Sunday, October 31, 2010

Anoxic Zone by John G. Rees... five stars!!

This horror story grabs the reader from the very first page never letting them go. I don't read a lot of horror or vampire stories but I have read some. Although this book is not as long as the others I've read it is as equally as powerful and thought-provoking as the 500 plus page books. This book is a riveting, fast paced page turner leaving the reader yearning for more. As the reader turns the page the anxiety increases because you can't read the story fast enough.

From page one you are thrust on a journey along with two service personnel, Johnny and Jake, who work for Megacorp. Megacorp operates with its own laws and doesn't care who is in the way as they enforce their laws. The people of Megacorp are arrogant, narcissistic individuals who walk hand and hand with the evilness they spew. The job of the service personnel is to maintain the infrastructure of this culture at the end of the industrial age. The journey extends from Hawaii to Romania as Johnny and Jake have come across the evil that created their kind. The innocuous journey forces them to accept who they have become while forcing them to attempt to keep the evil from Megacorp.

This book is for those readers who love getting lost in a deep, dark vampire book. It isn't like most of the other vampire books giving the genre a new twist. Each character and event is vivid drawing you in at every scene. This story is a reflection of what the future may hold for Megacorp. The reader is thrust into a world of unknown and turns each page rapidly trying to read what the outcome shall be. I recommend this book to readers looking to delve into a vampire book like no other. Straying away from the basic vampire love story, Mr. Rees, opens our eyes to what could be...

What do you know about favor?

What do you know about God's favor? I know what His favor has done for me. If it wasn't for His favor, I know where I'd be. That place wouldn't even be close to where I am now. That's why each day, all day, I thank God for His favor. He moved mountains for me and showed me the gifts I forgot I had. I am beyond thankful for His favor which has allowed me to stand tall in every situation embracing my victory before it even occurs.

Some folks walk around with arrogance spewing out their pores. They act as if they've become successful solely through their efforts with no amount of God's grace falling on them. Of course, we have to be steadfast and diligent as we work toward our goals and dreams. But one must recognize that it is God's favor that has allowed us to be. Whether our dreams and goals are met or not, God's favor has allowed us to accomplish even basic things. I woke up this morning, that's favor. I have my health and strength, that's favor. I have an abundance of love and encouragement in my life. That's favor. Favor isn't always fair, some folks say, but favor is favor to me. I embrace God's favor in all that comes my way...

I have stood and sometimes crawled through a few storms. Not having the strength and courage to stand, I almost faltered. I bent as far as I could embroiled in battles I wasn't sure I'd survive. With my eye towards the sky I prayed for help through each storm. The more I survived, the more I believed. As my faith increased so did my strength. To me... that's favor!

I stand today not worrying about things that don't matter in my life. I have reached deep within and found strength to make it through anything. I am not perfect and sometimes I do react stronger than I should. My imperfections make me human and I know I'm a work in progress and growth continues daily. I know also that I have come a very long way from where I stood twenty or even five years ago. Politics mean absolutely nothing to me. Worrying about what other folks do or say, means nothing to me. I am all about living this life God has given me to live. That's favor!

So... as you stroll through this life, climbing up this ladder of success, don't forget God's favor. It is your responsibility to use your gifts to succeed but one must look over their shoulder helping others along the way. God's favor was given to you and has guided your spirit to the place where you now stand. Don't forget where you came from as you stand tall looking out at the things you've accomplished. God's favor ain't fair but God's favor is good...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another day ahead...

Another day ahead is another opportunity to work hard. Today I have some errands to run, a book review to write and some football to watch! I paused today to write this post because I've had a few weeks that have caused me to reflect on a few things.

With my neighbor, Heather, being back in the hospital fighting leukemia, I am forced to look at my life. Am I doing what I want to do? Can I still get things done? Well, the answer of course is yes! Life has distracted me but Heather's illness has empowered me. It has reminded me that this life I am living is not forever. It has encouraged me to stand up and do more because life can change in an instant.

You won't find me at any political rally because I don't care enough. That has never been my thing. I've become more disgusted by the behaviors of people on both sides including some friends and colleagues. Everyone is out for their own agenda spewing hate and lies about each other. Well, I am out for mine and it doesn't include any Democrat or Republican ideas. Things I think about directly affect my life and don't require I stand and yell about ideas that don't include my well being.

I am focused on the things that matter to me. I have so many stories and songs lyrics floating around in my head. I am forced to carry a small notebook wherever I go because ideas come no matter what I am doing. My ideas flow constantly sometimes distracting me from what I am doing. But... I am grateful for that!

When I walked into work a few days ago, I overheard a patient talking about staff to another patient. She said, "I feel sorry for the staff because they have to get up so early and come to work." I paused as I walked past her but didn't say anything. As much as I wanted to say something I didn't. Why did she feel sorry for me? Of course, I don't want to work but I want to have a productive life and opportunities to enjoy this life only come when you have money to experience them. I work to pay my bills and to buy the things I desire. Why does she feel sorry for me?

I looked at this patient as her conversation continued amazed at her words. She felt sorry for us? I work on a psychiatric unit that treats those with illnesses ranging from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and addictions. This patient just happens to be a heroin addict, mother of two children that she doesn't have custody of, and homeless. Is that life better than mine? I couldn't imagine being homeless and battling a heroin addiction is not a desire of mine either. To live a life full of schemes while trying to beat the system or hiding out in a hospital because I have no place to go, is not something I could bear. Shouldn't I feel sorry for her? Actually I feel sorry for the children being brought into this world addicted to drugs and facing struggles because of the choices their parents made.

I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I have the strength, will and desire to get up each day and go to work. I am beyond grateful for the things God has provided for me. I have goals and dreams that will essentially allow me to work for myself entirely one day. Don't feel sorry for me, I say. Pray for my success!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I sit in front of my computer screen with many thoughts floating through my mind on the eve of one of my favorite days, my birthday! I think of the journey that I've been on and this thing called life. I've made a few detours along the way but God always managed to guide my path. No matter how many times my young mind led me astray, I managed to get right back to where God wanted me to be.

So, as I sit three hours away from turning forty-three I lift my eyes in awe. In awe at the wonder of what my life has become. I had no drug addiction or anything as severe as that but I had become complacent. I had become comfortable just being a social worker and working so hard to diligently take care of everyone else. I realized, at forty, that I needed to be more than a social worker at this point in my life to truly be happy. To be happy in my personal life meant I needed to look beyond my educational background into my heart. Inside I found gifts that I had allowed life to suppress.

I reached down deep and found a childlike spirit hiding alongside those gifts and the love in my heart for myself and others swelled. I embraced the childlike spirit and began dreaming bigger dreams for myself. My dreams for my life partner and I began to increase as I realized how blessed I was to have such an honest, compassionate, loving person in my life. My relationship with God is something I've never felt before. It is amazing! At forty, my life had begun and I promised to never stop living once I started.

Tonight, I vow to have a year that is beyond measure. I am no longer complacent. I am eager to see my dreams of becoming a successful writer, songwriter, and whatever else is on my heart come true! I thank God for Jen, my family, health, love, passion and desire. He has blessed and protected me for forty-three years and I hope to be blessed to see many more. God is... I am... thankful!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Musings by Treasure Gibson...

Musings by Treasure Gibson is a collection of thoughts, musings, moods and feelings the author has experienced. I enjoy reading things that I can relate to and this was one of those reads. The poems are about love, strength, power, heroism, vices, and deception mixed with wit, humor and pictures introducing a new idea. The pictures add to the images already formed in each reader's mind by the words the author writes. The pictures bring the words alive!

One of my favorites is, "Who the Hell is 'She'?" This embodies exactly who every woman is to everyone they interact with. A woman is everything to everyone at all times. A woman spends her day catering to the needs of everyone neglecting her own needs and desires. The list of a woman's needs are written below the needs of her family, boss, neighbors and friends. The author describes everything that a woman is forgetting to mention "tired!" Tired, in my opinion, is exactly what most of us are.

The ideas this author shares are vivid and I would love to read them in greeting cards. This book was well done and quite enjoyable. I anticipate the release of this book and hopefully the author will write another one. This book is a great holiday, birthday or "just because" gift and should be laying out in your home on the table for your guests to read.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Prodigal Sons by Sheldon Greene

This fictional yet riveting novel with World War II as the backdrop was a page turning read. The main themes of hope, love, pain, anger, violence, rage, despair, and reconciliation flow heavily into each paragraph leaving the reader yearning for more. This story occurs at a time that caused pain to many while at the same time forcing them to lose their identities. Although it occurred many years ago, the pain is freshly etched in the minds of those who lived through it personally or vicariously through stories of their families being torn apart.

Horst Vogle was Jewish and raised in Poland at the outbreak of the war. He came from a professional family--his father was a doctor and his mom was a nurse. They were extremely respected by others in their town. The main character, Horst Vogle, is stuck with the task of reinventing himself after the war. Prior to World War II, his name was Jan Goldberg. Jan's sister and parents were taken away by the Nazi's and killed at a concentration camp. After the war he emigrated to Palestine with a group of others. He was hired by the Israeli Secret Service to find and kill those Nazi officials who were able to escape the punishment for their crimes. He changed his identity from Jan Godlberg to that of Horst Vogle. That is when Jan's journey as Horst Vogle begins.

On his quest to find these men and kill them, he comes across a woman named Greta. She, a pianist, only knows him as a museum curator not as a vengeful man hunting Nazi's. In the midst of everything, he falls in love with Greta and is forced to balance attending her performances with his job as a killer. As time goes by, he is forced to look at himself in the mirror and figure out his true purpose--is he merely a killer seeking revenge for the wrongdoings to innocent people (including his family) or is he a part of the new Germany being developed? He didn't have an answer readily at hand.

The story is vivid and full of emotions stemming from a horrific time in our history. It shares the intimate details of the lives lost and found through the eyes of a man who lost his family and himself. It pulls on the heartstrings, make you angry and vengeful, and brings you comfort at times. This is a great book by Mr. Greene! If you are a history buff, this is the book for you.