journals

So the duck says…

This has been a month of wins and losses.  It’s not the end of the month yet, but I figured it was time to lay them all bare.  Let’s start with the moments I fell flat on my face, shall we?

My Epic Fails of the Month

Waking Up for Count

This one is less of a new fail, and more a sign of regressing.  When I first came home from prison, I was still on prison time.  I’d find myself staring at the clock, keeping the schedule of the nightly count, and waking up for the unlocking of the doors for chowtime.  Sometime in the first 100 days of freedom, I overcame this habit–

a habit that came back in full force this week.

I’m sorry for being so broken still.

 

The Newsletter that Wasn’t

Last month, I nagged everyone into signing up for my mailing list— promising bright bursts of inspiration for the month of the November.  I carefully planned 30 emails, and then… forgot all about it.  Not a single one of my crafted newsletters went out.

I’m sorry for breaking my promise.

 

My Accidental Obsession with Saltwater Taffy

As the most embarrassing of my fails this month, I accidentally re-shared a post from 2012Twice.  I think it’s even worse that it’s such a pointless post. I almost didn’t revive it at all, but it has nostalgic merit since it’s a re-write of my very very very first post.  It’s also one of my favorite comment threads because my readers are hilarious.

However, I didn’t realize that changing the title to lowercase in the new editor would distribute it to everyone.   Twice.  So for those who received the two emails, plus two tweets, and saw the two tweets posted to the Rarasaur facebook page, and also the two posts from WordPress directly to the Rarasaur facebook page– please know that I don’t really care about salt water taffy so much as all that.

I’m sorry for being so noisy.

 

My Worst Day Ever Video

A friend came over to make a video for Rarasaur blog, now featured on the new homepage.  He’s pretty much the most amazing kid I know, which is how he turned the video into something pretty cute, even though I was a mess.   If I had thought it through, I would have focused on what to say.  I would have washed my hair after my morning cry, and I would have fixed Rarasaur’s arm first.

I’m sorry for not thinking it through.

 

Rejections

I’ve lost count of the places that have rejected my thoughts on prisons, prison reform, probation law, or even generic thoughts on incarceration.  Most places argue that I am the anomaly, not the norm– or that their readers would not be interested.

I’m sorry I haven’t figured out a way to communicate the importance of change.

 

Awkward Email Mistakes

If you’ve sent me an email asking for help or feedback, don’t worry.  I’ll awkwardly reply weeks later as if you wrote just that morning, because I don’t know how to read time stamps or use email. Apparently.

I’m just sorry.

 

No Internet Wednesday

The day before Thanksgiving, I sat around without internet all day, worrying about how I was going to finish the month if my barely-resurrected computer couldn’t connect to the internet.  I took it apart, and put it back together, and couldn’t figure it  out.  Finally, I just called it an early night and went to bed.

It turns out there’s a button on the front of the computer that says “Enable Wireless Connections”.  Guess what it does?  Yes, exactly what it says.

I’m sorry I assumed the worse.

 

International Label Day

I don’t even know where to start with this one.   I messed it all up.  I didn’t email a reminder to the people who asked for one.  I barely posted a reminder here. I didn’t follow up with last year’s celebrators, and I didn’t update the post with this year’s late celebrators.  I had no energy left.

I’m sorry I forgot that celebrations are how we refuel.

 

The Uncomfortable Home Page

I started making the visual repairs to Rarasaur blog on Thanksgiving because it’s usually a slow day in the ‘sphere.  Then, I got distracted.  When I returned, I realized I had set the big center image to a collage of the facial expressions I captured via my webcam, as I caught up on y’alls blogs, just a few days after being released from prison.

collageblog

On this one, I’m really more sorry for me than anyone else. You should have seen my face when I typed in Rarasaur.com and saw my gigantic head all over the place.

 

My Wins of the Month

 

NanoPoblano

I finished Poblano season.  Well, not yet, but I will.  I posted every day and read almost everything posted by my Poblanos, even though I absolutely stunk at commenting.

And though I can only claim a fraction of a fraction of a small percentage of credit– did you notice how many Poblanos are soaring through that finish line?  Have you noticed our badge everywhere you look?  Did you hear our rawr?

It’s a beautiful thing, and I am thankful I am part of it.

 

Life

I survived.  I painted the tips of my nails gold.   I made some real strides with handlettering projects.  I celebrated holidays without making a ruckus about being without Dave.  I donated time.    I changed the look of this space, to make room for bigger and better projects.  I saw friends, hugged children, played with cats, and befriended new animals.  I asked for help when I needed it.  I gave 100% to my job.  I sent letters to 15 people from my mailing list.  (Not a lot, I know, given how many signed up, but I figured I should start somewhere.)  I made a video for this blog, even though maybe nobody needed to hear the message of it more than I did.  That stumbling, fumbling, seemingly-drunk man on my butt doesn’t stop me from going where I need to go.  It’s just life.  And that’s what I write about, and that’s what we talk about, and that’s what we celebrate here.

Life.

It’s a beautiful thing, and I am thankful I am part of it.

____________________

Did I mention I’m sorry?

88 comments

  1. Oh Rara, even beautiful, amazing, wonderful dinosaur human hybrids make mistakes too. It’s okay. I missed 3 posts this month :/ lame, but I didn’t give up even though it felt pointless to continue after that first missed day. I consoled myself by remembering that showing up at all, given my circumstances, on ANY day, is enough. And I hope you know that YOU are enough too. Imperfect and fabulous!
    As for the prison stuff, I’m confused. You mean people aren’t jumping at the chance to let you share your voice and perspective? Wtf! They must not read this blog. For THAT I am sorry. For them. 🙂
    Love you, rara.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not lame at all, chica, you DID this pepper stuff, and don’t let anyone tell you different. You’re blogging for two. 😉

      Yeah, the prison stuff is rough. I’ve also had a slew of personal rejection, as far as contributing to another site– but that sort of rejection doesn’t hit as hard because it’s just for me. The prison stuff is important. In my mind, there are faces to the problems… and I just want to show people those faces. That alone, I think, is a change worth fighting for. But, I suppose today is not the day. I’ll keep trying. How could I not with support like yours? 😀

      Love you, too. How did today treat you?

      Like

  2. I think you did and continue to do a fantastic job. We all forget some things some times. We all mess up from time to time. That’s life. It’s beautiful. So are you. Don’t apologize. We’re on your side. We get it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Broken? Honey, you ain’t broken… a little cracked maybe, but definitely not broken. Life throws us a curve ball sometimes. Sometimes it’s a Nerf curve ball, and sometimes it’s a golf or a cricket ball and they can really hurt, but your heart and your spirit are strong 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 There’s that quote from Lilo and Stitch… “Little, and broken…. but still good, yeah. Still good.” I can handle being a little cracked, I think… I like that better than broken. I just hope the next curve ball that comes my way is Nerf… I’ve totally earned it. 😉 Thank you, Lyn. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Whatever in the world are you sorry for??? Yes, I know you just explained it, but really none of those seem Iike good enough reasons. 😊 I am so glad I discovered your blog a couple months ago thanks to sirius bizinus. You have made me laugh, you have made me cry, but most of all you have reminded me of what’s most important in life. You are truly a beautiful person, inside and out.❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aww, Quixie, you’re gonna make me cry now. I’m glad you’re here. This community was exactly one Quixie short, and now that we’re reinforced, I know we’ll be tackling strange conversations and interesting ideas as we head into 2016. Thanks for your kind and beautiful words. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Rara. Sweet, precious, Rara. Don’t ever apologize for being human. We all stumble from time to time, and you are no less entitled to that than anyone else. No less!! You are wonderful and adored and you are good here. I mean that, you’re good. Not a blessed thing to be sorry for. 🙂

    *hugs* ❤

    Liked by 2 people

        1. It was wonderful! I was feeling like this: And while I don’t want to take the box off of my head just yet, I at least feel like painting clouds on the inside of it and making the outside look like a robot face. 🙂 😉

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Kitten robot!! I like this game, too. Something tells me we won’t need to spend a lot of money when we get together and hang out one day. We just need some sharpies and a box, a bottle of glue… miscellaneous buttons…

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey, don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s good to have plans but, come on, give yourself some breathing room. It’s okay that you didn’t do everything you planned and you’re still figuring some things out. You have nothing to apologise for at all.

    I’m SO GLAD I started reading your blog. I’ve laughed, cried and learnt wondrous new things. Even without a newsletter your output has been prolific both here and on Instagram (#WhistleWithRara – I couldn’t stop laughing😂)

    I’ve had a hard time keeping up – missed a few posts myself – but you inspired me to keep going. I’ve also been reading as many Peppers as I can but I still have half formed comments waiting to be brought to life.

    I only remember seeing the Saltwater Taffy post once but I wouldn’t have been fazed by a double post. I’ve just watched that video now: it was sweet and your hair looks great😉

    Be kind to yourself because you’ve achieved so much this month. It may not always feel like it but your presence leaps off the page into our lives and makes them just that bit brighter. It’s not ‘sorry’ you should be saying, it’s ‘you’re welcome’😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dan. Yours is one of the emails that I just butchered my reply to… and now it’s in draft because really, sending it now seems more rude than not sending it at all? I don’t know. My logic isn’t exactly the best right now. 😀

      The good thing about the Peppers is that they’re so very forgiving when it comes to things like late comments, so I know they’ll appreciate your thoughts whenever you get to them.

      And as to YOUR peppering, you’ve done amazingly given everything else you’re tackling at the same time. 🙂

      Thank you for watching the video, being so kind as to lie about the state of my hair ;), and for reading, and for all your kind words.

      We’re kinda an awesome team! *high five*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t stress over the email, seriously, no offence taken. I read your completely unnecessary ‘Sorry’ page right in the beginning anyway so you’re covered – and I wasn’t lying about your hair😉 *high five*

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Rara! If we’re going to say sorry, then I have to say I’m sorry I haven’t written or even looked at WordPress for over a month. And whose blog do I get as the first to read on my return? Yours, off course! So now I have to be inspired to accept that life happens and it’s not always good. But it is always wondrous and precious and special! YOU are wondrous and precious and special. Go well little dinosaur.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😀 Margie, you are wonderful and I am flattered and humbled by your kindness and readership. Having such wonderful readers is part of the reason I wanted to put my head in a box after messing up so much, ha, but– I suppose the other side of that you are lovely. Go well, my friend, and I will too. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Yeah, I keep “being alive” on the win list, because it gives me one easy point every day. 🙂 Thank you, Jantine, for reading and being amazing. ❤

      Like

  8. ⬆️ What they said…good lord, after what you’ve gone through, it’s amazing that you can do what you do – and so often with a smile. It’s bound to happen that you feel like you’re crashing every now and then. Life was just telling you it was time to look after yourself. And now that you’ve apologized so much, I hereby proclaim you an honorary Canadian. 🇨🇦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *giggles* Well, I always thought I fit in rather well with Canadians. Except the whole ability to deal with cold weather thing. 😀 Thank you, Elizabeth. ❤

      Like

  9. Oh Ra, you have absolutely no reason to be sorry, rather so much to be proud of all – especially of yourself. You’ve managed to keep in touch with the Poblanos – I barely kept up with my blog, let alone anyone else’s. Thank you for being so generous, for being kind and most of all, being you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In fairness, this isn’t my first Poblano rodeo. When you join us next year, you’ll see– it gets easier. 😀 (“Next year?!” Yes, next year.) You wrote some awesome stuff this month, by the way, I hope you’re ridiculously proud of yourself. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The newsletter that wasn’t cracked me up! That is so something I would do. Everyone has wins/fails in life. You don’t need to be sorry and apologise for being human!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, it was actually pretty funny when I realized what I had done. I saw all 30 prettily designed newsletters and just laughed because– why fuss on font choice if you’re never going to send them to anyone? 😀 Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My mom just arrived in India yesterday. Today she brought me the letter that you wrote me from prison. When Dave died I was desperate to write to you so I emailed her a letter and had her mail it to you from Seattle. Then when you wrote me back via her address she read it to me over the phone. At one point she read, I’m sorry for my handwriting and then interjected, “she has beautiful handwriting.” So all this time I’m thinking it is going to be this big artistic handwriting and now seeing the letter it is perfect, within the lines, clear and distinct and readable writing. If you saw my handwriting you probably would need a translation… when I was in college, I often couldn’t even read my own notes… anyways, it was pretty cool getting that letter from you today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, you need to post pictures to her Instagram so I can stalk y’all properly! 😀 I am glad you received the letter though I don’t know what I wrote, haha. 😀 I love your mom– “she has beautiful handwriting”, ha! She needs to speak to my fourth grade teacher who gave me a B in handwriting. 😉

      Can you get mail where you are? If you send me your address, I’ll mail you something. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mail takes a couple of weeks to come and usually it arrives with most of its contents 🙂
        My address is
        Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Amritapuri.p.o,
        Kollam Dt.
        Kerala, 690546
        India.
        I’ll tell my mom about the Instagram. You totally got her into that… I haven’t made my way there yet though. I’m still holding out. (holding out on starting an account, I check out yours and mom’s accounts though)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Last year, I looked through my old report cards. The consistent comment my teachers made was about my poor handwriting. I have no memory of that being an issue as a child but I know I have horrible handwriting now!!!

        I’m glad you like my Instagram photos! I will get a SIM card for India tomorrow so I hope to be able to post some from here!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Welcome to life my dino friend. The high’s, low’s, the good, the bad, the in the middle stuff. Nothing to say you’re sorry to. Just embrace it all and keep going. Big hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yours is perhaps my favorite blog out there. I’m so glad I discovered it. Your love, humility, and authenticity are so refreshing. Just reading this brought a tear to my eye. As for the prison stuff, don’t give up. You’ll get through to someone eventually, and when you do, you just may change the world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Thank you so much. That’s kind and humbling and just… well. *hugs* And thank you too for the boost on the prison stuff– I’m going to keep trying. There’s faces to the numbers in the cages, and I want everyone to see them as clearly as I do in my mind. Thank you for the encouragement. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Sorry

    It looks as though you’ve hung yourself upon the hooks of your own expectations, rather than crumbling at the demands of anyone else.

    Draw a line under it and start over.

    You don’t owe anything. To those who love you (and I see no defectors), you are indulged, not obliged.

    You have done frightfully wonderous things. And waysides are places you can always go back to, and pick up what fell there, if it’s important.

    Keep living in silver linings.

    And have TWO lines, just to make sure.

    __________________________________________________
    __________________________________________________

    Liked by 3 people

  15. It makes me giggle that you think you failed at anything, you silly dino-girl! You have nothing to apologize for, you were (and ARE) awesome. You’re doing your best, which is all anybody would ever ask of you, especially around here! I know you didn’t forget that you are loved 😉

    And if you read all of the Pepper posts, even if you didn’t comment on all of them, um…. WOW. I’ve done my best, but there’s a lot of us out there!

    As for the newsletter, I dunno about anybody else, but I could use inspiration from you anytime – send those babies out at random and surprise me/us!!!

    Love you, Ra… no matter the nonsense, xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are SO MANY of us. The posts are just wonderful. The problem is my WP app– and I don’t know if it’s my silly phone or the app– doesn’t let me comment. It says “This blog doesn’t exist” when I try. So I think to myself “Go back later and comment…” but then, as Diamond Mike says, “Later never comes”…

      And that’s a great idea! Surprise inspiration newsletter! They’re written anyway. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 I don’t know how Emily Post would feel about that rule, but I approve. Now I just need to become a great writer so I never have to apologize again! Easy… right? Right. 😀

      Like

  16. Oh. My. Goodness. Every one of those things, up there, that you wrote? A total win. And if you haven’t signed up for at least a free account on QueryTracker, please do. You can keep track of reputable publishers and agents for your project — and if you write it as a memoir, there you go. Plenty of readers like reading memoirs, particularly those from a point of view rarely encountered. I just saw a post on Facebook about Reba Jackson (probably misspelled her first name — so sorry!), the eldest child of the Jackson family (Michael, Marlon, Janet, etc.). Her daughter published a memoir about being bipolar. Memoirs are a thing. You got this. And I want to come to at least one book signing so I can get my autographed copy. Selfish? You betcha. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Alright, I’ll make it a personal story. Maybe that’ll do it. I just want people to put faces to these girls. And autographed copy, ha, as if you wouldn’t get one of the first ten books. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Darling you have nothing to apologise for. Everyone forgets and makes mistakes from time to time, the only person you need to forgive is yourself. Well done on your wins, that’s all life is about 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Thank you. On my re-read, I gave myself a point for every post in November, and every post I read, and realized that I could afford a lot more losses before it’d count as a failure for the month. 😉 Math. It saves the day. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. No need to be sorry at all. As to the computer, I have had the same issue with that oh so lovely, and cleverly hidden button…you are in a good group as myself and many have that miatake, so sayeth a lady from tech support. Meh. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, but between it behind my first post– and then only post I ever “rewrote– and now it’s the post I shared twice later– taffy is serious, but not THAT serious.

      Though I learned to make a taffy equivalent in prison. Creamer and Koolaid, for the win!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t understand the apologies. You’ve done nothing wrong, so there’s nothing to apologize for. :-\

    The places that rejected you, though (magazines? papers? other blogs?) well, THEY owe you an apology. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Magazines, journals, papers, one other blog– alright. I’ll write them a stern letter saying I expect an apology. 😉 No, in truth, their rejections were softly worded and kind in regards to my writing. Just close-minded… and I put that on me. There’s a magic word that will open minds…

      and I’m gonna find it! 🙂

      Thank you. ❤

      Like

  20. Ra, your energy and ability to do SO much constantly leaves me dazed and feeling like a slouch! Please don’t apologize for the things you intended to do but didn’t. Celebrate the AMAZING things you do and let the rest fall to the wayside as either unimportant or not for this season. Love your words so, so much, C

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I thought I had somehow messed up subscribing to your emails. And then I worried that I (gasp!) accidentally deleted them with my spam. But, by not getting the emails, you forced us all to dig deep and find inspiration within ourselves. And then you cheered us on in all those other ways and set a great example and were all around the pepperiest of Team Tiny Peppers!

    Like

  22. I’m sorry that there are so many sorry things to feel sorry about. Sorry for my part in that sorry state of affairs. And sorry if you’re just so sorry; I’m sorry, but it really isn’t necessary.

    Sorry if I repeated other sorry comments.

    (CUT IT OUT RARA. REALLY. STOP IT)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. All those sorries, you’re starting to sound Canadian. Makes me kinda proud.

    You are loved, and if it helps, emails or no emails, I probably wouldn’t have made it through (or even joined) Nano Poblano this month if it weren’t for you. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

  24. I’m sorry that you feel you have to apologise. I’m sorry that the human race can be so crap. I’m sorry you had to go to prison in the first place.

    Love you Ra, whether you’re whole or in pieces. I’m trying to help love you back together from the other side of the Atlantic. ❤

    Like

  25. Stop apologizing, unless it makes you feel better. And if that’s what makes you feel better, then we’re not hugging you enough. You’re awesome, you should have enough hugs that after giving them out to the world (like you are probably wont to do) you’ll still have enough to fill a sun. Three times.

    Like

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