Showing posts from 2012

A New Year: A Reset Button?

Another new year is upon us. Ready for us whether we're ready for it or not. I hear people say they're glad 2012 is almost over almost as if closing the door on 2012 will magically erase all the challenges they faced. Well, it's a nice thought, but really whatever plagued you in 2012 will still be there in 2013.

The only way challenges disappear is when we face them, embrace them, and finally conquer them. I wish I could close my eyes tomorrow night and wake up to discover all my problems were solved. Well, actually, that's a lie. I have fleeting moments when I feel that way, but what would I learn if that happened?

The challenges in our lives are opportunities to grow into our best selves, to find our paths in life, to rise up and touch others with our journeys. So, while my 2012 was filled with challenges and had some very rocky and unsettling moments, I learned a lot and I grew a lot. Do I wish these things hadn't happened? Sometimes, because I think mistakes we…

Happy Holidays


Finding Strength in Vulnerability

Last night I listened to Brene Brown on TEDTalks. She discussed vulnerability. I listened as she explained several things I discovered in 2010 when I did an experiment in making myself more vulnerable. Her discoveries about herself so mirrored what I discovered about myself, it scared me. After it was over, I fought back the tear that slid down my cheek.

I read a blog post I wrote in early 2011 about my experiment in being more vulnerable, Vulnerability, I Once Considered You a Curse Word this morning, and realized three things. 1) I haven't come quite as far as I'd planned in the past few years, 2) I sure do like me more today than I did when I started my experiment, and 3) I find much more strength than weakness in allowing myself to be vulnerable.

I still struggle with allowing myself to be vulnerable. I fall back into old patterns of protecting myself and lose sight of the benefits of opening my truth to other people. I still have moments of intense fear that people will u…

Embracing Challenges

I decided to participate in a 30-day Poem-a-Day challenge sponsored by Writer's Digest during the month of November because I was in a strange place and needed the creative structure to re-establish my writing routine which suffered greatly after I injured my knee in August requiring surgery in September. Between recovery time, the pain medication I hated taking, the pain when I didn't take the medication, and then hours of physical therapy each day, I just couldn't get my creativity focused long enough to write much.

So, when my friend, Ariel, posted the first PAD challenge, I decided to take the challenge. If all I accomplished was a single poem for thirty days, at least it would be something written every day for thirty days.

When I say I normally don't participate in these challenges, I mean I hate to be told what to write or what to write about or when to write. For those reasons, I tend to shy away from challenges like this PAD challenge and the famous NaNoWriMo …

Compatibility: A Foundation for Relationships

Recently, I stumbled across a video about how to "unlock your man's heart" and how to "make him love you". For some reason I can't explain, even to myself, I listened to it. As I listened I became pretty sure I'd heard it before. I'm not going to link to it because frankly I think it's a waste of time.

Here's the important thing. Why in the hell do we women run around trying to figure out how to "keep him", "melt his heart", "make him love us" or whatever the hell the latest expert tells us we should be doing to be loved? Men don't run around trying to figure out how to keep us, melt our hearts, make us love them, etc. Seriously, I'm so tired of society telling us we have to unlock his heart and make him see how amazing we are. If he can't see it, perhaps he doesn't deserve us.

Now there's an idea. Let's make him prove he deserves us. Now, I know that's not really fair either. But, in…

Objectification: The Sum of My Parts

Objectification of women (and men, but for the purposes of this post, I'm going to focus on women.) can be subtle or blatant. We often excuse or dismiss it. On the flip side, we sometimes grow overly indignant about it and create a situation where we can't deal with its effects because we get too caught up fighting about the nuances of what is and what isn't objectification. I recently became embroiled in such a discussion when the other party in the conversation took great offense when I pointed out how his behavior fit the definition of objectification. After a few moments looking at the definition of objectification he agreed that the behavior in question fit the definition of objectification but still took great offense at the very idea that he would objectify women.

Let's be clear about this. Everyone objectifies other people at some point in time. We're human. It happens. The problem is when objectification is a way of life because it allows us to put one gro…

Self-Destruction Masquerades as Strength...

Sometimes self-destructive behavior masquerades as strength.

I've always considered myself strong and independent though recently life forced me to rethink my personal definitions of both strength and independence. My focus turned to how sometimes we see self-destructive behavior as strength. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that often other people's view of me as a strong woman came during times when I was at my most self-destructive. Lately, I've spent some time trying to reconcile inner strength with my tendency toward self-destructive behavior when I'm faced with things I'd rather avoid acknowledging let alone resolving.

We have a tendency to look at women who appear to make all their own decisions as strong regardless of how bad those decisions are. Numbing one's pain and drowning out the past with sex, drugs, alcohol, or other vices are not traits of a strong woman. Erecting a barrier around one's emotions to keep from feeling vulnerab…

Making Friends: Breast Health Awareness

Last year I blogged about my feelings that we should have Breast Health Awareness Month rather than Breast Cancer Awareness month in the post, Friends, Enemies, Breasts. This year, I'm going simpler. I've decided to share a poem, Friends, Enemies, Breasts, I wrote in December 2010. The poem is included in my book of poetry, Reflections in Silhouette: Poems.

Friends, Enemies, Breasts
As a young girl I eagerly anticipated your arrival I watched for you daily You would show the world my maturity You took your time arriving I exercised to encourage you I flexed to make you noticeable I wore a training bra on my flat chest to coach your growth I imagined how you’d look
As a teenager You embarrassed me You just wouldn’t stick out enough You refused to enlarge You brought on teasing nicknames Baby Boobs And I hated you for it I willed you to grow I begged you to grow You stubbornly refused I found ways to disguise you I wore shirts and sweaters a size too large I wore short skirts to draw attention away fr…

Free - Kindle book - October 4-5, 2012

Free - October 4-5, 2012 - Kindle book - Memory in Silhouette: Poems. Enjoy!

Every moment is a memory and every memory is a moment. Memories are moments that build on one another to create the foundation of who we are at any given point in life. Memories - good, bad, and neutral - meld within our minds and hearts housing love, hate, pleasure, fear, anger, and happiness. With each memory we make, we become more compassionate, and therefore more connected to the world around us. Our strengths and weaknesses live in our memories creating the complexity and simplicity that encompasses the full human experience. Come along to discover how moments blossom into growth or become merely a memory in silhouette…

Yoga, Life, Writing: Lessons from a Fall

Recently, I fell while practicing yoga and tore the meniscus in my right knee. For some reason, people tend to struggle to hold back a laugh when I say I fell while practicing yoga. I'm not sure why. If you've ever done yoga you know falling isn't all that uncommon.

Think about it. You stand on one leg. You balance on your hands. You step forward and back while putting weight on the leg not in motion. You stretch your body into new positions, some of which you may have never been in in your life - or at least in the part of your life you remember. Yes, there are moves in yoga that are very stable, but there are also poses that push the body's limits.

Yoga is a metaphor for life. We balance our needs with our wants. We shift our weight in one direction or another as we grow into our full potential. We try new positions that sometimes force us to push our limits even while we balance that with the familiar.

Yoga is also a metaphor for writing. When I write, I seek to bal…

Special Offer - Free Kindle Book - September 27-28, 2012

Free - September 27-28, 2012 - Kindle edition - Reflections in Silhouette: Poems for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

Love or Hate: We Choose One or the Other with Every Action

As I watch the hatred spewing around me these days, I find myself struggling to love those who are being so hateful. Many would say I shouldn't bother. Doesn't hate deserve hate? Perhaps, but, seriously, what good does that accomplish?

Here's the thing. If I hate the haters, don't I become as bad as them? If I can find a way to love those who deserve my hatred, perhaps I can be one small disruption in the machine of hatred. If I can cause even one person to question the hate he or she is directing into the world, then not letting myself fall into the habit of hating is worth it.

Let's be clear about this. Nothing good ever comes from hate. It can't. Hatred is too negative to result in anything good. It isn't until we act from a place of love that we can begin to heal hurt, betrayal, or hate itself.

This bring to mind Blue October's song "Hate Me" in which the band sings "Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you." And in…

Special Offer - Free Kindle Book - September 20-21, 2012

Free Kindle edition of Love in Silhouette on September 20-21, 2012 for your reading pleasure! Enjoy

It Matters to Me, It Matters, I Matter

Lately, the refrain in my head has been "If it matters to you, it matters." spoken by Pheobe to Jenny Gordon in the first episode of season two of Charmed. Yes, I'm a Charmed fan. Close your mouth. It's not that big of a surprise...

The more I tried to fight this thought, "If it matters to you, it matters." the louder it got... Finally, I had to ask myself why I was trying to convince myself that a statement about the importance of what matters to me doesn't matter. Suddenly, I realized what it was.

So often when I feel hurt, sad, disappointed, concerned, or frustrated, I tell myself it doesn't matter. I ask myself who will care in a hundred years. I convince myself that just because it matters to me doesn't make it important. Why the hell not?  I would never tell another person his or her concerns, needs, or pain were unimportant even if their significance didn't resonate with me. I just wouldn't do that. Yet, I've somehow, over the…

Special Offer - Free Kindle Book - September 13-14, 2012

The Kindle book of my novel, All She Ever Wanted, is free September 13 - 14, 2012.

