Drugs Are Not the Answer to Pain

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We all have issues in life that bug us. It keeps our minds racing with questions such as “why did that have to happen?” or “did he/she mean that?” No matter your race, socioeconomic, gender or age, we all experience something in life that makes us think hard … very hard.

Oftentimes, these issues shape our personalities. It can make us mistrusting of others, needy of love, steeped in denial, etc. When you see a person, you never know where life has taken them.

Some people turn to a crutch as a means of dealing with painful memories. These crutches aren’t the types you lean on when nursing an injured leg or knee. Instead, it’s substances such as drugs or alcohol.

It’s common knowledge that this leads to an addiction. You’re worse off because you’re not only dealing with previous issues, but now an addiction as well. In short, you’ve doubled your troubles.

Addictions are no way to handle life. If anything, it only makes your issues worse. Keep in mind, you can’t see things clearly when you’re under the influence. In addition, addictions overtake your life to the point that you’re no longer able to function in normal everyday activities such as work, tending to your family, etc.

This is the situation with Rico Brown in my eBook “Tomorrow Never Comes.”

Rico couldn’t deal with his mother’s death and the fact that his father walked out on his family. He decided to deal with his pain by using drugs. As a result of his drug usage, he lost a big shot at stardom and something more valuable (read his character profile here).

A Better Way to Deal with Pain

Addictions are destructive and should never be engaged in as an escape from one’s pain. Instead, consider the following five suggestions for dealing with life’s challenges:

Engage in prayer or meditation. Getting spiritually connected is the ultimate way to deal with a problem. It helps you see clearly and get guidance on the path you should take in order to heal.

Talk to someone. Be it a trusting friend or family member, express your pain. If necessary, seek professional help.

Don’t live in denial. When you live in denial, it only worsens a problem because you’ve yet to face the truth. So, no matter how painful a situation is, in order to move on, you must accept it as a fact that happened.

Stay positive. There’s no worse way to live than negatively. Avoid living like this at all costs by surrounding yourself with positive people and speaking positive words into the universal.

Let go of the past. Obsessing over something that happened to you in the past only makes you a prisoner of the past. You constantly have negative thoughts that disable you from moving forward in life. And there’s only right direction, and that’s forward!

Life is short, and the last thing you want to do is rush your time by having addictions that will drive you into an early grave. So, take the advice above and deal with your painful past in a positive way that will lead you to a better future.

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Old School Memory: The View-Master

Vintage Toy

One of my early childhood toys was the View-Master. I had this vintage item in the mid-late 1970s. Mine was red.

I liked this toy because, looking back, it was like a little theater for your eyes only. All you had to do was insert the cardboard disk or reels into the toy, and watch a small, colorful film.

The two reels I had were “Planet of the Apes” and “Hawaii Five-O.” I remember enjoying “Hawaii Five-O” far more than viewing some ugly apes. I loved seeing the tropical beauty that defines this beautiful west coast paradise.

In fact, this little reel sparked my Hawaiian interest – a place I definitely plan to visit someday.

I don’t know what happened to my View-Master. It was actually a lost memory until I found the above picture on Pinterest. And I must say, seeing a picture of this vintage toy surely reminds me of a simpler time that, like the toy, is long gone.

What vintage toy do you remember fondly? Please share your memories by commenting in the box below (scroll down).

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Internet Radio Interview with Artist First

On January 20th, I had the honor of being a guest on the Artist First Radio Network’s Book Show.

In case you’re wondering what type of show this is, let me explain. The Artist First Radio Network Book Show is a live one hour radio show that features independent authors. It gives authors a chance to discuss their books, careers, and lives.

For those of you who are music lovers, there’s also a music show.

The Artist First Book Show is broadcast online worldwide. Listeners can listen via their smartphones, PC, Wi-Fi radio, laptop or tablet.

Rather than go into details about the interview, take time to listen to it by clicking the link below:

Artist First Radio Network’s Book Show

After you listen to the show, please share your thoughts. I’d love to know what you’re thinking!

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Family is Love

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This past weekend, I spent a few hours with my mother and sister. As usual, we had a wonderful time just talking. We talked about family, current events – life in general.

When the evening was over, we had created loving memories that we will treasure throughout our lives.

This is what family is about, or at least should be.

You could feel the love amongst us. And it’s always been that way. No matter what disagreements we had, love still held us together as a family.

Most of our family is deceased and like the average family, those that remain have scattered. My mother, sister, and I, however, stay close together; carrying one another in our hearts and prayers.

This is the basis for “Tomorrow Never Comes.”

Bernice and family were close regardless of what tribulations came their way. No amount of pain could destroy the love that bound them together as a family.

After all, family is love … or at least it should be.

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Strength Over Death

Last week was very busy for me. It was busy to the point of stressful. However, the stress didn’t kill me (thank God!) or give me a stroke or heart attack. So, this saying can apply to me to the fullest:

make me stronger

Are you able to relate to this image? If so, then please do tell!

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Insecure at Heart (Flash Fiction)

Lady In Red

© Bobby Deal | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© 2015 Pamela Jones. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Summary: Tara Evans is meeting her boyfriend’s parents for the first time. When she learns that they are good friends with her lover’s ex-girlfriend’s parents, insecurity arises in her.

Allen curled his arm affectionately around Tara’s shoulder as they sat on his parents’ black sofa. They were at the Winbushes’ Richmond, Virginia home waiting for dinner to be served.

“Dinner will be ready in twenty minutes,” Clarice Winbush announced after entering the family room. She sat across from the young couple, never taking her observant eyes off them. “It’s nice to finally meet you, Tara. Ever since you and Allen started dating three months ago, we’ve been anxious to meet the woman who’s stolen his heart.”

“She stole my heart indeed,” Allen confessed, looking deep into his lover’s brown eyes. “I knew when I saw this woman I had to make her mine.”

“I’m glad I ran out of detergent that day,” Tara admitted. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone to the store, and I wouldn’t have met you.” Their warm lips engaged in a slow kiss.

Clarice smiled with admiration. “Oh, young love. It’s so beautiful. I remember when your father and I were young and in love.”

“We were much younger,” Steven Winbush added, sitting beside his wife. “Allen’s thirty years old. It’s about time he starts settling down.”

Clarice patted Steven’s knee. “Now, Steven, don’t go talking about settling down. Let them make that decision. Speaking of that, Donna and Davis invited us to Felicia’s wedding.”

“Who is Felicia?” Tara asked.

“Felicia is my ex-girlfriend,” Allen casually explained. Our parents became good friends while we dated.”

“Is that so?” Tara rubbed the back of her tensed neck. “So does that mean you socialize with Felicia too?”

“No, just her parents,” Clarice answered.

“So, you don’t socialize with Felicia, yet you’re going to her wedding?”

“We’re going because her parents invited us. They know we like Felicia.”

“She’s a sweet young lady,” Steven added.

Having heard enough about Allen’s ex, Tara shifted out of his arm. She roughly pushed her short, wavy hair aside and cleared her throat. “Mr. and Mrs. Winbush,” she began with a boldness as strong as the wind.

“Please, call us Clarice and Steven,” Clarice insisted. Seeing how fond her only child was of his girlfriend, she wanted to make Tara feel comfortable.

“Okay … Clarice and Steven, I don’t think you should socialize with Felicia’s parents anymore.”

The Winbushes eyed Tara like she was a lunatic. “Excuse me?” Clarice snapped.

“I said I don’t think –”

“I heard what you said,” Clarice interrupted, her elegant voice rising in anger, “what I don’t understand is why you said it.”

“Tara, why would you say something like that to my parents?” Allen demanded to know. With his eyes fixed on her, he wondered who this woman, whom he thought he knew, was.

“Your parents should respect our relationship.”

“How are we disrespecting your relationship?” Steven questioned, his forehead wrinkled in puzzlement.

“By socializing with Allen’s ex-girlfriend’s parents. Allen and I are a couple now, so you shouldn’t deal with his ex-girlfriend’s parents.”

Clarice tossed her head back in laughter. “Honey, Felicia has moved on; she’s getting married. And Allen has moved on with you.  Our friendship with the Walkers doesn’t affect you and Allen’s relationship.”

Tara’s fiery, big eyes intruded as she yelled, “yes it does!”

“Young lady, you need to watch your tone with my wife,” Steven warned, moving closer to the edge of the sofa. His eyes just as fiery as Tara’s, he continued, “you respect us in our home!”

“You have no right to tell us who to socialize with!” Clarice chided. “Who do you think you are?”

“I’m your son’s girlfriend, and I want the same respect you’re demanding in your home.”

Allen grabbed Tara’s arm. “Tara, I love you, but you’ve got to show my parents respect. You’re out of line here with this ridiculous demand!”

“Ridiculous demand?” Tara jerked her arm away. “Maybe if my mother had demanded my father stop communicating with his ex-girlfriend’s family, they’d still be married!”

“I’m not your father. Felicia and I haven’t communicated in two years.”

“Maybe not now, but someday, you could. Who’s to say your parents won’t play a part in it, especially since they’re friends with your ex’s parents?”

Steven slammed his fist against the sofa arm. “This is crazy talk!” he exclaimed.

Tara stood up. “No, it’s sensible talk to me, Steven!”

“Don’t you dare call me by my first name! You haven’t earned the right to do that. You come in here disrespecting my home with your outrageous demand.”

“You’re an insecure woman,” Clarice said, her head cocked one-sided while analyzing Tara like a psychiatrist. “You’re insecure over a relationship that doesn’t exist anymore.”

“I’m not insecure! I’m just not going to repeat my mother’s mistake.”

“And I’m not going to have you disrespecting my parents!” Allen retorted, standing beside Tara.

“And we’re not going to stop being friends with the Walkers because of your insecurities,” Clarice added. “Good friends are hard to find these days, and they’re good friends.”

With the wrathful faces staring back at her, Tara suddenly felt as victimized as a law abiding citizen being attacked by street thugs. However, refusing to back down, she hollered, “go to hell … all of you!”

Tara grabbed her purse from the sofa and stormed out the two-story house.

Steaming deeper in rage, Allen hurried behind her.  Not wanting her son to gain a criminal record, Clarice rushed up from the sofa and blocked him at the front door.

“Let her go,” she ordered in a motherly tone. “She’s not worth it. Consider yourself lucky for having dodged the bullet of an insecure woman.”

“A crazy woman!” Steven corrected, standing nearby.

Allen hugged his mother; thankful for her wise advice.

Meanwhile, Tara waited under the hot sun for the slow city bus. As she seethed over yet another failed relationship, she believed she was right in her demand. However, she also wondered was Clarice right in her observation about her. I’m not insecure … I’m just protecting my heart by not repeating mama’s mistake, she concluded.

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Hello, 2015!

2015

Here we are; at the beginning of a new year again. It seems like only yesterday the New Year was 2014. Now it’s 2015 – the mid-2010s.

Just to reflect briefly on 2014, I just want to say, oh, what a year that was!

Although 2014 was a year of continuous tribulations, I must say that I felt blessed. I felt this way for several reasons:

  • My family and I were overall healthy
  • We were safe from the world’s misfortunes throughout the year
  • We never saw a day of hunger or homelessness
  • I had a wonderful support system of family and friends

And one more thing: I returned to publishing!

2014 will undoubtedly go down in the history books for all the wrong reasons (missing planes, scandals, police brutality, bad weather, and so on). Despite all the problems that occurred last year, however, if you were safe and had some good days, then you too were blessed.

As we roll through 2015, I wish everyone who follows this blog a blessed 2015. May you have love, peace, and prosperity throughout the year.

Also, thank all of you for your support last year. I hope that you will continue to follow me as I strive to farther my publishing career this year.

Until next week, be safe, be blessed, and happy (belated) new year!

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Good Person, Bad Choices

ID-100207264Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

She raised her siblings well, but as they became adults, they made choices that caused their lives to be a living hell.

-Excerpt, “Tomorrow Never Comes.”

It’s common nowadays to see a person living a life that’s entirely wrong for them. They know the consequences of their choices – be it witnessing it firsthand or being warned – yet they stepped into the fire anyway. It’s hard to understand why people make bad decisions when they know consequences will follow.

Here’s one thing that should be known about people in these situations: not everyone that makes bad choices are bad people. Furthermore, they weren’t raised bad either.

Some people facing bad situations actually had good upbringings. They had someone tell them the differences between right and wrong; the good and bad ways of life. Nonetheless, they fell into the trappings associated with making bad choices. As a result, they face consequences that are beyond intolerable.

Such examples are the characters of my eBook, “Tomorrow Never Comes,” Marlena Brown-Mason and Rico Brown.

Marlena was a good person. Despite her goodness, she made a bad choice: she married an abusive man. She unwisely believed he was right for her – although signs showing otherwise were visible prior to their marriage.

Those signs were as follows:

  • Otis’ admitted hatred for his mother (a surefire sign that a man has issues with women)
  • Otis hit Marlena three months before their marriage
  • He yelled at her in public.
  • He forced her to quit working so she could be more accessible to his brutality.

In short, based on a wrong choice, good-natured Marlena was an abused wife.

The same goes for Rico. Like Marlena, he was a good person. However, along the course of life (in his teen years to be exact), he started using drugs. This was definitely a bad decision that led to his downfall in numerous ways.

So, the point is this: just because a person is in a dangerous dilemma doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. They could have either gotten lost along the course of life (like Rico) or are blinded by a fantasy (like Marlena).

Either way, people like Marlena and Rico are good people. And as people like them deal with the consequences of wrong choices, let’s hope they will eventually make the right choices that will lead them a better life.

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Reader Voices: “Tomorrow Never Comes”

I hope by now a lot of you have read “Tomorrow Never Comes.” If you have, I’m interested to know your thoughts on this short eBook.

What do you think about the characters? Can you relate to any of them? Do they remind you of anyone?

If you were the author, would you change the ending or keep it the same? Would you like to read a sequel?

Whatever your thoughts are on this eBook, I’d love for you to share them. After all, reading is about sharing!

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Internet Radio Interview with Lynda D. Brown

This past Saturday, I had my first internet radio interview. It was on “The Author Chat Show with Lynda D. Brown,” a St. Louis based web radio show. The host, Lynda D. Brown, talks to authors from various genres.

The interview went well. I actually enjoyed it!

I want to thank Ms. Brown for hosting me on her show. I appreciate her professionalism and kindness throughout the interview.

By the way, I have more internet interviews scheduled for this month. Here’s a listing of those dates: EVENTS

I hope you’ll listen to my upcoming interviews. I’d appreciate your support.

Here’s the link to my interview with Ms. Brown. Please listen and enjoy!

The Author Chat Show with Lynda D. Brown: Pamela Jones

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