The Rantings of a Tortured Mind

Valerie Rayne Rants


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Lonely Journey


I have been sore… Really sore. It’s made me not want to leave my bed for days now. I’m also stressed… Really stressed. I’m stressed because I have the longest to-do list I think I’ve ever had and I have absolutely no idea where to start. I’ve gotta get my taxes done, get on The Boyfriend’s ass to get his taxes done, we’ve got a house that is perpetually dirty and even when I work my ass off on keeping it clean, can’t seem to keep it that way. We’ve got a lot of money-stuff to figure out, not necessarily because we’re hurting in that department, but because we don’t want to be hurting in that department a few months from now. Plus, these weekly appointments of ours are just causing me a lot of headache, so much planning around that every week…

I’m just stressing in general…

Not to mention the mound of work I’ve created for myself online and the amount of times that I’m too sore to get on the computer, it’s just a never-ending long list of things that have to get done and that seem to never get any closer to actually being done. It’s a headache and a half. I mean, I’m happier than I’ve ever been that all the work that I’ve been doing for the last long while is finally getting going somewhere, it feels like a great accomplishment. I’m even happy about the headache of going into this new “future” with all my online activities. It’s just a lot to deal with and it gets to the point of feeling overwhelming when it’s just little ole me and no support in real-time about this stuff.

Like for example, I go to brag online about reaching over 100 members in The Erotic Writers Community and people online are cheering me on, “Keep up the good work!”-style, then I go to my Mom and The Boyfriend and brag again, and both of them stare at me blankly and in monotonous tones drearily reply, “Oh, that’s great…”. I’ll never get over how isolating all my online activities are, because no one else seems to be interested… Did I even tell you about the conversation The Boyfriend and I had the other night?

He’s going off about how I need to finish reading one of his R.A. Salvatore books, since I started reading the series and now the next book that I have to read, he only has in this huge hardcover 3-volume thing. It’s way too heavy to read in the bathtub, the only place I really ever get around to reading. I roll my eyes at him, because he’s always pestering me to read these books even though he knows I’m not a huge fan of fantasy-novels. It’s different with R.A. Salvatore, because I’ve found the Drizzt stories to be incredible, but I’d rather read my books every once and awhile.

Then, later, he goes off about how I need to start playing this and this game, so that we could talk about it, compare scores, blah blah blah. Again, I roll my eyes and say to him, “It’s kind of dumb that I have to be interested in all the things that you’re interested in, and you don’t have to be interested in any of mine. How many times have I begged you to read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty? When was the last time you even looked at my blog or my website? I don’t even recall you reading the story that I wrote and I made a whole damned blog around your story!!”, to which his response was to pout cutely and give me his “You’re making me feel guilty” face.

And prior to this conversation, I never really thought about how much that stuff bugged me, because it didn’t really seem relevant. It seems like such petty stuff to care about at all. But after this conversation (more like venting) and after his lack of real response, it’s just kind of sticking with me. And not that The Boyfriend isn’t more interested (even though when I do really think about it, it stings), but just that there’s no one that’s interested. And I know that there’s other people out there… Just not in my sphere I suppose.

I still just find it incredible that in the entire time that this blog has been going, The Boyfriend has never even visited the page. Never even looked at it. On one of my old blogs, apparently I wrote something that basically said I was unhappy with The Boyfriend (although, no matter how hard I try, I cannot find this entry at all). His sister, who used to read my blogs, told him about this post and he decided on that day that he would never read about the “mean things” I was writing about him. I still don’t know what post he thinks I was being mean to him in, because when I read back through all those posts, I don’t see it that way – but I guess that’s what happens when you’re the one writing and feeling and stuff…

Don’t get me wrong, The Boyfriend is incredibly supportive about all my online stuff. He’ll listen patiently as I ramble on about idea after idea and he leaves the computer wide open for me for whenever I get a jolt of online inspiration and need to be in front of the computer, he doesn’t mind when I’d rather blog than cuddle and he’s willing to put his hard earned money into all of my blogging adventures. He supports me entirely on this journey. But it’s still a lonely journey…

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Self-Promotional Babbling


I have so many online-type things that I have to get done today that it’s almost a little ridiculous. I stayed up late last night waiting on The Boyfriend to get home and during that time, sat on the computer clicking around without actually accomplishing anything. I literally have so much that I want to get done that I went to bed dreaming about it all and woke up this morning, earlier than both The Boyfriend and I had planned for me, because the thoughts of all the stuff that I want to get done were drowning out my ability to sleep.

I don’t know if anyone else here is as nutty as me, but I spent the entirety of last night dreaming about Google+… As you know, The Erotic Writers Group on Google+ has recently jumped over the 100 member mark and let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited. On Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, we are only able to have 50 members at a time and when I reached that the first time, I was more than thrilled. But 100!! That’s an awesomely epic number.

But I really want to use Google+ more and better. Right now, I’m really only active in this one community – even though I technically have 2 communities going and I think it’s 2 pages (for Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous and Blog-A-Holic Designs), but I don’t update them enough. I also never write personal status updates, even though I would really enjoy doing so. I generally just want to use Google+ more, at least as often as I use Facebook. But even then, when it comes to computer-related things, my activity has dropped dramatically recently and I want that to change.

I also want to learn more about Google+ hangouts and had that on my brain non-stop last night. I mean yes, it would be fun to do a hangout for personal reasons, but for the most part, I’m thinking about Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous stuff. And while I’ve done tons of research on things like broadcasting an online radio show or writing a script for YouTube videos and have a wad of tips and tricks stashed in my brain desperately waiting for use, I feel like it’s not Google+ specific enough and want to do a lot more research on it.

Question: Do you know of any good adult-themed Google+ hangouts? If so, share them in the comments, because I really want to see what other people are doing!

It’s incredible how long my list of things to do on the internet is, easily it’s way longer than my list of things to do in real life… It’s to the point where I’m stressing out about it, because it’s just so much stuff. One of the one’s that’s really bugging me is coding. Back when I first started this whole online venture, I spent some time and taught myself some HTML and some very basic CSS – just enough to get what I needed. It seemed to come pretty easy for me back then and I seemed to understand all of the information that was being hurled at me. And all that information stuck with me to the point where I can easily write HTML and it’s not a big deal for me.

But lately, as I’m back on the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous re-design again, I’ve been thinking about my need to upgrade my HTML and CSS knowledge – not only because I really want more of a visually appealing, beyond fully functional, easy-to-use website, but also because with HTML5 and CSS3 being the web standard of the future, I’d like my sites to include it. I also really want to wrap my head around things like JavaScript and jQuery, because some of the things that I really want to accomplish and add to my site can only be done with these things. Again, that stuff has to wait until the site is upgraded to use on it and at this point, I can’t be 100% sure when that’s going to happen.

The Boyfriend and I keep planning for it to happen during this time and time time and that time, but when the time actually rolls around, can’t afford it. I’m hoping after this little tax season here, that we’ll be able to do it easy peasy, but until then, I’ll just have to be patient and we all know how good I am at that…

Needless to say though, I have work to do, so I will catch you all later. Man oh man though, this list better start getting shorter soon…


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The Last Few Days


I have been meaning to come on here for days and write, because I’ve been craving it. It hasn’t been for lack of things to write about…

This week has been an incredibly crazy week filled with a large roller coaster ride of emotions that has just left me feeling plain exhausted. For the last two days, I’ve done nothing but lay in bed pouting and complaining about how sore my body is. There have been good moments and bad over the last few days, but I seem to be stuck in a rut when it comes to whatever feeling it is that I’ve been having that seems to come and go, well, for the last few days it’s been staying and holding tight with a deadly grip.

I wouldn’t say this is depression, because the feeling isn’t sad really. Then again, I’m sleeping a lot lately and I have a thousand and one reasons why depression would make sense. And maybe I am a little depressed and just in denial, but it’s not to this terrible point yet. I’m just beginning to notice that it’s beginning to affect me negatively and as I’ve said, these come and go in waves (as you’ll notice if you read back over the last few months), so I’m sure the tide is going to flow outwards again and I’ll be able to catch my breath.

So let’s talk about the last few days…

First, we started watching Dexter on Netflix. I really really love this show like crazy. We’ve even let the kids watch a few episodes and it is the most interested in a TV show we seem to be able to get them lately. Even got The Boyfriend hooked. But what I didn’t expect from this show was how much it would act as a major trigger for me. I kept thinking, “There should be a warning somewhere…”, because on multiple occasions  it has brought me back to places where terrible things have happened or terrible thoughts have occurred and I just wasn’t expecting it at all… For the most part, this is easy to deal with in the moment and I’m often over it shortly after the show ended, but some of the things seem to really be sticking in my mind and keeping the tide over my head.

Then, Kenzie and I have not been doing very well together. For some reason, he is in the stage of absolutely hating my guts and making it known at every possible turn. Obviously I know that he doesn’t actually hate my guts, but he insists on saying it to me every single day, multiple times a day. The one that is the hardest to deal with is the first thing in the morning one, which just turns my entire day to crap before it even gets started. There’s no worse way to start your day than to hear “I hate you” coming from your flesh and blood’s mouth.

We went through much the same thing with Kaeidyn, right around this age too, and for the life of me, I can’t remember how we dealt with it. I know that it didn’t last as long with Kaeidyn as it is with Kenzie and everything that we’ve attempted to do with Kenzie thus far has not worked at all. It all seems to add fuel to the fire and it’s been difficult. I often feel the least in control of my kids in that moment and like I’m never going to feel as if they respect me and all that I’ve done for them. Being over-dramatic I suppose…

The Boyfriend and I had program again this week, which goes as good as it always does. This was basically a review of the questionnaires that we filled out the last time we had went and basically to see where we stand based on our answers to all these questions. Oddly enough, on the depression test, The Boyfriend scored as more depressed than I was and it was the first time in my life that I scored as only mildly at risk for depression.  My favorite part of this whole entire appointment was when we were going over our Parenting Confidence and Satisfaction questionnaires, in which both The Boyfriend and I scored very high in our overall confidence but rather low on the satisfaction end of thing. Our worker asks, “Why do you think you got this result?” and The Boyfriend throws up his hands and goes, “This!”.

We both broke off to explain the “This!” as being more than just the program itself, but the whole parenting situation that we’ve been experiencing for the last few months, what with all the child services visits and the constant issues with the kids and the feeling of being so overwhelmed by this job. I pointed out that there was never any question about how good of parents we were, but how good of housekeepers we were and yet we had to go to parenting classes not housekeeping classes. We both vented and it felt really good and really nice. It’s also nice because our worker strongly believes in focusing on the positive, so we haven’t heard much negative at all about our parenting which is nice!

In other news entirely, we just jumped over the 100 member mark in The Erotic Writers Group Google+ Community. I’m spending as much of the rest of the night as The Boyfriend will let me catching up on all the stuff that I’ve missed out on over the last few days of my absence  from the computer. Hopefully I’ll be able to update you with more about all that fun stuff later. Well, I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend and staying warm during this lovely “spring” snowstorm 😉


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Glad to Get On Here


I cannot tell you how happy I am that I got on the computer tonight… Absolutely and totally happy. It was a rough day today, which made where my bed seemed like the best place in the world to be. We’ll start with how I came to be on the computer and then maybe we’ll jump back to the rough day part of the story – we’ll see how I feel.

So, I’m laying in bed playing Minecraft and Keirnan and Kenzie have been sent up to bed and didn’t cause that much of hassle when it came to actually sleeping. Kaeidyn however, was still awake and in a most talkative mood and my brother (who is doing amazing, by the way…) and cousin are both here visiting. Carter, my dear sweet Carter, was being a most miserable brat. None of the other kids got donuts before bed and I had decided that Carter wasn’t going to get donuts before bed either, but Uncle and Great-Cousin (though they call him Uncle) had gotten donuts. Carter was most unhappy and cried for close to an hour straight. Over and over again with “I want a donut” and “I didn’t get a donut”.

Then, out of nowhere, the cry changes from a semi-manageable cry to a wail. He’s “ow”-ing away. Lately, he’s really enjoyed half hanging off of surfaces when he sits at them. It’s mostly because as he uses whatever is on the surface in front of him, he manages to push it away from himself. We’ll find him dangling by his belly button from the computer desk because he’s pushed the keyboard all the way back to where he can’t reach it from the chair or at dinner time, dangling from the table because he pushed his plate too far away while eating… Somewhere along all the dangling today, he had managed to get – I’m not sure what you would call it, almost like rug burn but from the wood-like-stuff on the table. It seemed like one from much earlier today, possibly from when The Boyfriend and I weren’t here (more on that later).

Anyways, I cleaned it all up and put some Polysporin on it and talked him through the last of his upsets about the donut, and had convinced him that he needed to take a bath. Out of all of the kids, he definitely needs to be bathed the most. So now, instead of whining about the donuts, he’s now whining because he wants to hurry up and go for a bath. I shut off the games and The Boyfriend decided that he was going to play for awhile. Normally this means, when I come downstairs, I can either sit there and watch him play games or go on the computer – so, go on the computer it was.

And once again, I say unto you, I am most pleased that I did. First, I jump on Facebook (as usual) and immediately find some interesting stuff that had me laughing. Then, I jumped on Twitter. Oh wait, I don’t know if I told you this yet… If you’ll notice, in the sidebar, there is a Twitter feed and if you’ve followed me around the web for quite some time (which I know that I’m really the only one who follows me around on the web… :(), you’ll notice that this isn’t the same as it’s always been. The one there, happens to be the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous Twitter feed. Some time ago, I had gotten completely fed up with my personal Twitter feed. I was following a lot of people that I had no idea who they were, it was all disorganized and I absolutely despised my previous Twitter handle: @blogaholica – the “a” on the end just always really bugged me…

But recently, I went through my old Twitter account, changed my handle, deleted almost everyone I was following that I didn’t know and had never actually said a word to me and re-organized the whole thing so that I knew what I was working about. I’m pretty sure I alluded to this a couple posts ago. But it was essentially spring cleaning of all my social networks. So, I revamped and came back as @ValerieRayne13 and have been having a great time.

Now that I’m not following a bunch of people who are talking about things that I’m just not interested in (which felt a lot like when The Boyfriend begged me to watch Smosh videos on YouTube last night, which I just barely made it through…), it’s so much nicer going on Twitter and I’m having a ton of fun. By far, my most favorite tweet from myself, so far, goes out to @Cmdr_Hadfield of International Space Station fame (this is one of those things that The Boyfriend got me interested in, that didn’t make me barf a little in my heart). I warn you, not only does it show you just how much of a nerd I really am, but it’s also my lamest and most favorite tweet ever:

After writing this, I’m off to do even more on the computer, before The Boyfriend officially decides it’s bedtime, which I’m sure is coming sooner rather than later, but if you want to read about my rough day, you can always continue reading…

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OR…


So remember awhile back when I was all, “Boo hoo, I don’t wanna blog anymore!“? Well, I’m over that!

I’ve spent all day today doing one of two things. Either watching and reading Minecraft tutorials OR working on blog-related stuff. I’ve just spent the last 3 hours attempting to customize the settings to a lot of my social networking sites. I’m not even halfway done yet…

For the most part though, today kind of sucked. I felt like I had the crappiest sleep in the world last night (didn’t get laid like I expected to), so waking up this morning was almost impossible. I struggled for about two hours after I had officially gotten up to actually wake up. I even took a mini nap while The Boyfriend ran to grab us coffee…

I thought it was going to be a much better day being that I was first woken up to a knock at the door and a postman happily handed me a box. A few days ago (literally, it didn’t take long to get here), I ordered something off EdenFantasys. I’ve spent a lot of time on the forums and wishlisting stuff, so I had amassed a tidy sum of points and they let you convert your points into a gift card. So I used all my points to get myself a healthy gift. I figured it would be a great day with this arrival, alas, it just didn’t turn out that way.

The kids were all incredibly annoying today, and when I say incredibly, I really mean it. From the moment he woke up, to the time that he finally fell asleep just a few moments ago, Carter was a non-stop noise-maker today. It started with video games (those wretched things!). He got to play this morning and then he got to play with Daddy. This always results in more talking than you’ll ever hear out of his mouth at any other time. Then, there was a solid hour of crying after he got kicked off the video games and lots of “I didn’t get to play on the Xbox”, even though he had just been kicked off… After that, the kids got home from school and now it wasn’t just Carter!

Kenzie was whiny when he first got home from school, crying about every little thing that was happening around him. “Carter did this! Kaeidyn isn’t home yet! The teacher fixed my pants!”, it was just never-ending. Out of nowhere, he turned into a ball of energy and we could not get him to sit still or be quiet for longer than two seconds. He wanted to run, he wanted to scream, he wanted to fight, he wanted to tell stories. It was exhausting.

Kaeidyn had gotten to go out with her Nana after school today, to go play with clay. So, I only had to deal with her talking my head off for a short little while, because almost as soon as she got home it was bedtime. I’m sure she’ll catch up for the missed annoyances tomorrow. Keirnan was mostly quiet but he was being such an instigator in everyone else’s loud streaks. He’s been dealing with a lot of upset stomach problems lately, so isn’t quite as active as the other kids, but finds his own sneaky way to get in on the trouble-making.

Needless to say, I have been in a permanent state of annoyed for a really long time and I’m officially ready to be over it. I think the rest of the night will either be made up of playing some keyboards, watching Star Trek and going to bed OR taking a bath, reading some Sherlock Holmes, having some sex and then going to bed 😉


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My 2013 Blogging-Type Goals


Blogging Goals 2013

Blogging Goals 2013

I’m not sure how much I’ve actually told you about this challenge that I’m doing – and at the moment, I’m the only one doing it but that’s okay, I’ll make it work. So tonight, not only am I going to tell you more about the challenge, but I’m also going to use TODAY’S INSPIRATION to write my own post. I’ve been semi-working on this list for month’s, but have been being an incredibly annoying perfectionist about it, so today, I’m throwing that out…

I’m not going to go into great detail about The Blog Everyday Challenge, because I’ve written about it pretty much everywhere you could imagine and because it’s title is pretty self-explanatory. You blog, every single day, for however long you want to set your goal to blog for is – could be days, weeks, months and even years. Our mission is to support you on that journey!

By joining our official group on Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, you’ll get support and encouragement to keep you blogging everyday and you’ll also get to meet up with some great adult bloggers. But even if you’re not an adult blogger and still want to join in, we’ve got you covered.

There are even brand new products in the Blog-A-Holic Designs shop so that you can motivate yourself to keep blogging when the going gets tough and even products that you can customize to promote your blog (and the fact that you’re doing this challenge). I’ve been posting about that everywhere too, so I’m not going to say anymore about that…

So, that brings me to my very first goal. I really want to blog every single day for an entire year. So, my plan is to blog daily right here on The Rantings, and while I can’t guarantee what the ratio of adult posts to non-adult posts will be, I’m hoping that it will generally stick around even.

Some of my many other blogging-related/online/technology-type goals this year include:

  • Finish and post the second installment of 100+ Sexual Bucket List Ideas
  • Finish and post piece on different ways to communicate about using your sexual bucket list with your partner
  • Begin commenting on my reader’s blogs more often (because I always mean to and then always cower shamelessly in the internet corner)
  • Post at least 3 times a week to the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous blog
  • Post to The Blog Everyday Challenge group(s) every single day, come rain or shine, sickness or health!
  • Post a video to Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous at least twice a week
  • Actually go through all my FetLife groups, ideally on a daily basis, but even once a week will be better than what I’m doing right now…
  • Post to Updates from the Head Blog-A-Holic at least twice a week
  • Add new products to Blog-A-Holic Designs at least once a week, which includes promoting said products on Tumblr blog
  • Actually start going through my drafts (on all the blogs…) and start finishing and publishing the pieces
  • Learn how to create an application for devices – just because I want to!
  • Step up my social networking game… This one requires quite a bit, but a couple of things that I vow to absolutely do this year:
    • Post every day to my personal Facebook page. It already streams my blog posts there and it shows stuff from the Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous Tumblr blog twice a day, but I’d really like to start putting my own posts up there. Ideally, I’d use Facebook notes to kind of do a daily update about all the stuff I got done online that day… Here’s hoping!
    • Post every day to Twitter, at least once a day, because I’m really bad for forgetting all about Twitter
    • Start posting and using my YouTube accounts, both my personal and Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous one. One day, the LBA one will include uploaded videos, but at this point, I just don’t have time to focus on it. It’s something that is in the very early planning phases…
  • Figure out the one and only system that I’m going to use to curate content (ie. Digg, Delicious, Diigo, Bit.ly), because right now I seem to use a whole bunch of different things and it’s just not working out to my advantage at all…

I know that more will come to me the more I think about it, but I think this is looking like a pretty hefty list already. I guess another goal we can add to this, is to upgrade Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous. I had planned to do this before the New Year, but life kept getting in the way of that goal, so I don’t want to make any promises… But I really want to allow people video uploading and a video chat room (personally, I really want the chatroom, my members apparently want the video uploading).

So now, what are your blogging goals for 2013? Do you typically set goals for your blog, or is this your first time? 

Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous


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Design Woes: A Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous Tale


I’m doing it again… I don’t know why I punish myself like this and I wonder how many other bloggers/web designers have this problem. I can never just leave well enough alone and I always want better. It’s like the grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side type of issue but all about the design of your website.

I’m not talking about this blog, although I’ve already begun falling out of love with the design of it, but I’m talking about Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous. I’ve had the same design on that site since it’s infancy and I’m getting incredibly tired of it. I want a change and I want something different. But then, when I try to figure out what I want, I just completely blank.

It doesn’t help that, while I’m totally confident with HTML, even though I’m understanding CSS a lot better, I’m just not confident with it. I don’t believe I could manipulate it and get anything like what I see when I’m searching for inspiration – which I’ve been doing too much of. I can tell it’s too much, because instead of inspiring me, it’s just making me feel sad. “Oh, that’s a nice site. Too bad I’ll never be able to replicate anything close to it…”. Lots of negative self-talking going on.

The biggest thing that I can’t seem to figure out is what kind of design do I want to go for on Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous? What kind would most adult bloggers appreciate and be attracted to? I personally have never seen a design that I truly enjoy on most adult websites. Ones that I don’t hate so much, okay – but one that I’m really attracted to. Nope. The sites I’m typically attracted to are the ones that you often find in the “design inspiration” type of posts – the clean, minimalistic, super-simple-to-navigate type of sites. Now, how do I execute that type of feel on a social network and still highlight all the things I want to highlight, without turning it into a cluttered mess (which is what I believe I have right now on the site…)?

Then another issue that I have is that I would prefer to make all my own images. Have social icons that look like they were made specifically for an adult blogging social network, have an overall design scheme that feels like it was created just for this site and not any other, have real quality in the layout of the content, etc. And I feel like everything I want to do requires me to at least be able to create a cool image using an editor like Gimp or Photoshop. But I am the furthest thing from a visual artist. Words and music, I can do, but create something that is visually appealing; not my finest hour.

So, not only do I have a problem actually creating these things, I have a hard time visualizing it in the first place. It automatically makes it feel overwhelming and daunting and it’s no freaking wonder I haven’t re-designed this site in forever and a day… Wow!