Are You Brave Enough to Tell?

6 05 2012

As a writer and publisher, I often meet people with amazing stories to tell. I often end the conversation by saying “That is some story…you need to write a book”. Many times I walk away admiring their strength, their stupidity or both. In either case, I have always wanted to pass those stories on to others. People can and should learn from the experience of others. The problem is that many of the people with the most compelling stories do not write books and many choose to keep their crash landing to themselves.  They do not want to look like failures or be judged by others. But those are the stories that need to be read. We need to hear about the one thing that changed the direction of your life. If there is a young person contemplating quitting school, or a woman living in domestic violence; or someone who doesn’t trust their own judgment about a situation that can be life changing. Your story can  inspire others to reassess their circumstances, make decisions and move forward.

Since starting radio interviews I have been overwhelmed by the  stories of struggle and victory.  Some people are just happy to be here, to be alive, regardless of their current circumstance – life is better than it was when they were going through.  Others  want to help by telling their stories as they acknowledge missed opportunities  and errors in judgement that sent them in the wrong direction. Truly, they all are heroes.  I am always excited to hear the next story.

So what is holding you back?  What is your story and who will it help? You never know – you may be surprised! Start writing today…





2011 in review

23 02 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.





Start Writing Your Story!

14 09 2011

As a writer and publisher, I often meet people with amazing stories to tell. I often end the conversation by saying “That is some story…you need to write a book”. Many times I walk away admiring their strength, their stupidity or both. In either case, I have always wanted to pass those stories on to others. People can and should learn from the experience of others. The problem is that many of the people with the most compelling stories do not write books and many choose to keep their crash landing to themselves.  They do not want to look like failures or be judged by others. But those are the stories that need to be read. We need to hear about the one thing that changed the direction of your life. If there is a young person contemplating quitting school, or a woman living in domestic violence; or someone who doesn’t trust their own judgment about a situation that can be life changing. Your story can  inspire others to reassess their circumstances, make decisions and move forward.

So what is holding you back?  What is your story and who will it help? You never know – you may be surprised! Start writing today…





How do we handle disrespect?

8 08 2011

Most of last week was spent listening to comments about the increasing trend of disrespect displayed towards President Obama lately.  It is disturbing, to say the least.  I was raised on military bases so I watched my enlisted stepdad salute his superiors every time we moved around the base.  I loved the decorum and organization.  It never bothered me that he was not an Officer – I was just happy that he was in the service.  It definitely added value to my life.

One thing I learned for sure was respect for authority.  Although I was the class cutup before my mother remarried; once I started school on base- it ceased.  I was not an angel in school, but my mother never went to school to deal with discipline issues again.  I learned from what I saw practiced every day; respect for leadership and respect for authority.  The only dark side appeared when I started dating.  My stepdad refused to allow me to date an Officer.  He said there was “no way” he was saluting anybody in his own home – don’t even think about it.  Needless to say, I married an enlisted  man.  The one Officer I dated was mysteriously escorted off the base when he tried to visit me. Told ya – I was not an angel…

But back to the issue of respect – I do not see it displayed at that level today.  Let’s look back over President Obama s term – so far. Military leaders speak out against the President of the United States.  Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina yelled out to the President during his speech on health care reform “you lie”.  It was disrespectful, unbelievable and completely out of order.  But he apologized.  Donald Trump went on the attack about the President’s birth certificate, his education and his grades. He was rude, sarcastic and just plain ugly.  He pushed me off the fence.  I was always border line about him anyway.  I loved the Apprentice, but I was never sure about him.  Now I am sure – there is nothing he could put on TV that I would want to watch! He is much too arrogant to apologize.  Representative Doug Lamborn distanced himself, verbally, from the President by comparing it to touching a tar-baby.  But he too apologized.  Then of course, there is Pat Buchanan (again), who referred to the President as “your boy” and yes – he apologized also.  Collectively, they didn’t learn respect for leadership but they have definitely learned the art of an apology. Hmmm…

What should our young people think?  How should they interact with leaders and teachers they encounter each day?

Between now and Labor Day, school will start for kids around the country.   I have always felt that intellect is secondary to behavior.  It doesn’t matter  how smart a child or adult is, if they cannot function in society and/or they have no respect for authority, life for them and around them can be  miserable.  Simply put, whatever their gift or talent, interacting with them is just not worth the trouble.

If you are dealing with adults, sometimes it is as easy as changing your environment.   If it is someone you work with change could be more difficult, if possible at all.  But what about teachers that must spend the day with a difficult child or teen that has no respect for authority? Students certainly will not learn by watching political leaders today or some “religious” leaders as well.  What is a teacher to do?

How do we correct the problem?  There are many opinions in cyberspace on the subject.  According to   ascd.or, “With such an atmosphere of mutual disrespect festering in our classrooms, learning is becoming increasingly difficult.  Before you can teach or learn from someone, you need to genuinely respect them.”  Also good advice from How to Teach Kids to Respect Others:  When your children speak, listen carefully.  Do not yell.  Do not roll your eyes. Do not insult, and never, ever hit.  If you engage in any of this type of behavior with your children, they will ultimately learn that this behavior is acceptable, no matter how many times you tell them with words that it’s not ok.

If this is true – we need to send a few leaders back to school for retraining.

We always hear that it takes a village to raise a child.  But with the expansion of the World Wide Web and so many links to other social groups, we must all assume a certain amount of responsibility for the foot prints we leave at the end of every day.  What we say and do matters – now more than ever.

How to Teach Kids to Respect Others | eHow.com;
http://www.ehow.com/how_4876001_teach-kids-respect-others.html#ixzz1UO905F9lz;

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/03/pat-buchanan-obama-your-boy-al-sharpton_n_916925.html;

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1921455,00.html;

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2011/08/02/2011-08-02_gop_congressman_doug_lamborn_of_colorado_blasted_for_likening_president_obama_to.html;





DEBT CEILING HELPS

4 08 2011

Now that Washington has averted the debt ceiling catastrophe we can turn our attention to finances on a more personal level.
This is August and it is time to prepare for school and/or college. This can be a difficult time for parents, adult students and teachers as well.
Books, supplies, clothes uniforms and school fees are swarming over head and you will have to do something soon. What about the phones and computers?  They are practically necessities today.  Even that does not include expenses for extracurricular activities. Back to school events are in full swing in many
areas of the country.  For several weeks now our church has hosted a “Stuff the Bus” drive for school supplies.  They will be given away before school starts.

The very popular tax free weekend kicks off in most areas the first weekend in August. Check your area news for local dates. Tax breaks are not supported in every state.  This list shows tax weekends published on the internet.

Alabama 8/5  – 8/7
Arkansas 8/6  – 8/7
Connecticut 8/21-  8/27
Florida 8/12-  8/14
Iowa 8/5-   8/6
Louisiana 8/5-   8/6
Mississippi 7/29-  7/30
New  Mexico 8/5-  8/7
South  Carolina 8/5-   8/7
Texas 8/19-8/21

Every small savings helps – especially in families with more than one child in school.  Any opportunity to avoid adding to your debt via credit cards and over spending is good for everyone involved. Remember also, there is still time to search the internet for coupons and promotion codes.

http://singleparents.about.com/od/cuttingcosts/qt/TaxFreeHoliday.htm ;www.couponmountain.com;





The National Debt

25 07 2011

OK! Lately I have learned more about the $14.3 Trillion National Debt than I need to know. We elected leaders to handle this so I  don’t understand why they can’t seem to work it out. They do not agree on anything! The bickering has gone on for weeks and it is obvious that key players have  little interest in reaching a resolution.  President Obama is caught in a power struggle with men that did not want him elected in the first place.  Men who, seemingly,  would let this country go to hell in a barrel just to win this test of wills against the President.  In short, they are having a power surge; a moment when they are poised and pleased to upset this sick economy even more to prove they are worthy of being in office.

Republicans want to hang the National Debt around the neck of President Obama.  So, let’s look at the National debt by president:

*The numbers below do NOT reflect the actual National Debt.
Instead, they reflect the amount of the INCREASE in the National Debt during
each presidential term.

  •    Ronald Reagan’s First Term – $656 billion increase
  •    Ronald Reagan’s Second Term – $1.036 trillion increase
  •    George H.W. Bush’s Term – $1.587 trillion increase
  •    Bill Clinton’s First Term – $1.122 trillion increase
  •    Bill Clinton’s Second Term – $418 billion increase
  •    George W. Bush’s First Term – $1.885 trillion increase
  •    George W. Bush’s Second Term – $3.014 trillion increase
  •    Barack Obama’s First “Year” – $1.573 trillion increase

*http://thenationaldebtcrisis.com

Obviously this financial disaster started long before our current president.  One has to question the commitment of elected officials that refuse to compromise at this time. It is critical that we reach an agreement on the ceiling.  The fallout will impact almost everyone in this country. According to **The Detroit News:

“If the economy grinds to a halt, that will have implications worldwide, threatening to dry up export markets.

Mortgage and other loan markets would gyrate wildly, dragging down the real estate and stock markets…

Interest rates on loans and credit cards would likely rise since the federal government would be paying  more on its own debt, throwing credit markets into turmoil.

The stock market would likely tumble, severely affecting the value of businesses such as Boeing,  ExxonMobil, Chase Bank, Ford Motor Co., Steelcase, Dow Chemical Co. and General Motors, which just re-entered the market in November after its government-led bankruptcy.

Nearly 2 million federal  workers — and more than 50,000 in Michigan — would likely not be paid since  Washington wouldn’t have access to money.

Pension funds and other retirement accounts could see another deep dip in value; potentially one worse than the market’s 2007 and 2008 lows. For workers nearing retirement age, that means even recent market gains could be wiped out, ruining nest eggs for soon-to-be retirees and for those already retired.

Funding for federal programs could be in jeopardy. White House officials, in briefing reporters, however, saved the scariest possibility for the end.”

“There is no  back-up plan,” one senior administration official said. “None.”

**http://detnews.com/article/20110610/POLITICS03/106100383/Raising-nation’s-debt-ceiling-becomes-high-stakes-debate#ixzz1T4mNctIb

I do not need to rewrite the press release by explaining how important it is for Republicans and Democrats to resolve this issue. I think it can be achieved without the personal beat down they are trying so hard to give President Obama.  Failure to reach an agreement would be an unprecedented event for America.  Why?  Why is compromise more difficult now than it was with past Presidents?  Could it be the unspoken elephant in the room – RACE?  Many people believe his race is the real issue and it very well may be. But they should get over it – really! Do what you were elected to do and make the country better – not worse.





HLN is watching the devil dance and it is overkill

18 07 2011

Headline News (HLN) should change their name to the Casey Anthony
channel because what would they be without it – after all, OJ is in jail. Apparently the only way Jane V Mitchell and Nancy Grace can stay on TV is to continue
whipping the Casey Anthony case with drama and inflammation. I have not yet heard either say or do anything to reduce the tension or calm the crowd. God forbid, if anyone has  anything calming or positive to say, they simply over talk them. Both are  examples of gossip TV- I get more real news on Entertainment tonight than  either show.

My heart goes out to  Caylee  Anthony and the completely dysfunctional family to which she was born. But the  adults have demonstrated that they are secretive and liars – so who knows what  really happened? My personal opinion is that Casey Anthony is not the only one  with the answers. But the Prosecutor failed to prove the case, the jury reached  a verdict and the world goes on. Let’s work to find and protect the 700,000  children still reported missing in this country. Stop the hate and please stop  acting like other families are not dysfunctional. Some of those standing in  front of the courthouse with signs in hand, probably have deep problems with  children at home.

Finally, Producers and advertisers should pay closer attention to  their shows. I cannot tell you who sponsors either show and I really don’t  care. (I am forced to watch it because my mother had a stroke and they seem to  stimulate her attention and focus- figure  that out). By the way, she can’t stand Nancy Grace either – but  it’s therapeutic.

These shows demonstrate zero respect for the judicial system. Why  sequester a jury, but allow continuous biased reporting that inflames a public  which in turn,attacks the jury after the verdict? Again with the help of Nancy  Grace who referred to the jury as “some Kooky Jury” on Good Morning America??
Oh, I forgot to mention Nancy is very sophisticated also.

Like all of us, Casey Anthony will pay for her sins – whatever  they may be. “Let the one without sin – cast the first stone” – you will  probably never hear that from Nancy or Jane. Could it be they are too busy  enjoying the devil’s dance?

Kooky Jury -http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/07/nancy-grace-under-fire-devil-dancing/39616/

http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?PageId=192





Atlanta is burning….

13 07 2011

As someone who obsesses on books, reading and children,  I am completely engrossed in the unfortunate chain of events in the Atlanta Public School system aka APS.  The issue is cheating on achievement test and the finger-pointing has run amuck. Teachers have been put in the position to turn on their Principals in some cases to protect themselves, but in others to get even with leadership.  After all, how many people would turn on their boss if they knew for certain they would be protected?

Cheating is wrong, seriously wrong; which makes it critical that authorities take every step necessary to identify violators correctly.  Mistakes in judgment, accusations
and charges can be costly to the credibility and careers of the innocent. Not to mention the impact on the children.

The most astounding part of this entire incident is not that some people broke the rules.  People fail to follow policy and break rules every day in every segment of society.          There  should have been something solid in place to prevent it – at every level. But the outpouring of judgment, hostility and the overall breakdown among peers and coworkers, inflamed by the Governor and his investigators, is unacceptable. They are the leaders – inciting people to turn on each other and tear down a system where trust and team work are essential.  It is sad.

I am curious to know if Dr. Beverly Hall changed any of the testing procedures when she arrived at APS.  Were erasures a problem prior to her arrival or did the State decide to
check because they were suspicious of the new trend?  How many class rooms were flagged before Dr. Hall arrived?  What was the trend? Why now and why did it take so long?

Finally, teaching children not to cheat is important and so is leading by example.  However, it is critical that we teach them how to resolve the issues of life and how to
conduct themselves in the midst of a crisis. They must learn to weigh all the facts and make good decisions. We must teach them to fight with dignity and respect when addressing the many problems they will encounter in life. I have read and watched so much sanctimonious verbiage and accusations in the last few days. Even to the extent of interviewing children (not protecting them) to voice a negative opinion on TV.  Media should return to unbiased reporting – not head hunting.

Hopefully, when the dust settles,  the guilty will be punished, the innocent will be named, and ATL will rise from the ashes again.





Another great story left untold….

5 07 2011

As a writer and small publisher, I often meet people with unbelievable stories. I often end the conversation by saying “That is some story…you need to write a book”. Many times I walk away admiring their strength, their stupidity or both. In either case, I have always wanted to share these stories with others. People can and should learn from the experience of others. The problem is that many of the people with the most compelling stories do not write books and many choose to keep their crash landing to themselves so they will not look like failures or be judged. But those are the stories that need to be read. We need to hear about the one thing that changed the direction of your life. If there is a young person contemplating quitting school, or a woman living in domestic violence; or someone who doesn’t trust their own judgment about a situation that can be life changing.

So what’s your story and who will it help? You never know – you may be surprised so share a couple of paragraphs. Don’t leave your story untold!  PLEASE do not give real names and keep it clean and true





Happy Birthday Martin Luther King, Jr.

17 01 2011

Martin Luther King,  Jr.

January 15, 1929 – April 14, 1968

Today we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King. He would have been 82 years old on January 15th. Nationwide there will be events and church services in his honor. Every year I play my old video of the 1980’s TV tribute to him.  Stevie Wonder, Debbie Allen, Ray Charles and a cast of great entertainers paid tribute to the passing of the Martin Luther King Holiday.  It is one of the best shows ever on TV.

Dr. King was gunned down in 1968.  The world is such a different place now and I often wonder how he would feel about it.  Is this what he saw from the mountain top? Yes? No? Really… Would he call himself an African-American? What would he have done during Hurricane Katrina?

What would he think of his black brothers today?  What would he say to them? Have they met his challenge to keep the struggle on the “high plane of dignity and discipline”? What would he say about the baggy pants and the increase in crime? Would his message have changed at all?

Like most people, I would love to see him standing beside President Obama in the “Palace of Justice…his rightful place … free from wrongful deeds”.  I know he would have been moved to tears.  I am not sure if he  ever envisioned a black President when he was on that mountain top.  There was so much discord and hate at that time.  But I am sure he would be proud of this country for the progress we have made.

Great leaders are rare. Martin Luther King did not achieve greatness in death. He lived a great life for a worthy cause while he was alive.   He sacrificed normalcy and put his life on the line to change the dark side of humanity in this country.   We honor his efforts and his legacy always.

Picture and excerpts of I have a Dream courtesy Nobelprize.Org and Time.com/photo essays








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