Christmas Giveaway for Etsy shop


My Wish List

How many of you like making lists, as I do?  I have lists of all kinds, in all places–online, in journals, notebooks, everywhere.  So, since my birthday is coming up in about a week, I was thinking I would share my wish list.  Now this is not intended for anyone (of those that know me personally) to buy anything for me.  Just thought it would be fun to share some of the things that are on my wishlist.  I’ll keep the list relatively short at 15 items. Some of you may notice, so I may as well go ahead & say it:  yes, most of the things on this list are writerly  or bookish things, excepting the washi tape, bullet journal & cat stuff. Obviously I’m a writer, and a lover of cats and crafting as well!

Now, if any of you have wish lists you’d like to share, feel free to share them in the comments.  I’d love to see what’s on yours!  And if you have any comments on the items on my list, share that in the comments as well.  Thanks for reading!

And don’t forget, if you haven’t already entered my Etsy giveaway, you have 4 days left to enter.  Just go to this link, and do the entry methods listed, and it should open up more methods for you so you can get in as many entries as possible!  You can win $25 to spend in my Etsy shop.

Now, on to the list:

  1.  Penguin Classics Mad Libs
  2. Cute Kitty Ring!
  3. Bullet Journal Template Stencils
  4. How Cool is this washi tape–
  5. Literary Listography
  6. Bodleian High Jinks Pencil Case (How cute is this!)
  7. My Writing Life–Writing Prompts to Chart Your Life as a Writer
  8. Write a Note Sticky Notes (Another one from the Literary Gift Company, but they have such awesome stuff for writers & book lovers)
  9. Writer’s Necklace–I’m Just Taking Notes
  10. Frostbeard Soy Candle in Bookstore Scent
  11. Cat File Folders
  12. The Writer’s Coloring Book
  13. Drawn From New England:  Tasha Tudor, A Portrait in Words and Pictures
  14. Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat (I love Henri!  Have you seen his videos on YouTube?)
  15. Writer’s Block:  Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre)

Short short story assignment

Hello.  It has been a while since I posted.  I had lots of “stuff” going on and really just got out of it for a bit.  I know I don’t have many followers at the moment anyway, but I hope to start blogging regularly now.  And what I thought I would do some of the time is to share some of my writing.

It might be flash fiction, like what I’m about to share, poetry, writing exercises I do, and so on.  What I’m sharing today is from a writing course I’m taking at the moment through Nanowrimo.  It is on Coursera.  The assignment was to write a short story with no more than 600 words.  It was to have movement, a beginning, middle, and end, and use nouns and verbs as the building blocks.  The assignment after that was to cut the story in half.  I didn’t exactly do that because mine wasn’t anywhere near 600 words to begin with. But I did edit it in some of the ways suggested, such as cutting out modifiers, extraneous words, and so on.  I’m happy with how it turned out, and I hope you like it too.

Note:  For some reason it is not keeping my format with my tabs.  If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know.  Thanks.


Final draft of my short short story:

He stands at the grave, silent and still. Tentative. He doesn’t know I’m watching. I don’t make a sound.

Now he makes a movement. The same one he makes every time he comes here. He turns, as if to leave, then turns back. Places a single red rose on the tombstone. Straightens. Begins to speak, hesitates. “I…I miss you.” He’s relieved, I think. As if he’s been holding it in for an eternity.

I don’t hide when he turns. He doesn’t see me.

He comes every Tuesday, and he performs the same set of actions each time he visits. Next, he cries. Kneels. Or rather, crumples, and sobs. I am intruding on his grief, but I cannot look away. I am compelled to watch him. His pain is my punishment. I must watch. Besides, I have nowhere I have to be.

I want to go to him, comfort him. But I can’t.

After sobbing, he stands, brushes the dirt from his knees, and wipes his tears with the underside of his shirt sleeve. He always dresses the same. Pleated, black dress pants. Crisp, white button up shirt, tucked in, top button open, no tie. Black blazer, also open. Shined black loafers.

He speaks of his week, of his nine to five job and its tediousness. Of the paintings he’s working on in his spare time. His therapy. “Better than seeing a shrink,” he jokes.

I laugh, silently.

“Where shall we go tonight, my angel?” he asks next.

Hearing his pet name for his love makes me want to weep.

“My angel.”

I see it carved on the tombstone, beneath her name.

My name.

Tuesday was our date night. He still goes, alone. A restaurant, and either a movie or a walk in the park. My heart breaks because I cannot go with him. And because he keeps doing this. And mostly because I know he will eventually stop. And it will be the right thing. We will both be free. For now, I watch, and I listen. I cannot give him comfort.

Instead, I whisper his name. Whisper, “I love you.” Whisper, “Be free.”

What I’m currently…

Reading and Watching.  Thought I’d share.



1.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone–J.K. Rowling (This is a re-read, although it’s the first time to read this particular version–the British version & also Gryffindor special edition. 🙂 Was a gift from a friend!)

2.  King of Hearts: Agape–Toby Hibbs

OK, so this is my brother’s book that he wrote.  Finally getting around to reading it.  Yay.

3.  A Treasury of Victorian Murder Compendium–Rick Geary

This is a graphic novel, which is not something I read often, but this is really cool!

4.  A Poetry Handbook–Mary Oliver

5.  Influencing Hemingway–Nancy W. Sindelar

6.  The First Year:  Fibromyalgia–Claudia Craig Marek

7. A Praying Life:  Connecting with God in a Distracting World–Paul E. Miller


Watching (the current & most recent I’ve watched, in movies & tv): 

I’ll include my rating on these out of 5 stars.

1.  The Ring Two (2005)

3 stars

2.  Paranormal Activity:  The Ghost Dimension (2015)

3 1/2 stars

3.  Miss Potter (2006)

2nd viewing

4 stars

4.  Northanger Abbey (2007)

2nd viewing (love the guy playing the “romantic hero”, Henry Tilney

3 1/2 stars

5.  Underworld:  Blood Wars (2016)

Love this series, and this one was well done, but I don’t like it as much as I do the Resident Evil series (of which I gave 5 stars to the finale), so I’m only giving it

3 1/2 stars

6.  Mr. Holmes (2015)

Second viewing. Super cute movie!  Love the actors in it, too!

4 stars

7.  Sleepy Hollow (the series) 2014-

I’m only on Season 2, Episode 4 (watching on Hulu), so if you’ve watched past that, no spoilers, please!  LOVE this series!

8.  Ripper Street (series–watching on Netflix)

One of my top favorite shows ever.  Am currently up to Season 3, episode 4, so again, no spoilers.

9.  Doc Martin (series, watching on Netflix) 2013-

10.  Intruders (series, on Hulu) 2014-

Looks like this one got cancelled.  I just have one episode left.  It’s a bit chaotic and crazy, but I’ve been enjoying it, so I’m bummed it doesn’t go on after the 8th episode, & I’m gonna be really bummed if I’m left in confusion after the 8th episode!

11.  Dark Shadows (the old series with Jonathan Frid–watching on Hulu)

Currently up to episode 258.



Inspirational & Motivational Quotes

I was searching this morning for some motivational quotes to put on a bullet journal page where I’m keeping track of my daily walking/steps.  Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I have moderate to severe fibromyalgia.  Everything I do or don’t do causes pain, but exercise does help.  It’s the doing it part that’s the killer.  And you have to start slow and work your way up to more, or you will set yourself up for failure.  It can be done, despite what I feel at times.  I just have to make myself do it, telling myself that it will be worth it.  And it will be.

I thought I would share some of the quotes that are helpful to me or that are some of my favorites.  You can plug them in for whatever goals you’ve set for yourself!  If you’d like to, share in the comments what goals you are working on that you need some extra motivation for!  Also, what motivates you?

It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.

Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.

Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely.

Love this one!

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –attributed to George Eliot

And this:

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

One day or day one. You decide.

Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My writing mentor once sent me a paper with that (above) quote on it.

“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves.” –Thomas Edison

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.  It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”–John Rockefeller

“Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master’s chaise.  Do what you love.  Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” –Thoreau

“The heights by great men reached and kept, Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night.”–Longfellow

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.” –Bruce Barton

Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can’t begin to explore your possibilities. –Tim Fargo




17 Secrets Only Book Lovers Are In On

Capital Nerd

Are books your therapy? Do you prioritize reading over sleep? If so, you’re a true book lover, and you can likely relate to these literary truths. Here are 17 things that only book lovers will understand.

1. A good book is worth losing sleep over.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

2. And they always get good when you need to be somewhere.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

3. In the eBooks vs. paper books debate, eBooks are winning.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

4. But nothing beats the feeling of holding a good old-fashioned book.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

5. That’s because books are cheaper than therapy.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

6. Books make you happy…

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

7. … and give you a good excuse to cry…

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

8. … and to explore your soul.

