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A mysterious "voice" warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she's losing her mind!

When a mysterious “voice” warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she’s losing her mind!

My friend and fellow writer and blogger, Lorraine Ruguly and I are preparing for a free giveaway of two copies of my book “Nightmares” beginning November 1, 2013 and ending November 29, 2013.

This means, for any of you procrastinators out there, you’ll have three weeks, beginning Friday, November 1, 2013, all the way to Friday November 29, 2013, to follow the instructions and possibly win a free copy of “Nightmares“.

So be sure to keep watching for the new posting on my blog on October 31, 2013. It will contain all the information you’ll need to win! And I promise, it will be fun and will not involve any blood or body parts!

Happy Halloween!!!

I’ll be seeing you again on Halloween, October 31, 2013 with the information to win a free copy of “Nightmares”!!!

My short story “Trapped” is included in an anthology, Mystery Times Nine 2012 and published by Buddhapuss Ink Publishing on December 6, 2012 and can be found on Amazon. I have had short stories published online at knowonder! your bedtime story and story time resource – a story a day awaitsStories That LiftNew Bumples Interactive Magazine, Online Magazine for Children.The Pink Chameleon and Page & Spine: fiction showcase – The Front Page.

Follow me on my blog: https://donnajeanmcdunn.wordpress.com/  Like my Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn Friend me on my Facebook profile page: http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean.

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

So what are your thoughts on a FREE giveaway? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Band-Aides For The Heart-An Essay

Over Sixty Years Of Life

In 2010 our three daughters threw us a surprise 40th anniversary. Our oldest made this collage to show our lives before, during and after children.

Band-Aides For The Heart-An Essay

By Donna Jean McDunn Author

Do you have children? My husband, Pat and I raised three daughters. Talk about drama. It began almost from the first moment of birth, right up until they moved out of the house… Oh, wait, it didn’t stop there. Maybe it lasted until the second time they moved out or was it the third. No, that wasn’t it either. Could it have been when they each were married? Nope. So when does it stop? The truth is, I don’t have a clue.

During their growing up years I had almost completely stopped writing. Life had just gotten so over whelming. The only writing I managed to do was to scribble out some of the funny things they did or said to put in their baby books.

When our youngest was a teenager, the desire to write began to grow again, but I could still only manage a few words now and then. And usually when I would pull out paper and pen too write, it was because something had upset me.

From birth on, seeing one of my daughters in pain for any reason was enough to make me write. I wanted their lives to be free of physical and mental hurts. Unrealistic, I know, but that desire is still a big part of me and will be until the day I die. Below is a short essay I wrote many years ago when my youngest was sixteen; she will be thirty-five next month.

Band-Aids For The Heart

From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I loved my baby dolls, and treated them as if they were real babies. I was seven when my baby brother was born. I had wanted a baby sister, but he was so cute, it soon didn’t matter. I couldn’t wait to hold my nieces and nephews when they were born. I baby-sat a lot. I just knew that being a mom was going to be easy.

Here I am as a teenager with my favorite people and animals. My little brother, Mike is on the far left, my nephew Tommy is next to him and I’m holding Tommy’s little brother, Danny. The two dogs belong to them. Duchess is on the left and that’s Duke on the right.

Then reality struck.

Pat and I were married at nineteen and hadn’t quite reached our twenty-first birthdays, when Patty was born. Jodi followed three years later and Jamie three years after her. No one had warned me about the mountains of diapers, bottles and the tons of clothes that were necessary incase of accidents…and there were always accidents.

I soon learned that being a mom was a lot different than being a big sister, aunt or a baby sitter. I couldn’t just hand them over to my mom or my sister like I had my little brother and nieces and nephews or go home to my own house like I could when I used to baby-sit. I was stuck with them twenty-four seven.

But the joy of all those first smiles, first steps and first words made all the sleepless nights and the worry worth every minute. The milestones soon began to add up and before I knew it, those years of babyhood were slipping away.

Instead of dirty diapers, I now had to deal with bumps and bruises, scraped knees and cut fingers and toes.  Most boo-boos could be healed by Mommy’s kiss. For other ouches, a band-aid and a kiss could stop the hurt. I thought I would always be able to take away their pain. No one warned me about the boo-boos we had no control over.

Like the disappointment Patty experienced when she didn’t win the Science Fair in the fifth grade or the surgery when Jodi was five. The learning disability that still haunts Jamie today. Each time and for each daughter, I wanted desperately to take the pain away and make it my pain. Isn’t that what I’d been doing since infancy? “Let Mommy kiss it and make it all better.” And sometimes I still could, but that wasn’t going to last for much longer.

