Freeing The Captive Creative Soul

Thanks for the inspiration you so frequently provide. I am a struggling author (not sure I’ve mastered THAT, either) who began a mere five years ago as a “retired person”. You just have to get over the ‘what’s the use anyway?’ mindset. Do we not?? Thank you, Susan

Master of Something I'm Yet To Discover

We all have a need to create. Whether we are a writer, artist, photographer, musician, decorator, gardener, programmer, cook or athlete, we all feel the joy of seeing something that has come from us. It feeds our soul and lightens our days.

But what if you couldn’t create?

What happens to the writer who is jailed because of his words? What happens to the musician who is shunned by her community because of the style of music she chooses to play? What happens to the artist who is locked away and told “You must do nothing”?

The writer may continue to write in the hope of regime change. The musician may move to another community in the hope of bringing awareness to the restrictions placed on others. But what does the captive do?

A young man held in immigration detention for many years said the worst thing about being locked away was…

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The Value of “Old Books”

via Daily Prompt: Priceless

Lately, I have been revisiting some of the treasured volumes of my reading past. I recently lent my copy of the 1951 epic story of a hundred plus year old woman to a valiant lady of 103 tender years of age. The title is The Houses In Between, by Howard Spring. This particular tome came into my life when I was struggling with the difficult proposition of making my way through some of the relational problems that beset many of us. Life is, after all, a tough proposition. I sometimes think that the only way to get through is to doggedly plunge forward anyway. This, despite the feelings or personal inclination to run as far away from problems as possible, is true. So, realizing that you either get busy living or get busy dying, I made up my mind to get busy LIVING. I have been getting up and facing whatever the days may bring ever after.

Some stories are indeed PRICELESS. Just because a book has been written by an author decades or centuries ago does not discount their value. If you haven’t read it, IT IS NEW to YOU!!!  This is because heroic tales, whether they were written with an inspirational intent (or unwittingly so) are motivators. Some writers may never realize that a story written with a romantic point of view may prove subtly inspirational to an audience that they hadn’t anticipated.

Priceless indeed are those elements that move people to better their lot and those of the persons whose lives they touch.


Returning to active duty:

In other words, if you ARE a Writer – Act like one!!Aguis quote

Good advice, especially if you’ve lost some time to surgeries as I have over the past two months. I have had a lot of positive response to my debut novel Life Song: An Irish Odyssey. It’s been said that many writers never sell more than 50 books on average. Don’t you just love statistics?? Of course, you have to keep in mind that a 0.01% is considered statistically significant. Must we let that daunt us, my fellow writers??

Well, there appears an antidote to that statement. It is simply this: write because you love to do it and YOU have a stories to tell. The lovely writers who use this platform to publish their thoughts inspire me to continue, as well. I’ve also read advice that encourages us to take the risks.  More than one genre intrigues me, and I have a penchant to write children and young adult tales. Fortunately, I have some story starts that I will be working on in the coming weeks. I entered my first two contests last year and they were supportive and encouraging, despite my not being a first (or second) place contender. So, yup, the best thing to do is just sit down and get more good stuff cranked out.

Venture in Authorship




It’s going to an exciting month as I attend what has to be the biggest event in my writing life.  Sponsored by the Lee County Public Library here in Fort Myers, will be READ FEST 2017 on March 18th. Among many celebrated authors who have graciously agreed to appear at this event, I have been honored to have my own author table.

Libraries have long-held a consistent fascination for me since the age of 8. From that point on, I have held a library card in every place I’ve ever lived. This love of reading both for pleasure as well as general learning has been passed on to my children and grandchildren. They all love good stories in many different genres. This makes me so very proud!


LS Book Cover 2015cropped-author-photo-sue-0815-e1478752866325.jpg

I find that the love of a good story is common to us all. Films carry on the legacy of passing on good stories of all sorts. But, as for me, give me a good book every time. Hopefully the continued love of the written word will inspire the present and future generation. This is the WHY that motivates all of the reading festivals around the globe!


Elwood vs. Ebeneezer

Like many of us who research via various information banks (or libraries) sometimes an odd factoid (as in ‘not necessarily a fact per se) POPS and sends imaginations on a side path. That phenomenon is akin to walking a dog, who suddenly pulls hard on the leash as it encounters a squirrel. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what motivates human beings to pursue a life philosophy. You know, we all have a basic philosophy that influences our daily actions. Some notions serve us well. Often, we can observe, a mindset fails to aid us in becoming worthwhile people.

Well, this morning I was fooling around and looking up things on the internet. For fun, curiosity urged me to look up Harvey. As many of you who have followed me (or at least peeked at my blog) I am an AVID film and theater buff. The quote I wanted was found in the Wikipedia article on Harvey. It goes like this:

Years ago my mother used to say to me, She’d say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be – she always called me Elwood – ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

  • James Steward as Elwood P. Dowd

Harvey (1950)

As I read the above quotation, its opposite fictional character came to mind. Ah, yes, Ebeneezer Scrooge. My ‘dog chased that squirrel’. How do these characters compare?? 


  1. Background – an upper middle class gentleman who pursues his gifts of hospitality and compassion.
  2. Lives with sister and niece with whom, for his part, fondness and concern are the hallmarks of his behavior.
  3. Manages to overcome the misunderstandings that prompt his sister to have him committed to an institution.
  4. So, Mr. Dowd and his beloved pookah, Harvey, continue in their amicable relationship.


  1. Background – an upper merchant class Englishman whose father rejected him (due to the death of his mother, as he was born.)
  2. Lived reconciled with his father and sister, until he was apprenticed in an accounting firm.
  3. Mr. Scrooge only manages to find redemption due to the intervention of his deceased partner (Marley) and the famous three Spirits of Christmas.
  4. Awake to his failings to live with others with compassion and consideration, he ends his days with a new set of values that benefit everyone else in his life and community.

CONCLUSION:  I, too, recommend PLEASANT.

Thanks for stopping by, Susan

Daily Prompt: Relish

via Daily PromThe pickledpt: Relish

My general understanding of the word “relish” lies in the college prep. education I received sometime in the previous millenium. To relish something indicates that your appetites and preferences thoroughly enjoy whatever it is you are doing or consuming. Example: I relish a meal of prime rib with horseradish sauce. Or, you can use it as a describing word for a jar of chopped pickles to season a hot dog or hamburger (popular in American fast-food as a favored topping.)

There are other appropriate appetites that can apply ‘relish’, for example, I RELISH a really good fiction story – one with lots of history, metaphysical aspects, and genuine human responses to the aspects of the situations that characters encounter over the course of the story. History is obviously my favorite genre. Let me list a few of really GREAT authors that have inspired me:

  • Jude Devereaux
  • Jane Kirkpatrick
  • Morgan Llewellyn
  • Willa Cather
  • Daphne DuMaurier
  • Peter Tremayne

Check them out when you get a chance!  Right now, though, I would relish a nice hamburger; after all, it is my dinner hour.


Thanks for stopping by!  Always, Susan





Sojourning continues

My profound gratitude to the Happiness Engineers Team at WordPress for their assistance as I struggled to revamp my own domain!  It’s such a relief to have this support. As I have often reflected in previous posts, learning is an ONGOING PROCESS. 

When I graduated high school (sometime between the administration of George Washington and Barack Obama) most of us fledgling adults had the notion that you had all you need to face the challenges of life with high school diploma in hand. Oh, if that had only been true.  The fact is that as we move from job to job, school to school and place to place, we always come away with knowledge that we didn’t possess before. From the simple to the profound, you’re continually building your skill base. The blessings for me lie in the fact that I can safely say that I have successfully transitioned from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. How to keep from constant anxiety??  Learn, retain what is useful and discard the excess!

Lots of projects are underway for me this year. I am compiling an anthology of personal stories about what it was like to grow up in post World War II suburbia. It’s amazing as images of making snow angels in the first snow of the Christmas season with my siblings, to the ‘fun’ of elementary school memories come back as fully as if it had just happened!!

The sequel to Life Song: An Irish Odyssey progresses, albeit slowly.

Hope that your holidays were wonderful and satisfying as we progress through this new year.  Thanks for stopping by.  Always, Susan