A Walk and Talk with Amazing Belle Whittington

Monarch BBT Button

There are some awesome perks with being an author… although I have a hard time calling myself one. And the perks are, author friends! Who let you read their books! Before they come out on bookshelves!!!!
And one of the BEST authors I have met (granted online) has been none other than the galactical queen herself, Belle Whittington.

Belle was raised in deep East Texas. She now resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small inconsequential town with the smallest, most inconsequential name. There, in the shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams adventures and secrets she weaves throughout her stories. She’s the author of CICADA, FIREFLY, and MONARCH, a Young Adult/New Adult cross-over trilogy with excellent reviews. She studied literature and history at University of Houston where Beowulf, Shakespeare’s works, and the history of the Vikings were her favorite topics. Belle is positive her readers and fans are the best in the universe, although if you have ever met Belle, she is pretty stellar too!!!
Now, for the good part!! 🙂
Before we start, I want to thank my dear friend, Heather, for having me over for a cup of hot cider and a chat. It’s a real honor to be featured on Heather’s blog, and I look forward to getting to know all her followers. Thank you, Heather!
First: Be careful of the hot cider! Why/when did you decide to go into writing? What inspired you to?
I have been daydreaming stories for as long as I can remember. My first recollection of wanting to be a writer was when I was in the second grade, and my teacher, Mrs. Rambin, would have us lay our heads on our desks after lunch while she read us stories full of magic and imagination.

Most of my early writings were stories with a twist of science fiction…even my earliest poems. I remember sitting on the dam of a neighbor’s pond around the time I was eleven, writing a story about space travel. In fact, I still have that little handwritten story. It’s still bound in the same yellow notebook that I put it in way back in the sixth grade!

Growing up in Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, afforded me summers full of adventure with my friends. I call on those adventures and memories a great deal for my YA stories. Cicada has a lot of the energy of those childhood adventures spun throughout. One of them is something that actually happened to me when I was thirteen years old. I was on one of my adventures in the woods with my dog, Dusty. We made our way through the woods to a neighboring pasture and crawled through the barbed wire fence.

When we got to the top of one of the rolling hills in the grassy field, I realized I was standing in the middle of a giant circle imprinted in the pasture grass. No one had ever told me about crop circles at that time in my life, so I just thought it was an odd occurrence that there was a strange circle in the tall grass. Now that circle is forever memorialized in the Cicada Trilogy!
Second: How did you come up with the character “Blair Reynolds”? and “Everett”? And “Andrew”?
My characters introduced themselves to me one at a time. I’ve always thought that the first one I met was Everett. Now, in retrospect, I realize the very first one was Nyx. He was the dark alien being who’d leapt out of the UFO and into the haunted forest in the very beginning of this story. At the time, he was shadowy and secretive … even to me.
But it makes sense that Nyx and Everett were the first to introduce themselves. Of course, I can tell you why. That would be too much of a spoiler from MONARCH. Readers will figure that one out once they read the book. 😉

Third: Who was your favorite character to write about? (No spoilers for our friends who haven’t read, which is a shame)
URMEGUR! This is such a difficult question to answer. Each of my characters are so close to my heart. Let’s see … in CICADA, my favorite character (simply because of his storyline) was Andrew. In FIREFLY, it was so much fun introducing readers to Ash. Everything comes together in MONARCH, so it’s tough to choose. I really enjoyed meeting Lore and Max in this book. Both of them are strong female characters, and they both tugged at my heart … Of course, Max would probably eat my heart if provoked! LOL!
Fourth: What are some of your favorite books?
I’m not even sure I can answer this question, because I don’t have any one favorite. Of course I love Jane Austen. Who doesn’t? Getting past that, there are so many others! For instance, Suzanne Collins rocked my world with her Hunger Games trilogy. After I finished Mocking Jay, the characters stayed with me night and day until I picked the trilogy up and reread it.

Then there’s Beth Revis and her awesome Across the Universe series. I was completely engrossed in the entire series. Not only are her characters compelling, but the world she created aboard Godspeed is unique and fresh.

Likewise, Amy Kathleen Ryan’s Sky Chasers Series is enthralling. The twist in her story literally caused me to gasp out loud when I read it! I just finished reading Spark, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequels.

It goes without saying that I love J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series! I still wish I could have gone to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
Of course, there’s this one fabulous book called Behind the Lace by an author named H. A. Lamb that changed my view of fairy tales. Every female should read that book!

As you can see, I could go on and on… so many terrific books, so little time! And, just about with every book I read, I add another favorite author to my list!

I’ve gotta throw Shakespeare in here, though. Because I adore is works and wit. After all, he’s probably the author who’s inspired me the most.
Fifth: Do you write to a play list? Do you have a set way to write (like a ritual)? Do you get writers block?
Yes! I do have a playlist for each of my books. The playlists for CICADA and FIREFLY are on my YouTube channel. However, my playlist for FIREFLY is on Spotify.

Inspiration Playlists:

 
One song, in particular, is perfect for MONARCH. I was so thrilled that the fabulous musician, Kyler England, gave me permission to use it for the MONARCH Book Trailer, which is still in production.
It’s called “When the World Stops Spinning.”

To me, daydreaming is part of writing. So, I’m writing all the time, even when my fingers aren’t typing. During those times, my characters are living out their story in my mind. When they’re ready for me to share their story, they become more insistent until I sit down and put it into words.
I do have a writing cave, though.
Well, I suppose my writing cave really isn’t a cave at all. If I were to be completely honest with you, I would say that the world is my writing cave. Since I have a day job, I have to set my writing aside during those hours I’m away from home. However, even if I’ve physically set it aside, I’m still living half-in-half-out of my story. I’m an avid daydreamer, you see, so I really can’t help it. And it’s actually the way I write when I’m not able to put the story down into words. I spin the tales in my mind while going about my daily routine at work. But once I get home, it’s on like Donkey Kong!

kong - Copy

Once I get home, I snuggle into my favorite corner of the sofa and get ready to put all those daydreams into words. What are the necessary items for me to have in my reading spot? For starters, I simply must have the soft cotton throw my mother gave me. A drink must always be close at hand, and I usually have my notebook and a copy of CICADA and FIREFLY I can flip back to past scenes in order to keep continuity in the story. Of course, I need my glasses handy so I can see all those tiny letters on the screen. LOL!

lol

Oh! Let’s not forget about the music! I always have my ear buds plugged in so I can listen to my inspiration play lists.
Sometimes on the weekend, I like sitting at the dining table so I can gaze out of the window into the backyard and the spooky little forest beyond the back fence.

fence 5th question - Copy - Copy

From this seat at the table, I can see the deep creek that snakes through the vine-ridden trees and watch as butterflies flutter high up into the shady canopy above. Often, on summer nights, fireflies light up that spooky little forest with thousands of sparkles in the darkness, and I think of Blair and Everett and imagine what they are doing at that very moment.
Something told me that you’d like to see a part of that spooky little forest behind my house. Here’s a glimpse. Occasionally, there are birds perched on the vines. But I think I scared them away when I took this photo! LOL!

However, in case you are wondering, this isn’t my inspiration for the place Blair calls “the haunted forest.” That little forest actually exists, but it’s just down the road. I pass it on my way to town.
Whew! It’s hot out here! Let’s head back into the house for something cold to drink.

laptop

Uh oh! Looks like I’m busted! Yes, it’s true. I often pop over to Facebook while I’m writing. It’s a bad habit, I know. But I try to only take a peek when I need a break or between chapters. You believe me, right?
By the way, have you liked me on Facebook? I’d love for you to stop by and join in the fun! Comments and questions are always welcome, and I always respond. Besides, I frequently have contests, so check it out!
Honestly, because I’m an avid daydreamer, I don’t have issues with Writer’s Block. If I hit a stall in my story, I know it’s time to stop typing and start daydreaming. Simple as that.
Sixth: How did you become interested in aliens?
Aside from a small stint of writing romance, most of my stories have contained science fiction elements. Even my earliest childhood stories and poems. To me, science fiction is magic. It takes me far away from the realities of this world.
I probably began including aliens in my stories after watching Star Wars when it was first released a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
As you know, I’m quite obsessed with aliens. And this guy.

sixth question

I honestly think he is slowly being abducted by aliens! (H. A. Lamb) 😉

what-if-the-aliens-guy-isnt-crazy

Seventh: With Monarch, the third installment of this series, are there any other writing schemes in the works?
Yes! I’m really excited about the book I’m currently working on. It’s top-secret. But I will share this … it’s dystopian. It may or may not have aliens in it.
Eight (More of a comment than anything): LOVE YOU!!!!

Ninth: What words of wisdom would you give to those inspiring authors, and such?
Read, read, read across the genres. You never know from whence inspiration will spring. And write, write, write! Get that story out of your imagination and onto paper. Don’t edit until you’re done.

Never let anyone stand between you and your dreams. I’m not saying you should shove them down or run them over. Merely, distract them whilst following your goal. If you’re driven to write, then you’ll never be happy unless you’re writing.

Enter to Win

And if you want more Belle, Cause I know you do, you can find her resources here:

Links to Belle Whittington’s social networking sites:

 

 

Where Belle’s books are sold:

Paperback & eBook:

E-book:

Where to find out more about Belle’s books:

 Thank you so much Belle for allowing me to be a part of your Blog tour!!! 🙂 You are a truly talented artist, author and friend! 

And I strongly suggest you all to go out and read her books!!! 

Advertisements

Autism Awareness

I know, you read the title and think, well, ‘it isn’t Autism Awareness month’, or ‘I am tried of this same song and dance’…. Which, shame on you really. Autism is rising, a staggering 1 in 68 children have autism… That isn’t including High Functioning Autism, Aspergers Syndrome. This isn’t a fad, it is a dominant gene, and it is something to continue on! And I am so excited for it. Society is changing, becoming far more accepting of differences than what we were.
Now, onto why I even wanted to write this blog. While cutting, and laminating, and cutting some more of teacher’s flashcards today, my kids were watching Alice in Wonderland. You know the one I am talking about, the cartoon with the cards and stuff. I had an elementary school teacher (during the 6 months I was in public school) whose father drew every single one of the cards that was in that beloved movie, and I have no fear in saying so (so much so that my kids will parrot word for word what I am about to say even before I say it).
After reading several books about Autism, (this doesn’t make me an expert, but it does help me understand a small piece of a much bigger puzzle) I notice a big shock in this movie. One of my favorite characters, in fact a lot of individual’s favorite character, is the Queen of Hearts. She becomes quick to anger and can’t let something go until the poor individual ceases to exist, and even then she continues with her unhealthy obsession. While playing croquet, she was so distressed with the line of cards, not lined up currently, that she again, has to eliminate the card. If her mallet (bird) isn’t perfect, she picks and picks at it until it is. She doesn’t communicate correctly with Alice, yelling and becoming intolerable because she doesn’t know how to, and because she is the Queen, others must listen to her. She doesn’t know how to cope with her anxiety, so for her it is best to chop off their heads. No one has shown her otherwise. She can’t even dress herself without the aide of the cards. She isn’t a villain, Ladies and Gentleman… she is Autistic.
I think Walt Disney cooperation was profound in this movie. I know a lot will not say it is their favorite, or that it is full of drug references… But I disagree. It is a closet full of individuals who have special needs. Even Alice, herself, seeing herself as a person outside of herself, in many cases schizophrenia, talking to a cat that no one else sees. Alice in Wonderland, is Alice going into a rehabilitation center. And seeing the wonder in the patients therein. I know I do. She sees them as wonderful characters and not disabilities… which we all need to do! So I hope you can watch Alice in Wonderland with new eyes, new understanding into this cartoon that we all have grown up with.

Quick, take this 10 minute survey to find your perfect mate~ 10 things that he/she does when you KNOW you have found the ‘one’~!

Sorry for the deception, since I don’t have a quiz. And no, I will not be making up some bull shit list of ‘items’ that the ‘one’ will do for you without you asking them to. Because quite frankly, it is propaganda. People spend tons of money hoping to help feed into this idea that there is the ‘one’. I am sorry, but you won’t find me peddling to get your money on some lame ass excuses and theories that may or may not work. There is no “the one”. But I may have some advice…
So here it is. I read in a book once that everyone has needs. Emotional, physical, mental, whatever. We all have needs, and then wants. We all do. And we need to sort out which items are Needs, and which are wants. But the problem is that when it comes to our needs, we are hoping that there is this mystical person who will fill all the needs without us even giving so much as a hint to what they are. That this person will know with our ‘subtle’ clues that we need a hug or a hand held for a moment, to fill our need for physical touch. Maybe I am just weird, but how would someone know if you want to hold their hand, unless you say something? It is like when a man is thirsty, and is upset that their spouse hasn’t somehow read their mind, and knew that they should get them a drink. You wouldn’t expect your pet to know when to get you a drink, why would you do this to your spouse, and then get upset when they ‘didn’t know’? Or a woman who got all fancied up, and then upset that her spouse didn’t know that they were supposed to go out and paint the town red? Did you call and ask them out, and made sure that they had time in their schedule? You did this when you were dating, before marriage, why would it be any different afterward?
Relationships are hard. And I am not a expert. They aren’t something that you will sit down and know everything that the other person needs immediately. There is going to be a lot of trial and error. And my best advice for knowing if they are ‘the one’ (which is still as far fetched as the easter bunny) is if they are willing to work with you! Not cheating, and go behind your back. Not making emotional connections with others, but willing to work with you. And although your needs may not be able to be meet by this individual, that also doesn’t mean that you should starve yourself. You should be able to provide for most of your own needs! You don’t need someone else to. If this is something that you crave, maybe you should invest not on these books on how to find the right one, but make yourself the right one. Make yourself happy, whole. Stop worrying about the world. Forge a relationship with yourself. Because in the end that is who really matters. Your own personal needs.
Demanding that someone else fills our needs/wants is why so many relationship become abusive, with a smudge of the person having abusive tendencies… Abusive relationships are terrible, and should not be allowed, but a lot of people are so worried about being alone, that they would rather get some of their needs met than to meet their own needs themselves. I have gone out and eaten by myself. I have wanted to go see a movie, that no one else wanted to see, and saw it by myself. Yes, I got ‘looks’ but I know it is because others are jealous of this ability that I have. I don’t need someone to make me whole. Because I am whole. Don’t misunderstand me, I am constantly working on my relationship with my spouse, and it is far from perfect. But that is our responsibility, and our relationship. Every relationship is different. You can’t hold up a cookie cutter and say, “Hey all relationships are suppose to be like this heart shaped sugar cookie!” Because then we will miss out on peanut butter cookies, chocolate chips and even snickerdoodles!
I don’t judge other’s relationships, because I don’t want people judging mine. That is also why I hardly give out advice about relationships too. But if you are happy, honestly, and are having your needs met, than you are more likely to be capable of meeting other’s needs, and surprise, they will reciprocate. This doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually get a divorce. Because yes, some relationships are draining, and it is important to remember who you are, and if a divorce is what you need, then do it. You shouldn’t be turning to the person next to you to meet these needs, this is something you should be able to handle on your own. You are enough, you are amazing. And should have enough confidence to be the awesome person you are. And take responsibility for yourself. Don’t harm another person, that isn’t ok. But work on yourself. Period. It will save you tons of money. Truly. Hopefully, this will be the best way for you to find a stable relationship, is to have one with yourself! 🙂IMG_2257[1]

Body image… Cartoons we see

I remember being very young when my mother and other family members told me that I couldn’t look at the magazine rack in the local store. I was a bit of a snarky kid, so this caused the inevitable “WHY?”. My ‘Why” was answered with, if you look at these images, you WILL get an eating disorder, and you WILL become influenced resulting in low self esteem, and eventually death. Great, right? Magazines will destroy you. HA! I don’t believe that for one moment. Why would a magazine, something me, as a child, would never look at, influence me? I mean, really? I would rather watch cartoons, or play outside (yes, I was a dirt loving tom boy).

But today, we have what so many who are proud to call “Girl shows” that have taken old cartoons and empowered little girls in them. Let them have feelings, emotions, disagreements, and be true to themselves without fitting in this mode of everyone should be constantly happy or in each other’s business. As awesome as this sounds, why the heck is every single one of these characters the exact same size, and shape? Yes, their outside color maybe different, but why don’t we see an overweight heroine? Or a girl in a wheel chair? I know that I am just reiterating what I have already stated in the past, but wouldn’t you agree? That if you had a girl/boy powered cartoon that had the hero as overweight, or with a disability, wouldn’t it make people more accepting of their faults, and less likely to ‘fit’ this idiotic ideal that we pressure onto our children everyday? Instead of saying that ‘magazines’ and ‘models’ are the reason we have issues with body images, why not have it be more main stream?  So makers of hub/disney/warnerbros/etc, PLEASE, PLEASE put a war veteran, a crooked teeth, clumsy girl, a bespectacled over weight boy, an all star athlete in a wheelchair!  I have three kids begging for it! 🙂 

Appearances do matter, especially to a princess

I believe that appearances do matter, to an extent. I am not the most ‘attractive’ or ‘talented’ person, especially when it comes to choosing what attire I will wear for the day. If I have a choice, I would ultimately choose a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. But my youngest child will whine in vain, and this will cause me to forgo this ‘norm’ and wear whatever it is that she feels I should wear.

Now, there are certain items of clothing that I shudder when I wear them. And one is the dreaded swimming suit. The main reason is that it will show my deep, hideous scar on my shoulder. This was the direct result of an abusive brother and the inability to afford proper medical care, that this scar, instead of being a thin line, is a huge almost caterpillar on my arm. I wish I could say it doesn’t bug me, because for the most part it doesn’t. But every once and a while, in the innocent eyes of a child, they will call attention to it, which ultimately has the judgmental eyes of a parent. I have been asked more than once if this was a ‘disease’ or ‘tumor’… No, it is a scar. Plain and simple. I live with it everyday, my badge of courage, and proof that life just sucks.

On to the point of this blog, vent, whatever. I hope that I haven’t lost you, reader, since usually by the third paragraph I seem to be drifting away from the author, especially if I feel it bares no cause to me. And that is the Disney Princesses. I love them, I do. They teach us courage, and have usually pretty catchy tunes, that I often find myself singing. A few months ago, my family and I got the opportunity to go to Disneyland. Well, when I finally met the Princess Rapunzel, I vented to her, which made her uncomfortable, and she slowly scooted away.  According to the Disney Movie, Tangled, Rapunzel was kidnapped and raised by the Mother Gothel. She suffered all sorts of mental abuse as well as some physical abuse towards the end. And (spoiler alert) in the end her hair gets chopped off by Flynn Rider (Eugene) in order to save her from Mother Gothel. Her hair, we are told, never grows back. EVER! Which is cool, since apparently Eugene has the makings of a fantastic barber, since he is capable of making an awesome pixie cut with a broken mirror, that most people can’t do with a pair of scissors. So you would think that Rapunzel would wear her hair in a fashion of honor, and that she survived this brutality.

NOPE!!!! Every doll, and accessory for Rapunzel is of her with long golden locks. Not the brunette, short hair! This is a great injustice, DISNEY!!! I mean, Come on!! You have Cinderella, blonde, Aurora, Blonde, even Elsa off of Frozen, blonde. But only one brunette, Belle!  And her hair isn’t even short! Rapunzel was the option of getting more girls excited to be a princess, yes, but also to show, that yes, just because you have had some bad things happen in your life, it doesn’t mean you need to cover up, and blame yourself. This was the option to say, look, yes, this happened, but it does NOT define me! EVER! Disney, you blew it! I can’t even find a doll that looks like Rapunzel after she survived, and claimed her warrior status! You do have her have a cameo in Frozen, but no one recognized her since they are used to the long flowing locks!

Maybe this wouldn’t bug me so much if it wasn’t for the fact that I have very different daughters. And while two are in the ‘normal mantra’ for a Disney princess, one of my daughters, a brunette, finds it unappealing to have only one princess that she could even dress up like. Yes, Belle is awesome, but when her sisters have a plethora of choices, you kind of get sick with just one.

So this was my daughter who dresses up like Belle’s idea. And it is a good one too. She wishes, hopes, desires that Disney do a story, one story, that would appeal to everyone. You, Disney, have the commercial in which you state that every girl is a princess, prove it. Make the story, Princess and the Pea, but in it have all types of women be the princesses! Girls who have glasses, hearing aids, walkers, and wheelchairs. Girls with freckles, crooked teeth, short and tall. Have all the different types you can find, from every walk in the world. The reason why, is to give these, this generation of women, the confidence that they deserve to have. That is the greatest gift we can give our children, confidence in themselves. A confident child is more likely to learn, to study, to be respectful, and be a better person. They are more likely to eat correctly, and show courage in times of great suffering and tragedy… Although I wish that would never happen, I know better. That tragedy and hardships will occur. And these girls may not hear it at home. They might be bombarded with what media says that they ‘have to be’.  Why not, just once, say that you are enough, you are awesome enough to stand up for yourself, and have the confidence to ask for more? That no one, should ever stop you from reaching your potential?

Just some food for thought.

Thanks!

Subliminal messaging.

Hello all! Well, as some of you may or may not have heard, I went on a daring adventure across country road trip… I don’t know if it was that I genuinely thought it would be fun or that I had a lapse in judgment and temporarily went insane.

Now, over a course of a week we went from Missouri clear across the country to California, driving throughout states like Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Arizona, and Utah. Just to name a few. While having Cheetos thrown at my head, and screaming fits of apple juice depletion I noticed something unusual… And that was the billboards. Now I know that the companies are probably patting themselves on the back realizing that they cause enough of a distraction that they made an exhausted mom start to do math, but I did. And I will tell you why.

I am not against any one state or religion, I believe a person’s beliefs are their own and make up essentially who they are. And I try to bite my tongue, but I can’t anymore. If this was an AA type meeting I would proudly stand before you and say that I am a recovering Mormon… To which a lot of my most cherished idols would cry. They would want me to continue in their beliefs and rear my children in that safety net, but I can not, so I won’t. Maybe this has to do with my bitterness towards this injustice of which I will mathematically show, but I believe logically it will not.

When driving through Las Vegas Nevada, approximately 2/3rds of the bill boards were about attractions and hotels, which is how most of the other states were as well. Except for Kansas and Nebraska which both states tempted me really hard to go and see the 50 LB prairie dog and the five legged cow. But Las Vegas’s 1/3rd remaining billboards were divided evenly (yes, evenly, 50/50) between topless resorts and thunder down under. For every gentleman’s club, there was a chip and dales sign as well… And many signs that geared to all sexual orientation in the form of different adult toys. This my friends, is gender and sexual orientation fairness. How we all should be. None of the billboards had any explicit photos or details, so no children were harmed in the advertising provided, but it was fair! It made me happy.

But, while in Utah, it was a sickening sight. 1/5 of the signs were about coming attractions and hotels. 1/5! Do you want to know what the remaining 4/5ths were? 3/5 were advertisement geared toward women and this idea that they need to change their image. The mild ones were about varicose veins, medium ones were about spending ‘eternity with her smile, don’t you want it to be perfect’? (Having the woman needing braces, and teeth whitening). The absolute worst were about ‘natural breast augmentation’. Seriously? Instead of telling me about what I can go and see in this “family friendly state” you have spent as much time telling me that I am not good enough and need a boob job? I grew up in this culture, but I guess stepping out of it has shown me how judgmental this area of USA truly is! What happened to all those lessons during Sunday school were ‘your body is a temple and you shouldn’t do anything to harm it’? Is this just a way to make me not get an extra set of earrings or tattoos? But if my boobs sag at all, I need to fix it immediately? A part of me, this deep down demented part, wants to get a billboard sign and have it say ‘if your penis isn’t big enough to pleasure her, maybe you shouldn’t have the priesthood…’ But my spouse says that is too harsh and should say ‘can’t pleasure her, can’t be head of the household’… I like mine more.

On to the last 1/5 of the billboards (if it hasn’t already made you sick enough, with all this ‘the best place for a woman is to be a domestic goddess’ bull, and college is only for her to have a place to say ‘I do’). They were geared again to this idea of getting married. Now, marriage is not at all a bad thing.. I would highly recommend it. But the way UT has done this last billboard, it sickened me. ‘You will only know that he truly loves you if he went to (insert jewelry stores name here)’… So you are saying that I should value my worth based on whether or not my ring came from your store? That it isn’t true love if the rock didn’t come from you? I wish I could get some white out and where their login is write in big bold letters ‘he said yes’ underneath the princess cut engagement ring. They did after all legalize same sex marriages, let’s make it loud and proud!

We sit here and complain of the subliminal messaging that fashion magazines and such give our kids, and that is what is causing the huge amounts of eating disorders and self image issues that many women have. It is true, they might, and poor self image can lead to a lot of things. Divorce, anxiety, and in some cases, death. We sit here and ask women to not to judge one another and be each other support group. To love. But quiet honestly, UT, yes, you UT, how can you ask this when you are the only state that is so harshly judgmental of your women that you spent over 3/5ths of your billboard advertisement persecuting them, and finding fault in them? If I could, I would on every single one of those billboards put my good friend, May Faith’s photo, ‘Beautiful as I am’ and maybe, just maybe, they will find happiness. I just know now that I can never ever live in such a hateful state again. Period.