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Ruth Newell
Writer, Author, Poet.
Writer, Author, Poet.


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On free promotion beginning tomorrow. If you haven't read my HotFlash series...tisk, tisk. These are short, sometimes wacky, sometimes sweet, short stories pertaining to love. Please leave short reviews on, and share from, my Amazon Author's page. Get your love on!
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Beginning tomorrow, this humorous e-book loosely based on my re-connection with my elderly, and sometimes surely, mother will be on free promotion for five days in light of the Biddies embarking on their "Resurrection Tour". You can use the free Kindle Ap to read it on most any device. Please leave short reviews on Amazon because they help an indie author like me gain visibility on Amazon. As always, 'likes' and 'shares' from my Amazon Author's page are most appreciated. Thank you for your continued support.
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Beginning tomorrow, this e-book based on my years care-giving for my veteran stepfather who sadly had Alzheimer's will be on free promotion for five days in light of the Biddies embarking on their "Resurrection Tour". You can use the free Kindle Ap to read it on most any device. Please leave short reviews on Amazon because they help an indie author like me gain visibility on Amazon. As always, 'likes' and 'shares' from my Amazon Author's page are most appreciated. Thank you for your continued support.
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"And to your right, wedged in the top most branches of the tallest tree, is Kennedy Space Center's largest eagle's nest. Southern Bald Eagles, as you probably are aware, mate for life. This couple has been coming back to this same tree for twenty years, adding to the nest annually. It's estimated to weigh over 700 lbs and to be larger than a king sized bed," spieled the bus tour driver through her head set.

A king sized bed, I thought. Seven hundred pounds, I thought. And then, it hit me. That this mass of sticks, dung, and feathers clustered around the main trunk where numerous branches spur out serves to ground the lofted pair. It's the foundation of their relationship, so to speak. The core of their purpose, the action before the reaction, the cause to their effect.

Looking up at the huge love nest where a branched juvenile peered down at the idling bus hunched with wariness, I considered that we all need grounding, something that tethers us--to each other, to earth, to reality. New lovers especially, because the nature of early love is ethereal. If it weren't we'd rarely mate, being as selfishly hedonistic as we humans are. Give us the high of "Hallelujah, Jesus!" or we loose interest. Give us some reason to bother or we won't.

Once, we had tradition and families that served as lifelines. We had men that kept men honorable. Brothers, fathers, uncles. Ex's even. We had clearly defined rights and wrongs that structured courtship. Not to say that the renegades among us haven't bashed through those taboos for eons. Still, what was once now isn't and that's just the truth of the matter.

"I can't tell you how many times I've fallen back in love with my husband," the young woman confided. She hadn't yet been wed ten years and she had nailed it. Because really, it does fall upon us as lovers to keep the want pulsing, the want to wake up with one another morning after morning, and to bed each other night after night. To patiently tolerate the rough patches where the less bound stray.
There's lots of room in a king sized bed. Thirty-three square feet to be exact. I've lived in apartments that weren't much bigger, so I'm thinking that's ample wiggle room for any pair of love birds. Placed on a bedstead weighing a third of a ton, staked to earth by a living tree as was the matrimonial chamber of Odysseus and Penelope, how could any couple fail?

Guess that's the answer then. Not to dive into the swirling depths of unified bliss without a spider's silken anchor line. And, though probably a given to most of you, some of us need constant reminders to never dive alone. To succeed, we will need to partner with another experienced, willing, and fully equipped diver to fulfill the Cardinal Rule of Scuba Safety 101.

That wasn't in the manual.
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I've been purposefully refraining from writing at length about politics because, honestly, I needed time to process it all. Undeniably, Trump has proven himself to be vile and vulgar, and his ignorant and volatile psychological state is a serious concern. I can't think of him at the helm without dry heaving. However, he's the least of my concern.

What troubles me more than the man himself is that people I know, people I like and love, people I educated and raised even, choose to ignore who he is as a person--ethically and morally, choose to condone, through their vote and by their continued support, his atrociously offensive personality and self-serving agenda. They turn a blind eye to the fact that he's a walking, and regrettably talking, liability. That he says and does things that they wouldn't tolerate among their own people, and which are, in fact, unconstitutional. In fact, they see him as the next best thing to the messiah, and are as excited about attending the inauguration as the throngs were once to follow Jesus. As if it were something wondrous to celebrate--a blithering fool holding power over us all.

Only it isn't, because Trump is hardly a prophet and is, in no way, divinely inspired. The Oval Office doesn't house the throne of heaven--thank goodness. No, the inauguration was not the crowning of the messiah; rather, it was the sacred oath-taking of a man assuming office of the presidency, who hasn't achieved the honor to serve us by divine right or even by mob rule. But, rather, by support from a minority of eligible voters and the majority of wealthy politicking electorates.

I'm not a 'sore loser'. What I am is seriously afraid of loosing our country, and everything that makes it great, to a dictator. Don't condescend to me, suggesting that I'm whining like a child when I am responding as a patriot, as a citizen committed to preserving democracy. A man who is not a proven civil servant with a solid track record of public service, but rather, an opportunistic aristocratic entrepreneur with sociopathic, fascist characteristics is assuming political leadership. So much of what he's promises to do disregards our Constitution, which is not surprising given he feels he's above the law--or rather, now, IS the law. Aside from demonstrated psychological impairment, Trump brings with him numerous conflicts of interest, as does a large portion of his selected cabinet. I have every damn right to be petrified, to be riled; I'm a patriot.

Having been born a US citizen, I never had to take the nationalization oath where I publicly promised to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." Never-the-less, I am cognitive of my responsibilities and I aim to fulfill them. It's my duty to respond to treason, which I have every intention of doing.

What I struggle with is how to address his cronies, the star-crossed followers that live and work among us. Because, they aren't all stupid and they aren't all deplorable devils. They are our daughters and our sons. They are our parents, our aunts and our uncles. They are our neighbors and our coworkers. How do we coexist with the likes of them when we simply can not wrap our minds around how they could let this happen--open the gates of democracy to fascism?

I am not of the entitled class. I am of the working class. I wasn't born into wealth and never assumed that those who had been were automatically superior, or more worthy, or exemption from the rules of social decency, or laws of the land. I worked for my education. I worked to single-handedly raise my children. I worked every day, shoulder to the grind stone, to feed and clothe and house them as my mother had done for me and my siblings. I homeschooled my kids, and being a child of the sixties, I emphasized history and the evils of war, atomic destruction, and of tyranny. Yet, still, they voted for him. I feel as though I've had a lobotomy in that there it is before me--the truth of what my daughter's have chosen, and yet I just can't seem to...absorb it. That everything I've stood for, all that I've experienced right in front of their wee little eyes, seems to have been for naught. I know that's not the case, but as I've said, I'm struggling, and I'm not alone.

"People vote for platforms," a friend reminded me. True. Removing Muslims to many is a logical step to reducing terrorism in our homeland. To those who believe Muslims are the ultimate threat, Trump's a godsend. It should be noted though that only about one percent of the country's population practices Islam. One percent.
According to 2014 statistics, approximately 81 million people, or 26 percent of the overall U.S. population, are legal immigrants or their US born offspring. The average age among the immigrants is 44 yrs old. Since 2010, 44 percent of nationalized immigrants have college degrees. Obviously, the assertion that we are being overrun by young foreign militants or illiterate migrant workers is completely unfounded.

By 2014, nearly 20 million of those immigrants had become citizens. The 22.4 million who hadn't, however, weren't all here illegally. Many were lawful permanent residents, and legal residents on temporary visas. Granted, an estimated 11.4 million undocumented persons do live within our borders illegally. Unlike Trump, who hasn't paid federal taxes on his guesstimated $600 million annual income in decades, they paid $12 billion in taxes last year.

Begs the question as to who is the larger threat, doesn't it? Yet, there are those who manage somehow to shrug this all off and instead swallow Trump's rather transparent propaganda. He's nothing more than a media whore playing the public because that's what he does. Swindle, deal, cheat--say one thing when he means another. Except where women or people of color are concerned. There, he has no compunction to say and do what he wants because he feels that he can wiggle or buy his way out of any resulting legalities. Only, now that he's in office, it'll be our tax dollars defending him in the many lawsuits that are bound to result. He can't seem to help himself, restrain himself with an ounce of decorum, and thus is a walking, and regrettably talking, liability.

"Do it My Way", he arrogantly, and so very appallingly, sang while he danced with his First Lady. This gloating goat is in for a rude awakening when he realizes that we are his boss, that we can fire him in a heartbeat if he imposes tyranny. Though we may rightly impeach him, we can never erase his win from the history books. All we can do is work to change the system that brought us to the brink of loosing the dignity and the rights we've worked so hard to ensure. 'Do it MY Way'? Not here--not ever. Here, we do it OUR way. We escaped the Monarchy for that very reason, and formed a democracy--for and by The People, for that same reason. The man's, once again, grossly mistaken.

There is an irony to the Trump Groping Game, providing some desperately needed comic relief. Woman represent more than half the country's population and more than half of those seeking residency here in the States are women. For every woman who opposes Trump and all he stands for, there are men who stand with her, a prowling proud pink pride.

Trump having been elected to the highest office in the land may give the phrase "Only in America" a whole new meaning, but today's Women's March promises to prove where the power truly lies.
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Samurai Surfers: Cashing It All In to Live on The Edge

When I first landed on the shores of the broad Pacific to winter in paradise, I fell upon an article describing the new face of homelessness, primarily, that many unemployed professionals and a small percentage of employed professionals had joined the ranks of street sleepers. Some were living out of their cars or vans, others, in tents. The Wall Street crash of 2008 left many people floundering financially. But, it also presented an opportunity.

