Deceived Looks.

They say never to judge a book by its cover, that looks can be deceiving. This is never truer when dealing with people, especially those on the celebrity level. I say this because we’ve had a lot of celebrities in recent months that made us realize they were never the people we thought them to be. Robin Williams was suffering from severe depression and eventually committed suicide, Phillip Seymour Hoffman died of a drug overdose, the lead father on 7th Heaven was convicted of pedophilia, and in the more recent news, rape victims of Bill Cosby have been coming out of the shadows to finally tell their stories.

It shouldn’t be surprising, to be truthful. They are humans, after all. Just because they’re celebrities mean they are above the petty troubles the rest of us have to face on a daily basis. And yet as a society we have elevated them all to the level of gods. These people entertain us through the movies, books, and music we enjoy, surely they’re nothing less than the perfection of gods? They can do nothing wrong.

And yet they can, as so many have shown to us over the years. They are not always the personas that they have so carefully constructed. Some celebrities hold dark secrets of rape and incest, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illnesses and other secrets they don’t want to come out, yet inevitably do a lot of times. They’ve come to join the fame that they’ve gained throughout the years and who wouldn’t want to enjoy at least part of their success?

And yet we hold them to that standard. When their horrible truth comes out, we all ruffle our feathers and exclaim angrily that they couldn’t “possibly” have done that, they are the pinnacles of our lives, childhoods, etc. But they can and have and done and will continue to do if they’re not stopped. Just because they’re famous mean they’re exempt from the law or anything else. It’s too bad that it happened, since talent graces itself on the unlikeliest of people, but sometimes reality is what reality is. I hope we have the strength to overcome and move on.

Two Years of Blogging and Counting.

Yesterday, I got a notification saying that I’ve been blogging here for two years now. I’m still a little surprised that it’s been so long. Every day I still feel like a new blogger: always struggling to find topics to write about, what my blog should look like, and what my blog actually is. I’ve read a lot about how bloggers should know what they’re blog should be about, the theme of it as it were, and tailor everything around what you’re trying to write about.

I struggle because I see so many blogs that have mainly one topic they talk about: food, photography, politics, sports, gender equality, fashion. You name it, there’s a blog about it. I just write about life. And genealogy. And writing. And creativity. I write about everything. So I thought to myself, “Well, you know, maybe I’m  a lifestyle blogger. Yeah! That’s what I am: a lifestyle blogger. I write about life and everything that happens in it!” But when I look for blogs under the tag lifestyle all I see is fashion. I don’t know a *thing* about fashion. I probably couldn’t write a post about the difference between a beret and a cap without doing some serious research beforehand.

I want to call my blog a personal blog because after all, it’s personal, but there’s no official tag for personal blogs in the blogging world, so I have to settle for lifestyle even if it doesn’t quite fit. But that’s probably just as well. I have a variety of interests and thoughts in real life, so why shouldn’t I blog about a little of everything? I don’t need to force myself to write about things I’m not interested in or continue to write about something long after I’ve run out of things to say about it.

So, for those of you who have followed me from the beginning or have started following me and watched as my blog grew, I thank you. I hope we can share many more travels together in the future.

How I Write.

You probably didn’t know this about me, but I like to write longhand. There are many reasons for this:

  1. Writing longhand is obviously much slower than typing on the computer and it helps slow me down, focus, and think more about what I’m writing.
  2. Writing longhand gets my creative thoughts moving much faster than typing.
  3. There’s just something great about having a pen in my hand and putting it together. Perhaps it’s the utilizing of traditional methods that make it feel so right.

Don’t get me wrong, I love typing. It’s fast and easy when I need to get something done quickly, but it doesn’t compare to writing with pen and paper. There’s just no comparison whatsoever.

I used to do that a lot with this blog. Whenever I had an idea for a blog post, I’d take out a sheet of paper and just write it out. I noticed a big difference between the posts that I started writing out longhand versus the ones I just typed up on the spot, not to mention I noticed more likes and visits to my page because I wrote it out longhand first. I don’t do that very much anymore, but occasionally I’ll just stop and pull out some paper and just write out my thoughts before transcribing it onto the screen just for something different and to get more depth and soul in my writing. But when I write creatively, I always start out writing in my notebook because it helps me think better.

Maybe I’m crazy for thinking so or just a little off, but that’s how I roll. I’m sure there’s people who would much rather type up their thoughts and stories on the computer because writing longhand would hinder their writing process and that’s fine. We’re all different. I just prefer to do things the slower way sometimes. How do you prefer to write?

Thanks for the Liebster Award!

Liebster

I was nominated by RKnutson from Enkelt Liv (Simple Life) nominated for the Liebster Award. Thank you for noticing me and enjoying what I write for my blog enough to nominate me for this award. Here are the directions for accepting the award:

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

Here are some random facts about me:

  1. I have one parent who was born and raised in England and went several times as a child to visit family. I’ve only been there once since I was 9, though.
  2. I’m very allergic to cats and can’t even walk into the room where they just were without my face immediately burning and getting runny nose and eyes.
  3. I never owned a video game system growing up since my parents didn’t want me to sit in front of the t.v. all day.
  4. I’m an only child, but always wanted to have a brother (or sister).
  5. My favorite season is spring because it’s always a promise of warmer weather and a feeling of new beginnings.
  6. I read a lot of young adult literature.
  7. I want to learn how to scuba dive and swim with sharks.
  8. My favorite movie is Cold Mountain.
  9. I like taking pictures, but never made it an official hobby, just whenever I feel like it.
  10. I’ve worked in a library for ten years.
  11. I published a poem when I was 11 years old. Such a long time ago!

