Currently- August

General- Have I talked about the fact that I live in a dessert? Seriously, the past three weeks have had half of the week holding excessive heat warnings. Check on your dessert friends, they are burning up. This month has been very quiet around my house. We’re trying to stay home more and do more family time. We get plenty of family time, we are just trying to stay home while we do it. When we leave the house, we end up staying out way too long and spend money we didn’t intend to spend. Hubby and I have also been working on a lot of projects together. We made him a workstation in the garage (and reorganized that garage and go rid of SO MUCH STUFF) and he is building shelves. He made me a board so I can keep track of upcoming blog posts. I also made bible tabs for my bible and I’m in LOVE with them. They are so cute.

Reading– I’m still reading Bookish Boyfriends. I actually haven’t picked it back up since my trip to Washington. I started reading some business books and books along those lines. It is a struggle to read those too. It’s been a struggle to read lately. It makes my heart a little sad. 

Listening– I quit the Saving Quinton I started listening to. I just couldn’t get into it the way that I did the first book. I might look up what happens because I’m curious but I could not keep listening to it.  I listened to the first books in the Program series. That was very interesting and scary. It reminded me a lot of Uninvited by Sophie Jordan where the government is scared of something and doing whatever they can to prevent it but since they handle teenagers they don’t care what happens to them. Although, in the Program, the program that is supposed to cure depression isn’t ran by the government, just has a lot of power. They were good books. There are a lot more in the world of the program, different story lines and what not. I’m good with what I read (listened to.) 

I’ve been struggling with music lately. I feel like I’ve been listening to the same 20 songs and I need new ones. Tell me what your favorite song is lately! 

Watching– We cancelled Netflix in favor of Hulu Live (heck yes, sports!) so I am no longer watching West Wing or Criminal Minds. We just started watching Leah Remini’s series on Scientology and WOAH. Scientology was always a weird religion to me. A sci-fi writer wrote the textbooks for a religion? Really? And I’m supposed to believe he knew what he was talking about? I’ll stick with Jesus. We’ve also been watching a lot of Cats, the musical. My son loves it. 

Writing– Projects, presentations, blog posts and Instagram captions. I started an outline for my book. It was painful. Since I’m currently on a week long break from school, I am hoping to get caught up on the outline so I can set word count goals and really get working on this book. 

Other– The project I was going to announce has been announced AND LAUNCHED! I started a podcast called Hasta la Pasta where I will talk about all sorts of fun things. It will be an extension to my blog. The first episode is live now! You can listen on the website or on Spotify right now. (I’m waiting on approval for Apple & Google Play) 

Overcoming Fear

Fear is such a fun thing. You’ve heard that saying, right? Wait, no. Nobody says that. There’s the kind of fear that is fun. Well, I think it’s fun. The fear you get when you’re about to go on a new ride that you’ve never been on before. The good, excited, nervous kind of fear. I actually love that feeling, it pushes me to keep going, to try the new thing, to jump on whatever and go for it.

On the other hand, there is the fear that makes you not do what you’re supposed to be doing, your calling, your passion. The thing that sings to your soul and makes your heart happy. The fear of failing that isn’t always easy to place. The fear that makes you question if you are even doing what you’re supposed to be doing. The fear that makes you compare to others in the same field. That kind of fear is the worst. It is full of constant disappointment and confusion. It’s also full of lies. That kind of fear, that makes you just sit on your couch is lying to you. Whatever thoughts that pop into your head about why you shouldn’t do the things you wish and want to do, are lies. 

For me, I think a part of me always wanted to write. I just didn’t know I COULD write. I loved writing but I didn’t know anything about making a career or developing my passion for it. As I’ve gotten older and started pursuing writing, I’ve developed plans and dreams. I’ve seen a calling come into picture. I have a vision. It’s a big dream and a big vision. Something I know only God can help me do. Even though I know that God will guide me and give me strength, I’m terrified. Fear will poke at my heart and say things that make me doubt everything. I doubt my writing ability. I doubt my calling. I just doubt.

