May 23, 2019

Doing something you’ve never done before is a lot like high diving. If we’re brave, we eventually take the plunge, knowing we have little control over the outcome. That takes a lot of courage.

But what if you take that jump and completely bomb? What if your imagined swan dive turns out to be a belly flop? Worse, what if everyone sees?

This past weekend I attended the Pennwriters 2019 conference, a weekend of workshops for both aspiring and published authors. I have a manuscript I’ve been working on for almost five years, and it’s just about ready to see the light of day. In an effort to bring my baby...

November 9, 2017

Kyle Robidoux has participated in several marathons and completed his first 100-mile run earlier this year. He’s also legally blind. Kyle was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that eventually results in total blindness. Per Kyle’s estimation, his field of vision is currently down to about 3%, affording him a sort extremely narrow tunnel vision. Yet, he continues to participate in the sports he loves. In his own words, he doesn’t allow his abilities to define his boundaries.

I recently got to hear Kyle speak at the Olmsted Center for Sight in Buffalo, where he shared his expe...

September 26, 2017

This is a love story:

Once upon a time, I took an aerial yoga class for my blog about being brave. The yoga class was okay, at first. Then the instructor asked us to invert and IT GOT BETTER! I reached into myself and found something I didn’t know I had: courage. A whole untapped well of it! That day something fundamental changed.

I don’t believe in love at first sight. Even Colin Firth didn’t grab me the first time I saw him on the screen. (But oh man how I wish he’d grab me now!) I believe falling in love is a process, and I believe you can keep falling in love even after that first initial tumble.

...

July 27, 2017

The other day I read something that really resonated with me. I don’t remember the exact words, but the essence was: without fear, there can be no bravery. In other words, if you’re not afraid, you can be bold, daring, and audacious, but you can’t be brave, because bravery is defined as the act of overcoming fear.

I’m afraid. I’m anxious pretty much all the time. But in light of what I read the other day this anxiety, which I consider my greatest obstacle, provides me with a ton of opportunities to be a hero, to be Mel Gibson in a kilt or Merida with her bow and arrows. To be brave.

Last we...

July 6, 2017

Sometimes, being brave is easier with a friend. If I’m doing something way, way out of my comfort zone, for instance, or if I have to do something complicated. But, for me, it takes courage just to reach out. It’s an act of bravery to put myself out there in the first place. Putting myself out there opens me up to rejection, and rejection is like a message from the universe. Rejection feels like an acknowledgment that all my worse fears about myself are true: I’m unlikeable. I’m inherently unworthy. I’m funny looking.

I’ve discovered something over the past couple of years, though. It was a pretty b...

June 22, 2017

Sometimes the easiest things are the hardest. Take riding a bike, for instance. Most people look at a bike and see a pleasant, simple form of exercise. I see a trip into the bug-infested, traffic-filled outdoors that could lead to all sorts of disaster. It was a beautiful day today, though, and that inner Claudia - the feisty one who doesn't take any guff and is always pushing me to DO stuff - decided she wanted to go for a bike ride.

I bought my bike in December. It was so much cheaper that way. But because I bought it when there was a foot of snow on the ground, it went ri...

June 8, 2017

I write for money. I take on all sorts of freelance jobs from mom-blogging to academic science writing. But in my spare time – in my dreams and in my heart – I’m a novelist. I’m currently working on an urban fantasy novel – ancient gods and broken hearts and the end of the world. I’ve been working on it for over a year and I have a complete first draft written, but now I’m in my least favorite phase: editing.

It’s been a slow process, and it’s been hard to set aside time to really immerse myself the way I need to, so I was incredibly excited to be invited to my local BNCWI (Buffalo Niagara Children’...

May 31, 2017

I used to be cute. At least, I used to feel cute. Nowadays? I live in ripped jeans. My makeup regimen is limited to lip balm and eyeliner. My five-year-old uses me as a napkin.

There are lots of reasons I was excited to try Chair Burlesque, but one of the main reasons was that I wanted to feel sexy again, even if it was just for an hour. The other main reason is that I’m a total ham, at least in theory. In practice I’m more of a turkey. I always forget I'm shy. I never remember until I'm right about to do whatever crazy thing I signed myself up for, and by then it's too late.

Chair Burlesqu...

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