Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Best Love is the Kind That Awakens the Soul

I've been contemplating creating multiple websites that are niche specific as a way to highlight the different types of writing I do.  It's important for me to be seen as a multifaceted writer.  This is incredibly important when you are a writer for hire, or more specifically, a freelancer.  For now, until I can get a website built, I'm going to use this blog to highlight what it is I do, or what it is I'm working on.  That doesn't mean I won't share personal tidbits about myself, but writing is part of who I am.

This posting is an article which I have not quite finished (I'd like to add two hundred additional words to make it a thousand word article).  When it is finished, and I have a website built, I'll use this as a writing sample.  It's what I'm typically hired to write.  There are a lot of websites out there, and there are website owners who are willing to hire someone to write content for them, but they want to see an individual's writing style.  

Reasons to Hire a Personal Trainer:

Whether you’ve had a personal trainer at some point in your training regime, thought about hiring one, or just want someone to do a day session with you to correct diet or exercise form issues; I’m sure, like many others, you’ve wondered if a personal trainer is actually worth spending your money on. There are people who will tell you that personal trainers are a waste of money, and are only necessary for those who can’t motivate themselves. Some may even think that a personal trainer is just an overpaid individual who barks orders and places unreasonable expectations on you and your body.

To Map Out a Plan to Achieve Results:

There are plenty of good reasons to hire a personal trainer. If you've never worked out before, or have limited knowledge of the machines and what they do, then you might want to consider hiring a personal trainer. When you hire a trainer, they are not going to just put you on a machine, hit the go button while standing there counting the dollars they are billing you for that one hour session. What you get from a trainer is a detailed plan of the types of exercises you need to be doing to achieve the results you are looking for: whether it's washboard abs, to lose thirty pounds, injury rehab, or just to make improvements with your general health, their job is to direct you towards the right path to achieve your fitness goals.

To Access Your Health and Fitness Levels:

If you hire a trainer, you will be taught the basics of working out, the proper way to use the machines you see in the gym, as well as the importance of diet and nutrition, and the role that supplementation plays in your overall health and wellbeing. The person you hire will take your measurements, determine your body fat levels, weigh you, and chart the progress you make over the course of your partnership. This individual will help you to determine the proper speed for your skill level, correct any issues you may have with form, and show you which machines you should focus on in order to target the areas you are looking to tone up. Their advice is meant to keep you from burning out, to give you realistic goals instead of expectations, and to pace you so you don't over train, or get hurt from using poor techniques.

Motivation:

Sometimes we need a cheerleader. Motivation is key to success. Without an actual person encouraging you and your progress you may not continue to work toward your fitness goals. This is most especially true when you aren't seeing any results and you don't feel like you are making any type of progress. A person who reminds you that results don't happen overnight, that it takes thirty days to form a habit, and praises you for the changes you are making for yourself and your health, may be essential for a person who is prone to giving up. The beginning of anything is always the hardest part, once you get into the habit it becomes easier, but sometimes we need a push to motivate us to make lifestyle changes.

To Help Create New Ways To Challenge Your Body:

Your routines have become monotonous, and you find boredom with your routine to be a bigger obstacle than lack of results. Even the most seasoned pro gets bored. You've been doing the same routine for years, and it's worked well for you; you've increased the amount of weight you can lift, you can run faster and further, you can see lines of definition or rock hard muscles (depends on the look you are going for), and your pants fit perfectly on your body. You've perfected your healthy lifestyle change, you've been at it for years, but for some reason, you can't motivate yourself to go to the gym anymore. Talking with someone who can take you from an exercise you've mastered and turn you into a beginner again by showing you an exercise you've never done before may be the fire that is needed to motivate you straight out of boredom. There are literally thousands of exercises out there, each targeting a different type of muscle in a different way, but we tend to stick to the handful of exercises that have worked for us over the course of our training. Sometimes having a person show you a new way to target your triceps, or a better way to lift for stronger legs re-sparks the desire you had in the beginning of your fitness journey because it gives you new ways to challenge yourself: body and mind.

Money is the Deciding Factor:

While there are benefits to hiring a trainer, money is usually the factor that decides whether or not an individual will actually utilize this type of service. The reality is that most people can't afford to hire someone to workout with them every single time they hit the gym, and that's okay. Your money is your money, and some people don't spend as frivolously as others. Personal trainers are a luxury, not a necessity. Most gyms offer between one to three days of free consult upon signing a one year contract with them. It's an incentive to get you to join their gym. If you don't want to invest in a trainer long term, utilize this perk for however many sessions you are given, and take full advantage of learning the intricacies of the machines and the ways they work your body. You may find the information invaluable.



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Right from the Start You Were a Thief You Stole My Heart

This story I wrote as a class assignment, which was later posted on-line as a fanfiction.  I pulled my stories down, a move I now regret, due to issues with anxiety.  The requirement for this story was no dialogue and a word count of less than 900 words.  I have contemplated putting my stories back on-line ... for now I think they fit fine on this blog.


Echoes



She wakes like always in the haze of sleep, her eyes never quite focusing, never quite finding the one she seeks. She speaks his name a million times, and though she has never met him she knows she’ll recognize him when she sees him, if she sees him. He begs her there, wills her to him, promises he will be waiting, but never is. Even in dream, she is always searching for him, always fighting for destiny.

The room she is in is always the same, large and white, decorated for a ball, filled with enemies dressed for a masquerade. Their faces are hidden behind party masks, with eyes deceiving, betraying their intent, and she fears them.

Her red gold hair is puffed, wild with curls, ribbons and flowers entwined throughout. Her dress looks like a fairy tale, and like her eyes, it’s colored as blue as the ocean. It’s strapless and hugs her torso to her hips, then it flares out exaggerating her waist, and falls to the ground hiding her feet. Although she doesn’t wear glass slippers, only blue satin pumps, she feels like a princess. At the base of her neck diamonds sit, surrounding her throat, shining obscenely against flawless white skin. She holds in her hand a white satin mask trimmed in ocean colored feathers held by a long slender stick wrapped in white satin fabric, and blue and white ribbons that dangle freely are attached. When she puts the mask to her face, her nose to her forehead are covered, and the blues of the feathers make the blues in her eyes shine brighter.

She looks up to the ceiling, and sees chandeliers that hang in rows of perfect symmetry. Their thin, delicate gold arms curve, gleaming with clear crystal teardrops letting light flow through each tiny tear, shining dotted rainbows all over the room like prisms. The lights are bright, unreasonably so, and yet she feels the darkness and cold. Emptiness surrounds her. The fogged blanket of anxiety she feels makes the room darker than it really is, terror grips her heart with frigid panic, and it consumes her soul. She wants to leave, but something is keeping her there. No . . . not something, someone.

She hears her name called on an angel’s breath, so small and faint she’s not sure how she’s going to find him. She moves through enemies with confident uncertainty, some bowing their grace as she walks past them, others pointing and sneering or laughing as she makes her way through the crowd.

The clicking noise her heels make as she steps across marble flooring sound hollow, reverberating in a silent room. Everyone watches her, waiting until she is near the center, and they lunge at her like hungry wolves, grabbing her roughly, bruising her body. Enemies close in on her, drowning her in a sea of faceless people. She lets out a strangled cry for help, falling helplessly, pinned under their bodies. She struggles, fights against them, and finally she breaks free.

The thick shroud of dark suffocates her as she runs for air, for freedom. But sinister hands refuse to give up. They still grab for her, attacking her now tender flesh, clawing at her, ripping fabric from her dress, trying their hardest to pull her back into their sea. Somehow she manages to break away from their grasp and runs for the light that shines like heaven, laying miles ahead.

She dares herself a glance behind her, and she sees the sea of people are closing in. Heaven’s light reaches for her, and like a magnet it pulls her into it. He stands alone, waiting. The light turns dark and she can hear the menacing voices, the maniacal laughter behind her. His arms open wide to her, his voice calling to her with baited breath. She runs to him, into his arms, her heart flutters and she feels the sting of electricity.

