Goodbye St. Louis, You Gave Us the World

Over the last week or so, we’ve mentioned that we’d be undergoing significant life changes. It’s time to share those with our blogging family.

The Daily Inkling for January 16, 2019 was:
You return to your hometown or community after five years of being away. Give us a rundown as you rediscover things place-by-place with new eyes.

Let’s turn that into a fact.
We’re returning to our hometown after two years of being away. We’re preparing to rediscover things place-by-place with new eyes.

Such is life.

On July 1st, we’ll be moving back to Montgomery, Alabama U.S. I got a terrific position as a public relations professional – a career-advancing opportunity far too good for me to pass up. I don’t recall ever feeling such mixed emotions.

Let’s talk career. I believe in blessings – and that sometimes those blessings pay off as a consequence of hard, God-focused work. As such, I could not be more grateful or humbled that a 27-year-old could be entrusted with such a role.

Honestly and objectively, there’s a lot to like about a strangely thriving Sun Belt city, free from the stress of ice storms and a relatively short drive to the beach. The cost of living is low. The food is good-ish* – it is Alabama, after all. Let’s be real, Montgomery is doing some great things despite having a mixed reputation at times. Everywhere has darkness alongside the light.

*Sidebar: Alabama is known for its legendary food, but I’m not a fan of Southern food. Southwestern and Mediterranean food all the way for me. Though I admit I can make one heck of a poppyseed chicken casserole.

Yet, we’re sad. We have learned to love our home here in St. Louis. We’ve met some amazing people, and worked with three incredible bloggers! We’ve also done lots of healing here, because despite all of the positives referenced, we were both in a pretty dark place when we moved away. Such distance from our families and those we grew up with provided us with the one thing we needed most – perspective.

Our world bigger, we set upon casting off the opinions of others and finding our true nature. We like the people we’ve found, and are nervous we might lose them as we journey into the great unknown. I’m scared. I know we’ll be okay, but I’m scared. In many ways I wish we were moving somewhere completely new, but maybe the nearness is the next step in our healing process. I am, and always will be, optimistic in the face of a cynical world.

Now let’s talk about Normal Happenings. As we enter this time of transition, I actually feel I’m going to come out the other side with more time and energy to devote to my craft. As such, this might be a good time to go ahead and pursue another objective – that of transitioning to a self-hosted platform. More moving.

Such is life.

There are a lot of things we want to do design-wise regarding The Characters That Define Us! Normal Happenings is a blog of subtly, so don’t expect huge changes – just a few tweaks to change up the norm a bit. Bear with us as we build up our resources for a fantastic 2020.


We’ve ordering some special styluses laser engraved with The Characters That Define Us logo! Why? To reward our Patrons, of course! Any $5 and up Patrons by the end of June will receive one with their July Snail Mail Inklings! More on that in this post!

Did you know we’re part of the best community of bloggers in the world? Now that the Normal Happenings Starry-Eyed Discord is up, we’re having incredible conversations every day! You can join us right now by becoming a Patron of Normal Happenings! Also, $5+ Patrons unlock Snail Mail Inklings and get featured in very special blog posts!

IMG_20190519_214417_658.jpgbecome_a_patron_button

Special Patreon Reward: The Characters That Define Us Engraved Stylus

Happy Monday everyone! We would like to briefly tell you about a special offer for the month of June. We’re ordering some special styluses laser engraved with The Characters That Define Us logo! Why? To reward our Patrons, of course!

Well, okay, I do have one ulterior motive. I’m looking at the calendar and a very important date sticks out like a potentially sore thumb – well, a sore thumb if I didn’t have a stylus, that is. The 28th of June is when Super Mario Maker 2, the sequel to one of my favorite games ever, comes out on the Switch. Nintendo, in their infinite wisdom, is offering styluses packaged with pre-orders of the game, except here in the U.S. I need a cool stylus to craft my masterpieces! I can’t make labyrinthine experiences in storytelling with my finger… ugh. And running to the nearest department store and snagging a generic stylus simply will not spark joy (or creativity). I’m sure all of use have particular uses for styluses as well.

A creative experience is best shared, so I’ll be sending out the styluses with July’s Snail Mail Inklings! So, as long as you’re at the $5+ tier level by the end of the month, you’ll be getting a shiny Characters That Define Us stylus in the mail. And your contributions will help us as production ramps up on the project!

So, join this small but growing list of Patrons and help us make great art (and possibly great Mario Maker courses, but I digress). More on our massive year-long collaboration project can be found here.

Shout-outs to our Patrons!

📨 Nerd Side of Life
📨 GamersUnitedGG
📨 Neko Jonez
The Shameful Narcissist Speaks
Rachel @ Double Jump
Livid Lightning
The Bizarro Mage | The Well-Red Mage
Dee Misses Games


Did you know we’re part of the best community of bloggers in the world? Now that the Normal Happenings Starry-Eyed Discord is up, we’re having incredible conversations every day! You can join us right now by becoming a Patron of Normal Happenings! Also, $5+ Patrons unlock Snail Mail Inklings and get featured in very special blog posts!

IMG_20190519_214417_658.jpgbecome_a_patron_button