What Do You Rewatch?

If you know me, you know that I love movies and TV shows. I mean come on, I have a degree in motion pictures (not that it’s being used at the moment and is gathering dust in my closet. But that’s another rant. . . .I mean blog post). I want to make movies and TV shows. It would make sense that I watch a lot of movies and TV shows. Which don’t get me wrong, I do. Seriously, I made an entire spreadsheet of all the shows we watch on Netflix, Hulu, Prime, and Disney Plus. It’s a glorious spreadsheet. Need a show to watch? You can definitely find one here.

Here’s the thing though. . . .I have the tendency to rewatch the same thing over and over and over again. It’s why it sometimes takes me SO LONG to finish a new show if I’m not watching it with someone else. I mean this is this the girl who STILL hasn’t watched The Witcher or The Mandalorian. Yes, yes, I know, blasphemy, blah blah blah. I want to watch them, I do but I’m a contrary little shit, which means the more people tell me I have to watch this show and it’s so awesome and I’m going to love it. . . .the more I don’t want to. It’s a problem.

And sometimes, I don’t want to watch something new. I want to watch something where I already know what’s going to happen. I know that the bad guy loses, eventually, and the good guys are happy. I know the ending, and it’s an ending I like. I need that comfort and security. When I’m sad or angry or insert whatever other negative emotion here, I know that I can flip on this TV show or movie, and it’ll make me happy. I’d thought I’d share the three TV shows and three movies that I rewatch.

TV Shows

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The first time I ever watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer was at my grandparents’ house in Fayetteville when my brother Tristan and I lived with them when I was in the fourth grade. We used to have what we called BT. Buffy time. Buffy time came with cake time. We’d all sit in the living room, eating the moist, yellow cake with the thick, chocolate frosting that my grandpa baked with a tall glass of milk and watch Buffy together. It was family time. All of us watching it together. Tristan, Uncle Dean, Grandma and Grandpa. Buffy reminds me of those times and yeah, it hurts sometimes especially since my grandpa is gone but it’s a good memory. So when I need Buffy and her badass blonde self to tell me to keep fighting, I flip on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I actually got to meet James Marsters who plays Spike in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He’s a seriously nice guy. I stood in line and got a selfie with him. I also got a photograph signed for my aunt that says “Mama Meme.” I talked to him for like thirty minutes while my cousin Paige gapped like a fool. I guess it’s a good thing when I’m nervous I talk. A LOT. Works to my benefit.

James Marsters with me (on the left) as the Winter Soldier and my cousin Paige (on the right) as Captain America

Can be watched on Hulu, all seasons, 1 to 7.

Charmed

Charmed used to come on TNT before we left for the bus. That’s where I got involved in this show about witches. My grandparents (not the ones in Fayetteville, the ones who lived in Oklahoma then but now in Texas) didn’t like anything to do with witches. I barely got to watch Harry Potter when I was over at their house. Or even like, Narnia. But they got over that. Grandpa Kopanke would always have TNT turned on for me when I got home from school. Two episodes came on right as I got off the bus, and everyone knew that it was Keely’s TV time. It was like some unspoken rule. I loved Charmed so much that Grandpa Kopanke actually bought me the first season of it and Buffy the Vampire Slayer for my birthday one year. I mean who wouldn’t like Charmed? It’s got sisters who kick ass. Hell, the story I’m trying to write on (What Lurks in the Woods) is about three sisters and based off my grandparents’ house in Fayetteville. Sisters kick ass.

I tend to actually rewatch a certain season of Charmed. Season six. Why? Because it’s the best season. It has a great story line. It was different. Now I don’t rewatch season 7 or 8 because the writers absolutely trash all the sisters’ personalities. It doesn’t feel like them at all. My thoughts on that are here.

Phoebe, Piper, and Paige from Charmed

Can be watched on Peacock apparently, all seasons, 1 to 8. (But I wouldn’t bother watching seasons 7 or 8.)

Criminal Minds

When I was in Washington D.C. 2018, we would sit around in my apartment, drink wine, and watch Criminal Minds. (That almost rhymed.) We would hang out and talk and just have a great time. Criminal Minds is one of those shows that you don’t necessarily have to watch in order. Sure, towards the latter seasons it might be best but if you don’t, then it’s fine. The cases do get really competitive at times. I mean, how many serial killers are there really? But for me the show isn’t about the unsubs (unknown subjects) or the cases. It’s about the characters themselves. The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is full of interesting and intriguing characters that you get invested in. Other than Elle who is thankfully only in the first season and leaves in the second season, you like the characters. My favorites are Penelope Garcia and Spencer Morgan.

It’s my go to show when I don’t want to watch something new but I need something semi-normal. Not fantasy.

The cast of Criminal Minds, Season 15, the final season

Can be watched on Netflix season 1-12 or all seasons on Prime 1-15.

Movies

Big Fish

Once again, the first time I ever watched Big Fish was at my grandparents’ in Fayetteville. Actually every movie I’m about to mention I watched at their house. Big Fish is a Tim Burton movie, which means that it’s a bit a lot weird and hard to explain. If you haven’t watched it, you should. Also, Ewan McGregor is amazing as always. It’s about a son who comes home because his father is sick. His father told these glorious grand stories and the son who wants the truth, and by searching for the truth behind the stories, the son finally connects and finds out who his dad is.

Alison Lohman as a young Sandra Templeton and Ewan McGregor as a young Edward Bloom

Here’s the synopsis:

“When Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) becomes ill, his son, William (Billy Crudup), travels to be with him. William has a strained relationship with Edward because his father has always told exaggerated stories about his life, and William thinks he’s never really told the truth. Even on his deathbed, Edward recounts fantastical anecdotes. When William, who is a journalist, starts to investigate his father’s tales, he begins to understand the man and his penchant for storytelling.”

Unfortunately you have to pay on every streaming service to watch Big Fish. It’s definitely worth paying to watch though. If you have HBO Max you can watch it on there.

Practical Magic

I might have a thing for witches. . . .a bit. (A lot.) Practical Magic is one of my favorite movies. I watched it so much at my grandparents’ that no one can watch it anymore because of me. It’s about a family of witches who have always been outcasts in this little town in Massachusetts. Two sisters, Sally and Gillian Owens grew up knowing that they were different. Sally denied her powers while Gillian has embraced it. The Owens’ family has a curse on them where any man that an Owens woman falls in love with dies. It’s about sisterhood and love and family and acceptance. I love it. To pieces.

Sandra Bullock as Sally Owens and Nicole Kidman as Gillian Owens

Here’s the synopsis:

“Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman), born into a magical family, have mostly avoided witchcraft themselves. But when Gillian’s vicious boyfriend, Jimmy Angelov (Goran Visnjic), dies unexpectedly, the Owens sisters give themselves a crash course in hard magic. With policeman Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn) growing suspicious, the girls struggle to resurrect Angelov — and unwittingly inject his corpse with an evil spirit that threatens to end their family line.”

Unfortunately you have to pay on every streaming service to watch Practical magic. It’s definitely worth paying to watch though. If you have HBO Max you can watch it on there.

Van Helsing

I watched this movie every single time we went to our grandparents’ in Fayetteville. So much that my Uncle dean actually bought a real DVD of the movie instead of the burned copy he had. Van Helsing is an early 2000s movie so it’s not the best in the world. The dialogue is. . . .well, I could write an entire blog post about early 2000s dialogue. The plot is okay, a bit shoddy, but I love it. I love the emotion behind it. It’s got everything. Mystery, romance, betrayal. It’s about a vampire hunter named Van Helsing played by the wonderful Hugh Jackman who can do no wrong who goes to Transylvania to take care of THE vampire, also known as Dracula. It brings in Dracula and Frankenstein’s monsters. Pretty sure I could quote the damn movie word by word. Also, Kate Beckinsale is amazing, and here she is playing a woman who wants to kill all vampires. And later she plays one — Selene, from the Underworld series.

Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing and Kate Beckinsale as Anna Valerious

Here’s the synopis:

“Famed monster slayer Gabriel Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) is dispatched to Transylvania to assist the last of the Valerious bloodline in defeating Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh). Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) reveals that Dracula has formed an unholy alliance with Dr. Frankenstein’s monster (Shuler Hensley) and is hell-bent on exacting a centuries-old curse on her family. Together Anna and Van Helsing set out to destroy their common enemy, but uncover some unsettling secrets along the way.”

You can apparently watch Van Helsing if you have a subscription on Peacock or rent/buy on Prime.

What movies and TV shows do you rewatch over and over again? Why? Leave a comment and let me know!

-K

COVID Ruins Everything

My sort of New Year’s resolution to blog at least once a week was wrecked. Why? Because this girl got COVID. Yeah, I know, right? COVID ruins everything. Seriously. I could make a list. (The baby shower, my graduation, my vacation to Massachusetts, I could go on. . .)

Here’s a breakdown/timeline of how this went.

January 14th, I started not feeling good. It was just sinuses. The weather kept changing, I mean, it is Arkansas — are we really surprised? But yeah, wasn’t feeling good but mainly my sinuses and that was that. I went and had lunch at Olive Garden that day with my bf. Everything good. Then Saturday when I saw him, he wasn’t feeling good at all. We went to Texas Roadhouse and he didn’t even eat the rolls so I knew something was wrong. He dropped me off and he went home.

Now, either that night or Sunday, I suddenly was hit with fatigue. Not sure it was my insomnia or if it was COVID. Either way, I went to bed at like nine o’clock and passed the hell out. I got caught up on sleep and felt good.

My cousin Paige and I go to work on Monday. My bf gets tested I believe it was on Tuesday and got his results on Wednesday. He tested positive. Wednesday, I was not feeling good and only went to one job, especially after he tested positive. Paige got tested and got her results on Thursday. Paul and I got tested on Thursday and got our results Friday. We all tested positive. While my aunt (Mom) and Jack tested negative.

Paul and Paige got a lot of the symptoms, checking a nice little box. I on the other hand was simply very tired, had a headache (but that also could be because lack of caffeine), my taste buds were all wonky so nothing tasted right, couldn’t smell anything, and my stomach was very upset. I had a cough for a little bit but that was it. Also, I don’t believe I ever had a fever. But my body temperature also runs at a nice cool 96 (it once read as like 93 when I got drug tested for my job and I swear the lady thought she read it wrong) which means when my body temperature is like at 98, 99, it could just mean that my inner temperature is finally semi-normal. (I could possibly be anemic. Who knows?) I also had a sore throat.

Here are the symptoms of COVID. I’ll bold the ones I had and italics the ones Paul and Paige had. It they are both then we all had that one symptom.

Fever or chills

Cough

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Fatigue

Muscle or body aches

Headache

New loss of taste or smell

Sore throat

Congestion or runny nose

Nausea or vomiting

Diarrhea

Paige also had trouble breathing. Keep in mind that Paige has underlying medical problems. She already has heart problems and breathing problems and doesn’t have the best immune system. Neither does Paul. But basically, having COVID was like having a bad cold. Luckily, we only had a mild case. From what I understand/heard/read, COVID affects everyone differently. So people, like us have a milder case while some have no symptoms at all, and then others have more severe case.

I slept a lot mostly. Forced myself to eat crackers and drink apple juice. I couldn’t have soda or my favorite mint tea for days because they both tasted horrible. Since my aunt and Jack were both negative, Paige, Paul, and I wore masks when we came out of our bedrooms to use the bathroom. My aunt used this rolly cart and put our food and drink on it and rang a dinner bell for us. That was we kept out of her and Jack’s way and not infect them. She’s a saint and we owe her like a vacation or a steak dinner or something. Both, probably.

I did what I usually do, which was binge watch shows. That got boring after a while so I colored in my adult coloring book and wrote some, did some research so I can figure out my life. (Ha. Maybe.) Paige got this cool diamond art thing that I wish I could do but like, I’m blind.

It wasn’t until around last week, around Wednesday or so that I finally felt more like myself. We stopped wearing our masks around Thursday since none of us had symptoms and we were cleared by the Arkansas Department of Health to stop quarantining on the 30th anyways. Paige and I got retested on the 29th and yeah, we’re still positive. But according to the CDC, you can remain positive of COVID for up to 90 days but not have symptoms and not be contagious. I sent an email to both my jobs and I get to return to work! (That’s where I am as I write this actually. We are so dead at the school. Save me.) Paige gets to return Thursday. My aunt is hoping she can return but her job requires a negative from all of us (She and Jack are still negative) but that won’t be for a while. On the other hand, my bf is now negative.

In other news, Pagan had her baby! My new niece was born 11:52pm on January 25th. It’ll be a while before we can see her though. Emery Millie Bates is beautiful. Now I have three nieces/nephews. Eliana or Ellie as I call her is my brother Tristan’s. She turned two December 19th. Salem Hunter Mace is my sister Chloe’s. He was born December 4th. And now, Emery! I do like that they gave me girl-boy-girl. It works with me. I can’t wait to hold Salem and Emery when I’m able too.

I really hope this passes. At some point. Then we can get back to normal. . .maybe. Not holding on to that concept. We will probably never be quite back to normal.

Since this is the first day of February, I’m making a February resolution. (If that is a thing. It probably isn’t. It is now. A Valentine’s resolution? Ew. No. We’ll stick with the month.) Either way, this is my New Year’s resolution starting in February, to blog at least once a week.

Hope everything is doing well. Stay safe. Wear a mask. Live a little. Pet your dogs. Don’t forget to breathe.

-K

Enjoy The Now

If you know me, you know that I love movies. I want to make movies so yeah, I love them. I enjoy superhero movies, horror, psychological thriller, the occasional romance and yes, sometimes, I watch really trashy movies that only ever come on Syfy at like two in the morning. (I’ve seen every Sharknado and every Tremors movie. Don’t judge me.) It all depends on my mood. And like all people, or like most people, I love Disney and Pixar. Although now I suppose it’s DisneyPixar since Disney is our overlord and owns everything. My favorite Disney movie is Mulan. Now when it comes to Pixar, that’s more difficult because they have some incredible movies. And the thing with Pixar is that their movies always have some deeper meaning. Some hidden depth in them. That’s why I love them. (Even if they do have the tendency of making me cry.)

Take the movie Inside Out for example. I didn’t expect for it to make me cry and have a deeper meaning than it did. Inside Out follows a girl named Riley who moves with her parents. She struggles to adjust to the move and make new friends. It also follows the emotions Riley is going through. Those emotions are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. For Riley, Joy runs the show. For Riley’s mom, Sadness runs the show. For Riley’s dad, Anger runs the show. And it really makes you think. What emotion runs the show for you? I think for me, like Riley, it would be Joy. I’m always smiling and then when I don’t smile it’s instantly “What’s wrong, Keely?” The line that stuck with me and made me bawl like a baby was right after Riley ran away. She tells her parents:

 I… I know you don’t want me to, but… I miss home. I miss Minnesota. You need me to be happy, but I want my old friends, and my hockey team. I wanna go home. Please don’t be mad.”

Riley, Inside Out

As someone who moved all the time growing up, I related to this so much. I hated moving. Especially when we moved from Broken Arrow to Tulsa after eighth grade. Suddenly, I was a new freshmen and I had no friends. My friends and I talked about how excited we were about high school. Then suddenly, I was at a new school. It really sucked. Yes, I made friends but I still missed my friends from before. Then we moved back to Broken Arrow before my junior year, suddenly the friends I had in middle school had moved on without me, and it hurt.

Inside Out really made you think about emotions and the brain and how does it work? Here’s a review of Inside Out.

I recently watched Soul. It follows a man, Joe who is a middle-school band teacher. His passion is jazz and the piano. After finally getting a big break, Joe unfortunately has an accident and ends up in a coma. He finds himself in another realm where there are souls who haven’t been born yet. He meets one soul, 22, voiced by the wonderful Tina Fey, who has been there the longest. Joe tries to get 22 to find her spark and in the end he does. It’s a beautiful movie with a great meaning.

Joe spends his life always focused on his music and his passion, which is not a bad thing, but he forgets to live. In the end, it’s 22 who helps him to live. Yes, he helps her to not be afraid of coming to Earth and living, but through 22, Joe realizes that he’s spent so much of his life thinking about the next step. The next move so he could do what he always wanted, be a jazz player, that he didn’t enjoy life. He wasn’t live. He lost that spark. And 22 helped him to find it. (For more thoughts on Soul, check out “19 Moments In The Movie ‘Soul’ That Will Tug Your Heart Strings” and “29 Fan Reactions to Disney+’s ‘Soul’ That Will Give You All the Feels”

My favorite quote when one of Jerry’s asks Joe “How are you going to spend your life?” And Joe says:

“I’m not sure. But I do know I’m going to live every minute of it.”

Joe, Soul

And it got me to thinking. Some deep thinking.

Lately, I’ve been burned out. I’m taking the next two semesters off because I ran through undergrad with no break. And I feel like I did college all wrong. I was so focused on getting good grades and keeping my scholarships that I didn’t really make friends in undergrad. I didn’t attend games or events. It was always school, school, school. Did I live? No. I simply existed. I think that’s what a lot of us do. We simply exist. We go through the motions. Maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe we need to stop focusing on the big ten year plan and just focus on living.

I think that’s my problem. I keep focusing on the next step rather than enjoying the step I’m in. Enjoying the now rather than think about the later. So that’s what I’m going to try to do. Enjoy the now and not think about the later. Not stress about the next step or what happens next. Otherwise, I’m going to miss out on a lot of things because I’m so focused on the future that I can’t see the present right in front of me. It might save me a lot of grief and headache.

-K

Why Masks are a Good Thing: The Return of Eye Contact

I’ve been trying to think of why masks are a good thing. Well besides the whole obvious thing of keeping people safe and helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. There are a lot of negatives when it comes to masks. Such as it makes it hard to breathe, fogs up your glasses, and well, probably more. I didn’t want to think about the negatives. Then a week or so ago, I realized that there is one good thing that came out of wearing masks and that is this:

People now have to look other people in the eyes when they talk. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed (you probably have, tbh), but everyone is on their phones. Even when people are having dinner or at home they are on their phones. Hell, most of the time I am on my phone browsing Facebook or Instagram or reading on Archive of Our Own or Fanfiction.net when I’m watching a television show or movie. I usually put the phone down when I’m watching something I haven’t seen before.

The point is, hardly anyone looks up from their phone — even when they are talking to someone else. Technology is amazing, don’t get me wrong. It allows me to keep in touch with my friends in Massachusetts, New York, and Oklahoma. But at times, I feel like technology is cold. It lacks intimacy and we are so focused on our phones, we don’t know what’s happening around us.

There is a sort of intimacy that has been lost for a while that has now been brought back thanks to masks. Sure, people are still on their phones. But now, they have to look up if they are talking to someone in order to really listen to the person since they are both wearing masks. Wearing a mask, even if you have a loud voice, muffles your speech. So when you talk to someone you have to pause your phone and look at them so you can really hear what they are saying.

I’ve caught myself doing this. I’ll be talking to someone who is wearing a mask and put my phone down so I can actually focus on what is coming out of their mouth. There’s eye contact and it’s great. You can see that that person is listening to you all in their eyes.

I’d like to challenge you for one hour to put down your phone and not look at it. Whether you’re watching a movie or a show or just hanging out with friends or whatever. Put down the phone for one hour. My cousin Paige and I did this yesterday when we watched a movie called I See You. It was nice to just watch the movie, and enjoy the movie, without the intrusion of a phone. It’s definitely something I’m going to do more of. I feel like I am on my phone a lot when I could be doing something more engaging and creative and productive.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year’s! We made it past the year called 2020. Here’s to hoping that 2021 will be a better year.

-K

First Semester of Grad School Done (I Lived…Barely)

Admittedly, this is not how I imagined my first semester of graduate school. Of course, I imagine that this semester for a lot of people did not go as planned. Tomorrow will be the virtual commencement for Spring and Fall graduates at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and I know I’m not the only who is salty about that. Even though I am working on my master’s, I still wanted to walk down that aisle, probably lose my cap like I did during high school graduation and shake the Chancellor’s hand as I received my diploma after working my butt off for three and half years on two bachelors. Receiving both in the mail didn’t really feel real. Well, not until I put them in some fancy frames that I have yet to hang up. The point is, that no one’s semester went as expected thanks to COVID.

The school is a ghost school. Most classes are are online. My two classes, The Personal Essay and Memoir were online, though for Memoir we met every Tuesday up until the week after Thanksgiving. There were no events this year. Student life was basically nonexistent, and it’s because of that that my graduate assistantship at the Office of Communications and Marketing was different. I couldn’t go out and make videos and take photographs because there was nothing happening. While I still enjoyed my graduate assistantship, it had to change because of COVID.

In fact, so many things have changed because of COVID. And even when COVID is handled, however long that takes, things will still be different.

COVID has affected school, not just college but also K-12. A few of my professors kids have been doing virtual school and staying at home, all their coursework online. My brothers in Oklahoma had online school but also went in for a few weeks. Some schools are doing half and half.

COVID has affected jobs. Some people lost their jobs, while others were forced to work remotely. As someone who worked remotely, can I just say it sucks. Working from home is definitely not something I can do. I don’t have enough discipline to do it. And while, I loved being at home with my doggos and getting all the cuddles, eventually I got tired of being home. All. The. Damn. Time.

COVID has affected movie theatres, restaurants, theme parks, zoos, fairs, malls, etc..

The movie industry has suffered a lot because of COVID. Several shows such as The Walking Dead, Supernatural and countless others were put on hold and episodes not released until late summer or early fall. Movies such as Black Widow, A Quiet Place Part II, Wonder Woman 1984, and countless others were pushed back. Black Widow won’t be released until next year while thankfully, Wonder Woman 1984 will premiere in theatres and HBO Max Christmas.

There’s nothing that COVID has affected or changed.

So yeah, 2020 has been a rough year. Not only like, globally, but also in my household we’ve had a rough year. (A tree fell and broke our fence, my mom lost her job, my cousin Pagan broke her foot and found out she’s pregnant in the same day, Paul had his appendix out, and boy, I could go on, not gonna to lie. Also those are in no particular order.) We need someone to do a video summary of 2020.

I’m trying to look at the brightside of things.

I painted my room a mint green with one wall that has purple triangles on it. I love it. It’s unintentionally Joker theme.

My BFF Caroline came down from New York in May and I showed her Arkansas. (She wasn’t impressed. Lol.) She and I started a podcast, Disturbed Nerds. If you haven’t, check it out. It’s great. (I’m probably biased though, tbh.)

I met a guy and he’s cute and I like him.

Oh, and my girl, Taylor Swift released two new albums. folklore in July, and then evermore in December.

My sister had a healthy baby boy named Salem December 4th.

Oh, and I finished my first semester of grad school with an A and B! Which considering, I put in about like. . .minimum effort in my classwork this semester, is really good.

I have a new job at P. Allen Smith, a place that I actually interned at 2 years ago. P. Allen Smith does a lot of home, garden, design type stuff. You’ve probably heard of him. I’m going to be helping with upping their YouTube presence, video editing, and social media. I’m really excited about it. I’m also back at working at the school in undergraduate academic advising.

I’m taking the next two semesters off from school. I zoomed through my undegrad and never took a break, then jumped right into grad school without a break in between. I’ll start up classes again fall 2021. Until then, I’ll be working at P. Allen Smith and UA Little Rock, both part-time. Since I will have free time, I want to get back to a few hobbies of mine.

Such as:

  1. Drawing/painting/art in general
  2. Writing
  3. Photography/videography

That’s what I’m going to focus on. I miss drawing and using my Prismacolors. And I know I’m out of practice and I need to hone up those skills. Writing is very broad. I want to really work on this blog and blog every week, then go from once a week to maybe three times a week. Get on a really set posting so I can build more of an audience. I’m going to work on my poetry collection and really start on one of my three fiction stories I have. Photography, I want to break out the camera more and take pictures of well, everything and find what I really enjoy photographing. Also, I would love to make a short movie by next fall. We will see.

So, to all my fellow students, and well everyone, we made it. Keep trucking along. 2020 is almost over.

Check out my 2020 Wrap Up on Spotify. As usual, it is all over the place.

-K

My Writing Process (Memoir Journal 4)

Memoir Journal 4 (September 22nd, 2020)

What is your writing process?

My writing process is. . . .chaotic. Inconsistent. When I write, I usually do a lot of pre-writing in my head (seriously, I’ve written like entire novels and series in my head. . . .now if only I could translate that onto paper. . .) while watching some show. Usually Charmed, Buffy, or Criminal Minds. Sometimes Supernatural or Law and Order: SVU. Once I have a clear thought, a clear sentence—a first line—then if there’s no paper around, I use my phone and type up that one line that stuck with me. That way I don’t forget it. On my phone, I have probably over 100 notes of my writing.

Often I get struck with inspiration while I’m either walking around the neighborhood listening ot music or laying in bed trying (and failing) to fall asleep. After I have that first line, I tend to jump three or more so paragraphs ahead. I skip the the parts of the story I know.

That’s when I pull out my notebook to write some “blurbs” of the same story, and even though they aren’t in order, they’re all connected. They are all part of the same story. I know where I am going with the story, it’s simply fitting all those pieces together.

After a while between my bad writing (and my carpal tunnel and/or arthritis) which becomes even more unreadable because well, it always is and it gets worse when my hand can’t write fast enough for my brain. That’s when I switch to my laptop. I type up what I’ve written, including all the blurbs. It’s during this process where it all begins to click in my head. (I get really excited when that happens.)

Once everything that I wrote on my phone or in my notebook, that’s when I start writing more. I used to edit while I typed but then I realized that it prevented me from really writing. Instead, I type until I can’t anymore. Until there are no more words I can type. That’s when I go back and edit.

I like colors. Red means that it needs to completely go. Blue means that it’s almost there but needs to be reworded. Green means it’s been edited and can probably go back to black.

Sometimes after I’ve been editing a while, I don’t see the typos or punctuation or anything. When that happens, I change the font. It helps me to see the things I couldn’t before.

What is your writing process?

-K

Know Thyself (Memoir Journal 3)

Yesterday in Memoir, we were given these prompts. These are my responses. Enjoy. I didn’t have the writing bug yesterday so these are shorter responses.

Memoir Journal 3 (September 8th, 2020)

What path did you not take that might be worth exploring?

Towards the end of spring 2020, I was faced with two decisions: to teach or to work in the office of communication. It was a very tough decision. Extremely. I chose to be a GA at the Office of Communications at UA Little Rock. However, I wonder, what if I chose to be a teacher? Especially in this environment? How would this semester be different as a new teacher trying to navigate teaching students, while also navigating the new learning environment as a new graduate student myself? Would I have a different point of view because I’m a student as well? Would that bring a unique point of view? Would it help or adhere me? Would teaching help me get out of the funk I’ve been in since March?

Which is clearer, the facts or the emotions?

I can’t tell you what I was wearing on that day. But I can tell you how I feel. I can tell you how it was two days before Christmas and my mother wasn’t home. There were no presents and the younger three were due back any day. I can tell you about the panic, the fear that they would come home and there would be no Christmas for them.

How well do you trust your memory?

As I get older, I realize that I remember more than I thought. Memories that I thought were suppressed, or gone, are really more like a fog that’s slowly clearing out. No, I don’t remember what I was wearing, but the emotions, the words even, that is clear. How I felt was clear. And I’m remembering things that I didn’t even know I knew. Things that makes me think, oh. That’s why. Makes me realize little things about myself.

How do you feel about the concept of understanding yourself?

I feel like one of those cheesy gurus who is like you must find your inner peace. Bullshit. Understanding myself? How can I when it’s always changing? No. I can try to understand who I am, but like that’s near impossible. How can I begin to? Know thyself. Yes, okay. But also, discover yourself while trying to understand yourself.

-K

Forgive Her Too (Memoir Journal 2)

Yesterday in Memoir, we were given these prompts. These are my responses. Enjoy. A few of them hit me harder than others, so I wrote more. While others I struggled with. If you find one you like, respond to it. And if you want, share with me.

Memoir Journal 2 (September 1st, 2020)

What makes you who you are?

I feel like I could answer this question if I had more time ot process it. It’s a broad question I feel because who i am is constantly changing. I am like the weather. Some days I am a cloudy day, those when the depression and self-doubt take over. Somedays, I am a perfect sunny day when I feel like I can take on the whole world. And then some. What makes me who I am? I guess if I had to answer, it would be how determined I am.

What is it that changes you?

Life changes me. People change me. They come into my life and sometimes they leave a mark, a scar. That can be good or bad. Life changes me because it’s always changing. Nothing ever stays the same so how can I really stay the same? How can I not change with what I experience day by day. By day. I don’t believe I’m the same person I was 10 years ago, 10 hours ago, or even 10 minutes ago. I think that you sometimes have to change to be better than who you were before. How can you not change? How can you remain still and let everything, and everyone pass you by. What changes me, is well, me. It’s a choice I make.

How much of yourself is innate? How much is learned?

What have I learned by others or Google, about myself. I’ve learned, or rather heard from others that I’m too sensitive. Or is that innate? Was I already aware of that? How can we really determine what of ourselves is innate and how much is learned? How do you even begin to measure something that really isn’t quantifiable? What do those words innate and learned even mean? What is innate about yourself? It is my sensitivity? My empathy? The fact that I can’t walk a flat surface?

What role does self-delusion play in your identity?

I read somewhere that you never truly see yourself. That the person you see in the mirror, while yes is you, it’s an image that your mind creates. That you see yourself as maybe better or worse than others see you. Alternatively, when others look at you, they see what they want to see. So really, no one truly sees you, not even you. In a way that’s a delusion. A self-delusion. Of course, if you think about it, we all have delusions. Or self-delusions. I know when I write, I say the things I want to say but was too afraid to say at that point. I’m braver in my writing than in real life. That’s who I want to be. But that’s not who I am. So isn’t that a self-delusion?

Which of your past selves still confounds you?

If I could go back in time and without screwing up the timeline, I’d go back to my 15 year old self. She confounds me in the way, that she doesn’t confound me. Not because I don’t get her, or rather I don’t want to get her. She was selfish, or rather, she seemed so fake. Like she had many masks. So many masks. Which part of her was real? Was she the good older sister? The one who helped with homework? Or was she the girl who caused drama intentionally for something to do? A distraction? The one who everyone called two-faced, and other names. Who was she? Or rather, why was she? Where did she come to be? How as she born? Created? A part of me wants to know that I’m no longer that 15 year old girl. That I have changed. But I also want to understand her, see what she was going through. Tell her it’ll be okay. And maybe, in a way, forgive her too.

Name your beginnings.

I began as a sister. That’s the only role I knew. That role was often interchangeable with mother. Since I didn’t have one. Not one that cared. Being a good older sister, was all I knew. Besides being the perfect daughter. The one who never questioned. Never complained. And I began again as a prisoner. Cinderella. But there were no mice to make me a pretty dress. Only rats to step on and squeak as they died a slow painful death. No birds to sing. Only a younger sister to yell at me. A brother who came and went putting who knows what in his body. While I was left to care for the two little brothers, shield them from the cold hard truth. I had to be their sister, their mother. There was no time for a prince charming. Only a house with no water, no power, no food. No mother. Only me. I began again after moving to Iowa, and I thought I had found a home. But it was simply another prison.

-K