Thursday, May 19, 2016

People Leave Imprints on Our Lives

As the years go by there are things you begin to realize about life. As you grow up and grow older, as you mature and evolve, as you grow and enrich your life experiences, as you open your mind, your heart, and broaden your perspectives you start to acknowledge that the world is not always the beautiful wonderland you wish it to be, nor is it as idyllic, or as welcoming as you once thought it was. In fact, you come to find out that everything you thought about life is a bit more complicated than you want to believe.

Human relationships are the most complicated of all relationships. We fight wars with each other. We love each other, we hate each other, we tolerate each other. Sometimes we connect, and sometimes we conflict. Certain personality types have a way of clashing with different personality types. There are also those personality types that just get you, and you end up drawn to those types of people. I have found that as I've grown older – in both years and knowledge – that I've become more selective in who I share my time with. I'm selective about the people I keep around me. I'm selective as to how much I share with individuals. I know who I can trust with private information, who is worth my time and effort, and who isn't. There are moments when I grow tired of pretending to be nice all the time, because I am not nice every moment of every day. I have my moods and it's not all sunshine and rainbows with me. There are days when I want some time to unravel myself, without the fear of people judging, misunderstanding, or criticizing me.

As your time on this beautiful, chaotic, crazy planet expands, you will bear witness to how peculiar human beings can be. How we can so easily speak a thousand words and make grand plans for ourselves that just as easily evaporate and disappear in a matter of moments. You start to wonder how you can meet a complete stranger and become instant friends with that person at the snap of a finger, but just as quickly you can become mere shadows of acquaintances to those who were, at one point, of the utmost importance to you. Friendships develop and disintegrate in far too much abundance over the course of a person’s lifetime. When that happens, you gain an understanding as to who it is you truly want in your life. It is those people you seek out when you’re having a good time so that you can share in those happy moments with them, and they are also the same friends you search for when you want someone's company, the friends you confide in at your lowest moments. Those people are the ones who understand you without you speaking a single word. With a simple look in your eyes, a nod, and a hug, they just know what it is you need at that moment. Sometimes that is all you really need. Someone to show you unconditional love and support. To remind you that it's okay to be who you are.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Voice of Beauty Speaks Softly; it Creeps Only into the Most Fully Awakened Souls

Your voice is powerful. Whether your voice is heard through sound or through the written word, your voice holds power. It has the power to persuade. It has the power to wound and intimidate. It has the power to calm and bring peace. Our voice allows us to speak of the things we know. To share our knowledge. To share our passions. To communicate ourselves to other people.

You can use your voice in positive ways. You can use it to help build up a person's character. You can help boost a person's confidence. You can use it to save a life. You can use it to spread inspiring messages of joy and love. Or you can use it in a negative way. You can use it to destroy someone's reputation. You can lie, spread rumors, divulge gossip.  You can be hateful, say cruel and mean things, and damage a person's self-esteem. The way you use your voice is insight into your character. It gives others an idea of the personality type they are dealing with. This just shows how complex and unique a voice can be.

The way we speak often gives a naked or incredibly candid idea of what a person is feeling.  There are visual clues. There is body language: the use of hands, stance, the glare of the eyes, a genuine smile that gives away what a person is feeling. There are physical clues such as when the voice quivers with fear or wavers with sadness. When it pitches with enthusiasm or goes monotone with depression. People can sometimes detect our moods through the tone of our voice after hearing nothing but a simple hello over the phone.  

Our moods can often be picked up in our writing as well, but it's easier to hide how we're feeling when we are using written words. We can think about the words we type out, and we can adjust them to suit what we wish to convey, and give a sense of what we are feeling.

I know that there are those people out there who reject the notion that their voice holds any sort of importance, that they are just one in a sea of many, that regardless of how much they speak up it will never have the power to make a difference. Everyone's voice matters, and everyone has the right to be heard.

The way you use your voice can have a profound effect on someone’s life, so I advise you to use your words and voice wisely while conversing with others.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Star Falls From the Sky and Into Your Hands

We are all aware of how unpredictable life truly is. There are always going to be high points and low points. Everyone will experience some form of heartbreak. We will all have our failures that weigh us down, but we will also have our victories, and a whole lot of in between moments. Though there are those days that can be a real struggle, where we find it challenging to accomplish anything, it's still incredibly important to do something every single day that motivates you, and moves you closer to your goals. Here are some of the ways I beat back negativity.

My morning ritual starts with a run. Exercise has been shown to boost mood, and that's great when you can't shake away the bad. Exercise clears thoughts by focusing your energy to the task that's laid out in front of you. When you are focused on proper form, or the music playing in your ears, it erases from your brain the other stuff taking up residence in your mind.

Once I make it home, and after eating a wholesome breakfast, I turn on the computer and check my social media feeds for positive quotes and affirmations as well as job boards. As a writer, those job boards show me the companies, magazines, and individuals who are looking to hire writers. That in itself is positive motivation.

Start off with the hard stuff. My day is about writing, programing, and marketing. While putting images up across social media requires very little effort, programming and window shopping requires immense attention to detail. I spend a few hours, daily, searching out new products to promote, but because I am picky about the images I post, an entire day can be wasted just on window shopping. Window shopping forces me to be more aware of how I am managing my time. Window shopping doesn't pay me, but it is a required part of the task that does pay me. It may sound glamorous to shop all day, but I can assure you it actually is quite tedious. Programming an advertisers tag for that product in exchange for money makes it more palatable. Getting that image up for others to see is essential for getting paid.

By beginning my day doing the things I am most anxious about, I end up feeling more accomplished and empowered as the day goes on. When it comes to the articles I am paid to write, the research can bog down my brain. Information overload, and not every bit of information I read is positive. Writing it down in article form helps me clear my mind of the useless junk and clarifies my thoughts.

When I just can't shake negative thoughts, I meditate. It's easy to get lost in a busy routine where there is no time to actually catch my breath. This is not healthy for my body or my mind, and honestly it takes the joy out of everything I am doing. When I feel I am too wound up, I stop, pause for a minute, and take ten deep cleansing breaths. I allow my mind to clean itself of the clutter.

I give thanks for the good things I have in my life right now. I try hard to focus my attention on the now, and force myself not to think too far into the future. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Decision is Mine, and I Choose?

There is no such thing as quick money. People who buy into the claims are going to find themselves in for a rude awakening. Get rich quick schemes are designed to benefit the scammer not the person being scammed.

Most people understand free money is not really free.

There are ways to make money outside of traditional work, but they do require the same investment of time as you would expect working in corporate America, if not more, at least initially. On-line work has benefits. It also has drawbacks. You are your own boss, but you have to motivate yourself to work. You are your own success or you are your own failure.

There are plenty of scams on-line, that is absolutely true, but there are also legitimate opportunities out there as well. You just need to learn how to look for them. Any program that offers to tell you the secrets of success if you pay x amount of dollars is not necessarily a scam, but I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary to pay any amount of money to find out on-line success secrets when there are plenty of other resources on-line that will give you this information for free.

Earning an income on-line is not easy, maybe it was during the initial stages of the Internet when content wasn't readily available, but now you have fierce competition with those who are also looking to score bigger incomes in hopes of leaving their nine to five jobs behind. Content is everywhere.

What it takes is drive and motivation. You have to be constant in your work habits. You have to deliver new, daily content. You have to provide value with that content. You have to be persistent. Those who are successful are those who work every day towards their goals.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Curl Up With Your Rawness

Who can resist the wonderful rhythm of a well played guitar? Personally, I surrender to the music. It brings forth peace.

Its message is subtle and evokes powerful feelings. The music doesn’t bother my ears , regardless of how loud I've turned up the volume. There have been days I have tried to drown out the sound of noise, but even at maximum volume the sound doesn't hurt me.

Why is this song so significant? What is it trying to tell me? The opening is not extraordinary, but the words take shape, and flow into an intense message. Maybe it’s the steady increase in the beat that comes the further you get into the song, with powerful high notes and complementing instrumentation.

It could possibly be the way the music changes . It could be one of those songs where no two seconds are the same. The tempo rises, and then it falls, distinguishable, yet subtle in its transitions.

The mood of the lyrics encourages me to delve deep within my being, to find that hidden space down inside me and feel the meaning my heart has attached to them. The lyrics reach out to me just to remind me that they exist.

I can't even count how many times I've replayed a song, the melody scratching the surface of my deepest emotions. I am left feeling emotions I need to be feeling, without looking disturbed myself. The music doesn't leave me feeling negative. On the contrary, I end up feeling insanely centered. Like the world makes sense. Like I'm in a peaceful state of sleep while the world is in crisis. Or like standing in the eye of a violent storm watching the wall of chaos whirl around me, but never getting close enough to harm me.

Stillness engulfs me just as the song is ending, and as the final notes die out, I return to the world, it glares at me again, with its sharpened teeth barred.

Escapism? Isn't that what all art is? How often do we seek out forms of art to distract ourselves? To take us away from the burdens of our existence, just for moments, so that we can enjoy a speck of calm?

Music is a freedom unlike any other. Music cuts the leashes that restrain my mind.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Love is a Dangerous Angel

This a personal project I am currently working on. It's still in rough stages, and it probably won't be complete for some time. It's a complex story and a work in progress...

He let out a low growl, jumping from his seat on the couch. He stared angrily at the man on the screen. His hand tightened around the glass he was holding. His muscles strained as he continued to put more force onto the glass, rage coursing heavy throughout his entire body.

I am going to kill him.” Logan yelled, shattering the glass he was holding with his bare hand.

Everyone stopped at the angry outburst that had erupted from the young man’s mouth. Now one by one they were turning to face the enraged man before them. He stood glaring menacingly at the man’s image on the screen. Blood streamed down his hand, rivers of blood escaping through his fingers, dripping into pools on the pristine white carpet that he stood upon. Sharp shards of glass were now protruding from the open wounds that had just been inflicted into his hand. If he was in pain he didn’t show it. No, the only emotion he displayed was blind rage.

Logan...” Shelia started quietly. She wasn’t sure what had triggered his outburst, but now she looked at her son and all she could see was the blood and glass. She wanted to help him. She wanted to run to him and bandage his hand like a mother should. She wanted to take him to a doctor and have them fix him, but when she looked at her son’s face she didn’t dare. Logan was known for his temper, and when his temper flared, she knew it was time to back off.

He took everything from me,” Logan growled. His hand clenching tighter, allowing the glass to cut deeper into his skin. “He took my life from me. He took her from me. How did this happen?” He demanded. “What did she do to deserve this?”

Logan, what are you talking about?” Samuel questioned gently. He could see the fury in his son’s eyes, he could hear the hatred in the words he spoke. Samuel was afraid, because for one brief moment he truly believed his son had every intention of killing the man on the screen.

Him,” Logan hissed, his blood boiling. He could see the many ways he was going to kill Alex. The evil bastard deserved no sympathy as far as he was concerned, and Logan was going to make sure he received none. He was going to hurt Alex, the same way Alex had hurt him and the women he loved.

Monday, April 25, 2016

In the Depth of My Soul There is a Mysterious Song

I open up, my heart becomes a prominent exhibition, and I am vulnerable to the world.

My words expose me, to my very core, my soul on display for everyone to read.

I rely on the support and guidance of strangers to encourage me to proceed.

I do have a safety net...

It allows me to tell a story in fragmented pieces.

And with each fragmented piece I carefully recraft and rejoin a 'Once Upon A Time' tale.

With my words I create an infinite, ever-growing world of colorful chaos, perfect, reflective symmetry.

I take in the world, and what it offers me, line by line, one brilliant word at a
time, ravenous, starving for all its myriad of vibrant ever-changing color.

The variety of shapes and interesting designs it creates, devoured, absorbed, and reflected,

creating vivid patterns within and around me,

as well as welcomed, spontaneous bursts of hearty conversations,

the wisdom of connection filling my entire being.

A kaleidoscope of colored thoughts,

where once there was no color.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Thou Blowest Into My Soul, a Soft Resistless Flame of Love

When Skeletons hide in closets.

Last week I spent time packing up boxes and moving things around the house. In the process, I started pulling things out of places where I had stashed them for safe keeping, forgetting that I even had these treasured items. While I was in this Spring cleaning frenzy, I opened a closet, no different from an attic or shed, and found an old forgotten box. When I finally managed to open it, a little disaster punched me right in my face, figuratively of course, but it got me thinking.

It's like opening any forgotten relic that's been left buried under layers of earth, gathering dirt and rusting itself shut. At first it's hard to breath through the swirl of dust, and you always have that gritty on your skin feeling, and you wonder if you should even attempt to open the box, but you know you want to because you put something in there that was of value to you. You know in your heart that that object was important enough to hold on to otherwise you would have thrown it out or given it to someone else a long time ago. So you open the box, and you become enchanted with what is inside. You find old relics, memories from the past that you've hidden away. They charm you with their nostalgic recollections, and you realize the significance each piece represents in the history of your life.

