Staying Positive In the World of Celebrity Gossip

When people ask what I do for a living I answer, “I’m a freelance writer.” Nine times out of ten, the follow-up question is, “What do you write?” This is where it gets interesting. When I answer “mostly celebrity gossip,” they either look at me and say “that’s interesting” or they inquire more in-depth. I will then go into an almost rehearsed speech at this point where I explain that the bulk of my writing focuses on reality television, mainly Teen Mom and that I fell into by accident.

I truly did.

My first freelance job was in 2009 and I was (well, still am for that site) a pop culture writer. The bulk of my material centered around Miley Cyrus as that was around the time she was quitting Hannah Montana and doing outrageous things that the public loves to read about.

And that is the point. The public doesn’t want to read about a celebrity having a great day or doing something good. Rather, the public wants the negativity, the drama. They want to hear about drug problems, rehab, scandals. I suppose it is their way to look at celebrities and say, “See, they aren’t so perfect.”

Not every story I have ever written has been completely positive; I would be lying if I said it was. There was a time I fed into the drama because, well, more drama equals more views. However, there came a point when I realized that celebrities may be rich and famous, but they are also human beings. I think it hit me most when I started covering Teen Mom 2 extensively.

Like these girls, I was a young single mom. While I was older than any of them, I could still relate to their struggles. Then, I would log onto social networking and see the immense hate that these girls were receiving for living their lives. Were they perfect? No, but was the public seeing everything exactly how it was? Again, no. There is so much editing that goes into reality television that people don’t take into consideration. Rather, they see that the show is a “reality show” and assume that everything is “real.”

It’s not. And that is why I chose to take a positive approach to celebrity gossip writing. Has it always gone over well? Definitely not. However, it has helped me to appreciate people more and has even helped me to have the opportunity to chat with some of the girls. It always makes me smile when one of the Teen Mom girls will “favorite” or “retweet” an article of mine. It makes me proud to know that they appreciate what I wrote about them; They didn’t have to take the time to even look at what I wrote, but for a second they did and they liked it. That always makes me feel like I am doing a great job at staying positive.

Pregnancy and Preeclampsia

Gender Reveal

Gender Reveal

When I found out I was pregnant, I thought that my availability to write would be cut down immensely. I was wrong. For the first 20-weeks, I was able to write as well as do the things that I normally do including helping out at my church. At 21-weeks, I was rushed to the hospital and was diagnosed with preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia is a condition which can be serious, but luckily mine has remained stable since week 25. Unfortunately, they don’t know if my symptoms are related to preeclampsia as I don’t have high blood pressure or any other symptoms, but rather only proteinuria. The latter can possibly be attributed to an autoimmune disorder which I am not technically diagnosed with, but am suspected to have.

Needless to say, things have been different. As a result of the diagnosis, we were forced to cancel our Christmas trip to Texas to visit my husband’s family. I have never had the opportunity to meet them and was excited to finally have that chance. Of course, they were understanding about the entire thing, but I can’t help but feel guilty.

After the diagnosis, I was diligent in changing my diet. I cut out fast food completely, cut down on processed food, and kept my sodium in check. It took a few weeks, but the diet change seemed to help. I have more energy and just feel great. Not only that, but I have incorporated some foods back into my diet that I normally wouldn’t want to eat, but since it is in moderation, I feel okay about it.

Luckily, I have had relatively good medical attention and, even though the preeclampsia diagnosis may have been premature, I am happy that I was given that eye opening experience. Not only has it helped me to take better care of myself, but it has also taught me to listen to my body more. Rather than trying to do everything all the time, I realize that I can’t do it all.

Perhaps the hardest thing was being told I couldn’t coach cheerleading this season. I attempted to coach one practice, but realized early on that, on to of everything else including growing a human inside me, I just couldn’t do it this year.

However, it has given me more time to write. By changing my diet, I have been able to feel better and that includes waking up very early. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person, so me waking up at 6:30am each morning is highly unheard of, but I do it. This allows me to allot time to work as well as rest throughout the day and do everything else that needs to be done.

I still have a few more weeks to go in this pregnancy before we meet our little guy (yes, it is another boy!) and I know that, once he is here, my time crunch will really come into play!

[Photo Credit: T.Y. Photography]

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?