should would could. #poetry

window girl.

I should have
taken the time
to figure out
what I really wanted
before I took
what was there

I would have
waited for you
my one true love
we would be together
and I would know
happiness

I could have
believed in love
the kind that lives
in fairytales and dreams
and in my heart
that I broke

messy heart.
©2017 what sandra thinks

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moody monday. #2 #writing

moody monday.

Some thoughts about writing… while I subconsciously assess my mood…

I really hate to jinx myself, but I think my writing is going pretty well. I already said this… but I have to say it again — I truly think the support, feedback, comments, and reactions from all of you drives me… or inspires me… or encourages me… or all of those.

However, I’m still questioning my level of fiction sharing. It’s not just about stuff like this. It’s also about holding some things back… keeping some things to myself… because if I share it all, well, you don’t need the cow if I give you the milk for free. (Is that the expression?) However, I don’t know if I will ever have the cow anyway… so it’s hard to make a decision.

It would be fabulous if I could earn something from all this writing I do (any of it, really… fiction, poetry, random blog stuff). Yeah, that’d be swell. But it’s highly unlikely.

I find the whole concept of publishing (‘the cow’, see above) — traditional or self — to be incredibly overwhelming. (Self — at least 90% marketing – NOT my thing; Traditional — like winning the lottery – NOT bloody likely) When I read about it (and I read a lot about it), I always end up really anxious. I read about it this morning… and I’m anxious as fuck right now. I don’t think I’m cut out for any of that.

I’ve said it before… I don’t have the confidence or the drive. I just like to write. ‘They‘ say that to be happy, you should turn your hobby into your career. Riiight. Like that’s so easy… or even possible. Please. If my hobby was fucking accounting, sure. (Filthy mind at work: If my hobby was fucking, well… that’s also a problem, career-wise.) But writing? The damn Hallmark Channel isn’t going to hire me to write their next cheesy romance movie. (Not dissing those movies… I’m all about the romance… and the happy ending.)

So… why not share it all here? I don’t know. Maybe I still have that little flicker of a dream of ‘selling’ my work… and if everyone’s already been able to read for free, who the hell would pay? I’m super talented with design (self-taught… another thing I can’t make a career of)… I could make a beautiful .pdf of a story. But no one would buy it. Not sure anyone would even want it if if I gave it away for nothing.

What happens to fiction friday…? Again, I don’t know. But I do know (or highly suspect) that some of my readers visit just for that. If I stop, I’ll lose them. Plus, I like doing that. I don’t want to quit. I could take a short hiatus while I figure it out. But not until after Back To You is finished. I’m not that much of a bitch. It’s not like I have a plan for what comes next when that story is over anyway. But a hiatus might make me sad. UGH. See? I haven’t a clue what to do!

Final assessment: anxious and overwhelmed, a bit confused, but only a little sad… 


©2017 what sandra thinks

Posted in personal, writing | Tagged , , , | 39 Comments

word thieves. #writing

writing in darkness

I’ve always known that posting fiction online was a risk. A big one. I put my heart and soul (and the rest of me) into every word I write… and I post it for the world to see… and steal.

Is it a mistake? It makes me question posting my fiction here. And that sucks.

I’d hate to stop sharing with you. Your feedback… your support — it’s priceless. I’ve noticed something… over the weekend, after I’ve posted fiction friday and read your comments, I’m inspired. I write better. That’s definitely directly related to your feedback, your support, your reactions.

But… when I see my words somewhere else… not a reblog, not a link, not even a mention of me or my blog… just stolen words — when I see that, it makes me sick. And really sad. Like, tears-on-my-face sad. And then, really pissed off. I feel violated. Maybe it’s an overreaction. But it hurts me… even if just a little piece was stolen. Especially something I was particularly proud of… something that stood out.

I realize I don’t have copyright on the English language. But when a specific concept in my exact words (or damn close) is just taken? That feels wrong to me…

If the thief thinks they’re just ‘borrowing‘ my words (or a very specific idea/detail), does that justify it? ‘Borrowing‘ means it will be returned… and maybe even implies permission. I was not asked… and I’m not getting my words back. Isn’t that exactly what makes ‘borrowing‘ stealing?  When I ‘borrow‘ a cookie from my husband’s stash, I’m not giving it back (nor did I ask first). Which is why I tell him I stole a cookie.

Like I said, maybe I’m overreacting. I do that. Even over small things… like a few specific words or lines. And it is possible that someone had the same exact idea I had… but it’s bloody unlikely… and the timing speaks volumes.

It says right on my site… in the sidebar and the footer…

©2015-2017 whatsandrathinks.com
All written content is the property of whatsandrathinks.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of Sandra’s work without express and written consent from Sandra is forbidden and is kind of a dick move anyway.

And it is a dick move. Write your own fucking material.

Should I be flattered? Because I’m so fucking amazing that people steal my stuff? ‘Cause I’m not.

I’ve transitioned from upset to angry. Well, maybe not ‘transitioned‘… I’m feeling both. Strongly. Can you tell? Is it obvious?

Should I password-protect EVERY fiction post? And hope I don’t share the password with anyone inclined to steal my words?

But… if I do this, I will lose readers. Some honest readers may not want to contact me for the password. (I don’t know why… I don’t bite. Unless provoked or asked nicely.) Some just won’t want to bother with the password inconvenience at all. I also know that password protected posts cannot be commented on in the Reader or in the notification drop-down… you’d have to click over to my blog… so I will lose feedback, too.

So that all sucks hairy monkey balls.

(begin whine) It’s not fair! (/end whine)

How can thieves be proud of “their” work… you know, since it isn’t “their” work?

Do I need to put this last bit in giant fucking bold print…?

©2017 what sandra thinks

Well, now, that makes me look like a bitch. 

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fiction friday 69: back to you. part 15. #fiction

fiction friday.


back to you. part 15. [previous: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | part 6 | part 7 | part 8 | part 9 | part 10 | part 11 | part 12 | part 13 | part 14]

And… I’m back. I think. I wrote so many versions of this part… I hope I chose the right one to share…

Continue reading

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song of the day. #38

song of the day | what sandra thinks

Yesterday, I took the kids to play mini golf again. Our fourth time this summer. We love that place. I used to be the reigning champ but my 12-year-old son… that little shit… he beat me! He never wants me to let him win… and I didn’t. But he won. He’s still rubbing it in… which is fine with me… I’m glad he’s happy.

On our way home, after I (of course) stopped for a big fat iced coffee, this song played on the radio. We opened our windows and sang… all three of us.

Apparently, it was written because the songwriter, Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America (POT USA for short) liked the word ‘lump’. No, really. It’s true. I cannot explain the lyrics any further than that. But the song puts me in a good mood. It’s fun. And fun is good for me. And for you.

Oh… one last thing… I cannot possibly resist. These Presidents would likely do a better job in office than the current orange one. And that’s all I have to say about that.

swirly
Lump was limp and lonely and needed a shove
Lump slipped on a kiss and tumbled into love
She spent her twenties between the sheets
Life limped along at sub-sonic speeds

She’s lump, she’s lump
She’s in my head
She’s lump, she’s lump, she’s lump
She might be dead

song of the day

song of the day
Obviously I am not the owner of any rights to this song, video, or lyrics… just everything else… which isn’t much… ©2017 what sandra thinks
Posted in life, music, writing | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

blogging and writing and…

[Note: This is one of those posts I started writing at least ten times but trashed it every time. I don’t know why I kept trashing it… and I don’t know why I’m posting it now…]

dots

Maybe I am an idiot… but before I started blogging, I did not know it was considered social media. I’m serious. And if you’re laughing at me now, I can totally understand and accept that.

When I began, I didn’t even consider the ‘likes‘ and the ‘comments‘. I thought I’d just have ‘followers‘… and I thought I’d be lucky to ever have more than 20 or 25 of them reading what I posted. I didn’t even think about interactions. I never used to read blogs… unless I landed on one when I wanted that recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake I saw on Pinterest. (And even then, I’d just scroll down to the recipe… as previously noted.) I didn’t know just reading blogs was a thing. I confess… I came to WP to write not to read. I thought I was just going to post bits of fiction and bitch about life. I never knew I’d make friends. And I never knew anyone would really care about anything I wrote.

It wasn’t until I took a Blogging U class nearly two years ago that I became aware of what blogging really was. I thought I was taking a class to make my blog better. I had no idea about the social aspects. Yep… I’m an idiot.

As a self-professed facebook-hater (I really truly loathe it), I was taken aback by this knowledge. Over-dramatic as this will sound, I felt a little ill. What had I gotten myself into? Other than reading a bit on twitter, I am not a social media person. But then I was. Kind of. It makes me queasy. I could have bailed right then and there. And I considered it. To be honest, I still consider it occasionally.

I do enjoy writing my blog posts. Of course, I could just write them for myself offline. But knowing others will read my words drives me to write more and write better. [Have I gotten better? I don’t know…] And the feedback and support are priceless… as are the friendships. I’ve been entertained and I’ve enjoyed meeting like-minded people. I felt incredibly alone before I met you.

But truly, I thought the only change from pre-blog writing would be that instead of writing just for me, I’d share my words. I honestly thought that was the only difference — strangers could read what came out of my head. And maybe I’d feel better letting out some of the personal crap to someone other than myself… even if I had no idea who (if anyone) was reading. But then I got support… something sorely lacking in my offline life.

Yet sometimes I wonder… what’s the point of blogging? For me, I mean. I didn’t start because I wanted to be part of a social media platform (see above for my cluelessness). If I’m not using my blog as a platform to ‘sell‘ my writing  (or head in that direction) or to sell anything else or to make money in some other way, what’s the point? You all know my employment status. I could use the money… even just a little.

What’s happened, though, is that I spend more time writing for the blog than writing for any ‘real‘ goals. It’s all practice… it’s all writing… which is good no matter the reason behind it. But what about ‘real‘ goals? Mine are fuzzy at best. Because, you see, I have too much anxiety and not enough confidence or courage to pursue writing ‘for real‘ in any capacity… to pursue publishing (self or otherwise)… or even to pursue writing articles on the internet for a few dollars. I know it sounds pathetic – my lack of courage and confidence. But I know myself. I don’t think I can do it. I tell myself all the time that I can… that I can at least try. [Insert cliché here: If you don’t try, you’ve already failed.] But I just cannot physically get myself to take the steps. Something stops me. I don’t know what it is.

What the hell is wrong with me? [I know… many things.]

I know I’m never going to earn millions writing or blogging. [And from what I’ve seen and learned, people who do earn loads from blogging employ a lot of tactics that make my skin crawl. I just don’t think I have it in me.] And I’m not going to get miraculously discovered by an agent or a publisher by posting here. [I know… stop laughing…] So… some days I wonder why I’m here at all.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy it… and I’m not looking to stop or even take a break or anything like that. My friends are the best. But I think I need a goal… one that I don’t immediately give up on. Not sure if such a goal exists for me.

And I think I need to absolve myself from the guilt I feel when I can’t keep up with everyone else’s blogs… I never can. And I need to stop feeling terrible because I can’t follow back every single person who follows me (seriously… over 1500… how??). And I need to calm the fuck down and stop stressing myself out thinking that I must post daily or everyone will jump ship.

Out of sight, out of mind?
or…
Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Which is it?

Anyway… don’t panic (or celebrate)… I’m not going anywhere. I don’t even know what brought on this post. I guess sometimes I just wonder why. [About tons of things… not just this.]

For some reason [see ‘Note’ at the beginning of this post], I go back and forth about publishing this post. Why? Who the hell knows?! Hopefully I won’t regret it. Again, why? No idea.

/end crazy rambling thoughts…

 

dots
©2017 what sandra thinks
All Calvin & Hobbes images ©Bill Watterson, obviously

Posted in blogging, personal, writing | Tagged , , , | 44 Comments

when it’s dark. #poetry #haiku

Stop laughing at me
I am not too old to be
afraid of the dark


©2017 what sandra thinks

Posted in poetry, writing | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

moody monday. #1

moody monday.

I don’t know if I’m really going to make this a regular thing… but maybe it will be entertaining… for you, I mean. Well, maybe for me, too. Or it will just make you think I’m way more nuts than you already do…

Something annoys me. Something about me. Well, there are a few things about me that annoy me, but today, one thing in particular troubles me.

When something ‘bad‘ happens, I overreact. Mostly on the inside, but sometimes with tears on the outside. I put bad in quotes because that’s part of the issue. It might not be something all that bad to anyone else. But to me, it feels like the worst thing ever… and I slip into panic mode… or intense sadness mode. Sure, sometimes, it’s justified… but even then, sometimes it’s a bit intense. But little things… they often affect my mood far more than they should.

Here’s an example:
Oh, hell, you already know this one. I’m freaking out that I’ve been unable to post the next part of my fiction (Back To You). As everyone who commented on that post told me — there’s no need to panic… no need to worry. Yet I totally panicked. I still am panicking, a little.

[Aside: I did write some last night. BUT I don’t think I’m going to publish a make-upfiction friday‘ post… I’m just going to wait until this Friday. So I will have skipped a week. Boo. See? Still bothers me. Which is nuts.]

I think I could explain better if I had another example but I can’t think of one at the moment. Maybe that’s a good sign? And lately, it seems that the intense sadness/panic doesn’t go on for as long as it used to. That’s good, too, right? (Fuck… am I looking on the bright side??)

Final assessment: pretty good mood. hope it lasts. (oops, negativity sneaks in…)


©2017 what sandra thinks

Posted in personal, writing | Tagged , , , | 31 Comments