Spring Happened…

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springSpring is a short season in East Texas. For us, it went from snow and 28°F at night and 40°F in the day to 58°F and 80°F respectively in a matter of two days. That lovely in between place is fleeting in the best of years. Soon, we’ll be planning trips to the lake, picnics, and trips to the movies as entertainment to stay cool. But Spring is always an inspirational time. And for me, it was a time of fresh starts.

de-clutter-mmThe cleaning frenzy began about this time last week. I decided that it was time to get a bed and make my own private little sanctuary out of this room back here. So, it was a few days of downsizing, decluttering, and making some decorating decisions. I won’t post pictures until it is all completely finished. I need to find curtains, finish the wall art, find a rug, a new desk chair. Ideally I would have a desk as well but we’ll see if I can find one I like that’s affordable.

I am happy with the fact that Pip and I can shut the door at night. We can regulate our own temperature in here. Windows open and fan going for now. It is definitely easier to get into the writing mode with things being more organized as well. It has also inspired me to get on with the healthy living changes I’ve been making. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my stationary bike from storage while Dad is off work. Then I can really get back to building stamina. And yes, I am excited about that because I remember how much better I felt when I was going to the gym.

Work continues though. Right now, I need to get off the computer and get my buttinski on the road to head to the office. Lovely day job creates a scheduling hazard that my creative mind both loves and loathes. But, I do enjoy going to work. So that’s something. Next post will be book-related news. So I hope you’re ready for some awesomeness about Armageddon Rising.

Through the window…

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I find myself excited about things lately. Yes, my life has gotten a little hectic with the book, the new day job, and the commute. It has been an adjustment that is still taking place. I have to say that I feel more settled now though. That fact alone is a good thing. Easing into this new single life has been an adventure. Now, I get to start really putting together what I want life to be living.

Shabby Chic houseI’ve been thinking a lot about redecorating my bedroom space. Being able to paint, change things around, and buy furniture is a big thing for me. Now, I’m having trouble deciding on a style to go with. I think I need to find a way to blend a classic Victorian feel with a modern touch. And I’m inspired by a lot of different rooms. Though I’m not so sure about going with so much white. I have become rather enamored with color lately.

victorian-bedroom-furniture-6I would like to buy myself a full size bed but, my space is currently limited so, I’m going to have to go with a twin. But, I have to treat this like a dorm room in a way. I am going to have to downsize my things, really organize my life better and fit an office space and bedroom into the space I have. That’s not an easy feat. I’d like to even work a little bit of a reading space and an art space in but, I don’t think that I have quite the square footage to work with for that much. So my art studio, for painting at least, will likely be outdoors. That’s okay though.

image_thumb24Organizing will be a priority over the next few weeks. I’m likely going to get rid of a number of things that are just taking up space. I have to make room for the bed and choose colors. Spring cleaning is going to take on a whole new meaning this year for me. Out with the old and in with the new.

What is really neat is that I get to have it all my way for a change. No longer is my style dictated by what someone else wanted. There isn’t anything to compromise about now. If I want neon green walls, I can have them. I don’t. That’s not the point though. The point is, whatever I decide, I can enjoy the fact that its my own space and my own design. And if I change my mind, I’m allowed to. And yes, that idea really excites me right now.

Creating a space to inspire me is going to be a challenge. I have plenty of inspiration though and I’m sure it will be awesome when I get done with it.

Goodbye February…

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You’ve been good to me really. Much better than I thought you would be. You’ve definitely been better to me than last year’s version of the short month. However, I admit that I am glad to see you go. There is just something about a month that is seemingly dedicated to the celebration of romance. For me, it was just like every other year. It has never been much of a celebration of anything but this year it was a celebration of self-love.

DSC01360I made it a point to start being kinder to myself and making an effort to learn more about who I am and what I really enjoy. It has been about change and getting my life on track. There are new friends, a new job, and a whole lot of creative energy flowing again. Newfound inspiration and a sense of optimism are present again. I couldn’t be happier about that. Of course, now, we need spring to arrive because, I’m starting to get cabin fever from the little bit of snow we have had and all the rain. We’re now seeing flood warnings here in our part of East Texas.

The new job is going well and I am really enjoying the freedom that comes along with it. I get to meet a lot of people in my new line of work. The town is historic and still mostly original downtown just a block from my office. There are lots of little restaurants and shops. It is quite nice. I’m sure I’ll get a chance to explore. I’m really looking forward to the antique shops. I have a few items that I want to find for my space.  I’m definitely feeling like I can do more of what I need to do in order to get on with living. And, yes, that means more living, less existing.

I am already trying to plan for some events in the area. There is a trip I want to take to the Aquarium in Dallas and I have big hopes of going back to the Renaissance Faire this year. I also want to have a new experience and go over to Bossier City, Louisianna to go to a casino for the first time. It seems like it would be fun and I could use a little more of that.

March brings a lot of possibilities. I’m looking forward to being able to buy a few necessary things like a bed and a new laptop. With the Spring right around the corner, I’m actually excited about possibly painting and redecorating my space. And my wardrobe is going to get an overhaul. I definitely need to buy more work clothes.

So, bring on the rest of the year. I am interested to see what it brings.

Snow Days In Texas

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keep-calm-and-love-snow-days-2We don’t often get snow days in this part of Texas. We only see a couple of days of freezing weather each day as a general rule. Inclement weather doesn’t apply on the super hot summer days, though it probably should. Now, I’m in a unique position. This time last year I was in Wisconsin where the snow drifts were over my head in places, the roads were covered in ice and snow, and I was working as a driver in all of that. The difference between here and there is really quite simple, Texas doesn’t see it often enough to warrant all the expense to keep equipment to clear roads, keep them salted and sanded, and make it safer. Most people here have a vague idea of what snow tires are but, since they don’t get used often, we don’t see the need for the expense.

We’ve known the ice was coming for a week (give or take). We prepared with provisions. Living in the country, we often lose power when these things happen. So we have plenty of food and a way to cook. We have a kerosene heater to keep warm and plenty of blankets. Just in case. My job had sent out a memo about leaving it to our discretion about it being safe or not for travel to work. My immediate boss and I were texting back and forth at 7:30 this morning. She knows that I have a 40 minute commute on a good morning when I can do 70mph most of the way. So, after some assessing the radar and seeing that where I work was already getting hit with the ice, I called in and said I didn’t think it was a good idea. I have nowhere to stay over there yet, should I have gotten stuck. 11002663_1034569709905080_3741620856849903795_nAnd since this is the view of my driveway right now, I think I made the right call. I stepped out to take my pup to do his business and nearly lost my footing on our porch. So I am happy that I am safe inside for the time being. We’ll reassess in the morning and see what’s happening.

frozenMeanwhile, I know that so many are still under a ton of snow. Where I am from originally, they’ve taken out a warrant for Elsa’s arrest. Yes, as a joke. But, my sister-in-law is posting about how Elsa needs to give it up because she’s tired of feeling like she is living in Arendell in the eternal winter. Having gone through some prolonged periods of snow up where, I understand how she feels. Still, I can’t keep from giggling. There are three little girls in her house who are, I have no doubt, driving her up the wall.

For me, I feel more like myself since I started this new job. Maybe it is part of the routine developing. In fact, I’m pretty sure that is a big part of it. All I know is that I’m working on the manuscripts more and the productivity is going through the roof. My snow day is including a good amount of writing to keep my momentum going. So my soundtrack is playing, my headphones are on, and I’m tapping away at my keyboard. Feeling more at ease about life and the direction that it is taking me. Things are definitely getting to a more even footing and maybe the stress being alleviated is part of what is boosting my creativity and productivity. I definitely got some serious word count in yesterday and I’m looking to continue the trend today.

That being said, it is back to Scrivener and Armageddon Rising for me. If you haven’t checked out my first book in the series you can do so here. The sequel is well under way and I’m hoping to make an announcement about its release date soon.

