Monday, October 22, 2007


Current mood: confused
Category: Life

Hello dears,

How are you all? I couldn't stay away too long.

Yeah me.

Who cares, as long as someone at some point walks away with something from this blog that is all I really care about. That is all we should care about as writers, right? When writing a piece, you shouldn't really care about the numbers or what people think, for you should be doing it for you. Writing the words down that plague your mind with immediacy. Well, as much as possible in the moment.

I have endured much through the past two weeks. There is the lesson that nothing in life is ever assured. There is the lesson that everything can change with just a little pain on an unsuspecting day in your life.

The journey is far from over for me. Tomorrow brings on more and more testing. I do not know how much those blood sucking arseholes from the hospital can take out of me, but I know that they will certainly push their limits and in the end, mine. But there are a lot more people out there that are going through much worse than me. There are people out there with more problems than I will ever know. For that, I am sorry for them, but grateful for me.

Today brought a whole new meaning to the words, getting to the heart of the matter. The heart, the one in the center of my chest, is ticking still, but is weak. I am hoping to have an answer soon. Very soon. Tomorrow the docs test other areas of my body for after effects and affects of this problem, which currently has no name.

But, I did get to walk away with a DVD of my experience today. Not many people can say that in their video collection they have a performance of their internal organs. Anytime you all stop by for tea and crumpets, I will be more than happy to show it off to you.

Maybe I should caption it: This is your heart on drugs. (the legal kind of course) and then show the after one as This is your heart after writing a novel...

Stress anyone? I try not to and my dear friend, therapist ( I like to say that she is one), coach and mentor is telling me to love my body. To treat it like I love it more than anything else. This is something I am trying to learn to do. And maybe with some time I will give in to it. There are people in this world who hate their bodies because of their outer appearance. But for me, I hate it because of my circulatory system, my cardiac and pulmonary systems and above all, because I am angrier than hell that it seems to be failing me more than I want to admit to.

So enough. My anger is stated. I will continue to breath the best I can to make it from this day to the next. For that is all anyone can do to move on.

I appreciate the outpouring of friendship, love and well wishes. Even from people I don't know, from the people I would love to meet but have the feeling that I will never get to.

But that is okay too, because I know you are all a keystroke away.

Have a wonderful weekend and I will be on and off as my testing schedule allows and my health allows. Keep writing and I will too.

Yours in Hearts, Hating Your Body and Handing Control Over to Someone Else,


Currently reading :
21st Century Complete Medical Guide to Pulmonary Hypertension, Authoritative Government Documents, Clinical References, and Practical Information for Patients and Physicians (CD-ROM)
By PM Medical Health News
Release date: June, 2004

Monday, October 8, 2007


Current mood: distressed
Category: Life

Currently on my IPOD: Man of Constant Sorrow: Soggy Bottom Boys

Hello Kids,

I guess I should post a blog tonight. You know, I think I have bi-polar. As of my last post I was floating the proverbial acceptance into a literary journal cloud 9. Tonight I am in the friggin dumps. No, it is not due to writing. Today was actually an extremely productive day in my writing life. I topped my word count off with another 4000 words in the novel and then I wrote the first 1000 or so words in the next novel. I know. I haven't finished this one yet so why am I writing the beginning to the next you might ask, well, I heard the voice of the main character clear as day and had to write down what she said. Yes, the two novels are related. I was racking my brain in order to try to figure out how to make this a series of sorts, and until this week I had no idea how I was going to pull it off. But, now it is clear and my path is straight. That might change with the blowing of the breeze outside, but I am okay with that.

Maybe it is the ADHD child that still resides in my head that can not focus on only one thing that is driving me to distraction with the second book. Who knows, who the hell cares.


Back to the topic at hand. Tonight ruined my week. I was fine. Really I was. It was just a little annoying leg pain. I am not going to repeat the medical history of my past year or two, so if you really want to know all of the gory details and the why behind the hypochondriac I am today, then read the blogs from the year past.

My right leg, after a surgery last year, formed a blood clot in one of the superficial veins along the bifarcating point of the vascular structure, around the posterior side of the knee. No big deal. A small blood clot, but one that had to be treated. The docs said that it was probably due to being in the hospital for the surgeries etc...They placed me on Coumadin and Lovenox and sent me home on bed rest for a week or so. Then I had to follow up weekly with the coumadin clinic to have my levels monitored. I was out of work anyway, so this was more of a nuisance than anything else.

Tonight I called my doc regarding the pain in the right leg. I figured that this was just due to me sleeping wrong or just feeling crappy in general with the cold I had, I don't know, all reason has long left the vessel of my body so I am not sure why I had put off calling the doctor in the first place. I asked him if I could wait to see him in the morning and he said absolutely not. Go into the ER and get it checked out, especially since I have a history of these things.

I went to the ER knowing that I didn't feel right. The ultrasound tech started to scan the leg and then did what is called a doppler study. The doppler measures the flow of blood and even does it in color, which is pretty darn cool in my book. Anyway, the doppler, the last time I had this problem showed blood flow, except right at the clot. This time it showed a small amount of blood flow and that blood flow was extremely sluggish. she then directed the study to the popliteal artery. Yep..there it was. This artery is right behind the knee cap and is quite large.

The clot is very large and I am now on bed rest. I always complain that I don't have enough time to write. Well, I just bought myself a whole heck of a lot of time to write. I am back on all the blood thinners and scared. This clot seemingly has come from no where and the docs are considering placing a type of filter in me in order to prevent more from forming. This is surgery and I can say with confidence that I do not want another surgery. The bad thing about clots is that if this clot travels, then it will most likely kill me. Seriously. I am scared, but then again I have been through this before and am somewhat prepared. But I will be better off if I can get yu or

But for now, I am in bed with computer at hand and glasses of water at my side. And hopefully, your good thoughts coming my way.

I am dog tired and think I will consider sleep as an option.

Yours in Blood Clots, Blink of an Eye and Biting the Bullet,


Friday, October 5, 2007

Accepting the Word

Current mood: hyper
Category: Writing and Poetry

Currently on my IPOD: Seasons of Love: Rent Soundtrack


Miss Cicily just got word of acceptance into: UNDERGROUND VOICES I will be in their January 2008 Issue!!!!!!! I am totally geeked! I about peed myself when I got the email today. I was having a total shit day and then I got home, opened up the email and had the UV editor title in my face. I thought...okay, I emailed my piece to them on the 29th of Sept. It takes approx. 12 to 98 days for either rejection or acceptance according to Duotrope's Digest and it had only been six..I assumed it was a rejection and almost deleted the email. Just wasn't in the mood. So, I guess this is another lesson in rejection. Never assume anything.

Oh, and for those of you who don't use should. If you submit to anywhere, you should use them as a tracking service. And if you DO use them, please give them a donation so those wonderful people can keep this service going. They alert you if you submitted to a place that doesn't take simultaneous subs, they alert you to new markets and to ones that have closed to subs and ones that have shut down, etc..But most of all, they are a who's who list of everything Literary and include categories like inde. novel pub markets, non-fiction, flash fiction, short story, prose, poetry. And you can even search the markets which have themes for their issues, and if you wrote a piece on cowboys and carebears, you can do a reverse search for zines that are taking all things related to Cowboys and Carebears.

And just so you know:

I am also in Eclectica Magazine this month with my review of Carol Novak's CD: Inventions I: Fictions, Fusions and Poems. Check it out! If you like what I write there please e-mail them and tell them or shout it out on my blog,post a bulletin with the links to the review etc...Or if you have a CD, Book, Taiwanese Manual on how to operate a small piece of heavy machinery in your own backyard, then I am happy to consider it for review. Just know that it might take a while, as I have two reviews on the back burner already. Just email me through myspace.

One is for Mark Chapman's: The Mars Imperative. Unfortunately this has received a discouraging review and from a very reputable magazine, but I happen to disagree. Mark has a vivid sense of urgency and imagination throughout this book, with a style that engages the reader, makes sense of the science behind the book and it is obvious that his attention to detail only serves to enhance the story, not detract from it. I am not a huge Sci-fi fan, normally, but this book was very enjoyable and kept me turning back the corners for page after page. His next book, The Tesserene Imperative comes out soon!! He has lots of potential and I can't wait to read more. I will post a more thorough review soon on Amazon.

Next to follow is for a chap book of ZCB..also known as Zac Bush. We Swallowed Spiders in Our Sleep. He is listed on my top friends..Go to his profile, meet the man and order his book ASAP.. One of the best collections of poetry I have ever sunk my literary haunches into. I am very excited to "know" Zac and to review his book, who knows where he will be in ten years! My guess is at the very top of his field. Also, subscribe to his blog...the works he regularly posts on there is definitely satiating in the most prose-like sense of the word. I have yet to be disappointed in him or his words.

