Book Blog Tours Are Us! (+ new year writing exercise)

Hey . . . stuff! Quick post to announce my official Narine of Noe blog tour kicks off this week and will run through February. I will post more dates/locations as they are announced. Please check out the blogs of these lovely book tour hosts. All of them are writers themselves who work hard and deserve recognition. During the tour there will be multiple chances to win prizes (copies of Book Four or the Omnibus, other books and gift certificates. yay.). Enter to win a copy of Narine of Noe on GoodReads (deadline Jan 10). Enter to win various books by posting reviews (deadline Jan 31). 2016 Blog Tour Stops Thursday, Jan 7 Guest post (and giveaway) on Smack Dab in the Middle Tuesday, Jan 12 Guest post on Roger Eschbacher Books Monday, Jan 18 Interview (and giveaway)...

Shame On You**

A few months ago I read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and at one point she explains the difference between “shame” and “guilt.”  We feel guilt when we do something “bad,” which one can apologize for and move on. But we feel shame when we think we are bad. When we feel that as people we are not worthy, not enough. Brown says the shame armour begins to go on around the middle grades when we begin being shamed by others for who we are. We internalize it to mean: I shouldn’t be this way, if I am, I’m not enough. I’m too fat, too skinny, not cool enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough. The armour is new and awkward at first. As we grow into it, we get better at hiding. But even at 40, 50, 60 years old, our...

Trusting the Process

Wow. Wow. Wow. I haven’t posted in over four months. That’s the longest break I’ve taken since I started blogging ten years ago. And it’s not for lack of wanting to, it’s because life happened (moving, working, family stuff, etc) and I was in the middle of a crisis of faith with Faerie Tales from the White Forest Book Four. Or really, I should say a crisis of trust. Faith and trust are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Faith is known as the “substance of hope.”  It’s very nature is that it requires no evidence, one just believes. Trust is based largely on evidence from previous knowledge/experience. For example, you might trust someone because they’ve never given you a reason to do...

Anger as a Tool for Action

The other day I was listening to a campaign speech by Bernie Sanders. The one thing that struck me was the authenticity of his anger. Most politicians, at least to me, sound like politicians expressing anger in a glossed-over sound-bite kind of way. But with Sanders, I actually believed his anger. I could feel it, the way it would catch in his throat. It was the kind of anger that drives people to action. It reminded me of a quote from Rick Jarow (of the truly fantastic “Ultimate Anti-Career Guide”) who said that sometimes people don’t make changes in their own lives until they get angry enough.   The other day I went on a rant on Facebook. I was feeling angry. In the past, I’ve not been much of a ranter. I’ve been more of a...

The Art of Uplift (aka – Be a Star Among Stars)

up*lift verb 1. to lift up; raise; elevate. 2. to improve socially, morally, or the like. 3. to exalt emotionally or spiritually. 4. to become uplifted. noun 5. an act of raising; elevation. 6. the process or work of improving, as socially, intellectually, or morally. 7. emotional or spiritual exaltation. For the past few months I’ve been thinking about the ideas of UP and DOWN in terms of language, emotion, and physicality. When we are UP we are high, exalted (“closer to the heavens”), floating, light, standing tall, open. We love looking up – – to the sky, birds, clouds, sun, moon, future. When feeling liberated, joyous, elated we throw our arms up. We want to “reach for the stars” not “dig ourselves”...

The Fears That Bind Us (aka You’re Gonna Die)

A wise friend of mine once observed: Every action we take or don’t take is driven by one of two things: Fear or Love. I’ve been sifting through this idea for a few years now, wondering if this were actually true (being the “inward bound” workshop/personal development/human potential geek-junkie that I am – and yes, I am the kind of person satirized on shows like Portlandia). But I’ve discovered that whenever I break my actions or inactions down to the basic essence, my wise friend is right. I just have to be brave enough to tell the truth about it once in a while, especially when it comes to the fear end of things. I’m quite good at justifying my fears. I also think that there are levels of fear, and I can always tell when I get to the fear behind the...