Sunday, 29 April 2018

#MindOurFuture: Share Your Mental Health Story

#MindOurFuture: Share Your Mental Health Story: We're happy to share with you this great new project by our friends over at BringChange2Mind (BC2M), the national organization co-founded by Glenn Close that works to combat stereotypes around mental health. It's called #MindOurFuture and the goal is to increase awareness around mental health issues by people sharing their personal stories on YouTube. Here's the scoop that BringChange2Mind shared with us. We pass it along with our wholehearted recommendation. Let's create a movement that ends the fear, the shame, and the misunderstanding of mental health issues. The topic can be daunting and the unfamiliar makes many of us uncomfortable. So let's break it down to its simplest form: A conversation — One that changes the narrative of mental illness from one of stigma to one of hope. Millennials and GenZs, let's rise to the occasion and be forever remembered for ending the stigma of mental illness once and for all. Share your story about lending help or reaching out for help during a

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Write for us

Write for us: We are a growing editorial team, and we are always on the lookout for inspirational authors with an original story to tell.

Are You a Renaissance Soul?

Are You a Renaissance Soul?: Do you have trouble picking just one career, one interest, or one hobby? You might be a Renaissance Soul.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

ALIAS JEANNIE DELANEY - THE PLOT

Hi guys,

I'm posting the basic plot for my novel Alias Jeannie Delaney, and also some drawings I did of my heroine 30+ years ago. They've been hidden away all these years because I was so shy of them and the adult nature of my story, but finally I've got up the courage to post them!



FOR GROWN-UPS

Alias Jeannie Delaney is the life story of a devastating, charismatic cowgirl who’s the fastest gun in the west and also bisexual. The story charts her passage through life as cowgirl, outlaw leader, jailbird, deputy sheriff, rancher and mayor. The main premise is her struggle for acceptance.

I've talked about my novel on Facebook 'till I'm blue in the face. What I haven't done - and I think it would help me enormously, psychologically - is to explain the basic plot.
 
     So...

     It's spring, 1891, in the southern Rockies, Wyoming.

     Kate Howard, young New York reporter, wakes from a dream, startled, in hotel room in Wolf Creek. In the dream she encounters her heroine, Jeannie Morgan, as she did yesterday. In Kate's unconscious dream state she's imagining Jeannie making love to her, and Kate wakes up in a state of blissful pleasure. This was her secret desire upon meeting Jeannie in reality. Jeannie has sexual desires for women as well as men, and Kate shocked to find that her own feelings are heading that way.

     Kate lies back in bed and recalls that encounter.

     She's always wanted to meet the legendary icon, Jeannie Morgan, the cigar smoking, pants-wearing, devastatingly androgynous frontierswoman who saved her home town from the grip of a bunch of outlaws led by psychotic gunman Isaac Sorenson. Sorenson sought revenge for the killing of his brother at the hands of Jeannie, the uncontested fastest gun. The outcome of this battle, although victorious for Jeannie, still leaves questions unsolved and Jeannie struggles with daily living and threats on her life.

     Kate's editor has sent her to Wolf Creek to interview Jeannie and find out what kind of person she is beyond the public's knowledge. Kate does indeed meet Jeannie, under less than comfortable circumstances. She witnesses the real Jeannie Morgan and her graceful masculinity and discovers her kindness and gentility, her irreverant, rip-roaring sense of humour, the adoration of kids and animals. Her charisma is over the top, and she's devastating in persona and looks. She seems over the top, which she is, causing jealousies and people's desires for her and revengeful thoughts. Jeannie is attacked verbally and physically while Kate is with her, and Kate makes the decision to write the truth about her, in novelised form.

     Jeannie is born in New Orleans in 1865, the only daughter of six children. Her southerner mother is deeply disappointed that Jeannie is a tomboy, a fact that her Pa adores. Jeannie's oldest brother, Rodger, hates her for causing their mother grief. The family move west in 1875. Pa's wish, but at the expense of Mama's TB. Mama dies on route. Jeannie kills her first man - an Indian who tries to kill Pa when the wagon is attacked.

     The family establish a ranch in Wyoming. Jeannie becomes a cowgirl. Her tomboy tendencies develop, and she's the leader of her gang of boys. She falls in love with a cowboy, Bob, on Pa's ranch, and Victoria, a school friend who feels the same. Jeannie is magnetic, and people find her hard to cope with. Jeannie and Victoria's love is discovered. That, and Jeannie's fast gun and persona, force the townsfolk to want her to leave town. They try to kill her.

     Victoria is raped and Jeannie and gang leave town to track the rapists. Brother Rodger turns up and says he will kill her eventually. He wants to avenge her for death of her mother.

     Jeannie kills them and is now on the run. She and her boys become outlaws and much of their profits go to the more deserving, Robin Hood style. She returns home briefly and makes love with Bob. She becomes pregnant. She leaves twin boys with her favourite Gran.

     Jeannie is caught and imprisoned, then broken out to rescue her town from Sorenson, the psychotic gang leader. She is given amnesty and nominated deputy sheriff. She kills the gang and retains her badge. Becomes a friend to local Shoshonis. She falls to fever and a weak heart is result. She lives with Bob and twins. Bob jealous of her status. He proposes but she turns him down. Instead she buys a local ranch and offers Bob co-ownership. Jeannie has another son, Davy.

     Jeannie's friends, old outlaws, seek refuge. Bob unhappy. Bounty hunters seek outlaws. Bob killed. Later, Jeannie. in grief, adopts half caste daughter. Child killed by enemy. Jeannie's grief turns her. She's invited to England by distant cousin for respite. On return is elected to mayor hood of Wolf Creek. Has fallen for her foreman, Carl. They become an item. She adopts a Shoshoni boy.

She kills the man who killed her daughter. Jeannie's sons begin to hate her for who she is. Cause her to have heart problems. Stands down as mayor. New doctor and Indians help her with drugs to help her heart.

     She's evolved as character. Same but different. Most townsfolk have become accepting. Treat her as their own, protective.

     Brother returns and knocks her out. Reveals why he's trying to kill her. Shoots her. Jeannie's sons turn up and reveal their stronger and softer sides. They don't want her to die. Rodger escapes, and later kills himself. He can't take his jealousy at her life and loves.

     It's 1910 and Jeannie is re-elected. Kate, now married, arrives to celebrate publication of book. They leave the house and Jeannie kisses her. Kate's big wish. She's happy to love both her husband and Jeannie, and people, understanding or not, accept the situation because Jeannie is who she is.

Thanks so much for reading! Any feedback would be brilliant.














Monday, 23 April 2018

THE SON

I've just played a bit of death metal riff pattern in a session on son's guitar. Fun! He showed me how to press my strongest finger flat over the strings at a fret on the guitar neck and gently strum the strings with a pick (does that make sense?!). Then to raise the fret finger and place it further up or down the neck for different chords. Alternatively don't strum. Still produces a brilliant sound, which really surprised me.

Then we watched three YouTube clips. Well, I loved 'em 😄...!
 (Anyone of a sensitive disposition should not watch these... ) 



                                                        
What every mother who fusses too much or swoons over any trace of dirt unseen by a magnifying glass is a son. Luckily I'm not fussy or swoony... and this son is hysterical.




Saturday, 21 April 2018

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: An overview on this type of therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: An overview on this type of therapy: What is dialectical behavior therapy? What is it used for? What is it based on? What are the four modules? How does it help those with borderline personality disorder? How does it differ from cognitive behavior therapy? How effective is it? What are its flaws?

SPRING HAS SPRUNG...!

...the grass is riz,
I wonder where the birdies iz.
The bird iz on the wing.
Funny - I thought the wing is on the bird!

                            






ROMANTIC BOHEMIAN
GREG GOLDLAT
Does Bipolarity Foster Artistic Genius?
Poor old Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890), forever to be known as the tragic tortured artist who never sold a painting and cut off his own ear. Of course now, his vivid paintings sell in the tens of millions at art auctions worldwide, but in his lifetime, only his sympathetic brother bought his work while simultaneously supporting him financially.Night (pictured above) mounted on my wall. His vision of how he saw the world just seemed fundamentally different from everyone else's. Who the heck looks up at the night sky and sees a swirling, fiery mass of stars, clouds, the moon and darkness, all churning together in a brilliant maelstrom of color? For him, the night was alive with heavenly energy. Maybe it was all that absinthe, who knows?

Yet like so many of the poor starving bastards I end up profiling here on my blog, Vincent Van Gogh lived a difficult, troubled life. Since not selling a painting rarely puts food on the table, Van Gogh lived the cliched existence of the "starving artist" in late 19th Century France. Friends with such other artistic luminaries as Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Paris, Van Gogh became a prolific artist, but his money troubles, absinthe drinking and mental health soon began to destroy his quality of life.

He moved to the South of France, while although this became one of his most artistically inspirational periods, Van Gogh eventually suffered a complete mental breakdown. Fearing his friend Paul Gauguin was going to "abandon him", Van Gogh chased him down in the street with a straight razor. When Gauguin escaped, Van Gogh severed his ear and then sent it wrapped in paper to a woman at a brothel where he and Gauguin used to frequent. Van Gogh was sent by the authorities to a local asylum, but was eventually released. Soon after, he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest; unknown, penniless and undiscovered.
Another genius and tragic artist was the 70's jazz bass player, Jaco Pastorius (1951-1987). Unlike Vincent Van Gogh, he did actually achieve some measure of commercial success (at least for a jazz musician), playing for some of the biggest musical groups of his day to international acclaim. His style of playing was unmatched and truly innovative, pioneering the use of the fretless electric bass, harmonics and elevating the role of the bass player as musical virtuoso. Even modern day Bass Gods like Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Robert Trujillo of Metallica, acknowledge him as their musical hero. Check out this video of Jaco soloing here:
                                 

Sadly, Pastorius also suffered from poor mental health that only deteriorated over time. He went from playing sold out stadiums with the biggest Jazz Fusion group of the 1970's, Weather Report, to, as Joni Mitchell reported in an interview, sitting on the sidewalk in New York playing for loose change.

He eventually made his way back to his native Florida, where he ended up sleeping rough in a public park. Increasingly self-destructive and unstable, Pastorius got into a physical confrontation with a nightclub bouncer who had refused him entry. The altercation ended with Pastorius in a coma in hospital and eventually passing away at the young age of 35.
What do these two great artists have in common- besides talent and tragedy? It's known that Pastorius suffered from Bipolar disorder, while modern day psychologists now view Van Gogh as also being afflicted. Sadly, the link between "madness and creativity" has often been romanticized and distorted throughout the years. If you've ever seen a homeless person muttering to themselves on the streets of any large urban center, its not anything worth being romanticized in any way shape or form... I'll take a sane mind over creative genius any day of the week.
And yes, some creative artists have suffered from mental illness, but plenty of other great geniuses lived perfectly happy, healthy lives (Dizzy Gillespie and Claude Monet for example). Conversely, there are plenty of sufferers of Bipolarity who are not particularly creative at all. So, I think the jury is still out there on this one.
But there sure are plenty of examples in history of artistic types whose lives were filled with addiction, pain and ended tragically. I'm certainly not a psychologist, so I guess can't say that I'm qualified to make a judgment either way. But my heart goes out to people who suffer from mental illness, and I at least hope that their painting, poetry and music helps keep their demons at bay. Lord knows it does for me.
What about you: does being creative ease your soul?Do you think the link between "madness and creativity" is overblown?






























Thursday, 19 April 2018

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

I LOVE WHERE I LIVE!

                    I LOVE WHERE I LIVE!
...I certainly do! Hampshire is a delightful county, and I feel so lucky to be living here. We're an hour's drive south to the coast, an hour by rail north to London. We've lived here since 1983 - or thereabouts - and we shan't be moving again. Every time we come home from trips away, we always say: 'Yes, it's good to be home!'   

Here's a link for facts and history of Alton, Hampshire
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

THE NOVEL


ALIAS JEANNIE DELANEY 
THE NOVEL 

I'm up to chapter 18 in the editing of my novel. Husband, as I've said, is an excellent critic. I'm lucky like that. He's firm but fair.

Chapter 1.
Spring, 1893 in Wolf Creek, a frontier town at the foot of the southern Rockies, Wyoming. Kate Howard, young, unconventional New York reporter (possibly based on Nellie Bly, the real investagive reporter) has been sent by her editor to interview the notorious, legendary icon, Jeannie Morgan and perhaps to uncover the real woman.

Her boss knows that Kate is a true fan of the pants wearing, cigar smoking fastest gun in the west frontierswoman, and feels that sending Kate is the obvious choice. Miss Morgan has disposed of a gang of hardened shootists, led by psychotic Isaac Sorenson, who had taken over and terrorised Wolf Creek, her home town, wanting revenge on Jeannie for killing his younger brother in a shoot out.

Jeannie had been made deputy sheriff and is in that role when we are introduced to her when Kate is ambushed by two cowards who want to rob her. A gun blazes and Jeannie emerges from the trees. The men panic and run and she helps Kate with a wounded arm. Kate is mesmerised by her in every way.



NEW DESIGN! 

Hi guys!

I'm gradually working my way through a new design for this blog. I always felt the main title design was a bit so-so, and I've discovered, after so many months - year or  three of running it - how to design it. Taken me long enough! *rolling eyes*. 


I'm working through how to create a menu, because it occurred to me that I haven't got one and most blogs do have. Also, although I have archives, they're not titled, which is pretty daft. I've always felt that was a pain, so I'm now en-route to trying to beautify the blog and fix some fundamental flaws. Including the menu buttons on the right which don't go anywhere!


I'm following instructions from various blogs, some simpler than others. Then I end up with 'gadgets' in odd places that don't do anything (such as the social media buttons which I never quite managed to get to grips with.). I'm slowly getting to grips with Blogger and it's layout and design system (hooray!). If the menu instructions I'm following work, I'll post the link to the blog I took them from.


So bare/bear with me, and watch this space, literally! 😃



Tuesday, 10 April 2018

JANE AUSTEN AND
THE
CRICKETING BENNETTS

WITTERINGS: Austen

This is an old post, but it's of interest because a bog I follow has featured a travel article to Chawton, Hampshire, just up the road from me.

WITTERINGS: Austen: Jane Austen - cricket writer Fantasy Bob has been joining the worldwide celebrations to mark this week's 200 th anniversary of the ...

My maiden name is Bennett, my great great grandfather was James Bennett and his cousin John Bennett, the two famous cricketers who Fantasy Bob thinks may have named her characters after, she was such a fan. I live in Bennet Close, Alton, hampshire UK, just down the road from Chawton, Jane Austen's house, and many Alton roads are named after Jane's characters and places. So we think this connection might exist!

Monday, 9 April 2018

ADULT CONTENT

WARNING - ADULT CONTENT

One subject that very rarely seems to be covered when discussing depression is sex lives. Which is an enormous shame because most people's sex lives embody a large proportion of time. And also because, sadly, sex is still perceived as being a shameful subject, a taboo subject. Not to be discussed in public. Or even privately, sometimes. But it should be discussed. Because among depression symptoms, a lack of interest in sex is common, for obvious reasons. The other problem is a side effect of some antidepressants, which applies to someone I know, who's very kindly given permission for me to post details if it helps others.

Now I'll say the word that so many people whisper or giggle over: 'Orgasm.' *Shock, horror*! I shall now tell you about my friend's experience. Block your ears/cover your eyes if you're the slightest bit embarrassed about this. Alternatively read this because, if you're depressed, or taking medication, this may apply to you.

In the early years of her depression her medication helped enormously, and she had no trouble achieving pleasure. Something that's nice, and badly needed when you suffer from depression. Then, when she was prescribed Venlafaxine (Effexor) for anxiety some years ago, this helped enormously. But, one of the side effects of the medication was problems with her sex life. Arousal down south didn't happen. Via research online - and thank goodness facts are available (but you do have to be careful what you take as gospel, because not all information is official) - she discovered that drug holidays cause the effect of the drug to ease off enough to achieve pleasure. She had one-day drug holidays and this worked. Of course, having the full support of partners, if you have one, makes a heck of a difference, because of course, this effects them too.

Then she was prescribed a Mirtazapine and Venlafaxine combination. After a period of around three years she felt so much better. And she could still achieve pleasure. Then, a few months ago, despite her drug holidays, she couldn't achieve it. Very frustrating, literally. She visited the doctor. This is known, as she suspected, as Anorgasmia, a sexual dysfunction. When she explained that she had achieved pleasure previously despite being on her medications, the doctor agreed that the problem was clearly not connected with the medication, but was 'all in her head', literally. Psychological. A bloody nuisance, because obviously she wasn't going to tweak her medication, because a) This had nothing to do with the medication because she'd been able to achieve pleasure even while on medication, using a day's drug holiday, and b) She feels so much better. So, in her case, it's pure psychology, and she's now trying to work her way through it, with support from her partner. Never give up, never surrender. Much research reveals that the chemical instrumental in producing sexual pleasure is Oxytocin, and the production of Oxytocin happens through closeness with your partner. Lots of cuddles and love.

One shouldn't just accept one's lot about this. Something must and should be done. There is so much information online (you do have to be wary of those unofficial reports by Tom, Dick and Harriet on this subject. Look at official medical sites), and much advice and information. Even sexual therapy is suggested. And why not, if it improves a part of your life that makes you feel so good?

So, if you're reading this and having problems in that department, please don't try to ignore it, because something could possibly be done about it.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Creating My Odyssey: THAT NOVEL...!Now, if this comes out in a strang...

Creating My Odyssey: THAT NOVEL...!

Now, if this comes out in a strang...
: THAT NOVEL...! Now, if this comes out in a strange format, my apologies. Blogger can sometimes be a silly bugger.  Anyway...      I&...
THAT NOVEL...!


Now, if this comes out in a strange format, my apologies. Blogger can sometimes be a silly bugger.  Anyway...

     I've talked about my novel 'till we're all blue in the face. What I haven't done - and I think it would help me enormously, psychologically - is to explain the basic plot.



     Alias Jeannie Delaney is the life story of a devastating, charismatic cowgirl who’s the fastest gun in the west and bisexual. The story charts her passage through life as cowgirl, outlaw leader, jailbird, deputy sheriff, rancher and mayor. The main premise is her struggle for acceptance.



     So...

     It's spring, 1891, in the southern Rockies, Wyoming.
     Kate Costigan, young New York reporter, wakes from a dream, startled, in hotel room in Wolf Creek. In the dream she encounters her heroine, Jeannie Morgan, as she did yesterday. In Kate's unconscious dream state she's imagining Jeannie making love to her, and Kate wakes up in a state of blissful pleasure. This was her secret desire upon meeting Jeannie in reality. Jeannie has sexual desires for women as well as men, and Kate shocked to find that her own feelings are heading that way.

     Kate lies back in bed and recalls that encounter.

     She's always wanted to meet the legendary icon, Jeannie Morgan, the pants-wearing, devastatingly androgynous frontierswoman who saved her home town from the grip of a bunch of outlaws led by psychotic gunman Isaac Sorenson. Sorenson sought revenge for the killing of his brother at the hands of Jeannie, the uncontested fastest gun. The outcome of this battle, although victorious for Jeannie, still leaves questions unsolved and Jeannie struggles with daily living and threats on her life.
     Kate's editor has sent her to Wolf Creek to interview Jeannie and find out what kind of person she is beyond the public's knowledge. Kate does indeed meet Jeannie, under less than comfortable circumstances. She witnesses the real Jeannie Morgan and her graceful masculinity and discovers her kindness and gentility, her irreverant, rip-roaring sense of humour, the adoration of kids and animals. Her charisma is over the top, and she's devastating in persona and looks. She seems over the top, which she is, causing jealousies and people's desires for her and revengeful thoughts. Jeannie is attacked verbally and physically while Kate is with her, and Kate makes the decision to write the truth about her, in novelised form.

     Jeannie is born in New Orleans in 1865, the only daughter of six children. Her southerner mother is deeply disappointed that Jeannie is a tomboy, a fact that her Pa adores. Jeannie's oldest brother, Rodger, hates her for causing their mother grief. The family move west in 1875. Pa's wish but at the expense of Mama's TB. Mama dies on route. Jeannie kills her first man - an Indian who tries to kill Pa when the wagon is attacked.

     The family establish a ranch in Wyoming. Jeannie becomes a cowgirl. Her tomboy tendencies develop, and she's the leader of her gang of boys. She falls in love with a cowboy, Bob, on Pa's ranch, and Victoria, a school friend who feels the same. Jeannie is magnetic, and people find her hard to cope with. Jeannie and Victoria's love is discovered. That, and Jeannie's fast gun and persona, force the townsfolk to want her to leave town. They try to kill her.

     Victoria is raped and Jeannie and gang leave town to track the rapists. Brother Rodger turns up and says he will kill her eventually. He wants to avenge her for death of her mother.

     Jeannie kills them and is now on the run. She and her boys become outlaws and much of their profits go to the more deserving, Robin Hood style. She returns home briefly and makes love with Bob. She becomes pregnant. She leaves twin boys with her favourite Gran.
     Jeannie is caught and imprisoned, then broken out to rescue her town from Sorenson, the psychotic gang leader. She is given amnesty and nominated deputy sheriff. She kills the gang and retains her badge. Becomes a friend to local Shoshonis. She falls to fever and a weak heart is result. She lives with Bob and twins. Bob jealous of her status. He proposes but she turns him down. Instead she buys a local ranch and offers Bob co-ownership. Jeannie has another son, Davy.

     Jeannie's friends, old outlaws, seek refuge. Bob unhappy. Bounty hunters seek outlaws. Bob killed. Later, Jeannie. in grief, adopts half caste daughter. Child killed by enemy. Jeannie's grief turns her. She's invited to England by distant cousin for respite. On return is elected to mayor hood of Wolf Creek. Has fallen for her foreman, Carl. They become an item. She adopts a Shoshoni boy.
She kills the man who killed her daughter. Jeannie's sons begin to hate her for who she is. Cause her to have heart problems. Stands down as mayor. New doctor and Indians help her with drugs to help her heart.

     She's evolved as character. Same but different. Most townsfolk have become accepting. Treat her as their own, protective.

     Brother returns and knocks her out. Reveals why he's trying to kill her. Shoots her. Jeannie's sons turn up and reveal their stronger and softer sides. They don't want her to die. Rodger escapes, and later kills himself. He can't take his jealousy at her life and loves.

     It's 1910 and Jeannie is re-elected. Kate, now married, arrives to celebrate publication of book. They leave the house and Jeannie kisses her. Kate's big wish. She's happy to love both her husband and Jeannie, and people, understanding or not, accept the situation because Jeannie is who she is.