Stay safe out there everyone. Keep warm and enjoy the time away from the usual obligations. I certainly am.

Inspirational Tradewinds…

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It is the most often asked question of authors. It comes in two versions. It is also an inquiry without a quick or easy way to address it. Interviewers will always ask them and as an interviewee, you have to come up with a precise answer. Sometimes, the reasons change from interview to interview.

140327123339-large“Where do you get your ideas?” and “What inspires you?”

They are fantastic questions, even if they are loaded. And since inquiring minds want to know, I am going to address the subject of inspiration as it relates to me, my work, and my life. You guessed it, this is going to be a series. It is one that I think you’ll enjoy though. The idea behind this blog is to give you a window into my world. Truth is, I think you’ll find this much more interesting than my going on about my day job, or search for one, and word counts.

So when the tradewinds blow in, you’ll get some insight into my process and what inspires me to write, and what inspires the things that I write.

I’m most often asked about what I write. Since most of my work has some paranormal or supernatural element, people have often asked me why I write those elements into my stories. Where is my inspiration for it?

d8501f955efcc822e3e3638cc7740a31First of all, it is larger than life and requires the fun part of my imagination. It is a bit of a break from the mundane life I lead on a regular basis. Everyone needs a bit of excitement in their life. Even if it does mean living vicariously through your characters in a book.

Secondly there is a little known fact about me that I’m willing to share with all of you. I have been a paranormal researcher for over 15 years of my life. I’ve participated in various aspects of the field as a researcher, analyst, interviewer, and even as a director and founder of a group. I’ve had to step away at times and take time for myself to sort out some of what I experience. Sometimes parts of cases will end up in a story. I can honestly say that I’ve experienced many things in my research that have made an impact on me. And no, I am not going to try to convince anyone to believe in the paranormal. I firmly believe that skeptics will always be hesitant to believe until they’ve had an experience of their own that they can’t explain.

Of course, the experiences that I had in the field make it easy to spice up the fiction. I think that people like something a little larger than life when they read fiction. Sometimes the experiences are a little larger than life and unbelievable on investigations. More often than not, it is just a lot of work and feeling really silly in the process. It isn’t all fodder for the fiction though. I really do enjoy the process and helping people who are experiencing things that are unsettling in their homes or businesses. And it is also interesting to learn so much of the history of different areas. Sometimes, you’re amazed at what comes up in the midst of the investigations. When you investigate the paranormal, it is all about the details. The smallest things have a way of triggering ideas for stories.

I’ve often thought about reviving the investigations. Now that I’m in a better position, I may just do that. Checking out the local area and the history could be a good thing for me. There are plenty of places to look at. Jefferson, Texas isn’t that far away (only an hour) and it is known as the most haunted town in Texas. It may do me some good to pick a place and do a study on it. I have also thought about writing a book about the experiences and giving talks on it. I may just do that at some point. I’m certainly working on a project behind the scenes in what little spare time I have.

All of that being said, I hope that all of you will stick it out with me. I just transitioned into a new full-time job. This is such a good thing for me personally. It means no more erratic schedules, I can plan for things, make an effort to get into a routine and, I hope, be more productive once I adjust to the commute and the information overload. I’m scheming other posts to bring here and will be posting on a more consistent basis soon.

Launch!

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Make things happenI am excited about so many things right now. I spent my day running errands yesterday. This is pretty typical of my day off from the day job. Checking the mailbox on my way in, I had a package from my best friend back in Kentucky. I won’t go into the details of what it contained but, it was an assortment of really thoughtful items that only a best friend can choose. This year seems to have a running theme for both of us. One of transformation and coming into our own lives more fully than we have before. Butterflies have developed a significance for both of us for that reason. This is all about empowerment, self love, personal care, and getting on with the lives we were meant to lead. For me, that includes doing more with the writing career.

So I have been doing research and trying to develop a plan for meeting more readers along the way this year. It has come to my attention that I’ve been missing an important element of my online presence. Goodreads has somehow avoided my detection in the sea of information about book marketing. I’m learning how to use it but, you can now connect with me over there by clicking here. You’ll be able to see what I’m reading and see reviews as I post them. There are a number of books on my shelves right now that haven’t been rated. I’ll get to them eventually. If you want my opinion on something specific, I suggest that you send me a message or comment to ask. I have also enabled the option that allows you to ask me questions on the site.

THE FALLENCOVERIn a sort of kick-off for this year’s sales efforts I’m going to be giving away a copy of The Fallen to a lucky follower. In the past I’ve pulled from all of my facebook fans and twitter followers for a winner but, I think that it is time to branch out a bit and use technology to my advantage. So, I’m launching this one with Rafflecopter to make my life easier. You can see the contest rules here. And you can enter here. Drawing will take place on February 27th with a winner announced on the 28th.

You can enter here :
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am also going to kick off a newsletter in the next month. It will be a letter direct to my readers with insider news about characters, story, and projects and my thoughts on the progress of the series. Newsletter subscribers will get perks like pre-order options on new books coming out, special sales, and information on other projects I have coming out. So be sure that you subscribe to that to keep up to date. Don’t worry it isn’t meant to spam you and I won’t share your email with anyone. You’ll get an email on the 4th of every month and very rarely if I have a super special event or promotion to tell you about.

You can sign up by clicking here:

http://eepurl.com/bdpeLT

 

Finding The Fluff Again

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For the last couple years now I feel like I’ve been walking through life without any real plan or understanding of where I was or what I was doing. Sure, I went through the daily activities out of sheer necessity but, I think the only thing that kept me from turning into a lethargic slug staring at the walls on some days was my family. They pushed me to get up and do things daily, even if it was the bare minimum. That feeling of just existing without any real purpose to life permeated everything. I didn’t know how to process everything that had happened. I was angry, depressed, afraid, and I felt very guilty. The first three I could understand as a type of grieving process but the guilt really perplexed me more than anything.

self-worthThe truth is that at some point in my married life, I ceased to be the optimist. It didn’t happen overnight. Before I married him I was a very happy and “go-with-the-flow” sort of person. I laughed, made friends easily, smiled often, and despite all the turmoil and uncertainty in my single life at the time, I was pretty sure that I had the necessary mental tools to do things on my own. In fact, I was excited about life. Publishing my fiction was something that I was devoting more time to. I was painting and creating art in various forms. My efforts were even starting to get some notice and I was actually stoked about life. In six years time, all of that changed.

I recognize now that his leaving me for “her” was a gift from God and the universe. I’d really lost myself in being his wife. The dreamer, the artist, the confident woman that I had been for most of my life had gone into hiding. The scary part was that I didn’t know how to coax her back out. For a long time, I didn’t think that I was worth the effort.

Fast forward to now. It has become a challenge to find myself. To come out of that isolation and find the joy again. I do laugh more. I feel lighter – probably because I’ve dropped about 100 lbs since then. I don’t feel so oppressed and I’m not barraged with negative energy anymore. I am working and have a steady income. I’m pursuing the artistic life again and trying to get in touch with the stronger woman that I was.  I am attempting to explore passions that I once held dear. I am myself again and finding out what it means for me to be truly happy.

we-must-be-willing-to-let-go-the-life-we-have-planned-so-as-to-have-the-life-that-is-waiting-for-usThat idea of happiness has changed considerably from all those years ago. Some realizations had to happen for me. For example, I’m not going to have kids or a family in the way that I wanted. Accepting that, it becomes about building the life that I want for myself and being a little bit selfish in the process. Accepting myself as I am and deciding what to invest my time and energy into isn’t easy. The possibilities are vast. In fact, it is far easier for me to say what I don’t want to invest in.

