Getting Personal #93: Ask Me Anything – The Answers!

Ask Me Anything Answers

Image Credit: YouTube

As promised, here are the answers to your questions! Thank you to everyone who participated this past week!

Here’s the link to my original post:

Coyote from Orion – The Age of Taurus: last occurrence… asked:

  • Do you like the Lost Boys? I am watching it now.
  • Would you join our secret society for people who don’t need a t.v. because we read the TV guide?
  • Oh… and what do you make of the latest Corey Feldman ‘arrest’ in California? Will we see the balance returning a la the Battle of Evermore?? 😂🤣😎 And would you like to hear me play Black Dog? 🎸🎶🎶🎶


  • I have heard of the Lost Boys, but I haven’t watched the show to which you are referring.
  • As much as I appreciate the invitation, I don’t read the TV guide, not anymore. With all the streaming services offered now (Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu), TV is a big staple / privilege in my house.
  • I don’t follow many celebrities, so I can’t offer an opinion on Corey Feldman. I had to look up the Battle of Evermore, it wasn’t ringing a bell at first. I like Led Zeppelin, though. Black Dog is a nice song, so yes.

Sara in LaLaLand asked:

  • What is your biggest life dream and what steps are you making to get there?


  • My biggest life dream is to be a published novelist. To get there, I’m currently finishing my three National Novel Writing Month endeavors from 2012, 2013, and 2014. All of them have more than 10,000 words, but I would like to get them all to 50,000 words of more. Once those are finished, I plan on having them edited professionally, and then work toward publishing them in both e-book and print form.

Bookmark Chronicles asked:

  • What made you come up with the title “Hot Headlines” for your blog?
  • What book are you currently reading?


  • The title of my blog, Hot Shot Headlines, is inspired by a few things. For years, my dad’s pet name of sorts for me has been “Hot Shot.” I can’t remember how it started, but it’s stuck. The “Headlines” piece comes from writing for The Rotunda, the student newspaper of Longwood University. It was such a big part of my college life. Since I didn’t enter the journalism field as a career, I wanted my blogging endeavors to have research, writing, and journalism tied in. It will always be a part of me.
  • I’m currently reading Camino Island, by John Grisham.

Thanks to all who participated!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #92: October Goals Recap

Vibe Shifting

Image Credit: Vibe Shifting

October was really busy, but fun and awesome. Fall has arrived!

Here’s the link to my October Goals post:


Here we go!

  1. Donate blood. — Did not accomplish.
  2. Celebrate several birthdays! — Accomplished!
  3. Celebrate Mary Lauren & Jeremy’s wedding! — Accomplished!
  4. Celebrate Nick & Savy’s wedding!! — Accomplished!
  5. Write at least 400 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Write at least two blog posts on home improvements. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Make / purchase photo canvases. — Did not accomplish.
  8. Attend Hampton Comicon! — Did not accomplish.
  9. Finally start moving items from my parents’ house to ours. — Accomplished!
  10. Keep our kitchen table clean! — Did not accomplish.
  11. Update my TBR. — Accomplished!
  12. Be a successful co-hostess for the October PEO meeting. — Accomplished!
  13. Write some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.
  14. Celebrate Halloween! — Accomplished!
  15. Enjoy Little (Lane) when she visits for a week! — Accomplished!
  16. Order the Desert Mist Diffuser, and more Savvy Minerals makeup! — Semi-Achieved.

Here’s the breakdown!

Donate blood. — Did not accomplish.

  • My iron level was just 0.1 away from qualifying. Needless to say, I’ve been taking my liquid iron supplement with breakfast every single day since!

Celebrate several birthdays! — Accomplished!

  • We celebrated my mom’s birthday at the beginning of the month with a big party – Dad, Al, me, Debbie D., Karen, Michaela, Kathy, Perry, and Lucy!
  • We pulled off the most epic surprise for Mia at Nick and Savy’s rehearsal dinner – She had no clue until we got halfway through singing “Happy Birthday.” It was awesome!

Celebrate Mary Lauren & Jeremy’s wedding! — Accomplished!

  • Mary Lauren and Jeremy tied the knot on Saturday, October 7th. It was a beautiful ceremony!

Celebrate Nick & Savy’s wedding!! — Accomplished!

Write at least 400 new words for my 2012 NaNoWriMo attempt. — Did not accomplish.

  • There were too many other things going on this month!

Write at least two blog posts on home improvements. — Semi-Achieved.

Make / purchase photo canvases. — Did not accomplish.

  • One of these days, hopefully before the end of the year, this will happen!

Attend Hampton Comicon! — Did not accomplish.

  • We decided not to go – We’re waiting for Tidewater Comicon 2018!

Finally start moving items from my parents’ house to ours. — Accomplished!

  • This finally happened on Saturday the 21st. My mom was so happy, she was dancing!

Keep our kitchen table clean! — Did not accomplish.

  • This just didn’t happen.

Update my TBR. — Accomplished!

Be a successful co-hostess for the October PEO meeting. — Accomplished!

  • I co-hosted the meeting at Susan’s house in Virginia Beach. The grapes I brought were the biggest hit!

Write some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.

  • Again, too many things going on this month.

Celebrate Halloween! — Accomplished!

  • We celebrated Halloween at Kathryn & Tim’s “Stranger things are coming” party on the 21st!
  • We’re passing out candy to the neighborhood kids tonight!

Enjoy Little (Lane) when she visits for a week! — Accomplished!

  • We thoroughly enjoyed the party at Tim’s house last Friday night. You can’t go wrong with good food, a roaring fire pit, and s’mores!
  • Last night, I went to a wooden door hanger painting party at Mrs. Cindy’s house. We had a blast! I didn’t get home until after 10:00 p.m. Mine is three pumpkins with fall leaves. The best part – I can paint a snowman on the reverse side later!

Order the Desert Mist Diffuser, and more Savvy Minerals makeup! — Semi-Achieved.

  • This is going in my November order. I can’t wait!

Final Thoughts:

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to eight out of 16 goals! Woohoo! Since this month was really busy, I’ll take it!
  • The two goals that were Semi-Achieved: I’m happy about these.
  • The six goals that I did not accomplish: This was slightly disappointing. But, I knew that I was being extremely ambitious with 16 goals! More to do in November!

What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of October?

Come back tomorrow to see my November Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Hot Topic #24: Thoughts on the LGBT+ Community


Image Credit: Barnardo’s (U.K.)

Disclaimer: I have several friends who are part of the LGBT+ community. I tried to write this post as objectively as possible, and I mean no disrespect to anyone!

If you have questions for me, please make a constructive comment on this post, or use my Contact page.

Thank you!

What does the acronym LGBT+ stand for?

Source: We know what LGBT means but here’s what LGBTQQIAAP stands for

L – Lesbian

  • A woman who is attracted to other women.

G – Gay

  • A man who is attracted to other men, or broadly, people who identify as homosexual.

B – Bisexual

  • A person who is attracted to both men and women.

T – Transgender

  • A person whose gender identity is different from the sex listed on their birth certificate.
  • FTM: Female-to-male.
  • MTF: Male-to-female.

Q – Queer

  • Some want to reclaim this term, but others continue to find this offensive.
  • I personally do not use this term in my vocabulary.

Q – Questioning

  • A person who is exploring sexuality or gender identity.

I – Intersex

  • A person whose body is not definitively male or female.
  • Example: A male with a vagina, a female with a penis, etc.

A – Allies

  • A person who identifies as straight, but supports people in the LGBT+.
  • Since high school, I have considered myself to be an ally, or advocate for the community.

A – Asexual

  • A person who is not attracted to people of any gender, in a sexual way.

P – Pansexual

  • A person whose sexual attraction is not based on gender.
  • The person may also be gender fluid, or fluid with their sexual identity.

In addition, I want to list this as well:

GQ – Genderqueer (non-binary)

  • People whose gender identities are not exclusively masculine or feminine.
  • Having two or more genders – Bigender, trigender, or pangender.
  • Having no gender – Agender, nongendered, genderless, genderfree, or neutrois.
  • Moving between genders or having a fluctuating gender identity – Genderfluid.
  • Being third gender or other-gendered – Those who do not place a name to their gender.

In a recent Facebook Messenger conversation with a friend, I expressed my commitment as an ally, which I believe they appreciated seeing / hearing.

In the same conversation, the topic turned to equality. As much as I would like for everyone to be treated fairly and equally in this world, we are still so far from it. There is still so much prejudice and stigmatization.

As an individual, I want to be as accepting and loving as I possibly can.

As a Christian, I have been taught that we should love others unconditionally.


What about you? What are your thoughts?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #81: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 43)

Week #43: A Mentor / Teacher.

Thinking about this week’s post, I remembered writing a different blog post about the wonderful math teacher I had for three years in high school, Mrs. Zwemer.

Here’s the link to that post, from September 2016:

I’ll let you read the original post, but I think of Mrs. Zwemer every single day. Sadly, the evil beast that is cancer took her from this world far too soon. I found the program from her funeral this past weekend at my parents’ house, and she’s been on my mind ever since. She made me appreciate math, and that’s a big feat in my eyes!

When I think of Buzz Lightyear, it reminds me of Mrs. Zwemer and her classroom. To infinity and beyond!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #91: Ask Me Anything

Pinterest - AMA

Image Credit: Pinterest

I was recently inspired by Sara, the lovely and talented author of Sara in LaLaLand, to have my readers ask my anything!

Here are the three posts Sara made for her blog:

So, for the first time, I’m giving you, my readers, free reign! Post as many questions as you want in the comments. I will answer all questions this time next week!

Thanks for participating!

Come back next week for the answers!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #34: Horror Movies Book Tag

Here’s another awesome book tag, courtesy of the ladies at Thrice Read!

Here’s the link to their post:

The Rules:

  • Please credit and link Princess @RoyalReader as the creator of this tag, and add the rules.
  • You can use the graphics provided in your post, or you’re welcome to make your own!
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you and let others know of their fabulous blogs.

The Zombie Apocalypse

Name a book you’d save when civilization ends.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Vampire

A book you would stake through the heart.

Allegiant, Veronica Roth.

The Haunted House

A book that still haunts you.

13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher.

The Psychological Thriller

A book with a twist you did not see coming.

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins.

The Creepy Doll

A book that seems innocent, but isn’t.

Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks.

The Monster

A book you could barely tackle.

Angels & Demons, Dan Brown.

The Comedy Horror

A book with mixed genres that worked, or didn’t.

I actually haven’t read any mixed genre books!

The Cliched Teen Horror

A book you found super cliched.

Twilight, Stephenie Meyer.

The Demonic Possession

A book so gripping you need an exorcist to escape it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1), Stieg Larsson.

The Science Fiction

A precious book you would sacrifice to aliens for the good of mankind.

I agree with Thrice Read, I would sacrifice The War That Saved My Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

What would you pick? Let me know your answers in the comments!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Awesome Authors #8: Sharon M. Draper

I first discovered Sharon M. Draper in high school. I found The Battle of Jericho at the Russell Memorial Library in Chesapeake. She introduced me to a whole new world. Through her books, I quickly gained a better understanding of African-American teenagers and their lives. Draper’s writing is incredibly realistic, and I felt connected to many of the characters. I’m adding a few of her books to my TBR, also.

Sharon M. Draper was born August 21, 1948. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she graduated from Pepperdine University. She’s married, and has two children, a son and a daughter.

She was named the 1997 National Teacher of the Year. She has received multiple national and international awards and recognition. Draper is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award. Several of her books have been listed on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Hazelwood Trilogy

I read this trilogy, one after the other, after reading The Battle of Jericho. It was so life-like, I needed a break after finishing the series. It shows the consequences of driving drunk, to say the least.

Jericho series

I read The Battle of Jericho first, and then I had to wait until November Blues was published in my senior year of high school. I remember feeling ecstatic when Just Another Hero was announced when I was in college. Like the Hazelwood trilogy, Draper covers many real-life topics in these books, including hazing, teenage pregnancy, tragic deaths, and school shootings, to name a few.

