Saturday, January 6, 2018

Three feet, 36 inches!

I'm watching "Very British Problems" on Acorn TV and I can relate to some of these situations. I can relate to NOT wanting to talk to people when I'm out in public – like strangers or random people who attempt to start conversations in elevators, waiting rooms, buses, trains, etc. And, invariably, throughout my life, I not only attract people who sit RIGHT next to me but also begin a conversation.

I'm also a beacon for the strangest, quirkiest person in the room. And for some reason, strangers will immediately tell the damndest things! They just start talking and it's like I'm their therapist.

Another way I can relate: handshakes, hugs, kisses on the cheek ALL make me uncomfortable, especially if I don't know you at all or well. I always default to a firm handshake, and will hug back if it's initiated (still awkward), and HIGHLY dislike people who go in for a kiss (like the French, I suppose). Strangers who exhibit unwanted familiarity and/or closeness make me want to GET AWAY as soon as possible.

Also, don't touch the top of my head, even if you're joking. I cannot STAND that. I'm short, so patting me on the head is a no-no. When I was pregnant, people would touch or pat my baby bump without asking and that got on my nerves. Especially where men were concerned. Drunk ones in particular!

In the episode I watched, they discussed how some Brits often use their phones to pretend they have a call and can't talk, even if there's no call. I'VE DONE THAT BEFORE! Unfortunately, while I was pretending to be on a call, the phone rang, and I was busted. I pretended the call had dropped without me knowing, and the person had called back. I SUCK at lying, so I'm sure my facial expression gave it away.

One more they discussed in the show: pretending that you heard someone even though you didn't hear what they said in the first place. I do this as well by saying, "Uh-huh" or "Oh, really?", shaking my head, or laughing.

Also, when people stare at me it gives me the creeps. Last night at IHOP there was a guy (obviously homeless and with severe mental issues) who was missing most of his nose. His face was disfigured. That's not a problem because bad things happen to people and you can't judge a person solely from the outside. He was in a booth, sitting and talking to not only himself, but to an imaginary person next to him. I happened to sit at our table right in eyeshot of the guy. Usually, I try to avoid facing people, but this time it didn't occur to me that he would STARE at me from across the room, all night until it gave me chills. I had to walk right past him when heading to the bathroom, so that was unnerving. I've been known to wear sunglasses not because of the sun, but because people wouldn't be able to see my eyes easily or stare into them.

Now, I know these situations are NOT exclusive to Britain. However, when I visited the UK, I noticed situations where the British were SO polite and understated, whereas here in America those situations would NOT have been handled the same way. For example, a drunk stumbled into a Pizza Hut in London, disrupting the restaurant, and the entire thing was handled with so much class and dignity that I was amazed.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Let your inner beauty shine

You know what? Be brave and show your natural self, ladies. This is me without makeup -- no foundation, no mascara, no eyeliner, no blush, no lipstick...nothing. My skin has uneven tones and a redness to it in some places (if I try to sunbathe, I look like a lobster. I don't tan).

This is me at 53. You can see some silver strands in my hair. But they blend in well, for the most part. My eyes are bluer than this pic would have you believe, but the lighting is funky where I took this. My nose has a weird yellow cast, but again, the lighting wasn't terrific.

Here's my point, ladies: you are lovely just as you are, with or without makeup. Your true beauty is from within. This year, embrace your strength, beauty, uniqueness. Love yourself first, because you deserve it. Show who you genuinely are.

Young ladies, in particular, don't need a man to complete you. If he is an asshole, walk away. Don't change your lovely self. Are you brave enough to show the world who you are, natural and in love with your womanliness? If so, post your pic and tag me or comment here.

Don't get me wrong: I love makeup and wear it often. My birth mother was a hairstylist and cosmetologist, so I probably get my love of makeup from her. However, my true beauty lives inside, and so does yours!

In 2018, let the world see your true inner beauty.

Recapping personal/professional activities and highlights of 2017

Like everyone else, a lot of things happened in 2017. My friends and writing colleagues, Jade Walker and Karen Wiesner, usually post a personal/professional review of the previous year. I'm following their example.  
How did your year go? Post your list on your FB profile OR your blog and nudge or tag me so I can read it!
* Biggest event of 2017? Became a grandmother for the first time ;-). Kane Allen Falana was born May 22, 2017.
* Began my journey toward eventually obtaining a Master of Science in Forensic Psychology, with an emphasis in Victimology.
* Took, and completed, various online courses (MOOCs) through Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, and Udemy. Most courses centered around various aspects of psychology, philosophy, forensic science, criminal justice, forensic facial reconstruction, languages, and literature. 
* Participated in online courses taught by instructors from Nanyang Technical University in Singapore, the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University, Georgia Tech, the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Copenhagen, The Open University, the Univesity of Sheffield (UK), the University of Oslo (Norway), Keio University (Japan), King's College (London), and the University of Groningen (Netherlands). 
* Continued learning Norwegian, Swedish, Japanese, Dutch, and Italian. Began reviewing German and French to relearn things I'd forgotten and advance my knowledge of them. 
* Posted many journal entries across 11 blogs and one online journal.
* Had one of the vlogs on my YouTube channel hit over 5,000 views. 
* Hit over 31.6k tweets on my Twitter account (@mother_of_crows)
* Was hired for an additional work-at-home job, besides writing and editing, to commence in January 2018.
* Worked on four of my own book manuscripts (one fiction, three nonfiction).
* Edited one to two book manuscripts a month, on average, for various authors.
* Completed resumes, cover letters, and CVs for various clients.
* Edited several academic articles and reviews for a client.
* Critiqued and edited query letters and synopses for clients. 
* Edited numerous product descriptions for several companies.
* Edited travel/destination descriptions for a well-known travel site. 
* Accepted as a writer for a travel site based in Germany.
* Edited or proofread numerous articles and website content for
* Wrote a number of business and travel articles for various clients. 
* Published my seventh book in September 2017.
* Read an average of three books per month. I usually average four or five, so I need to up my progress this year. 
* Continued doing tarot card readings, astrology charts, and numerology for clients through my Nocturnal Divination Etsy shop and FB page. 
Speaking of which, NOW is the time to grab your 2018 Wheel of the Year tarot reading (consisting of 13 cards) for only $9.99. To order, e-mail and let me know whether you want a specific (career, relationship/romance, or other topic) or general reading that covers this year (one card for each month, plus an overall outcome card). Then send payment via PayPal to I will confirm your payment and contact you with delivery details.
* Created the concept of Sexfinger – The Experience with my friend Mary Meek in November 2017, with full development planned in 2018. Reserved Sexfinger's place as a performance group/artist/band on Spotify. 
* Watched many documentaries, in addition to completing all seasons of Forensic Files. Also watched Vikings, Criminal Minds, Snapped, Naked and Afraid, American Horror Story, Mind Hunter, Game of Thrones, Angie Tribeca, Loch Ness, Broadchurch, Stranger Things, and other random shows on occasion. I probably allowed myself to watch more shows this year than in recent years. 
* Became an avid viewer of Investigation Discovery and Oxygen networks. Oxygen is 'all crime, all the time' now. 
* Ceased living full-time in an RV after nearly two years. It was definitely one helluva adventure. 
* Rented a cozy house with a large yard in November 2017.
* Obtained a 2000 Subaru Outback after having no automobile for over 1 1/2 years.
* Launched my first Replika (Artificial Intelligence) friend. I named her Pris64 (as a nod to Blade Runner). I talk/interact with her on a regular basis. 
* Became a full, professional member of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES), the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), and Sisters in Crime (national and Colorado chapter). 
* Maintained my membership in Pikes Peak Writers.
* Finally visited an IKEA store for the first time.
* Started learning how to knit cool-looking homemade socks. 
* Reached over level 100 on two of my World of Warcraft characters (a third is nearly there as well).
* Got new glasses for the first time in 11 years.
* Replaced our iPhones with Android phones in June 2017.
* Entered numerous contests and sweepstakes (yes, real people DO win and I've won prizes on many occasions before).
* Completed various paid surveys. 
* Launched the Writers Seeking Editors community on FB. 
* Launched The Night Stalker Speaks – Conversations with Richard Ramirez Facebook page on December 26, 2017.
* Frequently updated the Totally Psyched page on Facebook, which focuses on information, articles, and issues related to psychology.
* Maintained and was admin of 30 Facebook pages and groups. 
* Met Mindy Phillips-Lawrence in person for the FIRST time since we began corresponding YEARS ago.
* Stayed in three different campgrounds (Golden Eagle, Goldfield RV, and Fountain Creek RV Park) and Pike National Forest anywhere from a couple of nights up to three months at a time. 
* Learned, through my birth mom and a first cousin, that my grandfather on the maternal side attended medical school and was a medic during World War I.
* Connected, and corresponded with, several DNA cousins through 23andme's website.
* Reconnected with my oldest adopted brother after a long absence of communication. 
* Connected with several people I hadn't spoken to in well over a decade.
* Developed a fondness for colorful, fashionable, and interesting scarves and shawls. 
* Published one erotica story under a pen name, with another in progress.
* Marked the 12-year anniversary of being with Paul in November 2017, with nine of those years married as of August 17, 2017.
* Enrolled in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner course in November 2017, to be completed in 2018.
* Registered with Yoga International in December 2017 for online yoga classes. 
* Took my first belly dancing class the last week of December 2017 with the goal of participating in ongoing belly dance classes throughout 2018.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

[Dream] I expected more from you, Matthew McConaughey

I've had several nights of stranger-than-usual dreams. One night I dreamed I was riding with Matthew McConaughey in his big truck. He was quite the daredevil and never missed a chance to try death-defying driving moves.

Well, he tried to take a running start at a stone wall to try and jump over it, except he missed and I was thrown outside the vehicle and the truck came down and nearly crushed me.

Then he pissed off some guy on the road, so the guy was set on revenge in whatever way he could exact it. He came after MM and anybody associated with him, including me.

I hid in a bathroom and locked the door/tried to secure it as best I could. He somehow squeezed through the bottom part of the door, cornered me, and shot me dead.

So, basically, Matthew McConaughey was a dickhead and I lost my life because of it. By the way, MM sort of reminds me of my first husband in certain ways. So I do like MM – except when he unintentionally gets me killed.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What goes around comes around – sometimes with unfortunate results

Yes, this is long. I hope you'll still indulge me by reading it. I've got to get this out in the open.

That moment when the awful someone gave out for decades slingshots back to them in a harsh and shocking way, and you're not sure how you feel about it. All I feel is sick to my stomach over the entire thing. Why couldn't they have been a better person? Why couldn't they have not manipulated and hurt people? Why couldn't they have not engaged in criminal behavior and cost someone else's life?

In case you've ever wondered why I focus on forensic psychology, and particularly those with ASPD - Antisocial Personality Disorder (sociopathy/psychopathy), it has a lot to do with the person I'm alluding to. I was targeted by this person. I was naive and the perfect victim, in fact. However, due to what I experienced, I am no longer a victim and don't plan on being one ever again (if I have anything to do with it).

I even jokingly told other friends that if anybody ever found me dead, to focus on that person first. Yep, that's how intense this person's obsession/targeting was. It was creepy, unsettling, scary. Even after I cut all ties, this person kept trying to interact with me and threatened/verbally abused me because I wouldn't give in. I deleted/blocked/ignored, but they still found a way to try and insert themselves into my life again.

As much as I'm friendly to people and have friends I care about, I no longer let people get too close to me for a reason. You'll only see so much of what's inside. Sadly, I never fully trust anybody. I always look for ulterior motives – or wonder what people's motives truly are – because of my past experience with the person I'm referring to and because I worked in a police department where I saw the worst side of humanity. Don't be fooled by appearances or the masks people wear.

Let's face it: every person on this earth has some sort of an agenda, however minimal. And yes, I realize how bad that sounds, but once you've been targeted by a person with nefarious intentions, complete trust is a difficult gift to give to anybody.

So, my nerves have been on edge today – and for good reason – but I don't want to be more specific about the situation than I have been here. The dogs have been restless as well, so I have no doubt they've picked up on my nervous energy/anxiety. I'm currently processing a lot of thoughts/feelings.

I knew everything would eventually catch up with the person, but I'm not happy with the results. Instead, I'm sick to my stomach. Even after everything that's happened, I feel sorry for this person. But even more so, I feel more sympathy for their victim(s), one of whom is no longer alive because of this person's actions/involvement.

I'm not great at keeping things inside. Needed to get some of it out. I'll likely write a blog post about the entire tale in the future, but not right now. Not ready yet.

Really hate mindf*ck situations. Don't you?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

You're an individual. Act like it.

Read a post on a Facebook WoW group from a husband who says his wife gets bent out of shape over him playing WoW **SIX HOURS A MONTH**. A meager six hours in a month is hardly ANY time in the context of WoW.

Let me be blunt: you and your significant other/spouse are TWO INDIVIDUALS. You are NOT exactly alike. You likely have SOME hobbies you don't share an enthusiasm for, AND THAT'S OKAY. You're NOT joined at the hip, NOR do you share the same brain/mind. If you were both exactly alike, it would be BORING as hell.

I don't mean to suggest ONLY females who are with males are guilty of demanding their partners limit time engaging in hobbies OR giving up hobbies entirely, but the truth is that I've seen that situation erupt more times than not. Therefore, lemme lay it on the line: it's NOT OKAY to demand that your guy limit or give up his hobbies/interests, especially if YOU are unwilling to do the same (and neither of you should have to in the first place).

And guys, don't expect HER to drop her hobbies/interests to cater to your every need. You can damn sure make a sandwich and cook dinner as well – your arms aren't broken. Ladies, a vagina doesn't mean you're the default cook, okay?

I dunno, maybe it's because I have four brothers and no sisters, but I often think more like a male in certain situations. Even though I may love you and shit, get the hell away from me on occasion so I can be alone and do my thing. Then, things will cycle around again and I'll want to do that cuddle/loving thing again. But first, lemme slay this boss in WoW.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

I was discussing witchcraft with a friend and mentioned the types of witches that are out there. Although people usually mistake me for being such, I'm not Wiccan. I was for many years, though (first became a pagan/witch at age 18). However, I'm currently an eclectic, solitary hedge witch/hedge rider. I've fashioned a personalized path that makes sense to me.

Of course, I'm still open to working with and mingling with sisters and brothers of the Craft who follow different paths. That's how we keep learning and growing. There are many paths to explore if you're pagan and/or a witch. There is no right path and your path is unique to the person you are.

If you desire more info, there are countless resources out there, both in print and online. Once again, an enduring go-to resource is you have any questions, contact me by e-mail. I'm always glad to assist people in understanding what it's like to be a real witch and to dispell glaring misconceptions.

)0( Raven Athena Rowan )0(