Chapter by Chapter

Hello Dear Readers,

Something is compelling me to ask if you would like to read another book of mine. Since I am unable to charge anything for it, I am considering sharing all 15 chapters – one at a time, of course – here on my blog. Just checking out whether that might be of interest to my dear readers and followers. It might help to know they are not horribly long chapters either because I, myself, fatigue out from lengthy online posts no matter how great the read is. I also notice in my stats that longer pieces are often barely viewed while shorter pieces on my blog are viewed far more. Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas on this possible venture, or should that be “adventure?” Smiles.

Love and light,



Christmas: Do you find hard times harder at this time of year?


Capture christmas comfort piece blog


First posted November 29, 2015 but not much has changed since then. Sadly. I recently lost a brother one month and a sister the next in autumn 2017. Some social media post crazy maniacs were so unsupportive as to be abusive in telling me all about Facebook algorithms and saying “I hope you find someone who shares in your grief at this time.” Passive aggressive? Absolutely. Abusive?Absolutely. Not to mention extremely rude and most unkind. Now, that said, I heard from a “ton” of people I did not expect to hear from and they were very kind in their messages and checking behind the scenes to see if I was okay. Thank you to all of those kind hearts and to a few folks I know I know in the “real world.” It was surprising how many I know in  the real world who just stayed silent, posting their “baloney” sandwiches or gripes about life while saying nothing to me when I was always there to show support for them and their challenges. Lessons by the dozens are now learned. And to those others who were blatantly rude and unkind: “Straighten up. Wait until it’s your turn to mourn someone you love. I have saved your message(s) and will post them on your pages for you when that happens to you.” Well, maybe I won’t because I am not so hurtful as they are. Queen Karma will be visiting them, I am sure. Meanwhile, I am left wondering, how is it that people have time to lecture you at length by the page full online, post lengthy passive aggressive messages, share their constant griping about problems that are not even really problems at all and yet no time to simply say “I am so sorry.” Social Media, as I have said many times in the past, is not so social after all in my opinion. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing this Christmas, I hope you know someone cares. You can always message me behind the scenes here if you need a kind ear. Peaceful holidays wished to all. ❤ ❤ ❤


Who Is She?

Just reading a little about how to give readers something to enjoy when they land on your blog. Introducing yourself is the number one listed way to engage people by letting them know who you are as a person rather than just a name on a blog. So, for those of you who don’t already know me, here goes:

When I announced to my first grade teacher, “I know what I want to do when I grow up – I want to make books!” – I had no idea what lay ahead. Until you “make it” in the eyes of many, writing is nothing but a nice little hobby. Writing from as far back as I can remember, I recall my bedroom as a teenager, a small room used as an office in a former school house converted to a home, with the walls of my room covered in my poetry. Mom never gave me heck for that but I think she liked it, I did it artfully and with tidy penmanship. (Now we pay good money at stores to get writing for our walls!)

Writing is breathing and breathing is writing…

 Still more? 


Blogging here at is all I really have time or energy for any more and some days now, thanks to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Fibroymyalgia and other chronic health conditions, even that is in question so I often share old works, previous works or short poems. Told by a writing instructor that we need to write a million words, I believe it was from this quote:

“Start early and work hard. A writer’s apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he’s almost ready to begin. That takes a while.” ~David Eddings

Well, I’ve done my million… I think… here’s the short version:


One More Chance, a collection of short stories

Spiritshine, a collection of poetry

(have written four other novels, all of which need revising or polishing but hope to one day get them out there even if I have to publish them as free ebooks as I did above two works.) 


First Place 2015:

First Place 2001: Non-fiction (creative non-fiction) :

Honourable Mention: Fiction 2000

First Place 2003: Christmas theme story local newspaper contest (Vancouver BC)

Writer’s Union of Canada: Shortlisted 2002 (for short short)

Third Place 1998: Copper Beech short fiction contest

Canada wide Essay Contest: First Place

Honorable Mention for short fiction work 1997 (1500 words): Tickled by Thunder Magazine  


– Second place: Tickled by Thunder Fiction & Poetry Magazine
– Quarter Moon Quarterly, two poems published
– The Year’s Best Anthology: No Knight So White  

PUBLISHED 1990-2015

Short Stories/Flash Fiction:  “Curtains” published in 2014  here  and “Cheapskate” published in Spooky Halloween Drabbles 2015 here:

-Reviews: Live performance, movie and restaurant reviews (Man of Steel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Bonnie Kilroe, Susan Jacks, The Vagina Monologues, The Good Lovelies, restaurants…etc)

– Various: Public relations material from brochure and web site content for Holiday Resorts, Interior Design College Instructor to poetry in Quarter Moon Quarterly and 5000 word piece on Domestic Violence for Attorney General publication, Our Canada Magazine 2006, Newspaper pieces 2003 -2006


PROGRAM MANAGER civic government Heritage programs, Museum and Archives

VICTIM SUPPORT WORKER, also wrote articles & media for Attorney General, Justice Branch

PROGRAM OFFICER approving childcare facilities, writing newsletters & media

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT 20 years P/T (while working F/T in other positions as well)

CHILD DAYCARE for preschool aged children



 Anxiety Management; Coping Skills for Survivors of Physical, Mental and Emotional Trauma 

–  PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (identifying, coping/living with)        

–  Boundaries and Healthy Communication;  Dynamics of Healthy Relationships

–   Interior Design Consultant Diploma 

–   Creative Writing Diploma

–   Cross Cultural Awareness

–   Victim’s Services Certificate,  Attorney General

–   Victim’s Assistance Volunteer Trainer’s Certificate, Attorney General

–   Lay Counselor Training,  Victim’s Assistance & Sexual Assault Center

–   Stopping the Violence Conference(s) and Specialized Training

–   Conflict Resolution & Mediation,  Levels I-IV

–   University English Literature 

–    Business Communications, Supervision and Management Credits

–    High School Honors Graduate , Dogwood Diploma             


 Branch Representative – Community Coordinated Justice Committee  
 Board of Directors – Women’s Rape and Sexual Assault Center 
 Coordinator – Neighborhood Blockwatch Program 
 Board of Directors – Communities Against Substance Abuse Society  
 Public Relations Committee – Richmond Information & Volunteer Center     
 Assistant/Intern –  Richmond Publishing  House
 Animal Rescue  – Saving dogs from vivisection  


Plenty …

Impeccable are both personal and professional references yet all completely useless because she is not who she once was.

She can no longer do what she once did.

She feels it is a good day now when her shoes match.

This is the realm of living with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Fibromyalgia and other chronic health conditions.

When shell-shocked, you do not lose your intelligence. Merely your coping skills, your ability to focus and comprehend are all impaired as though you are drunk or have the flu. But you are not and you do not. You battle the fog daily and wonder if it will ever get any better. You wonder if this is as good as it gets.

When you realize that this may be so, you grieve another loss. The loss of yourself as you knew you. You come to terms with where you are and realize “I survived it,” “I AM a survivor,” I am ‘surviving’…

Writing is breathing… breathing is writing…    

(c) March 2011 : “There is no player so bold as the one who chooses not to engage in the game.” ~ Janni Styles



Wings of Time

weather changes, leaves fall

birds leave, south calls

time rolls

life tolls

not enough time for it all


minds change, pages turn

books open, the open learn

love matters

hate shatters

all lines are earned


cold enfolds, wisdoms recline

poles held fast, resistance defines

peace eludes

brash denudes

there just isn’t time


spring will warm, sun arrive

for the seekers, those alive

leaving behind

unkind minds

those too frozen to revive


skies move, birds return

mankind repeats, some learn

life blinks

death winks

humans only get one turn


(c) Janni Styles

PTSD: What does being triggered look like?

Trigger Warning!

Triggers for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are as individual as we are. There are a few commonalities from a high startle response to loud, sudden noises  or not recognizing your surroundings even though you are in a familiar place you have known for decades.  What I have learned is that anything at all can be a potential trigger.

Here are a few triggers from various sources as well as some of my own:

  • Hearing a baby cry can trigger tears in me as I panic and think, someone please help that baby right now…
  • Loud voices, yelling and arguing of any sort online or otherwise trigger me severely
  • A childhood sexual abuse survivor cannot stand the sound of loud eating, smacking or slurping
  • A survivor of an abusive marriage cannot take any criticism of any sort from any source without violently shaking
  • People with one track minds who yell me “shut,” cannot or will not hear a word I say set me to stuttering and shaking
  • A man who once led troops cannot step off of his front porch without a reaction that sends him back inside for weeks

What being “triggered” looks like:

  • You may not “see” anything at all, the person may “appear” just fine, most of us do unless the “trigger” does not cease
  • For me, I start shaking and this can grow to full body convulsive tremors if the trigger does not stop or I cannot get away from the trigger
  • If badly triggered, I will start stammering, stuttering like nobody’s business despite being a public speaker and team leader for years
  • I internalize most triggers which means choppy sleep, if any, a return of the relentless terrifying nightmares and extremely high anxiety
  • Fleeing the person, place or thing that caused the trigger is not uncommon for me, getting away is often my own source of relief
  • Profuse sweating happens with me yet I am cold and clammy and I also have difficulty breathing, feel as though I cannot get enough air

These are just a few triggers and a few examples of what being triggered can look like. There are thousands more triggers and, I am sure, just as many responses. For years after the physical assault, I would rock hours away. Anywhere. Doctor’s office, trauma survivor workshop, restaurant, wherever I was I would just start rocking often without even realizing I was doing it at all. Hard to imagine I know. Recently I have started rocking again. This makes sense because I was ill almost the entire month of July, the heat flared my asthma daily and I was ill with heat exhaustion for over two weeks. I am now fighting what I believe to be a misdiagnosed bladder infection which is wearying me severely. When I am not well physically, I “trigger” more easily. Yesterday (August 14, 2017) I was triggered. I hardly slept last night from the abdominal and back pain I’ve had for nearly three weeks now and because I was so anxious from being triggered, no amount of pain killers eased my physical state. PTSD makes us vulnerable to a host of triggers both known and unknown. What I have found is there is an acute lack of understanding from friends and loved ones who do not grasp the disorder and can even trigger us because they don’t want to learn or even try to understand. This is why you will find me writing about PTSD every so often. Educate, educate, educate is all I know to do.

If you or someone you love has PTSD please feel free to share your or their experiences in the hope that, one day, we will not have to explain ourselves any longer but may simply live our lives in peace.

(c) Janni Styles