Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Having Fun Writing- Even With The Glitches

I can't believe it has already been six months since I started The Gold City Gazette. 

I am gaining customers constantly.  I am also getting ready to expand into some new areas, and I think it will bring more contributors to the paper.

My internet provider has caused some interference in some of my online activities.  Everything was going great until I called them and discussed the service I was getting.  I am about to make a change in providers.  It has kept me from accessing my blog- and that is unacceptable since I am making my writing a priority in my life. 

Well, gotta get back to work.  :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gladys, Bunch, and Millicent

Several years ago, I stayed in the Airport Plaza Hotel in Nevada.  I found a flier with a story inside in the room.  I thought the story was cute and kept it.  I was going through some things today and came across it, so I thought I would share it.  It always makes me laugh:

Gladys, Bunch, and Millicent are best of duck friends.  They live, protected from the wind, in our lovely courtyard.  Their home has grassy knolls, flowering gardens, and a sparkling bath. 

People from places far and near watch them through windows that look into the courtyard.  Children who look out the windows always laugh and clap their hands. 
Because it is beautiful, people often walk in the courtyard, and many feed the ducks. 

Gladys, Bunch, and Millicent have 10 well-balanced meals each day…perhaps too well-balanced.  Gladys is plump.  To be honest, she is fat—too fat to fly.  And Gladys used to be miserable.  Her friends would try to cheer her up.  One morning they even put a flower on her doorstep.

“Gladys,” they said, “You must count your blessings.” 

But Gladys couldn’t count.  That made her sadder.

“I want to fly,” she lamented.  “I must get over the wall.  Things might be better out there.”

Bunch and Millicent shook their heads.  Gladys flapped her wings.  They shook and she flapped.  The harder they shook the more she flapped.  All that shaking and flapping bent the daisies to the ground and blew the roses off a summer rose bush.  Then, something amazing happened.  Gladys started “up”.  She rose, not gracefully, but definitely u-p and o-v-e-r the wall.

“There,” puffed Gladys.  “That’s better.”

But it wasn’t.  There were curious dogs to dodge and speeding autos at webbed-foot level.  Baths were in unpleasant places called puddles, and they were of all things—gritty.  As for well-balanced meals, people just threw things, and it wasn’t always food.  More than once she distinctly heard herself referred to as “the pudge.”  And no one ever gave her a flower.

“I want to go back,” said Gladys.  “If I did it once,” she thought, “I can do it again,” which was an uncommonly wise thought for a duck like Gladys. 

She flapped and flapped, and flapped.  O-h so slowly she rose u-p and o-v-e-r the wall.  Back in the courtyard, Bunch and Millicent greeted her with open wings.

“Gladys,” they cried.  “We missed you!”

“I missed you, too!” puffed Gladys between duck hugs.  “I’m so glad to be back.  I still can’t count my blessings, but now I know what they are.”

Man Flips Jeep On Oro Bangor Hwy.

Man Flips Jeep On Oro Bangor Hwy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Book

I have been working on my new book.  I am very happy with how it is progressing.  It is so easy for me to write when I feel strongly about something.  This one is going to be a short story, and I am going to enter it into a contest next month.  I am still not ready to give away the plot, but I really feel people will like it because it is a happy theme.

When I get close to finishing it I will give a summary of the story line.  I am very excited about this one because I have wanted to complete it for a while.  I just needed the right opportunity to get me started on it.  This contest is the perfect venue for my story. 

I am still working on my other venture and will be completing my paperwork for the November contest soon.  I have been gradually getting the paperwork done, but I wanted to wait for certain milestones with my newspaper before filling out some of the forms.  I feel really good about this project. 

In closing, I just want to say- if you have a dream or a goal, go for it.  Don’t let blockades, or what seem like obstacles, to trip you up.  Keep trudging on and work past them.  You will find little rewards and happy moments along the way, and the end result will be worth it- however it turns out.  It may not be exactly how you envisioned it- but it will be great!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Never A Dull Moment

It’s been a busy few days.

I’ve been keeping the Sheriff’s Department on their toes spittin’ out press releases for me.  They still don’t have them all done yet, but that all comes with time.  An attempted suicide at the jail, a stabbing in a neighborhood close to me, and a person found dead at a local hotel- all happening on three consecutive days.

I have been working on finding other writing gigs too.  It’s been an interesting week so far.  Starting to think- “what will tomorrow bring?”

