My Beloved Gatlinburg

There is not much else on my mind today…I know our love affair was short but I haven’t gotten your bumps and ridges out of my mind since we first met…and now you’re gone.


My family and I are wallowing in emotion, the place we called our home for a week this a couple months ago up in flames, being destroyed.

I know, trust me I know, that wildfires, over time, are much better on the land.

I also know that the beautiful mountain cabins, warm homes, gorgeous outlooks, hell, even the aquarium full of creatures within the town, they are all in danger. They will not, over time, become stronger from this. They will have to be rebuilt, revamped, reconstructed.

God, it was so beautiful. 15285000_10154806012689066_8000300763024475229_n

 

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Design, Holidays, and Freelancing Advice.

I have two things to share today. Well, make it three, just to be safe.

First off, I hope you all had a spectacular holiday this weekend. This was our first year balancing being officially engaged and making it to all of our family gatherings, we hit 3 out of 4, which we consider a massive success, even though they may have all been a tad bit more rushed than anyone really wanted. Our stomachs and hearts are beyond full, to say the least.

Second, if you have a moment would you do me a favor and choose one of the designs below that strikes your fancy the most. It’s more about style and imagery/font than the message in the design, so just ignore any past holiday themed ones. You’ll want to be sure to click and enlarge a few of them to see it all.

And last but not least, here’s an article to any fellow freelancers out there who tend to feel discouraged or super poor at any given time (or all the time).  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/writers-charge-what-youre-worth-ian-chandler?trk=hp-feed-article-title-channel-add giphy-facebook_s

It’s a cornucopia of Danielle thoughts today, enjoy and have a positive day!

Dead Calm

She grimaced while cracking her knuckles slowly, the loud pop from each making her jump slightly, though she knew it was coming each time.

The sound of her sister’s harsh voice broke her popping and jumping routine, the usually singsong voice hitting her ears like staccato snare snaps as she spoke.

‘You have to run the dishwasher twice to actually get anything clean, Donovan, how many times do I have to tell you that?’  her gorgeous snow white face reddened deeply as she drug her hands through her thick hair. ‘It’s like you never fucking listen, you do realize you are old enough to listen to me now without me repeating myself three times, right?’

Donovan gazed upward with a pinched expression and stood up slowly, saying all the while ‘Auntie Lorna was here, I didn’t think of it…’

‘You never think of shit like that, you just think of yourself’ she moaned.

She always got those ugly stress wrinkles under her eyes when she yelled at him. Maybe if Lorna was just bitchy about it for once and told her that she looked ugly when she was yelling at her son then she would stop. Probably not, though.

‘I think that we were outside when the load was up, sorry, my fault’, I say with as much unrestricted positivity as I can muster up. ‘We’ll finish those now!’

Donovan gave Lorna a sideways smirk and hopped up quickly, bounding to the dishwasher faster than she herself could stand up. 

As she walked over to join him, she heard her sister say from the laundry room in the back of the house that she was going out, that she would be back in a few.

Pack of cigarettes. That’s always what that meant when she said ‘out’, especially when she was single, especially after yelling at Donovan.

Her sister was stressed, that much she understood. Things weren’t exactly easy for her lately, with the whole letting-your-sister-move-in thing plus the whole bloody ordeal she had to endure the month before.

It had been two weeks exactly today, actually. She had been undergoing daily therapy sessions and she believed that they were helping, really. In only two weeks she had made significant progress, she thought that she may even pass as normal-ish again, now.

‘Can we watch a movie after we start these dishes, Aunt Lorna?’ Donovan said with his most irresistibly authentic 6-year-old voice.

She was about to say yes, yes, of course we can you cute little monkey, when she heard the familiar thud of the window upstairs falling shut quickly.

It sounded like the broken one in Donovan’s room, the one she used to use to sneak in and out of the house with in her more rebellious years. It didn’t lock, it never did, not even when they were kids. That damn window had caused more trouble in that household than the Cuban Missile Crisis did in the 60’s.

Donovan heard it also, glancing up at her with a fork in one hand, plastic cup in the other.

‘Must be the wind.’ Though she knew there was no wind, it was one of the nicest, calmest nights they’d had in months.

THUD.

That wasn’t the wind, that was clear as daylight the sound of a body hitting the floor.


 

Peepography

I like the sound of ‘peepography’ as a term for ‘people photography’, however, I’m afraid it ends up sounding more like a creepy peep-show related act.

Nevertheless, I mean it as a term for photos of people, which is something I rarely do and do not claim to be great at, so bear with me.

The first collection is a couple of my beautiful niece and her first Halloween, this year with my fiance and I. She mostly decorated with stickers and played with the pumpkin insides, though she seemed to enjoy both.

The second set are photos a stranger snapped quickly after our engagement, I tried editing them enough to make them usable, the wind/poor face making on my part made it quite difficult, though.

People photos are just so…messy to me, it’s hard to feel pleased with the composition of any of them. The subject matter of these are, however, quite important to me so it’s worth a shot! (Photography humor, get it?)

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The Unfortunate Implications of Why

Teeny talking toddlers are infamous for asking it repeatedly, philosophers have been pondering it since the dawn of time, and my idiotic brain is stuck on it for infinity: Why?

My whole life I have been asking people bigger or more powerful than myself ‘why’, why must I do this, why do you always do that, why are we all doing anything?

This is common for children, this much I know, but why? (Ahhh see what I did there, it’s terrible).

Children are curious, naturally. They don’t know much but they have this big brain and empty space to fill and they need to know the answers to any and everything they can.

I never grew out of this mind-shaping stage. I’m like a little kid, stuck in a twenty-something female body (that sounds creepier than it should).

Knowing my reader base, I know that a lot, or rather, most of you are shaking your head at my skepticism and saying to yourselves ‘there she goes again complaining about things that aren’t worthy of true complain, wondering is a great thing’. And I get it, I really do, asking the question why, in theory, seems creative and open and wonderful at any stage of life.

Only, I can’t stop asking why.

Why get up today? Why go to my job today? Why make money today? Why is money necessary in our society? Why can’t we spend our time loving and being loved? Why do my job well? Why write my thoughts down? Why set goals? Why get mad at my fiance? Why put gas in my car? Why eat dinner tonight? Why work out in the morning?

I am not just rambling here, I really wonder those things on a daily basis. You can blame it on my ever-present and ever-growing fear of the fragility of life and always-nearness of death, I know I certainly do.

To continue my thoughts…why proofread this post? Why post it in the first place? Why take such time and pride in an online collection of thoughts? Back to my old depressing motto ‘The Libraries will all Burn Down, Eventually’. (ie, we’ll all die someday and be unconscious of this all, no matter how hard we think or try or do or wonder).

Hopefully this post didn’t ring as depressing to you, it’s just Wednesday thoughts to share. So, how is your day going?

Hello, it’s me. (What the Hell is a Dell?)

I’ve been a bit behind on sharing my thoughts, so here’s a quick and dirty catch up for those who are interested. (By the way, if you don’t understand that title, you should watch The Ranch).

1). I switched offices at work; 1 year and some change here and 25 years on this earth gets you a bigger office with a window! So much more light, creativity, and productivity are afoot here now.

2). I am ferociously putting the final touches on our trip plans for Mexico (only 28 days away!!). I have never been this far away, have never left the country, and have never seen the ocean. I AM ESTATIC. Besides the obvious bliss, I am also extremely grateful that this trip is with my travel agency company and I will not be completely oblivious as to what to do on such a long flight, in an all-inclusive resort, in a different country, etc…

3). My heart is hurting for my best friend, whose father is undergoing a serious illness currently. Of course, we’ve all been there, you know, around death, yet it never ceases to amaze and discomfort me. I wish I could be there more for her and also at the same time wish we could all realize how short life truly is, and how real the pain that can come and go really is.

4). – I am that close (<—) to saying screw it for awhile with photography, I have negative patience left for it to go somewhere, and it takes up  a lot of time to promote it. I will continue to take them daily, of course, but i’m afraid they will only be for me to enjoy and keep.

5). I am constantly battling starting wedding plans and at the same time wanting to get out and mingle more, my brain is in the BIGGEST tizzy with my engagement. (In the best way possible, I do believe). Hooray for equally valuing love and independence.

6). This year has been INSANE, with constant travel and love and goals being accomplished, I find myself so often wondering if this is the time of my life, or if i’m meant for bigger, more meaningful things. Too deep and too blah for me as a subject right now, but if it makes any sense to you, I feel both completely satisfied with life and completely unsatisfied with life.

I hope you are all doing well this week, at least we all survived our first few days under President Trump!

Oh, and here are a couple photos from the week for you! 20161115_075121_picmonkeyed20161115_134539

 

 

25.

On this 25 years ago, my baby butt was born into this crazy world, here’s what I’ve learned along the way…

25 Things I’ve Learned from Life in 25 Years:

  1. Love Trumps Everything (don’t misread that as Trump Loves Everything, because he doesn’t, notoriously he doesn’t.)
  2. Your own thoughts control the value of your own life
  3. If you want to be successful, work hard, constantly, not only at the beginnings of jobs/projects/ideas.
  4. It’s okay to fall down a few times, learning to pick yourself back up is the most important part.
  5. Laughing helps everything.
  6. Chocolate also helps everything.
  7. A walk outside to clear your mind and get fresh air will fix mental/physical problems faster than most medications.
  8. Alcohol solves zero problems realistically and typically makes things worse.
  9. On the flip side, alcohol typically will cure any sudden onset case of anxiety or the jitters (pre-presentation shots typically have a positive effect on my social presence, it’s all about moderation).
  10. True love does exist, like the kind you are skeptical about but dream about your whole life.
  11. Prejudging anyone, at any time,  will 9 times out of 10 help you make an ass out of yourself. Judgment in today’s society is a serious problem.
  12. Confidence is everything, in careers and in relationships. Fake it till’ you make it!
  13. Music can and will directly affect your mood, remember that.
  14. Try harder, I guarantee you-you can always try harder.
  15. Most things can be overcome with stronger willpower.
  16. Beauty isn’t everything, it is only a temporary blinder to most people until they realize more important things.
  17. The world will keep turning, regardless of petty day-to-day worries (taxes, bills, groceries).
  18. Politics suck. They are all corrupt. (Historical Election 2016…)
  19. While you need to make money to survive in this world, remember it is not everything, and will not matter once you’re 10 feet under.
  20. Exercise and water are REALLY important for all aspects of health.
  21. Habits/vices will come and go, never lose yourself too deep in them.
  22. Selfishness and Vanity will decrease your overall happiness by 10 fold, at least.
  23. Taking a day, few days, or week to decide you are depressed and/or upset about petty things in life, will dramatically decrease your overall productivity, happiness, and positive energy.
  24. Always tell those you love that you love them, time is extremely short and unguaranteed.
  25. Life, regardless of what may be going on, is a truly beautiful privilege we have, try to spend the least amount of time possible being negative or ungrateful (though of course, this happens).

Christmas Giveaway

Profreshionally Simple Photography (D.R Breshears) is giving away a no-strings-attached, completely free Christmas Canvas Print!

All you have to do is choose which image out of the five below you like the most and share it to the social media page of your choice (WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). Leave a comment on this post letting me know where you shared your favorite, and you will be considered for the win! We’ll call it mutual networking!

The canvas print will be 11×14, and the winner will have the ultimate decision of which print they would like.

Here are your options:

 

We will randomly choose the winner out of all those who have commented on December 10th, giving the order enough time to make it to you before Christmas hits!

Happy Post-Election day, all, and remember, the world still turns! (for now).