What do you think?

Product reviews, personal anecdotes, wishlists… I’ve realized that all I really use this blog for is my life.

Not saying that it’s a bad thing. But, what if I were to start interjecting different styles of writing here and there? Small fictional stories, poems, monologues, etc? I don’t have a lot of experience with that writing style, but I’d love to just give it a shot.

So, what do you think? Maybe it’ll break up the monotony of another “What’s up with me?” post. Just a thought.

I want to express myself. But, I also don’t want to share too much in the event that someone would take my work and use it as their own. But, I guess that’s always a possibility no matter what you put out there in the ether isn’t it?

Anyway, I might give it a shot. We’ll see. If it doesn’t go over well, at least I tried.

Thanks for letting me run these ideas by you. You are the reader, after all.

Until next time! ❤

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Where has November gone?

(Warning: Unfocused, word-dump blog post ahead.)

Well, as you can tell by my lack of NaNoWriMo updates, I clearly didn’t get very far. I hate making excuses for things, but my goal of participating in NaNo was not really met. I mean,  I did do some writing. Just not very much. Between starting a new job, the holidays, and the never-ending drama that is being back home with family… let’s just say November was not my month to sit and be a productive writer.

As I mentioned in my last post, I started a new job. I work for an insurance company now. I know, a HUGE change from working for Disney, but it is challenging and the atmosphere and people are great. The hours are perfect and allow me to have my evenings, weekends, and holidays which is awesome because I’m preparing for an upcoming audition! I’m finally getting back into performing after… almost two years. Yikes! But, yay!

I’ve been spending almost all of my free time with family and friends, which has been a complete blessing. I’ve missed out on the last seven or eight Thanksgivings so it was great to see family I haven’t seen in ages. (Even if I did have bronchitis during the whole week.)

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Yesterday, I started and finished 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman which is honestly not something I’d ever thought I’d be interested in reading. I’m what you call a hardcore skeptic, but I actually started and finished it in one sitting. The focus of the book is on love for married couples (and it bugs me how it only focuses on male-female relationships but, that’s a whole other ball of wax.) Now, I’m clearly not married, but the book also discusses how this type of love resonates with children, family, and friends. I am always losing touch with friends and loved ones, going back to my introverted roots because it is where I am most comfortable. However, I hate how that can sometimes come across as a desire to lose or separate people from my life. So, I thought it would be a good read to see how I can become more aware of what others need to feel loved/fulfilled and maybe it will help me in that regard. I want to be close to people, but I fail at that quite often and I think this book is maybe a stepping stone to get to where I want to be and how I want to maintain my relationships.

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Tonight, while relaxing in the tub I started Mindfulness for Everyday Living by Christopher Titmuss. I’ve mentioned my interest and practice of Mindfulness in the past, and though I’m nowhere near an expert on the subject, I do utilize my version of it on a consisten basis. One of my main problems is that my mind races when I lie in bed. Even if I am super exhausted and feel like I’m dying for sleep, my brain just doesn’ shut off. Well, after watching a few videos on Mindfulness meditation and breathing, I’ve become pretty good at not letting myself get lost in the endlessness of thought, worry, and anxiety. On most nights, I’m able to calm my mind and my anxiety to a level where I am able to sleep. That has made a world of difference for me. Like I said, I just started it and hopefully it will prove fruitful as I continue reading it.

December begins this week. I can’t believe it. That means it’s down to the grind at work, so I expect to have some tired evenings ahead. But, I’m trying to get back into a good balance between work and life, so hopefully that will keep me sane this month. I also have lots of Christmas shopping I would like to get done so that will also keep me busy, but I love gift-giving so I’m excited for that.

I’m not really sure where this blog post has gone. It’s become more of a diary entry/book review. I originally intended it to be a bit more focused, but I guess this is where my mind wanted to go tonight. Hope you don’t mind.

As always, thanks for reading. Have a Happy December!

Until next time! ❤

 

Final NaNo Word count: 3,450

Permission to Create

When I was in elementary school, we used to have these projects where we were given these blank books. Completely white cover with completely blank, white paper. If I remember correctly, we called them Bare Books. I’m not completely sure on the name, but I do know that when it was that time of the school year, all the students would get SO excited. We filled them with stories, pictures, answers to questionnaires our teachers gave us, and whatever else our heart desired.

I was always a horrible artist. I could draw a mean stick figure and a pretty awesome tree with a sun, but that was the extent of my art skills in elementary school. (Who am I kidding? That’s still about all I can do!) However, we were always tasked with designing the cover of those books along with filling them out. I’m pretty sure I remember one year I drew a stick figure girl who was supposed to be me with a giant rainbow. Did it have anything to do with the stories inside? Nope. I just liked drawing rainbows and coloring with all of the markers.

Anyway, I started to remember those books while I was at a bookstore recently. I thought about how much I looked forward to writing in those books. I loved creating stories, characters, lands, scenarios, everything. I loved it.

Then, I got sad because I remembered how much school ruined reading and writing for me. Reading became something I sped through so I could take the Accelerated Reading test and get the most AR points. Writing became a chore because in Texas, you have to take these standardized tests at the end of the year to determine if you pass that grade or not. If your writing didn’t fit perfectly into their cookie-cutter mold of what a “successful paper” would be, then you failed the writing test.

I could go on a whole entire rant about how much I hate standardized tests and how absolutely horrible they are for students, but that’s another topic for another time. What I would like to talk about is how to get that passion back. How to not look at your writing, your artwork, or whatever your creative passion is with such a critical eye. How do you give yourself the freedom to create without limitation?

I’m constantly looking at my blog posts, my short stories, and wondering, “Oh wait, am I making grammatical sense? Did I use the correct punctuation? Am I using enough adjectives?” I think, in my mind, it’s because I’m so used to a “good paper” being something that checks all of these things off on a list. My work isn’t valid unless it meets specific criteria that someone somewhere deemed determinate of good work.

This is where I have to remind myself that creativity should not be measured. You should never compare your creative self to that of another. That would be like picking up a paintbrush and giving up because your art doesn’t look like Monet’s or sitting at the piano and comparing yourself to Bach. It can’t be done. It shouldn’t be done.

Not everything is black and white. Not everything can be measured and I’m sick of people calling creative work “good” or not. Something being “good” is so relative that it can’t be measured by any scale, list, or table. Never create anything with the goal of people calling it “good.” You’ll never be satisfied.

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So, the next time you want to sing a song, write a book, or create something from your heart, give yourself permission to do so with no hesitations and without apologies.

Until next time ❤

Word count: 2,719

Happy 2nd Anniversary to me!

Today, WordPress notified me that I registered my blog two years ago. Really!? Two years? I had no idea it had been so long.

I’ve probably spent more time not writing than I have writing here, let’s be honest. I enjoy the blogging community a lot. I enjoy my “internet friends,” since I have so many and have been so lucky to be able to meet so many people because of the wonders of the Internet.

I’ve started and closed who knows how many blogs, created and deleted YouTube channels, but I always come back to the community. I’m obviously not a daily v/blogger, but I enjoy participating in communities with people who are.

All sappiness aside, I guess I should update you on my NaNo journey. I can already tell you I’m not going to get very far. Between being sick the first week of November, starting a brand new job on Monday, my birthday on Tuesday, family health being what it is, and my desire to get out and experience the world instead of from behind a screen, let’s just say November hasn’t been the best month so far for writing.

I turned 28 on Tuesday, the 8th. Election day. I was born on election day and this is the first year that my birthday has fallen on it again. I have many feelings about the state of our country as of now, and if you care at all, you’re welcome to follow me on Twitter. I’ve been very vocal about it all there.

I’m not sad about falling behind on NaNoWriMo, though. I am learning new things, meeting new people, and still taking the time to “check out” from the digital world so that I can enjoy time with my family and friends.

