Successful Authors From Fiction

As writers, we draw inspiration from all over the place. And throughout fiction, you can see representations of our noble craft portrayed in various ways that can serve to motivate and encourage anyone who decides to make writing a career. Let’s take a look at some of the big ones!

Joan Wilder | If you’ve ever seen Romancing The Stone, you know what I’m talking about. Joan Wilder is a goddess amongst fictional women, and so very relatable. A successful author living in New York, Joan gets sucked into an adventure and romance of her own when her sister is kidnapped. But what I love about her representation is that she is just as real and human as anyone I know in real life. She always forgets to buy tissues, her best friend is her cat, she’s in love with her main character, and she isn’t practical at all.

Joan Wilder: “Those shoes were Italian.”

Jack T Colton: “Now they’re practical.”

Vicki Sprantz | Troop Beverly Hills is one of those movies that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. And while Vicki has a minimal role, I find her very inspiring. She manages to portray the normal life of a romance author in one or two scenes, and like Joan, she’s successful too! She’s making bank off her writing, not like any of those portrayals of starving artists that have to sell the shirt off their back to afford dinner. She has a fabulous style, is up on the new trends for note taking with her handy voice recorder, and she openly talks about her craft, even so far as to let her daughter give her some steamy input into her writing, as she suffers from momentary writers block.

Maddie | Hush is by far my favorite movie in the whole world. It’s a horror movie that is fresh, exciting, and powerful. Maddie is a deaf writer who lives out in the middle of the woods somewhere, and while the movie is about her surviving a killer, her writing plays a major part in the movie. So, not only is she a writer, but her writing career actually plays a crucial role in her survival. That just blows my mind! Of course Kate Siegel helped write and direct the movie, so that’s also probably why it’s so good. And once again, she is another successful author! That’s three successful female authors all in a row! She’s got one book out and is working on her second when this movie picks up, and at the end, it’s her skills as a writer being able to see every possible ending to her situation, that ultimately ends up saving her life.

Jo March | The original gangster. I remember watching and reading Little Women growing up and having it totally reshape how I viewed life and the world and everything in it! Nothing is more powerful than the bond between sisters, and Jo March manages to capture that beautifully in her telling of her own story. This book predates some of the others, all the way back to the Civil War, but nonetheless, Jo is able to move to the Big Apple and get her works published. You get to see her struggle through publishing cheap thrills for magazines, all the way to her getting her first book deal with her powerful telling of her life story.

Friedrich: “Jo, there is more to you than this. If you have the courage to write it.”

John Watson | For anyone who has seen the rebooted modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes, you will know that John Watson is a blogger. What an innovative way to update his writing habit from the original stories where he would pen his cases with Sherlock and “get them published” as you read his stories from the first person point of view. John Watson is a doctor who has a penchant for writing, and blogging is such a good fit for his modern character. Once again, he is successful at what he does!


Hooray for successful authors being depicted in fiction! Do you have any authors from fiction that didn’t make the list? Share them down below. And if you are a writer, don’t give up! If they can do it, so can you!

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

9 Tips To Be More Productive

Even the best of intentions to be productive can be massacred by the urge to be lazy.

20180903_1835199009106253670970681.jpg

How does one cope when those feelings surface? When you just want to order a pizza and binge watch the office for the fourth time in a row instead of working on your paper, your novel, your art, your homework, your thesis? We’ve all been there. No shame. But sometimes you just have to do some work. I know. It sucks. Whomp. The biggest help is hardening your mental resolve to just get it done, or to at least start. But besides bossing your brain into falling into line, what else is there to do in order to spark productivity? Below is my list of productivity tips, for your viewing pleasure.


Get into the mindset

  • Clean your space
  • Handle all the other stuff first
  • Grab a drink and a snack
  • Find some soothing music
  • Put your phone away
  • Make a to-do list
  • Use the count down method
  • Start small
  • Reward yourself for working hard

 

How can you ever hope to be productive when you have 10,000 other things on your plate that are all vying for your attention? If you really need to get a project done, remove those distractions.

Clean your space

How many  times have you sat down to start working on something only to have your mind start to wander immediately to all the things you also have to do? Laundry, the dishes, that phone call you need to make, taxes, update that blog post, laundry, the dishes, that phone call you need to make, taxes, update that blog post, laundry…

These things can turn into a loop. A loop that succeeds in stopping you from getting them done (because you are trying your darndest to do this other thing), but also stops you from getting the thing done because you can’t concentrate on the task at hand. One thing at a time! Clean up those dishes first. Clean your room. Put in a load of laundry before you sit down (you can take a break when you switch them. It creates a wonderful little ecosystem for productivity). By cleaning your space you eliminate distractions so you can focus on the important thing.

Grab a drink and a snack

Humans get hungry. And thirsty. Surprise, surprise! A great way to distract yourself from getting your productivity on is to get all situated in your work space only to jump up again to go in search for a little something. Think ahead, make some salty popcorn, cut up some cheese and apple, grab a cup of tea or have some plain old ice water. Don’t let the cravings distract you from what you need to get done.

Find some soothing music

I like to listen to music when I’m working on things like art or cleaning, but when it comes to writing, I usually like to have silence, because guess what…sometimes music becomes a distraction for me. I get so into finding something good to listen to that I end up wasting half the time I had set aside to work on The Thing. Or I get super into a song and my mind wanders off to daydream land. But for the instances that I do listen to music, I opt for instrumentals, soundtracks, or classical.

Put your phone away

I wish we still lived in the time of AIM where you could put an away message up saying not to bug you. Unfortunately, there’s not really anything stopping people from texting or messaging your phone at all hours of the day or night. Tell your friends that you are on “Do Not Disturb” mode, put your phone on silence, and put it in a different room. Do you really need to check snapchat while trying to think of a plot hole fix? Nope. Distraction.

Make a To-Do list

Honestly, this is a huge help. If you’re not a list person, at least give it a try. It gets all your thoughts out of your head and down on paper so you don’t have to worry about remembering all those little things, and gives you a great guideline to follow if you get stuck and don’t know what to do next. Plus it’s super satisfying to cross something off your list. I add silly things to mine, like “Make a to-do list” just so I can check it off.

Use the Count Down Method

After watching Mel Robbins’s TedTalk, I was a bit skeptical. After all, I’m a procrastinator who doesn’t do well with getting started with things sometimes. I was wondering if this trick would really work, and guess what? It does. 100% does. This video sort of changed my life in that it changed the way I think about my self parenting and impulse control. The best way to start is to just do it.

 

Start small

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the idea of working on a project, and therefore don’t even bother to start? It helps to break down your tasks into smaller tasks so that you can take it once piece at a time. Not sure where to start? Just pick someplace. Messy room? Start by throwing down your dirty clothes. Start of a new chapter? Just start typing and see where it goes. You can always edit later. The point is to begin. The rest will follow after, and before you know it, you will be in full productivity mode.

Reward yourself for working hard

What do you do when someone you care about does something hard? You congratulate them. So why can’t we congratulate ourselves when we put work into something? Be kind to yourself. The sweet reward at the end of a long period of productivity will encourage you to finish future tasks. Maybe the reward is going for a walk, maybe it’s having a candy bar or a glass of wine, or maybe it’s buying yourself a present you’ve wanted for a while. No matter how big or small, rewarding yourself encourages future productivity and motivates us to get the tough shit over with so we can enjoy the splendor of a really good reward. Even if it’s only a supreme feeling of accomplishment.


Do you have any tips on how to be productive? Link to your posts down below! I’d love to read some of your suggestions.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications! 

Favorite Apps of 2018

Hello, friends! Today’s post is pretty much exactly what the title says. I’m going to give you a rundown of my favorite apps of 2018! Mozzarella sticks are definitely number one, closely followed by mac n cheese bites. And who can forget spinach artichoke dip? No, not appetizers. Apps! For your phone! Without further digression, here’s a list of my favorite apps from 2018. I will let them speak for themselves.


Day One

Day One is a journaling app unlike any other. Update your journal from anywhere in the world, at any time. Look back at entries from prior years that were published on the same day. Upload pictures to remember the best things about your life. You can do so much with this little app! My favorite feature is the map. Every time you add a picture that was taken at a specific location, it puts it on the map so that you can see just how far you’ve traveled. This means that even if you aren’t at the location of the event, you can still “check in” at that location by attaching a picture! As long as the picture has location information. I rarely post journal entries at the actual locations so this is a great feature to keep track of where you’ve been. And the location is so specific you can see the very block you were standing on when you took the picture! This journaling app keeps everything private, like a little diary on your phone.

Instagram

Instagram has seen a mega-boost in trendiness within the last five years, and it’s easy to see why. Businesses have started using this app as a great way to market their brand or blog, and personal accounts capture a timeline of your life in pictures. It has something for everyone. And with the increase in small businesses using this app, I think we can see many more cool updates for the app on the way.

Goodreads

How do you keep track of all the books you’ve read or want to read? Goodreads. It’s the best book tracker app out there. It’s free to download and allows you to bookmark books into your “to be read” pile, as well as giving you links to buy the books you find. You can rate books, write reviews, add friends, and even do a yearly reading challenge! I finished mine for this year. Did you? Leave a comment down below!

Headspace

Headspace was widely advertised at its debut, and being an avid meditation supporter (Check out my post, The Benefits of Daily Meditation), I thought I’d give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this app is actually really useful for when you’re having trouble meditating on your own. Although there are a number of free guided meditations on youtube, Headspace gives you an intimate experience with your tour guide as he gives you not only a guided meditation, but also coping mechanisms to deal with your busy mind. It’s a great alternative if you are on the go without a computer or need a little extra assistance in staying focused during your meditation.

Castbox

This is my go-to podcast platform. It has an easy to use interface with areas to explore new podcasts, create playlists, and keep up to date with your favorites. My favorite podcast is Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher. Listening to podcasts in your car to and from work is a great alternative to the repetition of the radio, and you can learn a lot from experts and gurus who have plenty of world experience. I find that podcasts are one of the top things I go to when I need a little motivation and productivity boost.

Phonto

Phonto is an image editing app that allows you to add text to your pictures. This is how I add a watermark to my original photographs that can be found on this site. It’s super easy to use and gives you a great selection of fonts to choose from. I highly recommend this app if you are a new blogger starting out and need a little help with your graphics. While you can’t add filters or change the graphics in any way, this app is a vital step in creating a blog-ready photo.

Flo

Flo is literally the best thing to ever happen to human kind. If you are a woman who just can’t seem to keep track of her period, Flo is the app for you. Not only can you keep track of when your period comes, you can also track how heavy it is, the best times to conceive, mood swings, PMS symptoms like acne, backache, and cramps. You can even track vaginal discharge (it sounds gross, but it’s super important for your health). It also gives you a feature to remember your oral contraceptives plus giving you a calendar of when you have unprotected and protected sex, and masturbation. Basically anything you need to keep track of with your feminine health is included in this app. And it’s free! It’s important to stay on top of your feminine health, ladies.


What apps have you been using? I’m sure everyone would love to hear some other recommendations as well, so leave those comments down below.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

What Are Your Horcruxes?

Today I thought I would try a cool yet simple idea. In the Harry Potter series, Horcruxes are objects that possess a piece of your soul, if you so choose to split it (like the evil demon that you are). By splitting your soul into pieces, you can live forever until each of those pieces is destroyed!

Translating this into muggle terms, let’s say that a Horcrux is created when you pour a piece of yourself into something that you love and cherish, instead of all that nasty negativity surrounding the creation of Horcruxes in the books. Also, in the books, Lord Voldemort has seven Horcruxes. (There were seven books too. Coincidence? I think not.)

So! What seven objects would you choose to pour a piece of your soul into? Below I list my top seven hypothetical Horcruxes.


  1. My 1907 copy of Alice In Wonderland
  2. My morganite necklace
  3. My bullet journal
  4. My tarot deck
  5. A box that looks exactly like 100,000 other boxes, just to mess with people
  6. & 7. My sisters

Ok, now one of those things is not like the other. But if we’re talking in actual Harry Potter terms, destroying a Horcrux brings you closer to destroying the person, so to confuse my arch nemesis, I would pour a piece of my soul into a cardboard box that looks exactly like other boxes. How would they know? How would they ever find it? Good luck, enemy mine.

And yes, people count for Horcruxes. I mean, spoiler alert, Lord Voldemort accidentally split his soul an extra time when he tried to kill Harry Potter, effectively making him the final Horcrux. (Hence Harry’s inevitable death, however shortlived, at the the end of book seven.) (Which, also, I am quite proud of the fact that “shortlived death” just popped out. I amaze myself with my wit sometimes.)

So yes, my sisters would definitely be Horcruxes for me. they carry a piece of me in their hearts forever, as I do with them. I will never be forgotten as long as they live. And they will never be forgotten as long as I live. But again, if we are talking in practical Harry Potter terms, it’s a bit evil choosing a person as a Horcrux, because then all your arch nemesis has to do is…kill your loved ones. Yikes. But of course, we are talking in muggle terms, so all this hyperbole is quite moot.

20180928_1119213796888637281780134.jpg 20180928_112218673764047247840433.jpg

The 1907 copy of Alice in Wonderland will always hold a special place in my heart because I purchased it from Alice Through The Looking Glass, a shop in London that almost exclusively sells Alice In Wonderland paraphernalia. I will never forget the incredible encounter I had with the March Hare and the Mad Hatter who owned and worked in the shop. Nor the experience of seeing Alice Liddell’s actual looking glass! But that is a story for another day.

The morganite necklace I acquired after going through quite a painful breakup and I have worn it every day since. It keeps me grounded and helps me feel connected to the universe and everyone around me. The shape of the gemstone also largely reminded me of Princess Garnet’s necklace from Final Fantasy IX, a game which I adore beyond words or reason, so wearing it reminds me of one of my favorite fictitious heroines.

The others I feel are self explanatory. Just items that are very important to me and that I carry with me always.


Now it’s your turn! I challenge you to come up with seven Horcruxes for youself! If you make a post, be sure to tag me so I can read your ideas!

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications! 

11 Things To Do On A Rainy Day

Am I the only one who loves rainy days? I wish we lived in a world where rain was the norm and sunshine was a specialty. Something about the smell and the sound is just so magical. Thunderstorms are better still, as long as they aren’t the kind that rage through and knock down trees or flood the house (although power outages can be a lot of fun!). It’s certainly going to be a stormy day today here in Pittsburgh. They are calling for heavy rain and thunderstorms. Even tornados, which I was like, “lolwut”, because we never get tornados in Pittsburgh due to all the hills. But if they are calling for Pittsburgh tornados, it can be assumed that it’s going to be a doozy.

But what is one to do when they’re stuck inside the house while it downpours outside? Well, after I safely make it home from work and dash into my house before I get completely soaked to my bones, there are quite a few things I might do. But first, I’m probably going to put my hair up into a messy bun, take off my makeup, and jump into my favorite nightgown (Torrid’s Black Lace Racerback Sleep Chemise, if anyone is wondering, it’s the comfiest).

And without further babbling, here’s a list of my favorite things to do on a rainy day!


Photoshoot

Oh yes, my favorite thing to do is obviously going to be creative. Rainy days are a great excuse to have a full-on fashion photoshoot. Put on some dramatic makeup and some funky clothes from the back of your closet, set up your camera on a self timer, and let the selfies flow! The gloom can create some really cool shadows and lighting effects. And if you feel really adventurous, you can even venture outside for some nice hipster rain dance shots.

Writing

The rain inspires me in a way that no other weather can. It brings me to a place in my memory, a nostalgic cozy into which I curl up and create. This time, instead of photography, you can channel that creativity a different way. Start a new novel, or write a short story you’ve had in your head. Never written anything before? Now’s the perfect time to start. Just sit down in a comfortable spot with some tea or chocolate milk, a pen and paper, and let the words flow. It’s amazing how inspiring the sound of rain can be. Here’s something to get you started: It was a dark and stormy night…

Movie Marathon

This one’s a given, right? What better way to spend the day stuck inside than with some of your favorite movies. My preference is to go to some of the oldies but goodies, the movies that remind me of magical times, or horror movies that fit the perfectly drab day. Make some popcorn, cuddle up in bed with your cat or bearded dragon, and enjoy doing absolutely nothing for a few hours.

Baking

Want to know what goes along with a movie night perfectly? Fresh chocolate chip cookies! That’s right, another great way to kill time is to do some baking. Nothing warms the soul when it’s cold and rainy out more than these soft delicious cookies. Or, look up some new recipes online to see what you can get into. There’s even edible cookie dough if you don’t feel like turning on your oven.

Online Riddles

Ever heard of Notpron? If you’ve never experienced the weird, freaky, and downright scary online riddle game, the next time it’s looking a little gloomy out, give it a try. It really engages your brain and makes you think about things from difference perspectives, all while delivering creepy music, sound effects, and images to really set you on edge. I wish there were more online riddles like this. If you know of any others, leave a link down in the comments!

Read a book

Yes, of course this would make the list. There is something so very magical about reading on a rainy day. For me, I like to reread my favorite books and relive the magic of my younger years on the rainiest of days. Harry Potter (Chamber of Secrets is the best! Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!), Redwall, and the Abhorsen series are always nice rainy day choices, but for more of a mysterious read, I always like The Club Dumas, Sherlock Holmes, or Dan Brown.

Play an instrument

Another creative outlet when you are stuck within four walls, pacing and screaming from boredom (that’s so dramatic. With the internet these days, do kids even get bored anymore?), is to practice an instrument. If you have one on hand, why not dig out that guitar and learn a few new chords, or learn a new song on the piano so that you can sound like the mad Phantom of the Opera as you maniacally pound away at the keys as the rain pours down. My favorite is the violin. Don’t have anything to play? You can find pretty cheap instruments on amazon.

Sort out the kitchen cupboards

Do you know how satisfying it is to sort of the kitchen cupboards when you’re bored? So satisfying! You can put all the foods that are going to expire in the front and all the new cans in the back to optimize your spending, and think of some great dinner ideas in the process. I also just love cleaning up the kitchen in general. It’s an area that gets junked up a lot and it feels so fulfilling to see a nice shiny counter top. (Like, seriously, when was the last time you cleaned your stovetop? Don’t lie. It’s been a while.)

Clean out your closet

This one is best done to some awesome music blaring. Reach into the dark spiderweby corners of your closet and dig out all those clothes that you haven’t touched in years. Make it fun, have a little fashion show while you sort through items! And the ones that don’t fit? Toss them in a pile for the Goodwill. Someone out there would surely love your adorable blouse that no longer fits much better than the dust mites, girl. After the rain is done, you can wear out some new outfits that you forgot about.

Watch the rain

This is honestly one of my favorites. It doesn’t rain often enough for my tastes, so when it does, I like to fully experience it. I like to sit down near an open door or back window and watch the rain fall. It’s fun to see all the animals splashing around as they duck for cover, and the birds flying from wet branch to wet branch. And if there’s thunder and lightning, it’s so cool to see the purple streaks across the sky. Sometimes that’s all I do, with no music, no tea, and no distractions. The world looks so different and inspiring when everything is dripping with magic.

Spa day

And lastly, we have an oldie but goodie. Hosting a spa day for yourself is something that we should all do more often. Physical self care is very important, and we often move so quickly that we forget to slow down and take the time to love ourselves. Use a rainy day to dig out those skin exfoliants, face masks, and body butters. Light a candle and put on some nice relaxing music and sink into the cozy feeling of being inside while it’s miserable out. After you refresh your skin, you can paint your nails, or settle down into bed with your favorite vibrator, and enjoy the rest of your evening! There’s never any rush when it comes to rainy days. That’s what’s so great about them. It gives you an opportunity to do all the things you actively put off until later. Ever heard the phrase, “save it for a rainy day”? Well now it’s time to cash in, so enjoy.


What are some of your favorite things to do on rainy days? Leave your comments down below. I’d love to hear from you!

Take care!