Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Salon...a Whining Post AND Short Story Sunday

Commence Whining: I haven't done a Sunday Salon post in MONTHS. Lately, I haven't really felt that I have anything of any value to say. I mean, I love blogging. But recently, I've just felt so bogged down with life that the little time I have to blog, I can't think of anything to say. Does that every happen to you? I mean, I actually have a ton of posts I could write: A RIP Wrap-up, a couple of book reviews, a Library Loot post, more challenge post. Or even something family related. And yet when I sit down at the computer, the blahs hit. Nothing I type is interesting. Nothing really excites me. And all I can think is this: "Who wants to Read this Crap anyway?" Am I actually doing something worthwhile here?? I hope so. I'd hate to think that I'm just wasting my time. With so little time, sometimes I feel like I'm on the fringe of blogging. Not really here enough to make the little connections that are necessary to keep going. Not being able to participate in all the fun, like the Read-a-Thon. Not keeping track of the friends I have made well enough.

I don't know. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just feeling the pressure of the season, and the stress of Mike not working. Or the stress of all the hours I've been putting in. Or the pressure of spending quality time with the kids when all I really want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head and sleep well into next week. Or maybe it's the fact that my shoulder isn't healing all that well and I'm constantly in either A). Pain or B). a Pain-Killer Induced Haze. At one point a few years back I was actually taking some anti-depressants. Maybe I should find me some "happy" pills again.

I'm not writing this for any type of sympathy. I think I just need to let it all out. Truth of the matter is, I am sitting here, seriously lonely right now. I'm working the weekend at the Red Cross. Saturday night/Sunday mornings are the worst here. Next to one security guard, I'm literally the only person in the building. I'm here mainly for emergency purposes. I like alone time. But tonight, I'm just craving an actual person to talk to. Unfortunately, even Twitter is rather deserted tonight. I guess every once in a great while I need to step back, take a breath, and re-evaluate things. Tonight seems to be one of those times.

End Whining.

In all actuality, it was a good week. The kids parent/teacher conferences were this week. Bella is getting all B's, except Reading, where she is excelling. (go figure!) She lacks a little self-confidence, but she got the lead of Mrs. Santa Claus in the Christmas play, so she's actually doing better. Ana is reading at a 5th grade level (in 2nd grade). The teacher is moving her to an Advanced Readers Group with 3 other kids because she's afraid her 2nd grade work is going to bore her. Straight A's. And Chad....all A's, except for a B in Art. He's taking High School level Algebra and is in all Accelerated classes. His teachers are already recommending AP classes for him in high school. So yeah...I'm pretty proud of the Kiddies. We even went to see a movie tonight: Cirque du Freak: Vampire's Assistant. Is it just me, or is John C. Reilly like the coolest nerd ever??

I have 2 book reviews to do. I've actually been reading. Right now, I'm reading a fantastic collection of essays. I don't really like essays, but this one is well-worth reading. I can't wait to review it!!

So....on to a few Short Stories for this Sunday: Again, from John Connolly's Nocturnes.

The Inkpot Monkey - Mr. Edgerton was suffering from writer's block. Mr. Edgerton was a modestly successful author. But lately he has been unable to write a word. Always looking for inspiration, he wanders into an old antiques store and sees a little inkpot, with what looks like a tiny stuffed monkey. According to ancient Chinese mythology, the monkey will provide artistic inspiration in return for the residues of ink left at the bottom of the inkpot. Mr. Edgerton is willing to try anything to escape the writer's block, so he buys the little inkpot monkey. But is he really ready to give all the monkey wants in return for the inspiration??

The Shifting of the Sands - The decision to reopen the rectory at Black Sands was not made lightly. The people at Black Sands were not a religious people. In fact, they went out of their way NOT to be. But they were a prosperous group, and lucky too. In fact, for a sea-faring community, they were incredibly lucky. Not even once has a Black Sands native been lost to the sea. However, once every twenty years an outsider drowned in the area. 20 years ago, it was the rector at the church. But now that a new rector is in town, will he survive or will he have the same fate befallen upon him?

