Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Another year gone by, consistency and optimism. Not necessarily in that order.

December 26, 2012, the day after Christmas and the last Wednesday of 2012. While perusing a few blog posts, I was reminded by Arlee Bird of ‘Tossing It Out’ about consistency. I had promised myself a few weeks ago that I would be more consistent and post once a week every Wednesday. But, here I am today not getting anything up until mid afternoon. Oh well, better late than never, I guess.

2012 was a rather hectic year. Can’t really say it was terrible, can’t really say it was good. It doesn’t do much good to complain anyway, of course, that usually doesn’t stop me.

My Christmas was pleasant, a very nice end to the year. Again, spending it with family and small children is always a delight. I look forward to 2013, and I’ll try to have an open mind about what it might bring. When you look around in the world it’s kind of hard to be optimistic, but at the same time, there is no use bringing about any more ‘gloom and doom’ than necessary.

I’ve had the feeling for the past few months that my time here on the island might be drawing to a close. Hard to put my finger on exactly why, it’s just a feeling. My experience is that once that feeling settles in, it’s a matter of months and I’m moving on. No specific plans and with the economy in general in the shape it’s in, it might be harder this time to pick up and head out. We’ll see. I do have to say, I must have been born under a wandering star, because I can’t even begin to count what number move this might be. Then again, there’s always the chance I’ll have another year or two in the Caribbean.

What about you? Big plans for 2013. We all seem to have survived the end of the Mayan Calendar, unless of course, this is all a dream. I wonder what will be next. Actually, I know, but that’s only because I have read the Book.

I do continue to be amazed by life and the people who occupy this planet with me, some days that’s a good thing and others not so much. I do wish each and every one of you a most Blessed and Prosperous New Year. I’ll be back next year, on Wednesday. I hope.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



Last blog post before Christmas and I been thinking ‘bout what I want to talk about. There’s been a lot of talk about villains lately, so I thought maybe I should post something about a hero. I backed away from my ‘100 People To Meet Before You Die’, because the next person up, did something that really disappointed me and I lost my heart for it, but the other night when I couldn’t sleep and I lay in bed listening to the ocean break on the beach, I thought of a hero of mine who came forth at the Christmas Season. I would like to tell you about her.

I met Shirley Hunter when I moved to an out of the way place in Idaho, Swan Valley. Shirley was an interesting character who was in the midst of the fight of her life when we met. Her husband, the love of her life, was going through cancer treatment and she was devoting everything she had to his recovery. Sometimes, that type of thing is tougher on the loved ones than the sick individual.

Shirley has a very personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ and more than once she explained that she fought hard for that relationship. She is definitely not the kind of person who believes something because someone else says ‘trust me’. This woman knows for sure, for herself (my kind of person).

Shirley is a nurse. In the late summer/early fall of 2004 after much preparation Shirley was able to see a long term dream of hers fulfilled when she traveled to Africa with another mutual friend. In Africa she was training health care workers in infant CPR and other pre and post natal care. Shirley was thrilled with this opportunity and the chance to really make a difference in the lives of so many people. When she came home to the states, she did presentations for other health care workers hoping to inspire others. That, I’m sure she did. This alone would have given her Hero status in my book, but there’s more to the story.

December 26, 2004, as I’m sure most of you remember Indonesia was devastated by a horrific tsunami. The destruction was unbelievable. The death toll astronomical. A general cry for relief went out around the world. One of Shirley’s daughter-in-laws was affiliated with an organization sending some of the first relief workers, but when they were ready to go, it was found that most did not have the necessary clearance or proper inoculations to travel safely to this part of the world. The DIL contacted Shirley and sure enough because of her recent trip to Africa all of her paperwork was in order and she had the necessary shots and then some to safely gain her entry to the area.

After the fact I remember Shirley telling a group of us that she didn’t want to go. She was tired and she had some idea of what it might be like. The long flights, the waiting in airports, not to mention flying military transport most of the way. In the end she realized that all of her preparations for a dream come true (the trip to Africa) had also prepared and made her uniquely qualified to enter this particular nightmare. She was on a plane in the early hours of December 27th.

When she returned she told us how she and her DIL were in fact among the very first relief workers to be allowed into the country. There had been military struggles in Banda Aceh for a long time and as much as they needed the help, the government was very leery of outside intervention. For whatever reason they let these two women through and allowed them to bring tons of relief supplies that had already spent hours sitting at airports waiting to be distributed.

Shirley spent several weeks there, trying to help the living recover. The trauma to most wasn’t physical but physiological. The stink of death and decay hung in the air and facilities were negligible. Everything was quite literally washed away. This courageous woman did what she could to help people cope and see life to be worth living again. Did I forget to mention that at the time Shirley was seventy-two (72) years old? Think about that for a minute.

