I kind of have been checked out lately. From writing, social media, blogging… well, from life really.
Not to worry. This is my own bizarre way of writer’s block. Writing is definitely the key to my soul. If I am unmotivated to put words together then I am listless in my actual life.
I am not sure which comes first: the writer’s block or the life block… hmm, now there is a new chicken or the egg situation.
Obviously I am snapping out of it as the blog post proves. And it’s not like I haven’t been writing at all during this time or merely stayed in bed moping.
I simply have been less than eager for anything and everything.
I miss the thirst I used to have for life and I am not quite sure how to get it back to a full depth.
I think travel helps. And creating something that excites me. Believing in something is also helpful.
I have been lacking in those areas. My travels have slowed down quite a bit since being back in New York. What I’ve been writing hasn’t truly grabbed a hold of my soul. And my beliefs have dwindled.
I used to believe in dreams and magic. I used to believe I could make a difference. That there was more good than bad in the world. Well, I guess with the current state of America and the huge political divide, faith has been hard to come by.
Social media is constantly pushing negativity into my life and I absolutely hate it. I would love to do away with social media altogether, but as a writer trying to get my name out there — how do I do that? (Seriously, if you have any tips on staying present on social media without it draining you, let me know!)
Recently, I took a family trip to Sicily to visit family. While 3 weeks on a family vacation was a different experience for me, it was a much needed thing in my life. It sparked my creativity and it challenged my mind (I took Italian lessons prior). Most of all, I was enriched my the culture and warmed by my big-hearted family.
I started a new novel while sipping a spritz and arancina (rice ball). I had to sneak away early mornings to cafes or sometimes I stayed up late to get some writing in.
When I returned home from Sicily, I felt ambitious about life again! I am starting to dream of best-selling novels again. I believe there is hope for our world. And I learned travel and quality alone time is essential to my well-being.
Photos and more on my trip to Sicily in the next post! ❤️🇮🇹😘
I’ve been trying to get back into a healthier routine. Emotional eating got the best of me…again, and I fell into bad habits. And what happens when you eat out of boredom, or in my case, out of stress? Then you stress about eating badly and you feel badly, so you eat more to feel better…and… well, you know the deal.
I finally pulled myself out of the ditch. And boy, it’s amazing how taking care of yourself makes it so much easier to love, not only yourself, but others as well. Alright, enough of my self-love, analytical spiel… DATES!
It’s not like I didn’t eat dates before — I certainly did, and I always enjoyed them, but I never really thought they could kill a chocolate craving.
I was totally wrong!
I was PMSing and I needed a chocolate fix one morning. Normally, I would just buy some dark chocolate, but it was early in the morning and I hadn’t even eat breakfast yet. I took out four dates and decided to stuff them with almonds. I sliced them open, took the pits out, and put two almonds in each date. Then I closed them back up. I remembered I had some dark cocoa powder in the cupboard and a light bulb went off. I took out a bowl and put a pinch of cocoa powder and a pinch of cinnamon in it. I mixed it around and then rolled the dates in it!
When I sat down to eat this treat, it was pure decadence – like a little box of chocolates! If I had some coconut, I surely would have rolled it in that as well.
After I finished eating, my chocolate craving was gone and I didn’t have any sugar crashes afterward. Here are some other fun ideas with dates:
Stuff with Almond Butter (my sister recommended this one!)
Blend up to make a chocolate sauce
Slice up and put in salads or yogurt
Make energy balls with dates, oats, nuts, salt & coconut oil
How do you like to eat dates? Please share! 🙂
I started off watching “The Vampire Diaries” with pretty low expectations. The show first aired in 2008 amidst the throws of “Twilight” fever, which I’ll admit I was infected with.
Did I really want to be part of another vampire fandom? I had already been sucked into “True Blood” as well. I viewed it all as guilty pleasures. When all was said and done, and the mystery of who Bella would end up with was gone, I didn’t care for some of the writing or themes of “Twilight”. As for “True Blood”, that show got crazier, smuttier and I lost the love for it altogether.
But I had to see the pilot episode of “The Vampire Diaries” at least to see if it was a copycat version of “Twilight”, only replacing Edward and Jacob for Stefan and Damon.
