Day #25 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #OnlineSafety #Stalkers
Thursday, January 26, 2023
One of our beautiful members of RRBC sent a note to Paula asking if I felt that her blog posts in the RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge were giving away too much information. Instead of replying to her message first, because I will be replying to her message personally, I thought that I would share some tips on what not to share when you’re blogging, or posting around other areas of social media, IF you care about your safety and that of your family.
Here are my top 20 HUGE NO-NOS:
- Never share your home or work address
- Never share the name of your subdivision
- Never share your current location; be careful of posting pictures that show where you are
- Never post when you’re going on vacation. And, if you already have your very own stalker, it isn’t a good idea to post where you are while on vacation
- Never share your full birthdate, which would include the year you were born
- Never share your phone number
- Never share the city and state where your adult children live
- Never post your adult children’s full names online. That is their info to share if they wish – not yours
- Never post photos of your teen or adult children without asking their permission first. Sharing of their likeness should be their choice – not yours
- Never share the name of the company you work for
- Never share the name of the company your teen or adult children work for
- Never take a photo in front of your home which might display the numbers to your home
- Never share the name of your children’s or grandchildren’s schools or the name and location of their extracurricular activities
- Never share the name of your young adult children’s college or university
- Never share the name of the senior living facility where your elderly parents live
- If you have already shared what city and state you live in, never share the location of the places you frequent (i.e. grocery stores, drycleaners, movie theaters, malls, public parks, etc.)
- Never share the make, model, and color of your car. (I remember when my daughter got her first car and asked if she could post it on social media. My response: “NO! Your real friends and family will see you driving around. Strangers (aka STALKERS) don’t need to know what you drive.”
- When showing off your new car (or your old one), ensure that your license plate isn’t in the photo
- Be careful about posting pictures of your young children or grandchildren online. If you have a private Facebook or Twitter account for you to share with family only, then that might be OK, but, consider this: your family members could take snapshots or download photos that you post and share them outside of your private arena. My advice, don’t post photos of your kids online! Send via email or snail mail, and always let your friends and family know how you feel about having your photos posted online
- Don’t post about your expensive handbags, shoes, jewelry, etc. Don’t become a victim like Kim Kardashian, Dorit Kemsley, Marlo Hampton, Kyle Richardson, Gigi Hadid, and many more! You shouldn’t be bragging anyway. If you’re not going to share those goodies with us, we don’t need to even know about them.
You may have been tweeting or chatting with someone for the past ten years, but, you don’t really know who anyone is behind your computer screen. You might think you know, but, what if the person you have been chatting with, who you have never met in person, who you have never spoken to over the phone, or heard their voice… looks like him/her below? (We don’t know who is behind that hoodie, do we?)
Some of you are wondering how, by sharing some of the items above, you could be jeopardizing your and your family’s safety, and I could easily give you a scenario (aka really good reason) why you should refrain from sharing each one online. But, why would I help the stalkers and other crazies lurking behind keyboards, by sharing that information publicly? If you want to email me to ask about any of the items listed, you can send your inquiries through to Paula.
I am not sharing any of this to frighten you (or maybe I am), but to make you aware of some of the things that you SHOULD keep off of social media to keep you and your family safe, because when you overshare, you make yourself (AND your family) a huge target, and in a really bad way.
If you are blogging in the challenge and you feel that you have overshared, it’s OK to go back and clean up some of those posts (but hurry… the internet moves quickly and it has a long memory). Remove that information that I may have included as one of my Top 20’s above.
Remember, loose lips sink ships. Your loose lips would be your oversharing. Your sinking ship, would be your safety.
To follow along with the wonderful and interesting posts of my fellow bloggers who are on this 30-day blogging journey with me, click HERE!
Day #24 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Although I was a girl mom even before I gave birth to girls, I’ve sometimes wondered how it would feel to have had a son. Just as I know for a fact that the bond between fathers and daughters is one of overwhelming love, I’m sure it’s the same love for mothers and sons.
I have witnessed sons being so caring, loving and protective over their moms. I watched my brothers care for my mom in this way, and now that she is gone, they have bestowed upon us, their sisters and their nieces, the same love, care and protection. That’s what boys do, right?
I have two nephews, and I know how they love me. But, what would it have been like to have a son?
I’ll never know this particular feeling, but I do know the joy that filled my heart, watching this young, young, man love his mom in one of her happiest moments.
Please… watch this all the way through. You won’t feel the greatest part of this love, until the end.
“It’s OK to have a different kind of family.”
Only 6 more days to go!
To follow along with the wonderful and interesting posts of my fellow bloggers who are on this 30-day blogging journey with me, click HERE!