More recently, I read another article that described how more and more people are choosing to take gap years "off" from their jobs and careers. Over the last few years, while I've traveled the country, I met these unemployed drifters and gapper renegades everywhere I went. I even met a few who were living off their motorcycles. Many were draining the last of their unemployment benefits as they crossed state boarders chasing elusive interviews while making the most of the miles in between. A handful, like me, lived off squirreled savings or cashed in 401K's in effort to prolong the journey. Individual circumstances aside, they all had one thing in common: an undeniable carelessness, a fathomless faith. They are modern day samurai surfing their final days.

We don't like to admit it, but we all know they are coming. It's just a matter of Time, whatever that is in reality. You and I will all transpire and when or how is rarely within our control. How we choose to live until then, however, is. I, personally, choose to ride, long and lean, into the heart of the curling wave.

I find myself making decisions these days based on the premise that if I were to die tomorrow, if this were my last day to live, how would I choose to live it. Like the ancient spiritual warriors of yore in top knots and loin cloths, I ask myself, if this were to be my very last cup of tea, would I slurp it absentmindedly while browsing yesterday’s paper, or would I focus on its subtleties, on all the lives that went into bringing it to me. With each breath I yawn into the rising dawn, I consider whether it is indeed a good day to die. And, you know what, it works.

As impractical as it may be to some, I now try to live without crutches or excuses, for the sheer experience of living, for the ecstatic joy and freedom of BEing. I look at things differently; prioritize things differently than I did previously. I care less about some things and more about others. More importantly, I remind myself that this is what life is meant to be, that this is what empty nesting is all about--the remembering who it is I had wanted to be before I became what I needed to be in order to feed and clothe my children.

The current economic conditions--without a doubt--contribute to this growing phenomenon; the gloomy looming predictions of Nostradamus and the Mayan priests seem to further justify an all or nothing approach. If I am any indication at all, which I very well may not be given how out of the box I know I am, then even if conditions improve, for some of us, our choices will never again be the same.

Mark Boyle, the Celtic Moneyless Man--former businessman turned dumpster diver--was moved by social conscience to take a year off from the corporate grind to see if he could exist without making or spending money. What began as a personal experiment resulted not only in a career shift, but a serious life style about-face.

I, personally, have spent most of my professional career helping socio-ecological adversaries become advocates, bridging the gap between the inflamed EarthFirst mentality stemming from deep rooted appall and the apathetic irresponsive stockholding monsters (including the U.S. government). If it’s not me pushing the envelope outright, it's me helping others to do so. But, Boyle's Gandhi influenced strategy has been genius.

He realized at some stage of the game that 'ethical business' would never quite be enough to effectively address problematic global issues such as "environmental destruction, sweatshops, factory farms, wars over resources". As frustrated and disgusted as he had become, he decided instead to become what he termed, a "social homeopath, a pro-activist..."

In the years since, the ab-rippled vegan Irishman who once claimed independence is really interdependence has published a book, The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living, the proceeds of which are funneled directly into the FREEconomy Trust formed to develop the first ever FREEconomy community. He now writes for the The Guardian, a British newspaper with a daily circulation of a quarter of a million. (The Guardian is the second most viewed online newspaper in Britain.)

I grew up on platitudes, like "walk a mile in your neighbor's moccasins before you judge", and "actions speak louder than words," and "walk the talk". I grew up hating them because they didn't seem to be quite enough--those famously phrased words. Right up there with "I love you, but...", and "you'll always hold a special place in my heart..." Call me nuts but I want more out of life--I want the words we utter to actually mean something. Else, there seems little reason to bother giving voice to them. The platitudes felt empty, wise as they were. But, I've come to recognize that with them, as with most things, the reception's all in the delivery. And, from the likes of Boyle, they pack a reality shattering punch.

There will always be those who crucify the messenger though. Always. It doesn't seem to matter much what we do right in an effort to contribute towards the greater good, there will always be those who find fault, who would rather stand in opposition as part of the problem rather than as supportive advocates seeking solutions in solidarity. I don't claim to comprehend the why of it all, but I do see it all too often. Doesn't matter that Boyle left a cushy corporate life to become the change he wanted to see in the world. The fact that he uses a solar powered laptop to deliver his message will be the thing for which others will condemn him as if his personal choices are intended to placate anyone's conscience aside from his own. His wave, his ride, his story.

We all have one in the making, a story, a choice infused life with the dregs forming pictures of our future in the bottom of the emptied cup. But, even tea leaf destinies can't hold back the beckoning wall of liquid living. Waves come in long slow curves, and they come in ferocious frothing roars. Getting wet and going under's a given. How and when we choose to ride though reflects not only sheer guts, but also divine grace.
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My e-books can be found at Amazon.
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