Hey, hey! CrushedCaramel Nominated Me For the Bloggers Recognition Award!

This is amazing. I am so happy to say that the sweet CrushedCaramel has nominated me for this award. I am extremely flattered.

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I highly recommend you check out her blog. She is an awesome writer, she inspires me to become better.

The Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers for this award.
6. Comment on each blog to let them know you’ve nominated them and a link to the post you created.

How my blog got started:

I had wanted to start a blog for a really long time but was too afraid to put myself out there.  I finally decided to just take the plunge and I’m so glad I did. It’s crazy how confident this experience has made me and I have met so many amazing bloggers because of it. It’s nice to fit into a community and feel at home with complete strangers.

Advice:

  1. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Go for it! No one can see things from your perspective, so no one can offer the world what you can. You may surprise yourself.
  2. Support other bloggers. They are there for you, be there for them. They know your struggles so help each other out.
  3. Have fun!

Here are who I nominate, go check them out!

Andrea: https://benkofficial.com/

Soundarya: https://dragonsinmycoffee.wordpress.com/

newpmv: https://everythingishack.com/

Alieh: https://aliehspace.wordpress.com/

LifeBeyondImagination: https://lifebeyondimagination16.wordpress.com/

Magic In The Everyday: https://magicintheeveryday.blog/

Rotimi: https://realtimelove.wordpress.com/

simple Ula: https://simpleula.com/

OJ’s Pride: https://ojspride.wordpress.com/

jameseventblogs: https://streamingforfun.com/

KR: https://estoniancuisine.com/

Megan: https://megstravels.com/

nagstrong12: https://nagstrong12.wordpress.com/

Laura: https://riddlefromthemiddle.com/

Saania2806: https://saania2806.wordpress.com/

These blogs are great and the bloggers have been nothing but kind and supportive of me and my blog. I gladly nominate them and anyone of them deserve the award. I hope you check out their blogs and enjoy them!

 

Dream Series: Part 1

I talked about doing a dream series in my last post and a few people seemed pretty excited about it so I thought I’d start early. I’m going to try to post a dream once a week, depending on if my brain will cooperate. Today I’m going to talk about an old dream I had. The date in my journal says July 3, 2013. I thought it was pretty funny. Here goes:

“Last night I dreamt that Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were locked inside a fortified mansion to keep them safe while other people fought off Voldemort. The protective mansion wan’t enough. There were creatures attacking the mansion, a dragon being one of them. The dragon somehow gets in and Ron and Hermione run into a bedroom to get away from it only to make it into a closet right before the dragon shoots fire out of its mouth. Then all of a sudden the lost boys from Peter Pan show up. In the dream I’m Wendy and I try to keep everyone safe. Then a tornado starts heading our way. All of the lost boys except one run to hide in the cellar. Harry, Hermione and Ron go with them. I grab the little boy and take cover in a closet. While we’re in there the little boy grabs my shirt trying to look down it saying, ‘Let me see!’. Then the tornado passes and I rush out of the closet. I can hear someone calling my name (Wendy) from upstairs. I think they are in trouble so I run upstairs to see what is the matter. It turns out to be some man laying on a bed getting a blow job by a prostitute named Wendy. They were both shocked to see me.”

I don’t know why I have such weird dreams. It could be because I read a lot. Whatever the reason I don’t mind it. I have had some pretty scary dreams but that’s for another post. I can’t really think of what this dream might mean except that maybe I was feeling a little out of control at the time and my life seemed to be in chaos mode. At that point it had been almost a month after I got married so maybe it was some residual stress from wedding planning. What do you think? Am I just a weirdo?

Future Goals For My Blog

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This blog has been so much fun. I have met so many amazing bloggers and I feel like I should have started my blog a long time ago. With that being said I have so many plans to make this blog even better. I thought it would be fun to share these ideas with you all and see if there are any suggestions that any of you would like to see.

I plan to publish some more of my short stories, I just have to write them first. I have a couple of ideas. One is of a witch hunter, another is about a dinner party that takes a dangerous turn.

I have some lifestyle blog posts I want to share because I think it’s fun for people to get to know each other. I love reading those kinds of posts anyway.

I plan to get a camera eventually so I can post original pictures. Right now I’m relying on free stock photos to illustrate my posts. One of these days I will start traveling and have photos to share from my travels.

I want to do a ghost series. I have a couple road trips planned for the future where I plan to visit haunted places and tell you guys about my experiences. I am super excited about that one.

I might do a dream series to where I talk about my dreams and what they might mean. I love looking for symbolism in dreams. I have a few of my stranger dreams written down so maybe I’ll share those with you.

I also plan to do holiday posts because who doesn’t love the holidays? I’ll share my traditions with you and some recipes I have as well as things I like to do during the holidays.

I want to do some interviews with people and share those with you guys. I have a list of people I need to get together with and do the interviews. I have a friend who is wanting to share his experience growing up in the Mormon community, I think that will be an interesting one.

What are some posts you would like to see from me? Are you especially interested in some of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know!

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My Friends Are Goals

I just wanted to write an appreciation post for my friends. I don’t know what I would do without the support of my friends. I love them so much. Besides my husband and sisters,  my friends are the most supportive people in my life. They never judge me and always stand by me when other people are rude or mean to me. They read my stories and listen to me when I need to vent. They love me for who I am and I don’t ever feel bad about myself when I’m with them. They make my life so much better. They support me, no questions asked.

Karen and I have been friends for over 10 years and she is like a big sister to me. She has been understanding and patient with me when I haven’t been very lovable. She always gives me great advice and she listens without judgement. She comforts me when I feel over challenged as a mom. She’s such a strong woman and a great example of a friend and mother.

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Isabella is seriously the bestest friend a girl can ask for. She’s not afraid to help me with anything I ask from her. She took care of my oldest for me for the first six months of his life without asking for a dime. She has gone on road trips with me, and concerts and loves my kids as if they were her own. She was my maid of honor in my wedding, she’s hosted both of my baby showers and has been there for me when no one else has. I don’t usually use this expression but, she’s my ride or die.

Cadie and Isabella

Reagan is amazing. She has taught me so much about self acceptance and self love. She is someone wise beyond her years. I feel a connection to her that I honestly have never felt with anyone else. It was immediate, the moment I saw her I knew we would become friends. She is my soul sister. We were meant to find one another. Her encouragement means a lot to me because it comes from such a strong and intelligent woman.

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Michael is a rare find. He is so open minded and serene, it’s amazing. He and I have so much in common and he’s my writer friend. We discuss books, what we’re writing, music. We have a lot of the same values and he’s the least judgmental man I know. He’s so refreshing and funny. I always enjoy his company. The devotion he has to his wife and daughter is admirable. He doesn’t let me down, I’m proud to know him.

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I know so many amazing people but this would be a really long post if I talked about all of them. I still want to give a shout out to those people so I’ll list them here:

Tara M.

Christian S.

Rachael T.

Gabby G.

Terry W.

Corah G.

Melinda W.

Jennifer L.

Elke K.

C.C.

Kailee D.

Mandy B.

Shelby L.

Christina B.

Karah M.

Marilyn T.

All of these people have been so warm and supportive towards me and my endeavors that I cannot thank them enough. They are wonderful people and I am so glad I know them. They have made my life better just by being in it. I love you all!

 

5 Offline Things Writers Can Do For Inspiration

If you’re like me you can find inspiration pretty much anywhere, but for some of us it can be tough. I thought I would share some ways that I find inspiration without even picking up my phone or laptop.

1. Read a book.

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This one is pretty simple. Sometimes just by reading other people’s work we can pull inspiration and creativity from some of their ideas. If you know what kind of book you want to write, read a bunch of books in that genre. It will help you see how that kind of book is usually constructed and also what themes seem to work and which don’t. Sometimes it just takes a single sentence to resonate with you and create a whole sequence of events. Sometimes you come across ideas you never thought were possible. Think of reading as your way of studying to become a better writer.

2. Go Outside.

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Nature is a huge source of inspiration for a lot of different creators. We all have an innate drive to be outside and one with nature. Just going for a walk or sitting in your backyard and listening to your neighborhood can bring you inspiration. Doing outdoor activities like hiking, fishing or swimming can even bring interesting ideas to your mind. When we spend time outside our minds are clearer and more apt to wander or explore. I remember coming up with my best ideas for games when I was a kid when I would play outside. The same can work for any kind of artistic outlet.

