The Cleaning Never Ends

I’ve been having this problem for days now. Everyday when I wake up, the first thing I do is open my computer. Facebook, Twitter, FetLife and Google+ get opened first and sometimes this can take a little bit. I try not to get stuck on any one of them but instead try to hop back and forth between them. If I focus for too long, I start thinking too much.

Then I pop open WordPress and check through the stats on my blog(s). I check and see which posts, if any, are doing really good. I respond to any comments and then I often go to write. Usually, I just write and write and write until I feel content and then I hit publish without much thought. If I were writing this for you, dear reader, I might edit or spend more time on it. But I’m writing this for me, so… My standards are pretty low 😉

However, lately (I’m blaming it on my graveyard brain still), I just can’t seem to write anything that makes much sense. It all just reads back like gibberish to me…

https://plus.google.com/+ValerieRayne13/posts/DUAe8ef8i9y

We’ve been doing a lot of cleaning this week. Maybe even longer. It’s gotta be the warmer weather or something, but it is being just about the most challenging thing ever. I cannot get over how much time I’ve spent cleaning, how much effort everyone seems to be putting in, and how little of a change it seems to make.

It would all make more sense if we moved around the house more. But, we really don’t. I have my spot on the couch and a little table beside me. The Boyfriend sits right next to me and Carter normally right next to him. The older kids either sit on the floor or on the other couch. When they move, the only places they go are outside or up to their rooms. So, what I want to know, is how, if no one is spending time in the kitchen, how my kitchen always ends up as the messiest place in the house.

It would even make sense if we were cooking dinner in our kitchen on a regular basis, but recently, we’ve been ordering out a lot. We’ve been getting things you pop into the oven without any dishes. We’ve not been using our kitchen enough for it to make sense for there to be the mess that seems to be there everytime I wake up… It’s like destructive toddler elves are sneaking into our house while we sleep…

I am honestly so jealous of people with clean houses. I wish it were for lack of effort, because at least when it was that, I didn’t feel so terribly about the messes. But now, working my butt off day after day to keep some semblance of tidiness, and having it all be for naught, I just feel utterly ashamed of it. I don’t know how anyone ever has done this at any point of time… And I am so jealous of the people who can.

All that being said, I know from experience that the only way to get through it all is to just keep cleaning and just keep smiling. I’m doing everything in my power to ensure that I don’t let the constant repetitiveness get me down, because if I don’t keep on the messes, I’m terrified to find out what I’ll wake up to next!!! Plus, I know that eventually it will pass and it won’t seem so hard for at least a little while.

I’m going to say it’s weather-related and it’s the adjusting to a new season. Once we’re fully into Spring, it’ll be fine and then when we transition into Summer, it’ll get a little out of control again and then it’ll be fine. That thought brings me a great deal of comfort.

Well, I know that there’s tons more to write about but my brain is now officially on cleaning, so I might as well get up and start that before I have to go get all the brats from school. Hoping the sunshine sticks around for my walk.

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Ranting About Sleep and Blogging

I seriously need to put an end to this crazy sleep schedule The Boyfriend and I are currently on. As I write this post, it is 4 AM in the morning. I woke up at 1 PM yesterday and haven’t slept yet and at the rate we’re going, it doesn’t look like we’re going to sleep for a bit yet.

For him, it makes sense. He’s gearing up for graveyards, he’s on holidays. But me… I mean, yes, I am a total night owl but this is just not natural…

It doesn’t help that all my creative energy decides to start flowing best after 2 AM and it doesn’t help that late at night is the only time that there aren’t a bunch of kids making a bunch of noise and it definitely doesn’t help that The Boyfriend and I can so easily go on for hours and hours and hours after what should reasonably be our bedtime.

At least when I stay up late like this, it’s not like I’m just sitting around doing nothing. I’m getting tons and tons and tons done. I’m getting so much done online that it’s a little bit ridiculous. I’m checking things off my virtual to-do list before they even make it on there. And I wish I could say that it felt good, but I just keep thinking I’m forgetting something and I definitely keep thinking I should be doing more.

Then I kick myself in the ass for even beginning to think like that. I told myself I wouldn’t. It always happens this way too. I spend a lot of time on my computer stuff. The things that I absolutely need to get done on the computer, such as The Erotic Writers Group’s #WritingChallenges for #EroticWriters, can sometimes take me up to six hours and that happens at least twice a week, not to mention the good two hours I spend every day on it. And I haven’t even begun to factor in my own personal blogging goals, which always come secondary to the group.

So I start to think that I’m working a full-time job here, I should start figuring out how to monetize it in some way, especially being that there is so much that I still want to do and so much of it requires money. I should host a Kickstarter campaign, I should sell eBooks, I should make products and use affiliate links and… and… and…

And then I remember, that is exactly why I took my last blogging hiatus and every blogging hiatus I’ve ever taken. It’s too much pressure, too much to think about, too much on top of everything else.

One day, I’ll have a team of people who will help me fundraise and help me sell books and blah blah blah, but for today, I just need to focus on the content, focus on the community, focus on the blogging and forget about all the other stuff.

Submissions, Cleaning and Reading

Even though I had the hardest time getting out of bed this morning and even though it took me forever and a day to stop feeling groggy (even though, I’m still not sure that I entirely do…) and even though I had planned to just veg in front of my computer all day, today ended up being a super great get-things-done day.

Tonight is the last night to get your submissions in for The Erotic Writers Group #WritingChallenges for #EroticWriters. I was determined, no matter what, I was going to put in at least one submission. And, I did!!

I was inspired by one of the #WritingPrompts (this one) and although I totally hadn’t intended this entire piece to be about what it is, I spent 1000 words on Mary’s Nails – the first piece on my writing blog that isn’t technically for a submission to the challenges. Then, I wrote my first song since “The Tree” and have plans to eventually put some music to it and maybe make it a real thing, but for now, it’s just the lyrics. Deeper Into Me was a submission for this week’s #SaturdaySerenade.

Then, I suddenly decided we were going to completely clean the upstairs of our house. Generally, the upstairs stays really clean all the time. The Boyfriend and I have been spending more awake time in our room, so our room was needing a cleaning. The kids started off being pretty terrible but by the end of it, they were working so well that I even got them to do some extra cleaning downstairs.

Now my entire upstairs and living room are clean!

Then, I came back on the computer and got tons more done than I had expected to get done and it all seemed ridiculously easy. I’m hashing out stuff like crazy and I am loving it! It always feels good to get the bulk of your work done in less time than you expected to, especially being that it means I get to spend so much more time doing other things.

At some point tonight, I plan on getting some reading done because I’m very close to done my first book of 2015, Mary Wood-Allens’s What Young Women Ought to Know. It’s being quite the interesting read and more than once have I interrupted The Boyfriend’s gaming to read him passages from the book. My favorite rule presented by Mary is that girls should never run up and down the stairs. It’s been a running joke this week between The Boyfriend and I.

I always hate that he never reads any of the books that I read. But at least he pays enough attention to what I’m reading to be able to have running jokes with me!

Well, that’s my day in a nutshell. What was your day like? Do anything special this week?

It’s Morning!

My morning is off to a pretty great start. Look at that, I just said morning and it absolutely is. Do you know how many weeks it’s been since I said morning and it actually was morning?!?

I’m up early this morning for a bunch of different reasons. First and foremost, because it is the first day of the return of #WritingChallenges for #EroticWriters and I wanted to be sure that it all worked the way it was supposed to. So far, so good.

Then, the older kids are coming home today and will be home right around noon. If it were a normal day, I’d still be upstairs in bed sleeping with Carter at that time. I woke up when The Boyfriend went to work this morning so that I could be sure to be awake when the older kids get home. I’m surprisingly more excited than I expected about them coming home. Cannot wait for Carter to have someone else to play with!

I’ve got a lot more stuff planned for today, all mostly online stuff. I do plan on cleaning the kitchen at some point today, but we did a bunch of cleaning last night, so my offline to-do list is dramatically shorter. I want to write a buttload of blog posts, but first I need to write those of which are necessary – then I can write for fun.

I wrote a post awhile back on my bucket list that has been getting a few comments. I need to go back and update it, to make it more clear that Alfie and I are no longer together. So I’ve gotten a few comments about “you just need to (a) where your relationship with Alfie is concerned”, and it’s amazing how hard it is to respond to those ones nicely. Mainly because of all the crappy drama that went down between Alfie and I (especially in terms of that post), although we seemed to get over it well enough and are friendly with each other, so I can’t really complain about anything.

Ah, the problems of a blog-a-holic 😉

Just to clarify, for those of you who may not know, Alfie and The Boyfriend are two different people. Alfie is Kaeidyn, Kenzie and Keirnan’s Dad, The Boyfriend is Carter’s Dad. Alfie is my ex-boyfriend, The Boyfriend is my current boyfriend.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Favorite Posts So Far

It’s officially been about six months since I came back from my big long blogging hiatus. In that time, on this blog alone, I’ve written 40 posts (counting this one). So, I thought it would be fun to take a look back on some of my favorite posts over the last year, not only on this blog but also on My Bucket List, my Pictures & Videos and my Writing & Erotica.

Favorites from Valerie Rayne Rants (this blog)

For (E)veryone
For (A)dults

Favorites from Valerie Rayne Writes (Writing & Erotica)

For (A)dults

Favorites from Valerie Rayne Lists (My Bucket List)

For (E)veryone
For (A)dults

Favorites from Valerie Rayne Pics (My Pictures & Videos)

For (E)veryone
For (A)dults

Now that I’ve shared all my favorites with you, I’d love for you to share yours with me. I’d also like to take a moment to thank all of you who have been reading and following. I especially want to thank those who have commented on my posts and the valuable insights you have often given me. Thank you so much for the likes and I hope we keep on having them 😉

Exploding Head Syndrome

I hate that I didn’t spend more of my teenage life reading. I mean, I read quite a bit during those years. Probably just a little bit more than the average teenager, but looking back on it, I wasn’t reading the right books.

