It’s all related and it damages humans.

This blog was hard to write but I was compelled to share my opinion. I have noticed a disturbing trend in the news. The overwhelming reports of child sexual abuse. This abuse isn’t done by the scary guy hiding in the bushes or the creepy uncle who came for a visit. This is abuse done by fathers, mothers and siblings. Why? All abuse is wrong!

I realize this isn’t something that has just starting to happen, it has been around since humans have been around. What is disturbing is that children are dying because of it. Who can be so sexually aroused they rape a three month old to death? What is wrong with their brain that they can ignore the screams of pain and the blood, and expect no one will know. The abuser is a damaged human and if the child survives it is also damaged.

Another trend, I think related to this, is the alarming number of arrests for child porn. I put the desire for this up there with watching humans having sex with animals. It is wrong. No one can convince me otherwise. Don’t even try.

This leads to something else I believe is making humans into little more than basic life forms. Studies show the damage to committed relationships and the perception of women as objects is directly related to porn viewing. I personally feel the excessive display of the human body has diminished the beauty of the human body by making it common and ordinary. Men in loving relationships are turned off by their normal looking wives after viewing the altered bodies in porn. The beauty a man initially sees in the woman who has given herself to him body and soul is colored by a skewed perception that casual and excessive human nudity gives. I have heard so many stories of women who have said “My husband loves me no matter what” to find out he is addicted to porn and sees her as disgusting because she isn’t a size zero, nympho with huge fake boobs bouncing around. He doesn’t see that the woman he is getting off on would give him STD’s if he banged her.

Have you read what these actors go through physically to perform in theses programs? The men and women who allow hours of anal sex spend their days wearing pads to keep the feces from coming through damaged sphincter muscles. Most of the women have to be drugged to allow their bodies to be used by men and women they abhor. Many of the women who are in bondage and sexually violent videos spend hours recovering from the pain their bodies have endured.

How is this sexy?

I read an article that showed the effect viewing porn does to the brain. It is equated with what happens when a human becomes addicted to cigarettes. With repeated behavior the brain rewires itself to require the behavior. It changes the way a persons brain works.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Boys who view porn, and it is very common don’t kid yourself, see sex as their entitlement. If they watch rape, this is what they expect is their right. If they watch child porn, it tells them small children really want sex. If they see unprotected sex, they don’t worry about the consequences of unprotected sex for themselves or others. Imagine the brain of a ten year old boy who has spent a year watching increasingly graphic pornography when a girl he likes smiles at him and says he is cute. Where does he go in his mind? Imagine this same boy who has watched child porn and sees a beautiful little six year old girl. What images do you think his mind conjures up?

The idea that sex is meaningless was underscored recently when the news reported an incident of a teenage girl who had casual sex with several boys while more boys came to watch and video tape it. The only real outcry came when it was revealed she had been captive in a sex trafficking ring and her brain couldn’t distinguish what she was doing was harmful to herself, because it was how she was trained to respond to demands for sex from males. Her brain was altered by repeated behavior. She is in therapy but what is the cost? Do you think these young men will feel they did something wrong?

Girls as young as 7 or 8 are expected to perform oral sex on a boy before he will be her boyfriend. First of all, who decided a child that young was capable of being a girlfriend or boyfriend. By middle school children are actively engaged in sexual activity their bodies and brains aren’t ready for. Instead of sex being the source of love and affection in committed relationships, it is play time for 6th graders.

Boys expect it, girls desperate for attention give it. It has no value. When did giving your body become a common place and routine act with no depth, connection or emotion? Why is excessive sex and graphic violence required to tell a story? It is sad that the young people of this day and time cannot see what they are doing to themselves. Humans are losing the one thing that makes us special-sex with love, maturity, understanding and attachment.

It is like urinating.


Writing progress

I finally finished the first draft of my new book, the working title is “The Holder of My Flame.” What a great feeling, so fulfilling and exciting. There it is, my newest baby. I just printed it out and will now start on red pencil edits, and fleshing out some scenes, as Kevin Johns says, without filler or fluff.

I am in that place where all I can think of are these characters. They are becoming more real to me all the time, the sound of their voices, the way they walk, their hand gestures and facial expressions – the total look they have. Now I will sit down with my notes, writing and grammar helps and look at each chapter to make sure these people are staying true to the personality I have in mind for each of them as they tell the story for me.

Near the end of the book is an intense, powerful scene, pivotal to bringing important people together, redeeming some and revealing others. It was hard to write, so much so I had to stop for a break before I plunged in and banged it out. The scene was painful and emotional. My heart broke for one of my characters as they endured physically and emotionally.

A biggie, I have to double check my historical data to make sure the places and time these fictional humans are inhabiting is accurate. Yay-history research! (History nerd here)

I know other writers become attached to characters they write about, and I am no exception. There always seems to be that one character who is so fun to write for and who makes me wish they were real so we could be friends, or not. Ha ha!

So now on to the next step.



I can’t help it and other stuff

So…I have been having a great time with all my new Twitter followers. When I get a new follower I thank them for following with a nickname. The response has been fun, too fun and I can’t help it. There seems to be a bit of a theme with my followers. Wine, books, travel, food, writing – you know the usual suspects. It’s a hoot to connect with humans from other countries.

I have great news to share. I told all of you beautiful readers that my hubby, Chuck, after job hunting for two months got a new job. Well he has officially started at the new place. The man is enjoying learning and meeting his co-workers, figuring out his way around the new place and being part of the workforce again. While he was unemployed he kept himself busy with projects around the house and he has done a lot to perk up the property. He had time to reconnect with Millie who thinks he is her new BFF. Speaking of BFF (he hates when I describe it this way,) he has also reconnected with his buddy Bob. Those two men and their dogs have been hanging out and planning golf outings.

I’m not looking forward to summer in southern Arizona. It is hard for me to handle the heat. A swimming pool will be the first purchase if I win the lottery! Summer here seems to last from April to October. We’ve had 90’s to the end of October. When people say they love the heat but I don’t get it. At least with the cold you can bundle up to stay warm, but you can’t get naked enough to cool off if it is 110. Before you say I don’t know cold, I’ve lived in northern Japan where we averaged 10ft of snow and blizzards off the ocean, and North Dakota where the highs were -18.


My mom will be celebrating 86 years on the 24th, so here is a shout out to mom, Happy Birthday! 

She is a firecracker of a lady who likes all sports but is a huge football fan, is a notorious name dropper, loves and is inordinately proud of her children, grand children and great grandchildren.

She and my father had their first date July 4th 1950 and got married July 25th 1950 and were married until he passed in 2002.

The rough draft of my second book should be finished this week. Woo hoo. Then the heavy editing and rewriting starts. Anyone out there know a good history reference for Camden, New Jersey?






Watching humans

Without a doubt, people watching is an amazing exercise in confusion and humor.

I love to watch humans. I try to figure out what their story is, who they are, do they walk with confidence, do they appear shy, are they gregarious, what do their clothes tell me and so on. If you want a writing prompt then people watching can give you plenty.

This morning I was in a lobby just as people were changing shifts and the human interactions were telling. A tall security guard carrying an ice chest lunch box strides out of the elevator on his way home passes a cute petite woman who responds shyly to his bright hello. Who are they? Why is she shy? What makes his walk so peppy and his greeting so cheerful?

The best people watching is done in shopping malls and airports. There are crowds of people moving in different directions, talking, juggling bags, looking for direction signs, noticing other humans and finding their way around.

It’s fascinating.

Disneyland is another great people watching place. I tend to notice the parents with the children, who are really too young to be there, trying to force their tired, cranky and sensory overwhelmed toddlers to “have fun”. The adults spend all of their time corralling kids and arguing with each other, while wistfully watching the childless couples strolling, holding hands, flirting and laughing. I don’t understand why people think a toddler has any business in a place with so many things that distract and agitate the child. Most of them are scared to death at the sight of a six foot tall Mickey Mouse!

What is your favorite place to people watch? What are you looking for when you watch humans? Have you ever been busted while observing someone?



Follow this link to my author page.

Writing and perspective

I’m working on a new book, and this is one I’ve had half written and fully plotted for a few years. It is requiring a lot of research for the time period, and the action centers on how Americans treated each other after the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression/War Between the States was finished. Post war reconstruction was nasty business.

One reason for the genre of my stories is I love history-official history geek here. I also love romance and this is also a reason for my genre. Though I am combining my two interests I also want to make the stories real in the interactions of the people. This is why I go to my source for all things male-my hubby.



If I get to a sticking point where I’m trying to come up with dialogue or action for a scene I will run it by him for his reaction. He will ask me questions to make me revisit the plot and character motivation and soon he has teased out the perfect next step in writing the scene.

I have had to occasionally remind him I am writing the book for a specific audience and I’ve got this.

He’s good with that.

Looking back over the old stuff I have written it’s apparent I am getting better at the writing process. I read through those first pages and mercilessly hacked at lines and scenes. Now as I rewrite it is coming into better focus. I’m at around 17k words with about four times that to go.

I’m really enjoying reconnecting with these people and fitting the historical events, places and people into their fictional lives.

What a thrill.



Self Promotion-how?

As my Twitter, Facebook and blog followers are increasing I am also getting messages about ways to boost visibility for myself, my book and finding more followers. I’m just wondering if any of you have used some of these services? If you have, which ones have you used and what kind of results have you seen?

It seems to be a common practice for writers/bloggers/authors to promote themselves and their work, and self-published/indie authors need promotion to sell pages. As I dive into this process I would love to know your personal experiences.

It was a busy week last week and I was sort of off the blogging radar for a bit. In fact I told hubby last night I was working this morning. This morning I boosted a Facebook post that would send folks to my author page to stir the interest pot a bit. Since I don’t have a huge advertising and marketing budget, this has been a pretty effective way to generate traffic to my page and to the book.

Here at home update: Chuck banged his foot up last night and I’m pretty sure the neighborhood heard it when he slammed his foot into the wall. I was Skyping with my son and daughter-in-law when it happened, having a devil of a time with the sound, and he was coming in to help me.

Fortunately he got a lot of work done last week on the 6ft wood fence for the yard which will keep down the dust and create privacy. He turned the temp down on the spa so as it gets obnoxiously hot here for the next 5-6 months I can dunk myself in it, get wet and stay cool. It’s the only way I can survive.

Now a bit of self promotion. Here is the link I put on Facebook:




What those amazing followers teach me

I’ve been having a great time watching my follower count go up for my blog, my twitter and my Facebook author page. It is a great feeling to think I might have something to say that will connect with another human. I’ve laughed out loud at the posts on Twitter by the vibrant young people out there. I remember that time in my life where everything was exciting and full of adventure.

I was talking with someone about what happens when humans reach a certain age. That certain age can vary depending on the human and their life experience. She had been very sick, spent hours in the ER and came away with a diagnosis that most likely was stress related. Ok, this person does have a lot of stress in her life, but the first thing I thought was she is younger than me, so check mark the age box. She is younger in years I can’t get back, yet I refuse to be one of those old people who always talk about illnesses, aches and pains, prescriptions and doctor appointments.

Yuck!! Double yuck!!

Most young people don’t go there, they don’t have time for it while they live life to the fullest. Sometimes that living gets them in trouble, but they do as Taylor Swift says “shake it off!!” I want to keep that youthful thought in my head so I can avoid the signs of acting my age.

Let’s keep dancing.

Sally Field said she see’s herself as young, no matter her chronological age. I do that too. In my dreams I am young, skinny and adventurous. Even if I am my current age in dreams my actions betray my self perception as a youthful person. I refuse to cut my hair no matter how many times I’m told long hair on older women ages them, because I like my hair like this. My iTunes playlist has a lot of current music. I enjoy listening to and engaging with the young people I encounter.

I think we all have an age that is our best age. Mine is 35. That age to me is still young, very active, super sexy, effortlessly spontaneous and immensely curious.

Tell me what you see when you look at yourself. Do you look through the eye of your mind or do you count the lines that mark your age number? Please share you comments.