His eyes are warm brown pools of liquid behind the black mask he is wearing, and she sees the sun shine in them. The aura that surrounds him is haloed in warmth. The room that had felt so dark and ominous brightens, illuminating a spotlight on them.

She looks up at him longingly, hoping he is there to protect her, but her eyes desperately question him, fearful that he might be there to harm her like the others. He circles his arms around her, embraces her tightly to him. His name echoes deep in her soul and she knows she is safe now that she has found him. He brings his mouth down to meet hers, her lips burning with fire when his brush hers, and she can breathe again. His name falls from her lips and it vibrates the walls around them. Enemies cower and shrink away back into the darkness she has just escaped.

His name is a serenade in her ears, and she knows he is forever hers. He is her savior, her lover, her destiny.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

To Me You are a Work of Art, and I Would Give You My Heart

This story is a rough rough draft that is nowhere near complete and has not yet been edited.

Lost in Memories

She stands alone in pitch blackness trying to gather her bearings and when she realizes her surroundings, she moves, creeping slowly, silently in a direction that is singing her name.  She knows this dream, a false reality filled with memories forgotten and fantasies, inklings of hidden little dreams of things she never had but always wanted.

Blackness continues to envelope around her, and she feels suffocated, claustrophobic until her eyes bare witness to the tiniest sliver of light and she knows when she moves through that crevice what she will be witnessing.  Part of her fears and part of her wants to run toward it.  She keeps her movements slow and deliberate.  She doesn’t want to miss anything, but she is also too aware of the pain she will be inflicting on an already frail psyche.

When she makes it to the light, she steps into it and its warmth makes her feel like she’s on fire.  The sensation quickly fades when she moves further past the opening, the light that is leading dissipates and she is left in the darkness, alone, once again. 

She moves in a straight line because she knows the path she has chosen, and her subconscious is aware that she is about to be attacked.  She is very heedful to the fact that she is about to relive and revisit thoughts and dreams, realities and make-believe fantasies that she has created.

The memories don’t hit as hard as she believes, but maybe that is because they aren’t the memories she is there to see.

She moves past a door, the one that leads her to the one she loves, and though she hesitates, and looks back longingly at the wooden object that she knows will take her to a safe happy memory, she forces herself forward.  She is careful to move slowly.  She wants to witness some thoughts and ideas and chooses to ignore others because some things she wants to remember and others she still remembers far too vividly in another realm of reality.

She moves for what seems an eternity and she feels she is gaining no ground.  The circles she walks have her growing weary.  She drudges on anyway, her palms sweating, her heart firing rapidly against a cage of ribs.

Ahead of her lay a thick layer of ghost white fog, a barricade set before her so that she would question her motives before she allows herself to enter a realm that could destroy her.  She moves through it without thinking.  The mist is so cold it chills her skin.  Tiny droplets of water fall from an unknown heaven and she is surrounded by the liquid.  It grows heavier, stormier as she moves farther forward. 

She sees the glass and only then does she halt.  She hesitates her steps before she is moving again, and as she moves closer images start to take shape.  The glass is dirty, almost cobwebbed, its shiny surfaces gleaming dingily.  She sees the outlines of trees and grass through the film of dust, all lush and green, and she assumes the season is spring.  Flowers are vining wildly in all directions on the glass, and when she finally makes it to her destination, she stops before she can touch the structure, fear climbing out of the far recesses of her brain.

There is no reason to fear, and she knows this.  The person she longs to see is here, and she knows this person is nurturing.  Even in a figment of dreams or long lost memories she knows her deepest longing.  She forces herself to move forward, not regretting.

Her hair is dripping and waving with the over abundance of moisture, and it feels like a weight resting on her head, much too close to her brain.  She moves a soaked strand of hair from her face, plastering it behind her ear, letting it mingle with the rest of her water saturated hair.  Her being is soaked and she looks like a drenched cat.  Her fitted black dress is clinging aggressively to her body securely, tightly, in a way that is showing off her toned stomach muscles, the hem riding in a wrinkling irritation above her knees.  She doesn’t notice or feel discomfort all she sees in the glass partitioning and when she touches it everything changes.  The glass disappears, but she cannot move forward because a barrier, invisible to the naked eye, has replaced it.  The scene before her is clear with no abstract distraction of dirtiness to cloud out the images. 

She already feels the tears, their stinging a reminder of her human nature, their heat burning against her frigid body temperature, and she isn’t sure why she is reacting to a memory that she knows she is responsible for creating.  The scene is so real, so vivid, every color a perfect painting, and it breaks her.   

She slides down the invisible partitioning, her body turning so her back lay against it, with eyes full of tears, and she feels empty, hollow, like she’s swimming in an ocean alone, sinking with every memory.  She half twists her body so she can see through the invisible barrier, the gulping hiccups of tears resonating in the depths of her throat.  She looks at the woman, and her baby.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Nothing Can Dim the Light Which Shines From Within

Patience can be a real pain.  There is no denying we are a nation of impatience, but hopefully writers can turn that into motivation.  If you want to be a writer so bad you can hardly wait for it, then you better get started today.  That doesn't mean all the pieces of the puzzle will magically fall into place, but at least leverage that jittery, itching ambition to start creating something beautiful right away. Whether it's starting a blog, writing an article, or diving into chapter one of a book; don't dwell in your impatience, use it.

 I love the idea that patience is "concentrated strength." For me patience is hard when it comes to building my freelancing career. My first job was an unexpected explosion of fireworks, so now everything else seems rather drained of its color. It's hard to re-adjust expectations and remain joyful in the waiting.  Writing is a tough gig. Getting published is harder yet.

 An important piece of advice I've recently come upon is not worrying about the quality of others work. Don't compare your writing to successful writers and your peers (who may well be successful writers). This can only lead to impatience in seeing that your work isn't up to the level that you wish it was (which is good, but impatience is the wrong response). Just try to make the piece you are working on the best it can be - it needs to live up to itself, nothing else. There are no expectations for a piece of writing than the full realization of the idea it contains. That's what I try to remember when I think towards my future as a writer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Life is a Great Big Canvas; Throw Paint Where You Can


Words

 Consumer. Producer.
Never abuser.

Complacency.
Fixed by movement. Forward.
Rarely back.

Deciding. Believing.
Planning.
Fast.
Action. Massive. Again and again and again.

Consistency.

Further action.
Determination.
Correct action.
Honesty.

Productive activity.
Correct activity.
Income-producing activity.

Diligence.
Discipline.
Undeterred.

Vision.
Defined. To the T.
What will it smell like?
What will it look like? Feel like? Look like?
Defined. To the T.

Adjustments.
Good for the spine.
Balance.
Change.

Efficiency.

Ears, mouth.
Proportionally used.
Say less. Listen more.

Create. Act.
Make something.
Art.
Yours. Yours?
Yours. Own it.

Acceptance.
Open-minded.
Drive.

Control.
Sometimes you can.
Sometimes you can’t.
So what!

Acceptance. Situations.
Determination. Anyway.
Balance.

Respect.
Kindness.
Honesty. Integrity. Love.

Reflect.

Honesty. Self.
Who are you?
Acceptance.
Acceptance.
Acceptance.

Do it.
Be it. Embrace it.
Act on it.
Hunches.

Success.
Comes after actions.
Comes after beliefs.
Comes after thoughts.

Think well, friends.
Think good stuff.

It’s not the easy way.
Do it. Anyway.

Little things. Make differences.
Always little things.
Exponential. With consistency.

Kill ’em with the littles.
Again. Again. Again. Again. Again.

Your success.
Defined by serving others.
Help. Guide. Lead.

How many?
Define it.

Servant heart.

Reach for their success.
Them. Focus.
Yours, bagged.
Easy peasy.

Want more? Help. More.

But first, follow.

Everyone starts.
Follow first. Copycat first.
Learn. Absorb. Adjust. Relearn.
Follow, then lead. Follow, then lead.

Optimism!
Positive thinking.
Honest, but positive.

Roses make pretty glasses.
Sometimes.

Think big.
Think scary.
Think even bigger.

Just think. Like, at all.

And smile.
Smile. Smile. Smile.
Gentler face.
Happier face.
Happier you.

Smiling. Doesn’t hurt.

Opinions sometimes can.
Power.
Place it correctly.

Your dream.
Not theirs.
Their words.
Strong only as you assign.

Power.
Place it correctly.

Business.
Personal.
Sometimes mix.
Most of the time, don’t.

Wheels exist.
Don’t reinvent.

Lead.
Follow.
Knowledge.
Courage.
Wisdom.
Actions.

Innovate.
Create.
Live.

Efficiency.
Tools.
Resources.

Awareness of the differences.
Makes all the difference.

Humble.
Grateful.
Respectful.
Strong.

Joyful.

Willing.

Happy end-of-the-week, all. :)
Hugs

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Love is the Most Beautiful Story Ever Told



Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my bucket list. I've been evaluating my life's goals, not just career goals; I've been evaluating all aspects of my life in an attempt to determine what goals I have for myself as a person. I've been thinking of the things I want to do, and the places I want to see, in my lifetime. My life has felt very limited. I am a child who has grown up moving from place to place because my father's job dictated it, so I've never really felt grounded. I've always had this restless urge to move around, like I don't belong to just one place. I've lived in my current state longer than I have lived anywhere else because my ex-husband's job required him to be here, and marriage meant I was tied to this location. This desert was never a plan for me. It's not the place I want to be. It seems to me that I've made choices about my life and career based on what other people wanted, and not what was important to me. 

 

I love this quote for many reasons, but ultimately for all the promise it holds. “We are made up of every bit of our past, present and future thoughts. The places we have visited before, the things we have already read, but also of all the dreams we hold and all the places that call to us for some reason.” 

 

Right now, what is calling to me is an immediate desire to see the world around me, to immerse myself in it and explore its hidden corners, to get lost in the culture. I would love to go on an extended road trip that would take me from town to town. I want to travel from here, all the way across the U.S., from the Pacific to the Atlantic and stop in all the in-between places. I would love to spend a few months trying out different states; eating in the mom and pop diners, browsing the shelves of a local bookstore, sipping tea on the sidewalk of the corner bistro. And while I don't know if that will ever really happen, at least not anytime soon because I still have to earn an income to fund journey's like this, I believe that specific desire is a part of my soul for a reason and I believe it's part of the make-up of who I am.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Best Way to Pay for a Lovely Moment is to Enjoy It


Who I am is who I want to be.

I gave myself the best gift ever . . . freedom. I have embraced my freedom and am fully aware of my thoughts. Instead of re-acting to the things that happen in life, I make a choice as to how to respond to each situation as it arises.

When something happens, good or bad, I take a step back and observe events with detachment.

Once I see the “what is” as it is, I choose whether or not to respond, and make a decision as to how I respond to those events.

Sometimes my response requires nothing more than re-focusing my thoughts.

Emotions arise. Happiness, sadness, anger, or frustration signal me to watch my thoughts with mindful attention. If I’m happy, I keep doing what I’m doing. If I’m not happy, I evaluate what is detracting from my happiness.

Watching life with alert curiosity allows me to sidestep master manipulators who use guilt, anger, or idle flattery to control my thoughts and actions.

I don’t worry about my reputation. What others think of me is none of my business. I use an internal compass to guide my actions, without using others as a frame of reference.

I wake each morning absolutely determined to enjoy the day.

I don’t hang on to yesterday’s junk (disappointments, anger, or sadness).

Nor do I worry about reaching some elusive future destination “down the road.”

Unfulfilled desires create unnecessary suffering. Life is short and can end without warning. Why worry about a tomorrow that may never arrive?

I focus on enjoying the journey right here, right now, allowing the path to unfold before me . . . moment by moment and step by step.

The way teaches us the way.

Be Here Now.