After the Happily Ever After – Coming Soon!

As you may remember, some time ago I mentioned that one of my short stories (unpublished) was to be included in an anthology. Here it is!

Along with this cover reveal is a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, as well as a Kickstarter campaign where you can get all kinds of stuff, including coffee mugs, posters, short stories, hard cover editions of the anthology, and even a personal editing session with the Transmundane Press editors. Make sure you check out all the links.

And don’t forget to read the teasers: you’ll find mine under the “humor” section.


The happily ever after is never the end. The curtain doesn’t fall once love is recognized or evil is vanquished. Credits don’t roll once the giant is slain or the big bad wolf is boiled alive. Wicked stepsisters, malevolent rulers, and hideous creatures still have lives after their sinister…

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Celebrating World Gratitude Day: The Importance of a Thankful Heart

Today is World Gratitude Day. It’s a day to remember and be thankful for for all the good in this world despite the wars, hate, violence, starvation, and illness. This blogger says it all so well.

The Hudsucker

{Image Credit: Getty Images/Meredith Winn Photography/Moment} {Image Credit: Getty Images/Meredith Winn Photography/Moment}

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in these past few years, it’s that our heart and soul is designed in such a way that it can combat any obstacle with courage, patience, and time. It isn’t easy to comprehend the reasoning behind the occurrence of these impediments, but it’s well known that in life, we will go through unexpected challenges that arise on our path to success and happiness. Along the way you will be hurt, but it’s through these obstacles that we must ensure negativity and cynicism don’t taint our life into a misleading direction. It’s through these obstacles that we must find gratitude and be thankful for what we have in this moment.

As we observe World Gratitude Day tomorrow, it’s important to understand what this day really means. Being able to express a genuine thankfulness to others and to yourself is an important…

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Runaway Train

As I mentioned before, I recently found a lot of  old story ideas and notes. The following is written from some of those notes. Although I don’t remember exactly when I wrote these notes, I remember the feelings I had at the time, probably because they were familiar to me. I knew I had to stop what I was doing and do a rough draft. At that time, maybe that’s all I needed to do.


Am I dreaming? Who is that strange woman looking at me from the mirror? It can’t be me. Only a year ago I was but a laughing, happy child, playing childish games and dreaming childish dreams. I hadn’t a care in the world but a desire for mother’s love.

What is that strange woman doing in my life? It can’t be me. Only ten months ago I reached puberty, though most of the world still considered me a child. But there was one who looked at me lustfully as if I was a grown woman. He forced himself on me and my whole foundation shifted. I felt like I was in free fall.

How did this strange woman get into my body? It can’t be me. Only eight months ago I was in high school, with hopes and dreams of the future, of escape. But the engineer in charge had other plans for me and the train jumped the track. Was I killed in the crash? Is that why I got so cold, why I can’t feel anything?

Whose hands and arms are these reaching out? They can’t be mine. Only six months ago I was a vibrant young woman, determined to enjoy life. But there was a lot of fog surrounding me and I got on the train headed to Hard Knocks. Nobody bothered to tell me I was on the wrong train. Nobody seemed to care. How long will it be before it stops?

Whose legs are these propelling me forward through life? They can’t be mine. Only four months ago I was at peace with myself and God; all was right with my world. I didn’t see the shadow creeping up behind me. What’s that knocking I hear? I wish someone would make the noise stop. It’s making my head hurt.

Whose eyes are those examining me? They are dull eyes, full of pain, sadness, and misery. They can’t be mine. Only two months ago I was finally on the right train and I was finally headed home. Then something fell across the tracks and brought the train to a screeching halt. Oh, God, my heart hurts! Can somebody give me something for the pain?

Am I dreaming? Where am I going? I don’t recognize this train. Only yesterday I laid down for a short nap because I was soooo tired! When I woke up I was on this train with a woman I don’t know; a woman who won’t quit whispering in my ear about what I have to do to get home, to fulfill my dreams, my destiny, and end the agony. Why can’t she just leave me alone? Doesn’t she know all that whispering is frightening me and making me nervous?


Please, can’t somebody tell me where this train is going? How did I get here? I don’t think I want to go wherever this train is going. I’m scared of what waits for me there.

Please, Mr. Conductor, make the engineer turn this train around. I have to get home. I need to find someone before it’s too late. I need to tell her that it’s okay to LIVE life! It’s okay to laugh, dance, dream, and write — in these things she will find herself and find relief from the pain, a way out of the fog.

Don’t tell me it’s too late! It can’t be! My life can’t go on like this! PLEASE! Somebody help me stop this runaway train before it reaches the end of the line and hits the wall!

My First – A Poem

I’ve spent much of the last two days going through mounds of paperwork in, on and around my desk to try to organize it in some way. If you’ve done the same in the past, then you know that you can come across some surprising things, things that make you scratch your head and wonder Why did I keep this?

Among other things, I found a treasure trove of story ideas I had gathered or written down over the years. Now I just have to develop a system, more like a habit, to start using some of those ideas. A large part of the reason I’ve been inconsistent with my blogging is I often have so many ideas in my head I can’t settle on one thing, so I end up not writing anything.

One thing I’m learning from everybody in the blogosphere is that I need to set up a routine if I want to do my blog justice. My plan of action to resolve this problem is to buy a day planner to keep with me so when I have an idea I can not only write it down but assign a day to write about it.

Ah, I did mention a poem in the title of this post, didn’t I? I didn’t forget, I just got sidetracked. This is just a cute poem I’ve had in my files for years – author unknown – that I thought I would share before I toss it.


The sky was blue,
The moon was high,
We were alone,
Just she and I.

Her hair was brown,
Her eyes were blue.
I knew just what
She wanted to do.

So with all my courage
I did my best—-
I placed my hand
Upon her breast.

I trembled, I shook
And felt her heart.
Slowly she spread
Her legs apart.

I knew she was ready
But I didn’t know how!
This was my first experience
At milking a cow.


Do Not Label Me

In catching up on my emails from fellow blogger, I found this wonderful poem Enjoy

soulgifts - Telling Tales

do not label

I may be

Black or white or yellow

Or any shades between

Do not label me


I may be

Hetero or metro or gay

Or any shades between

Do not label me

do not label 2

I  may be

young or old or adult

or any shades between

Do not label me


I may be

Muslim or Christian or Agnostic

or any shades between

Do not label me

do not label 3

I may be

many shades of differentness

Underneath that label

whatever it may be

I am just like you

and you and you


Labels tend to

stick and stay

And leave a sticky mess



to remove

do not label 1

So best

not to

 label me  at all

Just call me





and add an

adjective or two

if there be a need

to describe




paints a picture

of my


do not label 4

© Raili Tanska

Images Pixabay, Facebook

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Beneath the Fog

I know I’ve been absent for a few weeks. Just as I was coming out of the previous funk, I got overwhelmed by recent events – especially the shootings by police and of police in the U.S. I wanted to write my thoughts about the shootings, but I didn’t want to write out of pure emotion as so many did so I started looking up statistics. That was the wrong thing to do as I ended up getting so  flooded with information my mind seemed to freeze, and ultimately i did nothing, even the flash fiction. I also avoided news stories on TV and online for a week because i wasn’t in a place to bear hearing any more stories about shootings, bombings, and mass killings. If I ever find myself in that situation again, I hope I remember to just sit down and start writing, knowing that my thoughts will sort themselves out as I write.

Currently, I’m trying to catch up on all the email notices of posts that I just let slide by during that time. It helped that I got a big push in the form of someone (you know who you are) who contacted me and begged me to come back. This made me really stop and think about what is happening in my life and how I have (or have not) been reacting to events.

Things are happening in my life beyond my control, but I realize now that it has not helped me to just lay around having a pity party (which I had previously denied doing), surfing the internet or watching TV.  It’s frustrating not having transportation so I can go mall walking and it’s too hot outside to walk. So I decided on another form of mental therapy – crochet.

I haven’t crocheted in more than 20 years. I used to crochet a lot, mostly afghans, but my skin got hypersensitive to the yarn dragging across my skin so I quit. It was actually a sister-in-law’s newly discovered prowess at crocheting that got me interested again. Since we just had one baby join the family and another is on the way, I have a reason to crochet something. Which means, after much practice to get my tension and gauge correct, my first two projects are baby blankets. When I finish my first one, I’ll post a picture.

I think my next projects will be beanies for preemies and lapghans for the nursing home.

preemie beanies

In the meantime, thanks to all of my followers and those who have liked my posts, for staying with me and for being my blogging friends. I promise to make a more concerted effort to not drop off the map again.

Now, back to my crochet project.