Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Safety Pin Nation: The Movement


As one who truly cares about human relationships, I immediately adopted the practice of wearing a safety pin to signal that I’m against bullying, hate speech, and discrimination in any form. My safety pin places me with the larger Safety Pin Nation Movement.

My pin also signals that I will intervene if I see/hear bullying, hate speech, or discrimination. I will not tolerate it and I will stand with those being so treated. For example, I have told people I don’t appreciate a deprecating joke and point to my pin. If someone is being bullied, you can place yourself between the bully and the bullied and ignore the bully while engaging the bullied in neutral conversation about the weather or what a sports team is doing.

I introduced the movement to my Unitarian Universalist Church last winter. I provided a container of safety pins for congregants, and a small dish of others remains at the back of the church for others to pick up and wear. Some of us wear our pins every day as a reminder to ourselves and others how we can live what we profess to believe.

This is an excerpt from Safety Pin Nation-AZ (http://www.strongertogetheraz.com/)
Not sure about the significance of the safety pin? Here is our take on it: The safety pin first presented itself after the "Brexit" vote as a symbol of solidarity representing those who stand with immigrants, those who are against racism and the hate crimes that surged after the decision to leave the E.U. The safety pin later became a symbol of unity among the anti-Trump movement, continuing the idea that those who wear safety pins are considered "safe places". In Spanish, the words "safety pin" translate to "los imperdibles", or, "those which cannot be lost".

And this from the same source:
Safety Pin Nation™ AZ is a movement of individuals that believe in the power of unity and community-based action. Safety Pin Nation™ AZ is composed of bully blockers, embracers of diversity, advocates for the environment and its wildlife, supporters of women’s rights, Arizona Dream Act Coalition backers, troops for better veteran care, champions for the disabled and mentally ill, defenders of black lives matter, fighters for healthcare as a human right, LGBTQ allies, helpers of the homeless and hungry, supporters of sensible gun control, supporters of refugees, defenders of children's rights, fighters against human trafficking, leaders in comprehensive immigration reform, backers of religious freedom, front-runners for equal pay and paid maternity leave, supporters of prison reform,  cohorts for properly compensated teachers and quality preK-12 education, Native American allies, believers in higher education access for all and much more.

You can come together on Facebook with others who are embracing the movement to ensure everyone is safe from discrimination, hate speech, and bullying. Go to the Facebook page and “like” and “follow” to be part of something larger. Here’s the link:
https://www.facebook.com/safetypinnation/

There are strategies about how we can respond if we observe inappropriate language or behaviors. We don’t want to put ourselves at risk, but we can’t stand idly by when we notice wrong doing.

I am asking my church members to help produce a list of pacifist strategies to put in our newsletter so everyone could have the resources they need to spread love and acceptance while combating hate and intolerance.

If you found this post interesting, please share with others. I’ve even prepared some messages you can copy/paste.

Facebook: Have you heard of Safety Pin Nation? Sharon Arthur Moore tells you why she wears a safety pin on her clothes every day. If you’re against bullying, hate speech and discrimination in any form, maybe you’ll wear one, too. http://bit.ly/2uyB9M4

Twitter: Wear a safety pin to signal you are against bullying, hate speech, and discrimination. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2uyB9M4

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Review: The Haunting of Thores-Cross


Maybe this is not an overtly romance novel, and the relationships displayed in the book are often not the healthy kind given the pedophilia, possession, and rape, but I really got caught up in the tale and wanted to share it with you. Besides, this blog is about relationships, not just romance writing.

I left this review on Amazon for The Haunting of Thores-Cross: A Yorkshire Ghost Story by Karen Perkins:
This book had a lot going for it that I already liked: ghost story, two time periods, alternating entwined stories, well-researched historical fiction, triggered by a true circumstance. Then you add in the engaging ghost story across centuries, and I couldn't put it down. Such empathetic characters and wonderful villains. My first book by this author, but I'm sure it won't be the last.

This story was inspired by the author finding, as a child, an old ink pot in a stone wall at her family’s frequent vacation area. She has her protag in the novel find an ink pot, too, but the protag, Emma and her husband, Dave built her dream house by the stone wall and awakened Jennet, the 230-year-old ghost owner of the ink pot.

Perkins said she felt compelled as a child to tell a story about the inkpot and this is it. She has Emma feeling compelled to write Jennet’s story. But it is even more than a compulsion. Emma is driven and possessed. The book is handwritten in ink from the old ink pot and in a handwriting that is not Emma’s. Vengeful Jennet wreaks havoc on the present-day ancestors of her adversaries in the 1770s. Two marriages are jeopardized and death has to happen before Jennet is put to rest. Or is she?


I’d love it if you’d share this post on social media. I even made a FB post and tweet for you to share easily. Thanks for spreading the word.

Facebook post: Angelica French reviews Karen Perkin‘s book, THE HAUNTING OF THORES-CROSS: A YORKSHIRE GHOST STORY, a tale across centuries told in two voices http://bit.ly/2uVQ2b5

Twitter: @romancerighter reviews @LionHeartG’s book THE HAUNTING OF THORES-CROSS http://bit.ly/2uVQ2b5

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Turning 10 Big Marriage Fears into a Romance Novel, Part 2


Continuing on with the story premises/concepts started last week, here are five additional ideas for your next romance novel.

The article I used as my basis for this series is “How to Conquer Your 10 Biggest Marriage Fears” by Jane Greer, PhD a marriage and family therapist. See Part 1 for the first five novel ideas in this series. 
 
"I'll resent him for the sacrifices I've made."
This novel could also use the prompt from last week about forgetting who one is. But this prompt goes further. Resentment fosters revenge often. Maybe you’ll write a domestic romance thriller. Brian and Melissa have been married for a couple of dozen years. Since Brian was an established entrepreneur at the time of their engagement and Melissa was just out of clerking for a Supreme Court judge, they decided that she would stay at home and be the corporate wife helping foster his successful career. He told her that with her credentials as valedictorian at an Ivy law school and her several clerking opportunities, she could always pick up her law career at some future time. But she didn’t. And, over the years, as she read court decisions and trial transcripts she regretted more and more the decision to leave law. Now it was too late. She wanted to get back at Brian for her lost years. And her brilliant logician’s mind finds just the right tool.

"I'll get less attractive with age while he'll get 'distinguished,' leading him to look elsewhere."
Ripped from the pages of yesterday’s headlines, the royal Elizabeth, never a beauty, is besotted with the elegant, erudite Philip. Despite warnings from her parents and others around her, she sets her mind to capturing Philip for herself and marrying him. After all, as future monarch, she has a lot to offer. The years show her to be a pedestrian monarch with little imagination but great heart for her country and her responsibility. Rearing children when one has a full-time job is difficult not matter the job, but when the mother is also mother to a nation, something has to give. More and more parenting duties fall to Philip and as he is limited in the role he plays in the marriage and as her subject, he fills his time in wastrel ways. He hangs out with men who encourage him to get the intimacy he is lacking in his marriage from other sources. Rumors swirl around the royals and Elizabeth confronts him many times about his indiscretions. Increasingly he is critical of his children and Elizabeth. Would being prettier help her with her marriage or are other factors in play?

"Money problems will ruin us."
Champagne tastes but a beer budget. Barb used to tease Dave about that when they were dating. More than half the time, she picked up the tab. But she didn’t mind. Dave was exciting, fun, and very good looking. Plus, he adored her, and after her last several disastrous relationships, Barb needed the self-esteem boost. Even his $50K in student debt didn’t deter her. She figured he’d pay it off with his salary from his social worker job. Maybe if she’d known about the additional $30K in credit card debt she would have hesitated. But she didn’t. And as a computer programmer with a good salary, she figured he made good money, too. Not! Dave and she financed their own elaborate destination wedding and reception because, as Dave told her, “Your parents $5000 contribution can’t give us the wedding we deserve.” It was her dream wedding, and her American Express credit card happily recorded the $40K cost. Barb was shocked that they were turned down for a mortgage after she eventually paid off the wedding. How could that be? Since they maintained separate accounts, she didn’t know that Dave was in arrears on his student loan and that his credit card debt had ballooned to $50K. In a desperate attempt to get more money, Dave was taking kickbacks from suppliers at work. When did Barb find all of this out, and what can she do?

"I'll never be first in his life."
She loved the way he cared for his mother. Widowed when she was in her late 20s, Jack’s mother was his best friend when he was a youngster. They remained close even during his teen years. As an adult, he lived away from his mother for several years since he worked in another state. But as his mother’s health deteriorated, he gave up his dream job and took a lesser position so he could take care of her. Eventually he realized that living with her would make that easier. Jack had never dated much, but when, Gillian, a new associate joined his firm, he fell hard and fast. The decision to marry hinged upon Gillian agreeing to move into his mother’s home. “So sweet,” she thought. “A man who is that thoughtful will be kind and generous to others.” She agreed. Jack didn’t know his mother was jealous of his wife. She didn’t want to share him with anyone and thought Gillian was selfish to marry before she had died. With Gillian she was nasty, snarky, and manipulative. In front of Jack, she was sweet and kind. He never saw what Gillian complained about. In fact, he discounted it because his mother had never displayed such behaviors before. Gillian wrestled with how to handle it. She loved Jack and didn’t want to leave him, but she couldn’t tolerate the atmosphere Mom created. Should she tape some interchanges? Talk to an attorney about a separation? Should she issue an ultimatum: put Mom in a facility or I move out?

"A vice will spiral out of control."
They met in rehab, so Frankie knew that Joey battled demons, the same ones that afflicted her. But they were both clean and committed to staying that way when they moved to a remote rural community in Northern Arizona. Rural, sparsely populated—that signaled safety to Frankie. Less access to drugs increased the likelihood of losing control again. A fresh beginning. Frankie had plans. She’d go back to school and become a dental hygienist. She encouraged Joey to get more training, too. But Joey was a school kind of guy. Instead, he patched together a network of part-time jobs to meet his half of household expenses. Getting full-time employment with their histories was nigh impossible. Frankie found that to be true as well. Graduating in the upper third of her class didn’t mean dentists were lining up to offer jobs. Depression set in for both of them. For Joey, the solution meant dealing drugs. Not using them, he told Frankie. There was money in drugs, and he meant to get some of it. But when was self-control ever one of Joey’s strengths.

So there you are. Five more book ideas. What? Still here? Why aren’t you writing?

I’d love it if you’d share this post on social media. I even made a FB post and tweet for you to share easily. Thanks for spreading the word.

Facebook post: Angelica French gives romance writers five more book ideas based on the biggest marriage fears people have. Check out these story starters at http://bit.ly/2uNDnpE

Twitter: @romancerighter gives #authors 5 more ideas for #writing about the biggest marriage fears at http://bit.ly/2uNDnpE

Twitter: @romancerighter gives authors five more ideas for writing about the biggest marriage fears at http://bit.ly/2uNDnpE