Monthly Archives: June 2010

Fabulous Female Patriots

Please visit YouTube and add another number to Ava’s total views.

Yesterday’s Examiner article by Hank Oprinski — along with the many wonderful comments that followed from fellow patriots and friends — provided a much-needed boost to my spirits. While I always strive to be a happy warrior to help keep others motivated and energized for the fight, I must confess: there are days when the bad news can be so overwhelming it’s a challenge to even log onto Facebook, let alone post something inspiring and uplifting.

During those troubling moments, I remember to FROG — Fully Rely On God, asking that Eternal Presence for strength while recalling that our Founding Fathers often did the same. Nothing is impossible with God, not even returning this beloved country back to its Constitutional principles.

God has answered my prayers in many ways, and I want to address just one of them here. While I am honored, humbled and thrilled to receive recognition for my work after years of plugging away, the truth is there’s an endless list of fabulous female patriots who deserve their own write-up. I am forever grateful to have found these ladies through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter; networking and developing solid relationships with them has given me strength, hope and encouragement during these very bleak times.

As I mentioned in the Examiner piece, I grew up in a conservative home with a mom who was quite the political activist. From the time I was little, I accompanied her to various polling locations, where I’d hold up signs, pass out candidate literature and — when old enough to do so — help count votes at the end of the day. Thankfully, my siblings and close relatives have remained solid in their convictions, so unlike many friends, I haven’t experienced any Obama-induced rancor in my familial relationships.

When I moved to South Florida in 1994, I retained my conservative values, but wasn’t quite prepared for the pervasive liberalism that characterizes Palm Beach and Broward Counties. While I found other conservative women through my participation as a volunteer on various campaigns, in normal life, I was severely outnumbered. In other venues, such as business card exchanges and women’s business networking groups, it seemed nearly impossible to find a contrary opinion among the successful female entrepreneurs and go-getters. Worse, it was pretty much expected (with a few exceptions) of all female members to share the same philosophy, whether on abortion, gun rights, education or war — just to name a few hot-button issues.

Over the years, some otherwise nice women have said such things to me as:

I still love you, even though you’re a Republican.

Y-you’re a Republican??? But you’re so nice!

You voted for George W. Bush???? How could you?

Of course the tobacco companies should be sued. Those poor people didn’t know how addictive nicotine could be! (This one was in response to my noting that the Surgeon General’s warning about cigarettes and health had been around for decades, thus people needed to take responsibility for their own choices.)

You’re against abortion? Then don’t have one! (Never mind the fact that taxpayers are forced to pay for them, or that Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional.)

Of course your parents didn’t abort you even though they were struggling financially and not looking to add a fifth child to the family. They knew your father’s medical career would take off soon! (As if the sanctity of life has anything to do with how much money the parents have. I can assure you, even if my dad had been a trash collector, I would not have been aborted. End of story.)

And of course, throughout (and in the years following) the fiasco that was the Election of 2000, with its hanging chads, seemingly endless recounts and 24-hour news coverage, things only got worse. I remember at one particular women’s venue in 2003, right about the time the Iraq War had begun, a female psychologist made the incredibly inane statement that “if not for men, there would be no war.”   She naturally followed this up with a lovely diatribe against President Bush to which every woman in the group, with the exception of yours truly, nodded along approvingly.

Following 9/11, some of these gals — in true liberal, self-flagellating fashion — blamed the USA, with one of my friends at the time actually longing for a quiet life in a thatched-roof cottage on a hillside in Ireland (never mind that this same woman loved making money and all of the designer trappings that resulted from such a pursuit). I’m pretty sure to this day, she still resides in glamorous Boca Raton.

