Monday, July 25, 2016

Life Matters ~ #MondayBlogs


Lately our news reports have been filled with demonstrations and movements with catch-phrases such as Black Lives Matter, Blue (Police) Lives Matter, and All Lives Matter. (I certainly would hope that ALL Lives Matter)

I believe in each cause… completely and unfortunately can understand the motive behind each. I think every group, senior citizens, women, the poor and underprivileged, the disabled, all ethnic groups, all faith-based groups, the LGBTQ community, and basically every living being is entitled to matter.

I believe that each movement touting that “??? Lives Matter” is NOT saying that other lives don’t matter; even so some people are angered by terms which single out one group. There are a lot of misconceptions that lead people to think that a movement FOR one group automatically pits that group against another. There is another misconception that supporters must belong to the same group and any concern for someone who is “different” is out of place.

Several years ago I called a local community’s highway department to complain about a hazardous situation near a retirement community forcing people in wheelchairs and electric carts to share a busy road with cars and trucks. I will never forget the response I got. Him, “Are you disabled?” Me, “No.”, Him, “Then why do you care?”

There was another incident where an acquaintance told me about a conversation he overheard; an angry individual was complaining about someone else in a community position and said to an elected official, “You have to help us get rid of that ##### (ethnic slur)”. I told my acquaintance that was horrible and asked if he said anything, his response literally floored me — “Why? I’m not ##### (more polite ethnic term).”

From the Education Department of The National World War II Museum: ‘“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” --Pastor Martin Niemöller, 1945.’

I think it is time to embrace each movement of Lives Matter whether we are part of the same group or not, but we also have to avoid dividing ourselves from others. If any life is hurt or taken, we must take it all personally, it is as if we are the ones who have been hurt. We need to care for one another as we would want to be cared for. For every mouth that goes hungry, we must feel the pangs of hunger; for every tear that is shed, we must cry along; for every wound that is inflicted, we must share our blood. No matter what or who, we are all the same, we are all one.



"No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of
thine own were: any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind,
and therefore never send
to know for whom the bells tolls;
it tolls for thee
.
"
 ~ John Donne


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Scott is angry... again ~ Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 07/24/16

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
WeWriWa blog

& check out the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group


A long, long time ago I shared a few snippets from my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, Karma Visited (only 5) - and we didn't get a full taste of this story. Since I am working on a sequel and revisiting the story for myself, I'm sharing more with you and soaking up your comments.

Do you believe in karma? Annie Furman has a gift that allows her, while she sleeps, to visit people in their time of need - but who will be there for her when she needs help? Undersheriff Dave Turner is investigating a series of home invasions and homicides. He has no idea that solving this case will lead him to the woman of his dreams.

Annie tries to talk to Scott about the things Sherry had to say while she brings dinner to the table. (reminder, Dianne is Scott's mother).

Creative editing alert!  Here are Nine lines... 

“I don’t want that woman in this house again,” Scott was still furious.
“She just showed up…”
“I don’t care, you don’t let her in,” Scott was angry, “I don’t want you even talking to her, if you see her in town you cross the street.”
“How can you tell me not to even speak to someone?”
Scott reached across the table and grabbed her arm, “because you are going to do what I tell you to do, that’s the understanding we have, you know damn well what will happen if you get out of line.”
Annie bit the inside of her lip to keep from responding.
“Eat,” he waited until she picked up her own fork and put food in her mouth.
Annie forced herself to eat her meal, she felt like she was going to choke with each forkful.
When they were finished eating, Scott and Dianne left the room without a word to her.


 ~~~~~
For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: 


My life changed after I died.
It’s not like I had any special powers.
They just didn’t understand me.
They underestimated me.
I had a gift.

Buy Links



~~~~~

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Writing Prompts
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Do Overs ~ #MondayBlogs


How often have we all thought if we could only do something over would we have done things differently? I am thrilled with the life I have and I know that the things I did and decided have led me to where I am today. Once in a while though I do wonder what if… what if I hadn’t gone to the college I did, what if I had gotten a job with the NYPD, what if I had continued pursuing a theatrical career. When a movie gets remade, we still have the option of watching the original version again —

Ghostbusters 1986-style is a part of my (younger) life and it was funny and I enjoyed it. I laughed at the lines and facial expressions made by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson. I don’t know if I want to see someone else fighting the ghostly invasion of NYC. Will the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man make an appearance again?

But I am sort of interested in the new release, I really like the actresses now playing the parts, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon, and I am super excited to learn that both Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver will make appearances. I guess it never phased me about an all-male team versus the all-female ghost fighters but that seems to be a big publicity item about this new version. I wonder how else the movie format will change. The original movie was filmed in areas of NYC while the new version, even though the plot is centered in Manhattan, actually features scenes from Boston.

There have been several other movie remakes. In some cases the new technology available has made scenes more fantastic and memorable; sometimes the actors cast in one of the versions is better than the other. Have you seen (original and remake): War of the Worlds; The Thing; The Manchurian Candidate; The Parent Trap; King Kong; The Fly; Hairspray; or True Grit? Were you disappointed in the remakes? Be honest, how many of these remakes made you rush right back to the original version?

Maybe it’s a good thing we really don’t get to do our lives over, we might not like the new version as much as the original. Unlike the movies we wouldn’t have Netflix to find the original preferred version again. How many things might be different in your life? How much of that might you miss the second time around?


Who ya' gonna call if you had to do your life over again?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

We need to talk - Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 07/17/16

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
WeWriWa blog

& check out the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group


A long, long time ago I shared a few snippets from my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, Karma Visited (only 5) - and we didn't get a full taste of this story. Since I am working on a sequel and revisiting the story for myself, I'm sharing more with you and soaking up your comments.

Do you believe in karma? Annie Furman has a gift that allows her, while she sleeps, to visit people in their time of need - but who will be there for her when she needs help? Undersheriff Dave Turner is investigating a series of home invasions and homicides. He has no idea that solving this case will lead him to the woman of his dreams.

Annie gets an unexpected visit from Sherry Pulaski, a local town activist and someon who Scott has not hidden his dislike..

Creative editing alert!  Here are seven lines... 

Sherry Pulaski walked into the house without invitation, “we need to talk, do you by any chance have a pot of coffee up?”
Scott had made his feelings about this woman very clear and told her not to involve herself in any of Pulaski’s causes.
Sherry was filling the coffee pot with water as Annie reached the kitchen door. 
“Honey, your hubby wants to run for a position on our little ol’ town board, he keeps avoiding me so I need you to catch his ear.”
“I really don’t get involved with politics, Sherry,” Scott wouldn’t listen to her anyway.
“What this power company is looking to do is criminal, you know what everyone has always said about electrical fields — they cause cancer and other health problems.”
Sherry kept rambling, “the property that they wanted was too expensive, folks were living there who had no intention of selling, but now a lot of these people are being forced to move out for this mall.”

Sherry looked at Annie’s puzzled expression, “your husband is one of the investors of the mall project.”
 ~~~~~
For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: 


My life changed after I died.
It’s not like I had any special powers.
They just didn’t understand me.
They underestimated me.
I had a gift.

Buy Links



~~~~~

Monday, July 11, 2016

1969, The Summer That Was ~ #MondayBlogs


Late in the summer of 1969 my parents put me on a plane to Miami where I was going to spend some time at my Grandma’s place — she lived in a residential hotel in South Miami Beach. I was terrified of the plane ride (first time ever) but excited about my “grown-up independence”. One of the other grandmothers living in that hotel also had arranged for her teenage granddaughter to visit from NY around the same time so I even had a prearranged buddy to hang out with. And hang out we did.

So long as we let our grandmothers know where we were going and were back by their specified times, it was an adventure spent on the beach, shopping on Lincoln Road, going to the movies and so many things WITHOUT adult supervision, Woo-Hoo! (Although I did find out in later years that my grandmother had her spies, lol.)

The hotel was literally across the street from the beach and we spent almost every day soaking up the sun. I remember that there was an absolutely hunky lifeguard who guarded that particular section of the beach; my friend Carol was absolutely gaa-gaa over him and believe me it was obvious. So much so that even when a Hurricane pelted the Florida Keys and Miami Beach had heavy winds and rain spurts, we still spent as much time across the street as possible. Because of the huge waves and reports of sharks close to shore we had to promise our grandmothers we would not go in the water above our knees.

We were good to our word, but we didn’t count on waves that covered us up to our necks and we certainly weren’t prepared for Carol to be on the edge of a sand-bar and shelf (where the ground literally just drops away). So when Carol got sucked suddenly into the waters and swallowed mouthfuls of salty ocean, she needed help. I was there and the lifeguard wasn’t responding, so I jumped in and pulled her back to shore. After she coughed up what she had swallowed and caught her breath she was, thank goodness, well enough to be furious and approached the lifeguard who had never moved. She literally croaked instead of yelling. He admitted he saw what happened but just assumed she was trying to get his attention! Then he told her she had been nothing but a nuisance for days. I was furious when I heard that.

Of course she was trying to get your attention, you jerk. She almost drowned. I could have drowned trying to save her. All because you are so full of yourself!”

I think he finally realized how serious the incident was. BTW, neither Carol nor I had ever pretended to be in need of his lifesaving skills before. There was NO reason whatsoever to assume we were pretending and to ignore his responsibilities. Finally Carol and I went back to the hotel, she was in tears; our grandmothers were seated on the porch and Carol blurted out what had happened. When Carol’s grandmother got angry, really angry, I was thankful that neither of us had disobeyed any rules to bear the brunt of her ire. It wasn’t long before her grandmother went down to the beach and we never saw that lifeguard on-duty anywhere on the beach after that.

I never forgot the close call we had and years later as a first responder (with the Auxiliary Police and later as an EMT on a volunteer ambulance) I never doubted someone’s cries for help. Oh there were some that weren’t sincere but my attitude was that I would prefer to cluck my tongue over the abuse later rather than ignore someone who might really be in need.

It is on that note that I want to express my appreciation for all of our nation’s first responders who give of themselves every day to protect and save lives. We have some of the finest Law Enforcement, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services members out there.

It is with special remembrance and gratitude that I send hugs and a piece of my heart to the Dallas Police Department and share with them the pain they suffer. News reports related how they sheltered and helped strangers on the street while in the direct line of fire, their courage and heroism will not be forgotten.

Rest in Peace

Senior Cpl Lorne Ahrens
Sgt Michael Smith
Officer Brent Thompson
Officer Michael Krol
Officer Patrick Zamarripa

"I refuse to see hate live, while love dies."
~ Officer Bryan Woodard, Dallas PD

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Dave is just as baffled - Weekend Writing Warriors / #8sunday / 07/10/16

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
WeWriWa blog

& check out the
Facebook Snippet Sunday group


A long, long time ago I shared a few snippets from my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, Karma Visited (only 5) - and we didn't get a full taste of this story. Since I am working on a sequel and revisiting the story for myself, I'm sharing more with you and soaking up your comments.

Do you believe in karma? Annie Furman has a gift that allows her, while she sleeps, to visit people in their time of need - but who will be there for her when she needs help? Undersheriff Dave Turner is investigating a series of home invasions and homicides. He has no idea that solving this case will lead him to the woman of his dreams.

With only paperwork left after rescuing the young girl and arresting the remaining kidnapper, Dave is left alone with his thoughts...

Creative editing alert!  Here are seven lines... 

Normally Dave would be excited about breaking a case, but he was still confused by what he had seen that morning. He couldn’t get his mind off of the pretty lady who literally vanished in front of his eyes, at least he thought she did. Maybe he was just losing his mind?
Once more he wondered if they had played a joke on him; it had to be a joke because if it wasn’t then something definitely wasn’t right in his head. They had been awake all night following leads; he was tired and seeing things that weren’t there, it was just a hallucination. He continued to repeat those words in hopes of believing it.
The only thing Dave knew for sure was that he wanted to see her again.

 ~~~~~
For more WeWriWa Snippets, go to: 


My life changed after I died.
It’s not like I had any special powers.
They just didn’t understand me.
They underestimated me.
I had a gift.

Buy Links



~~~~~

In light of the violence and senseless deaths in America in recent weeks,
I keep repeating a few lines from John Donne's famous poem:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.






Monday, July 4, 2016

You May Not Know… ~ #MondayBlogs


The summer that our daughter turned 17 she made plans to join a youth group trip to Poland and Israel. An acquaintance confronted me with genuine concern and asked “How can you let her travel to such a dangerous place?”

Although we definitely worried about our daughter’s trip it wasn’t because of the location, it was the idea that she would be so far away without us by her side to “protect” her. We knew how important this trip was to her and how much she wanted the experience. We also knew teens who had taken similar journeys in previous summers and even more parents who had let their children go, and we were filled with stories of wonder, happiness and thankfulness for the experience.

However I did repeat the concern to the trip organizers during a parent-prep meeting. The response certainly opened my eyes. The young man I spoke to visited Israel and other parts of Europe several times a year, sometimes as part of his job and other times simply to spend time with friends he made through the years.

“When I am overseas and strangers learn I am from the New York City area they always ask me what it is like to live in such a dangerous place. Because of the way the media presents things they believe we all carry guns, fight off attacks every day, step over bodies in the street regularly, and have to live in secure fortresses for any kind of safety.”

His response certainly made me pause. He then asked if I was in contact with people in Israel and suggested I ask them what they thought about a group of North American teens visiting Israel (and yes he offered me contact info for some of his friends. He thought if I needed reassurance I should speak to people who actually lived there instead of some media copy that only painted a picture that would sell.

Unfortunately the world we live in has far too many incidents of violence and tragedies, but most people, thank goodness, live and work in cities and towns all over. No one is immune to the POSSIBILITY of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (even at home), but does that mean we should freeze in our tracks afraid to experience life? Practicing caution and being vigilant is wise but closing ourselves off to new adventures and possibilities is, well, not living.

She went to Poland and Israel and there were a few incidents of “concern” (more for her nervous parents than her) but she came home thrilled for having gone and changed by the lessons she learned by seeing the different cultures. She’s been back to Israel since and loves to travel… wherever. Her latest goal is to visit every continent at least once. And even now years later, even when she is accompanied by people who love and care for her, I worry each time she takes flight.

Our son is another test of a parent’s nerves, his adventures involve some travel but are more geared to physical challenges (mountains, skydiving, oy vey!). It is so true that no matter how old our offspring are, they will always be our babies — we look at the very capable adult and still see the infant cradled in our arms.


Sometimes you have to just pray A LOT and hope for the best, but always let life happen.