Archive for March, 2014

Accurate representation is accurate:

BeginGiveUp

 

That’s a fairly good summary of not only how I feel today, but how I’ve been feeling about writing in general lately. Like everything is garbage I try to write. I can’t actually give focus to any projects. Everything starts out so promising..

ItBeganLongAgo

Then it becomes a bit more:

NOPE

I guess I’m just going to make myself free write until my brain can kick start itself into functioning properly again. Come on, Muse. What’s the hold up?

Muse3

….Alrighty then.

~Angel

 

Listentoyourheart

Note: I found this on Tumblr, and I’m not sure of the artist 😦 But I do not claim this as my own art. If I find the artists name, I will give credit.

I like to imagine that my muse looks like all of the fan art versions of Notebook from Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

Anyway,

So here I am, sitting around with stress and excitement and I’m just about to burst at the seams. Lots going on and so much positive to focus on that the stress of it all almost doesn’t matter. Almost. Because, you know, stress matters since it takes a lot out of you. And mine is taking a lot out of me, usually more than I have to give it.

But that isn’t what matters.

What matters is that I feel better. Obviously, not health better. But mentally and emotionally, I feel like I can handle this. I feel like I’m finally taking chunks of my life back and making my life everything that it can be.

And why, you may ask? What all do I have going on to be so positive about?

 

I’ll tell you:

DHMIS

 BEHOLD. This is my excitement level. 

First things first: I’m proud of myself for bringing my creative needs back to the Priority List. I mean, I’m not writing every single day, or selling books, or painting gorgeous pieces, or submitting more photos to magazines… But I am drawing. I am writing. I am working on this site. I am (slowly) booking shoots again. It’s more than just whining about needing to do these things. Instead, I am. It’s just baby steps for now.

Except, I should have a shiny new in-print article in my hot little hands before long. I’ll definitely post links and pictures and everything once it’s out. XD

Let’s see, what else is there….

 

Oh, yes – travel plans!

While I do have plans for a trip to Chicago, as well as a quick trip or two to Orlando this year, I have a bigger and better one brewing for Orlando next November (2015) with my beloved friends. And while I’m already incredibly excited… As you can see:

MOTIVATION2

I’m also using this as motivation for other things in my life. For example, I’m determined to pay down a bunch of bills (medical bills = evil beasties), and make my body healthier. And by healthier, I mean not only thinner and more toned, but actually HEALTHIER. There isn’t much I can do to slow down the Sjogrens, but I can still try to baby my body into maybe calming down naturally. We shall see.

And one more thing:

LOFK

 

I am hosting something incredible, and I still can’t believe I’m this lucky. I’m hosting an event May 1st at 6:30pm, at AMC Theater Farmington, MO to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Through the creators of the documentary Legends of the Knight, the people of Tugg.com, and AMC, we are holding a one night only screening of the movie Legends of the Knight, an inspirational documentary about Batman and the way he has touched peoples lives and inspired them to do better things. I’m doing all of this in memory of my friend, Eric, who passed away from complications with his Muscular Dystrophy in 2005 when we were both just 14 years old. To be able to hold the event, the theater has said we must sell out the 67 ticket threshold online to make it happen. Tickets go on sale March 29th.

For one night, we can all feel like Bruce Wayne and give a little back to the community.

 

To buy tickets, or check out more info, go here. You can check out more info at their site, http://www.WEareBATMAN.com

 

So that’s it for now! Stay tuned, folks. I’ve got a few more things up my sleeve. Life is getting interesting.

 

~Angel

So, I made a fairly spontaneous decision to jump on an opportunity to go to New Orleans. It was pretty last minute too, since I had less than a month once I decided, in January, to book my travel plans to go down in the beginning of February. But I needed a getaway, and when the chance presented itself… I couldn’t resist.

Granted, what was supposed to be a morning flying down with an afternoon of free time turned into me having to drive down at 3pm when our flight got screwed up did really stress me out more than necessary, I still managed to get to New Orleans (granted, it was almost 4 am) and enjoy myself:

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Why, yes. That is Matt Smith – the 11th Doctor, the Raggedy Man, in Doctor Who 😀

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Scan0029 Robert Englund, one of my favorite people in the entire world.

Childhood Role model, Elvira!

Childhood Role model, Elvira!

Not to mention, spending a good eternity one night being a very enthusiastic background person while filming for SyFy. Whenever that comes out, I will be sure to share with everyone.

Now, I did get more done than just running around with celebrities and filming things. I also managed to touch base with my pesky muse, who had been randomly passing out drunk all over the place and not properly doing her job, mostly because she’s upset with me for not spending as much time together as we used to. Well, Muse, I hate to break it to you, but some of us have jobs and illnesses and don’t get to lounge about all day watching reruns of America’s Next Top Model! *sigh* *deep breath* Okay, I’m sorry, Muse. That was a bit much. I’ll apologize to both you AND our guests.

As I was stating before, I spent time with my lovely and wonderful, presently sober, and forever brilliant Muse while I was in New Orleans. We were so bonded that I could actually feel the persistent ache of my creative juices wanting to flow and be free. I’m not sure if it was the mind-numbingly long drive (to me, at least), or the fact that New Orleans is just good for my soul. But I was inspired just by being there:

A little artsy-smartsy fantasy I lived out: sketching the St. Louis Cathedral while sitting at the Café Du Monde.

A little artsy-smartsy fantasy I lived out: sketching the St. Louis Cathedral while sitting at the Café Du Monde.

Walking home from (my personal favorite restaurant I've found so far in New Orleans) Angeli on Decatur with my delicious leftover Lucifer's Pizza, I was so taken by the music playing in the streets and just the ever-building inspiration, that I literally HAD TO start writing on my pizza box as I walked. I then transferred ideas from pizza box to notebook. XD

Walking home from (my personal favorite restaurant I’ve found so far in New Orleans) Angeli on Decatur with my delicious leftover Lucifer’s Pizza, I was so taken by the music playing in the streets and just the ever-building inspiration, that I literally HAD TO start writing on my pizza box as I walked. I then transferred ideas from pizza box to notebook. XD

So there you have it, a brief summary of my trip to my beloved NOLA. I need to take a trip back when I have less going on that preoccupies me. Take the time to fully give myself over to the inspiration and not worry about another damn thing. I know my muse would like the time with me.

~Angel

I’m a big fan of nurturing my inner child. It’s not a secret, because it’s so painfully evident that other people decide to play Captain Obvious and remind me that I’m child-like. Thanks, got it.

I can’t really help it – the little things in life still excite me. Imagination and creativity and wonder fuel my existence. I’d rather curl up and watch cartoons than go to a fancy restaurant date. I like collecting toys and plushies and things that just bring a smile to my face. I geek out over Batman, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, etc like you wouldn’t even believe, with a sort of nerdy joy that many instantly refer to as acting like a kid on Christmas morning.

And for a while, off and on in my life, this has made me feel terrible. Not because I don’t like it, but because other people make me feel like I shouldn’t. Adults don’t focus on those things. Adults don’t like those things. Adults blah blah blah. I hear it constantly about my travels and my dreams and everything people can find to criticize. For a while, I really didn’t understand why I just couldn’t be like everyone else and function like me. Then this thought occurred to me when I saw Rise of the Guardians:RotG

When North (the Santa character), is describing himself and what makes him a guardian, he explains his Center. For North, after you pass all the other layers, at his very core is Wonder. He is wide-eyed and child-like and sees all this magic and beauty and potential to the world. He then asks Jack, “What is yours?”

If I broke myself down, I think I could be – from outside inward:

1.) Weird

2.) Creative

3.) Strong

4.) Compassionate & loyal

5.) Courageous

and, at the very center, I am…

6.) Adventurous and full of Wonder

Not to copy North or anything on the Wonder part, but honestly at my center is my childlike wonder. The girl that used to adventure through the woods and take it all in, wide-eyed and fascinated. In a way, I’ve never come out of that. I still wander to unfamiliar places and take it all in with appreciation. I want to take off and explore and be the girl I’ve always been in my heart.

So on the outside, I may be a touch weird, and beyond that people realize I’m creative. Sometimes people get farther, to learn I’m strong, compassionate, and loyal. When they really start to see what I’m made of, they see my courage to continue on despite every obstacle. But what makes up everything is my center. The adventurous child.

That is my center; what is yours?

~Angel

I used to do posts once upon a time on my old blog, in which I would sum up several different updates to do with my artistic MoreIdeasThanTimeendeavors like writing, art, photography, etc. Break it down by category and let everyone know what was going on with different projects, and so on. You know, talk about the things I’m actually doing as opposed to what I usually do, which is ramble about random things. I figured I could start doing this every so often to keep everyone up to date with everything going on, especially if there was anything truly noteworthy.

Writing: When it comes to writing, I’ve been a bit of a slacker lately. Not by my own choice, mind you. Mostly time constraints, health, and a billion other things. But I’ve been scribbling what I can when I can (and where I can, since I had a muse whispering to me on the streets of New Orleans and all I had to write on was a pizza box as I walked to my hotel.)

I have a million ideas buzzing in my head and a very determined muse that wants me to be writing. In case you couldn’t guess, this is part of why you’re getting more posts lately: I want to be writing. Something. Anything. Blog posts are decent practice, a way of keeping myself used to the act of writing, but are also simple enough that I can save a draft and work on it whenever I have a chance to. Besides, I can scribble parts of this on notes and just fill it into the blog post later in the day. Then, I can either post as soon as I’m finished, or schedule it to post later on whenever I want. Tah-Dah! New posts for you guys, more practice for me.

But besides that, I do always keep a notebook on hand to scribble thoughts and ideas, diaglogue, freewriting, continue on current projects, etc. Inspirational stuff like quotes, song lyrics, and that sort of thing. Anything and everything that could be useful to my writing. I just haven’t had much time to do solid, meaningful writing. Well, maybe meaningful isn’t the best word. Just writing that amounts to much of anything.

Art: I’ve made it a point to keep myself drawing regularly since December. I hoped to do at least a little sketching every day, but occasionally something else gets in the way – work on projects that take more than one day of work, my head pounding so hard I can’t keep my eyes open, or sometimes I get so drawn into something I’m reading that literally all spare moments MUST be dedicated to the reading of whatever book. (I’ll get to what I’ve been reading in just a bit.)

I’ve been dabbling a bit in digital art lately, mostly using Sketchbook Pro. Definitely different than what I’m used to, but I’m getting better at it. I’ve worked on my nifty little self portrait and a few other projects, some just for me to practice, others by request. I’m currently slaving over a project for a local band that I really hope turns out looking awesome. I’ll link to that whenever it’s finished.

I’m also really, REALLY feeling the itch to pick up a paintbrush again. Someone asked me what I would be doing if I could be doing anything at that particular moment, and without hesitation I replied: I wish I was painting and listening to music. I used to do that all the time, and it really relaxed me. I honestly miss it like crazy. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to fit in some canvas time.

Reading: I might as well transition to what I’ve been reading, since I was mentioning it above. Obviously, I have my 2014 Bookworm Challenge up there on the left hand side of this page. That’s where you can go to regularly check what I’ve read/been reading this year. I doubt I will post about EVERY SINGLE BOOK because everyone, including myself, would grow tired of it. This isn’t just a review blog. I’ve got stuffs to talk about here!

But I will take a moment to mention the Divergent books, which have been the reason I have gotten very little drawing done. It’s sort of weird to me, because it’s not like it’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever read – not saying I don’t thoroughly enjoy it, because I do. But I just HAD TO finish it. And then just HAD TO have Insurgent. Because I did. Which is a good thing to accomplish as a writer, I would say. Because I went to the store and bought the rest of the trilogy as soon as I was finished. I’m definitely looking forward to the movie.

Photography: Finding time for photography is a little rough, but not altogether an impossible task. I can get the occasional shoot together if I have to, but mostly it’s a matter of my work schedule not being too friendly or my body not being up to the task from exhaustion. But that doesn’t change my desire to shoot or drive to create new and beautiful things. I’ve been planning out some shoots to work on as soon as my schedule, weather, and body all decide to get along with one another. I’ll post some links and pictures whenever I get more shoots done.

 

Overall, I’m a girl of true grit, one not only chasing her dreams, but willing to corner said dreams in an alley and beat them into submission. I will make something of myself. Even if it kills me. Which I wouldn’t doubt happening at this point. Ha.

Well there you have it. My first little project update type dealio for 2014. Hopefully these will get better and more exciting as the year goes on. I’ll throw some travel in here every so often as well. I do owe you guys a New Orleans post, anyway.

~Angel

My health has been a bit… questionable the past several months, with 2014 deciding to be especially brutal for me. I haven’t been too well to post much, especially about what all was going on, until just the last little bit. So here I sit, ready to spill my guts about all the health type things. Bad before the good, right?

Well, I was sick for a bit in early January with some sort of upper respiratory infection that left me miserable and hardly functioning for a week. That was bad enough. But not long after that, I believe January 18th,  I woke up with some unpleasant lower back pain. It wasn’t comfortable, but I dealt with it all day. The next morning I felt fine for a while, but by that night, I was screaming in my mom’s bathroom floor, convinced I was dying. I am not one to go to the ER for just anything – I literally have to be convinced I’m going to die. The only other time I had been, I was still refusing to go. But this instant? I was begging for my mom to take me. I couldn’t find a comfortable position, and was vomiting. I was sure that my organs were shutting down and I wouldn’t even live long enough to make it to the hospital.

The nurses in the ER hooked me up to an IV and started some fluids, anti-nausea medication, and a pain killer. They took a urine specimen, blood, and sent me for a CT. To my surprise, the doctor said I had a HowIRolltiny kidney stone that would pass on it’s own. I felt ridiculous, but also relieved. The nurse, however, when getting ready to discharge me, mentioned something else  –  a left ovarian mass. The doctor had forgotten that part. He prescribed me an antibiotic and Tylenol and sent me on my way.

A day or two later, a nurse from the ER called me. She insisted I see a Urologist about my kidney stone and follow up with my doctor about my ovarian mass so I could get an MRI. This phone call really bothered me, so we had them send my CT report to work. Sure enough, there was a big ol’ spot on my left ovary. And something that bothered me just as much – especially since I was still having pain where my stone was… Not only was my kidney stone bigger than the ER doctor said,

It was stuck.

The technical way we could phrase that is an obstructing kidney stone that caused a small rupture. Yup. It said rupture. In other words, I had some leaking fluid coming out because my kidney is a spoiled brat.

Later that week, we did get the MRI done for the sake of my ovary, which showed it was slightly larger even and appeared cystic. Then we did an ultrasound to check on my kidney stone – my kidney was still swollen, which meant I likely still had it stuck. The next week, I went to see a Urologist.

I was hoping for some magical pill or treatment procedure that did not involve scaring me senseless. Unfortunately for me, the doctor said I needed to have a procedure done the following week. The whole shebang – putting me to sleep, going in and using a laser to remove the stone, then putting a stent in for a week. Since I’ve never had a procedure in which I needed to be admitted and have something put into my body while I’m unconscious, I was pretty nervous.

And I can assure you, the stent was NOT MY FRIEND.

I spent a week and two days with pain and constant discomfort before we could remove it, which meant I had to undergo the same admission process and go back to sleep, the whole nine yards, just to take it out. But I was completely ready and willing to have that thing removed. Ick.

Anyway, I have a Urology follow up Monday and meet my new Rheumatologist Wednesday, so expect another health related post in the near future.

makenicethings

~Angel

Miles and Miles of No-Man’s Land

Posted: March 2, 2014 by Angel Young in Uncategorized

This is one of the most incredibly true things I’ve ever read when it comes to depression.

Libba Bray

This is the hardest blog I’ve ever attempted to write.

For the better part of eight months, I have been struggling under the thumb of a rather intense depression. This is a monster I’ve battled many times in my life; it is not new. Yet, this has been a particularly brutal one, and I’m not out of the woods yet.

As a writer, I try to write about everything. But it’s hard to write about depression. For one, there’s the fear that the minute you say, “I’m suffering from depression,” people will look at you funny. That they will nod at you with wincing, constipated face, place a hand on your arm and say, with all good intent, “How are you?” And your pain will war with your desire to be “normal” and not looked at funny by sympathetic people at parties. So you will answer, “Fine, thanks” while you’ll…

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