Networking is about meeting and interacting with people to build success in businesses and communities. Anyone I meet can be an opportunity to collaborate with to pay it forward to help someone else. And, networking can happen in the strangest of places. I went to a Blessing of the Bikes a couple weeks ago and met Ric Metzgar a new Maryland Delegate from District 6 I went with my husband to get our Harley’s blessed for this riding season and was blessed with a new partner in paying it forward.


I told Ric about my book, Gift of Desperation, and how I sent it to Maryland Governor Hogan as a recommended tool for the new Heroin Task Force because it depicts what addiction looks like from Claire Sebastian’s point of view – my main character – who is trying to understand it and recover from it. Claire’s story is not technical nor theoretical, like a text book, but realistic in the struggles one has when they discover their truth and decide to recover and heal. He is currently reading it.

Ric, in turn, introduced me to Anna Renault, who is a multiple survivor of cancer and author who is also passionate about helping others to heal and recover. Anna and I are now connected and plan to work together to continue to help our communities heal.

I then asked Ric to send out a FB message about the 5th Annual Boutique Sale, a fundraiser to support the Light of Truth Center – a home for recovering women in Baltimore. He did, helping to spread the word about a good cause.

Speaking of Baltimore, our city is burning and in trouble from riots. Delegate Metzgar reached out to the faith community to help network a message of community, hope, and healing. They in turn are reaching out to their communities to come together to stop the destruction and work together to heal and rebuild Baltimore.

Who can you network with today to pay it forward and help someone else heal and be successful?

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Humility versus Humiliation

While humility and humiliation sound a lot alike, they are not synonyms. Humiliation is when someone does something mean TO you, on purpose to take you down, embarrass you, and/or make you hurt. It is usually a way for the offender to make him/herself feel better.


“Serenity”© by Robin Gilliam

On April 14, 2014, Joel Osteen wrote on his FB page: ‘When you humble yourself and say “God I can’t do this on my own. I need your help. I need your favor. I need your mercy.” He’ll help you accomplish what you could not accomplish on your own.’

What Joel is talking about is humility and that it is okay to recognize our limitations and ask for help by using the power of prayer.

30 years ago I suffered a terrible trauma that was humiliating and caused me shame and guilt that led to self-destruction. Over the years, I learned to accept that it wasn’t my fault and ask God to help me. I was given courage to use my artwork to create my way out of PTSD.

Today, I ask for God’s help for the courage to tell you my whole story through presentations and workshops to teach you how to use creative expression tools to help you step out of the trauma and into your true self.

To read more about my story, please see my About Robin page and let me know what you do creatively to deal with past trauma and humiliation that are not your fault.



Last week I was blessed to watch my dad, Jay Fred Cohen, 81, perform three numbers in the Memorable Musical Moments, put on by the Fabulous 50+ Players (listed below*), sponsored by the Howard County Arts Council at the Bain Center, in Columbia, MD.

As an artist, I enjoy music and its power of creative expression. I love how music lifts me up when I feel down, gets me up to sing and dance when I feel joy, and calms me down when I feel anxious.


I also listen to music when I create artwork/quilts and write. Writing my novel, Gift of Desperation, was difficult at times, because I had to dig deep into dark places to help the reader understand what desperation looks like.

I listened to Nora Jones’ album Come Away with Me, for its calming qualities and Stevie Nicks’ album, Trouble in Shangri-La, for her haunting lyricsTheir creativity inspired my creativity. I also included theme songs, like I can’t Get No Satisfaction, by the Rolling Stones, to help my readers understand my main character, Claire Sebastian. And Rihanna’s song, SOS, helped me to develop a scene where Claire needed to be rescued.

I appreciate the breadth and depth it takes for writers to create songs and the performers who bring the songs to life to entertain and inspire us. What a blessing that our counties and states sponsor art councils to support our creativity.

*Howard County Fabulous 50+ Players: Phyllis Stanley-Music Director & Keyboardist, Tom Kowalski & Paula Rehr-Sound Technicians, Ed Kaplan- Emcee, Ann Sophocleus, Audrey Sanders, Chuck Knauf, Doug Williams, Dr. Tom Berry, Jackie Dunphy, Jay Fred Cohen, Patrycia Pickett, and Shirley Bishop