• Tag Archives Daria Di Giovanni
  • I Tried Yoga & I Love It ~ Leslie Sansone’s ‘You Can Do Yoga.’

    On the recommendation of my good friend Daria DiGiovanni, I ordered You Can Do Yoga by Leslie Sansone.

    Recently I had my yearly lab work, and my doctor informed me that I am in excellent physical health. My blood sugar is fine, and my cholesterol numbers are lower than they were last year.

    She was extremely pleased with my physical health, and told me to keep doing the same things I’ve been doing: Eating healthy, physical activity, managing stress and following her prescribed treatment for my anxiety/depression issues.

    Since keeping stress levels at a minimum is best for my health, I thought adding yoga three or four times a week would help me.  And it did. Daria was right; the workout was exactly as she described, easy to learn and fun.

    It also helped my lower back pain. The very first time I did the workout, my back felt better. I totally recommend this product, for anyone looking for less stress and more strength.

     

    Please read Daria’s review here.

    Related Posts:

    Combining Prayer with Staying Fit & Healthy

    Photo-Blog ~ Running as Therapy and Inspiration

     


  • Internet Debate ~ A Spectator Sport

    This post is my response to the friends whom I know do believe what I wrote in a previous post regarding the ascent of Donald Trump.

    It’s also a rebuttal to those who tossed around different words and phrases which all meant the same thing to me.

    My friend, Linda, liked the post, and asked if she could share it on her Facebook page.  However, my post was the subject of a terrible comments thread. For my part, I regret losing my temper, and using foul language, however, I must chalk it up to my temper. I do work on controlling my temper, but it escapes me at times, especially when people accuse me without cause.

    I would like to apologize to my friends, and forgive those who hurt me. I pray sincerely for each person who commented, and wish the best for all, even those whom I felt best to block from seeing me on Facebook. This was a decision I made long ago; I cannot have the worry of folks who for all intents and purposes say I’m a liar having access to my family photos or other information. It makes me nervous to contemplate that people who believe I engage in fabricating tales might possibly be looking at my family.

    I feel like I need to write all of this. I was unfairly attacked, to the point of being told I hate Catholics. (I’m a cradle Catholic, and very devoted to Jesus and His Mother). But as another friend once said: Jesus never told us to be doormats. Sigh.

    I only recently decided to place a small biography on my own page, consisting of my website and blog information. This was because I never really felt comfortable with announcing the fact that I have written two novels. Other writers say the same; it may be that we are introverts, or nervous about our work being rejected, or any number of other reasons.

    However, after almost two years, I decided to be proud of my accomplishments, and to put the information on my page. Friends knew I was a writer, of course; such things cannot be a secret, but I kept my writing life separate from my personal Facebook page for whatever reason.

    As I said to the commenters at large, I am respected in my field. I have many friends, some of whom commented at the end of the post that upset some of the people I went to school with.  One of my dearest friends, Daria DiGiovanni, is an author, ghostwriter, blogger, internet radio host and co-owner of a new publishing venture. Daria in particular, has been my mainstay. I could not ask for a better friend. Another friend, Kia Heavey, has recently been awarded a contract for her third novel, Domino. Domino was published by Kindle Press, Amazon’s new publishing venture.

    I remember how proud I was when I was asked to appear on Daria’s radio show, Writestream Tuesday, Shatter the Narrative, with other members of the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance. All are well respected authors.

    These people are my acquaintances, and, in some cases, dear, dear friends. Marina, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, recently published her debut novel, Chasing Freedom.

    So, I decided that I wouldn’t hide from my community anymore.

    Even though I have been termed worse than a liar many times on comments threads in the past, I didn’t expect to be maligned on Linda’s page. I don’t know why I thought I would be respected by folks who, for whatever reason, do not understand the concept of such a thing, but for some reason I still didn’t expect it. Perhaps because with all that has happened in America, I believed more people would see the truth.  Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. It happened, and it can’t be undone.

    Within ten minutes of the initial post, the first comments came in. The word used by the nastiest commenter was “liar.” Other  terms thrown around are paraphrased here.

    My post was: “All over the place” — “Started off interesting, but she quickly lost credibility” — the stories do not seem as if they could really have happened”… and on and on.

    Again, the above are paraphrases. I couldn’t screenshot them, since Linda deleted the post from her page the next day. I certainly don’t blame her, and I’m happy she did delete it. It had descended into something that did not in any way resemble a debate.

