Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

What makes a hero? Obviously they don’t have to be jumping building to building by a spider thread or leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

My romantic heroes come in a variety of forms, oh wait, they aren’t all men either (often referred to as heroines). Some of them wear uniforms like Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, or Military; I haven’t written about Fire Fighters… yet. Many of my heroes wear everyday clothes, or business suits. Some of them, like Lon (Bartlett’s Rule), are just like “everyday” folk, he’s a writer who saves Paige both emotionally and physically. And in true role reversal, Dave (Karma Visited) saves Annie, literally; then in the sequel to that book, Annie (Annie’s Karma) saves Dave’s life.

Dramatic actions aren’t always what make a person into a hero, not in books and not in real life. In the recent deep-freeze out in the Midwest a concerned woman took out her credit card and rented motel rooms for several homeless people who could have frozen to death on the street. Other people serve hot food to the needy, volunteer time to walk dogs at the animal shelter, adopt an orphaned child, donate blood, or a myriad of different things.

Heroism isn’t always a dramatic act of bravery, although that certainly fits the bill, being a hero can be a mindset, a desire to help others and to put others first. While some heroic gestures may seem “safer” than others a hero always puts himself/herself out there even if it’s not the most convenient thing to do.

Just do right. Right may not be expedient, it may not be profitable, but it will satisfy your soul. It brings you the kind of protection that bodyguards can’t give you. So try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity. Take up the battle. Take it up. It’s yours. This is your life. This is your world.” ~ Maya Angelou

Please share what your concept of a hero is in the comments below.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Survivor, The Monsters & The Giants

a humorous (semi) fictional tale


Dear Diary,
It’s been a few weeks since I found shelter.
I was beginning to give up hope, there were too many times that I had to burrow through that white icy stuff. Finally I found a haven, it took a while but I eventually thawed out. But it was time to go out and explore this new world that I found refuge in. And I had to forage for some food, there were only so many bugs my palate could tolerate.
So I cautiously ventured out and it was TERRIFYING. I encountered two huge hairy monsters. Unaware of the danger they posed, I fell victim to one of them — he grabbed me with his mouth using his sharp teeth, I could smell his fetid breath as I dangled in fear of my life. Suddenly we were facing a second monster, his eyes fastened on my swinging body. The first monster wasn’t going to give me up and he took off in a fast gallop and I jerked violently side to side. He got far away from the other monster and dropped me penned into a corner and as he batted at me I was sure I was going to be ripped to pieces.
I was desperate and I darted to the side and managed to allude him, I ran for my life only to come face-to-face with the other monster. I thought quickly, there were places to hide and I quickly lunged under something big and shiny nearby. Both monsters ran after me trying to reach me with their sharp talons. I pinned myself to the back wall as far out of their reach as possible. The monsters began keening, a sick and high pitched wail, it hurt my ears. Their cries for support, for help, were soon answered.
She was a giant with fuzzy feet and some kind of radio transmitters on her head. That big object was obviously too big for her to move and she left for a moment. While the monsters stood watching me to make sure I couldn’t escape, the giant came back with a light that she shined into my eyes nearly blinding me and a metal claw in her hand. She tried and nearly succeeded in grabbing my body with her claw, but although I felt the cold metal brush me, she didn’t manage to grab me to pull me towards her. She finally gave up and left me to the watchful glowing eyes of the two monsters.
It was finally daylight when one of the monsters left and the remaining one seemed to close his eyes. I ran, but the monster guarding me woke and leapt after me. I darted under something else, but not before I saw the second monster returning followed by a bigger giant who walked with three legs, one of them was a long narrow stick that he seemed able to detach from his body. Unlike the woman giant his head was shiny, maybe a solar panel that fueled his energy now that the sun had come up? He bent before the object and stuck that long stick leg under it and chased me from side to side. I managed to jump over the stick leg and found an opening away from where the giant and the two monsters were crouching.
I escaped and ran back to my camp, far from their sharp talons, metal claws and long stick legs. I’ll have to settle for eating a few more bugs for now, but I am safe. It will be a while before I venture out again.


Dear Diary,
Yay, Mommy bought us a new toy and I found it first. My brother wanted to play with it but I ran all the way into my room with it.
Man, it moves so fast. I couldn’t even see where it got wound up. I couldn’t catch it and neither could my brother. It got stuck under the big chug-chug machine where Mommy throws dirty laundry and I guess the wind up ran out because we couldn’t get it out. Even Mommy tried.
Someone must have found a way to wind it up again. I dozed for just a few moments and it whizzed right past me. I ran after my new toy, and my brother and my Daddy came into the room from the other side. Dang it, the toy changed direction and went right under Daddy’s chair. We were trying to reach it when it whizzed out the other side and right into the kitchen.
Now it’s stuck behind that big thing in the kitchen where Mommy keeps the food. Maybe it will come out again.


Mark, there’s a mouse in the house!

The Survivor

The Monsters

Saturday, September 29, 2018

What exactly is “NORMAL”?

I just spent some time on Facebook reading (and sometimes responding) the many discussions about Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh and his nomination to the Supreme Court. Before I go further, this is NOT a political statement and is not a condemnation of either individual — this is an observation (and some frustration) about other people’s perceptions and comments.

The facts: Christine Blasey Ford came forward with an allegation of an assault that (allegedly) happened while they were both in high school in the 1980s and was not disclosed to anyone until 2012, has never been brought to the police, and is now being highly publicized with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to a SCOTUS position. The White House originally refused an FBI investigation, but the house judiciary committee did finally schedule a hearing to hear both sides before any vote takes place.

On Thursday of this past week millions of viewers were glued to the television set watching as Dr. Ford recounted her story and answered numerous, sometimes rough, questions; then Brett Kavanaugh testified, denying all allegations that have been made against him. It was an emotional day for viewers as well as they people involved; many viewers decided not to watch fearing that it would be too “triggering”, indeed RAINN reported calls from sexual abuse victims nearly doubled after the televised event. (After the hearing it was decided to have an FBI investigation “of limited scope and lasting no longer than one week” before voting on Kavanaugh’s nomination.)

The Facebook debate that riled me most was one where a woman stated her doubt about Dr. Ford’s validity because she wasn’t “the normal shrinking flower” after such an assault. She also added unequivocally that IF the assault actually took place the length of time that it took to be reported at all made Ford (and other victims who delay) GUILTY of every assault that took place after!

So how exactly should a woman (or man) react after being sexually assaulted? What is the NORMAL SHRINKING FLOWER (a derogatory term in itself) like? When I wrote my book Bartlett’s Rule about a rape survivor and the man who fell in love with her I gathered (anonymous) info from several survivors, not one of them reacted the same way as another. There were some who said they didn’t report the incident because: some were filled with undue shame and guilt; some worried they might not be believed; and some were made to believe they “asked” for what had happened”. Some who did call the police did not feel that they had reached a sympathetic ear or were terrified when told they would have to testify in front of strangers and their assailant. Many chose not to say anything for years and then only opened up to a few who they felt should know. So which way was NORMAL?

Some victims can’t talk about an assault at all. Some try to deny it ever happened, they have to find a way to accept it was real and then TRY to find a way to move on. Sometimes moving on means not wanting to relive it because isn’t that what a victim does when questioned by police, hospital personnel or an opposing lawyer? Maybe, MAYBE, if the perpetrator is prosecuted and jailed, other victims might be saved, but the original victim is being “re-assaulted” with each retelling; and what happens if the alleged perpetrator winds up free and on the street anyway? One rape victim I spoke with was told by a supposed friend that she “probably asked for it, so stop whining”, this woman was filled with self-doubt and even self-imposed-guilt for years — do not add to her suffering by blaming her for what the rapist, and only the rapist, was guilty of doing! ? Coming forward after such a personally destructive incident takes immeasurable courage and strength.

This particular poster also cited The Innocence Project multiple times, I don’t know what her experiences might have been with this very worthwhile group, she herself wasn’t that forthcoming. No one can deny that sometimes the wrong people do go to jail. It is my personal assumption that most of those wrongly convicted were not deliberate, vengeful attacks, but rather innocent and tragic mis-identifications, or questionable evidence. Most crimes are only obvious to the people immediately involved (and a Higher Power if you believe) and no matter how convincing later testimony may be, the only way to POSSIBLY learn the truth is with a thorough investigation and open minds.

Hopefully the FBI investigation, limited in time and scope, of Dr. Ford’s accusations and Brett Kavanaugh’s denials will allow the truth to surface and perhaps justice will be done.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Celebrating #LibraryCardSignUp Month!

I am delighted to brag that several libraries across the country carry several of my books in either Print or E-book format. Look in YOUR library's catalogue for a Chelle Cordero book - or ask your librarian if there is any in the system.

(Please tell them you really want Chelle Cordero's books available to you!)

From September 1 through September 30, 2018 post your library, your name and any Chelle Cordero work (print or e-book) that can be found there and you will be entered in a drawing for a FREE E-Book (up to 5 prizes) the 1st week of October. 

Post in the comments section on my Facebook page

Thank you!

for books by Chelle Cordero:

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Ask Me Anything

One of the questions asked & answered:
Q: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
A: My most recent published work is Annie’s Karma, it is a sequel to Karma Visited. When I was a child I used to dream of traveling places in my sleep, ironically like my title character I would “see” various disaster scenes in my dreams. Occasionally within the next day I would hear news reports that uncannily reminded me of the disasters I dreamed about… coincidence?
(BTW, ask anything… but if it is too personal
I MAY plead the 5th!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Broken-Hearted, RIP Mario

We had to say good-bye to one of our pussycats this morning. It was a sudden illness that took Mario from us, the vet and the vet tech did what they could but there was no saving him. And I am heartbroken over the loss of this Gentle Giant of a pussycat.

So this post is dedicated to Mario, born in July 2008
(please forgive my self-indulgence). 

He was part of a litter and surprisingly he was left behind at the shelter as the "runt" - he grew to be such a big boy weighing in at over 25-pounds. Mario pretty much dwarfed his brothers Tigger and Luigi. He loved to chase reflections on the floor, the walls, and the ceiling... for a big cat he moved really fast. One of his favorite "toys" was an electric tower fan, it had a little shiny logo and when it caught the sunlight the reflection skittered across the floor, Mario had so much fun with it.

 I nicknamed him (in addition to my Gentle Giant) my Creamsicle because he was orange and white. As a tiny little kitten (we got him when he was three months old) he looked like he had dipped his nose into a bottle of white paint, and I still can't believe that something that tiny grew so big.

Mario had a distinct personality and I admit while the "breed" wasn't 

the same I did model the cat in two of my novels after him (Mauszer)
Mario played with his brothers, often stole their food, and fought and cuddled with them non-stop. We adopted Mario along with Tigger and Luigi in early September 2008 from our local animal shelter; Tigger was the "old man" at 3 years old, Mario (3 months) and Luigi (2 months) were the "babies".
At this point I know he is romping at the Rainbow Bridge with brothers and sisters he never physically met (Mark and I have had multiple cats for most of our married life), but I am convinced that their spirits still roam through our home — as I am sure Mario's spirit will pay visits every so often as well. 

He leaves us with beautiful memories. We love you Mario, thank you for being a part of our lives.