Friday, June 22, 2012


Do you know someone at risk for suicide right now?  Chances are you do.  We are in the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930's wherein suicides jumped from 12.1 per 100,000 to 18.9.  The average number of suicides in modern times jumped from 33,000 Americans per year to  a staggering 1.1 million suicide attempts in the year 2008!

With numbers like that, I imagine you are going through a checklist of your family and friends.  You are wondering who is at risk and who is not.  People think of suicide as a last resort, when all hope has vanished.  They see no way to make the pain in their heart or mind to go away, or the physical pain is to much to bear especially since the medical community is unable or unwilling to help, or it maybe the financial burden they find themselves in.

I once had a wise friend that told me he had no respect for people who commit suicide.  At first I thought how harsh and rude.  How can you say that about someone when you don't know the pain they were going through?  I mean, come on!  Some people just aren't that strong.

He said suicide is a cop out.  The harm you cause to the ones who love you is much greater than the pain you endure in silence.  As I thought about his words, they began to sink in.  I thought about my own family and how something like that would affect them.  I have to say, it would be a scar that would never heal.  They would live their whole life with that pain just below the surface.

I suffer from cluster migraines - the female version.  Cluster migraines have been nicknamed the suicide headache.  Yes, that is right.  Clusters are not like normal migraines, they are much worse.  I know what you are saying, a normal migraine can last 3 days with no sign of ending.  I'd agree with you, I've had them and they are not fun.  Clusters, heck they only last about 15 minutes two or three times a day.  So what's the big deal?  I used to wonder the same thing.

Well, let's start with the fact they happen everyday for 6-12 weeks, then you have the inability to lie down when you are having an episode because the pain increases tenfold.  Sitting down doesn't help much either.  Now let's trying pacing the room.  Ah, that's better.  Except I'm dizzy and my eyes are out of focus.  Then there are the hallucinations when they are at their worst.  Is it real or is it not?

The point is, I made it through.  Although God did not seem close at hand during the time, I know he was there.  He saved me when I could take no more.  When other doctors insisted on pushing new, high dollar drugs down my throat and the insurance company wouldn't approve a different doctor to care for me, I went out on my own and paid for a doctor who would listen to what I said about the way I felt and what my suspicions were.  She diagnosed me within five minutes of being in her office and took me off all my medications in order to detox me.

I'm alive and well today because of her.

I have two friends right now that are depressed.  One has mentioned thinking about ending it, the other, I know went as far as pulling the trigger...just decided to miss and hit the wall instead.  The source of their pain?  Physical, and mental, a feeling of inadequacy.  We've had many talks and I'm confident neither of my friends will leave me; they understand the consequences.

They also know they need to look at the positive.  Find one thing they love to do and make sure they make time for it every day.  We have to look at the positive.  For me, the cup is always half full, not half empty.

I was recently informed that my cousin Marty, who I haven't seen in nearly 20 years committed suicide last month, the day before the 2nd anniversary of his mother's death.  My heart is saddened that he couldn't find one thing worth living for.  From the bottom of my heart, Marty, I'm sorry for not being there for you.

Think, the next time someone cuts you off on the freeway, getting into the elevator, being next in line at the grocery store.  Instead of being angry and trying to let them know that, try a smile.  Maybe it will be contagious.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cooping with Migraines

Although I rarely get migraines now, the very thought of them are always near the forefront of my mind.  I struggled horribly with them several years back and the idea that I may get them again like that scares me.  All doctors give you a general list of things to avoid; like stress, changing your sleeping habits and foods such as aged cheeses, MSG and nitrates.  My first question is what is an aged cheese?  Of course most doctors don't tell you.  It wasn't until I found Dr. Carol Foster that I began to understand my nagging migraines, and nagging is an understatement.  She gave me a true list of foods I could and could not eat...including the cheeses, hint aged cheeses are hard like cheddar, Swiss and parm., just to name a few.  Now, we all know that MSG is product used in Chinese food.  Wrong!  MSG is a flavor enhancer that comes from the #8 food allergen in America -- Soybeans!

Once I cut these foods out of my diet, my migraines lessened.  Of course they didn't go away without the proper medication, but I did feel relief.  Dr. Foster also insisted that you drink a full glass of water, eat a slice of wheat bread and a slice of cheese at the onset of migraines as it helps keep you hydrated with food food in your stomach to get you through the migraine.  It didn't cure the migraine, but I believe it helped.  I also like to drink gatoraide when I feel a migraine coming on.

I hope these ideas help anyone with migraines.  For more information about Dr. Foster, visit her website at

Dr. Foster's list of eat/don't eat foods was so intimidating, seeing since soy is in just about everything these days I created my own recipes.  Since summer is upon, I will share my family's favorite salad dressing (even my 16 year old nephew loves it and thanks me for bringing him an extra jar of it for later).

Blender French Dressing

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c canola oil
1/3 c ketchup
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c cranberry-apple juice
1    T dried, minced onions
1     tsp each; salt, paprika, and dry mustard

Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Chill in refrigerator before serving.  Will keep several days in refrigerator. Servings 6-8.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

NEORWA June 12 Meeting

Thank you, Donna MacMeans!  Amazing lecture on EMOTIONS!  I think we take for granite the barrier that needs to be between our herione and hero, even though we may naturally put one there such as Fireman and Arsonist as you described.  But think about all the possiblities we just created.  I instantly noticed the improvement I could make with my own characters when I look at rooting interest, presentation and a deeper POV and let's not forget...always make it worse!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Character's With Minds of Their Own

The interesting thing about being a writer is the different experiences we create.  Sometimes we are even surprised by how the characters of our imagination evolve.  For instance, I had written and edited this one scene several times already, when suddenly the secondary male lead jumped into the scene. 

I was so excited that he wanted to be there.  He said he wasn't leaving until he explained himself to the heroine.  He added drama of course, but he also added more depth to the heroine's character and left her with more difficult choices to make in the end.

When I told my husband this, he looked at me hard.  I know he was trying to determine my state of mind.  How on earth can a character do that? he wanted to know.  I just giggled for a moment then asked him if he thought I was crazy.  Needless to say he wasn't in a hurry to answer that question.

I told him it was the joy of have true, believable characters.  They come alive for me.  I suppose you can look at it as another author put it, we are either crazy or magical. 

I prefer Magical.