Tag Archives: dreams

Petals on a Rose

The poem my mom asked for only days before her passing. She said, “You need to write a poem about not being able to fix petals falling off a rose.” Maybe she knew her time was short. I never got the chance to read it to her.

Petals on a Rose

moms roses2

Rose petals from mom’s casket spray in her favorite green vase

If you were here with me you would see
A million memories of us drifting free

The days we laughed and days we cried
The years we spent together side by side

Those days are now remnants on weary dreams
And yet I hear your voice in all I see

Your scent has left, but your smile not lost
Those days we owned were worth the cost

I want you back, but my heart now knows
You can’t put petals back on a rose

 

Tania L Ramos, BSN RN

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My Dream Never Gave Up On Me

Why I became a writer is the equivalent to asking an artist why they became an artist, or why a baby was born a baby, or why a cat became a cat. It just is. In this day and age of people pointing out we are born with certain choices and born without others the answers become clear that we just are.

I have ventured in many different paths since the age of twelve when I realized there was something different about me. While others kids were out playing for recess, I was inside the classroom playing with geometrical puzzles and holding the best conversations with the voices in my head. It just was; there was never a choice. I turned every and any situation into something dramatic, larger than life, and exciting, and the constant march of voices encouraged me all the way. I may have been an introvert, but I was never alone. For the most part, I assumed I was crazy and kept this to myself.

I failed every English class in high school and had to make them up in my senior year. However, I passed (with flying colors) Journalism, Creative Writing, Summer Youth Writing at USC, Poetry, and any other writing program thrown my way. My counselor scratched his head and asked me to explain. “I hate the boundaries of English class,” I told him. “But writing a story comes so easy.”

I blew away the instructors at the USC Writing program–I was only fourteen when I was asked to go. At any prompt they gave, I would have three full pages of a story in an hour, where others had half a page. I was disqualified from so many writing contests because my stories were too long. The other kids wrote short stories, I was writing sagas. In nineth grade I wrote a full length novel … there were no junior high writing contests for novels. Other kids were winning awards and off to competitions, I was nursing the callouses on my fingers after typing my 300th page. I didn’t need competitions or awards, I only needed to write.

One fateful day my favorite senior class teacher told me that becoming a writer would be the same as trying to be a rock star, famous model or actress. “Nobody ever really makes it,” he said. And so I stopped dreaming…but we are what we are. Over the course of 23 years I continued to “closet” write because I may have given up on my dreams, but my dream never gave up on me.

I became a writer because I had no choice. I was given a gift. And it may have taken me nearly two decades to accept that gift as mine, but it was always there waiting for me. There were always voices, characters, stories playing in my head. There was always a jotting down of ideas on napkins, the back of my hand, my blue jeans, my child’s diaper, and even the fog on the shower door.

I am a writer because I am.
I am a writer because my dream never gave up on me.

Photo art courtesy of: Daniel Mariano

Photo art courtesy of: Daniel Mariano

Tania L Ramos, RN and Author
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My books are HERE

I am Liquid!

As I sat watching my daughter play with a tiny puppy it occurred to me that I want to be a cat.

Similarities between a cat and dog:

  • four legs
  • tail
  • fur
  • whiskers
  • keen hearing/sight

Differences between a cat and dog:

  • Cats land on all fours
  • Cats are self-reliant
  • Cats can climb trees
  • You need the affection of a cat more than it needs you

cat_sequence_of_falling_cat_644917I’m sure the list between the two go on and dog lovers will surely protest, but I stand resolved in my decision to be a cat when I grow up.  As my daughter tossed this small puppy onto a bed, the dog flopped and went butt over head then did some gymnastic type twist, again flopping until gaining its bearings.  In my mind I went back to a time of a woman tossing cats out a second story window (that’s another story), but every single cat landed on its feet. To further my point, I took my cat and gave it a small toss onto the bed the same as my daughter did with the dog.  There was no disgraceful gymnastic belly flop.  No. The cat landed on its feet and then curled into a ball and proceeded to ignore me.

I want to be a cat!!! I want to land on my feet and be so elegant as to just lick my paw and then ignore whatever it is that caused me to fall in the first place.  Why? Because I can.  I’m a cat! I don’t care what the obstacle was or is. I don’t have to sit and wait for instructions, I can just pussyfoot over the obstacle and then take a nap on top of it. Why? Because it isn’t an obstacle to the agile cat.

I want to be a cat!!! I want to know that come hell or high water, I can fend for myself.  I don’t need someone to bark directions at me, if I want to come I’ll come, and if I want to scamper away in the opposite direction then I’ll do that too.  I can walk halfway to a destination and change my mind, because that is my prerogative–because I am a cat.

If I want to be petted and held, I will go seek it out or bite your hand until I get it. I don’t want to be messed with I’ll bite your hand until you get it. I am a cat! I make my own rules. I forge my own path. I land on my feet.  I nap when the world around me is in chaos. I ignore idle banter and let out a bored and annoyed yawn. I am determined. I am a hunter. And I can fill any situation, because cats are liquid!

CatsAreLiquid

Tania L Ramos, Author in crisis right meow, Cat in training

BeStillNovel.com

Facebook.com/Tanialramosbooks

How Bad Do You Want It?

Now that I am on the opposite side of writing, hitting the market world like a deer in headlights, I have made many wonderful connections and learned so much.  I am keeping a running tab of people I meet, links, and information received that I plan to post in July as a sort of review list of my encounters.  Why should other people have to hit walls the way I have, or put out money into venues that do not work or are filled with empty promises of book sales increases.

But in this blog I’d like to talk about writing and what I have learned along the way.  And I have gained so much knowledge on this crazy road that feels like it will end with a long drop and jagged rocks…but I’m hoping to find a waterfall.  I guess sometimes what we feel like we are headed toward isn’t at all the path we are on, and we learn along the way that the direction we wanted to head isn’t the road we are cutting out.  I was only set out to write a novel, not make friends, help others, and find a new career…but here I am–

I wrote a story once, it is my sistine chapel per say, as such I have never quite completed it.  It is something that never feesl ready.  But I stumbled across it a few days ago, sitting on this old ScanDisk from college that I had long forgotten about.  In it the heroine talks about taking a journey and knowing that death is at the end, but she knows that death is anywhere, even if she chooses to remain stagnant and never forge a path.  This struck me when I went back and reread it, because I wasted 37 years of my life not creating a path in writing and following my dreams.  I thought if I never put myself out there then I would never be hurt with words like, “No,” or, “you’re not what we are looking for.”

Sure, I skirted that path by self-publishing and then going indie (still don’t know the difference), but I am forging a path.  And people may leave reviews on Barnes & Noble and Amazon that are less than amazing and promising, but I’ve done something–something scary and out of my comfort zone–and I am learning that the path to living a dream is also a path to self discovery.  Tim McGraw has a song titled, “How Bad Do You Want It.”  I played this song a million times on my Ipod while deciding what I was going to do with the completed manuscript to, “When I Thought I Was Tough,” but when that manuscript was  submitted it was clear how badly I wanted this.  Make no mistake, I will look at that uphill climb that seems to be completely vertical and conquer that mountain.  I look forward to seeing what I find at the top.

Most important is that I leave a road for others behind me and clear most of the debris that I can.  When I first started this journey I thought I was all alone, but I find that my path intersects with others who are trying to reach the top.  Some for fame and glory, some for self-fulfillment, others to be able to say they did it once, and those like me who want to reach the top then find another literary mountain to climb.  Not only am I a writer, but I am a path forger, I am a leader to some, but follow behind others before me, I am a mountain climber and I welcome the company.

If you have thought about writing, making music, becoming an entrepreneur, or whatever your dream I leave you with this thought: Even if you never take a step forward the end will still find its way to you, but it mightnot be the end you are looking for, so take the first step onto that new path and ask yourself, “How bad do you want it?”

I want it bad.  I am the author of two novels and working on my third and fourth, my current release is, “Be Still,” published by Iuniverse.  Read my book and see where my path has taken me so far. www.TaniaLRamos.com

My Time Machine: I Found Myself 2 yrs Past

Thought this was interesting.  I was browsing through Google and came across Blogger and decided to check it out.  When I hit the link it sent me to … well, to me.  Apparently I made one entry on Valentines day of 2010.  Just one! But how interesting to rediscover me two years ago.  I was in a bad place at that time, borderline depressed due to a failing marriage, and thoughts of having made a bad career decision.  It was a bad, dark time for me.  I thought I would share this information with you all because some of you have been following me for a few months and might catch an insight as to where it all started.  Keep in mind, I didn’t actually start writing that book it mentions until March of the following year.  Kinda long, but good.  Interesting how much can happen in two years.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2010

