Being There

April 28, 2012

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;  courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill


Writing Tip: Writers with a Jersey ‘Tude

April 24, 2012

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Q. Do you need excellent grammar and a superb vocabulary to be a writer?

A. It ain’t necessary, but it don’t hurt.

How I Write:  Secrets of a Best-selling Author

Janet Evanovich

(Writer, Jersey Girl – born in South River, attended Douglass College)


Jersey News: Amber Alert and Silver Alert Resolved

April 20, 2012

Today in central Jersey, we had an Amber Alert and a Silver Alert, and happily, both ended well.

Infiniti Parker left her school in East Orange right after being dropped off on Thursday morning by her foster-mother. The ten-year-old ran away in an effort to reunite with her biological mom and was found today at her grandmother’s job. She’s back with her foster-mother tonight.

Elizabeth Carlson has cognitive impairment and earlier today, was temporarily missing.  The 43-year-old was found quickly, partly due to the fact that her car has an unusual license plate:  PUGDOGS.  Normally the silver alert is only used to help locate missing seniors, but in New Jersey, the network covers mental and cognitive impaired individuals as well.

The alert system really does work, and kudos to all the police personnel and good citizens who stepped up to help find our missing neighbors.  That’s the side of New Jersey the world needs to see more of. Way to go, youse guys!


New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Debate

April 12, 2012

At a Town Hall meeting today, Governor Christie proposed a “drug court” for offenders busted for personal use of drugs that would send them to rehab instead of jail.

I think this idea should extend to a New Jersey man who was sentenced to five years in jail for growing marijuana to help with his symptoms of MS. 

I was diagnosed with MS ten years ago, and I can tell you that doctors prescribe several different types of medication for the symptoms:  one for spasticity, one for fatigue, one for headaches, and an injection to prevent further exacerbations.  If most of these symptoms can be addressed with a joint and a bag of Doritos (not a sponsor, mind you), I say, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

Never been a pot-smoker, but New Jersey passed a law two years ago under then-Governor Corzine that legalized medicinal marijuana dispensaries for MS patients, yet not a single one has opened.

It won’t mean that New Jersey will become a den of druggies; it might give relief to people in pain and give them back some quality of life.  Surely something to consider.


Litmus Test: Are You from Jersey?

April 8, 2012

I’m not sure I would pass the litmus test of being from Jersey – the test being, we’re always in a hurry.  We speed to the red light, stop on a dime, then tear down the highway as if it was a NASCAR race.

When I realized that I was the only one in Jersey who actually observes the speed limit, it made me wonder.  I was born here… right?  I was pretty young at birth, so I don’t really remember first-hand, but I’ve been taking my mom’s word for it my whole life.

Am I really from Jersey?  Let’s think on this.

  • I don’t consider stop signs optional
  • I don’t consider tailgating the normal method of driving
  • I don’t consider seeing a Bon Jovi cover band in a dive bar a fun night out

Hmmm…. Now I’m wondering!

Oh wait, it’s okay.  I still default to big hair (even though it’s no longer the 80s), I think nail art is bee-yoo-tee-full, and I consider lamé to be anything but lame.

Yeppers.  I am indeed from Jersey!  Youse gotta prahlem widat?


Easter Blessings

April 8, 2012

Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.

Victor Hugo


Small Wonders by Lori Strawn

April 6, 2012

Just felt the need to post this beautiful prayer by my writing partner, Lori Strawn. Along with Sue Bradford Edwards, we write about faith and positivity on our blog, praypower4today. This prayer – or Prayable, as we called them on that gig – is my all-time favorite. Enjoy!

Small Wonders

I praise You for the tiny glories
I am often too busy to see:
the irregular scallop of a maple leaf,
the impossible yellow of a dandelion,
the perfection of untrammeled snow.

For the scrap of sunlight the cat finds
in the darkened hallway,
I thank You.

For each sudden splendor:
the tickle of grass,
the dizzying dome of sky after rain,
the cozy smell of someone I love,
I exalt You.
Your beauty bursts my heart.


Jersey News: “Whaling Wall”

April 5, 2012

People are mad at the New York Post for showing a picture of our governor, Chris Christie, at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem with the headline “Whale at the Wall” – and rightly so. But New Jerseyans themselves have been saying hateful things like that about the governor since before he was elected. It amazes me that they don’t realize that when they do this, they make themselves – and the state – look bad.

Christie almost invites this sort of criticism, with the way he himself bullies political opponents and even constituents.

Even so, we should all raise the level of discourse. Disagree with his policies, but stop ad hominem attacks. We need to be better than that, New Jersey.


Leave Whitney Alone

April 4, 2012

Today it was reported that New Jersey born superstar Whitney Houston had cocaine in her system at the time of her death.

Many people blame Bobby Brown for Whitney’s troubles. If you had to blame someone, it might actually be Clive Davis. Even though he’s the one who “discovered” her, he was also the one who insisted that she homogenize her church-bred soulful sound into something more palatable. She was never allowed to just be herself.

I don’t think it was drowning or drugs that killed Whitney, but deep despair. No matter how this story ended, we will always love you, Whitney. May God give you rest now at last.


Wing it

April 2, 2012

The future. God. The unknown.
What people might say about you.
Puberty.
Things you can’t explain.
Embarking on a new adventure.
The afterlife.
Aliens from space.
What’s around the corner.

All of these can be summed up thus:

More than you know; less than you fear.

Leave anticipation anxiety behind.
Move from “what if?” to “why not?”

So there’s no map. Okay. Not even a trail.
Light out and blaze one.

Try. You may just fly.