Tuesday, December 29, 2015

When Your Heart Knows the Truth, it Never Forgets

I don't make New Year’s resolutions. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it has to do with the fact that resolutions are well meaning goals that most people abandon within the second to third month of the year. Most involve fitness, living a healthier lifestyle, and I remember moments at the gym in January where you couldn't find a machine to work out on, and by Valentine's Day the gym was empty. For me, I feel you should make daily goals, and work toward achieving those. A once a year resolution seems ridiculous to me. It's like saying this is the only goal I want to achieve this year, and then failing at it. I know some people actually succeed with their resolutions, but experience has taught me a good number don't. The idea of setting a resolution just doesn't appeal to me, never has.

There are things I would like to accomplish this year that some would say are resolutions, and I do hope that I can find a way to accomplish them.

I didn’t write for myself as much during the year as I had hoped to. I was too busy writing for others. This year I am hoping to change that, and do less work for others and more for myself. I've already started the process of writing blog articles for a fitness site and a beauty site that I created, but it's going to take time to build them up. I've begun the process of pulling notes out of my notebooks and typing them on to the computer. Once I'm in the flow of moving words from paper to word processor, I find myself writing paragraphs from my head, and completing large gaps in stories, easily hitting a thousand words and sometimes more, in a short span of time. I am hoping to use those short stories to produce my first e-book of shorts. E-books can be as short as thirty pages. Seeing that number makes the process of producing less frightening, but it still feels like the fitness resolutions some people make and then abandon. I am working on finishing two novels that I began a long time ago, placed on a website, and then pulled down. After having reread my work, and looking at the word counts I already have, I am at novel length for these stories. I know I have what it takes to complete projects, but time is a factor, and there is never enough time to do everything I want to do. Time slows down the process. Writing is not a resolution for me. This is a career goal. It's the most important goal for me.

The world wide web has made earning an income at home so much easier, but it still takes more work than most people realize. If you are thinking you'll get rich quick on-line, you are dead wrong. Most people who have had success on-line worked hard, produced lots of content, and then added advertising to that content to generate an income. There is a point when you can run on autopilot because you have built up enough on-line that it generates residual income, but you still have to spend time producing new content in order to remain relevant. So yes, those cat videos that go viral on-line has netted someone a hefty profit, but those people started from nothing, and worked to build something. That's a goal of mine, to build websites with my own content, and build a following. It takes dedication and perseverance to succeed at this type of on-line business. The reason most people fail in this type of work is because they give up too soon.

And then there is this fashion blog. This year I've really started putting an effort into writing for this space. I would like to increase the amount of posts that I produce. I don't know how realistic that goal is considering how many other balls I'm juggling, but I also feel like this is my home and that I owe it to myself and my followers to come up with more content about myself so that they can get to know me better.

When I work towards something, I take a whole lot of time preparing and agonizing over details. What that means for me is hours and hours of writing, and reading, and then rewriting. It means hours of research. It means hours of window shopping and programming so that I receive compensation for what I promote. It means accepting products for review, testing the quality, and then producing an article or review for the company sending it to me. It means writing for others so that I receive a paycheck while working towards achieving my personal goals.

For all my preparation, I still have moments that I have to face where I feel like I am diving into the deep-end of uncertain waters, and I do get insecure. Say I've just finished a story (or a blog post), and now I am sitting in front of my computer screen, with the little arrow hovering over the publish button, about to release a story I originally wrote for myself, and now I'm contemplating releasing it to the public. These are moments when I question if my writing is good enough, when I question if I even have anything valuable to say, and sometimes I feel like I need reassurance. These insecure moments are terrifying for me, and they are never easy, but they are necessary. These moments remind me that I can’t let fear rule my life. When you are writing you should be writing for yourself, and there should be some expectation that someone someday will read your writing.

So no, there will be no New Year’s resolutions this year because it is not my style, but that doesn't mean I won't set goals for myself, or that I won't be working hard to achieve them.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Life is a Learning Experience

There is not one person on this planet that has not, at one point in their life, been judged unfairly; and even though many of us want to believe that we don't, we, personally, do our own fair share of judging others just as unfairly.

It's in our nature to compare ourselves with others, to find fault, and to envy. While some judgment is healthy, in fact, it's instinctive (survival), there are times when things get out of hand and people can get downright mean and nasty, and say and do things that are hurtful to the person they are judging.

It is not uncommon to judge people based on trivial things; where we come from, how we live, where we live, what we do for a living, how much money we make, by the color of our skin, whether we are male or female, gay or straight, the type of clothes we wear, our looks, or the car we drive. We are even judged by how we spend our free time.

For me, it was a work environment that allowed for slanderous behavior. I have heard gossip and rumors about myself that were utterly ridiculous, and had no basis of truth to them, but that didn't stop people from spreading them. I attribute this to the fact that I never talked about myself, never gave details about my personal life, so everyone came up with their own theories as to who they thought I should be.

The behavior could have been construed as workplace bullying. It allowed for some of the worst criminal behavior to breed. It created a hostile and dangerous work environment, not only for me, but for the other people that were subjected to it. Some of the behavior could have been stopped, but none of it was.

What I learned from this experience is that there are times when things should be left alone, because, eventually, people will get bored and find something new to talk about. In my case, that is not what happened.

And then there are times when you need to take control of the situation because they aren't getting bored, they are finding more to talk about, and it creates uncontrolled chaos. You can't always count on others to fight your battles. There is a trick to gossip, and I learned how to use it to my advantage, in the process I pirated the ship (so to speak), and steered it in my direction. My words had actions that matched, mysterious magic and undeniable truth, thereby giving them something positive to believe in. Because I took action, I was able to control the situation, and reverse the damage that was caused by it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Passionate Desires Come From Our Thoughts, and Flirting

Currently, I am working on several writing projects, and I am going to share with everyone some of what I am working on.
I have three writing goals. I want to publish a novel. I want to publish a book based on my created drink receipts. I want to publish a book of short stories.
This is going to be a short story that will probably end at roughly five, maybe six pages. The word count will probably hit at roughly three thousand words when it's finished. This story has no working title, yet. It is still in the development stages.
I will share tidbits of what I'm working on as kind of a teaser, but any story I plan to self-publish will not be published on-line.
She thought it was over. His words had been final, driven with a hammer's blow into an eternally buried coffin.

So why was he calling? It was a question she'd asked herself a million times already, her mind not resting, exhausted with the effort of trying to decipher the meaning of a little message that was hardly threatening.

She looked out of her bedroom window at the aggressive cloud covered sky. The clouds had shifted from a dingy gray to an impossible black, and it reflected her mood perfectly. She saw the long wild silver streak of lightning light up the darkened sky, heard the loud, boisterous boom of angry thunder, and it complimented the raging storm inside her.

He had managed to break her heart, shattering the billions of pieces into a billion more when he announced he was leaving her for someone else. So why was he calling? After long, bitter months of no contact, out of the blue he calls, using the ambiguous and tired 'I miss you excuse' as a justification for throwing her mind into a whirlwind of old, lost, and forgotten memories.

