Fiction Ideas

Let’s discuss fiction! Fiction is my most favorite genre of literature to read and write. I love the idea of creating and structuring a story, and telling it in a manner that provokes thought. I love creating flawed characters that have worked through their problems and situations by the end of the story.

Through fiction, the reader is transported on an entertaining journey. Readers can immerse themselves within the story and live among the characters by simply using their imagination. Fiction is always entertaining and fun!

My latest novel, “Unconscionable “, is available for pre-order! Go to http://www.urbanedgepublishing.com

Gratitude & Care

Former NFL star Marshawn Lynch once advised everyone to “take care of your body, your chicken (financials), and your mentals.” It’s actually a pretty good blueprint for living. Of course, other variables like gratitude, faith, and service to others are equally important.

Sadly, statistics show that since the onset of COVID-19, depression diagnoses have increased three-fold and are expected to rise even higher during post-pandemic times. The main factors being isolation, increased anxiety, and withdrawing socially. It’s even grown exponentially among physicians, nurses, and other public servants like policemen and firemen. Not to mention its stifling impact on schools, child care facilities, restaurants, gyms, and other service industries.

Not to mention the sad news dumped on us by the news cycle. Students and parents are confused and in a toss up deciding between virtual, masked, and in-school learning. As we march towards the end of year two fighting the pandemic, additional factors like inflation and a fragmented supply chain of goods has added even more weight on our shoulders. On a daily basis, it can be overwhelming and feel as though we’re trudging through a malaise with no hope in sight. Unfortunately, with this new variant, the numbers of deaths and infections continue to rise.

But despite this, hope has never left us. Yes, there is more sadness in our world right now, but sooner or later the storm clouds will be lifted. We do this by holding onto every sliver of joy, light, and opportunity we’re afforded. We cope and we move on moment by moment knowing we’ll eventually find ourselves on the other side of this storm. Faith will allow us to withstand this storm and hope will help us slowly begin to turn our world right side up again. Be grateful and take care of yourself and others!

Be Still…And Breathe

Amidst the uncertainty of the world’s current state that’s become our new normal, staying grounded and keeping our emotions in check is of the utmost importance. Most importantly, how do we remain present in every moment of every day? How do we maintain our sanity and keep our emotions settled?

Life’s circumstances can be ever-changing and overwhelming. There are highs and lows, nervous peaks and valleys. How do we stay balanced and in control throughout our day? I think we begin with making every facet of ourselves a priority. There must be a positive mindset within us, no matter what’s going on in the world. Have a daily plan and try your hardest to execute it. Set short and long term goals, monitor your diet, drink lots of water and try to exercise and get some fresh air daily. Consciously choose and be mindful what you give your attention to. I rarely watch the news and I limit my time on social media platforms.

In order to continuously improve at focusing on staying grounded and mindful, I sit in stillness twice a day–only focusing on my breathing. Performing deep, soothing, breaths; inhaling through my nostrils and exhaling through my mouth. I quiet my mind by pushing away all other thoughts. It’s very calming and soothing. I highly recommend trying to do this for five to fifteen minutes each time. You’ll be amazed how much your spirit grows by just sitting still and breathing.

Breathing (meditating) is a great coping mechanism for our daily stressors, tensions, and anxiety. Self-care and prioritizing ourselves is the best gift we can give ourselves. Try it–I promise you’ll feel better and think more clearly. We can protect, honor, and love ourselves just by being still–and breathing.

To Err Or Not To Err With Caution

As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to spike at an all time high all over the world, the gulf and uneasiness between the vaccinated and non-vaccinated continues to widen at a breakneck speed. And with the Delta variant diagnoses climbing and other strains teeming on the horizon, sicknesses, deaths and mass hospitalizations are sobering as well as saddening. Sadly, cases among our school aged children continue to increase–with some resulting in death. School systems all over the state have the unfortunate task of deciding how to safely continue their curriculum. Our healthcare heroes are physically and mentally exhausted and hospitals are filled to the brink.

Despite all this, both sides of the argument appear to be dug-in and standing on their beliefs. Everyone’s right and no one’s wrong. The non-vaccinated feel their freedoms are being impinged upon and that the vaccine and mask wearing is a conspiracy created by the government to control its citizens. I’m all for the sacred rights and freedoms afforded to every citizen by our constitution, but it’s heartbreaking to see people you know succumb to COVID-19 because they chose not to get vaccinated. Even when they begin feeling ill, they stubbornly believe they’ll get over it and heal. Personally, I’m going to do any and everything in my power to ensure my safety and well-being.

Those of us vaccinated are optimistically concerned for everyone. Granted, there are cases where those fully vaccinated contract COVID-19, but those cases are few and far between. Even then, chances for survival are markedly greater. It is my fondest prayer that the entire world take this threat seriously and tackle this together. Let’s stay masked up, keep our hands clean, stay socially distanced…and pray. Please err on the side of caution, safety, and science.

Selective Hearing vs. Effective Listening

Just a thought; who among us, including myself, have been guilty of selective hearing instead of listening effectively? What I mean by that is taking the time to clearly hear the person speaking to you. There’s a reason we’re born with two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. It’s because we’re supposed to observe and listen twice as much as we speak. Plus, it’s common courtesy and a sign of respect to do so. When you commit to becoming a more effective listener, you become a better learner and a more effective communicator. Going forward, let’s all listen clearly and effectively instead of hearing only what we choose to hear. Listen to what is truly being said to you.