Category Archives: Miscellanious

In Memory of Belle

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Yesterday was a very sad day as we said goodbye to a very important member of the family. My Corgi-Doberman mix, Belle, was my best and most loyal friend. She was also the love of my life. I named her Belle, not after the Disney princess, but after the French word meaning “Beautiful.” The first time I saw her I thought she was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

When my dad brought her home she was small, skinny, and dirty. The other dogs that she was with her mean to her and didn’t let her have any food. As soon as he put her on the floor she jumped in my lap and bathed me in kisses. There was one day where I put her on the couch with me and we cuddled for two hours, watching Doctor Who. After that, she decided that she was mine and I was hers. Belle never left my side.

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I’d had close connections with animals before, but nothing like I’d had with her. She was there for so much. When my grandfather died, she comforted me. Whenever I’ve been stressed or heartbroken, she made me feel better. The night I came home completely broken she met me at the door and gave me the best hug. We laid in my bed, her on one side of the body pillow and me on the other. I told her about all the terrible things my ex-boyfriend did to me and she just lay her paw on my hand and reassured me with her eyes that everything would be okay.

We did everything together including walks in the rain, listening to music, and watching TV. She loved Doctor Who and The Walking Dead the most. The Nightmare Before Christmas was definitely a movie that she loved. She would bark when Jack Skellington sang. She never argued with me when it was bath time and her favorite part was the towel drying. Belle didn’t bite, snap, or hate anyone. In fact, she loved everybody and just wanted them to love her.

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But yesterday she lost the battle with heartworms. She’d gotten them about six months ago and it was her death sentence. She got very sick and no matter what we did for her she just got worse. Belle had a heart murmur we didn’t know about and so the heartworms were affecting her differently. Her body wasn’t able to fight them off, nor could she accept the treatments. We didn’t know this until after her first treatment a couple of weeks ago. She lost about ten pounds, putting her at half her weight and couldn’t keep any food or water down.

The heartworms worsened, damaging her lungs, liver, and various other organs. She was facing organ failure and could potentially go into cardiac arrest. Belle stayed in the hospital for a couple of days receiving treatments for her heart and stomach, but we eventually had to realize that it wasn’t enough. If she didn’t die of the heartworms, it would be something else.

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I never thought I’d have to make a decision like the one I made yesterday. However, when I looked in her eyes and saw how tired she was I knew that she wouldn’t make it. So she has gone to be with Jesus and I know I’ll see her again one day.

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Things You’ll Find When You Aren’t Looking

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One of my favorite things to do is go shopping. Whether it’s online, at the mall, or at Wal-Mart, I love it all. However, I especially love thrifting. For those who don’t know that term, “thrifting” is what people call shopping at thrift stores such as Goodwill or Waterfront Mission. Here in Pensacola, we have a couple of both of those thrift stores and I love them! Yesterday I went out with my mom to look around and all the neat stuff we found amazed us. The first item is a pink and black Juicy Couture backpack. Juicy has been one of my favorite brands ever since I fell in love with their Juicy Couture Couture perfume.

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But of course, we all know that Juicy Couture is a well-established name brand. Which is why finding one of their brand new (tags still on it) bags surprised me.

Then I found a pair of leopard print heels that I adored, but I didn’t buy. The reason is that I’d been to a consignment shop and bought a pair that looked exactly like them. But I did get black heels with pink platforms on the bottom. Very stylish. These are my leopard print ones.

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I was very excited to see a classy picnic basket there. I’ve always wanted one and now I have one so my boyfriend and I can go on the picnic day I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve never gone because I’ve saved it for someone special (And I’ve been looking for the perfect basket).

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I was very excited to find out that the brown leather jacket I’d been gawking over last time I was there was still there. I bought it this time!

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One of the coolest treasures, though, was this. It was something random that happened to catch my eye, but was so cool I had to get it. It’s perfect to hold the jewelry I usually wear so I don’t have to go searching for them every day.

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While we were at the second Goodwill, I bought a black jacket to go with my current Mary Kay status outfit as part of the black and white club. We also found red dress jackets and tried them on. We saw the future: red jacket Mary Kay consultants. It was very fun and super inspirational.

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Speaking of Mary Kay, we also found a classic black travel roll up bag and a handbag. Go figure!

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I had a lot of fun and I know my mom did, too. It was definitely a day that we needed. Every so often you just need to get away from the stress of school, work, home, and everyday life. But I admit that I can’t wait to go again. I had found some other things that were really fun and made me smile.

