#MotivatedMonday: If You Believe It, You Can Achieve It

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“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Can’t Live Without You

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“You don’t marry someone you can live with.
You marry someone you can’t live without.” – Unknown

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Not Aunt Becky! The College Admissions Bribery Scandal, and Why Personal Branding Matters

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The College Admissions Bribery Scandal

First of all, Happy Friday! I know that I need to start out with something positive because I’m about to throw down the gauntlet and engage in fisticuffs. (This might take a while, so grab a snack.)

At this point, I’ve made it clear enough that I’m an unashamed Academic. (With a capital “A”, as you can see. And don’t @ me because I’m an Academic who loves to use fragments and begin sentences with “And’s” and “But”s, too. But I digress…) I’m also a classically-trained vocalist who’s been on stages since the age of 5, and I understand the Game when it comes to ‘making it’ in the Performing Arts on an international scale.

So, I have to admit that this college admissions bribery scandal has really rocked me to my core. Why is that the case? Well, to put it simply (this is a blog, not a dissertation),

I just can’t see how people of such privilege would throw everything away for something as potentially useless as a college or university degree.

Yes, I said it. Potentially useless.

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Sadly, These days, I’m hearing too often how many people are unable to find ways to use their legitimately, hard-earned degrees. Of course, simply the experience of going to uni is incredibly valuable, and I’m obviously a proponent of higher education for those who truly desire to pursue it. It shouldn’t be viewed as being high school, part II. There’s no guarantee that a university degree is going to open every door that you desire. College is not a magic genie, and it’s not for everyone. I do believe that everyone should have the opportunity to attend college, university, or vocational school, but that’s another talk for another time.

We all know that “people of privilege” have advantages over your average Joe or Joanne. Duh. That’s why we refer to them as being privileged. Hard working kids have been robbed of opportunities that they likely earned, which really hurts. Unfortunately, this is not that uncommon. Sure, it’s not fair and it’s a shame and yes, yes, yes, but that’s honestly not the point here. Unfair advantages occur everywhere, on the daily. In this particular scandal, though, folks allegedly outright turned to federally criminal acts. On purpose. With eyes wide open. This is no misdemeanor, ladies & gents – the FBI arrested these people, some of whom we’ve looked up to and admired since childhood.

Of course, I’m talking about Lori Loughlin here. Yes, there are dozens of other famous names floating around, but she’s the star of Hallmark fame who struck a nerve in all of us.

The Women's Cancer Research Fund hosts an Unforgettable Evening, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 27 Feb 2018
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Why Are We Picking on Aunt Becky?

If you didn’t grow up with Full House on ABC, then you’ve at least heard of Fuller House on Netflix. The actress Lori Loughlin played Aunt Becky on the wholesome show and she has gained even more fame over recent years by being a staple on the Hallmark Channel. Her face became ubiquitous with the ideal of a woman who started with humble roots and steadfastly rose to a comfortable level of fame, all the while maintaining poise and humility.

When news broke that she had allegedly engaged in felonious activities – not once, but twice – fans were shocked to face the apparent fact that irl Lori Loughlin may be very different from her cultivated persona. Her roles encouraged us to put her on a pedestal, and like most of us would, she happily stood upon it. Now, in a matter of days, her hard-earned career and brand is in shambles and at least one daughter who didn’t even want to go to college is watching her real dream career crumble as well. Hallmark has severed ties with the actress and pulled all works that include Loughlin off the air. As a result, innocent actors who have worked with her on Hallmark shows and films won’t see any more residuals for their work, and other jobs may be lost. Now, that’s a real scandal in and of itself.

All because these parents allegedly actively chose to break the law – more than once – to satisfy their egos. This goes beyond a simple “oops, I made a mistake” level of wrong-doing. This was premeditated, and worst of all, it was under the guise of making charitable contributions to help underprivileged kids get into schools. It’s so sad, nasty, and pointless to me.

Let’s face it – we REALLY want to have role models. I mean, we’re desperate for them. Those of us who reach out via social media also want to fill that role for someone. That’s fine. But let me tell you right now, I’m gloriously flawed, and I walk in faith. I’m far from being a goody-two-shoes, and I love a descriptive open-door romance. At least 3 times a day I have to use my watch to find my phone. I also forget what I’m talking about midsentence numerous times a day. Too many to count, really.

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Just remember that as you’re building your brand, hold on to those elements of imperfection, the tattered parts of you that keep you tethered to the ground. Don’t be afraid to remind others that you’re honestly working hard to get where you want to be, and you’ll cheer them on as they do the same. Carefully select the high pedestals you aspire to ascend – because the fall from grace is swift and merciless.

Rant over.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

 

Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Love Has No Barriers

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“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

#MotivatedMonday: Believe in Yourself

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“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you can imagine.” – Roy T. Bennett

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivated Monday – Get It Done

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just do it

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2015-2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Honesty, People – Do You Practice It?

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TRIGGER WARNING: I’m ranting about discussing some genuinely disturbing current events in the news. Full disclosure – this is a rant, so if you’re not in the mood, walk away.

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Also, I’ve never seen Pulp Fiction, but it’s so iconic that even I am familiar with many scenes from the film. I’m a day late posting, but it’s mainly because I’m at a loss for words. All I can do is wear a look of disdain that only Mr. Samuel L. Jackson can best convey when people are full of crap and have lost their everloving minds. Which is why I have to ask –

Honesty, people.

Why does it seem difficult to be an honest, decent human being these days?

I’m SO disgusted with the Catholic Church. I’m also quite proud that I politely and firmly declined to enter that hot mess through marriage, especially after I was handed a contract that literally signed away the souls of my unconceived children. No joke. (My husband & I quickly walked away from that dandy offer. Just, wow.)

After decades of scandalous revelations of child abuse and sexual depravity, now we learn that many nuns have been kept as sexual slaves all over the freaking world, and I just can’t even. I remember learning years ago in Europe that some tithing money was always set aside for “oops children” within the Church (both Protestant and Catholic, btw), and that was horrible enough. Poor children destroyed by “men of the cloth” is enraging, and now we may know why many nuns were seemingly unable or unwilling to protect the children – apparently, many were/are the victims of sexual predators and abuse as well.

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A part of me does thank Pope Francis for publicly acknowledging this, this EVIL that enrages me. I can also understand why the former Pope Benedict volunteered to give up the papacy when he learned this was a common “thing” and grew discouraged and dismayed as he actively sought to dismantle the festering infrastructure.

I admit that I’ve slowed down donating to churches in favor of donating to my local food bank, the Salvation Army, and WorldVision.org. They are all faith-based affiliations, and they seem to be relatively scandal-light, comparatively. These are not easy times to be a Christian (or any person of Faith, for that matter), but I won’t back down. There is still much to hope for, much goodness to believe in, and much more to be done.

Now, the next on my Honesty, Please list is regarding the Jussie Smollett story. No one truly knows exactly what happened yet, so I find myself to be in a really awkward position.

Am I supposed to actually hope that self-proclaimed Trump supporters ran after a Black, gay man, tried to lynch him and threw bleach on him – as Jussie has publicly shared? Or am I supposed to wait for the other shoe to drop, the one that strongly indicates that the actor purported a blatant and elaborate LIE, a debilitating one that will taint the valid struggles and honest accounts of marginalized people who are targeted, abused, and even killed more frequently than our society feels comfortable acknowledging?

Either way, those are two terrible expectations to have. All I know is that I hope this story comes to its inevitable conclusion soon, because no matter how you look at it, no one wins. NO ONE WINS.

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Actor Jussie Smollett (Source: ChicagoTribune.com)

Lastly, although I write in other genres, at this point it should be clear that Romance is Atina Atwood’s jam. Why is this the case? Because I strongly believe that with all the crap going on in our world right now, we are in desperate need of something that celebrates people connecting, finding companionship, hopefully even love – and celebrating the moment when likable characters realize that the right person for them has finally arrived in their lives. So, yeah – I’m a realistic optimist who enjoys happy endings.

But apparently, now is not the time for us to have nice things. Because in Romancelandia, a person has just been outed for literally BUILDING HER CAREER ON THE PLAGIARIZED WORKS OF WELL-KNOWN AUTHORS. Seriously, she had no choice but to acknowledge that this accusation is factual and she claims she paid some people on Fiverr to ghostwrite books for her and was unaware of any wrongdoing. Apparently, she submitted multiple, random passages from published books to freelancers, some who were not even paid fully for their services – already a highly suspect and low-morality move – and sold the cut & paste books under her own name for profit (at the time of writing, this news story is trending as #CopyPasteCris on Twitter). At least one ghostwriter has come out and said that she obviously didn’t know that the words this “author” submitted as her own were indeed plagiarized (the freelance writer assumed that the random, fragmented passages were original musings from the client). The fraudulent person has even entered prestigious competitions like the RITA with books filled with stolen passages. This person has been lauded as a USA Today bestselling author, for goodness’ sake! Now that she’s been totally caught (people are posting the receipts online), she’s claiming that she “wants to make things right.” Well, she’s not the only one, and any moment now, copyright infringement lawyers will be knocking on her virtual door.

I’m angry on behalf of all of the people who have toiled and cried over their original works, only to learn that a person stole their voices and was celebrated for it. Who cares if it’s Pulitzer Quality or not? If you put your heart and soul into anything, it should be yours to share in the way that you, the author, chooses – without the fear of brazen thievery that apparently quite a few people have no problem practicing. So, that’s a developing story, too.

These three examples of “trending news” are disheartening. In their own way, each one is a certain level of disgusting. All are angering and disconcerting. Why am I ranting about them when my blog is usually facing the sunny-side-up direction?

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Because it’s foolish not to acknowledge the darkness when you’re grasping at the rays of light. I see the crap that’s floating around, and it stinks to high heaven. I don’t feel as though I’m on a high horse condemning any of these alleged acts, because, if true, all of these acts are the lowest of low.

Let’s just remember not to get too weary, too bogged down by the toxic energy surrounding us. Find something – one thing – that makes you genuinely goofy-laugh. And go do that one thing. Yes, monsters are among us. But put on your armor of Light, your armor of God (who is not bound to any Church, FYI) and SLAY. Show your love and originality in a way that makes your unmistakable light shine.

Because we need it. We really do.

Rant over.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

 

 

Motivated Monday – Rise Every Time We Fall

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads! Love Games (Holiday Heartbeats #2) is now available wherever eBooks are sold

rise when we fall
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

 

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2015-2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivated Monday: Find Your Voice

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2015-2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivated Monday: Smile

Be sure to join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Get ready for Love Games next month!

Smile atina atwood

Smile. “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for a smile is the beginning of love.”
– Mother Theresa

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2015-2019 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.