Month: February 2016

Picture This: Secrets & Amy Tan

That was how dishonesty and betrayal started, not in big lies but in small secrets..jpg


Cortisone Shots, Painkillers, Oh My! Why I Turned To An Alternative Treatment Option


massageSome people go to a massage therapist for to relax. I go so that I can walk. About ten years ago, I experienced the first flare up of an injury.  After sitting crossed legged on the floor, I tried to stand up – but couldn’t. The pain was excruciating. I felt like my hip was trying to pop out of the socket.  After a few minutes, the pain subsided and by morning I was fine. Only I wasn’t.  I didn’t realize I had started down a path that would change my life.  The frequency of these episodes increased.  My husband would literally have to pick me up and carry me to the bathroom because I couldn’t walk due to the pain. I sought medical help.  Tests confirmed this wasn’t an auto-immune condition like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.  I turned to sports medicine – which meant X-Rays MRI’s, cortisone shots and physical therapy.  I developed bursitis in both hips as well as a noticeable limp.  And still, the episodes continued. Living with a condition that causes debilitating pain is depressing – especially when medical professionals couldn’t determine the cause.

And this is where my story changed. I was driving down the road and literally heard a voice in my head say call Cindy Johnson.  I’ve known Cindy for years – knew she was a massage therapist but never gave it much thought, until that moment anyway.  I listened and made the call.  Cindy, whose massage therapy schooling took one year, figured out what medical doctors had missed.  (She would later tell me that she didn’t know how I had walked into her office that day.) My pelvis had rocked back and twisted.  Ligaments that should have been short were long. Those that were supposed to be long were short.  And all those times I thought my hip was going to pop out of socket – that was when the iliopsoas knotted up.  She worked on my body, massaging knots from my legs, hip and lower back.  After that first session, she sent me to a chiropractor – said she’d done what she could but I needed more help than she was trained to give.  The two of them worked together – helping me repair and restore my body.  It’s taken years – but I’m better.  I still visit both, finding the benefits too great to forgo.

I share this because I’ve learned the value of looking for alternative treatments.  Cortisone shots and painkillers only masked the problem.  It is because of the massage therapist & chiropractor that I am able to walk.  No, I don’t wear high heels anymore but that’s a small price to pay. (And I’m always grateful for that little voice whispering in my head.)

Obviously, I’m not a medical professional and I realize that there are many competent doctors practicing medicine. But sometimes, they miss things and we shouldn’t be afraid to take control of our health.

And now – my next goal – to find a doctor of Chinese medicine practicing in Eastern North Carolina.  (If you know of one, please share his/her name in the comments below.)








Ten Commandments For Writers

Some writers are very disciplined. Me? Not so much. As life happens, my writing pays the price.  It tends to be the first thing that gets moved to the “I’ll do it tomorrow” list and I end up feeling frustrated with my lack of progress.  I admire writers who stick to schedules, who recognize the importance in what they do. In an effort to make some changes in my writing life, I came up with a set of commandments that I hope will help me stay on the path.


Ten Commandments for Writers (1)

Writing & Blogging – Finding the Balance

In North Carolina, it’s common knowledge that if you don’t like the weather, have patience. It’ll change in a day or two.  After the blizzard of 2016, to which residents of coastal NC were casual observers, we had a couple days of rain and then a warming trend. Today (Sunday) saw a high in the upper 60’s and plenty of sunshine.  When days come along like this – you have to take advantage of them.  I grabbed some paper and a pen and headed to the park.


Dreams do come true for those who dare to believe in themselves

View from my Sunday writing desk – a picnic table at Stump Sound Park

The change of scenery provided me with an escape from the distractions of home. Scenes unfolded and the words came. It was wonderful – so wonderful, I’m thinking that a weekly writing escape might be in order.

And then comes my blog…

I stumbled across a blog post talking about the reasons a blog is a waste of time for a writer and that prompted a lot of thinking on my part.  Am I a writer who blogs? Am I a blogger who writes? Does it really make a difference?

If you are a writer, I’m sure you can relate to the dilemma so many of us face.

Over and over, we are told:

Build your platform!

Grow your audience!

Blog!  Tweet!  Pin!

And we do it or at least we try…

But in doing so, it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we’re doing all of this – because we want to write books – we want to share our stories – and the time we’d spend conjuring those tales is instead spent on creating content for our blogs and being good neighbors over in Twitter-land…

Maybe that’s a necessary evil.

I’m not sure.

What I have learned is this –

Blogging doesn’t equate to selling books.

And neither does tweeting.

Writing more books, however, definitely increases the likelihood of sales.

Not convinced?

On Twitter, I follow boohoos of authors.  Some do nothing but scream “Buy my book!” I admit it – I ignore those tweets.  Others share links to their blogs – offering great content – maybe an interesting podcast – and if I find them helpful, I sign up for their emails. On occasion, I might purchase an e-book.  But the thing is – that’s not an everyday occurrence and just because I find a twitter account informative doesn’t mean I’m going to buy the author’s books.  The same holds true with blogs.

I don’t think I’m alone in this…

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the author’s efforts.  I do.  But my goodness – who has the time or the financial resources to support every writer we come in contact with?

When it comes to my blog-

I try to offer interesting content. My followers/daily traffic is increasing. I know that building a following takes time.  That being said – all the blogging and tweeting really haven’t made a difference in my book sales.  And that’s okay.  I like blogging. I’ve made connections with people from all over the world – friendships that were made possible because of our blogs.

What’s it going to be?

My focus will be on my writing.  That’s my dream.  BUT – I’ll continue to blog and if blogging leads to a book sale then great.  And if blogging continues to open doors to different parts of the world, allowing me to meet new people and share ideas with them, that’s even better!

What about you?  How do you balance blogging, writing, and all the rest?

Time Saving Tip:

In an effort to maintain my social media presence with a minimal time investment, I’ve turned to Hootsuite.  If you haven’t tried this scheduling option, I’d encourage you to check it out.  By scheduling your tweets, etc – you can in effect be in multiple places at one time.  I may be at work but Hootsuite is sending out my tweets/facebook posts, etc – making me look active.  Hootsuite also provides links to relevant content (blogs) that you can share on your various accounts. Best of all – it’s free. (There is a paid option available.)