Cudillero, Asturias Spain in Real Life

While searching for the perfect setting for Alexander’s birth family in Falling for Hope, I knew I exactly what I wanted: a beautiful, seaside town in Spain, where fishing and tourism is prominent. In doing so, I came across this majestic, paradise called Cudillero in Asturias, Spain. My heart was swept away by the images and videos, but what truly made me a lover of this Spanish seaside village was the day I met Ana Alvarez. I had been wishing for someone I could speak to who lived there as I was writing Falling for Sacrifice, which is also set in Cudillero; so I searched Facebook until I found an apartment complex in town. Ana was the woman who responded, and boy, was I the lucky one. Ana’s family has lived in Cudillero for generations upon generations. She’s a history lover, a book lover, and is extremely intelligent, kind, and proud woman of her town. Generously Ana gave of her time and knowledge to help me in writing about the world where my characters live and today I’ve asked her to be a guest on my blog.

I will be bringing today’s blog to you bilingually, so forgive me if my Spanish is horrible! It’s definitely not my first language and not even my second language… I took French in high school! But I have learned a bit over the years and Google Translate is a big helper.

 

Without further ado… Cudillero in Real Life, by Ana Alvarez

Ana

In English

How long have you lived in Cudillero? Tell me about your connection to the town.

I have lived my life in Cudillero. I was born here, so except for my university years or work reasons, I have always been here—very united to my people.

Little Ana in Cudillero

My whole family is from this town… generations and generations. On my mother’s side were sailors, shipowners and pixuetas (name of the inhabitants of Cudillero), housewives, fish sellers, workers of canneries. On my father’s side were apothecaries, teachers, sailors, coopers, writers, and councilmen despite whether they lived here their whole lives, they have always returned and maintained their roots in Cudillero.

 

 

 

What’s the most fascinating piece of history have you learned about your town?

Cudillero is a small town in the north of Spain with centuries of history in and around its surroundings. But its mysterious foundation is perhaps the most interesting. Legends say Cudillero was founded by Normans, or inhabitants of northern Europe who fled from the Vikings, or by Vikings who were looking for a safe place to hide. Before then, there were even Roman forts in the high places that surround the town, such as Mount Santa Ana or Castro. The part of the town where my apartments are located is called Aroncés, which comes from Aras del César, another historic founder of my town.

You may also be interested to know that some of the boats that were made for the conquest of Florida were from here, as were the sailors who navigated the seas. The discoverer of Florida, D. Pedro Menendez, was from Avilés, 20km from Cudillero, and his maternal family was from my town. Menendez made sure to go with the best and most expert sailors (here they are called “sea lions”). The sailors of Cudillero are reputed to have been among the best in Europe.

 

What feeling do you have when you walk into town?

The number one feeling I have about being at home is nostalgia. When I was little the world was different. My people kept the landscape and the other families that have been here forever all know each other. At least, everyone knows me. But with the good comes the bad too, sometimes people know too much. But beyond that I liked to talk and listen to the elderly. They are like a bridge to another time… authentic at the end of the day.

 

What do you enjoy more – conversing with the locals or meeting the tourists?

The two things actually: as I mentioned before I like talking to older people it’s always a discovery, and the old sailors are going to give you the most reliable weather prediction in the world. Hahaha

As for talking to tourists I enjoy it. They are surprised by everything, customs, constructions, and history. It’s refreshing.

 

What building or “spot” is your favorite in Cudillero?

I love the stroll through the intricate alleyways of the Sol de la Banca, the contour of the land, The Baluartín, the Balconada, the singing, Salsipuedes, get lost among those narrow streets I love. But in the Old dock there is a place that I love from where you can see the sea and the lighthouse. It gives me strength, like the sunset on the beach of Maria Candialis or at the end of the pier New.

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Views from the Baluartin on a foggy day, Cudillero, Asturias, Spain

María Candialis beach

María Candialis beach, Cudillero, Asturias, Spain

Sol de la Blanca at night

Sol de la Blance at night, Cudillero, Asturias, Spain

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The lighthouse at the end of the old pier, Cudillero, Asturias, Spain

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The intricate, beautiful, and mysterious alleyways near Sol de la Blanca, Cudillero, Asturias, Spain

 

 

If you’ve been away for a while, what is the first thing you see, smell, and hear that lets you know you’re home?

The sea, the seagulls, the smell of the kitchens of the houses and the fried fish fresh out of its many restaurants.

 

If someone visits Cudillero, what’s the one experience you wish the people took away from your town?

The experience of feeling at home in an authentic place with history and traditions that make you want to return; and that the people are very nice and makes you feel at ease.

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Thank you so much Ana for answering my questions and helping me so much. I’m so glad I found you. You are truly a sister across the ocean.

And you’ll be able to read more about Ana in Falling for Sacrifice. I gave her a bit of recognition and turned her into a character. You can read all about Miss Ana Alvarez, the legal aide in Falling for Sacrifice coming August 30!

 

 

 

En Español

¿Cuánto tiempo has vivido en Cudillero? Cuéntame sobre tu conexión con la ciudad.

He vivido casitoda mi vidad en Cudillero. Nací aquí y excepto algunos periodos como los años de Universidad, o por causas de trabajo siempre he estado muy unidad a mi pueblo. Además toda mi familia es de este pueblo, generaciones y generaciones . Por parte de mi madre marineros , armadores y pixuetas (nombre de los habitantes de Cudillero), amas de casa , vendedoras de pescado, trabajadoras de fábricas de conserva. Por parte de mi padre boticarios , maestros , marineros, boticarias , maestras, tonelero, escritores, … todos del concejo que aunque no vivieran aquí toda su vida siempre volvían y mantenía su arraigo.

 

¿Cuál es la parte más fascinante de la historia que has aprendido sobre tu ciudad?

Cudillero es un pequeño pueblo del norte de España, tiene siglos de historia, él y sus alrededores . Pero quizás su fundación misteriosa, dicen que fue fundado por normandos o habitantes del norte de Europa que huían de los vikingos, o por los mismo vikingos que buscaban un lugar escondido y seguro donde ocultarse. Antes ya había castros romanos en los altos que lo rodean cono el Monte de Santa Ana o Castro, incluso la población donde se encuentran los apartamentos se llama Aroncés que viene de Aras del César.

También os puede interesar que algunos de los barcos que se hicieron para la conquista de la Florida eran de aquí, como muchos de los marineros que fueron . El adelantado de la Florida, D. Pedro Menendez era de Avilés , a 20km de Cudillero, y su familia materna era de mi pueblo así que se aseguró de ir con los marineros expertos(aquí se les llama “lobos de mar”) de la villa pixueta. Los marineros de Cudillero tieneen fama de haber sido de los mejores de Europa.

 

¿Qué sensación tienes cuando entras a la ciudad?

La de estar en casa, donde estoy segura. También nostalgia. Cuando yo era pequeña el mundo era diferente, mi peblo conservaba el paisaje y la gente de las familias que han vivido aquí durante siglos y todos nos conocíamos. Por lo menos y aún sigue siendo así , me conoce todo el mundo , con lo Bueno y lo malo que conlleva eso. Pero me gustaba hablar y escuchar a la gente mayor , a los ancianos, eran como el puente a otra época. Auténticos. Al fin y al cabo un pueblo lo hacen sus gentes.

 

¿Qué es lo que más le gusta: conversar con los lugareños o conocer a los turistas?

Las dos cosas, como te dije antes, hablar con la gente mayor siempre es un descubrimiento y los marineros viejos te van a dar la predicción meteorológica más fiable del mundo. Jajaja

Hablar con los turistas también me gusta, se sorprenden por todo, las costumbres, la construcciones, la historia,…

 

¿Qué edificio o “lugar” es tu favorito en Cudillero?

Callejear me encanta por las caleas intrincadas,  Sol de la Banca, El Contorno, El Baluartín , la Balconada, el Canto , Salsipuedes, perderme entre esas calles estrechas me encanta. Pero en el muelle Viejo hay un lugar que me encanta , desde donde se ve la mar y el faro. Me da fuerza, al igual que la puesta de sol en la playa de Maria candialis, al final del muelle Nuevo.

 

Si has estado fuera por un tiempo, ¿qué es lo primero que ves, hueles y oyes que te deja saber que estás en casa?

La mar, las gaviotas, el olor de las cocinas de las casas y el de los fritos de pescado fresco saliendo de sus muchos restauroantes.

 

 

Si alguien visita Cudillero, ¿cuál es la única experiencia que desearía que la gente se llevara de su pueblo?

La experiencia de sentirse en casa, en un lugar auténtico, con historia y tradiciones al que querer volver porque la gente es muy maja y  te hace sentir a gusto.

 

 

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Muchas gracias Ana por responder mis preguntas y ayudarme mucho. Estoy tan feliz por haberte encontrado. Eres una verdadera hermana al otro lado del océano.

Y podrás leer más sobre Ana en Falling for Sacrifice. Le di un poco de reconocimiento y la convertí en un personaje. ¡Puede leer todo sobre la Srta. Ana Álvarez, la asistente legal en Falling for Sacrifice el 30 de agosto!

 

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Where Were You When…

Two very important world events will be happening in the next two days: The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the end of Once Upon a Time (okay, so one huge world event and one series finale that’s very important to me.) If you know anything about me, you know that I am super excited to experience both, but then that started me thinking… when we think of tragic events everyone seems to ask – where were you when such and such happened? But instead of focusing on negative events like assassinations, terrorism, or accidents, let’s see if we can remember some happy events.

 

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Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s Wedding

“I, Diana Frances, take thee Phillip Charles Arthur George…”

Just like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, I was enthralled as a young girl (very young) over his mother and father, Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding. I was six, I believe, and my mother had gone on and on about this real life prince and princess getting married. I was already a very imaginative and romantic child, using the sheer curtains in the living room as a wedding veil when I’d play pretend, so of course I was excited to see a real royal wedding. I remember it was a hot day and my mom had spread a sheet on the floor, since we had a shag carpet and it was cooler, and plopped my sisters and I in front of the television set. The princess bride was gorgeous, the prince was doofy but handsome in his blue royal suit. I loved it and since then, I don’t think there’s been a royal wedding I’ve missed from Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, to Prince William and Catherine Middleton–where I shared my royal wedding fascination with my son and “daughter” Princess Ellie (may she rest in peace).

 

 

Classic Television Show Endings

“I’m sorry, we’re closed.”

I may not remember the ends of super classic shows like The Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, or Little House on the Prairie, but I clearly was present for shows in my generation ending, like Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, Smallville and a bunch of others. Sometimes those final shows are awesome. Smallville, for instance, finally had our young Clark Kent that we had seen grow up finally don the red cape and save the day in a super suit. I shot off the bed, jumping up and down since I thought for sure they’d never show Tom Welling in the suit. Even still, we didn’t get much of a glimpse, but it was enough for me.

Some shows have had stupid endings like Seinfeld where everyone went to jail for all the narcissistic things they caused of the run of the series. They could’ve done better. Cheers too, it was so boring all sitting around the bar contemplating the meaning of life. Zzzzzz… The only thing I liked was Sam turning off the lights and telling the customer outside that they were closed. Great line, but very lack luster ending.

Friends though, oh boy. I cried. Those six people I watched every week were my friends and to watch them grow over the years into relationships and families of their own touched my heart. Then to have Monica and Chandler move away and everyone turn in their key was just heartwarming. I have a feeling my precious Once Upon a Time will be that way. From the way the actors on social media have been posting, it seems like this final episode will be bittersweet. Once has meant so much to me from the moment it aired too, so I know I will be sobbing whether it’s a good episode or not. I don’t want to see it go.

 

 

First Independence Day After 9/11

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night with the light from above

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Yeah, yeah, so it’s not some big historic moment, but it definitely was important and I know exactly what I was doing. After 9/11 our country was in chaos and depressed – not economically, but as a mood. No one wanted to laugh at first, no one wanted to be adventurous. There was a heaviness to the nation and I know I had felt it. But that first Independence Day, July 4th, 2002, I will remember well. Jon and I had moved to Solana Beach, California from Tierrasanta, which is on the coast, north of San Diego. We lived on this hillside overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds, and the Pacific Ocean. We knew there were going to be fireworks shot off after the P!nk concert going on, so we (and most of the neighborhood) started setting up chairs overlooking the grounds down below. We couldn’t see the concert, but we could definitely hear it and when it was over, P!nk sang some patriotic tunes as the fireworks burst almost eye level with us on top of the hill. It was magical. I remember leaning on Jon’s shoulder at one point tearing because it was such a perfect moment to celebrate the first American birthday after such a tragic event shook our world. He knew I am a huge patriotic sap, and wrapped his arms around me, sharing in the moment.

 

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President Obama’s Inauguration

“We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin…”

Politics aside (and I don’t want to read them in the comments either), Barack Obama being elected to the presidency was an extremely historical moment: The first black person to hold the highest role in the country.

As a nation we unfortunately have slavery in our past. I am not proud of this. To me it’s a deep scar in our history and it shouldn’t be forgotten, but learned from so the same mistakes should never be made again. What our black ancestors went through was disgusting; how they were treated, how they were abused… and for what, because their skin is a different color? Seriously, beyond disgusting and it fires me up to no end. So to see how far people of this ethnicity have risen to such high powers makes me extremely proud.

The morning of President Obama’s inauguration I was in Springfield, IL, working for a company where the people weren’t too tolerant. In fact, some were down right ignorant, asking why I wanted to watch, since I was white. As if it shouldn’t matter to me since I’m not his same race. I remember shaking my head and fuming inside at the audacity of such a thought. I was so proud and here these people were ruining it. Anyway, I asked to take a long lunch so I could see the inauguration and witness the swearing in of our first black president. I came home and watched with chills gathering on my arms. The historical significance not lost on what was happening. I think I may have even shed a tear or two. Like I said above, politics aside, it was a beautiful moment in American history, seeing President Obama take on his new role.

 

Berlin Wall Coming Down

“Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall.”

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I specifically remember being in an elementary school assembly watching a movie about an East German family flying a hot air balloon over the Berlin Wall into West Germany to be reunited with the rest of their family. It was called Night Crossing, as I just looked it up, and I went home that night after watching it and asked my parents if it was a real story. That was the first time I heard about the Berlin Wall. Even as a child the story about the Berlin Wall effected me. How could families be separated and kept from each other like that? So fast forward to when I was in high school and I remember watching television in my parents’ bedroom when the show was interrupted with news that the wall was being torn down. There I watched as people were standing on top of this graffitied wall with pick axes, striking the concrete and breaking off pieces and panels of the wall that kept them separated from freedom. They were joyous and celebrating, crying for the freedom they’d been bestowed.

To this day, every time I hear President Reagan’s famous quote shown above, I smile and get those historic chills running up and down my arms and legs. What a privilege it was to have witnessed such an event.

 

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I could go on and on, but I’ve already written a short story here. So it’s your turn. In the comments below or back on any of my social media posts, tell me what some of your positive memories are from historic and/or world events?  

 

 

An Open Look at Anxiety

Time to some is just a minute on a clock. To others it’s a guide; and to others still, it’s a prison. I am one of those people who feel like I’m in a time prison when anxiety hits me like a torrential rain storm. Some of you may know, and other may not, but I suffer from panic attacks and bouts of anxiety. I don’t like it– I hate it, in fact, and wouldn’t wish on anyone. I do feel the need to talk about it today so maybe it helps someone else in desperate need to find answers.

