It’s time to gear up to for the madness we call the Holiday season. Already I have seen five homes decorated for Christmas, and last I checked the calendar Thanksgiving hadn’t been celebrated yet.

It seems retailers have caught us in their trap to rush us through the seasons. Instead, of hurrying up and getting through, we need to take time to just enjoy the moments that makeup life. Time is the one commodity we have that we chose to share, embrace, let trickle through our fingers or give away pointlessly for the sake of staying busy. When was the last time you indulged yourself with a mindless walk or sat curled up in a comfy chair and read a good book? When was the last time you lingered over dinner with a companion with whom you shared meaningful conversation? How many times have you recently squeezed in another activity or rushed to home so you could rush out or juggled your calendar so that you could fill it again?

We all need to relax more and enjoy the finite amount of life given to us. So what if we don’t complete a task today? It will wait for us to get it finished. Who cares if we achieve our bucket list? It’s not going to make people like us more. Yet if we stop and breathe, if we make time for those who love us then an undone task and unfinished list have given way to making a cherished memory, moments of laughter, brought us some peace and filled us with some joy that comes from letting our minds and body take downtime.

So as we are being pushed by commercials, status pressures, family members to cram our lives full of things that should make us feel successful, happy and important, stop for just a minute and think. With all the holiday parties you are trying to attend, and event things you are loading up on, are you able to enjoy them or are you so stressed by trying to do it all that the only thing you really want to do is crash and sleep?

If you are so busy in life that enjoying a dinner, a party or even a school function is not an enjoyable moment, then you need to rethink your priorities in life. You are not really living, you are merely functioning. Checking things off a to-do list is not a life. But filling time with laughter, absurd thoughts, great conversation, and beautiful memories is what makes one worth living.

So you can’t go to every party you’re invited to, so you have to pick and chose between functions and events. Big deal! If you are relaxing, taking time to be mindless and live in the moment, then you, instead of being rushed and frenzied about sticking to a schedule to knock another item off your list, will be able to breathe, relax, and most importantly enjoy yourself.

That makes Life well lived, and one that is well lived has little time or room for regrets to dwell in.






A Trip through Titles

Posted: 14 Nov 2017 12:30 AM PST

by Gary Fearon, Creative Director, Southern Writers Magazine
From time to time, I enjoy browsing through the latest book titles to observe current trends in titling. This time around, I thought it would be timely to focus on the 158 books that appear in the brand new 2017 Southern Writers Holiday Catalog.  
Often, I break titles down into about four categories. For this exercise I chose seven categories, to get even more specific but also because it makes for a colorful pie chart.
As is often the case, the titles chosen by most authors (54 in this case) come under a non-specific GENERAL category. These are books that give a sense of what’s inside without giving too much away, yet still establish the right mood. Here are just a few examples.
A SITUATION is implied in the second most popular category. We learn just from the title such things as that a murder has taken place or that Cupid will be flinging some arrows.
(Notice a familiar title by one of your friends and hopefully favorite authors)
Then you have titles that are poetic or ambiguous and evoke curiosity. They sound thoughtful and erudite, in the order of Gone with the Windor Of Mice and MenLet’s call these SYMBOLIC.

The MAIN CHARACTER can be identified by name or by their role in the story, sometimes suggesting the plot.

Or the title can get SPECIFIC about an important object or setting in the story.

There are, of course, NONFICTION titles that speak to the purpose of the book.

And a title can also be a STATEMENT unto itself.

Clearly, there are many roads that can be taken when coming up with a title for your book. The most important thing is to make sure your title is different from other books already out there and that it conveys something, preferably something that will grab attention and interest your potential reader enough to buy it.

If you enjoy browsing titles as much as I do, you’ll enjoy thumbing through all 158 in the 2017 Holiday Catalog, which you can do right now by clicking on the cover to the right, or by visiting http://bit.ly/SWHC2017

Happy holidays and happy reading!

Today I went to a small bookstore to introduce myself as a local writer and leave a press kit with the owner. I enjoyed meeting her and gained some wisdom regarding her clientele and what she has learned over the past year as an independent bookstore owner. What I realized upon leaving is this: I feel like a prostitute, not a writer, when I am out in the world selling myself to others who have the power to carry my books and promote them. I love writing and crafting stories which help people relax and escape from the stresses of their lives, but I do not like this business of having to sell myself on the market.

As I have pondered this necessary evil, I am coming to realize that in some way each of us sells ourselves.  Heres some examples:

Job interviews

Performance reviews

Writers when they submit work for publishing

Writers when they must market published work

Professional salespersons, whether it’s cars, clothes, insurance, mutual funds, what have you.

People who seek to buy anything

Teachers who are meeting parents the first time

Professors in every class setting

In each of these settings, we are trying to assure that we are to be trusted as an expert, as reliable or dependable, etc. We not only are saying we are the best and therefore should be hired, or chosen to have an item purchased from us, we are saying TRUST ME.

Yet in a world where nothing is guaranteed, and things are so uncertain, do we have the right to insist that someone trust us. Why do others expect us to? Why should I be expected to go out and convince a store owner to buy my works for their shop? Isn’t that what the marketing department of a publishing house is for?

Maybe I say all this because I am being forced out of my comfort zone, which is hiding behind y laptop screen in the privacy of my writing room, and out into the public eye. All I know is, this is one area in the writing world I hate.Submitting comes a close second. At least with the submission process, you are rejected from a distance, not dismissed face to face, not given that infamous “I’ll call you line” where you are left wondering “Did I not look right?” “Should I have worn a different outfit or Did I say something stupid?”

I love crafting works of words, but boy,  do I really hate selling me! I am glad to come to the conclusion that not just writers and job seekers have to sell themselves repeatedly, but in small everyday ways,  we all do.

How do some of you about this world we are living in when it comes to getting people to trust you,  and what do you do when you have to sell yourself?



All languages go through change. English is no exception. Slang helps to facilitate changes by giving old words new meanings. Pidgins (i.e. the blending of two or more languages) and Creoles (Pidgins that have grown in linguistic complexity) also create uniquely engaging ways to express thoughts. Pidgins can become a Creole and Creoles can become a new language. A new language builds a bridge to communicating and uniting different cultures. Over time a language either dies out due to lack of speakers and usefulness, or it evolves. When a language dies, a culture is lost. When it evolves, it lives, though some words are relegated to the obsolete pile. The obsolete tag is given by lexicographers, editors of dictionaries, to a word, or form of a word, that they no longer consider being actively used in speaking or writing. Lexicographers have also designated a difference between obsolete and archaic. Obsolete is the term given to entry or senses for which there is little, or no printed evidence of its use since 1755. The archaic word label is attached to any entry word or sense where signs of occasional use in print are found after 1755. Peter Meltzer, the author of “The Thinker’s Thesaurus,” explains it simply. “In general, the difference between an obsolete and an archaic word is that, although both have fallen into disuse, an obsolete word has done so more recently.” Compiled for your reading and trivia pleasure are fifty-five words, some dating back to the 1500’s which are no longer used. Several of these words need to stay in the obsolete bin, but there are a few that should make a return; they offer a more polite way to state something negative. Some should be revived as new slang. The choice is yours on which ones to add to your vocabulary.

Apricity- (1620’s) finding warmth in the sun on a cold winter’s day.

Beef-witted-(1590‘s) someone who is not nimble of brain or something that is really stupid.

Bibesy-(1700’s) a deep felt desire/need for a drink.

Bookwright-(1890’s) an author; also used as a term of slight contempt.

Brabble-(1500’s ) to quarrel in a noisy, loud way over something that matters little or has no importance to an issue.

Brannigan-(1890’s) American slang for drinking spree.

California Widow-(1880’s) a woman married to man who goes to work in far away from the area in which the married couple resides.

Callipygian-(1640’s) used to describe someone’s beautifully shaped behind. Corrade-(1900’s) to gather from various sources, scrape together.

Cockalorum-(1710’s) a little man with a high opinion of himself

Crapulous-(1530’s) to feel ill after a night of excessive eating and/or drinking. Curglaff-(1800’s) originated in Scotland. It means the reaction to a temperature shock a body feels after plunging into cold water.

Curmuring-(1880’s) the loud rumbling noise a stomach makes when it is empty and desires food.

Deliciate-(1910’s) To take one’s pleasure, to enjoy immensely, to revel, to luxuriate.

Elflock-(1590’s) what hair looks like after it’s been slept on and it’s tangled or matted.

Englishable-(1865) any word that may be rendered into English

Excogigate-(1520’s) to plot, plan, devise. It’s Latin roots mean, to bring out by thinking.

Freck-(1910’s) to move swiftly or nimbly

Fuzzle-(1910’s) drunk, intoxicated

Gorgonize-(early 1600’s) to have a mesmerizing effect upon a person

Groak-(?) to silently observe someone as they eat.

Grumpish-(1720’s) another way to say a person’s sullen or grumpy

Hoddypeak-()? A simpleton, noodle brain, fool, blockhead

Houppelande-(1200’s) medieval word meaning cloak

Hugger-Mugger-(1530’s) to act in a secretive manner I

llecebrous-() today’s eye candy, alluring, enticing

Jargogle-(1692) to jumble or confuse thoughts, or words

Jirble-(1800’s) to pour a liquid with an unsteady, trembling, hand

Jollux-(1780’s) refers to someone who is large

Kench-(1300’s) to laugh loudly

Lethophobia-(1700’s) the fear of oblivion

Ludibrious-(1910’s) describes a person apt to be the subject of mocking or jests Lumming-(1900’s) description of rain falling

Lunting-(1820’s) Walking while smoking a pipe after a meal

Malagrugrous-(1826)- Dismal, worried, wrinkled brow

Mawk-(1300’s) whim, fastidious fancy; Mawkish- someone nauseated by something they are too fastidious to eat

Monsterful-(1810’s) something that is more than good, wonderful, or extraordinary

Muckrake-(1678) a tool used to rake dung or muck

Perissology-(1880’s) using more words than needed; redundant, long-winded Pismore-(1380’s) combination of old words meaning piss and small insect to refer to something like an ant

Quagswagging-(1650’s) shaking someone or something back and forth Quockerwodger-(1850’s) a wooden puppet controlled by strings

Resistentialism-(1940’s) inanimate objects that display intense evil, ill, will, or hatred

Sanguinolency-(1400’s) an addiction to bloodshed

Scriptitation-(1600’s) writing constantly, continually

Sluberdegullion-(1600’s) slovenly, lack of moving, staying in one place Snowbrowth-(1590’s) newly melted snow

Snoutfair-(1500’s) used to describe someone considered good looking

Twattle-(1600’s) the act of talking as in gossiping

Twitter-Light-(1600’s) the time of day that happens after sunset and before evening referred to now as twilight.

Widdendream-(?) the state of mental confusion or mentally disturbed

Wonder-Wench-(?) a sweetheart

Yemeles-(1100’s) heedless, negligent, careless

Zafty-(1880’s) a person who is very easily imposed upon

Zenzizenzizenzic-(1500’s) math term meaning to the eighth power

Some of these words prove the world, and it’s people have not changed. Yemeles still exist, just ask a teacher. Perissology is still practiced by politicians and preachers. Many gamers can be accused of sanguinolency and some of us jargogle when we are excogigating out loud. Psychologists have stated, there are only a few personality types in the world. Apparently, from the words above, only language has evolved into new non-descriptive, factual ways of labeling people and their actions. Perhaps the time has come when we should let our politically correct quockwodger selves return to more archaic styles of expression. One thing is sure; few people would argue as they would have no idea what was said. How many of you are reading this with a malagrugrous visage while feeling widdendream?


BIO Julie Canfield currently lives in Richmond, Va. She shares her domicile with her two dogs and enough books to fill a library. Her new book, “What Hides Beneath” will be released by Black Rose Writing, August 2017.

Thaks for stopping by to read the first chapter of my upcoming release. I hope you find it an enjoyable way to kill a few moments of time.

