Happy Freebie Friday, readers! I’ve actually been out of town. Where? I ain’t telling. Shh. It’s a secret. Nah, I’m in South Dakota. However, I figured out, on Wednesday, I can schedule posts onto my blog for a designated date and time. I am not saying this is a new feature or anything. I’m sure it’s been available for awhile, and I’m just now noticing it for the first time. Not going to lie, I’m a little technologically impaired. Nevertheless, it’s a neat feature, and I thought I would try it out to see if it works. If not, no biggie. If it does, then I’ll know for next time! Well….that was all, really. This turned out shorter than I thought it would. And rather uninteresting. Hmm. So, I guess I’m going to awkwardly end this post here…bye!
Category Archives: Personal
The past couple weeks, I’ve been looking through old photos. And you know what old photos do. They bring up memories, both good and bad. Thankfully, my past photos have reminded me of a lot of good. Reminded me of the place I still call home. I’ve also been messaging (off and on) a lifelong friend, and that’s also had me thinking.
I’ve moved around a bit. It was kind of a byproduct of my dad’s job. Every eight years, it seemed like. Until I got married three years ago, and I moved in with my husband. We’ve moved three times in those few years. Hopefully, we’ll be set for awhile. Moving is tedious and stressful.
The first eight years of my life, I lived in a little bitty town. In fact, if you Google it, it’s registered as a village. Yep. I was raised, until I was eight years old, in a village. It tickles the fantasy side of me. According to the 2016 census, the town had a population of 285 residents. Just to put it in perspective. Sometimes, I wonder if they’re numbering people or if they’re also adding farm animals with their head count.
So you could say I’m a Midwestern, corn fed kid. But that’s not the whole story. After I was eight, we moved to the suburbs. Unfortunately, I’ve been a suburbanite ever since. But to a country kid, the suburbs were city. I’ve since learned that city is much more massive than I so naively imagined. Still, I went from a place that had roughly 300 people, let’s say, to a place that had almost 22,000 residents. Quite a big jump.
Yes. I hated it. With every single fiber in my being. I grew accustomed eventually. Made a few fleeting friends. After I was sixteen, we moved again. To a city with nearly 70,000 people. Which wasn’t too big of a shock to my system. Yet, there was something that has always nagged the back of my mind.
Where did I call home? Did it matter if I had a home or not? What do I say when people ask me where I’m from? Do people even need to know where I’m from? (I’m a paranoid person.) Where was home?
After some soul-searching, I kept coming back to the little town. The “village.” That was where I wanted to call home. Then I came to the second part of my inquiry. Why was it the place I wanted to call home? Well, my favorite memories are from there. That was my childhood. What I consider the happiest part of my life. (Outside of my marriage, of course. I’m sure the husband will read this. Love you, hun.) I still have dreams about being there. I still cry when I remember how painful it was to leave. The other places? Not so much.
There’s something else. The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. My family has vacationed there for years. I remember going there for the first time. It absolutely took my breath away. It was so green, so much of a fantasy setting. All I required was a wizard to lead me on an epic journey. I felt different there. Felt…free, so-to-speak. I could hike trails, climb along stream beds, see waterfalls. It was everything I needed to fuel my fictional mind. Everything I needed to clear my mind from stress and the mundane of everyday life.
While I do love the beach and ocean, I like to say my heart belongs to those mountains. I try to go there every year. Or, at least, every other year. It fills me with so much vigor, so much life. Reminds me of the times when I was a kid in the little town and allowed my imagination to soar. I’ve been to many places. I don’t know what it is about the Smokies, but that’s where I want to return. I feel like a piece of me has been left there since the first time I went. There’s a piece of my heart in my hometown, and you can bet your behind, there’s a piece of my heart running through the trees on the Smokey Mountains.
I plan to settle down there sometime. Maybe it’ll be when my husband retires. Maybe it’ll be if I can make money off my books. I don’t know. But I do know I will get there. One way or another, I will have my house in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery. I will find the piece of my heart and run in the forests with it. I will find my wizard and finally go on that epic journey through the woodlands. Along with the characters I’ve created, the creatures I’ve designed, the dragons I’ve made to ride on the backs of. It’s where I can let my mind be unleashed.
It’s the same sensation I had playing in the woods around my lifelong friend’s house. We could be anything we wanted, whether it be cowboys and space rangers, secret agents, horses, or anything else our limitless, child minds could conjure. It was our sense of freedom. Our sense of belonging. The mountains feel the same way to me. They always have and always will. I can be that little kid again. I can be anything I imagine myself to be. I can be free.
Where do I call home? Well, it’s a two-fold answer. My hometown, I consider to be my past home. The Smokey Mountains, I consider to be my future home. They’re almost the same to me in importance. Both places hold pieces to my heart. And that’s okay. Because I know where I came from, and I know where I will end up.
And it’s always home.
