The Stars Are Ours

The Musings of a Dreamer

Bitch-slapped into Awesomeness

First off, before I share my story little story, I want to tell you...

Alright, my lovelies, in a mere 72 hours, I have changed, rocked, bitch-slapped myself into awesomeness. No, I didn't win the lottery, my face isn't plastered on billboards, I didn't solve world peace. It isn't as fancy as all of that. It is all inside, a very quiet, but brutal battle finally won. 

I have wrestled with debilitatingly low self esteem for years. I was always very good at painting on my mask or even finding and building up other people, but I was quick to criticize myself. I always felt that I could love me "when I____." It was the lie that I fed myself over and over again that even when I accomplished something on that *when I* list, I couldn't enjoy it fully. My gaze just shifted to the next thing, and then the next thing… in the big ol' pyramid of shame and disappointment that I had built up for myself. 

Now, there have been times, that I knew rationally that this self-loathing was ridiculous. Rationally, I knew the steps I needed to take to healing. I wanted to take them, I tried. In the end though, I was easily broken. I didn't believe it. It was a dead mantra in my head. A hollow set of words that I recited to myself. 

Through all of this, I have tried to remain joyful and generous with love and praise for others. As a behavioral therapist, you see any progress as success in a client, as something to be celebrated. Set backs are just issues to be thought out and planned better for, a learning experience, a lesson in how not to do something. But as long as you are breathing, you have the opportunity to try again. As long as you are alive, you are a gift to this world. 

I am a gift. I am special. Beautiful. Even when people told me so, I didn't believe them.

What are things I have been ashamed of? Beauty was always a major one. I always wanted to be more beautiful and thinner (even when I was 40+lbs lighter than I am now). And now, that I am in my mid-twenties with 40+lbs more than ever before (except when I was pregnant), stretch marks on my belly, circles under my eyes, hair falling out (paintin' a pretty picture aren't I?) I had gotten to an all-time low. I have tried over and over to lose weight, only to fall off the wagon. Not fall. Flung. I flung myself off the wagon, and then waited for the damn thing to roll over me. I hated the process because I felt like I was being punished or judged or forced to deprive myself. I was trying to lose weight so that I could be perfect for *other* people and that made me angry, bitter, sad. AND, I knew that I couldn't be perfect… so the whole endeavor seemed pointless.

Some days were better than others and I really tried to work at all of these internal feelings, because I didn't want my daughter to grow up with a mother like that. Through it all, I have stuck to my guns with other personal goals. I have an amazing little family, and am a good behavioral therapist. In short, I was good at the external stuff. The stuff that I *did* or the people I helped…I put my heart into it. Behavioral therapy is focused on our choices… the thousands of choices that we make every day, in the blink of an eye and working to mastering responses and actions that are the most positive and fulfilling. I love this job. I like seeing people succeed and grow and change. I worked to help others see their strengths, the beauty in themselves, the reasons that they should feel proud of who they are and who they aim to become. 

I wanted to grow this into a business. A behavioral life coaching business. It was something that I had set in the future as a dream. I wanted to work on myself, save up, quit my normal job, and build slowly.

Then something happened. I was faced with a pretty big surprise at work and then, after the shock, I realized that I was going to be free and unattached sooner than I thought. I sat down with it, and the little bitch critic inside me listed all of the reasons why I couldn't, shouldn't focus on this dream of mine. 

And for the first time, I didn't listen. 

She was actually pissing me off.

So, I thought about it. Was she saying anything that was at all relevant? 

The truth was, I wasn't ugly or weak or incapable. This little, manipulative, gremlin of a bitch was. 

For some reason, that is what hit me. My goal with life coaching would be to help women discover the absolute awesomeness that dwells *within* them. That even when they are stripped down to nothing, that was is left is beautiful, powerful, and unique and something to celebrate. Now, how would I be able to do that if I couldn't do that for myself?

It was that simple. It was this bitch-slap, that knocked the NegativitySlut right out of me. For real, ya'll. She stumbled out looking all ridiculous and wide-eyed. I didn't need her anymore. 

I was free. I remember smiling and thinking, wow. I am happy. With me. 

I stood in front of the mirror--naked! I never, ever do that--and I looked at the scars, the extra flub, the imperfections and I thought wow, I am quite a lovely lady. Not because I was perfect… but because every inch of me was mine and deserved to be loved. My stretch marks were a gift from my daughter. My daughter is the light of my life so any gift from her should be treasured. My cellulite was a gift from delicious meals out with friends and family. My gut was a gift of watching TV and cuddling with my husband instead of going to the gym. The dark circles under my eyes were a gift of many sleepless nights from writing, finishing and publishing my first novel, or late nights with people I love, or moments with my daughter when she woke up from nightmares. There are some wonderful moments mixed in with those imperfections… things that I would never have given up. And so, these imperfections are not only mine, but beautiful. 

So, one of the many consequences of this fabulous realization? Now, I know that my weight loss journey has been going poorly because 1) I wanted it to be fast and be rid of this body faster than a sneeze and 2) how could I ever change a body that I hated? How could I invest the type of love, energy, and work into a body necessary for weight loss when I loathed it so completely? Time to change the mindset. I want to lose weight for my health and to reclaim the body I had when I was younger… although it will never quite be like that and that's okay. I want to be strong. Confident. That will take time. Change takes time. This isn't a race, it's a transformation. So in the mean time, I have to love this skin of mine--even the extra bits--because it has gotten me this far. 

I am proud and happy to say that for the first time in my life--at least from what I can remember--that I got alota love for me right now. Love without conditions… there are no "when"s involved. I love me--NOW. Every imperfect little bit of me inside and out. 

And even when the world seems to be falling apart (and it has felt that way for the past year or so), if I can love myself as-is and can recognize the people who love me for me… What is there to complain about? Because, when all is ripped away from you, in the end, that is what matters most. 

Do you have a nagging, evil wench in your head trying to beat you up or wrestle you into submitting to a life that is less than what you hoped for?

Yes? **rocky glares at evil wench**

Knock that bitch out. Trust me. She's just trying to block your view from the awesomeness that is waiting for you. 

Today is yours. Rock it! 

Cover Reveal! A Shard of Ice by Alivia Anders

Alivia Anders is all sorts of fabulousness! Today is her birthday AND is the cover reveal for one of her many projects. I have been excited about this for a loooooooong time! Readers actually helped Alivia pick this cover (which, ehem, SHE DESIGNED, I know... so much talent shouldn't be bottled up in one person!) and I looooved this one. SWOONS.


Title: A Shard of Ice
Series: Black Symphony Saga
Publisher: Red Alice Press
Release Date: April 14th, 2014


When 13-year-old Lilix Morgan is found alive and floating on a bed of ice at sea, everyone counts it a miracle. Kidnapped nearly four weeks earlier, she remembers nothing of her mysterious abduction. When she tries to remember what happened, she hears only a melody – a faint and delicate set of notes, strung together in a tune she doesn’t understand.
A year later and desperate to put the lingering nightmares of her past behind her, Lilix crosses the country to enroll at Baelmorte Academy, aiming to become the violinist she once dreamt of. Things seem to be finally going well, and Lilix settles into a routine of sheet music and inspiration among new friends.
Then the dreams start.
The melody and night terrors she thought she’d left behind return with a vengeance, threatening to ruin her fragile version of normalcy. Then an unlikely ally tells her that she isn’t alone. That there are others just like her, fighting to hide their own shocking truths from coming to light. That they know who she is, and what she’s been through. Now, accompanied by four other girls, Lilix discovers her nightmares are larger than a single trauma; they’re a window to a hidden part of her soul, a place of immense power with a destiny that cannot be ignored.
With this knowledge comes a new and frightening reality. For Lilix has been reawakened to stop an age-old enemy, one thought to have been destroyed centuries ago. Trapped by her destiny, Lilix is torn between what feels right and what she remembers. Her memories tell her of a star-crossed love waiting to be reunited, of friendships and trust broken in the past. But can she save that love when reality brings her an enemy, and an evil that will be the undoing of them all if they don’t destroy it?

Spectacular? Yes, I think so. I can't wait to snatch this up!!!! 
Want to stalk Alivia? 

Want to buy her books???
Go check out them out on her author page on Amazon.

New Project with some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G People! Donate, share, GET EXCITED!

So, my editor, Annetta Ribken, sent me an email about a week ago.

Here is what that looked like--

I check my inbox.
See a message from my editor. Smile. Click to open.
Read again.

What did this lovely message contain?

Well, let me tell you... it was EPIC.

Netta has gathered a huuuuge crew of seasoned and newbie authors to work on a fabulously original and exciting project.


Each of the 22 (yes, 22!) authors will contribute a story based on one card from the Tarot Deck.

How did Netta know I was itching to do a story just like this?? I dunno. She's just awesome like that.

Want more info? Watch the video she made...

*giggles in pure glee*

Can you tell that I am jumping up an down??

Who will be working on this project?

Check out these writing ninjas (and their cards!)

The Fool-- Peter Giglio
The Magician--Lon Prater
The High Priestess--Billie Sue Mosiman
The Empress--Spike Marlowe
The Emperor--Kris Austen Radcliffe
The Hierophant--Jessica McHugh
The Lovers--Eden Baylee
The Chariot--Annetta Ribken
Strength--Rochelle Maya Callen ***********************There I am!!! WOOT WOOT!*********************
The Hermit--Red Tash
The Wheel of Fortune--Joseph Paul Haines
Justice--Catie Rhodes
The Hanged Man--Matthew Bryan
Death--Timothy Smith
Temperance--Anne Chaconas
The Devil--Patti Larsen
The Tower--Jordan L. Hawk
The Star--Samantha Henderson
The Moon--Janet Sked
The Sun--Tristan J. Tarwater
Judgment--Jennifer Wingard
The World--Laura Eno

I am giddy being on that list with so many cool and talented writers. I am honored that Netta asked me.

NOW... here is where YOU come in. Time to spread the word! A-N-D help us fund this gorgeous project. There are so many perks and rewards for donating! Check it out and don't drool too much. 

I did. Made a mess :-/

Go here to the campaign page to see all the fabulousness! What's up for grabs? Books, swag, copyediting, developmental editing, marketing consultations and MORE! 

Here is my card:



Hello, you sexy/fabulous little Blog Post! Oh my, first one, are you? No wonder you sparkle...

Now that is some badass sparkles if you ask me! Writing Ninja. BOOYAH!

Well, this is my very first blog post on this shiny new blog. I have to warn you. I suck. Seriously, I am an epic fail at blogging. I've tried. **don't laugh you person that has seen my blog FAILS** I would like this blog to focus on DREAMS. 

Many of my dreams have revolved around my family, my health, my adventures, my career. Some of you know that I recently published my FIRST NOVEL. A YA Dark Fantasy. This was a dream of mine for years. Check that baby off the bucket list! I am working on other projects now :)

I love reading, writing, and dreaming. I also love dancing Bachata with my hubby, singing in the shower, drinking coffee with those I love most, and pretending to be a super hero with my three year old daughter. 

I will keep readers informed about my life, but also about the dreams and accomplishments of my dear friends. 

We all have dreams--sometimes they are buried deep within us. Search for them, dust them off, and look to the stars to see them sparkle. Reach for them. 

Reach for the stars, ya'll. The Stars Are Ours.

And that's until next time (love & miss you pops--he used to sign off every letter this way:),