Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Friendships and Other Interests


No two people are living the same life — actually if they are there is something truly “suspicious” going on. We each have our own priorities, likes, dislikes and responsibilities. Some may have family members that another person doesn’t (spouse, children, siblings, etc.) and therefore interests and obligations may not be the same. But… what is the same is the desire to live one’s life, enjoy even the little things, to know love, to want happiness, and to truly feel alive.


When someone has a problem, whether or not that predicament is as important to you, doesn’t mean that you know how much someone else is allowed to feel or not. And your experiences, no matter how similar you believe them to be, are NOT the same and that other person does not need to react, feel and believe the same way you do. What is even worse is not really caring how the other person feels and not even trying to.


YOU are entitled to be thrilled with the joys in your life and even to share your enthusiasm with others. You need to remember though that you are not the only person in the world, not everyone has to be enthralled with your joys or the things that excite you. At the same time, you do not have a right to minimize another’s joy and enthusiasm. Friendship, love, caring — it’s all give AND take. It’s being considerate of someone else’s feelings.


By all means, share your joys, but don’t let it reach the point where you are literally shoving your happiness and blessings upon someone who may be made to feel less for not having what you have. Accept that everyone comes from a different “place” and yours is not the only one that matters. If you and a friend are talking (is it really you AND?) about everything that makes YOU happy and then that friend wants to share some of his own joy, take the time to listen just as they did for you.


Think about it honestly. How would you feel if the person you call friend lets you know they just aren’t interested in the things that you hold most dear? Take the time to think of others… and yes, if necessary, eliminate (or at least reduce) those from your life who take you for granted.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020



Who cares if you hurt grieving friends and families so long as you can sell your newspapers, right?... That attitude gets me so angry.


I’ve been a journalist for a number of years, for the most part I stay away from hard news coverage. Why? Because I got tired of editors who just wanted headlines, no matter how graphic the image was.


A freelance photographer that I know was shooting pictures for a local newspaper, he captured some great shots of a house fire with multiple trucks and firefighters in action. The editor asked if anyone died or at least got injured. The photographer said, no, they got everyone out safely. Editor’s answer, oh, nice pics but we can’t use them, nobody wants to read about that.


The truth is though, sensational headlines DO sell newspapers. Emotional and revealing soundbites DO attract viewers to the local TV news program. Many people thrill to the most intimate and gruesome details about the latest car accident, or violent attack, or natural disaster. Maybe… maybe they don’t think it’s real, maybe it’s just another Hollywood movie…


Mouths water over every detail, until it happens to your friends, your family, or you. Near the community where I used to live there was a terrible car accident this week, two young people lost their lives. The first newspaper article I read gave the facts, it identified the individuals and told a little about each, then it gave an account of the accident. It was enough detail. A little later a Facebook friend sent me another newspaper’s article; this one was graphic. This article detailed the victims’ final moments with graphic descriptions, it was almost written like an excerpt from a horror novel.


Today I saw Facebook posts of friends who had endured this second article. Although they all had been saddened by the deaths of their friends, reading this second, very graphic, article left them in anguish and tears. It pushed them beyond mourning for the losses, the account had horrified them, left them with mental images that will forever haunt. What was the need of that detail — oh yes, to sell newspapers?


If you want a horror story there are plenty of books and movies to binge on. Let those editors know that there is no need, no desire, for horror stories in the newspaper.


May the victims of this accident Rest in Peace — and may their families and friends find comfort and strength.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

My intentions were…



I finished reading Mary L. Trump’s book “Too Much — Never Enough” a while ago. My intention had been to write a book review to post on my Potpourri blog, but I cannot in good conscience write something UN-biased after reading this. I decided instead to write a bit of commentary and allow myself the leeway of my opinions.


Mary L. Trump is a highly trained clinical psychologist and the niece of America’s 45th “president” (and I use that title lightly). No, I am not a Donald Trump supporter, but then there have been other political figures that I haven’t been in favor of and yet never felt so …strongly about.


Yes, I am aware that Mary Trump has written this book from HER perspective, but perspective by itself doesn’t mean it’s false. So many of the things she wrote, specifically about her family history, really gives credence to so many of Donald Trump’s shortcomings. She goes into detail what his childhood was like and in so many ways I guess you CAN blame some of what he became on his parents, especially his father.


