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.

 

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.

Porn Stars and Prom Don’t Mix

I hate porn. No, seriously, that is one of the biggest things that I am against. Seriously, if you are in a relationship and you are pleasuring yourself to another woman, it’s pretty much cheating. While I do not support pornography, I respect your right to do so and will not hold your beliefs against you and I hope you will pay me the same respect.

However, this post isn’t to slam porn, but rather to point something else out.

A senior boy invited 600 porn stars to his prom. Two accepted the invitation, but one in particular was excited about going, mainly because she had missed her own prom. The adult film stars name is Megan Piper and she is 19-years-old. Things were good to go until the school wisely intervened and said “absolutely not.” They based their decision on the fact that porn stars at prom is not in the best interest of the students – and they’re right.

I have considered several ways of addressing why they are right, but there are so many reasons that I decided to go with a good old-fashioned bullet list. Enjoy

  • Pornography is intended for those 18+. There will be 17-year-old at the prom. While I am sure that many of them have watched their fair share of porn, technically they shouldn’t be. The school has to abide by these kinds of things.
  • I understand that morals are hard to come by these days. A lot of people have the “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude. People fight for things less and less, and I am not just talking about this, but with many different things. You have to stand for something (anything!) or you will fall for everything.
  • Someone pointed out that if this were a bigger celebrity (perhaps someone like Miley Cyrus), then the school would have been all over that kind of attention. OBVIOUSLY. Miley Cyrus (although she has kind of shed the good girl image) is a more positive role model for teens. While I get that some people are okay with a porn star going, it wouldn’t bring the right kind of attention.

Whatever happened to humility? There was a time when it was embarrassing to be in the adult entertainment industry, strip, etc. Nowadays, however, there are young girls who actually aspire to do these things and there are a whole bunch of reality television shows glamorizing this sort of thing.

I understand that a lot of people are going to disagree with me and that’s fine. This is my honest view-point and I love that, in America, we are all allowed to have different ones. I encourage you to share your thoughts about this in the comments.

Thrifty <3

I’m a thrifter. You can think what ever you want about that. This is my reasoning:

  • I can’t constitute paying $40.00 for a shirt or $75.00 for a pair of jeans (okay. I rarely wear jeans, but you get the idea)
  • I don’t like to look like everyone else. On a rack, there are at least ten of the same shirt. At a thrift store, there is one.
  • I do go to the mall and will go buy things from stores, but I only purchase clearance items. Again, I refuse to spend an absurd amount of money on something for myself.
  • VINTAGE! You can find the cutest vintage things at thrift stores!
  • My son’s clothes are all brand new. Kids clothes at a thrift store are a nightmare. Kids get their things dirty, obviously. I buy his things brand new, but use the sale rule whenever I can.
  • Decorations. You can find some amazing pictures and decor at thrift stores and especially mirrors (you can NEVER have too many mirrors)

I want to share a few of my thrift store finds with you all and will share more in the future. I will start with the most recent thing.

Flowery dress. Pretty cool, huh? Try finding that at your local mall!

What are your thoughts on thrift stores? What are some of your favorite stores?

Thoughts On ‘Teen Mom': I Commend Leah

Teen Mom. I have mixed feelings on this. I remember watching it when it first came out and it legitimately made me afraid of mother hood. As a teen, that show spoke to me. I think that is the point that many people are missing. Adult’s aren’t supposed to “get it” in a sense. They see the girls as whining, complaining, and immature. To a point, they are, but aren’t all teenage girls at one time or another.

To a 16-year-old, their friends are their lives. This is why (in my opinion) the show airs so much of them complaining about not being able to go out with their friends. While parents find this annoying, the girls watching (the target audience) are scared to death. They do NOT want to think about having to miss games, dances, or any of that other fun teenager stuff that I didn’t do.

When season two of 16 & Pregnant rolled around, I sort of drifted away and only recently came back to it. I had to get caught up and rewatched Leah Messer’s episode. I vaguely remembered it from year ago. So many things were apparent in that episode that, if people would go back and watch, they would understand her better.

  • Leah is young. She barely knows Corey. After giving birth, she was obviously experiencing a flood of feelings. This does not make her some of the horrible names that she was called, this makes her a teenager.
  • She and Corey still get along. Before all but closing up shop on her Twitter, she would often scold followers for saying bad things about him, stressing that he fathered her children.
  • So, she put her life on television to educate teenagers, NOT to be bashed. This show has become more of a soap opera than an educational tool. At first, these girls lives weren’t this eventful. They could have social media without being afraid of cyber-bullies. Now that the show has moved beyond the struggles of young parenthood to the drama in their lives, things have obviously gotten more dramatic off screen.

 

I am guilty of following (and reporting) the drama, but I try my best to keep it all positive. I don’t want to write something that shows these girls in any kind of negative light. I had a child at a young age  I wasn’t a teen, but motherhood is hard whether you are 16 or 26 (I was 21 by the way) which could be why I have grown to like this show again. I think that all of the girls do a tremendous job (yes, even Jenelle! She is turning her life around and that’s the first step!) I literally have a new favorite every week, too. For a long time, I favored Chelsea, solely because she loves animal print. Then, after watching Kailyn have to deal with the awkwardness of introducing her boyfriend to the father of her child, I liked her best. Overall, I don’t think I have a favorite favorite. I appreciate them all for their struggles and for sharing their experience on tv.

 

Coffee

Coffee. I have never been the kind of person who had to have coffee. Occassionally I would enjoy an iced coffee or a Starbucks treat, but was happy to not drink it daily.

Well, I once knew a very sweet woman who every morning had to have her coffee. Every morning, I made it for her first thing. I remember one time she said to me, “There is going to come a day when you are going to need coffee. You won’t be able to start your day without it. Trust me.”

I smiled, not fully understanding what she meant.

Now, I do.