#MondayMotivation – #Meditation – #TarotReading – #AngelOracleCard

It’s Monday again, and the last one in January. I hope this post will get you started on a positive note.

I loved this quote. It is true. When we create stories, we are creating a world that no one else sees until we share it.


I enjoyed this short meditation. It was a great way to start the day!

When I pulled Tarot cards, four came out instead of three. So, as always, I go with whatever I get.

This is a much brighter reading than what we got last week.

The Hierophant card represents an established set of spiritual values and beliefs and is often correlated with religion and other formal doctrines. It encourages you to learn the fundamental principles from a trusted source. possibly working with a teacher, mentor, or guide to teach you about spiritual values and beliefs in a structured way. You may also undertake a period of formal study as you delve into a subject that has been widely explored and documented. You are being asked to commit to spiritual practice in its most wholesome form – no customization, no adaptation, no bending the rules. If you have been lacking ritual and tradition, create a regular practice such as daily prayer or meditation. This card is also about identifying with others and a way of thinking that will prompt further learning.

The Seven of Wands is all about standing your ground. It may also indicate you are being challenged by someone who wants what you have attained. This card indicates that you are capable of solving (though perhaps caught off guard by) the issues you are about to face. Embrace your inner confidence and proceed without fear. Challenges either to your position or to your morals can be particularly common now. Fortunately, you have the strength to push past any fears or concerns and successfully stand up for both yourself and your beliefs.

The Three of Cups is a card of pure and simple celebration, friendship, sisterhood, and creative collaborations. Your friends and family are here to support you and lift you up to even higher levels of success. Celebrate with them and enjoy their camaraderie. When the Three of Cups appears in a Tarot reading, you are encouraged to gather with your closest friends and have a good time together, talking, laughing, sharing, and creating. Together, you give and receive the love, support, and compassion each of you needs from one another. 

The Six of Cups generally represents generosity, naïve happiness, and childhood. It can stand for you wanting to return to a happier time, whether it was when you were a child, teenager, or young adult. Many times, these memories are things of the past, which reflect the aspects of ourselves that have vanished. You may feel that remembering these times is the only way to feel happy. The Six of Cups appearing in a reading seems to indicate that while we may look upon the past with a happy eye, we must avoid living in it. It also invites you to get in touch with your inner child and experience the fun, freedom, and innocence that comes with being a young child again.


I relate strongly to The Hierophant. I am currently reading two books that deliver deep and profound spiritual lessons. One is “#Soul Teach” by Dr. Michelle Barr, and the other is “Awakening Spirits” by Tom Brown Jr. Both are touching me on a deep soul level. I think, in some ways, we can always apply the Seven of Wands about standing our ground in our own beliefs, whether we are being challenged or not. Oftentimes, it can be our logical mind challenging us. I love both the Three and Six of Cups and what they indicate. Celebrations that encompass friendship or family support are always welcomed. Perhaps by sharing with friends or family on a real honest level, we can return to the joy of our inner child for a brief time.

What a gorgeous Angel card, and I love the message this week!

Passion! Archangel Haniel: "Trust and follow your renewed passion in your love life and career."

That’s it from me today. Make it a great week!

Friday Free-For-All! #ProteinBalls #Ladybug #Querying

I say this on Mondays and then again on Fridays. Time sure does fly by! Happy Friday and the start of another weekend.

I began a weight loss adventure around the first of October and used a plan called Optavia. I wasn’t extremely overweight but needed to lose those stubborn ten pounds I gained when I broke my ribs in 2019. So, going in, I knew (or hoped) it would be a short journey. By Thanksgiving, I had lost thirteen pounds. Doing a happy dance all around the Thanksgiving table! Then came the hard part. Going back to eating regular food and keeping the weight off. By the way, Sally Cronin features posts on her blog frequently that deal with nutrition, and I’ve found them to be golden. One of the hardest things we’ll do while in these heavy-skinned bodies is to learn what each of ours needs and provide it. It’s almost like an entity cohabitating within another entity. 🙂

But I digress. One of the main factors of any weight loss plan is protein. For several years, I’ve been purchasing protein bars from a Dallas company, Fittastik. They are absolutely perfect, except that they are expensive. My solution? Try to make my own. Thus I began my experiment.

Here’s my first attempt.

While they looked and tasted good, sadly, I didn’t have enough of some key ingredients to get the protein numbers I wanted. After searching through the internet and making a trip to the store, this is my second attempt, where I actually wrote everything down and knew the two key numbers, calories, and protein.

I’m still not 100% happy with the protein content, so I will up the protein powder in the next batch I make and switch out dried cherries for dried dates. If any of you have a recipe you’d be willing to share, I’d be most grateful!

On a completely different subject, I had an unusual visit from a little ladybug. Two things about this that struck me as odd. First of all, we are in the dead of winter, and second, I live on the fourth floor of an apartment building. I first saw her on a lampshade. I carefully removed her and placed her on a plant. That evening, she was up on my ceiling fan. Me being me, I had to get out my animal signs books and look her up. Here’s what it said:

If a ladybug lands on you, make a wish. It will be granted. (She didn’t) Structure a time each day where you can pray or meditate in silence and solitude. (That I already do) Something you thought was lost will be making its way back into your life. (Okay) Mother Mary is with you to guide you and console you, no matter what your religious or spiritual orientation. (I love that!) You’re shielded and protected from irritations, pestering thoughts, or annoying behaviors from others. (Yay!)

After seeing her on the ceiling fan, I haven’t had a sighting since. What are your thoughts? Do you pay attention when something out of the ordinary shows up?

This past Sunday, I got to enjoy an afternoon of music. It had been way too long, and I needed a fix, so I traveled to Mineral Wells, Texas, to listen to my good friend, Randy C. Moore and Jody Lee. It was SO much fun. Randy has a new song hitting the airwaves today, “Before Elvis.” It’s a true story song about his uncle who went to school in Memphis with Elvis. Take a listen and get ready to tap your toes. 🙂 Here’s a photo of me, Randy, and Jody.

L-R Randy C. Moore, Me, Jody Lee

On the writing front, I’ve pretty much hit a brick wall this week, but as things will do if you let them work themselves out, I now have a clearer idea of where I need to make some changes in my WIP and hope that gets me moving forward again.

I also did something this week I’ve never done before since I started down (or up) this writing path in 2013. I started querying agents for my completed manuscript, “A Beggar’s Bargain.” I don’t know what the result will be, but I felt compelled to try. Maybe that’s what the Angel card was all about on Monday. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

On the reading front, I’m currently doing a beta-read for another author and loving what I’m reading! Next up for me is from a new author for me, “Survival” by Lisa Harris. I’ll let you know.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope you remember two things: 1. You are a powerful creator! 2. We are all in this together!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday WORDS!

Welcome to a new series where I will share words from written works or words that intrigue me.

I love words. I love word games and play way too many for good time management. But they fascinate me and always have. My favorite board game growing up was Scrabble. What fun it was to try and get the most points and create words from nothing. Wordle gives me that same feeling when I manage to create the right word.

But all that aside, for this series, I will be sharing either an excerpt from something I’m reading or a new word I’ve just learned. Not every post will be serious. We’ll have some fun along the way, too. I don’t know if I will be able to post weekly, but will shoot for every other week for sure.

I don’t care much for fancy words. I care for honest words that move something inside me.

To start off the series, I’m going to share some words from my late husband, Rick Sikes.

Rick Sikes 1976 Springfield, Missouri Federal Medical Prison

As most of you know, he was quite the artist, not only with painting and drawing but also with words. This is taken from a piece he wrote in November, 1977. Keep in mind he had been in prison for over five years at this point and, prior to incarceration, was a country band leader, musician, and songwriter from the oilfields of West Texas. Where he obtained this kind of esoteric insight, I’ll never know. He didn’t talk about it.

“There is nothing like knowledge. The unending flow of imaginative, creative use of that knowledge enriches our lives and helps us to understand ourselves at a much deeper level. All of us regard the world through lenses put there by individual upbringing, personal disposition, and such. While we may look upon identical objects and situations, our views will be very different and from varied perspectives.

There exists a cosmic energy that we can harness by entering the astral plane, thus bridging the gap between our earthly body and our ethereal self…” Rick Sikes (8-5-35 to 5-1-09)

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Blood of Fairies #NewRelease @DanRiceWrites @WildRosePress

It gives me great pleasure to welcome a fellow Wild Rose Press author to my blog today! Dan Rice is set to release his second book on February 1st, and it looks super exciting. I’ll let him chat with you about it! But isn’t this cover stunning?

Thanks so much for allowing me to take over your blog today, Jan! Today, I want to share what my three wishes would be should a genie drop out of the sky.

Three Wishes

            While I went for a walk on a wintery day, something fell out of the sky. I was lucky I wasn’t hit by the object, and the concrete debris blasted into the air when it struck the sidewalk with a clang. After the dust settled, I saw a golden genie lamp. Despite the crater, the lamp was unharmed.

            I tentatively picked up the lamp, fearing the metal might be hot. I held the lamp by the handle and was struck by a powerful urge to caress its curved sides. At first, I resisted the temptation to stroke the lamp, but then I figured what the heck, I dodged death by a falling object by half a meter or less. Maybe this was my lucky day.

            So I gave in to temptation, fingers stroking gold. Immediately smoke spewed from the lamp that smelled like moldering books. The smoke coalesced into a middle-aged woman with gray-streaked hair up in a bun. She wore a tweed skirt and jacket and looked at me over granny spectacles that rested low on her nose.

            “I’m the genie from the lamp. I can grant you three authorial wishes.” She whispered very much like a school librarian. “Hurry up now. I have reading to get back to.”

            The first thing I wished for was more undisturbed writing time. For the busy author, time is a priceless commodity. A day job occupies the weekdays. Chauffeuring children to their activities takes up the evenings and weekends. Yes, more time to write was my number one wish.

            As a small press author, I must market my books and myself. Of course, as is often pointed out, all authors have to do marketing, even the biggest names. This is cold comfort when you’re one of the smallest fish in the pond! Successful marketing is incredibly difficult. So I wished for a marketing silver bullet—okay, one probably doesn’t exist, but you have to dream—that gets my books into the hands of more readers without breaking the bank.

            Since I dictate most of my writing, I wished for more accurate dictation software. Is it too much to ask for the software to recognize my characters’ names? Usually, yes. Also, some of the “typos” inserted by dictation software are unbelievably hard to track down. I’ve dictated two published novels, and some of the words my dictation software comes up with still astound me.

            After granting my third wish, the genie librarian was sucked back into the lamp with a whoosh. In a golden flash, the lamp disappeared. I looked at the ground where the lamp had made a crater in the sidewalk. Only the hole was gone, a small divot and a few spider cracks in its place. An icy breeze rattled the skeletal branches of a nearby tree, carrying with it the smell of decay. I continued on my walk, thinking how the scent of fallen leaves was reminiscent of moldering books.



I sit at the dining room table in between Dad and Mother.

“Dressed for the occasion, I see,” Mother remarks and sniffs loudly.

Since her sense of smell is as sensitive as mine or even more so, Mother might find me stinky. Luckily, I’m inured to my BO, thank goodness. Otherwise, I’d go crazy.

Of course, Mother might be sniffing the air to see if she can smell the dragon in the room, not that she can while his draconic form is incorporeal. Mother is a dragon-hunting monster, and sitting across from us is Dr. Radcliffe, a dragon masquerading as a human. His humanoid form is an elderly, slightly avuncular university professor, a profession he performed before The Incident at Tahoma University, where my dad works as a professor of computer science. Since The Incident, Mother and Dr. Radcliffe have an uneasy truce. He keeps Mother’s identity secret in exchange for her not killing him and his handful of draconic followers on Earth.

