Dear Saint Rita . . . .

This week I fell to my knees and begged for success. My heart dream of writing has been exhausting at this stage as I pray for my fame and fortune. I even contemplated sharing the Saint Rita Novena someone posted online—Share this novena and in an hour Saint Rita will grant you your miracle. I always loathed the bribery involved in such an idea. I would yell out to myself that this is not the way the miracle thing works. To think, I almost pushed the send button. There would have been a lot of extra Hail Mary’s for that and sadly I already have too many to say for real dilemmas.

It’s just not that easy, nor is it smart to have success land directly on your kneeler. (Although Saint Rita, it sure would be nice just once, and maybe this little mention of your name would count.)

So I was moping and then an angel sent her inspirational blog post. This week Demi Stevens suggested tiny, consistent steps toward your goal that can be more valuable than a huge leap. I read her story of success—proof the path to overcome a mountain in life is best climbed on a steady path.

The nice thing about showing up for church each week is that it is a quiet time to think and talk to God and make a weekly plan for strength to move on. It is like that in front my computer. I struggle with numerous projects on my desk that pile higher than the steeple at St. Mary’s. By the end of the week, I hide from the office, instead typing on my faithful iPad Mini.

I attack bookwork, organize my diary entries, and work on placing notes in my novels. I read blogs from my mentors like Debbie Herbert, Demi Stevens, and Paula Munier. I might even receive divine inspiration from Saint Rita or whoever is the patron Saint that week.

I organize, manage, and write in little steps. I zero in on my writing success. Remember, zero in and be fearless at your writing.

Alas, Demi is right. Two years ago googling Alicia Stephens Martin might have produced Alicias like Keyes or Silverstone. Today there is a whole page of Alicia Stephens Martin successes—a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and even published articles and posts. I think I won’t ask for the miracle just for the strength and energy to keep going.

I hope this helps you in your quest…

Blessed are the Women who Endured!


I think that it is important to remember women before us who suffered great pains at the hands of a patriarchal society. Women, such as, those who were forced to believe their babies were in  “Limbo”  if they died before being baptized. According to the church, these babies never made the journey to heaven. Really? Or as for this Victorian woman who was posed with her deceased child- a popular form of photography during this time period. I think of these women often, and the hardships they endured.



Awakening! I did it- I graduated! I lost touch for this entire semester juggling through college courses, muscling a business, stumbling with motherhood and just encountering this journey of life but, I graduated-with honors. I came across some words from this remarkable woman and would like to share them. I hope this is my awakening to forge onward with my research, this blog and writing on inspirational women! I am back!



Today I read, “We Are All Bound Up Together,” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. I was captivated by her strength when she was left a widow. She writes, “I stood within the shadows of my home.” Harper’s journey was not easy. She was left only one thing along with four children , a looking-glass.  Because she was a woman Harper was  “without a single feather bed in this wide world . . . ”  Harper rose up against inequality and declared to women, “we are all bound together in one great bundle of humanity.  . . ”  Thanks to women like Harper who paved the way, I have been able to equally support myself-providing for my family after the loss of my husband. What an inspiration!

Inspiration- Girls it is Time to Kill the Phantoms!

ImageDuring my vacation, I was assigned to read Professions for Women, by Virginia Woolf. Virginia wrote, “. . . she (meaning women) has still many ghost to fight, many prejudices to overcome” (pg 247- The Norton Anthology of Literature By Women, third edition).  Further down the page she continues, “even when the path is nominally open — when there is nothing to prevent a women from being a doctor, a lawyer, a civil servant — there are many phantoms and obstacles, as I believe looming in her way.”  These words were written in 1942, and although women have progressed, I wonder if we have become our own obstacle.

Ironically at the same time, my mother insisted I read a piece regarding Hillary Clinton in the commentary section of The Press of Altantic City, How Women See Hillary Clinton, by Gina Barreca.  My mother was sure the piece swayed her not to elect Hillary Clinton for president. I insisted this was not at all the topic this commentary enlightened the reader about. A debate between us and other family members spun into a tornado of opinions and furies. I was surprised at some of the reactions from other women.  Deep inside, I know my mother secretly fears a woman president, and although she wants to be a woman of independence, my mother just can not have ‘grandma’ in the White House. Berreca is right on. 

Berreca comments “will women judge Clinton ‘not good enough’ because we think, secretly, we might be’ not good enough’.”  Yes, Gina, they will be more critical. And to Virginia, I think women have become their own ghost, their own worst enemy. Women sling their own harsh prejudices at each other with envy, condemnation, and scorn. I am not suggesting either way, vote for Clinton or not. . . but take the gender out of the percentage. In fact, we should admire any women or human being with an obstacle such as race and gender, who manages to climb incredible mountains. And although making mistakes along the way, they tried, and trying is the most important virtue of all, right mom? So Gina, Virginia -thanks for paving the way, opening doors, invigorating my mind and killing the phantoms that block our way.  And thank our moms, because they too have paved our path- just wish it didn’t erupt during my ‘once a year’  vacation. (Honestly, my parents did a remarkable job raising three dynamic girls!)