First blog post

I decided to start blogging because sometimes, I get a lot of thoughts in my head and the only way to get rid of them is to write them down.  My blog will consist of my feelings and views on certain subjects and issues, whether it’s personal or something in the news. On occasion, I may even voice my opinion on certain political issues.  Just keep in mind that no matter how I feel or what I say, they are MY feelings and MY sayings.  I will always welcome comments and feedback, and I enjoy conversational exchanges and differences of opinions, as long as the exchanges are civilized.  All I ask is that a level of respect be maintained.  By that, I mean no bashing, no name calling, no extreme profanity, etc.  I will also post excerpts from some of my short stories and books for your reading pleasure (?) and feedback.  I accept constructive criticism very well, so NEVER be ashamed or afraid to say what you feel.  I will NEVER debase you.  I will, however, delete mean and/or hateful comments, whether they’re directed at me or at any or all of my readers.  Let’s just have some fun and some friendly conversations.  Welcome to my little corner of the world!!


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Where Evil Dwells – Chapter One

Here is a sample chapter of my 4th novel entitled, “Where Evil Dwells.”  Whether you’ve read any of my other books, I would like to know if you find this chapter enticing?  If it would make you want to keep reading.  I treasure feedback, so please don’t be afraid to tell the truth.  Thanks!!!


Two words.

That’s all it took to unlock the door to the storage container inside Joey Sheffield’s mind that held back all of the old, painful memories that she’d struggled for years to keep at bay, finally succeeding after what had seemed like an eternity and an endless amount of attempts – and years of therapy.  In the few short moments it took to answer the phone and hear her sister’s voice, every single scab from every single wound was picked away, reopening old wounds and unleashing a flow of painful memories like raging flood waters crashing through a broken dam, involuntarily recalling dark secrets that she’d rarely spoken of and had willed herself not to think about.

As a child, she’d been helpless in fighting against the wrongs imposed upon her, while her own mother stood idly by and allowed it all to happen without so much as lifting a finger to help or protect her because she’d refused to believe what she’d called lies coming out of her daughter’s mouth, dismissing the allegations as made up fairy tales and imaginative fabrications.  In a way, Joey supposed that the fairy tale part was certainly true because there was a beast involved, a monster that had robbed her of her childhood and her innocence, never regretting an ounce of the pain that he had caused her.

As a teenager, she’d been stronger and brave enough to speak out against the personal violations against her, but not strong enough to ward off the evil that resided inside her home, an evil that had made her its main target and hardly let a day go by without reminding her of that fact.  To avoid having to face her tormentor or be in the same room with him, when not working she’d hung out with friends as late as she possibly could without suffering dire consequences for failing to adhere to a set curfew.  Her favorite hangout had been Nat’s Diner, a replica of what Nat referred to as “the old fifties burger joints.”  It was the one place where she could go and relax without dwelling on the lecherous activities that took place in her bedroom at night.  A temporary safe haven where she could laugh and have fun, but the joy and happiness were always short-lived and diminished the moment she stepped over the threshold and into that ice-cold mausoleum called home.

With money she’d saved up from working nights and weekends at the concession stand in the local movie theater, plus the part-time job Nat had given her after she’d begged him to let her work at the diner, she left home the day she turned eighteen, never looking back or lamenting her decision, vowing that if she ever had to face her tormentor again, she’d kill him.

She’d spent months on the road taking buses from town to town, staying only a few months in each one then moving on to the next.  Rat and roach infested motels served as home in each city, but even those conditions weren’t enough to make her rue leaving home.  Because for the first time in eight years, she could lay her head on the pillow at night without worrying about Mac invading her privacy or making unwanted and unwelcome visits to her room while she slept.  Waitressing jobs came easily wherever she was, thanks to the training she’d received at Nat’s, but serving patrons wasn’t always pleasant.  From experience, she had learned that no matter where she was or what size restaurant she worked in, there would always be a certain type of male who thought it was acceptable behavior to slap her on the ass every time she walked past his table, then hear him laugh about it to his friends while she gritted her teeth and fought against the urge to slap their faces in retaliation.  Yet, no matter how uncomfortable or vile she found their actions to be, she’d tolerated it because between her small salary and the tips she’d collected, it’d given her the opportunity to save up enough money to get even further away, finally settling down in a small town in southern Indiana, working a full time job during the day and attending college classes at night, determined to make a better life for herself.  After nearly four years of hard work and late-night studying, she’d earned her degree in nursing and was now employed in the cardiac care unit of the local hospital, where she was highly regarded and respected by all of her co-workers for her attentiveness and expert care of the patients under her charge.

She no longer had to live in disgusting, filthy motels, eating ramen noodles and crackers because that was all she could afford, or having to take buses or taxis to work and school because that was the only transportation available to her.  After years of struggling to land on her feet with a fresh start at life, she was finally comfortable and happy, living in peace in her small, one-bedroom apartment.

All those hardships could have been avoided had she chosen to stay at home and remain in daddy’s will, obeying and bowing to his every demand like a good daughter should.  But if remaining an heiress meant continuing to tolerate his abuse and sacrificing her own well-being for his demented pleasure, then she didn’t want a penny of his filthy blood money.  No amount he could ever bequeath to her would be enough to make up for the childhood he stole from her and as far as she was concerned, he could take all his money and everything else he owned and shove them all up his ass.  Her life, mental and physical health weren’t up for sale, regardless of the amount written on a check.

He was the reason she had little trust in men.  Over the years she’d dated, but had never formed a lasting relationship with anyone, always ending them before any serious feelings could get involved.  She’d been in love once, long ago, and had promised to marry him.  But instead of tying herself down to Mason Abernathy and remaining in a town where she’d likely continue to have to see her father, she’d chosen instead to leave and had done so without telling Mason goodbye, breaking his heart, and her own, in the process.  Hurting him wasn’t her intention but choosing to leave had been a decision that needed to be made because, the way she saw it, it was the only way she could ever completely rid herself of Macarthur Sheffield!

She had not been back home since leaving but had kept in phone contact with her two sisters.  Physical visits with them were few and far between, but when they did get the opportunity to see each other, it was always somewhere several miles away from home and without the knowledge of their parents.  As far as she was concerned, never seeing her mother again would be okay with her.  It would probably be better for them both if she didn’t because she had nothing to say to her and shuttered at the thought of what she might do should she ever have to face her again.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly what her sister was asking her to do.

“Joey, did you hear me?”  It was Rosemary, her oldest sister, who had called her with the news.

“I heard you,” Joey answered groggily, glancing at the clock on the bedside table.

“Are you coming?”

Joey hesitated for a moment, then finally spoke.  “Rosie, I can’t believe you’d even consider asking me to come back there, especially with all the bad blood between me and Helen.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that.”

“He’s your father, Joey,” Rosemary stated flatly.

“I happen to know who he is and that doesn’t change my stance.”

“I really wish you’d reconsider your decision, Joey.  Robin and I are staying with mom temporarily to help her get through this, so we’ll both be there, and we need you.  Especially Robin.  She isn’t handling this very well and I’m afraid that the stress might cause her to digress and pick up her habit again, and I don’t believe either one of us wants to see that happen, do we?  We could use the moral support from our sister, but if you have more important things to do, then by all means, do them.  Let me know if you change your mind.”  And with that, she hung up.

Rosemary VanAllen, always the uppity one with the condescending tone who could make saying good morning sound like kiss my ass.  Even her last name sounded snobby.  She was her older sister and she loved her, but God knows the woman had always thought her shit didn’t stink.

Joey sat on the side of the bed, the phone still in her hand as she stared into the darkness of the room.  Rosemary, like her mother, was aware of the abuse she’d suffered, but also like her mother, refused to believe a single word of it, always citing the fact that daddy was a good man, an excellent provider for his family and would never do something so atrocious.  So much for familial support in a time of crisis!

And no, she didn’t want Robin to return to her opioid addiction since it had damn near killed her before she sought professional treatment for her problem.  But if she did, it sure as hell wouldn’t be her fault now any more than it was the first time around, and she resented that Rosemary had insinuated that it would be if she failed to go home as she’d requested.

Joey shook her head as she got out of bed, placing her phone on the bedside table before going into the bathroom.  Fresh memories flooded her mind once more as she stared at her pale reflection in the mirror, then closed her eyes tightly as she tried to put them all back inside the boxes of her mind where they belonged, swearing to never again allow them to rise to the surface and cause her any more agony than they already had.  If only she could be so lucky.

With a single phone call and two spoken words, her normal and routine life was upended and thrown into chaos as she again was forced to face the hateful demons of her past, memories put there by the very man she was being asked to honor.  On the bright side, if she did go, she might finally be able to bury the past and put it to rest once and for all, or at least that’s what she told herself as Rosemary’s words played repeatedly in her head.

“Daddy’s dead.”


This is the first draft – always subject to changes.

Until next time – take care and God Bless!!


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It took me several months to write this book, and when I did, I never imagined that a REAL hurricane would threaten the U.S. the same day the book was released!!!  I almost felt guilty about the coincidence, but I promise, I did NOT predict Dorian!!!

Hurricane is a novel about a Category 5 storm named Hurricane Phillipe that has its sights set on the Southeast coast of Florida and Lake Okeechobee.

Some of the characters in the novel get trapped on the coastal island where the hurricane is predicted to make landfall, quickly turning their beach vacation into a fight for survival.

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Hurricane is available in E-book and paperback, sold exclusively by Amazon.  Here’s the link for those of you interested.

Thanks for reading, and for your continued support!!!

Until next time, take care and God bless!!


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Why I Opted for Non-Traditional Publishing

Writing stories isn’t something that I recently decided to do.  I’ve been doing it ever since I could hold a pencil!  In fact, when my kids were younger, I used to write short stories for them for the sole purpose of entertainment.  I even wrote a novelette for Courtney called “Courtney’s Dinosaur Adventure,” in which I interjected her into the story because of her great love for dinosaurs.

During those years, I didn’t pursue writing as aggressively as some writers do, because I worked a full time job in which I commuted 80 miles a day and by the time I got home and cooked supper, washed the dishes, got the kids bathed and put to bed, I was exhausted, barely devoting more than an hour a night for writing.  However, even through all that, I managed to get a short story published, as well as multiple poems and newspaper articles.  Only in the past several years, since I no longer work outside the home, did I press forward in my devotion, and aggressiveness, for writing.

But it is NOT easy!

No publisher will accept an unsolicited manuscript.  Meaning, if you have no agent, don’t waste your time.  So, here’s how it REALLY works.  And when I’m finished explaining, you’ll see why I opted to go with non-traditional publishing.

Every year I buy the most recent copy of the Writer’s Market.  Inside that book are listings for publishers, literary agents, contests, etc.  While there are literally hundreds of agents listed, there may only be a handful that accepts manuscripts for the genre in which one writes.  I go straight to the agents section of the book, make a list of prospects, then begin my submissions.  But here’s the kicker.  Unless an agent specifically states in their guidelines that they accept simultaneous submissions (manuscripts sent to multiple prospects at a time), then you can NOT submit a manuscript to another agent until you’ve received a response from the one the manuscript was sent to, which could takes months, and sometimes, no response at all.  Basically, it’s a waiting game with a hit or miss result.  Which led me to begin researching other publishing options.

I looked into companies who specialize in self-publication but wasn’t too pleased with the results.  Not only would that have cost thousands of dollars up front, but the writer also has to sell their own books because it doesn’t come with a marketing plan.  That option was quickly tossed out the window.

That’s when I came upon the information about publishing solely with Amazon, and the more I read about it, the more I liked it.  Like any other publisher, the manuscripts are first reviewed to make sure they’re in compliance with their publishing regulations, and if they are, then they provide their rules and requirements for publishing with them.  If that agreement is acceptable, then comes the contract for publishing the manuscript in E-book format, paperback, or both.  I chose both because while I know a lot of people enjoy reading on their Kindles or tablets, there are still those who enjoy the feel of a book in their hands and the smell of the paper while turning pages.

Like any other publisher, yes, Amazon does get a portion of the proceeds, and they should.  But let me show you the difference…

Traditional publishing would first require an agent.  The agent’s job is to find a publisher.  The publisher will then assign the manuscript to a proofreader, then an editor, all of whom would get a percentage of the profits from the sell of the book(s).  Going this route may not entitle me to keep all of my rights to my book, and that is not okay with me.  Afterall, I’m the one that worked for months to write, edit, hone it and get it ready.  Why shouldn’t I be able to retain all rights?

Non-traditional publishing, in my case, Amazon, provides all of those services without sub-contracting the manuscript out to various personnel to perform the duties that I listed above.  I receive royalties from the sell of all formats, Amazon subtracts their fees, and I retain ALL rights to my books.  Additionally, Amazon also markets the books in various ways and makes the books available worldwide if the writer chooses to do so.  In a nutshell, I have complete and total control over the say of my work and they also provide me with charts on sales rank and author rank that are updated hourly.  They provide me with reports on my private author page on the sales and royalties earned so that I can check it any time I want, or need, to.  Some writers may not consider this to be their choice in publication, but for me, it was the perfect choice and I have no regrets.  Not having to worry about marketing and agent submissions only leaves me more time to do what I love – writing!

I believe that as more and more writers learn of all these various options, they may very well choose to take the road that I did because of the very reasons that I listed.  They become frustrated and impatient having to wait for an answer from an agent, and nothing will provide a worse gut punch than receiving a rejection letter after months and months of waiting.

My advice?  Cut out the middle man/woman, take control of your own manuscripts and be in charge of all actions!

I’m certainly glad I did because it gave me the opportunity that I may have never gotten had I continued down the path of attempting traditional publishing.

Until next time….

Take care and God Bless!



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I’m A Published Author!!!

On July 1, 2018, I was able to share some excellent news with my family and friends so that they could celebrate my dream come true with me.  After many years of submissions and rejections, I have finally achieved my goal of becoming a published author, and it is a wonderful feeling to know that all of my hard work was finally noticed, and accepted, for publication.

Many times I have been on the verge of completely giving up, because let’s face it, no writer likes getting turned down over and over again.  Actually, I was standing on that ledge again when this opportunity arose, and I grasped it with elated joy!

Both of my novels, Seeing and Animus, are available on Amazon as an E-book and in paperback.  Here are the individual links for both:

Nothing makes a writer happier than hearing praise and positive comments about their work, but any writer knows that NO writer worth their weight in salt can please every single reader every single time, so I always write what I am led to write and hope that it pleases someone somewhere along the way.

I have never relished the thought of being rich and famous, but I did always long to be successful in my writing, and I am so happy and proud to be able to say that I achieved that goal!!!

Additionally, no writer would be a writer without an audience of readers, so to those of you who have shown me support and encouragement along the way, I tip my hat to you and say thanks with a grateful heart!!!

To my fellow writers out there, don’t EVER give up on your dream.  Strive until you achieve it.

Until next time….

Take care and God Bless!!


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Coping with Anxiety and/or Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety or a feeling of anxiousness can be a good thing, such as that rush of adrenaline you feel in the pit of your stomach when receiving a passionate kiss, or the excitement of meeting your favorite celebrity, or even those butterflies you get when on a roller coaster and it’s making its first climb up the hill before plunging you down into what feels like a free fall.

But anxiety can also be a horrible feeling when experiencing it during an anxiety or panic attack.  Anyone who has ever fallen victim to this debilitating condition knows firsthand that these types of adrenaline rushes are anything but pleasant.  Imagine, if you will, that feeling in your gut when you’re overly excited about something or someone and that adrenaline rush speeds up your heartbeat and your pulse quickens.  Or an event or thing that absolutely terrifies you, scaring you to the point that you have to cover your eyes to prevent seeing it.

Now, imagine that exact same feeling never going away, but remaining there in the pit of your stomach, taunting and terrorizing you, an endless supply of unneeded and unwanted adrenaline!  That’s what an anxiety attack is.

What is anxiety?  According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear.  For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time.  The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work and relationships.”  While these facts are quite true, there is much, much more to being stricken with an anxiety disorder.  Some of the other symptoms/problems related can include:

  • Bouts of uncontrollable crying
  • Irrational fear (What if? What could?)
  • Unnatural thoughts (Am I dying? Am I crazy?)
  • Feelings of doom and gloom (Irrational and overwhelming feeling of dread)
  • Fear of dying (Or obsession with thoughts of death)
  • Feeling certain that there is an underlying, possibly fatal, disease that hasn’t been detected
  • Feeling that “you’re losing your mind” and wondering if you need to see a Psychiatrist
  • Feeling of worthlessness
  • Lack of sleep or being unable to stay asleep
  • Nervousness and/or pacing
  • Wringing of hands
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Rapid heartbeat / heart palpitations

No two people are the same; therefore, the symptoms may vary from person to person.  Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions in the human body.  It is sometimes called the “happy chemical,” because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness.  The scientific name is 5-Hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT and is mainly found in the brain, bowels and blood platelets.  Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the human body and is believed to help regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function.  In short, if the body is experiencing a shortage of Serotonin, this leads to depression and anxiety disorders.  The goal is to get the Serotonin at proper and functioning levels again and restore a sufferer’s wellbeing and treat the anxiety and depression.  I liken it to the function of defragmenting a computer where fragments of your hard drive get scattered and the purpose of the defragmentation is to gather the scattered pieces and put them back where they belong.

Every single symptom that I listed above are ones that I personally experienced during my own battle.  Please allow me to tell you my story.

Mine started in mid-2003, but it didn’t begin as anxiety.  I found myself experiencing bouts of uncontrollable crying, pacing the floor and constantly wringing my hands.  I attributed it all to a series of sad and heartbreaking events that had occurred in my life within a matter of months and told myself that I needed to get a grip on things and pull myself together.  No matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn’t, and things began to take a turn for the worst from that point forward.   It was then that I learned that even the strongest of people have a breaking point.

In the beginning, I had no idea what was happening to me because I had never experienced anything even remotely close to what I was going through.  Sure, I’d cried before over various things, but I always knew why I was crying.  But all of this was new to me – and extremely terrifying.

I was on my way to a doctor’s appointment in West Palm Beach when I was suddenly overcome with an intense feeling of dread, like something bad was about to happen or that I was on the brink of death.  I turned around and drove back to my sister’s house with the intention of trying to calm myself down, but instead, the symptoms only got worse.  My heart was beating so fast that I could feel it pounding in my temples, my hands began to shake, my body felt like gelatin and I began weeping uncontrollably.  Brenda rushed me to the emergency room in Belle Glade and they called me right back because I, and they, thought I was having a heart attack.  My heart rate was sky high, as was my blood pressure, and I had to be sedated for fear that I might experience a stroke.  As bad as this experience was, they only continued to get worse, resulting in multiple trips to the ER and having to be sedated because my blood pressure and heart rate reached extremely dangerous territory (220/190 BP and 157 Heart Rate)!  I experienced many more of those episodes before finally being diagnosed with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder and put on medication to control the depression and the panic attacks.

Prior to my experience, I had never known anyone who had suffered through anything such as this.  I felt completely and utterly alone, with no one to talk to and tell my troubles to that would understand exactly how I felt.  And I certainly didn’t want to burden anyone with my problems, so other than my husband, no body really knows the pain I suffered or how bad my episodes of anxiety truly were because he was the one by my side each and every time.  He is the one who held me in his arms and comforted me while I cried and trembled.  He is the one who drove me multiple times to the ER while I was in the throes of a devastating panic attack.

Attempting to cope with a debilitating anxiety disorder is not an easy task.  Sudden outbursts of crying will leave you completely and totally incapacitated, to the point that you don’t want to be around anyone, you don’t want to eat, you don’t want to go anywhere or do anything.  In my case, I became withdrawn, a shell of the woman that I was prior to the onset of my illness.  I found solace by bundling myself up in a quilt that my sister, Linda, made for me, curling up in my recliner and watching television.  Even if I couldn’t completely focus on what was on, it was something to keep my mind occupied so that I didn’t dwell on what was going on with me.  I missed a lot of work because of panic attacks and mine got so bad that I couldn’t even walk into a store by myself for fear of “what could” happen while I was in there alone.

Anxiety can, and will, destroy you, if you let it.  It robs you of your joy, your happiness, your well-being and who you are as a total person.  Personally speaking, I experienced bouts of feelings of worthlessness, shame, embarrassment, self-pity, suicidal thoughts and even disgust.  I hated the person that I became and could barely stand to even look at myself in the mirror.

People who suffer from this soul-robbing illness have a tendency to associate certain places, events and even people with the onset of a panic attack and will do everything within their power to avoid them at all costs.

After nearly two years of suffering and finally being prescribed the proper medications, I began to heal, to get better, and eventually, to put it all behind me.  It is a time in my life that I don’t like to think about although I will never forget it.  I don’t need to be reminded about the hell I went through to get where I am today.

There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about in admitting you are now or have ever been a sufferer of anxiety/panic.  Like I said, even the strongest of people have a breaking point – but you don’t have to remain broken.  There is hope.  There is help.  Trust me, I know that for a fact.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) work wonders and definitely do the job that they’re made to do.  However, I did have to take Xanax temporarily to stave off the panic attacks until the Zoloft could get into my system and begin the healing process.  Within 1-2 weeks of taking medication, I felt like a different person and finally felt like the old Glenda was making a comeback.

When a person is suffering from an illness such as an anxiety disorder, don’t EVER tell them to “snap out of it!”  Don’t you think for one second that if there was an on/off switch it would have never been allowed to be activated in the first place?  If I could have simply snapped out of it, I most certainly wouldn’t have suffered as long as I did because it was undoubtedly one of the darkest, saddest, most horrible things I’ve ever experienced in my life.  With that said, I will further say this…I would rather die than to ever have to go through it again.

I’m most definitely not a doctor, but I can offer some good advice to sufferers and/or caretakers of sufferers.  Some do’s and don’ts, if you will.

  • DO listen, hear what they have to say even if you don’t have an answer. Sometimes, all a sufferer needs to know is that someone is listening and that they care.
  • DO be patient. A sufferer of an anxiety disorder is not going to get overnight or instantaneous relief.  Instead, do what you can to help them through their hardest times.  Dopamine is a wonderful thing and is produced by skin-to-skin contact – massaging their head, holding their hand, rubbing their back.  It’s also very comforting.
  • DO try to help them find something to keep their minds and hands busy. It is next to impossible to think beyond the illness but keeping them busy can help to distract them.  I recommend puzzle and coloring books, jigsaws, reading to them, etc.  The sound of a caring voice is also very comforting.
  • DON’T try to force them to do anything they’re not comfortable with, such as going to a particular place or participating in events they’re not ready for. Be patient while they’re healing.
  • DO offer moral support. There are times when a sufferer doesn’t feel like engaging in conversation yet knowing that someone is there with them and that they’re not alone is a wonderful feeling.
  • DON’T be mean to them. If you can’t treat them with kindness and understanding, the best solution is to STAY AWAY FROM THEM.  They’re already suffering enough and don’t need added pressure.

Anxiety disorders can be triggered by any number of contributing factors with the most common being stress or a traumatic event.  Don’t waste time trying to figure out how or when it all began.  Instead, focus on the available treatment and work towards getting better.  In the end, that’s all that really matters.

It is common for anxiety disorder sufferers to think irrational thoughts or see themselves as broken, crazy, or just plain dysfunctional.  They will feel, say and act in ways that are not normal and totally out of character for them.  These are all traits associated with an anxiety disorder.  The bad news is that although temporary, they are horrible to experience and a person can fall so deeply into that black abyss that they feel they’ll never get out of it.  That’s what depression and anxiety do – they take a strong, whole person and shatter them into a million tiny pieces.  But the good news is that all of these things ARE only temporary.  Every bad thought, every bad feeling, the sadness and depression will all begin to dissipate with the proper medication and will eventually disappear altogether.  With that healing comes a proper sleeping pattern, a normal appetite, and hopefully, a strong sex drive.  The road to recovery is long and bumpy, the ride unpleasant, but what glory it is to finally arrive at the destination of normalcy once more.

Do you have a story you’d like to share, perhaps your own experience or that of a loved one?  Something that could perhaps help another sufferer learn to cope and get through their dark time?  If so, share your story and how you deal with it, such as coping mechanisms, relaxation techniques, etc.  I would love to hear from you.

To all you sufferers out there, please know that you are NOT alone and that there are others like you who suffer and who care.  Anxiety is a debilitating condition and left untreated, can result in suicidal thoughts and even suicide.  If you’re a sufferer, you don’t have to face it alone.  Surround yourself with people who know and understand about your condition, people who are or have been sufferers.  There will be many who will offer advice but NO ONE can understand what you’re suffering through unless or until they experience it for themselves.

National Suicide Prevention Center – 1-800-273-8255

Until next time…take care and God Bless!!




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God Is Crying

My heart is heavy, weighted down by sadness and grief over what we, the human race, have allowed ourselves to become.  And I can’t help but wonder if the damage is irreparable, or if it is capable of mending, how long will it take to completely recover?  Months?  Years?  Generations?

The latest mass shooting in New Zealand has really ripped at my heart because of the degree of pure hatred in which the attack was driven.  I simply cannot understand hating a person or a race simply because of the color of their skin or the religion they choose to practice, and to the extreme that it took to take 50 innocent lives without regards to gender, age or color.  An act so violent isn’t simply motivated by hatred, but also by an intense form of pure, unadulterated evil.

We now live in a society where tensions amongst us seem to be at the highest level that I’ve personally ever seen them.  Express your opinion and you’ll probably get cussed out or called names.  Offer facts in a debate and get told that facts don’t matter over beliefs.  Make a stand against gun violence and be told “you ain’t takin’ my guns!”  Disagree with someone’s stance on abortion and be called a baby killer.  It never ends.  Someone, somewhere is always unhappy or disgruntled about something – or offended by it.  When did we, as adults, lose our level of maturity and return to adolescent, snot-nosed brats?  Children often get into tiffs and name-calling on the playground or at school and that’s okay because we expect it from children.  But when it’s adults doing it, I find it quite disgusting, reprehensible and extremely childish.

Whatever happened to the good old days when two people could have a civilized conversation and/or debate and talk out their differences without sinking into the mire of debasing one’s character or slinging filthy names at them?  Why can’t we, as a society, return to a more civilized way of addressing each other, whether it’s face to face or on social media?

How can we ever expect our nation and our people to heal when, on any given day, I can read news threads, comments and group forums that do nothing but promote hate and division?  Why do people engage in this type of activity and behavior?  I don’t get it.

It’s one thing to stand up for what you believe in, because I always have and I always will, but it’s a whole different ballgame when others expect me to respect their beliefs and opinions while kicking sand in my face and belittling me because I have a different point of view.  It’s okay to disagree and have differences, as long as it’s done diplomatically and with tact.  No one likes being talked down to, or made fun of, or called stupid.

God is crying!  He is weeping for us, His children, because of our words, our behavior, our constant bickering and dislike for others who are different from us, regardless of whether it’s their skin color, their sexual preferences, their religion, their disabilities, the color of their hair, the amount of makeup they wear, how much money they make, how expensive their homes and cars are.  The list goes on and on.  Can’t we all just get along and accept each other for who we are, lift each other up and help each other to move forward in a positive light instead of throwing each other down into the dark sewers of destruction?

I’ll do my part.  Will you?

Until next time…..

Take care and God Bless!




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After Midnight (short story)

Dave Rainier clocked in for his evening shift, placed his time card back in the allotted slot, then made his way down the long corridor towards the security desk where he would be stationed for the night, the clicking of his heels against the tile echoing off the acoustical walls in the basement of the county building.

“Evening, Mac,” he said, greeting the elderly gentleman who had worked the prior shift.  “How’s it going?”

“Quiet,” Mac replied with a slight grin.

“I certainly hope so,” Dave said, taking delivery of the keyring that Mac unclipped from his belt.  “Let’s pray it stays that way.”

“Have a good one,” Mac waved as he turned the corner, heading for the exit.

It wasn’t a bad job and there was certainly no danger involved like there would be if he were a police officer or firefighter.  The hours were satisfactory and the pay was comparable to that of any daytime position, maybe even slightly higher when the shift differential was factored in.

There had been a few times that he’d gotten spooked being alone in such a large, quiet building.  And on the rare occasions that he’d allowed himself to dwell on where he was, he forced himself to think happy thoughts, reminding himself that he was safe behind locked doors, and if the need arose where help was required, it was only a phone call away.

Not that he was complaining because God knows he needed the job, but sometimes he wondered why security was needed there at all.  It wasn’t like any of his charges were going anywhere, and the only time anyone came calling in the wee hours of the night or early morning was to make a delivery.  It could be said with certainty that not everyone was cut out to do his job, and it definitely wasn’t for the faint-hearted.  Nor was his job the type of security seen in places like banks and malls.  He didn’t carry a gun, and the only items on his belt that could be considered weapons were his night stick and flashlight, either of which could cause great harm to a person if he struck them hard enough.  So far, he’d never been in a situation where he’d had to use either, not as a defense, anyway.  He considered his position more of a night watchman, someone to keep an eye on things and answer the phone and the door.  Most nights, he was able to get in a couple of cat naps when sleepiness took over because it wasn’t easy staying awake all night long with nothing to do except sit.

Dave turned on the small black and white portable television that sat on the corner of his desk, adjusted the antenna until a clear picture came into view, and leaned back in the chair, propping his feet up on the desk as he glanced through a muscle car magazine, fantasizing about the day he’d be the owner of one of the beauties.  His daydreaming was promptly interrupted when the telephone rang.

“County Morgue, Dave speaking.”

The loud crackling and sizzling noises emitting through the handset were so fierce that the sound forced Dave to pull the receiver away and hold it at a distance.  When he no longer heard the static, he slowly returned the handset to his ear.  “Hello?  This is Dave, is anyone there?”

Several moments of silence, then a man’s voice.  “Tick tock, watch the clock.”

“Excuse me?  Who is this?”

No answer.  The only sound that could be heard was the constant buzzing of the dial tone.

“Damn kids,” he said, hanging up the phone.

Dave glanced up at the corner security mirror, positioned in a way that allowed him to see down the hallway and into the area of the holding and autopsy rooms, but saw no movement or shadows that would indicate that anyone else was inside the building.

The large clock on the wall behind his desk read eleven-fifteen p.m.

When the phone rang again several minutes later, he was hesitant to answer, staring at the phone as the shrillness of the rings filled the room.

“County Morgue, Dave speaking.”

When midnight has fallen, the dead will come calling.”  It was the same voice as before but he had no idea who it was.  It didn’t sound familiar to him at all.

“Who the hell is this?” Dave shouted.  “Carl, is this you and your idea of a practical joke?  If so, it’s not funny!”

Dead silence.

Dave slammed the phone down, glanced up at the mirror again, then headed in the direction of the examining rooms to inspect the area and make sure that everything was as it should be.  He considered the possibility that a co-worker might be hiding inside one of the rooms or a closet and was using their cell phone to place the prank calls.  Dave quickly dismissed the notion because if someone else had been there, surely Mac would have alerted him.  Unless he was in on the joke, too, and was also hiding somewhere laughing his ass off.

Both autopsy tables were unoccupied and all the storage freezer doors were closed in the autopsy room.  There was no way in hell he was going to open any of them to inspect the inside, because if he slid one of the steel holding beds out and a body happened to sit up or fall off the slab, he’d drop dead of a heart attack for sure!  In the holding room where bodies were stored until autopsies could be performed, there were three gurneys with sheet-covered bodies, their toe tags exposed.  Other than that, nothing else appeared to be out of the ordinary.

It wasn’t often that the need arose for him to have to enter either of the rooms, but every time he’d had to, the experience had been quite unsettling.  This time seemed eerier than usual, most likely because of the phone calls he’d received.  Eager to leave the area, he hurried down the corridor and back to his desk, nervously glancing over his shoulder the entire way.

“Get a grip, man,” he said aloud, his voice sounding deep and hollow inside the small reception area.  “It’s nothing but a prank, dumbass kids thinking they’re being funny.”

The second hands of the wall clock ticked away the time, keeping rhythm with the beat of his pounding heart.

Eleven forty-five.

Tick tock, watch the clock.

When midnight has fallen, the dead will come calling.

Only fifteen minutes left until the stroke of midnight.  What was going to happen when the clock struck twelve?  “Nothing, that’s what,” he said, refusing to let his imagination run wild inside of a morgue because there was no telling what his mind would dream up if he did.  “Stop being so paranoid.”

The buzzer at the back door sounded, startling Dave and causing him to jump.  Paramedics were the only ones who used that entrance, and only did so whenever they were delivering a body to the morgue.

“Shit!” he breathed, glancing first at the clock then the mirror before disappearing down the opposite hallway to answer the door.

“Got a present for you,” the EMT said as he wheeled in a stretcher carrying a black body bag.  “Adult male.  Drug overdose.  Sign here, please,” he said, passing Dave a clipboard.

“You know where to put him,” Dave said, forgoing a courtesy escort to the holding room.

“You okay, Buddy?”

“Yes, why?”

“You look a little spooked, kind of pale.”

“I’m fine,” he said, his nervous tone telling a different story.

Dave watched as the EMT wheeled the stretcher away, turning right at the end of the hallway into the holding room.  Within minutes, he reemerged with an empty bed, closing the door behind him.

“Have a good one,” the EMT said as he exited, leaving Dave all alone in the vault of death.

Eleven fifty-five and no other phone calls had come through.  Dave shook his head, disappointed for allowing himself to be so alarmed over a situation that was nothing more than a practical joke.  Probably some kid who found it hilarious to call a morgue and scare the living daylights out of whoever happened to be working.  If he found out it was his friend Carl, he’d give him a good tongue lashing the next time he saw him.

Dave looked up at the clock when the phone rang at midnight.  With a feeling somewhere between fear and trepidation, he snatched the receiver from the cradle.  “Look here, you little punk,” he shouted.  “I’ve had about enough of your games and if you don’t stop calling, I’m phoning the police!”

Go take a look, they’re all awake.  It’s your soul they’re going to take.”  Those words, followed by the evilest laugh he’d ever heard, sent chills down Dave’s spine, reigniting his angst.

From the corner of his eye, he thought he saw the movement of a dark shadow in the hallway near the autopsy room, yet when he snapped his head around to look, no one was there.

He swallowed the golf ball sized lump that’d risen in his throat, removed the night stick from its loop, and slowly began making his way down the corridor, tip-toeing as quietly as he could so as not to alert whoever might be hiding in one of the rooms.

Gently turning the knob of the holding room door, he cracked it slightly open and put his ear up to the crack and froze in horror when he was greeted by the distinct sound of a zipper being unfastened.

In one swift move, he threw the door open and flipped on the light, gasping when he discovered that all of the gurneys were now empty, the sheets once covering dead bodies lying in heaps on the floor.  The zipper fly on the black body bag was halfway down and as Dave watched in shock, an ashen-colored hand poked through the opening while the zipper continued to descend.

From inside the autopsy room, he heard the sound of shuffling, grunts and moaning, and the unmistakable clinking sound of metal against metal, like dropping a bullet onto a tin platter.

His heart was now a jackhammer inside his chest, his legs shaky and as heavy as lead.  He wanted to run away, but his feet were glued to the floor with an invisible adhesive that prevented him from being able to make a dash for the exit.

The doors to the holding and autopsy rooms both opened simultaneously, and as Dave stood frozen in place by the force and depth of a fear he’d never experienced before, he gaped in horror at the naked woman holding the door, a Y-shaped, black-stitched incision running the entire length of her abdomen.  From behind, both of Dave’s arms were gripped tightly and pinned to his sides as he was forcefully shoved towards the autopsy room.  He did not need to see who his captor was.  He knew.

Freezer doors that had been closed before now stood open and empty, their former occupants encircling the silver examination table that now had a rubber headrest at one end that wasn’t there previously.

Dave opened his mouth to scream but produced nothing more than the pitiful mewl of a newborn kitten.  Even if he could’ve screamed, there was no one there to hear him, no one to help him.

He was all alone in a basement filled with bodies of the dead.

He struggled against the multitude of hands grasping at him, stripping off his clothes and forcing him onto the table, holding him down by his arms and legs so that he couldn’t move.

When he saw the shiny silver blade of the scalpel poised above his chest, the scream that had been trapped inside his throat finally found its way out.

At the security desk, the ringing telephone went unanswered.

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