Humor · Music · What I Do When I'm Not Wrting

6 Things Fans of the Show #Nashville will Understand #humor #tv

Being a mom is amazing and weird. My child is almost seven years old, and I’m only beginning to watch TV again since–
(Crickets chirp) (Bullfrog croaks) (Seven Christmases pass by)

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Someone received their gifts early.

So we ditched our satellite and we use Roku instead. The show Nashville is one of the few shows I can’t stop watching. Don’t ask me why I enjoy the predictable and over-the-top modern soap opera. Or why I giggle at Rayna’s bitch face and fist-pump the air when a character does the “right” thing…only to screw it up by the next episode. It could be the same reason people scratch private areas when no one is looking or eat crocodile.

I became annoyed by the end of the first season of the show, yet it’s three seasons in and I won’t stop watching. I’m hypnotized as the characters continue to fail and succeed and go crazy and die and sing decent and shit. (Not that last part for real. Gross.)

Those who enjoy the show as much as I have will know about how certain characters in this series portray their roles. Today I’d like to point out a few obvious but interesting characteristics from the main people in the show.

I love Julianne. To start out, I disliked her. She is snobby and snotty and came across as a brat. As the series evolved (it escalates quickly!), she won me over. Throughout everything, Julianne never lets me down in one aspect:

The Barbie-Back-Posturing

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I’m convinced Julianne hasn’t bent her back a day in her life. I wonder how she shaves her legs. Probably LASIK.

Will Lexington will always be gay, sexy, and an unavailable cowboy much to the dismay of all straight women around the globe. Good for him, though. 

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Damnit.

Rayna James executes the perfect resting bitch face. Even her smug expression reeks of bitch faceness.

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Deacon Clayborne is the most profound of all lead male characters though he uses simple vocabulary. His hair is perfect in the manly-mused way, too.

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Avery means well, but he has the hormones and mood swings of a PMS’ing pregnant woman on steroids. Speaking metaphorically.

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Scarlett has two boyfriends at the same time. Avery may have his heart taken, but he has fallen for sweet Scarlett lock, stock, and barrel. Gunnar is the least jealous of the three. I hope Scarlett leaves both of them and her mother behind to sing acapella in Vegas.

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Some Other Reasons Why I Love This Show

This.

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This.

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And this.

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Ya’ll come back now, d’ya hear?

Flash Fiction · Health and Wellness · Humor · Inspiration · Laurie's Works Of Fiction · Mental Health · Movies · Music · Musings · Uncategorized · Writing · Writing Life · Writing Tips

Go-To Resources To Unleash Creativity

There are times when we need to change up our routine to keep sane. For instance, if you work in the same cubicle doing the same tasks for the same minimal pay–perhaps your life could benefit from creativity. Or if you’ve finally taken time off to use your vacation time and don’t want feel like you need a vacation (from) vacation, simple creative activities could help.

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Check out this list of go-to resources to unleash creativity and use the ones that catch your interest. The lists are in two categories: writing related and non-writing related. I admit most of the recommendations are veered toward introverts because I’m a happy and proud introvert myself. 🙂

Writing Related

The thrill is gone. Once upon a time you had the feels for the book or story you started, but the thrill is gone. Maybe you need a break from a long-term goal. Your imagination can go wild when you write flash fiction. From 100-1,000 words, challenge yourself with a new story trope or idea.

Not sure about where to find ideas? Try TVtropes.org and find tropes from your favorite categories and genres related to movies and TV shows. Finish your story piece and publish it or keep it to develop later. But finish it. You did it! Now go back to that big idea. You can do that too.

No idea where to start or what to do. Do you like movies? Most people have a favorite movie they know or can quote. They are familiar with the story. But have you ever applied your writing to one of your favorite movies? Screenwriting tips from Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat” method uses a three-beat system to divide scenes up into three beats. Take a look and print off the worksheets. Then sit down and take brief notes when you watch the scenes in your favorite film or even tv show. You’ll eventually begin to grasp story structure.

Apply what you learned about writing to a short story idea. Perhaps the story could also have potential to become a working outline for a novel (Here is a helpful site to download free resources to outline a novel, when you’re ready.) You’re off to a great start. Keep writing!

Blog? What is this blog thing and how do I do it? A blog is a place of unlimited potential for just about anyone. You can make a blog as formal, as funny, as serious as you want to make it. It can be on any subject under the sun. Blogs are happy places where you can be yourself on your part of the web. You’re able to monitor comments or turn them off. Blogs LAST beyond the ever-changing whims of social media channels. Check out Hubspot’s blog topic generator for ideas on what to post. Visit bookpromotion.com to know how to effectively pimp your blog out. Also, don’t be afraid to go to your favorite blogs and see what they are doing. Copying posts is a BIG no-no without permission from the author, but you may come across content that inspires you to write your own spin on the topic.

“I’m all out of love for ideas.” Yeah. We’ve all been here before. It sucks. To re-vamp your inspiration try Pinterest. Type in some of your interests or things related to your interests. Like if you enjoy cooking, type “recipes” or if you only like to eat vegan type “vegan food.”

Non-Writing Related

Oh my, are the options endless here. I’ll throw a few out for you to explore. Of course, if you think of any others, do those too. You know you better than anyone.

*Love Machines (technology)*

I-Movie is a fun way to create a movie or book trailer. It’s simple to put something together and share it with friends for fun or compile something for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. The music is pre-loaded, but I think you’re also able to upload your own music. Just be sure to use royalty free images and music.

Did you know you can create simple memes, Facebook banners, and jazz up your photos in MS Word and Pages for Mac? You can. It’s time- consuming, but for those who love to tweak (not twirk) until the sun comes up, you’ll love doing this. Here’s a YouTube tutorial for Facebook banners . There is a ton of instructional videos on how to design on Word or in Pages (for Mac.) Go crazy designing and show off your work.

Move to the beat. Playlists encourage movement and happiness. If you’re sad, there’s a song for it. If you’re mad, there’s a song for it. Playlists on Spotify are a fun way to categorize music for whatever mood you want to nurture. If you’d rather bypass the low monthly fee, try I Heart Radio. There will be commercials on your favorite radio stations, but that is why it’s free. YouTube is another way to categorize music videos into stations, and it works sort of like a playlist. If you’d rather not be bothered with ads, the small monthly fee is well worth it.

*Hands-On Hobbies/Occupations*

Crocheting is a skill that can be learned and is a creative and relaxing way to create numerous things. Check out Crotchet Guru on YouTube.

Repurposing home goods is good for the environment, but it also saves money and encourages practical solutions in a creative way. Here are some ideas from a previous post I’ve written. Pick something you like to do and make it your mission to complete it.

Pottery creation is a way to spin ideas while creating original art. You can paint, glue, and design to your heart’s content. Then use the final product later as a centerpiece, stepping stone, or pen holder.

Adult coloring books are a thing now. Check out these free and printable designs. For those who are mentally burned out, coloring is a subconscious way to soothe anxiety and stress associated with burnout.

Cuddle an animal if you have high blood pressure, PTSD, have anxiety or depression, or want a better perspective on life. Local animal shelters are always in need of volunteers to walk and care for the animals. The advantage to volunteering is that you’re able to love on the animals too. When potential adoptive parents come in to ask about the animals, you’ll know their best attributes so they’ll find a loving home. Who doesn’t need more love in their life?


Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow this blog. I follow back and enjoy keeping in touch through blogs and email. My email is authorlauriekozlowski@gmail.com . I have two FREE flash fiction stories for you to enjoy. The first one is a humor diddy: Undercover Panty Agent . The second story is suspense: Dagger of The Damned. My usual genre is contemporary romance fiction and I write for Booktrope Publishing. More on recent publications can be found >here<.  I have book to be released soon and will set up a newsletter because it will be fast forward from there! 🙂 Happy reading and writing!

Laurie Kozlowski


Humor · Inspiration · Music · Musings · Relationships · Writing · Writing Life

Private Eye #badboys #humor #shopping

“Did you encounter a man in the women’s department who looked suspicious?” An attractive blonde woman, about early thirties and who rang up my items at the cash register asked me.

I was there for yarn. For colorful, soft yarn and possibly chocolate, because of being emotional. I had no idea about a suspicious man in the women’s department though I’d also added to the items a couple pair of sweatpants to accommodate the chocolate coma I expected to ensue later that evening.

“I uhm…suspicious man?” I asked.

The kind lady continued our discussion in a low whisper. “Yes. Apparently a strange man is lurking in the women’s department saying he’s doing research for a communications project, but he’s looking for women’s animal print panties!” She shook her head as if the man had committed a carnal sin for wanting animal print women’s panties.

I had an image of Duce Bigelow, Male Gigolo in my head and tried not to snort as strip music thumped in the brain. The cashier’s deadpan expression urged me to laugh out loud, but I held it in. Maybe like the guy “researching” was doing now, depending on his Monday panties or Friday panties. Weekends are made for thongs. But I digress.

“Ohhh nooo.” I attempted to sound disturbed. Not too hard to do, these days!

She nodded. “Yep. So if you see a guy wander around, the manager has warned him off. Hopefully, it’s no big deal.”

She sounded doubtful. I was on the verge of a cough-laugh because the “threat” was a real concern to her. I didn’t want to discount her claim of the wild panty thief under the guise of a mere communications research project.

What is love…baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more. Whoooaaa oh-oh whoahhhoaaa…

I squeezed my eyelids to tune “The Night at The Roxbury” by Haddaway music out of my head and focused on the cashier.
“But I didn’t see…”

“$39.95, please!” She stated my total.

When had I spent so much? YARN and CHOCOLATE. What the hell.

I paid up and smiled. “Oh, I’m sure it will be okay. Though, I’m sure there were better ways for him to go about researching for…whatever.”

The cashier widened her eyes and nodded. “I know! The women’s department! How weird,” she said.

“There are weird people everywhere. Seriously.” I smiled again.

“That’s the truth.” The friendly cashier shook her head but smiled back.

©LaurieKozlowski 2016-Present, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction permitted unless given by the author.

Health and Wellness · Humor · Inspiration · Mental Health · Messy Muses Childrens Book Project · Music · Musings · My Motherhood Memoir · Parenthood · Parenting · Relationships · Writing · Writing Tips

Confident Parenting ( Past Judgement and Fear ) #Parenting #Moms #Dads

There has been a ton of articles on mental health issues lately.

I started A Motherhood Memoir about a year and a half ago. It was a piece touching on post-partum depression, and I didn’t think it would have gotten welcome reception then. But now…I still hesitate.

Some thoughts are better left unsaid or unpublished. In my private journal is one thing–but to put it out here for the world to see is also putting my daughter at risk for certain privacy issues. There is no way to write about it without it also reflecting on her in some way. Since I love her more than life, certain thoughts will remain dead in concerns to publishing them online.

It is also quite a leap to go from writing romance fiction to press into the non-fiction world of memoir writing.

I am not an expert on mental health or parenting, but do know there are a few insights I can offer to those who may have been or are going through many of the same things.

However, there is still a desire to express this story. If you’ve tuned into Heart-to-Heart with Kyrian Lyndon on her worldwide blog talk radio show, you have heard her interview me about issues I’ve held back on discussing until recently.

A couple of things we talk about is mental health and the effects of childhood abuse. I share a beautiful memory of me and my mom sitting by a heater during a thunderstorm as the oil lamp burns.

And so though I will go through and write more about my challenges and overcoming depression as a (then) new mother, it will be from a better place of gratefulness (now.)

I’m able to see the positive aspects during those challenges, so as to note that point in life as a time for better understanding and learning to nurture myself and my daughter without apprehension.

Every parent worries, but coming from a place where childhood abuse shaped my way of life–I was beyond worried about my daughter on every occasion.

The anxiety sucked the life from me knowing any and every trip to the grocery store, to church, or even to a day at the playground was a full-fledged emergency waiting to happen. Especially when she was around the ages of three and four.

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Many parents (especially new parents) continue to feel isolated and alone, even when they take actions to un-isolate themselves.

Everyone has an image ingrained on what makes a good parent. There may be a few who do not hesitate to shove their wisdom down the throats of struggling or discouraged parents in the middle of a poop-smearing or snot-rocket storm right before that comfortable and big event for childless parents, grandparents, friends, and/or family.

Of course, they mean well, but it isn’t always the perfect timing when these issues do arise. In fact, you can count on it not being the perfect time–ever.

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[Image credit: quoteswave.com]

I think what pulls so many away from well-intentioned advice is when it is shaming or meant to cause guilt. At times, those people have no clue that they have rubbed a parent the wrong way by saying things like “Santa is still in the store, but he’s leaving in ten minutes.” (When it would take the parent over ten minutes to even get to the line for Santa.) <<<< This happened to Zoko and I just before Christmas. I wanted to ask the lady if she had a clue as to what her words were causing…but it would be a waste of breath.

You learn that as you go. What battles to fight and which ones to leave alone. It’s often best to Let it go.

There are occasionally people who want to stir the pot on your parenting abilities. Keep in mind that their snarky or sometimes very harsh comparisons or advice are only reflections of their insecurities. Even when it is in humor!

It is important to your eye on what works instead of what isn’t working. Remember, people speak from their own experiences, NOT YOURS. (I have to remind myself this all the time because I’m one of those people who will hug you, buy you dinner, and rub your back if you cry, but I will also sock your lights out if I witness you saying meany-butt things to hurt my kid’s feelings.)

I encourage any parent who feels condemned or shunned by their efforts to remember this list of reminders. I’ve seen my daughter flourish in the past six years because I stay aware of these things:

* By choosing not to adopt others’ perceptions of your parenting, you are freeing yourself to give your child what he/she needs the most–love and security in a way only you can give it.

* When your children see how you are not affected by other parents or critics comments, they learn true confidence takes restraint and discipline. They learn how to focus inward on what they do right and how to improve, instead of what they do wrong, causing low self-esteem and doubt.

* Your children will be a reflection of yourself and behaviors. Imitation is not a bad thing when you parent on *your* terms, keeping in mind the love, safety, and wellbeing of your child is in your capable hands. It also does no good to go around paranoid about your every action and how it affects them because though a child imitates many of your actions, you both are human and will make mistakes. If they learn no one makes mistakes, it could cause the opposite affect…a lack of compassion and love toward others and/or themselves.

* It teaches your children how to be actively aware of conflicts and resolve them amicably, without physical, emotional, or verbal violence.

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[Image credit: smartmom.co]

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<………………..>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

2015 is a new year and new start! First and foremost, it is easy to continue doing the same old thing. Continue to pile on the guilt for not spending that extra few minutes with the little one before bedtime because you’re tired and preparing for the next day. Or you may over-commit yourself to focusing on your child’s worries instead of taking time to slow down and find a reasonable or new solution that could make you both happy.

Let’s leave those things in the past. The doubt. The worry. The guilt over the small stuff. The outside opinions that rile us up and cause discouragement either unintentionally or intentionally. Take away from those moments what is constructive, learn from them, and say “bye, bye, bye” to the rest. Even the New Kids on The Block agree. See!

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[Image credit: scottradecenter.com]

(Those random rock-star poses say “YES, these random audience members and our higher stage lighting power agrees, too!”)

Trust that the love, safety, support, and attention you give your little one(s) is sufficient because you have what it takes.

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Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

Inspiration · Music · Musings · Uncategorized · Writing · Writing Life

Music Motivation: The Best Day Of My Life by American Authors

An uplifting song has a way of keeping a person moving during the most  difficult times. Today, I’m sharing a song I frequently listen to and enjoy. I hope it puts a “spring” in your step as we all look forward to more warmth and sun while the season progresses. It’s okay to dance and sing off key 😉

Enjoy!

American Authors –Best Day of My Life

DO YOU HAVE A GO-TO SONG THAT MOTIVATES YOU? IF YOU DO, SHARE THE LOVE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS POST BY POSTING A LINK TO YOUR FAVORITE SONG, SO I AND OTHERS WILL BE ABLE TO ENJOY IT TOO! 🙂

Contemporary Romance · Inspiration · Music · Musings · Uncategorized · Writing · Writing Life · Writing Tips

See You Be Brave! – Your Cup Of Courage On Music Monday

Have you ever wondered how life would be if you could only say what you really wanted to say?

Before you go flipping the bird and cursing at the jerk face in front of you today for not using his blinker on a crowded interstate (not that I’ve done that 😉 ), what I’m mainly referring to is that one big fear that has the ability to hold a person back from having peace of mind and living life to the fullest.

No, I’m not an expert and am far from having all the answers, but as a writer and general psychology addict I think about these things. Most of the time, doubt stems from fear.

I think fear is only as strong as we allow it to be.

I’ve been working on the first draft of book one in my Lonely Hearts In Texas series for weeks now.

*Please note: The Lonely Hearts In Texas Series is now re-named as of August 2014. It is now the Riverbend Way series. All copyrights still stand. Thank you.

First it was: If I could only write a first draft in a month like so-and-so I could make it as a writer.

Next it was: If I only had the time to write every day!

Then it was: Now I have the time, but holy hell and damnation, who is able to think at 4am?

Now it’s this: I’m finally writing every day (yay!), but do I have the courage to go where I’ve never gone before in writing this story?

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It’s come to a point in my first draft where digging deeper is a necessity. Frankly or Shirley lol….this scares the daylights out of me. Every writing day fluctuates with my mood, but I write every day. That’s a great foundation. Doubt is only holding the story back and it’s time to get on with it already.

Is it possible to break though doubts and come out the victor over what seems to be a big obstacle staring me in the face?

The answer for me, any writer, or person out there with doubts and fears is: Yes!

I’m a master procrastinator. Today I consider my procrastination worthwhile as I share an amazing song that has inspired me to tackle my writing doubt today…..and I hope it gives someone else the same kick in the badonk-a-donk as it’s given me 😀

There is no better time than the present to drink from a cup of courage and rob doubt of its hold on you.  Why wait to move on with your fictional story or permit defeat in certain areas of your life?

A cup for me, a cup for you.

Time to let the brave shine though!

Happy Monday!

LYRICS TO “BRAVE” BY SARA BAREILLES

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like these for further reading:

The Prize-Winning Low Layer

Rolling On The River Of Dreams

My Fond First Fiction Story Memory

Humor · Music · Musings · Writing · Writing Life

Kissing Trees, Finding The Superstar, and Overcoming The Stigma Of Romance Writing

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The Romance Writing Monologues

Please allow me to express my writing conundrum in a monologue channeling Mary Catherine Gallagher, Catholic school girl who wants to reach her dreams, from the movie SUPERSTAR. Although she wanted to be an actress, this is what I envision for the movie if she were facing the same crossroads as I am in romance writing. Let me just say, I do not smell my pits and kiss trees like MCG in the movie, though I can’t guarantee I didn’t laugh hysterically while watching this movie because I think every introvert with big dreams can be inspired by her quirky tale of stardom and success. Here are the voices in her (my) head:

MCG: Coming from a conservative small town, I am able to relate to the stigma many of my friends, family, and acquaintances buy into when it comes to romance books and writing. The whole 50 Shades fiasco on Mommy Porn seems a bit overbearing in my opinion, but I do love writing steamy scenes.

Angel: Frowns  It is not respectable to give into such temptations. Resist temptation and protect your fragile mind from sin.

Devil: Snorts  It takes a strong-minded woman to express herself in words articulately whatever content is written. Don’t listen to Angel. I think every one of the main characters in your series should get it on at least a few times in the story. Your sensual side has to come out somewhere. Why not on the page?

MCG: I’ve been on the fence with writing lately wondering how bold is too bold. What will people think if I wrote THAT?

Angel: You’re going to hell if you write such trash! Oh, I mean….I’ll pray for you.

Devil: Angel is a fucking liar. It’s not trash. Writing sensual scenes that a reader is able to connect with takes talent. The worst that will happen is you get burned with criticism from cold-blooded, sex-starved ninnies and jealous assholes.

MCG: This has done nothing to help me in my decision except to confirm that I am losing it. Angel, thanks for your prayers because I’m sure I will need some divine intervention to press past my deep-seeded fear of writing explicitly.

Devil, I really think you were an A-hole to Angel and should apologize. You do, however make some very good points…..and I am kind of tired of playing it safe in my writing. I’ll strongly consider your advice.

Angel:Crosses her arms and glares at devil  Go to hell!

Devil: Smirks at Angel  I thought I saw a little bit of devil in her angel eyes.

Thanks for stopping by! If You Enjoyed This Post You May Enjoy These Posts For Further Reading:

Writing Journal Entries From A Moody Beginner

Super Freak Out Moment Of The Week

From Bookworm To Writer: Beautiful Men Included

Coming Out Of The Romance Writing Closet

From sweet closed-door romance novels to explicit erotic fiction, most enjoyable romance stories incorporate a delicate balance of relationships and intimacy.What do you think, dear readers and writers? What level of steaminess constitutes a well-balanced romance novel? How much is too much?