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.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Most Powerful Weapon on Earth is the Human Soul on Fire

I don’t look my age. I never have. It is common to have jaws drop when I reveal my true age to anyone. Just because I look younger doesn't mean that the ageing process has stopped for me. I bring this up because I've been thinking about mortality lately, and what ageing actually means. Maybe it's because of the recent celebrity passings, and while I do know I still have plenty of good years in me, there are people out there dealing with illness, some terminal, and it just has me thinking.

While the body ages, the spirit stays young. That's how I've always lived.

I know I don’t dress my age. I live in jeans and fitted tees littered with random childish sayings, or comic book characters, and even ones that proudly display my allegiance to certain bands. I still wear junior sized clothing, and on occasion even shop in junior specific stores. I am in no way trying to appear younger than I am. The clothes fit and suit my personality. Where I purchase my clothes seems irrelevant.

I am comfortable with my reflection in the mirror. I work hard to keep my body toned. I run daily. I lift weights. I even try to eat reasonably healthy meals, though my sweet tooth does negate my attempts at cleaner eating. I'll never give up dessert, but that is an indulgence, and I do work hard in other areas to allow for these treats.

I am young at heart, despite my age. I have not grown out of the things I loved in my childhood.

I still twirl in dresses, play in the rain, and laugh at the sun. I still have a fondness for dandelions because of a memory; I strongly associate them with my father. I make wishes on stars. I watch cartoons and read comic books. I still have my favorite video games that I can play over and over again and never get bored. I can play for hours and not even think about the time as it slips by. I play childhood games with my niece and nephews. It never occurs to me that I am too old for any of these things, though some might say that I am.

Sometimes, when there is nothing but silence, I can hear the internal tick of my clock, but I ignore it. On occasion, I can feel an old injury sneaking up on me. I can feel a pain in my joints, little things that remind me that I'm getting older, but they're so subtle, that I often don't think about them. I haven't been diagnosed with a major illness, but I have a family history, and when I look at it, I remind myself there is always a chance, regardless of what good care I take of myself.

When I perish, that is in fates hands, and there is very little I can do about it. Instead, I try to live my life as happily as possible.

I still run, and will do so until the day I can no longer run. I still love to blast out music whilst I am writing, or doing almost anything. As long as I am not hurting anyone, I don't think it matters how I live or what I like.

What I am saying is that while I am young at heart, I am also realistic that time does in fact march forward, and I'm just trying to live the best possible life while I am here.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Trust Your Heart if the Seas Catch Fire, Live by Love

Creative inspiration can be found everywhere: from the pages of your favorite books, to the air, flowers, and scenery on your morning walk. You just need to open your eyes, and take everything in, marvel at the wonder, and let your imagination take control.
I am inspired . . .
By long walks. Specifically, walks that engage my senses and opens up my mind. I haven't been walking lately due to extremely cold weather. While this hasn't interfered with my daily exercise routine, being indoors leaves me feeling confined and trapped. I prefer to be outside. When I workout indoors, I am in a workout zone where the exercise becomes my focus, but when I am outside my mind wanders, and it starts creating. From that point, it's never about the exercise, but what my senses are feeling.
By books and magazines. Good ones. I am inspired by beautiful, exquisite photography, well written essays, personal stories, and books that charge my imagination and trigger an emotional response inside me. My favorite magazines are usually travel and fashion magazines. Books range, but I love incredible storytelling.
By conversations. Conversations help me connect, not only with myself and the person I am talking to, but with the characters I am creating. Talking to different types of people helps me to gain perspective on different personality types. Books read better when each character has their own voice. Lately I have been doing most of my talking on-line via social media channels, or with my roommate. I also have bi-weekly conversations with the game night crew. I have conversations with neighbors and the mailman on a semi-regular basis. I also find myself inspired by my once a month errands that get me away from the house, which allows me to people watch and talk to strangers.
By problems. As a writer, I solve problems with words. For me, there is nothing more satisfying that finding the right turn of phrase to transform the murkiest muddle of madness into something so elegantly precise.
By my father. He is the smartest person I know, and one of the kindest people you'll ever meet. He is my hero.
By myself. I aim to challenge myself every day. Life on-line is as much a roller coaster as it is in real life. There is always a slowdown, when there is not as much work to do, like most jobs, and the money slows down a little, and in those moments I focus my attention on other projects. This is when I let my creativity flow. I focus my attention on my personal projects because I know eventually they will become another source of income for me. The slowdown is the time when I can work on my stuff before the job boards pick-up again. This is also the time when I can build personal pieces to submit to magazines.
Personally, even though it is not ideal, I do some of my best thinking when I can’t sleep at night or when I’m far away from my computer; in quiet moments that allow for reflection. Most of the time I dream up an entire story in my head before I actually sit down to type it out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Put Your Heart, Mind, and Soul Into Even Your Smallest Acts

Personally, I don't know very many women who don't absolutely love a beautiful piece of jewelry. With the Internet and brick and mortar stores, there are a plethora of different types of jewelry options you can find - some unique, others mass produced - and depending on the type of person you are, your jewelry tastes will determine the kind of jewelry you purchase.

Personally, I prefer sterling silver or white gold when it comes to the metal I wear, with random stones, and different shapes. I, like most women, own a variety of jewelry ranging from cheap fashion pieces to high end quality pieces, and a majority of in betweens. I buy what is reasonable, and on occasion splurge for a really great piece that I reserve for special occasions.

Recently, I received samples from Star Harvest Jewelry, a wholesale company, that provided me with both quality and fun pieces to wear. From past perspective of someone who used to sell jewelry, and at one point was the Director of Purchasing with the responsibility of acquiring metals and stones for a manufacturing company, I can say I am pleasantly surprised by the shape, size, and quality of the pieces sent to me.

Silver jewelry will never go out of fashion, and is an inexpensive alternative to gold. This is a selling point for those who want to start a jewelry business (something I've always wanted to do), and are looking for pieces to add to their stores. It is also a selling point for those looking to expand their personal jewelry collection without emptying their bank account.

I have worn the necklace pictured above on multiple occasions, and it is becoming one of my favorite pieces. That's an important consideration when you purchase any piece of jewelry. You have to look at each piece from a would you perspective. Would you wear it? And how often? When you are investing in pieces, you want to get your money's worth. If you wear something one time, what's the point in investing in the piece?

When you are purchasing sterling silver jewelry make sure to look for the 925 stamp on each piece so that you know you are getting authentic silver jewelry.

Buying wholesale jewelry and then selling it at an increased price can create an incredible, steady source of income, but you will need to have a website, an effective marketing strategy for your business, as well as several good wholesale sources for you to purchase jewelry from.

Before you choose a wholesaler, you need to make sure they have a good, solid reputation. You can check for reviews on-line, as well as look for consumer reports illustrating good and bad business practices. When I was approached by Star Harvest Jewelry that was the first thing I did. I am happy to report they have no blemishes on their record. 


The next thing you should do is request samples. Most wholesale businesses will provide you with one or two pieces to look at to gauge quality. That was my experience with Star Harvest. I have been in constant communication with one of their representatives, who has been eager to provide me with any information I have requested. Make sure you consider price because it is a factor when purchasing wholesale jewelry. You want to be able to turn around and resale all pieces of jewelry at a mark-up without having to overprice the piece.

Once you have found a handful of wholesalers that provide quality products, and purchased some pieces, you then need to figure out where to sell your jewelry. You can sell at a local shop inside of a shopping strip. You can take your goods to a flea market and sell them there. You can host jewelry parties in your home. You can build your own jewelry website. You can sell on Amazon.