Donald Trump was one of five children, three sons and two daughters, and they were all starved for affection from a mother who was “distracted” and a father whose only real interest was money. Although Donald was the second son and therefore not originally destined to take over the family business, he learned early on that he could gain his father’s approval by “always coming out on top” no matter how much he hurt others. At one point he was sent to a military academy, not to be a soldier, but because he was completely out of control at home.


His oldest brother, Freddy (also Mary’s dad), had interests in things other than his family real estate business and for a while actually seemed to be making an outstanding life for himself and his family. But he was terribly discouraged and badgered for his choices (Donald did his more-than-fair-share of the badgering) and eventually gave up his dreams and his wife and children, and became obsessed with alcohol. And yes he drank himself into bad health and eventually an early grave. His family’s lack of emotion and concern over the oldest son’s death is unimaginable, that’s a whole other story.


Donald became the heir apparent and although he tried to emulate many of his father’s successes, his father had to repeatedly bail him out and covered his errors on more than one occasion. (By the way, Donald’s father was able to start his business from money left to him from HIS mother, neither was exactly self-made.) Donald Trump grew up with wealth and financial security in a basic mausoleum of family love and warmth.


It was indeed a very sad upbringing and explains a lot of why he is so nasty and tears down others, and especially why he doesn’t seem to respect most females. But Donald Trump is not the only one to have such a stunted family life, he is not the only person in the world to have been neglected; most adults who have gone through this trauma have chosen to get help in dealing with life. Instead he has embraced the “only one winner” philosophy and seems void of compassion and obsessed with his own self-manufactured “greatness”.


While I certainly was not part of his growing years or the circles he hung out with, I personally know of people who were cheated out of payment for services he demanded. I grew up in NYC when lawsuits were filed against Donald and his father for discrimination (lawsuits which were “settled” with money and NOT vindication!). And I know of people who worked in offices he dealt with where he looked down on females and made them feel “uncomfortable”. Mary Trump’s book only confirms so many things I heard about him long before he entertained the idea of running for President.


The book is certainly an eye-opener and I would imagine that one of his supporters would be highly offended. I still hope that everyone would read it and perhaps explain some of what, who, we choose to vote for or against.


And this, my friends, is why I couldn’t write a fair book review…



Thursday, September 10, 2020

9/11 Nineteen Years Later


Nineteen years ago, September 11, 2001, 2996 people,
2996 HUMAN BEINGS, lost their lives.
There have been innumerable losses since due to
and exposure to the toxic dust.

Ceremonies and memorials conducted at the WTC in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania are all being modified because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Shanksville PA the ceremony will be without music and victims' name will be spoken by just one reader. At the Pentagon no families will be in attendance, all victims' names will be played on a recording and only Military leaders will be present. And in NYC, there will be DUAL ceremonies — no names will be read at the World Trade Center site; however a few blocks away the Stephen Siller Tunnels to Tower Foundation will allow families to recite their loved ones' names. Earlier this week FDNY held a "limited attendance" ceremony to honor those who have died since 2001 due to toxic dust.

Although originally cancelled, the twin blue Tribute in Light beams WILL be displayed. The Stephen Siller Foundation is displaying memorial lights at the Flight #93 site and the Pentagon. 

This year MORE THAN EVER we need to remember and #NeverForget the sacrifices and horrendous losses suffered that bleak Tuesday in 2001.

As a former Rockland County NY resident, I have always listed those
local residents that we lost on 9/11/2001

Ø Janet M. Alonso 41 Stony Point NY
Ø Calixto Anaya Jr. 35 Suffern NY
Ø Japhet J. Aryee 49 Spring Valley NY
Ø Richard E. Bosco 34 Suffern NY
Ø Sgt. John Gerard Coughlin 43 Pomona NY
Ø Welles Remy Crowther 24 Upper Nyack NY
Ø John D' Allara 47 Pearl River NY
Ø Bernard D. Favuzza 52 Suffern NY
Ø Thomas Foley 32 West Nyack NY
Ø Andrew Fredericks 40 Suffern NY
Ø Robert Joseph Gschaar 55 Spring Valley NY
Ø Dana Hannon 29 Suffern NY
Ø Capt. Frederick Ill Jr. 49 Pearl River NY
Ø Farah Jeudy 32 Spring Valley NY
Ø Joseph Marchbanks Jr. 47 Nanuet NY
Ø John Marshall 35 Congers NY
Ø Patricia A. McAneney 50 Pomona NY
Ø Robert Garvin McCarthy 33 Stony Point NY
Ø Robert William McPadden 30 Pearl River NY
Ø Luke G. Nee 44 Stony Point NY
Ø Gerald O'Leary 34 Stony Point NY
Ø David Ortiz 37 Nanuet NY
Ø Lt. Vernon Allan Richard 53 Nanuet NY
Ø Thomas G. Schoales 27 Stony Point NY
Ø Mohammed Shajahan 41 Spring Valley NY
Ø Gregory Sikorsky 34 Spring Valley NY
Ø Catherine T. Smith 44 West Haverstraw NY
Ø Robert W. Spear Jr. 30 Valley Cottage NY
Ø Loretta A, Vero 51 Nanuet NY
Ø Benjamin Walker 41 Suffern NY
Ø Weibin Wang 41 Orangeburg NY
Ø Steven Weinberg 41 New City NY
Ø Capt. David T. Wooley 53 Nanuet NY

To view a full memorial list of 9/11 victims go here:

To view a list of law enforcement officers from 10 agencies, go here
(includes those who have died from 9/11 illnesses)

To view of list of FDNY officers who died on 9/11, go here:

To view a list of all Emergency workers killed in the September 11 attacks, go here:

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

I Binged! (at RWA2020)


I went to my very first Romance Writers of America Conference! To be honest, ‘thanks to COVID and everything being locked down’, I didn’t have to go far — it was a VIRTUAL conference and I only had to make the journey to my den where my desk and computer reside.


The conference was spectacular! The virtual aspect was just as new to RWA as the conference was to me. I was truly greedy and attended sessions non-stop (okay, except for 15 minute bathroom breaks, lol). Seriously though if one ever needed the encouragement and inspiration to be a writer, this was the ultimate opportunity. The knowledge that was imparted, the encouragement, and yes, even some networking, was so much more than I had expected.


Starting Friday morning, August 28, after a welcome from the RWA President, Alyssa Day, was a “First-Timers Meet-Up” which was done by ZOOM so we were truly in a nice group and it was a great ice-breaker. Following that was a whirlwind of sessions, which we were able to choose ourselves. Since I told the hubs that he was basically on his own for the weekend, I stayed GLUED to my computer screen. Several classes were held along with terrific Key-Note speakers (renowned author Xio Axelrod and past RWA President Shirley Hailstock). Ms. Hailstock’s speech was 150% inspiration and no matter where you are in your writing process, it was like manna to a starving soul.

There was a wonderful emphasis on diversity and being able to see, and tell, your story through other eyes; it was like the world was opening right in front of us. There were talks that sparked the imagination and prompts to help us use our everyday journeys in our writing. And of course there were innumerable sessions simply about CRAFT such as plotting and motivation, copyrights, and dealing with bloggers and reviews. I am so grateful for an excellent discussion from Win Day about Computer Management which was appropriately titled Saving Your Sanity; oh, if I had only known some of these “tricks” a month ago!

While I have been writing for most of my adult life I only began pouring my soul into romance writing since the late 90s. I connected with a small-press (now defunct) publisher in 2008 and literally felt my way through a lot of things I NEVER even dreamed of. I joined RWA and a local in-person chapter where I used to live in New York, but, and this is mostly my own fault, I never made enough use of the resources available to me. Through the years life changed. Ultimately we moved and there are no VERY local chapters where I now live and circumstances aren’t convenient for long journeys — so I found an online chapter (RWAOL) and recently have gotten in DEEP!

Thanks to the opportunities from RWA, both National and this online chapter, I am finding the inspiration and the confidence once again to write and to pursue a field I love so very much. In some ways I am a newbie and in others I’ve got the battle scars of experience. With the resources available to me, and the support and experience of those around me, I feel literally like I am coming alive again. 

I am, once again, a writer.