“I have always believed there is indeed room for us all.” Authors inspiring authors

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Authors supporting authors is groovy!

I have learned so much from some fierce, fabulous authors and continue to be inspired by their talent, words and willingness to share.

Thank you for being cheerleaders, kind motivators, smart and courageous trailblazers.

I have always believed there is indeed room for us all.

To grow, to learn, to get inspired, to dream bigger.

Get ready to meet some pretty spectacular writers, and human beings.

Inspiration is happening right now.

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

CHOSEN ONE is 604 pages of hold your breath Science Fiction and Fantasy sweeping adventure from the gifted imagination of author Steven Sutherland.

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Click>PB http://bit.ly/1zYS8kw D http://amzn.to/1KMik7S After>You Will Get It So You Can>Arrive

Be amazed and see with your own eyes…

“Sir Stephen along with lifelong friend Sir Brent take off on a dream adventure to find the promise land and to live significant moments… Can their hearts desire lead them to where they want to go, or does it already? Will they discover if they are a Chosen One or not? You will climb the highest mountains and weep with them in their lowest valleys. Prepare yourself today, for The Chosen One.”

“My hope is readers walk away with an appreciation of their significant moments and take a step back if necessary, to avoid regrets and aspire to thrive. I believe Chosen One will become the one novel they go back to time and time again for their life’s ride.” Steven Sutherland

10641218_291425140981489_8647661716077407041_nFollow Steven’s author page on Facebook

Visit Steven Sutherland on Twitter

CHOSEN ONE  Trailer youtube.com

CHOSEN ONE on booklaunch.io

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When Sarah Fader, CEO and Founder of the mental health non-profit organization Stigma Fighters asked me to write “It hurts, Ya’ Know,” an essay for Stigma Fighters I was overjoyed. How often is it that someone is acknowledged for talking about difficult, life-saving topics like mental illness? Sarah Fader does not shy away from challenge. She is a force with the uncanny ability to bring people together while making each person feel individual. An important, collectively part of a group that needs to be seen and heard. Sarah also blogs for The Huffington Post and writes a column called Panic Life for Psychology Today.

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Sarah Fader’s recently released Stigma Fighters Anthology, “a compilation of personal perspectives, the first volume of the Stigma Fighters Anthology features essays from real people living with mental illness from around the globe.”

The first volume suggests there will be others. I sure hope so, and cannot wait to continued to be inspired by the light Ms. Fader shares and shines on others.

Authors inspiring authors and I have a feeling Ms. Fader has much to say and joyfully shares her talent and tales.

“Once upon a time Sarah Fader wrote a blog post called 3-Year-Olds Are Assholes. It went viral on HuffPost Parents with over 400,000 shares on Facebook.”

THREE-YEAR OLDS ARE A**HOLES, is the funny and touching little gem that can be enjoyed by mommys’ and non-moms’ alike.

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Follow Sarah Fader on Twitter

Sarah is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters

Find her books here Stigma Fighters Anthology

Three-Year-Olds Are A**holes

Sarah Fader on Facebook

Sarah’s website Old School New School Mom

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I cannot wait to discover the witty, gifted world of J.C. Hannigan

COLLIDE by J.C. Hannigan (KILLER cover)

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Harlow Jones has a troubled past, and a questionable future.” –collide

Visit J.C. Hannigan’s Facebook Page

Follow her on Twitter 

Visit her on her personal blog

Follow her on Google Plus

Check out the Bumpy Bones Blog

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This week, we have the very groovy, sensitive, gifted and kind Rachel Thompson. Blogger, Media Consultant (guru), founder and creator of #SexAbuseChat, Director of Social Media at Stigma Fighters, creator of the wildly popular hashtag #MondayBlogs, Director of GRAVITY IMPRINT for Booktrope Publishing, passionate, empathetic sexual abuse advocate and eloquent, gifted author. Rachel truly epitomizes the phrase “authors inspiring authors.” She was the first person I met in the daunting world of self-publishing, and first to extend a hand with a smile. Thank you, fiercely inspiring fellow red.

I’ve written about Rachel Thompson’s and “Broken Pieces” in a previous post Actual Extraordinary Women. She is an actual extraordinary woman and pretty awe-inspiring.

The sequel to “Broken Pieces” by Rachel Thompson “Broken Places” is available, and happening now.

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Visit Rachel Thompson’s Facebook Pages

Follow her on Twitter

Director of GRAVITY IMPRINT for Booktrope

Visit her on her personal blog and Social Media Consulting BadRedhead Media

Check out the link to Rachel’s poignant, raw award winning books

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“I learn love from her everyday.” Jacqueline Cioffa

“All she wants is to be close, eat, cars rides and chase things. I learn love from her everyday.”#Lupita ❤

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My life is a barrage of pills, moods, malaise, emptiness, haze, mania, depression that stagnates my spirit, anxiety ping-ponging against my brain fighting an illness I cannot see. The willful fighter, deep-thinking me and misfiring neurons I cannot comprehend. There is no recovery from a serious mental illness, there is only finding ways to cope, reasons to get-up to battle and exist one more day.

I can’t just ‘pull it together,’ no matter how deep the desire or the will.

It’s generational. The genetic jackpot I won, but did not enter.

I. was. born. this. way.

I. was. born. this. way.

I won’t win, there is no winning, no contests, no rules. There is only luck and time before I am gone away.

I am not misguided, I understand exactly what I am up against. Well, sorta. I understand each day gets a little harder, the thoughts a little louder, the light a little dimmer and the physical discomforts heavier.

My words, while I can still see them and get them out are not to be misunderstood or misconstrued. This life, my life has been beautiful in more ways than I can write.

The memories help me stay.

The spirit animal kissing away my tears, snuggling so close I feel her beating heart against my skin is never too far away. She keeps me present and accountable.

Smiling from the heart is the rarity, and this dog makes me smile. Multiple times a day. She understands my crazy, the sorrow and spectacular. She loves me anyway.

No matter the color or mood.

Mental Health Warriors Giveaway: FREE EBOOKS!!!!

Win a copy of GEORGIA PINE, other fab books: Mental Health Warriors Giveaway: FREE EBOOKS!!!!: http://wp.me/p5z3Dr-eE via @LithChronicles

“The chaos comes with you,” simply stated my friend. -The Red Bench excerpt by Jacqueline Cioffa

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“As an artist do I need constant flux to create? How will I find words in the woods surrounded by trees and rotten cornfields? How will I find anything besides dying, wet leaves?

I cannot escape the volume in my head, the constant churning. The Jesus fucking Christ, turn it down chatter. I have been told to be patient. Wait for the drugs, the quieting veil, and the lavender calm to smooth out the ringing. My mind is full of death and black spots I’m sure, much like a stroke patient after a spell.

   “The chaos comes with you,” simply stated my friend. He was right. I am here, here am I. Sick and tired, tired and bullshit sick.

The blank paper waits and my hands navigate the keys and the thoughts go where they may.”

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-excerpt from “The Red Bench” by Jacqueline Cioffa

“Raw genius is rarely loud or pretentious.” Jacqueline Cioffa #maryellenmark

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Mary Ellen Mark

In modeling you go on countless go-sees, maybe twenty a day. Most forgotten before you hit the bottom stair. I remember being nervous, awestruck walking into the brilliant photographer’s studio apartment, she had ‘requested’ to see me. Mary Ellen Mark wore no makeup, trademark braids and a gentle demeanor not to be mistaken for meekness. Raw genius is rarely loud or pretentious. I didn’t book the job, but remain an admirer of the sublime talent, gritty breathtaking portraits, and the woman.

Mary Ellen Mark, thank you. That was an unforgettable day.
“A photographer known for her incredible humanist photography, passed away Monday in New York City. A rep confirmed the news Tuesday morning. She was 75.”

Mary Ellen Mark : 801C-001-01XManhattan, New York, USA  1996Portrait by Michael O'Brien
Mary Ellen Mark : 801C-001-01XManhattan, New York, USA 1996Portrait by Michael O’Brien

http://www.maryellenmark.com/index.html

Images ©Mary Ellen Mark photography

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Ward 81 Book – Mary Ellen Mark  #amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Ellen-Mark-Ward-81/dp/8862080557

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One, Two Buckle My Shoe

One, Two Buckle My Shoe

By Jacqueline Cioffa

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One, two buckle my shoe. I don’t know how other writers find their way into a story.
For me, it usually goes something like this. I hear a line in my head, a word, see a visual, and then the story plays over and over, until I release it onto the page. Its cathartic, sometimes it takes me back, some days it moves me forward when I am wallowing and can’t get unstuck. Most times, it’s just an honest, real interpretation of an emotion. I’m an emotional girl. Or, so I’ve been told.
I live with the image, words, sometimes for days, weeks, even months. Then, like magic or being possessed, I have to get it out. My fingers take over the keys; my mind wanders and dictates the thoughts, mulling it about until there is a clear picture. I see mere babies growing, learning the simple phrase, “One, two, buckle my shoe.” We are all preconditioned from the start. “Look at me, Mommy look what I can do. I can talk, walk and dance all on my own.” And we wait, for the love, the adoration, the pride on their faces. The loving adoration of a parent and their perfect can do no wrong baby girl. We wait, and then we wait some more.” Look Daddy, I dyed my hair red with a blond streak, I wanted to be different”. I got drunk in school, lashing out against the bullies, the in crowd, and the machine, desperate to be an individual. Daddy holds my head as I puke and strokes my hair, he tells the first lie. “It’s ok, baby girl, you are my princess, you are going to be all right.” And we wait, for the clap. Bravo, you are so smart, so beautiful they say. You are positive they mean it. You miss the roll of the eyes in frustration, or the bed time whisper and tears, “I’m so worried about her.” She’s too young to be this sad, so depressed, to be so oddly different. One, two buckle my shoe. I must conform to society, wear the same shoe, walk the same old boring old walk, say all the right things. I’m sad for the young girl, so miserably, visibly unhappy, in high school. I hate the way this feels; I take note that I am different. They say nothing, providing all the pleasantries and comforts of a supportive, loving home. I am so lucky like that. Maybe they knew all along, how horribly difficult things would turn out, how unusual I would actually become.
“It’s not her fault, it’s in her genes.” Oh my God, did they speak it aloud? She’s Mentally Ill. What?! One, two, buckle my shoe. I try to be normal, to please them, to see the admiration still on their faces. My daddy is gone, he died a broken man. Mental Illness got him, no matter how hard my mother fought. She did not win. We buried him in a grave and he has not yet come back. I wait for him. I still wait for him. In my dreams, during this sabbatical and these sick days, he hasn’t come. He can’t quite find his way back. One, two buckle my shoe. My mother has aged so. The bravest, head strong, caring, woman I know. Cursed in this lifetime to fall in love, make a family. One, two buckle my shoe.
With a baby daughter who would grow to walk in her father’s shoes. I didn’t mean it, as hard as I try, I can’t win. The Lunacy gene has taken hold of me, too. One, two buckle my shoe. I don’t care if I die see; the excruciating days are too hard to fill. I came back home. Home, to the safe, happy childhood home I once knew. It’s less happy now. There are fewer nursery rhymes. There are only mornings, where I wake shaking and take pills. Lots and lots of pills, I count. Ten a day, sometimes twelve. I don’t want them, fuckers one and all. I hide it best I can. Inside I am a ticking time bomb, shoeless, crying, screaming, I’m so sorry I didn’t make you proud. I gave it my best shot. I hide the pain, the fear, the paranoia, and the overwhelming anxiety the best way I know how. In the bottom of an old, outgrown, dated, and worn down shoe. I’m sorry, really so very sorry I never meant to lose my mind. I’ve always wanted to come back to you, to make my mother and father proud. I lie most days, I do. Sometimes that even makes me feel better. I can forget the ugly future that awaits.
I am penniless, wandering with no direction. One, two buckle my shoe. I end up in an institution or worse on the street. No one cares. They barely saw me before. You see, while my parents were busy clapping my way into adulthood, I saw it. The times they were preoccupied doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, getting on with life. They missed my first steps. Not on purpose, not without regret. I know they tried their best, I know they did. But, I’m still looking for that first and final clap. It never comes. I will always be out of step.
I drink Ginger with a bit of Ale to ease the relentless ad nauseam that is the day. It’s winter here. We have had an easy time of it. Today, the sun shines and I reminisce. One, two buckle my shoe. I can’t remember the full verse. I guess it doesn’t matter anyhow. I will ask my mother. No, no I must not. I must learn to walk on my own, however blistering and uncomfortable the shoe. The numbness fits.

originally published April 2012 brooklynvoice.com

“Because you, more than anyone I have ever known loved being alive.” L.B.H.

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Lupe and I must have walked the loop at Hoopes Park a thousand times, or more.

In ten-degree freezing black ice, navigating lethal dangerous walkways (and fallen more than once), on grey-cloud, weepy wet gloomy days.

You name it. We’ve dredged through it.

It helps, ya’ know. The walk.

To free the brain from the pressure, dark and dangerous thinking.

Easing up, releasing the unrelenting anxiety.

When we walk past the white pristine house with the red door, I have to fight the urge not to run up and knock.

Or barge in.

She’s not there.

I know this to be true in my head, but my heart searches for her.

Missing every puzzle piece and all her silly ways. Her sage advice, too.

The water fountain, Buddha and Zen room she created, so proud to show me the space.

Her home with the red door is just a dwelling now, somebody else’s house we pass on the walk.

Suicide was never her choice, she just couldn’t stay.

I don’t believe there are coincidences, I choose to believe there are signs along the way.

L.B.H., I believe you threw me one today.

It’s the perfect sixty-degree, pretty blue sky day with sunshine peek-a-booing through the clouds.

Like a child playing hide and seek, giggly and covering their mouth to contain the excitement.

Just like a happy child, exactly like you.

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http://standagainstsuicide.org

Thanks for the Buddha, water fountain, precious memories and luminescent magic that was your life.

The Zen room has a new home, with me.

I’ll do my best to keep them safe.

I’ll do my best to keep you safe, using my voice.

I stand against suicide, because your life matters.

Because you, more than anyone I have ever known loved being alive.

You, and your gypsy-free spirit, brilliant, bold, courageous, compassionate, goofy, non-judgmental, all-encompassing, curious, big beautiful love would be walking right beside me.

You are.

I can’t see you, but I feel your presence in mine.

I did not forget.

2 days and eight years gone is too long.

You were, and continue to be forever loved.

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