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you are not finished memeAs a writer myself, I know how precious your manuscript is to you. Trust your hard work to me, and I will give it every bit of dedication that I give to my own work.

“Ms. Hamilton’s ability to navigate technology, whether it was the LMS or video editing to deliver the curriculum, as well as to write it and direct the people working for her is a unique skill set.” Dr. Flavian Prince, Inquiry Bridge 

I have over 20 years experience in the writing field, including working with the public through workshops and seminars, 14 years experience teaching secondary and higher education, and 8 years manager experience in non-profit and retail business.

“Karen was awesome!! She found errors in my manuscript that other editors had overlooked. She answered all of my questions, and provided a fast turnaround.” Bruce Lee Chronicles

I have extensive experience with creative, academic, and business writing. I specialize in creating and editing educational, business and corporate materials (websites, articles, books, lesson plans, newsletters, church histories, and brochures).

Business: blog creation & maintenance, social media maintenance, editing and proofreading your documents, emails, and proposals, ghostwriting articles & ebooks, marketing consultation, church histories, corporate histories, research & development.

Publishing: memoirs and autobiographies, memoir, genealogy related titles, and other historical works, especially Florida history.

Interviewing & Transcription: recording your stories using audio and/or video and transcribing your recordings to digital format.

Writing & Editing Services: editing & developing your book, whether it be a memoir, fictional story, or other manuscript.

Writing Coach: coaching you through the writing and keeping you on track.

Research: assisting you in completing all of your research needs for lifewriting, fiction writing, historical research, or marketing research for your business.

“Karen was very insightful in addition to being a talented, intelligent writer. She brought the direction and encouragement I needed to knock this proposal out of the park. You will not regret hiring her for your project!” – Mills Creative Mind

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Reading Response to The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem


In The Futurological Congress, the main character, Ijon Tichy in effect experiences the emergence from what was his reality to hallucinations that he calls “remarkable realism” and then to a reality many years in the future that appears to be neither a hallucination or his reality. Lem weaves the story so seamlessly that the reader is never quite sure which is reality and which is illusion.

In his first state of hallucinations, Tichy felt he would rather die than continue in the unreal. He begged to be killed because “death would in fact constitute an awakening from the illusion.” As the decision is made by doctors to submit Tichy to being frozen until medical treatment might become available, Tichy slips into an unawareness that is real and unreal at the same time. The way in which Lem portrayed this scene, with short broken stanzas reads like poetry. Tichy advances from one word sentences to longer and longer sentences as he approaches ‘reality’ again.

The vitrification process mimics the rising from Plato’s cave to find oneself in a reality that is unreal for you, “…everything he sees is in reality unreal..” The language is unfamiliar; the sights, smells, and sounds are different. The people that Tichy encounters constitute the ‘realness’ of the shadows on the back of the cave. And the reality of that new world confounds and confuses Tichy.

So, if the drugs given to the populace in this reality create the illusion, create the shadows in Plato’s terms, then what exactly is reality? Is the reality the illusion or is the illusion the reality?

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I am a Writer

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Merry Christmas: Finding Peace


I am going to church this morning. And again tonight. And again tomorrow morning. A friend says, “You only have to go once, you know?” I ponder this for a moment and am surprised to realize that I don’t go because I ‘have’ to. I go because I want to.

Because I can’t imagine NOT going. I am peaceful there. In the quiet, in the ritual. “Having to go’ never occurred to me. I very rarely, as those of you who know me know, do what I ‘have’ to do.

When did this happen? A year ago I had no thought of going to church. But then again, this time last year I did not even want to be here at all. What a very long way I have come in a year. Dying to living. I’m living proof that it can be done.

It sure wasn’t pretty though, that fight out of the pit. But somewhere in that battle to regain my footing, I found peace. At the beach, in the birds, in the earth, in the music, at church.

Just live. These are the words that echo through my mind a thousand times a day. Just live. That is what Alex told me in a dream two months after he died.

