Interview with Claire

This week I interviewed a fellow blogger.  Her blog is Claire’s Comfy Corner.  Go ahead and check her out.  If you know someone that struggles with chronic pain, please share her blog with them.   She is a wonderful lady and I think more people really need to understand more about ‘invisible diseases’.

  • Who are you?

I’m a teacher, blogger and Fibromyalgia warrior. I teach English in a secondary school in London. I love my job and sometimes I can’t believe I’m being paid to talk about books, plays and poetry. I love Shakespeare but I also have so many other favourite authors: Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and F Scott Fitzgerald. I am an avid reader and I love relaxing with a good mystery or thriller. I was diagnosed earlier this year with a central nervous system disorder called Fibromyalgia. Working full time is tough with this chronic pain condition but I try to remain positive and my new motto is ‘with pain comes strength’. I’m discovering that I am stronger than I ever thought and I’m learning to smile through the pain. My three loving but mad cats always make me laugh 🙂

  • Where are you located?

I was born in Ireland and I have a BA (Hons) degree in English and History from the University of Limerick. I moved to Liverpool, England, to do my Post Graduate Certificate in Education in 1996 and I started teaching in Essex a year later. I love living in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham and when I can I visit one of the theatres in the West End, it’s only a tube ride away. The last play I saw was ‘Death of a Salesman’, it was a brilliant production and I must admit that I did shed a tear. I have a great love for food and enjoy eating out with friends in Turkish, Indian, Mexican, Italian and Chinese restaurants.

  • What is your blog about?

My blog is about life with Fibromyalgia – I’m trying to raise awareness about this often misunderstood and underfunded invisible illness. I am determined to live life to its fullest. I’m not as active as I used to be nor do I socialise like I used to. My life has changed but I am not going to let this chronic pain condition beat me and even though I’m often in severe pain I have been setting myself little challenging like learning to cook, bake and even make my own laundry powder, soap and gifts. I am enjoying learning new skills and working towards a goal, my new hobbies keep me motivated. I find that engaging in little challenges and blogging about them actually provides me with an outlet for releasing stress and gives my mind something else to focus on than the painful symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

  • In your own words, what is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness, I may appear fine but so many normal activities are a painful struggle. It’s like being a held captive by my own body, Fibromyalgia causes quite severe fatigue and pain, and it can interfere with my ability to carry out simple daily activities. The physical pain varies in intensity each day, I often have severe stabbing, throbbing, burning or shooting pains in different parts of my body – my knees, ankles, arms, neck, shoulders and hips are where I feel the worst pain – and strong prescription pain killers work sometimes.

  • What is your overall goal for your blog Claire’s Comfy Corner?

We need the government and the health department to recognize Fibromyalgia for what it is, a debilitating life-changing illness and give more funding to help find a cure. So I am trying to raise awareness about this chronic pain condition. I’m also hoping to inspire others who live with chronic pain, I want to reach out and let them know that they are not alone in their fight.

  • What is the one thing you want people to take away from your blog?

I want people to understand what life is like for a Fibromyalgia warrior. I fight every day to keep going, I’m not alone in this fight, there are lots of other people out there with invisible illnesses, and sometimes it’s difficult to focus on the positive things in our lives. I hope to inspire people to keep fighting, to keep smiling and to keep positive.

  • What is your favourite quote? Is it something you live for everyday?

As an English teacher I have a lot of favourite quotes but in the last nine months the words of a fellow Fibromyalgia fighter, Morgan Freeman, have inspired me – ‘I only get one life and I will not let Fibromyalgia take the joy from living it.’

  • What is next for you blog?

What other challenges will I try? Maybe candle making, making more beauty products, jewellery making and trying new recipes. I’m sure that there will be small successes and disasters along the way. I intend to blog about them all! But mostly I hope that I’ll continue to raise awareness about Fibromyalgia.

  • What advice do you have for others with Fibromyalgia or others living with chronic pain?

Pain can change you but don’t let it define you. You will have good days! Do something you enjoy on those days. Set yourself realistic goals, you need to know your limitations and not do too much. Listen to your body and rest when you can. Take pride in your achievements – you are doing your best. Most of all know that you are not alone. Reach out to other fibro warriors, we understand what you are going through.

Where else can we find you?







996137_820565131347830_1627162760133665427_n Please share this with someone you know how suffers!  No one should suffer alone!

Well, that is all for this week’s interview!  If you would like to be interviewed or know someone who might want to, please fill out the form below!   [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Until Next time…

Personal Blog Post

This post is supposed to be my own take on a blog post. I am struggling with this. I mean, isn’t any all blog post a personal take on things? So what am I supposed to talk about?

I could talk about my daughter and how her birthday is coming up, but I don’t want to expose her in depth to a world that may or may not be ready for her. And I don’t know if she would want to be out in the world just yet. I don’t want to force her into anything she’s not ready for, ever! I want her to decide what she wants in life. But I am going to instill manners, respect and other important things in her. My goal is not to force her to become a Barbie if she wants to be a G.I. Joe. But that is a work in progress! She will be a year this Friday (9/25)! Time has gone by so fast. I barely believe it. But enough about her. Let’s find something else to talk about. (Not that I don’t want to talk about her, but I could do like a 500 page report on her and I think I will wait until she is old to do something like that!)

I could talk about me, but I would rather not. I come from a sad beginning and I would rather move away from that. I really hate to think any child went through what I went through so I try to think of the future! That is where the possibility of change is located! So that what I aim to look at! So, maybe that will be what I talk about?

I have posted a lot about goals throughout this blog. (Here are a few of those posts here, here and here to list a few). I am a strong believer of writing down your goals. When it comes to sharing I am still on the fence. I have read studies that have stated that sharing your goals with other increase your chances of actually achieving your goals. But I have read a few recent studies about sharing your goals with others and they have found the opposite. If you share your goal, the researchers have found that people are less likely to achieve your goals. Here are a few different articles about goal sharing: 5 good reasons to share your goals and one powerful reason not to; When telling others about your goals compromises them; 10 things you should know about goals; WHY SHARING YOUR PROGRESS MAKES YOU MORE LIKELY TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS As you can tell, I choose four different articles from four different place. What is your take on sharing your goals?

I will admit, I share some of my goals but now all of them. I feel like I will keep a few private and share others. And it depends on what I am feeling at that time in my life which ones I share. I know that it’s odd, but I promise to go into more detail about some of this stuff at a later date. For the moment I will leave this taste in your mouth and see what you guys comment! J And I will talk more about goals since I am really into goals and working on achieving them!

Well, that’s my personal blog post, what do you guys think? Is this a personal take on a blog post or did I wind up over in left field? You could say goals are a personal thing but did I get personal enough? Tell me what you think!

Until next time…

Family Matters

So I has based this post off a conversation I have with tlizzy on her post DAY 9: BLOGGING 101; GET INSPIRED BY THE NEIGHBOURS.

As a few of may have guessed, I do not have much of a relationship with my mother.  She often told be as I was growing up and she didn’t want me because I’m a girl.  She only wanted my brother.  On top of that, she often tried to leave me places and tried to change the locks (only to fail since she was too lazy to get it right.)  I haven’t said much about my father since, it’s a bit of a sore subject.  Let me explain.

My father left when I was three.  My brother and I had every other weekend visits with him until I was twelve.  It actually my favorite time since my step-mum was goofy but so nice and sweet.  A totally different woman than my mother.  We would paint and draw and play outside, all depending how my father was feeling. He was in Vietnam and had PTSD.  Little things would tick him off and often it cam out on my or my brother (or my step-mum or siblings).  We had to walk on eggshells around him.  I’m not going to lie, I was his favorite and I got to stay and watch Star Trek when I was with him.

Then we stopped seeing him when I was twelve; his car broke down, his relationship with my step-mum crashed and burned and then two years later he moved to Florida.   I never really got close to him.  And I struggled with that for most of my life.  I had two parents who had their own problems and I was forgotten in the mix.  This made my teenage years difficult.  (There were other problems too but I will hold back on that stuff here).

As I got older, I started to realize that life was not going to be easy for me and that I can’t just sit in self pity.  If I wanted life to be worth something, I needed to break away from the jealously and anger I had for life and I had to make it better.

I lost my father this past July.  We hadn’t spoke for over a year before that.  I felt so guilty about it but I knew my father,  He had stopped talking to me in his own way of protecting me.  He didn’t want me to know how sick he was.  I still struggle with it but I know that now he is at peace and isn’t fighting the world.  So I can take peace in that.

Also, I got to connect with my grandmother and aunt who I really never knew.  So that is another win, if you view it that way.  It is so great to get to know them.

The biggest thing for me as I raise my daughter is to make sure she knows that she is loved – even if I can’t always tell her.  I grew up with parents who had other things on their plates (for my father) I’m not mad.  Now that I am an adult, I understand that his part he tried. He wasn’t perfect.  But I am glad for those times of shinning brightness that broke through the clouds of my childhood.  I don’t want my daughter to miss those bright spots.  So I am going to try my best to show her the brightness!

So, enough with the past, now on to the future and meeting new people! 🙂

Until next time…

Weekly Wrap-up!

Hello all!  Thank you for coming and joining me on this rambling journey called my blog!

Okay, so this is a ‘wrap-up’ post for the week.  I decided to share this with others to hold my accountable to you guys and share what has been going on in life!

This past week

Most of this week I have been very busy with Writing 101 and Blogging 101.  It has been great fun and I have been meeting all sorts of new people!  (Thank you new people!)   On top of all that blogging fun, I have continued to work on my work-in -progress science fiction project!   (If you look over to my side bar right next to this paragraph you can see how far I have come and what I have left to go!)  I have almost reached my word count goal but plot-wise, I am only about 3/4 of the way through!  I am hoping to get this draft done by the end of the month!

Upcoming Week

  • More Blogging 101 post and tasks
  • More Writing 101 posts coming up!
  • An interview?
  • Increase in word count goal (look below!)

Yes you read that right, I am interviewing a fellow writer and author this week and I will have the post up soon! I won’t spill all the details but keep your eyes posted!

And I am almost boosting my word count goal up to 1,000 words a day! About two weeks ago I posted my August Wrap up and I had set down a plan on how I am going to get 2,000 words written a day!  Well, I am not going into a lot of detail, but I am thinking of publishing an eBook on how to achieve this with my method, so be on the look out for that soon too!  (But it won’t be done this week, maybe next month!)

Next few weeks

I am hoping that I might add a weekly interview from other writers, stay at home parents, bloggers, authors, and  other people in a similar boat to show case how each person balances the call to write and the rest of their life!  If this is something you are interested in, let know.  You can comment below or use my Contact Me page to get a hold of me (but let me know where you are coming from and why you are contacting me! It saves on confusion!)  The interviews can be done in a video, via blog post or something in between!  Let me know what  works for you!

On top of that, I am really wanting to start a writing group.  Now, I haven’t completely worked out the all details, but I know two things.  One, I really would love to host some write ins and two, I would love to connect and share tips with other writers!  Sounds great?  If this is something you are interested in, let me know like I have mentions before! 🙂


If you haven’t already guess it, I am a HUGE lover of all things NaNoWriMo! Check them out here!  Since I already have NaNoWriMo fever, I will start to share tips and different helpful things about  NaNoWriMo.   If you didn’t already know, I’m a Municipal Liaison.  🙂  To start things off, I am just going to share a few links I think you might like or enjoy! 🙂

NaNoWriMo’s Prep Guide
USA :: Nebraska :: Elsewhere – This is my region!
This my NaNoWriMo profile!

Before I go, I thought I would do a little self promotion.  After debating a little bit about it, I finally broke down and created a Facebook page for this blog. Here it is!  So for the love of all redheads, give it a like!  It helps you so you can keep track of me and you get to see what I am sharing!  It helps me by connecting with others!  So I really will love you all! (And if you want to talk to me, you can message me there and I will be able to find it! lol)  So if you want to be interviewed or start a writing group, let me know via Facebook (if that is your cat’s meow!).  Thank you all! 🙂

Until next time…

My Ideal Audience Member

Today’s assignment for Blogging 101 is to describe who your ideal audience is.  I’m game. This will stretch me a little bit since I have never fully thought about who my ideal audience would be.  I just always dreamed of having an audience.  🙂

Well, let me start of with what I would love (and really want) in my audience:

  1. A writer – this may seem a little obvious, but this doesn’t quite mean the same as published (look bellow).  I call myself a writer since I write everyday and I view it as my career.  I would love if someone like me is in my audience right now!
  2. A friend – Now this is a little broad but I would love if I have a friend in my audience.  This is someone who can just giggle at myself and chit chat about chocolate.  I love int especially if this friend is from a different walk of life. Image all the things we could learn about each other!
  3. A parent – Since I am a stay at home mom 95% of the time, I have trouble connecting with other parents. We are all trying to balance out work and home. I would love if someone in the audience is struggling with this and would like to share tips! 🙂
  4. Someone in the same boat – I don’t mean literally in the same boat but one very similar.  Like I have said before, I am a stay at home mom to an almost one year old little girl (she will be one in 15 days!). My husband works long hours daily and works six days a week.  I am a writer, creative thinker and all around quirky person. If I could find someone else trying to keep track of similar monkeys, that would be great! 😀
  5. A redhead – Now, yes, I am a redhead and I have met a few other reds out in the world but most of them are on different paths.  I am a writer – I have met reds in the military (thank you!), cooks, musicians, business owners and others. Not many of them writers or stay at home parents (which is fine – can you image if we all were writers or stay at home parents!)  So having another redhead out there checking my stuff out would be awesome! 🙂
  6. CHOCOLATE LOVER – So, if you haven’t figured out, I love myself some chocolate.  There is nothing better.  I will eat almost anything with chocolate (but strawberries – I’m deathly allergic!) Mhm, chocolate. 🙂

Now, the second half of this assignment is to list a new to me element to my target audience member… But you know me, I can’t just have one.  😀

  1. I would love if there was someone in my audience was either, published, newly published or about to be published. It’s not for the reason that just popped into your head either.  Even through it would be nice for them to get me published, that is not what I am after (from them!).  It would be great for them to see my story and how I did all this.  There are no two paths to publication and I KNOW that their path will different than mine!  I would love to share information from them and from my own journey with others!
  2. Also, I would love if there was someone out there who has a successful blog & community out there.  And I don’t mean multi million dollar blogs or anything like that. I would love if someone from a successful blog was watching my blog grow and reach the masses.  That would be awesome! Image all that information that person already has and might be willing to share! 🙂

Well, I think that is all.  Do you fit the bill?  Do you know someone who does?  Why don’t you share this with them?  That would be great for everyone?  Now excuse me while I got stuff my face with some chocolate…

Until next time…