This year I’ve chosen to invest in myself. I am finding the joy in being my own best friend while finding friendships outside of me. I’m branching out and exploring life again. Let me just say that it is exciting to be able to do that again. To know that I can create the life I want and I get to make the choices to change life into something awesome and fulfilling again is amazing. It is empowering when I see certain elements taking shape. It is also very scary to think about the risks you have to take in order to move forward in various areas of life without any guarantee of a good outcome.

I follow a particular author’s blog who talks extensively about self-esteem issues. She created a workbook as a giveaway this holiday season that challenged people to  choose a word for the year and create goals based on that. I went through the workbook. Every word that I had brainstormed revolved around change, acceptance, and progress. Breaking out of the shell that I’d put around me to heal is the running theme in all the journal work I’ve done. For me, that means being brave enough to take those steps outside of my comfort zone. To stretch my personal boundaries and take some risks. For me, that can be as simple as going to a group event with people that I don’t know. It can also be a big thing like going back to school and starting a new career path.

The key for me is to remember that I cannot make different choices about the past. What I can do is make better choices going forward. I can choose to be brave and forge ahead to achieve my dreams. I can choose to be cautious with who I let into my inner circle just as much as I can choose to be friendly and have many acquaintances in life. I don’t know all of the choices and decisions that I will have to make this year. There is no way to plan for everything. I just have to be brave enough to trust my instincts and myself again.

 

The Musical Inspiration

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I come from a very musical family and music has had a very profound influence on my life. I’ve not only enjoyed listening to it and dancing but, I’ve also known the joy and reward of being a performer on stages big and small. I have a great deal of respect for musicians. It takes a lot to put your heart and soul out there. Much like writing, the art form is subject to intense scrutiny. People form opinions and they don’t hesitate to tell you when they disagree or object to your art. It takes guts to get on a stage. Even more to get up there in front of thousands of people. It is something that you have to love in order to do it. Just like writing. I’ve never shied away from either.

Music-Inspires-TeeMost musically inclined people can give you a soundtrack to various stages of their lives. I know that I can. I listen to all sorts of genres. I’ve had upbeat periods in which 80’s new wave and pop were my choice. I’ve also had dark and depressive times in which I listened to goth and symphonic rock. I have more bands on my playlists than I can name in a post. From classical to jazz I’ve listened to it all. I know how a song can alter your mood, make you reflect, and take you back to a time and place you’d rather not remember. Yet, there is also a great side to music that can uplift you and inspire you in various areas of life. So in this post, I’m going to give you a little taste of what music is inspiring me right now.

I use Spotify for my music when I’m writing. Yes, I have soundtracks to work to that match certain books and themes. More often than not, I’m on a very random playlist of favorite songs that end up playing these on a regular basis.

BRAVE ~ by Sarah Bareilles

This has been such an influential song for me. For many years, I held my tongue and walked on eggshells denying myself the opportunity to be me for the sake of keeping the peace. I was, in many ways, afraid to speak my mind. There were many reasons for it and none of those were really good ones. This song was not only opportune in when it came to my attention but, it was catchy and the message is entirely empowering since it is a sort of personal challenge to be authentic and yourself. The video is even more inspiring because it shows a bunch of people who represent all different body-types just cutting loose and having fun. Yes, we fat people can dance and have fun too.

SHAKE IT OFF ~ by Taylor Swift

Now I didn’t much care for Taylor when she first came onto the music scene. I thought her lyrics were trite and she belonged on Radio Disney more than the regular charts. She’s grown on me though. Her new album is something that I am enjoying. I think that she’s matured considerably and that reflects in her music. Shake It Off is great in its silliness and reminder to just shake off the embarrassing parts of life and get on with living.  Taylor’s ability to show herself in an awkward light is an inspiration in itself to say it is okay to be awkward and silly and to just have fun. Life is not all seriousness after all.

ALL ABOUT THAT BASS ~ Meghan Trainor

Body positivity at it’s finest! This song likely speaks for itself but, I think we need more like this. Not everyone is thin and pretty. That doesn’t mean we’re any less lovable or deserving of respect. We’re all made in a unique way. There is nothing wrong with being who and what you are. In fact, embracing ourselves as we are and telling the haters to move along is a right of passage in my opinion. Just as you don’t have to live up to other’s expectations of beauty, they don’t have to have the eye to see your beauty. Accept it and move on to appreciate the ones who do. Go forth as confidently as you can and let yourself be the unique person you were meant to be. This song is all about embracing the perfection in your imperfection and that’s a powerful thing.

 

These are songs that inspire me. What songs inspire you and how?

The Big Plan…

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When you’re a teenager, you have an idealized notion of what being an adult will look like. Of course there are the usual things like; no curfews, eating brownies for breakfast, and being able to do whatever you like, whenever you want to do it. Whether your plans included college, or not, there was likely some element of partying all night. It is, after all, a right of passage to adulthood. As time goes on, working at the part time job you had in high school and college is less fulfilling. There comes a point when it becomes necessary to re-examine your ideas of what adulthood is.

Lennon QuoteSometimes life gives you the plan. All that partying results in a pregnancy and suddenly its not just you but a little one to care for. For others there may be some illness in the family that requires you to put things on hold to care for a loved one. For some there is a lack of support either emotionally or financially, to complete goals that you’d set. And so you regroup.  To quote the late musician and visionary John Lennon , “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

For someone in my position, I have a chance to look at those goals that I had for myself when I was a teenager. Some of them were absolutely ridiculous. There was no way that I would end up wearing leather mini-skirts on a stage in front of ten thousand screaming fans while I sang. Mini-skirts just don’t go with my style. Others of those bygone dreams were perfectly plausible like pursuing higher education, writing, and having a social circle that I could entertain in a nice apartment or house that was mine. I wonder what happened to make me give up on them? Truth is, I really can’t give a good answer to that question.

I find myself pursuing the writing dream. But there is still the element of picking up the pieces for me. I’ve been working at a job that just isn’t covering things but after being a housewife for so long, finding a full-time and well-paying position hasn’t been easy. The search definitely continues and I’m eager to get on with a job that will help me to better sustain myself. To be able to have that home, social circle, and the ability to go back to school to have a better career helping to inspire kids.

panties-preview_displayFor me, it still feels like I’m in a transitional period in my life. I’m ready to put on the big girl panties and step into a more adult position in life. I’ve done it in the past. I’ve had jobs where I was able to act and dress like an adult. Yes, being able to wear something other than sneakers and a company provided polo shirt would go a long way to making me feel like I’m a grown-up. But I feel like it is time to take the next step and to look ahead a bit and decide on what I want to build my life around.

Some people write a five-year plan. At least that was all the rage when I was in school. Now, it seems like a personal manifesto is more the order of things. A statement of beliefs, goals, and things that you do not only out of necessity but to grow as an individual. I am researching but, I don’t know that I’ve ever read a manifesto. So I suppose I should before I try to write my own.

I do have ideas of what I would like to accomplish in the next five years. Coming up with the steps to getting to that point is the hard part for me. So much of it seems to revolve around money and being gainfully employed to be able to have things like my own place, a social life, a vacation plan, and the ability to promote my work more effectively. (Yes, the old saying is true. It takes money to earn money.)  Ultimately it is about balancing all aspects of life. For me, balance means having a more stable schedule so that I am able to count on income amounts, time off and on the job, and being able to make plans that I can stick to without losing hours at the job. There are also other aspects to consider though; things like spirituality and a social life. I haven’t been able to do much on either front in the last year.

So, yes, I am gearing up for a change. I’m not getting any younger. So I may as well get on with making my life what I want it to be. That means that I have to define what I want it to be in order to work toward it.

Have any of you made a five-year plan or, maybe a ten-year one?

Have you written a manifesto of your own?

Do you have any advice for someone who plans to tackle that task? I’m all ears.