Day #23 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #AGoodLaugh
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
On this 30 day journey, it is my intention to mix things up a bit. Yesterday, things were a bit serious because I wanted you to think. Tonight, I merely want you to leave here with a laugh in your heart!
Now, be sure to watch the entire clip below (it’s really short), but you MUST pay attention to what is being typed in the text message, for it all to make sense. And then, tell me in the comments below, did you get it the first time around? I did! And then I almost rolled off my bed laughing afterwards!
OK, don’t tell me that even if you have seen this before, that it still isn’t hilarious the second, third… twelve time around, because that is about how many times I have watched it! Hi -la-ri-ous!!! Great job, Verizon!
To follow along with the wonderful and interesting posts of my fellow bloggers who are on this 30-day blogging journey with me, click HERE!
Day #22 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA
Monday, January 23, 2023
On a more serious note, tonight I’d like to share the dangers of sharing your kids on the internet; young kids AND your adult kids. As many of you know, I am an extremely private person and one who believes that some of you, my dear friends, share just a tad bit too much. I am excited to see photos of you sharing your time with family and friends, and the babies, etc., but, in my mind, before sharing, I assume that you have given serious thought to the repercussions that come along with that over-sharing of info.
Aside from sharing too much about your young kids, their full names, what sports they play, what school they play those sports out of, etc., some of you also tend to share too much about your adult kids, as well; where they work, where they live, where they’re moving, and so much more information that makes me shriek in fear for you… and for them. People, when are you going to realize that all that over-sharing is dangerous?
I’m a proud mama just like every other parent, and they don’t even come any prouder than this, but, can you point to any time where I have given away anything that was too private? Or, even close to being private? N O P E! Because I don’t do it! I value my family’s privacy; I value their safety; I value their security. I don’t even share our pet’s full names, that’s how much I value safety and security.
So, the next time you feel like sharing, take a page from my book and remember that less is always enough! And if you aren’t sure just how much less is good enough, shoot me an email and I will gladly steer you in the right direction!
Pat Garcia put on an amazing session at last year’s WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO on VPNs. I hope you took it (and I also hope you are now protected).
Please don’t leave without reading this article…
Day #21 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Hello, friends! It was a strange day outside my window today. It was a beautiful day, but for some reason, my mind could not reconcile all the beautiful sun (after the rain yesterday) amid the cold temps that I felt each time the door was opened.
Today, for the first time along this A DAY IN MY LIFE blogging journey, I’m going to give you an actual day in my life. Today. My Sunday.
- Woke up around 6:00 AM, checked my phone, sat up because my back was hurting. Nudged hubby in the head with my elbow, to which he automatically started rubbing my back. He knows the drill. Then, I went back to sleep. He never even opened his eyes.
- Woke up again around 10:15 AM to kisses from hubby and daughters on their way out the door to church. (“The heathen stays in bed.”) That’s what my youngest said on her way out of the room. I’m no heathen, by the way! I am for sure a God-fearing girl! I laid there for a few minutes longer. What the heck… I had already been labeled.
- Got out of bed at 11:00 AM
- Made my bed
- Showered / Dressed for workout
- To kitchen for glass of lemon water
- Exercised (Treadmill)
- Showered again / Dressed for work
- Bible study / Read daily devotionals, two days from each book because I’m behind (from 3 books)
- Breakfast: Oatmeal / Water / Green Tea
- Read pages 22 – 26 of Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be
- Up for 40 squats – I smiled through them. I actually like squats!
- Worked: Editing / updated RRBC 2023 calendar
- Lunch: Ka’Chava shake / Banana / Water / Green Tea
- Up for 40 wall push ups
- Worked: Editing
- Timer set for 3 minute meditation, allowing positive affirmations only
- Up for 40 jumping jacks
- Dinner: Lean Cuisine meal (I only ate the meatloaf patty w/my own green beans) w/water while watching The Real Housewives of Potomac at 7 PM
- Worked: Editing, cup of Green Tea
- Danced to two songs (one alone and the next with hubby)
- Jumped on my stationary bike (pedaled for 3 minutes, changed my mind, jumped off)
- Bedtime (going to fall asleep watching a darn Law & Order SVU marathon with daughter)
…and I didn’t even step foot outside my house today!
This wasn’t my typical day, but it was pretty close to it.
Day #20 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #Truth
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Welcome to another Nonnie Mull-Over Moment! Ever heard of that? Well, that’s when Nonnie gets a thought in her head that she can’t shake until she’s mulled over it, and made sense of it.
I didn’t sleep well last night, but, that should not have surprised me, because I didn’t rest well enough to even fall asleep. I tossed and I turned while my hubby massaged my back and ran his fingers through my hair. I’m a little puppy when someone runs their fingers through my hair, by the way.
After I couldn’t fall asleep, even as my beautiful hair massage continued, I decided to just get up. Slipping on my robe and my slippers, I went into my writing room and laid back on my chaise. It’s so relaxing, it helps me clear the noise from my head so that I can focus on one thought that’s really important to me at that time.
While trying to clear my mind of all thoughts, one popped into my head!
There are always three sides to every story: Yours… Mine… and the truth (what actually happened.)
As I pondered this adage, I felt myself becoming more and more annoyed as my nose began to crinkle – the harder I thought about it, the more I realized I had a huge problem with it.
You see, I often see quotes, sayings, and adages like the one above that make absolutely no sense at all, yet, you find so many people following them, repeating them, and sadly, trying to live them.
Let’s break this one down and then we will worry about the others later.
Now, the problem I have with the one above, is that there isn’t ALWAYS three sides to every story. Sometimes, there is only the truth – and that truth is probably coming from one of the two involved parties.
You see, if we are to believe this saying, that would mean that both of the parties involved would have to be lying, and I’m just not willing to accept that label if I am one of those in the party, and I know my version of the events are true. Does that make sense? I mean, if you knew that you were telling the truth in a situation, and for sure the other party was lying, would you allow this saying to be applied to you?
So, what I’d like to see is… us (the world) taking those adages and quotes and sayings that have been floating around for years, clogging up our thought-waves and becoming our beliefs, and analyze them before we go repeating them, quoting them, and living them, because sometimes the authors of these sayings, quotes, adages, etc. only made them up to see how many of you would fall for them.
“Hey, Jerry, let’s see how many fools we can get to walk around repeating this crap today!”
Stop accepting everything you hear and read as profound wisdom that you should allow to seep into your spirit.
Some of it is really just crap.
Now take a minute and mull over that.
Thanks for stepping into another Nonnie Mull-over Moment!
Until next time…
Day #19 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RWISA #ABirthday
Friday, January 20, 2023
Today is a special day! I get to celebrate one of my BFF’s birthday!
I’m not calling him an old dog… but, I would say he is about this level of happy for another birthday.
He’s not as active as he once was around these parts, but it’s not for his lack of want. John’s eyes have been really giving him problems lately, and you know how hard that can be on a writer and avid reader. We should never be surprised when life steps in and sucks the life right out of us, right?
But, I am happy to report that he celebrated this day in the manner in which he loves. He and his beautiful bride left on Wednesday to spend a nice, romantic weekend at NIAGARA ON THE LAKE, in Ontario, Canada. I can report that the weather cooperated for their drive, with a few sprinkles here and there.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a town in southern Ontario. It sits on the shores of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Niagara River. It’s known for its wineries and the summer Shaw Festival, a series of theatre productions. The flower-filled, tree-lined old town features 19th-century buildings, mainly along Queen Street. Near the river, 19th-century Fort George was built by the British to defend against American attacks. (Google)
Wednesday, the day that birthday boy and his bride arrive, I get this photo via text…
Text message between birthday boy and I:
John: Dom came down to meet us as a surprise!! (Dom is their youngest)
Me: How nice! Is he staying?
John: Yes – just for tonight.
Me: Good. That way y’all won’t try to make any more babies!
John: He’s in his own room!
Me: Oh, no! More babies!
Then, I get a treat! I get a photo of him in his new birthday shirt! He usually gets one each year! Way to go, Anne!
This next photo is of his stylist…
He loved the way she dressed him so much, he married her, 50 years ago! (Looking good in those new pink frames, Anne!)
So, after 2 days of fun away from home, the birthday boy and his bride made it back home early this afternoon. They didn’t bring home any babies (well, it might be a little too early to tell on that front) but, they for sure brought home 2 new colds! I emphasize new, because they just got over colds!
Birthday boy is celebrating his 72nd year on this earth today, and I’m happy to have known him for 10 of those years! He’s been the best membership director, a really good friend, and the best right-hand-man any girl could ever ask for!
Please join me in wishing our friend, John Fioravanti, RRBC’s 2nd, and last Membership Director, a very happy birthday! Please drop by his RRBC Author Page and check out his selection of books. But, if you want to be really moved by two of my favorites, pick up a copy of…
I know we’re always promoting REFLECTIONS because it’s John’s latest, but for those of you who haven’t read A PERSONAL JOURNEY… this is an amazing story! Did any of you know that John F. was almost a priest? Well, grab the book to find out why he changed his mind!
