April 2011

Lizzy Bennet Regency Cat Portrait by Tara Fly Art

How much are you willing to pay for an artist’s talent and skill?
$750.00? $2,500.00? $3,500,000.00?

How do artists come up with these figures anyway?

For those of us who have 9-5 jobs (or 8-6 jobs, or even 7am-7pm jobs..), earning a regular paycheck, we can easily quote our worth in terms of hourly wages or yearly salary.

We can identify ourselves as being “middle class”, “working class”, “poor”, etc…

We begin our careers as inexperienced teenagers and young adults, probably making minimum wages, perhaps slightly better…
Given some time, training, a college degree, and focus, we’ve managed to become valuable assets to our employers, and have been rewarded with raises and promotions.

One wouldn’t expect an employee with 10, 15, or 20 years of service to be offered a comparable job with a starting salary of $8.00 p/h. One might rightly even consider it an insult!

Artists, too, need to be fairly compensated for their labor, and if that 20×30 canvas took 60 hours to paint… and they’re asking $10.00 per hour, so be it.

People mistakenly believe that a more experienced artist will work “faster”… which is true and also false.

A more experienced artist will push him/herself to tackle more complicated projects, which invariably take longer to complete.
Sure, he could sketch that horse in half the time it takes a newbie to figure out the correct leg proportions…
Or he might take twice as long as the novice, ultimately producing a drawing alive with detail and depth.
A horse practically prancing straight off the page.

Details of Lizzy Bennet acrylic painting cat portrait by Tara Fly

The beginner might sell you her drawing for five bucks, or you might be able to persuade her even to give it away.
I don’t believe that I kept ANY of my paintings from high school, when my work began to attract attention.
If someone wanted it, I gave it to them.
I have a few pieces floating around from grade school though. 😉

The professional artist, on the other hand, realizes that his paintings need to earn him a paycheck. Which, in addition to labor, he needs to factor in the cost of his materials, plus his utilities, rent, food, and other needs… the overhead of being self-employed.

regency cat portrait acrylic painting on plaque with lace trim.

What? Artists should live on the streets and starve?
Is that how little their talents are worth?

They’d be better off salting your french fries or stocking jars of tomato soup, because those jobs are necessary and respectable…?

I’ll remember that when I overhear the maintenance person in Aisle 5 grumbling that his job isn’t “worth it”, as he mops up the shattered jar of spaghetti sauce that some testy child threw from his mother’s cart.
As she merrily strolls away, whistling distractedly… not even bothering to apologize.

I’ll say to him,
“Hey, buddy, look on the bright side! At least you’re not an artist! Cause they don’t even deserve to get paid; they must work for free. Enjoy pushing that mop for $8.50 per hour. Cheers!”

The fact is, running a business (even a tiny one) always costs more than one realizes…
And Creating, in all its forms, is a full-time job for many people.

They have mortgages and bills just like everyone else. Plus, they have merchant credit card and Paypal fees, vendor booth fees, machine maintenance and repairs, taxes and licenses, membership dues, website hosting, advertising…

My mind is drawing a blank, as I’m typing this at 1:40AM after being awake for 20 hours. 😉
But you get the idea.

Only the very successful artists are selling $3,500.00 paintings every week, or every month. The rest of us are squeaking by on much less, and whatever we earn in sales must cover everything.

Although I shouldn’t draw myself into that illustration, really. I’m self-admittedly not doing this full-time anymore.
But I made a commitment to myself, and to my family, that my artistic income would help cushion the responsibility my husband has undertaken in his role as breadwinner.

Unfortunately, the 21st century economy isn’t friendly to “one income households”, especially not families with young children.
Although we aren’t homeless or hungry, living on charity or government welfare (not yet, thankfully)… it certainly isn’t a life of ice-cream socials and sock hops.

His income provides us with our basic needs, 99% of the time; some months are a stretch.

regency cat portrait painting on wood plaque by Tara Fly Art.

When I list prices on my artwork, it isn’t simply rolling dice or doing Rock-Paper-Scissors.
There is a standard pricing formula whereby all the money is accounted for.

My fingers hesitate to type this cliché, but purchasing my art really does put food on our table, keep the electricity running for another six hours, and allow us an extra night of sleep undisturbed by worrisome thoughts.

And I’m not just speaking for myself.
If you don’t buy artwork from me, at least do consider making your next purchase from someone who is supporting themselves solely with their craft. Help the independent business owners and local artisans to help you in return.

Don’t balk at their prices. I’ll bet if you asked, they could justify every penny… and sadly they probably undervalue their worth as well.

Don’t cave and go to Walmart for the cheap crap, which will inevitably fall apart within six months and wind up residing for eternity in a landfill. I blame them for our throwaway culture.

Trust the experience of people who have perfected their skills, who create fine quality pieces and can guarantee their craftsmanship because they stake their livelihoods on it.
This is what they do in order to eat.

Acrylic painting portrait of Lizzy Bennet Cat by TaraFly on wood plaque

In case you were wondering, these images show my latest original Regency cat portrait of Lizzy Bennet – “Dressed for Netherfield”. I painted her with acrylics onto a basswood plaque, measuring 7″ x 9″, and applied 3 coats of matte varnish to seal her.
The fabric and lace trim was hand stitched by me, and I fastened each faux pearl onto the lace with thread, before hot-gluing the entire piece of trim to the plaque.

I spent over eight hours creating this lovely piece, and she is available now for purchase on Etsy, for $95.00. 🙂


The last few weeks, I’ve been feverish brainstorming ideas for new product lines… and I keep coming back to my little stuffed Regency cat dolls.

Little boy playing with stuffed cat doll

Jake abducting the half-finished cat doll...

Ever since experimenting with this large cat doll back in September, which was sewn completely by hand and pattern-free, I’ve been wanting to expand on that idea: an entire collection of smaller kitty dolls in gowns, and gents in tuxedos.

With that future goal in mind, I went hog-wild during a fabric clearance sale at JoAnn Fabrics, scooping up $1-per-yard dress and suit fabrics, fuzzy black and white cloth for cat bodies, and raided the discount bins at A.C.Moore for lace trimmings.

I even bragged to the sales clerk that “I sew stuffed cats dressed in 19th century costumes.” …before a single paw or tail had been cut from cloth. *blush*

My initial attempt at assembling the small creature prototype, however, took an entire two days!

small stuffed Regency cat doll sewn by TaraFly

My first tiny cat doll, sans face, sans hair, sans everything...

Joe had been patiently waiting for me to test out my new sewing machine – (his Christmas gift to me!) – on some drapery fabric for our sliding glass door.
However, he eventually realized it might get finished more quickly if he assigned himself to the task.

It was quite a sight to see! We sat together at the kitchen table, sewing our respective projects, and that handy man of mine completed the living room drapes in under 2 hours, sans pattern.

Tara Fly's husband Joe sewing curtain drapes

Just imagine the shocked female responses on Facebook when I shared this!

In that same length of time, I hand-stitched the face of one little kitty.

Embroidered face for stuffed cat doll

My cat's embroidered face...

Realizing that my methods need to be re-examined and streamlined… as I can’t begin to put an affordable price-tag on two days worth of sewing! … the cat dolls are temporarily simmering on the back-burner while I let my subconscious brain cells sort out the details.

Another idea in the works involves brushing up on my greeting card selection….

I came across this licensing article on ArtsyShark.com that stated: 90% of sellable cards have writing inside;
blank cards like mine account for a mere 10% of overall card sales.

And the sad part is, I once worked as a greeting card merchandiser, so this shouldn’t be news to me. 😦

Mr Bennet Cat Portrait Greeting Card, artwork by Tara Fly.

Mr Bennet Cat (blank) Greeting Cards available on Etsy.

Yet, my mind has been working strangely now that I’m trying to sell my OWN work. And I’m beginning to see “retail” and “wholesale” through an entirely new lens…

Everything has become so personal.

Also, often I’ll find myself studying the quality of the craftsmanship on items, and comparing its perceived value with the quoted price on the shelf. If the discrepancy is large enough, my hackles rise and I begin to question which poor link in the chain was cheated out of his living wage.

I can barely recall working as a manager for a big box store, and apathetically ordering mass-produced-in-China inventory.

Anyway, my deceptively simple plan to revamp my greeting card selection with sentimental phrases …was to scour Jane Austen’s novels, beginning with “Pride and Prejudice”… and perhaps even branch out into her later contemporaries – the Brontes, Eliot, and Dickens.

I was looking for any quotes which might be appropriate for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, well wishing, and congratulations.
Easy peasy, right? Eh..hehehe Not really.

I’ve managed to scrape together a few quotes after an evening spent reading P&P. Unfortunately, my snarky sarcasm was hungrily devouring quotes that might possibly offend someone unless the card was clearly marked as Humor.

Gossiping Regency Cats Greeting Card, artwork by Tara Fly.

Want to share juicy gossip? This is the card for you...

I actually considered a new line of cards for Confirmed Old Spinsters, Divorcées, and Anti-Romantic types… because a quote like this is just too precious to waste:

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.”
(Of course, one could always put a positive spin on the inside, by complimenting the couple’s “once in a lifetime” romance…)

This particular passage sent me into howling fits of laughter, although I’m doubtful anyone else would appreciate the irony of such an inscription:

“Mr Collins to be sure was neither sensible nor agreeable; his society was irksome, and his attachment to her must be imaginary. But still, he would be her husband.”

Just give her the ring, for Pete’s sake! The man himself is circumstantial.

I do think Mr. Darcy’s “good opinion once lost” quote is absolutely perfect for parody, especially in the aging birthday category…
“A good head of hair once lost, is lost forever.” [alternately: set of teeth, a good memory]

Nevertheless, you might well imagine how tedious it can be to track down quotes… so I’m willing to trade with anyone who volunteers a romantic or witty bit from one of Austen’s novels.

If I use your suggested quote in an upcoming card, I’ll send you the .jpg file of the finished card design, which you may use to print the card as many times as you like for personal use.
Just don’t go selling my artwork, obviously… hence the rule about “personal use”. 😉

Once I get the new line of cards going, I’m going to phase out my blank cards on Etsy. The new and improved greeting cards will also be available at the Guten Tag in Funkstown for my local customers.

Guten Tag gift shoppe in Funkstown, Maryland

I shared the Good News two weeks ago with my Facebook and Twitter friends, but my blog has been distracted by other rambling thoughts lately….

I’m really quite excited to check off one major goal on my list, although technically it’s an ongoing goal… making the initial leap was quite an obstacle for reclusive little ol’ me:

I now officially have an offline presence in a real honest-to-goodness gift shoppe, The Guten Tag, which is located in the Historic Town Center of Funkstown, Maryland.

*cue the cheers* 🙂

Yes, I said Funkstown. It’s a funky little town and I gotta get down…

No? Oh well.

Actually Funkstown is a quaint, blink-and-you’re-sure-to-miss-it treasure trove of antiques, arts & crafts, garden nurseries, and Civil War landmarks.

Guten Tag of Funkstown, Maryland giftshop

Taken last autumn during my walk to the post office.

The Guten Tag is a family owned home and garden gift shoppe, managed by Jessica Snyder. It’s situated in a two-storey brick building, built in 1890, which spent 18 months under renovation before opening its doors, in the fall of 2009.

They settled on the German phrase, meaning “good day”, in honor of Funkstown’s original founder Henry Funck, a German immigrant who built the town on 88 acres of land in 1767.

The shop specializes in handmade local artisan goods, garden and patio accents, wicker furniture, plants of all kinds, and OOAK home decor accessories.
If you love shopping in thrift stores and antique malls, in search of something unusual and quirky… this shop is paradise for the eyes, and temptation for the purse.

On my initial visit to introduce myself, I walked out with a bag full of goodies!

Regency Cat Art by TaraFly, framed art at Guten Tag

Mr Darcy Cat, matted and framed, on display for sale

We both agreed that my Regency Cats would fit in beautifully with the terra-cotta pots, stone statuary, and trails of ivy. So we started with two framed prints of Mr. Darcy and a matted print of Red Coat Cat.

I have a few other ideas cooking for future goodies to showcase there… including stuffed Regency cat dolls, cat greeting cards with Jane Austen quotes, and perhaps even an original painting or two. 😉

Mr Darcy Cat in wooden frame at Guten Tag gift shop

If you live in the Hagerstown/Frederick area, and find yourself itching to go on a Saturday morning treasure hunt… I encourage you to check out Funkstown!

Park your car at the antique mall and take a walk through town, and be sure to pop in at the Guten Tag, say “Hello” to Jess… and tell her I sent you.

You might catch a glimpse of me, pulling that giant red Radio Flyer wagon full of children to the park. And if you’re really sly, you could follow me home and beg to see what’s cooking upstairs in the studio.

I might even let you take a cat home. 😉

Black cats wearing Regency gowns, whispering gossip by TaraFly Art

Kitty and Lydia Spreading Gossip - my digital painting.

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?”
– Mr Bennet

When I published my Question of Ethics last Thursday, I wasn’t prepared for the reception that it received… both here and on my website (TaraFlyArt).

After it was shared, forwarded, and even infamously reposted…
*cue the crickets*

… I began to receive comments, both positively commending my insight and critically questioning my motives for getting involved in the vow-to-never-mention-again emotionally fueled blogging war.

Once my words were published, my post left the safety of its nest, like a baby bird finally figuring out the purpose of its feathered appendages.
I can no longer control where it goes, and where it lands, and whether its delicate opinions will be looked after in this alien environment.

It’s ironic (and yes, even hypocritical) that I caution everyone to be careful when handling sensitive information online… and in the same breath, or rather the next paragraph, I invoke the very drama which I tried to prevent by liberally referencing certain individuals’ personal battles.

As I sheepishly acknowledged on Facebook earlier… I must love the taste of feet! They always seem to be in my mouth.

So if any of you are visiting for the first (or second) time on account of “That Post”… I apologize for my obvious lapse of judgement; those who know me well can assure you that brain lapses happen frequently here, although serious discussions rarely do.
I so seldom have occasion to be serious, that I lack practice.

As the “Crazy Cat Artist”, my mission in life is to spark that wicked gleam in your eye, or make you laugh out loud at an inopportune time… such as during a teleconference, when you surreptitiously browse the internet on your iPhone, and stumble across my fire-breathing cat monster.

When a rare moment of insightfulness strikes, causing me to wrestle with a heavy subject, rest assured it will be quickly buried under picture posts of my messy house and rants about shoe shopping.

I do write about my artwork, and cats, a great deal… and a quick glance at my site statistics will reveal people arrive here after searching for “cat paintings” and “regency art”.
Proof that I can stay relevant to the topic of my work, once in a while.

However, I’m continuously amazed by the seemingly off-the-wall searches that lead folks to my door…


I gave everyone a sneak preview back in January when I posted, Naughty Google Sitting in the Corner.
Who actually looks online for “crowds of demonic people” or “vacuum cleaning nude”?
Seriously? Who are you people?

So what strange sort of folks do I normally attract with my blog, courtesy of Google’s omniscient wisdom?

Today I will take you on a pilgrimage to the mountaintop, and let you gaze out over the Promised Land.
a.k.a. My WordPress Dashboard…

(Just don’t attempt to read this during office hours… a friendly forewarning.)

My Top 20 List of Crazy Web Searches…


20. “Disgusting people” ….

This was actually part of the title for my post: “Disgusting People With a Little Help From Regretsy”


19. “Monkey gym to bay” ….

I might need some help with this, as I don’t recall having ever blogged about monkeys. Or the Monkees.


18. “women power suit bare feet” ….

I blogged about buying my first business suit. And my preference for going barefoot.
But I’d never considered both …together…. hmmmmm…..


17. “men who paint their toenails” ….

Yup! I’ve encouraged men to paint their toes!
This was one of my earliest posts.


16. “male men feet bare feet nude” …

Nude or otherwise… feet are a reoccurring theme here on my blog.


15. “women big feet bare soles toes” ….

Okay! I confess!! I have an obsession with bare feet and toes. Gosh, what more can I say… they’re tasty! And I would know.
Although I’ve never judged anyone by the size of their feet, cause that’s just plain cruel.


14. “feet punish” …..

Um… nor do I condone foot abuse or participate in ritualistic foot torture.


13. “stubborn @$$hole kraut” ….

Say what?! I did blog about sauerkraut along with my resolutions for 2010.


12. “peanut butter stuck to butt”

Actually it was an acrylic finger nail “stuck to butt”… and packing peanuts that were found stuck to a cheesecake.
But you can read all about this story, and many more frightening tales of Glitter (and other Things That Refuse To GO AWAY) here in this hilarious Etsy forum post.


11. “gypsy vaginal temperature” ….

I was curious about this peculiar search: Do gypsies have a noticeable difference in their temperature?
So I Googled it myself – yes, indeed, I did – and found references to virgin gypsy wedding rituals, and also an interesting
advice column for Persian cat breeders, written by the “Gypsy Guru”.


10. “Can I wash my hair with ajax?” ….

Are you asking me for permission? Sure, go right ahead.


9. “peanut butter scented soap” ….

Um… why not just use peanut butter? I’d suggest looking on Etsy.com, the handmade marketplace… they also sell popcorn soap, fried chicken soap, and canned spam soap… if you can eat it, you can shower with it too!


8. “How long should I leave vinegar in my hair?”….

How long would you leave in your conditioner? Vinegar is a viable substitute, especially when using handmade shampoo bars.