Some Children Wander by Mistake - The circus seldom came to towns in the North. For William, the thought of the circus was incredibly exciting. He was pretty much a loner at school. He has dealt with his share of bullies, too. But he loved the idea of the circus. Because he LOVED Clowns. And the circus brought with it the promise of clowns. But while William does get to see the clowns, it's not at all the way he pictured it. Because he finds out a little truth in life: Clowns are not made, they are born.

Deep Dark Green - We never should have gone near Baal's Pond. There was a mystery surrounding the dark waters of Baal's pond. At one time, there was a house on that very spot. But something sinister lived in there. Something that took the village's children. So the villagers took it upon themselves to destroy everything. And with some stolen kegs of gunpowder, the river was re-directed over the spot on which the house sat. Now, that is where the deep, dark waters of Baal's pond sits. The kids say you should never swim there. For if you do, you might not ever come back.....

I am once again amazed at how wonderful and creepy Connolly's short stories are!! As a self-confessed Coulrophobic, I have a deep-seated and extremely unnatural fear of clowns. They freak me out. Always have. *shudder* So let's just say that Some Children Wander by Mistake completely played to all my fears!! I KNEW there was a reason I hated them!! But really, each story was good. Like I said in previous posts, if you liked fun, creepy, eerie short stories, go get this book!! (Will post the last of them next Sunday!)

Till then, Happy Reading!!


Chrisbookarama said...

I'm so sorry you're having a hard time. It sounds really stressful. No wonder you don't feel like blogging. I hope things turn around soon. Hnag in there!

christina said...

I fluctuate back and for all the time about blogging and purposeful writing. I mean, what exactly are my goals right? I love having a reference of books that I've read over the months, and I love getting to know people. But I'm so terrible about keeping up momentum that I feel my friendships are brief and never in depth.

I do hope that things become less stressful for you. You have a full plate. Take a breath every now and again. Or a bubble bath. It will soothe your soul and your shoulder!

samantha.1020 said...

I know how you are feeling..and stress over money and the holidays is the worst. On the brighter side, I would LOVE for you to do a library loot post as I am always interested in hearing about the books you pick up. You find some of the best books at your library :) Hope everything goes well for you this week!

Amy said...

I've been thinking of you lately Stephanie, because I felt like I hadn't had a chance to connect with you recently. Partly that's my fault because my own blog reading has been so...spotty. You've made enough connections to always be remembered and thought about...just know that. :)

And I totally know what you mean about sitting at the computer and feeling blah. I often feel this. Am I really offering anything new? Does anyone really care? Couldn't they just read the same thing somewhere else? But then I plug ahead and do it anyway, because I do it partly for me, too.

I hope something wonderful happens for you soon!

Kathleen said...

Sorry to hear that you have been feeling stressed and hope that things will get better soon. We all have these times when life feels overwhelming. It is like a wave that you have to ride and the less you struggle the easier it will be. Just relax and do what you feel is best and if that means less reading or blogging, that is okay.

Ana S. said...

Oh Stephanie, I'm so sorry things have been rough for you lately :( So many people seem to be getting the blogging blahs these days...I guess part of it is that blogging has become bigger and therefore more pressure-filled and harder to keep up with. But as to what you're doing're YOU. Nobody else will say the things you have to say, because there's only one Stephanie. And I'd SO miss you if you stopped blogging. It's good to give yourself permission not to post when you don't feel like it. But I hope you'll always be around.

Michelle said...

{{{{{HUG}}}}}} That is for one of my dearest friends ever, and we've never even met in real life. How is THAT for connections?

I was thinking about you the other day when I saw you were on Twitter, but I've been a little anti-Twitter lately, so I apologize for not giving you a shout-out! Know that no matter how long you are away from the blogging world, you do have someone in Ohio who cares about you, your family, and what you have to say.

As for the blogging blahs, I think there has been WAY too much talk lately about what it takes to be a good blogger, how to get more readers, and so forth. To me, that's all BS. We each got started in blogging for various reasons but mostly because it is something we each wanted to do. Our blog is a personal reflection of who we are. I recently went through some soul-searching and decided that I blog for me. Would I love to have hundreds of followers? Yes. Am I going to cater what I write to attract those followers? No, I am not. Then I would be blogging for others rather than myself, which defeats the purpose of why I started this whole journey in the first place. If you remember why you started, then the pressure to perform will disappear.