The teenage years were filled with drama in the form of laugher and tears. The laughter came with each new budding romance and the tears came when it ended. By the time my youngest daughter became a teenager, I had gotten quite good at spotting the first signs of a failing romance. Unfortunately, they didn’t make band-aids big enough for broken hearts.

It didn’t come as a complete surprise the day I came home from my aerobics class to find my sixteen-year-old daughter sitting at the dining room table, her schoolbooks spread out before her. She looked up at me and with a shaking hand, brushed blond hair from flushed cheeks and red puffy eyes.

My stomach did a somersault. I took a deep breath and silently prayed for the right words. “What’s wrong?” I asked, even though I thought I already knew the answer.

Her eyes filled with tears. “Matt,” she said, her voice cracking. “We…” Her face crumbled and she buried it into her hands.

“I’m so sorry.” I put my arm around her shoulders. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” she whispered.

I knew that wasn’t true because my own heart felt ready to burst. “Do you want to talk about it?”

She shook her head no without looking at me. “Not yet, maybe later.”

What do you say to someone who is in this kind of pain? Is there anything that will take it away? If there is, I hadn’t found it yet. I stood there with one arm around my little girl’s shoulders and couldn’t think of one single thing that would ease her pain or my own. “How about a hug?” It was the best I could come up with.

Jamie stood and wrapped her arms around my neck. I wanted to ask her when she got so tall, but instead I said, “Anytime you feel like talking, I’m here to listen.” I rubbed her back, like I did when she was tiny and needed comforting.

She nodded, sucked in a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. “I’m going to lay down for a while.”

“Okay, I’ll let you know when dinner is ready.”

She seemed…different. A tiny smile played on her lips. “Thanks Mom,” she said.

Somehow that one little hug had made a difference. Maybe, I’d found a band-aid after all.

As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions.

My short story Trapped, included in the anthology Mystery Times Nine 2012 will be released November 19, 2012. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon now. 

My young adult paranormal/mystery will be released in May 2013, but can be viewed on Muse It Up Publishing’s website: Nightmares

Other places I can be found:

Facebook Author Page  

Facebook Profile Page 


MusePub_Readers : MuseItUp Publishing Readers Group

I’m also on Twitter.

Other Places to view my short stories:

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

A Reason To Live

Saving Katie 

Pack Leader 

The Golden Stallion

Gus’ Big Adventure

Working With An Editor

This is a depiction of my mood when I opened my manuscript after my editor was finished with it the first time. Please notice the sun just beginning to come through the clouds after the storm. Yeah, I got over it too.

Working With An Editor

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

If you are a traditionally published author or a self published author who hired an editor to look over your manuscript, then you have worked with an editor. You know that feeling of seeing the email come in with your work attached after the editor has gone over it. Part of you is excited and can’t wait to open it and learn what she thinks of all your hard work, but then there’s the other part of you that’s scared to death. What if she hated it and has changed her mind or wants you to rewrite the entire book.

That’s how I felt anyway as I stared at the email with my manuscript, Nightmares in the subject line, for five minutes. I couldn’t bring myself to open it, so instead of facing it right then, I washed the dishes, sorted the laundry, fed the cats, cleaned the cat pans and finally worked up enough courage to see what she had to say.

The first thing I saw in the body of the e-mail, after the greeting of, Hi Donna, were these words: “Okay, I’ve gone through the first four chapters. Now is the moment where you take a breath and relax. When you open the attachment you will see many, many things. Don’t panic. Have no fear. :o)”

Let me tell you, the happy face at the end did nothing to squelch the growing panic in my stomach. I literally had to close my eyes, afraid to read any further. My first rational thought a few minutes later: Was my story really that bad? My second: Is she going to make me rewrite the entire first four chapters of my book as I had feared earlier? My third and final thought: What are my choices?

I could delete the whole thing and pretend I never received it and never see my book published or I could keep reading and find out exactly what she wanted.

I chose to continue reading and my fear began to subside as I read. She didn’t want to be my ghostwriter; all she wanted to do was spruce up my words a little. She wrote that she had made a few adjustments and offered suggestions, all of which I had the choice of accepting or rejecting or simply changing to something I thought might work better.

Then she went on to explain how to accept or reject the edited material and how to add my own comments, plus she recommended a course on sentence structure and longer sentences, put out by www.thegreatcourses.com and is called Building Great Sentences. This was exciting; I’m always open to learning more about writing, but then I realized this was her way of introducing her first big complaint and she thought most of my sentences were too short.

I’ll admit it irked me a little, because I had also read that a variety of sentence lengths are important and I’ve read where other big name authors have recommended short sentences because it kept a story moving along and young adult readers liked it that way.

So what do you do? I believe mostly it’s a matter of preference and because she’s the editor, I’m not going to argue. As long as it doesn’t damage the content or change the message of what I want the reader to get from the sentence, I’ll do my best to revise it to her liking.

My editor’s other complaint was about repetitive words, which is pretty much universal with everyone. Even I get annoyed when I read books that continually use the same words or phrases multiple times and especially in the same paragraph.

A few months ago, I read this great young adult novel series that I loved. I can’t wait for the next and final book to be published, but there was one thing that started to bug me. The author used the phrase: “He shuddered” or “She shuddered” all the time and in all four of her books and multiple times on the same page. It started to wear pretty thin, but not enough to keep me from finishing the series, yet some people may not be as forgiving as I am about repeats.

The problem is, when it’s your own work; it is SO much harder to catch. I realized when I read my own manuscript silently to myself or out loud, I still couldn’t see or hear all the repeated words, but believe me, an editor will and your manuscript will come back to you with a bunch of highlighted words all over the place.

The way I have solved that problem, okay solved might not be the correct usage, but I have managed to find so many more duplicates by going over each line in a paragraph and comparing it to all of the other sentences, deliberately looking for one word at a time to see how often I had used it.

The first time I wrote the paragraph above, I had repeated at least two or three times the following words; book, catch, repeat, repeated and duplicate. I corrected the problem by thinking of synonyms. Example: Book, replaced with manuscript, catch, replaced with find, repeated, replaced with duplicates so that in the end I used each word and the synonym only once.

So do yourself a favor and look for duplicate words in all of your work before you submit the manuscript to any publishers or agents. The publisher will still have their editor look over the manuscript and there will be changes, it’s inevitable because much of writing is subjective, but in the end you’ll be glad you did.

What do you think, do repetitive words bother you? And which do you prefer, short sentences, long ones or a verity of lengths? Do you believe much of writing is subjective?

Here’s a link for anyone interested in a contest for young adults. It closes October 31, 2012 so get your story in soon. It pays $500 for 1st prize. Check it out: http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/af627/

As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address, I’ll visit and comment. If you’d rather be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, I will like, be friends, follow, or Tweet.

My facebook author page is: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn

My facebook profile page is http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean


It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.
















Proactive Means Taking Charge


Did this guy learn to do this by simply reading about it? Or did he become proactive, take charge and just do it? 

 Proactive Means Taking Charge

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

I have a habit of saving things I read on the Internet. Little scraps of ideas or sayings, quotes or names I like and may use in a story someday, sometimes its web addresses of websites or blogs that I liked and want to remember. I’ll copy and paste them into a word document so I can read it again later.

Of course after I do this, I promptly forget about them. Then weeks or even months later, while trying to clean up my computer from all the stuff I’ve saved over time, I’ll come across one of those rare ones I should have been reading everyday.

I really need to apologize to the author of this little gem I found, because I didn’t save her (I say “her”, but it could have been a “him”.) I didn’t save her name or even where I found the original article. So if anyone reading this recognizes the words and knows the author’s name please let me know. I want to give her the credit she deserves.

I had no idea in January of 2011; I would start a blog in 2012 and want to pass on some of the great stuff I’d saved. Now when I find things, I do save the authors’ names and where I find the information, but it’s too late for this particular article to get her consent.

The author starts out with: “Fate does not run your writing career. You do.”

Then she lists ten things she believes anyone starting out in the writing business should be prepared to do. Most of what she listed, I now do and some I had to modify to fit my goals.

  1. looking for new markets…check
  2. finishing a novel and starting a new one…check
  3. beginning a blog…check
  4. finding the perfect agent…working on it
  5. landing a publisher…working on it
  6. establishing your writing career…check
  7. attending a conference to find your footing…someday
  8. locating or starting a critique group…working on it
  9. publishing in that magazine you’ve feared for too long…This one I would change to “sending queries/manuscripts to various markets”…check
  10. finding a writing mentor/partner…check

The list may not apply to you if you’re not a writer. And even if you are a writer, there are many different kinds of writers. Some writers write news stories, articles for magazines, short stories of fiction and/or nonfiction, books of fiction, and books of nonfiction…well you get my drift. Some of the list may not apply to you either and that’s okay, just modify the list by setting your own goals and work toward fulfilling your dream.

So what is your passion? Maybe it’s photography or painting beautiful portraits or starting your own business. Whatever we aspire to do or become can only be accomplished if we take charge and press forward toward a specific goal.

In this same article, the author goes on to further state: “Proactive means taking charge instead of waiting for events to find you.”

I think, to put it another way, if we’re still “dreaming” and wishing for something to happen, but not working toward a goal, then we’re not proactive. We’re not moving forward. We’re stagnant. Have you ever seen stagnant water, it’s not a pretty sight and it smells bad too. Are you stagnant?

What are ten things you should be doing to move forward toward your dream? Have you set reachable goals?

It takes more than just setting goals though. The article goes on to say: “being proactive and taking charge would help you fare much better, appreciate yourself more, and open new doors of opportunity by grabbing 2012 and molding it to your desires”.

I began taking charge in 2008. Not by “trying” to reach my goals. The article said “taking charge”, because by taking charge I’m no longer giving myself permission to be excused if I fail. I’m doing the things that make me uncomfortable, like blogging, socializing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, branding my name and sending out queries and manuscripts, searching for markets. I could just write and not do any of the other stuff, and I could say I’m “trying” to be a writer. I’m writing, aren’t I, and learning, but who’s going to read my work if no one knows it exists. Are you really a writer if you don’t have readers. I tried for forty plus years for fate to make me a writer. It never happened and it wasn’t going too, because all I did was “try”. Trying is not doing.

So if trying isn’t the answer, what is? I decided to become proactive, take charge and make things happen. It’s taken time and effort, but I’ve already won; I became a writer and an author in my own eyes that day. And that’s where it has to start. The author of the original article made one final, but important point in her article. She wrote: “If 2011 wasn’t to your liking, make a change. No one else can do it for you.”

Just like the guy in the picture above and the quote here; you’ll never know what you can do until you do it, take charge…and be proactive.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretsky

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at: (13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC    Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.

My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.

.In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/  A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between the ages of 4-10, it might be worth it.

What Are Writers, Really

This is why writers write

“It is impossible to discourage the Real Writers – They don’t give a damn what you say – They’re going to write” – Sinclair Lewis

What Are Writer’s…Really?

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

How would you describe a writer? If you are a writer, how would you describe yourself?

I was thinking about this the other day and I don’t think there is a good way to describe a writer. We are all so different; one description does not fit all. But then I thought about it a little more and I realized there are a couple of things every writer on the planet has in common, but is that enough for a description for every writer?

One place to start investigating is on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and read the comments of writers. Examine their pictures and read their blogs and websites. You’ll learn many things about them and their thoughts.

They come from all walks of life. Some are married with children; others are single by choice and still others who haven’t found the right “one” yet. There are single writer moms and dads and there are young and old of both genders, which work full or part-time jobs. They are all different in many ways, yet all of them are writers.

Many are published, but all are hoping they will be someday…soon…again and again and again…Well you get the point.

I include myself in that writers list. I’m one of the old ones, but I’m not dead yet. I still work full time. I live with a husband, two dogs and four indoor cats and several more outside cats. When our three daughters and son-in-laws and eight grandkids aren’t visiting, I write.

We writers, no matter what our differences, find time to write books, poems, plays, screenplays, blogs, articles and short stories of all genres of fiction, nonfiction, essays, and memoirs. Wherever there is a need for a story, there you will find a writer hard at work, developing their own unique “voice” and doing what they love.

At the end of the day, each writer may have taken a different path, but before their day ends, they will each have fulfilled their dream. Whether they sat typing or scribbling in a notebook or simply writing the words in their memories to put to paper at a later time, their dream of writing is real and it’s always there, pulling the writer to write.

Just like the quote above from Sinclair Lewis so adequately states, “It is impossible to discourage the real writers—they don’t give a damn what you say, they are going to write.”

So how would you describe a writer? I guess for me, it’s really not all that difficult after all. A writer is well, a writer. It’s not just what they do, it’s what they are. Enough said.

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at www.knowonder.com.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/

Sometime in June or July 2012 my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.

Who Does Your World Revolve Around?



Who Does Your World Revolve Around?

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

“If your world revolves around you, it’s a very small world. But if it revolves around others, then it’s limitless.” – Master Betsy Steven’s, a sixth degree black belt

 I ran across this quote and thought wow, so I wrote it in the back of my address book. I put it there a long time ago so I could read it often…and then promptly forgot about it.

