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Monday, November 28, 2016

This Writer's Euphoric Journey


It is November and that means National Novel Writing Month. I participate every year. As always, I am behind on my writing goal for the month: WRITE 50,000 WORDS  IN 30 DAYS. 

With only two days to go, I still need 10,000 to finish. 

So...I will see you here again on Wednesday or at the end of my journey of 50,000 words. Until then, breathe.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Keeping Your Friends Close...

Good morning, my fellow warriors! What a beautiful morning it is here in Monongah, West Virginia. After a rather rude announcement of winter weather, I find it refreshing to talk to you while looking out my window on the new fallen snow. And I know all those deer hunters out there are happy to see that natural tracking device that was thrown their way for the first day of doe season.

I admit that I do love the snow and was thrilled to see a virtual white out on my television screen Saturday night when  I tuned in to the WVU football game. That was the only good thing about that game and I don't want to talk about it any further, so let's move on.

The point is: Winter is here. As far as the weather is concerned. 

That means the eating season is on, boys and girls! This week is Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. With Thanksgiving comes all those yummy dishes that I anticipate all year long. Many (most) of those food items are rather unhealthy, but I always over indulge, and of course regret it later.

Here is my checklist:
Turkey (healthy)
Mashed potatoes (okay)
Dressing (probably not healthy the way I eat it)
Broccoli casserole (ditto, but at least it is a vegetable)
Cranberry salad (Just a taste can't be too bad, right?)
Green beans (Jack pot on the healthy...unless you do it the good ol'                        Southern West Virginia way with load of bacon                                grease.)
Hot Rolls (Just one, please.)
Pumpkin pie (A small sliver is fine, I'm sure, but who ever heard of                a small sliver of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day?)
               Pecan Pie (Because my mother's goal is to please                              everyone, we always have two types of pie and it is my                    civic and moral responsibility to try both,)
Pumpkin White Chocolate cookies (These are my fault. I started                    making them a couple years ago and now they are an                        expected mainstay during the holidays. We have to have                  something to munch on while waiting for the main event.)

I will stop right there, because I know there are always more delectable available for pre and post dinner munchies. I just find myself salivating over the additional calories and really need to focus.

The holidays present many food choice decisions for us, no matter what our present health status might be. How does this affect our MS, though? How does diet affect MS or does it? As with all things multiple sclerosis, there are many fields of thought on the subject, none being clearly defined.

Common Sense tells us that too much of anything is not good. that's my rule of thumb and I do my best to stick to it.

My Inner Voice tells me that "Life is short. Indulge while you can." I do my best to listen to her as well. Since  Common Sense has become Inner Voice's constant companion, if I listen to them both of them I am usually okay. 

Enter Self Serving Sara. She's the one you need to watch. She makes TOTAL sense if yo are not careful. We all know her. She is disguised as Common Sense in drag.

According the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a proper diet (and Common Sense) contains a balance of grains, fruit, vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products, while providing only as many calories as needed.

Kolb and Giesser give us a clearly stated check list in their MS for Dummies. 
1. Calories count
2. Calcium protects your bones
3. Fluids fight urinary tract infections
4. EAT fiber
                                                                                  Multiple Sclerosis For Dummies by [Kalb, Rosalind, Giesser, Barbara, Costello, Kathleen]
There are so many diets out there, but NMSS recognizes a few in their studies of diet and MS. The Paleolithic Diet, Mediterranean Diet, McDougall Diet, Gluten Free Diet, and Swank Diet are the ones I read most about in NMSS literature. I have never officially tried any of them. Honestly, any regimented diet is going to work IF YOU FOLLOW IT.

The MS Recovery Diet has been sitting on my desk (the book, not the actual diet) for over a year and I finally decided to crack the spine and give it a gander. Whether I follow this plan or not, I appreciate the author's contribution because they are real Warriors with a true sense of what living with MS is.  And, face it folks, that is what living with the MonSter is all about. with all the medical research going on, we ultimately are in this alone. We may share similar symptoms and be labeled the as me, but at the end of the day, my MS is MY MS and your MS is Your MS. As warriors, we experiment and we share the results of those experiments.
The MS Recovery Diet: Identify the Foods That Will Heal Your Disease by [Sawyer, Ann, Bachrach, Judith]

Two years ago, I experimented with the then new drug Tecfidera. I really, really wanted Tec to work for me. It is a pill and not an injection. It is easy. and the commercial is SO encouraging. You know the one: The pretty lady dives into a swimming pool, swims the length, and then pulls herself out to dry off and later attend fair. All the while smiling and having fun. Read through my old posts and you will learn of my experience with Tecfidera. 