7. “girl wearing always ultra” ….

Now this search disturbs me. Was someone searching for an image of her? How can anyone tell which brand of pad a girl is wearing?
My single reference to feminine products came from this spotlight on IvyLaneDesign’s Recycled Box Journals.


6. “dried beans are beside rice at the grocery store” ….

And Cool Whip is next to the frozen pie crusts, but do we really need Google to help us locate it?
Perhaps if the confused grocery associate leads you on a wild goose chase… *wink*


5. “what is the most likely time for a retail store to be robbed?” ….

Should I really answer this? Um… whenever somebody is desperate for cash, and doesn’t mind going to jail?


4. “redneck diaper stinks” ….

Have you ever found a used diaper lying on a grocery store shelf?
And yes, it stinks.


3. “sugar cookie decorated thong” ….

You KNEW I’d have an answer for this! Thanks again to an awesome Etsy seller, whom I featured in my anti-Valentine’s Day post:
“Puff the Magic Dress”


2. “pee paypal” ….

Finally! Someone else shares my sentiments! I experienced quite a nightmare with PayPal last year.


Honestly, I had a really tough time choosing my #1 favorite ridiculous search phrase… these babies are all winners in my book!
However, one question stood out in terms of “You have to be kidding me, right? Seriously?”

And more importantly, what was Google’s reasoning for leading this agonizing soul straight to me?

A Praying Golden Goddess digital art by TaraFly

This is me... looking divine and holy on my mountaintop.

Sitting barefoot and naked upon my mountaintop, gazing into the future AND the past, and communing with the Other Side via a deep meditative trance… a vessel of the gods, speaking their infinite wisdom in a thousand tongues…

I am the Google priestess. The Keeper of arcane secrets.

Guarded by wild monkeys, and sustained only by a diet of raw sauerkraut and vinegar…. I have taken the gypsy’s vow of chastity, and will only speak to a chosen group of disgusting people each year, hand-selected by Ajax the Great.

They come in reverence, wearing their decorated thongs, and bringing offerings of peanut butter and sugar cookies so that I may be prevailed upon to answer their most urgent questions.

Their deepest desires and worst fears are laid at my feet, as they pray and plead for a divine response.
The fate of kings and conquerors, peasants and princes, all hang in the balance as they await my judgement.

Speak now.
What brings you forth to seek my wisdom?

And the trembling laborer falls to his knees in terror of my majesty, and cries out:

“Why are some of my crops glittering in Farmville?!”


That’s it, I QUIT!    Now get me down from this rock.

Digital Painting of Phantom Cat by TaraFly

We dance delicately in this transparent masquerade.

Since it’s 3:00AM, and I haven’t gone to bed yet… I thought it might be an excellent time to draft a blog about a serious topic.
Which may or may not get published later today when I wake up.

So many of my drafts never make it.

We, bloggers, are faced with a difficult decision every time we sit down to type.
The decision to share or not to share. And it’s a doozy.

Many of the blogs I love to read involve sharing glimpses into someone’s personal space:

how they decorate their homes, how they manage their time, how they run successful (fill-in-the-blanks), and even how they cooked dinner last night.

If they share the recipe, even better!

Some blogs go a few giant steps further by sharing too much information… but perhaps topics which seem unnecessarily sensitive to me are precisely what someone else needs to hear.

Whenever I consider sharing something deeply personal, I always ask myself whether anyone might benefit from reading it.

And then I ask myself whether anyone might get hurt by reading it.

Because we are not blogging into a vacuum, our words being sucked into cyber oblivion… even though it may feel that way at times. Especially when staring at numbers on a Dashboard.

Someday… somewhere…. someone will read our words.
What impact will it have on them?

Freedom of Speech may grant us the unalienable Right to say certain things, but does that mean we should say them?
It’s an ethical question, without an easy answer.

This post was inspired by a blog I’ve been following, written by a jilted ex-wife who has been recounting every painful experience of her divorce, along with her husband’s rebound marriage to his lover…
You can well imagine all the lovely fodder that goes along with that sort of drama, sprinkled with a heaping tablespoon of custody and parallel-parenting issues.

Although she never mentioned the ex or his new wife by name… various innocuous clues she has scattered across her posts could lead any curious (or bored) web surfer off on a merry adventure to find these abominable sinners.
I was curious and bored one evening, and found them quite easily using a combination of People Finder, Classmates Alumni, and a few other search results…

I had more than enough information about the parties than I cared to know. Thanks Google.

Now, granted, you know I’m not a malicious sort of person who would stalk and harass complete strangers to show my loyalty to a blogger (who is also a stranger to me). Nor do I blindly accept every accusation made against them…
Having dined at both ends of the table in my own relationships, I can assure you, the truth usually takes a seat somewhere in the middle.

Apparently other readers lack the courtesy I take for granted, and have left nasty online messages for the couple.
A form of cyber bullying – from adults, no less! Juvenile behaviour which prompted the couple to take the blog authoress to court, asking that she “cease and desist” from writing about them, and thus provoking her readership.
And apparently the judge denied their request.

The defense maintains that her blog is “helping” women to cope with the aftermath of messy divorce, by sharing terrible personal experiences and their outcomes, and serving as a model for wives wanting to reclaim control and reinvent themselves.

My blog, too, has become a personal reinvention project; an online journal where I can sort through my feelings, and reach out to sympathetic individuals who might be facing similar circumstances.
Perhaps one reader has already fought a battle I’m currently engaged in, and they’re willing to impart some of their hard-won knowledge…
And perhaps I’ve learned a couple of things worth passing along as well.

I’ve sat here at this desk many, many times… questioning whether or not to spill juicy bits.

And most of the time, I don’t spill. Sorry guys!

And here is why: most of these experiences involve not only me, but family, friends, co-workers, exes… a whole cast of characters, in fact… none of whom auditioned for a starring role in my made-for-internet soap-blog-drama.

I may joke about the ex who dumped me because the Hale-Bopp comet was interfering with his brain… or sigh with relief over the breakup with the obsessive man who texted me 156 times per day, and demanded I answer each text.

But did I give you all the dirty details? Do you really know anything about these people?

Nope. And I plan to keep it that way.
For their sakes, as well as for mine.

Once upon a time, only celebrities needed to worry about their private lives being exposed.

Normal people didn’t have an audience willing to devour the embarrassing published photos from paparazzi, the sordid memoirs of ex-lovers, and the unauthorized biographies of their estranged family.

We didn’t need a PR representative to maintain our “image” for us, working tirelessly to put out every fire, tracking down credible sources to refute the allegations.

But unfortunately, the internet has created a new breed of celebrity… and not the media attention-seeking teens like Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black.

Normal people are becoming famous simply by sharing too much information, and everyone associated with them will be dragged along for the ride, kicking and screaming in protest.

Mr. Comet Man could potentially become something beyond his control, a symbol of a man whose brain is easily manipulated by extraterrestrial influences.
And I’m sure he would thank me for that bit of disclosure. 😉

There are certain sensitive topics, especially pertaining to my childhood, which I’ve hesitated to lay bare… even though my stories may speak to someone, because they also have the potential to inflict a great deal of pain and embarrassment on people who aren’t prepared to handle the repercussions.

A couple of these people are no longer with us, and therefore unable to give their testimony.

One non-life-changing example involved a post concerning my mother’s aversion to owning pets.
My description of her attitude towards caregiving, which I feel is accurate (at least in my eyes), landed me in serious hot water!
She had never visited my website or read my blog until that moment… Coincidence or karma?

The issue I have with many bloggers is their total lack of consideration for the feelings of others, as I struggle each day with being considerate myself.

Balancing precariously on a very thin tightrope, taking one cautious step at a time… to avoid falling into the “Tell All” temptation which may feel like liberation for a few seconds, but in reality is a free-fall to the ground without a safety net.

In the case of this jilted wife – she and her ex have children… and all this mud-slinging and negativity will not help them develop a meaningful relationship with their father (who shares custody).

Whether her accusations are true or not…. Whether she is within her Rights to speak freely or not…
Publically disrespecting and humiliating the man who is actively helping to raise her children is the equivalent of a mortal sin under the Commandments of Divorce.
(I have cement copies of these stone tablets serving as bedroom nightstands, so I know they exist).

And the poor kids caught in the middle of this verbal assault will be the ones who ultimately suffer.
I know this also, sadly, as a fact…

I can hit the “fast forward” button 20 years and predict their futures… the emotional barriers, the jaded attitudes, the broken bonds of trust…

I’ve walked barefoot in their shoes for a long, long time…

Before reality TV created stars who were famous simply for being famous.

Before our neighbors were filming YouTube music videos and auditioning for American Idol.

Before divorced parents had blogs, and the internet.

We still had our words…
and words can hurt.

To share or not to share.

A question of ethics.