My answers to questions from the one who nominated me:

  1. What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now and why? Teaching because they’re asked to take care of society’s kids’ education and not getting enough money or credit for doing it, all their getting is more restrictions and standards rather than help to become better teachers.
  2. How do you feel about public speaking? I like it. It makes me nervous, but if I’m well prepared, I enjoy the process of doing it. I get hooked on the adrenaline.
  3. If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet? This is hard: my ancestors and ask them about their lives, Elizabeth I and ask her how she managed to accomplish so much and bringing peace to the country, Charles Dickens because he’s my favorite author, Abraham Lincoln because he fought to keep the States together, Jane Austen and ask her about her life that we don’t know nothing about, many other authors and people.
  4. What accomplishments are you most proud of? Getting a Master’s degree and having my dad see it before he died.
  5. When you open someone’s blog for the first time, what makes you keep reading? They write about topics I’m interested in and they keep their writing conversational, making feel like I’m sitting there with them as they’re talking (or typing in this case).

Most of the blogs I follow already have over 2oo followers (if not thousands), so I won’t nominate anybody but I appreciate the award!

Writing Blues.

My writing has become a struggle these days. As much as I want to write, I haven’t felt compelled with anything brilliant to write about. I want to get back into writing again because I want to take it more seriously again rather than just a hobby. I want to start, finish, edit, and send off a story that would be worthy of getting into a magazine or journal. I want to be able to build a good, strong reputation as a writer so that eventually I can get a book published.

The thing is, whenever I sit down to write in my notebook, nothing comes to me and when I do, I end up tearing the page out only to stare at the blank paper again. I don’t feel confident in my writing yet to just write and not worry about how it looks until it’s finished. The Editor won’t stop editing, not even for a moment. There have been times when I’m able to ignore it and just keep on writing, but that hasn’t happened in a really long time; trust me, I’m not exaggerating.

I feel like I’ve discussed this before on here, but it’s just something that I don’t know how to beat. I don’t know how to kick the negatives to the curb and just let my creativity flow. Doing research online and reading books about it just don’t seem to work. Maybe I’m not really a writer: I don’t want to take the time to write and get something published. Or the fact of the matter is I’m just plain scared of putting my thoughts to paper. I’m scared to put my thoughts and opinions out there for everybody to see. Everyone who writes has these fears but it’s gotten to the point of inhibiting me from doing what I love the most.

There was something I learned in my undergrad years called Ass In Chair (or AIC). In AIC, you sit down at the table and just write and write and write some more. You’re not allowed to get up for several hours: you just sit down and keep going no matter how painful it is. And it gets the job done, or so I’ve heard. Maybe this is what I need to do: just sit my butt down in the chair and keep writing for a couple hours each day.

Searching for Substance.

My books line the shelves in orderly fashion, or at least as orderly as they can be until some lean over by the weight of gravity. I don’t have much more room for anymore, and yet I keep on buying, stuffing them in nooks and crannies and piled on the floors in the baskets and tabletops. Some of them are old favorites from childhood, others from when I was in high school and college, and still others that I’ve acquired in more recent years. Some of these I bought years ago and haven’t read (or even finished reading) while others I’ve read but couldn’t quite bring myself to get rid of. I’m a hoarder of books, each one I find a story worth noting, worth remembering for later and trying to get rid of them is like trying to get rid of my own children.

I’m searching for substance within these pages. I’m searching for a reality not quite like my own. These stories lay bare the truth that I couldn’t never discover in real life: they show far more humanity than I’ve ever seen within actual people sometimes. Or maybe it’s because I learned how people should act only to be disappointed by the reality of what is.

I grab for a book and look through the pages. I snuggle in a blanket and put a couple pillows behind my back. I’m not so comfortable I can hide within these stories forever. I’ll see you when I get out on the other side and if not, let these books become my heirloom.

Review: Annabelle

John and Mia, a young couple expecting their first baby, are attacked one night by two invaders. The couple survives, but not long after they begin to experience horrifying paranormal experiences involving a vintage doll. Desperate for answers, Mia begins some research only to find that the people who invaded her home were part of a satanic cult. The woman of the cult who died in her home clutching the couple’s vintage doll was named Annabelle and look like the ghost that is terrifying them consistently. She later finds out that Annabelle might not necessarily be a ghost, but that her image is used by demon with malicious intent. Meanwhile, the experiences grow more sinister as the small family discover what the unknown is really after.

Annabelle is the prequel movie to last year’s hit The Conjuring. It’s based on a real doll named Annabelle, but the real life doll is a Raggedy Ann doll, drastically different from the obviously made to look scary doll from the movie. It now resides in the museum that Ed and Lorraine Warren created for paranormal objects.

In spite of the bad reviews for this movie, I thought the movie was enjoyable, if a horror movie can be enjoyed, per se. It’s not as good as The Conjuring, which had a good balance of paranormal and building it up to the very end. In Annabelle, there seemed to be more story than paranormal experiences, but it was still enjoyable. Creepy looking dolls always disturbed me, so seeing a horror movie with demonic dolls will always affect me.

The ending of the film was underwhelming to me: to have a woman jump out of the window in order to save the family left me wanting something more from them. I expected something more shocking, but that wasn’t the case. I hope that in the future, any other films based on Ed and Lorraine Warrens’ investigations have a more solid ending.