To Read | The Colossus and other Poems by Sylvia Plath


April is National Poetry Month, and poetry always makes me think of Sylvia Plath. Even though the only work I’ve ever read by her is The Bell Jar, I have long wanted to explore her poetry. Maybe this is the perfect time to do so. Thoughtfully added to my To Be Read list this month is Plath’s The Colossus.


Pop | Happy 40th #Anniversary, The Rocky Horror Picture Show! #RHPS

Source: Pinterest

Forty years ago today, the world was utterly changed by a small play that traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and became a cult film: The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

(From Akasha9393)

In honor of such longevity and its broad reach as a cult film, a stage production, and an outlet for frustrated, misunderstood creatives, here are some of my favorite moments!

(From Lex121100)

Source: Pinterest

Read More »

#Ideas | Something to Remember Looking Toward the #NewYear

I have classified myself as depressed since around the time I turned 12. This came as a shock to my mother when I told her, after I turned 19. I didn’t have words for the deep sensations of hopelessness, lack of control, and fear of the future I was feeling so long ago. Whenever I told my mother I was worried about something, she would say to me, “Stop it. You’re too young to worry. Go, have fun; be a child.” But I didn’t know how to be a child. I mean, I knew how other children acted, and though I’ve been called childish by demeaning people I like to think of it as being creative, imaginative. And because I spent so much time floating in a fantasy world as a child, I often felt like I had no idea what to do in the real one.

That translated into dead-end relationships and keeping people at arms-length so I didn’t have to feel the pain of their departure. I doubted that anyone could really love me because I could barely love myself. Though much of this is in the past, I do still struggle with feelings of inadequacy and failure. My friends and family tell me how “great” I am, but I always remind myself they are my friends and family.

In other words, I still need to find ways to remind myself that I am a productive and important person with worth: even if I’m not certain of my reason, my purpose yet. I need to remind myself that I’ve seen some pretty amazing things (The Art Institute of Chicago, I’m looking at you) and I’ve been to some pretty amazing places (Myrtle Beach, SC, I’m talking about you). There are so many places left to see, things to do, and goals to accomplish.

And on that path, there are five little things I need to remember. I received the list of Virginia Satir’s Five Freedoms while I was pursuing therapy the first time I attempted a master’s degree. I was studying Public Relations (totally the wrong field for me, but I loved the writing and event planning involved) really because I told a certain ex-girlfriend that I would and I still felt like I had something to prove to her. That I could do something without her. It was really the fallout of that relationship that guided me toward the Depression Screening Clinic the campus medical center was offering. That was a chance to really determine if the depression I saw within myself over 10 years before was really there.

It was. I had a great counselor and she was the one who told me about Satir’s list of freedoms. Reading them in that moment, holding a simple print-out, with no banner ads, all white-space, I felt a strange sensation rush over me: hope. Someone had heard me and finally understood what I was asking for: a sense of control over myself and my future. I thank the universe for that woman every single day of my life, and the power those five short statements gave me. Walking into the new year, running my own business, and keeping my head and heart above water will only be possible if I can remember the power I have over myself and actually exercise it.

From the PsychCentral Blog linked above, Satir gets a nice little introduction:

Satir keenly observed that many adults learned to deny certain senses from childhood, that is, to deny what they hear, see, taste, smell and touch/feel.

Noting the significant role our senses play in our survival, she devised the following “Five Freedoms” tool, essentially affirmations, to help people connect to their body and self in the moment, and focus their attention on their inner resources and creative choices in the present. (Here we see how ahead of her time Satir was; these are mindfulness concepts proven today by neuroscience research.)

The Five Freedoms:

1) The freedom to see and hear (perceive) what is here and now, rather than what was, will be or should be.

2) The freedom to think what one thinks, rather than what one should think.

3) The freedom to feel what one feels, rather than what one should feel.

4) The freedom to want (desire) and to choose what one wants, rather than what one should want.

5) The freedom to imagine one’s own self-actualization, rather than playing a rigid role or always playing it safe.

I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to get away with not playing it safe–I’m too thoughtful, doubtful, and purposefully cautious for that. But I do enjoy being spontaneous with people I love and with whom I’m comfortable. So, my New Year’s resolution is to remember that I’m productive, capable, and prepared to face the future, even if I don’t know what’s coming or where I’ll be when it’s over.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Happy New Year, Everyone!!! 

SheWired | #VOTE: Woman of the Year 2014!

SheWired Woman of the Year

SheWired – VOTE: You Pick SheWired’s Out Woman of the Year 2014!

With 21 dynamic, gorgeous, and amazing women to choose from, I don’t know how we’ll ever decide. SheWired would probably need the equivalent of a papal conclave; I know I’d request that level of assistance! Leaving it up to a popular vote must be easier than any committee trying to figure it out. You’ve only got one week left; so, hustle on over to the SheWired voting page (link below) after you read a little about each candidate!

Here are the candidates:

  1. Mary Lambert
  2. Brittney Griner
  3. Desiree Akhavan
  4. Robin Roberts
  5. Ellen Page
  6. Emily Rios
  7. Roxane Gay
  8. Evan Rachel Wood
  9. Hannah Hart
  10. Rosie O’ Donnell
  11. Trish Bendix
  12. Patricia Yurena Rodriguez
  13. Angel Haze
  14. Lauren Morelli
  15. Lena Waithe
  16. Ruby Rose
  17. Lily Tomlin
  18. Djuan Trent
  19. Rain Dove
  20. Roberta Kaplan
  21. Samira Wiley

Cast your vote here.

Today in History | Mata Hari Executed

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

Today, October 15, in 1917, a famous courtesan was executed for her alleged interactions with various high-ranking military officials during World War I. Because those interactions were of a highly intimate and sensitive nature, the implication was that she’d shared, heard, or otherwise contained strategies and information for German progress through the war.

Mata Hari, born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in the Netherlands, arrived in Paris around 1905 to make her name. She did so in March of that year performing her first striptease at the Musée Guimet, where she peeled her clothes off until all that remained was a jeweled bra and a body stocking matching her skin tone.

After being charged for her crimes by the French authorities in February of 1917, she was taken before a firing squad and refused the blindfold before being shot to death.


There is some evidence that Mata Hari acted as a German spy, and for a time as a double agent for the French, but the Germans had written her off as an ineffective agent whose pillow talk had produced little intelligence of value. Her military trial was riddled with bias and circumstantial evidence, and it is probable that French authorities trumped her up as “the greatest woman spy of the century” as a distraction for the huge losses the French army was suffering on the western front. Her only real crimes may have been an elaborate stage fallacy and a weakness for men in uniform.

Ideas | 15 Things to Give Up if You Want to Be Happy

Source: Quotespaper on Tumblr
Source: Quotespaper on Tumblr

So, I saw this image and its quotes while I was working on a Tumblr blog I manage for a self-published author, and I found the content compelling enough to re-type–because even with my 20/20 sight it was difficult to clearly read–to share with my readers. Because (like I added to the image when I reblogged it at the link above) if you’re going to give up at all, here’s the checklist. So, get to it!

1) Give up your need to be right.
“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” – Wayne Dyer

2) Give up your need for control.
“By letting it go, it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. When you try and try, the world is beyond winning.” – Lao Tzu

3) Give up on blaming others.
“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” – John Burroughs

4) Give up your self-defeating self-talk.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” – Eckhart Tolle

5) Give up your limiting beliefs.
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind; it is an idea that holds the mind.” – Elly Roselle

6) Give up complaining.
“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” – Ziggy

7) Give up the luxury of criticism.
“Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.” – Christian D. Larson

8) Give up your need to impress others.
“Don’t try to impress others. Let them have the fun of impressing you.” – James R. Fisher, Jr.

9) Give up your resistance to change.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

10) Give up labels.
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” – Wayne Dyer

11) Give up on your fears.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

12) Give up your excuses.
“99% of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver

13) Give up the past.
“Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.” – Christian D. Larson

14) Give up attachment.
“The wise individual doesn’t get too attached to any of life’s pleasures, knowing that wonderful science is hard at work proving it’s bad for him.” – Bill Vaughan

15) Give up living your life to other people’s expectations.
“The world is a mirror and reflects back your expectations. What you get is what you see. You create your own reality.” – Denis Waitley

Though the content of the message is slightly different and there are less points to the list, the originating source is listed as an April 2012 post to World Observer Online. It looks like the content in the image was reconfigured for better mass consumption, but the intent of the message hasn’t changed. Don’t give up until you’ve given up negativity first.

Pop | Celebrate Bisexuality Day!


Since 1999, less than a year after the Bi Pride Flag was first unveiled, Bisexuals have been celebrated on September 23. According to the Wikipedia page, Celebrate Bisexuality Day was pegged for 9/23 by the three founding members to honor Freddie Mercury‘s birthday and in selecting a weekend day to have a party where more people could attend. Gigi Raven Wilbur‘s birthday, the 23rd, filled the proverbial bill.

In my own coming out process, when I first stepped out of the closet I was bisexual. It was because I was still coming to terms with my own attraction to other women. At the time, that label felt right to me, and I wouldn’t ever change that process or that time in my life for anything. The fact that I claim lesbianism now does not negate the fact that I felt bisexual then.

This is not the typical transition period or process, at all. I hate to label any kind of transition period typical; however, my very process could lead others to believe that bisexuality is merely a phase–and that is NOT the case, at all. Bisexuality is an orientation, a genuine feeling of attraction of one person for persons of both genders. It is legitimate and should not be shuttered as something one may pass through.

There are several bisexual celebrities who have graced our stages, radios, movie screens, and televisions–the aforementioned Mercury probably one of the most well-known–Michelle Rodriguez, Anna Paquin, Lady Gaga, Billie Joe Armstrong, Clive Davis, and Andy Dick just to name a few. The Huffington Post has a gallery of 28 celebrities (including some I’ve already listed) who claim the orientation. Although, bisexuality is no contemporary facet only, many classic names have staked their claim as well: Oscar Wilde, Isadora Duncan, Tamara de Lempicka, Tallulah Bankhead, and Leonard Bernstein.

I mention all of this in order to help make a stand against the stigma associated with bisexuality and alternate sexual orientations in general. The beauty of this world is its diversity, and the moment we try to mainstream what cannot possibly be aligned to fight fear or the unknown we lose a bit of that beauty. Diversity is not anything to fear, but to welcome. Allowing for people to be different allows them to be themselves. When people feel comfortable to be themselves (outside of legitimately causing harm to someone’s life) they can be more productive, effective, and compassionate. Show the courtesy you wish to see in the world. Celebrate diversity!

Upworthy | 21 Absurd Things Lesbians Say to Straight People

It’s always funny to see someone offer the world a dash of perspective. Of course, this is satire. Of course, this is sarcastic. Of course, if I had a dollar for each time I’ve been asked one of these questions I wouldn’t have to work again, ever.

I’m not frowning upon asking questions to get to know something about someone better; I think it’s important to maintain an open channel for asking questions when someone feels uncertain about something that’s presented. But several of the questions or observations pointed out in the video above are legitimate inquiries lesbians (and people who fall within the rest of the LGBT spectrum) face from well-intentioned (albeit misguidedly in the dark) straight people who just want to understand (and see clearly, maybe?) the differences from heterosexual relationships. The point here is that every relationship meets different expectations and needs for the people in it; no two relationships are the same no matter the orientation of the folks sharing it. However, some of those inquiries need to slink off into the dark: “Can I watch?”; “That isn’t real/natural sex.”; “I just don’t want to see it.”; and “You just haven’t met the right man/woman yet.”–I’m looking at you.

Virgo to a “V”

Alas, the much-heralded day has arrived! I’ve finally turned 32, not that I was much looking forward to that particular age as much as the day itself, and I’m only looking forward to the future!

Source: Corn and Co. Birthday Cake Popcorn Promo
Source: Corn and Co. Birthday Cake Popcorn Promo

So, given that I was born on September 15, I am most definitely a Virgo. Two years ago, I almost wasn’t a Virgo anymore and I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with myself. My mom was an avid horoscope reader when I was a kid, and I always thought it was kind of cool to believe there’s an arrangement to the stars and planets that can have a direct insight into or impact on my life. Briefly, it made me feel special and almost like I was meant to have a place in the world. Granted, I’ve grown much past that since then, but I still read my horoscope when I see a chance to glance at it.

That probably comes down to the fact that even as a child I knew the Virgo description fit me to a tee (or “V”, rather, hehehe) and it has regardless of the sources I have read to find out more. Growing up a Christian (I consider myself more of a spiritual humanist now) I was already looking toward the sky for answers, and astrology just seemed to fit right in with that ideal.

Back in the day, I would get my horoscope from the daily paper or I seem to remember TV Guide having a horoscope section, possibly? But now, I get my Astrology needs met right from the source: Here’s just a tidbit of their description of the Virgo Zodiac sign:

August 23 – September 22

Virgo is the sixth sign of the zodiac, to be exact, and that’s the way Virgos like it: exacting. Those born under this sign are forever the butt of jokes for being so picky and critical (and they can be), but their ‘attention to detail’ is for a reason: to help others. Virgos, more than any other sign, were born to serve, and it gives them great joy. They are also tailor-made for the job, since they are industrious, methodical and efficient. The sense of duty borne by these folks is considerable, and it ensures that they will always work for the greater good.

Virgo is represented by the Virgin, although this association should not be taken literally. Rather, Virgos tend to take on some of the qualities of a Virgin, things like modesty and humanity. Some might consider them repressed, although Virgins would argue that it’s a noble quality, as opposed to a negative one. Most of all, Virgos enjoy indulging their practical and logical side and poring over their projects to the nth degree. To say these folks are good at fact-finding almost understates the case, since Virgos revel in their exacting (some would argue pedantic) behavior and are a whiz with minutiae. Virgins are an asset in the workplace as they can be counted on to get things right the first time, every time — and no detail will be overlooked. They are also balanced and fair in their assessments in keeping with the Mutable Quality assigned to this sign.

Maybe that explains why I became a copy editor! 😀

Happy Birthday to all my fellow Virgins!

Books | The Witness Wore Red

Source: "To Read" Pinterest Board
Source: “To Read”
Pinterest Board

I just finished reading The Witness Wore Red, and Rebecca Musser is probably one of my new heroes! Expect a full-length review soon at my editing blog here. Click the title’s link to pick up your own copy at Amazon. That just happens to be my digital book store of choice. I would suggest checking it out from your public library–that’s where I got mine–and then go here to purchase a signed copy. An email is provided to contact about cost reduction if you plan on multiple signed-copy purchases.


Books | The Confidence Code

Even though it was a rerun (the Mother’s Day episode), I went ahead and sat back to watch yesterday’s episode of Katie because I hadn’t before. I was kind of glad I did…

In my professional life, I’m a freelance copy editor and proofreader. My entire life all I’ve ever wanted was to work in my pajamas and get paid to read books. While I’m doing it and it feels great, there’s something else I’ve always wanted to do. And I never did it because I never felt confident enough–that I knew enough or had enough resources–to pursue it: starting my own publishing company and literary magazine. Both would cater to the darker/non-mainstream literary genres like horror, thriller, mystery, true crime, etc. I have friends who have offered me help in this, and I know no man is an island…but I’ve always wanted to do it myself. Not necessarily all  by myself, but getting the groundwork laid out–I want to make sure this magazine is mine and not anyone else’s…But, I digress…


Watch Katie video: Why Do Women Lack Confidence?

One of the big things keeping me from doing that is confidence and my lack thereof. The two women Katie had on her show (well, back in May, of course) yesterday Claire Shipman and Katty Kay have written The Confidence Code explaining how (and why) women seem to have a lacking in confidence in comparison to their male counterparts. This doesn’t surprise me at all, and it’s the fact that boys are simply raised differently than girls; on top of the fact that women are wired to be more cautious, more careful (because of our nurturing and caring-for-others tendencies).

Watch Katie video: How To Boost Confidence


A Response to the Definitive Guide to Celebrity Feminism of 2013

Coming from Huffington Post, writer Lauren Duca compiled the best feminism moments of 2013. And while I totally agree with the moments she’s chosen, what bothers me the most is a woman’s hesitation to admit or claim the feminist label.

How can a woman in today’s world NOT be a feminist. Even if the word breaks down to being an ultra-militant, anti-male bitch. So what? Don’t men have it coming? For rape, abuse, and overall assumed authority over those which have no penis – don’t they deserve it? Just a little?

Read More »

Pop Stars and the Miseducation of Feminism | Valerie Tejeda

Valerie Tejeda at Huffington Post outlines feminism in much the same way I would. I do believe in feminism and its importance to the world. What I don’t believe is that women are better for believing that they have to be one thing or another. Valerie articulates well how important it is to remember the true tenets of feminism are equality for, respect for, and support of each other.

Pop Stars and the Miseducation of Feminism | Valerie Tejeda.