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Crossing the Finish Line

30 Nov

Well, I did it. I survived NaBloPoMo 2013. I honestly can’t believe that this is the last post because it seems like yesterday I was only a week in, and telling my roommate that I couldn’t imagine lasting three more weeks.

This is how I feel on the inside right now:

winner, trophy

Winner winner chicken dinner

Would I do it again? To answer that I’ll need to do a recap.

Stats

5 Writing Tips I Learned During NaBloPoMo

29 Nov

inspiration, writing, daily prompt, writers, sign, quoteNaBloPoMo is hard, ya’ll. Writing is in my blood, and yet, at this stage in the game I’m ready to throw in the towel on writing forever. I’ve fatigued my brain, and I’m sure some of you may have noticed the quality of my posts going down.

I’ve always thought NaBloPoMo would be much easier than NaNoWriNo simply because of the variety and lesser word count that it allows. What I failed to realize (for the second year in a row) is that NaBloPoMo requires 30 consecutive finished pieces rather than one piece which can be edited at a later time. In this way, it can be much more challenging.

Aside from the writing itself, it has been difficult to stay inspired. If you normally write twice a week, it would take you 15 weeks (or almost 4 months) to write 30 posts. A lot of stuff can happen in 4 months which would make for interesting blog material.

This is why learning ways to engage the “Hey that would make a good post!” side of your brain is important. Below are ways I’ve coped during this month of hell awesome blog challenge. Continue reading

No Thanks

28 Nov

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I’d like to think it’s because of the time spent with family eating good food, and giving thanks. It’s actually because I was born on Thanksgiving the year I was born, and I enjoy focusing on things relating to me.

I’m sure there will be several posts today talking about what bloggers are thankful for. People will mention their family, their health, their children. All the posts will be beautifully written, and at this point in NaBloPoMo, my brain is in meltdown mode. I can’t compete.

This is why, instead of telling you what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, I’ll just tell you what I could really do without.

Christmas Music

When most people think of hell, they imagine a fiery inferno that they’ll be enslaved in for the rest of eternity. When I think of hell, it looks like sharing a jail cell with Rush Limbaugh while Christmas music plays 24 hours a day. “Jingle Bell Rock” makes me want to kick myself in the face, and I’m pretty sure “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” is the inspiration for many a serial killer. The fact that it begins playing earlier every year actually makes me think conspiracy theorists might be right, and the government may actually be practicing some form of mind control on the masses.

rush limbaugh, christmas, liberal, satan, humor Continue reading

32 Life Lessons in 32 Years

27 Nov

I’m back! Did you all miss me? My best friend had a little too much fun time guest posting yesterday. I saw him Googling “ways to overthrow your roommate and take over her blog” last night. I’m scared.

Every year on his birthday, a friend of mine publishes a list of lessons he has learned in the last year with the number of things determined by the age he’s turning. I’ve always thought this was a great idea, and wanted to celebrate my birthday this year by doing the same.

Here is the list of 32 life lessons I’ve learned (or at least finally accepted) in my 32 years of life:

  1. You always have choices in life. Your choices may suck, but you still have them.
  2. No matter how much you think someone is “The One” they aren’t if they can’t give you the relationship you need.
  3. Life is unfair at times, and bad things will happen to good people.
  4. It’s important to know when to pull the walls down, and let someone into your life.
  5. Conversely, it’s good to know when to put them up, and kick someone out of your life. Continue reading

Birthday Break

26 Nov

As some of you may know, I have never had anyone guest post on this blog. I’ve wanted people to post here, but as time went on, the pressure built up as to who the first person should be. The Chosen One.

My best friend/roommate approached me with the idea of writing a guest post for my birthday. When I realized I’d be able to take a day off during NaBlowMe, I wept with joy. This is better than any material gift a person could buy. Turning Sexy years old 32 years old has never been so great.

Please welcome my best friend Aric, President of the Hooked on Tonic Fan Club, and lead exotic dancer in my dreams. (P.S. He’s single, ladies! Inquire within.)

•••

Hello fans of Jen, one and all! I’m here to celebrate the awesomeness that is Jen and Tonic on her special day. Her birthday! You are all very important to her. She values the closeness and sense of  community you each have a part in creating at Sips of Jen and Tonic. I thought it would be worthwhile to give you all a peek into what life is like living under the same roof as this fun-sized, creative tornado.

Please ask any questions that you may have burning in your hearts about Jen in the comments section. My intention for this post is for it to be interactive, and I’ll gladly tell all! It’s hard to expose a woman who exposes herself to strangers regularly, but, you know, I’ll try. My name is Aric by the way. It’s nice to formally make your acquaintance. I’ve heard great things about most of you, and some terrible things about some of you. Rest assured, your secrets are safe with me, and her, and the neighbors. Continue reading

Unbreakable

25 Nov

Last night I became so enraged that I threw something.

This is highly unusual for me. I’m not the type of person who gets so angry that she throws a punch, or starts breaking her dishes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten upset about things, but I’ve never even considered getting physical.

One of the reasons I’m going to therapy is to get in touch with my emotions. I’ve spent most of my life being rather robotic in this regard. I experience setbacks, I stuff my feelings down, and I move on with my life.

This is not a method I recommend to anyone. You’ll think it’s working, but what’s really happening is that your feelings are lingering just beneath the surface. You can run away from them, but they’ll always catch up to you. Continue reading

In Total Control of Myself

24 Nov

bette davis, quote, bitch, women, opinionI’m a very straightforward person. I don’t blow smoke, and if you ask me for my honest opinion I’ll give it to you. I always exercise tact, but I never exercise kissass-ery.

“You were being kind of bitchy.”

That’s what a manager told me after a brainstorming session years ago. Someone had suggested a marketing initiative that was not only outdated, but completely out of tune with our core audience. I said as much; apparently I had offended a few people’s delicate sensibilities in the process.

I was flabbergasted when he took me aside and accused me of bitchery in the first degree. This was the same manager who had completely lot his shit on several occasions, acting completely unprofessionally towards his subordinates. He prided himself on “getting results” and asserted that it sometimes meant “stepping on peoples toes…hard.”

The majority of my career has been spent in Sales which I don’t recommend unless you like being surrounded by people who suffer from delusions of grandeur. It’s a male-dominated field predicated on having a commanding presence, and a “do what you have to do” approach. Continue reading

Writing Chose Me

23 Nov
virginia woolf, quote, writing, writer, writer's digest

Credit: Writer’s Digest

I don’t remember the first time I thought, “Hey, I’d like to write.” Some people have a specific incident they can point to as the exact moment they decided to become a writer. Truthfully, I think writing chose me.

I remember lying in the grass during summers at my grandparents’ house, staring up at the clouds and noticing them taking shape. I’d see dinosaurs, faces, hearts and bears. The idea that I may be the only one experiencing this kind of magic made me feel lonely. I desperately wanted to share what I was seeing with another person.

In junior high, our class read the book Where the Red Fern Grows together. We had to read some parts at home, and some parts were read aloud in class. The ending is quite sad, and I remember looking around the room and seeing my classmates crying. The idea that we were all sharing the same emotion, just because of a book, made a huge impact on me.

As I got older, books really began to give gave me a way to understand the world around me. I loved nonfiction, or fictional works which were (or seemed like they could be) based on true stories. I wanted to know about life, about real life. I understood that there were things happening outside of my very small world, and I wanted to know about all of them. Continue reading

Doing My Part

22 Nov

ronald reagan, quote, we can't help everyone but everyone can help someone, volunteer, philanthropy, helping otherI think I’ve talked about this on my blog before, but because I’m such a fan of my own work I can’t remember.

I want to change the world.

When I was a kid I’d see those Sally Struthers commercials for the Christian Children Fund, and would cry. The idea that there were so many people suffering killed me, and even at a young age, I understood the magnitude of global hunger.

Children were starving to death, and there was nothing I could do about it.

My high school required all of its students to volunteer as part of their yearly academic requirements. They were trying to raise the future leaders of America, and believed that service to others makes you a better human being.

When I was a sophomore I volunteered at an armory which had been turned into a homeless shelter/soup kitchen. It was clear that the man who ran the program loved what he did, and that his enthusiasm was a bright spot in the day of the people he served. Continue reading

The Truth About Jen

21 Nov

Yesterday I played “5 Truths and a Lie” to test you, my readers, on your knowledge of the real Jen. As a recap, your options were:

  • I’m an emergency preparedness nut
  • I know a martial arts technique which focuses on pressure points
  • I placed in a state free throw competition
  • I worked at a collection agency
  • I was dropped on my head as a kid
  • I have ear problems that cause church bells to go off in them every once in awhile

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of you guessed correctly. I am not, in fact, a martial arts badass who could take you out with the touch of a finger. A girl can dream.

I suppose the plethora of correct answers means that you are learning more about me from reading this blog. This shows how far I’ve come.

When I first began Sips of Jen and Tonic, I only wanted to post humor here. I like writers who have strong writing voices, and whose work is consistent. I recently told Le Clown that my goal has always been to write one way so well that you could identify my work even if my name wasn’t attached to it. Continue reading

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