#52weeks52stories “Soar”

Week 25! 😉

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Feu soared through the sky, the chill of early morning giving him energy and spurring him on.

He flew higher, touching the edge of the atmosphere where the air was the thinnest before swooping down to the clouds.

Stretching his wings wide, Feu closed his eyes, gliding along the blustery troposphere, wishing his brothers were at his side.

Moto and Kasai would challenge each other to races until exhaustion took them. Huŏ, the youngest, would pepper him with endless questions about their heritage.

But these were troubled times for the Kuen Kingdom. There was little time for fun and enjoyment or taking mates and raising families as long as their existence was threatened.

via #52weeks52stories “Soar”

“Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

The Nora White Story cover

“Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)

Genre: African American/Historical/Coming of Age

2.99 at time of posting!

When seventeen-year-old Nora White successfully graduates High School in 1922 Mississippi and is College-bound, everyone is overjoyed and excited. Everyone except Nora. She dreams of Harlem, Cotton Clubs, Fancy Dresses, and Langston Hughes. For years, she’s sat under Mr. Oak, the big oak tree on the plush green grass of her families five acres, and daydreamed of The Black Mecca.

The ambitious, young Nora is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance and decides she doesn’t want to go to College. Despite her parent’s staunch protest, Nora finds herself in Jacobsville, New York, a small town forty-five minutes outside of Harlem.

Shocked by their daughter’s disappearance, Gideon and Molly White are plagued with visions of the deadly south, like the brutal lynching of Gideon’s sister years ago. As the couple embarks on a frightening and gut-wrenching search for Nora, they are each stalked by their own traumatic past. Meanwhile, Nora learns that the North is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Can Gideon and Molly overcome their disturbing past in time to find their daughter before it’s too late?

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Fibromyalgia & Strained Relationships

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Those of us that deal with chronic pain deal with a constant reminder of our limitations. The realities of life with pain are far more complicated than most people realize. Sometimes those realities bring about actions that are not fair to others. A short temper, frustration with self or others, or depression are all ways that pain strains relationships. The only thing worse than dealing with chronic pain is doing so alone because you have pushed away your support system.

Lately, myself and others have noticed that I can be short tempered and jerky when I start hurting. I usually don’t notice that I am doing it until my wife gets mad and yells at me or storms out of the room. However, after it was brought to my attention by my wife and my family, I began to take notice of when I do it, what I say, and how it is perceived. Unfortunately, it had gotten so bad that I began to feel like a “jerk-hole” all of the time, and I am constantly reminded the pain strains relationships. The reality is that I take on too much responsibility and do not allow others to help me. The result is pain, and pain leads to treating my loved ones like crap. This is still something that I struggle with daily, but I have gotten much better at working on it. The root of the problem is my own guilt and ego. I tend to become attached to an idealized view of situations in my head. For example, if I work from home, then I SHOULD cook for my wife who had to go to the office that day. If I know how to perform a task more efficiently than another person, then I SHOULD be the one to do it. I SHOULD be able to keep the house clean. I SHOULD be able to do the grocery shopping. The problem is the SHOULD. Should represents an idealized view of the world that may not be based in reality. One thing that has helped me to give myself a break is addressing each idea with a dose of reality. “If I were not in so much pain, then I should be able to (fill in the blank), but since I am in pain, I should allow someone to help me.” I need to be ok with asking for help because my relationships are more important than my pride, ego, or predetermined ideas of what I SHOULD be able to do.

This idea leads me to the next issue: I hold myself to a higher standard than I am capable of.  Attention to detail, drive, and self-motivation are revered in our culture. These are considered desirable qualities, and they can be. However, when I place a higher level of ability on myself than I am capable of, then I am setting myself up for failure. It is “SHOULD” coming back to mess with me. Because I hold myself to this high standard, it is easy for me to become frustrated when I cannot perform at the level that I think I SHOULD be able to. This leads to me getting angry at myself and snapping at my loved ones, and I again see how pain strains relationships. Even though my frustration is rooted in my own inadequacy, my family is not able to differentiate the underlying motivations or frustrations that drive my actions. They simply see themselves as the target of my impatience. The answer to this is to make a realistic assessment of my capabilities and to give myself some grace. It is ok not to be superman or superwoman. It is ok to be realistic and honest with yourself. It is ok if you are not able to perform at the level that I used to before pain. Once I establish the parameters of my ability, then I need to limit myself and take care of myself. My family would rather have a dirty kitchen or help make dinner than be snapped at. If you have gotten into the habit of pushing yourself too hard so that your family can live a more comfortable life, then perhaps it is time for you to talk to them about the realities of your existence with chronic pain. Again, the answer is to give yourself a break. You will not help anyone by pushing yourself to the point of frustration. Giving yourself grace will help to maintain a healthy environment in your home, and avoid seeing first-hand how pain strains relationships.

Another way that chronic pain strains relationships is depression. It is easy to become discouraged and hopeless in the fight against chronic pain. Did you see what I said there? I said, “the fight against chronic pain” because that is what it is, and what it has to be. Depression is giving up and giving in to the pain. I know it is easy to get upset and think that it is easier said than done. Trust me, I have been there. It is like being at the bottom of a deep dark hole. Looking up is discouraging. Having someone tell you to suck it up and fight is infuriating because they do not understand your reality. In some sense, you would be correct. No one fully knows the reality of your pain, since pain is a subjective experience for each individual. However, as someone who has been there, I can tell you that it is possible to climb out of that hole. It is possible to change your mindset and build a stronger one. The hashtag that I have used on social media is #FightOrDie. That is the mindset that it takes to get out of that hole. Having said that, I will restate what I said above. You have to know your limitations and give yourself a break. The reality of depression is that it is just as unfair to those around you as biting their head off when they have done nothing wrong. But, more importantly, it is not fair to you to live that hollow existence. It is not fair to yourself to waste away and miss your life. If you want to take your life back, then you have to fight.

The end result of all of this is that you have to know yourself. You have to be real and clear about your limitations. You have to give yourself grace. You have to be ok with adjusting your view of yourself to make it match reality. As G.I. Joe cartoons told us in the 80s, knowing is half the battle, but knowing your limitations is not enough. You have to act on them by asking for help, resting, and taking care of yourself. Give yourself a break and stop buying into the “SHOULD” garbage. Be true to your reality, and you will find yourself in fewer situations where you witness how pain strains relationships.

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and is posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

 

“Upwelling: Poems” by Ann Chiappetta

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Upwelling: Poems

by Ann Chiappetta

Genre: Literature & Fiction/Poetry

2.99 at time of posting!

Guide dogs, death, and a disturbing dream. Marriage, memories, and intriguing mysteries. Eroticism, abortion, and a wonderfully poetic essay. In this collection of 23 of her short, accessible poems from several decades, Ann Chiappetta explores an enormous range of emotions and topics.

Obituary mourns the removal of an eye.

Verona and In Those Dark Moments are tributes to her beloved guide dog.

Appearances offers reflections on adjusting to blindness.

Four of the poems deal with the illness and death of others and her enduring grief.

Root Cellar is like a miniature horror movie.

The Marriage Pot employs a much-used spaghetti pot as a symbol for the vicissitudes of a long marriage.

Helium offers a balloon’s view of its surroundings.

NoneTheWiser gives us the words of an unconventional little girl.

These poems may variously pierce your heart or warm it, surprise you or amuse you. But they will surely move you and make for lasting memories.

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“Glimpses” by Hugh W. Roberts

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Glimpses

by Hugh W. Roberts

Genre: Anthology/Short Stories

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who is dyslexic, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.

Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a roller coaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

Glimpses allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as The Twilight Zone and Tales Of The Unexpected, then you are in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.

Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

“If you are looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story, cleverly crafted through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, will whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future. Every story makes a compelling read and just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, Hugh masterfully reveals a brilliant twist. With bite-size and longer stories, Glimpses is a must-read. I loved it.” – Esther Chilton, Writer, and Author.

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“Liam (Mammoth Forest Wolves Book 1)” by Kimber White

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Liam (Mammoth Forest Wolves Book 1)

by Kimber White

Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Shifters

FREE at time of posting!

For two generations, the wolf shifters of Mammoth Forest have lived under the brutal, ruthless control of the Kentucky Chief Pack Alpha. They have been denied their freedom, their rightful packs, and fated mates for far too long. Now, five brave men have forged a secret alliance hell-bent on resistance. Follow along as the shifters of Mammoth Forest fight to reclaim the women they love and the packs they were born to lead.

Liam – On a mission for critical medical supplies, Liam comes across curvy spitfire Molly. His protective instincts kick into overdrive. But, Molly’s stronger than she looks and she’s fully capable of taking care of her own damn self. It takes about two seconds for Liam to figure out Molly’s his fated mate. In another time and another place, that would make things simple. Here in Kentucky, that makes her a weapon the Chief Pack can use against Liam and all the resistance fighters in Mammoth Forest.

Molly – Molly Ravary’s not the kind of girl who believes in love at first sight. But when Liam McConnell walks into her life, all rippling muscles and eyes blazing with mystery, she might just have to rethink that. He’s hiding something but that doesn’t keep her from being drawn to him. When he reveals his true shifter self, Molly knows she should head for the hills. Except, his nature calls to hers and his truth opens a hidden, magical world she’s been living in all along. Instead of turning away like she knows she should, Molly finds herself all in.

Molly and Liam’s passion for each other creates the greatest danger of all. Giving into it could ruin them both.

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“The Silent Woman” by Terry Lynn Thomas

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The Silent Woman: A gripping Historical Fiction Full of Drama

by Terry Lynn Thomas

Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller/British

99¢ at time of posting!

Would you sell your secrets?

Catherine Carlisle is trapped in a loveless marriage and the threat of World War Two is looming. She sees no way out… that is until a trusted friend asks her to switch her husband’s papers in a desperate bid to confuse the Germans.

Soon Catherine finds herself caught up in a deadly mixture of espionage and murder. Someone is selling secrets to the other side, and the evidence seems to point right at her.

Can she clear her name before it’s too late?

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