December Favorites

Hey friends,

I know it has been a bit since I last posted. And quite frankly I should have known better than to expect that I could actually hop right back into my usual two week posting schedule after blogging for the entire month of October and then working on my first ever NaNoWriMo project all throughout November. See more on this HERE.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely miss blogging! But since NaNo wrapped I kind of just threw myself into holiday mode with the determination to actually get things done earlier this year and not have to rush all over on December 23rd.. I have to say, of course there were some hiccups and there are a few last minute things to take care of this weekend, but for the most part I did pretty good. And just in case you were wondering, I was able to cross quite a few of my Winter Bucket List items off my list! 

Normally around this time I would have posted way more holiday related content. And I can’t believe I haven’t yet. Christmas Eve is literally only 2 days away! I haven’t even started to plan out my 2019 goals yet either! And my full experience with #NaNoWriMo has yet to be written. I’ve gotten ahead of some things, but remain behind on others! You know what they say, life happens! Lol.

So I thought that for today’s random Saturday post that I could maybe do a little bit of a December Favorites. Show you some things I’ve been loving this December. This is such a festive time, and there are so many things I am loving lately. 

Holiday Favorites

Christmas mug with some hot chocolate or festive tea

My aunt bought me this mug from Burlington, and it has become my favorite for this holiday season. I love the hippie camper truck vibes, how adorable is it?

mug life

Christmas music

These are the songs I have to listen to every year! They just put me in the best spirit. And it never fails, O Holy Night by Celine Dion makes me cry every time. Gets me EVERY time. 

Christmas movies- Lifetime

Now I haven’t seen them all, but this channel has been on my tv non-stop. All the feel good, romantic Christmas vibes. I am here for it! So here are some of my favorites…

Noel- I cannot say enough good about this movie. It is incredible. 

The Christmas Contract

Poinsettias for Christmas

Snowed Inn Christmas 

Love at the Christmas Table 

Four Christmases and A Wedding

Hometown Christmas 

Christmas Pen Pals

A Christmas Arrangement

A Star for Christmas 

Christmas on the Bayou

The Spirit of Christmas 

All About Christmas Eve

A Christmas Wedding Date 

A Gift Wrapped Christmas 

…and the list goes on, because there are SO many!

 

Check your local listings!

 

Favorite scent

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My best friend was burning this in her house when I visited her and I fell in love with the scent from Bath & Body Works. I had ordered this mini one and burned it so quickly, that I just had to go out and buy the big size. It smells like a Christmas tree and it is perfect for anyone who has a fake tree, and misses that pine scent. I know I love it! And it’s made with essential oils so the scent is just so crisp and clean. 

Favorite treats

Every holiday season Entenmann’s has it’s holiday gourmet cookies with the chocolate coated bottoms and sprinkled pop’ems. So anytime I see them, I have to pick them up, because they are my favorites! 

Yes I was drinking tea in my new Christmas camper mug, eating my festive cookies, while watching a Lifetime Christmas movie. #LOVE 

 

So there you have it, my December Favorites!

*All images are my own.*

Have a Very Merry Christmas and  Happy Healthy New Year!

-<3-

 

 

BLOGMAS -Day 2- Christmas Playlist

I’ve been keeping the Christmas tunes at bay, just to let Thanksgiving settle and have it’s moment. But right after, I was itching to blast my trusty old- Home for Christmas *N’SYNC album. Seriously I don’t know how I’m going to pick favorites, because honestly I love the entire album. By the way can we talk about how in honor of the band’s 20th anniversary, Home for Christmas is currently being sold on vinyl in urban outfitters AND NSYNC.com is selling new Christmas themed merch. LIKE WHAT? It’s the 90’s again!

lights blogmas edit 

My Ultimate Christmas Playlist

This Christmas– Donny Hathaway

What Christmas Means To Me– Stevie Wonder

O Holy Night– Celine Dion

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *N’SYNC

Home For Christmas– *N’SYNC

All I Want Is You (This Christmas) – *N’SYNC

The First Noel -*N’SYNC

In Love On Christmas – *N’SYNC

It’s Christmas – *N’SYNC

O Holy Night – *N’SYNC

My Only Wish (This Year) – Britney Spears

Sleigh Ride – Hilary Duff

Last Christmas – Hilary Duff

Wonderful Christmastime – Hilary Duff

Christmas Eve – Justin Bieber

Christmas Love – Justin Bieber

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Justin Bieber

Happy Christmas (War Is Over) – The Fray

Noel The Fray

Angels We Have Heard On High– Josh Groban

O Come All Ye Faithful – Josh Groban

O Come Emmanuel– Everly-(used to be the duo- Bethany Joy Lenz & Amber Sweeney)

 

Did I miss your fav?

I still have so many others, but the list would have never stopped. Isn’t Christmas music just the best! Certain songs just hit me right in the feels and make me tear up instantly, for example it never fails- O holy night by Celine Dion gets me every damn time. 

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite is! 🙂

-<3-

 

Michelle Leigh Writes- Short Story Series Collection

Hey guys, I know it’s been a while since I last posted consistently and on schedule. But I’ve been trying to think of something really cool to post and everything I think of just falls flat. But I recently had a cool idea. I’ve featured quite a few Short Story Series on this blog and I thought I’d do one big post including little summaries of each and the links to read them! In case you feel like diving into some dramatic love stories. So please, read at your leisure. 🙂

Mysterious Attraction (12 Chapters-3 parts each)

mysterious attraction postermovie poster new

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Lexie is a power house, a femme fatale with a rather dangerous job description. She is soon forced to balance her need for control with her ever cryptic view on love and happiness. As an overly intense affair comes to light with a handsome yet kind man named Carter. Their attraction and pull strong. Lexie is forced to face some harsh realities about who she is and what she really wants her life to be. Her feelings are growing and it isn’t something she expected. Falling from lust to love with a married man was not part of her plan. What scares her even more…he’s falling back.

A Broken Heart For Christmas (6 Chapters)

broken heart for christmas

Lucy and dean 3

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Dean Sanders broke Lucy Michaelson’s heart years ago back in their home town of Oakland Valley, Minnesota. And since then she’s moved on- moved to New York, started her dream career. And so has he, or so they both thought. Everyone knew their story, knew their love was lost. But little does everyone know…there was always more to their story, more than Lucy ever let on. Follow their journey through awkward run ins and past memories- both good and bad. 

Love Conflicted (12 Chapters)

Official full cast photo movie posterLove conflicted new poster

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Maggie is the crisp, clean, girl next door. Always playing it safe, always doing the right thing, risk is not a word she would use in her everyday vocabulary. But when she falls in love with Ricky- a man in the mob, she realizes that life is not always black and white. As danger creeps in, emotions heighten in this thrilling, yet sweet love story.

