I was laying in bed this morning. It was warm and I didn’t want to get up yet so I broke my own rule and opened up Candy Crush. I usually don’t do that. I’ve been trying to revamp my mornings and help my brain function a little more clear and all, but… Best laid plans and shit.
Y’all know I’ve been lost for a really fucking long time. Like so fucking long. And I’m still lost, so don’t go getting all excited. I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing or where the hell I’m going. As tired as y’all are of me being lost and seemingly saying the same thing over and over and over again, believe me, I’m even more tired of feeling it. But… A lot of the mental work I’ve been doing, a lot of the searching myself, mainly asking What Do I Want To Write followed pretty closely by Do I Even Want To Write Anymore? is paying off. I’m shedding a lot of the crap that was built up over the last 48 years of my life.
There’ve been some real, hard truths that have come out in my journal lately and I’m kind of freaked out because I don’t quite know what they mean for me going forward in this business. Yesterday, loneliness grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let up. I’ve become the quintessential hermit writer… I journaled my hand off sitting outside in the sunshine, listening to some music that I don’t usually listen to. I jotted down some titles that came to me for possible stories. I stared at the sky and enjoyed the sun on my skin. I went through the rest of my day and night the way I always do, figuring that loneliness was going to follow me around for a while until it worked its way through. Then, I woke up this morning and some ideas began to snake their way through my mind in a way that they hadn’t in longer than I could remember. And as I stayed there, playing that stupid game, the more clear the ideas became. (Yes, I am still feeling the loneliness, that didn’t go away.)
One of things I used to try and do with my books was make some part of them part of me or maybe it’s more some part of me part of them and after some things happened, I didn’t think I fit inside my own books anymore, that none of the stories were any part of me. Everything I tried writing felt fake and forced and not only did I feel it, but you did, too. It’s a lonely place. It’s a hard and dark place to be. The messages and noises and shoulds and shouldn’ts are all around and they’re loud and drown out all whispering inside the heart and soul.
I couldn’t hear the whispers. I could only hear the noise of write this, no not that; jump on this trend because you don’t want to miss this chance; you know, just make your books funny and hot; gangsters, bullies, reverse harems, high schools and academies, mafia… They’re all the rage. Or… Why not try… Quick release; don’t do what anyone else is doing; why aren’t you doing what she or she or she is doing because it clearly works; rapid releases like, weekly or every two weeks at the most, okay maybe three but that’s it, etc…
When I started out, I didn’t pay attention to what anyone else did, but we’re supposed to be social and talking and sharing and supporting and doing and coming and going… And you can’t help but notice everyone else’s sandboxes and how full they are of writing and friends and fans. The noise was all I heard. My own voice wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t loud enough and I couldn’t hear it anymore. Except… Except when I heard the expectations that I had of myself and those of my readers, the expectations that I no longer knew how to meet.
The ideas I had this morning? They’re precious pieces of thoughts and pains and traumas and things I never thought I’d write about, but they’re me, they’re part of me and I’ve been trying so damn hard to get back to something, anything that felt like me, that felt like my voice, that felt like who I am now, that felt like who I am becoming, that felt authentic. I’m a little freaked out and a little scared, but I think I’ve found this year’s NaNoWriMo project.
It’s hard to write bogs or social media posts and think or believe or whatever that no one is reading them. Hell, it’s hard to write books and think or believe or whatever that no one will buy them, but that’s a discussion for another day.
However, I miss blogging. I loved it. It was writing and I loved writing. Long winded writing most of the time, but sometimes, it was just snippets of happenings. It was my avenue to share things that I liked or thought or cared about. Even on the days I dreaded it. Even on the days I was like… Well, fuck. What do I write about? I loved it. I loved being part of a group blog and I loved blogging solo. Blogging was more than a sound bite or a clicky headline. Blogging to me was…love.
Now, I was never good with the keyword stacking and SEO and getting my blogs to rank on Google or Bing or Yahoo. I never really cared, either. All I cared about was it was my way to connect with the people who liked me and liked my books, who liked what I had to say at any given moment about any given subject. And I was thinking the other day about the epic giveaways I had on my birthday or at Christmas. KitchenAid mixers, Keurigs, cookbooks, fiction books, Kindles, etc… I loved it all. And I miss it. I really fucking miss it.
Blogging is going or has already gone the way of the dinosaurs. Unless one already has a really well established audience, blogging as an individual is no longer relevant. Bloggers and readers migrated over to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or some other platform. But I have to be honest here… I’ve spent my fair share of time on Facebook (hate it), Twitter (just so much drama and people telling other people what to think, do, read, write, etc…), Instagram (comparisonitis is really prevalent, but I do enjoy Instagram and spend way too much time there). There are others, too, that I honestly haven’t investigated because time, time, time…
I also got lost in what am I supposed to say on my Facebook profile vs my Facebook page vs my Facebook group vs my newsletter vs my blog vs my Twitter feed vs my Instagram feed vs my Instagram stories vs… See what I mean? I just don’t have that much content or brain space or… And so, I pretty much just… Yeah.
But back to this post… I miss blogging. I miss the writing and the talking to y’all whoever y’all happened to be at the time. One person or twenty. I miss y’all and I miss this platform because it’s mine. This platfom is all MINE. Even with all the social media pages and profiles and feeds and stories and whatnot, I always go to someone’s website. I always look at someone’s pages and blog posts because I want to know them, the them that gets watered down through the variety of social media posts. I read newsletters, too, but truth be told, I have more than 1000 unread emails piled up over the last year that are primarily newsletters. I don’t always read them when they come in. They get lost in the shuffle because some people send out newsletters every single freakin’ day. Some I’ve been subscribed to send out more than one a day and it’s like…OMFG STOP!
I think though, even if no one reads my blog posts, I’m going to start blogging again. Blogs, to me, are more intimate than social media, like a conversation or a letter among friends. I know they say newsletters are supposed to be like that, but honestly, I haven’t hit my newsletter stride yet, because reasons… I’ll come back to that one on another day, too.
If you read this, feel free to say hi. If you don’t read this, well, that’s your loss.
Until next time (probably tomorrow or one day later this week)
I follow a lot of coffee companies and coffee shops on Instagram. We all know this isn’t a surprise, right? Well, this company, Grounds and Hounds came across my feed one day as an ad because every site tracks every little thing. I was curious, as one would be who loves coffee as much as I do, and I clicked (which just fed the little stalker monsters). For every pound of coffee bought, they funnel money back into dog rescue efforts. I’m a cat person, but I’m here for rescuing ALL animals and was happy to part with some of my money for a pound of their Snow Day coffee blend…
I’ll be grinding some of this to make some iced pour over and am so looking forward to tasting it. They even have a subscription service along with an online store with merchandise.
The day after Christmas, the spouse and I took a road trip to Black Mountain, North Carolina for research. I had been studying the area a bit online and through social media as a possible setting for the relocation of my (former) Black and White series of bear shifters. Y’all remember Gus and Bex, right? 😉
Before I made a decision though, I wanted to see the town and the mountains surrounding it. We got there and I FELL IN LOVE! FELL. IN. LOOOOOOOOVE! It was the most picture perfect small town at the base of the Black Mountain subrange which is part of the larger Appalachian Mountain Range. The Black Mountains contain the highest peak east of the Mississippi, Mount Mitchell.
I’ve added pictures here of the town of Black Mountain and the mountains themselves so you can get an idea of where I’ll be setting the series later this year. I’ll be rewriting it as there are many elements from the Southern Shifters series by Eliza Gayle that I’ll have to remove, including her character Luke. But I’ll go into more detail about all that later. For now, enjoy the pictures…
It’s the first full week of January 2019. I’m still finishing up the Holiday Blend K-cups from Peets Coffee and Starbuck’s Christmas Blend. I’m on that last of both of those and I can’t wait to get into the next pound of coffee beans that I have from a company I found on Instagram called Grounds and Hounds! I’ll go into more of that when I open the bag.
But this post is is about tea.
It’s been several years since I’ve seriously bought tea from anywhere other than the grocery store shelf. I can’t even remember where the idea came from to start drinking tea again. I believe I was watching a YouTube gal or read it in a book, I honestly… I don’t know. Yet, here we are.
I used to buy from Teavana, but they don’t sell loose leaf teas anymore (this tells you how long I’ve been out of the loop), so I started looking around for companies with similar teas and found Adagio Teas and decided to give them a try.
I spent about an hour on their site browsing their offerings and reading reviews. I was able to buy three sample sizes and small fan-created tin of tea for less than I spend on a pound of coffee. Each sample envelope makes several cups (up to 5 or more) and they sent me a complimentary trial size of a fifth tea.
I like the idea of samples because if I don’t like it, I haven’t spent a fortune.
The fan tin was a spontaneous add to my cart. They have fan created blends from Doctor Who to Harry Potter and everything between. There are so many to choose from. I love this idea. You can create your own personal blend of tea as well that has nothing to do with movies or television. One day I may get brave and try to create one.
I’ve been drinking tea in the afternoons instead of coffee for the last week or so. I’m enjoying it. I haven’t bought any new paraphernalia for tea. I’m using things I already had, like my Teavana single cup teapot.
Like I said, I’m not quite sure why I’m back to drinking tea, but I’ve also been drinking a crap ton of water, too, so… Though don’t worry, coffee is still my bestest friend in whole world, especially since 4am comes really damn early every morning!
If you’re curious, I’ll list the teas I bought and link to them below…