However, fear isn’t something that is going go away. In fact, there is some fear that will push you forward. I think the fear that turns into doubt is what I need to work on combating better. Maybe you do too. Fear can be a good motivator, in a healthy way. Like the fear I feel before going on a new roller coaster. That fear that gets me excited. The fear that makes me step over the safety line and get into the ride. I would consider that a healthy fears, but a doctor might just tell me that my adrenaline is pumping that it isn’t really fear. Whatever it is, it makes me take that next step. When fear and doubt start to dance, absolutely nothing gets done. So how do you overcome it?

First, add whatever it is to your schedule. If it is writing, write. If you love to draw, draw. If you want to create cute little bows for boys and girls, do that. Just do it for fun. Do it for you. Don’t do it because it is supposed to be something big. If you take the world out of the equation, it doesn’t matter what the result is, you cannot fail. If my goal is to write four times a week, and I am writing what I want to write about, I cannot fail myself. I just have to do it. There is no room for doubt when I’m just doing something I want to do as long as I don’t add other people and their thoughts to the equation. 

Second, find someone who does what you want to do and ask them how they do it. You don’t need to copy them but the advice they have might help you implement something new into your schedule. I met a speaker once who started out doing Spoken Word, which is something I’ve always wanted to try to write. She gave me questions that she used to write her spoken word and it was huge inspiration for me. An author I met explained that he has a writing time every single morning, and he and his wife got to a coffee shop and write for their scheduled amount of time. (At least, I believe it was a coffee shop). Sometimes, it’s hard to write at home because there are so many distractions and things you could start doing and would need to get done. For example, I’ll go to write, notice the carpet needs to be vacuumed and next thing I know, it’s an hour later and I’ve cleaned half the house, cleaned out a closet and reorganized my bedroom. I cannot do this at the library or a coffee shop. It’s not my job to clean there. Plus, as an extrovert, being around people gives me energy. 

Last, call fear and doubt like it is. If you notice the negative, doubtful thoughts creeping in, tell it to go away. Say no thanks, I don’t need that in my life and keep trying. Move forward instead of allowing the doubt to define you. Fear and doubt don’t define you. Tell it to go away. Get into a practice of calling out the negative thoughts, just as they are, and combating them with something positive. For example: I’ll think, I’m an awful writer. What am I even doing?  Instead of allowing that thought to be a thing and allowing it to define me, I can choose to combat it with something truthful. I’ve had the third professor in as many terms tell me that my paper was the best paper they got for an assignment. Clearly, I have writing skills. (I know writing for essays and fiction are different, but basic skills are basic skills.) 

Oh, bonus! Talk to someone about them. Doubt feeds off isolation and darkness. Fear lives in that same boat. When I struggle with doubt and fear, I’ll go talk to my husband or my best friend and they’ll encourage me. They’ll remind me what I do what I do. They’ll both tell me truths that I need to hear. Sharing takes that fear out of the dark and the light makes it so much smaller. 

Currently- July Edition

General- It is too hot to even think about going outside so we are attempting to learn the art of staying inside the house and finding fun things to do inside. We have been reorganizing and moving some things around at home so we feel like we have brand new spaces! So that is pretty cool. We took a trip up to Washington to visit some family and tried the BEST donuts ever. Plus we got to scooter all around town. It was a blast. I have awesome family and watching Little Man play with my cousin’s kids was pure joy.  

Reading– I’m currently reading The Bookish Boyfriends A Date with Darcy. I started reading it on the plane to Washington and haven’t picked it up since. I haven’t been reading like I was. It’s a roller coaster ride, my reading habits, a lot of ups and downs. Give me some book recommendations though! I’m always looking for a new book to read. Although, my shelves are filling quickly with more books I haven’t read than books I have. 

Listening– I just finished Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen and I am starting the second book in the series, Saving Quinton. I read her series with Callie & Kayden and LOVED the books. Her books do have trigger themes in them and I really wish book descriptions had trigger warnings sometimes. While I’m normally okay, I wasn’t 100% prepared so it was a little jarring at first. In fact, I was even considering not finishing the series after Breaking Nova but I loved the ending and I needed to know what happens next. There is a lot of redemption in her books, so I have hope. At least, Callie & Kayden had redemption. This month I also finished Catch A Falling Star by Kim Culbertson. I bought the actual book years ago at a book fair and loved it. It’s a cute YA for when you don’t want to deal with adult problems. 

Watching– I’m still working my way through the West Wing. I stopped watching Designated Survivor. A friend said Netflix ruined the show with the 3rd season and when she gave me the reasons it was ruined, I no longer wanted to watch the show. No point in watching something to have to skip a season. I started Criminal Minds though! My best friend and I used to binge watch her seasons on DVD. Hotch is my favorite. I’m so psychology obsesses and curious that I wish I knew that this was a job possibility when I was in high school, before I discovered writing, because maybe I’d be working my way to the BAU myself. (Lol)

Writing– ALL THE PAPERS. I haven’t really been writing anything outside of school stuff and journaling. Oh, and some blog posts (duh!). The one thing that is keeping me going is that I have had another professor tell me that my paper was the best one they got so that gives me hope for my writing. This week, I got the comment “Excellent paper, as usual,” which makes me happy and smile. Seriously, it makes me think I actually know what I’m doing when I write. You gotta take the victories when you can, you know?

Other– I’m working on a project I’m hoping to announce soon. I’ve also started doing a bible study with my friends and we just did our first week and it was really cool to see how different parts of a single chapter of the Bible had different parts that stood out to all of us differently. I’m trying this thing were I go to bed before midnight and we are trying to not have our power bill look like a car payment. This summer has been really interesting and fun and I’m kind of excited to see what is going to happen next in our lives. 

Traveling & Inspiration

I never understood people who said they needed to travel, as if it was oxygen. I also didn’t understand those who claimed wanderlust. My family never put a priority on traveling. We travelled for need. There was a family thing happening that we needed to be at so we went and that was that. For my 8th birthday, my present was to go to Illinois to visit my family and meet my cousin. That was cool but after that, I never really travelled again. Well, I did a trip for the Thespian club I was in. After that though, seriously, no traveling. My naive self didn’t realize how much fun it could be. I didn’t even care that we didn’t travel for our honeymoon. In fact, I was relieved when we decided to stay home, in Vegas, and do touristy things for our honeymoon. 

Within the past year, we’ve decided we rather do more fun things than have fun things. Like, TV’s are cool but have you been to Universal Studios? Have you been to a beach? The beach is a happy place for me. I can just sit in the sand all day with a journal and I’ll be good. Last summer, we took Little Man to the beach and had the best day ever. We bought an umbrella, had snacks and books and my journal and I did not want to leave. I didn’t even care that much about getting into the water. (I did for Little Man) but I was content just existing on the beach. I was content. I didn’t need anything else, just the view. After we got home the following day, it was all Little Man could talk about. He kept asking when we were going to go to the beach again. So, we decided that we were going to start traveling more, budget permitting. We decided that gifts could also be travel, holidays can be celebrated with travel. Plus, living 4 (ish) hours away from California and the things I want to do there makes life easier. 

One of the biggest tips in the writing world is that you need to be living life if you want to write. Your characters will have life on those pages and you need all the experiences you can give. Google helps but it doesn’t replace experiencing something for yourself. At least for me. I couldn’t write about a theme park and a character going to one without going through one myself. In Vegas we have the Adventuredome, which is a theme park but it is completely different than big theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios. Completely different and if I were to write a character based on my experiences at Adventuredome, it would probably be about walking around in a giant circle and occasionally going on rides. 

This summer only we have travelled more than in the 9 years we have been together. I am enjoying every single second of our travels and the extra special family time we get. I love seeing Little Man experience new things and get excited over rides and roller coasters. With all this travel, I’ve had ideas and story arcs that I wouldn’t have thought of at home because I don’t have the same scenery. I meet interesting people I can put into a character. It’s more for me to draw from. Every time we go somewhere new, we try to find something we cannot do back home and it is always exciting to look around for something fun to do. (Thank you travel blogs!)

It’s so nice to take a step away from normal, daily life and experience a new place with new people and new things. I will say Washington is totally different than Vegas. In all the best ways. Mainly the heat, I left 100+ temperatures, experienced beautiful 80’s and then came home in the middle of the night to 104. The weather alone made the trip amazing. We could do everything outside. Now that I’m home, I cannot do everything outside. However, I can look into doing new things here at home. I won’t be able to travel all the time. That doesn’t mean I cannot experience new things at home though. While traveling is amazing and I understand those people I mentioned earlier a little better, inspiration can be found in travel and seeing new places. Experiencing new things can also draw inspiration. You just gotta look around a little bit. 

Currently- May Edition

General- Last time I wrote this post I had said it was officially summer in Vegas. Vegas wanted to make me a liar because I don’t think we’ve seen 90 degrees in weeks. There has been a lot of wind and a lot of rain and low temps for this time of year. I am the last one to complain, I’ll take whatever that holds the heat off for a little bit longer. 

My son and I just got back from a trip to California to see family and go to Universal Studios. It was Little Man’s first trip there. We had so, so, so much fun. Take trips with your kids, even when they are little. Will he remember this trip? No idea. I will though and this memory makes my heart fill up to the top with joy. I will be writing a post all about our trip in the next week or so. We came home Sunday and spent Memorial Day getting ready for the week and hanging out with each other. Plus spending time with our animals. (They missed us while we were gone.) 

I recently got a Cricut and this device has changed my whole crafting world. I’ve always wanted one and I finally just bit the bullet and got the Explore One. I’ve been making things like crazy ever since. I made the shirts my son and I wore to Universal. I made my mother-in-law her mother’s day gifts. Plus I’m working on how to make my own journals because that has been a dream of mine for years. I’m super excited to see all the things I can make with it. (Shoutout to my friend who has been helping me navigate this sucker too!) 

Reading- I’ve put Windwitch on hold while I focus on reading Girl Wash Your Face. I was reading these books last month but I still haven’t finished. I’m working on re-working reading into my schedule. Now that I’m all caught up on Gray’s Anatomy I don’t need to binge watch as much. On my trip I listened to audiobooks. So I just finished “White Hot Kiss” by Jennifer L Armentrout. It’s a series about a girl who is part warden / part demon. Very interesting, slightly steamy (if you are into that sort of thing.), and overall a great story. I’m halfway through the second book, Stone Cold Touch right now. I’ll probably keep listening while I drive to work and things. It isn’t as easy for me to listen to audiobooks at home.

Watching- I literally just finished watching the Captain Underpants movie with Little Man. He’s been asking a lot lately to watch things with me so I try to say yes when I can. Tonight after dinner we watched the movie before getting ready for bed. I’m also watching Designated Survivor on Netflix. This is the show I am binging now. Season three will drop on Netflix soon so I’ll be busy with this show for a minute. It is very intense and every time you think you know what to expect or you think you finally get what is happening, another twist gets thrown in and makes my heart race. It is SO GOOD. 

Other– I am officially on week four of this term which means I am almost halfway to the end of term! This term is rocky for me. I have one class that makes me want to rip my eyeballs out when I work on the coursework. The other class I am taking is Mythology and that has my interest like nobody’s business. I’ve always been interested in mythology, mainly greek mythology. We’re going over greek mythology along with other cultures. I just did some reading about the Hindu goddess of death and she is quite interesting. It is also sparking ideas for me for one of my writing projects so that is super helpful. 

Writing- Speaking of writing, my book is officially published and I am now having to ask myself what is next. I am brainstorming some journaling plan ideas. I’ve also decided to go back to a writing project that I’ve technically been working on for six years. I currently have 20,000-ish words. I’m about to start editing it and maybe even doing an outline and I am solely focused on this writing project outside of journaling things. When I started this project six years ago I had big plot plans and just never found the time to write. Now that I’m in a better habit of writing, I want to finish this project and do all the plot things. The main characters won’t leave me alone and now feels like the time for this project. It’s a YA novel, if you are wondering what type of project it is. It will be completely different than the journaling devotional I just published. However, I don’t know if I will be publishing this project. I am writing it for me, because the characters are stuck in my head and I want to finish it. The cool thing about writing is that you don’t have to publish everything you write. 

So what about you? What are you reading and watching and doing in general every day life?