Mystery Blogger Award!!!!!

The lovely Tom Burton has nominated me for a Mystery Blogger Award!

What’s that, you ask?

“An award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.” — Okoto Enigma

Essentially: it’s a wonderfully kind compliment. A true honor to receive.

Thank you Tom!!!!

Now, there are some rules to the award. Which, usually, rules make me go “bleh!” but these rules aren’t nearly as painful as most rules.

They are as follows:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

One through four are already taken care of.

See! Not so bad, right?

Pretty simple rules.

Though I will say that I’m going to skip 6-8. Mostly because I don’t know that many bloggers.

But, I have no problem continuing with the rest of the rules!

Three things about me:

1. I absolutely love steak. Like, love love love steak. Medium rare is my style, and I love caramelized onions as a topping (or grilled! I also love onions).

2. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but: my family owns goats! Four, at the moment. My favorite being the baby of our herd. She’s very sweet and lovable. She was born right before winter set in, which means that she got held a lot when she was a baby. She’s the cuddliest goat we have. An absolute lover, and a cutie to boot.

3. I’m a rollercoaster fanatic. I grew up in Florida and we lived only about an hour and a half away from Busch Gardens in Tampa, and about three hours from Disney/Universal Studios (I-4 willing, that is). My mom and dad both love rollercoasters too, so they were more than happy to take us when we had the money. In fact, every year for my mom’s birthday, I would pay for three or four of us to go to Universal for a weekend. It was always a fun time with the family, plus I loved showing off my shootin’ skills in the MIB Alien Attack ride. I always get the high score 🙂

Five questions from Tom:

1. What makes you happiest about your blog? 

I would say that I really enjoy when I make something and someone goes “wow! This was great! This inspired me/touched me/made me realize ___!” That’s usually my goal as a writer. I like writing about things that seem like they matter, and I definitely write about things that matter to me. So, when someone communicates that they resonate with a story I wrote, it makes me downright giddy. When that happens, I definitely feel like I’m succeeding in my writing. It makes my day!

2. What motivates you to continue blogging?

The rush of posting a story that I resonate with.

Some days, I write just because I need the practice. But, originally, this blog started as a way to de-clutter my mind and help me sort my feelings (truth be told, I am not very skilled at either of those things on my own/without the proper tools, lol). And, when I post a story that really helps me do that, I feel a weight lifted. Like I’ve truly done something to lighten the burden on my mind. It’s self-help, I guess, or self-therapy. A way to detox, and, when I find the exact right story my mind is looking to release, it feels great.

3. Favorite blogging/writing advice?

Do it your way.

A lot of time, grammar rules get in the way of your emotional flow. We don’t talk grammatically correct, so, often times, when you write like a grammar nazi, you don’t evoke any emotion. Or, you don’t evoke the right emotion, or, perhaps, you’re just not evoking to the level you want to. Grammar is important, and your sentences have to be understandable, but, at the same time, don’t sacrifice your emotional flow for the sake of grammar. Like I said, we don’t often speak to one another in strict grammar rules. So then, why should we write creative stories within the confines of those rules?

I read a book recently that was part of a series and, in this particular book, the author killed off one of my favorite characters. This was the third book of the series, and the character she killed off had been around since Book One, and I absolutely loved this character. But, when the moment came:

I felt nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Nothing!

Looking at the writing, I realized it was the grammar rules that kept the author from being able to bust out of the robotics of writing and punch me in the gut with the loss. It made me so sad that the author couldn’t accurately express the sadness of the main character—the sadness I was supposed to share in, because I’m the reader—due to grammar. It felt so disingenuous when the main character talked about their sadness, because it was so logically confined. Constructed so carefully in the midst of this unexpected loss of her friend.

And that’s why it felt so limp.

Emotions aren’t logical people!!! They’re wild horses that you suddenly find yourself trying to tame!! They toss you and turn you and buck you a few times before you finally get yourself settled!!! Wild emotions aren’t meant to be tamed by rules!!! Especially not grammar rules!! They’re meant to be strung together like a train wreck.

Very few people experience loss and think so logically while sobbing. Loss makes your mind wild with grief, regret, disbelieve—and a million other things. When people experience loss, they don’t generally express themselves with articulate inner musings. Hell, I remember when I lost my best friend my brain went completely blank, and then it was a train wreck mishmash of random words, sobs, and doing my damndest to get myself to form one coherent thought or sentence. And, factually speaking, I’m not an outwardly emotional person, nor am I an inwardly emotional person. So, the fact that that’s how I responded says a lot about loss and its impact.

THAT’S how most people respond. So, if your character doesn’t respond the same way, or in a way that’s similar, you’re going to loose your reader. Emotions and compassion and identifying with characters is what keeps a reader engaged. If your story doesn’t properly sell the emotions in the book, your readers will lose interest.

I digress, but, that’s the general gist. My main point is:

If you find that grammar is messing with the emotional flow, then, break the rules. Do it your way to get the kind of response you want. That’s the beauty of English, and the essence of writing: communicating effectively. Including emotions.

4. Do you have a favorite book, film, or TV series that you never get tired of?

For books, I’d say its the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, or An Inheritance of Ash by Leah Bobbit. I love all of those books very dearly.

For movies, I’d say The Lion King or A Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve always enjoyed them, and the music in those movies is stellar.

As for TV series… well, I don’t watch much TV. I like Buffy the Vampire Slayer pretty well though (depending on which season we’re talking about) and I definitely don’t tire of My Hero Academia (the themes in that show are incredible, lots of great philosophy to explore).

5. Celebrate a flaw of yours; is there a particular imperfection that you’ve accepted, embraced and turned into a personal strength?

I think I’ve mentioned this here before, but, I have PTSD which makes me very paranoid about my surroundings. Actually, it makes me paranoid in general, lol (though, because of what I’ve been through, I definitely see it as justified. And, if I told the whole story, you’d probably catch some of my paranoia too).

That said, it used to be a weakness of mine. I always thought that everyone was out to get me. That no one could be trusted. My survival instincts were always in overdrive, and I was constantly on the watch for possible attack (which, you still shouldn’t startle me when I’m tired. That’s all I’ll say on that).

Over the years though, some of that has faded. After moving to the midwest, I realized that strangers can talk to you in a grocery store and not have an ulterior motive. Just because someone is asking you how you like your car doesn’t mean they’re fixing to steal it. People can approach you and have no intention of doing you harm. They really might just be trying to find the nearest gas station.

Anyway, I digress.

My main point was that: my PTSD used to keep me from doing things (I won’t lie, sometimes, it still does) but, my survival instincts haven given me a great attention to detail, which generally comes in handy.

For instance, if something is off in a room—if a room doesn’t look how it usually does—I notice. If there’s something strange sitting on my desk, or my boss’s desk or my mom’s desk, I’ll make a mental note of it out of instinct. There have been plenty of times when someone is looking for something and I randomly know where it’s at because my brain automatically picks up on those strange types of things. Though, honestly, that’s just one example of my developed instincts’ uses.

Over the years, my Survival Brain (as I sometimes call it) has developed into something really, extremely useful, rather than holding me down in some pit of fear—like some people’s Survival Brains do. Granted, PTSD is never fun, and I never know what will trigger me or where, but, it has taught me some very important things, and it’s given me an excellent amount of perseverance as well as some good survival instincts.

Still wouldn’t recommend PTSD to anyone though.

As per the rules I’m following (sorry 6-8, maybe next time) I’m also supposed to link to my best posts.

Weekend Wolf, despite being an older story (and not one of my most well-written) is still one of my top stories. Shortly followed by To Be Trifled With, and, as the third place winner, Lone Wolf!

Honestly though, those three stories are probably some of my favorites (despite Weekend Wolf feeling so different to me than my newer style and my more well-edited posts). I very much enjoyed writing all three of them.

And, that’s it for the Mystery Blogger Award! Again, a big thanks to Tom for nominating me.

If you’re here, odds are that you like stories, and Tom does stories excellently.

So, if you’re looking for something good to read, you ought to head over there. You won’t be disappointed 🙂

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Friday the 13th Tag (I know, I know, that’s not the date anymore)

This is so fun!

I love when britchy tags me in these. They’re so cool.

So, as per usual:

SHOUT OUT TO BRITCHY FOR TAGGING ME!!!!!!

And, if you haven’t checked out her blog yet, do that. She’s extremely hilarious, and has oodles of fun, even in her pieces that are less humorous and more thoughtful. She’s always worth a read.

Now, onto the fun part:

QUESTIONS AND RULES Continue reading “Friday the 13th Tag (I know, I know, that’s not the date anymore)”

Three Days, Three Song Lyrics Challenge

So, I got tagged for this challenge by the britchy one. If you haven’t read her blog or checked it out yet, YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD. Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I head over there and see what she’s been up to, because it’s usually something hysterical.

And I am extremely grateful to britchy for tagging me in these things. They’re always a lot of fun. Continue reading “Three Days, Three Song Lyrics Challenge”

Mystery Blogger Award

I’m going to have to agree with the britchy one on this: I can’t help but think of Scoob and the gang when I see this award.

What is this award? Well, I had no idea until I saw it and read the blurb.

Definition:

“The Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

Okoto Enigma

Which, I understand that I generally write with love and passion (as I absolutely love writing), but the “ingenious” business is news to me.

Thanks britchy!

Honestly, I’m always thrilled and feel extremely privileged to be given anything by anyone, let alone britchy. Her blog is loads of fun, and her stories always leave me with a smile, or make me laugh out loud. Most days, they do both.

So if you haven’t read her blog, go check it out. It’s LOADS of fun 🙂

Rules:

Put the award logo/image on your blog

See above

List the rules.

Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

SEE ABOVE FOR REAL

Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well

See above

Tell your readers 3 things about yourself

Oh lord.

#1: I am quite fond of faux-saluting people. I don’t know where I picked the habit up at, but I’ve had it since high school and can’t seem to kick it. I salute my co-workers all the time.

#2: I absolutely love lightning storms. I find them calming.

#3: I was raised in the south parts of the US, so I have a hard time not using the term “y’all”. Somehow, I manage to keep it out of me writing (most days) but I use it at least a thousand times a day in real life.

Nominate 10-20 people.

Listen, I would have a hard time finding 10-20 people in real life to nominate, let alone 10-20 here on the internet. I’m quite the introvert, I’ll have you know.

Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

Will do!

Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)

Are not all questions weird or funny? You think I’m going to be asking people about their deepest fears? Their darkest secrets? What are you? A spy?

Okay, so, thems the rules folks. Now you know.

And now it’s question time!!!!!

(This is always my favorite part.)

1. You’re on an airplane. There’s an empty seat next to you and just as they’re about to close the doors a last minute passenger scampers in. He makes his way down the aisle to the only vacant seat, the aisle seat next to you. You look up and realise with horror that it’s…… who is it and why is it so dreadful?

It’s a person. A person that will be sitting next to me. That will be blocking me from being able to make it immediately to the bathroom, should I need to go. A person who will sit, like some bridge troll, in front of the aisle—my way to relief—and a person who will probably fall asleep. A person who, should I need to pee, I must wake up, disturb, or bump into in order to reach my sweet relief.

It is horrible because they are a stranger, and I hate inconveniencing people, but I also have to pee like 6000 times an hour. It doesn’t matter who is sitting there, it’s just horrible.

2. If you could choose between changing the clocks forward and backward twice a year or having sequenced traffic lights that actually worked – which would you change?

TRAFFIC LIGHTS. A secret about me is: I’m a very patient and understanding person, until I get in a car. The other night, I was parked along the street outside a friend’s house waiting for them to get home and I was getting road rage just watching other cars drive like morons.

3. What three subjects do you think should be taught in school?

REASON AND LOGIC, that’s always been my number one. Stupid is stupid, and you can’t stop stupidity, but I think teaching reason and logic would be mighty helpful. Especially if we started it at a young age. Might weed out some of the dumber stuff most teens think/go through.

Morals. I get that everyone has different views and opinions on certain things, but things like stealing and murder and lying are bad, and I think if we made youngins understand why it’s bad at a very young age, it’d be less prevalent in the future. It’d save everyone a lot of trouble.

Woodshop. I never got that in high school, but, man, I wished I had. Woodworking seems so cool, and is super useful. I had archeology as an elective–ARCHEOLOGY, the most USELESS subject for ANYONE who plans to live a life outside of that field! Which is practically everyone on the planet!!!—and it sucked. It was boring, and pointless, and certainly doesn’t pertain to anything I might do today or even in the future. Being able to cut wood though? That’s different.

4. Which would you prefer to have in your car, heated seats or parking sensors if you could only have one?

Heated seats, for sure. I can swivel my head pretty good, and I’m fairly good at judging distance. However, I still haven’t mastered the art of being able to heat-up on command. Down south, it didn’t matter so much. But, now that I’m living where there’s snow, heated seats are a life-saver.

5. If you could change the law would you have the death sentence or not and if yes, for what crimes?

Oh, definitely. That might sound a bit psychotic to some, but I think there are certain crimes where its safer that the criminal not be allowed back out into the world (and I sure as hell don’t want to have to pay for them to live out their lives in prison for the next fifty years, that’s a punishment for me and I wasn’t even the one who did wrong). I’d say for murder, if there is without a shadow of a doubt that you killed that person, then yeah. I’m sort of old-testament with stuff like that, eye for an eye and all that. If you take life for no reason, I believe you automatically forfeit the rights to your own life. Maybe not the most “forward thinking” of philosophies, but still. I’d also give the death sentence to pedophiles. That’s kind of a bias of mine, considering some of the stuff I’ve seen and been through, and I one-hundred percent recognize that, but I still don’t think I’m wrong. It’s not worth it to me, having those people out and about, being able to ruin kids’ lives all willy-nilly. It’s atrocious. 

And now, the hardest part:

Nominees.

I nominate:

fictionspawn monsters

Little Fears

And, last but certainly not least,

George

If you don’t want to do it, or don’t have time, I totally understand. Y’all are just the first blogs that come to mind (besides britchy) when I think of these things. I don’t have time to read too much these days, but, when I do, your blogs are my go-to.

So, here are my five questions:

  1. Have you ever been to Disney? Did you enjoy it?
  2. If you had to fight a bear or a lion, which would you choose and why?
  3. If you could pick one circus act to participate in, which would it be?
  4. Cats or dogs?
  5. When is the best time to take a nap?

 

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge–Day 3

I’M HERE!!! I DID IT!!! Which means that sadly…

It’s over.

This was a lot of fun.

Three days ago, the britchy one (whose stories I love, btw) asked me to do this challenge and it has been SO COOL, and TONS of fun. I don’t share what I like/love too often on my blog (not in a direct way, anyhow) and this is one of those chances for me to do that.

Which is why today is sad.

Because it’s the last day.

BUT.

I, of course, am ending with a quote on wolves.

I’m going to go ahead with the one in the picture, the one about the two wolves, but I did consider doing this other wolf quote by Hugh Macleod. (You know, “The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.” That one? Yeah.) But I went with the one pictured above instead.

It’s not really a quote, more like a proverb. But still.

I love it.

Firstly because it implies that there is ferocity inside all of us, and I truly believe that there is. Even in the most timid of people, there is a wolf. It simply doesn’t come out unless there’s a full moon. At least, for that timid person.

There are others whose wolves take up a great portion of their lives, or their personalities. Who let our ferocity out.

I think I’m one of those people.

And I don’t think ferocity is a bad thing.

Loving fiercely, being fiercely kind, or fiercely loyal.

I think those are things this world is lacking of lately, and it’s a real bummer. If people were more fierce in the gentle things, the world would be a better place.

Anyhow, I digress.

About the quote:

I think the dark wolf is the lone-wolf aspect of life. The comfortable path that’s easy to take. That wolf takes hardly any feeding. It’s fine subsisting on scraps, on moldy foods, on complete garbage. It can not only live off that stuff, but it can thrive.

That wolf is the easy path.

The path of anger.

Or fear.

Of, essentially, selfishness.

That wolf is easiest to feed. And easiest to give to. It’s comfortable. It’s seems smart. Why have to feed a beast with standards, right? If you’ve got to choose between a dog that will only eat fillet mignon, and a dog that will eat anything, why choose the one with expensive taste, right? Seems like a bad choice to me.

But, what people don’t realize, is that it eats a lot more than the other wolf. That, for the dark wolf, a feeding a day isn’t enough.

It wants to eat everything.

It will eat everything.

Eventually, it’ll even eat you.

It’s easy to feed, sure, but not when it starts getting hungry.

That wolf will consume you.

And others will start to notice before you do, I guarantee that they will.

Which is why it’s the path of the longe wolf.

And that wolf, the dark wolf, is constantly fighting a battle against the other wolf.

The lighter wolf.

The good wolf.

That good wolf is peaceful. That wolf is kind. That wolf brings light to situations that seem dark. That is the self-less wolf. The wolf that thrives in a pack, that can love and be loved. That wolf doesn’t need a dark night to come out and play. It doesn’t eat garbage, and for good reason.

That wolf has standards.

Because it stands for something important.

And that wolf stands for you.

That wolf will be hungry—it will always be hungry—but not in the same way the dark wolf is hungry.

That wolf won’t consume you.

It won’t swallow you whole.

It won’t bite the hand that feeds.

That wold wants good food because it can turn good food into good energy.

It wants good things for you

Which is why it’s always fighting the dark wolf.

Always.

Now, I’m not a science person, but I’m a big believer in Newton’s Third Law:

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

I believe that applies to everything. Including what we do.

For every good thing we do, there is a bit of light put out into the universe.

For every purely-selfish thing we do, there is a bit of darkness.

And whatever we do, whatever we put out, will come back to us.

So, do yourself a favor:

Feed the good wolf.

Think positive things.

About yourself, most importantly. Because when you think good things about yourself, when you’re considerate of how you feel, being considerate of others will come naturally. When you consider all that you’ve been through, all the things you hide from the world, you’ll recognize that in others too. You’ll be more kind to them, because you’ll be sensitive to the fact that their wolves are fighting too.

But, when you’re feeding things like anger and fear and doubt into yourself, your nature becomes selfish.

You stop being considerate of others.

How you treat yourself is how you will treat others.

That’s why the most insecure people are the harshest. Are the meanest.

They don’t feed the good wolf.

At least, that’s always been my experience.

Anyhow, that’s my take on the quote and why I love it so much. The views I presented run a bit deeper and have a lot more logic and experience attached to them than what I’ve led on, but thats the basics of it.

Man, that was a doozie.

Thanks for reading it through though!

And, again, this challenge has been loads of fun!!!!

Thank britchy 🙂

And here are my nominees:

  1. bear’s photo’s I just recently started following him, and I love his photos. They’re very calming to look at for some reason.
  2. boundless blessings by Kamal is one I just started following. A lot of good-advice posts, a lot of positive energy going on over there. I really dig it.
  3. fictionspawn monsters does some pretty neat short stories. I’ve been a follower for awhile. Good stuff.

So, the rules are simple: one quote per day for three days. Nominate three people per day. Mention the person who tagged you to complete le challenge.

If you guys don’t want to or can’t participate, I understand. However, I thought it’d be cool to see what you guys would pick and choose. And I, personally, really love these things (I think they’re lots of fun) so I figured you guys might want to try it too.

Thanks everyone!

 

3 Days, 3 Quotes–Day 2

So, I was nominated by the britchy one for the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge, and I’m really glad. I love quotes. Well, I love the quotes I love, anyhow, and this challenge gives me a chance to share them with you all.

Thanks britchy!

“Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.

This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, YOU move.”

-Captain America, Civil War: The Amazing Spiderman.

I’m quoting that as Captain America saying it because that’s where I first heard it.

Also, I told you today would be a hero quote.

I love me some super stuff.

Anyhow, I absolutely LOVE Captain America (and Batman, but, you know, he didn’t say this quote so…) because he is the embodiment of things that are Good and Just, and he is what every superhero should aspire to be. His morals and backbone are the sort that we should all strive for. Because no matter what, Steve stands up for what he believes in, and he believes in some pretty damn good things (like not-swearing. Sorry Cap). It’d be a different story if he believed in selfish things. If that were true, this quote would have the exact opposite effect. This quote would be garbage because it’d be coming from a garbage person. But no. Captain Steve Rogers is an outstanding character who fights for the freedom and safety of others.

And he’s right (a lot of the time) (shots definitely fired at Iron Man) (sorry not-sorry).

I feel that, too often people shy away from the truth. Because it’s offensive, or scary, or just outright crazy. But truth is still truth. If I tell you there’s a murderer hiding in your closet, should I keep it to myself just because that’s scary? No. I should tell you, even if it frightens you, or scars you, or makes you unable to go home ever again. Even if you call me a liar, or tell me I’m crazy, or even if you ignore my warning, I ought to tell you. What you do with the truth is, ultimately, up to you. But, as someone who knows you’re in need of the truth, and as someone who has the truth, I ought to tell you. It’s my duty. If not, then how will you know about the murderer?

Granted, I don’t believe everything is so cut and dry, but I do believe there are a few absolutes. After all, the universe would be a constant goo of ever-changing chaos if there weren’t a few absolutes (simple ones, you know, like fire burns, or gravity exists here, or sucking too much helium can make you pass out) (don’t ask me how I know about that last one) and for us to ignore that is dangerous.

And yet, for us to speak those truths is now dangerous.

Because Cap’s right.

The press hates the truth, the mobs hate the truth, politicians sure as hell hate the truth.

And people.

People generally hate the truth.

Speaking truth puts us on the outs with a lot of people.

But, if you don’t speak the truth:

How are people to know when they’re in danger?

When they’re in trouble?

Or, oppositely:

How are they to know when they’re right?

Life is confusing enough as it is with what little truths we have. Best not to ignore the ones we have as absolute, and it’s best not to continue playing like there are no rules or regulations to this world.

Hurting others isn’t right.

Jumping in a fire will burn you.

Eating glowsticks is not recommended by doctors.

Don’t ignore the truth just because you don’t like it, or just because it’s scary.

And don’t back down from the truth either.

Even if they don’t like it, people need to know.

(Of course, I always say that half of what you say is what you say, and the other half is how you say it. So maybe don’t tell someone they’re an idiot for playing with fire. You could nicely suggest that they don’t and that’s a fine way of communicating the truth too.)

Anyway, speech over.

Thanks Captain America.

And, thanks again britchy!

I would nominate more, but I have, regrettably, reached a wall with people to nominate.

Which means the end of my post yesterday is lies.

Sorry.

(And after all I went through to tell you how important truth is…)

I will do my best to nominate three more tomorrow.

But no promises.

Author’s note: the image obviously doesn’t belong to me, it probably belongs to Marvel.

Just an educated guess.