I’m so excited for you all to read my new holiday novella A Very Tarot Christmas! I write one every year as a gift to all of you for following me along on my journey and as a thank you for reading my work. Writing can be a very lonely profession and because of all of you, I don’t feel so alone.
When I sat down to write this year’s novella, I knew that I wanted to write about the pandemic in some way. The only worry was, how did I write a pandemic Christmas story? One of my friends gave me the idea to write about something that had the feel of the pandemic and the story took off from there.
Here’s a bit about A Very Tarot Christmas:
It doesn’t feel like Christmas, even with all the snow.
It has been snowing for three years and the snow-demic shows no signs of stopping. Joyce would feel totally alone if it weren’t for her best friend Bruno, her cat Anna and her clients. She works as an online Tarot reader, trying to provide guidance to those that need it. The only thing she won’t answer questions on are health issues and how long the snow-demic will last. No one knows the answer to that, not even Spirit.
When one of Joyce’s Tarot clients turns out to be her mother, Joyce’s world is thrown into disbelief. Her mother died when she was a teenager. What could her mother possibly have to say to her now? She turns to Bruno for help. He tells her that she will have to open her mind and listen to what Spirit has to say.
Things are about to change for Joyce and she realizes that, though she often feels alone, there are ways to come together. With a little bit of magic, Tarot cards and cats, it might finally feel like Christmas after all.
You can get your copy here:
I’ve chosen to give it away through Smashwords because you can download the book in all the different formats for the different types of eReader. It’s free for you to download!
Out of all the holiday stories that I’ve written, this one is my favourite. It has everything you could need for your holiday: Tarot cards, magic, cats and a little love thrown into the mix. I really hope you enjoy Joyce’s story and that it brings the magic of the holiday alive for you.
The leaves have been whispering again.
They have led me to the edge
of the trees and I try to look in,
to see past the dark foliage
but I cannot.
I look at my hands,
at the scars that still remain
from the last time I was lost
within the trees.
I look back at the path I took
to get here and I can see
what looks like stars,
sparkling every few feet.
They glow in the shadows around me.
I wonder if the starts were part of me
that found their way out,
pieces of my light
that broke away from my chalice.
I lean into the leaves,
feel their coolness on my cheek
then a bright spot of fire clouds my vision.
I touch my cheek to find blood
dripping from a new wound.
The blood shines like rubies
in the half light from the moon.
The whispering around me increases,
as if the forest is laughing at my misfortune.
I remember now: the forest has a price.
It likes to take but doesn’t give,
the shadows it holds are not solace,
but a place where there are horrors hidden.
I look back at the stars that line my path
and I wonder how I got here again,
the pull that the forest has upon me.
Why do I come here when I lose my way?
I stand listening to the sounds of the forest,
the whispering of the leaves
and the cawing of the dark birds within,
when I hear something else that
is louder than the noises of the forest.
I watch as the stars start to flash in tune
to the new music that I can hear.
I begin to follow that path home,
collecting the stars as I go.
They dissolve into my hand and I feel brighter.
The shadows from the forest begin to fade
and I realize where that music is coming from:
it is coming from within.
The stars are the notes of the song
and they are leading me back to myself.
As I gather the stars,
I walk further and further away
from the forest.
When it calls again,
as I know it will,
I will think of the stars and
the song that they sing.
I will be ready.
I was asked to write an article for work for International Person’s With Disabilities Day. I wrote the following and called it Visible Invisible. It was put on the web site at work in a permanent place along with other people’s stories about living with disabilities. I’m very proud of the piece and it got a lot of great reactions. Even better, it got people talking. The theme for this year was invisible disabilities. I didn’t know that when I wrote the article.
I hope you enjoy it.
I often feel as if I am living on an island.
I live with spastic Cerebral Palsy and relapse remitting Multiple Sclerosis. They are both invisible disabilities. They do show themselves from time to time when I have difficulty walking or speaking or trouble with balance and dexterity. On top of the physical ones, I deal with invisible symptoms like brain fog, crushing fatigue, tremors, spasms, blindness and others.
