December Poetry Challenge: A Boring Life

This was my response to prompt #3: How are you working towards your goals

Consistency and routine are staples in my life
they help me grow and thrive
I’m outgrown the chaos and adrenaline rushes
I used to find myself in-
it held me back and made me stagnant
I finally understood the importance
of a boring and quiet life
it is needed to make my dreams a reality
it is essential for my serenity and peace

December Poetry Challenge: Mornings

This was my response to prompt: Your favorite part of the day

mornings used to bother me
and made me so grouchy
now I wake up excited every morning
about the unseen possibilities
Will it be a day full of calm and routine
where I’m inspired to write about a poem
about serenity?
Or will it be a day full of drama and chaos
that turns my poetic voice into something
resembling anger and sorrow?
mornings fill me up with the excitement
with the hidden potential of it

December Poetry Challenge

So for the month of December, I decided to combine two of my favorite things which are journal prompts and poetry. I found these December Journal Prompts somewhere on pinterest and decided to write a poem every day in response to them. It’s going to be a challenge for sure considering I’m still posting new content every day. It’s going to be interesting what I come up with, it might get emotional and crazy-but hey that’s my brand-lol. I wanted to share the prompts as well as well as a link to the blog they’re from.

Wish me the best of luck

December Journal Prompts:

1.Your favorite part of the day
2.What needs to happen this month
3.How are you working towards your goals
4.Three good things
5.Something you know a lot about
6.An important person in your life
7.Your favorite recipe
8.An event that turned out differently than planned
9.The best way to spend a cold evening
10.One thing you could not give up
11.A goal you reached
12.Something to celebrate
13.How you procrastinate
14.What did you think you’d be when you grew up
15.The best type of surprise
16.Your favorite household chore
17.The best gift you could receive
18.Music that helps you relax
19.One thing you’d like to see
20.Favorite winter traditions
21.Advice you’d give to someone else your age
22.Something all people should know
23.What’s you’d really like to do tomorrow
24.Your top priority
25.A thing your life has in excess
26.How has your life changed since last year
27.A book you want to read
28.The person you’re always happy to see
29.One thing to do
30.The time of day you prefer
31. A word to describe your past year

Below is a link to the blog “Life of Lovely” from where the prompts came from:

http://lifeoflovely.blogspot.com/2015/11/december-journal-prompts-printable.html

Poetry Review: Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature

C.E Hoffman’s chapbook collection Blood, Booze and Other Things in Nature is definitely a must read if you like your poetry vulnerable and thought provoking . This collection is raw and in your face and doesn’t shy away from telling you the harsh truth about the world but the poet does in a way that’s witty and full of  dark humor. The poet addresses complex issues of mental health, love, sex, parenthood, and poverty. They address the inequalities that hit you in the gut and make you question the status quo.. I’ve never read a poetry collection like this before. I’ll talk about 4 poems from the book that I really liked. Their poetry feels like thoughts I’ve had that I have been too afraid to write down; much less share with the world.

The first poem is “Bloom (Blow Job) “and I really liked how this poem transitioned from giving a blowjob to other things in the poet’s life.  I interpreted as things to talk about or are talked about after a blowjob. The line in this poem that really resonated with me was  “you wipe spit from your cheek when/your lover says it was the hardest they came in their life, and/you believe them “(Hoffman). I’ve had this said to me quite a few times and my friend has as well. It’s a common line that men say to their partners/flings. Yes, MEN, we do talk about these things.

Another poem that resonated with me was “Magnificent Shits” in which the poet talks about how they imagine their unborn child to be like  and how much they already love them . I resonated with this poem because as a parent myself, I’ve had similar thoughts. I resonated with the lines, “But no matter where you go/forever drives your soul/YOU ARE A MASTERPIECE that shits and smiles and needs and creates and kisses/explores and speeds “(Hoffman). These capture that feeling of loving your child and acknowledging their humanness. 

Another poem I really liked from this collection is “Prenatal Yoga aka Relearning Breath”. It deals with complex issues of “passing” and even deals with the poet dealing with privilege. The line that I really liked from this poem was,And I know it’s strange to find peace in a space of appropriation/’cause 8 outta 9 of our faces are white/ so when it comes to “passing”/ I really can’t talk, can I? “(Hoffman) As a woman of color who’s spent most of her time in predominantly white spaces, I understand this sentiment of feeling like an “other” or “out of place”. Often at times, I try to blend in and 9 out of 10 times, I am able to without incident. However, there is that 10 % where I feel uncomfortable because something unintentionally prejudiced is said or a wrong assumption is made about me. 

New Moon in Cancer (Radical Honesty 101) was my favorite poem in this book. I interpreted this poem as the anxiety of the poet written in verse. I loved how honest Hoffman is in addressing everything that goes through their mind openly talking about their mental health, relationships, and what it’s like to be a writer in today’s environment of instagram, twitter, etc. One of my favorite lines from this poem was, “I don’t believe in The One./I’ve initiated most of my break-ups, cheated on basically/even in open relationships-/Shit. Maybe I just suck at this.” )Hoffman. I feel like Hoffman basically describes almost all of my romantic relationships and the thoughts I have about that part of my life. Examining and deconstructing my relationships this past year, I’ve often thought, “man, maybe I just suck at this, let me quit while I haven’t slashed anyone’s tires yet”(haha). The other line that I really liked from this poem was “Honestly I’m sick of wanting to get better, dying to be better, trying to do better than whatever I am or can” (Hoffman). Being in this recovery journey from my BPD feels like that sometimes. I have a strict routine I adhere to, read so many books about BPD, monitor my moods and honestly, it gets tiresome at times. Like Hoffman, I get sick of trying to “be better” and I often wonder when I can stop being so vigilant and rigid in everything I do. When can I say I’m finally better and can stop doing so much?

Blood, Booze, and other things in Nature is definitely the poetry collection for you if you’ve ever felt like a pariah, like an outcast, like an outsider in this world that tries to tone you down for being too crazy, too loud, and  too bizarre for it. Reading this poetry collection is the medicine you need for that beautiful and chaotic soul of yours that refuses to conform to the norms and expectations of normalcy in this patriarchal society.

Below is a link to the book:

Don’t believe me? Here are other testimonials about the book and the author:

Praise for Blood, Booze, and Other Things in Nature: 

This book resonates with anyone who’s ever called a crisis line and had them respond, “Oh wow that’s a lot.” This chapbook isn’t a cocktail. It’s a shot. 

-Kit Stitches 

This is no nipple-slip, no wardrobe malfunction. This is deliberate, personal exposure, revealing heart, head, and the wounds of living. The battle songs, the laments, and the healing gather here. 

-Neil S Reddy 

This collection is a dirty meditation, a longing for escape, an ecstatic fuck you to the traps and ties of societal expectation. A delightful, messy romp through the entrails of the heart. 

-Nicole Morning 

This is the kind of writing that inspires fandom.

-Alexandine Ogundimu, Filth Magazine

Praise for C E Hoffman: 

C E Hoffman is a fearless writer.

-Jack Wang, author of We Two Alone and winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award 

The human spirit remains fresh-voiced, optimistic and youthful in Hoffman’s imaginative writing.

-Martin Millar, author of Lonely Werewolf Girl and winner of the World Fantasy Award 

Hoffman’s writing style reminds one of Burroughs at his most straightforward or Irvine Welsh at his strangest, but with a presentation dominated primarily by women and queer characters- a refreshing change in this particular milieu.…Hoffman is definitely a writer to watch for, and I look forward to what they give us next.

-Justin Bookworm, Razorcake Issue #123

Sex and the City meets Black Mirror.

-Alana M Kelley, Maudlin House Magazine 

How to Cope with Financial Hardships

Photo Credit: Sincerely Media via Unsplash

How to Cope With Financial Hardships

By Julia Mitchell


Life doesn’t always go the way we planned, and oftentimes our finances take a hit during these detours. Perhaps you lost your job because of downsizing, or you’ve struggled to find good-paying work. Or you could be recovering from financial debt from an extended illness or repair. No matter the cause, financial stress can feel inescapable. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to change your situation. Life on the BPD explains how.

Consider Changing Careers

Unemployment is a serious problem, and many people have been out of work. The number of people reporting unemployment has varied a lot recently, but numbers are slowly decreasing. This is a great trend, but lost money during extended unemployment can impact you for a long time. And if your new job doesn’t pay enough, it will be difficult to financially recover from that deficit. 

If you’re noticing changes to your work prospects with no end in sight, or if the type of job you were doing won’t pay enough to get you back out of debt, you may want to consider changing careers. Think about other areas of interest where your education and work history may be relevant. Consider going back to school. There are many options from traditional classes to night classes or even online degree programs. 

Lastly, you may decide that you want to start a business of your very own. Beyond coming up with an idea for your company, there are a few things you need to do to get things started. First, you need to come up with a business idea. This can be something you’re passionate about or have experience in. Once you have your idea, you’ll need to start planning everything out. This includes coming up with a name, logo, and brand. You’ll also need to create a website and social media accounts. Once all of that is done, you’ll need to start marketing your business and getting customers. The best way to do this is by networking and using social media. Finally, you’ll need to continue growing your business by always being on the lookout for new opportunities. If you do all of these things, you’ll be well on your way to starting a new company.

Take Time for Yourself

Between work, family obligations, and worrying, you may find you have little time for yourself. This can lead to a vicious cycle of a lack of sleep and anxiety. When you’re stressed and not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to eat poorly, which only worsens the problems.  Instead, do something just for yourself. You could read a book, take a relaxing bath, or exercise. Engage in anything that takes your mind off your financial problems. 

Reevaluate Goals

It may feel overwhelming, but now is a great time to reestablish your financial goals, since you are dedicated to getting yourself back on track financially. Take a look at your current goals and decide if they’re still feasible. It may be time to alter them to adjust to the economic climate and extend the overall timeline. Set positive goals with smaller sub-goals so that you can see your progress. But also push yourself towards a challenging final goal. You may be surprised by what a little positive anxiety can help you accomplish.

If you’re not sure how to set new goals, consider working with a financial planner or doing some online research. They gather helpful information about financial planning, including professionals who can come alongside you to create and support these goals and present them online. A little guidance can go a long way!

Create a New Budget

Budgeting helps you know exactly how much money is coming in and going out. You know how much you can save monthly and how much you have to enjoy.

However, when situations change your budget needs to change, too. You may currently have more costs related to your household, potentially less income, and possibly fewer entertainment options. At this point, it’s time to create a new budget with all this in mind.

Once you have an accurate, up-to-date budget, you should look for areas where you can spend less and save more. With an uncertain economic climate, it’s more important than ever to have a nest egg.

Consider Refinancing Your Home

The pandemic brought about historically low refinance rates. Look at your options, because you could save yourself money each month and in the long run. For example, you can look into cash-out refinancing, which replaces your current mortgage with a larger one. You then receive the difference between the old and new as cash, which gives you some money to use however you choose. 

If you’re interested in refinancing, you’ll need to gather some information first. When you cash out or take a home equity loan, the lender needs to know your home’s current appraisal and the amount you still owe on your house. The appraisal will determine how much your home is worth now so that your lender can calculate how much equity you have in your home. The equity is the amount of money your home is appraised for minus the amount you still owe on your mortgage.

Don’t Let Hardships Take a Toll on Your Finances

Life has a way of surprising us – sometimes for good and other times not-so-good. Even if you’ve experienced some financial hardships lately, don’t let them completely derail your finances. Take a deep breath and reevaluate. Then, take steps today to start putting away money, even if that means you have to make a career change or reevaluate your budget.

Julia Mitchell is a career and finance writer. Check out here work at http://www.outspiration.net