Author Mae Clair is October’s Featured blogger in this, the second re-boot of my monthly featured blogger post.
In our interview, Mae shares some of her history and ideas about writing and success.
In your profile, you say you like to blend genres; does it happen as you write?
It developed as my writing progressed. I never liked being pigeon-holed to a certain genre, so my early books were a mash-up of mystery and romance. The romance eventually fell by the wayside and mystery took center stage. I do, however, blend that up with elements of the supernatural, paranormal, and psychological aspects. One book also included a bit of sci-fi with UFO sightings and Men in Black.
You wrote your first story at six; what was it about?
I don’t remember the content. What I do remember is being given the assignment and my classmates scrawled out a few lines…
A couple nights ago I was having some real nasty, dark thoughts and I just needed to refresh somehow and home decor is one of my facets that really helps me out of that trench. I love it, I’m inspired by it, I strongly believe that what’s in your environment is what’s basically in your head. So I started reworking one section of my room and the final look is about 90% different than it was prior.
Here’s a little of the “before” and I guess a bit of background. (Side note: I pulled these pictures off my Instagram so they’re not all edited the same- bear with me here.)
Now, I have enough furniture (minus a couch and bookshelves) to decorate a 700 sq. foot one bedroom apartment- which is what I lived in with my ex for 3 years. So moving into a smaller room (12’x11′), I’ve got to “store things” in it by maximizing the space I have. That wall has 4 pieces of furniture on it. One being a smaller little thin table, one is a (heavy) confessional chair from the 1800s, and the other two are larger pieces- a dresser and a rustic thin table. Two of those items I cannot move, one is just perfect for storing smaller things and housing things I like to look at- so those three are permanent. What is on top of them or added to them, however, is not (except for the TV, there’s no other outlets).
There wasn’t a whole lot I could do with this wall because of those doors and it doesn’t have any outlets. The piece that stuff is on top of is a big rectangle table- like the size of a set of drawers, but open inside with one prominent shelf (I’ve got a plastic drawer that houses my winter accessories on there, some journals, helmets, random knick knacks) and one that’s more hidden underneath it (perfect for things I don’t know where to put/cleaning products/old paperwork, etc.). This piece especially had to go here because on the other wall, there’s the only vent and if it were to sit there, it would cover it which is a huge no-no for me when this girl needs her warmth big time in the cold winters. I mainly made the top of this prettier because it would be something I’d see more often when I woke up in the morning.
I had those baskets under it to house more books. The bottom shelf had books lined up vertically. I went through more of my things under my bed (boxes) to sell some items I should’ve prior to moving from CA- books, DVDs, etc. I sold a bunch of books that I really didn’t need anymore- none that would inspire me again- and I pulled out more that I had had on my list for a while. So then this area became one where I housed the books I wanted to read and this way I could see them and have easier access to them. The remaining books under my bed are ones I’ve already read or ones that I’m not in a hurry to read. I added a bunch more books than there was before, which meant I needed to make them all fit- which is how the stacking variations came into play. Those stacking variations led to openings to fit vases or knick knacks I didn’t have a place for previously. Then on top of the table, I got a Himalayan salt lamp, and the rest were just some knick knacks I had to make it look nice.
This was mainly moving that round mirror over and removing/adding knick knacks. I also got some fake florals from Michaels that I made into fun, bright floral arrangements for pops of color. To the right, hanging on the door, I moved a picture hanging garland that used to be strung around the mirror. I felt it added extra color and love to an otherwise bland/normal area.
The main thing I wanted was to move that mirror over which meant I had to move a top table organizer (not the actual name for it, but that’s the best I can describe it as right now) and a bigger piece of artwork. Not a whole lot happened here, but it spruced it up, definitely. The left wall, however, didn’t feel right at all. I had to move the organizer (thing) on top of the dresser because it was longer than that thin tall table which then lead to the TV put on top of it.
Now there was a lot of added height to that space which I hadn’t originally expected. I didn’t think that organizer was longer than that table, but I wanted so badly for that mirror to go on the other wall and the mirror wouldn’t lean safely on that organizer’s smooth top (it could fall after the dog jumps off the bed). Having started this project 30 minutes before bedtime, I had to leave most of the (very) impromptu project for the next day.
Like I said before, I was having dark thoughts and I kind of threw my hands up (at how I was feeling inside) and thought “okay change something”. My environment is always a good one to change up because I have to live in it and if it’s not inspiring me or making me happy, I need to find a way that will. I wanted these two walls now to be more colorful and come alive again. This photo was after I had looked around in the morning sunlight at what I’d done which was the catalyst to my brain then reworking the puzzle and for the rest of the day I was coming up with ideas on how I wanted it to look and feel, how I could have even more storage space, how I could be further inspired in my day to day.
See the finished product and read the last 466 words here.
Unfortunately, most people have experienced the excruciating pain of a migraine. The agonizing feeling when your head throbs, and pulses. Light and noise can cause a piercing pain. The pain is so violent that you feel sick to your stomach, and maybe even throw up. It’s absolutely horrendous, and terrifying. Due to the excessive amount…
My top artist. I think they just may be my favorite band of all time (which is huge for me to say). I could listen to them all the time… in fact, I did for months just this past year. Only them on repeat.
I’m not entirely sure why, but they literally make me happy. I listen to them and my mood gets better, I feel relaxed. Any anxious feelings go away. Perfect for the car before I go to do something that makes me feel anxiety. Even writing this post now makes me really happy.
The song I’ve probably listened to the most is “Sabbra Cadabra”. It’s upbeat and just fucking great. If I were a runner, that’d probably be the one I’d start out my run with. It’s definitely high energy and gets me moving.
My next most listened to is “Killing Yourself to Live” which is really one of my current theme songs. It’s about the way people are living their lives in misery. I see it as that end goal of “if I work hard enough now, I’ll get to live my life after” whereas life should be lived now and you’re dying already.
For some reason, I crave watching The Godfather (and The Godfather Part II) every once in a while. In the past, it’s usually been when I do a deep cleaning or something- I’d have it on in the background. This time, however, I watched for the love of it… three times in one week.
I couldn’t help myself! and I couldn’t stop. I think it could possibly be because I hadn’t watched it in a couple years? Or I’m just making up excuses for no reason. I enjoyed every minute of watching those two movies over and over. It never gets old!
I believe an update is warranted since I’ve made all these life changes…
It honestly feels like I have taken felix felicis, aka liquid luck (for all you non-Potterheads out there). It feels like every single move and decision and thought I make is the right one preparing me for the future I so wish to have. It’s incredible.
I haven’t felt this type of motivation in years. Solely because I had no idea what the hell I was doing or what the hell I wanted. Now, though, each day is it’s own step toward a greater goal. I am first and foremost bettering myself as a human. I’m changing the way I think and how things make me feel. I’m changing how I react to things and the way I talk about things.
Another change has happened within the last few weeks… I post a positive message (image) to my Instagram account every day! It’s typically a message that I will take with me through my day and I hope that seeing it helps others during their day. Check it out here!
I was having a really rough day just over a month ago and I asked my best friend for some help. She had a bunch of positive affirmations and I needed some. She also told me about a meditation app. That meditation app has been my daily helper ever since I downloaded it!
The app is called Simple Habit. There are 5/10/15 minute meditations available with a ton of topics! I do it everyday before I leave the house. It clears out all my anxiety and any depression I may be feeling. It’s got options for if you’re having a rough day or starting something new or just going to start your day, etc.
Within the first few days, I noticed a change within my self and mind. From the teachings I’d meditated along with, I could just let my thoughts be instead of letting them get inside me and fester. I felt stronger just breathing and being at peace. I had much more appreciation for myself and my life.
I had a day all to myself recently where I could just relax and do absolutely nothing. I thought it would be a great day, but somehow I still ended up feeling anger or sadness. Before I went to sleep, I really thought about this and asked myself “what was it that got into your day to make you feel so upset? You were at home all day! There shouldn’t have been anything to upset you.” I realized that the only times I felt anger or sadness were from when I had opened my Facebook app.
So I deleted it.
Now, I just deleted the app so I still have a Facebook, but I don’t have the easy access to it like I did before. I haven’t fully deleted it because of all the photos as well as the fact that that’s how I can reach my page (to promote my blog). I haven’t been on it in about 3 weeks and it has been so nice!
I have been trying to change my way of thinking for the better the past few months and everyday, I still kept getting dragged into the same old thought patterns. It always stemmed from going on that app and seeing so much hate and anger and sadness and complaining. It was too much. If I couldn’t control their narratives, then it was time to control my own.
I didn’t have to go on it. I didn’t have to read their posts. I didn’t have to be upset from, well, bullshit anymore. I could free myself from it. I have that ability.
Gilmore Girls will always hold a huge, special place in my heart. I have watched the entirety of the show countless times and still can’t get enough of it. It’s like a warm hug whenever I put it on. It’s like I’m going to go hang out with my friends all in the comfort of my own home.
When I was in middle school, my neighbors had introduced me to Gilmore Girls and right away, I was hooked. I had to go out and buy the first 2 seasons immediately so I could be caught up (oh, the days before Netflix…). I watched all of those episodes, then would watch a rerun every day at 5pm on ABC Family, and then just chomp at the bit waiting for the next episode to air.
During that time, I had started living full time with my dad and my stepmom. I had a rocky upbringing due to being in the middle of a custody battle for 11 years (along with some other stuff from Mom, we’ll get into that another time), so my dad and I had a hard time getting onto the same page (trust issues). He would watch Gilmore Girls with me in the living room just about every time it aired in the beginning of the week and we would laugh together and talk about the show. We really bonded over it.
Growing up, I was a lot like Rory. Total bookworm, had a badass taste in music, and knew way too much about pop culture for people to understand me completely. She made me feel cool and confident in a time where I needed help with that the most. I was definitely proud to be like her and thought it was so cool seeing a young female shown that way on tv!
As I have gotten older, the more I admire Lorelai. She has so much strength and it’s inspiring how she put it to use. How we both built up our strength might be different, but it’s empowering to see a woman overcome obstacles on her own. She went out, made a new family of friends, worked hard and reached her goals. It may have been hard at times, but she got through it with style and her amazing wit.
A couple of weeks ago I had a passenger who answered the phone and when the caller asked how he was, he said “I’m maintaining”. It stuck with me. It felt like the first time I’d ever heard someone say that.
The brain works in mysterious ways. Perhaps I’d heard that a hundred times in my life, not as many times to refer to as “common” when I’d usually think of the typical responses of “oh, doing fine”, “I’m alright”, “I’m good” or “I’m getting by”, I’m going through some things”, etc. I have truly no recollection of ever having heard that before, but this time I heard it, and I mean heard it, because I needed to hear it. He said something completely in the middle of those common responses.
It struck me as gold. It was a way to communicate that you’re going through the good and the bad that life throws at us. It was that middle ground that explains being in between or in transition or in coming out of something or changing. It alludes to you having gone through some things and that you’re actively working to move past them. It was beautiful. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
I told him right then and there that I’d liked his response. I told him how it made me feel and how it provoked so much thought. It was an honest response. It was a way to not feel that guilt you feel when you toss someone one of those generic responses. You know the feeling- you get it with those people that you feel really could hear you and listen to you, but you give them the old “I’m fine” when they ask how you are. You gave them that response because you still aren’t sure if they will really hear you, when so many don’t listen or don’t want to listen. We don’t want to bother anybody with the truth.
My dad always tells me “use your tools”. Without fail, every time I tell him I’m feeling depressed or anxious, he says “use your tools”. From there, I’ve looked at my methods of helping myself as tools in a toolbox.
I’ve got a bunch of these tools and I’m always looking for more because not everything will work every time and not the same mixture of things will work. My body seems to reject everything I use in the spring and summer and needs something else in the fall and winter and that’s not just talking about natural supplements, but toothpaste, shampoos, and more. The more tools I have to combat the ebbs and flows of depression and anxiety along with the differences half of the year makes on my body, the better.
A few months ago, I was asking about a mood boosting probiotic and another customer mentioned Ashwagandha to me. She went on and on about how it’s an ancient remedy that helps elevate mood and a number of other things. I didn’t get it right then and there because, well, I had to research it. I didn’t know or trust this person and it was the first time I’d heard about it.
Ashwagandha is an herb that can help with a multitude of things, but I take it for stress and depression. I bought it about a month and a half ago and have only used it a few times, but it has helped so it’s added into my toolbox. It feels like it resets me or helps me to reset myself, if that makes any sense. It’s as if the stress and depression are smoothed out over to the side and I have an easier time moving around it rather than it weighing me down and suffocating me. On top of that, it doesn’t make me feel drowsy, which is huge! It’s now my go-to when things are too heavy.
I’m grateful for that stranger putting in her two cents. Her words stayed in my mind and led me to try another supplement to help me. So now, I’m telling you all about it!
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and I do not claim to be. Everyone’s body is different and what works for me may not work for you. I am merely speaking about my own experiences with natural supplements. I suggest you do your research and/or talk to your doctor. The site I’ve linked (here and above) is just one of many I have visited, but that one seems to be where you could get the most information.