Monday, January 27, 2014

Blogging from A to Z Challenge Sign Up Day

It's Monday morning (my list favorite time of the week), but at least this Monday I have something to look forward to . . . sign ups for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this April have begun! This is my absolute favorite blog fest, and I can't wait to participate for my third year in a row. Time to start working on my posts!

If you've never done the A to Z challenge, you really should check it out (here). It's fun, it's a great way to find new cool blogs and to get your blog out there. And best of all, it's a chance to take part in one of the biggest blog fests in the sphere. So please join me in my first year an A to Z Minion (I'm still not sure exactly what being a Minion entails, but I'm seriously excited to be included in Alex J. Cavanaugh's minionry), and sign up for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Can't Waits of 2014

It's always excited when one year passes and a new one begins. A fresh start, New Years resolutions that you really intend (but rarely do) to keep, and a whole host of new books, movies, tv shows and life events to anticipate. My 2014 looks to be a big one, and there are so many things I simply can't wait for. Here's a look at my . . .

'Can't Waits' of 2014

TV Series: 
Sherlock - Season 3 (finally!)
Game of Thrones - Season 4 (the recently released preview looks incredible)
True Blood - Season 7 (I'm pretty worried about this one as the past few seasons have been so-so)
Believe (a great concept . . .)
Penny Dreadful (looks terrifyingly awesome)

- I, Frankenstein (this looks so bad it's just got to be awesome)
- Vampire Academy
- 300: Rise of an Empire
- Veronica Mars (finally! I've been waiting on this one since the kickstarted campaign).
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (super excited)
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (super, super excited)
- X-Men: Days of Future Past (I can't wait to see how they plan to combine two casts from different versions of the X-Men films into one movie!)
- Maleficent
- Godzilla (thanks for reminding me Alex!)
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Resident Evil: Afterbirth (they keep making them, I'll keep going)
- Interstellar
- Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
- The Hobbit: There and Back Again (these just can't compare to Lord of the Rings, but I feel I have to go anyways to support Tolkien)
- Into the Woods

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan - there are a bunch of other books I'm waiting for, but this one takes the absolute cake. I cannot wait to see what the fifth and final book in the Heroes of Olympus series has in store for us.


I'M GETTING MARRIED IN 129 DAYS!!! This is, obviously, the most exciting event of my 2014. Let's just hope the 129 days go by quickly.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's the first (or in January's case - second) Monday of the month and time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. A big thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his minions for starting this group and giving insecure writers and bloggers a place to to seek support. If you're interested in joining, check us out here.

This time, like I suspect many others will, I want to talk about New Years goals. I have a multitude of goals for the new year, but firsts and foremost I want to begin a new book. Last year was something of a draining year and I wandered off the writing path. 

But a new year is upon us and it's time to begin again. I am not making any specific goals (aka. 5 pages a day, etc.) because I'm not sure I'm ready for that. Starting slow is the best way I think, and then maybe trying to work upwards from there. 

And as a way to help motivate myself, I've decided to dedicate this year's Blogging from A to Z challenge in April to my new book idea. That way all the research I do for my favorite blogging event will go toward writing a new story. [Ps. Sign ups for the A to Z Challenge are coming up fast . . . I hope everyone joins me this year!]

If there are any other writers out there with similar goals, good luck this year. And please, don't hesitate to share any success you reach with the rest of us -- I know I could use a little inspiration. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Love Letter to the Universe

You never know when your life is going to change. The universe has it's own bizarre sense of humor, one which we may never quite understand until the the very end . . . and maybe not even then.

One year ago yesterday my life changed forever. The new year had just begun, I was on the very last leg of a two week cruise with my family and anxious to get back to the the man I'd only just started seeing but already felt like he might just be it.

And then everything changed. My family and I went up to the ship's top-floor gym for a little exercise. The sun was out, the water was clear, and somewhere off in the distance a rainbow lit the sky. I remember that rainbow very clearly, for pointing it out was one of the very last things my mom did before she collapsed.

I'd just stepped off the treadmill after a three mile run and was wiping my face off with a towel when I heard a loud sound behind me. I turned around in time to see my mother face-down at the bottom of her own treadmill - the one right next to mine - her neck bent in a terrifying direction.

I go back to that moment over and over again. All the possibilities. Have you ever seen that movie sliding doors with Gwyneth Palrow where it shows two different possible story-lines side by side, one where she made the train, caught her cheating boyfriend and went on to find a new career and new man to love, and the other where she missed the train and led a much sadder life?

As I stared at my mother - my best friend and the backbone of my family - on the ground next to me, that was the moment in which I wondered if I would make the train or if it would leave me behind forever.

So I'd like to thank god, or the universe, or whatever great power there is that I made the train. That after four minutes without breathing, four long minutes of facing a world without my mom, they were able to bring her back. And again, and again, as she coded twice more. I'd like to thank the universe for putting us on a ship with the proper medical equipment that was able to cool her body down so that she preserved as much of her memory as it did, and for the doctor on board who was able to save her life.

It's been a hard year since then. As thankful as I am for my mother's life, it's been very hard. Four minutes without air and significant memory loss is a small price to pay for one's a life, but amnesia is a painful condition to live with by any standards. So much of who we are is built from our memories. Our personality and sense of self, as it turns out, it so terribly fragile. So easy to break, and much less easy to put back together.

It's so terribly hard for her, for our family, and selfishly, for myself.

But sometimes the universe sends us exactly what we need to survive what seems like the worst the universe has to offer. Loyal and wonderful friends, who prop you up when you can't go any further. Family, who helps when it's all just too overwhelming. I hope I was what she needed over this last year, and that I did enough.

But for me, to help me cope with all I had lost - my mother's memories, and so much more - I was given the love of my life. Sent to me at the strangest of times.

Who falls in love when their whole world has collapsed? I guess I do. Because when you find someone who will stand beside you through the worst after less than a month of dating, that's a person worth spending your life with. Someone who can make you laugh on the worst of days, and understands when you simply need to weep, sometimes for hours on end.

Of the many great regrets I will accrue over the course of my lifetime, my greatest is that I didn't introduce my mom to my fiance before her collapse, so that he could know her as she was before our whole world changed. But of all that I am thankful for today, one year and one day later, I am most thankful for my mother's life and the gift of my fiance.

It seems strange to me that the last year could be both the best and the worst of my life. What a strange world that we can be so broken and so happy at the same time. The universe is such a bizarre place. I still try to understand it sometimes, knowing that I probably never will. Maybe one day, at the end of my life I'll be able to look back and understand the utter insanity of this past year. How it all connects and fits together in the greater puzzle of the universe.

But until then, I'm so thankful for where I am today.