Category Archives: Personal

The Judgment of Horror or the Horror of Judgment

Yep! This about says it all! ~ Image sourced from

Whilst perusing a guest blog on my friend LizzieBeth’s site, I found myself utterly aghast at what I was reading. That, in & of itself, came as a shock to me as I generally come away from her blogs in a happy-go-lucky ‘yay I got to know another cool author’ mood. To be clear, my shock had absolutely nothing to do with LizzieBeth’s writing or with the fact that the guest blogger, Fiona Dodwell, is a published horror fiction novelist. I was taken aback by some of the judgments Ms. Dodwell says some people pass on her & probably others for simply being a horror novelist.

I just can’t fathom why people would pass such harsh &, in my opinion, strange judgment on a person for writing fiction—regardless of the genre. The things mentioned in that post regarding those who choose to write horror, though, are outright appalling & definitely blew my mind. I had no idea. To say it’s ‘unhealthy’ or there ‘must be some deep-rooted issue’ for someone to be entertained by, let alone write in, the horror genre sounds incredibly insane to me. It’s fiction—pure & simple. One either enjoys reading/writing fictional horror or doesn’t. There’s no need to pass judgments on the readers or the writers of this or any other genre. Continue reading


I’ve Been Tagged! 10 Random Facts About Me

Dragon & Unicorn Moon ~ Credit Cora Lee Healy aka khorah of

I’ve been tagged? Uh oh! Am I in trouble? What’d I do now? What the heck does that mean? Good gravy! She’s my friend & I hope I didn’t offend her somehow. Yeah. Leave it to me to have those be the first thoughts that popped into my mind. That notoriously rude ‘self-doubt monster’ rears its ugly head again, as usual. So, sledgehammer in hand in preparation to knock the monster on its silly head & apologize if I had, in fact, hurt my friend’s feelings, I marched off through the links to find out what I’d done.

Oh my goodness. It’s a game? All that angst was over a bit of blog-hopping writing kinship & fun? By the time I was finished reading what ‘Tagged from Me to You’ was all about, I was laughing so hard at myself over the silliness of my initial thoughts, the now unnecessary self-doubt monster slaying sledgehammer slipped from my grasp, landing on the virtual floor of my mind with a distinct thud. It probably would’ve served me right if it had, instead, landed on a toe as punishment for consistently allowing thoughts of fear or self-doubt play first. Continue reading

Metamorphosis ~ Emerging From Darkness

Metamorphosis ~ The Butterfly ~ © Barbiedoll 2006-2011

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s been nearly five months since I finally took the leap of faith & began my adventure into the world of blogging. As I’d intended, it’s been therapeutic as well as enjoyable for the most part. That’s not to say it’s been the least bit easy or even entirely comfortable for me to actually learn to speak my mind & voice my own opinions.

Most who knew me prior to my embarking upon this journey know that I’m constantly striving to be there for everyone—remaining the consummate happy-go-lucky cheerleader, somehow managing to be the pillar to lean on & the shoulder to cry on, ready on-call 24/7 with the right thing to say or do to pull someone else out of a slump, researching for hours or even days the answers they sought if I didn’t know right off the top of my head, helping to urge them on in their own personal battles or journeys, trying to give them the validation they sought for their point of view or actions whether I agreed or disagreed, or even spending money my family could ill-afford to spend in order to help a friend in need. I did my best never to offend anyone unless I was defending a loved one, at which point I have a tendency to become a fierce force to be reckoned with—the very personification of tooth, fang, & claw. In other words, for the most part, I was literally living the quote from Walt Disney’s movie, “Bambi”—“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Continue reading

Mammoth Magic ~ My First Guest Blog Appearance

Several weeks ago, I was honored to be offered the incredible opportunity of writing a guest blog post about Mammoth Cave for David N. Walker (follow David on Twitter), a freelance writer & the co-founder of Warrior Writer’s Boot Camp (follow Kristen Lamb of Warrior Writer’s Boot Camp on Twitter). I just can’t thank David enough for giving me the thrilling experience of writing my first guest blog appearance while also allowing me to share my memories of Mammoth Cave with all of his wonderful readers. What a great subject for me to write about that I’ll always hold near & dear to my heart as my first experience as a guest blogger. I thank you so very much for the privilege, David. The following post is that guest blog entry, “Mammoth Magic”, originally posted to David’s website on August 12, 2011.

There’s a magical place on this amazing planet we call home—a place where one can literally feel Mother Earth breathe. Though it was discovered by humans at least 4,000 years ago & rediscovered by modern humans in the late 18th century, it is a place that still holds many of her secrets even today. This awe-inspiring place is called Mammoth Cave.

Mammoth Cave's Natural Entrance

Located mostly in Edmonson County, Kentucky & officially established as a National Park in 1941, Mammoth Cave National Park is a sprawling 52,835 acres on the surface but, even to this day, no one knows exactly how many miles the twisting labyrinth & sometimes massive rooms with vaulted ceilings travel beneath the surface. Each year, a special expeditionary team of spelunkers & scientists explore & map a bit more of these passageways into the heart of this incredible system. To date, at over 390 explored miles, Mammoth Cave remains the longest cave system in the world.

I’ve been privileged to have visited this wonder of our Earth four times so far in my life. Each time, I find myself overwhelmed with even more emotion & awe than the last—especially when I’ve made the journey to share its incredible beauty with someone else & bear witness to their first reactions to my favorite treasured gem beneath our feet. The ever-changing landscapes, both subterranean & on the surface, ensure that repeat adventures to this epic wonder of Mother Nature are most certainly never reruns. I’m so mystified by the spiritual essence of the Earth that envelopes me whenever I’m there that, when I was seventeen, I even wanted to get married in the Domed Cathedral room.

I don’t recall how old I was when my parents first took me there on our annual family vacation, but I do know I was quite young. I was so inquisitive—overflowing with questions & a deep desire to learn that’s never left me—that the park rangers apparently really took a liking to me. They even allowed me hold a cave cricket gently in the palm of my hand, which is illegal today, & help them pull up a net/basket from the river that runs deep within the cave system to see if there were any blind cave fish or cave crayfish to show everyone on the tour & there were!

The Mammoth Cave Crayfish (Orconectes pellucidus)

I recall being so giddy to be ‘helping’ the guides—to be learning about all these strange & wondrous-looking subterranean creatures up close & personal. Even as I write today, these memories still make my heart race with joyful excitement. I’m extremely grateful my parents gave me that opportunity for myriad reasons, but primarily because tours of the river level—I believe it’s called Echo River, if memory serves—were discontinued for the most part in the ‘90s due to the possibility of the boats harming the fragile aquatic creatures & ecosystem, so it’s something that I’ve been blessed to have done that no member of the general public nor I will ever likely be able to do again.

Mammoth Cave literally speaks to my soul. The breath of cool air gently caressing you as Mother Earth exhales her welcoming greeting while one strolls along the path toward the cave’s Historic Entrance on a sultry summer day, seeing the huge stalagmite & stalactite formations that have taken millennia to form from minute drops of mineral-rich water, the oddities of flora & fauna that have adapted to life in the fragile cave environment, or the eerie feeling one gets when the National Park Rangers take you down deep enough & then extinguish all the trail lighting so one can experience what complete total darkness feels like are just a few of the fond memories that flood back & make me smile when I think of trips to Mammoth Cave.

If I were asked to name one place I’ve been in my life that I feel everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime in order to connect with what I consider to be the heart of Mother Earth, herself, that place would be Mammoth Cave. Please tread carefully, go easy on leaving footprints, take nothing but photographs & memories for, despite all of her enormous splendor, she is but a fragile piece of our environment that absolutely must live on for future generations to appreciate & love as much as I do.

Poor Pinocchio — A Bit of Humor

Snow White, Superman, & Pinocchio (a bit of humor courtesy of my Dad)

Pinocchio, Snow White, & Superman are out for a stroll in town one day. As they walk, they come across a sign: “Beauty contest for the most beautiful woman in the world .”

“I am entering!” said Snow White.
After half an hour she comes out & they ask her, “Well, how’d ya do?”
“First Place!” said Snow White.

They continue walking & they see a sign:
“Contest for the strongest man in the world .”
“I’m entering,” says Superman.
After half an hour, he returns & they ask him, “How did you make out?”
“First Place,” answers Superman. “Did you ever doubt?”

They continue walking when they see a sign:
“Contest! Who is the greatest liar in the world?”
Pinocchio enters. After half an hour he returns with tears in his eyes.
“What happened?” they asked.
“Who the hell is Obama?” asked Pinocchio.

It looks like Mr. Obama didn't find this funny. Sorry 'bout his luck! (Photo Credit: AP)