    In addition the phrases above, the following words, or in some cases memes containing them, were used while describing Linda and me:  Racist, Hater, Angry, and even Hitler. Hitler was being compared to Donald Trump, who, as I said in my post, I do not support.

    However, Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner, and most likely to be our next President. Part of this is due to riots over the weekend by people who hate Trump. Again… when people, (especially people who claim to be kind and tolerant) disrupt a rally and cause violence, it drives Americans who are watching the proceedings directly toward the person or people against whom the violence was perpetrated. It’s what I said in the post which caused all of this upset, and it’s the truth.

    Just for the record: I’m a registered Republican, but I have, in the past, split my ticket or voted for candidates not of the party. The party is part of the problem. Same with the other party.

    Following is an excerpt from page 255 of my first novel, a dystopia. I began writing Tears Of Paradox in 2009, and published it in May, 2014. Protagonist Jason is remembering his youth, from the vantage point of having survived the beginning of America’s descent into totalitarianism. The “drones” are the media. The “sharks” are members of a government bureaucracy that has assumed control  of each American’s life.

    Some seemed not to care what their choices did to others, though. The politicians and the media are the hardest to forgive, even though they were deceived and betrayed themselves. It’s not easy to forgive the drones, but I take no comfort in the fact that most of them have received their comeuppance. I’m not talking about those who did report the truth; they were shut down long ago. It was probably a blessing, since it enabled some of them to get out; to begin spreading truth from far-away places. The ones I refer to as drones are those who wouldn’t recognize Truth if it touched them on the shoulder, (which I have no doubt in my mind He did). Or the ones who knew what the facts were, but spun them or hid them or scrubbed them outright, just to further their own ends. After all, they had all resources available to them, all of history to learn from, and back then they also had the protection of the First Amendment.

    They should have known better. They shouldn’t have let themselves be blinded by false party allegiance. They should have realized that donkeys and elephants didn’t matter; that what mattered was truth and humanity, and that Washington was disintegrating into two stinking, rotting rat carcasses. They were only half-alive, but they still had snapping mouths full of sharks teeth, which did a great deal of damage as they slowly mutated into one.

    The drones should have stuck to reporting facts. That’s what they were supposed to do. If they had they might have realized that even though most of them favored one party, neither party favored them—and that behind closed doors they were referred to with mirth as perfect examples of the term “useful idiots”. Most of them had no idea though. They didn’t understand what they’d been given, and they didn’t see the sharks circling until it was way too late. They held a sacred trust, protected by the First Amendment, and they should have followed the truth instead of spinning a huge ugly web of poisonous lies.

    They were too busy for facts, though. If they’d studied history they might have been able to read the writing on the wall. The blinders might have come off, and they would have seen what had happened over and over throughout the ages—the fact that after people such as the sharks finally chewed their way into complete control, the journalists were always the first to go. It’s a shame they were blind. Now it’s too late for them.

     

    If you read the above with an open mind, you cannot help but come to the conclusion that I don’t favor either party at this point. I just want my children and grandchildren to be free. I choose to focus on my writing, since politics is downstream from culture.

    Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

    Pericles

     

    The above, I have come to understand, is the truth. That is why I do what I do, even though it can be difficult at times.

    And now we come to the point: Internet debate is  a spectator sport.

    In the comments thread on Linda’s post, I did defend myself against some of the claims. One commenter insinuated that if such a thing had happened, perhaps it was in some way merited. After I spoke back, the commenter backpedaled. And then again, it was communicated to me that people like me ought to know their place. “A place for everything.”  To me those are fighting words.

    I’m an American. We do not have “places.” We are not required to sit down and be quiet and keep to our place. As long as we are not breaking the law, we are free to say what we please. We cannot yell fire in a crowded theater, but we can stand up for ourselves and our beliefs. It doesn’t matter how unpopular our positions are; we have the right to think and believe what we want, as long as we do not break the law or cause harm to our neighbors. (Unlike the protesters at the Chicago Trump rally).

    So… here goes. Please click this link if you would like some backstory, but the headline should be enough to scare any thinking person: SJWs are purging politically incorrect Sci-Fi Authors from Bookstores. Linked within is the following post: The Hugo Wars: How Sci-fi’s Most Prestigious Awards Became a Political Battleground.