 Have you found a quote that’s made you sit up and think? One that made you say, wow! One you wanted to remember? If so, then you probably wrote it down or copied it, and like me, stuck it somewhere…and then forgot about it? Maybe, like me you found it unexpectedly while looking for something totally different and it still made you say, wow!

 When I read those words above, they made me question my life and ask myself some thought provoking questions. (Isn’t that why we save stuff like that?) What exactly is my world? Who’s in it and why? Do I want everything to revolve around me? Am I concerned about others? Do I go out of my way to make other people feel good about themselves? Am I willing to step out of my comfort zone to help others, even strangers?

 I think for many, many years, I hid behind my shyness. I know there are some who know me now, and they’re thinking, “What shyness?” The truth is I’ve fought being shy my entire life. I remember as a little girl, hiding behind my mom when a neighbor lady talked to me. I never knew what to say, so I didn’t say anything. I’d rather be alone than be with other people I didn’t know, or go somewhere I’d never been, because what if I said or did something I shouldn’t. People might get mad at me or even laugh and make fun of me.

 It wasn’t until I was nearly an adult that I began to understand other people often feel the same way and they are sometimes thought of as conceited or a snob, when in reality, they are afraid. (Of course there are conceited snobs everywhere.) I didn’t want to be one of them and I didn’t want anyone to think I was.

 Do you ever wonder if shyness is a fear of making mistakes, or a fear of being laughed at, or maybe it’s a fear of being hurt either physically or emotionally? If not, what do you believe shyness really is? Are you shy, and if so, what do you do when you feel a case of shyness coming on? How do you handle it? Do you hide behind your mother’s skirts like I did?

 I’ve learned to face it head on. I ask myself, what could this person or this place do to me? Now, if there are killers and drug addicts where you are or if the person you just met is really dangerous, like a serial killer or rapist, then the fear is legitimate, but if that person or the people there, are just ordinary human beings, probably facing the same fears you are, then look them in the eye, smile, think of something nice to say and say it.

 “Hello, my you have lovely hair.”

 Or “I love your shoes. They’re so cute.” (I love shoes.)

 Or you can even comment on the weather, but you can only use that one if you’ve already tried to think of something better to say and couldn’t.

 I guess what I’m getting at, is we are all in this life together. If we allow fear or shyness or anything else, to hold us back from helping others in whatever possible way we can, then our world is very small and will stay that way.

 I’ve been trying very hard to make my world limitless. This blog is a small start. I try to comment on Facebook and Twitter and I read other peoples blogs and leave comments. It sounds easy, but for me it wasn’t. I had to step out of my comfort zone, but now my small world is growing and soon I hope it will be limitless.

 So what size is your world? Is it very small or is it limitless? Only you can answer that question.

 As always, I appreciate your opinions, comments or questions. Please leave your blog address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter and I will return the favor by leaving a comment, follow, like, or Tweet in return.

  It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone. I’d love to hear from you.

 Some of my work can be found online: Last year my children’s story “Pack Leader” was published by Knowonder.com.

 I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories.

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ 

Sometime in June 2012, my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.


Working Together When Life Throws Punches


When Life Throws Punches You Can Always Count On Grandpa  Family

When Life Throws Punches

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

Have you ever woke in the morning and found the world, as you knew it, no longer existed? That happened to me recently and it was not fun, but did I give up and crawl back into my bed? No! I faced the day head on like a true black belt.

That’s what we all have to do from time to time when our world is changed without our permission. No one is immune until you’re dead, and I don’t know about you, but that’s one place I’m not too anxious to see anytime soon. 

So how do we cope? Is all change good or bad?

In my opinion, not all change is good or bad. Winning the lottery, getting a raise, changing jobs, because the one you have sucks, buying a new car or house; these are things that have the potential of good, for obvious reasons, but sometimes turn bad, but incase someone doesn’t see the good and the bad, let me explain a little.

Okay, so you won the lottery, you are now the newest millionaire. You can buy anything you want, live anywhere, new house, new car, no more boss, travel is no longer a problem, so many good things.

But then the leaches start coming out of the woodwork wanting your money. Suddenly you have an agent and he’s investing you’re money in stocks and bonds and whatever. Your lawyer is supposed to look out for you and keep his eye on the agent.

You’re too busy having fun and helping the less fortunate to notice what your lawyer and agent are really doing. You’re a good and trusting person, so you’re loaning and giving and buying and…hold on…you’re a millionaire right, so why is the bank foreclosing on…everything? It’s because life throws punches and even when we’re paying attention, those punches can hurt.

Yeah, you say, I suppose that could happen to a lottery winner if he had his head up his butt, but what about the other things you mentioned, how could those things be bad and good?

Okay, so you got a nice big raise, but you better duck, because life is about to throw another punch your way. Now your boss is going to want you to work late, come in early, skip lunches, be at his beck and call day or night. You want to keep your job, you like it, it pays well, it also pays the bills, but now you’re only home to sleep.

Your wife/husband is about to leave you and take the kids. You’ll have to pay child support and alimony for the next umpteen years and even worse than that, move in with your sister’s family. You’ll never recover your losses and you don’t have a life anymore, except at work. Now you realize you hate this job, so to save your marriage you quit and find a new job.

Oh, oh, you’d better duck again because here it comes. Instead of the new job being your salvation, it turns out the boss is even more demanding than the last one. He sends you on business trips for weeks at a time and to top it off, you had to take a cut in pay because of the economy. You don’t even get home to sleep anymore. Your spouse is threatening to leave or lock you out of the house.

Hold on, you say, I suppose that could happen, but getting a new car or house, how can those things be bad?

I have the perfect examples.

My sister-in-law bought a new car so she didn’t have to worry about maintenance. She was a single mom with one son. She figured the warranty would cover pretty much everything. She’d be worry free.

She loved the new car; hence, the good.

It drove great and was easy on gas, but wait for it…here comes the sucker punch…one day, a few weeks later, while driving down the highway…it just stopped running like someone flipped a switch. She had it towed back to the dealer for them to fix. They had it for two weeks. It started again when it was unloaded and every time they turned the key it fired right off. They found nothing wrong.

My sister-in-law took it home and for a few days it ran perfectly, until one day it stopped again. It went back to the dealer. They found nothing wrong. This continued for several months. Sometimes she could drive it for several weeks, other times just a few days.

The mechanics thought it must be electrical, but no one knew for sure. They replaced things though, hoping to fix the problem, but each time the car would die, refuse to start again and then suddenly start.

Finally, one afternoon, on her way home, the car stopped again. She was fed up with the dealership, so she called her brother, my husband, and asked him to please look at it. She told him where it died on the highway and that she’d left the key under the floor mat.

When he arrived at the designated spot, the car was gone. To this day, no one has seen it since. We live in a small town and everyone knows everyone else’s business, even the police. They knew of the problems my sister-in-law was having. After the car was reported stolen, they contacted my husband and asked him where he dumped the car. I swear, he didn’t do it. They sure thought he had, but of course, they didn’t have any proof, because there was none.

My sister-in-law had to fight the insurance company to get a replacement for the stolen car, because she’d left the keys in it, but in the end this punch from life turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Hang on; we’re not done yet. I haven’t showed you the example of the good and the bad of buying a new home:

My niece and her husband bought a new house one spring. They loved it. But soon after moving in, life decided to throw them a punch. It began to rain and didn’t stop for several days. The windows leaked and then the basement flooded. Remember, this is a brand new house.

But the worst punch, was the driveway. The house was built on a little hill and the driveway sloped down toward the street. It began to crack from the rainwater eroding the yard and allowing water to undermine the driveway. It became so bad, they couldn’t use it. They notified the contractor of what was happening. He said it wasn’t his problem.

They contacted their insurance. They said we’re sorry, but it’s not covered. They tried to fight the contractor and the insurance, but to no avail. In the end, her father and uncles repaired the damage and rerouted the flow of water. They also fixed the windows and several other things the contractors had screwed up. They now love their house again.

So, as the examples have shone, not all change is bad, but not all is good either. I guess what I’m trying to point out is when the punches from life come, you have to pick yourself up like a black belt…brush yourself off… and call your family and friends for help.

Of course, there are always some family members and friends who won’t answer that call, but that’s for another blog, for now take comfort in the ones that do.

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment and allow me to find your words, so I can learn what has inspired you to use your imagination to create. If you leave your blog address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will leave a comment, like, or Tweet in return.

 It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone. I’d love to hear from you and read your work.

Some of my work can be found online: Here’s a direct link to my children’s story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine. http://www.knowonder.com/2011/11/03/pack-leader-short-bedtime-stories/

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at www.storiesthatlift.com. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” will be published at Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/ 

Sometime by June 30, 2012 my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at www.thepinkchameleon.com.