The real Dr. Radcliffe is a colossal, golden-scaled dragon of the European variety with massive green wings and equally green tubes dangling from his snout like a drooping mustache. Right now, the dragon rides the slipstream, a dimension or wormhole or whatever connecting universes throughout the multiverse. What’s trippy is I can see the dragon––all glimmering and fading in and out of existence––while it rides the slipstream. No one else can see it, not even Mother. Even trippier is the dragon passes in and out of the room and everyone in it, including me. A foreleg impales my chest. The black woman sitting next to Dr. Radcliffe is inside his draconic abdomen. It’s best not to dwell on these things.

I face Mother. “I’m inside my home. Unlike you, I don’t wear pantsuits.”


Allison Lee wilts under the bright light of celebrity after being exposed as a shape-shifting monster. She’d rather be behind the camera than in front of it. Being under the tooth and claw of her monstrous mother is even less enjoyable. All she desires is for everything to go back to the way things were before she discovered her true nature.

But, after she accidentally kills a mysterious man sent to kidnap her, she realizes piecing her old life back together is one gnarly jigsaw puzzle. When Allison’s sometimes boyfriend Haji goes missing, Allison and her squad suspect his unhealthy interest in magic led to his disappearance. Their quest to find Haji brings them face-to-face with beings thought long ago extinct whose agenda remains an enigma.

Author, Dan Rice

Dan Rice pens the young adult urban fantasy series The Allison Lee Chronicles in the wee hours of the morning. The series kicks off with his award-winning debut, Dragons Walk Among Us, which Kirkus Reviews calls “An inspirational and socially relevant fantasy.”

To discover more about Dan’s writing and keep tabs on his upcoming releases, join his newsletter: https://www.danscifi.com/newsletter.

Buy Links:

Social Media Links:

#MondayMotivation – #Meditation #TarotReading #AngelOracleCard

Welcome to the start of a new week. As I contemplated this quote from JFK, I thought about how easy it is to pay lip service to something we say we believe. But when we can walk our talk, the energy shifts.

Created in Canva

This is not exactly a meditation. It’s affirmations, but I found it to be uplifting and powerful! Maybe you will as well.

Now for our Tarot Cards.

Photo by Jan Sikes

There is no sugarcoating the Ten of Swords. It’s a card of inevitable endings, possible betrayal, and deceit. With ten swords piercing the man’s back, it’s over and done. There is sadness surrounding this card. Grieving the pain of this shocking loss, you wonder if you will ever love or find work or trust again. Also, this card can suggest that you are taking on the role of victim, hoping others will pity you and save you from despair. You cannot change the actions of another person, but you can change how you respond. You have a choice to pick yourself up and move forward with your life rather than falling down in a heap, hoping someone will take pity on you. In that way, the Ten of Swords is about letting go and accepting your current circumstances. The good news is that the Ten of Swords marks the final ordeal – no more pain will come to you from that source. The hour is darkest before dawn, and you must experience the full impact of what has happened before you can move forward and start over. Pick yourself up off the ground and reflect upon what happened to you and why and what you can learn from the experience. When you do this, the hurt and pain will fade, and you will soon see why all of it needed to happen so that you can evolve into your fullest potential.

Thank goodness for the beautiful card that follows! The Ten of Cups embodies happiness, joy, and emotional contentment, particularly in your relationships and family. You have created an abundance of love and happiness in your life, and you now share this love with others, expanding your heart even more. This card often appears when you are surrounded by your loved ones with whom you share a powerful and deep connection. You appreciate and support one another, and together, you help each other reach your highest potential. It brings you so much joy to see your loved ones succeed and live happy lives. When the Ten of Cups pops up in a Tarot reading, you have a sense of wholeness, completion, and alignment in your relationships with others. It encourages you to follow your heart and trust your intuition to lead you to the opportunities aligned with your Highest Good. Your feelings and emotions will guide you. When something feels fantastic, do more of it; and when something doesn’t feel right, do less of it. Allow your inner guidance to lead the way. Seek out opportunities that fulfill you and align with your personal values instead of following the path that others expect you to take.

The Page of Cups suggests a new idea or opportunity has come to you out of the blue. Your creative energy is flowing, and now the question is how you will express it. Will you snap up this new idea and turn it into something, or will you let someone else bring it to fruition? It is up to you! Spend time exploring the idea to see if you want to move forward. The Page of Cups invites you to have an open and curious mind. Be open to anything – including a fish popping its head out of a cup! It is with a curious mind that you will discover new aspects of life and yourself. This card often appears when you are being called to trust your intuition and be open to the multitude of intuitive messages coming your way. Look for synchronicities and signs from nature that will guide you on your path. In a practical sense, the Page of Cups can indicate that you will receive an unexpected and pleasant surprise. The Pages are often known as messenger cards, and with the Page of Cups, you may receive a message related to emotions, intuition, or creative endeavors. 


I cringe when cards like the Ten of Swords pop up. I want to stick it back in the deck and pull another one, but if I am to trust the process, I have to go with what I get. Life is made up of beginnings and endings. This card represents an ending to something big that affects you deeply. So, the thing to remember in these situations is that nothing lasts forever, even pain. It’s all about staying positive, examining the reasons for the painful ending, and looking forward. Thank goodness, the next card is all light and sunshine with a wonderful loving family surrounding you and intuition guiding you. It’s the healing card. Then you can move onto new ideas, opportunities, or creative endeavors, but keep your mind open to messages that may pop up from unexpected sources.

I don’t know what to make of the Angel card this week. I’m not expecting a career change. I am looking for ways to expand my income, but I don’t see myself stopping writing stories. Maybe this will resonate with someone else, or as the week unfolds, the message will get clearer.

Career Transition. Archangel Chamuel: "Your life purpose is triggering a blessed career change."

That’s it. Make it a great week, push past any unpleasantness and move on toward the light!

P.S. Also, I am over at Story Empire today, introducing a new series entitled Metaphysical Elements in Writing. Come on over!

Friday Free For All – Something New

It’s Friday again! The weeks sure go by fast, don’t they? My daughter once said, “The days are long, but the weeks and months go fast.” I hope you’re ready for a wonderful weekend!

I told you about the red light therapy table in a previous post, and this week I tried something else new. Have you ever heard of Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is a technique designed to help the body heal by immersing the body in a chamber with extremely cold temperatures. Benefits include increased energy, improved sleep, reduced inflammation and swelling, and can help speed up the body’s metabolism and help with weight loss. The temperature inside the chamber gets down to -160 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds brutal, doesn’t it? But you only stay inside the chamber for a max of three minutes. I started out at two minutes.

Here’s what the chamber I got into looks like.

Photo courtesy Revive Health and Beauty

I honestly had my doubts about this being anything other than utter torture, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was not only tolerable, but the after-effects were rejuvenating and stimulating! I plotted my next book while waiting for the sauna to open up. Will I do it again? Most definitely! I guess, if nothing else in life, I’ve been adventurous. That hasn’t always worked in my favor, but this time it did. I’d love to hear from all of you. Have you ever tried anything like this?

I’m going to be starting a new blogging series next week that I’m calling “Wednesday Words.” I don’t think I can fit it in every week because of time constraints but will post a couple of times a month. It will encompass any and everything related to words. So, I hope you’ll join me for some fun!

On the reading front, I finished John Howell’s latest, “The Last Drive,” and highly recommend it! “The Eternal Road” gave me a lot to ponder concerning the afterlife, and his new book carries that theme forward in an expansive way. By the way, they’re both free on Kindle Unlimited.

While deciding what to read next, I came across a new author to me, and her book sounded like a fun, lighthearted read, so I picked it up. I’ll be posting reviews later this month, and maybe it will appeal to you, too. When I set my Goodreads challenge for 2023, I gave myself some breathing room by setting it at 85 books for the year.

On the writing front, I started critiquing with a new partner this week, and I think it is going to be so beneficial. While I will continue to critique with my sister, it never hurts to have another set of eyes on my work. This brings me to a question.

We all know there are some hard and fast (sort of) writing rules. In writing romantic suspense, do you think the book must open with some immediate action or with an introduction to the characters and setting? As writers and readers, what do you prefer, or does it vary from story to story? I tend to prefer stories with a slow build to a climactic event, giving time to set the story and characters. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Also, related to the world of writing, if you are of the praying type or just believe in sending good vibes, our fellow author, friend, and Story Empire contributor, Staci Troilo, lost her mother this week. It is a hugely devastating loss, and I’d love it if you’d join us in sending loving thoughts to the family.

That’s enough rambling from me for one day. I hope you all have a great weekend, and thank you for visiting!

The Last Drive – #NewRelease from John W. Howell! @howellwave

I am thrilled to host my friend and colleague from Story Empire today, Mr. John W. Howell! He has a new book to share. I’m going to give him the floor. Take it away, John!

I am so pleased to be with you today, Jan I want to thank you for helping spread the word about The Last Drive. Golly Jan, you have had a heck of a year in 2022. Your successful launch of two books was an amazing accomplishment. I am launching this book after about a two-year period since the last. I have revised my writing goals so that it takes me a little longer to finish a manuscript. I had not expected to do a sequel to Eternal Road, but one day there I was, faced with that blank screen. It felt natural to start on a book that would, in some ways, put the finishing touches on the story that was already published. So here we are.

Here is the blurb, and then we can get to a short excerpt from the book.

The Blurb

In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey takes the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.

An Excerpt.

Sam frowns. “The last time they got in touch, they were playing in a football game.”

“A football game? Which one?”

“The AFL and NFL championship match-up that became known later as Super Bowl One.”

James’s mouth falls open. “You’re kidding, right?”

“No. That was the last time they were on the radar, so to speak.”

You-know-who could have done something with them.”

“You can say Lucifer.”

James glances around. “The last time I had anything to do with that creep, he told me to mention his name, and he would be right there.”

Sam puts her hand on James’s arm. “I know, but you’re in your Eternal Home. He can’t touch you here.”

“So, you think Lucifer is behind this so-called-missing scenario?”

Sam nods. “I sure do, but the only way to check it out is to go to that game and figure out what happened.”

“Super Bowl One. Holy cow. I read about that game. I never thought I would see it, though.”

“From what I know, Ryan Sanders was playing quarterback, and Eddie was the center.”

“Which team?”

Book Trailer

Buy Links

The Last Drive is available in paper and Kindle editions on Amazon. Here are the universal links. The Kindle edition is on sale for 99¢ through mid-February.

Kindle  https://mybook.to/FYmkKr

Paper https://mybook.to/BCsWV

Author Bio

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full-time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written six other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author links

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/john-w-howell

Eternal Road Buy links

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

#MondayMotivation #Meditation #TarotReading #AngelOracleCard

Welcome to the start of another week! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.

I LOVE this quote from Dolly Parton!

The affirmations in this meditation are powerful!

And now for our Tarot Cards for the week.

Photo by Jan Sikes

I get excited when any of the Ace cards show up in a reading, but the Ace of Swords is my favorite. It represents a mental breakthrough, a new idea, or mental clarity. It marks a wave of new energy from the intellectual realms. See this card as a sign of encouragement. It says your mind is in ‘expansion mode.’ You thrive on new ideas, inspiration, original thinking, and vision, and you are excited to pursue new opportunities that draw upon your creative and intellectual abilities.

The Ten of Wands indicates an extra burden, a heavier workload, or greater responsibility. Even though it is weighing you down and making things tougher for you, you understand it is only temporary, so you are willing to put in the hard work now to accomplish your goal and reap the rewards later. Sometimes, the Ten of Wands appears when you are unconsciously taking on extra responsibility and finding yourself feeling weighed down, exhausted, and burnt out. You may try to do everything at once, even though you know it is adding extra pressure to your daily life. The Ten of Wands asks you to stop and examine your current lifestyle or work. The good news is that the Tens in Tarot represent the completion of a cycle, and with the Ten of Wands, the end is in sight!

