Tag Archives: writing

Thirty Day Writing Challenge: Day 20

Write about three of my celebrity crushes…I don’t know that I have three currently, but I know I used to have a ton. As we age, our tastes change (thank goddess), and who we find attractive at one phase of life is not who we find attractive at another. I think of all the crushes I have had over the years, and there are very few common elements between any of them. So, I guess I just could talk about three people in general I admire, not necessarily crush-esque, but admiration for them as people and what they bring to the world that makes them attractive to me in one way or another. Attraction, as we all know, means many different things…

  1. Laura Jane Grace is, probably, the love of my life. I just haven’t met her yet to tell her. There is something about her that sings to my soul, shares my truths with her words, and puts those truths on display with her voice. She is as beautiful as she is humble, and being in the same room with her is electric. I have had the honor of being so close to her, I could have touched her if I wasn’t terrified of security. I have been so close to her, hearing her sing my words and my life to the crowd, that it has taken my breath away. I am not a fangirl kind of girl, but I will tell you that when I am given the chance to interview her, I know I will have zero chill left in me. I have so many things I want to ask her, so many stories I want her to tell, and I don’t even think I’d be able to have enough time to get to all of it. Listening to her narrate her audiobook made me realize I would listen to her narrate the phone book if she asked. I am such a huge fan of hers and her music, and to be able to tell her that one day would be a dream…
  2. Elon Musk is a brilliant man. He’s sexy in a way that says “you say I can’t do that, but I just did.” I admire his brain, his drive, his courage, and his complete inability to understand limits of any kind. Sure, he may be hard to work with and stubborn or rude at times, but who isn’t? He’s simply brilliant. And I’d love to talk to him as well just to let him know how much his work inspires me to keep going – despite any preconceived notion of limitation. He’s sexy in a way that lets you know you could get it, but you won’t be the only one, and he may never call you back. But don’t take it personally… and that, my friends, is power. And power can be very attractive.
  3. Ruby Rose for obvious reasons. That’s all I have to say about that. Sounds shallow. And I’m good with that. Girl could get it. Period.

Some LJG love, shall we?


One of my fave songs she does acoustic.


I was in the room the night this happened, and I cried silently so no one would make fun of me for crying…. lol. WHAT a night that was… honestly.

30 Day Writing Challenge, Day 19

Thank God no one said this has to be consecutive days haha

Write about my first love…

My first love was music….

In short, music has…

  • Showed me it was okay to feel what I was feeling
  • Shouted my feelings back to me to remind me it was fine
  • Showed me how to love myself
  • Given my life purpose
  • Allowed me to grieve
  • Celebrated with me
  • Allowed me to figure out who I am
  • Figured out who I was for me
  • Saved my life more times than I can count
  • Helped me make sense of this world
  • Given me direction
  • Provided an escape
  • Provided a new perspective
  • Been my only friend
  • Been the only thing that makes sense
  • Showed me what love sounds like
  • Allowed me to accept myself
  • Allowed me to let go
  • Showed me how to hold on
  • Supported me without question
  • Never left me alone
  • Showed me what I need
  • Showed me what I do not want
  • Accompanied me on adventures
  • Quieted my tears
  • Allowed those tears to flow
  • Helped me write
  • Helped me live
  • Held my hand
  • Introduced me to countless friends I will never forget
  • Woven itself right into my life
  • Run through my veins
  • Hushed me to sleep
  • Rocked me awake
  • Helped me focus on what is important
  • Written alongside me
  • Brought me to my husband
  • Allowed me to do what I love
  • Inspired me
  • Motivated me
  • Encouraged me
  • Danced with me
  • Been inked onto my skin
  • Been imprinted into my brain
  • Filled my dreams
  • Pushed me to go faster
  • Encouraged me to slow down
  • Given me places I belong
  • Walked streets with me
  • Rode in cars, buses, subways, planes, trains with me
  • Pushed me to be better
  • Pushed me to do better
  • Taught me
  • Understood me
  • Allowed me to understand myself
  • Answered my prayers
  • Been my light in the dark
  • Loved me back, unconditionally

18892882_10102950203061602_8568656547946874903_n

 

 

Thirty Day Writing Challenge, Day 17

Post about my zodiac sign and whether or not it fits me.

YEP. I’m a Scorpio and have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to it. Based on what I have read and know about Scorpio, a lot of it is pretty spot on.

EXCEPT THE RAGING SEX THING, cuz that is NOT me.

But, everything else? Yep!

Sensitivity, a proclivity for the darker side of life, openness, keen observation skills, fighter, feeler, healer, trap-like memory, quick to be annoyed, knowledge seeker, caring, sarcasm, independent, probably better off alone… all of it. Me.

I can’t lie; I really dig knowing that the way I am has kind of been written in the stars, so to speak. And I have always been like this. I embrace it. I’m good with it.

At the end of the day, aren’t we all seeking our own truths? A lot of truth can come from the stars, if we’re willing to look up!

2c7e08169d2a9664f8b3535b102dc147

 

 

Thirty Day Writing Challenge, Day Twelve

Five Blessings in My Life (no people, my rule):

  1. Unconditional love from my children: I never wanted kids. It wasn’t until my cousin had his children that I even warmed up to the idea of children. And when I saw his oldest daughter for the first time, I knew I wanted children of my own. Now, with three daughters of my own, I have three blessings, every single day, even when I feel like I don’t deserve it. My greatest blessings call me “Mommy,” and sometimes, I’m the best Mommy ever…and sometimes, they tell me I am anyway.
  2. Music: Without music I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t know some of my favorite people. I wouldn’t have had some of the incredibly amazing experiences I have. I wouldn’t know what love is, what it feels like, what it sounds like. What words to use when life is bad, good, and everything in between. I wouldn’t know how to put words to the incredible feelings inside of me. I wouldn’t be who I am without the music that I love. And that means more to me than just about anything else.
  3. Unending support from my friends: When I don’t deserve it, they support me. When I completely suck at life, they love me anyway. When I need an ear, they all have them. When I am down, they lift me up. When I am scared, they shine lights for me. My friends remind me who I am. My friends remind me of what I am capable of, even when I don’t believe them. They help me rise. And I will rise for them, without hesitation. Any day, in any way.
  4. Protection from my guardian angels: Between my grandma Alice, my Poppa, and my cousin Kevin, alongside the baby I lost along the way, I am surrounded by the most loving and supportive people on the other side I could ever need. When grandma Alice died, she took almost everything out of me. I had nothing left when Kevin died, which upset me because I was only 18 days postpartum with my youngest. And I was so overwhelmed with everything, I feel like it’s taken me this long to really mourn his passing. Poppa passing was the last straw for my sanity in many ways; I still am not really okay with him being gone. Grandma Alice and Poppa were two people who loved me unconditionally, no questions asked, and losing them was really devastating to me on many levels. I still talk to all of them sometimes; it reminds me to stay connected to those who are on the other side, waiting for me and caring for me. My baby passed very early, so I didn’t feel a lot of connection to him (I always say he was my boy since I don’t have one here in this world). But, going through losing him was absolutely terrible, and something I don’t wish on anyone. I am surrounded by love in the next life. And I know they keep their eyes on me in this one.
  5. My writing: Saved my life. Still does. End of story.

On the good days, count your blessings. On the bad ones, count them twice. 

Blessed_Quotes7

The one in which Tarryn Fisher saves me from myself…

They say that the Universe will never give you more than you can handle and will deliver people to you in your life that you need when you need them. (Boy, that is the most grammatically correct, yet long, sentence without commas I have ever seen!) I have been having some brushes with greatness in my own life recently, and one of them sticks out to me as a true turning point. It was the kick in the pants I needed to get out of my own way and get on with the damn thing. And it came from one of my favorite authors of this time, Tarryn Fisher.

TF
Yes, THAT Tarryn Fisher…

Tarryn Fisher is someone I have admired for years for her advice on life, her ridiculously amazing fashion skills which I completely lack, and her voice in her writing that sticks with me for months after I read her books. Her passion for her fans and readers is unmatched in the book world, and she is open to us and talks to us and reminds us we matter. She goes out of her way for us, and I am so in awe of her immersion into this life that she has created for herself and for all of us who love her.

She writes books that I can sink into with characters I fall in love with even when I question their sanity (and my own). I devoured her first three books whole when I read them (they were the first ones I read from her). I mean, completely devoured. Do not sleep, do not rest, go straight to finish and open the next one. They were addictive and beautiful, and if you have not read them, please go get them here. They are called the Love Me With Lies series, and they are everything you’ll need to fall in love with her right out of the gate. I promise. Then, read Marrow and Mud Vein. Mud Vein is my favorite, Marrow is my second favorite, and then the LMWL series solidly handles the third spot all together. I included links to the books in the clicky parts on this; go shop and then come back. I’ll wait…

Anyway, so back to me. I was sitting on my couch last night, completely ready to go to bed and call it a night when my phone alerted me to a message. I was like, “Really? I’m going to bed, y’all.” But, it was Tarryn Motherfatherin’ Fisher. I mean, yeah. Whoa. And I was like, “Holy shit. Bed? What bed?”

I am a proud, card carrying (yes I have a card) member of Tarryn’s reader group/fan club, Passionate Little Nutcases. And, I have been fairly active in the group until recently because life is busy, and I am always about seven conversations late to the party, so I just kind of watch and sit tight and chime in when I am caught up. It’s hard when there are, like, eleventy billion of us, and I just feel like I am so behind on all of it. I’ve been quiet lately, and she noticed.

Guys, she noticed!! Me!! I about died, y’all. My life, I told y’all, is weird.

She reached out and asked me if I was okay, and then she told me she’d noticed I was quiet lately. She’d been thinking about me (omg, I still can’t believe that!) and wanted to make sure I was still in her group and that I was fine. I mean, really, she wanted to make sure I was okay (!!!!). I stumbled all the fuck over myself trying to remain chill (I, quite literally, have zero chill). I couldn’t believe it! I had to check and make sure it was real, that’s how in disbelief I was! I mean, pinch me, right?

We chatted a small bit, and she asked me if I was writing. I kind of gave her the Cliff’s Notes version of why I had stalled out on writing – rejection sucks, and I’m just not sure I can hear the same things over and over again. “You write well, but….” I know I write well; tell me something unique, please. Ya know?

She reminded me to write for myself – advice I have of hers printed out and sitting next to my computer, for real. And I told her that! I thanked her profusely for even reaching out to me. It was so humbling, I was so touched, and I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. I mean, talk about the Universe giving you a one-two punch in the face, ya know? Write for yourself… yes. Thank you, Queen. I got it now! Sometimes you know things, but you need someone else to tell you in order for it to sink in? Yeah. That was that.

In that moment, with one brief chat, she saved me from myself. Just like that – it was too easy! Clearly, I was ready and willing to be saved. And, I know I have had friends tell me the same thing, but it sounds different coming from someone like Tarryn Fisher who has been through it all – someone who understands the inner workings of the writer’s mind. And, really, someone who I share a lot of the same beliefs as in terms of life, writing, love, and all things in between. Hearing it from friends is great; hearing it from someone who knows is a catalyst.

Now, I find this to be a bit of divine intervention in a way because it was super relevant to my daily life. I mean, every single day I think about this writing thing. Sometimes, all day. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the book I wrote, and the second one which I hadn’t touched in over a year but need to finish so I can get onto the third (!!!!). I have been going back and forth for what feels like forever on what to do with them – self publishing is tough, but so am I. And getting an agent is a mind-fuck that I’ve been trying and just, for whatever reason, I am not achieving. But, I think I know the path now…

I opened up my second book today and started reading it, going over it and editing it. And it was like coming home to an old friend, a friend who was waiting for me the whole time; I just had to get out of my own way. And once I am done with the edits, I will keep writing and adding to it, and making it what it deserves to be. These books are good, you guys. And I’m not just saying that. I mean, I know and people tell me things…

I’m ready for the world to meet these characters, for the world to know my worlds inside of me, and for the world to see me as a published author. I’m ready. I’ve been ready. I just needed reminded of how ready I am…So, thank you, Tarryn Fisher, you crazy, beautiful, amazing gem of this world. I am so thankful you are here – you’ll never quite understand what a little conversation at damn-near midnight meant to me. One day, I’d like to show you. Until then, just know that you were just what I needed to remind me of why I do what I do, and why I am truly a part of PLN Nation.

TF2

One day, maybe someone will tell me that I save them from themselves…
Maybe.

 

Time will not take the life from me…

I know I have talked about the fact that I write for an online rock n roll publication. I also know I haven’t gone into much detail about that. So, I want to do a little about that tonight. I did the thing I am most proud of to date, and I want to chat about it.

I have always been a writer. I have always been a rock n roll fan. So, when the chance in October of 2015 arose for me to join the staff of the most kick-ass rock n roll publication on the Interwebs, RockRevolt Magazine, I jumped at it! I reached out to the editor to see if they needed help writing/editing, and they did, and here I am. And to say I am blessed beyond belief with all of the amazing things I have had the chance to do for them would be the understatement of the year, for sure. I mean, it’s insane to me. Still unreal.

I have gotten to go to shows for some of my favorite bands and write about them! And people read what I write! I get to interview some of my favorite musicians, and then people read that, too! I get to review albums, and people read them! And I even have done a book review or two, which you all know I love!! It’s insane to me! I mean, really…truly…insane. I know writing is something I am pretty good at doing, but to think that people all over the world get the chance to have a little piece of me in their eyeballs is a bit crazy to me. It’s surreal. I mean, totally surreal and something I will never ever take for granted ever. Ever.

So, let me tell you a little something else. I am a HUGE Breaking Benjamin fan. I know I have talked about that before here. Probably more than once. And, with my gig at RockRevolt, I have had the opportunity to go to some of their shows and review them. I have interviewed their drummer (he was my second ever interview!), Shaun Foist. I literally had an out of body experience when I interviewed their lead singer, Ben Burnley, whose music literally saved my life twice. I mean, that was a huge moment for me. And I have had other huge moments and had the chance to write about other bands and artists and albums for other bands and artists who mean the world to me, for sure. But, my favorite thing I have ever done is here:

CLICK ME FOR THE FAVORITE THING!!

Please do me a favor and read it, share it, and love on it.
Please. It would mean the world to me.

Now, backstory. I had the chance to talk to the one guy I have wanted to talk to for quite a while, Aaron Bruch, bassist of Breaking Benjamin. And, he is as gracious and humble and wonderful as I ever thought he would be. We talked and talked and talked about everything and anything, and we had an absolute blast together, as I thought we would. It was everything I wanted and more, and I don’t want to gush too much and be all weird about it, but know that it was the best conversation I could have ever imagined having with someone about their talents and passions. So, so good.

I wrote the interview a little differently than I would originally do so, and made it a narrative story instead of a question and answers list. It seemed to fit his style of communication more, as the entire time we talked, it was like he was telling me a story. And though it made more work for me, I wanted the readers to feel like they were sitting there and talking to him as well. It was a bold move, and I believe it paid off.

People have responded so well to it! I am hearing from people who have known him forever, telling me how the story reminds them of good times and memories with him. I can’t believe how well it has been received!! As it turns out, our conversation is getting a ton of attention from all over the place. The feedback I have received is humbling and overwhelming, and I just wanted to find another place to share it with the world. This is my blog, so why not share it here?! You can also click my name on the piece and see other things I have done as well. It’s all been a very, very good time that I love being a part of.

It’s not every day that you get to literally do something you’ve dreamed of doing your entire life. And the fact that I get to do that is incredible to me, and I can’t express how grateful I am every single day that this is my reality. Honestly, two years ago I was just a fan of music and bands, and now bands know me and want to work with me. My life is super weird, friends. Blessed isn’t even a word that fully encapsulates it. So, please, do me a solid and check out my article I linked in here. Share it, please, if you’re so inclined. It’s so appreciated, trust me.

Just a little video love from my favorite band to you..
Never let time take the life from you…

You never know where you’ll end up! 

Where have I been? Where am I going?

So I have been a little busy since school started up and whatnot. I have met, tutored, mentored, and taught students in some form or another every week day since January 13. I did take off time for a wedding in Colorado last week, but I was still emailing students and grinding away. But, if it isn’t grinding, it isn’t life, and so I have been very busy living, apparently.

My novel is going well and is pretty much the only thing I can think about, focus on, obsess over, at this time. I am always working out plot angles, dialogues, conversations, actions, etc. It’s exhausting, but my brain is ON it. And the fact that I am taking a YA fiction writing course makes my novel my homework. And that is a sweet spot to be in. I cannot complain.

I am planning my second tattoo, and one of my very best friends is getting a matching one. It is so true what they say; they really are addicting. I have conceptualized numbers 3 and 4 as well…. I’m ready. 🙂

I am having a hard time right now with grieving as an adult, which sounds so absolutely ridiculous, but it is so true. When my grandma Alice died, I was 16. I did stupid shit for years. YEARS…into college. I was allowed to do stupid shit. Now? I am a mother of three and a wife, so I can’t just go do stupid shit. So I am pouring myself into my writing, and I am making me time a priority. I’m in the “leave me alone, no please can we just talk” phase of grief, which I realize it not scientific, but it’s there. I crave silence and being alone, but then I hate being alone, and I calm my brain with social media and wine, haha. So I can’t hang with it all. It’s frustrating, but I am dealing. I really, really want to go make poor life decisions and be reckless. However, that isn’t really an option. So, I try to deal with it in a healthy way. Wine is helping, but it isn’t everything. One day, I will wake up and my heart won’t feel like it’s crumbling out of my chest, right? One day, I will be able to hear the words “had a heart attack” without turning into a PTSD-puddle nightmare, blanking out and freezing, my insides turning to ice while simultaneously burning up. It will happen, right? It has to. I’ll be okay. It isn’t over until it’s okay, so I am going to walk through this and on to the other side of grief, into healing. I’m good. Worse things have happened to me that I have survived. This, this is not going to take me out. I’m good.

I have been composing little bits of poetry off and on, usually inspired by the shower, which is interesting. But, it’s another outlet. Writing has saved my life, and will continue to do so, until I just can’t physically do it anymore. I talk about it a lot, but it’s so true. If I didn’t, couldn’t, write, I wouldn’t be who I am. I wouldn’t know how to live. It wouldn’t be my life; that’s for sure.

That is the wrap-up. It’s been a while, but I am still here. Inspiration is everywhere. I’m manically writing chapters, planning out ideas for Book Two (of course, I can’t just write one at a time!), and putting together this novel that I hope becomes something greater than I can ever imagine. I have high hopes for this one. I just want to be left alone to write my fancy novels and talk my fancy words; and, unfortunately, I am years away from being left alone for any measurable period of time. But that is okay. This is my Journey; I accept it, embrace it, and sometimes want to punch it in the face. But it’s mine, so I am allowed. Where is your Journey taking you? Let’s chat. Please, don’t leave me alone…. 😉

Trust your Journey.
It knows where you are going;
Even if it makes no sense to you,
It won’t lead you astray if you simply trust.

 smith-haynes-trust-your-journey

A writer never has a vacation…

“For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” -Eugene Ionseco

I have decided, in my infinite wisdom and spare time between mothering, wifery, teaching, and studenting, to start writing my first novel. Wait, no. That is not accurate. Anyone who writes knows that this is not our decision. It is someone else’s entirely. In my case, Sarah and Charlotte. I blame those two knuckleheaded teenagers who just couldn’t wait to bust out of my head and onto paper. Their stories have already taken me on some whirlwinds. In the earlier days of the project, Sarah came to me as I was falling asleep, and she showed me that I was writing her story improperly. She showed me something I had not even considered, but I have to go with it. So I rewrote parts, and I am off and running. I have gotten some amazing feedback from some clutch readers, and I am itching to sit with it and use their suggestions to fix it and continue forth. Writing is so goddamned fun; it should be illegal.

I know I talk a lot about writing on here, but I think it’s because it is such an important thing in my life. It saved my life. It helped me create friends in school when I had very few. It helped me create ways to cope with devastating loss. There has not been an event in my life, good or bad, that I did not deal with without writing. Not one. Writing is who I am, what I do, and why I am here. It is all for the writing. I am truly a slave to it most of the time, even when I am not actively writing something. Ideas and characters don’t just go away because I don’t have time to let them out. They sit there and play, stirring up a ruckus, loudly, in my brain. They don’t care. They just exist to give me something to write about. I have a list of blog topics to eventually get to in my phone’s evernotes because if I don’t write them down, new ideas take over. I often forget to eat and drink if I am writing. I forget to go to the bathroom, and I end up feeling like a total slog. But I LOVE the slog. Writing is it, my friends. It. Is. It.

Except, writing is kind of killing my drive to do anything BUT write. I can’t lie, I have more motivation to write than to do most anything else. I can see why people take sabbaticals from teaching and working when they are writing. The energy isn’t there to do both well. I am trying, and I am doing ok, but I really feel like this is what will become my first published novel, and I know that when that time comes to buckle down on things more seriously, it will be hard to be able to focus on teaching, family, and writing. But I am pretty damn good at multitasking. So we will see when time comes. I am balancing always, now, aren’t I?

I was told today at my family reunion (totally unprovoked and not expected at all) that I am a phenomenal, awesome, amazing (more positive adjectives that I forget) writer. I was also told I have a way with words, and I will no doubt be published. When I replied that I would say that I work hard at it, but I’d be lying because the words just come out of me, I was told that it is obvious in my writing that it is natural and without a lot of effort. I’m “just that good”. There was a lot of praise coming from my cousin, and I was really struck by the sincerity and impressed that someone takes an interest in my writing. It is humbling to hear praise from anyone about what I do, but to hear it so candidly and open like I did today was really something I will never forget. I didn’t expect to hear that, but I am glad that I did. I’ve never doubted my ability to throw down with words. But it is good that people close to me read this little piece of my Universe and feel the need to tell me, in person, that they appreciate my work.

All I have ever wanted to be, for as long as I can remember, is a writer. It is the one thing I have consistently done well my entire life. From term papers to poetry, grant writing to creative nonfiction, I do all of it with relative ease. Writing is the one high I have always had, has always been my number one best friend, and will continue to be the one thing in my life I can count on more than anything. I am so excited to see where my novel project takes me. In many ways, it has taken over..and I can’t wait to see where it leads me!!

Writing is my life, my constant, the loudness in my brain…
The only thing that makes sense to do, no matter what,
images79I0MAU4 (2)

Without writing, I wouldn’t exist.

Aaaah, I can feel it….

I can feel the rush and fuss, the nervousness and anxiety that my classrooms will be filled with tomorrow. I love the start of the semester. I absolutely love taking command of a classroom, allowing my students to be free to be who they are, and giving them the space to explore who they are for a full sixteen weeks. I also love allowing them to see that writing is not scary. I love showing them that they can do it; writing is a part of life, and we do it everyday whether we know it or not. Giving them their words, their truths, and their power through the written word is what thrills me the most. Those moments that they get it…aaaah. I love those moments more than I should.

But that won’t happen tomorrow. Nope. Tomorrow, they will come into the classroom, nervously shifting their notebooks and pens (provided they have them). Checking their phones. Talking with old friends. Checking out new friends. And I will walk in, looking like one of them due to amazing genes. Standing in front of them, I will begin. And there will be syllabus talk, getting to know you talk, and this is what I expect talk. Questions. Any? No? Not yet? Ok, you have time. Get your books. Yes, we are reading Orange is the New Black. Yes, the same as the show. Maybe we can watch some of the show later. We have a lot of time.

But, we don’t have a lot of time. It may feel like it, but before we all know it, it will be week 13 and final paper prep will be in high gear. We will have read a book, watched a documentary on a local war hero gone too soon, and talked about our own choices. We will have learned and grown, lost members for sure, but we will have done it all together. They will have celebrated. complained. discussed, and digested. And then? A month or so after that, I will do it all again with different classes, for another 16 week session. Isn’t that great!?

I don’t get nervous the first day. I have not been nervous one time, and I suppose I could be allowed to be this time around as I am teaching something totally new, in a new way with new materials… But I don’t get nervous. I get excited. For myself. For them. For this wonderful (though underpaid and overworked) opportunity to touch lives and illuminate students to the importance and power of language and writing. I may not make a difference to some of them, but to a few, I could make all the difference in the world. And that is why I walk in with my head held high, making them comfortable while pushing them outside of their comfort zones. Be not afraid. Don’t worry, I’m not.

They’ve got everything they need to succeed. They just need me to show this to them.
And it never feels like work. I’m having far too much fun for it to feel like a job.

truth
I
f you do what you love everyday for a living,
You won’t work a day in your life.
Writing and teaching writing are my passions…
And I can’t wait to see how many minds and souls I can open this semester….