Category Archives: OCDoodles

FPQ40: Control Freak

Fandango provocatively asks…

“How much control do you believe you have over your own life?”

Not much!

Now, that might strike some as a strange response, given that I’m sort of a control freak, but I think some of us CF types are that way precisely as a reaction to how little control we actually do have.

I mean, there’s really nothing I can do about so many things. Natural disasters come when they will, and sure I can have some bottled water and flashlights on hand, but I doubt those will help me in a real crisis. I don’t have the resources to create an underground bunker, assuming you can get to one in time and can last out whatever thing. What do you do in said bunker if you have a heart attack and need a doctor? Do you kidnap one and bring him with you just in case? How about surgery and meds?

Unnatural disasters are pretty much the same thing. I drive defensively, but there’s always some idiot blasting out of nowhere ~ and indeed one hit me and sped off three years ago. You try to plan for the “black swan,” but the one that appears is often not the one you modeled. I stay home a lot to avoid people and accidents, but a while back I fell in my bathroom and cracked my head on the tub.

Shit happens, and it keeps coming. I was contentedly living in my cozy apartment when the owner decided to switch things up, brought in a management company, and raised the rent 25%. Nothing I could do. Moving is expensive; housing in SoCal is insane. Leaving the area for a cheaper one… and hope to get a new job in my late 50s? Umm. I do feel trapped like a mouse.

How do I cope? Obsessively arrange my paper clips and shoes. Make sure all my socks are folded the same way. Keep items at right angles. Create lots of lists so I can cross things off. This all gives me the illusion of control in a chaotic world. But I know nothing is really in my control and that sucks.

(I am not seeking advice. Thank you!)

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sunday Night Blahs

Witch with cat and candelabra

Later tonight my 3TC post will pop into the feed ~ I have 10 more scheduled. These 10 include an announcement that September 10 will be the end of my 3TC hosting. Please let me know if you’d like to host (it’s fun!), and I’ll add your name to the remaining posts so people are aware. I’ve done 178 of these posts now (including the ones coming up), and it’s time for me to move on.

I will continue my Thursday Inspiration prompts because I really enjoy doing those. I don’t always write something myself, but I find it inspirational to search for the music to go with the picture. I’ve been using my Happy Color app pictures, which make me… happy. 🙂

I’ve done two audiobooks and am really disappointed that the narrators don’t seem to be helping out with any marketing. I thought we were in this together. Oh well. It was a good experiment, I guess, but it took a lot of time (and these were short books!), so I won’t be doing more. In a way, I’m glad my 200 page romance novel never got going as an audiobook because that would have taken forever to review.

From time to time, I get bummed out about writing generally, and this is one of those times. I never seem to get anywhere. I don’t have time to market like you’re supposed to, and nothing I write is great enough or lucky enough to simply take off without that. Yes, I write because I love to, but after all these years, it’s depressing not to have made any money at it.

I recently encountered a published poet and his stuff was just so bad… I don’t get it. Not saying my stuff is great or even good. But it’s so random and frustrating what gets attention and what gets published. Same as it’s ever been, I suppose.

Notwithstanding all this whining, there are still lots of good things in my life, just not any good writing news is all. Idk if I want to continue toiling away during my free time finishing all the OCD items on my writing to-do list just to keep seeing a flat line on my sales reports. I could just… stop.

I don’t mean stop blogging. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have loads of writing in progress. Romance novels in various stages of completion. A murder mystery love story half-done. Stories for anthologies. Finished books I want to edit again. It’s ridiculous.

Happy September. 🐱

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Daily Four ~ 08/26/19

Shamrock

From Rory’s Question Fun Directory

Welcome to The Daily Four!

Today’s Questions to the Readers are….

What was the worst thing you did as a child?

I got a C in penmanship when I was 10. It made my mom angry and she in turn created my OCD monster, or lured it out. Lots of unfortunate things resulted from this event.

Growing up, what was your ideal dream job and did you bring that to a reality at all?

I had various dreams at various times: scientist, writer, journalist, etc. But I didn’t pursue any of them seriously.

What were the things you both liked and hated about your schooling?

I loved the educational parts of school: reading, writing, even tests (because I was good at them). I hated anything to do with gym or sports or forced social interaction, like Valentine exchanges.

Where there is a will, there is a way! Do you agree?

Somewhat. Forex, I could never be a ballet dancer because I don’t have the innate talent, but if that’s something I loved, I could have been part of that world in some other way, such as a set designer. (Just using this as an example; I don’t care about ballet!)

I think, when we’re younger, we tend to work harder at relationships. Maybe they don’t seem like “work” then. We’re not so inflexible and intolerant about so many things. We decide to be friends or to be in a romance or to pursue a career goal, and we will it to work, whether it’s long-distance or in another culture or whatever. We shrug at hardships and “odds” of failure. Pffft! Failure! We’ll be the special, stand-out case.

But then life happens and most of us non-delusional people (key phrase) come to understand that we aren’t that special. We’ve failed at things we were positive couldn’t go wrong. We’ve been rejected for jobs we snootily assumed we were too good for. We’ve been dumped by dates who weren’t even as smart and cute as we were. Geez!

