Remembering: My Friend and Jamaica’s Fern Valley


Around 15 years ago, I did a lot of traveling with a good friend. We saw so many wonderful places. I feel like we went around the world together and I feel a lot of nostalgia about these trips. I remember each and every one. We spent much time on the island of Jamaica as my friend had business there. His home base for business was Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. Kingston is not exactly a tourist spot. That is probably an understatement. But, we used it as a jumping off point for some wonderful adventures on that beautiful island. Allow me to tell you about one of those adventures.

Above Kingston lies Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. You can look down from them and see Kingston. You can drive from Kingston, where you endure sweltering heat, to the relative cool of the Blue Mountains, though the humidity is high. The city of Kingston has temperatures, even in the fall of the year, in the 80s and 90s, as Jamaica really has no seasons. Then, you drive up one of the steepest gradients to be found to get up the Blue Mountains where the day time temperatures drop to the low 70s and 50s at night. Their peaks rise and fall for about 24 miles.

In the fall of the year, when I was often in Jamaica with my friend, there was rain in the Blue Mountains – from 9 – 15 inches per month. A tropical climate.

We took many drives in the Blue Mountains but there is one in particular that I’m feeling particularly nostalgic about. We drove from Kingston over the Blue Mountains and eventually arrived at Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

The Blue Mountains are something to see all by themselves and my friend was a wonderful tour guide as he had spent much time in Jamaica. The Blue Mountains are full of coffee plantations, something I had never seen and which fascinated me. But, what was most thrilling were the tall trees that made the road almost dark. Speaking of the road, it was just almost a road. The road over the Blue Mountains is notoriously bad. Every sort of tropical tree imaginable was in the forest and banana trees lined the road along with vendors selling all sorts of delicious tropical fruit. There are over 500 species of plant life on the Blue Mountains.

Then we came to the most beautiful site of all. Jamaica’s Fern Valley. The ferns were so prolific it was like they were piled on top of each other for miles. It made for a very romantic setting! Driving through Fern Valley is something you never forget. I wanted to stay there forever.

We then arrived in Ocho Rios and decided to do a touristy thing which was climb Dunns River Falls. It is a natural waterfall with naturally terraced steps. At this spot, the Battle of Las Chorreras was fought in 1657 when the English defeated the Spanish Expeditionary Force from Cuba.

In modern times, Dunns River Falls has been used in the 1988 film, Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise, and the first James Bond movie in 1962, Dr. No, starring Sean Connery.

After that climb, we were hungry and ate dinner at the most wonderful Indian restaurant in Ocho Rios. When we do Nostalgia again, I will tell you about the trip back to Kingston over the Blue Mountains – at night! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Jamaica #DunnsRiverFalls #BlueMountains #nostalgia

An Argument Between Friends


Recently, I did something I’m ashamed of. I accused a friend of something that he did not do. I was under extreme stress – that is the only reason this happened. I trust this friend implicitly. I want my friend to know that I know he was not responsible for what has happened. That I still trust him completely. I also want him to know that I’m here for him if he needs me – always and forever. I hope he can forgive me. That’s all.

My Issues with Wal-Mart


Many people will say that Wal-Mart has given people in small communities, particularly, a low-cost way to shop. That may be true. But at what cost? What are they buying? Is the quality of those low-cost goods adequate for the people buying them?

First, at what cost is Wal-mart to local communities? Has it been worth it, or not, to bring Wal-mart into small communities for low-income shoppers. Some would say Wal-mart appeals primarily to down and out shoppers. In the small town where i live, everyone shops at Wal-mart, from the down and out to the working person to the happy couple and to the teenager. Do you know why? There is no other place to shop.

It’s an interesting phenomenon. My town is not that small. It is a university town. When I was growing up here, there was a thriving business district on Main Street. There are a few viable storefronts left on Main Street but very few. When Wal-mart came to town, the small business person could not compete with Wal-Mart’s lower prices. Many of our businesses went out of business. It seemed that the bright sunshine shined only on Wal-mart. The cost of Wal-mart was the loss of the small business in my town as it is in so many small towns. They were also offered incentives to locate here, tantamount to giving them the proverbial ice cream with a cherry and sugar on top.

