Favorite Authors In History – Zelda

Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen and Zelda Fitzgerald would have to be my top three favorite all time authors. I’m sure this seems typical as it seems almost everyone is into Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson but Zelda Fitzgerald not so much. Zelda isn’t typically the first name one thinks of when they hear the name “Fitzgerald” in conjunction with famous authors, no, I would wager that Scott Fitzgerald is what springs to most peoples mind first.

While being categorically different from Dickinson and Austen, Zelda makes my favorites list for more than just her craft. Her ability to write, paint and dance while dealing with a crippling mental illness makes her soar to the top of my favorites list.

Zelda’s life was full of drama right up until her death. She came from a family with significant social influence holding prominent positions in American government. She was a wild child to say the least and meeting Scott Fitzgerald would eventually set her world afire, sending her down a dramatic path in life.

Zelda and Scott’s courtship was full of passionate and tumultuous love letters followed by an equally tumultuous marriage riddled with alcoholism, infidelity and jealousy.  Eventually to couple separated, though the couple never divorced. Scott died in 1940, Zelda was in the midst of her mental illness.

Writing wasn’t Zelda’s only passion in her life,  so was painting and a foremost her desire to become a ballerina. Zelda practiced tiredly until she realized her dream would never come to fruition which lead to her first mental breakdown, which at first was thought to be a result of physical exhaustion.  Later, in the years to come,  she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and would spend the rest of her life in and out of mental institutions suffering from her crippling mental illness.

Zelda had her one and only child, a daughter, with Scott Fitzgerald and  named her Scottie after her father. Scottie was raised predominately by Scott as Zelda was often too ill to be home.

This isn’t to say that Zelda didn’t have periods of times where she was highly functional. She was a poet, an avid painter and it was during her stay at John Hopkins that she wrote Save Me The Waltz. However, the book was not well received selling only 1,392 copies for which Zelda earned $120.73.[72]

The failure of Save Me the Waltz combined with Scott’s scathing criticism—he called her “plagiaristic”[73] and a “third-rate writer”[73] – crushed her spirits. Save Me The Waltz was the only novel Zelda ever published.  Additionally, she wrote 11 short stories and 10 articles during her lifetime.

In 1934 Zelda’s paintings were put on display with an outcome reminiscent of when she published her only novel.  The New Yorker described her paintings merely as “Paintings by the almost mythical Zelda Fitzgerald; with whatever emotional overtones or associations may remain from the so-called Jazz Age.”  This review reportedly cut like a knife making Zelda violent and reclusive. By 1936 Scott Fitzgerald had admitted her to Highland Hospital.

Sadly, Zelda’s life ended at Highland Hospital in North Carolina. She had lived there intermediately  from 1936-1948, checking herself in and out of the hospital as she continued to deal with her mental illness. However, on March 10, 1948, a fire broke out in the hospital’s kitchen. The fire spread through the floors of the building via the dumbwaiter shaft, and Zelda was killed along with eight other women. Zelda was reportedly awaiting electroshock therapy in a locked room when the fire broke out. Her body was unrecognizable and she was identified only by her slippers. She was 47.

This women’s life, her relationship with Scott F. Fitzgerald along with her childhood upbringing played out like a novel all it’s own. One lived, not written. This is what makes her so identifiable for me, so distinguishable from all the rest. She had a remarkable story and that story was the very breath she breathed.
Mamie Rae

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Inspiration

Inspirational-Site-Looking-for-Quotes-and-Sayings-Looking-for-a-Quote-Every-accoWhat inspires you? Have you asked yourself that question in a while? I know I needed to ask myself this question, and to be honest I am still mulling it over. You see I have been feeling very uninspired since the new year rolled around. I have three youtube channels that I vlog for;  I do family vlogs, I film hauls and I should be filming cooking videos for a new start up channel, and yet all I want to do is well, nothing.

I am in a slump.

We have all heard of writers block right?  I guess you could call what I’m going thru as vlogger block. I keep thinking I could do a video on my planner. Did you know planners are a big thing on the tube? Well, they are. Then, my next thought is “does youtube need another planner video?” Probably not. Then I think, I will film a video on home decor tips. I love to decorate my home but I don’t really fall into any one category of decor. I guess you could call it classic vintage with a shabby twist? Yeah, that doesn’t seem like a video I can make when there are yet again, a million video’s on home decor. Ultimately I think myself into a feeling of utter inadequacy.  What could I possibly have to offer someone?

Scratch.

I find myself walking down the twisted path of discouragement far away from Inspiration. Thoughts of having tried and failed come to mind. Thoughts of mean people leaving nasty comments come to mind. Ugh. That’s the worst. I’m constantly asking myself why am I doing this?  That is when thoughts of my wonderful subscribers come to mind, my YouTube family as I have been known to call them. People I feel I will be letting down if I quit.  However, what about my own happiness, right?

I’m 41. My life is half over. I have to ask, is this vlogging business on YouTube the way to spend my time? I think that’s a valid question for all of us in our 40’s, no matter what it is we are doing. Life is short and what we do should make us happy. This being said I tend to live in a relative constant state of self evaluation.  I think this sets me apart from most people I encounter. I find that compared to others I have talked with I think too much. Most people act first and think later. I’ve always known what I wanted from life, most of which I haven’t had to much trouble with making happen and some of it I’m still working on. It isn’t always easy. I’m the first person to admit that. It gets me or my readers anywhere to say it’s easy because lets face it, it’s not. It is however worth it in the end.

So, where does one find inspiration to keep moving forward? For me, it’s most often my faith. Outside of that Pinterest is a good place providing it doesn’t make one feel too heavy.  So many beautiful things already exist and finding a niche that is all ones own is daunting.  I’m always saying, is there any room for something new, something fresh? I think, what the hell do I have to offer that hasn’t already been done 100 times better already?  The answer is yes, yes  there is room because it hasn’t been done my way yet until I give it a try, my way. The same goes for all of us.

mindsetWhat is a mindset. A mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notations held by someone, or more so in the case of the context of this blog post, I would define it for myself as being “an attitude, disposition, or mood” as defined by the good ole dictionary. Yep. Attitude determined by mood, or Mood determined by Attitude. Either way. That’s it in a nutshell. And my attitude and mood have been questionable.

Long story short, I’m thinking on it too hard. The last place I should, or anyone should be looking  for inspiration is at the work of another person. Look within.

That’s  where you will find true inspiration. We all have knowledge, we all have some kind of life experience and we all have formed different points of view, attitudes and associations based on how our psychological selves reacted to a situation. That’s what makes us unique. That is where no one can copy another.

Sometimes, sitting alone in a quiet place spending time with oneself will bring the deepest and most sincere inspiration.

It wasn’t long before I found myself out of  my rut and into a better mindset. I came to the conclusion that even if a topic has been “talked about”,  “filmed”, “blogged”, etc. It hasn’t been done  from my point of view, my mindset, my experiences and so on. What matters is taking the chance on myself and sharing my point of view.  When we share our individual mind set and life experience with others we open not only our own mind but perhaps those of others to a new way of seeing the world.  Not everyone will relate or line up in “mindset” but for the one or two that I might touch on a positive note, I think it’s worth it.

Mamie Rae

“Whether you think you can or cant….you’re right!”