Several of my friends have lost someone they love this year. And I know that today is going to be so very hard for them. They might even feel what I felt last year, that gaping hole in their chest, that emptiness, that darkness and all engulfing missing, something vital missing. I want to tell them that they can survive it, it will get a little easier.

This is what people told me. I didn’t believe it then. Could not imagine it at all. But it did get a little easier. The empty space was filled in with the just living. You find a way to keep living.

So, I go to church. I am not going to overthink this. Yeah. I know. What? Karen not overthink something? See? I’m moving along, learning. Baby steps. In the mass, I find peace. That is all we need to know.

I pray for you all that the peace and joy of this night surround you always, but especially on this night that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the living breathing example of peace and love.

And I pray that those of you who are hurting, find a way to take that peace and love and just live. Because the living is AWESOME!

It’s all going to be alright.

Merry Christmas!

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The Holiday Spirit Made Me Do It

The other day someone at work did something nice for me. If she hadn’t done it, I would have had to do all kinds of running around. What bothered (bothers) me though is that she said, “I shouldn’t do this but I guess it’s the holiday spirit making me do it.” And she acted like this ‘holiday spirit’ was an annoying thing to her.

Don’t get me wrong. I am very thankful that she saved me about four hours and gas money. But I could not help but think, “You wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t the holidays?”

Jesus’ greatest commandment – Love One Another. Somehow I don’t think he meant only in December. Most philosophies teach that ‘we are all one.’ One body. 1 + 1 = 1 always. This is a concept that no one taught me; I have just always felt it as a core concept of selfhood.

Anyway, I will practice ‘let it go’ on that one. Send her some prayer, white light, good vibes, whatever…perhaps go out there and do something nice for someone today ‘just because’ in order to balance things out.

Missed the sunrise this morning. But it’s up and the day is waiting. Onward into the fray. Have a blessed day, smile, and be nice to everyone you meet today. 🙂

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Putting Back Together the Broken World

by Karen Y. Hamilton


Putting Back Together the Broken World with Words
Half of what I say is meaningless but I say it as a way to reach you (A Beatles Song)

How often have you read a story that touched you in such a way that you found your whole outlook on life changed? Or even a tiny aspect of that outlook? Most of us grew up with stories fairy tales, folklore, family stories, literature in school stories surrounded us. The ceremonies and rituals of our daily lives all center around the magic of these words that we hear, that we read, that we speak. Whether we are reading, hearing, or writing the story, words have the power to transform our lives. What is it that these words do that can make a healing experience in our lives?

The Native American poet, Joy Harjo says, Stories create us. We create ourselves with stories (1). Stories – the healing power of stories, the mutable nature of stories, a world made of stories, the long ago, time immemorial stories (2) . We seek to create ourselves anew, to solidify the identity we daydream about and we do this by telling stories. Can we create and recreate ourselves with stories? Can mere words promote healing for a confused people? Is it possible for us to find inner peace by simply re-writing our story?

This concept is not new. Stories have been used throughout history to promote healing on a psychotherapeutic level as well as on a socio-political level. The Native Americans believe that the healing power of stories comes from believing that there is something else out there that can help us to heal. Reaching far back into the past, we find the stories written that today we call myths. The originators of these myths used words to describe their world, to make a meaning out the chaos around them. They made up gods and wild creatures, they made up words whole stories – that offered them peace in a seemingly out of control world. Today, many psychotherapists believe that through metaphorical thinking we bring ourselves to a place where we can better understand our circumstances, ourselves, and the world around us.

For some time now there has been research done on the healing and transformative power of words. Goddard University offers a Masters degree in Transformative Art, which includes visual as well as written art. The guiding principal behind Goddard’s program is the tradition of Tikkum Olam, hebrew for putting back together the broken world.

