Saturday 25 September 2021

Branching Out with Author, Mentor & Teacher Lauri Schoenfeld of Utah, USA.


As part of our ongoing series of Authors represented by Creative Edge of Saskatoon, this week the Scribbler is fortunate to welcome Lauri Schoenfeld.

I visited Lauri’s blog page – see it here – and discovered open and heartfelt dialogue of things that are important to her and her followers. A brave writer, she shares intimate moments of pressing issues and answers, encouraging readers to “…embrace your fears…”  “…learn to love yourself after abuse…”

The following was taken from

Her goal and focus is to turn a negative experience into something positive, through writing, speaking, and teaching. Changing the cycle in unconditional love and healing for generations to come.

It’s a true pleasure to have Lauri as our guest, so, let’s chat with her.

Allan: Welcome to the Scribbler, Lauri, and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Before we get into the interview, can you tell us a bit about yourself, family and life in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

It’s my pleasure, Allan. Thank you for hosting me! I’m a mom to three amazing teenagers, two of which are the same height as me. My hubby and I are high school sweethearts. We met in chorus class, and history was in the making when I asked him out on our first date. I’m a Nancy Drew enthusiast and like to pretend that I’m her sidekick, solving my own mysteries with her still leading the way. I’m a child abuse and Scoliosis advocate. I love writing and interviewing people, a beautiful blend of my curious, talkative, introspective, expressive, and passionate self. I learn a lot about myself and other people through writing, creating stories, and hosting The Enlightenment Podcasts.

Allan: Your novel – Little Owl – due to be released August, 31st, has already earned exceptional reviews. From the intro we read as follows: Author Lauri Schoenfeld's psychological thriller is a suspenseful tale of family trauma, discovering our inner strength, and understanding the power of forgiveness. Please tell our readers about the story and how it was inspired.

Little Owl is about an unstable woman, Adaline Rushner, who wants to create safety and consistency within her home and life, but is spiraling from childhood trauma and PTSD. She wants to change but has no idea how to do this. She’s essentially coasting, pretending to put on a happy face while she’s caving with crippling depression and anxiety, but her family is the one thing keeping her grounded. When her two daughters are kidnapped from their front yard and pronounced dead, Adaline can’t accept that this is her reality and searches what happened to her daughters. As she goes down this dark path, Adaline begins to see the lies she’s told herself and the secrets those around her have kept from her, too.

A true event inspired the story. I grew up in an abusive household and have experienced and still go through PTSD episodes and panic attacks. Right after I had my second baby, my fears were extremely heightened that something terrible would happen to her. My PTSD kicked in full gear where I was mama bearing her all the time and wouldn’t let her out of my sight. One morning, I decided to take a shower. I lasted for three minutes before that distance of not seeing or hearing my girls set me off in full panic mode. I got out of the shower to check on them, and they were completely fine, but the intense fear sat with me. I had to place that fear in a spot where I could try to understand why it was there, and this is where Little Owl was born.

Allan: Please tell us about your role as Inner Enlightenment Show Host. Sounds interesting.


Lauri: A few years ago, I had an idea that I wanted to interview people and hear their stories about things that they struggle with, or a moment in time where they hit rock bottom. But, also talk about the different steps they’ve taken to move forward within their life to find joy, wonder, and creativity that’s helped them be where they are today. I would say this is the Nancy Drew/Chicken Soup for the Soul part of me that wanted to open a safe space for truth, understanding, and inspiration. When I started it, I had no idea if it would be something that I’d do for an extended period as it was a fun test while getting to know an amazing human. After a few months of the show, I knew that this was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The stories, experiences, and people I talk to each week have greatly inspired me and brought so much heart and voice to the show. People are fascinating, unique, and radiant!

Allan: Your short story – Christmas Treasure – was featured in an anthology – Angels from their Realms of Story. Can you tell us about this?

Lauri: Yes!! I was asked a few years back if I could write a short story for this beautiful Christmas anthology. During that time, my grandma was dying. She was one of the only people who validated my experiences as a kid and always told me how special and amazing I was. She saw me in a way that no one else did, and it meant everything to me. Losing her around the holidays felt devastating, but as I was unpacking Christmas boxes and putting up decorations for my little family, I found an ornament that she gave me when I was a teen that said, “Treasure every moment.” Christmas Treasure is all about the grief and pain of losing someone you love during the holidays and treasuring the moments you had with them.

Allan: Can you share a childhood memory and/or anecdote.

Lauri: Sure. I liked to hide under pine trees and collect pinecones. It was a safe space where no one could see me, and I could hide, but it felt magical being hugged by the branches and also felt sleuth-like, wondrous, playful, and fun.

Allan: You are a Creativity Coach. Please tell us about this role.

I teach people how to enjoy the moments of creativity away from judgment, perfectionism, shame, and guilt. When you have PTSD or childhood trauma, there’s this natural part that becomes very much a piece of you to shield and protect yourself at all costs. When that occurs, vulnerability and creativity leave the building. That’s often where the term “writer’s block” comes in. As a creativity coach, I teach people how to let those walls of protection come down, step by step, by using art and music as a connective form of expression and voice to break those barriers.

Allan: Favorite authors? Novels? Movie? Dessert?

Lauri: Love this! My favorite authors are Carolynn Keene, Mary Higgins Clark, Gillian Flynn, Paulo Coelho, Maggie Stiefvater, John Green, Harlan Coben and Julia Cameron. My favorite novels would be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. I’ve read those two books multiple times and highlighted many sections filled with nuggets of wisdom.

Favorite movies: Nancy Drew, Shutter Island, The Fault to Our Stars, Little Women, Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes.

My favorite dessert is, hands down, cherry cheesecake!

Allan: Tell us about your writing habits. Do you have a favorite spot to write? Do you prefer silence or background music?

Lauri: My writing habits change depending on what writing stage I’m in. When I’m writing my first draft, I prefer silence. But when I’m in my editing stages, I’ll listen to background music. Editing to me is like a giant puzzle, and I love puzzles. Having music on and putting the pieces together feels mysterious and adventurous to me. It also sets the tone for me, which gives more depth and richness to my setting and characters. My two favorite spots are in my downstairs office, surrounded by lights and toys, or under our beautiful tree in the backyard.

Allan: Anything else you’d like to tell us about?

Lauri: We all have a valuable and important story to tell that will speak to someone out there who needs to hear the very things you’re placing on paper.

Thank you, Lauri, for being our featured guest this week. Wishing you continued success in your writing and creative endeavors.

For all you wonderful visitors wanting to discover more about Lauri, please follow these links: Little Owl: 9781735233116: Schoenfeld, Lauri: Books

Saturday 18 September 2021

Breaking news – Introducing an exciting Anthology – Autumn Paths - by the Seasonal Collective.


Autumn Paths

Coming in October!


I am so pleased to be part of a dedicated group of authors who have worked diligently over the last nine months to create a unique compilation of short stories following the theme of autumn paths.

We all travel different roads, share different stories but the love of writing brings us together and we are beyond pleased with the final results.

Now we want to tell everyone.



“these well-crafted works of short fiction will whet your appetite for more”

James Fisher -Editor in Chief – The Miramichi Reader.


Nine writers – Seasonal Collective – from both sides of the Atlantic, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have created this miscellany of stories.

These tales of family, mystery, intrigue, adventure, and suspense will take you across continents, through time and space in this world and others. With a linking theme of autumn, discover new landscapes, encounter new and intriguing characters, uncover secrets and lies, and witness the resolution of old enmities.

Take the first step on this roller-coaster of an emotional journey, and you won’t be disappointed.


All the authors have been guest on The Scribbler and you can learn about them and the genre they write in by following the links below.


Sandra Bunting

Sandra’s publications include two books of short fiction, a poetry collection, a non-fiction book besides articles, poems and stories in numerous literary magazines. Sandra is on the editorial board of the Irish-based literary magazine, Crannóg, and worked at NUI Galway where she set up the Academic Writing Centre and taught Creative Writing and TEFL teacher training. Now living in Atlantic Canada, she is a member of The Writers Union of Canada, New Brunswick Writers Federation, Words on Water Miramichi, the Grand Barachois group Women Who Write and the Galway Writers’ Workshop.

Scribbler visit – go HERE.


Pierre C. Arseneault

The youngest of eleven children, Pierre grew up in the small town of Rogersville New Brunswick. As a cartoonist, Pierre was published in over a dozen newspapers. As an author, he has five titles published so far.
Dark Tales for Dark Nights (2013)
Sleepless Nights (2014)
Oakwood Island (2016)
Poplar Falls – The Death of Charlie Baker (2019)
Oakwood Island - The Awakening (2020)

Scribbler visit – go HERE.


Chuck Bowie

Chuck graduated from the University of New Brunswick in Canada with a Bachelor Degree in Science. His writing is influenced by the study of human nature and how people behave. Chuck loves food, wine, music and travel and all play a role in his work.

His publisher has just launched his latest novel, set in Ireland and England, entitled Her Irish Boyfriend, fifth in the international suspense-thriller series: Donovan: Thief For Hire. He has just completed and published the second novel in a new cozy mystery series, set in a fictional town in New Brunswick, and is now finishing the follow-up in this series.

-         Chuck recently completed tenure on National Council of The Writers’ Union of Canada

-         Acted as Writer in Residence at Kingsbrae International Residence for the Arts, 2019

-         Acknowledged as an author of note in the Miramichi Literary Trail installation, 2021

Scribbler visit – go HERE.



S.C. Eston

Steve always had a conflicting love for the fantastical and the scientific, which led him to write both fantasy and science-fiction. He has three published books: Deficiency, The Conclave and The Burden of the Protector. He lives in Fredericton with his wife and children.

Scribbler visit – go HERE



Angela Wren

Angela is an actor and director at a theatre in Yorkshire, UK. An avid reader, she has always loved stories of any description. She writes the Jacques Forêt crime novels set in France and is a contributing author to the Miss Moonshine anthologies. Her short stories vary between romance, memoir, mystery and historical. Angela has had two one-act plays recorded for local radio.

Scribbler visit – go HERE.



Monique Thébeau

Monique is retired and lives in Riverview, NB. She has published a murder mystery ‘In the Dark of Winter’ (which she is currently translating) and a French historical novel of her hometown, Saint-Louis-de-Kent. She is as passionate about building suspense in her stories as she is about gardening and being a grand-parent.

Scribbler visit – go HERE.



Jeremy Thomas Gilmer

JEREMY is a writer of short fiction and nonfiction. He has been longlisted for the CBC Canada Writes Short Story Prize, won the inaugural Short Story Day Africa Flash Fiction Prize and was selected as the writer-in-residence at the KiRA residency in 2018. Jeremy is the Art and Literature editor-at-large for The East magazine.

Gilmer has spent over twenty-five years as an Engineering Consultant on environmental, energy, and mining projects. Born in New Brunswick, Gilmer grew up in Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and Canada and has lived and worked in over forty countries. He splits his time between Eastern Canada and Brazil.

Scribbler visit - go HERE.

Allan Hudson

Allan was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. Growing up in South Branch he was encouraged to read from an early age by his mother who was a school teacher. He lives in Cocagne with his wife Gloria. He has enjoyed a lifetime of adventure, travel and uses the many experiences as ideas for his writing. He is an author of action/adventure novels, historical fiction and a short story collection. His short stories – The Ship Breakers & In the Abyss – received Honourable Mention in the New Brunswick Writer’s Federation competition.

He has stories published on, The Miramichi Reader, The Golden Ratio and his blog - South Branch Scribbler.


Angella Cormier


Angella grew up in Saint Antoine, a small town in south east New Brunswick, Canada. This is where her love of reading and writing was born. Her curious nature about everything mysterious and paranormal helped carve the inspiration for her passion of writing horror and mystery stories. She is also a published poet, balancing out her writing to express herself in these two very opposing genres.

Previous titles include: Oakwood Island - The Awakening (2020), Oakwood Island (2016), A Maiden's Perception - A collection of thoughts, reflections and poetry (2015) and Dark Tales for Dark Nights (2013, written as Angella Jacob). 

Scribbler visit – go HERE.


Watch for more news about Launch, Book Signings and where you can purchase the paperback or eBook.

Saturday 11 September 2021

Branching Out with Poet/Author Linda Barrett of Florida, US


It is with great pleasure the Scribbler presents this week's guest, Linda G. Barrett. A shout out to editor Karin Nicely (a regular contributor to the Scribbler -- see here) for introducing us.


When you take a peek at Linda’s website -

Author of Release Me – Linda G. Barrett (

one sentence I was impressed with is as follows:

Linda Barrett delves into the soul's journey toward peace and examines the human reaction to pain, grief, love, longing, and despair in her unique mix of captivating, poignant poetry and genre-bending short stories.


Linda has kindly agreed to a Branching Out interview and is sharing some of her writing.


Let's have a chat with Linda.



Allan: Thank you for joining us this week, Linda. Before we begin, please tell us about yourself, where you live, your rescued pets and home life and anything you’d like our readers to know about you.


Linda: I live in North Central Florida with my husband, two dogs, and one cat—all rescued. I am a firm believer in giving love, hope, affection, and a better quality of life to an animal, either young or old, that needs us. I love seeing them happy and “smiling” with their wagging tails.

I have been told I’m an enigma: deeply spiritual, inspired by the wonder and beauty of life, intuitive and ‘sensitive’ to the soul or spirit, while also intrigued by the occult, all things gothic, witchy, and other wonderful topics. All of these themes are woven into most of my poems or short stories.


Allan: I'd like you to address the following statement taken from your website: My books are about the soul's journey through despair, pain, grief, and love, struggling to find peace.


Linda: Release Me created a way for me to purge my own pain and feelings of being alone, unseen and unheard. Others are often too caught within their own pain to notice yours. The intention of this book is for the reader to, upon reading these written words, realize they’re being given a lifeline to hold onto and know they are not alone on their journey.

I have always walked the road to that dark place within us all, looking at it, feeling the emotion, and deciding if there is a desire for healing. Or not. Living through the deep purging from within the core of my own being, choosing the path of light or darkness. Sometimes it’s both. I know the pain and anguish of those choices.

Save the Sinner’s title was influenced by a personal event. Its poetry continues with similar themes to those poems in Release Me. But the short stories in this book feature many different types of characters who deal with their own unique situations and internal struggles, whether in this world, other worlds, or even other dimensions.


Allan: You also mention how much Karin Nicely was instrumental in your decision to publish. There is nothing more encouraging than having someone tell us how much they enjoy our writing. Can you tell us about this experience?


As fate would have it—literally—I met Karin through one of my marketing networking meetings. What are the odds that I would know an editor! I told her my story; she looked at my work, and said my writing was unique and print worthy. Karin has given me her insight, encouragement, guidance, and mostly her patience. She is remarkedly talented.

Even though my style of writing is distinctive, what interested many of my readers the most is the ‘why’ I began my journey. Not only was I so relentlessly compelled to write Release Me to save her life (with her referring to a particular girl, one I did not recognize and one who was in obvious distress, that I had seen in a very vivid vision), but in so doing, saved mine as well.



Allan: You have two books published. The first being a book of poetry--Release Me--and the second a collection of poems and short stories--Save the Sinner. Please give us a brief glance at what to expect when we pick up our copies.


Linda: Release Me is a small collection of poems that allowed me the freedom to release those raw emotions I had held so tightly for so long. When you are in that lonely, dark place within your heart, this book can be the catalyst for your own healing.

In Save the Sinner, I continued with more poetry but also included six short stories. All of my stories are deeply personal to me. As I write, I don’t just tell a story. I was there with each character, becoming them, to learn who they really are.

For example, with “The Forest,” I sat in Crow’s mahogany chair and felt the cold hardness of the seat. I felt Shadow’s feathers when he gently stroked them while she sat quietly on his shoulder as he gazed out over his vast, dead forest. I went deep into his heart to feel his desperate longing and lost love for his beautiful Genevieve, the vengeance that it created, and felt his guilt and grief for what he had done to the Ancient Ones.



Allan: Please share a childhood memory and/or anecdote.


Linda: I grew up with airplanes as a part of my everyday life. My dad was an aerobatic pilot for fun and an airline captain as his profession. My favorite childhood memory was flying with him in his open-cockpit biplane, his favorite being his 1930s Great Lakes. I could look above and see the top wing close enough to reach up and touch it, and I always did. Then right below me was the other wing. The entire outer skin of the plane is fabric, by the way--special, but it’s fabric that I could feel when I ran my hands over any part of the plane. Very cool. There just isn't any other experience like flying in the open air, slow and close to the ground, with the wind in your hair. There’s just no other feeling like it.

Oddly enough, however, even though I have flown my entire life, over time, I have become terrified to fly…and I have no logical reason for this. But in keeping with these memories, I can still feel the wind in my hair, and I still smile.


Allan: If you could only write either poems or short stories, which would be your choice and why?


Linda: Definitely short stories. I love having an idea of a story, creating the characters, and seeing how the adventure unfolds. My fictional stories are wide-ranging and uncommon, as I try to open my imagination to endless possibilities. Even more exciting for me!

Allan: Again, from your website, you tell us: My interests are varied and diverse. I studied with a Native American teacher for many years, learned from Tibetan monks, met with Orthodox priests, and studied with a Shamanic teacher. I've been fortunate to have met diverse cultural leaders from around the world, and I love a good philosophical conversation. Will we find evidence of this journey in your writing?

