Writing: The Art of Romanticizing Life

I’ll be the first to admit that my life is, by no means, glamorous. I am in, in no way, the best at anything. I have many talents but am a master of none, as the saying goes.

But when I tell people stories of my life, they listen. Or they read, because I am a writer and all. I lived a life that was very clumsy, but for that I have stories to tell. I did not live them so that I could make a profit or for the attention. Many of the stories I have to tell about my life, I truly wish I could take back and never live through again.

But why do you even bring them up, if you wished they never happened?

I am who I am today, because of those events. Because of my mistakes. While there is a teeny bit of satisfaction from people being interested in what I have to say, I honestly want people to learn from my life.

How do you get people to listen?

As a writer, stories are told in a way that place people in the moment. I put them there with me in the emergency room in Baghdad, in the concrete shelter of a bunker in Talil, in a helicopter over Mosul, on the seas of the Persian Gulf.  They listen as if they were on the receiving end of the phone call, the bad news, the heartbreak, the fear. Things that they have felt before but claim “I can’t even begin to imagine.”

Oh, but you can. And I will help you.

Writing is taking my day, mundane and routine, giving the details of what would normally go unnoticed, and changing the perspective of the person reading (or listening. I tell a lot of stories, too).

Writers church up the details, regardless of their intent. We make things darker, bolder, sexier, more precious. We put makeup on the pig, and fool them all.

This is kind of embarrassing but I’ll admit to it:

I have a habit of commentating my life as I go through my day. It makes me more conscious of my emotions, easier to control because I imagine people are listening to my thoughts and watching me throughout my day. This exercise also helps me to search out those romantic details of my day, and explore them.

Disclaimer: By romance, I am not referring to any type of relationship with people. I am referring to the ability to make something ordinary or otherwise a footnote and showing it in a light that makes it appear desirable.

Example: I have recently resigned from my job. I will, more or less, be a stay at home mom. For those who live there, they know it’s not as exciting as it sounds. But the writer in me divulges more, because heaven forbid anyone think my life is boring or mundane. I’m quitting my job to write full time and focus on my children. My book is finally finished and I have begun seeking representation. I should be published by the summer of 2018.

See how romantic that sounds? Not once did I mention dirty dishes or poopy diapers. Scrubbing the toilet or folding an endless pile of laundry. My hope was that you would imagine me, in my business casual, typing in my home office while my children play quietly on the floor in their clean day clothes (I just laughed so hard I snorted).

So you, writer, can you “church up” your day to day? Can you paint a sexy picture of your #bedhairdontcare? Can you fool us into believing Beyonce ACTUALLY woke up like that? That is my challenge for you today. Tweet it, FaceBook it, Instagram it.

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#myromanticlife

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Not me. Not this time.

HappyBirthdayMy Love

I have never been the one to mess with. I have either always knew the rule or researched it enough to know whether my stance on the matter was right or wrong. Health/ dental insurance don’t mess with me.  I know my contract in and out. I know what I am “entitled to”.

“But Dacia, you’re a millennial, you’re not entitled to anything!

I am a ten year Army veteran. I have earned my health and dental plans. (But really they are my husband’s work’s so shut up. Yes I have ‘earned’ them)

So let me tell you women something. You do not have to agree with what they tell you.

You don’t have to go along because you don’t know any better

You can learn negative and detrimental things of you own past that bring to light something you held at high regard.

You can learn that ‘”protection” might not have actually saved you from the danger of your own family.

You can learn that after 32 years of existence, what you thought you had built your own foundation  on was a lie or was kept a secret from you, in hopes that it would go away.

I feel ashamed and defensive. I feel like I am owed the truth on the matter before I go chiseling at the details.

I feel that being so comfortably removed from the situation has, yes, saved me from the physical hurt that others have experienced but also left the remaining victims silent in their recovery, personal remorse, and unable to anonymously share their side of the story.

Ladies- You are not alone. Many have felt this pain. It is not my story to tell, but if you can help others by stepping up, then maybe it’s worth it.

It is time that you have felt this validation. That YOU know that you are loved despite the things that happened to you.

I grew up so far removed. My memories are locked in the photos I own. I try to apply principles to my own little family that has very different dynamics.

If you can please help me to understand why women lay so vulnerable to men;   not allowing their own voices to be heard. Why do you place your husband above the love of your children? Then I may be able to sleep tonight.

The Generation That Built Us

Having a daughter has completely derailed me. Things that I have kept high on a shelf, have come down to tiny hands that don’t understand the frailty of the memories they hold.

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This bunny has a good 25 years on her new owner.

My father being in the military, we rarely lived close to family. When we did go “home” to visit, we stayed with my grandmother; my father’s mother. I only just recently found out my own mother hated it. But my brother, sister and I loved everything about it. The cookie jar that held snack cakes instead of just plain ole cookies, the “haunted barn” we’d explore only supervised by my aunt, who would later in life become my roommate, the smell of coffee and cigarettes at all hours of the day, and Grandma. Her cooking, her gifts, her love, and her pride in us: the grandkids.

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Always so proud of us (I’m the bottom left of the main photo.. My cousin is the innocent by-standard. Her blog can be found HERE).

My Grandmother was the face of everything that the subsequent generations wanted to be to their family: the Matriarch. There was not a get together that she was not in the center of. Her cooking alone is enough for its own post.  It was never ever about what she bought us. What she gave us, she made with her own two hands. I am happy that even at a young age, I recognized the prize that was handed to me that Christmas.

Hand sewn bunnies, like the one gifted to me in the first photo, were given to all the granddaughters she had at the time. Many MANY more came later, but as her eye sight went, and her arthritis worsened, fewer things were sewn and less gifts were made.

And now as a mother, I treasure more the things my mother makes for me and my children. I want her to be proud of my children like my grandmother was proud of us. I want my daughter to know the line of strong women that she comes from. I also want her to know the value and worth behind taking a few abstract materials, a little bit of finesse and a lot of love and transforming it into an heirloom; a token of love and life that will transcend her own if treated delicately.

Grandma, thank you for sharing your gifts with us. I hope I do well to teach my kiddos of your diligence, your love and your pride in them. Even my littlest little who did not get to meet you. We love and miss you dearly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons YOU Should Be Crafting (Or Know Someone That Does)

Get your hands dirty

I have always been a quick learner, fairly crafty, and extremely cheap. So when I met my good friend Jasmine of The Jaybird’s Nest, I knew she was my people. Through the years she has taught me some very valuable things. Not only that, but she helps me raise my kids. For this, I am indebted to her forever. lol So let me tell you some fun things she has taught me about crafting.

  1. It’s a marketable skill. If you decide you are done working and ready to “stick it to the man”, you have a means by which to support yourself. Now I’m not a HUGE dooms day prepper, but let’s face it, if you can make things then you can trade things. People need clothes. If you can crochet, knit, or sew then BAM, you’re a valuable asset.
  1. Signs, Signs, and more SIGNS!!! Nothing boosts your mood like a well-placed snarky sign. The possibilities are endless. Christmas, Halloween, even spring!! They make me happy, they make you happy. Everyone needs more happy. PLUS you save a bazillion dollars on decorating your home. Find some ugly furniture with good bones at a yard sale, and wha-la! You can transform it to match your décor without dropping a few hundred dollars at ikea.
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Picture by The Jaybird’s Nest- Mass production underway.

  1. OMG kids are much cuter in something that was custom made for them. This should actually be its own post. I am fighting the urge to just not leave an explanation and flood the rest of this with adorable pictures of children and homemade stuffs.
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My Little Miss. Her shirt, the sheet, and the frame were made by The Jaybird’s Nest.

  1. Cheaper than therapy- Plus emotions BLECK! There is something about finishing a project that really teaches you a lot about yourself. Whether that “finish” means you return it to the trash where you got it, or it ends up as the beautiful piece you envisioned all along, you learn how much patience you have, how much coffee you can consume, and how long you can actually ignore your children whining about “She’s touching meeeee” Seriously, she can’t even crawl. Just scoot 5 more inches and you are safe from your octopus-banshee sister. Sheesh!

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  1. Supporting small business. For some crafters, your support could help them buy yet another pair of cleats because the ones they bought last week no longer fit. For others (like me) it saved me money on having to BUY you a Christmas present so that I could buy my guy another Stay Puft Marshmellow Man because he lost his at the doctor’s office.
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The Jay Bird’s Nest “Before”

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The Jaybird’s Nest “After”

I make things because I have a driving need to be creative as most crafters do. It is a healthy outlet, plus power tools make me feel… Powerful? lol And when that one project turns out so good, you want everyone to see it when they come over, there is nothing like that feeling of accomplishment. Or you could just be happy you finished something before starting a fifth project.

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I did this yesterday. It was the cushioned backing of an UGLY bench. Now it’s a beautiful photo board 😀

I asked my mister yesterday (while I was painting in the kitchen and MAYBE i got a little paint on the counter) if he was annoyed with my crafting. He said no, not at all, but he just wishes that I would finish my projects before starting them so I don’t have a dresser hanging out in the garage, taking up space for a couple of years before I ultimately abandon it anyway. But hey, you win some, you lose some.

Why do you craft???

Six Facts Sunday- Domestic Violence-Please Share!! It could save a life.

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Today’s facts are not happy ones, but they are true to far more women than should be. Domestic violence is “violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving abuse of a spouse  or partner” is the google definition. For some reason, this very clear explanation comes with some grey areas that I want cleared up.

  1. NO ONE deserves to be hit, manipulated or forced to remain in a situation that is unhealthy. If you would not want your daughter in the situation, you need to get help.
  2. These are some signs that someone is being abused.
    1. they are afraid of their partner or are anxious to please them
    2. stops seeing friends and family or cuts phone conversations short
    3. their partner often critizes them in front of others
    4. they are forced by their partner to do sexual things
    5. their partner controls the money in the relationship
    6. they might mention their partners temper, jealousy or possessiveness
    7. they become depressed, lose their confidence are very withdraw or anxious
    8. they have physical injuries with unlikely explanations
    9. if they leave for any amount of time for any reason, the partner constantly calls, harasses, or follows them
  3. What can I do as a friend? BE SUPPORTIVE. Judgement and criticism will discourage a person from opening up and being honest. Understand that it may seem like a private matter, but your support can make a difference. To suspect and do nothing fosters far worse consequences.
    1. Listen to what they have to say
    2. Believe what they tell you
    3. Take the abuse seriously
    4. Help them recognize the abuse
    5. Let them know how incredibly brave they are. They need confidence in themselves, now more than ever. THE ABUSE IS NOT HER FAULT!
    6. Help them protect themselves
    7. Discuss what they can do and offer practical assistance
    8. Respect their right to make decisions
    9. Maintain regular contact with them
  4. They might stay for a number of reasons. Mostly they love the person they are with. They might be afraid of what would happen to them if they leave. They are scared of getting into legal trouble. They might stay because they have all the same mutual friends and they feel there is no safe place for them to go. Understand there is nothing wrong with her and it is not her fault if she has not left. It is possible that she has been manipulated to think that she could not make it without her partner they are stupid and worthless to everyone because of past decisions she has made. These are lies.
  5. What can they do? For anonymous confidential help 24/7 anyone can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 as soon as they can. They can just ask for advice and will not be forced into anything. They can request information as well. They can also call 911 anytime they feel in danger, even if the abuse happened the day before.
  6. People die from domestic violence. This horrifying fact has wrecked my world. I wish I had known the signs and knew she was reaching to me for help before the worst occurred. I will not stand by and let it happen again to someone I love. So if you are reading this and I have described your current relationship even just a little, PLEASE reach out to me or anyone else, call the number above, please get help. You deserve to be happy and feel safe and loved.

MileStones

This has been a big week for milestones. I announced that I will be participating in a major writing challenge in March, I hit 100 followers and quickly surpassed it, then yesterday, I was informed that I had posted my 50th post.

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And I am still picking up momentum. As I sat to writing this, one of my posts was shared by a site with over 10,000 followers. I am flattered and excited to get more of my writing out there to more people. Thank you David Snape.

In honor of all these HUGE events, I wanted to offer some teasers for the give away happening in a few short days.

There is still time to enter into the Give-Away!

How do I enter???

First- Follow my blog by clicking the “+Follow” button at the bottom right side of your screen.

Reblog your favorite Britestfyrefly post on your own page and link it back to me so I know who you are.
Share the link to one of your favorite posts on Facebook and tag me.
Email the link to your favorite post to a few people and CC me.
You may share as much as you want. Each link shared will get you an entry into the drawing which will happen Live on Facebook on February 28th and be posted and shared later that day.

These are some of the items I have considered giving away:

One crochet item, one custom sign, and one shutter project. Good luck everyone and Thank you all for all of your support through the last couple of years. A writer is nothing without readers 😀

100!!! -I’m doing a Give-Away!

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There have been a few events that make me feel like a legitimate writer. This is one of them. I have reached 100 followers on my Blog! I know a lot of you read from FaceBook, but if you’d like to contribute to my following click the “+Follow” button at the bottom right side of your screen and follow me via email.

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In honor of my HUGE milestone, I would like to offer a give away. I will do a random drawing for a custom artsy fartsy project handmade by yours truly. I haven’t quite put my finger on what it will be, but I promise it will be made with love. ❤ There will be 3 winners, so your chances of winning something are pretty high. I will also ship these items, so please do not feel limited by miles. For an idea of the kind of crafty things I do, you can check THIS  out.

How do I enter??? 

First- Follow my blog! lol Then you have a few options:

  1. Reblog your favorite Britestfyrefly post on your own page and link it back to me so I know who you are.
  2. Share the link to one of your favorite posts on Facebook and tag me.
  3. Email the link to your favorite post to a few people and CC me.

 

You may share as much as you want. Each link shared will get you an entry into the drawing which will happen Live on Facebook on February 28th and be posted and shared later that day.

Thank you all for all of your support through the last couple of years. A writer is nothing without readers 😀