As long as I can keep busy writing….
This is one of my paintings

Sunray Poster 12x18 inch

Sunray Poster 12x18 inch

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Writing Adventures and Fires

It has been a slow news weekend.  Not much exciting has gone on.  There were some minor happenings but nothing real significant. 

The slow weekend gave me some time to work on my new book.  I also sent a query letter to a magazine.  I am hoping to write an article about Oroville for the magazine.  I will let you know if anything comes of it.

The numerous fires not far from here have produced massive amounts of smoke.  I hope everyone is being careful not to get too much exposure.  Be sure to check on friends and family who have respiratory problems to be sure they are doing okay with all of the smoke.

Many of you may not be aware that I am a Respiratory Therapist.  If you have respiratory problems and use a hand held nebulizer and you feel your treatments are not helping you enough, please contact me.  I would like to talk with you about your treatments and how you may be able to get better results.  This will not involve changing any of your medications, only the manner in which you take your treatments.

Don’t worry- I do not want to be paid for this.  I just want to help people stay as healthy as possible.  I have asthma myself, and I know how horrible it can be to be unable to breathe.  I have tried some different things when taking my treatments, and I want to see if the practices will help others as well.

This is a picture I took for my newspaper- these poor people had only had this car 3 months.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm Not Lazy- And You Shouldn't Be Either

I had something very frustrating happen today.

A week and a half ago I learned that a local business had changed ownership.  I called both local locations of the business the day the change in ownership occurred and was unable to reach a spokesperson who could talk with me.

I went on my Facebook page and sent one of the owners a message letting him know I wanted to do an article about his new ownership of the business.  I detailed some of the information I wanted to ask him and waited to hear from him.

This afternoon I got a message from him.  He typed "Hello Cookie..The Article just hit the Mercury register today.."- as if he expected me to copy the other newspaper.  Um, last time I checked that's called plagerism- besides, I don't work that way.

I let him know if he wanted to be included in my newspaper in the future to contact me directly because I don't copy other people's work.-

Butte County's Most Wanted- August 17, 2012

Butte County's Most Wanted- August 17, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cookie's Comments: Stories

Cookie's Comments: Stories: I have been working on my next book.   I think many people will find it very interesting.   I am not ready to reveal details yet, as it...

Stories

I have been working on my next book. 

I think many people will find it very interesting.  I am not ready to reveal details yet, as it is in the very early stages.  However, as it develops I will let you know what the plot is and some of the details.

Today I read a story to my husband that I used to read when I was very young.  It is called Inside, Outside, Upside Down.  He asked me where I got the book.  When I told him I checked it out from the library, he told me I had lost my mind.  A couple of months ago, I checked out a book called Wacky Wednesday and read it to him. 

I have another one I requested available now at the library.  I will pick it up tomorrow.  I have to keep his life interesting- lol.

Today was the first day of school for most of the schools here.  I am anxious to see how the newspaper will develop once the students find out about it.  I will keep you posted about this as well.

Have a great Wacky Wednesday! J
This is a picture of a local fire I took a couple of months ago.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hopes, Dreams, and Goals

School starts this week, and I am very excited.

I have emailed all of the teachers at the local high schools regarding staff and students writing and submitting events for the paper.  I have had a very good response so far.

I also made some contacts with the community college and have already received some activity announcements from them.

I will be contacting the junior high schools as well in hopes of some participation from them.

I really feel the paper is about to explode.  I have been gaining more readers and subscribers each day.  It is very encouraging.  I am very happy with the way this venture has progressed.

I have applied for some part time writing jobs as well.  I hope to be able to completely transition over to my dream of being a full time writer.  I enjoy it so much. 

I do miss my patients, but maybe in time I can fill that void in another way.  Right now I am going to focus on my writing because it brings me so much joy.

We must always have goals, and one of my primary goals is to blog regularly.  I have put a note on my computer to blog on Sundays and Wednesdays.  Hopefully, I will be able to do a little more than that- but at least the note will remind me to keep my readers in the loop.

Have a great day- and I'll see you online.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Newspaper Coming Along

I am really having a blast writing my newspaper.  I am gaining readers every day.  I get great feedback when I am out and about.  It is great to know people are really enjoying and benefitting from The Gold City Gazette.

