Seek Not the Enchantment


seek not the horned beast
for it will e’er elude thee
seek instead what’s true—

that of which it means to thee
for that is within thy grasp




Hey! How about that?!

Our good friends over at COPING With Cancer magazine featured an excerpt from my little book HOW NOT TO DIE: In 13 Easy Steps in their recent edition.

Pretty cool, no?

Yes, indeed.

You can learn more about the magazine and all the good folks there doing God’s work here.

You can learn more about my book here.

You can check out the post the book was inspired by here.

And you can learn how I feel about pink as the color of cancer here.



THE PHILOSOPHY OF INSPIRATION | A Relating to Humans Philosophical Issues Feature

by Rana Tarakji

As Kurt explains it on his Welcome page, it is impossible to mingle with other human beings in an entirely pain-free manner. However, there is a difference between pain that aims to makes a person stronger and pain that aims at the opposite or has no aim at all. How can we inspire others without a bit of tough love anyways?

For instance, telling the truth can hurt sometimes, but isn’t it in the favour of the truth-receiver? Doesn’t it enlighten the person with truths that make him or her wiser and allow him/her to be more successful in his/her future life? Perhaps not knowing the truth might keep the person content, however, there’s usually a bigger chance that not knowing the truth can hurt a person in the long run.

What about giving advice? Advice can be tough for some people to swallow. They might not want to hear what you want to say to them, even if it makes perfect sense. A lot of people prefer not to get involved in other people’s decisions and not to offer their advice if it stands against the other person’s beliefs. But does staying quiet in critical times help that person? No, it doesn’t.

Celebrities are often looked up to because they have usually gone through a lot of ups and downs and tough times to get where they are in their lives. It’s never an easy thing to become well-known, respected and adored by millions. And sometimes, simple but wise words from these inspirational people can motivate us to make small changes in our lives, to the better. The following infographic lists some of the top inspirational celebrity quotes by life coach spotter that will leave you inspired:



Learn more about our open-submissions Relating to Humans feature here.


NYX – A Short Story by Stephanie Buosi

What is it about the way that some words can be arranged and aligned in such a way that they can take us to places we’ve never been before?

Who knows, right? I’m just thankful that it happens at all.

All I know is that when I read Stephanie’s story it moved me in ways I couldn’t explain. Maybe it was the way she described the setting…the beach, the waves, the bonfire. I could almost feel the pull of the moon.

I grew up on Lake Erie and there was a time long, long ago that I could have been one of those mindless teenagers out there running around in the sand, mindless of life that lay before me. Annoying those who already know all too well.

Yeah, I don’t know why it is that Stephanie’s stories moves me the way it does…

I’m just glad it does.

Thank you, Stephanie, for sending me your sad yet magical and wonderfully titled story of inspiration.

In Spirit…


Stephanie Buosi

by Stephanie Buosi

Silly little girls are dancing in bikinis. Their boys chase them around a bonfire on the beach. The waves lap at their heels and mine, although I am neither silly nor wearing a bikini. I hear their laughter as an insult. They play with the night and use the darkness in their game of cat and mouse. I skulk around them unnoticed and am easily on my way.

Perhaps I should have joined in their games. But I walk in a dream, and am afraid of feeling joy only to wake up again.

I told no one.

In a sense, I suppose you could say I ran away. But you can’t tell the people who are the fabric of your life of your decision to quit your home, your job, your life, and head to the beach. You are also a part of the fabric of their lives, and they would never let you go willingly; there would at least be one round of guilt. No. It is always best to just slip away.

I went to the beach because you never took me to the beach. When I press my toes into the white sand the only imprint is mine. You are nowhere near this beach, so I can breathe a little easier.

I could still smell you back in the home I quit. On the bed, against the wall, on the kitchen counter pressed against the granite… you were still there. That was why I sold the house. It now legally belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Collins, respectively. They were a nice couple, yet I still wanted to spit in their faces when they agreed to the price. Why so little? Couldn’t they see what I was giving up?

You were a part of my shadow. You knew my darkness, and relished the bad with the good. You knew I was a bit of everything, and loved to touch it all. Now no one can touch me and you made sure of this. Perhaps I let you have too much. Every night, as I walk home, I remember this and let myself fall on the sand. I sink like a stone thrown in water. This is another reason why I chose the beach; sand is much softer than concrete, and my knees no longer hurt when they smack the ground.

I am playing such a strange role. Who knew I could be so powerful as to be untouchable? I am now a league onto my own, possessing of something no one else will know. Because how can they know? You were my shadow alone.

I have to skip around starfish on my walk home. Every night they are pushed by the waves to their deaths, and leave behind beautiful concrete memories of their lives. The locals collect them in wicker baskets and sell them to ambivalent tourists during the day. Their bodies are treasured, and they become something more than star-shaped predators belonging to the class Asteroidea.

You. Homo sapiens. Workaholic. Wonderful fingers. Belonging to me. Once. And now you belong to the God you worshiped, and I can only touch you through sleep, shadow, or imagination. I hope you are aware that you are challenging my sanity. Are you happy?

I wore a mask at the funeral. I wore a mask so others would not be frightened of me. You wouldn’t have recognized me. I was all dolled up, but felt so cold. People spoke to me and all I could do was smile. But at least with a mask on they had the courage to try. You were right there but so far away. I couldn’t have touched you even if I tried.

The beach is usually deserted at night. Most are afraid to venture beyond the reach of a streetlight. They stay on the boardwalk with drinks in their hands and listen to loud music to drown the call of gently crashing waves. They are afraid of the loneliness, I think. The ocean is a siren that provokes thoughts most would rather hide behind dirty martinis.

But there is freedom in the dark. I can be me: powerful and untouchable as I ache for you.

The girls and boys are now disembodied voices drifting along the sea breeze, and their bonfire now a candle against an inky sky. Life once again feels like a dream. Colorless, the world holds the potential for green skies or purple sand. Whatever I imagine the world to be I can paint it over the black of night. Perhaps I can paint you beside me?

Putting one step in front of the other is not a hard thing to do. I do that every night. I put one foot in front of the other and hope that my steps will bring me to a place of peace. I hope to find a place where I can feel okay without you.

I know it will come. Night cannot exist without day.


Thank You All For The Inspiration

I asked for your help and you all responded in kind…and in kindness. Thanks so very much to all of you who took the time to send me some inspiration by way of your very own personal literary creations. I am no longer lacking in inspiration, that is for sure.

Funny though, instead of inspiring me to dig back into my short story collection, it led me back to my dystopian saga via Wattpad. I will still be working on the story collection; however, right now I am kinda stoked to be working on part two of Hercules Gone Mad.

Again, thank you all. I was really quite surprised by how many submission I received. I enjoyed reading them all. I will confess, though, that I did not read any of the submissions that were just links to websites.

Sorry about that.

I will post the story that I found most inspiring and creative immediately after I post this message of thanks. But before I do, I would like to single out two stories that were also very inspiring to me. I strongly urge you to visit the authors’ sites and see what interesting and inspiring things they have going on there.

Foul Play
by Lee Balan

The Conscious Coward
by Vic Smith

Write on!


Hope Debuted

Bruises and Scars

are you who you were
are you your bruises and scars
is that who you are

or are you each day renewed
your past relieved, hope debuted


MAD ABOUT THE VERSE – A Guest Post by Poet Rose Red

This blog rewards me in so many wonderful ways. The most wonderful way is when, through it, I get to meet new and different and interesting and motivating authors and poets and artists of all sorts who inspire me through their artistry and temperament to want to not just continue on here, but to continue on here with bigger and better and more inclusive endeavors.

Through her kind and encouraging feedback to the work I’ve published here and in book format, and, more importantly, through her own poetic example, Rose Red of has had such a powerful suasion on me, and I am happy to be able to thank her publicly for her support and her artistic example.

And I am just as happy, and honored, to be able to present to you Rose Red’s highly interesting and inspiring guest post. I ask that you please take the time to visit with her at her site and enjoy her artistry and insight as I have.

Mad about the Verse
by Rose Red

I am passionate about poetry. When did this begin? I wonder if it ever wasn’t. I think about the books I read when I first started reading at 4 years old. They were lyrical. There was rhyme. There was imagery. I recall great allegories, analogies, rhymes and fancies, with Dr. Seuss at the forefront. My mother would sign up for book promotions at the grocery store or through the mail. The first book was free, or inexpensive, then she would buy them one by one until we had the entire set. But, I was going to talk about being a poet, about writing poems. Yes, but reading is first, at the heart of it all. That is the passion we follow, reading and seeing words assembled in a way that makes us feel something. I have no words to express this as well as my old companion and favourite poet from my youth, Emily Dickinson. I was enamoured and mystified by her poetry. It broke every rule, and told so much.

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold
no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically
as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.
These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?

Emily Dickinson

This is what she said about poetry, that great love of my life. Good poems, right? No, she did not define in terms of good and bad. Her definition was at its heart. Feeling. When you have passion, the words delight. They incite action. They make you smile, laugh, grin, guffaw. Like being in love, you can also be in hate, you can be angry, disappointed, elated, surprised, engulfed. In Noël Coward’s play, “The Astonished Heart”, that subsequently became a film, Christian Faber, at a particularly low point, describes himself as being ‘submerged’. Have words ever made you feel submerged?

I have this overwhelming desire (need?) to figure out what I feel and put it out there. Some call it narcissism. Perhaps it is at its core. But, as time goes on, I find myself wanting to share it, just give it away. I want the kudos at times, yes. Let’s get that out of the way now. I don’t think about that while writing though. Like that lover we spoke of, I am true to her. I write what is inside, making that attempt to bring to the surface what is lurking beneath. If someone else can relate to it, the gratification is immense. I am not alone. If I was alone on that proverbial desert island, I still believe that I would tell my story. I would be sitting by a palm tree, telling it my life and loves.

So, is this passion no more than a great need to analyze myself on that great shrink couch of life, then unleash my psychoses on the world? Do I just want to hear others agree with me? My husband does not get a vote here. But I do think that at its center there is a desire to be heard and understood that is innate to all of us. Not everyone wants to pick it apart and describe it, comparing it to a fig leaf, a dog, or a cloudy day. So what makes me, and other poets different?

If you are passionate about these words, you scribble on anything that can be scribbled on. I heard that John Cougar Mellencamp wrote the first lyrics of “Hurts So Good” on the shower door with a bar of soap. I’ve written on envelopes, menus, pages of a crossword puzzle book, the margin of the crossword page in the newspaper, my hand, and a program from a music recital, among other things. Often the music will inspire words and I am afraid I will forget them.

I am yet to be paid for anything I have written. So what good is it? I will tell you what poetry has done for me. It has saved my life, more than once. It has allowed me to connect with strangers, more times than I can count. It has allowed me a new connection with my children, to tell them how I feel in a special way that is a gift only for them. It gives me a media to use in prayer to God, when I feel afraid and like I can’t pray, and words fail me aloud. I start writing and it just flows out of me, all the pain, the worry, the questions, and the doubts.

I started writing poetry at 9 years old. It is hard to say if it first came from a joyful place or a dark place. I was living in a dark place at home, but I think the poems were joyful because I loved school and Sunday School. There were teachers that were kind to me. I got a respect I did not get at home and I liked it. I have in my cedar chest the first poems I wrote, or at least the first ones preserved, from 4th grade. They are mostly about God or my dog. As time went on, they became clouded. I was confused about my folks taking me to church and then showing indifference, unkindness, and neglect at home. I couldn’t reconcile it all. I can’t say why I wrote them. Maybe they were for school at first? I have always written from that point on. In 5th grade I had a teacher that encouraged my creative side. She showed me poems of her own and gave me a part in the school play. In high school that darkness reached a dangerous place and nearly a deadly place. But I had a few adults in my life and a couple of friends moving in and out of my sphere that would help me not to give up. My senior year I wrote poems for the fledgling school paper and for the church bulletin. The little bits of praise I received were immeasurable in terms of self worth. But it was more. What touched me was when someone would say it made them feel something. Wow. What a rush.

About that time, my mother brought me a typewriter. I look back at that act of love in a time that we were very poor and I know it showed that she loved me. I wrote this in her memory last year.

Sometimes the words flow like water
From my finger tips and from my mind
I don’t even try because to try is to alter
Genuine heart-felt stone cold feelings.
But this morning at four a.m. my mind
Is on you Mom and I open up my typewriter
You bought for me 33 years ago at Sears
Because I need a little something to make me go.
I needed a boost, though you weren’t always so good at that-
But there was this time when you noticed me, my poetry
And that was what drove me on and you bought it for me
Said I’d need it, and it meant everything, you know.
Did you know that? Me, the beggar girl
And you gave it to me and I did not have to ask.
Mom our life memories are full of scars and I am
Starting to forgive you when I remember
We went through triage together.

As I have moved through various stages of adulthood and parenthood, I discovered that my words were something that could grow with me, and give me a voice. I often felt crossed off and invisible. I can live without fame or money. Just don’t take away my words. Don’t take the one thing intrinsically mine. It is a means of communication. When you are out of options, you are not out of options. Write. Talk about it. Show it to someone. Read their words. Listen. Share. It is something that will change your life.

I don’t get hung up on format as I think there are as many ways to express a thought as there are people. I enjoy paying attention to meter and form, and I like working over the words and making my thoughts fit into a frame without losing their meaning. But if by doing so I will lose the feeling and deeper meaning, I just keep the words flowing in free verse. I am allowed. I have a poetic license.