John will be reading this post, so please, surprise him with birthday wishes down below!
Day #18 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RWISA #NonnieInterviewingNonnie
Thursday, January 19, 2023
I haven’t held a WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES Interview since early last year, and I’d usually host those on Thursdays, so I figured today would be a good day for me to interview Nonnie! Oh, yes, I’ve had an interview before but let’s see if my answers or ideas have changed.
*Before we get started, are you comfy? Very! Thanks for asking! We’ve made a few changes, and I want to ensure they are to my guests’ liking. You did a fine job up here!
*Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name. My author name is a combination of my birth name and my married name.
*Tell us where you were born? I was born in Texas. Do you still live there now? No. If not, what city and state are you calling home these days? Shreveport, Louisiana!
*Married, single, happily divorced? Happily married! (I speak for me only… never said he was happy) LOL!
*Any kids? Yes. What kind? The best kind. Do you like them? Do I! (exclamation point intentional)
*If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one started seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when they were 9? My oldest just recently started making contact with A PLACE FOR MOM.
*Any pets? Yes. What kind? 2 Dogs, 1 cat, 1 horse, 1 turtle. They act like kids, too, so I have to ask the same question…do you like them? Do I!
*What’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it? I know it’s not a food, but I dream about coffee and would probably go on a hunger strike if I couldn’t have it.
*What’s your favorite color? White
*Favorite sport? Volleyball
*Favorite TV Show? The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
*Favorite Actress/Actor? Julia Roberts / Gerard Butler
*Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly? I am a Certified Fitness Trainer, for the past 14 years, so what does that tell you?
*During this pandemic that’s still going on and making folks sick, what is the one thing you find that relaxes you and calms your mind and spirit? Prayer, meditation and reading
*What’s your favorite kind of music? Classical, Jazz, R&B, Country, Gospel
*Favorite song? Please let me list two. Yolanda Adam’s WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN? and Barbara Streisand’s TELL HIM. If you’ve never heard these songs before, please stop and listen to the lyrics. You will be forever changed.
*Slow dance or jumping around the floor making a fool of yourself? I like to party!
*What is the most common thing that the people who really know you, ALWAYS say about you? “You always know where you stand with her,” OR, “There’s not another like her in the world,” OR, the one I’m most proud of, “God broke the mold with that one.”
*What are your two biggest pet peeves that make you want to spit nails? The first thing that makes me spit nails the most are what I call simple followers who don’t know how to use their own minds. You know, those adults who act like children when they do what their friends do… not what they want to do. They have the childish attitude of, “If my friend is doing it, I’m doing it, too!” or, “If my friend doesn’t like you, I don’t like you, either,” or, my all-time favorite, “If my friend is jumping off the cliff, BYE, I’m jumping, too!” Laughable! My second biggest pet peeve are those folks who are so opposed to something while they are in your good graces, but, when they are no longer in your good graces, you will find them in that arena that they were so opposed to or against before. These I refer to as gone with the wind – wherever the wind is blowing, that’s where you’ll find them going. They have no loyalty to anyone and cannot be trusted. Also, laughable!
*So, are you neat or messy? Nonnie knows nothing but neat and clean, honey.
*Are you nice or mean? 50% of the people who know me in real life, feel that I’m mean. I know that I can be mean, when I’m a little upset or annoyed, which is why I try to stay out of that space. 25% of the people who know me in real life, just find that I’m extremely direct. And I am. Is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you? These things I know about me. No one knows me better than me and you will find no one anywhere more honest about themselves than I am. I like to own who and what I am – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I wish everyone would do the same.
*Some of us have been encountering people lately who appear to be sweet, kind and gentle sheep in the on the surface, but then, there comes a time when they make the mistake of letting their real self shine through. Have you run into any of those kinds online? Have I? I lead the amazing RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! I have seen more than my share of those. Thankfully, the biggest offenders are no longer on our roster.
*Facebook or Twitter? I am a Twitter pro, but, with the negativity that is running rampant there now since the ownership changed, I am considering other avenues of regular promotion. To my members, don’t worry, if I learn something new, I’ll be sure that you are schooled in it, as well!
*Snapchat or Instagram? Neither. Thankfully, I have a social media manager who handles all of these.
*Coke or Pepsi? Coke, but I no longer drink soda. My drink of choice is water (sometimes with Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Lite)
*Diet soda or regular? If I just have to have one, Diet Dr. Pepper is the only diet soda that I have tried that actually tastes like the real version.