Today I submitted my first ireport to CNN and linked the article about Stephanie Chadwick for people to read.  I can't wait to see how this new venture turns out.

I am getting closer to submitting my entry for the AROHO contest.  While there are no guarantees, I feel I have a really good chance at winning since my paper has and will bring about multiple benefits for my local community.

See you in the print. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Pets

One of my friend's generously gave me her three chinchillas, the cage, and all of their toys.

I have wanted a chinchilla for several years.  A coworker had shown me a picture of her chinchilla, and I fell in love.  I am so happy I finally got my little pets.  They are so cute.  They keep me laughing. 

I bought them a new toy today.  I can't wait to see what they think about it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Feedback

I entered a contest and received some feedback. 

I did not win the contest, but the judges gave feedback on a scoring system.  I was able to determine areas I am strong in and what areas I need to work on.

I really liked being able to get this feedback, even though I didn't win.

Of course, one always wants to win- but feedback is good too.

My First Autograph

I gave my first autograph yesterday.  It's nothing big time, but I guess the first is always a memorable experience.

I recently did a story for my paper on my high school.  There was a big fund raiser going on for the school, and I donated one of my paintings for the raffle.  I included a one-page bio that told about my history and what inspired me to paint the scene.  The person who won the painting wanted my autograph on the paper.  It was kind of cool.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jonathon's Cause

I have been having such a blast writing my paper.  I am getting more contacts every day, local businesses are excited about my weekly contest, and I find new stories- so many I can hardly keep up with them.  I came across a story today that I just had to share here too:

Jonathon Foxen is just like every other normal kid- except he has Goldenhar Syndrome.

Jonathon was born with a Cleft Palate and had to have two corrective surgeries for that, one when he was 15 months old and one when he was 7 years old. The disorder made it difficult for him to eat when he was a baby, and it would take him an hour just to finish a meal. Because of this, he had trouble gaining weight and had to be on a high-calorie diet, which caused rotting of his teeth.

Born deaf, he has to wear a special hearing aid and has limited hearing. The disorder has also caused problems with his speech and swallowing. At the young age of 10½, Jonathon has already undergone 21 surgeries and needs 3 or 4 more. The next surgery is tentatively scheduled for August and will entail ear reconstruction and a BAHA surgical hearing aide placement. The surgery costs $6000 and is likely not covered under insurance.

Jonathon has been invited to a retreat in Tempe, Arizona, at the end of June. The Children’s Craniofacial Association hosts the annual retreat put on by Cher. Families attend a symposium on the disorder and then are treated to sight seeing and other fun activities. The retreat includes six meals but costs $150 a night.

Jonathon and his family are having fund raising events to help pay for the trip and surgeries he needs. Tonight, they are at Mountain Mikes Pizza at 1901 Oro Dam Blvd. next to The Dollar Tree. If you mention Jonathon’s cause when you order before 9:00 p.m. tonight, 15% of your purchase will be donated to his fund raiser.

Jen is also selling items to help raise money. Her roommate generously makes beaded items to sell, so Jonathon can get the things he needs. Bracelets and necklaces cost $2.00 each and animals cost $2.50 each- some of them even glow in the dark. Pencils shown are $1.00 each. Jen also has Apple Butter for sale- $2.50 for a small jar and $5.00 for a large jar.

Jen is planning a rummage sale on June 15th and 16th. If you would like to donate items for the sale, you can reach her at 282-0927.

A trust fund has also been set up under Jonathon’s name at Butte Federal Credit Union. Donation containers have been placed at Carpets Galore and Edward Jones next to Blondie’s Restaurant, both on the corner of Myers Street and Mitchell Avenue.

If you would like to help in some way, you can respond via this site or call Jen.



If you have ideas for other fund raisers, please let us know. Maybe we could get Cher to come to Oroville and do a benefit concert for Jonathon. Like this story on Facebook, retweet it on Twitter, and go to the site links here to send messages in support of this idea.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Enjoy Life

I have been having a blast with my online paper.  I have a couple of people helping me get things rolling now, so it is gaining momentum.  I am getting more and more responses from businesses wanting to participate in my weekly contest.

The other day I took some time to go to a downtown event and introduce myself to some of the business owners.  I gave each one of them my card, so they can check out my newspaper site.  A few of them said that they had received my previous e-mail notices and would be contacting me to participate in my contest.

This weekend the Feather Fiesta Days will be held here in Oroville.  This is a yearly, week-long celebration- a sort of Founders Day for my hometown.  The town will be abuzz with people enjoying the festivities.  I will be handing out fliers to announce the newspaper site.  I have a couple of volunteers who said they would help me with this. 

I am so excited about my new venture.  I can't wait to see how this unfolds.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I have been having such a blast writing my newspaper, I have not had time to post messages here. 

My goal is to start writing more here to let you know what I am up to and how I am progressing in my writing ventures.  I will really to blog at least twice a week.

Today I am off to get next weeks newspaper contest set up.  You should check it out at Goldcitygazette.zoomvillage.com.

I am also entering a contest myself.  You can read about this contest at http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/ninth-free-dear-lucky-agent-contest?et_mid=553181&rid=233041610 or www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog.

Have a fun, productive day!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cookie's Comments: Horrible Customer Service.

Cookie's Comments: Horrible Customer Service.: When I signed up for my US Cellular account, I was told by the sales rep that I would be billed each month for the upcoming month.   She to...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Horrible Customer Service.

When I signed up for my US Cellular account, I was told by the sales rep that I would be billed each month for the upcoming month.  She told me that when I received my first bill it would show billing for the days spanning from the day I signed up until the date the bill was generated, as well as the upcoming month.  She told me she was telling me this so I would not be surprised when I opened my first bill and it was more than the monthly charge of $49.99 that I agreed to.  I committed to a two-year contract.

When my two-year contract was expired I called US Cellular to cancel my account.  The operator started plying me with questions.  I told him I had already found another service that gave me better service for a lower price.  He wanted to know who it was.  I told him I did not want to get into that.  He started talking bad about WalMart’s plans.  I told him that was no concern of mine and I wanted to cancel my account.  He told me I had to talk to a different department.  I had already spent several minutes dealing with him and my husband was in the hospital.  I told him my husband was in the hospital and he just needed to cancel my service.  He said he was not able to and that I had to talk to a different department.  I told him I would have to call back because I had to get to the hospital and hung up.

The next day, August 25, 2011, I sent an email to US Cellular stating that I wanted to cancel my account.  On September 1, I received a reply email stating US Cellular does not allow cancellations via email because they cannot verify identity.  I sent a bill statement to US Cellular with “Cancel service” written on it.

On September 2, I again called US Cellular to confirm cancellation of my account.  I was told I had to be transferred.  I was put on hold and waited several minutes.  My husband was just out of the hospital.  Between trying to care for him and take him to follow up appointments, I did not have time to wait on the phone.  I hung up.  I later sent a final letter to US Cellular.  This letter had my physical signature on it.

I was receiving texts on my US Cellular phone from US Cellular telling me to contact them.  I was also receiving calls on my home phone from US Cellular.  No person was ever on the phone when I answered or the answering machine picked up.  I would answer on the first ring and a recording would tell me to call US Cellular.  I would get two to three of these calls per day.

I feel it is unethical and predatorial for businesses to conduct business in this way.  I made five attempts to cancel my service and was not allowed to.  This type of behavior should not be allowed to occur.  I have filed complaints with several agencies, but US Cellular refuses to reverse the fraudulent charges.

If you have had a similar experience with US Cellular or any company, speak out about it here.  Companies need to be stopped from gouging their customers and treating them like dirt.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gold City Gazette

Check out Oroville’s own online newspaper, Goldcitygazette.zoomvillage.com.  I would like to start a new contest in the paper. 

This contest will be called “How well do you know your town?” and would entail my taking a picture in a downtown business.  The picture would be of something unique to the business, an emblem, a piece of furniture, etc.  The picture would be placed in the paper, and the first person to guess the location where the picture was taken would win a prize.

I would like Oroville businesses to get involved in the contest by contributing prizes for the winners, a gift certificate, an item from the store, etc.  The store that contributes the prize is where the picture will be taken.  This will help to acquaint local residents and visitors with the businesses in our town.  It will also give free publicity to the local merchants, as the winner, store name, and prize will be featured in the paper once the location is identified.

If you would like to participate in this contest, you may let me know of you interest through this website.  I will arrange a time to pick up the prize, take a picture for the contest, and get a little more information about your business.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Gold City Gazette

My newspaper is starting to take shape.  I was very excited to log on this morining and see I have new registered users who are taking polls and leaving comments.

I have so many ideas of what the contents of the paper will entail, and I hope I have lots of people in my community contribute.

You can read about Oroville, CA, if you log onto Goldcitygazette.zoomvillage.com

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Newspaper

I have started an online newspaper for my hometown.  I am very excited about this venture.  I love to write, and this is something I am an expert on- having been born and raised here.  I can’t wait to showcase my hometown and bring out all of the things people want to know about Oroville.

The really cool thing is, not only can I keep the people in my community up to date on what is going on, others from all over the world can read about our area.  Maybe I can even motivate some to come and visit our little corner of the world because of what I write in my paper.

I hope you will log on and read some of my articles.  You can access my paper by going to Zoomville.com and looking for The Gold City Gazette. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thank you

I know some have been checking out my blog.  I want to thank all who have taken the time to read my posts.  However, I would be even more grateful if you would join my blog and leave comments- good or bad.  I am still a "newbie" and really need feedback.  While I don't really like to hear negative comments, as most people don't, I do want constructive criticism to help me improve.  I may not initially want to hear any specific comment, but I will think about each one and eventually come around to realizing it is in my best interest to follow advice given by those with more experience than me.  Again, thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for joining and commenting.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The promise

I snapped this shot of this beautiful sunset earlier today.  There is supposed to be a storm coming our way.

Friday, February 24, 2012

US Cellular unhappiest customers

I have had problems with USCellular.  The BBB site shows that others have had problems with USCellular and have not gotten satisfactory results.  If you are one that has had such an experience, I want to hear about it.  Tell about it here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Smart meters


I think what PG&E is doing is completely wrong.  First they tried to force everyone to get the Smart Meters.  Now they want to extort money out of people for not having the Smart Meters. 

My husband and I do not want a Smart Meter.  One was never installed at our house.  Now PG&E wants to charge us extra fees to keep using the same equipment we have always had.  This is so wrong and amounts to blackmail- either get the Smart Meter and experience the same problems others have had with them, or pay extra money to keep your old meters.  Are we dealing with the mob or what?

People should not be held hostage over their gas and electric meters.  I refuse to pay extra for something I have had all along.  Someone has got to stop these thieves.

Voice your opinion here- for or against Smart Meters.  Post comments on Twitter and Facebook stating your position.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Weight loss

Since I have joined WW, I don't feel the need to eat as much.  I keep track with the points calculator.  I eat, record, and forget it.  I have been making better choices.  One of the main things to remember is you shouldn't deprive yourself of treats.  If you do, you are setting yourself up for failure.  You have to plan them into your diet and not overdo it. 

There is a candy store about 1/2 from me that sells these sugar free espresso truffles I just love.  I buy about a dozen at a time.  When I stay within my points alotment for the day, I reward myself with one at the end of the day.  I also take one day off each week and eat whatever I want.  I have found though, that if I eat too much I don't feel well- it makes my stomach hurt.

Another thing to remember is if you go off track, don't beat yourself up about it.  Just get back on track and move forward.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Consumer's rights- hotels

I recently had the most horrific hotel stay.  There was mold on the walls.  There were frayed wires.  The bedding had stains.  There were even staples in the walls and ceiling- why or how they got there I do not know.  There were people running around and screaming all night long.

This was the most unacceptable and atrocious hotel stay I have experienced- fortunately it was only one night.  If it had been longer, I would have found a better hotel. 

I took video of the room and told the hotel staff about the unacceptable conditions.  When I got home I typed up a letter and faxed it to the hotel and the corporate office.  I demanded my money back.  I also contacted multiple official agencies regarding this hotel- the health department, public works, and even the district attorney's office. 

After two weeks of no response, I finally had to threaten them with a lawsuit.

It took some time, but the hotel finally contacted me and told me they had reversed the charges to my credit card.  I have yet to see the reversal on my card, but I am confident they did what they said because they probably are worried about further action on my part.

I feel consumers have to start standing up for their rights for better products and service.  The only way to get companies to improve customer service is to force them.  If you have received less than optimal service, don't be afraid to insist on better treatment.

