Sunshine Award

Friend and fellow blogger, Nicole of The Coffee-Stained Writer was kind enough to award me the Sunshine Award last month. The award is given to bloggers whose “contagious positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging universe.” So, while my response on this great honor is late, it is still very appreciated. Thanks again, Nicole!

The rules of the award are:

1. Put the logo on the blog within your post.
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blogs.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Ah, there’s the hard part, choosing 12 other awesome and creative fellow bloggers for the award. This took me some time, but I was eventually able to choose 12 people. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Gwen Bell’s The Mindfulist
2. Sarah’s Camera Takes Photos
3. Jen’s Divinest Sense
4. Leslie’s Whimsy
5. Kitzzy’s Lifestyle Change
6. The Rap Sheet
7. The Daily Library
8. Mack Captures Crime
9. Rhianne’s For the easily distracted
10. Ask Asheville Blog
11. Blog Asheville
12. Kate’s Silents and Talkies

She loved whipped cream in her coffee…

(this is based upon a prompt from Toasted Cheese)

She loved whipped cream in her coffee. Every morning, when she came bustling
through those glass doors, I knew her order right down to that oh so scrumptious

But, who was I, a lonely barista at the local coffee shop. Why would an amazingly
beautiful redhead such as herself go for me? I knew I was out of her league. Sure,
she smiled that adorable sideways grin at me each day as I added that whipped
topping to her simple two shot latte. But, that was the extent of our relationship.
Barista and coffee drinker. The line was as clear as the counter that separated
us at the hips.

These were the thoughts that flooded my college brain that morning as I started my
shift. I tied my apron on behind my back and wondered what could be if only I were
more than what I was, a barista.

Right on the tick, she glided into the shop. Reality seemed to come to a crawl,
almost as if someone hit the “pause” button on a DVD player. Everything and everyone
but her stopped at that moment. Her movements from the door to the counter were in
a graceful, yet slow motion. When she did reach that counter, the counter that has
always kept us two worlds apart, she tossed her curly Annie-like red hair aside her
left shoulder and smiled at me. Her green eyes seemed to sparkle like two gems in
the sunlight.

“Good morning, Tyler.” She spoke, in my direction, “how are you today?”

My throat suddenly tightened up and turned into the Sahara Desert. She was speaking.
Speaking to and at me. This was new. Usually, I just got that smile. And, she knew
my name. I couldn’t believe it. Somehow, I managed to open my mouth in an attempt
to respond to her query. “I-I-I’m good.”

Yeah, that’s good Tyler, stutter. Stutter and say as little as possible. Now she’ll
definitely think you’re an idiot.

“That’s good. I’d like the usual, please.” She replied, still smiling at me.

“Of course, latte and whipped cream coming right up.” I heard the female voice of my
co-worker Charlotte say from next to me at the espresso machine.

Not pleased that Charlotte jumped into my conversation, I managed to form a small
toothless grin at my favorite customer. Charlotte began making the latte while I
just stood there, seemingly frozen in time.

A minute or so later, but what felt like an eternity, Charlotte put the finished
latte drink in front of me. “Here ya go Tyler, just needs the whipped cream,” Charlotte
informed me.

Picking up that can of whipped cream, I began adding the finishing touches to the
drink. When done, I popped on a top and picked up the drink. Looking up, there she
was, my red-headed customer still grinning.

“Here you go ma’am,” I murmured, handing her the drink.”Have a nice day.”

She took the drink and began to head back toward those glass doors. My heart sank.
Why couldn’t I just say something to her? Why couldn’t I just ask her? I needed to
be brave and just ask. what was the worst that could happen? She could laugh and
reject me. That was what could happen. But, what if-what if she didn’t? I needed to
go with that small possibility and just ask.

Almost as if my body was acting without my brain, I found myself running around the
counter to the other side and toward the exiting red head.

“Wait!” I blurted out.

She was halfway out the door by the time I reached her and she heard my calling. She
turned and looked my way puzzled.

Now standing just a couple of feet from her, I swallowed hard. “I mean-I-I wondered
if you might want to go out some time. I mean, if you weren’t seeing anyone.”

There it was, I got it out there. My heart pounded like a drum in my chest as I
stood there staring at her.

Her face suddenly went from puzzled to pleased. “Sure. Sure, that would be nice.”

Was I hearing correctly? Did this beautiful woman just say yes? Did she just say
yes to going out with her barista? “Yes?” I asked her, hoping to clarify things.

“Yes, I would like that Tyler,” she responded. “Let me give you my cell phone number,
as I have to get to work. But, that sounds good.”

As she fumbled in her purse, I stood there in shock. It was an amazingly good kind
of shock, but shock nonetheless. She then pulled out a business card and held it out
to me. “That’s my card. My cell number is listed on there. I look forward to your

With that, she smiled and walked out the door. Looking down at the card that was now
in my shaking hands, I smiled. Not only did I now have a date, I knew my dream coffee
girl’s name, Lilly.

Prompts: Spoiled & Daddy Memory

Prompt for 4/7: Spoiled
Are you “spoiled” in any way?

I believe that most of us are spoiled in some way. We have someone, whether it be our parents or significant other providing some of our wants to us. Wants, not needs. I hope everyone experiences at least one moment or time of being spoiled in their life. We all deserve to get something we truly wanted but didn’t need at least once.

Prompt for 4/6: Daddy
Recall a very early memory of time spent with your father.

My best memory spent with my dad is when I was a pre-teen. He took me to a New Kids on the Block concert. Not only was it a big deal that he took me to this crazy girl event, but before the concert he made the night even more special. He stopped at the local mall and bought binoculars. My dad knew that there was no way his 11-year-old daughter was going to be able to see those New Kids without them. He made the evening a special one for me and I will always remember that.

Prompts are from the One-Minute Writer.

Back update

So, I’m still not really mobile. After a horrible and painful Friday (falling down in agony), I was not doing well by Saturday morning. Ended up calling the on-call doctor on Saturday. She called in some different meds for me which seem to help some, but not enough.

Went to church yesterday for Easter with my parents and it was not a good experience. First off, mom had to help me get dressed since it was not easy getting my pants on. I felt like I was helpless and did not like that feeling at all. When we got to church, I could not get comfortable no matter what position I tried in that chair. I did manage to make it through the Pastor’s sermon thankfully, but it wasn’t easy. The drive home was not a good one. I was very uncomfortable sitting in the car. Took a lot out of me just getting to and from church.

I rested the rest of Sunday, mostly drifting in and out of sleep as the meds do cause drowsiness. I didn’t mind that since it allowed me to really relax and not have to deal with my back. Woke up today and despite feeling somewhat better, it didn’t take long before my body started expressing it’s unhappiness to me. Thankfully, my back hasn’t spasmed more than a couple of times, but I’m also taking it very easy. Now, I’m just waiting for the doctor’s office to call me about getting an MRI done or something to hopefully get a better idea of what is going on.

Honestly, I cannot wait until this crud goes away and I can get on with my life. I want to not only be able to be myself again and do what I want and need to do, but I want to get back out there with my running and workouts. This lying around the house business is the pits.

Running complications

As if it weren’t enough that I have been dealing with knee and IT band problems with my right knee, I have now pulled out my back. Yesterday afternoon at work, I started to have bad pain in my lower back. I hoped it was nothing and would go away. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. I woke up this morning for my run and I was in horrible pain. My back was spasmodic and it was difficult to get out of bed. Needless to say, I didn’t end up getting out for my run. At this point, I was still planning on going to work and hoping that by popping a couple of ibuprofen would aid in my discomfort. By the time I showered and it was nearing the time that I would need to leave for work, my back was killing me. The ibuprofen had seemingly done nothing for me. Despite my not wanting to call out sick, I did just that. I then made an appointment to go see my doctor.

The doctor told me that I had pulled out my back, thus the painful muscle spasms I had been experiencing. No sitting or standing position was comfortable for me. She informed me that this was normal considering my injury. After a bit of discussion, we came to the conclusion that the injury was caused by my running. During my last 25 minute run, I had been concentrating on my form more than usual. I was intent upon ensuring that my feet and legs were maintaining proper running form. This more than likely caused me to move wrong or what have you, causing something in my back to get pulled.

