Thoughts on Justice #JusJoJan

I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check the details out here. The word prompt for today is ‘Justice.’







Such a Strong Word #JusJoJan

Just Jot it January badge

I’m participating in Just Jot It January, a fun word prompt exercise organized by blogger Linda G. Hill. It happens all month during January. And it’s not too late to join in the fun. Check out the details for Just Jot It January here. The word prompt for today is Ultimatum.

It’s such a strong word – ultimatum – one that I don’t typically use.

Merriam-Webster defines ultimatum as “a final proposition, condition, or demand; especially: one whose rejection will end negotiations and cause a resort to force or other direct action.”

There are certainly situations that call for this type of final demand. Ex-husbands that have no desire to stop drinking. Teenagers that have no intention of following the family rules. Friends and neighbors that like to encroach on your time, energy, and resources. There are endless examples of when an ultimatum is necessary.

But, you’d better have the arsenal to follow through with what you’re prepared to do if the other party does not comply with the conditions or demands.

I rarely try to issue an ultimatum. But in light of the recent New Year we’ve entered, and all the plans I’ve outlined for 2018, I wonder if maybe I need to give myself a few ultimatums.

Young lady (okay, maybe not so young), you WILL get this submission finished or no dessert for you.

Trisha Faye, you WILL get that essay completed, revised, and submitted by the end of the month or no yoga for you next month.

Listen up girl, you WILL follow through and complete two short stories every month for the year, or no visit to the grandchildren. (Now that one will work. Don’t even try to keep me from my grandkids!)

How do you feel about ultimatums? Have you used them before? Did they work?

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The Empowered Woman – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Blogger Linda G. Hill, organizer of Just Jot It January, also coordinates a Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing event. The prompts that she uses varies from week to week.

This week the prompt directions are:

When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!

The rules are simple. The basic ones are:

  1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
  2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

And write to the prompt. And a few other administrative things. You can read more about Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday event here.


This is the first time I’ve participated in Linda’s Stream of Conscious Saturday blogging fun. In the spirit of following the rules, I grabbed for the top piece of paper on my towering pile. (Readers, forgive me, but she said no editing – so no editing it will be. You’ll just get the words that spew forth from my fingers for the next little bit.)

Okay, to be truthful, I did go with Door Number Two. At first I grabbed the top paper from the right hand pile. It was a library flyer. But then I got hung up on which were the sixth, seventh, and eighth words. Do I count the title? Do I count the header? Do I go straight to the information?

If I looked at the header, it would have been ‘closed January 1st.’ Hmmmm, there’s possibilities there. If I went straight to the information about the first event, the words would be ‘to access private’.

Feeling uninspired with each of these possibilities, I switched to the left hand pile. Ah! ‘The Empowered Woman.’ Much better! I’ll choose Door B, thank you very much.

That page was something I printed out October 24th, the information for a submission for Chicken Soup for the Soul.

The heading reads:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Empowered Woman
101 Stories about Being Confident, Courageous, and Your True Self

Right away I knew what I was going to write about. I even started it. The first paragraph. Then life started to overwhelm me. A book release in November, a part time job that picks up hours through the holidays, and the usual Christmas madness. I didn’t get back to this until after Christmas. And I’ve added very little to the essay over the past two weeks.

Other tasks were completed and checked off of my list. But I had trouble coming back to this one.

Being for the Chicken Soup crew, I needed to finish this piece to give myself time to set it aside and come back and edit and polish it.

The next thing I knew, it was the morning of January 10th – the day the essay was due. And I still hadn’t even finished it. I berated myself for not finishing it earlier. I knew that I had to ignore everything else on the list and do this item with a looming cutoff date.

As I started feeling pressured – by myself no less – I finally decided to cross it off the list and not even stress about finishing this item.

You know, once that was crossed off and was no longer a nagging ‘to-do’, my shoulders un-tensed and I eased into the rest of the day working on other items feeling relatively calm.

I got to thinking – isn’t part of being an empowered woman also knowing when to not do something? Isn’t allowing ourselves the option of saying ‘no’, or ‘I changed my mind’ a way of empowering ourselves? The choice to not do something we think we should, or not do something that we’d decided to act on earlier, is also a way of gaining internal power.

So, no – you won’t be reading my thoughts about The Empowered Woman in any Chicken Soup book soon. But I’m okay with that. I’m proud of the other items I did accomplish that day. By crossing that line off of my list, I felt stronger and more in control. I’d make a conscious decision about deleting that item, rather than being wishy-washy the rest of the day and sliding into the end of the day with the essay unfinished and unsent.

Now, about this ‘no editing’ part. Not so easy. It’s like the ugly first draft stuff. I’m okay with that. It’s the pushing that unclean, newly birthed creation out into the public view without any cleaning up. But there you have it anyway. And now I find myself starting to hunt for words to finish, so I’ll simply end it here.

Thanks for a fun challenge, Linda!

The Never-ending List #JusJoJan

Today I’m writing to the Just Jot It January word prompt for the day – aggravation.

Just Jot it January badge

This is Friday morning and I’m looking at the ‘To-do list’ I jotted down last Friday. About half of it is crossed off. I certainly should have made more progress than that over the past week. I find myself struggling with an attitude of aggravation when it takes me this long to cross items off the list. And now that it’s Friday, I need to add some of the routine Friday/Saturday things back to the list.


Some of the things that were accomplished this include: two books reviews, a newsletter, mailing off a book order, submitting a 53 word story, doing the agenda for our writer’s group, doing my end of year numbers, creating a new tracking document for 2018, updating my queries/submissions form…and more.

But…big sigh…still so much to do. And that’s not even getting to the fun things I want to play around with this year. One is needed for a March birthday.

All is good. At least when I hit ‘publish’ on this post, there’s one more item that can be checked off the list.

I’m curious – Do you ever finish everything on your to-do list?

Thoughts From the Editor

Lida Bushloper, a contributor in In Celebration of Sisters, features an interview with me today. Check it out on Lida’s page.

Lida Bushloper

thumbnail_Trishabiopic3Today I’m interviewing Trisha Faye, the editor of the newly released anthology In Celebration of Sisters.

Me: How did you come up with the idea for In Celebration of Sisters?

Trisha: This newest anthology, In Celebration of Sisters, is a follow-up – or companion – anthology to In Celebration of Mothers: Reflections Celebrating Motherhood, which I published last year. Last year, my mother was turning 80 and I was searching for something different and unique for a special birthday present. She certainly didn’t need any more knick-knacks or blankets. I thought of writing a book, but was looking at a fairly short time frame and didn’t think I could write an entire book by myself. So I put out a call for submissions to other authors and produced an anthology. My mom loved having a book dedicated to her, with an early picture of her and me…

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Four Words I Want More Of #JusJoJan

Just Jot it January badge

I came to the party late. This month is ‘Just Jot it January.’ But as I just saw the post about this fun month, I don’t have anything for the first ten days of the month. That’s okay. I was always one that arrived at the party late anyway. Just ask my mom. Or sister. Each day of the month has a word prompt, except for One Liner Wednesdays and Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

The word prompt for today is ‘humiliate.’

Here’s my ‘jot’ for the day.

Earlier today I added a post-it note (another one!) to my computer screen. It’s a reminder of something I just read on a blog post.



Four great words and four great attitudes. One even matches one of the three words I chose for 2018 – authentic, action, and joyful. I’d like more of these qualities in my life.

But yet, when I look at the goals I just set for 2018, they’re all measurable goals about my writing life. Where are the goals that will bring more of these four qualities into my life? Will I be humiliated when I reach the end of the year and I’m in the same place? (Humiliated is a stronger word than one I would have chosen to use here. But I needed to work in the Just Jot it word prompt for the day – so there you have it.)

No. I won’t be humiliated. Because I’m also trying to get better about not beating myself up and being more flexible to go with the flow and be gentle with myself for what happens and what doesn’t. But even so, I sit to sit down and look at conscious actions that will bring more love, peace, joy, and gratitude into my life.

What kinds of things do you jot down?

Hello 2018! #my3words

new year wishes

Last I knew, school was just letting out for the summer. Then I blinked, and here we are – welcoming in 2018.

I already have a list of goals for the New Year –  books to finish and publish, which books will be on sale each month, which Vintage Daze Short Stories I want to complete, when I want to travel to see grandkids and parents, and more. I’m ready for this new year!

As I sat scrolling through my emails, I read an email about a lady that switched from choosing one word to focus on in the new year – to three words, as recommended by Chris Brogan.

What a great idea! For several years I’ve read of people choosing one word. But with my Gemini spirit trying to travel in a multitude of directions, choosing just one never seemed to quite fit what my goals were for the year. If many different writing and career goals weren’t enough, when you add in the additional layers of mind-body-spirit that I’d like to improve, I never found one word to do the whole job.

I like the three word idea. The three words I’m choosing on for 2018 are ‘Authentic‘, ‘Action‘, and ‘Joyful.’ These three words will encompass my goals for the year, both in business and in my personal life.

Now to scatter them throughout my environment – on vision boards, wall papers, post it notes, maybe stapled to my forehead…

Have you ever chosen a ‘Word for the Year’? Or three? How has it worked for you? Was it helpful? Do you have any words you’re using for this new, upcoming year? I’m an inquiring mind…I’d like to know. Share your thoughts.

And have a grand, joyful, and blessed 2018!

In Celebration of Sisters #sisters #newrelease

In the world of sisters, there are joys – there are frustrations. There are happy moments – there are moments that make you want to pull your hair out. We’ve got too many of them – we don’t have enough of them. Sisterhood is full of amazing and diverse moments. In Celebration of Sisters is a new anthology with stories and poems from over forty writers reflecting on the fascinating world of sisterhood.

To give you a taste of what’s included in In Celebration of Sisters, here’s my own story – Not Two Peas in a Pod. I’d love to share more with you, but we only purchased first, one-time rights from the other authors, so in fairness to them, I’m not free to share them here. Here’s a bit about my sister – the many differences between us, yet we find as we get older, we’re not all that different after all.


Not Two Peas in a Pod

“You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you.”

George R.R. Martin

 As different as night and day.

Just like two peas in a pod.

Both are clichés, which writers are advised not to use. Yet, one of the phrases describes my sister and me perfectly. I’ll give you a hint—it’s not the one that references a green vegetable.

Our lives growing up were rife with differences.

I was fair. She was dark.

I was quiet. She was—not.

I liked dogs. She liked cats.

I was afraid to talk to boys. She always had a string of admirers.

I lived with my nose in a book and loved school. She was smart, but she found school, especially the tests, more of a challenge.

I was the older sister, but more timid in nature. She, the youngest of three, with a brother sandwiched between us, learned early on how to bat those eyes and quiver that lower lip to get her way.

I had one friend at a time. She had a neighborhood full of friends.


Healthy vegetables of a certain color are only one of many differences between the two of us. I could live on them, especially the green ones. My sis? Not even. As few veggies as possible pass her lips. She may have an occasional salad. Maybe. Sometimes a helping of corn. But if the doctor told her she couldn’t eat another vegetable again, she’d be ecstatic with his verdict.

My favorite long-ago story is from when she was a little tyke. She was very young and I was just three years older, so neither of us truly remember the incident. We only know the tale from the family stories that get repeated through the years.

In those days (not quite back to the dinosaur era, but our children may claim differently), children were expected to eat what was put in front of them. The story opens with Sue (Susie back then) sitting at the kitchen table having a stare down with a noxious green vegetable she refused to eat.

Dad insisted. “Eat your peas.”

She plainly stated her refusal. “I ‘frow up.”

Dad, in his fatherly authority, persisted. “You will not. You will eat them.”

Sue finally complied. And then, promptly stood up and did as she’d promised.

Our birthday parties differed vastly, too. My parties were smaller events, with only a few friends, but Sue’s parties were quite different. I recall one of her birthdays when she was in fifth or sixth grade. This is one that our mother likes to bring up, now and then, to tease Sue about. Picture a garage full of grade school children standing around, packed elbow to elbow. In trying to keep the party manageable, and keep expenses lower, Mom made ten invitations for Sue to pass out to friends.

That created a situation for the young socialite. She had more than ten friends. So even though her invitations ran out, she kept inviting friends anyway. Fortunately for Mom, Sue shared this news with her before the day of the party. I can guarantee she was batting those big brown eyes furiously while she shared her dilemma about why she had to keep inviting people.

More than once well-meaning, but nosey, acquaintances asked Mom if Sue was adopted. Mom had the stretch marks and labor memories to prove otherwise.

As we grew up, our relationship changed. Not immediately. Certainly not as I entered High School and she was still in Junior High.

One year during this period, we lived in Arkansas and shared a bedroom. I spent a lot of time reading. As I laid on my bed engrossed in my book, Sue laid on her bed, across the room, surrounded by a small army of stuffed animals. Bored, she launched one at me. Then another. And another. One at a time, she kept it up, enjoying every moment, relishing every fling of her ammunition. She laughed as she watched the steam build behind my ears until I got so angry I grabbed my book and stomped out of the room.

Time passed. We ended up with a common adversary. We were back in California, and our brother, Butch, decided that he was our boss. He vowed to protect us—especially from the young boys in the neighborhood that began to hang around. He spied on us from the upstairs balcony—when he wasn’t annoying us by walking by and mussing the top of our hair.

