Tag Archives: crazy

Consorting with Malingering Voices

What does it mean to be a writer?

These past few days I have run into many people and struck up random conversations. After talking for a bit some have said, “Oh, you should check out my book.” And I get excited to meet a fellow writer. They are such a fun group of people to chat with because we all get inspiration from different sources, but always say, “I just had to get the voices out of my head.”

Any field therapist would immediately put us on a psychiatric hold and delve deeper into these haunting voices that urge, nay I say nag, us into writing out their manifestos. To the outside world this may seem like a huge hindrance. I mean really, try meditating or concentrating on downward dog pose when two or more characters are chatting away in your brain. It’s like a party all the time. Unless you have some seriously depressed characters, in which case one may need to hide the razors. Then there’s the manic characters who need a shot of Nyquil and Prozac to bring down the tone and your heart rate. Ever live with a homicidal maniac in your head? That would be Fluffy, the killer kitty who harbors multiple episodic personalities, who enjoys digging its claws into my brain every now and again. Ugh, yeah . . . some of the voices are feline, alien, heck there’s even an angel–that I think isn’t the halo wearing kind–malingering up in my noggin.

Oh yes, I am a therapy life study. I am the thesis paper that leads to Nobel Prizes. I am villainy and salvation in the form of letters and sentences. Given the choice between silence on a mountain to hear the gentle cacaw of the great bald eagle and refereeing a grudge match between bitter, ruthless, sometimes insane characters . . . I’ll take the voices in my head; they sure know how to stir up trouble. Now if people would just stop staring at me like I’m crazy while I’m driving my empty van and shouting at myself in character dialogue.

Thank you for following along today. This post was brought to you by the many many and vast voices in my head. To completely understand please follow the bouncing ball, or watch this video because there is no bouncing ball.

The moral of the story is this: its a scary scary place inside the mind of a writer. Be afraid. Be very afraid. {insert maniacal laugh}

Tania L Ramos, RN, Author who consorts with the voices in her head

Want to know what the voices say? Click this link

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Lost In Infinity: Review & Book of the Month

Writing Apocalypse    *    WritingApocalypse.com    *    info@blackbirdlsd.com
Book: Lost in Infinity
Author: Travis Besecker
@finallyhesleeps

Lost in Infinity Travis Besecker

Lost in Infinity
Travis Besecker

Review generated through WritingApocalypse.com.  We give honest reviews whether positive or negative.

Déjà vu? It’s the feeling that something has already happened before.  Did I read that before? Lost in Infinity had me asking this question on more than one occasion.  Following the story of a troubled youth suffering insomnia and a fear of infinity seemed like plot enough, but the fact that my brain was toyed with and strung along through this story only thrust me in further.

What is infinity? Imagine floating through space, gazing into the wide span of darkness and tiny specs of light that create an abyss without beginning or end.  The mere thought causes a powerful reaction: racing heart, surge of electricity pulsating through veins, exasperated gulps of air.  It’s apeiraphobia, a fear of infinity, combine that with insomnia, a strange inner voice and The Shadow Man and a child can go stark raving mad.  Did this child go mad?

The story runs haphazardly between recollections, rantings, and current events causing the reader to shake his head and try to make sense out of it all.  Does this work? Stick with the story, stick with the facts no matter how often they are repeated, stick with the character despite the constant feeling of déjà vu to find the plot is not at all what was expected.

Lost in Infinity creates the ground work for one story but leads into the path of another.  It seems repetitive and redundant at points, but stay with the story to discover why these feelings of déjà vu are so important.  Definitely not a book for everyone, but for those who enjoy a good insanity based book and don’t mind a sadistic twist in plot, this is a must read.  Its Shutter Island meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the author makes it work, leaving the reader to grasp at straws wanting to know if the cycle ever ends.  What cycle? Read the book!

We are pleased to feature this quality book on WritingApocalypse.com.  We are also pleased to announce that out of the four books we read last month, this one is our new May Book of the Month.

The Staff at Writing Apocalypse

{review was a content paid review.  Content reviews are given to the author solely. Book reviews are posted for public viewing}

My Life As a Comedy: Mayhem

mayhemNot so much! Do you know the Mayhem guy from the Allstate commercials? Well he seems to have taken up residence around me, and a few friends have pointed it out.  Many have asked exactly why I am not sitting in a corner crying or banging my head against a wall, and I answer, “I don’t do crazy in public. Unless I’m holding a conversation with my characters, and that’s the exception.”

The past three years of my life have been filled with crazy, moronic, moral breaking things: divorce, child custody, troubled youth, watching our justice system epicly fail, rain coming from the ceiling of our 1st story bedroom in a two story house, a car accident, and now a burst pool pipe.

“Well hello Mayhem! Please be sure to pay first and last month’s rent. Oh, and can you please put the toilet seat down? There are women living in the house who don’t like their butt drowning in subfreezing toilet water.”

But do I cry about it? Do I raise my fist to the heavens and yell, “WHY? why? Why?” Nope!  I write about it.  While these stories rarely make it into novels, they do make it into journals or onto brown napkins from the hospital I work at. No,not a psychiatric hospital–though listening to the stories of those patients are sometimes inspiring and thought provoking–my true job lies in making sure people wake up from their surgery, and I’m thankful Mayhem is stopped at the door by security.

Where so many people have asked, why haven’t you just broken down? I answer, “Because it won’t stop the voices in my head.” I have more to deal with than late bills, the rising cost of electricity, and an increase in my car insurance because someone else had an accident; I have voices that talk all day and they don’t stop for my little crises.  They seem to really care less.

My outlet to life are my words.  Some write poetry, some draw, some garden, some drink.  I write.  I can escape by putting it down on paper, though I have chosen time and time again to never write it out as some Shakesperean tragedy, instead it is written in third person limited as a comedy.  Because when I look back at the dismal year of 2011, all I see is a black veil over my life … but I laugh at it because I am still here.

Mayhem may try to be my foe, but all he has done is given me reason to write.  My words for the day are: Don’t let life get in your way.  Get in life’s way and say, “nani nani nani boo boo.”

Tania L Ramos, Author

(you can follow Mayhem here: Facebook)

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Writing: If it Doesn’t Hurt …

In the past year, I have met many other authors and love it.  Only an author truly knows and empathizes with another author.  In this way I can only compare it to how people suffering migraines can relate to others with migraines, but those who have never had a migraine don’t have so much as a clue.

Many of my closest friends and acquaintances are non-writers.  In fact, everybody in my family are artists, not writers, so I work through it alone.  One question I am often asked when people discover I have written books is, “Is it hard?” To answer that question isn’t easy, and I have to ask them to be more specific: the actual writing, the publishing, the thought process …

One nurse I work with asked, “how do you come up with a story?” My answer: I don’t, my characters do.

This is where writers will relate, but for those non-writers here is some insight.

voicesI hear and see everything around me.  Somethings try to materialize into stories but never do.  Other times there is constant noise in my head, like being in a crowded train station.  The noises don’t make much sense, sometimes I get to eaves drop on conversations of the noises, but they are benign and again go nowhere.  But occasionally, two voices will come to the forefront and if I listen effectively I can hear their story.

The story isn’t always the beginning or the middle, sometimes it is the end and I’m left to ask them some pertinent questions.  When they respond with answers that make me smile and get all giddy, that’s when I know I have a story.

Once I have a story a new problem emerges: getting the characters to shut up.  These voices can talk all day and well into the long hours of the night.  They talk when I walk into the bathroom at 3 a.m. They talk while I’m driving. Worse of all, they talk when I’m trying to communicate with the living.  I’m sure I’ve had a blank stare a time or two while engaged in actual real people conversation.  The voices are loud and clear.  They have personalities, dialects, catch phrases and stories, and if I don’t write them down they unleash a relentless attack and sneak into my sleep.

It isn’t always easy to write these characters.  They have attitudes sometimes and want to go in a direction different than the one I had planned out on paper.  There in lies the problem: an author can not plan a character, because the character has their own agenda.  A good author will follow the character’s agenda and sometimes doing that hurts my ego.

So much goes into writing.  It is a thought that stays with me from conception to end, and sometimes even after the book is printed, I feel like it could have been better.  There comes a point during the process when I feel like this is going nowhere and want to give-up.  There are times the characters stop talking– usually when I try and move the story along in my own direction.  But when I stop and listen and agree to their demands, the story picks up again.

My favorite part is when I finally hit that climatic point.  It’s like fireworks in the sky.  Then the downhill part comes and it feels very surreal and bitter sweet.  Some writers have lived with these characters for years, some for months, but we have  lived with them.  They are our bestfriends, and sometimes the meanest most vile characters are the ones we love the most.  When a story starts wrapping up, this means it is time to say goodbye to people who have been with us in the foxhole.

These characters have been with us through thick and thin, sickness and health, the good times and the bad.  They have cried with us and we have cried with them.  We have felt their pain, shared in their darkest secrets, and celebrated their victories.  When a story ends, so does our relationship and we must say goodbye.  Those are the quiet days, the lonely days.

The question remains: Is writing hard?

The answer: It is the hardest, most challenging, grueling, and best job I have ever had.  I love it so much that when I’m not doing it, I’m lost in limbo.  One thing I know for certain, that when I’m writing, if it doesn’t hurt and tug at my soul, then I’m doing something wrong.

Tania L Ramos

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Tania L Ramos author of  When I thought I Was Tough, Be Stilland Surviving the Writing Apocalypse.  Also runs the website Writing Apocalypse which displays quality indie books.  She speaks to other authors about the top content errors new authors make.

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Provoking the Crazies

My craziness continues.  Not the usual playing therapist to the pets crazy, or warping my kid’s minds crazy, not even spending $200 at Lowe’s to attempt to beautify my yard (yet again) despite eight years of effort kind of crazy.  No.  This crazy is in countless, sleepless, migraine filled hours of learning how to market on a budget.  Seriously, I have had a migraine and/or headache for two weeks now.  Crazy involves spending an hour looking for the reading glasses I only use when I incur a headache after staring at a bright computer screen for hours on end then remember, “Oh yeah.  I’m supposed to wear my lenses to avoid this.” Then incur another battle of headaches adjusting to the glasses so the previous headache will go away.  It’s a vicious cycle and, in the end, I wind up several specific types of headaches (eye strain, stress, and fatigue) which turn into the Perfect Headache Storm of a category 5 and switch directions into a migraine….and don’t get me started on the Imitrex “crazies.”  That kind of crazy is down right spooky.

Oh, I forgot to mention the “watching the stats,” crazies.  That is where I check my phone apps to see how my “When I Thought I Was Tough,” book is doing on Bookemon, how my “Be Still,” book trailer is doing, how my personal website is doing, and what I can do to improve views on all three.  Now, let’s toss the Twitter psychotics into the mix and the, “oh let me check if anyone responded to my blog,” lunacy and stir it all together into the migraine and stats vortex…oops I forgot to import the insanity around creating a website dedicated to my book (like all the marketing sites advise) and the research that goes into deciding what to put on said site, (deep breath) and now following those stats and here I have a loony casserole of numbers, migraines, and…darn it all to H-E-double hockey sticks, I forgot to stir in some certifiable 5150 madness surrounding the nervous tick of checking my email to see if the live date of my book has come through….oooooh and the neurotic ramblings in my head that say, “Are you crazy girl (with attitude)? Nobody is going to buy a book, host an event, or remember your name after yesterday.”

The belly aching ensues.  The room spins.  I have that acidic burn in my throat.  I’m surrounded by numbers, “198 views on youTube, 2302 reads on Bookemon, 798 unique visits to tanialramos.com, 35 followers on Twitter, 5 months ’til Shamless Plug Month in September, $4,000 in debt in publishing efforts, &$#*%! in advertising materials,” and the migraines make my ears ring and eyes try to suck themselves into my head, and…

   HOLD UP!


Wait a minute… I’ve been surrounded by crazy my entire life.  My crazy family whom I love.  My crazy cat who kills baby birds and bring them home to show.  the crazy dog that needs a pet therapy session daily.  My crazy kids, because they think mom is made of money and according to my oldest, “sits on a throne of lies.”  My crazy mom who thinks that after all these years I will sweep under the cabinet and not around it (LOL).  My crazy daughter who laughs when I get pukey faced on the swinging ferris wheel car at Disneyland.  My boyfriend who thinks someday he’ll win that grappling match with me.  My crazy brother who finds hiking five miles with a camel pack on is, “a nice day out.” I’ve been through two divorces, one restraining order dispute, four attorneys in one year, a child custody battle, a CPS interaction gone terribly awry, single motherhood, nursing school (which was an insane 2 years), rain inside my home, an inch of dirt in my pool, dogs tearing out new plants, an ex-husband moving back to California, cats with bipolar and borderline personality disorders, and a bird that, after five years, doesn’t realize he has outlived his one year lifespan.  i’ve survived crazy most my life! Geesh…this is nothing.  besides, so many people are crazy these days, we’ve become the majority!

!!!!!CELEBRATE YOUR CRAZY!!!!!