Chasing The Crape Myrtle Tree

By Jillian Stacia

On my phone, I keep a list of things that I love – things that make me feel like me. It starts with coffee and ends with deep breaths of forest air.

It may seem dumb, this list. Or maybe a little narcissistic. And it’s slightly sad to have to remind myself that I prefer sunflowers to roses, or that naps during sporting events are my favorite way to unwind on the weekends.

But I find myself looking at this list more and more, constantly adding, editing, tweaking.

I’ll catch myself staring down at the numbers, memorizing the content, reading them like a mantra: the sound of rain, library books, reading on the beach. Continue reading

See Its Magic

By Kate Kole

I love writing, baking, and yoga. So much so that in my early days of blogging, I had a site called Baking In Yoga Pants, combining my love for the three. I’ve dreamt of doing each full-time. Sitting down daily to write a novel, opening a bakery, running a studio. 

During my yoga teacher training, we did an exercise where we jotted down all the things we wanted for our future lives inside a circle, and all the things we no longer wanted outside its perimeter. Of course, writing, baking, and yoga found their way inside my bubble. As did my husband, kids, dogs, and a house with a fenced in yard. The whole vision combined to create my utopia. 

The family and the home are part of my reality now. And yet, all too often, I find myself taking for granted those things I once dreamt of having. I get caught up in the everyday shuffle that comprises this chapter of life and am so busy looking down at the high chair that needs to be wiped, the floors that need to be vacuumed, the dog food bowls that need to be filled, and the laundry that needs to be folded, that I forget to look around. At the family we’ve created, the walls we’ve filled with memories, the traditions we’ve established, and the house that has become our home. 

Continue reading

Lost & Found

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By Kate Kole

In the past couple years, I’ve gone through a handful of writing slumps. My lengthiest note has often been in the form of a grocery store list. Even journaling, which I’ve loved since I was a child, has been nearly nonexistent.

I’ve wanted to write. I’ve opened blank word documents and stared at the glaring screen as if I could will my inspiration to appear. I’ve listened to podcasts, read books, had deep conversations, walked without distraction, stood still in the silence of the shower. And, nothing.

Luckily, the world isn’t waiting on my next publication and my mortgage payment isn’t contingent upon the words I produce. So, in that sense, my writer’s block hasn’t really been an issue. But in terms of my day to day life, the way I feel, and the way I view myself, it’s been a boulder. Because, writing has become part of who I believe myself to be. Continue reading

Now Is Not The Time To Be Neutral

Now Is Not The Time To Be Neutral

By Jillian Stacia

On Friday, the New York Times released its new Social Media Guidelines for its newsroom.

The guidelines covered a variety of topics, but the one that has everyone talking is its first and most vital point: “In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.”

And while the intention behind these guidelines is clear: The Times wants to remain a nonbiased organization – it seems impractical and frankly inadvisable to require employees to follow these guidelines in today’s society. Continue reading

Writers, Get Ready: Five Steps Toward NaNoPrep Success

Writers, Get Ready Five Steps Toward NaNoPrep Success

By Eliza David

October is here – Halloween, Indigenous People Day, and pumpkin spice everything happens during this month. What rings most important to writers everywhere is one word: NaNoPrep!

This month is the time to gear up for NaNoWriMo, which can be both refreshing and excruciating! All writers know about the stressfest NaNo in November tends to be.  Crossing the 50K word finish line is enough to send even the most seasoned scribe running for the hills. I won my first NaNo in 2014.  It launched my indie romance writing career with the release of my debut novel, The Cougarette. In subsequent years, I’ve come to learn that what you do in October can make your November a little easier. Continue reading

The Scream In The Car

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By Eliza David

You can’t punch a keystroke these days without running into a blog post about stress and how to rid yourself of it. Unsolicited advice inundates your social media timelines. It’s plastered within the glossy pages of magazines in your doctor’s office. And, be honest: we all have that one friend who swears by the rigors of CrossFit for calm.

Almost all of these advancements in stress relief have one thing in common: a financial investment. You end up shelling out $69.95 a month for a yoga studio membership, grasping the few precious moments of om that you can fit into your over-packed schedule. Monthly rubdowns by a talkative masseuse who insists on telling you why Game of Thrones is required viewing can be pricey as well. If these options do the trick for you, by all means…but I have a suggestion.

A free suggestion. (I have your attention now, don’t I?) Continue reading

How A Tank Top Mantra Reminds Me To Keep It Real

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By Kate Kole

I’m either a ‘gotta have it’ or ‘really don’t need it’ kind of shopper. There’s rarely an in between. The neon need it now: add to cart sign flashed in my mind as I browsed online a few weeks ago. I’d heard of a new-to-me company, Truth Tanks, while listening to my favorite podcast. And when I went to check out the website, I discovered what I’ve now officially deemed my current favorite top.

Written across the front are 6 simple words: Be you. The world will adjust. Continue reading

7 Things That Were Worth My Time Last Month…And 3 Things That Weren’t

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By Kate Kole

I know that yes, technically I have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé. But even if that is true, I still don’t always feel like I have enough hours to do all the things I want and need to do. It inevitably seems like certain items on my TDL go left unchecked, and if I’m being completely honest, other tasks that didn’t even make the original list (ahem, a Modern Family rerun and a “quick” Target stop) manage to get crossed off.

For the sake of time management and better utilizing those same 24 hours in the day that Queen Bey and I share, I’m taking a closer look at what’s been worth my time lately, and what hasn’t. Continue reading