroes by having to waste my time explaining to people that I am nearly 54 years old, I know my options, and I choose to lay it down in poetic form.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Review of Ship It by Britta Lundin

This is a duplicate of my review for this item on Amazon.

I generally don't write negative reviews. If I dislike something, I tend to put it aside. I try to find something I like even in things that didn't hit home for me. However, I never thought I'd find anything which made Twilight look like a literary masterpiece, and I found it in this book.
Claire, the heroine of the story, isn't just socially awkward, she's malicious. 
I know this is a work of fiction, but basic reality stepped out of the room when a television show geared to adults asks a teenager to become a consultant and adults confide sensitive personal information to this teenager.
I probably wouldn't have written a review for this book at all, except that Claire illustrates an extremely toxic aspect of fandom culture. She doesn't like being told "no," and she behaves in a vindictive and malevolent fashion when an actor who plays one of the characters she ships doesn't support said ship. She is disrespectful, self-absorbed, and unlikable. 
This book reads like not particularly well-written fan fiction. It was touted as being humorous, and I was hoping for a likable geek in its heroine. Instead, I found Claire, who is the sort of fan that no actor or creator wants. She is an obsessive backstabber. 
I probably would have liked Rico better if he didn't seem like a two-dimensional cardboard cutout. Aside from Claire, the characters were props with no particular distinguishing features to compel the reader's interest.
Perhaps the author was attempting to make Forest (the actor who refuted Claire's beloved ship) more unlikable through unflattering physical description, but "watery blue eyes" makes me think the poor chap is having an allergic reaction to something and needs a Zyrtec and some Visine, stat.
Regarding Claire's love interest, Tess: I want to care at least a little if the hero/heroine gets their guy/gal. The Claire-Tess romance seemed forced and I really couldn't care less. Tess was a prop, and Claire was self-serving and odious. Such a character would be fine if that's what she was supposed to be, but it isn't. She was supposed to be a sympathetic character.
Claire was a great illustration of the downside of fandom culture. Beyond that, there was nothing great or even particularly entertaining about this book. Perhaps Ms. Lundin's forte lies in scriptwriting rather than novels.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Say "No" to Diet Culture

How to Have a Bikini Body:
Get a bikini
Put it on your body

I received yet another email touting those beastly "get paid to lose weight" apps. I'm not going to say which WAH blog source it came from, as several of them are on the bandwagon, but I will share with you my response.

While I generally appreciate your newsletters and am happy to receive them, I cannot tell you how sick I am of hearing about these AWFUL weight loss apps. Diet culture benefits no-one but the multi-billion dollar diet industry, and long-term weight loss is achieved by no-one but statistical unicorns. Only approximately five percent of people who diet keep the weight off. Most dieters gain back the weight they lost, and it returns with friends. 
Dieting promotes a starvation response. (
The body doesn't know whether its owner is trying to starve it to an unrealistically low weight to garner compliments or whether a famine has come on. It will react the same way regardless of the reason its nutrition is being curtailed.
See also Minnesota Starvation Experiment.
Yo-yo dieting is not good for the body, and dieting behavior tends to lead to disordered eating behavior in general. Dieting promotes eating disorders.
I do not say this as a person who is naturally thin and therefore doesn't have to "worry about" what they eat. I say it as a person who tried to hate myself thin for 33 years, as a person who still has to deal with the screwed-up relationship I developed with food as a result of our thin-obsessed culture.
Dieting, whether to "earn" money or win compliments is a bad thing.
I much prefer the ideas outlined in Health at Every Size. ( People do not need to be thin to be healthy, and they certainly do not need to be thin to be treated with basic common decency.

I also recommend reviewing these resources.

I understand that conventional thought holds to the idea that pursuing weight loss is a good thing. I believed it was too for many years, starting at age twelve when I became ashamed of my body because I developed hips and thighs and could no longer fit into a size 9 boys' jeans. I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food at that point, which persisted until I was in my mid-forties. I cringe whenever I see things like these weight loss apps. I will never promote them. 
I would hope to see a shift in consciousness regarding dieting during my lifetime, but I'm not unrealistic. This horrible practice is too deeply ingrained into Western society. Still, I will no longer stand by and allow it to do damage without saying something.
I hope you will review the resources I have provided. I wish you well regardless of your size. You do not need to be thin to be worthy of being treated well.


I pledge that I will never promote diet or weight loss oriented products. I believe that diet culture and obsession with thinness are unhealthy and have done untold damage, destroying many lives. I believe that people deserve to be treated with kindness regardless of their size. 
Diets don't work. It's time to stop feeding the multi-billion dollar diet industry.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Cie's Epic New Year's Post for 2019

I have a New Year's Resolution never to have New Year's Resolutions which include asshat phrases like "NEW YOU IN 52!!1!!1!!1" Of course I'll be a "New Me" in 52 weeks. A lot of the cells in the body get replaced during that time! I don't need to make some stupid resolution to encourage my cells to do something they're going to do anyway!
I do actually have some goals for the coming year. None of them involve attempting to hate myself thin. I spent 33 years doing that shit. These are goals such as getting rid of my last storage unit, hopefully by June at the latest, which will save me a lot of money and to continue to get rid of things which no longer serve a purpose for me.
A purpose can include just making me happy, like my collection of stuffed animals. That is a valid purpose. I am also planning to do things like cut worn-out clothes into rags, which can replace paper towels and save money that way. Also, donate old clothes that have no sentimental value.
My other goals include kick-starting my mail-order mug cake mix business on Etsy, continuing my quest for world dominance with my super duper uber exciting internet business blog, and allowing myself to write things that I simply want to write, which no-one else is likely to ever see, which wouldn't make sense to anyone else, and which will never make me one single cent. I was very verbally prolific last year, but I've lost a lot of the feeling of love and inspiration when it comes to writing. I'd like to have those back.
So, I have no delusions whatsoever that I'm going to become Le Svelte Supermodel and snag the Hot Bisexual Billionaire Werewolf at long last!11!!!11 
The Hot Bisexual Billionaire Werewolf is a character conceived of by the twisted little minds of Team Naughty Netherworld along with a bunch of hot-to-trot shapeshifting aliens--all of whom are about as real as the idea of becoming someone else's idea of "perfection" and living "happily ever after," if I'm to be honest.
Oh--I also might finally finish the scarf that I've been loom knitting for an age. It's about as long as my hand right now. I need it to be at least as long as my arm. This could take a while.
Happy New Year, People!