On The Run (10 Chapters)

ontherunposterNew poster

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: When Sage Renly finds herself running for her life, a mysterious stranger shows up in just the nick of time- Charlie Steinfeld. He becomes her ally and confident against her better judgement. It seems like their connection is unexplainable-almost as if it’s out of their hands.  This is more than your typical two strangers finding each other by chance and falling in love, story. There are dark secrets hidden in the eyes of these characters, and as every mystery goes- there’s always more than what meets the eye.

*Welcome Home (9 Chapters)

Poster 1Cast poster

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Melanie Evans was so close to having it all, and then tragedy struck. Something that years later she still can’t overcome. There is only one person in the world who can help, who can understand her-Oliver King, her college sweetheart. And yet he is miles away- both literally and figuratively. When Melanie returns to her hometown, old memories stir up old feelings. So many different feelings. Will she be able to get out of her own way to achieve the happiness she’s dreamed of all along? Or will she stay in isolation and despair unable to let go of her painful past.

********

Also I am attempting to dive into a new short story series….I’m still working on the title (I have a bunch of variations that I can’t decide on) but here’s a quick little sneak peek at the summary-

Liam Whitmore is a wealthy business executive who goes through the motions of working in his corporate world day after lousy day, making deals and kicking ass at it. However he often feels uninspired, and unable to do what he really loves. Until one day he meets a younger woman named Aria Lenz, struggling to become a dancer. Her simplistic yet driven nature strikes up a spark of inspiration in him, and he makes it his mission to get to know her. Little does he know, it’ll be the hardest “transaction” he’s ever had to make. They’re worlds apart- will he finally get through to her, or will his fire fizzle?

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits.*

*All short stories are of my own written content.*

-<3-

 

 

 

Welcome Home-Author’s Commentary

DISCLAIMER: Welcome Home is not a real motion picture nor does it have a soundtrack coming out. This is just me living in my fictional happy writer’s world. Where I pretend and where I run the show. Haha. Back in college whenever I would hand in a script or be working with already written material/feature film scenes, my professor would ask me who I would have play the characters, where would it take place, what location? And so I think that kind of stuck with me, because as I write each of my short story series here on this blog, I want to include those aspects and give you a visual experience. Mysterious Attraction was my first shot at it, A Broken Heart For Christmas, and Love Conflicted followed, and most recently On The Run.

As a kid I used to say “Make Pretend” all the time. Make Pretend you’re a princess who slays dragons. Make pretend you’re a ballerina who bull rides. Make pretend you’re writing a screenplay and you get to pick the actors, and release a soundtrack and commentary that people have been anxiously awaiting. The options could be endless. So let’s “Make Pretend.” Enjoy!

I just re-read Welcome Home, in preparation for this post, and I have to admit, I was really happy with this short story series. It felt more structured and concise.

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Background:

Welcome Home premiered on Thursday, December 15th, 2016. It was a small string of random thoughts and characters I just had to get out! The story continued pretty consistently until Thursday, March 16th. Overall the story was featured on Thursdays here on michelle leigh writes for a span of about 3 months.

OFFICAL FULL CAST PROMOTIONAL PHOTO RELEASED 😉

Cast poster

 

Dream Casting:

Melanie Evans portrayed by Shantel VanSanten

shantel-vansanten-in1

I fell in love with Shantel when she played Quinn James on One Tree Hill. I think she had this purity about her acting and she is such a natural beauty. She also does sassy comedy really well too. I really thought she would bring someone like my character Melanie to life.

Oliver King portrayed by Jason Thompson

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I don’t know where to start with this guy. I adore him. I fell in love with Jason when he played Dr. Patrick Drake alongside love interest Dr. Robin Scorpio (Turned Drake) on General Hospital. He is such a brilliant actor, I am still flabbergasted that he hasn’t won an Emmy yet. He puts his heart out there and he is so believable. Put him in a scene with anyone and you can see how he elevates the material in his acting choices. How he interacts with them, and uses his body language to convey a believable relationship. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve rewatched him and Kimberly McCullough’s (Robin) many scenes together from General Hospital as they displayed quite the love story. So freaking amazing!

Supporting Roles:

Cassie portrayed by Hilary Duff

hilary-duff-younger-promo-2015-billboard-650[1]

Hilary Duff, what can I say? Loved her since Lizzie McGuire. And that show basically shaped my childhood. She was one of my idols growing up. And she holds such a special place in my heart. She has grown into such an incredible feisty actress and you can tell that she’s done so in a really classy way. The way she handles the more mature topics of life on her new hit show Younger with comedy and sass, is just so damn good. So I knew that she could be the perfect face for Cassie- the sassy, bold, tell it like it is best friend. You know me and how my best friend roles are always sassy!

Dave portrayed by Derek Hough

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I had Duff in my head and I knew Cassie would soon need a love interest too and in pairing her with someone, Hough seemed like such perfect fit visually. I love Derek Hough, I have swooned over him on Dancing with the Stars so many times. I’m sad he’s not on this season. He is such a huge talent and inspiration. I would love to see him featured in more films throughout his career! Hey Derek- I’ll have my people call your people! 😉

Molly King portrayed by Brooklyn Rae Silzer

daddy and molly 3

This kind of happened by accident. If you know Jason Thompson as Patrick Drake, then you know that he and Robin have a daughter named Emma. Brooklyn plays the role of Emma. And when it came to editing pictures of a child with Thompson and Van Santen, I just thought it seemed completely obvious to have Brooklyn be viewed as Melanie and Oliver’s daughter Molly. She is such big talent! She is sassy and sweet and is sure to grow up to be a huge name! Just like McCullough did! She started her career as a kid on General Hospital.

Aspects I Really Liked:

Reading it back, I was really happy with the way there was some foreshadowing and reveals throughout the story’s unfolding.

For example…

Throughout the whole first few chapters you don’t know what happened between Melanie and Oliver. We never know why they broke up. We know they were engaged, we know they had a past and that they haven’t really seen or spoken to each other in a few years. I like how it keeps you guessing, until he says it- they loss their baby.

I also like how you don’t really know if she’s pregnant again, you expect it, but then she looks at the test and cries at the end of the chapter which can make it go either way. And then at the beginning of the following chapter we start with a funeral type scene and it makes you think she lost another child. Soon you find out it was a flashback to Cody’s memorial. And then we time jump into a new life with Melanie and Oliver and their new baby girl.

I think the foreshadowing worked nicely and kept the suspense going. I’ve said it many times, I write these short story series as if they were a movie, and so these types of foreshadowing, flashbacks, jump cuts would work well I think.

I also thought that I was able to portray bits of their lives, pasts, careers, etc, throughout the story. So often I feel like you have to give it all in the beginning, but I realized that doesn’t work either. You have to disperse the information little by little, when needed. So what I tried to do this series is implement backstory when it made most sense. For example, through conversations we find out that Melanie is a writer and Oliver is a photographer. Melanie’s writing has suffered since her tragedy so we don’t see her writing. Oliver is said to be snapping pictures now and then. I don’t think these things have to be super prominent as long as there are mentions, we get the gist. The story is bigger than this.

We also find out how they met in college through Oliver’s best man and Melanie’s maid of honor speeches. I really love that story Oliver tells, it serves a lot of purpose to the story, and to the relationships within it- Cassie/Dave and Oliver/Melanie. I love love love it! You can just see the scene of how they all met play out in your head.

I really love how we finally get the story of how Melanie and Oliver broke up, as she reads the first passage of her book “Operation Forever,” at her first book signing. We never really knew how she left, and this was my way of answering that question without actually having to force a flashback. Her book title, is a bit of an Easter egg and ode to their little discussion when they got engaged.

“I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel real, ya know. To be this in love.” She says smiling brightly up at him through watery eyes.

“Yea I know the feeling. I guess we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that we’re stuck with each other, forever. It’s all a part of my evil plan.”

“Ah, I see. Operation forever.”

“Something like that. But I’m sure we could think of a better name than that.”

“What- why I like it.”

“Well if you like it, then I like it.”

Flashbacks however are utilized when needed, and they are brought on by familiar moments-déjà vu, or scenery from her home town. The first Chapter we see her have a flashback to she and Oliver in their own apartment, engaged, during happier times. And it is brought on by watching her reflection as she puts on some lip-gloss- a menial task she’s done many times in front of him as he would watch and admire.

Then throughout her home coming she is catapulted into many memories, memories she’s tried to stay away from. She sees their names carved in her front porch, and remembers the first time he told her he loved her and that he wants to be with her forever. At home in her living room, in front of the fireplace, she has a flashback of them making love, walking through town she sits in the gazebo and remembers when he asked her to marry him. All of these things make her feel and in turn make us feel because we see how much these two people love each other. And how painful it is for them to not be together. But I also really love that these flashbacks were placed well, within reason, and were brought on by her familiar surroundings.

Through more conversations we see how close they really wore, how they had the same friends, how her family took him in and welcomed him on school breaks, how he knew her bedroom pretty well and they “broke some house rules” every now and then as teens. 😉 Oliver even makes mention to the fact that he will “crawl into her window” at night if he has too, which makes us realize this was something he may or may not have done as a young teen in love. Oliver bakes her, her favorite sugar cookies and knows her obsession with New Kids On The Block. He knows her mom’s cooking and how they go all out for holidays. There is so much history there between these two and you don’t have to see their whole relationship to know that.

“What?”  “Nothing.”

This is something I revisit this dialogue exchange a lot throughout the story, and their relationship. A lot of the times it’s Melanie who catches Oliver watching her and says What? And in turn he says Nothing. It’s a bit of a flirtation and a cute game for them. And it resurfaces a few times between them. Even at the end, when it’s reversed and Oliver realizes how annoying it can actually be. Lol.

Timeline:

Speaking of Holidays, I think I was inspired by them when I wrote this. I had written a good portion of the first chapter or so, before I posted and so I was in a family holiday mood. So I took that inspiration and the holidays kind of built my timeline. We Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. There are certainly time jumps in here too, but I think that’s only natural, for this kind of coming home, and coming into your own skin story. We need to jump around so we can see the characters grow and learn to better themselves.

Slideshow Feature:

I also think utilizing the slideshow feature in the last chapter was my way of showing their lives together and the things you missed. (Yes, I know some of my edits are super crappy and bad, but I tried, haha.) This tactic helped me fill in some blanks. In my head I just saw the scene playing as if it were in a movie- a time jump and then a happy family at home, as you see pictures of their lives together dress their walls. Their child growing throughout the years along with their love. Notice most of the pictures look professional, because you know Oliver King was like Um excuse I will be taking all my daughter’s professional pictures, thank you. Haha. Did you spot those Paris pics? – Another little Easter egg to show he actually took her like he wanted to.

“God I’ve missed this town.” Oliver says smiling looking around.

“Missed it? I thought that you were living here?”

“I was. For a long time. I still have a place here. But work kinda takes me all around nowadays. I’m kind of a nomad.”

“I see. Traveling must be nice though.”

“It is. It’s really amazing Mel. I’ve been to Ireland, Italy, and France, I stayed at this little bed and breakfast in Paris, the couple that ran it were two of the sweetest people, and every morning they would make me blueberry waffles, sausage and bacon. And my room, it overlooked this little lake, it was breathtaking. You would have loved it.”

“I’m sure I would have,” she says smiling up at him.

“Maybe one of these days, you’ll let me take you there.”

“Maybe.” She says looking away, fidgeting with the cup in her hands.

“Always forgetting your gloves.” He says noticing and smirking at her.

Within the slideshow we also see an image of Baby Boy Cody’s sonogram which means he is still part of them and their family which was important for me to show, because that loss was such a big part of their lives, their love and this story. And I love that they each have Cody tattoos, they got separately, to honor their son. It shows they think alike.

Love Scenes:

I back tracked and looked at what I wrote for my last short story series- On The Run, and when it came to writing love scenes, this is what I wrote… [One of these days, I won’t blush while writing a love scene. I won’t hide in a corner shielding my computer screen from curious eyes. I won’t feel ashamed of what I’m writing. I find that when I write a love scene, I continuously edit myself. What if a family member of mine reads this? Oh my god what will they think? The people in my life have a certain perspective of me. I’m a pretty reserved personality, and so writing these scenes would be something they wouldn’t even think I do, or can do. So there’s a barrier there for sure and I feel like I need to work on being more free and not so constrained and worried about what people will think. If anything hopefully they can just realize that what I’m trying to do by writing these scenes, is to craft a beautiful love story.] In many ways this still applies, I need to work on this and I definitely still edited myself a lot this series. I had written much more juicer material, but I wanted it to read with a certain tenderness and I felt that would get lost in the lust factor, so I edited it. However, I do still think I am getting better at writing love scenes, because even reading the love scene back today, I was surprised I left certain things in. With that being said though, I still think it reads the way I wanted it to be read, a couple so in love they can’t contain it. I don’t think it reached a trashy point.

Themes:

Coming Home/Finding Home, Family, Friendship, Hope, Loyalty, Heart, Unconditional Love, Forever, Fear, Creativity, Soulmates, Heart vs. Head, Overcoming Obstacles, Tragedy.

As you read this series any of these themes can pop into your mind, Melanie is so torn. She has the whole world at her feet, family and friends waiting to support her, her dream career in her grasp, a man so in love with her he’d wait forever for her, but yet the heartache of losing her child years ago force her into a stubborn isolation. She had a lot of soul searching to do, that unfortunately she needed to do on her own.

Oliver is her ray of light, her hope, he loves her unconditionally and he is not willing to let her sit in that dark black hole of isolation for too long. However, you can see that he knows how he has to play this. He can’t just pounce. She’s already used to running, and she will continue if anyone makes any sudden movements. So you see him pull back here and there. He knows when she needs to walk away. And it baffles Melanie that he could be that understanding. He’s pretty perfect. But not without his faults, he is human. There are moments where you see him falter. We see him not be so understanding, but in the same breath he takes on the blame, so that she doesn’t have to, and even then Melanie pulls away because she can’t comprehend his unwavering love.

It isn’t until he backs off completely that she realizes she needs him. When she finds out she is pregnant with another one of their children. And when she actually chooses to include him in what is going on. Once she finally admits she needs him not only to him, but to herself, the whole story kind of becomes well rounded. Things are full circle and all the stress is forgotten as they embark on their journey together. Because he was never going to give up on her, he just needed her to come to him.

the gang

Friendship is always a factor in my stories, there are always the supporting roles- the best friends, because I think our main characters need somewhere to go and vent. I think I would have liked to explore some more conversations between Oliver and Dave. Now that I think about it I’m sure Oliver would vent at times. How could he not! Melanie drove him crazy! And Dave was part of the whole reason why Melanie and Oliver met in the first place, he knew their story. I think friendship is always such a strong consistent theme in my stories, because it’s a strong theme in my life. I have a core group of friends who I go to with everything. I have a best friend, I’ve known since kindergarten, hence the childhood best friend inspiration. #CassieAndMelanie.

Character Building:

I feel like it’s easy to relate to both Oliver and Melanie. There’s a push and pull between them. They have so much love and attraction between them. And unlike my last short story series On The Run, these two didn’t just meet, they’ve known each other for many years. They have a really heavy past and they know things about each other that form a very sexy, real, loyal bond.

It’s easy to hate on Melanie, I think. She left. She ran. And continues to do so for the better part of the series. She wasn’t there for the man she loved. When he obviously continuously put her first. It’s definitely a frustrating concept. She even lets Oliver think they are getting back together after what happened between them on Christmas. But there is this really complex nature about her that I hope is displayed to the audience. I wanted her to be conflicted. She didn’t run because of Oliver, she ran because of herself. Because she wasn’t herself. Because she was worried she wouldn’t be able to give him what he deserved; a family. She knows what she’s doing, she knows she’s hurting him- she admits it, but she can’t help it, because of the pain that weighs on her heart.

So in that sense, I feel like you can put yourself in her shoes, and understand why she has been acting the way she has. It’s not that she doesn’t love him. She does, but she’s caught between that and her pain. She pushes him away because she can’t handle reliving it.

Oliver has a really beautiful evolution I think. I really love his character. And I think if this were ever made into a real short film, Jason Thompson would kill this role! There’s this intense vulnerability in Oliver. He loves with everything in him. He’s made up his mind about Melanie a long time ago, it’s just he’s waiting to make his moves.

“You’re my forever, plain and simple.”

He lets her run, he lets her have her time. But he is always there if she needs him… when she needs him. And after years he still held onto that love and that loyalty. As I said he seems pretty perfect, but he’s not without his faults. And eventually he reaches a point where he tells Melanie that he can’t do it anymore, but even though she believes it, he knows it was just another tactic on his part. A heat of the moment type of thing.

“You’ve been kind of distant today, I guess I understand, but I have to admit, I am surprised.”

“I’ve learned to let you come to me. I figured if I kept my distance long enough you might miss me,” he says smiling.

Oliver has a lighter heart, he tries to make Melanie smile, and remember the good. He doesn’t dwell on the negative. With that being said, it’s not that Melanie’s miscarriage didn’t affect him. It did, but he chose to take his pain into his own hands and get the help he needed, and in doing so he was able to understand things from Melanie’s perspective. He even states that he knows it’s more difficult for a woman, she physically experiences the loss. Oliver remains strong and lets her lean on him, and that’s why we never see exactly how he handled it, but we know what he had to do to handle it. The story isn’t about his pain, it’s about theirs and how he will love her through hers no matter how much she pushes him away or how long he has to wait.

The main themes of love, hope, loyalty, friendship stem from everything these two people in love have between them. It’s everything they are. It’s a forever love story that can withstand all the pain and distance life throws their way. It’s a story about coming home, finding home, not just in a place, but in someone else’s heart.

Description/Imagery:

In my last Author’s Commentary (which was for On The Run), I wrote BE MORE DESCRIPTIVE! And reading Welcome Home back, I feel like I listened. The story is set mostly during the holiday season in a small town in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You get a feel for the holidays by the scenery description of her childhood home and her walks through town.

What Needs Work:

I can always work on description, even though I’m improving. Timeline, is always tricky for me. I feel like you can get lost in time jumps and life events, and school years, and misjudge years. But hopefully I did ok, in this one. I will keep better track of this next time! As well as continue to learn about writing effective love scenes that fit the love between two charcters.

Final Comments:

I’m really proud of this short story. I think it was more thought out, and paced nicely. It ran here on michelle leigh writes for 3 months, and my posting schedule was pretty consistent. I feel like it was the most consistent of any of the short stories I’ve written. Let’s dive in and show you what I mean…

Chapter 1- posted on Thursday, Dec. 15th, 2016

Chapter 2- posted on Thursday, Jan. 5th, 2017

Chapter 3- posted on Thursday, Jan. 12th, 2017

Chapter 4- posted on Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2017

Chapter 5- posted on Thursday, Jan. 26th, 2017

Chapter 6- posted on Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 7- posted on Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2017

Chapter 8- posted on Thursday, Mar. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 9- posted on Thursday, Mar. 16th, 2017

I kept to posting on Thursday, this way to allow other categories time on my blog and not saturate it with one thing. I posted consistently one chapter a week for the better part of the series, give or take a few which even then the longest break was no more than 3 weeks.

In other words, I think I’m slowly conquering the dreaded hiatus drama! Hallelujah!

So there you have it, my in depth Author’s Commentary.

Welcome Home Says Goodbye.

JK…Stay Tuned for a separate Soundtrack post…COMING SOON!

Thank you for reading!

Catch up on Welcome Home from the beginning HERE

And get a sneak peek at my next short story series HERE

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Home. -Chapter 9 (The Final Chapter)

Read Chapter 8 HERE 

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A Few Months Later

“Presenting the new Mr. & Mrs. Oliver King!” Dave announces as Oliver and Melanie walk out through the back door of Melanie’s childhood home and into the backyard draped in a silk white tent, candles and white roses everywhere. Slow graceful music being played by a harpist. Smiles shining on the faces of the bride and groom. Family and friends stand as they cheer loudly.

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“Wooo, it’s about damn time!” Cassie screams as everyone laughs along.

Dave and Cassie speech

Oliver and Melanie make their way over to the center of the yard, where a wooden dance floor lay, as their song begins to play.

It’s all over

And it’s only beginning

We’re beginning to finally see one another

We grow stronger We grow stronger for breaking

We grow stronger for breaking apart together

Lover, find me underneath the covers

We will stay here until we discover

All that we have to give to each other Til forever

How you move me How you move me to love you

I keep choosing to love you again every morning

Lover, find me underneath the covers

We will stay here until we discover

All that we have to give to each other Til forever….

Grace and Charlie watch smiling on as Grace holds Molly, who watches her parents with a bright smile.

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Melanie looks up at Oliver.

“What?” he says.

“Nothing.” She says smiling.

He gives her a glare.

“Wow, that really is annoying, my apologies Mrs. King,” he smirks.

Melanie’s lips curl into a big smile.

“Mrs. King. I really love the sound of that.” 

“Not as much as I do.”

“Did we really do it? Did we really just get married? Finally!” she says excitement beaming through.

“Hey better late than never, right?” he says smiling as he kisses her.

“Thank you for waiting for me, I know it wasn’t easy.”

“You’re my forever. Plain and simple. There was no way I was letting you go.” He says swaying them to their song as she places a kiss on his lips.

Oliver reaches into his jacket pocket as he holds out a small digital camera to snap a picture as his lips meet his wife’s.

Melanie lets out a small laugh against his lips as she notices.

“Hey, once a photographer, always a photographer,” he says with a chuckle.

“By the way did I mention how perfect you look,” he whispers to her.

“Maybe once or twice,” she says smiling, “You look very handsome yourself,” she pulls him by the collar into yet another kiss as glasses clink for them to do so.

***********************************************************************

A few years later…

Melanie stands up at a podium, her eyes fall down to the pages before her. She begins to read aloud-

Book reading

She runs. She’s a runner. Fierce. Independent. Stubborn. The weight of heart shattering tragedy had now taken the life out of her…out of her will to move forward.

It was a day like any other. She was 5 months pregnant, engaged to the man she loved and settling into a quaint little apartment in the place she called home- Philadelphia.

Everything seemed to be falling into place. She was happier than she ever thought she could be.

She walked into the doctor’s office, the man she loved by her side.

Making plans for years to come.

Pure joy radiating through her.

And then just like that, life changed forever.

She had lost her baby boy.

Lost.

Like a misplaced set of keys.

One minute there. The next not.

And in that moment she didn’t feel the same.

She didn’t know what to do.

Where to go.

She was broken, and no amount of love or support could fix her.

She needed time.

Time to grieve, time to be angry and place blame.

Time to heal.

So she ran.

The decision to leave was something she never intended.

One day it just got to be too much.

The familiarity too much to take, the signs, the symbols.

Blue. Baby blue. Everywhere.

Home was tainted.

The home she loved her whole life, was now something she dreaded.

The man she loved with all her heart was now the face of a tragic heartbreak.

She packed her bags, and left a note in a sealed envelope.

“I’m sorry. I’ll love you forever.” It read. Her engagement ring set upon the paper.

Thought was not calculated.

Reason and logic unheard of.

Her heart was  fighting just to beat.

Melanie smiles simply as she closes the book.

“Thank you,” she says walking off the stage.

Everyone claps, as women can be seen wiping tears from their eyes.

Billy runs up to the podium, hugging her tightly he steps up to the microphone.

“That was the first passage from our newest budding author Melanie King’s first novel, entitled “Operation Forever,” a story about a heart wrenching tragedy that somehow turned into a ray of hope. A journey through her metaphorical operation on her once damaged heart where she finally realized that her forever, her home was in front of her all along and in the eyes of the man she loved. Melanie will be happy to meet you in the back in a few minutes to sign some copies for any of those wanting to join her. Thank you for coming,” he says smiling as everyone claps.

Melanie stands in the back nook of the book store, breathing a sigh of relief, tears springing slightly.

“Mommy!” she hears, turning she smiles as Molly rushes in, she bends down scooping her into her arms.

“Hello love bug!” she says kissing her cheek.

Oliver stands there looking on, a smile in place.

“Hey, I’m proud of you.”

Melanie looks up at him, “Me too,” she smiles.

“You okay?” he says coming in and reaching for her.

“Yea. I’ve got my family.” She says smiling.

Oliver leans in and kisses her softly.

“You know, it’s difficult to read and to relive but I’m better because of it. I had so much bottled up for years and that stopped me from going after what I really wanted and who.(she says smiling up at him, as he places a peck on her lips.) Writing this book, was kind of like me getting my freedom back a little.”

“Good for you babe, I think it was something you really needed to do. I’m glad you did it.”

She smiles.

“It means the world to me that you and Molly are here with me, I love you so much.” She says kissing him again.

“Ew!” Molly says looking on as she giggles.

Oliver and Melanie look at her and laugh.

“You think that’s funny,” Oliver says as he starts to tickle Molly, whose giggle erupts into a laughing fit, Melanie holding her as she joins in on the tickle fight.

Billy knocks on the door.

“Ms. Molly, do you need me to save you?”

Molly giggles, “Yes.”

Billy smiles and walks in.

“Oh Mrs. King, your fans await you. I’m already hearing some buzz. Women are saying how much they can relate and how it’s as if you’re speaking from their hearts too.”

“That’s incredible.” Melanie says.

Melanie smiles as she gives Molly a big kiss and hands her to Oliver, and then leans in to give Oliver a kiss on the lips.

“Good luck, (he kiss her) I love you. We’ll be right here waiting for you.”

“I love you so much,” she kisses him once more before walking towards the door.

“Love you mommy!” Molly screams.

“I love you, love bug.” She smiles as she blows her a kiss and walks into the crowd that awaits her.

Later that night…

Oliver sits in his office, at his desk as he edits photos.

office

Melanie peeks her head in, wearing a sweet little night gown, “Hey babe you coming to bed?”

Oliver looks over his shoulder, his eyebrows raise “Well hell, don’t you look sexy.”

Melanie crosses her arms, looking off to the side as she huffs his compliment away.

“I’m sorry, have you not seen yourself?” he says walking over to her, his hands finding her waist.

“It makes me happy how you can still be this attracted to me even after all these years, this body has had a baby, you know. It’s never going to look the same.”

“Same or not, you are still the sexiest woman I have ever laid eyes on,” he places a kiss on her lips.

“I try,” she smiles rolling her eyes dramatically, a smile on her lips.

sexy office

“Baby you don’t have to try,” he smirks tightening his grip on her waist.

“Well in that case, do you think you can do your sexy wife a favor and actually come to bed at a decent time tonight? ”

“Yeah that can be arranged. I’ll be in, in just a bit, just trying to decide on some photos, come here look at these with me,” he says taking her hand and walking her over to his desk.

Melanie smiles as Oliver sits and scoots out his chair to allow her to sit on his lap, her arm draping over his shoulders. 

Oliver starts clicking through photos.

“This one is my favorite, it’s everything I love in one picture, my whole world right there,” he says as it lands on a picture of Melanie and Molly.

Melanie looks at it, she smiles brightly, her eyes tearing up, “Aw. I love that one. I love you,” she says cupping his face and kissing him.

“We made a cute kid, huh?” he says looking up at her.

“Yes we did. She’s perfect.”

“That’s because she looks like you.” He says smiling up at her.

“She looks like both of us.” Melanie says kissing his cheek.

“She is perfect though, look at how happy she is,” he says pointing to a smiling Molly.

“She is. We’re doing ok, I guess, huh?” Melanie says looking down at him.

“I think we’re doing great. I think moving home to Philly was the right call. We’re still close enough to the city but we both are pretty much able to work from home.”

“I agree.  We’ve made quite a life for ourselves.”

“That we have,” he says kissing her bare shoulder. “Besides when Mommy and Daddy need some sexy time, it’s nice to have the grandparents nearby to babysit, ” he says placing a kiss on her lips.

“Speaking of…sexy time…when are we going to make another one of these beautiful babies? Doctor gave me the all clear.” Melanie says her eyes shifting to meet her husband’s.

“Oh.” Oliver says smiling, his eyebrows raising, as his hands fasten around her waist.

Melanie starts to get up off his lap, as she moves his hands off her.

“See now where are you going?” he says turning in his chair.

“Follow me and find out.” She says a playful smile on her lips.

Oliver smirks as he stands and follows.

Melanie stops at the doorway, turning back she says, “On second thought, I’m kinda tired, rain check? Good night!” She runs from the room.

 “Get over here girl,” he says rushing into the hall and sweeping her up in his arms, “You can’t walk away from me after saying a thing like that.”

A giggle and a shriek escape her as she wraps her arms around his neck accepting his kiss.

bed

Nearby on the walls of their hallway you can see pictures of their life together.

 

Home gallery

Slideshow below displays all the gallery photos in the KING home. 😀

Happy. Content. Full. Living.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Melanie and Oliver fall onto their bed as a copy of Melanie’s book lay on their bed side table, next to it a pamphlet that reads-

COMING SOON! The New York Art Exhibit Presents- Oliver King’s “Home” Collection.

A photo of him and the girls on the cover.

nighstand

 “Shhh we’re gonna wake Molly,” Melanie giggles.

“It’s ok, I plan on keeping your lips right here,” he says kissing her deeply as he removes her silk robe tossing it to the side. “I love you so much,” he whispers against her expectant lips.

kissing in bed

She pulls away and looks up at him.

beddd

“I love you too, you’re my home, that’s never going to change. No matter what life throws our way, I know we’ll be able to handle it, together.”

Oliver smiles at her lovingly.

“Don’t you forget it….So let’s make another baby, huh?” He says smirking.

“Yes please,” She says laughing as she reaches for him.

Melanie and Oliver continue kissing into the night.

Hello, I’ve been waiting for you

I didn’t know if you’d recognize my voice

Cause I’ve been whispering your name again and again

I‘ve been imagining this day and I’ll never be the same

Welcome home Welcome home

It’s so good to see your face

Welcome home

-The End-

*I do not take credit for any images, gifs, videos,

music used in my edits or otherwise.*

Thanks so much for reading!  I hope you enjoyed!

Stay Tuned for my Welcome Home “Soundtrack” & My Author’s Commentary!

-<3-

Welcome Home. -Chapter 7

Read Chapter 6 HERE

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A few days later

Melanie fluffs Cassie’s dress and stands up as they look at her reflection in the mirror.

“You look perfect.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Dave is going to lose his mind when he sees you.”

“Funny. I could say the same about Oliver when he sees you.”

“It’s not our day, it’s yours.”

“I can share it.”

“Not a chance in hell. You deserve this. I am so happy for you.” Melanie says smiling. She grabs Cassie’s hand pulling her into a hug.

“Thank you for planning this all so fast, how you managed to get it all done in a matter of days, and from New York, I will never know,” Cassie says smiling at her best friend.

“I can be quite bossy.”

“Hmm, I hadn’t noticed,” Cassie says as she and Melanie exchange knowing giggles.

The music begins and Melanie’s eyes pop.

“That’s my cue. I’ll see you out there,” she says winking at her.

Cassie smiles as Melanie kisses her cheek and starts to walk off, turning back, she says-

“Love you.”

Cassie smiles.

“Love you more.”

Melanie takes a deep breath as she begins to walk down the aisle, a smile in place as her eyes scan the church landing on a certain someone.

Dave leans over to Oliver who stands beside him. His chocolate-hazelnut eyes glued to Melanie.

“She looks amazing,” Dave says.

“So this is what pure torture feels like,” he says, their eyes locking as Melanie gets to the center of the alter she winks at Dave who smiles, as she stands to the opposite side of them before the alter.

As the ceremony goes on Melanie and Oliver exchange brief glances, reminiscing on what could have been.

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As the reception commences, a sea of people are mingling about.

Melanie gathers her strength and walks over to Oliver who stands at the bar with a beer in his hand.

“Hi,” she smiles simply.

“Hi,” he says smiling back.

“I have to say I am quite surprised you don’t have your camera in your hand snapping away.”

“I am under very strict orders not to lift a finger, Cassie told me I am in the wedding therefore I cannot be the photographer. And you know when the bride says something…”

“Oh…you do it.”

“So you’ll cover me, when I want to sneak in a few shots later?”

“Of course,” she says matter of factly.

They exchange smiles.

“Look I know-once again I screwed up the last time we were together and I understand that we are officially done and I respect that. But I really need to talk to you about something.”

“Ok. But first, you have to dance with me,” he says smiling and holding his hand out to her.

Melanie smiles and looks away confused for a second before taking his hand as he walks her out onto the dance floor.

“You look beautiful,” he says pulling her closer to him as they sway to the music.

Melanie’s heart rate quickens.

The song ends and Oliver takes her hand and leads her to the balcony.

“So…you uh wanted to talk.”

“Oliver, I um…I don’t exactly know how to say this, so I’m just going to come out and say it.”

“Say it.” He says simply.

“Oliver, I’m-“

The bridal attendant opens the door, peeking in.

“I’m so sorry to interrupt. But it’s time for you both to give your best man and maid of honor speeches.”

Oliver and Melanie sigh.

Melanie looks up at Oliver.

“To be continued?”

“Of course,” he says as they rush into the main hall.

*****************************************************************************

Melanie gets up and takes a glass of champagne in her hand, as the bridal attendant hands her a microphone.

“Hi everyone, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Melanie, Cassie’s best friend. We grew up together in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and I have never been more proud of her than I am right now. Cassie, even at a young age was a force to be reckoned with. Independent. Stubborn. We’re cut from the same cloth, I guess.  But Cassie is someone who also really cares about people. When I think about the way our friendship has grown over the years, I’ve learned so much about what it means to have a soulmate. A soulmate isn’t always a romantic relationship. It’s a relationship that gets you through the lowest of the lows and roots you on during the highest of the highs. It’s someone who you see bits and pieces of yourself in. Someone who can just know what you’re thinking or knows just what you need, without even asking. Someone who just gets you and makes life better. I know you can see where I’m going with this- Dave, Cassie may be your wife now, but she’s been my soulmate my whole life, and that’ll never change. (Everyone laughs) All kidding aside, Cassie you are my best friend, my sister, my soulmate, I love you, don’t ever change. On a side note. I met the love of my life in college, right around the same time Cassie met Dave. Needless to say, I didn’t handle things that well.”

Oliver looks up at her, his smile bright, his eyes watering.

“Let me give you the benefit of my mistakes, Cassie, dear lord let yourself need Dave. Let him be there for you. As your soulmate- I’m giving you permission, (she says winking. As everyone laughs.) I was there to watch this courtship grow. I saw Dave laugh when Cassie laughed and cry when she cried, protect her, fight for her, love her. And I have never felt safer knowing that my best friend is in good hands. I love you both, congratulations, and happiest and healthiest of memories and prayers for babies, lots and lots of babies. God Bless. Cheers.” Melanie says as Cassie runs up to her crying and hugging her.

 Oliver takes the stage.

“Hello everyone, I’m Oliver. Funny enough I’m going to tell a story that actually falls right into Melanie’s speech. You’d think we wrote them together. Spoiler alert, we didn’t. (Everyone laughs) I remember the moment Dave met Cassie. We were studying for our first big official college exam. There we were in the library. Three hours in, red bulls and coffee scattered about. When these two very frazzled, anxious, but breathtakingly beautiful girls, burst in. They walk right up to the librarian. And when I tell you all eyes were on them, I am not joking. They had a way of owning a room. Still do, (he says his eyes locking on Melanie’s.) But as I looked on, I already saw our future’s mapped out for us. My eyes were glued to Melanie and Dave here his eyes were glued on Cassie. Phew, (he says brushing his hand across his forehead with a flick of the wrist) glad that worked out. (Everyone laughs) So Cassie asks the librarian for a book. And Cassie is utterly defeated when the librarian gives her the bad news that it’s already been checked out. Low and behold, Dave flips to the cover of one of our books, and there it is- American Literature-The ways to know love. Cassie being the firecracker she is, begins walking through the library, checking books belonging to other students. No shame. Determined. On a mission. I’ll tell ya something, there is nothing more terrifying than a crazed college girl under far too much stress and that’s the truth. (The crowd laughs)

So Dave walks over to her, and says “Excuse me, I think you’re looking for this.”

Cassie looks up, sighing, “Thank you.” She says reaching for it, but just before she can get her hands on it, Dave pulls it away.

“Under one condition,” he says.

I remember thinking to myself, What a G.

Cassie and Dave laugh, as Dave’s arms wrap around his bride’s waist.

But it was short lived and his request was met with a pout and the barrier was built by Cassie’s arms folding across her chest.

It was a stance our girls worked well.

(Oliver mimics it, as the crowd laughs.)

“I’ll give you this book, if you let me and my friend, take out you and your friend,” Dave says.

I will never forget the smirk on Cassie’s face or the flicker in Dave’s eyes. 

From that point on he was a goner, and so was I. So here’s to your forever. Congratulations! Salud.

He says raising his glass.

Everyone cheers as they clink glasses.

Melanie’s eyes sparklingly in memory.

*******************************************************************

“Nice speech,” Melanie says coming over to Oliver.

“Like wise,” he says smiling.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

Melanie rolls her eyes, as he laughs knowing she hates that.

“You’ve been kind of distant today, I guess I understand, but I have to admit, I am surprised.”

“I’ve learned to let you come to me. I figured if I kept my distance long enough you might miss me,” he says smiling.

They share a moment.

“Oliver, I have to tell you something, can we-”she says pointing to the balcony again.

“Right. Yes, of course,” he says following her lead.

Melanie stands before Oliver, her heart beating a mile a millisecond.

She’s fidgeting and he notices.

“Hey,” he reaches for her hands, “it’s just you and me here, you can tell me anything.”

Melanie looks up at him, she takes a deep breath in and lets it out. Her heart rate slows. A calm washing over her.

“Ollie, I’m pregnant.”

 Oliver stands before her frozen.

“I realize this is probably the last thing you expected and it’s probably the worst possible timing and I am so sorry, but I just found out myself and I thought you should know….I didn’t want to exclude you….”

Oliver stands there still frozen.

“Ok. Ok. Maybe you need a minute. I’m gonna go.” She says turning to head back into the party.

Oliver walks swiftly over to her and turning her to him, he cups her face and kisses her gently.

Their lips move as one for a bit as Oliver parts from her looking into her eyes.

“How are you? How’s the baby?” he says his hands touching her stomach.

Melanie smiles.

“We’re both doing ok.”

“Just ok?” Oliver says his eyes looking into hers.

“The doctor says that everything looks good for right now. I’m healthy and the baby is healthy. But-”

“But what?” Oliver says nervously as his hands circle around her waist again, pulling her to him.

Melanie’s eyes begin to water as she bites her lip and looks away.

“Melanie, Mel….what?” he says cupping her face.

“Oliver there’s something I never told you.”

He looks at her confused.

“When we lost Cody, after I left, I saw a specialist in New York. I was searching for answers. And they told me that it wasn’t just that I miscarried, they told me that I’m unable to physically carry a baby to term. I can get pregnant, but there’s no guarantee.”

Oliver looks at her stunned, he steps back.

“So…what does that mean… for us, are we going to lose this baby too?”

“It’s a pretty high possibility,” she says her eyes welling up.

Oliver sighs, a lump forming in his throat as the tears spill down his cheeks. He moves away from her.

“I’m so sorry,” she says crying.

“How high of a possibility?” he says turning to her, his hands on his hips, tears streaming down his face.

“There is an 85% chance that I will miscarry again,” she says through her tears.

Oliver looks up at her, he sighs and looks away, his heart breaking.

“Ollie, I’m so sorry this is not how I wanted to tell you, or where I wanted to tell you, it’s supposed to be a happy occasion, but I couldn’t keep this from you,” Melanie says falling apart before him.

He looks over at her and swiftly rushes over, cupping her face he stares into her eyes.

“Hey, hey, don’t be sorry. You don’t have anything to be sorry for.”

“But it’s all my fault.” She says crying harder now.

Oliver looks at her, he shakes his head.

“Sweet heart, this is not your fault. Do you hear me, it’s not your fault. This is not something either of us can control.”

Melanie wraps her arms around his neck, as he pulls her to him.

“Why didn’t you ever tell me this?”

“I didn’t want you to feel like you had to stay with me. I didn’t want you to feel any obligations. I can’t guarantee you a family. You deserve better.”

Oliver’s brow furrows, his eyes narrow.

“Melanie, when are you going to get it? I don’t want a family if it’s not one we build together. I don’t care if we have to look into other unconvential ways. A wife to me is not just a child bearer. It’s a lover and a partner, it’s everything you are. It’s these lips- (he kisses her), these eyes (he brushes the hair away from her eyes), this heart (he places his hand over her heart), this body, (he says his eyebrow raising as Melanie blushes,) it’s you. I want you. You not being able to have my baby isn’t going to change that.”

Melanie looks up at him and leaning in she kisses him, as he pulls her closer to him, wrapping his arms around her.

“Are you scared?” he says whispering to her.

“I’m terrified, I’m not sure that I can handle going through all this again,” she says looking up at him.

Oliver looks at her

“We’ll get through this together, ok? I’m not going anywhere. So don’t you dare either. ”

Melanie cups his face and kisses him.

“I really need you,” Melanie says looking up at him.

“Like I said, I’m not going anywhere,” he says cupping her face and wiping her tears away as he pulls her into a hug, he places a kiss on her forehead.

“15 % is not nothing, let’s bet on that, let’s bet on us, and our love,” He says, as their tears blend together. “You had to know that you and I…we’re far from over…that’s something that I can never officially agree to.”

Melanie pulls him into a kiss, holding on for dear life.

To be continued…

 

*I do not take any credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

Fantasy Girl Squad

Ok so we all know Taylor Swift has ruled the world with her bomb ass girl squad, promoting girl power, feminism and all around badassery. So it got me thinking, if I could put together my own “fantasy” girl squad-like men put together their fantasy sports teams-… who would I include? These are the women who I admire most and who I think would all mesh well into one epic gang of powerhouses. I gave them squad names too, because I mean- duh. I’d lead this pack proudly. 😉 

Bethany Joy Lenz- “Sweet Vintage”

Bethany Joy Lenz L.A. -by ljGUNDERSON

Sophia Bush-“Chicago Spunk”

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Tori Kelly- “TK Frizz”

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Jennifer Lopez-“J-Booty”

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Adele-“London Town”

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Hilary Duff- “Boss Lizzie”

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Lauren Cohan-“Zombie G” 

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Shay Mitchell-“Pocahontas”

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Tess Christine-“Boho T”

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Candice Accola-King- “Vamp”

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Gina Rodriguez-“Senorita”

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Joy Williams-“Mama Venus”

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Marina Squerciati-“MS. Homegirl”

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Tamera Mowry Housley-“Sista girl”

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Melissa McCarthy- “Chef”

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Lauren Graham-“Coffee”

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Kate Hudson-“Blonde bomb”

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Carrie Rad-“Sunflower”

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Ingrid Nilsen-“Spicy Flame”

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Alexz Johnson-“Gypsy Soul”

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Bethany Mota-“Dimples”

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Lauren Conrad-“Laguna Hillz”

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I would include Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift in a heartbeat but they already have their squad. I’m creating my own path here people. Be a leader not a follower. 😉 And I said it once and I’ll say it again, I’d lead this pack proudly.#squadgoals Invites go out early next week. 😉 #AGirlCanDream #FanGirlLife

xoxo “Starchild” – The Squad Leader

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-<3-

*Aside from that last selfie I do not own any other photos used.*

My Top 12 Christmas Songs

Christmas music is a source of happiness for the ears. You can quote me on that 😉

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When I was younger I would be playing Christmas music as early as October, sometimes I would even let it slip in during the summer. I’ve had Christmas in July and ugly sweater parties. And in order to create ambiance I realized nothing puts you in the mood for Christmas like listening to your favorite Christmas songs. Here are some of my favorites.

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My Top 12 Christmas Songs

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Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree– Brenda Lee

*Every time I hear this song I think of the scene in Home Alone where Kevin is having his fake house party with dancing mannequins and such.*

What Christmas Means to Me– Stevie Wonder

O Holy Night -*NSYNC

*Celine Dion’s version also makes me cry every damn time. It’s beautiful.

And this is a GORGEOUS performance by the former duo Everly.

(Bethany Joy Lenz & Amber Sweeney)

The First Noel– *NSYNC

This Christmas– Donny Hathaway

Last Christmas– Hilary Duff

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays– *NSYNC

Santa Claus is Coming to Town– Justin Bieber

Christmas Love– Justin Bieber

Christmas Eve– Justin Bieber

War is Over – The Fray

Kiss Me At Midnight– *NSYNC

Enjoy!

And listen to the songs that touch your soul during this holiday season!

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*All these songs remind me of a poem I posted a while back and because it’s snowng out here now, I thought it was fitting to re-introduce it. Take a read if you wish. 😉

In honor of snow…

**I do not take credit for any images used**

-<3-