Romiette and Julio (1999)

Romiette and Julio

Image Credit:

I don’t actually remember reading this, so I’m adding it to my TBR.

Double Dutch (2002)

Double Dutch - Simon and Schuster

Image Credit: Simon & Schuester

Like some of the other books, I don’t remember reading this one. This is also going on the TBR!

Copper Sun (2006)

Copper Sun

Image Credit:

This is one of her historical novels. I remember reading parts of it, but I don’t think I finished it. I’m putting this one on my TBR.

Fire from the Rock (2007)

Fire from the Rock - Scholastic

Image Credit: Scholastic

This is one of my favorite books from Draper. I love historical novels, and this one is written in journal / diary-style. I definitely want to re-read it soon.

Out of My Mind (2010)

Out of My Mind - Goodreads

Image Credit: Goodreads

This is another book I’m adding to my TBR. It’s told from the perspective of a girl with cerebral palsy. I have deep appreciation for writers that respectfully approach and write about individuals with challenges.

I hope Draper will continue to write and publish! I look forward to reading and re-reading her books, especially her historical novels.

What about you?

Have you read any of Sharon M. Draper’s works?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #90: Home Improvement, Part 1


Image Credit: CNN Money

As promised, here’s an update on our home improvements!

It’s hard to believe that I published the post titled Getting Personal #23: Home Ownership in June 2016. Our house has come a long, long way since then!

While planning this post, I quickly realized that I didn’t take a lot of “Before” photos!

I think I mentioned in a previous blog post that most of our house was carpeted, but we knew there was hardwood floor underneath. Lucky for us, the hardwood was in great shape. It had been protected by the carpet, in a way.

The week before we officially moved in, we hired a local man and his company to refinish the floors in the living room, all four bedrooms, and the hallway that connected the bedrooms. They were fabulous. They got the job done in four days, and the floors still look amazing more than a year later!


We have two bathrooms upstairs, and one half-bath downstairs. We replaced two of the toilets last year, and all three match now. Eventually, we want to repaint them, and get the blue carpet out of the guest bathroom. For now, we’re happy all of the plumbing works!


We hardly did anything with the three bathrooms, at least for now. In two of them, we added these metal shelves. This is our guest bathroom – Stocked and ready for visitors!

Guest Room #1


There was wood paneling on the outer walls in three of the four bedrooms. When we took the paneling down, there were secret messages behind them! It was like a treasure hunt. 


This bubblegum pink wall was in the bedroom across from our master suite. It took us almost a full day to get all the lattice-style wood off the wall and patch all the nail holes!


After we removed the blinds, the paneling, the wood, and the nails, this was before we painted it.


The room is a bit of a mess at the moment, but we want this to be our game room. We painted the walls with “Monorail Silver.”

Guest Room #2


This is the other guest room. The far wall had dark wood paneling. This was before we painted.


We have my futon in there now, but we eventually want to put our current queen size mattress in there, once we get our king size bed for our room. We painted the walls with “Monorail Silver.”


This was a project that we just finished. My parents found this chest of drawers on the street in their neighborhood. It was originally covered in black enamel paint. Al labored for a long time, stripping the paint and sanding it. After Al primed it. we picked a complimentary color to the walls, and Al did most of the work! The only other thing to do is to upgrade the hardware of the drawers.

Al’s Man Cave


The far wall also had wood paneling. This is before we painted Al’s man cave.


This is Al’s man cave now. He painted the walls with “Storm Cloud.”

Master Bedroom


This is part of our master bedroom – I took the photo while standing in the doorway. This room used to have red shag carpet!


This is our master suite at the moment – A little messy. We painted the walls with “Storm Cloud.” We’re hoping to get actual blinds for the windows this weekend!

Living Room


This was how we initially set up our living room. This room had pink / mauve carpet, white walls, and massive valances on brackets above the windows. We painted three walls “Reflection Gray,” and left the far wall white (We are going to make that one the accent wall).


This is our living room now. We moved the couch back a bit, added blinds to the windows, upgraded to an actual TV stand, moved Al’s nightstand upstairs, and added my end tables from my apartment. We want to get some curtains for the windows, and a larger area rug.