To my surprise, I liked it. By mid season, I LOVED it. I was hooked. I refrained from reading the books due to spoilers and the fact that I heard they weren’t very good. With Kevin Williamson behind TVD, I really shouldn’t have been surprised about the success of the show.
I’ve always been keen to Williamson’s work, from “Scream” to “Dawson’s Creek”, but even he has failed me in the past. I lost the love of “Dawson’s Creek” after the high school years and when I go back to watch “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, I think how cheesy it was.
8 Seasons later and I am as addicted as ever to “The Vampire Diaries”. Am I sad the show has ended? Yes and no. While I never stopped watching, seasons 5 and 7 had it’s blah moments for me. The storylines are always crazy, the plot complicated, but somehow, the writing, and tangled web along with a superb cast made “The Vampire Diaries” work. But for how much longer? My guess: not much.
The show ended when it was supposed to. And unlike “Dawson’s Creek”, which I can’t stand to watch reruns of, or the “Twilight” movies that I snicker at and don’t watch much anymore, I know I will watch “The Vampire Diaries” on Netflix repeatedly. It is not my guilty pleasure.
Why? Because the characters are intricately done. Storylines are followed through with. And it’s not all about romance, and a human girl wanting to sell her soul to be with some guy. There is deep-rooted family connections, friendships, hate, regret, hope, self-loathing–so many human emotions we can relate to.
I will continue to watch “The Originals”, the show’s spinoff, hoping it will continue to live up to its predecessor.
Late last year, my best friend Kindell and I went to Covington, Georgia, AKA the fictional town of Mystic Falls. We went on a tour of the filming locations with Vampire Stalkers. Jessica, who runs the tour was awesome. She shared fun tidbits from filming (she’s been an extra many times), and the crew often use her gift shop for hair, make-up and to store props.
Even though the show is ending, that doesn’t mean the tours are! Plus, “The Originals” still films there, and you never know when you’re going to catch Klaus (Joseph Morgan) on a filming day. I highly recommend visiting this adorable, quaint small town — vampire fan or not!
As my farewell to TVD, I would like to share these photos with you.
I am happy to announce I will kick off a book blog tour from February 15 – March 15 to celebrate the release of the 6th book in the “Dream Catchers” Series, “Spotlight“. I’m super excited to be doing this tour and to release this book. Thanks to the Silver Dagger Scriptorium for organizing the tour!
Also, mark your calendars for March 8th – I’ll be hosting a Twitter party with some fun roleplaying with the characters in the series! Tune into my Twitter: @SandyLoMedia at 8pm EST. Make sure to use #DCSParty and send over any questions you have for me, Jordan, Haley, Aylin, Cami, Drew, Colin, Danny and Bex! More details will be released soon!
Feb 15- The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Feb 15- Books Dreams Life
Feb 16- Wonderful World of Books
Feb 16- Traci Hayden
Feb 17- Bound 2 Escape
Feb 20- Love Romance Books
Feb 20- MommaBears Book Blog
Feb 21 The Book Town
Feb 21- Teatime and Books
Feb 22- The Authors Blog
Feb 22- Book Giveaways
Feb 23- The Avid Reader
Feb 23- Jazzy Book Reviews
Feb 24- Castles Made of Books
Feb 27- Lisa-Queen of Random
Feb 27- Turning Another Page
Feb 28- US Brazil Book Review
Feb 28- The Reading Spot
Mar 1- Anna Del C Dye
Mar 2- Just a Little R&R
Mar 3- TMBA Corbett Tries To Write
Mar 6- Tome Tender
Mar 6- Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
Mar 7- Lisa Loves Literature
Mar 7- The Bookworm Chronicles
Mar 8- CelticLady’s Reviews
Mar 9- A Mama’s Corner of the World
Mar 13- Rainy Day Reviews
Mar 13- Shh, I Am Reading
Mar 14- Tales of a WannaBe Superhero Mom
Mar 15- Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
Filmmaker Kevin Smith and his actress daughter, Harley Quinn Smith discuss her decision to go vegan over a meal at Doomie’s Home Cookin’ in LA. The father-daughter duo have an open and honest conversation about the stigma of vegan food, what we were taught growing up about eating animals and why Harley wanted to “go all the way” for them The video is part of Farm Sanctuary’s Compassionate Meals series, which encourages people to take a friend out for a compassionate meal and engage in conversation about what compassion is.
Instead of taking a bullying approach that so many animal activists resort to, the Compassionate Meals series opens the conversation between vegans and nonvegans to talk about our beliefs and the welfare of animals.
For more information: farmsanctuary.org
My entire life I went slightly against the grain. When people made fun of a certain culture, I defended it. When everyone was wearing one style, I wore another. When people glorified bacon, I never liked it all that much. Some things are simply a matter of opinion while others are viewpoints that force groups to take sides. With political conversations ready to tumble out of mouths so freely these days, it’s become difficult for me. I don’t identify as a certain political party. Everything is too far left or right for me, and maybe that’s the problem in general.
There is no middle ground.
As a compassionate human of this planet, the only thing I can proudly be 100% sure of is my love of all walks of life. No matter color, sex, class, human, animal or plant.
Just because I may not agree with you totally, doesn’t mean I don’t see your point.
Just because I don’t like what you say, doesn’t mean I don’t see what you do.
Just because I care deeply for the well-being of animals and the environment doesn’t mean I don’t know about the other problems the world faces.
Just because I go about my life not complaining about political outcomes doesn’t mean I don’t know or worry about them.
Just because I hope for the best and look past the ugly in people to see the good doesn’t mean I’m naive. It means I have faith. I have hope. And deep down, that is the only thing we can control.
This is my only political statement. 🙂
Featured image by Big Frog Plano
*Author’s Note: I wrote this article when applying for a position writing for a Vampire Diaries fansite back in 2013. I didn’t get the gig, but found this in my files recently and thought it would be fun to share in honor of the start of TVD’s last season. Enjoy!
Why is it that no matter how many bad things these vampires do, we still love them? And sometimes, the more deceitful, vicious monsters TVD characters like Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) are, the more we are drawn to them. “Bad boys tend to have lots of positive traits that come along for the ride of the badness such as good looks, confidence, creativity, humor, charisma, high energy, and good social skills—all things women find attractive,” says Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at New York University in an article for Psychology Today. It’s safe to say the bad boys of The Vampire Diaries exhibit all those qualities and then some. Turns out women also like a challenge—we girls do have a tendency to believe we can change men. (Fun Fact: We can’t)
The Vampire Diaries helps support this theory. Just look at how sexy bad boy, Damon Salvatore went from revenge-seeking bloodsucker with no control to Elena’s doe-eyed tender lover, who would do anything to keep her from hurting, almost instantly.
As for Klaus, the evil, original hybrid, we actually saw him cry as Caroline (Candice King), the blonde vamp he fancies, is on her deathbed telling him he still has humanity left inside him. I couldn’t believe it, but I actually felt sorry for the guy who just a few episodes ago went on a bloody killing spree of ripping hearts out and drowning the Mystic Falls mayor in a fountain—taking away Tyler Lockwood’s (Michael Trevino) only living family member.
Then there’s Stefan (Paul Wesley). He’s the good guy, usually. And yes, we love him too, but let’s face it: there is quite an appeal to Stefan as the crazy “Ripper”. I know I’m not alone in thinking Stefan becomes a great deal sexier when he’s showing no mercy and takes what he wants.
Then again, nice guys Matt Donavan (Zach Roerig) and Jeremy Gilbert (Steven R. McQueen) have their own appeal, don’t they? However, on TVD, even when these hot men are good, they’re still kicking some butt, and sometimes, they’re even doing it shirtless with a bewitched tattoo spreading across their chiseled muscles!
To all the mortal men out there reading this… Take a lesson from TVD studs by following these (very vain and ridiculous) rules to win over any girl:
1. Stay shirtless as often as possible. (It will only work if you don’t have a beer belly or an obscene amount of back hair—unless you’re turning into a werewolf, then we guess it’s okay.)
2. Be persistent, but not too creepy. (Bonus Tip: Drawing a portrait of your love is good, but threatening her current boyfriend’s life is just going to scare her away.)
3. Know when to take charge or let her have her way. For example: If your girlfriend asks you not to kill someone, don’t do it. But if she insists on offering herself up as a human sacrifice, you do everything you can to stop her.
Who’s your favorite TVD character? Mine is Damon of course! 🙂
If you have no idea who any of these characters are, binge-watch on Netflix ASAP!