My cicadas ramped up their volume yesterday as my ears became full. Today a clicking sound has joined them. It seems to me I have heard the clicks in nature. I wish I could say that all my tinnitus sounds were from nature, but the truth is I get other sounds from time to time.

Often when I do these posts I look things up so I can share with you. Today I found this:

4 signs you have tinnitus:

  1. There’s a constant ringing in your ears. A major symptom of tinnitus is this persistent ringing sound in your ears. …
  2. You hear music when none is being played. …
  3. You feel a thumping sound in your ears. …
  4. Your hearing has changed.

For years before the cicadas began singing in my ears, I heard music and talking when there was no one around. The music would have been okay if it wasn’t stuck on the same refrain like a scratched record.

My tinnitus changes usually signal an increase in Meniere’s symptoms. Although I have vertigo it’s not the kind that keeps me bedridden. I fear it’s signaling another hearing loss.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita


Mikey’s Tail

I can’t remember if I mentioned this before. I am an Indy Published Author. For now it’s just my children’s book, Mikey’s Tail, that is available. Hopefully, that will change soon with my horror novel.

Mikey’s Tail is free on Kindle Unlimited or $10.00 for a paperback. Mikey really wants a tail of his own, like on foxes, bears and even a bee. What kind of tail will Mikey get? Read to the tail end of his tale to see.

If you’re child loves to hear you read or is learning to read this book is for you. It keeps children interested throughout the story and even has a surprise ending. My illustrator surprised me. I really didn’t see that coming. You can find out more about me at https://ritalsmith.com/.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita


Saying Goodbye

My dad died more than a week ago. My brother and I traveled to Ohio so we could say goodbye one final time. My sister, bless her soul, arranged everything.

Michael J. Kelly III & Opal D. Kelly (Doyle)

My dad had a military send off with taps and the gun salute. His stone will be placed in a couple of months. Hopefully, his military marker will arrive then too.

As this Memorial Day draws to a close, I want to remember all who gave their lives for our country and my dad who retired from the USAF as a Master Sergeant after 20 years.

Ohio Servicemen who lost their lives while in the armed forces.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita


Meniere’s & Stuff

My head as been wonky. My ears are buzzing loudly and I’m surprised I can hear anything at all. My balance is worse than normal. My body aches, thanks fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. I sometimes choke when eating. Through all this I enjoy my life.

Aviators Game

Yet I am still living my life. I am trying to do yoga or walk daily, some days I just can’t. I go to church, out to eat and schedule activities. Mop Baseball games, football games and birthday parties along with the occasional concert. I am trying to go to concerts while I can still hear.

Dwight Yoakum Concert

I use a cane when I need too. Sometimes I use my husband instead. This week and past week has been worse than normal. I refuse to lay in bed and skip the fun. I take naps before going on excursions. This is simply part of my routine. Rest before fun.

Cinco de Mayo dinner

My advice to everyone is to get out when you can. Rest on bad days. Don’t stop living life. Do whatever you need to do to accommodate your disability so that you can love your life despite chronic illness.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita


Balance Awareness


Many people take walking for granted. Those of us with vestibular issues cannot. I am lucky that I am able to do things within reason. I am not hiking on trails that don’t have rails at the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon and places like that.

I tip when I walk. I cannot walk a straight line. There are days I use a cane for outings. I enjoy the scenery on our outings without putting myself at risk.

I rarely have days that I don’t experience some dizziness. Fortunately, the vertigo I have now is mini spins. I try to avoid triggers like flashing lights, noise, but living in Vegas it’s a bit difficult. So, instead I work on desensitization.

I can sit under a ceiling fan, unless it a really bad day and those days are few and far between. Sometimes moving cars give me a start, until I realize I’m not moving.

Between the balance, cicadas that constantly scream in my ears and hearing loss, it would be easy to stay in my house. I choose to enjoy my life, even if I fall in public. It has happened.

I rest on the bad days and live for the good ones. I live a life rebalanced. I hope you do too!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita


#fionaflamingo #vestibulardisorders #urbanpoling #liferebalanced #Steps2Balance #Poetry4Balance

Feeling Better

After months of an upper respiratory/sinus infection, I am starting to feel better just in time for allergies to take over. Despite that I feel better.

My husband and dogs.

I have enough energy to exercise again. I have enough energy to clean a bit. Hopefully the better shape I get in the more my energy will come back.

Why do I feel better aside from having gotten over the infections? It turns out my vitamins B and D were low. Being back on a multivitamin and B-Complex has helped.

I began yoga again and walking on the days I don’t do yoga. Hopefully, soon I can fit in my smaller clothes. If not I’ll be good as long as I feel better.

My migraines are under control with the help of Emgality. The Meniere’s acts up and affects my balance. I still rest when we plan outings. It helps me to enjoy myself. And that is what’s important living life. Rest on the bad days and enjoy the good and so-so day.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita


Becoming a Writer

This week has been crazy… between the House of Inks write-ins and workshops and even a conference, I feel like I have been glued to my laptop.

Do I need all of this to become a writer?

  • The only thing you really need to become a writer is to write. In fact this is the part I enjoy the most. I hate the re-writing and editing process.
  • However, these write-ins, conferences and workshops fuel the flame, while helping me hone my craft.
  • Also, the energy you get from attending these events is awesome. I get to be with my people.

I finished my second draft of Wake Me Up today. Mostly I took out the stuff I didn’t need and adding stuff I did need.

Now I am going to put it aside. I will read books on writing and crafting horror stories. When I pick it back up I will work on the mood. Once I have that done, I’ll work on my characters and bringing them to life.

I think there will be two more drafts after those. I want this book to be as good as it can be before I send it out to my Beta readers.

Mood Board

As a pantser I have trouble trying to plot. However, I use the W-Plot. I put the bare basics on the beats where I need to be.

The W-Plot

I figured out recently this is still a three act structure. Hence the vertical line on the W. I constantly learn about the craft. I have completed first drafts in the past. The key word is first draft. You don’t want to publish these. They are not ready.

My first draft gets everything that pops into my head. My second draft entailed cutting out things that didn’t move the story forward. Writing this tells me that there is one more subplot I need to lose.

Writing is my life. I read about writing. I read others writing, not necessarily in my genre. I read almost everything. When I write I write dark. (Except for my children’s book, Mikey’s Tail.)

I wish I could write funny stories. If I do it’s totally by accident.

If you want to write, my advice is to carve out some time and begin. You can just write a sentence or a paragraph or a page. Every time you write you are one step closer to having a completed story. Feel free to ask questions.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita



We are back from our cruise to Halfmoon Cay, Grand Turk, Aruba and Bonaire. It was an amazing trip. Let me show you some highlights before I tell you about my stress.

It was beautiful if not a bit cloudy here and there. I started out completely stressed and not knowing if I could even go. Why? Because I was honest on the health questionnaire. I was recovering from a non-covid upper respiratory, sinus infection. As soon as I did this my profile was flagged and I had to jump through hoops getting paperwork from my doctor. Fortunately, I have a fabulous doctor and medical receptionist.

So, we arrived in Miami still not knowing if the ship’s doctor would let me on. I made my poor husband carry our luggage on, because no way was it going on a cruise with us. LOL!

Surprisingly the process was smooth after the check-in person found our VIFP profiles flagged. We were ushered to see the doctor who looked over our paperwork, and checked our covid test paperwork. He made sure I brought my medication as I am thinking it would be stupid not to bring the meds that help me breathe and keep my anxiety to a low roar.

Then we were on our way to board the ship. Eight days of relaxation and people waiting on us. After a brief trip on a tour bus through Miami, we went to the airport to spend the rest of the day at the airport. Made even longer as our plane was late.

We finally made it back home about 2:30 am. I awoke in a fibro flare. Not surprising as I usually have consequences for having fun. I am still recovering today, 2 days later.

While on the cruise we scheduled our next cruise and can’t wait until next year. Oh and I hope you had a fabulous St. Paddy’s Day!

Love, Peace and Light! Rita


Seating Makes a Difference

My husband bought tickets to see Donny Osmond. We were in the third row to the right of the stage.

Surprisingly enough the strobing lights didn’t bother my eyes as much as other concerts have when I was seated further away.

I truly enjoyed the concert in the smaller venue. The noise wasn’t too loud that I needed to resort to ear plugs. Donny doesn’t try to sing louder than the music as other artists tend to do. Instead the music complimented his voice. As it should!

I think our seats saved me from the lights. No migraines or vertigo was triggered. Sometimes it’s worth spending a little more for better seats.

Happy 5th Anniversary, Sweetie! Thanks for the tickets.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita


The Payback Continues

I didn’t feel well all day yesterday, but late afternoon the mini spins started. Things went wonky on me for lack of a better word. My head felt off and then the vertigo began. On and off, until finally I admitted defeat and took a Valium. The Valium allowed me to sleep most of the night.

When I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night I was like a drunken sailor bumping off the door and frame which is only about three feet from my bed. It then took some concentration to get past the shower to the water closet. I made it and then it was time to make the return trip.


Back in bed the slow spins began, and I had trouble getting back to sleep. I managed, but I must’ve had a rough night, because my iWatch said I stood up three times for a full minute. I know I only got up the one time.

I was hopeful when I woke up this morning that the vertigo had passed, but after taking my meds, feeding the cats and even phoning in refills, my head began to move objects up and down. Okay it’s not exactly vertigo, or maybe it is. Definitely the nystagmus is making my eyes jump up and down.

I just took another Valium and am hoping to sleep it off again. Wish me luck. This is the first time I’ve needed two Valium’s in less than 24 hours.

Even though my night out has me down for two days, I still won’t stop living. And it’s quite possible that the Meniere’s would have struck with the excitement.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita