Feeds:
Posts
Comments

For your reading pleasure, you can now read Chapter 1 of the upcoming second book in my Mountain State Vampire Series, “Mining the Dark.”

Enjoy!


The news has focused a lot on hateful comments recently. The person who made the hateful comments has been publicly attacked. Regardless of the so-called good intentions of the attackers, no good can from this type of approach.

I choose to remain positive. To focus on promoting tolerance rather than hating the haters. With practice, this approach is easy, but sometimes it’s still hurtful. Especially when a celebrity you respect uses this unhelpful approach and pejoratively uses the word hillbilly – uses it as an insult.

As I stated on my Facebook page:

I have been focusing on the positive, even in light of certain negative events. I know that reacting in negativity to something that is negative starts a chain reaction that consumes us all in ignorance and hate. Even in the face of this, I’m trying to emphasize the positive of the situation, so I’ll say this:

I am a hillbilly. We are a loving people. Many of us embrace tolerance. Stereotyping helps no one.

Reacting to hateful comments by using classist, ethnocentric slurs only perpetuates the hate.

My challenge to you: instead of attacking, speak about the many wonderful hillbillies and Appalachians who are doing good in promoting equality. This news story is a good start.


Halloween vampire goodness!! Free on Amazon Kindle for a limited time!

October 30th and 31st – “The Source” will be FREE

October 30th – November 1st, “Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories” and “Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Risque Stories (Volume 1)” will also be FREE.

What great deals! Download your copies today and sink your teeth in to these vampalicious stories!

Fang on! v–v

The Source

Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories

Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Risque Stories (Volume 1) (this one is erotica)

 


Night of the Ravens

Looking for some dark stories for your hallowed nights? Check out this great new vampire anthology which includes a modified excerpt from my upcoming sequel to The Source.

And like with any anthology, there’s a little something for everyone! So if you love vampire fiction, get your copy on Amazon Kindle today!

Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories


Great news, y’all!

Just in time for Halloween, a new vampire anthology has been released - Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories is now available on Amazon Kindle for $2.99!

Enjoy exploring the dark realms with sixteen authors, including my very own “Dark Comfort,” a modified excerpt from Mining the Dark, the upcoming sequel in my Mountain State Vampire Series.

Buy it now and sink your teeth in! You won’t be disappointed!

v–v


This post has some content that may be triggering – bullying, abuse.

I had the fortune to read the recent blog on bullying by my favorite geek Wil Wheaton. I haven’t thought about the kid who bullied me in over twenty years.

It’s a very personal post and quite poignant. Many of us were bullied as children. Some suffer far worse bullying than others. However, the fact remains the same – an individual is so significantly and emotionally impacted by bullying that even after twenty years the memories can bring us to tears.

I was bullied. I was taunted for my weight issues and even called Shamu. My father approached my entering school by saying that if anyone ever hit me, if I didn’t beat the hell out of them (even if it was a guy), I would get my ass busted when I got home. Was it appropriate for him to say this to me? Maybe not. But I do remember holding my own when physically confronted – even by boys. Yes, I had a boy threaten to beat me in elementary school. When he got up in my face, I got right back up into his, standing nose-to-nose…all while I was trembling with fear. Thankfully it worked, and he walked away. Because I did things like this, I was fortunate to never be physically attacked. Many are not so lucky.

My torment was verbal and emotional. I remember so-called friends turning on me and saying they hated me for some silly misunderstanding. I remember being teased for the way that I looked, wearing glasses, having braces and being overweight. The person who was my best friend in middle school shunned me. It was during that time that I started having suicidal idealizations and even attempted a couple of times. When she found out about one of the attempts, she laughed at me and said I was just doing it for attention. Did I want attention? Hell, yes, because I was in pain and her response was to laugh.

The closest thing to the physical I got was when a girl on the bus put chewing gum in my hair. Still, flashbacks to those episodes are no less unnerving just because no blood was shed. Many times the worst scars are the ones that we can’t see.

In Wil’s post he describes the father of the bully. When I read his description, my first thought was, “No wonder the boy acted that way.” Although that helps me understand the behavior, it doesn’t excuse it.

Aside from being a writer, I’m also a learning and development professional (my day job). I see the challenge in teaching teenagers that bullying is wrong because the seeds of bullying were implanted LONG before they became teenagers. It’s always much easier to teach something as new then to attempt to change a behavior/beliefs that have been internalized for years.

As adults, but most specifically, as parents, we all have a duty to teach our children – starting early in their lives – that this behavior is wrong. I have regular conversations with my 5-year-old that saying and doing certain things can hurt others. I don’t just tell her they’re bad, although they most certainly are. I emphasize the impact it has on the other person in hopes that she will learn something that many people lack today – empathy.

I couple these talks with talking to her about how she should react if she’s confronted with bullying. We discuss some of the reasons why people bully – how the behavior is learned, many are acting out for various reasons and quite simply, the individual just doesn’t feel good enough about herself/himself to the point s/he has to attack others to have some sense of self-esteem.

Is my approach better than my dad’s? I don’t know. All I know is that I want my daughter to be able to think about these things, stand up for herself with confidence and view others with integrity rather than mocking them for their pain. I feel that this is the least I can do.


Now that I have cathartically cleansed myself of the main negativity of the experience (writing is good for cleansing), I want to talk about the positives. And I mean more than having some interesting character inspiration for future novels.

Just as my good friend Raymie White pointed out, “we should try to take time to send notes on really good customer service people too.” I actually did take the time to do this, but I admit that I could have done much better.

It’s all on me – I failed in the respect that I didn’t make the extra effort to get the names of the people who demonstrated just how good at their jobs they really are. I provided as much identifying information as I could to US Airways so they could be commended for their commitment to performance quality. Because of this entire experience, I’m going to commit myself in getting the names of those extraordinary people who not only take pride in their jobs, but who also interact with the public in such a way that they are the foundation for building brand loyalty.

Again, I apologize that I don’t have their names, but much heartfelt thanks go out to the following individuals:

The female flight attendant on the flight from Seattle to Charlotte, NC on September 4, 2013. She was not only gracious, but she made my daughter smile, which actually meant more to me than just about anything.

The younger male counter clerk at HTS on September 20, 2013. I know his job with interacting with me was made difficult by the interruptions, but he remained calmed and poised and never once said anything out of the way. Others could most certainly learn from his excellent behavior.

The flight attendant on the flight from HTS to CLT on September 20, 2013. She was not only efficient and polite with her normal duties, but she showed urgency layered with good manner when addressing a passenger she thought was smoking. He wasn’t – he attempted to puff on an electronic cigarette, which is also not allowed. Through the whole episode, she maintained a good, but firm demeanor. Even in the face of confrontation, she handled herself professionally. She is truly to be commended.

The female gate agent at gate B4 in Charlotte for the last US Airways direct flight to Seattle. After the debacle with the special assistance I was supposed to receive, I was in an extreme amount of back pain. She not only showed concern and sympathy, but she even checked on me after I boarded to make sure I was okay. I don’t know her name, but I will never forget her.

The male flight attendant on the CLT to SEA flight on September 20, 2013. He also made it a point to check on me to see if I needed anything and showed concern when he saw me crying. He didn’t have to, but showed the type of humanity and concern for others that is a step beyond the normal expectations for a service position.

Looking back on the experience, I’m saddened that I didn’t get these people’s names. They deserve that much, and I feel like I have disrespected them for not doing so. That was never my intention, and I genuinely hope that US Airways follows through on recognizing them for being the outstanding examples that they are.

Bravo to all of you. You all were truly a refreshing reminder that it’s the individuals that make the impact, not the company.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,233 other followers