The making of awesome…

So in my last post I talked about how nothing is going to get handed to you and how I spent all of last year waiting for the year to get better and how it took me a whole year to realize, it wasn’t going to happen. When I figured out it wasn’t going to happen, I figured out why.

Because I didn’t make it happen!

I’m not going to go through the whole thing again, you can check out the last post HERE.

So that’s when I decided on making 2016 an awesome year. Now to start things off you cant just wing an awesome year and think it will happen. It has to be planned out, thought out, and put into action. Hints the last 10 days of the year. Planning out how to make an awesome year happen. The conclusion???  Boy do I have my work cut out for me. lol 🙂

First things first, SKC.com is going to get a face lift. Things are going to be a little different around here for a while. Not the look of SKC (well the pictures going to change) but the content will be different then in the past. I think lol. To be honest I’m just kind of going with the flow right now. There’s so much to conquer this year that I am going to be posting on so many topics even my head will probably spin. Some days are going to just be pictures, some inspirational things, some so random it’ll leave a smile on your face and wondering where we’re gonna go next! 😉

I’m also going to be getting a face lift. It’s taken me 28 years to get to the point where I am comfortable in my own skin and I don’t care what people have to say about my sense of style, dress, writing, and what not. One thing I’ve learned in the last few years, the less you care about what others think, the happier you’ll be. Let me explain…

I have had many issues with different parts of my life and my person over the years. People would tell me how they thought I was to big for a person my height and how to lose weight. I cared what people thought about the way I looked and would do things to try and lose weight in the end failing horribly and hating my existence even more. People would tell me how they thought the clothes I wore were weird and that I had no style. So I would try to fit in and stay with the current trends, breaking not only my self confidence when I couldn’t fit into the clothes everyone else was wearing but also my bank account trying to, as the phrase goes, “Keep up with the Jones”. Again no matter how hard I tried I still couldn’t get either of these right and would end up horribly failing again.

People would get on to me about not having a life plan, so I let someone pick one for me, went to college for it, and hated every minute of it. I ended up dropping out and moving to a completely different state only to try to go back to college again after a few years and going for what everyone told me would be a “responsible and lucrative” career. Only to end up hating it and dropping out again. Here we are ten years after graduation and I not only have no degree were working on round three of college. Granted at this time I’ve pretty much told everyone to shove it and I’m going for what I want to do and what interests me, not what people think I should do or expect me to do. And I’m loving every minute of it.

I’ve also told people to mind their own business about my writing, my weight, and my dressing habits as well. Do I share my information on social media. You best your sweet patootie I do. I don’t give a dang what anyone has to say about it either. After not giving a damn about what anyone has to say about my life I noticed one thing. I finally had an opinion about my own life. Strange realization right?  Not if you really think about it.

To many times we worry so much about what others think about us and our lives that we tend to place our own thought on the subject in the back ground not paying any mind into what we think about our own lives. When in reality, its about what you think, not others. So when I started caring less what others thought and more about what I thought I finally hit that point of no return. Where I made my own damn decisions and people either accepted it or moved on. Because really, I don’t have time to waste on people who only want to be around me if I’m only a certain weight, If I only wear certain things, if I only act a certain way, If I never speak up and just go with the masses. I have three words for people like that. STM!

STM! = Screw The Masses!

So what happens when you finally start to realize what your opinion is about your situation. I don’t know! That depends on you, lol. Probably not the answer you were expecting but I’m not God. I don’t know what your life is like, I don’t know your situation, or what’s going on around you and who you surround yourself with. I can tell you what it did for me though.

I went from 300 lbs. to 225 lbs. and I’ve kept it off for a year. I lost weight because I wanted to get healthy and I wanted to feel better about myself not because people were telling me I should. I am about to start another program that will help me get more into shape and I cant wait!

I changed the way I dressed and it not only helped me in my relationship with God it helped me in my relationship with myself. I have so much more confidence in myself and that shows in the fact that I had a conviction and I stuck to it. Do I judge others for their manner of dress? Absolutely not! What works for me doesn’t necessarily work for anyone else. Am I judged for the way I dress? Yep. And I could care less. That’s the beauty of it, when I stopped caring what others thought about how I was dressing I started caring about how I thought I was dressing. In case your wondering I’ve adapted a more modest dress code and I try to cover up as much as possible.

No one told me I had to dress this way so don’t go on some “Bible Thumper” nonsense rant. It happens more often then one would think. I cant tell you how many times I’ve gotten the “Oh! you’re one of those people.” or the “What are you, a Mormon or something?” comments! First off what does that even mean? and No, I’m not but if I was would it even matter? Anyways, long story short, I’m totally confident in the way I dress now and I’m actually more fashionable in my opinion now then I ever was to begin with. Its amazing how much more freedom I have now then I did before. I’m going to be going into that at a later date (woo hoo post idea!) so I’m gonne move on from here.

I went from having a crappy outlook on life and no friends to having an awesome outlook on life and amazing friends. I got rid of people who didn’t give a dang about me and found people who love and accept me as I am as a whole. And I couldn’t have asked for anything better!!

After last year being the way it was and me coming to the realizations I did we find ourselves back at the “How are you going to make this year awesome?” part of the post. Did I get a little side tracked there? Not really, I said all that above because I had to figure out all of that stuff before I could get to the point were I am now realizing I have to get off my butt and make my year awesome.

So what do I have planned? Living my life to the best I can. Which means getting off my butt, getting stuff accomplished, getting the show on the road and getting out there. I can not wait to share everything with everyone and I hope you will all stick around for the journey ahead. Heres to road trips and fashion shows, awesome adventures and amazing pictures, a deeper realationship with God and my friends and family. Heres to being more open and honest, to sharing more of the love that I’ve found for life and myself with others, and heres to being famously me and not what people expect me to be. Heres to the ups and downs because lets be real, its not all going to be rainbows and unicorns! Heres to you and me darlin’!

It’s 2016 and this is going to be our best year yet. Not because we waited around for it to happen, but because we made it happen.

Not quite where I am in your self discovery journey? You’ve got plenty of time hun, but its not gonna happen until you want it to. Also, you’re gonna have to work your butt off and there is a perfect saying in this case, “Fake it till ya make it!” sounds dumb but it works trust me. Take your time but live your life as your doing it.

