Edges

When the edges get stretched
They crack and crumble
They let things in
Things change
And the value decreases
Except to those who know

Be one of the ones
That look for stretched, cracked
And crumbling edges
Smile at imperfection
Seek out something damaged

Edges that crack and crumble
Allow things in as well

— GLB

Should I Stop Talking About Bipolar Disorder? – Her Bipolar Life

bpnurse just reminded me about a blog that I used to read all the time, but I don’t anymore.  The truth is that I got so wrapped up in WordPress blogs that I forgot all about those outside the WordPress sphere.  This one is called Her Bipolar Life and is written by Kat Dawkins.  As bpnurse describes it:

“this blog is written from the perspective of a twenty-something woman with bipolar 2, I think it offers substantial wisdom to women of all ages with the condition. Kat writes with amazing clarity of life situations that are hard enough for the average female, and almost hopelessly complicated by the existence of bipolar disorder: Work. Relationships. Social expectations. Finances. Hormones.”
A lot of the topics are also applicable to men and women.  The post that caught my attention and made me start reading the blog is called “Should I Stop Talking About Bipolar Disorder?”  I urge you to give it a read and explore the rest of the blog.  You might start going back for more.

My Writing Process – Plus Gooey Chocolate Elephants

When I write, I need to have something come to my mind.  It doesn’t need to be the whole “story” I want to tell.  Since I write poetry and prose, most of the time it’s just a feeling I’m trying to capture, once I have that I start trying to write.  I draw from my own life, from stories I’ve heard, fables, even TV, movies and books.  Nothing is off limits, though I do try my best not to take anything word for word from any of these sources.  It is still about a feeling that I am trying to convey.  Sometimes it comes quickly and I write it and publish it just as fast as I can type.  Sometimes, it starts to form and then I lose the trail.  When that happens I move on to something else.  Other times, the natural progression is slow from the beginning and I’ll return to it over several hours to several days, but eventually it will get done.

Now as far as the my “physical” process of writing goes.  I’ve been trying different things since I started “Going Sideways” back at the end of September and I think I have found something that works for me.  I write in a program called “Evernote.”  It’s a free note taking software that allows me to write in digital notebooks.  You can have an infinite number of notebooks with an infinite number of notes per notebook.  I have notebooks for quotes that I like, misc. items, Lyrics, Words, Phrases, Medications, etc.  It helps me keep myself organized in addition to letting me have a place to put my writing.

Stuff in my “Going Sideways” folder is further separated into categories.  You can tag your notes (like you can in WordPress).  I have mine tagged as “Published” or by stars ****, the more stars, the closer it is to being ready to publish.

That probably seems complicated, and it was, when I started using it but, here’s the reason I chose it.  It syncs with the Evernote cloud.  I have a program on my computer where I write most often, I also have an App on my phone.  I’ve used that quite a few times (I’ll come back to the phone app shortly).  There’s also a web based version that you can use if you’re somewhere your phone or personal computer aren’t.

— as an aside, you can use Evernote to create lists like shopping lists, things to do, etc.  I use it when I’m going to Costco, or the grocery store, or just out running errands.

So, when I’m done writing something I’m going to publish.  I select it all in Evernote, choose copy, then I go to my WordPress interface, create a new post and paste it into the web form.  Then I give it a title, add tags and categories, give it a once over and hit Publish.  Then I go back to Evernote and tag it “Published”

Then it’s off to the giant WordPress in the sky.

One last thing that is important to me and why I do it this way.  I write a lot and most of what I write is in some way shape or form important to me because some day, I’d like to publish some of it in a book (you know with paper pages and things like that).  So I like to keep a copy of what I’ve written for myself, in case WordPress ever blows up (oh no!!).

OK, I’m done.  If you have any questions or comments about anything I’ve written here, please comment or send me an e-mail. I’d love to hear from you.

**** No Elephants were harmed or even stared at, in the writing of this post. Not eve gooey chocolate ones ****

43

Tomorrow is my birthday.  It seems like it was just here, although, this time last year wasn’t all that great.  For starters, I was getting over side effects of a false start with Lamictal and I was sliding into depression.  Plus, it wasn’t as if my forty-second birthday was all that major of an event.  Forty-three still isn’t that big of an event either, but I feel better and I am in a much better place mentally than I was this time last year.  Speaking of this year, as is the custom at the end of the year, many people reflect on the past events and say what they are thankful for.  Plus, on my birthday, I look back at the year that I have had and talk about that time.  There really is no point in doing it twice.

I am thankful for:

My parents, without whom, I would probably be languishing in an institution somewhere.  They have provided support to me that would be impossible to duplicate.  They are the biggest reason I am doing as well as I am.  Thank you Mom and Dad for making me and still having the ability to love me through all of this.  I know there have been times when I haven’t been the easiest person to live with.  Thank you for putting up with me and showing a mountain of patience.

My family, for giving me unconditional support, accepting my frailties and making me feel loved.

My friends, for everything they have said and done, there’s a reason why we’re all friends.

My therapist, for listening, suggesting and pushing me beyond myself and my comfort zone.

My psychiatrist/chef, for finding the right combination of medications to keep my symptoms at bay.  Better living through chemistry 🙂

The NAMI Peer support group, such a fantastic collection of people.

Everyone who reads my blog and gives me support through likes and comments, who in turn provide me the all important evidence that I am not alone in my struggles.

WordPress, for hosting my blog, for giving me a place to put my demons, likes, loves, fears and so much more.

——————————————————–

“Some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic, but I had a good life all the way”  — JB

Here’s to 43 more!!!!!!

Blogging Process

So all the playing around with HTML and inline “style” parameters made me wonder, because I’m a curious kind of fellow, what you guys out there do to your posts, before they become posts. Leaving out the formatting, here’s what I do:

  • I start the post off in the OpenOffice Writer. It’s like using MS Word. I use it primarily for text completion and spelling. It’s a free word processor so I put it to good use. I also use it so I can have an offline copy of my post. I would be upset if WordPress went down and something happened to all of my posts.
  • Then I copy and paste my completed post in a text editor. I’ve used Crimson Editor for as long as I can remember as my text editor of choice. I do this so that any formatting that is added by the word processor will get stripped off. I was having problems going from OpenOffice directly into the WordPress New Post page, I was getting extra line spaces and a couple of other things. (Plus, Crimson Editor is a great HTML and style editor)
  • Finally I copy what I have in Crimson Editor and paste it into the WordPress New Post Page. Before I started using HTML in my posts, which was yesterday, I pasted into the “Visual” editor and used the buttons there to do any formatting I needed. Now that I am using the HTML I post into the “Text” editor and do my formatting by hand. It may take longer but I get the look I want, most times a look I can’t get from using just the buttons.

So, what process do you guys, my fellow bloggers, use to create and post content to your blog? I’m very interested in your answers. If some of you use HTML as well, I’d love to hear about that too.