Category Archives: My Essays

Rewarding good deeds with free books

So earlier today, Vince Wilson re-tweeted this from Kris Lindbeck into my twitter stream:

2013-10-06 16.36.01

So follow Kris and do this if you would like to take her up on her generous offer. And, as is tradition in art, when you see a quality idea, take it and make it unique to you. or, as the saying goes, “Good writers borrow. Great writers steal.”. You may also send your information about how you give of your time (or proof of your donation that is at least $5) to me at dyed bright here (all run together) (at) gmail (dot) com and I will also l send you an ebook version of my upcoming book, Deep Breaths & Chocolate.

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Posted by on October 6, 2013 in My Essays, My Writing


2nd Annual “Create Something Day”

Mark your calendars!

August 6, 2013 is the 2nd annual “Create Something Day”

The post on how I decided to do this last year is here.

And, the post on how that day went last year is here.

I’ve decided to do what I did last year again. That is, to declare my birthday to be “Create Something Day”. Because, it’s my birthday and I can do what I damn well please (provided I don’t break any laws). And, just because.

I try to not ask for much from people. This is one thing I am asking for though. Mark your calendar and on August 6, 2013 create something. You probably will anyway without really even giving it any thought. If you’re reading this, odds are you’re a person who is attuned to their own creativity already. But, I want you to be mindful of that creativity. Just for one day. Purposefully set out to do something creative. Anything. That’s all I ask.

If you want to let me know what you did, that would be great. You can use the comment section or drop me a guest post.

And, as always, if you are in the mood to share your thoughts on creativity, art, or inspiration, guest posts are always welcome. Instructions on submitting a guest post are on the Contributors page.



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Posted by on July 5, 2013 in My Essays, My Writing


Garaaga’s Children: Ancients

Garaaga's Sigil

I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of reading all of the stories in the Garaaga’s Children: Ancients series by Paul E. Cooley and been fortunate to be able to voice a few of the female characters in the Parsec  Award nominated podcast versions of some of these stories.

These stories start before the written word, when stories were passes down from one teller to the next. These are the stories that became the legends. The stories of the hunters, the hunted, and the story tellers themselves. Stories of love and war. Of sex and violence. Of ancient religions, warriors, and scholars.

These stories represent the beginning of an ever expanding saga. Garaaga, his children, their followers, and their hunters are not just the stuff of legends. They are around in the here and now as well. There are so many more stories to come as Cooley chronicles these groups as they battle their way through history.

Ancients is the first volume of the Garaaga’s Children tales.

Now, these stories are being published in a limited edition hard cover version that is being offered as a special package that includes the signed numbered hardcover, bonus materials, a bonus story, special ebook, and the audiobook. All for just $35.

These aren’t the stories that legends are made of. These are the legends themselves. Go back to the beginning and discover the truth of Garaaga for yourself.

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in My Essays


Looking Back

The idea of creativity and the act of creation is such a simple one: producing something from nothing. Yes, I have oversimplified. But, really, that’s what we’re talking about. How that equation plays out is different for each of us and different for each something we create. So, the complexity that results is staggering. I love that!

Chocolate Scotch has been around for 18 months now and as today is the end of 2012 it seems like an appropriate time to take stock of life, the universe, and everything. Getting people of all walks of life, who create in different ways, to share their thoughts on creativity, art, and/or inspiration in the hopes of adding kindling to people’s creative flame is the goal at ChocolateScotch. That there are poems, audio posts, stories, essays, and letters here thrills me. So far, there have been 78 guest posts in the Creativity Blog Project. This is a lot less than I had hoped to have by now; yet they are a stunning collection of thoughts.

In looking back, I know I’ve not given this site the time and energy it requires to grow over the past year. As with a lot of my creative endeavors, I started out by giving it my undivided attention and over time let myself get sidetracked. As with all things, moderation is key. I know now that publishing a guest post a day was an insane way to start this project. It took way too much of my time and made sustaining that output (once the initial pile was posted) all but impossible. That is, and have any kind of life beyond these pages.

For the coming year, I would like to post a couple of guest posts a month. Every other week seems reasonable; one a week would be ideal. If you’ve already contributed but have another thought on creativity that you would like to share, by all means submit again. If you haven’t already contributed, why not?

If you are already on the awesome page of contributors and would like to update your information, please send an email with how you would like your bio blurb to read now. And, if you are updating that, I urge you to consider sending in some new thoughts as well (but this is not required).

If I had to sum up the past year in a single word, it would be grateful. Grateful for all of the support I have received from friends old and new. Grateful for the amazing and inspiring posts so many have contributed here. Grateful to be doing things I love like writing and editing. Grateful for too many people and things to list them all here. Mostly, grateful for you.

Thank you for reading.

Here’s to a brand new year and the creations we all bring forth therein.



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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in My Essays, My Writing


Happy Birthday to Me

When it comes to holidays, I’m a firm believer that a person’s birthday is their one special day just for them.  It’s their holiday; their day to do whatever their heart desires (within the constraints imposed by the necessities of finances, work schedules, etc).  But I think you know what I mean.  Other holidays are about various religious or national celebrations and involve the whole family being active participants.  Your birthday is just that…yours.

