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About Varied / Hobbyist T. A. Hernandez25/Female/United States Recent Activity
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I know I've been posting a lot of journals lately (and no art) so I am sorry about that, but I just wanted to take a moment and share how much I love living in my new city, because Lord knows I could use a little more optimism in my life.

So, as most of you know, I recently moved to Logan, Utah to attend school at Utah State University, where I will be majoring in social work. It was a big step, not just for me, but for my entire family. Because it's not just me, anymore. I have big, important ties to people now, and everything I do affects them. It was a big deal for us to pick up and move down here, but we did it. We've been here three weeks now, and I can honestly say that I couldn't be happier. Here are some things I love about my new city:

  1. Family. Two of my little brothers are in school and live here, too. My oldest brother and his wife are expecting a baby in January, so I get to be around for that and I am super excited. My second oldest brother may end up graduating at the same time as me, which would be awesome. I'm just really excited that we're all here and we can hang out together and stuff. You kind of miss that once you leave home and go your separate ways. Also, we left behind some awesome family support with my husband's parents and brothers in Burley. My mother-in-law has babysat the girls since Piper was born and has had a major hand in raising them, which I will be eternally grateful for. So I was a little concerned about moving here, especially when it came to the whole daycare thing. My brothers are busy with their own lives and everything and I didn't want to bother them. My oldest brother and his wife came over the other day though and were asking me about that stuff and if I'd found anything yet, and apparently, they had been talking about maybe her just watch the girls for us. She doesn't work and hasn't been able to get a job because they're in income-based housing so they can't go over that limit, plus she's pregnant and would have to take maternity leave in 5 months. Anyways, she's going to come over here every afternoon to watch the girls while I go to class. We'll still pay her, but we worked out something that was affordable for us and still reasonable for her. Plus she's family and I trust her, so that was a huge relief, and a huge weight off my shoulders. It's awesome to have family support. I would never be able to do any of this school stuff without it.
  2. Reconnecting with old friends. A few months ago, I found out that one of my very best friends from California had recently moved to Logan with her husband, so of course, I've been even more excited to move here ever since. We've kept in touch over the years, but it always makes me a little nervous to see people I haven't seen in a long time, because experience has taught me that people change and sometimes you don't click as well as you used to, and for some reason, that's always really devastating to me. Anyways, we met up last week and went to lunch at Olive Garden, and it was so much fun. We still have a lot in common and talked and laughed so much. She was one of the people who kind of got me interested in writing, so we talked about that a little, and it turns out she still writes, too, so that was really awesome. I left and realized that even though I'd said and done some of my usual socially awkward things--things I'm usually squirming about for days afterwards--I wasn't squirming. I wasn't embarrassed. We were best friends as kids, and now we're both grown up, and it feels like we're still best friends, and that's so awesome. I haven't had a friend like that to hang out with in a really long time, and I am definitely looking forward to hanging out with her again and reconnecting.
  3. Food and Shopping. So this is very materialistic of me, but I don't care. One thing that drove me a little crazy about Burley was that there weren't many choices when it came to going out to eat or going shopping or even just buying groceries. I definitely don't have that problem anymore. Need some new clothes (which I do, right now)? I don't have to settle for something I don't really like just because there's nothing else available to me (and let me tell you something--this is always a challenge if you are a woman over 5' 5" with ginormous feet and picky about your clothes. Can't find the obscure ingredient I need for food? That's ok, I'll drive a few blocks and try some other store. There are two Walmarts here. TWO! And two Smiths. One of which has an amazingly large selection of actually really nice clothing and shoes. And in Idaho, when Alex and I would go on dates, we used to go to the same restaurants over and over again because that's all there was. I seriously think we could live here ten years and not eat at even half the places in town. It's amazing.
  4. THE LIBRARY. THE LIBRARY GUYS!!! Do you know how long it has been since I have lived in a city with a decent library? TEN YEARS! Ten freaking long years. I mean, sure, the Burley library was okay-ish. But it was so small and they really didn't have much. Especially when it came to YA, fantasy/sci-fi, and books on writing (which is most of what I read). Plus you had to pay for a card if you lived outside city limits, and city limits were very limiting. We technically lived outside city limits for all but 1.5 years we were there. So anyways, I went to the library today. And I am still reveling in the awesomeness. It was glorious. So many books. I was there for an hour, and I didn't even see everything I wanted to see. Their YA section is HUGE, as is their sci-fi/fantasy selection. They have at least a hundred books on writing (I will finally be able to read Stephen King's On Writing, since I checked it out today). They have an entire section dedicated to "Social Issues," which I'm sure will come in handy when I inevitably have to write papers for my social work classes. They let you check out 50 things at a time. 50! Not that I ever would, but knowing that I can is immensely satisfying. The best part? They have several bookcases dedicated to graphic novels, including the complete Fullmetal Alchemist manga. I think I may have died and gone to heaven. Like, the angels were singing and everything. Glorious. Absolutely glorious.
  5. Diversity. To put things bluntly, in Burley, there are white people and Latinos. A few other members of various minorities, but when I say a few, I literally mean a few. White people and Latinos. Not that there is anything wrong with white people and Latinos. But one of the biggest reasons why I hated Burley was that so many people were so narrow-minded when it came to people who were different from them. Even the Latino population faced a lot of prejudice, and hearing people make judgmental comments just really grated on me. I'm not saying it will be perfect here, because it won't. I'm sure there are bigots here, too. But there are also a lot of different types of people here, and I think that helps, maybe. There are black people and white people and Asians and Muslims and Christians and Jews and Latinos and Arabs and Indians and all kinds of people. I love it. Seeing so much diversity when I haven't really seen it in a long time is awesome. I love learning about different kinds of people and cultures and the problems they face and how they overcome their challenges and so on. That's why I'm studying social work. It's just awesome to live in a city with so much more diversity than what I experienced in Burley.
  6. Radio Stations. Another thing Burley lacked was radio stations. Unless you like country music (and I don't). I always just used to listen to the music on my phone, which is great and all, but it's kind of fun to listen to the radio and not know what's coming next and occassionally hear songs you've never heard before. There are a ton of radio stations here, and better, a ton of non-country radio stations. I'm still picking out my favorite ones to program to the preset buttons on my car.
  7. College town. This is a huge college town, so just exploring a little, I have seen a ton of places that offer student discounts and stuff like that. There's also a ton of school spirit. Everyone is selling blue Utah State t-shirts, sweaters, and caps. The Smith's down the road from us has this ongoing "find the bull" plushie game in the store for kids and a big display of Pepsi cases in the shape of an A. (A for Aggie...I still have no idea what an Aggie is, but the mascot is a bull....so maybe it's some type of cattle?) I mean, admittedly, I'm was never one for being big on school spirit and all that, but it's kind of cool to see. And student discounts are awesome.
  8. It's gorgeous. There are mountains all around us, and Logan is kind of situated at the highest point in this canyon that leads up into Pocatello, ID on one side and back down to the freeway and Salt Lake on the other side. It's really green and the mountains are pretty, but the canyon is absolutely beautiful. I drove the canyon to the freeway a couple weeks ago, and I'd never been that way before, and it was so freaking pretty. Probably a little dangerous in winter, but so pretty. I wouldn't mind driving that every day.
Basically, I love this place, and I am so thrilled to be here. It's amazing, and I haven't even seen half of it yet, I'm sure. I'm definitely looking forward to spending at least the next five years here. Alex was a little skeptical about coming here at first, and he ended up getting two jobs again. But he won't be working nearly as many hours, and he'll be making a little more than he did working two jobs in Idaho, so that's really cool. One of the jobs is just temporary, and he mostly got it so we can pay off our debt and start looking at buying a house, probably sometime after next year. It's exciting to me that he likes it here too, because I kind of felt like I was forcing us into this just because I wanted to go to school, and I know he's been super stressed out about it. But he seems happy to be here, now, so that's really good. And the girls had a little bit of adjustment to do. Piper has been pretty good, aside from a few times where she's almost started crying because she wants Grandma Vicky and Papi Fernando. Lexi had a really hard time for the first two weeks. She is usually so mellow and easygoing and happy, but there were a few days where she literally cried for hours at a time and there was nothing I could do for her. She wasn't sick, she didn't want me to hold her, didn't want to eat or drink or play with toys, nothing. I think she probably was having separation anxiety from Alex's parents. Her abuelo is undeniably her favorite person in the world, and she still keeps asking "Papi? Papi?" every once in a while. Plus, she's only a year and a half, so she's old enough to understand that things changed drastically, but not old enough to understand why. She's back to her usual happy self this week though, so I think we're past the worst of it. And I am just looking forward for school to start. It's been great being home with the girls and having some time off, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting back in a routine and, more importantly, back on track to get my degree. It's a goal I've wanted to accomplish for a really long time, so it feels great to be here and one step closer to accomplishing that.
  • Mood: Euphoric
  • Listening to: Of Monsters and Men
  • Reading: Mirrormask
  • Watching: Inuyasha
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Inquisition
I saw this list on tumblr and decided to use it here. I've edited and deleted some of the questions since some of them were a bit redundant, but it's still kind of long so...read at your own peril. And feel free to take them and answer them yourself, too.

Questions for writers:


01: When did you first start writing?

I started writing when I was about 11 or 12, but it wasn't until I was 14 that I really started taking things more seriously and actively trying to learn how to write better.

02: What was your favorite book growing up?
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I credit those books with being the thing that really got me interested in storytelling in the first place.

03: Did you take writing courses in school/college?
Writing courses weren't offered at my high school, but I totally would have taken them if they were. At my current college, all of the creative writing courses have a ton of ridiculous prerequisites, which makes me sad, because I would love to take a class otherwise.

04: Have you read any writing-advice books?
Yeah, a few. Probably not as much as I should. I'm a big fan of Google and sites like Writer's Digest, Absolute Write, etc.

05: Have you ever been part of a critique group?
Yes, an online one. It was fairly helpful. Right now, there are two people I exchange critique with regularly, though we're not really a "group."

06: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
It's hard to pick one. I've been fortunate enough to get a lot of good feedback from writers who are more talented than I am. Recently, though, I got some awesome feedback from an editor regarding a story I had submitted to their anthology for publication. First of all, it was awesome to even get a response at all. But he also pointed out a few errors I hadn't caught, as well as a plot point I had written into the story that made no sense. Because of his help, I was able to change that plot point to fit better into the story, and even though they ultimately passed on it, I feel a little more confident submitting it to other markets now because he helped me make it better and was very encouraging about the whole process. He was even kind enough to give me a good explanation for why they had rejected it and encouraged me to keep submitting it elsewhere. That feedback meant a lot to me.   

07: What’s the worst piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?
Several months ago, I did a beta-read exchange with another writer who had also written a YA/NA dystopia novel. I finished her book quickly, and I had a lot of critique for it that may have come across as harsh but was, in my opinion, deserved. I gave her positive feedback as well, though, and tried to point out some strengths I saw in the story so that she could focus on bringing those things out more. When she returned feedback on my story a few weeks later, it was basically a five page rant about how she disliked everything. Some of her criticisms were valid, but most were just completely out of line, rude, and/or made no sense for the story. She had absolutely nothing positive to say at all, and I just felt like she was retaliating against some of the negative feedback I had given her.

08: What’s your biggest writer pet-peeve?
As someone who does a lot of beta-reading and critique for others, it annoys me to no end when people ask for your feedback, then get upset when you tell them anything that isn't praise for their work. Fortunately, this has only happened to me a few times, but it does kind of make me want to punch someone in the face. Like, if you don't think my criticisms are valid, fine. But at least appreciate that I took the time to read your work and offer an opinion instead of being an ungrateful jerk about it.

09: What’s your favorite book cover?
Hmmm....so hard. I actually really love the book covers for The Hunger Games series. They are simplistic, which is something I love in a book cover, but the images also convey a lot about the symbolism of the book and even the setting, with these very rigid shapes and lines. As much as it pains me to admit this, I will say that I like the covers for The Twilight Saga for the same reasons. Gorgeous images, simplistic, very basic color pallets. It works for me.

10: What’s your favorite writing quote?
Also a hard question...I have so many good writing quotes on Pinterest :P
"I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of." -Joss Whedon

11: What would you say has inspired you the most?
Other amazing stories, whether they be books or games or movies or whatever. For me, the short list includes The Lord of the Rings, Assassin's Creed, Fullmetal Alchemist, American Gods, Neverwhere, and Harry Potter. There are many others, but those are probably at the top of the list.

12: Would you like your books to be turned into TV shows, movies, video games, or none?
I think every writer dreams of having their stories turned into movies or TV shows at some point. I definitely wouldn't be opposed to the idea, as long as the story and characters were handled well. One of my biggest concern with my current novel being turned into a movie (if by some miracle that was ever an option) would be that the cast would be whitewashed, but as long as that didn't happen, I'd be all for it.

13: What’s your favorite writing program?
Microsoft Word? By default, because I've never used anything else. I have been curious about Scrivener, though. Has anyone ever used it?

14: Do you outline?
Yes--I'd be totally screwed if I didn't. I don't outline a ton, though, and sometimes that's problematic, as I don't have enough structure to work with. But I do find that flexibility is important, and I never really know exactly how a story is going to go until I actually write it. I just kind of go with the flow, but I'm getting better at creating solid outlines to begin with that are pretty closely aligned with how I want the story to end up.

15: Do you start with characters or plot?
It depends. I've done it both ways, and each comes with its own set of unique challenges.

16: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of making characters?
Favorite: Just figuring out who they are, which is generally a really long process for me. I don't typically have a really solid grasp of my characters when I start a story, so as I write, I'm constantly discovering new things about them, and it's just really cool to watch them evolve and change as time goes on.
Least favorite: The fact that I don't know them well when I start writing. I can do a thousand character worksheets, questions, exercises, etc., but until I actually get them in the story and write an entire draft, they're little more than strangers to me. And that can be really frustrating, especially in a first draft.

17: What’s your favorite & least favorite part of plotting?
Favorite: Those moments when all the pieces start to come together, and all the little scenes you had scattered around finally start to form a coherent, exciting story.
Least favorite: The moments when the pieces don't come together, and you just want to bang your head against the desk because you can't see any way to make them fit.

18: What advice would you give to other writers?
Just keep writing. I feel like the biggest difference between the people who are actually writers and the people who just like the idea of being writers is that the real writers put in all the blood, sweat, and tears necessary to improve their craft. It's freaking hard work, and if you're not passionate about it and committed to improving, you won't get anywhere. So keep writing, keep reading, keep getting feedback, keep finding ways to get better. It might seem like you're not making progress, but you are. Slowly but surely, you are.

19: Which is your favorite genre to write?
Anything speculative fiction. Fantasy, sci-fi, distopian, horror--I love all of it. I tend to write YA/NA stuff when it comes to novels, but for some reason, all of my short stories end up having older characters and non-YA themes. I'm not really sure why that is....

20: Which do you find hardest: the beginning, the middle, or the end?
Definitely the beginning. Ugh, I hate beginnings. I always end up writing at least four or five totally different beginnings when I start a story before I even figure out the right place to start, and that's not counting all the revisions that have to be done after.

21: Which do you enjoy more: writing or editing?
A few years ago, I would have said writing. Now, surprisingly, I find that I enjoy the editing/rewriting/revising part a lot more. Maybe this is just because I've spent so much more time doing that in the last few years than I have actually writing, or maybe it's because I've just finally come to understand and accept the fact that I am not one of those people who can write amazing first drafts. But yeah--revising is much more enjoyable and rewarding to me at this point. I feel like if I can just slog through the first draft, I at least will have something to work with that I can polish up and make all shiny and pretty--something I can actually be proud of. The whole initial writing process is really hard on my self-esteem, too, as I'm constantly doubting myself and thinking, "God, this sucks. What am I even doing?" I've just learned to tell my brain to shut up and vomit the words onto the page so I can clean up the mess afterward.

22: Have you ever written fan-fiction?
Um....no, I honestly can't say that I have ever written fan fiction. I have kind of thought of doing a short Fullmetal Alchemist fan fic lately, though. Not that I have an idea for a story or anything, but I like the idea of writing FMA fan fic. Just because, you know, FMA.

23: Have you ever been published?
Working on it, but no. Not yet.

