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

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

 

I Had a Dream

Y’all I am elbow deep in bachelors degree this week, so I do hope that you will pardon the brevity of this post. But first, a quick update on how my schooling is going. My topic for my capstone paper has been officially approved, and I will be focusing on the English side of things during the events of 1066; particularly Harold Godwinson and the Battle of Stanford Battle. I look forward to writing the paper but also look forward to being finished with said paper, June 25th could not come fast enough y’all.

I was thinking of something that I could write about that would be quick but also amusing, and decided to tell y’all about this dream I had a couple of weeks ago. It involves the People’s Choice Awards, Sebastian Stan, and some brillo pads, it was pretty crazy. Well maybe not crazy, interesting?, thought provoking?, weird?….hmmm…amusing, yeah, we’ll just stick with amusing. Anywho…with out further delay…

So I was at the People’s Choice Awards and I was wearing this dress, I had seen it on an advertisement on Pinterest that day. Then in the morning after I told my husband about the dream, I saw the dress on Pinterest again, and was like, “This is it! This is the dress!” And he was like, “Huh.” So I decided to save the picture.

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I had just mustered up the courage to introduce myself to this guy, which was no small feat I assure you.

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Then I look down and notice that my legs are not only unshaven, they basically looked like someone had glued a bunch of these to them.

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Weird..okay yeah, maybe it was a little weird. I don’t remember anything after that, the shock of having brillo pad legs may have woken me up. By the way, I usually don’t remember my dreams, so recalling this many details is unusual. I wonder what it means…

sophia

Until next time,

The Texan

 

 

 

1066

You’re probably wondering about that title aren’t you? Don’t worry I’ll explain that here in a moment. But first a quick update…my History of Africa teacher was not moved by my words/pleas that I hoped would get me a slightly better grade, but instead provided me with different reason as to why I received the grade that I did. In short, I am hoping that these last classes will prop my GPA back up. Which of course also means that these last two big projects have to be on point y’all. Good thing is that, I’m not worried…okay I’m a little worried. But!, I must keep moving forward because, I’m almost there y’all, almost there.

My Senior Seminar teacher wanted us to submit four topic ideas for our final or capstone paper, as they call it, and he picked the one that he felt would work the best. I will be writing my, gulp, twenty one page paper on the Norman invasion of England in the year 1066. This event is one my favorite historical events mainly because the story is about people, it’s very people focused. So I thought that before diving into my super serious formal history paper, I would like to share the story with you, with my own brand of flare. Now before your brain glazes over, or you switch to a different blog just bear with me, I promise you this will not be boring.

The 1066 Invasion of England, led by Duke William the Conqueror

This is a story about an old English king, a young English earl, a Norman duke, and some dude from Norway. The old English king was called King Edward the Confessor, and in January of 1066 he was near death with no apparent heir to the throne. The young English earl, was Edward’s brother in law, Harold Godwinson. The Norman duke was Edward’s cousin, once removed, William of Normandy. The dude from Norway was actually the king of Norway, and Denmark too I believe, Harold Hardrada, who pointed at some old treaty as to why he should be Edward’s successor.

The story begins in late 1065, the king is old and sick, essentially his days were numbered. In those days the king could chose whomever they wanted to succeed them provided they were apart of the family and had the approval of other English leaders. Now according to William, and many of the written sources most of which are told from the Norman perspective, Edward had told him back in 1053 that he would be Edward’s heir. So as far as William was concerned it was a done deal, all he had to was wait, and England would be his; gift wrapped. However, there was no official record of this exchange, it was basically William’s word against everyone else’s.

Unfortunately for William, on Edward’s death bed he declared Harold Godwinson as being the best qualified for the job. The other English leaders approved because he had shouldered so many royalish duties while the king had been ill, plus he was the leader of the English army. So on January 6, 1066, Harold Godwinson was crowned the King of England, and all was good, until it wasn’t.

Here is the coronation of King Harold as shown on the Bayeux Tapestry, a really long embroidery commissioned by Bishop Odo, William’s half brother, which shows the events of 1066. ¬†

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Meanwhile in Normandy, William is you know doing his duke stuff and patiently waiting for the English crown to be offered to him. Then one day, someone tells him, “Hey bro, didn’t you hear? Edward died and that Harold dude is the king now.” And William said, “Excuse me, who is the what now?” “Harold is the king.” To which William replied, “Oh hell no!” So he rounded his best men, and they built a bunch of boats, which thankfully was something they were quite good at given the fact that the Normans were descendants of Vikings. He loaded up said boats, with men, horses, and supplies, and set off across the English Channel, to confront….well England basically.

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He landed on the southern coast of England just a few days after Harold and the English won the Battle of Stamford Bridge (fought near York), which took care of that dude from Norway that I mentioned earlier. This distraction also allowed William to land and begin his march further into England unnoticed. Well for the most part, he did encounter some rather confused villagers who had yet to hear that Edward had died. Furthermore they did not care much for this Norman dude with all his horses that had showed up on their doorstep. Perhaps it was the raiding of food stores that caused William to not win their favor, yeah that probably had a lot to do with it.

While still in York, Harold got wind of William’s arrival and he rounded up his guys and headed for London, were he got some new guys. He then marched south and met the armies of William in a open field near the village of Battle. The fighting, known to history as the Battle of Hastings, began around 9am on October 14, 1066, and lasted all day. As daylight faded the Normans began their final assault during which Harold himself was killed, with an arrow to the eye. I know…ouch.

The death of Harold as shown by the Bayeux Tapestry, there are other theories, but this is the traditional story.

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With that victory the English throne was firmly in William’s grasp, and he was crowned William I, on December 25, 1066 at Westminster Abbey. His nineteen year reign was not without its revolts, to which he responded with “Viking flare”, if you get my drift. But nevertheless, the Normans did bring some good things to England, which forever changed the country, and how it dealt with the rest of world.

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Ah history, dontcha just love to bask in its glow. : )

sebastian

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)

seniorseminar

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!

On The Inside

I think the time has come where I can officially, or rather unofficially, because the official start was like three weeks ago and, oh **ahem**…anyway. Where I can say…

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Yay! I mean I wish it was like 15 or 20 degrees warmer, but its not freezing cold outside therefore I will gladly accept what we have been given here in almost Canada. We’re actually grilling for dinner tonight, we haven’t been able to that in a while! This warmer, and sunnier, weather has helped my Seasonal Affective Disorder and my vitamin deficiency, and soon we should be able to get our flower beds ready! Woohoo!

This blog is called¬†Winter and the Texan, and winter has come to a close however (comma), I intend to keep the blog going through out the, off season?, yeah, off season that’s a good term. Because I still have school, and kids, and travel related stuff, and I suppose whatever else comes to mind. Perhaps even little tidbits from the other stories/screenplays that I have written, that I look forward to focusing on once I graduate. I truly appreciate all my readers and hope that you will keep this blog on your radar during the summer.

My few remaining college classes have been a dominant stresser as of late. I mean I’m getting good grades and putting out decent papers, forum posts, and what not. On the outside I look like this…

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…you know calm, confident, and looking up for some reason. **Hmm, looking up. Looking up…Why are we looking up Sebastian? Oh I know, because the future is bright and on an upward path?, trajectory?, swing?….. No, no, we’ll just go with a simple, things are looking up. Yeah..good.** Anyway. On the inside however, its more like this..

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I’m handling my classes, and all that they imply, in the same fashion that Sebastian Stan is handling…um..whatever is it that he is doing in these pictures. I’m just running out of steam y’all. The final paper that was two pages to short, the monster final exam next week, the two part forum post I had to write yesterday, not to mention my upcoming Senior Seminar and the fact that I have no idea what it will bring.

Its amazing just how often our outside appearance does not reflect what is going on the inside. We keep that cool exterior for a number of reasons, to not appear weak, to stay strong for our kids so they see value in well, staying strong and giving things our best. The problem is that our best takes a good deal of energy and I feel like my best ran out like two months ago. I still give my best to my kids, my marriage, my job (at moment I am a homemaker), and my creative writing pursuits; but this college thing, man, I’m not sure how much more I have left. I know I wrote that last week but, it continues to be true. The thing I always remind myself is that I am almost finished, and that next chapter is so close I can almost touch it.

The future is bright friends and one day soon I, and you, will be able to bask in the glow of our efforts coming full circle. We just gotta keep going!

Until next time,

The Texan

 

P.S. Just a little humor! : )

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The Homestretch

Good day readers! I have some super awesome amazingly stupendous news! Spring has finally found us here in Upstate New York or at the very least is trying to get its foot in the rather heavy door that winter has equipped itself with. Yesterday it got up to 77, 77 y’all!!, the sun was shining and I had the windows open all day, all day! The heater didn’t even come on! I know, awesome!! Here is a picture of our cat, Kiki, enjoying the 70 something degree sunshine.

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Yesterday evening however a cold front came through, today it’s cloudy and about ten degrees cooler than it was yesterday; and I hear that we will be getting close to freezing later this week. While we are in the homestretch of winter, which is great, winter is most certainly not finished yet, which is not so great. We’re nearly there but not quite in the clear, just yet. This got me thinking about homestretches in general. The homestretch is the last bit, a sign that you’re almost finished, and that you are about to finally reap the fruits of your labor. People tend to focus on the “I’m nearly there” part, which is indeed a positive thing. However, when most people use “but you’re in the homestretch” as motivation, they often leave out that it’s the hardest part.

It’s the part where you’ve expended much of your energy and you have to dig down deep and hope that you’ll find more. It’s the part where even after all your effort, you could still lose, fall short, or something could go wrong. It’s the part where you’re the most vulnerable, but also where your determination is at its highest. It’s the make or break point. The part where it is decided just how the event, the race, the goal will be remembered; because it colors the whole thing.

For the past uh…eleven..uh..years, I’ve been working on my bachelors degree, babies and moving to/from Europe kinda slowed me down. I now only have nine credits left, nine!, and I have officially entered the homestretch. The problem is that every forum post, every research paper, every page of notes, every short essay is sitting right on my shoulders. I have had to prove myself a hundred times over, but there is still more to give; and honestly most of time I feel that there is nothing left up here. (taps on head) Now this is partly because of the work load, partly because of the uber high expectations I put on myself, and partly because I am itching to start focusing on the next chapter. As a result I often sit in front of my computer like this (refer to picture below) when it’s time to do school work.

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Or like this..

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Or like this…

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I honestly feel bad for these last few classes because they are not getting my best work, because my heart (ie my drive, my focus) is getting pretty darn close to leaving the building. For real y’all I require a pep talk from my husband like three or four times a week. The homestretch is not easy, but it does mean that I am almost there, almost there. My motivation is to be an example to my kids to never give up, and actually be able to show them with my actions rather than just tell them. It’s knowing that one day soon, I will have that degree, and the next chapter can finally begin. It’s being able to soon basque in the glow of my accomplishment, and take a deep breath and say, “I did it.” Then I can do this (see below) with my degree!

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If you are the midst of your own homestretch, I encourage you not to give up. Get that pep talk, think about the next chapter, bake that cake (you known so you can eat it), listen to your new favorite song five times in a row, whatever it will take to drum up the strength to keep pushing forward. I know its hard, but you’re almost there. And I am certain that it will all be worth it.

Until next time,

The Texan