Tag Archives: writers & authors

Works of Local Chicago Authors- Black History Month Showcase

th women of blk history

Happy Friday visionaries! What better way to celebrate Black History Month than by introducing my readers (you guys):) to some of Chicago’s very own women authors and History makers in the making? First of all let me also remind everyone that February is also Women History, Chinese New Year and the opening of The Olympic Games! There’s so many worthy and historical causes happening during the month of February and as a woman and African-American, I chose to pay tribute to those past visionaries by sharing works of deserving folks right here in Chicago.

Capture yvonne book

Yvonne Randle and Evette Collins are two charismatic authors who met as members of the Hurston-Hughes Writing Ministry. The two women teamed up to pen their inspirational and self-improvement relationship book, “The Secret to Creating Loving Relationships.” To pick up a copy visit the website at www.24-karatlove.homestead.com


Ms. Marcie Hill is a favorite among the Chicago elite group of writers and authors and is highly regarded in Social Media. Her latest book for writers and bloggers that is touted to become an educational resource for schools, libraries and other businesses, is “62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block”. Visit amazon.com to pick up your Kindle edition http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D9Q1R4A

47-91-home evelyn

Evelyn Cogdell is one of my favorite local authors. She modestly pens Romance Novels that sizzles with a Christian theme of what true love between the sheets really looks likes. A great interviewer, Evelyn latest interview is with Author and Playwright Crystal Rhodes. Read it here: http://voices.yahoo.com/renowned-playwright-succeeds-as-author-12524038.html

No, I don’t have another book at the moment, but while you’re waiting 🙂 you can read my latest poem here -http://voices.yahoo.com/a-matter-perception-12521027.html

Finally and believe me I didn’t realize how many great writers I knew, right here in Chicago! Can you imagine those I don’t? Anyway, up last are four women authors (diversity!) consisting of Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, Cynthea Liu, Jen Cullerton Johnson and Trina Satira who formed MuseWrite by and for women of change. Their anthology in honor of First Lady Michelle Obama is called First Lady Depiction and due out in mid February. One of my poems, “Brown Girl Challenge” was chosen for inclusion. You can visit their website here-http://www.mldwrites.com/MIchelle_s_Bio.html.

This is a peek into some of what The Windy City has to offer by way of literary contributions. Please support these wonderful authors and feel free to share input on creatives in your city that you feel people really should know.

Enjoy your weekend!

Author Spotlight: Eloisa Ramos

Hello and good morning to all of you! I’m thrilled to be back with movers and shakers and creative word makers to wish you a wonderful and prosperous (health, wealth, love, happiness) New Year 2014! Today our spotlight is on a woman whose work is not only intriguing, but, enlightening. How much do you know about EFT and Tapping? My next guest will provide insights into this phenomena and other insightful tips on recognizing the inner workings of our personal psyche. Please welcome the author of Beyond Self Esteem, Eloisa Ramos.


Eloisa, I’m so glad you’re here to talk about your informative book “Beyond Self-Esteem- Discovering Your Boundless Self Worth. But, before we do, please tell our readers a little something about you and why you wrote this book.

The issue of self-esteem, and more importantly self-identity, has been important to me since my early college days. I remember asking myself the question, “Who am I?” as a sophomore in college after realizing that I was not the labels and roles that I played: “a student, a daughter, Latino, a woman, etc.” and which were many. I wanted to know my true Self.
More recently, I noticed as I worked with clients doing EFT, and as I saw my four children grow and go through their teen years, that self-esteem and self-identity, which go hand in hand in my mind, can become problematic in so many different areas: relationships, work, finances, major changes, etc. So, I wanted to write something that would have helped me when I was a sophomore; young adults trying to figure out who they are now; and also adults that suffer from self-worth issues because of how they are seeing and evaluating themselves.

As you now know I reviewed Beyond Self-Esteem for Amazon.com and as you also know, from our correspondence, I was a bit per-judgmental and that I quickly recanted those preconceived notions! Talk a little bit about EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) as it applies to us.

The founder of EFT, Gary Craig, describes EFT as a needleless version of acupuncture because it is aimed at releasing or balancing blocked Chi energy from our acupuncture meridians by using our fingertips to tap on various points on the face and body. The discovery statement of EFT is, “The cause of all negative emotions is the disruption of the body’s energy system.” So, with EFT we are restoring inner peace, or energetic balance, by releasing stuck or disturbing emotional energy, thus the name: Emotional Freedom Techniques.
We hold emotions because we were not able to fully process them at the time we experienced them. They stay stuck in our energy system and become a type of glue for holding on to particular conclusions or beliefs about ourselves, others and the world. When we release this stuck energy, our mind opens up and we are able to see other possibilities.
The mind is then free to recognize the truth about ourselves, others and the world
Gary said that what occurs with EFT is like what happens when you clean the grime off a floor and see the natural shine underneath, or like having the clouds clear to reveal the sun. This approach is unlike hypnotherapy that clears a belief and then replaces it with another, granted, a negative is replaced with a positive, but I was primarily interested with what lay underneath, the essential nature of what we are. This is what attracted me to EFT, though at the time the most pressing issue was helping my kid’s heal their allergies and asthma and I applied it to that.

As I used EFT, I saw how fast and lasting the shifts happened within my mind. Compared to the walking-pace of the self-awareness gained in the previous 20 years, this practice felt like I was riding a high speed bullet train of self-insight.
The depth and speed of the new understandings I receive continues to amaze me, and of course, I am deeply grateful. EFT is a tool to help us heal, but what many people may not see is that the healing of our mind is what allows the consciousness of Higher Truth to dawns upon us. Healing is the journey to our Higher Self, which is our true self.
I continue to use EFT daily since I learned it, and in particular I apply it to the study of A Course in Miracles, my spiritual practice at this time. As I read, I notice the resistance you spoke about in your review (when you first started to read my book) and release it with EFT, and the Ramos Clearing Technique– which has evolved out of my study and practice of ACIM, EFT and muscle testing– to open my mind to new ideas and possibilities.

It was interesting and revealing to know that we are so our self image that we completely are unaware of our “self” expand upon what you’re, in essence, saying to people about our ‘self.’
Any conceptual idea that we have about our “self” will be limited or have boundaries set by the definition, the picture/image, or implied by the words and concepts we use. So anything that follows, “I am __________” will be some label or concept with individuality or boundaries.
The problem is that when we put boundaries on anything, we exclude what is not included in that concept or definition. So if you say, “I am a daughter” because in that moment you may be playing out the role of “daughter” with you parents; but in the next, you may be with your kids and now playing the role of “mother”; or at work and playing the role of “writer”; it means that the self you have defined in such a way is not constant and therefore unstable. Or, you would be trying to somehow reconcile the idea of having multiple selves and then which one are you really? So even though we may feel and act as if we have been split apart into many selves, we fundamentally recognize there is only one of us (given we are in our right mind).

So, the true Self with a capital “S”, is that which lies beneath all concepts or self-images. It experiences itself in the present moment, not as a thing separate and individual from other things, but as a part of all that shares life. It is a bit like a series of above-ground water springs that see themselves as separate above the ground, yet underneath are fed by the same water source. Our identification shifts from “I am this above-ground spring and I see myself separate from those other springs over there”, to, “I am one with all springs because we have one source of water; and my essential nature is a part of the source of the water that rises and feeds all the surface springs.” It is an expanded sense of self that has no boundaries and encompasses everything. All life that I meet is me.

I’d like to believe that I’m living a spiritually existence and that I’m aware of my spiritual truths. Tell me, how do we know for certain that we are?

Well truth implies certainty, so if there is no certainty we need to look at the doubts that are in the way of us connecting to that certainty and release them. That is all we can really do, clear the blocks that are in the way and the truth will then be revealed to us; because it is inherently there, but just obscured by the doubts. So when there is certainty, there is truth, and that is why Truth is self-evident and not learned conventionally.

I don’t know if you are familiar with Byron Katie’s The Work. The first question she asks is “Are you absolutely sure of that?” This is how the clearing begins with her work, asking us to connect with certainty so we can recognize that what we are believing to be true, is not Truth; and so ,”It (the false appearing true) releases us”.

The truth with a “th” cannot be known by the thinking or conceptual mind because Truth, which is universal, is not bounded like all concepts are, yet it can be experienced as the obvious, or as an insight or an “aha” moment.

“We are as our creator created us.” Immediately upon reading those words, I felt a connection to the powerful messages you share with us. “Beyond our externals lies our essential nature.” Please share your insights on such words of impact ( there are many)

We are often reminded in A Course in Miracles that “I am as God created me.” Now we can have different perspectives on how our creator created us, or even on whom our creator is, but without a doubt, if you recognize yourself as being alive, you will have to acknowledge that you have life and that this life has a source–we happen to call “creator”. Otherwise, you would be saying that life can come from no-source, no-life or death; which is a contradiction and cannot be.

We can also see that life extends itself, it shares its essential nature; a peach tree gives seeds and seeds grow into more peach trees, etc. So regardless of how the conceptual mind wants to define “essential nature”, we are going to be sharing that from which we are created; source, and if we create, we share that which is our essential nature. That we are, or exist, then can have no doubt.

But for the conceptual mind that can’t know Truth, the important decision that we must make is: What do I want to believe that I am? Beliefs are part of the conceptual perceiving mind and that is why we have so many different beliefs around this question. However, beliefs in no way change the Truth, that we are as our creator created us, though we may not yet recognize what that is exactly.

Since most of us accepted beliefs about what we are from others, it is now important to notice the effect they have on us; how we experience ourselves and life, as a result of holding them. This will guide us in choosing which beliefs are really in our best interests to hold on to.

There are noticeable and important differences in the effects. Some will engender fearful and stressful states and some will engender a more loving, joyful and peaceful existence.

Perhaps you are tired of feeling scarred or hurt most of the time? I am. This is what guides me to choose what I want to believe. In my experience, those beliefs that come into alignment with loving acceptance, forgiveness and non-judgment have the effect of bringing about healing, joy and boundless gratitude to my life and those I work with. It is these beliefs that I choose to hold on to; the rest I clear.

Website-Beyond-Self-esteem book

Note to self- pick up Byron Katie’s The Work. What are you working on next?

I will be hosting an on-line radio show on http://www.eftradioonline.com titled “A Course in Miracles: Health and Wellbeing through Inner Peace” which begins January 17, 2014 on Friday at 12 noon and continues every two weeks. I am also translating Beyond Self-esteem: Discovering Your Boundless Self-worth into Spanish and putting it in audio format. In the back of my mind is another book to be written that will focus more on healing and creating, but I haven’t started on that yet.

Where can readers pick up a copy of your book?

I have a PDF download at: http://www.healing-with-eft.com/, and links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble, if your readers have a kindle reader or want to order a hardcopy.

Thank you Eloisa, it was such a pleasure as your work provides many “aha” moments.

You are very welcome. Thank you for the for the opportunity to share this with your readers!

Eloisa C. Ramos was born in 1960 in a farming village, in Guanajuato, Mexico. Her family moved to Northern California in 1968. She graduated from Stanford University in 1983 with a BA in Sociology. She married, but when two of her four children developed asthma and substance sensitivities, she began looking for “another” way to help her children.
It became clear to Eloisa that mainstream medicine did not offer a permanent solution for their health issues. In finding “another” way to help her children, she discovered many wonderful healing aids including EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).
EFT tapping has opened up a new world of possibilities for Eloisa, her children and her clients. She has evolved The Ramos Clearing Technique which uses muscle testing to find and clear non-serving beliefs, and energetic imprints. She is a certified EFT Master Practitioner with the AMT and will be starting a radio show at http://www.eftradioonline.com beginning January 17, 2014.
Eloisa incorporates EFT tapping into her daily life and study of A Course in Miracles and shares the insights she receives with her readers and listeners.
May her work help to light the way for all to see the Truth that is within. For more information about doing a phone or Skype EFT session with Eloisa Ramos; EFT, muscle testing and to get a free download version of the Ramos Clearing Technique, visit her website: http://www.healing-with-eft.com/ramos-clearing.html or email her at ramoshealing@comcast.net.

I’m so much more informed after talking with Eloise! What do you guys think or feel after this interchange? Please share.

Guest Post: Insights Gained While Writing Memoir by Sherrey Meyer

memoir word cloud

Happy Friday everyone! If you’ve been following clara54, you know I’ve failed miserably at my attempts to write my memoirs. I’m always on the look out for those brave memoirist who keep going until they reach their goals. And I’ve been so blessed to connect with quite a few writers & authors of the memoir. Please join me in welcoming memoir writer, Sherrey Meyer as she shares insights to writing her memoir.


For most of my life, I wanted to write. Words on paper fascinated me even as a child. Writing exercises in first grade were fun!
My dad was a printer and publisher. I could smell the paper and ink on his skin each evening as he came home. He began teaching me some of the tools of the trade when my age reached double digits. Proofreading and editing became my holiday money-making gambit.
In high school and college, research papers became “writing” on a larger scale. I thrived on those assignments. I loved the search for the best material to prove my point, or the sentence or phrase to place my professor in awe of my writing abilities. I knew I wanted to write something bigger though – a book, something between covers, something others read.
I retired from the working world in 2006 having spent 30 plus years drafting and typing legal briefs and documents. I never wanted to see another brief or contract! BUT I still wanted to write, and so I began.
The book I wanted to write had been marinating inside my head for some time and notes had been made. A little family research done. Some historical documents sought out and filed away. Now I actually had time to write a memoir about a particular part of my life and how it impacted me at the end of my mother’s life.
Where to begin was the elephant in my little writing corner. And so began daily searches online to find the best resources to teach myself about writing memoir.
As I gathered books on the subject, printed out blog posts about memoir, attended a couple of writers’ group meetings on the topic, I decided that I could not wait until I had learned everything about writing memoir, or I’d never get started on my book.

Once you’ve decided you want to write your story, go ahead and start writing, if it’s only a matter of making notes. Your first draft is just that – a first draft. You will have time to edit, revise, and make changes, even add or subtract certain sections, later. Don’t waste good writing time trying to learn everything everyone has ever said about memoir writing. Start writing!

Within your local community, look for opportunities to attend writing group events, especially memoir, or workshops/classes on the subject. I was fortunate early on to hear Jennifer Lauck, author of the New York Times bestseller, Blackbird, a memoir of Lauck’s struggles within a dysfunctional family and the foster care system. By taking advantage of these opportunities, I gained a basic knowledge of what memoir is, how to begin gathering my stories and building a timeline, and writing a first draft. More importantly, I was hearing how other writers worked.
This is not to say that online resources are not valuable. They are. Several blogs and email newsletters on memoir continue as great resources for me.
Once I began drafting my memoir an unexpected realization occurred to me. This. Was. Hard. Work. Yes, hard work. It meant getting into the writing mode each day. Sitting down in a chair in front of a computer and typing. Isn’t that what I’d been doing for 30 some odd years? But, I told myself, this is different. This is my story. Yet this unexpected reality in this somewhat fantastical writing life I had aspired to for so long jolted me at first.

Writing our memoirs is hard work. It means showing up every day ready to write. Of course, you determine how much you write each day, but we must become habitual about our writing. Maybe it isn’t every day for you, but for someone else it is. There is no set formula that fits everyone. But write you must!

Another eye opener is conversations that arise should you decide to talk with family. Differing opinions as to the truth of a particular memory may begin to cause difficulties, even angry discussions. REMEMBER, it’s your story – it’s your truth as you remember it.
If you find yourself confronted with strong opinions against your writing certain things, offer to change identities for family members or leave them out completely and agree not to use images of them. Hopefully they will agree to these concessions. These were issues I didn’t expect I would have to deal with.
Digging back into my memory was easy at first, until I began to sort out certain events and experiences. Sometimes I would find myself questioning events for which I had no rock solid confirmation. I know certain facts about my mother’s life because I have paper records, such as report cards, release papers from employers, my parents’ marriage license, birth certificates, etc. Other events I have nothing but a recollection of stories told by my parents and other family. How do I go about proving that I’m sharing the truth?
An example is her employment during the last 18 months of WWII. Mama was a real-life Rosie the Riveter at a plant in Nashville, TN. She wore the bandana, slacks (oh, my!) and she bucked rivets. According to her stories, an almost thankless job. At the end of the war, she was also one of many women left without work as the men and boys returned. I know this because she told me; an older brother has only vague recollections and a younger brother “never heard of such.” So, what do I do without tangible substantiation?

The truth as you know it should be sufficient as you write your memoir. After all, this is your story. Several memoirs I have read actually include a disclaimer indicating that the story told is as true as the writer’s ability to recall it. Basically, a memoirist writes the truth as he or she knows it.
In this case, if I decide to include this vignette of Mama’s life, I tell the story just as I know it. No references are necessary to my brothers, and I know what she told me, more than once.
Tell your truth as you know it.

These are just a few of many insights you may gain while writing memoir. For me, they have stretched my writing style and mental process. I hope that sharing them here today will help you.

Thank you, Clara, for inviting me to share time and space on your blog. It has been a pleasure.

Sherrey, the pleasure was mine. Thank you for sharing your memoir writing insights with me and my readers! I’m energized to continue to fight the good fight of writing my memoir!

How far have you come on your memoir writing journey? Has Sherrey’s insights given you food for thought?

Here’s a bit more about Sherrey Meyer:

A retired legal secretary, Sherrey Meyer grew tired of drafting and revising pleadings and legal documents. She had always dreamed of writing something else, anything else! Once she retired she couldn’t stay away from the computer, and so she began to write. Among her projects is a memoir of her “life with mama,” an intriguing Southern tale of matriarchal power and control displayed in verbal and emotional abuse.

You can reach Sherrey on her websites: Healing by Writing and Found Between the Covers or via email at salice78@comcast.net.

Guest Post: The Writing Profession By Jennifer Andrew

Happy Friday everyone! I’m a frequent flyer to this professional writer’s website and I’m so pleased to have her here to share some take away writing gems with all of you. Please welcome Jennifer Andrew to Clara’s Writers Blog!

J Andrew 2013 (1)

When you say you’re a writer, some people ask you what inspired you to write and why you chose the writing profession. I love to read and I like being able to absorb myself in the world of the writer and live an alternative life in his or her eyes. During my teens, through my English and art classes, I discovered poetry, short stories and comic strips which all told a story in one way or another and I fell in love with writing myself. Romance was never my first choice as I was drawn to science fiction, fantasy and the paranormal but I found that in every story there was a romantic element.

The beauty of romance today is that a writer is not stuck to the old stereotype of what a romance should be. You are free to write the story that projects from your heart; whether both characters find each other forever, their love is dark and by the end of the story they can never be together or the character flows through love and discards her partners at a whim. Whichever way you play the romance card, the genre has seen its many changes to enable a writer to create with no holds barred.

I have received mixed reviews on what your main characters should be. I have read that the main characters should be well developed, strong and attractive characters that the reader can be drawn to. I have also read that too much description doesn’t allow for the reader to project the look of the character in his or her own mind. I personally like creating a character that is slightly flawed, but not to the point where the reader is going to be put off or becomes disinterested. No one is perfect and I believe that no one wants to read about a perfect main character either. It is more exciting to see what happens to the main character or characters, if their flaw gets him or her into more trouble. If you develop interesting and vibrant characters, the flaws will make them more real to your reader.

How many secondary characters should you put into your story? I have conducted book reviews where authors have put so many secondary and minor characters that it was getting confusing as to which character was whom. The reader wasn’t able to fall in love or be able to despise anyone since you were too busy trying to figure everyone out. I think that as long as there are one or two strong secondary characters that complement the main characters, and propel the story forward, then you’re on the right track.

Plot and subplots are sometimes hard to writer for writers because it’s difficult to keep your story on track. The first thing I like to do before starting to write my story is put down in one or two sentences the core reason for the story. What is it about? What would you write on the back of the book cover to inform readers of what they are in for? What other stories can be used as sub-plots? Do you need a sub-plot? What genre or sub-genre will you be writing the story for? If you think about your own life, you usually have more than one thing in your life that you have to concentrate on. Sometimes, by adding a sub-plot, and one that doesn’t take over the story, it gives it more depth.

Once you have the story-line, write it down and then jot down points as to how you are going to develop the story to meet that end. Sometimes you end up going into another direction but don’t fret, as I believe where your story takes you, is where it is intended to go. Don’t fight it. See what happens. You never know if you like it better. Sometimes, your characters write the story for you.

What you shouldn’t forget, while you are getting carried away with your creation, is ensuring that whatever problem you created for the character is resolved at the end. Don’t leave the reader hanging and don’t rush your story due to word count or deadline. Take your time and tell a good, entertaining story with a final end that leaves all questions answered. Unless you are writing a two book series or a trilogy, then you can leave a cliff-hanger.

Keep your readers entertained and your characters active. No one likes too much of a lull in the story because you end up losing your readers. We all want a life more exciting than ours, without actually getting our hands dirty so let the reader experience it through your story. Keep them engaged and eager to find our more.

Jennifer Andrew resides in Ontario, Canada and has a Business Writing Diploma and a Freelance Writing Diploma in Genre Fiction. She has submitted articles to several online magazines and websites in regards to relationships and dating, as well as poetry, movie and book reviews. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and currently writes book reviews for aspiring writers and for http://www.bookpleasures.com. She also runs a free monthly women’s website entitled http://www.femmevip.com and writes a weekly writing blog called http://www.whimnotes.net.

Contact: Jennifer Andrew, likes2blog@gmail.com

Thanks to Jennifer for these awesome take away tips! What thoughts are you having right about now regarding your professional writing career?