Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How To Survive Your Husbands Trip To Vegas

So your husband is going to Las Vegas. How wonderful for him. {Did that come across as sarcastic? Because that's what I was going for - sarcasm - which I will deal with promptly in point #1 so please don't hold it against me!}

I slept alone last week as the Vegas strip was blessed with the footsteps of my other half. He flew down to join his friends who were competing in a pool tournament. I struggled a bit with the whole thing but I'm happy to say I made it through - we made it through - and I'll pass along a few tips that might help you should you ever be faced with the same...

How to survive your husbands trip to Vegas - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

 1. Get over it - so you weren't invited...who cares! 
Easier said than done - believe me, I know. When he told me his plans I went through all five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and {finally} acceptance.

  • Denial: He told me in normal conversation - just tossed it in as we were out for a walk - just threw it out there like it wasn't a big deal...and I was all mmmhmmmm and oh, I see. This is a character flaw/reality of mine - I am slow to process and while I may seem all on board when you present your initial idea it's only because my brain doesn't know what to do with it until I've spent some time alone. Which leads to...
  • Anger: I am not an angry person. I'd rather call this stage jealousy - because though I was angry the decision to go to Vegas was made without me I was even more envious BECAUSE WHY NOT ME??? WHY CAN'T I GO ON A TRIP TOO??!!  
  • Bargaining: Okay, you can go...if you sell your studio equipment...if you only spent X much...IF YOU TELL ME YOU LOVE ME AND PROMISE TO TAKE ME TO ITALY BEFORE I'M DEAD!!!
  • Depression: Poor me...
  • Acceptance: He's going. I can't change it. I'm not going. I can't change that either. And I don't even want to go {because it's with all his friends again and even though they're lovely people I just don't want to give them another week of my life in a city I've already seen}.

2. Be encouraging - not condescending. Tell him to 'be safe' instead of 'don't be stupid'. I may have called after him, "make good choices!" when all I really needed to say was, "I love you." 

3. Stay away from the following movies: The Hangover, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Get Him To The Greek, The Hangover III...and the list goes on and on...because you just don't need those images in your head!

4. Stop imagining things.  Those movies get watched because they're over the top. He's a grown man. Chances are he's not going to do most of the things you've seen on the big screen and it'll do no good picturing him waking up in a trashed hotel room as he's being pooped on by a monkey in a wedding dress.

5. No news is good news.  He's on vacation. He's not going to text you back the moment you message him. Relax. He's fine. He probably just has to wait until he has access to WiFi.

6. Trust him.  Because what good comes from distrust or fear? If you can trust him at home {and I hope you can if you're married to him!} then you can trust him no matter the distance between you.

7. Revel in the missing.  Do you miss him? What a gift! Tell him! We're coming up to our seventeenth anniversary and you'd think I'd be fine without him for five days but good gracious did I ever miss his face {and his butt and his voice and and and...}

8. Send him racy photos.  Remind him why he misses you! I've never been one for such things - I had this ridiculous fear he'd show them to his friends...but #6...and so I did and he was like 'Damn!' and I was like *blush*

9. Be available when he returns. You're over it, right? {#1} and you've trusted him {#6} and missed him {#7} so listen to his stories, laugh with him - don't be mad that you missed out, be happy that he had such a fun time. Still jealous? That's okay! Just send him another photo and remind him that he HAS TO TAKE YOU TO ITALY BEFORE YOU DIE!!!

My final word of advice?

Worry just a little and love with all you've got. He's a grown man and he's the one you chose - so stand tall, believe in the best version of him and you might just be surprised to find it shining through.

Bring On The Ruthless Editing

During my recent THREE WEEKS of holiday, I worked through my printed manuscript TWICE - front to back. The first time I was timid, the second I was brutal.

And now I face the tedious task of translating all my notes into my computer - some of which are so poorly scribbled that I'm struggling to remember what change I was trying to make (yikes!). It's a huge job but an exciting one...because it means I'm one step closer to a finished product.


Friday, August 21, 2015

How Do You Google?

How Do You Google? SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

It's a high and mighty compliment when you go through your blog statistics and realize that most traffic comes from direct searches for "selfbinding retrospect" and "alanna rusnak blog". That says something. Like the internet is my Cheers and everybody knows my name. Except they don't - I'm just having a prideful moment.

Pardon me.

But what brings me as much joy - if not more - are the strange things people type into their browser that somehow, someway, connect them to this pretty little place of mine.


A Countdown Of The Latest & Greatest Searches Leading To SelfBinding Retrospect

 Here are my most recent top 4 favourites:

4. 'migraine fairy lights'

It isn't so strange that a search like this landed someone here - I wrote a post specifically about migraine fairy lights - what's weird is that there's someone else out there in the world who described their migraine experience the same way and I can only hope they felt a little less alone in their experience when they read my story.

3. 'dream in a tree'

Oh, how romantic! I haven't a clue what post this took them to but *sigh* I'd like to read it...

2. 'how to go to school drunk'

Um - what? I try to maintain an image of adorable wholesomeness on this blog and how someone searched this and found me, I'll never know but HA! I hope they learned something a little more helpful and future-positive.

1. 'ladies wearing tube socks working out'

YES!!! But, no! This made me laugh. I mean, how in the world???!!! And once again, WHAT??? The things people Google are amazing!!! 

Do you have a blog or website? Check and see how people are finding you - it could add a giggle to your day!!!

p.s. Don't go to school drunk!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Writer's Wanted

What I've been learning is that the world is huge and there is a writing community out there that's positively eager for me. And it's eager for you too if you love to write. I have been slowly building a network of writer friends across the globe through social media avenues and the encouragement, motivation, and inspiration I'm gleaning from them is incredible; HOWEVER, there is much to be said about true face to face support.

Last year I accepted an invitation to be part of a local writer's group

It was good for me.

But it wasn't great.

There were three main problems:

1. I couldn't relate. I sat in a living room with a group on the northern side of 60 and try as I might, I felt horribly out of place - like I was this precious young thing that helped them feel relevant while I myself was feeling lost, misplaced, and uncomfortable.

2. I couldn't {wouldn't} really share. Perhaps it was unfair of me to assume they couldn't handle some of my themes and language choices but being in a group of highly conservative devout Christians I found myself editing the scandal out of my work before sharing it with them which only hurt my own process and cheated me out of honest reactions.

3. My dad was there. I love my father and I'm not sure there's anyone else in the world who believes in my writing more than he does BUT I find writing to be raw and intimate and messy - all things you don't really want to do in front of your daddy - it's just weird.

~ ~ ~

Now, as autumn approaches and with it a new season of writer's group meetings I have made a decision: I will start my own group.

Because, why not?!


I'm proposing a bi-monthly Monday evening casual gathering around my dining room table for local {or non-local if you've cracked the code for teleporting} writerly types - fiction, non-fiction, poetry, blogging, journaling, writing love letters to your pen pal in Barcelona  - if you like words, I want you!

In last years group, all we did was sit in a circle and take turns reading our pieces aloud. I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in creating a space and time dedicated to working, discussing, pushing, encouraging, and supporting one another. I envision evenings where we're all hunched over our keyboards or notebooks and barely speaking a whisper and I envision evenings where we're too busy drinking our tea and excitedly idea-sharing to even open a computer.

~ ~ ~

I can promise to have a clean table ready for your ideas
but not that the floor beneath it won't be sticky. 

I can promise to make fresh tea and coffee
 ~ and some other option for the non-caffeine drinkers ~ 
but not that you won't have to drink it out of a chipped mug.

And I can promise to share openly and unedited as long as you'll promise to do the same.

~ ~ ~

I believe in casual. I believe in relationship. I believe in helping one another along the journey - whether that be to big house publication or designing the perfect caption for an Instagram post.

Now I just need you.


Leave a comment below or click on the contact link at the top. We'll figure it out.

My goal is to find three excited people. {But I have room for more!}

The ball's in your court...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Holiday Letdown

I have been on holidays. Have you missed me? I hope so. Being missed affirms me as having a place in the world - like by being looked for I'm somehow more human - like I'm vital - like it matters, these moment I share here with anyone who cares enough to read them.

On Tuesday I return to the real world. This weighs me down with a heaviness that affirms my dream to pursue the things I actually care about. It feels something like grief - this knowledge that in two sleeps I will drive that boring highway drive and unlock the office that's now dusty after three weeks absence. I will be happy to see the faces of friends who make office days bearable {you know who you are} but beyond that I don't really find things there that feed my happiness and sustain my spirit.

Three weeks. That's a long time to fill with things that fuel my passions and it was entirely what I needed - to find myself again, to reconnect with children who so often go overlooked when I'm weighed down with worldly weights - to enjoy this home of ours as more than a place to dump my weary body at the end of a busy day.

Last year I vacationed all wrong. I spread out my holidays. I didn't take a big chunk. I think I was still paying for it.

It's important to disconnect so that you can reconnect.

writing in the hammock - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak
And the time I've had - it's been wonderful and full of stories that I was too busy living to take the time to tell...perhaps I still will as routine settles around me again...I don't know.

Today is only the second time I've opened my laptop since leaving work 23 days ago. I couldn't bare the thought of it - staring at a screen while nature stared at me. No, I've spent my writing time with old fashioned pen and paper on the deck, in the hammock, at our campsite, under the front yard arbor...I'm pleased with the progress I've made on my manuscript and have come up with a plan to finally get things ready for my first batch of beta readers and I'm excited to see where I am with it after nine months of work.

But now reality looms heavy and it seems the universe is set to reminding me that life can't be a continuing story of beautiful dreams and lazy breezes - sometimes you have to wake up and smell the dead thing in your ceiling.

Yeah - you read that right. 

Remember a few years ago when I was a one-woman-rat-killing-brigade? We came home from a week of camping to a death stench that stung our nostrils. 

And who had to take care of it? 


And that tub left up on the deck. The one that held cans of pop during our party. The one that filled with water during the torrential rain last Sunday. The one that a poor, fat, unfortunate squirrel drowned in.

Who had to take care of it?


And the kid. That kid without a helmet who darted out on his bike at the exact moment I was pulling into the Walmart parking lot. The kid who wasn't looking who is now thanking his lucky stars that I was and that the only thing mangled is his front tire. 

Who had to deal with that?


Real World,
     You suck!

     Come back!

I am beyond grateful for the break I was given and I hope there are no more horrendous surprises waiting for me as I ease back into normal responsibilities but the taste of freedom still lingers sweet on my tongue and I can't help but want for more...
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