2022: The Good and The Bad

What now? The end of 2022 is upon us. In a few hours, it'll be 2023. How was your 2022? Funny how I haven't heard that question asked much lately. But then again, I've been housebound due to a foot injury for much of the last few months. As I've stated many times over, I don't really get the big deal about the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. Life goes on regardless of what number is on the calendar. That said, I think 2022 has been both good and bad, like most years. On the professional side, I'm rather happy with the progress I made on my poetry. I'm not as happy with the progress I made on the novel I'm working on. I'm happy with the cards and other products I've created on  Zazzle . I'm not as happy that both this blog and my cooking blog, Vegan Cooking with TLC , ended up rather neglected this year. I'm happy I posted more reviews on Reviews with TLC this year and figured out how I want to approach reviews going forwa

Bye-Bye Twitter

I have left another social media platform, Twitter. I had long considered leaving, but Elon Musk buying the company was the final feather for me.  I archived my data and deactivated my account. It didn't feel as liberating as when I deactivated my Facebook account, but that's probably because I hadn't really used Twitter in a long time. I'd also never used it quite like I did Facebook. I don't think I'll miss Twitter.  Based on what I've seen in the news thus far about how Twitter is now being managed, I'm quite certain I made the right decision. It seems the platform is headed in a direction that's antithetical to the way I live my life and the way I want to move about the world. Inviting hate into my life is unproductive. There comes a time when we have to decide if a company that is antithetical to our values deserves our patronage. I have decided neither Facebook nor Twitter deserve mine. The benefits I get from either one don't outweigh the

The End of Democracy - Poem

  The End of Democracy Will we see  The end of democracy coming The warning signs Blowing through our lives Like a cold winter breeze Drifting the snow of democracy Into drifts that drown us In a sea of snowflakes Dirty with the fighting It takes to hold on to  The freedoms we Believe to be protected As we go about our lives Ignoring as each one erodes Trusting those we put in power To put people over power Forgetting the addictive power Of power Convince ourselves We can change courses At our next reset The reset we believe is always there But what happens when The new beginning promised Erases all signs of our choice Will we fight for our representation Or will we turn on one another Allow tyranny to erase every clue To the past we hold up as sacred To the tradition we swear matters To the myth of what we never were Will we fight to become a Better democracy or give in to become Ruled by the fear that gives power To greed and leaves us all Wishing for a world We imagine but can’t qui

Ebooks Currently 50% off on Google Books

Eight of my ebooks are currently 50% off on Google Books. Current sale lasts through August 31, 2022. Buy books here Thank you!

The Mask of Longing

Often when we long for one thing that craving is simply a mask for the thing we really want.  When I crave Grandma Stamm’s macaroni and tomatoes, boiled potatoes, or chocolate cake, it’s not the taste I want.  No one can ever duplicate her cooking even if they follow her recipes to the letter.  Grandma made those with her special love, and that’s what I really crave.  Grandma died twenty years ago, and I still long to spend time with her. She often expressed her love through cooking.  Every Sunday she fixed favorite dishes for family and friends she expected to visit.  There were no invitations, no RSVPs, no formality.  People wandered in and out of her house Sunday afternoon and into the evening.  They fixed a plate of food from the bowls and platters of food kept warm in the oven, played a game of cards, and chatted about the week past and the coming week.  She’d lay her cards down to greet the newest visitors, and after much protest, return to the game all the while informing the ne

Threads of Strengths Woven Into Threads of Vulnerability

An analysis of my life has shown me time and again how interwoven strength and vulnerability are. I can see times in my life when I struggled to be strong and when I hid my vulnerability. I have often put up a tough exterior to hide my incredibly fragile vulnerability as well as my incredibly fragile inner strength. It seemed like my inner strength intimidated people and my vulnerability offered them ammunition against me, so I learned to hide both behind a tough exterior. I feared having my vulnerability used against me and my strength scaring people  away . Hiding both my strength and my vulnerability became yet another mask I wore to  protect myself from the people in my life. I didn't quite understand how to be both strong and vulnerable with others without putting myself at risk.  Other times I'd overshare with people as a test to see who would stay and who would leave. I get to choose who sees different aspects of my life. I didn't understand the idea that some people

What's In a Name?

A name identifies a character and provides clues to ethnicity, gender, and familial relationships among other thing. Paying attention to the names assigned characters might seem secondary; however, those names can affect how a reader views each character's personality and identifies with the character. A name creates a relationship between the reader and the character. When a character reacts to their name, it provides the reader insight into the character's personality. When a character receives a nickname from another character or gives a character a nickname, the reader gets an insight into the thought process and personality of both characters involved. A nickname or lack of one can also establish the amount of intimacy or lack thereof between two characters. While a character's name rarely directly affects the plot, it can often allow the reader to understand motivations, see into a person's past and personality, and to identify with the character. When writing my