Blog Tour: Story-Eyed (You Don’t Want To Miss This!)

My friend Abby from Ups & Downs has launched an AMAZING new blog that you 100% do not want to miss. Here is some exclusive information about what’s going on at the new site! (All pictures and graphics in this post belong to Abby.)

(forever drooling over the beauty of this logo)
What inspired you to launch your new blog Story-Eyed?
The inspiration came from reevaluating reasons why I write and create, a lot of this coming from art classes I took over the course of the year. As a writer, I want to be able to write the clash between good and evil, the gray areas which arise from such conflict, solely because untold narratives hide in these gray areas. From these narratives, I want readers to think and gain perspectives from these voices and use them as connections in the real world, and this is something I feel so strongly. Visual art is not my forte, but through it I learned the importance of shading and depth, how different shades of gray can help turn things multidimensional. This mission, these beliefs which I possess so strongly, is what I want people to gain from this blog.
What kind of posts can readers expect to see on Story-Eyed?
I’m going to be posting somewhat similar to how I posted before. I’m planning on posting adventure and thought posts filled with numerous photos, especially since college will bring on a plethora of experiences and places to travel. The main difference is there will be a greater concentration of writing advice and college help articles, alongside several new blog series posts I’m not going to reveal just yet! I’m really excited for it!
What is your favorite thing to write? Can you share any hints about your journey towards publication?
One of the unexpected things I love to write which I’ve been slowly getting accustomed to are personal essays. I hardly ever write about myself. Whenever I’m writing other forms, typically novels as the one I write most in volume, the characters and the story lines reflect the morals or messages I wish to convey. With personal essays, they’re typically written with the sole purpose of self-examination. It’s hard to portray exactly how you feel with spoken words. With personal essays, I can dig into the issue present in the story and therefore understand why. While it is sometimes painful to go in and reflect, it does provide some catharsis once you know the story is done. My journey towards publication? I won’t reveal much (yet) but I will be releasing a post that discusses this.
You’re entering college as a freshman this fall. Give yourself (and other rising freshies) one or two pieces of advice.
I could say many things. Take care of your mental health! Don’t be afraid to go on new adventures! These two things are important, but this encompasses both of them: find yourself a good group of friends and supporters. I am so incredibly blessed and thankful to have the most wonderful friends, teachers, and mentors who helped guide me through high school during the times when I had a public mental breakdown or wanted to go fangirl over movies. They mean so much to me that instead of focusing my senior statement about my plans, I talked about my friends in a video. It’s sad to know we are all heading different directions for college, but they will still be there to support you. Besides, this circle of people is always in a constant shift and can always grow.
How did you come up with the name Story-Eyed?
I actually bounced around between two different name ideas! Story-Eyed just came to me as I thought of names which would articulate the mission of the blog. The name also derives from comments from friends and people who have described me to look at the world with wide, hopeful eyes who absorbed every surrounding thing. It is a play on words, but it does describe the blog and I a lot.
What’s your favorite food and your favorite musical?
IT’S SO HARD TO CHOOSE FAVORITES! If I had to narrow it down to one, my favorite food would probably be ravioli stuffed with tons of cheese and drizzled in marinara sauce. My favorite musical would have to be Thoroughly Modern Millie. I love musicals focused on the Roaring Twenties; they’re so fun.
Check out Story-Eyed HERE to keep up with all the exciting stuff that’s coming.
You can also follow Abby on Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter.
Are you friends with Abby? If not, you should be–she’s pretty great! Are you going to check out Story-Eyed? (Hint–the answer here is YES!)

Sophie: One Year Later

As of last Saturday, June 2nd, we’ve had Sophie for exactly a year! And since everyone in the blogosphere loves her so much (you wouldn’t love her if you met her), I thought I’d do an update post and talk about the past year. (There are a lot of photos–I tried to make collages, but WordPress wasn’t cooperating, so most of them are individuals.)

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To recap, Sophie is our year-and-a-half year old beagle/basset hound. My mom had said for years that we’d never get another dog, but on June 2, 2018, she very unexpectedly came home from work with a puppy! We adopted Sophie from a shelter, so we don’t know much about her life before us. But it quickly became evident she is terrified of men and children. (When people come to the door, she barks and growls at them, but she’s shaking like a leaf.) She was quiet and timid for a few weeks at our house–then she settled in and started to show her true colors. She also attached herself to Mom. Last summer she was so little; for a solid week after we got her, we did nothing but sit around and look at her. When she got the hiccups we would all squeal about how cute it was (well, maybe that was just me).

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Sophie eats everything. She has huge separation anxiety and she’s an anxious chewer. The only toy she can have (she ingests pieces of everything else) is a deer antler, and she whittles it down to choke size within two weeks (her trainer had a black Lab and said it took his Lab three months to go through an antler of the same size). Sophie’s favorite thing to eat is paper. If I stick a Post-It note somewhere low, the next thing I know it’s in her mouth; if I’m bringing in the mail, she jumps up and grabs an envelope of out my hands; if we leave a bookmark sticking out of a book, she will eat the bookmark. In addition to paper, Sophie loves to dust; she will obsessively lick any surface she can reach that has dust on it. And her favorite people food (not that we feed her much) is cheese–she magically appears whenever Mom is grating cheese. Sometimes she eats ice cubes if she feels like it. I taught her how to climb up on the step stool and sit if she wants a treat.


Despite what my dad might think, Sophie knows a lot of words: Sophie, Mommy, Daddy, Joshua, bone, ball, eat, treat, come (well, she chooses not to know this sometimes–she looks at you and calculates whether it’s worth it), sit, outside, walk, up. She follows us around the house (so closely she’ll bump into the back of our legs if we stop walking). If I’m working on my laptop, she will nap on my bed; if I’m cleaning my room, she’ll go get her bone and entertain herself (until she hears paper rattling–then she’ll come “help”).

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Sometimes we think she’s brilliant (for instance, when we ask her where her bone is and she runs to another room and returns with the antler), but most of the time we think she’s not the brightest bulb in the box. Sophie is constantly losing her Mommy and running around the house, panicked, looking for her; when Mom is gone, Sophie mopes around, doesn’t chew on her bone, and runs to the front door whenever a car door slams somewhere in the neighborhood. If we say anything at all in an excited tone, whether it’s a word that sounds like “Mommy” or not, Sophie will run to the front door and get excited. (As I was writing this blog post, I was watching a video where Sophie was running around the house frantically looking for Mom. On the video I say “Where’s Mommy?!”, and when Sophie heard that phrase she jumped up onto the couch and attacked me.) 

Sophie is my work buddy! Sometimes she will nicely get on the couch under the blanket and snuggle with me; sometimes this involves her walking on my laptop keyboard and deleting whatever I’ve just written. In the mornings at 5 AM when my mom leaves for work, Sophie gets in bed with me and goes under the covers (for a small 17lb dog, she takes up the ENTIRE bed).

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When my dad turns off the TV and it’s bedtime, Sophie jumps off the couch and rolls over on her back because she doesn’t want to go to bed. She also has all kinds of tricks up her sleeve for when I’m trying to put her in the crate so I can get out the door.

Sophie has a luxating patella in one leg, where her kneecap regularly dislocates itself. It doesn’t cause her pain right now, but she’ll need surgery eventually. We’re technically supposed to keep her still, but when she starts doing a zoomie–racing in a circle as fast as she can around the house or the yard–there’s nothing that can stop her.

When we come home and rescue Sophie from the crate (which she tears up while we’re gone because she is so frantic), she will jump on us as if she has springs in her legs. Sometimes she jumps so high, her teeth grab the sleeve of our short sleeve shirts. She does this at other times, too–sometimes she will randomly begin biting us and attacking us. It seems like she’s so excited, she just doesn’t know how to contain herself other than biting our face. We’re trying to redirect that energy…

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Sophie snores very loudly. She also has a habit of heaving a big sigh whenever we scoot her over on the couch, just to let us know how put out she is.

We have a family of toads who live in the backyard, and Sophie likes to hunt them. (This is a funny video Joshua and I made about the toads.) She also hunts bugs. She’s like a cat–she will slap her paw down to trap the roly-poly or whatever it is. She also chases the laser light like a cat. It’s different having a hunting dog; she likes to “bury” her antler in the couch and then go digging for it. Sophie is a mess but we love her so much!!

Do you have a dog? Does your dog do funny or weird things?