The Hidden Beauty Within

This post is part of The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VII (2018)!


 To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page at: – on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 9th.


The use of a flower in reference to -or- as a gift to a woman, is not to say we are fragile creatures, in need of careful coddling.  Most of the seemingly most fragile life-forms that exist are in-fact, the strongest, most tenacious spirits.  They must be to survive the conditions of their habitat.  That is a gift I would like to give all women. – MTC


When August asked me to participate in this year’s The Beauty of a Woman Blogfest, two things happened.  First, I was deeply honored, of course.  Then the big IT struck me … what in the world would I write about?!  I’m all nervous right now just thinking about it.

It isn’t like writing about women is something new for me.  I write about women every single day, but they are my characters in my novels or screenplays.  Writing about women … nonfiction … for the blogfest – that is a whole different thing.  Talk about a fish out of water – it feels so different.  It isn’t like I’m shy in writing about women either.  Hardly.  I love women … and then some.  I am a lesbian who adores the opportunity to include love scenes in my manuscripts.  Again, that different element deal.

I love and deeply admire so many women…and often on very complicated levels.  The actresses whom I “cast” as my various characters, from a certain British star with fabulous legs that last forever to an American whose eyes slay me every time her picture pops up in my notifications.  Actresses, musicians and other stars are not the only women who capture my attention. 

The very singular woman in my life I am deeply in love with is certainly no movie star; just the thought of it would be repulsive to her.  That does not alter her beauty to me in the slightest.  One of my favorite pictures of her, is a close-up of her bare feet stretched out on a mossy log.  Yes, she is an attractive woman, but the absolute most beautiful part of her is what lies inside her.  That is a truth that (to me) carries through with every woman on the planet.  You can have someone that defies world “standards” of beauty, but if all those lovely inside things that make up the true essence of a person don’t outshine the external, physical appearance…if she is empty or other negative possibilities, then there is nothing. 

As August and many of the previous blogfest participants have said, it doesn’t matter if a woman is tall or short.  Thin or extra curvy.  Athletic, a warrior -or- physically-challenged.  Think of a million differences that can be paired up … it doesn’t matter.

One of the most beautiful women I have ever had the privilege to see or meet was at a Native American powwow.  At this particular powwow I was not there as a vendor or a participant.  I was there to record a segment for my (then) radio show.  Much to my shame, I had dismissed her as being worth interviewing, when I first saw her arrive at the powwow.  Her legs were noticeably crippled as she moved past me in her electric wheelchair, intent on a mission.  It wasn’t until an hour later when I returned to the dance arena, that my jaw dropped.  Her inner beauty shined and dazzled brighter than the noon sun beating down on her and the other dancers.  Yes, you read that correctly.  She was one of the dancers, in her electric wheelchair, emanating a glorious soul!  It was an experience you had to see for yourself.

Recently I read an article about a young woman with Downs Syndrome who has thrown the modeling world on it’s ear, totally redefining (for what is arguably the most stinted profession in the world) the essence of beauty.  Now a world-famous model, she has also developed her own clothing line … she has totally redefined what society thinks someone with DS should be.  Who knows what else lies ahead for this bold entrepreneur. 

One more example I’d like to include of beauty where the average person would never expect to find it, is a woman whose job once was to kill people.  She was a federal police officer in South Africa, a sniper in an elite task force (the real-life basis of one of my characters).  She had to be without emotion and capable of calculating so many things in a moment’s notice, ready to take a kill shot the moment it was available, even if the dangerous criminal was a child.  Many people were afraid of her from that basis alone.  Few stopped to consider she was a single woman, hired as a police officer and doing the job she was trained to do…the way she made a living, while also serving her country.  Even fewer people know she agonized over every life she had to take in the line of duty -or- that this bad ass cop went home every day to a bed full of cuddly stuffed animals.

That inner quality that marks the true, hidden beauty within a woman is pointed out, in an amazing way by the singer P!nk, in her new song Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. 

That to me is the best mark of The Beauty of a Woman … that inner essence which is as unique to the individual as fingerprints or a retina scan.  Never try to hide that.  Let your essence out to glow, shine and show your true beauty!


