5 Reasons I’ve Taken a Blogging Break

Alright guys, I know, I know, I haven’t posted in a long time. I’m SO SORRY! You, my awesome readers, have been patient, and I’m so grateful for you all! So here’s the low-down on what’s been going on.

byu-idaho-campusOne: I got into college on campus. I was taking online classes, but now I’m most happily taking classes in person on campus here in Idaho, and I’m loving it! So that’s taken up my time and thrown off my schedule.

zxvmnrhhTwo: I started a journalist job with Product Peel. Yeah, no joke guys! I’ve been super busy sending out interview requests, writing articles, and working with my editor, I’ve lost track of the last time I posted a blog here. They have a website, but they are revamping it so I’ll send the new one when it’s out.

6402511589_b14936eb16_bThree: I started a second blog. Yep. One that is all about self-publishing for as cheap as possible, maybe even free. Because so far guys, my book is going to be published for free! Only thing I’ve done is paid to have my domain name here on this blog. I want to share how you too can publish a good book without having to give up your life savings. So I’ve been blogging there. Here is a link so you can follow there. Self-Publishing for Free

Custod CrestFour: Then my book is getting so close to publication! The goal date is May 6th of this year! We’ll see how that goes. So I have spent a lot of time formatting it, deciding where and how to publish, and so forth. Also getting really excited about getting the cover art in soon! Been working closely with the artiest and she’s AMAZING! Here’s a link to check her out on TwitterInstagram, or Tumbler

5. I no longer work retail where I write the defective tags, so for the next few weeks I’ll be posting the last of those I have written down.

So there’s the long and short of it. Thanks guys! You are awesome, and I’ll be posting often again.

 

 

 

 

Would You Want to Be a Tree?

be-like-a-treeI know it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted. But this is such a special post, I had to take time to get it just right.

I read a very interesting blog. This post is in reply to this idea. Take a look at it here: https://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/would-you-live-like-a-tree/

In Damyanti’s post, she talked about how living life like a tree could be so beautiful. Strong, forever giving without care, never speaking, just watching. I’d like to express my different, yet complimenting opinion on living life as a tree.

I have an experience with a friend who longed to be a tree. Not just live as a tree, but be a tree. For privacy reasons, I won’t share her name or personal information, but she had a very hard life. She dealt with horrible abuse at a very young age, mental, physical and sexual. It left her deeply mentally scared

th (1)When we met, I was trying hard to help her be able to overcome her disorders and live the life she wanted to live. One day, she told me that when she died, she wanted to be a tree, holding God’s hand and bringing joy and happiness to people. That she wanted people to gather around her and share her happiness.

I knew why she would want this. She was scared of people. At a very young age, people had only ever hurt her. She felt that, as a tree, she’d be separated from them enough to not be scared of them. That if she just watched people live their lives, she couldn’t be hurt. She wanted to experience the joy of life without having to actually live it.

There is a beauty to living silently, in quietly giving and sharing, either as a lone tree or as a tree in a grove. Yet there is a danger in living solely like this.

The-Hunchback-of-Notre-Dame-the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-24736671-364-500We are human beings. In Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, one of the gargoyles tells Quasimodo, “Life is not a spectators’ sport.” You cannot find the happiness and joys in life if you do not live life. That takes action.

A tree is a spectator. There is a beauty to watching life go by. There are times in life I believe we do need to take that step back, look at the big picture and breathe. This is healthy, but we can’t forever live as a tree. We should visit the tree phase; we should not live there.

This friend of mine did try to live her life as a tree, both as a child and now as an adult. It allowed life to happen to her instead of her making her own life. Because of fear, fear of people, fear of what would happen, she stood as a strong tree and let every squirrel dig a deep hole into her very core. She let the birds ruin her mind as they made their dirty nests there.

Ents_by_VolcanoTeenWe need to spend time as a tree, but we should not live as a tree. Or else we will end up trapped in a world we no longer control. We need to be part tree. We need to be like J.R.R Tolkin’s Ents. We need to take time to be still, ever giving quietly and listening. However, when we are threatened we need to act.

So let’s live life as a tree. Let’s be living, moving trees. Let’s be the strongest and stillest of trees. Then let us go and change the world. Change is only made by those who act, not those who watch. So be still, love, share without expecting a twig back, but don’t let the world pass you by. Don’t take abuse. When that squirrel you’ve loved and cared for starts to dig your very heart out, it’s time to act. Don’t tolerate any injustice to the innocent. Act. Help. That is how the world will change. If good men do nothing, bad men will do everything and evil will fill the world. The world will have nothing but cruel and evil people and silent, dying trees.

Don’t Let the Past Stink You Up

Smelly Shoes Smelly Past

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve done a defective tag. Other more interesting things have come up, but with such a long list of defectives still to do, it’s time to come back to the tags.

Defective Tag LessonsSo this tag is interesting. A gentlemen brought in shoes that were too small. So we took them. As we looked at them later, we found they smelled horrid. So I tagged them. “They liked their old owner so much, they won’t let him go. They smell of him too strongly.”

It got me thinking, what are things that could be ‘stinking’ up our own lives. Who do I hold on to old things that I don’t need anymore? The past is important. We need to learn from the past, but if we hold on too tightly to the ‘smelly’ things that happen, we will be miserable. Like these shoes, we’ll be in good condition but unable to be used. We’re good for nothing but to be thrown out. We need to learn to let the go. It needs to be left in the past. If we let the past stick to us like a bad smell, it taints our current life. We cannot look back and expect to move forward.

Time is a one way streetWe cannot stop moving forward. Time is a one way street. We cannot help but walk forward. If we forever look back, we will hit every rock and tree as we press forward.  It only makes your life crash. Have you ever wondered what was wrong with your life and traced it back to one core painful moment? Maybe it’s because you’ve been looking at that one painful moment for too long. We need to stop staring at it, take the lessons it gave us, and look ahead.

Think of the Disney Classic “The Lion King” (Can you tell I like Disney!?). The movie is about the lion Simba learning that the past hurts, but if we face it, take its good lessons, and look forward, life gets better. If we forever look back on the past, we get stuck and walk into every tree ahead. He only found true joy when he faced his past, came to peace with it, and moved forward. He no longer looked back at the problem, he used it to propel him forward.

Vector challenge messageSo the challenge: Find the pain in your past, and confront it. It can make you stronger. So don’t ignore it. Just don’t stare at it all day. Walk forward and face the new tress, don’t let the old ones make you find every new one along the way. Take the lesson, use it as rocket fuel and press forward.

Defective: Binoculars Out of Focus! Are you!?

binoculr“Defective: These binoculars can’t focus on the birds. It’s too busy taking in empty space.”

That was this week’s defective tag. The man who returned them was very confused; wondering why his binoculars weren’t able to focus on anything. He was right; those binoculars had horrible focus.

How can we learn not to be defective binoculars? It’s all about having our lives in focus. Are we working for goal or are we unfocused? Do we have something we want to look at, or are we looking at everything, because we don’t care what we see? Are our lives in focus? Are we truly looking at things that make us happy?

Here are some examples from my work environment. We are a pretty diverse group, at least in our life focuses. Some are set on just having ‘fun’ in life; others are working to support and raise families, while a majority really aren’t focused on anything. They just float through life.

You can tell a big difference between those who have a reason to work and those who just go with the flow. Those who have a goal, any goal, no matter what that goal is, work better. They are more productive. They are happier. Their sales do better, because they are happier customers connect with them.

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal setting concept presented on blackboard with colorful crumpled sticky notes and white chalk handwriting

Those who have no goal, always complain about annoying customers. They never can stop complaining about management and grumble when they aren’t around. It just makes the complainer miserable.

In the end, those with a goal get more hours, more pay, and enjoy their days off more. As a result, they come to work in a good mood and anxious to work. Because their lives have proper focus they are able to fully enjoy themselves.

Those who don’t feel sad, almost depressed. They don’t go anywhere, because they don’t know where they want to go. As a result, they become bored with life.

It helps me keep focused on my goals. I know what I want. I want to make money so I can go school and learn how to be a better writer. I find, even on hard days, the goal helps me endure the daily crap. Those who don’t have a goal, hate everything and everyone. When I ask them why they work, they tell me because others make them.

Vector challenge messageSo this week’s challenge: decide what you want to do in life. What it is you work for; why do you go to work? Is it a good enough reason? Do you need to get a reason or do you have another goal that means changing your life?

Reaching our goals is hard, but I can promise you, there is nothing makes you happier. A fun example, in “Disney’s Tangled”, Rapunzel had a dream and works hard for it. She found more joy in the than the goal. When she reached it, she didn’t know what to do next. She felt empty and hollow. Her fellow adventurer told her, that’s the best part of reaching your dream; you get to find a new one. Life is not about the goal; it’s about the journey.

c319946fe42d4f70d56c9765ea2acb62

Defective! Radio with No Connection!

Defective  radioSo it’s time for another defective tag! I’ve had so much work this week that I’ve got a huge list of new tags, but no time to write them. So I’m happy I can put this up as well as the road trip posts.

I was taking the call backs to the back room. I found one that caught my eye. It was an emergency radio that was supposed to be able to contact any nearby radios with an SOS or other messages. This defective radio couldn’t pick up any signals, or send them out. It wouldn’t connect with any other radios.

This was the tag: It hates the other radios. It won’t connect with them.

defective radio example

Taken from Minion Fans Facebook Page

In the world, I see a lot of people acting like this radio. It’s become ‘cool’ to hate the people on principle. Because of this, people are very unwilling to connect with each other. I see lots of posts on Facebook and Twitter that are supposed to be ‘funny’, when really they are saying it’s ‘cool’ to hate everyone. It expresses the idea that you shouldn’t like everyone. It’s become is a common attitude in the world today.

It’s so sad. We have the mindset we are more ‘powerful’ when we are exclusive. It’s encouraged to hate, not just ignore, but despise, everyone else. We only keep enough friends to keep us from feeling lonely, maybe we have one or two we don’t hate. Now, it is important to have a few close friends, but shunning the rest of the world won’t help anyone. On the contrary, it hurts those being shunned and the shunner.

The dividing lines between us all are only getting wider. You can see the trouble it contributes to all over the news. The hatred between races is only growing greater. People scream for equality, but they themselves are, more often than not, the ones who draw the dividing line, whether they know it or not. For instance, any wrong done to a different race, by any white person is automatically places as a racist hate crime. We delight in picking on one another. We preach of equality, but act in a way that only makes the lines deeper and wider.  This leaves us empty; people long to be loved and have connection.

This attitude has contributed to the rising number of teen suicides. This attitude says someone has to prove they are worth loving to not be hated. It leaves young, lonely and vulnerable teens, and some adults, hopeless. They feel no one will ever love them. They are not in anyone’s group; so everyone hates them. This pattern that must stop.

Vector challenge messageSo this challenge has two parts. The first part is to just look at the world around you. How do you think the world would change if just one person decided to stop being ‘too cool’ and was friendly with other people; no matter how the other person acted?  The second part is to test it. See what happens if you work just a bit harder to be at least friendly with someone.

I’m not saying you have pretend to love them. That is much easier said than done. I’m just asking for us to stop just hating people on principle. Not all people are bad; not all people are good. Some are only bad because it’s the only attention they ever get. Some people are mean because that is seen as ‘cool’ and they just want to be loved.

So, reach out, be friendly. For goodness sakes, just say hi when you pass someone. You never know what a difference that can make.

Here’s an example. There was a teenage girl, who had decided to kill herself. She felt no one loved her; the whole world hated her. No one would take time to say a word to her or even smile. On her way to kill herself, someone driving by made eye contact with her and smiled. She was so surprised, she stopped. She decided that if a complete stranger had noticed her enough to smile, there had to be hope in the world. It was proof the whole would didn’t hate her. That stranger liked her enough to smile. She turned around and walked home.

So I’m not challenging you to love everyone or to hug everyone you meet. If you want to do that, go for it. I see nothing wrong with that; I’d love that. But I’m not asking you to change that much, just to change the underlying attitude. We don’t have to hate the world. It only makes yourself and others miserable. Just be friendly. You may just see amazing things happen.

Friendly to Everyone

So let’s be like the Minions and say “Ello” to everyone and love them all.

Defective! Keeping the Tank Full

Well, it’s been a little while. I didn’t post at all last week because I was out of town. Don’t worry. That will be fixed this week. I got a lot of fun ideas on my trip. If you want to see the small updates I did on the road, you can visit my twitter pages by following the links of the right. However, today I’m posting a new defective tag. Before the week is up, I hope to have another post up.

So this week, I was brought a remote control car. It didn’t work. The car was not getting power from the batteries. No matter what kind of batteries they put in, it wouldn’t work.

Defective Tag LessonsThis is what I put on the tag:  ‘It’s tired of using gas. It was to be environmentally friendly. So won’t use the gas we put in. It can’t get power.”

To find a good blog post about this one, I had to think. I thought about what in life we say we won’t take, because the world tells us its ‘bad’. This poor car just wanted to help the environment, but now it doesn’t work. Because it doesn’t work, it’s going to be thrown away and broken down. I guess it ends up in a landfill. All because it wouldn’t take the gas that it needed. Why? Because the world told the car it was ‘bad’ to take gas.

How often do we do that? Think about it for a moment. Is there something you do that is like this car not taking the gas? I have an example I’d like to share. I am an insomniac. Not the behavior kind most people experience and joke about. I get chronic insomnia. I can go to bed at 9pm and not fall asleep until 2am. That’s if I don’t pull out my phone or laptop. All I am using is music or an audiobook to try to lull me to sleep.

defective insomniaPeople around me tell me that sleeping in late every single day is a bad thing. After all, only lazy people, who aren’t going anywhere with their lives, sleep in until 8am as the average, right? People who are productive get up at 6 or 7am.

So for about eighteen months, I fought hard to do that. No matter how bad my sleep the night before was, I was up at 6:30. At first, I thought this would be helpful. In time, this would help my sleep patterns, wouldn’t it?

I was wrong. I was miserable. At this time, I was working at the St. George Temple Visits’ Venter in St. George, Utah. It made work miserable. I had a hard time working with my companions, because they had to help me so much. I was so tired; I could hardly function. It was hard to get up for work at 7:45am, because my sleep was getting so bad.

It got so sever, I finally had to go home to recover. I had spoken to doctors. I even took pills to try to help me get over it. Nothing worked. In the end, I just stayed up until I felt tired and went to bed. In a month’s time, my body was finally able to recover. I no longer felt like my body was made out of led, to be able to walk at a normal pace, and to feel the confusing fog lifted from my mind.

Defective HealingThat experience taught me valuable lessons. It taught me two things. One is the power of submitting. It’s okay accept things are bad. It’s okay to say, ‘this isn’t working’. It’s alright to giving in and accept that you can’t deal with it without a change. That’s when you find the power to defeat it. Only when I finally gave in and said, “I can’t do this,” did I gain the power to make it better.

The second thing I learned, was there are things that are ‘bad’ by society standards that maybe aren’t actually bad. Many act like society, the world, or the majority decides truth. This is not the case. Truth is what it is. Nothing we can do changes it. There are relative truths that maybe we can influence. But Truth, at its very core, cannot be changed by us.

Is there something in your life that makes you reject the ‘gas’ you need? Is there someone or something telling you a lie about is right or wrong that you are caving into? Is it destroying you?

Vector challenge messageMy challenge to you; find the missing ‘gas’. The thing you are rejecting, because you are being told it’s ‘wrong’. Then to change it. To allow yourself to have it, or maybe to not have it. Maybe it’s letting yourself eat just one piece of cake. Maybe it accepting you can’t exercise that extra half an hour yet. Maybe it accepting you just aren’t talented in something.

Whatever it is, I challenge you to accept the problem. If you do, the means to overcome it will open up. It may not come the way you think it will. Maybe it’s having strength to confess to someone you need help. Maybe it’s in letting go of someone who’s hurting you. Whatever it is your need to do, when you accept the problem, you will be given the power to conquer the problem. I’ve seen it. I know you can do it. Don’t ever let the world tell you otherwise.

It Snapped!

Time for another defective tag! Here’s what happened. I was at the front desk and man brings in a broken fishing pole. Not too odd. He’d bought it two days before, it shouldn’t be broken. He exchanged it for a new one. So the tag that went with this one was. “It couldn’t take the pressure. It snapped.”

brokenrod

“It couldn’t take the pressure. It snapped.”

So what do we need to do so we’re not like this fishing pole? In life, no matter how hard we try, we can’t avoid pressure. So how do we stay strong even under the pressure of all the ‘fish’ in life? Where do we find strength to hold up to the ‘fish’ we have to pull up and not snap? One thing I would like to suggest is that we let go of the ‘fish’ we don’t need. How many of us are worried about things we don’t need to be worried about?

Maybe it’s worrying about what the people at school or work think of us. Perhaps it’s worrying about some far away horrors we can do little to nothing about. Maybe it’s as silly as stressing about not being able to find some object we feel we ‘need’ to have. Whatever your extra ‘fish’ might be find a way to let go. If you need help, find that help. Don’t be like this pole. Don’t let the pressure to you. Don’t let those ‘fish’ get to you.

You are better than that. You are wroth too much to snap under those fish. Only take the fish that are worth it. Never let people tell what you are strong enough carry. Pick your direction and follow it.

Summary

So this is a brief summary of what is going to be on this blog. If you want to know more about me, I put a short little blurb in my “About” page. This is more of the purpose of this blog. So of course on the home page will be a mesh of everything I have ever made. Then I have a few different categories. 

EXTRA! EXTRA!

First one in alphabetical order is “Book Updates”. As I am an author and publishing books, this sections is updates on how far along the writing or publishing progress is. At times I’ll post sneak peeks and other like information. I will also announce new book titles, names and show you the new covers as they come out. For those who sign up for my exclusive e-mails using the contact me section will get to see those a week in advance. 

WARNING! DEFECTIVES!

Second section is called “Defectives”. I work at a sporting goods store as my day job. Every once in a while we have someone return something or we find something is broken in the store. When we do I have to put a defective tag on it. When I do this, I try to describe the broken part in the most creative way. Sometimes it is very cheesy or just plain stupid. However the goal is that it will make the guy who has to read it smile. In the defective posts, I post the defective tag and relate it to how we can make our lives a little less ‘defective’. 

SPOILERS!!!!!

Next category is “Deleted Scenes”. Now I won’t post in there for a while, but this is where I put the hidden scenes that never made it into the book, back-stories or even side stories that don’t make it into the book. I may make a new section for the history of the Custods and other characters if that becomes popular enough. So all kinds of special extras will go here.

Reviews

Beyond-the-Mask-Screenshot

“Reviews” is a fun section for me. This is where I will post my views on films, books or other things that I have seen or read. This is mostly for fun. I am NOT being paid to do these reviews. I just find them fun. My first one was for an independent film made my home-schoolers. I also will likely later do more popular books and movies as time goes on.

Who or Whom? 

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The last one is “writer tips’. It’s exactly what it sounds like. I post links about writing, I give my updates and options on it and so forth. I also may or may not, just for fun, put some of my silly college papers in there. I’ll talk about what we were learning about and then post the paper. 

So for the start, these are all the posts I have. I had another site where I was posting these blogs, but that site had a bug get into it so I deleted it. This is my new site now. So enjoy! Leave comments, I will read them. I will try my utmost to reply to all of you. You