We are strong together!
We are strong together!
Something that we don’t do nearly enough of is celebrate our achievements, be they big or little ones. People are amazing and we deserve to celebrate ourselves and others. It can be anything from ‘I did laundry today’ to ‘I ran an Ironman Triathlon’. Let’s celebrate ourselves and others. I want to hear where you won today.
In the spirit of fairness, I’ll go first.
I flew a kite today with my little brother (he’s in his 20’s, lol). It was just a nice moment of being together.
I did a progress check test for my martial arts over Zoom along with the rest of my classmates. It was nice to be part of the community and it helped me see where I was succeeding and what parts were a little bit rough. Another step on the path to black belt, it makes me happy.
This last one’s a bit happy/sad. I finished up my largest Fanfiction, put up the final chapter. This story was my first attempt at dipping my toes into The Hobbit fandom of writing. I did NOT expect how large the story would become, 35 chapters/167k words. There may be a sequel for it someday, there may not, but I’m proud of the story that it became.
Only in My Dreams: https://archiveofourown.org/works/21115682/chapters/50247068
So what’s going on in your life? What achievements have you had happen in your life? Let me know your victories so that I can celebrate them with you!
Today is May 12th.
There’s nothing really special about today, it’s just a typical Tuesday, one day in a blur of many more.
But it also means something else to me.
That’s what this date means to me. On March 12th, I tested for my Provisional Black Belt at my dojo. Two months ago, I participated in my test and being tired at the end of it, I said brief goodbyes and headed out because I was tired and had a long drive ahead of me. After all, I would see them all next week in our usual classes.
I was wrong.
Next week, my dojo had to close in order to be compliant with Stay at Home orders, because we had a pandemic on our hands that we had no idea how Covid-19 transmission happened or what the symptoms or ultimate outcome of infection was.
Just like that, a large part of my life was gone. And I want it back. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to flatten the curve and get as much information about this disease as the next person. And my dojo did and is doing an excellent job with videos and zoom calls and even one on one video lessons to make sure that our training isn’t interrupted during this time.
But the longer we have to stay home, the more a little bit of us dies inside. Humans are social creatures, we need other people. And studies have shown that stress and depression can lower our immune system. The longer we have to stay at home and worry about normal or when can we get our jobs again, the weaker our immune systems are getting. Even our exercise is highly limited and regulated, because our gyms and dojos are closed, as well as our parks and open spaces where we could get fresh air and sunshine. Because of this, our chances of getting sick are actually increasing drastically.
I’m not saying that we should go hog wild and disregard everything. But America needs to start opening up again and letting people start resuming our normal lives, even if it is just slowly. Otherwise, we’re going to have a pandemic of a different sorts on our hands. One of suicides from depression and the inability to pay bills or feed our children. One of deaths from domestic violence where family members cannot get away from their abusers. One of deaths from strokes and heart attacks of people too scared to go to the hospital because they know that they will be locked away from their loved ones.
I know that some of you will hate me and say that I’m just willing to let people die from Covid. That’s not the truth. Every death breaks my heart. But neither am I willing to pretend that this pandemic isn’t costing innocent lives in other ways as well.
Let’s work together to find a solution and work towards a brighter, stronger future. Let’s be the beautiful, strong country that I know we are.
We are strong together!
I just want to share what’s on my mind and heart.
Although I have done many things this year and achieved several accomplishments, I have felt overwhelmed, stressed, and under motivated. Although I had dreams, I was only halfheartedly pursuing them, too stuck in the loop in my head filled with self doubt. I also told myself that it was ok, that I didn’t have to be perfect, that I was doing well enough.
That wasn’t the truth. I woke up tired and went to bed tired and was maybe putting 30% of myself into life. Enough to get by but not enough to thrive and grow. Even though I was getting things done, I didn’t feel proud and successful. I felt less than because I knew that I was capable of so much better than what I was putting out there.
As some of you may know, I am a wellness advocate for doTERRA essential oils. I was blessed to have these oils enter my life in 2013 and although it took me a while to get into and understand them, I literally cannot imagine my life without them now.
This past week was the annual convention for doTERRA in Salt Lake City. I love conventions because I am surrounded by 40k like minded people, the energy is great, and the learning to be had is phenomenal.The theme of this convention was Together and they did an outstanding job of it as always.
However, as amazing as all the new products and science was, that was not my main take away from this past week. In the past week, I ran into so many incredible people. Many had three or four jobs, one of my uber drivers was pursuing a double major and triple minor in school. They were all so happy and fulfilled, even though their time was full.
But what finally got me was the performance advocate that they brought on. Her name was Ashley Hess. She already had a full time doTERRA business, but she also wanted to pursue a music career. So she worked her business by day and pursued her music career at night. At this point, I told God that I got the message, that I needed to put myself all in.
So I have committed myself to going all in. To put all of myself into my doTERRA business, my writing, and my karate journey. I am going to stop hiding and saying no. I am no longer going to hold anything back, but I am going to let my light shine, be genuine, and put my whole heart and soul into wherever life takes me.
Onward to the journey!
People are too busy.
We just are. We’re always trying to get ahead of our never ending to-do list, the commitments and promises that we’ve made, and the daily necessities of living. It wasn’t until two days ago that I realized that this weekend is Labor Day Weekend. The idea of a long weekend is both a cherished and hated idea. More time off, but it means that we have to work even harder to get caught back up.
When I realized that I was thinking like that, I had to stop for a minute and ask myself. When did all the things that I HAVE to do become more important than anything else? Yes, I set myself a goal of having an x amount of words written by a certain date. But what good is having met my goal if I’m a frazzled mess trying to reach it? Or if I’m missing out on important moments that will never happen again for something that I could put off until tomorrow?
So this weekend, I’m going to take the opportunity to live in the moment. If I write, fine. If I don’t, well, it will always be there tomorrow. I’m not going to make plans or follow a schedule. I’m going to go where the wind takes me and see what adventures and treasures that I can find 🙂
Breathe deep. Live in the moment. Hang and be weird with your friends and family. Just enjoy life, it’s a gift.
See you Monday!
If you follow my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/theseekerfiles/ or my twitter https://twitter.com/TheSeekerFiles, you’ll know that I promised to tell you more about my road trip today to get our newest herd member.
Here at the Meadowlarks & Morninglories Farm, we are moving more into raising mini nubians. Nubian’s originated in England and although they are primarily a dairy breed, can also be used as meat goats. Now as anyone who has ever had the pleasure of owning/raising goats can tell you, goats can be quite stubborn and cantankerous. They have their sweet moments, don’t get me wrong, but when their mind is set on something, oftentimes their owners get taken along for a ride.
This is where mini nubians come into play. Over the past decade roughly, breeders have been working on breeding nubians smaller while still maintaining their standards as a dairy goat. This makes them ideal for people who love goats but don’t necessarily have the strength to deal with a full sized goat. Not to mention, they are adorable! Some of the babies are only about knee height.
Right now, we are working on building our herd and transitioning from full sized nubians to mini nubians. To this point, we’ve brought in two smaller bucks and several smaller does. This is where Hershey comes in.
Hershey is what is known as a wether. All that means is that he is a fixed male goat. Wethers primary use is for either meat or companionship. Since they are fixed, they can safely stay with does without the risk of breeding them. Also, since they are larger than the does, they can defend them better against threats. Hershey was chosen for his good personality and sweet disposition and should be a great addition to the herd.
However, it did take a bit to get him home to us. He was finally big enough to come home with us, so today we set forth to get him. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive get him from the farm where he was born. It was a pretty drive and my mom and I had a great time going down there through some of the prettiest countryside. However, the ride back home seemed a bit longer, as he’d never been separated from his herd before and sang the song of his people on and off searching for them. However, we made it home without any incidents, so I’m calling that a win.
We put him in with the bucks at this point (the does are in the pen next to them) just until the herd gets used to each other. Then we’ll separate off the youngest does that we don’t intend to breed this year and put him in a pen with them.
In addition to the goats, there was Monkey a.k.a. Munca. She climbed the kennel bars we had her in as a kitten, thus the name. She oversees the running of the farm and takes her job very seriously.
So a long road trip but totally worth it. He’s settling in nicely (it will take a couple of days for him to fully settle) and is going to make an excellent addition to our herd.
So what new animals have you added to your family or farm lately?
Human beings are complex creatures. We are rarely ever just one thing, but change our roles throughout the day as needed. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a writer and I’ve been writing for so long now that I no longer remember when I began writing. But that’s not all I am. So here’s a peek at a few of the other hats that I wear.
In December 2016, I started looking for a dojo that taught Tai Chi so I could get back into shape. I live in a rural area, so there’s a lot of driving involved and add in a desk job and I wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted to be physically. The Tai Chi place that I found was highly questionable in their answers to my inquiries, so I decided to look elsewhere. I found my current dojo, which teaches International Kenpo Karate Jiu-jitsu, a form of American Kenpo. I paid for sixth months up front because I knew that if I didn’t pay, I would go. I’m still there 2 1/2 years later and loving every minute of it. I go for my brown belt next month (eek) and my dream is to eventually open my own dojo.
We live on a 23 acre farm in rural Colorado. It’s a beautiful place and I feel so blessed to be able to see all the stars at night. We have quite the motley crew of animals. We have nine goats and will be picking up a tenth on Friday (I’ll do a special post about all of the goats and the new one on Friday.) All but two are mini nubians. And let me tell you, mini nubians are soooo adorable. They’re only about knee height, so tiny. They’re like the fun size of goats. We also have a small flock (6) chickens that keep us in fresh eggs. Let me tell you, you have not lived until you’ve tasted a fresh free range egg. Then we have 5 midget white turkeys. Sigh, what to say. I now understand why calling someone a turkey is an insult. They are not the brightest birds, but they’re great grasshopper control. We also have 4 dogs and 8 cats, which I’ll talk about more in a different post, as I could go on about them all day.
I have several hobbies that I like to pursue in my free time. I am a voracious reader, I basically read everything I can get my hands on, although I have to draw the line at horror and books with too much gore. I have a very vivid imagination and I like to be able to sleep, lol. I also do needle arts, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and sewing, although all by hand. The sewing machine and I do not get along. It is currently sewing machine 2, Katie 0. I haven’t decided if there will be a round three. I also love the outdoors and love to go hiking and swimming. I do not like skiing or snowboarding. I know that this is strange for a Colorado native to say, but it’s true. Honestly, the idea of strapping two sticks to your feet and going down an icy, rocky mountain at high speeds or strapping two feet to one stick and going sideways down said mountain, yeah, my self preservation just nopes out. Still thinking about trying cross country skiing though.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover the day to day things that everyone has to do, grocery shopping, meals, laundry, all the day to day minutiae that we do.
So what hats do you wear? I’d love to hear all about your adventures and the things that you do day to day 🙂
So it’s Wednesday, the middle of the week. Starting with my birthday, I decided to turn my life around and live my life boldly with no apologies. Part of this process is taking care of my health. I mean, we could all take better care of ourselves, right?
For me, this meant getting back onto my supplement routine and to give up caffeine. Just so you know, I have nothing against caffeine, but I don’t drink coffee. It takes too much sugar and cream to make it taste good to me for it to be worth drinking. Which brings me back to giving up caffeine. I’m giving up soda simply because there is too much sugar in it to be healthy for the lifestyle I want to live. Add to that the fact that I can drink a 2 liter daily, and well, I have a soda addiction.
So I gave up soda cold turkey on Monday. It’s Wednesday and my head feels like it’s going to explode. I know that if I gut through this, today will be the worst and I will feel much better. But today? Today I am questioning everything. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I turn to junk food for comfort? What would one little cup of soda hurt? It couldn’t possibly hurt anything.
That’s not the truth though. It would be a step on a slippery slope and before I know it, I would be back into the same routine, using the soda to feel human, even though I didn’t feel great on it, I would be functional. Don’t get me wrong, soda tastes delicious, but the pound here and there quietly sneaking on and the energy crashes is not something that I am willing to accept anymore. I deserve to have good health, to have natural energy and a slim frame (Still working on the last one, lol). I just have to keep reminding myself that nothing good happens without effort and a little pain now will save me a lot of pain and heartbreak (and most likely hospital bills) down the road.