Precious Things Like Pirate Hats

This post is part of The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VII!


To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page at: – on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11pm PST March 9th.


There is a problem that happens with some adults, which unfortunately, is not all that uncommon.  It occurs around the world, when we torture ourselves over things that happened when we were children and should be long over, yet it is a demon that persists in remaining glued to us.

Why is that?  Because most often we were conditioned into it by adults around us back then, often a parent.  Some of us know how silly it is to allow that thing to still bother us, yet that white elephant is always lurking in some corner, ready and waiting to pop out at the least favorable time. 

It happens in any number of ways, from mild to severe, depending on the individual circumstances.  The thing can be anything a parent (or whomever) sees as the problem upsetting them.  Most of the time it has very little to do with the child, but the psychosis of the adult/s around.  Sadly, there are those children who were forced to endure unbearable acts of violence from a loved one also.  If this is the case for you, please seek professional help.  There are counselors, therapists or psychiatrists out there who do care and help you get to a better place in your own skin.

These incidents can take place from a parent not liking the real you, be it sexual orientation, gender identification, drugs, teen pregnancy, suicidal tendencies and other bigger problems.  Dealing with these can be devastating.  But, crawling out from under that can be the absolute most rewarding thing to happen to you.  Freedom is exhilarating.  Let yourself shine – you are beautiful.

I don’t care what the guilt trip or brainwashing was you were inflicted with…I believe we are born inherently beautiful.  It is our environment that either nourishes that or tries to destroy us.  Sometimes a parent or other family member will beat you into believing you are worthless.  That you will never be successful in anything or come to know happiness.  That is so incredibly NOT so!  If you look around you, there is almost always someone who is waiting to extend a helping hand.  You are beautiful – take pride in who you are!

In discussing this piece with a friend, I happened to relay to her a string of incidents from my childhood regarding an item I treasured.  I was ten years old when I bought my first hat with my own money.  It was a pirate hat and my mother despised it from the very first instant.  To this day, I have no clue why I loved that hat so much, but it was a precious treasure to me.  A few years later while I was away from home for a couple of weeks, my mother took advantage of my absence to throw the hat in the garbage.  My friend expressed remorse about the disposal of the hat diminishing my “training to be a pirate”.  There were plenty of other things my mother and grandparents saddled me with, however dampening the spirit that hat somehow gave me was never one of them.  Trust me, I enacted proper retribution and in true pirate fashion.

That may seem like a silly, meaningless anecdote, but it is merely an example of how the human spirit can survive.  Not only can we appreciate those little things that have helped us through life, but as adults we can reflect on all those storms we faced as children.  We can let them still rip us apart.  Or… we can look at the depth and rich hues those things have given us and how they can build our own character even now.

People need to stop judging each other or trying to mold a child into the person they selfishly think they should be.  We are each our own individuals.  Let them worry about themselves.  You are your own shining treasure.  Show the world your sparkle.

I can only hope that I never inflicted a demon within my daughter, since I know I was a wreck for most of her childhood – which is no excuse at all.  If I am guilty … I can only pray there is a way for me to somehow make up for it during my time left on earth.  I love you Michelle.

The point of this piece is to tell all the grown women who may still experience the pangs of childhood guilt and worse, that you are BEAUTIFUL!  Shed that old dingy, oversized coat that is weighing you down and be free.  There are places you can get help if you need it.  Don’t be afraid – there are more of us out there than you might think.  You are not alone.  We understand.  Come join us, Beautiful!

A Shining Promise

It is time once again to shift the gist of this month’s issue to human nature.  In fact, March will be a triple issue, but a little more on that later.  For those of you who somehow may not have noticed, I like happy endings.  I mean, I REALLY like them; it is an obligation I feel owed to my readers in these days where finding something happy is getting increasingly more difficult.  There are times that isn’t possible, but I try to end all my work with at least an upscale, positive note … even if it cannot quite obtain a happy ending stature.

This month, I am going to start out with a picture from a friend that not only makes me smile, it reaches deep into my soul and feels good.  I hope this beautiful little pic strikes you the same way.


There is nothing good about 17 school shootings just since the beginning of the year.  It goes without saying, there is nothing good about the number of lives cut short, others injured, or the growing traumatization of children around the country – wondering if their school will be next.  The fear growing within students, parents & others that accompanies that possibility is horrendous.

Having been born and raised in a Chicago cop family, I have been surrounded by guns my entire life.  It was instilled in me since before my earliest memories, that guns are dangerous tools.  Like any other dangerous tool, they must be treated with respect and great caution. 

Under the circumstances of being raised with guns around me all the time and the proper handling of them, I have never had the fear or loathing that some do.  My fondness for and use of guns is one thing, however I have never been a member of the NRA.  Nor have I ever seen anything worthwhile about the group.  Anyone who does not work toward solving a problem, is part of the problem…be it the NRA, Congress or POTUS.

When you stop to take an objective look at the situation, it is a mystery how some people from both sides of the fence can misinterpret part of the things that are said – misinterpret to a critical level. One thing that cannot be misinterpreted was the vile things said regarding the student survivors as they marched in their state capital, beseeching legislators to take action in improved gun control laws.  Adults were making crass comments and often life-threatening ones against these courageous young people.  Reading their venom against these beautiful students made me ill and ashamed of this country all over again.

I must admit the debate over gun control laws used to bother me, up until the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. My opinion is & always has been that criminals don’t pay attention to laws…that is why they are CRIMINALS.  Law abiding citizens are the only ones who pay attention to the law.  Now I am ready to concede my former stand.  People who are so violently inclined & without any kind of moral compass, as to walk into a school or any place to vent their monstrous desires, have created the need to do something.  They present a whole new classification of criminal.  Military assault weapons belong staying in the hands of the military, not angry or mentally ill civilians & especially not children.

Opinions over gun control laws have now become an insignificant matter.  Something must be done to protect our young people.  We cannot wait any longer.  Especially not to placate the NRA.  Any attempt to stop these senseless shootings is worth the effort.  If you disagree, then answer this, what if your child or grandchild’s school is the next mark for tragedy?

POTUS and Congress have stunned the world with their greed in supporting the NRA (or at least not taking a stand against the group).  They have been a total disgrace in protecting/defending our most precious gift in life … our young ones.  The student survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been the exact opposite.  They have presented themselves with a high degree of dignity, intelligence and dedication.  They are showing a moral fiber that can only be applauded.

For the first time in over twenty years, they are a shining promise of worthwhile individuals to become the leaders of this country.  Leaders that will take the welfare of all our citizens into careful consideration.  I cannot wait to see the job they do.  I feel it deep in my bones, they will be spectacular!


To my great honor, August McLaughlin has invited me to be one of her guests in this year’s The Beauty of a Woman – Blogfest VII.  So, in four more days there will be two additions to my March blog here, since my entry to the 2018 Blogfest will also be published here.  Please be sure to visit the fest page and check out all the writers … at …  It runs on August McLaughlin’s site from March 5 thru 11pm PST March 9th.  Lots of great reading, plus you might win a fun prize!  Come join the fun!


Wendigos Dancing

The spectacular Blood Moon is behind us, Ground Hog’s Day is tomorrow, and the year is progressing.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was not able to write this entry until today, however that afforded me things to cover I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I have often said: I am a writer, anything that comes within the range of my purview is subject to be included in my work; be it my blog here or one of my manuscripts … even an article.  It was during the wee, predawn hours of dawn yesterday morning that a friend wanted to have a good view of the Blood Moon.  Like me, she had to go outside to accomplish it.  Then it happened, the neighbors called the police – concerned for her safety after spotting a suspicious figure creeping around outside her house. The figure was my friend, of course, attempting to safely navigate through a dark yard to where she could clearly see the moon.  As you may have guessed, she then had to deal with the indignity of the police wanting her to prove her identity … that she genuinely lived there.  ~~  By now I was rolling in laughter, not at her, but the Murphy’s aspect of the situation.  ~~  She was still in her night clothes with no ID on her.  After all, it was her own yard.  She had to go back in the house to her ID to prove she was who she said….HELLO?!!?  And by the way … just why were the neighbors peering outside in the first place!

I never did get that far in my own observation of the moon, thank goodness.  My friend lives in California and I’m in northern Minnesota.  Given it was -14 degrees & 5:30 in the morning, I gingerly stepped out onto my icy back porch, gazing around the corner of my roofline to see it.  My observation lasted for no more than thirty seconds tops, before I hustled my cold rear end back inside.  In my own defense, I was only wearing a thin sleeveless, cotton nightgown…. SNAP!

This morning while driving 75 miles to go shopping & do other errands the air felt extra cold, even though I’ve dealt with much lower temps, this just went right through you.  Maybe it was the winds, I’m not sure.  However, there were plenty of Wendigos out dancing in the sun & blowing snow, especially a particularly large one in the middle of a lake.  I got the sense that they were happy and truly enjoying themselves.  Whether that’s true or not, they made me smile.  Wopila tanka!

How is your year or winter going?  I would love to hear from you.  Stay warm & stay safe!

Happy New Year 2018

Winter is in full mode where I live without any doubt. Here we have been under windchill warnings all weekend, with it averaging in the -30’s quite a bit of the time.  There is a small amount of snow in northern Minnesota, but nowhere near the amount we are accustomed to if you have lived here any amount of time.

However, winter varies tremendously in different spots around the world.  Please share with me where you hail from & what your typical winter weather is like.  Is it holding true to form?

Do you put seed out for the birds where you live? If you live in a rural area is there food you set out for different animals?  I like putting together pb/suet stations, straight fat from the local butcher, fruit, bread & other items.  Whether you get to view those benefiting from your graciousness or not, it is rewarding to know you could be helping some of our wildlife friends make it through the winter.

Depending on your winter temps, setting out water is a great thing to consider doing also.  Water can be much harder for our wildlife friends to find during this time of the year.  There are little devices one can get to keep your birdbath water (or other containers) from freezing.  I have not had the opportunity to try one yet, but I have serious doubts where even straight air temps here can reach from -50’s to our record -63, that it could work with too much efficiency.  You never know though, & I will be happy to report the results once I discover the answer.

Not to exclude those of you reading from the southern hemisphere … I would dearly love to hear from you about your summer & how you interact with nature there!  Or if you’d prefer to talk about your winter-time experiences – all is great! 

Once again, I find myself trying to develop a concise plan for rejuvenating & expanding my naturalist business.  Part of the expansion will hopefully include restarting my nature drives; a great opportunity for those who don’t care for an all out camping adventure & for those who are not physically able to view wildlife otherwise.  Another possible addition I would like is a modified (on station sites on my land) camping experience, where guests could come experience the wonderful night sky we have here.  Living in a place where there are very little electric lights to hinder our view of the night sky makes an awesome difference in what you can see.  Then there is also the Aurora Borealis to consider also.  Just keep in mind, the Northern Lights cannot be scheduled to fit a guest’s time table.  —  If these ideas sound like something you would like to experience, please let me know.

Wherever you are in the world … may 2018 provide a great year for all of us.  A most blessed New Year!

Saving The World

It is that time of the year again, where the wheel has turned around once more.  The Winter Solstice or Yule always brings many changes to the world.  In ancient times and in plenty of people still today, it welcomes the return of the sun.  The days start getting longer, although it is far more commonly appreciated among people with seasonal difficulties, than for growing crops now.

Last year at this time, I felt very uncertain whether the world (as we know it) would still exist for another year.  The cause for this concern is still the main gist of my concern for the world, that being the buffoon in the White House, who has had many psychiatrists declare him mentally ill and unfit to be POTUS (one study consulted with 27 leading psychiatrists).  This condition has grown worse and worse throughout the year, keeping the world on the brink of annihilation with the very real possibility of antagonizing North Korea, if not other countries also, into thermo-nuclear war.  A man who proves daily he is a bully – in attempt to hide his own insecurities, a racist, sociopath, manic (add another dozen problems) … should make every single person in the world concerned about our surviving 2018.

