BEDiM 2013 : DAY 5 & A to Z 2013 : REFLECTIONS

(A Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge & An A to Z 2013 Challenge Reflections Entry)

I will start with the shortest segment of this double combo super punch to the love cockles of the blogosphere; the BEDiM entry.

Today’s prompt:

Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don't have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member.

This really is a Combo post. A blending of two challenges into one...

Considering all the new friends I’ve made over the last few months, I feel there is no way to single out any one specific blog. During the A to Z I’ve made even more friends, all varying in their degrees of interaction with one another and myself. So instead of focusing on just one, I plan to highlight a handful of bloggers that I feel have been actively keeping up reading/commenting and building connections (whether during the A to Z or beyond).

Before getting there, though, I shall take a moment to reflect upon the A to Z Challenge 2013.

If I Could Do It All Again

The A to Z Challenge was a great experience, regardless of the pockets of stress, and momentary close breakdowns throughout! It opened the door to meeting many fellow bloggers, each with their own topics/themes/voices/styles. It's amazing really! I'm looking forward to keeping along with their own personal journeys through the blogosphere, as much as I hope they are interested to following along with mine.

That being said, however, I think attempting to follow over 20+ blogs (reading, commenting, and replying) was a bit overwhelming for me. I’m a slow reader, and while normally this is no big deal, combined with daily posts — while having to write my own — I could feel myself falling behind. I’ve already apologized, and plan to catch up where need be, so if some particular blogger isn’t okay with that, well I should reassess my bothering to follow along with them in the first place. I view this whole experience as a fun, sociable interaction with the blogosphere.

This may not have been such an issue had I written blogs in advance as advised by the Host/Co-Hosts in March. I am definitely planning to do so next year (maybe I will start right now!). It will cut down on half of the work, and I could spend more time reading fellow blogger posts, comment, and reply. I am amazed at how many people breezed through these difficulties, and I may be a tad bit jealous of them. So, this is one area of improvement I plan to make for next year. I may also attempt a theme. It seems like everyone who focused on a theme had a blast! We will see what I have going on next April before deciding.

It’s pretty obvious I would partake in the challenge again, pending having the time to do so. Most of the Host/Co-Hosts did a great job at interacting with participants and posting encouraging entries to spur everyone on all throughout the challenge. Overcoming my blocks of writing, by blogging every day, was a huge triumph for me. This is partially why I decided to go ahead with the Blog Every Day in May Challenge.

Overall it was a great experience with great people and am looking forward to next year!

Blogosphere Bonanza

Now to highlight a handful of bloggers that I know personally and/or were highly active throughout the challenge and the months leading up to it! A handful you may recognize from my Liebster Award entry back in March. I hope I didn’t forget anyone. I met many people towards the last half of the challenge, but this — honestly — is focused on those met from the beginning. I will still be catching up on unlisted blogs and following along!

Some you may already follow, but if not, check them out! When I visit blogs I try my best to remember to “Like” and Googlemend (Google Recommend — it will be a word... work with me!) each post. I believe in encouraging and promoting blog entries of fellow friends throughout the blogosphere (and I definitely don’t object to the same in return). So sally forth into uncharted realms of the blogosphere and support your comrades and make some great networking connections! You may find yourself some wonderful gems hidden out there just waiting for you to discover them. ;-)
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall: I don’t think she has shared her name with me, but it may be in the labyrinth of her blog. She has been at it for some time and I have some catching up to do. Looking at her numbers, though, I may want to stick to 2013 and beyond haha sweet lord almighty! Some random facts I’ve garnished: Her and her husband reproduce like rabbits, her family plays barn roof tennis (not for the faint of heart), she is a professional shaver, and is devoted to volunteer work. BUT she has a loud laugh, so only blogger buddies!

A Writer’s Journey: Jessica is still someone I'm learning about slowly as I go back over her past blog entries. She is a sneaky lil devil and has multiple blogs (which in a crazy move, involved both blogs in the A to Z challenge with different, but equally entertaining, themes). Her second blog is Closet Geek Gurl. While the first focuses more on her personal life as a writer, the second is her expression of geekiness to the blogosphere; her escape. What I came to find is that she writes books (and is published) about superheroes! How cool is that? I believe it is called Small Town Hero. She can correct me if I am mistaken. It's shaping up to be a series of undetermined length!

Behind These Pages: I met Tamara a few months ago (via The Warrior Muse). I want to say it was around the time we both (All three of us really) participated in a Flash Fiction contest. She just began her new blog, now partnered up with a friend, and I’ve yet to see which direction they plan on taking it. I had just met Tamara when she had to go on hiatus for a stint. She arrived just in time for the A to Z and is ready to rock out with her... So yeah, I'm looking forward to learning more about her and her friend!

Black Coffee and Cigarettes: Kirsten has at least three blogs, and sharing in Jessica’s craziness, she entered two in the A to Z Challenge! Why people?! Why?! lol Kirsten was the one who presented me with the Liebster Award (thank you so much, again!) and — regretfully — I’ve yet to fully explore her main blog. Short Story Ideas: is just as it says. A blog/site offering help with ideas for short stories. The A to Z focused on various prompts, so I still have to double back to try some of them. Then there is Just Ermie: about a character on the run from thought police, serial killer/spies, and most everything under the sun. It’s a lot of fun! Ermie got too far ahead of me, though, and she is a master of disguise. I’ll be catching up to her yet.

Meetings With My Muse: Kimberly has been blogging for a few years, and I’ve yet to delve into much beyond her A to Z posts (which highlighted a multitude of great resource links for writing, publishing, editing, finding agents, etc etc!) I also need to explore those abundance of links. I am curious to see what she posts about outside of the A to Z Challenge. She writes YA Fantasy and Science fiction, but I’m uncertain if published. I’d like to read some of her work.

One to One with Life: I believe Andy had just begun blogging this year, much like myself. His A to Z was a mix-match of philosophy, history, and random thoughts. I enjoyed reading along and he was very encouraging. He simply seems an all around great guy. Doesn’t hurt he has some tech knowledge and likes Doom! I hope he continues his blog, because I feel he has a lot of interesting stories/thoughts to share. Give him some good lovings! I know it can be hard to find readers/followers when starting out.

Poke The Rock: Jette is German, loves to dance, draws freaking uncomfortable things like a bear riding a tricycle with a smiling poop on its head! GAH! But, she draws many fantastical things and is very talented. She is a master of Finger Puppets, and I secretly plan to coax her into making me a personalized EmoJak finger puppet (hoody, solemn expression, bats, and all!) I just have to find the right bribing (or blackmail) material. She doesn’t think she is “deep”, but I happen to know she is in the “Thick of it” with all the challenges she is participating in.

Pull Up A Toadstool: I met Tracy partway through the A to Z. She was also one of those insane folks doing multiple tasks/challenges at once. She was participating in Nation Poetry Writing Month, I believe, while also doing A to Z! She had a lot of thought provoking topics/subject matter and it was great engaging in discussions about them. I will have to take a gander at some of the writing prompts she was partaking in during the challenge. I know I missed a lot, but should be easier to catch up now. She is so sweet, and was always positive in comments!

Randomness and Lunacy: She’s Random. She’s a Lunatic. She’s a Random Lunatic! Jenn was another blogger that always stuck it out through the torrents of posts and comments. She has been blogging and writing for a long time. I believe she has two books published and she is working on another! Actually I’ve found she is working on a good majority of projects. Very ambitious, this one. I should suck the ambition out of her like a vampire :) Jenn loves hockey, music, writing, and she works in her office (command center?) from home yet “bikes” four miles to and from work every day. Now that is awesome! I plan to adopt that regiment.

Simply She Goes: Kianwi had a fun theme of nostalgia for the A to Z. Not only that, but she worked in a contest to guess her age. Prizes included a grouping of nostalgic items from her childhood. I didn’t guess correctly, and I won’t share her age as I’ve learned that can get you slapped depending on the individual! I'm betting she is a slapper, based on knowledge that she coerces her dog to dress up and post blog posts on her behalf to deflect catching flack. I think she coerced Jette into participating in the A to Z too! How rude! ;-) Seriously, though, she is a lot of fun (even more so than I thought with recently garnished intel!) and look forward to going back over her pre A to Z postings and learning more about her! Even if she did try to get Boba Fett and Princess Leia to fall in love...

The Average Poet: I don’t know a whole lot about Robert. What I do know is that he loves poetry! His blog is chock full of his own personal poetry and it's awesome. He also had some (what seems to be) fiction work sprinkled throughout. If you are a fan of poetry I recommend checking out his work. Also, from glancing at his history, he has been blogging since 2005. That is a lot of freakin’ blogging!

The Mind Meanders: Kristen was one of my nominees for the Liebster Award. She had some interesting topics and even interviews during the A to Z. She recently came to acquire a publishing house and has plans to make her dreams and aspirations as a writer/publisher come true! The name of the company is Fey Publishing. Check them out. I believe they are working on the site and have even opened submissions. With everything going on, Kristen is still catching up on the challenge, so encouragement is welcomed. I wish her luck on her business endeavors and am excited to see how everything turns out.

The Tex Files: Tex was a roit! Their A to Z challenge was Grammaticats, which utilized pictures of cats to teach proper grammar. They were cute and hilarious. Crooks even made a guest appearance, in all his full-bellied glory! It sounds like Tex is taking a brief breather, but then I believe it’s back at it! I really liked the Grammaticats a lot, and would love to see more of them. Or something with a new theme would be great. I appreciate Tex’s in-your-face mentality! A very supportive, fun individual. And honestly, quite hilarious!
And last, but definitely not least...
The Warrior Muse: Shannon was one of my original Jakker Trakkers outside of people I knew personally. I’ve already recommended and referenced her blog multiple times. It's full of fantastic information about herself, her projects, writing in general, event/contest/submission information, and more. She has two pieces of work being published (short stories I believe, while her first novel is being queried — did I use that term correctly? lol) and I'm looking forward to checking them out. Shannon is also a Co-Host of the A to Z Challenge, participates in various writing events, and is one busy bee. She is a horror and Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopia fan (how I came across her blog originally), which is very sweet. I'm still learning more about her as I backtrack her blog.
Why Can’t We Be Friends

Most of the below are people I meet during NaNoWriMo 2012. Since that time I feel we have slowly been working on building our connections/friendships. Some of this group have known one another for a long time. I’m kind of the new kid on the block. A handful of the group realized from the beginning how awesome I am. Others take their sweet sweet time, which may be smart. I am a bit odd.
Sideways From Sunday: A friend made from NaNoWriMo more famously known as Number One! I think she is finally allowing me into her “inner circle” now that we are linked by a curse. She has started blogging more often now, and I hope she plans to continue. The topics are random and of a more “journal” format. She may fear whales, but she is good lookin’ and enjoys cookin’!

The Candence Journey: A NaNo 2012 ML and one of three friends of this grouping who joined the A to Z after it began. She is on a journey to unlocking her true inner self, after a lifetime of being what others expected. It’s interesting to keep up and explore her transition along with her as she comes into her own. Her new “self” so to speak. She plans to blog more regularly now that her itch to write has come back. Maybe she will even place up some fiction at some point too.

The Daily Discovery: This blog belongs to a friend I met a few months ago. She is passionate about helping people, and prefers working in the non-profit sector. She is a painter and writer, but her writing fell on the wayside for a time. She was very encouraging to me during the A to Z and I greatly appreciated it. Eventually her words began to flow again, and she even signed on to the Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge! How cool is that? I’m glad she is writing again, and hope she keeps at it this time. As long as she doesn’t neglect her painting!

The Pleasantest Life: This is the blog of Number Three and a new friend made during NaNoWriMo 2012. She became inspired to blog again after a hiatus and joined the A to Z late. At this time she is still catching up, but plans to continue. No set theme, but has some important topics she wishes to discuss (hence the delay —  trying to get them just right). She has a great sense of humor, yells her shouts (or shouts her yells?), owns both a cane and a magic walking stick, and walks like a grandma. Grandma status subject to change based on health.

Unfocus: Ah Number Five. He (also from NaNo 2012) joined into the A to Z Challenge from the outside about a week into the event. I believe he is still working on catching up and always has some random repostings/rebloggings (he uses Tumblr, where it seems reblogging is a way of life). But fair warning, a handful are of a mature nature. Hope he continues through to Z. I think he should blog about some of his occult knowledge/experiences!
Let’s Wrap This Up

Whew! That was exhausting! I hope you can find time, over the next few weeks, to continue following along with both myself and some new bloggers! Spread the love!

If any of the links are inaccurate/broken, please let me know and I will fix them up :)

I appreciate all your support and encouragement :) 

If you participated in the A to Z Challenge, have you made your Reflections post yet? Anything you would do differently next year? Do you have an all-time favorite blog you enjoy to read and would highly recommend?

A to Z 2013 : TAURIELLO

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Once again, I deviate from the planned path after a new random idea comes to me. I was going to share a handful of trailers for movies I’m looking forward to this year. I am a movie trailer buff afterall!

Instead, I thought I would share some information I learned about a piece of art I’ve had for some time now. One that has always, for inexplicable reasons, drawn me to it. I will randomly think about it and become curious of its origins. Preferring not to have anything on my walls — they have been bare white for almost seven years (minus the posters and bats placed up for my ex’s son) — this is one piece I wouldn’t object to placing up. I’ve no real idea why I haven’t ever done so.


I found this piece of art at a garage sale years ago. I have this odd thing where if something continually draws my attention (usually art) then I end up buying it, if I can afford it. This was one of those pieces. As soon as I saw it I felt a “connection” of sorts, and I wanted it. I avoided it for a bit, walking around checking out the rest of the merchandise. It made no sense for me to buy it, I never hung anything on my walls anymore.

But, like I always do, I bought it. It was cheap. Like $3 cheap, so why the hell not? Did it ever go up on my wall? Nope. I still felt a deep resonance with it, and I began associating unrealistic qualities with the painting. I titled it “Goddess” and thought of her as my Guardian Angel and Muse. I had a dream once about my supposed Guardian Angel and I will perhaps talk about it sometime. Maybe I had this dream close to this period of time? I can’t recall.

Either way, I never hung it up (only partially due to not having a real frame), and I never left it out to inspire any of my writing (which I wasn’t doing at the time anyhow). I guess I figured a Guardian Angel could do their work from the closet. They must be able to, because I’ve had a few close calls.

This weekend I was cleaning out my closet and trying to condense — purge; some changes are coming up that I need to have a bit more available space for — some of my belongings, and I came across this piece again. After so many years, I thought it was time to investigate its origins. It is a print (I assume) and not an original; back is listed as 648. I know close to nothing about art, though, beyond what I fancy and what I don’t.

Frank Tauriello
I made the mistake of misreading the name as Taurielb (the L and O blending close), which caused some initial frustrations. Once figuring out the correct spelling of his last name, though, the frustration didn’t end. I wasn’t able to find him or any pieces of his work. I tried simple descriptions, and looked up multiple sites. I must be getting bad at Google. Once locking down his full name I found only a handful of sites with his art up, most of which being eBay.

I did, however, find a few blog posts and forum threads about him. It seems a handful of people were seeking out information about the artist of works they had found; some describing the same print I have. From here I found postings from Frank’s daughter giving information about the passing of her father, and about a memorial site currently in the works.

His work seems to have been distributed by Leon Loard Commissioned Portraits (though, I saw someone listing another distributor: Donald Art Industries/Company; again I know nothing about art!) and this is what they had to say about the late F. Tauriello:
Although a New York native, Frank Tauriello is known as a noted California portraitist, where he resides and teaches. Born in Rochester, New York, he received a bachelor of Fine Arts degree Cum Laude from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. His graduate work spans four years at the Art Students League of New York under Frank J. Reilly. Tauriello spent the next twelve years in New York working in the areas of painting illustrations, murals, and restoration of paintings. Currently, he has put his full attention on portraiture work and the conservation of art.
From 1963 to the present, Tauriello has been a private teacher, demonstrating instructor and juror for the California Art Association and the American Society of Portrait Artists. His portrait subjects vary widely, including children and families, state governors, jurists, business executives, and celebrities such as actor Clint Eastwood and television personality Merv Griffin. He has exhibited in numerous art shows around the country, and has won many local and national awards. Tauriello also holds membership in the Salmagundi Club of New York, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and is Board Emeritus of The American Society of Portrait Artists.
Strength, dignity, and realism all shine through in a Tauriello portrait. His straightforward yet sensitive style of painting emphasizes his expertise in achieving simplicity in design and composition, along showcasing his intense ability to recreate his subject's persona on canvas.
I nice contrast from the obituary. He was a very talented artist (amazing really, I love what I’ve seen so far and I can’t even accurately describe the connection felt with the one piece I have in my possession) and it’s a shame he has passed. Not because I would have ever sought him out, but that his current art is now all that is left and he will no longer be bringing new creations into the world.

Then again, perhaps he will. By means of those he inspired through his years of work and teaching, his legacy can essentially live on. I hope it does. I’m sure it will. Not even necessarily in terms of painting(s).

“The Goddess” inspires me in more of a spiritual way, but even that is an extension of F. Tauriello’s art. I know his art has also connected and inspired others, as well. So it isn’t even a matter of “hope” or “certainty” of an eventual ripple effect. Just the fact that it has and already is living on.

I should see about getting it properly framed, or at least hanging it up, and see if that Muse factor can’t give me a little nudge.

Do you happen to be familiar with Frank Tauriello and his art? Do you have any favorite artists? What artists or pieces of art inspire you?

A to Z 2013 : OLIVE BRANCH

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Olive Branch

From the past you come forth with the offerings of peace.
Let bygones be bygones, we can be friends at the least.
Did I think it was impossible after all of the years
Through the hardships, fears, and waterfall tears.
It may be hard knowing that I’m still so far
But let’s not forget why we are where we are
Choices were made, consequences will be met
Giving things time would be your best bet

There’s no need for rhymes for our story is no fairytale
Nor a children’s book or love song
But the love is still there as it will always be
The place in our hearts where the others still beats
Regardless of time and the pain interlacing
Connections remain true, forever both a curse and a blessing

At this time we both know boundaries have been broken
While respect should be met at the cost of one’s good intentions
Self love is the key to everyone’s salvation
Seclusion a trick of our mind’s disillusion
Train always your heart, body, and soul
In the end you’ll be free and once again find yourself whole



Within I touch on the topics of Love, hate, Forgiveness, Spirituality and Kindness. They are discussed through my own personal experiences and beliefs I've shared throughout my brief lifetime. Hopefully the Initiative will inspire something in you!

I want to believe this is somewhat coherent. As I began writing it, I had way too many topics/thoughts/ideas barraging me at once. This was the third draft and I refuse to do a fourth. I feel this will get a handful of my thoughts out. I will revisit these topics once the A to Z Challenge concludes, and I have more time to focus.

A to Z 2013 : GRANDMA'S BOY

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

After determining I would stop blogging, I began to to think of some of the topics I had planned that I’d never write about. Some I find important, others just fun and random. Then I began to think about what my grandmother would say when she found out I quit. She has been my number one supporter and fan. She is technologically challenged, so I read my latest blog entries to her when I visit on Mondays.

Over the last few months she has come to look forward to the interaction and, to be honest, so have I. I may not live in her basement like the stereotypical Grandma's Boy — the space is actually occupied by another — but there is no doubt that I am a Grandma’s Boy. The thought of her reaction doesn’t sit well with me. She would be very understanding, but yet... not.

What a Difference a Day Makes
24 little hours

What eventually ran through my head, after a comment a friend made, was people may think I couldn’t stomach the A to Z challenge. Now, I’ve nothing to prove, but I wanted it to be known that I really was (am) enjoying the A to Z. The people have been great and the abundance of new blogs/reading material welcomed.

Then another friend made a comment about getting them involved and abandoning him. I'm sure he was joking (I hope...), but I did feel kind of bad. Some friends weren’t able to sign up/register in time; joining later in the week, catching up.

If I had left that F post at its bare-boned, skeletal artsy self as I had planned, I don’t think I’d even be writing this. But, I wrote more and soon after I wanted to write more. What was G going to be again? “Give it a Name?” No, that was a header under J. What about H? I had a coded message for someone with the O entry. I really was (am... *sigh*) enjoying this blog hop (I think that is technically what it is referred to as).

All that, and a bit more, culminated into wanting to continue even more than before.

What the Crack Fuck?

I have this thing, where I worry about what people will think (it apparently exists both in person and online) and what impressions I make. I literally just went off about having to find a job and prioritize and get shit straight (all of which I need to do... very, very badly... and fast).

Now I'm continuing (or wanting to) and wonder if people are going to think I'm on drugs or something. Maybe bipolar — which I’m not and is no light matter — or depressed or whatever multitude of things. I even, at this very moment, have an email up I was going to send to a Co-Host of the A to Z challenge asking if I will come off like a cracked out basketcase.

I could leave comments off, continually, out of fear. What fun would that be, though? The interactions are honestly 75% of this event, and blogging, for me.

I’m writing this entry, and I am abstaining from sending that email (sparing them of my nuttery), and resolving to: Fuck it. Like all else, those things — thoughts/feelings/opinions of others — are out of my control. Sucks sometimes thinking what role I play in them, because despite the fact that yes, it is out of your control, you sometimes play a role. Things you say/do/etc all play a part. But, even then, what can you do? Not a whole hell of a lot. Make better choices (if the results were negative) perhaps.

It is what it is. I’m a strong supporter of: Whatever happens, happens. My facebook banner thing-in-the-bobber can back me up... unless it's still the 2012 NaNoWriMo one... then it can’t. Nope “What Ever Happens, Happens.” And now I know how little I paid attention to the split between “what” and “ever” and am annoyed because it should be one word. Now I have another crisis on my hands! Great!

I Cannot Tell a Lie

Quitting the blogs, while helping some with stress (mainly referring to my fiction blog), won’t make me any more motivated to job hunt. What I feel would result is I’d find some other distraction — there are many to choose from (Damn you Candy Crush! Damn you to hell!) — and I’d be in the same place I was before. Except I wouldn’t be writing as often. If at all, because this fiction writing is still presenting its fair share of blockage. It wants to fight. It wants to punch me in the ear.

So not blogging isn’t going to help a whole hell of a lot. I just hate standard work; always have. My grandmother and I just recapped this last Monday. Friends and family always come first, and at least with the job I’ve had for the last six years those values could be upheld. I just need another. A second job... oh my nuts, if you only knew how much I hate the concept of having to work two jobs. Yeah, I know... millions do it. I am likely of the 1% in this category.

I’ve good friends and family that have attempted to help me get a second job for months now, but I just evade. Evade right into that financial black hole I was talking about in my previous entry. So what I need is an entire change of thought and, surely, acceptance. I need to be careful... I can’t even fully become a Grandma’s Boy and live in the basement; no vacancies. Would be interesting to see where I’d end up.

Was It Real or Was It All an Illusion?

Well, let’s see here. I’ve quite possible broken all trust of security with those who follow along, including friends and family. This guy could just up and leave after investing X amount of time reading his damn blog?! This was actually a factor of concern if I were to eventually come back to blogging.

See I talk about Connections and building of strong bonds, so acts like this leave me a bit reminiscent of incidents described in The Bridge.

At least my bounce back recovery time is improving exponentially! I guess I should have heeded my own words:
“Eviscerate notions demanding
Enthralling neurotic derailments"
Do I try to pretend it never happened? Claim "F" was for "False Alarm"? Not really my style. Everything described is real, genuine, and pertinent in my life at this time. I definitely seem to be living up to that intentionally emo pic I took when deciding to undertake a journal blog.

So I think I will just keep on, keeping on. In my heart of hearts it is what I want. I can continue to dabble with writing on a non-fiction front, and I can keep reading my blurbs to my grandmother when I visit. I can meet new bloggers.

And while pretending to look for a second job, perhaps one will fall into my lap... right.

WTF? Is Jak:
A) Crazy
B) On Crack
C) Sleep Deprived
D) Living Up to His EmoJak moniker 
E) The One True King 
F) All the Above (minus E, of course!)
G) None of the Above (This has all been a ruse of pure genius masterminded as some sort of publicity stunt)

I’m going to go with G :) since it is the Letter of the Day. Also, if you've never seen the movie Grandma’s Boy, do so (but only if you enjoy crude humor!).

Edit: I forgot it's Monday (since I scheduled this out over the weekend) and that is officially Grandma Day! I will share a video by Julian Smith that I place up on FB occasionally: