I fancy myself a writer.

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Independence Day Special: FREE eBook download!

To celebrate this day of freedom, I invite you to download a free copy of my book, Papers: A Master Collection on the Art of Writing between July 1st and July 5th, 2015. Get your copy now!

Papers- A master collection on the art of writing Read the rest of this page »

Publishing thoughts tumbling around in my mind     

I’ve been thinking a lot about my fantasy novel WIP lately. The story has grown far beyond the scope of a single book. In fact, I’m pretty sure at this point that it has grown beyond the scope of a trilogy. It has reached such epic proportions, I feel I should stop searching for the end of the journey and instead start looking for a wayside stop with a magnificent view to share with my readers. In short, I am thinking about serializing my story and releasing the first part at some point in the next month or two.

I’ve been chasing this idea around in circles for months. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but there’s this part of me that wonders if the added pressure of a potential readership anxiously awaiting the next installment will push me to get part two ready to publish. I have proven that I am at my most productive when I have hard and fast deadlines to meet. I haven’t missed a deadline yet. Read the rest of this page »

Lit Review: Who should be held accountable for failure to protect children from domestic violence?

"North Hampton is a Domestic violence fre...

“North Hampton is a Domestic violence free-zone” (Massachussetts) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello! I am continuing my literature review today for my summer course, “Family Violence: Cross-Cultural Perspectives.” Today’s article examines cases in which victims of domestic violence have lost custody of their children for failing to protect them from being exposed to violence in the home. You may read the full article here.

Harris, L. J. (2010). Failure to Protect from Exposure to Domestic Violence in Private Custody Contests. Family Law Quarterly44(2), 169-195.

Child custody arrangements in the United States have evolved a great deal over the past fifty years. Prior to the 1970s, a joint custody arrangement was not an option for most families. In most cases, the custody of the children would have been awarded to the primary caregiver, who was often the mother. In the late 1970s, with the advent of the father’s rights movement, many states began to enact laws allowing divorcing parents to share legal custody of their children. With these changes in place, it wasn’t long before family courts were faced with the necessity of determining whether a joint custody arrangement was in the best interests of children in cases that involved domestic violence. Read the rest of this page »

Is co-parenting possible when one parent is a batterer?

In today’s literature review, I take a look at an article by Dana Harrington Conner, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Delaware Civil Law Clinic at the Widener University School of Law. In this article, the author outlines several factors that make co-parenting between a batterer and his victim unmanageable at best. You may review the full article here.

Conner, D. H. (2011). Back to the Drawing Board: Barriers to Joint Decision-Making in Custody Cases Involving Intimate Partner ViolenceDuke Journal of Gender Law & Policy18(2), 223-260.

In this article, Conner argues that a joint-custody arrangement when intimate partner violence is a factor inherently goes against the children’s best interests. A joint-custody arrangement may only be successful when both parents are able to freely communicate their opinions and cooperate to make decisions about their children. This type of arrangement may only exist in a situation where the balance of power is relatively equal between the two parties. Read the rest of this page »

When your summer paper-writing requires a trigger warning

This summer, I am taking an online course titled “Family Violence: Cross-Cultural Perspectives” as part of my coursework for a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies. So far, my homework has consisted of a great deal of reading and responding to questions about the readings. Thus, I haven’t really written anything that could easily be shared here. I have to start working on my final paper though, so that is about to change!

This course is a criminal justice course rather than my usual writing and/or literature courses, so I am trying to wrap my head around APA style again. I haven’t used APA since I finished business school in 2008! Luckily my professor has provided us with a couple of sample papers to help get us started. After reviewing these papers, I think I have a clear picture of where I want to go with my paper. Read the rest of this page »

Book Review: Spinster by Kate Bolick

Spinster by Kate BolickIn this fascinating memoir, Kate Bolick turns the history of women and marriage in America as I learned it completely on its head. According to Bolick, much of what has been spouted as truth by the  mainstream these past few decades  turns out to be false. Not just false, but one bald-faced lie after another.

This text so resonated with me, I could not put it down. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way about a book, and I have to wonder what has changed in me since my early 20s that I now find it so hard to relate to the characters in the books I read the way I used to. Why is no one writing about strong women whose lives do not revolve around “the question of when to marry and who?” Read the rest of this page »

I dreamed I rode my horse

English: Eye of horse.

English: Eye of horse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night, I dreamed I was riding my old horse, Ruby, who’s been gone now for at least a decade. She’s a flighty old nag even in my dreams. Ruby had this annoying habit of flopping her head backward constantly, which always left me with the fear of being head-butted as I rode her. Once her son, Stormy, was old enough, I usually chose to ride him instead when I had the option.

In my dream, I was riding Ruby along a country road, and she kept throwing her head back at me as she always did. Up ahead, several other horses milled about on either side of the road. They perked their ears up as we drew closer, and Ruby grew increasingly agitated. Unfamiliar horses always made her nervous. I too grew anxious, clamping my fists around the reins in an effort to maneuver her past the other horses without incident. Read the rest of this page »

Wednesday Writing Prompt: A snatched lunchbox

writing prompt meme

I got mugged this morning. He snatched my lunchbox right out of my hand.

Write on this prompt, then share your work on your blog or website. Post a link to the comments below. Read the rest of this page »

Instagram stories: Life on the prairie

I like Instagram, but I’ve found that I don’t particularly enjoy following people I actually know. I’m friends with most of them on Facebook, and many of them automatically share their Instagram photos to Facebook (including myself). It gets old, after a while, seeing all the same photos twice. I have considered unfollowing all the people I know on Instagram and following only complete strangers.

Central Illinois prairie.

My latest Instagram posts are photos from a long bike ride out on the Central Illinois prairie. The corn is just now cropping up, but before I know it, I’ll be riding my bike through green canyons of corn.

Read the rest of this page »

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