Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Category Archives: Motivation Monday

Take a breath

Sit up straight, align your head with your body and take a few deep breaths. You probably need to, I know I do.

Roll your head around a few times (skip looking up to the ceiling if you are worried about that issue). If you can stand up and touch your goes, so a bit of movement and stretching.

Take a few minutes to wake up your body, stretching, get a drink of water. Look out a window, connect with someone. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Blogging …

I know blogging about blogging how boring.

I was just thinking about my process. It’s probably not the best. And if I did better I might get more views. I often write these things up late at night. I’ll be surfing Pinterest or Twitter or my blog feed reader and get ideas. Usually I’ll schedule a bunch of stuff in advance and ignore my blog for the next two weeks.

Eh I’m not here because I’m trying to grow my blog. I like yelling into an echo chamber. My focus is on my fiction. I am not into niche blogging right now. I’d like to be but I don’t have time to read into one niche ’cause all my free time is fiction time.

Anyway, I write these blog posts late at night. And then I hit schedule and I really don’t look at them again. Occasionally I’ll check to see if the formatting is good and I do read comments. But I don’t reread my content.

Yeah …

I should probably save those things into a draft and read it over just once more before it goes live.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Cleaning up computer files

When I’m working on something I wind up with several files. One of the draft, one with some notes scribbled: like children’s names and ages,  a plot map (mostly done as I work or after I’ve written the entire draft) and sometimes a file with deleted scenes. I try to save them with either the working title or character’s names.

But then I never delete them.

Other things I never delete: short stories I started writing. Some of these are finished, but then I decided they were crap. Others I realize are crap while writing them and stop working on them. I have a dozen or more in my dropbox folder, at least four are fan fiction that I”m too embarrassed to share. (All Dragon Age related). Once in a while, there is nothing wrong with a premise I started to write, I just lost all interest.

I have numerous files with self-help, self-improvement and/or power of intention exercise answers in them. I read the burning question from Danielle LaPorte or something from Gabrielle Bernstein and I copy and past the question into a notepad, I answer it and then save it.

Like Done Fucking Deal. (Mine is a big check from Amazon, which I will celebrate by taking people out for dinner after I call my Mom).

I have this odd little montage I did a couple years ago, in the style of “Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures” done in MS Paint. It’s about  how I don’t have to be perfect. I might still post that one.

For each of the five novels there are at least 3 saves each as I worked through various stages of edits. If I screwed up a round of editing really badly, I did not want to have to back to the pre-edited manuscript, but I didn’t want to save over that first draft either.

I have three different spreadsheets for various months for tracking sales on Amazon. I’ve never managed to update the spreadsheet for more than 3 consecutive days, so I gave up on that idea this last month.

I have three different spreadsheets for blog planning. (Also a few text notepad saves of various ideas that just didn’t work out in the end. Never mind the eighteen drafts I have saved in WordPress of ideas I later realized were stupid).

And that’s just the laptop which I’ve only had about two years. Never mind the desktop we’ve had for the last four years. Free pdfs from every self-improvement website in exchange for my well guarded email address. Duplicate photos of the kids. In case that last shot didn’t turn out. Every really bad cover image I made. And there were some bad ones.

I need to go through all this stuff and save what is important and delete what is not important. Back up the irreplaceable stuff, like photos. And delete everything else that I can bear to delete. (I am as much a digital packrat as I am in real life).

Do you keep your computer files organized in neat folders? or are they scattered and ill-named, leaving you hunting for things? Do you need to clean up your files?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wanna live longer?

I was playing with my phone a few days ago, it’s an Android HTC, I think, and I was installing apps. I installed the Kijiji app and the Ikea App. And then the TED talks app.

In case you’ve been under a rock, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. According to Wikipedia, TED conferences started in 1984 in California. They’ve grown and are held all over now. The main events are called TED, but any city can host one called a Tedx. And no one is allowed to be paid to speak at a Tedx conference, and all speeches must be allowed to be free streamed on the TED website.

Since 2006, all TED speeches have been available for free on the

Anyway, I was flipping through the TED app and I came across the title “The Game that will can give you 10 extra years of your life” by Jane McGonigal. Since I love anything that says gaming is good, I clicked watched. While I half watched my 10 year old playing a video game and my husband playing a different game on the computer, we listened to to Ms. McGonigal, a game designer, tell us about her experience with games. She suffered a major head trauma and she didn’t heal as we assume concussions normal heal. About 1 in 3 concussion victims end up with suicide ideation.

Instead of just falling into a depression over the pain, or listening to her brain, Jane decided to make her life into a game. She would “collect power-ups” for doing anything that would heal her brain. And in a couple days of playing the game with her sister, her depression started to lift. She started sharing her game with other people on her blog and people started playing their own game and started telling her about their own amazing transformations.

She started calling the game superbetter, which you can play on the website 

My daughter and I both joined. ‘Cause who doesn’t want 10 extra years of life, and some fun. IF anyone has joined in the past or joins after reading this let me know and we can join up and be allies. :)


Enhanced by Zemanta

The state of the world

Well, I am still busy catching up on my RSS reader backlog. Under 400 now. Not a lot to report.

The Damn Fine Words writing contest is open again. You have until Sept 3rd to submit your entry. This time they highlighted this is geared towards business owners who need to write better for their business. I might throw my hat in. I haven’t decided.

I am still waiting for Love Can’t Wait to show up on B&N. Come on Smashwords.

Problogger had a series recently on niche blogging. And it brought it up in my mind again. I love the idea, but I find it hard to tie myself down. What do I chose? They had 3 suggestions video gaming (love, but I don’t have the money to spend buying a new game every week, nor the time to play a new game every week so I could review it. Maybe I could just have a Bioware focused blog?), pets (nope, I can’t wait til I have no pets) and weight loss (I’m underweight from nursing but I eat like shit so I could go that direction).

Enhanced by Zemanta

Judging is easy

I wanted to write a series of posts about parenting and my views. I’m a pro-attachment parent or maybe better to say responsive parent, we don’t do cry it out and we co-sleep (still) and breastfeed and my baby was rarely set down because he hated being on his back and he wouldn’t sleep without me for five months. And lots of things. And I’m very strongly against spanking.

And I wanted to write this post, and it was kind of a “why you are a horrible person if you spank” type post. Which is an opinion. and I feel that my opinion is the right one and shaming people who don’t agree is okay.

Then I was reading my RSS feed and someone wrote a scathing post about people living on the welfare system and they labelled three illnesses or disease that could be faked so that someone could use the welfare system. Bipolar, multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

And it really pissed me off, because I know people with these conditions. They don’t want to have them, and they have no choice but to rely on assistance of others, whether government or a partner.

I wrote a really nasty reply and then as I read it over, I deleted it and said “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

It is easy to make judgments of others. And I will sometimes readily admit to judging people who make choices I believe are wrong.

There’s that meme on Facebook that makes me want to gouge my eyes out, but it’s true here.

he Girl you just called fat? She has been starving herself & has lost over 30lbs. The Boy you called stupid, he has a learning disability & studies over 4hrs a night. The Girl you called ugly? She spends hours putting make-up on hoping people will like her. The Boy you just tripped? He is abused enough at home. There’s a lot more to people then you think.

Making fun of or judging any group of people is not nice, it’s not funny and it’s generally just passive-aggressive or in my blog example above, just plain mean. Unless the person is  your close friend, we generally don’t know the true story behind anyone’s life.

And we wonder why bullying is such a problem in school, when so many adults are still doing it!!

What examples do you have of bullying in your life? Do you find yourself in judgement of others? What can we do to bring this to more people’s attention?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Relationship tips from stories

I was writing the post on “Who’s your hero?” and it occurred to me there some tips to learned from a good romance character.

1. Stop trying to fix who they are. We picked our partners because we loved who they were, so many people want to change their partners. We just all need to start accepting people as they are. I’m going to try to do that more.

2. More hot sex. To heck with everything, get down and get dirty with your partner. Do what feels good to them. Then some of what feels good to you. And be open to trying something new.  Repeat until you can’t stand the pleasure.

3. My favorite line in all the Release from the Chains stories is when Bran says ” never apologize for who you are or what you want.” No one should make us feel bad about what we are or what we want. Stop apologizing, and don’t don’t don’t tame your dreams down for someone.

4. Be willing to make an effort. I love angst and drama in fiction, I don’t like it as much in real life, but it`s always there. We always have to make an effort and do some work to have anything worth having. Don’t let our partners forget they are special to us. Make an effort to do something special for them, something they like even if you aren’t fond of it or have never tried it.

5. Seduction. My muse likes smut. And it`s nature that we want to rub against each other. Embrace it and enjoy that part of yourself. Make some noise and throw your whole self into the act.

What has your favorite story taught you about life?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Go big or go home

And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
‘Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

— Ryan Shupe `Dream Big`

A lot of people are afraid to dream BIG. It is kinda scary.

But would you rather get a part of your dream or would you rather wonder if you might have made it?

I once heard Michael Neil say on his radio show that people who go for what they want get more than those who strive for what they think they can get.

The Creative Penn posted a quote from Julia Cameron:

A great deal of the time we dismiss our longings on the grounds that they aren’t reasonable – and often they aren’t. Where did we get the idea that life was intended to be reasonable? … We have very little evidence that sensible and frugal are actually qualities cherished by the Great Creator … Most of us have a dream that we could set sail if only we dared … Rather than act on these dreams, we often shoo them from our consciousness, saying ‘I need to be sensible. I would never be able to manage that.’ But perhaps we can manage more than we think.”

I had an oh yeah moment from reading that post.

When I was in high school I wanted to marry Bryan White. He didn`t marry until after I got together with my husband. Coincidence? I think not. Sorry Bryan White, I couldn`t get to Nashville to find you.

My current dreams: pay our bills from my writing, well this has been a dream of mine since forever. I want to pay our bills so my husband can go back to school. I`m working on it.

Travel. Well few people don`t want to travel.

Have rental properties or flip houses. I love construction. I love making and painting and tearing stuff out.

Visit the Bioware offices. I am not that far from Edmonton … just saying. I`ll twitter then and see if they can make it happen. If they want to offer me a job … well who’s to say …

Be a money coach. I love to tell people what to do and I love dealing with budgets and money.

My new dream is have a do it yourself show that i`d like to see on DIY network, where it`s real DIY. And then get famous and have them produce me. That`s my new one, which I tweeted about awhile back.

I kind of have ADD so I jump around from topic to topic, when I get bored. The only thing that really sticks is writing. But you never know what I`ll be up to tomorrow.

Oh and last one. Pay my children`s college education wholly. I think college debt is a huge problem for many many people. So I want to pay for them to do what they want to do, whenever they figure that out. I`m not a fan of going to college right out of high school, it may not be what is best. Nor do they have to go to college, if they want a trade or something else I don’t even know about I will support their dreams.

What are your big dreams?

Bonus video of the song I quoted at the start.

Enhanced by Zemanta

I can do it all

I have found my leader.

Emilie Wapnick, multi potentialite.

A multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life.

— from Putty-Like terminology page

Uh, yeah hi, me.

I wrote a few weeks ago about having trouble choosing a niche, which every successful blogger says is necessary. Turns out, maybe not.

This isn’t the first time I’ve come across the idea, something  Emilie (I love referencing people as if I know them personally) admits in her free download “The ‘Undeclared for Life’ Manifesto: A Plan of Attack for the Person with Many Interests and Creative Pursuits in Life “

Barbara Sher is one of the first places. In many of her books she encourages people to list everything they are interested in and then find time to fit those into their lives. Whether or not they are your job, you may feel unfulfilled if you don’t try everything. She has an entire book on what she calls Scanners, Refuse to Choose.

Carol Adrienne talks about life purpose in her book “The Purpose of Your Life” but not in a “this is the job you are supposed to do” way. She talks about purpose on the more general level, creating, teaching, communicating the possibilities are endless. And she also has a long history of working more “menial” jobs to support her life and fitting the passions around the edges.

And Justine Musk wrote about this in late May 2012, when she talked about combining some of your deep interests or passions, even interests that are totally unrelated, and creating something entirely world-changing.

Like spirituality and money.

Like sex and spirituality (tantra).

Like all the things in my life connecting to Motherhood.

There are some common threads. And I don’t have to pick one thing. I can do it all. As long as it’s high concept.

Do you have a niche or are you trying to do it all?

Enhanced by Zemanta

What do you mean Niche Down?

I want to know everything

I want to be everywhere

I want to fuck everyone in the world

I want to do something that matters

— I Do Not Want This written by Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails

I read a lot of different things about writing, and about business. I fancy myself an entrepeneur without a business. Yet. Writing is writing, I need to write fiction, but I need something more.

I love Danielle LaPorte, who led me to Marie Forleo. Who I am cursing.

If you go to Ms. Forleo’s website she has a free sign up for the “rich, happy and hot business school”. And I am a sucker for these things. My in box is quite over run with free newsletters that seem interesting. Anyway, I am watching her free video the 6 pillars of business. Which i only got half through.

And I’m pissed. Because the advice for business (and/or bloggers) is to NICHE DOWN. Niche, niche, niche, until you find your thing that are super excited about that you can sell.

I hate this advice. It makes me want to pout and kick things. I don’t want to stick to one thing.

Marie (see me and my good friend, Marie, who I know so well because I’ve been following her blog for a week now) says if you niche down first and get successful there, you can branch out later. You can listen to her say it in a video about “Should one combine passions or choose one?

alright, I can buy that. Barbara Sher says similar things. You can choose one passion for your money making, but still work on other passions on the weekends, or even less frequently.

I’ve exhausted myself on this little bit of soul searching. I don’t know where I’m going to go yet.  This is an ongoing struggle for me, as I try to find my place. This morning had me writing really artsy things in my head, a bit like Paulo Coehlo. Reading his work makes me feel pretentious, that’s how my artsy writing makes me feel. I love how it feels, but at the same time I feel like I’m posing. But I’m going to write it and post it. These things will probably venture into Mature territory. Much of my thinking time is “how can I add smut into the mix?”

What do you think of the advice to “niche down”? Does niche have a role in fiction writer’s blogs? Do you niche? Should I forget about the entire niche plan and just run wild?

Enhanced by Zemanta