Wal-Mart has no twin in the business world. Many call them the worst company in America, primarily for some of their labor practices. Even though they have a problematic relationship with their employees, they refuse to even consider allowing labor unions to get involved. As one of America’s top companies, they set a bad example by not only using a lot of foreign labor but also child labor overseas. Look at where Wal-Mart’s products are made sometime. I think you will find almost all are made overseas.

In an effort to be fair, Wal-Mart does offer valuable goods and services that some people could not afford otherwise. But their quality is suspect. They have a large electronics section which is valuable in a small community, but no significant computer repair. They offer gardening implements and outdoor plants, in season. They offer indoor plants year round, such as the Christmas cactus.They offer everything from clothes to groceries to soft goods for the home.

But, in this writer’s opinion, none of that makes up for what they take away from a community. I will write more about this company and its problematic business model in a blog post in the future. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Wal-Mart

Thematically Correct



Trust in a Relationship


Do you have trust in your relationships? In all of your relationships – with your partner, your family, your friends, your colleagues? Trust is the foundation of any relationship. In fact, without trust, your relationship is unfinished. Without trust, you have no relationship. Perhaps the most important trust relationship is that with your partner, whoever that partner may be. A spouse, a partner, a lover. If you can’t trust that most important person in your life, there is not only no relationship, you need to re-evaluate whatever it is that you think you have. Yes, I realize that is a hard line. I have reasons to take a hard line on this issue. Now let’s talk about trust.

When trust is mentioned between partners, faithfulness immediately comes to mind. Faithfulness, believe it or not, is not the most important trust issue. There is a more fundamental trust that should exist between partners that comes before faithfulness. If partners have that much more fundamental trust, faithfulness ceases to be an issue.  What am I talking about?

What does the term “true intentions” mean? True intentions mean the real, heartfelt feelings of each partner in the relationship. Those true intentions should be shared between the two partners. If the partners are “in love,” those are true intentions whether or not the relationship ever comes to fruition in the form of marriage or long-term commitment. If the partners intend to carry on with their relationship for the long-term in any form and communicate that to each other, those are true intentions. If the partners intend to be open and honest with each other in the relationship, those are true intentions.

This is where trust comes in. Partners have to trust each other’s true intentions. If they feel, based on each other’s behavior, that they can trust each other, the relationship has a chance to become satisfying and fulfilling to both partners.

Unfortunately, life isn’t always this simple and people certainly are not. What if one partner has intentions that are not so true and well-meaning? What if one partner has an “agenda” that the other partner has no way of knowing? The other partner may develop trust in the offending partner because they do not have full information. Not only does the non-offending partner develop trust in the other partner, but that partner is also trustworthy and the offending partner can, indeed, trust them. What, then, will happen to the relationship?

In effect, the offending partner is lying to the other partner and the relationship has no chance of becoming fulfilling and satisfying for either partner. It could flourish in the short-term, as long as the offending partner can maintain the fiction.

Here is another possible scenario. Perhaps one partner gets involved in a relationship and, somewhere along the way, that partner changes their true intentions. Those intentions become less than true, even totally false. They become something else and then that partner develops an agenda during an already established relationship. Chances are, the other partner is involved even deeper in the love relationship and is even more trusting at that point. It may be harder than ever for the other partner to discern whether or not the offending partner is still true in their intentions. What will happen in this case?

Either the first or second scenarios are not good. There is one partner lying to the other about their true intentions. The other partner, trusting the first one, is very vulnerable in both scenarios to being hurt and terribly disappointed. It won’t take very long in either scenario for cracks to appear in the relationship as the trusting partner starts to pick up clues that all is not well. They will realize that there are inconsistencies and lies popping up in the relationship. It will become a very painful thing for the trusting partner.

When the true intentions of the offending partner finally become apparent and they are not what was originally related to the trusting partner, the relationship will likely break apart. Can relationships like this be saved? In my opinion, probably not. If the offending partner had been willing to establish open communication with the other partner early on, then the relationship would never have gotten to this point. But, the trust has been broken and it is incredibly hard to get back. The offending partner may have fulfilled their agenda and may not even want to continue on with the relationship. The trusting partner will feel like everything was a lie and also may not want the relationship.

