Storytelling false starts

I’ve been telling stories here for more than 5 years now. Sometimes, I’ll get an idea and run with it, publishing almost immediately. Other times, I start something, but can’t quite find the right words. And more times still, I’ll think of what I think would be a fantastic fucking title, only to forget what I wanted to say entirely. Luckily, I’ve saved some of these titles, and I thought I’d share some of my favorites. Maybe you can offer some inspiration, and I can get these word babies in the air.

possible blog post titles from a writer

Titles in time

  • How to get a thigh gap and other pertinent answers from the universe
  • Meet my uhhh new boyfriend Ryan and wife Mandi
  • What Hillary is doing for little girls
  • Screenshots of a year in my life
  • All the fucks I have to give
  • Lectured for laughing at a humor conference
  • That one time I went BATSHIT crazy or why my life is like a Taylor Swift song
  • There are people who hate me and other confessions
  • Things I wish I did before I left my old job
  • Let’s talk about narcissism
  • On parenting, from a non-parent
  • Let’s talk about your kinky group on Facebook
  • When it comes to red light tickets, the internet fucking lies
  • Giving more fucks this year
  • Clark Griswold is my spirit animal
  • How to passive-aggressively handle passive aggressiveness
  • We built this city…we built this city on rock…to roll?
  • That’s the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage
  • People, for the love of all things logical, look shit up before you post it: A lesson on clickbait
  • How many how-to videos does a girl need to watch to figure out how to put together a freakin’ mop?
  • How I ended up in the worst part of Orlando

What do you think, guys? Any of these titles look delectable?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fighting Jealousy: Slaying My Green-Eyed Monster

When our air conditioner broke, we had to turn the air off for a few hours. It happened to be one of the hottest, most humid days Chicago has seen in a while. As I was coming into the house from outside, I felt the cool relief of our well-insulated home. The humidity was gone and the temperature felt lower.

Shortly after coming inside, I went down to the basement to help my boyfriend fix the air conditioner. Not 30 minutes later, I walked back upstairs to grab something, and was hit with a wall of hot and stuffy air from the exact same space that was cool less than an hour before.

The temperature hadn’t changed drastically. There was no rapid rise in humidity. But coming to that same middle ground from the opposite end of the temperature spectrum modified my perspective. I felt that the temperature was warmer because I was experiencing it from the cold angle while earlier it felt cooler because I had experienced it from the hot angle.

Shortly after experiencing this weird body temperature conundrum, my brain started connecting some crazy dots. That same physical change in perspective can be applied to emotional perspective. It was an analogy that physically made sense to me. And there are so many other ways to consider how your perspective affects your life.

The same situation can be completely different for two people or even the same person at a different time in his or her life. It all depends on our current perspective.

slaying my green eyed monster

I used to get ridiculously,  unequivocally jealous of other people. I coveted what they had, whether it was more blog followers, a book deal, money when I was broke, a relationship when I was single, vacations, etc. My jealousy held no bounds. I would think horrible things, like why can’t I have that? or I deserve that; why is it theirs, not mine?

My green-eyed monster was uuuuuuugly. I hated her, but I didn’t know how to slay her. I knew I was in the wrong, but for the life of me couldn’t make it stop.

And then one day, it hit me over the head like a pile of rocks. It was recent, and I’m ashamed to admit how recent. But it was something the unbelievably beautiful Samara said. At the wrong time, her words may have gone completely over my head, but at the time she said them, I was in a very solid place. I was surrounded by strong, brilliant women who were supporting each other. It was after I began really reading a lot of deep, heartfelt essays that put my own world into a different light. I had a new perspective and didn’t even realize it had happened.

So when Samara said something along the lines of, Why does anyone feel the need to compete with each other? We should be building each other up. There is enough success for all of us.

And oh my God did that resonate through every fiber of my being. It made sense on such a deep and powerful level, that I began to see more clearly the way to remove that green-eyed monster from my soul.

Even further still, the aphorism, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” which is often used in reference to economic changes was mentioned countless times this summer in reference to the writing community I call home. If we support each other, cheer each other on, help each other out, we are a part of the tide. And this can be applied to any aspect of your life.

We can all slay our green-eyed monsters.

Does this mean I never get jealous? Of course not. I’m only human. But I can be jealous without releasing that ugly kraken from within me. Instead, I try really really hard to isolate those twinges of jealousy before they overtake all of me.

When has your perspective changed how you react or respond to a situation? How do you battle jealousy? What inner-demons are you fighting with?

This piece was originally published on Sisterwives Speak.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Because I Need to Take Care of Myself

I’ve been thinking about self-care a lot lately. I haven’t been taking proper care of myself. Brian likes to joke that he feels responsible for making sure I’m well cared for, and I joke that it’s because my parents gave up that responsibility when he walked into my life. In reality, I need to make sure that I’m doing everything in my power to actually take care of my mind and body. Because when one part of me isn’t working right, the rest follows suit.

