Monthly Archives: November 2016

Death

death-poem-picture-by-diamante-lavendar

You think life is forever,
At least that’s how it seems;
Death is just a shadow
In your deepest, darkest dreams.

We don’t want to admit it,
Or dwell upon the pain,
But death is waiting for us
In its own destined time frame.

Death will come and take you
No matter what you say;
Your time to leave’s appointed
In your designated way.

So don’t try to deny it
Or refuse to believe it’s true;
Live your life with purpose
Until death comes for you.

-Diamante Lavendar

Flowers For My Baby

flowers-for-kelby-with-diamante-lavendar-written-on-it

I miss you. Tell me you’re okay.

Since I found you encompassed

Two weeks prior

In the gruesome sorrow of death’s embrace.

 

I never thought

That once again

I’d bury my hopes

With another child;

 

Life with you

Was fun and vibrant,

Full of feeling,

Loving, wild;

 

I know you’d want me

To be tough-

To continue on

Life’s lumbering pace;

 

To focus on living,

To cherish your memory,

To center myself on love,

Not hate.

 

Though I don’t understand

What happened that night

When the reaper came

To the call of fate,

 

I know you’d want me

To persevere,

To feel your love

From Heaven’s gates.

 

I am broken,

I am wrenched,

My aching soul

Screams your name;

 

But somehow I know

When I’m old

I’ll be in your happy

Presence again.

 

Life’s not fair,

Life’s a test

Of wading through fear,

Sorrow and blame;

 

Show me your mercy,

Send me your trust,

That we’ll be reunited

In Heaven again.

 

 -Love Mommy<3

Meet John Kaniecki, author of More Than The Madness

more-than-the-madness-john-kaniecki

This book gives readers a glimpse into the life of someone living with bipolar disorder. It’s not a clinical book filled with facts and figures, but a book of humanity.
Spanning childhood to early adult, through stories of abuse, being bullied, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, inpatient stays on psych wards, a night in jail, his college days in the fraternity, hitchhiking across America, and his time in a third world country, John gives the reader a personal and up-close look into his life as a manic depressive. The stories are sad, shocking, and at times funny as he shares his antics while at his most manic and delusional.
Throughout his journey, John also struggles with his faith in God. More than the Madness is a testament of one man’s journey to grow closer to God while gaining a better understanding of himself.
John wrote his story to help educate others on mental illness and remove some of the stigma associated with it. It is his hope that readers will get to know the person behind the diagnosis; take away the labels and meet someone’s son, friend, and husband. See that there is More Than the Madness.

Where you can find More Than The Madness:

https://www.amazon.com/More-than-Madness-John-Kaniecki/dp/1539430138/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478478919&sr=8-1&keywords=more+than+the+madness+john+kaniecki

Interview with John:

1.  What made you decide to write your story?
This book was started about ten years ago. Every since I was a teenager I wanted to write but never aggressively pursued it. One day I felt inclined to write so I attempted to write a couple of science fiction stories. I got frustrated. Then I decided, why not write stories from my life?  I had a very interesting life. Besides it would be easier to write when you had the entire story already in your head instead of making things up. So I began to write what became “More Than The Madness”. At that time the manuscript consisted of short stories. Each chapter stood as individual works.  I shared these with my friends. When I started accumulating a lot of material I realized that one day it could be made into a book.
2.  What is the most important point you’d like readers to take away from your story?
This book is my memoirs. It deals with my successful struggle with bipolar disorder. The most important point I’d like to make is that I am, despite my mental illness, a human being just like everybody else. That there is “More Than The Madness”. My ailment is just one aspect of a complex creature. As such I would like to dispel the stigmata that are associated with mental illness.
3.  Have you written anything before?  If so, please tell me about it.
 