3. Hang out with friends.

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I don’t know about you but I have some pretty interesting friends. Talking to them gives me all kinds of ideas. They all come from different walks of life and have different perspectives so I get to see things from many different angles. Sometimes just talking to them about things that bother me or intrigue me helps me realize some things of my own and I get ideas that way. They also have stories of their own to share and things that they have learned in their lives that could also give me inspiration for a new project. Just make sure to always ask for permission from them if you ever want to use one of their life experiences in any of your writing.

4. Go on a trip.

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It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip or elaborately thought out. Just take some time to get away from your surroundings, if only for a day, to gain a new perspective. See how a town only two hours away runs, what makes it different from yours? Get lost in the town and learn the street names, where did they get their names? Talk to some of the locals, where is their favorite hang out? There is so much to learn when you step out of a place that you’re already familiar with and delve into a strange place. Who knows what kind of stories and ideas you’ll encounter.

5. Volunteer

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This one will call for a little more work but volunteering is a great way to find inspiration. When you volunteer you meet all kids of different people. Remember, new people means new perspectives. Working with people who are different ages increases that as well. Elderly people have lived long lives and have a lot of stories to tell. You never know what you can make of it. Volunteering also make you feel good, so it’s beneficial in lots of ways.

Those are just a few suggestions. If you have any I would love to hear them! I hope this post helped you find ways to get some inspiration.

How I Plan For a Trip

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Since I will be travelling all day tomorrow and won’t be able to get a post up, I thought I’d get one up today! Tomorrow I head down to Texas to see my sisters. I’m so excited to go! I don’t get to see them as often as I would like since they’re in another state so I look forward to these moments.

When I travel my inner Monica Geller comes out. I get started a week early on packing and I plan out every single scenario to make sure I have everything I’ll need while on my trip. I thought it would be fun to share my tips and strategies on how I get ready for a trip.

First, I make a list. I like to get my thoughts organized because let’s be honest, my brain isn’t as reliable as it used to be. I make a list of everything I need to bring so when the day arrives I can mark off each thing on my list to make sure I have it. I do this several days in advance in case I think of something else before I leave. When you have kids I believe that this step is absolutely necessary. You have to take so much extra stuff for them, you want to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Second, I pack. I like to plan out my outfits and make sure everything I want to wear is clean. I do the laundry and pack all my clothes ahead of time so it’s one less thing to worry about when I’m ready to leave. I also do the same for my sons, obviously. I also pack as much of my toiletries, hair products and makeup as I can, I save all the stuff I use on a daily basis until the very last. I like to use travel size shampoo, conditioner, soaps and toothpaste because it saves so much space.

Then, I set it all in one spot. After I’ve packed and figured out all the stuff I need, I put it all together in one spot so I can just load it up when I’m ready to leave. I like to get on the road and get the drive over with so I don’t want to waste time trying to track everything down and getting it into the car. I also make sure that there is water and snacks so that my boys are all set for the trip. They don’t mind sitting in the car for hours as long as they have snacks and their favorite tunes to jam to. I mean, that’s anybody though, right?

Lastly, I clean. I like to come home to a clean house so the day before I’m set to leave I clean. I do all the dishes, all the laundry and pick up all the toys and trash around the house. I take the trash out so it doesn’t just sit while I’m gone. I turn off the air conditioner so it’s not cooling an empty house and wasting electricity. If I can’t take the dog I make sure someone can care for him while I’m away. It’s just nice to get home after a long ride home and not have to worry about a mess, when all you really want to do is rest. That last sentence rhymed.

And that’s how I prepare for a trip. I know it might sound exhausting but I actually enjoy the process. It’s going to be such a fun trip and I can’t wait for my boys to see their cousins! Let me know how you prepare for a trip! Do you have any fun trips set for the future? I want to know!

Top 10 Books of 2018 (So far…)

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I have challenged myself to read 75 books this year, 75 books that are new to me. So far I’ve read 46. I thought I’d make a top 10 list and talk about my favorites!

10. Ophelia-Lisa M. Klein

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If you’re looking for a tragic love story, look no further. This is the story of Ophelia and Hamlet but from Ophelia’s point of view. I have not read Hamlet but it is on my list for next year. I enjoyed this book because it was different for me. I don’t normally read these kinds of stories but I’m glad I did. I really admired Ophelia’s ability to handle all the stressful situations she finds herself in, all for the love of one man. She has to make a choice between the man she loves or her own life all while hiding a dangerous secret.

9. Before We Were Yours-Lisa Wingate

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This is a book about a family of siblings who are taken from their parents and sold to wealthy couples who can’t have children of their own. It’s based on the real life Tennessee Children’s Home Society, an organization that would kidnap kids from poor homes and illegally sell them to rich couples all over the country during the 1940s. I couldn’t put it down. The book goes back and forth between what’s happening to the siblings and how one of their descendants in the present day realizes that her family isn’t as squeaky clean as she thought it was.

8. Six of Crows-Leigh Bardugo

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This is a great heist story. You have a group of six criminals who are trying to pull off the biggest heist of their careers all while trying to actually save the world. For me it was a cross between Game of Thrones and The Mortal Instruments series. It’s got action, it’s got drama, it’s got sexual tension. There’s also a sequel called Crooked Kingdom that I plan to read before the year is out. I really enjoyed this one.

7. Mrs. Fletcher-Tom Perrotta

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This book was hilarious. It’s about a single, 40 something year old woman who’s only son is going off to college and she has to learn to live alone for the first time in years. She takes up new things like taking a class on Gender and Society and starts hanging out with new people. She even delves into new sexual experiences. Meanwhile her son is finding college life challenging thanks to his cocky, jock mentality. I was cracking up the whole time and it made me want to read more comedies. You won’t be disappointed.

6. The Shining-Stephen King

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So this is a classic. I saw the movie before I read the book and I have to say the movie is just a joke to me now. It is nowhere near as creepy as the book and the book has a much better ending. For those of you who don’t know about this book I would have to say it is one of the best horror books ever written and I can’t believe it took me til the age of 27 to read it. Stephen King is an absolute genius, as we well know. It’s definitely one of my all time favorite books.

5. Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte

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So this is another classic book I finally just read this year and I don’t know why people hate this book so much. For it’s time it was a pretty scandalous read. I love Bronte’s unapologetic approach to telling these people’s lives and personalities. She really expressed just how awful people could be to each other but can still yearn for each other without limits. Not one single person in this book is redeemable but you can’t help but love them for it.

4. The Gunslinger-Stephen King

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He made it on this list twice. I’m not surprised, are you? This series has only just begun for me but I already know it will be one of my favorites. There’s not much I can say because I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface so I’ll keep you updated once I delve deeper into The Dark Tower series.

3. The Exorcist-William Peter Blatty

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Again, another classic. I have seen the movie but it has been so long I barely remember it. The book on the other hand gave me chills. Demon possession to me is at the top of the list when it comes to scary human transformation. Vampires and werewolves are old hat. I think the reason I’m more into it is because people really believe that demon possession is something that can really happen, so there’s more lore on it. Also the name of the girl who gets possessed has the same name as one of my closest friends. It’s kismet.

2. Sharp Objects-Gillian Flynn

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If you haven’t read a Gillian Flynn book you need to stop what you’re doing right now and buy all of them. I promise you will not be disappointed. She has quickly become my favorite female author. She’s so dark and twisted and I wish we were best friends. Sharp Objects is her first published novel and is about a reporter who is sent back to her home town to investigate the disappearances of two young girls. Spoiler alert: there’s a twist at the end. If you like suspense, if you like messed up situations then you’ll love Sharp Objects.

1. Cold Mountain-Charles Frazier

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So this book. It is honestly the most beautiful book ever written. I have never fallen so hard for a book in my life, and I have a Harry Potter tattoo. The scenery, the sorrow, the folklore, the survival of the human spirit combine to make this my favorite book of all time. It’s about a wounded confederate soldier who escapes the war to return to the love of his life, Ada. There’s a lot more to it than that but I want you to find out for yourself, please read this book.

Well those are the top 10 books of the year for me. Do you have a reading goal? What are your favorite books so far? Let me know!

Anxiety and Being a Mom

Like I’ve talked about in a previous post I have suffered from anxiety for a while now. There are many things that have caused me to become an anxious person but I won’t go into that here. As an adult my anxiety became something that really affected my every day life and I found that sometimes I wouldn’t know how to cope. I would sometimes force myself to just go through whatever was causing my anxiety and not let anyone know. I didn’t want to upset anyone or make them worry about me. I also didn’t want to get made fun of for being anxious, which would happen a lot. I finally sought help after I had my first child.

After I had my first son my anxiety went through the roof. It had never been that bad before. I contribute it to a lot of reasons, the first being lack of control. I had to deliver him by an emergency cesarean and that just sent me into being angry at my body for not doing the one thing it was supposed to be able to do. I felt like I no longer had control over what was happening to me, nothing was going as I had planned. There I was, strapped to a table, being cut open and feeling every push and pull as they took my baby from my body. It was traumatizing for me.

Another reason my anxiety went crazy was I had to go back to work just 5 weeks after having him. I was lucky enough to have those five weeks paid by my employer, not everyone gets that, but it was really hard for me to leave him after that short of an amount of time. I left him with a good friend of mine that I trusted whole-heartedly but I was still anxious about not being with him every second. If she didn’t text me back right away I would immediately think the worst. I would have panic attacks at work because I felt like I was trapped and being held away from my baby.

I always thought something bad was going to happen to him. I couldn’t even take him anywhere there would be a large amount of people because the more people there were the more out of control I felt. Anything could happen. I would constantly be looking around making sure no one got close to him, I was always afraid someone would steal him.

I would get so agitated and lash out at people because I was always on edge or exhausted from being stressed out all the time. I cried almost every day. My hormones were all over the place. I hated my body, not for how it looked but for how it functioned after having the baby, but I also hated how it looked. I also had to have my gallbladder removed just three months after giving birth because of stones which prolonged my healing time and made me hate my body even more.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore and decided to see a doctor about it. It turns out she diagnosed me with Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. I started attending therapy and it worked for me. Just becoming aware of what it was that was causing my anxiety was enough for me to work past it and live a better quality of life. I did take some medication to alleviate the depression for a bit but have since been off of it for a while.

I still suffer from my anxiety from time to time but it’s less of feeling out of control and more just general things that most parents worry about such as, are they getting enough food, sleep, playtime, etc. My confidence in my mothering skills has vastly increased and I don’t feel so overwhelmed with it now. It does get better.

Getting the help I needed was the best decision I ever made for myself and my family. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. If you feel like you need to talk to someone I highly recommend it. Your family needs you to be okay, not just to take care of them but to be there for them to love. Being a mother is hard enough without having to deal with something that can be helped. Don’t let what others will think about you stop you from getting the help you need.

I will say the second time around was much easier and I was able to adjust to having two a lot better than I had the first time. I had a planned c-section so I knew what to expect. My experience with my first child made raising the second one much easier. Now I have two amazing, healthy little boys and I am so thankful that I was able to even get pregnant and have them in the first place. They may be bossy and demanding but they’re also sweet and loving. They bring my life so much joy. I never knew that kind of happiness was obtainable.

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Guess What Day It Is!

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For weirdos like me it’s a sort of holiday.

I love Friday the 13th for the explicit reason that it is considered unlucky. When I was a kid my siblings and I would spend the day watching a marathon of Friday the 13th movies. Nowadays I don’t really have time for that, not to mention the sex and violence in those movies would traumatize my three year old.

I’m not a superstitious person but the idea of superstitions intrigue me. Where do they come from?

Some stem from religious means such as walking under a ladder. According to a source I found on www.livescience.com, “Because a ladder had rested against the crucifix, it became a symbol of wickedness, betrayal, and death. Walking under a ladder courted misfortune.”

The superstition that black cats are witches in disguise also comes from religious roots and belief in the Devil.

Other superstitions just come from common sense like, never open an umbrella indoors. You can take somebody’s eye out with it! Plus it’s meant to protect you from the rain and it doesn’t rain indoors so you don’t need to use it inside anyway.

Some people have certain rituals to satisfy their superstitions. Like knocking on wood, skipping an odd step or throwing spilled salt over their shoulder.

For some people this day is a day to stay inside and block out the world. Some people are truly afraid of this day.  “According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. “It’s been estimated that [US]$800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day,” says Wikipedia.

