Tag Archives: compassion fatigue

Blankie Time?

by Kimberly A. Cook

The past two weeks family commitments have kept me busier than a popcorn fart, as my Dad used to say.  Nothing bad, just hectic. Plus given the news lately, sometimes I don’t even know what to write.

But here goes. Compassion fatigue is real. Back in the day we had three tv channels that went off the air at midnight, no cell phones and social media happened at the hair salon.

So feel free to unplug, turn off and give yourself a break. Take action to focus on family, friends, pets and neighbors close to you. What you can control.

Believe it or not, we are USAStrong. We’re a very big family, a dysfunctional bunch, but that is true with most families. So practice kindness and see what happens.

With that goal in mind, here are some of my favorite recent pics to focus on pleasant moments.


The Fall colors are here. Gorgeous.



A picnic lunch last week at Chinook Landing in Fairview to watch the Columbia River presented us with river breezes and the approaching storm front.



This little guy was very busy storing snacks for the winter while we were on a neighborhood walk.



After passing Mr. Squirrel we came upon this gorgeous view of Mt. St. Helens, our resident volcano, across the farm fields.


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One of my favorite roses, The Fairy, is still blooming in October. How about that magic?


And if you could use more happy moments, the Hallmark Holiday movies launch this weekend on their two channels. Get your blankie, eggnog and snacks and start training for the holiday movie/series marathons of your choice.

There’s nothing like a good jammie day to pick up the spirits!




Filed under Photography

How Much Bad News Can Our Creativity Handle?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

(UPDATE: This post was written before the tragedy outside Oklahoma City. All the people of that great state are in our thoughts and prayers. We’ve got your back. Donate at www.redcross.org Today every American is Oklahoma Strong.)

When I’m going through a stressful time, I tend to be very careful about what I read, which music I listen to and what I watch on tv. We writers are influenced by everything in our world and sometimes the planet gets too pushy and freaks out our creative muse. That’s when it’s time for a crap curfew.

Very scary movie, as you can tell from the poster.

Very scary movie, as you can tell from the poster.

Don’t ask me how horror writers keep sane, or if they even are sane, but when the going gets tough I head for funny romance fiction, HGTV, the Food Network and my cable easy listening music channel without any commercials.  My muse needs good input to stay happy and creative. Positive brain food it might be called.

For folks who think it’s fun to get scared, more power to you. I still haven’t recovered from seeing the movie “Jaws” in the 1970s – amazing what I would do for a date. The Walt Disney movie “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” scared me as a kid. Maybe it still does today. Those of us with active imaginations do not need any help conjuring up weird things that go bump in the night; we’ve got a full-time freak-out factory in our heads with tons of odd characters running amok.

So how do we tame our internal jitters and not venture into the dark basement? Why do they always do that in the movies, by the way? Nothing good ever happens down there – where is Darwin’s theory of adapting when it comes to dark basements? But I digress. Give your muse a break when times get tense. Take your brain over to Animal Planet’s “Too Cute” show with kittens and puppies for recess.

The muse you save may be your own!

P.S. Link to first ten minutes of said scary movie below, don’t say I didn’t warn you! (You can actually watch the entire movie on YouTube. How odd.)


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Filed under Writing Muse