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Monday, April 24, 2017

Images of the Mind

When you look back on your first memory is it in color or is it in muted tones of black and white? That is what my first memories were. Stark images from black to white and gray in the middle. It is as if I am looking at a moving pencil drawing. Is there sounds in those early memories? Mine are reminiscent of the old black and white movies of the twenties. Right down to the overacting of the list of characters found within.

You are probably wondering why I am writing on this subject this week. I had been thinking about first images, and memories when it came up in conversation things that happened in the past. I found it interesting to see how three people who shared the moment, remember it as if they were not in the same place and time. Memories of a shared childhood, but to hear us speak of it, you wonder if it was shared.

This is what happened today. Here I was sitting trying to figure out a subject for this post when a family member asked me about something pertaining to me and my brother's childhood. She said that one brother had mentioned something and when she asked the other brother, he had a totally different memory. She then asked me since I was the oldest, I should have the clearer memory. I gave her a completely different answer than what my brothers gave her. Three people standing in the same room living through the same moment, three totally different renditions of the moment.

Now, remember my childhood was not a pleasant one. There are in fact memories that not only I have blocked out but so have my brothers. I remember things that they don’t even remember because they were so young. I, on the other hand, see those memories in bright living color. No black and white for those memories. The one that involves fear, pain, and in some cases pure bewilderment.

In a way I am glad the boys don’t remember some of those times, it is enough that I do. And believe me, sometimes I really wish I would go back to the time when they were blocked out. When I didn’t remember the full range of what was happening around me. Back when I was yet an innocent child before those forgotten memories changed me forever.

The memory brought up today was one of those. Just another part of life when we were growing up, you know the kind. The ones where it happened so often it became the norm. As I think of it now, I actually feel a cold chill over what became the norm for the three of us kids. It just was what we dealt with daily, so you really don’t think that to an outsider it was cruel or abusive. One great thing about being a sequestered child was that we never knew it wasn’t how others families lived.

Weird how just a discussion on the methods discipline that our mother used can bring back such painful memories. Or that my brothers and I would have such differing memories of them. Especially when it was actually a form of discipline she only to my remembrance used once. She didn’t like the fallout from it, so she changed her methods to more subtle ways as to not arouse suspicion. To not leave any evidence except for the scars on our souls. Scars to our psyche’s that a person who proclaimed to love us so much could hurt us even as she was telling us of that love. That we were causing her pain to do it to us. It was always our fault, never hers.

When I think of those times, I try to placate myself with the fact that there were children in far worse situations. Yet the pain and fear still remain into adulthood. Even some forty years later I still remember those days in Technicolor. The days in black and white few and far between. As I got older the remembered feelings began to color every aspect of my life, and now I know for my little brothers too. Somewhere along the way, I prayed that they would block those days out, never for them to be reawakened as they were for me. I suppose I should be glad that they do share in remembering what happened because it means it did happen. It wasn’t something created in a scarred mind.

I know this post is not a happy one. Rarely are my memories happy. Especially of my childhood. The bad thing is none of the happy ones involve my mother. They are all centered around my Dad. On how he tried to protect us but because of his illness and his work schedule he couldn’t. At times I think we suffered for his absence. Some would ask why I am not angry with him, why I don’t feel for him as I do my mother. Simple. He at least tried to ask forgiveness when we were older and away from her poisonous grasp. And yes, I do hold anger towards him.

I didn’t even know I held this anger until I began therapy. As I opened up to my therapist about the past, I felt the anger growing towards him. I hadn’t realized it was even there. Like most children, we have a favored parent. Mine was my Dad. He wanted to spend time with us. He tried to take her anger away from us and let her hurt him. Yes, my mother even abused my Dad. And he took it in silence, sometimes he did it as penance for the fact that he couldn’t be there to protect us from her rages. I was angry that he let the abuse he suffered as a child color his handling of the situation. Of his way of contact with us. His fear and shame became a benediction to his children. Another generation raised with abuse.

For those who are raised in a non-abusive world, it may be hard to understand some of what I speak. For those who grew up in a similar fashion, they will understand. As for my brothers and myself. We have broken the cycle of abuse. The next generation will not have the taint of wrongful discipline, the hatred, and anger. They will know they are cherished from the moment they draw breath until they are sitting in similar fashion years from now sharing memories of us. They won’t have memories tainted by angry words, and painful reprimand. When we say we love them, they will know it to be true. Not just words spoken as lies.

I leave this post with this day placed as a new memory, one where I learned a bit more about my family. The funny thing is in all the times the three of us kids stood before an angry shrieking woman, we always stood united. And we are still to this day, united. They tried to tear us apart and always failed. Our family stood as one and survived.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Art of Memories.

Sitting on the sideline watching the other kids playing soccer, wondering why I feel so alone. This sense of detachment from those around me. Wishing I could be more like them, be able to fit in better. Yet in a way glad that I’m different because it makes people remember me.

Then you have those rare occasions when you meet someone that just seems to click on your wave length. It’s like they speak your dialect in your alien tongue. For a moment in time you move in rhythm with someone else in this big old world. You can open a small window into what makes you… well you.

Then one day you blink, and they are walking out a door; waving goodbye but leaving an indelible mark on your soul. As you get older, the marks become tallies, and the list of memories fade with each new encounter. All it takes is a smell, a song, a remembered laugh to bring it rushing back to the forefront. What comes back with it, is what you remember.

 The feeling of the sun shining on your short clad legs. The way the t-shirt you were wearing didn’t fit you just right. The sound of the kids laughing as they played the game. The smell of the chocolate chip cookies you were snacking on with your best friend. Or the way the white puffy clouds moved across a cerulean blue sky, with the evergreens reaching up, as if to catch them as they floated by.

You remember every nuance of the day, letting the images play in your head. A slight smile forms on your lips. You are transported. These are the moments we look forward to in our ever-busy life. It is a chance to just stop, and take a moment to slip back to a far simpler time. A time when you aren’t working against a time line, a schedule, or just the chaos of everyday life. The moments that are created don’t end with childhood, but it seems like they grow further apart. You try to grasp at those happy moments, sometimes even the sad. You study the moment and work at etching it on your mind.

That way when you take it out later. The sights, sounds, smells, even the taste lets you slip back to cherish what you hold dear. Oh, I almost forgot touch. Yes, touch can bring back memories in addition to all the other senses. Have you ever eaten at a new place? Do you remember how the food tasted, how the spices swirled around on your tongue? The aromas that wafted from the kitchen to welcome you inside. How you remember the feel of the weave of the table cloth under your fingers. I have a couple of places that as happened at. To this day all I need do is think of an old pizza place back home in Illinois, and it is like I am right back there, waiting anxiously for their signature stuffed pizza.

I began this blog post a few months ago, but never got around to finishing it today. As I was reading through my blog draft folder, I started reading it, and it just spoke to me that today was the day for it to be read. Truth be told I can’t even remember what it was that inspired me to write it. Maybe it was just as I’ve been describing. A smell, taste, sight, touch, or sound was powerful enough to provoke inspiration in me. I may never know but I do know that now I have written this, that once you read, your own memories will flash through your mind.

As I am closing out this post I want you to ponder on what I have written. Take a trip down memory lane. Then go out and make some brand-new ones. I hope you had a blessed Easter, if you celebrated it. If not I hope your day was blessed just the same. As always love fully, and laugh often.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Expanding My Horizons

I was sitting here this afternoon, and the urge to check into domain names struck me. So I did just that and guess what? I am now the proud owner of my own Domain. I am Didn’t see this happening until the end of the year once I had finished my first draft on The Cat’s Eye Chronicles, yet it has happened and I am happy.

This means I am one step closer to having what I want in my writing life. I now have my name out there in a bolder fashion. Marketing in action.

Another thing I did today was start a photo blog. You are probably thinking why start another blog. Well I wanted a presence on, so this is how I did it. I had been thinking about having a place where I could post my photos other than on Instagram. Now don’t get me wrong I love Instagram , I just felt the need to expand my horizons. So I am doing it.

Along with writing, another one of the things I love is to take pictures. I finally got a camera that takes half way decent photos, and I am trying to always catch shots that inspire me, take my breath away, or document my family. It doesn’t hurt to have pictures of the cats that The Cat’s Eye Chronicles is based on floating around the World Wide Web. Just another way of getting my readers more invested in my product.

I am starting it off slowly. Just an intro to the cats right now. But we have flowers blooming all around our house so there will be pics of flora from the state of Texas shown there as well as landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, and skylines.Just some of the things I love to capture in my lenses view.

I have also enlisted the help of my niece in adding some of her favorite photos she has taken. She thinks her pictures suck half the time, but she has a good eye. I have told her she could make a living with just her photos, but at the age of fourteen, she hasn’t decided what she wants to be when she grows up. I just hope it doesn’t take her almost forty years to become what she wants in her heart to be. I hope in some way I am showing her it is never to late to set your dreams into action.

I am doing all that I can think of to expand my followers. I am actively trying to be prepared for when my book is published to take the steps needed to make it a best seller. Of course just seeing my book in print will be a dream come true in and of itself. But I would be lying if I didn’t want to make some money with it too. The plans I have for The Cat’s Eye Chronicles go as far as there being a graphic novel in the future, as well as character figurines. Can you tell how far I have thought ahead of myself. I know this will happen because I believe in my story, and the world I have created in it.

I wished I had more talent at drawing; now don’t get me wrong I draw one heck of a stick figure. Not to mention I draw some pretty flowers. I just wish it was me drawing my characters the way I see them in my head. At least I can help some artist get their work noticed as well. So there is that to consider. That is one thing that worries me, finding an artist that sees the characters the way I do. It is a bit intimidating when I think about it. That is what expanding your horizons is all about isn’t it?

I know this is a short post, and for that I apologize. It has just been a very busy day, and my brain is telling me I am tired. So for once I will listen, and close out this post. If you want to check out the newest blog here is the address.

R.A. Buster’s Photo Blog

Some more websites to check out are:

Google Domains
Word Press
R. A. Buster Author Website

Monday, April 3, 2017

Setting Goals, and Keeping Them.

I created this blog to bring you into my life as a writer. I also began it to show you how I live with chronic illness, and mental issues. The past few posts, I have presented you with a series on the colors of emotion in relationship with mental illness. I hoped these posts helped you in not only seeing some of my life; but if you share some of the same diagnosis’, or think you might that they gave you some guidance.

Today my post is going to focus on my life as a writer. Goals are important in every one’s life, but for a writer it is essential. When I get the idea for a new story, I spend a couple days just writing down the ideas frolicking around in my brain, but then when I think I have enough to start. I write down goals as they pertain to this project. I make a goal for when I want it to be completed. When I want it to be ready for editing? The time I will allow myself to do revisions, and the phase of putting together a marketable book. Then begins the task of really setting up goals for the day to day work.

At the beginning of each month, I make a list of goals I want to accomplish in the month, and working toward those goals I have made for the completion of my book. For example, my goals for the month of April includes my goal for word count, completion of an outline, the goal of finding a graphic artist to create not only the cover for my book; but to create character depictions of my major characters. I also made goals to make posts on more social media platforms to increase my readership. And the last goals pertain to my personal life; this month I set a goal to start eating better, and exercising more.

I’ve found if I don’t set monthly goals, my life outside of writing tries to take over. If I don’t set a daily word count goal, there may be days that I don’t get any writing done. As someone who suffers a chronic illness, specifically Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There are days just the process of sitting at my desk, and trying to write wears me out. If it a day after I have been out in the world either taking care of my mother, or doing things as simple as grocery shopping, I may spend the next couple of days too exhausted to climb out of bed. Yet as I lay there my brain focuses on the fact that I made a writing goal of at least five hundred words for the day, with that pushing me, I rise and at least finish that goal.

One thing that lets me meet my writing goals is the fact that I have dedicated myself to posting once a week on both of my blogs. You might be surprised at how fast you can meet a word goal by just creating a blog.

My monthly word count goal is fifteen thousand words. I added up my word count for March and was happy with what I found. I had finished the month with thirteen thousand five hundred sixty-five words. Did I meet the goal? No, but when I saw that the amount missing equaled just one blog post, I felt challenged to meet it for this month. I spent many days of March, doing things for others, and thinking I wasn’t getting any writing done. By setting a goal, I showed myself that I indeed did get my work done.

My point of this post is simple. In this life, we need to set goals. In setting goals for yourself, you challenge yourself to make them, and then better them. I for one know that when I consistently meet my goals, that it is time to improve those goals. To make stronger goals. This is in part how we grow and increase not only our stamina, but our education. We learn how to improve ourselves, and become a better person.

So here is my challenge for you. Set yourself some goals. Even if you’re not a writer, you can do this. Set yourself personal and/or professional goals. See how much you can accomplish in one short month. If you want, you can share in the comments below some of your goals for the month. Then come back at the end of the month and let me know how you did on finishing them.

Think of it as making me an accountability partner. You may ask what that is. An accountability partner sets goals at the same time as you. They may be from your personal life, your professional, and if you are a student; your educational life. You are there to help your partner reach their goals. To praise them for their accomplishment. To give support when you think you won’t make it. To boost your spirit when you fail to reach a goal. To be a friend.

We all have accountability partners, you just never thought of them as such. I have found in writing that if you are looking for one, it is as easy as asking someone in a group, in a post, through any of your social media accounts. Just put the query out there, and you will be amazed at the number of people looking for exactly what you are. So, do yourself a favor; set some goals, and see how much you accomplish. You will be surprised at what you discover. Until next time keep living, loving, and laughing.