Category Archives: Wellness

Waiting for the Perfect Moment

A calm image of golden sunlit water with smooth rocks and a low sun on the horizon.

Waiting for the perfect moment. How long does that take? Does it ever really get here? Is any moment truly perfect?

Things can be as perfect as we can make them, but given humans are fallible, there isn’t any moment of sublime perfection, just noble attempts — like trying to nail down wisps of smoke.

I made the choice to go back to college full time. Heaven knows it was not the perfect financial moment to jump into that decision. We had already helped two children go to post-secondary school, so we had debt up the wahoo. Heck, why not add a little more?

How about the logistics of when? Was going back to school the right decision because I had loads of time on my hands to attempt such a feat? Nope. With three kids, my volunteer work and trying to finish another book, time was a precious commodity. I really didn’t have the luxury of time needed to add a full-time college workload to my schedule — actually, it’s more than a full-time course load, since the course is a fast-tracked compressed program. So, rather than be content with the typical five courses a semester, I thought, why not take a program with eight courses a semester. I got this (insert dripping sarcasm and perhaps a hint of panic).

A young woman wearing glasses and a black and white striped shirt holds her temples as she is surrounded by text books.

How about age? What’s the perfect age to go to college? Right after high school? After discovering you hate your current program or job choice? While you still live at home with your parents? When you have kids? When they’ve grown? When you’re just crazy enough to put everything on hold and go for it?

Moral of the story: there’s no perfect time, just opportunity and desire. You come with the desire, but you have to make the opportunity. Opportunity is a conscious choice to recognize there’s never a perfect time for anything, there’s just a time that’s perfect enough for anything. And that moment is now. Like the Time Management Ninja says, we don’t have an endless supply of time, so seize each moment.

Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait for the right time. Pull a Nike and just do it. You’ll never get to where you want to be unless you move consistently forward. Waiting just delays things, and I’m far too impatient for that. It’s now or never. Go big or go home. Clichés all, but there’s no time like the present to follow your dreams.

For more on managing perfection, you can read all about how I subdued my inner perfectionist, here.

Imperfectly yours.

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

Hoary Tales

I feel naked without my online Oxford English Dictionary, but at $19.99US a month, I had to let it go. That leaves me with relying on free internet resources when searching the etymology of words. I still use my beautiful, hoary glue-bound 1977 copy of The Living Webster for my definitions, but the OED was handy for finding out where and when words originated and when they came into common usage. Bear with me then as we navigate the world of free sources together.


Today’s magical word is hoar: whitish grey; venerable, ancient, or old; white or grey, often referring to age. I particularly like hoarfrost, which is a whitish mist. The hoary old mule lazed about the meadow. The poor young thing is always surrounded by a horde of hoary men.

From what I can piece together, the word first appeared in the 1200s. It was in common usage by the 1500s. These dates make it a perfect word to include in my Avelynn series.
Bertram was certainly a hoary character. He might even be the hoariest in the cast of characters floating around in my head. He was an ancient druid, and he had long white hair, both particularly hoary details. I liked Bertram. He was a kind-hearted soul but had a mysterious edge about him. He walked a fine line between politics, religion, and familial obligations.

(If you haven’t read the first book in the series, you may want to skip this next paragraph)

We lose touch with Bertram and many of the characters from the first book as Avelynn’s journey pulls her elsewhere. In the second book, Avelynn finds herself in Wales and becomes embroiled in one of the hoariest of human conflicts: politics and power, not to mention another hoary issue: desire and deception. We get to meet an entire cast of new characters, each with their own agendas and goals. Despite the current predicament Avelynn sees herself in, she still yearns to solve problems and conflicts created in the first book. Home is never far from her mind.

Stay tuned to the series for all the thrilling details from the hoary ninth century.

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

Am I ready to submit?

Conversations with the Goddess

Dear Goddess, I’ve almost completed my round 2 of edits on my novel. I really like where it sits right now. At what point should I start submitting queries to agents?


I am the Goddess of art and literature. I am the Goddess of the moon. The most auspicious time for you to submit your manuscript will be on the full moon. November 25th and December 25th. If you wait until 2016, you will miss your window.

Goddess keep you,


Aine's playground

Wren Michaels and Her Sexy Stories!

If you missed the cover reveal party for AVELYNN, don’t despair, I’m going to be posting all the wonderful author interviews here for your reading pleasure!

Sitting down with Wren Micheals

I’d like to officially welcome to the party our next guest author, Wren Michaels!

