The Tongue


Words have power.




I haven’t been quiet intentionally, I’ve been quiet because I’ve been sick for the majority of the month we have recently said goodbye to until 2017. February didn’t exactly begin with a sense of calm, either. I’ve had maybe one or two migraine-free days over the past month or so, and the migraines themselves have been intense.

I’ve spent a lot of time punishing myself over the past month and a half. I only just realized it last Sunday evening. I am utterly horrible to myself, and I don’t deserve it. Admitting it is the first step, moving on and self-correcting the behavior as I go is the only way to improve upon it. It’s hard to erase a habit that has existed for such an incredible length of time overnight, but I will simply make myself aware of it so that I can work on it this year. That and personal “mind noise” are issues I wish I didn’t have.

Being sick, overly stressed, and exhausted within my soul has deeply affected my writing. I am torn between what I am used to doing each day and what I am drawn to. They are two completely different things, yet both on the creative spectrum. I am working hard to launch a new project, which is basically an upgrade to something that already exists. It’s a springboard to a career change, but yes, I will still be writing.

When people consider writing “a hobby”, it’s insulting to me. I’ve never used writing as any type of hobby form. I wouldn’t know how to do that either, because I’ve been writing for so long that it’s an art form. I absolutely hate it when people tell me, upon learning that I’m a writer, how much they’d love to write, but don’t have the time or when someone says “I’d love to read a book, but I don’t have the time.” That’s implying that I have time to basically goof off, because they do not perceive writing or reading as life priorities. How do you learn if you don’t read? No, documentaries on the History and/or Discovery channel don’t count.

We all have passions in life; things we prioritize over other things on a professional or personal level. I am a master multi-tasker, but I do know people who can’t multitask. I can do five things at once, which is astounding to anyone who cannot, but it’s also my attention span and how I work on a brain level.

There are always going to be days when I can’t get out of bed due to migraines or Fibromyalgia, but I still force myself to feed Cat and Kitten and give them love, even if I can’t force myself to eat. I still scoop three litter boxes more than once a day. OGK still gets attention from me, or he has tantrums because he likes to be included in everything. Unlike Cat and Kitten, who are younger and love differently, OGK likes to be a part of “the family”. He likes to sit in the middle of conversations and do silly things. The girls are goofy and silly too, they’re all incredibly smart cats, but he’s approximately 16 years old and is set in his ways. He wants what he wants and he wants it yesterday. That aspect of my life is day-to-day stuff. You do it because you have to do it, or it doesn’t get done, but it’s not necessarily what you live for.

No matter what I feel or what I am doing, shit still has to get done. Laundry still has to be done. Food still has to be bought and cooked, but when someone asks me what I do for a living, I am a writer and an editor, albeit one who aspires to do more. I’d prefer to grow, as opposed to remain stagnant. (Kudos to everyone who thinks I should be a personal chef. That’s a lovely compliment and anyone willing to pay me can hire my personal cooking skills for holidays and/or special events. Hell, you can hire me to come over and cook for you daily, I don’t mind.)

It doesn’t always pay to be a writer or an editor, I’ve talked about that many times, but it’s still a huge part of who I am. On the flip side, I am also incredibly enterprising and entrepreneurial. I inherited that from my Grandfather, who ran many businesses (bars, candy stores, etc.) until he passed away at age 40. In the throes of pain, I don’t always believe I’ll live to see 40, much less 50, but words, they live on. Words can, and do, impact lives.

There are books that speak to me. There is music that speaks to me and feeds my soul. There are people whose words are an inspiration to me daily. There are TV shows and movies that make me laugh. All of this stems from writing. Words on paper. Words in any format made to enlighten, educate, communicate, or entertain. Words have power and magic in them.

I’m an incredibly proud master of words.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


There’s A Difference


Of late, I’ve noticed people feel incredibly safe behind their computer-based bubbles, but I often wonder how real people are being. Sometimes, stories don’t add up (You can’t bullshit me, I have common sense.), and other times, it takes about two seconds for someone to get offended by the simplest thing. What is that you may ask? Honesty.

Here are the facts: Not everyone is the world’s greatest writer, try though they might. Not everyone is talented, funny, or smart. However, there is seemingly a niche for everyone. To each their own. Everyone is entitled to be themselves, but please, be authentic.

When I say something, it’s not for shits and giggles, unless I’ve managed to make you laugh (I don’t go out of my way to be funny, but I know when I’m being a goofball. In print, not everyone’s sense of humor translates because you can’t hear the tone they’re saying something in). I come from a place of genuineness, and I think that resonates in my work and my words.

I’m not here as a “blogger”. I am here as an experienced writer and editor who, as of next year, will no longer be editing other people’s work. I am moving on to another creative endeavor, something I should have done ten years ago. I will continue to write, as I have an unfinished series of novels to complete for publishing, but I am tired of the bullshit, the drama, and the never-ending attempt to outdo one another, because no one wants to see you do better than them, no matter what they might say. Instead of people being happy for one another, people will go behind a person’s back and tear them apart, as if we’re all trapped in high school. That is not, and has never been, acceptable to me.

One aspect of my brusque honesty is that people often mistake it for me being “mean” or “having a bad day”. For starters, I tend to reserve meanness for people who deserve it and two, I keep my bad days/moods to myself because that’s rude in my eyes, so understand that if I say something, it is meant to be helpful, not cruel. Why would I take my valuable time to comment and be mean to someone I don’t know personally? That makes no sense. While I realize there are people who would jump on that and do precisely that to as many people as possible, because starting fights with strangers is what keeps their days and nights “interesting”, I have absolutely no need to be less than who I am. If you lack the communication skills to deal with my honesty, I have to wonder how you will handle the inevitable criticism you are bound to receive on your work up the road.

Every writer has been criticized. I am not immune to that, but I have risen above it. I have been told a handful of insulting things over the course of 28 years as a writer, but you know what resonated most with me? All the genuine, positive feedback from absolute strangers who had no vested interest whatsoever in my success. If a person said “Take that out.” or “That’s not funny.” or “What did you mean by that?”, then I answered them. A huge part of writing is being able to properly communicate with your readers. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t just flip people the bird and tell them to have a nice day. If you ask me a question, I will give you an answer. You may or may not like it, but at least it will be genuine. Also, if I have something personal to say to you, I will say it directly to you, I will not embarrass you on a public platform (if you’re the shy type), nor will I be mean for the sake of being mean. That’s not how I roll.

I am not everyone’s cup of tea, nor is everyone my cup of tea. We don’t have to be. I’d rather have mutual respect as opposed to catty bitchiness behind my back, but the fact of the matter is, I cannot control other people’s reactions or behavior. I, however, can control mine.

If you have something to say to me, by all means, say it to me. There’s no need to be fake about it or passive-aggressive (two things I loathe with every breath I take). Try being real.

There is real criticism in this world. It is vindictive, hateful, and mean-spirited; it is meant to dissuade you from your goal(s). And then there is constructive criticism that is meant to help you and make you better. If you don’t know the difference between the two, precisely who is responsible for that? You are. One should roll off of you, you should know in your heart who you are. The other is to be positively absorbed in order to help you grow. If you decide to turn that into something more than what it is, so be it, but it just goes to show the intelligent speaker that you’re immature and not prepared for what’s to come.

And this is one of the reasons I do not want to edit for fledglings any more. If you cannot handle my honesty, which is meant to help and guide, then what the hell do you think you’re going to do when bad reviews pop up on every book web-site from here to eternity? Amazon, Goodreads, and a plethora of other sites will not delete bad reviews. As a reader, I’ve seen a million of them and many times, they have saved me money. Other times, there was one bad review, but 500 reviews explaining why you should read/buy the book in question. Bad reviews are going to happen, but they will not make or break you. Just like constructive criticism will not break you, but it WILL make you better. Take that to mean whatever you like. I speak from experience.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

But for the sake of all that is Holy, know where to put commas and periods in your work. Every time you don’t, an editor bleeds to death. Do you really want that on your conscience?

Are There Words?


Are there words? Yes, there are always words. Even in silence, there are words.

The last few days have felt like a complete and utter mind-fuck. I am championing through it. I deserve a medal, but will settle for a cupcake.

There are so many subjects I plan on writing about, but if I did it now, this would be a gigantic mess of “What the hell just happened here?”, despite the fact that every point I would be making would be valid. I’d hit a point of “What do I say? What do I write?” and then things started happening and it was definitely the universe answering my questions. You do not need anyone to give you a writing prompt when life is FULL of them. I wish people were smarter in their dealings with me, but since they aren’t, you will all benefit from the methods that are my madness.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend in some capacity. Mine has been a blur thus far. I’m on my second migraine of the weekend. I found an awesome migraine app that allows you to track your headaches, all the areas in which you’re experiencing pain, the side effects, what medication(s) you took or have taken, alternative forms of treatment used, and it tracks the entire duration of the headache in terms of length. It also tracks your sleep. At the end of the month, you get an e-mailed report so you can keep track of your sleep patterns and migraine patterns. I wish I’d had it months ago. If anyone wants to know what it is, please let me know. It was created by neurologists and so far, I am impressed.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone! I am off in search of sleep.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.