Archive | April 2013

My Favorite Photographer

Kim promo

Kim and I met in a roundabout way. I have never looked back. I think we all have our favorite photographer, and I know several very good ones. A couple of things stand out about Kim for me.

She works well with people, and even reluctant subjects respond positively. (Trust me, I have a couple of extremely reluctant subjects.) She is also financially reasonable in the extreme given the number of degrees she holds. Humble and fun, a friend you will want to keep.

Kim L. Pearce Photography:  She is working on a website.

Some images of the family photo shoot last October:

The Myth About Introverts & Extroverts–Could You Be an Ambivert?

This is fantastic clarification. I have had people laugh when I tell them I am an introvert because they know me to be ‘exuberant’. I am, however, an introvert, and I come home from events where I have been exuberant utterly drained and hoping I don’t have to deal with anybody for days.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

As humans we tend to think in very black and white terms, but as writers and artists, we are wise to remember that people have many dimensions. What we see is not necessarily true, especially when it comes to labeling others as “introvert” or “extrovert.”

What Does It REALLY Mean to Be an Extrovert or Introvert?

Introversion and extroversion are commonly misunderstood. Just because someone is shy, doesn’t mean she’s an introvert. Someone who is bubbly, gregarious and the life of the party can, in reality, be an introvert. The difference between introverts and extroverts is simply this:

Where do we gain or lose energy?

Introverts are drained by people and need alone time to recharge.

Extroverts are drained by too much time alone. They need human interaction to recharge.

Meet the Ambivert

Many people fall into what is called an ambivert, meaning they exhibit traits of both. If you…

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Claire Lautier’s Grasse Roots Perfumery is a Local Treasure

Non-Migraine triggering scent is possible

“Many of the unpleasant effects that people experience when exposed to mainstream perfumes are caused by synthetic chemicals in those fragrances.  Most people who cannot tolerate mainstream fragrances can enjoy natural perfume.  This extends to workplace policies banning scent, as those really should apply to mainstream fragrance.  But awareness about natural perfume isn’t wide enough yet to raise the awareness around that issue.  People assume they’re allergic or react poorly to all perfumes, rather than the toxic ingredients in commercial fragrance.

“Having said that, it’s important to realize that just because a perfume is natural doesn’t mean a person can’t have an allergic response.  Essential oils and other fine perfumery botanicals are potent substances that must be respected.  You should always do a patch test with any product you wear directly on the skin.

“All raw materials are not created equal.  Remember the cocoa absolute! (Claire allowed us to compare a few that had differing quality and we were amazed.~ Wendy)

“Most of us have grown up in a world laden with the synthetic equivalents of real natural smells.  The world is so chemicalized on every level it’s no wonder so many of us experience multiple sensitivities nowadays.  Returning to natural smells makes me feel whole and connected to the earth again.  It’s very healing.” ~Claire Lautier

I am a migraine sufferer. I run into serious trouble in the soap aisle at the grocery store. My friend Melissa is in the same mess, but we both discovered something wonderful on April 22.

“You know when you find something special. Claire is one of the truly extraordinary people. There is so much care and love in these amazing perfumes you will never go back to commercially produced products again. As a serious migraine sufferer, a huge myth was dispelled for me today … natural fragrances, created in natural form, simply open the senses to beauty and do not create migraine triggers! What a lovely discovery to feel pretty again … after years of forgoing scents! Thank you so much Claire Lautier for the delightful afternoon!” ~ Stratford resident and caterer Melissa Roach

Grasse Roots Perfumery owner Claire Lautier (  is an accomplished and successful actor who has always had a love of natural fragrance.

Claire grew up in the Mediterranean Basin and can trace her lineage back for generations in France and Algeria. Her family roots are in the south of France not far from Grasse and one of the most important distillers of essential oils and perfumes from 1795 to the early 1900s in Grasse was called Lautier Fils. (Lautier Brothers)

Claire is a musician, singer and professional actor. Her natural creativity combined with continuing study and experimentation has given her a fondness and respect for the art of natural perfumery.

Grasse Roots is expanding its products to include the Awaken Jewellery  line to complement the liquid and solid perfumes, bath salts and lip balm.

Using only *certified organic essential oils Claire makes every perfume herself, by hand, right in Stratford.

The official website is being updated right now, but you can find Grasse Roots on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are below the links.

Claire played the Central Park reporter in the movie ‘Elf” in 2003.

10 Myths About Introverts

There are millions of us, and Introversion is not a flaw.

There are millions of us, and Introversion is not a flaw.

Mercatus Center scholar Jerry Brito debunking the top ten myths about introverts:
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.


Why I work in cyberspace from a home office…


I debated a little about sharing this. Most introverts don’t wear much of ANYTHING ‘on their sleeve’.

About a decade ago I was looking for full-time employment. As any self-employed person knows, income can be sporadic. The first job I ever had was in a bank and I applied for the position of financial adviser with an investment firm.

“Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

Who knew that being genuinely concerned for the well-being of the clients would be considered negative?

 Condensed a little for space, this is what their testing revealed about me…

Organized and creative: enjoy being methodical, conscientious, efficient. Set high standards for yourself. Take pride in accuracy and paying attention to details. Enjoy work environment to be structured, orderly, well-organized. You enjoy filing systems, data management, computer based work, with creative license.

Comfortable by yourself, working alone. At ease in small groups that do not require a lot of socializing. You think best in solitude and quiet. Uncomfortable meeting new people. Prefer being with people you already know well. Rarely call attention to yourself.  You prefer to take a methodical and organized approach to life, doing things to the very best of your ability. Yet when things need to be done quickly you know what corners can be cut. You work hard at striking an appropriate balance between efficiency and exactness in your work. For simple tasks you enjoy not having to pay attention to details. For more complicated tasks, you prefer to spend the time necessary to carefully review your work, ensuring that it is up to standard.

You need a career in which you are able to help others. You place high value on work settings where you can gage the thoughts and feelings of people. You like to focus on the task at hand, not juggle multiple tasks. Client care/customer service is very high on your priority list. You dislike working in formal relationships or having to be reserved in your interpersonal relationships. You form genuine bonds with people. You value activities where you are able to have direct, positive impact on the situations of other people.

The Business of Editing: Expectations

I have just begun working with signed contracts which spell everything out. Expectations need to be clear and in writing.

An American Editor

The clash between client and editor often is caused by unmet expectations — the client’s expectations as to what services the editor will provide within what time frame and for what price.

In the negotiations between client and editor, the client wants more for less and the editor wants more for less: The client wants more work for less money, the editor wants more money for less work. This is just like every other business negotiation, except for one thing: client and editor expectations are rarely expressed; the parties act as if the other side already knows what the other expects.

The clash arises because clients expect an editor to do whatever it takes to make the client’s manuscript near-perfect regardless of the balance between the expectation and the rate of pay/time given to do the work, and editors feel pressure to do whatever is need to make a manuscript near-perfect, even if the…

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Judging a Book by its Cover can be Deceiving

Set in England and the United States in the 1990s, THESE ARE NOT BOOKS ABOUT WORLD WAR TWO.

How disastrous is an unfortunate choice when it comes to cover art for your book?

If you were writing an espionage story set in the 1990s that had connections to the Second World War (weaponry developed by the Nazis) but were not ABOUT the Second World War, and you chose cover art using a swastika, would your primary target audience (baby boomers) be interested or repelled?

Ian G. Watson( )  is known for his dry wit, his tongue-in-cheeky humor. When he recently turned his attention to creating a spy thriller series he did not abandon his wit. Indeed, he could not. He wouldn’t know how. His middle-aged and called-out-of-retirement geriatric heroes and experts are beautifully developed and well-written and, even in the face of catastrophe, amusing.

I will admit that when Ian showed me the cover designs I thought they were great.  You know what they say about hindsight.

The Wren Series (Book three, ‘The  Rose Chalice’ due out this year.)

1990s, pre 9/11 espionage thrillers unlike any others

1990s, pre 9/11 espionage thrillers unlike any others

The Just’s Umbrella on

The Sunless Treasuries on

(Also available in Canada and the United Kingdom)

What is a ‘Line Editor’?


The term is out of date.

Early computer programs used a line editor program, which evaluated the lines and caught mistakes. The term line editor stands for a copy editor, who very specifically reads a text line by line.
This type of editing requires word for word reading of a text, an excellent grasp of proper grammar, usage and punctuation and is labor intense. It is therefore the biggest ticket item in an editor’s repertoire.  It is also the first comprehensive edit I do, and the only one for which you pay me. (I will go through it again before returning it to you. Once you have looked over the edits and made changes, I will do a final proofread.)

The editor may make comments or actual changes to the text to improve readability and change any grammatical mistakes or spelling errors. He or she will also edit for continuity, such as ensuring that the entire piece is written in the same tense (past, present, future) and that if it begins in the first person (I, we) it is consistent, not hopping to second (you) or third (them, they.)

This edit simply will not catch everything. No initial edit ever does.

Your manuscript will require several edits, some say up to seven, and these should not all be done by the same pair of eyes.

Unless you have been picked up by a publishing house, or you have purchased a platinum package from publishers who help you to self-publish, your manuscript will not receive the editing it should. This is reality.

“Indie authors” cannot afford seven edits. This, too, is reality.

I made the executive decision this year to do three edits for the price of one. If I charged for all of them the manuscripts did not come back for another pass under the eagle eye.

If my name will be associated with a piece I want it to be as clean a product as it can be. I don’t have the time to edit something seven times, whether I am being paid or not. And as I mentioned, at least one more pair of eyes should be taking a fresh look at it. However, it is in my best interests to continue to insist on going over it three times. Believe me, I have learned this the hard way.