Quarantine Fever: 50 Things I've Never Been Asked #30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 13

March 20th, 2020 8:30pm – oh, some fun questions

1. What is the color of your hairbrush? – I don’t use a hairbrush. Fingers only.

2. Name a food you’d never ever eat. – Shellfish

3. Are you typically too warm or too cold? – Too cold

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? – Checking out TikTok Dancing

5. What is your favorite candy bar? – Not a bar. Justin’s Peanut Butter cups DARK Chocolate only. Yes, I’m bougie like that nowadays.

6. Have you ever been to a professional sports event? – I’m originally from Boston. It’s mandated for every child born in the state.

7. What is the last thing you said out loud? – “Oh my God! You’re a f*cking Moron!” Screaming at TV watching “someone” doing a press conference.

8. What is your favorite ice cream? – I don’t eat dairy anymore. But it used to be chocolate chip!

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? – Water

10. Do you like your wallet? – I get compliments ALL THE TIME. It’s very unique.

11. What was the last thing you ate? – Spinach Salad w/Chicken

12. Did you buy any new clothes last weekend? – No.

13. The last sporting event you watched? – NBA Championship 2019 😦

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? -Popcorn is not my jam, so just regular, I guess. At the movies, sharing it with someone.

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? – My friend Mia

16. Ever go camping? – Yes!

17. Do you take vitamins? – No.

18. Do you go to church every Sunday? – If you mean the beach, then yes. I go three times a week at least.

19. Do you have a tan? – Born this way. Don’t be hatin’.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? – I prefer Chocolate Cake above all else. But sure, Chinese food, if you mean American Chinese food over pizza wins every time.

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? – No.

22. What color socks do you usually wear? – depends on the outfit. Prefer NO socks.

23. Do you ever drive above the speed limit? – Not on purpose.

24. What terrifies me? – The pain I see in others that I cannot fix or help them with.

25. Look to your left, what do you see?American Collector Magazine with Barack & Michelle Obama on the cover.

26. What chore do you hate? – Doing my own bookkeeping.

27. What do you think of when you hear an Australian accent? – Hot men?  My friend Andrea and I were just talking about how men with accents trump all other “must have’s” in men. Hahahaha! 

28. What’s your favorite soda? – Root beer

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru? – Drive thru.

30. What is your favorite number? – 12

31. Who’s the last person you talked to? – Beata

32. Favorite cut of beef? – New York steak, short loin

33. Last song you listened to? – “River” Bishop Briggs

34. Last book you read? – “The Alchemist” again.

35. Favorite day of the week? – Saturday morning

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? – Yes. (the trick: write it down first.)

37. How do you like your coffee? – with Almond creamer

38. Favorite pair of shoes? – My old school Jimmy Choo Classic Boots, Tamara Mellon MJ Patent, Office of Angela Scott  Mr. Colin Monkstrap  ßit depends on what I’m wearing that day.  Favorite pair for shoes is too big!

39. Time you normally go to bed? – 10pm-ish.

40. Time you normally get up? – between 4:30am-5:30am

41. What do you prefer, sunrise or sunsets? – Sunrise. My favorite time of day. 

42. How many blankets on your bed? – That’s too personal.

43. Describe your kitchen plates? – Blue-ish grey.

44. Do you have a favorite alcoholic beverage? – Red, with chocolate notes.

45. Do you play cards? – War? That’s all I know.

46. What color is your car? – “Champagne” – that’s what it says.

47. Can you change a tire? – Yes, but never have.  Nails.

48. Your favorite state? – To be in a state of joy. Laughter. 

49. Favorite job you ever had? – Speaking on stage.

50. How did you get your biggest scar? – I jumped out of a window and my knee caught the fencing and sliced open. I was a teenager.

That was fun — just for a little change of pace!

Hugs.

Carmen

We Are Better Than This #30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 12

March 19th, 2020 7:20pm – We Are Better Than This

What I didn’t plan on, what I didn’t foresee is how much my arm and wrist would hurt with all this additional writing.  It’s not just that I’m typing later in the day – In the past, I’ve written for hours at a time and never flinched.  But with this whole coronavirus situation, my whole way of doing things been has thrown in so many surprising ways.  I’ve been using social media that much more and writing (by hand) in the morning, typing throughout the day and then trying to type at night, I’m definitely feeling it in my right hand and arm.  I never understood what carpal tunnel was/is, but I do now.  The strain is real.

As I’m writing this, Governor Newsom (California) just announced a “stay at home” order for all of California.  Hmmm. About time. I’m so okay with this – we’ve had this in place in Los Angeles for a bit of time anyways.  It’s all good. I’m happy to do what I can to help my fellow Angelinos and my fellow Americans to stay safe.  This is easy.  We’re in this together and we’ll get through all of this ONLY by caring about one another.  Kind of crazy though, right? 

I want to mention I was on Facebook and pretty much reprimanded a few people who were inflaming people and freaking people out.  I don’t know why people enjoy almost gossiping or sharing crappy stuff?  I honestly don’t understand the point most days.  I mean, sharing something that may be an injustice so people are aware of it is one thing, but sharing people behaving badly – like freaking out over toilet paper?  I don’t know.  We are better than this.  All of us. If people are behaving badly out of fear, don’t exploit it. Help people calm down. Relax.  And remind them we’ll get through this together.

By the way, there’s plenty in this country for supply. But if you keep hording, there is not enough for your neighbors.  Take a breath. Be considerate. Be kind. Be a loving human being. Yeah, let’s bring that back. A loving and considerate American. THAT is my American dream.  That we all get back to loving each other for reals.  Yeah, yeah, I know it’s kind of kumba-ya-like, but isn’t that the real American dream?  Where we all feel safe and supported?  Hmm… Maybe it’s a Global-human-dream. 

Okay, yeah, I need to stop writing right now… my hand hurts and I’m a little over-top even for myself.  Ha! 

But hey, if you’re gonna dream, you might as well dream big! 

#30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 10 & Day 11

March 16th, 2020  9:20pm  –  Oh, all this social distancing is making people nicer!

Yesterday I wrote a piece for the AuthorToolsBoxBlogHop that I belong to so I didn’t write for my personal night time writing challenge for Day 10. Well, I did write, but not for THIS.  Hmmm. In the future, I may have to include days that I actually write for a BlogHop or for another reason as a “day” of the writing challenge anyways.

Today’s joy was easy. A woman was walking toward me as I was out for my daily jog and as she noticed me, she went to cross the street. Everyone is doing this – we’re all moving out of each other’s way. But as she crossed on over, she waved to me and said, “Have a great workout”.  I smiled and waved back. 

No biggy.

But it happened again with a guy on a bike. Then another woman walking her dog – she waved and said, “Good morning”. Everyone is keeping their distance, being careful, but adding a “Hello” or a wave and a smile. 

Maybe my bar is so low that I was surprised at the kindness.  Or maybe, in a crisis, the best of who we are prevails anyways.

Yeah, I’m gonna believe in the latter.  I just have too.

On my Walk in the Rain Today

Create Your Own Challenge #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop #Writing

As I’m writing this piece, I’m in the middle of a 30 day challenge I created for myself.

The idea was rather simple: could I find a way to write — actually physically type — on my laptop some of my thoughts from my morning journal? See, I write — hand write — every day in a journal. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. And I keep those journals, which are black hardcover bound sketchbooks, and that’s how I came to write my first book. It wasn’t my intention but it was time to shred all of those sketchbooks I had in storage. So many boxes and taking up too much space so one day, I started randomly going through them. Some, if not most it, felt like junky writing — because, let’s face it — that’s what journaling is all about, writing anything and everything. But then I found these pieces. These moments in time. Scenes that made sense. They were heart-warming and poignant. The book Canela formed almost instantaneously.

I shredded about 25 boxes of journals.

For whatever reason, habit really, when I wake in the morning, I have to write. And sometimes that stuff is so good! And I keep thinking, “If I could just write like THIS on my blog, maybe other people would enjoy this or have feedback or help me with ideas…” or whatever. The point is, I always want to share parts of my journaling but I can’t. I just can’t.

And I had to ask myself why?

The biggest reason is because once I know I’m writing for someone else to read, OTHER than myself, my hand-writing changes. The other problem is that something’s lost in the translation. I write in English, so it’s not a language thing. But if I start typing out what I wrote by hand to put it up on my blog, I start editing, I start “fixing” sentences and hell, it just becomes such chore.

So, I wanted to see if I could change my habit and/or just challenge myself. I decided to try and share my thoughts with my blogging friends but instead of sharing my morning journal-therapy session with everyone, why not instead try to share something else? Why not type directly in WordPress at the END OF DAY and see if that churns up any decent thoughts.

I didn’t want to put too many guard rails on it. I wanted to feel like I could write about absolutely anything at all. One thing I do before I go to bed anyways is a recap of my day. It’s not a writing thing, just a thinking thing. I never to go to bed angry, so I always try and find something joyful to pull from my day to remind myself that no matter what’s happened, that the day had a piece of joy in it, worth remembering (actually this works, everyone should try it!).

So why am I telling you all of this? Because I think I’ve grown as a writer these past 15 days. I’m half way through my personal writing challenge as I’m writing for this #AuthorToolboxBlogHop and I’ve changed. How? Well, in the simplest way, I’ve been able to write more easily using the keyboard verses a pen. Clearly that’s a ME “growth” thing and most people probably don’t have this issue. But my morning journal is still my therapy, my private ramblings, but my evening writing has been this newfound voice and joy… That’s the second way I’ve grown as a writer! There’s a freedom in my writing that I hadn’t felt before this challenge. I’m excited, in a different way, to share. I still have the second half of the month to go — so who knows what else I’ll learn, but I do know this: it was a great idea to just challenge MYSELF instead of jumping on some other formal “competition” or “writing program” or another blog hop (I love this blog hop, I’m just saying).

Challenging yourself to something different in how you write just changes things up a bit. It’s like a refresh button. Or maybe a reSET button? I once challenged myself to only write a paragraph every day for a week after blindly picking a random word from a dictionary I had on my bookshelf. That was so hard! I remember being baffled by it. Most of the time I didn’t really understand the word’s meaning I picked. Ha! But it was a good challenge to change things up a bit. I’ve also done the normal kind of challenges where you try to write from a different perspective or tried different types of writing… I attempted to write poetry once. Uhem, so not my thing!

My point is simply this: Do something to challenge yourself. Stretch those writing muscles! Do it for a couple of days, a week or a month. But if you’re needing a little “pick-me-up” and/or you’re feeling like you could use a little change of pace to brighten up that old trusty writer’s brain or you suffer from that age old term, “writer’s block”, then give it a try. Try a little challenge of your own. Oh, and if you do, please share!

#30 Days Trying to Find Joy Challenge – Day 10

Saturday, March 14th, 2020 – Saturday working, grateful & Marvel

Today’s joy, just happened. I finished working on a data-entry project I needed to do for a client on the East Coast by Tuesday. But yup, I ran errands early this morning (grocery store run which was… well, pretty okay considering the crazy Coronavirus times we’re living in) and then, came home, sat in-front of my computer and “data-entry’d” myself away. And now, I’m done! Yes.

The rest of the evening will be taken over by a glass of wine and a little Marvel. I think I’m in the mood for Dr. Strange. I love that scene right before The Ancient One dies and they have that awesome exchange. Yeah, I’m gonna watch that tonight, at least until I fall asleep — and just be grateful that for today, in this moment, I truly am okay.

Good night / Good morning my friends.

Carmen

For those who are NOT Marvel fans, you may not care for this clip — but thought I’d post it for those who want a quick Marvel pick-me-up. I love this scene: