blogging community

www. Wednesday

Blogger edition!! I’m suffering from major SAD, which is super quelling my writing. My solution has been a lot of reading, so I can cultivate ideas until the winter blues let up. These articles have also helped. Good luck, blogger fam! ❤

+ Chapter Friday’s advice on digging out of a blogging dip // finding motivation again.

+ TSC’s biz plan for those of you who are budding entrepreneurs like myself.

+ Hello Neverland’s recipe for creative productivity.

+ Queen of Jetlags speaks to my heart here with how to be an ORGANIZED blogger, probably the MOST vital key to succeeding. Organize first, then the writing will just come.

+ Couture Girl offers up some great advice about how to grow your audience positively.

+ Another Queen of Jetlags piece about how to invest in your blog without spending too much dough, something I need to learn because I will quickly drop money into this as it’s my passion. Learning to hold back will help.

+ Elle & Co. offers some quick advice on how to find your niche, which frankly, I still struggle with!

My advice? LOTS of french-pressed coffee!


Liebster Award 2014

I cherish when I am running low on creativity and inspiration, and something just drops out of thin air to take care of the problem! This time around, my friend Kerrie over at Snow5Hundred nominated me for the Liebster Award, which makes me feel all kinds of fluffy inside. I adore bloggers promoting other bloggers… ADORE IT! Liebster means lots of lovely things in German (including lovely), and here are the rules for the blogging-based award that have evolved over time.

So without further ado, here’s my mini Q&A for y’all to enjoy, especially if you’re new here!

1. Why do you blog?

Writing isn’t just my passion/craft, it’s in my DNA. My grandma is a writer. My parents are writers. My aunt is a writer. My sister is a writer. It’s in the genes, you know?

I began writing at a small age, often with my friends (a large majority of whom are also writers). We would whip up horror stories, songs for musicals, and even movie scripts, which we would then turn into the real deal with the world’s largest camcorder. I wrote a book every year and won a couple of awards through the Young Writers program.

I jumped on the blogging train very early without realizing it (thanks, Xanga). It started as an outlet solely for me to write down my day-to-day. It evolved over the years, eventually moving to Tumblr where I was able to sort of hone the craft and make it a little more about community and a little less about me. And then, while shooting the shit with my mom, the idea for the Gonnas was born. From there, it was history.

While I could not imagine NOT writing short stories, novels, and screenplays in my spare time, there’s nothing like the interaction between a blogger and her audience. You build a community. You get to use all different mediums and test all sorts of features with immediate feedback. And maybe, if you’re lucky, you find your niche and even more fulfilling, your voice.

I write because I have to. I blog because I love it.

2. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

This is like asking a mother her favorite child. You love mint chocolate chip for its simplicity, but you can’t get over the richness of {insert any type of gelato here}. You obsess over the swirls of magic in Liz Lemon, but dream about trips to Baskin Robbins. I would possibly be able to answer this question under threat of death……….. possibly.

3. Share your favorite quote.

Again, hard to say. Quotes are my lifeblood on a horrific day. How about my favorite aka most inspiring for this present moment in time? Sound good?? Good!

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

4. Describe your perfect date.

“That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold… all you need is a light jacket!”

… ah, I deflect my indecisiveness with humor as usual. I suppose I’m an all-or-nothing girl. Give me a completely relaxed date {camping out inside on the bed with lots of food and movies or a quiet hike on the BRP in crappy clothes} or go all out {5-course meals, spontaneous trips to magical places, camp under the stars and watch the sunrise, etc}. I don’t mind the in-betweens, but it’s those no-effort or all-effort dates that really stick with me. As J will tell you, though, I remember almost everything about my relationships (ere-go date details) with annoying accuracy, so I suppose any date that didn’t involve injury or heartbreak would jive as great in my mind.

5. How do you show love to others?

This truly depends on the person, but I think if a random poll were to be taken by my loved ones, they’d all say I’ve written them notes from the heart and given them a handmade gift at some point or another. I also give lots of unwarranted physical attention to those I love. Sorry for all those boob honks, Mom. You’re just so squeezable. (Just steer clear of my mouth. I also like to bite people I love. How my sister’s adorable, perfect, little nose-tip is still attached to her, I will never know.)

+ + +

I now nominate my sisters-in-blogging, Killary Scales, Kaceyamanda, Adrasteia’s Labyrinth, plus my real sis, Worm the Germ. Oh, and Marvelous-Darling if she fits the under-200 subscriber rule… but she gets some pretty heavy traffic over on that fab blog of hers (TEARS OF PRIDE RUNNING ALL OVER MY FACE)!

My questions for you, my beautiful starfish, are:

  1. What’s your favorite part about being a blogger?
  2. If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life, what dishes would they be and why?
  3. What’s been your most life-changing moment so far?
  4. If you had the chance to write for a full-time job, would you? Why or why not?
  5. Describe the one scene from anything (movie, book, show, etc.) that can always make you laugh, even when you’re feeling like you’re in the bottom of a ghastly pit.

Keep calm and Liebster on, friends.


My posts here lately have been erratic at best despite the fact that writing, especially on this blog, is my passion. I have found over the years, and especially over the past few months, that the world does not make it easy to follow your passions. Now, it’s not that I believe I’ve stumbled upon some revelatory idea, brand new to human kind… it’s just that I think we don’t really acknowledge this aspect of our culture or how shitty of an aspect it actually is. Worse, we don’t try to actively change this aspect of American culture because it’s too hard, and we’re too tired from living to work. What happened to working to live?

I’m tired of the former and dedicating my energy to the latter from now on. I can’t make a life by continually chasing the work horse I have never been able to catch, even after years of experience. I can, however, make a life out of my passions by making them a priority.

That means a lot of dedication and shifting of priorities is in order, and hope, hope, hopefully you’ll see those behind-the-scene changes reflected on the front pages of this blog.


However, it also means I have to ask a lot out of you: patience as I find my stride. Understanding as I slip away from my personal life to focus on my dreams. Forgiveness if I make mistakes in a post, can’t immediately return a favor, and/or any other blunder as I stumble along a new path. Dependability, maybe even when I don’t deserve it. Support as I try to build an online community (including all of you!).

I may not get what I desire out of this new shift in behavior, but if I don’t try, if I don’t ask, if I don’t work at giving it a shot, then how can I ever know if I ever had something worth sharing?


I know this won’t grow into what I continually dream of overnight, and I know I’ve rededicated myself to this blog a million times. But that’s because it means something. If it didn’t, I would have chucked it in the garbage by now and walked away without hesitation. But I know that, even though a lot of great things pop up in an instant, many more of them take years to cultivate, to hone, to perfect, to make them greater than they would have been if success had come immediately.

There’s still time, and I’m seizing it.


Be Fearless, Live Fearless

When my long-time friend Liz at FitnessBlondie posted that she would be doing a #BeFearless link-up today, I couldn’t wait to participate. It’s a beautiful thing she’s doing, compiling so many people’s stories about overcoming unimaginable obstacles and surviving at the end of the day. I thought about how many of these trying moments I have had in my life, and I have spent every. single. moment. since the announcement of this link-up trying to pinpoint my most fearless moment.

The thing is, I couldn’t. I still can’t. I cannot hone in on one moment I feel is particularly more fearless than the others because I have had so many of them. I started to stress last night and figured I would come to terms with whatever decision I made in the light of the early morning.

I finally realized upon waking that this lack of a single moment of fearlessness might actually be the best angle to approach the topic of fear (or a lack of it) for me anyway. About how it is so present in my life and so hard every day; about how even the smallest victories of fearlessness deserve a mention.

It’s important to me that this be a part of the #BeFearless movement, because sometimes, other people belittle our accomplishments, and that kind of negativity has to stop. It might be a really big deal for someone to just… wake up, and that should be commended properly.

So here it is: a list of my fearless moments — some big, some small — but all equally important. The most crucial aspect of publishing this list of mine, however, is that I want anyone who reads this to feel just how much your fearless moments matter, even if someone has tried to tell you otherwise. All of the moments you overcome fear are victories, and damn the cynics who belittle ALL of our accomplishments!

– – –

1. I had to choose to live again after losing the first man I loved to a horrible addiction, the man who had already asked my mother if I could one day be his wife. I had my struggles along the way, but I did finish college and started grad school. I did find another love. I did find my happiness and my faith again.

2. I overcame crippling PTSS and the accompanying violent panic attacks. It was hard. I had to fight for my life through therapy, through HELPFUL medicine, through many nights of anxiety and non-sleep. I had to fight against people who told me I was crazy, against people who don’t believe in mental illness, against my own brain’s disruptive and destructive behavior.

3. I had to learn to let go of two mentally abusive relationships in college. I loved the men in them with me so much that I was blind to the fact they were putting me down constantly, making me feel like I was not worthy, and trying to make me feel trapped by pushing away then pulling me right back. I finally realized I wasn’t a fish on a line, and it took a lot of work to let go of people I still had feelings for. The most fearless thing, I think, was letting them back in my life as friends, and I now cherish them both in that role.

4. One of the above scenarios involved me having to make the choice of whether or not I would go through with a pregnancy or not. This is something I have never publicly mentioned, and there are even some people in my family or friends of mine who may or may not know about this event, but in the spirit of this project, I need people to hear it. Since I obviously do not have a child, we all know the path I chose to take. I know it is a divisive topic, but it is a topic others may need support with right now, and that trumps everything else. I am being fearless in this moment of confession alone because what I have to say could save someone else’s life.

I need people to know that it was a horrific thing to go through, especially because I went through it without my partner at the time (another instance of mental abuse on his part). I need people to know that some of my friends were so judgmental that I had to lie to them about what really happened, further deepening my self-loathing. I need people to know that I had postpartum depression, a time my mother says she has NEVER feared more for me, despite all the deep places I’d already struggled through. I need people to know how important support was for me and could be for you. I need people to know I came out the other end realizing I had done the right thing for both of us. I need people to know it is something I will never regret. I need people to know that if you don’t agree with this or me or others who go through the same struggle that we can all still love each other; we can all still live in harmony even if our beliefs don’t align.

5. After ALL of that hurt and pain, I found the courage to love again. It’s cliche as hell, but now I’m in love with my best friend of three years, and I have never felt more appreciated, loved, or healthy.

6. I went, by myself, to a HUGE city I longed to live in and work in for the long haul. It was scary, but I had to do it. I also then made the decision to come back because I needed more time to find myself, to say goodbye, to find love, to spend time with my loved ones. I don’t know which is more fearless, but I know it took a lot of bravery to do both.

7. I finally admitted to myself that many of my health issues probably stemmed from being overweight. Now, if you know me, you probably are thinking “YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN OVERWEIGHT!”, and I would agree 100%. But my genetic frame is much smaller than what I had allowed myself to carry for so many years, so I worked my ass off to lose the weight I needed to to feel healthy. This has brought along a LOT of comments from others such as “Eat a cookie,” “You must be on Adderall,” “You’re too skinny,” each more creative and hurtful than the last. What they don’t understand is that now my heart, digestive, back, and mental health issues are ALL almost completely under control because my frame genetically needs less weight in order to function at its best. I am still learning to be fearless in the face of these comments, but it gets easier every day.


8. I left a job I loved to start a career I was unsure I could handle. It was horrifying, and I woke up crying many days, but I have found so much happiness and reward in being a high school educator. I have had to be courageous in the face of students, other faculty, administration, parents, and even outsiders who have commented about my style of teaching or my salary. Still, I fought through to find a home in a career I may not have forever, but a career I will always love.

9. I overcame the tremendous mental block I had to go talk to my psychiatrist about my depression returning. I had to suck it up and say “I cannot do this without your help, or I will die.” It took so much effort and the process is still occurring, but without the fearlessness it took to overcome my pride and my illness, I would not be half the person I am writing this today.

– – –

I feel like there are so many other fearless things I could write about, like standing up at the karaoke bar and singing in public for the first time or finally choosing to sleep with someone again for the first time in two years after my heart was broken. I could mention the times I worked through my POTS attacks alone or underwent two horrifying surgeries in one week. I could talk about so much, because so much of what I do… of what we ALL do, every day, is from a place of fearlessness.

Never let someone tell you you aren’t brave enough. You are. You are.