Veil of Silence ~ A fantastic review

Veil of Silence Cover

The Lesbian Review gave me a fantastical review of VEIL OF SILENCE!

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The Journey Home, 2nd edition

When I first started self-publishing I couldn’t afford an editor.  Between me and my beta readers, we did the best we could.  I am not condoning that in the least as I know better now, however, I am slowly going back through my portfolio of books and re-releasing them one at a time as I have them edited.  It’s a time-consuming project since I did release a lot of books in the years of my career as an author.  Don’t worry, the last few years they were all edited so you are getting what you paid for.  In this particular instance I actually, through tweaking, editing, and polishing the manuscript, made the new format, the paperback have 100 extra pages!  WOW!  It’s still the same great story, improved, in fact, in the years since I originally published it, I hadn’t gone back and actually read it (no time).  It felt like one great big hug.  In the e-Book version I have added some things that were omitted the first time, like a blurb from my personal experience about The Farmhouse I used in the book.  In fact, that was the original title of this particular book.  I am PLEASED to bring you an updated, edited, and polished version of The Journey Home.

The Journey Home Front Cover

Click on the picture to get ALL the various links to purchase your copy!

Humiliation at Marcus Theatres

This is kind of long, so pull up a latte, a coffee, or your favorite beverage…alcoholic is allowed, but please read through it all:

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Tuesday I was humiliated at the Rothschild Marcus Theatre near Wausau, WI.

I drove into town, across town, and into the nearest theater in my area, which is this chain called Marcus Theatres.  I’ve been there many times in the past, including just this last Saturday to see films.

Today I went because it’s a Tuesday and the movies are discounted, naturally it’s a busy time.  When I walked up to the ticket counter there was only one person ahead of me and I asked to see the movie.  He asked for my card as they have this perks type of card which I always forget to bring so I gave him my phone number, he plugged it in.  It never gives me any perks so I wasn’t too concerned.  Apparently, it didn’t work on their computer and he mentioned they had been having computer issues.

Then, I went to pay for the movie.  My g/f had sent me a gift card because she knows how much I like to go out to the movies, wished she could go with me, and thought after all my hard work these days it would be a nice distraction.

He scanned it, and waited.  I waited.  He scanned it again and we both waited.  I wondered if I would get charged twice for the transaction since he had scanned it twice, he said no since when it timed out it erased the payment time.  Apparently, his computer issues had extended to this part as well.  He apologized but I said, it wasn’t his fault.  I meant it too.  However, I could tell people were lining up behind me.  They were restless too, as though to lay blame on me, I am not oblivious to their comments.  So, I turned and mentioned to the folks behind me that they were having computer issues.  The guy taking the tickets said it takes about ten second for the computer to reset itself.  I grinned and said, I bet that’s a long 10 seconds and he agreed.  Well, it didn’t go through and he radioed his manager.

Now his manager said the computers were down because of the high winds we are having here in Central Wisconsin.  Okay, but if your computers are down, then how do we go see your movies?  It went back and forth for a while, the poor kid apologizing and me reassuring him that it wasn’t his fault.  Finally, I said, why don’t you have your manager come over here so I can yell at the right person?  I said it as a joke as there was nothing either of us could do.  The crowd behind me was getting ugly.  By the time this was over there were at least twenty people waiting in line behind me…but, to them it was all MY fault.

The manager explained that they couldn’t accept my gift card because their computers were down.  My understanding was, because their computers were down they couldn’t accept any payments because they couldn’t assign seats in the new super comfortable reclining seats auditoriums.  So, they should explain that to everyone right?  She suggested I go on line and make a complaint.  I said, I drove all the way over here to watch one of your movies, only to be turned away because your computer malfunctioned which is in no way MY fault.  She’s like, there is nothing I can do.  I said, you can let me in to watch the movie.  I was still calm at this point.  Instead, she again suggested I go on line.  So, I should drive all the way home again, waste my gas and time, to complain on line for something she could solve easily.  I pointed out that she was missing the point of customer service.

Instead the manager continued in a tone that sounded accusatory to me as though I started all of this.  Instead, I get the insults hurled at me, behind me in line over a movie.  In fact, I heard things like, “Get out of line, bitch,” and worse.  I finally grabbed my gift card, which apparently is useless, and turn around to face the ugly crowd.  I got called a bitch again several times, I had done nothing, and to “fucking get out of here.”  Now, anyone who knows me, knows I don’t use that particular word very often, nor do I condone it, but today I told the woman who got in my face like that and used it, “Fuck you.”

I left the theater feeling absolutely stunned, humiliated over their behavior.  Driving home I actually cried over the way the people in line had treated me.  No, it wasn’t the theaters fault they were having computer issues because of the high winds, how they handled it however WAS and IS their fault.  I took her suggestion and contacted someone on line.

Follow up:  I tried to phone, no one answers, and it just goes into telling you what movies are playing.  No alternate line is listed.  So, I went on line.  That too was a joke as the pull-down menu had no listing for this particular cinema.  I lodged a complaint on line, found a 1-800 number and called it, leaving the same complaint.  I do have to say, the complaint I lodged, I got a call back in half an hour from a sympathetic employee of Marcus Theatres.  He listened to everything I said, commiserated, and said he’d pass it on to corporate and that I’d get a call the next day from corporate.  No one called.  I found out later this first guy was from South Dakota, that’s a couple of states over, so no wonder…

I waited 24 hours for someone to call me and nothing happened.  So, I called their number again, the recording stated they answered calls until 5:30 CST which is why I called before that the previous day (Tuesday) and again on Wednesday.  I got a call from a woman who identified herself as being in their corporate office.  I have to say, repeating this story, over and over again, explaining my feelings, the F YOU, that I do not normally use, is just as upsetting.  I’m sick of it already.  She listened, assured me that is NOT the norm and comped me a few a tickets.  She also assured me that a manager of the cinema would be calling me as the woman who identified herself as the manager was not the General Manager.  I never was after compensation, free tickets, even a free popcorn.  I was just so horrified over this incident I felt that they had to know what occurred.

Today is Thursday October 26 and I just got off the phone with Scott, who identified himself as the General Manager.  We had a long talk, again, I had to repeat my story.  At this point, I’ve forgotten key issues and I can still feel the horror in my stomach as I describe how those waiting in line made me feel.  I’ve analyzed it of course, who could help themselves.  This mob mentality.  This naked allowance comes from the top down.  Once those in power allowed such open hostility, such freedom of violence, under the guise of ‘free speech’ it allowed a certain mentality in our society to come out and show their own behaviors.  Before it was hidden (I prefer that).  Before, it wouldn’t have been thought to be allowed under good manners.  My mother would have been horrified to have heard what happened to me, but equally so, my own return of their foul language.  I am actually ashamed that I stooped that low, but I felt, at the time, that was the only language they would understand.  I am pleased to realize the woman was frightened of me and took a step back when I confronted her.  However, as soon as I used her language, she was less frightened, instead she thought I was just like her.  I am in no way THAT person and I won’t do something like that again.  I may stop and give her a look of ‘what planet are you from’ or ‘who raised you’ but I won’t use that language as it demeans me…and I don’t care about her.

It was sad to realize that this naked hostility is the norm.  I had never seen it personally, experienced it, and only heard about it on the news or social media.  I’m ashamed at my own reaction, however brief.  I should have risen above it.  I certainly don’t condone it.

Yes, having the free comped tickets is a nice gesture.  The apology is nice as well, and, I felt, sincere.  But, I don’t feel satisfied.  I don’t feel safe.  That ugliness can’t be glossed over and now I will feel the need to be guarded, not only in public like that, but even in my own home.

Well, this was all over a movie that I wanted to see.  But, that isn’t even really the point.  I should be able to go out in public without having the mob-mentality turn on me and making me feel a victim.  I’m angry at myself.  I’m angry at the powers that be that condone and allow it.  I’m angry at myself that I used the words I did.  I’m angry at a manager that could have explained their computers were down and just let me in, as the General Manager said I would have in the past.  Btw, he said they would be addressing this incident tomorrow at their weekly manager meeting, first thing.  Good, I hope someone learns something and they put things into place so that no one else is ever victimized.  And yes, I will be using their tickets and going to this cinema again, as the next nearest one is over 30 miles away.  I may not get out often, but I want to enjoy the times I do and this is one pleasure (normally) that I’m not willing to forego.

I did explain to the three people I spoke to that I have over 50,000 followers on social media and you can bet that I’m telling them the WHOLE story.  I hope this explains it all adequately.  I think Marcus Theatres is a FINE establishment and this was an isolated incident.  They finally did the right thing and I got an apology.  I certainly didn’t care about the free tickets or popcorn they offered (I get sick from their coconut oil that they use to make popcorn), I don’t know if the apology will make me feel better, it doesn’t at the moment.  I don’t know what more they could do to make me feel better.  However, they did what they could and I appreciate that.  I will be going back.

 

 

Me Too, x2

I was two years old when I was sexually molested for the first time.  Shocking right?  What boy would get off on molesting a toddler of that age?

How far back can you remember?  I can remember back to the age of two years old.  How do I know I was two?  Because around my third birthday, BOTH of my grandmothers died, and I remember both of their funerals very well.  I also remember various times spent with them, as well as other incidents and I had to have been two when they occurred.

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You can say, boys will be boys.  They pulled down my pants, checked out the difference between boys and girls, felt me up, and left me in a field.  I went home crying that the boys pulled down my pants.  My mother didn’t find out until I was eighteen how traumatized that had made me.  I didn’t know that I had been molested and later when I realized what had been done to me, I worried how far they had gone on that day.  I was nineteen when I found out they hadn’t taken my virginity.  However, the trauma had been with me for a long time and it took a long time to come to grips with it, if I ever did.

Jim & Mary August 20, 1974 1

You see, even though they were boys, probably curious, it doesn’t excuse the fact that they did this to a helpless little girl.  It affected certain aspects of my life for decades.  That is what victimization does.  It affects that victim mentally, sometimes more so than the physical aspects do.  Yes, they ‘probably’ only pulled down my pants, but how will I ever know?  What if it had been more?  They could have done so much more, and mentally, they did.

I didn’t date until I was sixteen years old.  Not because I wasn’t interested, but because I felt, they weren’t.  Even losing my virginity at nineteen wasn’t because I was in love, but because of low self-esteem.  I thought, erroneously, that it might make me popular.  It took a lot of self-introspection to realize a lot of things about myself.  The first of which, it wasn’t MY fault.

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Many others who have been victims go on to punish themselves in so many ways.  From self-harm, to other worse decisions that affect their entire lives.  I refuse to play the victim.  I tell you this story because it happens, even at an early age.

From an early age I was aware of the difference between men and woman.  Not just the physical differences, but the way they are treated.  It was the boys against the girls in our household.  Mom tried to prevent that, but Dad encouraged it and laughed at it.  Girls were ‘non-persons’ and only good for ‘women’s work,’ boys were the princes and allowed to do whatever the heck they wanted.  That disparity, early on, pissed me off.  Fortunately, my mother was strong enough to raise a strong woman in me and, I hope, I overcame a lot of that.  Dealing with my brothers these days, I just simply do not engage, refuse to do what they ‘think’ I should, and I certainly don’t stay in my place as they ‘think’ I should.  As a result, they have labeled me a troublemaker, a bitch, difficult, and worse.  That’s fine, they don’t pay my bills, and they certainly don’t live in my house.  I’m independent and I speak my mind.  God forbid I have an opinion.  As a result, we rarely interact anymore and I’m happier as a result.

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There are a lot of things I could say about both scenarios, from the mental abuse of my father and brothers who are chauvinistic, misogynistic, narcissists to the little boys who mentally scarred me, the point I am trying to make is it doesn’t define who I am and who I have become.  I’m aware of it, I refuse to cater to it, and I raised two boys who I think are better for having an understanding mother.  Let’s hear it for the survivors, the ones who didn’t let it destroy their lives!

It’s coming to get me!

I swear, I’m not paranoid…but, that being said, there is proof in the posting! 
I raise a lot of plants, probably because my father was a botanist with a degree in biology and a couple courses shy of being a zoologist.  I can’t tell you how many trees I’ve planted over the years.  Seeing those same trees 30 years later from the time when I used to jump over them as a child to an adult where I’d have to climb them (if I wanted to break something, not only on the tree but my body).  It’s awesome to know there is a living legacy growing out there, somewhere, even if we don’t own the land anymore.  My father grew up during the depression and helped after the great fires of northern Wisconsin to replant those areas.  After seeing what happened after Mount St. Helens blew, I’m sure Mother Nature would have re-seeded the areas nicely, however, the State of Wisconsin planted acres of trees, heck, more than that and now, eighty plus years later, they are tall and strong.  Personally, I don’t like neat little rows but prefer a variance, a natural look.

Well, back to the point of this blog, and there is one, I assure you.

It’s coming to get me, and here is picture proof.20171014_124101_Burst01

I grow a lot of spider plants, have a Christmas Cactus, and a few other odds and ends.  My aunt gave me a couple of cuttings of a purple passion plant last year when I was down in Arkansas and it survived the drive back to WisconSIN.  One of the cuttings died in the pot, but, some plants do not do well here in this house.  There is something about it, and no, I don’t have a black thumb but a green one.  But, one of the cuttings started growing crazily this year and as I type in bed because of my bad back, I gaze out the window and in front of the window are all my plants, all in hanging baskets, on a stand my son and I made.  I had to do it like this because when Kitkat was alive, she enjoyed mowing plants down.  Now that she is gone I could place them around the house, but, my window gets the most sun in my northern facing house and my window faces south.  The plants that do survive in my house include three varieties of spider plants that I really enjoy.  It gets pretty lush.

Maybe it’s because of what I feed them.  They don’t get straight water since the village puts chemicals in it, supposedly for our health (I don’t drink it either, shudders).  Instead, I feed my plants water from my fish tanks, the bottom water that I siphon out to clean my tanks.  This nutrient rich water is full of plant matter and fish droppings.  Sometimes I will filter THIS through a plant set up where it goes through nutrient rich dirt and into a bucket (what can I say, I’m a mad scientist).  My plants seem to love it.  Even the water that goes INto these fish tanks stands in a five gallon bottle for weeks until the chemicals dissaperate, or rather evaporate.

I don’t understand why some plants don’t like the aura of this house.  Personally, I no longer like the aura either but that is neither here nor there.  I moved here with a couple of absolutely HUGE succulents that were the sizes of bushes, jade plants to be exact and they BOTH died in this house.  I also moved here with a couple of display of Mother-in-Law Tongues, aka Snake Plants and sometimes called Sword Plants that had been cuttings from my grandmother and the plants were over 40 years old!  All died in this house and I was heartbroken.  I didn’t (then) feed them the water from my tanks but that was how I learned the water out of the tap was BAD!  As I said, the aura is bad and I need to move on, taking my ‘few’ plants with me.  My sword plants once were in one of those half wine barrels and I got them to bloom!  Apparently they bloom once every seven years but I had so many in that barrel they bloomed EVERY year, man that is the most sickening flower smell you ever want to smell!  Someone once offered me $400 for that half-barrel, but, we had a freeze that night before he could come pick it up!

My dream home would have an arboretum, a sun room, or just fantastic windows to grow plants!  Btw, this is what a Purple Passion plant is SUPPOSED to look like, not the one vine reaching out to GET me!Purple-Passion

Meanwhile, I wait for this purple passion plant, the one vine is over seven feet long!  I can see it ‘hesitating’ in its growth of where it’s going to go.  In the evening it is leaning towards my right as it might head back towards the window it grew up, it’s vine thickening as it grows.  In the morning it leans towards my left and as if it is contemplating whether or not it will head towards me at the headboard of my bed.  It’s a smart thing too, it has now figured out it will get added support/strength by resting on top of the post that holds up all the plants (except for those hanging from the curtain rod).

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So, if I don’t appear on social media someday, you know, it GOT me!

