Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Check out this review of Anybody’s Daughter (Angela Evans #2)

August 1, 2015

Here is a review by Pamela: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1351083438
for “Anybody’s Daughter” .

No matter how hot it is, you’ll never catch me without my _______________

June 17, 2015

Whew, the heat. Ahem. Let me try to start over to see if I can chat with you dear readers this afternoon without my keyboard melting beneath my very hands. Chances are if you reside in the southeastern part of the United States, you are in the midst of a heatwave. In South Carolina we have spent the last four or five days with the temperatures climbing up to 100 degrees during the afternoons. Most people are waiting until nightfall to go run their errands, but last night it was still 97 degrees as late as 9:30 p.m., so what’s a body to do? The funny thing is that there are some things we just will not sacrifice to keep ourselves cool.

Photo Credit:  brookelicious.deviantart.com

Photo Credit: brookelicious.deviantart.com

Case in point, everyone knows that heat plus humid equals hair that is a mess. Even as I walk around with a cup in hand to catch the sweat as it drips off of my face, you will not see me without a hairhat. What’s a hairhat? Well I’m glad you asked. It is my fond term for wigs, weaves or any other thing that doesn’t grow out of your scalp, but does serve to make you feel well put together when you leave the house. They’re hot and miserable, but look oh so cute. 

Photo Credit:  laremihandmade.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: laremihandmade.blogspot.com

Another thing we will not sacrifice is some sort of a sleeve once our upper arms have reached a certain level of elasticity or, shall we say, lack thereof. Sundresses abound and it is hard in this season of the year to find something with a little material. No one would dream of wearing long sleeves in this heat. Why that would be practically suicidal. And that’s why I and other women are forever grateful to the sainted person who invented the shrug. These marvels usually extend to just above the waist and offer coverage to the arms without being too hot. For the summer you can find them in flimsy gauzy materials that let the breeze in, while at the same time making your shoulder/upper arm area look great.

What is that one thing you won’t go outside without, no matter how hot it is?

Cheers to a fabulously hot spring and summer.  Do stay safe and I would be remiss if I didn’t remind us all to check on our elderly friends and family to make sure they have air conditioners or fans.

Is a snowman better than no man?

May 26, 2015
Set the standards for the love you want, and then relax and revel in it.  (Photo credit: kolibanat.deviantart.com-)

Set the standards for the love you want, and then relax and revel in it. (Photo credit: kolibanat.deviantart.com-)

There was a very interesting conversation this morning on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. They were discussing relationships. The guest was an author who’d written a book about the interaction between men and women. She said that she’d like to start a movement wherein women would not take any crap. My grandmother and mother often used the phrase that some women seemed to think “a snowman is better than no man”. That means that a man whose professed love, loyalty, commitment and honesty were as fleeting as the ice in a snowman melting on a hot day, had just as much of a chance of finding a good woman as a true blue man did. And this is because some women would rather take any kind of treatment than to be single.

She wants women to set higher standards for the kind of treatment we receive from men, right down to the smallest details. I’d never really thought about texting in a negative way because it is so much a part of our society. But this author said that texting to ask for a first date is an absolute no-no. She said that a woman who allows this is setting the stage for herself to be associated with just another of a man’s gadgets or playthings. She said it is up to the woman to require that she be treated well, properly courted and formally asked for a date via an actual telephone call.

Another thing she strongly discourages is women setting up residence in the world of wonder. In this scenario, the man, whether consciously or subconsciously, keeps the woman in a slightly off balanced state of mind with his inconsistent behavior. She said if a man is more than 10 or 15 minutes late (especially for the first 2-3 dates) and has not called to apologize and let you know that he is on the way, you should let it go. Better yet, if he stands you up without calling at any stage in the game, let it go.

I agree, because we are not detectives, well not many of us, and we should not have to be “wondering” all the time. Wondering if he is coming, wondering if he’s in a car accident unconscious and can’t call us, wondering is his phone acting up again, wondering why we didn’t immediately ask for a family member’s number so we will always have a way to reach him.

Yes, although wonder can be an awe-filled state of joy; too much wonder in a relationship can lead to a constant state of question-filled doubt. So when it comes to love maybe we can all just agree to leave Wonder to the business of making bread, and leave the romance to Cupid.

 

 

Will the real bikers please stand up: mayhem and memorials

May 19, 2015
Bikers have hearts too. (Photo Credit:  home.fotocommunity.de)

Bikers have hearts too. (Photo Credit: home.fotocommunity.de)

It was very disheartening to hear about the nine motorcyclists that were killed in a violent exchange of gunfire this past Sunday. In the past two decades the connotation of a biker gang has changed. Bikers became infamous in Hollywood movies that portrayed them as rough-around-the-edges drifters, who rarely put roots down in a town long enough to fall in love. In addition to the wall of isolation surrounding their hearts, they were almost always shown to have an affinity for abiding on the wrong side of the law. They’d thunder into town, break a few hearts, deal a few drugs, and ride out in a cloud of dust. Even in modern times, they always seemed to find a town with at least one dirt road that was perfect for kicking up of cloud of dust.

The 1969 film “Easy Rider” provided one of the most intimate glimpses into the day-to-day events and mentality of bikers that audiences had ever seen. It showed less of them as flat stereotypes, but rather men of many sides like everyone else. Despite what just happened this weekend, or maybe to give a balanced perspective, I wanted to share that I recently saw a new (for me) and more tender side of bikers. A co-worker’s father had passed away and I attended the homegoing services to show my respect. As I turned into the chapel parking lot, I saw row upon row of motorcycles everywhere and became a little nervous. After clicking the button to make sure all four of my doors were locked, I slowed down just enough to make sure the numbers on the building matched the address of the funeral home I was seeking. I parked and walked slowly towards the chapel, clutching my purse tightly.

I was impressed and surprised at the beauty of seeing both male and female bikers lining both sides of the sidewalk from the street to the top of the stairwell entering the chapel. Many of them were called up later to make remarks after the eulogy. What emerged was the picture of a man remembered for his love of God, family and bikes. One man broke down in tears as he remembered himself and the deceased (only 79 at the time) embarking on a cross-country ride. As more of them told stories, I was educated as I learned about the many charities that bikers participate in and the untold causes they raise money for such as researching cures and granting scholarships. I gained a newfound respect for them that will last long after the memories of the  tender way they lifted their comrade’s casket and ushered him out of the chapel.

So as this Waco story continues to unfold and investigators sift through evidence, let us remember we should try our darndest not to paint any group with one big brush. The people who started this shoot-’em-up brawl were just a few bad pages out of a fascinating book of adventurers.

 

 

Taxes, schmaxes…fear not, writers can get a break in today’s business world

May 4, 2015
Rejoice writers! Now you can write in peace without fear of losing the shirts off of your backs.  (Photo Credit:  www.flickr.com)

Rejoice writers! Now you can write in peace without fear of losing the shirts off of your backs. (Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com)

I hope everyone had a lovely first weekend of May. The weather was delicious here in beautiful South Carolina, which immediately put just about everyone in a joyful mood. I also stumbled upon some news that really made my day as an author, and I couldn’t wait to share it. Did you know that there are many things that we use daily in going about the business of writing that can be deducted on our tax returns? Now admittedly a lot of people probably already know about it because the article I found was dated June 17, 2010. Lol.

The article is “Tax Advice for Writers” written by Bonnie Lee. It is a good-sized composition that you can read at your leisure and take helpful notes. But just to summarize, there are some things that the IRS will allow writers to deduct from their income because they are considered “ordinary and necessary” business expenses. A few that are mentioned are:

  • Mileage to and from writers’ conferences and/or classes to further your craft
  • Advertising and marketing expenses
  • Computers, laptops and other equipment that you use primarily for your writing

Lee stresses that it is imperative to keep detailed records in the event of an IRS audit. One example she gives is rather than just keep a credit card receipt for a hotel stay, it is better to staple a flyer showing the writers’ conference being held at the hotel on that date, as well as a receipt for your registration to the conference, to the credit card receipt for which you are trying to deduct for your room and board.

Although the favored deductions will be different for each person, I must admit that what really excites me the most is learning about the advertising and marketing expense possibilities. I have long confined myself to advertising only on my own website (www.PamelaKayNobleBrown.com, by the way), Twitter, Facebook, and any other book groups that I could find that would let me advertise for free. I did this not because I was cheap, but because I simply cannot afford advertising until my book sales take off, but my book sales won’t take off without advertising because no one will know they’re there. Well, I’m sure many other authors are aware of what can be a catch-22 situation.

But when you learn better, you do better.  With this added information, I can now actually spend money on education writers’ conferences to hone my craft, vending tables, book covers, business cards, etc., knowing that they are considered legitimate business expenses, and not just out-of-pocket losses.

The main thing to remember, according to Lee, is that, and this bears repeating, you must have an organized system of record keeping so that you can prove that this is a venture that you have entered into with the true intention of making a profit (whether you actually made a profit or not) and not just a passing hobby.  And it is always best to consult a professional accountant or tax preparer. This actually has breathed life into my writing aspirations as I now have more tools at my disposable with which to share my writings with the world.  Hopefully Lee’s article will have other writers doing gleeful cartwheels over their computers as they hurry off to beat the deadlines to get their ads placed in their marketing avenue of choice. Viva les writers!

Ice cold; social media and Bobbi Kristina’s daddy

April 24, 2015

By now many of us have heard the tragic story of how Bobbi Kristina Brown was found facedown in a tub of water and now, months later is still fighting for her life. Lately I’ve been reading some comments by what I call Cyber Hope Stealers that are very disturbing.

Bobbi Kristina and her parents   (Photo credit: globalgrind.com)

Bobbi Kristina and her parents (Photo credit: globalgrind.com)

Bobbi Kristina has always been in the spotlight. Her parents Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were so famous that it seemed the world, at least music lovers, waited with bated breath for the birth of their precious baby girl. Probably a major reason that the news of Bobbi Kristina’s tragedy hit the public so hard, is that we’d watched her parents grow up and become major successes in the entertainment field. We followed their whirlwind courtship and vicariously enjoyed their fairytale wedding in a New Jersey palace.

Family fun at that magical place.  ( photo credit: theurbandaily.com)

Family fun at that magical place. ( photo credit: theurbandaily.com)

Despite the maddening pace and pressures her parents faced in the music industry, there seemed to have been moments of pure family fun and laughter. After all, Micky and Minnie Mouse can make all of our troubles disappear, even if only for a day. To the very end of 15 years of marriage, Brown and Houston pledged their love to each other. But I’ll never forget asking a divorced friend years ago why she and her husband split when to onlookers they appeared so much in love. She said that it was sad to admit, but the truth is you can love someone with all of your heart, but just can’t live with them. And that appears to have been the case with the Browns. I believe they genuinely fell in love, but either outside forces, inner demons, or perhaps a combination of things, made them decide to end their marriage.

Joyful Father/Daughter reunion.  (photo credit:  celebrity.yahoo.com)

Joyful Father/Daughter reunion. (photo credit: celebrity.yahoo.com)

As is the unfortunate case with many divorces, young children, if parents are not careful, can suffer collateral damage. They are not quite mature enough to make sense of it all, and may feel torn between the two sides in a strange adult-like game of tug of war. In this case Bobbi Kristina and her father were estranged a number of years before the heartbreaking death of her beloved mother.

It was extremely encouraging when Bobbi Kristina posted the above pictures via Instagram on June 15, 2014. Last year on Father’s Day they rekindled their relationship and were determined to become close again. Bobbi Kristina, in addition to the pictures, posted the following words:

“I got a running start! 😋 love you daddy! #familyfirst! Xxo”

“(: my face says it all.. 🙂 love you daddy!” and “#HappyHappyFathersDay,”

I am just so thankful they reconciled when they did, because they had no way of knowing what would happen only seven months later. Unbelievably, just when things seemed to be looking up for this family that had suffered so much misfortune, things once again took a turn for the worst, and Bobbi Kristina is now in a rehabilitation facility.

Most people are posting words of encouragement to her family. But the disturbing comments I referenced earlier have been targeted at Brown for wanting to be at his daughter’s side now, when she is seemingly unconscious, when he missed a lot of her teen years. What an outrage. Many parents want to be in their children’s lives after the dissolution of a marriage, and try their best, but sometimes the situation is less than desirable depending upon schedules, bitterness between the parents, or other logistics. Let them that have executed perfect child visitation, absolutely 100% of the time, cast the first stone.

Even more outrageous are the comments dismissing Brown as an opportunist because he didn’t pull the plug on Bobby Kristina after the first few weeks of unresponsiveness. Are you kidding me?  This is his child. Less than a seven months ago they just got their relationship back on track. I think these cyber bullies should just leave Brown alone, concentrate on having the best relationship they can with their own children, and pray nobody ever compounds their grief with criticisms should they find themselves faced with a similar decision as a parent. I thank you.

As the old Gospel song says, “the only time you should look down on a man is when you’re picking him up.”  I join the many others who have posted lifting Bobbi Kristina, Bobby Brown, Cissy Houston (Bobbi’s Grandmother) and the rest of the family in prayer for strength during this trying time.

New contender to the “Empire” claims hit show stole his true life story

April 16, 2015

Ron NewtRon Newt claims the TV show “Empire” is based on his real life documentary “Bigger Than Big”.

(Photo Credit: @RonNewt Twitter Page)

In an interesting twist, we are reminded of how life and art are sometimes so eerily similar. There is a real-life former pimp and drug dealer who is suing just about everyone connected with the hit FOX network television show “Empire”. He alleges that after sharing his story during a meeting with Terrance Howard at a social event, the next thing he knows is that he’s seeing his life reflected in the prime time hit drama.

Ron Newt, the ex-gangster making the charges, is taking his cause to court and for his troubles he is asking for a judgement in his favor to the tune of one billion dollars. According to Newt, his life on the streets was just as colorful as the life of the young Lucious Lyons. He lived the infamous slogan of “sex, drugs, and Rock & Roll”; or rather, in his case, “sex, drugs, and R&B”. He signed his artists The Newtrons with label owners as diverse as Michael Jackson and Suge Knight.

The fact is, as a friend said to me, this story could be the true tale of countless ex-street guys in cities all across the country. Is this just a frivolous  lawsuit pressed by a con man hoping for a payday? It just might be. On the other hand are there really that many similarities between this guy’s stories and the almost fantastical drama portrayed weekly in the highly-rated series? If so, this should prove an interesting court case because even when he was on the streets, Newt supposedly had a lot of celebrity friends and might be willing to name names to prove his case. Time will tell.

The ugliness of arrogance; bullets crack the facade of southern charm

April 9, 2015
No mother should have to experience the pain Judy Scott felt when she saw the video of her son slaughtered in the street. (Photo Credit:  dailymail.co.uk via ABC)

No mother should have to experience the pain Judy Scott felt when she saw the video of her son slaughtered in the street. (Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk via ABC)

Arrogance is the next word, after cold-blooded murderer, which came to mind when I heard about the excessive parade of bullets that took the life of Walter Lamar Scott, 50, a North Charleston, SC resident. To learn that this was the handiwork of yet another officer of the law against an unarmed citizen was unbelievable, but even worse was the fact that this was done in the present climate of civil unrest and scrutiny of the ethics of some of the holders of the badge.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines arrogant as “showing an offensive attitude of superiority”. This officer, whom I hesitate to call an officer, not wanting to tarnish the other wonderful and dedicated law enforcement heroes, showed a remarkable unawareness of, or utter disdain for the current events commanding the news as of late. His disposition seems to be one of I’m going to do what I want regardless of the tension that is already in the air.

The judgment of this person, in retrospect, seems to have been incredibly flawed. His wife is reportedly eight months pregnant, so the last thing she needs is him getting fired right as they are about to bring a new life into the world. He may have momentarily snapped and fired twice out of fear, but eight times? In the back? He initially stated that he feared for his life due to the suspect struggling with him. Thanks to the due diligence of a passing citizen, a video has emerged showing that the only real struggle was the officer trying to catch up with Scott in a foot race, and failing that, dispatching his speedy bullets to do the job for him.

Knowing that interactions with officers and unarmed black men are already a hot topic of public conversation, this man was again arrogant enough not to give a flying pointed hood about how his actions would reflect on the national debate. More importantly he shot someone fleeing away from him down in the street, and showed a callous disregard of the taking of a human life unnecessarily. After the slaying of Mr. Scott has been thoroughly investigated, I hope that some of the previous encounters this officer has had will be re-visited to bring relief to families that may have been afraid to come forward because they had no video.

The Mayor, and the local authorizes must be commended for their swift actions in apprehending the culprit and launching a thorough investigation. Keep the standards high because the country, and even the world, are watching to see if our fine state is able to peek from beneath the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of its capitol and do the right thing. I thank you.

My prayers and condolences go out to the family of Mr. Walter Scott in their time of grief and loss. I pray that there will be safety without retaliation for his four sons in the event of future routine “traffic stops”.

Sodom, Gomorrah and American TV

January 9, 2015
What happened to the days when the whole family could watch TV together? (Photo Credit:  en.wikipedia.org)

What happened to the days when the whole family could watch TV together? (Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org)

This is one of those posts that I didn’t necessarily want to write, but felt compelled, almost duty bound, to compose. Some would probably call me a TV fanatic, because I love the talking box. I enjoy watching almost any and every kind of program. Regardless of the critics’ reviews, I normally give it a chance and make up my own mind. However, it seems that a lot of programs, in their efforts to be politically correct, are going overboard and showing too much.

Soap Operas

These types of shows have always been a guilty pleasure. The fantastical situations and years-long story lines keep us enthralled on a daily basis. Kudos to the writers, because as hard as it likely is for writers of weekly shows to keep things interesting, it must be quite a daunting task for serial writers to dream up back-to-back plot twists every day.

That being said, I don’t know if some of them are running out of ideas, or just trying to be inclusive, but something is a little off. For instance, there is one soap that features an hourglass in the opening credits. For the last few months, they have had a big buildup to a wedding between two men. Yes a fanfare-filled, Prince Charming wedding on daytime TV. Now these types of relationships have often been implied, but they showed the whole ceremony, right up to the kiss. But it didn’t stop there. Where I think they crossed the line is in repeatedly showing the couple in bed caressing each other and kissing all over. Once upon a time, sponsors would have balked, pulled their ads, and the scenes would have been deleted, but apparently this is a new day.

Reality Shows

There is one show that featured a former Olympic champion, his wife and the escapades of their three daughters. Then the story branched out as the grown kids began to take over one city after the other. I confess that I used to watch this show, but one day a light bulb went off. The oldest daughter, and the one who should have been setting the example for her kid sisters, is nonchalantly spilling out baby after baby, without so much as a howdy do, despite the fact that their children’s father still has not made an honest woman out of her. Like this is the norm. It was so aggravating to see this type of behavior celebrated, when it is so hypocritical. Let that happen in certain neighborhoods and economic classes, and it immediately brings out stereotypical comments of how “those” poor kids never have a two-parent stable home. But when you’re rich, it’s glorified? No ma’am, it doesn’t work that way. So I stopped watching.

Primetime Drama

It seems as if all of my favorite nighttime melodramas are being shot, live on location, in the polished-up burnt ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah recently. There is one which features a female lead who has the president wrapped around her little finger. And she specializes in handling things that could turn the nation’s capital upside down, if they were to become public. But lately all of the president’s men have been getting an abundance of screen time.

Then my show about the gubernatorial candidate’s family’s love-hate relationship with the housekeeper’s family is spinning out of control. Now to be fair, so far the plots have centered on the patriarch’s son, who is not into men, allowing little peeks and touches, to basically just toy with the judge’s son, who is struggling with coming out. Got all of that? But the show has thus far avoided the gratuitous mat-wrestling tussles that pass for love scenes.

Alas, one of my new favs has also taken the plunge. This fast-moving suspense piece takes the usually boring law classes and has the teacher do what thousands of real life professors long to do. This educator, who is also an attorney, has found a way to keep her students totally engaged by having them apply what they learn in class to the cases they help her solve. The show has some killer, literally, plot turns that keep the viewers on the edge of their seats in anticipation. Be that as it may, this show might be one of the worst yet, as far as aggressive, thrust-it-in-your-face, male-on-male groping.

I guess part of the problem is that these images are not just alluded to, but they are lingered on in overly-long close-up camera shots and angles. I feel that this constant and increasing exposure will desensitize us to the point where we feel any and everything is acceptable, because we see it all the time. Of course, if something offends us, we can always turn our heads. But when it gets to the point where you have to avert your eyes during the majority of the show, then Houston, we have a problem.

There are no immediate fixes or solutions. We don’t want to go back to the days of strict artistic censorship, but we do want to maintain a standard of dignity and decency. While we work on this, I’m thankful that some of the channels are now running some of the past gems in syndication. Those old “Andy Griffith”, “Sanford and Son” and “Perry Mason” reruns are looking pretty good right about now.

 

 

2014 in review

December 29, 2014

Hi Friends, thank you to all my followers and visitors for a wonderful 2014.  Here’s wishing you all a wonderful, healthy, prosperous and HAPPY NEW YEAR for 2015.  🙂

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.