FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Piece of Cake, Writing

IMO’s and Emotions, #FTSF

“Moments of clarity are so rare. I better document this.”

—Bjork, “Stonemilker”

Opinions and emotions can get us into trouble, but what would we do without them?

“In my opinion…”

And pretty soon emotions take over. We think of opinions as more planned and mapped out. I write and sometimes it comes across as more of an opinion piece, while the rest of the time my emotions have ushered me forward, no telling where it could lead.

When it comes to my emotions and my words, I can’t seem to fully control the outcomes. That’s why blogging can be a risky venture. I think I need to say something, get a feeling or thought out, and then I wonder if I should have kept it to myself.


We figure we’ll take the stairs down from the seventh floor, choosing a bit of exercise over convenience. We have the time to kill after all.

I grip the railing on the left side, so as to be able to follow all the many flights, down to the ground floor, even though all my life I’ve been taught to stay to the right, so as to avoid getting in people’s way.

This day in the hospital I learn to stay in the middle as I make my way down the halls of the ward. The walls are lined with objects. I risk bumping into a piece of expensive computer equipment or a cart full of medical supplies or a wheelchair waiting for a patient.

How to follow the path. Stay to the right? Go left? Or perhaps it’s better to remain in the middle, not too far to either side of opinion or letting emotions rule, of bumping into people and their opinions and emotions?

Well, now I am walking at as brisk a pace as I can manage, without the possible threat of getting too fast for my own good and stumbling over my feet or a step as I make my way down.

I hear the familiar sound of footsteps a flight or so of stairs behind. I know what this means.

“Sorry,” the man says, an impatient note to his voice. “I’ll just slip ahead of you so I can move faster.”

He clearly has somewhere to be. Perhaps it’s important, truly, or not. All I know is I want to speak up just then, to show my annoyance with him and all those who make me feel as if I am perpetually in the way, blocking people from getting to their destinations on time.

I feel it in a busy place, like a shopping mall or any crowd really. I’m buffered from behind and there are people in front. I can’t move, except physically, by those all around me. It’s a bit of a claustrophobic feeling, but it affects my emotions, making me want to lash out.

I don’t then and I don’t now either.

The man may indeed need to be somewhere, but I can’t possibly have been going that slow, could I have?

I want to tell the man how I feel, but he is a stranger in a hurry. How could I ever explain to him how his need for speed makes me feel like a useless, inconvenience of an object, not a human being at all? What purpose would that serve? Isn’t all this more about how I let my emotions affect my thoughts about myself, more of an internal struggle?

I don’t know at which moment he realizes I am blind, slow by connotation, or if that even really comes into play this time. It does in my own mind. I wish it wouldn’t.

When you’re blind, you’re often made to feel like you are in someone’s way, someone who can see and knows, with certainty, where they are going. I let this affect me more than I probably should.

So, I listen to Bjork sing about feelings and emotions.

She writes about emotional needs, emotional respect. I let her words wash over me and wonder if I write in the hopes of filling an emotional need or several, to demand some emotional respect. I guess that’s better than demanding it in other ways.

With all the politics of the US RNC and DNC from these last two weeks, with politics in general, emotions and words become emotional words. Of course, politics is emotional for most people. It’s certainly more about the emotions than the actual political, for me anyway.

Facts don’t matter. Reason rarely matters at all. Civilized conversation through words quickly dissolves into talking over one another and strong levels of disrespect.

Here I can use my words to convey my emotions. I guess it’s a bit one-sided, unless someone decides to leave a comment of emotion or opinion.

I often don’t say how I am feeling. After all, it isn’t appropriate to voice our every thought, though it sometimes feels like we do, in that moment.

What kind of a world would it be if we actually did?

Cristi of

Finding Ninee

is the host of this Finish the Sentence Friday prompt on emotions and words.

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My Top Spills and Thrills of 2015

Okay, so instead of a movie review for the newest instalment in the Star Wars franchise (which I am postponing until 2016), I am attempting to sum up this past year: the good and the bad.


It has been a year of huge surprises, stupid spills, and awful scares for myself and my family, but there were thrills to be had throughout. It all ended, with a bit of a bang, and now here I am. I see I am not the first to write one of these, but since I waited and just posted about my hopes for the coming year, last New Year’s Day, I thought I would follow that up with another review, of sorts, about how those hopes translated into one wild ride of a 2015.

