Goodbye November


Goodbye November

Some months are good to you, and others are a bitch. Sometimes a month is riddled with bad news, negativity, hostility, and unhappiness. When a month is ugly, you need to say goodbye, and leave it behind you. It’s senseless to constantly look behind you to the bad when the future is going to be fresher and brighter. It does not mean it will be easy, but can it be better? Yes.

And so, I say “Goodbye November”. I took this month with a grain of salt, a shovel full of sand, and a sprinkle of sugar (real sugar, not the fake crap!). It’s time to look forward.

December is, by proxy, an emotionally difficult month for me. It is the anniversary of too much death, it is the month of birthdays of people I have loved and lost, and the holiday season is a poor reminder of all those things.

I’m a bit of a hermit during the Winter months. I write, I read, I listen to music, I watch movies, I do my best to stay out of the cold, and I try not to think too hard about all of the horrible shit that has happened in my life. I try to look, and focus on, the positive. It’s not always easy to do. You live, you learn, you grow, you evolve (Sound familiar Lillian? LOL.). But most importantly: You make an effort.

I can say, without fail, that I have grown and evolved SO MUCH in the past seven years. I look in the mirror and see someone who is definitely smarter, sharper, sassier, and completely unapologetic in the fact that she’s going to be herself. Right about this time seven years ago, I was writing a eulogy to be given at my father’s impending funeral. I spent two months writing it, knowing that the end was near. I wrote something heartfelt and beautiful, and about a year later I had someone insult it, saying that I accepted crumbs when I deserved more. What she didn’t understand is that I have class, and tact. Whatever goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always need to be aired to the world at large. I chose to write something and speak in a way that would not shame anyone. My feelings may have evolved since then, but I still stand behind the choice because I know it was the right thing to do.

Not everyone is going to understand or respect your journey. They don’t have to, and they don’t need to. After all, it’s not theirs to comprehend.

Be you, no matter how difficult it is at times. Don’t apologize, unless you’ve truly done something wrong.

Goodbye November…I won’t miss anything about you. I am cutting ties. It’s time to go “Back To December”.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Thoughts Through Other Eyes

I am tired in a soul-deep, bone-deep way that I can’t quite explain. I know it is borne out of doing too much, too fast, without proper rest. Sometimes I forget that I have limitations due to Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain and I simply want my normal life back. In turn, I suffer for every move I make in ignoring said limitations. Simply put, it BLOWS.

I hurt from the very top of my spine, which, by the way, is where my tattoos begin (Yes, right underneath my hair down a portion of my spine. Believe me when I say, they did not hurt. The entire experience was very positive. It felt more like being scraped repeatedly as opposed to actual pain, and who better to know the difference than someone who experiences pain 24/7? I sat for close to two hours. I have heavily inked male friends who told me their own ink in the exact same spot hurt like hell and had to be done in 2-3 sessions. They have less on their spine than I do.), all the way to the center of both feet. I’ve done a LOT this week. Now, all I want to do is get this mind-numbing headache and unbelievable stomach pain to stop so I can SLEEP. I’d also like someone to feed and water my girls, so I don’t have to get out of bed unless I really want/need to. What are the chances of the latter happening? Slim to none, and unfortunately Slim is very easily distracted.

I survived Thanksgiving, and did every single thing I set out to do in terms of cooking and baking. YAY! Of course now, I am happy to sit in front of my laptop or the TV for the next week, only moving when absolutely necessary.

An interesting job presented itself recently. I would get to use my little-used Russian in editing a pretty large manuscript. It sounds great, and yet, I need a few days to sleep on it. Yes, someone else could get the job instead, and that can happen no matter what, but it made me take a good look at my list of spoken and learned languages. I’m actually a lot smarter than I let on, but I’ve always had to be.

When you’re a writer, people judge you based on the work you present to them. I think this is true more so now than ever before, but at times, it doesn’t seem to matter at all if you’re presenting absolute crap, which is insulting to me.

You can walk into a business meeting looking like Stephen King, so long as the material is brilliant, no one will care. They might whisper about you amongst themselves later on, but they’re truly looking at the manuscript above all else. As a woman, it’s different. You have to be presentable enough that when you’re photographed for the inside and/or back cover, you don’t completely disgrace your entire gender. I cannot tell you how many times someone has told me how pretty a writer is when all I could think was “But is her work any good?” Not in a catty or bitchy way, but in a genuine “Unless we’re talking about Angelina Jolie, I don’t care what she looks like” way. I want what I read to be of a specific level of quality. I want it to capture and intrigue me. I don’t care what the author looks like. However, I have noticed that a great many people do.


The flip side of this particular coin is that more and more authors now attend San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con, along with similar types of events all over the world. There is a lot more social media interaction with readers and as much face-to-face interaction as you (and your publisher) see fit. Being comfortable in your intelligence and knowledge isn’t always easy when you’re, technically, competing for the attention of those very same readers because Jennifer Lawrence or Eva Green are also in the building promoting a highly anticipated film. Truth be told, I’d rather sit and listen to Eva Green too, but that’s just me. I’m slightly fascinated by her and have been for a good 8 years or so.

I don’t know a lot of writers that are absolute extroverts. I know a lot of very shy, quiet, introverted writers who can be extroverts for short periods of time, in the right company. While not exactly shy, I am definitely on the quieter side most of the time. If you happen to be discussing something interesting or something I am knowledgeable about, I MIGHT chime in, I might not. However, of late, I’ve noticed I’m getting some odd attention in public settings.

For the most part, but really only face-to-face, women talk to me purely about superficial things. Hair, skin, the nail polish I have on, my tattoos (Because I completely forget that they’re there and that they’re visible. I apply sunscreen to them, that’s the extent of my awareness most days,), make-up, perfume, etc. Men, on the other hand, ask different questions and approach you differently. I try very hard to be focused in my day-to-day life, but there are many days where I truly don’t want to have any type of debate while on line at the bank or discuss the price of gas, oil, milk, eggs, etc. I do not have “Has all the answers” on a t-shirt or my forehead, and yet, this happens to me constantly.

I like for my work to speak for itself, but I absolutely make an effort at putting my best face forward. I’d prefer for someone to judge me based on my work and who I am as a person, but I know that’s not how life works. Women are harshly critiqued on their appearance. It’s not something I’ve ever liked and I like it even less now. However, I realize we are all guilty of it to some extent.

By all means, be disappointed in something that doesn’t screw with someone’s self-worth and self-confidence, but don’t attack others for what is, in all honesty, a quirk of nature. If you’ve ever said something to someone that sent them running to a plastic surgeon to “fix the problem”, maybe you should take a closer look at yourself because raining your issues onto others is one of the most unattractive things one can do.

Just not lest ye be judged. Be true to yourself and don’t worry about anything or anyone else.

copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.