Seven years ago on the occasion of my 40th birthday I chose to not do any chores on that day.  Now, this was not necessarily an unusual choice on my part; I avoid housework as much as I possibly can.  On that day, however, I felt I had a great reason…it was my birthday, my special day, my day to do or not do as I saw fit.  To which I was promptly asked if I was somehow special because it was my birthday. And when I asserted that was in fact the case, I was told that I’m not a fucking princess, that I was mistaken and I am not in any way special, and, “Happy Fucking Birthday”.

To say I was devastated doesn’t do justice to how I felt at that moment.  That I sit here with tears streaming down my face as I recount the story seven years later speaks to the damage that one interaction did to me.  A part of me believed what I was told.

Fast forward through seven years.  Years that feel more like lifetimes.  I know now, how wrong that person was.  I know I suck at housework. And, while I struggle to improve in that area, I also know it has no bearing on what kind of human being I am.  I am special.  As are you.  We all have our faults and we all have wonderful gifts.

So, this year I reclaimed my birthday as my special day and I celebrated for an entire weekend.  I didn’t throw any elaborate party or take an exotic trip or spend a lot of money. Hell, I didn’t even bother with a cake this year. What I did do, was spend time with my boys, have two inexpensive meals out where I didn’t have to cook or cleanup, and I got myself a small, useful, inexpensive present.

Oh, and I declared the day to be “Create Something Day”.  And my kids and I talked about creativity.  And how creating things inside a video game (Minecraft) absolutely counts as creating something.

Then NASA went and landed on Mars.  I can’t even begin to discuss the awesomeness of that.

And a friend from Twitter, Lance Schonberg, posted about what creative things he had done on “Create Something Day”.  To inspire someone else in any small way is something so amazing I don’t even have words for the joy it gives me.

I spent today and the entire weekend talking to friends on twitter between all the other activities that make up my daily existence (as usual).  The first voice I heard on my birthday was that of someone near and dear to me over the phone. And I remembered that not only am I special on my birthday, but I’m special every day, even when I’m not my best me.

I couldn’t ask for better gifts.

Thank you all for the best birthday ever.


Posted by on August 6, 2012 in My Essays, My Writing


Create Something Day

Last week Wil Wheaton, of STtNG fame and all around cool geek guy, decided to declare his birthday to be “Don’t Be a Dick Day”. What a wonderful idea to take your birthday and proclaim it to be whatever kind of day you want (preferably something that has the potential to yield positive results). Technically, Wil didn’t start it; but he saw the brilliance of it and embraced it. If you don’t already read his blog, the story is here.

So, in this spirit, I have decided to proclaim my birthday, this coming Monday, August 6th, to be “Create Something Day”. While I won’t turn down fancy chocolates or a lovely bottle of scotch, the one thing I’m asking for is for you to create something. Anything. Draw something, write something, start the blog you’ve been dreaming of, knit, crochet, cook… Whatever.

It doesn’t matter what you create. It matters THAT you create.

If you want to share your creativity, that would be awesome. If just one person creates something that they wouldn’t have otherwise, this will be the best birthday ever. Actually, truth be told, even if none of you does a damn thing this will still be the best birthday ever. But your creativity will certainly make it awesomer. Yep, that’s a word. See, I just created that…okay, I’m making it up. Same difference.

So, stretch your imagination and use your creativity. And when your special day rolls around, what sort of day will you proclaim it to be?

PS….ChocolateScotch is always accepting guest posts on creativity, art and inspiration as well as guest poems.  So if you create something and need a way to share it with the world our door is always open.  Just saying…


Posted by on August 4, 2012 in My Essays, My Writing



There is a moment in time
between nothing and something
when something’s gotta give.
It may only be a heartbeat,
or the time it takes
to walk away
from your heart’s desire.
But there comes a point
when the time for talking
has finally passed
and the only thing left
to do is…something.
But what that something is
can only be decided
in that brief moment
of impasse…


This poem was inspired by the synopsis of a movie by the same name. The screenplay was written by Jeanne Veillete Bowerman @Jeannevb (you can read about it on her website and it will be directed by Michael Bekemeyer @Bekemeyer.

This movie is a KickStarter project. Please check it out (AND CONTRIBUTE)!! 

When I read the synopsis I was moved to tears. I know that moment of impasse all too well. I knew in that moment that I had to do whatever I could to help Mike and Jeanne get this movie made. I don’t have much spare cash these days, but they don’t need a lot from any one person…they just need a big ‘ole bunch of us to skip a latte or two and help get the word out. So, that’s what I’m doing.

Check it out. If it moves you even a little bit, please consider donating. Even $1 counts. If you have a website or blog or facebook, G+ or twitter account follow these two wonderful, creative individuals and help spread the word.

Thank you.



This is a cross-post.  The original post is at More Yarn For Me.

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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in My Essays, My Poems, My Writing


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