Special Edition: Niamh Clune—Orange Petals in a Storm

special edition day any

orange petals in the stormOrange Petals in a Storm
Written by Niamh Clune
Post Created by Jk the secret keeper
Posted On Wednesday 18th September 2013

april thomas  ascension artist group

Check the above site out. April Thomas Blog “Ascension Artist Group” feature authors. Particularly, look for the post featuring Niamh Clune, talking about her foundations in life and her desire to write. The book she is featuring is “Orange Petals in a Storm.” A fantasy of a young girl who loses everything when her mother dies. At the beginning of the book she is running through the rain to reach the home she lived in with her mother.

From there the adventure goes back in time to recall all Skyla McFee had to endure and the magic she discovered in her imagination which helped in a huge way to help her cope with the situation she found herself stuck in. Read the book to find out what materializes from within Skyla McFee’s imagination. It will surprise you, delight you, and hold your attention to the very last page.

I have followed the author, Niamh Clune, from the first day I became aware of her genius in the use of words and language. Five stars, I give to all her books. Another of which is “The Coming of the Feminine Christ,” a book of truth, an amazing confrontation with an angel in the middle of a Virgin Forrest, [she wasn't alone when she witness the materialization with the Angel ], it was profound for all, but a message was transmitted into Dr. Clune’s mind, a message meant for all of mankind. We need to change our ways or all will be lost.

There are many more offerings in this amazing book, which will open up your mind to other understandings. “The Coming of the Feminine Christ” is right up there with “Orange Petals in a Storm” as a Five Star Book.

Niamh Clune is a brilliant writer and poet, excelling in everything she sets her mind to and oh, what a brilliant mind. Her soul and heart shine through in all that she writes and all she does.

Do check out this site and search out the post on the author Niamh Clune. It, also, gives you locations where you can purchase these marvelous books. Also, see below for those link.

We all need “Orange Petals in a Storm” and “The Coming of the Feminine Christ” in our reading collections. Once you have read them once, you will want to repeat the experience. Written by Jennifer Kiley — Jk the secret keeper

Behind The Books Featured Author: Niamh Clune [Find Here]
Niamh Clune: Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 12:59 PM

You will find Orange Petals In A Storm Find Here

The Coming Of The Feminine Christ
Find Here

And my children’s books are on the plum tree books web-site

Who Is Sharmishtha Basu?

the secret keeper:

a divider for posts no 2A wonderful interview for a beautifully spirited young woman who I have been lucky to get to know little by little. I would like to share her with those who follow me. You will be the lucky ones if you read about her and check her writings out. She has taught me a great deal. It is so delightful to read more about Sharmishtha Basu. She has been an inspiration for me for some time. I have been fortunate to get to write to her and she in return. I have learned a great deal from her and from reading her writing. Trisha, it is great to see you doing this interview. A whole world opens up about you. Some of which I knew but your life and world and dreams are remarkable. I, too, want to visit Paris, France. But my other place is Tuscany in the country. I love your writing. And being prolific is something we share but I think you far surpass me. I confine myself to one blog now. There is so much to write. Your goals are commendable. Thank you, Johnny Ojanpera for featuring Trisha on your blog. We all care about her and love her open heart. She is so giving and generous. Her spirit brightens up my nights. That is when I am online. We share the night. It is either the quiet or that everyone else is asleep, the muse can really open herself to your reception. This was a great interview. Jk a divider for posts no 2

Originally posted on johnny ojanpera:


I have been granted an interview with one of my favorite writers. Her name is Sharmishtha Basu. She is a rare talent, and able to capture her environment and put it into words. So few people are capable of this feat. Most of a writer’s time is spent reading and analyzing other writer’s work, so when I come across someone with this natural ability to draw me into their world, I can’t help but share it with others. Sharmishtha is one of those writers; a true writer marked by her ability to produce words of substance at a rate that most of us envy. These are her words.

1. Where are you from?

I am from India, at present I live in Kolkata (Calcutta); one of the most famous places in India. I believe Mother Teresa lived here, so did one too many legends of India like Tagore. Kolkata of…

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Private Writings: Chapter #9 — Talking Privately

private writings to a psychoanalyst (c) Jk 2013
Private Writings: Chapter #9 — Talking Privately
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Illustrated by j. kiley
First Posting March 19th 2013
Posted Weekly Early Tuesday Morning
Posted 14th May 2013



Private Writings: Chapter #9 — Talking Privately

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Dear Annie

We had a first chance after group today to talk one on one. You gave me time for the first time. If you only knew how much talking to you privately, even for a short time, meant to me. It gave me the chance to hear your voice separate from other people listening. I like the way your voice sounds. Its so much more relaxed. At least, that is the way it sounds when you speak with me. You’re voice is so soft and delicate. I didn’t get a chance to congratulate you on how well you led the group today. I was so shy while we spoke, I forgot. It was nice and such a relief not to have Mr. Xxx there today. It was great he took another day off. Your technique for running the group is so unique. If I told you since I was a teenager I’ve been in over five professional groups. This, I hate to say it, is the worse run group I’ve ever been in. It’s not the members. It’s the leader. At least, he didn’t have a nervous breakdown in the middle of a group session. That was pretty fucking weird. He was replaced by the novice therapist who sat in the group the way that you do.

You are a natural. People listen to you and you definitely don’t try to dominate the time of the session. Everyone got to speak and they were able to get out important issues. Mr. Xxx never lets us talk about anything. He’s so afraid someone is going to be triggered. What the fuck does he expect. We’ve all been traumatized. Of course, there are issues that will set people off. That’s going to happen in a group session or private session. Talking today about trusting people and how we feel about being touched were and are extremely important issues with everyone in our group. And they are not meant to be easy to talk about, but they need to be. How else are we going to heal the wounds they caused, if we don’t open up about how they effect us.

I wrote a poem a short while ago about touch. That’s how much the group has effected me. I haven’t written anything since the Diana poem the first month I started seeing Mr. Xxx. If I get brave enough, I will include the poem at the end of this letter. That’s if I get brave enough to let you read it. I don’t let anyone read my writing, creative writing that is. But I think I will take a chance and trust you. I don’t think you would hurt me if I let myself be vulnerable by showing you the words I write creatively. I really opened up in this poem. When I’ve finished this letter I will make the decision then whether to include the poem. I am leaning toward wanting to be brave and take a chance.

But back on the subject of the group. You got my friend Kristina to open up. She hates to say anything. Mr. Xxx always forces her into the light when she just wants to listen. It’s important to listen but we all need to speak out loud. But he does it against her will. That to me seems to perpetrate what our abusers did. You got her to talk by letting her respond to something Lisa said. It had to do with loving other women in an intimate relationship. She said that she didn’t understand it. Not in a disapproving way. One of her abusers was a woman. Someone who should have been a protector. She wanted to know how she could get close to a woman. She could have been asking the same question if it were a man that Lisa was getting close to. That was sort of what Lisa said. You’re attracted to who you’re attracted to. Lisa and I are both lesbians but still find some men attractive. We just wouldn’t want to have sex with them.

With me it wouldn’t matter either way. I don’t want sex with anyone. The abusers totally fucked that up for me. Would you believe I’ve never had sex when I’ve been sober. It’s sadly true. Drug of choice was pot. I needed to start out with a joint or a full pipe and keep it coming the whole evening. There would usually be alcohol on the side. Usually beer, wine, champagne, I loved champagne most of all. Scottie was strictly the strong stuff, so I would enjoy a game where one of us would take a small mouth full of booze and you’d pass the liquor back and forth through a super-sensual kiss. That made kissing more fun. The fun stopped before I stopped the drugs and booze. Sex was becoming a problem. Without too much detail, I’m not ready for that yet, what abusers did was catching up with me fast. There lessons were effecting the way my body responded to being touched. That’s all I can tell you right now.

Emotionally, that is another subject altogether, I am really fucked up when it comes to expressing my feelings. I have no idea what they are or what they mean. If I am not depressed then I feel completely numb. I go from numb to being overly excited. Anger, anxiety and fear are the only things my brain know how to let me feel. Otherwise I am dead inside. I know who I love or at least who I want to be with. I know if I care about someone but I can’t translate that into feelings.

I, also, know if I am obsessed with someone. They are in every free thought in my head. My feelings for them are so powerful. Obsessions are all consuming. They devour my ability to think logically. I always thought that was what love felt like but that is so far from the truth. It tends to freak some people out. It had one of my therapists really freaked about. She must have had a bad experience with someone being obsessed with her. I may get obsessed but I respect boundaries. But I still freaked her a bit. Nothing I could do about that. I still don’t think I understand why I get obsessed. Do you know, what causes it in me to have that reaction but with only certain people. Why those people? Why only one person at a time? Just something to look into.

I’d like to understand that part of myself, My personality who is obsessed goes by the name Meg. She is highly emotional and was created around the time of our grandmother’s death and our obsession began with an actress/singer/writer who our grandmother told us to follow. That she would make for a great role model. We followed our grandmother’s advice. The person that we follow has had a powerful effect on us. I think we continued feeling some kind of love through her that otherwise would have been lost and we would have been lost with it.

But now I want to figure out about my nature to become obsessive. I think it is under some control but I cannot explain that now. I worry that someone else will bring me under that spell of oppression. Freudian slip there, I meant to say obsession. Maybe now I see it as oppressive. But to whom? Myself or the person who is the object of my obsessive need for them.

I think I have come to the end of my words for this letter. Now I need to decide about the poem I wrote. Let me look over it. If any or all of it feel like I can reveal the contents to you, I will include in this letter or a future letter. If I do include it I will post after the end of the letter.

Until next time.


ATTENTION ANNIE: At this moment I am not trying to be a coward, but I feel if I hold back now or never send this to you, I am freeing myself up to write whatever without censorship. On some future date, if trust grows, I will release my letters to you. What I write in honesty, I will keep confidential. On my honour, no others shall see these pages.
Madison Taylor

Somewhere In Time – John Barry


le chateau de rocher by j. kiley (c) jennifer kiley 2013   824x552

Le Chateau de Rocher is the home of Madison and Scottie & their three cats Mikey Toker & Patrick

glass enclosed pool le chateau de rocher

rain in garden gif

This is the poem I was telling you about. I looked through the poem I found that I needed to edit it down before I added it to this letter. Since I am not even sure if I am going to give these letters to you, I felt it is okay if I include the poem in this letter. And if some day, I change my mind and I hand my building collection of letters to you, then I will likely evaluate all that I have written to determine if all of the content of each letter feels acceptable to me to share openly with you. I may feel too shy to be so vulnerable. We will proceed as we have for now and see this as a way of recording the experience of getting to know you and in turn get to know how this all effects me as a record this experience in writing.

To Be Touched or Not To Be Touched
By Madison Taylor
November 26th 2007

To be touched or not to be touched
Never was that a question
As a child or as an adult
It was always assumed as an adult
As a child it was always forced
Only two exceptions
My grandmother who loved me
My grandfather who liked to hold my hand
Two special weeks every summer
I had them all to myself
Grandma Emily, everyday, talked to me on the phone
We created our own alphabet
Only we could read

Special dinners for the whole family
Food my grandma knew I loved
She would accidentally include carrots
I loathe cooked carrots, they make me gag
It was the Shadow Mother’s delight
To force cooked carrots on me
One of her tortures she relished secretly
No less than once a week
But often, more often
It was her Sadistic game
To force food in me I didn’t want
To deny food or nourishment
When it was needed
I was a waif as a child
Legs were like sticks
Water was what I got
To make it through the night

Til after midnight, I sat
Carrots would not go down
Or my stomach would growl
Hungry, a wild animal seeking prey
As I tried falling asleep
Before the break of day

Insomnia started back then
I was afraid of the night
Things happened in the night
Bad things
Out of my control
They haunted the dark
My sleep corrupted
I pretended sleep often
I lived on the ceiling
It came
In the darkness
If I was still
It would go away
But it always returned
The darkness
What came with the darkness

Don’t like the darkness
Now lights have to follow me
Wherever I go
Always there needs to be light
Do not want to open eyes
And just see black
Always flashlights
Always candles
Matches too
In case of a power out
I freeze in place
Until the light comes
I am only safe in the light.