24: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?
Friends? Only a handful of my IRL friends know I write, and those few are the ones I would let read my stories. And I have some online friends who I met through writing, so of course, I don't mind letting them read my work. But family? Ugh, no. I dread it. I did recently allow my mom to read a short story I've written. Which, on further consideration, may not have been a great idea, as it started out pretty gory and it was a science fiction. My mom isn't exactly a fan of either of those things. She didn't say much besides, "It was good." So....I don't know. I used to let my little brother read my stories, when I was in high school and he was in elementary school. He thought I was brilliant, but of course, he was only 9 or 10, so I don't think that counts. But I would probably let him read my stories again, if he wanted to. We're both kind of nerdy and like to read the same kinds of books, and he might like the fantasy/sci fi stuff I write.

25: What’s your favorite time of day for writing?
Late at night, because that's pretty much the only uninterrupted time I have for writing, when my kids are asleep.

26: What’s your oldest WIP?
Somewhere in my filing cabinet, I have pieces of an old cliche story about an aqua-haired warrior girl who finds out she's actually a princess and is somehow forced into this marriage to an evil dude who killed the king or some such nonsense....I don't know. I was 11 and was horrible. I maybe wouldn't call it a WIP, as there will probably never be any further progress made on that story. But I do still have it. I religiously save all of my old writing.

27: What’s your current WIP?
WIP: Chained--the story of how one author tried yet again to come up with a decent title for her novels, and failed miserably.
In all seriousness though...that's the working title, and no, I am not keeping it. But basically, it's a YA fantasy about a guy who is immortal and has these unbreakable chains around his wrists that he's trying to remove, and a girl who formed a bond with the spirit of a dead mage so she could do magic but now she doesn't do magic, and a man who was turned into a dragon, and a warrior who is trying to save her people, and a boy trying to save his dying sister, and another dead mage spirit who is hunting the main character because she wants his immortality. So...yeah. (I really need to figure out a real answer to this question. I feel like I never know how to answer this. Like, how do you even sum up a 100k word story in a few sentences?)

28: What’s the weirdest story idea you’ve ever had?
Lol, I was just thinking about this the other day.
I had this story that I wrote when I was 12, and I remember I was 12 because it was shortly after the 9/11 attack. Being 12, that was really my first understanding and comprehension of the fact that there were some seriously evil people in the world. Of course, the soldiers or whoever were all trying to hunt down Osama Bin Laden at the time, and being 12, I also still had this idea that the good guys always win, and couldn't understand why on earth no one could find him (yes, I did have a very sheltered childhood). Anyways, I think I was kind of struggling to wrap my head around all of that, because I started writing this story where the main character was this girl who's parents had been killed in 9/11 when she was a young kid (prologue!). She was like 14 or 15 in the story, and she got transported to this other dimension and went to this special fantasy school and was trained to be some kind of magical warrior or something, because there was this very bad evil antagonist who was trying to steal some kind of powerful sword that only she, the chosen one, could wield. Anyways, at the end of the story, when the MC finally confronts the antagonist, I was going to have this big reveal that the antagonist was actually Osama Bin Laden, and he had slipped into this other dimension after 9/11, and that's why no one could find him. I ended up scrapping the story shortly after because I figured it made no sense. If the character's parents died in 9/11 when she was 5 or 6, and then she didn't confront the antagonist until she was 15 or so--that's 10 years, and I figured, surely the soldiers will have tracked Bin Laden down by then. I find it bitterly ironic that it actually took about that amount of time for them to actually catch him. I don't know, it was such a weird story. But looking back at it now, I just--I understand why I might have come up with something like that.

29: Which of your original characters is your favorite, and why?
Probably Jared, from my previous WIP. I just loved writing him, and I loved his character arc and the way he's forced to grow and change throughout the story. Despite our obvious differences, I feel like I immediately understood him so much better than most of my other characters. He was always just easy and fun for me to write. I can see a lot of similarities between me and him, so maybe that has something to do with it. I mean, he's still very different from me, but I definitely see a kindred spirit in him. Even though I haven't worked on that story for months now, he's still at the forefront of my mind, clamoring for attention, and I can guarantee that he'll be the reason I eventually go back to it.

