Freedom comes from within.
Freedom comes from within.

This is a hard one. But Eleanor Roosevelt knew what she was talking about. The former First Lady ranked in the top nine most widely admired people of the twentieth century. Her legacy, one among many, was to tell us “The choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” Yet her life was far from an easy one. Her experiences led her also to tell us this: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I…

The art of persuasion

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Step right up, ladeees and gentlemen. Yes, I mean all of you! This elixir I hold in my hand is not for women only. Its extraordinary powers lie in an element hidden for eons in a vast desert, found by chance during my last journey to Mars. Trust me, my friends, it is the fountain of youth at last!”

The barker swept his arm in a wide arc to show his treasure to the crowd that had gathered. The jar he held out caught the sun’s rays in flashes of emerald and gold. Beside him on the small stage was…

Just a little test…

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I wanted everyone to play my game, and being stalled in orbit by storms on the planet below gave me the perfect opportunity. Our navigator said he could guide us through the layers of turbulence to the surface, but the captain vetoed that. So we all gathered in the dining hall for snacks and to watch the latest hologram transmitted the night before. As usual, it was bland and boring. Ta-da, time for a little excitement.

“Having fun, folks?” I called out, which met with shouts of “No way!” and a few darker words of the same ilk. …

A tale of revenge…

Thomas Wolter from Pixabay

First Chapters…

The rider came out of the west as shadows lengthened across the moor. Three watched as they stood outside a small stone cottage. Few travelers were ever seen in that region, and rarely a woman, but here was an exception. They heard her push the horse to go faster, her long silver hair wild in the wind.

“Ah nivva expected ta see ‘a. It’s Donald’s bairn, as sure as ah’m standin ‘eear.” The speaker was the shortest of the three, old and wizened.

“If you say so, Alayn. I’ll trust you on it, not that your eyes are…

My beloved paternal grandmother passed away when I was six. She was 67. I saw a photo of her daughter, a beloved aunt, when she was almost the same age. They looked so alike. Older than we look now at 67. Yes, it matters we take care of ourselves. But it is also a state of mind, for in their time family was their center and the rest of life essentially not available. They were deeply creative people, but no outer path to follow. How lucky we are now to have a choice, one that allows us to go further, however many years we have left.

Thanks for this!

The five “messengers” that tell you you are a writer


Let me be Neil Gaiman for a second and remind you that there is no perfect storytelling recipe that works for everyone. However, I offer the truth — there can be your perfect story.

Writers know when they have written one. Ray Bradbury famously described writing The Lake after a few years of writing stories for magazines and knowing he had created a real story for the first time, a story that was whole and true and uniquely his own. In that moment, a star storyteller was born.

That is what your perfect story is, one you have written that…

Mission altered

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Henslow wasn’t prepared for what she saw when the torus spun open and she stepped on the surface of the planet for the first time. All the training they gave her was a sorry substitute for reality.

“Like our city, do you?” The man standing a few feet away looked normal, but Henslow knew better.

“It surpasses my expectations. I was told there are five of you here now.”

“Oh, yes, many more than that. Come with me. Your crew is welcome.”

“They’ll stay here and wait for me.” Henslow nodded to her chief engineer and navigator, who had managed…

A mouse pad from China

Crystals on a mouse pad…
Crystals on a mouse pad…
Thomas B.

Somewhere in a short news report last December I read about a town in central China experiencing a contagion — an unknown flu — born out of what was called their “wet market.” I gave it little attention. A week later my son sent me a new computer as an early Christmas gift and the week after that I received a special mouse pad he had ordered for it, made in China. The package was awkwardly wrapped and covered with all kinds of custom receipts and Chinese stamps.

Like a faint bell ringing in my mind, I thought of the…

Trolls need our attention to thrive

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Thanks to social media, everyone gets hit by a troll now and again, but Piers Morgan has brought the concept to new heights. Like all trolls, he has no idea about the true nature of the person he is attacking — consider his rants about Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex — nor any interest in that individual’s God-given right to kindness and civility. His purpose is to cause pain, and he revels in it.

I cannot pretend to know why, but I have a few guesses that ring true for all trolls.

It would be easy to say Piers is…

Regina Clarke

Storyteller and dreamer. I write about the English language, being human, the magic of life, and metaphysics. Ph.D. in English Literature.

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