Rachel Buchanan

Last week I wrote about the first character I created, a young aspiring historian named Mae Forester, who finds more than she was expecting while attending Cambridge University over the summer. I look forward to polishing up this character and the story that surrounds her, hopefully being able to share it with the world. I finished reading Screenplay by Sid Field the other day. While I was mildly terrified by the idea that out of 75,000 or so screenplays that get submitted every year only about 450 get made into movies; I also knew that I could not give up. Because as Mr. Field wrote, people break into the movie business all the time. I can’t allow myself to think that it is something that only “other people” do.

This week I thought I would share with you a character that will never see the light of day. I know you may be thinking, now come on don’t say that. Or how do you know that for sure? Well because I do not have the pull that can influence the powers that be at Marvel Studios. Nor can I change the comic book story lines which have been around for decades, and govern the plots of the current movies. And I’m fine that. It’s cool. ‘Cause the thing about being a writer is when you get a idea, its important to write it down, or you’ll lose it. Even the stuff that won’t go beyond your IPad/computer/notepad can still make you smile when you read it, and encourage character creation in the future.

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After watching all 3 Captain America movies, on a long flight from Germany to Texas this past November, I came to absolutely adore Bucky Barnes. He’s such a perfect character, beautifully written, and brilliantly acted by the crazy talented Sebastian Stan. When we first arrived in Upstate New York, I had plenty of free time, and started thinking about the kind of person that I felt Bucky should be with. Sebastian has said in interviews that Bucky is not the Winter Solider anymore nor is he just Bucky Barnes, he is somewhere in between. While he ends up with Natasha in the comic books, and some people feel he should be with Steve. I felt it best that he be with someone who has no connection to either the Winter Solider or before Hydra Bucky. Someone who would know his past and understand that his past is just that. Someone who could help him focus on the future; that’s when Rachel Buchanan came to life.

Her grandfather was a SHIELD agent, and was friends with Howard Stark. Her father was in the Army, and spent some time stationed in Europe which exposed Rachel to history and different languages. She worked for SHIELD as a research assistant, also helped with foreign languages and logistics. After SHIELD fell, Tony Stark asked her to continue her work with the Avengers, due to her skill and her ability to keep a low profile. She has an appreciation for the classics, helps Bucky catch up on historical events, and loves to hear Bucky talk about what New York was like in the 30s and 40s. She first “encounters” Bucky at the Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian, a few years before she meets him person. She feels a connection to him, and gets an unshakeable feeling that he is sad, or that something is wrong. When they meet, Bucky must feel the connection as well because he says to her, “This is going to sound crazy but…have we met before?” Below is one of the conversations that they have.

Bucky: “So technically your grandfather is younger than me?”

Rachel: “You were born in 1917, right?”

Bucky: “Yes.”

Rachel: “Only…eighteen years.”

They smile at each other and laugh.

Bucky: “Would you maybe be interested in going out….with me, sometime. I mean, I can understand if you wouldn-“

Rachel: “Yes.”

Bucky: “What would you want to do? Assuming we have time?”

Rachel: “Doesn’t matter.”

They smile at each other.

It’s not much I know, and there is more to the character and the mini story that I wrote, which I can share more of at later date should the interest exist. He’ll probably end up with Natasha, and I’m okay with that, anything that will make Bucky smile more. Because his smile is the world, observe.

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I’m learning that being a writer means, writing. Writing everything, not just the best stuff, or the stuff that will work, or sell, or actually become a reality. First efforts can always be polished, but once an idea is lost, because you never wrote it down, its pretty much gone for good. Besides maybe I can incorporate some of Rachel’s characteristics into a future character. I just need to keep writing. And not give up. Ever.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

 

The Next Amazing Thing

On June 14th, my humble little blog crossed the “been around for 6 months” line. Happy 1/2 birthday “I Write A Little”! My blog has been viewed 414 times, gotten 70 likes, from people all over the world; 21 different countries to be exact, and has gained 20 followers! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, to all my readers; you sir/ma’am are awesome!

Welp, I have officially completed my degree, well not officially really, because my final grade has yet to be posted, so I don’t know what my final GPA is; and I have yet to hold that beautiful piece of paper in my hands. But! All the work has been done. My final paper has been graded. Which by the way, was very well received. My professor used words like; excellent, great details, and very simply, I knew you could do it. He also wrote that he had submitted my paper to the Dean! He could make no promises, of course, but the submission itself is a honor. Which makes me all like….

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For the last assignment, he wanted us to write about our plans/goals, in the forum section, so our class mates could read it as well. Here is what I wrote.

The journey to finally earning this degree began way back in 2006, just a month after I got married. I was taking classes through Southwestern Illinois College, known as SWIC, while still active duty. I was slowed down by babies, moving to Europe, and then back to the states; but here I am, at the end. I honestly have not given much thought to pursuing a master’s degree, just wanted to get this one with my GPA, and my sanity, still intact. I think I have done that successfully, and feel good about accomplishing a long sought after goal. If I were to pursue a master’s degree, it would be in history, most likely the “Public History” program at this university. I would like to work for a museum, or help with historical preservation; either would be awesome. I have also toyed around with the idea of being a historical consultant for movies, you know helping with historical accuracy and such, that would be really awesome!

I learned a good deal about myself throughout this process, have gained some writing experience, come to realize just what I am capable of, and to not settle for my own perceived limitations. I know that I will only go as far as I believe I can, so I need to reach for what I believe is possible, and then go beyond that. I have some creative writing interests that I look forward to focusing on, and by that I mean, screenplay writing. I have one completed story idea, one that is about half done, and a few others floating around in my head. I may succeed, and I may not; but the only way to true failure, is not trying. The dream of writing a screenplay, is something that I have been kicking around since I was 12 or 13, just never told anyone about it. Maybe I never thought I could do it. But this degree, my husband, “Breaking Benjamin” songs, and a book called You Are A Bad-***, have helped to instill some confidence. I look forward to what the future holds, and it is comforting to know that I will always have this degree. Next chapter here I come!

And to also send him a private message about something we learned while researching our chosen topic that we did not previously know. This is what I wrote..

I enjoyed digging a little deeper into this topic, especially the English side of the story. From the start, I was a “team Godwinson” kind of girl, and felt that Harold would have been a good king for England. This time I realized the motivation behind the English people’s will to fight, and just how loyal they were Harold. They were willing to follow him to hell and back, if that meant that they would have a chance to retain their way of life. Even after William won and gained the throne, they were still steadfast to their “Englishness”, or “Saxonness”. I felt inspired by their spirit, because it was that spirit that allowed them to win in the end; the final victory belonged to the people of England. The commitment to hold on to what is important no matter what, that is lesson that I will take with me. Much can be gained from the story of 1066, what that ends up being, depends greatly on who is reading it.

So now that I finished my degree, it time to move to the next amazing thing, for one is not only allotted one amazing thing. My next amazing thing, is to write a screenplay, or 2, or 3; and be involved in the movies. The idea of being in the public eye and achieving some level of fame is a dream that I have secretly harbored for years. My reason is one that I finally said out loud just this morning. “I want to achieve a modest level of fame, in order to use my platform, and money, to serve society in a bigger way.” And to also make people laugh, inspire them, and be the/a reason why they reach for their own dreams. To have an impact, like that, in the lives of other humans, would be well, amazing. It will encourage me to push past any failures or set backs that I will endure, for I know that the road to success is paved by failure. I am committed to giving the world my best, because it deserves my best. And when I feel like giving up, I will stand in front of a mirror and give myself the, “Steve Rogers eyebrows of disappointment”, see below for a visual aid.

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Yep, I am ready to step into the unknown, kick fear in the face, and follow my crazy, amazing, gonna be awesome dream, of writing a screenplay. And there’s the side perk of not only meeting this guy, but working with him. Might as well aim high, right?

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All the while I will be listening to my motivation mix which includes, “Hall of Fame” by The Script, “Failure” by Breaking Benjamin, “It Has Begun” by Starset, “American Noise” by Skillet, and “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors.

Alright, the first step has been taken, let the journey begin!

Until next time,

The Texan

Whammies 2.0

A few months ago I wrote a post called “Whammies”. The post was about some the stressors that I had endured during that week which included; husband being gone, school work load, and being sick. All things that filled my time, while also making me not be at 100%; which is something I strongly dislike. Well, the week of whammies has returned. The good thing is that, this time, my husband is home; he’s so good at doing things.

This time my stressors/limiters are:

*Two back injuries in less than a week. I haven’t pulled a muscle in my back in over a year, and I managed to pull two different muscles in five days. The first happened Wednesday night. I fell asleep on the couch while watching “The Golden Girls”, and remained there for over an hour. My upper back let me know the next morning that it did not appreciate the particular position I had settled into. The second happened yesterday while doing a Pilates exercise that I have done a hundred times. For some reason my lower back was not having it.

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*Last night our son threw up in his room, thankfully my husband took care of that one.    : / He seemed fine this morning, so I sent him to school; a couple hours later the school nurse called. Yep, but at least he got to enjoy his first field day before tossing his cookies, again.

*School work. Oh yes, the ever present school work. Although this time its not the large quantity waiting to be completed, but rather that there is not much left. I have less than two weeks before I finish my last class, and my big 21 page paper will turned in tomorrow. This paper was quite the epic under taking, and soon I will hand it off to my professor with the hope that he likes it. And he just had the mention (in the comment section of one my rough drafts) that he sends some papers to the dean, to be reviewed, the ones that are very good. Some of those win awards. When I read that I was like..

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…Did he mention that to everyone, or just ones he is considering. Will he like my paper? Is it serious enough? Will I be just a big fat disappointment? Will I end on a high note? And of course, the biggest stressor is that in only two weeks I will no longer have school work to hide behind. I will be free to be what I say I want to be, which is great, but I also have to get over myself and actually do it. And what I want to do involves offering my heart and soul to the world, and wait to see if they accept or reject my offer.

………………

Nope. Not stressful at all. I suppose the best I can do is take things one step at the time, which is difficult for me because I have no patience and I am very future orientated. I may succeed or I may not; but I’ll only fail if I don’t try.

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If you’ll excuse me, I have a date with my heating pad.

Until next time,

The Texan

Still Fitting in Fitness

I must admit I woke up this morning with no ideas, not a single blog idea. Perhaps it is because most of my brain cells are locked up in that 21 page paper that I have been working on these past few weeks. The good news is that it is all written, all I have to do now is polish it up, and make it awesome. I also got to “blog time” a little later than usual today because I had some extra errands I needed to run, and the electricity went out at the grocery store I usually go to. It wasn’t too big of a deal because the power came back on after about ten minutes of sitting in the parking lot. And luckily, I stumbled upon the Victoria’s Secret undies sale, just a heads up ladies.

Anywho…

Whilst putting the groceries away, I thought, and I thought…

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Then I got an idea. I wrote a post about my exercise routine a couple of months ago, and why I am committed to it; maybe I could write an update. Are you on the edge of your seat yet? I know me too. Or…umm…anyway..

In that post I wrote about the five reasons why I fit in fitness. The first was to achieve my goal of once again being able to do a bunch of pushups. Unfortunately y’all, I totally fell off that wagon. I made it to twenty a day, and then just stopped. However comma, I did add a different workout DVD to my routine that has a lot of focus on the upper body, well and lower body too. Its intense, for real y’all. But it does give me the opportunity to come up with creative swear words like hominy, fujita, homina, and sassafras. The first time I did the routine, I could barely walk, stairs were super fun, but its better now. Another reason was because it gets cold in my house in the winter time, and working out was good chance to not be cold for a while. Thankfully its now summer….ish…or something, anyway its not cold anymore.

Here are the reasons that are still in play:

  1. Bucky’s legs, and looking awesome in yoga pants, which I think is coming along nicely.

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2. Appreciating fitness humor such as…

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and…

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Lol! This is sooo accurate! Good thing I do my workouts at home.

3. Now that the weather doesn’t suck all the time, well its not awesome all the time either. It rained all day today, all day. Today’s rain cancelled my daughter’s field trip and my son’s soccer practice, but at least its not butt cold anymore, but I digress. Now that it is warmer, I have worked in some running. I was a little nervous at first because last time I got a little over zealous which resulted in giving myself runners knee, and the purchasing of an ankle brace. But this time I am taking it slow starting with just one day a week, instead of ummm….three. The last two runs have gone well, there’s some pain and stuff involved but mostly well.

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Lol! Oh well, just gotta keep going right?

4. It has now become a habit. They say it takes 45 days to develop a habit, and I surpassed that long ago. Its now simply a part of my day. So if you have wanted to start working out, or have just begun, stick with it. You’ll be glad you did, trust me.

Well if you’ll excuse me, its about workout time.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

Courage Darling

A couple of weeks ago my family and I took little day trip. We went to the St. Lawrence River, and visited one of the more than 1000 islands that it…has. No, no…that it holds within its banks. Yeah that sounds way cooler. Anyway…

After exploring Heart Island and the Boldt Castle, which I highly recommend if you are ever in this neck of the woods, we drove to Canada to find a place to eat dinner. We stopped in this little Canadian town called Gananoque, and ate at this quirky restaurant called “The Socialist Pig: Food for Everyone”. The food was awesome and the staff were super nice; I also highly recommend this place as well. First off, this fulfilled one of my ten hopes for the year, I believe it was number five or six, “to have been to Canada”. Check! And it added another country to my list of countries that I had gone grocery shopping in, they include; USA, Germany, Italy, Denmark, France, England, and now Canada. Neat huh?

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On the way back home, we drove past a small wooden sign on the side of the road, pretty much in the middle of nowhere that read; “Courage darling, change the world.” It was one of those, did I just see what I thought I saw?, moments. Man that sign hit me right in the fears, but I also felt that it was something that I was meant to see. It also made me wonder, who the heck put up that sign??

Courage can be a tricky thing to grab hold of because it is one of the weapons that we use against the foe known as fear. My daughter, who is nine, has been struggling with finding her courage this week. She signed up for this just for fun talent show that her school is hosting, with the belief that her friend was going to dance to a song with her. Unfortunately, her friend either backed out, forgot, or was told she couldn’t do it. Now as the first practice approaches, she wants to quit. Her reasons being that she signed up believing that her friend would do it with her, she doesn’t want to be on stage by herself, there are too many songs to choose from, everyone will laugh at “the weirdo on stage” (her exact words), and practice is a waste of time. Now she has dance experience, and has performed in six recitals, and one talent show at her other school; so lack of talent is not the issue here. Its fear.

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Last night my husband and I talked to her to encourage her, not wanting her to give up just because things did not go as planned. We told her that we know that if she did go ahead with it, that she would be great; because she always is when she takes a chance on herself. We saw the conflict on her face, not wanting to fail but also not wanting to miss out. We told her that we would stand behind whatever decision she made, but made sure that she knew that we believe that she can do this solo dance and do it well. There is one practice today and one on Thursday, she only has to go to one, so I guess we’ll see what happens; at the moment she is still undecided.

Seeing yourself in your kids can be great, but it can also be not great. I found myself being frustrated with me for having all those dumb traits that my kids are now stuck with as well. And wanting nothing more than for my kids to be better, to be stronger, to be more brave, and to have less fear than I did as kid; or even now. The kids are both too young to fully understand regret, which is something I know all too well, I guess its just one of those things that one has to experience for themselves. They are also too young to fully appreciate the non-tangible rewards that come with working hard or taking chance; they recognize them, the appreciation just is not there yet.

The road to change, or success, or dreams being fulfilled, begins with one step. It can be difficult to see the journey, until the reached destination gives you the benefit of hindsight. Every step is important and each chance taken builds up courage, determination, and bravery; which are all things used to battle against fear. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes.

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“Courage darling, change the world.”

Until next time,

The Texan

 

My Lions

I have discussed fear a little bit on this blog, and on my previous blog as well. By the way, if you’re interested its called “Hope, Faith and Star Wars” and can be found at hopefaithstarwars.com. Fear has always been a big limiting factor for me, I have many fears, and I imagine that I am not alone in that. But eventually one gets to a point in their life when they attempt to find the positive or the good that came from bowing down to fear, as in “how did I benefit from avoiding things that I am afraid of”. If you’re like me, and you too have gotten to that point, you may be struggling to find the aforementioned good.

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Now don’t get me wrong, fear on some levels is good. Fear is a necessary human emotion, because it stops someone from being reckless when they drive or encourages them to be cautious when things look a little dangerous. After all with out fear, the human race would have died out long ago. Fear becomes a bad thing when it crosses into worry, anxiety, or causes the person to give up or hold back. That, my friends, is when fear becomes a big waste of our precious time.

For my final project for my Myth and Ritual class, I analyzed a great story from the Middle East called “The Story of the Prince and the Lions”. The tale is about a prince who in order to prove that he is worthy to be king, has to face a lion; a task that will test his courage. The prince is afraid, so much so, that he decides to run from his destiny and build a new life else where. However, at the first refuge he learns that the surrounding forest is filled with lions and that everyday they attack anyone who is outside the walls of the large estate. So the prince runs again. At the second refuge, he is taken in by a group of Arabs who live out in the desert. A week after his arrival, the prince is asked go to the distant hills, kill a lion, and bring back its skin. This would prove that the prince has courage and would be valuable in a fight should the need arise. Unable to face such a task he runs yet again. At the third refuge, he discovers that the family who has taken him in have a pet lion. This lion is completely harmless, but the prince is so afraid that while listening to the lion walk the halls at night, he breaks into a cold sweat barely able to breath; while hiding in a dark corner. He then comes the realization, that running from his fear has proved impossible because it followed him each time he ran, and would continue to do so. He returns home ready to face his fear, come hell or high water. Much to his surprise, while standing face to face with the lion he discovers that the lion is tame, and even rubs up against his legs like a house cat. When the prince ran from his fear, all he found was more fear, but once he faced it, he got everything he ever wanted and then some. He also found that the task he had been so afraid of, really wasn’t that bad. His motto, which he had put on a sign and hung over the front door of the palace, became “Never run from the lion.”

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This got me thinking about my own lions, the lions from my past, the lions that await me in the future, and ones that I face today. I think that putting something out in the open is a great way to deal with it, to make yourself accountable, and gives you the opportunity to benefit from some else’s wisdom, and encouragement. Today I will share with you some of my fears, with the hope that the act of sharing will encourage you to share your fears with someone, and will allow me to see my own fears in black and white.

  1. To start off a rather silly fear; ferris wheels. This does play into my slight fear of heights, although strangely enough I will ride roller coasters.
  2. Next up an irrational fear, fast moving ceiling fans.
  3. Getting a tattoo. This one is new because I had never considered  getting a tattoo until I watched the Captain America movies and discovered the awesomeness that is James Buchanan Barnes. What would I get? Bucky’s red star on my left arm right where his is. Why am I scared? Because tattoos hurt, and I don’t like needles. For real y’all, I endured the pain of childbirth head on (twice), because I was scared of the epidural needle.
  4. Going to New York City. I have always wanted to go to “The Big Apple”, so much history, so many restaurants, and so much of anything and everything. But its so BIG, and I am weary of big things. I won’t go to Hobby Lobby because its so big.
  5. Wasps, I got stung when I was a kid and it hurt like the devil y’all. Actually, this fear is pretty solid, I see no issues with it.
  6. Another irrational fear, creaky second floors or really second floors in general. A rule in our house is, “no running or jumping upstairs, because it makes Mommy nervous”. Connected to this is my slight fear of tall buildings. My husband and I went to Chicago several years ago, and we visited the John Hancock Building. I almost had a panic attack when I saw that the observation deck was on the 94th, 94th!!, floor. I made it up there, but I walked very gingerly and pretty much felt like I was going to throw up for a good ten minutes. But the point is, I’m glad a went, and I suppose that further solidifies my more than slight fear of heights.
  7. This one is the big one, failure. Fear of failure can prevent a person from, taking a risk, taking a chance, following a dream, and can leave them wondering, “what if?”. If I never ride another ferris wheel again, I won’t be sad, but giving into this fear; I can’t allow that to happen.

Do I know what the future holds? No. What will life after college look like? I’m not sure. Will my ideas for movies ever make onto the big screen? I don’t know. Could my awesome trip to NYC be a big fat disaster? It’s possible. Will that stop me? Never.

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Until next time,

The Texan

Stronger

They say that what ever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, and to quote Wendy Cooper (from What To Expect When You’re Expecting), “I for one, hope that’s true.” College has challenged me in ways that I didn’t expect that it would when first started this degree all those years ago. I have grown, as a person and a writer. I have felt awesome about myself, and I have felt terribly inadequate. I have had bright shining moments of brilliance, and moments where I could not focus or put a sentence together if you paid me. I have had teachers who basically told me I could do no wrong, and teachers who basically told me I was the scum of the history profession. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a little on that last bit but I definitely have had teachers that didn’t seem to like me very much. The important thing is that I kept going and stayed true to my view of history, which is not that of a scholar and its not really formal either. My favorite part of history is the people, and being able to breathe some fresh life into the story of someone who lived hundreds of years ago. So many people think that history is boring, maybe you are one of them, and I hope to change that by not being a stuffy formal historian.

College has been big part of my life for a while now, it has been my focus, and has been apart of my identity. But one day soon it won’t be anymore. I won’t just be someone who is working on their degree, but someone who has their degree. Then I have to go and be what I want to be, instead of just talking about what I want to be. On one hand that’s awesome, but on the other, that’s scary. The world is big and foreboding and full of unknowns, but also open and limitless and full of opportunity. I have my hopes, and my dreams, and a thousand and one ideas floating around in my head waiting to be discovered and nourished. I haven’t the slightest idea what it will all amount to, but I know that they are all worth striving for.

But first! I need to finish my last eight weeks of school!! Eight weeks, y’all! Eight weeks! However, there is a big nasty gatekeeper guarding the gate to freedom. I call it, the Senior Seminar. (shutter shutter, and why not a crash of lightening)

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Before it will let me pass, it demands a twenty one page research paper, seven of those pages are due in two weeks. The good thing is, I can write this paper on anything that has to do with history, the bad thing is, the final product is 54% of my grade; so if it sucks I’m toast. I also have to finish the last four weeks of my Myth and Ritual class, the final project for that is a power point presentation that must consist of twenty slides; all I’ve done for that little gem is read instructions that made me think about Captain America. On top of all that is the nastygram I got from my History of Africa teacher for disobeying the final exam instructions, which by the way I could not find, I looked in four different places; so I decided to wing it. Let’s just say my efforts were not well received. So yeah, these next eight weeks can go by as fast as they want.

I have a feeling that my mood over the next eight weeks is going fluctuate between “I am awesome. I am one with the Force. I am super historian.” and simply Bucky Barnes.

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Until next time,

The Texan

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By the way, I’ve been thinking about changing the name of the blog/website to better reflect its content, and so that my writing doesn’t have to be connected to winter. Stay tuned for a new name, and if you would like follow me on Twitter at @TheTexan5. As always thank you for reading!