30: If you could live in any fictional world, which would it be?
I would go to Hogwarts. Seriously, how much fun would that be? Or maybe Amestris, from Fullmetal Alchemist. I always really loved the setting of FMA, and the whole alchemy concept is really interesting, too.
My initial reaction was to say Middle Earth, but honestly, I'm not sure how much I'd like living in a world without indoor plumbing and electricity. I wouldn't mind vacationing there, meeting some of the characters. But to live there? Not so much.
The Hunters by FadedDreams5
The Hunters

Valkyra lounged at the foot of the bed like a cat, wise grey eyes watching over the sleeping girl. “What did Hasan say?” she asked Tyrus in a voice barely louder than a whisper.

He shook his head and sat on the floor. “She’s not doing well. She almost died just days before we got here.”

“She’s strong.”

“That’s what I said. But Hasan’s right—she can’t fight this forever.”

“He thinks she'll die soon?"

Tyrus couldn't speak with the lump that had lodged in his throat and just nodded instead.

“And what do you think?” Valkyra asked gently.

Tyrus looked at Alena’s peaceful face and fought the tears that stung his eyes, waiting until he had control of his emotions to answer Valkyra’s question. “I don’t know. Hasan thinks I should stay here until she—” His eyes burned again, and he took a breath. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to give up on finding a cure, but I don’t want her to be alone when it happens.”
----------------------------------------------

Here we have Tyrus and Valkyra, the antagonists of my fantasy novel-in-progress. A long time ago, I saw this piece: fadeddreams5.deviantart.com/ar…
And my first thought was, "Oh my gosh! That pose would be so perfect for Silas and Valkyrus!" (Back when Tyrus was a much older man named Silas, and Valkyra was male). So yeah, I kind of stole the pose, because it's perfect for them. Valkyra is constantly sitting on or hovering over Tyrus' shoulder.

I love these guys so much. Seriously, I don't think I've ever loved any of my antagonists so much. They're easy for me to write and get inside their heads, which really helps. And I love their character arcs. It's fun to finally have some art of them. I tried to make Valkyra not-totally-white, but now I think she's a little too gray. I also got lazy with her fur, but....she was the last thing I colored and I think we all know by now how lazy I get when I'm at the end of a piece and just hurrying to finish. In my head, she's a lot prettier and more elegant but, meh. This works.

Background patterns taken from this: downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/sch…

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Art Trade (Shinji) by FadedDreams5
Art Trade (Shinji)
My half of an art trade with Secondsynergy of her character Shinji.

This was a lot of fun (and Lord knows I need to practice drawing men more). I loved the character design the moment I saw it. I'm not sure I got his face and hair quite right, but I hope you like it. :)
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I know I've been posting a lot of journals lately (and no art) so I am sorry about that, but I just wanted to take a moment and share how much I love living in my new city, because Lord knows I could use a little more optimism in my life.

So, as most of you know, I recently moved to Logan, Utah to attend school at Utah State University, where I will be majoring in social work. It was a big step, not just for me, but for my entire family. Because it's not just me, anymore. I have big, important ties to people now, and everything I do affects them. It was a big deal for us to pick up and move down here, but we did it. We've been here three weeks now, and I can honestly say that I couldn't be happier. Here are some things I love about my new city:

