Feminist Friday 2018 #1: Feminism Saved My Life

I was born 2 1/2 months premature. I have cerebral palsy. I use a wheelchair because I have no real use of my lower body, low trunk strength, and limited use of my upper body. I blog mostly by using a voice to text program called Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Dragon makes everything super interesting. Did you know that it can spell words like “Chewbacca” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” but it can’t remember to capitalize my name unless I tell it to do so with a special command? (My name is a noun, and it always thinks I’m talking about roses when I say my name.)

My disability also affects my vision, visual perception, the clarity of my speech, and my bladder control.

The speech issue is another reason Dragon makes everything more interesting, now that I think about it.


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Your Imperfections Are Just Fine Part Two: so Your Efforts to Improve Yourself

Every Thursday I share a WIP or art project that I’m working on! Most Thursdays, I’ll also some thoughts that came to me while working on the piece that I share.

I’ve been on a continuous quest for self-improvement or self-development since my early teens. I say “quest for” instead of “journey of” because for a long time I felt like there was some ultimate goal or place or way of being that I was supposed to be striving towards.

I thought, without ever having made the conscious connection, that there was going to be a magic moment when all of my efforts paid off and I suddenly realized that I was this healthy, well-adjusted, nice person who knew how to be friendly and nurturing and all of the things that I had never seen modeled in my childhood.

Like I said last week, I grew up in hell. I was abused from a really young age in just about every way imaginable. Somewhere along the line, I realized that I wanted to learn how to treat people better.  I wanted to be a kinder, gentler, more well-adjusted person than the adults in my household, but I had no models for that. I didn’t know how to become what I wanted.  I only knew that what I saw and felt at home was painful.  So I set out to attain that goal thinking that there was something “wrong” with the way I currently was.

Eventually, I started to learn self-acceptance, and then I struggled with the whole idea of personal development or self-improvement or whatever word you want to use. I didn’t have a healthy models to follow, so I questioned everything I did. Was it okay to try to improve? Could I accept myself the way I was and still want to grow and learn how to be different?

Last week, I also shared this diamond design and I told how, even when I fixed the imperfect edge, my friends liked the original design better. I didn’t. I wanted to improve it. But part of me felt guilty for trying to “fix” the thing instead of just accepting it for what it was and being happy that my friends liked it in all of its imperfection.

I realized I was doing the same thing to this poor little diamond design that I used to do to myself. First, I struggled to accept the diamond’s imperfection. Then I struggled with my own desire to improve as an artist and to make my creation more in line with the vision I had for it.

The first step in a healthy journey of self improvement at personal development is compassionate acceptance for where you are. To allow yourself to relax and know that you are 100% fine the way you are. Then, from that place of acceptance, the next step is to give yourself the space to grow and change and become what you know that you can be.

Everybody has some messy edges. It’s great if you want to try to grow and improve yourself, but also remember that you are fine the way you are. People like you as you are, and they think you are beautiful, imperfections and all.

Don’t forget to check out the design and graphic freebies available in my members area.  Just click the free membership level and add your email address to get all the new additions first!


OMG, I MESSED UP MY MINDSET WORK!!! (And what to do when that happens.)


It’s super important for people (especially women) to trust themselves in making decisions.  It’s easier said than done; our culture tends to devalue women’s opinions and condition us to defer to others.

Fess up.

How many times have you had this conversation:

“What do you want for dinner?”

“I don’t know.  What do you want?”

“I don’t know.  Do you want pizza?”

“I don’t care, whatever you want.”

And this goes on forever because both people are socially conditioned to be “nice,” meaning they defer their opinions to others.

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Free Social Media Banners + Motivation

Here are 4 Free Social Media Banners with PSD Template included.  These work well with short motivational phrases or one word.  Images are Public domain.

social media banners rainbow mountain desert outdoor hope dreams encouragement

So, I felt a little nervous putting these out today.  They’re not my usual style, and seem off-brand.  We’re told in the online business world to stay consistent and on brand at all times.

But then I thought, “Fuck it, this is what I feel like sharing today.” So here you go.

I’ve been struggling a lot this year.  My grandfather died in February after a long fight with Alzheimer’s.  There have been a run of other family problems too.  I wrenched my shoulder badly in March and the fucker is still hurting.  (I use a wheelchair, so arm injuries are pretty serious and take forever to heal.)  I was sick and incapacitated for most of April.

May has been a wobbly process of getting back on my feet and trying to catch up.

If I’m being honest, the past 4 years or so has been a series of shitstorms, injuries, and loss.

So I’ve gotten used to riding the storm out, keeping my head above water, and then cleaning up to take another shot.  It’s not easy, though.  And I know I’m not the only one.

So what I want to tell you is, keep going.  It’s okay to want things.  It’s okay to reach for them.  It’s okay to be frustrated, and tired, and pissed, but you have to keep going, keep reaching, keep trying, because that’s the only way to the other side.  You have to keep finding hope because without it you’re well and truly fucked.


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Art Share: Transformation


This is what I did with the fugly crap I posted last week.

For anyone new: Last week’s post was a set of reddish-brown /black images with some splatter and grunge on them.  They weren’t all that remarkable.  I worked with them a little and got some designs that totally reflect my style and helped me process what was going on with me emotionally.

I never tell people to “look for lessons” in their pain, but I can say without a doubt that if you walk through it, your own refusal to give up will bring transformation.

IWSG: Taking Risks As A Writer

insecure-writers-support-group-badgeMy clients often tell me that they are afraid.


  • Afraid their writing won’t be good enough.
  • Afraid of disappointing themselves.
  • Afraid they’ll start and not finish.
  • Afraid that people won’t like their book.
  • Afraid that their idea is not “original.”
  • Afraid that they won’t “make it.”
  • Afraid that cat-aliens will take over their computer in the middle of the night and write a better book than they could.  (Okay, no.  I made that one up.)

I wrote my first book when I was 12.  It sucked.  Started my second one when I was sixteen and it took forever to finish.  In between starting and finishing the second, there have been 9 others.  Each one is a learning experience.  Each one is flawed, but they’re each progressively better than the one before.  At any point along this writing journey, I could have given up.  Decided that my books just weren’t “good enough,” or that I didn’t have what it took to be an author.  I didn’t, because writing is a skill.  It’s not magic.  You learn to write by writing.  You get better by taking the risk to do the thing as best you can, and then learning from your mistakes.


I’ve been writing for close to 30 years now.  Reading for longer than that.  Every time I’ve seen what I thought was a unique premise (an “original” story idea) I later found out that it had been influenced and inspired by other stories.  It doesn’t matter if your idea is “original.” What matters is that you take the risk to write it from a place within yourself that no one else can reach.  Then, the experience of your book will be unique.


Some people are not going to like your work.  That’s the way it goes when you do art.  But other people will, and some of them need your work.  It’s on you, writer, to take the risk involved in finding them.

And don’t let the cat-aliens surf Youtube all night.