Hang in there, honey! And if you need anything, I am an e-mail or tweet away.

And seriously, we'll be in IL over Thanksgiving. Do you want to try to meet up?

Stephanie said...

Chris - Thanks! I tend to keep my stress inside until it bubbles over. Usually into my blog!

Christina - I'm not even sure I have goals for this blog. I'm not that structered. Hmmm...maybe THAT'S my problem! A hot bat sounds wonderful.

Sam - Yep, money and Christmas. Talk about stressors! Thanks !! Library Loot is big this week. God, I need to stay off the library website!

Amy - Thanks! That really means alot to hear. Yeah, I do blog for me. Sometimes, I think I just pressure myself too much to make sure I post enough. Stupid, but true.

kathleen - Thanks, that's some great advice.

Nymeth - Thank you. I'd miss blogging too much to quit. Like I said earlier. It's not that the stress is getting worse. I just tend to bottle it all up till it comes pouring over. I'll get by. Don't you worry about that.

Michelle - Thank you, Michelle. You know, it really means alot. Yeah, I started this blog for me. And me alone. That usually is enough for me. And I couldn't care less about the number of followers and stuff. But there are days I feel like I'm just not doing enough. I'll get over it.
I wish I could do Thanksgiving. But I'm taking time over Christmas, and had to end up working Thanksgiving weekend to make it happen. I still would love to hook up with you. Soon!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Blogging is just for fun and if you don't feel like it, you don't feel like it, and if you don't have time, you don't have time.

Shake things up and write about something completely different!

Debi said...

"Who wants to Read this Crap anyway?"...Okay, Stephanie, time for a virtual slap upside your head! 1.) It's not crap! and 2.) I want to read absolutely anything you have to say!!!! That's how it is with friends you love, you know.

But I do understand what you mean. I've struggled with those kinds of feelings about blogging so many times. Because I know I'm not, and never will be, and never want to be, a big-time blogger. I just want to blog for myself. That's why I started, that's why I continue. And I just have to keep reminding myself of that ever time I start feeling that I really don't belong here. My blogging world is very small, and that's just the way I like it. And Stephanie, you're a very big part of PLEASE (and yes, I'm being selfish here) don't leave it!

Love you, sweetie! And I hope things start feeling better soon...both physically with your shoulder and just all around stress-wise, too. *huge hugs*

Susan said...

Oh Stephanie, I was hoping things were better this year because last year was so hard for you. I'm so sorry Mike hasn't found work yet. You have every right to feel stressed! I just let it all out too on my blog on Saturday, I haven't been able to blog either the way I normally do, and I finally admitted why. Sometimes there is life to deal with. Wish I could give you a hug and tell you what an amazing job you are doing and have been doing, Steph.

I always like hearing what you have to say. Even if we each said the same thing, we each have a special way of saying it that makes it unique. That's why you are missed, you way of saying something is fun and insightful.

Andi said...

I've been feeling very similar to how you're feeling lately. I don't know about everyone else, but I go through it occasionally and seemingly in spurts. Try not to get too down--you're a very important part of this book bloggy community in my opinion!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog - you popped up on my Google Alerts because you blogged about your kid moving into the Advanced Readers group. Not a big surprise, seeing how Mom loves books! Anyway, I have a blog about finding great books for kids who are advanced readers ages8-12, you might be interested in!

Great Blog! I'm going to have to look through some of these great reviews!

Lisa said...

I really could have written this post. I'm with you all the way on all of that (except the shoulder thing). I really feel like I'm running myself ragged lately, but can't see anything to really give up. I could stop sewing or reading, but that's MY time, ya know? Anyway, not trying to take over your comments, just wanted to say that I know how you feel. I haven't really blogged at all in two weeks, and am finding it hard to work up much enthusiasm for it.

trish said...

You can whine to us anytime! We want to know what's going on!

I agree with christina that a bubble bath seems to be in order!