Saturn prances around
Like he’s the only game in town
His rings on display
Make girls swoon in his wake
Ladies beware
This boy is full of hot air
So just walk on by
This peacock’s not worth your time
–Anny Rusk
There’s a new poetry book out about space and aliens called Watcher of the Skies. (Published by the small British company The Emma Press.) It’s for kids aged 8-108.
Inside its pages poets muse about all aspects of space such as how astronauts brush their teeth (You don’t want morning breath if an alien drops by for tea.), how planets talk, and how to make a cosmic cupcake. (Recipe included.)
At the back of the book editor Rachel Piercey encourages readers to write their own space poems using prompts and examples from the anthology. My poem was inspired by the How Planets Talk prompt.
Example: “Write your own cosmic recipe for another kind of food, for example Star Stew or Moon Muffins. Try to include some relevant ingredients – so if it’s Star Stew, you might have hydrogen, helium and mouldy old light.
Where will you serve your food, on what, and to whom? Let your imagination run riot!”
Please, please write a space poem and share it with me by leaving it in a comment below, or post it on my Facebook page, or tweet me. 
Creativity Can Encourage & Empower Us All!
FYI: Please share this letter with others you think would enjoy it.

Purple Passion of the Fortnight:
Of course the cool astronauts brush their teeth with purple toothpaste!


Posted in Creativity, Imagination, Inspired Creativity, Uncategorized, World Building-Fictional Lands by with no comments yet.

Do You Know How To Use Fear? I’m Still Learning.

“But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good {love} and evil {fear} will follow on that act. {Power} must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow…”
The Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. LeGuin
Sometimes I want to give my reptilian brain, the oldest part of our brains, a lobotomy. With no lions or tigers to face down, it feels useless. So it injects fear into all sorts of situations where it doesn’t belong, and makes them ten times worse.
If there’s one skill I wish I’d learned as a kid, it’s how to use fear properly. Being scared when confronted by a bear while hiking in the woods is appropriate. Suing a stranger because you’re scared of being broke, or getting your colleague fired because you’re scared they’ll take your job is not ok. Yet it happens everyday.


What if we were taught from birth to slow down? What if the golden rule required us to question our actions, to identify whether we were motivated by fear (evil) or love (good), and to act only if the answer was love?
For the wizards in Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea, it’s not enough to learn how to control your magic; you must learn how and when to use it as well. This is because abusing magic upsets the natural order of things. When that order, known as The Equilibrium, is disturbed, bad things happen.


Despite being trained to do otherwise, Ged, a powerful young wizard hero, lets his pride and hate unleash a shadow creature that destroys everything that stands between it and killing him.
Ged flees from the shadow until he discovers he must face it in order to stop it. Along the way he learns to use magic appropriately, even if it serves others’ needs instead of his own.
Books like The Wizard of Earthsea remind us that it’s important to disengage our autopilot, so that we act, rather than react.
Have you read other stories that address using fear properly?  If so, please share them with me by commenting upon this letter, or post on my Facebook page, or tweet me.

FYI: Please share this letter with others you think would enjoy it.

Purple Passion of the Fortnight: A glow-in-the-dark purple magic wand! Oh, I want one!!


Posted in EmpowerGirlsOfAllAges, Empowerment, Inspired Creativity, Self-Acceptance, World Building-Fictional Lands by with no comments yet.

Lyrics For Gonna Get Mine

Gonna Get Mine, By Anny Rusk


They strapped her in

blood drained from her face

She tried to smile

I tried not to faint

Each tick of the clock

sounded like a blast

They put in her I.V.

said she’d go real fast


I saw the poison spread

like ink in a water glass

Before she went cold she said



They say when you die

you’ll find peace of mind

Well I hope they’re right, I hope they’re right

They say when a bell rings

an angel gets wings

and tonight when the last bell chimes

I’m gonna get mine


Used to believe

an eye for an eye

You cut someone down

you become the sacrifice

Not so cut and dried

when before your eyes

You watch her writhe

as death breathes in her life


What point has been made

through this retribution

Any souls saved, anything changed…she prayed




If it could bring back

just one little lamb

I could wash her blood from my hands

She looked like an angel, peace on her lips

She had flown, flown away, gotten her wings…..


The victim’s family

said a swift amen

Thought their hearts would heal

thru an act of revenge


The poison spread

like ink in a water glass

Before she went cold she said




Posted in Self-Acceptance, Uncategorized, World Building-Fictional Lands by with no comments yet.

You Create a World Each Time You Read a Book

I hadn’t planned on writing a graphic novel because I can’t draw. (In my next life I’ll have Van Gogh’s color sense combined with Escher’s drawing skills.) But having the puberty talk with my then 9-year-old stepdaughter gave birth to a story.  And because the story involved superheroes and villains, it made sense to me that it take the form of a graphic novel.

When you write a graphic novel you write a script, think screenplay, for an illustrator to interpret. You, the reader, will probably never see my script except for what I share here.  Because it’s the illustrator whose drawings bring the script to life.

Which brought up the big question: how will my words be interpreted?  

To see how an illustrator would interpret the Hidden Heroes script, I asked Hidden Heroes co-writer, Ilana Ostrar, and one of my favorite illustrators, Michael Bricis, to draw Paraben, a villain from our novel.

They were given the exact same description: “All we can see of Paraben is the back of his head, his scaly back, two super long and wiry arms, and long tail curled into a spiral.” And they both read the scene where Paraben spits toxic sludge at our heroine, Estrogen, in order to kill her.  

Close your eyes…what does Paraben look like in your mind?

Can you see him?  Ok, now you can open your eyes again.

With a wave of my wand, I received two completely different illustrations of the same character:

Paraben ala IlanaParaben ala Mikey

Ilana’s version is first, and Mikey’s version is below hers. The same words inspired vastly different looking characters, who inhabit different looking worlds.  Then I remembered.

Words are meaningless until we project our own meaning onto them.  So each time you read a book you are putting your own spin onto that world, co-creating that world with the author.  The same book can spawn many different realms.  Neat, huh?

 By the way, what did your Paraben look like? Please send me a description, drawing, cut out, etc., whatever expresses what you saw.  I’ll share it on my FB, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

If you have a fictional land you’d like me to explore and share in future newsletters, please reply to this letter, or post your suggestions on my Facebook page, or tweet me.

Any land from a favorite book will do. Examples that come to mind: Camp Half-Blood from Percy Jackson books, the alien planet found in the graphic novel Zita Space Girl, or Hell/Ghouls from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.

Purple Passion of the Fortnight: Randall, the purple villain from Monsters, Inc.

Purple Passion of the Fortnight: Randall, the purple villain from Monsters, Inc.

Posted in World Building-Fictional Lands by with no comments yet.