Under Pressure… another lesson in online dating…

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Sometimes I think that I am the only adult over the age of 30 who is still dealing with issues of personal identity. There are so many things that we’re socially forced to define about ourselves in the pursuit of a place in the world. To be realistic, we all want somewhere to belong. For some people it is a community that they have been in since their youth. I’m afraid that I’ve been too much of a nomad in those days to have formed relationships that lasting (save one). And I often envy those around me who have lived in this area from the time they were children. I blend in well enough here. That’s true. But when pressed for what high school I attended and I admit that I am not originally from the area, it seems that people lose interest in talking to me. Truth is, it isn’t only a geographical identity that plagues me.

There is increasing pressure to identify yourself for relationships. Are you straight, lesbian, bi, or transgender? Are you into bondage? Do you have pretty feet? Will you involve yourself in our open relationship? Be the third to our twosome? In order to get anywhere you have to identify with a group, be open to promiscuity, and deal with people who refuse to read profiles. It is about photographs and instant attractions, lust, and not about actually fostering a relationship with communication and similar interests.

stash-1-506b67e6df37bIt seems no great leap for me to understand the pressures faced by our youth today. For all our talk of acceptance and equality, we are increasingly intolerant of those who seek to define themselves on their own terms or in terms of their personal moral fiber. In my personal experience, defining myself as straight and seeking a friendship first has ostracized me from the dating community.  My lack of primary interest in a sexual relationship is apparently abnormal by the dating standards of today. However, this will not be the first or last time that I walk to the beat of a different drum.

I have always been a bit eccentric. I caved on those convictions before in an effort to fit in and find myself in a relationship. Where did it get me? In an abusive relationship where I was oppressed, often humiliated, and undermined at every turn. The lesson learned, I can honestly say that I refuse to change my personal convictions for the sake of fitting in. I am many things and I do not fit a mold. I don’t think that anyone does. We do ourselves and injustice by conforming to the cookie-cutter roles that are put before us.

I identify myself in many ways:

  • I am a large woman. I make no excuse for my size. I only strive to be healthier for my own sake, not for anyone else.
  • I am creative. I write, I sing, I paint, I create things.
  • I am funny.  Not a comedienne but, I have my moments (even if they are quirky).
  • I am spiritual believing in God and Christian values that shape much of my life.
  • I am eccentric.
  • I am increasingly anti-social in a large part due to the isolation I feel from society.
  • I am caring, generous, and friendly.
  • I am a survivor.
  • I am intelligent. And that intelligence often intimidates people.
  • I am deserving of love and affection but, on my terms. You see, I consider myself to be unique in my sexual identity. I am straight. This does not, however, mean that I see a man and am instantly attracted to them to the point that I want to sleep with them. It all comes down to connection and intimacy for me. It takes the forming of a relationship for me to even consider activities that involve making myself that vulnerable now.  Sex is not an impulse to me. It is a deepening of a relationship. It is a matter of trust in your partner and that trust, for me, must be earned. How? Through respect. Through getting to know me. Through an emotional attachment that is cultivated over time.

All of that being said, I think it is important to ask ourselves why we feel forced to belong to some group or another. Yes, we all want to be accepted for who we are. Why let that acceptance be defined by parameters set by others? Why can’t we be ourselves and still find relationships that strengthen us as individuals?

the-online-dating-ecosystem_50290b8d29fb4So, why write about this in conjunction with online dating?

I made an apparent faux pas in how I was utilizing my profile and settings on the site I frequent. By choosing an option that I was interested in meeting both genders, it opened up a floodgate of requests from couples in open relationships, lesbians, and men looking for “friends with benefits”. While my profile clearly stated that my intentions were to meet friends and hopefully find a “Mr. Right For Me”, these people took a few parameters to mean that I was bisexual and open to sexual experimentation.

The profile has been corrected now. But, I am saddened to find that being open to making new friends led people to believe that I was something that I wasn’t. I suppose it goes to prove you should never judge a book by its cover. It is alarming to know how many people judge you based on so little though. And when they find you aren’t what they thought, they simply cease communication. I think that says something about society as well.