Art, Creativity, Information, Writing

Creating Art Gives Autistic Boy His Voice #WATWB


Welcome to my first official “We are the World Blogfest” (#WATWB ) post. The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit. The last Friday of every month bloggers will share their stories led by five co-hosts, this month’s co-hosts are Lynn Hallbrooks, Simon Falk, Sylvia McGrath, Damyanti Biswas and myself.

My story this month focuses on a young man who despite autism is making a positive name for himself through his art. Those who know me can tell you how passionate I am about the life-changing power of creative expression. Throughout the years, working in various aspects of social services as well as being a writer and artist, I have seen first-hand the healing, empowering and transformative power of expressing oneself in a creative way. Creative arts can give you an outlet, a way to communicate, confidence and the freedom to just “be”. It can help us be the best version of ourselves. There are so many stories of the benefits of creative expression however, this one story, in particular, caught my attention…Meet thirteen-year-old Niam Jain, who is autistic and only able to speak a few words. Watch his story about how his art not only impressed art experts everywhere but also gave him his voice!

Credit: The National ~ CBC News, Toronto, Canada

Check out Niam’s website

If you would like to learn more about art therapy and its benefits please check out: CATA/ACAT Canadian Art Therapy Association or Art Therapy Alliance (Global Resources)

For more information about #WATWB or to join us and help spread positive stories like this click here.


Review of The Girl from Rawblood by Catriona Ward via @sourcebooks


The Girl from Rawblood

by Catriona Ward

Release date: March 7th, 2017

I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Girl from Rawblood by Catriona Ward from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

To start off I must say that this book is unlike anything I’ve ever read and incredibly challenging to review. It is incredibly well written, unique and complex. It seems to pull from Gothic horror but it also is on the fringe of literary fiction in my opinion.  It has moments that can only be described as tragic and heartbreaking.  It does have some disturbing scenes that might make some squeamish but the story is much more than those scenes.

Set in 1910 in an old mansion, Rawblood, in Dartmoor, England, the premise rides on a family curse that is generations old. A bulk of the story is told by a young girl named Iris Villarcas, the “Girl from Rawblood”. Iris and her father are the only two left of their bloodline, most had fallen victim to the curse. They live isolated at Rawblood except for a helper and a young boy named Tom. The curse itself is initiated by falling in love and the feelings that it brings out. Iris’s father goes to all ends to protect her and establishes “the Rules” which she is told she must obey. When she is young and to a point, Iris follows “The Rules” until in her teenage years when she begins to have feelings for her only friend Tom and begins to rebel. Throughout the book, the point of view changes telling the story of those family members who came before. It takes a while to adjust to each narrator but the story does unfold in an interesting way.

I did enjoy this book but it is not something you read if you’re looking for a “quick and easy” read it is something you savour and let unravel in front of you.  I loved the author’s style but did find it a bit difficult to lose myself in at parts. I have to say for a debut novel The Girl from Rawblood is outstanding.


Review of Alice and the Assassin by R.J. Koreto via @crookedlanebks



Alice the Assassin

by R.J. Koreto

Release date: April 11, 2017

I received a complimentary ARC copy of Alice and the Assassin by R.J. Koreto from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

Set New York in 1902, protagonist 17-year-old Alice Roosevelt, the daughter of President Roosevelt is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Alice and Mr St.Clair, a former soldier, rancher and at present Alice’s assigned Secret Service Agent are drawn into solving the conspiracy of former President McKinley’s death. Spunky, strong willed and opinionated, Alice drags Mr St. Clair throughout New York trying to get to the bottom of the crime, facing murder mayhem and a few interesting leads on their way. Infatuated with the much older Mr St. Clair and desperate to be part of an adventure, Alice jumps at any opportunity to impress him.

I really liked this book, from the first page it was a fun, well paced and quirky mystery. The author did a good job of mixing history and fiction and managed to add a little suspense and humour into the mix.  Alice is a great character, a little larger than life but fun, however, I doubt in real life a client would be able to push around a secret service agent to quite that extent (at least I hope not).


Would you speak for peace? Announcing ‘We Are The World’ Blogfest #WATWB


If you spend a great deal of time on social media you will no doubt at times be overwhelmed by much of the negativity and hate that comes through our streams.  We might not able to stop the negativity but we can change how we react to it. The “We Are the World Blogfest” is our reaction to negativity. We hope to bombard social media with the positive stories that show us the best of humanity! Please read below to see what we’re about! 🙂


Social media and news in recent times has been filled with hate and negativity. Just as you cannot fight darkness, only light lamps, Hate and Negativity cannot be fought. You need to bring Love and Positivity forward instead.
I bring to you the We Are the World Blogfest, along with these fabulous co-hosts:

Belinda Witzenhausen, Carol Walsh,Chrissie Parker, Damyanti Biswas, Emerald Barnes, Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Kaur UppalKate Powell, Lynn Hallbrooks, Mary Giese, Michelle Wallace, Peter Nena, Rich Weatherly, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Simon Falk, Susan Scott, Sylvia Stein, Sylvia McGrath

“We Are the World Blogfest” seeks to promote positive news. There are many cases of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world.
We will link to charities supported by the co-hosts, and you could choose to donate to some of them or add links to local charities you support, so we could all chip in to a good cause if we like.
Let us flood social media with peace and love, and “In Darkness, Be Light.” The first post for We Are The World Blogfest is on the 31st March 2017.

The more, the merrier! 🙂 Hope you will join us!


1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news,  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Not a blogger but would like to promote us?…please share our posts using the hashtag~ #WATWB

Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂



A Little Madness in March…

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

Everything is coming along beautifully and projects are progressing as planned.  A little mad but it looks like hard work and passion are paying off! 🙂 My partner and I are re-launching ProfessorOwl’ our mission is still the same but we will also be focusing on literacy and promoting creativity. We have a certified literacy tutor sharing tips and exercises to help others enjoy reading. This month at I will be announcing two new programs starting in May; “Ignite Your Core Creativity” and “Art as Therapy” designed to help you grow, heal and ignite your creativity.  I will also be involved with a fantastic Blogfest featuring some wonderful bloggers…check back I will be announcing it here shortly.

This month archaeology, history and palaeography courses will be keeping me busy as well as copywriting, book reviews and diving into my current works in progress.

All in all, in looks like I will have a fantastic month ahead. 😊

Time for me to sign off…wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re living with passion and purpose!

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”~Harriet Tubman

#amwriting #researching #mystery #historicalfiction #urbanfantasy #learning #studying #archaeology #forensicanthropology #history #arttherapy #coaching #art #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling

My Spotify Playlist ~WIP Catacombs #HistoricalFiction #Mystery

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”~ Anthony J. D’Angelo