First Day of the Rest of My Life

I say in that post that I am not a fan of resolutions at the end of one year, with the blank slate of a new year stretching out in front, but I did have a vision for what I hoped my year might look like.

Now that I can reread that post and see how I fared, I want to bring it all together.

This is how it’s done.

So I thought I would take a page out of this blogger’s book/blog and go month by month. Bare with me.


One of my first posts of 2015 was all about trying new things.

Speeding Up and Slowing Down

I hoped this would be a sign of things to come for the year.

I continued participating in something that matters to me, that is all about a subject near and dear to my heart and life. I would continue writing about awareness for equality and disability rights. This post was a kind shout-out to all that.

I Don’t Want Coffee. Here Are Some Links, Though.

This links to another blog hop I could participate in, if I had more time and more days of the week, but I read it weekly. I have found and left a few different circles of bloggers and blogging groupings over the last few years, but many of these circles intertwine with one another, here and there.

Speaking of blogging circles – January was the start of one of the best things I’ve gotten involved in in a long time.

We All Need The Village


1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

Thank you: Lizzi and Yvonne.

Also, it was a month of endings and beginnings.

Letting Go and Continuing to Write Another Day

The ending of an opportunity for the short story I’d written gave way for the beginning of a chance event, one for which I am so glad I snatched up my chance to be included in, in the months that would follow.


This, my birthday month, brought not only the day to celebrate my birth, but also the celebration of my first full year of blogging.

One Year and Counting: Kind and Generous

Then came

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

And after that, my first contribution of many for #1000Speak, there came more focus on kindness with a post I’d written, which was published on a site devoted to love and friendship.

A Friend In B By Kerry Kijewski

I continued to write about a vitally important cause to me, rare illness awareness

Rare Disease Day, 2015: Ventilation

There was a weekend in Ottawa with a friend. This I will never forget.

This year I took a step forward, in the right direction after lost love, and began dating again.

Dating in the Dark

This is my life.


This was not easy for me and I didn’t want to do it, but I did it and hope to do more of it.

Microwave Popcorn For Dinner It Is

As the year went on I managed to keep a secret that I’d been keeping hidden for a few months. It would involve the struggle I constantly have inside about the fine line between truth and fiction, memoir or not?

Truth Or Fiction: Which One Is Stranger?

The first of two weekly blog hops I would soon come to depend on for both comfort and inspiration began as the third month of 2015 came to a close.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

And I finally published an interview, long worked on and awaited, with a female who is making a mark for herself as a smart businesswoman.

Keep Calm and Get Your Hair Done

There were three deaths this year, in the entertainment world, of which were sad ones to me.

The first was Richard Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. Edward Herman died almost exactly one year ago.

I did not write a post for this at the time, but wanted to include him here and now, with news recently of a NetFlix Gilmore Girls reboot, of which the man who played Mr. Gilmore will not be able to reprise his brilliantly portrayed role.

RIP Edward Herman

(He had an amazing voice and used it to read voiceovers, playing Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Ken Burns documentary, of which I watched near the end of the year, after Herman was gone.)


Love and Despair

with the shocking death of Jonathan Crombie (Gilbert), the man behind the portrayal of a great literary heroic character.

Third, Christopher Lee.

Into The West: RIP Sir Christopher Lee


Babies are born and babies die everyday.

Departed and Demented

Upon hearing of the loss of one precious life, for which I had to rant about the unfair ways of the world, next came a re-blog from my own blog, written one year earlier, the worst kind of anniversary imaginable.

The Dark Mark

These few things from early in the month on my blog only served to show the contrasted miracle, the wonderful shock I would get at the end of the month

I had no idea I was about to learn of the upcoming birth of a sweet child in the month of spring’s renewed promise.

Let’s just say, to say I was shocked to learn of my friend’s pregnancy was an understatement. Best surprise all year and, as I continue on with this 2015 summary, that is about to demonstrate how much this brand new little girl means to me because she is a part of my oldest friend. No publishing achievement or literary goal met can possibly compete.

