We are Orlando. Let us Grieve.

I’ve lived in the Orlando area since 1997. From a small town in GA, when I came here, I spent my first three years closed up in my little house, afraid. I was scared to venture out beyond the confines of my little world. I came from a place where everyone knew each other’s name and I had dozens of friends. Here, there were only strangers. I made a few friends at the resort where I was living and they insisted on taking me out to see the city.


I fell in love with the beautiful city. Each enclave offered its lakes and parks, alfresco cafes, and night spots. At thirty-six, with a good career in nursing, single, and an extroverted personality, I made a world of friends. These were people with all sorts of backgrounds, from millionaires to paupers, every race, creed, culture, and gender imaginable. The diversity was part of the beauty of it. The people were warm, accepting and caring, always treating each other with respect. Beautiful people accepting me without question. So many people from so many places.


There were a couple of neighborhoods I was warned to stay away from because I was told crime was rampant and it wasn’t safe. I didn’t venture there. I went to “safe” places. I went to clubs like Blackfin, Sky Sixty, Cactus Club, Pulse, The Peacock Room, Embers and Tabu. These weren’t “gay” clubs, but due to the fact that Orlando has high population of LGBT people, the clubs were frequented by a variety of people. Yes, you heard that right, Pulse is not a gay club. It is an Orlando Nightclub…like dozens of others, where gay and straight people mingle, share hopes and dreams, talk about life, dance and drink, socialize, and come to know that we aren’t so very different.


We don’t ask people what their sexual orientation or gender identity is before we take the cab they’re driving, before they bag our groceries, pour our drink, take our food order, assign our hotel room, draw our blood, prescribe our medication, or sell us a house. It’s not something we think about as we go about our daily living. It doesn’t matter. We come to realize that we are them and they are us.


We live, play, work, and socialize together, and we are safe, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity. We are around beautiful, accepting, loving individuals who support each other. That’s the Orlando I have learned to love.


The traffic is awful, the city is crowded, particularly in winter, crime creeps out of the ghettos from time to time, the bus schedule is terrible, we can wait over an hour for a cab—as  a city, it has its share of problems—sexual orientation and gender identity do not factor into Orlando’s list of problems. To the contrary, we’re all working together to resolve any problems we have in this city.


I’m a grandmother now, no longer out in the clubbing scene. My children are in their thirties. My daughter and son-in-law have reached maturity here. Their friends are as diverse as my own. My son-in-law works downtown at various restaurants and has become acquainted with many.


Saturday, June 12th, was my son-in-law’s birthday. I agreed to keep the grandkids so they could go out on the town to celebrate. The three kids were to spend the night with me. Daddy and Mama went to a scheduled concert. They love music and dancing. After the concert they took a cab to SkySixty and danced a while. They went to Pulse, as it was a mere half mile from their home.


They arrived at 1:00 am. They had a couple of drinks, but the dance floor was crowded and the Latin Reggae was loud. I had texted them that my grandson was crying for his mama and daddy. They both got on the phone to console him. They decided not to stay for last call. They left and stopped by Walgreen’s on Michigan on the way home. Their receipt reads 1:55 am.


Sunday morning, I logged onto FaceBook and saw the breaking news. I dropped my coffee cup and grabbed the phone. I had not heard from my daughter since that phone call after 1:00 am. I called her number. It went straight to voice mail. I called my son-in-law’s number and it, too, went to voice mail.


I got into my car and drove the ten blocks to their house and banged on the door. No answer. I called my husband in tears. He told me to come home. I sat for hours waiting to hear something while the kids slept in the next room.


At 11:30 am I saw a FB post from my s-i-l saying they had been at Pulse 15 minutes before the tragedy. I called again and finally reached my daughter. She was home safe and had not heard me knocking. Her sleep had been disrupted by the helicopters flying overhead all night. She was unaware of what had happened at Pulse only minutes after they had left until her husband told her. She rushed to my home to hug her kids…to hug her kids like so many weren’t able to do that morning. My few hours of wondering and waiting are nothing compared to the despair of the hundreds that never made contact, they will never see their loved ones alive again.


My s-i-l and daughter had seen the man in a dark shirt and pants who looked out of place, off by himself, sipping a drink. Not mingling with the crowd, not dressed like the crowd. He stood out to them. He calmly scanned the room as if he were waiting on someone. They remember the faces of people talking, laughing, dancing, and having a good time.


I was saddened, but felt relief at the same time. How dare I?


Gratitude mingled with a darker, deeper pain than I had felt in my entire life.


Today. Another day that many won’t be able to share in.


Today. Through the tears, the eyes of Orlandoans speak to each other now of shared pain, loss, deep sadness, disbelief — and support. We’re sharing our soul with the world.


The eyes meet, and there is an instant and undeniable bonding. Family, friends, acquaintances, total strangers on the street, people sitting in a McDonalds, seeking guidance in a house of worship, in line at a blood bank, dropping flowers at a vigil, delivering pizzas to volunteers around hospitals, mayors, cops, people just out wandering because they don’t know what else to do, journalists…all of us.


We look at each other, and we know. We’re in this together: our flesh, our blood, our very lives; even now, the fear that someone we know, or the possibility that we already know of someone we know, was ruthlessly, meaninglessly, terrifyingly, tragically attacked when a man entered a nightclub with guns and shot and shot and shot.


It’s personal here.

This is so unexpected.


Not the attack. I think every American wonders today if they’ll be in that school or theater or office or post office or church or nightclub when that guy, heavily armed and bent on horror, enters. We all knew it could happen here. We might in our wildest nightmares never have thought it could be so awful. But the sad truth is, it was no surprise.


What is so unexpected is the widespread phenomena we’re witnessing of ordinary Orlandoans speaking to each other through those eyes, past the tears, with that look that says, we’re in this together.


“So, where are you from?”


We’re from here now, baby, Orlando, the City Beautiful. The City Sad.


And that soul, yeah, it’s here. How else could a simple nod make strangers feel like brothers and sisters? We’re in this together.


From Kissimmee to Sanford, Bithlo to Clermont and especially in the neighborhoods of the city proper, the Soul of Orlando is baring itself.


It’s tough yet open, forced to be dynamic and flexible because of all the new people arriving, because of the need to make close friends quickly with people from anywhere, and of any background. It’s willing to embrace people it did not know, and new places and new things.


Yes, Orlando is a city of theme parks and hotels and restaurants and all kinds of touristy things. They’re not for Orlandoans. They’re where Orlandoans work. That maid in the hotel: she might be from Puerto Rico. She might have lost her son Sunday morning. And if so, when she’s done making beds, she’ll go home to her little house in Azalea Park and cry, just as she did all day Sunday. That waiter in the restaurant: he might be from a small town in Arkansas. He might have lost his partner or spouse Sunday morning. And if so, after he’s done serving $30 steaks to conventioneers on expense accounts, he’ll go home to his bungalow in Thornton Park and cry. That Cinderella: she might be an actress from Chicago. She might have lost her best friend Sunday morning. And if so, when she’s done smiling for pictures with a hundred more children who need only for her to smile, she’ll go home to her apartment in Dr. Phillips and cry.


With luck, their neighbors, the bank tellers and office managers and appliance salesmen whom the out-of-towners will never meet, will come over with casseroles or bottles, hugs and tissues. They all are bound by the Soul of Orlando. They are Orlando.


So America, just talk to us like we’re humans, not votes. We’re just flesh and blood, as you can see. 


The talk from the local leaders when they’re not saying the obligatory things about the facts of the case, when they’re talking about what they really want to talk about, it’s about Orlando togetherness, and community. It’s talk about how the community came together with nourishment, water, and blood…and most significantly, love.


It’s not just words. It’s balm, from one Orlandoan to another.


Some other people, mostly from out of town, already are making the Pulse nightclub massacre about issues such as radical Islamic terrorism, the need for gun control, open carry, immigration, hateful things about gays, red meat for the partisan base, and, ultimately, elections.


To them, we Orlandoans say, with no due respect whatsoever, STFU. More politely, that means, stop. Please. And the lieutenant governor of Texas can go to hell. Trump and Hillary can go to hell…already pledging to attack Isis, when there is no evidence that Isis or Syria was involved in the design of this attack. Yes, the killer had influences. He was psychologically deranged. We all have influences. Don’t use them to be like him.


Orlandoans are not ready for any of that yet. The rest of America might be, but the rest of America is not Orlando, where we’re in shock, where we’re hurting in a way we could have never imagined. America, we just need you to give us a moment.


Let us grieve for a while before you make it about whatever it is you want to make it about.


This is a community mourning 49 dead, 53 wounded, and more than a million hearts with holes in them. It’s a lot of partners and spouses, family and friends, co-workers and neighbors of the dead and wounded, who need nothing more than support. And it’s the rest of us grappling with what we can do, whom we can help, how we can be there for all the rest, and how, in the meantime, we can address these holes in our own hearts. Because we’re all Orlandoans now. A nod’s a good start. A hug. A tissue. A shared cry.


And we know it won’t end there. Maybe for the first time, for the worst possible reason, we know:

We are Orlando.


Pardon Me While I Pull the Bearded Lady From the BR Stall

Today I’m writing from Starbucks because it was within walking distance from my house and 1) needed to get out, and 2) I need to get more comfortable with my laptop.

My query letter has been rewritten setting up the context of the book first rather than jumping straight into my book pitch. That’s supposed to ground the reader in the familiar. How the book is similar and different from other works, my target audience, and where it fits on the shelf.

Then I ease into the story description, not referring to Cara as a girl, but a young woman. We don’t want it to shock anybody by dragging children off to a nudist resort. Heaven forbid a child be put in a position to see a naked person. Please pull the drapes Michelangelo.

There is no mention of the word transgender in the letter. In the context paragraph, Brandi is described as inspired by Chablis from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and how I wanted to create a female, brassy, badass character who could hold her own and prove herself a worthy heroine.

I’m really disturbed by the whole transphobia movement. North Carolina and Tennessee have new bathrooms laws requiring people to toilet in the bathroom of the sex that is on their birth certificate. I don’t give two shits who is in the room when I pee. When I have to go, I will go, even if it’s on the side of the road. I’ve peed in a ten story parking garage before. I’ve peed into a McDonald’s cup while stranded on an interstate between exits and behind a bad accident in broad daylight. My three year old son whipped it out and peed on a tree in the mall once. Not saying that was cool, but I guess if you have to go, you have to go. And many, many times in my life I have waltzed right into the men’s restroom to relieve myself when the lady’s was occupied.

Amazingly, there is NOT ONE documented case of a transgendered person assaulting anyone in a public bathroom…but people just love to make non-issues issues. Thousands of incidents of transgendered people being assaulted by cis-gendered. All the people insisting they don’t want their daughters in the BR with transgendered people are going to feel funny when out walk the female to male trans with their full beards. But hey, they were female on their birth certificate. People need to get out of the pants of other people. Surely we have bigger fish to fry.

We have a HUGE LGBT community here in Orlando and I’m anticipating some major confusion if these crazy bathroom laws are passed here. I would much rather my young granddaughters share a restroom with my girlfriends who used to be guys, than my guy friends who used to be girls. Not that I think ANY of my transgendered friends might assault anybody, but I do believe my granddaughters would be more comfortable with people in their bathroom that they can clearly visually identify with. It’s not like these people are dropping their panties at the door. I’m pretty sure they do their business in the stall. And my grandson might question why there’s a lady attempting to straddle a urinal in his bathroom. I seriously believe it would be better to just have coed potties and be done with it so all the appropriate questions about people’s PRIVATES can get answered. (Okay, not seriously.)

I mean, do these phobics really understand the consequences of what they are demanding? Their sons will be toileting with women who look like women. Their daughters will be toileting with men who look like men. WTF??? People need to educate themselves about the transition process before passing laws and freaking out.

I guess all the hype has the potential of aiding me with my series. I can see some amusing situations for Brandi developing.

Off Topic: Every time I read about the possibly of jailing women and doctors for abortions (not the male sperm donors, of course), I realize that we are moving closer to Sharia Law without the help of any Islamic religion. And let’s oppose both birth control and abortion so women remain as oppressed as possible. Okay, that’s off subject, but I just felt a need to share.

The RS helped me make a nice spread sheet to keep up with my query letters, names, emails, dates, responses. Trying to stay organized for the long haul. Still feeling twinges of ambivalence about the whole process.

I really have to go pee, so I’m going to leave this Comedy Central item here to entertain you while I go check Birth Certificates at the bathroom door.

Ninety-Nine Cent Novelist

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We need to do something about this. I don’t know about you, but most of the time my book is selling; I’m doing a 99 cent promotion.

Not very encouraging when you have two more books being prepared for publication.

Granted, I’ve stepped out of the promotional arena, because the brain energy it takes to produce a novel consumes me. Trust me, that stuff doesn’t come in a bottle.


Well, maybe it does for some.

Recently, I was with a group of people talking about minimum wage jobs.  There was much feedback from young people that were upset because they could not make an adequate wage to meet the cost of living, rent, power, water…never mind, cell phones, internet access, laptops, cars. So, most had two jobs, and that seems to be the status quo.

The old-timers just laughed and talked about paper routes and mowing lawns, working at odd jobs for pennies while they gained experience in the world. But times are different, yes they are.


I mentioned it was tougher to be a self-published writer and promote your own books. I heard this response, “Yeah, the ninety-nine cent novelist is never going to make ends meet.”


Yep, in the minds of the educated public, the self-published author is a ninety-nine cent novelist. That’s what we’ve earned.

Now, you can spend years of your life devoted to writing a few books that will sell best at 99 cents, UNTIL you break out of the fortress of the unknowns and BECOME somebody.

There are a zillion posts on the internet telling us how to do this, write dozens of books, brand yourself, build an author platform, make trailers, do interviews, maintain a blog, and use all manner of social media in thirty thousand different ways to reach your audience and the media experts that can get your work noticed.  Or hire a publicist. That will likely run you thousands not hundreds of dollars. Unless you have a team of minions.



If you can do all of those things well, you’d be better off to become a publicist. Publicists get paid a mean $60,400 per year as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But I digress.

We’ve created this impression of ourselves. We wanted to sell something, anything, at any price, to get our preciously crafted words into other hands and minds so they might be appreciated by others as much as we appreciate them. We’re willing to give it away for free, because we know once someone hears our stories, they’ll pay whatever we ask to hear more, right…wrong. It’s crazy. It’s giving away your hard earned money in hopes that someone will pay more later. They won’t. They’ll just wait till your next sale. Because we have taught them that we will have one.

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Now, there is this whole culture of readers out there who won’t pay more than 99 cents for a novel, and free is better still. We created this culture. At any given point in time readers can find something for 99 cents or free that suits them, or not, and they are quick to let you know if not. Their biggest complaint being quality, which they most often define as “poor editing”. Readers want to beat writers to death with their books.


Don’t believe me, just google free or bargain priced books and see how many hits you get. Then go to any forum discussing the self-published.

Yet, that’s part of the promotional process…and it’s killing us.

There’s got to be a better way.

A couple of years ago, there were many calls for a collective of sorts and several efforts were made by people trying to organize self-published authors.

But I think that’s the wrong approach. It serves to further the divide.

Another approach:

A quality writer’s collective that promotes itself with both traditionally published and self-published authors whose books range in price from $2.99-$10.00. A web site store where readers could select quality self and traditionally published books that are reasonably priced. And quality authors would be promoted for starters. No reason why we can’t work with publishers to accomplish this. After all, we ARE publishers.

Oyster and Scribd have tried to do this and they are failing because they are not meeting their own standards for quality and they are attempting to get rich off of monthly subscriber fees.

The last eight books my husband ordered from Oyster and Scribd were hideous! He won’t even go there anymore, for traditionally published or self-published. And he’s getting frustrated, so frustrated that he told me my work is the best he’s read in a month and he reads a lot. So, I took that as a compliment. (As off-handed as it might have been, I know he meant well.)

The focus and promotion should be on Quality. Reasonable prices. No subscriber fees.

Gatekeepers (other author members) would not judge the content in the way that a developmental editor would, but no book would be accepted if it didn’t meet strict guidelines for copy-editing and proofing. Authors/publishers could pay a small fee to have their books reviewed for a set criteria. If the book is rejected, they wouldn’t be given but one opportunity to correct it, so there would be a great incentive to do it right the first time.

Word of mouth is supposed to be the very best marketing plan. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could promote ourselves and others in a way that makes everybody happy?


So, what do you think?

Settle for this:


When our sales look like this:


Ideas, thoughts, suggestions?

Kickstarter Campaign for Sci-Fi Magazine



What is Nonlocal Science Fiction?

Nonlocal Science Fiction is a quarterly digital magazine featuring short stories and serials from emerging science fiction authors from around the world. The first issue launches on March 14th!


Who is Nonlocal Science Fiction?

Nonlocal Science Fiction is published by 33rd Street Digital Press, a new independent digital publishing company owned and operated by Daniel J. Dombrowski.


What makes Nonlocal Science Fiction different?

Built from the ground up to function as a dynamic digital publication, Nonlocal partners with its authors directly and offers them a share of the profits from the sale of the magazine rather than a per-word rate that minimizes the value of a story submission.

Nonlocal involves its authors in a comprehensive digital marketing campaign which benefits the authors directly both by increasing sales and by giving independent authors valuable marketing knowledge and experience.


Why is Nonlocal Science Fiction doing a Kickstarter?

The Kickstarter will cover all costs to publish the first issue and help diffuse the expenses already incurred while organizing 33rd Street Digital Press.

More than that, the Kickstarter will help build a foundation of support for the magazine as supporters will become primary advocates. Every backer receives a copy of the magazine and has the chance to get limited edition merchandise and additional eBooks from authors appearing in Issue #1.

The top stretch goal for the magazine earns every backer a LIFETIME subscription to the magazine.


Is Dan available for interviews and guest posts?

YES! At any time, please feel free to email Dan (dan@thirtythirdstreet.com) to request an interview or a guest post about any topic you wish relating to the magazine or 33rd Street.


Anything else I should know?

After the launch of the first issue, all 10 authors appearing in the issue will be available for interviews! You will be receiving contact info for all authors and a complimentary copy of the first issue once it launches.


What are the relevant links?

33rd Street Digital Press website: http://thirtythirdstreet.com

Nonlocal Science Fiction website: http://nonlocalscifi.com

Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1KORMlN

Twitter: https://twitter.com/33rdStreetPress

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/33rdStreetPress

Story Summaries

All of these stories will appear in the first issue of Nonlocal Science Fiction.

Us and Everybody Else by Valery Amborski In the future, we’ll be able to escape, very literally, into our memories. But is it a good idea to live for the past?


Delivery to Venus by Robert Paul Blumenstein The Earth has become a ball of ice as the sun slowly burns out. A team of scientists must face the ultimate questions of existence while they sow seeds on Venus.


A Thin Atmosphere, Chapter 1 by Dan Colton Mars City comes under attack by tunnel-dwelling Rebels in the first chapter of this old-school space adventure serial.


Mazep-fal by Daniel J. Dombrowski A man who is both the youngest and oldest member of his tribe makes a terrible discovery on a pilgrimage to meet his gods.


Marigold’s Memory by Reva Russell English In a future where human memory is stored on microchip implants and bad memories can be erased, a young woman faces a terrible fate.


Catalyst by Aaron Hamilton A daring escape in a stolen spacecraft and a mysterious and alluring rescuer leave a smuggler wondering what will happen next.


Deal Gone Bad, Chapter 1 by Thad Kanupp Jack survives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland by scavenging guns and ammunition. His life is about to get a lot more interesting.


Shoot the Devil by Nicholas Rossis What would you do if you could travel back in time? If you had the devil in your sites, would you pull the trigger?


The Assistant Assistant Port Keeper by Jim Rudnick Life as an Assistant Assistant Port Keeper in a space port on the Rim has its highs and its lows. A visit from a particularly difficult species of traders presents an opportunity for both.


In The Days Of Still Pictures by H.C. Turk In an alternate wild west where cowboys ride zebras and elephants pull wagons, a pair of traveling salesmen appear and stir up trouble with their magical wares.

A few samples of what’s to come…

“In The Days Of Still Pictures” by H. C. Turk

At the desert’s edge, where dry heat created transient visions, sat the town of Vargo, Dakoda Territory, population low and unknown in the year 1873. Remarkable the newcomers passing through. Miners heading for the promised platinum out west just stopping for some drugs at the saloon. Damn herd of elephants ran right through the streets once. Really tore up the place. Your big city journalist seeking the “truth of the Amerigan frontier,” like a profundity misplaced.

Some people stayed for one reason or none, for one duration or another. The photographer, Mizzer Benjumin Roze, had been present a month, but not many people could afford his family portraits. A traveling salesman changed that, providing Mzr. Benjumin with a plenitude of business, an enterprise to unhinge this Erth frontier…


“Marigold’s Memory” by Reva Russell English

The second time she tried to have the chip unlocated, she went into cardiac arrest, her heart’s rhythm a high-pitched “eeeeeeeee” that showed itself on the monitor as a thin and serious line that stretched between the farthest cosmic reaches of an infinite point A and the farthest cosmic reaches of an infinite point B…


“Deal Gone Bad” by Thad Kanupp

I woke up with a scorpion on my face. It was crunchier than I prefer, but I’ve had worse breakfasts.

I crawled out of the scrub patch where I’d slept, tongue poking at the chitin stuck in my teeth. Dew had beaded across my skin overnight, and I was shivering. By noon I would trade it for sweat under the ruthless wasteland sun and be longing for the dripping bushes I’d hidden in for the night. That’s man for you. Want what you want ‘til you get it, and not a minute longer—one thing that held true for everyone. I needed it to…


“Catalyst” by Aaron Hamilton

Cribbs tried not to think of how lucky they had been, afraid he would somehow cause the scales to tip back against them. He hadn’t stopped to question it when his cell door slid open, or when his impounded ship was released from grav-lock, or even when they escaped without pursuit. But his cynicism resurfaced as his pulse slowed…

Krazy Couponing and Troopons


My daughter has 2.5 kids and stays home to be with the kids while her husband works a couple of jobs. It is a crazy world for young families trying to make ends meet. To help out, she has become one of those crazy couponers. Yes, those people that takes 30 minutes in the check-out line to go through their coupons. But she tries to stay organized so it is a relatively quick process.

She has neat little photo albums she sorts her food and non-food item coupons in and has them organized by dates as well, so she knows which expire first.

Today, she came by and after spending about an hour on my computer, she had seventy-five dollars off of items she usually shops for and twenty-five off on items I use. Giving up the printer ink is not such a bad deal as she prints in black and white. Some, she scans the QR code with her phone.

A hundred dollars an hour is a pretty smart wage, even if it’s just once a week.

Then she checked the buy-one-get-one items at her favorite grocery store and that was another thirty dollars saved. A hundred and five dollars saved on her bill. That’s awesome.

While she was on her computer, the grandson dumped a stack of expired coupons in the garbage and she freaked out. I wondered why she got so terribly upset as I watched her pulling them back out of the top of the trash.

Here’s the deal. If they are not more than thirty days expired, you can send them to military families to use at the PX…so even if she doesn’t chance to use the coupons before they expire they are not gone to waste. Every month, she takes her expired coupons and sends them off. They call them Troopons.

Churches and other organizations can make a project of this, as well.

Here’s a web article that will tell you how:


Not so crazy after all!

Do you coupon?

What do you do with the ones you don’t use?

Crime Novel/Murder Mystery Setting

My work in progress is a crime novel/murder mystery. It is set in both Orlando and at a fictional resort I created that was inspired by my family’s resort near Kissimmee, Florida. I posted this link on my Facebook page (there’s a little thingy you can click on to the right over here if you have not joined that club yet, JSYK), I am posting it here also. My apologies if you feel you are being spammed, but we’re a proud bunch.

If you have not seen this already, you may enjoy. Most of my followers know my family has a nudist resort here in Florida. This article Ted Hadley, my cousin, posted on the website, is a good history of the Cove, although my Aunt Pete gave me a slightly different history. I could add more to the story…like how my hometown reacted when I let the cat out of the bag that Uncle Jim had a nudist resort instead of a Standard Oil Company in Florida. It’s a cool article if you’re into history, comes with photographs. Thanks to my artist friend Dave Winarchik for bringing this to my attention.

Jim Hadley was my mother’s mother’s brother.

Check it out!



So, You Want to be an Author? Traditionally published? Self-Published? Read here!

This post made me laugh till I peed, cry buckets of tears, walk away and digest for a while, kick the dog, reach down and rub his tummy, bang my head against the wall, and then laugh some more. While it is written by a traditional publishing proponent, it has much insight to offer ANY aspiring author. It also offers the realistic support and encouragement I need, especially since I am my own agent and publicist. It was a long guest post on Chuck Wendig’s blog “terribleminds”, by Delilah S. Dawson, and you’ll want to read every word.


For more about Delilah check here


I know you can surf the internet just like I can, and you may already subscribe to Terribleminds, but I didn’t want you to inadvertently overlook this one. Read, come back, and let me know what you think!

Cape Romano: Our Secret Sanctuary

We have our very own “secret sanctuary” in sunny Florida.  A curious and interesting place, Cape Romano is at the southernmost tip of Ten Thousand Island (the uppermost of the mangrove islands). It is located just a few miles south of the luxury resort community of Marco Island, on the Gulf side. The sky is a lovely, brilliant blue, the sun is shining, the air is dry, and a cool breeze is blowing with temperatures in the mid to low seventies during the winter months.


Florida has both a cosmopolitan appeal in places like Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando, as well as old world charm in places like St. Augustine, Marco Island, and Amelia Island.  All of these places are wonderful in their own way, but the most wondrous places in Florida are the most obscure.  Many people have come to love the beaches at Panama City, Sanibel Island, and Captiva, but there are a tiny few remaining beautiful beaches that are a bit more remote. The beach at Cape Romano is one of these places.

Accessible only by boat or Jet Ski, Cape Romano is a quiet place for reflection in the early morning or late evening, but it does get swamped by visitors from Marco on Jet Skis by mid-day on the weekends. During the week; however, in the twilight of dawn or dusk, it is as if you have transported into a surrealistic dystopian, sci-fi, or fantasy world.


To travel to this location you will find yourself on the Tamiami trail, mentioned in many books set in Florida, otherwise known as “Alligator Alley”. The best way to approach the island is in a little flat bottom jon boat you can launch from the Goodland marina.  Goodland is a sleepy little fishing village located in the midst of the mangroves at the very beginning of the Ten Thousand Islands.  Their biggest boast is a visit from Donald Trump, back when he was considering installing a casino at Cape Romano.  I am glad he did not choose to destroy the splendor of the sanctuary, for it surely would have.

As you motor carefully through the shallows of the brackish waters of Gullivan Bay, the dolphins swim alongside your boat in playful pods teasing and tempting you to join in a swim as they guide you out to deeper waters. You won’t miss the Cape when you see the unique dome home that was established here by Bob Lee in 1980.  This is Bob with his fresh caught snook. You can read more about Bob, his adventurous project, and his family here:

Coastal Breeze News in this article by Natalie Strom.

Once self-sustaining, powered by solar panels, with a 23,000 gallon fresh water cistern, the home is no longer habitable.

Hurricane Andrew came through in 1992 and stripped about 600 feet off the beach sending most of the dome dwelling, and a couple of other homes in the boating community, into the sea. The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the removal of the structure in 2007, (which has not been done and it is assessing the owners fines daily). Building on the sanctuary island is no longer allowed.  There is a cut through the middle of the island called Morgan’s Pass, also created by hurricane activity, where an estuary runs into a deeper pool of salt water. Fascinating sea life thrives here. Anemones, starfish, urchins and other small sea creatures abound.

On one side of the Cape, the seashore is two feet deep in shells. On the other side, there are miles of white sand and driftwood.  There are many little sandbar islands dotting the turquoise waters around the Cape that are covered with birds and are protected bird sanctuaries.  They feast on the abundant shell life. The birds nest here year round. Their calls can be deafening when they are disturbed.  Most all of the larger sandbars for bird sanctuaries are marked off-limits to humans.

Not my best pose in a bikini, but about the only one I would consider making public.
Not my best pose in a bikini, but about the only one I would consider making public.

Shelling is my favorite pastime here, collecting hundreds of samples over the years.


There are certain currents at specific times of the year that bring King’s Crown and whole sand dollars washing ashore in great heaps.  I hope that civilization can preserve the sanctuary, and it remains as unspoiled as possible for future generation to enjoy.

“Why Your Grandma Wants an Ereader for Christmas.”

older-people-e-readers-tabletsI subscribe to Anne R. Allen’s blogspot blog.  She is always entertaining and I like her perspective.

Today she made an interesting post about ereaders and the boomer generation.  The comments by others also interested me.


Having a paperback book coming out soon, to compliment an eversion, I found the comments reinforced my thoughts on the technology angle and some individuals, young and old alike.

I read another news article today that says one in three readers over age 55 use ereaders.

I have an ereader and read most all of my books on it.  There will; however, always be a place in my hands heart for the paper bound book.

An Unlikely Soldier


Today is Veteran’s Day in the U.S.A. , when we honor all of those who served.  This is Roseendhar Dasilma, an unlikely war hero, but a woman who put her life on the line many times to insure the freedoms we have, and to assure those civil liberties, those legal and natural inalienable rights, to others.

Rose comes from the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, Haiti.  She lives near Orlando, Florida now and appreciates more than most the freedoms, liberty, and prosperity of this great country.  She cherishes her American citizenship like a jewel, when so many born here take it all for granted, not having a clue how much it means to so many who don’t know the freedom or the prosperity. Roseendhar Dasilma served in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

I could have written about my great forefathers who served in wars over the years of our family’s history in this country. How they served in The Revolutionary War, the two Great World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.  I could have, and I appreciate them, but I often feel that those who have recently served or who continue to serve today don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Rose worked with me as Nurse.  Sometimes she told us stories of having to stir shit in a bucket that burned over a fire for hours at night, because you couldn’t leave anything behind when you left camp, not even your turds.  She told us of having to move in convoys of tanks that she could see in front of her being picked off by carefully placed roadside bombs, and knowing her tank was the next one in the row to go if her C.O. pressed forward as ordered.

  Knowing that you just might not make it home.

 Knowing that comrades had fallen before you.VeteransDayPoembyjudybonzer

Her family and friends in Haiti will never be forgotten by her, and her family and friends here in America treasure her, and know her to truly be one of a kind.  This is her sister proudly wearing her Operation Iraqi Freedom jacket.1379243_10101024705948137_405266744_n

A B.S.N. prepared Nurse, Rose is working on her Master’s Degree in nursing now.  She is divorced with a lovely young daughter who is the apple of her eye.  She has worked hard to earn her place in our society and I, for one, am happy to have her. Honored to have known her.  Her name is on the back of my paperback so I will never forget it.

  Roseendhar Dasilma loves her country. We love, admire, and respect her!

I am honored to call you, friend.