Singing, "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good". As I woke this morning to my cats meowing because they knew it was time to eat, I fed them, opened the blinds, asked Alexa what the temperature was and felt a little offended when she didn't say or at least sing Happy Birthday to me. I mean she should know me by now seeing as though I talk to her every single day. Gotta research the newer versions because that is just unacceptable!
Once I got over that minor setback I spent a little time talking with God. Thankful for the past year that has shown me so much, tested me in ways I would have never imagined and pushed me closer and closer towards my dreams, all of which have brought me to the exact place that I am in today. Trusting in Him to direct my path to lead me to what is next. Reflection is a huge part of my life as it allows me to adjust as needed and forever remain thankful. Make changes to anything that doesn't naturally flow and allowing myself to acknowledge that I deserve all the good that has come my way and all that is to come.
No one ever said it would be easy, that the road ahead would be absent of obstacles and no one knew there would be a force so strong that things would start to gravitate in a reverse direction preventing forward motion. We often try our best to avoid change because of fear of the unknown and the uncertainty that comes along with it, however it's best to embrace that change because quite honestly what is written is what shall be.
If this year held a scorecard 2020 would be in the lead and the entire universe would be trailing behind with a huge loss and disadvantage with little to no hope of taking the lead. As things continued to unfold we watched and waited as if it was playing out on television as the most dramatic year ever. The continued need to have something to smile about, something to make us proud to hold our heads high and to finally see a brighter day is just the dose of medicine this world needed.
Dating is absolutely nothing like the good ole days when a guy in class would slide you a note and inside it simply read, check yes or no if you like me. If you checked yes, you instantly had a boyfriend who would possibly hold your hand in between classes. If you checked no, well, prepare for that guy who liked you enough to write a sweet and endearing note with cute little check boxes to ignore you as if you were Casper the Friendly Ghost. You suddenly become invisible as if you never existed. Funny how that works! Maybe it seems a bit over-dramatic seeing as though hand-written notes were happening somewhere around the 7th & 8th grade. To the person on the receiving end of that note it felt like you were living out a scene in your favorite love story that your parents forbid you to watch.
By no stretch of the imagination does writing a note signify the beginning of a relationship, however everything has a starting point so just maybe this is how your destiny begins. Without having a crystal ball and the ingredients to make a special love potion to make him or her fall madly in love, you just have to stick it out and deal with it like the rest of us. Sure, beginners' guides are great to read if you are making a gingerbread house, but they are quite lackluster when the topic is dating and relationships. Get down and dirty with it and do it the old-fashioned way, the new millennial way or whatever way moves you and gets your heart pumping. It's all up to you, but make it fun, exciting and something to remember!
It's one of my favorite times of the year. The fall weather, the leaves changing colors, the cooler temperatures, the ghouls and goblins and of course the pumpkin carving. That time of the year when you can dress up however you want and no one will look at you weird. Doesn't matter if you want to be your favorite super hero for the day or a princess it's perfectly normal and actually kinda cool. Growing up I always chose a costume with a mask and by the time I made it to the end of the sidewalk it was quite hot and uncomfortable, but to remove it would mean you wouldn't get the full effect that was my costume, so the mask remained.
I never quite understood the chant of 'trick or treat smell my feet, give me something good to eat' because the only thing we were after was candy, lots of candy and more candy please, and thank you. The amount of candy we would collect was unbelievable. It was almost too much to enjoy. My parents would inspect the candy and make sure it was safe to eat, no open wrappers or anything that looked suspicious. Afterwards my mom would let me have a few pieces, and then she put the candy away which of course brought on the crocodile tears and confusion as to why I couldn't just keep it under my pillow in case of emergencies. Seemed like a version of torture at the time but I now know they were just keeping us safe.
So many memories of that fall day and the excitement it brought to dress up for a few hours and just be a kid. I can't think of this day without instantly smiling.
With all the challenges of 2020 parents have come up with creative and different ways to celebrate the event while remaining safe. From pumpkin carving at home, celebrating in your own neighborhood, having a virtual party, to planning an all day dress up complete with Halloween music and themed movies to keep that spark going for your children there are so many ways to make it completely safe and fun.
Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it, be safe and just be a kid again! I promise it's perfectly normal and it will actually make you feel good.
Happy Halloween 🎃
I'm absolutely certain without the help of GPS I would never make it to the majority of my destinations. I remember the days of printing out directions and glancing down at each turn. That level of driving and reading combination took a lot of skill, and even more courage. Imagine relying on a piece of paper to get you somewhere safely without managing to go off the side of the road and get into an accident. While that was truly a time that should be logged in history, I am thankful that I no longer have to do that and equally thankful for the evolution of time along with the updates to technology.
When you see commercials of people preparing to travel by car everyone is smiling from ear to ear, singing a catchy tune while bobbing their heads left and right. I'm not saying this does not happen, but I am pretty sure it doesn't last the duration for cross-country road trips. Someone will surely have to stop to use the bathroom when no one else has to while another person is hungry and asking 'Are we there yet?' Whatever the destination, the car has a tank full of gas, you have mentally prepped yourself for this grueling drive and it's time for an adventure you will surely never forget!
It was a Saturday afternoon and when I initially woke my plans were to find something amazing on Netflix to binge and simply relax. As I started cleaning I realized I had never hung a picture behind my headboard. If you knew how OCD I could be at times you would know that every single morning it bothered me that there was this empty space looking all naked and lonely. Trust that it wasn't from lack of searching, but the problem was I had never found the perfect picture to hang, so I decided to wait until I saw what I was looking for. Well, no time like the present to skip on over to my favorite accessory store and just take a peek. After all it's free to look and I probably won't find anything anyway. This is my internal way of attempting to convince myself that I did not need to go shopping, but who needs that type of negativity in their life??? Off I go!
Twenty minutes later, 4 candles, a box of tea, and one amazing picture in my shopping cart, I was smiling from ear to ear because I knew that I had found the perfect picture after all of this time. It's the little things right? So they say. I have stepped into the chapter of my life where things have to be balanced with purpose. Where is that gonna go? Don't I already own 5 of those? Will it fit in my car is truly the only question that requires an answer, because I will find a way to make it work even if I am doing a tiny bit of hoarding in the process.
A complete honor to hear from Clancy Tucker who wears many hats as a Storyteller, Author, Publisher, Photographer, Human Rights Activist, Social Justice Campaigner and poet. Wow! Such a pleasure to chat with him about my love for writing and how it all got started. Take a peek and see what I have to say!
Today, I'm happy to introduce a blogger from Georgia, U.S.A.
Welcome, AJ ...
• TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BLOG’S JOURNEY.
I had a conversation with a great friend and told her I always wanted to write on a different level and share that with others. I started thinking of ways to make that happen and decided to start my blog site in 2018. It was important for my site to be genuine and reflect my true personality, from the colors of the pages, down to the way my website flows. It's been almost two years and my blog is finally finding her voice and I couldn't be happier with the progress and what's to come.
• WHAT IS THE AIM OF YOUR BLOG?
When you visit my page I hope that you receive a good vibe and feel my energy. What you see is what you get, and it's all me.
There are so many topics we would rather not discuss, and death is most certainly one of them but it's part of a necessary agenda that we all must face. Can we block those uncomfortable discussions and feelings and replace them with thoughts that only bring joy? Sure, but that doesn't change the inevitable doom lingering in the background. Faced with despair, loss of direction on what to do next and the feeling that there is no hope, you find yourself stuck in a spiral of doubt that often times gets much worse before it gets better. If we could erase thoughts like a bad dream it would be an easy task but unfortunately that's not reality.
The one truism in life that I have learned to accept as I grow older is that we are all born into this world, and we will all surely die. What that day is we will never know and quite honestly I don't think it would bring on an amazing sense of comfort if we did. Take a movie for example. Part of the excitement is trying to figure out what is going to happen and preparing yourself for the ending. Would you still watch that movie if you knew the ending in advance? The answer is likely no as it would take away the mystery and excitement and give you nothing to look forward to. And for some the answer quite possibly might be yes, either way we have to learn to accept that everyone has their own way of dealing with the inevitable fate that is death.
What a pleasure it was to chat with Emily Collins who is a Creative Writer/Freelance Copywriter and Editor. I appreciated the memories the interview brought back to life and the subtle reminder of why I continue with my passion. See what I had to say below!
Welcome back to the Literary Copywriter spotlight where I feature professional writers with creative pursuits. Today I interviewed Alicia Jones, a creative writer/blogger and founder of AJ’s Diary. I sat with Alicia to learn more about her journey. Let’s hear from Alicia!
Literary Copywriter: Tell me about your writing journey. When did you first realize that a.) you are a writer, and b.) you want to make a living off of your writing?
A.J. I think I was around 12 or 13 years old when I got my first diary. Back in the day there were mobile libraries where the bus would come up to the school and the students would have about an hour to buy whatever they wanted. I recall begging my mom for money just to buy one book. When you stepped inside this mystical bus, it was a book lovers dream. Books upon books, beautiful bookmarks and little quirky boxes with locks and keys. That is when I saw my first diary. My eyes lit up, and I'm certain my heart skipped a few beats. The smell of the new pages turn after turn is something that is hard to describe. You either love it, or run towards the nearest exit. I couldn't begin to tell you how much I wrote in my diary or what I actually had to say. As much as I would love to see that old diary I would likely cringe at my thoughts back then. At that age I am sure it made absolutely no sense or perhaps it would have gone down in history as the most profound writing from a pre-teen. Either way, buying that diary on that day sparked something in me that would be everlasting. Self expression is an art and a gift, all in one. Learning how to get into that special space in your mind and convey your feelings for others to enjoy is simply magnificent. Would I love to make a living off of my writing? Most definitely. But even if I never make one single penny from my work I will always love it, forever cherish the process and appreciate the journey.
For me I truly felt like that I could claim the title of author when I wrote my first short story, 'The Scent Of A Woman'. I allowed myself to have fun creating the characters and just going with it. My readers have requested a sequel, so we shall see what happens with part two of this story. Stay tuned!
Self expression is an art and a gift, all in one. Learning how to get into that special space in your mind and convey your feelings for others to enjoy is simply magnificent. Would I love to make a living off of my writing? Most definitely. But even if I never make one single penny from my work I will always love it, forever cherish the process and appreciate the journey.
You know how the lyrics go, "I gotta feeling, that tonight's gonna be a good good night feel, tonight's the night, let's live it up, I got my money , let's spend it up". We all have a song that makes us feel this way, a moment where we forget everything, let go and just let the vibe completely take over. There are so many different genres of music, Rock, Classic, Gospel, R&B, Country, Jazz, Folk, Rap, Funk Fusion, Neo-Soul, Hip Hop, Reggae, and the list goes on and on. I typically listen to my music at deafening levels, but depending on the mood I sometimes keep it nice and mellow. If you have never shouted "huh" over your headphones then you have absolutely no idea what I mean! Music has a way of speaking for itself and it will let you know just how the song should be treated. Finding that perfect balance of bass and treble will create an unforgettable combination and you have now entered into what I like to call musical euphoria.
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Kennesaw, GA with Max alongside as her muse. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com