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?

Created in Canva

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!