I suppose at some time in everyone’s life they have thought about being someone important or special, about really making a mark in the world, about making a big difference. I know I have. I have come to understand that we are all important and special. Each and every one of us has an almost constant opportunity to make a mark, a really big difference in the world, but often it’s with one or two people at a time.

If you come around here much, you know that I have a profound belieF in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I truly believe that they qualify us and make us ready to step up and make a difference, just as they did for Shirley. Being a HERO is as easy as being a friend.

Shirley Hunter will remain one of my heroes for the rest of my life.

May each of you have the MERRIEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DejaVu Blogfest

D.L. Hammons is at it again. He's hosting the DejaVu Blogfest Today. To learn more about it go HERE

The basic idea is that you repost a blog bit that you posted sometime in the past year. Preferably, one that you feel didn't get the attention it deserved. Or one that was your favorite, or whatever.

I went through and basically looked at every blog post of mine from the last year, and I narrowed it down to FOUR. In light of the Alex J. Cavanaugh Blogfest that recently stormed the blogosphere, I find it interesting that my FOUR are each a Tribute post to someone else. I like writing about my friends.

Anyway..I just gotta cheat a little bit and if you want to see the Three that I did not choose go HERE or HERE or HERE . All three are tribute posts that I really liked.

My choice is another Tribute.

15 Minutes of Fame ~Tributes ~ Life ~ the Cover of Rolling Stone

This morning I’m fueled by Chocolate and Coke Zero. My favorite breakfast. Not really, generally I try to eat healthy, start the day off right, do things that are good for me. Blogging is the same way for me; I try to stay healthy, start the day off right and do things that are good for ME. I blabber on about a lot of things, but don’t really tell you much, just some silly stories. I like ‘flying under the radar’. I don’t mind drawing attention to myself with mindless silliness, but rarely do I give meaningful credit to someone else in my blog.

On Monday I was a mess remembering Michael Patrick Gordon, my godson. I said very little about him, but I did want to pay tribute to the life he didn’t get to live much of, in some small way. Your kind comments are greatly appreciated.

This made me think about paying tribute to people I know today who are real life heroes of the everyday variety. Make no mistake, they aren’t famous (in the way you normally think of fame) and maybe you have never heard of them, but for me they are heroes none the less. I have a list but, I’m starting at the top. At my number 1.

Today, I want to tell you about Stephen T. McCarthy (not his real name, but read the explanation of this pseudonym – it doesn’t get much more real than that.) Stephen is my friend. Some of you might wonder at the off the wall comments he occasionally makes in my comments box. Generally when they seem really off the wall, it’s because we’ve had some email discussion about something that I don’t have the courage or integrity to discuss publicly. I have made him crazy by commenting on his blog and then asking him not to publish my comments (he has that comment moderator enabled) he has always complied with my requests and never embarrassed me. He has come back to me in an email and ‘called me’ on my cowardice and encouraged me to say the things I believe in OUT LOUD. In other words he has helped and encouraged me to be a better person. He has definitely helped me to be a better writer.

Stephen is outspoken about the things he believes in and has or will probably step on more than a few of your toes. He is also courageous in his beliefs and will go toe to toe with anybody to defend his position, but he is not afraid to learn new things. I do have to admit that with the intensity this man delves into his subjects, there probably isn’t much you’re going to teach him. I know that’s particularly true for me.

If I could or would teach him anything, maybe it would be to be a little more kind to himself. To look back at his life (consider that all I see of his life is what he reveals through his blog posts, some older posts on Amazon and the emails that he writes) and see his many amazing accomplishments. I would say to Stephen, “I applaud your ‘intensity’ and willingness to study out a subject. I applaud your devotion to ideals, and your integrity in sticking to them even when they are not ‘popular’ in the world of today. I stand in awe of your devotion to your friends (read some of his older posts about his ‘buddies’) and sincerely hope that you count me as one.”

Stephen’s current blog post is about the years he spent as part of the cast of MASH. Yeah, that’s right, the popular TV show MASH. Stephen lets you ’back of the scenes’ to take a look at filming an iconic TV program through the eyes of a serious young actor (OK, he’s not always serious). It’s funny, informative and will give you a whole lot of OMG moments. Go take a look. I’ll give you the link at the end of this post. I, of course, don’t want you running off too soon. I’m not finished talking.

Stephen may never have been on the cover of Rolling Stone, unless of course that’s a blog post he’s saving for a later date. But, he has way more than fifteen minutes of fame to his credit already and I’m convinced he ain’t done yet.

BLOGGING – what is it good for? (Keep in mind I finished the chocolate, but I just opened another can of Coke Zero.) Some days I’m not sure. Some days I come here to spew my frustrations, hurts, excitement and just plain stuff all over the place. Most days I come here for you guys to put your arms around me and tell me it will be alright. My friend Stephen, he does that in more ways than you can imagine. That’s what being a ‘Good Guy’ is all about.

Now, believe it or not, I’m finally through talking. Go visit Stephen and learn about him and MASH. I promise you won’t be sorry. Here’s the link to his blog site: Stephen T. McCarthy Now that you've read that, let me warn you that since I originally posted this, Stephen shut this blog space down, but you can find him currently at Ferret Faced Fascists



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Open Your Heart

I came home from a trip to the States late last Saturday night and thought I was simply exhausted, then the house fell on me. I've been slammed with some crummy flu that hit me late Monday or early Tuesday. My throat feels like I've swallowed razor blades, I have an exquisite headache that won't go away, a cough that would scare a big dog, and everything hurts. For about 36 hours I couldn't lift my head off the pillow. Today, I'm actually better, I can hold my head up for about a half an hour before I'm back down again.

I admit, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself when I got on the computer to answer the comments from Monday's Alex fest post. While trolling through the sites of my new followers, I ran across this. Thank you JJ.

Open Your Heart and Enjoy.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Today I’m participating in the ‘Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest’. This is a Blogfest celebrating Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit Alex go here
To learn more about this Blogfest and read some of the other participant’s descriptions and feelings about Alex go here


Who cares about Alex’s actual physical appearance? He is one really nice man, a friend to all, and an encouraging word or two in your comment box. That’s one darn good looking guy right there.

“Pretty is as pretty does.’


Hal Holbrook – Why? Well I think of him doing his best Mark Twain and I think of Alex, who is a little like Samuel. A lot of information with a snappy come back.


See the last answer, a little like Mark Twain for the reasons given.

FLASH FICTION-PROMPTS - Cavanaugh – Ninja – IWSG – Cosbolt – Guitar

‘Fire up the Cavanaugh, Cosbolt. We gotta get out of here.”

‘Aye, aye, captain. Navigational coordinates?’

‘Let’s not be choosey boy, just get us as far away from here as you can and let’s do it as fast as we can. Those buggers from the IWSG have got no sense of humor.’

‘How do you feel about the planet Guitar?’

‘Ah, Cosbolt, you know how to hurt a guy. The planet Guitar really takes me back. Three lifetimes ago, I swore never to return to that forsaken dot in the universe. I suppose it’s my fate to run from the IWSG directly into the arms of the Guitar Ninja Betima. Yes, there’s a story there, me boy. But, I digress; Guitar it is.’

‘Aye, aye captain. I doubt the Interplanetary Weird Singing Goons will dare follow us to Guitar.’

‘You are so right me boy. The basic insecurities of the IWSG will keep them far from Ninja territory.  Too bad I’m not that smart.

 In all seriousness, Alex J. Cavanaugh is one of the nicest bloggers around. He has helped a lot of us through the IWSG and his encouraging words in the comment box. He manages to get back to everyone who leaves a comment for him and he visits most of our blogs regularly. I'm not sure how he does it, but I am grateful that he does.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I have got to make this quick. I'm posting my 'Insecure Writers Support Group' post today, Saturday, December 1st. Seems strange that it's December ALREADY, just yesterday is was August. Anyway...I'm 'leaving on a jet plane' in a few hours ad didn't want to miss this months IWSG. I know blogger is supposed to be able to hold and post a 'bit' anytime you tell it, but you know me and technology (besides blogger hates me). So, instead of trusting the 'big B', I'll just post early. I'll only have my iPhone to read your posts, so I'll come around and comment when I get back.

Someone asked if I was going to the States to shop. Ha, ha, ha. As much as I love to give presents, I hate to shop. I'll give you a hint as to where and why I'm traveling to the States. Let's just pretend I just won the Super Bowl - now where would I be going next.

Anyway, Insecurity. Last month and this I'm not feeling too insecure. Not exactly sure why that is or what happened, but...

I've gotten myself back to blogging, at least once a week. I've gotten myself back to visiting my favorite sites on a regular basis. I'm reading anything and everything like a nut. I've found a CP who is wacky enough to want to read my stuff. SO, THEN YOU TELL ME, why can't I keep my butt in the chair and get my edits done, so I can send off the work to my new wacky CP.

I start out with the best intentions and just can't seem to get it done. I'm starting to wonder if this is some new form of 'separation anxiety', as in I can't stand the thought of sending this story into the hands of someone else. I DON'T KNOW! any and all suggestions will be considered.

Now, head on over to (on Wednesday, December 5th) to get to the 'Linky List', where you can check out the other Insecure Writers and see what they have to say.

Catch ya on the flip side (of this week that it)!

YIKES! While previewing this on the actual page, I just noticed that I have 251 followers. a couple of you new guys snuck in there on me. Thanks.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

There are gifts, and then there are GIFTS!

Been thinking a lot about what I want to post this week. I loved all the Thanksgiving Posts. Loved them even more because someone was actually thankful for me. The ‘Oh How I Miss You Blogfest’ was also fun and heartwarming. It’s nice to see and read all of your positive comments about friends, family and especially those who are ‘words on a screen’.

Another blogger mentioned that Thanksgiving is the ‘Gateway to Christmas’ and for that I’m excited. I love Christmas. I love buying and giving gifts. I generally go overboard, but it’s so much fun. I like the idea of trying to figure out what will be meaningful and fun for the recipient. What can I give that will be unique and tell them that I really care. I want them to know that I listen and want to please and excite them with my choices.

Kids are easy, they want everything. I try hard to decipher what is real desire and best fitted to their age, ability and learning, as opposed to who has the slickest ads. With adults it gets harder. Most adults that I know, have the things the really need, so I like to look for something totally frivolous that they wouldn’t buy for themselves. That’s where the fun begins.

But, there is another side to the Christmas Season that is a little melancholy for a lot of us. Christmas is also a time of deep reflection. A time when we miss loved ones who are no longer here, friends who have gone by the wayside and I tend think about those people I ‘let down’ or failed somehow.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid I have a list of people that I have failed throughout my lifetime. People who reached out me in some manner and I was too preoccupied or too selfish to even try to meet their needs. So often all it takes is a little attention to get most folks through a ‘bad time’. Christmas is a time when I think of them. It’s a time when I wonder if there is something more I could do, even now. It’s a time when I pray a lot and try to be better.

Quite a few years ago, I was up late wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. I had commercial TV then and some live Christmas Pageant was airing. I was absent mindedly( is this really a word? - oh well, it is now) watching. It began as an angel tells Mary of the divinity of her coming child and ends with the Savior’s Crucifixion. I was a little angry. How dare TV ruin my Christmas Spirit by reminding me of ‘the rest of the story’? At Christmas I’m in a frame of mind where I prefer to think only of the JOY surrounding the event we are celebrating. I stopped wrapping and began contemplating my disappointment. It was then that it hit me (like a ton of bricks, I might add) that the true JOY in the Christmas story is truly only present when we consider ‘the rest of the story’. The love shown to each of us in the giving of the greatest gift. Redemption, if only we accept it. Total and complete unconditional love extended to each and every one of us, if we can abide it. And finally, an example or pattern for us to follow to be worthy of both.

I hope you enjoy giving this Christmas Season as much as I do. I hope you all realize just how much you give to me. Now get out there and start shopping, or start baking, or start making those fun and meaningful gifts for those you love. When someone tells you Christmas should not be about the gifts, it’s gotten too commercial, whatever, whatever. Remind yourself that gift giving is a tiny part of the example set for us at this most important and joyous time of year. And have some fun with it. Man is that he might have JOY.

I’ll be off island next week, visiting the States. Yeowee!  I’m excited and a little apprehensive. I’ll wave if I see ya. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Here we are folks the day before Thanksgiving (well at least if you live in the States), which I don’t, but where I live it’s any excuse for a party and a day off from work. Since I am a US citizen and a thankful one at that, thought I should mention it publicly. BUT, first I want to tell you a little about the Cruzan experience (Cruzan – the term applied to the people of my island – St. Croix in the U.S. Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands).

Ah, paradise most of your say…

Down here (any excuse for a holiday – remember) we celebrate Halloween and Diao de las Muerta  (Day of the Dead) which is a holiday more celebrated in Mexico and Central American. We went to a celebration on the far northwest end of the island where they featured ‘fire eating fire dancers'; Kiki and the Flaming Gypsies. Not something you see every day, and not something you see in the more civilized parts of the world. These gals with their flaming torches and hula hoops right up close and personal. I’m sure there were more than a few singed hairs floating around.

Next on my list is the local produce. Wow, there’s nothing like the tropics. Everything grows here, and grows like a weed, especially the weeds. There are places the ‘bush’ is so thick you cannot get through without a machete. Ah maybe that’s why everyone has one strapped to their back. Down here they call them ‘a cutlass’. Yeah, you read that right – hold over from the days of Cap’t Morgan – who knows?

Check out this local avocado. Also, here's a hermit crab who couldn't find a shell large enough so he substituted a glass jar. You kow what they say about folks who live in 'glass houses'.

If you’re smart you will own and drive an ‘island car’. If you car is what we call an ‘island car’, you are less likely to be broken into and believe me that’s a problem. I have a friend who drives a fancy new car and it has been broken into as much as three times – on the same day – yeah, that's a bit of a problem. Best to take the important stuff out and leave the doors unlocked. Recently, I purchased a new car and my shopping around went from the

the FAST

To the not so FURIOUS

Both are actually island cars when you look closely. That little red BMW convertible was a ’94 and the interior was shot, but I didn’t care I wanted it badly. The Isuzu Rodeo is in better shape (an '01), the A/C works and so does the radio/CD player(none of those did in the Beamer). It’s safer and won’t disappear in one of the potholes, for which STX (the abbreviation for St. Croix) is famous. I did the right thing and bought the Isuzu, but only because it was $500 cheaper and that was all I had.

The beaches are phenomenal.

Need I say more?

One of my final STX experiences happened just the other day. I was shopping in K-Mart our only larger department type store on island (well one of two – we have two K-Marts, but nothing else). While looking over some dry goods at the very front of the store, trying to pick out a tablecloth for my Thanksgiving table, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and YIKES! there was a rat – yes I said RAT with a body about eight inches long and about another twelve inches of skinny pink tail.

OK, I’m not sure who is more shocked, me or the rat. I look around and there are people everywhere, including store personnel and nobody but me notices this furry little vermin. Well, the rat turns and runs back behind the Coke machine he came out from. I’m standing there in a state of shock wondering what to do when Mr. Rat comes back out and runs under a pallet holding some boxes about a foot away from me. Now, my first thought is to drop the tablecloth and exit the store as quickly as I can, but K-Mart is my only option and I’m an island girl, so I put the tablecloth in my cart and head down the aisle to look for some shampoo, I’m not planning on buying any food here today or ever again. Ha – it’s just another island experience. Sorry no pictures of this one.

I’ve been here on island for two and a half years now and I have to admit I’m starting to get a little homesick. I really missed fall this year and I wouldn’t mind a little snow for Christmas. Considering I’ve spent the previous 30+ years living in the Inter-mountain west at an altitude of one mile+, this stint at sea level has been fun, but it’s wearing thin. I’m ready to trade my flip flops back in for a pair of Sorrels.

All in all I’m grateful. I know if I leave the island, I will miss it and always look back on the experience (rat included) and be grateful for the time I’ve had to spend here in what some would call paradise. But mostly I’m NOT grateful for places or things BUT for people and experiences. It’s since and because I was coming here that I started blogging, writing, and living even louder than I had been before. Many of you reading today, I would not have met, but for this.

So, when you sit down to your turkey dinner tomorrow, think of me ‘Far Away’ sitting down to mine (actually I don’t eat meat or poultry, but I’ll still be sitting down in front of a turkey) and remember that Paradise is of our own making, it’s not really a place here on earth. Look around at those you love, remember those that are no longer with you, and think of the ones who appear as ‘words on a screen’ and be thankful for all. I am.

Friday, November 16, 2012

'Oh How I Miss You'

Today is the 'Oh How I Miss You Blogfest , but I bet you already figured that out for yourself.
Go here to learn more about it and see the other participants.

As you can tell, today is the ‘Oh, How I Miss you Blogfest”. For more information click on that little blue ‘here’ up above (don’t even try clicking on the badge – you guys know me better than that) and get all the info from the hosts. You can also check out the other participants and see if you are on anybody’s list.

First the three I miss ~

Number One – the person I miss the most is ME. Now before you think; ‘whew, what a narcissistic comment’, let me explain. Lately life has been kicking me to the curb on a continual basis. Health issues, financial issues, personal issues, computer issues, and on and on and on, have left me with very little motivation to blog. I hate complaining and I find myself whining more than ever, so I just keep my mouth shut and slink off into the corner.

The reason I miss me blogging, is that when I do post something ( I have made it now for three weeks in a row – posting once a week) so many of you come around, even after I’ve been delinquent for a long time, and you cannot imagine how good your comments make me feel. Also, because you guys comment, I get out and visit you back. When I’m out and about in the blogosphere, I’m more informed, entertained and think a whole lot less about my personal woes. I’m workin’ hard a making a comeback, at least on a weekly basis.

Number Two – Stephen T. McCarthy at ‘Stuffs’. Stephen shut this blog down months ago, but I still miss his great travelogues, goofy characterizations and entertaining blog bits. There are some things he’s talked about that can get a laugh out loud from me, when I just think about them. He still blogs at
FFF-F, but he is often a lot more serious in that space.

Finally – Draven Ames at ‘Another Slightly Scary Story’. Draven hasn’t posed anything since November 2011 (a year ago) and I miss the offbeat horror that he wrote and hosted. I’m not necessarily a big horror fan, but he did come up with some pretty different stuff. Not zombies or werewolves but ideas of a more psychological nature.  He seems to be gone, gone, gone.

Now who would I miss if they were to ‘go away’? Well it goes without saying; I would hate to see Mr. McCarthy shut down his FFF-F blog, as he is threatening to do. His serious, politically un-correct posts serve a needed purpose in the blogging world.

I would miss Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew McNish if they were to take more than a short vacation. Alex has to be the nicest blogger out there and I am learning a lot from Matt’s QQQE blogspot.

I do and would miss D.L. Hammonds of ‘Crusting Altitude 2.0’. The reason I do miss him is that he has been hosting ‘Fight Club’ forever. While FC is a great idea and it sure gives numerous writers an opportunity to get some really great flash fiction noticed, I miss some of the insightful posts D. L. makes about his work and things going on in the world. So, come on back D.L.