Unbearable by Wren Michaels

Wren Michaels hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where beer and cheese are their own food groups. But a cowboy swept her off her feet and carried her away below the Mason-Dixon line, where she promptly lost all tolerance for snow and cold. They decided they’d make beautiful babies together and they got it right on the first try. Now Wren lives happily ever after in the real world and in the worlds of her making, where she creates book boyfriends for the masses to crave.

Wren Michaels Thanks for having me, Marissa.

A.b. Funkhauser Tell us about the boyfriends…

Marissa Campbell Tell us a little about your steamy, sexy books!

Margaret Madigan Hi! *waves*

Wren Michaels They’re all scrumptious and waiting to take you on a trip to seductive town.

A.b. Funkhauser Are they shaped by muse(s)?

Marissa Campbell Here’s a little about Wren’s books:

Unbearable by Wren Michaels

UNBEARABLE: Rose Red will stop at nothing to protect her sister, Snow White, from suffering the same fate as their mother. She vows to kill Hestor, the evil dwarf sorcerer responsible for her death. But a twist of fate lands her on the bottom of a riverbed, and her life in the hands of a mysterious stranger.

Marcus is a beast of a man. He is a bear by day, man by night, thanks to a curse from the evil Hestor. When he rescues Rose from an icy grave, he unleashes the real animal. Falling for her is dangerous enough, as he must protect the secret of his curse. But she may just be the key to getting his kingdom back, as she breaks one spell and puts him under another.

Wren Michaels Let’s see, Unbearable has Marcus, my Irish Prince who’s cursed by an evil sorcerer to live as a bear by day and man by night. So he’s an alpha with some animalistic tendencies.

Marissa Campbell Or perhaps you might like this book by Wren Michaels…



Wren Michaels

Four years ago Katy said goodbye to her brother Roger and his best friend, Jason, as they deployed for the Middle East. Two weeks ago they both came back. Only one of them was alive.

After Roger’s funeral, Katy turns to Jason for comfort. She’s been in love with him since she was eight years old, but knew he never saw her as anything other than Roger’s little sister. Overwhelmed with grief, she pleads with Jason to help her drown her pain, convincing him to sleep with her to help her escape for a while. But deep in her heart the real reason is because he came back alive, and her love for him reignites.

Jason fights his desires, as he has for fifteen years since he fell in love with his best friend’s sister. He pushed his own feelings aside out of respect for Roger. But when Katy’s grief is too much, he’ll do anything to help her ease the pain.

As they share in each other’s pain and grief, they also ignite a love both of them have forced back for years.

A.b. Funkhauser Who do you “see” when you think of Marcus?

Wren Michaels Welcome Home, Jason has of course Jason, my marine hero. Man in uniform, need I say more?

A.b. Funkhauser The uniform announces the man.

Monique Goodness…a man with bear-like qualities. Who wouldn’t want to read about that?

Dawna Yay!

Wren Michaels My muses are fueled by pics of Ian Somerhalder and coffee so anything is possible.

A.b. Funkhauser Wide open. I like that.

Marissa Campbell What drew you to Red Rose your heroine?

Wren Michaels I see a man who is used to being in control and now forced to live in hiding which is out of his control, so he’s fighting with himself on a daily basis. It makes him complex and in need of help and Rose is his sanctuary.

A.b. Funkhauser She saves him?

Wren Michaels Sorry for typos, I’m driving home from Austin so I won’t be fast at responses as I’m limited to my smart phone

A.b. Funkhauser Be safe.

Marissa Campbell I was just going to thank you for doing this from your phone! xo

Marissa Campbell I think she has a hunky driver.

A.b. Funkhauser In that case, practice SAFE. lol

A.b. Funkhauser And keep those hands on the wheel.

Wren Michaels Well I wanted to do a different fairytale, everyone does Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, so I wanted to find a little different story to take on. I also tend to write strong female characters. I don’t like damsels in distress, I like damsels that cause distress.

Marissa Campbell I love that! Damsels that cause distress!

Wren Michaels Hubby is driving so I can play. Lol

Wren Michaels Darn auto correct!

Monique I like to read books that feature empowering women. We should all cause distress. I imagine your novels are How to Books.

A.b. Funkhauser Distressing ladies really got going in the 80s with Dynasty and Dallas. Alexis Carrington Colby was my hero. We need women to look up to.

Alison Sounds juicy. A new spin on a classic. Very cool.

Wren Michaels I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan. He’s known for kickass heroines. So I tend to channel him when I write.

A.b. Funkhauser That’s a great muse to have!

Nicki U have got my interest.

Margaret Madigan Whedon’s man enough not to be threatened by women. I like that.

Wren Michaels I have several stories where my damsels do the saving. It’s all about turning the tables.

Monique I, too, am a Joss Whedon fan (currently watching Season 6 of Buffy for the umpteenth time).

A.b. Funkhauser You are levelling the playing field. I could see the male characters reacting badly to this. How does the Bear first react to her overtures?

Wren Michaels Yes, Whedon is very pro woman. Look at Zoe from Firefly, Kaylee is a mechanic, Buffy kicked much ass. Need I say more?

A.b. Funkhauser And with Buffy, he hooked me into something that I thought I wouldn’t watch. You might have me reading bed time stories again Wren Michaels. Thank you.

Wren Michaels Marcus is shocked, but her fire, love for her family and provocative side entice him rather than threaten him.

A.b. Funkhauser Are your men emotional?

Monique I am definitely going book shopping this week.

Wren Michaels Jason, my marine is. He’s just lost his best friend at war, and he comes home to the love of his life. In a unique spin, my heroine, Katy makes the move on him and ends up releasing a bottle of emotions he has.

Marissa Campbell Red is strong and provocative! What drew you to writing romance and erotica?

Wren Michaels Katy ends up celebrating Jason being alive since she just buried her brother.

Heather I love fairy-tale-inspired fiction. You had me at Irish Prince…

Margaret Madigan I love fairy tale inspired stories, too, especially if they’re written with unexpected twists and turns.

Wren Michaels That is a funny story, Marissa. I was bit down in the dumps about my writing career. A friend of mine told me about the anthology and convinced me to do the short story for it. And Evernight accepted it. So as a result my pen name Wren Michaels was born.

A.b. Funkhauser Pen names are freeing?

Wren Michaels After that the same friend, Evie Knight, who is a magnificent author, dared me to try writing a fairytale for Evernight’s Naughty Fairytale line and Rose and Marcus were born.

Wren Michaels Lol well if self-induced schizophrenia is freeing, then yes. Sometimes it is a little chaotic being two people, but I’m certainly having fun with these stories. So there could be more.

A.b. Funkhauser Lol. Out of chaos comes order and ART.

Marissa Campbell There is a strong romantic element running through your stories! So if your sweetheart wanted to sweep you off your feet, what would he have to do?

Wren Michaels Well my hubby convinced me to move from Wisconsin to Texas with a kiss. So um either I’m easy or he’s a spectacular kisser.

Margaret Madigan Or both.

Margaret Madigan *snort*

Dawna Awe!!!

A.b. Funkhauser Hee hee. I can relate. I almost followed my husband to Thunder Bay–it’s as brutal as it sounds! Ah, pheromones.

Alison Lucky you.

Wren Michaels I think at heart every woman just wants a man/woman to make them feel special. Love is the most powerful thing on earth. It is the cause of war, celebration, and life itself.

Monique There’s a story there, Wren.

Wren Michaels All of my heroes are based in part on my hubby.

Dawna That’s true, Wren.

Marissa Campbell What about your heroines … is there some of you in there? What do you admire in them?

Wren Michaels I think I make them all the things I wish I could be. They’re the parts I’m too shy to do in real life.

A.b. Funkhauser Writing them makes them your life. You’re living it. Bravo!

Marissa Campbell Thank you so much for being here, Wren Michaels! xoxo

A.b. Funkhauser Thanks Wren Michaels for sharing.

Margaret Madigan Safe travels home!

Monique Thank you for a titillating hour, Wren.

Wren Michaels Thanks for playing with me today and helping support your favorite authors make their dreams come true. Without you readers, our stories would just live in our heads, and we’d go around talking to ourselves all day. Lol

Monique I’m driving on the lawn from now on.

Wren Michaels Oh and the sequel to Unbearable comes out the end of the month, entitled BAD APPLE. Keep track on my Twitter or FB page for details.

Marissa Campbell Here’s a sneak peak at the cover reveal for BAD APPLE!

Wren Michaels

Marissa Campbell Last minute to comment before I make the draw for Wren’s books! She’s giving away a copy each of Unbearable and the Uniform Fetish Anthology!

Marissa Campbell Up first is Unbearable! Drum roll ….

Marissa Campbell Nicki you are the proud winner of Unbearable!

Wren Michaels Kermit Flail!

Marissa Campbell A.b. Funkhauser you just won a copy of Wren’s Uniform Fetish Anthology!

A.b. Funkhauser Hee Hee. I likey!

Marissa Campbell If you want more Wren! Check her out here: