Category Archives: Thoughts

Loyal to the garden

yellow and pink rosesI had an interesting dream last night. I dreamed I was working for a computer company that had a big office building with very few people working in it. Some of my friends from past jobs worked there. I was only there temporarily but, was doing my best work for them.

One day, I go to the break room and I happen upon this guy I like (currently). He’s someone who has stopped contacting me so, to respect his space, I don’t actively acknowledge him and go about my business getting a cup of water.

He sees me and and says, “Carma, I really have to hand it to you, you are certainly loyal to the garden.”

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And I thought I was was just a moth!

cosmopolitanLast night, I had my first Cosmopolitan. When I asked the waiter which of the drinks on the Happy Hour menu were sweet, he suggested that was the best one to start out with.

Boy, he wasn’t wrong. One taste and I wondered where that drink had been all my life.

This year (and I am aware it is only about six weeks old) is so amazing.

I’m experiencing life like it was all brand new. I’m experiencing dating like I never have before. I’m experiencing people like they are new and fresh and wonderful. I’m experiencing new foods, drinks, activities …

butterflyIt is like I’ve spent the past 10 years in a chrysalis and have just emerged a beautiful new butterfly.

And to think all this time I thought I was just a moth!

I am thoroughly enjoying the ups and downs, twists and turns of my new life. I am exuberantly enjoying learning who I am now … a new version of me … an improved version of me.

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What is love?

ChantallI just got my Catherine Ponder newsletter, Keys to Prosperity, in the mail today and it opened with this quote:

“God measures souls by their capacity for entertaining His best angel, love.”

Interesting, especially since this morning’s angel card for me was Chantall, whose meaning is “New romance is imminent – either with a newcomer, or through reignited passion in your existing relationship. Be open to giving and receiving love.”

Also interesting since now that I’m officially a free woman … my divorce was final on Jan. 3 … I’m starting to date again. I’ve already met a couple of great guys and there are other potentials floating around, too.

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What Is Creativity?

You can read this post or follow along as I read it.

Noun: The use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.

For some reason I felt called to write about creativity today. I guess because I’ve been feeling both very creative and creatively frustrated the last three weeks. It is as if the object of my creation lies just beyond a veil … I can sense its presence and yet, I cannot seem to lift that veil and reveal its beauty to the world.

Donatella Versace once said that “creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.” The thing for me is that not everyone sees the same conflict, so your particular resolution — the birth of your own creative expression — will never be exactly like someone else’s.

For me, as a fiction writer, creativity is often the ability to see juxtapositions where others do not. Creativity is not necessarily creating something new per se, but seeing what is already there with a new perspective, from a new angle … or sometimes simply an ever-so-slightly different perspective or angle.

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The Power in Vulnerability

Last month, SyFy aired a two-part miniseries called Neverland. In one scene the Indians and pirates are fighting. Many Indians are dying for they only have spears and arrows, while the pirates have guns. Then, the tribe’s holy man, played by Raoul Trujillo, opens his arms and stands in front of his people. In that moment, he was superbly vulnerable — an easy target for Rhys Ifans’ James Hook — and yet he was also at his most powerful. Hook stood down and the pirates got away.

This year, I’m conducting an experiment in gratitude and working through a book I recently read called Living in Gratitude. In one of the exercises for this month, I’m exploring my lessons from the four themes of soulmaking … one of them being “power.”

On New Year’s Day I made a discovery about my relationship to power. I discovered that surrendering to vulnerability can lead to an amazing rush of personal power. And, as the week has progressed I’m learning that being vulnerable is like being in a forging fire or running a gauntlet of flame. It can be painful … which is why so many of us avoid it like the dentist … but it is necessary for all the good things we want out of life.

Being vulnerable means opening ourselves to the possibility of pain. It requires courage both in bravery and in its original meaning of telling the story of who you are with your whole heart. Being vulnerable requires that you believe in your own worthiness and that you accept that not everyone is going to agree with you on that matter.

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Reading Resolutions

I’ve been keeping a running bibliography of books I read since 1993. I keep it in a little spiral note book and jot down the date I start and finish reading each book. This habit has proved helpful when I find myself re-reading a book that I didn’t remember reading … but everything feels like deja vu. I can just go look it up … did I read this book before?

Although I’m still keeping this written record, I’m now also logging it into my Good Reads account.


Well, I like to have the written back up … and it is much more portable. But Good Reads gives you some interesting stats that I would be hard-pressed to do with my little notebook. For example, I know from what I’ve recorded that I started and completed reading 21 books in 2011. However, Good Reads told me that

  • I completed reading 23 books in books in 2011 (I had started two of them in 2010.)
  • I’ve read about 6,575 pages in 2011 (of course they are counting the total pages of the two books I started in 2010, and not the book I started but haven’t finished reading yet).

With my notebook, if I want to see how my reading compares from year to year, I have to flip through a lot of pages. But with Good Reads, I can quickly and easily see that my most prolific reading years were 1999 (31 books) and 2004 (30 books).

Looking on this, I can see that it will more than likely take me almost 5 years to read the books currently sitting in my review queue for The Genre Traveler(more…)

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Writing honest book reviews

This weekend, one of the staff over at the New York Journal of Books shared this interesting article about book reviewing with all us reviewers. Apparently, an author was awarded a hefty sum for damages caused by a scathing book review.

The article is a very interesting read and if you have any interest at all in writing, or even reading, book reviews, I recommend you read it.

The piece got me to thinking. Since I write book reviews for both the New York Journal of Books and The Genre Traveler, I have a stake in the liability of book reviewers.

That said, I believe I’ll be O.K. I tend to be a reviewer who respects the humanity of those reviewed. Just because I didn’t find a moment of enjoyment in reading a book, just because reading each successive word felt like forcing my head through Jell-O, doesn’t mean I have to be nasty. It is quite possible that the book would be better suited to a different kind of reader. So, for my The Genre Traveler reviews, I always write from my own personal perspective and include things that both worked and did not work for me. I know that things I didn’t like about a book might be perfectly delightful for another reader.

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