Memories.

Sometimes, I get these random urges to visit somewhere that I have been before. They say smell is the sense that is most closely related to memory and that makes sense. Late September and the smell of fall takes me back to South Dakota.

The end of tourist season was upon the sleepy little town of Keystone and few shops on the strip were open, but the smell of the air was mesmerizing. It was crisp and you could smell a hint of winter in the air, even though it was only the beginning of Fall (and not even officially yet.) Sometimes, though, I get an urge to go somewhere and there are no smells involved in the nostalgic urge. Tonight, it is Coronado, California.

I wish I could visit the island again. The Coronado bridge which connected the island to downtown San Diego was visible from the road and the bike path that I often found myself on back in those days. The site of the Coronado hotel, so prestigious, standing there with all of the other landmarks.

Balboa Park… across the water and over the bridge, but close enough to drive to on a day for some fun and whimsy.

I remember driving up the Silver Strand Highway some mornings belting out California Girls while watching the Pacific Island waves crash on the beach.

Pure magic.

These are all memories, locked away in my head. Life goes on, time changes things, but memories remain.

My Book <3

If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have noticed a few posts regarding my upcoming first book. I have been writing since I was a child. I remember when I was five, I wrote a story (I don’t recall the content, but I was five so it couldn’t have been that in depth) and used a cereal box turned inside out to create a cover and binding.  20  years later, my first real book is nearing completion and I won’t need to use a cereal box for the cover!

So, what is it about?

Well, it is a childrens book. This surprises me, too, as I have never been a children’s writer. However, the content is in regards to a military deployment and seeing it through the eyes of a child. While there are some books out there on the subject, I was shocked at how few I could find. So, I decided to write one myself.

I toyed with it for a few weeks and had a vague idea of what I wanted to produce. Then, one day in church I was struck with the motivation to finish my work. The pastor asked us what we were doing with the talents God gave us and how we could use them to change the world. That night, I sat at my desk and the words flowed from my mind in a way I could never have imagined. It was magical and, when it was finished, I was elated.

I sent the rough copy off to a few friends, many writers, to gain some perspective. Perhaps the most noteworthy feedback I received was from a very good writer friend of mine who, not only has a Masters Degree, but also several self published books of her own. Having never dealt with a deployment, she explained to me that the work invoked deep emotion in her.

What more could I ask? That is certainly the aspect I was going for with this work. I wanted to bring deployment to life through the eyes of a child and show it how they see it. They don’t see it the way an adult does and they make imagine their own ways of why their loved ones are away.

It is currently in the illustration process; I am thankful to have a fried who is gifted in drawing and can bring this book to life. To make it better, she has experience with military life so this book is special to both of us.

I thank everyone for their support in my work. See, I am more than just celebrity gossip ;)

On that note, though, I am working on two novels. One of these works is extra close to my heart; I have been penning thoughts in my journal as they come to me and this will serve as the foundation for what I hope to be my first adult novel. My other work will be more of a look inside the mind of a gossip writer and show the world that sitting online all day following celebrities isn’t exactly a “sweet” lifestyle.

I will most certainly keep everyone updated with my work.

 

Chocolate

I love words. In fact, I will read song lyrics and decide whether or not to listen to the song based on the words I read (bonus points if the singer draws from a personal experience.) So, there is this song “Chocolate” by a band called The 1975 and it has been blowing up my Sirius XM radio all summer. For the majority of the summer, this song annoyed me. I understood that the boys were British which was cool, but I never took the time to listen to the song or hear the words.

One day, I was driving and out of the few channels I listen to (Sirius XM is like satellite tv in the sense that you get a hundred different channels, but you really only use five or six), it was the only one playing that didn’t give me a headache. I heard the word “petticoat” sang with a British accent and my ears perked up and listened. Even though I had heard this song more than a handful of times, this time I REALLY heard it.

As soon as I stopped the car, I Googled the lyrics and was intrigued. I realized “chocolate” was a metaphor for something much deeper, as were many of the other words. After some searching online, I found out that he ALLEGEDLY (I say this because I could not find much evidence to back it up, in fact, I couldn’t find too many interviews regarding the influence of their lyrics, but I digress) wrote this song about someone close to him who was a heroin addict. He reportedly pounded out the lyrics on his computer, never wanting them to be released, but someone they leaked and “Chocolate” was born.

Assuming the story is true (again, no hard evidence, but humor me), it is an incredible story. I find it incredible that human emotion can evoke such beautiful words and use them to describe such tragic things.

If you haven’t listened to “Chocolate” yet, please do so. Also, pay close attention to the way Matthew Healy sings ‘petticoat,’ and try to tell me that doesn’t give you goosebumps.

The Positive Approach

Don’t you love when you go to church and what the Pastor is preaching is exactly what you need to hear? That happened to me this past Sunday. We ready from 1 Kings and talked about how God will isolate you, take you away from the things that you so regularly depend on so that you can only depend on him. While that part spoke to me, there was another part that hit home for me more and that is doing the right thing, morally.

In today’s world, it is so easy to give in to society’s demands in nearly every business sector. Plain and simple, I write celebrity gossip. I love my job and have been doing it since 2008, but my style of writing has changed over the years.

The pastor talked about how it is easy to “make a quick buck,” in our jobs and when he said that, I couldn’t help but think about the tabloids that spew celebrity hate or the bloggers who will take a tweet and make it more dramatic. Morally, most people WANT to do the right thing, but financially they can’t afford to.

For several years, I took the gossipy route of writing. I was just starting out and, to a new writer, watching the number of views rise is pivotal in choosing the style of voice they will use. In my earliest of days, I focused my work on Miley Cyrus. Back then, she was 17-years-old, on the verge of adulthood and breaking out of her shell. Miley was caught clubbing? The Disney darling caught smoking? Was that Miley Cyrus drinking ALCOHOL? No matter what she did, writing about it earned views, but what earned more views was the gossipy things that I just mentioned.

[Off topic.. but remember when that whole "Miley Save Fuzzy" thing went down? There was a Twitter user who threatened to cook and eat their cat if Miley did not reinstate her Twitter account? I actually interviewed that individual via email and, for some reason, I still wonder if that was an elaborate prank or a deranged fan. I still don't know.]

Overtime, however, I didn’t feel good about myself with the things I was writing. I took a new approach and, at first, it wasn’t very popular, just as my Pastor revealed on Sunday. My views went down, a lot. Few people want to read about positive things; No, most people thrive on the negativity so that they can feel better about themselves. It is a shame that news is more valuable than the positive.

Eventually, I was able to gain a bigger audience with my positive posts. I feel a lot better with myself and I am doing better now than I was when I was on the other end of the spectrum.

At the end of the day, doing the right thing may not be the most popular thing to do. But, in life, it isn’t about popularity (well, it is for some people.) For me, it  is about doing what I love (writing) and doing it well.

Long Gone

It’s been a while. Where have I been? Right where I have always been, just slightly busier.

I am still writing, but not focusing on Teen Mom as much these days. I still love the show and the girls who are involved, but a new writing gig has given me the opportunity to branch out into more pop culture. Well, I can’t say new writing gig because I have been with the company for almost five years, but I never placed my focus on it. Now, I am.

On top of that, my love was home for a few short days. I don’t see him often as he is in the military and has been in and out to sea, gearing up for a deployment. I am not looking forward to that so the time that I do have with him, I have learned to turn off the laptop and to enjoy life.

I am also working on two books and have a third one in mind. I am very excited about these endeavors and can’t wait to share some of them with you!

It feels good to be doing some amazing things with my work. I have always said that I am not just a blogger with a wordpress/blogger/tumblr set up. I have a college degree and a passion for words. I intend on doing great things with my talent! Of course, none of this would be possible if I didn’t have the support of people who take time to read my work and, for that, I thank you :)

Writing Advice

Recently, I received some tweets and messages from folks asking for writing tips. Many are starting out and wanted to gain some insight. I was happy to oblige and thought I would share some tips with you here.

First things first, I don’t simply “blog” as others do. I have been writing since I was a child and always knew it was the career I wanted to pursue. I worked on my high school newspaper and wrote for the local county newspaper as a senior in high school. After graduating, I was unsure where to go with my passion. I started college and found a site hiring freelancers. I did not think I would get accepted, but I did and I did relatively well starting off for my first gig. I recently graduated college and have been fortunate enough to pick up a few other writing gigs along the way :)

Yes, I do write a lot of ‘Teen Mom’ related news and, to be honest, that happened on accident. I landed a job writing celebrity gossip and had the freedom to choose my topics. I have always been a pop culture fanatic and wrote a few about the hit MTV show here and there. Soon, I realized that so many people were slamming these girls for whatever reason, without ever knowing them. Having worked on sets, I know that a lot goes on with editing that you do not see and it bothered me that so many believed the few minutes that they saw on television was what 100% true. So, I decided to go against the grain and adopted a ‘Stay Positive’ attitude in regards to the series and it has paid off. I may not have the largest Twitter following, but honestly, it isn’t about the numbers. Sure, you may have 20,000+ followers or even 100,000+ followers, but are they reading your work? Are they interacting with you? Most importantly, are YOU interacting with THEM?

I have been fortunate enough to make some amazing friends online and some wonderful enemies (I know you read this :) Hello!)

So, I am going to give those of you who have asked some advice to start writing in bullet list form (because I get bored reading long, drawn out paragraphs, too)

  • Decide WHY you want to write. Do you have a hobby, just want to blog, or is it going to be a career (in which case, I recommend the book How To Start An Internet Business by Malene Jorgensen. It has helped me out so much.)
  • Don’t give up! When I started out, I was lucky if I got 40,000 a month. Now, there are times I can bring that in a day if I am lucky. It is all about being committed and not getting too down when it seems like things aren’t going anywhere.
  • STAY POSITIVE. People can be downright hateful on social networking sites and try to make you feel worthless. When a person feels threatened by you, they will set out to destroy you. Don’t let them. If they are THAT insecure to try to bring you, a stranger who by no means is significant in their life, then they have the issue, not you. Try your best to ignore it and to do what you are doing – writing!
  • People make mistakes. You will misspell a word once in a while or use improper grammar. Others will slam you and try and make you feel uneducated. Mistakes Happen. If someone points one out, don’t take offense to it. Simply fix the error so that your writing shines.

These are just a few tips. I by no means a professional in giving advice (hence why I suggested the book), but these are a few little things I have learned along the way of writing. I hope it helps you out :)

Comments Closed

Sorry for the lack of updates; Also, I apologize but I have had to disable comments for now. I was being harassed on Facebook and once I reported and blocked the user, they moved on to harassing me here. I think that is means for a restraining order.