Category Archives: The Journey

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And So It Ends

It’s probably no surprise to you that I’m writing this.

It IS a surprise to me.

I’ve been pondering about it for months now, trying to make time for everything, trying to hang on, trying not to say goodbye.

I’ve rationalized too long, finding comfort in my internet securities.

I’ve remembered that the hardest decisions are almost always the right ones.

I’ve realized that in order to keep growing, you must allow change.

And, wow, have I grown.

I’ve been in Germany for over a year now and I have moments where I don’t even recognize myself. And, that’s not a bad thing.

It’s just….time to keep growing and make more changes in the hopes of reaching even bigger goals.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I’m saying goodbye to this blog. I know people have found it helpful. I just received an email from someone the other day, thanking me, but I think this is the right decision for me.

To be honest, I’m not sure if I will delete it or leave it up, although I’m leaning towards deletion.

I can’t let go of this name though, or the cool idea that jolted me back into a lost dream. So, you’ll still be able to find From Casinos to Castles in social media.

As for me, I applied for almost 20 jobs today. The boy is in kindergarten now and I am hoping with all my heart that something works out. Anything.

I’m not giving up my dream of being a writer either, so, you can still find me over at Tipsy Lit. You may not know, but I’m Managing Editor over there now. I’m really excited about that opportunity and I think this year, I’m going to grow even more than the previous one. I have so many things in the works.

I’m working on a memoir as well as my first book of poetry.

I’m also working together with 7 other fabulous women on a new site we will be launching soon that is community oriented with a goal of helping and supporting women.

I’m working on finding myself again and figuring out who that is without all of the labels I had before.

I’m working on making one dream come true, while letting go of another.

I’ve loved getting to know all of you and I’ve appreciated you coming here and getting to know me. As I said, this is goodbye for the blog, but not for me. I wish you all the best and if you’d like to keep in touch you can find me at these places:

Facebook – Author Profile
Facebook Page – From Casinos To Castles
Twitter – Author Profile (C2C will be deleted)
Tipsy Lit

And the new site isn’t ready yet, but you can follow on twitter to stay up to date on the launch!

The Sisterwives

Thank you again and I hope to see you at one of my other online locations!

 

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Last Call at Casa de Hann-Basquiat

Deanna Herrmann:

Do you enjoy reading? Love a good book with twists and turns, love and heartache written by a woman who I happen to know is amazing? Then maybe you should check this out. Lots of bonus prizes for you if you pre-order by tomorrow (this is available worldwide). Trust me, you don’t want to miss out!

Originally posted on Being the Memoirs of H̶e̶l̶e̶n̶a̶ ̶H̶a̶n̶n̶-̶B̶a̶s̶q̶u̶i̶a̶t̶,̶ ̶D̶i̶l̶e̶t̶t̶a̶n̶t̶e̶ Jessica B. Bell, Creepy Fucker:

I know, darlings, it’s a horrible name for a Mexican cantina, but we serve only the finest tequila and fresh made tortillas, with home-made salsa. And now I’m really hungry.

Surprisingly, this post isn’t really about food at all, but rather, it’s an alarm call. Call it a 5-alarm chili pepper if you like, considering we’re already talking Mexican food, but don’t hit the snooze button.

Peppers don’t have snooze buttons, Helena.

Thank you Captain Obvious. But work with me, darlings. What I’m trying to say is this:

Remember those four times you meant to pre-order Memoirs of a Dilettante? Maybe you were even chatting with me and you said — okay, going to do that now — but then the phone rang, or the neighbours knocked, or your boyfriend/girlfriend started making bedroom eyes at you — and you thought — oh well, I’ll do it later?

Well, guess…

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Author Interview: Claire Duffy

Deanna Herrmann:

Do you guys know what day it is? No? Well, let me tell you! It’s Life is Swede Day and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve never read the blog and haven’t heard about the story behind this book, then you NEED….no…..MUST read this!

Please and thank you.
xx Deanna

Originally posted on TIPSY LIT:

Ok guys, I’m seriously so excited to bring you this interview and trust me, you will be glad I did. Claire Duffy has recently authored, Life is Swede, which was created from a fictional blog in which Claire portrayed herself as her real life character living out the trials and tribulations of expat life and even murder.Yes, you can applaud now because that is just awesome. 

And, today just happens to be Life is Swede Day! No, that’s not another holiday, but the biggest day on the internet helping to promote this amazing piece of fiction! (You will see more information on this at the end of the interview.) 

In the following interview, Claire shares her inspiration, tells us about the book and also shares the reactions of the blog readers when they found out it wasn’t real. You’re going to love it. 

-Deanna

LifeisSwedeCoverFirst, I…

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Be Brave Enough To Follow A Dream

From the time I was a young girl, I always loved to read. As I grew up, a love for writing naturally followed. English was my favorite subject and despite my inner rebel causing me to skip a notorious amount of classes, I rarely missed English.

I adored the beauty to be found in metaphors and symbolism, the flow at which some of the best authors convey their message. When I found that my emotions were more than I could handle, I would turn to those metaphors and spill them out on paper, usually in the form of poetry.

My English teachers easily became aware of my love affair with the written word, encouraging me to write. One of my poems won a school literary award while the other was published in the real world before I graduated high school. I remember these teachers, the guardians of my future, persuading me to consider a degree in literature allowing me to dream of a future writing career. Yet, my inner critic slammed down the heaviest of hammers on the idea.

What kind of future do you have as a writer? You don’t want to teach or become a journalist….you won’t make any money. You’re not good enough.

doubt, dreams , quote

Source:Pinterest

And there lies the misguided direction of a teenager. My focus was hell-bent on success and happiness being driven by financial gain while my insecurities weakened my spirit.

I was wrong. 

Please don’t misunderstand, I am happy that I pursued a career in social work. Helping others soothes my soul and its rewards far outweigh its annoyances, but writing lights my fire.

Today, this post is my 100th post on From Casinos To Castles. I know I have been distant from this space. I accept that is has morphed into something unplanned. But this little space in my small corner of the blogosphere, will always be so special to me. Here is the place where I unknowingly rekindled my sweet love affair with writing. Here is where I found a supportive community encouraging me along the way, much like those teachers who once believed in me. Here is where I found a network of writers and other lovers of words that lead me to more new places.

Among these writers is Emily, from The Waiting, (you may remember me mentioning her here). I followed her blog for sometime as I always enjoy the clever and humorous way she writes, especially about her daughter Cee. One day, Emily shared a post about her new venture as Managing Editor for the reading and writing community, Tipsy Lit. She spoke about this fun, new community and mentioned that they accept submissions to be published on their site in addition to their book club and other features.

I was intrigued.

I messaged her, but was discouraged for two reasons: 1. I never considered myself a writer 2. I had never written fiction. Our email discussions grew which soon lead to my guest post on Tipsy Lit about being an expat blogger. I stalked Tipsy Lit’s author interviews, v-logs and other helpful posts doing my best to absorb as much as possible; to make me a stronger and hopefully better, writer. I was also introduced to so many more wonderful people, wonderful bloggers, wonderful writers along the way.

I was ecstatic when one day, Emily mentioned that they would like to have me join “The Crew” and become a regular contributing writer. I, of course, accepted and my first published piece goes live today.

So, you see, this 100th post of mine is special. You are special. So, you’ll forgive me if you have heard some of these things before? I felt overwhelmed by the need to share with you where I am today, my dreams and maybe even introduce you to a whole new world.

Until then, let’s all dare to dream. I’ll start.

Hi, I’m Deanna and I’m a writer. 

quotes, dreams

Source: Pinterest

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Oh 2013, You Hurt So Good

Every New Year’s Eve, I find myself thinking, wow, I can’t believe another year has come and gone. I used to believe in New Year’s Resolutions when I was a kid, but as I got older, I felt they were too predictable and only set you up for failure with unrealistic expectations.

Although it’s the end of 2013, I have been reflecting not just about this past year, but about the past couple of years. Every one has brought huge life changes. Take a little look for yourself….

2011

My love finally has his visa and comes "home" to the US. We are finally together after a year apart.

My love finally has his visa and comes “home” to the US. We are finally together after a year apart.

We get married that next week and spend a couple of nights in this isolated, romantic cabin.

We get married that next week and spend a couple of nights in this isolated, romantic cabin.

Several weeks later, we found out what happens when you spend a couple of nights alone in an isolated, romantic cabin.

Several weeks later, we found out what happens when you spend a couple of nights alone in an isolated, romantic cabin.

2012

9 months later, I had one more handsome boy in my home to love.

9 months later, I had one more handsome boy in my home to love.

2013

One year later, that handsome boy turned 1.

One year later, that handsome boy turned 1.

For almost the whole month of May, we were in Las Vegas where we said goodbye to family, friends and the US.

For almost the whole month of May, we were in Las Vegas where we said goodbye to family, friends and the US.

On May 22, 2013, we made this our new home, here in Germany.

On May 22, 2013, we made this our new home, here in Germany.

In case you forgot what we did to get here, you can read about our huge leap of faith here.

2013 has been full of huge ups, huge downs and everything in between. We started our life completely over, from scratch. We had almost nothing when we got here except for one another and M’s family. Starting your life over requires a lot of work and sacrifice. We both know it will be worth it in the end and I couldn’t have done it without my amazing husband.

These past years have given us so much. We have received amazing blessings with almost mind-blowing life changes. For 2014, I am even more hopeful. I am optimistic of what this next year has in store for this little family of mine. But….if I could ask for one thing, one wish it would be this….calm.

Dear 2014, please bring this family the sense of calm and peace that goes hand in hand with growth and stability. We are ready to be settled. We are hopeful to continue simply moving forward. 

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Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Frohes neues Jahr!
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