When I was a small child, I always wanted to hide so the bad things couldn't happen.

As a pre-teen, I did my writing and sketches hiding under a bridge, storing my notebook in the bricks, the pages covered in beautiful drawings and haunting eloquence.

The teen years brought limited, always limited safety and awareness. I saw the colors of a spectrum I hadn't known existed, but they didn't see me.

A young woman, with barbed wire inside, emerged. They saw me with their hungry eyes and deliberate needs. Dusky walls withheld their embraces and nothing broke the fall.

His eyes had their own light behind them and they looked to me for everything. And he saw me and loved me anyhow.

I hid as many bad things as I could, so he could be a small child.

I collected the notebooks he filled in the open air and we walked on top of the bridges. I imagined a home and I put blinders on to narrow my focus on the career that kept him sheltered and limited my risk.

I pulled the barbed wire out and burnt it until it was soft to the touch. I tore the walls down with crimson streaks from my hands.

The light of this new world is blinding, but I don't cover my eyes. The ground feels soft and warm, but the waves draw me in, hiding the jagged edges of the rocks beneath.

Now, I would throw this tiara if I could. I would sit by the fire and make it always night, though there is nothing to cover my shoulders. I would do this, but for the light behind his eyes that see me and the dream that he can swim past the rocks.

Unseen, with a painted on smile in a pretty dress, inside I'm just looking for a log to add to that fire.

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I was raised in a Catholic household and all of my life, I have loved the beauty and tradition of Catholicism. However, as a spiritual path, it isn't the right one for me even if the new pope is kind of awesome. I don't have a religion, but I do believe there is something bigger than me out there, that we all come from the same energy source and simply change forms once we die. I have raised my son with this belief, though I don't force him to conform to it. I do require him to respect nature and to express gratitude because spiritual or not, those are just the right things to do.

Yet, we still celebrate Easter in our own way.

The celebration of Easter in Christianity is based on the idea that Christ died on the cross and then rose again. I'm not saying Christ did or didn't exist, but I do believe there is every potential for such a man to have existed and been persecuted, and since we all rise in some form after death, I can go with that too. So for me, Easter is about rising above a challenge and appreciating the efforts of others. We celebrate these things more than usual on Good Friday and Easter because that happens to be days set aside by the schools and other organizations so we don't have to miss other days for it. So, if you're interested in doing something similar, below are a few of the things we'll be doing, in case you'd like to do them as well.

Learning about Religion

My goal is to help Hunter explore his own spirituality and how he would like to celebrate it. As such, it's important to learn about religions and the history of them. We'll be watching Zeitgeist: The Movie later today. If you haven't seen it, it's a pretty informative show about the creation and existence of sungods throughout history.

Setting Goals

I think it's important to have some kind of measurable goal. In fact, I have a hard time functioning without one. Today, Hunter and I will set goals to help improve ourselves. Some potential examples are below.

  • Stop complaining. 
  • Unless it's a compliment, don't say another person's name. (This ends gossiping.)
  • Compliment a specific number of people a day.
  • Try something new each week or month.

Does cleaning sound like a horrible way to celebrate a holiday? Why? You're purging, getting rid of things you don't need. That means you may also be giving away things you don't need to people who do need them. Wash away the past so you can see the brighter future.

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Why Won't We Share Your Stuff?

I've been writing online for almost 10 years. For the better part of that time, I've had the usual social networking accounts, accounts I use to network and share my writing. Do you know how online writers make a living? The more visible our work is, the more we make. That's true even if we are ghostwriting and managing a client's network. Other writers know this, which is why we constantly share things for each other.

When you share something, it's because you have an interest in it, want to win a contest, or what have you. When you share it on my page, you're relying on my social network to promote your interest. When I delete it from my network, it's because I believe in being fair. I worked hard to develop my network, as every other successful writer has. You can either be a part of it or not, by sharing and networking along with us, but you should not use our hard work for your own means without so much as a thank you.

Also, don't ask us to promote someone who took a class and decided they were an overnight professional in some area if you have never promoted us. It's downright rude and I will actually go out of my way to avoid using or recommending their services. For one thing, I'm not willing to put my reputation on the line for someone who is going through a fad. For another thing, where were you when I needed help promoting?

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It's a Real Job, Deal with It

I've been supporting my household for almost a decade with this work. In fact, I just paid off my house. That would seem to indicate that this IS a real job. It's an insult to keep asking a writer when they are going to find a "real job". Are you miserable at work? Sorry to hear that, but those of us who write are compelled to do so, and fortunate enough to make a living doing something we love. More people should seek out their own happiness instead of trying to convince us to join the misery train.

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Writing is Work

I love my job, no doubt about that. Yet, there are days when I have to write about things I don't necessarily enjoy. I have come to a point in my career where I can turn away work that I don't believe in (like making up truths about the latest weight loss scam).  I also tend to be a very giving person, so if your kid needs help, or you need assistance as you try to better your life through school or work, I'm totally willing to help out and I am not likely to charge you. I assume other writers are the same.

However, if my writing skills contribute to your business in any way, I'm going to expect payment. Why? See the section titled "It's a Real Job, Deal with It." Some of you think it's easy because those of us with experience make it look easy. That skill takes years of hard work to develop. And if it's online work, there is far more that goes into it than just typing. Research, keywords, target audience, demographics--these things all play a part. Don't insult us by saying anything remotely like "All you do is..." or "You're so lucky..." because there is no "All you do" and there certainly isn't any luck involved.

Look at it like this: If you've installed flooring for 10 years and I ask you to come install it in my home, you're probably going to be able to do it faster than I would. You may even make it look fun and easy. That's because you've cultivated that skill. It doesn't mean I'm going to shrug my shoulders, tell you how easy that was, and send you on your way. No, I'm either going to pay you or you are going to rip my flooring back up and take it with you.