Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Salesman

Happy Halloween, Boys and Ghouls! :) Hope you all are gearing up for a night of candy and fun. Hubby and I will be taking our boys trick-or-treating a little bit later this evening. They are already raring to go! 

Anyway, remember when I announced this writing contest for scary stories



Well, a winner has been chosen. Everyone, give Kelli Beck a round of applause. Her story, The Salesman, is the winner of the contest. Congrats, Kelli! 

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THE SALESMAN by Kelli Beck
{posted with permission}


The deadbolt slid into place under her fingertips. The voices of the patrons faded as they got into their cars and backed out of the parking spaces. Others were on foot, their laughter and slurred words slipping through the cracks of the door. The music stopped, casting the bar, dark and hazy with cigarette smoke, into silence. The sudden quiet came down upon her. She felt the weight of it across her chest taking the breath from her lungs. 

She crossed the bar, the sound of crackling peanut shells under her feet was a nice break in the silence. She opened the window to clear out the smoke. The moon was full, casting the world in its silver glow. She took a breath of the fresh air and rubbed her tired eyes. After nights of wakefulness, she hoped she could find sleep tonight. She wiped the dinge and dirt from the counter with the ease and care of someone who had spent the last ten years doing that chore night in and night out. Her mind wandered as she scrubbed the sticky residue of spilled liquor, energy drinks, and the thin dusting of peanut shells, pretending that each swipe of the cloth was blotting out some of the emptiness inside her, cleaning not just the counters, but perhaps, her very soul. Peanut shells fell from beneath her hand and crumbled to the floor, landing on top of the filth that had accumulated over the course of the past four hours, solidifying in her mind the fact that she was never going to wipe herself clean. Whatever mess you cleaned up, it always ended up somewhere else. 

She stopped momentarily and looked up at the clock ticking in the silence. Half past one. She was exhausted, thinking too much. She took a breath, let it out, and finished wiping up the counters without further thought. She threw the rag in the sink and started upending the chairs and placing them on top of the clean counter and tables. She grabbed the broom and dragged it behind her as she crossed to the other side. She started sweeping in the corner brushing the bits hastily and with force to the middle of the floor. When she was in front of the window a slight breeze slipped up her neck, caressing the small hairs that had fallen from her loose ponytail. She shivered, turned and faced the night. Fog started to wash its way across the street heavy like smoke creeping in from all directions, swallowing up first the hardware store and the small defunct movie theatre, moving in to the center until the entire parking lot was invisible behind the shroud of fog. A childish fear built up in her and she closed the window, securing it in place with the locks. She watched the haze, then, afraid of what might appear out of the mist, closed the shades, and turned her back on it.

In front of her someone cleared his throat. She started, the broom falling from her grasp and rapping the hard wood floor underneath. Her eyes followed the handle of the broomstick as if it were pointing to the stranger who was sitting on one of the stools at the bar. One of the stools she had just placed upside down on the counter. He wore a black suit, the white collar on his shirt flipped up and his tie loosened. His hair was slightly disheveled.

“We’re closed.” she said, her voice strangely frog-like. 
“I just need a drink.”
“I’m sorry, but last call was forty minutes ago.”
“Just one, then I’ll be on my way.”

She didn’t move.

“It’s been a long day.” he said.
“It has.”
“Just one drink?”

Too tired to think, she walked, giving a wide berth between him and her as if she were expecting him to lunge towards her at any moment.

“Whiskey?” he said.
“What kind?” she asked.
 
He shrugged. She got out a glass and poured him his drink and set it in front of him, “Just one glass.” He nodded and took it. He slid a twenty dollar bill, crisp and new, across to her. Her eyes met his and he smiled, his face weathered from too much sun. His eyes so deep and black the pupils scarcely showed, crinkled with his smile. She kept his gaze, tumbled, and fell and fell and fell. 

"Are you okay?" his voice cut in through the darkness.
She blinked, emerging from the depths, "Yeah." She took the money and crossed to the register.
"Tired?" he asked.
"Very."
"Have one with me?"

She shook her head and motioned towards the broom lying on the floor, "Can't," she said, moving around the bar to continue her clean-up. She worked quickly, the bits of filth under the bristles of the broom flinging into the middle of the floor, a small cloud of dust rising into the air. The man whistled a familiar tune, one both sad and redeeming at the same time. Her heart ached as the man continued and she cleaned without consciousness. Before she knew it she was placing an extra-large rubber band around the fresh garbage bag she had put in the bin. She stood, one hand still touching the black plastic bag. She shook her head. I'm so tired, I don't remember getting here, she thought. She gazed toward the window with its heavy curtains pulled. Picturing the fog consuming the town around her, the cold touch of fear made its way up her spine, stopping at the base of her head, making the little hairs stand on end. Goose-pimples rose on her arms. She pushed her sweater sleeve down against the chill and the always present shame of gazing upon the scars that accompanied them. 

"Strange night isn't it?" she said.

When the man didn't respond she turned but he was gone. The glass he drank from sat upside down next to the sink with the few other clean glasses that (she thought) she had not yet washed. His chair was flipped back on top of the counter. The whistling had stopped without her realizing it. She looked around the bar, the place sparkling clean. The floor was mopped and the bathroom doors were propped opened to allow the stench of bleach to dissipate. She didn't think too hard on this. How many times had she driven to Sparrowville for groceries and hardly remembered pulling out of the drive? She picked up her keys and went to the back door. The deadbolt was already locked. She checked the handle of the door, but it too was locked. She took her purse on the way to the front door. As she did this she noticed two dollars sitting on the counter next to the chair the stranger was sitting in. 

She took the money and made her way slowly to the door. When she unlocked the deadbolt and the handle and pulled the door open, she took one more look around, wondering if there had been a man there at all. She gazed down at the money in her hand. She rubbed her forehead, sighed, and closed the door, locking it behind her. 

*****

For a few nights after seeing the stranger, she had slept. Once her head hit the pillow she tumbled into unconsciousness and hovered in the smooth black of slumber, never waking to the barking dogs of the neighborhood, nor to the mean bullying group of boys that threw a rock through her kitchen window. She woke in the mornings without remembering her dreams, a blessing, for dreams held the memories she was trying to forget. But slowly, like the rolling clouds before a thunderstorm, she could feel the restless stirrings that always brought forth a nightmare. Images of what she had done and what she had tried not to do flashed in her mind, waking her up to her sweat soaked bed, her body trembling and cold. 

Standing behind the bar she felt more or less okay. She was exhausted again after three nights of turning in her sleep afraid of the dreams and afraid she might wake up to splattered eggs drying on the side of her porch, another broken window, or perhaps, a gutted cat (this time, though, it would not be hers) lying on the porch steps with glazed over eyes, flies and gnats gathering in the blood and insides that had been pulled out and strewn across the body. She cringed at the thought of that and beat back tears that tried to surface. That was a long time ago. She opened a beer and slid it across the counter to Bill, an older man who spent most of his waking hours in that same chair. She liked her work. Her customers didn't tend to focus on her past as much as their own, spilling out their secrets and misdeeds to her as if she were a priest in a confessional booth. She didn't mind. The more they talked about themselves, the less she had to think about the things that kept her up at night. 
When the bar closed the stranger returned and brought with him the fog and an eerie sense of pleasure for her. She felt herself drawn to him, drawn to those big black bottomless eyes. She poured him whiskey and finished her cleaning duties. He didn't speak. She wrung out her washrag and turned to him. 

"Where are you from?" she asked, the jukebox kicking out a languid song about lost love.
"Who says I'm from anywhere?" he threw her a half smile and shifted in his chair.
"Surely you have a home."
"I'm a traveling salesman. I spend all my time on the road so no, I don't have a home."
"What about family?"
He shook his head.
"Isn't it lonely?"

He nodded and threw back the last of his drink. He set the cup down and cast his gaze onto her, reaching out and touching her hand lightly, his fingers gentle over her scarred flesh. He made no mention of her rough skin. Instead, "But I don't need to tell you anything about being lonely."
She shook her head. He smiled at her warmly, taking her hand fully in his and drawing her closer. She stretched over the bar, his eyes deep and all consuming. She closed her eyes, her lips touching his. They weren’t soft and warm as she had expected, rather they were cold, metallic...She opened her eyes, the upturned legs of the bar stool connecting with her lips. She jumped back and hit the opposite counter, knocking tumblers off their white clean towel with her elbow. The music stopped playing as the glasses fell and shattered on the floor. The man was gone. The chair was put back in place and his glass was not on the counter. After a few silent minutes she retrieved the broom and swept the glass with trembling hands.

*****

A few people still sat at the bar--regulars. It was Tuesday and she hadn’t had much business for the night. She gathered empty glasses from the countertop and took them to the kitchen. She came back out and stacked the clean dishes on a white towel. 


"Strange night." Someone said. She looked out the window. The outside world was being eaten up by the fog. She turned and saw the stranger sitting in the same chair he had been in the other night. He smiled at her.

"Whiskey." he said.
"Certainly." she said, her throat dry. She fumbled with the glass and the half empty bottle of liquor. When she set it down in front of the stranger she noticed Bill and the other three patrons looking at her. "They can't see me." the stranger said. She narrowed her eyes at the men, mustering her courage to try and look natural, "Haven't you ever seen anyone pour themselves a drink?"

The men looked at each other for a moment, but seemed satisfied by this and went on finishing their drinks. When the clock hit one the men left without being told. They bid her a good night and she told them to be careful walking home. Once she locked the deadbolts she said, "What are you?"
He narrowed his eyes at her, the tease of a smile starting at the corners of his mouth, "I'm a salesman."

"Are you a ghost?"
The wisp of smile disappeared and the weight of his eyes rested on her, "I'm a salesman."
“Are you the Devil?”
“Like I said, I’m a salesman.”

Under her near crippling fear bubbled an unfamiliar feeling: anger. It rose just enough to bring her courage to say, "What kind of salesman pops in and out of dingy old bars when the deadbolts are locked? What kind of salesman spends his time sitting silently watching a run-down bartender clean at the end of her shift?"

"I simply go where I'm needed."
"What do you want?" She asked.
"Relax; I'm not here to make you pay for what you've done."

Her mouth went dry and a heat spread across her body, climbed to the top of her head and she felt dizzy. Tears welled in her eyes. She bit her lip and tried to blink them away but there was too much water and they spilled out and rolled down her cheeks, hot and shameful as the memory of her brother’s death filled her vision. The man took a swallow of his whiskey, staring at her all the while with those deep black eyes. She shrugged him off, turned her back to him, and started upending the chairs, her knees weak. She had trouble trying to make one foot move in front of the other and her arms move so that she could lift the chairs onto the counter. When she neared him she turned, but he was gone.

A fortnight passed before the salesman returned but she saw him every night in her dreams. Her nightmares were always the same, ending with her covered in blood from stones cast by the people of her town. Before she woke, she would be struck in the head by a stone thrown by her mother and she would collapse over the burnt and choked body of her brother. Behind her a house was ablaze—a fire she had set.

During the last couple weeks, however, the stranger entered her dreams. He walked through the barrage of stones, untouched by them, and reached a hand out to her. She wouldn't take it, more scared of him than the people throwing stones. He spoke to her every night. He always said the same thing: "You can't stay like this forever." Then he would fade out and she would be struck by the fatal stone and wake to the warm darkness of her room.

When he showed on this particular night, unexpectedly, and when her three regulars were still finishing their last drinks, she felt a surge of surprise, relief, anger, and excitement. Overcome with her emotions, she wept. She closed her hands over her face and sobbed, her fragile mind broken. Hands touched her shaking shoulders. Bill's hands. He took her in his arms and pressed her head to his chest.

"Don't cry." He said.
"I think I'm losing my mind."
He pushed her from the comfort of his warm body and said, "You have to quit thinking about him."
For a moment she didn't know which him Bill was referring to. My brother, she thought, knowing that Bill couldn't see the salesman. She nodded.

He let go of her and crossed over to the other side of the bar, finished his drink and bade her goodbye. The other two men were already gone. "Have a good night, Bill," she said. She locked the door behind him, crossed to the back and locked that door too. 

"You've come back." she said to the salesman.
"You don't need to be afraid of me." he said.
"What do you want?"
"You're asking the wrong question. It's not about what I want; it's about what you want."
"I want you to leave me alone." She poured him a drink and slid it over the counter.
He took it, "It's all in your hands. I wouldn't be here if you didn't need me."
"You're not a salesman. You're a ghost."
"Why don't you ever take my hand?" he asked.
She was pulling the broom out of the closet and stopped when he spoke, "Excuse me?"
"When they're throwing stones at you. Why don't you take my hand?"
“I don’t—you’re—I’m—” she stuttered.  Her brain, overwhelmed, was unable to transport the words forming there into intelligent speech. 

He stood and approached her. She hadn't realized how tall he was. He reached a hand out and touched her face. Electricity spread throughout her body, she let the broom fall back against the wall of the closet. He gathered her face in his hands and moved closer. They stood toe to toe. He smelled burnt, like a fire was burning him up from the inside. His hands were hot, his body temperature causing sweat to break on her brow. Though unsettling, it wasn't an altogether bad feeling. 

"I only come to town when needed." he said, pushing her head to his chest, much like Bill had done earlier. This time she didn’t cry. She felt safe in his arms, the fear abated, "I can give you anything."
"What do you give other people?"
"Whatever they ask for. Money. Revenge. Peace. Comfort."
"At what price?"
"I think you know the answer to that."
She did. "What if I wanted you?"
"I don't think you know what you're asking."
"I don't belong here." she said, thinking about what she had done and thinking about the past, before the accident when she had still felt that same lonely tick of the clock as if she were just biding her time before...

He took her face in his hands again and brought his lips to hers. He tasted sweet, like the juice from fruit a little too ripe. She could smell the heat from him, rich and thick and all-consuming like a forest fire. She was pulled from her body and joined him in spirit, merged with him, blending into a powerful energy that was more pleasurable than anything she had experienced in the flesh. When they finally came apart he pointed towards the body that stood staring blankly in their direction.

"You have to go back now." he said.
"But I want to go with you. Can't we just leave her behind?"
He shook his head, "It doesn't work that way. There is still life to live. When the Reaper calls I will be there. We will be together then."
"That's a long time."
  "A blink of an eye." he said, his form fading, fading, gone.

She returned to her body. It was ill-fitting and cold. She picked up the broom and worked her way from the window back, the fog lifting from the streets, returning the town from its grasp. She shivered and thought that she would never be warm again, but with the thought of his touch on her skin she smiled and knew that one day she would.

THE END. 

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P.S. Don't forget to join Shelly and me for the next round of the Write or Die writer's link up. The prompt is the quote below. Come share some laughs with us! You can link up beginning Weds, Nov. 4th. Happy writing! 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Write or Die Wednesdays: Tales of an Insomniac


Welcome to Write or Die Wednesdays: A Writer's Link-Up! We are Vashelle and Mia inviting you to partake in some creative writing with us every other week.

                                   

If you are new to this link-up and wondering what Write or Die is all about, check it out here!

We really enjoyed everyone's last #WODW's posts based off the photo prompt of an ocean wave. There's no denying that the waves of the ocean symbolize different things for different people, though some of its connotations are definitely universal. The word POWER comes to mind for sure!  Thanks to all who linked up!

For this round of Write or Die, we have a word prompt! LONELINESS, it sounds like a downer, right? If we've learned anything from 40 rounds of the Write or Die linkup, it's that we can count on array of perspectives on any given word, phrase, photo or concept. We know you'll surprise us with your insights! (But if it turns out to be a downer, that's okay too. Haha :))

image-2

Happy writing!!

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Sleep. Refreshing, restorative sleep. Where you stay asleep the whole night and wake up completely refreshed. Maybe you dream, maybe you don't. But you wake up with the sun and to the sounds of birds chirping outside your window.

I don't think I know what that is anymore. I live in a perpetual state of exhaustion. It's so hard for me to fall asleep. And when I finally do, I wake up an hour or 2 later. And it takes me another hour or 2 to fall back asleep. And then I wake up again. And on and on it goes. Until I finally fall asleep about 45 minutes before my alarm is supposed to go off and I wake up feeling like I ran a marathon all night, even though I was just laying down in bed for hours. It's the strangest feeling.

When my kids were younger, I would chalk it up to new motherhood and the sleeplessness that goes along with that. But they are 7 and 4 now. They sleep through the night. Sure, they still wake up at the crack of dawn each morning, but there shouldn't be any reason that I couldn't get some rest at night.

I've heard all the tricks - don't look at your phone/computer/tv before bed. Exercise. Take vitamins. Have some, ahem, good quality time with your spouse. Drink heavily. Yeahhh, none of that works. I've tried them all. Ew, except for the warm milk thing. That just sounds like drinking throw-up to me. So no thank you.

I can't tell you how lonely it feels in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep. My husband, my kids, the pets. And I'm laying there wide awake, with only my thoughts and frustration for company. It makes me want to cry sometimes. Makes me want to bang my head against the wall until I pass out. But knowing my luck, I'd probably just end up with a concussion and they'd tell me NOT to sleep.

It's hard not to feel alone when you hear people say, "Oh, I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow." Or, "How can you do that? I have to have 8 hours of sleep every night." And I know they aren't trying to be insensitive, they just can't fathom what's it like to be up every night, and only functioning on an hour or 2 of sleep every day.

It's also hard to shake other people's perceptions of me. Thinking that I'm lazy, because I'm tired all the time and all I want to do is lay around. But that's because that's all the energy I have. Sometimes, people will ask me how I'm doing and I'll respond, "I'm here," because to me, it's an accomplishment just to get out of bed some days.

Anyway, that's my story. What makes you feel lonely? What does loneliness mean to you? Come share!



P.S. Don't forget to enter my scary story contest. You could win prizes!



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Writing Contest: Calling All Horror Fans


Well, hello there, boys and ghouls. Oh, Halloween humor, gotta love it. It's that time of year, friends, when we hear things that go bump in the night. Naturally, it got me thinking about scary stories (I mean, Stephen King *IS* my favorite author). Some stories are true, some are fiction. Some are filled with blood and guts, others will make your mind scream and your voice catch in your throat. 

So I'm excited to announce that I'm holding a contest for the scariest story! It can be fiction or nonfiction, but it has to be your own original work. It can be as short or as long as you want to make it, but keep in mind that the deadline to turn in the story is by 11:59pm EST on 30 October. The winner will be announced on, you guessed it, Halloween! Email your submissions to: mia@thechroniclesofchaos.com. By emailing me the story, you give me permission to post it on my blog on 31 October if you win.  

I suppose now you'd like to know what the winner will receive? Well, the lucky winner will receive a $25 gift card to the store of their choice (as long as it can be purchased online), and also a fun little spooky goodie bag from yours truly. 

So, what do you say? Send me your most goosebump-worthy, shiver-inducing story! Happy writing!!


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P.S. If you're in the mood for more writing inspiration, join Shelly and me beginning on 10/21 for the Write or Die writer's link up. The prompt for this round is the word: LONELINESS. Come join us! 


Monday, October 12, 2015

I can handle the truth


I've been keeping a journal for a few years now. I don't write in it every single day, usually only when something is really on my mind. Which let's be honest, if something is on my mind, it's usually something that I can't say to anyone, so I just want to rant and get it off my chest. 

But I was reading an article the other day about someone who journals and they said something to the effect of: "I want my family to be able to read my journal." And it bothered me at first, to think about my kids or grandkids, or whomever, reading my journals after I'm gone. Or even if they stumble upon them now. 

I keep my thoughts to myself usually. There's so much noise in my brain that I wouldn't want to burden someone else with it all the time. Which is why journaling speaks to my heart so well. I can just write and not worry that I'm bothering anyone.  

So I allow myself to write in my journal whatever it is that I'm thinking about. I could be mad, sad, happy, anxious, whatever. I allow myself to express whatever I'm feeling to the fullest. It might be an entire page full of F-bombs, but if that's what I need that day, then so be it. And so it briefly made me wonder if I should change what I write about. Or how I write it. I certainly wouldn't want my kids to think I'm an over-dramatic weirdo or that I can't spell any words that have more than 4-letters. 



But the more I thought about it, the more I understood what the author of that article was trying to say. It didn't mean that I should censor my thoughts, because otherwise, what would be the point of keeping a journal? I might as well write a fairy tale with perfect characters and a happy ending if I was going to follow the path of censorship and puppies and unicorns. But I think that the point was that I shouldn't be afraid for my true thoughts and opinions to be shared with my family. That if they read my journals, they would then know some of my most private thoughts. And I don't think it's a bad thing. It could give them insight into what I was going through at a particular moment, or what kept me up at night, or what made me happy. 

“I should rather like to tear these last pages out of the book. Shall I? No - a journal ought not to cheat.” -Dodie Smith

So, I'm going to continue to express myself in the most authentic way possible. Knowing that someone some day may read my words doesn't intimidate me. And if nobody reads them, that's OK, too. My journal is for me. And I can handle the truth. 


Do you keep a journal? Does anybody else read it besides you? Do you censor yourself? 
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*Click here to subscribe to the monthly blog newsletter, which features original content each month that is not published on the blog. 

*And I'm shaving my head to raise money for childhood cancer research. Every 3 minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Will you join me in the fight to eradicate this terrible disease? 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Write or Die Wednesdays: Look But Don't Touch


Welcome to Write or Die Wednesdays: A Writer's Link-Up! We are Vashelle and Mia inviting you to partake in some creative writing with us every other week.

                              

If you are new to this link-up and wondering what Write or Die is all about, check it out here!

We really enjoyed everyone's posts for the last #WODW. So many of us have gone, or want to go, off the beaten path, but it was so interesting to read what that means to each person. Thanks so much to those of you who linked up!

For this round of Write or Die, we have a photo prompt for you. How does it inspire you? Does it conjure poetry, short stories, memories, song lyrics? Whatever it is, we want to hear about it! Happy writing!!!


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I have to admit that I struggled with this prompt. For a really long time. Probably longer than any other prompt we've had so far. I love the photo, the beautiful colors, the sparkling water. But what does it mean? What does it say? My inspiration finally came from a blog post by my sugar bear and link up co-host, Shelly, where she shares what living in Hawaii taught her: "That the ocean is beautiful from the shore, but the current terrifies me."  She is profound, that one. 

I've written before about my aversion to the ocean. Which is kind of sad since I'm a Pisces, but that's neither here nor there. It's absolutely beautiful to look at from the shore. I love the sound of the waves. I love seeing the sun reflecting its rays off the water. But as I start getting closer and the smell of the salt water hits my nose, I clam up. As I leave the shore and walk past the slimy, squishy sand, as I wade into the water - ankle-deep, knee-deep, waist-deep - my mind screams out. I get upset thinking about what might be in the water that I can't see. Every time something brushes against me - seaweed, debris, fish - I bite my cheek to keep from yelping.



When I'm in a boat, I can admire the beauty of the ocean. My hubby and I went on a sunset dinner cruise during our honeymoon in Hawaii (he took that photo above from that night). We ate. We talked. And then we went outside to see if we could catch glimpses of dolphins and to watch the sunset. And all I remember after that is being seasick for the rest of the evening. I hated it. Water just doesn't like me. And the feeling is mutual.

I believe some things should be admired from afar. The ocean. Historic artwork in galleries. Wild animals. Getting too close complicates things. Getting too close displays flaws that you didn't know were there, and now can't unsee.

Look, but don't touch.


   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   




Monday, October 5, 2015

Lessons Learned: September 2015



I'm not good with transition. As a girl who prides herself on being many shades of gray (haha! I crack myself up), you would think that I'd be content with the in-between. In actuality, I think Here, or There is fine, but Anywhere has been my nemesis. And I found myself getting restless during the month of September. It's a time when Summer is winding down, Fall is just beginning. The back-to-school rush is dying down and now we're getting used to a new routine. The leaves and weather haven't quite turned yet. We're just on the cusp of the Holiday season.

It makes me feel like I'm at a crossroads, or more accurately a roadblock, with so many things in my life. During my recap of last month, I mentioned that my word for the month of September was "focus." Well, I failed miserably at it, at least, in the way that I meant it at the time. I have been focused, but on all the wrong things. Negativity. Disappointment. Dissatisfaction. Exhaustion. Impatience. Any of those would have been a more accurate word for September. But I'll settle for Transition.  

I don't want you to think it was ALL bad, though. We celebrated my son's 7th birthday and he was so incredibly happy. Seeing the joy on his face made me tear up something fierce. He's such a little character. I adore him. I adore his brother. I love being a mom. I can't imagine my life without those 2 little people. And my hubby, of course, but that's a given. :-)



I also participated in my 2nd 5K with my hubby and our friends. It was fun. Well, being out of shape wasn't fun, but that's my own fault. But hanging out with my fave peoples and laughing – that part was a blast.



There were so many things I wanted to do, but they got caught up in the confusion, I suppose. And as much as I want to say that I'll get them all done this month, I really feel like my word for October should be "peace." I need to just be for a while. 

What did you learn in September? Have any highlights or goals you want to share? 

P.S. It's almost Write or Die time! Take a gander at the photo prompt below. Share how it inspires you by linking up with me and Shelly beginning on Weds, 10/7. Boom. Write on! 




Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things: October 2015 Edition


It's been a while since I've shared with you guys some of my favorite things. Now that I'm on day 3 of my one month shopping ban, it seems I've been noticing more favorite things than usual. I want to buy everything!! Sigh. Anyway, here are some of my favorites: 

+ First and foremost, I have to say that I'm in love with Holl and Lane Magazine! You guys already knew that, right? Being a part of the social media team has been so rewarding. But I'm also honored to report that I'm a contributor for Issue 3. I shared my struggle with cultural identity (page 86) and I hope you check it out! 



+ I know I'm behind the curve on this one and it just went off the air, but I've been loving Mad Men lately on Netflix. That Don Draper, rawwwrrr. I love the fashion of that time period. It keeps me entertained during my long bouts of insomnia. 



+ I'm hanging out with Jasmine over at Classy Sassy & a Bit Smartassy blog today for a sponsor spotlight/interview. Jasmine is super awesome - come visit! 

+ I've found myself itching to help and serve others lately. I mentioned before that I am shaving my head in March to raise money for childhood cancer research. If you have a few dollars to spare and would like to support a good cause, I urge you to donate. I've also signed up to become a crisis counselor for the Crisis Text Line, a 24/7 emotional support line for those in a crisis. My training starts next week and lasts for 6 weeks. I can't wait to begin! 

+ Pumpkin Pie Lattes. You read that correctly, I said "pie" not "spice." I don't know if I'm really a big fan of the Starbucks PSL. But I had a Pumpkin Pie Latte not too long ago at my grocery store coffee bar and I walked really slowly around the store and just savored it. So so so good. I'm really loving the rain and cooler weather we're having in these parts lately. I know, I know, I'm one of those girls. #notsorry 

+ Annndd you knew a list of my favorite things would not be complete without mentioning a book. I'm re-reading "Misery" by Stephen King right now for book club. I heart Stephen King. I almost want to move to Maine just so I might spot him out and about and then I can stalk him. No? Bad idea? 


OK, well, there you have it. Some of my favorite things. What are you loving lately? Just hand over the info peoples, inquiring minds want to know. :) Ciao!


P.S. The Write or Die Wednesday link up is almost here! Join Shelly and me beginning on Weds, 10/7 and share how the photo prompt below inspires you. Happy writing!