About me

Aspiring to be me? It was a catchy and mostly true title. When people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up the answer was no where near where I ended up being today at age 36 (and a half). Ever since I learned to put two sentences together the only thing I ever imagined being was a great writer. Funny looking back on school, I failed every English or literature class, yet excelled in Creative Writing, Journalism, and even won a summer writing scholarship to USC in the 9th grade. I always found English classes to be dreary and confined to such boring laws. Maybe I just didn’t want to write about how butterflies made me feel, or maybe I just assume put that comma some place where it made sense to me. That was the reason I loved creative writing classes; no restrictions, no rules, just me and a big giant imagination.

So how did I end up where I am today? because, like many people I imagine, paying the bills versus dreams of being the next Tennesse Williams or these days Nicholas Sparks, won out hands down. It’s kind of like hearing your kid say he wants to be an actor, musician, or model, you encourage the dream but push for a realistic plan B. My realistic plan B has landed me far from my original dream. Plan B has put me in a very safe position as far as money and job security go, but sanity wise it has made me ever so much more aware of how far I have traveled from my dream.

Sufficed to say I am lacking in what I am preaching to my kids. I tell them to follow their dreams, as long as it is realistic. You ever watch American Idol? Have you ever just wondered how some of those parents let their monotone and tone def kids get up there? Let’s be realistic people. I’d love it if my kid could be a professional skateboarder, but the truth is that’s proably not in his future. And until today I just assumed writing was not in mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been writing since grade school, just nothing I ever finished because at the climax I would have to face myself in the mirror, and being my on worse critic would ask of myself, “you really think people care what you have to say?” I have feared rejection my entire life when it comes to my thoughts. You could easily put down my style of dress, my behavior, my mannerism and I would take it with a grain of salt…but reject my thoughts and I’d be reduced to a pilar of salt.

I am at a crossroads in my life. I spent the last ten years of it to attain a goal I am not completely happy with. I convinced myself for years that this was the right path, but now that I am here I am convinced that I chose the wrong road and went for safety rather than bliss. I chose something I could do over something I long to do. But safety does not bring me happiness, I don’t think my newly prescribed Prozac will either. Truth is I won’t find my happy place at my job, at school, in my marriage, or in my kids…don’t get me wrong these things are great and I find a different sense of happiness in each one, but to attain true self-actualization (as Maslow puts it) I have to be able to find internal happiness. I truly believe when I find that place I will be a better person. After all, it isn’t easy being a beaming ray of sunshine when you feel like a storm cloud is lingering over your head. I love my children, cherish my family, and am thankful for an education, but there is a void none of that can fill, maybe you can relate?

I have six unfinished pieces of literature on my hard drive and at least another dozen stories brewing in my head. I have a full-time job and I’m a full time mother, but I have decided to take a major leap toward my sanity. These stories call me, they live in my head and haunt me until I put them on paper, even if only in rough draft. These characters are so real sometimes I catch myself having conversations just to get at the plot. Someone close to me once discovered I wanted to write and he said something that will always stay with me, “writers scare me. You always see them talking to themselves.” Funny just how true that is. Some people may read this part and just think I’m crazy, but some of you readers might smirk just a bit at how true it is.

My goal is to finish just one story despite my busy and intrusive life. One year, one story. In one year I can boast that I am no longer a writer but an author. Maybe it will satisfy that need to finally finish something I conjured up in my head. Perhaps it will be some big great break through and I’ll get a huge publishing deal and can write full time (it could happen). Or just maybe, it will put things in perspective and I’ll simply be content to be me as plan B.
A change is in order never-the-less. My heart is racing and aching just to think about the challenge. I’ve never really put myself out there to be criticized, especially about something so personal. Oh how I do fear rejection. But I’m gona do it. I am going to dare to live my dream.
I met a man once and we had a nice conversation. He asked me what I really wanted to do in life and I told him I wanted to be a writer but was afraid of rejection. He asked me if I had ever written anything and I nodded but explained it was only for me to see. This strange man laughed and said, “it doesn’t matter if anyone ever sees it. If you wrote it then you’re a writer.”
Here goes. . .