We start recalculating those odds of failure. We start to understand rejection is the norm whenever we send in a query letter. We start assuming that the next coffee meet is likely not going to be our soul mate. We quit going outside our comfort zone, since even things inside it aren’t sure bets.

What’s sadly ironic is that when we’re young and more inclined to plow ahead with sheer “will,” we probably have less experience and talent to get our “way.” Later when we have experience, talent, knowledge, etc., we have less will to try because of past failures weighing us down, so we just la la around and say meh why bother? I won’t get my way.

I’m sure Rory didn’t want all this gobble goop, but like whatever.

The Daily Four

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

Things Nobody Cares About

Fox

Giving a fox…

1. I don’t get Linda’s initial SOCS posts in my Friday feed and yesterday was no exception. I saw someone else’s and the word “preposition,” grabbed the link, and wrote my story without reading the directions. Then I linked it and here we are.

2. I realize I’m making things worse by explaining, but (a) my OCD compels me to, and (b) I don’t understand why I never see the initial posts. Obviously I follow Linda and see her other posts. Sometimes I even see the SOCS post, but much later.

3. After Ashley said we should add alt text to our photos, I went back to the beginning of time (March 2011) and started doing it. Then I realized this made the posts repost in the feed and on twitter. Ack!

4. Now I have a few posts from 2011 with alt text in the photos and new posts with alt text, but a gabillion posts in between with no alt text. Inconsistent! This is giving me nightmares. This morning I woke up at 4:30 after dreaming about a picture of a half-finished flower from my Happy Color app that I wanted to delete but was locked out from my blog. Locked out!

5. Unfortunately I decided to look at my blog on my laptop, and now I’m unhappy. I don’t like the double-spaced poetry. It was already bothering me because of Mathew, and he’s right. Poetry shouldn’t look like that. Also, things I’ve been quoting are all screwed up, even when I deliberately paste them in “unformatted.”

6. Unformatted is a lie! I just tested it a few times. All lies. The formatting sneaks back in and screws things up. What you have to do is go to html view and then paste. Never paste in visual mode. For tomorrow’s song lyrics, I pasted my quoted lyrics in the html view and then italicized them. The post looks much better in the preview than that ugly block quote.

7. Also, fyi, if you paste a YouTube video link right under a block quote in visual mode, it can get screwed up too and only show as a link, not as a preview of the vid. So annoying! But it doesn’t do that if you do the html thingie that I just described and nobody read.

8. I have to have 8 things.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Fan of… Fairs!

This is for Jez’s fan challenge. Join in!

I love fairs, which may strike you as strange since I’ve said repeatedly that I enjoy silence and small gatherings. But fairs aren’t forced socializing ~ in fact, you don’t really make nonsense small talk at fairs. You chat about what’s there, more often than not, or you simply observe.

Yesterday I went to the Orange County Fair, which I usually do every year, though not always. I was pleased that my foot handled all that walking around without too much soreness (but it is definitely not all better). My two friends and I who arrived early loved the exhibits of crafts and products.

Here is an owl made of belts. This pretty much made my day.

Owl

Giant cookies looked delicious!

Giant Cookies

But we opted for the healthy fried zucchini. Gotta have your veggies.

Fried Zucchini

And one friend shared her corn dog with us…

Corn Dog

While my other friend commented that she’s seen “big ones at Disneyland.”

Hmmmm.

Moving on. Here’s a cool first prize-winner table setting with lots of science info.

Electric Water

And now we have some sweet miniature donkeys grooming each other.

Miniature Donkeys

Mary, we found your lamb right here…

Little Lamb

Along with Daenerys’ horse from Game of Thrones.

White Horse

I decided to audition for “Bennie and the Jets.”

Mohair Suit

We had really all gathered to attend a night concert however, and more of our group wandered in as the evening approached. Some went on rides, but that’s not my thing these days. Finally, it was time to take our seats at the Pacific Amphitheatre and listen to the awesome orchestra followed by a super fun show.

Weird Al Yankovic

Hooray for the fair! See you next year! 😀

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Kerfuffle [socs]

This whole blog theft kerfuffle has caused an astronomical amount of disruption in our once peaceful little community. 😱

First, let’s consider the good things. What? How can there be good things? Well, how about the fact that lots of us immediately joined together in support and sympathy for each other, sharing info and strategy and trying to keep each other’s spirits up? I’d say that’s pretty great. 💖

But yeah, other than that… disruption, upheaval, anger, cursing, murderous rage… okay, those last two were mostly me, but I do tend to get a bit carried away. 😡

We have people talking about passwording their blogs (which I’ve done before and is a pain in the butt), and we now have one valued writer who has shut down her three blogs due to the theft. No one has received any satisfaction from contacting Digital Ocean, the hosting provider for the thieves.

I am considering making some changes to my blog because of this stressful situation. While I do not normally post anything but the tiniest excerpts from my published (or wannabe published) fiction, I still intensely dislike the idea of this disgusting bot spider grabbing all my posts and plopping them somewhere else, even with a linkback.

But I don’t know what changes yet. I like everything the way it is, and I don’t want to change my ways due to their bad behavior. I’m trying to shrug off the mess because I want to focus on having a productive yet restful weekend, and it’s going well so far. (I am writing this late Friday night and will schedule it to post 1AM Saturday.) 🌸

If you don’t post big chunks of work you intend to publish, you should be alright except for the annoyance factor. I’ve self-published poetry that I’ve blogged and the Amazon bot found it, but they asked if it was mine and I said yes, so that was fine. I vaguely remember things called “splash” pages back in the day… your updated posts were not on that main page. It took an extra click (AN EXTRA CLICK OMG WHO HAS TIME?) to get to the blog. But we all read by feed now, or most/many of us do. I wonder if the spiders would be thwarted by a splash page?

One of y’all will know, I’m sure. 🙂

Update on the Thing

I don’t want to keep naming THEM, in case new people don’t know what’s what and go visit, thus generating more traffic to the Bad Place. Those who know will know. You know?

So, the thieves are now linking back to me at the end of each of my posts with my blog name and Paula Light, naming me as the source of the post. It’s like a reblog in that way, except still hostile because generally reblogs are occasional when something is of particular interest, not lifting every post.

I think I’m going to be done with this mess. I’m so stressed out as it is I can’t allow these jerkfaces to dominate my mind any longer. I have three audiobooks in production right now! My throat hurts, my head aches, my toe throbs, work awaits, chores languish, writing beckons, events glare… it’s ridonkulous.

I suggest you do what I did though, if you are not being credited as the source of your own posts and given a clickable link back at the Bad Place. Contact Digital Ocean and fill out their DCMA form via the front page menu.

Then try to put it out of your mind forever.

Sunny Side Nom

The sunny Sadje has nominated me for a Sunshine Award. Thank you!

I’m going to answer Sadje’s questions and stop there. No additional questions or tags from me. But I’m sure Sadje would not object if you wished to copypasta her questions and have a go at them too. Okay!

1.Who is your hero/ role model?

My children are pretty darn awesome, if I do say so myself. Hardworking, kind, loving, and smart ~ why shouldn’t I admire them? My finest creations. I also admire RGB and Jennifer Crusie.

2. If today was the first time that you have seen a rainbow, describe your emotions.

Ooh pretty! Let’s put that on a cake! 🌈

3. What is the most commonly used object in your home?

Gatsby is home more than I am, so let’s ask him… he says he watches kitty purrn on my laptop all day.

4. What is one thing that you cannot leave your house without?

Keys.

5. What sort of music you like to listen to?

Rock & pop oldies. 🎶

6. If you had a chance to start a new blog where all your followers were guaranteed to follow you, will you do it?

Why not just stay here with them?

7. What is more important in life: having health or money?

Everyone is going to say health, but at a certain level of poverty, health and money become much more entangled. How are you supposed to be healthy if you are too poor to obtain clean water and decent food?

8. Would you stop your car for a lone hitch hacker?

Maybe… if he looked like Brad Pitt.

9. If egg yolk was black instead of yellow, would you still eat it?

That makes it sound like it’s full of blood, which is totally gross. So, no. 🤮

10. What is in your pocket?

I don’t have any pockets.

11. Which planet in our solar system is most likely to support life, other than Earth?

Mars, I guess. 👽

Fourplay [socs]

Four used to be my lucky 🍀 number when I was married because I had a husband and two daughters, which made a symmetrical family of four. But then I got divorced and naturally changed my lucky number to three, since we were now three amazing chicks 🐤🐤🐤 on our own and doing fine.

Before long however the girls found great guys to marry and now they have their own families. I can’t really say we’re a trio of chiclets these days, even if in my mind I think of us that way. It’s no longer a reality.

I do have my little soul-kitty Gatsby and we are a duo, can’t separate us, no sirree, so maybe my lucky number is two. Could very well be so. I’m always grateful for his warm comforting furry presence even if it comes with sharp claws and teeth cuz the best things in life do have a slight edge to them.

Don’t you agree? 🐱

PFF4: Ommmm

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on June 29, 2011, and my feelings haven’t changed. It’s great to zone out with a repetitive yet productive task to get centered. This week I also had a bunch of shredding to do, so the post is timely as well.

The Zen of Shredding

Sometimes when I’m upset, nothing beats a repetitive task that (1) is a little bit physical, and (2) makes a moderate amount of noise. So yesterday I shredded paper all day, which was great. Shred shred shred. Just feed the sheets in, not too many, maybe 8 at a time … zaLOOP, keep them going in, left hand, right hand. Soon the red light comes on indicating “basket full.”

Get a big trash bag. Unplug shredder. Pull out basket. Hold trash bag open with one hand … plunge other hand into slightly warm mass of crinkly confetti, scoop into bag, handful by handful. Pull individual paper pieces from blades (my favorite part). Slide basket back into machine. Plug in. Turn on. Tune out.

Drip in a little oil.

Start over again.

~*~

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