I am not saying the drug is not good. My experience was NOT GOOD.

A fellow support group member has been on Tec for several months, though, and is living with well with her decision to experiment. It is working for her and I am very, very happy for her.

As with any MS decisions we make, though, our treatment (including diet) decisions are basically a leap of faith.

So leap wisely, my friends.I'm not telling you to commit to indepth research on the subject of MS, but give yourself the gift of knowledge. Know your disease. Because the MonSter is not going any where any time soon. You need to be armed and ready for the havoc caused by MS. We may not be able to totally control our disease, but we can offer a strategic battle with tools like diet, treatments, exercise choices, clothing decisions (Might sound strange, but if you have MS you know what I mean.), and even relationship choices. That old adage certainly is true.

                                  Image result for keep your friends close and your enemies closer
Thank you, Mario Puzo, for that oldie, but goody.

Okay, I have rambled on long enough (and managed to consume the last caramel brownie left in the pan...So, it begins.)

Have a safe week of hunting and a safer week of eating.

Gobble, gobble,

Friday, November 18, 2016

Exercise benefits MS Warriors

Two Small Studies Find Benefits of Exercise for People with MS with Moderate to Severe Problems with Movement

November 9, 2016
  • Two small studies report on the benefits of exercise for people with MS who have moderate to severe mobility impairments. This research shows the importance of physical activity in enabling people with all forms of MS to live their best lives.
  • The National MS Society provides resources on exercise for people living with all forms of MS, as well as for healthcare providers. Further information on increasing physical activity in adults with disabilities is available from the Centers for Disease Control.
Background: Growing evidence suggests that exercise is good for a person’s overall health and for reducing other health conditions (co-morbidities).  Research in MS has also suggested that exercise training is effective for improving aerobic capacity and muscle strength, mobility, quality of life, and may benefit cognition, fatigue and depression. However, research is limited on exercise options for people with MS who have moderate or severe mobility impairments. Two recent, small studies begin to address this gap.
Exercise for severe mobility impairments: Investigators randomly assigned 12 people with progressive MS to receive total-body recumbent stepper training (similar to climbing stairs) or body weight–supported treadmill training. Both are used for people with severe mobility impairments, but the authors wanted to see if stepper training showed similar benefit to treadmill training, because it is significantly less costly to use and maintain the equipment. Participants completed three weekly 30-minute sessions for 12 weeks. Both training programs were safe, and although participants enjoyed both, stepper training was reviewed more favorably. There were no changes in physical function, but both reduced fatigue and improved quality of life.

The team (Lara A. Pilutti, PhD, now at the University of Ottawa, and former colleagues at the University of Illi­nois at Urbana-Champaign) has published results in the International Journal of MS Care (2016;18:221–229).

A cycling option for non-ambulatory people: Functional electrical stimulation (FES) offers people with significant weakness and mobility problems a cycling option, using low-level electrical impulses to stimulate the activation of leg muscles. Researchers evaluated whether this type of cycling improved symptoms and quality of life in 16 people with moderate to severe MS who were unable to walk. Participants cycled for 30 minutes, two to three times a week for one month. Significant improvements were noted in cycling performance, and physical and psychosocial aspects of fatigue, as well as reductions in reported pain. There were no significant changes in spasticity, cognitive aspects of fatigue, or muscle strength. Further research in larger numbers of people would help to clarify how benefits might be optimized.
The team (Deborah Backus, PhD, PT, and colleagues at the Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA) report their results in the International Journal of MS Care (Published online, August 9, 2016).
Read More: The National MS Society provides resources on exercise for people living with all forms of MS, as well as for healthcare providers. Further information on increasing physical activity in adults with disabilities is available from the Centers for Disease Control.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.
This new isn't ground breaking, but I thought I would share for those of you who do not check in with NMSS news often. Since Common Sense is my spiritual, physical and mental guru in all things MS, I already knew that exercise was beneficial in keeping the MonSter at bay.
I always feel better after exerting myself through walking (In my living room where I am safe from outside environmental obstacles.), a little yoga, or gently aerobics. But I will tell you that just getting up and moving is a good thing as well. do yourself a favor, though: Push yourself to go forward just a little every day. A former administrator once told his teachers: "Practice makes perfect only when you practice perfection." 
Don't keep doing the same ol' same ol'. Try something new every now and then. This not only keeps things interesting, but different parts of your  body will appreciate the attention.
Because I plan to exercise my mandible muscles vigorously next week, I plan to double up on my own exercising this weekend. Let's hope I can keep this commitment to myself.
Have a great weekend and KEEP MOVING,

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pamper your MS today. It's been working hard.

But it is difficult, isn't it?
I was supposed to attend a meeting at a local post office today to get information about obtaining new passports for my family. The content of the meeting sounded really interesting and my husband and I have talked often about updating our travel vouchers and getting one for our son. Even in these days of terrorist threat and airport dangers, we realize that travel is inevitable and often necessary. So, I agreed to attend this Passport Fair to educated us on the how's.

Well, after re-reading the newspaper advertisement for the event this morning, I realized that, though the Fair sounded interesting, I really did not need to remove myself from my home today in order to obtain a renewed passport. Passports are issued every day with out the assistance of a public gathering. And.....we do not plan on leaving the country in the foreseeable future....if ever!

So, why would I even entertain the thought of getting all dolled up (aka putting on clean underwear) to leave the house when it really wasn't necessary.

Message: Prioritize the important things. And the important people.
Today is MY day. And I will not waste it explaining why it is so.

Have a good one,

Monday, November 14, 2016

To get a perfect body, you must have a quiet mind.

Image result for yoga images free

Okay, before you say to yourself, "There she goes again, selling someone else's product", hear me out. 
Yoga has proven  very valuable to me in my MS existence. When I can force myself to practice this ancient art (and it should be every day), I really do see results. If nothing else, the stretching is invaluable. I do not think I really understood the pain of MS until recently. Seriously, when I read about the "pain" symptoms of multiple sclerosis I was confused. I didn't want to blame all of my physical discomforts on MS. Common Sense told me that  everyone experienced these discomforts as age joined the ranks of daily life.
But, guess what? Research has finally convinced me that MS has a lot do to with my muscle cramps, weak limbs, physical stamina, spasticity, yada yada yada...
And since  my straight A attitude has ruled my life, it is my moral obligation to investigate any and every thing I can about this horrible invasion upon what was once a pretty good body. I used to teach aerobics. Yep, I was a hard body. I was limber and strong. I never met a weight I didn't like. 
All my life I wanted to be an athlete, but for some reason my coordination was always off. I couldn't run fast enough for softball; Gymnastics and diving made me dizzy; Snow skiing terrified me what with the speed of going down hill; My feet always got tangled up and I fell a lot when playing tennis: Golf just ticked me off. (So we cannot count golf as a physical impossibility. I just had a bad attitude for golf.)
Gee, guess I should have seen some kind of weird medical diagnosis coming my way earlier in life. My body just wasn't quite normal.
But, yoga... especially gentle or restorative the perfect fit for my MS.
While the following article leans more toward  the concept of personal perspective, there is definitely a strong correlation to MS, or any debilitating condition. I mean, face it. How we feel about ourselves is a direct indication of how we present ourselves to others.
So, you see, yoga isn't all physical. It is a state of mind and if our minds are not positive our bodies will not follow suit. If you want the perfect body, you must have a quiet mind. So, we are all now 10's. Enjoy your perfection.

How to get the perfect body...

This is a question I get from the Yoga Burn Family quite often. Along with many other wonderful questions. 

Some people write to me saying that I have the perfect body. Others say that I’m fat or fake or too skinny. Lol This is the honest 100% truth. 

For the record, I’ve learned to take it all with a grain of salt. So don’t you worry about me ☺

You see….the perfect body has nothing to do with how our body actually looks.
The perfect body is all about perception. 
Everyone has a totally different idea of what ‘perfect’ is. The main thing that I’ve noticed, is that no one EVER claims the “perfect body” is their own.

So, how do you get the perfect body?

First, you start by taking care of it. You do your best to eat well. Stay hydrated. Exercise and rest.

All of that is the regular, typical advice that we already know. 

So what are we missing?

We are missing, the ‘self-love’ piece of the puzzle.

Today, when you look in the mirror I want you to pick out 3 things you LOVE about yourself. 

C’mon we all have them!

Look in the mirror and say “WOW, look at those boobs!!” lol or “my hair looks amazing today” or “I have a great smile” whatever you can find that you love, focus on it, and NOTHING else. 

So often we look at ourselves and say the worst…. I’m stressed, I look tired, I’m fat, I hate my thighs etc. etc.
Well guess what? 

Whatever you tell yourself you are, whatever you repeat in your mind is what you end up believing.

Do NOT tell yourself you are anything other than a beautiful, confident smart Woman (or some variation of positive adjectives) EVER! 

You have the perfect body, because it is yours!! 

When you truly love yourself you will take better care of yourself, you will have that sexy, confidence AND you will start to change the way you look at yourself. 

Changing the way you look at yourself, choosing to see the positive…will make you the SEXIEST woman in the world. And I’m not just saying that. 

You know the type of man, that is just “ok looking”, and then you talk to him, you lock eyes with him and all of the sudden you would pass up a dinner date with George Clooney just to have coffee with this guy?! 

Confidence, positivity, and charm are by far the sexiest thing I have EVER seen. 

I truly believe men feel the same. 

This is not about trying to impress anyone, it’s about having the confidence to be yourself, and to shine.

I believe in you girl! 

I believe you are beautiful inside and out!!! 

My goal is to make you believe it too.

Pick your 3 things you love about yourself, send them to me if you want, or write them down and tape that note to your mirror… Trust me on this. Keep the focus positive, on the things you love!!! 

This technique WILL make a difference in how you feel and eventually it will make a difference in the way you look too!!

I look forward to hearing your response, and getting to know what you Love!!!

Good vibes to you pretty lady ☺


Zoe Bray-Cotton

Friday, November 11, 2016

Vitamins and MS

Image result for vitamin images free

Looking back on my posts this week,  I see a definite theme. One would think that I am a killing machine, but that is not the case. In fact,  really do not think about death very often.

But I do think about proper nutrition and vitamin intake. As any MS Warrior, I read a lot about my disease and ways to alleviate the aches and pains of MS. I have always been confused about the recommended dosage of Vitamin D. How much is too much? How much is not enough? I have been told that the body will eliminate any excess quantities of this vitamin but common sense tells me that too much of anything is not good.

In this morning's Fairmont Times West Virginian this article caught my eye: "Vitamin D deficiency is widely overestimated, doctors warn".  According to Marilynn Marchione, AP Chief Medical Writer, on average people need about 400 international units of vitamin D per day, and 600 for people over 70." This statistic is in direct contradiction to what the pharmacist quoted me just last week when I asked about my 5000 IU Vitamin D tabs that GNC sold me a few months ago. The pharmacist restated what I have been told before that in the case of MS, most doctors start us out on a large dose and then downsize us to 1000 IU per day. 

The clerk  at GNC confirmed that the body would eliminate any over flow of the vitamin. But I really had a difficult time trusting his knowledge of Vitamin D in conjunction with multiple sclerosis. Especially since I nearly overdosed on the GNC brand daily vitamin pack a few years ago. (Just kidding...I do not think one can OD on vitamins, but there is always the possibility. I certainly didn't feel too great after swallowing a mega pack twice a day for an entire month.)

Marchione goes on to say that "people are told they are inadequate  or deficient in D when, in fact, they are not."

Well, who do I listen to here? I really do want to get my recommended dose of the vitamin, especially since multiple sclerosis and the lack of D are so closely related. But how much is too much?

Well, since I have had a sneaking suspicion about my intake of D, I think I will work with Marchione's advice for a while and do a lower dose. It is a convenient time for me since my vitamin bottle is in need of a refill any way.

Now on to my second vitamin concern. B 12.

What do yo know about this energy enhancer? A former colleague of mind who suffers with Parkinson's Disease receives monthly B12 injections and swears by them in the progress of his disease. He has more energy and less shaking. 

After reading an assortment of testimonials written by fellow MS Warriors, I decided to conduct my own little experiment. B12 Adult Gummies seemed to be the popular alternative to the injections, so I began consuming the recommended two gummies a day. I really do not know nor does  it seem possible that they are the cause, but I have experienced horrible cramping in the toes and shins since I began my experiment. I decided to cut the dosage back to one a day with little change in my lower extremities. Today I took none and my legs feel much better. My walking gait is even better. Weird?
You bet.

So, without actual human consultation, I have (for now) decided against a continued use of B12.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Have a great weekend. Happy Veteran's Day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

MS isn't our only enemy.

 So, it's over. We can finally put all of our election angst aside and get on with our lives. 

Or can we?

I am NOT a political individual and I refuse to debate with anyone about anything: politics, region, the price of  gas...

MS has made me rather complacent in many ways and extremely strong in others. For example I do not take crap fro anyone any more. My rug days are over. Do not even attempt to walk on me. End of story. No argument. Debate over. That is my opinion and there is not room for discussion as far as I am concerned.

Do not confuse this attitude with resilience. I just do not want to argue my point because I feel that I have nothing to prove. I just want to live peacefully in my own little cocoon that I call life.

I realize this is not a popular philosophy with a lot of people and  I apologize. If you are looking for a good argument, count me out. My brain just doesn't have room for all the clutter that debate requires. I tell my own mother this often. She truly loves a good debate. She will argue until the cows come home or decide to move to Argentina. One of her biggest daily gripes is that my dad refuses to pack his own brain with what he views as useless information, making me realize how much I can identify with him. If you know my dad, this might be cause for concern. Don't worry. He and are both quite content on our Cloud of Oblivion. Just give him a deck o pinochle cards and me a good book and life is good.

So, on this day after, grow  big smile and be thankful for what we have in this life. It certainly has been an entertaining ride and definitely hone for the history books.

Good Day,

Monday, November 7, 2016

MS Doesn't Kill Us...It's the bears.


Isn't it good to know what multiple sclerosis is not a leading cause of death? Or that MS actually doesn't kill any of us? 

I remind myself of that any and every time I am having a particularly bad day. In my lame little brain, I know this fact. Because if MS was a deadly disease, wouldn't there be an injection or medical plan of action for the condition? Maybe not a cure, because that is not if still a mystery in many health situations. Cancer doesn't have a sure-fired cure, heart disease doesn't have a cure. Lou Gehrig Disease doesn't have a cure.

But every disease has treatments that are supposed to make us feel better...for a while at least.

And every disease has a Bear List. This is our list of triggers and complaints. These items can range from Grizzly to Teddy Bear proportions. With MS, there is no way to rate them, at least in my case. They range according to day, time and situation.

My Bear List:
bladder issues
negative attitudes
foot drop
lonely days and lonely nights
cog fog
head tremors
spasticity (especially in the legs and feet)
toe and shin cramps
lack of balance
trembling hands
interruptions in speech
loss of muscle coordination
lack of long-time focus
periodical numbness in toes, feet, fingers, arms
fear of flying

...Oh, no, that is an Erica Jong novel. Sorry. See, inability to focus. Sometimes I think I have adult ADHD.

I do have an inability to travel long distances, though, whether by air, train, vehicle, or on foot. How do you explain to travelling companions why their generally "travel light" pal now feels it necessary to strap on a back pack with extra clothing, just in case? It is embarrassing to continually ask for a rest area or bath room.
And, sorry folks, I really, really do need to stand up for a while and stretch. Oh, and I am really really sorry for falling asleep during the most exciting portion of the four wheel ride. I guess those changing leaves will come again next fall?

We all have a Bear List and I am certain that the little one above is just a scratch and not the full bear rub. (If you are a back-to-nature person,  you know what I mean.) I am on constant stand-by for the full rub, though. Every day. If not, my MS will find that weakness and hit me head-on. And I do not enjoy an encounter with a grizzly. Grizzly's are deadly. They WILL kill you.

All the other bears make us stronger, even if we do not enjoy them. I'll take a Teddy Bear any day. (Ever notice that heart surgery patients receive a soft, friendly Teddy Bear to cuddle after a major procedure? You probably know, but that  bear serves a greater purpose than just emotional comfort. So, all bears aren't bad.)

What is your Bear List? 

Have a great Monday,

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Obvious Explanation

While visiting an area elementary school recently, one youngster came skipping toward me in welcome. His eyes were bright and curious with a confidence beyond his years.

"I know you!" He nearly clapped his hands with excitement.

"I know her!" His exuberance attracted the needed amount of attention among his peers, as he pointed excitedly towards me.

With only the chance to nod in agreement, he continued his impromptu performance.

"In second grade! You came to our class last year! I remember your cane! I know you!"

(Okay, so...I have tried to download a pic of my exquisite cane for three days now, only to be denied. So, try to imagine a folksy hand painted craft in a combination of pastels and artsy hues of green, red, pink, blue, and purple. Real descriptive, right? Trust me, it's gorgeous and very memorable.)

And, indeed he did know me. Or at least, he knew my cane.

When I was diagnosed in July 2001, I knew nothing about multiple sclerosis. 
MS...just another one of those alphabet diseases. I remember thinking about the benefit walk that my aerobics class participated in years before. We raised money for one of those physical conditions and had an absolute blast on our Girls Weekend in our state capital. We had trained for weeks to assure a finish line presence. We were not in a race, but we knew we wanted to  cross the finish line. And we did, even if the temperature climbed to a humid afternoon and unexpected blisters plagued our heels. We all realized far too late that our dinner of burritos and margaritas the night before probably (absolutely) was not the right choice for a pre-walk meal.

I remember being humbled (and I still am) by the individuals who crossed the finish line that day. Many of them were in wheel chairs. Quite a few wielded not one, but two walking sticks. I was fiercely ashamed of my light-hearted approach to such an obviously important event.

There were a lot of tears that day among everyone there in  Charleston, West Virginia. The tears were for many reasons: in honor of those individual who could no longer make the walk; in memory of those who had passed; as respect for those who continued to hold on to the hope that their condition could and would be abolished.

The one thing I remember most is that atmosphere of obvious hope.

My unique cane makes it obvious that I have something wrong with me. To the onlooker, this could be just about anything: MS, MD, stroke, sprained muscle, vertigo, a strange fashion sense, old age...
It really doesn't matter to most folks what that condition might be. The important thing is that there is an obvious explanation to our dilemma.  

Physical handicaps aren't always obvious, though. There are days when my foot doesn't drag, my hands are steady and that annoying head tick isn't discernible to the naked eye. These are the days I often hear the comments about my handicap parking ticket, the length of time it takes me to check out of retail line, that fact that I always select the aisle seat, the fact that I carry a walking device when there is obviously nothing wrong with me. These are days when I just want to stand up and announce that I just want attention. I have a passionate need for people to notice me. My day is not complete without a perfect stranger offering condolences for my pain.

Do I prefer to be part of the non-obvious population?

You betcha!

So, why, please  tell me, do some people insist that the public takes notice of such ridiculous afflictions as this Walmart ('cause Walmart is the obvious location choice, right?) patron? 

Take another look: 

I really, really hope that this fellow is not such a physical mess, but I will nev-er discount the possibility. Fifteen years with an official diagnosis of multiple sclerosis has opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of the physical condition. The logical  or obvious explanation is not always the correct explanation.

I do not feel that I owe anyone an explanation for my decorative walking stick, but I really don't mind explaining...if the questioner appears genuinely interested. Although I am not a medical expert, I find that the longer I live with MS, the more I have to say about it.
Have a great weekend! Lisa

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

MS Madness: A "Giggle More, Cry Less" Story of Multiple Sclerosis


If you do nothing else this week, check out this absolutely awesome book or watch deSousa's you tube videos. She is so down to earth. What a warrior!

And while you are "shopping", take a gander at my new novel. Bombs Bursting in Air debuted this past weekend at the West Virginia Sate Book Festival in Charleston.


The first place recipient of this year's West Virginia Writers book length fiction, BBA (my affectionate abbreviation) hopefully is the first in a news series: The Church of Go. I would like to offer this as a reading supplement for home school curriculum and youth group discussion.

As this is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I plan to be very busy, so I promise to do my best to be here on a regular basis. If you know nothing of NaNoWriMo, here is a short synopsis: Write 50,000 words in 30 days.
That's it. That's all. Simple, right? This being my fourth year of tackling this project, I can truly state the obvious. It is NOT simple. But it IS a lot of fun. 

Gotta go for now.