I Love Myself: A Lifestyle Treaty

I love myself.

I’m a beautiful, stylish, accomplished young woman. No one can change that.

No one’s ego is worth the loss of my self-esteem, my self-love.

Nothing in the world is worth looking in the mirror and not liking what I see.

No guy is worth beating myself up over.

No one can hurt me unless I let them. I will not let them hurt me.

I will stand in the face of adversity and abuse, and if I can’t stand, I’ll die trying.

I may break, but I’ll never lose sight of who I am again.

I will fight, not only for myself, but also for the sexually abused, the physically abused, the emotionally abused, the verbally abused, the mentally abused, the self-abused, the neglected. Nobody should ever be so alone that they would believe they deserve that treatment.

I will not use my blood, my skin, my scars as the tools to tell my story, to myself or to this world, but I will not judge those who choose to.

I will follow the example given to me and be a light to those in need, even when they have convinced themselves they’d rather be in the dark.

I will not let myself fall into unhealthy patterns of self-hate and neediness.

I will not lose myself or my bride for the sake of anyone or anything else.

I will not believe the debilitating lies of users and abusers. I will aid others in the discovery of the truth.

I will not ignore a plea for help.

I will not allow my dreams to be ended in the depths of abuse, on my terms or my abuser’s terms. I will let myself cry and mourn for those who have.

I will hold no respect for a person who abuses anyone, no matter what his or her other accomplishments may be.

I will never let any abuser go unpunished for their actions if it is within my power to punish them.

I will not blame a child for their parents’ actions.

I will not suppress the memories, because they are the key to future safety.

Alcohol is not an excuse for abuse, or a reason to put up with it, and I will not use it as such, nor will I allow it to be used as such by others.

Never will I allow unfaithfulness for any reason in myself or my partner.

I will fight back.

I deserve respect, and I will get it, because I love myself.

-Charlotte Blackwood

Dear Readers: I wrote myself this treaty and have put it on my wall constantly since I wrote it. I thought I would share it, as this is sort of the theme and main point of so much of my work. It is what I stand for. I’d appreciate if you would sign on to the treaty in comments, share this post via Twitter and reblogging. Please attribute it back to me, but I do want people to share this with people in their lives because it helped me in some of my darkest hours and I believe it could help others.

Thanks so much.





The Pluses and Minuses of a Large Docket

As you who read my posts at all know, I’ve got a LOT of writing projects in various states of completion that I keep carefully documented in a little notebook. While I wouldn’t give up any of them, I thought I’d outline the pros and cons for those trying to decide how much they can bite off before they choke to death. (All right, not my best metaphor).

So here we go.


– There’s this thing I hear other people complain about all the time. It’s called ‘writer’s block’, and I find that having other projects to work on when one of them is so annoying me that I want to burn it all and never see it again is sufficient to give me the needed break that I think writer’s block can often be the manifestation of.

-I’ve got lots of lovely things floating through my head, some to do with projects I’ve started, some to do with nothing at all I’ve been working on. Not setting project limitations means working on whatever’s striking my fancy whenever my fancy has been struck. Since this is something that’s so hard for some writers, getting those intense moments of inspiration, I say take advantage of every single one! You can always toss it later if you end up hating it, although I recommend never tossing anything. If anything, it’s good for laughs later in life.

-The docket is sort of an idea more than anything. It’s a way of organizing my many ideas, but there’s no pressure to work on anything in particular, or in any particular order, while at the same time there’s a constant pressure to work. It ensures that things get done.


-Sometimes looking at the list can be overwhelming. Let’s face it, when you need a little notebook just to keep track of what all you’re working on and a box to hold all your notes for various projects (large box), you’ve got a lot going on. Period.

-I have this really bad habit, especially with my fan fiction, of using the wrong names when I’m really in the zone and typing super-fast. My readers usually find this more entertaining, especially if they recognize the story the name is from (because yes, I often use names from the wrong work), and they take some sort of pride in proving how well they know my stuff. And that bit’s cool, but the screwing up is a bit embarrassing. Ah, well.

-Big gaps in my production. Let’s face it, if you don’t have hard deadlines you get caught up in following your lack of boredom around and life gets in the way so you don’t always write 10k words a day. You do your best, but some days you can’t write at all. I’ve had moments where I realize that certain fan fictions have been untouched for six months, and I’ve left my next novella on the backburner for going on ten months now.

So make of that what you will whilst I grab a cup of tea and pack for my trip to Victoria, BC. 😀



The Lost Art: Board Games

Note: Board Games and their making are not, in fact, a lost art, it is the enjoyment of them by the general public that I think is a lost, and depressingly so, art.

As my friends all know, I’m a huge fan of board games. Period. They’re fantastic.

But it feels to me that the vast majority of people had forgone board games for screens, and while screens are not the devil (says the blogger), I think it’s a sad loss.

Personally, I think that board games are a unique, interesting exercise in storytelling. Unlike many screen-based games, the story is not fully spelled out for you. It builds and changes over time. The Game of Life is great for this, because there are markers giving you pieces of the story, but you can fill it in for yourself as you go.

This occurred to me specifically the other day when my brother and I played Monopoly together for the first time in a long, long time.

I happen to be a huge fan of Monopoly. After all my friends had gone to sleep at sleepovers, I would stay up with the Junior Monopoly and play against myself for hours. I still enjoy playing Monopoly and Life against myself, and even have a computerized version of Life that I can either play against myself or the computer, so I can take it anywhere! I get to change my choices in Life and think about how that changes the whole trajectory for the game. When I play by myself, it’s not about winning but about the story I’m telling with the pieces, and how it could be different with just one simple change in choices.

Maybe this is just one of my strange brain quirks, like life-long obsession with names, but I think there’s more than just motor skills and human interaction lost if we give way to screens completely. Screens may not be the devil, but I think it’s important for people to keep buying kids board games, card games, and things that don’t just tell them the whole story.



Children’s Books

Let’s face it, I’m not a children’s writer.

In fact, the vast majority of the things I write are even questionably suitable for mature teens. But that’s why I designate them as I do.

But as you may recall, one of my best pieces of writing advice is to write something you’d want to read. After all, you are going to have to read it… over and over and over again until you have a working manuscript. Also, if you bought the book there’s a reason. Other people probably like similar things for similar reasons, and on top of being an art form, writing is a business.

I may have mentioned before that my favorite children’s book (I’m not counting Harry Potter in this, which is so much more than a children’s series), is The Two Princesses of Bamarre. It’s a wonderful, quick read by the author who wrote Ella Enchanted. I’ve read it hundreds of times, usually reading it two or three times in one sitting. And every time I read it, I get inspired. This last time so much so that I’m planning my own children’s (maybe YA, haven’t decided on violence level yet) book!

I don’t really have a working title yet, but its a fantasy with alternate reality, sort of. It’s our modern world, in which there’s members of a royal family from the Other Realm, who are raised in our world, what they call the Human Realm, and then at the age of twenty decide which world they want to live in. The idea is they get to be more or less innocuous in our world, not followed around everywhere. The governments of our world know about them, but they’re not commonly known about. They’re thought to be a myth, a fanciful urban legend of sorts. But when an unknown magical source begins to target the royal family in the Other Realm, the family finds themselves fighting on two fronts, with the governments of the Human Realm deciding they’re done with being hospitable.

Details of the Other Realm have yet to be really ecked out. I’m still working on nailing down my characters and the overall basics of the plotline. Then I’ll get big into the world-building exercises. I’ll be sure to share that as I go!

But this is completely uncharted territory for me. Even when i was a kid I was writing more what you might call YA stuff, and stopped about the time I reached high school, moving into more adult territory. It’s been a long time since I tried to think in this age group, so at the very least I think it will be a very interesting exercise!



Adapting Television to Prose

My experiences with television and fan fiction are, admittedly, limited. I did write a Sherlock fan fiction (which I will write a prequel for), but it exists somewhat outside of the series, in that it is not dependent upon the episodes to create the drama in the story.

I’ve begun to dabble a bit more into this realm, however, with my Merlin Fan Fiction, Krysia & Gwaine.

This is the first of probably several shows I’ll be doing fan fiction for, and probably the most involved piece where actual episodes are concerned. I found a good set of online transcripts, and I’m re-watching every episode. When you’ve got shows with followings like Merlin and Doctor Who, you can’t afford to screw up the details.

The really key thing about screenwriting that sets it apart from prose is the absolute emphasis on dialogue. That’s really just about all the writer of a film or show has control over. They had some control over essential and important action, place, time of day, etc, but only at the most basic level. Their job is to write dialogue.

I keep this very much in mind as I write, particularly because I don’t stick to the screenwriting format as my own skill as a screenwriter is limited at best. It’s something I want to polish and expand before I share it with people, and I’m not willing to wait for that long process to finish to write these fan fiction pieces. So Merlin is going from screenwriting to prose! I’m very careful to keep the dialogue the primary focus, which isn’t difficult, as that is also my best feature as a writer. However, I can’t just have dialogue. This is prose, after all.

This is where re-watching comes in, trying to spice up that dialogue with descriptive transitions, poignant moments of narration. The narrative can’t overpower the dialogue, but like good eye makeup, is a complement to the overall quality of the interaction. It’s a fine balance, one I’m still working on perfecting, and I would love any reader insights for people who’ve checked out my Merlin fan fic, as well as people who’ve taken on similar projects and how they struck that balance. Let’s share our insights to make this adaption process just a little more fluid for everyone!