Random Thought

Truly good friends are hard to find. Honest, decent, caring friends are even harder to find. I am BLESSED to have 10 that I would KILL FOR, if need be. Special thanks to a few in particular this week who have been so kind, caring, supportive, and just plain AWESOME.

When you begin a new project, it takes you on a journey. Those that have supported me over the past month on this new journey mean the world to me. You all know who you are because you’ve all received personal messages from me over the last 10 days or so.

Hugs all around.

Introducing Myself…

For starters: Thank you for letting everyone know I would be here from time to time, Li. 

For everyone reading this, my name is Stefanie and I will be assisting on this blog. Lisa is my oldest, dearest, and most treasured friend. I’ve worked with her and assisted on so many different things that this feels like coming home, so to speak. I already know it will be fun to share my perspective. 🙂

Normally I would introduce myself, as if we were meeting in person, and tell you some things about me, but I don’t yet feel that comfortable, what with the harassment Lisa and many other bloggers have written about. Suffice it to say, I am a freelance photographer. I was born and raised in Hawaii, have been with my husband for 17 years, we have a young daughter, we have two cats, and we currently live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Like Lisa, I am also a proud Scorpio (November 8th).

I have been privileged enough to work with Lisa as both friend and colleague since the early 90’s, but we’ve known each other longer than that. She & I worked closely together for many years when she worked for a professional athlete, who is so unimportant, I have decided that he can, and should, remain nameless. Maybe if he had treated her better, had been respectful of her hard work, had been kind, courteous, or a decent human being, I’d feel him worthy of mention. I do not. I hope to hell I never cross paths with him again. I don’t want to have to explain to my mother why I was bailed out of jail for beating the hell out of someone who was once a family friend. Sadly, that’s way too good for him.

This platform of Lisa’s is amazing, and as unique as she is. I am really proud of her for “taking the plunge” and being herself here. To see her working so hard on her own self-promotion is a beautiful thing. The books she is in the process of writing are incredible, entertaining, thoroughly researched, and thought-provoking. I love how she has taken old mythology and altered it to suit her needs, and put an entirely new spin on things, I love the dialogue, the characters, the pop culture references, and her ever-present wit. I hope that prior to publication, you will all visit the blogs for each of the books and allow yourselves to become immersed in chapter releases and excerpts.

What will I be doing here? Filling in, sharing my perspective on different subjects, and doing whatever I can to assist where, and when, needed. Rome was not built in a day, and no matter what some people may think, the very best books are not written in 30 minutes. Quality, genius, greatness, it all takes a significant amount of time. Based on what I have read, it is all well worth the wait.

Lisa has asked me to share some of my photography here, and I will do my level best. I normally do very specific types of photographs, but have recently decided to embark on nature stills with the eventual goal being a gallery showing of some sort. If I do not share my personal photos, I will, at the very least, share photos that speak to me, photos I think you, the reader, will enjoy.

I encourage you to interact with me, to leave comments, and introduce yourself in kind. My contact info will be added to the About section soon. I have heard about a handful of you from Lisa by name, but beyond that, I don’t know anyone here. Lets get to know each other and do a little reinventing on this platform.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday.

~Stef

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“Introducing Myself” is copyright © 2014 by Stefanie Adams-McNamara & MysticRaven. ALL RIGHTS RESERVE

The Blogiversary

The Blogiversary

*Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam Webster, here’s a new word for you!*

Yesterday I quietly celebrated the day I had some kind of mental breakdown and created this blog. I’m kidding about the mental breakdown, but I honestly have NO idea what possessed me.

I know the list on my publishing mandate was getting to me, I’ve talked about this many times over the course of this year. Never give a Scorpio woman a lists of Dos, and really, don’t EVER tell HER what to do. She’ll be incredibly liable to tell you what to do, with a slew of choice words mixed into her phraseology.

I’m a writer, I write what I want, when I want, and I say exactly what I’m thinking. I’ve had people refuse to edit my work because they didn’t feel qualified to touch it. GOOD, you’re NOT. Thanks ever so much for clearing that up!

I remember signing up for this blog, publishing my first post, and then saying “Now what?!” I continued to post, really not expecting anything. Quickly, I started acquiring likes, followers, and in this past year I have made friends that I hope I will have for a very long time, if not a lifetime.

I named my blog, “…..And The Moon Sees All” because it is a very personal, private kind of statement for me. It also helps that it is unique. I only recently discovered how unique the name actually is when it was the first site to appear on a Google search. You can Google my name and you will find everyone else named Lisa Marino. Literally, everyone, but me. However, when you type in the name of this blog, you just get me. I have to say, I like that a lot.

Unique blog name aside, I generally don’t start a lot of sentences with “And”, mainly because I’m a Word Nazi. That’s why the blog looks like it’s the end of a sentence. It is, to some extent. A typo, a misspelled or missed word, and you will see me physically and, on occasion, visibly cringe, as if a snake just went up the back of my shirt. When I see it on someone else’s blog, I want to fix it. It drives me insane. I am definitely obsessive compulsive in this sense, and I always have been. When I find a mistake in something I wrote ten years ago, it drives me up the wall. It could be something as simple as a missing word or a missing comma, but it will drive me to fix it immediately. Hey, I never claimed to be normal, don’t expect it.

A year (and a day) into this blog has me thinking about how it all began for me as a writer, and why. I think about all the spelling tests I aced without fail. I think of the absolute BEST English teacher I ever had, Mrs. Hughes, who not only thought I was a top student, possibly the top student of all the English classes she taught, but also the fact that she believed in my ability to carry the written word further. I remember showing her midrange stages of my writing accomplishments and being able to nail scores of recommendation letters when I graduated because word got out, and everyone was so blown away by just the midrange stage of what I could do. They had yet to see me truly shine, but they all knew I would.

I had professors fail me when I was a journalism major because apparently my creative writing was “too honest.” I cannot imagine saying that to someone, but I can imagine recommending them for a different class to help push them in the right direction. I didn’t choose that particular class, it was a prerequisite. I had one professor make it sound like I was going to destroy his entire writing class, simply because I would not adhere to HIS style of how the written word should be. Hey, it’s your style buddy, not mine. I honestly don’t think anyone else in that class WAS writing, but I’m not dwelling on it because he also told me that I had no talent and would NEVER write. He was oh so wrong.

When I decided that I was no longer going to focus on journalism, it was mainly due to some health setbacks. I knew I would continue to accomplish other things, as I always have, and I knew I would continue to write, but I didn’t have a clear view of the path. I did, however, have faith that whatever I was meant to do, I’d be put on the right path and do the work. I have never asked for the work to be done for me.

Health wise, Fibromyalgia is a demon you never quite conquer. It is parasitic in its nature to take hold and feed off of your life force. It makes me angry, knowing how much it has slowed me down and exactly how much it has stripped me of. I battle it every single day. There will forever be good and bad days. I no longer self-abuse (I said abuse, not self-harm. Self-abuse, for me, is more mental than anything else.) when I cannot do something. I no longer berate myself when I cannot get out of bed. I no longer force myself to do things that will leave me laying in bed for weeks at a time in pain. I’ve had to let go and realize that I may physically be limited a lot of the time, but my voice and the core of who I am have remained the same. If anything, I’ve probably just gained a fresher perspective.

What has changed for me since this blog went live? I’ve changed, in some wonderful ways. Instead of writing without an awful lot of feedback, I get feedback on an almost daily basis, and quickly. When I write something great, people leave me comments or send me e-mails, and as a writer, I feel supported. No one is sitting in judgement of me here. I thank all of you for that, because I’m not judging any of you either.

Yes, I’ve come across a handful of people who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near humans, computers, social media, animals, humans, and did I mention humans? They should have their hands removed and their mouths sutured shut, and they should be locked away from civilization because they’re making anyone with a truly serious mental illness look 1 million percent sane. Spewing hatred is incredibly unattractive, I don’t allow that here, and I don’t allow that in any aspect of my life. Spewing hatred toward women and a religious group differing from your own is fucking disgusting. I’ve had a few comments come my way that were incredibly uncalled for and completely unprovoked. However, I’ve had support from various people in many instances and the uncivilized have been cast out. I have had exactly ONE person take offense to something I said, and my hand to God, I was not anywhere in the vicinity of offensive. I was downright nice and friendly, which for me is HUGE. I answered a question with detailed, informative honesty. I was insulted and berated for it, simply because this person disagreed with me. If you don’t have anything nice to say to a person, don’t say anything at all. A simple “Thank you for reading my blog/post.” is sufficient. Don’t ask a person to elaborate on something you yourself are not knowledgeable about and then act like they’ve committed some kind of crime by answering you. If I want to offend you, believe me, I possess all the necessary tools to do so. I can go from zero to bitch in less than half a second, but I choose not to be a vicious tart here. I choose to keep this space as positive as humanly possible, and supportive. I’m not competing with anyone here for niceness, or “best blog”, or ANYTHING. I compete with myself as a writer, but there will always be better writers than I, of writers who simply have a different perspective, and that is 100% what life is all about.

We all have our personal space on the blogosphere, and if you come into mine, be respectful. If I leave a comment on your blog, you can bet it’s not going to be a hate-filled, mean rant. I will either agree, disagree, laugh with you, cry with you, or relate to you. I might even have some advice, if that’s what you happen to be seeking. I have a lot on my “life plate”, and I don’t suffer fools, assholes, or the ignorant.

To the friends I’ve made here, who make my days so much brighter with comments, e-mails, private messages, phone calls, and texts: THANK YOU. You’re all seeing me exactly as I am and that makes me feel so good inside. There is a great sense of community here and for that, I am supremely grateful.

Taking into account that this particular gesture still leaves me speechless, I have to say, it’s been a good year here. I look forward to many more.

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Thank you for all being here and supporting me as an artist. Yes, even writers are artists. 🙂

Demi Lovato: ‘If people really knew how dark my struggles got…’

This is such an honest interview about her struggles. How many artists openly admit to being bipolar, eating disorders, and self-harm? Very few. She HAS been honest all the way through, unlike so many others, so whether you love her or hate her, you’ve got to have some respect for what she’s been through on a public sphere. I think she’s a beautiful girl, I’ve always thought so, and I think her message of staying strong is important for everyone suffering from any form of depression or pain of any kind.

Be your own best advocate and even when the going gets tough, don’t back down!!

 

Every Time I See This, It Reminds Me Of Who I Am

My sister-in-crime and best friend in Israel sent me the most awesome message for my birthday. Yes, it was last month, but I just have to share it now because it’s one of the only things that makes me feel SO good inside at the moment, and I’m going through some pretty rough shit, so certain things right now are my guideposts.
Birthdays are extremely difficult for me, and she knows how I feel about them, and why. So, at the end of the day when I came home feeling like death, unable to walk, really hurting physically, I put aside the gifts I had received (four bottles of nail polish, four CD’s I wanted {Alter Bridge, Cassadee Pope, OneRepublic, & Gavin DeGraw}, some candles that I am LOVING, the Divergent Trilogy, and season 1 of Sons of Anarchy on DVD, and this was the message waiting in my e-mail box: “Happy Birthday to the one and only! G-d blessed you with one of many gifts, and that is the ability to use words, mold them into sentences, and make the world a beautiful place. My wish to you is that people will come to know you beyond the words. See you for who you really are, a powerful woman, a kind soul, a true friend with a huge heart. Don’t be afraid to dream big because you deserve it! Love ya!”
That message means more to me than anything else on the planet right now. For those who’ve been trying to steal my voice and the core of who I am this past year, and those who’ve hurt and abused me in unspeakable ways, please know that my true friends in this world KNOW who I am, and they certainly aren’t afraid to tell me that you’re all WRONG.

Learning To Love Our Bodies

Learning To Love Our Bodies

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I’ve been meaning to share this blog for quite some time now. It breaks my heart that any child would ask if raisins are fattening. I openly admit to having an image problem, but I can tell you that it did not start until I left gymnastics and it didn’t begin at home. In fact, I never saw anything wrong with myself physically (except for obvious things that all girls find issue with at one time in their life or another) until people started pointing my flaws out left and right. All of a sudden, I was avoiding mirrors and wouldn’t purchase new clothes.

As women, we make this worse. Instead of building each other up, we tear each other down. It’s disgusting and I don’t want to be a part of that. If I think someone is beautiful, be it inner or outer beauty (occasionally it is both, but not all the time,), then I find absolutely nothing wrong with saying it. That doesn’t mean I want to be in a relationship with them, it simply means I’m not blind.

Zero and Double Zero are not sizes, even if that’s your “natural weight”. It should not be anyone’s goal of perfection because perfection is an illusion. Be yourself. Be comfortable in the skin you’re in because you’re going to be in that skin for a very long time. Be kind to yourself and try to achieve self-acceptance, because it’s so much easier than “perfection”.