Holiday Book Hop and Election Thoughts

This week has not been easy to digest for any of us in the LGBT+QIA community or for any women who values prochoice. I’ve voiced my opinion and met with opposition, had friends who have been punched or insulted by those who wish to take their rights away. I feel like the world has gone completely mad, and yet for there to be this much animosity, I realize this underbelly of racism and hatred was always there. That alone is a terribly sad realization.

According to the Washington Post, millennials, regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity, believe contraception, inclusive of Plan B, should be accessible and affordable. Also 7% identify as something other than heterosexual. –The Washington Post.com, March 27, 2015. My friend, a middle school teacher, cites her students prefer to be labeled as fluid. These are the voters of the future and they give me hope during this period where our rights appear to be threatened. Whatever happens in the next four years, we will meet it with stern opposition. No person, regardless of race, gender, or sexual preference, should be seen as less than.

Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term, which translates as non-violence. It can be expecting too much of yourself, gossiping about others, or acting out of fear. The Gaia website offers this thought, “Make a decision to intentionally respect and even love the limitations you and your body have. Accept then release the negative thoughts about yourself or others.” There is no doubt I completely loathe the man our country has elected. Releasing negative thoughts about the state of our country seems contrary to what my gut says.

The truth is, I can’t change what happened. I voted and did my civic duty, though it lacked the result I desired. I can’t change him. He is a rich, privileged, white man, who seems to value opinions of other rich, privileged, white men, and who has an agenda that does not align with my beliefs. The only things I can change are my thoughts. I can become proactive, offer others support, sign petitions, protest, and fight for equality and the environment. I will forgive myself if the battle gets too hard at times and I need a break because I know it will leave me stronger to fight later. I invite you all to do the same. Be kind to yourself. Love is stronger than hate, and let’s stay united.

Now for something completely different…and much needed LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

So many good books coming out this holiday season promoting LOVE! Visit http://www.nickijmarkus.com for a list of authors, including Nicki, who have some holiday cheer to spread. We could all use a little love right about now.

 

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New Release December 7

I’m very excited to announce the release date of my novella Seven Minutes published by Dreamspinner Press. Cover reveal coming soon. Here’s the blurb:

Can love be found in seven minutes?

Heavy metal singer Stone Manson never acknowledged his attraction to men. But when he meets sexy cross-dresser Devon at a party and ends up paired with him for a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven, he can’t deny his reaction. His confusion leads him to mess up—big time—with Devon, but after some soul-searching, he decides to do everything in his power to show Devon how he feels.

Devon doesn’t make a habit of dating closeted men, and he isn’t about to be anyone’s experiment. It’ll take a lot to convince him that Stone is serious about a relationship, but Stone is certainly giving it his best effort—and Devon is warming up to the idea of the hot, tattooed rock star in his bed, and maybe even in his life.

Celebrate

Celebration.
Lately, I’ve been completely stressed due to financial worries, new job, and health concerns for both my husband and myself, as well as worrying about my parent’s health. It’s like this big cloud of worry descended, and I’m stuck thinking what the f*ck, Universe.
Today the word Celebrate came up, and I wondered what exactly I had to celebrate when so many worries seem to overwhelm me. The Upanishads have this saying, “Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become character.” By choosing to focus on the things I’m concerned about, I’m actually brining them into fruition and not seeing the good things, the things worth paying attention to.
Last year, I was terribly ill and during that time I was forced to slow down and think of what was important in my life. It forced me to cut out unessential things and let go of people who had no respect for my illness. It gave me a break, like a pause button on life, which I hadn’t known I’d desperately needed. Even more miraculously, the Universe gave me financial means to take that break.
This year, I’m back to working out and doing things I love and feeling nearly 100%. Cause for Celebration! I finished the fourth edit of a story and got encouraging feedback from a publisher on a previous one. Celebration! I applied for and got a new job, even if it isn’t as many hours as I’d like, it certainly helps my financial concerns. Celebration!
If we can change our perspective, we can find little things to celebrate everyday even when something we view as terrible has happened. I’m not trying to sugarcoat a shit situation. There are dark elements in this world and in our lives, chronic illness, terrorism, environmental disaster, etc., where a reason for celebrating may seem impossible. But there are others worth celebrating, and it’s important to pay attention to those.
A Queen song comes to mind, and though it speaks of miracles, it is a reminder of things we should celebrate, to not take for granted. And I’ll leave you with this…
THE MIRACLE
by Queen
Every drop of rain that falls in Sahara Desert says it all,
It’s a miracle,
All God’s creations great and small, the Golden Gate and the Taj Mahal,
That’s a miracle,
Test tube babies being born, mothers, fathers dead and gone,
It’s a miracle,
We’re having a miracle on earth, mother nature does it all for us,
The wonders of this world go on, the hanging Gardens of Babylon,
Captain Cook and Cain and Able, Jimi Hendrix to the Tower of Babel
It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle,
The one thing we’re all waiting for, is peace on earth – an end to war,
It’s a miracle we need – the miracle, the miracle we’re all waiting for today,
If every leaf on every tree, could tell a story that would be a miracle,
If every child on every street, had clothes to wear and food to eat,
That’s a miracle,
If all God’s people could be free, to live in perfect harmony,
It’s a miracle, we’re having a miracle on earth,
Mother nature does it all for us
Open hearts and surgery, Sunday mornings with a cup of tea,
Super powers always fighting,
But Mona Lisa just keeps on smiling,

The wonders of this world go on,
It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle, it’s a miracle,
The one thing we’re all waiting for, is peace on earth and an end to war,
It’s a miracle we need, the miracle, the miracle,
Peace on earth and end to war today,
That time will come one day you’ll see when we can all be friends,

Happy New Year

It’s only the seventh, I haven’t missed it by much. The rain here in California is beautiful to see, and so very welcomed this new year. I’m sure the drivers suck on the 5 Freeway agreed with me as they found themselves surrounded in water, or diverted into one lane. But we can’t really complain. The flooding, so far, is nothing compared to what other states have seen, and we desperately need the water.

Meanwhile, I was up at three this morning. Cat howls for food. Dog shakes his collar–his way of telling me he needs to go out. Husband groans. I give up, and take care of the animals, grab a cup of coffee, and start mentally outlining the plot changes I need to make. Two hours, and a few thoughts, later I crawl back in bed. The cat is hogging up my side so I squeeze in. She keeps me warm. Husband still snoring. My mind is still contemplating plot changes as I drift off to sleep.