Archive for May, 2017

A Generation Gap Explored in “Just A Kiss”

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

There are two obvious instances of a generation gap in my most recent novel,”Just A Kiss,”and they concern the two main characters, Carolyn and Bruce. The lack of communication is an impetus to the plot.

Which one is worse in terms of hindering communication and impairing relationships? It’s really a toss-up! Carolyn and her dad don’t see eye-to-eye on her choice of Bruce as well as her other choices in life: how to treat others, where to teach once she graduates and her own need for independence in making her own decisions as an adult over twenty.

Bruce and his father, Kent Donovan, are like emotional strangers who have no common ground through which to communicate. Kent is no less than an advertising mogul, and a genius at what he does. He loves his son on one level or more, but he does not understand him. Bruce has an executive position of sorts in his father’s company, but he is miserable there, feeling veritably trapped. He wants to do something else, but he doesn’t know exactly what. He is a thirty year-old man who is still trying to find himself. He should have been “found” years ago!

Throughout the novel, these problems in communication have played a powerful part in my shaping the plot, since, without this failure to communicate on the part of Carolyn and Mr. Kahn as well as Bruce and Mr. Donovan, this novel would hardly have been resolved in the way it was!

Will Carolyn stand up to her dad and mom in a respectful way so that she could live the life that will make her happy? And will Bruce discover his niche in life and find the happiness and self-respect he deserves? Finally, will the love between Carolyn and Bruce make all this happen?

To discover all the answers, you will have to read the novel! Available on www.Xlibris.com or www.amazon.com

Living With Tragedy

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

The Ariana Grande concert ended in tragedy last night with twenty-two young fans killed and over one hundred injured. Isis took credit for the atrocious act, and, so far, one man, from Libya, but living in England, was responsible for placing the bomb in an area where the most number of innocent concert-goers could be hurt when leaving the venue towards transportation. How horrifying!

We pray for all of these victims of terror! Examples of horror like this one, the atrocities in Paris, teenagers killing other teens in our own country, 9/11, the tragedy of which is always with us,… all of these sad and ungodly acts and many others fill most of us with fear and anxiety. How do we cope?

In the previous two posts I discussed phobias, especially agoraphobia. We see that it is even more than frightening world events that cause us anxiety and fear. It is genetic in some and environmental in others. In some it is a combination of both! But how do we deal with this serious problem?

In some severe cases…and even those that might not be considered so serious… we might still want to consult with a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in phobias, anxieties and panic attacks. Check online and with close family and friends for references. Ask your family doctor as well. Find a therapist who would be best for you!

There are phobic out-patient clinics that you can attend. Some meet once a week for two hours and provide strategies. Some pair you with a therapist who can walk you through your fears. A combination of a private psychiatrist ( or psychologist) and one of these phobic clinics might be a good idea for some.

Some phobic patients do well with anti-anxiety medication prescribed by a psychiatrist. This and psychotherapy are added alternatives!

My novella, “Counter-Attack”, might be helpful in getting young people to realize they have a problem and should get some professional help. What I include as strategies for my protagonist have worked for some, but, as I have said, we are all different and need to be treated as individuals.

I hope this discussion on anxiety and phobias has been helpful. Life is challenging and seems to get worse before it will get better! So let’s take good care of ourselves and those we love. As human beings, we owe each other kindness, consideration, respect and, yes, principled love!

Until my next post, stay well and have a positive outlook!

Continuing With “Counter-Attack”

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Yesterday, I started a discussion of the first novel that I self-published. The theme is learning to understand and live with agoraphobia, (the fear of ‘open spaces’) and I called this novel, “Counter-Attack” since fears attack us as much as our mortal enemies, and just the way we have to find a strategy to fight them, we have to counter-attack our phobias, and our other related emotional problems as well.

When I wrote “Counter-Attack,” I thought about my own teenage years when I experienced the overwhelming effect of being an unwilling victim of a condition that undermines one’s sense of personal safety to the point that it makes one uneasy to leave the security of home.

But I was fortunate! The condition was not totally overwhelming. I was not a slave to my house, and I had parents who did everything they could to help me find strategies to be in control of the condition rather than have it control me. In fact, few people ever knew that I had the condition for years! For some friends, this admission may be letting the cat out of the bag.

So, as you read about the life of Caryn Burke, the protagonist in my novel, as well as her English teacher, who also has been grappling with the condition for years, you are reading about me in a sense…for I must admit again that I modeled both the student and her teacher, Christina Walsh, after me! The elements of the story are fictional…the plot and the characters…but the theme of agoraphobia is presented in a realistic, somewhat personal light.