She turned away from the window, soft tendrils of auburn hair slapped her harshly in the face with the quickness of her sudden and heated movement. She looked at the answering machine, with its blinking red light beckoning another playback, and a hot, fresh wave of pain and anger flooded her insides. She tried to convince herself she should destroy the message, but try as she might, it was a fight lost because in the end she missed him and the sound of that blessedly beautiful baritone voice.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sincere Words are Felt in the Heart and Triggers a Smile

Over the course of each of our lives, we tend to embrace hobbies; we find things that are interesting to us as individuals and they become important aspects of our lives. For me some of those things have been: collecting comic books, playing video games, weight training, running, reading, writing - just to highlight a few, but nothing has brought me greater pleasure, even in the moments when I face writer's block, as writing and blogging have brought me. In some ways blogging has been therapeutic. It is, essentially, to me, the same as Facebook is for my family and friends, a place to share tidbits of information about me and my life, but I feel blogging is a little more personal because my blog is the place where I share details of who I am.

I started blogging as a way to help me feel comfortable about sharing myself on-line. I feel my blog is a safe place for me to be, even though I know it's easy to search, and it takes no time to find this blog if you know my name. 

There are many reasons to start a blog. Some people blog to give themselves something to do, stave off boredom. Some people start blogs to show themselves as authorities in their given fields. Some start blogs as a way to generate income on-line. Some do it as a way to keep in touch with their families. Some do it as personal journaling. Some people blog because they enjoy writing, expressing their views, and sharing their life experiences. Some find it to be a form of therapy.

I feel I need to write this because I have so many people asking me how to start. The answer is simple: you start writing by writing. You start blogging by blogging. If you are hoping to make money writing, then the sooner you start, the better.

You’ll become a stronger writer by constantly writing, and it even challenges you to improve when you have others critiquing your words. Writing is essentially communication. You are communicating thoughts and ideas, and when you put those thoughts and ideas on-line, you are recording those pieces for others to read. When you write a view point piece you are compelling people to agree with your views, in some cases you'll end up debating your words, but when you are writing you are looking for like minded people who you can bond with. When you blog, you are not forcing yourself to become a better writer, it happens naturally. Communication (all forms of it) is a practiced art.

Writing changes the way you think, not necessarily about your life views, but how you phrase your words to maximize effect. It goes beyond all the research you do as a writer. We all have views as to how we see the world, and how those views have shaped our lives, but we don't always know how to articulate them. It may also come down to not feeling comfortable expressing our thoughts and feelings. Once you've become openly committed to your words, it becomes easier to share them. Everyone has something they can contribute because we all have unique experiences.

You don't need to go into blogging with the mindset that you are going to make money from it, but from recent conversations I've been having, this is the area everyone is most curious about. Unless you are a professional blogger, the average person doesn't know how to monetize their blogs. I can tell everyone, from experience, that numbers are key for advertising, and you won't make a dime without traffic. You will not gain a following until you start writing. No blog, no followers, no money. It all comes down to one thing, willingness to start.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

You Never Needed Wings to Fly, You Only Need Love

Most of the women I know, I've known for years. All of them are loving, supportive, caring people, and I feel blessed to know and have them as a part of my life. If a woman feels threatened by me, then I'm going to have a problem trusting her. If I can't trust her, then I can't have her in my space, near my family and friends. Jealousy doesn't work for me. Drama doesn't work for me. I will not subject myself, or the people I care about, to this type of behavior.

I am at a place in my life where I only want to be surrounded by positive, supportive people whose purpose in life is to help build others up, not tear them down. I want to see my family and friends happy. I want to see them in relationships. I want to see them getting married, building a career, buying a house, having children. I want to go to their birthday parties, bridal showers, weddings, baby showers; the list goes on. If I say I'm your friend, then I'm your friend. I'm busy building a business, but I'd be there for anyone of my family members or friends if they called me and said they needed me, in a heartbeat. Personally, I am extremely loyal. I take relationships seriously.

But, if you are jealous of the good things that are happening for me, the things I've worked hard to build, and the goals I've set for myself; well that's childish and immature, and you need to worry about fixing your own life and staying out of mine. I have no time or patience for people like this. If you're happy with your own life, you'll be happy for the successes of others, plain and simple.

If you say you want to have nothing to do with me, and you want nothing to do with my life then you need to leave it. If you can't publicly announce a friendship with me, then we can't be friends, not even privately.  I am not the kind of person who is ashamed to be seen talking with anybody. I think it's cowardly to conform to what other people expect. I appreciate authentic real individuals, regardless of how quirky their behavior seems to be.  I most definitely do not allow others to choose my friends for me. I never allow anyone to have that sort of power over me or my life.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Every Word You’ve Ever Said, is Written Somewhere in My Soul


This week has not been everything I hoped for.

In addition to getting fabulous ideas from my brainstorming sessions, reading some great writing, finishing NANO, turning another year older; I also got a large helping of bad news. Can we say change of plans? The news is not about me personally per se, but affects me personally.

I don’t know what you do when you’re crying your eyes out or wanting to sleep so you can forget everything that is going on, but I have work deadlines and they are looming much too close to lie in bed all day. I still have to work, and in some ways the distraction is good, in others it takes an emotional toll. Needless to say, even though I didn’t feel up to writing, I got busy doing it.
This is what I managed to accomplish:
  1. Typed outlines, notes, and rough drafts from my notebooks to a word processor.
  2. Created a few new characters, and gave them identities.
  3. Updated this blog.
  4. Read a few short stories, including one from my sister, and offered feedback.
  5. Researched ideas that had nothing to do with any story I'm writing. They are article ideas.
  6. Created content from those ideas.
  7. Planned a sudden, unexpected week long trip to Santa Fe to spend with my family.
Do you resist change? While normally I relish the idea that some change is a good thing, in this case I am not happy with the changes that are soon to come. My mood will be affected, and possibly my posting schedule, as well as looks of the day for my fashion sites. I'm feeling day to day, and that feeling is going to determine what I do, and what I put off.

I'm still planning a trip towards the East in the Spring, but depending on the circumstances, those plans can change at a moment's notice.

When life tosses you a curve ball, and we all know that it will, sometimes you just have to figure out what you can do at the moment, even if you know it’s not going to be much, or necessarily your best work.

This week I’m clearing the clutter from my desk, because I have piles of notes in front of me, so that I can write from the thoughts in my head instead of notes in notebooks. That’s not such a bad idea, right? Because, after all, I have a lot of usable thoughts rolling around inside this chaos I call my mind. The best time for this writer to write, is when my emotions are raw.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What If...

What if changing your life, and discovering who you truly are, is as simple as getting on a plane?

If you knew only three steps separated you from finding your true love or your true calling, would you risk taking the first step?

I think we have this misconception that we have all the time in the world to accomplish everything we dream of without realizing that sometimes life can be cut short. We put things off because they don't necessarily standout as a priority. I realize that I am not guaranteed old age. What happens if I don't see my forties, my fifties, or my sixties? Will I be satisfied with the life I've lived?

What if you don't make it to old age? Will you have regrets?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Dreamer, I Walked Enchanted, and Nothing Held Me Back

I've said this many times to my friends and family; in order to achieve anything worthwhile in this life, it's going to take a lot of practice, patience, and hard work. You will not succeed until you actually start. While I would be happy to show others how to get ahead, I can't do the work for them. If they want to create income streams, then they have to actually start working towards that goal. With effort comes rewards and success. I give them the tools, show them the opportunities, it's up to them to use them.

When I look at the things that we can accomplish as a group and individually, from the bottom up, they look huge and scary. I see the opportunities. I see what I can do. I see millions of ways to create revenue streams, but it's a lot of hard work, too much for one person to handle alone. I do what I can in the moment so as to not be too overwhelmed. Because everything looks so mammoth, it's hard to know where and when to start. I think that is the reason so many make excuses and procrastinate on starting; there is a level of self-doubt because they don't think they can achieve success. It's that I'm not good enough mentality that destroys their willingness to try. Even I face those challenges. There is a world of critics awaiting us and not everyone is going to agree with or like the things I create. I think self-doubt keeps us from realizing our true potential as human beings. It holds us back. It's only when we tear the layers of negative thinking away that we begin to see what we are truly capable of achieving.

Writing is a process. For me, I start the process by writing down what it is that I want to accomplish. I write down the ideas that sit in my head. I write down the things I know, and the things I can easily talk about. By doing this I begin to see my thoughts take shape, the ideas form, and by seeing them take form, I'm motivated to keep that thought process going. The more I create, the more momentum I gain. Even if you start by making a list of ideas and tackle the smaller, easier, more manageable ideas, you'll have something in front of you to work with. From there you can build. Once you start working on the ideas from your list, you'll start to feel as if the load that you're carrying is getting lighter and that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. You'll start to feel accomplished. Each step you take towards completing your objective gives you strength and courage to keep on going. It's like exercising: the more time you spend working out, the stronger, healthier, and more clear minded you become. Writing, like exercise, is a slow going process, but the rewards are worth the time and effort spent. If you want to make a living on-line, it's going to be through content, and writing is the most important part of that content. Google indexes words, not pictures.

The book I am currently writing is a monstrous undertaking. Thirty days to write a novel is a pressurized task. Doing it without editing, and knowing I have to go back and rework plot holes, find all spelling and grammar mistakes, find a way to create cover art so that I can turn around and publish the material, is going to be a daunting task in itself. They say a writer has to set their work aside for a while, and revisit it when their mind is fresh in order to catch glaring errors because the writer is too close to their own work, and is often focused on the writing and not the mistakes that are sitting right in front of them. The idea of having to set my work aside makes me feel a little sick because I am anxious to publish. But, I have to ask myself, do I want to publish a book before it goes through the editing process and risk turning readers off to reading my book, thereby destroying my credibility as a writer?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Look in My Heart and You Will Find You

It's that time of the year, and while I know food takes center stage for the Thanksgiving holiday, this is also a time where we reflect on the things we are grateful for. Like most bloggers and on-line magazines, I am giving you my gratitude list.

1. Life. Waking up every day. Lets face it, if we didn't wake up, we couldn't be grateful for anything.

2. My family

3. My friends

4. Freedom. Living in a country that not only gives me rights, but ensures ways to make sure that I can protect them. Not every country can say they have the same rights that we do. I'm grateful for those who serve our country so that we can maintain our freedom.

5. Writing as a form of art and expression.

6. Feeling safe, protected, and cared for.

7. Fun, flirty, witty exchanges. Playful banter has a way of taking the seriousness out of situations, and keeps everything light. 

8. Sunshine and moonlight because they are the perfect contradiction. They are both beautiful in their own ways. Sunshine charges in and lets everyone know it's present. Moonlight is soft and subtle.

9. A star filled night. I like to go outside and just look at them, see if I can figure out the constellations or spot a planet. My favorite place to have conversations is under a star filled sky.

10. Road trips. It allows me to explore my country, see new areas, and in some cases meet new people.

11. Warmth on a cold night. I have a heater. I have a fireplace. I have plenty of blankets.

12. Shelter. There are too many people out there who do not have homes. Far too many people sleep on the streets, out in the cold. I'm grateful to have a place to sleep that has water, heat, and electricity.

13. Beautiful flowers

14. Good photography

15. Mozart and Daisy, they always cuddle with me. They just know when I need them. I call Mozart my safe place because he's the one that really senses changes in me. He's the one to just cuddle right at my chest, and sleep with me.

16. Seeing others happy. Life is too short to be spent miserable, or making others miserable.

17. Nature walks because we have a planet full of beautiful creations and I don't necessarily think we appreciate all the beauty our planet provides.

18. Deep conversations. These are the types of conversations that really help you get to know someone.

19. Good food, because some of the best times we share with others is when we are indulging in lavish spreads while laughing and engaging in small talk.

20. Being heard and understood.

21. Creating memories

22. Good health

23. Music. Of all the artistic expressions, personal writing aside, music speaks to my heart the most.

24. For little hidden fun secrets, like crushes, because they remind us that humans are always seeking to love and be loved.

25. For love that cannot be explained.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Heart is Like an Unfinished Puzzle, Always Missing Love

Why do I write?

I write all the time.

I don't always write stories. Sometimes I write articles that have nothing to do with the fantasy worlds that I have created in my head. I write to make a living. I write because it gives me the feeling that I am creating art.

I write to communicate, to express my feelings, to get my emotions out, to make sense of my thoughts, to clarify what I'm thinking, and sometimes I even share those thoughts with the world as a way for the world to get to know me.

I write because it's an escape from reality. It's a place where things that cannot exist, do. Writing is a place where unicorns and mermaids are real, and realms are within my control. I write to experience adventures, to explore worlds, to see that which cannot be seen. I write because I favor painting pictures with words.

I write because my mind wanders between daydreams and the dreams that come from sleep, and I feel like these stories that are haunting me, need to be told. I identify with the characters, they become an extension of me, the plots become real, and I start to feel attached. I develop emotions, real feelings, from bringing those who are imagined to life. It's part of the creative process. It becomes imperative to get those stories and characters out of my brain, and onto the computer where I can see them so I don't forget them. Once I've developed my characters, given them personalities, names, quirks, and flaws; created their stories - it's fun to revisit them to see how they've evolved through my writing.

I write because of the things I feel. These invisible tendrils called love, that bind us to one another such that we do the most beautiful and horrible things. Our grandest moments of giving and sacrifice and our lowest desires of taking and hurting. They together rise before me like a brilliant and destructive sea. Golden arms of loyalty embracing that sick-green creature that jealously covets. Because often I feel nothing in the achievements of men and feel everything in the eyes of a broken and battered animal.

I write because of things that I must know and the things that I do know. I write to understand. I want to delve into the depths of my soul, to explore my deepest secrets. To rise and soar above the things I keep buried. To celebrate glory. To witness beauty. To reveal great horrors. To understand pain and sadness. To capture both the extraordinary and the mundane. To examine possibilities and to explore the impossible. To contemplate this world as it is and as it might be. To hold, for just one moment, these ideas and then to release them upon the page.

I write because I love reading.

I write because it gives me a sense of pride to create something I care about. To build something from nothing and watch the story grow.

I write because it makes me happy. I love the power of words. I find it awakens a part of me to learn that my words have touched someone's heart and mind. It gives me great pleasure to know my words can make a person laugh, cry, bring out the anger, tame the beast, because the power of words have the ability to stir the emotions we hold deep inside.

I write because words have the power to help me fall in love. When I write, I feel everything deeply.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Expect the Most Wonderful Things to Happen

I'm the type of person who doesn't like to be pushed around by my problems. We all have them. Some of them we can escape and some of them we can't. We can't always ignore our problems, but we don't need to constantly dwell on them, thereby creating unnecessary stress for ourselves. Personally, I prefer to be led by my dreams. That doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge that I have problems, but I don't let them take center stage in my life. Instead of dwelling on problems, I prefer to work toward building a dream.
In order to live the life I want to live I have to work hard. I have to be dedicated to my passion. It takes time to build a legacy. In life, we all have to make decisions as to what we want, decide what we are willing to sacrifice to achieve our dreams, and then we have to act on them, but that doesn't always mean that want is something we will achieve. But by not taking action we have automatically doomed ourselves to failure. I believe everyone should take some form of action, make mistakes, fall, and try again. Even if you fall a thousand times, at least you won’t be left wondering what could have been. At least you will know in your heart that you gave your dreams your best shot.
Everyone of us has a passion in our hearts burning for something. It’s our responsibility to discover what it is that lights our inner fire, and keep that fire lit. This is your life, and you only get one chance to live it. Don’t let others extinguish your flame. Try what you want to try. Go where you want to go. Follow your own intuition. Dream with your eyes open until you know exactly what that dream looks like. Then do at least one thing every day to make that dream a reality.
As you work towards achieving your goals, remember, you can count on there being some fairly substantial obstacles - as well as disappointments - along the way. Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Realize that the road to your dreams may not be an easy one to travel. Look at those disappointments as challenges – tests of persistence and courage. At the end of the road, more often than not, we regret what we didn’t do far more than what we did.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Flowers Whisper "Beauty!" to the World

A- Age: 40. Honestly, I don't feel my age. I have enough people flabbergasted when I tell them how old I am, and they always comment on how much younger I look than my actual age, that my age has never been a subject I think about.

B- Biggest fear: I don't really care to dwell on fears. I think that's counterproductive. I'll give you my superficial fears – scorpions (those little creatures creep me out) and porcelain dolls – and leave it at that.

C- Current time: 10:30pm

D- Drink you last had: Sweet ice tea and water. I have a large glass of each on my desk, and have been alternating between both.

E- Every day starts with: Two cats meowing to wake me up, followed by a morning run.

F- Favorite song: Matchbox Twenty – Back to Good

G- Ghosts, are they real?: There is no solid proof that they are not. I don't see any valid reason to not believe in their existence.

H- Hometown: I call myself a child of the desert. I never really had a hometown, Texas would be the most identifiable state for me. We moved around to accommodate my father's job so I don't really feel connected to any one area.  Every place I have ever lived in has been a desert. Hence, child of the desert.

I- In love with: Well, I could start with 'There is this guy', but I think I'm going to avoid that scenario. I could say life in general. I could say I'm in love with creating worlds through my writing. This is a complex question, and I could come up with many answers, but I'm not going to.    

J- Jealous of: Nothing really. I sometimes find myself envious of someone's talent: dancing, musical - that sort of thing – but I've never really been jealous of anything specific.

K- Killed someone?: In real life, no. In the stories I write, yes. I write mystery, and storyline often dictates a character being killed off in order to move the story forward.

L- Last time you cried?: Monday night. I came back from vacation and my nephew, whom I call my shadow, cried when I left. It was a heartbreaking moment. He had to be reassured that I would be back next year. Still, it was hard to leave him.

M- Middle name: Kay

N- Number of siblings: Three biological. Growing up, my father allowed a girl named Amber to live with us when her mother was unable to care for her. In an arrangement that was made between my father and her mother, she lived with us until her mother was able to get herself clean and provide a stable home for her child. She's basically an adopted sister. I have two female best friends, both I consider sisters. I also gained a few step siblings after my father remarried.

O- One wish: Peaceful coexistence on this planet. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all just get along.

P- Person you last called: I'm not exactly a telephone person. I would say either my baby sister or my roommate. Usually I'm the person being called, not the person making the call.

Q- Question you're always asked: What have you written? Where can I read it? I used to post my stories on-line and have since removed them after realizing that sites gain monetarily for content I produce, but do not pay me for that content. For now, my writing can be found here on this blog. That will change in the future.

R- Reason to smile: I'm doing what I love right now. That's enough of a reason to smile. I'm still breathing. My family and my friends make me smile. Two little kitty cats that think I'm their mommy. I have a multitude of reasons to smile.

S- Song last sang: Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer. It just played on Pandora.

T- Time you woke up: 7am

U- Underwear color: Blue

V- Vacation destination: If you are talking latest travels, then that would be Texas.  If you are talking dream destinations, then that would be Egypt. I'm fascinated by the pyramids and the history that surrounds them. I would love to explore them. 

W- Worst habit: Leaving my closet light on. Not calling friends and family more often. Tuning everyone out when I am writing. To be fair: when I'm writing, I'm working. My friends and family always want to talk to me when I'm in the middle of writing a scene, and I can't always afford the disruption. When I'm in a writing flow, I'm in my zone. My closet light is usually left on in a scramble to get ready for a look of the day picture. Since I'm racing against the sun, I don't always think about turning the light off.

Y- Your favorite food: Hamburger and fries.

X- X-Rays you've had: When I first started working I was helping to build furniture for display and a 300 pound piece fell on my left foot. It did a good job of bruising it, but fortunately did not break it. 

When I was heavy into weightlifting, the safety clamp on the bench I was using broke as I was pulling weight plates off the bar. The bar tilted, and the weights came down heavy on my right hand. My hand survived the assault, but my thumb was fractured. I had to wear a brace until it healed.

While running the Montano trail (along the river), a mountain biker – who was training for a triathlon - hit me from behind. His head was down and he wasn't paying attention. The impact of the hit sent me into the rocks. By the time the ambulance finally got to me, my hair was completely saturated with blood, as was the side of my face, from a wound that was profusely bleeding from the top of my head. I was also bleeding from a wound on my elbow. X-rays showed no fractures, but I did require stitches for both.

Z- Zodiac sign: Sagittarius

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Believe in Your Ability to Create the Future

At the end of each day, when I finish up whatever task it is that I'm working on, I take moments to reflect on what my actual dreams and goals are. Anyone who knows me knows I am working towards my passion as a writer, but that is not always an easy journey, and sometimes I get discouraged. While in this state of reflection, I ask myself every night: what one message does your future self have for you? Although each night my inner responses vary, it all comes back to being comfortable where I am at this moment on the journey through life.