The most beautiful and success relationships between partners are those where there is open communication and each partner knows and accepts the other’s true intentions. True intentions lead to trust. Open communication and complete, uninhibited trust is the recipe for a successful love relationship. Those things don’t come easy and both partners have to be totally honest with the other and really work at it. In this writer’s opinion, this is the only way to have a satisfying and fulfilling love relationship. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #AllAboutRomance


#weekendcoffeeshare 9/24/2016


My friend, Jenn, with whom I normally have coffee on Saturday, is still out of town today. So I’d like to have coffee with you, my friends, as I did last week. I can offer you Apricot blended black tea or the coffee of your choice, chicory or regular.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you to be patient with me while I tell you that a disturbing week last week has continued into a disturbing week this week, although for different reasons. I have lost a very important friendship. I surely can’t call this a highlight of the week though it has been the most of what has been on my mind. I guess it has been the lowlight. My friend was here one day and literally gone the next which causes a bit of a feeling of a panic. No sympathy needed, but thank you. It may be for the best. Whether the friendship was a good or bad thing, it is a blow whatever the case.

People can be quite cruel to one another, even those they call friends. Some people don’t seem to be able to just talk straight to their friends. That was the case here. Instead of just telling me that the friendship wasn’t working, my former friend set up this rather elaborate ruse. Though knowing my friend, and already having picked up on clues, I was able to see through the ruse quite easily once the shock wore off. It’s a hurtful world out there. Be careful who you trust.

The good news is that, in hard times, you learn who your real friends are. I had wonderful friends step to my side and I appreciate them so much.

Some good news this week has to do with my writing career. I’ve been a writer for over 15 years. Actually longer than that, but during my career as a professor, I did mostly academic writing. Then, I had a stint where I wrote only in my field of finance for a number of different outlets. Now, my writing career has morphed into an interest in fiction. I have been able to put together the first draft of a book proposal this week that I’m excited about. It will be published by, hopefully by the end of about two months from now. I’ll keep you up to date on my progress!

There is always something that is right around the corner when you are a homeowner. Some cracks in tile led to an investigation under the house and it seems that improper floor supports may have been used in the construction of my home. Right in the middle of my home so tile is cracking and so is the drywall in that part of the house. I’m going to have to hire a crew to come in and repair both the damage to the inside of the house and shore up the floor supports. It’s always something in the Adventures of Homeownership.

We are now past the fall equinox and summer continues to hang on in my part of the world. We’ve had many 90 degree days this year, more than any time in recent memory. Accompanied by high humidity. High humidity is not my favorite weather condition. I like to walk my little dog daily and she and I both wilt a little in high humidity. Betsy, in fact, wilts a lot. We will be happy when cooler fall days arrive. That weather is usually here by this time of year. Not this year. I live in a deciduous forest and there is no sign of the trees even starting to change color yet although other plants, such as the perennials in my garden, seem to realize that the time to go to sleep is near. You would never know it by walking outdoors or looking at the forest.

The deer do seem to have lost the velvet on their antlers. They aren’t as plentiful at the feeding troughs as they were earlier in the summer since the babies are growing up. Soon, they will vanish entirely for awhile only to return as winter comes.

I was lucky enough this week to get to see and spend some time in the city with my girlfriend. We spent an afternoon shopping, which is always fun. Retail therapy is some of the best, don’t you think? She was amazingly restrained and I was not! Then, we went to dinner at a favorite restaurant and met another friend. Even though the week had a tough start, I feel fortunate to have people around me who are supportive and who genuinely care about me.

Time to clean up these coffee cups and get some work done on the book. Thanks for having coffee with me today! #weekendcoffeeshare #amwriting #amblogging #writing #friendship #weather #livingintheforest

#weekendcoffeeshare is brought to you by DIana at


The Sound of Silence


The Story of Hannah, Introduction

Hannah hears the television blaring in her living room. It seems to reverberate in her head and the words don’t even register. She craves silence. Not all the time. But can’t she convince her husband that silence first thing in the morning is necessary for her mental health? Who wants to hear the talking heads on cable television at 6 a.m.? Fortunately for Hannah, her husband usually sleeps late and she gets up fairly early. It’s been this way since they retired. She can usually, but not always, grab a couple of hours of precious silence before he gets out of bed and she treasures that time. This morning is not one of those mornings and she feels like she is going to scream. To make it worse, her husband is becoming hard of hearing and the television volume seems to be increasing as the days pass.

When Hannah built her home, they were not married. She built it thinking she would be living in it alone. It isn’t built to give her a room where she can be shut off from the noise of the television in the living room. There is no escaping it. The only possible escape is the sunroom and it is not in shape to be used right now. It’s currently used for storage though Hannah wants to change that and use it for a retreat. It needs a better heating and cooling system. Other than that, it is a room that could be closed off from the rest of the house and she could have her quiet space. Working on the sunroom is Hannah’s goal. Actually, Hannah’s goal is to live with at least a modicum of silence.

Actually, Hannah objects to only the television. She loves her music. All kinds of music. IF she lived alone, her music would like play in her home most of the time. Classic rock and roll. Classical music. Jazz. She would love to install an intercom system to pipe it through the house. There is no use to do that now. Even though her husband does like some music, their musical tastes are different and when he is at home and indoors, he only wants to hear and see the television. Not music. Hannah wonders why his wishes seem to be the only thing that matters. She has been wondering this for awhile now.

The worst offenders on television are the cable news shows. Hannah’s opinion of their news coverage is low. Her husband watches one and then another all day on the days he stays inside the house. Hannah feels the news coverage is biased. She prefers to get her news coverage from other sources and read it when she is ready to do so. She doesn’t like to be bombarded with what the talking heads have to say the first thing in the morning all the way to the last thing in the evening. Hannah subscribes to and reads several newspapers a day. A state-wide paper. The Wall Street Journal to keep up on the financial world. The New York Times as she enjoys the columnists. She gets the paper copies of those newspapers. Hannah also likes to get different news perspectives and reads the BBC news and other international news sources like the Financial Times. She can form her own opinions without the assistance of newscasters who know no more than she does. It’s very difficult for Hannah to read her news and digest it with the television in the background.

The constant presence of television in Hannah’s household is a bone of contention between she and her husband. Although Hannah does not like to push her opinion on her husband, she feels strongly that having the presence of these talking heads on news programs in our lives is one thing that is wrong with our country and our society. If a person is susceptible, it is almost brainwashing. Then there is her need for silence.

In the short run, Hannah supposes she can have her sunroom renovated to her liking and retreat to it to escape the assault on her ears. The long run is another question entirely. The television is not the only source of incompatibility between she and her husband. Hannah has a lot of thinking to do and decisions to make.



Storytelling Festivals


Storytelling is one of the ancient arts of communication, existing all the way back to prehistoric times. In Appalachia, storytelling has been perfected. This weekend, Cave run Storytelling Festival will be held on the banks of Cave run Lake, outside of Morehead, KY in northeastern Kentucky, a town on the northern fringes of the Appalachian region of Kentucky.

The Cave Run Storytelling Festival is held in large tents at the Twin Knobs Recreation area at Cave Run Lake, surrounded by the beautiful Daniel Boone National Forest. It is open to the public on September 23 and 24. The featured storyteller this year is Bil Lepp, a nationally renowned teller. Other famous storytellers will join Lepp including Geraldine Buckley and Kevin Kling among others.

The Cave Run Storytelling Festival is an offshoot of the National Storytelling Festival held every year in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Carolyn Franzini, a professor at Morehead State University, visited that festival with her daughter and brought the idea back to the Morehead community. Finally, the festival was organized on the banks of Cave Run Lake and the rest is history. It is attended by thousands of people each year.

Visit Cave Run Story Festival for ticket and more information. #storytelling #Appalachia


The Lost Romance


“This doesn’t feel wrong,” Rebecca said, as she and Patrick were saying their goodbyes before going to the airport. “We’ve waited so long to be together and it feels so natural. How could it possibly be wrong?’