17 Things Book Lovers Know for Sure

9. Another thing books save money on: plane tickets.

[ File # csp8941819, License # 2337647 ] Licensed through in accordance with the End User License Agreement ( (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / Orson

10. Because books let you daydream from home.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

11. That makes them the perfect form of procrastination.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

12. And one of the few forms of procrastination that will make you smarter.

17 Things Book Lovers Knows for Sure

13. Books are also a…

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My Top 10 Picks for Writing & Creativity Websites

I know Writer’s Digest does a yearly list of the best websites for writers, but I wanted to share my personal picks.


I like Refdesk because there’s just SO much on it.  It’s great for research, inspiration, and just a bit of fun to breakup your daily routine.  From encyclopedias to weather resources to the thought of the day, today in history, to daily diversions and photos, lists, etc,… There’s so much to explore!  Just make sure you set yourself a time limit, or you’ll end up losing track of time and not getting anything done. 🙂

2. Pinterest

I know everyone knows about Pinterest, but I have to include it because it is one of my favorites.  There’s SO much information and inspiration on there!  You can find writing tips, writing prompts, images, ideas for plot, characters, and more.  And you can make storyboards for your novels or make boards for character inspiration or general writing inspiration.  These are a few I have on mine:

Character Inspiration–Girls & Women

Writing Inspiration

Writing Resources & Reference

And this is one of my boards with research for my current wip, The Dark Night is Near:  TDNIN–Asylums & Research

3.  Ink and Quills

This has some great articles on writing.

4. Writing World

This website is full of articles and tips

5. Writer Unboxed

Another one with lots of great articles & topics!

6. writetodone

More articles

7. Freelancewritinggigs

This is a good resource for writing gigs

8. Writing Worksheets

I absolutely love this!  It has lots of great writing worksheets you can print out and use with your works in progress and other writing related things.

9. K.M. Weiland

This woman has lots of great advice and tips for writing!

10. Holly Lisle

She is moving her website, but I highly recommend “moving” with her.  Her website has been one of my favorites for many years, with tons of great articles about writing.

Anything you would add to the list?  What are your favorites?  Share in the comments!

Writing a Novel when you have a chronic illness

So, some of you will know what fibromyalgia is, and some may have heard of it but don’t know anything about it, and some few might not have heard of it at all.  If you haven’t, you can google it and find tons of info.

This post is not about fibromyalgia, but it’s a part of it, as it affects every area of a person’s life, which in my case, includes writing.

I started working on a novel during Nanowrimo (another thing not everyone knows about–look it up if you’re curious) 2015, and I’m still working on it.  It’s a historical thriller, set in 1890’s NYC, and I am enthusiastic about it.  I’m not stuck, I’m not procrastinating.  It’s just, my fibro is not always enthusiastic about my writing projects.

Some days I have the energy to get some good work done, which for me is 5 pages or more, and other days, I can push myself and just get around 2 or 3 pages (handwritten–I always handwrite my projects before I type them up), and some days I can’t get any work at all done, as much as I want to.  And I really do want to.

I’m participating in “Camp Nanowrimo”, which is a spring and summer version of Nanowrimo (which occurs in April and in July each year), where you have “cabins” and can set any goal you want, not necessarily the standard 50,000 that “wins” the original Nanowrimo.  I set my goal for this month at 10,000 words, and so far I’ve got a little over 3,000 written.  So yes, I’m behind on my goal, but I don’t rule out being able to catch up.  And all I can do is try my best.  And hey, sometimes, after a good rest, I find I have the energy to get some writing done when before I wouldn’t have.

Are any of you writers out there participating in Camp Nano?  Any of you writers with chronic illness?  Would love for you to share your story/what projects you’re working on, and/or tips in the comments. And never give up, no matter how far behind you are or if you think you’ll never be able to finish your project.  You just have to keep trying, and eventually you’ll get there.  And so will I.

July 23rd Edit:  As you can see from the attacked photo, I’m still far behind on my 10,000 word goal for this month.  But I’m not giving up on catching up still.  And even if I don’t get 10,000, at least I’ll have gotten some writing done, and that is the point.  Even if you can’t write much, don’t give up.  You will get there, slowly but surely.

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