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Showing posts from May, 2014

Stephanie's Studio: Nominated for the Liebster Award

The word “liebster” is of German origins and it has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, sweetheart and boyfriend , being among them. Some describe this award as a daisy chain. You get nominated for the award and if you choose to accept, you get to nominate additional bloggers for the award. You answer their questions, the new bloggers nominated answer yours, and so the chain of happiness continues to grow and expand. I am so happy to announce that my blog has been nominated by two people for this wonderful award. The bloggers who nominated me are Chrys Fey  and Fil Campbell . A heartfelt thanks to both! So, what is this all about? You may be wondering what the Liebster Award is right about now. Here is a description: The Liebster Award Official Rules  If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which

Decisions, Decisions

For a while now, I have been blogging about voice. I recently shared a post here, called  Speaking Your Truth . During the A to Z blogger's challenge I also wrote a post called  Saying No to Being a Yes Woman . As a writer, I play around with POV (point of view) in my novels. There are many POV's in "No Barren Life"  I am currently working with switching from the protagonist's voice to the antagonist's perspective in the novel about sirens and a blues singer called "Out of the Blue." Oh how I am struggling with that one. To go from a light, well meaning character to a very dark evil one, reflecting their intentions and voices with equal stature is very challenging. More on that as it develops. Voice and making decisions plays a huge role in my daily life, as it does for just about everyone. In art, writing and daily life, I have a tendency to be very open. Sometimes I over reach set goals, in my desire for openness and experimentation. Openness inc

Sharing "No Barren Life"

Today, for the first time on this blog, I am sharing an excerpt from my novel, for which I am trying to gain support  through Pubslush , called "No Barren Life." I hope you enjoy this piece, as it was one of my favorites to write. I also hope that you will become a supporter of my journey to publication. Daisy, the Anangu woman we were sent to see by the River Bank, is the keeper of her people’s women’s business and secrets.  She is about five foot four inches and two hundred pounds.  Daisy wears a matronly bra that must have once been white, and an A-lined, faded green cotton skirt that grazes her ashy knees. Not alone, she is accompanied by a small group of women dressed in a similar way. Here come the women, all of them use either walking or dancing sticks.  I see that some hold what I’ve been told is called a coolamon , a common sight, which I learned serves as a special wooden carrying dish to carry bush tucker, seeds and bush medicines, as well as babies

Healing, Grounding and Centering

A while ago, I was carrying laundry, in a rush to the basement at about 6 a.m. and missed the second to the bottom step. You can probably imagine what happened next. I came tumbling down, dispersing dirty clothing everywhere. I landed on the top of my foot rather than the sole. Needless to say, I dislocated the ankle and fractured it in two places. I remember Googling 'fractured ankle', trying to learn how long it would take to heal. The amount of weeks I saw that it would take was awe-inspiring. During that time I spent time in a wheel chair, on crutches, in a motorized cart while shopping and in a boot. I also had surgery, which was scary. For a former dancer and someone who loves yoga, this was a humbling experience. As you know from reading this blog, I have been going to restorative yoga for healing my body and getting more in touch with it. One class I go to is strictly restorative in the best sense of the word. The other one calls itself restorative but include

Separate but Equal

So, you might have read my previous post about visiting Michigan. Most of it was lovely, just as I blogged. Unfortunately, on Mother's Day there was a very dark comment made towards my family at a restaurant, while celebrating that holiday. We were having a lovely breakfast. The restaurant features a lot of organic and vegetarian foods, which I love. We had received our food and everyone was busy eating when I heard something so troubling--such a throw back to olden times that I couldn't quite believe my ears. An older white man was saying something I couldn't quite make out. He couldn't have said what I thought he said, I thought. Then he stood up, ready to leave the restaurant in a huff, and repeated what I thought I might have heard. "That's why things should remain separate but equal," he proclaimed, looking directly at me. My family is interracial. Apparently either he didn't like that or he thought my son and I should not be allowed to ea

Unplugging and Getting in the Flow

This weekend I had a wonderful time in nature and I got my mojo back. I had been feeling stuck with my new novel. Switching point-of-view from the protagonist's voice featured in Section I. to the antagonist's voice of Section II. proved to be more of a challenge that I had planned. The key to getting this writer's mojo back and into the flow of writing was being submerged in nature. I went to Michigan, to a relatively isolated location with part of my family. There isn't an awful lot to do there because it is still out of season and too cold for out and out swimming in Lake Michigan. I found that the best thing to do was simply rest and relax, listening to the sounds of nature. I also did a lot of bird watching and what an array of birds live there. I saw some spectacular migrant birds and some of the types I don't see in my yard--actually many types I don't see here. We are mostly visited by sparrows, cardinals and robins with the occasional blue jay, starli

Publishing My Debut Novel

After careful thought and a lot of deliberation, as well as conversation here in this blog space, I have decided to seek crowdfunding to publish my debut novel, "No Barren Life." As you know, it has had a difficult path to publication, as it is not an easy book to read. With an experimental style, it is a book that tackles head on, troubling topics such as child sexual, emotional and physical abuse. These are tough topics for anyone to face but they are also all too real. The book isn't a downer though--far from it. Yolanda the main character, is gifted magically and assisted by an array of characters equally gifted, and able to traverse different worlds to change her troubling situation. These characters include her tree whispering and Hoodoo practicing Grandfather, her babalayo of Santeria Uncle, and a group of powerful women who are also Aboriginal healers that she meets in Australia. Ultimately this is a coming of age story about self-determination and transforma

Tears from the Heavens

Like most of you, I've been pinning away for spring. I've posted about it several times, wondering where it was and when would it arrive. Yesterday, it was the warmest day we've had this year. It was a balmy and humid 91 degrees. It takes the body, mind and spirit time to adjust to such drastic changes. The day before that I was wearing a sweater and wrapped in a blanket. This morning when I went outside there was evidence it had rained overnight and it felt chillier but okay, considering the harsh winter that we'd just mustered through. Then on my way home from dropping my son off at school it started pouring. Traffic crawled. My morning that had started so promising, on the wings of yesterday, had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. We talk about the weather so much because it is our common experience as humans. It is what makes up much of our outdoor environment and yes, it does color our mood. In film and sometimes in books as well, when it rains or pou

The Crooked Path to Transformation

It has been a winding, crooked path to meet my goals for weight loss. As many of you who have been following this blog know, losing weight was one of my New Years Resolutions. I have much to be proud of. I have stayed on that path without deviating even once since taking on this challenge in January. My body, however, has different ideas. Those of you on this journey with me know all too well, the body will drop its weight in chunks, then hold off, sometimes for weeks until it stabilizes before it will drop any more. This happens though I consistently eat the same way. Looking at this photograph of the pathway, it is easy to engage in the notion of journey. Yes, you can get to that destination promised in the picture but there is much to enjoy along the way to getting there. I have reached a major milestone. I am at the 30 pound mark, which means I am 1/3 of the way to meeting my goal. I get frustrated when I reach plateaus, such as where I am right now. Since my body is meanderi

Body Wisdom: Making Yourself Comfortable

Last night I had trouble sleeping. I was once again up during the late middle of the night. Something different happened for me this time though. My mind wondered off to yoga class--restorative yoga to be specific.  Monday's restorative was very physical. It was more focused on the body than I am accustomed to. At first I didn't think I liked this different approach but then gradually it grew on me. Our instructor noticed the low energy in our group. Sometimes you just go to restorative yoga to relax and kick back. That is what most of us seemed to be doing. To remain in that state may well have caused our day to be static, low energy and to lack flow. Slowly but surely our teacher set about finding ways to energize us. We got our blood flowing through flowing postures and moving meditations. I especially enjoyed eagle pose. It was a new challenge. Since I had broken my ankle I don't think I had stood on just that one repaired foot in ages. I felt accomplished.

Happy Beltane Everyone!

Still a bit tired from the A to Z challenge. Hope you enjoyed my month of alphabetical inspirational posts. I certainly enjoyed taking on a new challenge, as well as, all the new activity from various challenge bloggers and your thoughtful comments. I am grateful to all that joined this site and followed me on Google+. I hope you will stop in often. Today is a wonderful holiday for many of us. May 1st is Beltane. I thought today it would be nice to have you revisit my post from last year that shares information about this holiday. It is called:  Beltane Blessings . Enjoy, many blessings, and Happy Beltane!