Up until the worst attack on American soil, I relegated my commentary to “safe” places like Republican meetings, family gatherings and pro-US Military demonstrations where I’d be surrounded by like-minded people. But once I realized the rules had changed, that our very freedom was under relentless assault, I became more vocal even in decidedly unfriendly places. Not surprisingly, this did not endear me to the abortion-on-demand-Republicans-are-evil crowd, although at that point I truly didn’t care. If I could sway just one opinion, it would be worth taking the slings and arrows.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2008, when I discovered through various righty blogs that there was a conservative online revolution taking place on Facebook and Twitter. Having been an avid blogger by that point who’d even appeared on Fox News in August, 2004 to discuss politics and dating, I decided to get in on the action. I’d also just finished my first novel Water Signs, and thought it would also be a great way to market the book. While I’d hoped to connect with others who shared my love for the USA, I never expected to cultivate such genuine friendships with so many beautiful female (and male) patriots.

Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I realized the existence of thousands of heretofore unknown conservative soul-mates of the estrogen variety –many who live right here in South Florida — to my great surprise and delight. Over the past two years, I’ve gotten to know some amazing female grassroots activists all across this great nation, and I am thankful to God for each and every one of them.

They keep me motivated, strong and optimistic. They pick me up when I’m feeling down. They inform me of important news events and local happenings. They stand with me for freedom.

In short, because of them, I am able to keep up this fight in the onslaught of one egregious happening after another since the inauguration of Obama. From Obamacare to the Gulf oil disaster — and every horrible occurrence in-between and yet to come — these intelligent,  articulate and independent-minded ladies give me real hope that WE THE PEOPLE will ultimately prevail.

Thank you to all of them for being such a positive force in my life. May God bless each and every one!

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Filed under Lifestyle, Politics, Pop Culture, Professional Experience, Sarah Palin, Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal

Hank Oprinski’s Profile of Me in the Huntsville Examiner

Back Cover Photo for Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal

My Facebook friend and co-contributor to a recent Neidner Show broadcast, Hank Oprinski of PR Online News, has posted a profile piece of me on the Huntsville Examiner. In order to get the maximum exposure for my book and other projects, I must get to 50 comments on the site as soon as possible. If you are so inclined, please click here to read the article and add a comment. Much appreciated!

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Back to Book Blogging: Thoughts on Chapter 34

Or, as my lovable “smartass” writer-friend Don calls it, Chapter Fornication. He kids of course, being one of the book’s staunchest fans as well as someone who understands the novel’s underlying themes and ultimate championing of traditional values. Having been raised with similar values as an Evangelical Christian, Don (like so many other readers) relates to the struggles my characters endure while endeavoring to honor their upbringing. And though just about everyone who’s provided feedback on Water Signs expresses their delight at finally meeting fictional characters who share their world-view and experiences — while simultaneously appreciating the (ahem!) celebration of God-given desires in the context of a committed relationship — I wanted to post a few of my own thoughts on the evolution of Chapter 34, the scene in which Ken and Maddy finally consummate their star-crossed, 16-year relationship.

As an author, it was a bit of a challenge to unapologetically champion the worthiness of my characters’ ingrained moral and spiritual beliefs, while at the same time sympathetically present the challenges that inevitably arise when putting these mores into practice in the contemporary world.  The last thing I wanted was for readers to misinterpret Maddy’s internal conflict between her desire to be with Ken in the Biblical sense and her unfailing belief that such carnal knowledge must not be revealed until marriage vows were taken in front of God and witnesses as some sort of parental “repression” based on the teachings of the “patriarchal” Catholic Church.

Not only do I stand by the values with which I was raised, I am eternally grateful to have been brought up in a traditional home, with a mother and a father who cared about imparting morality to their children, in addition to love, discipline and an appreciation for the United States. Part of my motivation for writing the book was to counteract the negative influences of a pop-culture gone crazy, and to appeal to an audience I instinctively knew was hungry for a story that would reflect their own experiences.

Nowhere in pop culture (except perhaps in Christian literature) had I seen an honest, respectful portrayal of the clash between normal human longings and Godly virtue. In most cases — whether in daytime soap operas (as anyone who remembers the early 80s character of Annie Logan on General Hospital can attest) or in a Lifetime movie (We Were The Mulvaneys, for example) — Christians who strive to live up to their moral foundations are presented as victims of an out-of-touch, oppressive religion whose time has long since passed.

So my challenge in penning Water Signs was to paint a sympathetic portrayal of characters with human flaws and weaknesses while also honoring their Christian sense of morality. Yes, the values imposed by God in The Ten Commandments and espoused by Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament are more often than not difficult to adhere to on this earthly plane — which is a validation of their inherent worthiness, not a scathing rebuke of their irrelevance. If anything, the current state of our culture should be a glaring example of the dire consequences of trashing the principles that helped shape America into a strong and prosperous nation.

I’ve noted previously that my novel is about the journey, not the outcome. Thus, in the Prologue, readers discover right away that — no matter what happens over the next 435 pages — Ken and Madeline eventually get married “at the end of a long, arduous and oftentimes broken road”.

When writing about their long-awaited physical union that took place only after they’d fully reacquainted on a spiritual, emotional and mental level, I debated a few important points: Should the consummation take place following Maddy’s acceptance of Ken’s marriage proposal, or after they finally say “I do”? How descriptive should it be? Is it even necessary to write such a scene in the first place?

Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that my readers deserved some sort of reward for suffering through 16 years of the moral struggles, miscommunication and heartbreak that characterized the relationship between the novel’s two main characters. Further, since 1.) Ken and Madeline are into their early 40s by the time they find their way back to each other; 2.) They take some time to reconnect in every other way before even getting physical; and 3.) Readers already know they end up as husband and wife, I decided to cap off a romantic proposal scene with an even more romantic consummation scene.

Thus, Ken remains patient until the very end, even as passionate desire rages on internally, spurred on by the knowledge that the one he’s loved for so long has declared her intention to surrender to her new fiancé as they embrace in the Penthouse among soft candlelight and fragrant roses. He’s also cognizant of the fact that in spite of tremendous personal growth, Maddy’s still has a few lingering insecurities:

“Hey!” he spoke in a comforting, yet firm tone. When she still didn’t look up, he cupped her chin in his hands and brought them face to face again. “Madeline, you are the most beautiful woman in the entire world to me. Everything about you is exquisite. Don’t you see that? Don’t you see what you do to me?”

Ken goes on to place her hand upon his rapidly beating heart, as if to prove his sincerity. Thus assured, Madeline finally allows the desires of her heart, soul and body to take over, secure in his unconditional love and commitment.

Even in describing the events that follow, I did my best to keep the scene more romantic than sexual, more tasteful than explicit. We’re all adults who understand what it means to give yourself fully to the one you love; there was no need to degenerate into Harlequin romance territory. Water Signs is not a romance novel in the sense that some meaningless,  marginal plot exists simply to break the monotony between one descriptive, bodice-ripping episode after another. Rather, it is a tale of first love and second chances, and of becoming better people as a direct result of hardship and tribulation.  In Water Signs, sex is the icing on the cake, a long-anticipated end to a literal and metaphysical journey.

That said, it was tough to reconcile the fact that, once I’d written the chapter, it would be read by people who know me, most notable among them, family members (Hi, Mom!). And as I’ve mentioned in Fun Facts about Water Signs, the Chapter 34 that made the cut is slightly different from the original version. I’d decided to remove one paragraph and a few lines of dialogue after coming to the conclusion that what is implied can be much more effective than what is actually stated. Suffice it to say, even in the final version, we understand that Maddy’s love for Ken and desire to please him is a thousand times stronger than her previous insecurities and inhibitions. She knows he loves her unconditionally, just as she loves him. And in Chapter 34, she tells him so in word and action.

Coming Soon: More thoughts on the writing process.

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Dancing In The Sky Fundraiser for US Soldiers

In this photo: My friend Steve Monell expresses his gratitude at a Tea Party gathering in Fort Lauderdale.

Last week, I interviewed Neal Bellinger of Shopping For Soldiers Needs on The Liberty Belle Hour. This worthy organization does so much to support our men and women in uniform, including sending gift baskets and other essential items overseas. Please visit their website to learn more, and if you live in South Florida, consider attending their second annual Dancing In The Sky fundraiser, to be held at the Radisson Bridge Hotel in Boca Raton.

Your donation of $25 includes stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway, chefs tables, hors d’oeuvres, live music, dancing, raffles and other prizes. To help keep costs down, there will be a cash bar. Money raised from this particular event will be used to purchase brand-name products to be placed into gift baskets which will be shipped out for the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukah Season. For more information, click here.

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Filed under Politics, Pop Culture, Professional Experience, Uncategorized, US Military

Today’s Parcbench Posts

In today’s Parcbench posts, I take on Newsweek and Palin’s critics in the Palmetto State.

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Monday Morning Musings

Good morning!

Lots of exciting things in the works today, including some wonderful news pertaining to an exciting project I am spearheading with Houston a.m. talk show host Kevin Price, of  The Price of Business. Along with a talented, dedicated team of devoted writers, we’re doing our part to awaken a sense of American pride and exceptionalism within the electorate, based on factual information about our country’s Founding Fathers, documents and events.

I’ve often stated that what really ails America will not be solved by one or two election cycles. Indeed, as many others have written, the election of Barack Obama says far more about voters than it does about the man himself. Years of educational and cultural indoctrination — with its deeply entrenched entitlement mentality — will not be easily undone, which is partly why each 2010 race must be evaluated on its own merits.

As a three-legged stool (fiscal, social, peace-through-strength) conservative, I would like nothing better than to have every district represented in D.C., and on a state level exclusively with candidates who share that same brand of Reagan conservatism. Unfortunately, that’s not reality. The suffocating embrace of the nanny state is such that in avowedly liberal states like Massachusetts (which has traveled a long way from the austere work ethic and morality code of the Pilgrims), a “Scott Brown Republican” is the closest thing to conservative that could trounce yet another establishment Democrat. And yes, I’ve been disappointed in Brown’s voting record so far, as expected, although he’s still a much better option in the senate than Martha Coakley.

In the NY-23 congressional race last year, the Republican Party machine circumvented the will and participation of the people and wrongfully anointed extremely liberal, Republican-In-Name-Only Dede Scozzafava as the “next in line” (a longstanding tradition the GOP needs to jettison, pronto). Newt Gingrich was wrong, wrong, wrong to support her, and in this case, rallying around Republican-turned-Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman was the only thing to do. Sarah Palin, Fred and Jeri Thompson, and the Club for Growth all bucked the establishment by publicly supporting Hoffman, who nearly pulled off a victory. Had the Republican Party done the smart thing  by endorsing him from the start, we’d have another voice of sanity in the United States Congress at this very moment.

Speaking of Palin, her endorsement of — in her words — “commonsense conservative” Carly Fiorina over Chuch DeVore (the Reagan Republican in the race) incited an indignant firestorm among grassroots conservative activists, but this looks like another case where pragmatism and strategy necessarily took precedence over idealogical purity. If defeating far-left Barbara “Ma’am” Boxer was the ultimate goal, polls indicated Fiorina was the best candidate for the task. Would I have preferred Chuck DeVore? Absolutely.  But the question is, would Californians feel the same way?

Which brings me back to my original premise: the real problem in America today is a populace that doesn’t fully understand and/or appreciate its history, nor comprehend that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” means actually pursuing those things through individual effort — not expecting the government to provide them for you. Dumbed down by Hollywood and a pop-culture agenda that has succeeded in large measure by using social issues to tar Republicans as all-white, all-male, repressive “fascists” who hate gay people, oppress women and subjugate minorities, it’s no wonder so few people even know that the Democrats have controlled Congress since January, 2007.

Thus, we’re dealing in many instances with entire voting blocs (hello, FL-19!) whose political philosophy is about as deep as a puddle, and can be summed up rather simply: Republicans=Evil, Democrats=Good. Forget the complexities of conservative versus RINO; Roe v. Wade as an example of anti-Constitutional, judicial overreach; and the fact that supporting traditional marriage in and of itself does not render someone a “gay-hating homophobe”. Such folks are so blinded by emotion that they cannot see the Jihad for the suicide bombers. While the Right and the Republican Party sat back and allowed the Left and the Democrat Party to control the narrative, the United States Constitution became the casualty.

About three weeks before the 2008 election, I attended a free screening of The Third Jihad, sponsored by the Florida Security Council, an anti-terror organization. While waiting in line, I struck up a conversation with several nice Jewish women — all in their 60s and 70s — and thus, well beyond child-bearing years. When asked about the election, although they had some reservations about Barack Obama, all they could obsess about was Sarah Palin’s latest campaign rally, during which she upheld her strong pro-life convictions. Never mind that Palin also railed against Obama’s radical associations with Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers, and cautioned about the need for a robust offensive against Global Jihad. The sole focus of the debate that night centered on whether or not (God forbid!) Roe v. Wade would potentially be overturned should McCain-Palin make it all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue.

Donning my Tenth Amendment hat, I attempted to approach the topic from a federalist perspective. Taking the emotion out of it, I calmly explained that — should their worst fear come to pass — should McCain appoint a judge to the Supreme Court who would help overturn Roe, the matter would simply return to the states, where it always belonged anyway. In spite of my best efforts, they didn’t budge. Apparently “a woman’s right to choose” trumped everything, including national security, in the eyes of these women. I never did get to ask them after the chilling documentary, if their vote had been swayed toward the right; how anyone could’ve voted for Obama after watching that film is beyond me. Then again, I am a “right-wing radical” who believes life begins at conception.

Thus, the importance of the forthcoming 365 Days of Liberty devotional, which will offer readers a daily lesson on the United States Constitution and the miracle that is the United States of America. It took years for the cancer of progressivism to poison our culture, and we won’t change it back overnight; it will take a steady, gradual and unrelenting effort to break the spell of public education and the entertainment industry. In the meantime, we must make the very best choices from a practical standpoint when it comes to supporting candidates. Yes, I abhor the concept of “the lesser of two evils”, but if we can emerge with a few more true conservatives in the House and Senate to outnumber the so-called “moderates” I’ll consider that a victory. At least until hearts and minds come fully into alignment with the Framers vision for the USA.

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Filed under Lifestyle, Politics, Pop Culture, Professional Experience, Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal

The Most Influential Patriot Women of Facebook

Patriot women Ellen Snyder and Daria DiGiovanni with their very tall friend Dan at the first “We Surround Them” event in Greenacres, Florida.

My friends Sharon and Kerrie at the Liberal Heretic recently compiled a list of the most influential patriot women on Facebook. I am humbled and honored to be counted among such an illustrious group that includes:  Real-life friend/fellow activist Ellen Snyder, blogger extraordinaire Tabitha Hale, and good FB friends Stephanie Janiczek (a fellow teammate on an exciting project due out this fall), Kim Brubaker, Caree Severson, and Tina Trimble Belliston.

Sharon notes:

When digg got rid of the shout system, the heretics were forced to move on to greener pastures. So about a year ago we decided to give facebook a shot in order to network our site. Much to our delight, we found an amazing group of people (in the thousands) all with the same goals in mind, to obtain and dessiminate information pretaining to the plight of the country, and to form bonds and friendships with people who share the same value system. Well in the year we have been a part of the facebook patriot network, we have done just that. We want to present to you the women that we feel make a huge impact on facebook. We took the following into consideration when we compiled this list: number of friends, frequency of posts, relevance of posts and how they further the cause, and also we asked the fb community for the women they thought deserved to be mentioned. So here they are in their own words, in no specific order, the God-fearing, America loving, women of Facebook.

Click here to learn about these amazing American women. And thanks again to Sharon and Kerrie!

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