Jane, Henry and Waldo

 

Long time, no blog!

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving spent with family and friends!

I’ve had a very exciting past few weeks.

This deer season was my first time hunting (and by hunting, I really mean sitting on the back porch of a friend’s house and scoping out their backyard for deer that come wandering through). But it worked because I got a deer! I’d say opening weekend was one of the most exciting weekends I’ve had in a long time. I killed my first deer whom I named Jane, the famous Waldo was shot, and I got my first Henry.

It wasn’t even 10 minutes into the first morning of deer hunting when I killed my doe. My other friends each got a deer as well. One of them caught the famous Waldo, a 10 point buck. It was a successful hunt for everyone that day.

In celebration of a successful deer hunt and Jane, I decided to go out and buy myself my very first firearm, a .22 Henry. I’ve had my eye on a Henry for a while now but was waiting for the right moment and this was it. My .22 Henry won’t kill any deer but it will sure kill smaller game like opossum, rabbits, coons and squirrels. I shot my first animal, a opossum, with a .22 Henry. The rifle I used to shoot Jane was also a Henry. It was a .45 colt, so you could say I have a special love for Henry’s.

I finally understand the excitement and adrenaline rush everyone talks about with hunting. I can’t wait for my next hunt!

 

 

Happy hunting, and thank you for reading!

 

 

 

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hindsight is 15/10

English 1510: Introduction to Fiction. That’s the class I waited to take for four years. I took classes every summer in hopes I would have a free slot one semester to take English 1510. Due to poor scheduling or a heavy class load, English 1510 never happened for me.

Knowing where I’m at now, if I could go back and re-do my academic career at MU, I would switch one of my majors with my minor. I ended up with two degrees in journalism and psychology and a minor in english. However, I would swap out my degree in psychology and double major in english instead. I love psychology, and I truly believe I’m using it at my job and in my every day life, but I would have really benefited with a major in english and a minor in psychology today. Don’t get me wrong, I am where I am because I majored in journalism. As much as I had a tough time at the J-School, I am really really thankful I stuck with it and ended up with a bachelors in journalism.

Throughout my four years at MU I considered myself a wanna-be english major. I really don’t know why I didn’t switch from psychology to english when I had the chance. I think because as I was entering the spring of my junior year that’s when I really knew I wanted it. It was after having Professor Melnyk that really made me want to be an english major. I had a friend who took that class with me who actually switched from being a journalism major to english after that semester. Dr. Melnyk was absolutely brilliant. I was seriously contemplating going to graduate school for english. Dr. Melnyk and Dr. West made me want to be an english professor, so I could influence others the way they influenced me. But I digress.

If I majored in english I would have emphasized in creative writing. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a good story. At the J-School we wrote tons of stories. Some long some really short and most of all they were true stories. A few times I got to write a fiction story for writing exercises, but they were few and far between. Those were my favorite, but I never felt like I was any good at them. Especially when we had to read them aloud in class. I’m pretty sure mine was the worst out of the whole class. I excelled at non-fiction but was mediocre at fiction.

I just think if I took a class focusing on characterization, plot, setting, scenes etc., I would be a better storyteller. The best storytellers are versatile. They can tell any kind of story and tell it well. I’ve been listening to podcasts that focus on creative writing. Just because I “graduated” I know it doesn’t mean it’s too late to take creative writing classes, but I just wish I took advantage of my time in college.

Not taking any creative writing classes makes writing fiction difficult for me because I’m less confident. I will tell you I am the most self-conscious published writer you’ll ever meet. I’m even more self-conscious with my fiction writing. “Will anyone want to read this? Is this even worth someone’s time?” Those are the kind of questions that fly through my head as I’m trying to piece together the beginning of any story. At the end of the day, I usually scrap what I’ve written because I let my insecurities take over.

I love writing, so I’m not burned out on that. I guess I struggle worrying too much about what other people think and if my writing is compelling enough that it’ll capture the attention of someone else. I’m subjective to my own writing, so to me of course I’m interested and would want to read more, but how do I know that someone else isn’t interested.

I really wish I would’ve majored in journalism and english. Oh well, I can’t do anything about it now except for give advice. So, if you know you love english and you’re majoring in journalism for job security I say do both! Do one to make your parents happy and then do the other to make you happy. You’ll thank me later.

happy back to school,

Thanks for reading.

don’t forget to be awesome

Hi friends!

I am about a month and a half away from seeing one of my favorite authors, John Green at a book tour. You might have heard of a few of his bestselling books including: Paper Towns and The Fault in our Stars. I can’t tell you how much I love John Green’s writing and storytelling. I think he is absolutely brilliant. The summer after my freshman year of college I decided to start reading his books. It was a good thing I was only taking one class during the summer because I devoured every one of his books.

Of course, reading his books made me interested in who he was as a person. I checked out his website and found he had a YouTube channel. One of my favorite things about John Green is his engagement with his readers. He is incredibly personal and intentionally makes himself available to his readers through social media (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, etc.). He also has a vlog (video blog) channel on YouTube where he and his brother, Hank, post videos every Tuesday and Friday communicating to each other. I also love the fact that he provides educational videos like his crash courses in various subjects such as History, English, Psychology. He’s combining his platform and technology in the best way possible. I have several authors I adore. There are so many who write riveting stories that keep you engaged and bring light to so many causes and social issues worldwide.

As much as I believe stories have the power to change lives and move mountains, I also believe people behind the stories have that power too. What makes books so great is the mass impact it has on a community, nation and world. Once readers are engaged in a book they are sold on the author. But many authors aren’t out there continuing awareness of different issues. They tend to focus on what’s next for them. And sometimes that is looking into another social issue or organization that needs to be highlighted, but John Green is an exception to most authors. Every year he has a fundraiser in December  called Project For Awesome and raises millions of dollars for multiple organizations that not only he chooses but also those who engage with him. He also hosts a campaign about not forgetting to be awesome. It’s refreshing as a reader to have such access to a writer. Sure, giving him a follow on Twitter and Instagram is nice, but John Green intentionally seeks his readers. He asks us for questions to include in his Question Tuesday videos or what his next YouTube challenge should be.

I can hardly wait for September to come around. I have a tremendous amount of respect for John and his brother, Hank, Green.

Thanks for reading, and as John Green would say, “don’t forget to be awesome!”

how to lose a cat in 10 days…or seconds

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I adopted a cat. Well…more like a young catolescent. She’s not a kitten, but she isn’t a full grown cat either. She is eight months old. I’ve had her for just shy of a week now and each day is filled with wild adventures and endless mamarazzi sessions of me snapping photos and videos of her.

I named her Juniper Beatrice. I call her an assortment of pet names (i.e. Junie B., June, Junie, Juno, June Bug, etc.) like most pet owners. Sadly, Libby passed away a couple months ago. It was incredibly difficult to say goodbye to my little buddy. Sometimes, I still sniffle thinking about her. Libby was 12 years old whenever I adopted her. It would be a little surprising if you saw her though because she acted as if she were only three or four years old. She was very social, petite and at times playful. It has been a crazy turn around going from a 12 year old cat to a eight-month-old catolescent. Junie B. is a wild thing. She has spurts of energy where she runs around like crazy and you can’t find her. It’s like she’s playing hide and seek, but when you go close to her she’ll run for another hiding spot. It’s definitely a game for her though, she’s not hiding from me in a devilish way…or I hope not. I’ll go around the house calling her name, and I’ll hear a whoosh and a flash of orange and you know she’s on the run. One of the biggest differences between her and Libby is that she isn’t as vocal as Libby was. Libby used to talk to me all the time, but June Bug doesn’t really talk as much. And when she does meow, it’s more of squeak more than anything. It’s been pretty fun having her around. I enjoy having company again. She keeps me on my toes and loves to play with me.

Stay tuned for more wild videos with Juno!

post-grad is pretty rad

I am an unapologetic nerd. I love school. I love taking notes during class and rewriting them in another notebook afterward. I love making flashcards for my psychology quiz and putting together presentations to convince my classmates that Sherlock Holmes is by far the greatest detective of all times. I love studying for exams and I mean studying. Not having 15 PowerPoint’s up and clicking through them, but actually studying the material and reading the textbooks. I was really nervous about the transition from school to work. School is so engaging for me. Once we finish a chapter or unit, it’s onto the next. I feel like I’m moving forward, but with work I was afraid I was going to feel like a hamster on the wheel. I’d be moving but always stuck in the same place. I’m still getting the hang of things, but it’s gone much better than I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong,  I’m still a bit nostalgic since work doesn’t require me to study or make flashcards anymore. But by all means work keeps me pretty busy. I feel like I’m not in the study zone as much and more in the productive zone.

Without school meetings and activities in the evening, I have quite a bit of free time. So far, I’ve been spending it catching up with friends. School never stopped me from reading for pleasure or reading in general, but without required reading it has made reading more enjoyable for me. I’m slowly crossing off the books from my “read for 2014” list. I know, I know I’m a little behind but hey, I’m chugging along.

I also have more time to write for fun. You would think working at a desk job where I write all day would make me not want to write when I get home, but actually it’s quite the opposite. I still enjoy writing in my free time, and this is how I envisioned post-grad life. I would work my day job and then work as a creative writer in the evenings. I mean that is my end-all goal. I want to publish a book and be a writer and you become a writer by writing, right? Anyway, so far so good. Post-grad life is pretty rad.

Thanks for reading!

and I will write 500 words, and I will write 500 more

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first day on the job! June 25, 2018

 

I never dreamed part of my job would be watching YouTube videos of how to fillet a fish or the proper way to use a gut hook knife when field dressing.  The irony is that I’m absolutely disgusted by the sight (and smell) of dead bodies. “Working” at my desk I’ve had to keep my disgusted facial expressions to an absolute minimum as I’m watching yet another “how to gut a deer” video. I’ve only been here for four days, and I don’t want to set myself up to be the office scapegoat.

Please don’t mistake this unpleasant part of having to endure hours upon hours of watching field dressing or skinning a fish deter you from believing I love my job. Because I LOVE MY JOB! I don’t mean to boast obnoxiously, but I seriously do have the best job I could ever ask for. As a copywriter I sit at my desk all day and write. Friends, I’m living out my dream!!! I mean what more could I ask for? The best part of it is I’m not on a strict deadline or feel an enormous amount of pressure. I plug in my headphones, sip my water and write. In high school when I would study I loved listening to film scores, so when I’m at the office and it’s time to start writing I search YouTube for random film scores and get to work. I love the actual writing almost as much as I love coming to work. Everyone here is incredibly kind and laid back. It’s a casual work environment that extends the warmest smiles to everyone who walks through the door.

I was nervous coming in as a copywriter. Having to write for certain media outlets you tend to have to write what your bosses want and you don’t get to add your own voice as much. Writing to please them feels like getting your vocal chords stripped from you. I absolutely hated it, but here it’s unbelievably freeing. My supervisor and bosses are the most easy going people I think I have ever met. I know they will approve just about anything I send them. They appreciate and encourage my wittiness.

American Outdoor Brands really know how to take care of their employees. We’re a team here, and I love that aspect. I played basketball in high school, and one of the things I miss from that is that team feeling. This “we’re all in this together” type of feel. I haven’t even been here for a week and already I feel like I’ve belonged here my whole life. I’m looking forward to all the more disgusting videos and awesome film scores I’ll come across.

 

Thank you for reading!

P.S. If you know of any good film scores shoot me a message! I love discovering new music.

gone fiction

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My first fish! May 5, 2018

 

If you spend one afternoon with me, you will learn pretty quickly that I love books. I love talking about them almost as much as I love reading them and holding them and tracing the titles on their spine with my index finger. If the conversation is dwindling, my go-to is to start chatting about books to resurrect it. I just can’t help myself. It’s not only a conversation saver, but in fact it’s my favorite conversation to have. I find if you want to know someone, ask them what their favorite book is. To me, it’s a good judge of character because it’s incredibly telling of what they value.

I love talking about books, and I could talk about them forever. I’m always on the hunt for new book recommendations (so if you’re reading a good book right now, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message because I’m all in). In fact, I imagined by dream job would have something to do with books. Though that dream is still floating around, for now I feel like I landed a dream first job out of college.

I think most people shrug at the thought of copywriters. They’re not entirely sure what they do (no worries, I wasn’t either) but have an understanding that they for sure have a place in the office nonetheless. Honestly, copywriting sounded fairly basic. I was anticipating a lot of proofreading and having my AP Stylebook in hand. I thought I would write a bit, but nothing that allowed me to stick a voice to it. As far as I was concerned, I’d be writing how-to manuals for toasters and microwaves.

One of the first jobs I applied to was a copywriting position. I applied to other communication positions and a few human service positions, but what I was most interested in was a place where I could write, because I love writing! Fast forward a couple weeks and here I am gearing up for my first job fresh out of college. I have little, if any, experience to claim as a “please pick me” candidate, but this company took the risk, and I’m excited to prove to them I am worth it. Of course, I will let them down at some point and have some major “yikes” moments, but I’m confident with their patience and encouragement this will be one of the most influential seasons of my life.

I say this because this job not only involves a lot of writing, but a lot of learning. I will be leaning in all hands on deck learning and listening and taking a bunch of notes and plenty of videos and pictures to remember everything I’m supposed to. This particular job requires me to go way outside my comfort zone and try new things that make me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. The first part of this job requires me to learn how to fish.

If you take me to a seafood restaurant, I think you will know right off the bat that fish (and all types of seafood, really) is at the bottom of the food pyramid for me. When I was younger, I pretended I was allergic to seafood because that’s how much I disliked it. I also am terrified of the dead body. I have been ever since I was a child. Any dead bodies of animals or anything terrifies me. You can imagine how much my family is giving me a hard time after landing this job because now I’ll have to face my greatest fear along with my total dislike for slimy, gooey, yucky fish. I am in full agreement with Bruce the shark from Finding Nemo when he says, “Fish are friends, not food.”

This next season of life will be quite the adventure for me. I’m excited and nervous, terrified and eager. I’ll have to say goodbye to my “Gone Fiction” sign for now and swap it for the real one. The fun part in all of this is the fact that I have unlimited fish puns to work from. But if you know of some better fish puns….let minnow!

 

Thanks for reading!