Sunday, February 26, 2017

Types of Relationships

We all interact with people in our lives. Even the most obscure hermit had parents at some point in his life. So this list is devoted to the types of relationships we can forge throughout our lives. I'll no doubt forget a few along the way, so this may be a work in progress as my brain comes up with more!
  1. Husband
  2. Wife
  3. Boyfriend
  4. Girlfriend
  5. Fiancé 
  6. Friend
  7. Best friend
  8. Mother
  9. Father
  10. Son
  11. Daughter
  12. Brother
  13. Sister
  14. Coworker
  15. Boss
  16. Employee
  17. Customer
  18. Aunt 
  19. Uncle
  20. Cousin
  21. Niece
  22. Nephew
  23. Grandmother
  24. Grandfather
  25. Granddaughter
  26. Grandson
  27. In-Laws (too many types to name!)
  28. Exes (significant others)
  29. Steps (parents, children)
  30. Greats (grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles)
  31. Acquaintance
  32. Spiritual Leader (pastor, priest, rabbi, etc)
  33. Pet (c'mon, our pets are like family!)

Five Stars

How do you rate the books you read? Do you consider the writing itself or the story? Do you evaluate the amount of plot twists or character growth? Do you pay attention to how long it takes you to finish reading the book and rate the page-turners higher?

When I read a book, I have a very difficult time giving it up, even if I'm not connecting with the characters or it doesn't do a great job holding my interest. It's just the type of reader I am. Once in a while, I'll abandon a book, but most of the time I will end up revisiting it to finish it (it's the OCD in me). But even if I do complete one of those books that I didn't enjoy, I end up rating it with only one or two stars. But what about a book littered with grammatical and spelling errors that has an exciting story, enticing characters, and elaborate setting? I end up rating those higher because of the story itself (that is, if I can overlook the butchering of the English language enough to get drawn into the story). Since I can't forgive the errors, though, I can't give it five stars even if it's the most creative story I've ever read. A girl's got to have standards, right? Ha. It's interesting to think about, though.

What makes a book a five-star read in your eyes?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Writing Prompts: Character Centric

These prompts are designed with a character in mind. Use the brief quotation to create a character of your own!

"There are two types of people in the world: those who hire someone to do a job and those who are determined to be a do-it-yourself-er."

"The last thing he expected to do that day was run into the person he had been desperately trying to forget since the last time they saw each other."

"She was and always would be the best part of my life... Too bad she didn't know it."

"The people who raised me were practically strangers to me now. It wasn't my intention to be gone so long,  but as I walked up the sidewalk of my childhood home, I couldn't help but feel anxious. Should I just knock on the door? Would they even recognize me?"

"Who was this man? Sure, we'd all known him for the four years we'd been attending this school, but as I looked at him, I started to realize how little I knew about him."

Friday, February 17, 2017

Writing Prompts: Start with Dialogue

A great way to "hook" your readers is to start a piece of writing with dialogue. I wanted to focus on writing some engaging (and open-ended) dialogue that could inspire you to exercise your craft. Here you go! (I'd love to read what you come up with - feel free to share it with me!)

"Congratulations! I just heard the news. That's so exciting!"

"Look, you're the only one who knows the truth. So what's it going to be? Are you going to share it or is the secret going to die with you?"

"That's the funniest thing I've ever heard! What happened next?"

"You have to make a decision and you have to make it now. We've waited long enough..."

"Please step aside. This area is going to get really busy as soon as those doors open."

"Can you believe it? Tomorrow's already the big day. How do you feel?!"

"We don't handle that kind of issue here. You're going to have to talk to someone in another department..."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Things that Squeak

I haven't done a list post in a while, but I think it helps get my brain working when I do... It's actually one of the reasons why I like playing the game 94%. It requires the player to generate the most popular responses to different prompts, like "Things that are Red" or just broad categories, like "Teenagers."

