About C.S. Poulsen

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Amelia Island, FL, United States
C.S.Poulsen discovered her passion for writing 'fiction with a message' after she dreamed of 'a sword of death' and put it to paper in her first novella, The Insiders. She finds writing a natural extension to her eighteen-year career as an entertainer, writing award-winning music and lyrics. She spends her days writing while she cares for her ninety-nine year old Alzheimer's mother. Her second novella, The Curse of Gingrich, Christian/Horror (YA to Adult) is available now while the sequel to The Insiders is in Edit and a series for Teens is in the works. Claire is a world-traveled, single mom and attended Florida State College and University of North Florida, Jacksonville. She lives on Amelia Island with her ninety-nine year old, Alzheimer mother, seventeen year old son, two spoiled dogs and one cat with attitude. http://www.cspoulsen.info/

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wisdom of the Ages

      Nothing wears worse than the "little things" that take us away from our writings. Things like a leaky toilet that stained my kitchen ceiling below, and a tree downed during a storm punching a hole in my roof, plagued me in the past two weeks. A wonderful friend sent this article to me and I'm eager to share it's message.

What If You Had Nothing To Lose?

June 12, 2012

"At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’." —Job 1:20—21

The book of Job provides us with a stunning example of courage in the face of adversity. Who is not touched by Job’s faith in the face of unfathomable tragedy? Just as he finished learning that he had lost all of his worldly possessions, he discovered that he had also lost every single one of his children. All on the same day!

Job went from being the wealthiest and most blessed man on the planet to being an example of destitution and loss. His response is startling. He did not curse God and he did not question Him. Instead he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.

In a moment of clarity, Job realized that he never really had anything to lose in the first place. Every human being enters this world with nothing and he/she will leave with nothing. Anything acquired in the meantime is a gift, but oh-so-very temporary.

Thousands of years later, these words were echoed in the powerful words said by the late CEO and co-founder of the Apple computer company, Steve Jobs. In a commencement speech given at the Stanford University, Jobs said, “All external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Job and Jobs are making the same point. We come to this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. But that’s not depressing; that’s inspiring. Knowing that we have nothing to lose is comforting, and even empowering.

Because the moment that we let go of our physical attachments and petty concerns, we are free to focus on what really matters. We are free to try new things and to risk failure. We can go after our dreams! Failure is not nearly as scary when we have nothing on the line.

What would you try if you knew that you had nothing to lose?

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Money used to be no problem in my life. If something went wrong, I pulled out the checkbook and paid someone to fix it. My pockets are empty today allowing the stress level to build. These times once acted like an arrow and pierced me, draining me of energy. Now, however, I have the wisdom to fall, but fall to my knees instead. Let's see what prayer will bring today.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Lotus Eaters/This week's reading

Wow, I'm exhausted.  I just finished a fiction about a female photographer and the circle of photographers who risked life and limb in  the Vietnam War.  In an era where women learned to break out of the role of duty-bound housewives, Helen brings ambition, not only to learn her craft, but to find out what really happened to her soldier brother who died in that country. Love evolves for married, veteran photographer Sam Darrow and a triangle of friendship with Lihn, Sam and Helen evolves into something more.

The story seesaws between moments of relaxation and an understated tension as Helen insists on doing what the male photographers do, especially the legendary Sam Darrow.  Her depiction of Vietnam with all its natural beauty:mountains, colors, clouds, flowers, rain forest contrasts with the strawberry hair of a soldier she befriended laying in the midst of this beauty, blown to bits,  feet from her photographic perch. 

The war takes its toll on people who give their all to it...forgetting who they were and not understanding what they've become their lotus becomes obsession with success....obsession with love, both having, wanting and forgetting it.....obsession to overcome the fear of their immortality.  

Tatiana's writing captured me....Vietnam captured me. Odd as I never understood or cared about Vietnam until I read this book. That's what good writing does.  The writer not only transported me to Vietnam, she immersed me in the culture: the food, the psychology, the customs and more. In fact, she is so thorough in her research that the reader would have thought her Vietnamese; she isn't. She's a petite blonde-headed Californian with an Austrian mother.  I took a workshop she held at The Amelia Island Book Festival in an attempt to evolve/add more description to my own work. She is incredibly humble too. 

Soli's book is for anyone, male or female.  For writers, a must read......descriptive and  writing that flows and a wonderful story line, sprouting side-lines that are just as enjoyable.  Why am I tired? No spoiler alerts here BUT the last chapters are very, very  tense.  Enjoy the ride that is The Lotus Eaters by Tatiana Soli.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Alzheimer's a bitch.

I'm sensitive, some may say that I'm overly sensitive.  Yet this evening I have listened to my 99 year old Alzheimer's mother yell for help for over an hour.  She thinks that I have planned her discomfort because I want to be rid of her.  Never mind that I've told her countless times that she can't walk, that her knees won't hold her up for even a second, that I wish she could walk and if I were strong enough, I would get her out of the bed that she is in (that "isn't" a bed) and carry her over to the couch.

Mother hollered prayers at the ceiling and told "them" to bring her a chair.  Oddly, her hallucinations must have declined as mother said, "Why not? That isn't too hard." 

I picked up the phone and called the triage nurse at hospice.  I asked mother if she would like to speak to the nurse who would verify that she could no longer walk and that I wasn't being just mean. 

Mother shook her head, "no."  "I won't believe her. You already told her what to say."

Anyway, she quieted down as I spoke to the nurse who had no advice that I hadn't considered including giving her meds.  She had refused everything but in a moment of quiet she agreed to take her pills.  Xanax and ambien still haven't kicked in. But I did find out why she was so insistent in wanting to get off her butt.  She's constipated.

Turning mother over is best done with two people and not one with fibro and a messed up rotator cup, etc.  I struggled and got her over long enough to insert suppository.  Of course that means I will be turning her over again tonight and she will once again tell me that I am torturing her.  Who knows what damage I can do to my body this next roll over. 

If you haven't learned yet, Alzheimer's is a bitch.  It turns the closest family member into a hallucinatory, defensive soul who trusts no one.  Be prepared to grow a thick skin because if you were sensitive at the start of care taking you will be less so in time. 

With the help of time, you will in all likely hood become a drinker, a prayer, a pleader, a bargainer and a liar. (It's always best to play along with the hallucinations) You will be happy one minute that you can help and the next minute you will wish you would have turned away. 

However, in the end, I would expect some sort of reward....thicker skin, maturity and the realization that if it's me one day, I will make preparations so that the very person I love the most, isn't saddled with a complete stranger because that's what Alzheimer does. It turns loved ones into strangers and the street goes both ways.  Alzheimer's is a bitch and I suggest we all hope for a cure and better yet a deterrent.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Writing with A.D.D.

January 25, 2011   Writing with A.D.D.

Writing with A.D.D. is not a problem for me especially since I'm on meds. Words flow from the head to the hand. However, there is more to creating a book than writing alone and that's where the A.D.D.  stumbling blocks appear. 

For example, I decided to save money on my second book, The Gingrich Curse. I spent months learning Photo Shop and used a trial version of Adobe in Design. These two software require a process that involves a step by step mentality. By its mechanics and nature, A.D.D. is the opposite of getting small and seeing the need for a process. However, I muddled through and learned a lot.

Unfortunately, I did not learn enough, lol. I've gone through six proofs for The Gingrich Curse that I sent to Create Space. By the way, ALWAYS order a proof. Things look much different in print to the amateur eye. The last cover was the closest thing  to a real professional grade cover but  Close is not good enough for me. 

Your book cover is the  critical first impression in book stores and on line. Some of you may have that professional eye when it comes to art but I don't (yet). So, I've sent The Gingrich Curse cover to Ovi Dogar in Romania (Absolute Covers) to work some magic on it. I'm waiting to hear from him now. 

I can't say that the time spent on learning Photo Shop was a waste as now I can convey what I want with a cover and Ovi can take it from there and execute a professional version. However, while learning the programs, I did not spend enough time on honing my writing skills, which is and should be a never ending experience.  

A.D.D. doesn't let up either and trips me up again when editing. I don't care how slow I go, I'm going to miss a lot of errors. I found that if I put the book down for a week and go back, I can find more. So "easy does it" has become my motto.

For those of us who haven't had our big hit yet and have limited income, paying a real editor may not be possible. In that case, have a friend who reads a lot help out...more than one if possible. Trade editing with another writer as it is both a blessing to help and another way to learn. It will improve your own editing skills. Always remember,  Give your work a "last" scan more than once before you publish...edit, edit, and edit. Now watch this blog have a plethera of errors, lol.

I'm dreading one more area.....marketing. Aaaarrrrrgggghhhhhhh. Why can't we just sit and write? Because we won't make a monetary income if we do. I never liked sales. I spent eighteen years as an entertainer and had to sell myself to book gigs. At 59, I thought those days were over. However, to get my book out there, I have to get myself out there.

Right now I care for my ninety-nine year old Alzheimer mother 24/7 and she is on hospice care. Until she passes, I'm unable to put myself out there. However, a book festival will take place on my island next month. (Amelia Island) I missed last years as Mom was in the hospital. I refuse to miss this years and trying to make arrangements now. It's time I step out into the world of authors no matter what roadblocks are thrown at me.

I feel frustrated when the beast of A.D.D. rears up. People with normal brains don't realize how good they have it. Would I exchange my I.Q. for an average but unafflicted brain? I don't know. They probably have their problems too but maybe they don't know it, lol?

Life is good as I finally know that my passion is writing.....I can name the beast, take what medications  are available, and at this point in my life, utilize my ability to persevere and progress. When it comes to A.D.D. or any obstacle, I try to remember it's all about progress not perfection.