My Actually Haunted Ghost Story

Ever since I started writing this horror short story, strange things have been happening to me.

 

The very first night that I even began outlining… something really creepy happened. A sound came over my baby monitor. A high-pitched trill that sounded like someone screaming. Dan and I just stared at each other like… whaaaaaaaaat is that?? It had never done anything like that before or anything since… I didn’t tell Dan that I was working on a ghost story at the time and tried to pretend like it wasn’t the creepiest thing ever.

After the baby monitor thing, I tried to listen to music when I worked on the story. But the music would inexplicably turn itself on and off.

Then, one night I had a vivid nightmare that I was lying on the floor of my apartment and couldn’t get up. This weirdly-lit guy was standing by the wall, grinning at me. He slowly came closer and closer to my face. I woke up gasping and thrashing my arms trying to push him away. Dan calmed me down. The next day the light had burnt out in the spot the man had “stood” in my nightmare.

creepy lighting

After I had written the story and revised it. I was cleaning a bottle for my son at the kitchen sink when I saw a man in a blue jacket walk across my backyard. Thinking it was my husband I dashed to the other window to wave hi… no one was there. And I know, because I frantically checked ALL of my windows and EVERY inch of my backyard.

I finally finished revising the darn story. Good. I exited completely out of Word. And I started to play around on the internet… when the thing RE-OPENED ITSELF onto my computer. I think I wrote a ghost story that in and of itself became haunted.

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So… anyone want to read it?

Ava, a true skeptic, has no problem cleaning and closing The Redd’s Theater by herself at night… even though it is said to be haunted by a magician who murdered his wife there. 5,000 words

If you are brave enough to challenge the haunted ghost story, you can fill out the application below and I will email it to you. (All I ask in return is that you tell me what you thought of it.) HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

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The Time I REALLY Told the Wrong Punchline

When my husband and I were dating, I decided that I was going to tell him a little joke…

I’m not going to tell you what the joke was, because honestly it was an inappropriate joke and I shouldn’t have been telling it in the first place. All I’ll say, is that it had to do with a handshake and a leprechaun.

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That’s it… that’s all I’m going to tell you about it.

As I begin to tell him, I remembered how funny the punchline was… and it made me laugh before I could even get to said punchline. I started laughing really hard. So hard that … I farted. Audibly.

I vividly remember Dan blinking in confusion, wondering if that was part of the joke. IT WAS NOT. But now I’m laughing and crying of pure humiliation. And I never was able to finish that joke.

It was bad. But he still married me.

 

Just a short story today. You can click HERE for more embarrassing stories if you want to laugh at me. Go ahead… it’s fine… I won’t even know…

Fed is Best: I couldn’t breastfeed and that’s okay

TMI warning: In this post I will be talking about my anatomy. Probably a lot. So if you are uncomfortable with reading about that I suggest you skip this one. Here, I’ll sum it up for you: I wasn’t physically able to feed my baby without a bottle, but I ended up being okay with it.

 

You’re still good with reading? Okay… ’cause I’m about to talk about my boobies… Last chance.

Well here’s something you probably didn’t want to know about me. I have inverted nipples. Yep. #noshame If you don’t know what that is, you’re probably imagining a couple of funnels. Thankfully that’s not what it is. It just means that my nipples are completely flush to my breasts. Which, aesthetically I’m cool with but was hell when I tried to breastfeed my newborn. I mean, poor thing, honestly. That would be like trying to drink out of a bowling ball.

more like this

Those first few nights at the hospital really sucked. Really. Every two hours I would have a WHOLE TEAM of nurses forcing my screaming baby onto my chest. To make things worse, he had a tongue tie. The doctor had to cut the skin under his tongue in hopes that he would be able to latch easier. He didn’t.

It was all a bit of a traumatic experience for me as a new mom. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the resources because I had MORE THAN ENOUGH. Too much probably. I had two separate lactation experts, one gave me a fake plastic nipple and an IV drip to supplement with formula. That was its own nightmare. Using the supplement system was a two man job. My husband would have to help me assemble and hang it all up. It took us forever. And then it wouldn’t stay suctioned cupped to my boob because there wasn’t anything for it to hold onto. I would be COVERED in formula by the end. It was such a mess.

medela-supplemental-nursing-system

I tried to pump milk to give him, but I couldn’t get enough out. I even remember spoon feeding him milk. Finally, I was like… look… I’m already “supplementing” with formula, I might as well switch to fully formula bottle feeding.

When I made the switch it was such a peaceful and calming thing. It was wonderful. I loved it. His weight and height shot up like crazy! He was fed and I felt like a successful mom.

 

If you too are struggling with breastfeeding, know that whatever you decide IT IS OKAY! I truly believe that every mother should raise their child in their own beautiful way.

Here are some reasons why I loved bottle feeding, if you are considering switching:

    1. Daddy was now a part of that bonding experience.

It was so nice being able to have my husband feed the baby every now and then. We could take shifts during those long nights and I could actually sleep! I got breaks every now and then and my husband LOVED feeding the baby.

      2. I knew exactly how much my son was eating.

When the pediatrician asked how much he was eating I replied without missing a beat. 4 oz every 2 hours. I really liked this aspect of bottle feeding because it helped me keep a better schedule.

      3. My body was my own again.

I feel a bit ungrateful mentioning this reason, but it’s true. When you’re pregnant you are always worried about what you’re eating or doing. That doesn’t stop after you’ve had the baby and you’re breastfeeding. I remember feeling a sense of relief when I gave up breastfeeding! I could eat spicy foods again! Yay!

 

Trying to make the right choices as a mother is SO HARD and SO guilt-inducing. Be kind to those mommas out there because I promise they already worry that they’re not doing enough for their child.

You are. You are the right mom that your child needs. I promise.

 

 

 

 

Amish Mac & Cheese

This is my “Oops, we’re out of milk” recipe.

 

amish-prep.jpg

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cottage cheese (16oz)
2 cups shredded cheese
2 cups water
2 cups macaroni noodles uncooked

Breadcrumbs (if desired)

Amish mac

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Stir everything together in a 9 x 13 pan
  • Bake uncovered at 300 for 30 mins
  • Take out and stir like you mean it! Sprinkle a bit more cheese and bread crumbs on the top (if you want)
  • Put back in for another 30 mins
  • AND YOU’RE DONE!

 

I have easy recipes like this every month so SUBSCRIBE! Not to mention embarrassing stories and mom stuff, so really… you should subscribe #selfpromotion #shameless

New Writing Projects!

If you had told me this was how my new project announcement was going to go, I would’ve told you NO. That is NOT my plan. But you know what? When you’re a creative person, sometimes you don’t have a choice. And I know that sounds completely psychotic… and it totally is. But it’s almost like your own heart holds you hostage and you cannot freaking help yourself.

I finished writing the final episode of my TV show last month. It took a full year and a LOT of work. Really. A lot. FOR MONTHS I had been so excited to finally be able to move on to this other project (more on this in a sec). But the very day that I finished the show, my mind ran away with the idea… that “Identity Crisis” needs to be turned into a novel.

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See? A lot of work.

Almost 100% of my beta readers have asked me about making a novel out of it. And I mildly toyed with the idea. I knew if I did, it would have to be a TOTAL re-write. The completed series follows my life almost exactly, but for a book version I would prefer it to be cover to cover fictional. Mostly, because hey man… if I’m going to put in the work to write a dang novel, I’m going to put in the work to dang publish it, that’s what! And I ain’t about to publish an autobiography yet.

I was not able to turn off the creative faucet with this idea. I mean it was the kind of idea that keeps you up at night. So I caved and sat down to do a complete brain dump. And you know what happened? The entire outline erupted out onto the page.

That coupled with an outpouring of positive feedback from a Facebook post about the series… I was like, okay… This is what needs to be worked on right now.

So, with that unnecessarily long backstory out of the way!

ANNOUNCEMENT #1!

Yes. I will be re-writing Identity Crisis as a YA Contemporary novel! Woo hoo! The title of the novel will be “The Other Five Percent”. It’s about a girl who has a horrible falling out with her friends and rebels by trying to ruin her reputation in a predominantly conservative high school. (Sorta like “Freaks and Geeks” if it were set in suburban Utah…)

THE OTHER FIVE PERCENT

My plan for this book is to try for the traditional publishing route. Personally for me, that’s a dream that I want to see realized at some point in my life.

I’m also doing this book for NaNoWriMo, because I’m a crazy person.

What’s NaNoWriMo? Oh, National Novel Writing Month? Don’t worry, it’s just this little thing where you write a 50,000 word novel in a 30 FREAKING DAYS. This is my first time trying it out. I don’t even know what to expect, but it’s a good way to puke out the first draft of my book.

ANNOUNCEMENT #2!

I’m still not giving up on the project that I was planning on announcing today.

Here and there and in between (but don’t ask me when) I will also be working on a collection of horror stories that together I’m referring to as “The Doubting Shadow”.

THE DOUBTING SHADOW (2)

Six different women are forced to face their social insecurities by increasingly bizarre and eerie circumstances. Eventually, they come to realize that their greatest fears are only a shadow of something worse.

Although, I feel that the stories would do well in a collection together, I’ll most likely be breaking them up and selling them out individually. It’s just a lot easier to market that way. Maybe one day I’ll be able to put out “The Doubting Shadow”, but right now I want to focus on a novel that I can debut with.

No worries, you can still expect these weird little stories to trickle out over the next couple of years.

DS Alternate

Keep tuning in for more development on these projects! And you can always peruse my “projects page” if you feel like it.

Leaving my mark… in the worst way possible

I would say that 90 – 95% of my embarrassing stories have the same formula. I try to make everyone laugh by doing something socially inappropriate… no one laughs and then it’s just inappropriate.

awkworker

The summer between my junior and senior year I worked at an Arctic Circle. I wasn’t that great of an employee so this event didn’t really help my rep. One day things were slow, which is the perfect recipe for someone* to do something dumb.

*ME

I was standing by the drive-thru window and I was talking to my manager Drew and my best friend Kayla who also worked there. At some point in the conversation Drew casually throws in a cuss word. And Kayla was all like, “What’d you say??”

What a perfect opportunity to be a comedic genius.

PFFFFT

So I giggle and tell him to repeat the word because I’m an eternal sixth grader. He politely declines but I don’t let it go.

“Here, I’ll write it on the board.”

I grab the nearest marker and write a naughty word SO LARGE that it fills the entire white board. I turn to my manager and squeak out a “just kidding” as I erase the board…

Only NOTHING COMES OFF. I keep passing the eraser over the word again and again but it doesn’t even fade. 

“IT’S NOT COMING OFF!!”

horrified-batman

Then my boss calmly informed me that I had just used a permanent marker. And the white board was like built into the wall so we couldn’t even take it down or anything. Everyone that pulled up in the drive-thru got a BIG OL’ OFFENSIVE WORD with their charbroiled burger. Kayla at this point is incapacitated, lying on the ground and laughing so hard at me she’s bawling.

I didn’t work there very long.

“Peter Pan” Inspired Nursery and Newborn Photos

Why do I love Peter Pan so much? Probably because I refuse to grow up.

When I was pregnant with my son I remember wondering what kind of a person he would be and what he would be interested in. BUT I didn’t know! So, I just decorated his room with something that I was interested in! Will I stop drowning my children in Disney / classic plays? I doubt it…

And then to top it all off, my aunt made me the tiniest newborn Peter Pan costume!

I know dragons don’t have anything to do with Peter Pan, but I can’t help myself. Dragon plushies are SO CUTE!

Here’s another picture of my son because I JUST CAN’T GET OVER THE FACT THAT HE WAS THIS SMALL ONCE!

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Those fingers tho

 

If you’re interested in who took these stinkin’ adorable baby photos… well, I’ll tell you…

My bestie Kayla is a photographer and she does an amazing job. So if you need to update family photos on your wall… Give her a shout.

http://arandomgigglephotography.com/

Are You Ugly?

GirlMirror
Credit: Norman Rockwell, nrm.org

You are a very attractive person. There… What? You still don’t believe me? Keep reading. I’ll prove it.

I was driving to Salt Lake and that Chainsmokers song came on for the eightieth time that day. I thought to myself, “Wow, one of those guys has kind of a sexy voice.” You know, that deep one that kicks off the first chorus of “Closer”. The more I listened the more I wondered what they looked like. I began to construct a caricature in my mind and as soon as I hit a Wi-Fi spot I ran a Google Image search on my phone. They were better looking than the picture I had in my head.

chainsmokers

But something weird happened… I was really disappointed. I don’t know what I was expecting. I guess I was hoping that The Chainsmokers would be a little uglier… or dressed a lot worse… or something. Anything that would make their “sexy voices” a novelty or a hidden treasure. I didn’t want a fresh-of-the-conveyor-belt billboard kind of dude. My reaction to this experience got me delving into the concept of “beauty”.

Have you ever loved a movie that your best friend hated? Or looked at a piece of high-concept art that you didn’t get at all? That’s because art / beauty is completely subjective.

SUBJECTIVE: (adj) existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought.

For example… My favorite article of clothing is a Men’s XL flannel shirt that I got from a thrift store for $5. I adore it. I wear it AT LEAST once a week. I understand that it’s not every girl’s dream to own a floppy man shirt, but it was exactly what I was looking for. Sometimes when I slip it on I think, “At some point, someone didn’t want you”. Maybe it wasn’t their style or maybe it didn’t fit like it used to. For whatever reason it was donated to the thrift store where they decided that it was worth five dollars. But hey man. I would never give this thing up. When I wear it I feel confident and happy. It freaking completes me.

Maybe at some time in your life you were donated to a thrift store. Now you feel like you have a reduced price sticker dangling from your arm. But you know what? Just because it’s trendy to wear a frilly crop-top doesn’t mean EVERY SINGLE PERSON wants to own one. Your unique features, traits and interests are what makes you irreplaceable. When you get your heart broken you don’t ever sit around thinking “Man, I miss dat a$$.” No! You miss the way that person laughs or their taste in music. How are you ever going to find someone else as fun as them? Or someone else that can draw as well, or loves FanFiction X, or plays Jenga or WHATEVER. These are the things that people fall head over heels for and you already have it! I don’t care who you are, YOU HAVE IT! Don’t give away your quirks, because that’s how you’re going to find the right partner. Don’t give away what makes you YOU to become a boring one size fits all robot.

ugval

Last Sunday, I was at church and I had to sit out in the foyer because my toddler was trying to pinch people’s bums through the seats. Typical Sunday. A 90-year-old woman came over to talk to me. She complemented me on how well “I filled out my dress”. Which was surprising, because I was self-conscious that I had filled it out a little too well. She then mentioned that she always had to wear long sleeves because she was embarrassed of how old and frail her arms had gotten over the years. But gosh darn it, when I saw her shuffle slowly out the door on the arm of her equally elderly husband I started to cry. Because that woman is BEAUTIFUL. I can’t even begin to fathom the love that her husband feels for her. And you know what, maybe they were both drop dead hot when they were young! But they’ve outlived the world’s standard and redefined what it is to be attracted to someone.

People will spend all the energy and ignorance of their soul trying to convince you that you should look a certain way. And that’s only because at some point in their lives they gave into the primitive fear of social rejection. Don’t let them fool you. Your worth is not defined by a number or a symmetrical formula. It’s defined by how you live your life. So live. Dream your dreams. You are a beautiful person. I promise.

Love,icon

 

Everyone likes to do different things to feel beautiful. And you know what? That’s totally 100% real and okay! You do you boo! I’m a theater bred girl so my love of make-up is strong, HOLLA! If you have a special occasion that you want to get dolled up for- Katie is your gal. She’s a freelance make-up artist who is all about highlighting your natural beauty. Psst. Here’s her page…

https://www.facebook.com/JamesDeanLover

 

 

Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon

This is the perfect meal if you don’t want to put a lot of effort into it but still -appear- as if you did.

 

fishing

INGREDIENTS:

2 Salmon Fillets

1/4 cup of butter (half a stick)

1 Tsp of lemon pepper

1 Tsp of garlic powder

Bushel of asparagus

Virgin olive oil

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and snap the asparagus to a size a little longer than your salmon. Lay the asparagus side by side on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them. Set the fillets on top. Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in your lemon pepper and garlic powder. Pour the butter onto each salmon fillet. Bake uncovered at 420 for 20 minutes.

Fish dinner

 

If you have your own easy recipes or food blog, share the link below so everyone can check them out!

 

6 Things I’ve Learned Writing About Myself

I’m about to finish writing the final season of my TV show project, which will be an INCREDIBLE accomplishment. It has been a full year and 200,000+ words of what I hope to look back on and consider the beginning of my “writing career”. In honor of its closing I wanted to talk about what I’ve learned on this auto-biographical journey:

 

1. Things that I didn’t think we’re such a big deal turned out to be pivotal moments in my life.

Honestly, I had SO much self-discovery during this project. There were scenes that got me double thinking of why I had chosen that particular thing to write in. But overall, those little moments uncovered my flaws, my greatest strengths and some deeply ingrained fears. In re-reading episodes, I often put myself on the psychiatrist couch and just learned all about Val.

 

2. Things that were irritating at the time turned out to be the funniest things to write.

On the other hand, things that were SUCH A BIG DEAL in my teenage world turned out to be nothing. Writing my over-dramatic reactions had me laughing out loud a lot.

emoren
Pictured: Me.

3. Writing someone else’s POV caused me to develop a deeper respect for them.

When I was FORCED to come up with reasons why person X did reaction Y it really made me appreciate that person in real life… even if those reasons were completely fabricated. This happened with nearly everyone I wrote about. The more scenes I constructed the more I realized that these guys are some DANG STRONG CHARACTERS. Being able to be that ghostly third-person presence, really helped me to change my perspective.

 

4. I am a little to a lot conceited…

It is really difficult not to twist things to make yourself seem really great… Soooo this is embarrassing… there are five different male characters who are in love with Elle. Oops. That doesn’t seem bad, but considering how few consistent characters there are… it comes off as A LOT. I think I did this because I was so flattered when anyone liked me that I wanted to write about all of them… all five. I’m sure when my children pick up these old manuscripts they’ll either cringe or roll their eyes.

Breakfast-Club-So-Popular

5. Human memory is really unreliable

Pardon my symbols, but this is freaky as $^*%. I actually had accrued false memories over a ten year span. Memory is a joke. This one scene had me so freaked out, I was wrapping tin foil around my head and crying on the floor. This is how I remembered the memory: I was asked out on a date in the summer… But then I told a friend about it at school who came over after to help me do my hair… But then one of the guys on the date had brass knuckles in a FREAKING COAT POCKET. But guess what? It all took place during the summer after all. What the what!? How can you trust anything that has happened to you in your lifetime? Doesn’t that concept just CREEP YOU OUT?

 

6. I plan to keep writing.

I really have enjoyed every minute that I’ve poured into these pages and I have a lot more stories to tell. . .

In fact. . .

I will be announcing my next project in September!!!!

new project announcement

Be very excited.

 

 

If you can’t wait for my new mysterious project, then let me tell you where to accrue some good reading. Usborne Books is really cool. They have tons of amazing educational kids books. If you’re a mom or a teacher or a weird hybrid mix like me, this is a great resource for you:

J6433.myubam.com

 

And if you want to know more about my-life-turned-TV-show click HERE.