I have a phobia, I have fears, and worries that plague me almost on a daily basis. I never stop thinking. Sometimes I can curb the madness and throw myself in work or family and those days are the very best. I feel like there are more of those than the anxious days, but if I’m being honest, they’re probably a 60/40 ratio (60% going to the better days). I’d love it if the anxiety side was a lower number and that is why I’ve taken the reins and gone to therapy to help learn why the anxiety comes on as often as it does.

When I first began going to therapy, I thought my only problem was anxiety that stemmed from my phobia of being sick to my stomach. I can’t even call it the real word when talking about it. I have to use a word that doesn’t specifically mean being stomach sick; I have to use a word that has another meaning like the word hurl. Hurl means the bad thing, and it also means to throw something – like a ball. And even after using a non-specific word, I still just say H, to further distance myself from it.  Anyhow, it’s a deep fear and it sets off panic attacks pretty badly.  These attacks then somehow get turned into the time prison I mentioned above. If I’m panicking, I start thinking about how long until this or that? How much sleep do I need to get before I’m supposed to be up for work? How long is my work shift? If I’m panicking on a trip, how long are we in the car/plane for ? But mostly, I think how long has it been since I or my son was last sick? Is there a long enough buffer zone from the last time to have trust in our stomachs? Or, oh no, it’s coming up on one week, one month, one year, five years, ten years, since some H’ed ? If I can get through those time prisons I can make it through the attack. At least that’s my thinking. Yeah, time is not my friend when attacks hit.

I would really like to know where this stems from and perhaps one day, I’ll figure it out. Until that day comes, I will try to do what my therapist says and ask the question WHY? Why am I feeling this way? Why is my brain taking me down this road? Why am I feeling nauseous or shaky or upset? Why don’t I want to work? Why don’t I want to move? Asking why, helps me logically think about why I’m feeling the way I am and how I can break free. So far it works. I’ve stopped a handful of panic attacks by asking why and focusing on the logic behind why my attacks are coming on.

Another method I try is the good, old favorite distraction method of finding a place I can go to where time doesn’t exist and bliss was forever. For me that would be on a beach somewhere listening to the ocean and seagulls with a cool breeze lapping my sun-kissed skin; my husband and son playing not too far away. Their laughter lingers on the air while I write stories to my heart’s desire. Ahh, my anxiety free, happy place of peace.

All in all, it’s hard for me to admit my faults (and yes, I see them as faults even thought I can’t help it – still working on that one too), but I do hope that writing this might help someone else in need of answers they are struggling to find. Anxiety is an individual affliction, but know you are not alone in the fight. I’m there too and together we can work on eliminating the prison where find ourselves trapped. We can break through.

 

 

 

 

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If you have found this during a panic attack and are looking for a place of peace, I hope you’ve found it. You are not alone. You are not trapped. I know what you are going through, and I pray that you will get through this bleak moment. You are strong. You will be free. Breathe. Relax. Go to my happy place if you’d like… there’s room for you and your family or friends or pets too.

If you are religious, God is with you. He won’t let you be alone either. Focus on Him. If you aren’t religious, consider searching your soul for God, a spirit that can guide you. God doesn’t have to be a strict religion in a church with rules. He’s a father, He’s love, He’s comfort. He’s in your heart. Trust Him. Trust yourself. You are stronger than you think you are. You’ve got this. Breathe.

Living Here, There, and In-Between

Aside from the state where I was born during my father’s stint in the United States Army, I’ve lived in three different states: Connecticut, California, and Illinois. Each place more drastically different from the other. I thought today, I’d go through some of  what I liked and disliked about living in these regions.

CONNECTICUT

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Brookfield, Connecticut

I grew up in Connecticut, in the tiny, semi-pretentious town of Brookfield. Where it’s a gorgeous place to live all year around with it’s lush green woodlands, rolling hills, and babbling brooks. It’s also a place I never felt a part of. I moved to this tiny town when I was 8 and by then, all the kids had spent the first 4 years of school together. I was an outsider, and I suppose I felt that way until I was 24 and when I moved out of my childhood home. I did end up finding friends and having some beautiful memories with them, but the once out-going, out-spoken little girl who danced around the grocery stores in costumes in the next town over before moving, I became the quiet one, not ruffling any feathers, not fighting for things I wanted. I simply retreated in my own little world and that’s where I stayed. I was a very lonely person who just wanted to find my place in the world, and hopefully someone to share it with me.

 

CALIFORNIA

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San Diego, California – La Jolla Cove

 

After college, I had to get out of the tininess of Connecticut and drove 3,000 miles to San Diego, California for the next stage of my life. I wanted to find myself, my career, and hopefully someone I could share love with there. In the sun and the surf, I soaked up every drop of California, from it’s amazing weather to it’s rocking night life and everything in between. I lived not too far from the photo above and worked at a little cafe that delivered to places all along the cove. Gorgeous did not begin explain how incredible it was to see sights like these every single day…and this was the first place I lived in Cali. I also was able to live in a 1920s studio apartment right downtown, in the mountains and canyons of eastern San Diego, and on the coast 6 miles from the ocean in Solana Beach. Each part of the city was more beautiful than the next. Even more than the beauty of the city, I met the man who shares my soul. I remember once walking into my bedroom with the sea breeze of the Pacific wafting through my apartment and thinking, “this is a dream and I never want to wake up.”
But with every delicious high of living in California there were a few downsides too. There’s the obvious downside of traffic… oh my gosh, it’s awful there! The anxiety I used to have driving to work was outrageous. Distance wise – I lived 15 miles away, but traffic wise – it took me upwards of 90 minutes to get there.

Then there was the cut-throatedness of the people. Whether I was in law school and having someone befriend me only for my notes, or a boss that was nice to my face but telling corporate crap about me behind my back, it was a tough world to live in. Let’s just say I learned a lot of valuable lessons about trust over there.

I also learned that the right people mean everything. If I thought living in Connecticut was lonely, I was wrong. I, at least, had my family. In California, I had no one for that first year. At one point, I called my friend, who lived 2 hours away in Los Angeles, and asked if we could meet half way just for some real human contact. She felt the same way and we did exactly that, giving each other a hug in Irvine, California because we both needed one.

At least the loneliness went away before I left, as well as finding out what I wanted from life and someone to share it with me. The traffic never died though.

 

ILLINOIS

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Bloomington, Illinois

 

While I lived in California, my parents and most of my sisters moved to Illinois. Jon (my then fiancé, now husband) wanted to go back to school and it just wasn’t feasible in California, since it meant we’d have only one full-time job to support us both. So we moved to Illinois. Boy did it take a while to get used to this place. Nothing prepared me for the Midwest. It’s a slower pace, flat, and a little behind in style, fashion, and dare I say it – education. (Sorry, Illinoisans, I don’t mean all of you. There are many highly intelligent residents of the state – I’ll explain in a bit what I mean by the lack of education.)  The first city we lived in was Springfield, and dear Lord, that is the sinkhole of the United States. The only memory that will keep me proud of Springfield is having my son there.

The biggest problem I had with Springfield is the racism (which brings us back to the lack of education in the smaller, more rural outskirts of the city). Both of my sisters were abused verbally and physically by kids at their school for being a different race other than their own blonde hair, blue eyed, Anglo-Saxon world. My husband, who is Korean, and I encountered some of this too, bumping into a kid at the grocery store who spun around, pointed to Jon and said, “Look mom, a foreigner.” The mother didn’t correct her son, just agreed with him, and walked on, leaving Jon and I staring at them like two wide-mouth bass.

Needless to say, we did not want to raise our son in Springfield and before he entered elementary school, we moved to Bloomington. What a night and day difference! The culture in Bloomington is vastly different, and I am so proud of this community. Every race is welcome and celebrated with open arms.

I’m happy to say that this is a town I love. I have my family, a career I love, and beauty all around us. Sure it’s not the rolling hills and lush woodlands of Connecticut, nor the sand and surf of California, but we have exhilarating storms, sunsets with colors I can’t begin to describe, and fields of green and gold as far as the eye can see all summer long.

All in all, I am a big fan of being an explorer. If you don’t know what you want to do in your life, go out and find it. Try different places, visit, travel, and treat your life like an adventure. Through it you never know, you might find exactly what you are looking for.

Feedback Needed

Good morning all! This is just a short blog today to get back into gear of writing weekly pieces, and I’d love some feedback from you.

I love to write. I write articles that mean things to me, such as: justice, history, every day heroes, every day stories and experiences. I also write short stories and some fan fiction here and there, but what kinds of things do you like to read? What would you like to read from me? What would you like to see less of?

Send me a note in the comments or on any of my social media platforms.

My Facebook and Twitter links are on the right sidebar… just click and go.

I also have Instagram and Tumblr with the handle @novelisterynlaplant

Thanks for all your help. Your support means so much to me.

 

 

Happy Endings…Happy Beginnings…

A Norman Rockwell ending to the first book of Once Upon A Time.

As a little girl, I was in imaginary land all the time. I was a Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wendy Darling, Dorothy Gale and I never grew out of it. I loved fairy tales – they are probably a good reason why I became an author! I’ve watched all the movies, plays, tv shows (side note: remember Faerie Tale Theatre with Shelley Duvall, and that cheesy sitcom called The Charmings – yeah, I watched them.) So from the moment I saw the first commercial for Once Upon A Time I knew it was going to be perfect.

Every week I fell in love with the stories and characters. They have been my solace, my joy, my time away from life every Sunday. And as this amazing 6 year chapter ends and a brand new chapter begins in October with new cast members, I will hold dear these last years of going through the journey these characters have been on. I’m not heartbroken…but to me it feels like the end of high school and graduation. I know college will be exciting, but it will be a world of change. Some of my friends will stay and some will move away, just like Once. I will miss Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared Gilmore, Rebecca Mader, and Emilie deRavin completely, but I am so ecstatic Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, and my all-time favorite Colin O’Donoghue will be staying to continue the story.

Thank you Once Upon A Time for your stories, your message of hope, and all the beautiful friends I’ve met along the way. This show will be with me forever.

I cannot wait to see what the new chapter brings!

PS If you Once creators ever want to hire me on as a writer, I’m always available! 😉

My 50 Favorite Words (and 10 least favorite)

As a writer, I am a lover of words. Not just words strung together to make a sentence and eventually a story, but the actual word. There are SO many beautiful, fun, and interesting words in the English language and I’d like to share my favorites with you, broken into 5 categories. I’d love it, too, if you shared some of your favorite words with me as well.

 

Beautiful Words

These are words that sound beautiful rolling off the tongue and have exquisite meaning to go along with them.

Dalliance – A brief love affair

Dulcet – Sweet, sugary.  * One of my favorite lines in a old romance entitled The Princess by Jude Deveraux has this word it in it. “If it isn’t the dulcet tones of my royal wife.” The story was about a US solider forced to marry a Eastern European princess he hated.

Eloquence – Beauty and persuasion in speech

Gossamer – The finest piece of thread; a spider’s silk

Idyllic – Perfect, extremely pleasant.  * I learned this one from the 90s tv show, Lois and Clark, The New Adventures of Superman. Dean Cain, always had the best million dollar vocabulary.

Labyrinth – Twisting and turning. *Doesn’t it even sound mysterious?

Lilt – To move or speak musically. *I always think of the Scottish or Irish accents as being Liltish.

Petulant – Moody. *Another favorite from Lois and Clark.

Quintessential – Classic model.

Serendipity – Finding someone while looking for someone else.

 

 

Fun to Say Words

Give them a try. These are some of my all-time favorites to say aloud.

Bon Mot – A clever, witty remark or comment. *I learned this one last winter from my current favorite tv show Once Upon a Time, when the Evil Queen finally called Captain Hook by his actual first name instead of one of her constant bon mots (:30 mark – ps. ignore Hook’s aggression, he was cursed.)

