Month: March 2017

Why I Hate Giving Presents

I really hate giving gifts…no I despise giving gifts. It stresses me out to no end and it’s not because I don’t know how to think unique or read a person well enough to know what they’d like, it’s because the receiving parties can be somewhat of a b*tch. This has literally been my experience most of my life from my prepubescent period well into adulthood.

Doing gift exchanges at school were horrible because kids are mean and didn’t hold back when it came to insulting you. Not that they bought better gifts but they weren’t taught to appreciate and be grateful when receiving something. I however would’ve gotten a book on my head if I had shown any facial expressions that betrayed my gratitude when I received a gift. It’s just how I was raised.

I’d simply like to advise anyone who has a hard time giving gifts to difficult people to just not buy anything at all. A better option to go with is a bottle of wine around the holidays(if you do drink, I don’t) or something baked, or a board game for the entire family. Hell for birthdays give ’em a darn card. You might think me crass but I have good reason. I still do try to give gifts but it wrecks on my nerve thinking of how the person will receive it.

My reasons to hold this anti-gift giving campaign are shared below.

  1. Some people are just critical of everything. Even if they loved the gift, they don’t want to seem too enthusiastic so they’ll knock it a little bit. I am yet to understand everything about the way a human mind processes things.
  2. My gift didn’t cost enough. When I was in high school obviously I didn’t have a job and in the nineties and early 2000s things didn’t cost a lot so my allowance was near nil. They used to have these $10-$20 stores that sold a variety of gift items so I utilized what little I had tried to buy something small for everyone and by everyone I mean my closest family. I think that year, one cousin along with my siblings had something to say about the cost of their gifts. One gift even got left in my house because the person really didn’t care for it, or for my feelings. In my mid-teens it soiled whatever zeal I had for giving gifts out of the goodness of my heart.
  3. My gift wasn’t cool enough. Well obviously if you’re not super close to someone, you won’t know how to personalize a gift so you’ll generalize it. For example, socks or perfume. Well I saw the message loud and clear on their faces so I crossed them off my list. 🙂
  4. One gift isn’t enough. That sentence speaks for itself.
  5. My gift was given away. Can I just say that this happened more than once? Yes, it did. A decade and a half ago, I tried to save up to buy a silver bracelet for my friend. I wasn’t working and it was indeed difficult to ask my parents for it. I was excited that for the first time I was buying jewelry for someone and a bit costly so maybe they’d appreciate it. Well I was met by a nonchalant demeanor. The person wasn’t in the least bit enthusiastic or grateful. They just acted like they were too cool to receive a gift…..a gift that was hard to afford. A few weeks later, I saw my friend’s brother wearing it. Imagine my teenage heart being crushed!

Some people have a difficult time showing appreciation and gratitude as they feel it will make them somewhat less strong. I’ve also observed that some people wield large quantities of pride, and sometimes their ago might get in the way. All of this affects the way a person responds to receiving anything, not just presents but help or advice.

Thank you for reading!

xo Coffee Doll.

Having Your Kids Close In Age

Let me just start by saying I am in no way qualified to advise anyone on how to plan their lives. Whatever I post on my blog is either taken from experiences or my bottomless brain. In no shape or form is my opinion meant to disrespect anyone.

Now that we’ve got that covered…

This morning I saw a post somewhere on social media(I choose not to name or specify) about reasons to have your kids close in age and it was of a sarcastic and entertaining nature albeit some truth bombs were dropped. I’ve been planning to write about the downside of having kids close in age and by downside I don’t mean anything bad towards our little ones. It’s just overwhelming for people in different situations. This post is focused on the plus side of having kids close in age.

