22 December 2014

One Year Ending, Another Beginning: 2014 Reflections

I would say that 2014 has been a year of writing. Although I've been less active on my blog, I have written more creative work this year than any other year. It's surprising too, because I have been under significant amount of stress, which usually leads me to writer's block. That wasn't the case this time.

What changed?

Who knows? A combination of maturity, discipline, and finding a niche all my own.

As I look ahead, I want 2015 to be the year of rewriting. I won't set any resolutions (like I read on a blog recently, resolutions are for people who want to stop eating cookies), I will say that I want to revise the stories I've finished this year. At least a few. One would be nice actually.

For my blog, I'll try to do better. Use it as the outlet I started it for.

If I don't post again this week...here's a somewhat perfect holiday message from my modest Instagram account -

17 December 2014

My Crowdfunding Campaign - Help Get My Mom's Car Fixed

One thing I will admit openly to all of you is that I'm awful about asking people for help (or expressing a need). But with the new year around the corner, I wanted to start the new year on the right foot and bring your attention to a crowdfunding campaign I've started.

My mom's car is on it's last leg. Right now, I'm the only one working in my family and we just don't have the money to fix it up. Since my mom is unemployed and so many other things that have happened this year, the car falling apart has been really difficult.

 So, I would love to surprise my mom this New Year's with money for the car repair. Not only would it making the entire process of job hunting easier, it would also really boost her spirits. Any amount you can donate at all would be massively appreciated. Or if you can't afford to donate, if you could share this campaign with people you know, that would be amazing too. And I have embedded a fancy widget into this post to, so you can easily see the details. Or if you can't see the widget, just click here to read more!

16 December 2014

Leading Film Cars Throughout the Decades

Whether you are a fan of the classics, have a penchant for romance or are amazed by futuristic themes, movies and cars go hand in hand like two peas in a pod. It is widely known that cars are a vital component of a film.

Check out these iconic movie star vehicles from films that span across the decades -

cinematic cars infographic

14 December 2014

5 Reasons Why I Like Writing in the Morning

Each morning I take the bus into work. It's about a 45 minute ride, and since I have to get up horridly early (6:45 is when I leave to catch the bus) to show up on time., it's a pretty dark ride until the very end. Yet, something about waking up in the early morning hour and sitting crammed in a bus seat, inspires me.

I've not considered myself an early morning person before, until I absolutely had to be, and wondered what the appeal of early morning writing was.

I put together a list of top 5 reasons why I like writing in the morning and I wonder if any of you can relate.

1) Nothing too awful has happened yet.

Unless I'm under the mellow spell of a glass of wine, if something crummy has happened in my day, it's hard for me to turn my brain off at night long enough to enter the realm of imagination. I'm usually obsessing, ranting, figuring out how to solve the problem or whatnot.

If it's early in the morning and I'm barely awake enough to register anything yet, it's the perfect time for me to use that creative muscle. This is a major reason why I don't install work email onto my phone. God help me if I read an annoying or worrisome email and it's 10:30 pm at night. Goodbye sleep.

The first appeal of writing in the morning is that nothing awful has happened. Nothing has gotten in the way of the creative process.

2) A dream filled night can inspire me.

I love when I dream vividly. Like the kind of dream I'll think about throughout the day. And because of this, my dream filled mind can inspire the story I'm working on and nudge the plot along or add a bizarre element that only a dream can throw in there.

3) It inspires the rest of the day.

Writing makes me happy. If I can start my day with something that makes me happy, I'm starting things out on the right foot. I will also feel more ready and confident to go back to that same story later on in the day, no matter what happens.

And since I rarely get rejected before 8 am, this is a good thing.

4) My mind is more open and less critical.

I don't think my inner critic likes to wake up early. I'm pretty certain it doesn't wake up until about 8 o'clock. When I'm writing early in the morning, I don't hear those awful thoughts that say this piece of writing isn't any good and that I really should work on something else. I'm much more at peace with my writing and the process.

5) I think the sunrise is my muse.

Something about watching the sky go from a dreary dark color to the beautiful array only the sunrise inspires me.

What time of day do you write best? What about that time inspires you?

11 December 2014

Enter to Win a Holiday Tumbler!

I invite you to come by Fancy That! and take a look at the latest giveaway going on! Enter to win adorable holiday tumblers by Reduce Base Brands via Rafflecopter.

Better yet, go visit their website and make a purchase as a gift for someone! They are priced at only $7.99 right now - such a great deal! Shop Now

a Rafflecopter giveaway

08 December 2014

How to Select the Perfect Domain Name

When it comes to selecting the domain name for your website, there are endless possibilities for choices. However, your domain name plays a large part in your brand identity and in your website’s visibility on the Internet, so choosing the right name is paramount for ensuring the success of your website. Here are a few pointers for selecting the right domain name. 

Brainstorm 5 Top Keywords

The first thing you need to consider when looking for a domain name is the keywords associated with your business. Have 5 or 6 different related terms or phrases ready when you begin your domain search. For example, if you are launching a financial website, consider terms like money, finance, interest rate, etc and play with those until you find something that clicks. 

Make the Domain Unique

Some people swear by having a domain name that is similar to one that is being used by a popular website. However, you wind up getting a lot of traffic that has no interest in what you are offering. Stay away from plurals, misspellings and hyphenated versions of popular names already in use. 

Stick with Dot Coms

When it comes to the general population, the only websites that really exist are the dot coms. Of course, there are a ton of extensions out there like .net, .org, .biz, and .tv to name a few, but using them means that you’ll miss out on a ton of traffic relating to those who will remember your domain name and not your extension. 

Make it Easy to Type/Remember

Good domain names will stick in the minds of your customers. Domain names should be short and be easy to type so that their fingers will find the keys naturally. Try to skip domain names that don’t use q,z,x, c and other hard to reach letters on the keyboard.

Create and Fulfill Expectations

You want your domain name to trigger an instant recognition when your customer hears it. Not only will customers be able to remember it more easily, it also takes less branding in order to draw more traffic. 

And these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. Your domain name needs to be able to tell a story in just a few characters and draw customers in. If you need more help to find domain name, you can use a domain name selection tool to help you. 

This is a sponsored post. 

06 December 2014

Getting That Story Back [A Computer Crash Success Story]

For those of you who have been with me for the long haul, I wonder if you recall the dreaded day my computer crashed. Let me tell you how awful that day was, especially because I'm not the type to back up my files. (Yes, I learned my lesson,)

I probably would have been MORE devastated had I not been such a devoted handwriter. But still, I felt the loss.

It's been over two years since the loss of that laptop and I do have a new one that I've been using. For a long time that old laptop sat at the bottom of my closet floor. I kept thinking one day I would take it in somewhere and have someone recover the files, but I never did.

Well, until the very last day of my Thanksgiving break, I decided to take the laptop out and try to recover them myself. And ladies and gentleman, it worked. Well, for the most part. I recovered some notes I took from my fantasy novel, mostly music, and a couple of other files. That wasn't my huge Eureka moment. My huge EUREKA moment happened when I recovered files off an old flash drive.

That's when the goods returned. I discovered old stories, poetry, notes, and other ides. This was a goldmine of creative writing. It's like a retrieved a part of myself.

My next task at hand is to print these stories out for safekeeping and for rewriting sake.

If you want to recover files of your own, in case you are curious, I used EaseUS Data Recovery for my flashdrive and Recuva for my laptop. Recuva gets installed on a flashdrive and you load it onto the computer from where you want files uncovered.

I can proudly say - Nicole: 1 Technology: 0.

01 December 2014

Enter to Win Cucina Antica Pumpkin Sauce!

I want you to check out my review of the tasty Cucina Antica Pumpkin Sauce! This was so good! It's perfect for the holidays!

Better yet, enter via Rafflecopter below! If you can't wait and want some now, I highly recommend you following this link to purchase the sauce.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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