Short Stories – “There’s This TikTok” on Wattpad

During this quarantine, I’ve been working full time, trying to teach my daughter kindergarten lessons, keep my house running, exercise, and take a certificate course. All this, and I have been desperate to find time to write! Writing is what keeps me sane, and with all this going on, it’s the lifeline I need to keep making it through my day to day.


Introducing “There’s This TikTok”, a Wattpad exclusive!

These short stories are a compilation of the teens who choose to do the infamous challenges on TikTok. You’ll find the lead up to the challenge, the reaction, and the aftermath as we follow each teen’s story!

The first challenge in this trio of short stories is the Kiss Your Best Friend challenge! Imagine meeting someone who easily fits into your life. They become your best friend. You laugh together. Cry together. Just all around do life together.

But, what if that spot they filled evolves into deeper emotions? What if your heart finds them to fit perfectly there, too? Would you be willing to risk it all? Would you be brave enough to shoot your shot?


If you haven’t watched these TikToks, I highly recommend them! I’m such a sucker for romance, I just had to take on the challenge of writing a before, during, and after story for them. It was just too fun!

Quarantine things: DJ Kopec

If you have social media, you may see some interesting ways those that make a living off their abilities have decided to try and continue to make said living. Specific to Facebook, some DJs have taken to hosting virtual events. I found DJ Kopec doing exactly that!

DJ Kopec is from the greater D.C. area and a great disc jockey! His mix of throwbacks to today’s hits, all blended in masterful transitions is amazing to hear. Anytime he starts a playlist, I can’t help but dance!

What this quarantine has brought out in many people is philanthropy. We all want to play our part by helping our fellow man, but as we see too often, we, as humans, fall short. During this time of uncertainty, there are those that have risen to the challenge.

Introducing DJ Kopec!

He has hosted many dance parties on Facebook, starting soon after the quarantine. At first I thought his events were just for him to make money, but as I watched and listened to his set, I realized it was so much more!

DJ Kopec has hosted these live events for many causes during this crisis, including raising money for organizations like Feeding America, as well as donations of chicken, eggs, and bread to local food banks. Sometimes there is sponsor with a challenge, like how many viewers will he receive, or how many t-shirts will he sell. Other times, there are announcements of angels pledging donations. He’s not just looking to make a pay day for himself (he does have his own virtual tip jar), but he’s using his skills and helping those in need.

Everytime I jump onto one of his events, he has at least 7,000 viewers and more people donating what they can. It is one of the greatest testaments to goodwill I have ever seen in my life, and I find it amazing that I get to take part of it, just by dancing!

Check DJ Kopec out, and join his next live virtual event!

Dance!

Trolls World Tour – Movie Review

My five year old daughter loves Poppy and Branch! After that first movie came out, it was all she would talk about. She would sing the songs and want to wear “Poppy pink” all the time! The movie was sweet and catchy with the mashups, so not too much heartache to be found after watching it multiple times a week.

When we heard a second movie was coming out, my child was so excited! We made the viewing party into a real experience for her since we weren’t able to see it in theater (due to the thing that must not be named). We baked cookies, made crazy drinks, and ate whatever she wanted for dinner. We laid out our spread and turned the movie on.

We built the moment of watching the movie up so much, this child was bursting the moment the first song began! Every few seconds she would say, “Daddy, did you see that!” Or, “Momma, look!” It was hilariously adorable! Luckily we were at home because this child could hardly contain her excitement.

As the movie played out, she was completely sucked in!

I, on the other hand, missed the first movie.

Don’t get me wrong, the second movie was cute, too, but something about the dialogue didn’t work for me.

In the first rendition, there is a conflict, a mission, a redemption, and a resolution. All of that is present in this sequel as well, but the interactions between the characters just feel short and bland. I know these movies have a lot of music in them, which I thoroughly enjoyed in both films, but there is a lackluster quality to the spoken exchanges between the characters themselves. Anytime they weren’t singing, there wasn’t much value added to inform the audience of what was happening.

Without getting too detailed, there is mention that certain events happened before and history was repeating itself. There is even a quick reference to whom the conductor of the first event was, but it’s blown off so quickly, it’s hard to tell if it’s really what they meant or if they were just wondering if that was the case. There are several instances like this where they just casually throw a comment out, but there is no further interaction amongst the characters to progress the thought process.

I know, it’s a kids movie. I didn’t have any overreaching expectations of the movie other than my daughter’s enjoyment, and she definitely enjoyed it!

Queue playing the soundtrack on repeat until we can buy the movie and play it incessantly!

Frozen II – Movie Review

Frozen IIIf you’re like me, have a young daughter and are staying inside the house, I’m betting we have watched Frozen II about the same number of times by now. Memorizing the songs was easy; by now, we have moved onto reciting each character’s lines in our best impersonating voice! It’s getting a bite dire in these living rooms.

One thing I do have to say about this sequel that I’m not so sure is receiving the spotlight that it should is the emotionally intelligent writing. I noted several different psychologist and doctors in the credits that I’m sure played a large role in this script! It’s clear the message in this second movie was meant to teach youngsters how to handle and respond to such big emotions the characters were feeling, and I will add that it was very well done!

There are many scenes throughout the movie which attempt to broach the subject of one mental illness or another, but there is one scene in particular that struck all the right chords for me. I have struggled with depression, mainly in my youth, but as I have matured, there is always that tinge that attempts to pop up. I’ve learned how to deal with it and carry on, but there are others in my life that also struggle with a mental illness. I digress.

This scene revolves around Anna, and she begins to sing a song. It’s at a point in the movie where things seem hopeless, and she’s all but crumbling under the weight of it all. This one particular scene speaks directly to grief and depression, and to me.

The song is called “The Next Right Thing,” and as Anna begins to sing, it is clear how she is feeling. She’s lost and scared and just ready to give up. One of the lines of the song is, “Hello, darkness, I’m ready to succumb.”

It’s a punch to the gut! I wanted so badly to pull her up from the floor and help her through the pain as I have known that feeling before, too. But, the song continues, and she coaches herself. She pulls herself up and focuses on one step at a time. Looking too far ahead is too much, more than she can take. Instead, she breaks it down to the next breath, next step, and next choice. She chooses to do the next right thing.

If nothing else, I feel this moment more than any other in most Disney movies, and I am a Disnerd. While I don’t fully understand the need for this movie, other than to cash in on the prize cow (it doesn’t progress their story, in my opinion), I do think it is very well done. While I am not a fan of watching it 10 times day, I do find myself pausing at the Anna scene and agreeing with her song. Sometimes, all we can do in our moments of weakness is focus on the next right thing.

Kevin Hart: Irresponsible Tour

Note: I wrote this review the night I watched the show. Kevin Hart’s accident occured two nights later. I wish him a speedy recovery and that he gets back to doing what he loves soon!


I LOVED THIS SHOW! Kevin Hart is one of the funniest stand-up comedians I have ever watched. He is so animated and tells the best stories about his life. It is easy for me to connect with him and his family life, and feel his pain.

This show was no different! The sketch about his daughter starting her cycle for the first time had me laughing so hard I was crying, wheezing, coughing, and snorting. I don’t think I have ever laughed that hard, let alone at a stand-up show. He said he threw a maxi pad like a grenade at her! I can so imagine my husband doing this to our daughter one day. 😂

If you are looking for a hilarious show, you MUST watch this! Kevin Hart is hilarious in most movies he plays in, but for his creative freedom to run wild in his shows, his stand-up is comedy GOLD! Catch it on Netflix!

Spotify: Jazzy Romance

Taking old love songs and placing a jazzy whisper, an elegant piano, and a beautiful orchestra to give it the modern sound.

I love this playlist! It is getting me in all the feels! While walking around the Summit, or working at my desk, even folding laundry, I start to play this playlist, and immediately, my hips sway. I feel the sensuality of it in my bones. The slow words and beats warm my system. It just feels good!

They say people who feel music on another level, like goosebumps and emotional reactions, feel emotions more intensely than those who don’t experience a reaction. I guess I fall into that group!

Curious to hear it? Here’s the link for the Jazzy Romance playlist on Spotify!

Hootie & The Blowfish, Group Therapy Tour

For my fifteenth birthday, I asked my parents for concert tickets to see Hootie & The Blowfish. They were playing at the 9:30 Club in D.C., and I wanted to so badly to see them perform. At the time, I had no clue the club was a 21+ only venue, so my parents had actually gotten the tickets, but I wasn’t able to attend. They ended up selling them and buying tickets to another concert for my birthday.

The other concert was for Green Day, the American Idiot Tour. The concert was great, one that I will always remember, but there was a very specific reason I wanted to see Hootie & The Blowfish.

As a teen, we all go through emotional times as our hormones run rampant. We are finding out who we are during that age, and sometimes, life just felt hard. Whenever I would go through a drama filled, high school day, I would go home and blast my music. It would help me release the mixed up emotions in my mind and heart, and find peace to sleep soundly at night. So long as I had my music, I was able to release the stressors of the day and just feel better.

One song in particular always felt cathartic.

Let Her Cry by Hootie & The Blowfish

I’d play this four minute, twelve second song on repeat for the really tough days I felt twisted within myself. Darius Rucker would sing those beautiful lyrics over and over again until I was able to digest the events of the day and erase their negative impact on me. This one song helped me through my toughest teenage years, reminding me that it’s ok not to be ok before it was a common saying.

Now, fifteen years later, I finally got to go to the concert of my teenage dreams!

Barenaked Ladies opened the show. They were entertaining with all their greatest hits, clever quips, and party atmosphere. They were a great preshow! I don’t think I have ever laughed that hard at a concert before! Nice and “lubed up”, as they band said they wanted the crowd to be for the headliners.

Finally, Hootie & The Blowfish came out! They started with their hottest hits, even threw in a few of Darius’s country hits, but when they got to Let Her Cry, I was brought back to being 15 again. I swayed and sang at the top of my lungs the lyrics I know so well. It was an emotional moment as Darius sang the words directly to my soul!

As the final notes were played on that beautiful song, I felt renewed. The power of great music, and specifically that song for me, smoothed out my emotions and allowed me to feel free! It was an amazing experience!

Fifteen years in the making, and I finally made it to see and hear Hootie & The Blowfish sing Let Her Cry. What a night! What a memory!

Birthright Cover Reveal – Touched by Light series

You learned Riley’s secrets. You worried and strategized with Rey. You were introduced to the world of Guardians filled with Light and the darkness of Midnight’s shadows. You read Guardians, book one in the trilogy of Riley and Rey’s story, but this series is just starting.

I now introduce you to Birthright. Pre-order your copy today!

Riley has always known darkness and shadows were part of her world, but she hoped moving to a new town had taken her away from them. Her first semester at Bradford University is winding down. The race to save her soul is ratcheting up. Riley clings to the one person she hopes can keep her safe, but it is time she faced the truth. Her entire life has been leading up to her nineteenth birthday, a day her supposed Aunt had secretly prepared her for since childhood. With her past revealed and her fate seemingly sealed, Riley must make a decision that could very well end her life.

Reymend has lived two hundred years without breaking a single rule of the Guardianship, but the moment he met Riley, everything changed. He interjected himself into her life. He touched her delicate skin more times than he can admit, giving her glimpses into a world she knows nothing about. But, the one rule Rey swore he wouldn’t break may be the only way to save his Charge. When the greatest evil ever known comes to collect Riley’s soul, Rey has to face a decision no Guardian has ever had to make.

Repost: What is a Guardian?

Welcome to the Touched by Light series ! Here you will find a quick look into the world Reymend lives as a Guardian. It’s hidden within Riley’s mortal day-to-day, but of all other mortals, she has glimpsed it the most. So, what is a Guardian?

Guardians are immortal beings who have been fated to join the Guardianship. The Council of the Wise is made up of twelve of the oldest Birthright Guardians, meaning they were not born from mortals, but from previous Wise Council members. A Touched soul means the Light within someone is brighter, stronger, more likely to withstand the temptations of Midnight. The Wise determines a Touched soul’s fate at age nineteen. If you are meant to be a Guardian, you are granted immortal life and given Charges (Touched souls, typically mortals) to protect against Midnight’s bidders. If you’re destined for anything else, you are left as a mortal to live out your life.

We’ll get to “What is Light and Midnight?” in my next post. Hang in there! For now, enjoy this excerpt of Reymend’s inner dialogue over the course of a chapter explaining from his memories what it is to be a Guardian, and why having Riley as his next Charge is the most defining Guardship he has ever had.

Birthright, A Touched By Light Series, Book 2 of 3 – Release Date April 2019

Rey hadn’t thought that far back in years to when he and Phelix had been young men, barely over nineteen years old. Two of the twelve members of the Wise Council of the Light had offered them immortal life as Guardians. If they accepted, their lives were to be dedicated to protecting those Touched by Light from the darkness of Midnight. Even though the significance of it all flew over their teenage heads, after living their entire lives as vagrants on the streets of a New York ghetto, it had been an easy decision.

He hadn’t flat out lied to Riley when he said he was an orphan. He and Phelix had been when they were kids, but having been in the system was pushing it. They had lived off what others threw out in the streets or what they could beg for, but back then, that was the system for parentless children. Castaways, left to fend for themselves.

They had met Amber, Phelix’s girlfriend, in their early years of immortality during training, but her life had been completely opposite to theirs. She had known the ways of the Light at an early age before her fate had even been determined. Her entire bloodline could be traced back to Guardians and the Wise Council. As a Birthright Guardian, her conception was a carefully mastered plan to keep purity on the Council. Although, some would argue that plan was failing or had failed already.

The three of them had been through hell and back more than their fair share, facing demons of Midnight when no one else could. They weren’t the strongest singular Guardians by any means, but together, their Light always shone brightest against the darkness. Together, they were undefeated, but in their line of work, defeat wasn’t an option.

The three Guardians had left Baltimore two years ago after their Charges had reached the age to be fated. It had been the first time in their almost two hundred years together that they had been separated. Phelix had gone to Richmond for a Charge until she reached nineteen years old, and the Wise fated her for the Guardianship. Amber had two Charges turn nineteen, one in Atlanta and the other in Columbus, but both of the guys destinies were decided to remain mortal, leaving their Light dormant within their souls. Rey hadn’t had a Charge since Baltimore, so he moved to Bradford for the hub of darkness found at the small town’s edge. There was always something to do in the quiet town for a Guardian.

Phelix and Amber showed up over the summer since the Wise hadn’t designated new Charges for them either. The Wise had always seemed to find them individual Charges within the same vicinity as each other, clearly understanding the strength they shared between them, but after their two year stretch apart, Rey knew things were changing.

They posed as students at the University to keep up appearance and be poised in case their new Charges were students in town. There was also a bit of competition amongst them to keep their minds sharp and see who could have the highest grades, but it all boiled down to being ready when a Charge was granted.

Rules.

Light.

Dark.

They had been Rey’s world for so long. Now he bent and outright broke so many, using his Light in ways he shouldn’t to beat out the dark invading his Charge’s life.

The number one rule of the Guardianship was to never become involved in the Charge’s life. Protect them at all cost, but never be seen. A Guardian was to use their Light in the fight against the shadows of Midnight, but never shine it in the direction of the Charge. After years of servicing mortals, Guardians had earned the nickname of Guardian Angels, but Rey knew he was far from angelic, especially now.

Number two: never, ever touch a Charge. Those Touched by Light could transfer energies, memories, and even thoughts through their Light just by brushing up against each other. It took a Guardian years of training to harness their Light and learn to channel it through the transference of randomness and into a true Connection. It was the very thing that had kept him, Phelix, and Amber alive for so long through all of their battles over the centuries. Their Connection to each other flowed easily, allowing them to communicate and act as one seamlessly in battle.

And, number three: without exception, do not sway a Charge’s fate by Connecting with their Light before the Council so determines the Charge’s destiny. After a Charge turned nineteen, the Wise would determine whether the Touched soul would be given the choice to become a Guardian or remain a mortal, or if their fate was meant for the darkness. No one in the long history of the Light had ever Connected with a Charge outside of the realm of the Council of the Wise.

It was the simplest of rules to follow. Rules Rey had never had issues with in over two hundred years, but now, with Riley as his designated Charge, he had broken all but one so far.

When had his immortal life become so filled with gray?

The first twelve Touched souls composed what is now known as the Council of the Wise. They gathered as many more Guardians they could, Connecting with mortals who held stronger Light, and pushed what they began to call Midnight and its darkness as far from this universe as possible.

As millennia have passed, the Wise Council’s duty had become to determine a Touched soul’s fate, to Connect with those souls and keep the balance between Light and dark, and to keep the rules of the Light by sending Guardians to enforce them on any darkness that made its way onto the plane. The Guardians had become the first defense in the never ending war to keep the world from slipping into Midnight’s grasp while the Wise continued to reign on high.

It was Rey, Phelix, and Amber’s job to keep their Charges safe until the time the Wise determined their fate. They were to keep Midnight as far from their Charges as possible and defend the dormant Light within them. That was what Rey was doing.

When all else fails, sing-a-long!

My husband will probably laugh at me when he reads this, but when music just isn’t hitting me right, I resort to musicals. But not just any musicals.

I want the songs that you can sing at the top of you lungs, know every word by heart, and feel deep inside the power behind each word. I want the classics like Sound of Music and Singing in the Rain. I want the new popular wave like Greatest Showman and Rent. I’ll even take animated movie soundtracks like Frozen and Moana.

adult beautiful blur casual

It may sound silly, but sometimes the familiarity and ties back to the movie, play, or original signer/actor just gives me more feels than the latest popular musician ever could. Sometimes the emotions these songs produce are more genuine than the music playing from the radio by a musician I would have to Google in order to know what they look like.

Between my daughter and I, I think we have sang every word of every song to the Greatest Showman soundtrack a hundred times. It isn’t unheard of in our house to belt out “Never Enough!” randomly as we walk around the house. Something I know my husband loves to hear! If only life were a musical.