Chapter One

Annette Williams walked out of the third-floor auction room, up two flights of steps and down the private hallway leading to her office. She sank into her butter-soft sofa and kicked off her heels. Leaning against the leather cushions, she tipped her head back. One-point-eight million dollars would be deposited into her account by this time tomorrow. Life was good. Her dreams were so close to becoming a reality she could almost taste them. She sat forward and buzzed her assistant for a cup of tea. While she awaited Liz’s arrival, she did a little math in her head. She was worth just over six million dollars in cash. Four to go before work could become an unnecessary pastime for Lowell and her. A knock on the office door brought her back to reality. Expecting to find Liz carrying a cup of aromatic black tea that had been blended especially for her, Annette leaned back when her boss entered, holding the tray. “Hello, Lowell.” She tried to keep her tone businesslike, but her eyes couldn’t hide her pleasure, no matter how much she wanted to protect herself. “Annette, we need to talk.” He gently kicked the door closed, careful not to disrupt the cups and teapot on the tray. James Lowell Harrington stood just over six feet, and his hair greyed at his temples. Wearing a custom-made suit which accented his trim figure and a shirt that enhanced his coloring, Annette knew why he turned heads. Watching him now, she marveled at the manners, style, and courtliness he exhibited. These were the qualities that made people feel they should bow in his presence. Annette, however, felt no such intimidation. She believed him to be her equal. That’s what attracted her to him. “Really, Lowell, talk? What would you like to discuss? Business? Or something more personal?” She moved a pillow and looked up at him. Her open palm suggested he occupy the cushion next to her. He placed the tray on the glass coffee table, handed her a cup, and poured one for himself before taking a seat across from her in the suede, wingback chair. “Both.” He tipped his head at her. “Wonderful auction this afternoon. Congratulations on your finds. Do we know who the items’ owners were? Chelton said they weren’t here.” “The owner of both pieces wished to remain anonymous for now. You’ll know soon enough.” Annette watched him over her teacup. Stunning, brilliant, she knew she was everything he desired in a woman. So why did he look at her with mistrust? She wondered if he suspected she was the lucky recipient of today’s small fortune. She smiled at him. Lowell kept watching her. He knew, but how? Her personal collection had been sent under an assumed name. Had he been prying into her life? Her smile spread. She narrowed her eyes. He thinks I’m cheating the business, therefore cheating him. How very naive and narrow-visioned. Had it not occurred to him that she would have a personal collection? Did he think she would burn her bridges with this company over a piddly amount of money? He didn’t appear to notice her glare. “You’re leaving for an appraisal gala this weekend, right?” She sat upright, crossed her ankles, and took another sip of tea, sensing he had more to say. “Yes, I leave for Richmond Friday night. Would you like me back by Monday?” Lowell conducted the conversation like a chess match: polite but distant, informal. Each exchange held the consideration a chess player used to make a calculated move. “No, that’s not necessary. I think you should take some time off.” He took a sip of tea then added another lump of sugar. “Why do you think I need time off?” The smile stayed, but she put up the invisible shield that had always protected her heart in the past. The teacup shook slightly. She placed it on the table. After setting his cup on the tray, he reached across and laid his hand on her smooth leg. He traced his fingers up and down. “You just made a small amount of money, my dear. Why don’t you go enjoy it?” She took his hand in hers and brought it to her mouth. “Why don’t you come with me?” She applied kisses all over his palm then moved her lips up his fingers, tasting them, savoring them. She couldn’t help herself. Lowell was her one vice. Lowell pulled his hand away. Annette stiffened. She dropped her hand and looked at him. Her expression waffled between puzzlement and anger. “Cecilia suspects I am practicing infidelity again. It is best for me if you took a vacation, preferably a long one. You’re a tempting little piece, and I was never good at practicing willpower.” He sipped his tea again. Annette’s face became a blank slate. The air around her grew cold. She rose with grace, retrieved her Hermes Birkin bag from the shelf by her office door and left. “Pity she’s not worth more money. She’s the dalliance I would have discarded Cecilia for.”

If you would like to read more, the release date is currently set for August 31, 2017. Look for it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, at your local bookstores!


Hello Everyone,

It is good to be home, well back online again. yes, It’s been a while since I posted but I have a great excuse, ok sort of a good maybe just ok one. The divorce war ended 14 months ago, (YEAH!) and so you say why did you take so long to share? Well, I’ve been busy resting. The upheaval with leaving a long married life, then the battle for freedom, and starting to work on a masters degree mentally exhausted me. I was no good to no one. Writing did give me a reason to get up but it was so hard to motivate myself to put pen to paper, so to speak. But now, my head is clear, my brain is ready to engage in flights of wonder or wander, and I have some great news to share. I am still in shock over this; on August 31, 2017, I will have a debut thriller/mystery released. That’s right, I get to say I’m a published author. WhooWho! I hope if you read this that you will read, man I’m having a hard time saying novel, so I’ll say my novella. The title is What Hides Beneath. 

Look for it at a fine book dealer near you!

I would like to hear your comments regarding this work but only if they are nice. I’m joking. All comments are welcome, just make sure they are something you wouldn’t mind a child reading. Yes, keep the comments clean, please.

It feels great to be living again!

Word clouds are a fun way to show words, where the most important ones are bigger than the others. Discover, generate and share word clouds from any text with WordItOut! Now you can get them as custom gifts too!

Source: Make a word cloud – WordItOut

Someone said you spend your first fifty years of your life learning, the second fifty applying the lessons you learned in living. Today I take another step down the second half of my life road. Over the past month, I have reflected upon what I have learned in the last six months. Only one lesson kept coming to mind. Here it is: Thoughts are the seeds of creation. Positive thoughts generate good things. Negative thoughts compound and grow our life problems. If we want to improve the world around us, then we must start seeing the good in all situations, and sharing positive thoughts with others who can only see the wrong.

Today, my friends, I ask you to share and do some good as a gift to me, please. Here are some ways I encourage you to try to spread laughter, love, and enlightening thoughts to those around you if you chose to take up this cause.

Refuse to listen to a person complain. Instead, point out the good you see coming from their problem.

Do a random act of kindness. Pay for the person behind you at the toll booth or drive through.

Buy a bouquet of flowers and drop them at a nursing home to be given to someone who has no one left in their life.

Open the door for someone.

Smile at a stranger. You never know who needs to see some joy radiating from another.

Find something to compliment another on. Their hair, shirt, smile, whatever. We all have something good just find in someone one.

Spend some time alone and focus on all the positive things in your life. Send up a thank you for them.

Spend some time meditating on where you can find happiness then go shopping for it.

Buy a meal for someone on the corner holding a help sign.

Give out some hugs

Find a joke to share with the world. The dumber, the better.

Laugh at yourself. All of us do nonsensical things.

Read your favorite childhood book again.

Plant a happy seed in your family. Compliment them on a small gesture, an unusual thought, or just because they’re there.

Give a word or two of encouragement to a stranger. We all see moms struggling with crying children, people who have received disappointing news, or those who look just overwhelmed with life.

Turn around and walk away in silence from someone who wants to take away your joy,  Make it a part of your life to withhold judgement, condemnation, angry words.

Starting today, I will be trying hard to live by this myself. I have decided I would rather grow a crop of positive, happy, joyful, laugh filled thoughts than negative ones. After all, thoughts are the seeds of creation. Without intelligent, imaginative ones, inventions would not be dreamed up, stories would not be written, and no one would be smiling.

Go, make some smiles!

Nearly 240 years ago, our country was founded on the idea that all men were created equal and free. Ironically these words, from the scripture above, were written over a thousand years before Jefferson put forth the notion of an unalienable right to freedom. Read and reflect on each of these definitions and usages of the word freedom. Now apply them to your life and ask yourself this: Are you truly, completely free?

1. The condition of being free of restraints.

2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.

3.a. Political independence. b. Exemption from the arbitrary exercise of authority in the performance of a specific action; civil liberty: freedom of assembly.

4. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition: freedom from want.

5. The capacity to exercise choice; free will: We have the freedom to do as we please all afternoon.

6. Ease or facility of movement: loose sports clothing, giving the wearer freedom.

7. Frankness or boldness; lack of modesty or reserve: the new freedom in movies and novels.

8.a. The right to unrestricted use; full access: was given the freedom of their research facilities. b. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship: the freedom of the city.

9. A right or the power to engage in certain actions without control or interference: “the seductive freedoms and excesses of the picaresque form” (John W. Aldridge).

Synonyms: freedom, liberty, license

These nouns refer to the power to act, speak, or think without externally imposed restraints.

Freedom is the most general term: “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free” (Abraham Lincoln).

Liberty stresses the power of free choice: “liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases” (William Hazlitt).

License sometimes denotes deliberate deviation from normally applicable rules or practices to achieve a desired effect: poetic license. Frequently, though, it denotes undue freedom: “the intolerable license with which the newspapers break . . . the rules of decorum” (Edmund Burke).

I’m not totally free. I’m a writer. As a writer:

I am restrained by the laws of grammar, slander and libel.

I have the freedom to choose my words but am at the mercy of an editor who has the power to control my verbage.

I have deadlines to meet even when I don’t feel like writing.

I like to eat and sleep in a house, so I am not free from wants, which means writing something good enough to sell to pay the bills for my wants. (Catch 22)

So I ask again, How free are you?

We are blessed to live in a country where we have more freedoms thanks to the men and women who protect us. We are blessed that God desires us to be somewhat free. By that I mean, he gives us the freedom to choose our lives but wants us to remain in his keeping. He implores us to enjoy our freedom, not use it to control other’s choices, or their lives. He ask we give freely respect and love to one another, including the laws and leaders who govern us but put him before them. Everyday, we need to thank God for what he has blessed us with, including the gift of writing. Every veteran we meet, we need to honor them for protecting our right to claim we live in the land of the “as free as we can be” state of writing.

Yes, we look for the rainbow in life because we need to see good. The Book of Revelation brings hope, brings truth to us with its phantasmagorical outlook. Sojourner Truth had it right when she said “God’s people experience trials and tribulations”(pg 10). She insisted he walks on earth with us through them. Not that we would be taken away from them. Read Margaret MacDonald’s words closely. You will see she discusses the fires (trials and troubles) that we go through will be used to purify us, to allow us to be indwelled with the spirit and this is what will cause the temple inside of us to be built. Never once does she say the world is going to have an apocalyptic end and we are all going up in a cloud of glory. She says if we live in Christ then shall we be “caught up in the air to meet him.” I take this to mean when we die and our spirit leaves the body, Christ will be there to catch it and in heaven God will be revealed. You could say she has a little prophecy in her words. She does say the church will go through fire and some will chose to stay with it and others will leave. But haven’t churches throughout history had struggles both with governments and with those who disagree with its teachings? Haven’t congregations always been like tides, ebbing and flowing? Won’t this always be the case? After all we are human. We are inconsistent, temperamental, and even if we are God fearing, we are always God seeking. This is what Revelation is revealing to us all. That no matter what we endure, we still need to hope. Hope keeps us strong in our faith that whatever tribulation we are going through will pass soon. Revelation mentions the tree of life. In Celtic Christianity, this is an emblem of hope and endurance. You can cut a tree down but unless you destroy the roots, the tree still lives. We are trees in God’s earthly garden. We bend, we sometimes break, but we can endure and grow again. The image of the water of life flowing from the throne ( Rev 22:1) reminds us we need this water if we are going to stay in communion with the trinity. Water from God is life giving and we trees need our water. The seven letters to the churches are letters of correction to them. They need to change certain behaviors to remain in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God used John as his mouthpiece, like he had others. If we look at them figuratively, not literally, we can see the same problems exist in churches all over. These letters that John was inspired to write, today can serve as a warning, an answer, a thread of hope, to pastors whose church may be struggling with one of these issues. When John begins his magic carpet ride, he is seeing bowls with troubles pouring out and trumpets, hears songs of praise from angels, sees the emerald city, (sorry wrong book) I mean rainbows, and people dressed in white with gold crowns (white and gold symbolize cleansed and pure). What he is blessed to see is what we all go through in life in a symbolic way. We all have troubles. Yes, sometimes it seems they are being poured upon us. Yet we try to praise Gee beauty in all things. Music stirs us like the trumpets and hymns John heard stirred his soul. What revelation does not reveal is this: It is not the definitive history of how the world will end. It is not a carved in stone tale of end times apocalyptic happenings. It is not showing us escapism prophecy coming true after certain other prophecies are fulfilled. It does tell us we will come up but I take that to mean when our life here is done. It does not tell us to expect to see Jesus coming down on a cloud, sitting on a horse, with open arms summoning us to him while others around us wonder where we went. It does not say we will disappear and only our clothes, dentures, and body implants will be left behind. None of us know anything more of life than this: we eat, we breathe, one day that stops. We will have good days, we will have bad. But if we hold onto hope, cling to faith, and continue to believe in the trinity, then when we are taking our last breathes, we will see Christ coming for our soul with our loved ones who are waiting for us to join them.