Now, not only do I have a buttload of books that I’m trying to read and want to read but I also have all these blogs that I want to read, all these FetLife posts that are super important to read, all this information to consume. And there just simply isn’t enough time in the day.

Yesterday, we went down to visit my Mom and she decided a trip to Value Village was necessary. The kids were all so excited and my thoughts immediately went to books. The last time we were at VV, I got something like 6 books for $12 and one of them was my epic Sherlock Holmes (which I’m still in the process of reading). I love the book section here. Wouldn’t you know I found more books. So now, my bookshelf which is already so full you can longer see wood, has two new-to-me additions (plus a few more kids books), Promiscuities by Naomi Wolf and ManifestA by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards.

I started with Promiscuities because I read The Beauty Myth back in highschool. I’ve always loved Naomi Wolf’s style as a writer and find her writing to be so easily consumable.

It now takes the number of books I’m reading (and this does not include any I’ve started online – except Flatland) up to 8 – 8 books at one time! Which also wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that I am certainly not dedicating enough of my life to all this reading. After realizing all this during a migraine last night and a grumpy wake up this morning, I have decided that I need to get some stuff in order.

I need to set aside a certain time each day to read my offline books – like an hour or a chapter of reading one of these 8 books every night. Then, I need to set a certain time each day to read all my online stuff – and this could potentially get up there in time, because there is just so much!

I haven’t even begun to actually follow blogs yet, just followed my followers back. I’ve taken no time at all to get comfortable with WordPress’ “Reader”, so that I can successfully do what I need to do with all the great stuff I’m reading. Everything’s just a little all over the place and I need to figure out what I need to do to change that.

I have all these plans and ideas. I want to get The Erotic Writers Group back up to full-steam by January, I want to blog about this and that thing and I want to post this and that, and I just have no focus with all these ideas bopping about in my head.

My head just feels a little bit like it’s going to explode. So much I want to do, so much that has to be done, so not enough time in the day or enough energy. Need to make some changes!

I Love Productive Days!

It happens so rarely for me and that absolutely needs to change, but I seriously love really productive days. They just make me feel so very accomplished – even if when I’m done, I feel utterly exhausted!

Last night, I decided that I wanted to get up when The Boyfriend got up for work. And imagine how excited I was when I was awake before his alarm even went off! I waited for coffee and jumped out of bed when he got home. I had stuff to do!

So then, shortly after he left for work, I checked the first to-do on my list off of it. The kids and I walked down and registered Carter for Kindergarten (cannot believe my youngest is now in school – what am I going to do with myself?!?) and ensured the other kids were set to start. It took us just under an hour to complete the whole thing, including the walk to and from the school and this alone made me feel really really good.

Got home and sat for a little bit, debating whether or not the day was going to be a productive one or not and then, went out to the kitchen to grab a drink and next thing you know, I’m power cleaning the kitchen. Sweat was literally pouring off my nose! But, so clean!! Floor swept, walls washed, dishes done, surfaces cleaned and I’m even cleaning out the garbage can really good! Still arguing with myself about whether or not I’m going to do the oven – will most likely leave it until later on tonight, after the kids have gone to bed.

I’ve also written two blog posts so far today, with a definitive plan for a third and I even hope to get next week’s challenges all cued up (since I finished this week’s last night) – which means that I’m at least 4 days ahead of schedule on my usual challenge tasks.

The kids are even enjoying the productive day, although they are being much less productive. But they have been better behaved all day today than I’ve seen them in months and it’s just generally being a great day!

Lesson learnt today: Wake up earlier! Makes me more productive which gives me that nice accomplished feeling I love so much 😉

I’m Back!!!

Well, it’s been over a year since I last wrote anything blog related. After succumbing to extreme amounts of stress and an overwhelmed feeling that I just couldn’t shake, I had to step away from the computer and internet for quite awhile. And while I haven’t totally conquered the stress or gotten over the fact that my life can sometimes be incredibly overwhelming, I have realized that not blogging can no longer be an option.

So finally, I’m back… This time is going to be a little bit different though.

First of all, I’m not going to bite off more than I can chew. It’s often the downfall of my time on the internet. I think I can do it all, I want to do it all. Be on every social network actively, put all my ideas out there, write everyday, blah blah blah – and that’s not why I started blogging in the first place. I didn’t start blogging to become marketable or to reach some target audience or to get a certain amount of likes and shares.

I plan to not make any plans and I plan to let my writing and blogging happen naturally and organically. I also plan to not take on so many projects online or at the very least, give each project it’s time to settle in. That way, when I get in front of my computer, I don’t immediately feel like giving up.

So for now, it’s The Rantings and The Erotic Writers Group, and that’s it!

Over the next few days, you’ll most likely get a few introductory posts and then we’ll get into the real good stuff. For now though, I’d love for you to check out my latest writing, a submission for The Erotic Writers Group: Challenge Central and if you’re on Google+, that’s the best place to get updates from me!

Thank you so much for reading my first post back after my year long hiatus and I look forward to many more rantings. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave your comments.