  1. Family. Two of my little brothers are in school and live here, too. My oldest brother and his wife are expecting a baby in January, so I get to be around for that and I am super excited. My second oldest brother may end up graduating at the same time as me, which would be awesome. I'm just really excited that we're all here and we can hang out together and stuff. You kind of miss that once you leave home and go your separate ways. Also, we left behind some awesome family support with my husband's parents and brothers in Burley. My mother-in-law has babysat the girls since Piper was born and has had a major hand in raising them, which I will be eternally grateful for. So I was a little concerned about moving here, especially when it came to the whole daycare thing. My brothers are busy with their own lives and everything and I didn't want to bother them. My oldest brother and his wife came over the other day though and were asking me about that stuff and if I'd found anything yet, and apparently, they had been talking about maybe her just watch the girls for us. She doesn't work and hasn't been able to get a job because they're in income-based housing so they can't go over that limit, plus she's pregnant and would have to take maternity leave in 5 months. Anyways, she's going to come over here every afternoon to watch the girls while I go to class. We'll still pay her, but we worked out something that was affordable for us and still reasonable for her. Plus she's family and I trust her, so that was a huge relief, and a huge weight off my shoulders. It's awesome to have family support. I would never be able to do any of this school stuff without it.
  2. Reconnecting with old friends. A few months ago, I found out that one of my very best friends from California had recently moved to Logan with her husband, so of course, I've been even more excited to move here ever since. We've kept in touch over the years, but it always makes me a little nervous to see people I haven't seen in a long time, because experience has taught me that people change and sometimes you don't click as well as you used to, and for some reason, that's always really devastating to me. Anyways, we met up last week and went to lunch at Olive Garden, and it was so much fun. We still have a lot in common and talked and laughed so much. She was one of the people who kind of got me interested in writing, so we talked about that a little, and it turns out she still writes, too, so that was really awesome. I left and realized that even though I'd said and done some of my usual socially awkward things--things I'm usually squirming about for days afterwards--I wasn't squirming. I wasn't embarrassed. We were best friends as kids, and now we're both grown up, and it feels like we're still best friends, and that's so awesome. I haven't had a friend like that to hang out with in a really long time, and I am definitely looking forward to hanging out with her again and reconnecting.
  3. Food and Shopping. So this is very materialistic of me, but I don't care. One thing that drove me a little crazy about Burley was that there weren't many choices when it came to going out to eat or going shopping or even just buying groceries. I definitely don't have that problem anymore. Need some new clothes (which I do, right now)? I don't have to settle for something I don't really like just because there's nothing else available to me (and let me tell you something--this is always a challenge if you are a woman over 5' 5" with ginormous feet and picky about your clothes. Can't find the obscure ingredient I need for food? That's ok, I'll drive a few blocks and try some other store. There are two Walmarts here. TWO! And two Smiths. One of which has an amazingly large selection of actually really nice clothing and shoes. And in Idaho, when Alex and I would go on dates, we used to go to the same restaurants over and over again because that's all there was. I seriously think we could live here ten years and not eat at even half the places in town. It's amazing.
  4. THE LIBRARY. THE LIBRARY GUYS!!! Do you know how long it has been since I have lived in a city with a decent library? TEN YEARS! Ten freaking long years. I mean, sure, the Burley library was okay-ish. But it was so small and they really didn't have much. Especially when it came to YA, fantasy/sci-fi, and books on writing (which is most of what I read). Plus you had to pay for a card if you lived outside city limits, and city limits were very limiting. We technically lived outside city limits for all but 1.5 years we were there. So anyways, I went to the library today. And I am still reveling in the awesomeness. It was glorious. So many books. I was there for an hour, and I didn't even see everything I wanted to see. Their YA section is HUGE, as is their sci-fi/fantasy selection. They have at least a hundred books on writing (I will finally be able to read Stephen King's On Writing, since I checked it out today). They have an entire section dedicated to "Social Issues," which I'm sure will come in handy when I inevitably have to write papers for my social work classes. They let you check out 50 things at a time. 50! Not that I ever would, but knowing that I can is immensely satisfying. The best part? They have several bookcases dedicated to graphic novels, including the complete Fullmetal Alchemist manga. I think I may have died and gone to heaven. Like, the angels were singing and everything. Glorious. Absolutely glorious.
  5. Diversity. To put things bluntly, in Burley, there are white people and Latinos. A few other members of various minorities, but when I say a few, I literally mean a few. White people and Latinos. Not that there is anything wrong with white people and Latinos. But one of the biggest reasons why I hated Burley was that so many people were so narrow-minded when it came to people who were different from them. Even the Latino population faced a lot of prejudice, and hearing people make judgmental comments just really grated on me. I'm not saying it will be perfect here, because it won't. I'm sure there are bigots here, too. But there are also a lot of different types of people here, and I think that helps, maybe. There are black people and white people and Asians and Muslims and Christians and Jews and Latinos and Arabs and Indians and all kinds of people. I love it. Seeing so much diversity when I haven't really seen it in a long time is awesome. I love learning about different kinds of people and cultures and the problems they face and how they overcome their challenges and so on. That's why I'm studying social work. It's just awesome to live in a city with so much more diversity than what I experienced in Burley.