I do have some free time today, though, so I’m going to sit down and write some more. It’s therapeutic and is helping me develop a good vocabulary. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the same story I started or start something new. Guess I’ll see how I feel.

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How about you? How is your writing going? I’d love to hear from fellow NaNoWriMo participants.

Until next time! ❤

Current word count: 2,134

NaNoWriMo Day #1 – Sick in bed

I’m sitting here in bed, approximately 12:45pm my time and until I started writing this blog post, I hadn’t written a single word. I should be well on my way to my goal of ~ 2000 words for today, but my body decided to rebel against the first day of NaNo. I have had a total of about 2 hours of sleep and am currently battling what feels like a really bad cold and sore throat.

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I hate taking antibiotics because they’re scary sometimes, so I’m fighting this with tea, essential oils, and what cold medicine I do have in my cabinet. Does anyone have any recommendations for natural ways to soothe a sore throat or get rid of sinus congestion? I’m all for it. I’ve been using peppermint and it seems to be helping with some of it, but it hasn’t helped the burning, sore throat. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

The words are jumbling together because my eyes are crossing. Lack of sleep and some decongestant makes for foggy brain and that’s not super conducive to writing, let me tell you.

But, as I said before, I am counting every word that I write this month towards my NaNo goal. Not just one work, but my blog, poems, songs, etc. as well. So, this is a start. I’m hoping after some food and more tea I can sit down and at least write some things regarding a story I have bouncing around in my head. I’d like to get it out so it stops bugging me and can become a more fleshed out thing.

How about you? I hope your first day of NaNoWriMo is going much better than mine. Are you hitting any roadblocks yet or are you just flying through? I’ve been following the official NaNo Twitter and some of the coachings have been helpful, especially since I’m a NaNo newbie. I recommend it if you haven’t checked it out it already.

As for now, it’s time to nurture this cold (hopefully not strep!) and get back to healing.

Happy NaNo-ing!

Until next time! ❤

Current word count: 345

I’m doing NaNoWriMo!

Well, after years of watching friends participate in NaNoWriMo, I (probably foolishly) decided to participate this year. 50,000 words in the month of November.

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I don’t know if novel-writing is my style, but I’d really like to use it for more theatre-related things so maybe monologues or scenes? Songs or poems? We shall see.

If you’d like to add me on NaNoWriMo.org, please feel free to do so! 

I’m hoping the NaNo community and this blog will keep me in check and help to motivate me to do as much as I can. I’m not expecting to win, but I want to try my darndest!

Oh… and I just started a new job this week so this should be great fun. (What was I thinking!?)

Vegan Halloween Candy!

Halloween is my favorite holiday and Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I love the leaves changing, the cooler temperatures, the pumpkin and cinnamon scented candles, and the eerie-but-fun atmosphere that Halloween provides.

Since I’ll be handing out candy this year for the first time in awhile, I thought I would look up some vegan candies to hand out. Specifically, I wanted to make sure to find treats that had no animal products in them *at all.* I was surprised to find that some of my favorites are already vegan! (Please keep in mind, these are in no way a healthy treat option. They are just treats that happen to be vegan!)

Jolly Ranchers (both the original hard candy and the lollipops!)

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I’ll take all of the Apple and Cherry, please!

 

Sour Patch Kids

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Sour Patch Kids are my go-to movie candy so believe me when I say I jumped for joy at finding out these were, in fact, vegan!

 

Sweetarts

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My mouth waters at the thought of these tart little tasties. Mmm…

These are just a handful of my favorites from when I was a little trick-or-treater. What are yours?

Some other vegan options that I didn’t mention:

  • Smarties
  • Pixy Sticks
  • Dum Dums
  • Air Heads
  • Fun Dip
  • Dots

I’m not a big candy-eater nowadays unless I’m at the movies, so I’m excited to pick up some of these for the little trick-or-treaters this year. My next task is to find some little vegan chocolate options that aren’t in the big bars. Something easy to pass out to the kids. If you know of where to get some, please let me know!

Do you have trick-or-treaters in your area? What do you plan on passing out?

Until next time! ❤