Sweating Under My Ice-Pack

Yesterday, I thought I had stuffy sinuses, so I took an OTC (over-the-counter, for you laymen) pill and shoved off to work.  My legs felt funny, like they were cramping, and I assumed it was the caffeine in the pills I took making me jittery.   The further into the day, the worse I felt, until 8 hours later I was a red hot mess.  My head felt like a ballon filled with scorching helium, while my lips felt like they were about ready to explode.  Ever have sunburned lips? Mine were cooking from the inside out.  They felt like someone took a cheese grater and sliced off the top layer.  My eyes were swollen and competed with my brain for highest temperature in my body.  Meanwhile, those cramps in my legs turned out to be shivering, but I didn’t know because the pills I took had 1 gm of acetaminophen in them.  I’m attributing the fact that I made it through 8 hrs with a fever and shivering to the pills I took for my sinus pressure.

By the time I made it home and took my temp, I was 103.7, which peaked out at 103.9 later in the night.  I slept under blankets due to the shivering, meanwhile had an ice-pack on my eyes with another behind my neck to halt the ensuing spontaneous combustion.  As I did have Ibuprofen 800mg, but didn’t want to tear my already aching belly even further, I opted for children’s liquid motrin instead.  Do you know how hard it is to dose Motrin when your head is about to explode? It’s not easy.  I filled the dosage cup (later learned that was 500mg) and fell asleep for three hours.  I woke up sweating under my ice-pack.  True story.  The fever broke only to return a while later and again this morning.

My biggest gripe in all of it is not the fever, the feeling of nausea, the peeing myself with every sneeze (only a mother would know), it is the loss of a full day of work.  I am an on-call nurse which means I do not accrue benefits, including sick days, which in turn means I am out over $400 for calling out.  In good faith, I could not see working with patients straight out of surgery while I’m hacking over them.  I am hoping God will bless me for my ethics in this area.  So here I am, sitting in bed, spraying Lysol around me, drinking my Airborne, and staring at the tissues falling like snow (oooh, that’s almost poetic).  I am survived by two dogs, who don’t seem to care that I am a mess, and keep vigil on my bed (they sneeze at the Lysol).  Don’t think I will be catching up on much writing, or doing anything slightly productive today, and that sucks the most.  But I did have some wonderful fever induced dreams to jot down, one would make a great little horror story, so all’s well that ends well.  Except me…I’m not well.

And the Winner Is…

I don’t know who the winner is! What in the world is wrong with the masochists at iUniverse.com? How could you hold my manuscript at bay for another week, and then say, “your book will now be reviewed by the Editorial Review Board for Editor’s Choice consideration . . . this will take about a week?” That’s like waiting to find out who won American Idol and Ryan Seacrest saying, “I have your winner right here and the winner . . . will be announced in one week.” What kind of person in their right mind can subject new novelists to such barbaric torture.  This isn’t The Hunger Games, after all.  We do live in the now where people should still have some descencey, compassion, and common courtesy toward the mental stability (mentility) of others.  My own dog cocked his head and raised a brow when I read that email.  By God, even the dog couldn’t register the madness.

And so I sit here twiddling my thumbs, chewing on my toe nails, and pulling on the cat’s whiskers, waiting for a week to go by.  A week.  Seven days. 168 hours if I did my mental math correctly.  Do you know what that is? That’s a long time! What can happen in a week? I can no longer have any toe nails, my thumbs can be calloused stubs, and the cat can walk sideways from lack of whiskers.  Can you live with that iUniverse Editorial Review Board? Can you?

My best bet is to try and hold on to my little ray of hope that I did everything the way you asked, and in a way that allowed me to keep my creative bearings.  Tonight I will sleep and ignore the millions of questions in my head, because I will give them an Ambien night off.  Sweet, sweet Ambien.  Bringer of dreams that make absolutely no sense, except maybe to the platypus that sat on the hood of the car who gave me directions to the USS Enterprise and told me to be wary of Romulans.  Oh Ambien, the bringer of the sleep hangover that can only be fixed by taking a B12 strip.  Ambien, my foe…my friend…you must be in cahoots with that editorial review board.

As always, thank you for indulging my thoughts.  Fingers crossed, and I’ll let you all know how I faired when I get that email. Have a wonderful night, and if you see a platypus in your dreams…I put him there!