Goals

Another of my goals is to fit into my wedding dress.  I got married 13 years ago and I haven't been able to fit into it for some time. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weight Watchers helps me

I found an inspirational message on the announcement board at work last year.  I copied it and started writing goals on my copy.  I did not reach my goals last year.  The title of the message is This Is Your Year.  I am going to share the message with you.  The message goes:

THIS IS YOUR YEAR
Make it a standout by following a fitness routine that works for you.
Schedule in great nutrition, regular exercise, and enough rest so you can be your vibrant best each day.
Get the health screenings your healthcare practitioner recommends.
Give yourself plenty of support when making lifestyle changes, then keep your eyes on the prize and make YOURSELF proud.

I don't know where this originally came from, but I have decided that this is my year.  I am going to reach my goals and have a happier healthier life.
I am going to share my goals with you one at a time. 
The first goal I am going to share is actually a highly recommended one.  I am going to loose 1-2 pounds per week.  I have actually started meeting this goal by joining WW and sticking to the plan.  I have had a dramatic start in my weight loss and it has been a great boost in having a positive mindset.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Teens, drinking, and drugs

Helium rejected my article because I wrote in first person.  They offered to reconsider if I edited the article to remedy this.  However, I feel very strongly about this issue and wrote it in a way to make a point.  Therefore, I am posting it here for the benefit of others.

It is far too common for teens to drink alcohol, use drugs, or both.  It is also too far great a risk for them to do so.  I speak from experience- I started drinking when I was 12 years old.  I drank far too much and regret doing so.

Teens are going through a transitional stage of development and are in the process of learning how to cope with life.  These years contain many critical decisions and learning experiences.  The course they must take is complicated enough without adding hindrances, which are what alcohol and drugs are at this stage in life.

Not only do many teens have difficulties making the decisions that arise in day to day life, adding alcohol or drugs surely add to the complexity.  Drugs and alcohol cloud the mind and decision making ability.  These chemicals can make it impossible for any individual to think clearly and come to logical conclusions.

Critical brain development is hindered and existing brain cells destroyed through the abuse of these two easily accessible items.  It can result in some very destructive incidents and behaviors.

In fact, some individuals will use drugs and alcohol to avoid dealing with certain life experiences.  This is what happened in my case.  Things happened in my life that I did not want to deal with- or even acknowledge.  In order to drown them out I began to drink heavily.  This turned out to be detrimental physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I only postponed dealing with painful, horrific events and damaged my physical health at the same time.  I eventually had to face the demons in the back of my mind, and by the time I finally did I had destroyed my dental health and had to have dental implants.  I also had destroyed relationships and caused myself more grief that could have been avoided.

While some parents allow their children to drink at times, I strongly feel teens should not partake of alcohol or drugs in any amount.  They are not physically, mentally, or emotionally mature to deal with doing so.  Teens should instead be taught to enjoy a healthy lifestyle in every aspect.  I believe this is the only way teens will be able to learn how to manage the challenges of life in an appropriate and healthy way.  Life is hard enough to cope with at times without being caught at a disadvantage caused by abuse of such substances.

If teens avoid being caught in this trap; hopefully, they will be able to incorporate healthy use of alcohol once they reach the appropriate age to do so.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sexual assault

I heard a commercial on TV say that a woman is sexually assaulted every 2½ seconds.  That means that every minute 24 women are assaulted.  That would make 1,440 women each hour.  It is alarming to think that 34,560 women suffer such an attack each day.

This is horrific.  I covered this issue previously on my blog, but I felt the need to address it again in this new light. 

It is important to remember that men and boys are involved in assaults also, not just girls and women. 

This means that you either are part of this statistic or know someone, perhaps more than one person, who has experience a tragedy.  We cannot simply ignore this plight and sweep it under the rug.  It has to be attended to. 

If you are the one dealing with this issue, I beseech you- get help.  Talk to someone, get some counseling, deal with the situation in a constructive way.  If you do not, it could spiral out of control and this could be detrimental to your health- physically, emotionally, mentally.

If you know of someone who experienced this ultimate violation, be there for him or her.  Listen to them.  Help them in any way you can.  Encourage them to talk to someone who has been trained to assist in matters such as these.

I have been there.  I still have to deal with the issue every day.  It is not the easiest thing to do, but it can be- has to be- done in the appropriate way.

You can survive this.  Be strong.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Depression

I have been writing articles for Helium.  They purchased one of my articles, so I have decided to post it here.  Hope you enjoy it.

Depression can be a crippling element.  One may not know how to deal with depression or who to turn to.  There are individuals in the Bible who we can look to for assistance in dealing with this issue.

Probably the most prominent example that most people would be familiar with is Job.  First, someone came to Job and told him that a band of thieves stole a whole flock of Job’s animals and killed all of those who were looking after the animals.1 

While this person was still telling Job about what had happened, another person came in and told Job that “The very fire of God fell from the heavens” and destroyed a flock of sheep and the shepherds watching them.2 

While that person was still talking, yet another person came in and told Job that another band of thieves stole a flock of Job’s camels and killed the attendants watching them.3

As if that was not enough, one more bearer of bad news entered and told Job that all of his children were having a feast when a fierce wind storm came.  He told Job that the force of the wind storm caused the house to collapse and all of Job’s children were killed.4

That poor man.  Just think of the despondency he must have felt.  Imagine if someone came to you and told you that a tree had fallen on your car.  Imagine that while that person was talking, another person ran up and told you your house had burned down.  Then, just as that person was finishing, suppose your cell phone rang and you were told that the stock market fell and you lost all of your investments.  Then, to top things off while you were still on the phone your call waiting beeped, and when you answered the second call your wife told you that your children were killed in a car crash.  Just think of how you would feel.  You may feel like you want to die.  Just one of these things could be enough to turn your world upside down, but all of them would be devastating. 

Oh but wait!  There’s more!  Next, Job got sick.  He developed a malignant boil- from head to toe.  His flesh was infested with maggots.  He began to stink and his breath became repulsive.5  He must have wondered what could happen next.  What a dreadful situation.  How did Job cope?

His wife was no hope.  She told Job, “Curse God and die.”  His so called friends were no hope either.  They basically ridiculed him and told him that what was happening was all his fault.  How would he ever make it through this?  The first thing he did was sit in ashes and scrape himself with pottery.  He dwelled on his situation, debated with his “friends”, and prayed.  In time, Job received comfort, understanding, and relief from God.6   

Another person who suffered depression in Bible times was Naomi.  Her husband and her two sons had died.  She felt so bad that she wanted to change her name to Mara, which means bitter.  Even though she was very sad and felt alone, she relied on God and trusted in him.  Her daughter-in-law stuck with her.  Naomi’s faithful reliance on God resulted in her being an ancestress to our Savior, Jesus.7

Paul is one who had good reason to be depressed.  During his lifetime he was severely beaten five times- three times with rods, and twice pelted with stones.  He had multiple near-death experiences.  He experienced shipwreck.  He faced dangerous situations- from people, even of his own race, from animals and natural elements, from false friends.  He went without food and water, suffered from sleepless nights, and even went without sufficient material needs at times.  Plus, he was repeatedly imprisoned.  What a treacherous life.  Yet, he was able to sustain himself by relying on God.8

Peter was very close to Jesus when He was on earth.  The night Jesus was being interrogated before His death; Peter denied he knew Jesus three different times.  He did so because he was afraid for his life.  He became very depressed, distraught, over this.  He had to rely heavily on God to endure his feelings of sadness and worthlessness.9

The thing all of these people had in common was they remained faithful to God and relied on Him.

You possibly have dealt with situations similar to these.  While it may seem at times you just can’t deal with things anymore, there is always hope.  There are many passages in the Bible that give encouragement.  Psalms and Proverbs contain many uplifting scriptures.  If you would like more information to assist you with your depression, you may send me a message and I would be happy to help you.

1Job -15
2Job
3Job
4Job , 19
5Job 2:7-9
6Job 2:8-42:17
7Ruth 1:1-4:21
82 Corinthians 11:23-27, Ephesians 6:20, Philippians 1:7, 12-14
9Luke -62

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Smoker's Rights and Responsibilities

I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say, “I have the right to smoke.”  I agree with those who make that statement.  Each of these individuals has the right to smoke cigarettes, pipes, or cigars.  These things are all perfectly legal and free will is a basic human right.  However, the rest of us have the right to breathe- and breathe clean air.

There are some simple things that can be done by smokers that will allow everyone to have their rights and allow us to coexist in peaceful conditions. 

First of all, smoking near entrances or exits of businesses is inconsiderate, and many times against the policy of the business.  Some businesses will post signs stating that smoking may not be done within a certain distance from the door.  Smokers should really respect this rule and abide by it.  Nonsmokers do not want to walk through smoke, possibly because it stinks or possibly because it causes them to choke.

