Tag Archives: therapy

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


Creature of Habit

Trying something new is a very bitter-sweet thing for many people.  There are definite things I would try and others I just wouldn’t.  On the to do list: jump off the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, white water rafting, sky diving.  Things on the “That ain’t ever gonna happen” list: hot air balloon, kayaking in the ocean, and bungee jumping.

Of course those are physical things, and I tend to be more adventurous about physical aspects rather than emotional aspects.  I am clearly and assuredly anti-therapy.  Not that I don’t believe therapy works, just that I don’t believe I have a problem.  🙂  However, I do believe in writing in journals, talking to pets, and hitting a punching bag are all great forms of therapy.  I am also stubbornly dead-set against the chiropractor.  That is my spine and after years of anatomy and physiology classes, along with EMT and Nursing programs, I’m against any manipulation of my spine.  However, I have no qualms with massage and acupuncture approaches.

And if you know me, as an author I am insanely stubborn about my approach to writing.  3rd person limited is my comfort zone and what I have always written in.  I do not sway from what I know. I am a creature of habit in regards to writing.  So why is this new book (that I’m still trying not to write) written in 1st person limited? And why in the world does the male character decide he needs to be written in 3rd person limited? Good grief.  I am so out of my element here.  Do they not know that writing in 1st person and switching to 3rd person is on my “Not To Do” list? Well, here is to leaving the comfort zone . . .

Tania L Ramos, Author Moving Outside of the Box

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And again, just because I love animals. Enjoy this cute talking dog who just wants a kitty.

The Killing Pen

Welcome to the kill pen! My beautiful golden tortoise shell cat, Chino, is a total killer.  Not only is she a killer, she is a sociopath, as she has no remorse.  The sparrow population has decreased in the high desert of California as one cat has single handedly taken out well over thirty birds this season, add a few grasshopper, a dozen spiders, and some mutant moths and what do you get? A smiling cat!

Yes, my cat brings her fresh kill into my room each morning, jumps on my bed, purs the happiest pur of delight and satisfaction, and smiles.  It’s hard to be mad at her.  She is bringing me gifts, though one book would suggest she is leaving me warnings of her killing capabilities. I’m still on the fence about which is true, so to play it safe I do not yell and instead pat her soft little head and scratch under her chin while saying things like, “remember who buys you your food.  Who loves you? Who loves you? Mommy loves you!” And inside her little kitty head she is probably laughing and replying, “yeah, you love me now that you know my sociopathic capabilities! Who loves me now? Who loves me now? Mommy loves me now!”










I love my pets! My animals have been a point of therapy of for me. I talk to them, and in my very creative head, I imagine the things they say back.  Each pet has its own personality, its own voice, and its own characteristic.  Heck, I’ve given them all back stories as most of them are rescues.  Sometimes my kids stand at the door and shake their heads, but I shrug.  Talking to pets is the best and cheapest therapy ever. I mean, when was the last time your therapist licked your face and allowed you to pet his belly after a good session? Tell me who doesn’t feel like king of the world after petting a cat’s belly? If anything, you should at least feel accomplished that such a stubborn animal would give you the time of day.

More than just therapy, I watch the pets in the same way I people watch. As I said before: they have personalities and stories, so they are also inspiration.  Some days when I’m just jotting down future ideas for books, I can turn to the animals and embed them with these new characters.  Sometimes, and this happens a lot, I pet watch and describe their movements, stare, and attention to describe a character.  Though most ideas are straight from my head, on occasion it is helpful to actually see something and be able to describe that from sight.  So when I say, “he hung back, malingering with a sharp and piercing, watchful eye as she sniffed the flowers.  All the tiny tremors in his body gathering momentum until he wiggled at the thought of pouncing, but it wasn’t time just yet.  He held back and settled just enough to regain strict focus on the object of his attention.  And when she was completely unsuspecting, he took a hesitant step forward and then lunged from a striking position, his hands wrapped tight around her waist as his lips took sweet victory on the soft warmth at the crook of her neck.  He was victorious, as she squealed and leaped, allowing him to pull her closer into his embrace.”

That little snip it was written into a short story, and each and every movement was taken from my black tortoise shell cat who was hiding in the flowers, quietly stalking the neighbors dog.  So if you are ever at a loss at how to describe something, take a cue from the world around you.  There is creative writing, but there is also writing creatively and inspiration is everywhere.

Speaking of cats, and I am a true cat lover, this is one of my favorite cat videos.  Enjoy your weekend.


Tania L Ramos, Author Living in the Kill Pen

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Emotional Therapy

It was a pretty tense time in the house of Tania L Ramos last night. Yeah, I was probably the cause of it, but I prefer to think it has something to do with Jupiter aligning with Batman, or something to the likeness. Anyhow, in my near frothing state of having to have a moment’s peace and quiet, I was unable to find one. How did I push out two books in one year before? Oh, that’s right, I was on disability and sat at Starbucks consuming caffeine and Izzes for ten hours out of the day for an entire year.

Checked my disability numbers last night: not much in the way of aloting another year off.  So I step away from my precarious perch, with toes curled over the top step of an eleven step decline. Time to reconsider my approach. I realize I can’t keep up my pace of staying up at all  hours of the night, because even then there are so many noises and distractions around me.  Everyday manages to be some Calgon Take Me Away day, yet it never comes, and even if the opportunity arose there would undoubtedly be some child pounding on my door, complaining about some adolescent crises, whether it be, “I think I broke my thumb skating,” to, “My ponies are arguing again.  How do you spell ‘effective communication’?” Then there is the adult I seem to really torture who will inevitably ask, “What’s wrong with you? Maybe we should talk? Did I do something wrong?” And I pull out all my hair and just yell, “ALL I WANT TO DO IS WRITE IN QUIET WITHOUT PRETENSE!” Ah, the fun never ends, the noise never dies down, and alas,  I am rarely alone … but always having to effectively communicate

So, last night, while I toured my house with laptop in hand, seeking out a quiet place that didn’t have a frigid draft, I discovered something interesting: it doesn’t exist.  So I walked into my room, fit for some diabolical rage against humanity, plugged the laptop in at my desk, gave my boyfriend the look that read Are you feeling lucky punk? Well, are you? There was no effective response, so I plugged in my sticky earphones (those of you with ticking biological clocks really need to know that once you have kids, everything is sticky), turned up my sad love songs/breaking up songs/see you on the other side songs, and finally–after two weeks–opened my WIP file.

At one a.m., I had accomplished the daunting task of procuring 4,938 words. And I was proud as a new momma who doesn’t already have a gaggle of kids at home.  I was hopeful, renewed, and spent.  This chapter was torture, plain and simple.  I mean, if the government needs a new methodical device for torture, they should have prisoners have to write a dramatic scene built with forthright carnal tensions by two characters driven together, who can’t seem to push passed their own doubting thoughts, and be thrust into these onslaughts of romantic indications whilst trying to maintain a platonic boundary that has made their friendship over nearly two decades as strong as it. Yeah, write that one suicidal car bomber!

in-queso-emergency-i-pray-to-cheesus-jesus-mouse-cheese-memeNeedless to say. That chapter left me emotionally drained, and any form of effective communication was spent on those two characters last night.  If anyone in this house thinks I need some emotional therapy, they can read the book … and then they can commit me.

Tania L Ramos, Author On the Verge


Books by Tania L Ramos: Be Still and Surviving the Writing Apocalypse

The Small Press

I was having a discussion with my publicist today, who also happens to be my best-friend, so we talk a lot.  We also argue a lot.  Or is it having a heated debate? Sometimes, we talk just to argue and prove our points and agree to disagree over Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy ice cream. The topic of discussion today was publishing, and how I would go about it with my next book.

libraryI stated how unimpressed I was with the royalties I receive from Iuniverse.  Don’t get me wrong, they are exactly what I expected them to be, but it would be nice to see a bit more profit, considering how much is spent on a package.  Now, I do love that they do all the footwork and my book is available on every e-reader and in print form in soft and hardcover.  That is a big plus.  This leaves me time to write more.

He asked about small presses, as we thought of creating our own, but I have hit so many walls in trying to figure out where to even begin. I wasn’t really looking to start a small press for outside business, just one to set-up for my books, “TLR Press,” or something more spectacular.  But it seems like so much work on my end, so I looked into small press publishers, which seem to be so abundant in this day and age.

I spoke with two authors who went through small publishing presses and had two very different opinions. One stated she lost all rights to her book and the press had so many restrictions on what she could and couldn’t do, and the royalties were just  pennies more than what I was getting.  The second author loved the small press, but also stated she was only making a marginal increase in profit than I was.  They both clearly stated they were still in charge of all marketing, advertising, and publicity on their own ends.

I’m sure this book of mine will be done by end of February or early March.  The thoughts of which route to go are starting to edge their way into my head and this time I am at a loss. I can’t afford the assisted publishing route again, but will hold off on publishing to buy a package if this turns out to be the best avenue for me.

My question today is this: Total self-publishing, assisted publishing, or small press? If you have any links to blogs or articles please post them here. Or, if you have insights of your own, or stories to tell, let me know in the comments.

Tania L Ramos

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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…


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!


If your going through hell

     I was finally able to send in for my loan, so I should receive funding today, which I should already be aware means trouble will follow.  I mean that has pretty much been the story line of my life this year; everytime I see the light at the end of the tunnel, turns out it was the headlight on a train careening at me at full locomotive speed.  Sigh.  Well, this minor setback isn’t as bad as a locomotice impaling my body.  I called my editor and turns he started vacation today and won’t be back until the 29th.  This mean my book is on a one week hold.

