Monday, June 2, 2014

Not much of a Blogger

Okay, I admit it.  I am not much of a blogger.  Ever since I was a little girl, I didn't want to write a journal and a blog is a lot like a journal. It wasn't that I didn't write. I was always writing and I have folders upon folders of stories, random sentences and poems that date back over 20 years.  What I don't have is a journal (actually, I have several failed journals) and it is mostly because I am a private person.

I want to share the stories I write, the successes of the writers I work with as an editor and funny stories as I come across them.  I have always been hesitant on sharing things that are going on in my life. Some are things that are personal and I want them to remain private.  Other things just seem rather dull.  And I don't want to subject you to something dull and rather pointless.

So that is the reason why the blog is rather quiet but I am making an effort to blog more over the month of June.  In addition to the blogging, I am going to be challenging myself as an author and writing 50,000 words in June.  I will be starting tomorrow and I will definitely let you know what is happening with the word count and maybe share some pages from my books as I do.

I have a few ideas for additional novels and I have my novel, The Hunted, going out to beta readers this week.  Hopefully, I will have a published novel by the end of the month and will be working through edits on my second novel.

I will be posting so that maybe I can move my status from "Not much of a blogger" to "Well, she is an okay blogger" in the near future.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

1000 Miles For the Week

I just wanted to give everyone an update, this week the walk in honor/1000 miles has not happened for one simple reason, parenthood.  My oldest is in a program that takes him out of his regular class every few months to go to an advanced program. Unfortunately, this means I have to drive him to another school that is 30 minutes away (if there is no traffic) but is more commonly a 45 minute to 1 hour commute.  So having to drive there and back twice per day, my commute time has been about four hours every day.

Normally, I wouldn't complain but I have not been feeling well so the addition commute, work and various obligations, my walking time has been very low. I have managed about a half mile to a mile every day but I did not want to record the amounts as I did not feel like I put enough into it this week.  I will be back to walking tomorrow and will have a few months where I won't have to do that commute every day.

So I apologize for this last week but I will be walking again soon.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 28: Walking for SMD

The walking trail took me along the river today and as I was walking, I was really thinking about how life is filled with hardships and with choices.  SMD has had numerous hardships and has survived both childhood abuse and neglect as well as abusive relationships.  Today, SMD is a survivor that is thriving.

One thing that really struck me is that one brush of violence leave ripples across an entire lifetime. One swipe can eat away at the heart and the mind and can cause us to make bad choices without us even realizing it.  We move forward, sometimes remember every detail of that violence and other times forgetting it, but the ripple is there, growing larger and larger like a pebble thrown into a river.

But this pebble isn't small, it is a large bolder that makes itself known and it becomes a cycle of abuse that is very hard to break.  The cycle can be broken, the ripples from that rock can be stilled, life can become beautiful and be filled with meaning.

SMD has dealt with that ripple and while I would love to go on about her story, there really is just a few lines that I would love for her to see. These are:

You are a strong woman who I am honored to know.  You care deeply for others, you are intelligent and you deserve happiness. Thank you for sharing your story with me and I am honored that you allowed me to walk with you.  I know that you have overcome so much to be the wonderful woman that you are today.

So these miles are for you SMD!

Mileage: 4.365
Total: 11.939

Due to a few commitments, I was not able to walk during Saturday and on Sunday, I didn't have as much time as I would have liked so I simply walked for survivors again.

If you would like me to walk for someone, please email me at

My 1000 miles challenge was inspired by Angela Giles Klocke and her own 1000 miles journey.  You can find Angela's journey at Scars and Tiaras.  Please visit her site and her facebook page to learn more about how you can get involved in the 1000 miles challenge.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 27: Walking for Family

Today was a hard day.  I put off walking until late in the afternoon, finally forcing myself out the door at 4pm.  I had a dozen excuses not to walk. My legs hurt from the last two days.  The weather was horrible with a mixture of rain and snow. It was too cold in the morning; too wet in the afternoon. But while I had a lot of excuses, I knew the one excuse was that today I was walking for my family.

And the family wasn't my kids or husband; it was my siblings and my mom, my aunts and uncles, anyone in my family that had been touched by violence in one way or another.  I hesitated this morning because I wasn't sure if I should walk for them.  I wasn't sure if they wanted me to or not but I finally decided to do it.  As you can tell, doubts still affect me and it was a test to overcome the doubt of my family.

But families do deserve to be recognized, not just mine but every survivor's family. That is something that we often forget...every survivor has a family and regardless of how insular the violence can be, others can't help but be touched by it.  I have seen it in the face of a friend/coworker whose sister was murdered.  They never caught the murderer but I saw the haunted pain in her eyes as she would talk to me about it on her breaks.  I have seen it in the words of another woman I knew, who wanted her adult children to know about the horrible rape she had suffered at the age of 16. She was hurt that her family couldn't speak to her about it, devastated that they turned away, tears in their eyes begging her to stop, that they didn't want to know. But her counselor had said something that stuck with me as is not the duty of our children to bear our past because the weight of the future is more than enough.

I guess that is why I was hesitant to walk for my family, because I was witness to their pain but it is not my story to tell.  I did tell part of it though.  Nine years ago, I sat down and wrote my childhood down. It was painful at times but it was also cathartic.  For me, writing down my story was what I needed to move past it and I just wrote the bad memories.

What was left in me were the happy memories.  The laughter, the love that we shared.  It wasn't that the bad memories were erased but they were exorcised.  They didn't hold onto me like they used to and I could laugh.  I could tell silly stories of me falling asleep on my bike and both my brother and I falling onto the gravel road.  Or how my oldest brother taught me how to use nun chucks, managing to bash me in the head in the process; I had a dark purple goose egg at my temple for several weeks after that.

I remember the days drifting lazily in the water of the lake with my sister or how the first time she convinced me to swim across it, she told me it was bottomless in the middle.  My kids laughed when I told them how I had forced her to walk through dense forest and then down a highway for about a mile in nothing but our bathing suits and bare feet after we finally made it all the way across.  There was no way I could swim after that (although the second time she convinced me, I made it both ways and it created a daily ritual for me).

I could remember the memories of my mom and how every kid in town called her mom when she owned her own arcade.  How one day a man came into the arcade to rob her.  She didn't know what he had planned but the kindness of her heart made her offer him free hot dogs, donuts and coffee.  She even gave him a brown paper bag that he took to the convenience store  and had them fill with their cash register.  While she felt awful about the convenience store, it showed how kindness can change an action.

Writing that story made it possible to see that there were times when we were happy.

So today, when I walked for my family, I walked with happy memories running through my mind.  I walked knowing that regardless of how far away we are that I will always love them and they will always be in my heart. Thank you for everything that you have done and the strength you have given me to be who I am today.

Mileage: 2.563
Total: 7.574

If you would like me to walk for someone, please email me at

My 1000 miles challenge was inspired by Angela Giles Klocke and her own 1000 miles journey.  You can find Angela's journey at Scars and Tiaras.  Please visit her site and her facebook page to learn more about how you can get involved in the 1000 miles challenge.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 26: Walking for Victims and Survivors of Violence and Abuse

Today marked the first day in the walk that I was walking for someone other than myself.  I didn't pick a name today, instead, I chose to walk for everyone who has been touched by violence or abuse in some way; whether you are a victim, a survivor or someone you love is a survivor.

One thing that I thought about as I set out on my walk is that we often think that we are alone.  If we disclose, everyone we know will abandon us or not believe us.  In some cases, some of the people that we rely on do, in fact, leave but it is never about you. It is simply that they cannot grasp the pain that is endured by many around the world.  It is more about them and their foibles than it is about you and if they cannot be there for you when you need them most, then they were never there in the first place.

But those are not the people that we look at.  The people that matter will be there for you and there are always other people; survivors, counselors, loved ones, and even strangers, that will be there for you.  They will help you overcome the pain of your past and lead you to a future that you deserve.

So today I walked for all of you and I wasn't alone in my walk.  Instead, I walked with you in my head and heart; the steady thump of my dog's feet at my side.  The world opened up around me.  It started off gray, we are still in the grip of winter, but as I walked through the trees, sunlight trickled down onto us.  The snow is still here, the trees still barren but as I walked, I noticed the spaces where I can see grass.  As I walked, I could feel the warmth of the sunlight and see the squirrels scurrying over the snow.  As I walked, I could hear the birds singing and all of it felt like hope.

And that is where my walk took me the realization that no matter how dark the winter, spring will come and with it hope.

Mileage: 2.741
Total: 5.011/1,000

Daisy standing guard while I took the photo.

If you would like me to walk for someone, please email me at

My 1000 miles challenge was inspired by Angela Giles Klocke and her own 1000 miles journey.  You can find Angela's journey at Scars and Tiaras.  Please visit her site and her facebook page to learn more about how you can get involved in the 1000 miles challenge.

1000 Miles: The First Miles are For Me 2.270

The first miles are for me.  That is how I started this project and it was inspired by Angela Giles Klocke who started her journey in January.  You can read about her journey and her challenge at

My journey started yesterday with me walking 2.270 miles.  I had planned on only starting with a mile but I continued on after that first mile and kept walking.  I wanted to start right but I wasn’t sure if I could continue walking after that first mile.  Still, I made it and over and felt proud of myself. It was a challenge and like many aspects of my past, I overcame it.

But why am I walking?  If you haven’t read the scars and tiaras blog, I am walking for the same reason as Angela Giles honor those who have been lost, those who have been victimized, those who have survived and those who are on the path to thriving from the effects of abuse, violence, neglect and mistreatment. 

Every step that I take in this journey will be for others but these first miles are for me.  If you haven’t realized from much of my blog, I suffered from childhood abuse.  It was hard coming to terms with all that I had suffered but after seeking counselling for it in my 20’s, I was able to overcome many of the feelings of self doubt that I had.  However, the journey from survivor to someone who thrives is not an easy one and there are times that my self confidence is hit hard, the scars that have healed will, at times, hurt from past memories but every year, as I build up my confidence, they don’t hurt as often or as much.

I am blessed to have a loving husband that has helped me through much of my healing process and I am blessed to be a mother.  The things I want for my children are so much more than what I had for myself and every part of me goes into creating a better life for my family.

And they are thrilled that I am doing this.  My own children have asked to come along on some of the walks, especially on the weekends, and I will be taking the journey with my own companion.  For shorter days, I will be walking with my English Mastiff and for longer days, I will be walking with my Labrador Retriever. 

So What Are You Doing Exactly?

Like Angela GilesKlocke, every day, I will be walking for someone whose life has been touched by abuse or violence.  I will place their name or initials on a note card and I will carry their name as I walk.

During the walk, I will take a picture of the card and post it here on the blog, on the facebook page and also on my twitter account.  I will share stories if I am asked to. 

Each walk will be dedicated to one person or one family and I will not carry more than one so that each walk is special to those people. 

How Long will You Walk?

Every day will be different and will depend on the weather, how I am feeling, my commitments during that day and also the day of the week.  I hope to walk at least 2 miles every day but there will be days when the walk will be shorter and days when the walk will be longer.

In total, my goal is to walk 1000 miles in honor of victims and survivors of abuse and violence in one year.  So by March 25th, 2015, I will have 1000 miles down.  

Will You Walk for Me or My Loved One?

Yes, I would be honored to walk for you or your loved one.  Simply send me a message to with the following:

Subject: Please Walk for _____________

In the body of the email, let me know any information that you would like me to share on the blog post.  In addition, please let me know if you would like me to write something important on the card such as “Survivor” or “RIP”.   You can use initials or first name, or a full name.  You can also share a bit of the history or nothing at all. This is completely up to you.   

What will Happen If You Don’t Have Anyone to Walk For?

Sadly, there is always someone to walk for and if it comes down to me not having a name on my list for someone to walk for, then I will find a name in the news. On those days, I will write down the name and will walk in honor of that person. 

Does It Cost Money for you to Walk in My Honor?

No, I am not asking for any monetary compensation so please do not send me any. If you would like to donate, please donate to a local charity for survivors of violence and abuse.

Since this campaign was inspired by Angela’s Scars and Tiaras walk, if you are not sure of a charity to give to but would like to donate to one, please use the charity that Angela is directing funds to.  This is the Tellar Safe Habor, which is trying to fund the creation of a safe house in their area.  You can donate to them here

How do you Track your Mileage?

I am using both a pedometer and I am charting my course on a map site before I head out.  Every day, I will start from my front door and take a different route before returning home. 

If you have any questions for me, please let me know.  I have already started my 1000 miles with 2.270 miles being finished.  Yesterday, I walked for me, today, I will be walking for all the victims of violence and abuse but I have already started adding names for my walk.  If you would like me to walk in honor of you or someone you know, please send me an email.

Thank you for your support as I walk these 1000 miles.

Who I am walking for this week

March 25: Sirena Van Schaik
March 26: Survivors and Victims of Violence and Abuse
March 27: Family
March 28: SMD - Survivor of Childhood Neglect, Rape and Spousal Abuse
March 29: 
March 30: Lisa Seeber - RIP March 22, 2014, Victim of Murder/Suicide