My Currents: April 2019

My Currents: January 2019

My Currents: February 2019

My Currents: March 2019

I’m late posting this, but…

Time for an update.

A List of Currents and Lasts

Current Album in My Car

Ember Breaking Benjamin

Are you even surprised at this point?

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Current Album in My Stereo

Dark Before Dawn Breaking Benjamin

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Last Song Played on Spotify

I haven’t used Spotify at all lately, mostly Pandora. The last song I remember hearing on Pandora:

“Prayer” Disturbed

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Last Netflix Binge

NOTHING!

I didn’t so much as turn it on.

But an update to last month: I did watch the Nate Bergatze comedy special. I recommend!


Current YouTube Obsession

Alex Hefner

So many people are trying to make it big on YouTube with so-called reaction channels. I like this one simply because I find him likable. I’ll admit, I found him very annoying at first–not sure why I kept watching his videos then, hmmm. And at times, his “reaction” is nothing more than a head-bob. All the same, I like his genuine enthusiasm and upbeat personality. He promotes positive mental health quite a bit, and I’m all about that.

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Last Movie Watched

Avengers: Endgame

NO SPOILERS, promise!! To avoid saying anything that might hint at anything, I’ll just post some gifs of my favorite Marvel characters instead.

 

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Current Read

Random Short Stories

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I’m looking into submitting one of my stories to different literary magazines, so I’ve been reading stories from past issues to see where mine might fit in.


Thanks for spending some time here! 
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My Currents: March 2019

My Currents: January 2019

My Currents: February 2019

Time for an update.

A List of Currents and Lasts

Current Album in My Car

Dear Agony Breaking Benjamin

Same as February. What can I say? I love them.

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Current Album in My Stereo

Ember Breaking Benjamin

I may have a problem, but holy holy, I love this album.

 

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Last Song Played on Spotify

“Best Deceptions” Dashboard Confessional

Technically, it was YouTube. I haven’t used Spotify lately. Anyway, I had a random line in my head, remembered this song, looked it up, and was amazed by the angst. It didn’t seem as angsty in high school–probably because everything was. 🙂

 

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Last Netflix Binge

Nate Bargatze

Not a binge.

And I haven’t watched this yet, so I don’t know if it’s any good.

But I saw this guy on a different comedy show on Netflix last year and some random YouTube clips. I’ll be checking this special out asap. Comedy is so subjective, but I love this guy.

 


Current YouTube Obsession

Insane Reader

He’s just a kid. Well, I think he’s 18? So it’s a little weird. But, all the same, he cracks me up. This video showed up in my recommended list, and I was sold. What I love about him is that he isn’t trying too hard. He doesn’t feel the need to be extreme–or drop F bombs every 3 seconds like some other BookTubers I’ve seen. That doesn’t make you edgy. It makes you sound like you don’t have a decent vocabulary.–so he comes across as natural. His innocence is adorable.

 


Last Movie Watched

I honestly can’t remember.

But I’m looking forward to the next Avengers flick. If Bucky doesn’t return, I’m done with Marvel.

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Current Read

NOTHING!

 

I’ve been focused on writing some short stories and querying my novel.

On the 24th, I submitted two short stories to the same publication that found me worthy last year. 😀 Here’s hoping I haven’t lost my touch. By this time next month, I’ll know.

As far as the novel, no news to share, but I’m staying hopeful.


Thanks for spending some time here! 

My Currents: February 2019

My Currents: January 2019

Time for an update.

A List of Currents and Lasts

Current Album in My Car

Dear Agony Breaking Benjamin

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Current Album in My Stereo

Best Imitation of Myself: Disk 2, Live Ben Folds

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Last Song Played on Spotify

“Head Over Feet” Alanis Morissette

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Last Netflix Binge

Ted Bundy Tapes

If I could do it all again, I’d go into psychology. The brain is one complicated thing, innit? As far as this show goes, I can’t get over how confident he was that he’d win the case. And the crowd of people at his execution. That was something else.

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Current YouTube Obsession

Alex Meyers

This guy is hilarious! He basically shares his thoughts on movies and shows, and it’s fantastic.

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Last Movie Watched

Set It Up (Netflix)

I haven’t watched a rom-com in a long time, so maybe it’s just because of that, but I LOVED this movie. The leads were both insanely likable. Highly recommend.

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Current Read

Surprise Me Sophia Kinsella

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Thanks for spending some time here! Have a great weekend! 😀

Twitter is Confusing

Happy Friday! It’s Friday Feelings. Time to rant. OK, not so much rant. More like…make an observation.

Today’s topic: Twitter. Settle in, folks.

Now approaching minor to moderate snark. Heavy at times.

I joined Twitter back in 2016. Why? Not because I wanted to. I didn’t know much about Twitter at that time, but I saw it a platform to write random sentences and post for the world to see. Like who cares?

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I did it because I was part of a group called “Query Bootcamp” in my writing group, Scribophile. One of the tasks was to create an author platform. Twitter was on the list. I still find it odd, pretentious, and backwards to have an “author platform” when you don’t technically have a book out, know what I mean? Again, who cares? You’re a nobody. Who would follow you? You’re just a “writer” from the middle of nowhere suburbia.

But I did join. And it was actually fun. I started posting in these daily writing games. Which, come on, “games”? Who are we fooling here? These games amounted to posting a line from your WIP that fit the theme/word of the day. It sounds lame as I see it written out, but it was cool. 3 reasons. 1) It helped streamline your writing. A tweet was only 140 characters back in the day, so you had to make each word count. I can be a bit longwinded. Shocking. This helped me tighten up my sentences. 2) It gave me more confidence as a writer. Granted, I wasn’t hitting it outta the park, but those likes or comments made me think, hey, maybe I don’t suck after all. Awesome. 3) Reading lines from everyone else somehow–in my mind, at least–made me a better writer. There was just something about reading these one-liners that helped me up my game. Super thankful for that. There are some hella talented writers posting on Twitter.

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I kept up with posting daily for, I don’t know, 2 years? Give or take. I was getting new followers every day, which was cool. Somehow, I made it to 5k subscribers. Yeah. Let me pause here. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, because trust me, I don’t even OWN a horn. I’m humble to a fault–especially on the writing front. But this follower count is what I find so confusing, and the main reason for this post. Continue reading

My Currents: January 2019

Friday Feelings: Not sure if I’ll keep up with this or not, but I figured on Fridays I’d post some thoughts. About whatever. And of course, there are gifs. So this is Friday Feelings #1

A List of Currents and Lasts

Current Album in My Car

Ember Breaking Benjamin

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Current Album in My Stereo

Purple Stone Temple Pilots

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Last Song Played on Spotify

“Mind Eraser” Black Keys

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Current Netflix Binge

You

(I finished this binge today, and I may do a review, but for now, I’ll just say, OMG loved it.)

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Current YouTube Obsession

UNHhhhh

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Love these queens!


Last Movie Watched

Birdbox

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Current Read

All We Ever Wanted Emily Giffin

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Thanks for spending some time here! Have a great weekend! 😀

 

2018: The Year That…Was.

Well, 2018. That’s a wrap. Time to go.

It’s been quite a year for me. Things happened that I never thought would happen. Some things I wanted to happen, didn’t happen. That’s pretty much every year though, right?Related image

I figured I’d take some time and reflect on 2018. Categorically. Expect a rambling mess of thoughts. Ready?


Writing

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The Good:

1- I’m in an effing book. Available here: Maryland’s Emerging Writers

Seriously, though, this was pretty amazing, and while I feel like it never actually happened—because I don’t think Z Publishing did a speck of advertising, (Have you heard of America’s Emerging Writers? No? Oh. Well there were 50 books. Still no? Yeah, one for each state. OK. Well, there were.)—it’s still an incredible achievement, even if I’m the one only who knows about it.

