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Archive for the ‘Reality’ Category

To Write Love On Her Arms

I just finished a movie called To Write Love on Her Arms and I have to tell you it touched me more than almost any movie I can remember.

Let me start by saying I do not struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. I am not bi-polar. I am not a cutter. I am not suicidal.

I am also not religious and for me this was not a story about any god or religion.

What I am is a person who battles depression and anxiety. I am a person who has struggled in life, at times, to find a reason for waking up another day. I am a person who has felt lost within herself. I am a person who believes in hope. I am a person who KNOWS beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I NEED other people in my life for me to be okay. No matter what anyone believes about themselves, we all do.

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To Write Love On Her Arms is the true story of a young lady named Renee Yohe. It all started with a blog post by her friend Jamie who, after meeting her and helping her detox, found her story to be encouraging. He wasn’t encouraged because she had already triumphed, but because she was damaged yet still not broken. She was beyond help in the eyes of most of the world but surrounded by a small group of people who loved her enough to help her put her life back together; even if they had to keep gluing the shards of her hope over and over again.

Sometimes that’s all you need in life; that person or those persons who stick. The ones who see your scars, visible or not, self-inflicted or not, and don’t flinch. The ones who love you when you feel unlovable. The ones who hope for you when you feel hopeless. The ones who see you plain as day when you feel completely lost. Everyone needs those people. EVERYONE.

There have been days when the war being waged in me felt like it could rip me to shreds. I can only thank my own fear of being controlled, by persons or substances, that I didn’t use drugs and alcohol to escape to some place away from myself.

Renee’s story reminded me just how much I depend on my people. My best friend, my internet friends, and my chosen family are all intricate stitches in the fabric of my being. When my edges are frayed I just turn to any one of them and their kindness and love and acceptance weaves the hope back in until I’m whole again. For me; that love and that hope are my religion, my higher power. I turn to these things like a flower turns it’s face to the sun.

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Some might look upon this young woman’s face and wonder how could a young life be so bad or so difficult that addiction and pain feel better than merely existing. But I get it. Sometimes just waking up to exist another day is the monster beneath the bed, the unknown thing you fear the most. Perhaps it’s true that “it’s never as bad as you imagine it will be,” but then again maybe that’s the lie we tell ourselves to get out of the bed and step foot in front of the beast waiting to devour us. Until it’s your bed, your feet, your monster, you don’t know for sure.

For many of us the thing that gets us past the monster, the fear, is the person or persons waiting outside the door for us. Our children, our spouses, our families, and our true friends give us the courage to hope that our exposed limb won’t be snatched. Not today at least. Trying to find that courage when there’s no one waiting on the other side of your fear, whose mere existence in your life is the reward for getting there, is damn near impossible.

https://twloha.com was founded by Jamie after the overwhelming response to Renee’s story showed him just how many people were in desperate need of someone in their corner. Because honestly the only thing worse than hating yourself, hurting yourself, being afraid, and suffering from mental illness of any kind is doing it all alone. There’s enough people on this big ball we all live on that no one should have to do it all alone.

My hope is that even just one of you will read or watch Renee’s story, now that I’ve told you about it, and you will think of someone who needs to know they aren’t alone in life, and you will SHOW them you are there for them; you will find time in your busy life to help someone hold their pieces together.

And if you are a person who needs to connect to someone who sees you through your own fog; who needs someone to hand you the hope and love you can’t quite grasp on your own; who needs someone to hold the pieces in place as you glue them back together for maybe the hundredth time; who needs a reason to face the monsters that lurk around the corners and behind your eyes…I beg of you…reach out.

I promise you that someone doesn’t have to have walked in your shoes to be exactly who you need. They only need to be let inside your walls. No one can be your person if you don’t allow them to be. Surround yourself with people who want to be there for you and then let them.

Have hope. Be brave. As Renee said, “The stars are always there but we miss them in the dirt and clouds. We miss them in the storms. Tell them to remember hope. We have hope.”

See the blog post that started the To Write Love On Her Arms movement here: https://twloha.com/learn/story/

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May The 4th Be With You!

In Honor of Star Wars Day

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I had the incredible experience of spending a lot of my childhood evenings just down the street from The Admiral Twin drive in movie theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

My aunt would make a trash bag full of popcorn and my cousins and I would sit on the front lawn, tune into the movie through the radio, and watch all the new releases. The one that I remember the clearest was the original release of Star Wars in 1977. I’m sure the number of times I watched it originally was into the teens, if not more. I devoured the sequels with just as much enthusiasm.

This is definitely one of my earliest memories as I was not quite 5 years old. My mother was really into science fiction; although it wasn’t until decades later that I even knew what that meant. She was even a Trekkie WAY before nerdy was cool. I grew up watching Carl Sagan talking about the billions of stars, watching all the versions of Star Trek, and my family took in every different kind of sci-fi and fantasy movie we could get to. That was the one luxury I remember us having right up until I was 15 and my parents divorced. (The very last movie we saw together as a family of 4 was Batteries Not Included.)

I was enthralled by the possibility of other worlds, princesses from distant planets, the battle between good and evil, villains and heros, lifeforms different from my own, vehicles that could fly, and, of course, robots.

40 years later I’m just as thrilled when a new Star Wars movie comes out. Or any other sci-fi or fantasy movie for that matter. From Harry Potter to The Avengers to Avatar; I’m there with bells on ready to be taken out of this world and into one less bogged down with reality.

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As both a reader and a writer I’m in awe of the powerful and vibrant imaginations of those who create these worlds both on the page and on the screen. As Zoe Saldana said, during an interview about Guardians of the Galaxy and her love of science fiction, “The writers imagine the unimaginable.” This is a gift I’ve never been able to understand, but I’m okay with that as long as the movie makers keep making the movies. Even reading about these worlds on the page leaves me wanting because I can’t picture it in my head no matter how brilliantly it’s written. When I read it plays like a movie in my imagination, but when the world or item or being is outside my realm of comprehension it becomes a blank space on my mind’s screen. However, the movie makers, the visionaries who bring the pages to life before my eyes, can take me to those worlds and introduce me to those beings and give life to the machines that become characters as alive as their human counterparts. For these people and their teams of creators I’m forever grateful for the worlds I’m able to visit on the big (or little) screen.

If you’ve never sat down and watched the Star Wars movies (the original 3) I greatly recommend them. No, the special effects aren’t as fancy as they are today, but the story is still brilliant and funny and powerful, and even a bit romantic, and all the things that make great movies great.

(And lets not forget the badass teddy bears known as Ewoks!)

In Memoriam of Carrie Fisher

Princess Leia was and will always be the most iconic princess ever written and I cannot imagine a better actress to have played the part. Leia wasn’t the kind of “damsel in distress” princess so many of us grew up with, but a gun wielding, action taking, beauty who would do anything for her people including facing off with the worst kind of evil.

Her portrayer, Carrie Fisher, was the fantasy girl of most 70s and 80s teenage boys. She penned several incredible fiction and non-fiction novels and though life in the spotlight took its toll on her at times, even at the end of her too short life, those of us who grew up with her as our princess still saw her as the strong, dark side kicking, princess we all wanted to be.

R.I.P. Carrie

 

COVER REVEAL: Kissed by Reality by Carrie Aarons

Title: Kissed by Reality

Author: Carrie Aarons

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Shanoff Formats

 Release Date: April 11, 2016

Blurb


Falling in love is hard. Falling in love on national television is impossible. Right? 

Leighton Aldridge did not sign up to meet her soulmate. She signed up for the lights, camera and action. So when the Hollywood-native ends up with the wounded war veteran and a ring on her finger, it’s a surprise to everyone. What isn’t a surprise is the way she breaks Finn Wyatt’s heart, or the massively public breakup that follows. But a year later she’s back, ready for another round on the reality TV show that brought them together. She knows he was the real thing, and she’s ready to fight for him. 

Finn is the new Mr. Right. The country’s favorite single guy, and the object of 25 women’s affections. But when his ex-fiance steps onto set and back into the limelight, he wishes he never agreed to another season. Leighton shattered his heart for the world to see, and he’s not ready to face that reality. Can Leighton convince him, and America, that she’s the one? Or will her future with Finn only consist of 15 more minutes of fame?

Get a sneak peek of Kissed by Reality before anyone else!

Author Bio

Author of romance novels such as the Over the Fence series and Red Card, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won’t get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.

Carrie Aarons has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book, and can’t describe what it feels like to be able to write love stories as an actual career. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.

When she isn’t in what her husband calls a “writing coma,” Carrie Aarons is freeing-up her jampacked DVR, trying to become the next HGTV star as she DIYs her very first house, and planning her next travel adventure. She lives on the east coast with her husband whom she loves dearly for supporting her crazy dreams and putting up with her sassy, extroverted ways.

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