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Showing posts from 2017

I'm fine.

This is not a happy post. If you're seeking unicorns and butterflies, look elsewhere.
My depression is silent. Most are unaware of its existence because I'm moderately functional on the surface, and I am foolishly proud of myself in that regard. If I can convince others that I'm ok, then I'll be ok. Right?
You have it together. You know yourself so well. You're so confident!  You know what you want.
I've had the above and similar phrases spoken to me over the last decade, but let me tell you something...
They're a load of shit. 
Today, I came home to a bedroom that was in shambles. Empty pizza boxes, piles of clean and dirty laundry strewn about (don't ask me which were clean and which weren't; I've forgotten at this point), unwashed dishes, etc (the list ashamedly goes on), and it hit me all of the sudden that I haven't been taking care of myself or my surroundings.
It's a frustrating realization because earlier this year, I had been do…

Week 40: NaNoWriMo Prep Week 1, Part 1
Characters

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We've finally made it to another October.

This has been one hell of a year so far (for brilliant and horrendous reasons both), but we still have a few months left to knock it out of the ballpark.

I feel like the last 3 months of the year go the quickest. What with all the holidays (Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years...) and end-of-year pushes, we really aren't given much time to take a step back and observe. It forces us to be in the moment, and time tends to slip through our fingers like that. That, I think, is both a good and a bad thing, but that's not what this post is about. Maybe I'll write about that later.

Last week, I let all of you know that I would, once again, be participating in National Novel Writing Month with hopes of getting back into my habit of Winning. I also informed you that I would be plotting out as much as possible over the month of October so I can be prepared (or at least have some sort of ballpark as to where my story…

Kingsman: The Golden Circle
A Review

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This weekend, I had the privilege of watching the 2nd installment of the Kingsman franchise, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, directed by Matthew Vaughn.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS, DO NOT CONTINUE READING. 
K?
K.
The sequel picks up shortly after the end of the first movie with Eggsy (Taron Egerton) engaging in a fast-paced car chase in which one of our villains is introduced. The character's face is vaguely familiar, and it turns out he's the spurned Kingsman applicant from the last movie - Charlie (Edward Horcroft, see right) - except he's missing an arm. Well, it's less missing than it is replaced by a shiny, metal one with bionic strength and such.

Within minutes of the chase's conclusion, Vaughn unceremoniously wipes out the majority of the characters we grew to love in the first movie (the loss of one character hit a whole lot harder than the others, but I'll leave that tidbit for when you watch).

We also find out that Charlie is reporting directly to our sup…

Week 39: NaNoWriMo

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It's almost October, which can only mean 1 thing:
NANOWRIMO IS COMING Last year was a massive failure. I think I got maybe 10k words in, even less than that if memory serves.
To be fair, this time last year I was busy with nursing prerequisites (Anatomy & Physiology is no joke, guys), but I still feel like I could have cranked out at least half of the required 50k. But that's neither here nor there. It's a new year, and I will be writing come November. Woo!

In previous years, I've mostly been a pants-er, but I'm going to have a whirl at plotting this time around just to see if I get different results.

I'm also going to be rehashing a novel I've been writing for a while (I swear, I feel like I've been procrastinating writing this one for years now). I love the premise, I love the characters I've come up with, and it's high time I write it, even if it sucks.

I have a Novlr account and plan on using that all month long as well as beyond Novembe…

2017 - Week 20: BORED

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Guys, I am BORED.

Not in the, "I need to find something to do for a minute while I wait for my pasta to finish boiling," sort of way. I'm bored in the, "oh my God, what am I doing with my life, you're just sitting there, not doing anything, and you need to do shit to get your life going but don't know how," sort of way.

It's probably my anxiety speaking, but I've reached a point at my current job where I've kind of hit my ceiling. I don't plan on being a Registered Dental Hygienist, a Registered Dental Assistant, or a Dentist, and there aren't really any leadership opportunities opening up for administrative staff. So I feel very stuck.

I crave more. More responsibility, more compensation, more challenge...

I just want... more.

It's a very strange way to feel and even stranger to describe. It almost makes me feel like a jerk. Oh, look at her, she's unhappy at a great job working for great people. Poor her.

But that's not…

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD - A Review

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When my friend, Tessa, invited me to see this movie, I had heard absolutely nothing about it. I did know the legend of King Arthur and Excalibur, so deductive reasoning led me to the correct assumption that this would be a tale of King Arthur and how he came upon the Excalibur.

First things first, this movie is not what you expect. It has grit, dirt, and most assuredly a complete lack of the prim and properness one is normally used to seeing in these sort of stories.

The element that pulled me in initially was the soundtrack. It had this really dense, deep sound paired with strings and a toughness that I can't quite describe. Honestly, you'd do better just to listen to it yourself. Here. I'll get you started.
I'm used to Guy Ritchie films starting with a bang to grab the attention, but this movie's opening scene had me a little worried about the pacing of the movie. It consisted of an oddly timed slow burn with unexpected gigantic elephants that, after around 10 m…

2017 - Week 19: Summer is Coming

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I don't like hot weather. Any of you who know me personally know that. If I'm sweating, I'm miserable. Granted, it's May, so summer is pretty much already here, but I feel like I still have those few days/weeks left where I can enjoy going outside without wanting to kill myself or everyone else in proximity to me.

I don't know what it is about the heat that makes me feel violent. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm being slowly smothered by the humidity (thanks, Nashville basin). That kicks my fight or flight into high gear, and boom. I'm ready to punch anyone within arm's reach.

So how is it that so many people love - and I really do mean love - the hotter months of the year? That is a concept that simply does not compute in my brain. I would much rather curl up with a blanket while I nurse a steaming cup of chicken noodle soup or hot chocolate and peruse a book (or, let's be realistic, something on my Kindle) than go outside and immediately fe…

2017 - Week 18: Writing Exercise
Stream of Consciousness

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I'm terrible at stream-of-consciousness writing. Truly dismal. But let's do it, shall we??

A perfectionist at heart (thanks, MomLady), I always end up stopping to go back and read through what I've written, check it for grammatical errors, etc., and make changes as I deem necessary. I'm sure all the writers reading this are shaking their heads in empathetic disappointment. It's a common problem for us all.

I hate to say it, but lately... writing has become a source of anxiety for me. It's never been that way, but over the last year or so, it has morphed into this activity that I almost don't even want to do anymore. And that makes me very, very sad. I used to get so much joy from writing, but every time I try to sit down and write the WIP that I've been working on for a long time I clam up, and the words refuse to come. I know it's a great story. It has some really fantastic characters (if I do say so myself), and I find the story to be engaging.

P…

2017 - Week 17: Zombie Apocalypse Live

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Around a month ago, I told you all that I enjoy first-person shooters a la Mass Effect. They're engrossing, set you up to experience a story firsthand, as if it's happening to you, and you can lose yourself in them quite easily, especially if the aforementioned story is a good one.
Imagine my excitement when an opportunity to actually live out a first-person shooter IRL without all of the dangerous caveats that come with that presented itself!

Zombie Apocalypse Live is what I like to call a haunted house on steroids. The idea is that you show up, tickets in hand, are given a tactical laser gun, and are let loose on a hoard of the undead as you make your way through a series of darkened rooms while zombies hurl themselves at you, screaming and generally attempting to scare the crap out of you.
Generally, haunted houses don't scare me. I am incredibly adept at separating myself from the atmosphere, and my brain is constantly sending me signals of "hey, just so you know,…

2017 - Week 16: MomLady and Popsicle - 35 Years

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My parents' anniversary is on April 17th, and this year - 2017 - marks their 35th year together.

As someone who is surrounded by divorce on literally all sides, MomLady and Popsicle have been the singular good example of true love throughout the years.

No, they're not perfect, and yes, they do disagree with one another on occasion. Hell, I'm sure they go through spells during which they're highly annoyed with one another. And yet they persist, loving each other despite all of these things. They are an excellent example of love, perhaps not in that ooey-gooey, diabetes-inducing sort of way that happens in a relationship's infancy, but in the way that guarantees support and stability, no matter what happens. My parents' relationship is an unwavering example of what marriage should be like, and, should I ever get married, I will strive for nothing less than the example than they have set.

Happy Anniversary, MomLady and Popsicle. Here's to at least 35 more.

Pea…

2017 - Week 15: Another Writing Exercise??

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We've come upon another week, and I'm not sure what to write about, so guess what? We're going to do another writing exercise! You get back to those roots, Stefers, and write like the wind!!!

Side note: did you know that Writer's Digest provides writing prompts? It makes sense, but I never thought of it before. That's where I got today's writing exercise!


Finish This Sentence #5 - You Never Expected a Call from Me

"Hello," said the voice on the phone. "My name is ______________.* I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I've been given your name as someone who can help me _________." (write a story that follows this line)

1,2,3, GO!

"Hello," said the voice on the phone. "My name is Charles Godwin. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I've been given your name as someone who can help me."

To be honest, I didn't hear a word of what he said. The fog of being woken…

2017 - Week 14: 방탄소년단 (Bangtan Boys)

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My name is Stefers, and I am a whore for kpop and kdramas.

For those of you who are un-indoctrinated, kpop and kdramas are, respectively, music and tv shows (and sometimes movies) from Korea. They're amazing and highly enjoyable, and everyone needs a little of at least one of the two in their lives for a happier existence.

This past weekend, I flew to New York City to see one of my favorite groups - BTS - and I readily admit that I am still hoarse from screaming and generally fangirl-ing like a crazy person.

BTS - also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan or Bulletproof Boy Scouts (I know... the name is ridiculous... but it's kpop and totally makes sense in that realm... just take my word for it, ok?) - debuted back in the summer of 2013, and the immediately stole the hearts of kpop fans across the world. Since then, they've exploded worldwide and even made their way over to mainstream music in the United States (they're attending the Billboard Music Awards this year!!!) which,…

2017 - Week 13: MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA

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A lot of people don't know this about me, but I love gaming. Granted, I'm not what I would deem to be a "gamer," but I do enjoy a good first-person shooter like Half Life, Halo, or - most recently - Mass Effect.

For those of you who are in tune with the world of gaming, I'm sure you most likely know about the release of Mass Effect's newest installment in their franchise: Andromeda.

I've been playing since back in 2007 and am a die-hard Mass Effect fan, even after the last 2 installments. Then again, I am relatively easy to please, so it's difficult to get me off the bandwagon unless you do something utterly and wholly terrible. I won't lie and say that Bioware didn't seem to try its damnedest to push me off from time to time (the ending of the 3rd installment was rough, y'all), but I held on, clinging to the storytelling and intriguing characters and open-world setup.

And so it remains. Was Andromeda awful? No.
Was it amazing? Also no.
W…

2017 - Week 12: Why I Hate Vaping

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I'm not a big complainer. If something is going wrong, in that moment I usually seek resolution rather than focus on the actual thing that's going wrong. Now, pending change is a different story and leaves me quivering in a puddle-like mess in some deep, dark corner, but that's another blog for another time.
This past weekend, Goose and I went with a few friends to a barn dance at a place called The Old School Northwest of Nashville. It was fun, albeit a bit muggy due to the rainy weather that evening. The Old School is a farm-to-table restaurant and, from what I was able to see, is a quality establishment. I've made a mental note to go back there so I can try out their full course listings and such.
The barn dance was located outside in a roofed recreation area that, with the use of some well-laced hay bales and other farm-like decor, had the feeling of a rustic barn. It was quaint, adorable, and all around fun.
As stated previously, the weather was pretty muggy due …

2017 - Week 11: Writing Exercise

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I have no idea what I should write about this week, so I'm going to go back to my roots here on 52 Weeks and do a writing exercise.
I actually miss doing them. Funny, right? After doing one every day for over a year, I was on major burnout, but it has been quite some time since I sat down and did a writing exercise just for the fun of it.

In all honesty, I haven't done a writing exercise in... years. It's really sad, but it's the truth. Perhaps I'll add an additional post here per week because I've been marginally successful in my weekly posts here thus far. I make no guarantees though. We all know what happens when I promise things on this blog.

Today's writing exercise is brought to you by WritingExercises.co.uk. I'll be using their Random First Line Generator for this post, which I actually quite enjoy. Just click the button and boom: you have a prompt! I cheated a bit and clicked until I got a sentence that spoke to me, but I feel like that's ac…

2017 - Week 10: Taken

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Wellp, Flowers done hooked me, it seems.

No, he hasn't kidnapped me, forcing Popsicle to scour the Earth for my captor with the fire of a Colon & Rectal Surgeon scorned (no one wants to see that, trust me). And yes, this is another relationship post. Deal with it. It's what's going on in my life right now, ok?

As someone who was "irrevocably single" as of 3 months ago, I, for one, am flummoxed as to how this has happened. Well, I guess I'm not completely flummoxed. You were all there when he was wooing me HARDCORE both on our first date and even before the date. I guess it's no surprise that he would end up convincing me to be one of those "in a relationship" girls who are all Facebook official and shit.

Honestly, I was in denial until a few days ago.

No, I'm not in a relationship. We're just getting to know each other as adults. We need to take this hella slow because both of our past relationships were batshit crazy. Nope. Not in a…

2017 - Week 9: I Don't Understand "Butt People"

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I have, for as long as I can remember, never understood the human fascination with butts.

"Oh, I'm a major butt man. I mean, look at those cheeks."
"She got dumps like a truck, truck, truck..."
"Oh, my god, Becky, look at her butt."

I assume my confusion is due in part to the fact that I grew up with a Colon & Rectal Surgeon as a father and saw many a diagram or x-ray of gastroenterology-related fun. Actually, perhaps that's where most of my confusion comes from. #ThanksDad
When you get down to it, though, why is the butt viewed as a sexual object? We defecate from there, and it is simply 2 slabs of fat designed to make sitting comfortable. Seriously. Imagine trying to sit without a butt. It would be awful.
And yet here we are, sexualizing that. WHY? It makes no sense to me.
Granted, I have my own preferred body parts (I love a good, strong pair of shoulders and a well-defined forearm... don't ask. I can't explain it.), so I can't …

2017 - Week 8: The Date

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For those of you just joining in, I had a date on February 18th, and I promised you all that I would be keeping you updated.

As of this writing, the date has finished, and I am happy to report that it went swimmingly. Flowers made some serious effort to sweep me off my feet, and sweep, sweep, sweep he did.

I won't go into severe detail about the night - because come on, even I need a certain modicum of privacy - but I will say that we started out with one of those wine and paint things where you go and have fun painting while imbibing tasty wine. Flowers is a very artistic person whereas I am most certainly not (not in the fine art way, at any rate) so, while he turned out with some really pretty dragonflies on a canvas, I ended up with a trio of misshapen salamanders with wings. We ended up swapping and taking each other's painting home because we're adorable AF.

We finished up with the painting class pretty quickly, so we had some time to kill - a couple of hours - befor…

2017 - Week 7: Why I Hate Fortune Cookies

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I have a major issue with today's fortune cookies. I'm not the only one.
Let me explain.
First, take a look at the photo below. This is a real life, actual fortune I received from a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant recently (we won't even get into the fact that fortune cookies are completely foreign to Chinese culture).
I know what you're thinking, and you're correct. No, that is NOT a fortune. Cute, perhaps. But a fortune? Most assuredly not. And yet, it's called a fortune cookie.

I can't tell you the last time I have actually received an honest-to-God fortune from a fortune cookie, and in truth, I can't even guarantee that I've ever received one. What a travesty.

You hear stories of people opening their crispy wafers just after finishing their General Tsao's Chicken to find a tiny piece of paper that says something akin to, "You will inherit a large sum of money," or "Cheer up, tomorrow will be much better!" Those ar…

2017 - Week 6: Flowers, the Sneaky Bastard

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I have no idea what's happening right now. My life.
So I'm sitting at the front office desk one day at work this past week, and a dude walks in with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. As he enters, he asks, much to my confusion, "Is there a Stefanie here?"
Wait. What? Me? Yes. I'm here. But I think you're confused. There must be another Stefanie that you're looking for. Have you tried the salon next door? Apparently, I was not confused, because the address on the envelope that came with the flowers had my full name and my work's address.
The man handed me the flowers, and all I could sputter out was, "But... why?"
He shrugged his shoulders with the weight of a man who had perhaps delivered too many flowers that day already and simply said, "Ma'am, I just deliver the flowers." And then he left, leaving me with a vase filled with stargazer lilies, roses, and various other floral-type things and quite literally no answers.
But at le…