Story Spinner Contest


   I've decided to hold a little contest.  I've seen these around, and they are always so fun, so I thought I'd see if you'd be interested.  This will be a one time thing for now, but if I get a lot of feedback I may do it more regularly.

   I took this picture, and I thought it was "interesting" enough to use as a story starter.
It is your job to write off of this picture.  
Your entry could be a short story, a couple words, a poem, etc.  
I'm not going to put a word limit on the entries, 
but try to keep it down to only a couple paragraphs or less.  
Send your entry to my email: livingjoyfullyblog@yahoo.com

The contest will close on January 6th, and I will try and pick a winner within the couple days after that.  The winning entry will be posted on my blog, and the winner can choose if they would like to do a guest post, or if there is some other prize like that which they would like.

Here is your picture, and happy writing!



I Hope You Had A Merry Little Christmas

  Long time no see!  I accidentally forgot to write, and then I felt like I shouldn't start writing again until I have "inspiration" and all that.  I still don't feel ready to start blogging again, yet.  But I figured you needed to hear from me anyway.

   (I post on Instagram almost everyday: my tag is @livingjoyfullyblog)

 I'm still here.  I had a quiet Christmas, and I can't believe that 2016 is this week.  It blows my mind just thinking about it.  But January is good because January is fresh starts, new beginnings, and a whole 'nother chance to make things right.  Plus, my birthday.

   I hope to go ice skating, for the first time, tomorrow.  My grandparents are here and we are working on replacing our floor, so there is a hole in our kitchen through which you can see dirt.  I said a part for our church's Christmas Eve service and only messed up once.  I got sick and have ate way too much sugar.

   I really don't have anything to say, and I can't promise that this is the start of blogging consistantly.  So if I'm not back before New Years:

Live your life.  
Every second, every minute, every hour, day, year is a chance to start over.
The things that seem so big now will, good or bad, be so far away by the time we are old.
Say what you need to say, apologize to those you hurt, 
and sometimes just drop everything and go on an adventure.

Goodbye, 2015.  
You were wonderful, you were exciting, you were rough, you were downright terrible, and you went by in the time of a month. I loved you, but I am so glad I don't have to struggle to write "5" without it looking goofy every time I write the date. 
 See you memory,

Have a wonderful rest of 2015, everyone.



The House That Friendship Built

// The House That Friendship Built \\
it all started long ago
we knew
with a look and a smile
we would be friends

we laid out plans
and collected supplies
giggling over little details
our hearts were tied

a foundation of trust
a wall of similarity
a ceiling of love
and furnished with memories

memories of play dates,
tears and hugs
countless laughs

we lived in that house
for so many years
we forgot it needed care

one day at a time,
the cobwebs snuck in
the corners went unswept
and our old couch grew dusty

we were still together
though not as much
we forgot to greet in the halls
and hug a lot

until one day you just moved out
my friend
i looked around
and opened my eyes to the empty rooms

i saw the peeling paint
and the burnt out light bulbs
i saw the dirty rugs
and the empty envelopes

i cried
for i missed you
but i admitted you weren't coming back
locked up and walked away

i still saw you
but it wasn't the same
i wondered why i didn't see it coming

you've built many new houses
with lots of new friends
and i will too
but i will never, ever forget you


Reader Survey 2016

Hey Y'all!

2016 is, terrifyingly, right around the corner, but it is just another chance at a new beginning!  Because of that I created a Reader Survey to help me see where this blog might be headed and where it needs to be pushed in the New Year.

Please take a minute and fill the embedded survey out, if you'd be so kind.  You don't have to be a follower or even a regular reader (yet!), I'd still like your opinion.

Thank you!

None of the questions are required, so if you don't want to / can't answer all the questions, you can still submit your answers.


Christmas Here We Come!

Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving!

   Or, otherwise known as Let-Christmas-Officially-Begin!  I was going to wait until after Thanksgiving to start celebrating Christmas, but I did decorate a Christmas tree at the library and listen to Christmas music.  But now Thanksgiving is out of the way, so let the music be played openly and the lights hung.

Besides all the well-known Christmas songs; like Joy To The World and Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, there are some lesser-known Christmas songs that I absolutely love.

I will try to add more as time goes on.

Are there any lesser-known Christmas songs that you like?

Happy Almost-December!


Bigger Than The Problems

The world is a mess.

So many people, since the very beginning, have had terrible lives.  Have lost loved ones.  Have experienced heartbreak.  Have been angry, and hurt, and wanted to die.  Been hurt by our fellow humans, no better than we are.

As you should know, the world was turned upside down with a serious terrorist attack in Paris this past weekend.  The same day several other countries also experienced national tragedies.  Millions upon millions of refugees are fleeing for their lives with absolutely no possessions or security.  Death in the south, closed borders and freezing cold in the North.  Trapped between ISIS and scrambling government leaders wanting them out.  Children in my own county sit in foster care with no family or love.  Orphans live homeless on streets all over the world.

And the internet is worried about the color of coffee cups and minimum wage.

It can be so hard for me to look at the world.  I feel a knot in the pit of my stomach; my heart physically aches.  There is so much pain in the world.  And I can't fix it.

I'm a fixer.  I want to handle the situation, smooth everything out, and keep everyone from getting hurt.  But I can't.  I can't keep other people's relationships together.  I can't comfort every child, or heal every broken heart.  I can't feed every starving, cold parent.  I can't.  But I know someone who can.

I was thinking about the Bible accounts of Christ feeding thousands of people.  (John 6:1-14)  There were 5,000 men, not including women or children.  If you assume there were as many woman and children as men, that is a minimum of 10,000 people.  That is a lot of people.  Think of a place where you know about how many people are there.  At my church on a typical Sunday there are 120 people.  That means the crowd that Christ fed was over 83 times that size.  That is crazy!

Take a minute and actually imagine standing in the middle of that crowd.  You are lost in the middle of thousands of people.  You hear babies crying and mothers comforting children complaining of hunger.  Men start grumbling about how they are supposed to get food so far out in the middle of nowhere.  Then you look down at your hands and see your lunch: a couple loaves of bread and some fish.  You look up helplessly.  There are so many hungry people; and you might have enough to share with one other person, but who do you offer it to?  How could you possibly make a difference with these thousands of people?  But, despite the odds, you decide to try anyway.  You zigzag and push your way to the front of the crowd, calling the attention of the disciples.  You hold up your small basket and ask that it be shown to Jesus.  He should know what to do with it.  He smiles warmly at you, draws the attention of the crowd, and prays over your meal.  You step back and mingle back with the crowd.  The disciples might eat a little, at least.  But instead, before long, the man in front of you hands you a loaf and part of a fish.  You take it in shock, tear the loaf in half, and pass it to the person beside you.  Later, after most everyone has left, you look and see baskets, including yours, filled over with pieces of bread and fish.

This is a true account, and this actually happened to a boy probably younger than most of us.  It was a miracle; not humanly possible.  But because one boy knew he couldn't do anything on his own, and went to Christ, 10,000 people were fed that day. 

I can get overwhelmed with the problems of the world.  There is too much pain.  Too much hurt.  Too many problems.  I can't solve them.  I'm sitting in a crowd with one load of bread surrounded by millions of hungry people.  But I have to take it to the One who can do something.  The One who isn't intimated by sin and pain.  The One that overcame all of this.  The One that can comfort every child, and heal every broken heart.  I don't need to know how God will solve the problem.  I just need to give my all to Him.  The boy didn't perform the miracle.  And Jesus would have brought Glory to God some other way if that boy hadn't stood up.  But he did.  And he spent his time and gave his possessions for Christ's use. 

And what a pleasure it is to serve Jesus Christ.

~Jessica Joy



A flash of color,
A gray sky.
A twirl,
A tear.

A childish giggle,
A choking sob.
A victor,
A fighter.

A heart ne'er broken,
A heart that healed.
A foot ne'er stumbled,
Legs that stood up again.

Unrealistic dreams,
Goals within reach.
Childhood friends,
Lifelong companions.

The whole world,
Or having a place in it.
The lover,
The forgiver.

The one who never failed.
The one who survived and stood back up.

Which do you think you are? 
Who would you rather be?

I seem to be transitioning into a "mostly-poetry" blog.  I've got some other posts planned, but what is your opinion of all the poems.  Yay or Nay?



What You Are to Me {A Poem}

You are autumn to me, my dear.
The wind in the trees,
The color in the leaves,
You are autumn to me, my dear.

You are winter to me, my love.
The bright Christmas lights,
The shadow of the night,
You are winter to me, my love.

You are spring to me, my friend.
You are new beginings,
Fresh flowers blooming,
You are spring to me, my friend.

You are summer to me, my darling.
The clear, starry sky,
The want to fly,
You are summer to me, my darling.

You are all these things,
The song I must sing,
That is what you are to me.


Dear "Perfect" Me [A Letter To My Other Self]

Dear "Perfect" Me,

     I know you think you are living the high life.  You got a boyfriend, and a best friend that lives next door; you go to school and live so close to town that you can ride your bike.  You have a group of friends you take to the mall, an Iphone, and a walk-in closet filled with the newest fashions.  You'd probably sneer if you saw me in my last-year's-trend clothes and dirty sneakers.  While you're posting pictures to Instagram of your prom date, I'm at home taking pictures of a dying rose because I can use it in a blog post.  You'd laugh at me giggling with my sister about that one 12-year-old that flirted with me, when you have boys looking at you all the time.  You'd want to gasp in horror at my nail-polish-covered cracked phone case and my lumpy, old comforter that I refuse to throw away.  You don't know what it feels like to sit alone at lunch, or to be the last one picked for any sport.  You'd have a fit about my fast-food-wrapper-filled car, with missing knobs and only one working window.  You never have to worry about hiding your tears from the world.

But, despite all this, I know I got the better end of the deal.

Because, you see, you don't realize how hard your heart will break when your boyfriend leaves.  You don't realize how much you are going to regret what you gave him.  You won't know how happy I'll be on my wedding day knowing I saved my heart and love-filled-glances for my husband.  As tough as homeschooling can be, I know I won't have the same spiritual struggles and temptations that you go through.  Living close to town is pretty cool, but not as cool as being able to race across open land and explore woods.  You may think that you have a better relationship with your best friends, but I know who my true friends are.  The hugs are a lot tighter, the laughs a lot deeper and the smiles a lot sweeter when a love stands the test of time and distance.  A lot of clothes and expensive stuff is nice, but closet space is a small price to pay for a relationship with siblings.  My sneakers might be dirty, but they tell a story of everywhere I've been.  I know it feels good when boys look at you, but that isn't the kind of attention you want, darling.  You don't know what it feels like to be depressed and lonely, but you also don't know what it is like to have your wall covered in "I love Jessica" notes from 8-year-olds.  You don't know what it feels like to be the worst at soccer, but you also don't know what it is like to be the first-choice-toddler-watcher at church.  You've never sat alone, but you've never struck up a conversation with someone who needed a friend.  You don't know what it is like to drive a hand-me-down car, or how much fun it is driving that car across-country or singing to the radio.  You don't know pain, but you don't know victory.  You don't know the joy of spinning words into poems, or the fun of always having a little sister tag along.  You don't know the excitement of dropping coins into a pasta jar saving for a dream trip, or the smiles that Bible verses on sticky-notes produce.

So you see, dear, you really don't have that much.  Your hair will always curl, and your handwriting is perfect, but you miss a lot of little joys along the way.  It's the rough spots and the little things that grow us, not our possessions.

In the end, I'm so thankful I get to me instead of you.

Love, the Real Jessica Joy.


5 Habits To Adopt

   There are a lot of big things we need to do; eat healthy, finish school, act like a respectable human in public, etc.  However, there are some little things that are easier to start doing, and keep doing.  Here are some things that you can start learning to do today.

- Keep Track of Your Money
     This is something that I started doing early in 2015, and it has helped me a ton.  Recording how much money you bring in, and how much you spend not only allows you to know exactly how much money you have, but it also encourages smart spending.  It is a lot harder to spend $50 in one place if you know you have to subtract it when you get home.  My routine is super simple; I made a chart on Open Office Spreadsheet, I keep track of receipts, and then I fill in the date of the transaction, whether it was with my card or with cash, income or expense, what it was, how much money was exchanged, and then my totals.

- Collect Coins in a Jar
     If you buy things with cash a lot, you know how much change you can acquire in a short amount of time.  When recording my spendings, I round each purchase up to the next dollar, and then put the extra change in a jar.  In 6 months I've collected over $30 dollars in coins.  That's a lot for money you don't even realize you are putting away into savings.  This is a painless way to save without subtracting out of your records.

- Drink More Water
     Drinking water is something that almost all of us need to work on.  Water has so many benefits   and coffee, tea, energy drinks, Gatorade, etc, just can't compete with it.  If you have trouble wanting to drink water, slice some lemons, strawberries, limes, etc, and put them into your water.  You can also get a nice bottle, carry it around with you, and drink whenever you get bored or while you are working.

- Write Letters
     Nothing is better in the world than getting a letter in the mail from a friend.  You can write a full letter on a lined piece of paper, or, if you feel less ambitious, buy a pack of postcards or greeting cards and fill them out.  Even just a postcard is still a nice reminder that someone was thinking of you.

- Keep a Journal
     Journals are tough things to keep up with, but they are so worth it in the end.  I kept daily (like, literally I took it with me everywhere) journals as a 7-11 year old, and it is so cool (sometimes embarrassing) to have recorded what I did and how I thought.  For 2016 I'm doing a 5-Year Journal, which is basically a question a day, and you answer it for 5 years in a row.  It is really cool because all of your answers are on the same page, so you can see how your answers change over the years.  I'm DIYing one, but you can also buy them.

Do you already do any of these things?
Are there any other good habits that you've adopted? 


2 Year Blog Anniversary!

 Well, you know you are got problems when you didn't even think for a second about your blog's anniversary until you look up the date to write at the top of science notes.  It took me a couple seconds to remember why October 22nd stood out to me for some reason.

Last year I made a big deal about my anniversary, this year I almost missed it.  It's called natural balance. 

Well, my second post was random facts about myself, so I decided to see how much I've changed in 2 years.   On my original post I posted a ton of commentary, as all 14 year old girls do, but I'll just put the actual facts here.  If you dare to go that far back to the archive, have fun.

 1. I am a writer.  Still true, but not to the extent I was at this time.  I did much more long stories than poems then, and now I'm almost entirely poetry.

 2. I love the color pink.  Still true; although my blog name doesn't reflect it anymore.  Pastel pink and rich reds are my colors right now.

3. My favorite domestic animals are dogs, rabbits, and goats.  My favorite wild animals are lions, eagles, and giraffes.  The domestic animals are still the same; I only own a dog now, though, rather than all three.  I still love lions and giraffes, but I have no idea where eagles came from.  I don't remember ever liking those especially...weird. 

4.  I am running out of facts.  Smooth... You couldn't just think for a minute, huh? XD

5.  I am homeschooled.  Still true, but I've moved from just starting 9th to working on 11th.  Super scary...

6.  I have many best friends.  Still true, but my friends have become more solid.  Sometimes people let you go, sometimes you drift away.  I'm still super thankful for the friends I have; including the one(s) that I didn't have at the start of my blog!

7.  I hate licorice.  Still true; although I haven't tried it in forever; so this might have changed.

8.   I love, love, LOVE York Peppermint candies, 3 Musketeers candy bars, and Crunch candy bars, Skittles and Starburst.  I still like the first three; I'm more of a chocolate girl than a candy girl now.  Except for now I'm a  refined-sugar-proccessed-food-gluten-free-girl, so adios to all of that.

9.  I like swimming, but unless in extreme situations, I can't go under water without a swim mask on.  Unfortunately, still true.  I can swim; but I still can't go underwater confidently.  But I'm okay with that, and I'm not around water a lot anyway.  If I need to learn, I will. 

10.  I like every season, in it's own right.   Yes, but I have decided that I don't care for winter; and I do have a favorite now: fall.

11.  My favorite holiday is Christmas.  True again.  I can't wait to start decorating!
12.  I have straight, blond hair. 
That refuses to be anything else.  At the original writing I was just starting to grow out side bangs, but I haven't had bangs now for probably over a year.

13.  I love Subway, Golden Corral, and Chipotle Grill!!!!  Okay, not Golden Corral.  That place is disgusting.  Subway; eh,eh.  I don't dislike it, but it wouldn't be a favorite.  Chipotle Grill, however, still my favorite.  My three now would be Chipotle, Jason's Deli, and Olive Garden.

14.  Whenever my grandparents come to our house (a couple times a year) we eat strawberry shortcake, and watch The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.  (It has Tim Conway and Don Knotts in it, and it is SO funny!  I have watched it so many times I could probably dictate it, but I still love the family times we have!  =) )  We still do this.  Same movie, same dessert.  =)

15.  For now, I have run out of facts.  And that is were my 14 year old brain stopped.  It's actually pretty surprising how little, and how much I've changed.  A lot of these things are the same; but I've had a lot of experiences that have changed me.  I definitely not the same person I was two years ago.  And that is a really good thing.

Well, there you have it.  Sorry once again for my fickle posting schedule; things are crazy but I plan on getting some posts up soon!

Happy October 22nd!

-Jessica Joy


I'm Still Alive

I know I said I wasn't going to do posts like this anymore, but I figured at this point it is better than nothing.

Life's still about the same: I'm still tired, still behind in school, still not getting enough exercise, and still Stressy-Jessy. (My newly-dubbed nickname around the house thanks to a friend.)

But, I went to work today and got paid, tomorrow I'm going dancing, and the weekend is right around the corner.



See ya around, peeps.

ps. If anyone wants to do a guest post.  (Pretty, pretty, PRETTY please...) then shoot me an email.  You will be my hero. XD 


Fall 2015 Bucket-List

Well, it is that time of year again!  Last year I created a fall bucketlist for the first time, and while I didn't do everything on my list-who does?-it did motivate me to accomplish some things I wouldn't have done otherwise.

* Go on a Hay Ride
* Go Apple Picking
* Rake Leaves
* Have a Fall Photoshoot
* Go Through a Corn Maze
* Make Cookies
* Carve a Pumpkin
* Bake a Pie
* Make Caramel Apples
* Decorate
* Go to a Football Game
* Take Pictures of Fall Leaves
* Write Letters Telling People Why I'm Thankful for Them
* Drink Apple Cider
* Make Pumpkin Spice Coffee
* Go Hiking
* Visit a Farmers Market
* Make Popcorn
* Eat S'mores by a Bonfire
* Go to an Autumn Ball
* Go for a Scenic Drive
* Go Ice Skating

As you can see, I have already completed a couple of things. (Ha, ahead of schedule for the first time ever.)  And of course I've done most of these things before, but not this fall.  I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing!

Have you done anything on this list this fall?
Are You Making a Bucket List For this Fall?


ps. A blog-world friend of mine has a crochet shop!  She would really appreciate it if you took a look! =) http://ashleysyarnworks.blogspot.com/


Fall Thoughts

The first day of fall has come and gone.  I meant to post, because I had posted on the first day of fall last year, but it was a really busy day and I didn't get to it.

Thursday's weather was b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.  It was cool enough that I could wear long jeans, but warm enough that I didn't have to wear a jacket.  The sun was shining; a gentle breeze was blowing.  And then it started raining.  And it hasn't stopped since.

I'm still constructing a Fall Bucketlist.  We did go apple picking yesterday, and I even got to take my dog.  The apples were amazing.  Our church is having a fall picnic again this year, and we have games, go-cart and wagon rides, dessert contests, a huge bonfire, skits, the whole shabang.  We didn't have it last year, which makes it even more special.  It is one of my favorite things about fall.

The fall weather has come in full blast, so I need to go through my clothes and switch out to winter clothes.   It will be a little bittersweet to see my summer clothes packed away, but I'm also excited for fall clothes.  I've been rocking jeans and scarves and boots all weekend, and I don't plan on slowing down.

 Side-note: thank you all for commenting and reading my blog.  It's been a little rough switching URLs and trying to post consistently, so all of y'alls support is really amazing.  I just wanted to thank you.  And I'm going to try and get back off the ground with posting regularly! 

Enjoy the first full week of autumn, lovelys.

What are some things on your Autumn Bucketlist?
What are your favorite things about fall?



4 Ways to Make Your Blog Look More Professional

  Having a successful blog is a combination of a lot of components; good content, good pictures, and a good blog design.  While having good pictures and content is extremely important for keeping a good followers base, a good blog design is your very first impression to new visitors.  The design gives the reader a subconscious opinion of your blog before they've even started reading.  However, sometimes new, professional blog designs can be really intimating; especially with a hefty price tag.  So here are some ideas on some little things to do to make your blog look more professional, without coding.

     This is something that shouldn't be taken too far, but should be at the back of your mind as well.  Your blog should have the right balance of the same colors, without going overboard.  For example, you don't want your blog to have blue font, bright pink links, an orange title, etc.  But you also don't want everything to be all one color, either.  A good rule of thumb is to have two or three main colors that look good together.  For example, my blog colors right now are peach and light orange.  Alternating these colors makes the blog flow well to the eyes, without being overwhelming.

      This is big.  Oftentimes new bloggers, even myself, started out by playing with a lot of different fonts.  Not only do difficult-to-read fonts distract the reader from what you are trying to say, but they also force the reader to pour much more focus into reading, which is tiring and leads to an easy excuse for the reader to give up reading and move on.  Easy to read, classic fonts make the blog look sleek, professional, and it is much easier for the reader to get what you are saying at a glance.

        A floating title is when your title is on a white background without a frame, and the background is white as well.  This limits distractions and your title is the first thing your viewer sees.  Minimalism is big right now, and for good reason.  This is not to say that a header with pictures or a colored background is unprofessional, but having a simplistic design is popular right now and brings the design together.  You can make headers on the "Design" feature of both befunky.com and picmonkey.com.
(I recommend and use them both frequently, so if you have any questions/problems, shoot me a email.) 

       Labeling your pages simply and straight to the point not only makes your blog look more professional, it will be helpful to your readers.  Rather than having your email address way down on your sideline; having a "Contact Me" page right at the top will make it much easier for people to find out about you, your blog, and how to get to know you better.

   Well, there you have it.  What are some small things you do to improve your blog design?


Is It Fall Yet?

This morning, I woke up...chilly.  That is right, folks, the windows were open, the air was off, and I was cold!  I practically squealed with excitement.  Why?

Because I love fall.

I love summer, too, but see, way down here in South Carolina, it can get pretty crazy hot during the summer, and stay that way until Thanksgiving.  So, I celebrate fall when I can.

I normally celebrate the start of seasons on the calendar start, because the weather never cooperates anyway.  But, today I decided to be 9 days early.  I put on my yoga pants, ate pumpkin spice english muffins for breakfast, drank my fall tea, took a couple pictures, got out my fall scented candle that I didn't use up last year, and BOOM. Fall has arrived.

A little background; A couple years ago was really rough for me.  We had some family issues, and school was not going well, and I had been sick a ton.  So I had really lost my excitement for basically everything.  Christmas had come and gone, and summer only reminded me of the school year that wasn't ending.  So, when fall came around last year, I decided that I would make myself excited about it.  I came up with a fall bucketlist, I painted pumpkins, I carved pumpkins, I wore a beanie (Which I discovered that I loooved), I  bought fall scented candles, I ate pumpkin spice everything...You get the idea. And, it worked.  I remember getting my love of life back.  So, this year, I'm honoring the season that I grew to love so much.

So here's to celebrating fall a little early; and enjoying life's little moments.


Bloglovin' Test -UPDATE

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14440521/?claim=dedm8zu47f9">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>


Bloglovin' is listing the new URL as a completely different blog, so if you were following (Almost) Perfectly Pink on Bloglovin, you have to go and find Living Joyfully and add it.  Type the URL (livingjoyfullyblog.blogspot.com) into the BL search engine and it will come up with my blog.

Thank you so much!

First Post of Living Joyfully!

Hello Friends!

Well, the switch is made!  Living Joyfully now happily resides at livingjoyfullyblog.blogspot.com.  Because I know that URL switches can be troublesome, please make sure that any way you are following me; whether through Blogger or Blogspot, you are following the new URL.  As you should notice, all my old posts and everything are still here.

I am working on getting my Facebook page and Bloglovin' page updated.  Man, switching URL's is a ton of work.  *Whew*  But I'm glad I did.  Once this is all settled I will be able to continue to grow my blog without worrying about changing again. =)

Hopefully I will be creating a new button soon, for those of you who have my old one on your page!  Please hang with me as I try and change everything that I need to change.  If you see something that needs to change, shoot me an email; I will probably forget a lot of stuff!  Haha

Speaking of which, I made a new email for my blog!  If you have my old one, don't worry; that will remain my personal one/one for stuff I'm already subscribed to.  If you do not have my old email, personal or not, send it to my brand-new, lined-up-with-my-blog-name-so-it-sounds-all-cool-and-professional email: livingjoyfullyblog@yahoo.com

That's about it!  Thank you guys for sticking with me on this transition!  You're the best!



Big News

Hey, y'all

Okay, so, I've been thinking since last week, and.....

I'm changing my blog name.

Yup.  Now, before you, like, do whatever you happen to do when you find out news like this from a strange person like me, le'me explain.

The other day I was going to make a new account on a website, and I was going to do something along the lines of my blog, when I realized that I don't think the name fits me anymore.  Don't get me wrong; I loved, and still love, my blog name.  And I think it was a perfect match for me...2 years ago.  But I've changed a lot in these last two years, and my blog has too.  And I think the title of the blog should reflect that.  I mean, honestly, none of us could say that we are the same person we were two years ago. (Thank goodness; I was in a really awkward "barrettes everywhere" phase. *shivers*) And that's okay!

Long story short, my new blog name is "Living Joyfully."  One, I think it reflects what my current life mission is.  Two, it's kinda a spin on my middle name.  (Trust me though, I spent, like, 2 weeks trying to think of a name!)

I created a URL for the blog, so that you all can save bookmark the site.  On September 12th, the URL will go live and be matched with this site.

The URL is:

It will probably take me a week or so after the 12th to get everything sorted out and with the right name.  If you have any confusion about any of this; shoot me a email at dogs4j@yahoo.com

Let me know your thoughts on this change, any questions, whateves.  =)

Have an awesome September! (Question, though...How on earth is it September already?!? Summer flew by!)


Hey! Wanna Vote For Me?

Okay, so I entered this t-shirt contest, like forever ago.  You had to enter a quote to go on a t-shirt about writing.  And my quote got picked as one of the top ten!  So now you guys can go and vote!  I forgot to tell you, so the voting ends on the 27th.  So, it is ending really soon.  Anyway, go to this link:


My quote is: "A Writer: someone who loves words enough to bring them to life, and life enough to put them into words."

If the link above doesn't work, go to this link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LDF6TTT

If both links work, though, you can vote twice.  So, once for me, and once for your other favorite. =)  If you don't have another favorite, but don't want to vote for me twice, vote for this one that says something like: Being a writer is an excuse to keep your imaginary friends around longer than everyone else."  It is right below mine.

Okay, that's all.  Thanks  =D

*If this whole big rambling thing made no sense, sorry.  It is late at night and I'm trying to be quick* #Notimeforproofread


Roman Play - Part 5

Last part!

Part 1 HERE

Part 2 HERE

Part 3 HERE

Part 4 HERE

Madelyna – Nobleman Trilogy’s daughter
Peter – Nobleman Citrus' slave
Marcus – Madelyna's betrothed, a soldier
Proconsul Pompous – Government leader of the city
Army Commander
Harmony - Nobleman Citrus' slave girl
Scene 11:

The Guard Station; The night of the Ambush

Commander: [At the end of a briefing] Does everyone understand their positions? Good. Let's move! [To Peter and Madelyna standing nearby] Thank you both for approaching me about this. Hopefully this will go as smoothly and painlessly as possible. [Commander called away by guard]

Peter: [To Madelyna] Are you doing okay? Do you want me to take you home?

Madelyna: Are you kidding me? This is awesome! I don't want to miss anything!

[Peter laughs]

[Commander and soldiers surround Proconsul's house. Peter and Madelyna look on from nearby. Finally, whispering voices are heard through the night.

Voice #1: Shh! Quiet, fools.

Voice #2: Watch the road; I heard a horse drowned in one of those puddles.

Voice #3: Nonsense; stupid gossips story.

Voice #4: 'ould be true, doe. Not all those wives tales are false.

Voice #3: Tell me one that's true.

Voice #2: A wizard once told me...

Voice #1: If you all don't shut up, there will be more than one victim found on the morrow. Got it?


Good. Now on we go.

[Voices fade, until suddenly a loud crash is heard]

Voice #3: Curses, you beasts! The dead even heard that!

Voice #2: That isn't funny tonight, Curtis.

Voice #4: He didn't say the “almost dead.”

Voice #2: Although that applies too.

Voice #3: Wait, where is Mar... [Interrupted by the sound of a slap and muffled struggle]

Voice #1: [Hissing] No names, and if any of you so much as whimper I will slit your throat. Is that understood!?

[Silence, then the creak of the outer gate. After all slip through the gate, and it clangs shut again, the soldiers close the circle surrounding the block. Finally, the house is surrounded.]

Commander: [Nods to lieutenant]

Lieutenant: [Pauses, then yells] Now!

[Instantly every man in the platoon lights a torch. Shouts and curses can be heard from the men in the courtyard as they realized their entrapment.]

Commander: Make sure none of them get away! Guards, on alert!

Soldier #1: Sir, I need back up! Some are trying to climb the fence!

Soldier #2: Over here, two captured!

Proconsul: [Comes running sleepily from house; rubbing eyes] I say, I say, what is all this ruckus!

Soldier #3: Wait, wait! Commander, we have them cornered!

Proconsul: Will someone tell me what is happening? Why did you have to chose my house to have a party this late?

[More noise of chaos]

Proconsul: [To criminal running by] Say here, dear chap, how are you? Do you know what's going on?...

[Talking, noise; fads away...]

Scene 12:

After the criminals, including Marcus, are captured and being transported to prison.

Commander: Peter, Madelyna; the Proconsul and I wanted to come and personally thank you for your bravery in coming to us about this. You have done a great duty to your country. You truly are heroes.

Proconsul: You saved my life. I had no idea ruffians were plotting against me. How could I ever replay you?

[Madelyna and Peter look at each other; a silent agreement]

Peter: Well, I think we have an idea...

Scene 13:

Madelyna sits on hill overlooking the city; and Peter comes and sits beside her.

Madelyna: Oh, hey! Is it official?

Peter: See for yourself. [Grins; Hands over rolled up document]

Madelyna: [Scans and reads, before throwing paper aside and throwing her arms around Peter] Oh, Peter, that's magnificent! I'm so happy for you! We are now both free from slavery and betrothal. Oh my goodness, this is so exciting!

[Peter stands up; pulling Madelyna with him. Once Madelyna is standing, Peter kneels, still holding her hands.]

Peter: [Looking up at Madelyna] Madelyna Elisa, I love you. Will you marry me?

Madelyna: [Mouth open in surprise] Oh, Peter! [Silence for a second] What kind of question is that? Of course!! I love you, too.

Peter: Really, truly?

Madelyna: There is no one on earth I'd rather have than you.

[Peter stands, and they embrace.]

[Finis] (The end)


Roman Play - Part 4

Part 1: HERE

Part 2: HERE

Part 3: HERE

Madelyna – Nobleman Trilogy’s daughter
Peter – Nobleman Citrus' slave
Marcus – Madelyna's betrothed, a soldier
Proconsul Pompous – Government leader of the city
Army Commander
Harmony - Nobleman Citrus' slave girl
Scene 9:

Behind the public baths; Madelyna and Peter lean against the wall, eating apples

Peter: I still can't believe your dad would blow up like that. Besides misjudging Marcus, he seems like a pretty level guy, at least compared to Citrus.

Madelyna: Did the beating hurt really bad?

Peter: [Shrugs] It's painful, but I heal quick at least. One of the older ones gets beat and they are out for a month. Probably why they can get away with more.

Madelyna: Thankfully, at least, my dad he let the escort-issue drop. Could you imagine if I had Mark trailing me all day? That'd be terrible! Meeting you would be so awkward.

Peter: Impossible, you mean. An escort can't keep his mouth shut; trust me. The whole town would know about us.

Madelyna: [Giggles] True. My dad still makes me tell him where I'm going, though. Thankfully we meet normal enough places.

[Both sit and eat in silence, until Madelyna groans and sits upright]

Madelyna: We have to do something, Peter. The assassination is in 3 days! We can't just let it go; and know that we didn't even try to stop it!

Peter: [Takes another bite] But you did try! Your dad just wouldn't listen.

Madelyna: But that's not enough! I wouldn't be able to live with myself if the Proconsul dies in two days time and I knew about it! [Thinks for a minute] Could we go straight to the capital house? Talk to a senator, or something?

Peter: Same problem as before; if your dad won't listen to you, why will a senator want to listen to us?

Madelyna: But, Peter, we have to try. If you don't want to, I'll go alone.

Peter: [Throw apple core aside and stands up] No way. If your gonna do something this crazy, I'm with you.

[Madelyna grins, and offers hands for Peter to pull her.]


Scene 10:

The Capital Building

Madelyna: [To Door Guard] Excuse me, excuse me sir, I have an urgent matter I need to discuss with someone close to the Proconsul. Is there someone here I can talk to?

Guard #1: You could; but there is a meeting going on right now, and it can't be disturbed.

Madelyna: When will the meeting be out?

Guard #1: [Shrugs] I don't know. They often go on into the night, though. I'd try again tomorrow.

Madelyna: [Turns away and frowns; talking to Peter] Tomorrow! That is only the day before! Is that enough time?

Peter: [To Guard] Where is your commander?

Guard #1: Commander Reed? He is back at the guard station on North. Why?

Peter: Thanks! [Grabs Madelyna's hand and they run to North street.]

Guard #2: Halt! This is private property of the military. Move along.

Peter: We need to speak to your commander.

Guard #2: You won't be speaking to anyone! Now, I said...

Commander: [Interrupting] Hold your peace, soldier. [To Peter and Madelyna] What be ye needing, young things?

Peter: My lord, we have some information that we think you should know, sir.

Commander: [Chuckling] I'd love to hear it. Come to my tent.

[All exit]