There Are No Coincidences

There are no coincidences. Whether you believe in God, the Universe, goddess, energy, Buddha, Allah, the grand poobah in the sky— whatever your deal is, there is something greater than you that has a hand in your life. Stick with me a min and let me explain.

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It was the 4th of July and me and the hubby got to spend some time together…but of course not until he did some work on the house cause God forbid he doesn’t do some work of some kind every day, bless him. We load up our kayaks, which we’ve never used, and head to the river close to our house. Exhibit A & B, me and said hubby on kayaks.

 It was awesome….until it wasn’t. 

So we’re paddling along, talking to other folks out on the river fishing, swimming and generally enjoying their day. We took a few pictures, mainly to prove to my kids that I actually did it, and continued along down the river. I’m all in my feels, being blessed and grateful and then something caught my eye on the bank. A young girl and guy. She had on a lovely bright yellow bathing suit which is probably what caught my eye first but then it was the punching that kept my attention. At first it seemed to be a shot for shot type thing and I wasn’t sure if I was looking at a brother and sister situation. It quickly became clear to me that this was her boyfriend. I’ll just say I’ve had the misfortune of seeing too many of these bullies in action. As I watched, this turned into some kind of lesson he was teaching her about how strong he was. *Input foul language here*

I couldn’t hear what she said but she pointed to the other arm where there was a bruise and she swatted at him. He then punched her with enough force that she fell back a step and he motioned for her to take her next shot. At this point my hubby called out to me to ask what was wrong. Excuse my language here people:

“This asshole is punching his girlfriend.” I yelled back.

I hoped that alerting this jerk to the fact that he had an audience would stop what he was doing but when I turned back around he hit her so hard I felt it in my kayak. She fell back several steps grabbing for her injured arm. I guess I wasn’t close enough to shore because when I yelled “WTF is wrong with you!” they didn’t acknowledge me. I watched this beautiful girl shrink back from him. He said something to her with his hands on his hips and I wanted to, equal parts, hit him in the head with my oar and throw up.

She seemed to be out of danger for the moment as he bored of the game and left her sitting alone to feel the physical pain as well as the weight of the shame he had hefted on her. We paddled past but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My husband was in mid sentence when I blurted out, “I have to go back. I have to say something. Do something.”

He nodded his understanding and said, “I’ll wait here for you. Shout if you need me.”

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to help but he could see in my expression I needed to do this. I paddled back in a hurry and got good and close this time. As I approached I heard him say she was overreacting.

“Are you okay?” I shouted out.

“Yeah, we’re fine.” He answered with his back to me.

“I wasn’t speaking to you.” I snapped.

“Oh shoot.” He said, looking at me now.

“Are you okay?” I repeated to her.

“Ya.” She nodded, looking both scared and embarrassed.

“Is this your brother?” I asked her with a nod in his direction.

“No.” She shook her head.

“Then don’t ever let him, or anyone else, hit you, ever again.”

She and I locked eyes for a brief moment.

“Be safe.” I said to her and paddled away.

Let me say it loud and clear for all the young fellas out there… IT’S NOT OKAY TO HIT WOMEN! EVER!

I don’t know who told you it was okay or where you got the notion that putting your hands on someone else violently, or in any manner that she doesn’t approve of is okey dokey, but I’m here to tell you, NOT. UP. IN. HERE. 

Ladies: Your body. Your rules. PERIOD.  And your body includes your brain. Do not take mental, verbal or physical abuse from anyone. You are priceless. Treat yourself as such and the young men you date will follow suit. If he makes you feel bad about yourself he’s NOT treating you right. If he hits you, pushes you, slaps you, he’s NOT treating you right. If you tell yourself, “well, this is better than being alone on Friday nights”, you’re lying to yourself. Get some help: Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233. The www.nationalsafeplace.org is for youth…someplace to go. Someone to Help. www.loveisrespect.org provides answers to your questions you may have about the relationship your in. Or you can call them at 1-866-331-9474. Some other resources to check out are www.breakthecycle.org/learn-about-dating-abuse. www.thatsnotcool.com. www.thehotline.org.  Go to your guidance counselor, your mom, your dad, your priest, a teacher. Tell someone. Do not stay silent. Believe me, they want you to stay silent.

Parents: Talk to your sons. Let me say this loud and clear too… REAL MEN DON’T HIT WOMEN. If you have it going on in your house…fix it.

This happens to be about a heterosexual relationship but this goes for ALL relationships. Violence and abuse are NOT cool on any level. Don’t do it. Don’t take it.

Now here is why I say there are NO coincidences. We bought these kayaks two years ago and this was the first time we ever used them. I was meant to be on that river that day. I was meant to see and talk to that young lady in the yellow bathing suit.

This is the first picture I took this day. I didn’t see it until we got home later that night. That stream of light is not a cloud nor is it in any other pictures. It’s a live picture and when I hold my finger on it it ends right where I saw this girl. Freaky? You betcha. Just a beam of sunlight? Yeah, maybe. Maybe not.

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I truly believe in kindness and that we, each one of us, can make a difference if we try. Be kind to one another and the world becomes a better place. Not so difficult to understand.

Peace and Love friends.

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2015…BRING IT!

Happy New Year fabulous people!!

Sorry I was MIA for a bit. I was stuck in a funk but I’m done being funky.

Rejection is the suckiest of all suckishness. My finalist #PITCHARAMA status is officially over. The editor who was interested in JESSICA MARCO PI has passed on the project. There, I’ve said it. I was sad. I was distressed. There was a day or two of immature pouting, kicking, rolling around on the floor. It wasn’t pretty. I’m over it. Overall, it was a really GREAT experience. The editor, Katie Teller at Curiosity Quills, was helpful in getting the book into the shape that it’s in. Now I just need to find the agent/editor that it is right for. Although this project wasn’t right for Katie, I would definitely submit to her again . If you’ve got a story, hit her up. She’s super cool.

Don’t go feeling sorry for me. This is the game I’ve chosen. It’s just part of the process and I learn from every experience, even the ones I don’t particularly like.

Let’s move on! *fist in the air. feet marching*

While I’ve been away the holidays came and went… Happy Happy, Merry Merry EVERYTHING! (((Hugs Abound)))

I spent some great time with friends and family– eating, drinking, watched awesome movies, read fricktastic books, spent a day at the zoo, and visited an indoor trampoline park TWICE! I have no pictures of the amazing back-flips I did without killing myself or any small children in my vicinity– you will just have to take my word for it.

Some of my writer friends are choosing a word for inspiration in 2015 instead of resolutions. Cool with me. I pretty much have the same resolution every year: Be a better me. If I’m a better me, hopefully I’ll inspire you to be a better you. Better me. Better you. Better world. Simple.

Back to my word problem. What word will I choose? Oh, the pressure *back of hand to forehead* Good Lord there’s so many! Triskaidekaphobia? Not a great choice for inspiration since it’s the fear of the number 13. I don’t want the fear of anything. Fear is a real friger!

Fear can frig up the best of plans.

“I want to draw but I’m afraid no one will like it.”

“I want to take a dance class but I’m afraid I’ll look silly.”

“I want to talk to that person I think is da bomb but I’m afraid they won’t like me.”

“I want to write a book but I’m afraid I’ll suck.”

Before even trying, fear can beat you into nothingness. I don’t know about you, but I’ll pass on nothingness. I want to be lots of somethingness. I’ll get back to this.

I want to share some of the books I read.

The first is called Finding Out by Sheryn MacMunn. I had the pleasure of having tea with Sheryn, who is a self-published author, and has had huge success with this debut novel. It’s a story about a young woman in the corporate world whose life falls apart and gets help putting herself back together from her neighbor, a Holocaust survivor. Sheryn marries two very different stories in a cohesive interesting tale that I really enjoyed. She shows how the human spirit can endure and overcome just about anything. I personally find the spirit to be an amazing thing and love to read stories that show that. Check her out at sherynmacmunn.com.

Another book I read is Because of Low by Abbi Glines. I was especially interested in reading this book because it is in the New Adult genre just like my JESSICA MARCO PI and because I heard Abbi speak at the NYC 2014 SCBWI conference. LOVE her! It’s a romance with a great backbone. What do I mean by that? It’s not all about sex. It’s a great story about overcoming some crappy life circumstances told from the POV of the two main characters. Again, it’s that human spirit, that amazing power we all have to overcome. Abbi uses two very distinct voices so you see it clearly from each angle. She even had me sympathizing with the jerk in the story! Find her at abbiglines.com.

And the last book is called Every Day by one of my favs, David Levithan. LOVE! Imagine waking up everyday in a different body. You are always the same age but some days you’re a girl, others a boy. You have no control over who you land in whether they be obese, a drug addict, gay, straight or suicidal. Totally about the spirit of each of us who is really who we are anyway. The body is just a vehicle. It’s like a car for the soul. Trippy right? This book is awesome! For me this is what writing fiction is all about. Being able to step into the shoes of a character and bring you along for the ride. Did I mention LOVE? David has way too many other books for me to mention the love for, so go to davidlevethan.com. Be in awe. Come back when you’re done…. I’ll be here.

Welcome back!

So. My word for 2015? You probably guessed it-

FEARLESS

Fear is the stop before I start. Fear is paralyzing. Fear is anxiety producing. Fear of failing will keep me from ever being published. Not havin it. Don’t have time for it.

Are there an abundant amount of things to be afraid of? Hell yeah, just watch the news for five minutes. Will my worrying about any of it help at all? No. Am I telling you not to be afraid of anything? No. As my mother always said, “a little fear will keep you safe.” If you’re in a house that’s on fire– RUN! There’s a difference from being fearless and being stupid. Don’t be stupid. All you stupid people should be reading some other blog. Everyone else… Be fearless with me in 2015!

Until later this month,

PEACE, LOVE, AND A FEARLESS 2015.