Cacophony – A collection of various sounds all at once. *This one is often listed as an ugly word, but I think it’s gorgeous, and it’s so fun to say.

Coddiwomple – To travel with purpose toward a vague destination. *”Go West, young man.”

Discombobulate – To confuse or discontent, upset, frustrate.

Hemophiliac – A person with genetic disorders that don’t allow blood to clot.  *This always reminds me Grand Russian family, the Romanovs. The youngest son, Nicolas II was a hemophiliac

Maneuver – A planned and regulated movement.

Onomatopoeia – A words that sounds like it means, ex. Clink, Bang, Whoa.

Paradoxical – Having a nature of paradox, self-contradictory.

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Sepulveda Boulevard – A street name in Los Angeles, CA. * Okay, so this is just a personal favorite. It’s so fun to say out loud. It just rolls flawlessly off the tongue.

Vilipend – to regard or treat as little value.

 

 

Words You Didn’t Know There Were Words For

Who knows what that dangly thing is in the back of our throats? Or what the dot on top of the letter I is? (which subsequently are Uvula and Tittle.) There are plenty more words out there that I didn’t even know there were words for, and here’s a list of some of the better ones.

Agelast – Someone who never laughs. *And in turn, someone I would either not want to meet or would do my best to try and make them laugh.

Algedonic – Something both painful and pleasurable. *Ooh!

Mauerbauertraurigkeit – The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who like you. * I’m pretty sure you’ll meet a person like this in my upcoming novel Falling for Hope. Keep an eye out, her name is Lucy.

Odium – Widespread hatred or digest for someone

Petrichor – The way it smells after the rain. *Or right now, if you live in Illinois.

Philtrum – The vertical groove between the upper lip and nose.

Pogonotrophy – The growing and grooming of facial hair.

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Sockdolager – A decisive retort, ex. A mic drop.

Torpefy – Make someone numb or paralyzed.

Vellichor Strange wistfulness of being inside a used bookshop.

 

 

The Best British Wordsengland-clip-art-free-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-rb6xuz-clipart

Our mother nation, The United Kingdom, has some of the best words, that both mean and sound amazing…especially when they say them in their seemingly proper sounding dialect. And being that my series Falling for Heroes is based around a British family, I have become quite familiar with many of these.

Arse-over-tits – To fall over; to be clumsy. * Gosh, how I love the Brits!

Bangers & Mash – A popular dish of sausages and mashed potatoes.

Bloody – Adds vehement to curses and phrases. ex. Oh bloody hell!

Bollocks – In short, balls. But it’s usually said as in the way Americans say, Damnit!

Bugger – A jerk. Or to go away, if you add off to it. ex. Bugger off, will ya?

Cheeky – Impudent in an amusing way

Fancy – To like someone, or would like something. ex. Fancy a pint? *A personal favorite.

Knackered – Tired

Peckish – Hungry

Rubbish – Garbage, or something untrue. ex. There’s nothing but rubbish in that tabloid.

 

 

Ugly Words

As an added bonus, these words both sound gross, as well as usually mean something unsavory to go along with it. How many of these do you agree with it?

Capitulate – To give in

Coitus – Sexual intercourse between a man and woman

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Fluid – A substance capable of flowing. ex. a liquid.

Lubricant – A substance, like oil or grease, used to lessen friction.

Manipulate – To manage or influence in a skillful, unfair manner.

Moist – Moderately damp. *Does anyone like this word?? I don’t think so.

Ointment – A soft, oily preparation often medicinal for application to the skin.

Regurgitate – To rush back from where it came.

Unctuous – The characteristic of oily, fatty, or greasy. *Funny, how most of these have to do with being oily and greasy. Like it’s a perquisite for a those types of words to be gross.

 

I’d love to hear some of you favorite, or least favorite words in the comments! I could always add some more awesome words to my mental list!

 

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