Personal · The Daily Post

Naked but not Ashamed…

My silhouette

If I took the experiences

that life handed me deeply to heart

I would have committed suicide.

I am glad that I didn’t

because that’s a cowardly way out.

I see these experiences

as the hand of fate steering me in a direction.


I realise that life is hard and not fair

that life can be a bitch (forgive my French)

but the Spirit of Hope and Fight in me

tells me that new every morning

is a gift from the Lord and

I must unwrap this gift of the day

with utmost gratitude, grace, and belief.


Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Guest Posts

You’ve Got To Meet My Beautiful and Graceful Friend Annie Roo.

Let me introduce you to my engaging, warm and beautiful blogger friend Roo.  She’s been a supportive presence in this space and without too much said, reading her own in-depth and candid words below, you’ll enjoy this priceless interaction.

Annie Roo, thank you for taking the time from a busy life to share more of you with us. I truly appreciate you and extend my warm regards. Jacqueline

My given name is practically a biography, so I prefer my pen name. E.V.A. Lambert is an acronym of my life’s most influential people. To friends, siblings and my younger family members I’m Annie Roo; Roo for short, but that’s another jinks

Go Cubs, Go: I was born at a very young age into a rather nomadic, Anglo-Celtic, Chicago suburbs family, complete with eccentricities and most common dysfunctions. I’m now a great-grandmother and I’ve lived all over the U.S.

Can I say something here? I don’t understand why women say they’re younger than they are. When asked my digits I typically say, “I think I’m doing great for 75.” I’m not even close – yet, but saying that feels great for a few moments. Culpability is on the inquirer. Anyway, aside from some dings telling me when rain’s coming I’m vital and young on the inside.

I was already a mother of my four sons before I was 22 – one with special needs, but nobody could guess which one today. Divorced while the boys were in grade school, their dad did me a solid replacing me with a younger model, so we all got through it – mostly together. Without any other monetary support, I took care of myself, my sons and helped my siblings and our mother as best I could.760401 CnJ L boys

I’m the estranged wife of my life’s love, a crazy-gifted misfit musician, emphasis on the crazy. Starving artists the past thirty years, I now live a very full, pleasantly modest and green lifestyle on Colorado’s Western Slope with my life-long best friend. Life’s all about setting priorities and making choices.

As my five siblings can attest, “just to spite several bullies and straight-up perverts,” we overcame significant tragedy, abuse, hardships and for me, some mental disorders (yes, plural). In my early thirties, a heart attack got my undivided attention. Days prior, I had given my life and subsequently my heart to Jesus Christ. Don’t think the sequence didn’t confuse me! Seriously, blind ambition, heartache, stress (compounded by cocaine, excessive alcohol, my job) and so many prior bad choices should have killed me before then. I not only realized I actually wasn’t Wonder Woman, but clearly God had plans for me.

Days out of the hospital I quit my high 5-figure income job. I was determined to write my already amazing stories. At the time my boys were sure I’d lost it. I wondered too, but in hindsight, I see I’d actually found myself.

Writing stories by kindergarten, my 9th grade English teacher thrilled me by publishing my term essay in my high school newspaper. Seeing my brain child, the best part of me in print snared me. Writing became my favorite occupation. I was always obsessive about grammar, but now isn’t it amazing how quickly we get past that as we make friends around the world in the blogosphere?CO 1

Early on I published in local periodicals. Among my first publications was as a contributing author for Eva Marie Emerson. Along the way I have picked up copy writing for food and gasoline; happy to do what I can, wherever I am and if I get paid for it, great! My calling and passion is to write my stories well, not only for my family’s sake (to help them see why life sometimes goes slightly sideways) but also to help other mental illness and abuse survivors.

Contributing to a journalist/author friend’s blog, she urged me to blog independently. I launched my first blog in 2004 mostly as a journal. I also keyed out chapters and queries for what I was certain would make me today’s Jane Austen. We’ll see hroo n bronzeow that works out.roo bird use

During three more moves across three more states, I realized nobody seemed to notice my Facebook Notes – not even close friends. Facebook users typically aren’t ardent readers. Undaunted I dove into the deep end of WordPress. I launched What’s Next on my target date, 9/11 of 2014.

During my first WordPress Blogging U course, I met other newbie bloggers including the fantastic Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha, and other gifted writers, poets, and photographers. Even with the amazingly supportive Blogging Community and Blogging U courses, I couldn’t learn fast enough for my liking.

What’s Next met my target goal of 100 followers well within the first year and I’m growing right along with The Blogging Community. I have much to learn – always will, but I’m actually having the time of my life!

I enjoy promoting other great bloggers, sharing other blogs, and am keen on changing my theme – as soon as I upgrade my site. I’m determined to link in a Twitter account and add a Contributing Authors section. As always I’ll continue to submit chapters and queries as I blog the good, the bad and the beautiful in my world.roo glasses

No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:15, 16 (NLT)

P.S: If you are interested in guest posting, send an email to

Family · Guest Posts · Parenting

It was impossible to please mother…Personal recount from Linda of Nutsrok.

This is a post swap between Linda and I. Be sure to visit her end and read my own little naughty side 😉

We get to share a short story of each others childhood escapades.

Now, this is called collaboration and we should do more of such things in this space.

Linda’s one of my favourite bloggers in this space and if you haven’t been to Nutsrok, then you, my friend are so seriously missing out on very good chuckles and charming company.

She always has me in stitches and appreciative of life. Her real-life recounts on her growing up years is worth a movie and I don’t exaggerate.


Linda first grade
Linda first grade

It was impossible to tell what would land me in trouble when I was a little kid. Mother was impossible to please.

We had a new kitten. I found a kitty surprise in the baby bed and knew for a fact Mother wouldn’t be happy, so I went into the kitchen and got Mother’s salad tongs.

She didn’t use them a lot. I picked up the kitty surprise with the tongs and flushed it down the toilet.

The cat poop had been nice and dry and didn’t leave a mark on the clean sheet. Pleased with myself for being helpful, I tossed the salad tongs in the sink and went on my self-satisfied way, without even bragging on myself.

In a few minutes, Mother called me. I found her examining the tongs, critically, looking and sniffing. “Did you use these tongs?”

Proudly, I answered, “Yes, Ma’am. The cat gee-geed in the baby bed and I cleaned it up for you!” I waited humbly for her praise.

You’d have thought I broke a what-not like I had a few times!

“You cleaned up a cat mess with my kitchen tongs and put them back in the sink. Look at the mess left on here! Do you want that on your food? That’s filthy. I’m going to wear you out!”

She got the fly swat and flapped my bottom three times. I hardly felt it, but I was deeply offended at her ingratitude.

She never caught me cleaning up cat gee-gee again with kitchen tongs or anything else.