7.07.2016

Not Goodbye ... Farewell for Now

I know that I have been radio silent here and I debated whether it would be pretentious to write this post, but I have read comments elsewhere from disappointed readers who wondered what happened when a blog just ceased to exist. It seems fitting to be writing this last entry on the seventh anniversary of our move to Huntsville. A few months after the move, I created Team Skelley -- at the time named Yoga Gal. It has been a hell of a ride for the last seven years and I have met some wonderful people from across the world.

2009


This honestly is the only picture I could find of the four of us from the last half of 2009. We had gone to see Peanuts on Ice at Opryland that November.

2016


In the past few weeks -- or probably more accurately -- months, the creative well has run dry. I started posts and deleted them, brainstormed content and came up empty, and more than once wondered if traditional blogging has become a medium of the past. When I started blogging in October of 2009, there was no Instagram or Pinterest. Only the hip used Twitter. And very few members of my family were on Facebook. Blogging was a way to communicate with my friends and family back in Tennessee, while meeting new people at a time when I was feeling a little isolated in a new city.

Once I started, I loved it. Blogging reawakened my love of writing. And that passion gave me the courage and desire to pursue freelancing, which gave me the experience and exposure that led to my being offered a staff writer position at the newspaper three and a half years ago. Today I can truthfully say on my LinkedIn account that I am an award-winning writer. I am still shocked about that too. None of that would have ever happened without this blog.

This is not goodbye forever, internet. I just think that as online communication and the demands of my 3-D life change, I will focus more on microblogging via mediums like Instagram and share my projects and ideas via Pinterest. Book reviews will probably move to Goodreads and writing will be devoted to the Redstone Rocket. I also handle the newspaper's social media and would love for you to connect with us via our Facebook and Twitter. You can also usually find me on my personal Twitter during football season and Game of Throne nights.

Thank you for reading. I wish I could properly convey how much that has meant to me over the years. Thank you. Don't be a stranger.

6.17.2016

Book Review | The Bird and the Sword

I don't think it is a coincidence that my post topics this week can be viewed as escapism. Music and books are both tools that can help us take a break from reality for awhile. I am not normally a fan of fantasy novels (unless they are about a certain boy wizard) but I am a fan of author Amy Harmon so I took a chance on her newest novel, The Bird and the Sword. I am so glad that I did.


Synopsis: 
Swallow, daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heaven or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, daughter. Stay alive. 

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would sell his soul and lose his son to the sky. 
My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free. 
But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird? 


The world that Harmon has created is so vivid and creative, I just fell into the story. It was departure from her other stories and I wondered how she would handle that. Beautifully, she handled it beautifully. This book has action, romance, humor, and a spunky heroine, who doesn't start out that way but becomes pretty kick-ass throughout the story. And you know how I like a kick-ass heroine.

This was a five basset hound read and a definite addition to my favorites. 

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When you are done with this, read all of Harmon's work. Making Faces is sad and beautiful and perfect, and a book that I go back to and read again often. It will stay with you. 

For more of my favorite books, check out my Goodreads page.




6.16.2016

Music to mend a broken heart | St. Paul and the Broken Bones

When I wrote my posts Monday and Tuesday, I didn't contemplate that the news out of Orlando could get any worse.

Then it did.

Having visited the Grand Floridian last year, I know exactly where that little boy was. And I can tell you with 100% certainty that the very last thing on my mind while we were there was being vigilant for alligators. Considering who you speak to, that is either perfectly understandable or dangerously naive. What I have found disheartening is that the response of people on the internet who are vilifying a family trapped in a horror movie come to life. Come on, humans. We are better than this.

Because I have desperately needed something pure and good this week, I have found myself listening to a lot of St. Paul and the Broken Bones, especially "All I Ever Wonder" from their upcoming sophomore album. These boys are local and they are tearing it up. I think they have a huge future ahead of them. 

Anything from their first album is golden, but "Call Me" is a personal fave:


I hope this might be a small respite for you from the sadness of the last several days.