This post cost me a spoon.

I really struggled with whether or not to blog about my experience with fibromyalgia.  What started out as a FB post turned into a blog post.

Read it here :

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You do not determine my worth.

I just read a post on another author’s Facebook page.  Apparently someone has been stealing her blog posts and passing them off as his own for some time now.  Someone responded by saying that “on the bright side”, this action should be viewed as a compliment.  I couldn’t disagree more.

For far too long, artists have been led to believe that having their work taken and used without their permission and without being paid is some sort of warped honor.  It isn’t.  Regardless of how simple you may think it is, a tremendous amount of hard work goes into creating something.  To do all that and then have the courage to put it out there, only to have it stolen and used for purposes other than what you intended isn’t just heartbreaking.  It’s a crime.  The copyright laws are in place for a reason and yet we seem to feel we’re not even worthy of standing up for ourselves.

If you value my work enough to use it, then pay me for it.  Oh, and I will determine the value thank you very much.  Just because you offer to pay me 1/3 of my fee doesn’t mean I should fall to the floor and thank you profusely.  If you can’t afford my rates, then don’t hire me.  After all, you don’t go into a car dealership and offer them “exposure” in exchange for that 25 thousand dollar SUV you’ve had your eye on.  Pretty simple concept.

If, for some reason that only you could possibly justify, you feel that you shouldn’t have to pay me then at the very least credit the source (a link to my website is a good start) so that I may possibly derive some freelance work out of it.  Visual arts, films, music, poetry, blog posts – all of it is protected by copyright and NO, it’s not OK if you use it without permission or licensing because “everyone else does it”.

The YouTube video features Harlan Ellison and he uses some colorful language, so you’ve been warned.  Some may think he is overreacting, however I not only understand his point, I agree with it.  If we do not value what we bring to the proverbial table, two things will happen.

  1.  We will cease to be invited to the table.
  2. Our work will never be valued by anyone, including ourselves.

For far too long, writers have been lead to believe that they should feel lucky that anyone is paying any mind to anything they have to say.  That we are fortunate anyone will even deign to hire us.  Until our attitudes change, nothing else will.

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New Website!

Finally, after far too long agonizing over a domain name, content, and where oh where oh WHERE do I find my very own home on the information superhighway – I have a website!

Please visit me there.  I have a blog and am going to see how I go about linking the two.  I am a writer, you see and not very tech-savvy, unfortunately.

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Just breathe…

It has been a long, long time since I posted anything here.  It isn’t for lack of ideas.  For some reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything.  That extends past the blog to my novel-in-progress.  I have missed it terribly, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Every time I tried, I felt like I’d been dipped in cement and asked to wade through quicksand.  It was no longer a joy but a chore and that broke my heart.

I spent more than one night crying myself to sleep because I was terrified that the magic, the spark, the “thing” that made me a writer was gone.  What is wrong with me?  For certainly something must be terribly wrong for me to turn away from what I loved so much.

The harder I tried, the more depressed and distraught I became.  Witnessing myself take what was not a simple detour from the path, but wandering so far away concerned me.  Something was going on and regardless of the outcome I needed to figure out what.

Anaar quote 1

Recently, a friend introduced me to T Thorne Coyle’s website.  Her work has made a difference in the lives of many people walking many paths.  One of the things I knew I needed to do was raise my vibration.  Although I was struggling, at least I wouldn’t bring myself down further than I was already.  I needed to continue to find my way back, even if it was an inch at a time.

In my travels through the YouTuberverse, I came upon a conversation between T Thorn Coyle and Anaar from 2013.  I wanted to share it here because I think it would benefit anyone who deals with the 9 to 5 world while trying to maintain their creativity/spirituality.


Anaar quote 2

Something clicked.  I was finally able to give myself permission to take a creative nap.  To allow myself the time that I need to recharge.  Once I released the fear and the sadness, I had a realization.  I spent a considerable amount of time pushing myself to write my submission for the “Dark Crystal” author quest.  Although I did not get the job, that does not negate the work that I did or the immense energy that I put toward the project.  I also had a sense of sadness because I wouldn’t be finishing the project.  I had all these ideas, this amazing story, and someone else pulled the plug.  So I suppose I had to mourn the loss.

Once I took some time to reflect on that, I realized it stands to reason that I would need to take a break.  That I may need to distance myself a bit so that I can refocus on my next project and move forward with that.

Interestingly enough, it seems that this “lightbulb moment” has also flipped a switch within me, freeing me up to write again.

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Queen of the Tearling

It was about a year ago that I discovered the world of the BookTuber.  They are typically in their late teens/early 20’s and primarily read YA fiction.  Their enthusiasm for literature is contagious and a dream come true for an author.

Something they often comment on is the covers of the books they are reviewing or posting as part of their TBR (to be read) list.  I knew that an eye catching cover was important, but this was a revelation for me.  To see their disappointment (which ranged from annoyance to outright anger) over a series changing the style of a cover mid-way through was especially interesting.

One of the BookTubers on my list is Cozy Tea Reads.  Last weekend, I realized I hadn’t seen any of her videos in a while, so I decided to bingewatch.  It was at the 5:30 mark of her “July Book Haul + Giveaway” that she said, “This next book that I have is one of the most beautiful books I have laid my hands on in a very long time.”  

Then she held up her copy of “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen and I felt myself gasp.  She went on to say, “I can’t stop looking at it.  It’s stunning!”


She’s absolutely right. 

I have an e-reader and a limited book-buying budget, so if I see a book I want I typically go that route.  But then there are books that I want in the “traditional” format because they are simply far too beautiful and I need physical evidence of their existence.  This is one of them.

The photo doesn’t do it justice because it’s not only the cover but the spine and the map inside that make this book so gorgeous.  So definitely go watch Cozy Tea Reads video so you can see for yourself.  Something else that sold me on this book (as if the cover wasn’t enough) is that Emma Watson is involved of the making of the film adaptation.

Queen of the Tearling - Emma W

Is “The Queen of the Tearling” on your TBR list?  Have you ever seen a cover and simply HAD to have the book?

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When Autumn Leaves

I was chatting with a gal and (as often happens) the topic turned to books.  She asked if I had read “When Autumn Leaves” by Amy Foster.  I hadn’t, so she kindly offered to loan it to me.


Here’s a bit of the synopsis :

“In the picturesque Pacific coast town of Avening, it’s hard not to believe in magic. This is a town where the shoes in the window always fit, where you can buy a love potion at the corner shop, and where local lore seamlessly mixes with the supernatural.”

The story centres around Autumn, a local shop keeper and member of the Jaen Sisterhood.  She has received word that the time has come for her to move on and time to choose her successor.  But  who among the women of the town will be up to the task?

She soon compiles a list of 13, each of whom has their own special brand of magic.  The stories of each of the 13 intertwine far more than any of them are aware (or willing to admit).  Soon we find ourselves being taken on a journey as we get to know each of the candidates and soon realize that Autumn’s choice is going to be next to impossible.

I don’t want to say much more, for fear of posting spoilers.  If you are looking for an “Autumn-themed” book to read and considering we’re just days away from Samhain/Halloween/All Hallows Eve, this is a good choice.

If memory serves, this book took me three nights to finish.  I loved it so much, I immediately bought a copy for myself and another for a friend.  “When Autumn Leaves” has taken a place on my re-read shelf and I look forward to revisiting Avening very soon.

Do you have any suggestions for an “Autumn-themed” read?  Would love to hear from you!

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Octopus Wisdom

I was heading out for brunch with my parents and as I was driving down the highway, I thought about whether or not to post a reading today.  This card appeared in my mind’s eye, so I decided to see what it had to tell us.

Octopus - Reading Oct 19

This Octopus card comes from Susie Green’s “Animal Messages” deck.  

It says “Travel across Earth and over sea to securely embrace your dream.”


When I look at the card, multitasking immediately comes to mind.  When we wish to manifest something in our lives, there is always work to be done.   Clear out the clutter, organize our thoughts, create lists, prioritize tasks, take classes, release negative thought patterns, put ourselves in situations where we can make the appropriate contacts.  It may seem as though our hands are full, both figuratively and literally.

Susie Green writes, “Octopus does not wait for fate to deliver her dinner of crab, employing whatever strategy necessary for his capture, even abandoning water for earth’s air.  She councils that you, too follow your dream.  If your partner has left for a faraway land, join them;  if a new exciting possibility calls from distant climes, embrace it as firmly as Octopus does crab.  If others obstruct you, like Octopus eclipse your actions in an inky cloak until your dream is securely in your grasp.”

Even the Octopus has limits.  It only has 8 arms.  Some even lose a limb or two along the way.  But they carry on because they have no choice, if they are to achieve their goal.  You must also recognize that, no matter how amazing you are at multitasking, there will be certain things you need to let go of in order to bring closer that which will help you attain your goal and realize your dreams.

Keep pure your highest ideal.  Let nothing stop you, nor turn you aside.

I don’t know who wrote this but I read it over 20 years ago and it’s the best advice anyone can offer you.  There will be what I call “Dream Squishers” out there that seem to enjoy seeking out people’s dreams only to try and snuff them out with an inappropriate (or sometimes cruel) comment.  They will go so far as to LIE to you in order to steer you away from what you really want because they’re too afraid to dream.  If you have a Dream Squisher in your life, you don’t have to sever ties (although that is an option) but my advice is to keep your dreams to yourself.  Definitely express them among like-minded people who can help you get where your going, but if you encounter one of these human hobgoblins, steer clear and keep your thoughts to yourself.  When all else fails, smile and nod, then change the subject.

What do you see when you look at the Octopus?  What messages does she have for you?  Feel free to share, if you’re comfortable doing so.  Remember, there is no “right” or “wrong”, so have fun with it!


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