The Value of Written Works

Concurrent with the start of a new political administration, I recently started school again. In Creative Writing II, the curriculum is portioned into three segments—non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. We started with non-fiction, which is good as I have a work in progress. The downside—essays.

I wasn’t always a fan of essays, probably because I never felt savvy enough to write a good one. My work as a life coach encourages people to speak up and voice their feelings and viewpoints, but it doesn’t appeal to me to share my personal opinion in this form. Essays make me doubt myself. What if I was wrong, inaccurate with my research and made a ludicrous false claim? What if my interpretation of a topic was so far off as not to make sense?

When first reading literary essays, I thought as long as a group of obscure words were strung together, like black pearls on a jute cord, it was immediately considered “raw and edgy” or brilliantly clever, even when it made no sense to me.

Then I go on to consider genre fiction, works I enjoy reading as well as writing. I immediately think of the word prose, a word that I feel almost contradicts itself. Prose refers to the “ordinary form of spoken or written language…” It also means “matter-of-fact or dull expression.” So, if I write genre fiction, is my work immediately assumed to be ordinary or dull?

Writing the truth, whether in a memoir or a fictional character’s viewpoint, creates a strong connection to the reader. Maybe because academic essays are too well organized and detached—the point is to remain factual with an air of objectiveness—to me, that makes the essay feel without emotional fiber. It’s just overblown or watered down rhetoric. (Prose?)

Well-written genre is infused with creative intensity. Hitler and a multitude of other misinformed leaders appealed to ignorant minds, not taking much to convince followers to believe in an illusion. However, making an intelligent and informed mind believe in something that isn’t real is more of a challenge. To me, that is what makes fiction exciting to write.

Literary works often end like an international film that leaves one scratching their head. I get it. They want you to think, to provoke a response by presenting an unclear resolution where you choose what you believe to be true. But some of us just want to be entertained. Sometimes we doubt ourselves, and we want a break from accountability. We don’t want to read vague endings and guess what they mean whilst escaping.

I read once that fiction was the worst thing that ever happened to written expression, like bottled water being bad for third world countries and the environment. I wonder if literature outside of non-fiction is always intended escapism—a way to avoid day to day realities or people just wasting time. Perhaps, I’m doing a disservice by wanting to entertain my readers rather than provoke them into thought or teach a new skill through my personal experiences in non-fiction or my fictionalized characters. So, does that make only non-fiction works worth writing and reading? And then there’s the entertainment aspect of videos and social media. Are they also outcasts of what should be acceptable material to digest?

Thus far, my quandary as a writer has been which book to get out next. Perhaps it should be which genre. Writing is self-expression, but can I help it if someone finds my expression entertaining?

I journaled these thoughts at 4 a.m. unable to sleep because I can’t stop thinking about writing. Sometimes I have colorful dreams, terrific fictional stories based on who I want to be, would dare not be, or maybe was in the past. They have to be written. Little snippets, truisms occasionally come through, as well as these unintentional half-formatted essays.

I suppose, what it all boils down to is doing what I love. Non-fiction memoirs and essays are crafts I still need to learn, but I’m still going to keep writing fiction.

Mentoring and Satisfaction

I started another Creative Writing II class this week. It isn’t needed for a degree requirement, but I enjoy the writing prompts that keep my writing muscles flexible. Reading assignments help me gain knowledge about the writing craft that I may not have known before. However, the most appealing part of the class is the interaction with the students who have an interest in writing.

I enjoy partaking in the editing and critiquing process with others. Those who take constructive criticism personally won’t benefit from anyone’s help, but those who do, thrive and flourish as potential authors. It gives me immense satisfaction to contribute to their improvement as I watch them polish their stories.

Those who mentor benefit just as much from the process as the people they mentor.

Every one of us has knowledge or talent we can use to mentor others, be it in job or life skills. Mentors help set goals and provide steps to realize them. Each time we help a young person achieve a goal, their self-esteem is impacted for the good. Everyone’s outlook is positively affected and stress is reduced. Young people who are mentored are less likely to be involved in at-risk behavior. They are more productive and can mentor others with their new expertise, keeping the wonderful cycle in motion.

Whatever your skill or talent, consider teaching your craft to someone who would appreciate your time and energy. It’s a helpful, creative, and satisfying way to make a positive difference in the world.

Putting My Thoughts on the Line

If someone asked me a question in a one-on-one conversation, my reply would be honest and most likely more information than you planned on receiving. Whether in an e-mail, even a text, my replies have been called “epic” in length—but I’d like to think my intuitive reply would hold your attention.

However, posting a comment without a prompt about my thoughts or feelings in any area of life experience, I find writing a little more challenging. I suppose when I’m asked questions, it’s because I think someone is interested in what I have to say. But sharing information without solicitation, I have no idea if anyone is really interested or if they even connect to what I’m sharing.

Maybe my self-esteem hasn’t healed from abuse as much as I thought. I may unconsciously hear that my own opinions aren’t valid, my life not a worthy story, Maybe something whispers that the words of others are far more interesting than I could ever share, or theirs are more necessary to tell. Maybe I don’t have enough stories under my belt to captivate an audience.

So, here’s what I’m asking during my 365 Day Daily Post Challenge. Please do me the favor of leaving a comment and letting me know what you think about anything I’ve written. Please be honest, but kind. After reading one of my writing blogs, a chapter in my story, or one of my pages, short stories, or a tweet—anything that you know I have crafted—I really want to know if you think my writing skills measure up.

Your input will be highly appreciated, and your time greatly valued, and I promise not to take anything personally but in the spirit of receiving a genuine and helpful reply. I will gladly take suggestions on where you think I need to improve, or I will take your suggestions on what to write about. Thank you so much to those who are willing to help me out!

Loving Your Work

Monday. In the “olden days,” when I went to school or to work, I reacted to the first day of the week as if life was temporarily over, because I had to give up a weekend of fun, relaxation, or social connections.

Most of my jobs made me miserable. Either a difficult boss, snarky coworkers, mundane work, physical discomfort, and a list of other reasons existed for my Monday workday blues. Why didn’t I quit and find a better job? Why didn’t I quit and pursue my passion of writing? Why didn’t I quit so I could be happier and healthier without the immense stress?

Sure, I had an apartment to pay for, but I worked paycheck to paycheck and struggled to make ends meet. It wasn’t worth it. I should have rented a room and made the best of it until I could get a book off the ground or found other work that felt more satisfying. I should have gotten past my fear of starting my own business. If I had moved past my fears, I can’t imagine what I would have accomplished at such an early age.

Now that I work from home, the days blur and weekends are only different because of traffic patterns. But the big difference is I’m happy doing what I love.

If you’re miserable every Monday, if you don’t look forward to going to work either at home or in the office, it may be time to consider doing what you love, following your passion. Starting a new business, especially during a pandemic, is a frightful proposition, but many people are doing it successfully, tailoring services or products to the temporary socially disconnected world. Use your imagination and let it inspire you to move past your fears  and out of misery, unhappiness, boredom, or whatever else is overwhelming about your current position.

Granted, this isn’t possible for everyone. For some it may not be feasible to leave a demanding, unchallenging, or wretched position because of dire financial obligations, but even they can start planning for something new and brighter outside of work hours.

The old adage, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” still holds true. Give it some serious consideration. You’re worth the effort!

Challenging Yourself

I have a confession to make. My daughter, Marisa Ynez, said she accepted a challenge recently to grow her life coaching business. It’s called “The 365 Day Challenge” and is simple. Post at least one line every day on social media. I doubted she could do it (Sorry, Marisa) so I volunteered to help keep her accountable. Then I did something possibly considered insane—I took on the challenge as well.

The intent of the challenge is to get our business brand names out to the public. For my daughter, it’s promoting her business in relationship counseling (one-time shameless mother’s plug: Marisa is amazing and has helped my husband and me in our relationship! For me, it’s promoting my books at

We don’t have to mention our work in all posts—just our names. The idea is to discipline ourselves to post. Today is the third day of the year and I’ve made my goal so far. Granted it’s only 3 days, but that’s a start.

For those of you who want to build your brand name, product, service, or blogsite, there are still 363 days to go. It’s not too late. It may help to find an accountability buddy who will encourage your success.

Happy New Year to all. May everyone enjoy health and peace this year!

My website is at and I have two writing blogs at or (I’m in the process of deciding which writing blog gets more hits.) My website for Healing Through Awareness and Self-Expression for sexual abuse is at

Simple Idea to End Your Aggressive Driving

Bad DriverIf you yell at slow moving vehicles in front of your car, if you give stink-eye to someone who enters an intersection before their turn at a four-way stop, or if you flip a single finger to a person texting on their phone who swerves into your lane, then you might benefit from this simple suggestion.

Good Energy SignIt’s not to say your anger isn’t justified, but that’s a lot of hostile energy you’re putting out there, which only causes you more stress and may make the other driver angry. Since strong emotional energy has proven to be effective in creating change, why not send good, positive energy to the other driver so they can be safer on the road and so you can have a better day driving?

Bostrum [1]This easy and simple practice can be applied not only to drivers who annoy you, but in any social situation, no matter where it takes place. Think of someone or something that invokes a feeling of profound love in you. It could be a person, a pet, or a place you feel safe. I visualize my dog, Bostrum, who died a few years ago. A gentle animal, he was old, but every now and then he acted like a playful puppy. He gave love easily. He is my symbol for unconditional love.

Now, when you connect with an annoying driver, imagine them as your love symbol. Let that energy recreate joyful feelings, and send the driver peaceful energy.

Reduce driving aggression by sending other drivers the same energy you’d give to someone or something you loved.


Remember, when you send out good thoughts to anyone, they will be positively affected and more thoughtful on the road or towards other people.

Give it a try, and you will find peace on the road, reduce your stress, and do something subtle that will have a profound affect on the world!

Having Good Intentions & Why We Sabotage Them

We sabotage when we make unrealistic goals and give ourselves ridiculously brief timelines to achieve them (losing 100 pounds in 60 days, writing a novel and expecting to see it on the best sellers list in a month, or becoming a famous actor overnight if you are unwilling to go on auditions or contact an agent.) Or we might make goals that aren’t in line with what we truly want. We may also need to work on our innate feeling of unworthiness, thinking on an unconscious level that we don’t deserve the desires of our hearts. Sabotage is based on negative thinking–I can’t. I won’t. I shouldn’t. I don’t.

If you find yourself constantly sabotaging, that’s a good indication that your intention might not be in line with how you really feel or what you really want. Or you may have unhealed trauma, an underlying problem that needs attention first, generally not feeling worthy or wanting the wrong thing because you’re stuck in an old belief pattern.

One thing that to remember is that just because you want something, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

This year my “release” list was long, yet nothing too challenging–I want to enjoy success. On my list were a few old behaviors like procrastination that I need to release, because it doesn’t serve me and never did. My manifestation list was longer. It included things I wanted to achieve, but it also stated things I wanted to be–fearless, or less fearful, and to be more determined–to push pass residual fears and joyfully put forth the energy to do my part in creating my newly defined future. Above all, I intend to hold “right thinking,” positive thoughts to release stress, make hard jobs easier, and to help me confront any fears that might normally hold me back.

I think if we keep our thoughts positive, act every day with kindness–or at the least, act with common decency toward others, and are on a constant journey of inner growth, we will have an easier time fulfilling our intentions. And if we sabotage, intentionally or not, we have to be self-forgiving and restart working on our intention knowing we’re not perfect. We are allowed to make mistakes and to try again.

Mistakes simply show us how to improve the next time or they point at something else we might be wanting.

May you be blessed with fabulous energy this year to create anything beneficial that you truly desire!