I have written a host of poetry. I have had my poems published on over seventy outlets. I have four books of poetry. “Murmurings Of A Mad Man” was my first book. This is a book of poetry dealing with a very low time of my life. I was committed to a state psychiatric hospital called Greystone. The book is written with strict meter and rhyme. My second book of poetry is called “Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent”. This book has some of my best writings in it including my award winning “Tea With Joe Hill”. As the title suggests this book is written for the oppressed peoples. Some of the subjects are historical figures and people from my life. “Sunset Sonnets” is a book of sonnets dealing with the subject of death and dying in a very positive and spiritual way. My last poetry book, which I self published, is entitled “A Day’s Weather”. I wrote this book at age twenty two and it serves as a marker to my thoughts at the time. The manuscript deals with a day’s weather, with a poem corresponding to a weather condition.
As far as prose I have a book of science fiction stories called “Words Of The Future”. These are unique quirky stories of which I take pride in their originality. Also I have two horror books out published by Jaded Books Publishing. The first is called “Scarecrow, Scarecrow” and the second is called “Satan’s Siren”. These follow the adventures of an Anne McFry. There are more books planned for the series. Also under contract is a book called “In The Mind Of Maggoo.” This book deals with a man in a nursing home who can only move the pupils of his mind. His mind is inflicted with marvelous dreams and thoughts of his past.
4.  What do you hope to accomplish as a writer?
I enjoy writing tremendously so that is a primary motivation. I hope to make a living from it as my wife is ill and I cannot work a traditional job as I need to take care of her. In my poetry I often try to contribute to some greater, nobler cause. To change the world for the better if you will. In my fiction writing I hope to entertain people. In both cases I hope to make people think.
5.  If you could give your readers one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would advise writers to never give up. When I started out I got rejected an enormous amount of times both in poetry and prose. A good part of successful writing is finding a friendly market for your work. That is if you write political poems don’t bother to send them to a romance magazine. Also I tried to get my science fiction stories published by the big names in the industry. While this was certainly worth the try I discovered there are a host of other, lesser prominent markets. I believe exposure is key to success. Remember that many famous writers got severe rejections before they had any form of success.
6.  What was your greatest challenge to overcome as a writer?
Enter the giveaway for one free ebook:
<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dc8826a62/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”dc8826a62″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_b31pi40f”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src=”https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js”></script>

What Is Responsibility?

When we think of responsibility, we tend to think of being reliable and doing our jobs well. Whatever it is that we do from day to day, the perception of doing it well is seen as responsibility. Also the concept of showing up when needed, being there for others and taking good care of what we’ve been given in life. But is that it? Or is there more to being responsible?

This is a topic I’ve thought about for years.  The average person considers responsibility to be a consideration only within their personal realm or space.  But what about reaching beyond your comfort zone?  Here are some other ways I’ve found responsibility to be key and essential in life.

Being a good example when no one is watching.  When you see someone drop a wallet on the street, would you pick it up and bring it to them?  That is an important aspect of social responsibility.  If we want this world to resonate on a higher level of consciousness, we are responsible to be good even when nobody notices.  Doing this passes kindness along and increases a personal level of social responsibility among ourselves and others.

Doing the right thing without expecting a reward.  Something as simple as picking garbage up off the street makes you a more responsible person.  Instead of walking past wrappers and other things tossed out of car windows and thrown over shoulders, you can choose to take it upon yourself to clean up and brighten the world around you.  Even if it’s never acknowledged, you know you did the right thing.  This will increase your personal consciousness and self esteem which always ends up rubbing off on others you know.  Even if you don’t purposely try to make them aware of your beliefs.  And when others see how responsible you are, it will motivate them to be more responsible!  (At least some of them!)

society-picture-diamante-lavendar

Being fair and extending a helping hand.  We all have moments and situations come up where we have the opportunity to help another person out who may have the possibility of hurting us.  Sometimes being a responsible person is offering a hand up with no assurance of it turning out well.  At times, it’s good to give another person the benefit of the doubt.  And if it ends up biting you in the end?  Well, at least you tried.  I’m not saying to be a doormat and allow people to walk all over you.  What I am suggesting is when you are able, knowing that if the situation would fall flat, you are still willing to take a chance, take it!  Sometimes these are the best moments in life:  moments that can not only change you but the people you’re walking out on a limb for as well.  Actions like this not only increase your personal responsibility level and your self esteem but also the personal responsibility levels and self esteem levels of those who you’ve given the chance to.  When out of nowhere if you decide to trust someone and it goes well, it’s a very beautiful thing!

Doing your part to remedy societal issues.  Society has a sad way of “passing the buck” too many times.  “Oh, they’ll take care of that,”  or “I don’t know much about that.  Let someone else deal with it,”  or “I just don’t have the energy.  It’s a losing battle anyway,”  are all excuses created to keep us from feeling responsible.  But the reality is, we can all do something with the resources we have, even if it’s something small.  It really doesn’t take much to donate a coat to a shelter or to provide a bag of groceries to someone who’s hurting.  Maybe even secretly leave Christmas gifts on a needy familys’ doorstep or fill a bag with a few essentials from a dollar store to donate to a charity.  There are ways of filling in the gap with the resources we’ve been given.  If we’d all do our part, we could create huge waves of responsibility to ripple through our communities.

Take care of our planet.  Our children inherit this planet from us.  What we do to it, they’ll have to deal with.  Why give them more pain and heartache?  Take an interest in healing this world on a physical level.  Learn more about solar and wind energy, begin to grow gardens in our yards or stop using pesticides on our lawns.  There are numerous efficient chemical free ways of dealing with issues like this.  Why spray more harmful things into the atmosphere for our children and grandchildren to breathe?  Why kill off more animals and plants and eat GMO foods that are riddled with hurtful carcinogens?  There is no good point to these types of things. And engaging in harmful behaviors only makes things worse and worse.  It’s time to start paying attention and go back to healing this planet before the domino effect of pain becomes too great for us to conquer!

Rise above destructive thought processes.  If we all close our eyes to the hurtful things going on, who is going to make it better?  We need to increase our awareness….our level of responsibility…and understand that we each have a piece in this puzzle.  If we pass all of the responsibility on to our neighbor, our friend, our senator, our president, how can we expect anything to really change?  Yes, our elected officials can make changes but nothing compared to a global realization that we can all make a difference.  Even the poorest of us!  We can grow gardens, we can stop using pesticides, we can share with our friends and plant trees and spread kindness.  There are literally thousands of things we can all do.  No matter what our socioeconomic level or level of education.  We need to pull together to make amends!

Responsibility is a way of life.  It’s a process of thinking that we need to commit to.  Responsibility doesn’t just happen.  It’s cultivated.  And if we begin to cultivate it into the younger generations, just imagine the changes it could bring!

The Rise Of Nazil by Aaron Michael Hall

the-rise-of-nazil-cover

It was the 75th year of Alberoth when the AsZar summoned the Guardians. There was an imbalance in the lands of Faélondul. The Zaxson, Draizeyn Vereux covered the lands in a pall of darkness. There was a plan to exterminate the infestation in Nazil and beyond, a plan to eradicate the humans.

Led by the priestly cast called the Cha, the Xenophobic Nazilians dominating Faélondul justified their brutalities against the humans. But when the First Chosen of the elite guard of Nazil discovers Brahanu Ravenot lost near the gates of the city, not only his life but also his entire system of beliefs is forever changed. With darkness covering the lands, can love—forbidden, yet eternal—save both humans and Nazilians?

The Rise of Nazil is an adult fantasy novel that takes your breath away. Intricate plotting, intense passion, exciting battles, and complex, challenging characters pull the reader into the mythical world of Faélondul, where powerful ethereal beings wrestle for domination against the brutal Nazilian rulers.

Honor above all! The elite Chosen Guard of Nazil live and die by that maxim. A xenophobic race dominating the lands of Faélondul, the Nazilian’s fallacious sense of honor and preeminence enables them to justify their brutal treatment of humans.

Reviews for The Rise Of Nazil:

By Jocelyn on March 6, 2016
Epic fantasy novel! That’s the first thought that comes to mind when I think of this book. It’s a fast-paced story that will hook you into the storyline from the first page. It is a long book, but it wasn’t hard to read or dull at all! It was an overall fun and enjoyable book to read and I would recommend it to others, especially if you love adult fantasy novels.

I don’t want to go into so many details about the book, since I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I will say that if you’re looking for a good book to read next, you should give this book a try.

 

By J. Thomas Munson on February 15, 2016

The Rise of Nazil by Aaron-Michael Hall depicts both evil and good in a classic sci-fi fantasy thriller. Illustrating a true world easily envisioned for all readers, while sketching perfectly the human traits that make all so vividly fascinating. A page turning “epic” novel with pulsating fantasy and an ever-gripping creativity wrapped in a forbidden yet eternal love. With fantastic creatures, ruthless political beings and a love story to which Shakespeare would be proud of. Can this love story reconcile a feuding fantasy world, or will the same tragic ending cripple the masses? It is with all honesty, a high recommendation for The Rise of Nazil and a salivating anticipation for the sequel to the Rise, with The Seed of Scorn!

Where you can find The Rise Of Nazil:

https://www.amazon.com/The-Rise-Nazil-Secret-Seven-ebook/dp/B014FPTWVS

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rise-of-nazil-aaron-michael-hall/1122654528?ean=2940152347166

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-rise-of-nazil

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rise-nazil-epic-adult-fantasy/id1039982174?mt=11

Where you can find Aaron:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rise-of-Nazil/897437180316047

http://www.theriseofnazil.com/

You Can’t Have One Without The Other

There is an unfortunate tendency in our society to focus on social class and egoism. While I completely understand the differences and needs of particular social classes and the importance of individualism, when it comes to our society working together for good these tendencies cause problems.

In the study of society, or sociology, differences in society are categorized as class, race, gender and geographic location. These differences affect how people can access resources and opportunities. (Reference: What are social divisions?)

Social divisions stem from the idea that society is separated into the powerful and powerless. Those in lower socioeconomic classes have fewer opportunities for things like education, health care and employment. Those in higher socioeconomic classes have an abundance of pretty much everything. (Reference:  What are social divisions?)  For far too long, our society has valued the upper socioeconomic classes such as doctors and lawyers and undervalued the lower socioeconomic classes such as fast food workers and janitors. But the truth of the matter is, we can’t have one without the other.

celebration-by-diamante

(Celebration by Diamante Lavendar)

It is an inconceivable notion that some people are more important than others in a society that hopes to accomplish its very best in the given moment.  Yes, doctors and lawyers are important. But if society valued all walks of people more, perhaps lawyers and doctors would be in lesser demand because there would be less fighting and stress!  Who would clean the rooms and hallways of the hospitals if everyone were a doctor? Who would prepare gourmet or classic meals, create beautiful pieces of art to appreciate or music to calm the senses?  Who would make sure the factories worked correctly and that we had safe water, pipes, heat, electricity, running vehicles and amusement parks to occupy ourselves?  It takes all of us to create a happy whole.

Democracy is defined as “a system of government by the whole population through elected representatives”. (Dictionary.com).  Are we truly being aptly represented by our officials?  Everyone matters.  Every life is important.  It is a travesty and a shame when some are deemed more useful than others.  Even in the Bible it says, “There is one body, but it has many parts.  But all its many parts make up one body…..if all parts were the same, how could there be a body?”  (1 Cor. 12:12 and 19).

We all matter.  Our lives matter. Our souls matter.  Our means of living matter.  When we are each contributing positively to the value of the whole, who can truly say one is more important or meaningful than the other?  Deep down, we all need the same things and crave the same things.  I believe it’s time to value the parts of society contributing to the sum of our society’s parts.  Even Aristotle said,  “Mathematically, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, neither more nor less.” Then psychological Gestalt theory took it a step further, stating that “The parts, when working together, are able to achieve an outcome superior to one or two people working alone.”   (PubMed.gov:  The whole is more than the sum of its parts:  Aristotle, metaphysical).

I know Aristotle was onto something but I believe the Gestalt theory summed it up beautifully. If everyone worked together in harmony and synchrony, wow, what an amazing society this would be!