  6. Radio Stations. Another thing Burley lacked was radio stations. Unless you like country music (and I don't). I always just used to listen to the music on my phone, which is great and all, but it's kind of fun to listen to the radio and not know what's coming next and occassionally hear songs you've never heard before. There are a ton of radio stations here, and better, a ton of non-country radio stations. I'm still picking out my favorite ones to program to the preset buttons on my car.
  7. College town. This is a huge college town, so just exploring a little, I have seen a ton of places that offer student discounts and stuff like that. There's also a ton of school spirit. Everyone is selling blue Utah State t-shirts, sweaters, and caps. The Smith's down the road from us has this ongoing "find the bull" plushie game in the store for kids and a big display of Pepsi cases in the shape of an A. (A for Aggie...I still have no idea what an Aggie is, but the mascot is a bull....so maybe it's some type of cattle?) I mean, admittedly, I'm was never one for being big on school spirit and all that, but it's kind of cool to see. And student discounts are awesome.
  8. It's gorgeous. There are mountains all around us, and Logan is kind of situated at the highest point in this canyon that leads up into Pocatello, ID on one side and back down to the freeway and Salt Lake on the other side. It's really green and the mountains are pretty, but the canyon is absolutely beautiful. I drove the canyon to the freeway a couple weeks ago, and I'd never been that way before, and it was so freaking pretty. Probably a little dangerous in winter, but so pretty. I wouldn't mind driving that every day.
Basically, I love this place, and I am so thrilled to be here. It's amazing, and I haven't even seen half of it yet, I'm sure. I'm definitely looking forward to spending at least the next five years here. Alex was a little skeptical about coming here at first, and he ended up getting two jobs again. But he won't be working nearly as many hours, and he'll be making a little more than he did working two jobs in Idaho, so that's really cool. One of the jobs is just temporary, and he mostly got it so we can pay off our debt and start looking at buying a house, probably sometime after next year. It's exciting to me that he likes it here too, because I kind of felt like I was forcing us into this just because I wanted to go to school, and I know he's been super stressed out about it. But he seems happy to be here, now, so that's really good. And the girls had a little bit of adjustment to do. Piper has been pretty good, aside from a few times where she's almost started crying because she wants Grandma Vicky and Papi Fernando. Lexi had a really hard time for the first two weeks. She is usually so mellow and easygoing and happy, but there were a few days where she literally cried for hours at a time and there was nothing I could do for her. She wasn't sick, she didn't want me to hold her, didn't want to eat or drink or play with toys, nothing. I think she probably was having separation anxiety from Alex's parents. Her abuelo is undeniably her favorite person in the world, and she still keeps asking "Papi? Papi?" every once in a while. Plus, she's only a year and a half, so she's old enough to understand that things changed drastically, but not old enough to understand why. She's back to her usual happy self this week though, so I think we're past the worst of it. And I am just looking forward for school to start. It's been great being home with the girls and having some time off, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting back in a routine and, more importantly, back on track to get my degree. It's a goal I've wanted to accomplish for a really long time, so it feels great to be here and one step closer to accomplishing that.
  • Mood: Euphoric
  • Listening to: Of Monsters and Men
  • Reading: Mirrormask
  • Watching: Inuyasha
  • Playing: Dragon Age: Inquisition

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FadedDreams5
T. A. Hernandez
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Just a 22-year-old artist/writer living in the middle of nowhere with my husband, our daughter, and a doberman. I love comments, feedback, chatting, and meeting other artists/writers, so drop me a not anytime! :)
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:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for joining my Secret-Santa-2014 group and featuring your journal! :hug:

It would always be good to submit your Secret Santa wishlist too as a favour!
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:iconfadeddreams5:
FadedDreams5 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, will do as soon as I get it made.  Thanks for all the faves
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:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That sounds fair enough.

Sorry for not responding sooner or enough, but my network connection is becoming increasingly unreliable recently. :(

Your entire gallery is wonderful! I'll be looking through your older stuff on your page, btw. :hug:
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:iconsabinoir:
SabiNoir Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014
Thanks for the fav! Meow :3 
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:iconarkiniano:
Arkiniano Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
Nice gallery! and thanks a lot for all the support ;)
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