And Time Stood Still

There is a low level, ever present fear

One month ago, I was struggling to finish my contemporary Western romance. The demands and pressure of my full time job as a midwife, taking care of the house, the pets, troubleshooting issues with my teenage and young adult children, my husband and my elderly mother are a lot to juggle. I’m overwhelmed by just reading the last sentence.

Creative writing has always been my outlet and I love escaping into my characters’ world. In the last week of normalcy, I  had a research paper to edit and finalize, and that was certainly not an escape.

The novel should have been finished by now. I make most of my deadlines, but sometimes they impose themselves on me.

One month ago, the theoretical threat of COVID-19 became real overnight. I woke up hearing that there was a cluster in New Rochelle, which is very close to New York City. The Metro North…

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Courage

Truly something to reflect on. Thank you.

The world has lost its innocence as we rediscover what past humans endured and survived.

But we are more able now than any time in history to study and fight this virus. The human species survived many such disasters in the past. Smallpox. The Black Death. Typhoid. Yellow fever. Cholera. Polio. The Spanish Flu of 1918.

Courage

At no other point in history has science been advanced enough to help with a virus. When the 1918 flu was raging, microscopes were not accurate enough to even see a virus. Compare that to this current pandemic, where the virus was not only identified, but gene sequenced within weeks.

Survive as a human race we shall. Changed without doubt – no longer confident in our invulnerability – but survive we will. But what aspects survive? The courage of medical staff, the endurance of grocery workers, the behind the scenes IT people building info…

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Withdrawal, But Not Retreat

It’s been a long writing journey that I’ve chronicled here over the last year or so. Its been almost fifteen years since I started creative writing in earnest. During that time a lot has changed in the world, in my personal and family life, and in my writing life. It has been a journey indeed.

For all that time, creative writing has been an escape from a demanding job, raising three children, caring for aging relatives. Now I am about to  make a third major job change (the one that pays the bills).

It seemed I would never complete Storm Watch, the third book in the Unfinished Business Series, but I did. And I started the fourth. That is now in limbo while I detoured to non fiction writing–and out of the blue–a contemporary Western romance/women’s fiction heavily based on current events.

In order to survive the increasing distraction of…

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The Beginning of the End

NaNoWriMo is coming to an end as I write my last SMP Author Blog post of 2019. But this year, I didn’t participate. Instead, I continued with my Happy 100s Facebook Group, and to date, I’ve logged 20,653 words on my work in progress since November 1! It’s also my first contemporary romance/women’s fiction novel. I hope to have the first draft done by mid winter 2020!

I find this laid back group, with minimal internal communications and no pressure other than to write 100 words per day, has enabled me do more than any year I did particpate in NaNo. Most often, I’ve been able to write more because once I get going, the creative instinct kicks in. We’re also able to count editing (at a reduced word count) in our totals, which is great since re reading what I wrote last helps me get into the mood to…

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One Hundred Days, One Hundred Words

I started to write in a new genre (for me), a Contemporary Western Romance. It could also be considered Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements. That’s because I write what I know, and I am deeply involved and passionate about current events with my nonfiction as well.

As you now know after reading my most recent Soulmate Press Blog Posts, I am a recovering blocked writer. After nearly a year of a research project for work, requiring a lot of time, travel and energy, I was unable to write fiction, and starting to believe I might never be able to finish another novel,

Taking writing classes helped, as well as putting away the Urban Fantasy manuscript that required more research and more energy than I had. I started to write in a new genre (for me), a Contemporary Western Romance. It could also be considered Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements. That’s because I write what I know, and I am deeply involved and passionate about current events with my nonfiction as well. And since childhood, have loved everything to do with cowboys, cowgirls, and horses.

I’m trying not to get derailed by what this novel is. I…

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The Unfinished Business of Writing

I started to wonder if I would ever be able to write another novel, let alone a series.

After a year of very serious writer’s block, I’ve tried lots of things to kickstart my imagination. But nothing seemed to be working.

I puttered with a new Western Contemporary (a first for me), and with the fourth book in the Unfinished Business series. I went back to my urban fantasy. But the depth of the research after the death of dear Mary O’Gara, who taught me everything I know about Tarot and astrology was a major set back for that series, as well as a personal loss.

As a panster, outlining doesn’t work for me–and I have to let the characters start waking me up at night and distracting me during the day with their demands. I write the beginning, and the end. They dictate what comes in between.

There are the inevitable distractions:  The day job, family responsibilities, household tasks, and college tours. This past weekend, my cat…

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The Way Forward: Helping Puerto Rico Recovery Efforts

It’s been a busy week in Puerto Rico, where the people have had enough of corruption, graft, disrespect, criminal negligence that resulted in thousands of deaths due to inept disaster response… The list goes on and on. This New York Times piece sums it up. 

While things are a bit better in Vega Baja since the NYSNA medical mission in January 2018, La Perla in San Juan looked pretty much the same on my visit one year later in January 2019.

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Standing in the Same Spot, January 2019

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Vega Baja, January 2018

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La Perla, January 2018

 

 

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La Perla, January 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my last visit, to attend the National Association of Hispanic Nurses Leadership Institute, we helped administer vaccines. And I took a photo journey, all by my lonesome. Then I took what I found back to NAHN, who doesn’t just talk–they act.

NAHN Screen

Click to Read the Abstract

The NAHN Ad Hoc Committee for Puerto Rico was formed at the Leadership conference, and we’re developing partnerships with states, such as New York, who have offered tangible support and with other non governmental and labor organizations to continue to return to facilitate recovery.

 

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On July 17, 2019  I was honored to present: The Way Forward: An Ethnographic Review of Rescue, Recovery, Social and Climate Justice in Puerto Rico and the NAHN Annual Meeting.

This presentation documents a timeline of inaction  by the Federal Government and it’s agencies including FEMA. No we have solid evidence that Govenor Ricardo Rosselló diverted aid, both tangible and financial, and failed to act to save people’s lives, then not only lied, he bragged about it and got caught with his pants down on vacation in Paris.

But the people of Puerto Rico, who valiantly took charge when the government didn’t. And multiple faith based, labor and other non governmental agencies continue to offer support for recovery.

I know that the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and multiple other health care community allies intend to help in whatever why they can. I thank NAHN for their advocacy, and for inviting me, as a new member, to share my experiences and expertise to help facilitate much needed change.

Follow and support our efforts on https://twitter.com/Petitemeetstree and Facebook Pages Yo Soy Testigo: https://www.facebook.com/SanJuanTeam/ and https://www.facebook.com/PetiteMeetsStreet/

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