  1. They play together. I think this is the one we all look forward too. We want to get some things around the house done or cook a meal, even drink a cup of coffee in peace. When they enjoy each other’s company, you can get a minute or two to function elsewhere. It’s also a beautiful thing for me to experience because the age gaps between me and my siblings are a decade plus. Although my kids get into little fights over this or that I truly see and enjoy the camaraderie between them.
  2. They go to school together. When they are around the same age bracket eventually everyone will be in school within a few years of each other. If you plan on going back to work after all of your children are in school this might be easier than having to take leave from your job during the larger age gaps.
  3. They enjoy similar things. Both my kids think Chuck-e-Cheese is the greatest place on Earth (It’s really Target btw) and I’ve often felt like we hit two birds with one stone going there. Both kids have the time of their lives. I remember being dragged somewhere that wasn’t interesting to me when I was younger and I do feel like it’s something that’ll probably drive me crazy having to choose which kid to please on a particular day.
  4. I want to date my husband. My husband and I are the only caretakers that our children have and because of this, it’s hard to go on a date or get some alone time. I do feel like when the kids grow up together, we’ll eventually be able to do couple things again without having to worry about a younger child at home.
  5. I want to get rid of the baby stuff. After I had my first child, I knew right away I wanted another one, it was just a matter of time. After the second one, however, I didn’t feel the same. I knew that I was done having kids for the most part. My youngest is just shy of two and I cannot wait for her to be potty trained, I cannot wait to get rid of the last set of baby toys, items and clothes. One thing I had to do after the first baby was clutter my life to hold onto things that I’d have to use with a second child.

As always, thank you for reading and if you share any thoughts on the topic, feel free to drop me a line in the comments. Also, Have a great weekend 🙂

xo Coffee Doll

The Challenges of Writing Romance

I enjoy both reading, and writing in the romantic genre. I think my obsessions with a good romance started at an early age. The first trigger was Indian movies which I looked at quite a bit because of my mother and most of them were centered around romances. For some reason the library at my high school carried Mills and Boon novels and I fell into that very quickly. My fifteen year-old mind went places, if you know what I mean. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mills and Boons, they are a set of romantic books published by it’s parent company, Harlequin Enterprises. Most of what I read was set in a historical period and till date I enjoy reading romances set in the far past. Not everyone enjoys romances or its sub genres but I do. I love a happy ending, flawed characters that grow, the essence of drama and love. I love it all. One of my favorite authors as an adult is actually Nora Roberts. She’s my hero when it comes to reading romance. Her books usually have strong characters and suspense or a little mystery so it dramatizes very well.

And because I enjoy this genre so much, a lot of ideas or plots that take birth in my head end up materializing into a romantic story. I have plotted and outlined so many of these romantic story lines and even though I can almost always see the ending, it’s hard to complete. It may seem like an easier genre to write compared to sci-fi, fantasy or crime fiction but it comes with it’s own challenges. If you run into similar problems or have any input, please feel free to drop me a line in the comments.

  1. Creating subplots. The template for most romance stories are similar. Boy meets girl or girl meets boy and they instantly click or click over time. The thing that would separate your story from another writer’s story is your subplots. Both or one of the main characters will need an issue to resolve.
  2. Repetition. Romances are a difficult genre to write because much of what we fantasize or dream about has already been written. It’s unnerving when you question every dialogue, every scene.
  3. Creating Interesting Characters. The earlier romances that I read had weaker female characters who suddenly came into thier own after finding love. In more recent times we see stronger female characters. I often find I write bland characters and need to make them do something drastic or have an annoying quality to appear more engaging to a reader.
  4. The Problem & Climax. Every book, romance or not needs a problem in order to reach the climax. The problem needs to be engaging and convincing enough for readers to want to get to the climax. I’m left doubting my work more than I would like to. The climax also has to be a suiting one. For example, not all love stories have a happily ever after ending. It all comes down to the fear I have of disappointing readers. I’ll talk more about that in a separate post why that’s not a great idea.
  5. Simple love or sexy love. When it comes to writing erotica, I’m still having a hard time. I am uncomfortable with writing intimate details, for the fact that I won’t allow my parents to read something with adult content. I’m also a sucker for back in the day romances…you know the kind with love letters and chivalry. It’s difficult when I sit down to write and all that’s playing in my head is “Clean or dirty.” I wish so many stories didn’t call for it, unfortunately it does.

Thank you for reading! xo Coffee Doll

Why I Started Blogging?

I’ve transferred my blog to WordPress in January of this year and started uploading content on it a bit more frequently than I did in the last three years. Yesterday I saw that I had reached fifty subscribers and I was completely bowled over. Fifty subscribers may not seem like much to a successful blogger but it means a great deal to me. When I had my first view, first subscriber and first comment, I felt the same…and that’s a feeling I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

Why, you may ask. It’s simple. Writing is my passion…writing anything, and I am grateful even if I have one reader. I initially started blogging as a way to express myself freely, something I cannot do on social media. My opinions, thoughts and personality is always misconstrued on social media. Everyone gets offended by something even though it has nothing to do with them. Nobody respects anyone’s right to believe or think what they want anymore.

Blogging also gives my writing the longevity and archiving that it needs. I really wanted to write self-helping posts for people who were mainly dealing with depression, loneliness. I’ve dealt a great deal with depression and unhappiness when I was younger and I felt that maybe if I told my stories or shed light on the topic it might help someone else in the same situation.

As time progressed I wanted to write more…about relationships, parenting, lifestyle, books and all of that good stuff and I’m particularly better at writing down my thoughts than saying them to someone so I incorporated all of that into my blog. About two years ago, I started writing again. This time I went for constructed stories written in a novel format instead of poetry here and there, and shorter stories. So now writing is a big portion of what I have planned for my blog as well.

My main goal in taking this blog further is to help people, even if only to bring a smile to their faces. It’s similar to video blogging your life. In this case scenario I write about my journey…

XO

Nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine blogger award

 

I have been nominated by the awesome Pocket Treasure’s Blog for The Sunshine Blogger Award, and I’m a excited about this to be honest. I feel like I’m part of something cool hehe. Blogging is something dear to me and the fact that I get to interact with amazing bloggers makes me happy. I’m am just grateful for the fact that people read my content. It’s my first time really understanding what this award is all about. So here are the rules:

  • First you have to thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and create a link so that it can take you to their blog.
  • Answer the questions provided by the person who nominated you. I’m not sure if it’s a set total of 11 questions but that’s how many I got so that’s what I’ll follow.
  • Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and create 11 questions for them to answer.
  • State the rules and use the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

The Pocket Treasure’s Blog questions and my answers

  1. Who inspires you?  –  I don’t think I can take one name as I’m inspired by a lot of amazing people, and their achievements. It drives me to get up everyday and keep pushing forward. If I must narrow it down, I’ll say recently the likes of J.K. Rowling & Stephen King. I’d love to be a published writer one day and their rise to success definitely helps me with my creative struggle.
  2. What would you like to be remembered as? – A writer, a teller of amazing stories.
  3. What would you like to do which is totally outside your comfort zone? – Drive…yes I know, how strange. I get anxiety behind the wheel and I’m not sure I have the correct attention span for it but I’m hoping one day I can be able to do it without breaking a sweat.
  4. What things can you not live without? – I dislike being attached to things but if I must say, I’d choose my Kindle. Books are my escape and I need to take it with me everywhere.
  5. What’s your favorite book? – I often think about it and when I’m asked, I can’t remember. It would be unfair and very difficult to choose. I like the way a certain author writes. Anne Rice, Dan Brown, Nora Roberts…you see there’s tonnes and yet I can’t recall names with just one cup of measly coffee. 
  6. What is your favorite quote that you live by? – Lately it’d have to be C’est la vie, although I’m not sure it’s a proper quote but as I get older I feel like there’s only so much control you have over the negative things in life and you just have to accept that’s life and move on. No sense dwelling on it.
  7. . If you were the president of America, what one thing would you change? – I would make education and health care free or less costly.
  8. What would you say to your younger self? – Don’t place faith in others, learn to stand on your own.
  9. What’s your favorite comfort food? – I don’t have a lot of sweets being diabetic and all…I love chicken noodle soup, and a good falafel sandwich.
  10. What makes your day instantly better? – Hugs and kisses from my kids. 
  11. What thing do you miss doing as a kid? I miss freedom…no responsibilities.

 

I’m not sure who all has been nominated for this award yet so I don’t want to double nominate. I will leave 11 questions down below and if you happen to pass by my blog and are up for it, you can consider yourself tagged and use the questions below.

My questions are:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. How did you come up with your blog name and why?
  3. What’s one embarrassing experience you had?
  4. What’s do you think is the ideal date night?
  5. Where have you traveled to?
  6. Are you an outdoors person or indoors?
  7. What movie did you love that was based on a book/series series?
  8. Which well-known author do you think is overrated?
  9. What’s your favorite TV Series?
  10. Which fantasy world would you like to live in?
  11. What are your goals for 2017?

One-sided Friendships

According to statistics I don’t have what you would call a real friend. Most of the friendships that I have had in the past appear to be more acquainted in nature. I’ve never had that ride or die, bosom buddy kind of friendship. Nobody’s ever really had my back enough that I can put full faith in them. I used to be a tad bit delusional when I believed that people actually cared.

*This is not meant to be a sappy, sorry-for-myself rant. I thought it may be beneficial to someone who might find themselves in a similar situation…and no, I am not lonely. I have two kids…dear God…I…am…never…alone!*

Earlier on, I might have been disappointed and hurt over other people’s actions towards me but after being put through it time and time again, I’ve grown a thick skin. I’ve come to not put much expectation into people, especially ones that I’ve just met. If you’re ever in a situation that you feel like the inferior one, the one that’s not being paid attention to then you might want to reevaluate such friendships and relationships before they become a toxic thing in your life.

Read on to find out why I’ve decided to chuck a few people out of my life…

  1. You’re always doing them a favor. I find myself on this end of a friendship so much that it sickens me. If you’re always the shoulder to lean on when something fails in their life, or only check up on you when they need something done…then this my friend is a one-sided friendship.
  2. Long periods of no contact. When Life is peachy, your friend is hard to reach. Always busy, or battery dead.
  3. You feel alone. Despite having a “friend” you feel as though they don’t listen to you…hell they might not even know you. They don’t pick up on it if you’re having a bad day or are stressed out and they certainly don’t hear you when you voice your troubles. Unfortunately, you may be the four a.m. friend to call but there is no four a.m. friend for you.
  4. You never hang out. I’ve been in friendships where I never physically see the person. It’s always a call or a text to find out something or ask for something. Bottom line is if they don’t make time for you then you’re not that important.
  5. They never have your back. You know those times where you stand up for someone because you care enough for them….and then there’s those times when said friends couldn’t give a rats ass about what’s being said about you. They’ll listen to gossip, and sometimes encourage it….at this point that’s not even a friend.
  6. They take you for granted. They never express their gratitude or appreciation for you  despite always being there for them. They’ve come to feel entitled to your undivided attention and resources.
  7. You’re always wrong. How dare you counter their incorrect statement with actual evidence? You must be out of your mind.
  8. It’s always your fault. Friendships, like relationships have their own planet of arguments and disputes…but it’s always your fault, isn’t it?
  9. You’re the peacemaker. After an argument, you’re always the one to chuck your feelings out and maintain the peace. They’re never the first to approach you with an apology.
  10. They really don’t care. To them you are unimportant. It doesn’t matter what buttery voice they come at you with next, they simply don’t value you as an individual person with feelings.
  11. You are disposable. When you have that gut feeling that this friend can just drop you at any time and don’t look back….then yeah, you’re probably right about that.

 

xo,Coffee Doll

Hope you guys are having an amazin’ week thus far 🙂

 

Book Review: The Night Bird by Brian Freeman

Full title: The Night Bird (Frost Easton Mystery Book 1)

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

I’m not sure if this book is available in print but I borrowed it on my Kindle through Amazon Prime book borrowing program. Like the title says it’s the first of a series, the titular character being Frost Easton, a detective with the San Francisco Police.

The Night Bird Starts with a girl Lucy riding in the car with her best friend. As traffic gets stuck on the bridge Lucy is somewhat getting paralyzed by her fear of bridges. Meanwhile her best friend freaks out for no reason and jumps of the bridge.

Once Frost Easton starts putting the pieces together, it’s revealed that Dr. Frankie Stein’s patients are being targeted by someone called the night bird. Dr. Stein is a psychiatrist that alters patients’ painful memories, for instance if they have a fear of something or a bad experience. The Night Bird is out for revenge and send them on a wild chase, with a lot of plot twists and turns.

