Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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Alassa’s Tale–Snippet

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I loved this, and just had to share it…enjoy!

The Chrishanger

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Written by Barb Caffrey

October 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm

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Out Now–The Zero Curse

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This is Chris’s newest novel. I edited this book and know it’s an outstanding YA adventure, second in a series (the first is the excellent THE ZERO BLESSING). Go read his blog, check out the free sample, and grab the book!

The Chrishanger

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Written by Barb Caffrey

September 15, 2017 at 9:37 pm

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The Quest for Self-Acceptance, Part 2…

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Folks, I wrote about how damned hard I find the quest for self-acceptance to be a few days ago. But yesterday, I had a very odd experience that I’d like to share with you…and then, I’m going to give you the links to all the other wonderful bloggers who were part of the Collaboration for a Purpose — Self-Love/Acceptance blogging circle. (Yeah, I should’ve done this earlier, but I hope you’ll see why it took me a bit of doing this time.)

Collab with a purpose Self Love

I’d like to set the scene a little bit, if I may.

I was in my car, and it was quite early (for me, at least). I hadn’t had anything to eat yet, and I’d just dropped a family member off for an important appointment. She’d asked me if I could go shopping for her while she was at this appointment, and of course I said yes.

Anyway, I pulled into a parking spot. (No biggie, right? We do this all the time, we with cars.) And another car parked very, very close next to me, so close that I knew if I got out, my door would almost certainly bump the other car a little no matter how hard I tried. (This is partly because I walk with a cane, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t get out of the car easily with that cane nine times out of ten.) And this is exactly what happened, but my car door did not leave a mark of any sort as far as I could tell.

Most people, of course, are forgiving. But I happened to run into the one person in all of Southeastern Wisconsin who just wasn’t…and she was very belligerent and rude.

This woman (a passenger sitting in the car; the driver had already gone into the store) would not let me walk away, would not leave me be, and I just had it…and I ended up having a panic attack, right there in the parking lot.

I am not proud of this.

Yeah, this other woman was horrid. There’s no question about it. But I could not love this person, and I could not love myself either as I couldn’t figure out how to de-escalate the situation other than walking away, which I eventually did. (The woman continued her verbal abuse all the way into the store, mind.)

What I can tell you is that this story has a happy ending of sorts. I found the driver of the car, and she told me it was fine. She even gave me a hug, and she told the passenger (from what I could tell, as I stayed inside the store to keep away from that older woman) to get back in the car and stop it. (Bless her for that, too.)

I know we all have days like this, where Murphy’s Law rules the day and nothing at all seems to go right. But all we can do is try to get past it, and in my case, the way I did this was to talk to a couple of my best friends. They helped me put this into perspective. And they gave me hope that my horrible, no good, very bad day didn’t mean I was a horrible person.

It does make me wonder, though, about context. And about some of the stuff I’ve seen over the years that weren’t good things to do, but perhaps actually would’ve been comprehensible in context…such as parents yelling at their kids in public (something no parent ever wants to do, but sometimes does anyway). It makes me wonder what happened before that point that made it all escalate to the point of yelling.

And if any of these other people actually were having panic episodes, rather than just being downright rude…

Anyway, that’s today’s follow-up regarding the quest for self-acceptance. I will keep working on it, and remind myself that (as a good friend put it), “Your blooper reel is not a fair comparison to someone else’s glamour shot.”

Now, please go see these other lovely people’s blogs, as they’re all worthwhile and interesting in their own right:

Camilla Motte at Moms on the Go

Mylene Orillo

Divyang Shah

Ipuna Black

Manal Ahmad

Sonyo Estavillo

Nicolle K. (Nicolle also created the picture for this round’s Collaboration with a Purpose that you see above, and I think she did a fantabulous job)

Sadaf Siddiqi

Tajwar Fatma (she who started this whole shebang)

Joel A. Scott (he’s new this time around, so make sure to give him a warm welcome!)

Jane Love

Jothish Joseph

Addison D’Marko

Written by Barb Caffrey

September 7, 2017 at 3:47 am

Communication — Not Just for Breakfast Anymore…

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Folks, I keep thinking about communication. What does it mean, and how can we improve it?

Communication, to me at least, means that someone is saying to me, “I am listening. I am paying attention to what you’re saying. What you are talking about matters even if I don’t understand it, but I do want to understand.”

We see a real dearth of communication these days, and not just in our personal lives. (The lack of communication in Washington, DC, these days is startling. Even by non-communicative DC standards.) And yet, no one seems to know how to improve it, to make things any better…and the bad communication (or worse, complete lack of communication whatsoever) just keeps going on and on, dragging down everything it touches.

