Monday, November 28, 2016

Legacy ~ #MondayBlogs


Whenever we have a spate of celebrity deaths or are personally touched by loss we frequently begin to think of our own mortality. Death is inevitable for everyone, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, nice or mean, or man or woman… nobody gets out alive. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind you when the time comes in the hopefully distant future? What do you want to be remembered for?

In Judaism it is believed that there are ways to avoid a “second death” by remembering someone, doing good deeds in that person’s name, and always being inspired by the deceased to make us want to live better and more thoughtful lives. How do we assure that we will be remembered? How can we be the kind of person who could inspire goodness in others?

Think of the things you would WANT to be remembered for; think of the things you believe you WOULD be remembered for. Compare those two lists — which do you want more? Do you think you would be remembered for the hours you spent away from your family making more money than you truly needed? Would you be remembered for the fancy car you drove? Or would you be remembered for your generosity and compassion for those around you?

When I am no longer physically on this earth I hope that people would remember that they felt comfortable talking to me because they could trust me; I would want to be remembered for the time I gave to family and friends; I want folks to remember that I was passionate about living beings and their welfare; and I would want to be remembered for my laughter and my tears when others needed it most. I want my friends and family to know that I accepted that I was a mere human trying my best to be decent and thoughtful. When I die I would hope that people would celebrate the life I lived and would remember at least some happiness they had for knowing me.

Live your life well, make the “dash” between the dates on your headstone mean something. Enjoy the hugs you share with loved ones, the laughter you hear from children playing, the sounds and smells of nature all around you, and the joy you feel when you’ve made someone smile. Be the kind of person you would admire and know the difference between false vanity and the true “success” of respect. Do your job well, not just for the reward of money, but because the way you do your job makes this a better world for someone. Hold your lover’s hand, not because you expect something in return, but because you just want to be there with him/her.


Live a wonderful life full of joy and happiness.

...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

An apology ~ SNIPPET SUNDAY, Nov. 26-27, 2016


Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior and Snippet Sunday round. Every week writers post 8-to-10 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

See more at the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group
& check out the
WeWriWa blog


I'm sharing snippets from HYPHEMA, my second EMS novel. The hero in HYPHEMA was first introduced in Final Sin as the heroine's ambulance partner and best friend.

Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors… Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

In the last excerpt I posted from Hyphema one of the wives (Donna) verbally attacked Sudah for her Muslim/Pakistani heritage. The other wives were supportive of Sudah. In this excerpt Donna's husband, Frankie, approaches Matt at work and apologizes for his wife's comments. Matt is surprised since Sudah never said anything.


Creative editing (a.k.a. condensed to fit) alert!    

“I heard that Donna gave your wife a hard time about her being a Muslim and all, I wanted to apologize. Laurie told Tony that Sudah handled it real well, I just want you to know I don’t have any problems with your wife.”
Matt could see the sincerity in his eyes, “good to know.”
“So how did you wind up with a girl from over there anyway?”
Matt let Frankie follow him into the crew room before he answered, “Sudah enrolled in a college program in New York, I sometimes helped out with the paramedic program there, we met one day in the hallway and I knew that I loved her right away.”
“So she’s not a citizen, right?”
“Not yet,” Frankie handed Matt a cup of coffee and they sat at the table, “she’s working on it but it takes several years.”
Frankie took a long swallow from his coffee, “it’s just that it’s odd to see foreigners around here…”
“You know we all started out as foreigners somewhere in our families,” Matt bristled a bit.
“Hey, no offense. I just didn’t know if you guys are prepared for some of the shit that can go on down here.”

REVIEWS
 5 stars Nobody Writes It Better by Charmaine Gordon

#####

Just got good news from my publisher, she said OKAY to a manuscript I just submitted, it's a sequel to my book Karma Visited and I am soooo excited.  

I believe the sequel, tentatively titled Annie's Karma will be available
mid to late January 2017 ~ I'll keep y'all posted!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the meanwhile, a bunch of Vanilla Heart Publishing authors got together to create a collection of holiday oriented stories and it is FREE to download from
Noisetrade  and  Smashwords
’Tis the Season for Cocoa and Reading: Holiday Stories and More is a collection of short stories by Vanilla Heart Publishing Authors Tamara Philip, Chelle Cordero, Malcolm R. Campbell, Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard, Neva Squires-Rodriguez, Charmaine Gordon, and Lauren Shiro.
That Christmas Feeling - Tamara Philip
A Date With Mistletoe - Chelle Cordero
Jock Stewart’s Holiday Hilarity - Malcolm R. Campbell
Dead for a Night - Gwendolyn Jensen-Woodard
Esperanza-The Holiday that Wasn’t - Neva Squires-Rodriguez
Surprise in August - Charmaine Gordon

The Gift - Lauren Shiro
Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Throwaway Everything ~ #MondayBlogs


Those of us who were raised by parents who survived the depression era often received lectures about the necessity of being frugal, repairing things instead of replacing, and working around the little difficulties wherever possible. Most of today’s parents have always wanted to give our children more than we had, to never make them wear an older cousin’s hand-me-downs, to always get the favorite new toy advertised for the holiday season, and to accept and expect the seeming planned obsolescence of many consumable goods.

We can forgive the overindulgent parents who want to see their children happy and even feel for the parents who can’t afford the expensive IN toy their child craves. But still the concept of mending clothing or gluing household items back together is quickly being discounted more often than not. Under the umbrella term of decluttering some toss all “extras” whether it’s mail that comes in, newspapers, a chipped candy dish, or leftover food. Homes are bought not with the intention of building a life there but as stepping stones to the next bigger edifice to fit more possessions that will be tossed at some future point.

Is our throwaway society so strong an influence that we find it easy to discard previously memorable keepsakes like wedding gowns, heirloom candlesticks and old live letters between our parents? And has this ease to toss stuff out of our lives moved on to friendships, pets and even marriages? Young couples talk of pre-nups even in the “average” marriage; while there may be justification when family fortunes, corporations or children from a previous union are involved, isn’t signing a pre-nuptial agreement a little like planning to get divorced even before you say “I Do”? More and more couples who do hit rough patches look to put more distance between themselves rather than working things through (with or without therapists) and making the changes that could save their marriage.


Sometimes that article of clothing is beyond repair or totally unusable, and sometimes relationships need compromises that one or both won’t, or can’t, consider, but we need to learn when to hang on before we decide to let go. We have become so scared of being labeled hoarders that sometimes we resist sentimentality and even practicality. Life should have some attachments, there has got to be a better balance where we can decide something is worth fixing.

...

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Fictional Life of a Fiction Writer ~ #MondayBlogs


We’ve all seen those funny T-shirts and mugs warning people that THE WRITER is around and ready to put them into the next story. One would think that people would tend not to want to disclose personal info once they’ve been warned “Be careful what you say, you could wind up in my next book.”
I adore creating characters that I have (almost) total control over, they take my advice with little argument and even though sometimes they need a bit of nudging, they don’t disappoint. And the best part, I can KILL someone off if I so desire! However I have found that a writer does have to be careful when doing research…
There was the, time I needed help in “hiding” a murder that would eventually be found once the medical examiner knew what he was looking for after exhuming the body. So I called an acquaintance who worked as an investigator at the local MEs office, explained that I was researching a story and asked my questions. He was very cooperative and helpful — until I thanked him and was ready to hang up the phone. I was then subjected to a few minutes of his questions making sure that everything was okay between my husband and me.
Considering the topics that writers discuss on the phone with editors, publishers and critique buddies, we must truly keep the NSA hopping. Paranoia set in one day when my sister and I were discussing a murder scene and we both thought we heard a few clicks on the phone, every minute or so after that one of us would speak clearly into the phone and state this is for a fiction story we were formulating.
I have discovered that my husband is not appreciative of those sudden lightbulb moments I get after trying to work out a scene and somewhere in the middle of dinner and I say “Oh yeah, I have to make so&so do that!” It took him a while to realize I wasn’t talking about some long lost relative turned up during a genealogy search a long lost cousin was conducting. Of course sometimes I talk in my sleep and mumble about all these juicy tidbits that leave him wondering exactly what I do all day.
And of course all of the research I do as a writer, both for my fiction and my alter-ego journalist, turns into all of this useless trivia knowledge, but G-d forbid I can hold my own during a couples’ Trivial Pursuit game.
Yep, being a writer is certainly an adventure.




Sunday, November 13, 2016

Not everyone is okay with her ~ SNIPPET SUNDAY, Nov. 12-13, 2016

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior and Snippet Sunday round. Every week writers post 8-to-10 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

See more at the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group
& check out the
WeWriWa blog


I'm sharing snippets from HYPHEMA, my second EMS novel. The hero in HYPHEMA was first introduced in Final Sin as the heroine's ambulance partner and best friend.

Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors… Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

Matt has gone with his so-workers to play a game of paintball while the wives wait in the clubhouse and Sudah is worried that the game is too violent. (dinner plans are to follow). Most of the wives have no problem with Sudah except for Donna. (special note: the e-book came out the week before Bin Laden was found and killed) I've done LOTS of editing to fit this scene in!


Creative editing (a.k.a. condensed to fit) alert!    

Trisha broke in, “Donna I don’t understand why you are being so rude, I am so sorry Sudah.”
Donna faced Sudah menacingly, “my older cousin’s fiancĂ© was killed on 9/11…”
“Oh goodness Donna that was almost ten years ago, Sudah was only a little girl back then.”
“I am very sorry for your loss, but we are very much alike then, my father’s dear friend Jamaal also died on that terrible day,” said Sudah.
“On one of the planes I bet.”
“He was working in a restaurant in New York City, he loved this country and was studying to become a citizen, he ran to the two buildings after the first plane crashed, he was trying to help when the second plane came, I remember when Jamaal’s wife was told her husband was dead.”
“And yet you cover your head like those Arab women who cheered.”
“I cover my head because I am Muslim, it is a sign of respect for my beliefs.”
“Muslim, that’s who attacked us,” Donna snorted, “and they say that Bin Laden lives like a hero in Pakistan.”
“I have not seen him, I do not know where he lives, I would tell authorities where if I knew,” Sudah smiled sweetly and shook her head, “the Islamic people are people of peace, the few who murdered so many and the people who were happy about it are not true believers, they are cowards and they do not speak for most of us.”



For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Hello Young Lovers ~ #MondayBlogs


When I was still a newlywed, we had a huge problem with a really pesky neighbor and it was very frustrating. Totally at my wits-end I telephoned my father and asked him what to do. We had a discussion, I don’t remember the exact words (it’s been a lot of years) — after hearing me out, my frustration and my crying, Daddy told me that he would always be happy to help me out BUT had I told my husband my feelings? I answered something like “Not really”.

Daddy didn’t renege on his offer to help me IF I STILL WANTED IT AFTER HIS ADVICE. The main thing my father stressed was that I was a married woman, an adult, who was married to a grown man; we were two adults who made a commitment to each other. While your parents would always be your parents and always care about you and do whatever they could to make your life easier, a married woman OR man should always be a team with her/his spouse. In other words, even if I had been the one to call my dad, I should have been speaking for the two of us.

I’m pretty sure that we have all heard the phrase “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) or “no one was ever intended to come between a husband and a wife” (Matthew 19:6). [Nowadays this should refer to ALL married couples, not just the husband/wife variety] What do these two phrases mean, what did my dad mean about my discussing things with my husband and we should basically speak as one?

When we marry, both sides of the couple, are making the promise to leave the shelter and dependence of our parents and be able to rely and support each other. We need to turn to our spouses first before running to Mommy and Daddy. Our circle as a married couple means that we are the primary relationship and we each need to see each other as our priority, Being a couple should be the MOST IMPORTANT bond. Dependence and dependability on each other not only fosters trust and respect, it also makes a formidable unit which can withstand opposition.

This primary relationship needs to be recognized by more than just the partners but also by the people around them. Parents need to recognize and respect their child’s spouse and need to understand that they should never, ever attempt to get in between that bond. As parents we want to always be there for our children no matter how old they are, we have a need to want to fix things for them, and of course we only want what is best for them even when what we think is best is not what they want.

The time for raising our children and teaching them responsibility should have been going on through all of their adolescent and teen years. By the time our children reach adulthood and enter into a committed relationship, hopefully we have provided them with enough foundation to actually be able to think and do for themselves. And parents can give themselves a pat on the back when their job has been well done and offspring can actually deal with real life. While we will always want to step in, we MUST respect and trust our adult children and that includes respecting and trusting the person he/she chose as a lifelong partner; you can’t truly respect one unless you respect the other.

Parents who nurture an unhealthy relationship are only damaging many lives: If you don’t raise and allow your offspring to act like grown-ups, one day may come when they have to think for themselves and make decisions and the parents may no longer be around; parents who think they need to control their grown child will cause self-doubt, lack of trust for one another and a dependency that may at some point become too heavy a burden for the aging adult; and parents who are constantly intervening in their son or daughter’s relationship run the risk of seriously damaging the bond and creating not only sadness for their child but also resentment against the parents. In an ideal world grown children and parents can have wonderful relationships and can be there for each other when needed but the respect has to go both ways INCLUDING the in-law child.


My dad passed away shortly after our first wedding anniversary and my mom just a year later – ever since those valuable words my dad said to me during that phone call I've turned to my husband (and he has turned to me) and we have always been there for each other. It’s been more than 40 years and my husband and I are still best friends, confidents, support, and the genuine other half — and I owe it all to the fact that my dad recognized that a married couple, even his daughter and her husband, should be the strongest bond and what hath been “joined together, let no man put asunder”.

...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Will they like me? ~ SNIPPET SUNDAY, Nov. 5-6, 2016

Hi! Welcome to another Weekend Writing Warrior and Snippet Sunday round. Every week writers post 8-to-10 sentences on their blogs from a published or unpublished book. Then we "hop" around and leave comments on each other's snippets. Whether our work is already published or in progress, the helpful comments help us become stronger writers on our next WIP. We welcome EVERYONE's comments.

See more at the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group
& check out the
WeWriWa blog


I'm sharing snippets from HYPHEMA, my second EMS novel. The hero in HYPHEMA was first introduced in Final Sin as the heroine's ambulance partner and best friend.

Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors… Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

Matt told Sudah about the plans to get together with some of his new co-workers and their wives. Sudah is unsure as to how people will respond to her because she is a Muslim immigrant. It seems that she is more sensitive to the stares she's gotten from some strangers in their new community than she has let on in the past.


Creative editing (a.k.a. condensed to fit) alert!    

“Do you think your friends will like me?”
Matt chuckled, “Are you really worried, baby, how can they not like you?”
“It is one thing to ignore stares from strangers, but these are people you know, I do not wish to embarrass you,” Sudah adjusted her scarf.
“You could never embarrass me,” he stopped her and turned her to face him, “you’re beautiful and you are the best person I know.”
“I wear a scarf.”
“So?”
“I am a Muslim, I am not an American yet,” she looked down, “I do not want to cause trouble for you.”


For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: