Why It Sucks Being An Empath

DISCLAIMER: Probably shouldn’t read this if you don’t believe in spiritualism. I don’t want mocking, trolling, or unnecessarily rude comments. Please be considerate.

SECONDARY DISCLAIMER: This is going to be quite a serious post, and relatively negative, but I’m going to send out another post almost immediately after, so you don’t have to read this one if you don’t want to and skip straight onto the fun one.

 

For a while now, I’ve started to wonder why people tell me things. I don’t mean things like “oh the sky looks a bit grey”, I mean personal things. Complete strangers will talk to me, open up to me, and tell me stories about their life. For ages, I’ve just assumed it’s because I’m either A) a good listener, or B) a good actress pretending to be a good listener.

I should also mention, I work in the service industry. When people call my office and get through to me, it’s because they have a problem that they want me to rectify.

People will tell me their problem, which is part of my job, and I’ll come up with a way to solve it. 9 times out of 10, this particular problem involves a broken appliance. And people with broken appliances are very upset people.

Now my problem is this; I won’t just listen to their problem. I will internalise their problem, and make it my own. I will understand better than they think, because I physically feel their frustration and sadness, even though I’m only speaking on the phone. This is a very emotionally and mentally draining for me, because, as you can imagine, I deal with hundreds of people like this a day.

And this doesn’t just happen at work. Strangers will talk to me and tell me something that’s happening in their lives, and I will feel their suffering. I will take it as my own. If someone has a secret they’re about to tell me, I’ll already know what it is before they say it. If someone has a cold starting up, I will know before they do.

I didn’t know for ages what this was. After a lot of research, it turns out there’s a type of person called an “empath”.

You all know the word “empathy”. An empath is a type of person who is pretty much the embodiment of empathy.

The definition (thank you, Google) reads thus:

Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions.

It is actually draining, and I end almost every day unable to feel my own emotions because I’m so burdened by the negative energy of the people I’ve spoken to. People tend to use me as a metaphorical “dumping ground” of emotion, telling me their secrets, their stories, and their suffering. People sense that I’m able to take their feelings and ease them away. Unfortunately, it means a lot of emotional turmoil for me.

There are a few sites that I’ve found that help me with this problem, mostly about how to guard myself against negative energy, how to ground myself, and how to “cleanse my chakras” which is essentially wiping the emotional slate clean.

As I’m still learning, I’m not going to pretend I’m a genius on the subject, but I’ll post the sites below if anyone is interested:

What It Means To Be An Empath

Coping Tips

30 Signs of Being an Empath

This is what I'm using as a segue.

This is what I’m using as a segue.

 

 

I’ll send out the fun blog post next, for those not interested in spiritualism.

Blessed Be

RK )O(

Happy New Year!

)O( WELCOME TO 2016!!! )O(

fireworksanimation-13

I hope all of my beloved pixies had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I’d love to hear about your New Year’s Resolutions, let me know in the comments below!

This year I’ve decided to knuckle down and get work hard on Book 2, Age of Magic. I’m hoping to have finished the first draft within a couple of months. I know, I know, a lot of people can finish a draft in one month (I’m looking at the fantastic NaNoWriMo participants), but unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I’m too much of a perfectionist, so even though it’s the first draft, things like character or place names, phrases or quirks, have to be absolutely exact.

Blame my Virgoean outlook.

Looking back, 2015 was possible the biggest and best year of my life. Aside from the horrible experience of losing a beloved and cherished friend and pet, I achieved that which I’d been dreaming of my entire life. I was finally able to hold a copy of my own book in my hands and say “Look at what I’ve done”. I was so proud.

Now it’s time to start aalll over again, and continue on a story that needs to be told. Not because the world needs to know or anything, but because if I don’t tell it, I go stir-crazy.

Now I just need to stop procrastinating on Dragon Age, and we’ll be fine…

Blessed Be!

RK )O(

Achievement Unlocked: Survived Krampusnacht

Today is 6th December, so if you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving Krampusnacht!

I had complete faith in you!

Krampus

I understand there’s now a Krampus movie? I’m not sure if I want to see it or not. Mostly because 1) I’m a chicken and I get scared easily, and 2) they might have ruined the stories of Krampus with the Hollywood machine and I don’t know if I’m ready for that :/

Ugh now I sound like a hipster and that makes me feel a little bit unwell.

Aaaaaaaaanyway. It’s that time of year again, pixies!

I’m almost finished with my Christmas shopping, I think. I’m so pleased I have so few people to buy for. Even Cat has her own little stocking with her name embroidered on it 🙂

Oh, and yes, I refer to her as “Cat” because I’m now refusing to call her Thissy, the name my mother gave her. Mostly because hearing about “Thissy” doing some fairly disgusting things is really putting me off the character.

Speaking of characters, I feel like bashing my head against my keyboard because one character is not doing what he’s told. He’s always been a stubborn ox. I think you all can guess who I’m talking about.

Must get back to it!

Blessed be

RK )O(

Villains Are Better Than Heroes

As you’ve been reading my blog, or The Old Ways, or anything about or by me really, you may have noticed I have a slight soft spot for the villains of any story.

The Grim Reapers. The masterminds. The mad scientists and the fallen angels, the gods of death, the wicked goblin kings, the voracious dragons, and the evil wizards.

And I know what you’re going to say… “Oh, it’s because Tom Hiddleston plays Loki and you really fancy him. BOR-ING.” Well, no. It’s not that.

Well, mostly not that.

Well, mostly not that.

I think it all began when I was younger, and Disney gave their villains all the best stuff. The best songs, the best lines, everything. I’ve still got a CD of Disney Bad-Guy songs I sing along to. Blame Disney for making their villains so damn cool. The Evil Queen, I mean just look at that glare:

evil queen

Maleficent was so cool, she got her own movie! Yet even when Disney films weren’t at their best, I’m talking about the Disney Dark Age, the villains were incredible. Hades, Yzma, Ratcliffe, all funny and quirky and sassy. Don’t even get me started on Hades’s sass.

hades

Every medium of entertainment must have an element of conflict. Every good book, movie, or game has to have an engaging antagonist to move the story along. Whether they’re funny, dark, sinister, charming, misguided, or just basically on the wrong side, a good villain will always impede the hero from his ultimate goal.

lestat

A good villain is powerful. No one wants to read a story where the hero pokes the villain and he/she gently deflates like a flan in a cupboard. No. A good villain fights for what he/she wants. And fight to the death if necessary. Powerful people don’t like relinquishing their power, so they’ll do anything they can to keep themselves at the top of the food chain. It makes it especially fun if the villain has already fought to put themselves at the top of said food chain.

I always like a villain who has a sympathetic motive. Someone who believes they’re fighting for something good, like love or acceptance. It’s like, they want to be a good person, but they just don’t know how to do it. *cough*Loki*cough*. Sorry. I have a cold.

But yes, sympathetic motives. It casts the hero in an awkward situation. The villain is wanting to do something good, but is going about it the completely wrong way. Does the hero stop them? Kill them, even? Tension gets high, tempers overboil, people make mistakes and other people die.

mab

Heath Ledger’s Joker is an absolutely fantastic example of a sinister and mysterious villain. We know absolutely nothing about him. Who is he? Where did he come from? Are those stories about his abusive father and gambling wife true? What made him into the psychopath we see in The Dark Knight? No one knows. And it’s best that way. The Joker went out with a bang, and Heath Ledger’s performance cemented the image of a twisted, manical, almost gothic Joker into everyone’s mind.

the joker

And before you ask about Harry Potter, yes I prefer Bellatrix and Umbridge as villains over Voldemort. I find Voldemort to be quite… cartoonish. I know that sounds really stupid, but I find Bellatrix and Umbridge to be more believable and therefore more interesting, whereas Voldemort is more inhuman and monstrous. His humanity and empathy is gone, leaving only a beast. I’m not afraid of beasts. I’m afraid of the villains who talk to you, who can think, who are clever. They’re the best villains.

smaug

For more information on why dark is the best side to be on, check out this handy dandy guide to being evil HERE.

vader

So what is this all building up to? Why the title? Why am I obsessing over villains in this post? Because I’ve done it. I’ve succeeded in my original goal. Like any good villain, I planted the seeds of my plan a long time ago, and now I’m watching them blossom.

That’s right.

#TeamErlik is now a thing.

People who have read The Old Ways or are currently reading The Old Ways are all sympathising with Erlik. I’ve had people say to me “I understand why he’s doing what he’s doing” or “I feel really bad for him”, and even one instance of “I want to hug him”. Someone even referred to him as a “poor guy”!

I’m so happy you’re all falling under his spell. He’s disgustingly charming and you’ll all become Erlik fangirls before this series is over. Whoops. Did I just say “series”? …

bellatrix

Better get busy, I’m being pestered for the sequel after that devilishly tempting cliffhanger at the end of The Old Ways. But do tell me all about your favourite villain in the comments below! I’d love to know I’m not alone in my strange love of evil 🙂

Blessed be

RK )O(

rumple

Morgana

ursula

lucifer

tywin

 

EDIT: RK apologises for the prolific use of Gifs in this post. She has no willpower.

Catch-Up Time!

-vigorously waves- I’m here! I’m sorry, I’ve been neglecting my blog, my website, my Facebook page… I’m a bad, bad, bad panda. I’m sorry 😦

In my defence, like every single one of my shows started again in Autumn. Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Grimm… even Doctor Who has had at least one good episode this season. I’m starting to notice a pattern in the shows I watch… I know, it’s no excuse. I’ve been doing other things too!

Celtic Woman concert on Wednesday was absolutely fantastic. Their 10th Anniversary concert, and it was breathtaking. Perfect atmosphere for an evening of Celtic and folk music. And it was my first visit to the Sage in Gateshead too. I’d never been. OH and Steeleye Span are playing there in December, too! 😀 Don’t think I’d be able to get tickets this late, though. 😦

New bed arrived. It’s comfy-cosy and bouncy. Only problem is that there’s enough space underneath for at maybe two monsters to hide, so getting up in the middle of the night is going to be problematic if my fear of the dark gets the better of me. No more scary movies for me!

Speaking of, I’ve finally seen Crimson Peak! 😀 😀 😀

Shameless Hiddles gif!

Shameless Hiddleston gif!

It’s purely amazing. Such a gothically (is that a word? It is now. Up yours, My Immortal fanfic) romantic story. It had aspects of Du Maurier in there, specifically my favourite novel of hers, Rebecca. You know the story; a mysterious, rich, Byronesque anti-hero whisks away a naive, young, swooning heroine to a dark and crumbling mansion, where an old and haunting secret still bleeds from the walls. That sort of thing.

In other news… pussy cat is coming out of her shell a lot more. She’s on the mend from having Cat-Flu. And/Or conjunctivitis. Cat bogies eeeeverywhere. She still cries a little bit for us, but it’s not as pathetically heart-wrenching any more. Now it’s more of a “Hey, why did you close this door, Hooman? My tall climby thing is in there” type of miaow.

OOH and one of my friends is struggling with her morals because her favourite character in The Old Ways (so far, anyway) is Erlik. Little did she realise that was my goal all along! -evil laughter-

Well, she knows now, as I told her she’s sort of meant to like him, even just a little bit.

So… who’s started on their Christmas shopping? :/

I’ve bought…. four things. Yaaaay, progress… I really need to go shopping. I can’t just present someone with a mug on Christmas morning. Merry Christmas, here’s a receptacle for your hot beverages.

Like I said… bad panda 😦

Oh, and I replayed and finished Alice: Madness Returns… it’s been a while, and I felt like revisiting the most disturbing imagining of Wonderland I’ve ever seen. It’s an exquisitely psychotic game, I highly recommend it. If you’ve never played it, check out the trailer here.

Alright, enough rambling. I need to work on my dragon chapters. Whoops! Spoilers! ^-^

Blessed be,

RK )O(

New Kitty!

We’re absolutely never going to replace Luna, but since she passed away, the house has felt empty and much too quiet.

So, after a few discussions and a home visit from an adoption rep, we’ve now adopted a gorgeous 1 year old kitty. Her name was originally Lady, but my mother has decided to rename her, of all things, Thissy.

Thissy2

Yes, Thissy. A green-eyed little madame with a raccoon-tail. She’s very shy and skittish, but the adoption folks said she would take a few days to settle herself in.

She’s so vocal. It might just be because of the whole “new house, new people” thing. She’s found herself a little space behind the sofa to sleep. She’s very affectionate, and was apparently raised by dressage horses – she keeps lifting her paws up high when she walks, and headbutts our hands for affection.

Her previous owner moved away and left her behind. Who does such a thing? What horrible person does something like that?

In naming her Thissy, however, it does mean I can now never kill off the character… -_-

 

Blessed be

RK )O(

Winter is Coming… but so is The Old Ways!

British Winter

Winter might actually already be here. It was freezing when I stepped outside this morning. My first day back to work in 2 weeks and my poor car was frozen over. Poor Teddy.

Yes, I named my car Teddy. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re all pleased to know, Luna is back to her old self again. Since my parents came back home, she’s been lovely. Oh, of course she has. No sign or hint of the vicious attacking panther I had to suffer while they were away. Nooooo, she was purring her little head off, headbutting legs, rolling on her back to get cuddles and belly rubs.

-_-

I called her an abundance of increasingly explicit names. “Traitor” being the kindest one.

 

SO. I have news 😀 The Old Ways will be available for preorder as of the 25th September, ready for release on the 29th September!!! Mark the date on your calendars, my darling pixies. Thomas’s story will soon be told! 🙂

ToW 3D Cover

 

Blessed be!

RK )O(

I’m still alive!

But just barely. It’s been less than a week, and my cat has gone absolutely mental. There’s been a temporary change in the household, and Luna has made her opinion clear.

And by "opinion", I mean "fangs".

And by “opinion”, I mean “fangs”.

That’s my leg after Luna went absolutely crazy and lunged at me. My hands were in shreds. She would hiss and yowl at me whenever I moved. She ripped a huge hole my favourite jeans. I was trapped in my bedroom all day Saturday, and didn’t eat for over 24 hours. Basically, I was held hostage by a very pissed off cat.

We managed to get her into a carry case and took her along to the vets. She’s stayed there for a few more days, and now I’ve brought her home. There’s been a few more hisses, but I’m keeping her in the kitchen for now.

I feel like Satan every time she miaows, but it’s the only way I can keep us both safe. That’s why (and I hope you can forgive me for this), I’m more subdued than normal.

We’ve never seen her act this way before. Even the vets were terrified of her when we took her along. They said they’ve had feral and wild cats come in before (cats who’ve never had contact with humans before), and they’ve never seen a cat act so vicious before.

I had to go to the walk-in centre to get some antibiotics. I’ve bought a Feliway diffuser and spray to help calm her down even more. It seems to be working 99% of the time.

So… that’s that. It’s been an interesting week.

My publisher and I have also been talking about a particular chapter, and what changes we can make. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s definitely made the book stronger, as well as giving more fuel to the sequel (eeek!)

So, we’re only a couple of weeks until the release date. It’s getting very exciting 😀

ToW Cover

There’ll be a preorder option available on Amazon, and once that’s up, I’ll let all of my darling pixies know.

Stay safe x

Blessed be

RK )O(

I’m Terrible With Deadlines

I’m two days late for my regular blog post! I’m a terrible person, I’m so sorry… I don’t even had an excuse, I just forgot 😦 I’m sorry, guys. I think last weekend’s events are catching up with me. Been recharging my batteries. Introversion, for the win!

So, what’s new? Well, it’s my birthday in two days, and I’ve got absolutely nothing planned at all. Well, I’m going for a Chinese with my parents on the nighttime, but that’s about it. I haven’t planned to meet any of my friends or anything. I should probably get on that. To be honest, I hadn’t really noticed my birthday was so close o.O

I might send a last minute message around.

Birthday Dragon! :D

Birthday Dragon! ^-^

Anyway, we’re getting close to the end of the editing stage before zooming The Old Ways off to the formatter. And, of course, what do we find? An enormous gaping plot hole -_- *facepalm*

It’s easily fixed, so that’s not so bad. I’m really surprised we haven’t picked up on it before… I suppose it’s in the middle of a really intense chapter, so people aren’t really paying that much attention to the one particular character who falls into the plot hole.

We’ll fix it, no worries.

Also! (eep, this is exciting!) I’m going to be interviewed by Dianna Gunn at The Dabbler! :O Keep an eye on this fantastic site for upcoming news about new books. And if you subscribe, you get some pretty awesome writing and planning resources!

(And I am absolutely not jealous at all about how cool her website is… 🙂 )

I promise I’ll try and keep up with my regular posting schedule from now on.

Blessed Be!

RK )O(

In Other News

I recently downloaded the new Nightwish album, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. I don’t review music, so I won’t attempt to. It takes a true musician to review music properly.

But wow, EFMB is pretty fantastic. The new singer, Floor Jansen, has a wonderful voice, very operatic, and it takes their music back to its roots (back when Tarja was the lead singer). That doesn’t mean I didn’t like Anette Olzen. When she was their singer, their music was less “fantastical” and seemed to focus more on simplistic styles and lyrics, rather than poetry, folklore and fairy tales, but still they played some great songs. Amaranth continues to this day to be one of my favourite Nightwish songs.

I like both styles. I love all music, if I’m honest. Well… most music. I’ve never been a big fan of R&B or pop.

First song on the album, Shudder Before the Beautiful, has a full choir to provide a majestic contrast to Floor’s softer vocals. That doesn’t mean she can’t seriously belt out those powerful vocals with her awesome set of pipes.

I think my favourite song on EFMB is My Walden. It has a very sweet melody, almost like a lullaby. The lyrics always blow me away. I think it’s mostly the heavy Celtic influence, and the Welsh introduction.

Seriously, check it out if you enjoy well-written music or if you love fantasy. The lyrics read like a Yeats poem.

My Walden is swiftly followed by Élan. I think (if I remember correctly), they released a demo of this one before the album, so I heard this a few months ago. It’s beautiful. It was a taste of the epic grandeur of the new album.

Okay, that’s enough gushing about Nightwish. I saw them once in concert when Anette was the singer. It was a-may-zing! Tuomas smiled at me and I haven’t stopped fangirling since.

 

In other news…

Happy birthday to my best friend in all the world, Tatty! It’s only 9 days until Tatty and Katie Take London 2015: Slytherins on Tour!

It’s also only 21 days until my birthday, too! Eep! I get childishly excited about birthdays. I don’t know if it’s maybe just the promise of cake?

Aaaaaand 48 days until the official paperback release of The Old Ways!!! AAAAAAHHHHH! Who’s excited? I’m excited! Are you excited? You look excited! I’m excited AAH 😀

And it’s out of my system. For now.

Also, I have a little surprise for you darling pixies. You extra special ones who follow my blog and like my posts. Next week, instead of a blog post on Wednesday, there’ll be a super-exciting-special post on Tuesday 18th, where I will…

Are you ready?

antici

Are you ready?

pation

Couldn’t resist, sorry ^-^

 

RELEASE THE COVER FOR THE OLD WAYS!!!!

That’s right, you darling pixies get to see the front cover first! Unless you follow me on Facebook, and even then it depends which page you look at first.

(PS follow me on Facebook!)

BUT YAY OMIGOSH THE COVER! 😀

Super exciting, right? I’ve seen the original designs, it’s pretty gorgeous. Also, I’m still working on Age of Magic in the meantime, in between playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the billionth time (PS, please Bioware, release the new DLC for PS3!!! 😦 ) and marathoning Firefly on Netflix.

Blessed be, my darling pixies!

RK )O(