2- Because of this achievement, my interest in writing came back. #thankful

3- I had the courage to send out some novel queries early in the year. Despite all the rejections, I’m considering this a good thing. I haven’t given up. Yet.

4- I revised my YA short enough to confidently submit to magazines.

5- I reached 5k followers on Twitter. Listen, I thought this would be the pinnacle of the whole social networking thing. But. It’s far from it. It’s just a number. And it means absolutely nothing. When you tweet something and get 2-3 likes, what’s it matter that you have 5k followers? No shade here. I do appreciate the followers. And I do hope to have more of a Twitter presence in 2019.

The Bad:

1- My writer self and I parted ways. We’re currently reconciling, but I really did just give up on writing some time during the summer, it seems. I didn’t touch my novel for months. I disappeared from Scribophile. The whole writing world just no longer excited me.

2- I didn’t get my novel published. Duh.

3- Going along with number one, I didn’t get my novel “finished” by the end of the year, which I was hoping for. And I didn’t write anything new.

4- Just yesterday, I was rejected from a magazine for my YA short. That was to be expected. But I’m still glad I submitted. I have two more (I think) possibilities.

The 2019 Plan:

1- FINISH MY EFFING NOVEL. Dear God. And all the rest…get an agent, book deal, interview with Oprah. The norm.

2- Don’t give up on my YA short. I’ll be sending it out this coming week. Please hold me to that.

3- Return to Twitter. The most doable in the list.

4- Return to Scribophile. I’m paying to use this website. WHY?! I haven’t so much as signed in since September. *sigh*

5- Not directly writing related, but I need to read more this year. I miss reading. I’d like to read more novels in my genre so that I’m familiar with the current market.


VIPKID

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The Good:

1- For more details on this, I have lots of blog posts called VIPKID Vibes. But basically, I love this job. It revived my passion for teaching. I’m happier than I’ve been in years. I feel like I’m making a difference, and it’s all so rewarding and awesome.

The Bad:

1-Aside from the cons of being a VIPKID teacher (lack of insurance, the hours, the inconsistencies, tech issues, etc.), on a personal level, the life balance is horrific. It’s VIPKID on one side and everything else on the other side. Because of this job, I stopped writing, making videos, reading, treadmill-ing. I put all my time into this job. And it probably doesn’t make sense considering I’m finished teaching at 9 AM. It’s the prep work, the reward systems, the YouTube videos, the blog posts, the necessity to nap, on and on. It becomes an obsession.

2- I’m tired all the time because of the hours. Over 1k classes and I’m still trying to find the balance.

The 2019 Plan:

1-I have no plans to stop, obviously. I will continue to blog about my experiences, and I’d like to become a Mock Class Mentor if possible.

2- I need to balance my life better. VIPKID can’t be the only thing I care about.


My Cat

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The Good:

1- I started a YouTube channel for my cat–yes, that’s sane–and while it didn’t blow up, I had SO much fun making videos. I used to make videos back in high school. They were essentially “music videos” where I’d pair a movie/show with a song. I liked the editing aspect of it. Anyway. I started throwing together some videos of Mocha starting in January. I met some cool people and Mocha got some love. Win, win.

2- Around the same time, I made an Instagram profile for Mocha. Also completely sane. In the same way, I met some cool cat people and learned a whole new platform. I’d never used Instagram before. And while it’s my least favorite social media, it works well for cats. I got loads of followers for the first few months, but I’ve held steady around 430 for probably 6 months.

3- My cat is awesome. Really though, living alone is awesome, but it comes with a certain, how do I say, isolation? So it’s nice to have another presence around. I’m going to stop before I sound completely psychotic. Point is, Mocha makes me happy. Cats rule.

The Bad:

1- I stopped making YouTube videos. Several reasons. Mainly, time. When I started VIPKID, EVERYTHING else came second. So I didn’t have time to write or read or tweet or make videos. I probably did, but I didn’t feel like I did, if that makes sense. But I also stopped making videos because honestly, it was disheartening to put all this effort into making them (and it takes longer than my “production value” might suggest) only to get a handful of views. Maybe that’s petty. So be it. But for 2019, I’m returning to the idea of making content you want regardless of your audience. It should be the same for an audience of 63 (my current subscriber count) to 1k (my aspiring subscriber count).

2- I didn’t post to Instagram daily as I had been. Or liking others’ photos as I had been. I lost the motivation for it.

3- Although Mocha is super awesome sauce, she has her moments. For instance, she suffers from what I like to call “elevator butt.” While peeing, she will lift her butt in the air, and therefore pee out of the box. If you know cat pee smell, it is heinous. So now I use giant storage containers. The first ones I had, I simply cut a square in the side, but then she started peeing out of the square. Now, they have a cut-out towards the top, so she has to hop in there. Whatever works, eh?

4- Mocha decided one day she didn’t like the food she’d been eating for two years, so I went through all these different cans of cat food. Her flavor of choice: sardines. Who knew?

5- Mocha likes to chew things, which unfortunately included an Easter lily. If you didn’t know, lilies are toxic to cats. This resulted in an after hours stress-filled phone call to my vet who didn’t even want to talk to me and cut me off. (Needless to say, I no longer go to this vet.) A mustard induced vomit. (I don’t know if you’ve ever pried open a cat’s mouth and squirted mustard in there, but it’s all kinds of fun.) A 30 minute fight to get Mocha in the carrier which left me bloodied and mentally scarred. And a nice vet bill for an overnight stay.

She’s damn lucky she’s so cute.

The 2019 Plan

1- I want to make videos again! This is pretty much my only cat-related resolution.


I’ll leave it at that. I hope your 2018 treated you well. New Year’s is always my favorite and least favorite time of year, which I plan to explain in a future post, possibly this week.

To all those who liked, commented, or followed me this year, a huge thank you to you. I really do appreciate the love. I’m humbled by it. And confused by it. But mostly just thankful.

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I’ll just throw this out there. If there’s anything you’d like to see a blog post about, I’m listening.

Here’s to an awesome 2019! I’ll see you then.

-Lauren

Thank You, Followers!

I’m deeming today #thankfulthursday.

(Today’s gifs brought to you by my many husbands, fyi.)

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So I have no idea how this happened, but I have 100 followers. Like, what?

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When I started this blog, I had very low expectations–and I still do. Every view, like, comment, or follower I get surprises me. The content I post here is primarily for me. I see this platform as almost a journal. I’m pretty much documenting what’s going on in my life and the things I’m into at the time. So if someone gets anything out of what I post, I’m stoked about it.

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Whether you’re here for VIPKID info, writing updates, random music rants, pics of my cat, or lots of gifs, I’m glad you’re here.

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So thank you for clicking Follow. That’s super awesome. Have a good one!


Thanks for spending some time here. If you’re reading this, you rock. And don’t you forget it.

Bonus gif 🙂

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I found a new gif for Mark Peterson, and I’m happier than I should be about it. I’m posting it here so I don’t lose it. 🙂

More Random Lauren Facts

It’s time to share some more random facts about me. Why? I have no idea.

 

My treadmill is my happy place. Look, some people are anti-treadmill. They’re all about “the outdoors” and “natural light” but I’m doing just fine, thanks. “Treadmill TV” anyone? Yes! It’s this total awesome sauce YouTube channel, where basically, someone runs with a camera so it’s like a first person view of a trail, or a city sidewalk, or wherever. Last week I was in Australia. Yesterday, I went to Singapore. No passport required.

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Don’t Worry. I’m Not Dead.

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I have returned. Please. Contain your excitement.

I’ve been a bit MIA lately. Twitter, this, my writing community… I’m such a routine-oriented person that when something new comes along, it throws me off so much that something’s gotta give. In this case, three somethings.

My cat’s social media presence is still very much alive. Because priorities.

So what’s been going on with me? What is it that has screwed over my precious routine?

I got a job, y’all.

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For that and other randomness, keep reading. 🙂

Continue reading