Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Crafty Christmas Part 1

Christmas has come and gone; and for me, it was a success.

I had very little money. I’m talking $20 to find something for my mom, my dad, three grandmas and an aunt (the pets and hubs had their own budget, and those gifts were purchased long ago).

I had to get crafty.

Where does one go for crafty inspiration? Pinterest, of course.

Starting with the oldest, my great grandmother, I decided to make her a mixed media wall picture inspired by this:

First I started with a backdrop of old book pages and some scrapbooking paper that I thought would go with her color scheme. I mod-podged (homemade of course) the paper to a canvas I already had on hand. Then, I chopped up a lace doily and mod-podged it down the center. Leaving me with this:

 I achieved the auburn edging with some embossing powder.

After the base was done, I had to assemble all the little pieces. This was the hard part. I started by making little wire and nail polish flowers, which were a pain in the bum. Nail polish is very hard to work with. I ended up with a little chemical buzz at the end of it.

Starting with wire I had around and a pencil, I made five small little loops with the help of the pencil to keep their shape, twisted them together with more wire, and shaped it into a flower.

Make sure you use cheap nail polish since you have to pour a puddle onto some wax paper and swoop the wire loop through it slowly until a film forms, leaving a lot behind.

Next were the paper flowers that came from another Pinterest pin:

I bought a package of four different complimentary colored cardstock for $3 on clearance. The pattern came from the pin and hot glue was on hand.

Basically, cut, glue small to big, and form as you go. Pretty simple.

Then, I gathered some craft odds-and-ends I had in all my junk drawers, buttons, fabric flowers, etc. and hot glued everything together.

Lastly, I cut some butterflies out of my pile of scrapbooking paper, covered them in embossing powder, and glued ‘em on.


Total cost: $3. One project done, four to go.

What'd you craft for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Greetings

Merry Christmas, everyone.

This is just a quick post to wish everyone well on the holidays whether they celebrate or not.

I will be posting much more regularly after the holidays are over.

It was a crafty Christmas for me, so I'll have a lot of posts about the things I've made.

And, I have a lot planned for the coming year.

I'll post soon!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Letters from Family

Happy Friday, all!

I had a very uneventful week. After turning in the edits for a manuscript I was working on Tuesday, I spent the rest of the week bumming around in my PJs.

Nothing makes you feel more like a quarter-life-crisis sufferer than not getting dressed for a week.

But shit happens, like receiving a very not-so-lovely letter from a family member about my recent weight gain. Thank you, I hadn’t noticed.  So, I was in a pretty bad emotional space.

But like my family is want to do, the news of said letter spread through the gossip line, and I got a resounding show of support which was nice.

I also don’t fault said family member for what was said. Was it rude? Yes. Do they understand that it’s really out of my control at the moment? No.

Here’s a person who has spent their whole life acutely aware of their weight; and in my 26 years of life, this person has always been on some diet or another. I’m pretty sure their self-worth is inextricably tied to their waistline.

Really, that’s a shitty existence and not how my life works.  I may be overweight at the moment, but my doctors have assured me that once I get my thyroid under control, the weight will come off.

And besides, I’m not all that worried about it. I’ve been through the ringer of testing to see where my health stands; and you know what? Despite carrying extra weight, I’m healthier than most people I know.

My cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, and various other health readings all came out to be well within the normal range. I’m not even borderline unhealthy on anything.

So maybe I’m going through a heavier moment in my life.

I’m being proactive about it, and I am healthy.

So yes, concerned family member. I’ve gained a bit of weight. I’m okay with it, because I know it’s temporary and I’m healthy.

You, on the other hand, will continue to be wrapped up in not only what your own scale reads, but apparently mine too.  

Well you can go ahead and do that. I have more important things to worry about and refuse to spend another day bothered by your words. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My First Panic Attack

I was 21. My first day of class was the next day, and I had put off buying my books until the busiest day of the bookstore’s year. I was in the middle of the line of about one hundred other students when I started to feel sick. It started with nausea and sweaty palms that progressively got worse the closer I made it to the cashier. By the time I got to her, my heart was pounding through my chest, I felt like I was drenched in sweat, and I was praying to God that I neither passed out or threw up. 

And she took forever. I swore she was moving in slow motion as she swiped my books, took my card, and stapled my receipts. The entire time, I felt like my hearing was muffled and constant chills ran through my body. When she finally handed me the bag, I yanked it out of her hands without so much as a thank you and all but sprinted out of the bookstore. The whole way to my car, I had to concentrate on my steps, constantly reassuring myself that it wasn’t that far. The closer I got to the car, the less sick I felt. Once in the safety of my car, I felt exhausted but fine. 

I didn’t know it was a panic attack at the time. I thought I was sick and in a way I was. After experiencing a lot more nausea, I went to the doctors and got diagnosed with vertigo due to an ear infection. I thought my suffering was over and my prayers answered since I had a cause for the symptoms. 

I was wrong. 

For months after my ear got better, whenever I’d stand in a line, I’d experience sheer panic. Grocery shopping, getting gas, a 7-11 run, all these things turned into exercises in willpower to just make it through the line without passing out. 

It got so bad that my fiancé would do most of the shopping. If I had to do it, I’d come home with red hands from constantly digging my nails into my skin as a painful distraction to center my focus. 

And my anxiety morphed over time. It became an issue whenever I was in a place where I perceived there was no easy exit. Sitting in class became a problem because if I wanted to leave, people would notice. Elevators were little pockets of hell littering my life. Being in a car that I wasn’t driving led to hyperventilation and taking sips of water like a mad person in order to keep the items in my stomach where they were. Speaking of water, not having access to water at any point in my day was the holy grail of panic triggers. Somehow water equated not throwing up. My logic: something going in means nothing can come out. 

I became borderline agoraphobic. I still went out, but my mind was always preoccupied with checking my body for panic symptoms, assessing exit strategies, worrying about how long I’d feel as normal as I could, and trying to talk myself off the ledge. Going out wasn’t fun anymore. 

My unchecked anxiety had morphed into Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Christmas Decor Craft

My Christmas decorations are a bit lack luster. Aside from stuff for the Christmas tree and two stockings, you can hardly tell I even decorated around here. 

So I did what any girl in her 20s does. 

I went to Pinterest.

I found this and decided some white popsicle stick snowflakes would look good on my barren red wall. 

I got popsicle sticks from my local super center for less than $2.  

I had the white paint and glue gun on hand, so that was free. 

Et Voilà! They're not as big as the ones in the inspiration, but I could only find mini sticks. There're about 150 of those bad boys in three flakes. Plus, I think they're just as cute as the big ones. 

What are you crafting for the Holidays?

Following me one Pinterest: NikkiL0510
Follow me on Twitter: Nikki_Writ 

Monday, December 2, 2013

That Time I Applied for a Credit Card in order to Buy Groceries...

Yeah, that time was last Friday.

Financially, November was a complete disaster.

I don’t know why we fell off the bill paying wagon quite so far this time. I am a budgeter through and through. Every four months, I assess how we’re going to make my fiancé’s check and the financial aid money stretch until next payout. Usually, I can make it work just fine. No, I generally can’t afford new clothes or you know, fun things, but the necessities and bills get paid. Such is the life of a student.

But I’m not a student anymore. I’m the unemployed. I’m the unemployed who has applied to well over one hundred jobs and haven’t gotten anything. 

I did start an editing job, but at the moment that’s unpaid. Freelancing is, well, freelancing. I write fluff pieces that don’t make much money and definitely can’t pay any of my bills. But, I stick with it because it’s something, and maybe it’ll lead to something else.

That being said, when I sat down with the budget four months ago, I wasn’t prepared for a debt collector from my fiancés past to come crawling out of the woodwork demanding their money. And they wanted it now. So, a whole months worth of bill money disappeared.

Be wary, people. The mistakes you make as a teenager do catch up with you eventually. 

With $26 for two weeks, it was either not pay the car payment (which I’d already deferred for a month) or apply for a credit card and hope for the best.

Luckily, I got approved and we can eat for the next two weeks, but I’ve never cut it this close. 

We’ve tried trading in the car to save on car payments, but no matter what we did, the alternatives were always more. We’ve tried looking for a new, cheaper apartment, but we’re already living at the bottom of that barrel.

Life is tough at the moment, but I’m now applying for temp positions and the next big check comes in a month. I can stick it out until then. God has always provided me a way.  I have faith I’ll find it. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Last of 2013

November has come to an end, and I have to say, it was a mixed bag of tricks. 

I completed NaNoWriMo--well, I surpassed 50,000 words. I still have two scenes to write. But it’s still a win in my book!

I was approved for a car loan but couldn’t actually find a car. My current vehicle is a spectacular piece of crap that created too much negative equity to have a payment anywhere near the realm of reasonable. Goodbye my beautiful SUV with two moon roofs. I can’t live in you, so I can’t see paying half my rent to take you home. 
I spent Thanksgiving seeing all my family and most of my friends. I pigged out on meatballs, ham, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie while still managing to lose three pounds. But, my fiancé’s grandmother is in a coma, so it wasn’t all happy reunions. 
It also snowed there, which was a nice change up from our rainy, dreary scenery. What a difference 2 hours makes when it comes to weather. 

I plan to make December an awesome last hoorah to the craziest year of my l life so far. I hope these next 31 days are the prep work for something great. 
Oh, and I got a tree. My first real one since my childhood at home. The scent of pine is bringing so much nostalgia with it, I feel like I should have pig tails and be sleeping on my Barney sheets. 
Happy December!! 
Follow me on Twitter: @Nikki_Writ

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cookie Failure

Today I attempted to make some cookies. Everyone knows that baking is just not my thing. Even no-bakes are a problem for me. 

But I decided maybe sugar cookies would be different. 

I mixed the sugar with the butter and the flour. I threw in some vanilla as per the very, very, foolproof recipe. 

“Mix the dough,” the recipe said. 

“I’m mixing the dough,” I said, “But, that shit isn’t working out.” 

No matter, I pushed through. I thought, maybe this is supposed to be a bit crumbly... 

Step three: roll the dough and cut into shapes. I rolled and rolled. The dough cracked, crumbled, and stuck to the pin no matter how much flour I used to prevent it. 

I got five cookies successfully circular before I said screw it and threw the rest of the dough out. 

The dough may have beaten my patience level, but I was going to make those five cookies.

Is that not the saddest sugar cookie you’ve ever seen?

After I had tried my creations--visually they were lack luster, but the taste wasn’t half bad--I questioned why in the hell I was trying to bake anyways. 

The answer: Procrastination.

I would rather bake horribly, shitty cookies than sit down and write. I was mid-bite through the second cookie when this epiphany hit me. instead of doing the dishes and finishing the laundry that I was also supposed to be doing, I got a cup of tea, went to my horribly messy office in my pajamas that I was still wearing at noon, and sat down to write. 

Vintage Santa mug--hell yes!

If I can let horrible cookie making take an hour out of my day, dammit, I can sit down and write something. 

And then I did.

NaNo Update: My novel has taken over my life. I really only allowed myself this post because I'm 2,000 words away from 50k. ONLY 2000 TO GO. Although the novel won't be finished at 50k; I'm feeling 60K. I fell off the writing wagon in week 2 by taking two days off, so I've been in constant catch up mode since. I had a goal of being finished before Thanksgiving, and I'm going to do it!  

What are your procrastination habits? Anybody else do things they’re intentionally bad at to waste time? How are your NaNos coming fellow writers?? 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Books of Influence

Since NaNoWrimo started on Friday, my creative well is focused on that. But writing and reading go hand-in-hand; so, as I endeavor to get to 50,000 words, I’ve also been reading like a mad woman. Look forward to book reviews come December. 

I like to read in the genre I’m writing in. Referencing other writers helps when I get stuck.

As I devour books in the YA genre to help with my own, I got to thinking about the books I’ve read in the past that really influenced me as a writer. 

So, every Sunday of November, I’m going to post an influential book that shaped my writing life. Up first:

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

I read this book in high school initially. It didn’t really leave any indelible mark on me, but then again anything I was forced to read in K-12 immediately made it onto the hate list out of principal.

It was my second run in with this book that really solidified it as my favorite book of all time. 

It was the first novel I ever analyzed critically and really the first glimpse of what goes on in books beyond the words on the page. I was reading with a concentration on what language was doing to Frankenstein’s monster and what other pieces of literature, such as Paradise Lost, was doing to the monster’s psyche, and I kind of fell in love with Shelley after that. Books became more than books. Reading became a challenge to see what they authors were really trying to get across on the page. And then of course, I wanted to be that kind of writer. I wanted to write the stuff that makes people think, question morals, all that good stuff. So now that this paragraph sounds like a poorly articulated love letter, I will leave it at: I just really really love this book. 

NaNoWrimo Update: I am over 5,000 words in. I don’t hate it yet, so that’s a plus. My inner editor is locked up and twitching in the corner over all my long winded exposition, tense shifts, that entire first page where I just threw convention to the wind and wrote in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person to try an feel out where I wanted to go. It’s been an interesting ride so far. 

What book influenced you?And if you’re NaNoing with me, how’s it going? 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Job Hunting

While I'm writing both creatively and freelancing, I'm also looking for a more permanent and stable paying job. 

I knew before deciding to major in English that job searching was not going to be the easiest thing in the world. But, I thought, 'hey, I went to a great school, got great grades, it won't be that bad.'

I was wrong. I've been out of school since June 21st. I've been jobless since June 21st. I've turned in over 100 applications. I was called back for one. That one…well, I completely bombed the phone interview. I was wholly unprepared for it and that particular job opportunity was part of my mass application front where I applied for anything and everything. I didn't exactly have award winning answers. It really wasn't any surprise when I didn't get it. Plus, I am so much better in person. Phone interviews suck. 

Moral of the story, English degrees are really, really unmarketable. It doesn't matter what school you went to, or your grades, it's all about luck for us. 

Thankfully, I've finally got an in on a job through a referral, so I am hoping beyond hope that this will be the one. 

I haven't seen people out in the wild in a very long time. I'm going stir crazy. I only talk to people I know over the phone or through text. Actual human interaction is strictly between my fiancé and I and a roommate we had briefly who has already moved out. 

I need to rejoin society before I lose my crackers. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Writing and I

Currently reading this book suggested by an old teacher
Writing and I, me and writing. We have a strange relationship. I find it really hard to get started writing and even more difficult if I don't have a set deadline. The only time I've really excelled at the whole writing thing was when I was taking creative writing classes. 

When I had a paper due the next week, I could sit down and shoot out a short story in a couple days. I'd have numerous fully-formed stories floating around my head. 

Outside of class without the looming deadline breathing down my neck? I find it soooo hard just to get started. Sure, the numerous story lines are still rolling around in my head, but actually writing them down? Nope.

Even now, I should be writing in order to make a couple contest deadlines, but my writing confidence is hiding in a corner somewhere. I feel pressure to perform since all my writing friends are getting book deals, winning contests, doing author tours, and I'm here waving "hey, I published that story that one time a couple years ago." 


And I know I can do it. I know I have what it takes to write. I have all the time in the world to do it right now, too. I have no job, no school. I just have a lot of time that I spend doing everything but writing. 

I'm putting too much pressure on it. I know I am. There's no such thing as writer's block for me. It's just me not doing it.

Sorry for the third post in rant, but the frustration is weighing on me. Anyone else with writing troubles? How do you surpass them? 

Friday, October 25, 2013

It's Nano Time

As a creative writer, it's no surprise that I will be doing NanoWrimo again this year. 

I've attempted Nano every year since 2010, but I've only been successful that first year. Not that anything came of that novel. It was more of an experiment, and I am actually contemplating redoing the whole thing as a NA novel instead of YA. It doesn't work how it is now, but I truly love my characters and aging them might give them the freedom they really need to accomplish the vision I have for them. 

I think the reason for my failures the previous two years have been a combination of just not having adequate time to actually commit to writing and just a general lack of a support group. I never went to my regions write-ins, I generally didn't talk to other participants, so it always fizzled out. 

Not this year!

This year, I plan to fully immerse myself in the Nano experience. I am going to write-ins; hell, I'm even going to the kick-off party in my region this year. I'm all set with a Nano pen pal, and now I've found this Writers Unite Nano support group. 

For those here through the link-up, my name is Nichole, I am from the mitten state. I'm a recent college grad with a Bachelor in English. I am a full-time writer; I freelance, and I am compiling my writing portfolio to start applying for graduate school. 

As for my novel this year, I am expanding a short story I wrote for my creative writing class earlier this year. It's very loosely based on real-life events--more of a combination of stories I've heard or witnessed in my life. 

My Nano title and synopsis: 

Quiet Moments

Adeline and Skylar are two sisters who share a close relationship built out of necessity when their father left and their mother, Jen, turned to alcohol and a string of failed relationships. When Jen meets Paul, the girls ignore his aloof behavior because at least their mother seems happier. But Paul isn't just a little quiet and his anger soon breaks through and targets Skylar. Quiet Moments follows the sisters' relationship as one deals with abuse while the other can only stand by and watch.

Be my writing buddy on Nano: Eternal_Dreamer10

Happy Writing! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Health and Blog Woes

Crayon art by yours truly 
I've had this blog for two or more years now and my consistency with postings is just plain embarrassing. 

The last time I was posting, I felt like I was in a good place. I was focusing on my writing, spreading the creative love so to speak, but I just ran out of juice. 

Things got really weird for me mentally and health wise. I thought I was going into some weird depression. With graduating, stroke recovery, and beginning the daunting job hunting task, I just shut down. And I've been in that shut down mode until recently. 

At the beginning of 2013, I had vowed to finally lose that extra weight I kept packing on, but couldn't seem to have any luck at it. In fact, since January, I've put on 30 pounds. In June, I thought, well this is ridiculous, I have no clothes, and my energy had disappeared. I thought everyone was looking at my new plumpness and assuming I was lazy, that I wasn't trying to do something about it. 

But I was. I tried juicing, cutting out carbs, working out every single day, cutting out sweets and fast-food.

Guess how much weight I lost???


Not a single damn pound. 

As a matter of fact, if I fudged my shoddy exercise routine or broke down and ate some M&Ms, I'd see it on the scale the next day. 

Something wasn't right. Not only was I not losing weight, but I couldn't sustain a basic exercise routine without feeling completely drained. I've always been a pretty active person. Maybe I haven't been in my peak physical condition for a couple years, but I can play sports, run, and seem endlessly energetic. Now, a fifteen minute walk on the treadmill kills me. 

So I went to the doctors. I had a theory based on good ole WebMd and every other google health search I did that my thyroid was possibly to blame. Either that or PCOS, because everyone around me was convinced my ovaries were the culprits. 

After blood work and a visit to the lady doctor who said she couldn't find my cervix (I didn't know cervixes could disappear, but I'm not a doctor), and a month and a half wait, I finally got my answer. 

I have hypothyroidism. My thyroid is a little slow, throwing everything out of whack. 

Now I have to take a hormone supplement. This is only day one, so I don't know how effective it is yet, but I have high hopes. And, I have to go back to a different lady doctor in order to hopefully find my cervix (my regular doctor assured me that it cannot, in fact, disappear). 

As I am now getting my health in order, I think it's time to get everything else back in order as well. Starting with this blog. I will be sharing a lot of my writing and some of my personal life, too, as I start this journey back to feeling like a normal functioning human being. 

Anybody else out there with thyroid problems? Any tips or tricks? What should I be looking forward to if these hormones work? 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I'm still alive

My poor tree after the big snow storm

I realize that I have disappeared from the bloggerverse for quite some time now, but I have a good excuse. 

My last post was about my very uninformative ER visit, which was the beginning of all this. At the time I had no idea what was wrong with me and I wouldn't know until last Friday. After seeing numerous doctors, getting more coordination and vision tests than I care to remember, and three MRIs, I finally had my answer. 

I have a vertebral artery dissection (VAD). Basically, what I thought was a mysteriously pulled neck muscle a month ago turned out to be a tear in one of my arteries from my neck leading to my brain. The day I went into the emergency the first time with what I thought, and the doctors thought, was a migraine, was actually what my neurologists says might have been a little stroke. I won't ever know for sure considering I have had no long lasting symptoms aside from a small issue with short-term memory but I fit the bill in every way. 

All that said, I am now healing. I have to take baby-aspirin like an old person to help makes sure I don't get any clots, but I should be back to normal soon. I am still dealing with some off-balance feelings every once in a while, but my vision finally came back completely around a week ago and I am close to a week no headache or neck pain. 

Still, there's that possibility that I could get a clot and have a large stroke, so I won't feel completely confident until I go back for another MRI in a couple months and they tell me that it has healed. 

Needless to say, I was advised to never see a chiropractor, to be very mindful of over-stretching my neck or any sudden and strong neck movement. Oh, and I can't do any sit-ups; there goes my  washboard ab dreams. 

All-in-all, I am happy that it wasn't anything worse. Even though I have no health insurance and have basically just amassed an unbelievably large amount of debt (we're talking two ER visits, one CT scan, more blood work than I think blood in my body, and two MRIs-I didn't have to pay for the third), I'm glad it prompted me to finally go get some glasses; I am thankful that everything else came back saying that I am healthy, even if I do have a little extra stuffing around the middle. Mostly, I am just relieved that after three weeks of seeing doctors and getting poked and prodded, I have not been back to the hospital in almost a week and I am feeling like myself again. 

As for "Compose Yourself," I am going to give myself another week to fully recoup, since I have a midterm on Monday anyways, but I will be back at it next Monday.  

Anybody else ever had an artery dissection???

Monday, February 18, 2013

One Trip to the ER and No "Compose Yourself Monday"

Property of Moi!

I spent my Sunday in the emergency room. I still don't know what's wrong with me, but after a CT scan I can tell you I do not have an aneurysm, brain hemorrhaging, or any brain tumors. Woo-Hoo! I'm happy about those results, especially after spending a good five hours thinking my brain was bleeding. Yet, I won't know what I do have until I get an MRI later this week. So readers, no writing prompt or new stuff from me this week. My head doesn't like reading too much right now. 

But, please do share with me what you've all been writing over the past week. You can link it to a past "Compose Yourself Monday" post, if so inclined. 

Have a great week!  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Compose Yourself Monday

Hello all. It's week three of my creative writing link-up. I have a healthy chunk of readers, but not many participators. Hint...Hint. :) To join, follow, read this post for guidelines, and link-up!

Last weeks prompt: The stalker prompt as I like to call it. Go to a coffee shop, park, anywhere you can people watch for a while. Craft a story around your observations.

Note on this week's contribution: while this is called, lightheartedly, the stalker prompt, the character I wrote is a construction of my imagination. Any likeness to real people was unintentional. Although that may seem contradictory to the prompt, I took pieces from a bunch of people I saw that day and made a completely fictional story about them. 

Morning Meetings 

     She wasn’t conventionally beautiful but she was pretty. She had strong dark eyebrows, long, thick, wavy hair that she didn’t do much with aside from brush, and a good complexion not aided by make-up; a recipe that could have been helped by angular features, or cheekbones to help the eyebrows, but as she stood, her face still held her childhood; it made her seem plain. 
     She didn’t belong, but she tried to. She said “Hi” enthusiastically to everyone, even if it meant ignoring that tinge of anxiety that only those truly listening could catch. One word responses made her uncomfortable so she tried, sometimes too hard, to keep the conversation going; she would ask about the weather, the game, the weekend, the anything, just to try and form some kind of connection. On good days, she would meet someone like her. Someone just waiting for another slightly awkward stranger to share this mandatory time with. Other days, no matter how many attempts she made, the other person found more interest in Facebook than her. 
     She was always deflated by those people, like maybe it would be easier to follow their example. The one with the shiny curls, and the perfect make-up; the one that sat down and flipped through page after page on her phone, sending message after message. The one who didn’t have to try so hard to have a conversation; she was already having twenty. 
     Those days were quiet. There was no awkwardness, no overly obvious small talk, no struggle. That’s when I would notice and look for her and wonder, what if we all just stopped pretending to be busy and instead notice these people around us? What if I asked the girl next to me about the book she’s been reading these past couple days? Would it really be so bad to say the first hello? But I’m not the plain pretty girl, and I wonder how many like me wish they were. ***

As always leave feedback, link-up and grab a button if you have some writing to share!