After that..there is one other one for The Guild of Outsider Writers. I am excited to finish this review, as it has been a while since I have posted anything for this site. And the chap book is outrageously superb.

Check them all out and support the literary little people. Also, thank you for reading me day after day. This week alone, I have had over 1000 readers. You guys totally rock. Oh..and if you want to hear my voice, check out my profile page. This new thing called, Snapvine, is freakishly fantastic. I hope you all will call the number on my voice box and leave me a message. I am dying to hear what you all sound like. Please call me! Pretty please with sugar on top and a cherry too?...Okay, enough.

Have a wonderful evening.

Yours on Cloud 9, Climbing the Literary Ladder and Counting on Your Readers,


Currently reading :
Underground Voices: Print Edition Vol 1 2006
By C. Powell
Release date: By 01 November, 2006

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Word From Our Sponsor

Current mood: calm

Category: Writing and Poetry

Currently on my IPOD: Cecelia: Simon and Garfunkel

Good Morning to my Friends, Family and Family of Friends,

I am going to link you kids to some of my favorite blogs and then we are going to have a lecture on critiquing. So go run out get a Venti White Chocolate Rasberry Skim Latte with 3 extra shots of espresso and whip. Xtra Whip. Then sit down and take some notes.

Top Five Blogs (at least in my book):

1)One Word, One Rung, One Day

2)Reid All About It

3)Stephen Morse

4)Misti: My candy lovin freakishly wonderful poet friend

5)Random Acts of Writing

Now don't get your panties in a bunch if you aren't on here. If you are to the right of this blog as one of my subscrips, then I love you.

Everyone got their notebooks out? Isn't that a phrase of the past..How's this. Everyone got their laptops out?


Writing is difficult enough. Pouring your soul out onto blank screens, pages, little paper napkins at coffee houses each and every day of your life for no one to read. But hits you. Maybe I should have my mom and my best friend, Rover read this. After all she loves everything I do. Right? So you go home, email your mother and Rover (who happens to be a writer too) the masterpiece you just wrote.

Here are the two replies you get:

Dear Son,

I loved your poem about me and that Christmas we spent in Jersey back in 77. I am so glad you still have your Erector set and you still play with it every night before going to bed. I am so proud of you. You are definitely going to be famous. My son..famous!

I love you,


And then there's the critic:

Hey Dude! Good to hear from you. What the hell was this piece about? I don't think you should write about your first sexual experience and call it a poem. This sucked. I've been writing for ten years and never have I read a work more terrible than this. Go rewrite it and this time read some erotic poetry before you even attempt to do something like this again.

Still friends?


Lesson 1: If you want an honest opinion, never ask your mother. Never, Ever. She will love you no matter what the hell you put down on paper.

2: Critiquing can ruin friendships, lovers and everything in between.

But. If you are open to honest remarks and hope to learn from them, then no sweat, right? Wrong. Crits that are particularly harsh or are out to be a*holes in the name of literature can be damaging. I have been on the receiving end of many critiques that have pushed me down into my self doubting pit of hell.

3. You have to grow thick skin. This is similar to the rejection rules. But a good critique will have these elements.

A) Honest feedback: You are only hurting the other writer if you praise his works and fail to provide something for that writer to go on when they go to do the rewrites etc.. As I said before, if I wanted a pat on the back, I would send the pieces I write, well, most of them, to my mom. (there are just some things that come out of my head that my mother should never, ever read) Writing is an isolated career and having strangers spend their time telling you that your writing is nice, pretty, etc..just because you are nice and pretty will get you absolutely no where. But a writer who tells you that your protagonist is weak and the plot is worse, then you have struck the proverbial pot o gold in literary friends.

B) Reasons. You can tell someone a thousand times that the writing "just isn't doing it for you". But, if you follow this up with a top ten list of the reasons why you are truly helping the other writer. It does you no good to tell someone that the protagonist is a pansy who should be riding the short bus if you can't tell them why. Maybe the protagonist is a pansy who rides the short bus, maybe that was the point, but if the other writer isn't getting the point across and it is lost on you, then you need to tell him.

Do not be afraid to say these things. Now, this doesn't mean that you have to be a complete and utter a*hole about it, but being constructive with your criticism is most usually accepted at any time.

I have been banned from one critique group. Why? I was honest. The other women, yes this was all women, were writing about their best friends, their dogs, their perfectly perfect happy home lives and I showed up with the beginning of my novel about Judas Iscariot.

