Friday, December 2, 2016

Review: Syn Cosmetics

As a nightowl, I am always up a bit late, but some nights are worse than others. Despite doctors telling you to put away all electronics before attempting to fall asleep, I'll admit that my favorite insomnia cure is watching makeup videos and looking at pictures of gorgeous makeup before I drift off to sparkly dreams. It was on such a night recently that I discovered Syn Cosmetics, a Florida-based cosmetics brand.

Do you like glitter? Do you need some Syn Cosmetics in your life? Yes, you do.

I own a handful of the colors already, and will be getting more soon. Below are some examples of how I've worn it, and swatches I made!


In short? I'm totally obsessed. You should totally go order some and sparkle up your life!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Muse of the Month: Dmitry Sholokhov

Recently I watched some of the new season of Project Runway, and it made me miss the older seasons! As I gear up for the release of The Unlove Spell, my wacky comedy about a witch who accidentally places a spell on herself so she can't fall in love, I thought it would be a nice time to feature magical Dmitry Sholokhov, one of my favorite designers from the show. I'll work on sharing a new muse for every month from now on, too!

Follow Dmitry on Instagram:
Follow Dmitry on Twitter:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bellatrix Press Halloween Hop: Character Interview

 Magic comes in all shapes and sizes, and so do the people who use it. To celebrate Halloween, four authors got together to interview their magic-using characters and share the responses. And, as always happens when the four of us get together, to make some fun trouble.

That being said, the four of us have decided to break the interview pieces up so you can read them across our blogs.

Interview with April L. Wood's Winter Rose-Thorne

Q: Do you remember the first time you used magic? If so, please tell us about it.

Winter: When my mother gave birth to me and I took my first breath, the air fueled the budding natural magic inside me. Even though the element of air belongs to the Widow-Tears clan, and I am a Rose-Thorne, it has been rumoured that I may have some Widow-Tears ancestry.  So, I guess you could say that I am a mere vessel and magic breathed life into me!

Q: What is something you wish you could do with magic but haven't been able to yet?

Winter: I wish I could use magic to discover the true creator of the prize - winning cauldron soup recipe, to end the stupid argument between Grandmother Iris and High Priestess Ruth, once and for all. 

Q: What is something you wish you had never done with magic?

Winter: Ugh. Asking for proof of my spell from a great Goddess. She showed me proof, all right... 

Q: Do real witches have broomsticks and/or black cats?

Winter: I have both. A girl's gotta get around somehow and a broom is much more fuel efficient than a car. ;) And my grandmother's black cat, Madison, is awesome.

Q: If you lost your magical abilities tomorrow, what would you pursue instead?

Winter: I want to say a good psychiatrist, but April won't let me. Lemme think... If I lost my magical abilities tomorrow, I'd lose my connection with the element of earth and that would be very sad. I would be very sad. When the Elders strip magic of the witches it is usually for a very bad reason and to explain it simply, is our version of the death penalty. If I deserved it, that would be one thing. But if it just happened, you know, randomly... I'd seek revenge. 
April is shaking her head right now.


Winter's Curse, Season of the Witch 1

Before the light is reborn within the womb of darkness and the Sun returns, will Winter reverse the curse? 

When High Priestess Iris Rose-Thorne bets her granddaughter’s womb in a broom flying contest–-and loses, Winter wonders where the real danger lies: from the Witch Hunters she fled from the far North or her shady grandmother.

She finds safety with Turmeric of the Wormwood clan. His eagerness to protect her warms her frozen heart. But her love for him defies the Segregation Curse of Old, cast by the Elders to preserve ancient clan bloodlines.

Can they find a way around the Segregation Curse of Old to be together?

And with time running out as the Winter Solstice nears, will Winter be able to reverse the curse on her womb? Or will she agree to her fate and remain barren?

Print Edition: 310 Pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

Pre-Order Kindle Copy on Amazon:
Winter's Curse will be available in Print : Amazon and Barnes & Noble on 10/31
Winter's Curse will be available in Nook edition: Barnes & Noble on 10/31

About the Author

April L Wood is a debut author, book blogger for A Well Read Woman Blog, an author interviewer, a professional beta reader, and a caffeinated book reviewer. When she is not glued to her computer or pressing her nose in a book, she is busy obsessing over her gardens to the point of insanity, feeding wildlife, and propagating her ever-growing collection of African violets. She lives in a beautiful historic Tudor-Colonial filled to the brim with her family, two cats, and three dogs.

She is currently working on Spring in Summerland, Book 2 of Season of the Witch, and A Diamond in the Rough, Book 1 of the Precious Gems book series.

Below are all the blogs participating in the hop. Go check ’em out and tell me what you think about the witchy women of of Bellatrix Press.
Jennifer Allis Provost 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween Season Favorites: Scream Queens, Sleepy Hollow and More

October is my favorite month of the year, hands down.

Between the cooling temperatures (I'm a polar bear at heart) and the Halloween decorations, it's a beautiful, dreamy, colorful time. This autumn, I'm looking forward to two book releases as well, so there's even more to celebrate! On November 28th, Engaged to an Alien Pop Star, the sequel to Dating an Alien Pop Star, drops through Crimson Tree Publishing. On December 12, 2016, The Unlove Spell drops through Bellatrix Press. The former is about sexy aliens, and the latter is about a witch, a Russian fae prince, an ice mermaid, and a bunch of misadventure. Cool, huh?

In celebration of these releases and my favorite month, Bellatrix Press asked me to share a few of my favorite books, TV shows, and movies for the Halloween season. And yes. Halloween is a whole season for me, don't you dare argue!

1. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Gorgeous costumes, Johnny Depp at his peak, silly moments, Halloween deliciousness, and Christopher Walken. What more could you want from a Halloween movie? It's a must every year for me.

2.Scream Queens (2015-)
This show has it all! Halloween themes, amazing fashion, the funniest moments on television, and over the top horror that somehow isn't too scary, even though I'm a massive chicken. I love it so much.

3. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone (book)
Is there any book ever that better encapsulates the joy and excitement of Halloween and magic? I've read this one three times, and love it more on every re-read.

4. Young Frankenstein (1974)
This silly, campy movie has been a part of my life since I can remember. Last year my friend invited me to a screening of it in a gorgeous historic theater, complete with balcony boxes and lush curtains... it was the coolest way to relive the movie, truly. Gene Wilder is brilliant in this, absolutely brilliant.

5. Fright Night (2011)
David Tennant as a sexy vampire hunter... in guyliner. Do I need to say more? Actually, I do. This movie feels nostalgic in a way that I can't quite put my finger on, and I love it for it. The music, the filming style, the clothes, all of it feels like a time capsule of pop culture in the year it came out. When you hear Pumped Up Kicks playing in the background of an early scene, you're transported to 2011. Colin Farrel is genuinely charming and terrifying in turn as a vampire. I'd say, in fact, that it's possibly his best role, and certainly my favorite! And after the very sad passing of Anton this year, the movie holds even more nostalgic power. An excellent horror comedy that you can watch again and again.

What are your favorite Halloween season movies, TV shows, or books? :)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

NYFW... A View from Size 14

There's a certain magic in the air that permeates New York City every night... whether you're in Chinatown, wobbling on heels to try a new club, or rocking a sparkly dress in Soho, there's something about New York at night that will always be special. During New York Fashion Week? It's even more magical.

This is my third NYFW, and the excitement has certainly not worn off. Despite the fact that I think NYFW functioned more smoothly when it was centralized at the Lincoln Center, it's still awesome. And perhaps the best trend I've noticed in my years attending is that NYFW seems to becoming slowly more inclusive.

This year, I saw many people of color on runways. I saw a large amount of people of color in the front rows at shows, as designers, and as prized guests. I saw models with bigger busts, and hips. And butts! The shows at Art Hearts paid special tribute to Madeline Stuart, the world's first professional adult model with Down's Syndrome. It was an exciting time to observe fashion, truly... but there's still room for improvement.

*The chairs at some of the shows are so tiny that an average sized adult woman has a hard time fitting on them without spilling over into her neighbor.

*We still don't see enough models (American) sizes 6-12 on runways, a middle ground that is neither "model-size" nor "plus-size," but right in the middle, where most American women are

*Speaking of sizes 6-12, we don't see enough CLOTHES in high fashion for women in that size group. Many women with money to spend on beautiful clothes are between those sizes, and they feel left out. Tim Gunn recently wrote an excellent piece about this.

*There's still not enough makeup and hair care choices for Black models with natural hair or darker skin tones. This is improving every year, thankfully, but I still hear from many models who have to bring their own makeup, or help hairstylists with tips on what to do with their natural hair.

A huge HUGE thank you to Georgine for her celebratory, effervescent, New York City inspired show. Huge thank you to Fashion Istanbul for their amazing shows. Thanks to Art Hearts for the Charles and Ron show especially (exquisite!) and to Note, Trompeloeil, Cliff Bar, Boxed Water, Allegresse 24 Carat Skincare, and everyone else who provided gifts in the swag bags!

Charles and Ron finale:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: Mary Kay's Rock the Runway palette

Recently my friend was kind enough to gift me with the Rock the Runway eyeshadow palette by Mary Kay in exchange for an honest review and demo. I was a bit unsure at first about using a blue color, as I very rarely wear blue tones, but I agreed to give it a try.

Happy to say that not only did I like the blue, but I LOVED it! The color payoff is good, the color stays well throughout the day, and the two blue shades are both very flattering on pale skin types. I can't say how it swatches on darker skin, but I'm impressed how it looks on very very fair/pale skin like mine! It's not easy to find blue tones that look good on someone as pale as I am.

Here's some pictures of Rock the Runway, worn with Moonchild Glowkit over it, at New York Fashion Week!

Order the palette:

Saturday, September 10, 2016

New York Fashion Week: Griffin Valentino's Style Rules

If you haven't read Dating an Alien Pop Star yet, you should totally grab a paperback or ebook copy on Amazon, or at your local bookstore. #shamelessplug

Whether you're already a fan, though, or still need to read the book, I thought it would be fun to "talk" to Griffin Valentino, alien pop star and fashion obsessive, about fashion. Perfect timing, with New York City Fashion Week upon us!

Read on for some spacey fashion talk...

Q: Have you been to any runway shows yet?
GV: No, unfortunately I have not, but you can invite me to one, if you'd like. And please tell Karl Lagerfeld that he can invite me to Chanel whenever he wants. I'll sit front row for him.

Q: Is Chanel the design house you'd most like to attend a runway show for?
GV: Well, they're Chanel, aren't they? I'd love to see Dior, too, and Balmain. And Versace. McQueen. And Armani! There's a lot of them I'd like to see.

Q: What designers do you like wearing?
GV: I'm a famous pop star, so I only wear the best clothes. Whatever's best, I'll put it on. And I like anything that David Bowie would approve of.

Q: What are your personal style rules?
  1. If you like a color, you can wear it. Even better, if you like loads of colors, you can wear them all!
  2. Anything can sparkle, including your shoes, and your underpants. And your hair.
  3. Eyeliner gives you rock edge.
  4. Become Karl Lagerfeld's muse so you can get loads of free clothes! (Still working on this one, myself)
  5. You don't have to be a girl to wear clothes that are meant for girls. Do you honestly think David Bowie would let such a trivial detail stop him from being fabulous? Speaking of Bowie:
  6. Always ask yourself if David Bowie would wear it. If he would, you are clearly doing something right. Better yet, ask yourself if I would wear it!
  7. Prints are nice. Loads of prints together are even better!
  8. Purple sweaters are very stylish, no matter what Daisy Kirkwood tells you.
  9. High heeled boots will make you look taller and sexier. If it works for Prince, it works for you.
  10. Wear a necklace with something that reminds you of home. It will keep you centered and give you energy when you're feeling sad or tired.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Review: Moonchild Glowkit, Modern Renaissance Palette, Sad Girl Liquid Lipstick

Dating an Alien Pop Star, Moonchild Glowkit, ABH, Anastasia Beverly Hills

Summer 2016 has been the year of Anastasia Beverly Hills for this girl.

A couple months ago I started seeing hyped posts about the Modern Renaissance Palette from ABH. The photos on Instagram looked gorgeous, no matter the lighting or the skin color of the people wearing the warm swatches. This excited me immediately.

As a very pale with blue undertones in my skin, I have to be careful about wearing muddy colors on my face. The browns, golds, and bronzes I see suggested for bringing out blue eyes usually just translate badly on my skin.  After years of trying and failing to find "my colors", I finally stumbled across a fabulous red color in a Sephora palette that a friend gave me. That tiny red tin became my favorite color to wear, and I knew that I'd use it up before long. Finding another suitable red shadow wasn't as easy as I'd hoped, and it led me on a journey on par with the greatest fantasy stories of all time. If you've ever been on a hunt for JUST the right shade of eye shadow, you know what I mean. After checking Ulta, Sephora, Target, NYX, and a million brands online, I was close to giving up.

And then, there it was: the Modern Renaissance Palette.

The colors in this palette are rich and the payoff is incredible. The shadows blend beautifully, and, perhaps most importantly for me, they stay put where you place them. I've taken to spraying a bit of hairspray over my eye makeup when I'm finished applying it (eyes CLOSED, of course), but even when I don't do that, the colors really stay. All in all, it's not only my favorite palette I've ever used, but also pretty much the only one I've used since purchasing it. It's completely worth the money if you like to wear warm, earthy reds, oranges, and (flattering) bronzes. And it even looks amazing on pale skin!

And then there's the Moonchild Glowkit. O. M. G. Basically this is a must have if you want to look like a magical creature. The payoff is great, and the sparkle is surprisingly subtle given how bright and exciting the colors are. It can be worn alone, over makeup, under makeup, on your chest, shoulders, across your forehead, or all over your damn body, if you feel so inclined. It's magic. MAGIC. It turns you into the unicorn emoji in seconds. I 100% recommend.

Note: The Moonchild Glowkit is ONLY available through ABH's website. It is not sold in stores, or through Sephora or Ulta. Get it while you can!

Finally, I need to mention the Sad Girl liquid lipstick from ABH. With its Lana Del Rey-esque name, incredible staying power, matte finish, and subtle gold sparkle, it's one of the most gorgeous and comfortable dark liquid lipsticks I've used. I wear it alone, or with a lighter color layered over top for a more voluminous, textured look.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Size, Expression and Fashion: Musings from Columbus

 Returning to Columbus, OH last week for a visit was a great chance to rediscover the colorful, eccentric vibe of one of the Midwest's most fashionable cities. It also reminded me of a few important aspects of the connection between fashion and life:

*It's okay to dress for personal expression
In Columbus, the artsy people of all ages display their style as an exclamation mark of their own expression, rather than a means of fitting into a narrow idea of flattering, professional, or average. Of course, there are plenty of people wearing subtle outfits and uniforms, but you see more than a small amount of people who wear bright colors, crazy patterns, huge accessories, neon hair, baggy vintage dresses, oversized hats, and shoes meant to garner attention.

There's a freedom that comes in dressing how you want, regardless of whether it's considered flattering to your body type, or appropriate for your age. It's scary at first, of course, but if wearing a color you love, or oversized plastic accessories, or 80s jean jackets, or clashing patterns, or a design worthy of a couch from the '70s is something that makes you feel like your best self, it might be time to go for it.

Conventional wisdom tells you to dress in colors and shapes that are flattering for your body. This is an important talent to learn if you're wanting to achieve a slimmer (or bigger!) silhouette. There's no harm in trying on all different types of clothes until you can achieve that desired look! But it's not your only option. If you truly want to wear clothes that you've been told you shouldn't because of your coloring, age, or size, there is great freedom in doing it anyway... and, like the people of Columbus, doing so with confidence. That confidence becomes infectious over time, and allows you to experiment more, carve your OWN image out for yourself, and even inspire others.

So why not give it a try?

*It's okay to love fashion at any size
One thing that really struck me during this visit to Columbus was that women of all sizes walked through the artsy Short North area in their favorite dresses, heels, boots, jeans, accessories, or shorts with an equal sense of confidence and vigor for life. It's different than in some cities, where plus size or even average sized women feel uncomfortable walking among the glitzy, well dressed Friday night crowd. In Columbus, you see people of all shapes and sizes laughing, enjoying their lives, and partying together. I've seen people in other cities that seemed to send out an apologetic message above their heads, something along the lines of, "I'm sorry I'm fat! I'm on my way to the gym, though, I promise!", even as they dash about or hide in crowds. I've been that girl, myself.

During my time in Columbus, I remembered that it's okay to be a size 14 and still enjoy life, unapologetic. It's okay to be a size 14 and have a drink with girlfriends, wear a short dress, and eat a delicious meal in front of people.

*Dry shampoo and a topknot can be your best friend
When it's hot as balls out, it's totally okay to spray half a can of dry shampoo on your hair, and pull everything into a topknot. No one will judge you, and you'll feel a lot more comfortable in the sun. This dry shampoo by amika is especially amazing, as is this volumizing powder by Got2B. Enjoy!

(With my best friend Dusty, for her birthday! <3 )

Monday, August 22, 2016

Author Nicky Peacock: Notebooks, Chanel, and the Iron Throne

It's been a while since I featured an interview with an author, but when you talk to a lovely English gal who writes spec fic, loves fashion, and has a great sense of humor, you can't pass that up! I'm very excited to feature this interview with Nicky Peacock. Read on to find out more about her, her books, and her favorite fashion designers...

Ugly notebook or beautiful notebook?
Oh, beautiful notebook. When I have a great notebook in my hand, it makes me what to fill it with beautiful things.

Do you make playlists inspire you? If so, what are three songs off your current favorite writing playlist?
Music is a big part of my writing. Listening to the right songs when you’re writing an emotional scene or an action sequence can make all the difference. I’m currently listening to Imagine Dragons. Their song ‘Friction’ is perfect for fight scenes (I seem to write a lot of them!)  I’m also listening to Fleur East’s Sax which is a real feel-good montage song. And my favorite love song right now is Cut by Plumb, so sharp and meaningful – it’s like a love story in itself.

Have you ever traveled for writing research? If so, where did you go?

I haven’t physically traveled, but I’ve used Google Street View many times. It’s a time and cost-effective way of researching a place. It’s not the same of course, and I wish that I had the time and money to go to every place I write about, but for now, it’s proving useful.

Where would you LOVE to travel for writing research?
I want to go to Venice for the carnival, Mexico for the Day of the Dead and New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It would be the world-wind trip of dressing up, great food, celebrations and wonderful music – and of course, I’d worm the locations into my writing to justify it!

What's your favorite character name you've ever made up?
I like Britannia in the Battle of the Undead series. She’s a vampire who has been working for the British crown for centuries. She’s very patriotic and is inspired by the ancient warrior queen, Boudica.

Who do you think should get the Iron Throne in HBO's Game of Thrones?

Daenerys Targaryen – the throne is hers by right, and she’d make a fair queen. Also, with the White Walkers bearing down on the Wall, they’re going to need her dragons, it looks like dragon glass is the only thing that can kill them.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

For only one day? Hmmm, I guess I’d like to see what it would be like to be an animal rather than a person. Perhaps a wolf in the forests of Romania running wild with the pack.

What's the best way for your fans to keep up with your adventures?

My blog  and my Twitter, @Nickyp_author

When you're not writing, you are usually...

Working, promoting my writing or attempting cook healthy meals and exercising. I’m kind of boring, really. All my fun is had in my imagination, and then that spills onto the page for readers.

My fashion obsessed alien, Griffin, would want to know: do you have any favorite high fashion designers?

LOL, we should probably send your character Griffin shopping with my vampire character Britannia. Even in a zombie apocalypse, she’s keeping an eye on her outfit choices! I’d go classic for my favorite designer with Chanel, but to be honest, I’m more of a high street girl. Here in the UK, we have some of the best clothes shops in the world. My favs are: H&M and TK Maxx and online Hell Bunny, Collectif and Lindy Bop.
Flat shoes, running shoes, boots, flip-flops, or heels?
Boots, I hate my fat ankles, so they would cover them up! They’re comfortable and look good with both tight jeans and skirts. Also, I get cold quickly, so they’d keep me warm and snug all day.

You can spend a day at Jurassic Park. Would you do it, and if so, where would you spend most of the day?
The gift shop! LOL, I’d probably like to pet some baby veggie dinosaurs, so perhaps the petting zoo part. I'm too cowardly to get near any big dinosaurs or even the roller-coasters!

Author links:

Thanks so much for joining Kendry Bird!
Thank you so much for having me here today. Readers, don't forget to check out Kendra's interview on my blog.

Friction by Imagine Dragons

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This Is Why We Write

Sometimes being an author is hard. After all, you're almost textbook crazy (you make up conversations and get really upset about people who don't exist), and you get paid very very little for the amount of time you put into your work. It's a love thing, I guess, and sometimes the love can hurt. Recently life has been a bit harder than normal in my little world, and I've spent time battling real life monsters and villains like depression, anxiety, distance from friends, and the loss of loved ones. It makes battling book monsters even harder, sometimes.

In all of this, though, I've tried to keep in mind that the books I've loved in my life, the ones that have really changed me as a person, were written by people who probably felt the same way at some point.

Today this review was posted for Dating an Alien Pop Star: As I turned in the rewritten draft of Dating's sequel, Engaged to an Alien Pop Star, I read this review and almost cried.

This is why we write. This is why we give up our free time, why we are frequently a little lonely. This is why we stay up late. This is why we keep going, even when people hurt us desperately by saying ignorant, hurtful things about our passions. This is why we don't give up even when we're told to get a "real job." So thankful to read this today, truly. I hope this book and the rest in this series will continue to touch people in this way. There's no greater reward as a writer.
(The Decemberists: This is Why We Fight)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Angel, Alien, Warrior, Woman: Interview with Musician Eriel Indigo

Music, color, spiritual theories, sci-fi, feminism and glitter swirl together in the kaleidoscope that is Eriel Indigo. Her music is catchy, and her presence rooted firmly between goofy/fun-loving/space-minded, and the deeper, more soulful aspects of life. Recently, I had the chance to chat with her via email a bit about her new song, Born an Angel (from the upcoming GALACTIVATE), as well as the beautiful, surreal world she lives in. Read on...

What is your chosen battle tactic against anxiety or negativity?
   I am a very empathic, sensitive creature so I do have experience with anxiety and sadness. Personally I think it's first important to do a lot of self inquiry to discover what your highest excitement is; what you love doing, whether it's creative or logical and engage with it as much as possible, while setting the intention to utilize your passion to be in service to the world.

  Other than that, meditation, kundalini yoga/breathwork, sounding/tapping, dance or any kind of cardio exercise that floats your boat, healthy human touch and animal snuggles, reconnecting with nature and striving to trust and create meaningful connections with others who inspire and support you.

Great advice. I feel like not enough artists talk about struggling with these things, but we as women especially tend to hide it so we don't appear anything less than strong. Onto another topic: Like me, you love scifi and are creating your own artistic statements in the realms of the speculative. What do you find yourself going back to again and again for science fiction inspiration?

   Ah! It's true, I am a scifi junky;;) I don't really need to go to any content for "scifi" inspiration because really the work I create that might seem like scifi to others is actually quite real to me. I really do identify emotionally more with other planetary cultures and sentient beings (yes this may sound crazy to some) so it's the information I have gleaned from these other realms that fuels the perhaps more scifi seeming portions of my work:)

   I do love so many scifi films though. To me they just seem closer to reality ;;)
 As an add-on have you seen the M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming music video series?! One of the dopest bodies of work I have EVER seen.

I haven't seen that, but I definitely will check it out. I know M83 has really pushed the limits with art and music for quite some time. Can you tell us a little about what to expect from your new song?

 "Born an Angel" is off of my upcoming debut album GALACTIVATE. This track is more in the Earthly and autobiographical than space pop lyrically, but musically is still pretty trippy with a lot of vocal cuts and electro sparkle;;)

I love seeing a throwback to trip-hop, as a fan of Sneaker Pimps and some of the lesser known experimental artists of the 90s. Who are some of your favorite trip-hop artists?

 Oh yeah, gimme alllll the trip hop, baby. There's so much good stuff; Portishead, obviously holds the crown, Lovage, Cibo Matto, Goldfrapp, Sneaker Pimps, Bjork, Massive Attack, Morcheeba, Tricky, Esthero, DJ Shadow, RJD2... I mean, we could go on for a while here.

I'll have to look some of those up that I haven't heard yet! What is the best way for your fans to reach/contact you on social media?
  All of my social media links can be found on my website
  Twitter and IG @erielindgo

What essentials should a woman pack for a festival?

 Well, my love that depends on the festival! One doesn't really need protective goggles in the woods but if you catch yourself in the desert in a seven hour dust storm, you had better hope you have those blessed things.
 Essential for every festival: Sparkles, if you're a sparkle pony, good dancin' shoes, headlamp, water bottle, warm and cool steezy attire, wetnaps, backpack, friends, mind expanding treats or just some nice snacks to share::D 
But really the ultimate guide to what you need at a festival is most certainly Burning Man Radical Self Reliance Packing List. Really a great read for any camper;;)

Love this. I'd like to try Burning Man one day, really. Onto another important topic: What is the best way for a woman to get in touch with her sexual power?

  Well we are a diverse bunch so I venture to say it's different for anyone, but I would recommend doing some reading on tantra, sex magic and self pleasuring meditation exercises for empowerment and getting to know your own body.
  Other than that, more self inquiry on what makes one feel healthy and powerful sexually. This could take form in so many ways. I have quite a spiritual experience of sexuality and I think it is important to develop one's self in this way but you know, there's also BDSM, polyamory, role playing, fetish, furries and Goddess only knows what else out there to explore so I say do your research, be safe and have at it! You never know where your own personal ecstasy might be hiding.

Favorite lipstick ever?

 Well, I don't love to applaud companies but hot damn is matte MAC Ruby Woo the most perfect red a girl could hope for.

Thanks Kendra! Sending you giant pink and turquoise bliss bubbles of love::)


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

One of These Books Is Not Like the Other

It's been an interesting journey, writing Engaged to an Alien Pop Star. This is the first ever sequel that I've written over the years, even after writing about 8-10 books (including poetry collections).
Sequels in a trilogy are already hard enough, when you think about it. A sequel must keep old readers interested even though they know everyone. It must keep new readers interested, even though they don't know anyone. Oh, and it also needs to set events up for a third book. No big deal!

This book was challenging in more ways than just by being a sequel, though. I started writing an early version of it almost two years ago, the day after I finished Dating an Alien Pop Star. After about 70 pages of enjoyable, funny content, I realized that what I had written was better suited for a third book than a second, and I temporarily scrapped the project. After all, real life was taking over, and I had just written two books back to back in the space of about 9 months (Unlove Spell, and Dating an Alien Pop Star).

I spent the first half of 2015 living in Columbus, OH. The art scene there was cool, the food was great, the people were fascinating and colorful. I worked as a waitress at a dive bar, soaking in all of the grease, rampant sexual harassment, and crazy drama that the place had to offer. It wasn't a great job, maybe, but I really enjoyed the work, and it left me plenty of time every day for writing.

My writing during that time was awash with the new life I was living, with the people I'd met, the surreal nightclub experiences I took part in, the daydreams I was allowing to grow bigger and bigger in my head. My writing became both introspective, but also maniacally huge, reaching out into the very tendrils of my known universe.

The second half of 2015 was spent in my favorite city in the world, New York City. I soaked up life there, too. Every day was a new story, a new experience. I didn't write much while I was there, but I did sign the dotted line on something very exciting... a contract for Dating an Alien Pop Star, the first book in the Alien Pop Star series. 

After a 48 hour editing bender that launched me from couch to couch in various Starbucks locations across Brooklyn, and then to a red high table in a quiet Five Guys location near Union Square, I realized something.

I needed to write a sequel. Within a few months.

In early January, I had to make a difficult decision and return to New Hampshire to see my doctors here about a sinus infection, and write Engaged. Depression and bad health colored everything, though, including the writing. Some scenes leaped onto the page, others crawled. Some had to be dragged like a cat on a leash. I had to restart the book several times, delete chapters at a time, carve things up and move them around. It was stressful even before the deadline loomed, but especially after.

The revision stage is one of my favorite stages, because it takes whatever you managed to write, and makes it amazing. I'm so thankful to be in that stage now, and for the first time since the beginning of the year, I'm looking forward to writing again. The third book will surely be a challenge. I can't expect it to be as fast, fun, and super easy to write as the first book. But I also don't think it will be the stressful learning experience that the sequel was.

Even after a lifetime of wanting to be an author, over ten years of hard work to make that happen, and five years of professional writing experience, there's always something new to learn. This book was not like any of the others, especially the book before it, but I can't wait for the adventure the next book takes me on.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Self Image and Red Carpet Days

Self image has never been an easy topic for me. As a child, I was always a little heavier than other children, and my struggles with low confidence started early, as chronicled here.

Over the years, I've dealt with an eating disorder and countless days of low confidence. Very, very low. Depression tends to make low confidence even worse, and the two issues can spiral into an ugly, overwhelming mess. You feel you have nothing to dress up for, and then you feel that dressing up is too much work. In turn, you feel bad about yourself, and it continues on and on. You lose all hope of having a red carpet day again.

After all, the bad thoughts say, you have nothing to celebrate, and no one will want to celebrate you. If you were a stronger/smarter/better/more beautiful person, you would have the strength to put yourself together. Look how easy it is for other people!

But sometimes you need to break out your favorite lipstick or mascara, even when you don't plan to go anywhere, or see anyone. Sometimes there's magic in the physicality of setting out your favorite 'getting ready' tools. Sometimes there's magic in the right black eyeliner.

Lately I've fought back at low confidence and depression through a variety of means, but one of them has been busting out my favorite makeup and jewelry and getting red-carpet ready. Any day can be a red carpet day, if you feel like you need one. Get dressed up. Take some great pictures. Wear your amazing outfit just for sitting at your computer to write, or draw, or meditate, or bake a pie, or watch your favorite movie.

You can have a red carpet day at 2am or 6am or noon or 7pm. You can do it ANY time you want.

Here's a few pictures from recent "red carpet days."

Friday, March 25, 2016

Anastasia Amour: Self-Worth, Fitspo, and Ruby Woo Lipstick

I'm so excited to have Anastasia Amour as today's guest. Anastasia is a champion for body positivity, health, mental wellness, and all around good vibes. Her book, Inside Out, is a practical, down to earth guide to having a better relationship with yourself, inside and out.

Recently I had the honor to speak briefly to her about advice for breaking the cycle of women putting other women down, fitspo, and a few of her favorite things. Read on for more!

I loved your list of 55 ways to love yourself. You mention something I have become more and more passionate about- not putting down other women. We have been told from a young age that girls cause drama, that if you want to avoid drama, you'll avoid girls. We've been taught jealousy against each other, and to compare ourselves negatively to each other. What do you think we can do as women to make sure we are deprogramming from that, and why is that good for us, individually, as well?

The dichotomy of jealousy and comparison hurts us in so many ways. It keeps us from forming amazing friendships because we learn to see other women as threats, and it stops us from realising our true worth when we're constantly comparing ourselves to others. One of the biggest steps that I encourage girls and women to take to overcome this mentality is to start actively seeking out positive attributes in other women.

For instance, if you see a woman walking towards you on the street and you automatically find yourself mentally critiquing her, notice those thoughts. Tell yourself that those thoughts aren't helpful, and instead actively seek out something positive about her. Even if it's only tiny or insignificant (like maybe she's got a beautiful necklace on), it still counts. Get into the habit of doing that every time you find yourself needlessly critiquing or gossiping about another woman. The more you do it, the more habitual it will become and slowly but surely, you can begin to overwrite the previous patterns of jealousy. This helps hugely in positively influencing our inner dialogue, overall. And, as time goes on and as we become more aware of our thoughts and how they shape their reality, we can then improve the patterns that we set up for ourselves even more – for instance, by making a conscious effort to notice positive attributes about other women that aren't appearance-based.

But in order for us to fully recognise our own worth, we have to realise that other women aren't the enemy. We need to stop viewing femininity as a competition – someone else's wit, beauty, charm or success doesn't take away from our own, and we all rise by lifting each other.

You're so right! Such wise words, and definitely something we can all work on. Next, your post about fitspo really hit close for me. As someone who suffered in the past due to an eating disorder, I know that sometimes looking at "fitspo" has made me feel just as much self-hate as looking at models in magazines. Do you think that any fitspo is helpful, though? And if so, in what way?

Absolutely not. The core messages of fitspo are generally based around themes of fear, guilt and shame used as motivational tools. Through subtle language cues they teach us that fat is bad, that we need to repent for our food sins and that if we're not about to "puke, faint or die... keep going!" (no thank you, Jillian Michaels). We know that in the long term, shame is just not a sustainable motivator and keeps people trapped in perpetual infinite loops of insecurity, particularly when they're setting themselves up with such absolutist measures of success.

It's one thing to have fitness goals (like wanting to gain muscle mass or lose weight) or to look up to someone for their fitness – and I don't think either of those things are inherently problematic. But when you bring fitspo (in the cultural sense) into it, you're ultimately only harming yourself.

Recently you posted on Instagram about fashion and body image. Who are some of your favorite fashion designers? And who are some of your favorite fashion brands in terms of body inclusion?

I'm not hugely into fashion so I don't gravitate towards any particular designers. What I look for is a brand that produces ethically and if they have a body positive ethos, even better! Some of the best brands leading the charge in inclusivity, representation and diversity are Smart Glamour and ModCloth. There are other brands that do this too, but Smart Glamour and ModCloth in particular get it consistently right.

What are three songs that motivate you?

With Thoughts - Art Vs. Science
Spectrum - Florence & The Machine
Sonnentanz - Klangkarussell

Favorite lipstick shade(s)?

MAC's 'Ruby Woo' - it's a classic blue-toned Red and makes me feel like a bombshell.

Number one reason readers should buy your book?

Because we ALL benefit from body positivity! And whether you're just starting out on your journey or whether you're a seasoned self-love veteran wanting to reinforce those themes, the exercises will help you. I pinky promise.

Favorite feel-good movie?

I'm actually not a movie fan! When I want a pick-me-up, I always gravitate towards a sitcom (Seinfeld is my favourite).

Follow her on Instagram:

 (Anastasia chose Spectrum, by one of my favorite artists, Florence and the Machine, as a favorite motivational song! I couldn't agree more with this choice. Enjoy)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Note About Depression

A few years ago, I did something that had previously been too frightening to do: I started telling people that I suffer from anxiety and panic disorder. Before that, I had always made excuses for avoiding situations, for having to cancel plans, for days where I couldn’t leave the house. I had to claim more headaches and unidentified work than any one person can claim in any given month. Anxiety was such an ugly and embarrassing word.

Finally, though, I experimented with telling the truth. “I had a panic attack last night and don’t feel up to coming over today. I’m sorry”, or “I’m sorry, but being in a car for six hours won’t work with my anxiety right now.” Sure, there were times when people would either give me the side eye or would just float out of my life, but surprisingly? Many people understood. Over time, I realized I could put some fences up when I needed to, and that most people wouldn’t step over them. That knowledge was freeing and relieved so much stress that I kept wondering why I’d waited so long.

But why is it so hard to admit we might be depressed? Why is it so hard to admit we may actually be very depressed?

This blog has been a victim of depression. My love for fashion, and helping women find confidence in themselves through clothes, makeup, and well-being, my love of conducting interviews… all of it has become a victim of the crushing exhaustion that comes with even considering opening a word file, typing words, and posting them.

The list of victims of this mental illness in my life is staggering.

Depression is not the same as sadness. It’s not the same as the hormonal swings women face when their menstrual cycles are fast approaching. It’s not crying at a sad movie.

It’s standing in front of the sink for five minutes, holding a dish, and not knowing if you can wash that dish, or any of the dishes. It’s being three hours late to a friend’s party, if you manage to go at all. It’s hiding from a family member because you can’t stop crying. It’s meaning to finish straightening a book shelf and never being able to. It’s never enjoying any of the food you eat. It’s feeling tired all the time. It’s not understanding what someone is saying to you because you’re too tired to even put their words in order. It’s feeling like you can’t concentrate. It’s falling asleep every chance you get. It’s getting a headache just picturing doing something you love. It’s losing all interest in things you used to care about. It’s looking at your past as someone else’s life and wishing you could have that
Depression is a serious, serious issue that has been stigmatized, made fun of, and misunderstood. People who have never experienced it are quick to offer advice that is usually unhelpful and ineffective, including telling the person to just stop being depressed, or making a list of reasons why they’re depressed. Or, and sometimes most frustratingly, they’ll say something along the lines of, “But you don’t seem depressed!”

Some of the funniest people I’ve ever known are also some of the most depressed people I’ve known. There’s a certain deflection technique in humor, as well as a tiny instant reward when you make someone laugh, and I think depressed people need that desperately.

But please remember:

Just because someone doesn’t fit your idea of depression doesn’t mean they might not be fighting it every day.

Just because someone doesn’t do things you think they/everyone should do, doesn’t mean they aren’t working as hard as they possibly can, and achieving goals of their own.

Just because you have depression doesn’t mean you need to be ashamed of it and keep it to yourself.

Just because your depression is overwhelming right this moment doesn't mean that in the next moment, in the next day, in the next week, month or year, that it will still be this bad. Everything fluctuates, even depression.

Just because something worked for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you, and that's okay.

For everyone else suffering with depression, please don't give up. Please don't think you are lesser than the people who can easily go about their lives and complete tasks that are a challenge for you. Please try not to compare yourself to anyone else at all.

Please be good to yourself.

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