DebraMay14FixedAfter 26 years in journalism and opinion writing, I am off onto a new path: writing books! My first book, “The Elements of Horse Spirit — How Humans and Horses Heal Each Other,” will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in June 2020. I am currently working on a second book for Llewellyn, and someday, hopefully, a third, fourth, fifth, and beyond!

Horses are my lifelong passion and in my first book, I am thrilled to have an opportunity and platform to reveal and explore all that horses have to offer, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Horses are the best four-legged psychotherapists on the planet!


This is Pendragon, the four-legged love of my life. When Penn came into my world, everything changed – for the better. He inspired my first book, “The Elements of Horse Spirit — How Horses and Humans Heal Each Other.” Photo by Crystal Collins

Writing books was/is my ultimate career goal, and horses helped me get there — in particular, my amazing, magical equine partner, Pendragon. He was the inspiration for both setting off on a new career path, and for writing my first book.

In my writing, I seek to inspire, challenge, entertain, and comfort. My education and distant background were in psychology and the social services field, and I additionally have been a massage therapist for 20 years. I am focused upon healing, physically and psychologically. My books come from a Goddess-centric perspective, and are earth and nature focused.

I am an average, garden variety, eclectic Pagan, and am constantly exploring the mystical, magical realms. Besides writing, healing, and horses, I am a perpetual student of the Tarot, and lead monthly workshops where others learn about themselves and make changes in their lives, drawing inspiration from Pamela Colman Smith’s iconic, archetypal images.

Although I no longer write a weekly opinion column, I do toss my opinions and observations out on this blog, which you are invited to share — Liberally, of course!

Career highlights

During my tenure as managing editor, the Winters Express won First Place in General Excellence in the California News Publishers Associations’ Better Newspapers Contest in 2000, as well as second and third place awards in General Excellence in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest.

My specialty is opinion writing. I have five first place awards from the National Newspaper Association for column writing, one second and two thirds. At the state level, I have four first place awards in column writing from the California News Publishers Association, and three second place awards, as well as first place awards in Breaking News (2014) and Coverage of Business News (2018).

I was the winner of the national column writing talent search for the Front Porch Syndicate in 2002 and was nationally syndicated in The Front Porch magazine for several years until the publication closed. I was a judge in the California News Publishers Association’s Better Newspapers Contest for 24 years, and an essay judge for the Yolo County Academic Decathlon competition for 10 years.

I am the co-founder of iPinion Syndicate, and served as CEO and managing editor from 2010-17.  I self-published two anthologies for iPinion using CreateSpace. I continue to serve as a contributor, advisor, mentor, and desktop publisher for iPinion Syndicate. I have been a writing coach for scores of budding columnists and reporters over the years, and helping writers to be the best they can be is one of my greatest joys.

Keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter!

12 thoughts on “About

  1. It is not just the Formol in the bras, the Nickel hooks are also highly allergenic. Look for Nickel allergies as there are lots of Scientific papers about the high level of Nickel in our lives: cellphones, toys, and the bras wires and hooks ….


  2. I too have a rash that i cannot get rid of it started about a year ago when i bought a bunch of new bras (victorias secret) ive tried every cream and oil to get rid of it. I came upon your post and found it very interesting.


    • Hi Stacy – well, here’s how to find out if it’s the bras: Stop wearing them until the rash heals, then put them back on again. If it comes roaring back… it’s the bras. Sorry you are suffering with this too. It’s a nasty rash.


  3. I have a rash on both my breasts & at the top of my shoulder where the bra strap fits. I only wear Victoria’s Secret bras & I’ve noticed that when I take them off the rash seems to itch less than when I’m wearing the bra. I read an article that said the problem was with the bras made in China. I’ve done a little experimentation of my own & my VS bras made in other countries don’t seem to bother me like the ones made in China. I’ve tried anti-itch creams but they don’t help.


    • Hello Valerie,
      Well, that is the basic test to see if it’s the VS bra: If you take it off for a couple weeks, do the rash and itching disappear? Then… if you put it back on… do they come back?
      That was how I finally made the connection. I don’t have some weird disease – it’s the bra.
      If you have access to a dermatologist, see if s/he will test the bra for chemicals. I unfortunately threw my bras away BEFORE I started googling and discovered that the problem is much bigger than me.
      Hope you are feeling better soon, and find a comfortable alternative to VS. If you do – please share! 🙂


  4. I am so happy and so disappointed to have found your post on the VS bras. I finally gave in and purchased the high priced bra for the push up. Having a small chest all my life I treated myself to a new pricey push up bra. Only, it caused the most painful rash ever!!!! So far, VS has been very willing to give a refund etc. but I am so pissed that we are now 8 years later still suffering with this issue. Why can’t VS figure out a way to make this right? I also looked at my particular “killer bra” and it is made in Sri Lanka.


    • Hello Jennifer – sorry to hear you are part of our “itchy sisters” club. 😦
      VS is good about giving you your money back but will not acknowledge that a problem exists. Interesting that yours was made in Sri Lanka. Most of the problems have been with bras made in China, but the fabric could have come from China.
      Isn’t ridiculous that after 8 years, they still can’t solve this problem? But – I guess you have to acknowledge a problem before you can solve it.
      Anyway – it’s a good idea to have your doctor document your rash, and the only way to get it to go away is to not wear the bra. :/


  5. I had a surgery and since that time I have only been wearing one specific type of VS bra because the straps don’t lay across my scar. For over a year I have been wearing the same style of VS bra and since that time I have had a rash on each breast that is permantly red and itchy. Tried numerous creams and remedies to get rid of the rash, but nothing works. Only when I came across your article did I make the connection that my bra might be the cause of my problem. It’s upsetting that something I buy to make myself look and feel better has slowly ruined my body.


    • Dear Bryanna,
      Well, the good news is that you aren’t ruined… you just need to stop wearing the bra. It will take about 3 weeks for the rash to clear up. It would be a good idea to let your doctor document it, and if you have somewhere that can test the bra for chemicals in the fabric, that would be great! If you do – please report back!
      Also, I found that Gold Bond Powder helps the itch a little.
      Good luck, and hope you feel better soon!


  6. Hi Debra, I have had itchy boobs for quite a few years, but tolerable, (also VS brand bras) I thought something was wrong with me. A few weeks ago I purchased a new VS bra and after wearing it the second day, full on itch and rash! Crazy itchy! I exchanged it for another style and it is doing the same thing. I might have to resort to the ugly bra. I would like to add that the same thing happened to me about two years ago with the waistband of exercise pants. They were the Carrie Underwood brand sold at Dicks Sporting Goods. Dicks wouldn’t take them back because I had worn them😡, those pants were expensive!
    Thank you for your blog. I now know that I’m not the only one with the problem.


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