Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Book That Made Me a Better Mom!

Book 6 – Diaper Free, The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene, by Ingrid Bauer
                This books not only changed my life but my children’s lives too because it helped to change the kind of parent I want to be.
                For my first daughter, I did everything I was told, disposable diapers, breastfed till six months, potty trained around 2-3 years old, etc. It wasn’t bad but she had a lot of diaper rashes despite my best efforts to keep her changed and clean and there were the inevitable defiance surrounding ‘potty training’. She turned out ok though.
                When I was pregnant with my second daughter eleven years later I knew a lot more about raising a baby and about environmental impacts and health impacts on children. I kept thinking that there must be another solution to this diapering problem. I was all ready to use cloth diapers but still felt that there was something I was missing.
                Then I picked up a Natural Parenting magazine and in it was an article about ‘Diaper Free’ and it sent me to the book titled the same (actually there are two books with the same title and both are worth reading). I had the ever elusive ‘eureka’ moment complete with light bulb over my head and angels singing!
                Actually what I read just made sense, it talks about how children are born able to tell us when they are hungry, tired, and scared, and guess what, they can even tell us when they have to ‘go’! The truth is that conventional use of diapers wasn’t introduced until the late 1800’s and only as a means to help catch ‘oopsies’ when children were in public. We as the lovely enabled western society we’ve become took to it like flies to honey and started using them exclusively. With the use of diapers blossomed a trillion dollar industry full of diapers, creams, bins, books, aids, etc. Everything we needed to teach our children to eliminate in their pants only to teach them three years later that this was wrong.
                Now if you went for a walk in Africa, China, Russia, Northern Canada, etc., you would find that very few children wear diapers. It’s not because their parents just let them ‘go’ anywhere, it’s because their mothers learn to read the child’s signal and teaches them at a young age how to control and release their developing muscles (a skill they learn in the womb). Most children in every other country except Canada and USA are completely ‘potty trained’ by a year old.
                Believe me it’s not only possible but it’s easy too, a lot easier than cleaning and changing diapers over and over. My daughter started using a ‘yogurt container potty’ when she was two weeks old. For six months I never had to change a ‘number 2’ diaper and by a year old she could tell me with words when she had to go. Now at two years old she is almost completely toilet independent.
                I wasn’t perfect in my use of the ‘Diaper Free’ model written in the book, there were times when I got lazy and put her back in diapers, times when she was ill or travelling when we had minor relapses, but all in all I am very proud of her and myself.
                The book goes in to much more detail about the whole process and I highly recommend it for anyone who is expecting or who has children who are ready to get out of diapers. It’s a wonderful book and like I said, it opened up a world of gentle and respectful parenting that has improved all of our lives.
(Sorry went a bit over the 500 words but this is a topic I am passionate about – educating women on their empowering mothering skills and knowledge.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Author that brought me to the Dark Side!

Book 5 – Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

                I often wander through the book store just looking at books and jackets to pick a random book by an author I don’t know. This practice has led to many wonderful discoveries but I think the best one that I ever picked up was Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.
                It’s a fantasy novel and yet the setting of the story is remarkably similar to Europe and Asia in history, even some of the names she uses relate to real life historical events.
                The story centers around Phedre no’Delaunay an orphan adopted by a spy.  She has been chosen by the God’s or Angels of this story to fulfill a very hard path. One of the angel’s is Kushiel who finds pleasure in pain and who took the lash unto himself in order to protect the ‘God’ that the angels followed. The other angel who has chosen her is Namaah, who laid down with strangers in order to secure food and lodgings for their God. She learns to become a ‘companion’ which is a woman who sells herself for profit. However this occupation is revered and has strict rules to follow. Despite this the novel doesn’t center on the sexual, it is simply a part of who she is and a part of the wonderfully rich society that Jacqueline Carey has created.
                This book changed my life for a few reasons; one because it opened my mind up to the real possibilities of fantasy writing – I had previously thought it was all about epic tales full of dwarfs and elves. Second, after contacting Jacqueline Carey by email through her site, she taught me a valuable lesson, how to let go of my own insecurities and fears.
                Before she told me that I was always worried that if my family and friends read my work they would think that I was either very sick or had very disturbing fantasies. She taught me that it’s ok, as a writer, to delve into the dark side of humanity and even the perverse and disgusting side too, because they exist. Just because you can write from the point of view of a serial killer doesn’t mean that you want to be one, it just means that you have a very good imagination and understanding of human nature.
                These revelations helped me so much in my own writing and  letting myself jump off the ‘safe’ topics I wrote about and delve into the darker side of my mind as well as my characters. She freed me to just go for it, go as deep and dark as you can and then find your way back to the light, or sometimes not, as in her Banewreaker Series.
                I have since and continue to read all her books because her characters are so wonderful and ‘real’ and when I pick up her book, it’s like going home and visiting family that I loved and missed.
                If you haven’t already then I highly recommend getting lost in her world, it will be a trip well worth it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The ones that got me writing!

Book 4- Johanna Lindsey

                This one isn’t so much one book but many by the same author. Johanna Lindsey is a Romance Author and many of her books have been on the New York Times Bestsellers List, but that’s not why I like her.
                Hers was maybe one of the first ‘adult’ fiction books I ever read. A friend was scandalized by the content of the book and gave it to me with a lot of giggles. The first one that I read was Savage Thunder, and at age 11, in grade 5, yeah it was a little scandalous but that’s not why I loved it so. Immediately and forever afterwards, I have loved her characters.
                I did spend some time exploring other romance authors but none of them ever captivated my attention quite like she did with the simple complexity of her wonderful characters. When I read her books, I cried, laughed, raged, and loved. Until one day, in grade 7, I decided that I could write.
                At the tender age of thirteen, I started writing romance novels complete with detailed and rather nice sex scenes. I have more than a dozen half-finished ideas and two almost complete novels that I haven’t looked at since high school.
                The reason I put her and her books in my list of books that changed my life is because they did, they opened my mind to the stories that were inside and convinced me that I could write them out almost as well as she did (ok I got a little ego trip, I was 13!)
                I am not actually a big fan of romance anymore and she is the only romance author that I still purchase and follow. I have every single one of her books and although I’ve thought of selling them a few times, I just can never seem to let them go. It would be like letting go of a lot of close friends.
                To this day I can still call upon any number of her characters and have them walk around in my head and they still make me smile and laugh and love. The stories weren’t always the most original, but they didn’t have to be, the force of her characters was all I needed. I didn’t care much about what was happening in the background, as long as I knew what they were doing and feeling and thinking.
                I would recommend her if anyone is interested in reading romance, or if only for a challenge to pick up a book from a genre that you might have preconceived notions about and be pleasantly surprised. If nothing else reading her books has taught me the importance of having and creating characters that the reader will love with all their hearts.
                If you make me care about the people I’m reading about then I will carry them with me always. Is this not the truth of many great novels out there and more than a few humanitarian efforts as well!
Find her here!

Is there an author or book that really influenced your start as a writer?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My First Blog Award!

Thanks to Marianne who passed on the One Lovely Blogger Award, it's my first award ever and I'm so excited. More so since this is only my sixth post on my 'newish' blog.

Now I have to tell you seven things about me, which I know you've been dying to know! They aren't in any order of importance.

One I like pens, like crazy like pens, the smaller the writting the better, so far I've found 0.3mm but there's got to be smaller out there right, I'll just keep looking. Some one could fill my stockings full of pens for Christmas and I would be crazy happy.

Two I'm very creative,  I write novels, short stories, poetry, I paint, I craft, I like to redecorate my house, but I have horrible confidence when it comes to showing my work and one bad word can stop my creativity cold for a long time. I try not to dwell on it and know that I shouldn't but it hurts, especially when it's family that tells you these things.

Three I love being outside, anyday, anytime, any weather. I sometimes get up in the middle of the night and go walk around my pitch black acreage. It is totally freaky - especially with the Moose out there, but it rejuvenates me and makes me feel so much better. I dream of designing a house that truly brings the outside in and makes it possible for me to 'live' outdoors.

Four I'm an insomniac and a Lucid dreamer. One is caused by the other actually. Because I never get more then three hours of consecutive sleep, I've learned to push myself into REM sleep very quickly. Since I have such vivid dreams they can sometimes be very disturbing, but in my self-preservation of wanting to sleep, I've learned to 'walk'  in my dreams and make conscious changes to them while sleeping. On the plus side, I get a lot of good story ideas from my crazy dreams.

Five The two things that I always wanted to be when I grew up, was someone who can help people get healthy (holistically) and create homes for the way we live. I have countless architectural designs of homes and health articles clippings and pages. One day, maybe I'll grow up! lol!

Six I have one sister and two brothers. The brother that I was closest to died when I was fifteen. My other brother lives far away and sometimes I forget he's there and vice versa. My sister lives close but we are like night and day. Somedays I really miss my siblings.

Seven I don't think I'm very good at blogging. I tend to talk myself into circles when trying to make a point and always feel that I never really get the right message across. But I keep at it, hoping that practice will fix the problems.

And now to the nominees.

Avangeline - who doesn't post often but I always enjoyed her posts.

Angela - Because her posts always make me think, which is always a good thing.

Books can change more than just your mind!

Book 3 – 28 Days to a New You.Christine Green

                I don’t ever pick up let alone buy ‘diet’ books because I tend to think that they are full of lies and garbage meant to keep us ‘fat’ so as to perpetuate the ‘diet’ industry. This book was on the bargain table at Chapters one day and since I was interested in learning more about ‘detoxifying the body’, I picked it up.
                The first thing I noticed and what convinced me to buy it, was that it wasn’t full of fad gimmicks, disgusting drink mixes, crazy lifestyle changes, or anything else outrageous. I also liked that the Detox diet that she talks about happens over the course of 28 days, actually all the plans in this book take 28 days based on the fact that it takes that long for our bodies to develop habits.
                I didn’t ever think that a three day or one week detox diet was ever a good idea – I liken this idea to taking an ice cold shower on a hot day, sure it gets you cold really fast, but it shocks your body into recovery mode so that your body will start to heat itself up making you hotter not colder. If you started with warm water and then gradually cooled it down, then your body cools down slowly and safely as well. This idea works with detox and any diet in my opinion.
                So when I opened this book and looked at the detox plan, it made sense to me, and I did the diet the following February. I didn’t do it to lose weight and I didn’t lose a lot, just a few pounds, but what I did loose was inches, about three of them off my waist, hips, and thighs. But that wasn’t the best thing that happened.
                The best thing was the way I felt, I had more energy, less mood swings, was happier, had better relations with family, worked better, thought faster, felt smarter, etc.
                The Detox plan also taught me something very important about how my entire being reacts to the food I eat. Not just my body but my emotions, my brain, my skin, all of it. During the diet I had one day of temptation – Shrove Tuesday I had pancakes and sausages – within an hour of eating the pancakes I literally fell asleep in my chair at work.
                I did manage to develop some habits from this plan and continued to use them in my life for about a year and a half afterwards. Until I got a whole lot of stress in my life and fell back into the easy old ways of eating poorly and feeling worse. It’s a lot easier to eat unhealthy then it is to eat healthy but hopefully as I take on another of the Diet plans in this book, I will develop and stick with some good habits.
Click here for the Book.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Booked Changed Everything!

Book 2 – Ancient Wisdom, Modern World.  Ethics for the New Millennium by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

                If you ever wanted to read a book written by the Dalai Lama and weren’t sure which one, THIS is the one.  It’s the first of his books that I ever read and to this day it has changed my entire life.
                I have a hard time explaining the book though because on one hand it is simply written and easy to read and yet on the other hand it is intricately complex and delves deeply into the very vein of our existence. It breaks down the realities of our world and not only teaches us how to cope with them but opens up our minds to look at these realities in a whole different light. This different light makes it easier to cope with reality and helps us to live in it.
                This was my first ‘Buddhist’ text although it is not all about Buddhism at all. It introduced me to that spiritual path and it was a path that spoke to me in a way that I instinctively understood it. As I read this book the first time, even the second time, it was like he had written it just for me because so much of what he said made such simple yet complex sense to my mind and soul.
                This book not only changed my life, it changed how I lived it. From the way I react, act, and think about the world I live in and what I need to do to change that world for the better. It made me more grateful and compassionate and understanding of the world I see every day.
                Every day I remember – and sometimes have to stop and remind myself – about life lessons on acceptance that I learned from the Dalai Lama and his faith.  Things like accepting that the person who just cut me off in traffic and caused me to slam on my brakes maybe didn’t see me. Or maybe is so caught up and poisoned by disappointment in life that he only sees his own ugly face in the mirror every night and hates himself for it, which makes me sad for him and so I forgive him.
It was very hard to pick just a few passages to share with you but here goes…
Modern industrial society often strikes me as being like a huge self-propelled machine. Instead of human beings in charge, each individual is a tiny insignificant component with no choice but to move when the machine moves.” (Speaking of the Modern Society)
We begin to see that the universe we inhabit can be understood in terms of a living organism where each cell works in balanced cooperation with every other cell to sustain the whole. If, then, just one of these cells is harmed, as when disease strikes, that balance is harmed and there is danger to the whole.”  (Speaking of Dependent Origination)
 If there was ever a book that made me say ‘Everyone MUST read this book’, this is it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

10 Books in 10 Blogs that Changed my Life!

Number 1 – A Handbook of Chakra Healing by Kalashatra Govinda
A very straight forward and easy to understand explanation of the Chakras and how they work, why they work and what they are.
I read this book from front to back and then developed my own chakra practice based on this book. I did it every day for 49 days, seven days for each chakra. This practice included gemstones, vocalization, yoga, meditation, affirmations, energy massage, aromatherapy, and homeopathic healing with plants. Not to mention the list of little things one can do every day to activate their chakras.
This book started me on my path to ‘healing’ myself and to finding happiness with myself. If ever I feel lost or ‘ungrounded’ I pick up the book again and read through the passages that helped me the most.
I learned how to associate any physical symptoms with emotional ones. I know that if I get a stomach ache, that means something is bothering me on an emotional level. If I get a sore throat, chances are I’m not communicating my needs and feelings as well as I should. If I get a rash on my skin, I know it means that I am feeling a little ‘unloved’ and need to find out why. If my feet get cold, I know it means I need to go work in the garden and do a little spiritual work as well.
Ever since I read this book and incorporated these practices into my daily life, I haven’t had to go to the doctor.
The book even touches on Chakras in children, from the womb to their first seven years, and afterwards. It’s amazing when I see that what it says is often true when I look at my own kids and others as well.
To end, I will leave you with examples of how to tell if you have blockages in your chakras as well as things you can do about it.
Need to work on your chakra if ---
Root – You are easily overwhelmed by life – take long walks, go barefoot, make direct contact with the earth.
Sacral – You feel that your creativity is blocked – Go dancing. Get creative, paint, sculpt, scrapbook.
Navel – You have a hard time recognizing/reaching goals –Spend time around a fire or light candles, look for things that excite you and pursue those interests.
Heart – You feel isolated or lonely – Love yourself, fill your house with plants, learn to be comfortable with touch, go for massages, hold hands, give out free hugs!
Throat – You say things you later regret – Keep a journal, take voice training or a course in public speaking.
Forehead – you suffer from anxiety or depression – Read spiritual books, philosophy books, keep a dream journal, daydream! Meditate under the stars.
Crown – You feel tired or worn out – Find the power in silence, go climb a mountain/hill, meditate in silence.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Silly Writers ‘Editing is for kids’

I am laughing my a$$ off at myself because in my goal to complete the editing of my ‘ahem’ finished story before I start NaNoWriMo, I sat and read the entire story. I have re-written and re-edited the first ten or so chapter so many times that they are pretty good, what I forgot to do in all that time was look at the rest of it.
I have three different versions of her history in this lifetime and four versions of her history in her past life. She speaks to various deities in this story and everyone of them repeats or has mistakes in them involving her story and their mythology. I have whole chapters that are nothing more than ‘Chapter 27 – write about Vincent here’ which never got done. I even have a whole scene that just stopped in the middle of it and never got finished.
What the hell was I thinking when I kept saying that it was almost done.
I’m not discouraged though, I’m laughing at myself and hitting myself in the head for being so silly.
Ah the joys of editing – seriously thinking I should give it to my kids and see what they come up with, might be better than what I come up with.
So to fix the problems here is a list of things I need to do…
1.       Write a short story about her past/present lives.
2.       Write a short story about her ‘big bad crime and punishment’
3.       Research a bit more on deities in actual books, not Wikipedia, lol.
4.       Finish unfinished chapters
5.       Edit it from start to finish.
And all of this in two months…I think the silly laughter is getting to my brain now…
So wish me luck, I’m sure there will be other posts about the process and the insanity (trust me this post is much better than the one I was going to do about impatient emailers, lmao)
Laughter is good medicine and even better when you can laugh at yourself.
So here’s a toast to writing, editing and all us crazy writers whose methods make no sense to anyone else!

Friday, August 26, 2011


I'm still a bit new to blogging and have struggled to decide and find out how best to make this blog thing work with me. I don't want to spend my days worrying about what to write about or how many comments I get back or how many followers. Then the few sites I looked at on 'how to blog' all suggested that it should have a central theme and you only talk about that one thing, this seemed very stiffling to me. I also worried about making them too long, there were times when I would read others blogs and then think to myself that I didn't have the time to 'follow' them back all the time. Which leads me to the last issue which was time, I don't want to spend too much time writing these things either, I have much better 'writing' to do and no offense, but better company in my household than this computer (but I still love all my internet friends too)

So where did all of that leave me...

With this little blog, where I will post when I can,as often or not as I want. It may not be regularly but I will try to make the posts interesting and short, less then 500 words, to save on my time and yours. If you decide to read and follow me, that's wonderful and I will try as often as I can to stop by and read your blogs too and leave a comment, even if all I have time to say is 'great post' at least you'll know I was there, right!

I hope you'll enjoy my little posts and that I'll enjoy them too.

Thanks for checking me out and I hope you stop by again to see just what kind of things I'll talk about but trust me, there is no theme, no great purpose, just me blogging about whatever is going on in this crazy head of mine.