Linda: Here are a few examples.

“Ancient Dance of Women,” in Save the Sinner, is directly dedicated to my shamanic teacher, who taught me to remember my ancestors and showed me there can be trust rebuilt from hurtful and negative experiences. This was a profound awakening for me. I hold her in my heart with the greatest respect and in honor of her wisdom.

The short story “The Forest” (Save the Sinner) conveys the intensity of the power of love and loss. There is a depth of despair so strong my heart aches with Crow, yet there is also the promise of hope.

Allan: You are working on your first novel -- Soul Collector -- inspired by one of your short stories. Is it nearing completion? Can you tell us what to expect?


Linda: I’m still in the creation process, but I will keep you updated as I get closer to its release! I’ve introduced new characters, added many twists and turns, and we learn much more about the motivation and background of Breena, the dark protagonist of the story.


Allan: Favourite book? Author? Movie? Dessert?

Linda: Always start with dessert first! Hot fried donuts (glazed, of course) with chocolate and raspberry sauce drizzled over them and topped with a ton of powdered sugar. Now that’s a dessert!


Apollo 13 is my first go-to movie. My favorite line is when Lovell’s mom says, “If they could get a washing machine to fly, my Jimmy could land it.” I hold my breath every time as I watch them come home.

My second favorite would be Independence Day. I mean, defeating the evil alien while your spaceship is stuck into their mother ship! How can you not like that!?

Then would come The Bird Cage--It’s light, it’s fun, and it makes me laugh.


My attention is drawn to many different topics and styles of writing. Some of my favorite writers include Anne Rice, Kim Harrison, Laurell Hamilton, Dan Brown, Dean Koontz, and Jacob Nordby, to name a few. World mythology and religion, especially of indigenous tribal cultures, fascinate me, and I’m intrigued by gothic and Renaissance art. My interests may be unusual, but I’m never bored!



Allan: Anything else you'd like to tell us about?

Linda: I saw Release Me as timidly dipping my toe into the vast ocean of authors, Save the Sinner as slowly putting my whole foot into that ocean, and now with my first novel, Soul Collector, I’m jumping in headfirst! These books, albeit very different, have allowed me to spread my wings and fly. I am having the best time ever!





 Linda is sharing samples of her writing.

(Copyright is held by the author. Used with permission)




I feel my poem, “The Lies of Childhood,” speaks for itself. (Release Me)


The lies of childhood / Stories continue in life / If there is a God / I've been forgotten / A life of solitude / Standing within many / Love fleeting / Happiness scarce / Heart broken and bleeding / It hurts to be forgotten / Just wanting to be loved



And here is a short excerpt from “Soul Collector” (Save the Sinner):

“Jack!” Billy gasped, out of breath. “I saw him! He’s dead, Jack! She killed him!”

“Billy, what the heck are you talking about? Who’s dead? Come on. Are you telling tales again?”

“You have to believe me! Please.” He gulped in some air. “Just listen. I swear it’s the truth.”

“Okay, Billy-boy. This better be good,” I said.

“You know those big old oak trees behind Breena’s house that have all those jars hanging in the branches?” asked Billy.

“Sure,” I said. “Everyone does.”

“Have you ever wondered what those screams are that everyone hears at night?” asked Billy.

Some people say that the screams heard from the old house at night are from the jars that hang from the old oak trees’ branches. Folks say when the wind blows, those jars bump against each other, causing that unholy screeching that can be heard through the whole town.

“It’s just the wind,” I said.

“No, Jack. It’s not the wind. I’ve got to tell you…” Billy trailed off as he started to sob.



But not everything I write is dark and soul searching. There are also some elements of romance, as in this excerpt from my short story, “The Crow,” in Save the Sinner:

At the same time, Crow emerged from the dust cloud and stopped when he caught sight of his lost love. Their eyes locked. Her beauty and his undying love for her overwhelmed him, and he dropped to his knees beside her. They held each other tightly, both sobbing deeply, purging all their pain, allowing the old memories and emotions to wash away what had been held for so long.







Thank you, Linda for being our guest this week. Wishing you continued success with your writing.



For all you devoted readers wishing to discover more about Linda and her writing, please follow these links:


Facebook https://LindaGBarrettAuthor



Photo copyright belongs to Linda Barrett.