It’s interesting how simple hiding places: like closets, trinket boxes, or even a suitcase, open and close with a simple turn of a knob or flip of a latch, and can hold valuable secrets and memories. When we hide things in these little forgotten spaces, depending on the secrets we are hiding, they have the power to change our lives permanently. If what is being hidden is destructive, it's kind of like opening Pandora's Box, all the negative comes out and everything good gets closed inside.

When a person hides the truth away, those who seek informed answers to the questions they have, can't see the entire picture because there are pieces missing from the puzzle. What the person is looking at is a mystery. It's like watching the previews for the news and then turning the television off before you get to the meat of it, or skimming the headlines in a newspaper without actually reading the articles; because you are uninformed rumors and lies taint the mixture.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Let Me Not Lose What I'm Am Craving For

Now I lay me down to sleep… Is it too much to ask for an evening of peace?

It's the time of night I wish for peaceful slumber, but there has been so many changes for me lately. Now peaceful dreams and the wonderful images they bring, clash with the incessant chatter in my head.

There are too many words of worry wreaking havoc in my brain, images that incite fear, constantly haunt my thoughts. What was that? What happened? What could have happened? What are these noises I hear? How many questions beg to be answered? Why won't they leave me alone?

I toss and turn, alone in a spacious bed, with the exception of the two cats that sleep curled up close by. I beg for the silence that night promises to bring. I plead in my constant state of fatigue, for my thoughts to quiet, to settle long enough that I fall into the deep restful realm of dreams.
I desire for sleep, because sleep is an escape into worlds my mind is creating, away from the shackles of everyday life. It's a pleasant escape from reality, that is until the nightmares bully their way past my defenses. As long as my mind is still, and clear, the monsters won't attack me. 

Life moves, people grow, everything changes, and I worry about the changes that surround me. Things I have never faced before are now solely mine to deal with, the burden is mine. Life is evolving, and some changes are good and necessary, but still I can’t seem to find a way to silence my mind so that I can escape into a restful state.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Powerful Presence of a Friend

Compassion is that mysterious feeling inside each one of us that makes it possible to take on and empathize with suffering that does not actually belong to us as an individual, and is not our primary concern or actual problem, but we personally take it on to a point where it affects us, on some level, as though it were. It's an intuitive feeling and selfless reaction to a situation that ultimately reveals our nature and gives insight as to our true character.

Compassion is one of those ties that binds people together. Compassion is merging yourself into another person's circumstance, molding yourself in a way that you instinctively understand what the other person needs of you and it allows you to acknowledge and respond to those needs in an appropriate manner.

Compassion recognizes the universal cry of our human longings, our aspirations, and even the tragedies we face. Compassion has no expectation of reward or recognition. Compassion is not merely the sympathy you show toward another person. When our actions are an automatic reaction that causes us to reach out and help another human being, friend or stranger, with no motivation, outside of the fact that that person is in need of our help, or may be in a life threatening situation where there is imminent danger, our compassion, at that point, is in action.

Compassion is about putting yourself in another person's shoes, imagining their pain, trying to feel and grasp it. It is about sympathizing with their anxiety and their fears. It's getting down to the source of their pain and comprehending it, validating the emotions they are feeling. It's asking yourself 'how would I want to be treated if I was the other person, dealing with their unique situation?'

A compassionate person is somebody who recognizes the needs of another and they try to do their best to care for that person and make sure those needs are met.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Experience of Something Real, is Unforgettable

Springtime is here and the temperatures feel wonderful!
We have experienced plenty of beautiful sunshine filled days in the past couple of weeks.
The flowers on my cherry tree have bloomed, my little roadrunner is back, the bunny population is booming, and I have even seen a few coyotes hanging around the area. Wildlife has come out of hibernation, and can be seen roaming freely around the area.
But wait! We have also experienced quite a bit of wind. With the wind comes pollen being spread across the city, and for people who suffer from allergies, that pollen makes the Spring season miserable for people like me.
As I look out the window I see random plants moving with the wind.
Allergies! That is the reason I dislike the Spring.
Flowers blooming, grass coming in green, tress growing fresh leaves; it's a serene sight to behold. It's all so lovely, but it also makes me miserable.
Who can argue with the beauty of a flower? Only a person who suffers because of the pollens that flower produces and the winds that insist on scattering that pollen around the area.
It is April. It is not a surprise that everything is in full bloom. And regardless of how much I suffer being among that which triggers my allergies, I still enjoy being outdoors, among new life as it is blossoming. This is Springtime. It's expected.
But it does physically make me miserable. I get sinus pressure headaches. I itch. I break out in hives. I live on allergy medication during the season. For me, Springtime is a take the bad with the good season. I don't hate the Spring, but I do hate the suffering it brings me.
I love the warmth of Spring. I like the sundresses and shorts I can wear. I like that the temperatures are perfect for running outdoors, not too hot and not too cold. I like that I don't have to wear layers. If not for the allergies, this season would be perfect.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bluey and the Great Spirit Moon

Looking back at entries I placed in a journal many years ago - even recent thoughts from months, weeks, or even days ago - I feel disconnected from the person I was then. Grief has a way of doing that to a person. It has a way of making you think, relive moments which furthers the pain of what is being dealt with.

Pain has a way of turning man into monster, hurt by words real and imagined.

In this existence we are but temporary beings, pieces of time made up of moments and memories. We are the beat of a heart, the sound of a breath, diminutive echoes in an infinite universe.

We are in constant states of challenge and change. Our cells die. Our DNA weakens. Our minds change like seasons. We grow old. We grow fragile.

We hunger for more. We seek out people to share deep connections with. Friends to hold close. Lovers to love. People to understand. Love makes us whole.

When a person feels love ripped from them, whether it be from the death of a loved one or being spurned by a person they love, it can cause a person to act in ways they wouldn't normally act. Some people react violently. Some go through phases of anger. Some are so grief-stricken that they have to be watched to make sure they don't hurt themselves. Some move on, but they carry the image of their loved one in their heart and mind. There are many levels to love, it's an emotion expressed differently from person to person.

Monday, March 7, 2016

She is Light and Sunshine

1. I don't really have many traditions. There are things I grew up doing, but, since I never had children, I never really carried those traditions into my adult life. I am about to spend a week in a house, on vacation with my family, and it's going to feel very much like the times we spent growing up together.

2. I am a rather sassy and sarcastic person. I tend to be a quiet observer when you first meet me, but I actually have a fun-loving playful side. You have to get to know me to get to that side of my personality. I'm shy, but not really shy. Working in the customer service industry has taught me how to approach a person and engage in conversation, but even I have my limits as to how much I want to talk and how friendly I want to be. I am an introvert, and that is part of my personality. Still, I do love people, and I enjoy the conversations I have with people I meet.