Please take up whatever counter measures to the biggest, gauche bully in the world (and his entire kakistocracy) you are capable of, to afford us better chances of survival.  We need to start looking out more for each other, rather than just ourselves.  Communication skills cannot be overstated.  Taking care of protecting ALL life on earth, not just humans is very important.  Picking up our efforts in protecting the environment, like we have never done before, is vital.  We are a part of nature, but human beings have had such a destructive impact on the world, with some people fooling themselves into thinking it is of no importance at all.  The planet is reaching the most critical stage it has ever been at.  Let us all pull together to create the best future we can for our children and for seven generations to come.  If your part in helping can only be on a small local scale, then take satisfaction that you ARE doing what you can, and it all adds up!

Politically speaking, I am signing every petition I can find in rebuttal to the abhorrent behavior of the kakistocracy in power, particularly their removal from office.  Joining groups working on true reform to government and movements for creating new third political party choices is a smart move.  The two parties working so hard at keeping others out of the equation, don’t want to be servants of the People – they want to continue with the royal hierarchy they have built for themselves.

Of course, as always, when we are heading into winter … I am preparing to put things out for the birds and animals living in the forest around my land.  New feeding stations are almost ready for them and should be an exciting season. 

Spiritually, I have tentative plans for a good Yule-fire to welcome the return of the sun, the coming of the new year, and prayers for the world.  Maybe even a feast out in the forest and snow with the fire.  I would love to hear your December plans or experiences.  A most blessed holiday season to all, whatever holiday you celebrate.  Great peace and happiness even if you don’t follow any holiday!  Let us do our best to take care of each other and saving the world.  NAMASTE.

Winter Is Coming!

Winter is coming!  Winter is here!  —  No, I am not talking about season 7 for Game of Thrones…. A few days ago, we had our first snow of the winter weather season here – around eight inches of glorious white stuff!

I have not gotten out into my forest yet to check for tracks in the snow – one of my all-time FAV things to do.  It is getting increasingly more difficult each year to do.  Disabilities be damned!  They may curtail my outdoor activities more & more, but that does not mean I have any less interest in those things -OR- that my heart has forsaken my love of them.  Not a chance!

Here at the house, the neighbor’s kitty-cat tom & the little feral tabby have inspected both porches in hopes of food left out for them, whether by accident or intentional.  *Note to self*, must do that one of these days.  When nobody was around to moan & worry about “how dangerous” it is for me to go down the steps in this weather, I made my way cautiously down into the yard to check for tracks visible from the clean pathway.

A virtual bounty of tracks was waiting to thoroughly delight me.  Per usual for bunny tracks in the Northwoods, the Snowshoe Hares can never seem to make up their mind where they want to be, to go or anything else.  They dance around & otherwise cavort with all the abandon of a crazy March hare, despite having 5 months to go until then.

The delicate tiny tracks of Chickadees & Juncos twittering about, looking for seeds, appear so frail alongside the relatively deep tracks of Ravens doing their thing.  My landlord doesn’t like food set out for the birds, because “it upsets the church” two doors down.  Try to imagine how bogus I find that!  Maybe the church & it’s parishioners missed the memo that their god created all living things……

Small little tracks in an almost straight line, cutting quickly across the back corner of the yard, meant a Red Fox was on her or his way home.  Hopefully it was a successful night of hunting for the little beauty.  The quick trail home isn’t as awesome to see as finding a spot where they have pounced on their prey beneath the snow, but one I’d still never turn down.

Last but not least, were the 2 or possibly 3 sets of walking stilts meandering around, otherwise known as White Tail Deer.  It’s hard to distinguish due to how wet the snow was (which often misshapes the tracks), if the one set was possibly a third deer or belong to the same big doe who has used my yard as a safe rest-spot for a number of years.  Some of the deer like grouping together on the northside of the shed.  It protects them from the wind quite often, besides giving them a great vantage point for watching several different areas.  It didn’t hurt that they found a few nibblies in the gardens compost from next door too.

All in all, a pretty decent start to winter here!  The long-range forecast is for us to have closer to the normal 170+ inches of snow this year…fingers crossed.  I hope the seasons are progressing properly where you are.  Please share some news from where you live some time, I’d love to hear about it.