Set a vision for 2016 — For your “Thriver” writing journal

susan-transparentFrom Susan Omilian

Thriver Tip of the YEAR!

Instead of a list of New Year’s resolutions that you quickly forget,  write about where you want to be at the end of 2016.
 Before you write, close your eyes, if you are comfortable doing that, and imagine you’re moving from the present moment to another one at the end of  the year.  Keep going into next week,  next month to end of the year.

See yourself in that place when all that you wanted to accomplish this next year is complete and you are happy, healthy and feeling good!

Let yourself be in the moment, noticing where you are,
who you are with and how it all feels. 

When you are ready, open your eyes and write in your journal or notebook describing the vision you have for that moment at the end of the year. Write as if you are in the present… “I am sitting now on the deck of my new home overlooking the ocean.”  Whatever!



Read this “vision” piece aloud or to yourself
at various times throughout the year!
You’ll be surprised where you are at the end of 2016!  

* Taken from an exercise in Entering the Thriver Zone. See below.

 Purchase  Entering the Thriver Zone: A Seven-Step Guide to Thriving After Abuse

With interactive writing exercises & inspirational
success stories, Entering the Thriver Zone
gives women a “road map” to break
the cycle of abuse in their lives.
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Paige Lawrence

Paige Lawrence


First-time Connecticut author, Paige Lawrence, self-published a children’s book called Gluten-Free Ghouls that is now available on  The inspiration for her book came from when she developed an intolerance to gluten as an adult. It was – and still is – very difficult for her to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle and she thought that it must be difficult being a child with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, so her goal was to build awareness with her book.

Gluten-Free Ghouls is about six hungry green ghouls who dive into dumpsters and tip over trash cans in search of their favorite junk-food treats only to discover that their not-so-healthy eating habits can create some frustrating and itchy symptoms. Their only solution is to eat a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Ghouls is a light-hearted book that’s perfect for children with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivities, but also great for children of all ages regardless of whether they have a gluten intolerance or not. The colorful illustrations, fun ghoul characters and a message that focuses on good health and nutrition makes this book fun, as well as, educational.

Paige self-published her book on and her experience was a positive one. Self-publishing was the best route for her because she has worked over twenty years as a graphic designer and illustrator, so she was able to create most of the book herself. When she did need help, she would just call member services at and her questions were answered by the very helpful team members. One service that Paige used was editing. It is a paid service, but the feedback was excellent, and she will happily use them again. When asked what she would do differently next time, the answer was that she’d pursue the self-publishing route again, but with no fear. While the process does take work and dedication, if you have the desire to self-publish your book there is no easier way than through They can help you with any part of the process of creating a book that you need. Now that Gluten-Free Ghouls is available on, Paige knows that anything is possible if you just believe!

Paige would be a great guest speaker. She can be reached at For more information, please visit and follow “Gluten-Free Ghouls” on Twitter and Facebook.

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What I’m Reading – Summer 2014

It’s been a good summer for reading.  I’m in the middle of a triology by Ken Follett.  It’s his “Century Triology.” I’ve read the first and second books (“Fall of Giants” and “Winter of the World” but the third book — “Edge of Eternity” — comes out in the fall.  Can’t wait!!






Why this interest on my part in trilogies? Come to find out… How fascinating!… the novel that I have completed, “The Best Revenge” is in fact going to be a trilogy.  I’ve decided it is “The Best Revenge Triology and the first book will be “AWAKEN.”

Too much fun!  Now I’ve got to work on getting this first book out and complete the other two books. But I’m loving it!

I’ll let you know when it all comes together!!


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Janina B. Nawarskas

Janina B. Nawarskas
2013 November Janina's Lost Child book signing event 11 14 012 cropped

Janina Nawarskas, Author

Janina has self-published her memoir, A Child Lost: My Life’s Journey from War Torn Europe to Proud American.  It is an inspiring story of how Janina, born in 1936 in Lithuania, had her comfortable life with her parents and brothers shattered by World War II, leaving her an orphan child attempting to survive in the hellish ruins of war torn Europe.

2013 November Janina's Lost Child book signing event 11 14 022cropped

Janina’s memoir

Janina was a student in Susan Omilian’s From Memory to Memoir: Writing Your Life Story classes over the period of several years.  She has written an inspiring story of her courageous journey to survive not only World War II and be reunited with her family, but also other struggles and trials while living in the United States after the war.

For more information about Janina’s book or to obtain a copy, email  Click here for more about Janina’s journey.






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What I’m Reading – Summer 2013

When I was a girl, I loved summertime reading. I’d ride my bike to the library on a warm summer morning, spend a lot of time picking out my books and then ride home, the books in my basket on my handlebars.  I can’t recreate the leisure and pleasure of that time in my life, but I can have my selection of summer reading all picked out by the first day of summer, which is today, June 22nd.   See what I’ve got on my list so far.  What are you reading this summer?

Mists of Avalon

thThis 1983 novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley I read many years ago, but I am revisiting it this summer as an audio book.  And  I love it again!  It’s a retelling of the King Arthur legend, but this time from the point of view of the women behind the throne, including Arthur’s mother, Igraine; his half-sister, Morgaine (also known as Morgan le Fay, “the Fairy”) ; his aunt Viviane, the Lady of the Lake; and his wife, Gwenwyfar or Guinevere.

I am also loving again the 2001 TNT-TV movie of the same name with Angelica Houston as Viviane and Julianna Margulies as Morgaine.Mists of Avalon TNT movie As I watch it again and re-read the book, I am still fascinated by the women characters and how their stories had been lost or misinterpreted by male story tellers until Marion Zimmer Bradley brought them to life  with all their strengths and flaws.  It’s also a story about the movement from the Goddess-center spiritual belief to the God-centered religious beliefs of today in a good part of the world.  Zimmer Bradely is a great writer of historical fiction, which I hope to write someday … soon!


Little Women and Me

littlewomenme1This is a YA (Young Adult) book by Lauren Baratz-Logsted that I just started reading.  The main character,  Emily March, writes an essay for school assignment to describe one thing that she’d change about one of her favorite books.

Emily’s favorite  book happens to be Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, which is also my favorite book ever.  In this new story, Emily mysteriously gets transported into the 1860 world of the March sister and attempts to right some injustices in the March family.  What happens next?  I’m still finding out about that.  But I love the idea of this book.  What would happened if in a magical mystical way, we could enter the fictional world of the characters we love? What a great idea for a book!  Why didn’t I think of that?


Her  Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful SymmetryThis is the latest book by Audrey Niffenegger, the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, a book I loved. That book was about time traveling and so she had the narrative travel in time, too.  It was fun to see how she did that as a writer.  Because of the narrative style of the book, it was hard to imagine how it could be made into a movie, but it was in 2009.  The movie (of the same name) which starred Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, was a good rendering of the book and it made parts of it more understandable.

I’m listening to Her Fearful Symmetry as an audio book but I also have the book in hard copy, too.  Sometimes I like to “hear” the book and also “see” it on the page.  In this story like her last, Niffenegger is a master of point of view shifts and strong character development. This one is the story of a set of twins, who beget another set of twins, hence the “symmetry” of the title, I think.  I’m still getting into the book, a vast web of characters and much of the novel is set in London, a city I love.  So I’m into this book!











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