The 7 Stages of Writer’s Block

The 7 Stages of Writer’s Block

(Odyssey Article 28)

“Maybe next week.”

Whether you write for pleasure, publication, or education, we all run into the dreaded writer’s block from time to time, and when it rears its ugly head, we have no choice but to push through the wall and hope for the best.

Though writer’s block is inevitable, there’s always a light at the end of the literary tunnel.


1. Shock or Disbelief

“My deadline is in 30 minutes… This isn’t happening.”

2. Denial

“I’m perfectly fine. I will finish. I got this!”

3. Anger

“BRAIN, WHY WON’T YOU &@#$% WORK?!”

4. Bargaining

“God, if you let me finish this, I will never curse again.”

5. Guilt

“Why did I wait so long to start this…”

6. Depression

“I’m worthless… Why did they even choose me for this?”

7. Acceptance and Hope

“Well, I’m definitely not meeting deadline… Maybe next week.”


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10 Signs You Conquered The Snap Game

10 Signs You Conquered The Snap Game

(Odyssey Article 27)

And you ALWAYS keep your streaks.

As millennials, we went through the run of social media platforms. From Myspace and AIM to Facebook and Twitter, we saw it all. However, the newest craze of networking allows us to show off our lives more than ever, and the best part… your messages and pictures disappear.

Snapchat not only gives others a way to view your world from a whole new perspective… It helps you slay the selfie game, as well.

Without further ado, here are ten signs you finally conquered all Snapchat has to offer.


1. Your selfies are straight fire.

“Snap saw it first.”

2. Your stories are hilarious.

Whether it’s just you re-watching yourself all over again (and cackling), or other people sending you laughing face emojis in response, you know you’re hysterical.

3. Filters are a MUST.

From flower crowns to dog ears, you use them all with no shame.

4. You mastered the “creeper pic”.

No doubt your bestie will know EXACTLY what the hot guy at the grocery store looks like.

5. You take the best snaps while driving.

Although it’s definitely not safe, you just make it look so easy.

6. You have perfect timing.

You have a sixth sense for when something is about to go down, so you always capture the best moments.

7. You use angles to your advantage.

Even when you accidently flip on your front facing camera, you still look flawless.

8. Your captions make your snaps even better.

*insert pun here*

9. You draw better on your snaps than you do in real life.

Just call you Picasso!

10. You don’t know how you ever survived before Snapchat…

Because Snap is life.


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10 Questions I Have For Norman, Oklahoma

10 Questions I Have For Norman, Oklahoma

(Odyssey Article 26)

“5. Will someone bring me a Swirl?”

Norman, Oklahoma isn’t just a college town; it’s a community. It’s a place people might call home for a semester or (like me) their whole lives. However, regardless of your time spent in this lovely city, we all have some questions running through our heads as we travel in, around, and through this town from day to day.

From food to fandom, here are the top ten questions I have for Norman, Oklahoma.


1. What’s with all the construction?

2. Will I ever find a parking spot on campus?

3. Can I move in with Bob?

4. Who wants a turkey leg?

5. Will someone bring me a Swirl?

6. Tigers or Timberwolves?

7. What are seasons?

8. Do you like green eggs and ham (and beer)?

9. How do you actually pronounce gyro?

10. Is it football season yet?


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New Year, Same S***

New Year, Same S***

(Odyssey Article 24)

Because who needs resolutions anyway?

Let’s be honest…

New Year’s resolutions, for most of us, are just empty promises and broken dreams waiting to happen. We say we’ll change… We say we’ll be better… But really, who wants to run and eat salad every day? That’s right… NOBODY.

(And don’t lie and say you do because that’s not real life.)

So let’s stop kidding ourselves and just quit while we’re already… behind.

Don’t get me wrong… Anyone who really feels like they need changes and/or improvements in their lives and take the necessary steps to success, you go, Glen Coco! I have the utmost respect for you!

However, I’m a realist, and I know, for about 99.99999% of us, ain’t nothing gonna change because we like our Chick-fil-A and sweet tea, our Netflix binges, our drinking habits, and our lack of self-control in all things (including our sanities).

We don’t mind if our clothes fit a little tighter than they used to (everyone wears sweats this time of year, anyway), and a few cuss words never hurt anybody. (Except in church. Don’t do that.)

All and all, take this new year to find the new you or stick with the same you. It doesn’t matter.

Do what makes you happy, and the rest will fall into place. As long as you love yourself, and you love others, what else really matters in the world?


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10 People You Don’t Want at Your New Year’s Eve Party

10 People You Don’t Want At Your NYE Party

(Odyssey Article 23)

New Year, Same Party People

Christmas is over, and we’re about to ring in the New Year. This year went by faster than expected, but your NYE party will be legendary (as always). However, a few things could put a real damper on the ball drop. Here are ten people you definitely want to leave off the guest list.


1. The guy who’s blacked out-passed out by 10:30 PM.

Black Out Drunk

2. The couple who thinks the ball drops every 30 seconds.

Supernatural Funny Kiss Gif

3. The mortified mom-friend who’s out at her first post-21 New Year’s Eve party and keeps telling everyone to drink water.

I'm Such a Good Friend

4. The guy who just broke up with his long-time girlfriend (who treated him like crap anyway).

Sad Lieutenant Dan Gif

5. The girl who’s already talking about her New Year’s resolutions.

Mean Girls 3 Pounds Gif

6. The guy who keeps shooshing everyone as he waits for the ball drop.

Shhh Gif

7. The girl who’s everyone’s ex.

Golden Girls On Who

8. The guy who tries to hook up with every girl.

Can I Have Your Number?

9. The Woo Girl.

New Girl Woo Girl

10. The couple who gets into a fight and leaves within 30 minutes of arrival.

New Girl Jess and Nick Fighting


Have fun, be safe, and Happy New Year!


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10 Festive Cocktails Guaranteed to Make Your Christmas Merry and Bright

10 Festive Cocktails Guaranteed to Make Your Christmas Merry and Bright

(Odyssey Article 22)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, everything was lit, from the tree to your spouse.

Ah, Christmas…

Except for the cold, it is my favorite time of year. During the holidays, so many cool events take place, people have lifted spirits, and the air just seems a little lighter.

But do you know what else lifts spirits and makes the air lighter? Alcohol!

Check out these ten fabulous cocktails assured to knock your stockings off! (See what I did there?)


1. Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Mimosas

Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Mimosas

Mimosas aren’t just for brunch, y’all.

2. Apple Cider Moscow Mules

Apple Cider Moscow Mules

Time to break out the copper mugs!

3. Cranberry Orange Margaritas

Cranberry Orange Margaritas

Feliz Navidad!

4. Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria

Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria

We tried this recipe last year. It was delicious!

5. Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer

Rudolph's Tipsy Spritzer

No reindeer games with this one.

6. Salted Caramel White Russian

Salted Caramel White Russian

As sweet and salty as retail workers on Christmas Eve.

7. RumChata Egg Nog Cocktail

RumChata Egg Nog Cocktail

As surprisingly tasty as your head sewn to the carpet.

8. Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

I love wine. Wine is my favorite.

9. Poinsettia Punch

Poinsettia Spritz Punch

As boozy as it is beautiful.

10. Silent Night Martini

Silent Night Martini

Even Santa can’t keep quiet after a few of these!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays! Enjoy!


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50 Things I Enjoy More Than Cold Weather

50 Things I Enjoy More Than Cold Weather

(Odyssey Article 21)

*crying frozen tears*

This arctic air is definitely a sign winter is right around the corner, and as I much as I love this time of year and the holidays, one thing about late fall and winter I despise more than anything else… the cold.

Just so you guys really understand where I’m coming from, here are 50 (unpleasant) things I enjoy more than cold weather.


  1. Losing all my money at the casino
  2. Brain freeze
  3. Stubbing my toe
  4. Burning my hand on my straightener
  5. Traffic
  6. Slow walkers
  7. Hitting every red light
  8. Black coffee
  9. My phone dying at 12:00 PM
  10. Swimsuit shopping
  11. Blisters
  12. Bugs
  13. Boob sweat
  14. Rude people
  15. Being late
  16. Chanel West Coast’s laugh
  17. Crusty feet
  18. Porto-potties
  19. Getting a text back hours later
  20. Burnett’s vodka
  21. Hang nails
  22. Dieting
  23. Children shrieking
  24. Stepping in dog poop
  25. Rain with no umbrella
  26. Donald Trump’s hair
  27. Breaking my last ponytail holder
  28. A 10-hour loop of Hotline Bling
  29. Being sick
  30. Cereal with orange juice
  31. Commercials
  32. Slow wifi
  33. A shower with no water pressure
  34. Mixed match clothing
  35. Smacking
  36. Washing dishes
  37. Drunk crying
  38. Unscratchable itches
  39. Losing my train of thought
  40. Waiting 15 minutes in line at the drive-thru
  41. Speeding tickets
  42. PMS
  43. Wet socks
  44. Bad grammar
  45. Small talk
  46. Paper gowns
  47. Getting hit in the heels with a shopping cart
  48. Cardio
  49. Burned popcorn
  50. Cleaning the shower drain

Put me in the Sahara Desert with no shoes, and I’m happier than I am right now in this soon to be snowglobe. I know the weather change is inevitable, but I will never be ready!

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The Bedlam Experience 2016

The Bedlam Experience 2016

(Odyssey Article 20)

Once again, it’s a great year to be a Sooner!

It all came down to this…

Between early losses, explosive wins, and a questionable ranking system, the #9 University of Oklahoma Sooners took on the #10 Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Bedlam match-up of the decade.

This game not only decided the winner of the state rivalry; it also crowned the Big 12 conference champion and named the team headed south to compete in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

However, with both teams 9-2 going into the big game, it was a red dirt toss up who walked out with the Bedlam bragging rights, the double-digit win, the conference championship, and the ticket to New Orleans.


When you woke up, and it was Bedlam time…

Baker Mayfield Dancing

When it was time to go into the stadium…

Trey Millard Running

When you watched pre-game and Bob said, “There’s only one”…

Excited OU Fans

When it was time for kick off…

Number One Finger

When OSU scored first…

J.R. Shaking Head

When Dede ran it in to take the lead…

OSU Fan in Winter

When Baker let it fly…

OSU Fans in Disgust

When Joe left everyone behind…

OSU Fan in Shock

When Samaje took a knee…

OSU Fan in Denial

When we knew we had it in the bag…

Baker Mayfield Celebrating

When we won the Big XII Title…

Ten Fingers for Ten Big 12 Championships

Ahmad Thomas Carrying Big 12 Trophy

Big 12 Championship Trophy

Group Photo of 2016 Big 12 Champions

We’re going to New Orleans! Boomer Sooner!


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A Foodie’s (Ideal) Thanksgiving

A Foodie’s (Ideal) Thanksgiving

[Odyssey Article 18]

A collection of our favorite Thanksgiving foods and food recipes.

Mikayla and I might be long distance best friends, but the holidays always bring people together. We also make the perfect pair because Mikayla likes to cook, and I like to eat. (No shame.) We always talk about food and recipes, so with the holidays right around the corner, we decided it’s only fitting we put all our favorite traditional recipes and food finds in one place. If we had it our way, this would be our perfect Thanksgiving feast. (Just try keeping your mouth from watering!)


Appetizers

Thanksgiving Appetizers

Mikayla: “Apps are awesome, but I always eat way too much of them and forget to save room for the main course… Regardless, I like switching up the appetizers. They’re generally quick recipes, so it’s easy to make a small variety. Here is one of my go-to’s.”

Carson: “You can’t go wrong with a good veggie tray and creamy ranch dip. However, my cousin often makes amazing cream cheese and bacon-stuffed mushrooms and bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers to start the meal.”

Main Course

Turkey

Roasted Turkey

Mikayla: “I love cooking, and I look forward every year to what I’m going to do with my Thanksgiving turkey. I started brining them a few years ago, and I’m a pretty big fan of the brine technique now. This is the turkey recipe I’m trying this year. I can’t wait!”

Carson: “Turkey is the Thanksgiving staple, but my favorite turkey, aside from the one my uncle deep fried a few years back, is actually from a barbecue place called Rudy’s. (Pair the smoked turkey with their house pickles, and you’ll never go back… except to buy more.)”

Ham

Roasted Ham

Mikayla: “I’m not a huge fan of ham (except on rare occasions). However, this recipe sounds pretty ‘ham’ good.”

Carson: “Honey ham is one of my all-time favorites. Throw a couple slices of pineapple and some Hawaiian sweet rolls into the mix, and the taste buds will sing your praises!”

Side Dishes

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Mikayla: “This dish isn’t one making my leftovers list. Like Carson mentions, it’s just not the same without that fried onion crunch. Nonetheless, this one with fried shallots looks great!”

Carson: “To me, green bean casserole is special because it’s only as good as it tastes on Thanksgiving day. Otherwise, the onions (my favorite part) lose their crispy crunch. My mom makes this easy and delightful recipe.”

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Mikayla: “I could live off just potatoes for the rest of my life and not complain. But even to that extreme, I never get sick of my mom’s mashed potatoes. She “secretly” puts in a little bit of ranch dressing when mixing them up… (but you didn’t hear that from me.)”

Carson: “I’m what you call an ‘equal opportunity potato eater’, and I never met a potato I didn’t like. (Y’all know what I’m talking about.) However, I do prefer my mashed potatoes with the skins and then loaded up with cheese, bacon, and the works.”

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole

Mikayla: “Sweet potatoes are awesome. As much as I love standard potatoes, you must have both on Thanksgiving. Here’s another recipe finding its home on my table this year – Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon.”

Carson: “My mom typically makes a really simple, pecan-less sweet potato casserole, but I saw a video the other day for these sweet potato bites, and they are too cute not to mention!”

Carrots

Rainbow Carrots

Mikayla: “I’m usually not a fan of cooked carrots. (Raw and covered in ranch dressing, I tolerate them.) However, this recipe was killer. It even made my cousin, who hates carrots, go back for a second helping.”

Carson: “Like Mikayla, I’m not a big carrot person, but this recipe for whole honey-roasted carrots on Pinterest definitely caught my attention.”

Corn

Roasted Corn Cobs

Mikayla: “I live in Wisconsin, and the second you leave the city, it turns right into corn fields. Granted, sweet corn is WAY better when you have it fresh-picked in summer, but I have nothing against creamed corn either.”

Carson: “When it comes to corn, y’all… I’m on a starchy cloud. One of my favorite creamed corns also comes from Rudy’s (copycat recipe here), but I do have a weakness for buttery, parmesan-crusted, grilled corn on the cob, as well.”

Rolls

Dinner Rolls

Mikayla: “I don’t bake much, but my dad, brother, and I have a tendency of making everything possible into a sandwich. Thanksgiving is no exception. Toss me a roll, and watch me go!”

Carson: “If you guys didn’t realize by now, all carbs are fair game, so any form of bread is the same story. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has dinner rolls on another level, but (on a side note) I do miss J.R.’s Bar-B-Q’s sweet, jalapeno cornbread muffins which were out of this world.” (J.R.’s closed its doors awhile back, but here’s another scrumptious jalapeno cornbread muffin recipe to satisfy your cravings.)

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Mikayla: “I can go for a smooth or chunky cranberry sauce, but if you look to switch it up, you should try these sugared cranberries. They’re incredibly photogenic and give you the perfect combo of tart and sweet.”

Carson: “I prefer smooth, jellied cranberry sauce over the chunky kind, but you can give your cranberry sauce an upgrade with a little port and orange!”

Add-Ons

Stuffing

Stuffing

Mikayla: “Due to a series of unfortunate events (a.k.a. college), I refuse to eat box stuffing ever again. However, I still love stuffing on Thanksgiving, and this apple cranberry rosemary stuffingpairs perfectly with my turkey for this year.”

Carson: “Whether you refer to it as dressing or stuffing, I don’t care for mushy bread, so feel free to call it whatever you please. Nonetheless, don’t think I left you hanging! Here’s a recipe for a delicious (looking) French bread stuffing.”

Gravy

Brown Gravy

Mikayla: “My advice: pour it on everything, and (a little leftovers tip) hot gravy and cold turkey together are a new kind of wonderful.”

Carson: “Before it closed, we had a seafood restaurant down the road called The Shack. It had what my mom referred to as “crack gravy”, and (true to its name) it was the best gravy to every touch my tongue and clog my arteries.”

Dessert

Pumpkin Pie

Mikayla: “I eat my pumpkin pie the right way – smothered in whipped cream. Yet, if I had my number one dessert pick, it would be an apple-cherry crisp. This recipe is pretty close, but I suggest using your favorite kind of apple (about half to three quarters the amount) and then adding tart cherries.”

Carson: “I know pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan pies are traditional, and I do like them, but they aren’t my number one pick. At the end of the day, Marie Callender’s cherry pie is my absolute favorite, and I’m super sad the one by my apartment closed down. (R.I.P.) However, if we aren’t talking pie, I’m completely hooked on my aunt’s 7 Layer Delight.” (Check out a similar recipe here.)

Leftovers

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Mikayla: “Put EVERYTHING on a sandwich. That’s what I always do, but you must layer it just right, so the gravy ends up in the middle. Otherwise, it’s just a sloppy mess leaving you feeling like you wrestled a turkey… and lost.”

Carson: “My mom likes to eat her Thanksgiving leftovers cold right out of the fridge (*gag*). I have to at least throw them in the microwave… but if you feel fancy, definitely give this turkey panini or beer batter fried turkey recipe a try!”


The holidays will be here before we know it, but let us not forget the true spirit of this time of year. Spend time with the people who mean the most to you, sample all the foods you enjoy, and live/love every moment. It’s time to get away from the hustle and bustle of summer and fall and slip into the comforts of the upcoming new year. Happy Holidays, everyone, and good eating!


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Insanity Cubed

Insanity Cubed

[Odyssey Article 17]

An old (nerdy) essay brought back to life.

The other day while randomly looking through the About Me section of my Facebook profile, I strumbled across an old essay I wrote for my AEGIS English class in high school. While I completely forgot how to solve my Rubik’s Cube, it is still something near and dear to my nerdy heart. With a few touch ups, I present to you (in all its geeky glory) “Insanity Cubed”.


In this world history calls “barbaric”, science calls “evolutionary”, and literature calls “madness”, math is everywhere. Yet, whether equations, theorems, or equalities are relevant in everyday conversation is an entirely different personal essay itself. However, I find it interesting, though a person might not favor or even particularly like math, his or her interests often revolve around a mathematical point. Take athletics, for instance. The team, individual player, and coaching statistics (numbers, essentially) are generally all that matter. Scores of games (past and present), rankings, and how many gold trophies are housed in a shadow-boxed case for all strolling past to admire are the basic building blocks of a respected sports program. Those numbers shape a tradition, and thus, a confidence and a mindset. Math may not necessarily create a state of mind, but it surely affects one. This is most certain when observing people attempting to solve one of the oldest and most brain-challenging nerd toys of all time… The Rubik’s Cube.

I found in watching and trying myself to solve this multi-colored, six-sided conundrum, three different reactions arise from one who has the cube in his or her hands. The first group of reactors is called the Obsessers. These people stop at nothing to complete any and/or all ten or so various algorithms of the squared brainteaser set in front of him/her. Members of this group are often seated in class beside people who are irrelevant to this paper, and those unimportant persons become annoyed when Obsessors doze off due to Physics-induced sleep deprivation and begin mumbling, “White face, second layer, yellow cross, yellow fish, yellow face, seven move, solid face and matching pair, done,” in effort to complete the pattern in their slumbers. (These people are also known to solve the cube while blindfolded, using only one hand, and while participating in underwater basket weaving.)

Between Groups One and Three are the Droolers. Members of this group merely hold the cube in their hands and gawk at it in awe, mouth agape. At times, a Drooler looks upon the mottled box as if, stared at long enough, the toy might metamorphose into a beautiful butterfly with all of life’s answers displayed brightly on its delicate wings. Sadly, this is not so, and that is too much for Droolers’ minds to handle. The Rubik’s Cube sends members of this group into an almost altered condition. Droolers become disoriented, glassy-eyed, and drift into a vegetable-like state.

Last, but not least, are the Destroyers. These people feel the need to make life a living hell for the Rubik’s Cube. This way, no suffering from the puzzle emanates, resulting in no further negotiation for the cube to happily solve itself. Destroyers only care about the bragging rights earned from success, and they are greatly angered when things do not go their way. The relationship between Destroyers and the Rubik’s Cube bases purely on hate. The Destroyers initially sit down to solve the cube, but upon realizing they can not figure out the pattern, Destroyers explode in a snarling fit of rage. They will scream, smash, kick, spike, and/or throw the defenseless toy against the wall as to shatter it into a million pieces. (In addition, you may find a Destroyer peeling the colorful stickered flesh from the cube in impatient desperation.)

At one point in time or another, I was a member of each of these groups, but as I grow in my intelligence and discipline, I find myself a proud member of the Obsessors group. (Granted, I can function throughout my day without touching my plastic pet.) I’m just constantly striving for a faster record and a more difficult challenge, and at times, this search unintentionally influences my mental stability. Nevertheless, if you call me a nerd, my brain will not argue. I gladly agree because I can not deny what is in my heart. I am crazy in love with a little, colored cube named Rubi.


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