My Favorite Prompts..

Hiya friends, welcome back. This past week, I barely wrote anything that wasn’t for school. Have you ever had that moment where you realize you’re missing something? That’s what it was like for me this week, writing is an outlet for me, a way to express the stuff I’ve experienced and keep it from overpowering my mind.

I remember writing little short stories when I was younger, they were always full of light and happiness. It wasn’t until I was 19 that things changed, where there had been light was only darkness. Fear, sadness, and anger overtook freedom, happiness, and calm. Even with all the changes one thing stayed solid, I was still writing.

It’s clear by now that I’m a bibliophile, I spend a good chunk of my time reading (even when it cuts into other things…like sleeping). But, for me writing can give me the same escape, and when I don’t escape things bottle up and I become difficult to be around. Imagine being in the middle of a raging storm, complete with thunder and lightning, and then you have an idea of what I’m like without words to read, or a moment to write. I really feel bad for people around me during that time. (This is a perfect time to apologize if you’ve ever been near me in storm mode, I’m sorry.)

Well, that was a whole lot of rabbiting on just to get to this point, oops, but alas here we are. When I just need to write and don’t feel like working on my usual pieces, I find writing prompts. I love a good prompt and I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you guys, and maybe you could do the same. In hindsight, the writing at the beginning of this post seems a bit…well, dramatic. Whatever you guys get it, right?

Here are five of my favorites. Enjoy.

 

Prompt 1
Instagram: @awriterslifeforme

 

 

Prompt 2
thefakeredhead.com

 

 

Prompt 3
promptutorium.wordpress.com

 

 

Prompt 4
promptutorium.wordpress.com

 

 

Prompt 5
promptutorium.woordpress.com

 

 

I have very electic taste when it comes to writing, if you hadn’t guessed. If you use one of these, please feel free to share with me. I love reading how different writers interpret prompts. Until next time….

The Anxiety Cheat Sheet

Hiya friends, welcome back. I was talking to a friend the other day and she told me that a person she loves has been dealing with some anxiety lately and she wasn’t sure how to help. This obviously gave me the perfect idea of what to write about for Mental Monday.

As I sit here writing this I’m having anxiety issues, complete with a few lovely panic attacks. What better time to write this out? (Side Note: if you’re curious, writing calms my mind and keeps my hands busy, it’s a twofer.) What I’ve decided is people need a cheat sheet of sorts, to help them figure out how to help when someone they love has anxiety.

(Warning – This is a long one, my friends. You might want a snack or at least a drink. What follows is what helps me, and while it might not help every anxious person in your life, I’m sure mixing and matching them can work for some. Strong language may follow, I can’t seem to not cuss/swear/curse when talking about this.)

Ten Things to Know That Will Help You Love Someone with Anxiety

  1. Try to steer clear of phrases like “calm down,” any forms of telling them to relax, or sentences starting with “You just need to…”

As an anxious/panicky person, I can tell you right now, telling me to calm down does the exact fucking opposite. In fact, it brings the anxiety straight to the front of my brain where it beats on the glass and gets really fucking annoying. Telling me to relax pretty much has the same effect, trust me I’d relax if I knew how. Lastly by starting a sentence with “You just need to *insert really helpful idea here*” just makes me realize even more that you are fully witnessing my spiral into chaos. Even in the worst, deepest moments of my anxiety, there is still a little voice screaming from the back telling me to “BREATHE DAMMIT,” we know what we need to do.

  1. When/if they decide to tell you what the hell is going on in their brain, please for the love of all that is good in this world do not make them feel dumb, or weak.

Do you have any idea how much courage it takes to battle your brain every day? How many times it would be easier to let your brain win the war? Instead, you choose to push yourself out of bed every morning, or try to push yourself out of your comfort zone and fight back, that is not weakness. As for the dumb factor, we have called ourselves crazy enough for a lifetime, we don’t want to worry about those we love doing the same. It’s bad enough to know your brain is trying to sabotage everything without having to worry about judgment from someone you love enough to share your issues with.

  1. You don’t need to have all the answers to our problems, whether they are real or imagined.

We don’t even know all the little moving pieces of the shadow that follows us everywhere, we certainly don’t expect you to. I know in my vulnerable moments when I actually express the thoughts swirling in my brain, I’m not looking for someone to make sense of it or analyze it with/for me, I just want to share it with someone because when the thoughts are out in the open the shadow isn’t so scary. Think of it this way, it’s kind of like walking in the woods, if you’re with someone the darkness doesn’t seem so massive.

  1. It’s scary as fuck, for BOTH of us.

The feelings that happen in the height of an anxiety or panic attack scare us, even when we’re used to them. The first time you watch the person you love hyperventilate, or break down in tears, or shake so violently you worry there is something else wrong, is scary. That’s okay. It’s okay to tell us it scared you because then we can tell you it scared us as well. Like I said, being used to them doesn’t make them any less frightening.

  1. Pushing through isn’t always an option.

Sometimes the only thing you can do is curl up on the couch and watch the world move without you. In these moments, we might need your help, not in a physical way but emotionally, sit with us, hold us if we’ll let you. You don’t have to talk because sometimes words aren’t needed, just lend us some strength. It’ll help us find our way through, it gives us an anchor to hold onto until it’s over.

  1. Just because you love us, doesn’t mean you always have to like this part of us.

It’s completely okay to not like our anxiety. It’s a bitch when you plan something for weeks only to have the person you love bail on it because their busy fighting an internal war. Just because we can be overly emotional doesn’t mean we expect you to keep all yours concealed for fear of “triggering” us. If you’re mad, say it. If you’re hurt, say it. I know some won’t agree with me here, but I find it comforting to know I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by my anxiety/panic attacks. They get in the way, they’ve changed us, we know this, and when you admit you know it too we won’t hold it against you.

  1. Anxiety and panic attacks are not one size fits all.

When I’m about to spiral the same collection of things happen, but what happens to me might not be what happens to your person. Anxiety is about as diverse as people are, and it’s wise to remember that. Like I said at the beginning, some of these things might not work for them, but they will work for some. It just takes time, as shitty as that sounds, it takes time and patience to figure out what we need from you…which leads me nicely to the next bit.

  1. Have some patience.

I know this sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how often I have to remind people in my circle of what I’m about to share with you. I fight a battle every single day, I wage war on my brain and sometimes I even come out victorious. I’m used to battling alone, and I’m willing to bet yours is too. Walls go up when you worry about everything, reinforced by those before you who gave up on us because we’re too much. If you want those walls to come down and you want to be let into the inner workings of our anxiety, BE PATIENT! When we finally trust you, and it will happen, we will trust you with everything we have and then some. Don’t make them regret it.

  1. Feel free to do some research.

When I first was diagnosed I researched everything about anxiety and panic attacks. It’s completely normal to want to know more, and it might give you more insight into what’s going on when we can’t fully explain in the moment. Plus, it shows your anxious friend/SO/family member that you care enough to get yourself educated on the topic. Oh, as a side note it also opens a line of communication, which is huge. Once we see you’re taking us seriously, we’ll be more comfortable talking about it with you.

  1. Your support means EVERYTHING!

Support us when we tell you what we need. If they say they need to see a doctor to figure everything out, support them. If you’re at a party or out somewhere and they suddenly need to leave, support them. If they beg you to distract them from the weirdness happening in their brain…well, support doesn’t seem right here but just do it anyway. Trust me, every single anxious person will agree with this one, support is key. When they break through on the other side they’ll know you helped them through and words can’t express what that means. We know how to battle alone because anxiety is extremely isolating, but to have someone on your side makes it easier to keep fighting.

BONUS

Just a little hint as well… Anxiety causes nervous energy, and when that’s focused on bad shit you’ve seen the destruction it can cause. Now imagine if that nervous energy was focused on their feelings for you. See what I’m getting at? We’re fiercely loyal, incredibly protective, and our emotions run deep. While having anxiety or loving someone with it can be a pain most times, it can also be rewarding.

 

There you have it, my cheat sheet. I hope this was helpful to you guys, because honestly writing it was a pain in the ass, but the silver lining is my anxiety seems to have passed. Until next time…

Can I get a Ph.D in Procrastination?

Hiya friends, welcome back. I find myself again having to apologize for my absence on Monday, my mother was in the hospital (she’s fine now, and will probably be pissed at me for saying anything) but it is what it is. My mind was a big jumbled mess, I was struggling to get through homework, so I knew writing a blog post was pretty much a lost cause. Well, now that that’s out of the way, shall we jump right in?

So, for school I’ve been doing a shitload of research on an artifact, gearing up to complete a project, and I absolutely hate it. Even through the noise of me banging my head on the desk, my brain did think of all the times I’ve researched things for a story and it never bothered me then.

Researching

Seriously, I’ve researched everything from how to shoe a horse to brain surgery (Grey’s Anatomy taught me many things mostly how much sex could be had inside a hospital, but the proper etiquette for brain surgery was not something Dr. Shepard covered). Through all the research I’ve done for a scene that might take someone 10 minutes to read, I’ve never complained.

BUT…

Ask me to research the Colosseum for a project and watch me whine and procrastinate for hours, if not days.

It’s silly really when I think about it because I’m not too bad at research, it doesn’t take me forever, in fact, I’m certain if I just did it and got it over with it wouldn’t take me much time at all. Also, my interest in the topic has no bearing on my completion of the research either, I mean in all honesty I’m afraid of horses, and would never be close enough to have to shoe one.

Ugh, in short researching for school annoys me.

How do you writers out there feel about the noble pursuit of knowledge for a scene? Share some of your craziest topics of research…I’d love to know I’m not alone. Well, back to the Colosseum I go, until next time….

Oh, the Agony…(yes, I’m being dramatic)

Slump1

Hiya friends, welcome back. Do you ever get in a slump with your reading? I am dealing with this right now, and it’s annoying as hell. I swear it feels like school is taking over my life, and by the time I have a spare moment to read I can’t decide what to read, or can’t get into anything. Ugh.

Seriously, during a good reading stint I can devour A LOT of books, but recently I’m struggling to just pick up and finish one. If you’ve been watching my Goodreads page you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t finished a book since Magic Bites. Which well….BITES dude.

Slump2

Usually I can drag myself out of the slump by reading a book I love (not gonna lie, it’s usually Harry Potter) but this time it’s not working. I guess what I’m asking is if you guys have any suggestions, whether it be what to read, or how to break this streak. I’m game, my friends, I’ll do anything at this point.

Please. Help me!

Sorry for the short post, but honestly I can’t write about a book until I finish one dammit! Hopefully, this dry spell is broken by next Friday, otherwise, I am screwed here. Until next time….

A Creative Writers Response

Hiya friends, welcome back. During my procrastination today I found this and thought I’d share it with you. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard these statements, so I figured I’d tell you my responses.

 

Creative Writing

  1. My “little” book? If you’re talking about the thing I spend most of my time trying to perfect and get just right, yeah I’m still working on that.
  2. You try creating an entire world in your head, and then tell me it’s not a real fucking job.
  3. Ugh, seriously?!?! Refer to number two!
  4. I don’t write because I have time to kill, I write because if I didn’t I might die. No wait, I write to prevent myself from killing people in real life.
  5. Yes, Mom. Creative writing degrees are a real thing.
  6. I didn’t realize that being published was part of the criteria for being a writer. I thought I had to be a writer to get published, silly me and my creative thinking.
  7. If you keep pissing me off with all these nonsense questions you might be, but I can guarantee you won’t like how it ends. (I have creative ways to kill people off inside the pages of a novel.)
  8. You have a great idea, great! Write your own damn book in your free time, and use all your wonderful ideas. That shit is intellectual property, you don’t give that shit away.
  9. No, the world of professional liars is saved for con men and politicians. I simply see myself as a teller of stories.
  10. What the what?!?! Why would I tell you everything? You can wait and read it when it’s finished, or even better I’ll sign a copy when it’s published. (Do I sound big-headed to say that? Maybe, but hey, sometimes I’m the only one who believes in my “little” book.)

 

That is how I would respond, what about you guys? Have you ever had anyone say any of these to you? How would you respond? I’d love to hear some snark. Until next time…

Do Penguins Have Knees?

Hiya friends, welcome back. Like I said on Monday, I’m going to be expanding the scope of this space just a bit. Not only do we wear pink on Wednesdays, but we also talk writing now. (Wow, that was a terrible reference) I’m not sure how this is going to work out, but hey ho we’ll give it a go.

You know when you’re little and people ask what you want to be when you grow up? I had quite a few answers, at five I wanted to be a hitman (yup, told the teacher that), at seven I wanted to be a Brontosaurus (I blame The Land before Time), at ten it was clear for a week my calling was to be a lawyer (I could have arrested my five-year-old self), then alas I landed on writer and stayed there. Of course, like any good adult role models, my parents told me I could definitely be anything, I’m assuming they meant to put an exception in there for the hitman career. What they failed to tell me was that by deciding to be a writer, I had unbeknownst to myself, also signed up for a shitty little thing that came with it. If you’re a writer you know where this is going by now, the dreaded WRITER’S BLOCK!

Seriously, it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever encountered. There you are completely ready to sit down to work on your beloved cast of characters and their amazing lives, and in that moment your brain goes, “Nope not today Rockstar. Today I want to ponder one the great mysteries of life. Let us ponder if penguins have knees?” If you’re wondering, let me save you the trouble of googling that and then inevitably watching penguin videos on YouTube, yes, they do have knees.

I have spent many a day/night tilting at this windmill while trying to put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, it’s never fun. That being said, I’ve come up with a few things that have helped me in the past and maybe can help you in the future.

  • Walk away writer, walk away. Honestly, sometimes you just need some fucking space. It doesn’t make you any less of a writer if you don’t write on that day.
  • Pick a prompt. There are times I just can’t write on that piece on that day, doesn’t mean I’ll be blocked from writing anything at all.
  • Jump around. I don’t mean this in a literal way, unless you’re feeling quite froggy then have at it, Everlast. I mean write a different scene, a different conversation that you have planned for the story. In my experience, it can be just that one area that I’m having trouble with.
  • Get your read on. I’ve found that just reading can Hulk smash that damn block. It’s like my brain focuses on the thing I’m reading while some little piece of it continues to unravel my damn issue.
  • Go outside, and interact with other humans. I’m guilty of sitting myself in front of my computer for hours, even days on end. Fresh air clears my head, and talking to humans gives me ideas. It’s a win-win really.

There ya have it, my friends, five solid tips to beat the block. In all truthfulness just because it works for me doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to work for you, but hey it’s worth a shot, right? Please feel free to tell me any other tips and tricks you might have, I’m always looking for ways to get around it. Until next time…

The Riddikulus Post

Hiya friends, happy Monday! So I totally meant to plan a good blog post for today, I was hoping to review Magic Bites, but stupid anxiety had other plans for me. I need something fun and easy to do, so Harry Potter tag it is. The second I saw this tag I knew it was for me, I’m a massive Potterhead and quite proud of that fact. Sit back, grab a butterbeer and let’s see if you agree. If you don’t, feel free let me know what you feel different about.

 

1) Favourite book?

HP6
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this but hear me out before ya get all judgmental face. I will stand by this one being my favorite book based simply on the fact that this is where Snape’s loyalty comes into question. In the previous books we know he hates Harry, but Dumbledore refuses to say one false word against him. This book makes it clear Snape is playing both ends against the middle because he’s still one of the big bad’s best Death Eaters. There’s a reason they released book marks with the question, “Is Snape good or evil?”

2) Least favourite book?
This is an annoying question for me, I hate to talk bad about this series. If I had to pick it would probably be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Don’t get me wrong, the whole Triwizard Tournament is pretty cool, I mean dragons, merpeople, and a massive maze full of magical goodness … epic in and of itself. Cool magic aside, this book is so full of teenage angst, I could almost feel the acne forming. Seriously everything from Ron being all hacked off that Harry’s name came out of the goblet, to everyone trying to find dates to the Yule Ball. Ahhh the joys of adolescence.

3) Favourite movie?
Oh, this is a tough one for me to choose. If I’m honest, I love them all in their own special way, yes, I’m a nerd and I am completely okay with that. I would have to say, and I know I’ll get dragged for this, but it would have to be Half-Blood Prince. There are some seriously humorous moments in this movie, “Why is it, when something happens, it is always you three?”

4) Least favourite movie?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, they just left so much out. Where was the sphinx in the maze? No mention of Hermione letting Madam Pomfrey carry on when fixing her teeth? Just really good moments that were missing. Also, Dumbledore asks Harry calmly in the book, in the movie he basically screams it in his face. Winky???

5) Favourite quote?
“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Thanks for that reminder Ginny.

6) Favourite Weasley?

fireworks
Fred and George, or Gred and Forge. They’re basically one person, right? They’re the ultimate troublemakers, and that speaks to my inner mischief maker.

7) Favourite female character?
I have two, Molly Weasley and Luna Lovegood. Molly is seriously badass, everything a female character should be. I just love her! Then on the flip side, you have Luna, this character just speaks to me. I’ve been called quirky and unique, and honestly Luna is the very definition of those two words.

8) Favourite villain.
Oh man! I’d say Lucius Malfoy. When he appears in the Chamber of Secrets, he really is quite a formidable foe. He sneaks that diary into Ginny’s cauldron, causing that entire plot to unfold. Then as the story progresses he pops up at the Quidditch World Cup and is so snippy, reminding you that he really shouldn’t be trifled with. Then as all bad guys do, he inevitably falls from grace when Voldemort strips him of everything right down to taking his wand. He goes from cutting this imposing figure to just being a scared man who wants to save himself.

9) Favourite male character?


Ron or Neville, it’s kind of a toss-up for me. Ron is really the epitome of loyalty, even with the moments in Goblet of Fire and the Deathly Hallows, he is so freaking steadfast in his loyalty to Harry. I mean I think we all want a friendship like that between Harry and Ron. Then there is Neville, the boy who lost everything because Voldemort, was petrified of Snape, and always seemed to have the worst luck, and yet he still found the courage in himself to face them both.

10) Favourite professor?
McGonagall, hands down. She’s tough, but you know she has a soft spot for those kids. Plus, I really love how she never backs down from Umbridge.

11) Would you rather A) wash Snape’s hair or B) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?
I don’t think I could listen to Lockhart drone on about himself for an hour, let alone a day. I’d have to say wash Snape’s hair, I’ll take greasy hair over bleeding ears any day.

12) Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) and angry Molly?

Molly
How is this even a question, an elated Bellatrix does not scare me nearly as much as an angry Molly, and it’s safe to say Bellatrix is crazy.

13) Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying Car?
Hogwarts Express. Seriously a nice, comfy compartment with all those sweets off the trolley, sign me up.

14) Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath?
Kiss Voldemort. I can’t be the only person who wonders what it would be like to kiss a guy with no nose. Does that make me weird? Probably does, but the alternative is Umbridge in a bubble bath, no thanks. Pucker up Snakeface.

15) Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt?

Firebolt
Easy, Firebolt all day. I’m super clumsy but I’d take my chances just to have a go on that broom.

16) Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?
Draco. In the books, he comes across as this whiny, spoiled brat, in the movies Tom Felton made him all that but somehow made my urge to punch the character less. It was a pleasant difference.

17) Is there a movie you preferred to the book?
I don’t think so, I love the books, and there are some parts in them that I really found myself missing in the movies.

18) Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?
Not a fair question, both were portraying the same character. Yes, the way they did so was different but both were amazing. C’mon Dumbledore is an epically complex character, and both actors did him justice.

19) Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most?
PEEVES!!!! He was seriously hilarious, and annoying, and just everything! I really wanted him to be in the movies, but alas …

20) If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be?
More than likely Goblet of Fire, I already listed all my missing parts in it so I won’t reiterate it.

21 Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?

gryffindor
Gryffindor. I’m not smart enough to be a Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff just didn’t incite anything in me, and I’d never go dark side so Slytherin is out. That just leaves Gryffindor, the house of the brave, and I’m pretty brave (unless it’s dark, and then all bets are off).

22) Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore?
Gryffindor, see I told you it was meant to be.

23) Which class would be your favourite?
I think I’d totally love Defense Against the Dark Arts. Who doesn’t want to learn how to fight dark wizards? Plus, I’m a brave Gryffindor so that’s like my calling, right?

24) Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?

Riddikulus
Riddikulus, come on this one is self-explanatory. I’d love to blast my anxiety like a boggart.

25) Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with?
This is probably the easiest question on here, I’ve said it from the beginning I would most definitely be friends with the twins. I’m always up for pranks and hijinks, like I said mischief makers.

26) If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?
The Resurrection Stone, death is a terrible thing. I know from the story that it probably wouldn’t work out for the best, but it would be nice to bring back the people that I’ve lost in my life.

27) Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change?
Yeah, I would have loved for there to have been a moment between Harry and Draco at the end, sort of like an understanding. That moment of we’ve been through some stuff together, but it’s all in the past. I know they were mortal enemies, but in the end, did it really matter?

28) Favourite Marauder?
I like the three that didn’t turn out to be lying, backstabbing jerks. Mooney, Padfoot, and Prongs! Separately they are all pretty wicked in their own right, put them together and that just sounds fun.

29) If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?
Another easy one, Fred. As much as I ugly cried for Dobby, I would use the resurrection stone to bring Fred back. I don’t think George could ever be truly happy without Fred, I’m almost positive that saying “two peas in a pod” was made for them.

30) Hallows or Horcruxes?

hallows
While horcruxes are cool, the idea of splitting your soul freaks me out a bit, therefore I am going Hallows. Master of Death has a pretty cool ring to it, don’t ya think? I bet I could pull it off.

 

I gotta say this was a seriously fun tag to participate in. I know you’re supposed to challenge people, so I challenge all of you. Until next time…