I saw my aunt twice this year, in her new home, a senior’s long-term care facility, sadly. My uncle, my father’s half-brother, he visited from Germany. He wanted to see his sister because nobody knows when it will be their final time together.

Milestones and Siblings

I spent lots of time with family, not only during the month of April, but I make a point to do this every month, any time during any given year. This year, 2015 was no exception.


It was only by doing this that I could think enough about how lucky I am to have family of my own, that I was able to write the guest post about famous orphans in literature.


Into the fifth month of 2015, nearly halfway now, and things really took a lousy turn.

I was distracted and although the first computer problem was a simple mistake, a fluke thing and a sign of my naivete with technology, it was only when I was careless enough to have a sticky drink next to my precious laptop that I really had something to kick myself over.

Having to fall back and depend on an ex boyfriend to fix things was a hard thing to do. I knew he’d help, if I asked, but I didn’t wish to bother him. It was still hard to admit that he was the one person I would still need, in the desperation I was facing, when it came to computers and technology, the one person I would still trust most to help and help he did. He’s good like that.

If it weren’t for the honour of a request to write a post on a writer’s site whom I greatly admire, the month would have been a total disaster.

Writing the World, Sight Unseen

The girl’s got a way with coming up with titles. Oh, and she’s got the neatest sounding last name around.


Oh, and then there’s this.

The Second Chances Anthology


At least some good came from the month of May.

Oh, and I can’t forget this either and never could.

Ten Things of Thankful

May was the month I joined this wonderful weekly blog hop. Many examples of what TToT stands for and looks like can be found in the comment section of this origin post.

There was, also, the series finale of a truly great show.

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Men World

End of an era really, or several, from the 60s onward to the end of 2015 and the start of 2016.


And I had a publisher. Yay!

Little Bird Publishing House

And with that, I had to attempt to put into words what writing means to me.

How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life

Still working on this, but I keep letting other things come first.

Close But No Cigar

The year 2015 was now halfway over. I was still working on both education and love.

New Month, New Me

Another milestone. I made it another year with my father’s kidney, working and keeping me well and off dialysis. Every year I avoid that is a reason to celebrate.

The year 2015 has been a spectacular one for music.

Every F****n Day – Lolawolf

“You must be curious. Even…just…a little.”


This song, among others, made my year and it was only half over.

Figure It Out – Royal Blood

I was trying.

This year, 2015, meant the anniversaries for my grandparents’ deaths:

**Five years for Grandpa

Ruby Red

**Five years for Oma

Gardens of Sunset

**And ten years for Grandma

You Are My Sunshine

Speaking of death, the composer of the wonderful Titanic soundtrack died, tragically, in a plane crash.

RIP James Horner

The US did make some progress this summer.



My country has made some much needed changes this year too.

Canada Day, 2015

We’re working on reconciliation and welcoming our differences, rather than hiding them away and spreading fear.

Life is all about the fireworks.


Whether it was the stress of a first date or the unpredictability of a summer fling,

(Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus, and Then There’s Jupiter)

I had one hell of a summer.

One Last Kiss




That’s another item I can check off my bucket list.

Color, Light, and Magic

Plus another guest post on J.K. Rowling’s end-of-July 50th birthday.


It was a truly spectacular book and a fascinating study in literature.

Jean Louise The Silent: My Review of “Go Set A Watchman”, Part One


Jean Louise The Silent: My Review of “Go Set A Watchman”, Part Two

The summer was full of not only literature, but also some amazing theatre performances, culture, and history.

Read a review of the play here:

Stratford’s Diary of Anne Frank

And the summer ended with a bit of nature by Future of the Ocean.

Big Blue Live

And one more guest post I had published on Hasty Words.

Be Real

My summer of 2015 was full of new experiences, harsh realities, and missed opportunities.

Rural Pride, County Wide

Sometimes, some things just aren’t meant to be.


When the anthology with my story first came out in the summer it was only available as an EBook, but finally I could hold a book with a story I’d written in my own two hands. It was an indescribable feeling and a dream come true.


With the arrival of autumn there’s the twenty year anniversary for Jagged Little Pill.


At the end of the month I had a trip to Toronto which was full of surprises and adventures.


Faith and a Spinster’s Gratitude List – Harvest Moon


I tried my hand at Writer’s Digest’s month long October Platform Challenge, but I messed it up and did not finish. Admittedly, it was a bit of a half effort and I misread the instructions.

Check it out here.

This year marks three anniversaries for television and music I’ve loved:

Gilmore Girls, A Boy Named Goo, Beverly Hills 90210

By the time we were nearing the end of 2015,

Canadians felt it was time for a change.

I also decided to try something a little different, when I was invited to do an interview for an online radio program.

Travelling with the Speed of Sight

Canada’s one-and-only Major League team, Toronto Blue Jays, came closer than they have in more than twenty years, to winning the World Series. It was a wild ride.


The eleventh month of 2015 found me trying something new, something I’ve wanted for a long time.

Words with Friends

Being a part of a writing group is exactly what I have needed to progress with my own writing. I hope to continue with this in the year to come.

Remembrance Day and November 11th had a special significance this year.

In Flanders Fields: One Hundred Years Later

An unassuming Friday the 13th in November turned into much more, so much devastation,

with the attack in Paris.

Then came the first of the hospitalizations for my brother for 2015 and this one was frightening enough, but it was only a prelude to what was to come for our December.

And with one one hundred year anniversary there came a forty year one shortly after,

with a Great Lakes ship wreck and a song written more like a tale set to music.

It was time to celebrate a great man.


My Father Turned Sixty

On the final day of November.



As Long As There’s Christmas: My Grownup Letter For Santa, 2015

We almost made it. We’d arrived at mid month, only a few weeks left in 2015 and then the bottom dropped out.

My brother had a bad fall and suffered a brain injury.

For a few days we weren’t sure what kind of Christmas we would have, but my family and his friends never stopped believing he would come out of it the same old Brian.

Decade Adrift

The doctors didn’t want us to get our hopes up, but we had a Christmas like the others.


We were all together and Brian played music again.

My last guest post of 2015. – Advent Calendar Day 20: One Tradition After Another


Now I end 2015 with a huge Happy Birthday wish for the most special five-year-old around and I ring in 2016 with a friend. Girl’s night!

In the world of feminism, 2015 was a fabulous year for discovering awesome female voices in music, literature, travel, social issues, and history.


The Danger of a Single Story – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Talking to Amy Gigi Alexander

He Named Me Malala


The 1994 Miep Gies Lecture

Not all of these are current, but the act of me finding them this year is the point. All examples, of females who are or were strong, which gives me the push to keep moving forward.

Women of the Year: 30 Canadians Who Rocked 2015

On the continually fascinating subject of wickedly special females, three albums and their artists are worth mentioning this year:

First, Vulnicura.

Black Lake

by Bjork.

Second, How Big How Blue How Beautiful.

Ship To Wreck – Florence + The Machine.

And third, Honeymoon.

High by the Beach – Lana Del Ray

As for The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, it was an every Monday sort of thing for the previous half of 2014 and I continued, missing a week here and there, but I have not forgotten about its importance in my own world and here on my blog.

This coming year I plan on really starting something that I want to focus on though. The year 2016 will be 20 years since I began the journey that matured me before my age likely would have otherwise.

Let Them Eat Cake

I have imagined writing a book about it, memoir called Piece of Cake, for years. Now that I have this blog I will start by writing about those days, as the next few years pass.

I have goals and dreams for 2016 and beyond, but I hesitate to speak of them all out loud, in fear of falling short.

FGP’s Virtual Holiday Party

I want to make more connections with writers, creative and smart women, and I want to keep writing. I want to not be afraid to keep putting my words out there, even though the fear of more rejection is a lingering one.

I want to keep working on the one and only “resolution” from 2014/2015: jealousy. I hate that part of myself and I wish I could let that go. That doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for others and don’t cheer other people on. It just means I do both and feel conflicted.

Some make resolutions, others pick one word for their year, but I resist doing both. If I have to choose one word though, I suppose I will go with “Adventure”. I do want more of this, as I believe life is one giant adventure, all the years we get to live it.

We in Canada made a change and took a stand in 2015 and, the question for 2016 is and will be: America, will you?

Okay, so I just went through my entire blog for the year, to prepare for this post. I know. It was a long one.

Wow, I wrote a lot. I did not receive an end-of-the-year WP blog stats report like I did last year though. Hmmm. Wonder if that means I didn’t do well with follows, comments, and views this year. Ah well. Staying true to myself and remaining authentic is all I can ask for.

Goodbye 2015…hello 2016. Be kind.

Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, This Day In Literature, Travel Tuesday, Writing

Coffee Break

It is widely known that coffee shops are inspired locales for people watching, observing, and where many a great writer and novel have flourished.

My friend worried I would be bored to tears while I killed a few hours sitting at a downtown Starbucks, waiting for her to get off work. I reassured her that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. As a writer this exercise sounded promising and as a natural observer of human behaviours, I wondered what I might bare witness to.

On the surface it was a simple formula: busy and on-the-go people, rushing here and there, stopping for a quick coffee break. On a Tuesday afternoon most of them had business meetings or were on their way to dinner or drinks with colleagues, friends, or loved ones. The drink orders were almost constant. I listened from my seat with the receptacle to plug in my phone, and heard people ordering their Mocha Lattes, white chocolate Frappuccinos and Chai Tea and I began to daydream, the melodic voice of Bjork coming through my one ear, so I was still able to have some concept of what was happening around me.

I wondered about all these frenzied people and what their stories were. They all seemed like they had somewhere to be or someone to meet. It was the perfect time to make up stories for them in my mind. My imagination was filling up with these stories. Then I ventured to imagine that I was one of them, that I lived, worked, or went to school in a bustling place like Toronto and that I belonged.

Earlier in the day, as the Via worker was helping me to locate my waiting friend, he asked me if I liked being in Toronto. I hesitated, not because I don’t find the frantic energy of all the people exciting, but because I still couldn’t see myself as one of them. And in some ways I so much wanted to.


This day in literature: children’s author Eric Hill dies at age 86

After spending a fun and educational evening at The ROM last night with a few old friends, I heard this news today and it made all the reminiscing we did last night take on a whole new meaning.

I knew one of these girls since we were in kindergarten. I remember her childhood cat and watching a British mini-series Of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles Of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I would go to her house.

Now, all these years later, we were all grown up and she had built a life for herself in Toronto. I couldn’t help remembering the little girls we once were.

Eric Hill was the creator of the “Where’s Spot?” series of children’s books, a much better alternative for a visually impaired child then the more well-known Where’s Waldo?”.

Spot, along with my other favourites at that age: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Clifford The Big Red Dog” were my introduction to literature, in it’s simplest, purest, sweetest form. I loved the flip-up pictures on every page and Spot was the perfect literary character to show me that books were fun and could be meaningful in my life.

You can check out his obituary


I figured I should give this children’s author a shout-out today. Funny how I hadn’t thought of those books in years. Having nieces and nephews of my own now makes it all the more important.


Amongst the Starbucks reflections and the death announcement I thought I would include, to finish off this mid-week post, with a few pieces of news for which I am grateful today:

You never know who you might meet and the connections that could be formed. I met a lovely woman as we were leaving Starbucks who introduced herself and we exchanged information about writing and possible plans to collaborate. It just goes to show that you never know what could be on the horizon and who you might just meet in a busy Toronto coffee hotspot.

I am featured this week on Autharium’s blog, where I guest post, writing about colours, words, and technology. Check it out if you can.

Colours, Words, and My Age of Technology

I’ve reached and passed the fifty followers mark on this blog, after only four months of having begun Herheadache. I could not be more pleased to have you all as readers. I know there are plenty of things to read every single day and the fact that you have chosen to read my writing on a continuous basis: I can not tell you all how much I appreciate it.

And finally I left for my night in Toronto after stressing over an exam that turned out not to be nearly as awful as I had been imagining. While I sat in the coffee shop mentioned above I received a phone call informing me of my 91% and I gratefully accepted it without question.

I am continuing to work on a few important posts and articles that I want to share: including Keep Calm and Get Your Hair Done, Walking On The Edge, and Flense (about last night’s ROM seminar a few friends and I attended on the blue whales that washed up along the coast of western Newfoundland). I hope to keep up with all these things, but they are presenting welcome yet difficult challenges.