Blessings to you all in this new year and don’t forget to check back in on the awesomeness of 2016!

Sheri~~

 

 

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2016 the year I made it awesome…

This year is going to be awesome. I’m going to make it awesome. Let’s be real about how things go through out the year. Yes, there are things that are out of your control. Things you have no power to change. However, your reactions and the way you carry yourself through out the year and your attitude towards your family, friends, and life in general affect how your year is going to go.

This last year I have found this to be particularly true. I had things happen like my grandfather dying that were things beyond my control. Then there were things like the meeting of my friends at my new place of employment, finally getting out of debt, and getting stuff straight so I can get back to school. That were great.

to be honest 2015 was a rough year all around but not a bad one. One thing I learned though, was that you can’t just wait for things to happen. All year I kept waiting for things to get better and it just wasn’t happening. It seemed like one thing after another after another. Some of it good but most of it not. One thing stayed true through out though.

I kept waiting for things to change…

Instead, I should have been changing them myself. I am the one who controls my thoughts, my attitude, the way I carry myself, and the way I treat others. I should  have been changing things when I didn’t like them, starting with me and the way I look at the world.

So that’s my goal for 2016. My New Years resolution if you want to call it that. To make 2016 an awesome year. No ones going to hand it to me, I’m going to have to work for it and make it happen.

I’m planning on 365 days to an awesome year: a realistic bucket list. Which means a post everyday no matter how small or if it’s just a picture. It means starting the year out awesome. This year long list will have big things and small things on it. In fact, day one is already complete.

Day one, spend the fist day of 2016 surrounded by people who love and care about you. And I totally did that. Today has been awesome and I’m looking forwards to this whole year!

I hope you all had a wonderful and safe New Years surrounded by friends and loved ones. Here’s to an awesome 2016. This years motto: Make It Happen!

Sheri 

If we were having coffee right now,

Hey Darlin’ how are you doing? I know its been a little while since we got a chance to catch up but here we are now coffee in hand and rearin’ to go. How’s everyone been doing? How’s life been treating you? would be the first thing I said to you if we were having coffee right now.

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If we were having coffee right now I would tell you all about my fight last night with a meatball sub and how I fell in the middle of the dining room with nothing around me. If the marinara sauce trail down the front of my skirt and the burn mark on my left pointing finger has anything to say about it, the sub won. But just between you and me, that sub is currently sitting at the bottom of some ones tummy so who really was the victor? and about that fall. Well in my defense we all know I’m not the most graceful person in the world. No, the floor wasn’t wet and there was nothing with in a five foot radius. I was checking the consistency of gravity in that spot compared to other spots in the room. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, as the song says.

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you about the work out sessions I have been having at home and how I am actually starting to see a difference three weeks in. However I am having an issue with the fact that every time I do a plank, my cat likes to pick that moment to jump on my back and fall asleep. I mean really, of all the places he could choose at that moment in time he has to choose me. I think in his own twisted feline way he thinks he is helping momma exercise but he really is just being a butthead.

If we were having coffee right now I would also tell you about the fact that I have been trying to eat clean and though I have been doing better. I really need to get my stuff together. I have been slacking and there is no point in exorcising as much and as hard as I am if I am just going to east crappy food. However, I refuse to give up my coffee. I haven’t had a soda or energy drink in three years so thank God I don’t have to worry about that.

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you how I know I should feel guilty about missing the last two Sundays at church and that I really should get my but back there. It’s nothing wrong with the church just that I’ve been sick the last week and the week before that, well that was just plan laziness. I know, I know, that’s not a good enough excuse but hey, at least I’m not making one up.

If we were having coffee right now I’d tell you all about the fact that in less then three weeks the guy I am currently “talking to” (note the quotations there, were not dating, just friends with the potential to move into something more.) comes home and we are finally going to get to see where this is going to go. He’s been in Washington State for a while and finally gets to come home. I’m excited on the hand that he will be front and center and we can move on from the letters and occasional phone calls but on the other hand I feel like, that at my age (I’m 27), I’m a little to old for the high school approach/ritual of getting together. Either were going to date or were not. I’m not looking for a simple relationship, I’m looking for long term here. I’ve made this quite clear and I’m getting mixed signals. And now I feel like this has turned into one of those Dear Abby letters. Oh what the hells, any thoughts dearie cause I’ve got nothing here. I think its just gonna have to be one of those play it by ear kinda things. At least he’s finally coming home though, that’s something to look forward to, right? lol.

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you how happy I am that the colder weather is coming in but how much I detest being cold. I don’t understand how I can love Fall and Winter so much but hate being cold. I think it’s because I absolutely adore Christmas and the meaning behind it. Plus anything that has Hot chocolate, peppermint, hot apple cider, family, friends, snow drenched mornings, warm nights by the fire, and Jesus at the heart of it. Just makes me smile and warms my heart. At least with it being cold I can always put more clothes on. What’s that saying? I can always put more clothes on, I cant take as many off? Something like that I think. Which I guess just depends on who you are. Plenty of people walking around these days with barely anything on. Don’t believe me? Walk into any Walmart. Then come back and tell me that aint true! Lord knows I don’t need to be walking around like that. I’ve got flab in places it should be illegal to have!

If we were having coffee right now I’d tell you all about my plans for traveling in June and how I love my family but I’m not so excited about going to Texas. I haven’t seen anyone down there in five years and though I feel a little guilty about that, the last five years have been pretty rough. Like I’m not quite sure how I managed to remain on Earth rough. Things have gotten better though but I had so much going on and such a lack of funds that traveling that far was not an option. I did keep in contact via phone and emails and what not. But there’s this saying that “The road goes both ways.” My dad makes plenty of money and gets like 12 weeks paid vacation. It’s a twelve hour drive and if he and my family down there wanted to see me so badly and knowing the situation I’ve been in, they could have come to see me at any point. I love them all dearly but I can’t feel to guilty knowing all of that. Plus, how are you going to make me out to be the bad guy here when your willing to drive 14+ hours, going right by my town, maybe an hours drive out of your way, at least three times in those five years? Yeah, I know my family is complicated. Don’t even get me started on the other half.

If we were having coffee right now I would also mention the fact that when I do go down to Texas in June for my sisters graduation, that I’ll have three friends with me and we are taking a 13 day cross country trip. Stops which include Texas, Colorado, Utah, California, Washington, and anywhere else along the way. Now that I am excited about and makes the trip to Texas all worth it! One day with my crazy family, 12 days of awesome traveling and vacation time with my best friends. Yeah, I think I’ll manage.

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you how much I have enjoyed our conversation and ask what your plans are in the near future? Are you taking any trips soon? Do you have a crazy family to? Have you checked out the gravity consistency lately? What about your pets? Are they as much of buttheads as mine?  What about you? What would you tell me if we were having coffee right now?

Sheri

Wanderlust

I want to see the world. One country at a time, one city at a time. I want to travel this amazing Earth that God made and see the wonders it holds. I want to have adventures both close to home and in far off lands. I want to, and I am going to. I refuse to allow fear to keep me from exploring new to me lands. They say the first step is the hardest. They say that once the travel bug bites, there is no antidote. Will you take that first step with me? Will you allow that bug to bite you and infect you with wanderlust?

After my trip to Newport last week, and yesterdays trip to Park City. I am becoming more and more anxious for my next days off just so I can hop in the car and take another wonderful trip. I don’t know where I am going or what I will end up doing. I do know though, that I am going. I am planning a trip in June to Texas with a couple of friends for my sisters graduation and then a mini 10 day road trip. I am also planning a 7 day trip to Paris in November with a friend. The more I talk about traveling the more I want to do it.

With everything going on in the world today like ISIS attacks, unbalance in the Middle East, the Paris attacks, and increasing numbers of attacks around the world you would figure I would want nothing more then to crawl under my bed and hide. The honest truth is though, it makes me want to travel more. I don’t know why. Perhaps its the thought that no matter what your doing you never know when your time on this planet is going to come to an end. I know that isn’t much of an argument but in all honesty isn’t it?

Think about it, and I am in no means trying to justify the things that are going on around the world, but I could die tomorrow on my way to work which is only a mile from my house. I could be at work tomorrow and someone may decide to come in and rob the store in which case, I could die. You never know when your going to go or where, but do you want to live your life in a little box never seeing the world or the wonders it has to offer because you’re to afraid to go anywhere?

You’re still going to die. If I am going to die anyway damn it, I want to do so while seeing the world. I pray that I will go peacefully in my sleep sometime around my 90’s after a long and wonderful life but I honestly haven’t got a clue, only God does. Being afraid is going to get me no where. Literally and figuratively.

I’m not going to let things that are beyond my control and powers keep me from seeing this beautiful world. And it is beautiful. Even with all these things going on, the world is still a beautiful place. It’s full of adventures and wonders. I read a quote today and for the life of me I cant remember all of it or who said it but it went something along these lines:

“Traveling the world is like being five again. You go to a place you are unfamiliar with. You don’t know the terrain, you don’t know the language, you are completely reliant on instinct and the local people around you. You are also filled with the wonder a child is filled with at that age. Everything is new and amazing, just walking down the street brings the promise of adventure. What five year old does not dream of adventure? You look at your new playground with wonder and amazement and set forth to explore. Everyone should feel this feeling, if you have never felt it, then you have never truly lived…”

That isn’t exactly word for word and as I said I cant remember who said it but I hope you get the gist of it. It makes complete sense to me. When I get to go to a new place I am filled with amazement. I don’t know whats going to happen, what I am going to see, or the adventure I am going to have, just that I am going to have one. I want to feel this way all the time. I want to experience new things, new places, and new people. I want to write about these places, people, and adventures and share them with the world so others will want to experience them.

I haven’t quite figured out how to do this all the time, only when I have the funds available and the time to do so. I do plan on traveling though. I can’t wait to share my next adventure with all of you. I hope you’ll join me! Until then…

Sheri

After thoughts:

Do the increasing attacks world wide cause you to want to travel or to stay closer to home? If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go? Are you experiencing wanderlust as well? Do you have any upcoming trips planned? if so, where to?

A Free Day?

Hey ya’ll,

Can we talk a minute about how I can’t remember the last time I had a day off where I could just do whatever I wanted! I not only had zero errands to run, I was able to join friends for lunch, went to see a historic sight in the process, went to Barnes & Noble for a new book, got to go shopping for things other than groceries (though I do admit to picking up one or two things, lol), and I actually had time to cook dinner and eat it fresh! (Normally I make my dinners ahead of time and microwave them, even on days off, because I have so much that needs to get done.) It was nice to not have to spend my day off running errands or paying bills.

Though I generally don’t mind doing these things and often find them fulfilling and enjoying as well. It was amazing waking up after working until midnight, having absolutely nothing to do. I will also admit that when I first woke up I checked my day planner to see what I had to do today and kind of had a mini meltdown when there was nothing on the list. I’m not used to a full free day. I often have to schedule them. (Like our trip to Newport Kentucky last weekend. You can see pics from the trip here!)  It was shocking and I sort of panicked but after a cup of coffee (I’m an addict 😉 ) I calmed down and just sat back to revel in the moment.

What was I going to do with myself all day?

I’m not usually an idle person. So sitting around all day doing nothing wasn’t really appealing to me. I do enjoy the occasional lazy, specially this time of year. (there is nothing like cuddling up under a cozy blanket and reading a book while drinking some hot cocoa.) Today though just didn’t feel like one of those days. So after a good cup of peppermint mocha and a few text messages. I ended up meeting friends for lunch at a charming café in Park City, Kentucky.

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Grand Victorian Inn

Mammoth Railway Café  is located in an old Victorian B&B and is absolutely beautiful. It just so happens that a good friend of mine, Chef James Sowders and the significant other to one of the friends I was meeting for lunch is their executive chef. I hadn’t had a chance to visit yet since the cafés grand opening and the renovation of the B&B a couple of months ago. I’m so glad we went today. The food was amazing and the service is great! It’s also a nice quiet environment to visit with friends and a lovely little look into history as well. If you’re ever in the area I seriously recommend going. (I’m not just saying that because I know the chef either, lol. The grilled pimento cheese sandwich with pasta salad is to die for!)

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Right next door to the café also happens to be a historic sight in Kentucky. Bell’s Tavern was an inn back in the 1820’s-1860’s and unfortunately burned down in a fire. As they began to rebuild the Civil War broke out and halted the construction. It never seemed to pick back up afterwards. It was a nice stop and good to see a place of history that is just down the road from the small town I live in. We enjoyed a few photo ops and a good little walk around the grounds after lunch. (It also inspired todays Quoted Take Two a theme I am picking up for Fridays. I need a new catchy name but it hasn’t hit me yet. Any ideas?)

After lunch we all went our own ways and I again found myself wondering what to do. I wasn’t quite ready to go home and end my day, it was only 2:30pm. So I decided that since all I had to do tomorrow was housework and write, that I would pick up a book for that ‘occasional lazy’ day I mentioned earlier. (Barnes & Noble here I come!) Did a little shopping afterwards (I could share that to but honestly there is a limit, lol.) and came home to make some awesome spicy chicken spaghetti and write this post. Currently I’m sipping a cup of peppermint mocha (my favorite coffee) and watching the cat watch Funniest Pets on TV. No really, he’s honestly watching it. Oh fine, I’ll prove it!

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See, I told you! Apparently it’s interesting. He’s been sitting there for about twenty minutes. Well all, I think I’m going to end my post here. I’m about to be kidnapped by the blogosphere and read some posts I’ve missed. I don’t usually have the time to just sit there and read all of them, only a few here and there. So if you happen to get a few likes from me, I promise I’m not stalking you. Okay maybe I am, but not in a weird way. Although when you call it stalking it always sounds weird. Okay, I promise I’m not trying to be weird lol just catching up on some of ya’lls wonderful blogs and sharing the love.

Are your guys day usually as chaotic as mine? What do you all do on your free days? Have you ever had to schedule a “free” day like me? I hope you all have a wonderful night. Until next time…

Sheri

 

To my mother,

Momma,

I miss you. Oh, how much I miss you. Do you visit often? I sometimes randomly start to sing the song you sang to me when I was a child and think of you immediately. Are those the times you come to see me? They happen more often now. I like to think its just you checking in and seeing how I’m doing. Maybe just stopping by to say hello and letting me know your still here with me. It’s comforting sometimes. Would you get mad at me though if I was honest and said that other times I wish it wouldn’t happen? I doubt you would. You always taught me to speak my mind and let people know how I’m feeling.

Sometimes, just as I think I am about to move on. It happens. I start to hum our tune and there you are. On my mind again. I think about how if you hadn’t been taken from me so soon I would be able to share the things going on in my life with you. I know that on some level if your on my mind and your around that you know what’s going on, but It’s not like I can actually talk to you. Face to face that is. I can’t pick up the phone and call. I can’t skype with you. Where your at there isn’t internet. Or maybe there is we just don’t know. No one really knows what heavens like.

I don’t remember what you sound like. Sometime its hard to even remember what you look like. I have pictures but that isn’t the same. It’ll be ten years this January that you’ve been gone. I found a video the other day and it took me a while to realize that the person talking in the back ground was you. I try to remember you before you got sick. Before you withered away in front of me. I try, but it doesn’t work. Thank God I have pictures of before or all I would remember is you sick. That’s not how I want to remember you.

I want to remember the times you would take me to the beach in California and I would bury my Barbie’s in the sand and we would run from the waves. I want to remember the times you took me to the skating rink in LA and taught me all the things you learned growing up in competitive skating around the world. I want to remember the times you would run through routine after routine with me for cheerleading, making sure I got it right. I want to remember the times you would just sit and listen to me talk even if I made no sense. I want to remember the times we shared over midnight donut runs and you doing my hair in a million braids so it would hold a crimp. I want to remember all of our good time, and there were so many of them. Yet sometimes, all I can remember are the times when you were sick. When life wasn’t so good, and we never knew what the next day would bring. Even then though, you were amazing.

Did I ever tell you that enough? That you were amazing. No matter how much pain you were in. No matter how hard it was for you. You never complained. You sat there everyday, watching us go about our lives and doing the best we could and you never complained. You went through round after round of chemo, surgery after surgery, and never once complained about it. You didn’t say anything about how much it hurt you to move. I know it did to. I never said anything but I could see it on your face sometimes. Though most of the time you covered it up quickly. You went through everything you did and you never complained once. We sure did though. Not about you being sick but about our lives in general and the things every person complains about.

I often wonder what you would say about how my life has turned out. Would you be proud of me? I often measure how I do things on that scale. What would mom say if she knew what had happened today? Or what would mom do in this situation? I’ve found that if its something you would like or agree with I go on with it. If its something I think you would question I pause for a minute and take a step back, I re-evaluate the situation and go from there. It’s not lead me astray yet. I do question whether you would be happy with my life the way it is. I don’t think you would be but I think you would be proud of the fact that I’m in a much better place now then I was a couple of years ago. Heck momma, I’m in a better place now then I was a year ago.

I haven’t made the best decisions in the last ten years. I know more then once you were probably sitting there shaking your head at me. Silently telling me, Girl your gonna regret that. I had to learn on my own though. I wish you had been here to help me get through the worst of my decisions. Some of which were bad. They hurt me in more ways than one. However, you always told me growing up that life was a bitch and she would, if given the opportunity, hand down some harsh lessons. None of which though, would be ones we didn’t deserve. Cause’ we all make our own decisions and what goes around comes around. Boy has life given me some hard lessons to learn. And like you promised. All of them were brought on by my decisions. The times that life has been good though, its been real good. Those are the times I see you sitting in my corner of the ring going, That’s my girl!

I wonder sometimes if grandpa is with you. He left us in June and I want to think you were there to meet him on the other side. His passing was so much more peaceful then yours. He didn’t suffer like you did. I often wonder if that had something to do with you. I like to think that you put a good word in on our behalf and that do to your passing being so hard on all of us, maybe they gave us a break with grandpa. I know grandma had a very hard time with your passing, she still does. If grandpas hadn’t been so calm I don’t really want to think about what would have happened to her.

Do you check in on her a lot to? She’s doing okay these days. She misses you and grandpa terribly but I’m with her so she’s not by herself. I couldn’t have her living by herself after grandpa died. Even she says she didn’t know how she would have made it with out me being here. That makes me feel better about the situation I suppose. Sometimes we drive each other crazy but when you get people who are just as stubborn as the other in the same house. It’s bound to happen. Honestly, I sometimes feel like I live by myself. I was just about to get an apartment when grandpa got sick. I had just signed a lease and about two days later got the call about grandpa. Grandma stick to her usual routine though. She watches her “stories” and does word searches. I sometimes catch her looking over at the corner in the living room where we’ve set up a memorial for you and grandpa. Neither of you wanted to be buried so we decided to put you two next to each other. There’s lots of pictures of you, him, and other members of the family both here and not here. Things that you guys had brought back from your travels around the world and lots of candles. You and grandpa both loved candles.

When I think of the life you lived and the person you were before you got sick. I want so much to be like you. To do the things you did. To see the things you saw. You got to travel the world. You saw things people can only dream of. You did things people can only wish to do. You lived such a filled life in such a short amount of time. That I want to do the same.

I’ve been having a rough week. Life is kind of at a crossroads for me right now. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, where I want to be, where I want to go. I want to write, I want to take pictures, I want to travel, I want to do so much, and yet I don’t know where to begin. I think so much about the things you did at my age, the way you acted, the way you treated not only yourself but others, and the way you lived your life. You and grandpa both were amazing people. You had such an amazing outlook on life and I cant help but want to have that same outlook. Is that bad? Is it wrong for me to want to walk by you? I don’t want to walk in your shoes. I don’t want to have the same exact life you did. I want to be like you though. You were always cool. You were my parent but you were also my best friend. I could tell you anything and you didn’t get mad. You looked at everything with an open mind and you never once judged me for the things I did. You never demeaned me for being just that, me. You were honest with yourself and others but never in a mean way. You told the world exactly what you wanted to but you were never hateful or rude to other people. Even when they deserved it. You never hated on yourself. You were always you. And in my eyes, you were amazing.

I want to be like that. I’m not always a nice person, I’m not always a good person. I treat myself and others terribly sometimes. I know some would say everyone is like that. I don’t remember you or grandpa being like that. I don’t just say that because of who you are either. I know I wasn’t always around either but there were times when you didn’t know I was looking and you had every right to be mean or hateful with someone. Yet you weren’t.

I’ve decided I want to be a better person. I want to love the world and myself as much as you loved it. I miss you, and that will never change. I want to live a life that you would be proud of, I want to be a person that you would be proud of. I know no matter what I do you will love me anyway. That doesn’t change the fact that I want to be a better person. I want to be like you. I want to share with the world the type of person you raised me to be. If you were here I know what you would have said to me if I told you the things about where I am in life right now.

“So write, take pictures and travel the world, be a person you would be proud to know. Treat others how you would want to be treated. Don’t keep your mouth shut but don’t be hateful about it either. Live a life full of wonder and adventure. Don’t worry about everything so much, life is going to happen whether you live it or not. Do you want to look back ten years from now and wonder what if I had done all that? Or do you want to look back and say, What if I hadn’t done all that? I’ve told you more then once darlin’ that things aren’t gonna just come to you. You have to work hard for what you want. If you wanna get healthier. Then get healthier. You know how to do it. It truly isn’t that hard. Don’t like where you’re at in life? Pick another spot. There is a whole world to chose from. Quit wishing your life away and make something out of it. I’m proud of you no matter what you do. You know that, now its time for you to proud of you. So get a move on, girly.”

That’s exactly what you would say to me. Perhaps that’s you saying it to me now. This is me telling you then momma. I’m okay, grandmas okay, were all okay. We miss you terribly, but were getting by. I’ll live my life and i’ll live it well. I’ll quit wishing and wanting and I’ll start doing. I’ll make the most out of this life that you gave to me. You taught me everything I needed to know while you were here. I promise I’ll start putting that into practice, starting now! Here’s to day one of the rest of my life. I love you, thank you for everything, I miss you!

Love your daughter,

Sheri

(This is me and my momma when I was a little baby in Japan. It’s one of my favorite pictures!)

Me as a baby and my Beautiful Mother

Me as a baby and my Beautiful Mother

Where I write and my writing habits.

When I am writing, it doesn’t matter where I am as long as I have something to write with. Thanks to the invention of laptops and cellphones the world is not only my inspiration, it has become my desk as well.

I have been known to jot things down in the car on my cellphone, at a restaurant on a piece of napkin, even at work on a piece of cardboard once when my cell wasn’t handy and that was all I had. My usual space though is my kitchen table at home. Its open, clean, and where I spend a majority of my time anyway. I don’t watch T.V. so I’ve sort of set up shop in our dining/living room. (We have a T.V. of course but we rarely use it.)

I have a side table next to my chair in the living room that holds a hole puncher and library books as well as my printer, and I usually have my laptop on the kitchen table with a note book, a bottle of water, a cup of tea/coffee, my cellphone, and a snack. (We writers get hungry, working our brains and fingers and all.)

As I said above I don’t have to have a particular place to write. Most of the time my problem is having something to write on, lol. I keep a notebook in my purse but it never seems to be handy when I need it. Or it could be the fact I carry a purse equivalent to the Mary Poppins rug bag. (I’m seriously waiting for the day I pull a coat rack out of it. No seriously, its endless! lol!) I usually prefer a clean area but sometimes a chaotic seen does me good as well. I once got the inspiration for a war torn story when I was cleaning the back room at one of my jobs and I accidentally knocked over a big stack of cardboard boxes full of toy foam swords. (That was the time I used a cardboard box to write on, it was epic. The story lol not the cardboard. How could cardboard be epic? silly!)

When I write at home though I am usually more comfortable. I can wear pajamas, I have coffee at my command, and a cat as a cuddle buddy. He seems to know the moment I am about to write something long. He never wants to cuddle when I am just browsing or reading, only when I am about to write.

IMG_3788

Romeo my cuddle buddy.

As far as writing habits… It’s sort of what just happens or comes along. The situation is never the same and my routine isn’t either. When I want to write, I write. When I don’t, I don’t.

When I first started writing there was one thing that always struck out to me about my writer friends and myself. Some people write everyday and for short periods of time. Others (I am included in this bunch) write when the need hits us, whether that be everyday or once a month, and they write for a long period of time.

I generally write everyday, even if I don’t post everyday chances are I have written something. When I do write though, and I get on a roll. I write for hours. The longest I have ever sat down and written was about 16 hours. I was on a roll with a story and it all just seemed to come out at that time. I didn’t feel like doing anything else but writing. So that’s what I did.

One habit I do have is writing ahead. I usually take two days through out the week off from posting here at SKC.com and when I was writing at the other site I did the same thing. It gives me the ability to get things together and allows me time to over look the posts I wrote the week before and get an idea of what I might want to write about in the future. I also tend to take those days and write a few posts out ahead of time. Short of these challenges from the writing101 and blogging101 courses, there are some days even I just don’t want to or don’t have the time to write but that I want to post something. Those are the days my “plan ahead” time allows for.

Lets be honest. At some point this week you thought about not writing a post, even if you did end up writing, you thought about taking a day off. Its okay, we all do. I advise all of you who write to draft out at least three posts. Even if you never use them, they are there for those days you don’t really feel like writing but still want to post something. For you newer bloggers, its going to happen. You’ll feel like you just don’t have anything to write for the day, and perhaps its been a couple of days since your last post. Those are the times it’s good to have those drafted pieces. They are ready to go and you simply have to click publish. Its worth the time, I’ve used them before myself.

I try to proof read and edit as much as possible to. I usually keep a tab open with the current piece I am working on just so I can keep an idea of how long my post is and how the layout is working with pictures, quotes, paragraph breaks, and just general editing purposes. Not all themes are created equal and there are times that while your post or paragraphs don’t seem to be to long, and that picture looks aligned right, it really is a long paragraph and that picture is not where you wanted it to be. Always, always edit or preview a post. It takes about two minutes to see what your post looks like and if you don’t like the way its turning out, not always but most of the time, your readers wont either.

When it comes to where I write and my habits this about sums it up. What about you? Where do you write? Do you have certain habits or things you do before, during, or after writing? Are you one of those writers who writes for short periods of time or long periods of time?

Sheri

PS – Have a suggestion or something you would like to know about us here at SKC.com? Contact us by clicking here and filling out the form. We are always looking for inspiration and suggestions. Plus, I’ve been thinking about doing a particular post which requires reader questions. Ask us anything that you may want to know and your question may be featured!

Quoted

  

Her heart was filled with liquid sunsets – Virginia Wolfe

I did this for the quote assignment for day five at the writing101 challenge. I wanted to do something simple after my long story yesterday lol. I love Kentucky sunsets I took this picture a few days ago on my way home from church.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

Sheri

Light and Dark.

woman in woods

This was inspired by the Writing101 assignment for today. You were supposed to pick one of the pictures and write something from it, this is my creation.

Light and Dark.

She knew this was the point of no return. This was the time that they had all been waiting for. She looked upon the woods with a calm expression. They had clearly defined their territories. There was a straight path between both sides. Looking to the left she saw the unmistakable mark of the Light. Three white barked trees marked the beginning of the divide and it was noticeably brighter than the other. Looking to the right she noted the denseness of the trees. There were no white trees, there was little light, and yet, there was still something welcoming to the darkness. She wasn’t afraid of the Dark. It could be just as beautiful as the Light. One need only look at the night sky to know this. The Light could be just as scary as the Dark. You need only look in the right place or at the right situation to see that. Many things had been done in the name of “good” only to be tragedies people glorified in some parts of the world. The choice was hers to make though.

They could try to coerce her into picking their sides but in the end it was her decision to make. She pulled her jacket around her a little tighter and thought hard. Her brain wasn’t working to well at the moment. She didn’t know if it was the lack of sleep, the chilly morning air, or the fact that she didn’t have a clue what she wanted to do. She didn’t know who to choose. Was this really it? Must it be done today? Yes, this was the point of no return. There was no going back to who she was or back to her simple life in the small town. They had made that impossible for her. She would never just be Ella Green the woodworkers daughter. She would now be Ella Green Queen of the whatever side she decided to choose. They had shown up unannounced and tore her entire world to shreds. They had shown her that her world was so much bigger, scarier, and beautiful than she had ever imagined.

Sure, knowing that other races besides humans existed was awesome. She had always been a fan of fantasy novels. Knowing that there were real life elves, faeries, tree folk, unicorns, dragons, and all the other whatnots in the world and not just in her books and dreams was kind of cool. When she had first learned of the other races she had envisioned meeting her own Legolas in the form of a tall, dark, blonde haired Orlando Bloom. She had envisioned petting a unicorn and riding the back of a dragon.

She had not envisioned a bloody war that had raged on for centuries because the Light races and the Dark races couldn’t agree on anything and they had different plans for the future of their queen. A queen that had been apparently prophesied by some old powerful witch a thousand years ago when the races were ruled by something called the Council which was a ruling body made up of the head of the twelve main races both light and dark.

The witch had prophesied that the queen would be powerful and bring glory to the other races. That at the time of her coronation she would make the other races who sided with her strong and powerful beyond measure. So as most things go with prophesies, they waited for their queen to come. As the years turned into decades they again went to the witch demanding to know when this powerful queen would come. She intern made a crystal for the Council. Telling them that when the queen was born the crystal would shine. That was the best she could do, for even though she was powerful, apparently she couldn’t pick an exact date. So, the Council upset but content took the crystal, placing it at the cross roads between the light and dark territories. There they would sit and watch, waiting for the day their queen was born. That’s exactly what they did, they waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Eventually they again grew tired of waiting and when they went looking for the witch again, who by this point Ella had assumed was immortal. She had disappeared. Deciding they had, had enough of waiting they, being the dark and light, decided to split up and fight for the title of ‘head’ of the other races. Forgetting about the crystal over the centuries of countless fighting. That is until Ella was born. When she was little she could remember playing in the forest as her father worked and running into ‘creatures’ she thought were her imaginary friends. The old hag had been one of them. Appearing every time one of her other friends appeared. It wasn’t until later that she had learned that those imaginary friends were really the representatives of both sides and that the old hag was the witch who had prophesied her birth and eventual queen ship.

That’s convenient, Ella thought, beginning to walk the path. She gets them all excited about finally having a ruler and then when she cant produce said ruler disappears. Only to reappear when I’m born, expecting me to be all grateful because she ‘stepped in’ for me. Bah! She only told them to back off, allow me to grow up, and let me chose which side or shed kill me herself and they’d have no queen, and no power at all.

Ella knew she hadn’t gotten the whole story from either Aiden or Eli. The representatives, if you could call them that, of either side. Aiden prince of the Elves and head of the Light council had explained all about the witch with plenty of snide remarks and interjections from Eli prince of the Faeries and head of the Dark council. There were some unanswered questions though. Neither of them had either been willing or able to answer. The old hag wasn’t any help either. She only appeared when either sides representative showed up. “For your safety dearie. We don’t want them draggin’ you to either side and forcin’ ye into to somethin’ now do we.” Bah! The least she could do was answer her questions.

Like why hadn’t they just chosen a king or queen from among their council? Why, if things had been working out in the first place with a ruling council, was a queen even necessary? They were powerful enough in their own rights, so that wasn’t an excuse. Not to her anyways. However, if she had learned anything in all of her history classes or from the reading of many fantasy novels. People, and that went for the other races too, always wanted more power. They were never satisfied with what they had. Still though. How many people had died in a senseless war because neither side could wait for the time to come when she would be born? What exactly had been the point of playing with her when she was a child anyway. She wouldn’t have known the difference then anyhow. Hell, she still didn’t know it now and she was almost twenty. If the witch had not stepped in, what would have happened to her? and the biggest question of all, What should she do and which side did she choose?

There are things I like about both sides, she thought as she paused in the middle of the path. They both have their pros and cons. So that’s not really a way to choose. She looked around. She could feel it, the weight of many eyes on her. They were all watching, in the shadows of their respected territories. Waiting for her to choose. She turned in a circle watching for movement of any kind. There was none. Only the sound of the branches rustling in the morning breeze. She stopped facing the direction she had originally came.

There truly was no going back, she thought. It will never be the same. No matter what I choose.

She turned back to face down the path. So this was it. She had no choice but to go forward. but which path to choose. Light, Dark, Light, Dark. She wondered if she should just flip a coin. Maybe that would work. Laughing loudly and watching her breath form in a small puff she closed her eyes and thought hard.

She was human. Apparently when she became queen she would receive something called the Heritage. No one had really explained what exactly that entitled but she knew it came with the gift of immortality. Because what was the point of having a queen who wouldn’t live as long as her subjects? She chuckled again, this time not in amusement at her joke. It was a flat and unamused chuckle. She didn’t even know if she wanted to live forever. Her parents were gone and she had never made many friends as a child. People had always thought her weird because she had preferred the serenity of the woods and the creek to the local teenage hangout and current fashion craze.

She sensed more than heard the footsteps of someone approaching. Not wanting to see who it was and already having an idea of who it might be she left her eyes closed and breathed deeply.

“It is time Ella.” came the rich voice of Aiden the Elven prince. Smooth and silky it reminded her of the sun. Bright and full of hope.

“The choice is yours to make Ella but as the Elf says. It is time.” came Eli’s voice. There was something there. Something she couldn’t place. It wasn’t anger or impatience. Fear maybe? or Tiredness?

How long had they been fighting? Perhaps both sides were sick of the bloody war that had raged forever and just wanted some peace between them. It didn’t really matter how tired they were though did it? Because either way she chose, one side would dominate the other wouldn’t it? With her as their queen, which ever side she chose would gain her untold power. It would give them the one up and the war would rage on anyway until there was no one left of the other side or they gave up. What would them giving up entail? Would she be the cause of more untold deaths? Did it matter? there was still going to be bloodshed no matter what side she chose. Should she go with who she thought would shed the least blood?

The sigh that left her was a little louder then she had meant for it to be but she didn’t care. She opened her eyes to look at both of them. the witch stood between them silent as always. Merely watching her like the men did, waiting for her answer.

“You know,” she said scowling at the witch. “This is all your fault, I don’t blame either one of them. I blame you for all this mess. Had you just kept your mouth shut about all this queen nonsense they would still be working together. There would still be a Council not two separate sides fighting over some powerless girl for no good reason other than their own greed. Didn’t you watch Lord of the Rings? Mention something about power to already powerful beings and they’ll fight to the death over it. Don’t look at me like that, I know there was more to that story then what I’m saying but still. You knew they would split up and fight over this so called “powerful” queen. Why couldn’t you just leave things alone?” she demanded growing more frustrated as she went along. Aiden and Eli just stared at her, eyebrows raised but both remained silent. The witch just continued to look at her. Not saying anything.

Figures, she thought to herself. You’re always silent when I ask questions. ugh!

She closed her eyes again ignoring the trio. She breathed deeply. What to do? Since it didn’t matter which side she chose, there would be bloodshed either way. And she couldn’t determine who would shed less blood because she barely knew a thing about either side. She couldn’t go based on her feelings of pros and cons because they were about as even as they could get on those. She couldn’t flip a coin because humorous as that was, this was her future. This was their future. She paused in her musings. Opening her eyes she looked from Aiden to Eli and back. Ignoring the witch because frankly she was useless at this point. She had caused more harm than good.

Their future. Not just her future. Theirs.

As soon as it hit her she smiled. Knowing by the look on her face that she had made a decision the old hag finally spoke.

“Ye’ve made a decision haven’t ye?” she said in her crackly voice. That got on Ella’s nerves to. She didn’t know why but it just did. She looked past that though and nodded.

“Step aside and I will reveal my choice.” she said happy with her decision. She watched as they stepped back and the witch moved over slightly. Ella having finally made her decision, walked forward into her destiny. And kept walking forward. She didn’t veer into either side.

“I thought you had made a decision?” came the witches voice from behind her, moving closer as Ella came to a stop and turned.

“I have” she said watching Aiden and Eli share a glance and then look her way.

“I am confused, you have not walked into either side of the forest.” Aiden said skeptical and looking at her with raised eyebrows. Eli followed suit as the witch remained silent watching.

“I also am confused. Did you not say you had made a decision and yet you continue to walk the line, not moving to either side.” Eli’s voice was a little skeptical as well.

“I did make a decision and you’re both right I have not walked into either forest.” she said not taking her eyes off the witch.

“Explain dearie, or their not going to get it, they can both be a little hard headed and not the sharpest knifes in the box if ye get my meanin” she said a smile on her face. Ella noted she gained hundreds of wrinkles when she smiled. It was horrifying.

And so she did just that, she explained.