Prompt 4: Take inspiration from others. Grab a book from your shelf, flip it open and pick a line. Have that sentence be the beginning or ending of your story. Have fun!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Photo Drop

We've been getting a lot of snow lately, so I thought I'd share what I've been seeing.

Park near my house

Abandoned School after a big snow/melt

Backyard snow

Park again

Hard to see ducks subjecting themselves to the cold instead of flying to warmer weather.

My backyard

For more, check out my instagram: eternalsun

Monday, January 21, 2013

Compose Yourself Monday

Creatively Named by Annie

This week I have been concentrating on a new novel idea, so instead of writing from a prompt this week, I am giving a bit of my old writing followed by a prompt to which I will pick up with next Monday. 

I like this excerpt because I don't really write from a snarky place too often, so it was a lot of fun. As always, enjoy and tag-a-long if you feel so inclined. Writing is always more fun when done together!!! 

Office Encounters
     You could hear her coming well before she stepped into the room. Click clack, click clack; it was so loud and so consistent as the noise bounced off the hallway walls that I would bob my head to it. I could block it out, but that would provide the perfect opportunity for her to sneak up on me. I couldn't give her that chance; if I am going to survive these ten minute tortures everyday, I have to be one hundred percent prepared. She will sit down, at the cubicle in front of me. I will get a brief reprieve from the her bear like gait only for a lighter tapping to take its place. Maybe if I break all her pencils, there will be silence. 
     I hear her chair squeak, and I know what's coming. She is twisting a strand of her hair like the sixteen year old girl she wishes she was. The pencil has been forgotten, but the smacking of her gum takes its place. It doesn't matter what she is about to say, it's always the same thing. She looks at her nails, making it seem like it is just too much work to actually look at me while she is speaking and goes on and on about her fabulous weekend with her fiancé Rodney the third. Never Rodney, or Rod, no…always Rodney the third, the rs rolling off her tongue to make her seem even more haughty taughty than she already is. Finally she looks at me with that condescending smile and asks: "It must be hard being almost forty and not havingsomeone to take care of you. No prospects yet there Tip?" She pops her lips around the P. Tip, her snide little nickname for me because I wear a moderate size twelve and opted not to have my stomach suctioned out like the plastic barbie in front of me. 
     My response is always the same, "No prospects yet, Brittany." I smile through gritted teeth as I think of the myriad of ways my chair could do damage to her face. Her eyes sparkle, she knows she has succeeded in pissing me off once again. The chair squeaks, and she is back to her pencil tapping. All I can do is watch the movement and try not to stab her in the eye with it.

This has to do with writing from different senses. Have a sound, smell, or taste lead the way

Saturday, January 19, 2013

YouTube Fav: Spoken Word

So, for some weekend listening/watching, I thought I would share my favorite YouTube video. It comes from a pretty popular, to put it lightly, spoken word poet, Sarah Kay. This is my favorite poem from her because the ending always gives me chills and I think the audience reactions are both hilarious and appropriate. Enjoy! 

And some other famous people's favorite videos too:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Compose Yourself Mondays

Creatively Named by Annie
A weekly writer's link-up

As promised, my first link-up for writers. Whether you link-up or not (of course I would love you if you did) please leave your thoughts on my contribution! :) 

  • A prompt will be posted every Monday
  • Use the prompt or not but write something, any genre or topic you please and post it by the following Monday
  • No unnecessary vulgarity or violence for violence's sake. Keep it classy, or at least include a warning
  • Link-up
  • Once you have linked up, read a fellow author's contribution and leave some feedback
  • General rule of thumb: mention both what does and doesn't work. Constructive criticism is key.
If you have prompt suggestions, please leave them in the comment section or email me directly.

Prompt 1:

This first one comes from a creative writing class I took a couple years ago that was a lot of fun to write on:
Make something conventionally beautiful seem ugly, or something ugly seem beautiful.

My contribution:
On a white windowsill a vase sits, in this vase rests a rose. This rose, once red and fragrant has lost all forms of its once outward beauty. Its petals are cracked and rigid, a few of which have settled at the base of the encasement its parent still resides in. They have been lost in the gusts of open windows and closing doors. The stem of this rose is now lined like a tree trunk, the point in which stem meets flower has lost its structure and now bends with the weight of the bud. The leaves have morphed from their vibrant green to yellow and brown rimmed. The crystal clear water that provided life to the blossom, is now murky, with a film of fuzzy mold growing from the decomposing gift. While most would throw it away, I cannot. In its broken remnants lies the ghost of the giver and for that it will always appear the same way it did when it was received.

Writing News:
I have recently come across a writing contest for those interested.
Brevity Magazine is hosting a flash nonfiction essay contest. If you think you can answer their prompt in 500 words or less, there is $50 and some writing books for the winner. Read more about it here.

Happy Writing, I look forward to reading everyone's stuff this week!  

Monday, January 7, 2013


My backyard

2013 came uneventfully. My fiancé and I kept it calm by celebrating snuggled on the couch with our two dogs and a glass of wine as the ball dropped. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to 2012. I had a good year. I quit smoking last year, something I had been trying to do for around nine years. It was the year that I didn't worry about finances, I knew what my life as a student would be, and I didn't really worry about what my future held. In one word, 2012 was calm. 

Inevitably it had to come to an end, and I am glad it did--renewal is good--but 2013 is looking to be one of those years full of change. I'm graduating this year. I have to find a REAL career, something that I could potentially do LONGTERM…two scary words right there. It's an odd thing to think about my life after student hood. School's consumed my life for four years, and now it just won't be there. I'm also restarting my health goals; lose fifty pounds, eat organically, cut the crap, run a 5k (the color run specifically. It's in my city this year, super exited!). It's been touch and go this first 7 days. I did however, completely omit pop and all forms of fast-food and about 75% processed foods from my diet. Oh, and I lost 3 lbs. 

As the changes begin in my life, I'm also bringing some changes here. I started this blog as an outlet for my creative writing, and well that just never happened. It turned into a journal. I guess I can blame that on fear. Fear that my writing will be seen and judged and ripped apart. Which I know it will by some and that's a fear I want to face this year. I am a writer. People do read my stuff. Hell, I've had a short story published before. But putting my stuff on my blog, I run in fear of that. 

No more! I will be committing myself to one creative post a week, hopefully more as I gain confidence, but one for sure. It will be either fiction, non fiction, or poetry. There will be a color coding system, or maybe a disclaimer so it will be crystal clear what's based on fact or fiction. I urge other writers to join me. I'm playing around with a link-up for it, something where we can connect our writing and provide some constructive criticism--writing is all about getting better, and you need feedback to do so, right? If you're interested, please leave a comment, shoot me an e-mail, or contact me via twitter @Nikki_Writ (It may seem that I don't really use it, but I keep my eye on it. Twitter just never really took off for me.) 

Sometimes, I will be working off a prompt system to get the creative juices flowing and I could share those, too. I know there are resources out there to connect writers, but I like the idea of a contained writing group, an online writing workshop, if you will. Or even if you don't want to join this writing endeavor with me, if you are a writer let me know; I would love to connect with other writers in any form. 

My writing is not of the short and sweet variety. I like flash fiction, I have written it, but even my short stories are pages long. Obviously that doesn't work well for blogging. So, sometimes it will be of the flash variety, other times excerpts or short chapters. If someone is interested in the longer version of a piece, I will make it available on a request basis. It should be noted that what I post on here will be as polished as I can get them, but the longer works may be more rough.

Let me know if you're interested!
Happy 2013 everyone!