After having a couple days of thought–and bothering a close friend of mine until she stopped saying “It’s your blog, do what you want to do”–I believe I have devised a plan. Though, I’m still unsure as to whether or not it will actually work. But here’s to hoping, right? I’m pretty sure a wise being once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” So, this is what I plan to do:
Writing Prompt Wednesday
Short Story Saturday
A few things to note. Firstly, I added sketching because I used to do it all the time (before I became a die-hard perfectionist with my art), and I had relatively decent confidence in my drawing skills. I’m honestly not sure what happened other than I stopped sketching. Secondly, I have no idea if Monday will stay as “memoir.” Are people even interested in that sort of thing? It’s not like I’ve led a particularly exhilarating life. I guess I’ll find out. Let’s see…. Thirdly, I love writing prompts. Normally, I find them on my own–in nature, observing other people, daily life, etc. However, I will be using predetermined, freely-handed out writing prompts. I have a bunch saved, and it’s about time I put them to use. Lastly, I’m in love with “Freebie Friday” because it gives me a day that isn’t set. So if I have an extra poem, short story, photo, whatever I want, I can post it on Friday.
Well. Enough said. I’m fairly satisfied with my new plan. Fingers crossed I can be disciplined. I suppose I better use this space to apologize in advance in case I’m not consistent. Or if I forget. I happen to be a forgetful person. Or if I screw it up. I’m sure that’s bound to happen at some point. Anyhoo, I’ll leave this here for now. I’ll start tomorrow with “Freebie Friday.” As I said in my previous post, if you have any suggestions or tips, I’ll be more than happy to read them in the comments! Thanks again!
So, obviously, we are in a new year. The next few days will be people making all kinds of resolutions and trying their hardest to keep them. Some may only make their resolutions last this week, some may make it a month, maybe six months. Congratulations if you’re one of those people who can keep a resolution for a whole year. That takes discipline. Do I have any resolutions? No. Because I’m not disciplined, a New Year resolution is simply setting myself up for failure. However, I would like to talk to you guys about something while we’re on the topic of discipline.
A little bit ago, I used to be extremely consistent about posting something on this blog every single day. Whether it be short stories, photography, poems, art, etc. Unfortunately, life happens, I get stressed, and I make excuses to do as little as possible to keep myself sane. That’s something I would like to change. I’ve been trying to think of ways to keep myself posting once a day, and I think I may have come up with a solution. But I would appreciate everyone’s input.
I was thinking each day of the week could be themed. Like Wednesday could be Writing Prompts. Friday could be…free verse? Short story Saturday. Shooting Sunday for photography. No. No, that title won’t work. You know what I’m trying to get across, don’t you? Basically creating a calendar of content to keep me focused. This is where I need guidance.
When I was younger, I could not follow a weekly chore chart to save my life. Not even in my teenage years. Don’t ask me why; I couldn’t tell you. I never did it on purpose. It was just something that I never thought about, I guess? Long story short, I am not disciplined. Therefore, I think a routine might help me, but I also think it might not.
I guess what I’m trying to get across is: I really like the idea of themed days for the week, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull it off. I don’t want to let anybody down. I need your help. Has anyone structured a fiction blog like this? Does it work? Are there other tips I can try? I just want to be consistent for you all and provide daily content. Please leave suggestions, tip, tricks, etc. in the comments! Thank you all so much for your support!
Time to take another break from fiction for today. On my way home from work, I saw a sign that read, “If everything is coming your way, you’re probably in the wrong lane.” The more I thought about it, the more I realized the depth behind it, as it’s a rather multi-faceted saying. It can apply to both the good and the bad in life.
When most people read or hear the above quote, they most likely think it’s referring to the good things of life. Now, don’t get me wrong. Blessings are wonderful things. And I don’t think many of us would still be here if our lives were only negative, all the time. Positives, I do believe, are a must. But what happens when only positive things come our way?
There’s that saying of “too much of a good thing can be bad.” I believe it. Because, if there’s only good, what do we learn? Most life lessons come from experiencing the bad circumstances. In my opinion, how we face and overcome the negative helps shape who we are and will ultimately become. We learn nothing when only good happens to us.
Another bad thing to only receiving the positive side of life is the false sense of security that comes with it. Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit. We fall into routines. Again, blessings are not bad things, but if we never face trials, we never expect them. If I only have good things come my way, why would I think that anything bad could happen to me? Which also leads us to viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses, and we forget that evil exists.
But then comes the flip side of the above quote. The bad things in life. While the ideal world is a perfect world, I think bad things are a necessary evil at this point. We do reap what we sow. And more often than not, we need that harvest to keep ourselves in check. So what does happen when only negative things come our way?
Well, I think this one is a bit more self-explanatory than the positive side. For the most part, I think the negative experiences are crucial teaching tools. Yet, we’ll never remember what we learn if we’re not given time to rest and reflect. Constantly being berated by life wears us out more than anything. If we lose the mental capacity to live, much less think over situations, we still aren’t going to learn anything.
Another negative to the the negative–it often leads to depression. Whether or not people want to admit it. If there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, why would we continue? Again, creatures of habit. We get stuck. Lost in ruts. To the point where it’s not worth even looking for a way out. It is extremely taxing on the psyche. If I’m only receiving negatives, I’m not going to expect positives, and I’m going to stay where I am. We give up.
Regardless of how we view the above quote, I think it comes down to a few questions. What are we doing that’s keeping us in one lane? Or, what choices are we making that’s keeping us in one lane? What are we choosing that’s keeping us strictly in the positive lane? What are we choosing that’s keeping us strictly in the negative lane? Everything comes down to a choice.
And it’s okay. It’s okay to experience the negative, even if all you’ve known is positive. It’s okay to experience the positive, even if all you’ve known is negative. Sadly, our world is not perfect. But balance can be achieved. Good and bad go hand-in-hand. We just have to choose to find the balance, to stay in the middle of the two lanes.