Crap surrounds me. I often feel discouraged about my messy house. Truthfully, though, it is nearly impossible to keep a neat and orderly home when you own so much crap. So, I am ready to declutter.
I opted to start with a minor project today. I’m tackling a small book shelf in our family room. It currently holds 175 books. As you can see from the photo, I have more books than shelf space, so 22 homeless books are just stacked on top of the shelf. Classic clutter. Do you want to know the most embarrassing thing about that unsightly mess? The books have been stacked there for so long that I had stopped noticing them. Yuck. They need to go.
As a writer, I read a lot. I’ve accumulated over 1,000 books over years. But why? There are only a handful of books that I read over and over, so why am I hanging on to all of them? Why am I letting these books that I am finished with hog valuable space in my home? Books that I found too boring to finish reading are also taking up real estate. Ditto for books that I liked but will never read again. I have collected many writing grammar/reference books too, but I bet most of the answers contained in those books can be found online. Finally, I went through a coloring book obsession a few years ago. I still enjoy coloring when I have time, which is hardly ever, but why do I need nearly 15 coloring books? Sure, many of them were gifts, but I should have tossed some older books when I received newer books. There is no way I will ever have free time to color all of those blank pages, so I need to weed out the ones which don’t appeal to me as much.
When I decided to start my decluttering project with one book shelf, I remembered Jerry Seinfeld’s classic take on most people’s tendency to hang on to to books once they’ve finished them.
I am taking Jerry’s advice. Wish me luck, and stay tuned for an after photo. 🙂
I’m doing a Cutters Don’t Cry podcast and am taking questions for the episode. Submit your self-harm questions or comments below.
About 18 months ago, it was a lot harder to find Peppa Pig items in the United States. My young daughter had discovered the animated character on YouTube. She loved Peppa, her family and her animal friends. I wasn’t surprised when she asked for a Peppa Pig themed party for her third birthday, but I knew it’d be a challenge to find decorations. With the exception of a Peppa pinata that I found online, I made all the decorations myself with the help of online graphics and our tabloid printer.
The Peppa clouds were the only decorations that
I was semi-proud of. I found a generic cloud online,
created a mirror image in Paint Shop, printed them on a tabloid
printer, cut out the clouds, glued cotton to the inside of one cloud
and used a glue gun to attach the other cloud. I ended up with
fluffy clouds that my daughter kept hanging in her room
for over a year.
I ordered a Barbie birthday cake at Von’s and placed Peppa toys
I bought at Amazon on top of it. Daughter insisted that Barbie
As a big Judy Blume fan, I was excited to purchase a first-edition copy of Iggie’s House from a used bookstore several years ago. When I let my eight-year-old son borrow it for a reading assignment, we discovered this touching inscription inside:
Sounds like Adrienne had a cool mother.
I’ve been meaning to post this for some time. My youngest son had a Spiderman birthday party last year. Knowing very little about Marvel superheroes, I felt that pulling off a good party would be a bit of a challenge for me. So I spent a lot of time online researching party favor ideas, cake ideas, etc.In the end, I was shocked how easy it was, and how little money I spent.
Was it a perfect party? No. Was my son pleased with the result? He was thrilled. Ultimately, that’s all that mattered to me. 🙂
Sign greeting guests as they walked through the door
I designed a giant comic book cover in Photoshop and printed it out on our tabloid printer.
I got a little cutsie with the food signs.
My children are obsessed with olives so I gave them a funny name and it cracked them up
Mary Jane’s Jello
Thank goodness for colored jello
Grabbed some water bottles at Target and put new stickers on them.
I believe the “table cloth” is just extra wrapping paper.
Spiderblue drinks are Blue Gatorade.
Red and blue popcorn courtesy of food dye
These Spidey Strawberries, on the rear plate, were much cuter before the whipped cream melted and turned the eyes into a weepy mess.
Whipped cream and chocolate syrup for the eyes.
Uncle Ben’s Blueberry Muffins
I found the spiderweb muffin holders on Amazon for only about 2 dollars with other Halloween items.
Perhaps the biggest single item expense of the party. I found this Spiderman standee online for about 25 dollars. The boys kept it in their room afterwards for nearly a year.
I found the villain images online and created Wanted signs in Photoshop. These posters were scattered throughout the house. The boys still have these signs hanging proudly on their walls.
So the children wouldn’t become too restless after they tired of playing in the bouncy house, I set up a coloring station and told them to draw their best Spiderman art. Then, I hung the results on the wall so I’d have more decorations.
This photo was taken before most of the posters were completed.
Fun with Photoshop again
Spiderman pinata was bought at Target for about 15 dollars.
Spiderman cake purchased at VONS for about 20 dollars. Delicious, too!
Written by Christine Dzidrums, who struggled with self-harm and cutting for half of her life, ‘Cutters Don’t Cry’ fuses fact with fiction to give self-harmers the inspiration and resources they need to improve their lives for the better. Based on the author’s own experiences, the novel is quickly becoming the ‘go to’ text for those crying for help.
While many self-help books are born out of professional expertise or theory, Christine Dzidrums’ ‘Cutters Don’t Cry’ was born out of years of harrowing self-harm, depression and despair. After repeated bouts of spiraling self-harm, her personal journal has inspired a novel and life-changing resource that could inspire millions to rise from their ashes.
The novel takes its cue from Dzidrums’ actual journal. Compelled by her therapist to share her story in the hope it will help other self-harmers seek help, the author’s real-life experiences have been transposed into a bold and powerful fictional narrative.
19-year-old Charity Graff engages in self-harm. More specifically she cuts herself to numb emotions. In a series of raw journal entries, the confused teenager writes to her estranged father, filling him in on what’s happened in her life since he left her nearly 18 years ago. Throughout the course of her letter writing, Charity chronicles her penchant for cutting, a serious struggle with depression and her inability to vocally express her feelings.
As the author explains, her book reaches out to those in need with compassion, empowerment and the utmost of dignity.
“Cutting is very common among young adults, extending even into the male demographic. It’s a topic that isn’t widely discussed in the mainstream media despite being a prominent problem among young people, in particular teenagers. ‘Cutters Don’t Cry’ portrays the issue in a sensitive, yet realistic manner. It also addresses depression and methods of coping with it,” says Dzidrums.
Aside from its fictional story, Dzidrums has used her book as an opportunity to give self-harmers a tangible and invaluable resource. Since its release, the book has gained cult status among young adults, winning a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and consistently holding the number one spot on Goodreads.com’s list of best books about cutting.
Reviews have been glowing. For example, Sasha Elizabeth said, “This is a book intended for young adults, but I enjoyed it as a thirtysomething. It was easy to get through but did not talk down to readers. If you want to understand the pain that goes with cutting, this is the book for you.”
Sherri Gonicbeg was equally impressed, adding, “I came across this book by accident, and I am sure that it will help me very much. I can pass it along to others who suffer from this affliction, and to promote awareness and education to their loved ones who can’t understand what drives people to turn to it for solace or catharsis.”
Dzidrums is currently adapting her story into a screenplay and has high hopes of seeing it turned into a motion picture. Until then, it will continue its grassroots work of helping those in need seek light at the end of even the darkest tunnels.
‘Cutters Don’t Cry’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1aVGMA9 and http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cutters-dont-cry-christine-dzidrums/1100199070?ean=9780982643518
It also has an official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cutters-Dont-Cry/194342000609858
About Christine Dzidrums:
Christine Dzidrums holds a bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts from California State University, Fullerton. She previously co-wrote children’s biographies on Kelly Clarkson, Yasiel Puig, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, the Fierce Five, Idina Menzel, Mike Trout, Matt Kemp, Missy Franklin, Sutton Foster, Jennie Finch, Joannie Rochette and Yuna Kim. Her first novel, ‘Cutters Don’t Cry,’ won a 2010 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in the Young Adult Fiction category. She won a second Moonbeam Award in 2012 for her acclaimed biography on gymnast Gabby Douglas. Christine authored the Amazon.com best-selling beginning chapter book ‘Future Presidents Club.’ She also wrote the picture books, ‘Princess Dessabelle Makes a Friend’ and ‘Princess Dessabelle: Tennis Star.’ Her recent tween novel, ‘Fair Youth,’ tells the tale of a troubled young girl who is befriended by a quartet of undercover fairies. The long-awaited follow-up to ‘Cutters Don’t Cry’ entitled ‘Kaylee: The ‘What If?’ Game,’ will be released this fall. Her works have also been translated into several different languages