Sue and I banded together and started to grow closer. At least at home. Definitely not at High School, where I was an upperclassman, and she was just a young pup freshman.

We still had a lot of differences. I took all the Home Economics classes I could and loved every one of them. I learned to sew. Mom taught me how to knit and crochet. Meanwhile, Sue’s favorite method of hemming pants involved either a stapler or a roll of Scotch tape.

Gradually, year by year, we moved from a sister-only status to sisters and friends. Those differences between us seemed less important the older we got.

When Sue married and entered the motherhood game first, our roles flipped. She, now enjoying her moment in the older sister role, began to save toys and clothes from her two boys for my two younger ones.

Along the way, I became more confident and more social. Sue became—well, no, she didn’t become quieter. Never mind. I won’t go that far.

Once her children, now four in number, were older, she returned to school and got her college degree. She discovered she was smart. She could take tests and excel at school.

We’re still not two peas in a pod. But, through the years, we’ve discovered we truly are friends—not just sisters. We’ve learned that we do have one major thing in common. We share a heart. We come from the same roots, but we’re just two different plants growing in the same pot. We hold each other up, comfort and encourage each other, talk, and laugh. Together as sisters, we experience the trials and the joys of this earthly life together. I wouldn’t trade her in for all the gold on the planet.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this tale of two sisters. You can check out In Celebration of Sisters here:

Amazon Link for In Celebration of Sisters:

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Burn, Baby, Burn


On Fire new kindle.jpgCapable of creation and destruction, fire burns within us.

Behind the thick, black smoke of our lives, we blaze with our own unique flame.

While love compels some, others feed greed and lust into their hearths.

A tool for the deft hand, used with magic or as a weapon, but irresponsibility leaves deep burns and promises dreadful consequences.


ON FIRE brings to light twenty-six tales that explore this unpredictable yet beautiful element.

Handle with care.

Coming out 12.01.17!


Contact Information





Newsletter sign up:


Editors’ Bios:

burn1Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, LOVING RED, and BLOOD PHOENIX: IMPRINTED and is co-editor of DISTORTED, UNDERWATER, and AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. LUCIFER’S DAUGHTER, her new novel, is its creation for a hopeful 2018 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.


burn2Having relocated from Northwest Florida’s lonesome roads and haunted swamps, Anthony S. Buoni now prowls the gas lamp lit streets of New Orleans, playing moonlight hide and seek in the Crescent City’s above ground cemeteries. Anthony is the author of Conversation Party, Bad Apple Bolero, as well as the editor to the Between There anthologies. His stories and articles have been featured in North Florida Noir and Waterfront Living. When not prowling, Anthony keeps it scary, writing dark fiction, editing, and watching horror movies. In his spare time, he DJs, plays music, and conjures other worldly creatures with tarot cards and dreams.

Visit our author pages to learn more about the contributors here.

Giveaway Links:

$25 Amazon gift card giveaway

Free Books! Join the VIP Launch Team

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Free Books!

Join Trisha’s VIP Launch Team and receive free books in exchange for honest reviews.

Your name will be in the acknowledgements of each book you help with. For the launch of each book, there will be drawings and goodies for each team member that participated in that launch. You’ll receive sneak peeks and excerpts from upcoming books. You’ll have news and cover reviews first. You’ll be part of a private Facebook group that will include launch team members only.

What’s involved in being a team member?

You’ll receive a digital copy of the book 3-4 weeks prior to publication. When the book is published and available, leave a review on Amazon, and Goodreads if you’re a member there. If you have a blog, hosting a guest post around the time of the release would be greatly appreciated. (It’s not necessary that you have a blog to be a member of the team.) At release time, share on social media. (Just once is okay. I don’t like flooding my page with numerous buy-my-book posts and I wouldn’t ask you to do it either.)

You don’t need to participate in every book that’s released. You can pick and choose which ones you’d like to be involved with. Here’s a list of some of the books scheduled for future release. There may be one or two short stories a month also – again, each is totally voluntary.

Grandma Jones’ Kitchen – October 2017

In Celebration of Sisters – November 2017

Every Day’s a Good Day: Remaining Positive in a Retail or Service Based Profession – January 2018

Mothers of Angels – March 2018

Embracing 60 – June 2018

A Spoonful of Sugar: A Daily Dose of Inspiration and Encouragement – October 2018

How do you get to be a Launch Team Member?

It’s easy. Send me a private message on Facebook, or email me at with a request to join the team.

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