*We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships. Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy? I am not going to pick one person here, because I adore so many of you, that I would never want to make anyone feel left out by picking one person. So I will say, my internet BFFs are those who I know truly care about me, who support me, and who are loyal and dedicated to RRBC. How about that? If you are in this group, say “That’s me!” in the comments below 🙂
*Who’s the one person that you’ve met online who makes you laugh the hardest? Right now, I find that I am laughing at Maura Beth Brennan the most via her blog posts in the 30-Day Blogging Challenge! She is a riot!
*Who do you favor most: Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest. Wonder Woman!
*We all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has … well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not. In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place? You can be honest here, too. In my humble opinion, I know personally that Nonnie works really hard at trying to lead people down the road of honesty, especially in reviews, and also, decency in life in general via her blog posts, tweets and other communications.
*Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read by RRBC members that you really enjoyed. I have read so many awesome books by RRBC members that I really enjoyed, that I refuse to list only two. You can ask me publicly or privately if I’ve read your book, what I thought of it, if you’d like to know what books are my favorites.
*ONE good INDIE book you’ve read written by an RRBC member that was so good you wished the entire world would read it. REFLECTIONS by John Fioravanti.
*What was so great about it? John F. has this beautiful way of interpreting the thoughts of others, and in doing so, he’s not afraid to show his own vulnerabilities. He is a magnificent writer!
*After you read books, do you post reviews? Yes, I do.
*What do you think readers should base their reviews on? I should really give a class on this one. I think readers should base their reviews on whether or not the book was well-written (professionally edited and proofed), has a great storyline, the characters are well-developed, and the dialogue is realistic (this is a huge one for me, so would you all stop giving these books high marks when the dialogue doesn’t feel real at all? When it’s just plain poor dialogue? Realistic dialogue = the conversations that you have in real life, and I know that some of the books that I have read where the dialogue missed the mark in a huge way, were not conversations had between humans). Lastly, the book must have a proper beginning, middle and end.
*Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews? Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy with me. And, of course I am not afraid to be honest in my reviews. If you don’t want the truth about your writing, then don’t ask me for a review, or hope and pray that I don’t purchase your book and then review it, if it’s not up to par.
*Read any poorly edited or poorly written books lately? Not necessarily. I tend to read the LOOK INSIDE feature on Amazon before purchasing books, although, I do often purchase books to support other authors, in and outside of RRBC. If and when I get to those books, if I can make it through them enough to review them, you’ll hear about it… on Amazon.
*How many poorly written or poorly edited books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews, when you knew they didn’t deserve the high marks? Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public. ZERO. My reputation is much too important, but I will say this. I have rated books highly and then found that the authors had gone back and changed the books in some way or another, which may or may not have altered my review had I taken the time to read the updated versions.
*There are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look. Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes? Nonnie Jules. And, how have they changed the field for us? So many writers, those who have left our roster and those who remain, who weren’t cognizant of the need for clean, error-free writing before they joined RRBC, would, and are now sending us messages when they have posted a comment, and then after the comment is visible to them, say, ‘I made a typo in my comment. Could you please correct it for me?’ Or, they are adamant that they only publish professionally edited and proofed manuscripts, whereas before, they might have been editing their own work (and it showed), yet they published it anyway. This new-found attention to detail by so many ex and current members of RRBC, is because of RRBC and I am extremely proud of that! YOU’RE WELCOME!
*Are you an author? Yes. Are you a good one? C’mon, we love honesty here. Most definitely! I mean, I like reading Nonnie Jules’ writing, but, you will have to read it for yourself to determine if it’s your cup of tea. What I can promise is good, clean writing that’s always entertaining and never boring.
*How long have you been writing? As early as the third grade, but I began publishing in 2012.
*This is the most important question that you’ll get here today. Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work? I most certainly am! And, I beg for it! When you notice my mistakes – errors in writing, I always ask that you please notify me. And I’d like to thank Yvette Calleiro, Pat Garcia, and Karen Black, all who have no problem doing so. I appreciate them for that.
*How do you handle negative reviews of your work? I understand that reviews are like buttholes. Everyone has one and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But, I will say that there are some reviews that you should value over most, especially if you know that the reviewer has a reputation that they value. Those reviewers aren’t going to risk their own writing reputation just to blow spoke up your arse. No, their reputation as an author matters too much to them for that. Their reviews will be honest, well-written, and thoughtful. The ones you, as an author, can grow from. Are you able to shake them off and move on? Honestly, most often I don’t even know that I have reviews unless someone brings them to my attention, although I do greatly appreciate the readers who take the time to purchase, download, read, and review my books! Those reviews help other potential readers make informed purchase decisions, so I am grateful to them for taking the time to be helpful!
*Name two books that you’ve written? (Please include the purchase links to these books):
*Which one do you think is the best? I love NO PEDIGREE! but UNTITLED – THE QUOTES DIARY, is one of my favorites, as well! It really lets you into who I am, while at the same time, enabling you to become a stronger you!
*Do you have a blog or website? I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy? I am not biased at all. It’s an awesome blog, with tons of useful, extremely educational, and helpful information about writing and life.
*Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most? The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and RAVE WRITERS INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, of course. The same one that has helped SO MANY authors grow in their writing!
*Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club? I’ll share what I know about this amazing organization. We are a beautifully diverse community of writers and readers who truly enjoy supporting one another along our writing journeys, as well as those areas of our personal lives where we might not otherwise have someone to listen to us share, vent, cry, and advise us, if need be. We are so much more than a book club! Although we are an international organization, with members around the world, we are a family! We celebrate special occasions together, such as holidays, birthdays, births, new book releases, career changes, retirements… and so much more! When we have new releases or even old ones that need reviving, we are a built-in readership for one another. We are an organization of like-minded individuals who believe that we can only be successful when we’re all successful, and the best part of it all… we work hard to push and propel our fellow members, just as hard as we work at it for ourselves!
*Have you come across any other online entities like it? NEVER! Nor will I ever! Many try and duplicate us, our processes and programs, etc., but, they can’t be US. But, we are flattered!
*Would you recommend it to your friends and family? Of course!
*Are you a member of the prestigious RWISA? Yes, I am! If so, what do you think of it? I’m happy to know that I have lifelong membership in a society of authors who truly care about their writing. Many societies of authors are there for anyone to join – meaning, anyone can belong, but RWISA is different, in that only the best can be listed on that roster. When the day comes, and I decide to close up shop on RRBC, RWISA will remain, as many societies do.
*What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC? Although they are a ton of work, I love our annual WC&BE and our Holiday Pop-Up Bookshop! I also love our VIP LOUNGE’S SECRET SANTA event!
This shelf is getting hard on my hiney so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words for our reading audience today? Thank you all for joining me for this interview. I hope you leave more enlightened than you were when you arrived!
Day #17 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RWISA #Slavery #Rape
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Today, while placing a call to my cable company, the rep that answered the phone introduced herself as Sora. For those of you who don’t know it, I love names, and the odder they are, the better. The more different they are, the more I want them as characters in my books.
“What a beautiful name, Sora! I’m a writer, and I hope you won’t mind that I’m going to use it in one of my stories.”
Poor Sora. I didn’t ask if I could use her name; I just told her that I would. But, it’s not like there’s a copyright on it or anything like that, I’m sure.
Because I had no idea what today’s post would be about, and the name Sora was just soaring through my mind, I thought I’d pen something quick, using Sora as my main character. And, as with all my characters, Sora dictated her story to me – I merely typed it out.
I’ve never written to make people feel comfortable, but instead, to always leave them thinking… whether about the present, the future, and especially the past, which we should never forget, lest we fall into repeating it. If the piece below makes you uncomfortable and you don’t shy away from expressing your feelings about it, good for you! You’re all about inclusion and seeing the world progress and move forward.
If it makes you uncomfortable and you tip away from it, pretending as if you didn’t see it, take a long look at yourself in the mirror, because you’re still part of the problem. We ALL have to want and collectively work toward change, to erase the scars of the ugliness that left the memories of these times seared in our minds.
Sora raced through the woods, fighting back the brush that slapped her face and clawed at her knees, as she made a path to freedom. She could hear the hooves of her captors’ horses, but they didn’t slow her down – they propelled her forward and faster. When she reached the cliff, she got to her knees and crawled closer to the edge, peering over, petrified at how steep it was. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She had only two options; jump and take the chance that she’d make it and be able to swim the last leg of her journey, or, sit there and wait for them to find her. For Sora, surrender was not an option.
“If you run, when we catch you, you will be severely punished… and in front of all your nigger friends,” Master Clay had warned.
Sora didn’t doubt that he meant every word, and she knew what that punishment would look like. Tobias, and his wife, Hany, had tried escaping. They were gone for mere hours before they were dragged back, bare feet and shackled behind the horse of Tom Pettiwithe, the plantation’s overseer. Hiding on the side of a Monroe, Louisiana road, not far from Merriweather Plantation, they had been captured by slave patrols; sniffed out by bloodhounds. As promised, the other slaves were forced to stand and watch, as a deterrent to their own probable attempts at escape.
With a plank underneath their feet, both Tobias and Hany were strung up by their wrists to two large oak trees facing the big house; he, stripped of his shirt, and she, hanging in her nakedness. Master Clay Merriweather walked out to the porch and down three steps, leaning against the brick railing, spitting his chewing tobacco before he spoke.
“Tom, I want you to teach these two niggers a lesson,” he yelled across the lawn.
With a crooked grin and a nod, Tom walked over to Ben, a slave, and also the plantation’s driver, holding out his whip.
“Ben, you whip ’em.”
Uncomfortable at the task before him, but not foolish enough to decline the order, Ben cautiously removed the cowskin whip dangling from Tom’s fingers.
“Yes, suh, Mr. Tom,” he said, slowly stepping up to stand behind the two, facing Tobias first.
Each thrust of the whip across their bare backs made Sora’s blood curl, and the hair on the back of her neck rise. As the other slaves looked on, the women grimaced at the whistling sound of the whip, while the men expelled whispered grunts, holding back their fury. After 10 lashes each, Ben was ordered to cut their almost lifeless bodies down, watching them drop in a heap of still flesh to the plank beneath them. Then, one at a time, with his boot, he shoved them from the plank to the dirt below. But Master Clay wasn’t finished with them yet.
“Now, Tom, we need to make sure that boy and that wench won’t ever think of trying to escape again, you hear?”
Tom nodded again, confirmation to Master Clay’s demand, and a second nod as a command to Ben.
Tobias was dragged to the same tree his left hand had been tied to and stretched out on a wooden plank, face down. His feet were bound by wire, snaked through the holes of the planks, and secured by stakes already in the ground. His arms outstretched, two slaves restrained him to force him still.
Hany’s motionless body was thrown over Ben’s shoulder and carried to the barn stall; then, like a rag doll, dropped onto a bed of prickly hay.
Sora watched from left to right, as all movement took place simultaneously; as if what was about to happen, had already been predetermined.
Before she could blink, she saw Mr. Tom walking with the red, hot branding iron in his hand. Tobias’ cries of torment and the sound of searing skin, forced her to cover her ears. Without a second to breathe and take in his pain, she looked over and saw Master Clay pulling the barn door closed. Hany’s pleas of, “No, Massuh Clay! Please, no, Massah Clay!” gripped Sora’s soul. The agony on the faces of the male slaves who could only stand and listen to the assault, would be forever ingrained in Sora’s memory.
The sound of hooves was getting closer. As a house servant, her value was much more than that of the other slaves. Sora knew that if she was caught and returned to Master Clay, her punishment would be far worse than the atrocities she’d witnessed against Tobias and Hany.
Master Clay had raped her mother because ‘her fair skin excited him,’ he’d said, and the fact that he was Sora’s father, would not stop him from raping her, too, if the alcohol swayed him in that direction. In and out of his drunken stupor, he had made it known that she would be his next favorite. With the fear looming that her daughter would suffer the same fate as she had, Sora’s mother decided that was reason enough for Sora to run.
Closing her eyes, a vision of the life she would have as a free woman, was a gift that made her smile.
If she jumped and did not survive, for certain, death would be better than the alternative.
Day #16 of #RRBC’s #ADayInMyLife 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! Come on along! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RWISA #Ghosts #Angels
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
It’s funny how reading someone else’s blog post can give you the inspiration for your own.
Yesterday it was my intention to catch up on visiting the blogs of my fellow RRBC members who are also blogging with me in this 30-day challenge. I was pretty sure that I had made my way through all of the day 4 posts, so I moved on to day 5, and decided to start at the bottom of the list and work my way up; it’s easy to always begin at the top and when you get tired, forget about those on the bottom. I made it as far as reading Author, D. M. Atwood’s Day 5 post, and leaving a comment before the unthinkable happened… my brain shut down. I was seeing double. My mind was swirling and I couldn’t formulate a thought. I was typing mindlessly and leaving a trail of typos behind; this was when I heard a voice – “Nonnie, back away from the computer.” I could do no more.
So, I did, and off to bed I went. Night, Night.
Now, I’m back, rejuvenated and ready to tell my story (again, bouncing off of Donna’s Day 5 post).
Many years ago, we had a friend (a fairly new friend) whose wife had died of cancer before we met him and his kids. Every Saturday morning, I would call to check in on them to see if there was anything they needed.
On this particular Saturday morning, I call their house and a woman answers the phone.
“Hello,” a familiar voice greeted.
“Hi! May I speak with Rob?” I ask.
“He’s not home,” the voice replied softly, though I could not detect a smile behind it.
“Oh, OK. Would you please tell him that Nonnie called?”
“Yes,” she said, before the line went dead; before I even had a chance to thank her and say goodbye.