If my memory serves me correctly, we’ve recently had the Seven of Swords card. It talks about betrayal, deception, or getting away with something. On a more positive note, the Seven of Swords points out that you need to be strategic in what you do. You know you cannot do everything at once – nor should you. Instead, you must prioritize what’s important to you and direct your focus and attention on the few tasks that will move you closer to your goals. It’s the 80-20 rule: 20% of your work will account for 80% of your results, so focus on the 20%. You may be able to accept some responsibilities or duties, but not all of them. Or you may say ‘yes’ to some projects at the expense of others. It also suggests that you may need to use shortcuts or the ‘backdoor’ to get what you want.


The Ace of Swords is pretty straightforward. New ideas are plentiful right now. I don’t know about you, but it is true for me. I currently have two writing projects clamoring for my attention. That being said, it’s more work to accomplish goals. But we are no strangers to hard work, and the extra burden is temporary. I love the 80-20 rule associated with the Seven of Swords. It ties directly into the Ten of Wands. It looks like the energy is going to be powerful this week!

And now the Angel Card for the week. To me, it ties directly into the Tarot reading.

Take Back Your Power! Archangel Raziel: "Use your God-given power and intention to manifest blessings in your life."

Friday Free-For-All #Influences #Healing #NewYear

Welcome to the first REAL Friday Free-For-All of 2023!

How has your year started off so far? For me, it felt good to get back into some sort of routine after all the holiday disruptions. Don’t get me wrong. I loved all the holiday activities and spending so much time with my daughters and grandchildren.

Now, it’s back to the real world.

I had one more surgery during the first week of January to remove another squamous skin cancer from my face. This week, they removed the stitches, and now it’s on to full-force healing mode. I am a big believer in all sorts of homeopathic and natural remedies. To help jumpstart the healing, I made a concoction of Colloidal Silver, Frankincense essential oil, Helichrysum essential oil, and Vitamin C Serum. Then before I apply that, I put a layer of aloe vera. I have several aloe vera plants around my house, and the juice inside the leaves is so good for the skin. This is my biggest plant. It’s given me lots of babies over the years. My granddaughters call it my octopus plant. It seriously needs a much larger pot.

After only two days, I already see a big improvement.

Now, on to writing in 2023. I finished “A Beggar’s Bargain” before the end of 2022. Of course, it’s a first draft, and I will let it sit for a while before I read back through it.

I’ve started on a new novella that will be part of a collaborative effort, which we will be talking more about in the coming weeks and months. So far, it’s going slow. And this brings me to a question for all writers. How much do you let others influence your writing? Are you a part of a critique group? If so, how does your group work? Do you meet in person or critique online?

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I personally feel that being a part of a critique group, or having a critique partner, is invaluable. Having a second set of eyes on your work can bring about new ideas you may not have thought of, or they can spot plot holes you may have missed. When we write, we see the scene in our heads, but sometimes those pictures don’t quite make the transfer from visual to written words.

That being said, how much do you let those who critique your work influence it? I’m curious. I take to heart any and all critiques for my stories. Maybe it’s my writer insecurity, but I’m always open to other ideas or different ways to put my stories together.

My main goal is to create the best, most engaging story I am capable of. I’m sure your goal is the same.

While on the subject of writing, my friend and Story Empire colleague, Joan Hall, has a new collection of short stories that releases today! So, congratulations to Joan! You’ll be hearing lots more about this new book over the next few weeks, but here’s a link if you want to grab your copy!


In the spiritual part of my life, I have chosen my word for 2023 and placed affirmations where I will see them daily. My word is Abundance. Here is one of the affirmations I have taped to my mirror.

Do you choose a word at the beginning of the year or feel a certain theme for the year? Another thing I do on New Year’s Eve each and every year is pull twelve Tarot cards, one for each month. It’s always interesting to look back and see how accurate they are. My card for January is the Three of Swords. Not a rosy card, as it indicates a deep hurt or sorrow. But I have faith in the process and know that all of life is not roses. There are also thorns.

We are spiritual beings residing within physical bodies. It takes a lot of effort and coordination to keep everything in balance. But we are not alone. We have help from beyond this dimension of time and space. At least, that is my belief.

Have a fabulous weekend and do something today that yourself will thank you for tomorrow!

#MotivationMonday – #Meditation #TarotCards #AngelOracleCards

I enjoyed my brief blogging break through the holidays, and now it’s time to get back in the saddle, so to speak. I wanted to change up my Monday posts and struggled with ways to do that, finally settling on changing the oracle card from the gorgeous little dragons to Angels. I hope you find some inspiration from today’s post! I love this quote from Confucius. It’s so true!

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Here is a beautiful meditation to begin the new year.

Photo by Jan Sikes

Some interesting cards to start off the year. The Nine of Cups is about emotional fulfillment, happiness, and contentment. When this card appears in a Tarot reading, you are content in all aspects of your life – relationships, work, lifestyle, well-being, and more. You are basking in the abundance of life and experiencing your emotions with such intensity and pleasure. This is why the Nine of Cups is often called the wish card. It comes as a sign that the planets are aligned, and you have everything you wished for. If you made your wish and are patiently waiting for it to come to fruition, then this card is an excellent omen that it will soon be granted. Well, that’s some good news for starting the year! Remember to count your blessings and express gratitude for what you have. Start or end every day by creating a mental list of the three things for which you are most grateful. Over time, you will intensify your sense of contentment and your ability to attract what you wish for – it is the Law of Attraction. If you are struggling to find the positive side of life, then expressing gratitude will help you see that you have a lot to be glad about.

Oh, but wait! The Five of Pentacles is a card of loss and poverty. You have hit hard times, especially when it comes to your work, career, finances, and material possessions. The Five of Pentacles indicates that you feel isolated and alone. Just like the two people in the card, you feel as if you have been left in the cold. You may wonder, “Why is no-one coming to help me?” It may appear as if no one cares anymore. However, since the windows in the church are lit up, help is nearby; but you are too focused on your problems to notice. You may be waiting for someone to come and help you when really, you need to be proactive and ask for help. At times, the Five of Pentacles highlights a “lack of” mindset. You are sabotaging your ability to create abundance because you only focus on what you lack. The solution for that is to be grateful for all you have, as the Nine of Cups suggests above.

The Two of Swords indicates that you are facing a challenging decision, but you are unclear about which option to take. Both possibilities may seem equally good – or equally bad – and you are stumped about which will lead you to the best outcome. You must be able to weigh up the pros and cons of each choice and then make a conscious judgment. Use both your head (your mind and the intellect) and your heart (your feelings and intuition) to choose the path that is most in alignment with your Higher Self. The woman in this card wears a blindfold, indicating that she cannot see the entirety of her circumstance. You may lack the information you need to make the right decisions. The Two of Swords comes as a reminder that many of life’s decisions are difficult ones and rarely come with clear-cut answers. The invitation is to make your choices with your best intentions, fully aware of the possible consequences. Avoidance will lead to greater conflict and stagnation.


While I would have loved to start the new year off with a more rosy group of cards, this is what I got. There is nothing that will raise your frequency and vibration faster than gratitude. You may not have all you wish for, but being thankful for all you have and focusing on life’s blessings will bring about a big change. It’s been proven over and over again. And when you keep your thoughts and actions positive, hard decisions are easier to make. It’s time to remove the blindfold and see clearly, then move forward with a thankful heart!

The Angel Oracle card deck is one I have worked with for over ten years. I love the positive messages it provides. And what is more appropriate for the beginning of a new year than this one?

Healthy Lifestyle - Archangel Raphael: "Eat a healthful diet, get adequate sleep, and exercise regularly for optimal health."