Posts from the ‘Guest Post’ Category

Confusion over!

Or at least helped, I hope.

This is just a little bit of blog business!  I know my blog can be a bit confusing sometimes, with all the nicknames and people I talk about.

Good news!  I made a page of the people I mention most often and probably won’t be re-introducing.  I’m tired of it, so this helps me, too.

Also, in case you missed it, a couple months ago, I started a list of Joie Facts.  If you ever see one pop up in a post and are curious about what they are/what the others are, just go there!

A couple months before that, I added the guest post page and about page.   Any inquiries regarding guesting or who I am, those should be enough to get you started.  Also, I WANT guest posts, so please inquire.

Thanks for coming!

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P.S. I also want to know who you are.  I’d love for you lovely readers (and I know I have some) to comment more!  I promise to reply to each and every one of you.  Well, the first hundred at least (I think my most commented post had three, so you’re in the clear). Love, me.

Guest Post: What is there to fear?

[Sorry this one was late, people!  Yesterday got busy and I plum forgot.  Thanks to my amazing friend Tony for the post!]

Last week I was listening to Brad Paisley’s “If I Could Write a Letter to Me.” So, of course, I felt that urge to write a letter to my former self. It’s been almost nine years since I was seventeen, and I wished I could have told myself one amazing truth: Don’t fear failure.

We’ve grown up with the stigma that failure means we’ve done something wrong, that we couldn’t do it, and that we shouldn’t have tried in the first place. We believe Yoda set the boundaries when he said, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” So we don’t try for fear of falling in the ‘do not’ side of life. But what some people have recognized is that in attempting to do something, whether it’s writing a New York Times bestseller, making a loaf of bread, or designing a new invention, there’s only one bad result: Stop trying. That’s the point where we draw a line and say “That’s as far as I can go” when it isn’t the case. And each time we reach that line again, we look at it and tell ourselves that’s our limit, we can’t go further, even if we could.

Who are the people who have recognized this truth? It’s usually the people who have succeeded in their field, people who have led full lives, and people who have the coolest stories to tell about something they did.

Conan O’Brien, in the commencement address to the Dartmouth class of 2009, reiterated that life’s going to be unexpected and our job is to gleam as much good as we can from whatever we’re doing. He mentioned the long list of jobs he’s tried before being given a chance to get into comedy (It was an impressive list). Then, after almost twenty minutes of jokes, he buckled down and gave five minutes I wish my young, stupid self could have heard: “Don’t be afraid of failure. It’s going to happen, but that means you learned something.”

The other great example of learning to love failure is Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. They run the show Mythbusters, and frequently use the adage “Failure is always an option.” With over twelve seasons under their belt, there have been some spectacular failures. If failure was that big an issue, and something worth avoiding so much, you’d think the show would have been off the air sooner. But instead, it’s become wildly popular.

If we could only do what we succeeded at, then we’d become a nation excellently proficient at eating and wasting time on Facebook. We couldn’t even play video games (gamers, you know what I’m talking about. Remember that one level that everyone spends at least two hours on before they manage to get past it?).

So, former self, try it. Pick up a violin, play a sport, play a game, learn to crochet, knit, cook, weld, build, write, and talk to someone new. Failure’s going to sting at first, but it’s only because you’re not used to it. You’ll get used to it, I promise. Once you’re familiar with what failure’s like, you’ll be able to learn so much more from it. All the cool things you’ve done are built on a strong foundation of screw-ups, attempts, and falling flat on your face. But it’s worth it. It’ll always be worth it.

Guest post next week:

My friend Tony is going to be blogging for me next week.  He’s been married to his lovely wife for nearly a month, had to move, his wife started her teaching career–basically, their household has been really busy and he’s being very generous with his time by doing this for me.

Tony is an author, having one book published and is working on his second!  I have not yet read the first (I know, I’m a bad friend), but the reviews are encouraging!  So, check it out if that looks like something you’d enjoy.

From his website:

I was born in Junction City, Kansas. My dad served in the military, so I got to travel and live in two different parts of Germany (Schweinfurt and Frankfurt) as well as Arizona and Tennessee before settling in Colorado.

Since a young age, I’ve had a love of storytelling. Movies, books, video games, music, anything that told a story amazed me. When I got into high school, I figured I could get my passion out through graphic novels (I was an anime fan then, still am). I dreamed of walking into Borders and seeing my name among the titles there. (Coincidently, Borders closed a week before my first novel came out.)

When I started my first novel, Juniper Crescent, I had intended to draw it as a graphic novel. But after all my research and character design, I couldn’t draw the main character to my satisfaction. Not wanting to lose all the work I had done on the story, I blogged what I had done and what I wanted to do online.

The response from my friends and family was very positive, so I wrote out a scene or two. Everyone supported me in writing this out as a story, and my work on Juniper Crescent began.

In my spare time from working and going to school, I enjoy crocheting, reading, and playing Dance Dance Revolution.

Sorry this is not up to my normal introduction par, but that’s about all I have time for considering the vacation is minutes away.  More next week when he posts!

See you on Monday.
Oh, and here’s a picture:

Guest Post: Getting back to it.

Miss Kate is guesting here today! (Sorry for the delay . . . it was not a good day yesterday.)  Her blog talks about cooking and new mommy adventures with my adorable nephew, Weston.

Recently, I have come to the conclusion I must go back to school. ‘Tis is not an old notion by any stretch of the imagination–before I had even started on my Associate degree, my parents and I made a deal that I would–at some point–earn my Bachelor’s degree. I say earn, not receive, because I believe it is something you work your bum off for and thus earn. Although, if they were handed out pell-mell, I would love one.

Three years ago this seemed like a boring and assignment-like task.  Much like an essay on some boring topic, I started it, dragged my feet, and eventually threw in the towel altogether.  I do have my Associates but it is from a technical school, Scottsdale Culinary Institute, which–as an amazing experience as it was–unfortunately does not transfer its credits very well (or perhaps the regular college I choose to attended was just obnoxious). So, eventually, I just decided I would work on it later and moved to small town Idaho and am now married with an amazing little boy who, on some days, makes me lose everything except my train of thought. It’s called the learning stage, and goodness gracious! This child wants to know EVERYTHING, and he hasn’t even started speaking more than three words yet.

Looking at him, I realized that I am not doing what I truly want to do with my life.  Furthermore, the only way to achieve that goal requires more schooling.  Both myself and my husband have reached this conclusion, so we are now working on a way for both of us to go back to school, raise our child, and at least one of us hold down a career.

* sigh*

It’s not even the thought of homework and soap-boxing professors that worry me anymore, it’s managing my possible work load, classes, and my family. I can stay up late to do homework, sure, but will that make me a grouchier person or will it make me miss things with my son? My mom worked and so did my dad and they always said it was the quality of time they spent with me and my sister over the quantity. It still makes me feel like a bad mom. Which is silly because I currently work full-time and so does my husband and Weston goes to daycare only when he has to. (Side note, daycare gets a bad rap, I went to daycare and it put us leaps and bounds ahead in how to socialize and share and get along.) Deciding to go back to school is a big step, and an awkward one, whether it be online or in a class room. And it’s one I want to take if only to get it done with. 😉 I want to set a good example for my son, both of us do, which sometimes means dealing with the hard stuff.

Thanks, Kate!

Quick introductions!

If you’ve read my blog for a little while now, you should have run across Miss KitKat.  If not, I’ve been remiss.

KitKat is an old friend I met in high school and she is next week’s guest poster!

She is a wife and mother to an adorable little baby boy and I’m excited to see what she whips up for me!

I’d write more, but I have so MUCH to do and very little time to do it!  Hopefully I’ll have time to elaborate tomorrow.

Guest Post: In real life, we’re the nutters.

Yesterday, Celeste sent this beautiful and far too complimentary guest post.  I CRIED for laughing while reading it.

So, of course, I had to send my [snarky comments] about it.

She, being the good sport that she is, said I should post my snarkified version.  People, if you don’t have a Celeste in your life, you are not living.  Find one.

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Firstly, great big huge thank you to Joie for writing such a lovely introduction for me.  And also for picking (by instinct, mind you [yup, I am awesome]) my favorite pictures of me from the plethora of bad shots and mediocre shots (hooray for the “just-so!” [see, it’s a talent, not a complex]) available on facebook.  I also want to point out that the limb Sophie is working on in the picture is one she dragged across the yard for a rousing game of fetch.  Poor Joie did a tremendous job of marshaling her courage and wits in the face of Sophie’s enthusiasm and tenacity (she was determined to give those nose kisses).  She didn’t give herself quite enough credit there [freaky dog].

I originally had grand designs on writing an enlightening bit of blog heaven, but when the time came (and went) for the blog to be written, inspiration still had not struck.  Now you know why I don’t have a blog.  I can’t even keep my diary up to date.  So I thought I would relate the first time Joie and I met in real life (RL? Something like that.  Joie never professed me to be internet savvy. [IRL, dear, IRL—but I didn’t figure that out until three months ago, so I’m behind the curve, too.])

As Joie said, we “met” over at the-now-debunked/supposed-to-be-returning/hasn’t-been-updated-since-February fictioncentral.net.  We bonded over well written original fiction and enthusiastic responses to thoughtful (as opposed to: “SQUUEE!! Like OMGGGGGGG!!!! That was so awesomeness!  Matty and Sandy 4eva!” [Ugh. *shudders*]) reviews. Those reviews quickly turned into “I’m stuck, so I’m emailing you the next chapter.  It needs help.  I need help” emails.  Which, after a bit, turned into “I must be insane…” emails.

And we all know that once you admit that to someone, you’re stuck with them, lest they tell other people.  So it was inevitable that the “I’m insane” emails turned into “I’m going to kill someone” telephone calls.  These, as Joie related, became more frequent and less vent-y occasions, and a friendship between girls who were actually not all that homicidal began to really develop.  [Funny story: Not too long ago, I got a call from Celeste telling me I was NOT ALLOWED to leave voice messages to that homicidal effect (we still occasionally have those days) because she didn’t want to be criminally liable if I did actually go Bi-Polar and snap. And that, people, is why we are friends.]

After about a year of regularly talking on the phone, and Joie moving from California to Colorado to Missouri. (I know, I still don’t get it either. [One reason: full tuition scholarship.])  We set a date.  Spring break, her dorm (which, by the way, was not just in Missouri, but middle-of-nowhere, one-stoplight-town Missouri [Hey! There were at least three stoplights between the campus and Wal*Mart (yeah, stay classy Marshall)!]), one week.  We were going to be real-people friends, come hell or high water.

As I approached the college – after turning the wrong direction and not realizing it until I had driven all the way through town twice – I solidly told myself, “This is not a big deal.  You’ve known Joie over a year.  If she was a psycho, she would have ratted herself out somehow by now.” [I was oblivious to this until about a year ago.  Apparently, she was afraid I was going to be a creeper in his 40’s.  With a girl’s voice.]

Being the Missouri girl that I am, by the time the dorm came into view, I had panicked, created, revised, and reviewed for efficiency a more useful plan of action.  If I pulled up and the person waiting for me looked like a nutter [What, exactly, is that look?], I would simply keep on driving, return to Springfield, and change my phone number and email address.

No big deal.

[And leave me standing on a curb, waiting and worrying for the rest of the week about my friend?  THANKS, CELESTE.]

[Yeah, yeah, I know I was making “oh-my-gosh-what-if-she’s-a-psycho” plans, too.  No snark backs!  Those are the rules.]

Thankfully, Joie looked harmless enough.  [Bwah hah hah hah.  Got you fooled, lovey.] Nevertheless, I reassured myself with the contingency plan that once she was in the car, I would not hesitate to utilize the pepper spray stashed under my seat, if the need to do so arose.  I even swore to myself that I wouldn’t feel bad about it later. (We Missouri girls are born with a 40 acre wide guilt capacity, for those of you not in the know. [So how’d I get it?])  The occasion never presented itself, and by the end of the day, we were the nutters.  Over the course of that week, in no particular order, we:

  • almost wet the bed/doubled up in the hall/cried from laughing on multiple occasions, most of which were ill timed and otherwise inappropriate [we would finally wind down and then I would start wheezing or she would snortle (or vise versa) and it would start all over again];
  • bowled horribly while wincing at the awkward advances of the unfortunate kid that worked at the lanes [“Is he checking out my a**? Is he standing there just to check out my a**?!” “I think so.” “He’s checking out my a**!  Creeper!”];
  • consumed at least one largish jar of pickles apiece [I seem to recall demolishing a jar a peanut butter (plain, with spoons), too]; and
  • stayed up all night twice solely in attempt to get fresh donuts and failed on both attempts – the first because we got hungry and gave it up in favor of McDonalds, the second because there actually isn’t anywhere to get fresh donuts in that particular middle-of-nowhere, one-stoplight [Hey!] Missouri town [I am still mad about this – the signs said Fresh Donuts!  And we went to TWO FREAKING stores!].

And those were just the highlights – that doesn’t even cover the stuff that happened that we think was hilarious (yes, random townie at McDonalds, I’m talking about you [Did we ever decide who he was waving at/honking at/hitting on?]) and everybody else looks at us strangely when we try to relay the hilarity of the situation.  That trip to meet Joie is my favorite Spring Break. [D’aawwww.  Me, too.]

I had an adventure!  [Yay!] I told that nagging voice in my head to jump off a cliff, and it didn’t bite me in the butt!  [Double yay!] I did things I never would have done anywhere else because someone might have known my parents (#smalltownlifehazard).  [And you left me to deal with said small town hazards (okay, not my parents, but my ENTIRE college) after you left.  Thanks.] It was awesome. [That it was.]

More importantly, Joie and I had a chance to solidify a friendship that is looking to be life-long.  (Sorry babe, any hope you had of escaping died during that trip.) [Same to you, hon.  Same to you. >)]

I am so glad Joie didn’t look like a nutter.

Some people are amazing in every way:

My next guest blogger is one of my best friends in the whole world!

Presenting: Celeste!

She doesn’t have an online platform for me to link to and I totally spaced putting her picture on my jump drive so you guys can see her beautiful face.

Hrm.

*trolls Facebook*

Here she is all dolled up:

She’s pretty cute, huh?

But here’s the Celeste I know and love:

Yup, that’s my best friend!

And here’s her rambunctious dog that seems to love me more because she freaks me out (I’m freaked by big dogs and Sophie is just at that size that starts to bother if it’s in my face . . . and she loves my face):

Oh, dog. You’re pretty, but you don’t understand that I need my space.

Celeste is an online friend that became a real-life friend.  She and I were part of the Fiction Central community.  I’d link to it, but the website was bought by a new company and has been entirely wiped.  Hopefully it’ll be up and running again in the near future.  We were some of the oldest writers on that website, and we were only 18 to 19 when we signed up.  It was a young, enthusiastic community and we bonded over being–shall we say–less enthusiastic.  I’m NOT saying we were better writers, we were just more careful, doing things like editing and formatting before we posted.

After we became review buddies, we went on to be e-mail buddies (good thing, since the site shut down), which turned into calling each other once every few weeks, which became weekly, then practically daily.  We visit each other as often as we can (read: not often) and don’t spend NEARLY enough time together.

Celeste is just under a year older than I am, studying to be an angel on earth educator (High School Science, specifically Biology), is a manager at the family restaurant at the same time, and is the girl I can have ALL those awkward conversations with.  And I think we have had them AAAAALLLLLL.  My goodness.  She’s a born and bred Missouri girl and truly a gem among people.  She’s smart and funny and passionate and lets me be ridiculous with only the slightest of nudging when I’m in the process of committing social suicide.

We get along because we’re both borderline pedants, have a deep and abiding love for sepia photos, are country girls at heart (if not geographically, in my case), and make each other laugh.  There’s no better reason to love someone than that.

I can’t WAIT to see what she writes about next week. 😉