Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hot Winter Nights Blog Hop Giveaway!

Hot Winter Nights Blog Hop Giveaway

Hello Hoppers!

Thank you all for sharing your Holiday Traditions with me! I have enjoyed reading them all.
Here is a little something to help keep you warm at night.
Reviews are always welcome!

Run into the wind By Lynn Hubbard
Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: PE23K
Expires: December 10, 2012

I am happy to Announce I have finished my Christmas shopping!

This is a new record for me. Now I have 24 days to get everything wrapped. Nothing like drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas music to get you in the mood. 

Speaking of getting into the mood, I am giving away an unlimited number of ebook copies of Run into the Wind, my favorite book. 

All you have to do is leave a comment about your favorite Holiday tradition. 

On Dec. 5th I will post the free download code in the comments. Code will be Valid until the 10th so feel free to share!


 $50 Amazon Gift Card - $10 Bookstrand Bucks - eBook prize package including:  11 eBooks 

*You MUST include your email address to be eligible for the grand prize.

Be sure to visit the other bloggers on the list to get more great prizes!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Audiobooks. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Audiobooks. Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Update! Desperado Just went live on 

Listen to a free sample!

I have never been a fan of Audible books. Part of the problem is that I already have enough voices in my head and it gets distracting.

I have tried to listen to them while commuting (big mistake) or even doing laundry. I have discovered that I can’t do both at the same time. But some people love audiobooks. And with today’s technology you don’t have to shuffle through a bunch of cd’s or tapes while you're driving.

You just hook up your smart phone, ipad, laptop, ereader, etc, and listen to an mp3. Kind of like a really long song.

I have decided to jump on the Audio band wagon and have my books read by professionals. New implements are in place where once audiobook production would have costs thousands of dollars, costs can now be offset to a more reasonable figure.

And the number of audio listeners are growing. These listeners are much more savvy than myself and many “read” several books a month.

Audiobooks are a whole other beast to publishing. Unlike print books where the Author is acclaimed. In Audio land, it is the Narrator who gets the glory.

Narrators usually come with their own fans, and actually get reviews just on their voices. This talented pool of folks deserve much credit. I couldn’t read for five minutes without my tongue drying up and gasping for breath.  I would much rather leave it for the professionals.

So tell me are you an Audiobook fan?  Why or why not?

Sign up to win a copy of my new audiobooks! They are available soon on itunes, audible and amazon.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Awesome Romance Novels: Run Into The Wind by Lynn Hubbard

Awesome Romance Novels: Run Into The Wind by Lynn Hubbard: A Sizzling Historical Romance Determined to take charge of her own life after her family is slaughtered before her eyes, Sabrina L...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Healthy or Bust!

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

I had an awesome meeting this morning with a life coach. I haven’t been writing much lately. I had carpal tunnel surgery this summer and I haven’t been doing much of anything. But that is about to change.
I went for a walk the other day. The fact I could barely make it a block without huffing and puffing alarmed me. I have never been the athletic type, being cursed with Asthma kept me on the sidelines with a book in my face.
And so the excuses started early on, I can’t breathe (which actually is a pretty good one), I don’t have the time, I can’t, I won’t.  Getting older and wider, I have discovered that I have to ignore myself.
No more self-pity.
Just do it! (Sorry Nike!)
So I made an appointment with Susan before I explode!  It is new and scary, but I’m not alone. I have my goal sheet and I am inspired.
I have never been thin, and that is not my goal. I want to be healthy.
You are welcome to follow me along my journey as I traverse the road to health. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kennesaw Taylor-Urgent!

I received a phone call the other day from my friend Kennesaw. I normally talk to him several times a month but was blown away to find out he was in the hospital.

He woke up and headed to his computer to start his daily writing and couldn’t log in or type. He was confused, and after being rushed to the hospital, diagnosed with a mini stroke.

Scary stuff for a writer in their fifties. Scary stuff for anyone of any age.

I met Kennesaw years ago through an online group for writers. We shared ideas, and strategies to take over the world. Books for everyone!

Of course writing isn’t an easy profession. It is hard, and some days are harder than most. However it helps to have a good friend to lift your spirits, encourage you to preserver, and keep writing.

Writing starts with a single letter, then a word, soon enough you’ll have a sentence.

Rest for now, but always follow your dream or I’ll kick you in the pants!

Love ya!

Please share this post and leave a comment so his wonderful wife, Mary Carmen, can read them to him!

Friday, June 15, 2012

What is that doggy in the window?

A month ago, we adopted Clowie from an animal shelter. Clowie is actually from Louisiana, and was transferred to Atlanta in a shelter share program. She was ill when she arrived and the shelter worked very hard to get her better.

Clowie is an energetic puppy who loves to give kisses. Her shiny black coat is marked with a star trek crest on her chest. Her kennel tag touted a Lab mix. So lab was definitely possible, it was her long giraffe like legs that had us scratching our heads. At the Vet’s for her check up we questioned him about her breed.

He thought her ears were a bit too long to be a lab and suggested we do a DNA test. I had heard about DNA tests for dogs and was anxious to try it.

Arriving home, I looked up the kits online. There were several to choose from, and not all of them cover the same breeds. After reading the reviews I chose a test by wisdom panel. The reviews were wide spread, most of the negative ones didn’t agree with the results. I ordered it online and much to my surprise, I actually received it the next day.

The kit included two pipe cleaner like brushes and a prepaid return envelope with instructions. Taking the sample from a squirming puppy required my son’s help. We popped them in the mail and awaited the results. Wisdom panel has a neat breed test where you enter your dog’s attributes and they offer breed suggestions. This is free and fun to try! Click Here for theLink.

I choose to register my kit online and was able to track the progress. A couple of days later I received an email that they had received the kit and were processing the sample. The results were ready a week later; just under the two week estimate.

And the vet was right. Clowie did not have a smidgen of lab in her. I was surprised to find out her pureblood grandparents were Weimaraner, Boxer, and French poodle. The poodle explains the long legs. The test goes on to share all the attributes of each breed and breaks down components of her mixed breed grandparent. I have attached the results if you want to take a peek click here.

These results will help my vet keep her healthy and decide on the best training methods. We have puppy training scheduled for next week!

Leave a comment and tell me about your pet!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lightning Bugs

Lightning Bugs

I was driving home the other day, and I could just make out some tiny yellow specks out of the corner of my eye. The flashes came from the bushes along side the road, and I instantly knew what they were. Lightning bugs. It had been along time since I had seen lightning bugs. Or perhaps it had been a long time since I had taken the time to NOTICE lightning bugs.
Lightning bugs have always reminded me of my Grandmother’s house. My Grandmother passed away several years ago, and it has been awhile since I had thought of her but seeing those little specks of light brought her memories flooding back to me.
I have about a zillion cousins, and we would get together during the summers at my Grandmother’s house in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This of course was before iPods, video games, cell phones, even VCRS; they did not have those in 1979. To amuse ourselves, we had to interact with nature.
My Grandmother had a vegetable garden, and I can remember sitting on the floor of her living room with my sister and breaking beans for canning. Us kids weren’t allowed to help with the canning which is good because her big, silver pressure cooker always scared me to death! But we were nimble enough to break beans and husk corn under her watchful eye.
Thanks to my Grandmothers endeavors in canning she always had a plentiful supply of mason jars. Mason jars make THE BEST bug catchers. I can recall my Grandmother pounding air holes in the metal caps with a kitchen knife to offer whatever critters we caught a second chance at life. During the day we would catch snails, worms, grasshoppers, and if we were really lucky, frogs.
After dark, we had lightning bugs! (And slugs, but who wants to catch them?) Lightning bugs are marvelous, magical creatures. I always liked to pretend they were fairies. They still amaze me even now. How in the heck do they glow? I remember there being hundreds of them. And no matter how many we caught, there were always tons more.
My Grandmother lived in the country, and there were no street lights. When the sun went down it got dark; REALLY dark. The only lights you could see were the back porch light, the stars, and the tiny miniature flashlights floating through the night.
If you have never caught lightning bugs, it is harder than it looks. It takes skill. Just kidding! They actually fly fairly low to the ground, and they move pretty slow for a flying insect. The tricky part is that we had to use our bare hands and no flashlights.
You have to wander out in the middle of the yard and wait until you see a flash. Then you move closer each time they light up. You can only see them when they are lit so it takes a lot of patience and luck.
It is not easy trying to grab a bug, hold onto a large glass mason jar with no handles, unscrew the outer ring, lift the inner metal seal, pop the bug into the jar and reassemble it all in the dark with tiny hands. Nevertheless, surprisingly we caught a lot of bugs. When we were told to come in, we would make our way back towards the porch light. It was like a beacon in the night guiding ships safely into port.
I always wanted to set my jar of lightning bugs on my nightstand so I could read by lightning bug light. However, unfortunately, they do not all light up at once and if they did you’d have to read very quickly during blinks. But alas! My Grandmother always made us free our captives back into the darkness, and wash our hands before we went to bed. Goodnight Grandma.

If you would like to read more from Lynn, please visit: my website,  my BlogFacebookTwitterGoodreads or sign up for my Newsletter!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sweethearts Of The West: MAY 10, 1889: WHEN EAST MET WEST

Visit Sweethearts of the West and Read my Train Blog :-)

Sweethearts Of The West: MAY 10, 1889: WHEN EAST MET WEST: By Guest Lynn Hubbard I have always had a fascination with trains. So it was quite easy to choose what aspect of the West to write about....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guest Post by Author M J Holmes: Seeking the Zen of the Golden Word

Hi MJ and welcome to my humble abode. 

My blog is  BYOB. Bring your own book. ;-)

MJ shares his view on the wacky world of writing. Be sure to check out his book at the bottom and share your favorite drink in the comments!

Seeking the Zen of the Golden Word

“You can write a million words of s***, before you write one word of gold.”


      I don’t know the origin of this quote exactly, but I heard it from a traditionally published author.  Three years ago, my first book was only in planning stages with a few pages of the manuscript written.  I was taking a break tooling around Myspace when I saw Mr. Dolley’s page. 
He was kind enough to answer my email asking which way to publish was better: traditionally, or by “Vanity Press”.  He cited the merits of both, however, he suggested in the time I spend waiting for answers I should keep writing.  I even titled my weblog page “A Million Words of $#!t” to keep me in mind of the issue.
So it’s about 3-4 years later, and here’s me with one book published, book #2 a fifth of the way finished, and a handful of blog entries to my credit.  That, and doing a guest blog – my first – appreciative of the writing space I’m graciously allowed.  Which gives me pause for thought: did I ever figure out what my Golden Word was?
What is word 1,000,001?  Is it golden by status or is this some sort of riddle dropped on me that I have to figure out if I want to consider myself a good author?  Are there other authors in the world that share this Golden Word or do they have their own?
I see it as more of a question one meditates upon concerning whether or not it’s such a good idea to pick up the pen.  It’s the kind of question that isn’t answered by thinking, but rather by doing. 
I’m not satisfied with calling 3 years of somewhat steady writing (by very loose standards of averaging) my million words of s***.  I don’t factor in several spotty phases of writing where I thought a good idea should find its way to the page, but never gave it much thought to write a story around it (yet).  I don’t include social forums I’ve posted complete twaddle on for the fact that to me it equals striking up a conversation comprised of small talk with a total stranger.  So what shall I count as my million words – or my Golden Word? 
It’s a Zen question for me more profound than: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”  The answer to that one is, of course, completely pointless.  It’s so, because a clap is the desired sound traditionally made from a hand striking another hand to achieve a report.  You look like a complete moron to others waving one hand around trying to hear something. 
I suppose the first thing to consider is what fundamental need clapping with one hand satisfies.  I then compare that need with the pursuit of authorship.  You need two hands to create a clap, just as readers need authors to keep writing.
To achieve authorship we write like mad until our hands cramp, heads hurt, and fingers callous attempting to fill several dozen pages with something worthwhile for others to read.  We go back over our writing several times to figure out what we did wrong and try to correct every aggravating mistake.  Sometimes, we do such a job that all we have left is a handful of pages we’re satisfied with while the rest of the manuscript sits on the recycling pile.  We’re then forced to go write more material that still pertains to the work just to flesh it out to avoid writing nothing more than a short story.
If we’re inclined, we’ll throw money at someone who’ll professionally sieve the lot for the good stuff before handing back roughly the same thing.  Back to the desk to write some more and repeat the cycle.  Correct the errors, pick out the bits we like, and then write some more and that’s just to get the first draft of the manuscript finished.  Don’t get me started on other aggravations like correcting plot holes, culling out anything and everything ending with ly, or changing from one kind of quotation mark to another…passive voice…show, don’t tell…strike head soundly against closest wall…
Even after the manuscript is finished we look to publishing avenues that work for us.  Do we go traditional or do we make it quick and augment the MS to fit the requirements of Print-On-Demand?  Do we accept the fact we’ll probably see enough rejection notices to paper the office walls from floor to ceiling (unless we’re writing well in a genre that’s the height of fiction fashion at the time)?  Do we resort to writing for the readers instead of ourselves?
Finally, we’ve made our work available to the public at a price we find is the acceptable norm.  We sit and wait for sales not gained from only friends and family.  We scour library and internet resources pertaining to methods that help sell books.
Some gauge the future of their work by the numbers.  They believe that great sales ranks or other contrived figures will keep them from languishing in obscurity.  More will spend half their day – like me – attempting to find the quickest/cheapest ways to advertise so those contrived numbers shrink to acceptable visibility in the Top Whatever.  Others will blindly follow every bit of “advice” given about how not to kill your sales and in the process learn what a good idea that wasn’t.
Please, for the love of all that’s good in this world, do not get me started on seeking out reviews.  That in itself is an entire blog not worth writing for all the fear it would instill in the hearts of new authors.  The trouble there is finding people who’ll take the time to tell you what they think.  May your personal god(s) help you if you find the ones who tell you before they’ve thought at all.
Once the satisfaction has set in we finally have our works polished as much as possible and in the public view; we have to start thinking about the NEXT project.  I’m guessing it would be at this point in my work that I’d ask myself, “Is this where I look completely mental swatting at invisible flies?  Will anyone read what I’ve written?  Is this worth all that effort each time I want to write a book, with or without the aid of a Publishing House?”


I am either completely mental talking to myself like that or I can look back on it all and find the good in what I was doing all along.  Seeing both sides of the issue brought me to the conclusion of finding my first Golden Word:


            Despite every disheartening or negative response, every unkind pursuit against the SPA community in part or whole, writer’s block, data loss, revision after revision after revision…
            The diligent writers command their pen and do what they must to succeed.  They continue to write even though they are confronted with doubts and uncertainties.  They look past bad reviews, and voting wars.  They couldn’t give the southern end of a northbound rat about who thinks whatever about them.  They don’t have time to; they’ve got a self-appointed deadline to meet.  I for one don’t even have time to care about deadlines.
            I learned I have to ignore false labels like nuisance, liar, cheat, fraud, and other adjectives too unsavory to mention.  I learned I must respond to insults, snarks, and What-you-should-have-done-isms with politeness I surprise myself that I am capable.  I understand I’ll be exposed to the kind of emotional sapping that would normally make me wonder why it is I continue. 
The truth is I am writing for myself.  If I write how others say they think I should I’ll be cheated of the pleasure and the stories I want to share.  I would be cheated of the kind of fun being completely mental provides.
            In retrospect, my million words is the embodiment of all the work I’ve created to reach that crazy enlightenment where I can sum the entire experience in one word.  Like a cross-referenced database in the depths of my consciousness, I can see that word for what it represents to me.  It is the sum of my writing so far.  I’ve marred the surface and proved its worth to be pure and invaluable.
            However, whether I reach this ink-soaked Zen alone or with others, we all know that a little bit of gold will only get us so far or buy us so much.  I’ve completed too much to not continue slogging through the process, finish writing the next book, write another blog, and seek the Zen of the (Next) Golden Word…

            …because I’d be f***ing insane if I stopped now. :-)


Book Blurb:
M.J. Holmes sets the stage and narrates the travels of strangely assorted characters in their pursuits to save the post-cataclysmic world of Bu’Kre’Knunkt. Based on a plot written for a Role-Playing Game, in Act 1; Book 1, Holmes lays the foundation of the Scorched Reality Project: Gamma Series, and creates an enigmatic flashback of events. 

He begins by introducing the Council of Control (“The 5”) – a shadow government of sorts – as they oversee events. Their watchful eyes follow the pursuits of “The Two”: A Necromancer and a mysteriously disguised Narrator who relates to him the tale of The Dhuras Protectorate. 

Quested by Divine Intervention to locate and destroy the source of a threatening instability, “The Otherworlders” begin their trek having neither any knowledge of the world they’ve been transported to nor idea what they should do next. Thrust into one peril after another they struggle to adapt and survive; becoming bounty hunters, exterminators, and conscripts of the city religion on their way to entitlement as a Protectorate. An item found in their questing is identified by a benefactor to be part of an ancient weapon, thus providing them their first concrete lead of the Quest to follow since their arrival.

The Author looks to draw in his readers the same way he draws in players of his Role-Playing Game: characters with individuality, a setting with substance, and a story that leaves the reader wondering what will happen next.

Buy Links:
Book & Blog Site:
Thank you for taking an interest!
-MJ Holmes-

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mother's Day Book Blast April 30-May 6


Mother's Day Book Blast

April 30 - May 6
Hosted by eReading on the Cheap & Slap Dash Mom

Happy Mother's Day!
Sign up for my Newsletter and enter for a chance to win a 
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Mother’s Day to me is a day for celebration. Not for myself, but for all the wonderful women in my life, past and present. I am very fortunate to still have my own mother. My Grandma Hubbard passed away four years ago, yet I still miss her.

Mother’s Day is not about gifts and flowers and cards, it’s about family, and friends; spending time with them while they are on this earth. Why wait for a holiday to tell someone you love them, take them shopping, or go out for dinner?

I lost my Aunt Susie when she was 47. We were very close. My favorite memories are going to the movies together. She was very ill, and had many bad days before she passed. However, it is the good days that I remember.

Please leave a comment, if you are missing someone today. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I've never really thought about dog food until my Hannah became sick.

I've never really thought about dog food until my Hannah became sick. Read Hannah's story and enter below to win some healthy treats for your dog.

My son Michael and Hannah

I rescued Hannah and her brother Wyatt over four years ago. At her check up in April 2011 she was in perfect health. She came in one day from playing in the yard and I noticed her ears were raw. I assumed she got into a scrape with some critter and took her to the vet. Several rounds of antibiotics, steriods and Vet visits and they finally were on the path to healing. They changed her dog food to a healthier variety, to help her immune system. She still was dropping weight very quickly, she lost 2-3 pounds in a couple of months and her ears were again raw and inflamed. Back to the vet for more tests and medication. Her labs were off a bit so they started her on a liver supplement as well. A recheck in a month and she had started breathing hard. Around December we finally did an xray and found a Mass in her Chest cavity. We were sent to a specialist who did an ultrasound. They wanted to do a biopsy but were unable to get a sample. They treated her for pnemonia and we home with a sackful of meds. My life consisted of giving her medicine, driving to to Vets and holding Hannah. They were finally able to do a biopsy and the results highly suggested lymphoma. By this time, Hannah was so debilitated all she could do was gasp for breath. So I made my decision and let her go. 1-17-2012

Below is a short note I wrote:

The Path Towards the Light by Lynn Hubbard

My dog died today. 

It was not by God’s choice, but my own which sorrows me deeply. After seeing her deteriorate as the cancer takes her breath, it is the only kind thing I can do.

Yes, there are specialists, and more tests and more drugs. And I went that path for a while, until that path looked dark and gloomy as well.

But Hannah does not deserve darkness. 
She deserves joy and light, so I tearfully make my decision to do what is best for her, which is the hardest path for me.

Rest in Peace Hannah my sweet girl. Rest in peace.

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Chief Tatokainyanka,Engraved in History

I was visiting the Titanic exhibit with my friend Cindy Smith, when we came upon a display of currency. It is amazing to me that any artifacts are around 100 years later much less “paper” money. 

The array of bills was unbelievable. In 1912, any state chartered bank could issue paper money and Titanic carried a wide assortment.

Some of the items predated the civil war. I guess it was Yankee money, since Confederate funds were then defunct.

Cindy is a true cowgirl, and the one that caught her eye was a five dollar Silver certificate with an Indian head on the front. I was intrigued as well and decided to look it up.

These certificates were issued in 1899, to replace silver coins. I guess they were a bit lighter to carry around. The central figure is Tatokainyanka who was a Sioux Chief. Since Chief Tatokainyanka is kinda hard to say, he was called Chief Onepapa. 

Original Photo

He is famous for signing the “Treaty of Fort Laramie” in 1868. He traveled to Washington, DC to meet President Andrew Johnson where his picture was taken.

Redesigned Head Dress

The engraver for the bill drew in a Pawnee head dress instead, to better fit the space. Unfortunately, this is the only US paper money where an Indian is the focal point.  The Bills today can go for hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the condition. Of course the ones from Titanic, are priceless. 

If you have a buck, you can pick up one of the new Native American Coins from the US Mint.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Welcome Spring

Welcome Spring

There are many signs that spring is here. Bees, pollen, cherry blossoms and dandelions.
I drove thru my neighborhood the other day admiring all the well-manicured lawns. Then I came upon one full of yellow dandelions.

It reminded me of my old house. I am not the best gardener, I’m not the outdoorsy type, I’d rather be inside reading a book or writing one. So my lawn was neglected. I was bustling my son Nicholas out of the house one day, and was shocked to see how over grown my yard had become. It was full of dandelions, they seemed to have sprung up overnight.

As I was pondering if they would just disappear with a good mowing, I heard a gasp from my son.
“Mom, look at the yard. It’s beautiful!”

So I did look again, and he was right. It was beautiful. The bright yellow blossoms, contrasting against the green of the grass.  I remember picking handfuls of them for bouquets as a child, I had just forgotten somehow. Needless to say, the blossoms stayed as long as they wanted.

It seems like growing up, you miss out on a lot. Like seeing the simple beauty in one of God’s creations. There is beauty all around us, sometimes we just forget to look.

If you would like to read more from Lynn, please visit: my website,  my BlogFacebookTwitterGoodreads or sign up for my Newsletter!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Win Coffee!

Coffee is an integral part of my life. I didn’t really start drinking coffee until I turned 30. Now I practically need an IV. I love the wide assortment of flavored creamers. Yummy!
So when I was offered a chance to share this wonderful prize…COFFEE!!! 
I jumped on it. Just go thru the Rafflecoppter below to enter. 
Good Luck, I’m off to grab a cup!

Blog it Forward is giving away a 165.97 Amazon Gift Card to one Lucky Winner!
The Giveaway will take place April 16 – May 6
Follow the Bloggers Sponsoring this great giveaway to win!
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Titanic, May They be at Peace

April 15th marks the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic tragedy.

I first heard of Titanic when I was eleven. My teacher had a ticket to board the ship. However, they ended up canceling because her brother was ill.
Unfortunately, many were not so lucky.
I first met Titanic up close and personal in 2006. A traveling exhibit came to Atlanta, and I had to go see it. I was not disappointed. They had the original bell on display. The brass gleamed as if it was new, and I could picture the people waving from shore. I could hear the horns blaring and the bell ring as it pulled away from the port. Those on board did not realize that most would never see land again.
April 14th 2009, I had another chance to visit. This one was a bit different. During the exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium, they had a paranormal group do a walk through at night, and I was able to attend. No evidence was found that night. However, the objects whispered of better times. Times, before their owners departed.
Orlando, has a permanent exhibit. One with life size replicas, to make you relieve that night as time ticks away. The most moving part for me was standing on the deck. The air was brisk and cold and the night was pitch black. A chill ran down my spine as we were separated from our loved ones. Ladies and children first.
And today, Titanic is back in Atlanta. And once again, I was drawn to her story. The boilers gleamed in the darkness, and I imagined the fireman shoveling away, as they tried to give power to the massive ship. Even though they knew that death was upon them.
It was just enough. The band played on as the last life boat left. Terror filled the night, as the oars splashed in the frigid water, as they pulled away from the broken dream.
May they be at peace. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cute Kittens!

Sorry no kittens here, just stark cold reality. Child Abuse is not a pretty thing, but please don't look away!
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month
I really never thought about child abuse until a few years ago. I knew about it, of course. I just neverthought about it.  
Coming from a happy home with two parents who spoiled me rotten, I had no reason to think about it. I watched made for TV movies like David, about a boy who was set on fire by his father, and Sybil, a woman who blocked out her atrocious childhood by creating different personalities. Both were true stories, but somehow they didn’t seem real.
And then I met Kennesaw Taylor. Kennesaw is a boisterous guy, always in good spirits, and has a smile on his face. He writes about the south, and life in general. He has several humor books about how crazy is the new normal.
And you would have no idea about the horrors of his past unless you picked up his other book. The one without smiling faces, the one with the dark cover. The true one.
Informally Educated is the story of Kennesaw’s survival. He never has had an easy life, and it just kept getting worse and worse as he grew older. He was only eight years old when true evil entered his world. It would remain for six years until the evil was finally snuffed out.
Kennesaw’s recollections are vivid and horrifying. However, what is really disturbing, is the people who knew. The neighbors, the teachers, the police, and yes even his mother. The adults who knew that he and his siblings were being harmed, and looked the other way.
I was aghast. I was upset. I was mad!
And what does Kennesaw reply when I ask him about it? He just shrugs and says “That’s how it was back then”.
It was. And the sad thing is, that it still happens today. People still look away.

A poem about child abuse
By Kennesaw Taylor

Die Sweet Child

I’ve watched men die, held their hand, heard their final breath.
Men who had proved themselves; men who had passed their test.
I’ve watched men die who needed it, men who had no heart.
I see them in my dreams sometimes, but am glad I did my part.
The words I speak now are so damn true, most will not understand.
Sometimes you wish to die to avoid again, that awful hand.
I hope you cannot understand what it means to wish to die.
I understand oh too well and for those kids I cry.
I’m sad each time I hear the news that a child has lost its fight.
But I know in my heart of hearts that they will sleep in peace for the first time that night.
So die sweet child, one after one until the world does see.
That they must put a stop to what happened to you and me.