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Quote of the Week – May 15

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” ~ Phil Donahue Original link
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Unexpected events: Suicide and suicidal thoughts


Saturday afternoon, I found myself sitting in a church in downtown San Antonio. My husband and I were attending a memorial service for Mike – a fellow attorney my husband had known for the past fifteen years. As I sat on the pew, I was surprised that the family had the minister address the circumstances around his death. Last Tuesday, Mike committed suicide. My husband who talked to Mike usually weekly was shocked. He knew Mike has been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer last year but had no idea that he had recently gone off his medication. What no one knew was Mike – who was a 75-year-old grandfather – was also fighting depression. On the days before he committed suicide, he was pla...
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May is Short Story Month – #excerpt of THE SEARCH


It is a rainy May here in Texas. May is also Short Story Month so if you have to stay inside, check out some short stories this month. Short story month began back in 2007 to showcase books that could be read in one sitting. Now there isn’t an official number of words that constitutes a short story but the general consensus online is that a short story is between 1000 and 7,500 words. Hmmm…that makes my “short” story, The Search, which is a prequel to my The Elemental trilogy, not technically a “short” story. However, I call it a short story because 12,000 words is much less than my full length novels that have 80,000+ words. So in honor of Short Story Month, let me share with you an excerpt...
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Yep – I am still crazy…Becoming PTA president at the Middle School


As any of you who follow my blog know, I have been on the PTA executive board at my kids’ elementary school for the past 8 year (the past 5 as an Officer). This past year, I was PTA president at the elementary while being treasurer on the middle school PTA board. Whoa. That was a lot of work. As the school year wrapped up, I began looking forward to being on just one PTA board as both kids will be at the middle school next year. And since I want to spend more time on my writing, I thought it was the perfect time to step back from big roles and decided I would be the secretary for the middle school PTA. This was the one officer role that I thought would be the easiest and take up the least am...
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#AtoZChallenge 2019 recap


This April, I participated in the A to Z challenge where each day (except Sundays) you post on a new topic following the letters of the alphabet. So April 1 the topic started with A, on April 2 the topic began with B and so on. This was my sixth year doing the challenge. The organizers of the challenge suggest you pick a theme for your writing. The first year I didn’t do a theme. The next year it was TV shows, followed by characters, antagonists and then songs about magic. This year I chose Character Flaws as my theme. Part of the challenge is also to visit other blogs. You never know when you will find a new favorite blogger. In past years, I have done better at this but this really has bee...
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Recipe of the Month – Avocado Egg Rolls


I love egg rolls. I love the traditional style or Southwestern or even these which are a version of the ones served at the Cheesecake Factory. Actually this recipe is a combination of two things I love – avocados and egg rolls. Yum. And these are pretty easy to make – only taking 20 minutes. Ingredients 1 cup vegetable oil 3 avocados, halved, peeled and seeded 1 Roma tomato, diced 1/4 cup diced red onion 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves Juice of 1 lime Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 8 egg roll wrappers Cilantro Dipping Sauce 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed 1/3 cup sour cream 1 jalapeno, seeded 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 clove garlic Juice of 1 ...
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Quote of the Week – May 1

“Don’t let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things. Believe in yourself. Do what you love. And most importantly, be kind to others, even if you don’t like them.” ~ Stacy London Original link
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X is Xenophobic #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. X is for Xenophobic . A Xenophobic character has a fear or distrust of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. Typically, it is disliking or being prejudice against people from other countries. Maybe this person fears these people will take their jobs or lower the value of the neighborhood as these people move in. This character might be suspicious of their activities and have a desire to eliminate their presence. A xenophobic character may see one “bad apple” in the group and generalize that negative experience to the rest of the group. They find it stressful to be expose...
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W is for Worrywart #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. W is for Worrywart . These characters worry – all the time. They worry about safety and health for themselves and their loved ones. Worrywarts take worrying to a whole new level – an unhealthy one. They can be overprotective and obsessive. Previous A to Z Challenge Posts A is for Argumentative   B is for Bossy C is for Callous  D is for Disorganized E is for Envious F is for Frivolous  G is for Gullible  H is for Humorless  I is for Impulsive J is for Judgmental K is for Klutz  L is for Lazy M is for Materialistic N is for Needy O is for Obsessive P is for Paranoid  Q is for Questio...
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U is for Uncouth #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. U is for Uncouth . This character lacks the most common of social graces. They may eat with their mouth open, laugh loudly, scratch themselves in public, or not respect other people’s privacy. Uncouth characters can be offensive without realizing it. Others may see them as not just uncouth but unintelligent though the lack of social skills doesn’t have to correlate with their smarts. Looking for an example? Here are two from the animated world – Barney from the TV show The Simpsons and Shrek from the Shrek movies. Neither thinks anything about belching in public and their personal h...
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S is for Stubborn #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. S is another of the letters with many character flaws. S could be for Selfish, Scatterbrained, Sleazy, Stingy, Subservient, Superstitious, Spoiled, and Suspicious. Oh, so many good choices. I went with S is for Stubborn for that person with unwilling to change their attitude or position on something, despite good arguments or reasons to do so. These flawed individuals often push people to the breaking point with their inability to meet others halfway. They may struggle with adaptability and may not be able to view issues or problems from other angles. Once they pick a course of acti...
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Q is Questioning #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. Q is for Questioning . Like an annoying toddler who peppers you with questions, some adults keep up this habit. They question everything someone does or says. They may interrupt people rather than wait for that person to finish their thoughts. They may sound like they are questioning what you are doing is “correct”. This can be annoying or helpful. This character could simply be inquisitive with a thirst for knowledge and knowing how things work. They could be nosy and want to learn everything about you. Or they could be interested in what you have to say. It all depends on how they...
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O is for Obsessive #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. O is for Obsessive . This character becomes fixated on something or perhaps someone. Their deep fear of failure may drive their obsession. They can be obsessed on getting good grades, so no one is disappointed in them. Or they can be an obsessive neat freak who fears germs. And then there is the person who falls “in love” with someone they may not even know and decide that they will make the other person fall in love with them. Obsessive characters are driven and focused. Someone passionately following an idea can be the one to make a scientific discovery or perhaps even a medical c...
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M is for Materialistic #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. A lot of character flaws start with M including manipulative, martyr, macho, melodramatic, mischievous and morbid, but I went with M is for Materialistic . This character is overly concerned with acquiring material things. They may think one’s value depends on what he or she owns. Materialist characters take their image seriously, so they often are well-groomed. Their need to keep up with other can make them competitive in other areas too. These characters are rarely satisfied with what they have and are always wanting more, more, more. The high they get from a purchase may only las...
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L is for Lazy #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. L is for Lazy . These characters do not have the energy or inclination to work or exercise. They may be found plopped in front of the TV – perhaps in dirty clothes if they have run out of clean ones. They could have poor eating habits or poor hygiene. Lazy characters tend to be easygoing and rarely “rock the boat” (as that takes too much effort). But because they are more concerned with conserving energy, they probably are not the most dependable people, unable to pull their own weight, and have a poor work ethic. To overcome this characteristic, the character would need to recogniz...
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J is for Judgmental #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. J is for Judgmental. This person is inclined to judge people harshly and unfavorably. They may only be able to see things as black and white, right and wrong. And they tend to make snap judgement about people, putting them in to categories and focusing on their flaws rather than their attributes. The positive side of someone who is judgmental is this person is often willing to speak up which can lead to open discussions rather than let dissatisfaction fester. But because they think they are right, they will say things they believe to be true even if it is unpopular or hurtful. These...
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G is for Guillible #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. G is Gullible. Oh the naive character who believes anything you tell them. They may be kind and generous with a great deal of empathy, but their blind belief in the good of people makes them an easy mark. Trust and generosity are positive traits but not when they are taken too far. Other characters see the gullible one as weak and foolish. The way a gullible character can change their way is an unfortunate encounter with a liar. Only then can they realize the need for common sense to temper their inherent trust and gullibility. Previous A to Z Challenge Posts A is for Argumentative ...
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F is for Frivolous #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. There were so many character flaws that started with F – fanatical, flaky, foolish, forgetful, and fussy, but I went with F is for Frivolous . Your carefree character takes nothing serious; their only concern is having fun. A frivolous character will avoid confrontation, work and responsibility. They care more about living in the moment. They may be carefree with their spending. The upside of a frivolous person is they are the life of the party. They are friendly, outgoing and open-minded. This type of person can be good at keeping the peace and defusing tension. But their irrespons...
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D is for Disorganized #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. If you are here looking for my typical writing/publishing/marketing topic, it isn’t here today. Instead this month you get twenty six posts that can help you develop your characters.   D could be for defensive, devious, dishonest or even disrespectful. Oh so many character flaws begin with the letter D, but I have picked Disorganized . Someone who is not organized may not be as serious as yesterday’s flaw of callous, but it can certainly be annoying. A disorganized person may just be lazy or perhaps they just live in the moment. Or perhaps they are extremely smart, and their mind ju...
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B is for Bossy #AtoZChallenge


For this year’s A to Z Challenge , I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need. B is for B ossy. Some people are fond of giving people orders. They want everything their own way. Bossy people tend to take charge and speak their minds. They don’t take no for an answer. Typically, many people refer to women as being bossy. But those same traits in a man would not be looked at in the same way. Men would be called “strong” and “determined” and would be considered a leader with those same traits. But not everyone who is bossy is a good leader. Sometimes these people ignore boundaries, assume they know what is best, and push their own beliefs onto others. They get wh...
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