When Victoria, who is white, meets Daryn, who is African American, she has no idea the effect he and his family will have on her life. As she struggles for the success she’s certain will make her parents proud, Daryn’s family introduces her to a new definition of love, family, acceptance, and success. Victoria and Daryn struggle to keep their friendship intact as they are faced with the prejudices of family, friends, and lovers. The empty place in Victoria’s heart forces her to face all she’s sacrificed in her quest for success including friendship, love, family, and grief.

Download and enjoy!!

Oh, No, My Enthusiasm Waned? When Did That Happen? How Did I Miss It?

Sometimes we really don't know what we need until we receive it. Today I had a two hour conversation with an author friend. We talked about the book industry, our work, our personal lives, and the struggle it can be to accept new things.

As we talked I felt encouraged about the plans and goals I set a year ago. I hadn't even realized I'd lost some of my enthusiasm over the past few months, but I had. Life has brought some uncertainty my way, and I haven't been able to do some things I would like to do. Falling behind on the schedule I set for myself started to weigh on me even though the delays have mostly been caused by things beyond my control.
I haven't quit working on my projects or striving to meet my goals, but somewhere in the past few months I began to fall into old habits of allowing self-doubt and self-recriminations to sneak into my thoughts from time to time. I pushed them aside and kept plugging away, but they were there. And, those little negative mom…

Surviving Rape is Not a Crime

If you know five women, you know at least one who has been raped. Think about that for a minute. Go ahead. I'll wait...

Okay, are you back now? Ready?

She may never tell you. She may never show it publicly. She may seem like every other woman you know. Yet she may check the locks on her doors obsessively. She may flinch when a man steps toward her in what no one else would perceive as threatening. She may be hyper-vigilant about her surroundings. She may insist on more control over her personal space than seems necessary. She may capitulate way too easily. She may flinch when a co-worker, or even a friend, touches her arm or taps her shoulder. She may not laugh at that joke you find so incredibly funny - you know that one about bondage or rough sex. Or she may laugh at it a little too hard. She may seem like a prude. She may seem like a slut. She may be married. She may be single. She may seem hard to get to know. She may seem to reveal way too much. She may seem to tell you every…

Treat Yourself the Way You Want Others to Treat You

We all know the golden rule, right?  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Today, I was in Costco when I came upon a bouquet of red and yellow roses. I stood staring at those roses. The next thing I knew they were in my hand. Now, I don't remember actually picking them up, but I suddenly realized I was standing there with a goofy grin on my face and possibly a tear in my eye because a girl who works there asked me if I needed help. I smiled, blinked back the tear, and said, "No, just made me remember a moment in time." She smiled knowingly and murmured something like "Enjoy." and left me to a private moment.

I wished, in that moment, that someone would buy me flowers - to be more precise the roses I held. I turned to put the roses back on the rack, but instead put them in my cart. I stood there staring into the cart and started trying to talk myself out of buying them. Cut flowers die.... Yeah, but they are beautiful. It's money I sh…

Fighting My Muse... Again. Will I Ever Learn?

Last year I wrote a post about fighting my muse. Apparently, I didn't learn my lesson. Yesterday I got up with a clear idea of what I wanted to write about. The title had already written itself. I was excited, so I typed the title in the little box - something I usually don't do until I'm at least halfway finished writing a post.
I started typing. Did I mention I was excited? Then I looked at the words on the screen. They had absolutely nothing to do with what I planned to write... Huh? Who took over my hands? My thoughts? My brain? So for the next couple of hours I fought with my muse about what to write.

There was a post I wanted to write. Then there was the post I was writing. How did happiness over connecting with the people in my life morph into a post about introverts versus extroverts? Really? Well, it was something I'd wanted to explore for a while, but it wasn't the plan for that post.

I walked away from the post, answered some messages, did a few chores, …

Apparently, I Love People, Who Knew?

When I tell people I'm a writer, they almost always, at some point, in our first conversation make a reference of some kind that I must be an introvert. I almost always take offense but smile politely and respond with something to the effect that writing tends to be solitary work but that I enjoy people. I've struggled with this stereotype for a long time. Does the fact that I spend long hours alone with the voices in my head make me an introvert? I really don't think so. The fact that I listen to them, talk to them, and write down what they say may call my sanity into question, but it doesn't make me an introvert.

I've never considered myself either an introvert or an extrovert. I've even argued the point with friends. I love a good party. I love to be around people. I love to engage with other people in stimulating debates and interesting conversation. Sometimes I love sitting in a crowd and absorbing the energy around me. I love hearing people's stories …