I like to think that we make our own luck. Your perspective on things is what determines whether your luck is good or bad. If you walk around thinking that certain things or actions are going to cause you bad luck you’ll believe that to be true. Try to focus on the positive!

With that being said I am going to enjoy this day and I hope you do to! Happy Friday 13th!

 

I Got Nominated for the Liebster Award!

I really want to thank Soundarya Sriram at dragonsinmycoffee.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Liebster Award! I feel so loved right now, you guys. I’m so glad I finally made the decision to start my blog because not only do I feel more motivated I have met some pretty awesome people in the blogging community.

11 more things you may not know about me:

1. I love to go fishing. My dad used to take me all the time when I was a kid and it’s one of the best memories I have with him, just hanging out with him and catching fish.

2. My favorite musicians are: Chris Thile, The Avett Brothers, Gillian Welch, Florence and the Machine and Lady Gaga.

3. My favorite book of all time is Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

4. If I don’t have a constant flow of caffeine going into my system all day I would literally just pass out. I wish I could just hook up an IV.

5. My favorite scents are lavender and coconut.

6. I want to travel the world and experience other cultures. It’s such a big world and there are so many people to learn from.

7. One of my sons was named after my husband and the other was named after a scientist.

8. My favorite movie is Steel Magnolias.

9. I really want to learn to speak Japanese so I can watch Anime without subtitles.

10. I’m a Scorpio and I freaking love it.

11. I love true crime and I find serial killers fascinating. I also love scary movies and monsters and anything that goes bump in the night. I’m kind of a horror junkie. Monsters are just so cool.

11 Questions:

1. If you had an extra 30 minutes of free time each day, how would you spend it?

Either read, write, research or nap.

2. What does success mean to you?

Accomplishing all your goals and feeling good about the work you’ve done.

3. Are you following the World Cup? If so, which team(s) are you supporting?

I am not following it but my husband is.

4. Which mythological creature would you most like to encounter in real life?

A siren.

5. What is your dream job?

Writer or teacher. Being a prosecutor would be really interesting. Or a Psychologist.

6. If you could travel back in time, when and where would you go? Why?

I would go back to the 70’s because I just love the fashion, the vibe, the music. I’d want to stay in America though.

7. Would you rather read a book or watch a movie/television show?

I mean it depends on the movie/television show. If it’s Game of Thrones I’m in it.

8. Out of all the cities you have been to, which is your favorite?

I haven’t been many places in my life but I would have to say my favorite would have to be Gruene, TX. It’s just a cute little German town that gives you a sense of comfort and peace.

9. If you could be any animal for a day, which one would you choose and why?

I would want to be a tiger. It would be nice to walk around my territory and not feel afraid of anything or anyone I came across.

10. Would you prefer to live in an area with extremely hot summers or cold winters?

I would prefer cold winters. I live in a state where we have both and honestly I would much rather be cold than hot. At least if I’m cold I can bundle up in warm clothes (long sleeve shirts are my jam) and cuddle up next to someone for warmth. The heat just makes me sticky, cranky, dizzy and a whole bunch of other unpleasant feelings I would rather not experience.

11. If you could spend a year in another country, where would you go?

Japan. I love the culture and I know I would love the food.

If your blog is award free please accept this nomination as my way of saying thank you for being a WordPress blogger.

For the Liebster Award I nominate:

V Ramasamy @https://ramasamy59.wordpress.com/

Alieh @https://aliehspace.wordpress.com/

newpmv @https://everthingishack.com/

Andrea @https://benkofficial.com/ aka The Perks of Being Different

Jess @https://sortinglifesissueswithjess.wordpress.com

Wendy @https://tripledubimages.com

If you were nominated, here’s what to do:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Share 11 facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gave you.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers who deserve the award.
  5. Create 11 original questions for the nominees to answer.

My questions are:

  1. What is one thing you can’t live without?
  2. Are you a dog or cat person?
  3. Who is your favorite person(s)?
  4. Why did you start your blog?
  5. Who is/are your favorite musicians?
  6. Do you have any tattoos? If so what are they and what do they mean to you? If not, would you ever get one? What would it be and why?
  7. What keeps you motivated?
  8. How do you take your coffee/tea?
  9. What’s your favorite television show at the moment?
  10. If you could learn how to play an instrument which one would it be?
  11. What is one of your biggest goals?

I just want to say thank you to all of you who have supported me and my blog. I wish I would have started it a long time ago but better late than never! You all have made this a wonderful experience and I can’t thank you enough!

Where I Get My Writing Inspiration

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I’m going to get a little personal for a minute. I have always struggled with general  anxiety. When I was a kid I remember coming up with all kinds of stories and I remember telling people about them and I remember getting laughed at. I stopped trying. Fast forward to adulthood where my anxiety got worse and I finally decided to do some therapy to figure out exactly where this anxiety was coming from. Once I got into it and started learning things about myself something just clicked. All of a sudden I had a huge rush of inspiration and creativity for story ideas. Learning how to let go of certain things had given me the confidence to finally allow myself to come up with ideas for short stories and novels. I felt so much better. I now have so many ideas in the works and I can’t wait to publish them for everyone to read. With that being said there are a few different ways I was able to come up with the ideas.

Most of my ideas come from dreams that I have. I have some really weird dreams. Some of them are like movies playing the whole night and I’m able to remember them and write them down. Others are just too weird to work with. “Until the Sun Came Up” was a dream that I had. I literally dreamt the whole thing and wrote it down the next morning. I also have an idea for a cult/thriller novel that came from a dream. I can’t wait to work on that one. It’s in the queue. I’ll tell you about one of the weird dreams that didn’t make the cut:

The dream was about a young couple who were in the audience on American Idol. Nicki Minaj’s sister was performing and she was a mess. Her clothes were dirty, torn and old. She was wearing a short, blonde pixie cut wig. Instead of singing a song she just got up there and started trash talking the audience, calling them names. Then Ryan Seacrest stopped her and said, “Just because no one likes you, it doesn’t mean you have to take it out on innocent people! You have to love yourself before others will love you!” Then he started crying and the audience collectively said, “Awwwwww!” So Minaj’s sister started rapping and it was tearful and angry. While she was rapping the couple looks at each other and remembers something that makes them sad so they get tearful. Then “Oh Mickey You’re so Fine” starts playing in the background. The couple leaves the show and goes to an old abandoned house. They go inside and sit on the floor holding each other and sobbing. An old woman walks into the room carrying a small, wooden chest. She says, “I know you miss him. I saved this box just in case.” She sets the box down in front of the couple. The woman opens it, reaches in and pulls out her dead baby. She holds it to her chest and continues to sob.

I’m telling you, they just get weirder. I think my brain has so many ideas and for a while my waking brain was so beat down by my anxiety and fear of being laughed at or rejected that none of these ideas would come to me. That is, unless I was asleep where my brain had free reign and could come up with whatever it wanted. I now have the ability to come up with stuff while I’m awake and it feels pretty good. I have a few ideas for some monster stories, I love monsters. I’m currently working on a novel who’s main character is a homicide detective who gets an ugly wake up call when she discovers that the devil can in fact make you do it.

That brings me to another source of inspiration. I got the idea for the detective story from a girl I used to work with. She and I were having a conversation about God and the Devil and how our opinions differed on the subject. I was so inspired by our conversation that I decided to give my main character her last name. I won’t tell you here, you’ll have to wait and find out. I’m hoping she’ll read this and remember our conversation.

Other ways I get my ideas are of course from other peoples’ work; from TV shows, music, podcasts and books. I learn a lot from a writing stand point on how to craft my stories and I’m able to see, hear, or read other stories and think ‘but what if it went this way?’ or ‘what would happen if it had been this person instead?’

Inspiration is literally all around you. What I have learned is you just have to have an open mind and a willingness to see it. You also have to have the confidence in yourself that your version of the story or your idea is worth telling. What inspires you?

I think new writers are too worried that it has all been said before. Sure it has, but not by you. -Asha Dornfest

5 Ways Being a Mom Has Changed Me

Before I became a mom I was a pretty selfish person. I didn’t know it at the time but I do now. But I think everyone is like that before they have kids, I don’t think I was uncommonly selfish. I was just used to looking out for myself and my own needs and I cared more about myself than anyone else. Since becoming a mom a lot has changed for me and here are just a few ways that parenthood has changed me.

1. I have so much more patience.

I used to be so impatient about everything. I would get so frustrated if something didn’t happen when it was supposed to or if my plans changed all of a sudden or people were late. My time was valuable and there were just no excuses when other people would waste it or mess it up. I actually lost friends over my impatience. I would just get so mad that their time management skills weren’t as excellent as mine. My ability to put up with certain things wasn’t so great either. I used to be very unforgiving if people bailed on me or had to cancel at the last minute. I would think that they didn’t care about me. Now that I have kids I have learned to step outside of myself and think about other’s time. When you have kids things can get unpredictable real quick and you have to learn to roll with it. Plans change on a dime and friend time becomes almost nonexistent. You have to cancel on people so many times that you wonder if you’ll ever see your friends again. Your friends with kids do the same to you but you finally get to the place where you understand and don’t fault them for it. I’m still pretty good with time management, I’ve had to tweak it a little to accommodate the little people in my life now and every once in a while things get out of hand, but for the most part I’m still on time.

2. I see people as other people’s children.

Before I had kids I just saw people as other people. They were either there or not there if that makes sense. What I mean is they either had an affect on my life or they didn’t. I just saw acquaintances or people that I met as either useful or not useful. I didn’t care if I got to know them or not. Now that I’m a parent I’ve started to see others as someone who is important to somebody. I love my sons more than anything or anyone in this world. They are amazing, fantastic individuals. I don’t ever want to imagine them in a situation where someone would ignore them, or belittle them or hurt them. So why would I ever treat other people’s children that way? I have come to have more compassion for people because of this. I see more value in other people just because they exist, because they are someone’s babies. I know it sounds sad to think I had to become a parent to get to this place but that’s what it took. Now I’m nice to everyone, or at least I try to be. There are still some people that I just don’t like and that can’t be helped, but I still try to treat them as nicely as I can.

3. I’ve learned what’s important and what’s not.

This is a big one. I used to care about the stupidest things before I had kids. I used to care about making everyone happy by being who they wanted me to be. I used to care so much about what everyone thought about me. I used to care about how I looked or all the cool stuff I had or drama with coworkers. I used to care about how put together I looked or how right I was. Now I’ve realized that none of those things matter anymore. Having kids will put everything into perspective for you. Their needs and their growth becomes your main focus. Watching them learn new things and seeing their smiling face and knowing that you are their whole world just brushes all that other stuff completely away. Now that I have my boys I only care about what they want or need. I don’t care about making other people happy, they can make themselves happy. With my children I have only been myself and they love me just the way I am because I have shown them that I love them just they way they are. If no one else likes me then I don’t give a tiny rat’s ass. It’s really very freeing.

4. I don’t put up with other people’s crap anymore.

I used to have so many friendships that were really just me being dumped on. I would put so much effort into the friendship by being there when they needed someone to vent to or cry to. I would do nice things for them, show up at their events or do favors for them. They, however, would never reciprocate but I would still be friends with them because I felt like if they weren’t my friend no one would be. I sold myself short all the time. I cared about those people but they never really cared about me. They just liked my devotion more than they liked me. I know that a lot of that comes from codependency but having kids was the beginning of my realization of it. When I had my kids and I realized how completely helpless and dependent they were, it made me think of how much time I had wasted being there for grown adults who were just awful. I stopped being there for those people and it was no surprise that they quickly faded from my life, which was just fine.

5. I have a new appreciation for life.

Before I had kids I lived in my own little world where I was comfortable and I didn’t do anything I didn’t want to do and I didn’t try anything that I didn’t want to try and I just cared about nothing. Becoming a parent is in itself uncomfortable, more so for moms. You are suddenly thrust into a world of uncomfortableness and having to constantly do things you don’t want to do but there’s a catch. Once you put yourself into it you find that it’s the most exhilarating thing you’ve ever experienced. It turns your world completely around and you see things in a whole new way. You get to relive life in a sense but you see it through your child’s eyes. You try new things because you want them to have the experience, something fun to look back on. You learn new ways of doing things because they show you all the ways that their brain sees it being done. You feel a sense of purpose. You literally start to appreciate the little things that you always just took for granted.

There are many more ways that becoming a parent has changed me but those were the ones I thought were most important to me. What are some ways that becoming a parent has changed you?