© madison taylor 2007

candle flame flickering gif

QUOTATIONS from: Private Writings

“A Dream

The beginning always starts out with a dream.
It is all a dream
And we are all players
In our own nightmares”
— Madison Taylor

“For that fine madness still he did retain,
Which rightly should possess a poet’s brain.”
~Michael Drayton~

“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”
Christopher Marlowe for “Hero and Leander”

“A therapeutic relationship is often more psycho-emotionally intimate than a marriage, or a romantic attachment. I know things about my patients that they would never dream of revealing to their spouses or families. Why is that? One word — trust. If you do not have a connection with a therapist, you cannot trust them. If you do not have trust, you will not expose yourself, and if you do not expose your innermost being, what good is the therapy?” — unknown but ask any great therapist

“Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence…whether much that is glorious–whether all that is profound–does not spring from disease of thought…” — Edgar Allan Poe


“A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”
― Truman Capote

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” ― William Hazlitt, Selected Essays, 1778-1830

“The fun of talk is to explore, but much of it and all that is irresponsible should not be written. Once written you have to stand by it. You may have said it to see whether you believed it or not.” ― Ernest Hemingway

“The art of true conversation consisted in the play of minds.” ― Ved Mehta, All for Love

“Weird people don’t care if they’re weird. They are the most entertaining to converse with because nothing is off-limits.” ― Donna Lynn Hope

play is not just play meryl streep

The Secret Keeper Opened Up Two Years Ago

The Secret Keeper Opened Up Two Years Ago
WordPress Sent Me A Notification Moments Ago
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Created & Posted 05.06.13

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself
Was Posted On May 6th 2011

moon watching over all --- artist unknown 5.6.13 it was two years ago today

moon watching over all — artist unknown 5.6.13 it was two years ago today

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself
by jen kiley “the secret keeper”
Posted May 6th 2011

This is an excerpt from a manuscript that I started writing while I was seeing M. who I felt was the best psychotherapist I ever worked with. She is my inspiration and muse. The stages that it is in now are more like a patchwork quilt of writings from notebooks and poems and letters and emails and role playing screenplays that I have written and continue to write everyday. I choose this blog site as a place where I can be open and honest with my thoughts and feelings and be the real person that I am in all the multiple facets of my psyche. I am hoping I will be able to post open and honest writings that help me develop and release what has and is happening in my life. Truth is what I am seeking and the revealing of secrets and recalling of memories are only some of what I want to express here on this blog. Hopefully, it will not all be serious. My new therapist wants me to laugh more and encourages me to watch shows and films that do just that, make me laugh. Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory are the best shows at creating that overwhelming feeling in me to feel hysterically silly and to laugh so hard I can barely catch my breath. I leave you to read what I am sharing. Be kind. I am new to this kind of truthful exposure.

9.20.10 – 2:15 am – monday

Reality…love…animals first…people…therapist before other people but S.O… my bird… my main kitties…fur…petting…loving…trusting…wanting love…wanting attention… petting…my bird sharing my meals…nothing better than that…sharing my juice… climbing all over me…getting up on my hand…sitting and resting on my shoulders or stomach for hours…nothing like it…sleeping with me while I write or work on the computer…hanging out together…my little buddy…my bird…my beautiful multi-colored protector…the most wonderful creature in the whole world…I feel that way about her …and I feel special ways about my special kitties too…snuggling with them…sleeping with them at night or when they sleep in my lap or draped over my arms in my chair …I love the feeling…I live for the moments…I live for those moments when M. smiles at me and tells me I am a good person and that I did good… when we looked into each others eyes when she was trying to get me to reach the child inside me…we both tried to get me there but it is a long distance inside to that place…

<3 Love <3

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself
But if your love and must needs have desires,
Let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook
That sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
And give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer
For the beloved in your heart
And a song of praise upon your lips.
~ by Kahlil Gibran ~

Mozart – Lacrimosa

the 9th – the day I found out that M. was leaving, no longer to be my therapist. I found out later during our last session we would not be able to have any contact at all with each other for two years.

I dedicate the first post on “all is one” to M. (It didn’t take me long to change her name to “the secret keeper” and she is all mine to do with what I feel she needs to do.) She taught me that we are all connected no matter where we are in our lives. She is gone now – left abruptly from my life. It has caused me a great deal of pain and continues to do so. I love this woman more than can ever be expressed in words. Even Kahlil Gibran only comes slightly close to how I feel. We did some intense work together unearthing some of the memories of the abuse from my childhood and we tried to confront the issues that I am going through today. I am now seeing a new therapist that M. chose for me. She is quite good but I miss M. terribly and my psychological issues are only compounded by the loss of her in my life and in our therapeutic relationship. I stay connected to her through my writing. She continues to be my inspiration and my muse and I write to her in my notebooks to enter into my manuscript everyday and every night. She is there with me in those moments. It was because of her that I returned to my writing and she also brought me back to my roots in meditation. When she left I pulled back from meditating and certain music because it strongly reminded me of her and the level of pain and depression and suicidal thoughts I had were too difficult to experience in all of their intensity. She abandoned me. I miss her hugs; her voice; the way her eyes looked into mine; her gentleness; her understanding; her peacefulness and calmness and most of all her love. She is connected to my soul. I will love her always and forever.

This is just the beginning of writing here. If someone passes through and should happen to read any of what I have written I will tell you that there will be more and the depth I intend to fathom shall hopefully be expressive, thoughtful and revealing in honesty.

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candle flame flickering gif

I add to what I wrote over two years ago, that I feel that I have followed the path that I stated back then and try to bring honesty and feelings to what is post on “the secret keeper.” I, also, try to have fun when there is a need for that. There is always a need to laugh and to cry. The first is laughing and I do that as often as possible. The second, crying, I still haven’t found the door that allows me to open it and the tears to be released. Only when something traumatizing occurs do I lose control of what holds back the tears. The Shadow Mother, the name I give my birth mother who is gone now, is the one who put my child in that prison many years ago when I was a defenseless child. I couldn’t fight her. Instead I would apologize to her and beg her forgiveness for punishing me. She forced that child to go to the deepest darkest dungeon inside my unconscious where there is no light for her to find her way out.

Those who have experienced or are experiencing brutality, remember and remind yourself that you didn’t do anything to deserve this kind of horrendous treatment. You need healing with the right person or people. I have been fortunate to have met different people in my life that have tried to help me. I feel, though, that I am very close to people in my life who are giving me a great deal of help with their love and support. It helps when you are surrounded by love and understanding. Love is so very important in everyone’s life. I feel that in my life now.

Writing “the secret keeper” has expanded my world and I feel so lucky to have met the people who I found through this world. One could say it is a very magical and mystical world where the unknown and impossible is knowable and possible.

I wondered why my muse wanted to watch movie trailers. She was stalling me until the announcement came through from WordPress, otherwise, I would never have realized the two year anniversary. I suppose I should send out a thank-you to “M” for leading me into the world of blogging. Honestly, I had another blog that I did for a short time. It was the oddest thing. I found myself on WordPress. I do not even remember why and the next thing I knew I had signed up to write a blog. My reaction: “I DID WHAT?” I was wondering what was I thinking about when I did that. I don’t know anything about writing a blog. I let it sit. Then one day I started to write. I wasn’t really myself when I was doing that blog so I gradually diminished its place in my life and that is when I realized I needed to create what eventually became “the secret keeper” but once was called “all is one” — that was named that for my meditative self but not who really needed this blog to be hers. I needed the healer and the to be healed to be what this blog was for and about. “the secret keeper” is for those who have secrets they need to reveal or for those who need a place to open up and have their secrets kept just that “secret.” Some secrets need to be shouted out loud and others need to be shared in a quiet way. The “evil” doers need to be exposed, those in pain need to know they are not alone.

I want to be able to write about any content that needs to be discussed. Hopefully, I have been doing that over the past two years, more being in the last year plus several months. I have made a commitment to myself to post something everyday. So far I have been doing that for awhile now. Doing a post a day has been good for me. It keeps my mind focused and for those who follow me and that I follow, it has been an experience to keep connected with all of you.

I keep growing and learning something all the time. One, that there is not enough time in one day for everything, but you try to fit it all in but find it exhausting and close to impossible but I am not saying it isn’t attempted. We are still learning about that one.

Did my muse or I find anything interesting in the movie trailers? Well, there is a movie with Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton and Susan Sarandon are in that is out now. The Big Wedding and I remember seeing Tom Cruise in one that is rather spooky and takes place in the future. No humans left on Earth as far as I can tell. Oblivion. Then some scary, creepy crap in between. The devil wants a baby. Probably Zombies. I wasn’t playing close attention. In fact, think I was eating cereal at the time. Put “The Big Wedding” trailer on again and it looks funny. Well, the trailer makes me laugh. Oh, the next trailer I do remember now. The movie titled: MUD has feeling of STAND BY ME but more law involved. Stars Matthew McConaughey & Reese Witherspoon and two great kid actors. Roku has some of the wildest choices of channels.

Thank you all for following and hope you find something here that you want to read, listen to, like, or have a comment you’d like to make, or just follow in your own quiet way. Anyway that you like, you are welcome. by Jennifer Kiley j.kiley jk the secret keeper jk the SK
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first star on the right --- abstract digital art

first star on the right — abstract digital art

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Metallica — Nothing Else Matters
(One of Several Videos I Posted In My First Month as “the secret keeper” Two Years Ago)
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“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

“The past is never where you think you left it.” ― Katherine Anne Porter

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” ― George Harrison
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Editor’s Corner: 101.6

the secret keeper:

Editor’s Corner: 101.6 A most Brilliant and educational post about how to write by using the five senses. A worthy post happening every Tuesday on Plum Tree Books Facebook Page, Here on the Secret Keeper when I reblog it and on MacKenzie’s Dragon’s Nest and On the Plum Tree as a reblog and many other assorted places that also reblog it. But for now I have the link here on the secret keeper, so if you want to learn more of what Shawn has written and also to check out all things Dragon do pay a visit. jk the secret keeper *****(my comment from MacKenzie’s Dragon’s Nest)*****All the “five” senses but I count six. I feel aware of that one, also. When writing it takes great effort to incorporate all that surrounds you in an imaginary story. You have to see, hear, taste, touch and feel all that is happening in an environment that strictly speaking is entirely in your imagination which can be located in so many different places but mostly it allows you to speak with it through your mind or heart or body or soul. So, what I am saying is that the imagination needs to be tuned into all the senses to feed their awareness back to your consciousness in order to record the messages that are being translated or transported. Your post this week on Editor’s Corner is brilliant. In fact, each week they excel to even a higher bar each week as you write and present them. It was a divine scene with the little ones as an inspiration. That was quite the treat. The muse helped you out a bit with that one. Animals can be so inspirational when they want to be and will cooperate. Great post Shawn. jk the SK.

Originally posted on MacKENZIE's Dragon's Nest:

In the Realm of the Senses

Scribe small“Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert.” …. Sir William Osler, M.D., C.M.

Last night I was watching the cats play with the chinchillas (a special birthday treat for the kittens). Claws sheathed, eyes wide, ears forward, whiskers twitching, and mouths open to taste the air, they were totally in the now, absorbing the experience with every sense at their disposal. The chins, too.  kids

Oh, the lessons we learn from our companion critters everyday!

Try though we might to place ourselves on a separate, gilded rung of the evolutionary ladder, we human beings are still animals. Like other furred, feathered, or scaled creatures, we still count on our senses to guide us through the world. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell…

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Private Writings: Chapter #6 — Hidden Within

private writings to a psychoanalyst (c) Jk 2013
Private Writings: Chapter #6 — Hidden Within
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Illustrated by j. kiley
First Posting 03.19.13
Posted Early Tuesday Morning
Posted 23rd April 2013


Private Writings: Chapter #6 — Hidden Within

Tuesday, November 6th 2007

Dear Annie,

In my letter this week, I want to tell you some important things you need to know about the relationship between myself and another member of the group. It came to me that it would make sense for you to get to know me through other members of the group. I speak of two groups, the one you and I meet with every Tuesday and there is the all important group that live inside my own head. Where to begin? I thought I would be talking to you about Angie today.

The way she acted in group today was just a bit dramatic. I try to be understanding. I know about suicide. If it isn’t in my daily or weekly vigil when I sit with my mind I wouldn’t understand why she gets so obsessed with it. Her’s is different than mine. I think through the process, always living through the sensations of dying. But mine is more like the third act of a Shakespeare play. Except Juliet wakes up in time.

Mr. Xxx plays directly into her manipulation. She is not the only member of the group that has suicide on their speed dial. I, sincerely, want to be more compassionate but when someone takes up all the group time continuously, leaving no room for anyone else to talk. It gets tiring to listen. Call it selfish. Well, it is. I talk to Mr. Xxx about it and he tells me I am being insensitive. Well, excuse me, but it is my therapy time, too. I’m not the only one who will tell you they feel abandoned and also have strong feelings and thoughts of suicide.

Mr. Xxx has his two favorites and fuck the rest of us. It puts a giant wedge between our therapist and all of us inside of me. We feel neglected and ignored and abandoned. It isn’t really cool if a therapist repeats the habits of one’s childhood caregivers. He’s great at fucking people up. But Fuck this. I decided I don’t want to think about group any more. Except to say that you need to rescue us. I will speak for myself. I am mentally creative. The other terms I reject. I know I am bipolar and have a list of other mentally creative ways of using my mind but I need to be rescued.

I need to find my soul. It got buried underneath an ocean of invisibly blocked tears. If I ever get to a place when I am able to cry when I allow myself to own my sadness, Noah better be ready to build another arc. You think Alice got washed away in Wonderland. My pool of tears far exceed the norm. Since I was a kid and the tears were made to stop, I feel ashamed when even the slightest hint that a tear is going to escape the corner of my eye. I freeze. I become so embarrassed. I am so afraid for anyone, even myself sometimes, if I should get caught crying.

I can only cry at death. It breaks me down. I am so vulnerable to only specific deaths. My doctor died a few years ago. She was younger than I am now. It was a shock to everyone who knew her. I use to see her every week. It was a particularly bad time emotionally and mentally. Every suicidal method of escape had to be hidden from me. That meant I had to see her every week to pick up my psyche meds. She was my supplier. I’d get my meds. We’d talk. I felt we were getting close. Then I would meet with my psychotherapist after I saw Anne. Yes, her name was Anne. That’s what makes your name so nice. I love the sound of it.

It is so difficult for me to trust anyone. It seems I am a curse to them. They just keep dying. And they are always so young and have full lives to live. We just don’t know when death is coming for us. A woman I loved deeply, died so suddenly. I never thought the pain would ever be bearable. I think it’s bearable because the feelings are in hiding. I am taking my chances with you. I want to be open with you. Call it a compulsion. Something echos in my head about you. A voice calls to me. It’s coming from inside of you. You want me to be connected to you. I’m not sure why but you want to get to know me. If that is true, I feel exactly the same way. The feeling is strong that we are meant to know each other. We are meant to get close. I think we will. Let’s just give it some time. When the moment is right, we’ll know it. It will be like fireworks. Everyone will notice.

One last thing I want to be perfectly clear, I am a lesbian and I have alters, other personalities. They all come with DID, dissociative identity disorder, and still I am blessed with bipolar, too. I go high. I go low. I change into different personalities, never knowing who might pop out. It is a curse and a blessing. I got the positive, the creative energy DNA. It gave me other blessings, also. I’ll save those for another time.

My most pronounced alter is Brad. He gets really protective. His rages scare the shit out of anyone at the other end of his outbursts. I promise he will respect you. I won’t let him get angry with you ever. He does listen to me most of the time. The abusers helped create them, the group. The first one born is Marnie. She was abused while we were just a baby, barely able to walk. Our bastard of a father abused her until we were a teenager. The last time was when he attacked us and we fought back but we don’t remember winning. We buried that memory for years.

Why do you have that effect on me. You have cast a spell on me. An Honesty spell. Ask me anything. I’d give you the truth. Maybe I better stop now. I told you far too much. This is going to kick back on me. I can feel the triggers ready to shot me full of regret. But I want you to get to know me. Next time we talk, it’s going to be about you. I want to get to know you. As much as you are willing to share. I know you shrinks don’t like to share much but I am someone you can trust. I would never abuse your trust.

I want to close this letter with a poem I wrote that I thought would be revealing. It is the first poem I have written since I started seeing Mr. Xxx, other than the one I wrote about Princess Diana after she was killed. I am trusting you not to laugh. It is rather primitive but also raw and revealing. I think getting to know you has inspired me to start to write again. It is scary for me to share this but I want you to read it. I’d like to know what you think of it. Keep in mind it has been a long time. I wrote this a few days ago. I will leave it at the end of the letter.

I don’t expect you to respond to my poem after you read it. It is only given to you so you will see what is going on inside of me. Something that may help you to understand a deeper part of who we are inside. Try not to be a critic. Instead look at the feelings and the pain of the betrayal that confused my whole life and created who I am or who we are. That almost kept us from staying alive. But we fought through their trying to destroy us. We wouldn’t let them. Even though they tried really hard to steal every part of us away so we wouldn’t even know who we were and who we are now. The last part of the poem, I am not entirely sure we know the answer to that, the who we are bit. Keep this in mind while you read it. What is contained in the poem is what I have been trying to work out now and have been working on since I started this trip as a teenager.

Don’t worry, I will tell you more as the weeks go by and we get to know you. We really do want you to know us. Somehow I think everyone wants someone important to them, to know who they are and to mean something special to them. You are one of those people to me. I want someday to be important to you as I am finding that you are becoming important to me. It makes life more meaningful somehow. To share your self with someone else. Someone you love and care about and to hope and have them care and love you back. It is a special feeling to share that with someone. It is happening inside of me with you. Someday, I would like it if you knew that about me. Someday, I hope you will.

Well, I better stop now or I will write more than I mean to write and say too much and scare you away. So, until our next moment of honesty I will say I care about you, even though I don’t know you well. You just give off something that makes a person want to care. Read my poem with an open mind and open heart. Good-bye for now.


ATTENTION ANNIE: At this moment I am not trying to be a coward, but I feel if I hold back now or never send this to you, I am freeing myself up to write whatever without censorship. On some future date, if trust grows, I will release my letters to you. What I write in honesty, I will keep confidential. On my honour, no others shall see these pages.

Madison Taylor.

Annie Haskell --- Madison Tayler's Psychoanalyst's Office

Madison Tayler’s Fantasy of Annie Haskell’s Office as a Psychoanalyst

Somewhere In Time – John Barry

rain in garden gif

“Who Am I?”
By Madison Taylor
Nov. 5th 2007

“Who am I
The writer
The lover
The thinker
Or the fool for not hearing
The silence for not screaming
The feelings trying to explode
Where was the awareness?
We say quietly
Welcome to the surface
Now what needs to be done?

Releasing the energy ensnared
For decades amongst twisted webs
The voice is seeking freedom
Holding onto multiple secrets
Of rape
Of abuse
Of wanting love
Of not wanting sex
Of not wanting sexual arousal
Of creating a world locking us inside our mind
Of leaving the outside one behind
Of living a fake life
Of a fake person
Of a puppet we sent out to represent
To hide in plain site
Where no one would find us
Or know our hiding place
We learned to be safe
That world no longer protects us
It has changed
We are learning
Beginning to live
Finding answers to questions
Finding our place
In a world we have a right
To live in
We are here
Wanting to be alive
We chose life.”

© madison taylor 2007

candle flame flickering gif

labyrinth of a wandering wonderland

Labyrinth of a wandering wonderland where Madison, Scottie and their cats, Mikey, Patrick and Toker, love to escape to

QUOTATIONS from: Private Writings

“A Dream

The beginning always starts out with a dream.
It is all a dream
And we are all players
In our own nightmares”
— Madison Taylor

“For that fine madness still he did retain,
Which rightly should possess a poet’s brain.”
~Michael Drayton~

“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”
Christopher Marlowe for “Hero and Leander”

“A therapeutic relationship is often more psycho-emotionally intimate than a marriage, or a romantic attachment. I know things about my patients that they would never dream of revealing to their spouses or families. Why is that? One word — trust. If you do not have a connection with a therapist, you cannot trust them. If you do not have trust, you will not expose yourself, and if you do not expose your innermost being, what good is the therapy?” — unknown but ask any great therapist

“Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence…whether much that is glorious–whether all that is profound–does not spring from disease of thought…” — Edgar Allan Poe


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

play is not just play meryl streep

Wednesday On The Plum Tree: In the Sandbox With Dr. Ampat Koshy.

the secret keeper:

This is the first appearance of Dr. Ampat Koshy ontheplumtree blog. He has presented a great introduction into what to expect. I am impressed and learned from his knowledge. I highly recommend visiting Niamh Clune’s blog to see first hand what a fine sense of poetry Dr. Koshy has to offer. jk the secret keeper

Originally posted on Plum Tree Books Blog:

Each Wednesday, I want to feature a rotation of different poets/writers writing about poetry…why they like a particular poem, new discoveries, (could be you) a little analysis. First to make his appearance on The Wednesday Corner is Dr. Ampat Koshy. We have already published several of Ampat’s poems in our various anthologies. We are  very excited to welcome him here onto the Plum Tree.

Dr. Koshy is the author of the popular – A Treatise for Poetry For Beginners, one among four books he has authored or co-authored. He is an assistant professor in Saudi Arabia, a poet, short story writer and critic.

Thank you, Dr. Koshy for joining us on the plum tree.


In The Sandbox By Dr. Ampat Koshy

Writing poetry is one of the greatest pleasures in the world. So is reading it and learning how to write it, at least for those who are addicted to…

View original 424 more words

purpose P U R P O S E purpose

purpose P U R P O S E purpose
Written by Jennifer Kiley
Art created by j. kiley
Created 04.13.13
Posted 04.13.13

purpose  P U R P O S E  purpose by j. kiley © jennifer kiley 2013

purpose P U R P O S E purpose by j. kiley © jennifer kiley 2013

Fireworks — Katy Perry


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life; it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” ― Mitsugi Saotome

“When you lost sight of your path, listen for the destination in your heart.” ― Katsura Hoshino

“The magic of purpose and of love in its purest form. Not televison love, with its glare and hollow and sequined glint; not sex and allure, all high shoes and high drama, everything both too small and in too much excess, but just love. Love like rain, like the smell of a tangerine, like a surprise found in your pocket.” ― Deb Caletti

“Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.” ― Gautama Buddha

“It’s funny. No matter how hard you try, you can’t close your heart forever. And the minute you open it up, you never know what’s going to come in. But when it does, you just have to go for it! Because if you don’t, there’s not point in being here.” ― Kirstie Alley

“Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose” ― Leonardo da Vinci

“In spite of where we were, how we had gotten here and why we had come, I felt that at this moment of our lives, this place was exactly where we belonged. We were not drifting but rising, rising toward something right and of significance.” ― Dean Koontz

“Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.” ― Brené Brown

“There are so many stupid things that steal that purpose from us. The stupid things that you believe a lie that we ‘re not as important as we really are. That our life isn’t as important as it really is. It’s important to the people that you love, it’s important to the people that you will love in the future, it’s important to the world around you and it’s so important that you fulfill the purpose that only you can fulfill the way that you can fulfill that.” ― Lacey Mosley

“I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth…
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars….the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…
are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
(You could be at “dash midrange.”)

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they
say about how you spend your dash?”
― Linda Ellis, The Dash Making A Difference With Your Life

“The great essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” ― Joseph Addison

“Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don’t see a different purpose for it now.” ― Dorothea Tanning

this is my purpose. this is what makes my life have meaning.

this is my purpose. this is what makes my life have meaning.

Writing Is Life Itself

Writing Is Life Itself
TED Talk: Roger Ebert: Remaking My Voice
Post Created by jk the secret keeper
Post Created 04.07.13
Posted 04.08.13

writer---film critic---thinker---roger ebert 1942---2013

writer—film critic—thinker—roger ebert 1942—2013

TED Talk — Roger Ebert — Remaking My Voice

When film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, he lost the ability to eat and speak. But he did not lose his voice. In this moving talk from TED2011, Roger Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, come together to tell his remarkable story.

“Life Itself: A Memoir” Excerpts from Roger Ebert’s Book:

“I was born inside the movie of my life. The visuals were before me, the audio surrounded me, the plot unfolded inevitably but not necessarily. I don’t remember how I got into the movie, but it continues to entertain me.”

“I got the feeling I sometimes have when reality realigns itself. It’s a tingling sensation moving like a wave through my body. I know the feeling precisely.”

“I read endlessly…one book led randomly to another. The great influence was Thomas Wolfe, who burned with the need to be a great novelist, and I burned in sympathy. I felt that if I could write like him, I would have nothing more to learn.”

“…the most useful advice I have ever received as a writer: ‘One, don’t wait for inspiration, just start the damn thing. Two, once you begin, keep on until the end. How do you know how the story should begin until you find out where it’s going?”

…the writing process is mostly an unconscious act of mesmerism by finding the purpose and doing it because you love it: “When I write, I fall into the zone many writers, painters, musicians, athletes, and craftsmen of all sorts seem to share: In doing something I enjoy and am expert at, deliberate thought falls aside and it is all just there. I think of the next word no more than the composer thinks of the next note.”

“My blog became my voice, my outlet, my ‘social media’ in a way I couldn’t have dreamed of. Into it I poured my regrets, desires, and memories…I didn’t intend for it to drift into autobiography, but in blogging there is a tidal drift that pushes you that way…first-person writing, and I’ve always written that way. How can a movie review be written in the third person…If it isn’t subjective, there’s something false about it.”

“The blog let loose the flood of memories…told…I should write my memoirs…It was the blog that taught me how. It pushed me into first-person confession, it insisted on the personal…Some of these words…first appeared in blog forms… They come pouring forth in a flood of relief.”

“…Movies are hardly ever about what they seem to be about. Look at a movie that a lot of people love, and you will find something profound…”

“…as a young boy I am awed by people who take the risks of performance. I become their advocate and find myself in sympathy.”

“What’s sad about not eating is the experience…The loss of dining, not the loss of food…The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments, and memories I miss. I ran in crowds where anyone was likely to start reciting poetry on a moment’s notice. Me too. But not me anymore. So yes, it’s sad. Maybe that’s why writing has become so important to me. You don’t realize it, but we’re at dinner right now.”

Relationship with mortality: “We’re all dying in increments.”


“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ― Madeleine L’Engle

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ― Anaïs Nin

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” ― Robert Frost

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
― Henry David Thoreau

“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” ― Neil Gaiman

“We live and breathe words. …. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt–I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted–and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.” ― Virginia Woolf

“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“You can make anything by writing.” ― C.S. Lewis

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” ― Neil Gaiman

“Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” ― Toni Morrison, The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” ― Anaïs Nin

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” ― John Steinbeck

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ― James A. Michener

“Write what should not be forgotten.” ― Isabel Allende

“Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.” ― Jules Renard

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.” ― Hermann Hesse

“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.” ― Dylan Thomas

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.” ― Carl Sagan

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” ― Frank Herbert

Best Film Critic Ever Dies—04.04.13

Best Film Critic Ever Dies—04.04.13
Tribute to Roger Ebert
June 18th, 1942 — April 4th, 2013
Post Created by jk the secret keeper
Created 04.04.13
Posted 04.05.13

Roger Ebert 1942 --- 2013

Roger Ebert 1942 — 2013

A Few Words About Roger Ebert
By Jennifer Kiley

I am too speechless to say anything but I will try. Roger Ebert’s death took me by surprise Thursday. That the cancer had returned and he was going for further treatment was the last thing I knew. And that he would write about his favorite films in the future. Others would take over the watching and reviewing of the majority of the films in the near future. Roger would return. But now he will never return with his brilliant words and observations about films and life. Whenever I wasn’t sure about watching a film, I would look to Roger for his guidance by scanning his reviews of the film in question. He was always fair, direct and honest about the way he evaluated a film. Some films that others turned away from Roger did not.

I was grateful to discover a great film many times because I trusted Roger and doubted those who dismissed the films in question so easily. Roger would go into great depth as to the reasons he felt a film was worth the time to view it. He always came up right in his recommendations. I have fallen in love with films that other people have shunned as boring or unwatchable and Roger praised as brilliant. I must admit that I favoured Gene Siskel when the two worked together. And like Gene and Roger, my partner and I would have the same debates over the same films. She would favour Roger’s views and I , Gene’s. But all that changed when Gene died so suddenly.

Roger gained my focus but there wasn’t anyone who could replace Gene. I started listening more to Roger. I started following him online by reading his reviews at the Sun Times and also reading his journal. Also, I loved following him on Twitter. He always left the most amusing comments and leads to fantastic reading material. Then he moved over to Facebook and I followed him there and continued to follow him on Twitter. I was hopeful when he tried to resurrect the PBS Review show after he had his cancer surgery and couldn’t speak except through a computerized voice and do a special review. I was so pleased but then it went away so suddenly, also.

Only a week ago, I wondered about whether I wanted to watch a film. It had received negative reviews by many reviewers. Then I thought of Roger. What would he say about this film. I never did find out but I am going to watch it because someone that had the spirit of Roger in her words recommended it as a film that stood out for its difference and how it treated life and women. I used that reviewer’s words in the post on that film and I definitely want to see it. I think Roger Ebert would approve. The mantle unfortunately has been reluctantly and unfortunately relinquished. I won’t be able to turn to Roger on any future films that come out but I will still be able to refer to the ones that he had already reviewed. He left a great legacy for all of us. I say Good-bye Roger. You were a great gift to us. Now it is time for you to be out of pain and to R.I.P. and look for your old partner Gene Siskel. Tell him you kept his secret to the end.

A statement from Chaz Ebert on April 4, 2013

Chaz Ebert issued the following statement Thursday about the passing of her husband, Roger Ebert, a day after he celebrated 46 years as a film critic:

“I am devastated by the loss of my love, Roger — my husband, my friend, my confidante and oh-so-brilliant partner of over 20 years. He fought a courageous fight. I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.

“Roger was a beloved husband, stepfather to Sonia and Jay, and grandfather to Raven, Emil, Mark and Joseph. Just yesterday he was saying how his grandchildren were “the best things in my life.” He was happy and radiating satisfaction over the outpouring of responses to his blog about his 46th year as a film critic. But he was also getting tired of his fight with cancer, and said if this takes him, he has lived a great and full life.

“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away. No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.

“We are touched by all the kindness and the outpouring of love we’ve received. And I want to echo what Roger said in his last blog, thank you for going on this journey with us.”

Roger Ebert Dies at 70 After Battle with Cancer

April 4, 2013

Roger Ebert loved movies.

Except for those he hated.

For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.

“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”

Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago.

(for the whole story click on the following link)
Roger Ebert Dies at 70 After Battle with Cancer

Roger Ebert’s Journal
A Leave of Presence
By Roger Ebert on April 2, 2013 9:37 PM

Thank you. Forty-six years ago on April 3, 1967, I became the film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Some of you have read my reviews and columns and even written to me since that time. Others were introduced to my film criticism through the television show, my books, the website, the film festival, or the Ebert Club and newsletter. However you came to know me, I’m glad you did and thank you for being the best readers any film critic could ask for.

Roger Ebert on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Typically, I write over 200 reviews a year for the Sun-Times that are carried by Universal Press Syndicate in some 200 newspapers. Last year, I wrote the most of my career, including 306 movie reviews, a blog post or two a week, and assorted other articles. I must slow down now, which is why I’m taking what I like to call “a leave of presence.”

Siskel & Ebert – Special Tribute Show to Gene Siskel, part 1 of 3!

What in the world is a leave of presence? It means I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.

At the same time, I am re-launching the new and improved Rogerebert.com and taking ownership of the site under a separate entity, Ebert Digital, run by me, my beloved wife, Chaz, and our brilliant friend, Josh Golden of Table XI. Stepping away from the day-to-day grind will enable me to continue as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, and roll out other projects under the Ebert brand in the coming year.

Siskel & Ebert – Special Tribute Show to Gene Siskel, part 2 of 3!

Ebertfest, my annual film festival, celebrating its 15th year, will continue at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, my alma mater and home town, April 17-21. In response to your repeated requests to bring back the TV show “At the Movies,” I am launching a fundraising campaign via Kickstarter in the next couple of weeks. And gamers beware, I am even thinking about a movie version of a video game or mobile app. Once completed, you can engage me in debate on whether you think it is art.

And I continue to cooperate with the talented filmmaker Steve James on the bio-documentary he, Steve Zaillian and Martin Scorsese are making about my life. I am humbled that anyone would even think to do it, but I am also grateful.

Siskel & Ebert — Special Tribute Show to Gene Siskel — part 3 of 3!

Of course, there will be some changes. The immediate reason for my “leave of presence” is my health. The “painful fracture” that made it difficult for me to walk has recently been revealed to be a cancer. It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to. I have been watching more of them on screener copies that the studios have been kind enough to send to me. My friend and colleague Richard Roeper and other critics have stepped up and kept the newspaper and website current with reviews of all the major releases. So we have and will continue to go on.

At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it’s like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.

I’ll also be able to review classics for my “Great Movies” collection, which has produced three books and could justify a fourth.

For now, I am throwing myself into Ebert Digital and the redesigned, highly interactive and searchable Rogerebert.com. You’ll learn more about its exciting new features on April 9 when the site is launched. In addition to housing an archive of more than 10,000 of my reviews dating back to 1967 we will also feature reviews written by other critics. You may disagree with them like you have with me, but will nonetheless appreciate what they bring to the party. Some I recruited from the ranks of my Far Flung Correspondents, an inspiration I had four years ago when I noticed how many of the comments on my blog came from foreign lands and how knowledgeable they were about cinema.

Siskel & Ebert — Sleepless In Seattle

We’ll be recruiting more critics and it is my hope that some of the writers I have admired over the years will be among them. We’ll offer many more reviews of Indie, foreign, documentary and restored classic revivals. As the space between broadcast television, cable and the internet morph into a hybrid of content, we will continue to spotlight the musings of Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic Tom Shales, as well as the blog “Scanners” by Jim Emerson, who I first met at Microsoft when he edited Cinemania. The Ebert Club newsletter, under editor Marie Haws of Vancouver, will be expanded to give its thousands of subscribers even bigger and better benefits.

For years I devoutly took every one of my tear sheets, folded them and added them to a pile on my desk. The photo above shows the height of that pile in 1985 as it appeared on the cover of my first book about the movies published by my old friends John McMeel and Donna Martin of Andrews & McMeel. Today, because of technology, the opportunities to become bigger, better and reach more people are piling up too. The fact that we’re re-launching the site now, in the midst of other challenges, should give you an idea how important Rogerebert.com and Ebert Digital are to Chaz and me. I hope you’ll stop by, and look for me. I’ll be there.

So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.

Siskel & Ebert Review Fargo

QUOTATIONS by Roger Ebert: FILM CRITIC & Much More

“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.”
Roger Ebert

“Every great film should seem new every time you see it.”
Roger Ebert

“If a movie is really working, you forget for two hours your Social Security number and where your car is parked. You are having a vicarious experience. You are identifying, in one way or another, with the people on the screen.”
Roger Ebert

“No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.”
Roger Ebert

“No matter what they’re charging to get in, it’s worth more to get out.”
― Roger Ebert

“It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.”
― Roger Ebert

“Every scene should be able to answer three questions: “Who wants what from whom? What happens if they don’t get it? Why now?” ― David Mamet

“I don’t believe in learning from other peoples pictures. I think you should learn from your own interior vision of things and discover, as I say, Innocently, as though there had never been anybody.” ― Orson Welles

“A good movie can take you out of your dull funk and the hopelessness that so often goes with slipping into a theatre; a good movie can make you feel alive again, in contact, not just lost in another city. Good movies make you care, make you believe in possibilities again. If somewhere in the Hollywood-entertainment world someone has managed to break through with something that speaks to you, then it isn’t all corruption. The movie doesn’t have to be great; it can be stupid and empty and you can still have the joy of a good performance, or the joy in just a good line. An actor’s scowl, a small subversive gesture, a dirty remark that someone tosses off with a mock-innocent face, and the world makes a little bit of sense. Sitting there alone or painfully alone because those with you do not react as you do, you know there must be others perhaps in this very theatre or in this city, surely in other theatres in other cities, now, in the past or future, who react as you do. And because movies are the most total and encompassing art form we have, these reactions can seem the most personal and, maybe the most important, imaginable. The romance of movies is not just in those stories and those people on the screen but in the adolescent dream of meeting others who feel as you do about what you’ve seen. You do meet them, of course, and you know each other at once because you talk less about good movies than about what you love in bad movies.”
― Pauline Kael

“Well anything thats interesting in a film, or in a character (all your passion, your sex, your anger, your rage, all that) comes from that part of you that you want to hide and push away, and you want to deny all those things most. So if you can sort of visualize a version of your shadow. And if you sort of invite him or her to the party. And if you can really understand that this is where you’re going to let that shadow come out (this is where its home) Its really just understanding that its your job to get vulnerable.

And most people who have the exact opposite; most people go through life and they try all their time not to feel all those dark things. We have to go feel them, but its an opportunity too. I think to think of it that way, that just gets you into flow and that unclocks your subconscious, so you get out of your head and into your heart. Thats what I do, I just try to remember that the part of you thats going to do a good job is the part of you you want to most deny.” ― John Cusack

“It is an example of what films can do, how they can slip past your defenses and really break your heart.” ― David Gilmour

“I think that is what film and art and music do; they can work as a map of sorts for your feelings.” ― Bruce Springsteen

“I want to thank anyone who spends a part of their day creating, I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music – anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us – I think this world would be unlivable without art and I thank you.” ― Steven Soderbergher

“I’m lucky enough to be able to make films and so I don’t need a psychiatrist. I can sort out my fears and all those things with my work. That’s an enormous privilege. That’s the privilege of all artists, to be able to sort out their unhappiness and their neuroses in order to create something.” ― Michael Haneke