“I didn’t walk into either side because I’m not choosing either of you.” she simply stated and set back to wait for the explosion. They didn’t make her wait long. In fact, the minute she finished her statement she noticed not only Aiden and Eli on either side of the path but suddenly there were what seemed to be hundreds of creatures. For that’s what some of them were. Lining either side of the path and filling the woods. Their were some that looked either like Aiden or Eli which must have been other Elves and Fae, as well as other beings she had no names for.

“WHAT?” and “IMPOSSIBLE” left both princes mouths at the same time. Before they could get any farther and before anyone else decided to jump her. Because there were some seriously angry looking creatures around her right now. She explained further.

“Do you remember the witches prophecy? Do you remember what she said?” Both sides seemed to look at each other and then look at her for further explanation. She sighed, “I am fully aware that neither of you has shared everything with me,” bless them they actually looked guilty. “but I did get the gist of it all. She said and I quote “The queen would be powerful and bring glory to the other races. That at the time of her coronation she would make the other races who sided with her strong and powerful beyond measure.” So,” she paused for dramatic effect because really she was entitled to a little dramatisism they sure had it in spades. “That’s what I’m going to do.”

They looked dumbfounded. Really, they had to have known this was an option. Then again it had just come to her so maybe not.

“Okay look,” she said turning in a circle and meeting the eyes of all those around who seemed to share the same expression as the two princes. Turning to face the men she continued, “I know that each side had its pros and cons, you each have secrets, you each have agendas, you each will shed the same amount of blood no matter which ever side I choose. I don’t want anyone to die because of me and though I am sure someone along this line of choice is going to die because its a choice not everyone is going to like, but I’m not choosing either one of you. I’m choosing both of you. I am choosing both light and dark races. I am human, not elven, not fae, not a dragon or whatever else any of you creatures are. I’m human and as such I have a light side and I have a dark side. I embrace the dark as much as I embrace the light for they are both in me. It is not in my nature or my make up to choose one over the other, I poses both. How do you choose one or the other if you are literally made up of equal halves. Sometimes I do good things, and sometimes I do bad things. That’s who I am. This isn’t just my future though. It’s all of yours as well. Both Light and Dark races futures are on the line here. Who am I to condemn one of you when I poses a part of each of you in my being? It would be like killing half of myself and I’m just not prepared to do that. So, I chose both of you.”

They looked at her. Neither said anything, they just stared at her.

“You have to chose a side, how is it possible to chose both. You must choose.” Aiden said coming out of his stupor. Eli said nothing merely considered her. His eyes did not leave hers.

“Both.” he said finally. As if testing the possibility. Aiden looked at him then, dumbfounded.

“You cant possibly be considering this Faerie. It is lunacy, she can not choose both of us. She cant marry both of us. She must chose one or the other.” Aiden said anger apparent in his voice. Ella couldn’t help but raise her eyebrows.

“I can and I just did. I am choosing both. If I’m going to be a queen and from the way everyone has been going on and on about it, it’s inevitable. I choose to be the queen of both the light and the dark. The prophecy said I would make who ever sided with me powerful and that I would be a ruler to the other races not that I would make one side powerful and that I would make only certain races powerful. All other races, so that’s what I am going to do” she paused and started to turn in a circle. She spoke up so everyone could here her.

“I am choosing both light and dark. I am choosing to walk the middle. I am both light and dark. I will do the things I want to do,  will make the choices I want to make, I wont always get it right, there will still be fights, there will still be bloodshed, I cant change that, I can only try to bring peace, it wont be easy, it will be new not only for those who choose to side with me but also for me. I’ve never been a queen before and I am warning you who decide to join me that I will make mistakes, a lot of them. But if I have to do this I’m going to do it my way and that means choosing both. This all being said let me say this, I will welcome all of the races to become my people. I have made my choice. It is time for you to make yours.” and that was that.

She was done with this conversation. Consider that her first decision as a queen. She was cold and hungry and she had done what they had asked her to do. She had chosen. It was their turn. She started back down the path at a slow pace. She didn’t look to see who followed her. She didn’t look to see who stayed behind. She made her way down the path and just kept walking. She heard Aiden yelling at her and she just didn’t care. She knew her decision wouldn’t be popular with everyone. Hell, as far as she was concerned she didn’t care if it wasn’t popular with any of them. It was her future and theirs and she chose a future where both could exist. For what was Light with out Dark and Dark with out Light?

“What was the real turning point for your decision?” Eli’s voice came from her left. She didn’t stop walking but she glanced at him from the corner of her eyes. Looking back ahead she stated.

“If you didn’t know Light existed, how would you define Darkness? and Vice versa, If Darkness did not exist, how would you define Light? You wouldn’t know either existed without the other because you would know only one. You would only know light or you would only know dark. In my being both exist. Humans have a touch of both in them. And each can be beautiful and scary. Take the night sky for instance. You cant view the moon or stars without it being dark outside, but likewise you cant enjoy the flowers or the view of a valley without the sun shinning. Each has a scary side but right now I’m going to look towards the bright side of things.”

He looked at her and smiled saying nothing and continuing to walk beside her. She supposed he had made his decision and would be walking with her on the journey. Then she paused for a moment stopping as he did and turning to him.

“What did Aiden mean when he said I had to choose because I couldn’t marry both of you? I don’t remember there being anything about marriage in this prophecy thing.” Eli looked at her for a moment and with a calm expression turned and continued to walk down the path.

“It is of no matter now, only one of us has joined you”

“Hey!” she raced after him “Wait a minute, what do you mean by that? HEY!” She continued to race after him as she heard chuckling from behind her and from him. She turned her head and couldn’t help but notice the large group of people who were following them. Apparently Eli wasn’t the only one after all. She caught up with Eli as the thought occurred to her.

We’ve all decided on our futures. They’ve put their faith in me. Oh momma, do I have my work cut out for me. I wonder if I should watch “The Princess Diaries” again. Nothing like Julie Andrews to teach me how to be a proper queen. The laugh that came from her caused Eli to raise an eyebrow but she merely shook her head and moved on.

“I still expect an answer” she said.

“In due time my queen, in due time.”

THE END

This was inspired by the Writing101 assignment for today. You were supposed to pick one of the pictures and write something from it, this is my creation.