Meanwhile, if you want to read about more interesting stories than my domestic ones, please click on the picture below:

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And the WINNER is…..

Winner

Can you believe it’s been TWO weeks already since I announced my contest to NAME my first Science Fiction novel?  Thank you to those who entered!

I put the titles in a generator (those free things you can do on the net) and the name it chose was…

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This means that Ashley MacDonald wins!… and I’ll be sending a paperback copy to South Africa!  Well, a deal is a deal and I don’t mind… now that I know what the word means, it fits the book PERFECTLY.  Recombinant Love… recombinant means bringing together DNA sequences that would not normally be found in nature…Thank you Ashley!

And, I want to say a SPECIAL thank you to those who shared my book naming contest:

http://www.prudencemacleod.com/

https://womenwords.org/

https://sapphicreviews.wordpress.com/

http://www.Joannadarrell.com/

https://kittykatwordpresscom.wordpress.com/

https://iheartlesfic.com/

Please go to the above referenced blogs and show them some appreciation by FOLLOWING their blog if you haven’t already.  Books, books, and more books are promoted on ALL of the above mentioned blogs…sharing is caring so tell all your book friends!

Btw, I am NOT thrilled with the font and may change that a bajillion times behind the scenes here before my book comes out.  In the meantime, I have a few other books for you to read, catch up!

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ME TOO!

That battle cry went out on social media.  ME TOO!  And, it was a call to raise awareness that harassment, intimidation, and assault is happening to women.  Maybe not ALL women, but the majority of them.  It’s amazing how many people reacted, and how.

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There are the women who deny it happens.  That if you dressed a different way (Mayim Bialik) that it won’t happen to you.  Now I could call her names for that statement that she made and point out how unattractive she was and that no one would hit on her…but, that would be catty.  She is actually a lovely woman from the interviews she has made, the acting she has done, but that doesn’t make her an expert in how women should dress and that it will keep the predators away.

According to Reuters thirteen women (so far) have come forward with claims that Harvey Weinstein assaulted (I hate that word, sometimes the word RAPE should be used, however my capture above explains the whole concept) them or made suggestive comments or inappropriate moves on them.  Some capitulated because of the power this man held over their careers.  You could dismiss one woman’s claim, maybe, I wouldn’t, however when this MANY come forth, you cannot as it is a well-known ‘secret’ in Hollywood what this man did.  When stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, and others of their stature come forth with their own stories, it has to be believed.  This man IS and WAS a predator and it was allowed to go on because of the perceived POWER he held over people.  How many women, maybe men too had their careers derailed because of this predator (and yes, he is a predator) POWER over them?  If they didn’t play by HIS rules, they were ruined!

Then there is the high-profile case of Bill Cosby who over the course of his career drugged and RAPED many, many women.  Now most would say ALLEGEDLY to avoid being sued, however I’m basing my declaration on the MANY women who came forth to testify and this is my OPINION.  Should we feel sorry for him because he is now old and blind?  Should we excuse it because while he was in his heyday he produced excellent work in the form of The Cosby Show?  NOOOOOO!  There is NO excuse for this behavior.

Men, and women too, TRY to excuse this behavior as ‘boys will be boys’ but there is NO excuse.  It should not and CAN not be ALLOWED.  Call the aggressor out on it, they SHOULD be afraid of THEIR behavior.  Their THREATS should be REPORTED as well as their ACTIONS.  Yes, it’s hard when you think you are alone, but what if you aren’t?  What if others come forth and tell the same tale?  You will have led the way and possibly prevented it from happening AGAIN!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

This doesn’t JUST happen to WOMEN, it happens to men, boys even in everyday situations, not just the Hollyweird arena.  But maybe, if we make these perpetrators AWARE that we are going to call them out on it, maybe the FEAR will prevent it from happening in the first place.  Although, I think it’s been going on FOREVER…we can at least TRY.

A few years ago I was named General Manager of a company.  I was over-qualified for the position as I had been running companies for about twenty years at that point, but I wanted to see what I could do for this company with my unique skills and I welcomed the opportunity.  I worked my ass off and the owner was thrilled with my resourcefulness…especially because I believe in getting most out of it for free.  Advertising, marketing, etc are my forte and I didn’t cost him more than my salary.  I got in the newspaper about the work I was doing, I got on television, I got us in a free commercial even.  Newspaper article about Taxi TimeLOTS of FREE advertisement for the company.  He told me to answer to no one but him…and then, he went to Florida for the winter.  His Chief Financial Officer suddenly thought ‘he’ was ‘in charge’ and went after me.  Not sexually, just inappropriately.  Getting called a ‘fucking bitch’ to your face nearly every day because you won’t allow him to interfere, stick his fingers in the money, etc is not fun.  This harassment only increased from there.  I detest the word ‘cunt’ and I got called that and other names DAILY.  Now, I knew I was a woman in a ‘mans’ field, but when he enlisted the help of my people to harass me it took on dangerous elements.  It took four months but they wore me down and set me up.  I finally HAD to quit.  He wouldn’t let me wait in the office for a ride since they took my company car away from me even though it was the middle of winter.  I began to walk until my ride showed up.  When the State of Wisconsin found out why I quit, they (the company) tried to deny my unemployment benefits.  I won that round and got them.  The State went after them for the sexual harassment but when it came time to actually go to court they backed out, said I had to pay for my own attorney, which I could not afford, and I was left hanging.  Found out later that I wasn’t the only one this company had been sued for the same claims.  While this was going on, they watched my house daily.  I live in a fairly secluded area of my village and the car sitting there with a man sitting at the wheel was VERY obvious.  The police went by frequently as I called them, concerned for the ‘broken down’ car that always seemed to be there.  That went on for TWO YEARS.

This is something I posted on Facebook the other day:22528424_1656654664406695_791871147359960045_n

Real conversation, a variation of something I posted:

Do you know how many MEN raped women last year? Do you know how many BOYS harassed girls in their schools last year creating uncomfortable and unsafe environments for those same girls? Do you know how many men and boys impregnated teenage girls last year? Do you know how many people, men and women, let BOYS off with the phrase, ‘boys will be boys?’

Why is it ALWAYS the females fault when a male acts up? I taught my boys that girls are just as good if not better at some things, everyone has their strengths, and no means no. Is that so hard? Not everyone has the same skills or opportunities, it doesn’t mean they can’t do the same things, they just might not have had the chance. It doesn’t mean they aren’t smart enough or anything of that nature and they don’t ‘deserve’ to be assaulted because of their gender, their dress mode, or for ANY reason.

Accepting this behavior, not coming forward because you are frightened, are sure that no one will believe you, know that there are people out there who will fight for you, stand up for you, believe you.
Yes, there will be those who make false accusations but what if we assumed in the FIRST place that they were telling the truth? Would it, at least, take a sexual predator off the streets before they could do it again?
It’s time we banded together and fought against the misogyny, the patriarchal society that has kept us down for so long and is perpetuated EVERYWHERE, not just in our country. Perhaps, we can create a better SOCIETY as a result…I know I’m doing my part because I created to BETTER human beings who happened to be male.attn-women-are-keeping-each-other-safe-in-publi-women-5737782

You are not alone.  Nearly EVERY woman has been the VICTIM of this horrible epidemic…and it IS a disease.  One perpetuated by ignorance and stupidity.  A misogynistic and patrimonial society that allows it to continue…Let’s stop it in ONE generation.  There are those who will say, I can’t do anything…but, you can.  Awareness is only PART of the problem.coworker11done

I don’t claim to have the answers, but we do need to do SOMETHING, ANYthing to make people more aware of its insidious allowance into our lives.  The women, and men, who allow it to happen, perpetuate it, victimize others with their behavior cannot be allowed to continue.  It affects the VICTIMS for LIFE.

1oftnbIt’s NOT funny, it’s not ‘boys will be boys’, it’s horrific, sometimes making suicidal victims in its wake.  We already know our government ALLOWS it, but maybe we need to take the bull by the horns and make THEM aware of how WRONG it is!would-you-help-stop-sexual-harassment-what-would-you-do-13162463