Later that day, I call again and share with Rob that I had called that morning, but the woman who answered the phone told me that he wasn’t home.
“No, I wasn’t home, I had a barber appointment, but you must have dialed the wrong number because there was no woman here,” he said.
“Yes, there was. I called from my car on the way to Home Depot. She answered and said you weren’t there.”
“Hold on a moment, Nonnie. Carter!” he yells away from the phone. “Did Grandma or Aunt Lisa drop by this morning while I was out?”
“No, sir,” I hear his son answer.
“Did you let anyone in while I was gone?” he continued.
“Thanks, Son. You can go back to your room.”
He returns to the phone. “Nonnie, no one was here but the boys. If my mom or sister had dropped by, I would have known that they were coming beforehand, so the boys would have my permission to open the door. My mom and my sister are the only women who come by, and they do so to help me with the boys, but we have a system in place. They never show up without warning.”
“Rob, I don’t know who answered your phone this morning, but A WOMAN DID ANSWER YOUR PHONE THIS MORNING,“ I reply firmly, yet still confused.
He chuckles. “N o n n i e…” he says slowly. “Are you sure you dialed the right number?”
Even more confused, I was annoyed that he was telling me that I had not done something that I knew I had, or that I had made a mistake in dialing, when I dialed directly from my contacts as I had done many times before.
“If I had dialed the wrong number, what are the chances that 1) there would be someone who lived there named Rob, and 2) that they wouldn’t be home the way you weren’t when I called? And, not only that, I’d heard that woman’s voice before.”
“I don’t know what to say. There’s no way that there was a woman here if it wasn’t my mom or my sister. No way.”
My first thought, was that his son was not being truthful, but, I didn’t really believe that about his kids, as my husband and I often spoke of how well they were being raised. Blowing it off, I told him that I had only called to check in on them, and that I would call later. I couldn’t hang up with him fast enough so I could call my husband to tell him what had happened.
“That’s odd,” my husband says, once I get him on the phone. “I wonder why he would say there was no one at his house when clearly you spoke to someone?” This coming from someone who knows that I am as sane as they come.
Later that evening, I call Rob again. This time, I get the answering machine… with a woman’s voice that I’d heard before. While the machine is playing, Rob picks up the phone.
“Hello, hello…!” he says, the way someone answers when they are trying to catch the caller before they hang up.
“That’s the voice that answered the phone earlier!” I say.
“Oh. Then you must have spoken with Laura,” he says calmly and matter-of-factly.
“Laura? Your wife Laura?” I ask, not really wanting an answer to the question.
“Yes. If that’s the voice that you say answered earlier, I’ve no doubt that it was my wife. You said that you’d heard the voice before, right? That’s her voice on the answering machine. I’ve never taken it off.”
“Wa… wa… wait a minute. You’re joking, right?” I ask nervously.
“No, Nonnie. I’m not joking. My wife promised from her death bed that she would always watch over me and the boys, and that anyone new coming into our lives, male or female, she would ensure that they were of good heart.”
He was confident in all that he was saying, while I stood there, staring out my front door, at a loss for words; stunned at what I was hearing.
After that day, I may have spoken to Rob once, and that was in passing when I said hello while he was on the phone with my husband. I never called their home again. I was so afraid of the fact that I had actually spoken to an angel. Afraid that I’d call and she would answer again. But why was I afraid? I don’t really know. Maybe because I had spoken to a woman who had been dead for three years. Maybe because I knew then, without a shadow of a doubt, that the dead still lived in some way.
After the conversation that he and I had that Saturday morning… the back and forth of me asserting that a woman had answered his phone, and he being adamant that there was no way possible that a woman could have answered his phone, I was forever changed. Oh, I had experienced (out of the corner of my eye) a woman in a white gown passing through my kitchen after my sister died. I saw her twice. That vision of mine was cemented in reality when my baby, who at that time was 10 years old, asked me to go to the kitchen with her one night for a glass of water. When I asked her why she needed me to go with her to do something she’d done so many times before alone, she replied, “Because I saw a lady in a white dress, Mommy, and it scared me.” She, had also seen my sister. In my kitchen. The place my sister loved to hang out the most when she visited.
These experiences turned me into a true believer of things not easily fathomable by the human mind. Before I married my husband and so many times throughout the years after we married, he would tell me about a similar experience that he’d had when his grandfather died. Maybe I’ll share that along this journey. It’s a treasure of a tale!
Donna Atwood, thanks for your Day 5 post. It took me on a trip down memory lane. One that I’m often reticent to remember, but at the same time, one that I’m thankful that I have in my storehouse of memories.