     I am takin this news in stride, because I firmly believe everything has a time and place.  I have learned so much this year: keep the faith, hold family close, and when life hands you lemons make lemonade and then learn how to sell it for $5 a cup (my son’s senior year quote)…I think The Donald would appreciate that one.  This has been a year of up’s and downs and they still aren’t over for me.  This Christmas I will spend it in my home with my daughter, while my other children and mom go to Los Angeles to spend it with my other family.  I’m firmly thinking of starting a blog of what that ordeal is about so others in my situation can have someone to talk to.  But, needless to say, my daughter and I will have Chrsitmas dinner at John’s Incredible Pizza.  On Christmas day we will go visit my grandmother and wait until ten pm to make the child exchange with er dad.  Then do it all again for New Year’s eve.  John’s pizza will make some money off of us in the next two weeks.

     My point, because I think I have one, is this: If your going through hell, keep on moving (courtesy of Rodney Atkins). I can’t quote more than that due to copyright infringements that I do not wish to contend with.  But look up the song and that is my mantra for the year.  It is so true.  You can keep moving and get passed the bad things, or slow down, wallow in misery and be stuck there indefinitely.  I have seen people do the latter and it’s not a pretty sight.  Keep moving people. Run. Sprint. Dash!!! Go forward. Do not become stagnant in life, even when you want to drop to the ground, curl up and go fetal…it doesn’t get you anywhere but crooked and cramped.  I’m speaking from experience.  I honestly feel after my horrible year that I can be a motivational speaker, BUT, I’ve chosen to write.  It’s so much more artsy, don’t you think?

     You know many famous artists have their blue periods or dark years? I think in a few years when I reread my novels I may just say, “that was my blue year.” Not that they are all dark, morbid, and bleak.  I find the down side, or what people feel as a “blue” moment, and try to bring some light to it.  Like I said, it’s my own therapy. Hmmm, I think I lost my train of thought and veered of course.  Oh yeah, everything has a purpose.  So this year I could have fallen into a deep horrible depression ( i had every right to), but instead, I chose to spend my hours writing and fulfilling a dream.  My youngest son was very surprised when in my first book, “When I Thought I Was Tough,” had a dedication to  him, which said (and I’m paraphrasing), without all your drama I would have never had the chance to write this book.  You see, I took a bad thing and made it good, then ran with it.  I’m still running through hell, and even though the bad things sometimes manage to get a quick hold of me, I do my best evasion maneuver and keep on running. 

     So I’m taking this one week break from the, “BeStill,” book, and continuing on my next book which I think I will title, “A man who didn’t have to be.”  I tend to get titles and sometimes ideas, from music, so this would be from a Brad Paisley song called, “He Didn’t Have to be.” It is an awesome video and runs along my storyline, but I didn’t take the story from this song.  In fact, two days ago was the first time I had heard it, which is unheard of because I am a huge Brad Paisley fan (he’s my one cheat day: if I ever had the chance to cheat on my boyfriend, he has approved that it can be with Brad Paisley…I gave my boyfriend a day with Drew Barrymore).  So,  I was listening to my Sirius satellite radio and heard this song play, and after wiping away the tears, knew this was my title.  I know, I skewed the title, because I don’t want to infringe on rights, nor do I want to take away from Mr. Paisley’s wonderful song.  I hope my book will bring as much emotion as the music video does.

     To sum it all, don’t dawdle in self pity.  You get nowhere but deeper in self-pity.  Make that dash and jump those hurdles because only you can get yourself out of that place.  Okay, now here is my disclaimer: I fully believe that depression is a disease that may be caused by a hormonal imblanace that may occur by no effort of our own.  Sometimes fighting our own body is the hell we must struggle to go through, so I say: if you are so bad off and so deep into your own sadness, it is okay to seek professionl help.  We all need someone to talk to sometime, and sometimes a simple littl pill can put the out-of-whacks back in whack.  BUT, if this is a case of having a bad hair day, embrace your bad hair and make it a fashion statement.  If it’s a bad year, like mine, which started with being serve divorce papers on New Year’s day, to thatI say: hug your kids, hug your wife/husband, call a friend, write a book, work in your garden, paint, teach the dog to fetch the newspaper, or teach the cat to smile and not have multiple personalities…do something! Keep moving.  Pursue your dreams (it’s your right).  Sometimes you just wanna go where everybody knows your name…trust me…somebody is this gigantc world has been through it and you are not alone.  My offer still holds, you can vent to me, or tell me your accomplishments, and I’ll listen…until i’m some big wig, snob, accomplished, world renowned author with a Pulitzer Prize…get me while you can (insert sarcasm and rolly eyes).  😉  

     Wow, where did that stupid soapbox come from? Haha.  Okay, I’m going to go write the back storyline of Benjamin Bennet, my hero in the new book.