In addition, The National Association of Poetry Therapy offers certification in becoming a Certified Poetry Therapist, while major universities such as Florida State offer classes in Poetry Therapy under the tutelage of Dr. John Fox. Fox has written many books on the healing power of words. So, what is it about the written word that can actually heal someone’s pain? Is this form of therapy a form of communication? With whom? Are we able to find the meaning we seek in the words we set to paper?

There is Narrative Therapy, Drama Therapy, Word Therapy, Poetry Therapy, Journaling Therapy, Memoir Therapy, and many more versions of therapy that center around the healing power of words. Even fiction is used as healing therapy one need only look at such novels as Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony or Don DeLillo’s White Noise. Silko’s novel becomes a healing process not just for the author but for the Native American people in general. By emphasizing the importance of stories, Silko pushes toward a healing of the alienation that her people have encountered in a white world. The stories of the Native American people become an integration transformation for them one that gives them back, in a sense, their birthright. The writing and the reading of such novels provides a catalyst for change psychological, societal, and political transformation. As such, the act of reading and/or writing produces a change not the words themselves.

Many narrative therapies utilize writing for healing. When using therapeutic writing we must reach for a much needed communication, a relay of words that perform a healing for ourselves and possibly for those around us. Alphonso Lingis writes, “You have to say something something that language cannot say, something that is not in the resources of common discourse to be able to say” (3). You have to say the unsaid. The said is language that has already been spoken, written, set down for use in the common discourse. When healing is needed, this common language reaches its limit; there is no language in the common discourse that can express an individual’s pain.

Each individual must come to a place where they leave behind the said, the already spoken, and enter into their own realm of language, their own unique discourse, their own form of communication with their pain. They have to make the unsaid said by saying. The person seeking healing puts away the common discourse, the language, and enters a realm of communication with his self, a departure from the said into the saying. The sheer act of communication is a release in itself.

We can accomplish this by giving names to our pain and to our confusion, just as the ancient storytellers of mythology did when they began telling stories to explain their world. Being able to name something makes it feel real to us, appears to give that something meaning. Writing words of pain and turmoil on paper is a process of naming the pain, making us feel we are finally able to communicate the pain, releasing it.

In Poetry Therapy, many people say they don’t like poetry because they don’t get it. What is he talking about? they whine. I tell people that poetry is a form of expressing the inexpressible, of an attempt to give voice to the unspeakable, to give meaning to the unthinkable. Most times, they still don’t get it. People want words to mean something; they need to have words they are hearing or reading understandable to them in the common language that we call rational discourse. They bristle when they encounter words that have never been said before.

We read self-help books and see our therapists in an attempt to get to the meaning of our pain. We are forever searching for the meaning outside of ourselves. What would happen if we turned to our inner selves for meaning? This is a scary concept because when we search for meaning on the outside we have available to us outside resources for validation. Yes, you are getting to it now, Good, good, you are on the right track, or even non-validation, You are headed in the wrong direction, You are reaching for the wrong meaning. There is something in us that needs the validation of the outside commonality to verify our search for meaning. Why is it that we do not trust in the validation of our own selves?

There exists in man in innate urge to proscribe a reason for everything. This or that must have meaning, mustn’t it? When no meaning can be found, we flounder around in an abyss of doubt and chaos, forever trying to find meaning for our pain. How easy it is to misconstrue the meaning of a word! And if the meaning of a word changes, then the entire story changes! You have to wonder about the immemorial stories that our culture is surrounded with how many of the words have had their meaning changed, and thus the entire story changed? I emphasize here that words are not used for their meaning, but for how they perform. Every reader is going to bring a different meaning to what he reads the words that we read or that we write are only the vehicle for the healing, their meaning is inconsequential it is their performative function that we seek in the healing arts.

Word therapists believe that it is essential for us to find the words, any words, to validate our pain. The goal is not so much to describe the pain but to provide us with a recognizable vehicle in which to find healing for our pain. There needs to be some sort of inner validation that what we feel is not chaos, not a railing darkness of doubt, but a solid, tangible form in which to find healing. Again, this is done through the telling of stories already circulating or in the making up of our own stories. There are several forms of word therapy that seek to accomplish this goal.

In Journal Therapy we teach that healing comes from the release of the subconscious dialogue we are constantly having with ourselves. We use our journals as a dumping ground for all the inane chatter that keeps us from realizing our inner selves. This is easy for some people and quite difficult for others. Most of us have been trained to not whine, to not waste precious time complaining about our problems. But the goal of Journal therapy is to release those very words of complaint, those whining, poor me words. We release them to the white of the page and thus free ourselves to move past the chitter-chatter of daily existence. We validate our own thoughts, which removes the nagging feeling that we are somehow bad.

Memoir Therapy is a form of autobiographical writing. It asks several questions – Where is our true story? Where is our true myth? Is there truth in our story at all? There are many versions of a life all are true, all are fiction it depends on the time in which the life is being told. As Robert Elbaz states, “Autobiography is fiction, and fiction is autobiography. Factual truth is irrelevant to autobiography.” We change our story in order to create ourselves but is it our self we are creating or the self as a cog in the wheel of society? The memoir writer has the opportunity to re-create themselves.

In Memoir Therapy, the goal is to uncover the many selves that we have lived. By so doing, we are able to ferret out those selves that we allowed societal influences to create for us and move into a more authentic self. The words we bring to the page create a myth of our personal self. By definition a myth is something that was true but now is probably not. By recording our memoirs, our myths, we provide ourselves the healing power of words to transform our story. And the more we write the more healing we bring to ourselves. It is through the serial memoir that memoir approaches its true and ultimate form an account through time of a person’s life, a story with many beginnings that does not end until the author himself reaches the end. And even then, the story continues, doesn’t it?

We gather strength from our words, from our stories. We set into motion a flood of communication that brings us healing. We listen to, we read, we write words, words, words – the meaning of the word is superfluous, it changes every time we reach for a new creation of our self. And is that all that matters in that end? That the stories themselves, not their meaning, give us the power to create ourselves?

(1)Harjo, Joy. The Spiral of Memory. Ed. Laura Coltelli. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1996.

(2)Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony. NY: Penguin Books, 1977. p. 95.

(3)Lingis, Alphonso. The Murmur of the World.. The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 1994. 69-105.

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Morning Pages – Forever Searching for Images


~~A sideways trip…warning you now. Buckle up. Utter and complete nonsense.~~

Going for the words this morning. Candlelight wind blowing – light comes in and back out. Can’t see where the words even go most moments. Nonsense. We write nonsense. Time to step sideways. That’s where the good stuff lies. Always in the middle.
And I digress and digress. You gotta love those rhizomes.
I can get all academic on you – believe it. You won’t know what the hell I’m talking about. Like you do now, right?
Candle went out – wind did its thing. Writing words in the dark. Scared? Me too. Seriously. Can’t see a thing by the starlight. And there’s only one up there peeking through the clouds. Just words on the paper. Keep going. Find the images.
Life these days – visual images everywhere. Oh! I have seen so many fascinating images these last few days. Now I need TIME to ponder them and look deeply inside of them. Waiting for them to tell me their secrets.
Remember what I told you. Everything has a secret. Everyone has a secret(s). And it isn’t always dark. I’ve found, if you’re patient – stop laughing, I am capable of such a thing when it comes to this! – there are secrets that are beautiful beyond measure. Beyond words surely.
And am I digressing again?
Thank God!
Digressions mean side roads and sideways and that’s the ONLY place to be. Heaven. Reality over there. Sideways here.
That ocean. Blue, green, or brown. Who cares at this point? So magnificent and scary and the ESSENCE of sideways. Just sucks me in. I could ponder it forever.
Now comes the rain. And yeah – I’m a little crazy they say. Sitting in the rain at 4 am, writing by candlelight that keeps flickering in and out, writing nonsense.

Did you make it this far? Good for you! Share in my sideways trip.

Looking at pictures of Key West and I can hear the old old ones calling to me. Soon soon. I’m headed there soon. Speak to the spirits. You know they survived the hurricane. Yep.
Alex called these sideways trips Night Flights. He was better at it than I am. Oh! You find some amazing things when you fly.
Keep writing, Cookie. (That was him, not me!)
Cookie, Cuki – sounds the same. Took me TWO days to see that!! Goosebumps. You tell me? What the hell does that mean? I may talk the talk about spirits but I am cynical as hell. The reality of me is grounded on terra firma and scoffs at such things. But in the sideways – well, you gotta wonder at this one! What are the odds?? The name of the damn ghost ship is CUKI.
Something is going on here. But I’m not going to ponder it. Things are such as they are, right, old man? And I am quite happy in my here and now. Very, very happy.
I’m getting so much better at this BE HERE NOW business. Hard work at first but now I am sliding through this life just absorbing all this universe offers me. And my God, so much of it is AWESOME!
Awesome. Some poet I am. Ridiculous word if you think about it.
Off we go again. Back to the images and their secrets.
I’m going to ponder that shell shard with the carvings. I held that in the palm of my hand! Buried for how long?
Oh, the spirits speak. Feel them? Who did the etching? Man, woman? Research time. Why do I need to know that? Images again. There is a poem in that fragment and I intend to find it.
Imagine! That tiny sliver of shell holds how many stories? Hold on captain – so many stories to share!
I am distracted so easily.
Now I am thinking about trains.
Much to do today. Classes tonight and I need to finish reading and writing my seminar paper proposal. Classes. Most often take me sideways. And I will drive home through the tears. As always. Because I long to call him and talk talk talk about all the amazing ideas that these classes stir up. And he would listen. Used to listen. Do you think he is still listening?
Let it go.
Most people get tired real fast of my ramblings. That’s okay. I don’t hold it against you.

You still here?

Amazing! You’re either an idiot or you like me enough to wade through all of that nonsense.
Almost time for the sunrise – the universe awaits. The clouds blow by and the stars are in the sky calling to me….
Go forth and do something stellar today!
Peace to you today, Karen
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Tobias Wolff on writing

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Writing is “very hard work and it absolutely requires all the conditions that make one a bore: You have to be alone a lot, you have to be rather sedentary, you have to be a creature of routine, you have to fetishize your solitude, and you have to become very, very selfish about your time.”


“After a while you begin to understand that writing well is not a promised reward for being virtuous. No, every time you do it you’re stepping off into darkness and hoping for some light.”


Tobias Wolff, The Art of Fiction No. 183, Interviewed by Jack Livings, the Paris Review Issue 171, Fall 2004

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Poetry is Not a Luxury


“As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny, and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fear which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.”

(Audre Lorde, Poetry is Not a Luxury 1985)

Full PDF essay: poetry-is-not-a-luxury-audre-lorde

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Morning Pages: Rising from the Pit

by Karen Y. Hamilton, October 23, 2017




And this we must learn.

That no matter how far into the pit you fall, you will rise from the ashes. I’ve been down there so many times that it’s become rather familiar.

Almost comforting. Like “ah…hello old friend…here we are again.”

So I sit in the ashes for a short bit, maybe doodle in the soot and still smoking embers – maybe a smiley face, perhaps a ‘screw you’ – whatever – doesn’t matter.

It’s okay to just rest a little.

Because you know the long climb back up is waiting – it will wait an eternity if you let it – but don’t rest too long.

Breathe, Recenter, Get back up. And climb.

Because the very best things are found at the top of that pit – and they only become visible after the fall. The more times you allow yourself to fall, experience the ashes, fall in love with the adventure, the more incredible and beautiful you will find this life waiting for you at every rising.

Peace all, Karen

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