As I learned strategies to help me grow and thrive in many ways, I wanted to share my experience with others, who might be experiencing some of the same problems. All phobias can be a great challenge to an individual, but some can be even more devastating. Since we are all so different, the effect that these conditions have upon us can be entirely different, too. In essence, we each embark upon our own journey when we become phobic in one way or another. “Counter-Attack” explores two journeys: that of the student, Caryn Burke, and that of the teacher, Christina Walsh.

More about both journeys in my next post!

Reflecting Upon the First Novel I wrote…

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

I wrote and published “Counter-Attack” in 2006, although parts of it were written decades earlier. I actually started writing it in the 1980’s, but since I was teaching full-time then, I didn’t do the final revisions and self-publish it until 2006.

Millions of people suffer from all kinds of phobias, including agoraphobia, which means the fear of open spaces or, to make it clearer to most of us, the fear of leaving the house.

Agoraphobics experiece dread when leaving the safety of their home. The condition makes school, work and everyday life difficult, if not impossible in the case of some seriously afflicted.

There are obviously varying degrees of agoraphobia. I experienced a mild form of it when I was thirteen. So my protagonist in “Counter-Attack,” Caryn Burke, was based in great part on me.

I also had students who were agoraphobic, as well as family members and friends. I became focused upon writing a novel on a young girl who had a sudden onslaught of the disease when she was thirteen. Yes, definitely a young lady modeled after me.

You can google the title of the novel followed by my name to find the book …ready to read “inside the book” or to order on www.amazon.com.

Tomorrow I hope to post more on “Counter-Attack,” including more about the plot, characterization and theme!

Until then, enjoy the rest of the evening and good night!

A Brief Post for Today

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

I am so thankful for quiet days. Yes, I like to keep busy with friends, hobbies, religious meetings and everyday things, but I don’t appreciate drama anymore! I don’t think I ever did! But when we are young and even middle-aged, we tend to sometimes create our own drama, Or we get involved in other people’s problems, which involve us in their drama.

But there comes a time when we want to enjoy life as best we can and focus on the positive. These days, when there is so much negativity, it is a great challenge to find and take part in constructive, enjoyable activities with which to fill our lives, but we can if we are committed to it!

Just about everyone seems to have a bucket list of exciting activities to experience before one’s life comes to a close. While I am not against having certain goals and objectives, I don’t think that one’s dreams have to be written upon a list. It seems too confined and limited for those things that are so important to a person.

Dreams, hopes, even goals have to be allowed to grow, breathe and even brew in a sense, just as a fine wine or even a premier beer. They can’t be confined to a list. Each has to be gradually developed with adjustments made as they are needed.

Yet, even though I may not consider a bucket list as the best way to pursue one’s dreams, especially during one’s golden years, I do believe that the years approaching retirement and after should be filled with enjoyable, reflective and self-improving activities… but serene and free of tension and undue stress!

An AUTHOR’s Theme: “Just A Kiss”

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

I strongly believe that all novels must be more than entertaining. They must have substance , and, to me that means a strong theme…a lesson, a moral, or a message about life.

My novel, “Just a Kiss,” begins on what appears to be a relatively light note, but we see quite soon that it contains much more than might at first meet the eye.

When Carolyn Kahn’s young boss impulsively kisses her while she is doing some secretarial work for him, we realize very soon that it is not funny at all. It is clearly a case of sexual harassment, and Bruce Donovan is obviously guilty.

A mutual agreement is reached when both parties decide to settle out of court. But does that end the matter? Certainly, it should, but does it really?

So there is tension between Bruce and Carolyn. As they continually find themselves in situations, which bring them together, there comes a time when they are not sure they want to fight the inevitable.

Meanwhile, we see other conflicts. Bruce and his father have numerous issues while Carolyn finds that her parents just do not understand or accept what her ultimate goals are and even where she wants to live.

Bruce has inner conflicts as well. He isn’t happy working at his father’s ad agency, but, then again, he does not know what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

Carolyn’s best friend, Gina, always looks out for her friend, but she has a hard time understanding Carolyn’s deepest feelings and motivation. Carolyn, on the other hand, cares deeply about Gina, but she finds it difficult to get through to her friend on a number of different
topics!

The novel shows us that there are sensitive issues between parent and child, two close friends and two people in love. It shows us that, if we don’t work at solving our problems, they will not go away but loom larger. It also shows us that, as much as we love our parents, it is up to us to decide what to do with our lives.

See for yourself what the major conflicts in the novel are and if they can ultimately be resolved.

The novel is available at www.Xlibris.com or www.amazon.com. In Amazon you can read the first few chapters free in the feature, “Inside the Book.”

Yes, there is much depth in my novel. Read it for yourself and see what insight you receive!

Tragedy On An Oppressively Hot Day

Friday, May 19th, 2017

It is true that we cannot read the newspaper or hear the latest news on television, our computers or smartphones without being deeply saddened, often to the point of tears. There are murders, burglaries, kidnapings, assaults of all kinds, including sexual. This is, unfortunately, the nature of the world in which we live!

But today’s tragedy occurred right in the middle of Times Square! It wasn’t an act of terrorism, although it appeared to follow the M.O. of terrorists in Paris, Germany, and Sweden, etc. Over twenty people were injured, some very seriously, while an 18 year-old tourist was killed, her thirteen year-old sister among the badly injured.

Although every tragedy fills us with pathos, when it occurs so close to us, it somehow seems even worse! To occur in the middle of one the most renowned cities in the world just about sixteen and one-half years after the never-to-be-forgotten terrorist slaughter of innocent lives that we remember as September 11th … that has to escalate what is already a tragedy in its own right! To have occurred on the most oppressively hot day of this year provided the most heinous setting!

Without our faith in God and His Word, the Bible, each day would be formidable…never knowing what to expect! But with the knowledge of the “Good News of God’s Kingdom” and His promise of a peaceful and happy world with eternal life, we know that all the evil of this world will come to a halt before we know it, as God’s Kingdom will be ushered in!
In days like this one was, we take special solace in this Promise!

May God bless the young woman who was killed today with a Resurrection to Paradise one day; her thirteen year-old sister, who was severely injured; the twenty-plus people injured today, and all the rest of us, who must live in what has become an increasingly more frightening world until God’s beautiful promises finally become reality!

It’s a Beautiful Day!

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

When we think of the long winter and the cold, inclement weather that comes along with it, the arrival of Spring is a wonderful gift. Warm Spring days like today are lovely in their own right, but they also prelude the summer months, which feel like a reward for all the restrictions that the frigid temperatures put upon us.

All of us feel the seasonal shifts in one way or anovther, but the promise of the summertime probably is felt most by the young! It definitely had that effect on me as a child, and I can feel its reverberations even now as an adult. Let me tell you a little story!

My cousins and I spent our summers at a stately white rooming house with two strong columns in front and steps that led to a huge, wrap-around porch. Throughout the porch were green rocking chairs with the high backs in which little children can lose themselves as they close their eyes and dream.

Inside the building were three floors, an attic and a very unfinished basement. Each house on the block was different, but this summer house, which belonged to my grandparents and uncle, was the most grand and alluring…at least to my sister, my cousins and to me.

During those years of comraderie, we all became more than cousins; we became friends, who shared moments in time…parties, beach days of swimming and picnicking, our own 1950’s “theme park,” Playland, and adventures of all kinds.

Those days meant so much to me as a child that I incorporated my memories into a young adult
novel, entitled “The Wacky World of Winnie and Willie.” You can look “inside the book” on Amazon for free to read more about those very special days!

The book or e-book itself is available on Amazon also! It is pure nostalgia since we all have beautiful memories of those innocent and sweet days when we were young!

The novel helps us to realize that the memories that we create now with our children and grandchildren will be their legacy forever!

Enjoy today! The morning is Spring at its very best, and the afternoon…with temperatures in the high 80’s…will feel like premature summer! Until the next time and story, I wish you the best of life!

It’s So Great To Be Able To Blog Again!

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

For a month I have been locked out of my own blog on my very own website!  What a sad time it was for me!

I wrote on my Facebook page, my three community pages and anywhere else I could, but it wasn’t the same as writing on my own blog!

But I finally got in touch with a representative from the company who designed my website, and she referred me to a technical expert…and voila!  I have a brand new security link that allows me access to my wordprocessing!

I have missed writing on this website whenever I have wanted to!  Creative stories, family anecdotes and reactions to current events in this crazy world of ours!  I have missed all of this!

But now the wonderful blogging feature of my website is back, and I am grateful!

I hope all you moms, step-moms, grandmas and special aunts out there had a great Mother’s Day, but remember that the mom figures in our lives are to be loved and nurtured every day!

Have a wonderful evening, and I look forward to blogging tomorrow!  I’m so glad to be back!