What smokers may not be aware of is there are a lot of people who have respiratory illnesses that are exacerbated by smoke, many times putting them in the hospital.  Smokers would do well to keep in mind that the next time they light up they may be creating a hazardous situation for someone if they do not respect personal space of other people.  This is not only an annoyance but says something about the character of the smoker who smokes wherever they want because “it is their right”.

Another thing to keep in mind is that more and more hospitals are adopting a no smoking policy.  This means that no one is allowed to smoke anywhere on the hospital grounds, inside or out.  A hospital is where sick people go to get well.  One does not facilitate the goal of the hospital by doing something so hazardous.  It is appropriate to follow the rules of the facility and go elsewhere to smoke.

One thing that drives me bonkers is when a person decides to smoke in his or her car and holds the cigarette out of the window.  If a person does not want the smoke in his or her own general vicinity, why does he or she smoke?  Why does this person insist on forcing the rest of us to breathe their poisonous gas?  Now the smokers are probably thinking I have a lot of nerve saying anything about them smoking in their own cars, but keep one thing in mind.  When I drive up behind a smoker at a stop light the smoke drifts back toward me and into my window.  Or when I walk by a parked car and someone shoves their cigarette out the window and flicks it on the ground, I have to breathe the smoke.  I have asthma and I do not appreciate this one bit.  It would be great if they could keep it to themselves. 

Now that I have all of the smokers seething and hating me… The reason I have asthma is because I used to smoke.  Yes, I used to be one of you.  I am not attacking you personally.  I just feel that as a society we should respect one another.  One thing we are desperately lacking today is a healthy respect for each other. 

So, the next time you light up, I hope you remember these kindly, timely reminders- and please don't throw your butts on the ground. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

I spotted this sign as I drove through town and wondered, does this business have something against fat (or is that phat) cars?  Or perhaps these cars were just not productive.  On the other hand, maybe the cars have to lean against something for support.  Or perhaps the business truly meant that these cars are economical and efficient.  You be the judge.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Writer's Market

I am thoroughly enjoying my Writer's Market.  It is full of helpful information.  I encourage anyone who enjoys writing and wants to be published get one.  I got one off of ebay for $20.  I have begun implementing pointers given in this writer's treasure.  I am sooooo happy I bought it.  I expect it to be instrumental in my finally getting published.  From time to time, I will share information from this book for those of you who just cannot find it in your budget to buy it- but I truly hope you will make the investment.  It is a small one for the potential payoff

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

AMAC

Today I am going to write about a very sensitive subject.  It is not an easy subject for people to discuss.  I feel the need to address this because so many people are affected by it.  You may not even realize you know someone who is living with this every day.  It is the horrific memories of sexual assault.  This can cover a wide spectrum of events that result in just as many varied reactions and coping mechanisms.  At this point I will insert the introduction to the book I wrote in order to, hopefully, help others who have suffered through such a tragedy.

            I am not a trained expert on the subject addressed in this book.  I am not a doctor.  I am not a trained psychotherapist.  I am not even a certified counselor.  I have, however, possibly been in your shoes.
            If you have ever been the victim of a sexual assault, it can be a very difficult thing to deal with.  You may not want to talk about it.  You may not even want anyone to know about it.  That is why I have written this book.  Even the title of it is a blessing in disguise.  If you are harboring the miserable secret of a sexual assault, you don’t want to walk out of a bookstore with a book with a title such as Overcoming the Trauma of Sexual Assault.  With this book, you were able to make the purchase without drawing too much attention to yourself.
            I wrote this book in the hopes that I could help someone who has experienced the same horrifying violation I have, the trauma of sexual assault.  Read this book.  Mark the most helpful parts for future reference.  Write in it.  Cry on it.  Just please, benefit from it.

As you can see, the main point of my book is that I hope to encourage those who have experienced this horrible event to get help.  It is my hope to get this book published soon and hope that people will benefit from it.

What many people don't realize is that the problem is huge.  One in four girls are molested, and the statistics for boys is the same.  That means if you are with 3other people right now, one of you has experienced sexual assault.  A typical classroom of 30 children consists of at least 7 children who have been abused.  If you work in an office with 100 employees, 25 of these people have this history.  It is staggering when you really stop to think about it- and very sad. 

If you or someone you know has been abused, please seek out help.  Don't try to trudge through the misery all by yourself.