Month: March 2014

Thought Questions: Day 15: If not now, then when?

While reading Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself over the course of a year. I decided that I would start answering one of the questions each day for the next year. Not only will this give me a reason to blog every day for a year straight, it will get my creative juices flowing–and I think it will be fun! If you join in please leave me a comment so I can see your answers too. :)

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Day 15: If not now, then when?

I used to be a terrible procrastinator. Terrible. I didn’t just put off necessary things, I put off things I wanted to do, like travel somewhere or even little things, like just spending the day on the sofa reading. I always had some reason: the timing isn’t right, or there’s something else I need to do, or even that it would be difficult to do. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that sometimes you have to just do, and the hell with everything else.

I want to travel and obviously putting it off until I have more cash isn’t getting me anywhere, so I stopped spending so darn much and started saving. I will absolutely leave the laundry unfolded to sit on the couch with a book. Why put off until tomorrow the fun you want to have today? You don’t even know if you’ll wake up tomorrow. Not to sound morbid or anything, but every day brings you a step closer to death, so why waste precious time procrastinating the things you really want to do because the timing isn’t perfect?

(By the way, I’m not suggesting you quit your job and run off to hitchhike around the world on a whim. While this makes for great screenplay material, it’s also a good way to wind up sick and broke. Please be responsible while chasing your goals and dreams!)

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Thought Questions, day #14: What is the difference between living and existing?

While reading Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself over the course of a year. I decided that I would start answering one of the questions each day for the next year. Not only will this give me a reason to blog every day for a year straight, it will get my creative juices flowing–and I think it will be fun! If you join in please leave me a comment so I can see your answers too. :)

Day #14: What is the difference between living and existing?

I think living means actively participating in life, being in a constant state of “carpe diem”, as it were. You have to be willing to take risks, try new things, and go with the flow even when it’s unexpected. Being alive is one thing but really living means embracing everything life can throw at you.

Thought Questions, day #13: Do you celebrate the things you do have?

While reading Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself over the course of a year. I decided that I would start answering one of the questions each day for the next year. Not only will this give me a reason to blog every day for a year straight, it will get my creative juices flowing–and I think it will be fun! If you join in please leave me a comment so I can see your answers too. :)

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Day #13: Do you celebrate the things you do have?

Yes. I think being grateful for the things you have in life, whether material or less tangible, is essential to living a happy life. I’m grateful for all of the material blessings I have, like a comfortable apartment, a car that runs well, heat on a cold day, etc. I’m very grateful for my good health. I’m grateful for the non-physical things that I have–good relationships, a sunny day, living down the road from the public library. My husband teases me for it, but I get excited when I see the mail truck each day–getting a card from a friend or a new magazine to read makes me smile! It might be a small thing, but it makes me feel blessed–I have friends and family who love me, I have a beautiful sunny day to sit by the window and read, I have good eyesight to read rather than having to get someone else to read for me, etc. Plus my cats come to snuggle with me when I sit down, which makes me feel loved (and keeps me warm).

I think stopping to take stock of blessings large and small makes such a different between an average day and a very happy one, because when you’re dwelling on all of these blessings, it’s hard to not feel joyful and excited about life!


Thought Questions, day #12: What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

While reading Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself over the course of a year. I decided that I would start answering one of the questions each day for the next year. Not only will this give me a reason to blog every day for a year straight, it will get my creative juices flowing–and I think it will be fun! If you join in please leave me a comment so I can see your answers too. :)

Day #12: What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

I have a lot of bad habits that could use some airing, like eating my body weight in carbs or cussing liberally. But if there was one thing I could do without getting gasps and raised eyebrows, it would be telling the parents of misbehaving children what I really think. It’s so not socially acceptable to vent at people with children, even if their kids are total assholes. Consider the following scenarios:

You, mother at Target, who let her pack of wild animals nearly knock down an elderly shopper while they were racing through the beauty aisles. Instead of making them stop, you laughed and kept talking on your cell phone. Lady, there are leash laws in this city for a reason.

You, parents who brought their screaming baby to a late movie and disrupted it for all of us adults in attendance. I didn’t pay $14 for a movie ticket to listen to your child scream, and you shush him instead of leaving the damn theater. It’s 9 PM! Shouldn’t he be in bed anyway?

And you, parent at Bath & Body Works. When you left the store and realized your daughter had pocketed merchandise, you hastily stuffed it back and walked away. You just missed a golden opportunity to teach your child about the consequences of shoplifting, but I guess it would have been embarrassing to go back in the store and admit to a clerk that your kid needs their butt beat.

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There is definitely no sign of intelligent life in these scenarios.

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Book review + giveaway: ‘Haven: Books 1 & 2’

(Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.)

 

Some time ago I reviewed a new YA novella for you guys called Haven: A Stranger Magic, by D.C. Akers. Now the sequel is out, and I’ve got another review for you–plus a giveaway!

Revenge of the Viper picks up where A Stranger Magic leaves off. The terribly average Sam Dalcome is discovering that he’s anything but: together with his best friend Travis, Sam has stumbled onto the existence of magic, something he used to think existed only in books and video games. Now Sam is trying to piece together the events of the past few days and understand why he of all people is suddenly involved.

Things take an even darker turn when Sam discovers that his mother may have a few magical secrets of her own. But there’s more at stake here than family secrets: Alisa Dalcome is running for her life, sworn to guard the secrets of her home planet, Haven. Now a being called the Viper is hunting her down, determined to destroy Alisa and her family. Will Sam and his family be able to escape the Viper, or is it too late?

Revenge of the Viper wastes no time getting right into the action. The fight scenes are well constructed and the action moves fluidly between Haven and Earth. There are a lot of new characters and information to introduce all at once in this sequel, but the pace is steady so it doesn’t feel like an info dump. I liked that we get to see more of Sam’s sister, Sarah, as she continues to discover her ability–hopefully we’ll learn more about her powers in the third book, due out next year. There’s also a surprising twist in the book that I wasn’t expecting, and it makes Sam’s quest to uncover his family history even more high-stakes.

This book is aimed at a YA audience, but it would be enjoyable for all ages. The Viper is pretty sinister, but not too scary for a junior-high reader, if you’re thinking about passing on these books to kids. (Since it’s a YA book, there’s also no language or graphic violence to worry about.)

And now, the giveaway! One lucky reader will win an e-copy of this two-book set. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter; the giveaway ends on March 31. Can’t wait for the giveaway to end? Start reading book one now–it’s currently available as a free Kindle download at Amazon.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.)

Thought Questions, day #11: Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?

While reading Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself over the course of a year. I decided that I would start answering one of the questions each day for the next year. Not only will this give me a reason to blog every day for a year straight, it will get my creative juices flowing–and I think it will be fun! If you join in please leave me a comment so I can see your answers too. :)

Day #11: Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?

I know some people like to say “strength”, because it takes strength to be honest with your emotions. But really, I feel like it’s a sign of weakness. I cry very easily and I hate it! I hate crying in front of other people. I usually have to tap into something that makes me angry to cut it off. That sounds unhealthy, I know, but sometimes something will really stress me out while I’m at work or in another public situation, and I can’t just stop what I’m doing to break down in tears.

Thought Questions, day #10: What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?

While reading Danielle’s blog Underland to Wonderland, I came across a post in which she talked about the website Thought Questions and their 365 thought-provoking questions to ask yourself over the course of a year. I decided that I would start answering one of the questions each day for the next year. Not only will this give me a reason to blog every day for a year straight, it will get my creative juices flowing–and I think it will be fun! If you join in please leave me a comment so I can see your answers too. :)

Day #10: What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?

Hmmm…I’m having trouble thinking of something in particular! I guess I’m becoming more flexible and a bit stronger thanks to my yoga, which is always a good thing. I hope to someday be strong enough to do the more advanced poses, but I’m happy with even my small amount of progress.





Ten on Tuesday: official spring, cookies, and pet bats

1. I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am that spring officially starts in two days.

2. I discovered that I’m really only a cookie person until I’m too lazy to form dough into individual cookies, and then I’m totally fine with cake. Apparently any sweet of a bakery variety will do.

3. Every time I look at this photo (source as yet unknown to me), I think of Bryson and Katz from A Walk in the Woods. If you’ve never read anything by Bill Bryson you must start now, because he’s hilarious as well as intelligent.

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4. Why does this make me laugh so hard?

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5. My husband really knows my weak spots: he keeps saying he wants to get one of the new Xbox One consoles, but I don’t want to dish out the cash for it. Last week he promised that if he gets one, I can get another cat. That sort of temptation should be illegal!

6. Speaking of which, I must find this vending machine immediately.


7. I just love bats! Sooo cute–like little cats with wings. (More pics here.)

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8. If this place really exists, then I want to go there.


9. I’d love to get a tattoo like this with my husband or best friend. Even though I’ve heard that tattoos on the feet hurt like crazy.


10. Basically me on the weekend.

 
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