I’ve found that where I was focusing my energy previously wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be.

This surprised me. I thought I wanted to be a coach or mentor to those who are on journeys of healing and trying to gain self-love. It’s something I studied, and something that I do informally in a few venues, and I love the feeling of knowing I’ve helped someone. More, I love seeing them gain insight and make positive changes in their lives.

Deciding I wanted to coach was a change in itself. When I originally conceived this website and business, the plan was to do energy healing and guided readings. Then I realized that when I did healings and readings, I ended up informally counseling my clients anyway, so I looked into becoming a counselor. That would have required a degree I was unwilling to invest in, so I looked at life coaching/mentoring instead. And that became something I found myself more drawn to than energy healing or readings.

So the next chapter of this business was meant to be coaching, or holistic mentoring. I created an eight-week coaching program, and realized that interested me more than ongoing, less structured mentoring. Then I created a talk to go with that program, and realized that what I really wanted to do was become a transformational speaker.

So now I’m focusing more on speaking, and that’s what I feel the most drawn to at this point. That and teaching theater to children, which doesn’t seem to connect with the other things, but that’s how passions are sometimes. Transformational speaking to large groups is on hold for now while I work with smaller venues, including schools where I discuss my message of self-acceptance and living one’s truth using one of my young adult novels as a springboard.

Many of these changes have occurred in just the past month, as I’ve looked at and refined my goals for 2018. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to do the full year in advance.

Life isn’t a static thing, and sometimes that means plans change even when you don’t expect them to. My eight-week program, which is now a six-week program, is still part of my work, and I’m building the speaking side of things. And I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Healthy Eating

I try to eat healthy. I really do. But it isn’t as easy as it seems. I always seem to get hung up wanting something sweet.

The thing I’ve learned that seems to work best is to moderate what I eat in terms of portion sizes. If I try to eat only healthy foods, I’ll end up craving sweet things, and eventually I’ll completely screw up the plan and just go nuts with cookies or ice cream or something. But if I make those things *part* of the plan, along with things that actually are healthy, it works out a lot better for me.

My Bucket List

There are a lot of things I hope to do in my life. Some of them are not necessarily probable, but I’m hoping for them to happen anyway. Other things are ones that I can make happen, if I believe in myself and keep trying.

I want to resurrect my writing career. For several years, I was a published author, writing two very different types of things under two separate pen names. A few years ago, a combination of poor sales and some personal life things derailed the writing, and now I’m facing the first year since 2009 in which I don’t have anything under contract with, or even being considered by, a publisher. For the time being, I’m taking it easy and writing just because I enjoy it, but I hope to resume writing for publication.

I want to do public speaking presentations on my message of self-acceptance and the power to change. I was trying to build that from nothing other than some Facebook Live videos, but I found myself having difficulty finding venues to contact and, more importantly, believing in myself enough to contact them. (Yes, sometimes I have trouble believing in myself. I am, as I said a few posts ago, still on my journey.) So now I’m focusing on contacting libraries and schools to do presentations there, while I continue working on the other aspect of what I hope will become a career in transformational speaking.

I want to travel. I’ve done a little bit of traveling in my life, but there are so many places I’d like to go!

I want to sing onstage, with live musicians. So far the closest I’ve gotten to that is karaoke, which isn’t exactly the same thing.

Those are the big things on my want-to-do list. What do you have on your bucket list?

My Favorite TV Shows

Just for something different and more light-hearted today, in no particular order, here are seven of my favorite TV shows.

  1. Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. This is a Korean drama that was partly filmed in Quebec. I kind of have a thing for Korean dramas, to the extent that I’m trying to learn Korean so I don’t have to always read the subtitles.
  2. Gotham. Because Batman and other heroes and villains. I have a thing for superheroes too.
  3. Lucifer. The ultimate antihero, except he turns out to be pretty heroic in some ways.
  4. Shut Up Flower Boy Band. Another Korean drama, from 2012, with some kick-butt music.
  5. This Is Us. I like the way they weave in the characters’ pasts and presents.
  6. The Orville. Given who’s behind this show, I was prepared for offensive potty humor, but it actually manages to be a good homage to shows like Star Trek. And some of the plots really make me think, which is always a plus.
  7. Runaways. Because superheroes again, but this time teenagers, some of whom are heroic with no special powers at all.

How I Started Writing

 When I was very young, I made up stories that I acted out with my dolls and stuffed animals. Sometimes I shared those stories with my parents; more often, I just kept them to myself. I lived in a very elaborate imaginary world, populated by imaginary people who sometimes seemed more real than the people I knew. I learned to read early, and I was determined that someday, my stories would be in books like the ones I read.

When I got a bit older, I learned how to make those little squiggles called “letters,” and that unlocked a whole new dimension for my stories. I could put them on paper and keep them to read later! Not only that, but I could share them with more people! The first story I remember writing, when I was five, was about a girl named Maria who went to live with her uncle. I wish I still had that story, but alas, it was lost to a flooded basement when I was eight or nine.

In kindergarten, I had a wonderful teacher who allowed me to read books from the classroom library and draw pictures about the stories as part of my reading curriculum. One day, I wrote my own story based on a picture I’d drawn, and she began encouraging me to write more stories. It was the first time an adult had told me my stories were good and had acted like they were something to be proud of.

So basically, I’ve been creating stories my entire life, and I’ve been writing them down since I learned how. Obviously I haven’t been published that entire time. My first published work, a phonics-based reading comprehension program, came out in 2002 (and 16 years later is still available!), and my first novella came out in 2009 (and is no longer available). But as a child and teen, I wrote dozens of stories, some novel-length, many of which I still have. They aren’t as good as I thought they were back then, but I’m still proud of them. Especially since I wrote them all longhand…computers weren’t available to me back then!


Before I moved too close to a major city, I used to love going for long drives. Sometimes I was alone on the road, with only trees and houses around me but no other cars. It was relaxing, and some of my best story ideas came to me while I was in the car with part of my mind engaged in driving while the rest wandered.

(Come to think of it, the fact that I can’t really go for long relaxing drives anymore might be part of the reason I have trouble thinking of things to write now…)

When I was in the car, while of course I had to pay attention to traffic and signs, I didn’t have to completely engage my brain. Sometimes when depression was kicking my butt, being behind the wheel was all it took to put me in a better frame of mind, because it shut off the thoughts. If I was bored, heading out to see someplace I hadn’t seen before was always exciting.

I think I inherited the driving gene from my dad. When I was growing up, he would often take off on hours-long drives to nowhere, and sometimes he took me with him. I always loved seeing new places and things, and spending time with my dad was a bonus.

Now, I live just outside a major city, and driving isn’t so relaxing. There isn’t anyplace I can go that doesn’t involve driving through heavy traffic for at least half an hour, and while I would eventually get to more relaxing routes and areas, I would have to go through the same heavy traffic to get home. Which would kind of defeat the relaxation of driving in the first place.

I miss driving. Maybe when it isn’t winter here anymore, I’ll try it again.

A Leap of Faith

Today is my last day at my part-time job.

Leaving wasn’t an easy decision to make. I’ve been working in an afterschool child care program, and I’ve gotten to know almost all of the kids, and I like all of them. I also know that having big changes as far as the adults around them can be difficult for some kids. I like my coworkers as well. In general, this has been one of the best jobs I’ve had.

But there have been some issues, mostly involving my health, that have made the job no longer viable. Also, I’ve been feeling like the job is holding me back from some things I would rather be doing. Things that might or might not be sources of income, but I at least want the opportunity to try.

I won’t be entirely leaving the job. I’ve been invited to continue the drama club I started, where I teach the kids about acting in general and theater in particular. I did a session of it in the fall and put on what turned out to be an excellent play with a group of about ten kids, and I was really looking forward to doing it again, so I’m thankful to be given the opportunity.

I’m a little nervous about leaving the job, but I know I’ve made the right choice. Other than continuing the drama club, I don’t really know what comes next, but that’s what a leap of faith is. You leap, and have faith that you land in the right place.

Ultimate Blog Challenge

For the month of January, I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. In this challenge, I have to blog every day this month.

I’m hoping I won’t run out of things to blog about!

I’m a transformational coach and speaker, as well as an author published under the pen names Jo Ramsey (young adult fiction) and Karenna Colcroft (romantic fiction). I’m new to speaking and coaching, but so far I’m enjoying the process of building the career and meeting new people along the way.

Including the people who stop by this blog this month!

I’ve been writing stories since I was five, and was first published in 2002. The first publication under one of the pen names was in 2009. At one time, I had over 80 novels, novellas, and short stories available! Due to some publishers closing, and some contracts running out, I have 16 books available now.

If you’re curious about me, please feel free to post questions in the comments.