It is like there are two other people living inside my body and I am in a constant battle to gain control of myself. I feel that I’m both seen and not seen. I feel like I’m on an island within myself, that though people see me, they can’t see what I’m going through. Both the Cerebral Palsy and the Multiple Sclerosis come with their own individual challenges and there are many obstacles that I have to overcome in a day. Sometimes, even the most simple of tasks can get the best of me.
It’s one of the reasons I’m so open about living with my disabilities and what I go through on a daily basis. My frame of mind is that knowledge is power. If I’m able to help people understand what I live with, to help them see what it’s like to live with in maybe it will help them to learn something about themselves.
I’m fortunate that within the government, there are so many resources for people who live with disabilities and that most people have been open and accepting of my disabilities. It’s wonderful to work in an atmosphere where I feel seen, where there is little to no judgement. It makes such a huge difference and I don’t feel alone on my island.
However, there were times while working in the government that made me want to retreat to my island sanctuary. There was one instance where a colleague said that I couldn’t possibly have Multiple Sclerosis because I didn’t look sick. I tried to explain to her about some disabilities being invisible, that not everything made its presence known to others, but she kept saying I didn’t look sick. She just didn’t understand no matter what I told her. She shunned me afterwards because she thought I was faking it. When I went to my supervisor and talked to them about it, I was told I was making a big deal out of nothing. I felt dismissed.
When the Multiple Sclerosis first made itself known, I lost the ability to walk, speak or type. I couldn’t see very well either. I was bedridden for a month and a half. I was working for a director at the time. She was understanding at first, but then grew impatient at the amount of time that I was taking off, telling me that I was leaving her in a real bind. I worked hard to get to the point where I was able to walk with a cane so that I could return to work. I tried to do my work to the same standard, but was having difficulty. She told me that if I didn’t improve that she would have to let me go. Thankfully, I was able to find another position and left with my dignity in tact.
I’ve often struggled to be physically accommodated within the government. In one position, I was in a meeting on the sixteenth floor of a building when the fire alarm went off. With my balance and dexterity issues, stairs are my literal downfall. I can go up stairs with no issue but can’t go down. That day, I was told that I was not disabled enough to use the emergency elevator. My supervisor at the time said that I was perfectly capable of walking, so I would take the stairs with everyone else. I’m not sure how I managed it, but I am thankful that one I had three coworkers looking after me, one in front of me, one behind me and one to left of me. I held on to the railing for dear life, my cane tucked under my arm. When I got to the main floor, my body was completely shot.
Yet, for all of those difficulties being disabled in the government, I’ve experienced kindness too. The kindness of people has astounded me, time and time again. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of but especially when to use my voice and when to offer counsel. Most of all, even though my island still sits within me, surrounded by water and the whisper of leaves, I don’t spend nearly as much time there as I used to.
Working in the government while living with a disability can be challenging. However I’m accommodated now in such a way that makes my working life manageable. In the government, I feel seen. Though my disabilities are invisible, I am not.
This is so cool! Check out as part of AELAQ’s Read Quebec Holiday Fest, a bunch of authors from Presses Renaissance Press read from their books! I read the first chapter from Love and Lemonade! I’m the third author in!
It’s always rather nerve wracking to read my own work, but I did fabulously if I do say so myself. I hope you enjoy the chapter.
If you feel like buying yourself a copy of Love and Lemonade, which won the Best GLBTQ+ Book of 2019, you can do so here:
Enjoy the readings!
Earlier this month, I had the honour and the privilege of being interviewed by Seth Vermilyea of Coming Out of the Tarot Closet.
We talked about Tarot, life, writing, art and everything in between. It is really about my path to Tarot and what took me away from it and how I found it again.
Seth is such a great interviewer, and I had such a great time talking to him! Click below to have a listen:
I’m so thrilled with how my episode turned out. I hope you enjoy it too!