So how can I take this struggle and turn it into a triumph? Well, if I persevere, my health will improve and I will hopefully be able to clear up some of my brain fog. I know that my struggle is not unique, so I’ll be able to relate better with others that are going through this. And, as a bonus, I’ll be able to use this in my writing. When I write, I want my characters to feel so real that my readers feel like they could meet them walking down the street. So I can take this and use it in a story somewhere. For example, a character signs up to guard a foreign caravan and they don’t drink coffee, so they have to deal with the withdrawal while staying alert. Or maybe it’s a hostage situation, how do you deal with all the stress of such a situation while your head feels like its about to explode? How does it change depending on whether you are the hostage or the hostage taker?
So what struggles are you dealing with? What battles are you or your characters going through? Let me know, I’m really curious to find out 🙂
The internet has given us freedom that we could’ve never imagined. It has opened worlds to us that would’ve been impossible even a few decades ago. Behind the safety of a computer screen, we can become anyone or anything. It gives us a degree of separation that helps buffer us from the reality of the situation. But in doing this, we’ve lost a bit of ourselves. In our rush to show the world our amazingness, we try to hide our flaws away. But in my opinion, our weaknesses and flaws are part of what makes the sum of us. We are not complete without our scars. So I’ve decided to be totally honest with you guys today.
I’ve been absent from my blog for a while. That is because there has been a lot going on in my life. Now, I am not trying to excuse myself, but I thought that I would share what has been going on.
These and many other questions assailed me during this time. With some time and sleep, I was able to work through it, but the biggest help that pulled me through this time was my reason WHY I write. I write because I love my characters and stories and want to share them with others who will hopefully love them as much as I do. While it would be nice to reach J.K. Rowling fame, if my stories resonate with even one other person, I’m happy.
2. I was working with an editor on reworking my first novel “In Search of Justice”. Now, there are two things to realize for this. One, I wrote my first novel in just under a month. After hiding my writing for years, I decided that I was sick and tired of hiding my writing and challenged myself to write a mystery AND publish it in time for Halloween. After all, I’d seen much worse on Amazon. When I sat down, I was fortunate enough to have the plot for a six book series pop into my head. I did as I challenged myself and managed to write and publish a mystery in just under a month in time for Halloween. I was so wiped out after it happened. So after recouping and writing the second book, I decided that it was time to go back and polish up the first book. Second, I absolutely hate grammar. It has been my arch-nemesis since 7th grade. I would have meltdowns about it. I love to write, but grammar is a struggle for me. So the rewriting/polishing part really took it out of me.
3. During the last part of June, first part of July, we discovered that my aunt, my father’s sister, had lung cancer. We were unsure what stage it was, but we were worried that it was quite advanced and maybe had even settled in her bones. After several weeks of uncertainty and testing, we were relieved to discover that it was only stage one and only on one spot in one lung. We were very thankful for that.
4. Since December 2016, I have been learning American Kenpo Karate Jiu-Jitsu or Kenpo for short. We test every two months to advanced rank. This month, I tested for Advanced Blue, which is about halfway to Black Belt. I find testing extremely stressful, even though I love the art itself, so I’m always wiped after a test. On a positive note, I did pass the test 🙂
5. I have started on Book Three of the Seeker Files, In Search of High Society. After fighting with Aletta and Lirim for several weeks, I went back and wrote a prologue before returning to where I was. Apparently they just wanted me to properly set the stage, because it’s been going swimmingly since.
6. And finally, two days ago, my smartphone died after it threw itself off of a table. Because of a low paycheck, it will be a few weeks until I can get a new one. I am in technology withdrawal, lol.
So where am I going with this? I honestly don’t know. I try to be upbeat and positive in my posts. I try to wear a happy mask for the world and honestly, most of the time it’s the truth. My life could be so much worse than it is and I am truly blessed. But I also think that when we try to hide out struggles, we are cheating those we engage with the chance to share theirs and also the ability to encourage others that they will get through things. So please, share with me. What are some struggles that you’ve encountered lately?
Happy Tuesday Everyone!
Now, this may seem like common sense. You already know how to write and you have your preferred methods. Doesn’t matter if you are a pantser or a plotter, you know how to write and you’ve most likely been doing it for some time now. However, you pause for a moment, maybe she’s talking about actual style, like APA, Chicago, or MLA. While I would like to cover the differences and uses of them someday, that is NOT what I am talking about. I am talking about your own personal writing style. Everyone is different and beautifully unique and your writing style reflects that. So I want to dig a little deeper into it and maybe you’ll find something that resonates with you.
I was homeschooled along with my 3 brothers from Kindergarten through 12th grade. This enabled me to find out some unique things about learning styles and how to teach them as my mother put together our curriculum. So let’s start off with the basics. There are three main learning styles: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic.
Visual: You learn best by watching and reading. You tend to absorb information through observation, watching and reading and then turning it over in your mind before storing it away to be pulled out at a later time. This is my learning style
Auditory: You learn best by listening. You tend to absorb information better that is presented orally, maybe has music, or from watching a video than from reading about it. Many times, auditory people will turn their face away from you or close their eyes while you speak. This is not an insult. In fact, it’s a sign that they are paying close attention and are tuning out other distractions so that they can listen to you fully. My older brother is an auditory learner.
Kinesthetic: You learn best by doing. You tend to absorb information best when you can jump right in and participate. Your type of learning is hands on and you’re usually not afraid to join right in with whatever is going on. My middle brother’s learning style was this one.
One the other hand, no one tends to be just one learning style, although they do have a primary learning style. For example, I am primarily a visual learner, with a secondary auditory. So when I write, I usually have no problem writing and searching info, but if I have music playing in the background, it helps me focus better.
So what does all of this have to do with writing? Well, now that I’ve explained the three types, I’ll share some tips that might help if you get stuck while writing. So for this post, I’m going to keep the focus fairly narrow, although I could go on about this all day. Learning styles are one of my favorite topics 😊 Still, I’m just going to go with character development for the purpose of this post.
In this case, internet and magazines are your friend. When you create a character, explore names and their different meanings. For example, your character is European, what country do they come from? Look for names that come from that country and a meaning that fits the main characteristic of your character, like strength, bravery, wisdom, cunning, cowardice, darkness, wanderer, etc. Or go onto an internet browser or Pinterest and search for images that draw you in. For example, does dark hair catch your attention more than other colors? Maybe you want to make your character unique, so you look for uncommon traits, like different colored eyes. If there is a place that is a mainstay in your writing, take the time to figure out all of the visual details. Urban or country? Indoors or outdoors? New or old building? Bright colors or earth tones? Work your way all the way down to the small details, like the tread pattern worn on the carpet and the type of bulb in the light fixtures. When you have visual images fully filled out, you can fully visualize how your characters will move through these settings.
Focus on the auditory aspects of your character. Can they sing? What sort of voice do they have, raspy, smooth, dry, smoky, sultry, even, cracked? What sort of music do they listen to? Classical? Heavy Metal because they are going through a rebellious phase or simply because they can lose themselves in it? Indie? Pop? When they walk, what do their footsteps sound like, a smooth tread, a heavy tread, hesitant with a slight drag to it from an old injury? Do they dance as they walk or simply plod along? If you have a main place in your writing, think about it. Do the hinges squeak when the doors open or are they silent? Do certain spots on the floor squeak, a leftover from when cousin George spilled something in that spot? Are you in an urban or country setting? Each place will have their own unique soundtrack to explore. Also, I suggest listening to music as you write. Each character will have their own unique song/soundtrack that will develop as you get to know them better.
Now, you say, how can I possibly turn this into writing? I mean, I’m writing a space opera, how in the world am I supposed to do space things? Or I’m writing fantasy, so where would I find a werewolf, etc? Well, actually, this isn’t as bad as you think it might be, in fact, you’ll probably actually have some fun with this. You get to act. Stuck on how to do character development? Get physical. Find a wall and measure out the heights that you’re thinking about for the different characters and mark them with something removable, like sticky notes. This way, you can alter as needed. Do the heights work together or is there too much of a difference or a similarity? After all, heights that are the same are boring unless you’re trying to sneak into a cloning facility where everyone is 5’7.83” tall and that’s your characters height. Trying to figure out how your character would walk or react in a certain situation? Try it yourself. For example, your character might have a slight limp because one foot is an inch shorter than the other. Find something that is an inch thick and foot sized, then strap it on one foot and try to walk across the room. Your character has a food allergy or will only eat a certain type of food, try cooking with these limitations and get a feel for the flavors. Your only limitation is your imagination. Run wild.
So I could write about these three styles all day, but in the interest of length, I shall stop here for now. Hopefully these tips helped and please let me know of your own experiences. Happy Wednesday Everyone!!