Posted in blog, Write or Die Show

We Need Compassion & Empathy – Dementia

Written by: Katie Marie

It was an amazing experience to appear on Randi-Lee’s show. Such a wonderful opportunity to talk with a compassionate and enthusiastic person about things that mean a great deal to me.

Those being writing, in particular in the horror genre, and the invisible challenges many of us face, like mental health and dementia.

I truly believe that by improving the conversation around dementia (and other mental health issues), we will normalize the condition and make it less frightening, which will increase society’s wider awareness of it and improve services and treatments.

I think one way to improve the conversation around these topics is by having plausible and ‘realistic’ representation in fictional works. Positive representation can help the misunderstood to feel more visible and accepted.

It was a part of the reason I wrote my novella, A Man in Winter.

Arthur, whose life was devastated by the brutal murder of his wife, must come to terms with his diagnosis of dementia. He moves into a new home at a retirement community, and shortly after, has his life turned upside down again when his wife’s ghost visits him and sends him on a quest to find her killer so her spirit can move on.

With his family and his doctor concerned that his dementia is advancing, will he be able to solve the murder before his independence is permanently restricted?

A Man in Winter examines the horrors of isolation, dementia, loss, and the ghosts that come back to haunt us.

In 2014, there were an estimated 5 million adults with dementia, and it is projected to be nearly 14 million by 2060. So, it is essential that we have a better understanding of this disease to increase our ability to interact with compassion and empathy.

Podcasts like this are a key element of the conversation, and it was a joy to be involved.

Get Katie Marie’s book (affiliate link).

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show


Written by: SG Blaise

It was such a pleasure to talk to Randi about my writing journey. So much has changed in the ten
years since I set out to write The Last Lumenian saga.

In the beginning, one of the biggest challenges for me was not knowing how long it would take
to finish the first book. It felt like a never-ending journey with no specific end date. (Little did I
know what it feels like after publishing!) I had to learn to accept the uncertainty that came with
writing a book, become more patient, and enjoy the journey.

The other biggest challenge was not having readers and, as such, not having feedback on the
book. It helped tremendously to be part of an R&C group, and also, having my family read it as
each version was done made the process more bearable.

Lastly, I discovered that the writing journey does not end with getting my book published–that
was only another beginning for a different journey with many more twists and turns. I learned to
enjoy what may come and celebrate every mini-milestones when they come my way. But most of
all, I learned that no matter where I was on my journey, it was vital to be kind to myself as I was
my own biggest critic.

Get SG’s book here (affiliate link)

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show


By Susan Gold

Randi’s Write or Die Show – YouTube is bringing forth open conversation of hope, truth, and light for all of us to share.  The jewel of a podcast program is a forum of discussion centered around mental health issues. Though specifically for writers, Randi is masterfully producing inspirational episodes for our global community. I was grateful for the opportunity to have a conversation with Randi on the show, and though I was nervous, she put me instantly at ease to share my own story as a first-time published author and the trajectory of the journey.  It was during our conversation I realized my main coping strategy is belief. Belief in my journey, belief in all the players and circumstances that have come my way as the conduit of soul evolution. Toxic Family: Transforming Childhood Trauma into Adult Freedom is the finished piece, and I welcome you to join me for more if you feel called at 

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show

Osso Safe on the Write or Die Show

Author: Sabrina Osso

It was a pleasure to be interviewed by Randi-Lee Bowslaugh, on her insightful and easygoing podcast show, Write Or Die Show.  Randi made me feel very comfortable throughout the interview.  We had an excellent conversation about therapy, turning pain into power, the process of healing, and how we are making residency safe for all through our Osso Safe Certifications.  We spoke about taboo subjects but made them un-taboo by speaking about them openly and honestly, which would benefit any audience. 

My main coping strategy is to breathe deeply throughout the day.  This anchors me to the present moment as much as possible, and it allows the space to let things be ok. 

I actually speak of deep breathing in my children’s book, Home Safe Home, For You and Me.  The book is a tool for both children and adults alike.  For kids, whether they are safe at home or not safe at home, the book teaches that their voices are powerful and that they do have choices when it comes to their residency.  The book serves to give them courage to speak out and name who they feel safe with because they choose respect and safety.  For grandparents, parents, and teachers, the book serves to educate them and the children in their lives about how important it is to practice respect and safety in the home.

Randi, thank you for being a wonderful host! 

Get your copy here (affiliate link).

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show


Written by: Jeff Rasley

I hope your listeners find our discussion during the podcast about depression and suicide meaningful. It was for me. I thought they might find an excerpt from 72 Wisdoms about the incident in which I “talked down”, or “listened down”, my classmate interesting.

From the book…
My usual walk was from my house down to the beginning of the Mill Race, which is a canal that snaked past the backyard of our house on Gra-Roy Drive. The Elkhart River flows into a reservoir and then out the other side of the reservoir over a low-head dam. Some of the water from the reservoir is diverted through a controlled head gate into the Mill Race. The area below the dam and along the river is surrounded by woods with a well-worn trail from the feet of neighborhood kids. Either the dam or the end of the trail
through the woods was my usual turn-around destination for those troubled teen-years walks.

One late autumn evening, when I was sixteen, I walked down to the dam after dark. I don’t remember the specific issue I was pondering, but I’m sure it was some form of adolescent angst or alienation. I planned to station myself on the top of a concrete flood-wall which overlooked the near side of the dam. If I stood on top of the flood wall, I could listen to the water rushing over the dam and see moon and star light glowing on the placid water of the reservoir. Whenever I did that, the view and sound of the tumbling
water in the darkness both calmed and excited my adolescent soul. I usually felt renewed, less anxious, and empowered on the walk home.

As I quietly approached the flood wall that fall night, I was surprised to see a figure already standing on top of the one-foot wide wall. It was too dark to make out the person’s features clearly, but as I got closer I could tell it was a girl, and she was crying. I cautiously made my way up near her on top of the wall, and gently asked if she’d like to talk.

It took awhile before I recognized the girl was a classmate of mine. I barely knew her. She lived on the other side of town, and we ran in different social circles. But I did recognize the figure in the darkness that night as her. Through tears and with a choked up voice, Vera told me that she had planned to kill herself by jumping off the wall into the water flowing over the dam. I was shocked, but, as best as I could, kept my voice calm and level. My immediate plan was to keep her talking.

I don’t remember exactly what I said to her. I know I mostly encouraged her to keep talking. She told me about some truly terrible things that had happened within her family. I won’t go into details beyond mentioning that what she related included sexual abuse. I think we talked for at least half an hour. She decided not to jump. She asked me not to tell anyone at school that she had intended to commit suicide.

Whenever I saw Vera in the hallways at Goshen High School, we never spoke of our encounter that night by the dam. In fact, I don’t remember ever speaking to her again while we were in high school. But when we made eye contact passing each other in the hallway, we nodded in recognition. I saw gratitude in her eyes.

I saw Vera at a class reunion a couple decades after high school graduation. We talked for a few minutes, and I learned that she was doing well. She had a career, marriage, and children. Without mentioning why, she hugged me and whispered a quick thank you into my ear as we parted.

… The “wisdom” of this chapter from the book is that at critical times the best thing we can do for someone in need may be to just be there and listen. All of us will need that kind of compassionate presence sooner or later. Thank you, Randi, for letting me share one of the 72 Wisdoms with your listeners and readers.

Get the book here (affiliate link)

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show

Fear and Love

Written by AG Flitcher

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future

And time future contained in time past.

If all time is eternally present

All time is unredeemable.

Four Quartets: Burnt Norton – T.S. Elliot

My time on Write or Die Show was humbling, honest, loving, caring, fun, and a memory immortalized by love and sharing pain as we heal each other with laughter and wisdom. When you share who you are, what hurts and heals you with the world, those who have or are suffering begin to breathe differently. Some people go searching for the air they wish they could breathe rather than inhaling the heavy charcoal ashen air nesting in their lungs that stems from trauma and negative mirror reflection.

Sometimes, when you see someone else’s anger and darkness, it can reflect how strong of a hold you have on your own. Your grip can be so strong that the light around you becomes ironically blinded by the brightness of the darkness in you. Nevertheless, when you see someone else gripping their anger and darkness as tight if not tighter than you, your grip slowly releases, and the darkness dims into a soft whimper. Turning fear into a healthy emotion you can use to further yourself into a greater perspective that allows you to be present.

My fantasy series, Boone and Jacque, is a mirroring of the chapter in my life that I am glad I am closing. More importantly, the chapter of the characters’ lives. Like them, I have learnt through pain, love and volition to love who I am, live in the present, let the past be a memory, and to value the most poignant moments in life before it ends. Life is our greatest teacher to self discovery and love.

Get Boone and Jacque here (affiliate link).

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show

Dealing with the Monster of Anxiety

Written By: KC Grifant

Thanks so much for having me on the show! I enjoyed talking about writing and anxiety. Mental health
struggles are incredibly common, even though they’re not talked about nearly enough, and affect people
from all walks of life (no matter status, intelligence, level of success, etc.). Seeking professional support is
never a bad idea. In lieu of that, some tactics that can alleviate anxiety include:

1-Self-reflect: Taking note of catastrophizing thoughts is one first step to diminishing their power.
2-Write: For some, even 5 minutes of journaling can have a calming effect.
3-Exercise: Physically tiring ourselves out and getting out of our heads can interrupt negative thinking.
4-Focus on small changes: Big changes are usually overwhelming and stressful. Small changes can be an
effective way to modify behavior.

A little about me and my work: I write internally published horror, fantasy, science fiction, and weird
west stories for podcasts, anthologies, and magazines. My short stories tales appeared in Andromeda
Spaceways Magazine; Unnerving Magazine; Cosmic Horror Monthly; Dark Matter Magazine; the British
SF Association’s Fission Magazine; Tales to Terrify; Chromophobia; Musings of the Muse; Dancing in the
Shadows – A Tribute to Anne Rice; the Stoker-nominated Fright Mare: Women Write Horror; and many

My debut supernatural western novel: Melinda West: Monster Gunslinger (Brigids Gate Press, 2023), is
described as a blend of Bonnie & Clyde meet The Witcher and Supernatural. Readers and reviewers call
the book “a fun, fast-paced, monster-filled joy ride,” “genre-blending,” “a story that is fascinating and
irresistible,” and a “massive crowd-pleaser.”

You can learn more at these links:

Get KC’s book here (affiliate link)

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show

Choosing Me

Written By: Chasity L Strawder

This week, I had the pleasure of being on the Write or Die Show to share my journey of overcoming severe depression and anxiety in 2022. Randi-Lee is a gracious host. She is witty and conversational. The show’s format is warm and relaxed. I was eager to answer the questions from Randi-Lee. This was the first time I had shared my mental health struggles on a public platform, but I was extremely comfortable. After the show, I felt confident in knowing I helped someone who might be suffering silently from mental health issues.

My main coping strategy for depression is putting myself first. In the past, I have been known to focus on what others are feeling or thinking about me out of fear of rejection. I would go along with decisions even though I wanted to say no or change my mind. I worked overtime to make others happy at the expense of being mentally and emotionally depleted. Now I know it is okay to do things in my best interest. I do not have to concern myself with what others think of me.

Finally, I am the proud author of Broken for The Promise. It is my memoir of how I overcame a deadly disease while homeless and pregnant.

Get Chasity’s Book Here

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show


Author: Gayle M Smith

Randi-Lee and I had an engaging conversation about strategies to improve mental health. She picked up on the word acknowledge.
It is important when we are stressed and unhappy to take a first step to acknowledge that we have a problem or challenge. Once we acknowledge our stress, unhappiness, or poor coping strategies, then we are one step closer to seeking out support and resources. 
My conversation with Randi-Lee allowed me to reflect on how life is like a narrative or a story. When we can examine our story, we get an opportunity to look at our life from a different perspective, and then we can explore new narratives for ourselves. Instead of living out a story where “I always do this unhealthy activity or think these unhealthy thoughts or seek out unhealthy relationships,”  we can gain a perspective on our life by talking to a therapist or a skilled friend, journalling, reading, or listening to podcasts. We might discover times when we didn’t always think and act in unhealthy ways. We find the exceptions, where we made a choice that had a more satisfying and healthy outcome. Armed with this self-awareness, we are equipped to choose a different narrative. I can restory my life. This is a highly simplified explanation of a form of therapy called Narrative Therapy. 
As writers or readers, we have the advantage of using our imaginations to live many different kinds of lives through the characters we read about. Our imagination, thus inspired, offers different options for ourselves. Many people have risen above their troubles through their ability to imagine a different life for themselves. Characters in stories become role models, mentors, and heroes. Because the main characters are flawed, it makes them even more accessible. Or we can read about a character and realize that’s not what we want for ourselves. 
I love to go on horse adventures and so I have written a novel about a young woman who goes on a horse adventure. In Thickwood, the main character overcomes obstacles and challenges and develops inner strength. I wrote the kind of story that I love to read and imagine. 
I feel privileged to be able to write, share stories, and live a life of adventure and challenge. We are all on a journey to create our own story and end up satisfied! 

Get Gayle’s book here.

Posted in blog, Write or Die Show

Discovering Your Identity

Author: Urmi Hossain

Discovering Your Identity – A rebirth from interracial struggle – this is the first book that I published.  Like many, writing a book was always on my bucket list, but I didnt think I would have fulfilled this goal so soon. I guess when you do manifest your goals, things really happen!

I was inspired to write my book after reading a similar book called Confessions of a Brown Girl by Saleha Mirza. I remember approaching the author and asking her for guidance and the reasons behind her book publication. 

After speaking to her, I was determined enough to publish my first book. My main goals in writing this book were for self-accomplishment, to heal myself, and to share my story of being a South Asian girl born and raised in a western society. Unfortunately, the cultures of the west and east often clash culturally and women really suffer because of societal norms and double standards. With this book, I wanted to share who I really was and why for all these years, it was hard for me to fit in. Sometimes we get mistaken by people because there is so much we keep in and there is only so much we show to the world. With this book, I wanted to make someone feel less alone if they are struggling to fit in. 

For me, the process of writing was very therapeutic and I got positive reviews from many of the readers who picked this book.

Some words of advice: 

1. Don’t perform to fit in – It will come at your own cost. If you decide to do that, It is a lie you will live for the rest of your life where you chose others before choosing yourself. Remember- happiness and joy start from you first and then spread them around your surroundings. 

2. Being unique is a celebration – You don’t need anyone’s validation for your actions and what you do. What counts is who you are inside and what you bring to this world. You are enough for what you can give and you don’t need to sacrifice your identity and who you are really to blend in. Diversity is richness. 

3. Life is a work in progress – We are not born knowing everything and we are constantly changing and evolving to be who we are meant to be. For someone struggling to fit in especially when you are a third-culture kid, you don’t need to check that box; you are the box. It is up to you to create it. Whatever you do in life, just follow your instincts and you will be who you are meant to be. 

Get your Copy of Urmi’s Book Here