Updates, General

Hello!

I hope you all are doing well!  I am currently taking a small break at work to update my blog!  I’ve been crazy busy of late. I started my new job on August 1st, so I’ve been figuring all of that out, helping my husband return to finish his degree, and also working on side projects!

I wrote three book reviews for Bowling Green Daily News last week, and one for Edmonson voice.  I am currently reading three books at once. I am reading I, Ripper by Stephen Hunter for my book club on Saturday, and The Man Who Loved Birds for review, as well as a Higher Education book a couple of professors wrote (also for a review).

I am pondering dying my hair red… it also needs cutting.

As things are beginning to level out, I am going to start writing again.  I want to get back on the wagon, and really work on my witch novel, which will be my focus for November. I plan to finish it by the end of November, which means I need about 65,000 more words on it.  We shall see how that goes!

Surely I will start writing on my blog more as well. I am currently obsessed with the song Lost Boys by Ruth B. If you haven’t heard it – go look it up on Youtube.

Oh, and I’m obsessed with PokemonGo.  I’m level 21, almost 22.  SO MUCH FUN!

Laters my friends!

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Back in Action!

Hello!

First, let me apologize for my disappearance.  July was a crazy month for me, full of interviews, anxious waiting and panicking, chasing my son around, and generally stressing about money as I didn’t have a job yet.

The good news, I have been hired as an Academic Adviser for the School of Professional Studies at WKU, and I started August 1st. It’s been a whirlwind of getting things figured out, starting my new job, and all such things.

Hopefully I will be back to posting on here soon, back to writing, and reading more and more.  After all, I have to get ready for NaNoWriMo…

Later!

Body Image – Always Something

My friend Monica Spees posted about body image issues today. She was really on point with how difficult it can be for women to deal with body weight issues.

It hit home for me, and I thought of what has been going on for me.  I had an interview yesterday, and that is always a stressful time. First impressions mean a lot. When doing research online, one of the things you often run across is that women who wear makeup are thought to make better impressions, its expected, and they usually fair better with first impressions.

I do not wear makeup. I generally try to wear it to interviews anyways. Problem is, I have Blepharitis according to my doctor.  I have always had issues with the skin under my eyes – constantly dark, and oddly wrinkled. Any time I brought it up with the doctor they would say it was an allergic reaction, or would give me a topical creme that didn’t seem to help. I never got a straight answer. Last year it started becoming worse, itching more often, becoming redder/darker and certainly reacting if I wore makeup for a special reason.

I brought it up with my new doctor, and he immediately told me it was that. It seems to fit. It’s awful. Can’t really be cured, except maybe with plastic surgery. So, yeah. Just have to deal.  I had my last interview yesterday.  My skin under my right eye was driving me bonkers. I couldn’t wear makeup, it would only make it much, much worse.

And it kills my self-confidence. Which is obviously an issue going into an interview. I think I overcame it.  I can’t help.  It’s not also something I can really explain in an interview. It’s depressing because it makes it look like I’m tired or never sleep. I hate it with a passion. Honestly, makeup doesn’t do a lot to cover it. Most people tell me they never notice it, but I know.

I have other body issues – certainly weight. However, I’ve made strides in accepting that. I have lost quite a bit of weight since having Xander two years ago, and actually weigh 15 pounds less than I did before I became pregnant. So that’s cool. Still have issues.  Still not at 140 like I want to be. But it helps.

It’s sad that I feel like I need to wear makeup to make a good impression. It’s sad that we feel like we need rock hard abs, or perfect bodies. There is no such thing. I hope that we will move past this eventually and change the way we feel about women/media/etc.

Remember that you are beautiful! Accepting ourselves may be hard, but it’s an every day thing. The perfect number on the scale does not equal 100% Happiness. It might make us feel better overall, but being happy in other ways is just as important, if not more so.

A Letter to George RR Martin

To George RR Martin,

I just watched the season finale of Game of Thrones. I am in awe, and in love, and possibly hate you with a tiny piece of my heart. I am everything that a fan of such a fandom can be.  You have created this world, this amazing place, and you have shared it with us. And for that, I am thankful.  They always say that many read as an escape. Escaping to your world, while dangerous if real, is truly wonderful.

I recently read several posts about you asking Stephen King about how on earth he manages to write so many books.  Facing backlash from not being able to finish “The Winds of Winter” on time, I know that you have dealt with your fair share of crazy, upset fans.  Who knows what people have said to you.  Lord knows we aspiring writers have often heard the advice of “Writers write. Pick a time. Sit down. Write words, rather they be good or bad.”  I’ve lived on the quote that for us writing is breathing.  And it’s often true.

And other times writing is not as easy as breathing. It can be hard, and painful, and I just plain stop.  I have an unfinished novel. I’ve been working on it for four years.  It is probably not even half way done, as I rewrote the whole dadgum thing after changing the viewpoint. Then I realized it had a fatal flaw, and just completely stopped early this year. Recently I dreamed up another novel, actually fully plotted this one out, wrote about 5000 words and hit a brick wall. I feel as if I need more research. I am unsure if my characters have enough “voice.” I remember the B’s and C’s I received in creative writing classes in college, and the times I did not win contests.  All of that overshadows everything good thing I have heard about my writing.  And that does not even matter, as much.  My self-doubt wins for the day.  And the writing waits.

You asked Stephen King if he never had a bad day, a day where he felt he had no talent, and thought maybe you screwed up and should have been a plumber or something.  All I can say is, I am so glad you did not.  You have given your readers (and/or watchers) an amazing gift in this world you have created.  Whatever demons you have battled to get this far, thank you for winning those fights.  Thank you for the rewrites, for the tweaks, and the words and the hours you have spent writing.

But more than anything else, thank you for showing me that you can be successful without writing every day.  I have tried to do this. I have tried to push myself through bad days and just get words on paper.  It is not how I function, apparently. I lay here, trying to sleep before getting up early to go to work, and I failed. Because I was thinking of that episode. I was thinking of your books.  I remembered that conversation.  And I finally realized that maybe I do not have to push myself the way I have been over the past year. Oh yes, it would be wonderful if every day I could sit down at a certain time and just write.  I am not, however, financially able to be a full time writer. I have nothing published.  I must work. I actually love my work. I have a husband and a toddler.  Life happens.  I’m tired of feeling guilty because I just could not write that day.  Or that I chose snuggling with my son over writing on my laptop. That I may not have the talent necessary to call myself a “writer” or an “author.”

I am tired of feeling like I must not be a writer because I cannot write every day.  You, sir, are an aspiring writer of unfinished novel’s dream come true.  Thank you for writing when you can. Thank you for pushing past your fears, and giving us this world that you dreamed, that you created, that you labor over.  Spend the days enjoying your fame, and talking to fans. Ignore the haters.  Write when you can, and as a reader of your books I do hope as often and quick as you can.

But as writer who finds it often times hard to write, Thank You for being honest about your process.  Thank you for not bowing down to deadlines and standards and common practice and churning books out like butter. I feel that they would not be what we wanted, anyways.  As you say, they would not be the best you could make them.  It may have been easier for you as a writer, and me as a reader, to be able to write every day and get them published.

Good luck writing,

A Writer Who Knows Nothing

Parenting in Public: Judgement Come Forth

Today, my child was in a mood.  Now to begin with, he woke up at 6 am pretty happy.  But as the day wore on, with no nap in sight, we went back and forth a bit on the toddler mood spectrum.

For those of you who do not know my child, he is loud.  And I say it with love. I have a loud kid. He just is naturally loud. If you have met his father, you’d understand.  And generally, it really doesn’t bother me. Kids are loud anyways.  We chase each other with swords through the house screaming at the top of our lungs. We run yelling outside, and we dance like idiots. He is two. Some people I know love to tell me just how loud my kid is, like I haven’t noticed (that gets a bit annoying).

And he is a little extra loud. Oh, especially when angry.  And my child throws the occasional “I am utterly pissed and have no way to express it so I shall scream now” fits.  They aren’t fun. But they are rare.

I had Book Club today. An event I love, that happens once a month.  Most of the time Xander isn’t there – I usually tutor before hand so he stays in Brownsville with my awesome sister-in-law.  However, he does like Barnes and Noble, and today there was not tutoring. So off we went, backpack and shoes on, and he even got over not riding around in his car and having to get in the actual car, no problem.  He fell asleep. Ah, yes, the long awaited, oh so needed nap.

And shocking, he stayed asleep when I moved him to the stroller, for almost another hour. But when he awoke in Barnes and Noble, we went full on grumpy mood. I tried to appease him with trains, but there was another kid there, and he decided he just wanted to be held. And he stayed grumpy. He wanted to go outside to the car.

Honestly, I gave in. And I gave up. Because I know how loud my kid is, and especially just how loud he can scream.

And I hate the screaming. But even more so in public. It’s harder to deal with. It just plain is.  Parenting in public is difficult, and annoying. Even when your child is only minorly upset, you know you are instantly thinking about what everyone is thinking about your parenting. We have become a society that throws judgement around like we all know the perfect answer. And we don’t.

There are a million examples of this.  Mom bloggers.  Breastfeeding vs Formula. The recent gorilla incident, and then the Disney incident which ended much worse.  It takes a millisecond for other parents, or even NON parents (who honestly, can be much more frustrating), to start throwing out blame or advice. “I wouldn’t have done that” “Why wasn’t she watching her child” “Well, I never would have let that happen”

And on it goes.  And in public there are people who stare. And people who try to offer advice or judgement to your face.  Some try to be nice.  Some are downright rude.  And that, my friends, is stressful.

So yes, my child wanted to be held.  I held him.  Yes, he was grumpy and rude to my friends. He wanted to go outside, and screamed when we couldn’t walk through the window. I talked to him calmly, fussed at him, told him he could not talk to people that way. I put him in the stroller, and out we went.  And I just decided to leave.

Because no matter if I had continued to walk around holding him, or if I had let him sit in that stroller and yell at people or just be downright meant, it was no longer a fun experience for me. I can’t shop or talk about books or any of it, when I’m worried about my child. And really, I shouldn’t. I should do what is best for him and me. And in that moment, as much as I didn’t want to, leaving was it. We went and got him some juice.  We went and waited for his dad to go on lunch, and he heard birds and got all excited. So we drove from tree to tree while he said “here bird” and made that noise we all make to get dogs or cats attention. It was cute. And he was happy.  And I was less stressed.

So why did I go on this giant blog rant? Well, partly because a friend asked me to talk about this stuff more here so I’m trying that out.  Partly, because I’m still frustrated about something someone said.  Also, it’s been a rough day. I’m not sleeping well these days. Xander woke up at 6 am. My ear has been hurting nonstop all day.  He peed all over himself and his blanket and sheets when I tried to put ear drops in my ear, and then I had to give him a bath (which he loved). I went to make sure my dogs had water, and found a dead kitten by one dog’s doghouse. That upset me a lot. I drove to Bowling Green. I had a quiet hour with my friends, and then he was upset. It just was not the spiffiest of days. So when it came to dealing with the terrible twos, I took the easy road.

Posting this is opening myself up to all the advice, comments, judgement and drama possible in the land of internet.  And that is sad.  I hear people complain because we use Facebook to make ourselves look perfect. But if we ever open ourselves up to our insecurities, things go horribly wrong. People are mean and rude.  And Judgemental. At least most people in public couldn’t get the nerve to say to me what they would online (and we all know that is true). Then again, I have friends who love to repeat parenting advice, or give me that look when they disagree or really wish I’d let them handle it. I also have the friends/relatives who automatically try to yell at or discipline my child when I’m literally standing RIGHT THERE trying to talk to him.

It takes all kinds. It used to take a village, right? We used to give more support, and offer help, and just be nice to one another.  Now we feel like we have to one up one another in the internet land.  We say whatever we type, not thinking about how it affects someone else. And its sad.  We need to stop judging. I’ve seen some great posts from fellow moms who say the same thing. When you see a mom struggling, or doing something different from you, stop, think, and possibly just let it go.  They may be having a horrid day. They may not feel well.  But honestly, they know their child.  They know what works. And they know what actions will cause what.  It’s their choice.  Its their family. And as long as they aren’t beating the child in front of you, or doing something damaging, you need to let it go. I can work better on this than I do, even now feeling it from the other end.  So let us all breathe.

I know my child. I kiss his “hurts” and hold him when he cries, and get him to sleep at night.  There is two people on the a list that can pretty much say whatever they want to me about him and give me advice (and honestly, they hardly even do, which may be why they are on that list), and that’s about it.  I appreciate support, love and understanding.

(PS – Shout out to my book club for pushing my stroller for me, and following us around while I tried to make him happy.)

Oh The Treasures We Find…

So, I’m on a mission to get rid of stuff.  As I have way too much stuff. So does my husband, but he is a pack rat (I see most of his stuff staying) but I’m hoping to at least get it more organized and hidden in the back of our attic.

Going through a tote we took out of storage, I found these. Oh my.  From essays in high school, to all my poems, short stories and who knows what else.

This could get interesting.  As I’m trying to post more, my new idea is to do “Throwback Thursday” but with pieces of my writing.

Now you have that to look forward to 😛

Now to go back to the piles of crap to sort. Wish me luck!

Time Out to Live Life

A friend of mine requested that I talk more about me, my hubby/marriage and my adorable kid Xander (I’m bias, but trust me, all the people tell me he is adorable).

Soooo, here it goes.

I was set to go to a conference in Pikeville, KY – leave Sunday, work all day Monday and part of Tuesday.  However, I had to cancel last minute because my car just wasn’t up to the drive, as it would be over 500 miles. So since I had time (we only have to work 10 hours a week currently this month for my position), I had planned on super cleaning. Turns out I made a good choice on canceling but on cleaning, as my son woke up with a fever Sunday, and Monday I woke up with a migraine, that went away and came back with a vengeance. So much so that right before my hubby was to wake up to go to work, I began vomiting everwhere in teh bathroom. Like, it was the second worst vomit experience of my life (the #1 being Xander puking all over both us in the bed in the middle of the night when he was 1). I won’t go in to more details than that.

Sean called in.  He distracted Xander while I showered, and brought me some crackers as I collapsed into bed.  Xander played with him for a bit but then kept saying “I want to sleep in bed” and came and went to sleep with me. Sean went and got Sprite, froze some so it would be cold when I woke up, and proceeded to take excellent care of the two of us the rest of the day. I won’t lie – some days I want to hit the man with a fyring pan, but its reasons like this why I love him so much.  He made me soup, brought me snacks and kept the sprite coming. Plus, he kept Xander entertained, and taken care of. We watched America’s Got Talent, and I read/listened to a book and watched some NCIS.

So today, when I woke up feeling much better, I started tackling cleaning.  But Xander wanted to go outside and play. And I made the choice. Cleaning can wait.

I made the right decision. And to most of you, this probably sounds like a “duh” decision. Sadly it isn’t, most of the time.  Once you become a parent, you become overwhelmed with the amount of advice you receive. From people who know you, people who don’t, the internet, tv shows, movies, books… etc. It is NEVER ENDING.  And often, what you see, is that perfectly cleaned house, no matter if the mom/dad works, and has multiple kids.

Its a LIE! Okay, maybe not. Some people can do it. I’m not one of them. I have a toddler, a dog, two cats, and tons of stuff. I’m working on decluttering, but lord help that’s just making more of a mess. And I LIKE to clean. But if it is clean, or spend time with Xander? I pick Xander.

Those winning smiles declare me winning.  So let me say this – asking for advice is fine. Be happy. Make your kids happy. Strive for perfection if you want but remember it probably doesn’t exist.  Ignore the naysayers, and the craziness and the negativity. And when you walk in my house? Remember the laughter, and the happiness that I’m surrounded with. Forgive me the cereal that I probably swept up last night but was re spilled that morning and I haven’t got to clean. Forgive the dishes (Hey, I’m keeping it down to a few), the general mess, all the toys and clutter. It doesn’t help that I have boxes and boxes of yard sale stuff sitting about, and we are getting rid of our storage unit and having to go through my late mother-in-law’s things.

It’s a mess.  I’m living my life.  I have a job, a husband, a toddler, I write, I tutor, and so many other things.  I learned one of the most important lessons possible in my graduate classes: self-care keeps you going.  You can’t change the world if there is nothing of you left. I cannot be there for my kid, if I there is nothing of me left.

So, quit judging. Unless you want to help me clean (or have a vacuum anyone?), keep it to yourself.

Let’s quit judging each other. We used to be a village. What happened to that?

My Writing Progress

Well…. I fell off the writing wagon. Completely. Horribly.

I think I missed a few writings here and there… but my total for February was 7340. The good news is that because of my goal of only 250 words a day and writing more than that when I do write, I was 90 words over total goal for the month…

Some of it was articles for the paper or book reviews. Some of it was for my novel.

I have to get back on track. And yeah, so far this month I am doing horribly. However, a friend send a picture of which he really wants me to turn into a short story so I am currently working on that. I have a couple of book reviews to write, this blog and a couple more, and then I shall write on my novel. I think I need to set different goals on the different things I work on…

So let’s try:

3000 words on Book reviews. 3000 on Blog. And 4000 in story writing (mainly novel). 1000 on articles.

That’s 11,000 words. More than my 250 a day will do, but I always do more than that if I write.

Anyone else have advice for writing? I have been so exhausted of late. What really killed me on the writing was my migraines. I have had many, many migraines.  I saw the oral surgeon today though, and my EVIL WISDOM TOOTH OF DOOM IS COMING OUT NEXT WEDNESDAY!!!!  I am so excited. Slightly terrified, but excited. I have also started walking with my sister-in-law, and got new glasses (my prescription changed drastically apparently). All of this along with drinking lots of water, should lead to fewer migraines.

Wish me luck. I will also be doing Camp Nano, so I shall have a blog tomorrow detailing plans for that 🙂 Woot!

Infinite Dreams Awards

Thanks to Monica Spees at Monica Spees for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger and Infinite Dreams awards! It is an honor!

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate 7-14 other bloggers for the award. Link to their blog and let them know!
  3. If applicable: Answer your nominator’s questions and ask 7-11 questions to your own nominees.
  4. If applicable: Share 7-11 facts about yourself.

Facts about me:

  1. I dance like an idiot to loud music when I’m alone in my car and I have to be careful I don’t speed…
  2. I memorized The Gettysburg Address when I was in 7th grade, and recited it in my history class for extra credit. My family was VERY over it. I remembered it for a long time but no longer do.
  3. I had a cholesteatoma in my left ear and have had surgery on it twice. The first to prep it for the actual surgery. My ear canal is now huge, and also I’m mostly deaf in that ear. Apparently my doctor should have went back in, and did not. I’ve had reoccurring problems with it, and seen a specialist in Louisville and shall have to have surgery again. Good news? HE CAN RESTORE MY HEARING!
  4. I was married at 18. No, I was not pregnant. Yes, we are still together.
  5. I was Thespian of the Year at my high school my senior year, and I have an awesome trophy.
  6. I have hopeful dreams of being a published novelist but I doubt my writing skills and I think this impacts how much I write.
  7. I’m directing our high school drama play this semester, Haphazardly Ever After, and we are also doing a Fairy Tale Dinner Party Show on May 6th (You should come!)
  8. I have met William Shatner, Kim Harrison, Diana Gabaldon and several other great authors.  I love signed books… it’s kind of my guilty pleasure. I also met Katherine Howe, who I LOVE. I have fond hopes of meeting Mary Weber, Tamora Pierce and a few others 🙂
  9. In high school my now husband called my bedroom “The Room of Bloom” because besides a poster of Captain Jack Sparrow above my bed… it was covered in Orlando Bloom/Legolas. I mean COVERED.
  10. I sometimes wonder where on Earth I am going in life, and if I have made the right decisions. However, I love my life, and what I do, and my family. So whether I may have made bad decisions on the way, I try to learn from them. And help others.
  11. I LOVE TO PLAN PARTIES AND CANNOT WAIT FOR XANDER’S SECOND BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!! (Maybe that’s the real reason I had a kid?)

The bloggers I’ve nominated shouldn’t feel obligated to participate, but it’s a fun little thing to do if you have the time. Thanks for writing, guys! Even if you feel like no one is reading, we are.

My nominees are:

  1. Words Read and Written
  2. Author Amanda McCormick
  3. A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly
  4. Kim Harrison’s Drama
  5. The Wolfe’s Writing Den
  6. Keeping Procrastination At Bay
  7. Tracey Clark

Busy as a Bee

Buzz, buzz. It is FAFSA season! That means my job has gone crazy hectic.  Fun stuff.  In other news, we just missed seven days of school due to a foot of snowfall.  I managed to get quite a bit done around my house, including fixing my closet, and going through clothes, and all kinds of fun stuff.  I’m rather happy about that.

I started writing. I was doing really well. Making 1000+ words every night. And then the migraines struck. I had one almost every day.  My wisdom teeth began to play along, and Monday and Tuesday this week were horrible. So no writing for … four days?  Tuesday I was actually throwing up during the time I had been writing, and then when my hubby got home, I collapsed.  Last night I was so exhausted just from having been sick so much that I said screw it, and went to sleep. I could barely talk, let alone write.

Tonight, I’m hoping to get back to writing. Wish me luck.

I will also be directing the play “Haphazardly Ever After” by Jeff Fluharty at my school, so that shall be fun. AH! Someone just gave me a pin that says “Make reading a Hobbit!”  That is so awesome.

So, what do you guys do when you get setback in your writing?  My migraines have been driving me crazy. My preventative pills haven’t been doing much, and I think it is because of my wisdom teeth. Which I am hoping to have chopped out very, very soon.

Taking the advice of my writing fairy, I decided to not stress about making up the amount I’ve missed. Tis still sad days however.

Also, anyone want a puppy?