The Cat Lady Who Lived Happily Ever After…

We all like a happy ending, don’t we? So why is it that because we (usually women) enjoy happy movies or books with a feel good romance where the characters end up together, we are automatically put into a category of lonely, single, cat lady? Well, it’s because for many years society has put us in that category and stereotyped the readers of romance fiction as such: single, lonely, cat lady. According to a post by author Maya Rodale women are the top readers of romance fiction (84%) but that doesn’t mean all 84% are single, lonely, cat ladies. In her post she crushes the reasons why these stereotypes are inadequate.

The question remains though, why do readers (particularly women) read fiction? But how about we dig a little deeper. Why do readers (particularly women again) read ROMANCE fiction is the question I am most intrigued about8. I love the idea of a good romance story, whether it be in real life or from a book. So I guess you could call me your typical hardworking, middle class, white female who likes all things romance, and happy endings, cue The Notebook! Although that would be true, however, a recent experience led me to understand why I respond well to the genre of romance fiction. I realized the people whom I have been influenced by throughout my life and by watching their own experiences of love and romance led me to read this particular genre.

So I began to wonder, if I have a reason behind why I read romance fiction there has to be a reason behind why other people read romance fiction. As well as why authors write romance fiction. So after some research I discovered why some people read romance fiction, why they write it and why one author almost stopped writing romance fiction but didn’t!

Why People Read Romance Fiction:

Author Jody Hedlund asked her readers why they read romance fiction and the answers that her readers shared varied, but are also pretty much what I had expected because most of them are the same reasons as why I read them as well. Most of them said things like: to escape from reality, to glean inspiration from everyday life, and to live vicariously through the characters. To be honest, those are some of the reasons why I enjoy them as well.

Maria Rodale explains why she reads in a recent blog post she wrote about romance fiction. She said, “I started reading romance novels in college at my mother’s insistence (long-ish story). As a student of women’s literature, she declared that I couldn’t legitimately receive such a degree without reading the most popular and profitable books by women, for women, about women. Of all time. Ever. But I was a literature snob and scoffed at her suggestion. Like many a romance heroine, I resisted before finally surrendering to the pleasure to be found in those colorful mass-market paperbacks where the rogues are dashing, the heroines are daring, and true love always triumphs.” This then led Maria to start writing romance fiction after having been pushed into reading so many of the greats!

Like many of us readers of the romance fiction genre, we get caught up in our everyday lives and don’t have the time to read. We even get caught up in our bad days and we do things that are supposed to make us feel better. But wait, then we think what if we go read for an hour? So we do and we are suddenly immersed into a world that makes us forget for just a moment about the bad day we were having and that’s what makes us romance fiction readers continue to read. Rodale mentions in her post when talking about having a bad, “But the only thing that lessened the ache was a romance novel—a story written to be utterly absorbing, and that I knew with 100,000 percent certainty would end happily.” She knew what she needed, a good romance book to get her out of reality and into a world that knew none of her hardships of the day. And I agree, sometimes a romance novel is just what I need after a long or bad day. They are what keep me going and I’m usually sucked in to one until it’s finished and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Why People Write Romance Fiction: 

Many writers write romance fiction but their reasons why differ just as much as those who read romance fiction.

Jody Hedlund who was mentioned earlier, is a historical romance novelist and she brings the real stories of the past back to life in the romance fiction genre. One thing that stood out to me when reading Hedlund’s post about this topic is why she loves to write romance fiction. She said, “One of the reasons I write romances is because I love bringing to life real love stories of the past. Another reason I write romances is that I want to be able to present healthy models of love, chivalry, and passion to a hurting and broken culture.” I think this is something a lot of us as readers want to read too, the world is becoming such a hateful and dark place. When we read these romance stories we get a since of a new and better world. In her post she not only included the three main reasons why her readers love to read romance fiction (mentioned above) but she also included the three main points she tries to keep in mind while creating and writing her stories for her readers.

“They want stories that transcend reality, they want stories that inspire them and they want characters that are alive.”

I think these things are what all readers of fiction usually want from the writers but even more so when it comes to romance fiction.

So like Hedlund, the reasoning for why people write romance fiction varies from one thing to the next.

An example of this would be Tricia Goyer, she loves to write romance fiction novels. However, she has a different approach on the subject. She loves romance stories in general but the stories written in the Bible are what draw her into the passion of writing romance fiction. She calls the Bible romantic and God romantic as well. Her main desire when writing is for the main romance to be between the central character and God. I love that! Having an author who understands the importance of God in a characters life is awesome. That’s why I read Christian romance fiction because these characters help me remind me of how I am supposed to live. Like Tricia said in her post, “When I write my novels, I don’t create perfect characters. They have their own issues and struggles. I never want a reader to think, “I wish my husband was perfect, just like this character.” No one is perfect, not even the characters in my books!” I know I’m not perfect and I like to be able to connect to a character on that same level just as Goyer describes.

Why Maya Rodale Didn’t, And Wont Quit Writing Romance Fiction:

Maya Rodale is a best selling author (mentioned at the beginning) and she almost quit doing what she loved: writing romance fiction. One day she was on a train reading a romance fiction novel. While reading that book it all hit her and she remembered why she began writing romance fiction in the first place and why she won’t quit. She began writing romance fiction because she was sick and tired of all the trashy unrealistic fiction and she didn’t want that to become the known romance idea. The book she was reading must have been the trashy kind of romance because it triggered her brain into reminding her that she can’t quit writing the kind romance fiction she likes to read, the happily ever after kind.

Why I Read Romance Fiction:

I realized my love for reading came from my love of romance stories. Being able to read something that could have potential at being real or even a real lo9ve story made into a book. That kind of story would be breathtaking and awesome. So yes, I love romance, more so, romance stories within my own family, but also romance stories from the Bible. Hence, why I love the genre of romance fiction, and particularly christian romance fiction. Like I mentioned earlier I love romance stories, but especially from The Bible. One that always comes to mind is the story of Ruth. Her story is known as the love/marriage story and how we as Christians should live; by obeying our husbands but also living a life that is pleasing to God. Ruth moved away from her family and the city she grew up in to help her mother-in-law, Naomi. She gave up everything to be a servant for Naomi. Then the man she met after having moved away gave her hope that she was doing the right thing and that God would bless her for her servant like heart. And as such, God did bless her with a husband in Boaz and a son named Obed. Ruth and Boaz are known as one of the most romantic stories within The Bible. My favorite verse from that story is:

“May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:12

Ruth had the hope and faith that doing good would bring great things to her and her family. And Got provided for her like He always does. That’s what any of us really want is hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope in something we don’t fully trust ourselves yet. But with God she believed everything would be okay, and it was.

I think us as readers all hope for things, that’s why we read period. Reading romance fiction just gives us more hope that there is better even if we haven’t found it in our lives yet.

The Serious Stuff: 

As you can see from the research I’ve done there are many things to take in to account when people read and choose a genre they enjoy. But it wouldn’t mean as much if there wasn’t a story or a reason behind why we read what we read. Something or someone has influenced us all to read. So therefore we are also influenced by someone or something to read a specific genre in general also.

For all you fellow romance fiction readers out there here are a few consolations for you that I’ve stepped on and crushed… Yes I am female, however, I hate animals therefore I have no cats, and I am in a relationship with a guy I love. Therefore, I am in no need of a man either.

Don’t let the stereotypes categorize who you are and what kinds of books you like to read. Read what you want because we live in a Free Country and if romance fiction is what you love to read than keep reading you lonely, single cat lady… AKA happy, in a relationship, hard-working woman!

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⭐️What Does DUFF Mean To You⭐️

Are you ever left feeling empty, alone, like no one could possibly understand what you’re going through? Well, fear no more because I can guarantee you, you are not alone.

Have you seen the DUFF movie? No? Well then you should. Yes, sure it deals with kids in high school but we can all relate it to ourselves no matter what age we are or where we are at in our careers.

Answer this question honestly… Do you like who you are? Who you are becoming? If yes, then you are on the path to greatness. If you answered no, what are you going to do about it? That’s right, you are going to do things from here on out for yourself. Stop caring what other people think of you and just be you. But that doesn’t mean you stop being the best possible version of yourself. When you do things for you, it makes you see the world in a brand new light and sometimes all we need is a little inspiration.

It’s like we’re told in the movie, stop labeling yourself and the people around you. We are all just people and we all have flaws and things we hate about ourselves, but we need to embrace those things and start loving them instead. Love who you are and accept yourself. If you can do that I’m sure everyone else will too. At least that’s what I’m hoping…

No one is a DUFF unless they let themselves be one.

Only you can define who you are…

💛💛💛

Unhappily Ever Never 

Have you loved? Have you lost? Have you tried getting them back? It seems like we all have been through this at least once. Maybe you’re dealing with that pain and heartache right now or maybe you’ve dealt with it and are starting to accept its over. Wherever life has you at this moment don’t forget to breathe…

Love and Loss is something all women can relate to. Whether you are old and grey or young and blonde. For me the things that hold me together through the happy and the sad are two things that are always changing yet always staying the same and that’s friends and music.

My best friends always tell me the truth whether I want to hear it or need to hear it. Without them I’d go insane and lose my mind. 

Music is like the window to my soul, heart, and mind… The songs that are on repeat can tell you exactly what I’m feeling and thinking. Maybe that’s very transparent of me but I don’t care. I want people to see me for who I am and if that means sharing my feelings so be it. 

The biggest music influences for me over the last few weeks have been the women in country music and the artists that get me through the day right now are Kelsea Ballerini, Raelynn, Cam, and Kacey Musgraves. There songs cut deep to the heart but also get me up in the morning. 

Having that inspiration and power to get up in the mornings is important. And having strong independent women influencing us to be better and telling us we can be who we want and do what we want is the best thing ever. 

Live, Laugh, and Love everyday because who knows what tomorrow holds? Life can be hard and love can suck but it’s how we get through it that defines us. 

Here are a few of my favorite songs  right now about loss that help me know I’m not the only one dealing with this and that I can get through this too.

Peter Pan- Kelsea Ballerini

I Was Made For Loving You- Tori Kelly

Someone To Love- Kacey Musgraves 

Burning House- Cam 

Always Sing & Careless- Raelynn 

To know more about these women in country see my next blog post under Classwork. 

Tater Tot*

*Warning: Not the crispy potato snack you eat…

Camden Tate Moster, aka Tater Tot or Tater, was born April 16, 2015 and is the most precious nephew any aunt could want! Being the first grandkid on our side and my brother-in-law’s side of the family so this little man is definitely spoiled and he knows it. But we love him anyway! Its hard to picture anything without him now and he’s only been here for a few months.

I have always been close with my sister and in some ways her having Camden has made us closer and in others we’ve grown apart but it’s only for a limited time and it’s normal for that to happen. She has a kid, she has late nights and early mornings and really long days. There isn’t much time for girl talk and shopping right now but i understand that. I know she is still there if I ever need her for anything though. Even though there isn’t time for that anymore she’s becoming a great mom and the best one for little Tater and I wouldn’t expect anything less.

It’s one of the greatest feelings becoming an aunt and having someone to love so much and yet being able to give him back when he starts screaming too! Haha I can’t wait to be an aunt for many more kiddos just like Camden.

I love that family more than anything and I would do anything for them.

I love you to the moon and back…

Your Art Matters¡!¡

Change can be good, Change can be bad but it’s how we deal with Change that tells everyone around us who we are and what kind of person we want to be in the long run.

My question for you today is this…

Are you happy? Like really happy? Not the fake kind of happy that when some stranger asks how you are you say I’m fine, thanks. I’m talking about the kind of happy that reassures you that your life here has a purpose and what you are doing is important but not only to you but also to the people around you.

I think sometimes we forget who we are, why were here and what it’s all for. For me the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life so far is saying goodbye to people I love. Some have passed on and left me here on earth to go live the life I was meant to live. And others I’ve left behind me not because I don’t want them with me but because I needed that change of something new. Like I said earlier change can be good and this change was good for me but at the same time it was bad because I had to leave who I was and start this new chapter of my life. But that doesn’t mean I forget who I was back home to be someone new. I’m still me and I’m learning who that is in a new state, new town and so far I’m liking who I am and what I’m doing.

It may be change but not in huge steps toward my career but all these little ones will all add up to exactly how I want this experience to go here…

Sure it might take some time but sometimes time is what we need to get back to who we are and find ourselves again. I’m ready to run full force into this life of mine to see where it will lead me. The rest of my life is a long time God forbid, and that time I have of my life starts right now…

So what am I going to do? What are you going to do?

Close your eyes, take a breath, and remember when you were younger and you knew exactly who you wanted to be and what you wanted to do with the life you were given. Are those still the things you want? Have you achieved any of them? If not now’s the time to decide to change or not.

Find the you, you wanted to be before life got in the way and made you change for the bad. Fight for who you are, take a stand and do great things because one tv show called One Tree Hill once told me, My Art Matters…

Opening Day!!⚾️❤️⚾️❤️

Heaven on Earth or Baseball Heaven?

Call it what you want but Opening Day at home is probably one of the best days in the entire year.  People who love their cities and their home teams come out to support one of the greatest games in America. Whether you are a Dodger fan, Angles fan, Braves fan, Royals fan, Reds fan, Yankees fan, Boston fan, or my personal favorite Cardinals fan Opening Day should be a National Holiday.

The St. Louis Cardinals are coming off a 2-1 series win over the Cincinnati Reds. A regular season 3-2 record overall. With Adam Wainwright on the mound we are sure to take that Home Opener Win (Totally biased and I don’t care). Wainwright is coming off seven days rest with pitching 6 scoreless innings since the Opening Night of Baseball against the Chicago Cubs where the Cardinals won 3-0. With Waino on the mound and Yadi at the plate we can’t go wrong. Then of course you have the defense behind Wainwright with Carpenter, Peralta, Wong, Adams, Holliday, Jay, and Heyward.

If only I could be there to support my boys but hey I’m doing my best here in Tennessee where its considered Braves/Reds country. Let’s Go and get that W boys! Let’s Go Cardinals!!

C4

Cardinals vs. Yankees in St. Louis May 27th, 2014

Thinking Out Loud

“And darling I will be loving you til we’re 70.” 

We all want that kind of love in our lives, the kind that never grows old, or weak, and never fails. Some people go there whole lives and never find it. Some people find it and it’s gone in a split second. Then there are those people who live with that kind of love for years on end… 

We want that Johnny and June kind of love. Prince Charming and Cinderella will always be a fairytale favorite. And my personal tv favorites would be Lucas and Peyton or Hailey and Nathan from OTH. 

We base what we think love should be from everything that surrounds us in our lives. Sometimes we doubt that love can be right around the corner and we stop looking for it. It’s those days we have to be strong and know that it will find us. 

And the day we start to think love is overrated is the day we are dead wrong. 

Some times people are shy and broken and don’t know how too love the way they should or the way someone needs. Some people have a hard time expressing themselves and they write the things that the can’t say. 

Express your love every chance you get because you never know when you might not get the chance. 

“And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23.”