Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy New Year

img_1499

To all of you who supported me by visiting my blog this year and leaving comments or giving feedback verbally, I want you to know how much it’s meant to know you took the time out of your busy schedule to do so.

To those of you who have followed me, in spite of the fact that I have been learning a lot from you, I appreciate your willingness to come along for the ride although I haven’t been as consistent as I wanted to be this year.

And those of you whom I’ve chosen to follow, let me tell you how much you’ve inspired me to keep on going and to develop that next post even when there were img_1496periods of extreme physical pain to overcome.  I’m looking forward to putting some of that agony behind me in the future, having recently had surgery, so I believe I will have more time to write.  Thank you for helping me to be brave, motivated and to keep going.  Your poetry, your beautiful prose have empowered me. And finally, to my husband who always takes the time to add eyeballs to anything I do, I thank you for being there.

Happy Holidays to you out there in blogosphere and your families, wherever you are.  Stay inspired keep sharing your work.  You never know when you will touch someone with your words.

 

Gemma

Photos of Florida sunrise & sunset courtesy of Bruce.

 

Lies, Fake News & Falsehoods

It seems that telling the truth is only something we do when we can no longer hide our falsehoods.  There are times when lies are useful – such as when doctors think it useful to conceal from a patient how ill they  truly are; or when a surprise is planned and a little white lie is appropriate to make the secret successful.

Very often our leaders and politicians get a pass on making irrational promises or reneging on commitments, without giving much forethought to the impracticality of their applications and don’t pay the consequences. Several frequent occurrences by sports organizations allowing athletes to break records while using steroids and concealing these facts for years,  is now creating concerns that call for investigations into our testing standards and dictate a definite need to question our moral values.

Deceitful marketing has long been a practIce of retailers who continue to advertise their goods at markdowns listed below false stated prices, giving the impression to customers that they are getting a discount.  It is hardly surprising then that fake news should rise to prominence now, and cause the reactions we are witnessing from people who assume these reports are credible. Conspiracy theories abound with spins on everything that emerges from the recent political campaign promises. Technology to check these stories, although it exists is not yet in place to weed out inaccuracies fast enough.

In the interim, we must be vigilant and careful about what we retweet, and what we repeat. So much of our news is derived from the Internet, that we need to use reliable sources and when in doubt check with sites like http://www.snopes.com or http://www.FactCheck.org for verification of our data.

Above are some spectacular pictures of Florida sunsets.

Election fact or fiction

We’ve all been barraged by stories of sexual assault recently in the media, which the alleged predator dismisses as “fiction.”  I would be remiss if I glossed over the controversial topic without adding a few comments of my own.

As someone who has been a victim of unreported sexual assault, I understand why these women never stepped forward to report the incidents in the first place.  At the time (think about twenty years ago), women who did not have a witness or a police report to substantiate their claims of assault or rape, knew that they would have their cases dismissed as hearsay and that the predator, if well-known in the community, would have the last word.  Allegations of wanting to sue for money were a common defense by predators, and the humiliation in Court was not worth the shame.

I know that my own experience of having a doctor force himself on me and kiss me on the mouth during my hospital stay when I was immobile with crippling back pain, would have been a difficult one to prove.  The curtain was drawn, I was alone with the doctor and totally helpless and in shock when it happened. Needless to say, after I was discharged I never returned to that doctor for follow-up care.

Anita Hill changed the course for women in 1991 when she testified at the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his obscene sexual harassment during the time of her employment as his assistant.  She empowered us to come forward and speak out against the disgusting, unwanted solicitations we encounter in the workplace and in society at large, but unfortunately there are still several who remain untouched by the sensibility of sexual assault and its effects on women, although there may be female members in their own families.

This post is not meant to influence anyone’s decision in the upcoming election.  It is only meant to share a painful experience that I know is similar to what many others have endured, and were helpless to do anything about.  It is meant to empathize with those women who chose to speak out and are afraid of recrimination or dismissal.  Perhaps, there are some of you who failed to listen in the past, but would listen today?

 

 

 

FICTION WRITING EXPANDS OUR HUMANITY

The following video has deep meaning for me and I wanted to share it in light of the disturbing events of the past week.  I have few words for the depravity that occurred, and think that a solution to resolve the problem can only take place after in-depth soul searching and discussion on many levels.  So in the meantime, I mourn just like everyone else for the loss caused by the actions of both the cops and the deranged individual who retaliated.  If we could only stop talking past each other and try to understand how each side feels, perhaps we could establish meaningful dialogue and show love for each other. Isn’t that what humanity is about?

I think that reading fiction can expand our humanity, but maybe there’s no value for such pursuits in our lives.  Perhaps at a later time we will take the time to reflect on these events and evaluate the effects of social media on our psyche.  Watch this video and feel free to comment.