Reasons to Canon Ball Your Way Into Creative Writing

Hello and welcome to my blog! Thank you for joining me. I’m Desiree and I’ll be your host. Today’s post is about reasons to canon ball your way into creative writing.

To all of my new and regular viewers/readers, this is me creatively imagining what it would be like to have my own talk show. Then again, maybe I should start a podcast… scratch that, I just remembered that I’m in the middle of converting all my posts through Anchor into podcasts, available through Spotify, so if it’s not too much trouble, give it a listen and follow.

Did you notice how I didn’t say jump or dive? There’s no way for a person to gradually get into creative writing. Just as Van Gogh said about painting, I say,

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘don’t write,’ then by all means write and that voice will be silenced.”

-Desiree Haros

Creative writing isn’t limited to just storytelling, you can apply these skills to poetry and journaling.

In my post about writing therapy, I mentioned that writing has the ability to strengthen your immune system. Well, there’s more where that came from. I’m going to hit you with some other did-you-knows. If you haven’t given creative writing a shot, here you go. If you are a creative writer, then here are the reasons you should stick with it.

Promotes Creativity

I notice when I sit down and begin to write in my notebook about ideas I need to brainstorm, more ideas seem to come up. Writing gets those thinking cogs turning and just like yoga with regular practice I begin to enter a flow state. And when I take a step back from my writing, those cogs don’t stop at the keyboard or when I put down the pen.

You don’t have to be a writer to reap the benefits. Writing helps you find solutions to problems. Those cogs will continue to turn and creative juices will emerge like a well-spring when you allow your brain to think and write with intent.

Creative Writing Improves Your Mental State

It brings us to another level of self-awareness. We are able to write out our worries, fears, and anxieties. Add those emotions into your creative writing journey. Sharing your struggles through poetry, essays, or memoir can have a lasting effect for good on your future audience.

People relating to our vulnerabilities shows them they are not alone in the struggle. Yes, there are other people like you. You struggle with depression? Me too! Writing about it has helped my mental state immensely.

Creative Writing Increases Your Vocabulary

If you didn’t know, now you know. Let me refer you back to my last post on wordsmithing. Increasing our knowledge of the English language can improve our prose. I want to know what other words I can use to describe someone sitting on the couch or looking up into the sky.

Writing helps me to remain in a state of wonder. It has me asking questions about things like, “Where did the word OK come from?” Answer: It was a joke between a couple of editors who used to write oll right, but misspelled on purpose as oll wright O.W., which eventually turned to oll korrect and became our present day OK. Thank you Merriam-Webster!

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Stay in the state of wonder my friends. Write on!

Narrative: The 4 POVs

Narrative is the way you tell your story. What point of view do you offer your reading audience? How much are you willing to reveal and how much of their understanding do want to remain a mystery? Whichever one you choose, writing narratives from a different point of view enhances your creative writing skills.

First person narrative gives me a chance to imagine how and what the character is feeling. I see life through their eyes like I’m walking around in someone else’s shoes. One writer I met said she took up smoking because her character was a smoker. I found the behavior to be a little extreme. Keep in mind you don’t have to pick up a vice because your character has one.

In my own writing journey, I’m taking my own advice and trying different POVs by paragraph within my projects. I’ll take one paragraph and rewrite it using a different POV each time. It mixes things up and gives me the opportunity to see my character or characters in a different light.

Are you not sure how you should narrate your next story? Here’s a brief overview concerning point of view.

First Person

Use the pronouns I, me, or we, us our, ours, mine. Example, “I enjoy curling up on the couch to watch a mystery.” The narrator lets you know what I’m doing.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird

Second Person

Use the pronouns you, your, yours, yourself. Example, “You stand there for a moment, not sure whether or not you should turn away.” The narrator lets you know what you are doing. The narrator turns the reader into the protagonist.

The overall consensus among the writing community is not favorable when it comes to using second person POV. There aren’t as many examples using this POV in literature, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. I experimented with second person in a personal essay called The Photograph, when I found out my biological dad wasn’t my step dad. I ended up changing it to first person.

“You have friends who actually care about you and speak the language of the inner self. You have avoided them of late. Your soul is as disheveled as your apartment, and until you can clean it up a little you don’t want to invite anyone inside.” – Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City

Third Person Limited

use the pronouns he, him, his, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, itself, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves. Example, “She stares at the dog growling at her from the corner of her eye and decides to bolt.” The narrator lets you know what she is doing. Third person limited narrative knows the thoughts and actions of one character throughout the story. Most stories are told through this perspective.

“He will never be able to explain how he dares to do this, but perhaps you get tired of being frightened if you’ve been frightened long enough.” ― Fredrik Backman, Beartown

Third Person Omniscient

Use the pronouns he, him, his, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, itself, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves. Third person omniscient knows and sees the inner workings of all characters.

“Vanity was stronger than love at sixteen and there was no room in her hot heart now for anything but hate.” -Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Exercise

Write a paragraph with your character having dinner with their family. Try writing the same paragraph through the lens of the different POVs mentioned in this post. Which narrative worked best for you and why?

Musings From a Creative Writer

Creative writing is the imaginative musings of a writer. The writer incorporates the senses to show the reader a story. It’s a flowery embellishment of sorts, describing a park you’ve created from your imagination. It’s the sensation a character feels from the sun on their skin in the middle of the day.

In school, your professors teach you to show and not tell. It’s the showing of the beach at sunset rather than telling the audience that the sun set. Now all your sentences become too long because all you do is show. Then you read an article that says it’s better to tell. If they ran, say they ran. Keep the story progressing. Progressing to what? You don’t know, but you keep writing.

The words you wrote and rewrote begin to sound like crap. You’re ready to burn your manuscript, except for that one sentence or that paragraph. There’s still hope. You put the lighter away and retrieve your work from the garbage. It’s a cycle of building yourself up and tearing yourself down.

As the writer, creative writing can leave you staring at a blinking parallel line. Your cursor sits waiting like your beating heart for the next word. How’s the writing coming people ask. “It’s coming,” you tell them. Every line you write you obsess over. You weren’t a perfectionist until now.

Who are you writing for? You realize more often than not that you do it for yourself. Words made their way into your heart and now those must find a place in the world.

Creative writing can take you on an adventure all while sitting in the comfort of your bed. You feel emotions about a topic you never had an opinion on until you read about it from a book you stumble across at the bookstore.

You want to hit a nerve in your reader that makes them stay up all night reading your book. When they are through you want them to mourn the character they can no longer read about.

This is what you want for your reading audience, so you keep writing.

Character Development

Emotionally attached to fictional characters

Character development can be challenging. You have a character. You’ve given them a name and some physical details, but you want your audience to connect with them on a deeper level. When I’m reading a story, my connection with them grows when I get a glimpse inside their head.

Make a list of characters you like from different books you enjoyed. What was it about them that made you grow an attachment? Are they forgetful and worry all day at work whether or not they switched off their straightening iron? Did they worry about the impression they made at an interview? Do they bite their nails when they’re anxious?

Define the character are you working on? Is it your protagonist or antagonist. Think about what makes your character interesting for better or worse? To start out on an easier note, let’s pretend you’re making a new friend. I’ve included the questions below to help you dig a little deeper. Keep in mind you want your audience to become emotionally invested in your character.

It’s Coffee Talk Time

A couple of people sitting directly across from each other with a cup of coffee.

Observational Questions

  • How do they act when they are happy, excited, in love, sad, or angry?
  • What kind of gestures do they make in conjunction with these emotions?
  • Do they have any tattoos or noticeable scars?
  • How do they typically dress?

Interpersonal Questions

  • What is one of your biggest pet peeves?
  • The song you blast when you’re happy?
  • Favorite bar/restaurant you enjoy?
  • Beverage of choice?
  • Do you like to travel? Where have you been?
  • Do you have pets? What kind? How many?
  • Do you have children? What are their names and how old are they?
  • Are you close to you family? Any specific member you call when times get tough or unbearable? Why?
  • Who do you spend your holidays with?
  • Are you religious or spiritual?
  • Do you play or watch sports?
  • What do you do when you’re stressed out?
  • What languages do you speak?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?
  • What is your favorite appetizer?
  • As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  • What is your favorite vacation spot?
  • Happiest moment of your life? Worst?
  • How do you see the world? Is the glass half empty or half full?
  • What’s your greatest fear?
  • What is one of your biggest regrets?

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These questions may only scratch the surface of getting to know your character. Let me turn this over to you now. What else do you want to know about them? Think back on how you got to know your own friends. How can you integrate them into your character? Maybe put some of yourself in them. Try putting them in a scene.

Here’s an example. Allow them to sit alone in a restaurant. What do they notice about other people around them. Is your character comfortable or embarrassed sitting in a booth by themselves. Why do they feel that way?

Inner dialogue can help move your story along and throwing your character into action will help you determine what they’re missing.

Proofreading

Remember when we shuffled our desks in groups of three or four during elementary school? We used the red pencil to apply our newly acquired proofreading skills to our classmate’s paper. We marked their paper with symbols for missing capitalization, commas, paragraphs, and misspelled words. I hated seeing those red marks on my paper.

Through regular practice and relearning how to apply and develop the skills in college, I improved on them. Although we now have tools at our disposal, it’s still necessary as a writer to find these errors in our daily tasks before we send out blog posts, query letters, essays, or short stories.

I have included some suggestions to put in your proofreading toolbox. I know that many of us aren’t paid or paid well for the work we produce, yet we do it for the love of creating. There are companies you can work through, but why not take the initiative to do the work yourself free of charge.

Homonyms

Homonyms, also known as homophones, occasionally come across my radar. Print out your work and highlight the homonyms. These words sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. There’s no need to worry about homographs (words that sound and look the same but have a different meaning (i.e., rose, fall, duck, saw, park). Those shouldn’t pose as much of a threat in your writing as homonyms.

Top 10 Homonyms Common Mistakes

Read Backwards

Try reading your text backward. Did you try reading my sentence backward? It makes your mind focus on each word individually rather than the entire sentence. You’re not looking at sentence structure. That comes later when you’re editing.

Ask Someone to Read Your Work

Peer reviews play an essential role in proofreading. Don’t think of it in a negative light. It’s a way to see your writing from a different perspective, making you a better writer.

How many times have we gone over a sentence with “should of,” but after peer review, discovered when corrected, needed to say, “should have”? It’s a mistake I made while attending BYU, and it is a reminder of the importance of having someone else read your work.

Online Tools

If you have done everything in your power to find your proofreading errors, you can try using some of these online tools to check your work. I have included a screenshot of the thoroughness of each program. I used the first paragraph of this post as an example. Disclaimer: I’m not paid for these reviews. They are based on my preferences.

1. Grammarly

Grammarly free online version

I’ve been using Grammarly for years. The free and paid version checks for basic proofreading mistakes (i.e., grammar, spelling, punctuation) and clarity, delivery, and engagement. Adding it as an extension in Chrome, allows you to see your errors across social platforms, e-mail, Word, and Google Docs. You’ll have to upgrade to Premium if you want to suggestions on clarity and plagiarism. They charge an annual fee of $144, which breaks down to $20 per month.

2. Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor free online version

It is available online for free and offers the downloaded version for $19.99. What’s the benefit? You can also download the program to use off-line for $19.99. I would consider using this program and paying for the online version since there is no reoccurring payment that it offers.

3. Writer.com

Writer.com free on-line version

The free plan allows you to check for the basic proofreading mistakes (i.e., grammar, spelling, punctuation), but you will have to pay $11 each month for other features like clarity, plagiarism, and delivery.

Give each of them a try and see which one works for your specific needs. Remember, you don’t have to apply all suggestions. Not everything they say is necessary to make your work sound the best.

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I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed sharing the knowledge. If you have your own suggestions on proofreading help, please leave me a comment.

Are You Smiling?

The soft pattering of rain hits against the roof. I pour myself a cup of coffee and revel in that first sip… but the dog is barking outside. Not Biggie, it’s Creed…again.

I throw the door open and notice that our sweet dog has decided to make the trash his new play thing.

Diapers and anything food related has turned into confetti that litters the lawn. He watches as I assess the damage, waiting for his punishment. He bolts when I call his name. Our neighbor begins to drive down her driveway and Creed also decides that now is the best time to visit them. He barks and runs towards them. He acts like a brand new dog that has never seen the light of day, all because someone forgot to shut the gate. These neighbors have called animal control on us and I doubt this day will be any different.

Another neighbor drives by with a wave, palm held up against the steering wheel. She looks forward, not noticing what surrounds me while I yell at my dog with the least amount of obscenities to get the fork back here. He isn’t listening. I show him a doggie treat and he comes bounding towards me, don’t worry folks, I didn’t give him the treat.

I come back in to grab a garbage bag and discover that my independent two year old has taken it upon herself to pour a generous cup of orange juice for herself and her little sister. They dance in and around the orange puddle as if they are summoning the OJ gods to deliver more of this goodness into into their sticky hands and feet.

Are you smiling yet?

Picture yourself for a moment in my shoes. Did that scene make you smile or frown? Did it make your blood pressure rise?

These instances occurred over the course of a month or even two, but my creative mind rolled it all into one awesome morning scenario. When I think how things could have been worse, it makes those individual life occurrences much less intense.

These are moments that will pass and a very big thankforkinggoodness they do. I’m learning how to smile through it.

There is so much more smile about, am I right or am I right?

Take a minute to write down the things that bring a genuine smile to your face.

Truth be told, there are some days, I don’t want to smile, but I feel like that’s when I need to do it the most.

That one class I’m taking…statistics. It does not bring a smile to a face. Most of the time, I’m looking at formulas and YouTube videos with my lips downturned and a constant look of confusion. But if it wasn’t for the class I wouldn’t be able to share with you something I learned.

How about now?

Doesn’t talking about it make it easier to do? Have you heard of The Duchenne Smile? I didn’t know it had an actual name. You’ve heard about embracing the suck, right? I used that as a a mantra on hard running days. When embracing that suck, I smiled. I smiled big until my brain felt it. I smiled at the trees, the sky, and the ground.

If I am having a particular taxing day and my husband says, “Smile.” Do you know what I want to do in response? I’ve got some pride, maybe it’s more inflated on other days, so what I really want to do is go ballistic. I want to throw a fit and curse. Of course, my initial reaction depends on how into my feelings I am. I could go on frowning when it would be so much easier to give in and just smile for goodness sakes. I imagine I look like that Merryweather. You know the blue fairy godmother from the old old Sleeping Beauty Disney cartoon. I am pretty stubborn.

When I don’t let up, he adds, “Smile like you mean it.” I smile with my teeth showing, but it looks more like this: 😬

At this point I want to ride my broom and tell him all the reasons I don’t want to smile, but he’s not one for hearing excuses. He’s so flippin’ right and Lord help me when he is. It’s his chance to wallow in his rightness. I’ll allow it, because I know I do the same thing when the tables are turned.

It’s usually not my best smile and more times than others it is the LAST thing I want to do, but somehow it changes my mood to a lighter one.

Studies have shown that if you smile like you mean it, the kind of smile that reaches your eyes, it will raise your mood. It’s referred to as the Duchenne Smile.

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Own that Duchenne Smile and make it a part of your daily routine. Smile around your family during times you normally wouldn’t. They might think you’re psychotic, but they’ll get over it.

Try it and notice how it can change your mood and theirs. Give it a week or even a day and let me know how it goes. I look forward to hearing from you.

“The Photograph” is Published!

I originally published this in second person on one of my first blogs. I decided to rewrite it, this time in first person. After several rejections, Talon Review accepted The Photograph. Hope you enjoy it!

Click here to view it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this piece. We all have busy schedules, so your time is always greatly appreciated.

Change Your Mindset and Have a Day to Remember

April and I used to have this inside joke where we would tell each other to “Have a day!”

You know, because having a good day would be expecting too much.

Well, I’m learning to expect more. It’s about making your day and not your day making you.

Do you know what I’m talking about? We had a situation the other day that could have ruined our day, but my husband and I proceeded with our day and took that pivot. Do you remember that episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel are moving that sofa? P-I-V-O-T was the main message.

How do you change your mindset?

You make it a daily practice. Like anything, i.e., writing, creating (whatever that avenue is for you, running..all of it requires a daily practice).

Have you prayed for patience or love?

You will be tried.

Why?

God is turning your weaknesses into strengths.

So you prayed and you’re asking why the world is working against you. Keep in mind that you are slowly being molded into the strong individual that people see today.

I need to constantly press the restart button. I’ll be the first person to tell you I’m far from perfect. When it comes down to it, I’m just trying to be the best possible version of myself to my family, friends and strangers alike.

Learn to see things from a different perspective. It just might change how you see an individual.

Scenario

Brooklyn takes her diaper off and uses her poop as finger paint all over the living room.

My husband said, “Why didn’t you ask me for help?”

“Because I thought you would have figured it out!” I replied.

I expected my husband to help me out. You know, anticipating what my needs were.

Verbalize exactly what you need from your spouse.

He’s not a mind reader. Yes, you may be required to spell it out for him.

We are all on this learning curve called life…together.

*Disclaimer: Even when you don’t pray for something, you will still be tried. Most likely because you didn’t learn the lesson the first 100 times.

It’s 2022: How’s Your Mindset?

There was so much I wanted to accomplish in 2021.

I fell short, but I did do some things like sticking with this here blog (country talk is rampant in these parts).

I started this post back in November, but other topics felt more important until now. During the beginning of November it finally started cooling down here in Florida.

The leaves changed from green to a light diarrhea brown. Not quite as eventful as it is in places like West Valley, New York.

Simple Mindset Change

Missing the change of seasons is a small price to pay, because Florida does have its perks. Two words: sandals and tank tops. Not having to scrape ice off my windshield to run a quick errand. I could go on, but enough about why it’s so great to live in Florida, I ‘ll leave that for another post.

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Today I wanted to provide you a list of my favorite books that changed my view on life. Perspective is EVERYTHING.

Here’s a short list that I’ll continue to add on to, so keep checking back.

Self-Improvement

The Holy Bible

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Thank You for Arguing- Jay Heinrichs

Literary Works

Fountainhead- Ayn Rand

Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy

100 Years of Solitude-Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Running

Born to Run- Christopher McDougall

The Ultra Mindset- Travis Macy

The Ultramarathon Man- Dean Karnazes

This one made marathons seem like a 10k. After my first marathon, I crossed the finish line and knew that it was only the beginning. I would run my first ultramarathon two months later…Chuckanut 50k and then came Rainier to Ruston 50 mile. Both in 2008.

I wouldn’t run my first 100 miles until 2015.

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What ever you do today, make it a fabulous one. I pray that you will be able to find humor in the things your mindset would normally take you. It can change your day and affect those around you for the better. I dare you to give it a try.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by. Please comment below and let me know what you think about the list. I would love to hear what book helped change your perspective. I’ll add it to my own list.

Making Connections: Penny in My Thoughts

Penny, Sharon, and Myself San Francisco Circa 1996

We were The Bania’s, a family of three. It consisted of my dad, Lou, my mom, Remy, and myself.

My dad found a niche as an electrician and refrigeration technician in San Francisco and the surrounding areas.

His accounts included Taco Bell chains, Pizza Hut, and Wolf Gang Puck on the Pier, and what he called “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants in China Town.

He had a little apartment over on Geary Street working three weeks on and one week off where he would come home. Long enough for my parents to get on each other’s nerves and then he would be gone again.

My mother worked full-time as an ESL teacher at Delta Middle School.

Something peculiar was occurring at the end of the street where my parents parked our 1991 Plymouth Voyager mini-van, white with a wood panel stripe that graced the sides.

It would become my future ride during my Senior Year at Delta High School, but that was still in the works. It was 1995, I was 15 and a Junior without a driver’s license riding the bus home.

Like any day after school, I took my time shuffling from the corner of North 500 West Street and West Center Street towards 350 West.

I lived at the dead-end gravel street on 350 West. There are three houses on this road, cookie-cutter ranch-style homes, three bedrooms, and one bath. A blue one (which for the life of me I can’t remember who lived there, I just remember the porcelain toilet that was used as a plant holder), the yellow one that belonged to the Fountaines’ and then my house, a milky chocolate house on the end.

This was the year I decided to cut my hair short like Monica the R&B singer. It looked good on her, why not me?

Billy and Cody Shumway’s mom was the hairdresser and said that I needed to style it every morning if I wanted it to look like Monica’s. Let me tell you, it was more work to have it short than long, but I’m getting off track. All I have to say is thank goodness my hair grows back quickly.

Back to the odd occurrence happening in my driveway. My parents were talking in the minivan. Odd.

Anytime they had a “discussion” it involved slammed doors with my mother going silent behind the closed door, usually with my dad heavy fist pounding the door yelling at her to come out.

This time they were calmly talking. They were both smiling, especially my dad.

When they saw me they exited the vehicle and walked towards the house saying they had something important to tell me.

The News

“You have a sister.” My mom said.

“I thought your mother was going to kill me,” my dad said all smiles.

“Why would I kill you?” she scoffed shaking her head at the thought. “It was in the past.”

Learning Lesson

From that moment and on through my own life I learned that someone’s past did not dictate their worth.

Back to the Story

I was in shock. I had a sister?

Growing up as an only child was B-O-R-I-N-G. Need I say more? My parents were older than most in the area, not to mention they weren’t Mormon. I was the odd girl at school and I was a Filipina Chinese girl living in rural America. I really could have used a sister.

Now I magically had a sister.

An awkward conversation revealed he had a one-night stand with Penny’s mother. Penny had called earlier that afternoon from Washington State and said that she was his daughter.

His reply, “Oh shit, she [Penny’s mother] was telling the truth.”

A New Sister

She was the spitting image of my dad, there was no mistake. She came for a short visit prior to Christmas and we met again in San Francisco and then I took a solo trip up to Washington the following summer.

Throughout the years we kept in touch. She met my fiancé, who would become my husband of 14 years (technically 15, but I filed for divorce our 14th year and it wasn’t finalized until November of 2014). Can you tell I get particular about the particulars?

I took a solo trip in the summer of 2008 to visit Penny and occasionally see her ever-busy husband, Mitch. 2009, following the Disney Marathon, me and the family came out for a visit. We visited the Brevard Zoo, fed the giraffes, and on a separate day, we spent it at Disney World.

The Call

Back at home in Orting, WA. Penny called. She told me my children had been ungrateful. Not thanking her for the dolls she had purchased for them at Disney. She said we had left the house a mess and said she had to call a cleaning service because her house was a mess.

“I was taught that you leave the house, better than you found it!” She yelled in the receiver. Yes, we still had a cordless phone back then.

I yelled back and told her I would send her a check for the maid service. I didn’t recall leaving the house a disaster. It was unlike me to do that. It was strange that she was incredibly upset. She had never yelled at me before.

I hung up the phone while she ranted. She called back leaving two irritated voicemails outraged that I had hung up the phone on her.

In her last voicemail, she said that she was sorry for yelling and plead for me to call her back.

I sent her a check for the maid service and didn’t call her back.

December 3, 2021

Remember that nasty car accident I was in? The dog’s name was Penny. I thought about my sister as the drunk driver called out her name over and over again.

December 5, 2021

I came across my journals and a picture came to the surface. The one my dad took in San Francisco. The same picture shown above.

December 7, 2021

I messaged Mitch, Penny’s husband, asking how I could get a hold of her.

December 11, 2021

He didn’t reply, but he added me as a friend on FB. I scrolled through his feed looking for any sign of Penny.

And then I found this…

Another Lesson

Sometimes we go through the pain of not learning the first time and God nudges us again, patiently waiting for us to relearn something He already taught us.

It is not enough to proclaim we are Christians when we aren’t willing to forgive. I do not claim perfection. I’m still learning how to forgive others in my life.

I Am a WIP (Work in Progress)

I thought I still had time, but now it was too late. I allowed pettiness to break up a relationship that was never based on the trivial.

Please let this be a lesson to you. Do not allow the pettiness of life to get in the way of relationships. As many have said before me, “Life is too damn short.”

I say to you, “Love yours, show kindness, and when it doubt be slow to anger and forgive others on a regular basis.” Yes, even to the drivers that drive like they own the road. We are all God’s children.

If they are toxic, love them from a distance and pray that they will feel your love and forgiveness.

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As always, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my blog.

I appreciate the outpouring of support from my friends near and far.

May God be with you as He has shown up in my life even when I didn’t want to acknowledge His existence. He is as real as the air we breathe. Ever present yesterday, today, and forever.

A Come to Jesus Moment or What Have You

Choice #1

Two nights ago, after a minor “discussion” with my husband. We decided it would be in our best interest, if we went to get some food…meaning fast food.

Choice #2

We saw Lexi and Lauryn (our two oldest) on the way out. Lexi had picked Lauryn up from work. Lauryn works at Wendy’s. She said they were out of fries. We were going to get fries for Brooklyn. I said, “Let’s go to Taco Bell!” Anthony says, “Yes, that sounds most excellent.” He didn’t say that, but he agreed that it was a good idea.

Choices #3

Insignificant choice, but let’s talk consider the time it took to go through the drive thru. I ordered 2 spicy tacos and he got the Grilled something box. Thankful we spent under $15. We headed home.

Choice #4

There are two routes home. One that takes less time than the other. It was foggy…like unusually foggy, so we took the short way home. We were nearly 5 minutes away from home when….

We heard honking, but couldn’t figure out why.

Choice #5

Headlights appeared out of nowhere, because the driver from the oncoming lane turned on his headlights at the last second, but he was in our lane.

Choice #6

Swerved left and the only thing that ran through my head was a clear male voice that said, “Hold on tight and brace for impact.”

Choice #7

Anthony hopped out of the car and ran to the other driver and asked him what the eff he was doing driving on the wrong side of the road. He scared the man so bad, he kneeled in front of his vehicle and put his hands behind his head and promised he wouldn’t move and asked if we were okay. He thought my husband was a cop.

Choice #8

I had to reign in my husband’s wrath, because he was about to beat the living crap out of that man. Not only that, my husband was going to get ran over by oncoming traffic because he was wearing all black. Meanwhile, the clearly inebriated man repeatedly called out, “Penny!!!” A little black and white puppy came running out towards him.

Choice #9

We made our way back to the curb once the police started showing up.

Choice #10

We called Lexi to come and pick us up.

Choice #11

The man pleaded with the cops to not take away his dog. Thankfully, he had someone pick up his animal. It was either that or they were going to take her to the pound. (disclaimer: the shelter is currently filled to capacity and there is a two week waiting list, one day I’ll explain how I know that.) My husband and Lexi said we couldn’t take the dog home. I made a momentary sad face.

Choice #12

After 1.5 hours we were able to go home. We sustained no life-threatening injuries and Lexi asked if we had any Taco Bell left because she was hungry.

Choice #13

We arrived home, tired, exhausted and incredibly grateful that our family was still intact.

Choice #14

Meanwhile, my mother confused her 81mg Aspirin for allergy pills. She took 4 Benadryl and slept until I woke her up the next morning to tell her about the accident. She is usually awake just as much as I am, but more on that later.

The Lesson Learned

We should have gone to Wendy’s.

I’m kidding. The lesson we learned was that life is too short to have “discussions” that last more than 10 minutes. We promised not to get petty as long as we both shall live, but because we said that we happened to get into another “discussion” yesterday. Not even 24 hours later we were “discussing” petty things once again. I thought he was being petty and he thought I was being petty. It turns out we were both being petty. Do you see how choices lead us to where we are today. We can play the blame game all day long, but where does that get us? Stuck on a hamster wheel.

We apologized for our behavior and I begged my daughter to not one day put me in a nursing home. I also apologized to the Universe for being petty.

The Blessing

Anthony went outside and finished fixing our van which has been out of commission for about a month-ish.

He put in the last part that needed to be replaced and we now have a working vehicle again. Our 2016 Nissan Altima is totalled, but we have a working vehicle and we are still alive.

The Conclusion

See the blessings in disguise and recognize when you are not being a very nice human. The sooner you straighten out, the quicker the Universe will work in your favor.

What ever you want to call the higher power, it is there and listening. I believe those who have passed on before us, meaning our ancestors are our guardian angels. That voice I heard in my head was perfectly calm. I listened. The question I have for you is, “Will you?”

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Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate your support and hope you will take the opportunity to like and send me a comment or drop me an email. You can even buy this mama a cup of coffee so that I can continue to make you laugh, cry and jump for joy all at the same time with my clever wordsmithing. Remember to tell your loved ones how much they matter to you, because you don’t know when or if you’ll see them again.