Friday, March 28, 2014


Finally, everything is starting to come together.

For those of you who don't know, I was able to find an amazing editor to look over Gears of Golgotha.  Her name is Annie Rodriguez, and she is an absolutely wonderful editor and person.  I already feel like I'm becoming a better writer thanks to her.

I have also created a Facebook page for Gears of Golgotha.  We're racing to get 100 likes, and once we hit the mark, I'm going to unveil a special surprise!  So if you lovely readers wouldn't mind, head over there, like the page, and check it out.  Every person there is wonderful and awesome.

And this is the best part: Gears of Golgotha is finally coming to life!  I have an official release date!  The novel will be launching at Imaginarium 2014.  I am even already up on the website as a guest!  So if any of you all are interested, you all should come out to Imaginarium 2014 and see me!  I will be launching alongside the wonderful Amy McCorkle.

I am so excited about this year!  Even though the novel will be self-published, it's still an accomplishment to me.  Yes, I CAN write a novel.  I am not worthless.  People actually care about what I have to say.  So, for those of you who have been following me for all this time, I just want to say this: thank you.  Thank you for everything you've done.

Love and Coffee cups,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Cats, the Nostalgia Critic, and the BBC Saved My Life

As I detailed in my first entry of By the Seat of Your Pants, after my attempted suicide and the painful breakup that followed (yeah, like I needed a reason to want to stay alive), depression had a stronger grip than ever on me.  I would never leave my room, not even to shower.  My diet consisted of a cup of soup a day, maybe a bag of microwaveable rice, and that was it.  Other than that, I never ate (it's one of the reasons why I'm so skinny now).  I slept most of the day, and would cry for the rest of it.  But if I wasn't sleeping or crying, I was on the Internet.  I spent most of my time on YouTube, trying to look up comedic or cute videos in a desperate attempt to learn how to laugh and smile again.  And honestly, looking back, it worked.  Cats, the Nostalgia Critic, and the BBC essentially saved my life.

I've always loved cats.  Dogs are cute (I love my dogs Blue and Taco to death), but I've definitely always been a cat person.  I don't know what it is about them that makes me love them so.  Maybe it's the different colors that they can come in.  Or maybe it's their adorable faces, or their mischievous nature.  Maybe it's a combination of the three.  Whatever it is, I've always been fond of cats.  As depression held on tight, since I could not cuddle with my kittens at home, I would do the next best thing: watch them.  Talking cats, walking cats, you name it.  If it involved cats, I saw it.  As I watched the kittens play, talk, sleep, tumble, and act as cute kittens would act, I began to once again appreciate the little things in life.

For those of you who have never heard of the Nostalgia Critic, I would just like to say one thing: "Where have you been?"  The Internet sensation is known for not only dishing out harsh criticism of films in comedic form, but actually providing thoughtful insight into film.  During that time, I never even would crack a smile.  But then one day, when I was on YouTube, I saw a review for Quest for Camelot in my recommendations (I've always been somewhat of a film nut).  As I watched it, I began to smile and laugh for the first time in what felt like an eternity.  When the review ended, I was still laughing.  I typed in Nostalgia Critic in the search bar, and was bombarded with pages upon pages of videos of his reviews.  Some of the titles I recognized, and others I didn't.  Regardless, I sat there, watching him tear apart films and laughing my ass off for every minute of it.  In short, the Nostalgia Critic helped to teach me how to laugh again.

There was another comedy act that helped me learn to laugh and appreciate life again.  There is a comedy sketch show in the UK called Horrible Histories.  I'm not sure if it's still on the air or not, but most of the clips I had seen were on YouTube (by this time, my TV in my room had stopped working, and Morehead State doesn't get BBC anyway).  The lighter humor of the show helped to contrast the harsher, darker humor of the Nostalgia Critic (which isn't bad, mind you).  I also got to learn new things about history, so I didn't feel as bad that I was unable to go to class.  The show helped me to gain back my love of learning by presenting it in a way that could make me pay attention (when I get depressed, I'm not focused).

Now I know what some of you may be thinking: "What about the people that helped you?"  Well, let me tell you something.  When you're depressed, you want no contact with any person whatsoever.  You are consumed by a crippling sadness, fighting feelings of unworthiness.  You want to just die, that way everyone can be rid of you.  During that time, I wanted no contact with anyone.  I just wanted to be alone.  I thought that humans were just evil monsters.  And yes, to be perfectly honest, I was afraid that every human would turn out to be just like my ex: cold, unfeeling, and unfaithful.  But there's a certain community one gains through the Internet.  I mean, look at you all, my beautiful readers.  You come from places all over the world, places I could only dream of visiting.  And yet, we all come together to read and share ideas.  That's one of the beautiful things about social media, and the Internet itself.  The Internet was my first taste of communication since my attempted suicide and the breakup that followed.  The closeness of the Internet users helped me to believe in the goodness of humanity once again.

And so, to the Nostalgia Critic, the crew at Channel Awesome, the people involved with Horrible Histories, and to cat lovers anywhere, I just want to say thank you for teaching me this lesson.  I know that the probability of any of you reading this is slim to none, but still.  Thank you.

Love and Coffee cups,

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Crisis of Faith

Today on Facebook, I posted a status saying that for every like I received, I would post a confession.

Well, consider this Confession #1.

As of late, I have been having a crisis of faith.  Lately, every time I step foot in a church, I am no longer greeted with the warmth of communion.  I feel like my "prayers" are just bouncing off of the ceiling.  I often find myself feeling alone, especially when I'm caught in the throes of a manic or depressive episode.

I don't deny that God exists.  There is so much out there that we still haven't discovered, who are we to go on ahead and make a judgment about what is and is not out there?  However, is it the same God as we humans have defined Him (or Her) for thousands of years?

I have seen the abuse and torture received by those who claim to "love their neighbor as themselves."  I have seen the exclusiveness, the snubbing at anything that doesn't come from the pastor's mouth.  Anything that is of the world is automatically considered evil and should not be touched or even acknowledged.  I have witnessed those who would come out as LGBT who would then be exiled from their families, friends, and churches, all because they would use some book to justify their hatred.  I have a gay cousin, and we don't even speak his name in the family.  We don't even acknowledge his existence.  It's like he's a ghost, wandering through the world all alone.  I feel like my fellow Christians look at me strangely because I am dating an agnostic. I have been called "not a true Christian" due to my support for those who are traditionally snubbed by the Christian community: atheists, agnostics, Muslims, LGBT, pregnant teens, those who adopt faiths other than Christianity.  And this misery is what comes of a way of life that stresses "love?"  I have been extremely lucky that I have never experienced the type of abuse I am describing here.  But not everyone can claim that.

And this is where my crisis of faith comes in.  It's not that I am unsure of the existence of a Higher Power.  I am just unsure of humans' interpretation of said Power.  I have always considered myself a woman of faith, someone who thinks that anything is possible, and that we shouldn't automatically rule out something just because it sounds ridiculous.  But by choosing to remain a Christian, am I siding with the abusers?  I may never spout such bigotry or hatred myself (or I try not to, at least), but because I share communion with those who do, because I join hands with them every Sunday, am I a part of them?  I think that's where the real "persecution" of Christians comes in.  It's not because of anything about our values, but it's because of what we've done with them, how we've interpreted them.  Christians have used the Bible to back monstrous crimes: pro-slavery, anti-women's suffrage, anti-Civil Rights, anti-gay rights, the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, McCarthyism.  People are automatically afraid that once you say you're a Christian--especially if you say you're a Christian from the so-called "Bible Belt"--you're going to start going on a rant about how evolution is of the Devil and that homosexuality is an "abomination."  They are afraid that you will be exclusive.  Whenever I walk into church on Sunday, I am bombarded by guilt and shame, because I feel like that by associating myself with such barbaric acts against humanity, I automatically become part of the cause.  I am automatically by association anti-gay rights, anti-science, anti-woman, anti-poor people, the very things that Jesus was the polar opposite of.  Or am I?  The confusion pushes me farther and farther away from God... or whatever is out there.

Until I can answer this question, I don't think memorizing creeds or saying specifically worded prayers is going to help ease my confusion.  I am just going to love.  Isn't that what Jesus taught?  "Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself."  Love, and the rest will follow.  One can find God through caring for their fellow man, through giving to the poor, healing the sick, and in general just being a good person.  Love is what unites us all.  If there's one tenet of Christianity I will always keep, it is that God is love.

Love and Coffee cups,