I am in tune with the universe-a Schwartzkopf coincidence

How often doesI am in tune with the universe-a Schwartzkopf coincidence this happen to you? You read about a person, often obscure, such as Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. ,the lead investigator in the Lindbergh kidnapping and father of General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. (I was following a Yahoo link about the Lindberg kidnapping). Within an hour, while linking to a fellow blogger in @RaimeyGallant’s #NaNoHop, I read a post about another Schwarzkopf—Elizabeth Schwarzkopf., a German opera singer.

What are the odds?

I’m a firm believer in there’s no such thing as coincidence. This happens so often in our household for it not to be a coincidence.

DH: I watched a documentary about famous historical figure this morning.

Me: I was just reading about him. An hour ago. I’m not making this up.


Me: Did you know famous person did X?

DH: I had a dream about him during the night.

If it wasn’t so common, it would be weird and spooky.

Both my husband and I go through periods where we seem to be in tune with the universe. This week, it’s my turn. It happens at least once a day. Either I’m the most prolific reader in the universe to keep running into these oddities, or I’m super psychic. Psychic is not a claim I’d make. I’m too practical and line-up-the-ducks-in-a-row kind of person to wander into the supernatural world for long. But these things keep happening.

I believe messages are sent out all the time but most of us are too busy living the minutia of life to pay attention. What do the messages mean? I’ve not found a pattern. I’m not going to stop listening, either.

What’s the weirdest “coincidence” that’s happened in your life?

p.s.Elizabeth Schwarzkopf may have sung in Sydney, but not at the current opera house, as her last performance was in 1971 and it opened in 1973. Your opera trivia for the day. You’re welcome.

p.p.s. See what I did with the title of this blog? *Tune* Get it? I thought you would.

That is all.


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Too many people are shallow, narcissistic, and uncaring how their actions affect others. Have a little compassion. Be supportive. Make a difference in the good things you do. Let’s not be known as “that person”.

Reblogging from Whitney Dineen’s blog


I’ve recently stumbled into a bit of controversy in my career as a romantic comedy author. A couple of months ago I released an much anticipated sequel to a bestselling book. As a result, some of my fans are infuriated with me, as in spitting, hock-a-loogie mad. As in, “I’m never reading your books again, you horrible woman…” irate.

Every author receives negative views, it’s expected. It’s almost a rite of passage to get your first 1-star review on a new release. Yet I’ve noticed a trend lately. There’s a new nastiness to reviews that didn’t seem to exist before social media became our “go-to” avenue of communication. It’s been a human characteristic since Aesop– familiarity breeds contempt.

Once upon a time, when the only way to communicate with an author, was to write them a letter and send it to their publisher, people didn’t unleash their vitriol so freely. If it took time and effort and they had to think, “Is this really worth doing? Do I really feel this passionately?” they would realize their feelings were not particularly that strong. It was a heat of the moment thing.

In our current Kardashian-driven world of “my life is your life” and nothing is private, barriers are lowered and people feel comfortable slinging their opinions willy nilly as though there aren’t real people behind the tens of thousands of written words and hundreds of hours of sweat and tears involved in completing a manuscript.

I was toodling around a fellow author’s page on Facebook the other day and came across an announcement that author CM Foss was stepping out of the writing game. CM is known for writing contemporary romances. In her swan song letter of resignation, as it were, she states the following:

“I have watched others (and certainly been there myself) literally killing themselves to get a book out. They do a million takeovers, give away thousands of books, give gift cards of their own money, mail out paperbacks and swag like it’s free, politely beg for reviews, entertain, hold their tongue when their work is torn apart and shrug off senseless character attacks. Daily.”

She goes on to say:

As for me, I’ll be closing my laptop and unplugging my Kindle. I’ll be reading old-fashioned paperbacks and re-reading old favorites. My writing life is a chapter closed. My books are unpublished. My last stash has been signed and shipped to The Bookworm Box, so if you get a hankerin’ for one, give them your money. They’ll do right by it.”

She signs her letter: God bless, peace out, and #dontbeadick

I’m not exactly sure what pushed CM Foss to walk away from six published works. She’s held strong to her word of leaving the industry and hasn’t responded to my attempts at communication. It seems, though, it is at least in part a result of shoddy treatment by some readers. And she is/was an author with very good reviews.

The #dontbeadick hashtag got me to thinking. Acting like a dick has become acceptable in our world. I’m not sure where manners have gone. Perhaps we are all so desperate to have someone hear us that we go overboard in our opinions to reach that aim.

I, for one, am pleased when a reviewer doesn’t like my work and takes well thought out time to explain their opinion, honestly, not hatefully. Often I don’t agree, because hey, I’m my biggest fan. But I do think about what they say and it does impact my future work.

One woman counted the times I used vulgarity in a particular book. It was part of her review. At first I was offended. Vulgarity is part of our world. When my character is screaming mad, I will not have her yell, “Geezy Pete, you hurt my feelings!” when what is really required is a good old-fashioned “Fuck you!” But you know what? That review weighed heavily on my mind when I wrote my next book and I consciously realized vulgarity was not needed as frequently.

Book reviews are just one small part of this epidemic. Last week I saw a video on social media about a woman berating a checker at Walmart for being slow and messing things up. It turns out, his mom committed suicide that morning and he had to go to work because he was now the head of his household and they needed the money, and because he had the added expense of burying his mother.

I was in a restaurant last week when a lady at the table next to us unleashed on the server because her food wasn’t prepared exactly to her specifications. She made threats and demands with spittle flying. The poor server was near tears.

This morning, I was driving down a road near my house, to see the car in front of me tailgating the car in front of him. When the road opened to two lanes, he drove by the other car, laid on his horn and gave the driver the finger. As I passed, I noticed the slow driver was an old woman who looked scared out of her mind.

All of this leads me to ask, where the heck has common decency gone? What’s happened to our ability to react proportionately? Do we all feel so small, so underappreciated in our lives that we need to lash out at others in a misguided attempt to regain our power?

There is something to be said for catching more flies with honey than crap. If your food comes out cold, send it back. If your checker at Walmart is slow, cut him some slack for being human with problems just like the rest of us. If you don’t like a book, say why you don’t like it, but be respectful. When an old woman is driving slowly in front of you, don’t tailgate her and make her more fearful. Back off and ask, “What if that was my mom?” Throw her some good joo joo. But I implore you to stop with the personal attacks and rage. Go the extra mile to be thoughtful and on point, not malicious and out of control.

Don’t let good manners and compassion become extinct. Let’s use them and teach them to our children. Do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Remember the karmic wheel. And when you’re full of righteous indignation and fury at an author, waiter, checkout clerk or old woman in traffic, remember the thoughtful words of author, CM Foss, #dontbeadick.



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Find the center of your hurricane, which isn't always the weather.

Find the center of your hurricane

Find the center of your hurricane, which isn't always the weather.Find the center of your hurricane, which isn’t always the weather.

As I write this, the remnants of Hurricane (now Tropical Depression) Guillermo is dropping rain on us.  Hurricanes in Hawaii are a big deal.  We’re thousands of miles from any help and each island is a sitting duck for such a natural disaster.  Thankfully, Guillermo is bypassing most of the island, though heavy rains are expected for Oahu and Kauai.

Guillermo has been a threat for over a week, and we’ve watched it approach since before it had a name.  Reports arrived daily from specially equipped airplanes which flew over the eye.

The eye is the center of calm amidst the chaos.  I think we all wish for a similar space in our lives, where the outside rarely intrudes and a calmness rules.

It’s tough.  The world is a hectic place with demands that don’t get any easier.  Jobs, family, friends — it’s a never ending carnival ride with increasing pressures.  Finding time for yourself is next to impossible, but it’s crucial that you carve a little bit of time from your day to center yourself and live in the joy of the now.

Pay attention to what’s important. It’s not always the weather.

Put down whatever you’re doing and notice what your family is doing.  Savor that moment.  This morning, I was babysitting my 18 month old granddaughter and had brought along a book to snatch some reading, even if it was a paragraph at a time.  But I put it down and watched her as she rested against the sofa, eating a piece of cheese, as she dumped crayons out of the box then methodically put them all back, over and over, as she ran to the lanai to watch a plane fly overhead.  All mundane activities and none needing close supervision (maybe the crayons), but all opportunities I would have missed if I’d continued to read.

Maybe your demands don’t allow the time to read, or think beyond what has to be done at this moment.  But step back, carve out a fixed point in time, and look around you.  There’s beauty in everything.  Find it, draw peace from it.  Take a deep breath.  Recenter yourself.  Find the center of your hurricane and smile.



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