3. I am very protective of my time because I do have to budget it for multiple writing projects, but I’m also very flexible with time and can make spur of the moment plans and adapt accordingly. I don't always have to work to a schedule. I can take time out of my day to socialize with friends and family. I take vacations. I exercise. I still have me time, but, when things have to get done, and I am running on a tight deadline, I do block the world out and focus on the project that is in front of me.

4. I like to gather information, do research for writing, but I also find it to be a tedious part of the job I do. I enjoy the learning experience, but I feel like research takes up too much of my day. I am willing to find new and better ways to accomplish tasks, shortcuts that help me finish my jobs at a quicker pace, but I am not willing to sacrifice the quality of my work.

5. I try things that are physically demanding of me and my body. I've studied judo. I took rock climbing classes. I've done kick boxing. I love yoga. I enjoy running. I lift weights. When it comes to physical fitness and the newest trends, I am willing to try out what is new, and review the results. That is how I got into Market Research, and what led me to study fitness in college. I am certified, and can work as a personal trainer. 
6. I am a huge softie. I am a lovable person with a friendly personality, but I do have a serious side that people often mistake as being withdrawn. When I am in a zone, I don't like to be bothered, but that doesn't mean I can't be bothered. I am actually quite approachable and easy to deal with. I take my job seriously and sometimes that means I take a longer time responding to comments, text messages, or answering phone calls. It's not personal. If I am in that kind of zone, it's because I am working on a job that pays the bills. That job becomes my priority.

7. I will be out of town all of next week dealing with an incredibly personal situation (I am healthy, but someone I am close to is incredibly ill). That may delay posting on this blog, not only for next week, but the week that follows. It may also interfere with my look of the day that I post to lookbook sites. My disappearance will not be permanent, but I may need some time to process the severity of the situation. When I get back, I will also have to make up for lost work. I am going to do my best to not stay away too long.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Kindness is a Magical Spell Meant to Enchant Hearts

I’ve been putting myself out there on the internet for awhile now, and I could probably spend the next couple of years writing lists of things that most people don’t know about me, pulling from the deepest parts of my soul to show you all what it is that forms my personality. I can give everyone clues as to who I am as a person, but that would only be a part of the puzzle that is me. It's the internet, and regardless of how much I share, only a portion of my personality can truly be seen. Hiding behind a computer, you can't see my mannerisms. You can't see the way I smile, or how I flirt without actually seeing me. Unless you know me, you don't know the way I move or how I carry myself around people. You don't know how I stop and listen while others talk. You don't see my willingness to help, or the sacrifices I make so others can be happy. You don't see my playfulness. You don't see my spirit. You don't know my voice because you can't hear it.

I’m a tomboy. I'm a nerd. I'm a geek. I've told everyone this, several times already. You may not get that impression of me by looking at my pictures. I wear feminine dresses with pretty prints, high heels, put on make-up, and curl my hair. I wear leather, lace, and boots.
I prefer ordering pizza and playing video games over going out to dinner or dancing. I collect comic books. I collect regular books. I don't like make-up. I am not fond of wearing it. I prefer my hair to stay in its natural state, but I style it for the sake of fashion blogging (or when I go out). I've always been more of a hands-in-the-dirt girl than a pinkies-out person.

The point is, the internet only gives you a few pieces of a puzzle. You can take a picture and a few carefully crafted words and create an image of who you think I am, but it's not the whole image. You miss elements of a person when you deal with someone exclusively on-line.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Purest Love Always Reveals Itself

1. I can be a very emotional person, and I do wear my emotions on my sleeve, but normally I'm very calm and quiet. I have an easygoing personality. I am not the type of person who likes to fight or be put in a position where I have to defend myself. I prefer to be happy. Arguing with a person doesn't make me happy so I usually avoid arguments, but, if push comes to shove, I will fight back.

2. Even though I was attacked by a dog when I was a child, I am not afraid of dogs. I grew up with  the greatest dog ever. I loved her. Her name was Silver. She was a Norwegian Elkhound, and I'm not sure if it's the breed, but she was very protective of us kids. We got her as a puppy, and grew up with her. Exposure therapy… I respond well to it. 

3. I love puns, corny jokes, and play on words. Growing up, my father used to tell me the dumbest jokes. I'd roll my eyes, but his jokes always made me laugh.

4. Even though I grew up around guns, and support a person's right to own a gun based on the Constitution, I personally do not like guns. I grew up shooting them in the desert, and I never found it to be an entertaining sport. That's not saying that I don't understand the value of knowing how to protect myself, and how to safely use one, I just hope I never have to use a gun to defend myself.

5.  I love haunted houses. They are my favorite attraction at any fair or carnival. I don't care if they are cheesy or badly done, I still love them. I have even stayed at hotels that people claim to be haunted with hopes of seeing an actual ghost, but I've never seen one. I do believe it is possible they exist, but if they do, I don't think I have the right energy to see them. Still, I think it'd be kind of cool to see one, as long as it's a nice ghost.

6. When it comes to cell phone technology, I am still in the dark ages. I have had the same flip phone for ten years. I will be upgrading soon, but I've never really been in a hurry to go out and buy the latest in technology.  Surprising, considering I grew up surrounded by the latest gadgets.

7. This is my favorite number.

8. After my parents divorce, I took on a lot of responsibilities to help my father out. He was at work all the time providing for his children. Through my teenage years I cooked for the family, two households, mine and my grandmother's (who lived two houses from us). To this day, I do not enjoy cooking, and have to be in the mood to do it.

9. I hate the game Monopoly. I absolutely despise it. I find it to be a never-ending tedious game so I purposely try to lose so I can stop playing it. I do like card games, puzzle games, video games, but ask me to play Monopoly and I will say no.

10. I have run two marathons and have no desire to run another. I believe in the causes of any event I choose to take part in, but the training was hard on my body. I lean out quickly, and it's hard to keep my weight up. I enjoy exercise, but I never enjoyed the training that was required to get my body ready to run a marathon. So no more marathons for me.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Trip from the Past - Saint Louis, Missouri

This would be a trip I took awhile back to Saint Louis. This trip, I flew to Missouri, a few days later I was in a car driving to Chicago, followed by Ohio, and then returned back to Missouri. For this post, I am only sharing a few images from my trip to Saint Louis.

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. I went to Missouri to visit with a friend. It wasn't on my list of places to go, outside of the state (I do have a bucket list that requires me to visit every state in the USA at least once in my lifetime), but I figured since I was there I was going to see the arch. It was the first place I visited when I got off the plane.
Inside the arch, from the top, the view is incredible. They have an interesting system that takes you to the top. If you get claustrophobic easily, it will probably be a terrifying trip up. It's basically a small pod, that has windows so you can watch your ascent and descent, but there is an awareness of how tight and enclosed the space is you are travelling in.
The base of the arch. Surprisingly, and maybe that is because it was during the school year that this visit took place, but the area was not crowded. I have pictures from the park that surround this area, the museum, and an old church (not the Cathedral). My time in Missouri was roughly three and a half days, the rest of this vacation was spent on the road.

Cathedral Basilica in Saint Louis - I am not a church goer, but it is a beautiful building, and the inside is gorgeous. I appreciate the architecture. It is a thing of mine, I am not a fanatic on history, but I love to look at old and historic buildings. It's the design work that I find interesting.

Back to the arch for a late night visit. They had a light show, and it was worth going back to see it.

The Missouri Botanical Garden because I like to spend my time outdoors. I don't travel to sit around in hotel rooms. I want to explore the area. I want to experience what I don't experience at home. I normally travel with a buddy, but there are trips I do take alone. I can assure everyone that the moment I jump on a plane, with someone or without, I will be out exploring the area.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Person Who Seeks Will Find What They Are Looking For

Pain is something we all experience in life. It's inevitable that at some point in your life you will experience it.

Pain is a pesky little word that is always associated with being hurt, and there are different types of pain, physical pain and emotional pain, both can range from tiny almost non-existent sensations to full blown suffering.

Physical pain can be anything as minor as knocking into a table and bruising your leg, or receiving a paper cut, to something major like falling and breaking your leg. Physical pain can be the effects of a disease on the body, like cancer as it destroys a person's cells, or even the treatment that is supposed to fight the disease, but hurts the body in the process. Physical pain usually has a cause that can be explained, but not all physical pains can be cured. Some of those aches and pains come with age, from banging up our bodies when we were younger, and we pay for it as we get older. Other physical forms of pain go away in time, like a bruise healing.

Emotional pain is different. Emotional pain is caused from hurting somebody, whether it be hurting their feelings with a sly comment that they took offense to, or something to the effect of a betrayal and a violation of a person's trust.

Regardless of what type of pain is being experienced, it's important to understand the causes and effects of each are different, even so both types of pains can be equally devastating, but in dramatically different ways.

A paper cut will heal in days, and you will probably have no reminder that the injury ever existed. Cancer, while it can be cured with certain treatments, is far more likely to devastate the body in the process, and there is no guarantee of survival. Saying something to a person that might one time hurt their feelings will probably not do much damage to a person's psyche. Being insistently bullied can have a psychological effect on a person that leaves an imprint on them for the rest of their lives.

The cause of emotional pain is complex, and in no way, shape, or form am I an expert in the subject, but I have experienced being bullied, and I have had my fair share of painful experiences that have left a lasting impact on me emotionally.  I've talked about my divorce, and the commitment issues that are a result of it. I've talked about having trust issues. I've even touched on the topic of my mother, a person whom I don't like talking about. My mother is an emotional subject for me, and can result in an explosive outburst if I feel pressured to talk about her. My issues with trust stem from her. I could go through a whole list of her done me wrongs, but it all amounts to the same thing; she was an awful parent who neglected her children.

Coming up in March, this blog will be placed on hold for a couple of weeks. I'll be dealing with another type of emotional pain, which I am not ready to talk about, and it is going to affect my wanting to come over here and share.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Magic Enchants and Casts a Spell

Another project I am working on. It started out as a writing prompt that was sent to me in e-mail and is already taking shape to be much longer than a few pages. This story is still very much a rough draft. I am only sharing the first page. This short is currently at thirteen pages, and just over 6000 words, in an unfinished state, and is considered an angst driven love story. I am currently juggling multiple stories. It can be a problem when you have a head full of ideas and you have to get them on paper before you forget them.

She woke, with a startled groan, to the sound of music being played on the piano. She wasn't sure if she was dreaming the sound, but when the noise didn't dissipate she woke to the full realization that her comfortable slumber had been disturbed, and now that she was fully awake, she grumbled to herself at how truly inconsiderate her boyfriend was being. He could have waited an hour, written in silence, but instead he pulled her away from her peaceful dream.

She lay in bed for a few moments longer, hoping that the music would stop, but it just became more persistent, and though it made her grumpy, she smiled to herself because the melody was beautiful, and she could hear the heart of her boyfriend in every sound the keystrokes made.

She knew sitting at the piano was his favorite place to be. He loved making music, and he hoped to one day realize his dream of being a rock star. He played multiple instruments, but the piano remained his favorite. That is where he felt he could create his best writing.

Still, she was surprised he was up playing so early, the night had been late playing at the local bar. Afterwards, he had gone back to his band mate's home to celebrate the gig, low paying as it was, because it meant exposure in the city, write ups and reviews, and the development of a fan base.

She untangled herself from the sheets that clothed her naked body, and grabbed the pink satin robe she kept close to the bed, quickly wrapping it around herself, and loosely tying the matching sash around her tiny waist. Her bare feet cold from the feel of the tile, she yawned, stretched her arms, and then headed downstairs.

She followed the sound of piano keys, found him sitting, brows furrowed, deep in thought, a notebook in front of him, and the music sounded like magic. He was gifted, a talent she wished she had been bestowed with, but to her dismay she had no musical ability.

She came up behind him, leaning in, until her lips were close to his ear. “Hey there,” she whispered. “You woke me up again.”

Chase, jumped, startled by her intrusion, but then slowly turned in her direction, and kissed her lightly on the lips. “Morning, Sunshine.”

“I'm not quite feeling sunny this morning.” She returned, but still she smiled. “It's seven in the morning, barely the crack of dawn, and I was having a wonderful dream.”

He wrapped his arms around her waist, and brought her to him. “Tell me about this wonderful dream, and was I in in?”

“I can't tell you about the dream, darling, you woke me up. Remember?”

“Sorry, Love, but inspiration struck, and I just had to get down here. Forgiven?”

“The melody sounds beautiful,” She picked up the notebook, and looked it over. “What are you writing today?”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Life has a Way of Answering Questions You Didn't Even Ask

It's your life, and in one’s life, we are faced with decisions, choices we make daily, some small and some large, but they are still decisions that we personally make for ourselves. Some choices could be as simple as what coffee (or tea) we drink in the morning, others could have life-altering consequences.  A life full of meaning ultimately rests upon an individual's right to make their own choices and to determine the course of their own existence. Even if the choice a person makes is wrong or leads them to a place that makes them miserable, it's the freedom to make these choices that make our life worth living.

I don't mean to make light of places that don't have the same freedoms I enjoy, but I personally don't live in a country where my rights aren't protected.

We have the right to choose our friends. We have the right to choose who we spend our life with. We have the right to choose our careers. We have the right to choose how we dress. We have the right to choose what we eat. We have the right to make choices.

Making the right choices are crucial for the direction that you want to go in your life, but sometimes it can be very hard to decide what the right decision is. Every choice you make has a consequence attached to it, some of which go unnoticed, others change the course of your life. There are some questions you should ask yourself before you make certain decisions. What are the consequences for this decision? Will it cause harm? How would my family or friends feel about the decision I made? Will it affect them? Will it affect the way they view me as a person?

If the choice you are making has a big impact on your life then you should always consider what you do before doing it. Whether it is about a relationship, personal issues with friends or family, places you want to live, or career decisions. Some consequences can be severe and cause irreparable damage. I have never known a person who was happy being a slave to a bad decision. Some decisions could turn into the best choice you ever made in your life, and bring with it a wealth of happiness. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth it.

Avoid quick, rash decisions. You should never make a decision in the heat of the moment because all important decisions require some time and thought. The pros and cons should be weighed before certain decisions are made. It doesn't hurt to confide in someone, or to seek advice from those you trust to lead you in the right direction. Sometimes simple reassurance is all you need to realize that the choice you are making is right for you.

When a person makes their own decision, it is important that they are happy with the choices they make. When they look back at the path they have chosen to take, it should always feel worthwhile and there should be no regrets.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Work of Art is the Trace of a Magnificent Struggle

I truly believe that it is possible for ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. It is my opinion, but I do believe it doesn't matter what title a person holds, or the position of power that they have been graced with, the difference between someone who is ordinary and someone who is extraordinary is in what they do to make the world a better place for all of us who live in it. I am not just talking about those who are gung ho on stopping wars, creating safe zones, or saving our planet - for me that means every environment we inhabit, whether it be home, work, or this planet in general. There should never be a situation where someone feels unsafe in their personal environment.

Honestly, I can't tell you why people do the things they do, or make the decisions they make. I would have to be the one standing in their shoes to understand why certain paths are chosen over others. I do know that when you make a choice to intervene and help a person, and the choice you've made has the potential to be a lifesaving decision that can affect the safety of that person, and even the people around them, then you've performed an extraordinary act.

I believe it's my right and it is also my responsibility to help create an environment that doesn’t promote anger, hostility, or hate, and seeks to find solutions in dealing with the problems that plague us. There are multiple solutions to every problem, but there are times when the solutions don't come easy, and sometimes we don't achieve the desired results.

It takes courage to voice an opinion, especially in an era that ridicules a person for their beliefs, but I also believe that a person is responsible to find a variety of reliable sources before pushing their beliefs on other people. It is never okay to force a person to believe the way you believe.

Worrying about problems that plague us without taking steps to confront those problems is counterproductive. It takes action to make change occur. The use of words to promote our message is easy, but the truth is found in the actions we take. If enough ordinary people step forward and take action to help make this world a better place to live in, I believe as a unified community, we can, in fact, accomplish extraordinary things.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Whisper Sweetly the Tenderness of the Moment

Life lessons are exactly what they imply, whether good or bad, they are lessons you learn in your lifetime. They are based on the concept of learning from the mistakes you make. These lessons can have a significant impact on your life, and can even be described as defining moments that are forever remembered by the person who experienced the lesson. Because each lesson we experience is from an individual's own perspective, the lesson you gain from the experience is unique to each person.

When thinking about life lessons it is important to remember that they can can occur in any area of our life, and while we do learn new things every day, those lessons don't necessarily amount to an event so significant that it affects our behavior for the rest of our life. This is what makes life lessons different from the everyday lessons we experience. A life lesson is one of those events that can be so astronomical that it has a profound effect on the person, or people, who experienced it.

Let us say for example that we behave in a certain way toward a person, or event, that goes against how we would normally behave toward an individual, and, as a result, faced incredibly unpleasant consequences as the outcome of our actions. This may cause us to re-evaluate ourselves and how we handled the situation in the first place. It may be one of those defining moments that make us reconsider the choices we made, and teach us to make better decisions in the future so that we achieve the desired outcome we want. Depending on the severity of the consequences we faced based on the actions we took in the first place, we may find that the impact of our original behavior was so significant to the outcome that when confronted with a similar situation in the future we consciously make better choices so that we don't repeat the same pattern of behavior. Basically, the lesson we learn is not to make the same mistake twice.

Significant lessons we learn in life can function as a guide to understanding ourselves better. Through the consequences of our actions or the reactions we have to the experiences we encounter, we can gain an awareness of how we think, act, and react in certain circumstances. While it is not possible to control the outcome to every situation we encounter, we can learn to control the way we respond to the situations we are placed in. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Chaos of Thought and Passion

If there was any vision at all in the fortune teller's crystal ball, she would have switched places with me. If she chose not, she would soon find that she had met her equal. Equals, but not for the powers her crystal ball held, but for loving to observe and listen while people talked about themselves.

The gypsy fortune teller was always kind in her gestures. So when I fell, I knew she would reach out her hand to help me back up. I accepted her hand because she offered it to me.

I would have sat quiet, still, patient while listening for the vibration in her soul. The one that told me what she was and why she was here.

I would have explored her eyes, searched their depth, followed the light that guided her, blindly, because she was gifted with a sight I could not see, and I was curious of her grand vision.

I would have stopped, felt for the energy in the space around the area her presence inhabited.

Above all, I would have sat back and let her talk, all the while examining her words, probing, determining what it was she truly believed in, deducing her expression, and determining her cause.

As for my hands, I know the story they would tell her. They own their history, not all pleasant, but I would hope her vision could see passed that into a deeper part of me.

If they could, I would hope that my hands tell a story about being open, not clenched in tight balled fists held tense on either side of my body.

I would hope they would tell a story of helping people, lifting them up, not holding them down.

I would hope they spoke of providing comfort for those who need it, not sorrow or pain.

I would want them to talk of creation, not destruction.

I would want my hands to speak of caring for people, not abusing them.

And most importantly, I would hope they spoke of love not war, of peace, not conflict.

And even if I do not believe in mystic beings, I believe our heart shows in our actions, as in our hands.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Wonder, in an Interconnected Universe, Who's Dreaming Who?

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
— Unknown

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Faith Moves Mountains, Love Transforms Hearts

When it comes to fashion, you want to stay a step ahead of the fashion game. Fashion is a creation of seasons, and when you are sitting in the middle of one season, you should already be looking ahead to the next. This is how fashion works. Fashion evolves quickly, and encompasses many items that go far beyond just the dress you see hanging in the store window on your recent trip to the mall. Fashion is shoes. Fashion is hats and scarves. Fashion is jewelry. Accessories are the items that dress up that dress you are looking at, and each accessory worn is a reflection of your personal style.

It doesn't matter if you are a fan of fashion or not, it is hard to argue that the articles of clothing we choose to wear are both a personal reflection of who we are and can be tied to memories we create while we wear them. When we shop, we look for the perfect ensemble for certain events, whether it’s a formal function, everyday wear, a date, a job interview, or a party we are attending. Over the course of time, and a few pictures later, these outfits remain a memory, but usually nothing more. Eventually fabrics wear out, tear, fade with continual washings, are stained from spills, and, depending on the material, unravel. Most clothing will not last forever. 

Jewelry, on the other hand, is a different story. I have pieces of jewelry that were given to me more than twenty years ago, that remain intact and in perfect condition. Jewelry is an item that can be passed down from generation to generation, and as long as it is cared for, can last for an eternity. Jewelry is art that you wear, each piece an artisan's design that is usually on trend for the era that it was created in.

Everywhere in the world, women are fussing over an ample stock of jewelry in an already over saturated market. Whether it's cheap or expensive, both men and women, are looking at the latest trends in necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings; jewelry is an extremely popular, must have accessory for all wardrobes. Jewelry is profitable for those who sell it, and an investment for those who buy it.

The fact is jewelry has always been an extremely important part of human culture, dating back centuries, serving several purposes that are deeply significant to the different moments in history that they were created in.

Some women would say that jewelry is the most important accessory in completing an overall look. Jewelry can add to an already classic look, give you an edge, make you look trendier, give you a bohemian vibe, or add an element of elegance and glamour. There are no limits as to how jewelry can transform an outfit. A successful outfit isn't truly complete without the right accessories. Even if you aren't trying to convey a particular style, accessories are still the ultimate choice of expression.

I have found, especially on-line, that there is a multitude of hidden corners in the jewelry world and they tend to offer some of the best and most unique pieces, and I have browsed many sites to find pieces that suit me personally, but are also universal pieces that may embody someone else's unique style. When you are looking to sell jewelry for profit, you want to pick out pieces that are universally appealing to a large audience of consumers. When you are looking to purchase pieces for yourself, you should look for those pieces that suit you as an individual.

In jewelry, there is no such thing as a taboo way to pair your jewelry. You can play around with matching everything or matching nothing. There are several trends out there right now: some of the most common trends are to mix and match various types of metals, different stones, large statement pieces with smaller more delicate pieces, and stacking and layering your jewelry. When wearing multiple pieces of jewelry, a point to remember, try not to overdo it. Too many statement pieces can make an outfit look gaudy. 

Personally, I tend to like more delicate pieces. These pieces that I received from Star Harvest Jewelry suit that part of my personality. For those who are looking to start their own jewelry business, you should really consider Star Harvest Jewelry as a wholesale source. Their customer service has been top notch, and the quality of the pieces that were sent to me matches the quality of pieces you will find in regular jewelry stores. Everything is 925 sterling silver stamped, for those who do not know, this signifies that the jewelry is true silver and not plated. So far, I have not been disappointed with a single piece of jewelry I have received from them. 

Butterflies are beautiful creatures, found in nature, that remind us of the warmer spring and summer seasons. They are blessed with beautiful, colorful wings, in different sizes and shapes. Butterflies have many wonderful and unique qualities associated with them, the most obvious being their amazing transformation from caterpillar to the beautiful winged creature that many reverie, representing rebirth and freedom. I personally choose to wear butterfly jewelry because to me it signifies great change, transformation, happiness, patience, love, and freedom. That is why I chose the butterfly necklace from Star Harvest.

The purest and most beautiful form of connection between two people is friendship. A best friend is someone whom you can share every dirty little secret with and be assured those secrets stay safe. I have shared many a secret with mine, and she has never betrayed my trust. I can be myself with her and she never judges me for it. I can go long periods of time without contacting her and it doesn't bother her. We can talk about anything without judgment. She always has my back. It's not going to be a surprise when my best friend receives half this necklace, because when it comes to true friends, she is the other half of my heart.
A heart pendant is a symbol of all types of love, not just romantic love: it can be spiritual, mean friendship, or signify the love you have for yourself. Most people who buy jewelry choose a design that means something to them. Some may purchase accessories because they’re trendy pieces, but when you buy a piece and you continue to wear it, above all other pieces in your jewelry box, then that piece means something to you. It's weird because I don't normally get attached to jewelry, but this heart necklace is currently my favorite piece of jewelry. I have a couple of other necklaces I wear in rotation, but lately I have been pairing this heart necklace with everything. It is decorated with intricate details, but it isn't overly formal, so you have a wide choice of outfits to wear it with. It is especially nice paired with a little black dress because it doesn't look like you are trying hard to look fabulous.

With time, your jewelry box becomes a collection of tokens that represent who you are at different stages of your life. Some items may not survive normal wear and tear, but there will be those truly meaningful pieces that are tied to major life events, or even special people in your life, that gain significance as they are passed from generation to generation. Those are the pieces that should remain unique to you as an individual.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Oh, the Best Dancers Know What Grace Every Stumble Contains

If you read this blog then you know I write about goals, writing, being busy, and sometimes I write about myself. I like sharing who I am as a person, but I also like talking about opportunities, and really getting everyone to understand that there are more than a few ways to make a life for yourself, especially in this technological age. But life isn't just about work goals, and even I have other goals that involve personal endeavors. I would like to move. I am tired of the desert, and am ready for something new. I want to meet someone. I want to share a life with someone, not necessarily get married, but have someone in my life that I can do stuff with. I want to travel more. I want to learn an instrument. Life is finite, and there are plenty of things I want to do before I die. 

As you can imagine, I am usually working on numerous projects at one time. I have more half finished and quarter finished stories, than I have complete ones. The complete projects are waiting to be edited, which is frustrating because I would like to publish them, but I need to set them aside for a time because they are still too fresh in my mind, and I cannot edit them from a bias perspective. I don't see the flaws or the grammatical errors. Some projects are client projects with deadlines attached. Fortunately, client projects are usually short pieces ranging from three hundred and fifty to four hundred words. I write blog posts and essays for them. To be paid I have to complete each essay, usually a twenty four hour turnaround time, which puts my personal projects on the back burner. This life was my choice, and it can get busy and stressful, but it's the life I want. There are times when I don't get enough sleep because I am in the process and I don't want to stop, and others where I force myself to shut down because my flow is gone.

I am a motivated person, and that does matter because my schedule can get tight when I have too many projects, or I have to find new writing opportunities when the job boards slowdown. I am motivated because I am responsible for my success. I don't have an abundance of time to fool around because my paycheck is determined by the effort I put into my work. When I worked in a corporate setting, I was guaranteed a paycheck just for showing up. It wasn't the biggest paycheck, depending on which corporation I was working for at the time, but it was still a paycheck. Now that I work for myself, I have to hustle to make sure the money is still coming in. This is the life of an entrepreneur. 

I am focused and I don't have time for a lot of distractions, but that doesn't mean that I don't want some distraction. When I am working, I get lost in whatever it is I am working on at the time, but that doesn't mean that I don't miss people, friends, family, or that I have even dismissed the idea of getting involved in a relationship. There are sacrifices you make when you are trying to build your work up, but that doesn't mean you go without forever, or that you even stop thinking about what you want your future to look like. When it comes to relationships I have a bit of a commitment phobia, blame it on getting divorced, but that doesn't mean I can't commit or that I won't be in a relationship in the future. I can attest to the fact that I am a shameless flirt. When a guy flirts with me, I will flirt back. When I develop real feelings for a guy, I usually tell him I have those feelings, and then I tell him to stay away from me. I don't like feeling pressured to be in a relationship, and with guys I like, I tend to be different. I don't treat them the same as other guys. I am more cautious around them. I don't fall in love easily, or even into lust, so when I do, I feel vulnerable, and that scares me.

Wanting to move is the biggest reason why I am not currently dating. I really don't want to get attached to a person living in a place where I don't want to live. If I get involved with a guy here, I'll end up staying here, and that is not a goal for me. I am ready to leave the desert life behind. I will not get involved in any 'official' relationship until I decide on where I want to live. Owning a house is an issue because I have to make a choice as to what I do with the house.

Right now, I get energy from my work. When I am in a flow, I don't notice the things I am missing. I am not even thinking about those things - with the exception of when I am writing something romantic - because my writing distracts me. I often work long, full days, because I don't have a partner to take half the workload off me. Even so, I believe in taking care of yourself, which is why I devote time to working out, I put on nice clothes for fashion pictures, and I do take vacations away from my home and computer. I find time in my day for personal care and development, but most of the hours in my day are devoted to work, whether it be for a client or myself.  I'm getting faster at what I do, because the more you do something, the better and faster you get at it.

I absolutely love what I do. I don’t just kind of sort of love it. I really, really love what I do. I don’t just love writing; I love the entire creative process that goes along with it. Writing is something I want to do all the time, even during my free time (which is why I am always writing in my notebooks). Maybe I am just making up for all the years where I put my writing to the side while I worked for someone else, but I have never gotten bored of writing.

Sometimes I do wish for a supportive partner, a person I can talk about my ideas with, mainly in those moments when the words aren't coming as easily, or I am stuck on an idea and I need some guidance as to how to develop certain scenarios. Someone to edit my work because their perspective is fresh and they realize the potential of getting a piece out in the public eye. Someone who can keep me on track, and in the right frame of mind. Sometimes, even I get lazy, and while I do have goals, sometimes I feel like the only thing I do is write. There are things I miss about being in a relationship, sharing is one of them.

Even on my own, I still manage to be extremely productive. I know this is mostly because of the choices I make about how I spend my time. Writing is a lonely process, and I do require a greater amount of space and quiet time when I am in a writing flow. 

Warning for the next blog post, I have some jewelry samples from Star Harvest Jewelry, and I need to write a piece on those pieces. It will be sponsored.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Beauty of Inspiration is its Unpredictable Timing

Let's face it, most people would start something if they knew they were guaranteed to be successful at what they were doing while facing minimal obstacles on the road to success. That is not always going to be the case. I do believe in dreams, and I do believe with hard work and a dedicated approach you can make any dream come true. What determines success is sheer will to succeed, hard work, determination, as well as a whole lot of good luck. Success does not come easy for anyone.

How do you handle rejection and harsh criticism?

It is not an uncommon question for other writers to ask me, and it's not an easy question to answer. Some of the most famous authors, at one point in their life, have been rejected. That didn't necessarily mean their work was bad, but it didn't appeal to the person who was reading it at the time. Rejection is part of the process.

I believe the reason most people are curious about this question is that it is a real point of pain for any type of creative work. Writers put their heart and soul into what they do, aside from creative mental blocks (which can be caused by fear of rejection or criticism), rejection is 'the' point of pain.

Art is one hundred percent subjective, and writing is a form of artistic expression. Instead of colors and drawings, we use words to paint pictures in the minds of our readers. It is in the mind of the beholder to determine how they feel about certain pieces of work, and not everyone will like what we do. There are also moments when we don't put our all into what we are creating, and we end up producing absolute garbage, especially in the early stages of our careers when we are beginning to learn and define our writing voice and style. Even though we gradually get better with a commitment to practice daily, as we start to become more known, and our work starts to be seen by more and more people, the likelihood that someone will criticize or reject our work increases by leaps and bounds.

All types of artists, regardless of their level of experience, will deal with rejection and criticism. It is a universal reality. It can be as subtle as no one liking a post you created on social media – although that also has a lot to do with the amount of people following your work – to my work didn't get accepted for publication in a prestigious magazine because it wasn't developed enough, to the mean spirited who like to publicly criticize a person's work, to your inner self talking down to you, hashing out a heavy dose of you are not good enough to be doing this, go back to doing something else.

No one wants to go through the process of rejection, and we are all looking for relief from the pain of it, or a way to safeguard ourselves so that it never happens to us. The truth is, criticism can help us gain some perspective, we can learn about our strengths and weaknesses, and we do develop a thicker skin. Hopefully, because this is the most important point, we gain confidence and learn to love ourselves and the work we produce. We can never truly escape criticism or rejection; it's a part of life. It's possible to avoid it if you are willing to never put yourself out there, but then your work won't be seen by anyone, and where does that leave you?

There comes a point when you have to take responsibility, you need to listen to constructive feedback, ignore comments and criticism that are meant to rile you and offers no genuine take on how you can improve yourself, and you cannot take anything personally. It's super hard, I know, because your art is still your baby, but you don't grow as an artist without feedback. Rejection can be a humbling experience. Not all criticism is meant to tear you apart, some can build you to be a better writer; if you look at it in the right light, it can be a positive thing. It can teach us where to focus our attention, what we are really good at, what areas need to be improved upon, how strong we are as a person, and a multitude of other amazing things. It can turn us into kinder people, teach us to be more compassionate, and teach us to be more conscientious of other people's feelings, because really, who wants to be the mean spirited person leaving the nasty comments.