I just wanted honest feedback. I assumed (and when you assume you make an ass between u and me) that they were there for the same. First story, some kind of crap about a pony or barbie doll or whatever. I sat there, thinking that this was possibly a huge joke. It sounded like something I would have written as such and then posted as a blog to see what people would say. Unfortunately this was not only not a joke, but the woman took her poetry very very seriously. At least she said she did. The women turned to me and asked me, the new girl, what I thought.

Uh...I thought that it sucked. Well, I said this in a little more eloquent way, but if you summed up the transcription of my ramblings, that is what you would find. But I was nice. Very nice. I encouraged her to go out and get a few copies of poetry books. And then she told me that this had been accepted as a finalist for a contest at AHA! We shall touch on internet writing scams some other time. Remind me, I might forget.

Anywho, then the other three women went on and on about her writing. Saying how wonderfully expressive it was, how true to her feelings and more bull. I thought I was going to puke. Then I brought up my piece and read the first page. I was told that it was blasphemous. HA! Finally a real reaction.

My point is this. When you are going to critique another persons work, and not just compliment them or tell them that they are wonderfully expressive just to hear the sound of your own voice, then keep in mind that this person, no matter what stage of their career they are in, needs to learn. I am by no means an expert or critical extraordinary super literary hero, but I know when I hear good writing. And of course, you have to understand too that what you write may or may not be in the style of the crits favorite works or it may just be that your writing has no style at all, something that is difficult to grasp or elaborate upon.

Honesty is best and providing the reasons why you did or did not like the work is key to giving effective critiques. Allow yourself to be submerged in the work and then back off once you send it off to be read. What is that Buddhist principle? Pretend everyone on this earth was put here to teach you a lesson. Grow a spine, stand up on your own two feet and listen to what others have to say. Although your writing may be very personal, the crit. should be a tool to learn and not ammo. to use against others when they tell you what you don't want to hear and you decide to go on a literary killing spree.

If you have to, give your critique a numeric rating system. Something my friend, Mike Neff taught me. Give the writer something concrete to go on. If they get a rating of 1 then there were too many problems to fix. You give them a 5 then they are better than Russo, Oats or Shakespeare combined. No gray areas, no mis-understanding of words etc...Make up your own if you have to. As a writer, I think that there is nothing worse then a crit. that says I am wonderful, perfect and can do no wrong. I would much rather have them tell me that I need to improve and why.

I hope this helps.

I must get ready to go to work. Enjoy your day and any and all crits of the blog welcome, always welcome.

Yours in Critiquing, Circular Breathing and Crying Over Nothing,


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Read, Comment, Go Make Yourself A Cup of Tea and Say Nothing If You Please

Current mood: awake
Category: Writing and Poetry

Currently on my IPOD: Phillip Glass: The Hours

Here's a little prose before bedtime...I would wrap you all in a blanket if I could. This may or may not make sense. But who the hell cares, right?

Visual Perspective
By: Cicily Janus

A daily trip among the living, spoiled. The beauty of death surrounds me. I was truly hoping I could see the world through the two eyes upon my face, but the face was painted with the colors of blindness and despair. For my shades of grey were grayer than the colors allowed through the Crayola accepted norms of societal reflection.

You should have been there. Seeing it with the hollow pits shading the cleft around your nose, the one that sparkled at one time or another, in blue, green, hazel and black. Weren't these gifts handed to you by a Buddha, a God, a being other than the one inside of you for only through others may you truly be born of someone other than yourself. This is not the person you know. This is the self that refuses to gloat, the self that wants to rejoice at the pain of others, yet in the same breath, you reach over, take the mask and place it on yourself before allowing them the pleasure and room, most of all in this claustrophobic prose, to breathe.

I met a man, or was it a woman, child or default of my misfired thoughts and synapses, who overcame this burden, the world inside the picture frame of his consciousness and he was not the better for it. He had become the it we fear, and was worse off than the rest. Rising above the noise and confusion of planetary discourse, he could see. He could open his eyes and see that the wrapping around my face was fresh and for a moment he thought silently and then stopped to ask if I wanted it removed. He asked if I could stand on my own two feet in order to be able to visualize the tragedy that had become of my soul.

Masquerading my fractured emotions, I could only speak with silence upon my lips and the welcomed loss of sight among my once predictable self as the sweetness of bitters fell upon the buds of taste upon my tongue. My weary thinking cap fell off the coarse hairs upon my head and I slept with my thoughts looking for another place, another time. A different day in which I could explore the false judgments of the grim beings inhabiting my space.

Yours in Jagged Edges, Jaded Writings and Just Getting It All Out,