Today's list will be devoted to things that squeak!
  1. Mice
  2. A door's unoiled hinges
  3. Newborn Cam before he started crying much (now I'm pretty sure the neighbors can hear him!)
  4. Cam when he starts laughing so hard that he goes super high-pitched 
  5. Floor boards under the carpet (I'm getting better at avoiding them when Cam is sleeping lol)
  6. An old boxspring
  7. A rocking chair against a hardwood floor
  8. Brakes that need to be looked at (or ones that are wet after a particularly hard rain)
  9. A dog's chew toy (when it's new... Brody and Lily usually make sure they stop being able to squeak within minutes of gnawing on them)
  10. New sneakers on a waxed floor
  11. Freshly-brushed teeth
  12. Wheels on an old wagon or cart
  13. Playground swings (especially ones with rusty chains)
  14. An old vacuum cleaner's belt (or one with a lot of hair wrapped around its brushes - having two dogs and long hair give me a lot of experience with this one)
  15. Joints (especially my ankle... oh boy, I'm getting old!)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Knock, Knock

"Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul and you answer." - Star Richés
I have to admit... I have been such a slacker when it comes to listening to the cravings my soul has been having in terms of creating lately. Every day, I intend to find time to write, whether it's in my journal, blog, or in any of the unfinished novels I've started. Aside from jotting down some reflections on a couple of pages of my favorite purple Moleskine notebook, this is the first time I've actually written anything substantial. So when I saw the quotation above, I felt like I had to do my soul a favor and do a little writing. Life has been busy and exciting and tiring and it's really so great!

Cam keeps me busy and days go by quicker than ever. Between feedings, I keep up with housework and try to bake once a week or so and spend time with my wonderful husband. I started working for my parents again here and there, which has been great because it gets me out of the house with Cam, I get to see my family relatively often, and I'm earning some money. It's not always easy to leave the house (I bring four bags with me - Cam's diaper bag, my pump bag, my nursing pillow, and my bag with whatever I need) and plan around feedings and whatnot, but it's nice to leave the house once in a while. It'll definitely get easier once I'm not breastfeeding anymore, but I know the struggle is worth it. Other than that, I've been reading a lot and having regular trashy TV days with my best friend, catching up on the latest episodes of The Bachelor and bingeing on reruns of Catfish. I'm enjoying my time as a stay-at-home-mom, but trying to ease into rediscovering some of my former hobbies. 

Cam is growing like a weed and he's changing so much every day! He's been eating vegetables for a month now and he loves them (some more than others - he is not a fan of sweet potatoes!). He's almost rolling over, constantly doing pull-ups as he tries to sit up on his own, and whines if we don't support his strong and stubborn desire to stand up on our laps. He's not on the go yet, but I have a feeling that once he is, we're going to be chasing him all over the place! He wakes up babbling now instead of crying, giggles when we play with his toes during a diaper change, and is taking baths in the kitchen sink since he outgrew the baby bathtub. I can't believe he's nearly six months old. Sometimes it feels like that's so much older than he seems, but then again, I struggle to recall what life was like before Nick and I were parents. It's been an incredible journey so far and every day is so full of joy and pride... even the tough, exhausting days!

So maybe it's not a profound reflection on the human condition, but I'm happy that I finally made time to write and post something here! I don't know when I'll be able to fit it in again, but hopefully soon!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Help and Let Help

People aren't made to be alone. We are meant to live, love, learn, fight, hate, date, befriend, marry, procreate, empathize, and everything in-between with our fellow man.

Nobody is reinventing the wheel on a daily basis. We use the knowledge and ideas from the past to work toward our future. We build upon the technology and innovations we already have in our world to make innovations of our own.

I probably wouldn't enjoy the happy moments in life without sharing them with my nearest and dearest. I know I wouldn't make it through tough times without my friends and family. I also know that I wouldn't have pushed myself as much as I do now without having a few adversaries along the way.

Alone time is great and now that I'm pretty much with my little sidekick, Cam, 24/7, I relish in the few minutes of alone time I get each day. But sometimes after craving alone time and getting it, I find that I miss those I'm closest to... Because life is meant to be a shared experience. Otherwise, what's the point?