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How I accidentally turned my brother into a Vampire Diaries fan

I decided that since my XBOX wasn’t being used by either my boyfriend or my brother, I would watch season seven of The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. My boyfriend usually watches whatever I put on, whether it’s Secret Life of the American Teenager or Ripper Street. However, I was not expecting my brother to get off his XBOX to come watch VD with me. It was pretty incredible. In fact, I found myself being more entertained by watching him enjoy it than by the show himself!

So at the beginning of season seven, we find the aftermath of Elena’s death and how all the characters are handling it (noticing that Damon doesn’t beg to be compelled to forget her like she did to him). Lily Salvatore is back with her heretic family who only wants to cause chaos in a new world they knew nothing about (while Lily is trying to get them to calm down). They take Caroline prisoner after Damon ruins Stefan’s treaty with her. Of course there were things I had to explain like the different relationships and who people were, as well as why everyone was sad (A.K.A. Elena is dead).

Then as the season progresses, Damon decides to find leverage to use against Lily to get their town (and house) back. He finds Oscar who is another heretic trying to find Lily’s old lover, Julian. Unfortunately, before Damon can make the trade for Caroline, Oscar is killed because of the information he has on Julian. Which brings in the business with the Phoenix Stone. This holds the souls of vampires and puts them through a Hell where they relive all the awful things they have done. However, it can also be used to bring a vampire soul back into their body (as long that you have can find the soul you are looking for).

But it wasn’t until he caught hold of the drama that I was really entertained. Heretic Valerie who turned out to be the first love of Stefan’s life meets Caroline, who is his current. Then we all found out that she had been pregnant with his baby which Julian killed by beating her senseless and that’s why she broke his heart by leaving. Alaric gets consumed with trying to bring back Jo, his pregnant fiancĂ© that was killed last season by her twin brother, from the dead using the phoenix stone. (Which we all knew would fail because she wasn’t a vampire). Damon had to fight Lily to get Elena’s body back because she took it after he ruined Stefan’s plans. Then Heretics Mary-Louise and Nora were lovers of over a century who can’t seem to get along. Nora is embracing the new world and learning everything she can, while Mary-Louise is afraid of it and is jealous of Nora’s newfound life.

My favorite part was when Mary-Louise purposed to Nora (who accepted), and then turned her back on all of them to believe Julian. My brother was so furious that he almost through his coke can at the TV. Fortunately, he remembered it wasn’t his TV and contained himself. All I pictured in that moment was Elle throwing the box of chocolates at her TV and yelling, “Liar!” In Legally Blonde.

Also, I had to explain that every time there is a plan it goes seriously wrong, as well as that I really didn’t like Julian because he was literally a knock off of Klaus, whom he met later in the show after Stefan got marked by the Huntress and came to New Orleans seeking his help. Speaking of the Huntress, when Rayna gave the curse to Bonnie, it was really irritating. I had explained before about Jeremy being a descendant of the five hunters and how they were able to retrain his mind to not want to kill every vampire he came into contact with. I also had to explain why that wouldn’t be possible with Rayna. Jeremy loved Elena, but Rayna had no connections to them (plus the fact that she had a bunch of native souls inside of her making it to where she’d come back if she died).

But out of the entire season, I had a hard time explaining why Matt is the only human in the show that has survived this long. All I could come up with was that he was Matt. He’s the only symbol for their humanity.

Now he’s upset because he found out that season eight is the last season and it will only be sixteen episodes. I admit I’m pretty upset, too. I’m also hoping that the brothers don’t die like it’s rumored.

Curing Writer’s Block

What is writer’s block? It’s that lovely moment when you are either in the middle of writing, or about to start, and you hit a brick wall (figuratively speaking). No ideas will come  to you and you can’t find the words for any idea that you may get. There are people who have told me that writer’s block isn’t real because there is always something to write about. Yes, that’s true, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Writer’s block just means that you need to take a step back to gather your thoughts and refuel your creativity.

So how can you overcome writer’s block? It varies a person to person. I’ve compiled a list of different methods that usually help me, and that I hope will help you, too. Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend hours going through this entire list until you’ve completed each one. Doing that would overwhelm you and make you dread the list which would actually stunt the creative flow.

Day Dream. 

Stop what you are doing, lay back, and relax. Whatever you are trying to write came from an idea that originated from your imagination. All you have to do is tap into it. Just picture the scene in your head, and then play out every scenario until you are able to decide which one works. Ask yourself: Who are the characters? Where are they? Is there a conflict (what is it)? What are they saying? You’d be surprised at how helpful it is to your creative senses when you take a moment to just focus on the idea.  This method is usually my first step because of how easy it is (as long as you are able to ignore any distractions around you).

Write it down (optional). 

I added this because it’s important to write your ideas and daydreams. There is nothing worse than trying to remember what you wanted a character to say. This method is great because you won’t have to worry about forgetting. Also, if you write it in chronological order, then it’s a checklist that you can refer back to. I do this a lot when I outline a chapter.

No Distractions. 

Going back to comment I made at the end of method one, a lot of the time there are distractions. Children are around, housework to do, stuff for work, and the weight of the world on our shoulders. It’s crazy that one of the easiest ways to get our creative flow going is by having No Distractions. I have this problem a lot since I am around my nieces and nephew all the time. There’s constant talking, moving around, the TV is always going, and noise.

They argue, cry, yell, run, and jump. The dog and cat are always at odds with each other and want my attention. They won’t leave me alone until they get it. I am always pushing one away, being a mediator between children, and doing something they need. There are time outs and sometimes I have to raise my voice. This house is pretty hectic as anyone who has children in their house knows. It’s difficult to take a moment and focus on writing when there are so many things going on at once. Whenever I decide to write I can’t have anything clouding my brain. I need it finished before I even consider plugging my flash drive into my laptop. So if you find a messy space distracting, you need to clean it.

Listen to Music. 

Wonderful things come from taking the time to listen to music and really feel the words you are hearing. Everyone loves it when they hear a song and can relate it to their own life. Songs can remind you of a friend or family member, or a boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes even a memory from your childhood. Music brings distant emotions to the surface and allows you to find the inspiration for what you are writing.

It helps us to describe emotions in what we’re writing because we are able to recall it to us. Just about every Skillet song fits one of my stories, where every Within Temptation songs fits another story. Some of the events in my books wouldn’t have existed if I hadn’t heard certain songs. Music is an overall wonderful way to get those creative juices flowing so you can get to writing. It’s almost like the inspiration never ends because every time you hear it you will think of something new.

Read

A somewhat longer method to finding inspiration is to Read. A poem, a book, or a short story is a huge help in creating your own. When I first read Harry Potter I realized that writing was what I really wanted to do. I love books like Divergent, The Giver, and Hunger Games where it talks about societies that have changed because of a gruesome history and the selfish acts of people. Those changed my life and how I view the world. From those, I am able to create my own. As your point of view changes, so will your characters’ points of view. They will change your story more than you will. Just remember to not plagiarize.

Taking Breaks

I’ve found that Taking Breaks are very beneficial to writing. I’m not talking about a ten-minute break here and there so you aren’t constantly looking at a screen (although those are important, too). I mean taking a little break from writing to rejuvenate your inner need to do so. Everyone gets burnt out on doing the same things over and over. Just remember that when you quit something for a while, it’s possible that you will wake up months later and realize you haven’t written anything in forever.

I know that the worst part of writing, for me, is starting back up after such a long time not doing it. You should only choose this method if you think the reason for your block is that you’ve written so much, then you’re burned out. I’ve found the best way to go about it is to take the time you would be writing and read. This still links you to your writing and you may start writing again before you think!

Write something else

So from that, there is another type of break for a writer: Write something else. Creating a story is easy; it’s the details and the real writing part that drains you and your poor brain. I’m sure we’ve all been through that moment where we ask ourselves, “Why did I want to write this first?” Because it was new and exciting. When something is new and exciting we drop everything for it. A new job, a new relationship, a new brand of foundation or eyeliner, it’s the same with a new story. So whether it’s a poem, short story, or a new novel idea, write something else. You’d be surprised by how refreshing it is to have something else to do and think about! I tend to bounce back and forth between stories which are great because there is always room for inspiration to get me back into the zone.

Prompts

I saved this method for last because it’s something new that I’ve started to do, and so far, it’s worked really well. However, it’ll make you roll your eyes. We all remember those writing assignments we had in school where the teacher handed out a sheet of paper with an idea on it and we had an allotted amount of time to write something about it. They’re called Prompts. In school, I never found them fun, but as an adult, I have found such good ones that now it’s exciting to pick one out and create something on the spot. All I do is look up “Writing prompts” on Google.com and search images.

I prefer to do images because sorting through all the articles is a waste of time to me. Then you just pick one and start writing. On my word document, I like to put what the prompt is for when I go back and read it in the future. I’ve written them as a personal essay, and I’ve also written them as a short story. It’s a great way to get the creative juices going whether you choose to do it when you have writer’s block, or before you even start writing your real story.

Remember that no matter what you are writing (book, short story, poem, etc), these methods will work for you. Don’t look at this huge list and overwhelm yourself thinking you have to do all of them before you are able to get rid of the infamous block. Start with the first one, and if that doesn’t work, move to the next. Listen to music, watch a movie or your favorite TV show, day-dream, or busy yourself with housework (clean air means clean head). Do anything that distracts your mind from what you are writing. Inspiration is everywhere. You just have to look.

Header photo was found on google. Image owned by Magoosh.com