Knowing What you Actually Know

I belong to an online writer’s critique group, It’s a fantastic site in my opinion. I wouldn’t be making the progress I’m making with my writing with out it.

*That’s hoping I actually am making progress*

But, like anywhere else there are some problems, but they are the problems you regularly encounter when you get a group of human together in any place and give them a place to speak their minds.

*Let’s hear it for Aliens and hope they have open minds 🙂 *

A common occurrence in the Forums (where we go to speak our minds)  it regularly erupts in open hostile debate a often, outright war. Of course, some of the worst offender’s are those that enjoy conflict, you learn who they are pretty quick and avoid them like the plague they are.

(A pox on their threads)

But some people are just passionate, absolutely sure of their stance and it’s validity.

So, what are these wars about?

Religion and Politics are out, discussions of same are strictly prohibited by the Code of Conduct. What? You may ask, that’s censorship.

Well look at it this way. What have all the war’s throughout history been fought for?

Politics and Religion.

Nuff said.

Especially as this in a site with international participation.

Yeah, I agree, let’s leave those two out, just better that way.

So, what are all the fight about if you can’t talk about politics and religion?

Well, as writers it should be obvious, writing.

  • What are the rules of writing? Should they be followed scrupulously? iF you can actually agree on them, or should they be ignored at all costs?
  • show VS tell- should you show the reader through Character action what is happening in the story or should you tell the reader using what amounts to narrative? (it’s a bloody on going battle)
  • Death to those who used adverbs (really, some will kill you for using an adverb)
  • Point of view, who is telling this story and weather we hear their thought and when? (just a deadly)

In reality it can be any subject that someone thinks then empirically know the answer to.

Do they?

Well, I can guarantee someone disagrees and has just as much evidence (usually a well established many times published, Rich, Author).

Then there are those who disagree with both, stating you can’t go by what an established Author does as they have paid there dues and can bend or break the rules.

Well, I take the stand that I don’t know the rules and I’m willing to learn. But, learning on a peer site had to be a learning of collaboration.

Mostly it’s a case of “too many Chiefs not enough Indians” every body wants to teach their way, without taking into account, they may not know what they think they know.

Sometimes it’s more important to know what you don’t know.

A teacher and I don’t know who, once said. “the hardest lessons I ever learned, I learned from my students”

I take this to mean even children in a classroom can learn collaboratively, and we teach the most when we try to learn.

So, I’m going to learn like a child, and teach so I can learn, and learn so I can teach.


Killing the Zombie

I have a major problem with motivation.

I can motivate and inspire others with the best of them, or so I’m told. I love doing it, providing that spark for another person is rewarding and feels fantastic.

My biggest problem is motivating myself. I used to be a person who had an idea and had the drive and energy to implement it and not stop until it was the best I could make it. Now, not so much.

I have excuses, legitimate ones, but they are still excuses. I lost my mind and heart for a long time. I am just now, well in the last year, striving to regain them. It’s hard to do.

Let me explain. Around February 2001 I started experiencing a lot of pain in my legs, and as I was in Basic training it was expected. But, the pain was different from any other I had ever in my life dealt with. I hurt all over but the pain in my legs was different. So long story short, a year later I received a much contested Medical Discharge after being warned by a Orthopedist that if I continued to try to train I would end up in a wheelchair, but they weren’t sure why. Their tentative diagnosis, permanent soft tissue damage.

Yeah, not very helpful, huh. So eight years and much research and tested later, I finally have a diagnosis, Fibromyalgia. I thought , Wow, now I can get to work on fixing myself. Wrong, that was just the beginning of my decline, the entire 8 years of suffering and searching meant nothing. I guess I should mention that at the time of my diagnosis I was homeless and living in a Veterans Transitional Facility.

I’m going to pause in the story to tell all of you that as broken as the system is, the VA is doing their damnedest for their homeless Vets, But they need all the support you can give them. If you can, give to a Veterans association in your area. If your worried about charlatan charities contact your closest VA homeless office for info on credible Charities. Just call the Main line for a VA hospital and ask for the homeless office.

Alright back to the story. If Fibromyalgia had been my only problem, then things may have resolved fairly quickly. My biggest obstacle turned out to be a traitorous mind. It’s broken. okay, not broken, but not working right is close enough. I have Bipolar Disorder 1. We went the usual treatment route of therapy and meds. I don’t do well with therapy, I just can’t open up and none of the people I saw clicked with me. Their supposed caring seemed phony to me. I could have been wrong and the VA therapist are overworked and underpaid but you have to mesh well for it to work. Then there were the meds. At the time I really needed them. The side effects thought,  after 2 years of the meds, I had no will to live. I was in all but physiological sense, a corpse, severely malnourished, morbidly obese, dirty. I was a zombie with no motivation to eat brains. On top of that, I was in a lot of pain, the meds for the Fibromyalgia they had me on, no longer worked even at the highest dosage. There was nothing else they could do, and I didn’t care.

So, I started an experiment. I stopped the meds, all of them. Now, it is my right to do this, but I did it the wrong way. I stopped going to the doctors and I told no one I was off the meds. Six months later I finally started to care about myself and take care of myself. I started a diet with fruits and veggies, walking occasionally, but getting some exercise. Still telling no one. Then I made a very fateful decision, I joined an online writers group. It gave me a purpose to my days. I finally told my social worker about my no meds experiment and we discussed it. No meds is working for me but there are consequences and I in no way condone anyone to take the same route I did. Just because it is working for me now does not mean it will work for anyone else or even myself forever. I have to constantly self monitor; every thought, emotion, impulse and action of every moment of every day. I have a supply of meds on hand for emergencies and 4 plans of actions if and when I have either a manic or depressive episode. I have no doubt that a some point I will have to use one of those plans. I have had to use the meds. Every moment I am alive and feeling alive is a victory and even the pain is validation that I killed the zombie.

For me for now, keeping the Zombie dead is my motivation. I hope soon my motivation will be a success at living life after the Zombie. I’m getting there but it a hard march up a slippery hill.

What motivates you?

Hello, I am Jenna Sands

Hello, It is very nice to meet you. It occurred to me that I have been rambling at you for a little while now, but I never stopped to introduce myself, just shoved you into this murky mind of mine. So sorry about that, rude and inappropriate metaphors come to mind, I’ll spare you.

Who is Jenna Sands?

Well, I don’t know, not really anyway.

I can give you cold data, facts, and the name, rank and serial number.

(not gonna happen on the serial number :D)



no children

parents, siblings

I was born, I will die

But the essence of me is still a mystery, so I guess you are on this ride of self discovery with me.

I started this blog with a completely different purpose and goal in mind.

Get my name out, so when I finally reached the awesome lifetime achievement Plateau of publication, I would have a following of people who actually know who I am.

Well, how can I show you who I am if I don’t know.

It’s a lot to think about.

Do you know who you are?

Taking a good thing to far, budgeting more than money

Well, this is interesting, to keep myself motivated I wrote out a list of topics for blog about a week ago, and today’s turns out to be the above. It’s very appropriate this morning because I am amped almost to the point of mania. Let me explain.

I have a myriad of conditions that at some point or another will feature in a blog post; today’s it seems will be Bipolar Disorder 1. No big, I have it well managed. Thankfully, my councilor agrees so it’s not just mental delusion as proof of this.

To continue, I am also a writer, and when I have a especially productive session of writing it gives me a massive adrenalin rush that can mimic a manic phase, now I self monitor my emotional ranges and spikes are fine as long as they are warranted and not prolonged. So, when I hit a spike like I have this morning after a truly fabulous and productive night of writing, I have to step back and not take things to far.

This feeling can be addictive, but like all addictions, the price you pay is way out of your budget. I have had to learn to budget my ups and downs, my happy and my sad because my brain can’t do it for me. Do I resent this? Not really, I look at it, as enjoying what I can when I can, but not taking it too far.

So what do you have to budget in your life?


I believe this is a pretty well researched topic, so I’m not going to do the usual, this is what it is and how to deal with it. I will instead tell you of my journey dealing with it.

Insomnia for me started at an early age and part of that is I love the night and the dark. I never had a fear of the dark, and when as a very young child I shared a room with my little sister, I would have to wait for her to go to sleep then turn her night light off and close the door.

Then at seven, I went to live with my Father and while I still had no fear of the night or the dark, I did develop a fear of going to sleep.

So we will fast forward to present day, I still over twenty years later have the fear of going to sleep, and it has now turned into a phobia, I literally have to pass out to get to sleep.

I found that I go through cycles, periods where my sleep pattern and the times I sleep change.

Right now, I’m in my morning phase, I pass out around 5 am and sleep till noon, then I may or may not require a nap during the rest of the day. This is my usual sleep pattern.

Sometimes I will go through a phase where I sleep every other day for about twelve hours and can pass out at any time for that twelve-hour sleep. This is usually started when I have something important to do and must be somewhere at a specific time. I usually cycle out of this pattern in about two weeks.

Another of my patterns and this one happens randomly usually about once every six to twelve months where I will be awake three to five days, then pass out for two to three days of strait sleep, I don’t even go to the bathroom.

Then I have my periods where for some reason I sleep all night every night from about 11 pm to around 7 am. I have no idea why and can usually enjoy this phenomenon for about two to four weeks.

Finally, I have my anti Insomnia periods. This is when I am so stressed or physically exhausted that my body shits down for about eighteen to twenty-four hours then I will be awake up to four hours and sleep another eighteen to twenty-four hours, this cycle can last up to a week before I have “healed” enough to enter another of my cycles.

So, I hope sharing this with you lets you realize that if you don’t sleep eight hour a night every night that you’re alone in this, you aren’t.

If you are having trouble sleeping take the time to have a conversation with your doctor, it may be something they can help you overcome, but like everything else in life it’s all about managing what you can and if you can’t, it’s never wrong to ask for help.

Panic, Anxiety and Life

Life is hard, day-to-day, moment-by-moment, things can go from sugar to shit in an instant, and sometimes it even goes from shit to sewer. What does that get us? A lot of stress and two results of stress are Panic and Anxiety, there are more, but we will focus on those for now.

Panic- A physical and mental manifestation of frantic thought and action to escape a perceived threat (stress)

Anxiety- An emotional reaction to perceived threat (stress)

(These definition are my own and not found in any dictionary)

Now we are on the same page.

What do we do when we experience Panic and Anxiety?

Me, I identify the physical, emotional, or mental problem I am experiencing, such as panic and/or anxiety. I evaluate what is causing this problem, and then I get away from the stress triggering the problem. Then I am able to deal with the panic and/or anxiety.

(For this section, I will refer to the stress as a trigger.)

There are many ways to deal with panic and anxiety; I will tell you what works for me.

  1. Get away from the trigger
  2. Be aware of no longer being exposed to trigger
  3. Use deep breathing to calm respiration and heart rate
  4. Sit or lay quiet, still and relaxed
  5. use physical activity to burn adrenalin if necessary then try sitting or laying quiet
  6. sleep off the adrenalin Jag

I find that any combination of the above will work in any given situation.

The truth is you can be ever vigilant and panic and anxiety can strike at any time.

Be self-aware and monitor your physical, emotional, and mental states several times a day. In order to deal with a situation you have to be aware there is a situation.

Today’s “New Me” Resolution is to be self-aware and vigilant in my self-monitoring.

How will you make your life better today?

Ignorance vs. Stupidity, My Personal Observations of Morals

Whew, this is a hard one. (Definitions are not from a dictionary but my own observations)

Ignorance is the lack of knowledge of a subject or idea.

Stupidity is the inability or willingness to learn about a subject or idea.

Morals are the personal beliefs, rules, and laws that govern our behavior.

Sound straightforward right, well not exactly.

There is Moral Ignorance and Moral Stupidity.

Then there is Ignorance of Morals and Stupidity of Morals.

So let’s apply my definitions to each.

Moral Ignorance- The lack of knowledge of subjects or ideas, due to personal beliefs, rules, and laws that govern out behavior.

Is this making sense?

Moral Stupidity- The inability or willingness to learn a subject or idea, due to the personal beliefs, rules, and laws that govern our behavior.

I know you’re catching on, right?

Ignorance of Morals- The lack of knowledge of subjects or ideas, namely the personal beliefs, rules, and laws that govern our behavior.

Aha, now I know you know what is coming next.

Stupidity of Morals- The inability or willingness to learn a subject or ideas, namely the personal beliefs, rules, and laws that govern behavior.

Whew, that was a lot.

 So, okay we know the definitions but what does it mean in the greater scheme of life?

Well, what is worse?

Ignorance or Stupidity and when it comes to Morals does it really matter?

I think if Society took the time to think about it carefully they may find themselves defined differently than they thought.

So if any of the above defines you which would it be?