At this moment I am getting ready to go visit my sister. What that means is I will be away from this blog for close to two weeks. I plan to write while I am gone, but this blog will not be updated, nor will any of my fashion pages, until I return home. My twitter page will see a few updates, but majority of my time will be spent visiting with my family.

I'll see everyone soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

May My Soul Radiate Light and Love

They say happiness is a choice; I do believe that to an extent, and I also believe that we all deserve to be happy.  Life is short.  Who wants to waste their lives being miserable when you can find ways to make yourself happy.  There are those who say that at any moment in our lives, we can change our mindset and choose to be happy, but that is not always true; ask the homeless guy who hasn't eaten in three days if he can find happiness in his current situation.  There are circumstances that a changed mindset won't cure. Tragedy, grief – there are certain situations that are a process.  You have to go through the emotions until you get to a place of acceptance.  It's not always easy, but life isn't easy either.  We all have our emotional demons, and we all have to deal with them. 

When times get hard for me, I look at the things I do have that make me happy.  It's not a cure for all that ails you, but looking at the good things you do have can give you a better perspective. 

Here are a few things that make me happy:

1. The two little fur-balls of joy I call Mozart and Daisy.  My two kitties show me unconditional love and affection.  Sometimes they cling to me, and that can get annoying when I'm trying to accomplish something, but at the same time they just want to be close to me, and that makes me feel loved.

2. Having a sense of purpose in life makes me extremely happy.  I need to do something that makes me feel good about who I am, and what I'm doing in life.  It's not about how much money I can make, although I am keenly aware of how my path could progress if I stay focused, I want my work to be something I'm proud of.

3. Having a family that loves me no matter what and knowing they will be there for me when I need them.  I probably don't tell my siblings enough just how much I love them.  Being that our upbringing was more reclusive than most, we really were each other's best-friends for the earliest parts of our childhood.  I have a hermit inside me – reclusive upbringing – and we all have our own lives which means I don't always reach out and connect with my family as often as I should.

4. Knowing that my father is in good health.  That he is happy in his current marriage, and he and his wife are doing well.  There was a moment when his health was at risk.  He went into congestive heart failure and I was worried he wasn't going to survive, but he did.  I'm overjoyed that he found someone to share his life with after my mother, and that he is happy with the life they have created together.

5. Knowing that I can support myself and be an independent person.  I like knowing that I can take care of myself.  With any type of freelance work, there are scary moments when you wonder if you'll make enough to pay the bills, there will always be dry moments where you aren't making as much one month as you did the month before, but to watch myself grow, and see progress, and know that everything I've done to this point is just helping me to expand gives me a sense of accomplishment. 

6. Having friends who put up with me or the lack of me.  I'm always there for my friends.  Any one of them could call me right now, tell me they needed me, and I'd be there for them in a heartbeat.  I'm proud to have friends who understand that right now I'm working on me.  I love them all, but I have to put some things to the side so I can build myself a lasting career.

7. Being able to write, and earn some money while doing it, but really I'm happiest when I'm creating anything (for income or not).  Even if I'm the only one who has read my work, to see something written on paper gives me a sense of pride and fulfillment that I don't get from any other type of work I've ever done.

8. Reading books.  There is something wonderful about escaping into your own imagination through the words of another.  Reading sparks creativity for me.  My writing improves based on the quality of the books I read. 

9. Taking the time to read my favorite books over and over and over again with no interruptions.  There is a reason a book becomes my favorite, and I love to revisit those tales, but I don't always have the time to read.  When I can actually sit down and read a book from cover to cover, with no distractions, does in fact make me happy.

10. The moment when I can write and publish articles on my own site will make me insanely happy.  The idea of not having to look for work, but still be able to produce it, and earn from it, is my ultimate goal.  The majority of those I write for pay me to write content for their sites knowing that they are going to generate income through their advertising, and while I do make money from writing those articles, they make significantly more.  I'm happy to write for anyone who is willing to pay me, but I will be much happier when I'm writing for me, and taking the larger cut of profit for myself.

11. Publishing an article that I worked really hard writing.  Blood, sweat, and tears, these are the tough ones, and there is a sense of elation that comes from finishing a task that feels almost impossible to accomplish.  I'm not always an expert in what I write and that makes those types of articles harder to write.  When I finish writing one of those types of articles, and have been paid for it, not only am I relived but I'm elated that I was able to meet the expectations of the person I was writing the article for in the first place.

12. Learning something new.  I love being challenged.  I like when someone can teach me something I don't know.  Life is a learned experience, and I am grateful for those who give me a fraction of their knowledge.  Who knows, that knowledge could be the piece of the puzzle that helps me accomplish my goals. 

13. Helping someone solve a problem in their life; especially if it’s a problem that has been an issue for a long time.  Not all problems see a resolution.  I feel good when I help someone move past situations that have plagued them for awhile.  There are times when I wish I could do more, but that's not always an option.  I'm happy to do what I can to help.

14. Being given a compliment, particularly when I’m feeling down.  I think giving compliments are one of the nicest things people can do for each other.  It doesn't cost anything to lift someone's spirit.  It's nice to see people being nice to each other.

15. Going for a walk with no destination in mind.  Let's face it, anyone who knows me knows I wander.  I like to put on my walking shoes, step outside, and go in a direction.  I don't always have a clear path in mind.  Sometimes that is the best way for me to be.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Love, You are Always on My Mind and Heart

When I wake up in the morning, my thoughts gradually gather as my dreams slowly seep into the back of my mind. I'm aware in my half sleep state, not yet ready to get out of the warmth and comfort of my bed, but also realizing I'm no longer asleep. I wake up naturally, my body has its own internal clock. Same time every morning, I'm wide awake. Sometimes I try to convince myself I need an extra five minutes of sleep, but the reality is that when I'm awake, I'm awake.
I begin to move, slowly shifting about – I never jump right out of bed, I ease into my morning - the sun shines bright through windows; it's a natural way to wake up. By this time, my roommate has already left for work. The house is quiet and still, until my cats realize I'm up, and then they demand attention. It’s a peaceful beginning to my day.

I stretch, and do the standard morning wake up routine, before I change into my running clothes. I never eat or drink anything before I run. I, like most runners, have experienced side stitches and not eating a meal before exercise helps me prevent them. There are mornings when I don't feel like running, and while I know that running gets me home quicker, I will opt to walk instead. Some mornings my muscles aren't as relaxed, because I slept too hard, and walking becomes the best option.
My neighborhood is fairly active in the mornings. I talk to many of my neighbors as they are getting ready to head into work or take their children to school, before I hit the running trail. They are fairly aware of who I am. They are used to seeing me in my running state, and in my fashion look of the day moments. I have a supportive community of neighbors who understand that I work from home as a writer. I never run far from home, I try to stay in the neighborhood, where I can be seen, and I never run in deserted areas.

When my body has decided I'm done running because it's hungry, that's when I head home to eat. Breakfast is a simple meal. I don't have a ton of time to invest in cooking, and there is a point of no return if I wait too long to eat, where I become impossible to deal with, so I keep my morning meal easy.
When I fire up the computer, I'm pretty much set to start my work day. The first part of my day is on-line. I do my socializing, look through emails, and do whatever research needs to get done before I start writing. When I start writing, I'm off-line, on a word processor where my work can be saved. If the ideas come to me naturally, I will write between six to eight hours a day. There is a point during this time when I stop so I can get a look of the day image for my fashion sites. As soon as I've posted that image, I return to where I left off in my writing. When I am in writing mode, I periodically will check my email, I may even do a little more socializing, but I limit my on-line activity so I can get work done.
Just like in any office, there are certain distractions that when they pop up cause me to lose my focus.  That's why part of my day is spent away from those distractions.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What Happens When People Open Their Hearts?

Writing Prompt:

On three small, separate scraps of paper, write down one dream you have for your life, the name of someone you love, and one talent you have that you value.

Now shuffle these three pieces of paper and pick one at random. Which one was it?

All people, at some point in their life, have to deal with some form of grief or loss. An accident, an injury, or a random life situation could take away a dream, a person, or a talent from us without warning. Think about what it would be like to lose what is written on that scrap piece of paper. Write down your thoughts. What would your life be like without what is on that scrap piece of paper? How much grief and loss would you experience? How would it compare to losing the other two?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Infinite Gratitude, Infinite Hope

I thought I’d write this post sharing with everyone the current personal projects I’m working on, hoping to turn them into something more later on.  October is a dedicated write a page a day month.  October is not dedicated to any specific type of writing; it's just a writing month.  November is National Novel Writing Month.  I will be on vacation for the first part of this challenge, but plan to write in the moments when everyone is asleep, at work, or at school.

1) Short Stories – I've been writing them for many years, and I've shared a few on different websites. As I've learned from content marketing, those websites make money from my content, but they do not share that revenue with me. I pulled my stories for that reason.  I feel I would rather share my stories on my own income generating site or self-publish.  The only one who should be generating income from my stories is me.  Content is king and if you are not creating new content you are not ranking with Google.  While I respect those websites need to earn in order to stay alive on-line, they are not generating their own content, they are relying on others to create for them.  I have no intention of producing content for those sites anymore, but I am still dedicated to creating short stories for everyone to read.  I haven't decided if I want to incorporate my work on this blog, but I will eventually republish all stories I've released in the past, somewhere.

2) Novel – During the month of November my attention is going to be hard to keep.  In keeping with the challenge of Novel Writing Month, I have to write 50,000 words from the beginning of the month to the end.  There is no specific word count for each day, but the end result is 50,000 words.  The point is not to have a polished, fully edited novel ready at the end of the month.  What I will have is the meat of a book that will then need to be edited, and then possibly published.  Since, I'll be in Texas for the start of this challenge, I'll be writing in notebooks.

3) Essays – I enjoy writing prompts, especially those with dedicated word counts. I will be writing page long stories based on prompts that my sister has been generously giving me, as well as prompts being sent to me through my writing sites.  The nice thing about essay stories is they don't require you to write beyond a page (possibly two), but they can lead to a short story if the idea is good enough.

My plan for the future is to get away from writing for others, and just write for myself.  My goal is to be more Stephen King or Nora Roberts, and less content writer.  I don't know how my writing plans will affect this blog.  I plan to maintain it during these crazy busy months, but at the same time I still need to focus some attention towards my job as a content writer because I do need to pay my bills.  In November, I'll be working toward a goal/dream while still working to live, and I'm not sure how late that will keep me up each night.  I expect to be exhausted at the beginning of December.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Every Flower Blooms at a Different Pace


My name happens to be unique, and often misunderstood.  I am questioned regularly as to whether my parents were hippies, which is completely the opposite of who they are.  I share my mother's middle name.  My brother shares my father's. My first name has nothing to do with a hippie lifestyle.  I was named after the gemstone itself (Amethyst), or more specifically the color of the gemstone (purple).  My mother was a huge influence as to what I was named.  Purple was her favorite color, and it was the name that both my parents could agree on.  While I do go by Amethyst, you will often hear my friends and family call me by my nickname Amy or the random Ames.


I have moments where I reflect on past situations and sometimes certain memories make me cry.  There are some situations in life that require closure to move on.  There are moments when I feel like I'm in limbo, haunted by this ghost of a memory, like my mother's death.  Recently, I had an issue with falling asleep, and a few days later I ended up having a nightmare.  I cried … When I don't get six hours of uninterrupted sleep, I tend to be vulnerable.


My handwriting can be nice when I don't rush it, but I often compare myself to a doctor.  Sometimes I write so fast, I can't even read what is written. 


Turkey or pastrami would be my favorites.  My perfect turkey sandwich is made on whole grain bread with Swiss cheese, mustard, lettuce/spinach, and pickles.  I love pastrami and Swiss on rye bread with a Dijon mustard.  My father once took a trip to New York for business - this was back when I lived in Las Vegas - he was introduced to pastrami while on that trip.  After that trip, pastrami became a treat food for us.  Lunch meats I do not like are ham or bologna.  With ham it's a texture thing mixed with a salty flavor.  Bologna is just gross.  I do not like white bread, unless it's homemade.  I think white bread tastes bland.  No onion or tomatoes ever touch my sandwich.


Do my cats count, because they sure act like children.


I am sarcastic and playful at the same time. 


Yes, but I almost had to have them removed.  When I was younger, I ended up with mononucleosis.  I was really, really sick, but thought it was just a bad flu.  I was never treated for it.  My mother was a nurse, and she took care of me.  Later on, in my high school years, I had recurring issues with laryngitis.  After a severe asthma attack, which put me in the emergency room, the doctor found the virus attached to my tonsils.  My tonsils were swollen and had caused a blockage in my breathing.  I underwent a round of antibiotics to kill the virus, and fortunately it worked because I still have my tonsils.  That virus was in my system for roughly ten years before anyone caught it.


When I was younger the idea of bungee jumping appealed to me, and so did skydiving.  I think somewhere inside me it still does, but it's not something I would actively pursue. Although, skydiving is on my bucket list.


Marshmallow Mateys.  My favorite cereals have marshmallows in them.


Mint chocolate chip.  I would have said pumpkin, but pumpkin is seasonal. 


I don't normally talk on the phone.  My roommate was the last person I talked to.  He called to tell me the plumber was on the way.  I had a hose bibb that needed to be replaced because it was dripping water.  Mark tried to fix it himself, but he was concerned he'd break the pipe, so I called someone professional to fix it. 


No.  Currently, I have perfect vision. 


I prefer cardio, but I love strength training.  Lifting weights gives me confidence.  I feel powerful and strong, but cardio keeps me lean.  When I strength train, I lose too much weight, and I already have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight.


I can live without television, but I can't live without a computer.  I earn an income on-line, so a computer is kind of necessary.  Besides, you can watch television on a computer just by streaming programs.


No, but there was a point when I considered getting one.  I think tattoos are beautiful, but I decided it wasn't for me.  The idea of the needles scared me a little, but my decision not to get one boiled down to not knowing what I wanted.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

I Believe in the Immeasurable Power of Love

After many years of struggling to get to where I am, I realized some very important things that I would like to share with you:

Never give up on your dreams.

Even if you pushed your dreams out of the way because someone told you they were impossible to achieve, they’re still your dreams; you’ve merely set them aside.
Think back and remember the dreams you once had, whether it was to go to college or to become an animal rescuer or even to travel the globe. Your dreams have never truly gone away. If you work hard enough and do all of the necessary planning, you can achieve any goal that you set.

Learn to take risks and ignore all of the “what ifs.”

When I first started freelance work, I had enough “what ifs” to build an entire country. What if I can't find clients? What if I can’t handle the demands? What if I have to deal with financial pitfalls? What if, what if, what if…
I finally had the nerve to just kick the “what ifs” off of the boat and take the plunge into the sea of dreams. You can conjure up all of the “what ifs” that your mind will allow, but that energy is better spent working toward your goals.

Meditate and live in the present moment.

I am going to assume that if you put your life’s dreams on the backburner, it’s because they seemed insurmountable at the time. I am not telling you that it will be a walk in the park, because that has not been my experience, but I will say that taking each piece bit-by-bit makes it a lot easier to chew.
Don’t dwell on the past and do not worry too much about the future; just…be.
Meditation, something I never thought I’d ever do, has been my saving grace. I incorporated a meditation routine into every day (just like brushing my teeth), and it has virtually eliminated all of the stress and anxiety associated with my experiences in life.

Make friends with your obstacles.

I used to despise certain tasks, and the more I couldn’t stand them, the more difficult everything in my life became. I finally realized that, because I never gave it a real chance, I did not have the right to be so angry at it. Just like when we first meet someone, it is better to be friendly toward that person rather than to judge him or her and simply walk away.
If something is standing in your way, try your best to give it some gentle understanding. Perhaps you were looking at it all wrong from the start.
Make friends with the things that aggravate you and find reasons to like them; it makes it so much easier to master something when you no longer consider it an obstacle.
It is never too late to fulfill your dreams and become the person you have always longed to be. You just need to let go of fear and step into the unknown.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Go Beyond Your Tangled Thoughts; Find the Splendor in Truth

1. We learn from our mistakes, yet we’re always so afraid to make one. Where is this true for you?

2. What risk would you take if you knew you could not fail?

3. What is your greatest strength? Have any of your recent actions demonstrated this strength?

4. What are the top five things you cherish in your life?

5. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

6. When do you stop calculating risk and rewards, and just do it?

7. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

8. What do you most connect with? Why?

9. What one piece of advice would you offer a newborn child?

10. Which is worse—failing or never trying?

11. Why do we do things we dislike and like the things we never seem to do?

12. What are you avoiding?

13. What is the one job/cause/activity that could get you out of bed happily for the rest of your life? Are you doing it now?

14. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

15. What are you most grateful for?

16. What would you say is one thing you’d like to change in the world?

17. Do you find yourself influencing your world, or it influencing you?

18. Are you doing what you believe in or settling for what you’re doing?

19. What are you committed to?

20. Which worries you more – doing things right or doing the right things?

21. If joy became the national currency, what kind of work would make you wealthy?

22. Have you been the kind of friend that you'd want in one?

23. Do any of the things that used to upset you a few years ago matter at all today? What’s changed?

24. Would you rather have less work to do or more work you enjoy doing?

25. What permission do you need/want to move forward?

26. Really, what do you have to lose if you go for it?

27. How different would your life be if there weren’t any criticism in the world?

28. We’re always making choices. Are you choosing for your story or for someone else’s?

Powerful questions can change the very fiber of our construction. They give us a chance to challenge our own ideals and perhaps shed some light on what we are and are not committed to.

It’s important to understand that we’re always committed to something. If it’s not success out on our own, it’s staying safe in the comfortable success of someone else. If we’re not committed to creating our opportunities, we’re committed to floating around, hoping, waiting, and wishing for circumstance.

Are you more committed to dreaming it or doing it?

Ask yourself some of these questions when you feel stuck. What comes up just might surprise you!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Memories Fall Upon My Dreams

1. Where’s your happy place?

I’d probably have to say anywhere outdoors. I love to run. I love to walk. I love to hike. I love being outside. I tend to be stuck indoors more than I like because I write for a living, but I make it a point to go outside every day. Growing up, my father, when he wasn't out of town on business, would take the family to parks for picnics, the lake, up to the mountains, out camping, and even shooting in the desert. I'm a girly girl with tomboy tendencies. I really like that balance in my personality.

2. Have you booked your next holiday?

Yes. I will be heading to Texas to visit with my baby sister and her family. The original plan was to go to Texas and then take a flight to Philadelphia/New York to handle some business. I've changed those plans to allow myself some writing time during the snowy winter months. I'm not a fan of snow, and I know that area gets more than I care for. While I have my Texas trip planned, I don't have definitive dates for Philadelphia and New York. I just know I'll be there in the spring.

3. What was your favorite subject at school and why?

Math. I was a straight A student when I went to school, graduating with honors, in the top percent of my class. While I was good at all subjects, math was just something that came naturally easy for me. Oddly enough, English was my worst subject. My teacher was constantly trying to get me to be more technical with my writing, but I was more of a creative writer. She'd give the class certain assignments, I'd go over her words counts because I was too descriptive. I still passed with an A, but English was always my lowest A.

4. Glamping or all-inclusive?

All-inclusive because I feel camping is not a glamorous activity. It's meant to be rough. When I go camping, I sleep in a sleeping bag inside of a tent. Roast marshmallows over a fire. Tell campfire stories. I would never want to be a part of a luxury camping trip because I think it spoils the concept of camping. Whereas all-inclusive vacations are nice because you don't have to worry about the details. You can just enjoy the holiday.

5. What’s been the highlight of your year so far?

Quitting my job to work from home full-time. Watching my income streams grow. I feel more accomplished writing/marketing than I ever did working full-time for someone else. Getting to a point where I am comfortable sharing little details of who I am on this blog. I feel like I'm growing as a person. I'm getting more comfortable in my skin, accepting myself, and writing about it.

6. How did you decide what to name your blog?

It's a play on my first and last name. My last name is a French name in origin. My first name is a gemstone, and it's color happens to be purple. The name sounds like an exotic flower. It sounds pretty to me. My plans for the future is to find a graphic artist and have him/her design a logo that embodies the name.

7. Halloween or Christmas?   

I'd say Halloween because I love dressing up for the holiday, but Christmas has this amazing magic to it. Halloween is an in the moment holiday, whereas Christmas is an event. Halloween you dress up and do it, but with Christmas I have memories attached to the season. I remember my father driving us around neighborhoods to look at lights. I remember watching Christmas movies with my siblings. I remember the big dinners. I remember my parents would buy boatloads of gifts. Along with toys, they would get us electronics systems and test them on Christmas Eve. My brother, sisters, and I could hear my mom and dad playing them. We would sneak out of bed and try to get a glimpse of what they were doing. We'd always get caught, and we knew we were going to, but it was a curiosity that got the better of us. We had to check out what was going on. I have fond memories as a whole during the Christmas season.

8. What was your all time favorite trip and why?

I took a trip, when I was married, to North Carolina. It was a road trip. While driving that kind of distance was exhausting, seeing all the places on the routes was incredible. I can say I've been to places I would not have intentionally planned to go to. I've eaten local cuisine. I've met incredible people. It was a wonderful trip. I've done a similar road trip later on, but it wasn't quite as extensive. I flew to St. Louis, drove to Chicago, Ohio, and then back to St. Louis. Both were incredible trips but in different ways.

9. What’s next for your blog?

I’m not sure yet. I'd like to move from two days a week postings to three and then four, but it would have to be done in a way that wouldn't burden me with more work. I love coming over here and connecting with fellow bloggers, but I have time constraints. I would like to make a stronger commitment to the blog, maybe showcase more of my writing, and maybe even bring in more of a fashion presence. It was intended to be a fashion blog, but I feel it's become more personal. I feel like it's more of a journal in its current state. I think that's a good thing, but I do have advertising on the blog. I want to keep the personality of the blog while creating a more solid income stream.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Heart, Soul, Honesty and Compassion Makes One Beautiful

I employ a basic philosophy - before you judge someone, make sure that you know enough facts, and I'm not talking about the surface details (the stuff they let everyone see); I'm talking deep details, real information about that person so that you can make a reasonable and informed decision. In most cases, you don't know their whole story: where they've come from, where they've been, what their problems are, or what worries they face. It is very important to hold off on making any sorts of judgements until you know all the facts related to them. Instead of judging a person, you should try to help them, and if that doesn't seem like a reasonable option, then leave them alone. Not knowing an individual is the most obvious reason why we shouldn’t judge other people. 

When you judge other people, you don’t define them, you are actually defining yourself.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Good Head and a Good Heart are Always a Formidable Combo

1.  I'm a breakfast girl, and I do believe breakfast can and should be eaten at all times of the day.  Eggs and bacon, French toast, pancakes, waffles, and even yogurt with granola, honey, and fruit mixed in are some of my favorite foods.  I have been known to dine at IHOP at midnight, and I always order the stuffed French toast with apple compote unless they have pumpkin or gingerbread pancakes in which case I will order those instead.  I love cereal, especially marshmallow filled or chocolate, and will eat it with or without milk, depending on my mood. 

2. I love everything about music, and my favorite tunes tend to be the heavier, edgier kind.  It's the music that motivates me the most when working out.  When I am exercising, I can't listen to slow music or love songs, they don't have the right rhythm to keep me moving.  I prefer metal because it gives me energy while I'm running.  When I'm writing, I tend to prefer something more in-line with what I'm writing about.  If I'm writing a break-up scene, I listen to songs about breaking up.  If I'm writing a love story or a dating scene, then I'm going to listen to love songs.  I listen to what I am feeling in the moment to help put me in a mood.  When I am in the right frame of mind, I find it much easier to write a scene.  I listen to music most of the day, every day, and do not consider myself a music snob.  I can listen to just about anything, with a few exceptions.

3. I will write about you.  If I get to know someone and find personality traits that would make for a great character, I will, from my observations, create a character who acts in a similar manner.  It is not my being disrespectful to any person.  I use real life experiences to help develop characters.  They say you write what you know, and I have a tendency to do just that, with a whole lot of creative freedom mixed in.  They also say every character you write has a tiny amount of the author in them, that is also true to a point.

4. I’m 5’9″.  It's a question I get asked quite frequently.  For the longest time I thought I was 5'6” until the doctor who measured me pointed out that I was not.  I still feel bad for all those guys who told me they were 5'10” or 5'11” and I told them they were wrong.  I couldn't see much difference in our heights.  Turns out I should have been measured before I opened my mouth because I had apparently had a growth spurt and didn't realize it. Oops… My roommate is 5'6” and you can see a considerable difference in our heights.  I can and do admit when I'm wrong.

5. As a woman, I believe in women's rights, and I would fight hard to protect them if I felt they were being threatened, but I am not a feminist.  PETA is obnoxious, and I don't agree with their methods of getting their point across.  I don't support them, or any organization that acts in a similar manner.  Throwing paint on someone borders on assault, and they definitely destroy property.  I pretty much dislike any overly radical organization.  I believe in rights, but I can also see when certain groups take things too far.  You should be an advocate for causes you believe in, but not in a manner that steals the rights of another individual.

6. When going out with a guy, I will let him pay for the first couple of dates.  It's a way to gauge how he's going to treat me if I date him long term.  After the initial first few dates, I'll want to pay.  I believe in equality.  I don't believe a guy should always pay when I feel like going out.  I don't feel like I should always pay when he feels like going out.  I employ the take turns method.  I believe that if you are going to date someone both parties should be involved in the dating process.

7. When it comes to using terms like 'lol' or 'omg' on my social media posts or text messages, I am not a fan, but I find that when I don't use them some individuals take my messages to mean something more than what I intended them to mean.  Words are hard to decipher unless you are the writer.  Terms like lol are meant to lighten the mood, and while I don't care to use the acronym, I will in order to keep my messages from sounding cold or aloof.

8. I do not drink often, and do not find drinking to the point of getting drunk to be appealing.  I have never been drunk in my entire life and I pretty much want to keep it that way.  I'm not sure how anyone finds any enjoyment out of waking up on the bathroom floor after having spent the entire night puking their guts out.  I don't like throwing up when I'm sick so I can pretty much guarantee I won't be purposely inflicting it upon myself.

9. I like winning, but I am not competitive.  I don't get overly excited when I win, and I don't get upset when I lose.

10. I am an awful dancer.  I, however, find dance to be a beautiful, artistic expression, and am quite jealous of those who dance with such ease.  I have always wanted to take dance lessons, but I'm not really sure that I would go out dancing even if I knew how to do it.  I'm not a club girl.  Still, learning to dance is an item on my bucket list.

11. I get shy and quiet around large groups of people, regardless of if I know them or not.  I'm friendly when meeting new people, but a room full of people exhausts me.  Especially a crowded room, and that's mainly because I end up feeling claustrophobic.  It's the introvert part of my personality that causes me to shy away.  I'm not a fan of crowds, and it's best if you are going to introduce me to new people, you do it slowly.  On the flip side of this, when I was working retail and when I tended bar, I had no problem with customer service.  Being around the guests never bothered me because I took it as part of my job responsibility.  I have a suck it up and get the job done personality.  I take my job seriously, and am proud of the work I do.  With customer service, you meet people for the moment, and then they disappear.  It was never an exhausting experience for me to talk to them because I knew I'd never see them again, and I was fascinated by the stories they were telling me.

12. We live in a world where text messaging is the way of communicating.  Don't freak out if I don’t answer a message immediately.  Sometimes I have my phone near me, sometimes I don't.  I am not attached to technology, with the exception of the computer, because I make money writing articles for on-line use.  If I wasn't making my living on the computer, I wouldn't be attached to that either.  I sometimes deliberately ignore text messages when I am trying to get something done, or when I am at work.  Sometimes I forget to grab my phone or leave my phone in the car.  If I don't respond, you should assume I'm nowhere near my phone, and I probably haven't seen my messages.