Author Archives: C.M. Cipriani

About C.M. Cipriani

Crystal is a thirty-something mom of five. Super overachiever, bookworm, fabric hoarder, homeschool teacher, wife, gardener, and writer all while trying hard not to be a short-order cook.

Yes, I’m alive although I’m censored


After a hiatus of this whole year I’ve decided to get back on the writing track. I think some of you will be happy (ecstatic?) to know that Faylinn’s Chronicles will be released as a fully edited AND COMPLETED novel in late November 2012. Because it’s going to take a whole lotta work to meet this deadline I have decided to not release any further serial pieces.

I have plans to team up with an Awesome Professional Editor (and dear tribe friend), Karla (who doesn’t actually know it yet LOL) to bring you a super high quality story.

On another note, I got a request for my short story Krista, which has been published through Amazon’s Kindle service and found out that I have been CENSORED! My book is no longer available through no deliberate action of my own. I’m not sure if I should be proud of that or not. I believe it IS still available through Scribd but if anyone would like to read it and cannot access it, I can email out read-only copies. They won’t be as pretty as the formatted versions for your e-reader but hey, that’s the price for getting your hands on censored material. (also, any reviews would be appreciated since I have none).



When someone’s writing makes you angry


I have a book I was planning on reviewing. It was a short, self-published piece, mostly anecdotal but with some references and information. It was recommended by a few non-profit organizations and it available for free on Kindle. I downloaded it and a few weeks later sat down and read it.

And it made me very, very angry.

It made the writer in me angry because it was terribly written and didn’t even look like it had been proof-read once. Twice she wrote that paper was lamented instead of laminated. That writer is angry that it’s getting 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon and my book hasn’t even gotten a review (yes, there’s a little jealousy in there, too). It made the self-publisher in me angry because it rubs a thick smear of shit over what we do giving the reading public a reason to overlook our hard work because some incompetent thought writing was easy. It made the parent in me angry because the resources were inaccurate and incomplete and twice she failed to capitalize her son’s name. Pair that up with the constant contradiction of statements (including the title) and I fly into a rage at the mere thought of the book. It made the Autistic mother in me pissed for those same inaccuracies, biased opinions and dreadful lack of detail and not researched *resources* spouted in blurbs as “resources, techniques and other different advice” and promoted by what should be reliable organizations.

Every single time I sit down to write this review the anger boils up from deep inside and I want to meet the author so I can throw my ebook at her head.

And she has plans to write a sequel in a few years. God help us all.

I have NEVER been this angry over a book I’ve read. I try to always see the positives in whatever I read because I feel empathy for the writer, to have the dedication to sit down and write a story and the balls to put it out there in the scrutinizing public’s eye. Even if I do not like the story, the writing, the style, the characters, even if it’s chock full of writing errors, I try to be kind. I give myself a few days to sit with the story, to give my brain a chance to pick out the things I enjoyed and I always, ALWAYS, find something however remotely positive to say about it.

Because us writers are in this together and I prefer constructive criticism to emotion filled destruction.

It’s been over a week and I’m still fuming. I’ve vented to my husband (who literally listened to every single problem I ranted over in just about every single sentence as I read it). I’ve vented to a fellow writer. And I am just as mad now as I was the first time my eyes rolled over the disjointed words, contradictions and egregious use of the semi-colon.

Should I wait until I can sit down, detached from my feelings and write a prettier, nicer review than the torrential downpour of anger that is sitting on the tip of my fingertips ready to pound fury into the keys? Or should I go ahead and let it come out? Or maybe just not even write the review at all?

Ideas and constructive criticism are always welcomed here.

Unfriending Unfoeing


Lately I’ve been going through some stuff. My personal life is in an upheaval of mammoth proportions. The ground is shaky beneath my feet, the sands shifting under toe while I try and maintain a balance that I’m not sure I ever really felt. The modern world is a fast paced and intruding place. Information flies at the stroke of a key, it is impersonal at best and obscure at worst, feeding our lives with false perceptions of the outside world. For those of us that are isolated, either by geography or circumstance or our own design or a globulous combination of them all, it can be a wonderful opportunity to step out of our lives and taste attachments, friendships, family. It can also be very damaging place to interact with others.

The truth is that we don’t see what is on the other side of the screen. We do not really know what that person who is commenting on our photos or replying to our blog posts really feels or thinks about us. All we have is their words without even the luxury of reading facial cues or picking up on tones. All those little things that tell us if the other person is being sincere, genuinely interested, sarcastic, angry or mocking.

Facebook is a huge deterrent for me. I am isolated and very literally go for weeks without speaking to another adult other than my husband. The only adult interaction I get otherwise is through Facebook. I have close to two hundred friends, many of them I don’t know in “real life”, I have never heard their voice, don’t know their cat’s name or even know if the name they display is really their own. I have connections to people that do not know those things about me.

For the most part my interaction has been pleasant. I post things that are important to me, funny things the kids say, photos of our vacation and a handful of acquaintances reply with positive things.  But what about the others? What about the ones that seem to want to deter me? That have very little positive to contribute? That feel the need to nit pick information I find useful and repost? That comment under the guise of being “supporting” but their words stab at you underhandedly?

We all probably have those, I think. The people we restrict because they are SO damn adamant about a particular topic and you realize that you just can’t hear another word about it because you will never change. The ones that say they’ll pray for you when you ask for help moving. The ones that remind you how bad they have it every time you make the smallest gripe. Or the ones that just ignore you when you have an accomplishment you’re proud of.

And you know they’re online because the little green dot hangs next to their name but they don’t respond. Or they tell you they can’t figure out how to send you a message while PM’ing your spouse. Or tell you they can’t visit you in real life because of whatever Very Important Reason and then you see then tagged in someone elses photos at the beach.

Is it better to be ignorant? Before Facebook I didn’t know any of these things. I was blissfully ignorant I suppose, of these facts. That my place in their world because I wasn’t constantly in it. Contact was established the old fashioned way, by a telephone call or a happenstance meet up at Target. I saw only what I was physically present for and meanings were never misconstrued because I could read body language and voice cues.

Or is it better to know? To understand where you truly stand in a relationship? To hear the lip service and be able to recognize it as bullshit?

And when we know these things, that our place of importance in someone’s life, where we thought we stood on solid ground, is really us straddling a tectonic plate and we start to feel the vibrations of unsteadiness do we remain in these “friendships”? Why do we not unfriend the people that drag us down? Are we afraid of retribution? I am fairly certain each of my Friends is Friends with at least one other person on my list. If I unfriended them would I lose more friends because of it? What does that friend list really mean? Would those people help me if I fell, would they encourage me if I was sad? Or share in my joy when I had an accomplishment?

Many would not. They wouldn’t spare the characters on the screen to tell me “good job” or “keep your head up” or whatever social comfort I was looking for by posting my status updates. We all have these hangers-on in our lives why do we keep them? Those that show no interest, that never comment or post are easy to forget about. What does remaining “friends” with them accomplish? Are we secretly holding out the hope that that one best friendship we had in middle school will blossom again twenty years later? Are we doing it out of misplaced loyalty?

The journey through life is meant to be traveled through there are relationships and attachments that we make in life that serve their purpose and we are meant to leave them behind. They serve us no purpose; to remain clinging to something that has passed. That is the nature of life, for people to flow in and out of it taking things with them and leaving things behind, washing away and filling up again, smoothing out the rough places, wearing down the excess. I believe that people are placed in our lives for however long they are needed and then the Universe ebbs them back. They leave their mark and take with them things we need to leave behind, but one lingering question, in this digital, connected world in which we live is this

How will our lives change if we are never allowed to let go?

80 days of goals


I really haven’t spent as much time on these as I wanted to. The 2nd came up faster than I was prepared, my personal life is still  whirl wind which means the next 80 days of goals are going to be sparse. There’s much doing around here. We’re headed to Disney for a week next Sunday and 2 weeks after we return making an interstate move 300 miles away. There are doctors to move, reschedule and research. Temporary housing to occupy. Bags and boxes to pack. Bags and boxes to unpack. Which make my *writing* goals difficult to maintain and frankly, I can’t handle the stress of over taxing myself right now. So, 80 days of goals is going to be more like a glorified to do list for mostly blog related stuff.

Without further ado here are my 2012 Round 1 goals

– Read three Autism related books and review them on my son’s blog

– currently reading: Developing Talents by Dr. Temple Grandin, Be Different by John Elder Robison, need to pick #3

– Finish reading The Unschooling Handbook

-Finish reading Wheat Belly and review that and Make it Paleo recipes on my Paleo blog

-Write a product review for One Small Piece blog for Joovy and Disney

-Finish my last 2 assignments in my last semster college class and take the final

-Lift heavy things at least three times a week

– Find a gym after we move and sign up for the 12 week challenge and blog about it.

– Read Red by Kait Nolan and review it here, read the first of Lauralynn Elliot’s work and blog it here.

-now that I actually own Scrivener, transfer ALL Faylinn’s Chronicles to Scrivener from the blog and outline, write 2 more entries.

– And since I actually own Scrivener, Reread my NaNo novel because I think it has potential and see if it can go anywhere or if it even is any good.


so there you have it. Some small goals, some big, mostly reading and a side of writing. Here’s to not losing my mind.


Just because


A 2012 Round of Words


This is my official post registering me in Round 1 of 2012’s Round of Words in 80 Days. I’m still making my goals list which will be posted on January 2nd, the official start date. I’m glad to be back, to have this space of my own again even though I’m fairly certain my writing time will be limited as there are a few things coming up in the next 80 days, like a move to a new state. But I’m here!


Happy Everything


May your Christmas be merry.

May your Hanukkah (Chanukah) be bright.

May your Solstice be sacred.

May your Kwanzza be friendly.

May your Chalica be creative.

May your Ramadan be holy.

May your Festivus be unfrustrating.

May your Saturnalia be sunny.

May your Pancha Ganapati be lovely.

May your Humanlight be shining.

May your Wintermas be cozy.

May your Chrismahanukwanzadan be welcoming.

May your Flying Spaghetti Monster Holiday be unique.

May your Hogswatch be unfrightening.


And to all those I’ve missed, have a great time. See you next year.


May your Malkh be sunny.

Sunday Productivity


I’ve been sewing all. day. long. My shoulders are aching from hunching over the machine but I got done at least 1 project and have already sold 6 of 7 of them. The funds are going to supplies for the Autism Awareness sewing projects I’ll be making for sale.

As for writing well, I started a new blog. I know what you’re going to say but during my AWOL from NaNo and ROW80 I hatched up the idea of starting an Etsy store and corresponding blog to help off set some of our medical expenses for Max, raise Autism awareness and do a fundraiser for a major organization twice a year.

The blog is the store is (but there’s nothing there yet) and we even have a Facebook page One Small Piece

I’ve written a couple blog posts and am just blow away by the responses. If you get a chance head over there. I appreciate everyone’s support as I make my way through this.