The Hope Project launch!

Well, friends, today is the day! The Hope Project is being launched!

We’ve got an amazing team, consisting of amazing bloggers, and I can’t wait for you to see who they are. I would link to their lovely blogs, but unfortunately, our internet is terribly slow and it has taken me forever to just open WordPress for this post!

If you’d like to check the Hope Project out, the link is: https://hopeproject.home.blog/

Have a lovely day, friends!

11 books that shaped my life

Hello, friends!

Before we start off, I want to thank you all for two things: Firstly, the incredible support you gave me after my last point about the passing of my baby kitty, Pepper. It means so, so much to me, and I cried a little reading all your messages, and thank you. So much. ❤ I wish I could hug you all.

Number two: a couple of days ago I hit one hundred followers, and honestly I’m sorta in shock. I think this is the first of my many blogs to reach one hundred followers, and I really can’t believe it. I’m so thankful for you all. ❤ I wish I could do a giveaway for this occasion, but on account of all the craziness in the world right now, that’s currently not a possibility. BUT maybe once things clear up, I can do it! Thank you so much, all of you. It truly means the world to me. ❤

Now, onto today’s post! Continue reading

Goodbye, my sweet

My cat died today.

I had forgotten how it feels to lose a pet. Especially one that’s all your own.

She was fine three days ago, and then she got sick. She was tired and feverish and she reminded me of one of my characters from my book.

this afternoon, she had trouble breathing and my dad took her to the vet.

She didn’t come back.

I knew she probably wasn’t going to. But it was still a shock.

She was a black cat. I think she was pregnant. Her name was Pepper. I had had a hard time naming her; I couldn’t choose between Shuri or Loki or Pepper. She wasn’t even a year old yet.

she had liver failure and paralysis from a diesease she got from a tick bite.

It seems unbelievable that one small tick bite killed my cat. One small tick bite from a tick who bit a bobcat carrying the disease and then bit my cat. Stupid tick.

I miss you, Pepper. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you. I love you. Have fun over the rainbow bridge with Ginny and Alaska.

 

A prickly friend

(Photo credit all goes to Keziah) (I can’t take pictures like this XD)

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Who could that be?

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My dear readers, let me introduce you to little Prickles.

Name: Prickles Macaroni Mali

Age: Nine weeks tomorrow!

Birthday: January 11th

Likes: Crickets, mealworms

Dislikes: Being awakened from his naps.

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Yes, I did get a hedgehog, and let me tell you, he is my absolute pride and joy. He is a bundle of… well, many things. Grumpiness at times. (But ahhhh his little grumpy hiss is ADORABLE.)

How did I come about getting a hedgehog? Well, he was a very early birthday present. I’ve been wanting a hedgie for a very, very long time, but I never ever ever thought I’d get one. My mom doesn’t like animals very much, and we already had a ton. But she agreed to let me have one and now I do!

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He’s a very small little baby. (He fits in one of my hands, and he’s smaller than a small banana.) (I took a picture for scale, but that shall come in another post).

He’s also very picky. All he’ll eat is crickets, mealworms, and cat kibble. (Yes, hedgies eat kibble and perhaps I shall tell you why, if you don’t mind hedgie care posts) (I think I’ll write some no matter what. Do you know how deep I had to dig to find any information on pet hedgies? I figure now that I know, I’d better make some posts so other people don’t have to dig quite so far.)

Oh, he will eat a bite or two of a popcorn kernel (unsalted, no butter, don’t worry). (Hedgies are lactose intolerant)

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He’s very adventurous. He likes climbing. And running on his wheel. Also sleeping in pockets. And in his little igloo.

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He doesn’t quite get the concept of chess.

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But he does love books!

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Well, I’m going to go tend to Prickles now, but you can expect to see much more of him soon!

Love from both Prickles and I ❤

Hotdogs and hedgehogs- Saturday musings

(To all those who have applied for the Hope Project, I hope to pick the team within the next week- rest assured, I haven’t forgotten!)

When I was little, Saturdays were the best days. I remember waking up and having my dad move my Dora The Explorer table in front of the TV, and then my sister and I would eat oatmeal with raisin smiley faces while watching the morning Tom and Jerry cartoons.

And then after that, we’d go to the Farmer’s Market, and after that we’d go to the Lakeshore store for Saturday crafts. I remember that my sister used a lot of glue on her crafts and they were all sticky in the car.

When we got older, we got rid of cable TV, so that was the end of the oatmeal and Tom and Jerry. We still went to the Farmer’s Market and the Lakeshore store, though.

And then we got too old for the Lakeshore store crafts, so we just went to the market. Sometimes we went to the zoo, too, because we had stopped our family zoo days (those were Sundays. One of my most vivid memories is of a zoo day, and I miss them.).

Except as we got older, even that stopped.

Today was the last day of the Farmer’s Market, and we didn’t get to go. We haven’t gone more than twice since we moved.

And I miss the happy Saturdays we used to have. I miss the thrill of waking up and thinking “yay, it’s Saturday!” Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve woken up thinking “yay, it’s *insert day*!”

Today was a good day, though. I’m not feeling great mentally, but at least the day was good. It felt like one of the old Saturdays, even though we didn’t make it to the last day ever of the Farmer’s Market.

But I cleaned my new hedgehog’s cage (does anyone want more on him because I will talk about him all day) and I gave him a bath and my aunt came over and we made s’mores and had hot dogs and went on a walk. Of course, my hedgie’s heat lamp went off, which is not good, but we’ll get it figured out.

It was a day like Saturdays used to be. And so I guess some things are still there, even when it seems like they’re far, far, far away.

I have no idea what this post is, but hey. I wanted to write. So here I am.

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Announcing the Hope Project + team applications

Hello, my friends!

Today I have something rather exciting to share with you. So we shall jump right in.

A couple of years ago, I created a blog called the Smile Project. But I got overwhelmed by running two blogs, and so I couldn’t keep it up for long. Several times, I tried to restart it, but it didn’t work out.

Recently, I’ve been very motivated to start it back up, but I found out that there’s another Smile Project run by some other people, which is great, because the world needs all the smiles it can get. So, I’ve created a new blog, under the name of the Hope Project, which happens to be the name I use for my blessing bag project. I figure that my original Smile Project idea and the blessing bags can be merged under the name of the Hope Project without any trouble, though. Because the purpose of both the projects is to help others.

So. What is the Hope Project now?

It is/will be a blog that I hope people can come on to when they are sad, stressed, lonely, or just need a smile. This means it will have a variety of posts- I’m thinking DIYs for when a person needs a bit of self care, or needs something to do to help with anxious thoughts. Short stories, the warm fuzzy kind, that someone can read when they need a little happy lift. Tips to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. Random acts of kindness. Inspiring, motivational quotes.

The thing is, I can’t do it all alone, which is why I’m posting this.

I’m looking for a team of bloggers to join me and make the Hope Project a collab blog. What am I looking for in a team?

Well, it would be splendid to have a graphic designer, for one. I fail at anything related to graphic and blog design. So to have someone in charge of blog design/graphics would be amazing.

But you don’t have to be a graphic designer! As I said, I’m not one.

The one real requirement I have is this: I will not accept anyone who has bullied or shown unkindness towards another person.

I don’t know how many responses the sign up will get. If it doesn’t get any, maybe I can manage the project myself. If I get a lot, I will have to choose a team.

With that being said: If you don’t get picked, you can still be part of the Hope Project! We’ll be looking for guest posters, and if you would like to just design the blog, you can contact me about that, too. I will also need people for a blog tour, sign ups for that will be coming along later.

I don’t know if this made any sense. But here is the sign up: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdNkQ2pV-crmrskS4FLBf2pbfubnZ3BfyLXJW3XqomXkb9Rxg/viewform?usp=sf_link

If you would like to spread the word, please do so!

Thank you for reading, lovelies. ❤

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DOWN WITH EVIL AUTHORS ~ character takeover by the one and only Natasha and guests

Good evening, ladies and gentleman. It is I, Natasha Noël Flemming (I trust that you remember me. You’d better.) and I am here today because Chloë hasn’t posted in AGES and that’s atrocious. Then again, she’s evil, so maybe we don’t want her posting.

Natasha… that not nice. She not feeling vewy happy.

That’s Aren. She’s a sweetheart. She can’t hurt a fly. Unlike Chloë, who has no trouble MURDERING innocent characters. That’s right, MURDERING. So who cares if she’s not feeling very happy and doesn’t feel like posting? Not me.

Tasha… that weally not nice.

Again, Aren’s a sweetheart.

What’s that? You *don’t* remember me?

Well then, I guess this calls for introductions.

Tasha, no one said they didn’t remember you..

Introductions anyway. I’m Natasha Noël Flemming, as I did mention above, and I am a character of Chloë’s imagination, and an advocate for Character Rights. That’s right, us characters have rights, too. Just because we aren’t “real” doesn’t mean you get to hurt us left and right.

And in italic is Aren, the sweetest little angel ever, don’t argue with me. Also joining us is Tyson, who will adding his remarks in that bold font, and Jenna, (who is possibly saner than anyone here, am I right?) (yes) will be adding her remarks in both bold and italic, like this.

Now, the purpose of this post is to address all characters everywhere. And authors, too, I guess. Maybe I can make you authors see your foul and evil ways. -.-

Where are my notes, I’ve got them somewhere. AHA.

Tasha, why are you typing all this? Why are you typing what I’m saying?

Because I want to and I can. 😉 And DON’T CALL ME TASHA. Only Aren gets to do that. Now, let’s get down the business.

Friends, Romans, countrymen- what does that mean? Uh, it’s from someplace. I’ve heard it before. No one ever told me who or what said it. Well, anyway. Ahem. I am here today to convince you all to join me in getting rid of all of the evil authors (aka, all authors) in the world.

Are you gonna killlll them??

Noooo, that would make us as terrible as them. No, we’ll just dispose of them.

Down the garbage disposal?

They probably won’t fit down there. We’ll just… tie them to a tree. Steal their books. And their chocolate and coffee and tea and their essentials. It will be lovely. They’ll be devastated, which is what they deserve.

I’m sure all you characters out there have all been tortured in some way by your author/writer. Perhaps they’ve murdered your family (Chloë murdered all of our families, THANKS.) or chopped off one of your limbs (*looks over at Aren*) or burned/exploded your house, the list goes on and on.

And thus, we deserve REVENGE. Hehe.

What kind of revenge? Well, as I mentioned, we could tie them to a tree, steal their precious books and chocolate and guess what, we can eat the chocolate ourselves! We could also kidnap their stuffed animals. Or pets, that works too.

But then maybe the doggies and kitties and animalzies would be sad.

Okay, fine, not the pets. Only for the dog and cat’s sakes.

I’d also say we could burn their notebooks, but honestly, I’m not sure whether that would destroy us. Same with deleting their novels. (Does anyone know what happens when you do that??) (That’s a question for the characters, not the authors. Authors are LIARS.)

So please join me in storming at least our author’s house because I really really want to and she deserves it. Come join meeeee.

Wow. I’m terrible at writing speeches, aren’t I?

Not so terrible. They’re certainly… lively? That’s not quite the word… let’s go with interesting.

Why, thank you, Jenna.

I hear something.

You do? Is it Chloë?

I don’t know- yes it is, I’m gonna scram.

TYSON WAIT FOR ME!

And meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Slow down, you don’t want to trip and fall.

I’m an adult, I don’t trip and- owwww.

Natasha, Aren, Tyson, and Jenna

 

Here’s To The Underdogs! ~ mini review and interview with the (awesome) author

Guysssss, I get to review an awesome new indie author! *is very excited* This book is so, so good. I was fortunate enough to be able to alpha for it, and now I was able to read it as part of the launch team, and it got even better from when I alphaed for it. So, shall we jump it? 😀

And friends, I know posts like these can be boring, but I think this book really is worth knowing about.

Let’s start with my mini review. It’s a mini review cause I don’t want to give spoilers. *nods*

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Here's to the Underdogs! by [Aardsma, Shannon]

Benjamin Connley is an outcast at school. His depression leads him to make a very drastic decision, but it is because of this decision that Ben realizes how selfish and blind he’s been, thinking only of himself. His only true friend is Colette…that is until he starts meeting others who are struggling as well. His small group of friends grows and bands together to form the Underdogs. By sticking together, and learning about God’s love and grace toward them, they are able to repay the hate that they’ve been shown with love and kindness, starting a revolt against bullying and leaving behind them a legacy that won’t be soon forgotten.

This book… ahhh, where do I start? It hits my heart, I guess that’s a good way of saying it. “Here’s To The Underdogs!” deals with a lot of subjects very close to my heart. Depression, suicidal thoughts/suicide, loneliness, not fitting in, and many others. And this books deals with them in a beautiful way.

I think this book’s story is a message of hope, and I think it’s a message that will somehow reach every readers in some way, because it deals with such a wide range of relatable topics.

I’m so very glad to know about this book, and to have been able to read it. ❤

The only I didn’t like about this book? I wanted so, so much more of it! AND ALFIE SHANNON I DEMAND MORE ALFIE IN THE FUTURE. I DEMAND IT. SERIOUSLY.

Oh, and more after that epilogue, of course.

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And now, for the interview with the lovely author, Shannon Aardsma! My questions are in bold, Shannon’s answers are in italic, and any comments I have after are in this normal text.

1. What gave you the idea for this book?

The book was originally about Colette and was actually based on an imaginary game some friends and I used to play. I’d play as Ben and Colette, and my friends were Morgan and Marcus. But the book didn’t have a good plot, and then, after role-playing with Ben, I decided to make the story about him instead. He gained a better backstory, and “Here’s to the Underdogs!” was born. And I owe pretty much everything to my good friend, role-playing buddy, and first alpha Saige Ross. She’s the one who got the book rolling and kept me writing when I didn’t want to. So, thanks, Saige. 🙂

Hooray for awesome friends, right?

2. How long has the book been in progress?

 I finished the first draft in January of this year, but the first draft took several months to write. I honestly don’t remember exactly when I started it, but I think I’d been working on it for several months before November of last year. NaNoWriMo is when I got most of it written.

3. Do you have a favorite character to write, or are they all your babies? 😉

 I love them all! But I have to admit that Ben is especially special to me. He’s my oldest character. He started out as an imaginary friend when I was seven or eight, but he’s come a long way since then.

Characters that start as imaginary friends are awesome. ❤

4. Do you have any resources that helped you while writing the book?

 The internet. 😉 In all honesty, though, I turned to Google a lot. As this book wasn’t rooted in facts, I didn’t have to do a lot of research for most of it, but there were certain scenes that required some digging.

5. Where can readers find you online?

“Here’s to the Underdogs!” will be available on Amazon, and readers can find more about me and my other books on my website: Shannonaardsma.com.

6. Do you have any more books in progress that you can tell us about? *wink wink*

 I have many many books in the works. *wink* The book I plan to work on next is a medieval fantasy (yay!).

7. What do you hope people reading “Here’s to the Underdogs” feel like after reading the book?

I hope my readers fall in love with the characters as much as I have. I hope they enjoy the book, of course, and take good things away from it.

If you’d like to read “Here’s To The Underdogs!”, the e-book is on sale for 99 cents during launch week! The paperback hasn’t reached Amazon yet, but it’s due to within the next couple of days, so if you prefer a paperback copy, you can keep an eye out for it.

Thank you for reading, lovely friends. ❤

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10 happy things

Hello, my dear friends!

So, a while ago, Maya tagged me for the ten happy things tag she created. And I’ve been seeing it all around the blogging world, which is amazing! I’m going to have a hard time tagging people, though, cause everyone has done it. Which is absolutely great.  Let’s jump into this, because at the moment, I really really need happy things.

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