six years of blogging (and how it changed my life)


So I completely forgot that on New Year’s Eve it was my blog’s sixth anniversary!

I have been purposefully absent from blogging this past year; and it was kind of weird. I’ve grown used to blogging about my personal life, about the things I learn as I struggle and grow. However, outside of some purposefully vague blog posts, I’ve been quiet about my life most of this year. I was concentrating on something very important to me and waiting for when I was secure enough to share it.

Well, tonight’s the night and I’m so happy that I waited! Some of you who keep up with me on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook already know what I’m talking about. 😉 But I’m ready to talk about it here. I haven’t planned or outlined any of this post, so hopefully me just explaining what I want to explain all makes sense. XD

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I’ve been building my first romantic relationship, with my best friend James, who lives in Georgia, for the past year.

Yeah; probably not shocking many of you who can read between the lines. XD But hey, this feels very official. XD Some of you who’ve been here awhile know James from his blog; several of you readers kinda grew up with us all together, watching Marvel movies, discussing Star Wars and growing up into college kids–you know who you are. 😉 ❤

Well, James and I met through our blogs back in 2011 and have been friends ever since. About a year ago, after several years of consistently skyping and being the best of friends, our true feelings between us surfaced. I’d had feelings for about six months or so, dropping hints which I thought he was not reading at all. Meanwhile, he’d been holding a crush for about three years (which he hid so well, because I had no idea!) and was absolutely terrified of somehow losing our friendship. So it was quite a big deal when “us” happened; when we began to talk it all out, along with how we could meet.

Our top priority in all of it was protecting our friendship: neither of us wanted to lose what we already had in our friendship. I mean, we loved talking every week about anime, about life, about anything really. Our friendship was too valuable to risk, so we entered the romantic waters very thoughtfully. It was not a walk in the park, people. We both experienced a lot of anxiety and fear during those early months. I was unsure how we could make us work at first, being so far apart and having not met in person, but I knew I wanted to try. I wanted to go slowly and make time for us figure it out, to adapt, to fully comprehend we really did “like like” each other, and spend enough time talking about everything we needed to. And we helped each other through the anxiety, the fear, the trust building!

We talked so much before we first met in May; with all the talking was the trust-building, honesty-building; being respectful, trying to be ourselves, learning more about ourselves as we learned more about what “we” were and could be. We messaged and skyped so much before we met, constantly talking out those fears. It was terrifying and absolutely amazing at the same time. We loved it. It was exciting, it was completely brand new! The butterflies were insane!

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Our first hug at the airport; he barely saw me coming, I was running so fast to reach his arms.

We had a lot of fears before we met, resolving some while I was there, and dealing with others after I went back home. (You can read about our first visit here, if you missed it; it’s tastefully written to exclude we were romantically involved at the time.)

I asked him not to ask me to be his girlfriend during that first visit because I wanted to return home without any ties to see how I felt. I wanted to make sure I loved him, not the idea of him. I wanted to be “just us” for awhile, if that makes sense: just James and Jamie, without any labels like boyfriend and girlfriend.

He very patiently let me take my time. I knew a couple months after coming home that I wanted to officially be together, to try to see if we could make it in the long run. I knew the distance didn’t matter, the distance didn’t effect how I felt. So we privately called each other boyfriend and girlfriend from then on and continued being just us, talking about us, before I returned to him just a few weeks ago.

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From our first official photo session as boyfriend and girlfriend.

He officially asked me to be his girlfriend when I returned, and we made it public on social media to enjoy being a couple without feeling like we had to hide it. (I wanted to take as many cute couple selfies while we were together, after all LOL.) We were both happy and felt safe in own feelings and in each other. We had worked so hard for a year to build us, so it was exciting and still is exciting, to share the fruit of all that work.

We will tell you we’ve already been together more than a year, though: 365 days of very, very hard and dedicated communication being “us”, discussing boundaries, discussing fears, building trust, sharing secrets, discussing fun things like anime as we always had, and figuring out what love was. We’re still doing all that now, really. We’re still learning what love is and becoming closer, stronger.

That’s why for a year I chose to keep us private, so we could grow and become stable without anyone’s input but our immediate circles. I’m so so happy that I chose to be slow and private, even though it meant neglecting my blog for a year. XD

I feel secure and free to talk about it now! Now that such a huge part of my life has received a solid foundation that I’m confident in, I feel like I can come back here (and my other blogs) and talk openly again about life: what I’m learning, what I’m feeling, what I’m doing again. I can refer to James as “boyfriend” on here now; I can be happy knowing that I truly love him very much, without any doubts. That I’m proud to have him as my special someone (and wow, he wins best boyfriend award in the world. How did crazy ol’ me get someone so patient, so empowering, so kind, so affectionate, so gentle, and so supportive? I’m incredibly blessed, you guys!)

So, I’m very excited to come back here, back home to this blog. Back to the place that made us possible.

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Because without starting this blog six years ago, I wouldn’t have met James.

Without this place for us to have gotten to know each other, none of what I just documented would have happened! Like woah…mind blown.

Without writing here, without sharing my fandom joys, my little silly thoughts, my painful life experiences, my personality expressing itself in its whacky funny way, James wouldn’t have wanted to get to know me better! XD We wouldn’t have shared watching the new Marvel movies together; we wouldn’t have commented on each other’s blogs as teenagers for years; he wouldn’t have started his old podcast in 2013 as a way to start skyping with me; we wouldn’t have become the unlikely opposites who get so much out our differences, yet discover so much common ground; we wouldn’t have had each other’s backs during some of the darkest most painful times in both our lives.

Without this blog, I would not have discovered anime, flown across the country twice in a year, discovered myself as I have, experienced the most romantic first kiss one spring morning deep in the south with my hero, best friend, and first love, in the most affectionate, steady, funny, thoughtful, Godly young man ever who shed blood, sweat, utter loyalty and devotion, and a crap ton of being the funniest thing ever, to win my heart. ❤

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I’ve always loved words, telling stories, sharing my struggles and journies in writing. I’ve always believed that words are more powerful than the sword. I’ve believed words were one of the most powerful things in the world. And I’ll always believe that. Because the words in this stupid little blog did so much; it made so much possible. FOR GOODNESS SAKE, someone FELL IN LOVE with my personality, my words, my heart, because of this blog! And right now, despite all the crap that can still hit the fan in my life, I consider myself the most blessed woman in the world.

Your words matter. So when you write, be open, be kind, be true to yourself every single time you share them. You never know what might happen because of it. ❤

~Jamie

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For My Fellow Writers


Today I have for you guys a video game soundtrack which I discovered accidentally a couple days ago. The thumbnail made me click it, the magical wispy blue, the adorable fantasy creatures, and the overall atmosphere just grabbed me. The music itself did not disappoint. Take a listen!

This first track blew my mind. The soft piano, the orchestral richness, the angelic voice, the mysteriousness. I was immediately stolen away!

This track captures the darker side of the soundtrack, surging from softness to urgency half way through.

And I just really like this track. It’s sounds like raindrops and spring showers. It’s gentle and soothing and mysterious.

BUT HERE IS THE WHOLE SOUNDTRACK. IT’S ALL AMAZING, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND A LISTEN THROUGH BECAUSE IT’S JUST SO GOOD. ❤

What video game soundtracks are your absolute favorites?

~Jamie

 

My Favorites from 2015


As a follow-up post to my personal rundown of my 2015, I’m going to document a few things that represents my favorite things from 2015. Like music, to what I did on social media, to movies. Well, speaking of movies, let’s start with that!

Favorite Movie

No doubt about, no competition in the ring, Fury Road was the best and most fun movie I saw in 2015 and it is one my favorite movies of all time. Bizarre and grimy, it followed women on the run to find hope in a hopeless world, in a post-apocalyptic, breakneck-speed feature-length car chase. For me, Fury Road succeeded where most action movies fail, in that while it was all mostly action, it didn’t lack a bit of heart from beginning to end.

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I went and watched Fury Road at the theater alone. It only took a few minutes to completely pull me into the savage terror that was Immortan Joe’s world, where deformities and thirst plagued the people while he sat atop a great water reserve. I was quickly invested in the flight of his five wives and their driver, Furiousa, as the six took off find the Green Place where they would not be slaves. The film didn’t have to spell any of this out for me to understand, which I absolutely loved, and my attention was stolen in an instant.

While I loved the epic chase and suspense and brilliant action, Fury Road, though touched with a wacky bizarreness, had as much humanity and heart as it did its action. I was blown away; I walked out of that theater chilled by the ending. I didn’t get another movie experience like that out of 2015, not by a long shot!

Runners up of movies that I loved both from this year, and just seeing for the first time in 2015, include Creed, Redline, Inside Out, Mission Impossible, and The Sixth Sense.

Favorite Soundtracks

8c5480d74c81f7997b17fdc09d1b808b_Fotor_Collage1Left to right, top to bottom: 
Gangsta, Assassination Classroom, Parasyte, Noragami, Death Parade, and Blood Blockade Battlefront.

I’m a huge original soundtrack fan and in 2015 I listened to almost exclusively anime soundtracks. Both as a writer who needs music to write to and as a music enthusiast, I was so happy that by discovering anime, I discovered the rich wealth of their OSTs as well.

I included some that didn’t actually release last year, like Gatchaman Crowds and Redline’s (and Berserk’s has been out for over twenty years) but they were still huge musical highlights of my year!

8c5480d74c81f7997b17fdc09d1b808b_Fotor_Collage2Left to right, top to bottom: 
Redline, Gatchaman Crowds, Wolf Children, Beserk, Food Wars, and Magic Kaito 1412

Favorite Books Read

DarkerShadeofMagic_Fotor_CollageI wanted to read more than I did last year, but the two fictional books I did read entirely were absolutely amazing. In fact, I had to buy The Night Circus for my book shelf. A Darker Shade of Magic and its coming sequel really do deserve future shelf space too.

The Night Circus was phenomenal. It was full of rich descriptions that could have rubbed me the wrong way but instead just soaked me into the world of black and white magic. I couldn’t get enough. And A Darker Shade of Magic was just fantastic and such a joy to read–if magic being smuggled between alternate universes of London doesn’t sound awesome, then I don’t know what does. XD

Favorite Pop Music

homepage_large_Fotor_CollageI built a brand new appreciate for the treasures hidden in today’s pop music this year. Actually, my appreciate for music in general grew mountains this year alone. SPOILER ALERT: I LISTENED TO A LOT OF KPOP. But there was other pop music too. XD

Justin Beiber actually put out decent music last year and I was startled to actually like some of it (please please please listen to I’ll Show You; it humanizes him in a really nice way.) Pentatonix blew me out of the water with their latest album of a capella songs. Selena Gomez’s newest electropop has fueled my writing BIG TIME. And I was so excited to get more music from Melanie Martinez. Her dark quirky music just really appeals to the disturbed part of me. *inserts innocent-looking heart-eyes emoji* 😉

But I mostly listened to Kpop. And it’ll just be easier if I just leave this little playlist right here instead of rambling about it. XD But this was the soundtrack of 2015 for me, right here. ❤ (especially that first song: listened to that one on repeat for about three days straight while painting a room. XD)

I’m not a band fan, never really have been, but I can rally behind Super Junior and EXO and B.A.P any day. They’re actually really rad and HAVE YOU SEEN THAT CHOREOGRAPHY!?!?!? ❤

Favorites From My Social Media,

This is more for me than for any of you, but enjoy nonetheless! ❤ 😉

Twitter:

Its silly, but I’m thankful for Twitter. Its preserved some interesting things that have run through my head over the last year. XD That’s really nice.

Instagram

I’m actually also really thankful for Instagram, too, I almost forgot how much work I put into repainting my mom’s workroom, or standing beneath a lightning storm to film the flashes, or that I had to replace my nine-year old MP3 player. Just, little memories are safely preserved. ❤ 🙂

LOVING my new TV set up!! Any Disney film suggestions for a live tweet tonight??

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No more painting after today!!!

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This is my mortal enemy. #hateyou

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These sweethearts are the first to accompany me somewhere as a 21 year old. I love these dogs and our walks!

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Christmas as a grown-up. XD 😊👍🏻😂

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Pinterest

I used Pinterest on and off over the year, but I enjoyed the month and a half that I posted everyday to a challenge board to chronicle my feelings for Studio Ghibli movies. My Words board was also a huge place for encouragement and inspiration for me at different points.

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WeHeartIt

These were the collections I was most addicted to filling during 2015, from the cutie patooties with morbid twists, to breathtaking anime-styled artwork, and lots of jellyfish. I’ve always loved WeHeartIt, but this past year it was an especially nice escape for visual beauty. ❤

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Final Thoughts

2015 was a crazy year personally, and I did a lot exploring and embracing of things that I’d considered weird *cough-Kpop-cough* or too scary (like being afraid of being myself on my own social media sites.) I hope I can keep exploring and embracing new things into my life in 2016 too!

So, what were your favorite things of the year?

~Jamie

Wow Wednesday /// 02


1d2d68f07c6bcc19033e7554b56421a6Wow! But I’ve seen both of these come true in my own life, which is pretty scary and cool in its own way. But wow.

~Jamie

The Behind The Scenes Tag


My long time blogging friend Maribeth at Formidable Courage awesomely tagged me to do this extremely tag about the behind the scenes of my writing! Considering I feel pressed for time to do much blogging this week (and probably the upcoming week as well) this is perfect!

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Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

I chew gum instead of eating when I write. It feels like eating but I’m not actually making myself fat. XD I love 5’s wintermint gum, I always keep a pack on my desk. 🙂

When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?

If we’re talking fiction…I almost exclusively write at night. My confidence and focus is higher when I know people aren’t going to walk in on me, so some days I’ll be up very late thinking and writing while everyone else is sleeping. Plus I’m a night person. XD

Where do you write?

In my room, at my little desk in front of my white board. The white board is there for note taking, but its covered in stickers and Disney trading cards and my fandom magnets. I have a Tardis magnet that I just love! XD

How often do you write a new novel?

I start a new one about once a year and continue fiddling with the earlier years’ books as well. I’ve been doing this since I was twelve, starting a book and writing it for a year before continuing with a different one the next (although the early books were all sequels with the same characters, so that was easy. XD )

Do you listen to music while you write?

Oh yes. Music is my caffeine and my ink. My characters sometimes speak through lyrics to communicate to me how they’re feeling, and sometimes I loop those lyrics so I can sink into their emotions and thoughts. Soundtracks from films and anime bring moments and scenes to life in my head and if I listen closely enough, sometimes I can get what I hear on to the page.

My latest musical find: I see raindrops…or glittering fish…or sparkling sunlight…or the condensation created by someone breathing winter air…. IT’S JUST SO HAUNTING AND BREATHY AND PERFECT ASDJFKLA;DKS

Here are a couple of my YouTube playlists if you guys are looking for fresh writing music. (Technically for studying.) (This one is very diverse, have fun! XD )

What do you write on? Laptop or paper?

I’ll go ahead and say it: I can only write on my laptop. I learned to type at an early age, so I have never been fond of clutching a pencil and keeping my rows of words on lines on paper. I love how fast my fingers on the keys can get my thoughts to screen before I loose them. And editing, rereading, storing, and making copies is really easy.

Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?

Well, I wouldn’t call it a “ritual” but I do try to turn on my rain effects when I know I’ll be writing so my mind will start drifting into the depths of my story or the soul of a particular character I want to write as. Since I work at night, I don’t really use it to shut out noise, but more to shut out silence. Silence is super distracting to me.

What do you do to get into the mood to write?

Like I said, I turn on my rain effects and then I might start playing a certain song that might have helped with the last scene I wrote. I’ll look over what I last wrote too. That helps a lot. 🙂

What is always near the place you write?

My lip balm and hand lotion. Floss is always around my desk for some reason; when I get stuck I floss my teeth and glare at the screen–TMI? XD I generally have a glass of water on my Chewbacca coaster  too (or a soda, if it’s late and I want to stay up till one in the morning.)

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Do you have a reward system for your word count?

No, I don’t! I’d never even thought of doing that for myself, probably because word count doesn’t motivate me outside of NaNoWriMo. I sit, I peck at the keys some nights, mostly thinking, and then other nights I’ll pound out pages and pages of words. Generally I just don’t think to look at how much I write.

Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?

Sometimes my entire body is moving if I get absorbed in my writing; I’ll rock about in my desk chair if I fall into a good rhythm with the characters and rain effects and music. Sometimes the music is so relevant to a character’s emotion that I’ll stop writing completely and let myself move to sounds I hear. I don’t know why I do that and its only something I noticed about myself recently. It sounds weird, but I’m probably not the only fidgety writer out there. XD

I’m going to tag Emily at Camo and Pearls and Tara at Moonstonemaiden! Have fun girl-friends! ❤

What does your behind the scenes look like?

~Jamie