    As you can see, what happened with regard to my puny post is nothing compared to what others are enduring at the hands of Leftists and Social Justice Warriors like the worst guy on Linda’s comment thread.

    Again: We are Americans. We do not suppress the speech of another, or attempt to threaten their livelihoods. That is what they do in Communist countries, or Socialist countries, or countries run by fascists. This is not what Americans do.

    But, unfortunately, it seems to be becoming the norm. Again, this is what is driving people to Trump. They can’t fight the whole media, all of the PC politicians and the spineless GOP who have promised to help them for the past six years because they are continually maligned and shouted down with terms such as racist, sexist, homophobe, liar, stupid, redneck, tea bagger, and others. They have become the punching bag for any Liberal with a cell phone who happens to be having a bad day, and so, they are flocking to Trump, who stands up to the media and the haters.

    Anyway… The comments thread was for the spectators. If I had known for a fact that no one was watching, I would not have spoken back, or bothered, because for people like the man who called me an angry racist hater, no words, however reasoned, will suffice. It would have been pointless.

    But… I know for a fact that other people were watching that thread, and I know some of them sympathize with me. Others may have been indifferent, and may have been swayed by watching the venom of the nasty guy. Perhaps they do not wish to be like him, and so, they may give me the benefit of the doubt, or begin to believe that his way is not the way of Free Americans.

    I’m going to link here to a “fisk” by Larry Correia, founder of the Sad Puppies, who was featured in the previous link.  The applicable quote follows:

     

    Arguing is a spectator sport. You don’t waste your time on the already decided, you convince the undecided, and give ammo to your side. If there isn’t an audience, don’t waste your time.

    And again:

    This is the reason Linda and  I continued to speak. It was for our friends who may have been watching, and for any others who might have been convinced that the abuser was wrong.

    Though going through such an ordeal was difficult, I still feel it was worth it. I even have a new Facebook contact. Someone was watching, and the person sent me friend request. This alone made the whole ordeal worthwhile. It let me know that I’m not alone, and that I am worthy of someone’s respect. (Even though I know I am only living for God, and He knows my heart).

    Also, in my attempt to find the above quote/story for use in this post, I posed a question in my writer’s group, asking who it was that said internet debating is for the spectators.

     

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    I was answered by other members in the comments thread right away. Mr. Correia is a famous author, well respected and someone to emulate. Imagine my surprise when he took time away from his busy schedule to answer my question personally.

    This is what it’s like to be part of something real. We do not attempt to tear each other down. We only fight back when we are attacked, and we will never stop.

    *This post has been updated.*

     

    Related post:

    The Trump Phenomenon ~ My Take

     


  • Gratitude

    My free book promotion for The Notice is running through Sunday.

    My first free promotion, last year for Tears Of Paradox had a total of 300 downloads. I expected about the same for this promotion. Imagine my surprise yesterday when I saw that the Notice had been downloaded over 400 times on only the first day of the promotion.

    Now this may be a drop in the bucket to what a well known and traditionally published author would get in free downloads, but to me, a struggling unknown independent, it means a lot.

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    I decided to check my Amazon ranking last night, just for fun. I was met with the above sight. The Notice is #2 in Christian Fantasy free books in Amazon’s Best Sellers.  It’s also #2 in Religious Science Fiction, and #568 in free overall. Again, this may seem small when compared to traditionally published authors with houses that help with marketing, but for lil ole me it’s a big deal.

    So, I feel the need to say thank you. Thank you to God for his grace in allowing me to pursue this dream. Such a thing seemed out of the realm of possibility a year ago. It’s reality today. I couldn’t have done this without Divine inspiration and help. I admit that.

    Matthew 19:26New International Version (NIV)

    26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    Speaking of inspiration, I must mention someone else. Tears Of Paradox and The Notice were written during a period of darkness in my life. I found comfort, understanding and inspiration in the music of Bruce Springsteen, particularly my favorite album, Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

    My genre is Classic Rock, and while I listen to many artists, some of whom also inspired characters and scenes in my work, DOTEOT (and Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ) spoke to me in a way I can’t really describe with words.

    I’m working on finding a “song” for each character in this series. Following is Something In The Night from DOTEOT, which, to me, is protagonist Jason’s “song.”

     

    I’m riding down Kingsley, figuring I’ll get a drink

    Turn the radio up loud, so I don’t have to think,

    I take her to the floor, looking for a moment when the world seems right,

    And I tear into the guts, of something in the night.

    You’re born with nothing, and better off that way,

    Soon as you’ve got something they send someone to try and take it away,

    You can ride this road ’till dawn, without another human being in sight,

    Just kids wasted on something in the night.

    Nothing is forgotten or forgiven, when it’s your last time around,

    I got stuff running ’round my head That I just can’t live down.

    When we found the things we loved, They were crushed and dying in the dirt.

    We tried to pick up the pieces, And get away without getting hurt,

    But they caught us at the state line, And burned our cars in one last fight,

    And left us running burned and blind, Chasing something in the night.

    I had the extreme good luck to be in the audience at Citizen’s Bank Park on September 3, 2012, (Labor Day) when Springsteen performed a 5 song set from DOTEOT. H/T SomewhereInJersey75 for the following video. (I was in the nosebleeds).

     

    I’ve seen numerous rock concerts since my first trip to the Spectrum in 1978, but this was my all time favorite. It was also my last Springsteen concert. My husband admires Springsteen’s music, but has become less than a fan over the past few years, for which I do not blame him.

    Still, I’m very grateful to Springsteen. His music helped me through an extremely difficult period of my life.

    Finally, to whoever reads this blog, and whoever reads my books, my online writing buddies who help me everyday, or anyone who encourages me in  any way… I am grateful to you, too.


  • With Heartfelt Thanks

    My Free Kindle promotion for Tears Of Paradox will be ending at midnight. I am in shock at its success. As of this writing, 292 copies of my novel have been downloaded. The promotion runs through midnight, so I expect to get a few more downloads, and I’m reasonably sure that at least 300 people will have my book on their devices.

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    This is a truly momentous occasion for me. Numerous people supported my campaign by sharing Facebook posts and tweets, or just giving me a kind word of encouragement. Special thanks to my wonderful family and friends, both at home and online.

    Thanks also to Daria DiGiovanni, Kia Heavey, Marina Fontaine and everyone at CLFA. Your friendship and support help me more than you’ll ever know.

    To new readers, I’m honored that you downloaded Tears. I hope you enjoy the read, and please follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

    thank-you


  • Thanksgiving

    images copy 21Happy Thanksgiving. I was thinking back over the previous year and counting my blessings, of which there are many. I thought I would take a few minutes to list them here, so I can look back on them whenever I’m down. 🙂

    To begin, I am very thankful to God for all He has given me. I know I’ve been blessed abundantly.

    images-2 copy 3I’m blessed to be part of a family who loves me. I’m thankful for my mother, my sister, my kids and their significant others, my nieces and nephews, and every other member of my family. My husband and I celebrated thirty-five years of marriage in October, and this is another reason to give thanks. We are also very thankful for our little grandchildren.

    I am blessed with many, many friends. I see people online everyday. I must say that I’m thankful for social media, because if not for twitter and Facebook, I would never have met my dear friends Michele and Sharon. I’m thankful for my part time job, too, since I met my friend Vicki there. I don’t know what I’d do without my friends!

    I’ve been blessed with good health most of the time, too. I’m very thankful that I’m able to stay physically fit, and that I’m able to run.

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    I completed the Delaware Half Marathon back in May. This was my second race. I plan to train again this winter, in hopes that I can run another 13.1 miles on Mother’s Day.

     

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    I’m very thankful for being part of the Roman Catholic Church. My faith is what keeps me going during the tough times. I’m also thankful for the friends I’ve made in my parish church.

    This year brought many changes in my life. Ever since I published my first book, Tears Of Paradox, back in May, things seem to have become more hectic than they had been.

    This is another blessing. Because I took the plunge into self-publishing, I met a group of people who’ve provided friendship, support, and more kindness than I ever expected. The members of the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance have helped me more than words can express. I must mention Mr. Jack July, who took an interest in my writing, introduced me to the group, and invited me to be a guest on internet radio. If not for Jack, I might never have found the CLFA.  Every member of the group has been kind, welcoming, and helpful with writing tips and promotion. Please visit their Facebook page for reading suggestions. All genres are represented, and the books are those you’ll want to read again and again.

    I especially want to thank two members of this group, Daria DiGiovanni, and Kia Heavey. Daria invited me to be on her internet radio show, Writestream Tuesday, to promote my book, We struck up a friendship after finding out how many things we have in common. Kia is a talented author and artist. She helped me tremendously by reading the manuscript of my second book, and has done a wonderful job designing new covers for both Paradox and book two, The Notice. I’m thrilled with the new cover designs.

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    To date, Tears Of Paradox has received ten 5 Star reviews on Amazon. The latest was posted just today. I’m truly humbled at the reaction to my work, and I want to thank each and every reader for their time, and for giving me a chance. 🙂

    I love the world that God created, and I try to enjoy every day. I love music, and looking at the beauty of nature while I run in the park.

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    I love walking on the beach, especially Lewes Beach, Delaware, on Delaware Bay, and I’m thankful my family has been able to hang onto our little beach place through these tough economic times. My father worked hard to give us that beach place. He wanted us to keep and enjoy what he worked for. Luckily we’ve been able to keep it, even though it’s sometimes a struggle, due to policies crushing the middle class these days.

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    This brings me to the subject of America. If you read my books, (or even the reviews), you’ll know how I feel about America. I truly believe that America is a wonderful country, and I’m tired of listening to people run her down. I don’t like the fundamental transformation America is undergoing at this time. It’s causing way too much pain and suffering. People in my family are affected in negative ways. I want America to come back. People should not be shamed because of their beliefs in a traditional American way of life.

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    I will continue to pray for our beloved country, and  give thanks to God for allowing me to be born in the greatest country on earth.


  • Friends

    In addition to the family and friends with whom we spend time face to face, today we are lucky enough to have the added friendship of people we meet online. This is truly a blessing.

    Some of the people I feel closest to are those I have met on Facebook and twitter, and I don’t know what I’d do without them.

     

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    Most of us are familiar with the sayings “You are who you hang out with” “Birds of a feather flock together” and “Keep good company.”  Our parents told us these things for a reason.

    Due to political and cultural differences, Americans have become divided and polarized. Neighbors don’t always act neighborly. This is a sad fact. I hope and pray that we can someday overcome our differences and heal our divisions, but until that day comes, we should hang out with people who uplift us and support us rather than those who deride and degrade us.

    Today I was privileged to join five online friends on the Writestream Radio Network’s new monthly feature, “Shatter the Narrative,” where we discussed certain aspects of the divided country that America has become. If it wasn’t for the internet, I would never have met these new friends, and others as well.

    Again, I am very thankful for all of my friends, old and new.

    Unknown

     


  • October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

    I’m glad there’s a special month to bring awareness to Down Syndrome, since people with Down Syndrome are special. I learned this firsthand when my sister Lori Ann was born in 1967.

     

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    My sister Lori Ann in January of 1970, pictured with Amy, left, and me.

     

    When Lori Ann joined our family, there was no special month to bring awareness. In fact, my parents were urged to institutionalize her immediately after her birth. They never even considered such an option, however. Lori simply came home and became part of the family, and for this we will always be grateful. Because Lori lived in our home for three years before God decided he wanted her back, my sister and I are better people than we would have been otherwise. Our children are also better people. We’re all better human beings, because Lori taught us to value other people, and to understand that the good health we were born with was a gift.

    Lori was not blessed with good health. She had many physical ailments, and her little life ended on October 21, 1970, exactly forty-four years ago. She was three years old. We wish she was still with us. Even though Lori Ann’s earthly life lasted only three short years, we feel blessed that God sent her to our family. She was our teacher, you see.

    I recently had the pleasure of discussing Down Syndrome awareness with author, blogger, and founder of the Writestream Radio Network, Daria DiGiovanni. Daria and I shared childhood memories of growing up with siblings who had Down Syndrome. Daria inspired the audience with her brother Ralph’s story, and shared many good sources of information about Down Syndrome. Please click here to listen to the podcast.

    Unfortunately, we were also forced to give the listening audience some unpleasant facts about societal attitudes toward people with Down Syndrome. These days, ninety percent of children with Down Syndrome are aborted before they’re born. This is a disturbing statistic. What happened to the human race? Shouldn’t we be more accepting of people with disabilities by now?

     

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    I find such an attitude distasteful, not to mention ignorant. We were supposed to have learned a lesson back in 1945, when Hitler’s death camps came to light. Hitler was on a quest to create a master race of humans. Unfortunately, his ideas are shared by supposedly educated people in today’s scientific community. What have we become?

    It might be a good idea to do some soul searching. What kind of civilization kills innocent children simply for not being “perfect”?