Combating Writer’s Block


Writing has been around since the year dot, or people have been writing ever since they could hold a piece of charcoal – the same thing to say, really – so there’s no real difference about the objective. To get something down on paper or on a computer screen, whether it’s a treatise, an essay, a blog post like this, a story or a book, is the same vein of every writer. It’s the circumstances that are somewhat different, and some not associated with writing at all can get in the way. Obstacles to writing fluently or efficiently can be complex or multi-faceted.

Some writers who are super-efficient can write up to 10,000 words per day – a phenomenal tally – but the disadvantage of this is a tendency to become too sedentary so that other interests or concerns get pushed away or seconded to some back-burner. Some might call…

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Who was Bloody Mary?


Reign of the Marionettes opens with a prologue in which Queen Mary I looks out from a mourning coach, at Smithfield, London; watching Protestants being burned at the stake. Mary reigned for five years, between 1553 and 1558. The first Queen to rule in her own right over England and Ireland, she is remembered most for executing  up to three hundred Protestants. After her death, this earned her the title ‘Bloody Mary’.

Mary Tudor’s life seems filled with tragedy. The only surviving child of King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, she was caught in the middle of their traumatic divorce. Prior to this, Mary had the love of both her parents and the status of Princess. An ardent Catholic, Mary refused to acknowledge her father’s new religion, or his new wife, Anne Boleyn. Distanced from her father and banned from seeing her mother, she was officially declared a bastard when Anne gave birth to her daughter, Elizabeth, and her title  changed to Lady Mary.

Athough she was brought back to Court after Anne Boleyn’s execution, Mary’s mother had already died and her father married another four times before his death. Mary was 37 when she finally became queen. One of the most tragic aspects of her life must be her marriage to  Philip of Spain and subsequent phantom pregnancies.

Were Mary’s phantom pregnancies psychological or physical? Did she have a hormonal disorder caused by a tumour of the pituitary gland? Could her distended abdomen have been caused by cancer? She died a few years later, at the age of 42, possibly from cancer.  Could her pregnancy have been a hydatidiform mole, either partial or complete? There was apparently rumour at the time of her birthing a mole. Or, did Mary have a phantom pregnancy brought on by a psychological yearning to have a baby and produce an heir?





Finding Courage in the Pursuit of a Dream

I can identify with the Kate McGinn’s message here.


I am a child of the 60’s and 70’s. I grew up with the Cold War, Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Liberation Movement, Haight-Ashbury, and Woodstock. I listened to the Beatles, the Stones, Dylan, Hendrix and the Doors. Songs of revolution, peace, and love filled the airwaves. No CD’s, DVD’s, cell phones existed. I listened to my music with the pops and crackles of vinyl, as I dreamed of how I would change the world in the Peace Corps and with my pen.

In my youth, I sought a plethora of ways to express myself. I sang in the choir and played in the symphonic and marching bands at school. I was in the Drama Club in high school. I wrote stories in several genres – fiction, non-fiction, romance, horror, and suspense. Just like the majority of avid readers out there, I dreamed of writing my first novel.


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