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Massage Envy. I received compensation as a thank you for creating this content. As usual, the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs expressed in this post are wholly my own.

With the last week and a half off work, I’ve been focusing more on me and what I need. As a gregarious lady, I need vastly different things in my life than my introverted boyfriend. I’m at my happiest when I’m surrounded by people that make me smile, laugh, love or some combination of the three in a comfortable setting. Basically, I consider myself to be an introverted extrovert so I want to be in a place I know and feel welcome, but I recharge through the energy of people. In short – Party at my house, people!

Just kidding. Sort of. Self-maintenance, for me, involves a combination of activities that allow my physical and emotional well-being to thrive. This is how I do:

In your busy life, you need to make sure you're taking time for yourself. Try one of these 5 ways to promote self-care in your own life.

Yoga – physical and emotional

My practice is a safe space to meditate, relax, and breath. Not only does it help me move my body physically and stretch muscles to encourage activity without injury (well…I try anyways), but it also calms my thoughts, minimizes my anxiety and makes me a more positive person. I need yoga in my life. It gives me confidence, strength, peace. It gives me a sense of control. This is something I’ve been missing for a few months, since returning to my normal from my back injury, and I know I need to regain my yoga time. I’m starting back up again, and can’t tell you how excited I am to do so.

Yoga is part of my self-care routine.

Writing – emotional

Who needs a therapist when you can write all your crazy out in a story or blog post? When I’m anxious or depressed or just can’t seem to sleep, writing is my go-to version of insta-therapy. I can sit down with a notebook or in front of a computer screen and pour my heart out through words. In my previous role, I was writing so much dull marketing content, that I was slacking on writing for me, a mistake I won’t be making again.

Writing and painting my nails are both therapeutic exercises for me

Writing and painting my nails are both therapeutic exercises for me, which leads me to the next part of my self-care

Painting my nails – emotional and physical

Yeah, yeah…I know what you’re thinking. Chrissy, that can’t possibly be part of your self-care routine. And yet, here it is. When I can occupy my mind doing something that requires physical concentration, I can often think better, focus more thoroughly, and listen more intently. I paint my nails when I’m binge watching TV or having a conversation with Brian, because I’m more apt to pay attention without distraction. Also, when my nails look nice, I feel better about myself. It’s something I can pride myself in, and I take that as a necessary part of caring for myself and my body.

Socialization – emotional

While I can’t get behind the idea of forced socialization (something that happens when you feel obligated to join a group for a social outing – typically a work or organization obligation when you don’t love your peers), I love being with my people. It is an unfortunate circumstance that some of my writer friends are scattered around the world, but I’m also super lucky to have a lot of fabulous friends right in my backyard.

Just me and a bunch of awesome ginger writers. No big deal

Just me and a bunch of awesome ginger writers. No big deal (except that it’s totally a big deal).

In addition to interacting with my peer groups through parties, dinners, and board gaming, I find myself soaking up the brilliance and silliness in Facebook groups with writers I adore, I attend conferences and meet those writers face to face, and I recently met up with one of my new favorite people to talk, snack, and write.

Massage – physical

Monthly massage is one of the most important things that I do for myself. I’ve been a member of Massage Envy since the summer of 2007 when I was a catering manager who was consistently spraining her ankle and pulling muscles. For a few months, I saw whatever therapists were available, but the day I met Craig, everything changed. He asked if I had a preferred therapist, and I shrugged. His response is burned into my memory, ‘Well, let’s see if we can change that.”

Eight and a half years later, I feel like I’m cheating on Craig when I visit another therapist (which he,  encourages when he’s unavailable). When I hurt my back this summer, I made several extra visits to Massage Envy in addition to my regular monthly massage (sometimes with Craig, who only works Monday through Friday, and sometimes at another location with my secondary therapist who works weekends).

 

Massage is not some fluffy thing I do as a luxury for myself, it’s a necessary part of my Total Body Care.

Because I am active.

Because I spend 8-10 hours a day sitting in front of a computer.

Because I fall down, trip over chains, walk into poles.

Because I hurt myself.

Because I still feel injuries from more than a decade ago whenever the weather changes.

Because I care about my mental and physical health.

Because it makes my body feel healthier.

I am an advocate for taking care of yourself, your body, and your mind.

What is your because moment? What do you do to take care of your emotional and physical well-being? Do you take the time out to get regular massages? What activities do you participate in that make you you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Letter to my Future Employer

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Greetings and salutations!

If you’ve come here looking for a reason or twelve to hire or not hire me, I’ve tried to make this all very convenient for you.

You see, I write a little blog (this guy right here is my pride and joy. I nursed it from baby blog status back on the dawn of my 29th birthday to the point we’re at today. I make a few dollars, have a small community of friends and followers, and write unabashedly about my life), and it has come to my attention that this may worry you.

I realize that it may seem scary to consider a candidate who openly uses the word, “fuck” in more than a few blog posts, but I’ve made a commitment to my community to give more fucks this year, both in the usage of the word and in the caring of my little toddler blog. The internet still likes me when I curse (if they don’t like me even more for it), and it’s a nice release from the professional demeanor that is necessary in the real world. In other words, I swear here so that I can maintain professionalism in other aspects of my life.

Speaking of my life, you may also be concerned that I may write about you or your company negatively. I’ve made it a mission of mine to keep my work place out of this blog most of the time. I have never written negatively about a current or recent employer, nor would I want to jeopardize my career to do so. If I do mention work, it’s directly related to myself or coworkers who’ve given me permission to do so. When writing about my past, I remove any identifiers in order to protect people and places whose actions or existences have shaped me.

I care about my real world career, and I care about my digital career. I would keep them separate, but the experience I’ve received from this little hobby of mine is twice what I’ve received in the workplace. I have a desire to constantly learn and improve upon my knowledge, and here, there’s no one person to tell me how to do it. This blog has made me a better person, and has given life to a whole world of friendship.

If you wish to hire me, you’ll have to accept all of me, and that includes this blog, which is sometimes a caricature of myself and my life, and other times it is raw and real.

Thanks,
CW

Hey blog friends, have you ever felt like your digital life was impacting your career search? What’s the most difficult part of job hunting? If you were a hiring manager, how would you respond to a candidate who had a very public digital life?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Chesh: The Untold Story and Why Disney Thinks I’m a Villain 

I’ve got a very special guest post today brought to you by a random Facebook conversation and a classy group of bloggers. You’re welcome. I think.

Greetings. You may know me as Chesh or The Cheshire Cat. Recently, I’ve been seen consorting with a slew of Disney villains in the Monopoly world, and honestly, I’d like to speak on my behalf.

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It’s hard to fit in with this Disney world. There’s not a lot of room for the morally gray. You’re either a princess or a villain. There’s very little in-between. Even Alice gets honorary princess status among those other hoity toity teens.

I liked Alice. She was silly and irresponsible. It was especially fun to play with her in the presence of the Red Queen. But now, she’s a princess (of sorts), and I’m a villain.

Villain. HA!

I’ll admit it. I’m a trickster. A prankster, at best. I’ve never done much wrong. Nobody’s perfect. And yes, I am quite mad. But I’m not angry. Or even crazy. And most certainly not a villain.

I’m just tricky. I like to have a little fun every now and then. Sure, I’ve got a cynical side, but doesn’t everyone?

A few years back, I tried hanging out with The Sinister Cat Club, but they didn’t like my style. Those Siamese cats couldn’t handle my disappearing act. It was quite amusing, really. One would see my tail and the other would see my grin…they’d each pounce and *poof* they’d be pouncing on each other without even noticing that I was laughing on the other side of the room.

So I went to find Alice. She was having her nails done with Jasmine. I thought this would the perfect opportunity to acquaint myself with Rajah and Dinah. Rajah was alright, albeit a little whiny, but Dinah was insufferable.

Luckily, that little monkey with the hat (his name escapes me) was there to make me laugh. Until I stole his little hat. Then, some genie came after me with little regard for my disassembled body. He grabbed my tail, eyes and grin and tossed me out of the salon so fast, I didn’t even know what was happening.

So I don’t fit with the villains. And I don’t fit in with the princesses. I decided to come to the real world and hang out with some real life bloggers, instead. That Quirky Chrissy and Words for Worms Katie are the bee’s knees, in my book. Who needs Disney, anyway?

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Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I am a Master Corrector or a Grammar Nazi. One of those. Except When it Comes to ME.

This post was sponsored by the fine folks at Grammarly. They may have compensated me to write this post, but I also paid for the program, because I’m a believer in their services. And sometimes I make mistakes.

I use Grammarly for proofreading because I like affirmation of my perfection. 

I am a Grammar Nazi. It’s kind of a problem.

Grammar nazi

Ever since I was a little girl, I found myself correcting the grammar of just about anyone who ever used the following words/phrases:

Ain’t

Don’t want no

Apparently, this was incredibly embarrassing for my mom. Because even though she’s the REASON I was all, “Ain’t isn’t a word!” and yelling at adults, she wasn’t a fan of it. I was a master corrector. At age 3. I hated when anyone would tell stories about me, because they’d always tell them wrong. And I would correct that too.

Baby Chrissy Swimming

Would you argue with that face?

So it’s no surprise that I picked up writing in Grade 1. I mean, go read the first poem I ever wrote if you don’t believe me. (I really did post my first poem. Because I was adorable. And yes, there are grammar errors. We didn’t all START out perfect. GEEZ.)

Actually, it’s true. My grammar wasn’t always exceptional. It wasn’t until I started my master’s degree program (English teaching) and when I taught reading comprehension with math and writing application that I really improved my writing style.

Now, you’ll find me in Skype, teamed up with several English and journalism majors, as we fight the war on grammar, one Skyping co-worker at a time.

It drives them crazy.

Especially when we self-correct our own errors. Hey, everyone makes mistakes!

But I too make my own grammar faux pas. On purpose. Because I love them.

My favorite grammar no-no’s

  • I LOVE to overuse ellipsis…LOVE it…a lot.
  • Passive voice is loved by me.
  • Short, incomplete sentences. Yes.
  • I’m a big fan of the Oxford comma, commas in general, and way. Too. Many. Periods.

 

Do you have grammar errors that you make on purpose, for style? Grammar Nazi tendencies?

This post is sponsored by Grammarly. Because I love them. Fact.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

And Now, A Post-Christmas Song/Poem.

So I wrote a song to commemorate my very sad day. Usually, I would postpone this shit as long as humanly possible, but I want to come home from FLORIDA to a clean house and nothing to do but vacation laundry and seashell projects.

Plus with another polar vortex/ice age/death cold coming in a few days, I’d rather just get this shit out of the way.

Packing up the Christmas tree

Half the ornaments are already off the tree…Now it’s time for those individual Hallmark boxes. FML.

The Christmas Alma Mater Song (to the tune of the Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater Song, but shorter. Because I’m lazy.)

Now it’s time

To say goodbye

To all my Christmas trees.

They start with C

See ya real soon

There is no Y

Why? Because we like them.

Pa-cking up the trees.

Christmas trees

Mistletoe

Christmas trees

Mistletoe

Forever let us hold the garland high

High high high!

Come along and sing this song

That is melancholy.

Ornaments.

Christmas Lights.

Packing up the tree.

 

As you can see, my apartment is in shambles, so I best stop this blogging nonsense and get to it. Maybe later, if I get enough written incentive and booze, I’ll videotape my song for you.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

What? I’m Not Here Today? LIES!

Okay, maybe it’s not a complete lie. I’m guest posting over at It’s a Dome Life today! Lily has been hosting this beautiful Examining the Creative Mind Series, in which she asks several pages worth of questions about artists, their processes and their inspiration.

She’s brilliant I tell you.

So go read my guest post and send Lily some comment love. Because post hosts loooooove comments! And I might host a giveaway next month. And I might cry if you don’t. I’m not above bribery. Or threats.

If you’re stopping by from It’s a Dome Life, might I recommend the following favorite posts…

Adventures with The Bloggess

Because Search Terms Are Funny

Stormageddon: Dark Lord of All

The Tale of Olive Baby

Christmas Music

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m a CopyWRITER not a copyrighter

Since my first job as a copywriter (which, by the way, is a word that I had to add to my Google and MS dictionaries in order to not have that annoying red squiggly line), I’ve confused many a strangers and friends alike.

You see, when I say, “I’m a copywriter,” people imagine me spending all of my time pouring over boring copyrights. That, my friends is something like a copyright attorney. Of which, I am neither an attorney, nor someone who begins to understand the details of copyrights–other than knowing I should put a little © all over the place when I talk about Quirky Chrissy©. AmIright?

So this is where spelling counts, people. Grammar is important.

Grammar nazi

Copy is print. Copy is written advertising. And written media. If you just write blogs, you are a blogger, but if you write actual website content (like for…Groupon or a videographer’s website), then you may be a copywriter. Because a copy writer—Wait for it–WRITES COPY.

Blog friends, do you have a job title that confuses people? Or just tell me something awesome about grammar. (For example: I love the Oxford comma…and for work, I’m not allowed to use it…so it’s becoming the bane of my existence. And yesterday on my personal Facebook account…I didn’t use any commas at all. It was very upsetting to me that I couldn’t edit it from my phone.)

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’m Thinking of Quitting…

Blogging.

I never realized how much time I actually put into the blog and reading blogs. And it’s hard work. And I’m exhausted. All. The. Time. And it’s not fair to you if I don’t post regularly, right?

I’m back to working a regular gig, and I spend a lot of my time writing for work or commuting…and then I’m tired. And want to sleep. I have about 3 hours of free time between work and sleep. And somewhere in there I have to cook, eat, and maybe work out.

Someone talk me off the ledge here…

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!