If you are having communication problems with someone else, try to listen. If you can’t do that because you are swamped with work, at least tell that person you will listen as soon as you can and that you do care. (Yeah, is this a personal message to someone? Maybe. But maybe not. There are a lot of people in my life I’d tell this to, if I could get them to sit down and listen.) And then, make some time and listen. Don’t judge — listen.

Communication isn’t just for breakfast anymore. (Who knew?)

Anyway, the only way to fix bad communication is to actually try. Refuse to be afraid of confrontation; just make sure that you are as respectful and calm as you can be, or if you can’t be either, apologize for your lack of same and then get on with trying to understand each other.

This is harder to do with some than others, granted. But if you are friends, or family, or have common interests, or work together, you have to try to do this even when you don’t want to, or the problems that will result from same will just keep snowballing…

And there is no point to that. At all.

***Note: I am fortunate that nearly everyone I know can and does communicate. But my goodness. I am tired of the non-communication in this world…beyond tired. Thus, this post.

Alert: One Step at a Time Towards the Impossible Collaboration!

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We have a new collaboration in mind, we in the Collaboration with a Purpose group…let Nicolle tell you all about it!

Stories of a Highly Sensitive Introvert

collaboration-one-step-impossible-533x300 A wonderful cover picture, this time by Jane Love @ Harmonious Joy!

Yay, it’s time for yet another collaboration! 🎊🎉🎈🎊🎉🎈

Now you might be thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of collaboration!” Actually I neglected to mention last month that actually I’m on a 5-month collaboration “contract” with these bloggers; we’ll be posting one topic a month and this is our 2nd month! Oops. 😛

To keep track of our collaboration topics and posts, I made this little page for reference, which is accessible via my menu at the top of the page. If you haven’t read our previous collaboration posts, please do! 😀

The theme for this month is “one step at a time towards the impossible!” Or I should say seemingly impossible, because nothing is supposed to be impossible, right? 😆

The idea of this theme is that there are a lot of things that seem impossible…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

August 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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Here’s today’s spotlight at Mr. and Mrs. N.N. Light’s wonderful POTL blog…it’s Christmas in July! Do enter the Rafflecopter and enjoy my book, CHANGING FACES!

POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

Christmas in July Book Square - CF


Author: Barb Caffrey

Genre: LGBT-friendly inspirational fantasy-romance

Book Blurb:

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.

When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.

He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

July 27, 2017 at 3:01 pm

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It’s Christmas…in July?

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Folks, I’m taking part in an unusual Christmas in July celebration being hosted by the husband and wife writer team N.N. Light. Mr. and Mrs. N. have put together a Christmas in July spotlight, which I’m taking part in. And my segment will go live tomorrow (the 27th of July, 2017)…which might interest you.

Not to mention the Rafflecopter giveaway, which will continue until August 1, 2017. You can win one of three free e-book copies of CHANGING FACES, my latest novel, plus a number of other nifty prizes — with the grand prize being a $75 Amazon gift card. (How cool is that?)

(Actually, this Rafflecopter has been going on since July 1st, but I’m very slow on the uptake this month. Too much work, I guess…or not enough brainpower. Take your pick.)

Anyway, here’s a lovely graphic put together by Mrs. N. to whet your interest:

CIJF Blog Header

And here is what Mrs. N. calls a “book square” for CHANGING FACES, which may interest you also:

Christmas in July Book Square - CF

I wish in some ways I’d not gotten so far behind this month in letting you all know about this, because CHANGING FACES is actually meant as a holiday book. While it starts in July of 2015 and ends in July of 2016, most of the action occurs around Christmas. So between the fact that the book starts and ends in July, and has a very big Christmas-oriented theme to it (complete with quirky angels who want to save Allen and Elaine’s love, even if that means putting them into different bodies for the rest of their lives), I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of Mr. and Mrs. N’s Christmas in July celebration.

There are a number of other good books over at POTL being feted, mind, and I do hope you’ll take a look at them.  (Please go to to learn more.) I know I picked up the four Regency novellas just now, and plan to enjoy them immensely. (I do love a good Regency novella, if I do say so myself.)

Anyway, better late than never…so do take a gander at the celebration going on over at POTL, and certainly go enter that Rafflecopter! (Tell ’em Barb sent you.)


Written by Barb Caffrey

July 26, 2017 at 12:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized