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Getting To Know Beautiful, Graceful Yvette Aka ETTA D

I am glad that Etta honoured my request to interview her. I admire her personality and her blog is one of those that never fails to offer me inspiration that picks me up.

Etta D, Blogger, Personal Interview

A Bit About Me

My name is Yvette, creator of the “SimplyEtta D” blog.

This is the difficult part, I find so easy to speak about other things, however, it’s not so easy speaking about myself but I’ll do my best. I’m a West Indian living in Central Scotland, The Forth Valley to be exact! My family and I moved here three years ago in search of adventure and a new beginning. I’ve always wanted to live in another country, to immerse my children in a culture that was different than our own. We had previously traveled around Europe and fell in love with many of the cities we visited I guess you can say this became the impetus for our move.

My general outlook on life is to live in the moment enjoying life in the now and letting tomorrow take care of itself. This doesn’t mean that I live recklessly; of course, I prepare for the future but don’t spend my days trying to live it before it arrives.

I’m what you would call a career student, after leaving High School I went on to college to study IT. After not being able to land a job in the field I returned to college to study Business and have been progressively upgrading and enhancing my skills as the landscape for the way businesses are conducted changes with each new concept. After spending years working in the Diplomatic Corps, I’m quite comfortable working with the local council in strategy and customer service. It gives me the flexibility needed to explore Scotland, Write and spend quality time with my family. I think we all are career students, isn’t that what life is all about? Learning as much as you can for as long as you can, no matter what field you’re in.

Tidbits About My Blog

As a suggestion from a friend of my in my writing group, I actually started my blog to improve my writing skills; it took me a few years after signing up with blogger to jump over to WordPress. Even then it took me a while to get started, I had to first decide on

1. What I wanted to convey in my blog and

2. A Name for my blog.

Once those were decided it was easy for me to decide on the direction I wanted to take. I would describe my blog as a haven for lifting the spirit when people visit my blog I want them to leave feeling better than they did before their visit. I truly believe that our thoughts can change our life, I know there are hundreds blogs and websites on self-improvement, motivation, inspiration, metaphysics etc., out there but I don’t own those blogs and that’s what makes mine unique. It’s an expression of me. My experiences through reading, the people I meet and my outlook on life.

Here are a few links you might find interesting:

Top Blogs
Special Interest
Inspirational Insights

My Thoughts About Blogging

I find the blogging phenomenon just that, a phenomenon that’s taken the world by storm. I don’t think it’s a fad for one thing. Blogging is here to stay; I think it will continue to evolve the way it has been doing over the years. Blogging has come from being an online diary to rival the popularity of social media because now there’s more interaction, more content and more in-depth dialogue between the blogger and the audience across the spectrum and I love it!

Blogger, Blogging, Photo, Interview

Keeping Motivated

Honestly, it’s hard to keep motivated, sometimes even scary when you know there are people out there who are waiting to read what your next post. I’ve thought a few times of just calling it quits and walking away from my blog due to fear of disappointing my followers through lack of or poor content which is why I choose to blog three instead of the five days per week. It gives more allowances research my subjects and creates more substantial content. I’d rather have a less frequent posting with more substance than posting every day with not substance. For me it’s not about filling my site with blogs, it’s about adding content that won’t bore and people will be happy to come back to again and again.

Blogging Challenges

I want to say getting more of my followers to engage in my blogs. But I don’t really see that as a challenge. I would say coming up with a title for my blog! I mean I write a blog, and then I’m stuck for the next 30 minutes on coming up with a heading that’s not only eye-catching but also ties in with my blog. I also suffer from writer’s block. I always jot down my key points, pull my ideas together and project that so it makes sense is more difficult than it seems.

A Word To Others

Yes!! Most definitely blog!! It will expand your thought. The way I see it certain aspects of your life that may not seem interesting to you could spark a following from others, there are people out there who can benefit from your experiences and what you have to say. The beauty of the Internet is, if you’re a shy writer it gives anonymity. Just be honest in your intent and write about what you know, don’t try to be someone else or live on someone else’s experience.

Etta, Interview, Pet

A Day With Me

I’m an early riser and a night owl. My typical day can begin as early as 5:00 am. Two weeks ago I started drinking coffee again, the first time in about 30 years and found it gave me that extra kick. So after a cup of brew, it’s playtime with Mitzy, then setting breakfast out if it’s a workday, on weekends it’s usually a late brunch. Workday I’m off to work. Weekends or days I’m off, I spend writing, visiting fellow bloggers and researching new information for my blog and book. I also enjoy volunteering which I manage to squeeze into my schedule. That’s just a typical my life is more exciting, I promise!

Looking Forward

I would say the next evolution of my blog is to be published either outsourced or self-published and I’ve found a lot of ideas on how to do this. But it all takes planning and lots of related content, right now my blogs is bits and pieces of everything. Another avenue I’m interested in is networking through guest post or supplement pieces for larger sites or online magazines, I did a weekly, years ago, for a supplemental that was printed by a local newspaper back home.

In closing, I’d like to thank my followers for their continued support and interest in what I have to say. Big thank you to Jacqueline for her interest and inviting me to do this interview for her ever expanding, ever evolving blog.

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A Single Mom’s Guide To Raising A Happy, Healthy and Safe Family

Happy kitchen, Parenting, Raising A Family, Single Parenting, Security

Image credit – Flickr

Raising kids by yourself is a lot of hard work but it’s definitely doable. In order to overcome the stress, anxiety, and challenges that come with it, you need to have a lot of patience and the right strategies. Here are some ideas a single mom can use to keep her family safe and healthy.

Get A Work That Fits Your Family

As a single mom, it’s essential that you have a steady source of income for the family. This, however, shouldn’t be at the expense of your kids or your relationship with them. Even though you have work, you still need to make time for them.

One of your best options is to find a job that can let your work from home. There are actually tons of online platforms you can send your application to. If being home-based isn’t an option, then you should consider reaching out to your present company and ask if you can be given a more flexible working schedule.

Ensure Your Kids’ Protection

If you worry about leaving your kids at home alone, then getting a security system is a must for you. A surveillance system is one of the most effective ways you can ensure their complete protection at home.

In selecting the right system for your family, it’s best that you consider its price, features, and coverage. You want to find a system that fits the budget but doesn’t come short when it comes to protection. If you are living in a rented space, there are a lot of DIY systems you can choose from. Most of them don’t come with high price tags and can be conveniently taken wherever you go.

Read reviews first and talk to some of your friends to get an idea of what type of system they are using and how it’s helping them out. Do not sign up with any company without doing any research and background check.

Spend Quality Time With Your Kids

Being physically present with your kids isn’t enough; you also have to know what’s going on with them. Quality time doesn’t always have to be expensive. You can cook their favorite food for dinner, take them out for a short walk to the park or spend a night watching their favorite movies with them.

You should also make it a point to ask what concerns them or if they are having any problems at school. Encourage your kids to be open as much as possible so that they won’t feel the need to keep secrets from you. It’s also helpful if you can get to know their friends and the people they spend most of their time with. Since technology is easily accessible these days, monitoring your kids’ smartphones for any dangerous app is essential, too.

Have Patience

Raising your kids alone can be a daunting task. There will be times where you’ll get annoyed, stressed and even frustrated. If you feel this happening to you, try to engage yourself in some form of relaxation techniques. Deep breathing is one of the easiest technique you can do since it requires no equipment or special tools.

It’s also a good idea to get into meditation daily or you can try exercising. You can try Yoga since it relaxes both mind and body. Starting off with 10 to 20 minutes a day can set you on the right track. You can also try running. It’s a good exercise to improve your mood and thought process.

Know Your Limitations

As a single parent, you should expect tons of work and tasks to finish. This, however, doesn’t mean that you have to do it on your own. One of the most common reasons why single parents easily get burnt out is because they feel overwhelmed with their responsibilities.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your family and friends to ask for help or when you want to vent out. You should also go out once in a while and treat yourself as a reward for your hard work. Going to a salon or treating yourself to a pampering night with at-home spa products can ease your stress and rejuvenate you for the next day.

Guest Post Written by Andy Cho – Topsecurityreview.com

 

 

My Life Being Lived ‘Differently’ Abled.

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” (Andre Lorde) 

                       You make the difference, Quote, Positive Attitude

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over eleven years ago now, after my immune system attacked itself in error, following the birth of my wonderful baby boy. I have learned to adapt, adapt, and then adapt some more. Life did not go as planned and I have had to realign my whole way of thinking.

There have been many changes since my diagnosis, but the biggest and most visible change of all is my walking. A passer-by may see me and think of me as a ‘disabled’ person. But I am most certainly not. I am ‘differently’ abled, but able nonetheless. I am a very active, busy mum. I am a writer and exercise daily. I cook, I clean (sometimes), I dance (only in my room), I socialize, I travel, I read and so much more. I do all these things differently and the world would be a better place if we all began to think this way.

The one big thing where there has been absolutely no change is my ability to think and to learn. I am still the same me inside. I have the same dreams and aspirations. None of that has changed. The most hurtful thing in this entire journey was not getting Multiple Sclerosis. It was the fact that colleagues, some friends and strangers alike began to stop seeing me as their equal.

They began to retreat and separate themselves from my new world. They no longer wanted to stand side by side with the ‘disabled’ person. It was going to challenge them too much. Ask too much of them to alter their ways to include me. It may have hurt me somewhat, but it made me determined to prove that you can still achieve great things and live a full and enriched life, despite being ‘differently’ abled.

I decided to take myself away from the negativity and rejection I was experiencing. I decided to rebuild my life as a ‘differently’ abled person. To become an author and motivational writer. To raise my son in a world of positivity where it is not what happens to you that defines your life, but how you get up and deal with it. I work every day to achieve and my learning never stops.

I have opened up a whole new world since my diagnosis. I write, meditate, practise yoga and ‘earth’ on the rugged Scottish beaches to name but a few things I do now. These are all post MS additions to my life, never forgetting the joy of being a mum to the wonderful Elliot. I ask each and every person to look inside themselves and question if it really matters how someone looks or presents?

Do we really need to label them? And for whose benefit is that label? Can’t we just accept them as who they are and focus on what they can do? ‘Disability’ conjures up so much negativity for me and I’ve always thought of disabling something as stopping it working. Rest assured I still ‘work’ very well. Just very ‘differently.’ I have to find new ways to do old things, adapt and shift my perspective. But I am ‘able’ to live a full and active life this way. We can all start by shifting our perspective and seeing what someone can do first and not the ‘disability’. Celebrate difference and we could all look forward to a better and more positive future together.

Written by Patricia Gachagan.

Connect with Patricia on her site, patriciagachagan.com

Beautiful Bella – Thoughtful, Talented Woman of Wisdom.

Life her name signifies ‘beautiful’ so do her blog post refresh you with positivity, inspiration and extra vigour for life.

Her words soothe in a friendly, motherly way. In Bella, I’ve found a like-minded kindred. Whenever I visit her corner, I come away nodding in agreement, the thought pattern, the quotes, and inspiring posts resonate with me. She makes me see parts of me in a different reflection.

Dear Bella, thank you for granting this interview into parts of your personal world

Bits of Me, Myself and I

www.thoughtsnlifeblog.com. My name is Bella, I live in a London suburb in the UK. I am a university graduate with a BSC Hons in Computer Science. I graduated many years ago, just when the internet started. I worked as system analyst doing both programming and business requirements in my early years of work. Over the years I have worked in many industries. I am now known as Business Analyst (BA). Well, I would say I morphed into it over time.

From 2014 to 2016 I took an unexpected career break when my mother had a second heart attack. A year prior, she had triple heart by-pass surgery. The second heart attack was treated with medicines, which slowed her heart rate, meaning, that she could have had a complete heart block. Luckily, we don’t follow Doctors orders entirely and we had stopped taking medications. Anyway, we landed in the hospital again, three weeks later at Easter time. Mum came out of hospital over seven days later with a dual pacemaker. Life after the pacemaker meant we had to adapt to a new normal. Well, the combination of several health issues, heart issue and another operation, and the fact the bottom half of her heart is 100% reliant on the pacemaker, is our new normal. Nevertheless, life is good, she is a trooper. As she started to recover, we started to do volunteer work again and I started my wordpress.com blog.

I had almost given up going back to my job as a BA because there was no way I would be able to find a part-time job in that. To cut a long story short, I asked my old boss and I landed a part time job at the end of July 2016, after two years of not working. Now, if that is not the law of attraction and the power of good wishes then what is? We are still adjusting to it all, as no one day is the same with Mum, but all is good with the new normal.

I have an older brother, a sister in law and two nieces. Life is busy for all so we don’t see them as much as mum would like. My father passed away at a young age, mum was only 48, my brother had only started to work and I was in my final year of university. That is, our immediate unit, but of course, we have extended family.

My outlook on life, well life experiences shape our outlook on life. However, my outlook on life has always been simple “be good, be kind, be nice, be sweet, be bold, be brave, be compassionate, be uncomplicated, be humble, be wise, be open, be honest, be prepared to learn as we don’t know everything, be detached and observe, don’t take to heart what others do, never deliberately hurt another and always have self-respect, and always, always, always do the right thing -always” “Integrity is doing the right thing when no-one is watching – unknown author”. People will knock us down and we have to take it as a test of my character that has come to make me better. Let me always be good even if they wish to hate me; for I have to answer to myself, my character, my world view, my god, my karma, and my parents. Therefore, I do my best to live a good honest and royal life – royal in character not in material possession. Life is tough, but never lose your smile or your character just to fit into that which is wrong. Gandhi said something like “Have the courage to walk in the opposite direction of the crowd if the crowd is going in the wrong direction”.

Life, since my father passed away, has been a huge struggle, not one year of grace, and the test came harder and faster.

I am grateful, that my mum introduced me to Raja Yoga Meditation at the age of 10 years. Raja Yoga Meditation is taught by the Brahma Kumaris globally. It has taught me that we are immortal souls (a tiny point of light) and our original qualities are love, peace, wisdom, purity and Joy. When we act out of anger, lust, ego, attachment, greed –aka ALGAE, we are not being true to our original qualities of the soul. Meditation and powerful positive thoughts have helped me in my life and helped me to see there is a benefit in everything, even the most painful of things.

Therefore, I say, be good, just be good and do what is right – even when no one is watching. Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, for your own self no one else, for your peaceful sleep at the time. So when judgement day comes, and it does come, you know that you will be judged fairly for you have lived with honour and grace. And if you are judged you will be able to accept for you know yourself well enough to accept your errors. So my outlook on life is this, and I honestly have had these feelings for my entire life, well I remember having such thoughts at the age of four. If I dislike anything, then I dislike the lack of honesty and integrity.

I would like to share this YouTube video by Maya Angelou, she expresses so eloquently a beautiful an outlook on life that I resonate with.

Snippets of My Blog

The purpose of my blog and why I blog is to: 

1) To share meditations, positive thoughts, affirmation, gratitude, to inspire me and anyone else interested.

I believe if we change our thoughts we change our life. We are happy or sad because of how we think and what we get stuck in.

I share my experiences, my experiments, what inspires me and motivates me, and what I need to hear to improve myself.

I post from the heart and what is buzzing around in my head, my journal, or what I have just read.

Finally, I want to challenge myself and the reader, to live a wider life, not to be stuck with this materialistic world, to be characterful and simple in your desires, for that is all that matters.

2) I blog to improve my writing, editing, and proofreading. I am the worst writer, I just don’t have the patience to edit or proofread. Even after a year of blogging my mistakes are painful. There is some improvement.

3) I blog to learn new skills and new technology.

4) I blog that, maybe one day when my writing improves, and I have a topic, maybe I might write a book. Or something?

My Thoughts About The Blogging Phenomenon & My Journey So Far

In all honesty, I am not sure what I thinking about blogging in general. It is most definitely massive, global phenomenon. I think anyone can blog even if the niche is taken, you can still blog because no-one will express what you want to express, the way you do.

I love blogging for the global community spirit and the friends I have made. I love blogging because I see and learn from other bloggers who write so beautifully, it leaves me inspired.

Blogging is challenging me in different and good ways. It has opened my world and my eyes to many things that may be, I might never have thought about or contemplated. It forces me to improve, to research and just keep growing.

Blogging is a major part of my life now, and I love it and all my new global friends. I am hooked.

There are a few posts that I would like to share with you all, from my blog. I believe this selection gives you a little bit of preview of what I share on my blog, and the topics dear to me.

Thoughts and Life: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/04/24/thoughts-and-life/
This blog post was an introduction to by blog written in April 2016, it was the post that gained me some of my first followers. It effectively was my ‘About’ page as a blog as it seemed no-one was reading my about page.

Meditation: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/12/26/6meditation-a-retreat/
Intentions: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/05/18/daily-intentions/
Insult: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/03/14/its-just-an-insult/
Karma: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/09/08/regret-repent-karma/
Peace: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/10/06/instruments-of-peace/
Peace: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/11/16/let-me-share-peace-with-the-world-each-and-every-day/
Journaling: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/05/15/the-power-of-journaling/
Questions~: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/08/25/questions-questions-what-is-lifes-what-is-lifes-purpose/
Soul: https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/2016/08/30/i-the-soul-am-a-point-of-immortal-light/

How I keep Motivated

I believe it with all my heart that if we “ Change our thoughts and we Change our life”, and that the change starts with me.

“be the change you want to see in the world” – Gandhi

One day the human race will be in harmony for we would have all learned to change our negatives into positives. To be kind and loving to all. If my little blog can assist in making us more peaceful, harmonious, and contented in our lives… This is what motivates me to blog.

My Challenging Moments and A Word To Others

Everything! I am trigger happy – I click publish so quickly, it is hard for me to sit on a post and proofread it. I suffer writer’s block always. I feel that my post are the same and that I am repeating myself, and then I get stuck what to write about.

Even after a year of blogging, I find it so very, very, very hard. However, the word “impossible say’s I’m Possible”. So I carry on!

If you have something to share then share it with the world. But, don’t be fooled, part time is harder than an employed job! You gotta love it to be motivated.

Spend A Day With Me

I work three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I volunteer two mornings a week with my mum, that is Tuesday and Thursday at the Brahma Kumaris. Saturday and Sunday are for everything else and socializing. Blogging does take a huge amount of my time because I find it so hard. I love to cook, though I am not the best (well my mum is an awesome cook), I love to keep a clean house. I used to like gardening and this year I am trying to find the passion again. I meditate daily in the morning and evening. I read daily and Journal daily. As for exercising well, I need to improve on that front.

Photos: The garden has been worked on, but it still looks like a tip to the unwise. I don’t like photos of myself, but I guess it is long overdue, so here is a very bad selfie of me, Bella the author of www.thoughtsnlifeblog.com

Going Forward

I started this blog randomly and spontaneously without a clue. Therefore, I have to say, I am clueless here, how does one get an article published, paid for or free? I would love some advice from those who know how to. I think it would be rather nice to publish something that is not on my blog.

In terms of the next steps for my blog, well I just need to be more consistent, to have a schedule, to have blogs written in advance and improving my proofreading. I am just a year old I blogging and I am more experience, but I am still learning and improving.

To close, I would like to thank Jacqueline for all her love and support on my blogging journey. From my first blogging party to my first interview, thank you so much, Jacqueline.

Connecting With Lovely Talented Writer, Ellis: L. S. Engler

My Easter Edition interview is with talented Ellis also known as L. S. Engler of ‘Worlds Unknown.’ Her byline alone is intriguing and, in her blog, she breathes stories. Do check out Worlds Unknown.

Thank you, Ellis for granting this interview.

Snippets of Me

Ellis Engler, Writer, Blogger, Interview

Hello! I’m L.S., a writer, reader, dreamer, creator of worlds. I’ve always felt that writing is something I was destined for. Growing up in rural Michigan, I could easily spend hours running around the woods, making up stories and characters and grand adventures, and I’m happy to say that the wonder of it all has never really left me. Now I just channel it all into words. I live in the suburbs of Chicago now, working part-time as a barista because those bills have to get paid. But when I’m not there, I’m reading or writing or exploring some of the really wonderful nature trails we have here in Northeastern Illinois. I’m vegan, I have two cats and a boyfriend, and my favorite color is green.

My very first story published ever was back in 2009, in Temenos, the graduate studies literary journal at my alma mater, Central Michigan University, where I studied history and creative writing. I started self-publishing in 2012, with my collection of short stories titled Bowlful of Bunnies, and have been hitting the publishing trail pretty hard since then, including starting my own literary journal, World Unknown Review. It’s been very gradual, glacier-paced start to a career, but it’s a start none-the-less.

Bits About My Blog

When you get into the world of self-publishing, you hear a lot about branding and building your tribe and the need to really reach out to people and get them to know you. That’s how I started blogging, as a way to meet with other writings and potential readers, sharing my thoughts and ideas. It’s sort of a catch-all for whatever I want to write about.

Mostly, I talk about stories that I’ll be publishing and upcoming books, but there’s also book reviews, recipes, and various other observances and promotions. I also like to use it to help promote the authors that contribute to my World Unknown Review. Nearly every month, we feature an author from the review, with a featured story and an interview. That’s probably my favourite part. I love spreading the word about stories I love and getting to know other authors, what makes them tick, what they enjoy to read, and things like that.

Staying On Top of Things

Sometimes, it’s hard to get posts up, whether it’s just a lack of time from trying to juggle too much or simply feeling like I don’t have any ideas worth sharing at the moment. What really helps is that I’ve started doing a weekly thing I like to call a “Monday Morning Reset.” On Monday, I mentally wipe the slate clean of all the stuff that may have dragged me down in the previous week, and I write a blog post talking about what was done, what didn’t get done, and what I hope to do in the upcoming week. I start reading a new book, I start working on a new story, I just try to keep everything new and fresh, and that’s been a great motivator. It’s important to sometimes look back at what you’ve done and give it a critical review. It’s also a great way to keep your readers up-to-date on what you might be working on and what’s going on in your world.

The Downsides and Yes, The Ups

So far, it’s just challenging trying to think of interesting things to say! There are so many blogs out there, so many of them talking about writing, that there are many times when you feel like you’ve got nothing new or interesting to contribute. That’s when it’s important to remember that people are reading your blog because they ARE interested, and you can’t let yourself get in the way of yourself. It’s your blog. Write what you want, even if it’s boring, even if it’s not too exciting. Even if it only get a small iota of views this time, maybe next time you’ll get more. But you won’t get any if you don’t post at all.

A Word of Encouragement

I would encourage other bloggers the same way I encourage other writers (and myself!): by emphasizing the importance of JUST WRITING. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you’re getting some writing done. Eventually, the good stuff shines through and you can run with it for a while. Even if you feel like no one is reading it, just write. Eventually, someone will.

Spend A Day With Me

My days are pretty simple and regular. I love order and I love consistency, so I try to keep a routine from day to day. I wake up around six thirty every morning, make some coffee, and settle in to read and write for about an hour. I have absolutely no attention span so I like to switch between reading for a little and writing for a little. After that hour, I hit the computer to write blog posts, answer emails, type stories, edit stories, send out stories.

Then I have a daily workout routine, then shower, and then a few video games before breakfast with my boyfriend, who, being a night owl, is just about getting up at this time. We always watch “Jeopardy!” with breakfast. Then it’s time to get lunch prepare and I usually have to go to work at this point. I’m an early bird, so I work nights so that I can have my sweet precious morning time to myself. Well, to myself and my cats, who intermittently want to cuddle while I work. I have two eight-year-old Siamese cats, brothers, one grey point, one seal, named Genghis Khan (leader of the Meowngal horde) and Baldur Cat (Bringer of Cuddles). They’re pretty affectionate and they keep me company while I work.

If I have the day off, I’ll usually spend the day running errands, preparing meals for the upcoming week, going out for a hike, or spending the day getting inspired at the Art Institute of Chicago, one of my favorite places ever. I’m trying to get into the habit of getting in some more writing before bed, too, though so far it’s been a little hit and miss. I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for my writing, as they have me temporarily full time at work, but I do what I can when I can, and a little bit here and there can really add up!

Going Forward

My next step is to finally finish my zombie trilogy, the Slayer Saga, with the final book, entitled “Fearless,” and I hope to get more books finished, too. And, of course, what I really wanted to share in this interview was information about the World Unknown Review. I started this literary journal four years ago, and it’s really been gaining momentum!

Last year, I received over a hundred stories from fifteen different countries, and the final product represented five of them. I’d love to see what this year will bring. So if anyone’s got some stories and they’d like to be a part of this hopefully steadily growing tradition, I hope they send them my way for consideration. You can find more about the journal and the submission process at http://lsengler.com/submissions

Other than that, it’s just more writing, more blogging, on to bigger and brighter things each and every day.

Meet Beautiful Lady Carly Sygrove

I remember the first time I read Carly’s post on her sudden loss of hearing, what caught my attention was not just her detailed writing, but her positive, humourous approach and outlook. I must say that I was intrigued. Many people when befallen with any form of hardship tend to drown themselves in the waters of woe is me, instead of seeking how to turn their situation into an experience that empowers them and inspires others.

I can’t begin to lay claims on the imagination of how such an experience would be, but through Carly’s words, I try to understand her World.

I enjoy interacting with her and I leave her corner with a lesson or the other.

Carly, Blogger, Interview

A little bit about me…

Hello. My name is Carly. I am 34 years old and I am currently living in Madrid, Spain. I am originally from a small, seaside town in Yorkshire, England called Bridlington. Bridlington is well known for fish and chips, which are usually served in gigantic portions! My parents still live there, and my mum enjoys walking on the beach and cliff tops every day.

I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and specialise in teaching 3-7-year-olds, and have been teaching for nearly 12 years. As well as England and Spain, I have also taught and lived in China and Thailand. I lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 3 years. Thailand will always have a special place in my heart.

It is where I gained self-confidence; where I met some of my favourite people; where I was able to travel to beautiful islands and other countries in South East Asia; where I discovered my love for Thai food and massage; and most importantly, where I met my wonderful boyfriend.

I love spending time with my sister and her boyfriend who live in England and visit them whenever I have the opportunity. Their home feels like my second home, and we always have lots of lovely times together; eating, drinking and exploring the city where they live. I also love travelling, walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, my friends, my family, going out for breakfast, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food. I don’t like people who are unkind, rude or selfish; anchovies; hard boiled eggs; loud sirens; having my photo taken; wasps; and cockroaches. I am trying to be more mindful in everyday life and to take the time to enjoy moments of happiness.

Bits About My Blog

Seven months ago I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. There was no accident or known infection or virus that caused my hearing loss. There was nothing inside my ear blocking the sound. It was not a gradual deterioration. My hearing just disappeared. I began writing my blog nearly 4 months after I lost my hearing. I initially hoped it would be a way of informing my friends and family about my progress in dealing with my hearing loss.

However, it has turned into much more than I had hoped or expected.  Blogging has become a way of documenting my experiences and a tool to help me make sense of my feelings. I have met so many people in the blogging world, all with different stories to tell. I have also been able to connect with others who have experienced different types of hearing loss.

It is so comforting to connect with others who are facing similar issues and difficulties to me and to read about how they deal with these challenges. Although I originally wanted my blog to be a way of informing friends and family of my situation, I actually haven’t yet told my friends on Facebook about my blog; although some of them are aware of my hearing loss. I want to be a bit more up to date with things. I am still a few months behind on documenting my story. Also, it’s quite nice having this secret WordPress community/life that is separate from my real life. My most viewed posts seem to be the ones where I move away from my story and talk about how the hearing loss affects my life, and also when I talk about the new challenges I am facing. Here are a few of my most viewed posts:   

Silly Deaf Moments

https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/silly-deaf-moments/

Who would have thought that losing your hearing could be so noisy?

https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/who-would-have-thought-that-losing-your-hearing-could-be-so-noisy/

The first time… Part 2: being brave and feeling proud

https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/the-first-time-part-2-being-brave-and-feeling-proud/

Warning signs?

https://myhearinglossstory.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/warning-signs/

Keeping Motivated

There is still so much of my story to write. I am still very much motivated to write my story, as I am enjoying writing and I also find it therapeutic. Every time I write a post about part of my journey, I feel like I can almost let that part go from my immediate thoughts; knowing that I will never forget it as it is documented forever. I have lots of notes for upcoming posts.

After consultations with specialists and also after having different experiences with unilateral hearing, I come home and scribble down lots of ideas for future posts. When I am feeling in a writing mood, I look at my notes and write the next instalment of my blog. The most challenging thing for me is getting readers to follow me. I am aware that writing about hearing loss isn’t the most glamourous subject. If I had chosen to write a blog about baking, travel or fashion, perhaps I’d find it much easier to get followers. But hearing loss is what I am passionate about. I not only want to be able to connect with others in similar situations, but also with people with other stories to tell. My readers and the blogs that I follow keep me going.

I am amazed at how much support I have been given from fellow bloggers and every comment and ‘like’ means so much to me. I have fallen in love with the blogging world, and think that it is wonderful to be able to share my story. My blog will be something that I have created, that will always be available for other to see.

A Word For Others

If you have a subject that you are passionate about, and would like to meet more similar minded people, by all means, blogging is a great way to share your story and meet lots of great people along the way. There is so much inspiration to be found in the blogging world; stories of happiness, fun, drama, sadness, strength, creativity are all out there. Blogging does take time and a certain degree of dedication. You will need to invest time to write regular posts, and also to read others posts and share your comments.

Carly and Boyfriend, Interview

Me and My Boyfriend at Christmas Market in London.

A day in the life of me

Since losing my hearing, I have been signed off work; as I would find it difficult to work with a class of 4-year-olds at the moment. A usual working day would have involved getting up at 7 am. Then I used to travel on two metros, and then walk for 15 mins to get to work. Then I would have a busy day teaching, often followed by meetings or lesson and classroom preparation.

Usually, I would get home around 6 pm, sometimes later. Since I have been off work, life has slowed down. My boyfriend leaves the house to go to work, around 8.45am. Every morning we have a chat before he leaves, and then I get up and start my day. I do general house tasks such as emptying the dishwasher, washing clothes, tidying up etc.

I usually have morning TV shows playing in the background whilst I’m pottering around. Often during the day I will catch up on any blogs that I’ve been meaning to read or reply to any comments on my blog. I also have 2 or 3 appointments a week at the moment with various specialists regarding my hearing loss. I still feel guilty for being off work, even though I know it’s not my fault. But am also aware that I should appreciate the time I do have away from work. So I try to make time to do something I enjoy every day, such as going for a walk in Madrid or baking something. In the evenings my boyfriend cooks for us and then we enjoy watching a TV series together or a film.

Carly, Blogger, Interview

Me and My sister in Geneva during Summer

In The Near Future

I will eventually share my blog on Facebook with my wider circle of friends. I would like to have my blog featured on some ‘hearing loss’ websites. I have contacted quite a few websites, but haven’t yet been taken up on my offer,  but will continue trying. I also hope to continue to gain more followers, so that I can share my journey with others. I was a guest writer for MakeItUltraPsychology (https://makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com/ ) who were very kind to publish my post: Finding Strength Through Adversity: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/106156040/posts/13749

I’d happily be a guest writer for other blogs. Maybe one day I could turn my experiences into a book!

Thank you some much Jacqueline for giving me space on your blog. I really appreciate it J.

 

Meet Maline Carroll – A Fascinating Blogger Friend of Mine

The blogging journey has introduced me to fascinating people from all walks of life and today, I introduce you to beautiful Maline of Lifting Taboos who also happens to be one of my partners. Please read and meet her yourself.

Brief Snippet of Me

My name is Mae and I am a Haitian adoptee. I like reading and writing clubs. I don’t like long walks on the beach. My general outlook towards life is positive with a dash of hesitation. 

Me and My Blog

I grew up with psychologically abusive adoptive parents and one of the ways for me to get out of myself was to write. I began journaling at an early age (About 7) and eventually compiled my first book from over 10 years worth of journal entries. I would describe my blog as a stream of conscious writing with really no end and odd beginnings. When I was setting up my blog I had the desire to write one blog a day but then life happened and those goals became very unrealistic. I now attempt to blog once a week on “difficult to swallow” topics and as much as I can on random happenings.
The blogging phenomenon has its ups and downs. You have a greater audience but it means more people get to know more about you. My blogging experience has been pretty positive. Many of my posts deal with adoption and their many complexities including race, gender, and sexuality. I have categorized most of my blogs so they can be found based on particular categories. I feel that some of my simplest and non-thought-out writing gets the most views. I have not quite figured out why yet. And I get comments on some of my strangest blogs which makes me laugh each time. Maybe the thought-provoking pieces keep people from commenting. Some of my top blog posts are; #notallwhitepeople  if you make your child a doormat, and 6 signs you are healing from abuse.

Keeping it Going and The Little Challenges

I do not feel I motivate myself. I feel that writing comes naturally for me. When I feel the need to write, I do it. I feel that not creating a particular writing schedule actually encourages me to write more. My motivation? No rules, no structure. Just me. 
My most challenging moment in my blogging journey is reaching the right audience. A lot of my writing sounds like it is “anti” adoption which goes against what agencies, orphanages and adoptive parents’ wishes but if you read my work carefully, it is not pro or against, it is all about education and what we can learn on this journey and how adoptive parents can do better for their adopted children who one day become adults. 

What I Got To Say To Others

I would say write about what you know. For a long time I wrote for a research company and I learned a lot about writing different genres. But my biggest success was sticking to my lived experience. People want to hear your voice if you write from just that your voice. Don’t pretend. Just be in the moment and share who you are. We only have one life, maybe this is the legacy you can leave behind. 

Spend The Day With Me

I’m a mom and a wife so a typical day spent with me is not very glamorous. I wake up at around 7 a.m. to see my young child off to school. My partner takes the dog out in the mornings (I absolutely refuse to do it, I deal with night duty). If I have to sub, I go in to work with my partner, if it is not a subbing day, I go back to sleep until about 10 a.m. At 10 a.m. I’m up and get into the shower. Grab coffee. I pet the dog and then sit at my desk to answer messages and calls. I am an adoption consultant and I have an online business so every morning that I am not at “school”, I am in my office working.
Throughout the day I consult and answer the phone. I also work on video edits, and on my Honest Adoption Talk YouTube channel, a safe place where we talk honestly about adoption. When I am not working on my YouTube channel, I’m finding time to interview someone on my podcast or just speaking some truth. At around 3:00 pm my kid gets home and I can’t do “adoption” related things because she is adopted and I don’t want to create trauma where there is not any yet. She knows I am open to talking about anything but I don’t want to do any preemptive conversations that could cause her to feel she has to feel a certain way. So Adoption conversations cease once she is home. From that time until my partner gets home, I work on my newest book. Then prepare dinner, then a movie, and then bed. 

Taking it To The Next Level

I don’t really have any “plans” for my outreach and publishing. I just write and publish my work. My main focus right now is publishing my new book The Perks of Being an Adoptee. I have self-published 7 books (two which are in Spanish also). This new piece, however, looks at adoption in a more comical light using humor, sarcasm and matter-of-fact speech. This book will be available April 1st. Currently, portions of the book can be read online. It is available for pre-order if you contact me.
Along with the book that  I am working on publishing, I spend a great deal of time answering questions in my facebook group. Adoption, Race, and Their Complexities. It’s a group I created to help adoptive parents better understand the complexities of adoption in a group setting. I offer one on one advice and assistance but the group is free.

Meet Maline On Her Channel

Honest Adoption Talk