Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Editor's Corner

January 2019

"Auld Lang Syne ”
youtube.com presentation by Susan Boyle
( Auld Lang Syne
9eme chanson de l'album "The Gift" de Susan Boyle.)
Auld Lang Syne 
performed by Susan Boyle

A New Year! The days to come will be what you make of them so get your best skills sharpened to carve your future the way you desire. Writing, composing should always be at or very near the top of the list for authors, and we look forward to helping you get your compositions published. One never knows how much someone's life may be bettered by simply seeing something inspirational or even simply encouraging so that when they read it the words go straight to their heart.

As the old year ends, we come to recognize that it is filled with "Yesterdays" which happens to be the title of the essay found in the articles prepared by Sharlynn Wamsley, her first appearance in our ezine. We look forward to more from her. Another author we always welcome is LC VanSavage who has besides her column, "Consider This," a story "Jack, Harry, and the Artist," and an article "The Top of My Grandmother's Dresser." We find ourselves recalling similar things from our own grandmother's dresser - a memory awakening.

Michael John Fierro who formerly did a column "By The Numbers" here graciously is sharing his forecast: "2019 – A 12/3 UNIVERSAL YEAR." Not to be missed. SusanD Dimitrakopoulos aka Spuds, submitted the autobiography of the late Billy Van who made us laugh (think Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Party Game, Sonny & Cher, and the Colt 45 guy). Susan, a professional photographer has been seen in pencilstubs before.

Marilyn Carnell also has both an article, "Aging in Place," and her column "Sifoddling Along" handles a self analysis without trepidation. Thomas F. O'Neill has returned to Suzhou, China, just in time to share some uTube scenes of the Christmas celebrations including fireworks in his column, "Introspective."

Mattie Lennon author of "Irish Eyes" discusses a different role for a well known politician in Ireland and then offers his friend's suggestion for New Year Resolutions you Will keep. Judith Knoll author of "On Trek" speaks of what Religion means and doesn't mean. "Cooking with Rod" by Rod Cohenour turns to with one of his spouse's attractive and delicious recipes, M’s Meatballs in Sweet N Hot Sauce.

Melinda Cohenour's "Armchair Genealogy" shares that through DNA, family members who link to her first husband's lineage, and thus to her two children and their descendants, have been located and an ongoing conversation has emerged. The story is fascinating and may lead you and others in your family to have their DNA submitted if it has not already been done.

One thing your editor cherishes is the opportunity to receive and publish the poetry our authors compose. Some months find them so busy that they have hardly taken pen to hand - or hands to computer. Nevertheless the poetry submissions for January have arrived and they are named below:
    Carrie E. Joslin, "Walking With Alice Anne,"
    Bruce Clifford "The Sparkle in Your Eyes;"
    John I. Blair's four are: "The Secret," "Looking for Brillance," "At November's End," and accompanied by the subject's pic (of Patio Cat) "There You Sit."
    Bud Lemire sent this trio: "The Christmas Bell," "The Enemy Within," and "What We Become."
            Judith Knoll has a poem this issue: "Our Healing Earth."

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December 7, '18, received this message from one of our early authors:
Fri 3:09 PM Hi, Mary - not sure if you saw already, but I have a new novel that was released last month. Hope all is going well with you and happy holidays!
Then Came Darkness a novel by D. H. Schleicher.
David HS

His "thrilling new Depression-era noir from Mabus Publishing" is available in trade paperback ($11.99 USD) and Kindle eBook ($4.99 USD) editions. His Blog can be found here:The Schleicher Spin

Cover Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Felix Besombes -- See Below.

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Delighted to see that our webmaster Mike Craner whose patience and expertise underline this ezine, was actually getting to have a vacation with family. Perhaps he will share some pics with us soon.

See you in February 2019 which is the first issue of the 22d volume of Pencil Stubs Online.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


2019 – A 12/3 UNIVERSAL YEAR


Numerologically, the year 2019 is a 12/3 Universal Year (2+0+1+9 = 12 = 3). In numerology, THREE represents creation, creative self-expression, emotion, artistic talents and endeavors, and healing and the healing arts. The 12/3 Universal Year is a waiting period during which a change of view, reversals, or submissions may very well be part of the dynamic. The 12/3 is representative of strong individual principles. This is a year during which we must cultivate the courage of our convictions and power to gain followers in its progressive ideas. This energy engenders the ability to see the truth and to create reform where necessary. We can use this energy to convince and lead by righting the wrongs of people and policies. It is imperative that we learn the truth of our crusades while daring to believe in that which we believe.

2019 may turn out to be a pivotal year worldwide as the positives and negatives are quite diametrically opposed and dramatic, and the emotional quotient that will be at play may bring about situations of an extreme nature. On the positive side, 2019 can be fertile ground for an expansion in the world of arts, entertainment, and recreation. Properly used, this energy will be conducive for the production of artistic works that can have a beneficial effect on those who are exposed to them. The climate will encourage the expression of thoughts, ideas, and emotions and will also be a platform for social issues and interactions. The THREE, being the number of creation, may also be a driving force in a continuation of spiritual understanding that was begun in 2018, and ELEVEN Universal Year. This would be a good year to begin in earnest, the healing of the SELF and the planet on which we reside. 2019 can be the birth of something new. All such progress and ideas must begin with “we the people”, the individuals and the energy will be such, that progress and ideas may be carried forth into the collective. People will definitely be more inclined to search for answers.

In the tarot, the number TWELVE is The Hanged Man. The keyword for this card is reversal. The Hanged Man can be interpreted in two very different ways. All change is a small kind of death, as the old must die to create the new, and it may simply indicate upheaval or change in our future, perhaps beyond our control, but more likely a decision, for good or ill, from which we will not be able to turn back. The other interpretation is one of sacrifice, although whether this sacrifice is small or great may not be easily interpreted. Both interpretations imply permanence, and that we should give very careful thought to the decisions in our collective lives. The Hanged Man card reflects a particular need to suspend certain actions. As a result, this might indicate a certain period of indecision. This means that certain actions or decisions which need to be properly implemented are likely to be postponed even if there is an urgency to act at this particular moment. In fact, it would be ultimately the best if we are capable of stalling certain actions in order to ensure that we have more time to reflect on making critical decisions. This will ultimately be the best.

Astrologically, the number THREE is associated with the planet Jupiter. In Indian numerology and astrology, Jupiter is the remover of darkness and a teacher of righteousness, justice and self-illumination. We must continue to shed the darkness and move towards the light. The journey and the lifting of the veil begins with each of us as individuals. As within, so without. As above, so below.

Other conditions and events during 2019 should bring about new developments in the world of medicine and pharmaceuticals. I would anticipate a major breakthrough in the treatment, and/or elimination, of at least one major health affliction. This may also be a year in which words take on a new level of importance. We, the people, may find a new voice through which we can express our dissatisfaction and upsets with the powers that be. It may be a multitude of individuals or it may be the voice of a new leader, or leaders, who may galvanize people into action. Watch for a major talk or speech by a world leader that will have tremendous effect on all. There may also be new “words” regarding justice and law and order. On the positive side, this may be a new approach to the way crimes and criminals are handled (Something that took place within the last six weeks of 2018. As with all new Personal or Universal Years, the effects of the Year are usually first felt 4-6 weeks before the Year actually begins.) Negatively, it may portend new laws that may be more restrictive (especially in matters of speech and self-expression). This could lead to crackdowns on the voice of dissension around the globe. As people look to create more recreation and fun activities in their lives, we may see the introduction of some new, fun-based or recreational fad. There may also be a collective lifting of spirits through the spending of more money on fun and leisure activities. The inclination will be for people to enjoy life, and the fears and obstacles of the current economic situations may be dissipated through a collective desire to break loose and throw caution to the wind. Another possibility in the realm of politics is the potential rise of a third party and, we should remain especially vigilant regarding third-party interference in our affairs.

The negative side of the THREE Universal year is not pleasant and may create more imbalance, unfairness and dis-ease upon us and our planet. It may be quite dramatic as there may be a tendency towards extreme emotional reactions, and even overreactions, to events. Such activities could lead to more oppressive behavior and actions from those in power. Every action creates an equal reaction. With that in mind, caution must be exercised and be preceded by thoughtful contemplation. People must also be aware of a tendency to scatter energy. Attempting too much, too quickly will not produce anything that is worthwhile. Restlessness and recklessness are certainly conditions of which people are mindful. This applies not only to individuals, but governments as well. Such behaviors will create greater tensions between the parties involved. (Watch for this to manifest between countries in the global arena.) There may be an increase in the use of guns and weapons, and an escalation in brutality and aggressive or warlike behavior.

Even more importantly, people, institutions and governments must be aware of the fact that extreme actions and behaviors will create equally great and extreme results and reactions. Extravagance will lead to a dissipation of wealth and resources; an exhaustion of resources will lead to a wasteland; and risk will lead to more loss. The indication here would be that the lessons of the past two years have not been learned, and we will all suffer accordingly. The lesson here is to avoid excess. Be conservative and resourceful. The more that pleasure is pursued, the more likely the result will be less constructive outcomes. To illustrate this, think back to what the excesses of 1929 led to...the crash of 1929 and the world was plunged into its worst ever economic crisis. The situations of 1938 led to the outbreak of World War II. The peace that followed WWII (1947) led to the Atomic Age and the beginning of the Cold War. The tensions of the Cold War in 1956 led to an increase in the race for technological advantages and an escalation in the geo-political climate in the world. 1965 was the harbinger of social changes never before seen. 1974 saw a political scandal and tragedy of new proportions, and the world was never the same. 1983 saw dramatic situations in the economic climate. 1992 brought with it a new level of partisanship and divisiveness in the political arena. 2001 brought us the events of September 11, and a new level of government interference and the erosion of personal liberties and rights. A new dynamic was created. The common thread here is the fact that all of the years mentioned were THREE Universal years. Be mindful that more greed and wasteful extravagance will precede trouble. Watch for the dramatic event(s) in 2019 and know that another shift is upon us. It is this very energy which we must collectively work to change.

Through positive creation and actions and activities of an enlightened nature, the outcomes can be affected. We must use our voices and speak out against the injustices, excesses, and abuses of which we become aware. The ride may get bumpier, but the potential for a new and better world is always there for the creating. Be true to yourself. Use the creative energy of 2019, and make the changes which will benefit your immediate world, and the world as a whole.

I implore each of you to do your part. Raise your voices. Allow yourself to be heard. Participate where you can. The future belongs to all of us, not just to a bunch of rich and powerful people who are seeking to create a world in their own image.

Blessings of Love & Light
Michael John Fierro
Numerologist/Author/Lecturer/Life Coach

© 2018 Reprinting or publication available only with the permission of the author.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Armchair Genealogy

DNA – A Modern Miracle

      This month we celebrate the New Year with news of a thrilling find! Last year my grandson, Adam Bradshaw, agreed to submit his DNA to Ancestry. 

 Almost immediately after his test results were revealed, I was contacted by a close match (799 cMs across 28 segments per Ancestry) which translated to the equivalent of a first cousin. Soon after this match and I began texting, it became apparent she was not merely Adam’s first cousin – she was his AUNT!

      Our initial texts resulted in an exchange of not only information but a picture of her biological father – my first husband and the father of my two children. This story is heart-warming and spans not only a continent but a world-wide connection.

      DNA is a complex science. It lies at the epicenter of creation. It contains the very blueprint for every lifeform, be it animal, vegetable, or mineral. The unraveling of the codes contained in the DNA strands has taken millennia to discover and decades to comprehend. Many scientists have diverted their original scope of study to concentrate wholly on the mysteries of DNA. And with each new day, more of the secrets of creation are brought to light.

      In prior columns, your author has sought to grasp a bit of understanding of DNA while documenting that struggle for our readers as well. Our own journey to utilize DNA in genealogical research arose, primarily, as a means to break down brick walls in our direct lines of ancestry. For it has only been in recent decades that anyone other than royalty had the luxury of knowing and tracking their long lines of ancestors. It was essential to royal heirs to prove their “fitness” for reign; therefore, exhaustive measures were taken to use the priceless inks and parchments (or stones, in the case of the really ancient, such as the pharaohs) to document the pairings of those in power and the sequence of births of their offspring.

      Typically, in most civilizations, it was the eldest MALE descendant who inherited all: the right to rule, the real property, the treasure troves, the slaves, the beasts and pastures – everything. In those rare groups dedicated to a matriarchal rule, the only males granted power were those chosen by the ruling FEMALE of the tribe. Matriarchal societies were most common among the aboriginal or Tibetan tribes. In the modern world, only about six areas are known to adhere to a matrifocal or matriarchal government, where women rule and their female heirs are the only ones permitted to succeed to power. Those exist in (1) Mosuo, near the border of Tibet in the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces; (2) Minangkabau, of West Sumatra in Indonesia; (3) Akan, a group comprising the majority of peoples of Ghana; (4) Bribri, a very small group isolated in a region of Costa Rica; (5) Garo, near the Khasi of North-East India, in the state of Meghalaya, a group of Tibetan-Burmese peoples; and (6) the Nagovisi, an isolated island west of New Guinea called South Bougainville. Although the ruling power in these societies is handed down mother to daughter, woman to woman, the balance of power is maintained by the granting of ruling authority to specified men – usually in the realm of spiritual or military control.

      It is interesting to note that early Native American tribes on the American continents (North and South) probably adhered to that policy as a result of their ancients having crossed the Siberian ice thousands and thousands of years ago, then migrating ever southward to the very tip of Tierra del Fuego.

      Thus, the recordation of ancestry was reserved to those to whom the “divine” right to power required careful notation of their parentage. It was a tedious, costly process and required the ability to read and write – a rare commodity in ancient times.

      Thankfully, those days are behind us. Today, we have a plethora of means by which we can track our heritage. The Internet has been a God-send, offering access to scanned documents from – in some cases – centuries past. With the advent of printing and scanning technology, we now have access to millions and millions of documents that provide a peek into the lives our ancestors led. We can see who lived in their households, what age they were, in some cases even their month and year of birth, their occupation, prior military service, even the value of their personal and real property. Those clues about their lives were predicated upon the aspect of civilization deemed most important to the Census takers of that age – what the government needed to know about its populace. But those bits and pieces of data collected becomes our INFORMATION – the tool that paints the picture of our ancestors’ lives.

      And, now, we have DNA. It can track our long-lost cousins, our biological connections in those cases where adoptions obscured truths. For instance, after my new “step-daughter” contacted me, I immediately checked Adam’s DNA page on Ancestry. They offer a neat tool that helps to confirm, isolate, and identify groups of DNA-linked relatives. You click on the closest “cousinship” (cousins comprise the mass of relationships for all of us – the offspring of the siblings in each generation of our direct line ancestors are our cousins), and then select Matches. This brings up a secondary group that reveals how that close “cousin” is related to others whose DNA matches both your DNA and the just-revealed “cousin”. In some cases, the Matches will direct you to known relationships – a matter of confirmation of the profiles in your family tree. But, when you are seeking the mystery person, these Matches can lead you to clues that may reveal the previously unknown.

      In this case, our newly located relative – my new daughter – had done her homework as well and had located the biological paternal line for my first husband. The man whose DNA now appears in the strands shared by Adam, by my daughter Melissa, and now shown to be shared by our precious Anne. We have a name. We have DNA proof that this man was the donor whose parentage “begot” my first husband.

      The story is a complex one – one deserving of not just a column, but a book which I am prompted to write. For my first husband was a world traveler. A handsome and talented man with a gift for languages and a love of the exotic. His unfortunate personal story was one of “knowing” he was adopted but being told he was the biological child of a duo who were not even acquainted at the time of his birth. He sought the proof for all the years we were together and, I can only assume, in the years up to his recent death. An avid fan of Ancestry’s two television series (Long Lost Family and Who Do You Think You Are?), your author has seen over and over the anguish of those who feel they “somehow” don’t fit in with their adoptive families, even when those families offer complete love and nurture. It is an inherent need for humans to KNOW who they are, where they come from, who their parents and grandparents are, their history. That need was both an unsatisfied seeking for my first husband and his driving psychological impetus. Coupled with his seeking of love and belonging was the unsettling knowledge that his mother had not been honest with him. That, throughout his life, she had claimed a truth that was a lie: that she was his biological mother. It damaged his relationship not only with her, but with every woman with whom he sought love thereafter.

      From a time shortly after our marriage, knowledge of my first husband’s prior family revealed the existence of two darling little girls. As my journey into genealogy became not only an occasional seeking but a driving passion, my daughter Melissa and I began trying to find those two half-sisters. Eventually, through research online, we were able to make contact with the eldest of those two girls, Kathy Mae. She was thrilled and advised us she had been trying to find her sister, Melissa, ever since she learned of her existence – when she herself was but 18 years of age. Through Kathy, we were introduced to her younger sister, Diane. These two girls – now women – welcomed their sister with open arms. We lost Kathy Mae several years ago to colon cancer, sadly. But, Diane and Melissa continue to be loving siblings, exchanging phone calls, text messages to this day. Briefly, Melissa lived in Florida and she and Diane met. It was a shocking thing to them both, for they found themselves “looking into a mirror.” My grandson remarked he could not tell which one was speaking until he saw their mouths moving, for they sounded so much alike. I, too, experienced that when they called me and exchanged the phone several times, confusing me as to which one was speaking.

      Now, we have another sister, Anne, whose story is an amazing one. After she was born, her mother (a native Costa Rican wed to a Finnish native), moved to Finland, relocating a very young Anne to that country. Anne was brought up there, mastering a third language in the process. She is now wed to a man whose origins derive from neighboring Turkey. Together they have two adorable children, one boy and one girl. Once again, the dramatic comparison of their appearance beggars belief. My first look at Anne’s pics made me gasp, for they were eerily like seeing my own Melissa at that age!

      The puzzle in all this, is that Melissa and I were always told how much we favor. Now, three half-sisters by two different mothers also favor. It brings me to the conclusion that my first husband somehow had buried in his genetic “memory” a picture of his own biological mother – a woman he must have sought, found, and wed over and over, recreating her genetic appearance in his own daughters. For our readers’ benefit, I offer photographs of the sisters and myself (granted, a MUCH younger self) for your own comparison.

Top pics: Left - the late Kathy Bradshaw Kaumalatsos; Right - Kathy's sister Diane Christian;
Third pic - Anne Bulut half-sister to other three; Fourth pic - Melissa Bradshaw half-sister to other three; Fifth pic - Your author, Melinda.

1: Kathy; 2: Diane
3: Anne Bulut; 4t: Melissa
For comparison with the sisters, here is a much younger pic of myself

      Now, the blessing and the miracle comes full circle. Anne, her husband, and their two small children plan to visit us in this New Year. Travelling around the world to greet, hug, love, and enjoy full contact with her biological sister – her near-twin. A twin whose own daughter shares Anne’s birthday, but is two years younger. Imagine! A sister two years the senior of one’s own daughter. Amazing.

      To all my readers, Happy New Year! Use all that is available to you to research your own family – learn about your heritage. Remember, now you can do that from the comfort of your own home via Armchair Genealogy.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Cooking with Rod


Mi Amore Cooks –
Ms Meatballs in Sweet N Hot Sauce

      Happy New Year! It’s that time again, time to reflect on the past and anticipate the year ahead. The year 2018 – for many reasons - was certainly one most of us will be happy to put behind. Traditionally, we celebrate the birth of the New Year with a little get together with family and friends; celebrate with remembrances and good food. Let’s look forward to 2019!

      We like to offer a good baked ham; a few tasty side dishes (often the guests bring a favorite dish of their own to the table); a fruit, cheese, and cracker tray that’s as sweet to the eye as to the palate; a crudité and dip tray; and several tasty hot offerings for those (like yours truly) who are more carnivore than bunny – sliced Summer Sausage, Little Sizzlers wrapped in bacon, and a twist on the Swedish Meatball thing that my Sweet M has designed to tease the palate.

      Here is a recipe that will start 2019 with a positive step forward. It is adapted from M’s tasty basic meatloaf recipe, removing the usual veggies and spices that would compete with her Sweet N Hot Sauce.

      Bon appetit~!

M’s Meatballs in Sweet N Hot Sauce

Meatball mixture:
    4 lbs. ground beef, prefer lean
    1 cup 3 minute oats (to help absorb and hold in juices)
    1/2 cup catsup
    3 eggs
    1 tsp pepper
    ½ tsp garlic powder

Sweet n Hot Sauce:
  • 2 cans Cranberry sauce (the jellied variety)
  • 2 bottles (12 oz) Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 2 Tsp French’s yellow mustard (or Dijon, if you prefer)
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ tsp Chile powder (to your taste)
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • Red chile pepper flakes (use a few, taste, and adjust to your taste)
  • Parsley flakes

Put all ingredients for meatball mixture into large mixing bowl. Use hands to mix together.

Spray 9”x13”x2” casserole dish or line with parchment. You can also use a cookie sheet that is deep enough the grease does not overflow. Form meatballs about 1 inch in diameter, place them about an inch apart. Bake at 350º - 375º for about 15 minutes to begin the cooking process and brown the meatballs. Remove from oven, turn and repeat. Drain away the grease and place the browned meatballs on a paper towel to further aid this process. (You don’t want the meatballs to add grease to the sauce.)

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients, except for parsley flakes. Mix well, letting the cranberry sauce melt into the chile sauce. Taste test for heat. Add chile powder or pepper flakes as you deem best.

This is a good time to pull out the slow cooker. Put the meatballs into the cooker. Top with the sauce and set to Low. Let cook for 2.5 to 3 hours, checking from time to time to make sure the sauce is sufficient and the meatballs are not overcooking. Or, if you wish, use an oven proof casserole dish (you must cover the dish if you go this route.) Cooking times will vary with the individual oven, set to 275º or 300º. Check it from time to time, and lower the temperature to keep warm until ready to serve.

If your slow cooker is attractive, merely use it as your serving dish. Sprinkle a few pretty parsley flakes on top of the meatballs as both garnish and to enhance the flavor. Set a few plates nearby and provide a pretty glass or mug with long serving style picks for your guests to serve themselves.
(See pic below.)

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


Sifoddling Along

A Serious Essay

      There is a little hard nut inside me that doesn’t want to be explored. It is about the shape and size of a black walnut, with a hollow center that contains some secret knowledge about the real me. I don’t know why it is so hard to crack, nor do I know for sure what it contains. It would be better if it were softer.

      Sometimes it is further protected by a layer of fat that I build over it. It seems to have a bristly outer cover that further resists any efforts to open it. It hurts.

      Since early childhood I have felt there was a little secret inside me. When did I get it and allow it to grow? I don’t know. I want to blame my parents, but that isn’t fair. I suspect it had to do with being a “good girl” on the surface. It wasn’t acceptable to have a temper, to express anger. I was expected to be compliant, obedient and quiet. The anger of others terrified me. Still does. It is easy to cow me by being aggressive and threatening. I will hide, think later of all the things I could or should have done or said. I get sad and angry at myself for not standing up for what I believe. The resulting anxiety had to be held inside.

      Never courageous enough to rebel overtly, I chose to comfort and indulge myself as compensation for holding in feelings and not being honest about them. What would happen if I exposed those feelings to light? It is so scary, I can barely think about it. The little shell scrunches up and defies me to look and disarm it for once and for all.

      Logically, I know I haven’t been all that bad a person during my lifetime. Yes, there are things I regret, shaming behaviors, but I was the one hurt in the long run. Maybe the little nut is scar tissue that has grown tight and strong over the years. It might have begun as a splinter that needed to be blunted, but instead of creating a little pearl, like an irritated oyster, I created something that pokes at me and reminds me that I must not be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, neat enough, strong enough. Never enough. Always lacking in some small way.

      Seeking perfection is a fool’s game. Have I spent my life caught up in something that can never be achieved? Why can’t I be satisfied with my achievements? I have done many good things; accomplished things; competed against worthy opponents and won. Yet when it came to stepping up and going for broke, I have often backed away rather than risk rejection; it makes no sense.


      I decided to explore how the nut has benefitted me. It is an inner core that refuses to be defeated. Nothing can get to it to destroy the essential me. It has given me courage and resilience to come back from many difficult experiences.

      I wrote a premise for my memoir: I am like a ripe southern peach that rolls through life; easily bruised and hurt, yet keeps going because there is a wild and wooly interior and at the core, a rock-hard pit that hides a small kernel of bitterness.

      I think that is an accurate analogy for my life. I use fat to cushion my falls (literally and figuratively) and the core is tough and has value. The kernel of bitterness is nurtured anger.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.