Patrick smiled his soft, gentle smile at her. “Sweetie, from other people’s perspective, you know our relationship would be considered wrong. They wouldn’t understand. From a moral perspective, I guess it is wrong, but it certainly doesn’t feel wrong to me.”

“Nothing in my life has ever felt more right,” says Rebecca, as they hug and gently kiss. “How could this wonderful thing between us ever be considered a vice?’ Patrick just smiled and put his arm around her shoulders as they walked to the taxi.

Patrick had to fly to New York City to attend his daughter’s piano concert at Carnegie Hall. She was a classical pianist on a meteoric rise to fame. Patrick was meeting his wife and younger daughter there. Rebecca, a published author, was flying home to her small town in central Virginia where she lived with her husband and dog. She still worked as a writer. She and Patrick had been able to manage an interlude together in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. A longer interlude than usual but it was never long enough for them, especially not for Rebecca.

As Rebecca climbs in the taxi that will take them to the airport, she looks at Patrick and thinks back. She had been in love with Patrick for a large part of her adult life. She had fallen in love with him a few years after she had married her husband, unfortunately. Patrick had also fallen in love with Rebecca and he was also married. It was just one of those things. Almost a love at first sight thing. Rebecca was not yet a writer and was hired at Patrick’s place of employment — a large bank in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a junior bank executive. She was a little younger and an even more junior bank executive. There was an instant attraction between the dark, handsome man and the blonde girl.

Rebecca smiles at Patrick as they race toward the airport and remembers how they resisted their attraction, though briefly, all those years ago. Finally, they gave in as they enjoyed being together so very much. The enjoyment they found in each other’s company gradually led to sexual attraction and their relationship blossomed into a full blown affair. Rebecca finds it hard to believe that was 35 years ago. She and Patrick have marveled at how they have found each other again after all this time. They have giggled about their ages now and then.

Patrick has been divorced and remarried since that time. Rebecca has been married to the same man. Both are content in their marriages in their own way but something has always been missing from their relationships and they have concluded that it is that mysterious something they have only with each other. That something neither can quite put their finger on but something they both need to be happy.

Almost to the airport now. The moment when they leave each other that they both dread. The two start chatting about what each will be doing during their trips to their destinations and after they arrive. Effectively just making small talk in order to avoid saying the important things they both want to say but think unwise under the circumstances.

Rebecca starts feeling like she always does when she leaves Patrick. Like she is about to lose a part of herself. She has so enjoyed the past few days. Curling up in his arms to sleep at night. Sitting across the table from him at breakfast. Having an intellectual conversation with him. Much more personal things that she can’t stand to consider right now.

Patrick turns to her and breaks her reverie. “Almost there,” he says. Rebecca can’t speak for fear of crying. The taxi pulls up to the taxi stand and they get out to retrieve their luggage. As they kiss and say goodbye, they promise to talk to each other soon. They are about to rush to different terminals. Rebecca grabs Patrick’s face and is able to choke out one sentence. “You are my love,” she says to him. “I miss you already,” he responds.

She turns to grab her luggage. When she turns back, Patrick is gone.

Something shrill is sounding in Rebecca’s ear. Suddenly, she wakes with a start and feels for the alarm clock. Shutting it off, she turns over to her back in her bed, pulling the covers tight up under her chin.

As tears stream down her face, Rebecca relives the dream she just had, the dream she always has, where Patrick vanished at the airport. The dream is always the same. She and Patrick, the man she has loved most of her life, reconnect for a brief time two years ago. They spend some wonderful interludes together that summer that seems so long ago now. It was 35 years after they had first met and fallen in love – and lost each other. After their last, and most wonderful time together, they go to the airport to fly off to their respective lives and, Patrick vanishes. That is always when Rebecca wakes, just like this morning. She has this dream night after night, rarely skipping a night.

The dream is so disturbing to Rebecca because it is an almost exact accounting of the truth except that day at the airport, Patrick didn’t vanish. He just caught his plane. In reality, they still had some time after that, but their time was short and Rebecca remembers every second of it. Even two years later. But, when the end to their time came, it was quick and brutal and Rebecca has never recovered. At her age, she knows she probably never will. After all, how can she stop loving a man she’s always loved when the end was not his fault?

Patrick was caught up in a situation that Rebecca did not really understand. However, not only had she given Patrick her heart, she had also given him her trust. Rebecca was notified that Patrick could not see her anymore back then two years ago. Then, Patrick notified her in a brief message that clearly did not sound like him. Rebecca did not question him or the situation. She trusted Patrick. She knew he thought he was doing the right thing. Rebecca, of course, wishes Patrick could have made a different decision.

Rebecca jumps out of bed and races to her bathroom to splash cold water on her face, to try to get rid of the demons in her head. The ghosts that plague her almost every morning. The questions. The desires. She slowly walks to the kitchen to get her morning coffee, remembering all the way all the mornings she and Patrick had talked all morning while they drank their coffee. She still hopes, every morning, that he will be on the phone or on the other side of the computer screen. He never is. She hopes someday those hopes will be gone but she doubts she will be that lucky or free ever again. Too much passed between them during that summer. Too much to forget.

Mostly, she wonders and worries about Patrick. They no longer have any mutual friends left. There is no way to get news of him, to find out how he is, to see if he is still in the situation in which he found himself. She wonders if he is even still alive, still reasonably well. Once a week, Rebecca faithfully searches the obituaries, just in case. Every few days, Rebecca also searches social media for Patrick but he long ago disappeared from that social scene. Still, she searches. Not because she would contact him. She wouldn’t. Just because she wants news of him, to know he is well and happy.

Happy. That word almost makes Rebecca laugh. Could Patrick possibly be happy? He was always basically a happy guy. She was surely not happy without him. How can you be happy without your love? The last thing they said to each other on that fateful last day was that they were each other’s loves. She hopes he found a way to be happy. Just as much, she wishes she could hear his voice, just one more time.

Rebecca knows that won’t happen. She won’t hear from Patrick again. He did what he had to do, probably to protect her. She has always had the hope that he would do what he said he might one day. He said that one day she might get a phone call and it would be him saying, “Rebecca, I need you.” That has never happened. Patrick has no way to know that she and her husband have been divorced for over a year now and there is nothing to protect her from.

“I have to get these ghosts out of my head today,” Rebecca says to herself. She jumps up, goes to her bedroom and puts on her clothes, and grabs her dog’s leash. She and her little dog start their morning walk up the road. No one, including Rebecca, can see the ghosts following close behind. She will never be completely free of them again and deep in her heart she knows this.

Rebecca goes about her days, sees her friends, and does some work. Her days don’t vary much. She doesn’t travel very much. Travel reminds her of Patrick as they traveled the world together off and on over the years. Over 1000 miles away, Patrick sits in his house, pretends to be happy, and quietly goes about the business of drinking himself to death. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #romance

Random Number 35

Time = 35 minutes
TBP’s On-Line Writer’s Guide #31

Excerpt from the upcoming novel The Lost Romance

Please see the excerpt from The Lose Romance – The Affair

#weekendcoffeeshare 9/17/2016


If we were having coffee this morning; actually, I would be having Hot Cinnamon Spice tea and serving you coffee, I am hoping you won’t mind if I whine a little about what a tough week I’ve had. Since you are my friends, and we share our weekly experiences together, I’m sure you will understand. It’s actually been both a good and a tough week.

Fall is coming to my part of the world. The leaves aren’t really getting color yet, but it is very dry here as it often is in September. The leaves are turning brown on a lot of the hardwood trees, like the oaks, and they are falling to the ground. I’m worried about some of my perennials. The leaves on my beautiful peonies are browning. I am watering them and I surely hope it isn’t too late to save them. I will be anxiously awaiting their arrival come spring, if I am still living here in the spring.

I planted a new little white birch tree this past spring and it has had its share of trouble. The wind has broken off parts of it twice. It is valiantly trying to survive. I know it can survive the winter as white birches survive the bitter cold in the north. I’m worried about it surviving the remaining heat and humidity, along with the dry weather here, before winter arrives. Like with the peonies, it is getting daily watering. I always like to have a white birch tree in my yard, though they are hard to grow here. It reminds me of my roots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where they are so plentiful and beautiful.

I mentioned that I might not be living here when spring comes. Perhaps unfortunately, we all go through life changes and I may be about to go through a big one. It’s not the time for details yet but it could involve moving from my home. I will talk more about that to you when i know more. I do hope that I can stay here where I’ve been for 18 years. But, if I have learned one thing over the course of my life, it is that the only thing that is certain is change.

The change I may be facing is not one that I’ve wanted to happen but it may be necessary. I’ve been very sad about this change over the last few days. Enough said about that for now.

I am contemplating a new job in business consulting along with my writing career. I have been attending some meetings with regard to this job and it is fascinating. The changes in my life will have some impact on how involved I get in the consulting practice in the short run. I will keep writing as it is a catharsis for me. I have all kinds of new ideas for fiction and a plethora of ideas for non-fiction pieces. I’m excited to get started on these ideas. I don’t quite know what to write first!

I don’t know what this coming week holds for me, but I do know that I will be writing here on my blog. I hope all of you enjoy your coffee this morning. Thanks for letting me talk with you. Have a wonderful week! #weekendcoffeeshare #writing #amwriting #amblogging #dailyprompt

*#weekendcoffeeshare is sponsored by Parttimemonsterblog

2016 US Presidential Election: Pneumonia or the Economy and Foreign Policy?


imageI am discouraged by American journalism. I am also discouraged that the American people don’t demand more from their journalists and their Presidential candidates. I will certainly be interested to watch the upcoming Presidential debates although we cannot forget that early voting will have already started in some states. It seems this Presidential race is a slog,  toward, at best, mediocrity.

Let’s look at what’s important. Hillary Clinton’s very temporary, very common bout with pneumonia is not important regarding this election. This is an illness any one of us could contract and recover from very quickly. THe press and her opponent have made a much bigger deal out of it than it is, probably to deflect attention from the other issues that they should be discussing. However, since these two candidates are the oldest ever running for the White House, it is appropriate that they release their health records.

Our biggest economic problem is jobs. We hear wholesale promises of jobs from Mr. Trump but he has no plan to magically manufacture them except he talks about bringing industry home. Home to what? Dilapidated plants that are light years behind technologically? In some cases, no plants or factories are left at all. Clinton has a jobs creation plan that will add about 10 million jobs during her first term. However, she also talks about the revitalization of the manufacturing sector and this writer thinks that is dreaming. She does plan to put people to work on the infrastructure which is desperately needed – if she can get funds from Congress.

It is a little more difficult to figure out Donald Trumps’s plan for jobs. He says he wants to bring back jobs from China, Japan, Vietnam, and other countries but he is not clear what he wants to bring them back to. WIthout a manufacturing and technology sector, Trump’s plan to bring back jobs seems to fall flat. He is also not in favor of raising the minimum wage.

WIth regard to foreign policy, Mr. Trump has very little experience. He is a nationalist. He is not in favor of many trade agreements with other countries or is for very strict terms. He wants to appease and support Russia while doing the opposite with China, seeing China as our enemy.  He does not support the Iran deal and does support strong men ruling the Middle East.

Mts. Clinton has been a diplomat for many years. Her foreign policy is based on diplomacy. She is very well-schooled on the issues facing the US from other countries in the world and would be one of the most knowledgeable leaders in modern times in foreign policy due to her background and her experience gained as Secretary of State.

One of the problems with this election is that the candidates nor the media are focusing on these or any other issues. Instead they are talking about Clinton’s illness or Trump’s medical history or tax returns. The American people should want to know these candidates’ stands on issues, not their personal extraneous issues. OTherwise, we cannot make informed voting positions.

If you understand the issues, get out and vote but educate yourself first so you can make an informed voting decision. #dailyprompt #2016presidentialelection #realDonaldTrump #HillaryClinton #amwriting #amblogging #writing #economy #foreignpolicy