Overall I liked this book and rated it a five, which I rarely ever do. Now it’s not on my top favorites of anything but it was damn good writing. The language flow of the author as well as the story’s pace, details and the way it folded satisfying at the end was just brilliant. I won’t mind reading this author’s work again.

xo

Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

I don’t really have much light to shed on this movie, other than it was just “okay”. I, neither my four year old was wowed by this movie. It was a great adaptation, don’t get me wrong. It was refreshing to see something other than a Cinderella adaptation. The singing was on point, although it had me drifting off. My four year old actually fell also fell asleep thirty minute into the movie but if you really enjoyed the soundtrack of the original animated movie, you won’t be disappointed.

I had a hard time accepting Emma Watson as Belle. Although she’s a brilliant actress, I felt like her facial expressions does not emote Belle of Beauty and the Beast. It’s not something I’d want to look at again. As of now, my kids aren’t into Disney Princesses so finger crossed!

Where Do You Get Your Writing Ideas?

Where do you get your ideas?

Not very often I might be engaged in a conversation with another human, and I might reveal the fact that I write stories. Mostly it won’t be an interesting topic for them and they’ll likely move on but sometimes I get asked, “What do you write about?” My tongue gets caught for a moment because, while I do have a lot of ideas, I have been writing romance for the past year and people react strange when I say this. I’m focused on romance currently because it’s easier to navigate through the story and less research goes into it compared to my fantasy and thriller ideas. Those take quite a bit more planning and may take years to complete.

The question that follows the first one is, “Where do you get your ideas?” or “How do you come up with these ideas?” It seems unnatural to people who don’t see a story in every feature of their day, and sometimes it surprises me. What do non-writers even think about? I don’t know anymore. The moment I made the commitment to become a storyteller, most of my spare thoughts are focused on my characters or plot.

By the time I brush my teeth in the morning I have three or four things to write down that I may or may not use in a story. By the time I drop my kid of to school, I’ve made about ten mental notes to explore with an idea.

My ideas come from everywhere, and everyone. I’ve always been observant about people and the way they are, fascinated by the things they do and what drives them. I don’t judge people based on anything whether it be race, religion, choices…and that’s a plus if you’re a writer because you can explore a character in a non-biased way. I don’t exactly copy anyone’s physical attributes or their demeanor but closely paying attention can help you shape your characters in a relatable way.

Story ideas are always brewing in my head. No process or major thinking goes into the core idea of a story. The hard work comes when the writing starts but plotting the story just happens and it can be triggered by anything. Any thought or action can bear fruit into an idea for a story. It’s how story telling works. If someone pisses you off write about them. If you feel an emotion deeply, use that also in your writing. Anything and everything is part of a story. I have this book that I literally label book idea #1, book idea #2 etc. I’m sure I won’t use all of it, but brainstorming for ideas and plots is one of the best things you can do to let your ideas run freely.

xo

In Love with my new Kindle Paperwhite

Words cannot explain my excitement. I’ve used the Kindle App on my phone or tablet for years and I never thought to buy the actual thing. I figured I could do everything on the app and I’d see everything on a colored display.

But…recently I’ve been having distractions when reading. I feel disappointed in myself when I count how many books I’ve finished in 2017 so far and I’ve set a reading goal of fifty. Shame! Shame! Shame!

I’ve long stopped buying paper books unless I really feel the need to have it in my hand, or smell it. This Kindle Paperwhite is probably the best thing I’m going to purchase all year.

Here’s why I love this thing so darn much:

  • No messages/notifications popping up at wee hours of the night to disturb and distract my reading.
  • The size is definitely a plus for me. Reading on an eight inch tablet is uncomfortable for me…I’ve busted my lip and bruised my cheeks when it falls on my face so the size and weight is definitely ideal. (It’s a six inch screen btw.)
  • Comfortable feel. One thing I really love is the screen doesn’t start exactly at the bottom so there’s a little space to hold in one hand. Super comfy stuff!
  • Portability. It’s definitely lighter and smaller and can fit into my bag easier than a tablet.
  • Battery Life. Well I bought this on Saturday and I haven’t charged it yet…it’s still running. The thing with reading on a tablet or phone is it’s always almost dead but the kindle gives you a lengthier life.
  • And last but not least…it’s not a tablet so my kleptomaniac kids cannot watch that Daddy Finger song on it…Bliss!!!

Overall I do feel happier to be able to read without the social media distraction. I turn on my Kindle and completely lock of the world…well after I put the kids to bed of course 😉

XO