Laura Beth’s “Lady Lounge”


I only have a “Before” photo. I’m excited to turn this space into my office, my library, and put my American Girl dolls on display! We painted these walls with “Reflection Gray.” This space will start to be transformed tomorrow!

That’s all I have right now. Look for Part 2, coming soon!

What have you done to improve your home?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #33: The Would You Rather Book Tag


Image Credit: Dreamy Addictions

The lovely Jenna at Bookmark Your Thoughts participated in this awesome book tag!

Here’s the link to Jenna’ post:


Here we go!

Would you rather …

Have unlimited money for e-books, or a $5,000 Barnes & Noble (B&N) gift card?

download (9)

Image Credit: Barnes & Noble

I’ll take the $5,000 gift card, please! Without hesitation, I might add.

E-books are great for certain purposes, but I will always be a physical book kind of girl.

Would you rather …

Meet any deceased poet, or J.K. Rowling?

JK Rowling

Image Credit: Goodreads

This one is also a no-brainer. I think I would freak out a little if given the opportunity to meet J.K. Rowling. I can picture myself asking her so many questions about writing, publishing, and wanting to know more about her life. Harry Potter was a big part of my life when the books were being released, and it still is, with the movies, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. She’s an amazing writer!

Would you rather …

Write the world’s most famous book, or visit the world of your favorite book for one day?


Image Credit: Salon

This is definitely a selfish choice, but since I’ve dreamed of being a writer since I was 10-years-old, I would want to write the world’s most famous book. I think it would be such a cool experience!

Would you rather …

Choose __________ or ___________? (Insert characters from your favorite fictional love triangle).

I’m not a love triangle person, so I have no answer for this one.

Would you rather …

Experience Hogwarts in a very realistic and accurate virtual reality, or travel around the world for a year, at no cost.


Image Credit: VitalityToday

I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled many different places already. But, if given the opportunity to travel around the world for an entire year, at no cost, that would be AMAZING. I’ve already started a list! In no particular order:

  1. Italy
  2. Everything touching the Mediterranean Sea
  3. Ireland
  4. Scotland
  5. Greece
  6. The Amazon Rainforest
  7. Costa Rica
  8. All of Canada
  9. Japan
  10. Australia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Antarctica
  13. All 50 states
  14. Puerto Rico
  15. Bermuda
  16. Scandinavia
  17. Jerusalem, Israel
  18. Germany
  19. South Africa
  20. The Galapagos Islands
  21. Fiji
  22. Tahiti
  23. Bali, Indonesia
  24. All of the National Parks
  25. Switzerland
  26. The Panama Canal
  27. Machu Picchu
  28. Easter Island
  29. Acapulco, Mexico
  30. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  31. Santa Catalina Island

This tag was so much fun! Some of these questions were really hard.

What would you answer?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #80: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 42)

Week #42: Your Favorite Possession.

I still don’t have a photo to share, but my favorite possession is my first 18-inch American Girl doll. I got her for Christmas 1997, and I named her Stephanie. I took her almost everywhere, with the exception of school, from ages 9-14. She has blonde hair and laser green eyes, and she was a wonderful companion when I was a kid. Being an only child, Stephanie was the confidant that I needed at times. I loved her then, and I still love her now.

Over the summer, I was lucky enough to purchase several “vintage” Pleasant Company catalogs. They brought back so many memories!


The doll pictured in this catalog is not my Stephanie, but it gives you an idea of her hair, and the outfit she came in. I also have the accessories now!


Stephanie is currently at my parents’ house, dressed in the School Jumper outfit pictured here. However, she will permanently reside in my “Lady Lounge” starting this weekend! I also had the Girl Scout Uniform for her.

I’m so excited to finally bring Stephanie home this weekend. She means so much to me, and I’m incredibly happy that I’ve held on to her all these years. She’ll be in a special place in the custom doll cabinet that Al and I are designing. I’m so grateful that Al supports this sometimes very expensive hobby of mine, and lets me enjoy it to the fullest!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