There are a whole lot more people that I would miss, if they were to stop blogging, but the rules said three and 'you know me'; I would never break the rules. Ha!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Here we are, the first Wednesday of the month, the month of November no less, and it’s time for the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Something new for me this month, I’m not too insecure. If you caught my last post – I’ll wait while you go and read it, if you like – you noticed that I opted out of NaNoWriMo. At first I was kind of bummed about this, but now, here, today, November 7th, I feel pretty good. I’ve got my November project and its working. I’m revising and editing last year’s NaNo Project, and it’s coming together nicely.

Everyone says that when you finish up a story to take a break, step away from it, start another project, if necessary. Well, I did. I took about a nine month break. I never really started another project, probably because this one kept nagging at me, but I really couldn’t bring myself to revise it either.

When faced with the prospect of whether or not I was a writer or simply a wannabe, I decided writer. So, I put my butt in the chair and got to work. My new critique partner made it through ‘Sandy and is looking for my MS. (Thank goodness on both counts.) I am so excited. I am actually ready to send it out into the world, at least to let one other person read it. I’m still making revisions and I’m sure there will be many more, but I’m back on track again.

A project that I am in complete control of. One that I can see through to the end. A project that I find engaging, exciting, and hopefully rewarding. I guess, in the end, the temporary cure for MY insecurities is to have a project to immerse myself in. Like just about every other problem I encounter in life, the solution lies within.

Good luck to all of you doing NaNo. Good luck to the rest of you too. May you find your solutions.

Now go on over to that badge on the side bar. Click on it and get to the Linky List of other participants in the IWSG, so what advice they have to offer and what comfort you can give. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Well here we at the end of October 2012 and writers all over the world are getting ready to participate in NaNoWriMo, but not me. I’m a little bummed. I had such a great time last year that I thought nothing could stop me from participating again this year, but alas I am not prepared.

OK, I admit it, I’m a wuss. I let life kick me to the curb in 2011. A nasty health issue and life in general. Sometimes, I think maybe I feel things too deeply. Maybe I lack something essential to ‘take it on the chin’ and keep on going. I don’t know, but I do know that I’m vertical now and gonna try to stay that way.

For a minute I thought maybe I can come up with a small nugget of an idea and apply some pressure, you know, write to a prompt. Writing 50,000 big ones to a single prompt with no outline… probably not. Still hopeful, I asked a friend for ideas and although I did get a pretty good one, my friend also asked if I was a writer or a wanna be; and if I thought of myself as a writer, why didn’t I spend November getting last year’s project up and running and out the door, instead of hiding behind a new project. I got the message. I didn’t particularly like it, but it was true, I was hiding out.

So, I dug out my note from another blogger who is brave enough to think they might want to be my CP. Of course, when I started to send them a note, I remembered that they live on the Jersey Shore (are you kidding me?), so we probably aren’t going to connect for awhile, but I sent that email anyway.

I have a few pages of critiques from various contests that I won, so I have a place to start. Wish me luck. I’m gonna see this through to publication.

Also, I want to wish a whopping GOOD LUCK to all of you who are prepared enough and participating in NaNo, this year. I sincerely hope it’s as good for you as it was for me in 2011. Hang in there. You can do it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Measuring Goodness

We can’t measure our goodness by what we don’t do; by
what we deny ourselves, what we resist, and who we exclude.
We should measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create,
and who we include.

As I find myself struggling with various ideologies, looking for answers and trying to find the truth; as often as not, those truths are spoken by a fictional character in a book, play or movie.

Resistance, denial, and exclusion certainly don’t seem the way to a happy life. I do believe that man is that he might find and have joy and yet the world would have us believe differently. I found this the other day, can’t say that I disagree:
Currently I'm guilty of two and seriously guilty of a third. Probably not what you're thinking. I admit to having a problem with RAMBLING CONVERSATIONS. I love em. I love it when someone is willing to talk to me about anything and everything. Honestly, I'm good a rambling.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Here we are at another first Wednesday of a new month and it’s INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP. What am I insecure about today? It might be easier to ask; what am I NOT insecure about today? But, that’s another post entirely.

I live on an island in the Caribbean. Like a lot of islands we have no water source. No rivers streams or lakes (it’s also a very small island). We depend on rain to sustain us. All structures are built with water collection in mind. Each is equipped with a cistern to hold the reserves. Some cisterns are as primitive as a barrel at the corner points of a roof line and others, like the one in the house where I live, are intricate, and empty into a concrete vault below the house designed to hold thousands of gallons.

Normally, during the ‘rainy season’ the cisterns fill and we draw on them throughout the drier winters, when the skies reign crystal clear blue with nary a cloud in sight. This year, like so many places around the globe, we are experiencing a drought. Not that anyone is complaining that the large storms (hurricanes) have all been ‘fish storms’ (they are doing their climatic job of cooling things off, while not coming in contact with land masses), but a few days of rain would be appreciated. The cisterns are dropping and many have already run dry. Of course you can buy water, but it comes at a price that most cannot afford

I’ve heard it said that weather, especially dramatic weather is the great equalizer. No matter how rich you are you cannot change what God has decreed. Of course, the rich can purchase their water, but they cannot bring the rains. The rest of us, wait and pray. We wait on God’s mercy learning patience and humility at the Master’s plan. As we pray we develop a more profound relationship with our Father in Heaven. As our prayers are answered we learn to look toward the ‘living water’ of his mercy, love and grace. It’s amazing what a little humility can do for you.

To God our insecurities are like those weights we lift to build our muscles. They truly do serve the purpose to make us stronger, better and ultimately draw us closer to Him. I have found the best way to become more secure is not necessarily to plow through my insecurities but to lay them down before my Lord and Savior, Jesus  Christ and let him shine his light on the path I should take to leave them fully behind.

Probably not what you might have expected from me today, but as I find myself on a journey that I know not where it will lead, I find the only way through this maze of life is to trust the light that shines forth from Christ. For each of you today who might read this, I pray that you will find God’s love and peace and the ability to lay down your insecurities before his son. If it is that you don’t believe that God does live, no matter, He loves you anyway and always.

To learn more about IWSG, or to read other interesting posts click on the badge over there in the side bar.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


As I rolled over in me king sized bunk earl-I in this morning and gazed out over me bounteously beautiful turquoise Sea of the Caribe, I began to wonder, why am I thinking in these strange language patterns. I reached for me trusty iPhone in search of some answers.

While spying the blogs of some of me favorite buccaneers I dropped anchor for awhile at me good mate Donnas’ harbor  Weaving a Tale or Two to find, to my great pleasure, I might add, that I did not suffer some strange brain and speech anomaly whilst I did sleep, but that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It is actually the 10th Annual Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Arrgh! Me Hardies, you heard that correctly. Today is your one chance all year to talk like a pirate and be totally approved by his high holiness of the written comedy Mr. Dave Barry. TLAPD is not the brainchild of Mr. Barry, but its authors did contact him and he endorsed it heartily. As in ‘Shiver me timbers…what a great notion.’

Seeing that I live on an island in the Caribbean and I can almost see Captain Morgan’s ship makin’ the point at Buck Island, it’s time to man the nine pounders and make like a pirate, at least in the lingo. To find out all you need to know and watch an authentic pirate video click HERE

On my island we like any excuse for a holiday and this is as good as any. So, go on out into the world today and amaze your colleagues, friends and family and Talk like a Pirate to your heart’s content, or you may be ‘keel hauled’ for the not tryin.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest

Today is Alex Cavanaugh's 'Genre Favorites Blogest. In a more perfect world or at least with a more perfect blogger you would be able to click on that badge and get right to the source and all the details of this particular blogfest. But, what you have here is me, so, to get the 'down and dirty' and see the linky list for other participants click HERE

If you come to this space often, you know that I have been posting less than regularly (there's a under statement). I signed up for this blogfest thinking it would help me get back into the swing of things now I'm simply thinking; 'what was I thinking?'

Anyway... the point here is for the participants , that's me, to list our favorites in three different genres,



A guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories

Of course, this morning, my mind is a blank.


I have to go with 'Love Stories'. My favorite movie of all time is 'Life is Beautiful'. I see this movie as the most incredible love story on several different levels. The main character feels and expresses romantic love most beautifully (as maybe, only an Italian could) and he goes a long way in demonstrating his love for his family. Probably most important is the fact that he loves life. Often in great love stories we see the Protagonist as willing to die for those that he loves, but Guido is willing to live for them and this he does with every fiber of his being.


Gospel Music. It has to be Gospel Music. There are a lot of individual favorites, but here's a medley that I found that should give you a good example of what I'm talkin' 'bout. I don't care what you believe, or what type of music you enjoy, you have got to feel something when you listen to this stuff. At the end when those women sing 'every knees shall bow and every tongue confess', holy carp, I'm about brought to my knees.


This is the hardest category for me, I read a lot and a lot of everything. I have to admit it's not all good, it's not all uplifting or thought provoking, but I do like to read and I don't watch TV. I guess I'm gonna cheat and do what another blogger did (YES, I checked out a few of the posts before I wrote mine, not surprised are you?) and list my lest favorite genre to read. That would probably be horror or anything gory. For awhile I was reading a lot of Civil War non-fiction and had to give it up due to the gore. Seems just about anything historical is filled with it. Kinda makes you wonder who we human beings really are becoming. 


Why is this category so easy. It has got to be Rock Music. Not really hard rock, although sometimes that's OK, not really Pop Music, but that's alright too, but 'old school rock and roll', not exactly Elvis, but let's at least get back to the seventies. If you come around here much at all, you have got to know I love 'Van the Man Morrison'. Oh and I love the 'old' Surf Music - think Beach Boys and I was a die-hard Jan and Dean fan in my youth. (Just dated myself again didn't I - Oh, what the heck). Hey I even like me a little country.

Now take one of them rock and roll or country artists and give him a gospel tune to sing and I'm done for. I'll leave you with a song that has some great personal meaning to me.

Now get back up to the top and click on that Linky List to see what other bloggers have to say. Oh, and Thank You Alex for moving me a little bit further out of my shell today.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Just in case anybody is wondering, the answer is yes, I'm still crazy. Today you can check that out over at Arlee Bird's blog 'A Faraway View', click on the little stars *****

Mr Bird is crazy kind enough to turn his space over to me today. Go ahead, go on over and check it out. No need to linger around here. Leave your comments over there too, that way I can hide the evidence later of just how completely nuts talented I am.

One thing for certain Arlee and I are both FarAway!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insecure Writers Support Group


Is it that time already? Where did the summer go? Of course, I live in the land of perpetual summer, but that’s beside the point. 

Anyway…onto today’s topic; Am I insecure? You bet. As a matter of fact I’m so insecure that there isn’t much I can say to you as either encouragement or venting my troubles.

INSTEAD, I would like to direct you to two incredible posts that I read earlier this week. Neither is really about insecurities, but they sure did help me sort some things out.

 FIRST, head on over to Jay Noel's space. Just click here
Are you at all surprised that I was touched by a post titled 'Be Water, My Friend'.

NEXT, go on over to Lori Freeland's blog by clicking here This post 'Parking Lot Prayer' is a little different than Jay's and yet it touched me and my insecurities deeply.

I apologize if this is taking the easy way out this month, but I sincerely thank Jay and Lori for the support and inspiration. While you there, tell 'em I sent you and leave a little note.

I might not know where the commas go, but I do know what touches my heart. 

For more inspiration and help dealing with insecurities go on over to the right and click on that little ole button and check out some of the other Insecure Writers. OR, click below and have a big helping of Van the Man.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012



Not a breath of air
Nor a ripple on the sea
Touch me if you dare
Help me, to not be me

Change is mandatory for survival
And change each of us must
See our life as a great revival
Learn lessons of love and trust

Give your heart away to another
Though trample it they may
Call them friend, lover, and brother
You learn to live another day

With no joy left in the living
Only the darkness of endless night
Let your heart keep on giving
Least your mind give up the fight

Keep on fighting to be stronger
Let no man take your rightful place
The night can get no longer
Because you can almost see God’s face

As the dawn breaks new and bright
New life shines with each of the sun’s rays
The winner is not always right
But the lover will see no more days

And the love still exists around you
Anger cannot make it dim
Though my heart may be cleave in two
In the end it is God who will win

My poetry may stink, but my heart is true.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


BLOGGING as in why do we do it, what purpose does it serve and is there a point.

Don’t grab your pitchforks yet, but hear me out. I’ve been having a hard time with my blog space these past few months. I can’t seem to focus. I have started to questions myself. Things like; Hey FAE, why do you blog anyway. I’m not looking for my fifteen minutes of fame, not really trying to impress anybody or look cool, Ha, ha, ha. I don’t really have helpful tips to offer, unless maybe I’m setting an example of how NOT to do some things.

AND, what purpose does it serve. Well, I’m not sure. I have met some really nice people. When they comment on my space, I’m reminded to go to theirs and generally I learn something new, or I’m uplifted, or I just escape into their funny stories, lives, or whatever for a few minutes. Some of you have become closer than others and helped me to learn lessons that I needed. But, often it seems so one sided. I really don’t feel as though I’m giving much back.

THEN, what is the point. Often I feel that the time I spend blogging and reading and commenting on the blogs of others, could be better spent writing, editing and in general trying to get something published. The truth of the matter is, that I probably would not spend the time that way, but would be ‘goofing off’ somewhere else, and I wouldn’t be learning the things you guys are teaching or be entertained near as well.

I started blogging because I thought I needed to build a platform (although I’m not exactly sure what that means) for my writing. Everyone says that in a Query Letter you should send prospective agents and editors to your blog. It’s helpful for them to get to know you and see some of your ‘other’ writing. In actuality, I think my blog might send prospective agents and editors screaming into the night, as opposed to encourage them to request my manuscripts. My blog feels more like therapy most of the time. I really don’t want to give it up; I’m just not sure exactly how to continue.

I have noticed during the months of July and August, (August in particular) several other bloggers, seeming to have some of the same questions and difficulty that I’m expressing here. So, who has the answer? To blog or not to blog? What is the question? Are you able to find the balance between working on your ‘creative - as in hoping to have published – writing’ and blogging? How do you all stay interesting and creative in this format? Any and all answers (even and especially the humorous) are appreciated.