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In Omnia Paratus – Ready for Anything!

By July 27, 2017 Life

Hey there!  It’s me, Heidi.

You jump, I jump, Jack.

Anyone else a Gilmore Girls fan out there? This is one of my absolute favorite shows, and if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend you do so.  I’ve watched the series at least twice all the way from start to finish, and maybe even more.  It’s hilarious, it’s relatable, and it touches on aspects of family life and the pangs of growing from adolescence into adulthood that everyone experiences.  Plus Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop… Need I say more?

In one of my favorite episodes that I just recently re-watched, Rory is in college and getting serious about her journalism career.  She comes across a secret society at Yale University haphazardly, and wants to expose them in a scandalous article for the Yale Daily News.  Her new pal of sorts, Logan, happens to be a part of this secret society that we later find out is named the Life and Death Brigade.  Their goal… to live life to the fullest.  Their motto… In Omnia Paratus, loosely translated as “ready for anything.”  Logan invited Rory along to a Life and Death Brigade event, where she is exposed to people and adventures that she never otherwise would have given a chance.  I don’t want to give away the details of the episode because I’d much prefer that you actually watch it (the whole series is on Netflix and it’s a great binge watch), but let’s just say the picture of Rory and Logan with the umbrellas holds particular significance to Rory’s new experience.  Their jump (What jump?  Just go watch the show!) signifies the start of a new life.

Although the members of the Life and Death Brigade may be a little more reckless than we should be, they make a good point:  There’s no use living if you haven’t lived.  

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to go on the most extreme adventures or live our lives on the edge of danger or reason.  It means that we are obligated to make the most of the time we have been given on this Earth, because it is short.  No one escapes the inevitable.

Making the most of the time we have is going to look different for everyone.  No two lives are exactly the same… and thank God for that!  For me, making the most of the time I have means working hard, but also taking time to do the things that matter the most to me with the people that matter the most to me.

At the present, making the most of my time looks like job interview after job interview after job interview.  And, let me tell you, it royally sucks.  Literally no one likes to go on job interviews, but I know that if I stick it out, do the best that I can, and trust in God’s plan for my life, I will soon be embarking on an adventure that I never could’ve dreamed up for myself.

Easier said than done… the trusting in God’s plan for my life part.  Never in a million years did I think I would be applying for jobs out of Louisiana, but here we are.  Surprise!  And throughout this whole job searching journey and not knowing what’s going to happen and being scared out of my mind but also super excited, all I keep thinking is:

IN OMNIA PARATUS!  READY FOR ANYTHING!

You jump, I jump, Jack.

Until next time,

Wandering Thespian

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Beach Confidence: Nobody’s Looking

By July 24, 2017 Life, Travel

Hey there!  It’s me, Heidi.

This week I went to the beach with two of the best ladies I know; and, as always, when I’m surrounded by inspiring people and an inspiring view, I tend to have some inspiring thoughts.  I’d like to share what came to mind this week on my trip.

There comes a time in every girl’s life when she will walk out onto the beach and think, “eff it, nobody’s looking.” She will take the swimsuit cover off, throw her towel down, and strut her lumpy butt down to the water and have the time of her life. She will splash, she will swim, she will smile, and she won’t care who sees her. But it takes a while to get to that point. Trust me… I’m 29 and I’ve just now gotten there.  When she does, she realizes that there’s no need to be self-conscious because nobody’s looking at her anyway. Those other people are having fun with their own friends and family. And heck, even if they are looking, what they’re thinking isn’t, “Wow, look at that loser.”  No.  They’re thinking, “Damn.  I wish I had her confidence.”

Guess what… you can!

But how?

Well, I’ll tell you.

1.  Buy a bathing suit you are COMFORTABLE in!

This is obviously easier said than done, I know.  But, seriously, the second you stop worrying about finding a bathing suit that is super fashionable or in style that season and instead find one that actually fits your body, it will make all the difference in the world.  What can be more uncomfortable and make you more self conscious than a bathing suit that doesn’t fit you well?  I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the water I don’t want to worry about a sick wave knocking my top off.  Amiright?

I’ve also found that, when it comes to swimsuit comfort, less isn’t always more.  I recently bought a one-piece romper style swimsuit from Target that actually has more fabric than any other swimsuit I’ve had, but it holds everything in place and I don’t have to worry about showing parts of my body that I don’t want to be seen.  I can move around freely, and it feels great!  If you feel good, you will look good.  Don’t worry about what “they” think.

2.  Stop comparing yourself to other people.

It’s so easy to look at everyone around you at the beach and to start comparing yourself to the two or three super skinny, super fit, super tan, super blonde, teeny bikini wearing women who everyone seems to be noticing.  DON’T DO IT.  DON’T PLAY THAT GAME.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Sure, go ahead and look around.  After all, there’s lots of beauty to behold at the beach.  But, instead of seeing all of the things you are not, focus on all of the things that you are.  You are an amazing person made in God’s image and likeness, and you are blessed to be spending a glorious day in the sun.  You may not look like a super model, but who does?  Even super models don’t look like super models in real life.  You are who  you are, and you are PERFECT.

“Take a break from worrying about what you can’t control.  Live a little.” -Passengers

You cannot control what you look like.  You cannot control what other people may or may not think of you.  So stop worrying about those things and LIVE.  Live boldly.

3.  Focus on what’s really important and RELAX.

Nothing gives you more confidence than beaching it with the right group of friends or family who are all about building you up.  Stay OFF of social media and be present with your loved ones surrounding you.  Bring a book, clear your head, listen to some music or let the sound of the waves soothe you.  Grab some coconut oil, a handful of sand, and give yourself a beach pedi.  Meditate, have a daiquiri, rent a kayak for a few hours and explore the deeper waters.  Bring a notebook and write down any inspiring thoughts that come to you as you observe your surroundings.  Get out of your head and LIVE IN THE MOMENT.  Focus on all of the good things you have going on in your life, and the worry and anxiety will fall away.

In summary, know that you are awesome!  Let loose, relax, take the cover up off, dive in, HAVE FUN!

There is no one on Earth as fabulous as you.

“You are enough.  You are so enough.  It’s unbelievable how enough you are.” -Sierra Boggess

Until next time,

Wandering Thespian

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Frose, y’all! (and other reasons to eat at Willa Jean)

By June 18, 2017 Life, Travel

Hey there!  It’s me, Heidi.

Back again today with another exhilarating blog post, only this time I’m writing from Florida!  That’s right, be jealous.  I’m at the beach!  For anyone looking for inspiration, the beach is a great location for writing.  The warm weather, the sound of the waves, a salty breeze, and maybe a rum punch in hand make for a nearly perfect writing location/scenario.  Anyway… while I’m here in Florida taking a break from every day life, I thought I would use the opportunity to write, write, write, write, write.  So, get ready for several posts a day for the next five days!

First up, I’m going to talk about the restaurant where that delicious loaf up in the feature photo came from!  If you love food as much as me, this post is dedicated to you – and Denise (bff/eating buddy).

I have been friends with Denise (or as I lovingly call her, Goose… or Bernice… or Heifer depending on the day) since 6th grade.  SIXTH GRADE.  That’s like… well, it’s a lot of years that add up to well over half of our lives.  I don’t have any friends who I have been friends with as long as Goose, and as long as we’ve known each other we’ve had three loves in common – shopping, travel, and FOOD.  Food, glorious food!  We have even travelled together several times, and the number one question we always ask every single days is, “Ok, where are we eating?”  It’s our thing.  So, naturally, on Friday night when we were both sitting around bored we decided we were going to find somewhere to eat.  Our only requirements?  That it is edible and delicious.

Since Denise lives in New Orleans proper, we decided we were going to make it a night out in the city, Uber and all.  We chose Willa Jean.  The bakery/cafe is part of the Besh Restaurant Group with Chef Kelly Fields at the helm.  It features southern style meals and baked goods, and all of the coffee and adorable alcoholic beverages you could ever want.  Before I get into how our experience and meal was, let’s talk money.

I’m actually surprised and how inexpensive Willa Jean can be.  Sure, you can go nuts like Denise and I did with alcohol, appetizer, main dish, AND dessert, but even so, we didn’t spend as much as we expected to.  Our drinks were $11 each, which is pretty typical.  Appetizers (or “snacks” as they’re labelled on the menu) run anywhere between $9 and $12.  Your main dish (could be a tartine, sandwich, salad + soup, or a hot plate) can go for between $12 and $25.  Hot plates are a bit more expensive than tartines, sandwiches, salad + soup, but still relatively reasonable.  And, all desserts are $9 – which you can totally split even though Denise and I are pigs and had to have our own… I’m not even sorry.

So, really, you can make it as expensive or inexpensive as you want.  We decided to go all out since we were considering this a night out on the town and weren’t going anywhere else.  Between our Uber to and from the restaurant, and alcohol, appetizer, main dishes, and two desserts, we spent about $120 total for the whole night.  $60 for each of us, which I thought was pretty good for all of that.  Not to mention it’s a really hip atmosphere in a good part of the city (look at me using the word hip… I’m not even hip enough to use the word hip much less pretend that I fit in at a hip restaurant).

And now for our food.  IT.  WAS.  SO.  GOOD.  We both got a glass of frose (frozen rose), which was adorable and pink and girly and made us feel like the hipster princesses that we’re totally not.  Then we ordered our appetizer… corn bread (the feature photo above).  But, oh no… this wasn’t normal corn bread.  It was an entire freaking loaf of the sweetest corn bread I’ve ever eaten, with a side of whipped butter and Poirier’s cane syrup.  DELISH.  We at the whole thing.  THE WHOLE THING.  For our main dishes, we went for completely opposite types of meals, but both were so amazing.  Goose got a hot plate – braised lamb over bowtie pasta with a mint pesto, tomatoes, english peas, and feta cheese.  I had a tartine – avocado toast topped with two poached eggs, olive oil, tomatoes, and sea salt.  There was also a lot of arugula on it.  Both of our meals had flower petals sprinkled over the top giving them a beautiful, summery, colorful appearance.  When our waitress came to pick up our plates (which again, we ate ALL of), she asked us how we were doing.  “Full.  We are SO FULL.”  Do you have room for dessert?  “Absolutely yes we do!”

Y’all… we each got our own dessert and shared because WE ARE PIGS, but it was so worth it.  Goose had the red velvet cake, which was more like chunks of cake in a bowl topped with a cherry sauce, chocolate squares, creole cream cheese ice cream, and some sort of crunchy delicious unidentifiable something.  I got milk and cookies – chocolate chip cookies with salt on them, sweet vanilla milk, and they bring you a chunk of raw cookie dough with it.

To say we were stuffed by the end of the night is a gross understatement.  It was so much food.  So much yum.  So much fun.  So much hell yes.  We vowed to keep going back until we’ve tried everything on the menu.  It really is that good.  Would I eat there on a normal every day basis?  Probably not.  But on a vacation, stay-cation, or just a good ole girls night out like we had it is an excellent choice.

I’m going to post pictures below because honestly, the food descriptions just don’t do it justice.  You’ve gotta see it for yourself.  And, hopefully, you’ll try it for yourself someday soon!

Until next time,

Wandering Thespian

My gorgeous friend and date for the evening.

Frose, y’all!

Slice of cornbread = slice of heaven.

Braised lamb + bowtie pasta.

Avocado toast tartine.

Red velvet cake.

Milk and cookies.

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Wandering Thespian now on Redbubble and Bloglovin’

By June 5, 2017 Life

Hey there!  It’s me, Heidi.

This is going to be a brief post – and totally and completely all about self-promotion.

I’ve decided that aside from the Twittersphere and Instaworld, I’m going to try and grow my presence online by adding Wandering Thespian to two different websites:

  1. Redbubble
  2. Bloglovin’

Redbubble is a site where artists can design different pieces and sell them for a profit.  I’m working on some t-shirt and tote bag designs at the moment that will be up on Redbubble for sale soon!  It won’t be immediate.  I need some time to get my creative juices flowing and whatnot.  You’ll see that I added a “shop now” button to the sidebar that directly links you to Wandering Thespian’s Redbubble page – the easier for you the better, right?

Bloglovin’ is a site that’s basically Pinterest, but for bloggers.  If you’re someone who likes to write you should 100% check it out!  You can follow different bloggers, “pin” your favorite posts, and even promote your very own blog!  Wandering Thespian will be on there interacting with other bloggers for ideas, fellowship, inspiration, and to hopefully recruit some more readers like you!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

That’s all I’ve got for you at the moment.  I tried to keep this short, because I know it’s not the most exhilarating content, but it’s definitely important for you cool cats to know while you follow me on this journey!

Until next time,

Wandering Thespian

 

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When writer’s block strikes… dun, dun, duuuuuuuuuuun!

By June 3, 2017 Life

Hey there!  It’s me, Heidi.

Well… I’ve already done it.  I’ve already skipped a day of blogging.  SOOOOOOO today you’re going to get a twofer.  That’s write… TWO for the price of one!  And, considering that reading my blog is completely free, I’d say you’re getting the sweetest deal around, wouldn’t you?

Ok, so since I’ve been having such trouble finding something to write about, I decided to write this blog about finding something to write about.  So meta of me, right?

There are a bunch of different ways that I find something to write about.  The way I like best is to come up with something organically.  To be inspired with a thought and to know I just have to write it down.  But, that’s not always how things work out.  You see, writing requires thinking.  THINKING.  As in… you know that huge brain you’ve got in that head of yours?  You have to actually use it.  And using your brain to write isn’t always easy.  Some days you just plain old can’t think of anything interesting to write about, and some days you just don’t want to.

I’ve got two different tools that I use when I have the urge to write, but I can’t think of something to write about:

  1.  The Happy Book: A Journal to Celebrate What Makes You Happy by Rachel Kempster and Meg Leder
  2. 642 Things to Write About by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto

Whether you’re a poet, a novelist, a journalist, a screenwriter, or any of those other awesome writer types out there, these books are (in the words of Tony the Tiger) grrrrrrrrrrrreat!

The Happy Book allows a little more than just writing, which, for the multi-artistic person is so fun.  You can sketch, cut and paste, write, color.  This book includes it all.  In the gallery above you’ll see a few of my Happy Book entries as an example.  The first is a prompt that challenges you to write down all of your favorite childhood books, and the second prompted you to plan out your perfect dinner party – the meal and the guests.  I chose to cut out pictures of foods that I love and paste them into the journal instead of writing.  One the page next to it (not pictured) I pasted pictures of the people I would invited in a circle as if we were all sitting around a table.  Both were fun little exercises, and everything in the book is focused on turning a bad day into a good one.  To help you reflect on the simple things in life… things we often take for granted.  If you’re having a brain fart, you can always go to your Happy Book and use one of the prompts either just to answer the prompt itself, or to allow the prompt to launch you into a larger project.

642 Things To Write About is strictly for writing.  Each prompt has lines drawn underneath for you to write on.  Not much room to draw or cut and paste, but that’s not the point of this book.  I really like this one because I’m not writing about personal things necessarily.  You, of course, can use this as a journal if the particular prompt is very personal to you, but I much prefer writing about the sillier things.  For example, in the pictures above you will see some of the prompts I have responded to such as writing a haiku about a tomato and the beginnings of a story involving elderly spies.  In the third picture, you’ll see a prompt I responded to that had much more serious content – a girl looking through a sky light down on her ex-fiance’s wedding.  I, of course, have absolutely no experience involving this whatsoever, but you see how when you are forced to put yourself in someone else’s shoes a great story can come out of it?  I think that’s one reason I like theatre and books so much – you get the inside scoop on how the other half lives.

Both of these books are great resources, they’re fun to use, and they can help you come up with some excellent pieces of writing.  Know upfront that not everything you write about has to be perfect.  Sometimes the goofiest prompts and the worst things you’ve ever written can give you the best ideas!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you on this topic.  On to article #2 that I promised you!

If you have some other ways of coming up with writing topics that you like, please comment below!  I’d love to hear what you have to say, and I’d love to try out your strategies!

Until next time,

Wandering Thespian

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Dear Heidi, tomorrow’s going to be a good day, and here’s why.

By June 1, 2017 Life, Theatre

Hey there!  It’s me, Heidi.

Here we are in Day 4 of my 30 Day Blog Challenge.  Today’s challenge was to set up a subscription opt-in for my wonderful, beautiful, talented, amazing, unique, and perfect-as-you-are readers.  But, here’s the deal… there are a couple of tweaks and a bit more research on the matter that I have to do before subscription capability will become a reality for Wandering Thespian.  It’ll happen, I swear!  You all deserve to be updated on all of the new content and exciting things I have to share with you so that you don’t miss a single thing.  It’s just going to take some time.

The other part of today’s challenge was to… can you guess it?  I bet you can guess it.  Ready?  Here it comes………. WRITE!  And, as per usual, I spent all day thinking of what I could possibly write about (hence the reason you’re probably not going to see this post until you wake up on Day 5).  I’m going to be a bit transparent here, if you don’t mind.  I’m in the middle of an employment transition.  And by “employment transition,” I mean I have a temporary job while I’m looking for an exciting career.  For any of you who have also been in one of these transitions, you know how frustrating it can be.  Yes, you’re so incredibly grateful for that temporary job as it’s helping you pay the bills, but you also know you’re capable of and desiring so much more.  So.  For today’s post (that I’m now only just sitting down to write at 11:00pm… shhhhh don’t tell), I’m going to take some inspiration from an incredible Broadway production I saw in January this year.  DEAR EVAN HANSEN.

For my not-so-Broadway-savvy readers, DEAR EVAN HANSEN is the incredible story of a high school boy who is desperately trying to find his place in the world.  Throughout the show, we learn that Evan is suffering greatly – although from what, we never really find out – and his therapist has given him an assignment.  He’s is supposed to write a letter to himself every single day that starts with the phrase, “Dear Evan, today is going to be a good day, and here’s why.”  I’m going to attempt to do the same… to give myself (and hopefully you) some encouragement for right now, for tomorrow, for any time you feel like you’re alone in this ever-so-temporary life.  Here we go.

Dear Heidi,

Tomorrow’s going to be a good, day and here’s why.

You are a daughter of the King.  He who loves you most will never ever leave you.  Even when you’re in the pits of despair and things aren’t all sunshine and daisies, He is there in the trenches with you.  He is fighting for you.  You do not have to fight alone.

You are smart.  You have been given the gift of an education that no one can take away from you.  You will find a career that you love where your talents are used to their fullest.  Even if your current job is “temporary” in nature, you have so much joy and love to bring to the people you encounter at work every single day.  There are people in this world that do not have the opportunities that you have, whether you always like them or not.

It’s supposed to rain.  And you love the rain.  So, there.

There’s a chocolate bar in your fridge that is waiting to be eaten.  You’re going to eat the whole thing.  The.  Whole.  Thing.  And, that’s an order.  If that doesn’t make tomorrow the best day ever, I don’t know what will!

You have the coolest cat who gives you more cuddles than you could ever possibly need in this life.  Seriously.  His snuggle game is so strong.  His fart game is so strong, too, but we’ll just ignore that for a second.  The little gentleman has even kept his bowtie on for a solid three days.  Trust me when I say that cat does NOT want to be wearing a bowtie.  But he’s doing it for you.  Because you feed him.

Pretty much you’re #winning at life right now even though it may not feel like it.  You are the bomb dot com so grab the tequila and raise the roof because you are absolutely #nailingit.

Sincerely,

Me

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Let’s Talk About Me!

By May 30, 2017 Life, Theatre, Travel

Hi again!  It’s me, Heidi.

So here we are, Day 3 of my challenge, and the challenge is to… wait for it… WRITE.  That’s right.  For the next several days the only challenge I have is to fill this blog up with content.  Which, for someone who likes to write, you’d think that would be easy.  But, oh my friend, how wrong you are!  Actually, it’s not so much the writing that’s the difficult part.  It’s the part where I have to decide what to write about.  Topics.  And for this girl, that is sooooooo difficult because I want to write about everything!  But I have to choose one.  So for today, you’re going to get to know me through some pictures and some things that I love most.  Lucky you 😉

In one of the pictures above you see three things that I love.  My cat, Fiyero.  A book by one of my favorite women – you must read it!  And my bed.  That is my happy place, especially on a rainy day!  It is the place where I feel the most creative.  It is the place I feel the most productive.  And it is the place where I feel the most relaxed.

Creative, productive, relaxed.

One of my most favorite ways to be creative, productive, and relaxed is through writing for BroadwayWorld.com, which I briefly mentioned in this article here.  I am a contributing editor for Broadway World in New Orleans, which means that I get to go see all of the theatre I want for (mostly) FREE and in return I write some killer reviews and I even get to interview some of the talent.  This upcoming 2017-2018 theatre season will be my 6th season with the site, and it has been a joy and an honor to get to write about the performing arts – something that I was introduced to as a child, continued on with through high school, and has been a life changer.  I’m such a theatre nerd, and that is why I have chosen to make it a huge part of this blog.  From my local theatre adventures to visiting Broadway to interviews with the coolest people to playbill collecting to Broadway Con to my forays with auditioning – I’m gonna talk about it all!

Another way that I feel creative, productive, and relaxed is through travel.  I L-O-V-E to travel!  My parents are of an adventurous nature, and were never afraid to take me and my siblings on trips even as young kids.  We were taught travel etiquette, how to navigate an airport on our own, how to get back to the hotel if we got separated, and how to “not look like tourists” (except for that one time mom made us wear fanny packs in NYC… *rolls eyes*).  There are two travel lessons I have kept with me that I think are invaluable.  Dad always said to “never pack more than you can carry yourself,” and mom always said to “count how many doors there are between your room and the nearest staircase in case of a fire – if it’s smoky and you can’t see, you can feel/count your way to an exit.”  Naturally, travel will also be a huge part of this blog.

And then, there’s life!  All of the random happenings, thoughts, gadgets, tips and tools, books, movies, friends, family that there are to write about!  I love life, I love finding the beauty in every aspect of life (although, if I’m honest, sometimes it’s really difficult), and I love writing about it!

So… cheers to you, my friends for sticking around for article #2.  Please come back for article #3!  I have so much more to say!

Until next time,

Wandering Thespian

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30 Day Blog Challenge

By May 30, 2017 Life

Hey there!  It’s me, Heidi.

Here we are… the start of it all.  A new state of life, a new venture, a new blog.  Before I get into the thick of things, I want to introduce myself and tell you a little about me, why I am starting this blog, and the 30 Day Blog Challenge that is helping me get started.

I have a really great relationship with the written word.  I mean, a really good relationship.  Me and writing… we’re practically besties (do people even use “besties” anymore?).  As long as I can remember I have loved to write about anything and everything.  I’m much more confident about my thoughts when I can put them to paper instead of articulating them aloud.

I guess you could say my first foray into writing professionally happened when I was in maybe 4th grade…. 3rd grade?  Something like that.  I live in New Orleans and Mardi Gras is a family tradition.  My favorite pop star of the time, Britney Spears, was riding in one of the big parades and I was so excited to see her!  To my dismay, she didn’t get on her float until the viewing stands which wasn’t until after it passed me.  I was so upset that I wrote an editorial and sent it to the Times Picayune… and they published it!  It was then that I learned the power of the pen, and I haven’t stopped since.

What I found out post-college is that even with a Master’s degree in Communication, you are NOT guaranteed a job.  You’re just not.  It’s tough out there, especially for people my age, to find jobs that we’re qualified for that will also pay us what we need to sustain our daily lives.  I’m not talking extravagant living here, people.  I just want to pay my rent.  I’ve been lucky enough to work in the academic world for the past several years at both the university and high school levels, and although I was good at my job and enjoyed it, I still wasn’t “living the dream” of being able to write for a living.  Call me bohemian if you must… but I can just see myself waking up around 9am, having a cup of steaming hot coffee on my extra large porch with my cat, and writing the day away in sweatpants.  That’s the dream.  Is it reality?  Well, that remains to be seen.

For now, I’ll continue writing for BroadwayWorld.com (oh yeah, did I mention I do that?  More on that later…), I’ll continue chugging along finding ways to make ends meet, and I’ll continue on with making this blog all that it can be.

Speaking of making this blog all that it can be, I have the help of a really great website called the 30 Day Blog Challenge.  For the next 28 days (I’m currently already on day 2) you’ll get to follow me as I set up my blog and all of the teeny tiny details, add new and exciting content for you to read, and maybe even get inspired to start writing yourself.

Until next time,

Wandering Thespian

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