A Letter To My Teenage Self (Part 1)

The idea for the following blog post I found on an incredible blog called Chateau Cherie

cartoon old letter Clipart | +1,566,198 clip arts

Dear Teenage Lisa,

Yeah, hi honey I see you. Probably with your nose in a book. Well let me tell you some things are not new there darling!

I am not really sure where to start but just to let you know that everything will be ok. I know you worry it won’t be but it will. It won’t be perfect my dear and I know right now you are so worried it won’t be but you will grow to realise that life isn’t perfect but you will still be happy. And you are a lot stronger with a bigger capacity to survive than you think.

I know you are worried about that passionate heart you have and I know you are worried about questioning everything. But let me tell you one day you will realise that those things are two of your most beautiful qualities. You are not a bad person, you are compassionate and kind but you are also strong and you stand up for what you believe in, your rights and the rights of others. And babe, no matter what some people tell you and how much they put you down, you remember that because you are going to need to. People are going to/are saying these negative about you and though you may not think it, it is when you start to not take those things in that you will blossom.

Right now you are being bullied in school and I know not too much of it gets to you but it will all hit you later down the line. While you will have scars from the cruel experiences of being bullied, you will become even stronger from it and you will get through. That is going to be a common feature of life: hard times will be hard but you will survive them and you will come out of them stronger.

You are trying to figure out your sexuality and your romantic orientation. You are spending too much time trying to figure it all out. You will in time. In fact you will think you know at 18 but you won’t till quite a bit after that so why worry? Let it just come. You will question more too like your religious beliefs and your gender and you will sort all that too. You will question if you are capable of success, whether you are a good person and what type of clothes you like but babe, you’ll get through it all. My message really to you is stop worrying so much about figuring things out. You will and then you will wonder why you wasted so much time trying to sort things that you always eventually get the answers to. Live in the moment and trust yourself that you are capable of finding out who you are.

Your life is in writing. I know your two passions are writing and singing. You will go for a couple of auditions so you won’t have regrets about that but writing is where your life and career mainly lies. You have published 29 books. Yeah, pretty impressive, eh girl? There’s a bit of everything in them from romance, mystery, drama, horror, supernatural, self-help, poetry, a childrens’ book and in your books there is a lot about social issues! You have a blog which this letter is on. It is called Culture Vulture Express. You have written for magazines and websites too. And let me tell you honey, keep the writing up because while you are not Oscar Wilde, you are pretty damn good at it.

You are going to have mostly a very happy life but you are going to have some hard times too. You will lose your father in 2008 and you will lose your dog in 2010. They are going to be very difficult times for you, your mother and your sister and you will go through all those stages of grief people talk about but those stages will be more hellish than anyone could ever describe. The two men in your life will always be in your heart but though it might not always feel like it at those times, you will get through and survive and so will your mother and sister.

Later in your life, you will go through a very difficult night where you will feel like taking your life. You are going to face a lot of prejudice, discrimination and gaslighting and you are going to put a lot to the back of your mind and that stress is going to build up and make you feel that way. You will feel like you are going to go through with it but don’t worry, you won’t. You are a fighter though you think you aren’t. You are going to see life a lot differently after that happens but Lis, I want you to see life a lot differently now instead. I want you to know your worth without having to experience something so awful and scary.

Oh, you are 30 now. Did I mention that? How do you feel? More mature because you’ve experienced more life. You know more than back then because you had a good few years to learn it in. But honestly, you aren’t really much different! You are a lot calmer now but that’s normal. You are young and starting out in the world and it’s perfectly normal to be daunted by that but over time, you’ll get used to it. You will learn how to navigate the world like we all do.

You are in a pandemic currently. Yes, you read that right darling, a pandemic. Life is very scary right now and it feels so fragile. But you, your mother and sister are doing well at the moment and making the best of it.

I think that is enough information to load on your young shoulders for now but there will be more parts to this letter so you know Lis, stay tuned. 🙂

From 30-year-old Lisa

My Book Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories Is Now Available!

Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories by [Lisa Reynolds]

Hi everyone! 🙂

My new book Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories is now available on Amazon and Payhip.

Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories is a collection of six Halloween stories.

Contents:

Elm View Mansion
Sexy Vampires
Halloween Dad
Missing Them
The Local Witch
Halloween Hook-Up

Happy Halloween to you all & if you choose to purchase thank you. I loved putting this collection together and met so many new and amazing characters. 🙂

To purchase Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories go to:

https://payhip.com/b/f8nH

Poem: To My Father

On the 21st of this month we lost my father 12 years ago. Rest in peace Dad. Love you.

Free Love Dad Cliparts, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on Clipart  Library

I miss you Dad everyday,

I especially miss you in these crazy times

when you would be there to help get me through,

I wonder how you’d have coped with all this,

you would probably have moaned a bit

but did what needed to be done

because you cared about people

so much.

I miss your humour,

I miss your love,

it makes me so proud

when Mum and Shar say

I have your smile.

You were one in a million,

I hate the 21st every year,

I was so glad I slept past 11am,

the hour you died,

I wanted to,

I was scared to be awake

and remember the pain.

I prefer to think of the good times

when you were with us

and it felt like it would never be any other way,

you taught me to be kind and to be strong,

you set me up so well for life

in just over 18 years

and you are forever with me

and the girls in our hearts.

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

It is that time of the week again. Here is my five video suggestions for this week:

Politics

In this video Tyler Oakley talks to Brandon Kyle Goodman about the upcoming Presidential Election in America and explains how your one vote could make all the difference. Really informative and interesting.

Make-Up/Drag

In this video, Bob The Drag Queen does a look using Party City supplies and RuPaul’s Teal the Show Wig. With assistance from Free The Drag Queen, Bob creates yet another fantastic look.

Musical Theatre/Film

With Halloween just around the corner, it is the perfect time to enjoy Todrick Hall’s take on Hocus Pocus called Hocus Broke-us. It’s amazing and a lot of fun. So well put together. Todrick and the entire cast are excellent.

Music

I love both Queen and Panic! At The Disco so this is perfect. A really great version of Bohemian Rhapsody from Panic! At The Disco’s The Death Of A Bachelor Tour.

Here is a throwback for you all. A wonderful performance of Nancy Boy by Placebo on Top of the Pops in 1997.

My Poem Haunted By Lies Is In Little Infinite’s Poetry Competition!

Writing Poetry - 4 Ways to get Started | SelfPublishBooks.ie

Hi everyone! 🙂

My poem Haunted By Lies is currently one of the entrants in Little Infinite’s poetry competition. I would love if you voted for it but obviously there is so many excellent poems in the competition so no pressure whatsoever! 🙂

If you do vote for Haunted By Lies though, it would be very much appreciated and thank you so much. 🙂

https://woobox.com/kk7hkw/gallery/ixSqyPQlpx8

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

It is that time of the week again! Here is my five video suggestions for this week:

Music

I have been a huge Scissors Sisters fan for a long time and Take Your Mama was one of their songs back in day (Jaysus, I’m old! :-)) that you would hear everywhere. Brilliant song, brilliant music video. 🙂

I think I went on a bit of a nostalgia trip this week because Mika is another artist I have been a long-time fan of. Relax, Take It Easy is very much an anthem kind of song, very festival-like and the words really we all need to do sometimes. Again great bop and an equally great video. 🙂

I feel there is a pattern emerging here because I am also a long-time fan of Ne-Yo. If you don’t know my age by now, you are probably beginning to guess it. Our music definitely tells on us! 🙂 This is Ne-Yo’s Beautiful Monster, excellent music video, brilliant song. And quite a cool song for a Halloween playlist too. 🙂

Fashion

Thank god I finally came to the present day! 🙂 This is Moschino’s Spring/Summer collection 2021. The clothes are gorgeous, they always are with Moschino but what really gets me about this collection is the way the show was created with puppets. Very inventive and creative by Jeremy Scott and his team. Really fun. Very storytelling. 🙂

Make-Up/Drag

I am absolutely loving Bob The Drag Queen’s Addams Family Series at the moment. In this episode, she does a make-up tutorial of Morticia Addams. Absolutely stunning! 🙂

My New Book Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential Is Now Available!

Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential by [Lisa Reynolds]

Hi everyone! 🙂

My new book Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential is now available to purchase on Amazon and Payhip. 🙂

Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential is a mixed bag of affirmations which I use myself to help me feel confident and more happy in my skin and I hope these affirmations can do the same for you too. Like my two previous affirmations books there is once again 50 affirmations in this book. 🙂

If you choose to purchase the book, thank you so much in advance. 🙂

To purchase Positive Affirmations: Unleash Your Potential go to:

https://payhip.com/b/9z36

Hiding Cracked Glass Blog Book Tour @jamescudney4 @Shalini_G26

Hi everyone! 🙂

Today I am taking part in the blog book tour for author James J. Cudney’s Hiding Cracked Glass. The blog book tour is been hosted by Shalini at Digital Reads Blog Tours (@Shalini_G26). Thank you very much to both James and Shalini. 🙂

Title: Hiding Cracked Glass

Series Name: Perceptions of Glass

Author: James J. Cudney

Publisher and Next Release Date: Next Chapter, October 8, 2020 (Yes y’all, that is today! :-))

Synopsis

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved.  

My Review

Hiding Cracked Glass (2020) is an amazing read. It is the second installment in the Perception of Glass series and follows on brilliantly from the first book Watching Glass Shatter. What is really great about this series is the variety of characters and how they all interact with each other. The Glass family are definitely a family with drama and secrets which always works well in stories especially mysteries. Because there is so many different types of characters within the family alone, most readers will not identify or like the same characters and I think that makes things interesting.

The plot is really interesting and well-thought out. The family has gathered for mother Olivia’s birthday but the celebrations are somewhat dampened when a blackmail letter comes before. The name of who the letter is for is unreadable which kind of reminded of something Agatha Christie might do actually so I thought that was cool. The family all believe the letter was meant for them and believe themselves to be in danger which means they set about finding out more. Very intriguing plot idea. This novel has some great red herrings throughout to keep you guessing and is really a very gripping read. Sometimes it is hard to put down to be honest.

Great drama. Great mystery. Great read.

My rating: 5 stars

About The Author

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read 2 books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub:https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsMyTruthNow/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Genres, Formats & Languages

I write in the family drama and mystery genres. My first two books are Watching Glass Shatter (2017) and Father Figure (2018). Both are contemporary fiction and focus on the dynamics between parents and children and between siblings. I’m currently writing the sequel to Watching Glass Shatter. I also have a light mystery series called the Braxton Campus Mysteries with six books available.

All my books come in multiple formats (Kindle, physical print, large print paperback, and audiobook) and some are also translated into foreign languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Goodreads Book Links
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Father Figure (April 2018)
Braxton Campus Mysteries
·       Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
·       Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
·       Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
·       Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

·       Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
·       Frozen Stiff Drink – #6 (March 2020)

Giveaway

To win your free book go to (2 Winners):

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e5ee1a9220/?

Good luck everyone! 🙂

To purchase Hiding Cracked Glass by James J. Cudney go to:

Amazon Link:
https://www.amazon.com/Hiding-Cracked-Glass-Perceptions-Book-ebook/dp/B08F3YWTYX
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hiding-Cracked-Glass-Perceptions-Book-ebook/dp/B08F3YWTYX
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54399989-hiding-cracked-glass  

Best of luck to James with the book and to both James and Shalini with the rest of the blog book tour! 🙂

My Thoughts On Donald Trump Being Diagnosed With Covid-19

First lady Melania Trump calls for peaceful protests, doesn't mention  underlying causes - ABC News

There has been many different responses to the news that Donald Trump, his wife Melania and many people connected to them was diagnosed with Covid-19. This is my thoughts on it all.

I seen the news trending first of all on Twitter about Donald and Melania. I later found out that other people working for the president had been infected too and I felt terrible for Donald, Melania and all the staff who had this terrible disease. I can’t stand Donald, Melania or anyone who would work for him because I think that says a lot about a person. But the kind of person I am is someone who is as passionate as you can go without hating anyone or wishing anyone ill. So it is a no-brainer for me to say that in this particular situation I feel very sorry for them that they have Covid-19 and hope that they all recover.

There has been debate around whether it is all a hoax. I won’t lie, it crossed my mind. The timing after the debate seemed like convenient timing and I wouldn’t put it past Donald to do something like this. The information given out after has been very dodgy to say the least too. In saying that, I don’t want to be disbelieving if it is true and so for now I am believing and putting the element of doubt to the back of my head. But I don’t blame people for not believing it’s true. I understand completely why they don’t.

A lot of people after the news of the diagnosis didn’t really care that Donald, Melania or anyone else connected had Covid-19. I don’t really agree with that response but I understand where it comes from. Many people who have my opinion on it have been saying that people who respond like this should have more compassion. I totally disagree with that. I think it is very unreasonable to expect everyone to care when Donald and so many connected to him have been the cause of a lot of peoples’ distress and pain in so many ways. Especially people from and living in America. I can’t stand the gaslighting of making out people are not kind because they couldn’t care less about the diagnosis. That is dismissing that Donald, Melania and the Trump administration have been heavily involved in letting people die of Covid-19 and haven’t been worried about people when it hasn’t been themselves, it dismisses Donald’s history with sexual abuse of women and it dismisses the fact that they have pushed prejudice and ignorance in so many ways. All of these things have made peoples’ lives harder and caused a lot of people pain so to say you are not a nice person to feel that way is utter bollocks. I might think differently about the diagnosis but I don’t think my response is the only right response by any means.

On that note I would also like to say that my response doesn’t suddenly make me a Donald Trump supporter. God no! And for anyone to suggest that would be equally as cruel to suggest that as the ones who suggest those who don’t care are not kind people. I’m a good person and I don’t support Donald Trump so let’s not get things twisted here. Gaslighting is something I abhor so the gaslighting I am seeing to many people whether they care or not in this situation has been terrible but sadly not shocking. There is people who are and aren’t Trump supporters gaslighting those who care and those who don’t care about this particular situation. People feel what they feel about it, there is no right or wrong response and that sort of thing is just not on.

I am glad to see that issues are not been swept under the carpet and been replaced by the diagnosis ‘out of respect’. Years ago that probably would have happened and I am delighted to see that it hasn’t this time around. It is too vital that those issues are highlighted and discussed regularly in order to make this world a better place for everyone.

I want to say R.I.P to all the people who have lost their lives in America to Covid-19 and my condolences and thoughts are with all their loved ones at this very sad time.

Trump’s response since his diagnosis has been disgusting. I am not shocked by that. It would be a fairytale thought to think that he would be enlightened by having it himself and by his wife and others he knew having it but I knew that wouldn’t happen. He is gaslighting people into thinking Covid-19 is not dangerous. There is people who will listen to him and I’m scared for them. I don’t know why anyone would listen to him but the fact is that there is people who do. Being working-class, I know many people will not be as privileged as he is and won’t get that same kind of healthcare and support if they find themselves with the often deadly Covid-19. Please wear your masks, wash your hands, socially distance, trust your gut, you know what you need to do to protect yourself and others around you. Your life matters. Now that’s enough of me preaching for the day. Just stay safe everyone.

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

It’s that time of the week again! Here is my five video suggestions for this week:

TV/Music

In this really interesting video, reigning Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence talks about his experiences since winning the contest last year. I could very much relate to what he was saying about coming from a small town.

Music

Kill The Lights by Alex Newell & DJ Cassidy with Nile Rodgers is just so good to dance to! The beat is amazing, Alex’s voice is sensational and this video is just perfect too. I dare you all not to dance to this! 🙂

TV

I was reading about this new show It’s A Sin which is set to air in 2021 on Channel 4. I am definitely excited to watch this. Russell T Davis is an absolute writing genius and an early inspiration to me as a writer though I am nowhere near as good as him. I love Years & Years and seeing Olly Alexander from the band is in this is really cool. He’s a really good actor too. I remember he was brilliant in Skins. I love the Pet Shop Boys too so everything really works for me here. The cast looks amazing in general and the story is incredibly important too. Below is the trailer for the show:

Make-Up/Drag

Here the amazingly talented season 8 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Bob The Drag Queen (and I have seen Bob live at Christmas Queens in the past and she was superb that night) doing her Aunt Fester version of Uncle Fester from the Addams family. Really great make-up and really great costume by Bob’s drag daughter Free the Drag Queen.

Drag Performances

From one amazingly talented Drag Race winner to another, this is Aquaria’s first show which took place in Mexico City following her win on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10. Everything about her show here I just adored and the support acts were really amazing too.