So now, I am out of the running game. At least for a few days. This of course is disappointing to say the least. I really do enjoy my morning runs now. There really isn’t anything like the feeling I get from them. But, I am going to listen to everything my doctor told me to do in order to get better. With two 5k races upcoming this month, I definitely don’t want to push myself to the point that I can’t do them. I am especially looking forward to the Corp 5k on April 15th, it’s going to be quite the event I think. The other race I plan on doing is the Run for the Trees on the 24th, the day before my birthday. Mom is doing that one with me, and dad says he might as well. Be nice to have them there, even if they are walking the race.

March 23rd – Catch up, ketchup

One-Minute Writer Prompt: Write about a way you need to catch up in your life. Or, if you prefer…write about ketchup.

Life has been going very well for me lately. However, I will admit that I really do need to catch up on my writing. Specifically, writing of my co-created comic series, Hypersonic. I have been slacking with getting the issues written and there honestly is no excuse for it. At least, there’s no good excuse for it. I can list all sorts of reason why I haven’t completed the issues, but they are just that, excuses. So, my plan for the coming months is to overcome that hurdle and just get it done. Not only will I feel better about doing that, but my artist and co-creator will be more than happy to have scripts greeting him in his email inbox.

C25k Training Update

This morning, I went out for my C25k training like I have done for the past few weeks (less for when I was sick or what have you). I didn’t set any real expectations for myself other than that I was going to get in a good workout run. The last two training workouts I did last week were the 8 minute interval runs. I decided to do that 8 minute, or day two workout twice since it proved a challenge to complete when I first did it. Today, I had my new iPod nano with me in my arm band case. This was great because I didn’t have to carry my pouch. I instantly felt lighter as I headed out the door for the workout. Once the five minute warm up began, I still had no real expectations or goals in mind for the workout, only to get it done.

Before I knew it, the warm up was over and it was time to get going on my run. As I ran, I felt great, and enjoyed the fact that I had my iPod in my arm band and was carrying nothing excess on me. This really did make a difference in how I felt. My knee was doing okay as I went along, which I was thankful for. I didn’t put on my knee brace, so I was hoping this wasn’t something I would regret later in the run. Five minutes went by and I was still going strong, knowing that I was at least going to push for that 8 minute interval. Then, the 8 minutes completed and without hesitation, I kept going. I did glance at my watch at this point, as I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the full 20 minutes. I thought this way, I could at least have an idea of how long I did run if I stopped before the end of that interval.

I didn’t stop though, as I was chugging along, I kept telling myself that this was it, this was going to be the day that I pushed through and did the 20 minutes. It was the toughest run thus far and I knew deep down that I was ready and that I could do it. All I needed to do was push myself and shoo away that part of my brain that wanted me to stop.

Twenty minutes later, I was still running when Ullrey announced that day three’s workout run was now over. I was both thrilled and yes, I admit relieved that it was over. But, what an amazing feeling! I felt so proud of myself and great at my accomplishment. I had done it, I had run for twenty minutes straight. As began my cool down walk, I couldn’t help but think, ‘if I can do this, I can do anything!’ Nothing seems out of reach or unattainable for me now. And, I can’t wait to get back out there in a couple days for my next run.

C25k, work, and shiney new cars

Things have been crazy but great the last couple of weeks. I truly feel blessed and couldn’t be happier with where my life is taking me. Church has been going great, as I really like church itself a great deal and feel right at home there each Sunday. The pastor is a great preacher and I enjoy his sermons. Guest speakers have been good as well, always nice to hear another style of getting God’s word out there.

On the work front, I have now been in my new position for two weeks. Well, officially, this week was my first week actually doing the job. Last week consisted of training and then a certification exam at the end of the week of training. Thankfully, I passed and am now certified to take on my new role in the company. Overall, I’m really liking working with the insurance side of the business and I look forward to what the future brings.

My C25k training is finally progressing after overcoming some hurdles with being sick, knee problems and having my wisdom tooth removed. As of this week, I have gotten back on the horse, so to speak, and am now on week 5, day 2 of the training regime. Day two consists of running two eight minute intervals. I ran the day one intervals of five minute intervals on Monday morning, but overcame the five minute mark on Wednesday when I ran eight minutes! I was very proud of my accomplishment in this area. I wasn’t sure I would be able to get past that five minute barrier, but I did it! I ran the same eight minute intervals today and hope to be running the day three, twenty minute intervals by next week. Got to keep progressing!

Last Saturday, after doing the Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe Winter Park Road Race, I ended up in a place I could have never guessed I’d be last weekend, a car dealership. My parents are seeking to get mom out of her 1997 Buick, so they were out car shopping. My mom texted me about how great the Mazda dealer seemed to be and mentioned that I might want to just come by and see about getting out of my Saturn Ion. While I thought it would be great to get a new car (my Saturn was not only out of warranty, it was about to cost me some bucks repair-wise and was beginning to make me wonder about it’s reliability on the road), I never really seriously thought it would happen. So, I figured I would stop by and just talk to the salesman for a few minutes and more than likely be on my way since I would need to get out of the Saturn’s car loan as well as get a car payment in the same pricing range to even consider doing business. In the forefront of my mind, those two things weren’t likely to happen. Well, I was wrong. The stars were aligned and things were just meant to be that day because before I knew it, I was shaking hands and signing papers. I left the dealership hours later in a Mazda, leaving my little red Saturn behind. It was a little bittersweet, as “Clark,” (that’s the name I gave the car back when I first got it in 2007) and I had been through a lot, that car took me to Asheville, North Carolina and back more than a couple of times. However, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I will now be driving my little blue Mazda around town. Now, if I can just come up with a name for it…

Script Frenzy is coming!

November is NaNoWriMo where crazy writers like myself take on the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Now, April is Script Frenzy, the sister event to NaNo. This challenge is to write 100 pages of script in 30 days. You can write whatever sort of script you’d like, but the goal is to just hit that 100 page goal.

I have signed up for Script Frenzy and am still working out the details of what my story is going to be about. I’ve been stuck on private eyes as the basic jumping off point for my script. Now, I’m just waiting for my plot to come together. Tonight, I pulled out my books on private investigating to not only get going on the P.I. story basis, but in hopes that I might get some more inspiration going.

Fellow writers, are you embarking on Script Frenzy next month? I hope as many scribes as possible take on this challenge as I think it’s a great opportunity for writers of every style and genre.

Knee tendonitis, colds and wisdom tooth extractions

It’s been a crazy last couple of weeks. First, the weather went from the nice 70-something-degrees back to the crazy 30s and 40s. This sudden weather change seemed to have caused my right knee to have problems. I have knee pain on and off, but haven’t dealt with it in awhile. So, when I woke up about a week ago with horrible knee pain, I was not pleased. This meant that my C25k training would be put off yet again. But, I knew that I had to rest up for at least a couple of days or I might really injure myself.

Then, as I was feeling better this past weekend and about to again restart my training, I got sick. Sometimes, you just can’t catch a break I guess. A cold hit me like a rock. I went to church Sunday morning, but other than a quick stop at the grocery store, I spent my Sunday in bed resting up with nausea and congestion. This winter definitely hasn’t been one for a good immune system it seems. I was going to try to get out and workout on Tuesday or Wednesday pre-dentist appointment, but my knee pain returned on Monday afternoon along with the continual cold fun.

Yesterday, was my dentist appointment to get a wisdom tooth extracted. I had the bottom one on the opposite side removed in December 2008, so apparently, this tooth was the next that needed to go. It had been bothering me a great deal on and off the last few months. So, of course, once you have oral surgery, no physical activity can be done for at least a couple of days. I’m just now, as I type this feeling better from the surgery. It was a rough experience, having the tooth removed. The dentist had some difficulty with a piece of the root and was trying to get that one piece out. Apparently, it is close to the nerve which was not good. The dentist decided to let it be after a few attempts, telling me that the piece will more than likely find its way out at some point. I don’t recall the extent of the pain I had last time around, but this experience was definitely a rough one. I had horrible jaw pain even all through the night. The dentist had to call in a more powerful pain pill for me even late yesterday. I’m not one who usually likes to take that sort of thing, as I have a pretty high pain threshold, but this pain was just beyond what I could bare. Nothing like trying to drink some water and the pain that comes over you makes you feel as though you might pass out. I’ve already decided that if I need to have the top two wisdom teeth removed, I’m going to a specialist who can knock me out for the surgery, as it is a tough thing to go through. I definitely hope to avoid any further dental surgery for a long long time.